Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



What a great match: Ric Flair, the long-time National Wrestling Alliance world champion, vs. Nick Bockwinkel, the perennial standard-bearer for the American Wrestling Association. Two of the best ever wrestled in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Jan. 16, 1986. Flair had the NWA belt. Bockwinkel was between AWA title reigns. 

A call to Flair confirmed this was their only meeting. Today’s spot monkeys could learn a lot by watching: Bockwinkel and Flair pack more psychology into this match than some of today’s performers muster in a year’s worth of bouts. 

I’ve been close friends with Flair for 30-plus years. X-rays of my liver confirm.

I worked briefly with Bockwinkel when he was World Championship Wrestling’s figurehead commissioner from 1994-95. What a class act. I always called him “Mr. Bockwinkel.” He would say, “Young man, you can call me Nick.” But I couldn’t. My respect was too immense. 

Bockwinkel vs. Flair. Two of the very best. One night only. Winnipeg native Chris Jericho, just 15, was in attendance. That makes three all-time greats.

Thumbnail Courtesy of Getty Images and Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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