Wednesday, 24 March 2010

DOUBLE A OF THE DAY #6

Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton & Steve Austin v Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes & Ron Simmons (WCW Worldwide Wrestling, 1/11/92)

I can watch just about any match from the Dangerous Alliance/Sting, Steamboat, Windham, Rhodes, etc. feud from this period and enjoy the Hell out of it. Stick any combination of Anderson and buddies up against any combination of Steamboat and buddies and I'm all over that like Dennis Rodman on a crackwhore. Sorta warms my heart then, that as fun as this is, it probably isn't even as good as half a dozen other multi-man tags WCW ran during the first 6 months of the year alone.

Arn and Steamboat are the stars of their respective teams here. Steamboat's a man possessed, just attacking the Alliance from time to time in busts of rage. There's one moment where Dustin's tossed out to the floor and Arn levels him off the apron with a double axe handle, so Steamboat sprints all the way around the ring just to get a piece of him. The camera shot's terrific, because you get to see Steamboat appear into the picture from nowhere while Arn tries to hightail it, and Schiavone's "STEAMBOAT'S HAD ENOUGH!" call of it is perfect. While this is going on Dustin winds up getting posted and Steamboat's throwing a fit, yelling at the ref' and stuff. Back in the ring and Arn measures Dustin with a knee drop, but Steamboat dives on top of Dustin, sacrificing himself by taking the knee drop instead. Arn's expression is almost that of confusion, like "What the fuck are you doing, taking the hit for a damn kid?!", before going back and beating on Dustin anyway.

Arn brings all of his usual greatness, both on offence and defence. The early going has the babyfaces coming up with an answer for everything the heels throw at them, whether it be Dustin running riot with bionic elbows, Steamboat throwing karate kicks or Simmons bowling people over with football tackles. Arn even calls a meeting with Dangerously, saying "He's just too strong", talking about Simmons, before sending Austin in there to give it a shot. Of course, that fails, too. The eventual transition into Dustin's FIP segment is really cool, with Dustin trying to fight his way out of the Dangerous Alliance corner, almost managing it before Anderson spots an opening by ramming Dustin's head into a dazed Eaton's. Thought it was a nice "for the good of the team" spot that came off as being subtle yet effective. The heat segment on Dustin is as good as you'd expect, and Arn goes about punishing him with a bunch of trademark Arn-ness. We even get another variation of the Anderson noggin'-knocker spot, which sees him attempt to drive Dustin's head into Austin's knee, only for Dustin to reverse it by sending Arn's head into the knee, which then causes Arn to bounce back and bump the back of his head with Dustin's forehead. Always love it when guys find new ways to vary their favourite "stuff", and Arn's one of the best ever in that regard.

The post-hot tag run to the finish was always pretty hectic in these matches. This time we get a nice Simmons power spot for the finish, with Arn holding him so Eaton can come off the top, except Steamboat gets himself some revenge by coming off the opposite corner and nailing Arn with a double axe, which frees up Simmons to catch Eaton with a spinebuster. The post-match beatdown has Steamboat taking a beating so you know that's good. Then Windham hits the ring with a 2x4 and you know there's gonna be Hell to pay.

Everybody looked good here. Arn and Steamboat looked great, and Dustin wasn't too far behind them. Austin's a guy I'll always really like, but he was the weakest guy in the Dangerous Alliance stable. It kinda makes me laugh when people talk about how Austin was some great "technical wrestler" before he got his neck mashed and then use his WCW run as an example of that. I can't for the life of me see how someone could watch any of this stuff and come to the conclusion Austin was robbed of his technical skills that time Owen Hart decided to piledrive him on the top of his head, thus forcing him to become a brawler, robbing us of "technical wrestler" Austin. Still, he could throw a mean lariat when he wanted to, and he busts out a peach here. Goes without saying that this is well worth your time.

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