Saturday, 5 June 2010

DOUBLE A OF THE DAY #7

Arn Anderson v Dustin Rhodes (WCW Saturday Night, 1/4/92)

This is generally thought of as being one of the best singles matches of either guy's career. Not sure where I'd put it if I were to make a top 5-10 of the best singles matches they've been in, but I get the feeling I'd probably rank it pretty high. It's really, really good.

First few minutes are all about Arn trying to create an opening for himself only for Dustin to keep cutting him off, mostly using an armbar. Arn goes for a headlock, Dustin slips out and ties up the arm, that kind of thing. From there they work into the first real stretch of offence with Dustin wrapping Arn's leg around the post and working on the knee. Arn's great at selling it during failed comeback attempts, like catching Dustin with a running knee to the gut only to collapse on his ass from the pain. Dustin doesn't do anything flashy when he's working Arn over, but everything's solid and it all keeps moving along nicely.

Then Arn calls on old trusty and catches Dustin with big spinebuster. "It's gut check time now!" Arn's main focus here is Dustin's left arm. In #5 I spoke about Arn working over a young Shane Douglas' arm with some of the best looking shit ever, just torturing the kid until the referee decides he's too fucked up to continue. You get the same vibe here, only Dustin isn't Shane Douglas and the referee ain't stoppin' shit, so you get some great limp-armed babyface hope spots, some killer arm work (those stomps, baby), and with Paul E. at ringside you get some nasty looking cheapshots from the sleazy leader himself. There's a great moment where Arn has Dustin in an armbar near the ropes and Dustin manages to half stand up and force Arn into a pinning situation, so when the ref' dives down to make the count, Dangerously jumps up on the apron and blasts Dustin with his telephone. There's one lady in the crowd with a child that looks to be no more than a year old and she's completely livid at this point, jumping right out of her chair and practically swinging the kid around in a fit of rage.

Final few minutes have Dangerous Alliance shenanigans aplenty, firstly with Eaton preventing the Dustin win off a bulldog by hitting the Alabama Jam (Paul E. has the ref' distracted at this point). Steamboat hits the scene and you've got a brawl on the floor while the ref's all over the place trying to keep an eye on the match while trying to break up the ensuing riot on the floor (Austin and Windham appear not long after Steamboat). Eaton's constant interference in the face of adversity results in a few great nearfalls, although eventually things deteriorate so much that Randy Anderson has no choice but to throw it out the window.

Super match. Gets plenty of time to develop and both guys are spot on in their roles. They have a rematch later in the month that's much shorter, and while it's not as good as this as a whole, I think Arn's performance there is even better. Five minutes or twenty five minutes, the guy rocks the fuckin' house.

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