Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard v Barry Windham & Lex Luger (NWA Clash of the Champions)
I said in yesterday's ramble that the Arn/Eaton v Dustin/Windham tag from Clash XIX was as good a ten minute southern tag as you'll see. That's a great match, no doubt, but I kinda lied, because the original Clash show had TWO ten minute southern style tags that are even better.
This one's for the World Tag straps and the crowd is ridiculously hot right from the jump.
Starts out with Arn and Tully pinballing for Luger and we get one of my favourite trademark Arn comedy spots, as Luger goes to double clothesline both guys, only for Arn to duck, start pointing to his head because he's smarter than your average bear, and then turn around right into another Luger clothesline. First minute and a half is all Luger, just mowing down anything in sight, until Arn boots him in the leg and the Horsemen take over.
The heat segment on Luger's short, much like the Windham in peril section of the match I talked about yesterday, but watching Arn and Tully trying to take some roid head's leg apart for a couple minutes is always a good way to spend a couple minutes.
Hot tag to Windham has big Barry cleaning house and Arn and Tully have no problems pinballing for him, either. Tully is especially willing to take whatever's thrown at him; he eats a running lariat, a big powerslam, and a slam off the top that gets some huge height. Great spot where Windham hooks him in a sleeper, so Tully tries to roll to the floor to escape, except Barry keeps a hold of it all the way and Arn eventually has to rush around and "wake him up".
Windham in peril is the meat of this and holy fuck does Windham in peril rule the fuggin' universe. I can't quite explain what it is about Windham's selling that I love, but man, I really love Windham's selling. As in, all the time. "holy fuck does Windham in peril rule the fuggin' universe" is a statement that applies to just about every match where he plays the FIP, but this one specifically is just awesome. "I really love Windham's selling" obviously applies here as well, but holy shit do Arn and Tully give him a bucket load of great stuff to sell for. In terms of offence they hit him with a spinebuster, a DDT (both Arn) and a slingshot suplex (Tully), but what really puts this section over the top is the shtick and all the bits in between.
Arn's shtick is the greatest, and there's two great signature Arn shtick spots in this. The first is the spot where he'll try and work a knucklelock into a pinning situation, fail to score a pinfall - usually after two attempts - and then try and work for a better position by dropping his knees down on the opponent. If you've seen enough Arn you'll know it's not going to work, and sure enough Windham lifts his own knees up and Arn winds up google-eyed with two knees buried in his crotch. The second isn't necessarily a "signature" shtick spot, but it's a variation of one. Arn loves to do the double noggin-knocker double KO spot in his matches, but what's great about it is that he's got a bunch of variations of it. Here there's no double noggin-knocker, but you still get an awesome double KO spot as both he and Windham blast each other with a left hand at the same time. Windham does a terrific "dead on his feet" sell where he collapses and takes a big timber bump on his face. Arn's sell of it is beyond description, spinning around, landing on one knee, sort of trying to stand back up again, swinging at air with another punch before eventually falling flat on his ass. Words don't do it justice. Tully doesn't bring the kind of shtick Arn does, but it's actually Tully that does the double noggin-knocker spot in this, hitting the mat as Windham comes off the ropes, stands up with his back to Barry and Barry careens into him, Barry's face smashing off the back of Tully's head. Two great double KO spots in one Hell of a heat segment.
The eventual hot tag to Luger totally blows the roof off the place, and while Luger pretty much sticks to running guys down with clotheslines and powerslamming the shit out of them, he flexes his muscles and does exactly what he needs to, when he needs to do it, and with a crowd this hot you don't have to do much else.
Finish has the crowd going completely ballistic as JJ gets on the apron with a chair, presumably to whack Lex, only Luger spots it and sends Arn into it face first. 1, 2, 3 and we've got NEEEEWWWWW World Tag Champs.
So great. I guess I'd generally call myself a big Luger fan, and he does what's required of him in this, but the three other guys make it as good as it is. Tully and Arn know exactly when to let Windham and Luger take their hope spots and they've got a shit load of tricks in their bag to keep things interesting all the time. Windham's FIP section might be my favourite Windham FIP section ever, just a balls out fantastic, compact heat segment.
A good southern style tag is my favourite kind of wrestling, and I could watch shit like this for hours upon hours. Think I'm gonna do their rematch for tomorrow's installment.