Friday, 30 July 2010

DOUBLE A OF THE DAY #15

Watched this last night and never got around to writing anything, so I'll do a double shot today.


Arn Anderson v Big Josh (WCW Saturday Night, 5/2/92)

This is another great 2/3 falls Double A match from 1992 WCW, although I'd put it a few pegs below the Windham match from a month later.

Starts out with Arn running through a pick-n-mix of shtick; he's befuddled, he's frustrated, he's worried - Josh is a big fuckin' lumberjack and Arn can't get anything going whatsoever. He slaps on a headlock, Josh picks him up and launches him across the ring. Arn's google-eyed and maybe even a little scared. Arn throws a punch, he winds up floored himself, backing into the corner because he wants no part of that shit. The first few minutes are all Arn and his shtick with Josh playing along perfectly. I loved it.

Match goes about 40 minutes, and I'm guessing the first fall is the shortest. Whether that's because it actually *was* the shortest, or just because it was so fun that it flew by, I'm not sure, but either way it's a really good "match" on its own, and as part of the bigger picture it's terrific. Josh spends the majority working Anderson's lower back, and Arn selling a body part is something I have no problem watching for 5 minutes or 45 minutes. Josh is perfectly fine on offence, but it's things like Arn hopping around on one leg as Josh has a hold of the other while selling the back at the same time that ultimately makes me fall in love with the guy every time out.

Second fall starts out essentially where the first left off, this time with a pissed off, albeit undeterred, Josh going right to work on the back again.

About 15 minutes in is where Arn finally transitions into offence, shifting from stooge to calculated hitman the second Josh misses a wild clothesline and wraps his shoulder around the ring post. Arn working a body part is just as great at Arn selling a body part, but I found myself drifting from time to time during the second fall, whereas the first fall had me hooked right off the bat. Josh is game to eat and sell plenty of Arn's stuff, though, so I guess I'll chock it up to being tired. Finish is a nice little payback for the first fall, and Heyman is close to stroking out. Post-fall is really nifty as well, the referee raising Josh's hand and Josh giving him a "Hey, man, my arm's hurtin' here. That ain't cool." look. I dig guys selling damage in between falls.

We're back to Arn mostly fighting from the bottom in the third, but Josh starts to blow up slightly down the stretch, and while that leads to some sloppiness, I actually kinda like how some of it comes across as two guys breaking the pain barrier and getting a little desperate. Arn's awesome as a punch drunk fighter on the ropes, throwing wild air punches and eventually falling flat on his face. There's one moment where he throws a HARD punch that I can only assume Josh is supposed to duck, except he doesn't lower his head quick enough and takes it right above the eye. Sounded like someone threw a steak off a wall. There's a half-messed up clothesline spot directly before the finish as well, but Arn's improv selling is wonderful, and make no mistake, this was a great third fall to cap off a great match.

Like I said, I'd take the Arn/Barry 2/3 falls over this, but I think this is better than the Windham/Austin 2/3 falls from 5/9. Top stuff.

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