Tuesday, 3 August 2010

DOUBLE A OF THE DAY #19

Arn Anderson v Ricky Steamboat (WCW Pro, 3/21/92)

As a big picture this feels sort of like Steamboat snapping and taking no more shit from Heyman, Rude and whoever else wants to fuck with him. He's had enough and he's gonna take this belt and try and murder you and... well, that's all in the post-match, and it obviously rules, but the actual match itself is Arn v Steamboat and you can probably guess that it's good in its own right.

Arn jumps Steamboat before he's even got his jacket off, and it's a decent indication of how this match goes -- I'm not sure how long it runs exactly, but Arn controls all but a couple minutes while Steamboat is constantly fighting from the bottom, firing back, selling, doing everything you like to see from Ricky Steamboat until he finally reaches a point where he's 'back in the game'. And then Rude hits the ring and Steamboat tries to murder him, Arn and Heyman.

It's not what I was expectingin a way, but Arn working as calculated hitman against someone like fuckin' Steamboat is way up my alley.

There isn't a whole lot of signature early Arn stooging here, but you still get the spot where Steamboat tries to use the ropes to bounce him off and roll him up, Arn keeping hold of the ropes and pointing to his head, Heyman screaming "ARN!" as he turns around into a thrust kick. There's another great spot that I don't remember seeing before, where Steamboat has a hold of Arn's arm, Arn slickly hits the mat while breaking Steamboat's grip on the arm, grabs one of Steamboat's legs and quickly gets back up to a standing base. Arn's all "Bet you didn't see that coming", but he's looking out at the crowd so Steamboat pastes him with an enziguiri and Arn takes the Dick Murdoch flip sell.

So you don't get a ton of Arn working from the bottom, but you do get the great little 'calculated hitman' Arn Anderson touches since he's got as much time to work on top as the aggressor. He's throwing especially great strikes in this, varied and nasty. What's great about them is that they're all thrown as a result of what Steamboat's doing, sometimes as a counter/cut-off or just because Steamboat will be in a position where clubbing him in the back seems like the smart move. Steamboat will pound away on Arn and get him to his knees so Arn's just gonna put a stop to this by headbutting him in the gut. There's a great spot where Arn drops to the mat for Steamboat to jump over him and hit the ropes, and Arn gets up to his knees and scrambles across the ring so he can blast Steamboat in the ribs with a forearm as he's coming off the ropes. A lot of this is built around Arn cutting Steamboat off with nasty strikes and it's really good.

There's an awesome trio of signature Arn spots towards the end. I've spoken in the past about how Arn loves to do the noggin-knocker double KO spot as a reset/transition and how he's got a ton of different variations. Here we get Steamboat hitting an atomic drop that sends Arn face-first into the turnbuckle, bouncing back and knocking the back of his own head off of Steamboat's face. Arn is up first and decides to go to the top turnbuckle. Arn's got a bunch of spots he likes to do from the top as well. Here it looks like Steamboat's going to throw him off, but Arn rakes the eyes instead and Steamboat has to let him go. At this point it looks like he's going to be able to actually hit something off the top, but instead he drops down and grabs a sleeper hold. Steamboat manages to back him into the corner to break it, but he's still groggy while Arn is relatively fresh, so he goes back to the middle rope this time. Off he jumps and it looks like he's finally succeeded in coming off the top, but Steamboat from nowhere jabs him in the gut and Arn takes the flip bump you'd see DiBiase take all the time. Two great Arn top rope spots after a signature double KO spot.

It's about now where Steamboat's 'back in the game' and we're poised for the stretch run. That doesn't really happen, but what we get instead is Heyman and Arn having a miscue and Heyman winding up in the ring with Steamboat. Steamboat cleans his clock until Rude hits the scene and tries to strangle him with a belt, but Steamboat gets a hold of it and turns it around on Rude. Steamboat comes off as a man that's had enough and just wants to hurt these guys now, and the fact he's left standing alone in the ring at the end while Heyman, Arn and Rude crawl to the back makes it feel like a big moment in the good guys v scummy Dangerous Alliance feud.

This was aces.

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