Thursday, 5 August 2010

DOUBLE A OF THE DAY #20

Arn Anderson v Brian Pillman (WCW The Main Event, 4/14/91)

Taking a break from 1992 Arn for today so I can check out a TV match from a year where Arn doesn't really seem to get a whole ton of pimping, at least not compared to his run in '92. Honestly, though, this was a blast and I'd be surprised if they managed to have a match of the same length that turns out a whole lot better a year later.

Arn jumps Pillman as soon as he slides in the ring, tossing him out to the floor like a piece of trash, fixing his own kneepad like Pillman's some scrub that's not worthy of his time. Of course, Pillman's having none of that nonsense and he's back in like a shot, catching a surprised Arn and laying him out as he turns around.

This goes about 10 minutes and the first 4 or so have Pillman working the arm after Arn winds up missing a punch and smacking the ring post. I'm not a big fan of much post-'92 Pillman, but he had a Hell of a babyface run before that. I've spoken before about how he's great as a house o' fire babyface, coming across as being really intense and pugnacious, and everything he does in his control segment here is done with a ton of vigour. He's got cool little trunks and a boyish charm to him but fuck if he won't Tyson your ear off.

Pillman as a little pitbull is a dynamic that doesn't just work really well when he's on offence; it also works as a "weakness", in that he'll get *too* fired up and make a mistake or his opponent can use it against him. Here he backs Arn into the corner and starts laying into him and the referee's trying to break it up by getting in between them, so Arn'll throw a nasty little cheapshot and piss him off more. Ref' tries to break them up with a little more force and Pillman gets annoyed and pushes him halfway across the ring, so Arn rakes the eyes, picks him up and crotches him across the top rope. Yeah... that's a great transition spot.

Arn on offence is totally what I was hoping for; violent and nasty with a touch of comedy stooging when it's needed. Arn's stomps are the best ever and he stomps Pillman in the face about 5 times here. There also aren't too many people that milk a sunset flip like Double A. It's a shame that my download for this doesn't have sound (well, I'm assuming it does have sound, just that it won't play on my shitty laptop), because you can visibly see people going nuts for Pillman's hope spots and Arn's dirty tricks. Actually being able to hear the crowd heat no doubt would've made me dig this even more.

Finish is a Windham run-in since he's in the middle of a feud with Pillman, but what I liked about it is that he didn't just hit the ring and instantly lay a beating on him. At first he seemed to be out there to give Arn some moral support (or to throw hothead Pillman off his game), but when Pillman gets Arn on the ropes big time he says "fuck it" to that idea and and jumps him instead.

Both guys have had better singles matches than this for sure, and yeah, a few of them pop up a year later, but 1992 WCW is an amazing year that people are always pimping (rightfully so). 1991 is a weak year for WCW on the whole and doesn't get much talk at all, but this is the kind of match that'd convince me to sift through a poor year in hopes of finding more stuff like it. Hell, those Barry/Pillman matches are awesome, too.

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