Saturday, 21 August 2010

DOUBLE A OF THE DAY #24

Arn Anderson v Dustin Rhodes (WCW Saturday Night, 1/25/92)

I spoke about their awesome 1/4 match in DAotD #7, and while this isn't on the level of that, it's still a great 5 or 6 minute Arn Anderson show.

Match starts out with Dustin controlling using a headlock and Arn being unable to shake him. He'll slip out and grab hold of Dustin, but this young punk's too slippery and all roads lead back to Arn having his head cranked. There's a great moment where he pops Dustin in the face and Dustin fires back with a big right hand to the jaw, Arn selling it like he's Arn Anderson, checking his teeth to see if they're all there, eyes bugging out in shock and calling for time.

We get a tease of Arn taking control when he starts backing Dustin into corners and giving him body shots, catching him running in with a big elbow to the face and applauding himself to boot. Then he goes for a neckbreaker and Dustin reverses it into a surprise backslide, and Arn's right back to square one - trying to find ways to get out of Dustin's headlocks. There's a great shot of a nervous Dangerously on the floor chomping at his fingernails and Ross seems genuinely disgusted, "Isn't that pitiful?"

The eventual transition into Arn in control is awesome. He jumps over Dustin with a leapfrog and comes down in a heap, clutching his knee like he's just torn his cruciate. Dangerously jumps the ring and begs and pleads with Dustin to show mercy, yelling "HE'S HURT! HE'S HURT!", even offering him a wad of cash to leave poor Arn alone. Of course Arn's fit as a fiddle and picks his spot to blindside Dustin and plant him with a DDT. Arn's spectacular over the next few minutes; he's in calculated hitman mode, but he can't seem to get over how great he and Heyman's scheme was and so he does everything with a smile on his face. He'll do some jumping jacks in between dropping a knee on Dustin's neck; burst into fits of laughter and applause in between grinding his boot in Dustin's face like it's a discarded cigarette; point to his head and tell everyone how smart he is in between grating Dustin's eyes across the top rope.

Final transition comes when Arn gets a little too cocky and winds up eating a knee to the chops and a big lariat. Punch-drunk Arn throwing wild punches while he's getting peppered with shots from the opponent is an Arn spot I always love, and there's a boss slugfest of that ilk towards the end here. Finish is the standard Dangerous Alliance run in of the time, but that's after Arn takes a killer bulldog, and the post-match is good too, with Windham getting a hold of Paul E's phone and going to town on Austin's leg with it while Dustin swings a chair at anybody trying to help.

For a short TV match, this is as good an Arn showcase as any.

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