Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Still AWA

Nick Bockwinkel v Larry Zbyszko (2/23/86)

As an overall "segment" this is only about 8 minutes long. Bell to bell I don't think it goes even 4 minutes. And it completely ruled. Zbyszko is amazing in the pre-match, complaining about the ref' and refusing to compete unless they get a different referee out there, then tossing the "up yours" when he gets his way. Crowd absolutely detests him and the match hasn't even started yet. Bock comes running out and jumps him, and for the next few minutes he just beats the living shit out of Larry while the crowd erupts. He chokes him with electrical chord, stiffs him with forearms, and Larry takes an insane bump out to the floor off a dropkick. In practically any other match ever that would be the craziest bump of the match, but a couple minutes later the ref' fucking DIES off the nuttiest ref' bump you've ever seen. I mean, this referee is tiny and he gets fucking hurled through the ropes and I don't know how he didn't break his neck, because he lands head first on the concrete. Larry winning by crotching Bock on the ropes with his one and only offensive move of the match gets riot level heat, and Bock is already looking as great as an ass-kicking babyface as he has as a heel.

Stan Hansen v Leon White (3/13/86)

Well shit. I figured this would be good, but I didn't expect to come out of it thinking it's a top 15 contender. And well, there's some great looking stuff still to come, but this was awesome and sitting in my top 10 right now. It's not quite as slugfest-y as one or two of the matches from Japan; Leon's eye doesn't get clubbed out its socket, but they still hit each other like they are who you think they are. This is built more around body part work though, and it's some great body part work, especially from Hansen. Leon controls early by working a headlock, and he really WORKS it. He even does a fucking step over into a cartwheel before dropping down and going back to the headlock at one point. He really cranks and squeezes it, and Hansen always looks like he's fighting to get out of it. He'll grind his forearm across the bridge of Leon's nose and just kind of try and grab bits of his face to rip at. When he takes over he grabs a nasty wristlock, then he starts bending Leon's fingers and that leads to the awesome FINGER WORK segment. Hansen is just a nasty bastard here, trying to rip Leon's fingers apart, stomping on his hand and smashing it into chairs and ring posts. Finish is the sort of unhinged brutality that a bunch of your classic Hansen matches have. Leon charges him in the corner, but Hansen moves and Leon flies into the turnbuckles, and as he's bouncing back out Hansen fucking drills him with an absolute crowbar lariat. It wasn't quite on the level of his lariat to Kobashi in '93, but it wasn't far off. This was excellent.

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