Saturday, 13 April 2013

Yeah, More AWA

Stan Hansen v Curt Hennig (5/31/86)

Well this was fucking tremendous, and definitely one of the best 10 minute matches I've ever seen. Before the match starts we get the pre-match greatness with Hansen destroying an injured Jerry Blackwell, then Hennig comes out and from that point forward he and Hansen just stiff the daylights out of each other. Match feels really reckless and unstructured, but it's reckless and unstructured in the best way possible. They're not just throwing shit out there willy nilly; it feels like an actual fight, and an actual fight really has no structure. Hennig's strikes have never looked better than they do in this. His punches land square in the jaw and temple (there's a close-up of Hansen trying to shift his jaw around during one of the moments where they aren't brutalising each other), his forearms and elbows look like they could cut you open, and at one point he hits a fucking mule kick out of the corner (didn't look like it connected great, but it was an awesome spot even for the idea of it). Hansen is of course Stan Hansen and fires back with what you'd expect. He might have the nastiest kneedrop in wrestling history, and he pulls his kneepad down and drops the knee right across Hennig's throat. There's a bit where Hennig is trying to force his shoulders to the mat for pin attempts, so Hansen just headbutts him in the eye. Hennig will score a flash nearfall off a cross body, so Hansen will chuck him to the floor and slam him across a row of seats (THAT fucking ruled). Hennig will then come back and punch Stan in the eyeball, and it's all just brutal and beautiful. That is the story of this match. Hennig throws absolutely everything he has at Hansen and Stan keeps finding himself on the ropes. He probably wasn't expecting Hennig to come at him like this. He certainly wasn't expecting Hennig to be able to match him brutal step for brutal step. I mean...who can match Stan Hansen at that? And it rules. Last few minutes are about as good as I've ever seen in a TV time limit match in terms of building drama. They really capture the sense that both guys are going all out before the time is up, and not knowing the result beforehand I was super into it hoping Hennig could pull it off. I'll probably have this in my top 10.

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