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[1992-01-04-WCW-Saturday Night] Arn Anderson vs Dustin Rhodes

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This match is HOT. I've talked about it before, and it seems like the people who have watched it have agreed with me that it's a fantastic match. Rewatching it still holds up really well. Dustin targets Arn Anderson and goes for the figure four, which Arn sells beautifully for several minutes, and responds by going after Dustin's arm, which Dustin also sells beautifully, making a one-armed comeback. There are some fantastic nearfalls toward the end of this, as they do some fairly standard outside interference spots that are normally finishes where Dustin kicks out. A big pier-six breaks out with all Dangerous Alliance members (except Rude) running in and Steamboat, Windham and Simmons brawling in and around the ring. Great match that's as good as just about any singles match WCW produced in 1992.

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Yeah, this is great stuff; felt like a top 10 singles match for both guys the last time I saw it. There's one spot where Heyman cheapshots Dustin with his phone and a lady in the crowd goes totally nuts. She's holding a kid that looks about a year old and winds up swinging him/her around like a ragdoll in a rage.

 

Not sure where this falls in a worldwide "best of the year" list, but I'd say it's a top 20 lock for WCW and adds to both guys' case as the WOTY for 92.

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Awesome match and a great performance from both guys. The nearfalls worked real well. The only thing I didn't like was JR's commentary. He got better towards the end.

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Really good match. Dustin and Arn both turn in great performances. Loved the limb work, the selling, the near falls, and the finishing run-n brawl. I thought Ross was pretty good on commentary. Specifically his mention of the Dusty and Arn rivalry and his idea of the D.A. attempting to injure Dustin so he'd have to vacate the tag titles. Not sure I'd rank this with the upper echelon of 92 wcw singles buts its still damn good.

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This is a tremendous match. The story telling was great. Plus the execution was spot on. The 1st half of 92 Arn could have been the WOTY in the u.s.

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Probably the best Dustin match I've seen -- and I've seen all his PPV matches from this WCW run. Loved the brawl at the end. DA were such a cool group. When I think of Heyman, I think of this Paul E. first and the ECW guy second.

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I gotta say, I thought for second I'd have to wait tell later in the disc or disc 2 to see the finish.

 

Awesome match. WCW had some of the best TV audiences. Sometimes, I just get caught up watching the expressions of people in the stands.

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Terrific TV match to kick off the year. Arn was at his best here, and Dustin was already a very good worker. Enjoyed the time and patience they put in, enjoyed the surprising nearfall at the end. Everything looked crisp, intense. Not a lot of spectacular spots, and yet they made one hell of a match out of this.

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I concur here with everyone on how good this match was. That fan raging while holding her little kid in her arm was a bit scary. Some really good close falls at the end and I liked how this match sets things up for the following months with Dangerous Alliance feud.

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LOL at the fans chanting "break his leg" while Arn was in the figure four. This was tons of fun, especially the finish with all the extra curricular activity. And, you just know that if this same match, move for move, with the same sort of booking happened on an episode of RAW, it'd be lauded to the moon, while a few others would bitch about the run ins and how it "ruined" the match.

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Liked this one. A full length encounter with both men working over body parts. Short term selling was strong, although not so much later on. Wholesome stuff as Arn led the promising young stallion. This was heading for a higher rating before the horrible sportz entertainment finish. Ahh the eternal battle of wrestling vs bullshit.

 

I thought JR used to be a decent commentator once he'd got the football career info out of the way.

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This was AWESOME. Easily one of my favorite matches of the month. Great work by both with Anderson selling his knee following a figure four and spinning toe hold, and Dustin selling his arm later on. I had no recollection of matches this hot and excellent being a regular part of WCW's weekly tv at the time, but it became pretty clear that while this may have been one of the better efforts, tv was just awesome during this period.

 

Things wrap with a 6 way brawl the Dangerous Alliance feud continues, and the lack of a finish isn't a sore spot at all.

 

****

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I know he went 18-8 as a 21-year old, but I'm amused by all the pushing of STEVE AVERY as the Braves' big pitching phenom. It's almost like it was a TBS directive.

 

The match itself is fantastic, in fact it smokes all of the Arn-Taylor matches and is probably better than any TV Title match Arn had. Very mat-based with every transition making sense and some inventive spots. Dustin kicks out of about 3 or 4 standard finishes, which I'm guessing smart fans of the time were livid about, before the Dangerous Alliance and Windham, Steamboat, and Simmons all get involved.

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Arn Anderson w/Paul E. Dangerously vs Dustin Rhodes - WCW Saturday Night 01/04/92

I'll never ever get tired of Beautiful Bobby flying randomly into the screen to drop the leg on an unsuspecting babyface covering an opponent. I have actually seen this match twice before and I loved it. I remember the double bodypart psychology and each men's selling being the hooks of the match. For the life of me, I couldnt remember the finish and then JR says we will show the finish tomorrow I was like "Fuck, the reason I dont remember it is because I never saw it". Then fuckin Eaton flies out of nowhere to nail Dustin with the Alabama Jam. I love pro wrestling.

The fundamentals and selling really carry this match into instant classic status. There are really few highspots in the match, but the entirety of the match is absolutely riveting because how each men is struggling to gain the edge on the other, the organic transitions and their selling made every little thing mean so much more. Early on, Dustin seems to be outwrestling Anderson slightly establishing a hammerlock/armbar base, but Anderson never really lets the match get away from him. When Dustin hits a flying lariat (the only early highspot), Anderson rolls out and kills Dustin's momentum. He goes to throw Dustin to the outside, his domain, but Dustin turns the tables on him by scooping his leg and wrapping it around the post. Thus the awesomeness begins. It is not because how well Dustin worked the leg. It is because Arn never stopped struggling. He did not let the moves happen to him. He was still eye-raking, but Dustin was persistence with the back heel trip into the figure-4. "Break his leg" the crowd chants, we need crowds like this now! Everytime Arn is trying to cutoff he continues to sell the knee and how hard it is just to stand. He fights through it and nails a spinebuster, but cant capitalize immediately. He throws him outside to buy himself some time and Paul E. is able to inflict some damage with his brick cell phone. In an arm for a leg moment, Arn rams Dustin shoulder into the post thus begins Dustin's awesome selling of the arm. An Anderson dissecting an arm and a Rhodes selling it for all its worth is pro wrestling. Dustin making one arm comebacks was friggin bitchin. Paul E. gets another cell phone shot and the kid kicks out and a woman nearly throws her baby into the ring throwing a fit. WE NEED CROWDS LIKE THIS! Dustin fights through the pain to let it flip, flop and FLY! JR says TV time is running out. BULLDOG! Paul E on the apron! Cover! All the way from Huntsville, Alabama, Bobby Eaton flies in and nails Dustin with the leg drop. Steamboat is in to rectify the situation with the ref and we go off the air.

 

This is meat and potatoes wrestling but if only all wrestling could be this good. When you sell like this everything is better. Your opponent looks better. The moves mean more. The match means more. Your heat skyrockets. Vulnerability sells. The transitions were all hard-fought and logical. No one every stopped fighting. Dustin and Arn were always struggling. Sometimes, I will see wrestlers content just to let the person on offense do moves to him and sure they will sell, but where's the struggle! Dustin proved to be wise beyond his years. Arn is the master of the fundamentals. Overall a great showcase of why I love pro wrestling. ****

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Sorry, but the finish of this made all of the work before it meaningless. For what we ended up with, they could have cut ten minutes off and just kept things one step above a fistfight instead of wasting time on the limbwork (which Dustin sold particularly well), I would have even preferred the standard DA-Alabama Jam finish to schmozzing out the whole mess. The problem is, they don't want the DA to lose at all, yet they don't want the faces to look like schmucks because they're constantly falling victim to outside interference. I understand that, honest. But you don't need good matches for that kind of stuff. Just let the combatants get in and brawl for a while, then get to the run-ins and call it a day.

 

With the match thus disposed of, let me say that JR was very good here. It was odd to hear him talking baseball instead of football, but I thought the Steve Avery analogies, particularly the one about him using his best pitch when he needs an out the most, were particularly apt to explain Dustin's strategy, especially while he was destroying Arn's leg. He showed just the right amount of outrage when Heyman interfered, and his explanation of why the DA wanted to hurt Dustin so badly (make him unable to defend the tag belts, then try to win them in a tournament) is the type of thing very few announcers bothered to do, even in the old days. I didn't like him saying that the DA were the most hated group in wrestling history, which was an obvious shot at the Horsemen and an indirect one at Flair and Vince, but that was really my only quibble.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'll take as many DA multi-man brawls as I can get. But don't ruin a potentially great TV match like this just to start one.

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This was a lot of fun, I hadnt seen this match in a few years but thought it was very good. Both men sold well and we got focused limb work throughout. The fan reactions are always fun on these old shows, there was a kid in the front row that was beside himself at Arn accusing Dustin of pulling his hair. The tease that folks had to wait until next week was classic and the escalating run ins that went into the DQ hampered it a bit but the work was definitely there. ****

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I relistened to the WTBBP tv special and must have been in a bad mood when I watched this the first time. This was great on this viewing. It is also possible that with the glut of current day G1, it was nice to watch this style of match so it hit the sweet spot. Still, Arn was selling wonderfully and attacks just as well when he goes on the offensive. Paul E picks his spots well. Dustin also has grown as a worker and feels like an underdog but certainly someone that belongs with the tecnician like Arn. I didn't even mind the schmozz finish as it looked great with everyone flying around setting up feuds for the future. **** (8)

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Easily one of the best TV matches from WCW from 1990-now. Great selling by both and Arn knows how to put together a gritty match like few others. Dustin is surprisingly polished for as inexperienced as he is.

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