Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

[1991-10-27-WCW-Halloween Havoc] Steve Austin vs Dustin Rhodes


Loss
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 3 months later...

I've always liked this match, especially the last five minutes. Two young guys working hard to steal the show, both bleeding and doing some great nearfalls. I love Dustin counting along with the referee. Austin is capable at this point, but misses out on so many chances to take the match over the top. I'd like to see him more aggressive at this point, but with time, he found himself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Great, great pace for most of this--this is probably Austin's best non-gimmick match to date. Double juice, which is always a surprise at this point, and Dustin takes some terrific bumps and provides some awesome unexpected twists like the quasi-shoot-style half crab reversal. Even the final two-count is timed right with the countdown. Not a US MOTYC or anything but both guys come across as the future of the business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

The early stages were technical before both men bled later on. At the time they were two of WCW's hottest young stars and you could see the potential. Dustin's inexperience really shone through in the latter stages however. Oh well. He benefitted a lot from being teamed with a veteran like Steamboat over the next year. Unlike in Japan the framework wasn't geared towards helping young wrestlers develop, so potential was often not realised. As the decade progressed Rhodes lost his passion and his early years ended up being his best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

I feel like I am more on the same page with these comments. Austin has all the raw goods, but have not refined them into a polished product yet.

 

Dustin Rhodes is definitely ahead of Austin on the wrestling curve at this point. If you asked me by watching this match, who came out as the big star I would have said Dustin, but we all know how history truly goes. That is not a knock on Austin I think his 1997 and 2001 are incredible years in the ring. I just am not seeing this future greatness in these early performances, but how can you really project who is going to be transcendental pop culture phenomenon. Regardless, this match is really good and illustrates that in the post-Flair era WCW was going to be fine from an in-ring product standpoint. I don't think WCW gets enough credit actually how fast they rebuilt from the GAB '91 debacle into an entertaining product in 3-4 months. These two young stars were a big part of this transformation as they would go on to be focal points in the upcoming Dangerous Alliance angle. The technical wrestling was very high-end for American wrestling. Someone needs to crib that half-crab transition out of a toehold that was too fuckin bitchin to have only been used once. Dustin also kept things moving in this early portion with a lots of nearfalls off really hot criss-cross sequences. Of course, Lady Blossom was there to bail the cameraman out of any headlock sequences.

 

Dustin crashes and burn on a cross body attempt. He literally bounces on the mat to the outside in a wicked looking bump. This is a match where blood really added to the storytelling. Dustin had been getting the better of Austin on nearly every chain wrestling or criss-cross exchange. Now Austin literally pounces on this opportunity and busts Dustin open with punches to the head. I don't know if Austin had the presence at this point to get over how the match had escalated to this level of violence so the blood did the work for him. It is wrestling 101 babyface is better at pure wrestling so the heel resorts to roughhousing or cheating. Austin goes after that cut initially, but he could have done more to it. Lady Blossom gets some slaps in while Dustin hangs out on the ropes, but of course Austin misses his straddle. Dustin rams Austin pretty damn hard into the post and Austin is now a bloody mess. I always love the babyface racing against the clock to secure the victory over the champion. Dustin is not one who is short of offense with powerslam, punches, the bionic elbow and a flying lariat, but he runs out of time.

 

He was never able to negotiate the bulldog, which Austin blocked early on, great way to protect a finish and you get the feeling if he could have hit his home run that he would have taken it. Austin was a solid hand in the ring, but I do not think he contributed as much as Dustin, who feels like he was ahead in offense, bumping, selling and ring presence at this point. However, as a TV title defense that escalated from a technical wrestling clinic to a bloody match to a race against the clock finish this is pretty superb and one of the best matches I have seen from the WCW midcard at this point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...

I have always really liked this match and it felt like a big moment for both Dustin and Austin in watching them grow throughout this yearbook. They get 15 minutes to stretch things out here and do an admirable job building things up slowly with ground wrestling leading to a big bump by Dustin and some double juice. The commentary is fantastic with Tony picking up on all the mistakes each competitor does and JR putting over Austin huge. Finish is still dramatic even though it is predictable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

This felt like it was missing something. Austin and Dustin worked hard, but between the dead crowd and the lame saved-by-the-bell finish, it ended up less than it could have been, even for a TV title match. I liked the blood, which wouldn't have been allowed in a TBS match by this point (how Windham got away with it against Hughes I have no idea), and the cuts became a focal point of each man's aggression. I was actually more impressed by the first part of the match, because neither one of these guys is known for their chain wrestling acumen, but they really showed me something in that regard.

 

I think this was Jeannie's last appearance in WCW; if it's not, she can't have more than one or two left. Talk about a missed opportunity. At one time she could legitimately have been called more of a stardom prospect in the sport than Steve. I understand that they were starting a family, which was probably the main reason we never saw her again, but WCW still could have done more with her while she was there. She was right down Dusty's alley, since he loved his blonde Jezebels. Imagine if she'd actually done enough to warrant JR's comment that she shouldn't be allowed at ringside. The slaps she gave Dustin here were just the tip of the iceberg.

 

For all of his nice-sounding verbiage, I wonder how much of a clue Tony really has sometimes. He picked up on Dustin pounding the mat, but he made it sound as if Dustin did it just to be doing something. A commentator who was on the ball at all tines would have said something like, "He's trying to encourage a faster count, but that's not his job. He should be hooking the leg to make sure of a pin."

 

Nice to see Dusty's mom as ringside. There are two things I'm wondering: 1) Was she smart to the business? and 2) If she was and knew Dusty was the booker, did she give him an earful about not making sure Dustin went over while she was there to see it? Bookers have put people over for far less important reasons than their grandmothers being at ringside.

 

Can we get rid of the saved-by-the-bell finish, especially when it's as poorly executed as this one was? Dustin hit the flying clothesline with at least six seconds left, but since the finish was a draw, Randy Anderson just lounged in the corner until he was supposed to start his count, which just so happened to be with two seconds remaining. They should have had Dustin pounding Austin in the corner or something instead, or at least made it so Austin kicked out of the clothesline and left Dustin with no more time to try anything else.

 

Nice point by Tony about Austin having enough stroke with the championship committee to demand Jeannie's presence at ringside. When he wanted to be, Tony could be an excellent color man, and not half-bad on play-by-play either. The problem was, he didn't want to be often enough. and his "want-to" fluctuated from match to match, and even sometimes within the same match, as was the case here

 

I hope we see these two face off again once the Dangerous Alliance is up and running, because there's definitely some unfinished business between them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

I was surprised by how good both were at building from matwork and telling a story. I did enjoy JR being sold on Austin already. Really good match that did show a lack of polish. But the combined experience of both guys should not lead to that good of a 15 minutes in the ring. If the crowd is a little dead, I can put some blame on the way they opened the show.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • GSR changed the title to [1991-10-27-WCW-Halloween Havoc] Steve Austin vs Dustin Rhodes
  • 1 year later...

Solid match, but the time-limit draw feels like extremely lazy booking.

Austin and Dustin had met on TV at least a couple times in the months leading up to this, but there was no real feud other than "Dustin being a top TV Title contender".

The draw didn't lead to anything specific and in fact, Austin didn't have another singles match on PPV until two years later when he and Dustin met at Havoc 1993 for the US Title.

This should have been a focal point of the Dangerous Alliance storyline but Dustin got sidetracked with his tag teams and Austin moved on to matches with Dustin's partners for whatever reason.

This just felt like neither man can lose and spinning the wheels rather than encouraging fans to look forward to the rematch. Especially with Austin kicking out at the end anyway, the draw was a disappointing finish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...