Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Saturday, November 26, 2016

All Time MOTY List HEAD to HEAD Kawada v. Misawa V. Vader v. Dustin

Vader v. Dustin Rhodes WCW 11/16/94

PAS: This is one of the great short run wrestling feuds ever. As far as I know they only had three singles matches that made tape and all of them are killers. This was about as perfect a 10 minute match as you can have. Vader starts by bull rushing Dustin in the corner and popping him in the mouth a couple of times, he then spits in his face and calls him boy. Dustin takes a beat shakes off the cobwebs and burst out of the corner with a double leg takedown, he then pounds and slaps Vader in the mush even throwing his mask to the floor to paintbrush him. It was one of the greatest babyface explosions I can remember seeing, timed perfectly, great emotional acting by both guys and a great violent climax. The whole match was full of cool moments like that, Vader was throwing some of those brutal looking hammer shots in the corner, they were almost as nasty looking as the shots which concussed Cactus Jack. It was basically Vader wearing down Dustin with Dustin finding moments to explode, including DDT Vader off the second rope and catching a flying splash with a powerslam. Finish had Vader smashing Dustin into Harley Race and then catching him with a reverse powebomb.

ER: This is basically the perfect match for me, and arguably the closest to perfect 10 minute match in wrestling history. And 10 minute matches are basically my favorite thing in wrestling. But this is just perfection. Vader is a beast, but Dustin is a freaking giant manchild too and thankfully they never work this as a big man/little man match, we just get a giant man being more aggressive out of the gate, and another giant man scrambling to keep up. Vader pounces and smacks him around in that way that Vader does and even tells him that this won't be a tea party. And Dustin's double leg is so great as we don't expect it, Vader doesn't expect it, and the fans live don't expect it. Watch the arena erupt as Dustin takes it to Vader, they just can't stay seated. Dustin looks like he's making up his whole beatdown on the fly, smacking Vader around, jumping up and doing a big butt splash, really just going crazy with his newly afforded control, and him smashing Vader to the floor with a lariat was HUGE. Phil calls it the greatest babyface explosion he can remember seeing, and I fully agree. The acting by both was great and right away this whole match felt special. Things started looking pretty hopeless for Dustin once Vader took back over, starting to look like the beginning of a long slow march to doom for Dustin. And then that freaking powerslam spot. Wow. That's one of the most incredible spots I've ever seen. Vader fully commits to hitting a giant corner splash, and Dustin somehow caught him. And Dustin VERY easily could not have caught him, and then what!? Vader got such crazy height that he was OVER the top rope when Dustin caught him. If Dustin botched the catch then Vader may have gone tumbling all the way over the turnbuckle to the floor, snapping Dustin in half in the process. Both men are at the absolute peak of their abilities here. Vader is larger than at other parts of his career, but picks all the best times to bump. Dustin really was a natural and knew exactly when to cash in his comebacks. Vader catching a bulldog and launching Dustin to the floor was such a big moment, and Heenan was smart to point out how smart Vader was to recognize the ref was still distracted, allowing him to throw Dustin over that top tope. Actually it needs to be said that Heenan and Schiavone were really really good throughout this whole match. Heenan wasn't trying to wedge in Borscht belt yuks and Schiavone was reacting like a fan, and both were quick to point out strategies that both men should employ. Harley Race also was still crazy enough to bump around and he took a few big ones, all to the floor. This match was all peak, all timed perfectly, all worked perfectly. A true gem in wrestling history.

Misawa v. Kawada review

Verdict: 

PAS: I loved this match so much, Misawa v. Kawada has some fat in it, while this is nothing but hits. I could see this topping out a bunch of other years, but the apex of All Japan style eeks it out. I had to think for awhile about it though.

ER: As much as I didn't think it would happen, I would pick Dustin/Vader. Not to be dramatic, but I actually even "slept on it" I was so torn. And in the end it comes down to a style preference. The matches on an island are too difficult for me to compare. They are both colossal achievements. And this match is "newer" to me, which muddies the waters somewhat. But this match is basically all of the things I want and love about wrestling: a big fat guy, wild brawling, no bloat, making the most out of the time allotted, big bumps, and just great moments. This match was perfection, to me. BUT, I fully see where Phil is coming from, and for a challenger to take the title it's going to need the vote from both of us. So Misawa/Kawada - deservedly - retains.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

I still vividly remember seeing Vader/Dustin when it aired. That double leg really is fucking amazing. Just a great match.

8:19 PM  

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