Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dusty Rhodes: The American Dream

There's not much to say about him that hasn't already been covered. But, now is the time to really look at his work, and judge him. (Just being honest; that's what we do.)

Disc 1
1 Dusty/ Dick Murdoch v. Bruiser/ Crusher- 5

2 Dusty/ Dick Murdoch v. Bruiser/ Crusher- 3(Best of 3 Falls)

3 Dusty/ Dick Murdoch v. Don Muraco/ Billy Robinson- 7(Best of 3 Falls)

4 Dusty/ Pak Song v. Eddie & Mike Graham- 3

5 Dusty b. Terry Funk- 3

6 Dusty v. Harley Race (Lumberjack)- 4

7 Superstar Graham v. Dusty- 6

The first match featured the always ultra stiff Bruiser and Crusher, and this match was no exception. There were some solid punches being thrown and no one was giving into the others. The 2nd match was of the same material, except a little messier and this time there was some blood thrown in. Billy Robinson is a wrestling god! ( not that fake cowboy that puts himself over in commentary every week.) His technique was as sharp as any professional I've ever seen work, and he could throw a great suplex. Muraco gets taken out by a crazy bump( he was really green at the time, but had a lot of energy) and Robinson comes back to win the match alone. After it, he takes a sick, bleeding head hemorrhage brain buster and a knee drop that would make federal prison inmates cringe. The match against the Grahams was short and void of much except some decent tags. Dusty loved to bump when he was a lot smaller. Dusty and Funk was a classic Dusty finish: the good guy wins a title, or a match, but actually had broken the rules earlier in the match, then gets the decision reversed. This seemed like an annotated version of a much better match they could have. Race and Dusty had a unique match; it featured very little memorable moments. Then, Rhodes and Graham built up to a great match, that featured Graham not wanting to lose cleanly and another Dusty finish.

Disc 2
8 Dusty v. Stan Stasiak- 6

9 Dusty v. Johnny Rodz- 3

10 Dusty v. Superstar Graham( Bullrope Match)- 5

11 Harley Race v. Dusty- 6

12 Race v. Dusty- 5

13 Tully Blanchard v. Dusty( Cage)- 7

14 Ric Flair v. Dusty( Cage)- 8

15 Lex Luger v. Dusty( Cage)- 7

16 Dusty/ Road Warriors v. Ivan Koloff/ Powers of Pain( Barb Wire)-3

17 Dusty v. Ivan- 5

18 Tully & Arn Anderson v. Dusty/ Sting- 7

19 Road Warriors v. Dusty/ Sting- 5

Stasiak had the physical attributes of a decaying corpse, but he could sure tell a story. I liked this match; it had a slow build and a clean finish. Rodz offered little in this brief encounter and I am surprised he's been a trainer for so long. Graham again proving that he had an ego. The fans were clamoring for Dusty to be champion, and they teased it again, but could not give them the pure satisfaction. Another false finish, but Dusty held his end of it up well. The first of these two Race encounters featured blood by the buckets and tons of great stiff moves. Race was very calculating and never wasted a single motion. The second match was Dusty actually winning the belt and was mostly him being pummeled which he did well, then hitting a great elbow for the belt. Very important match. Tully and Dusty had a hatred that up until then had only existed in the mind of the Nazi's. They ripped each other's flesh in Dusty's TV title win and fueled the fire for a great feud. Then, Flair and Dusty met head to head in his 3rd World Title win. It was different than he and Tully's encounter. This one went nearly 35 minutes, and yes, of course, more blood. But, it wrapped a great story in the long history of Flair-Rhodes. Ric did his best to put over Rhodes and his unique offense despite being the top guy in the business and not needing to. Rhodes and Luger was another great offering, another cage, but stayed mostly off the steel. They had some tremendous near falls and Luger was pretty mobile in his younger days. The barb wire match was brutal, albeit short and really didn't feature any moves, per se, but had some barbarism equal to a Kane Hodder performance. Dusty and Ivan by themselves fared better in some ways; they had a better face/heel chemistry that the fans can get behind. Tully and Arn's jobs were to take huge bumps for the fan friendly but sometimes over done offense of The Stinger and Old Dust( clever, huh?) and they did it quite admirably. There were some great double teams from the Horsemen as well, and a DQ finish. The Warriors did the complete opposite for the faces that Arn and Tully did, but it kept the match a bit more physical and brutal, which was fun while it lasted.

Disc 3

20 Dusty v. Honky Tonk Man- 5

21 Dream Team v. The Enforcers( Survivor Series Match)- 7

22 Dusty/ Sapphire v. Savage/ Sherri- 3

23 Dusty/ Dustin v. Dibiase/ Virgil- 3

24 Dusty v. Steve Corino( Bullrope Match)- 2

25 Dusty/ Dustin v. Flair/ Jarrett( Kiss My Ass Match)- 5

This final set of matches is the latter day of Dusty's career. He and Honky deliver a perfectly fine match that had great heel facials by Honky and beautiful, wobberlegging elbows by Dusty. The Survivor Series Match featured plenty of old great favorites( Santana, Martel, Bossman, Taylor) and a lengthy pretty well scripted match. The mixed tag was the match we've all seen from a pretty well known show( a little thing called Wrestlemania). Sapphire goes over with the "booty bump." I wanted to see what she knocked over later that night in her local Pizza Hut. A young understudy Dustin teams with his daddy to meet the Million Dollar Man and Dusty's own personal rib Virgil. They kept the rookies in the ring for the majority of the match, which ensured a low rating and many awkward moments where no one was doing anything. Dusty's ECW run was mainly for nostalgia: it certainly wasn't for ring work. He and Corino walked slowly around the arena and traded weak forearms while leaning on each other for support. A real waste of time. The Kiss my ass match was worked as a normal match and built up some excitement that the fans appreciated. It was neat to watch Dusty and Flair mix it up again after all those years.

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