Big Van Vader vs. Dustin Rhodes – Saturday Night 21/11/1992
Before the match Sting levels Vader with a 2x4... I think. Don’t actually see it on the beginning of this match lol, which kinda sucks. Bill Watts shows up and tells Race that the match is still happening, and Race is banned from ringside! Vader gets in Dustin’s face at the start, and Dustin shows no fear. Vader pie faces the young kid and Dustin responds with a right hand and a flurry of rights and clotheslines! As fun as that is though, it’s got nothing on Vader’s control segment. As usual, his offence is awesomesauce, but Dustin is such a great FIP that he makes Vader’s offence look even better than normal.
Oh man, I don’t know what else to say about this match other than the awesomeness of Vader’s offence and the awesomeness of Dustin’s selling of it. It really is fucking amazing. Dustin is young, he’s about what, 6ft 6? And here he is getting punched in the face repeatedly and selling it like fucking death. There are guys way smaller than Dustin that can’t take beatings from big men like Vader nearly this good. I remember reading Dustin’s book and him saying how he tried to pattern himself after Barry Windham, and watching him sell the way he does despite his size, essentially making him seem like a small guy, you really can see how he does his best to be like Windham. Think I might dig out some Windham matches later actually...
Oh man (again lol), Dustin takes one of those clotheslines where he flips over (as we see from many people, not just Dustin of course lol)... ON THE CONCRETE FLOOR. That HAD to fucking hurt. Looked amazing though, and led to the finish as well so it wasn’t some random wasted spot, which makes it even better. Loved this, gonna have to watch their match from 1994 that I have on hand now. Oh, and I’m fairly certain this is making my list.