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Take Dustin Rhodes, Jimmy Golden, Terry Funk, Robert Parker, Arn Anderson, Dusty Rhodes, Haku and The Nasty Boys, intereweave them in a six month long program and you actually end up with an often entertaining feud that did a lot of heavy lifting for WCW in the middle of 1994. Really, it was the only major/noteworthy feud that didn't involve Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair and it put Dustin Rhodes in a position, really, where he should've been capable of ascending the WCW ladder in 1995.
Summing up the feud in the title was quite difficult, although really it was Dustin Rhodes feuding with Bunkhouse Buck (Golden) and his manager Col. Robert Parker. Parker first introduced Buck in March of 1994 as a bit of a maniac who had the hair near his forehead gelled together down into a point and wearing braces generally looking a bit menacing. Buck would be into a program with Rhodes without much fanfare on TV but one that would see them compete in a “Bunkhouse” match at the highly entertaining Spring Stampede. Both would work incredibly hard to contribute a bloody brawl to the show. Unsurprisngly, Buck as the heel would win the match using brass knuckles.
May arrived and so did a Texas Bullrope Match at Slamboree. Both worked hard within the remit of the match, but it was more noteworthy for what happened after Rhodes got his win back, as Terry Funk would come out afterwards and join up with Robert Parker's expanding stable. So Rhodes needed a partner for the inevitable tag team match (that would ultimately take place at the Bash of the Beach). He turned to the right honourable, trust-on-your-life Arn Anderson as a tag partner, Anderson promised he would bring back the old Anderson at the Bash, he was right.
11 minutes into their Clash tag match, Rhodes would get the hot tag to Anderson, who stepped in the ring and nailed Rhodes with a DDT, aligning himself with Parker, Buck and Funk. It's lonely at the top if you're a Rhodes, which is why Dustin would turn to his own father as a tag team partner for the Clash in August. Their match against Buck/Funk wasn't much to write home about, but the finish saw Meng (formerly Haku of WWF fame) come out and confront Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes hit the bionic elbow on everyone else, but went to ringside and got a folding wooden chair and nailed Meng over the head with it. Meng no sold it and the chair hung on him like a necklace. It should've been the opening chapter in a seriously dominant run for the Meng character, who would finish the segment having Dusty in an incredbly painful nerve hold.
September came as the feud rumbled on (if you're keeping score, it's Dustin and Dusty vs Meng, Anderson, Parker, Buck and Funk). We get to Fall Brawl, specifically War Games, and Hogan and the storyline suspended Ric Flair are having a month off, so the program got top billing in War Games. But the Rhodes needed two partners, so Dusty Rhodes did the only logical thing and took a trip into the Nasty part of town, and in one of the more memorable WCW TV moments of the year went to a bar where he challenged Knobbs and Sags to prove they were up to the challenge. They laid waste to most of the patrons in the bar and an unlikely quartet was formed.
Now, you'd think Parker's Studd Stable (given that there was four of them not including Parker) would have no issue putting a team together for the four on four cage match. Inexplicably, the company decided that Parker should replace Meng in the match, which unsurprisingly lead to the babyface team winning, with Dusty submitting Robert Parker in a match memorable for Meng looking menacing on the outside and Terry Funk getting piledriven between the two rings. After the match (in a segment that didn't air until WCW Saturday Night the next week), Meng laid waste to both Nasty Boys backstage in the locker-room with the Rhodes' nowhere to be found.
The feud finally wound down at Halloween Havoc. No, WCW never seemed to follow up on the Meng angle at the Clash (it was one of their better moments of 1994). Dustin defeated Arn Anderson by roll up, and in (for me, at least) one of the more fun matches of the year The Nasty Boys defeated Buck and Funk in a riot of a tag match that ended in Sags piledriving Funk onto a pumpkin.
Writing this blog was necessary to say this was a great feud or a bad one – it frustrated and entertained in equal measure, but it was a feud that ran from March really until the beginning of November and pulled a lot of participants into its gravitational field. It gave a lot for Dustin to sink his teeth into and a lot of good matches, but failed in wrapping a coherent story in which he could definitively come out on top of. Even in the War Games match, the attention was on his father who submitted Parker.
WCW also missed a big opportunity with Meng. Not that he was necessarily anything special, but they'd built him as a machine, and he could've been the kind of guy to get a one and done match out of Hulk Hogan at Starrcade had they have built him as hard as his night at the Clash suggested they might.
But this was a fun little program that got a lot out of guys that otherwise might have done very little. Terry Funk was never used all that heavily in this role, but was highly entertaining at every step. Bunkhouse Buck showcased another side of himself, and Arn Anderson got a chance to go back heel. All in all, good stuff this one.