Fall Brawl 1999

Fall
Brawl 1999

Date:
September 12, 1998
Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial
Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Attendance:
7,491
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Well
we had to get here eventually, even though I don’t think people
wanted to. The main event here is Sting vs. Hogan for the title and
Goldberg vs. Page because those are fresh matches. We also get to
see the Revolution rising up the card in a big No DQ tag match and
Benoit defending the US Title against one of the draws in Sid, who is
nice enough to give Benoit a main event rub. This is also the first
show without Bischoff at the helm so some of the details could be
interesting. Let’s get to it.

We open with a video
that looks like it’s inspired by the Matrix with rapid fire text
behind shots of Sting, Luger and Hogan as they talk about who can
trust each other. Hogan will NEVER screw Sting of course.
The
announcers, all wearing black ribbons in honor of Mark Curtis (nice
touch), aren’t sure who should trust who either. Sid is officially
79-0 coming into tonight, because they wanted to match Goldberg’s
Streak but couldn’t even keep their fake wins even with Goldberg
fighting for the title in his 75th
match.
Video
on the Clowns vs. the actual wrestlers. The point of the video is
about whether they’re wrestlers or musicians plus something about
Eddie and Vampiro not liking each other in Mexico. Nothing is
mentioned about the Clowns and Vampiro recruiting various wrestlers,
making it even more pointless than it seemed before.
The set is a big FALL
BRAWL sign with the letters being used as the video screen. As I’m
sure you can guess, this makes the video almost impossible to see,
meaning WCW managed to screw up the idea of A BIG SCREEN.
Insane Clown
Posse/Vampiro vs. Eddie Guerrero/Rey Mysterio Jr./Kidman
Same
opener as last month. Mysterio now has bleached blond hair and the
same attire as Kidman. We pause a bit as the heels are scared
because they’ve never seen the color yellow. Xanthophobists. The
stalling begins as Heenan points out the resemblance between Violent
J. (with hair as blond as Mysterio) and Brian Knobbs. Kidman and
Shaggy finally get things going with Shaggy sending Kidman into
Vampiro’s boot. A dropkick puts Mr. 2 Dope (or is it Mr. Dope? His
parents gave him the middle name 2?) down and they botch a
wheelbarrow slam into a guillotine legdrop from Rey.
Eddie
adds the slingshot hilo and the Clown is in early trouble. Mysterio
hits the springboard falling splash before throwing him over for a
tag to J. A catapult sends him into the buckle and the Clowns do the
fake tag bit to bring in Vampiro. It’s off to Kidman who dropkicks
Vampiro back into the corner, meaning we get more Clowns. Oh how
blessed we truly are. J. scores with a chop (wow he can stick his
hand out!) and it’s back to Vampiro for a good powerbomb on Kidman
(that’s twice in two weeks. Kidman must be sick) for two.
A
top rope spinwheel kick to the hands gets two for Vampiro as Tony
gets in the revelation of the night, saying he used to braid his hair
like Vampiro. Thankfully Tenay doesn’t let that by but Tony gets
away from it as fast as he can. Back to J. for a weak chop before
Kidman nails him with a clothesline. Rey comes in with the
springboard seated senton and a Lionsault for two but the Clowns
cheat to take Mysterio outside. Shaggy even needs help whipping Rey
into the barricade.
Back
in for a chinlock and some horrible stomps from Shaggy. Vampiro goes
after Eddie and Kidman but it allows Rey to tag in Eddie to speed
things up. A quick mule kick puts Guerrero down though and it’s back
to J. for a side slam. Shaggy drops a top rope legdrop, which barely
grazes Eddie’s forehead for two. There is zero reason to allow them
to do high risk moves like that when they clearly can’t do them
right. If nothing else it’s not fair to Eddie to lay there with his
head and neck in danger like that.
Everything breaks down
and Shaggy and Vampiro HORRIBLY botch something like a 3D with
Vampiro sitting instead of falling and Shaggy losing his grip on
Eddie, turning it into more of an assisted backdrop than anything
else. Rey is down on the floor and seems to be hurt. Vampiro
gutwrench superplexes Kidman but eats a missile dropkick from Eddie,
who looks ticked off. The shooting star from Kidman is enough to pin
Vampiro.
Rating:
D-.
I feel so, so sorry for the Filthy Animals here as they were in there
with guys who had no business in the ring and had to babysit them.
Eddie had to take that legdrop on his head and the botched 3D and
Mysterio got hurt (might not have been the Clowns’ fault to be fair).
These guys should be on the Revolution’s level right now (Eddie
would be fine as a mouthpiece instead of Shane) but instead they’re
in these bad opening matches because they have one talented guy to
work with instead of three, putting them at a huge and unsafe
handicap.
The Revolution
guarantees a clean sweep tonight.
We recap Lenny Lane
winning the Cruiserweight Title, which is basically just him sending
Rey into Lodi and rolling him up for the pin. Kaz Hayashi pinned
Lenny in a match against Lodi and that’s enough for the title shot.
Of course these guys couldn’t keep an eye on the Clowns while the
other three fight over the title.
Cruiserweight Title:
Kaz Hayashi vs. Lenny Lane
Lodi
has at least toned it down a bit and is just covered in glitter and
wearing leather pants. It’s amazing how much different Tony is
without Bischoff around as he’s staying on the stories and matches
without saying anything overly stupid. Feeling out process to start
until Lane prances around the ring. Kaz fires off some kicks to the
leg and kicks Lenny in the back to pull him down into a sunset flip
for two. That’s a new one. A nice headscissors sends Lane to the
floor and he jumps into Lodi’s arms in an old standard. Kaz dives
onto both of them and the champ is still in trouble.
Lodi
finally gets something right by tripping Hayashi to give Lane
control. A sitout wheelbarrow slam gets two on Kaz and it’s time to
pose. Lane hits a nice sitout gutwrench powerbomb for two as this
match is actually pretty good so far. Kaz gets back up and sends
Lenny outside for a big flip dive. The advantage is short lived
though as Lodi gets in a cheap shot to give Lenny control again.
We
hit the chinlock with Chris Jericho look-a-like Lenny Lane telling
the referee to ask him. Hayashi escapes a German suplex and gets two
off a standing hurricanrana, only to get bulldogged down for the
same. The champ gets caught in a belly to back and a running Liger
Bomb out of the corner gets two more with Lodi making the save. You
can tell Bischoff is gone as Tony actually knew the name of the move.

Kaz
is crotched on top and you can see the glitter all over his back.
Lenny and Lodi almost collide, allowing Kaz to grab a victory roll
for two more. Lodi’s next attempt at cheating works though as he
snaps Kaz throat first across the top rope, setting up a Skull
Crushing Finale to retain Lenny’s title.
Rating:
C+.
Why do I have a bad feeling we just saw the match of the night? This
was far better than I was expecting, which isn’t saying much as I
didn’t expect anything from this one. It’s a totally acceptable and
at times quite good match with Kaz being a good choice as challenger
of the week to Lane’s title, even though he’s just keeping it warm
until we get to a bigger name to take over as champion.
Here’s
Sting for the pay per view interview before his title shot in the
main event. First up, Luger is on the verge of losing their
friendship forever. Tonight is beyond big for Sting so if Luger
sticks his nose in his business tonight, it’s the same result as it
was last week. I’m assuming he means earlier this week on Monday
when Sting punched him but you can’t expect grown men to remember
things like days of the week. Sting takes the mic and says his ninth
title reign could start tonight because it’s showtime folks. This
really didn’t need to be on pay per view.
We
recap the Revolution vs. the First Family and I still have no idea
why this match is happening.
Shane Douglas/Dean
Malenko vs. Hugh Morrus/Brian Knobbs
No
DQ for reasons that have yet to be explained. Shane says we’re in
Saginaw, Michigan, which to be fair is where they taped Thunder a
mere ten days earlier. It’s a brawl to start, which is what it
should be in a No DQ match. Morrus easily stomps Shane down on the
floor, leaving Dean to beat up both villains on his own. Shane comes
back in to low blow both guys as you can see the fans leaving to go
to the concession stands.
The
First Family poses outside so some baseball slides (baseball grab the
rope and kick for Shane) knock them into the aisle. The announcers
do everything they can to put the First Family over as a major threat
and a good team, even as Malenko and Douglas send them into the
steps. Lots of punching abounds until we settle down to Knobbs vs.
Shane in the ring. Brian gives him the Pit Stop before it’s off to
Malenko to armdrag the legal Morrus. Hugh hammers away in the corner
but charges into Shane’s boots.
Back
to Dean as you can still see about ten seats opposite the hard camera
sitting empty. They head outside with Brian sending Shane into the
barricade but Douglas trips Morrus off the apron to take over. Back
in and Knobbs slams Shane down, only to dive into a raised boot. The
hot tag brings in Dean to clean house as the fans really aren’t
interested. Could it be because he’s beating up some goofs who
should be headlining Saturday Night? Knobbs is sent to the floor
where he trips Dean, allowing Morrus to plant him with a slam,
setting up No Laughing Matter for the pin. It really was that
sudden.
Rating:
G.
As in good grief just close the doors now. I know the big match
coming later that people usually rant about on this show, but this
one is far more absurd. At least with the other one it’s a big name
going over an up and comer. This is putting two young(ish) guys down
for the sake of pushing BRIAN KNOBBS??? To make it even worse, the
First Family would win a total of two more televised matches for the
rest of the year, meaning this didn’t even lead anywhere.
This
comes off as more of a political move than anything else, as WCW can
now say the fans aren’t behind the Revolution because fans rarely
cheer teams that lose completely clean to low level tag teams on pay
per view. “See? The fans don’t like them so there’s no point in
pushing them. Maybe they can put over the Rednecks again so we can
laugh at those southern idiots cheering a couple of cowboys.” The
No DQ stuff didn’t mean anything else as they were only on the floor
in the first part of the match.
I
watched this match out of context a few years back and I was more
angry than anything else. Watching it again, with all the Nitros and
Thunders to give it context, it’s more sad now. Somehow seeing these
two jugheads beat the team that should be helping bring WCW into the
new generation doesn’t surprise me. It’s something that makes sense
for WCW and makes me wonder how Dean and company managed to stay as
long as they did. That’s sad.
Tony
immediately brings up Saturn being wrong about guaranteeing a sweep
tonight, just to emphasize that the Revolution is a bunch of losers.
We recap Saturn vs.
Steiner which is little more than old vs. new for old’s TV Title,
which he’s already said is worthless and doesn’t even carry with him.
TV
Title: Perry Saturn vs. Rick Steiner
As
usual, the announcers talk about Scott Steiner like he’s here every
week even though he hasn’t been seen in about four months. Steiner
immediately takes Saturn down and hits him in the face as we’re told
that Buff Bagwell hasn’t arrived yet so there will be a replacement
for his match with Berlyn.
Saturn
speeds things up with a superkick and spinning springboard legdrop to
send the champ outside, setting up a nice suicide dive. The fans
aren’t reacting to these moves but they’re nice at least. Back in
and a release German gets two on the champ but he kicks Saturn
between the legs (thankfully the referee wasn’t looking for a change)
to take over. Tenay talks about Mark Curtis passing away and you can
tell the announcers really cared for him.
Saturn
is sent outside and into the steps, followed by an exposed DDT on the
concrete. Now in 1986, that started a big house show feud between
Jake Roberts and Ricky Steamboat. Here, it doesn’t keep Saturn off
his feet for thirty seconds. Steiner hits a good looking release
German for two and we hit the reverse chinlock to keep the crowd
comatose. Now it’s a kneeling half crab, making Saturn slap the mat
to get the crowd fired up, which isn’t tapping out because of…..uh,
reasons.
Steiner
clearly isn’t even pulling back on the hold to make this an even
bigger laughingstock. Thankfully Saturn doesn’t bother to sell it
and hits a middle rope dropkick and a modified t-bone suplex for two
of his own. The Death Valley Driver gets the same to make it clear
that Steiner is retaining. He rams Saturn stomach first into the
buckle but gets crotched on top. It’s more false hope though as
Steiner shoves him off the ropes and hits the bulldog to retain.
Rating:
D.
Saturn was trying but you can’t out work stupid booking. I have no
idea who thought keeping the title on Steiner was a good idea at this
point but they must have had a lot of stroke. The TV Title isn’t
going to make it to the middle of April (and would be gone for about
two and a half months in between) and it’s this reign that killed it.
The matches haven’t been good (his opponents’ halves have been
watchable but that’s about it) and the fans just do not react to him.
Plus there was that time when he said the title was worthless. Why
keep the title around if there’s nothing to it?
Tony keeps piling on
the Revolution and makes it worse by bringing up Goldberg beating
Steiner last month, just to emphasize how many people there are that
are better than Saturn.
Hogan
is sick of the wrestlers questioning him. He’s promised his kids
that he will not stab Sting in the back because he would have done it
a long time ago. Tonight, he’s taking care of Sting and he’ll take
care of Luger later. Ignore the WE WANT FLAIR chants during this
segment because Flair isn’t a draw, especially in the Carolinas.
The announcers
speculate about Hogan being worried. They really picked now to kill
time after three straight heel wins?
Berlyn vs. ???
Berlyn
has a big bodyguard with him meaning the horrible blonde interpreter
seems to be gone. The replacement opponent……Jim Duggan. Berlyn
jumps him before the bell but a dropkick doesn’t put Duggan down.
Some clotheslines send Berlyn over the top and out to the floor for a
USA chant. After some stalling, an atomic drop sends Berlyn into the
corner as it’s almost all Duggan.
Berlyn kicks him in the
ribs and grabs a headlock before Jim no sells a European uppercut.
An eye poke finally slows him down and we hit the chinlock to kill
whatever momentum they were getting. Duggan fights up and drives
some shoulders into the ribs before they hit the mat for something
resembling a wrestling sequence, which is somehow even worse than you
would expect. Now they just stand there and look at each other until
Berlyn hooks the worst snapmare this side of Dusty vs. Flair at
Starrcade 1985.
We hit another chinlock
as Heenan says this looks like two winos fighting over a bottle on
the sidewalk. Bobby gets in an easy set of jokes about a hair
takedown (“Is that German? When I’m over there it’s Herr Heenan
and Okerlund is still Herr less.”) as they head outside for the yet
to be named Wall to run Duggan over with a clothesline. Back in and
they finally end this mess with Berlyn hitting a sitdown neckbreaker,
which Duggan sells by falling backwards onto him.
Rating:
F.
As much as I’d love to blast Berlyn, this was almost all on Duggan.
He wouldn’t sell and spent most of the match making goofy faces
instead of doing anything productive. The announcers were more into
the bodyguard than the match, but can you blame them after this mess?
This was pretty much it for Berlyn as he wouldn’t recover from this
mess. I feel bad for him as this is the second time this happened to
Wright. You might remember SuperBrawl V in 1995, where Paul Roma
basically did the exact same thing. That’s some horrible luck.
We
cut to the back to see Buff Bagwell who says he can be ready in two
minutes but agent Mike Graham says the format has already been
changed. Buff hits the ring but Duggan is mad at him. From what I
can find, Bagwell didn’t want to do the job so they sent Duggan out
there instead. As unprofessional as that is, can you blame Bagwell?
He was supposed to get this big push and then Piper wouldn’t put him
over in a wrestling match and Bagwell’s push was gone, so now he’s
supposed to job to Alex Wright in a gimmick that has already bombed?
As usual, WCW seems to be a huge mess behind and in front of the
camera.
Quick
recap of the Tag Team Title feud. The Rednecks cheated to win the
belts and Harlem Heat wants their rematch. After all this mess
tonight, a simple story like that sounds great.
Tag Team Titles:
Harlem Heat vs. West Texas Rednecks
Kendall
Windham in a spot this big doesn’t sound good however. Curly Bill
isn’t here, which is probably best for everyone involved. Curt
however is here with the cowbell. Heenan brings up the Steiners as
the most dominant tag team of all time (because where would we be
without praising them in 1999?) and Tony says they were the best team
of the 1980s, despite wrestling for a year at most in that decade.
After
a brawl to start it’s Booker kicking Kendall down before Barry comes
in and getting double suplexed. There’s a big boot to Barry’s face
as the crowd is trying to get into this for some reason. Then the
tag brings in Kendall and the fans go right back down, which WCW
never seemed to learn. Stevie stares at Kendall for trying to punch
him but a right hand from Barry puts him down. Barry just looks
horribly out of shape and it’s a very good thing that he’s wrestling
in a t-shirt.
Curt
doesn’t seem to be paying attention as a double clothesline gets two
on Stevie. Ray powerslams him down and it’s off to Kendall vs.
Booker with T. taking over with the usual kicks. Hennig gets on the
apron but Booker kicks Kendall down again, sending all three Rednecks
to the floor. Booker follows them out and gets beaten up as Stevie
is too slow getting over for the save.
Back
in and Booker shrugs off Kendall’s lame offense and hits the ax kick,
only to have Barry clothesline him down. Hennig gets in some cheap
shots as Stevie gets held back by the referee. Barry’s superplex
gets two with Stevie finally getting the timing right on the save.
The spinning sunset flip out of the corner gets two for Booker as
this match just keeps going. The referee doesn’t see the tag to
Stevie and the Rednecks cheat even more.
Kendall
gets two off a middle rope clothesline and Stevie doesn’t even have
to move from the apron to make the save. They redo the missed tag
spot but this time Stevie just beats the Windhams up anyway.
Everything breaks down and Curt hits Stevie with the cowbell but the
referee doesn’t see the cover. Booker comes in off the top with the
missile dropkick to give the Heat the belts back.
Rating:
D.
And that’s being generous because I’ve failed a lot of matches
tonight. This was so boring as it went on about five minutes longer
than it should have and didn’t get anywhere. Harlem Heat getting the
belts back is definitely the right move, but we’re right back where
we were after Road Wild went off the air. This show is long past the
point of saving and this didn’t help things. It doesn’t help that
this is the sixth match and the second won by good guys. Side note:
this is the eleventh title change of the year (counting vacations)
and we’re eight and a half months into the year. There would be
eight more coming.
We
recap the Sid Vicious Streak and Benoit challenging him because
that’s what a good, young wrestler does. Sid even called Benoit the
only member of the Revolution that stood out. Here’s his reward for
impressing Sid.
US Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Chris Benoit
I
love how the announcers just talk about Sid’s streak like it’s legit
and the same as Goldberg’s, even after showing us how he got there.
Tenay brings up the disaster that was the battle royal competition on
Monday to get things going. We start with the stalling as referee
Charles Robinson is accused of being a Sid cheerleader. Sid shoves
Benoit down and stops to yell at the fans. Tony: “That was a big
moment for Sid.” Sid knocks him to the floor with a shoulder as
the announcers are already treating this like a mismatch.
Back
in and Sid hammers away before choking on the ropes. A dragon screw
leg whip puts Sid down and Benoit starts working on the knee like a
smart wrestler would. An Indian deathlock makes Sid scream as the
empty seats are showing up again. The fans chant for Goldberg as Sid
gets back up and kicks at Benoit in the corner. A running boot
misses but confirms that Sid isn’t interested in selling the knee.
Benoit wraps the knee around the post and crushes them between the
post and steps (Tony: “HOLY CHRISTMAS!”) twice in a row.
Sid
is thrown back inside and easily catches Benoit’s top rope cross
body, even lifting up his good knee to drive into Benoit’s back,
meaning he’s holding Benoit up on the bad leg alone thirty seconds
after Benoit crushed it against the post. All hope is lost. Benoit
muscles him over with a German but Sid pops up and hits a Samoan drop
to counter a crucifix attempt. A cobra clutch puts Benoit down again
and we hit the chinlock (with Sid’s hands around Benoit’s face and no
pressure on the back because Sid CAN’T EVEN DO A CHINLOCK PROPERLY)
because all this no selling has made Sid tired.
Benoit
fights up and tries a sunset flip but Sid just sits on him to stop
any comeback attempt. Another dropkick to the knee puts Sid down and
there’s the Crossface. Sid SLAPS THE MAT but it’s hitting the mat in
disgust instead of tapping. My goodness this is killing my soul.
Sid of course gets to stand up and break the hold but is nice enough
to fall back down with his foot in the ropes. Not that it matters as
Sid avoids the Swan Dive and powerbombs Benoit for the pin and the
title.
Rating:
S.
For Screw You WCW. Seriously screw you. Benoit was doing everything
he could out there to tell a story by going after the knee and trying
to break Sid down but Sid just gets up and does whatever he wants
because WCW is run by a bunch of incompetent morons. It’s even a
theme tonight.
The
Clowns get on the show because they’re famous (to a niche group of
fans of course but when has that ever stopped WCW?) and WCW sends out
its talented guys to baby sit them. The First Family gets to beat
Malenko and Douglas completely clean because well why not. Then Rick
Steiner gets to keep his title because they haven’t buried that thing
enough yet. Bagwell, who is a veteran at this point as he’s been in
WCW for over eight years, doesn’t feel like losing so we have to
watch Duggan be a disaster (and likely not get punished for no
selling) and then see Bagwell do a run-in anyway, meaning he likely
got a PPV pay day.
Then
the Windhams still have jobs despite Barry not being in good enough
shape to wrestle without a t-shirt on (which is too small and we can
still see his huge gut). Then there’s this mess, which results in
Benoit being pushed down the card and Sid getting the biggest push he
ever had in WCW because they can’t get any worse than this right?
I’m so glad Benoit and company would be gone soon because no one who
works hard even at all deserves to go through this.
And
just to top it off. Tony: “He earned win #80 here.” Again, make
sure you emphasize that the Revolution is just not good enough in
case someone thinks otherwise.
We recap Page vs.
Goldberg, which is basically Goldberg destroying the Triad to give
him something to do before the big showdown with Sid.
Goldberg vs. Diamond
Dallas Page
Tenay
brings up the Halloween Havoc match from last year before admitting
that it’s a completely different Page now. We get an old school
weapons check….and the referee finds a chain. And a roll of coins!
That right there is the only funny thing we’re going to see all
night. Goldberg slugs Page to the floor and the stalling is already
on. Back in and Page gets caught in a headlock before getting shoved
into the corner a few times.
A shoulder sends Page
back outside where he threatens to leave if the Goldberg chants don’t
stop. They head into the crowd with Goldberg getting the better of
it, as if you would expect anything else. Back in and the Diamond
Cutter is countered into a powerslam. Page shoves the referee down
and kicks Goldberg low before pulling out a third weapon to knock
Goldberg silly. We hit the standard heel slowdown offense as Page
hits him with the object again. Thankfully the referee wasn’t
looking for no apparent reason.
Off to the chinlock as
this torture continues. Goldberg Hulks Up but gets caught in a bad
looking float over DDT for two. Page tries a spear but gets suplexed
down for two as the Triad is here. Kanyon breaks something over the
back of Goldberg’s head (drawing blood from the neck) and setting up
a left armed Rock Bottom from Page for two more. Not that it matters
as the spear and Jackhammer finish Page with ease.
Rating:
D.
One of the best matches of the night here despite being an exercise
in how long can we stay in Memphis before Page comes back and pins
Page. DDP was not working as a heel here with most of his heat
coming from Yo Mama jokes and then bad matches following. Nothing to
see here as the match was never once in doubt, especially with Sid
looming (and still not selling anything as he waits).
We recap Hogan vs.
Sting, which again is over trust or some nonsense like that involving
the Hummer, because that thing just won’t die.
WCW World Title:
Hulk Hogan vs. Sting
Buffer
says Sting has no affiliation. Hogan doesn’t really either does he?
Before the bell, here’s Bret Hart (Buffer: “Only to pass on his
offer of good luck for both men. He’s from the First Family of
wrestling.” Please, no more First Family tonight. They’ve done
enough.” Bret leaves without incident and I’m sure we won’t see
him again. They shove each other around to start and exchange pokes
in the chest. Hogan works on a wristlock before taking Sting down
for something like an STF without the legs being tied together.
Great. I have to put up with 15 minutes of Hulk Thesz tonight.
Hogan
yells at some fans for some reason before driving knees to the ribs
in the corner. You can see even more empty seats near the back of
the arena and it’s hard to argue at this point. Sting actually hits
the big jumping elbow drop for two and it’s off to the test of
strength. Hogan kicks him in the ribs (called a knee by Tony) but
Sting no sells a suplex. Oh no he’s been watching Sid tapes.
They
fight to the floor with Hogan talking about it being for the World
Title and choking with a cord. He’s definitely wrestling as
Hollywood tonight. Back in and a belly to back suplex gets two on
Sting and we hit another chinlock. Off to an abdominal stretch as
Hogan’s dominance continues. Right hands in the corner have Sting in
even more trouble and we’re just waiting on the interference.
Sting
gets two of his own off a cross body and hits two Stinger Splashes
but misses the third. It’s already Hulk Up time and the big boot
clearly doesn’t make contact. Cue DDP to nail the referee as the
legdrop connects. A Diamond Cutter puts Hogan down and Sting is put
on top but Hogan kicks out at two. That’s a Diamond Cutter for the
referee and another Hulk Up.
Now
Hart comes back in to take out Page but Sid comes out as well, only
to take the big boot to the shoulder (which he sells more than all of
Benoit’s offense combined because of course he does). Luger comes in
but drops the bat he was carrying, allowing Sting to nail Hogan
(drawing the pop of the night), setting up the Deathlock on the
unconscious Hogan for the title.
Rating:
D.
You have to be a really, REALLY stupid company to turn Sting heel but
they somehow did it. This wasn’t the worst main event ever, but they
clearly didn’t have any way to make someone lose here so they went
with the big mess instead. I can live with that and the match wasn’t
completely horrible, but again, they’re trying to turn Sting heel and
as anyone who has watched wrestling for more than 18 seconds can tell
you, that is never going to work.
Luger
and Sting celebrate as Heenan is thrilled with Hogan getting stabbed
in the back to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
Agoobwa.
The level of failure this show hits is beyond words. They have
somehow managed to do almost every possible thing wrong on a single
show and somehow made it even worse. I’m thinking of the good things
on this show and it’s a very short list: Kaz vs. Lane was match of
the night by about ten miles, Page having weapons on him was a funny
bit, and…..someone help me out here. What else was good on this
show?
It
takes a very special kind of show for me to get mad fifteen years
after it aired when I already know the results. Somehow this show
did it as it took me all day to make myself sit through this mess.
WCW managing to stick around as long as they did is astounding to me
as there is no reason to stick around after watching something like
this.
This
is being written six days after the 2015 Royal Rumble, which made a
lot of people say WWE was a disaster. Whenever you get annoyed at
WWE, go back and watch some late 1999 WCW and your perspective will
change. WWE today is light years ahead of this as you can at least
get more than one good match and there’s an actual story (albeit
somewhat misguided) in the main event. This show consistently goes
against every possible thing people could want to see and seems to
encourage its veterans to screw up and destroy the future.
I
can’t believe I’m saying this, but this is actually worse than Heroes
of Wrestling, which aired about a month after this. Yeah Heroes of
Wrestling is a disaster, but it’s a disaster in a way that you can
laugh at it. This show on the other hand felt more cruel than
anything else. It felt like they were trying to be as stupid and
short sighted as they could while taking the fans’ money at the same
time. WCW has officially hit rock bottom and things can only get
better with Russo. I mean that literally. I cannon imagine things
actually getting worse than this.

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

WCW Fall Brawl 1996: September 15, 1996

I apologize for falling over a week behind in my recaps – I am on VACATION and ON LOCATION from lovely Cape Cod, Mass. I expected to have time to keep on top of these bad boys, but we’ve been so busy it’s been made impossible.
It’s been a wild few weeks since Hog Wild came to an end. We’ve seen the nWo expand from 3 members, to somewhere between 5 and 7 (depending on whether or not we count DiBiase and Nick Patrick). A mysterious voice lingers and threatens us all as #8. WCW says Glacier debuted, but the only footage that exists seems to be of him posing, which we’ve already seen for 6 months. And speaking of at least 6 months, Scott Norton and Ice Train continue to be prominently featured even though nobody seems to have any interest in their feud. DDP has started a war with the Guerrero family, and may or may not be in bed with Nick Patrick and the nWo. Chip Minton and The Gambler haven’t won matches, and High Voltage has won too many. Konnan discovered the secret door to the Dungeon of Doom, and was not eaten by Braun, which is more than we can say about poor Chad Brock (RIP). Steven Regal won the TV title and was never seen again, everyone’s a traitor, and Chris Cruise is unbearable.
I think we’re up to date.

This is the first one I’ve done via the WWE Network stream – which you can watch along with me.
LIVE from Winston Salem, NC, our hosts are TONY SCHIAVONEBOBBY HEENAN, andDUSTY RHODES. Heenan says the guys in the back are trading bets that tonight is the nWo’s final match. Which means SOMEONE is betting on the nWo, so I’d suggest smoking those guys out and annihilating them. Nobody knows who WCW’s fourth guy is, with Sting having defected to the nWo.
The fans are clad in a sea of nWo shirts. WCW is just printing money at this point.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR.
So at the Clash of Champions a month ago, Eddie defeated Page for the Battlebowl ring. Page immediately stole it back, and somehow that’s led to Chavo playing the role of surrogate for Eddie. Which would be fine if he had an ounce of Eddie’s talent or credibility, but this is an awful mismatch that has no business on pay-per-view. Chavo takes Page to the floor, and hits him with a slingshot tope. Page is tossed into the guardrail, and later in the ringsteps. The belt is ripped right off Page’s waist, and Chavo whips him. Heenan correctly points out that Chavo would have been disqualified if Patrick was reffing this thing. Back in the ring, a crossbody block gets 2. Chavo works the arm a little, presumably to prevent the Diamond Cutter. Page makes the ropes, but the useless RANDY ELLERdoesn’t force a break. If it was Nick Patrick, he’d already be eating it from Gene. Page escapes, but Chavo hits an armddrag, and hangs Page in the ropes. He tries a baseball slide dropkick, but Page gets out of the way and finally gets some offense in. Back in, Page hits a top rope clothesline and calls for the Diamond Cutter. Alas, it’s for naught. Chavo manages a small package, but Page wiggles loose and continues his assault. Page pantomimes kicking dirt over Guerrero, and paint brushes him with the boot. Pancake gets 2. Chavo tries to get a little something going, but eats Page’s elbow. Page goes to punt Chavo, but he rolls away and Page does the slip on the banana peel routine. A knee rocks Page, and Chavo follows with a springboard clothesline. Missile dropkick gets 2. Chavo goes back, and this time hits the super headscissors, but Page escapes at 2. Page blocks a charge with a back elbow, but even with his feet on the ropes he gets 2. Page launches Chavo so hard that he clears both top ropes and they find themselves in the second ring, drawing a loud pop. Chavo comes back with a rana, and a schoolboy gets 2. Page fires back with a 360 Powerbomb, again to a LOUD pop. He signals for the Diamond Cutter, and the fans are completely eating him up. Lo and behold, he delivers, and scores the pin at 13:07. It seems absolutely unbelievable how much Page has improved in just the last 6 months alone (because lord knows, I had to watch those matches 6 months ago), and even more unbelievably, the fans have noticed. Stardom is calling, Mr. Page. **1/2
Gene issues a special report, recapping the entire nWo saga to this point.
SCOTT NORTON vs. ICE TRAIN (with Teddy Long) (in a This Feud May Never Endsubmission match)
Submissions weren’t really common in WCW at this point, and outside of specialists like Benoit and Malenko, most guys used pinfalls. Including these big lugs. So it’s almost laughable that we’ve spent nearly a month using the B and C shows trying to build these guys up as submission gurus, when all they’ve been able to muster are lousy armbreakers. This is literally the most random gimmick they could have slapped on here, this side of a Cole Miner’s Glove match. Train hits his finisher, the big splash, seconds into the match. He goes for a second, but Norton rolls away, and plants him with a DDT. Train comes back, and applies his big finish, the chinlock. Amazingly, Norton doesn’t tap. Tony laments the loss of Fire and Ice in the tag-team division. I’m sure everyone else IN the division misses them too, since they never won any matches! Norton applies a cross armbreaker, and Teddy threatens to throw in the towel, but Eller tells him to get lost, it’s on Ice Train. We’re long before mainstream UFC, but the idea of a 90 second cross armbreaker from a guy with arms like Norton and NOT tapping is something I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around. Not only that, he then slams Norton with EASE, and applies what Tony calls a “Japanese armbar”. It’s basically a normal armbar, but smaller and more efficient. Train tries the big splash AGAIN, but Norton lifts his knees to block. A powerbomb hits, and Norton applies a Boston crab. Train won’t give, so Norton shifts and works the armbar. Teddy jumps on the apron, distracting Norton. Norton goes to kill him, but Train comes in behind with a full nelson, and Norton taps at 7:17. Ironic, because I think this feud has also lasted 7:17 (that being months:days). Is this the end? Do NOT bank on it. *1/2
JUVENTUD GUERRERA vs. KONNAN (with Jimmy Hart) (for the Mexican Vanity title)
MIKE TENAY hits the booth JUST in time to watch Juvi excitedly walk backwards right into the ringsteps and topple over. This could have happened on any one of the syndicated shows and been edited out, but he chose pay-per-view, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Konnan gives Juvi the fist bump of respect, but it’s a trick, and he knees Juvi in the gut. The announcers fail to give the appropriate amount of respect to the Dungeon of Doom for teaching him such treachery, but Tenay DOES launch into a discussion of whether or not WCW tried to Americanize Konnan when he came to WCW. It matters not, because now he represents, cuz la raza represents him. Juvi nails Konnan with a triple springboard full body assault, and follows with a tope to the outside. Konnan ain’t having none of that, and powerbombs him on the floor, causing Jimmy Hart to scream “ARIBA LA RAZA!” I’m loving the fact that the Dungeon of Doom is made up of society’s dredge and weirdos, and that Jimmy Hart assumed that the Mexican guy NOT wearing a mask is clearly enough of a freak to join his gang (and was right). Juvi does a convoluted trip between the two rings, and then even more unbelievably he does a headscissors that propels Konnan over the ropes and back into ring #1. Juvi hasn’t impressed me thus far, he’s trying wayyyy too hard, instead of sticking the lucha basics. Konnan backdrops Juvi over the top, which hangs him over the 2nd ring’s ropes like a wet towel. Konnan works some mat holds, but releases. Juvi tries a springboard moonsault, but gets powerbombed for his trouble. A duplex of German suplexes shake Juvi up, and he takes a powder. Juvi works his way back in with a springboard missile dropkick, and the big legdrop gets 2. Juvi tries to sunset flip powerbomb Konnan off the apron and to the floor, but he blocks with the ropes and dropkicks Juvi. Back in, a double leg dropkick off the top gets 2. The two trade bridges, to no avail. Juvi hits a springboard spinning heel kick for 2. Juvi comes again, but Konnan hits the wheelbarrow suplex that gets a loud reaction. They get tied up in the ropes, giving Juvi the chance to hit a somersault guillotine off the top. He goes to finish with the Firebird splash, but Dusty doesn’t even stop telling his story to acknowledge the move so you know it’s not enough. Konnan blocks something in the corner, and nails the double leg slam, following with a bridge for 2. A super brainbuster gets 2, before Konnan finally finishes with Splash Mountain at 13:45. They tried, lord did they try, but it just never clicked to take it to the next level. It just felt like a bunch of moves instead of a story – something Juvi would get better at in the years to come. ***
CHRIS JERICHO vs. CHRIS BENOIT
Temper your expectations a little, Jericho’s a major wiener at this point and not the shit disturbing d-bag he’d become later on. Benoit gets a loud reception, since the show’s in the heart of Horsemen country. Benoit viciously attacks Jericho, with a nasty hairpull that might have concussed him, and the fans are loving it. Spinebuster is on point, and Benoit applies the Liontamer like a boss. And no, he didn’t steal it – in fact he was the one who taught it to Jericho. Jericho escapes, and turns it around with a dropkick to the back of Benoit’s head. A springboard dropkick sends Benoit to the floor, and he nearly kills himself trying a springboard elbowdrop off the top, tripping mid move and falling headfirst – thankfully blocked by Benoit. Jericho’s unshaken, and heads up to a loud set of boos, and the missile dropkick gets 2. A powerbomb gets 2. The pair start trading violent chops, which Jericho ruins with a spinning heel kick. Benoit comes back with a snap suplex from the apron that sends Jericho to the floor. Jericho is sent face first to the ring post, and Benoit asks him if he wants to be famous? I REALLY recommend he NOT answer yes. Hotshot hangs Jericho out to dry, and a double forearm smash gets 2. Over to the abdominal stretch, which Benoit sells beautifully by turning himself purple while he pulls, and screams “ASK HIM!!!” Scoop slam sets up the swandive, and it’s one of the nicest ones you’ll ever see. Jericho manages the energy to apply a backslide for 2, but Benoit’s up and stomping on him before anything else develops. Benoit goes back to the Liontamer, but this time Jericho rolls forward and holds for 2. Northern Lights suplex from Jericho gets 2! Jericho lays in the chops, and reverses a tombstone attempt from Benoit into one of his own. Lionsault misses, but he lands on his feet and a clothesline gets 2. Top rope frankensteiner gets 2. Jericho goes back up again, but Benoit crotches him and hits a backdrop superplex for the pin at 14:36. Benoit kicks dirt on Jericho’s corpse, and gets a standing ovation. ***1/2
SUPER CALO vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (for the WCW cruiserweight title)
MIKE TENAY has barely had enough time to reasonably recover from his last Latin experience, but with the ferocity of an 18-year old virile male, he’s ready to go with as much energy as ever. In fact, off the bell he’s already giving us Calo’s personal life story. A very audible fan yells “BOOOOOORRRRRING”, at the same moment Tony declares “this is very impressive!” Calo applies an armbar, because that’s what we want to see with a couple of Cruiserweights. Tenay expects this to be an offensive NBA style match, with non-stop action, but we’re 2 minutes in and literally nothing has happened. Rey finally wakes up with a springboard rana, and Calo hits the deck. Back in, Calo dropkicks Mysterio because we need to slow this baby down. He does hit an impressive powerbomb, using the ropes as a spring for a little extra bounce. Rey is sent to the floor, and Calo hits a dropkick off the top. A scoop slam keeps Mysterio down long enough for Calo to hit a slingshot senton to the floor. Back in, a reverse headscissors off the top gets 2. Mysterio’s arm is jerked off the top, and Calo puts on a short arm scissors. That leads to Dusty talking about the night Pat O’Connor put HIM in a short arm scissors for 30 minutes, and he’s still here to talk about it. That Mysterio WISHES he had half of Dusty’s manly forte. Calo moves on to the inverted surfboard, and drops Mysterio down on his shoulders for 2. Rey hits the floor, holding his arm for dear life. Just thank his lucky stars he didn’t have to face Pat O’Connor, I’ll tell you what. Back in, Mysterio botches a crossbody that was supposed to propel both to the floor, but the referee is there for an assist and pushes Calo over the top for some reason. That gives Mysterio the energy to hit the no-hands over the top rope somersault dick to the face. Back in, Calo dropkicks him in retaliation for the stuffed sausage, and turns his attention to the ever exciting wristlock. Once again Calo jerks the arm over the top rope as he falls to the floor. On the apron, Rey manages to spin out of a wristlock and hits a springboard rana to the floor. Tony calls for a replay, and none ever comes. A second dick to the face has Calo dazed, and back in a springboard sunset flip gets 2. Springboard sky twisting bodyblock gets 2. A rana is hit, with Rey holding the legs on the follow through for 2. Calo misses a dropkick, and Rey finishes with a triple springboard rana for the pin at 15:47. Very impressive finish, and thank god Rey retained because Calo SUCKS and I can’t live in a world where both he AND Ed Ferrara are former champions. I struggle enough with Jacqueline and Madusa. **1/2
THE NASTY BOYS vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Colonel Robert Parker and Sista Sherri) (for the WCW world tag-team titles)
Dear god NO, I can’t take it. Make them ALL go away please. What is it going to take to put the damn belts on the Faces of Fear, and just let them squash jobber losers in under 2 minutes for the next year? Stevie Ray and Jerry Saggs start, because this is hell. This would have been a compelling time to test Booker as a singles star, and it probably could have worked given the right storyline. Have the nWo attempt to recruit Harlem Heat so they can control the tag-team titles, Booker constantly refutes them because they have integrity, but Stevie has other plans and sells out. Booker dispatches of his traitor brother, and hones in on the rest of the nWo playa hatas. In fact, why ISN’T my fantasy booking happening, instead of the bloody CLUBBERIN’ that’s got Dusty in a happy place. Saggs threatens Booker with Pity City, but Sherri saves the day. Saggs offers to hit her with a chair – and I’m talking about a non-folding chair with the big metal legs. You know them from your high school auditorium, they’re bulky and awkward. Speaking of bulky and awkward, Stevie and Knobbs pair off. Stevie hits a bicycle kick, and since he’s now run through his entire moveset, he tags out to Booker. Booker hits the flying jalapeno, and punches Saggs in the face for fun. Saggs rushes in the ring, and in a nice spot, MARK CURTIS dives at Saggs almost with a crossbody block to prevent him from any kind of interference. Somehow a brawl erupts for a second, leading to Saggs chasing Sherri around, but nothing comes of it and everything goes back to a regular match. Booker is all smiles when he hits a double teamed second rope karate chop, but it doesn’t last when he misses the Harlem sidekick and crushes his beans. Saggs gets the hot tag, and bulldogs Booker. Stevie takes an avalanche, and gets dumped. Saggs calls for the finish, but Sherri re-appears and this time Saggs pulls her in by the hair. Booker tries to save, but Saggs rolls him up for 2, as Sherri skates away. A spike piledriver gets 2, saved by Stevie. Knobbs is all over him, but Curtis holds him back. Saggs heads up, but the Colonel trips him up with the cane and Saggs goes splat. Booker goes for an easy pin, but Saggs kicks out at 2. Axe kick knocks Saggs to the floor, where Stevie and Sherri work him over. Parker even gets in a kick, a rarity! Stevie can’t score the pin though, but Knobbs keeps trying to get involved allowing Booker to stomp his partner behind the referee’s back. Saggs manages to hit a double face slam on both members of Heat, and Knobbs gets the tag to a big pop. Clotheslines for everyone. Heenan calls Knobbs “fresh” before realizing the irony of his statement, as Knobbs hits a big splash on Booker for 2. Avalanche knocks Booker down, and Knobbs heads up while Saggs holds Booker hostage. The Colonel distracts, hands his cane to Sherri who breaks it over Knobbs, and Booker steals the pin at 15:31. And then somehow EVERYONE spontaneously combusted, and were NEVER seen again. **
In the back, a glowing MIKE TENAY interviews RANDY SAVAGE, who appears to be neither Mexican, nor a recent visitor to Mexico. Savage promises to hit a grand slam tonight against the Giant, setting himself up to rip Hogan’s black heart out of his chest at Halloween Havoc. Black heart? Is Hogan a smoker? Is he suffering from some sort of artery blockage? Is Savage looking out for his buddy’s best interests by removing the obviously damaged organ? Tenay does NOT ask any of this, instead opting to send Savage to the ring.
RANDY SAVAGE vs. THE GIANT
NICK PATRICK has been assigned to this which would seem to be a conflict of interest, but apparently the WCW brass have been blessed with coleslaw for brains. Giant enters to the Dungeon of Doom theme initially because apparently nobody told production that Giant left them last week. Someone eventually tips them off, right as Savage blasts him with a knee to the face. The camera spends an inordinate amount of time focusing on Giant’s tight tights, and while I’m not sure what goes on in the WCW Powerplant, I can tell you Giant definitely understands the small package. Savage hits the floor, and Giant flattens him with a crossbody block(!!!!). Who IS this man, and why is he letting the plodding Big Show wrestle in the WWE if HE exists? Giant hits a backbreaker, and holds his knee in place to torture Savage a little more. The fans are really in to this, as displayed by everyone’s eyes watching the entrance ramp for anyone. Giant applies a Boston crab, which is very exciting for the handful of fans watching the ring. Savage escapes and bites Giant in the eye. That’s followed with god knows what off the top, because Giant catches him in a bearhug and slams him with ease. A kneedrop misses, and Giant tries to walk it off but that’s enough to let Savage on his feet. He attacks the knee instantly, and goes up a second time. This time it’s a super faceplant, but Giant throws him off at 2 with enough force to send Savage about 5 feet in the air. Savage is all adrenaline now though, and slams the big man to a MASSIVE pop. That draws out HOLLYWOOD HOGAN just as Savage drops an elbow, and Savage chases him to the back where THE OUTSIDERS are waiting. Nash blasts him with a chair, and all 3 men work him over, while Nick Patrick misses the entire thing because he’s busy sharing his recipe for fall lentil soup with The Giant. Savage is rolled back in for the easy pin at 7:47. The fans were way into this during the hot points, which sometimes is enough to pull the rating up a little. Not a lot, mind you. **
MIKE TENAY is with RIC FLAIRARN ANDERSONLEX LUGERWOMAN, and ELIZBETH. Tenay wants to know who the 4th man for WCW is? Flair simply promises that WCW is going to kick ass. Arn says that he’s lost a partner, Luger lost a friend, and WCW lost an icon. But that draws in STING, and everyone’s fists go up. Sting says it wasn’t him on Monday night. Luger says he looked him right in the face on Monday in that parking lot, and doesn’t believe him. Sting says if he can’t believe him, he’ll prove it later.
You know what would have helped? Sting explaining where he has been for the last 6 days while everyone sat around feeling depressed about his actions. “It wasn’t me.” That’s weak. I used that excuse when my mother asked why my brother was crying, when I was 4.
TEAM NWO vs. TEAM WCW (in a Wargames match)
MICHAEL BUFFER does the ring introductions, and explains the rules which are the same as any other year. SCOTT HALL starts for the nWo with TED DIBIASE in tow to hang around ringside. ARN ANDERSON is out for the Horsemen as usual. NICK PATRICKis the assigned referee. Arn is fired up, and even Dusty can’t believe a day has come where he’s rooting for Anderson. Arn works over Hall’s leg for a bit, before Hall crawls to the safety of the second ring. He lures Anderson over, and beats him down. Arn comes back with a sleeper hold, but Hall escapes, so Anderson plants him with a spinebuster. Shock of all shocks though, the nWo won the coin toss, and KEVIN NASH is in now. Arn is waiting, but the double team is too much and he eats a big boot. Together the Outsiders launch Arn face first into the cage. Snake eyes has Arn doing the drunken stumble, and Hall tries to decapitate him with a clothesline. LEX LUGER is WCW’s second man in, and he hits both members of the Outsiders with a clothesline! Individually, Luger dishes more clotheslines out, and the fans are thrilled to see him. Luger uses Hall as a battering ram against a couple of sides of the cage, but Nash saves. Arn has managed to get back on his feet, and he sends Nash face first into the mesh.HOLLYWOOD HOGAN makes his way in now, and Luger is on him like a dog on meat. Arn joins in, and the fans are electric! The Outsiders are still around though, and they break up the party. Hogan slams Luger and starts dropping elbows, while the fans chant “WE WANT FLAIR” at the top of their lungs. WCW delivers, as RIC FLAIRhits the ring and demands a piece of Hogan. Heenan announces he’s not sure if Hogan can beat Flair, which would ignore the last 2-years worth of proof that says otherwise. Flair’s got brass knuckles on, and starts knocking out nWo members left and right. It’s a Horsemen party, at least until STING hits the ring on behalf of the nWo. Sting hits all his trademark stuff, though those watching closely might notice something’s off. In fact, some fans in attendance do, and start chanting “WE WANT STING!” Hogan hits Flair with the big leg drop. Sting hits the Stinger splash on all 3 members of the Horsemen, and beats his chest like a gorilla. Finally, WCW’s final guy is in, and … it’s STING? He walks right up to the obvious imposter now, and hits the bulldog. Everyone in the nWo starts eating it, courtesy of the real deal. Legitimate Stinger splashes are gifts for every one of them. Luger apologizes, but Sting asks “is that good enough for you? Is that proof enough?”, and walks away. Luger is heart-broken for the second time in a week, allowing Hogan the chance to hit the leg drop and bite his nose. The fake Sting puts Luger in the Deathlock, while Hogan applies a front facelock. Nick Patrick orders the bell, and the nWo wins via submission at 18:15. The match itself wasn’t great, but kicking off one of the greatest angles of the 90’s makes it all worth it. **1/2
Luger tries crawling to the back, calling for Sting’s help, but the nWo continues to work him over in the aisle. Flair and Anderson get back involved, with Flair giving a particularly nice ball-shot to Nash that makes me smile. RANDY SAVAGEappears out of nowhere now, pulling Hogan back to the ring area. However, THE GIANT is right behind, and Savage succumbs to the numbers, eating a Chokeslam.ELIZABETH rushes down as Hogan pulls out the spray paint, and Heenan starts announcing she’s with the nWo. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case, because she throws herself on Savage to protect him, and Hogan spray paints her with the nWo colors. Hogan asks for the stick, and calls Liz and Savage losers. Hogan says they promised to be together until death parts them, and he offers to make that a reality tonight. As usual, he’s a liar, and simply spits on them instead. They’re wayyyy early on PPV time, so to give the fans at home their money’s worth, we spend eons just hanging around the ring while the nWo poses. Eventually, after The Giant gives away one more Chokeslam, things are turned over to the announcers to waste another 5 minutes or so. Nothing of interest in mentioned, so we’ll wrap here.
Lots of questions as we head into Nitro tomorrow, and for a change, that’s a good thing.

September Classics: Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson – Fall Brawl ’95

Well, since some of us mentioned it earlier this week when I posted the Pillman-Johnny B. Badd match, Fall Brawl ’95 was also highlighted by a very good match between longtime Horsemen stablemates Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. Of course, this angle all led to Sting looking like an idiot. Brian Pillman makes his heel turn here, then the three join forces with some fourth guy named Benoyte to reform the stable.


Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson 9/17/95 by HookLineSinker4

Fall Brawl 1998

Fall
Brawl 1998
Date:
September 13, 1998
Location:
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Attendance:
11,528
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
WARGAMES! Well in name only at least as whatever they have tonight
certainly isn’t the same idea that gave us the best team gimmick
match of all time. Tonight there are three teams of three men each
but only one individual can win, making the team concept completely
pointless. The winner faces Goldberg, who isn’t on the card tonight,
for the title at Halloween Havoc. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video just shows all nine people in the main event.
The
ring setup is different than any other show as there are two rings
right next to each other. The matches will alternate between rings
all night.
The
announcers talk about the main event as a LOUD We Want Flair chant
starts up. They go over the rules of the main event before going to
the back where Ernest Miller is being restrained. There was a
lottery earlier and it will be Bret Hart vs. DDP to start. Another
new rule this year: the match can end at any time instead of waiting
for everyone to get in.
Gene
talks even more but Jericho interrupts and announces he’ll be in a
champion vs. champion match tonight against Goldberg. The fans are
very intrigued.
Davey
Boy Smith/Jim Neidhart vs. Alex Wright/Disco Inferno
Alex
and Davey get things going with Smith taking him into the corner and
hitting some forearms to the head. A hiptoss and gorilla press slam
send Wright into the corner to bring in Disco. He gets to face
Neidhart as the match slow down a bit. Some shoulder blocks put
Disco down and Anvil swivels his hips a bit. Disco fires back with
some stomps to the chest and a running knee lift, only to have
Neidhart drive him into the corner for the tag off to Bulldog.
Wright
comes in as well and stomps a German mudhole in the corner. Bulldog
cartwheels out of a monkey flip but Alex pops up and hits a spinwheel
kick to take over again. Back to Disco who hits a nice shot to the
jaw but Smith sidesteps him to send Disco outside. Jim gets in some
stomps on the floor and whips Inferno hard into the barricade. Disco
is thrown inside for a chinlock before fighting up and stepping on
Smith’s foot. He runs into Davey to knock him down (no move or
anything. Disco just collided with him) but Davey picks him up and
throws him at the ropes in what I think was supposed to be a hot
shot.
Neidhart
gets another tag and slams Disco onto the mat as Heenan picks Piper
to win WarGames. Jim bites Disco’s forehead as this boring match
continues so the fans chant for Flair again. Smith comes back in to
launch Neidhart in for a slingshot shoulder block but I think he
leaves it short (Disco tried to move so it wasn’t clear which
happened) and it’s back to Alex.
Bulldog
comes in and gets backdropped, which I believe is the move that broke
his back as he landed on Warrior’s trapdoor because WCW thought
Ultimate Warrior should have magical powers. The match degenerates
into a comedy match with the referee having to drop to the mat to
avoid a charging Bulldog before the injured Davey Boy gets Disco up
for the powerslam and the pin.
Rating:
D. This could have been on any
given episode of Saturday Night but instead it’s opening a pay per
view. Keep that in mind when you remember that guys like Eddie
Guerrero and the world champion couldn’t get on the card tonight.
This was pretty much it for Neidhart and Smith would be gone about a
month later after the back injury got infected and put him in the
hospital for six months.
Gene
is with Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell with Scott saying he’s injured
and showing the Band-Aid to prove it. Steiner’s doctor has written
him a note saying he can’t wrestle tonight but JJ Dillon just happens
to be walking by and says the match is on anyway. Again, why bother
making up these stories and having them resolved in the same segment?
The match has been building for seven months now. Just have them
fight.
TV
Title/WCW World Title: Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg
We
get the long entrance from the back, complete with the debut of
RALPHUS as the Jericho Personal Security. Jericho finds the lunch
room, the door to the parking lot (“Not falling for that again!”)
and finally the arena. The pyro are just little puffs of smoke to
anger Jericho even more but the fans love him. Of course it’s not
the real Goldberg though as we get the all time favorite: the little
impersonator. At least this guy is taller than the top rope. The
fans are REALLY not pleased and can you blame them? We’re thirty
minutes into this show and we’ve had the opening match and this.
Jericho no sells the spear and wins with the Liontamer.
Rick
Steiner is at the internet location and isn’t happy that he has to
fight his brother. He knows his brother better than anyone does and
he’ll teach him a lesson. As generic as this was, it’s the second
best thing on the show tonight.
We
see the entire segment with Ernest Miller interrupting the Armstrongs
on Thunder, leading to Norman Smiley making a save.
Norman
Smiley vs. Ernest Miller
Miller
gives Smiley five seconds to get out of the ring before he takes him
apart but Norman chops him to the floor. Smiley follows him outside
but gets whipped into the barricade before we head back inside for a
variety of kicks. A double chop to the throat puts Norman down again
and Miller mixes up his offense with some knees to the chest. More
choking ensues against the ropes before he throws Smiley down with a
judo move. Off to a lame armbar before Norman comes back to no
reaction from the bored crowd. A delayed suplex gets two on Miller
but he breaks up a superplex attempt and hits two Feliners for the
pin.
Rating:
D. To clarify: WCW would rather
push a one dimensional martial arts guy over an international
submission/amateur style wrestler with years of experience wrestling
all over the world. Smiley had a lot of tools but never got to
showcase what he could do. But hey, at least we get to see ERNEST
MILLER.
We
recap Rick vs. Scott Steiner. Scott turned on his brother back in
February and has avoided the match over and over again before they
FINALLY go at it tonight.
Rick
Steiner vs. Scott Steiner
Scott
stalls on the floor for a few minutes before coming back inside for a
slugout with Rick getting the better of it. A right hand from Scott
has no effect and he bails to the floor. Rick chases him into the
crowd and drags him back
into the ring but Scott hits him low to escape a belly to belly
suplex.
After
more stalling Rick blocks a butterfly suplex and hits a DDT before
going up for the bulldog. Buff Bagwell interferes but gets rammed
into the buckle, knocking him out cold and dropping him to the mat.
Rick’s bad shoulder is sent into the post but he comes right back
with right hands. The referee is with Bagwell and the match is
stopped due to his injury, further ticking off the crowd.
Rating:
D-. This was getting better but
of course we have a false finish because waiting seven months for a
full match just isn’t long enough. I can’t blame the crowd for
getting even angrier after sitting through this as they were getting
their first interesting match of the night but it didn’t even break
six minutes.
Bagwell
is awake and talking to Scott as the crowd shouts what they think of
this nonsense. Trainers come out to check on Bagwell as the
announcers talk about how serious this is. A stretcher is brought
out as the show grinds to another halt. We go all the way to the
back to see Bagwell loaded into a stretcher with Rick saying someone
needs to call Buff’s mom. The ambulance doors are closed, Rick is
distraught, and of course Scott and Buff come back out and beat him
down. Nearly ten minutes were spent on this after the match ended.
Cruiserweight
Title: Silver King vs. Juventud Guerrera
This
is a rematch after Silver King got disqualified on Thunder. Juvy is
defending of course. The announcers spend the opening part of the
match talking about how they’re not going to talk about Bagwell.
Juvy takes him down with an armbar to start but Silver flips out of
it and sends the champion to the mat. The announcers mention the
match they had on Thunder, referring to it as “recently on WCW TV”.
They can’t even get the details of a match from three days ago?
Juvy
comes back with a quick hurricarana and a springboard into a
headscissors for two. Another springboard move is caught by a
dropkick from Silver King before he loads Juvy on his shoulder and
spins him, tossing him into the buckle. A shoulder breaker gets two
on the champion and a dropkick knocks him outside. Silver King hits
a nice springboard plancha to take Juvy out again as the fans chant
Taco Bell.
Back
in and Juvy tries a quick sunset flip but overshoots it and crashes.
Thankfully Silver King doesn’t walk over to him so Juvy can get the
near fall. Instead Juvy gets up and hits a quick springboard
hurricanrana for two and a missile dropkick gets the same. King
misses a charge into the corner and an inversted Frankensteiner is
good for two. Cool looking move, but of course it’s not enough for
the pin because why have a big, new move get a victory? The Juvy
Driver and 450 retain Guerrera’s title.
Rating:
C. This was good almost due to
how bad everything else has been. Silver King wasn’t the best choice
for a challenger but Juvy is cleaning out the division before someone
steps up to beat him. The Frankensteiner was a nice move but it
doesn’t make up for the first hour being a waste of time.
Konnan
is doing an interview on WCW.com when Scott Hall comes up and throws
a drink in his face.
We
recap Saturn vs. Raven. Lodi had won Saturn’s servitude due to
interference and Saturn has
been forced to comply due to his honor code as a former Army Ranger.
Saturn believed in honor so much that he allowed his fingers to be
broken instead of dishonorably breaking Riggs’ fingers. Tonight if
Raven wins then Saturn is Raven’s servant forever but if Saturn wins,
the Flock disbands.
Raven
vs. Saturn
Kanyon
is handcuffed to the ring to make it as far as possible. It’s also
Raven’s Rules. Raven chills
in the corner to start before getting in a cheap shot and sending
Saturn across the ring and down to the mat. A running knee lift has
Saturn in even more trouble but he comes back with some high kicks in
the corner and a spinning springboard forearm for two. Saturn gets
the same off a top rope splash and another kick sends Raven into the
barricade. Lodi goes over to help but both guys are taken out by a
nice suicide dive to wake up the crowd a little bit.
Lodi
interferes a bit to give Raven control and get a two count off a pair
of middle rope elbows. Saturn comes back with something resembling a
powerbomb for two, only to be taken down by a quick clothesline.
There’s a sleeper to Saturn but he comes out of it with a jawbreaker
to put both guys down. Raven is up first with some rolling Russian
legsweeps for two but Saturn hits him low to get a break.
We
get our first chair brought in for the drop toehold from Raven and
the Flock brings in a table. Kidman is on the other side of the ring
and comes in to turn on Raven with a dropkick before sprinting to the
back with the Flock chasing after him. Saturn’s Death Valley Driver
gets a VERY close two before he snaps off three straight suplexes.
Raven is out on his feet so Saturn slams him to the mat and gets two
off a spinning springboard legdrop.
Something
like a Juvy Driver gets two more for Saturn so he puts on the Rings
of Saturn but Lodi makes the save. The referee gets bumped and
Kanyon gets the key to the handcuffs out of his pocket to set himself
free. He gives Saturn a Flatliner but Raven can only get two.
Saturn drives Lodi through
the table with the Death Valley Driver but walks into the EvenFlow.
He kicks out again and the fans are WAY into this now. Another Death
Valley Driver is enough to split up the Flock.
Rating:
B. This was the only way to end
the feud and it worked very well. As is almost always the case, the
backstory makes the match much better as you have Saturn rising above
everyone else and surviving everything Raven throws at him. Kidman
turning makes sense as he had already been changing his look in the
previous months, which is always a good addition to a feud.
Jim
Duggan’s cancerous tumor was successfully removed and it was the size
of a football.
We
look at the end of the cage match from Monday with Arn Anderson
coming out to save Dean and blow the roof off the place. That’s the
problem with tonight being the double cage match: the Malenko vs.
Hennig cage match would have made more sense on PPV but they had to
do the whole thing backwards.
Dean
Malenko vs. Curt Hennig
Dean
goes right for Curt to start but Hennig bails to the floor. The fans
want Flair but get Dean ramming Hennig’s leg into the barricade
instead. Rude tries to interfere but gets stared down, allowing
Malenko to wrap Curt’s leg around the post. Back in and Dean stays
on the leg, leaving Curt unable to slam Dean. Tony declares this a
Horsemen style attack as Curt gets in a shot to the ribs to slow Dean
down and take over. He can’t keep up the attack due to the knee
though and Dean goes right back to it with a knee crusher.
Hennig
bails to the floor where Rude tries to help him to the back but Dean
will have none of that. Back in and Dean cannonballs down on the
knee before putting on a leg bar. Off to a different kind of leg
lock as the fans are just waiting for Anderson and Flair to run in.
Back up and Hennig forearms him down but the knee gives out on the
HennigPlex attempt. Instead Dean HennigPlexes Curt but Rude comes in
for the DQ.
Rating:
D+. GAH this
was irritating. Is it going
to kill Curt Hennig to have him job to Malenko on PPV? Apparently
so, because we couldn’t possibly let a cruiserweight like Malenko get
a clean pin over a big star, even if that big star hasn’t meant much
of anything in months. This was a very annoying ending.
Dean
gets beaten down but Anderson runs out for the save. Hennig and Rude
take him down with ease and stomp on his bad arm as no one runs out
to help. The NWO stands tall because that’s how WCW works.
Halloween
Havoc ad.
Scott
Hall vs. Konnan
Hall
does the survey and the NWO chant is barely audible. Feeling out
process to start until Hall throws the toothpick in Konnan’s face.
Scott cranks on Konnan’s arm and slaps him in the back of the head
for a bit so Konnan just punches him in the face. The fans go nuts
for Konnan all of a sudden before
he takes Hall down with a shoulder block. Hall does the changing
hands on a test of strength bit until Konnan punches him again.
Scott tries to run but gets caught in the between the rings and is
stomped down to the floor between the gap.
Stalling
ensues on the floor as the crowd dies again. Back inside and Hall
cranks on both arms and putting a knee between Konnan’s shoulders.
Konnan spins his arms around to reverse the hold but doesn’t move his
hands. In other words, the only thing keeping Hall in this hold is
him grabbing Konnan’s wrists. He finally kicks Konnan low to escape
and for a two count. The fallaway slam gets the same and we hit the
abdominal stretch. Hall even has a drink while he has the hold
applied.
Konnan
counters into one of his own but Hall hiptosses him down, only to
miss three straight elbow drops. Scott is rammed into the buckles a
few times but he comes right back with a clothesline. A belly to
back superplex drops Konnan again but he stops for a drink instead of
covering. Konnan kicks the cup into his face and hits the X Factor
to set up the Tequila Sunrise for the win.
Rating:
C-. Not a bad match for the
most part but it doesn’t mean anything. This was the same kind of
match that you would see in the Alliance era in WWF: not terrible but
doesn’t change anything for anyone. I’ll give them credit for
pushing Konnan though as this was as close to a clean win as you’re
going to get in an NWO match.
WarGames:
Team WCW vs. Team NWO Wolfpack vs. Team NWO Hollywood
WCW:
Diamond Dallas Page, Warrior, Roddy Piper
Wolfpack:
Kevin Nash, Sting, Lex Luger
Hollywood:
Hollywood Hogan, Bret Hart, Stevie Ray
There
are different rules this year. We’re going to start with Hart vs.
Page for five minutes and every two minutes someone else will be
added. The match can end at anytime and for the first time ever, by
pinfall. The first person to get a fall faces Goldberg next month at
Halloween Havoc. It’s a double cage so the ring is completely
surrounded, including a top. There’s no wall or barricade between
the two rings so people can change rings at will.
To
further annoy me, Sting vs. Goldberg is announced for tomorrow night.
That could have headlined Starrcade. This first period is five
minutes. Page cranks on the arm to start and gets two off a shoulder
block. An early Diamons Cutter attempt misses and Page is sent face
first into the buckle. Hart DDTs him down and rams Page into another
buckle. We have two minutes left in the match as the trade right
hands in the corner.
A
backbreaker keeps Page in trouble but he grabs the arm and drives it
down into the mat to get a breather. Page comes back with his discus
lariat to put both guys down as Stevie Ray comes in third. All
remaining periods are just two minutes. Ray chokes on Page and slams
him but opts to choke instead of cover. A clothesline keeps Page in
trouble as Sting is in fourth. Stevie meets him coming in and we
have action in both rings for the first time tonight.
Stevie
is sent to the other ring so Sting dives over two sets of ropes with
a clothesline (called the Stinger Splash by Tenay) as all four are in
the same ring. They’re already slowing down with Sting the only one
on his feet. Ray gets caught between the ropes and cage for a splash
from Sting as Hart piledrives Page. A second splash from Sting hits
the cage as Piper is in fifth. Piper bites various people and pokes
a lot of eyes because this is WAR. He nails Page because the team
concept means nothing. You might even be able to pin your team
members but it’s not specified.
Stevie
is stomped between the rings and Bret punches Page from one ring to
the other. Luger strolls to the ring at number six and goes after
Stevie while the other four guys are in the first ring. Lex jumps
Hart to end whatever bond they made on Thunder before moving over to
Piper. Roddy’s sleeper doesn’t last long on Luger and it’s Nash
(with pyro) in seventh. Big Kev cleans house as Hogan comes out a
minute and twenty seconds early.
Luger
Racks Bret but Hogan is knocking everyone out with Stevie’s slap
jack. Stevie and Hogan are the only people left standing as the
match stops cold. Hogan’s time ends despite him being in the ring
for a minute already. The match has completely died with Hogan
dropping leg after leg on Nash. There’s the Warrior smoke and
Warrior appears in the ring. Hogan jumps him from behind and lays
him out but more smoke fills the ring.
It
clears out and only Warrior’s coat is left. Warrior runs down the
aisle as Hogan panics. Stevie takes Warrior down with relative ease
as Disciple pulls Hogan out of the cage. Everyone else is still out
cold by the way. Warrior comes back on Ray and walks around the ring
looking at Hogan before kicking the cage wall apart and chasing Hogan
to the back. In the ring, DDP pops up and hits a quick Diamond
Cutter on Ray for the win.
Rating:
Agoobwa. This match was so
stupid that it’s beneath any letter grade. I’m not even sure where
to start. First off, this isn’t WarGames. This is more like a
regular match dressing up like WarGames for Halloween. There
was never any drama or intrigue and the match never felt important at
all. It was about fifteen minutes of lackluster punching and kicking
before Hogan and Stevie Ray knocked everyone else out with a weapon
so they wouldn’t have to fill in all that time with action.
On
top of that, this wasn’t even violent. Other than Sting splashing
Ray against the cage, no one was rammed into the steel until Warrior
sent Stevie into it. The biggest flaw here is there was no hatred or
personal animosity between these guys. They were just all assigned
to teams and might have had some matches that ended in DQ’s a few
weeks earlier. That doesn’t make for a match that is supposed to be
the biggest, most violent fight of the year.
It’s
very similar to the modern day Hell in a Cell matches. With so
little time to build up to them, there’s no reason to care about what
happens out there. Look back to let’s say 1992 with Sting’s Squadron
against the Dangerous Alliance. There were probably five individual
feuds in there and they had been built up for months. Or even look
at 1995 with Hogan’s team against the Dungeon of Doom. The match
sucked but at least there was a reason for them to be fighting other
than “we need members of each organization.” This wasn’t
WarGames. It was a multiple man match which happened to be in the
double cage.
Page
celebrates in the crowd to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F-. If there was a
rating lower than this, the show would get that. This was dreadful
throughout with Raven vs. Saturn being the only match worth checking
out and even that’s a stretch. They took all of the good potential
that WCW had been building up for months and wasted it in one night.
No Guerrero, no Goldberg (he couldn’t even show up and beat on
Jericho?), no Flair, and Anderson gets beaten down because we need to
keep Curt Hennig looking strong. This ranks up there with the worst
shows of all time and I can easily see why it was named the worst
show of the year for 1998.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Fall Brawl 1997

This is another old review.  Be forewarned.
Fall
Brawl 1997
Date: September 14,
1997
Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum,
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Attendance: 11,939
Commentators:
Ton Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

THINK THAT’S A LONG ENOUGH
LOCATION??? With so many WCW shows left I’m going to start
hammering more of them out by doing the remaining versions of various
shows, starting with the last three Fall Brawls, as in 97-99. Anyway
this is more or less the last classic WarGames and the roster for it
more or less sucks. The main perk of this show for old school fans is
that there are three matches over 15 minutes. Anyway let’s get to
it.

The opening video is about Flair and the Horsemen with
Anderson inducting Hennig into the Horsemen. Also the NWO making fun
of the Horsemen in a hilarious parody. That’s about it
apparently.

Heenan in a bowtie is a weird look.

Cruiserweight
Title: Eddie Guerrero vs.
Chris Jericho

Jericho is champion and
Eddie is freshly heel and dominant up to this point. The double ring
setup is always a nice touch. Eddie bails to the floor and covers his
ears to avoid the booing. Technical stuff to start us off with Eddie
getting frustrated. Very slow start here but they have a ton of time
to work with so it’s fine. Eddie gets some HARD chops in the corner
so Jericho is like screw that and chops Eddie down.

Chris
works on the arm and the fans want….something. Back to the mat with
Jericho working on the arm some more. Eddie tries to speed things up
a bit so Jericho LAUNCHES him into a hot shot across the top and hits
the Lionsault for two. Eddie counters an armbar into a smaller
version of the same thing Jericho did earlier. Nice little psychology
there. Modified Backstabber and Eddie holds onto it for a bow and
arrow style move.

Belly to back gets no cover for Guerrero.
There’s a surfboard and I still don’t see how that move is
physically possible. Oh never mind as he hooks it with a chinlock
instead of the regular move. Jericho gets up, only to be taken down
by a European uppercut. Hilo works on the back even more. Gory
Special goes on and Jericho is in trouble. Jericho reverses into one
of his own and slams Eddie face first.

They slug it out and
Jericho takes over, hitting some clotheslines in the corner. Eddie
walks the ropes ala Old School but gets crotched on the top. Jericho
hits his springboard dropkick and tries a Piledriver on the apron.
Instead he shifts to a powerbomb but drops Eddie backwards onto the
top as Jericho drops to the floor. It’s kind of hard to
describe.

Back in the Canadian hits a German to the Latino for
two. Eddie pops up and hits a spinning Rock Bottom but Eddie can’t
follow up. Powerslam gets two for Jericho. Spinwheel kick gets two.
Flapjack by Jericho but Eddie reverses La Magistrol for two of his
own. Jericho hits a double powerbomb and puts Eddie on top. Chris
tries a superplex but Eddie reverses into a cross body out of that.
Frog Splash gives Eddie the title.

Rating: A-. Gee what
a shock: you give Eddie and Jericho 17 minutes and you get an awesome
match. Eddie was the freaking man at this point as six weeks later he
and Rey would have what is arguably the best WCW match of all time at
Halloween Havoc. Great match with a ton of awesome spots and a fast
pace. Sadly, the rest of the show just wishes it could be this
awesome.

Jeff Jarrett is doing an interview on WCW.com. He
would be back in the WWF in like 5 weeks. You can chat with Jarrett
right now! Get off your couch and go to your computer and talk to
him!

Harlem Heat vs.
Steiner Brothers

Larry Z is on
commentary now instead of Tenay. This is a #1 contender match, even
though the Outsiders never actually defended the titles. I don’t
mean against the #1 contenders. I mean they never defended them
period. Basically a team would be #1 contenders for a few weeks then
there would be another match to determine new ones. Jackie is with
Harlem Heat and DiBiase is with the Steiners. Scott was about to
start his slow heel turn but it wasn’t quite here yet.

Stevie
and Scott start us off. Stevie hammers away and Steiner is like boy
please and hammers away on him. And never mind as Stevie kicks his
head off. Side slam gets no cover. Booker looks all ready for a tag
but that might be a better match so we’ll stick with Stevie. Scott
overpowers him for a bit but Booker busts out a full nelson of all
things to take over.

Suplex puts Scott down but Booker jumps
into a belly to belly and the Steiners clean house. Rick comes in to
hammer away on Booker but it’s off to Scott quickly. Big spin kick
puts Rick down and it’s off to Stevie. Rare to see the Steiners
tagging in and out that much. The Steiners get all physical on them
but Scott gets caught by a pretty sweet kick by Booker to send him to
the floor.

Stevie chokes away and Jackie continues to be
worthless. Rick tries a save but it’s time for Scott to play face
in peril for awhile. Big forearm gets two. Hot tag to Rick who cleans
house. He hits the bulldog off the top on someone but it’s the
wrong man. Heat Seeker (Doomsday Device but with a dropkick instead
of a clothesline) gets two on Rick. A German suplex/clothesline combo
ends Ray quickly after that.

Rating: C. Meh match here
as it’s really just a tag match. It’s not bad or anything but you
can only see the same two teams fight so many times before you get
tired of it. I’d have liked to see Harlem Heat get a shot but the
Steiners and Outsiders were joined at the hip for the most part so
that wasn’t going to happen. At least the Steiners would split in
February.

TV Title: Ultimo
Dragon vs. Alex
Wright

This was one of the worst title feuds you’ll
ever see and so it went on forever. The matches were ok but at the
same time it just went on and on and it was never really interesting.
Wright is champion here. Oh and Wright is kind of heelish now. There
are four commentators now. Long feeling out process to start as I
have a feeling we’re in for a ver long one here.

Wright hits
the floor for a breather and comes back with a headlock. Dragon
speeds things up and fires off the kicks, sending Wright to the floor
again. Back in Wright hits a Stun Gun and takes over again. Spinwheel
kick gets two and Wright hits a pancake (Piledriver but you fall
forward instead). Off to the chinlock as it’s clear we do in fact
have a lot of time here.

That gets broken up and we go right
back to it again in case you forgot what it looked like I guess.
Belly to back gets two and we HIT THE CHINLOCK AGAIN! Dragon wakes up
a bit and hits a crossbody followed by some kicks. A spinwheel kick
misses though and Dragon goes down again. The fourth chinlock in less
than five minutes goes on as you have to start questioning why
they’ve been given this much time when you could cut the match in
half to have an extra match. Larry says a lot of people used to kill
the clock like this, which is a nice line considering he’s
legendary for it.

Make that the fifth chinlock. When that’s
your best move, methinks you’re not that good yet. Wright dances
out of a sunset flip attempt and dances even more. Dragon knocks him
off the top but misses a dive, eating feet instead. We head to the
floor and Wright shows that he’s not that smart as he stands in
place for the Asai Moonsault against the guy who invented it and
turns around. How could you screw that up? Seriously, how could you
screw that up???

Back in and Dragon takes over with a rana for
no cover. That looked bad too. Back to their feet and things speed up
a bit with Dragon getting a butterfly suplex for two. Tiger suplex
gets two. Dragon sets for the super rana but Wright reverses. Dragon
reverses the reversal into a powerbomb out of the corner for two.
Mutaesque Moonsault gets two. Another rana is reversed into a sunset
flip in a nice bit of psychology there.

Wright counters a dive
with a dropkick to the ribs but Dragon reverses a belly to back into
a cross body for two. Small package gets two. La Magistral gets two.
Wright wants his German suplex finisher but Dragon reverses. Super
rana hits but he can’t get the Dragon Sleeper. Regular sleeper is
countered into a jawbreaker by Wright and the German suplex gives the
German the win.

Rating: C. If this was about a ten
minute match instead of the 18 they had, this is FAR better. The last
5 minutes or so were really good but before that it was rather
boring. It’s not bad mind you, it’s just really boring. Wright
would lose the title 8 days later to Disco Inferno of all people so
it’s not like this meant anything. Still though, nearly 20 minutes
for these two was WAY too long.

Gene is schilling the hotline
for later and Team NWO for later runs past. Methinks shenanigans are
coming. Gene goes to see and Curt Hennig is down on the floor. Say it
with me: HE’S TURNING ON THE HORSEMEN TONIGHT.

Jeff
Jarrett vs. Dean
Malenko

Winner is supposed to get the US Title shot
next month but that wouldn’t happen due to various things. Jarrett
sends Debra to the back for no apparent reason. Technical stuff to
start as you would expect with Jarrett taking over for the most part.
We’re about five minutes in now and there is nothing to say in the
slightest. Jeff has worked on the arm for awhile and other than that
it’s just a low gear exhibition.

Dean gets a nice dropkick
to take over and never mind as we’re back to the boring stuff. I’m
talking about just standing there with a headlock for like 20 seconds
and then taking it to the mat for another minute or so. Thankfully
they speed things up a bit and Dean takes over, ramming Jeff into the
buckle a few times. Bah there’s a sleeper to end that run. It might
have sped up for about 30 seconds and then it’s right back to the
slow stuff.

Double axe off the top hits and there’s a
superplex for Dean. It’s probably good to have him in control as
Jeff is Memphis through and through and that makes for some rather
boring matches at times, especially when there’s no real feud
between these guys. Memphis heat is based on hatred and when there’s
nothing there, it doesn’t work for the most part.

German
suplex by Dean looks to set up the Cloverleaf and there it is but
that might be interesting so we go to the ropes to break that up
quickly. Debra is here now for no apparent reason and both guys go to
the floor. Dean goes back in and hits a baseball slide to send Jeff
down again. Time for the knee work but Jeff takes over again and
works on the knee a bit himself.

Dean is able to counter a
cannonball drop to send Jeff out to the apron. Back to the floor
again with Jeff being sent into the railing. Suplex back in is
reversed into a cover by Jeff for two. Dean gets a sleeper which is
reversed into a suplex for no cover. Jeff goes up and jumps into the
boot but catches himself and grabs the leg in an attempt at the
Figure Four. Dean rolls it up for two and Jeff gets a neckbreaker for
two. Pinfall reversal sequence gets some nice counters but Jeff gets
a chop block and the Figure Four ends this.

Rating: C.
Just like in the previous match they went too long and the first ten
minutes or so were really boring. Tony calling it great is your
standard overhyping but it didn’t work at all for the opening half.
Dean was awesome in this year but it wasn’t on display here.
Another match that didn’t need to be as long, or on this show in
the slightest actually.

The NWO says they’ll win and they
have a plan. Konnan sounds WEIRD here.

Mortis/Wrath
vs. Faces of Fear

You
know, because THIS needed to be on PPV right? The Faces (team, not
the face/heel aspect which I don’t think has a face team in this)
are in red for some reason here. Barbarian and Mortis start us off.
Mortis hammers away with some success so Barbarian just throws him
into the corner like something that is easily thrown. Off to Meng who
has a brawl with Wrath for awhile.

Wrath gets a middle rope
clothesline and takes over. Back off to Mortis and that doesn’t
work all that well for him. Off to Barbarian again who hits a
headbutt to take over again. Meng backdrops Mortis into a powerbomb
in a spot that really wasn’t as good as it sounds. Pumphandle slam
gets two for Barbarian. Mortis tries to hammer on Meng and it doesn’t
work in the slightest.

Barbarian goes up again and gets
crotched while James Vandenberg (Mitchell) runs from a camera.
Barbarian dives into a boot so Wrath comes in for a beatdown. DWI
gets two on Barbarian as Meng saves. This is rather boring if that
wasn’t coming off. Wrath and Mortis take over for awhile and Mortis
hits a Fameasser off the top for two. Wrath gets a belly to back to
set up a top rope clothesline/punch for no cover still.

Mortis
rams the steps into Barbarian to keep up the dominance. That only
gets two back in the ring. This is taking forever to get through.
Three man Tower of Doom suplex sends Barbarian flying again.
Barbarian is a fun word to type. Wrath and Meng both come in to
hammer away on each other with Meng taking over. BIG chop to Mortis.
Kick of Fear to Mortis and a powerslam to Wrath gets two. Top rope
splash gets two for Meng on Mortis. Double Tongan Death Grip to
Mortis and Vandenberg but Wrath grabs a Death Penalty (Rock Bottom)
for the pin.

Rating: C+. Surprisingly enough this
wasn’t that bad. The problem in short though is that this was on
PPV for about twelve minutes. Why in the world should this have been
on PPV? There was no reason to have them fight it seems, but they did
anyway and they got a lot of time. I don’t get this one at all and
while the match was actually pretty good, that doesn’t mean it
needs to be here.

The Horsemen are ready for the main event.
No Hennig here. Flair rants loudly of course.

The
Giant vs. Scott
Norton

Giant is waiting on his match with Nash so
he needs someone to beat on I guess. Giant calls for the chokeslam
before the match even starts. Brawl in the form of a battle of the
big men to start us off as you would expect. Giant tosses him over
the top and we head to the floor for some more brawling. Norton
manages to ram Giant into the post and take over.

Giant
hammers Norton again as this is a fairly decent power brawl actually.
This doesn’t go much of anywhere because the moves are kind of
repetitive. Norton gets a rather impressive hot shot on Giant who was
indeed flying through the air. Giant takes some corner splashes and
Norton gets a belly to back suplex for two. With the help of the
middle rope, Giant hits a nip up. Ok that was pretty cool looking. He
goes nuts and hits the Chokeslam to end it quick.

Rating:
C. This wasn’t too bad I guess but for a match like this, another
battle of the big men, there’s only so much you can do. Norton
wasn’t going to win here and everyone knew it but he hit some big
moves and the power game was pretty cool. The nip up is awesome and
he only busted it out on occasion. Fun match for what it was but
nothing you can’t see a hundred times with various people in
it.

Diamond Dallas Page/Lex
Luger vs. Scott Hall/Randy
Savage

Literally no transition at all between
matches which is kind of odd but it was a WCW thing I guess. Larry
talks about how he used to beat up Hall back in the day but still
won’t say where this was. I guess it’s a copyright thing or
something. Luger and Hall start us off and with Lex shoving him
around a lot. Luger beats up both NWO guys on his own and clears the
ring.

Off to Page and Hall works on his arm. We talk about
NASCAR for some reason as Page hammers away. Both guys miss
clotheslines so Page hits a Pancake, one of his signature moves, and
then drills Savage because he can. Hall throws Page around a bit as
he becomes the face in peril to fill in time I guess. Page fights out
of the corner as we’re just waiting on the screwy finish
here.

Hall jumps Luger and literally beats him down between
the rings. Savage chokes Page a bit and then throws him into the
other ring. That isn’t a DQ because Page didn’t hit the floor.
Just get rid of the freaking rule already. They throw him back over
to mess up the rule again. Down goes the referee to set up the screwy
stuff.

Luger is still between the rings I guess. There goes
another referee and Larry goes out to help. Larry glares at him and
Luger pops up for the rollup pin. I mean literally, he pops up from
between the rings to roll him up. Screw being legal I guess. That
ends it of course. Oh and Larry counts the pin just because. Somehow
that counts apparently.

Rating: D-. The match was ok up
until the ending and then it all fell apart because it has to I
guess. Is it just impossible to have a match end cleanly? Apparently
it is because they never seem capable of doing it in this company.
Weak ending aside, this was nothing you wouldn’t see on Nitro any
given week.

CALL THE HOTLINE!

WATCH HALLOWEEN
HAVOC!

Team WCW vs. Team
NWO

WCW: Ric Flair, Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael,
Curt Hennig
NWO: Kevin Nash, Konnan, Syxx, Buff Bagwell

WarGames
here and here are the rules for the two of you that have somehow
never seen this match. You start off with a guy from each team for
five minutes. After that a coin toss will be won by the heels and
they get an advantage for two minutes. After those two minutes are up
another person comes in from the team that loss the coin toss. You
alternate like that every two minutes until all eight are in and then
it’s first submission (no pins) wins it. Also in a double cage of
course.

This is more or less a revenge feud for the Horsemen
after the parody that the NWO did on Nitro which was so dead on that
it was hilarious while being totally disrespectful. The teams are at
ringside here which would go back and forth. Not that it means
anything but these entrances are long so I need to fill in space.
Also this is the final traditional WarGames match, meaning it’s
more or less destined to suck.

No Hennig here due to the
beatdown earlier. Bagwell vs. Benoit to start. This should be a
massacre and very fun. This is for five minutes remember. Tony brings
up a great point: is there NO ONE else in WCW that could be out
there? They waste like thirty seconds before Bagwell slaps Benoit.
This is young and violent Benoit so how do you think this is going to
go for Bagwell?

All Benoit here since Bagwell kind of, uh,
sucks. Swan Dive misses so Bagwell unleashes his variety of stomps
and sends Benoit into the cage. Bagwell is really weak on offense
here. Surprisingly enough they haven’t messed with the clock yet.
They’ve stayed in the same ring here for the most part. Bagwell
backdrops him into the cage and yells at Flair a bit. Shockingly
enough: the NWO wins the toss. Literally, no face team EVER won a
coin toss in WCW. Ever. Not even once.

Benoit takes over with
about 20 seconds to go and it’s Konnan to give them the 2-1
advantage. Benoit seems to like the idea of being in trouble and
beats them both up. This lasts two minutes remember. Somehow being
down 2-1 makes Benoit do better for a minute or so until the numbers
finally catch up to him. Mongo, US Champion at the time, comes in and
beats up everyone.

Benoit is perfectly fine. I mean they’ve
only beaten on him for seven minutes so far so do you really expect
him to be beaten already? The Horsemen dominate for most of the 2-2
period and it’s Syxx in next. And that results badly for him as he
gets destroyed by Benoit. Total star making performance by him so
far. Crossface to Syxx who taps but it doesn’t matter yet.

The
NWO finally fights back about halfway through this period. With 40
seconds left here’s Hennig with his arm in a sling. Oh just have
him wearing the NWO shirt already. Flair comes in and cleans house.
Nash comes in after the Horsemen dominate for a good while. He
dominates the entire team and Bagwell couldn’t be happier. HUGE We
Want Sting chant goes up but you all know the ending already don’t
you? If not, GO READ A FREAKING BOOK PEOPLE.

The Horsemen take
over again before the period ends and here’s Hennig. Flair has Syxx
in the Figure Four and there goes the sling on Hennig. He pulls out
handcuffs and yep there it is. Seriously, did ANYONE buy that he
wasn’t turning here? Tony of course calls it this huge charade and
no one but him agrees.

Benoit is cuffed to the cage as is
Mongo. Again, IS THERE NO ONE ELSE IN ALL OF WCW??? Flair is
destroyed and a referee brings a microphone into the ring. Nash
offers the Horsemen the chance to surrender and they all say no.
After a long beatdown they give Mongo the chance to surrender to save
Flair from having the door slammed on his head. Mongo gives in and
they slam the door anyway. This would results in a huge blood feud
between Hennig and Flair and Tony walking off the show the next
night. The sight of Flair writhing in pain and holding his head ends
the show.

Rating: C. Not the strongest WarGames to say
the least, namely due to the Horsemen never being in trouble at all
for the most part and the really stupid ending. That being said,
WarGames is in itself inherently cool and this is no exception.
Benoit looked AWESOME in there but of course he would never go
anywhere in WCW until he was about to leave. Definitely not the best
WarGames, but the Benoit dominance was a cool visual.

Overall
Rating: C+. This was a weird show. It’s not bad and the
long matches were nice to see. They weren’t all particularly good
matches or PPV quality but there were no stupid 2 minute PPV matches
which helps a lot. Pretty good show overall but definitely not their
best. That being said, 1998 would be the beginning of the end so it
was nice to see a long show like this one more time before they fell
apart.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com

Fall Brawl 94

Was always curious how the main event match of Fall Brawl 94 came to be. It was Dusty & Dustin Rhodes & the Nasty Boys vs Terry Funk, Bunkhouse Buck, Arn Anderson & Col. Parker. How was that a main event at that time? The Dustin vs Studd Stable feud was not a main event feud. Hogan had debuted a couple of months earlier & wasn't even on the card, and neither was Flair. What gives?

Well, much like Brock today, they had a certain number of dates with Hogan per year, and didn't want to blow them on shows that wouldn't make back the investment.  Plus Rhodes v. Studs absolutely was a big program stemming from Arn turning on Dustin at Bash at the Beach, so I can at least understand the rationale there.  It was Wargames with a pretty hot feud, so why not?

Cena/Lesnar Brawl

Hi Scott,

Pleased to rediscover your familiar name and postings online after returning to pro wrestling after 10 years or so. I was not surprised to find similar irksome booking to what I remember all those years back. I was wondering if you'd comment on the absurdity of the John Cena/Brock Lesnar brawl from RAW. While the brawl itself was captivating, the involvement of solid heels like Alberto Del Rio and Daniel Bryan in breaking it up was ridiculous. Why in the world would someone like Alberto Del Rio care if Cena & Lesnar are trying to to rip each other apart? 
DO you think this booking further 'legitimizes' Lesnar and adds to his feud of Cena? If so, do you think it did so at the expense of heels like Del Rio and Bryan?

The idea is supposed to be that Lesnar TRANSCENDS the WWE because he's a real UFC fighter, so when he's beating on Cena the entire locker room is going to come out and Stand Up For WWE.  Obviously you don't want to do that with, like, anyone else on the roster having a brawl, but absolutely for Lesnar you make an exception because you want to position him as a top guy above the other top guys.  That being said, ratings did not bear that philosophy out, so this might get interesting very quickly if Extreme Rematches doesn't pop a big number.  

Fall Brawl 1996

This is another one that I did a long time ago so the quality again may not be that strong. I apologize in advance.

Fall Brawl 1996
Date: September 15, 1996
Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston Salem, North Carolina
Attendance: 11,300
Commentators: Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

WOW that’s a long name for a place to hold a show. This show is about two things: War Games and Sting. Six days before this, Sting had been announced as being in Japan for that day so he would NOT be at Nitro. Ok, fine. So later on in the night, Luger went chasing after someone in the NWO and ran into the parking lot where the NWO limo awaited. And out pops Sting. My jaw went through the floor when I saw it as a kid.

It turns out though that it’s a fake Sting and that the real guy really was in Japan. The deal here though is that even though we knew he was in Japan, he looked a lot like the real Sting so the WCW guys believed he had really turned until he told them otherwise. This was stupid from both sides. One: it was established he was in Japan.

If that’s the case, why wouldn’t they believe him? Second, can you blame them for believing it was him at least for awhile? Does NO ONE watch film anymore? So yeah the main event is NWO vs. WCW in War Games and neither team knows who the fourth guy for their team is, which makes things a bit odd but whatever. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is of course about the war between the two organizations. Oh and Giant has joined since the last show. Other than that it’s just about the chaos the NWO has been going off about in the last few months. We see the video from Sting “turning” and Eric FREAKING is great. We also see them destroying a car last night with their bats. Why were they never arrested?

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chavo Guerrero

Well this is an odd pairing. DDP is a heel still and is feuding with both Guerreros at this point. Chavo is almost brand new here having been in the company like five months and is TINY here. He hit the gym over the years and filled out a lot which is good for him as he looks pretty pathetic here. There are two rings here and they’re in the left one.

Chavo goes off on him early on the floor and whips him with a belt that I have no idea where he got. Apparently Eddie won the Battlebowl ring at Clash of the Champions from DDP so at least they’ve set this match up. This is a real contrast of styles as Chavo is young and fast and DDP is really bad at this point still. He’s pretty much the prime example of a guy that started off as horrible and just clawed his way up to being a quite good wrestler that was popular as well.

He kind of had a gimmick change but it was really more that he turned face and got confidence. He hits a top rope clothesline to really take over as Dusty is having way too much fun here. DDP hooks a nice little rolling move as he’s improving at this point. To be fair though he was horrible before this so an improvement is hard to avoid. He had some flashes of good stuff though and you could see it here.

Not that we’ve been told this or anything as it’s all about the main event here even though we’ve already bought the PPV in theory so it’s not like it needs to be hyped or anything. In a nice move (again) he sets for a belly to back suplex but just spins him over so he lands face first. That was very nice. Chavo makes his comeback with really basic stuff and some jumping stuff but again he’s a relative rookie here so there we are.

He kind of messes up a hurricanrana but it wasn’t terrible I guess. And now we’re in the other ring and Tony actually asks if this could be a count out. That’s….actually an interesting question as they’re in a different ring but they’re still in a ring. The fans are rising up for rollups. That’s a good sign and then they cheer loudly for a Helicopter Bomb by DDP for two. In a creative ending, DDP stomps on Chavo’s foot and gets the Diamond Cutter to a NICE face pop. His turn was coming very soon.

Rating: C+. Nothing too special here but not bad at all. DDP was getting better and better every time he had a big match and this was one of them. He still wasn’t that good, but you could see a lot of promise in him. He had the good music and the kick ass finisher so he was well on his way. Once he turned face though, it was all awesome as his feud with Savage was one of the highlights of WCW. We’ll get to that soon enough.

SPECIAL REPORT

Gene talks about the NWO and what they’ve done. Uh, why are we seeing this now? Why would we need to see this if we’ve bought the show already? Couldn’t there be a match in this time or something? It’s a GREAT video that explains the first few months of the angle perfectly, but why are we watching this now?

Ice Train vs. Scott Norton

This is a submission match. Again I have to ask WHY? Is there anyone that thinks we need to see two matches between these guys? I was a semi-mark for Ice Train though so I’m not completely furious. Teddy Long of all people is managing Ice Train. Has this guy ever not been on a roster somewhere? He’s FAT looking here which is just bizarre considering what he looks like now. Train works on the arm which makes sense at least.

Now he uses…let’s call it a chinlock and be nice. Tony points out that Norton is using the same move that another guy uses for a finisher which might be bad but I’m not sure. They need to pick a freaking body part and STICK WITH IT. Norton has worked the arm, the back and the neck and now the arm again. Teddy comes in and distracts and a full nelson ends Norton. At least it wasn’t that long.

Rating: F+. Seriously, THIS gets 7 minutes of PPV time? Why? Who thought this was a good use of PPV time? Having them do one match at Hog Wild at least made sense, but did we really need to see these two in a gimmick match, especially THIS gimmick? I don’t think so.

Mexican Heavyweight Title: Konnan vs. Juventud Guerrera

Ok a lot to talk about here. For one thing, the Mexican Heavyweight Title is the AAA Americas’ Title, a title that was a midcard title that Konnan was the first to win. He won it then bailed to WCW with it so they just didn’t talk about it any more. He’s also a heel now with the whole street thing going on and has joined the Dungeon of Doom so he has Jimmy Hart with him. As for Juvy, he’s brand new here, having been around about three weeks.

There was also an internet rumor that he was actually Sean Waltman under the mask which is about as bizarre of a story as I’ve ever heard of. He trips over the steps during his intro in a funny thing, so maybe there was a reason for that story after all. Oh yeah we actually have a match to do now. Konnan is now described as a big man. That’s just odd to hear. In a painful looking spot, Konnan picks him up and just drops him over the top to the floor.

Juvy goes to the other ring and hits a QUADRUPLE jump leg lariat to take over. Take that Sabu. This is back when Konnan was motivated and therefore was actually interesting to watch as well as entertaining. The commentary just stops for like 30 seconds. That was strange. I’m watching a WCW show where there is decent wrestling going on.

Never mind on that strange comment. Juvy is flying all over the place here and it’s surprisingly working for me. Tenay calls the rope the top strand. Ok then. They botch the hell out of a moonsault press. I’d put that on Konnan though as it looked fine but Konnan didn’t sell it at all. He hits a great powerbomb to make up for it I guess. There’s a good deal of sloppiness here but for the most part it’s working.

In a STUPID move, Juvy has him set for a top rope rana and instead just backflips off the top. Konnan hits a dropkick immediately as he lands which Juvy freaking deserves. Damn that looked stupid. The masked dude hits a springboard spinwheel kick which is one of my favorite moves. 450 hits for two. A corkscrew splash gets two as for some reason the crowd is dead all of a sudden. Konnan hits what we would call a Musclebuster for two and then a super powerbomb from the top for the pin.

Rating: B-. This gets a much better grade if not for the sloppiness. I thought it worked quite well though for what they were trying to do. This was another example of WCW throwing some people out there and seeing what they could do. On that level I would say it definitely worked. Again though, the constant botches were hurting it. There was some good stuff though so I’d say it was good.

Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

Yeah this works. Again you can see the solid lower and midcard guys having the best matches and then the main event stuff being pure drama that was epic. With this kind of combination, there was no chance for any other company to touch WCW. The announcers imply that Benoit could be the fourth WCW guy in case Sting has jumped.

Benoit uses the Liontamer (as in the more painful looking one) before Jericho adopted it which is very weird looking. Dusty thinks there could have been 20 men in that limo with Sting, somehow managing to rival the in ring match for entertainment value. It’s so weird seeing a motivated Jericho in WCW. He goes for a springboard move but lands BACK FIRST on the apron on the way down. Freaking OW.

You can see the star in Jericho begging to be let out. Sadly it would never happen in this company. Bobby says you can hear those chops in Vietnam. What’s in that cup he’s drinking? According to Joey Styles it was vodka so there we go. Benoit is a Horseman here so he’s incredibly popular as we’re in Horsemen country, which is always odd to me since they were the top heels in that area for the most time.

This is Jericho’s PPV debut so he’s brand new as well. Let the chopping begin! Heenan is a bit tipsy already I think. The headbutt hits but it’s more like a splash, which works just fine too. That’s a perk of having a move such as that as if it’s botched like that it still looks fine. Apparently he was going 65-70 miles an hour too. I love WCW commentary at times.

And of course we get a line about the Shell Answer Man which Tony of course tries to explain, going from entertaining to ARE YOU KIDDING ME mode in seconds. Jericho goes Canadian as Heenan makes the Shell joke again. Tombstone hits Benoit but the Lionsault doesn’t. Dusty makes the comment that Jericho would be a big star in WCW.

That’s one for two I guess, but he had an eye for talent at least. He also says Benoit is the best pound for pound athlete in WCW but forget the pound for pound aspect. Benoit hits a belly to back off the top to knock Jericho the fuck out for the pin.

Rating: B. This was a very physical match that told a good story: Jericho is the rookie that has nothing at all to lose and Benoit is the hot young guy that is looking to make a statement. These two should have headlined a bunch of PPVs, but alas we got Hogan vs. Savage about a million times instead.

Both of these two wound up main eventing Wrestlemania though so I think they had what it took, despite the old guys saying otherwise. Anyway, this was a very good match, but seriously, did you expect anything else?

Cruiserweight Title: Super Calo vs. Rey Mysterio

Thankfully Tenay is here for this but his mic doesn’t work. That leaves Heenan and Dusty to make their bad jokes about nothing in particular. Calo always looked kind of fat to me for some reason. He’s listed at 200lbs but I have some issue with that. He has a backwards hat on but I think the sunglasses are painted on his mask. So he’s the Blue Meanie? Some idiot chants boring a minute into the match.

Apparently his name comes from a big rap group in Mexico. Ok then. Rey is more or less the king of the hurricanrana so that’s the majority of his offense. He does the 619 but it’s more or less a taunting thing at this point. Calo hits a slingshot powerbomb which is a cool looking move. Calo hits an overhead senton to the floor onto Rey who is down. FREAKING OW! Calo is dominating here which isn’t expected by either myself or Rey.

Someone must have slipped Heenan some coffee as he’s far more coherent all of a sudden. We hear about some Lucha de Apuestas matches which is a new one on me in WCW (meaning I’ve never heard them talked about, not that I don’t know what they are). Rey finally comes back but Calo hits a dropkick to block his springboard something. It’s been probably 90-10 Calo here as he’s dominated.

Rey hits an INSANE rana with like 4 different bounces and springboards in it. This is why Rey used to be my favorite wrestler. Rey gets a springboard sunset flip for two as Bobby keeps trying to talk about the NWO and is actually ignored for the most part. That’s a different one also. Finally Rey hits a double springboard into the West Coast Pop for the pin.

Rating: B-. This was good but it went on WAY too long. This gets three minutes cut out and it’s way better. Calo was never really much of anything, but he’s another example of a guy that got a chance in WCW and since he was brand new to the American audience, he was considered cool because he wasn’t like what was being seen.

That’s the brilliance of Bischoff in the day: throw so much at them so fast they can’t tell if it’s good or bad. The ending was well thought out though so it worked. There’s your difference between Bischoff and Russo.

Tag Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Nasty Boys

Heat have the belts here. So we go from Benoit, Jericho and Mysterio to this. Ok then. We get clubbering as Dusty LOSES it. That was kind of funny. I had to do this match about 5 times in 94 and 95 so I really don’t care that much about it here. Double teaming allows the champions to take over. Knobbs and Stevie run the ropes and it’s painful to see. Knobbs is so out of shape it’s pathetic.

And let’s get a chinlock now because this match is so riveting otherwise. Also throughout the match Sherri and Colonel Parker keep interfering to get on my nerves. I’m just killing time here until we get to the next two matches as they’re the “meat” of the show with War Games and Savage vs. Giant. Why was Savage not thrown into War Games? They didn’t have a fourth guy and you have Randy Savage in a nothing match with the Giant?

Does this make anything resembling sense? Sags hits a piledriver which has Bobby freaking out over them using a move. That wasn’t a piledriver but whatever. Parker trips Sags up to switch momentum again and I just do not care at all. END THE FUCKING MATCH ALREADY!

It’s been ten minutes so far and it’s all brawling and stuff like that with a ton of interfering from the managers. END THIS. Knobbs gets like the 8th hot tag of the match and I’m barely paying attention at this point since the belts aren’t changing hands. FINALLY a cane shot from Booker to Knobbs ends this idiocy. Move on PLEASE.

Rating: F. Oh just no. Who thought that these guys deserved 15 minutes? This was just boring as all hell and NO ONE cared at all. This was terrible and deserves to fail.

Savage guarantees he’ll beat the Giant and then beat Hogan at Halloween Havoc.

Randy Savage vs. The Giant

Savage is wearing a Nitro T-shit. Great way to make your #1 contender look like a jobber. Giant still has the Dungeon of Doom music here. Tony and Bobby are just funny as far as the anti-NWO stuff goes. Savage wisely doesn’t let him get in the ring to start us off. And then he goes to the floor to fight. WHY DOES EVERYONE TRY TO SLAM BIG MEN? It’s A BODY SLAM.

It’s hardly some big epic move that’s going to kill someone or explode their kidneys. It’s a damn body slam. Giant says he’s going to make Savage disappear. Is he a magician all of a sudden? Giant hooks a back breaker hold as all of the fans are looking at something more interesting. Even the announcers point it out. And now it’s a Boston Crab. Yes, a guy the size of the Giant is using Rick Martel’s hold.

Can we just get to War Games now? Savage actually slams him in the only power display I’ve ever seen from him. He hits the elbow and doesn’t cover to allow the storyline to go forward. And here’s Hogan who he chases after. Yep, Hall distracts him and Nash pops him with a chair. Beatdown commences, Nick Patrick sees nothing of course, and Giant gets a simple pin.

Rating: D. This was short and bad. At least it wasn’t that long and now we’re down to War Games so I can’t complain. This somehow was supposed to build up to Halloween Havoc but whatever. At least this wasn’t that long and now I’m repeating myself out of boredom. Considering how awesome the first hour and 45 minutes or so went, the last half hour has been AWFUL.

The cage is lowered. This is always cool.

Flair, Anderson and Luger say their usual stuff. Flair is asked who will be the fourth man but doesn’t say a name. He almost implies there won’t be a fourth. Anderson starts talking a bit, but here’s Sting. He says it wasn’t him and Luger says he looked him right in the eyes and knows it was him. Maybe he should have gotten his eyes checked. Sting says he’ll see Luger in awhile. Other than a promo the next night on Nitro, he wouldn’t speak again until January 98.

Before we get going, here are the rules. It’s 4 on 4 (although we don’t know who the fourth guy is for either team as Sting has apparently been thrown out). They both send in a man in each to begin for five minutes. At four minutes in there’s a coin toss (the heels literally never lost) to determine control.

After the first five minute period ends, the team that won the toss sends in its second man and they have a 2-1 advantage. This lasts two minutes and after that two minutes the losing team sends in its second man making it 2-2. They alternate for two minute periods until all 8 are in and then it’s first submission (no pins) wins.

War Games: Team NWO vs. Team WCW

So far it’s Hogan, Hall and Nash vs. Flair, Anderson and Luger. You know there’s a huge angle coming when Hogan, Hall, Nash and Giant vs. Flair, Anderson, Luger and Sting isn’t the best they can do. That’s a SICK sounding War Games when you think about it, but that’s not the best they can do. Scott Hall is first for the NWO and he has DiBiase with him. Anderson starts for WCW. That promo from Sting was the first time he had been seen in 6 days.

To be fair, maybe he couldn’t get a flight back from Japan. Maybe I should stop thinking about it so much. We keep hearing about how awesome the Horsemen are in this match. Did they ever win one? Hall beats him up to start. Well that went well. Dusty cheering for Anderson is just wrong on so many levels. Nick Patrick is the referee. Bobby freaks out over who the fourth man is for the NWO and how unfair it is for them not to tell WCW who the fourth man is.

Tony: they don’t know our fourth man either. Arn gets the figure four for like 3 seconds which is just odd. The problem is that Arn vs. Hall really isn’t that interesting of a match. The key thing here is that it looks like an awesome structure and it really is. Patrick threatens to end the match right now much to the announcers’ chagrins. We hit two minutes left. The NWO of course wins the coin toss.

There’s the spinebuster on Hall and then a half crab which Hall taps to. It’s Nash in second and after about 9 seconds Arn goes down to a big boot. Nash hits Snake Eyes, and he was the guy that actually gave it that name when he was Vinny Vegas back in the early 90s. Luger jumps the gun and they realize there’s nothing they can do about it so there we are. He’s wearing black boots which is kind of weird looking.

He beats up both Outsiders for awhile and Arn is back up now. There’s a formula to these matches and to be fair it worked so there was no real need to ever change it. Heenan points out that everyone should just come out here now. WCW dominates as we have 15 seconds left.

Hogan is 3rd so it’s the original three vs. Luger and Anderson. Hogan goes off on Arn which is a match that happened a lot on Nitro in 96 actually. The fans want Flair as Anderson is beating Hogan up. That’s a new one. Hogan drops the leg on Anderson and we’re still waiting on Flair. There he is to an ERUPTION. It’s North Carolina. Did you expect anything else?

Flair stays in the empty ring and calls out Hogan. Dusty then cracks me up to the point where I have to stop the video. “One on one, I don’t know if Hogan can beat Flair.” WOW. I don’t think Flair has ever beaten Hogan, but all of a sudden Hogan can’t beat him. That’s just hilarious. We go split screen when for once we actually should. Flair goes low on everyone and WCW is in control again.

“Sting” is the fourth man in the NWO. This became a running joke as there would be like a million fake Stings over the years, ranging from Chris Harris to guys as tall as Nash and somehow the announcers could never tell. There’s another referee in there now too. The fans, having basic intelligence and passable vision, of course get the idea as they chant WE WANT STING.

Another way to tell is that Sting has always had a very unique striking style. Pop in some Sting tapes and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Oh and Tony offers a pearl of wisdom by saying the one man advantage has been the deciding factor. The clock runs out and it’s the real Sting. His pop is better than Flair’s so take that for what it’s worth. He beats the living crap out of the NWO on his own and stares down Luger.

He leaves, asking if that’s good enough. The NWO destroys them afterwards with Sting putting on a Scorpion and Hogan making sure he gets some credit by throwing on a horrible front facelock for the “submission.” In a scary line, Heenan says that hold could make Luger lose the use of his legs, which of course he has in real life. Luger crawls towards the back, screaming for Sting.

And now he gets beaten up even worse. The Horsemen keep fighting but it’s 4-2 at this point so it doesn’t mean much. Savage runs out and he goes straight for Hogan. Hogan runs and here’s the Giant. The beatdown is on and it’s bad for Savage. Here’s Liz to do….something. She tries to cover up Savage and gets painted with the words 4 Life on her ass. I’m sure there’s a joke there.

The fans think he sucks and he wants a mic. He talks about how they said they would be together until death do them part and he says he’ll make that happen then SPITS ON LIZ. WOW. Yeah he’s going to hell. Tony says this is the lowest WCW has ever reached. Oh you don’t want to go there dude.

This company had the Ding Dongs for crying out loud. Giant says he’s the best artist in the world. This needs to end. And now the NWO takes over the announce position in the middle of the announcers bitching about life in general. The show ended over ten minutes after the match ended.

Rating: C+. This match is about getting to the ending. The wrestling itself is just boring as hell though. However, it’s War Games, which makes it awesome by association. The match was of course second to the ending but it worked out fine for what it was. This was about setting up Sting and the biggest angle in company history and it certainly worked in that regard. It built to that point so I can’t complain.

Overall Rating: B. Other than the AWFUL tag title match, there isn’t really anything that bad on here. There are a ton of good and entertaining matches in play here and every one of them worked just fine. Also, other than the Savage match and the submission match, everything here is at least thirteen minutes long.

They let the guys go out there and work and it came off very well. This would become the system used for a LONG time in WCW: awesome midcard, terrible main stuff and while it started out awesome, ultimately it ended WCW for reasons we’ll get to later. Overall though, very good show and well worth checking out. Just fast forward the tag title stuff.

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