WCW Fall Brawl 1998 Review

WCW Fall Brawl 1998 Review
Date: September 13, 1998
Attendance: 11,528
Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum

The Ultimate Warrior is back. Oh wait, it’s just ‘The Warrior’ now and with his One Warrior nation, he is making his first PPV appearance in god knows who cares. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, it’s basically the Sting vs Hogan of 1997 except shorter, more talk and a whole lot less interesting.

We have also had one of the bigger turns of the 20th century with STEVIE FUCKING RAY joining the nWo in what can only be described as a shocking swerve that had us all surprised. He’ll be on team nWo Black and White in which we are sure to see some fantastic wrestling techniques and holds. That leaves us with a grand total of zero proper tag teams in this fine promotion with the Steiner’s also having their own family rivalry showcased on national television. There has also been signs of the Four Horsemen making a return to the big time with Arn Anderson coming to the rescue of Dean Malenko and McMichael in what was admittedly a great segment. Definitely check it out.

Tony “OH MY GOD WE’RE OUT OF TIME SEE YOU ON THUNDER” Schiavone, Bobby “Arewwwwwww!” Heenan and Iron Mike are our regular three on the commentary table. And we have new rules to the Wargames match yadda yadda yadda and the starting competitors will be Bret Hart of the black and white against DDP of WCW.

And before we get under way, Jericho is out and announces that tonight it will be Jericho vs Goldberg in a title vs title match (Jericho is now the TV Champion) FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER! Coooooolll!

The Dancing Fools (Disco Inferno and Alex Wright) vs The British Bulldog vs Jim Neidhart

My first reaction was ‘YES, DISCO!’ but then was quickly followed with a ‘SIGH, British Bulldog!’. He is looking terribly out of shape Davey Boy.

Bulldog and Alex Wright start by trading blows in the corner which is followed with Wright applying a nice bulldog on the bulldog. It’s now the Anvil and Disco in as a drop toe hold and numerous stomps has Disco well on top as he tags his fellow fool in. A nice couple of exchanges between Alex and the Bulldog but it’s time for my boy Disco to take things away with his trademark atomic drop. DELICIOUS! Gets a little over confident Inferno and is thrown to the outside where, astonishingly, Neidhart does something.

Lots of slow and boring exchanges before Disco finally gets the hot tag to Alex Wright and he is away with a very long missile dropkick from the top on Neidhart. Begins laying into the Bulldog but the Anvil is up and halts the move momentarily, before a double team clothesline from the Fools has them on top. Alex Wright ends up on the floor for some reason (won’t lie, I got distracted) and the Bulldog plants him with the Running Stampede for the 1-2-3. (11:03)

Rating: * - Talk about a crowd killer. Bulldog was in absolutely horrible shape but looked a million dollars against that tub of lard Jim Neidhart and I don’t see why WCW gave these Dancing Fools more of a push. I suspect if all things keep going against them, a feud between the two won’t be far away. This was just boring, slow and shouldn’t even be on Saturday Nights, let alone a major PPV.

Mene Gene is with Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell in the back who has a doctor’s certificate stating Scott is not fit to wrestle this evening. JJ Dillon is out and lets them know this match will be taking place tonight or a suspension will be issued.

TV Title: Chris Jericho (c) vs Goldberg

Jericho hilariously makes his walk to the ring exactly like Goldberg with his own security (Ralphus and another one of his Jerichoholics), walking through the wrong set of doors and not being able to find the ring. HAHA! Then positions him for the typical Goldberg pyro but only gets a tiny spark. THAT IS AWESOME!

It gets better....

It is in fact not Goldberg, but a midget impersonator who copies the mannerisms of DA MAN! HAHAHA! This is fantastic. I'm not sure this will even be a match.

Indeed it is. We are away and Jericho suplexes mini Goldberg and uses his trademark, one legged pin but is shocked at only receiving a two count. Both men up and WE HAVE A SPEAR FROM MINi GOLDBERG! HAHA! There was a tiny pop for that spear. Jericho up straight away and big boots the midget before applying the Liontamer immediately for the submission win. (1:15)

Rating: N/A – This was hilarious. Jericho is no doubt the funniest man in WCW and without a match tonight, there was totally nothing wrong with this. I’d much rather this than another Hulk Hogan promo.

Norman Smiley vs Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller

Special Feature match? There is nothing special about this.

The Cat gets on the mic and gives Smiley 5 seconds to get out of the ring but obviously, Smiley attacks on 5 and things are underway. A standing sidekick by The Cat on the outside has him firmly on top before taking things back into the squared circle. Pulls out some pretty poor kicks and stiff shots before Smiley performs a Russian leg sweep followed by the DYNAMIC LEG DROP OF DEATH. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm is met with a two-count and this doesn’t last too much longer. Goes up top and goes for his Feliner top rope kick but totally misses it, yet Smiley still sells. Decides to lock this one up with another spinning kick for the 1-2-3 (5:30). Cat gets on the mic and says he’s the greatest. Yes, because that performance showed us so much.

Rating: ¾ – This was fucking terrible. Not quite sure what this company is trying to gain by bringing in a four time karate champion into what I thought was a wrestling promotion. This was slow, boring and had zero impact on anyone or anything. Another match not even worthy for WCW Saturday Night programming.

Scott Steiner vs Rick Steiner

Scotty delays the proceedings by catting it up before finally trading some blows with his older brother before nailing him with a massive clothesline. I liked it! Scott quickly retreats to the outside but is hunted down and thrown into the steel guard railing.

Back in the ring and Rick is all over this until copping back to back crotch shots and we’re back to the outside for some more fun. Uses the steel steps a couple of times before throwing his brother back into the ring to continue proceedings. Goes for a double underhook suplex but Rick powers out and lays him down with a ripping DDT to get the crowd up. Rick goes up top for his Steiner Bulldog but Buff is on the apron and is met on the neck with Rick’s open hand. The two continue brawling but Bagwell’s neck is in some supposed strife and this one is thrown out. (5:01) I'm not sure if this is a work or not, Rick is screaming ‘you better not be lying to me’ which makes me believe it’s not serious. Rick follows them to the back and to the ambulance. ‘I’ll call his mum, I’ll call his mum’. As Rick turns his back, Buff and Steiner jump him before being separated by security.

Rating: * - Whoever booked that garbage deserves to be walloped over the head with a large stick. That is one of the poorest things I have seen on a wrestling program and was an absolute slap in the face to anyone who has ever experienced a neck injury. Using real life seriousness like that to further an angle is just poor taste and totally unacceptable in my opinion. And all the time it took to complete this fake stretcher job made it totally unnecessary and pure crazy.

Cruiserweight Title: Silver King vs Juventud Guerrera (c)

Well Silver King is granted a title shot out of nowhere but at least some high flying should be on the agenda. Silver King can go in the ring in my opinion.

Some agile stuff from the stocky Silver King, following it up with a standing dropkick and numerous other quick paced moves but Juvi fires right back with a rebound head scissor taking Silver King to the outside. King makes his way back into the ring but Guerrera is far too quick and springboards from the apron with another head scissor take down. Silver King now comes back though with some creative manoeuvres, followed by a tiltawhirl backbreaker and then a flying cross body block. Heenan: You will never see Pete Sampras do that. What the?

Some sweet exchanges from the Silver King before Juvi bounces back and heads up top, only to be floored soon after. King runs at him and tries a Stinger splash in the corner but Guerrera is quick to move and performs a divine inverted top rope frankensteiner for a very close near fall! A snap suplex from the 2nd king and goes for a double springboard moonsault but eats the mat. Juvi Driver and a sweet landing on the 450 accounts for the stocky luchador (8:36)

Rating: **½ – Some nice stuff in this one, lots of creative moves and it never ceases to amaze how these luchadores bring out these new moves every match. I just sort of felt this needed to go a little longer with a few more near falls to make this a very good match. Guerrera is a very good pick for champion and there should be some classics in the future with him in the ring.

We get a recap of the whole Saturn and Raven feud from the previous month.

Raven’s Rules: Saturn vs Raven

If Saturn wins, then the flock is freed. If Raven wins, then Saturn must become Raven’s servant. This could be the blow off match and if so, I have alot of hope for this one. Also on a pre match observation, how good is Raven’s entrance music? Kanyon is locked up at ringside by JJ Dillon. “I’m not an animal; I'm not the Elephant Man” HAHA!

Raven begins things briskly with a number of strikes in the corner Saturn comes back quickly with some nice kicks in the corner. Goes up top and lands a massive frogsplash for the early near fall. Raven goes to the outside but Saturn isn’t fucking around, jump straight over the top and takes out both Lodi and Raven. Lodi is the first up though and wastes no time in throwing Saturn into the steel railing arm first which gives Raven the ascendancy.

Applies a sleeper hold but bang, a jaw breaker from Saturn but for some reason, Raven is the first up to go for the pinfall. If that was a 3-count, it would have to be the first time a wrestler has lost after completing an offensive move! Raven now with the trios of Russian leg sweep (why does everyone do moves in multiples of three?). The chair is now in play and it’s the typical drop toe hold onto the chair which is the cue for Horace and Scotty Riggs to bring the tables down the ramp. Kidman goes up top and instead of nailing Saturn, NAILS RAVEN! The Flock is after him and Kidman is able to drag them somewhere into the crowd. Meanwhile, Saturn catches Raven unawares and IT’S THE DEATH VALLEY DRIVER. Lodi distracts the referee momentarily and it’s enough for Raven to kick out at 2!

Both men are down but Saturn is the first up and lands many of his trademark suplexes before going for a springboard elbow drop but again it’s only 2! A couple of quick roll ups which is then followed by the Rings of Saturn out of nowhere but Lodi interrupts the hold. Saturn is quick to make his move on Lodi and kicks him off the top turnbuckle, before whipping Raven into the corner and IT’S THE FIRST REF BUMP OF THE EVENING LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

Kanyon unlocks himself from the cuffs and flatliners Saturn, wakes up the ref but once again Saturn is out at two. This is excellent. Saturn low blows Raven and heads to the apron to go up top, catches Lodi and DEATH VALLEY DRIVER, this time through the table set up on the outside. Moves back into the ring and it’s the even flow DDT for the 1-2-NO! He’s up and fights Raven into the corner, picks him up and SPICCOLI DRIVER for the third time lucky win! (14:04)

Rating: **** - WOW, this started out slow but my word things really heated up from about the 4 minute mark. I'm surprised by the lack of love with this one all over the net, easily a four star match and had me on the edge of my seat for the majority. They worked this very well, turned Kidman face without over complicating it and put on a well thought out and entertaining match. HALLELULAH! The only negative is the end of the Flock. Would have liked them go near the main event scene (I’m a massive Raven mark) but I can’t complain.

Curt Henning w/ Rick Rude vs Dean Malenko

We get a recap of the Arn Anderson involvement of their Steel Cage match from Nitro and then Arn appointing Malenko as a member of the horsemen if they were still around today. Nice touch!

Malenko doesn’t waste any time and goes straight after Henning, with plenty of ground strikes and story making through the injured Henning knee. Rick Rude makes the save and pulls Curt straight out of the ring as they begin walking their way to the back. No chance in hell Mr Henning. Malenko goes straight after him and takes out both Rude and Henning before going back to the knee in the middle of the ring.

Henning bounces back and goes for the Henning plex but is unable to pick him up with the bung knee. Malenko goes for the big fuck you and Henning plexes Curt but Rick Rude comes into the ring and get’s Mr Henning DQ’d. (7:01) Arn Anderson is out after the beatdown but is quickly met with the deadly axe handle of Rick Rude. Has the left arm laid out (An arm wrestling match that decides the fate of one Ric Flair on Nitro against Bischoff is planned) and that’ll do for tonight.

Rating: * - Slow, slow and even slower. I really don’t understand booking these two in a steel cage match on the previous Nitro and then book them in a singles match with no stipulation at the PPV. It was never going to work and instead of this whole are wrestling crap, should have had Flair just return tonight to make the save in his hometown.

Scott Hall vs The Big Bald Fuck Konnan

I think this was the point where WCW had completely lost the plot. Hall and his real life drinking was a major problem at this time (well, all the time) and they decided to move this into a story line. Honestly, someone has a drug problem and you make them snort lines in the ring? Sounds smart doesn’t it by then making Scott Hall work drunk.

So Hall is in the wrong ring and can’t even get up on the second rope to salute the crowd (not sure if kayfabe or not). Survey time and the crowds firmly behind the Red and Black of the Wolfpac.

They stall for quite a while, throwing barbs at one another, as this one moves along veryyyyyyyy slowly. Stall, attack, stall, attack and loop this shit continuously for at least a while before we get our first proper move, a rolling clothesline. Konnan then proceeds to kick Hall in between the rings in something we ‘have never seen before’. I beg to differ, it actually happened last year Tony.

Anyways, Hall connects with the back to belly suplex from the top rope and signals for the Outsiders Edge. Wants a drink first and Vincent supplies him with his long island ice tea. Turns around and is
Planted face first into the mat, Tequila Sunrise (Tequila, Scott Hall, how’s the irony?) and this one is all over! (12:02)

Rating: * - Kind of funny but this was just a very poor match and I didn’t want much to do with it. I can’t stand watching Hall go in the ring when he is sober so him drunk (or possibly drunk) isn’t going to make me it any more bearable. Also, Konnan is a fat piece of shit and I hate him.

War Games: Team nWo (Stevie Ray, Hollywood Hogan and Bret Hart) vs Team Wolfpac (Kevin Nash, Lex Luger and Sting) vs Team WCW (DDP, Roddy Piper and The Warrior)

The winning individual in this will gain a title shot at Halloween Havoc. This is kind of confusing as the match involves teams, but is every man for himself. WCW + Logic = Non comprehende.

So it’s the first War Games where pinfalls can decide the outcome. Seems WCW just couldn’t work out a way to finish this three team dance so went the easy way, steered away from tradition and changed the stipulations. NICE!

So its Hart and DDP going at it in the first five minute period, which really just consists of both men testing each other out and a few sharp attempts at each of their finishers. So with a minute to go, Bret wheels out his Russian leg sweep but is only able to gather a near fall. AND HERE COMES THE BIG MUMMA JUMMA OF A WRESTLER, THE MAN THEY CALL:

Stevie Ray.  So we are into the 2 minute time intervals. That went rather fast as it probably took him near on 30 seconds to run to the ring that fat piece of shit. So it’s two nWo members onto one WCW so you know exactly what’s happening. DDP hints at a comeback but is soon floored by this dynamic duo but it’s not long before the first Wolfpac member is out.

Sting is in and is met with a nice pop, added with Ray’s fists of steel. They throw a few stiff shots at one another before Sting takes him over the rope and all the way into the other ring. Absolute rubbish finishes that time period and its time for:

Roddy Piper. He starts by just laying into every man he sees and that includes DDP and as you can expect, this is turning into quite the clusterfuck. I’m already over it.

Lex Loser is in now and the crowd could not have cared less. They’re all just entering the ring now, hitting anyone they see, showing absolutely no respect to their tribal alliances and preparing for the ending.

Big Sexy makes his way down the ramp and heads straight for Black Chocolate, but hold on, we have another rule change. Hogan casually makes his way down to the ring, enters without anybody holding him back and begins laying everyone out with the Slapjack. What in the hell is going on? Sting no sells a shot to the back, then is flayed on the head and ends up on top of Luger. Referee then makes no count as they just lie on top of him for eternity. Oh dear. So it’s now just Ray and Hogan leg dropping and celebrating in the middle of the ring, before finally going for the pin. Smoke enters the ring though and its:

Warrior. Hogan lays into him right away but then smoke enters the ring again for some unknown reason. Hogan holds up his jacket but as the smoke clears, Warrior is gone and is now running down the ramp. Grrrrreeeaatttt, so I have to put together what WCW is doing in this match, while also trying to work out how they are performing these magic tricks. The brain can only take so much!

So Ray looks after Warrior while Disciple pulls Hogan out the cage and locks the door. Warrior make his way around it and destroys the cage til he gets out and now all hell has broken lose on the ramp, taking all the attention away from the more important angle, the World Heavyweight Championship.
So we cut back to the ring and a diamond cutter out of nowhere gets the win and thats it. (20:06)

Rating: No rating – This was absolute junk. I can’t help but sit back and just laugh every time WCW puts on tripe like what I just witnessed. It seemed like they wanted to keep all the attention on the Warrior and Hogan feud while destroying the prestige and honour of gaining a shot at the COMPANY’S WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP. If you weren’t Warrior, Ray or Hogan, you just laid down in the middle of the ring for the majority before getting ready for DDP’s surprise victory. Did anyone then seriously believe DDP was going to have a shot of winning the title after the match they just saw? Why not make DDP look strong, pin Hogan, pin Sting or pin Nash and make him look a million dollars. Instead he does the job on Stevie fucking Ray and no one gives a shit. How can you be surprised from that? 

PPV Rating: *
This fucking stunk like my after grog bog on a Sunday morning. This would have been a complete failure if it weren’t for the great match Raven and Saturn put on, and a little bit of credit has to go to the Cruiserweights also. Seems WCW is devoid of creating any new storylines that actually mean something and instead, resort to mocking real life injuries and problems to enhance a storyline. Poor taste WCW, poor taste. Thumbs way down!

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