Fall Brawl 1995
Date: September 17, 1995
Location: Ashville Civic Center, Ashville, North Carolina
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
So this is about two things: WarGames and Arn Anderson vs. Ric Flair. Now this is important for a few other reasons as to begin with, Nitro has debuted at this point so we have a TV show on a night other than Saturday. With that show, Luger is here now. On the preshow, Hogan was on a motorcycle the fans gave him and Giant tried to run over him with a monster truck. Sadly it missed. Let’s get to this.
Brian Pillman vs. Johnny B. Badd
This is the number one contender match for the US Title. Badd was constantly opening shows, but this match is special as you’ll soon see. Those Frisbees are really stupid though. His intro takes like 3 minutes after the bell rings, just for him to throw stuff to the fans. And then Buffer talking about both guys takes even longer. Is wrestling such a hard thing to do?
Pillman gets booed actually. That’s most odd. They feel each other out to start which is a fine way to start so there we are. They start off with some solid stuff which is always a perk. This is a pretty fast paced match so far which is a good sign. Heenan cracks me up by saying that Badd is like Sting’s cocker spaniel because Sting trained him. We have a Bobby the Brain Heenan For President.
Heenan of course bashes him, but says he would appreciate a donation. Heenan is on fire tonight. They go to the mat again which is hurting things a bit. They plug Nitro tomorrow which would be the third show in history. That’s very odd indeed. We go to a wide camera shot which makes sure not to let us see the camera side, which I would bet is about 10% full.
Tony offers some insight by saying the far leg is the leg that is furthest away. Yep I love him too. Pillman goes heel here by throwing a punch. He would soon snap and go full heel but more on that later. Badd gets a weird submission hold where his feet are under Brian’s shoulders and he’s pulling back on his arms. That would hurt quite a bit I’d think. Brian is getting booed more and more.
See what something simple like just a straight punch can do? Brian hits the floor as this is getting good. A springboard legdrop gets two for Badd. It’s kind of sad that the fans are just wandering around when there’s a solid match going on because that’s what they’re so used to from WCW. That can’t be a good sign. With Badd on the floor we have five minutes to go. The over the top rope rule continues to be changed every show as Badd suplexes him over.
And now he jumps over the top to take Brian out as they crank it up again. Johnny goes for a double axe from the top but jumps into a dropkick with four minutes to go. Brian gets a Tombstone with 3 minutes left. Even the WCW crowd is into this so how much does that tell you about this match?
And we hit an armbar with 2 minutes to go. Ok then. And now Brian does the same. That’s kind of stupid. There’s a minute left and we’re in a rest hold. Yeah that’s brilliant. Badd gets his big punch with 20 seconds left but Brian is in the ropes. A springboard clothesline gets two for Brian and we’re out of time. The fans boo the that out of the building.
There must be a winner, so we go to sudden death! It’s one fall to a finish so the sudden death term is kind of pointless but we get more of a good match so there you are. Heenan has never heard of this. Really? We go to the floor and it’s a slugfest. Badd uses the same dropkick counter on Brian that got used on him earlier. And that is what you call psychology.
We get a double count which is idiotic given the must be a winner idea. Heenan says no one has tried the one thing that could win: a pipe wrench. I love that. Pillman gets a sleeper which is smart after over 20 minutes of hard wrestling. We talk about the main event where Heenan seems to fantasize over someone turning on Hogan. A sunset flip off the top gets a LONG two for Badd. Crucifix is countered into a back slam.
This is a great match in case you can’t tell. Hurricanrana from the middle rope, which was an epic move at the time, gets just two for Badd. Tornado DDT, Pillman’s finisher, just gets two. We go BACK to the floor where Badd hits a somersault plancha over the top which he nearly misses and Pillman is out. He goes for a slingshot splash but Pillman gets the knees up for a block. We’re over 35 minutes into the broadcast and we’re still in the opener.
The overtime has been a solid match in its own right after a great opening 20 minutes. They get back in the ring and freaking FLY off the ropes about three times each before both go for cross bodies but Pillman lands on Badd’s knee so it’s almost like a backbreaker which is enough for the pin to blow the roof off the place. Well as much as that small of a crowd can do at least.
Rating: A. GREAT match. This is what two young guys can do when they’re given a ton of time and can show off. This is pretty easily Badd’s best match ever and it’s one of Pillman’s best. Somehow though, that’s not even Brian’s best PPV opener. That’s hard to believe. Find this match as it’s worth watching.
Flair talks about growing up as a wrestler with Arn and how they are so much alike. To say the blowoff for this at Halloween Havoc was great is an understatement. One thing though: Flair says the Horsemen were masters of the WarGames. Did they ever win a televised one? Flair says the problem is that he loves Arn, but one of them is going to have to explain to their son why one is better than the other. GREAT interview.
Sadly, the show is more or less downhill from here.
Cobra vs. Craig Pittman
So Cobra is more famously known as NWO Sting but here’s he’s an ex-CIA agent. And he’s a pro wrestler. Sure why not. Pittman is an ex-marine or something. And he’s not here. Apparently there’s a really stupid backstory here that isn’t important. No Pittman, but here is his private.
Ignore that he’s Prince Iaukea minus being an islander or a Prince at all. Pittman then repels from the ceiling. Yes, a guy is repelling from the ceiling to fight a fake Sting. There’s irony there somewhere. I have no clue who is face or heel here but I don’t think it matters. This is maybe a minute long with Pittman winning with a cross armbreaker. It was worse than it sounds.
Rating: F. This was just idiotic and WAY over the top to call it a no rating. Just stupid as all goodness and NO ONE cared. Waste of time and money. Oh and the arena is now 15 stories high. Sure why not.
We talk about Paul Orndorff having issues with confidence. We see him ranting to himself with no issues about having a camera there. And here’s a television psychic with a big white afro to talk to him. And Orndorff once main evented a show in Toronto in front of 60,000 people. How is this possible? This is just idiotic and Orndorff was gone soon enough anyway. The acting here is about as bad as you could imagine.
TV Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Renegade
So more or less, one of these guys was supposed to be a big deal and bombed and one was supposed to be a joke and became a big deal. You can figure out which. Page jumps Renegade to start. In a great line from Bobby: “This is a new DDP. This man has energy. This man has vision. This man is…flat out on the floor!” Dang he is cracking me up tonight. Kimberly is getting pissed off at having to do what DDP said.
She would get far hotter when she straightened her hair. Renegade just can’t do much and on top of that, no one liked him. It’s mostly DDP in control here as even though he’s very green, he’s FAR better here. They point out that this is the longest Renegade match ever. That’s just not a good sign at all. To be fair though, Rob Terry is doing the same thing today and he seems to be a success.
Renegade makes his comeback with no one caring. Hart is freaking out on him as we hear again how WCW is number one. Page gets a sweet jumping DDT for a counter though which helps things out a lot. Maxx Muscle goes after Hart so Renegade jumps at him. He grabs Renegade’s foot to allow the Diamond Cutter for the pin and DDP’s first title.
Rating: D. This was the right decision about a million times over. Renegade just was not any good at all and DDP was rapidly getting better. They had to make the change to someone. This was one instance where they saw the writing on the wall and just pulled the plug on a terrible angle.
We talk about Sherri and Colonel Parker and Tony is absolutely losing it on camera.
WCW Tag Titles: Bunkhouse Buck/Dick Slater vs. Harlem Heat
The talented tag team is challenging here. The idea here is more about the managers though as apparently they like each other. The match is going to suck though. Oh and along with this, we only have Arn/Flair and War Games. We’re an hour and five minutes into the show. That simply can’t be a good sign. I also have issues with a guy names Dirty Dick. Also, they gave THESE TWO the tag titles after like 5 months of Heat vs. Nasty Boys?
I don’t like the Nasties, but they’re light years ahead of these morons. Booker and Slater start so at least the one good wrestler in the match is starting us off. Slater is one of those good old southern boys that allegedly was really talented but never shook either the southern stigma or the lack of talent to get over. Crowd is deader than Booker’s career at this point. Again I love how two hicks like this are supposed to be trained wrestlers.
There’s something amusing about that. Yeah the idea here is that Sherri has a bump on the head and isn’t herself. Somehow this was put on national TV as a mainstream wrestling company with angles like that. Wow indeed. Apparently Dick Slater is one of the best wrestlers in the history of the sport. I can barely laugh at how stupid that is.
On the floor the managers are playing this messed up cat and mouse game that is just rather creepy. The fans prove they’re still alive with a short and incomprehensible chant. It’s weird hearing them talk about Booker as a power guy. That’s most odd indeed. Heenan seems like he wants to talk about Buck being naked. Ok then. The heels are controlling most of the match here.
You can tell the match itself is pretty awful as I’ve barely talked about it. I’m trying very hard to think of anything else to talk about so that I don’t have to actually pay attention. Fact: I used to have this tape and this match cured my insomnia over a summer. I didn’t sleep regularly for a month but this match put me to sleep in five minutes. That’s saying something. We talk about WarGames to kill some time.
This match needs to end BADLY. And trust me, since this is WCW< I’m sure that will mean both possible things. Stevie gets the I guess you could say hot tag to get the crowd to do nothing at all. And here is that finish as Parker and Sherri get into the other ring and kiss. At the same time the Nasty Boys are here and rip Slater’s boot off to smack him in the head with it to give the Heat the titles. While this is happening, Sherri and Parker are still kissing. I hate this show.
Rating: F+. This was just terrible. The ending sucked and the match was worse. Who thought that Buck and Slater were the best options? Seriously, the American Males were on the preshow. They’re not the best in the world by any stretch of the imagination but they’re better than Buck and Slater. It’s stuff like this that is freaking idiotic and gave WCW the bad name it had.
Buck is pissed at Parker and lets him know. We’ll ignore the fact that he is perfect coherent and only has a mild southern accent despite allegedly being a mindless tough guy. Parker says he feels like he’s 20 years old and is in love. Oh dear. This went more or less nowhere as they managed the Heat as co-managers for awhile until they realized Booker had real talent and gave him a push.
Halloween Havoc is coming. Oh man that show. It might be dumber than Uncensored 96 if you can believe that.
Arn Anderson is with Gene as we see a package about this feud. Basically, Flair had used Arn as a guy to do his dirty work while Flair was obsessed with Hogan. It got to the point where they lost a handicap match to Vader. That’s insane when you think about it.
Yes, this is the time where Flair became the insane man that is obsessed with Hogan that he is now. Back in reality, Arn says that this has to happen even though he loves Flair, but win lose or draw, he’s going to respect himself in the morning and Flair is going to respect him. Ok, there is no way at all this can’t be awesome.
Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson
Ok, now this is actually cool. Arn always dominated the lower card to midcard while Flair was always world champion. Why did Arn never get a shot? Something interesting to note is a Flair 3:16 sign in the crowd a full 9 months before Austin gave him famous speech. A bunch of wrestlers are here to watch this. For old school fans, this is a very odd match indeed. It’s scary how much darker Anderson is than Flair.
Heenan says Flair has been a jerk. Now that’s not something you’ll hear often. Anderson goes to the arm which is his normal thing. And let’s blame Hogan for this to make sure he’s mentioned in most of if not all of the segments. This is a very slow start but that’s all fine and good I think. This is a huge match that can do what it wants.
They get a lot of counters and technical stuff in there as the announcers ask why Arn never got a shot. Oh and they try to make it sound like WCW was the company that went worldwide first. I’ll let them have that because even they can’t believe that one. They simply can’t. Arn gets a weak sleeper as the fans don’t know who to cheer for here. It never ceases to amaze me how simple things like arm work can do so much for a match.
Ok again Tony says that Flair is Arn’s cousin. This is a common thing to be said and for the maybe 3 people that don’t know otherwise, it’s true. Flair is Anderson’s cousin by way of their aunt Clotilda. Not true but I wanted to work the name Clotilda into a review for various psychotic reasons. Flair was often billed as a cousin to the Andersons back in the old days as a way to validate them being partners. That’s where that comes from.
It really is cool to see two guys that know each other this well FINALLY have a match. Flair goes up and actually gets his shot. That’s amazing to say the least. Heenan gets on too much of a rant and says that if Flair gets the figure four on then the referee will have to stop it and if Arn DDTs Flair….well that’s another story but neither guy will give up. That got a laugh out of me.
The knee drop completely misses but is sold anyway. Arn just goes off on Flair in the corner and it’s awesome. I love how sometimes Bobby gets on a roll and Tony has to just ignore him due to how out of left field some of the stuff is. Flair takes over for awhile with his usual stuff. There’s a feeling to this match that you just don’t get that often. Flair gets stuck in the Tree of Woe and Arn chokes away.
It’s hard to tell if Arn is being evil or if he hates Flair. DDT is blocked. Arn calls a spot to Flair on a two count. Figure Four is almost on but Arn blocks the leg. Never mind it didn’t work. Flair spits at him and Arn is FIRED UP. Crowd is WAY into this.
With Arn holding his knee, Brian Pillman of all people gets up on the apron and they trade punches. Pillman kicks him in the back of the head and Flair staggers into the DDT for the pin. This would be explained in solid detail, especially at Halloween Havoc so I’ll spare you the spoilers.
Rating: A-. Just a great match that felt like a bit match. Did you really expect this match to not be awesome? It was as great as you would expect it to be as Arn got to show that he could have a great match against a guy like Flair and beat him. That’s something he never really got to do and it needed to happen. Great match.
Taskmaster gives a messed up interview about Hogan. Just wait until you hear the lineups here and you’ll see why no one really cared about this match, despite how great of a gimmick match it is.
Now for those of you that don’t know the rules, here you go. You have two teams of four men. A guy from each team is sent in and they fight for five minutes. Then there is a coin toss to determine which team gets to go in next (the heels literally never lost this).
This gives the team that won a 2-1 advantage which lasts for two minutes. After those two minutes pass, we get a member from the losing team in to make it 2-2. After two more minutes, we get another member from the team that won. They alternate every two minutes until we have all 8 in. Then it’s first submission wins.
We get a recap of the feud including clips of the segment where the faces BLOW UP A BUILDING.
The face team talks about how they all have drank Agent Orange so they can’t get hurt. Hogan calls the Dungeon of Doom the Dungeon of Goom. Is that supposed to be an insult? I’m actually not sure.
WarGames: Hulkamaniacs vs. Dungeon of Doom
Dungeon: Meng, Kamala, Shark, Zodiac
Hulkamaniacs: Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Sting, Randy Savage
Gee, thing it’s one sided enough??? Luger replaced Vader who jumped to WWF a week earlier. They say a stipulation has been added where if Team Hogan wins, he gets 5 minutes with the Taskmaster in the cage tonight. They announced that earlier but maybe the crowd didn’t know yet. Now remember, we have Hogan, Luger, Sting and Savage, a WCW All-Star team vs. Kamala, Haku, Brutus Beefcake and Earthquake. Yeah this is a main event apparently.
Ok to be fair, this is the major feud in the company in their signature match so that makes sense. I have no issue there. I just don’t think this is the best they could do. Why not Flair and Anderson with two other guys? It would at least be more interesting. Sting and Shark start us off. More or less Sting massacres him as you would expect. Shark finally gets some offense in after Sting goes for a slam like the idiot he tended to be.
Sting is one of my favorites ever, but he did some DUMB stuff at times. In a funny spot, Shark goes to the end of one ring and after a running start, JUMPS OVER THE ROPE. However he doesn’t make it all the way as he gets stuck on the two sets of ropes over the gap in the rings. What a visual.
With 30 seconds to go before another guy comes in, Sting goes for the leg. With three seconds to go the Scorpion is on. The heels win the toss (naturally) and Zodiac comes in. In a cool spot, Sting grabs the top of the cage and pulls himself up and kicks Zodiac in the head. Sting does what he can but there is too much fat in there.
Savage comes in to tie it up. Like a crazy man he tries to suplex Shark. Are we really supposed to believe Sting and Savage can’t handle these two? The cage isn’t that great so Savage’s leg is hanging out of the cage and the heels are beating on it. His partners ignore him of course so there we are. Kamala comes in as it’s 3-2. Has Kamala ever won a big match? I don’t think so.
Luger makes it 3-3. There just isn’t much to say about this match as the periods are too short to really get anything going. Also the face team is so ridiculously stacked that there’s no drama whatsoever. Luger accidentally hits Savage to attempt to give us some drama as Meng comes in to make it 4-3. Ok now why would Meng hit Luger there? Savage is using energy and hurting Luger so why stop him? The heels dominate for the rest of the period and here he is.
Hogan is the final guy in of course and he has powder. Not only does he have a far better roster of guys but he comes in and cheats. That’s Hogan for you I guess. Naturally he beats up the four guys more or less on his own when Sting, Luger and Savage combined couldn’t do it. That makes perfect sense right?
Heenan says this is like Bosnia. Even Tony stops him on that one. It’s just total domination here as you would expect. This is totally boring at this point as there is no way the heels are winning it. And Hogan gets a TERRIBLE camel clutch on Zodiac for the submission to win.
Rating: D. And that’s with an elevated rating due to it being WarGames. This was just AWFUL as it was so painfully boring. There was never any drama at all. I mean look at the rosters. Would you believe for a second that Hogan’s team was ever going to lose? Of course not and no one bought the heels as having a chance. It could have been worse I guess. Ok no it couldn’t be. One of the weakest WarGames ever.
Sullivan fights Hogan now in really just a beating rather than a match. Everyone else is gone at this point so keep that in mind. Sullivan is nearly a foot shorter than Hogan. It’s very amusing to see. And here’s the Giant to sneak up on Hogan. He jumps over the ropes as he was just awesome at this time.
He does something to Hogan’s neck which put him out for awhile before the inevitable match at Halloween Havoc. Sting, Savage and Luger run out for the save as Hogan is hurt to end the show. Heenan is freaking happy to say the least.
Overall Rating: C+. This is a show where various things give and take from it. You have two GREAT matches, a non match, a title change that had to happen, a terrible title match, and a terrible main event but FINALLY something different to end the show.
This could have been FAR worse had they not had their great stuff in there like they did. Two great matches and a horrible main event make this mostly passable I guess though. Definitely check those two out as they’re great and combine for nearly an hour of the show. Other than that, take a pass.