On This Day: September 12, 1999 – Fall Brawl 1999: Another Attempt At Turning Sting Heel

Fall Brawl 1999
Date: September 12, 1999
Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Attendance: 7,491
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

Well it’s the last Fall Brawl that I have left here and WCW is in its dying days here. Yes I know they went on for over a year after this but for all intents and purposes they were done in 2000. There’s no cage at all on this show and I don’t think anyone is going to particularly miss it anyway. Anyway other than that there isn’t much to talk about. Hogan vs. Sting for the title is the main event.  Let’s get to it.

Oh and one other thing: Bischoff was legit fired two days before this show, so let’s see what kind of differences we have here.

The opening video is about who you can trust. Not much to say other than that. Hogan says he’s a changed man and all that jazz. Oh and Luger won’t screw them over. He promises.

The announcers say they don’t know who to trust so that’s what makes this very interesting and all that jazz.

Eddie Guerrero/Rey Mysterio/Billy Kidman vs. Insane Clown Posse/Vampiro

Oh look: it’s the clowns. For some reason these guys kept getting put on major shows and told they were pro wrestlers so they pretend they are and waste a lot of time. The other team is the Filthy Animals apparently. Rey is unmasked with blonde hair here because that money from his mask sales was just not needed here. LONG stall to start because they’re freaking clowns.

Vampy doesn’t have his face painted which is a very weird look for him. They chill on the floor so we don’t have any of that wrestling stuff. White hot crowd. Ok so it’s Kidman against Shaggy 2 Dope. I hate this already. Kidman lets Shaggy get a shot in to start and Kidman is walking him through everything. A reverse Veg-O-Matic hits Shaggy and it’s off to Eddie.

Off to Rey vs. Violent Jay. He’s the bigger one and the blonde guy so it’s easy to tell them apart. Bronco Buster hits Vampiro and it’s off to Kidman. Since having Vampiro would be the best idea for his team, here’s Jay again. And yes I know it’ssupposed to just be the letter J but screw these idiots. DDT to Kidman and it’s off to Vampiro again. He hits a spinwheel kick off the top for two on Kidman.

The heels double team Kidman as Tony says his hair used to be like Vampiro’s. Vampy chops away and it’s off to Shaggy. You can tell very quickly that the clowns have very limited skill and training. They look like the Tough Enough guys going through spots. Rey’s knee is hurt and if I remember right this is legit.

Vampiro works over Rey for a bit more until it’s off to Eddie. Let the chopping begin! Vampy gets a nice spin kick to take Eddie down as it’s back to the clowns. Shaggy TOTALLY misses a top rope legdrop but gets two anyway. Eddie cleans house but Shaggy and Vampiro hit the absolute worst 3D you will ever see.

Shaggy was doing Bubba’s part and drops Eddie about two feet above the mat, more or less making it a very modified Samoan Drop by Vampiro. GET THESE GUYS OUT OF THE FREAKING RING BEFORE THEY KILL SOMEONE. Everything breaks down and it’s 3-2 due to Rey’s knee injury. The Shooting Star ends Vampiro finally.

Rating: D+. This is one of those matches where you have to praise one set of guys for the good stuff and blame the rest on the others. Point blank: the clowns don’t belong in the ring. They’re not good, they’re not interesting, they’re not wrestlers and they have zero business being out there. That being said, naturally they got time on all four major companies’ shows because someone hates me.

We recap the Cruiserweight Title match which is basically Lenny Lane as a gay guy who is champion defending against Kaz Hayashi who is the flavor of the month.

Cruiserweight Title: Lenny vs. Kaz Hayashi

In what may or may not be a great way to set this up, Kaz was facing Lodi and rolled up Lenny when he interfered to pin him and earn the title shot. Lenny and Lodi are the West Hollywood Blondes now and they’re just flat out gay characters now. Lenny does the stereotypical Rico-style stuff and it’s official that we have a comedy match. Kaz sends him to the floor and Lenny literally jumps into Lodi’s arms like he’s about to be carried over a threshold.

Kaz dives onto them and takes over in the ring. Lenny drops him down and does the whole sexy pin thing. Pretty nice gutwrench powerbomb gets two. Lenny goes to the floor and Kaz hits a huge tope con hilo to take over again. And never mind as Lodi gets a shot in to take over again and give Lenny two. Off to the chinlock to waste some time now.

Kaz gets a rana for two but walks into a bulldog for two. Belly to back shifts the momentum back to Hayashi. This is an awkward match to say the least. Kaz gets a pretty awesome slingshot bulldog for two and sets for his finisher, whatever that is. It’s something off the top apparently. Lenny reverses, only to get caught in a Ligerbomb out of the corner for two. Rana out of the corner gets two. Kaz sends the blondes into each other and gets a victory roll for two. Lodi interferes for two but the distraction is enough to let Lenny hit a Skull Crushing Finale to end it.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t horrible but it was certainly awkward for almost the entire thing. The ending was better but at the same time it was far more like a collection of spots rather than a match. That was a problem for Cruiserweights and with lower level guys like these, that’s not good. Not a terrible match or anything, but just kind of weak. Lenny would be stripped of the title by Turner Sports because they didn’t like his character, resulting in them finally saying Psicosis is champion just because we say so.

Sting comes out to the ring for a full on promo. In short he’s a lone wolf (or is it lobster) and isn’t friends with Luger. Flexy Lexy needs to stay out of the ring tonight so we’ll have him penciled in for run-in #3. Oh and this is business, not personal with Hogan. Say it with me: heel turn.

Brian Knobbs/Hugh Morrus vs. Shane Douglas/Dean Malenko

Pre-match the face team (Douglas/Malenko) do their thing, but Shane says the wrong city and state. Oh dear. Douglas/Malenko are part of the Revolution, which was supposed to be a youth uprising thing but turned into an anti-American thing like a month after this. Knobbs/Morrus are the First Family, which is Jimmy Hart’s very low level stable. This is also No DQ for no apparent reason. Big brawl to start so Dean kicks them both in the balls to take over. Shane comes back in and the Revolution cleans the ring out.

Double baseball slides take out the First Family as this is still a big brawl. The Revolution is sent into various metal objects and something goes flying that we can’t identify. Either way it half kills Shane. We get things down to normal now as Knobbs rubs his armpit in the face of Shane. Shane gets all ticked off and brings in Dean, who has little trouble taking care of Knobbs. Speaking of Knobbs, why in the world is he on PPV in 1999?

Dean works the arm and then the wrist. When you can make a wristlock look freaking sick, that’s a good sign. Off to Morrus and Shane again as this is more or less target practice for the Revolution. Knobbs and Shane go back to the floor for more brawling so back in the ring Shane is tagged in. Tony gets his first stupid line of the match in by saying they’ve kept this in the ring so far. It’s important to mention that it’s the first stupid line because we’ve been on the air about 40 minutes so far.

The Revolution clears the ring again and Shane takes over on Knobbs soon thereafter. Double teaming gets Douglas down so Knobbs gets to go on his, ahem, offense. Middle rope splash eats a foot which looks like it nearly broke Shane’s leg. Double tag with a small pop for Dean, who I think is half of the face team. Dean cleans house….and gets tripped up by Knobbs, allowing Morrus to take over and hit No Laughing Matter to end this. Clean. On PPV. Hugh Morrus pinned Dean Malenko. In 1999. And people wonder why the Radicals happened in four months.

Rating: D. The match was a mess, there seemed to be no po….oh screw it. WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY THINKING??? Dude, why in the world would this be the booking move? I mean really it’s HUGH FREAKING MORRUS and BRIAN KNOBBS going over Shane Douglas and Dean Malenko in 1999. This is so idiotic I can’t even begin to describe it. Dean, please just leave now. It’s not going to get any better, I assure you.

TV Title: Perry Saturn vs. Rick Steiner

Steiner is now a heel and all “rough” or something like that. Oh and the Steiners are all cool again. Steiner is champion and Saturn is in the Revolution. Take a guess as to what happens here. Steiner takes him down to the match rather quickly as we’re told Buff Bagwell isn’t here yet but there’s a replacement for him who will be named later.

Saturn gets his spinning legdrop for no cover. Suicide dive takes out Steiner and Saturn hammers away. No real reason for this match other than Saturn has been deemed a challenger. We touch on the death of referee Mark Curtis (Brian Hilldebrand) who passed away earlier in the week. Everyone is wearing a black armband because of it which is always cool to see.

Out to the floor and Saturn is sent into the steps. Bad DDT on the floor puts Saturn down even more. Other than a brief flourish at the beginning it’s been all Steiner because that’s what he does. I mean, it’s not like he’s going to sell for anyone. That would imply that someone young could be better than him and the people might somehow care about him even less. Perish the thought!

German sends Saturn flying. Off to a chinlock so that Rick can have a little breather. Off to a half crab as this is rather boring indeed. Saturn slaps the mat but we’re not going to call that a tap out because that’s not the planned ending. Back to the half crab which isn’t even cranked on. Basically he’s just got his leg up in the air a bit. Give me a break. Belly to belly gets no cover for Rick.

There’s another belly to belly and Saturn is down. Rick yells at a fan and Saturn is able to get a middle rope dropkick to take Steiner down. T-bone suplex gets two for the former Perry. And never mind that as Steiner takes him down with a powerslam for two. Death Valley Driver, Saturn’s finisher, gets two also. Saturn calls for the Rings of Saturn but instead goes for another DVD which is shrugged off. Steiner Bulldog is broken up but the second attempt hits so Steiner can retain. Give me another break.

Rating: D-. No one, I mean NO ONE, cared about Rick Steiner at this point. Therefore the obvious solution is to give him the TV Title for four months. He would lose it to Benoit the next night, so why in the freaking world wouldn’t you just do the title change here???? Oh that’s right: Benoit has to job to Sid because Heaven knows Sid is the guy that needs the US Title more than Benoit right? I freaking give up.

Here’s Hogan, saying he’s a good guy now and won’t stab anyone in the back. Oh and if anyone wants him, come get him. There are run-ins #1 and #2 for later I presume. The fans chant for Flair, who isn’t here I don’t think.

We recap what was supposed to be Berlyn vs. Bagwell. Berlyn is Alex Wright as a crazy ticked off German with a Mohawk and The Wall (get it?) as his bodyguard. Bagwell didn’t like him so that was your match. Then Bagwell didn’t want to lose and refused to go out to lose. Of course he did. The Berlyn character was delayed due to Columbine, so this was supposed to happen back in the spring.

Berlyn vs. ???

The replacement is Jim Duggan of all people. Berlyn jumps him in the corner and can’t put him down with a dropkick. Duggan starts a comeback after not being on defense for the most part. Clotheslines put Berlyn on the floor. Duggan massacres him for the most part. Remember that this is Berlyn’s debut. Berlyn hits a clothesline, Duggan won’t stay down. They slug it out and Duggan still won’t sell anything.

The fans want Flair and are rather patriotic at the same time. Off to a chinlock which Duggan at least sits still for, at least for a few seconds. Duggan fights up and stays on offense. Seriously, the guy won’t stay down more than like 2 seconds off any move. He does the whole nothing hurts him walk (as opposed to standing there and letting nothing hurt him) and dear goodness help me they’re trying technical stuff.

I think it would be a bit better to go out and watch a bunch of puppies get massacred. This is horrid and somehow gets even more boring. Another chinlock gets us nowhere because Duggan won’t sell anything, not even with facial expressions. Duggan hammers away even more and Wall pulls back the mats on the floor. A HORRIBLE neckbreaker finally ends this. Duggan was going to take it like a Stunner so Berlyn had to say “turn around” to end it. Horrid, horrid match.

Rating: G. As in GO AWAY DUGGAN. This was awful and the majority of that can be blamed on Duggan. If he won’t sell for Berlyn, how in the world can you expect the character to be taken seriously? Terrible match and oddly enough the second time this has happened to Wright.

Bagwell “arrives” and comes out to hug Duggan, who isn’t happy. I’m not either but I’m not getting a paycheck like he is either so there we are.

Video on how Harlem Heat is back together. They were champions again and then the Rednecks got them because that’s how WCW rolls. That of course all happened in less than a month, because WCW decided we needed NINETEEN TITLE CHANGES in 1999.

Tag Titles: Harlem Heat vs. West Texas Rednecks

The Rednecks are Barry and Kendall Windham with Hennig in their corner. They’re country singers and that’s about it. The Windhams are legit brothers. Booker vs. Kendall to start us off and Kendall bails to avoid a spin kick. Heat double teams Kendall and it’s off to Stevie. Now Stevie won’t sell anything. Naturally this is probably going to be praised, because WCW needs more guys to no sell so their other guys look bad right?

Barry comes in to hit a DDT for no cover. How he went from being as totally awesome as he was at one point to being here now is amazing. Odd to see two pairs of brothers here. Actually it isn’t but there isn’t much to talk about here. Hennig gets in a shot to make sure that Kendall can get a two count on Stevie. Stevie gets a powerslam out of nowhere to put Barry down.

Double tag brings in Kendall and Booker with the more famous one doing what he can. Down goes Hennig and Kendall does the same a second after. The double teaming begins on the floor as Booker gets caught. Off to the chinlock on Booker by Kendall as the fans chant for the Heat. That’s better than nothing I guess. Axe kick hits but it would have been a bit better if Kendall had waited until it actually hit to go down.

Spinarooni is broken up by Barry and it’s back to the floor for Booker. More double teaming continues and it’s back in to Barry. Barry gets a middle rope superplex (his old finisher) but Stevie makes the save. If this sounds really boring, I’m getting better at this emotion thing in the writing. Kendall gets a lariat mostly to the neck for two. Booker gets his sunset flip out of the corner for two.

The heels double team a lot, as you would expect from a team with an old school guy like Barry. There’s a sleeper to Barry as this is probably on the verge of ending. Back off to Kendall who hits a weak middle rope clothesline for one. Classic old school spot as the referee misses the hot tag. Stevie beats up everyone anyway and everything breaks down. Hennig hits Ray in the head with a cowbell but the referee won’t count BECAUSE HE WAS PAYING ATTENTION!!!! WOW!!!!! Booker is still legal so the missile dropkick he hits gets the tag titles back.

Rating: D+. Match was weak but this is a fine sign of what Bischoff not being around means: the ending made perfect sense for a change and was actually kind of creative. No one cared about the match though, because we had seen it just a few weeks ago on Nitro. Nothing of note at all, as you could say about most matches tonight.

Recap of Benoit vs. Sid. Sid was doing the whole imitating Goldberg’s Streak deal and Benoit challenged him. Benoit is US Champion and part of the Revolution. You figure out what’s going to happen here.

US Title: Chris Benoit vs. Sid Vicious

Oh and Revolution’s theme song is a cover of The Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson. Just to hammer in WCW’s refusal to push young guys, Benoit and Malenko were having a #1 contenders match so Sid ran in to make it a no contest. He’s 79-0 at this point, with wins coming through means such as just chokeslamming people and not pinning them, beating people up in brawls and beating people up despite losing the match by countout or something like that. Go figure.

Sid throws Benoit around a lot and then stalls. Benoit gets tossed even more and then, like a good ring general, goes for the knee of a bigger man. Makes perfect sense right? He gets a dragon screw, a dropkick to the knee, some cannonballs down onto the knee and an Indian Deathlock in the span of about a minute. After all that, Sid popped up and was completely fine. It’s going to be one of those matches.

Sid stomps away in the corner with his knee being just fine. Benoit avoids a charge and goes to the floor, wrapping the leg around the post and then putting it between the steps and post, dropkicking the steps into the leg twice. That’s an attack that would put some guys out for weeks. Ok so to be clear: SID’S LEG SHOULD BE HURT. Back into the ring and Sid is able to catch Benoit flying through the air in a cross body. Benoit counters into a German and Sid flat out will not sell the knee at all.

Samoan Drop and the knee is still perfectly fine. Oh NOW he limps a bit, after destroying Benoit. By a bit I mean he kicks the ropes a few times and it perfectly fine. There’s a Cobra Clutch into a slam by Sid. That gets two so Sid hammers away on him and it’s off to the chinlock. The fans get distracted by something as Sid FINALLY starts to limp. You know, after he threw Benoit all over the place.

Sid goes for some power move but Benoit reverses and gets his feet up in the corner. Back to the knee and there’s the Crossface. Now as I’m sure you know, there’s a simple way of communicating that you want to submit and end the match: you slap the mat multiple times. This is commonly known as tapping out. SID SLAPS THE MAT TWICE. However that doesn’t count despite the referee looking straight at him and being maybe 5 inches from Sid’s tapping hand.

Benoit is TICKED as Sid stands up while the hold is still on and drags Benoit to the ropes. Remember the hold is on and Sid is on his feet. Gee it’s a good thing his legs are in such great shape isn’t it? Benoit goes up, Swan Dive misses and Sid casually moves out of the way and then snaps off a powerbomb with his arm and knee being just fine as he wins the US Title. Benoit would get the TV Title the next night and a WWF contract four months later as a result.

Rating: F. This stands for failure, because that’s what this was. First and foremost let me make this clear: Benoit did nothing wrong here. Not a thing. His psychology was good (take the big man off his feet), his offense was good (variety of attacks), his emotion was good, everything he did made sense and worked fine.

Then on the other hand we have Sid. This is the epitome of the problem with WCW and arguably the main reason they went under: Sid could have gone out there and tap danced for the 12 minutes this match had while Benoit put on the wrestling clinic of a lifetime and Sid’s push would have continued while Benoit would have been pushed back down the card. The reason for this being that Sid has been decided to be one of the “it” guys. He’s 39 here (Benoit was 32), he will not sell the knee making Benoit more or less a pointless jobber here, and he can’t do anything special in the ring at all.

And yet he’s going to get pushed. Why is that you ask? Because someone in WCW decided he would with no reason other than Sid gets pushed. Benoit was put in the list of people that weren’t getting pushed and that was that. So in other words, there’s no point for the young guys to try hard because it’s not going to get them anywhere. Sid of course would go on to be pushed even harder, winning the world title in January while Benoit thankfully left for the WWF. This match is a lot sadder than it sounds because Benoit is trying but Sid just won’t cooperate, which makes his push all the stupider.

We recap DDP vs. Goldberg with Page as the heel, working with the original Jersey Triad. Page beat Goldberg with a chair and that’s about it.

Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page

This is more or less a midcard match because Goldberg had his time so it’s time for the REAL draws in the form of old Sting and old Hogan to run things here. So just to be clear here, Goldberg is 32 years old and has one loss against roughly 240 wins in his WCW career. He’s ridiculously popular and here he is in a midcard feud. Seriously, I want to know: how did WCW make money at one point?

The referee checks them for objects and finds a chain on Page. Page shoves the referee away and drops a roll of half dollars. Ok that was funny. Page is knocked to the floor quickly and comes back in for a feeling out process, only to get knocked all over the place for his efforts. Page is knocked to the floor again as it doesn’t seem like they know what their plan is here, which is unheard of for a Page match.

Page gets a shot in as Goldberg comes in again but can’t get the Diamond Cutter. Powerslam gets no cover for Goldberg. Page pulls out a third object which the referee didn’t find to hammer Billy Boy in the head and take over. The fans LOUDLY chant for Goldberg and pop even louder when he gets in some punches. Page drills him with the object again and the referee is cool with it I guess.

Off to the chinlock on the mat as Page cheats even more which this referee somehow still can’t see. I know the joke is that they’re blind but how can you manage to believe this isn’t being seen? Goldberg Goldbergs Up and even hits a big boot to complete the joke. Page gets a horrible jumping tornado DDT to get two and break the momentum though which is kind of surprising actually.

Another weapon shot sets up a spinning Rock Bottom for two. Here’s the rest of the Triad to cheat and that doesn’t work. Spear and Jackhammer end this like three seconds later. Oh and the last weapon shot made Goldberg legit bleed from the neck. Freaking ow man. Well at least it’s over I guess.

Rating: D. Remember when Page was one of the most awesome things in the world and more or less couldn’t be beaten? This is nothing like that. Page as a heel is awful, especially when he’s getting destroyed by someone like Goldberg. This was a weak match all around and no one bought that Page had a chance at all, which he didn’t.

We recap Sting vs. Hogan. Hogan says he’s a new man (despite being the old version of him) and then Luger says he has proof that Hogan is lying through his teeth. There was a Hummer that was trying to run Nash over a few months earlier and no one knew who was driving it (despite Sting being seen in the driver’s seat of it at one point) so Luger says it was Hogan (despite this Hummer being white and the original one being black). This would go nowhere, despite it being implied that Sid was revealed as the driver earlier in the year. It would be touched on AGAIN in April when it was implied it was Bischoff driving.

Anyway, Sting was found out cold on the floor and Luger blamed Hogan, despite Hogan swearing it wasn’t him. This is actually a lot more like the angle in 1995 that got dropped because Hogan got bored with it I guess and went back to fighting the Dungeon of Doom and the Horsemen until Hall debuted. Not that it matters or anything but Buffer takes forever to do an intro and I need something to pass the time.

WCW World Title: Sting vs. Hulk Hogan

Hogan is champion and is in red and yellow while Sting is kind of a tweener. They shake hands before the match and you can feel Sting’s heel turn coming. Here’s Bret before the match starts, wanting to wish them luck. He couldn’t do this as they come past the Gorilla Position? He actually leaves without doing anything. Thanks for wasting about two minutes there Bret.

They lock up on the ropes and the referee has to split them up. Hogan grabs a rollup for one. They actually wrestle a bit, blowing the minds of everyone. It’s slow but it’s not horrible I guess. Hogan takes him into the corner and strikes away a lot in a variety of methods. A pair of elbow drops gets two. Hogan gets a suplex which is no sold by Sting.

They hit the floor and it’s Hogan in control still. Why do I have a feeling this is Bound For Glory this year (2011)? He takes Sting down and drops more elbows, only for Sting to send him into the railing to take over. Back into the ring and Hogan hits a belly to back suplex for two. Off to a surfboard as Sting is in some trouble here. There’s an abdominal stretch to crank up the difficulty.

There’s a back rake by Hogan as this is going so slowly and no one in the building believes there’s going to be a clean ending. Ten punches in the corner set up some biting of Sting’s cranial area. Sting gets a cross body for two. A pair of Stinger Splashes hit out of nowhere but the third one misses and it’s Hulk Up time.

He hits the big boot and leg but here’s DDP to deck the referee and Diamond Cut Hogan, which only gets two. Diamond Cutter for the referee and Hogan stares DDP down but here’s Bret Hart to take out Page. Everyone but Hogan goes to the floor and here’s Sid who is sent out quickly. Luger is here with a ball bat but Hogan gets him too. Sting gets the bat and Hogan says Luger was the one. Sting drills Hogan with the bat to a huge face pop and the Scorpion gives Sting the win over the unconscious Hogan. That was supposed to be a heel turn but the standing ovation seems to make that feel like a failure.

Rating: D. They tried to wrestle and then proved why they shouldn’t be doing that. The whole thing didn’t work for the most part and the heel turn at the end was downright hilarious because no one wanted Sting as a heel. The people flat out aren’t going to boo him and it’s a waste of time to get them to try. This was another example of WCW having no idea what to do with the world title and it failing completely. This went nowhere and Sting would lose the title next month.

Overall Rating
: F. Failure on all levels here as there weren’t any good matches, the ending sucked for the most part and they managed to bury an entire group in one night. Anyway, this whole show didn’t work, much like the entirety of 1999. The company was more or less dead at this point so they were trying whatever they could to make things work, such as turning Sting heel, which wasn’t going to work at all. Anyway, horrible show, much like the rest of the year was.

 

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