Fall Brawl 1994: Bye Mick. I’m Sure You’ll Never Do Anything Important.

Fall Brawl 1994
Date: September 18, 1994
Location: Roanoke Civic Center, Roanoke, Virginia
Attendance: 6,500
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

So Hogan is world champion and he’s nowhere to be found on the card tonight and neither is Flair. This was around the time that Hogan figured out he barely had to wrestle anymore but he would get paid the same thing anyway, so that’s just what he did. Yes, the main event tonight is the Stud Stable vs. The Rhodes Family and the Nasty Boys. Let that sink in for a minute.

The NASTY BOYS are in the main event tonight. This is a great example of why people hate Hogan, right here. Hogan wins the world title and isn’t even on the 2nd PPV. That’s kind of sad. Other than that there’s not much here as this was about War Games, so let’s get to my first review of the best gimmick match of all time.  Let’s get to it.

The intro video is this beyond stupid thing that looks like it comes from a bad SNES game. The voiceover guy says two titles are on the line tonight before listing off three title matches. This isn’t going to go well is it? I’ve always loved the double ring set as it just worked so well. ANOTHER country singer named Martin Del Ray sings the national anthem.

Wikipedia has never heard of him. It’s stuff like this that makes WCW look completely stupid and like a hick company. Oh and there’s an interview with Hogan and Flair, both of which are on satellite. This gets booed out of the building. Steamboat is hurt too so he’s not wrestling tonight.

TV Title: Johnny B. Badd vs. Steve Regal

Badd is billed as the prettiest man in WCW. That tells you everything you need to know about him. This is a rematch from last time where Regal won clean, so naturally this should be a rematch. In a show that’s supposed to be about war, Badd launches confetti everywhere. This is already making my head hurt. Regal has one of those white wigs that you see in bad comedy sketches.

We’re 8 minutes into the broadcast and the bell hasn’t rung yet. There are two rings but they can only fight in one, as I guess inside the ring is considered outside the ring or something like that. Apparently this is happening because Badd hit Regal’s manager. Badd tries to chain wrestle with Regal. Guess what happens. They actually talk about American history as a reason why Regal isn’t liked.

WCW just didn’t have a clue at times and it’s relatively funny how bad they are at building characters and storylines. Regal’s manager, William, looks like a short Honky Tonk Man. Badd tries to cross body that Tony calls a high risk swan dive. REALLY??? I’ve never seen anyone that can chain wrestle like Regal. For those of you unsure of what I mean, it’s wrestling where you never break contact with the other guy.

It usually starts with a wristlock and then you move from there. We see a guy with a bullhorn that keeps yelling at Badd. He would eventually become known as Blacktop Bully, but he’s more commonly known as Smash or Repo Man. He was somehow more annoying in this gimmick than he was in the others if that’s possible. Johnny shoves his hips into Regal’s crotch to break a hold. Make your own jokes. Badd starts his comeback and of course it sucks.

They try to do the same finish from last month but it doesn’t work. A few near falls later and Badd wins with a BACKSLIDE. Of course they do this instead of on the very hot rollup where they had the crowd on their side. That’s just dumb but whatever. They say this is his first major title. This makes me wonder: what’s a minor title in WCW?

Rating: C-. And most of that is from Regal’s chain wrestling. I just never liked Johnny’s in ring stuff. It wasn’t interesting at all and was boring to boot. This wasn’t anything interesting and the ending was just freaking stupid but whatever. That’s just the way WCW did things. The match was ok but ran a bit long. Not a great opener though.

The fans want Flair, but we can’t have him here because that would make sense and since it’s Flair country he would get a big pop so instead we scrwe the fans over to protect Hogan.

We get a clip from Clash of the Champions where we see Hogan get jumped by the Masked Man, who became Beefcake, which was the main event of Starrcade, the biggest show of the year. Hogan limped to the ring and fought Flair anyway, We get clips of the match which go on WAY too long.

Flair won by count out but we don’t see that because the Fuehrer couldn’t be protected that way. Gene Okerlund says he was on G. Gordon Liddy’s talk show this weekend, and they actually try to turn this into some political thing. I am in awe of the stupidity here.

Kevin Sullivan vs. Cactus Jack

The announcer says it’s Loser Leaves WCW and then explains that the stipulation is that the loser leaves WCW. WOW. Yeah this Foley guy has no future here so he needs to move on. That’s Hogan’s idea at least. Again, another young guy with talent that’s over has no place at all in Hogan’s company, no sir. We can’t have young talent here that could show up Hogan. Give me a break.

We don’t actually go to the ring first but rather out into the crowd. This is really just a fight instead of a match which is what makes sense. Foley had recently lost his ear in a match with Vader in Germany which was never turned into a story like Foley wanted to. According to Foley in his book, WCW didn’t want to push a hot feud that the fans were into and good matches were being produced from. That just can’t happen.

Jack throws in a chair but nothing comes of it. This is all Jack selling and Sullivan trying desperately to convince a single person that he has talent. Dave, Kevin’s brother, keeps Cactus from using a chair. Kevin tries to use one also and Dave stops him.

Cactus rams into him on the apron which for some reason knocks him down long enough for a pin. Off to ECW and credibility Jack, even though you were very over in WCW and getting more and more respect every day and having good matches. We have no need to that pesky talent thing.

Rating: D+. This was all Cactus here as he made Sullivan look good, thereby proving that he was awesome. Again, let me make this clear: Mick Foley, 4 time world champion and surefire Hall of Fame wrestler, was thrown out in favor of the Taskmaster. Let that sink in for a minute and tell me Hogan isn’t hurting this company in the long run.

Gene is with the Stud Stable where he says there is no tomorrow after tonight. Yeah no tomorrow except for Halloween Havoc where all these feuds continued anyway. Funk volunteers to go in first. He’s freaking insane. For some reason Meng is out and Parker, the manager, is in. How did they rope Arn Anderson into this? Apparently this is about reaching into someone’s manhood. I’ll leave that one alone.

The announcers say this is Steamboat’s 2nd title reign, despite at SuperBrawl II that he was a four time champion. The NWA stepped in and declared that the titles were different or something, even though here they say that the first title reign was in the early 80s. Why can’t wrestling companies keep their stories straight or even close to straight? Is it really that hard?

Austin and Steamboat come out but Steamboat is hurt so he has to give up the title. They know this but list his weight and hometown anyway. Penzer says “And now ladies and gentlemen, WCW Commissioner Nick Bockwinkle as current United States Heavyweight Champion Ricky Steamboat makes his way into the ring.” He says the whole thing. Did the company just think we were that stupid or something?

They strip the title from Steamboat and Austin is the new champion. Austin is cracking me up as Steamboat makes a short speech. Austin has his voice now and a lot of his mannerisms, even throwing in insults and swearing. Yeah he’s unmarketable as a guy in black tights and cursing a lot.

Bockwinkle says there’s a title match anyway and he has to defend against the #1 contender. Penzer doesn’t know who it is, yet he knows where he’s from and his weight. GREAT one there guys.

US Title: Steve Austin vs. ???

And it’s Jim Duggan. Yes, the same Jim Duggan that hadn’t been seen in over a year. Yes, the same Jim Duggan that won what, four matches EVER? Yes, the same Jim Duggan that apparently is number one contender despite NEVER WRESTLING HERE BEFORE. This is apparently a big deal.

Why it’s a big deal is beyond me but whatever. The bell rings three separate times so I guess we had two matches but whatever. Austin tries to run because this is terrifying or something I guess. Here’s the match: Backdrop, splash, pin. It’s an 8 second match which is called 27 for no apparent reason.

Rating: H. That’s for Hogan as that’s the only reason behind this at all. So let’s see. Steamboat is gone, Cactus is gone, and Austin looks like a joke. In their places we have Kevin Sullivan, Jim Duggan and Paul Orndorff later in the night, who had one good arm mind you.

All of these men were at least in their mid thirties, while Foley was I think late 20s, Austin was early 30s and Steamboat could still wrestle better than 90% of the wrestlers in the world, and I mean that from around the time of Mania 25 so you know how good he was here.

In other words, we got rid of the most talented guys on the card and instead have old guys that were never that good in the first place. In other words, out with all the guys that could steal the show from Hogan and in with guys he’s always been better then. In other words, screw  the rest of the company, it’s all about Hogan.

Oh and pay no attention to the promo Duggan has after the match where he just HAS to talk about Hogan and the name gets booed out of the freaking building. The fans are just confused. Yeah, confused. We’ll go with that.

Duggan was sweating after that match. Oh give me a break.

Tag Titles: Pretty Wonderful vs. Stars N Stripes

We see Barry Darsow AGAIN but this time he’s being thrown out. Seriously, Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma are the tag champions and it’s 1994. Let that sink in for a bit. Bagwell shakes hands with Penzer. I kind of like that for some reason. It’s nice if nothing else. What the heck happened to this kid? He became the biggest jerk I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen my share of big jerks.

The Patriot apparently changed houses between this and Halloween Havoc as he’s billed as from DC here and South Carolina next time. Roma and Orndorff are reminding me of Billy and Chuck. They actually call the previous sham a match. I’ve heard it all now. Other than Admin KB, but I think that could come this year. Stars N Stripes beat the champions in a non title match to set this up. They make fun of the WWF and say these are wrestlers and not bodybuilders.

Keep in mind that Bagwell would become Buff Bagwell in a few years and Orndorff was Mr. Wonderful for his muscles. And yeah you guessed it, the match sucks. Nothing at all of note goes on here as it’s just four guys with no heat having a tag team match. Thankfully it’s shorter than their rematch next month.

Yes, Orndorff and Roma got to fight on PPV again, but as challengers where they won the belts again. Anyway, this is just boring so far. Orndorff dumps a cooler with soda and ice onto Bagwell for no apparent reason and miscommunication between the faces ends this.

Rating: D+. Now remember, Regal and Austin lost their titles tonight, but Roma and Orndorff keep theirs. Let that sink in a bit. To further the pure stupidity of this company, these teams fought again SIX DAYS LATER and the faces won the belts, which they held until October, only to lose them back to Paul and Paul, before Stars N Stripes won them AGAIN, before losing them to Harlem Heat for their first reign. Did Orndorff save Hogan from drowning in cocaine or something once?

We go to the face team for the main event and Gene says they should go golfing. What do I even say to that? I see why they never let Sags talk. Dustin Rhodes says that Arn Anderson and Funk will never amount to anything. WOW. Ok, there’s trying to get heat and there’s stupidity. We get reference to Dusty’s other son named Cody. Yes it’s that Cody Rhodes. Apparently Dusty is friends with Woody Harrelson. That came from nowhere.

We recap the triangle match which was Sting vs. Vader vs. Boss Man (Guardian Angel). They point out that Sting and Boss Man have no history at all but they’re in here because neither likes Vader. This is for the #1 contendership.

Sting vs. Vader vs. Guardian Angel

Now this isn’t your traditional match as WCW had to find a way to suck the life out of this one too. Their solution here: you have two in the ring at once and the other stays on the apron until he’s tagged in and it’s elimination rules. At Starrcade 95 they managed to make it even DUMBER by taking out the elimination rules, meaning there was ZERO incentive to tag at all. Seriously, how hard is it to mess up a freaking triple threat?

It’s three guys fighting at once. Elimination doesn’t have to be there but whatever. This is just stupid though. Sting gets a freaking ROAR but remember, even though Hogan was booed out of the building, he’s still far more popular. Whoa, whoa, WHOA. Wait, it’s not even tagging?

Ok, this is how it actually works: Each has a coin and they all flip, odd man out gets a bye. So we have Guardian Angel vs. Vader and the winner gets Sting. HOLY FREAKING GOODNESS THEY MANAGED TO SCREW THIS UP EVEN WORSE!!! How did they screw this up even worse??? Ok then, in that case.

Vader vs. Guardian Angel

I simply can’t understand this. WOW. Ok, this is what they actually say the rules are. This is 15 minutes but if that runs out, we have 5 minutes of overtime. If that passes, THE FIRST MAN KNOCKED DOWN LOSES. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? I am sitting here in awe at this. They have screwed this match up so much I’m amazed. First man down loses??? SERIOUSLY???

Were they so scared to just do something new that could be entertaining and therefore show up Hogan they sat around and came up with the most convoluted plan they could? We saw these two fight this month, the month before and the month after this, because we figure if you see it enough you’ll hate both guys and you’ll think Hogan is better because he doesn’t wrestle as often so you won’t hate him as much.

Why does this sequence seem so familiar? Probably because they’ve done it before. As usual it’s slow and lumbering and not that good but whatever. Since there is zero chance of Boss Man winning, we get Sting vs. Vader in a bit. The slam hits and it gets an ok pop. It would have been better if they hadn’t done it a few weeks ago. And there goes the referee, just in time for the Boss Man Slam. A Vader Bomb hits and that gets the three after Race interferes.

Rating: D+. The rules of this blow my mind still, but this was boring. It was the same thing they would do on two other PPVs but they did it better there. However, it does set this up.

Sting vs. Vader

They simply can’t mess this up can they? The thirty second rest period is of course about two minutes long. Sting actually comes out again instead of sitting at ringside. Oh come the heck on. Vader puts his mask back on for no apparent reason. I like Sting’s paint job as it looks different for some reason. I think it’s the color. They do their standard stuff as Vader beats on Sting but Sting hits a few shots to come back before being beaten down again.

The crowd of course buys every freaking bit of it though. This of course takes twelve minutes, but it’s still entertaining. These two are just fun to watch. Vader Sault misses and we begin the time countdown. Oh no way you have got to be kidding me. They act like this match hasn’t happened before. We switch rings for no apparent reason. Sting hits a nice splash from the top for two. We hit two minutes and I keep waiting on the ending to be set up as they can’t mess this up somehow.

Sting catches Vader in a nice powerslam off the top. Naturally the fans are freaking out over it so we have to screw it up. Race pulls the referee out to stop a pin and Sting hooks the Scorpion almost as the time goes out. We stop the match to announce that we’re going to keep going, meaning THERE IS NO POINT TO FREAKING OVERTIME. Tony says it’s humane to give them a rest.

I’m in awe of the awfulness of this. Vader dominates and WE GET ANOTHER COUNTDOWN! Unbelievably, we get to the time limit with Vader hitting the powerbomb and getting to two with the bell going off. To my complete and utter amazement, they actually do first knockdown wins. Somehow this has become a sumo match. Vader just destroys Sting but he of course comes back.

For ZERO reason, Boss Man comes back and gets Race as Vader goes down. The Masked Man comes out to hit Sting as Vader gets up. So in other words, a shot to the shoulder puts Sting down but about 12 shots to the freaking head didn’t. The announcement goes as follows: “The referee has raised Vader’s hand, meaning he is the winner.” Is this like Play School wrestling?

Rating: -F-. This has gone below F- and past all the negative grades to get here. The wrestling was fine, but the booking is without a doubt the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in wrestling. Ok, think about this. We have three people. They call it a triangle match, but instead of a three way dance which ECW had already done so it’s not like it was unheard of, they have two matches, the first of which has no importance.

Also, if you’re going to book the ending that way, which is fine I guess, why not just DO A NORMAL MATCH??? I mean seriously, 15 minutes then OVERTIME then first to go down loses? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKING MINDS??? YOU HAVE VADER VS. STING AND YOU MANAGED TO SCREW IT UP. HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOU DO THAT??? I am completely in awe of this and amazed that a wrestling company could mess something up so badly.

As for the wrestling itself and booking aside, call that a B+ as like I said, it’s Sting and Vader for over twenty minutes. That’s like a recipe for making gold. Oh and Vader didn’t get his shot for about 8 months.

To further the complete and utter stupidity, we have the “showdown” with Flair and Hogan. We get a “live” shot of them in Venice Beach and Las Vegas where Flair has the big gold belt and Hogan is in a gym. They actually hold phones while doing this.

This goes on over ten minutes as I continue to be in awe that someone made money off of this. I mean just freaking WOW. The fans boo the heck out of Hogan and cheer Flair to no end, but that didn’t actually happen because no one could boo Hogan remember?

Bockwinkle comes out and makes a match, career vs. career and title at Halloween Havoc. The fans are bored out of their freaking minds here. Now all of this is fine with Gene who is doing the interview. Bockwinkle announces that it’s a cage match. That isn’t that astounding is it?

Last time it was a regular match, now there’s a gimmick. Gene’s word for word response: “What are you smoking man???” He actually said that. We’ll ignore the idiocy of having a cage match end tonight’s PPV and then next month’s also for the sake of time and my sanity.

And now we have to do the freaking main event which Michael Buffer has to make sound interesting. Let’s do it.

We see the clip from Saturday Night where Parker, a manager, is told that he’s in the match and Meng, who was a completely unstoppable monster, is out. It’s rather funny actually as Parker is funnier than I remember.

We see the clip of Anderson turning on Dustin to the shock of no one and then Dusty saying he wants to be Dustin’s partner. You know, AFTER his son got his head kicked in. After Dusty asks for a hug and a kiss, the Stud Stable and Meng run in to break it up.

Dusty pauses and goes to the floor to get a wooden chair which he breaks over Meng’s head which gets no response. It was FAR better in I think 86 when he did it to Big Bubba and Bubba just adjusted his tie. Now we see the Nasties being recruited to the main event, which I’m sure Hogan had nothing to do with at all.

War Games: Stud Stable vs. Team Rhodes

Stud Stable: Robert Parker, Bunkhouse Buck, Terry Funk, Arn Anderson
Team Rhodes: Dustin Rhodes, Dusty Rhodes, Nasty Boys

So yeah, Dusty Rhodes is in the main event as are the Nasty Boys and Bunkhouse Buck and a manager. We can’t have Sting or Vader or someone interesting in there. Arn Anderson is the biggest star at the current time in there. For those of you that haven’t ever seen one of these, here are the rules. We start with one guy from each team and they fight for five minutes.

Keep in mind that it’s two rings and one cage over the whole thing mind you. After the five minutes are up, we have a coin toss which the heels literally never lost. Whoever wins (the heels) send in their second man and that team has a 2-1 advantage for two minutes. After the two minutes are up, the team that lost the toss sends in its second man to make it 2-2 for two minutes.

After that two minutes, it goes to 3-2 and alternates back and forth for two minutes each until everyone is in. Then and only then can you win the match and only by submission. In other words, you’re guaranteed seventeen minutes passing by before the match can actually end. This gimmick is by far and away my all time favorite and it really is a huge deal. Thankfully Dusty has a shirt on.

When the Nasty Boys name graphic comes up we see Dustin Rhodes. Nice one guys. Oh and Dusty is team captain despite not wrestling in years. We start with Dustin and Arn, who are the only two of reasonable age with talent so that’s the best choice I guess. They actually have a cameraman in the cage. I like that. Arn does the same spot he always does of having his head put between the rings.

They start off fairly generic as most of these matches did. Dustin gets a nice jump over both sets of ropes from one ring to another. Nice spot. You can see that in reality the heels lost the coin toss as they call tails and after the referee loses the quarter that it comes up tails but the heels win. Bunkhouse Buck comes in to make it 2-1.

Good night this is boring so far. And since Dusty wouldn’t book himself anything but last to save his fat life the savior is a Nasty Boy. That just doesn’t blow my skirt up. The heels put on a double Boston Crab because that sells PPVs blast it. Jerry Sags ties it up. I can’t believe this is actually main eventing a PPV. The crowd is hot which stuns me. Oh looks it’s a sleeper.

Given the four guys left it’s pretty simple who goes in next for each team. Funk tries to throw a chair in but forgets there’s a roof. Funk is in and it’s 3-2. He hits people with his boot that he removed. Funk falls down through the rings and hits the floor, which means he could just crawl out under the ring but whatever. Of course Knobbs is next to tie us up. Brian Knobbs is making the save. How in the world does this make sense?

Oh Dusty has a shirt that says Nasty Dream. That has to be a porn chick’s name. If not it’s perfect. Parker is the only entertaining thing here and I usually can’t stand him. I wonder what they would do to him if he didn’t go in. There are no DQs remember. He finally gets in and hurts his hand throwing a punch. Dustin has a belt from somewhere. Everyone is just waiting around for Dusty to get in and take all the glory.

It was so painfully obvious that he would be the one getting the win because his name is Dusty Rhodes and he could rival Hogan as far as ego went. Of course he can fight off all three heel wrestlers with no issue. Heenan calls him a Brahma Bull which is amusing to me.

About 40 seconds after he gets in he puts a figure four that completely sucks on Parker and the Nastys drop about 30 elbows on him for the submission. How Dustin is able to fight off all three guys isn’t answered but whatever. DUSTY REIGNS! That ends the show.

Rating: D+. They managed to screw up War Games. That’s just freaking impressive. Seriously, look at these people and realize that it’s 1994. That sums up the whole issue with this. If it were 1987 this would have been fine but get with the times people. Dusty and the Nastys? REALLY? Anyone that wants to try to convince me that this wasn’t Hogan’s doing, let me know.

Overall Rating: D. Just one thing: what were they thinking? The answer: Hogan. I mean really, there is no way that this show was considered the best they could do. Dusty and the Nastys in the main event, Austin getting squashed, Sullivan goes over, and Pretty Wonderful keeps the tag belts.

This is just freaking stupid, but hey, we have Flair losing again next month and a masked man running around, so everything’s copacetic right? It has to be. Hogan is here and will save us from any and all evil. Avoid this one for your own sanity.

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  1. Vintage Nick says:

    “Dust has a shirt that says Nasty Dream. That has to be a porn chick’s name.”

    You did it KB. You killed me.

  2. Someone says:

    To answer your question about the into being from a SNES game, you are correct. If I remember it correctly is was WCW SUPERBRAWL and it sucked. Thankfully when I convinced my parents to buy it, it was already in the previously played games at the video store.

  3. M.R. says:

    Was Hogan just an insecure egomaniac or just out of touch with what was marketable?

    Heyo Reply:

    From what I’ve read he was willing to do to people like Vader, Flair, Sting, Goldberg and Billy Kidman….its the former.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Both. For sure insecure but also completely not getting that times were changing.

  4. MWeyer says:

    I’ve been dying for you review this and you did not disappoint. I’ve known die-hard WCW fanatics who say this is the night the spirit of the company died seven years early and hard not to see it as they transform into exactly the sort of cartoon they’d always been the opposite of. Even 20 years later, impressive to see a major PPV so bad and amazes you how poorly WCW fumbled things.

  5. Heyo says:

    The Hogan hate is strong in this review. And I only got to the Foley match before typing this.

    ….I would ask if WCW had gone seriously downhill after Hogan arrived, but that’s too easy. The good question is HOW far downhill Hogan took the company.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Well, they were on fire five years earlier and gone five years later.

    And no, it’s not all about Hogan, but he had a lot to do with it going down.

  6. MWeyer says:

    When you look at the history of WCW, the question is not how this company went under, it’s how they managed to last as long as they did.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    At times it really is. That gives me a Thought of the Day.

    Heyo Reply:

    I think you should do it. This is a topic that should get explored at least once.