Wednesday 30 November 2016

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

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Why hello you Jezebels and Jackasses! Welcome to another snug-edition of the only wrestling review series that has taken a Burning Hammer and live to tell the tale: Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews with me, your charismatic and stupidly sexy host. Shall we continue with our journey through WCW? If the answer is no, then I must assume you are here by mistake or you just love to look at and make fun of small-time wrestling blogs (Shame on you, some people make a living of these things!). Anyways, I shall assume the answer is yes and boy are you in for a treat as I take a look back at WCW’s Fall Brawl of 1996. The NWO had taken over and now Team WCW had been created to battle The New World Order in a War Games Match. As I look through tonight’s card, there appears to be some interesting matches so I shall not waste anymore of your time, let’s get it on with WCW’s Fall Brawl 1996.

Opening Promo

Footage of The NWO running wild on WCW, The Giant is in the NWO and Lex Luger is doubting the allegiance of his friend Sting. Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes and Bobby Heenan welcome us to the action in their suits (Schiavone is sporting a red bowtie which looks tremendous). Heenan puts over The WarGames Match while Schiavone says it could be The NOW’s night as apparently, Sting had turned on WCW.

Diamond Dallas Page vs Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Chavo has the most 80s sounding hair metal song I have ever heard, it is so generic yet so appealing. Chavo dropkicks DDP to begin the match, DDP splats on the floor, tope con hilo by Chavo. Chavo Irish whips DDP into the guard rail, stomps are on the menu for DDP. Chavo whips DDP with a leather belt that Chavo must have grabbed from the timekeeper.

 Chavo lands a crossbody and a deep arm drag for a two count. DDP wriggles free of a hammerlock temporarily as Chavo holds on to the arm of DDP. DDP cannot break free of Chavo’s hold, DDP uses a knee to cut off Chavo. Tilt-a-whirl arm drag by Chavo, DDP is hanging in the ropes and Chavo charges in and it does not pay off as DDP avoids Chavo who crashes to the floor. Diving clothesline by DDP, DDP grabs a front chancery and tightens his grip to rough up Chavo Guerrero. DDP chokes Chavo with his boot and his knees, small package by Chavo who almost upsets DDP.

DDP spits on Chavo as Chavo tries pulling himself up, clubbing blow to the back by DDP. Back suplex slam by DDP who covers Chavo sarcastically. Chavo powers out and DDP slaps on a reverse chinlock. Chavo fires up but DDP says slow down amigo with a massive back elbow. Chavo finds an opening and trips up DDP, knee lift by Chavo. Springboard clothesline by Chavo, Chavo climbs to the top rope, missile dropkick and a two count for Chavo.

 Diving hurricanrana by Chavo for a two count, DDP catches Chavo with a massive elbow. Two count for DDP, DDP throws Chavo into the second ring. Sidewalk slam by DDP for a two count, Chavo nails a headscissors takedown. Roll-up by Chavo for two, Spiral Bomb out of an Irish whip by DDP and it’s two!

DDP motions for The Diamond Cutter, Chavo looks for a backslide but DDP stomps on Chavo’s foot and turns Chavo into The Diamond Cutter. DDP picks up the win with The Diamond Cutter. Good match, Chavo gave a gutsy performance while hanging with the bigger star DDP. DDP played the overconfident heel well, DDP underestimated Chavo before taking CHavo seriously and putting the youngster away with his veteran tactics and experience.

Winner: DDP over Chavo via Diamond Cutter!

NWO Recap “The Attack”

Mean Gene recaps the history of The New World Order thus far. Hall showed up and got in the face of Bischoff and Sting. Hall had a surprise and it was Nash, Nash bullied Bischoff and put Bischoff through a table. WCW were ready to fight Hall, Nash and their mystery partner who turned out to be none other than Mr. America himself, Hulk Hogan.

 The New World Order would attack everyone and spray paint their logo everywhere. The Four Horsemen promised to battle The NOW as Hogan won the WCW Championship and Nick Patrick joined the group as official referee. Ted Dibiase and The Giant also joined The NOW which strengthened the ranks of the organisation. However, there is a lot of focus on Sting turning his back on WCW.

(Submission Match) Scott Norton vs Ice Train W/ Teddy Long

I cannot believe this feud is continuing, at last month’s Hog Wild Ice Train was utterly squashed by Scott Norton and now they are having a rematch? Ice Train arm drags Norton to begin the match, hiptoss and clothesline by Ice Train. Huge splash by Train, powerslam by Train. Norton dodges a second splash and DDTs Train. Back suplex and a short-arm clothesline by Norton. Norton tees off on Train before Train counters with a powerslam.

 Camel clutch by Train, dodgy looking elbow drop by Train. Train clobbers Norton in the corner before Norton plants Train with a clothesline and applies a cross armbreaker. Neckbreaker by Norton, Norton is talking trash to Teddy Long and Train comes back with a scoop slam. Fujiwara armbar by Train, clothesline and a senton by Train. Norton dodges the splash, spinebuster and a Boston crab by Norton.

 Norton transitions into an armbar and then into Kensuke Sasaki’s armhold. Teddy Long gets involved and this distracts Norton and allows Train to lock in a full-nelson for the win. Awkward is the best word for this match, awkward action in the ring, awkward commentary as there was not a whole lot going on and awkward for the fans who stayed silent.

Winner: Ice Train over Scott Norton via Full-Nelson!

(Mexican Heavyweight Championship Match) Juventud Guerrera vs Konnan © W/ Jimmy Hart

Guerrera is so excited about this match that he falls over the steel steps on his way into the ring while Konnan has joined The Dungeon of Doom and developed some personality along the way. Konnan knees Guerrera and tees off on the high flyer, Guerrera eats a German suplex. Hotshot into the ropes by Konnan, Juventud decides to flip all over the ring and nail Konnan in the face with a spinning heel kick. Guerrera kicks and chops the bigger Konnan, tope suicida by Guerrera.

 Konnan is up, Konnan attempts to Irish whip Guerrera but Guerrera stops on the guard rail but Konnan catches Juvi and plants Guerrera with a powerbomb. Rolling clothesline by Konnan, snapmare and a dropkick. Cover and a two count, Konnan stretches Guerrera with a submission hold. 

Guerrera nails a springboard headscissors and a sole butt kick to Konnan. Plancha onto Konnan by Guerrera, springboard dropkick by Guerrera. Konnan cuts off Guerrera by elevating Guerrera into the second ring. Kneebar submission hold by Konnan, transition into an STF. Guerrera misses a moonsault and Konnan scores with a powerbomb.

Dropkick to the knee by Konnan, German suplex and make it two. Guerrera rolls to the floor, Guerrera manages to get back into the match as Konnan and Jimmy Hart talk strategy. Guerrera and Konnan are on the arpon, Guerrera was looking for a sunset flip powerbomb but Konna shook of Guerrera and dropkicks Guerrera. Guerrera crotches Konnan on the top turnbuckle, Guerrera was looking for a frankensteiner but Konna shoves off Guerrera again and nails a dropkick.

 Series of near-falls by both men with Konnan looking for a German suplex, Guerrera nails a springboard spinning heel kick. Cover and a two count for Guerrera, Konnan drops Guerrera with a wheelbarrow slam. Guerrera uses the ropes to survive that move from Konnan, Guerrera is back on his feet. Dropkick to Konnan and Guerrera nails a somersault leg drop to Konnan. Guerrera sets up for a 450 splash, Guerrera scores but Konnan kicks out at two. Twisting splash by Guerrera for a two count.

Konnan drills Guerrera with a spinebuster, Konnan plants Guerrera with a muscle buster. Konnan props Guerrera on the top rope, Niagra Driver by Konnan and Konnan picks up the victory. I thought the crowd were a little tough on Guerrera, they were not reacting to anything Guerrera did inside the ring. Despite this, the two have a solid match, Guerrera’s selling could have been better and there were one or two instances of miscommunication which led to the match slowing down and awkward stalling but it was still a decent match.

 Konnan’s new character is a lot more likable than his previous with the fans showing their appreciation by reacting big to a lot of the moves he performed. Also, there is no footage or conversation about the championship when the match is over, the championship is never seen on screen, I don’t know what the deal was with that but it was a little weird.

Winner: Konnan over Juventud Guerrera via Niagra Driver!

Chris Jericho vs Chris Benoit

Ah Chris Jericho and his first WCW theme, what a theme it was and this would be America’s introduction to Chris Jericho on pay per view. Benoit vs Jericho was one of the matches which I saw as a child and truly believed that these two hated one another. Benoit and Jericho start the match by slapping one another, Irish whip and hair-pull by Benoit. Back body drop by Benoit, back suplex by Benoit. Lateral press and it is a two count for Benoit.

 Spinebuster by Benoit and a Liontamer by Benoit, Benoit looks for a powerbomb but Jericho rolls through for a sunset flip. Benoit powers out but Jericho catches Benoit with a spinning heel kick. Dragon screw by Jericho but Benoit pops up, Delphin Special by Jericho gets a two count. Benoit knees Jericho in the ribs before Jericho Irish whips Benoit into the turnbuckle and nails his springboard dropkick. Springboard splash by Jericho which looks very unsafe. Jericho clutches his ribs and knees in a concerning matter.

Of course, Jericho is not going to quit but Jericho does look hurt, missile dropkick by Jericho for a two count. Powerbomb by Jericho for another two count. Tiger suplex by Jericho but Benoit grabs the ropes to break the pin attempt. Both men throw bombs with Jericho winning the battle with a spinning wheel kick. Benoit back suplexes Jericho to the floor, Benoit shoves Jericho’s head into the ringpost. Knee to the ribs by Benoit, front suplex by Benoit which hangs Jericho across the top rope. 

Back elbow by Benoit only gets a two count. Chop war with Benoit raking the eyes to keep control, abdominal stretch by The Canadian Crippler. Benoit batters Jericho’s ribs while applying the hold, Jericho counters with an arm drag. Scoop slam by Benoit who climbs to the top, Diving Headbutt by Benoit.

Benoit is not happy with a two count, Jericho is tossed to the floor. Benoit shoves Jericho back first into the ring apron. In the ring, Jericho inside cradles Benoit for a two count, Benoit stomps all over Jericho to regain control. Backslide by Jericho for another two count, Benoit regains control once more. Snapmare and knee in the back by Benoit, hard chops in the corner by Benoit. Jericho holds onto the ropes to avoid a German suplex, standing switch and Jericho nails a Northern Lights suplex for a two count. Jericho tees off on Benoit with chops. 

Jericho tombstones Benoit, Jericho misses a Lionsault but drills Benoit with a clothesline. Frankensteiner by Jericho for a two count. Jericho is crotched on the top rope by Benoit, huge back suplex by Benoit and it is all over. Good match from these two, Jericho looked good in defeat as the commentators put over Jericho as a major future player. Benoit does not know what a bad match is and could be the perfect opponent to make someone look good. Good hard-hitting match from the two Canadians.

Winner: Chris Benoit over Chris Jericho via Back Superplex!

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Super Calo

Lock up with Mysterio arm dragging Calo, another lock up with Calo using a side headlock to gain control. Calo wrenches the arm, Mysterio kips up and works the arm before Calo sends Mysterio flying with a hard Irish whip and a running powerslam. Second rope elbow drop by Calo, cover and a two count. Calo goes back to working the arm, Mysterio arm drags Calo and scores with a springboard hurricanrana while Calo powders and rethinks his life (Probably). Calo re-enters the ring and dropkicks Rey, Powerbomb by Calo gets a two count.

 Calo nails a shoulder block from the top rope, clothesline and Mysterio is the victim of a dropkick from Calo. Calo kicks and scoop slams Mysterio. Plancha by Calo who wipes out Mysterio.

Tilt-a-whirl sideslam by Calo, two count for Calo. Mysterio is tossed into ring two, Calo nails a headscissors from the top rope. Calo decides to go back to the arm of Mysterio, short-arm scissors by Calo. Dropkick by Calo and a huge clothesline. Mexican surfboard by Calo into a pin for a two count.

 Mysterio is limping on the floor, Mysterio fires back with a dropkick. High crossbody by Rey, tope con hilo by Mysterio. Mysterio looks for The West Coast Pop but Calo dropkicks Mysterio in mid-air. Calo goes back to the arm of Mysterio, Mysterio is flung into the top turnbuckle arm first. Calo hotshots Mysterio before tossing Mysterio arm first into the guard rail. Mysterio throws two forearms before nailing a frankensteiner from the apron. Baseball slide and a somersault senton by Mysterio. Springboard sunset flip by Mysterio for a two count, springboard moonsault by Mysterio for a two count. 

Calo reverses a victory roll into an electric chair drop. Calo eats another hurricanrana from Mysterio, spinning heel kick by Mysterio. Mysterio leaps from the rope of the second ring to the first ring into The West Coast Pop. Another good match with Mysterio looking strong as Mysterio is the champion. Calo did himself a lot of favours with his performance in this match, I enjoyed the psychology of Calo working the arm and the ring work was good.

Winner: Mysterio over Calo via West Coast Pop!

(WCW Tag Team Championship Match) Harlem Heat © W/ Sister Sherri/ Col Robert Parker vs The Nasty Boys

Stevie Ray and Jerry Sags are going to kick us off, big knee by Stevie Ray who pummels Jerry Sags in the corner. Stevie chokes Sags who counters with a back elbow and a clothesline. Sags goes to attack Sherri and we have a stand-off on the floor. Sags tags Knobbs who back elbows Stevie, Stevie fires back with a huge right to the face of Knobbs. Booker T is legal, kicks to the ribs of Knobbs, Knobbs battles back on Booker. Clothesline and a cover by Knobbs, two count for Knobbs. Tag to Sags, neckbreaker on Booker gets a two count. 

Quick tag to Knobbs, Knobbs boots Booker and nails another clothesline. Knobbs signals for the pit stop manoeuvre, Sherri saves Booker which allows Stevie to club Knobbs in the back. Knobbs is double teamed in the ring while the referee is with Sags. Stevie has Knobbs in a sleeper, Knobbs fights back but Stevie turns off the lights with a giant axe kick. Booker T applies his own reverse chinlock. Knobbs fights back but Booker T nails a flying forearm.

Cheap shot to Sags which allows the double team on Knobbs, tag to Booker T who drills Knobbs with a double axe handle. Booker misses a Harlem sidekick which could lead to a Knobbs tag. Hot tag to Sags, Sags pounds on Stevie and Booker with elbows, Stevie is tossed to the apron.

 Sherri is dragged into the ring, Sags rolls-up Booker for a two count. Sags delivers a piledriver on Booker, Stevia makes the save. Knobbs and Stevie brawl, Sags looks for an elbow drop, Col. Parker trips up Sags and Stevie wipes out Sags. Booker nails his Scissors Kick which lands Sags on the floor, Sherri roughs up Sags. Tag to Stevie who scores with a huge back elbow.

Stevie chokes Sags which leads to Knobbs interrupting the match, more double teaming by Harlem Heat. Sags nails a double facebuster, tag to Knobbs. Knobbs begins drilling everything that moves, back body drop on Booker and a splash by Knobbs. All four men are brawling, corner splash by Knobbs on Booker, double shoulder block to Stevie. Col. Parker distracts the referee and Sherri nails Knobbs with a cane with Booker T picking up the win for Harlem Heat. Alright match, Sherri and Parker were the most entertaining at ringside, Nasty Boys put on a decent performance which was much better than their brawl with Public Enemy.

Winners: Harlem Heat over The Nasty Boys via Shenanigans!

Randy Savage vs The Giant

The Giant joined the NWO and is in a match with none other than The Macho Man. What I said last time was Giant needed short matches in order to be protected and what do WCW do? Put The Giant in the ring with Randy Savage, I don’t know if even Savage can get a good match out of The Giant this early in his career. The Giant runs to the ring and Savage nails Giant with a right hand. 

Savage won’t let Giant in the ring, Giant grabs Savage and Savage tries a scoop slam and Giant falls on Savage. Giant presses Savage into the ring, clubbing blows by Giant. Giant chokes Savage with his boot and chops The Macho Man. Clothesline by Giant and more clubbing blows, huge backbreaker by Giant. Headbutt to the groin by The Giant. Boston crab by Giant, Savage fights and crawls his way into the ropes. Bearhug by The Giant, Savage rakes the eyes to break the hold. Savage attempted a double axe handle but Giant scores with a scoop slam. Giant misses a knee drop, Savage goes for the leg of Giant.

 Facebuster by Savage but Giant powers out. Savage scoops slams The Giant and lands his elbow drop. Hogan is by ringside, Savage follows Hogan and Nash drills Savage with a chair.

Referee Nick Patrick sees nothing as Patrick is the official NWO referee. Hogan rolls Savage into the ring and Giant picks up the win. Well, that was a basic match if I have ever seen one. Giant took one bump while Savage worked around Giant. The assault furthers the angle between Hogan and Savage but why book The Giant against Savage if you are not putting over The Giant? I don’t think WCW had a clue what to do with The Giant after Hogan beat him for the championship.

Winner: The Giant over Randy Savage via Shenanigans!

(War Games Match) Team NWO vs Team WCW

If you have not seen a War Games Match, let me explain: two rings which are covered by cages. Two men begin with a member of each team coming in at timed intervals, you can only win after all members of both teams enter the match. You can win by submission or giving up. 

The big story is who’s side would Sting be on? Well, Sting interrupts his team’s interview and says it was not Sting who attacked Luger. Luger says it was Sting and Sting says screw you Luger, I will be in the match on your team. Luger has not reply for this and we go to the ring with Michael Buffer making the introductions. Michael Buffer plays such a small part but I do love his introductions.

Scott Hall is the first entrant for Team NWO and Hall is accompanied by Ted Dibiase. Arn Anderson starts the match for his team. Anderson riles up the crowd without even touching Scott Hal, Anderson was the man. Hall hammers away on Anderson before Anderson tees off on Hall, Hall is smashed into the cage and Anderson stomps on Hall’s little fellas.

 Hall fires back with a corner clothesline, Anderson is raked across the cage and top rope. Anderson goes for the leg of Hall, strikes and submission holds are on the menu for Scott Hall who crawls away into the second ring. Hall catches Anderson with a right hand, Hall beats down Anderson with a series of right hands. Anderson goes low on Hall with a punch to the mid-section, sleeper hold by Anderson. Hall counters the sleeper with a back suplex. Spinebuster by Anderson, Anderson applies a single leg Boston Crab on Hall.

The next entrant is an NWO member and it is Big Sexy Kevin Nash. Anderson pummels Nash but Hall holds down Anderson which allows Nash to take control. Anderson is fired into the cage, snake eyes by Nash and a clothesline by Hall. Luger is the next man in the match, double clothesline on The Outsiders.

 Clothesline to Hall and Nash, Luger is getting the crowd of their asses. Flying forearms by Luger on both Outsiders, Hall is rammed into the cage before Nash saves Hall. Anderson is back on his feet, Luger and Anderson have Hall and Nash on the ropes but Nash goes low on Luger and Hall overpowers Anderson. Anderson DDTs Nash but it is now three on two.

Hogan has entered the match, Anderson and Luger are taking a beaten from The NWO. Hogan drops elbows on Anderson while Hall and Nash isolate Luger. Hogan low blows Anderson while Nash smashes Luger with back elbows, Hall right hands Luger in the corner. Hogan drops Anderson with his signature leg drop. Ric Flair is in the match, Flair wants The NWO.

 Hogan comes after Flair, Hogan rakes the eyes but Flair smashes Hogan with rights and lefts. Flair pulls out brass knuckles and wallops Hogan and low blows Hall and Nash. Flair has the Figure Four on Hogan, Luger and Anderson choke out Hall and Nash. Team NWO have their fourth member and it is Sting! Sting comes in and goes to work on Luger and Anderson.

 Sting beats down on Luger, Hogan hurls Flair into the cage. Hogan nails his leg drop on Flair, Luger is being assaulted by Nash and Hall. Anderson eats a Stinger Splash and here comes WCW’s final entrant.

It’s Sting? There are two Stings and The NWO Sting must be an imposter! The real Sting starts whooping ass left right and centre with Stinger Splashes on everyone. Sting single handily takes down all members of Team NWO. Sting turns to Luger and asks “Is that good enough for you?” Sting leaves and it is four on three. Flair fights Hall and Nash as Anderson is in trouble. Fake Sting locks in a Scorpion Deathlock on Luger with Hogan crippling Luger with a headlock. The NWO have won the match and WCW’s hero Sting has walked out on WCW.

 Savage comes out and goes for Hogan, Hogan tries to escape Savage but here comes The Giant. Giant clubs Savage and Savage eats a Chokeslam. Miss Elizabeth is coming to the aid of The Macho Man. Elizabeth is pleading for mercy for Savage. Elizabeth covers Savage with her body to protect Savage and Hogan spraypaints Elizabeth.

 Hogan grabs the microphone and lays into Savage and Elizabeth. Giant delivers another Chokeslam. Savage is spray-painted and the message has been sent.

I think The War Games match of 1996 was a disappointment because of how the match played out, Sting had just entered being the final entrant and a minute later, the match was over and Sting had abandoned his team. I do think it was one of the weaker War Games matches.

 That being said, the match did set up two angles perfectly. Sting walking out on his team was a shock but understandable as nobody believed in Sting. Sting had a gripe and would leave WCW which would lead to the creation of The Sting Crow Character that Sting used up until his retirement.

 Also, Sting was able to take down the whole NWO in this match, a little foreshadowing of things to come as Sting was still being positioned as WCW’s main star. Secondly, the heat The NOW were garnering for the attacks on Savage and going as far to spraypaint Elizabeth and traumatize her as Savage was being mauled made for tremendous television.

 It should have been saved for Nitro because on that beating alone, I would have wanted to see Savage victimize Hogan in a match. In conclusion, not a big fan of this match as I thought it was a bit on the short side but the Sting angle and the Savage beat-down make this match feel a little more special.

Winners: Team NWO over Team WCW via submission!

That was Fall Brawl 1996 and I believe a disappointing show from WCW. I did enjoy most of the matches on the card but I cannot shake the feeling of this being like an episode of Monday Night Nitro.

 You had a lot of superstars having their first pay per view matches with the company which meant these superstars were not established and did not have a real relationship with the audience which hurt the matches in terms of heat and fan reaction. You also had another basic Giant match coupled with a submission match between Scott Norton and Ice Train who I never want to see face one another again. 

The tag team match was alright and the main event came off as more about the angles than the action. I would say the pay per view was not worth your time unless you are a loser like me who wants to know the complete history of The NWO and their run in WCW.

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