Tuesday 21 February 2017

WCW Fall Brawl 1997 Review

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Good morning Humanoids and Ham & Eggers, we are jam packed to the rafters for another hard-hitting review at Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! It’s WCW time, I have been covering WCW from the inception of The NWO until the company’s end, I am slugging my way through 1997 where WCW was at its peak due to The NWO and Sting’s pursuit of Hulk Hogan. So, it’s Fall Brawl 1997, Arn Anderson had retired, The NWO mocked Anderson and The Horseman which leads to a War Games match. The Horseman against The NWO. We have War Games, the continuation of DDP vs Savage and two title matches, let’s go down south and do this!

(WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match) Chris Jericho © vs Eddie Guerrero

Jericho had won the championship back from Alex Wright and his opponent is Eddie Guerrero who seemed to find some charisma as a heel. Eddie powders as the match begins, not too happy with the fans and their jeers. Lock-up and an arm drag by Jericho, Eddie tells the referee Jericho pulled his hair. Second lock-up, side headlock by Eddie, Jericho answers with his own. Third lock-up, shoulder block by Jericho, Eddie is not happy. Eddie trips Jericho and pulls on the hair, wrenches the arm. Jericho kips-up, arm drags Eddie and Eddie is not a happy man. Lock-up and Eddie cheap shots Jericho, uppercuts and chops by Eddie.

Champion leaps over Eddie out of the corner, arm drags by Jericho. Jericho works the arm of Eddie, cross armbreaker from Jericho. Eddie tries to escape but Jericho keeps a hold on the challenger, Eddie tries for a pin. Two count for Eddie, Eddie dodges a clothesline for a La Magistral, Jericho counters for his own La Magistral and a two count. Another arm drag from Jericho, Jericho holds onto the arm. Eddie is back on his feet, Eddie knees Jericho but Jericho does not break the hold, Eddie uses the ropes to battle his way out. Jericho hotshots Guerrero onto the top rope, Lionsault by Jericho for a two count.

Back into the armbar from Jericho, hammerlock by Jericho. Eddie dives over the top and hotshots Jericho, dropkick by Jericho. Eddie stomps all over the back of Jericho, huge chop from Eddie. Hard Irish whip as Eddie works the back, variation of the bow and arrow by the challenger. Back suplex with authority by Eddie, Romero Special into a reverse chinlock from Eddie. Jericho powers out of the hold but Eddie kicks away Jericho. More elbows to the back by Eddie, slingshot hilo for a two count. Eddie applies a Gory Special, Jericho wriggles free and applies the hold to Eddie. Jericho tries an elbow, Eddie dodges but Jericho battles back with right hands.

Corner clotheslines by Jericho, Eddie dodges the third and walks the top rope before Jericho crotches Eddie and bounces Eddie on the top rope. Springboard dropkick by Jericho, Eddie and Jericho are on the apron. Jericho looks for a powerbomb but Jericho drops Eddie alley oop style as Eddie lands throat first on the top rope.  Eddie comes back at Jericho, Jericho dodges a slingshot hilo and lands a German suplex. Cover and Eddie puts his foot on the ropes, right hands by Jericho. Eddie slips out of a powerbomb for a uranage, Eddie runs into a powerslam for two. Chops and an Irish whip, Eddie reverses and Jericho tosses Eddie away, spinning heel kick for a two count. The champion is now frustrated, flapjack by Jericho and a La Magistral but Eddie wriggles free.

Eddie looks for a hurricanrana, Jericho counters for a double powerbomb and places Eddie on the top rope, Jericho has Eddie for a superplex but Eddie counters in mid-air and Eddie nails a Frog Splash and we have a new champion in Eddie Guerrero.

Fantastic opening match from Guerrero and Jericho. Guerrero looks to have so much potential as a heel character, his mannerisms, his body language and the way he treats his opponent with such disdain is fantastic. Little things like complaining of hair-pulling by Jericho and then pulling Jericho’s hair multiple times was great. Really enjoyed the work put in from both man, Jericho working the arm and Guerrero working the back setting up his Frog Splash finish. Been watching Jericho in WCW for a while now, this match has made him click for me, Jericho seemed a lot less bland than his previous outings like he had a bit of fire to him and it’s great to see that from a wrestler who has been front and centre for the cruiserweight division over the past several pay per views.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero over Chris Jericho via Frog Splash!

The Steiner Brothers W/ Ted Dibiase vs Harlem Heat W/ Jacqueline

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting change (Albert Einstein Quote). Why is that relevant to this match? Well, these two teams are inseparable, the only mainstays of the tag team division who always seem to be battling one another. The only break between their wars is to beat up Public Enemy or get beaten up by The NWO.

Scott and Stevie Ray start, lock-up and  cheap shots from Stevie Ray. Hiptoss from Scott, right hands by Scott. Stevie Ray stops Scott with a big boot, sidewalk slam by Stevie Ray. More right hands from Stevie Ray, Scott makes Stevie Ray eat a boot, belly to belly suplex from Scott. Stevie Ray powders and recovers on the floor, Booker asks for the tag and gets what he wants. Lock-up and Scott grabs a top wristlock.

Booker escapes and punches Scott, full-nelson from Booker. Scott breaks free and tries for a suplex, Booker slides out and nails his own suplex. Booker climbs to the top rope, Booker runs into a belly to belly suplex. Military press slam from Scott, Rick clotheslines Stevie Ray and The Steiners pose in the middle of the ring. Harlem Heat collect their thoughts, Scott tags Rick. Rick and Booker are in the ring, knees and a right hand by Rick. Snapmare and an elbow by Rick, tag to Scott. Snapmare and reverse chinlock by Scott, tag to Rick. Scoop slam by Rick and a huge elbow, cover and a two count for Rick Steiner. Booker catches Rick with a boot out of the corner and nails a huge spinkick. Tag to Stevie Ray.

Clothesline by Stevie Ray, tag to Booker. Booker leapfrogs Rick once but Rick catches Booker the second time for a huge powerslam. Tag to Scott, Irish whip which is reversed, Stevie Ray nails a cheap shot. Superkick floors Scott and Stevie Ray puts the boots to Scott on the floor with Jacqueline. Stevie Ray chokes Scott with a camera cable, Rick comes out and pummels Stevie Ray. Reverse chinlock by Booker, elbows by Scott but Booker scores with a flying forearm. Two count for Booker, Scott blocks the Harlem sidekick for a huge slam. Hot tag to Rick, huge slams from Rick to Stevie Ray. Steiner Bulldog by Rick on Stevie Ray, Booker saves Stevie Ray and clubs Scott off the apron.

Heatseeker by Harlem Heat, Rick kicks out at two. Stevie Ray eats a boot, clothesline into a German suplex. Rick covers Stevie Ray and that’s it… Well, I have seen this match a lot, it is not a bad match but not a great match. Harlem Heat seemed to turn face and heel at the flip of a coin while Steiners have been number one contenders for what seems like a decade at this point. Finish was flat but let’s hope that is the end of these two fighting every couple of pay per views.

Winners: The Steiners over Harlem Heat via Lariat/German Suplex combination!

(WCW TV Championship Match) Alex Wright © vs Ultimo Dragon

Wright has swapped the cruiserweight championship for the tv championship, a lot can change in a month. Wright’s heel persona is entertaining so let’s see how Wright deals with Dragon. Wright shoves off Dragon, scoop slam and judo throw by Wright. Wright dances and pays for his taunting as Dragon dropkicks Wright out of the ring. Wright makes his way slowly into the ring, wrist lock from Wright and Dragon kips-up and reverses the hold on Dragon. Wright pulls down Dragon by the mask, side headlock from the champion. Dragon struggles free and a side headlock by the challenger.

Shoulder block from Dragon, huge chest chop and kick to the left leg. Combination rush from Dragon, spinning heel kick and a thrust kick leaves Wright on the floor for a second time. Wright lures in Dragon for a hotshot, a stungun by Wright. Stomps to the head by Wright, chops and stomps by the champion. Spinning heel kick by Wright for a two count, slam by Wright and a reverse chinlock. Dragon battles back but Wright is in control of this match. Wright nails forearms on Dragon, cover and a two count. Snapmare into a reverse chinlock, transition into a modified camel clutch.

Crossbody from Dragon, stiff kicks to the spine. Wright begs for mercy and dodges a spinning heel kick, elbow from Wright and Dragon uses the ropes to break a pin-fall. Another chinlock from Wright, Wright uses the ropes for leverage. Dragon fades before battling back to a vertical base, elbows by Dragon but Wright nails a huge knee to the mid-section. Dragon catches Wright for a sunset flip, two count for Dragon and Wright nails a clothesline. Wright measures for a superplex, Dragon shrugs off Wright. Dragon tries for a splash but Wright gets the feet up and Dragon is down. Leaping calf kick by Wright and a snap suplex.

Wright misses a top rope splash, Dragon blocks with a boot and kicks Wright to the floor. Asai Moonsault by Dragon, chops in the corner by Dragon. Dragon nails a hurricanrana, both men are down. Both men chop one another on their knees, Dragon wins the exchange with a dropkick. Wright crotches Dragon on the top rope, dropkick which knocks Dragon to the floor. Slingshot plancha by Wright. In the ring, Dragon nails a double underhook suplex, tiger suplex for a two count. Dragon has Wright on the top rope, Wright and Dragon battle on the top rope, Dragon fights off to nail a running Liger Bomb, two count for Dragon.

Scoop slam by Dragon, Moonsault for another two count. Standing hurricanrana but Wright rolls through for a pin, two count for Wright. Dragon is up first, Dragon is on the top rope but Wright dropkicks Dragon in mid-air. Wright tries for a back suplex, Dragon reverses for a two. Series of pins by both men but Wright tries for his German. Dragon dodges a corner clothesline, Dragon has Wright on the top turnbuckle. Top rope frankensteiner by Dragon, Dragon Sleeper but Wright makes it to the ropes. Dragon Sleeper attempt two but Wright nails a jawbreaker and a German suplex for the win

Good match, not on the same level as the first championship match but I would put that down to Eddie Guerrero’s years of training and being a more pronounced heel. Dragon hit Wright with all of his best offence and Wright survived it all, impressive showing from Wright. A little flat in parts but they did not lose the crowd and it was good by the end.

Winner: Alex Wright over Ultimo Dragon via German Suplex!

Hennig Attacked!

The NWO attack Curt Hennig as Mean Gene Okerlund was trying to conduct an interview. Will Curt Hennig make it to The War Games Match?

Jeff Jarrett W/ Queen Debra vs Dean Malenko

Jarrett faces Malenko with a shot at Mongo for The United States Championship at Halloween Havoc on the line, I cannot believe Mongo held the United States Championship. It is all too hard to believe for me, Mongo is holding a championship. Anyways, bit of backstory here as Malenko was abandoned in a tag match by Jarrett against Benoit and Mongo so, Malenko is out for blood in this match. Jeff Jarrett sends Debra to the back for this match, Jarrett wants to win this match on his own.

Lock-up and an arm drag by Jarrett, Jarrett poses and struts. Malenko grabs a hammerlock, Jarrett trips Malenko and we reset with both men on their feet. Side headlock by Malenko, shoulder block by Malenko. Drop toehold by Jarrett, hammerlock and knees to the shoulder by Malenko. Elbow by Malenko, Jarrett calls over the referee complaining of hair-pulling and sneaky shots from Malenko. Another lock-up, clean break and Jarrett takes the back. Malenko counters for a wrist lock, Jarrett trips Malenko for a top wrist lock. Malenko pushes Jarrett into the corner, Malenko stomps Jarrett and drop toeholds Jarrett.

Kick to the ribs by Jarrett, drop toehold by Jarrett but Jarrett misses the elbow. Dropkick from Malenko and Jarrett powders, another lock-up and a side headlock from Jarrett. Shoulder block by Jarrett but Malenko answers with right hands and ramming Jarrett into the turnbuckle. Sleeper from Jarrett off an Irish whip but Malenko reaches the ropes. Malenko dodges a corner clothesline, double axe handle from Jarrett. Malenko blocks a suplex and places Jarrett on the top rope, Malenko scores with a superplex. Jarrett tries for a sunset flip but Malenko rolls through and smashes Jarrett with right hands. Dropkick and a German suplex, Malenko winds up for The Texas Cloverleaf.

Jarrett holds onto the ropes and here’s Debra. Malenko clotheslines Jarrett and himself to the floor. Baseball slide by Malenko, Malenko goes for the leg of Jarrett. Huge boot to the leg of Jarrett which is lodged in the guard rail, leaping calf kick for a two count. Elbows by Malenko, Irish whip into the corner and Jarrett blocks with his own elbow. Jarrett goes for the leg of Malenko, Malenko’s leg is bashed off the ringpost. Malenko blocks Jarrett with a boot, Jarrett lands gingerly on the top rope. Jarrett is kicked into the guard rail, Malenko suplexes Jarrett into the ring and Jarrett counters in mid-air for a two count. Sleeper by Malenko but Jarrett counters for a back suplex. Jarrett tries the Figure Four, Malenko rolls-up Jarrett for a two count.

 Malenko ducks a right hand but Jarrett nails a neckbreaker, Jarrett has a double underhook, Malenko counters but Jarrett back drops Malenko, series of roll throughs for two. Malenko hurts his leg leapfrogging Jarrett, Jarrett applies The Figure Four for the win.

Was not feeling this match, it was technically sound and had some nice wrestling throughout but the heat was not there for this match. Crowd was largely quiet and seemed happy when the match was over. First part of the match felt like just filler as they mat wrestled for large portions, it seemed meandering and never let to anything important. Towards the end, Jarrett works the leg for a moment and it plays into the finish so that’s a plus. Not sure why Debra came out at the end if she was not going to interject herself into the match.

Winner: Jeff Jarrett over Dean Malenko via Figure Four!

Wrath & Mortis W/ James Vandenberg vs The Faces of Fear

The Glacier feud must be finished at last so Mortis & Wrath move on to facing The Faces of Fear, I am guessing The Faces of Fear are faces for this match? Barbarian and Mortis begin, lock-up and Mortis rakes the eyes. Right hands from Mortis, kicks in the corner. Barbarian counters with a boot, Mortis is tossed into the corner, huge hits from Barbarian and Mortis is rocked. Flapjack by Barbarian and a clothesline for two. Tag to Meng, headbutts and stomps by Meng. Meng misses a corner splash, Wrath slugs it out with Meng and Meng wins that war.

Chop by Wrath and a second rope clothesline, tag to Mortis. Right hands by Mortis but no effect to Meng, tag to Barbarian. Headbutt by Barbarian, clubbing blows to Mortis. Tag to Meng and tag to Barbarian, back body drop into a powerbomb. Wrath saves Mortis, pumphandle slam by Barbarian for a two count. Tag to Meng, The Faces of Fear brutalize Mortis. Meng chokes Mortis, Mortis battles back but Meng is in control. Mortis tries a clothesline and Meng no-sells. Huge chop by Meng and a tag to Barbarian. Scoop slam by Barbarian and Barbarian climbs to the top rope, Vandenberg crotches Barbarian on the top rope. Wrath nails a huge pumpkick on Barbarian, combination neckbreaker and powerbomb by Wrath & Mortis but Meng makes the save.

Wrath is in, kicks to the ribs by Wrath and a cheap shot to Meng. Backbreaker by Wrath, middle rope elbow from Wrath. Tag to Mortis, top rope rocker-dropper for two. Tag to Wrath, back suplex and a top rope lariat. Mortis has Barbarian on the floor, Mortis throws the steel steps into Barbarian. Cover and a two count, Wrath props Barbarian on the top rope. Another cheap shot by Wrath, Wrath combines with Mortis for a tower of doom superplex on Barbarian. Meng gets the hot tag, chops to Wrath. Huge knee to the ribs, sidekick to Mortis, headbutts and chops by Meng. Powerslam on Wrath, Mortis makes the save.

Meng nails a top rope splash, Wrath makes the save. Barbarian and Wrath spill out to the floor, Mortis nails a kick on Meng as Meng has Vandenberg in a Death Grip. Wrath comes in from behind with a Death Penalty while Meng is killing Mortis and Vandenberg for the win.

Yeah, that was ok. Mortis and Wrath should not be wrestling like their characters because their “martial arts” look sloppy and lazy. Not good at all, Meng and Barbarian have some moves that are over, they could be a big deal but I have no faith in the WCW tag team division.

Winners: Wrath & Mortis over The Faces of Fear via Death Penalty!

Four Horseman Promo

Flair, Benoit and Mongo cut promos on The NWO and The War Games Match. Solid stuff from Benoit, Mongo nails a surprisingly good promo while Flair kills it hyping up everyone on his team.

The Giant vs Scott Norton

Norton has the best tag team name in history as one part of Vicious & Delicious with Buff Bagwell. Why am I saying this? Because there’s not a lot to say about this match nor do I want to say a lot about this match. Why? Giant squashed Savage at Road Wild, Savage who was in the middle of a good program with DDP. Giant has no music, and depending on the flavour of the day, Giant is seen as unstoppable or as a moron.

Lock-up, Giant shoves off Norton and Norton comes back at Giant but Giant overpowers Norton. Spilling out to the floor, Norton is rammed into the guard rail, Norton shoves Giant into the ringpost. Right hands by Norton, Norton tries suplexing The Giant and The Giant suplexes Norton on the floor. Giant tries getting in the ring, Norton clotheslines himself and Giant to the floor. Norton low blows Giant in the ring, no disqualification but Norton stunguns Giant. Elbows by Norton, headbutt and more forearms shots by Norton. Norton works over Giant in the corner, Norton uses the ropes to choke Giant.

Elbows in the corner, Norton nails a corner splash, make it two. Back suplex by Norton, two count for Norton. Giant kips-up using the ropes, dropkick by The Giant and Giant calls for the kill. Chokeslam by Giant and this match is over. Bare bones of a match as basic as you could ask for, nothing else to say.

Winner: The Giant over Scott Norton via Chokeslam!

DDP & Lex Luger vs Scott Hall & Randy Savage W/ Miss Elizabeth

For months, DDP and Savage have been at one another’s throats. The feud is tied at one win each in singles matches while Savage has had the upper hand due to the numbers’ game. DDP has a trustworthy ally in Lex Luger and DDP looks to beat on Scott Hall and Savage. Luger won the championship from Hogan on a very memorable Nitro but sadly, Luger would drop the championship five days later at Road Wild. Meanwhile, Hogan misses another pay per view.

Hall wants Luger, lock-up and Luger shoves off Hall. Lock-up and we have the same result, clothesline by Luger on Hall and Savage. Hall and Savage bang heads and we have a double clothesline. Military press slam by Luger and Savage is dumped onto Hall. Tag to DDP, Hall grabs the arm and shoulder thrusts by Hall. DDP rocks Hall with right hands, inverted atomic drop and a slam by DDP. DDP decks Savage, Savage trips DDP and Hall clobbers DDP from behind. Savage is in the ring, double axe handle as Savage tags Hall. Fallway slam for two, Savage is legal. NWO work over DDP in the corner, DDP tries fighting back but Hall enters illegally.

Hall stomps Luger off the apron, Savage throws DDP from the first ring into the second ring. Hall throws DDP back into the first ring. Savage attacks DDP along with Elizabeth, Hall decks the referee? Savage mugs DDP in the corner, Hall knocks out another referee. Here comes Larry Zbyszko, Zbyszko talks to Hall from the apron, distracting Hall. Luger rolls-up Hall after a shove and Zbyszko counts the pin.

That was not a good match, expected more from DDP vs Savage. Focus was on Hall vs Zbyszko, finish did not make a lot of sense but I guess it is better than a no-finish and WCW got one over The NWO which is rare but disappointing stuff from all the men involved in this match.

Winners: Luger & DDP over Savage & Hall via roll-up!

(War Games Match) Team Horseman vs Team NWO

Two rings, two cages and one of the most beloved match types in wrestling history. Only ways to win are by submission or surrender, two men start and members from each team enter at timed intervals. You can only win when all members of each team have entered the ring. Only three Horseman come to the ring, there is no Hennig.

Bagwell starts with Benoit, Bagwell slaps Benoit and Benoit hurls Bagwell into the cage. Chop by Benoit and Bagwell tastes the wall for a second time. Slap by Benoit, more chops and Bagwell eats the cage again. Hard Irish whip and Bagwell is suplexed into the cage wall, Benoit misses his Diving Headbutt. Bagwell stomps all over Benoit, choke hold by Bagwell. Benoit is thrown into the cage, dropkick by Bagwell. More choking from Bagwell, Benoit is back dropped into the cage wall. Bagwell stomps on Benoit but Benoit comes back and stomps all over Bagwell. In comes Konnan as NWO won the coin toss.

Benoit slams Bagwell onto Konnan, Benoit flings Konnan and Bagwell into the cage wall. The NWO combine for a DDT, Bagwell & Konnan stomp on Benoit. Bagwell & Konnan put the boots to Benoit but here comes Mongo. Scoop slams all around, chop block from Mongo. Team NWO are taking a whooping from Team Horseman. In comes Syxx. Benoit chops Syxx and hurls Syxx into the wall and Bagwell. Konnan grabs Mongo and Syxx kicks Mongo over and over. Curt Hennig is down at ringside with his arm in a sling. Flair comes in to even the odds, chops all around for The NWO.

In comes Nash and mauls Flair with a sidewalk slam. Benoit fights Nash but Nash grabs Benoit and hurls Benoit into the wall. Nash takes control with a boot, elbows in the corner by Nash. Team NWO have taken control thanks to the power of Nash. The buzzer is ticking down and soon, Curt Hennig will enter the match but how much can Hennig do in this match? In comes Hennig with a set of handcuffs but Mongo is nailed in the face with the handcuffs, Hennig beats down Flair and it has all been a ruse as Hennig is a member of The NWO. Benoit is cuffed to the cage wall as is Mongo.

The NWO mug and destroy The Four Horseman as Flair is helpless against five men. Benoit and Mongo will not give up so Nash makes the two watch Flair be decimated by the five members of The NWO. Hennig wants to smash Flair’s head with the cage door, Mongo cannot watch anymore and Mongo surrenders but Flair’s head is smashed as The NWO do not give a damn about your feelings.

While WCW has been hot, they have not delivered on The War Games during this time period, this is the second War Games Match I have covered from The NWO period and it just is not hitting the mark. Benoit was great in this match, got to give credit where credit is due. The fans reacted big to The Canadian Crippler, his moves and his never-say-die attitude was one of the main reasons for any sort of fan reaction in this match. The action was alright, nothing memorable, it did not feel like a huge main event and it did not seem like there was any bad blood between the two groups. No blood but you got your fill of brutality with the handcuffs and the cage door smash.

Not a huge fan of the Hennig double-cross, his work in WCW by that point has been disappointing. Perhaps this could be a big turning point in Hennig’s WCW run but I could be too optimistic on that one. Overall, it was ok but not the war you would want from this type of match.

Winners: Team NWO over Team Horseman via Surrender!

WCW’s Fall Brawl of 1997 was not a good WCW pay per view. For me, the pay per view went downhill after the first match, I thought Eddie Guerrero and Jericho stole the show with their performances and the pay per view never picked up afterwards. Sick of Steiners and number one contender’s nonsense, not a fan of Jarrett vs Malenko or Wrath & Mortis vs Faces of Fear. Felt that the semi-main event was disappointing for the fact that so much attention was on Hall and Zbyszko when it could have been used to shine DDP vs Savage which was still very popular, the last two tag matches have killed a lot of interest for me. I do not know why that feud is being handled like that, it’s a shame to be honest. Main event was ok but more of the same with The NWO outsmarting everyone, should lead to Flair vs Perfect. Overall, you missed nothing on this pay per view so give it a miss and remember : There’s always another night!

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