Friday 12 August 2022

WCW Fall Brawl 1994 Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that stays off those weird IWC sub-reddits! Seriously, those things are disgusting but I tell you what is not disgusting: WCW Fall Brawl 1994! Matches on this night include Lord Steven Regal defending his WCW Television Championship against Johnny B. Badd once more, we also have Stunning Steve Austin defending his WCW United States Championship against a surprise opponent as Ricky The Dragon Steamboat is no longer able to compete inside of the ring. A random triple threat between Guardian Angel, Vader and Sting but of course, that main act is The War Games Match! Featuring Hogan right? Nope we have The Rhodes and The Nasty Boys taking on The Stud Stable! Can’t believe they did Hogan vs Flair on a Clash before a PPV but I guess it all makes sense now right? What a company. Let’s get it on!


(WCW Television Championship Match) Lord Steven Regal © vs Johnny B. Badd

Most improved wrestler in my eyes is definitely Johnny B. Badd considering I could not stand the guy in the years 91 and 92 and Badd did nothing of note despite still being employed throughout that time but here we have Regal, a man who has held that championship for almost 2 years with one hiccup loss too Larry Zbyszko in there. When Regal drops the championship it has to be a big deal, Badd has lost on PPV and Clashes to Regal for that championship before, I don’t remember how many times but I feel it was at least 3 so surely this has to be Badd’s night.


Regal stalls as Badd wants to rip his head off, Regal uses his skills to get a side headlock before Badd looks to turn the tide. Badd is caught by the hair, Badd manages to land a top wristlock though before Regal makes it to the ropes. Clean break, Regal takes down Badd but Badd has the wristlock. Side headlock by Regal, Badd shoves off and leap-frogs. Hip-toss, arm-drag and dropkick. Regal reverses a top wristlock, monkey-flip by Regal but Badd counters back and goes back to the arm-bar. Regal uses forearms to break free, sunset flip is rolled through by Badd for two, arm-bar by Badd. Forearms by Regal but Badd counters with an airplane spin. Regal is on the floor, Badd dives onto Regal with a massive Plancha.


On the apron, Badd hangs-up Regal with the ropes. Badd tries a crossbody though which Regal dodges, Regal stomps the head and rubs the face of the challenger into the canvas. Sir William chokes Badd with the cane, the referee is with Regal. European uppercuts and forearms by Regal, Badd asks for more. Regal gladly obliges, Regal pulls Badd down by the hair. A forearm to the nose, Regal lands strikes to the head of Badd. Blacktop Bully is talking shit in the crowd once more, Badd begins to fire back at Regal. Regal lands a boot and an European uppercut for two. Regal applies a reverse chin-lock, Badd fights out and lands a knee-lift before Regal lands another uppercut. To the corner, more uppercuts are on the menu. Regal lands a drop toehold and applies a full-nelson on the mat.


Badd is coming up though, Badd escapes the hold but eats an elbow to the jaw, two for Regal. Uppercuts but Badd lands a massive right, atomic drop and more rights. Back body-drop, Regal reverses an Irish whip but gets caught with a flying head-scissors for one. Regal pulls Badd to the floor, apron sunset flip but Regal reverses, Sir William uses the cane to aid Regal but the referee sees it, two for Badd. Sir William is on the apron, he grabs Badd. Regal decks Sir William by mistake, schoolboy by Badd for two. Badd misses an elbow, uppercut by Regal. Make it two, Badd reverses for a backslide and Badd is your champion!


Very good match, liked this match a lot. Crowd is up for it which helps, love Regal’s work inside of that ring. Stands out with his unique style, makes you believe he is fighting for every inch inside that ring, the rest-holds look organic as opposed to say a Bulldog match where it’s chin-locks galore! I like the call-backs to the previous finish, Badd really overcame all obstacles here. I think they could have finished it with a schoolboy after Sir William was decked but the backslide still works and Badd is starting to put it together, need some fresh blood in that division now so we shall see where we go from here for Regal and Badd but two stars they have been carefully building throughout 1993 and 1994 so let’s see what happens next.


Winner: Johnny. B. Badd over Lord Steven Regal via Backslide!


Cactus Jack vs Kevin Sullivan (Loser Leaves WCW)

Former tag team champions go to war, WCW tried to turn Cactus heel which doesn’t seem to be working but Cactus took out Dave and Kevin Sullivan, crazy how Cactus’ first championship win in WCW was so tainted and turned sour so quickly. This starts on the floor, they are in the crowd now. Cactus throws Sullivan ringside, Cactus meets the guardrail. In the ring, Sullivan throws a headbutt but Cactus throws a boot and bounces Sullivan off the buckle. Elbows by Cactus, Sullivan is on the floor. Sullivan is sent into the ring-post, Cactus rips up the ring-mats. Cactus is on the middle rope, Dave stops Cactus and Sullivan slams Cactus to the concrete. Scoop slam on the concrete, Sullivan stomps Cactus in the ring.


Sullivan chops the ear and wrenches at the ear of Cactus, it’s been well established how messed up Cactus’ ear is at this point. Cactus fights back to cheers from the fans, still very popular and Cactus bites the head of Sullivan. Elbow, running elbow drop from Cactus for two. Sullivan is dumped to the floor, Cactus wants a piledriver on the floor but Sullivan reverses and Cactus takes a big bump on the concrete. Cactus throws in a chair, Cactus runs into a boot from Sullivan. Cactus is dumped to the floor again, they begin brawling. Dave stops Cactus using the chair, Sullivan decks Cactus in the nose. Sullivan has the chair, Cactus decks Dave off the apron with a knee aiming for Kevin Sullivan but Sullivan rolls-up Cactus for the win.


Now, turning Cactus was a dumb move but the thing was Ric Flair was the booker in WCW and Cactus was a glorified stuntman in the eyes of The Nature Boy. Cactus already had heat for spitting on the WCW tag team championships in a promo in ECW so it was not looking good for Cactus so Cactus gave his notice and this match was the result. So, nobody was happy with the result but there would be greener pastures ahead for one Mick Foley.


Winner: Kevin Sullivan over Cactus Jack via Roll-Up!


(WCW United States Heavyweight Championship Match) Stunning Steve Austin vs ????

At the previous Clash, The Dragon injured his back and has to forfeit the championship, bringing an end to a legendary career. I will say that Steamboat’s WCW career was mishandled as The Dragon could have torn it up so much more in that ring but when given a sliver of a chance, Steamboat absolutely killed it inside the square circle. From that extreme sadness to the bizarre as we have the influx of Hogan’s buddies with Hacksaw Jim Duggan coming in as the surprise opponent. Austin freaks out, Duggan is getting big reactions though so I can’t exactly say this was not working. Austin continues to talk with Bockwinkel about how unfair this is, Austin is freaking out! Duggan lands his Three-Point Stance Tackle and pins Austin just like that.


I like Duggan, always liked Duggan inside of that ring but Duggan as a United States Heavyweight Champion? The second most prestigious championship in the company? As much as I loved Duggan, I can’t justify that and with Austin sliding down the card, I am not a happy man.


Winner: Hacksaw Jim Duggan over Stunning Steve Austin via Three-Point Stance Tackle!


(WCW World Tag Team Championship Match) Pretty Wonderful © vs Stars & Stripes

Speaking of WCW not giving up on talent, we have two examples in Bagwell continuing to be in prominent matches despite being a nothing in terms of development over the past two years and Mr. Wonderful continues to hold the gold in WCW. So, the tag team is at its least interesting for me, can’t believe we lost The Hollywood Blondes and 2 Cold Scorpio and these two teams are battling for the championships. The Paula chants are still a thing, unbelievable the mileage they have gotten out of that. Roma and Bagwell to start, Roma batters Bagwell for talking trash. Kicks in the corner, clubbing blows by Roma. Bagwell ducks two rights, flying crossbody for two. Hip-toss and a wristlock, Bagwell wrenches the arm. Tag to Patriot, lots of wrenching of the wrist. Roma escapes and in comes Orndorff but Orndorff has his arm worked by the challengers.


Lots of wrenching of the arm, Orndorff is down on his knees. Bagwell is in and rocked with some forearms but Bagwell answers with a shoulder block and a flying crossbody. In comes Patriot for his own crossbody for two, Orndorff is in his corner. The champions talk strategy, Roma is caught now with a double hip-toss for two. Bagwell has the arm, shoulder block by Bagwell. Orndorff grabs Bagwell with the referee looking at Roma, Orndorff yanks down Bagwell. Roma clamps on a camel clutch, Orndorff nails his great elbow drop to the throat of Bagwell. Bagwell is worked over in the corner, shoulder thrusts from Orndorff. Another elbow to the head, front chancery from Orndorff. Bagwell almost makes the tag but Orndorff is just too good, Roma marks out to his own dropkick.


Two for Roma, scoop slam into a diving elbow drop from Roma. Roma continues to mark out to his own greatness, Patriot makes the save. Orndorff dumps Bagwell to the floor and pulverizes the youngster. Bagwell is bounced off Heenan’s cooler, Roma is celebrating in the ring. Patriot checks on his partner, Bagwell has the contents of the cooler dumped on his head. Orndorff denies doing anything, Bagwell has a bottle of water from the cooler but it is dropped. Clothesline by Orndorff, piledriver time? Bagwell kicks and kicks and back-drops Orndorff, Roma tags into the match and lands an elbow drop. Front chancery from Roma, Bagwell tries and tries to reach his corner. Orndorff distracts the referee so the referee misses the hot-tag. Patriot drills Pretty Wonderful with right hands and scoop slams, dropkicks too. Double clothesline and Patriot is cooking big time! Roma is down with the dropkick, Orndorff Piledrivers Bagwell on the floor. Patriot lands the Uncle Slam on Roma but he’s not the legal man, Roma crawls over to Bagwell and wins the match.


Enjoyable again, you know I rag on Roma and Orndorff but I haven’t hated their matches as champions yet, Orndorff is unintentionally hilarious while Roma marking out to his own moves gets me each time, crowd was into the match too but damn, Patriot looks like a massive idiot in this match. The referee was telling him constantly that he was not legal, why would he not listen to the referee? No ear holes in the mask? Maybe!


Winners: Pretty Wonderful over Stars & Stripes via Piledriver!


Triangle Number One Contender’s Match Guardian Angel vs Vader vs Sting

Oh WCW how do you ignore The Stinger when nobody can touch the man in terms of popularity? In what universe is Guardian Angel near the WCW Championship? Anyways, there are two rounds to this trash so Sting the babyface gets the bye to the next round and we have to watch the trilogy fight between Vader and Guardian Angel.


The first match between these two I loved, they battered one another. They lock-up, clean break. Shoulder block and neither man moves, Vader calls for a test of strength. Vader goes low to gain control, Vader pummels Angel with rights and lefts. Irish whip to the buckle, Angel explodes out with clotheslines but Vader is still on his feet. Vader blocks the scoop slam attempt, Vader squishes Angel in the corner. Angel ducks a clothesline and slams down Vader, Angel looks at Race as he drives his elbow into the groin of The Monster. Scoop slam does not work though, Angel lands uppercuts with Vader going down to a knee. Angel is on the top rope, Vader dodges that shit. Reverse chin-lock from Vader, Angel escapes and almost pins the big man before Vader lands a Cactus clothesline. Race grabs Angel, Vader decks Race as Angel ducks the blow.


Vader runs into the ring-post, Angel finally slams Vader in the ring for two. Punches by Angel, leg across the back on the ropes. Irish whip and the referee is annihilated, Angel lands the Bossman slam but Race comes in and nails a diving headbutt on Angel. Vader Bomb and this match is over!


Sting has to come down to the ring and wrestle Vader, fuck yes! Love me when these two mix it up inside of the ring, they always kill it when given the time. Why did Vader put his mask back on? They lock-up, clean break from The Stinger. Lock-up, Vader shoves down Sting. Sting is right back-up, Vader is backed up to the corner as Sting refuses to back down. To the opposite corner we go, no clean break from Vader who roughs up Sting with clubbing blows. However, those blows fire up Sting. They are shoving one another, kicks by Sting and a dropkick. They lock-up again, Vader whips Sting. Sting ducks and ducks but a Vader splash drops Sting. Vader Bomb squishes Sting, Vader goes again and kicks Vader in the dick twice. Vader is down off the buckle but still has control with big punches, clothesline almost beheads Sting.


Vader thinks Vader Bomb again, Sting dodges and Vader crumbles to the mat. Sunset flip attempt, Vader tries sitting on Sting but Sting dodges. Clothesline to the floor by Sting, they brawl on the floor. In the ring, Sting calls for the end. Suplex? There’s no way! Sting lifts up Vader and drills him with a suplex, diving splash by Sting. Sting tries a running splash but Vader uses his knees to block the splash, Vader slams Sting down to the mat. Vadersault misses, can Sting capitalize? Sting wants a superplex, this is not the smartest strategy. Sting plants Vader with a superplex, Sting is screaming now. Big elbow drop to the heart of Vader, Race is on the apron. Sting lands another elbow, Sting lands a Samoan drop for two. Stinger splash and clothesline for two, Sting lands a massive German suplex for two. Vader drops Sting and regains his composure, Sting is tossed to the floor.


In the corner, Vader clubs Sting over and over. Sting is firing up, Sting strikes and strikes and clotheslines Vader. Race places the foot of Vader on the ropes, Vader re-enters the second ring. Sting dives off the top rope with a clothesline, Sting goes high again. A second diving clothesline and Sting says one more time, Sting lands a diving splash for a close two. Vader lands right hands to the eyes, Sting covers up but Vader continues to decimate The Stinger with a belly to back suplex. Sting kicks out at two, clothesline by Vader. Vader goes to the middle rope, Sting lands a powerslam. Less than a minute on the clock, clothesline by Sting for two. Scorpion Death-Lock!, can Vader hang on? Vader rolls and rolls and makes it to the ropes.


We have overtime in this match, the match continues as Sting applies a sleeper. Vader boots Sting in the face, stiff knees to the ribs. Vader waffles Sting with big rights, kick to the ribs from Vader. Vertical suplex from Vader, Vader wants a superplex and calls for the end. Sting is blocking the superplex, Vader is cracked in the ribs. Sting bites the head of Vader and shoves off the big man, Sting comes down from the top rope and slowly covers for two. Sting wants a spine-buster but Vader blocks and lands a headbutt, Vader goes high again. Vader gets caught on the top rope, back body-drop from the middle rope by Sting. Vader tries and tries to pin Sting but Sting continues to kick out, Vader wants a powerbomb. Vader is too slow to capitalizewe are out of time in overtime.


So it is Sudden Death and the stipulation is the first person knocked off their feet. Vader peppers Sting who is staggering around the ring, selling the shit out of the drama. Sting uses the ropes to stay on his feet, short clotheslines pummel Sting. Sting is in la-la-land, Vader punishes Sting. Sting fires back at Vader, Vader is staggered now. Sting and Vader are colliding in the middle of the ring, The Guardian Angel brawls with Harley Race so the referee misses that Sting knocks down Vader. The Masked Man clips Sting in the knee and Vader is considered the winner.


Kind of strange to have the heel go the distance, you think the story would be made for a babyface to do so but whatever, this match was bizarre in execution. The action however was tremendous, Angel and Vader run through their best spots from that awesome match that they had a few months ago while Sting and Vader have another great match because that’s just what those two motherfuckers do when they are in the ring with one another. Sting deserves better as always, WCW’s top star despite what they tell you about Hulk Hogan.


Winner: Vader over Sting via Not Dropping To The Mat!


(War-Games Match) Team Rhodes (Dustin Rhodes/Dusty Rhodes/The Nasty Boys) vs The Stud Stable (Arn Anderson/Terry Funk/Bunkhouse Buck/Colonel Robert Parker)

Two men start, one man from each team enters after a coin-toss, you can only win by submission or surrender, there are two cages and there is always blood in these matches. Great War-Games Matches are the ones you count telegraph but we have a problem here tonight as Meng will not be the fourth man in this match for The Stud Stable but it will be a manager in Colonel Robert Parker. Definitely takes a lot of drama away from this one, not happy that you should be able to see the main event and what’s going to happen so clearly. Not a soul in that arena believes that Team Rhodes is losing this match. All that heat on Meng do surviving the chair-shot to the head and taking out Dusty Rhodes but he is not even in the match.


Dustin Rhodes jumps right in for his team and Arn Anderson will start for The Stud Stable. Rights and lefts by both men, Rhodes is giving chase after Anderson. Diving axe handle to the head, both men block being sent into the cage. Anderson lures in Rhodes, Anderson drops Rhodes but Anderson is the first man to meet the cage wall. Back-rake from Rhodes, inverted atomic cdrop and a big boot which sends Anderson over the top rope. Flying clothesline from Rhodes, big kick to the chest of Anderson. Bionic Elbow from Rhodes, measured right hand from the broken wrist. Kick to the ribs, flying lariat from Rhodes.


Elbow to the throat, Anderson is getting decimated. Rhodes stomps all over the arm, Rhodes look for a back body-drop but Anderson drops Rhodes with a DDT. Measured left hands to the head, Anderson uses wrist-tape to choke Rhodes. Clothesline from Anderson, Rhodes lands a dropkick. Team Stud Stable has the advantage winning the coin toss, Bunkhouse Buck is in and boots Rhodes and steps all over the head of Rhodes. Double elbow by The Stud Stable, double single leg Boston crabs from Anderson & Buck. Jerry Sags comes in for Rhodes, slams all around. Buck meets the cage wall, piledriver on Buck. Rhodes has a sleeper on Anderson, Sags punishes Buck. In comes Terry Funk for The Stud Stable, Funk waffles Rhodes and Sags with his boot. Funk chokes Rhodes right in front of Dusty, Dusty is doing everything in his power not to snap.


Sags is drilled with the boot of Funk, Knobbs is coming into the match now. Buck meets him at the door, the heels are sent into the cage though. Shockingly, no blood so far. Maybe a new family-friendly policy? Anderson has his face raked across the cage by Knobbs, Anderson is sent flying into the cage wall. Funk is knocked down by Knobbs, Colonel Parker is sweating bullets but he does not want to enter the ring. Slowly, Parker gets into the ring but Rhodes has him at the door. Buck makes the save, Parker boots Rhodes. Buck uses his belt to choke Sags, Funk whips Rhodes with his belt. Parker whips Sags with his belt, Rhodes whips back at Funk. Rhodes whips Anderson and whips Parker, big reaction from the fans for that. Loud Dusty Rhodes chants are ringing out in the arena, The American Dream is now in the match.


The Stud Stable all take Bionic Elbows, noggin-knockers and everyone meets the cage wall. Parker is all alone, Dusty Rhodes watches as The Nasty Boys land a double clothesline. Body splash on Parker, Dusty Rhodes applies the figure four on Parker in the middle of the ring, Funk and Anderson try desperately to save Parker as The Nasty Boys drop elbows after elbows on Parker. Parker submits and it’s over.


Yeah not one of my top War-Games matches for obvious reasons, it starts off heated enough with Rhodes and Anderson but in a match where blood is almost a stable, it’s crazy to see nobody bleeding. We also have Parker getting destroyed which was accepted but man if people paid to see Dusty Rhodes, they got to see him for less than a minute and a half in total. Definitely not a worthy main event match for a PPV, such a shame because I did like this show but it was just not that good. I imagine that is the blow-off too so where does The Stud Stable go from here? Not like they have anyone who can main event against Hogan in that faction.


Winners: Team Rhodes over The Stud Stable via Surrender!


So that was WCW’s Fall Brawl 1994, we are getting into the Hogan Era now with Flair booking and things are changing but are they for the better? Let’s address the main event scene first, we have Hogan vs Flair for Halloween Havoc in a cage with Hogan’s career on the line. Dramatic? Yes! What the fans want? I am not so sure, Flair did a tremendous job decimating the knee of Hogan and wiping out Sting with Sherri by his side, it would be a shame to waste all that momentum but honestly, the Clash match was such a debacle in my eyes that nothing can really save this feud for me. Vader is coming though, can Hogan vs Vader be good? Possibly but it remains to be seen.


So Johnny B. Badd vs Regal kicks us off, really fun opening match with Regal’s unique style on full display here for an entertaining encounter between two rising stars in the company. Regal should ascend the card to the United States Championship and Badd should have a long and solid reign as champion, that is what should happen so we will see where both men end up as we enter 1995 but two stars that WCW has invested heavily in over the last year and they have a good match so all is well. Sullivan vs Cactus was bad, Cactus takes some nasty bumps for no reason and despite being a heel, is the man the fans want to see. I like Sullivan, the devil-worshipper gimmick and the promos is an all-timer great gimmick and run but what has Sullivan offered to this company post that? I am not sure as The Varsity Club never truly took off so we shall see how this is going to transform into the infamous Dungeon of Doom but at least Sullivan will do some good in-ring stuff right? Duggan vs Austin is disappointing considering how Austin was bowled over here for a man who while I enjoy his work was not US Champ material in 1994, the tag division is not exactly on fire with The Nasty Boys as the top babyface team and Stars & Stripes and Pretty Wonderful but that hasn’t stopped Roma & Orndorff putting on some solid matches, I hope something dramatic happens soon because I am not sure how many rematches we might see before the end of the year with the serious lack of teams.


The triangle match has some great spots in there, the crowd comes alive for The Stinger as they always do and I understand we need to get to Vader vs Hogan but surely there must have been another way, that’s two matches that Sting has lost with big implications during this year. Sting dropped his WCW International World Championship to Flair with no revenge in sight and now, Sting loses to Vader in a number one contender’s match. Is Sting going to be the man who takes out The Masked Man? If not, where does Sting go for Starrcade? I have seen Sting sit back in tags for 1993, I would like to think there is a big plan here to make Sting seem more but I just don’t see how WCW is going to have something good for Sting and that’s ridiculous. The main event as a blow-off to an angle that had a lot of heat and emotion with the betrayals from Funk and Anderson to Dusty teaming with his son, you think Dustin Rhodes standing tall at the end would be the defining image and we would all be sent home happy but it’s not, it’s the Dusty Show. And don’t get me wrong I have no problems with aging legends having their moments on PPV but surely someone must have thought: We should have Dustin, the young gun we are trying to get over be the one to stand tall. It wasn’t main event worthy and it lacked what makes War-Games fun so a sad end to an otherwise solid PPV from WCW. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

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