Sunday 16 April 2023

WCW Fall Brawl 1995 Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that is more forgettable than Shorty G! It’s time for WCW Fall Brawl 1995, it is time for War-Games! The Hulkamania team doing battle against The Dungeon Of Doom, we also have two men facing one another that we thought we would never see, we have Ric Flair vs Arn Anderson, two men who know each other so well. How will this play out? We also have Johnny B. Badd vs Brian Pillman who feel like two men who have been in purgatory for ages at this point, what have they done in this year? We have Cobra vs Sgt. Craig Pittman which should be interesting? And of course the continuation of Harlem Heat vs Bunkhouse Buck & Dirty Dick Slater. War-Games can be hit and miss depending on the talent and how lob-sided the teams are but we shall wait to see how this plays out, let’s get it on!


Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs Johnny B. Badd

We are very far removed from The Hollywood Blondes and the TV Championship but I truly am struggling to think of what WCW has done with these two men following 1993 and 1994 respectively. Badd is still super over so how is the man not challenging for championships?


Anyways they lock-up, clean break by Badd. Pillman shakes the hand of Baddd, arm-drag from Badd. Pillman takes the back, Badd looks for the switch and gets it. Pillman takes the arm, Badd is caught in the hammerlock before Badd reverses only to be caught with a hip-toss. Side headlock takedown from Pillman, both men dodge one another before trading dropkicks. Lock-up into a wrist-lock, Badd wriggles free and lands an arm-drag. Hammerlock snap-mare counter from Pillman, side headlock takedown by Pillman. Shove off with Pillman arm-dragging Badd, two count. Arm-bar from Pillman, snap-mare but Badd trips Pillman and we have a La Magistral for two. Lock-up again with Badd taking the wrist, Pillman lands a drop toehold and rolls-up Badd for two.


Snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock, Badd fights out but Pillman lands a corner head-scissors and a victory roll for two. Badd is caught in a chin-lock again, Badd almost escapes but Pillman starts bringing the pain. Pillman leapfrogs Badd but Badd counters with an arm-drag and a reverse chin-lock. Pillman escapes with a vicious back-breaker for two, Boston crab before Pillman lands a shot to the head. Chop by Pillman, Badd reverses the Irish whip for a tilt-a-whirl back-breaker, Badd stretches the leg of Pillman.


Pillman escapes the stretch and pushes Badd, Badd pushes back so Pillman takes Badd to the corner and scores with an elbow that rocks Badd. Badd has his eyes raked across the ropes, Badd batters Pillman out of the ring. Pillman takes a breather and wants to shake hands with Badd. Badd wants none of that, Pillman lands a right hand and clubbing blows. Badd is canned to the outside, Pillman bites the head of Badd. Pillman is bounced off the top turnbuckle, sling-shot leg drop by Badd for two. Reverse chin-lock from Badd, Pillman escapes and both men drop-down and leap-frog before banging heads. Headbutt by Pillman, both men drop down to the mat. Pillman smacks Badd of the turnbuckle again. Pillman looks for a suplex into the ring, Badd reverses and sends Pillman to the floor.


Plancha from Badd, both men are spent at this stage but Badd is somewhat in control. Pillman is tossed into the ring, Badd is climbing high but the diving crossbody goes wrong as Pillman nails a dropkick for two. Irish whip but Badd nails a sit-out powerbomb for a close two, Pillman drops Badd with a tombstone piledriver for two. Pillman calls for a tornado DDT, Badd shoves off Pillman for two. Badd goes down for a submission with 2 minutes left in the match, this is where we are really going? Pillman lands a Russian leg-sweep into a stretch, Pillman squeezes but Badd is holding on in this match. Pillman switches holds, going for a seated abdominal stretch. Pillman tries an Irish whip but ducks his head, Badd lands a face-buster and a knock-out left! Pillman is in the ropes, Pillman lands Air Pillman but Badd kicks out, we have a draw!


The match continues as we need a number one contender to face Sting, Pillman bites the head of Badd. Badd lands a right hand, make it two. Pillman rolls to the floor but Pillman chops Badd, Badd throws rights hands back at Pillman. Irish whip to the guardrail, Pillman climbs high in the ring. Both men try dropkicks and both men crash to the mat, sleeper from Pillman. Badd is in serious trouble, Pillman has the legs around the body, this is in deep. Badd almost drops the arm three times but survives, rope break and Badd fights out. Sleeper from Badd, Pillman begins to fade but counters with a glorious belly to back suplex. Pillman lifts Badd to the corner, slap from Pillman.


Badd blocks though, no suplex here. Badd tries his diving sunset flip for a two and a half! Badd calls for a big manoeuvre, Pillman counters the powerbomb with a hurricanrana. Repeated pins by Pillman but Badd is not going down, Badd reverses an Irish whip but Pillman counters for an attempted sunset flip but Badd counters with a beautiful Samoan drop for two. Badd lifts Pillman to the corner, Bad Day by Badd! 1..2…Pillman kicks out! Badd looks for another top rope move, Pillman smacks Badd and lands a tornado DDT for two! Pillman climbs high, Badd falls into the ropes. Pillman is crotched on the top rope, Pillman is in a dangerous position. Badd tosses Pillman into the guardrail, The Bad Mood connects!


Badd tries to pick up the dead-weight of Pillman, Badd looks for a sling-shot splash but Pillman blocks with the knees. Pillman covers for two, Pillman drops Badd across the top rope suplex-style, Badd is wounded. Pillman scores with a suicide dive, springboard clothesline misses for Pillman. Badd covers for two, Irish whip and both men duck one another before they both go for crossbodies and Badd lands on top for the win.


Twenty-five minutes of Badd & Pillman, I like both men but I am left scratching my head with this one as to why one of these men will be Sting’s next challenger for the US Championship. Badd has had a rough 1994 and 1995 only slowly beginning to regain that momentum while Pillman hasn’t really regained any of that momentum since The Blondes so the match feels cold to me despite their recent interactions. As for the action, once they start mentioning time, you know where this is going and by God do they stretch it out for that time-limit. Submissions with only two minutes left = high IQ play ladies and gentlemen. I felt the struggle between the two and they have good chemistry but it was a long match to kick off the show. Not sure the crowd was invested to the level which they wanted but they worked hard and I appreciate their efforts!


Winner: Johnny B. Badd over Brian Pillman via Crossbody!


Cobra vs Sgt. Craig Pittman

Member of the Special Forces Cobra as our babyface against the crazy Sgt. Craig Pittman, a recruit comes to the ring. Looks like Prince Iaukea but I am not sure, Cobra talks trash to the recruit. Pittman rappels down to the ring, Sting be damned! Pittman has bullets, Pittman sneaks into the ring. Fantastic commitment to the gimmick. Cobra is choked with the bandolier of bullets, Pittman is beating the piss out of Cobra before Cobra sends Pittman into the ring-post. Cobra is climbing high, diving crossbody does not work as Pittman dodges with a face-buster. Code-Red which is an arm-bar ends the match.


Fuck me that was short? Well, that was the best thing they could do really because Pittman sucks. Did I need to see it on the PPV though? Probably not, what an elaborate entrance for a squash.


Winner: Sgt. Craig Pittman over Cobra via Code-Red!


(WCW World Television Championship Match) Diamond Dallas Page W/ Diamond Doll & Maxx Muscle vs The Renegade © W/ Jimmy Hart

Renegade is attacked from behind, elbows and kicks by DDP. Renegade meets the buckle, float-over Russian leg-sweep for two. Headbutt does not work for DDP, DDP falls to the floor and bangs his head off the ring-post. DDP tumbles into the crowd, DDP is back in the ring and begging for mercy. DDP pulls Renegade into the buckle, Renegade reverses DDP and bangs his head off the buckle. Side headlock by Renegade, DDP reverses Renegade and dodges a crossbody. DDP lands elbows to the back of the head and chokes the champion with the top rope. DDP lands a hot-shot on Renegade, swinging neck-breaker. Two for DDP, DDP stomps all over the face of Renegade.


Renegade is tossed to the floor but the big man hulks up before DDP kicks him to the floor, shoulder thrust and we have a sunset flip but DDP uses the ropes but Renegade counters for a two. Clothesline by DDP for two, DDP has Renegade down in the corner. Irish whip to the opposite buckle, Renegade dodges and DDP hits the ring-post hard. DDP gets kicked in the head by Renegade, clothesline by Renegade. Make it two, the champion is beginning to fire up. Handspring elbow muta-style and Renegade goes high, DDP is up and eats the double axe-handle for two. Renegade tries a powerslam but DDP lands a massive DDT, two for DDP. Diamond Cutter is blocked as Renegade shoves him into the buckle, schoolboy for two. DDP lands a right hand, Maxx Muscle is on the apron. DDP and Maxx Muscle collide, Renegade lands a powerslam on DDP. Renegade dives onto Muscle, Muscle holds onto the leg of Renegade and DDP lands The Diamond Cutter for the win!


Considering the talent in the ring, it wasn’t that bad. DDP is starting to put together an act that is resonating with the people and this is a big win for DDP considering how Renegade has been pushed since debuting in WCW. Future is going to be bright for DDP but let’s see how DDP develops now that a push has finally come his way. As for Renegade, this could be the descent into oblivion for the wrestler and the push.


Winner: DDP over Renegade via Diamond Cutter!


(WCW World Tag Team Championship Match) Harlem Heat W/ Sister Sherri vs Bunkhouse Buck & Dirty Dick Slater © W/ Colonel Robert Parker

Happy for Buck to have the gold, I am a fan of the man since his feud with Dustin Rhodes while Dick Slater is very fun to watch too. The tag team scene in WCW at this time has been a sore spot for me with Nasty Boys and Harlem Heat seemingly to have the focus on them constantly with neither team putting together matches that would been entertaining unless it was some sort of tornado tag hardcore affair. Harlem Heat don’t seem to be catching on as babyfaces but we shall see how things develop, Slater and Booker to kick us off.


Clothesline by Booker to kick us off, Slater is backing up to the corner. Drop toehold and face-lock by Slater, Booker escapes and tags in Stevie Ray who slaps on a side headlock. Tag to Booker, Slater backs Booker to the corner and in comes Buck. Elbows to the neck, Buck tries to stretch Booker who has counters for days and backs Buck into the corner. Tag to Stevie who lands kicks too. Clothesline and choke from Stevie, reverse chin-lock. Buck fights out but Booker is too quick who comes in and takes him down. Reverse chin-lock from Booker, Buck fights out but is hit with a hip-toss and a knee drop for two. Buck rolls away and tags Slater, Slater drills Stevie Ray but Stevie Ray stays strong and lands punches before an inverted atomic drop and neck-breaker takes him down. Two for Slater before Stevie Ray spears him and chokes him with his bandana.


Slater back-drops Booker onto the steps, Buck lands a right hand to Booker. Sherri helps Booker up, Slater stomps Booker when he re-enters the ring. Tag to Buck, Buck lands knee after knee to the head of Booker. Tag to Slater who lands kick after kick, Buck gets in some shots too. Russian leg-sweep by Slater for two, Slater wants a piledriver. Booker is spiked, two for Slater. Tag to Buck, Booker is tossed over the top rope behind the referee’s back. Slater slams Booker into the guardrail, Buck lands a big boot on Booker. Booker begins to fight back on Buck, right hand in the corner but Booker misses a turnbuckle kick. In comes Slater who kicks Booker’s head and attacks Stevie Ray, belly to back suplex for two. Slater jabs away at Booker, measured knee-drop for two. In comes Buck who stomps the head of Booker and slaps on a reverse chin-lock.


Slater comes back in and applies a Boston crab, the fans seem disinterested in this one. Stevie Ray boots Slater in the head, Buck just takes Slater’s spot and slaps on the single leg Boston crab. Buck Irish whips Booker and lowers his head, Axe Kick from Booker! Tag to Stevie Ray, right hands all around. Scoop slams all around, Slater is clotheslined onto the apron. Powerslam on Stevie Ray, Booker and Slater brawl in the corner. Buck throws Stevie Ray to the apron, Buck and Slater are double-teaming Booker. Double right hand on Booker, Colonel Parker and Sherri are in the second ring, it looks like we might have something going on here. Sherri crawls over to Parker, Parker kisses Sherri while The Nasty Boys smash Slater with the boot and we have new tag team champions.


Oh boy, the biggest pop was for Sherri and Colonel Parker kissing. Harlem Heat are champions again so I guess that experiment is over, not sure if we are going back to Nasty Boys vs Harlem Heat but I really hope not, I have seen enough from those two teams. Anyways, Harlem Heat are not delivering for me as babyfaces, I am not sure if that will ever change which means tag team matches might be the toughest watch for me as I continue to watch WCW.


Winners: Harlem Heat over Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater via Boot To The Head!


Ric Flair vs Arn Anderson

Two best friends going to war, Flair & Anderson go back many years, as thick as thieves. Anderson was unwaveringly loyal to Flair, would do anything for him but when things went wrong as Anderson & Flair could not take down Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage or Vader, it was decided the two would do battle inside the ring. They make the match feel big by having wrestlers in the crowd, wanting to see what happens between these two. Big fight feel for sure, Flair does Flair, strutting and trying to throw Anderson off his game. Anderson remains stoic, they lock-up. Shoulder block by Flair, drop toehold by Anderson and slap to the head. Flair squares up to Anderson, side headlock by Anderson.


Big shoulder block and shove by Anderson, slap from Anderson. Flair is ruffled by that, Flair rolls to the floor. Flair tries to work the arm but Anderson reverses, knees the arm and slaps Flair. Side headlock into a hammerlock but Anderson reverses the hold, drop toehold into a front chancery but Anderson counters with a hammerlock. Anderson continues to work the arm, Flair trips Anderson but Anderson continues kicking the arm and works into a short-arm scissors. They continue to trade counters before Flair chops down Anderson, second chop takes down Anderson. Whip to the buckle, elbow from Anderson who climbs high. Flair tries stopping Anderson, Anderson lands a right hand and applies the sleeper but Flair knocks Anderson into the buckle.


Anderson counters with a middle rope knee to the back, hammerlock scoop slam by Anderson. Flair begs for mercy, Anderson goes into the hammerlock. Flair gets to his feet but Anderson pulls the hair and works the arm, Flair’s arm is smashed into the ring-post. Single arm DDT into a hammerlock, Flair is on his feet and uses Anderson’s trunks to send him to the corner. Chop by Flair, Anderson lands left hands. Flair flip to the apron but Anderson is low-bridged and tumbles to the floor. Flair is on the top rope, there is no way Flair is going to hit this. Diving axe handle to the floor, Flair nails a top rope move! Flair continues chopping Anderson, Flair admires his handy work on the floor. Anderson is on the apron, hot-shot from Flair. Another chop from Flair, Flair pulls down the knee-pad and lands the knee-drop.


Flair tries to steal the win with the ropes but Anderson is fighting out, Flair is caught as Anderson lands a knee and left hands. Whip to the buckle, back body-drop for two. Flair kicks Anderson hard in the ribs, Flair dumps Anderson to the floor. Anderson does something to Flair, it is obscured by Anderson’s back. Anderson back-drops Flair on the floor, left hands on the floor by Anderson. Anderson is suplexed on the floor by Flair, a right-hand floors Anderson. Suplex from Flair, stalling suplex that leaves both men down. Flair lands a clothesline for two, sunset flip counter from Anderson but Flair won’t go down. Flair tries a punch and punches the canvas, Anderson staggers to his feet.


Flair’s eyes are raked across the top rope, Flair flip into the tree of woe. Anderson stomps and chokes Flair, Anderson calls for the DDT. Flair holds onto the ropes to avoid the DDT, Anderson whacks his head off the canvas. Flair climbs high, Anderson stops that bullshit with a chop. Flair is yanked off, knee-drop by Anderson for two. Anderson calls for the end, Anderson is on the middle rope and eats a clothesline. Figure Four in the middle of the ring but Anderson blocks the foot of Flair but Flair fights through and locks in the hold. Middle of the ring, Anderson screams in pain as Flair almost gets the pin off of Anderson. Anderson finds a second-wind and reverses the hold, Flair has to break the hold. Anderson cannot stand, Flair is struggling too. Massive chop block from Flair, Anderson clutches the knee.


Flair is hobbling too, Figure Four is blocked for a small package by Anderson. 1…2… Flair kicks out and chop blocks Anderson, stomp to the knee and chops. Lefts and rights by Flair, Flair tries an Irish whip but Anderson collapses to the canvas. Brian Pillman is on the apron, Pillman decks Flair but Flair strikes back with a right-hand. Pillman kicks Flair in the head and Anderson lands a massive DDT on Flair for the win.


Excellent match between two people who know each other so well, these two are absolute masters in the ring and the crowd knows the history between the two, a huge amount of respect between the two men kicks us off with respect but Anderson has no time for Flair’s games which takes this to a whole other level as they continue to tear one another down and the crowd buys into Anderson against Flair as Flair styles and profiles like only he can as they tear one another limb from limb. Tremendous wrestling from both men with a finish that keeps us wanting more as we will see just what Pillman has to do with all of this and what a way to reinvigorate Pillman who I complained earlier was doing nothing in WCW.


Winner: Arn Anderson over Ric Flair via DDT!


(War-Games Match) The Dungeon of Doom vs The Hulkamaniacs

The Three Faces of Fear a.k.a. The Dungeon of Doom have declared war against The Hulkamaniacs. Lex Luger is here after jumping ship from the WWF, this is a big match. So, we have some of the cheesiest WCW content at this time with Hogan hamming it up to epic proportions. We have Sting, Savage & Luger as his back-up, interesting to know that Vader was meant to be originally part of the match before fucking off out of WCW.


If you do not know the rules of this match, this is a two-ring cage match that starts out with two men and continues until every member of each team has entered the ring, who enters is decided by a coin toss giving one team the advantage over the other. The match can only end when everyone has entered the cage and the way to win is by either submission or surrender. I do have to say that Sullivan hams it up to epic proportions in the pre-match vignette.


Sting to start with Shark, Shark starts hammering away on Sting. Shark snap-mares Sting and steps all over him, Shark bites the arm of Sting. Shark whips Sting to the buckle, the splash misses. Sting begins attacking Shark who powders to the other ring, Sting dives from the first ring to the second ring. Bearhug from Shark and biting too, Sting begins to fade and fade but manages to escape but Shark is still in control. Shark tries to dive onto Sting but gets caught between the ropes, Sting kicks Shark in the ribs over and over. Sting tries a dive but Shark tosses Sting down, Shark poses on the ropes and Sting crotches the big man. Sting kicks the legs of the big man, scissor-sweep from Sting. Sting wants a Scorpion Death-Lock, Sting turns Shark!


The first man will now enter as Team Dungeon of Doom win the coin toss, Zodiac is here but Sting is ready for the fight, Zodiac is kicked down by Sting. Scoop slam and Sting has a Scorpion Death-Lock before Shark lands a clothesline, Shark lands an elbow drop and Zodiac nails an elbow drop too. Leg drop by Shark, Sting lands a clothesline on Shark and Zodiac. Randy Savage comes into the match, Savage axe handles his way through both Zodiac and Shark. Boston crabs for Zodiac, Meng and Kamala are stretching the arm of Sting under the cage. Sting clotheslines Zodiac while Shark tosses Savage into the cage.


Kamala is in now, Kamala had beaten Duggan to establish him so yeah big deal here in WCW. Kamala starts clubbing Sting while Savage is being beaten down by Zodiac and Shark. Sting begins fighting back against Kamala but Shark comes in there and attacks Sting, here comes Luger though. Clothesline to Zodiac, clothesline to Kamala & Shark. Zodiac meets the cage, Luger cleans house before Luger hits Savage by mistake. Sting is trying to break up the two men fighting before Meng comes in and starts smacking everything in sight. Luger screams like only Luger can, Meng and Kamala are destroying Luger. Meng chokes the life out of Luger, Zodiac and Kamala batter Sting. Hogan comes in and has powder, the powder is throw into the eyes of all Dungeon of Doom members.


Eye-rakes and right hands to the head, Hogan batters Zodiac with right hands and biting to the head. Hogan & Luger throw Kamala into the cage, Zodiac meets the cage too. Meng meets the cage too, Shark meets the cage. Zoadiac meets the cage and is locked in the camel clutch, Zodiac gives up!


That’s it? That was tame as all hell! Are you serious? Hogan came in and did nothing but throw people into the cage and a camel clutch like that ends the match? Thank God for Anderson vs Flair because this was brutal, War-Games without blood is always a tough-sell but this was so comical in a way that this was meant to be this big main event but it was just so pedestrian. I felt this was genuinely insulting as a main event, could Hogan half-ass it as much as this? I didn’t think it was possible but it’s WCW in 1995 and the business in 1995 is not a pretty sight. I really do not know what else to say, it’s just there like so much of what Hogan has done in WCW. After the match, Hogan has Sullivan in the cage, beats on him for an eternity before Giant lumbers out and puts down Hogan setting up their match. Bleh


Winners: Team Hulkamaniacs over The Dungeon of Doom via Submission!


That was WCW’s Fall Brawl 1995, a middle of the road PPV from WCW. I have been harsh on the product, voicing my disdain for the direction of the company and the overhaul of talent with many 1993/1994 favourites like Regal, Pillman, Austin and Badd being pushed out or released in favour of Duggan, Kamala and more but I must say this PPV did not bother me majorly. We kick off with Badd vs Pillman that has a little meat to it but mostly is two guys going at it killing time so they can do sudden death, they have good chemistry and I would say the loss for Pillman did nothing to hurt him because he was already going nowhere in the company but with the angle that comes later in the show, this loss was definitely not going to hurt Pillman who finally looks like he will be back on track to be a big star in the company. Cobra vs Pittman and DDP vs Renegade are mercifully short so they are inoffensive and do little to sour my mood while watching the PPV, do they deserve to be on PPV? No but they weren’t horribly long so I will take them, Harlem Heat vs Buck & Slater is in an awkward spot because the crowd only wants to see Sherri and Parker and Harlem Heat are just so rough around the edges as babyfaces that it is not working.


Anderson vs Flair is everything that you could want from two old friends fighting for the first time ever, the history is there and the crowd is hot. Both men shine with their strengths on full-display and of course, Flair is going to make Anderson look like a threat and a huge big deal, the finish adds another interesting layer to what is going on here, what could be Pillman’s issue with Flair? Were Anderson & Pillman planning this attack? Does Anderson know his win over Flair was tainted? So many questions packed into an awesome match that just left me wanting more, excellent wrestling between the two. Finally, we come to the most timid and tame War-Games I have ever seen, it is a disgrace to the concept as Hogan walks out there, does a little work with the cage and slaps on the camel clutch and just like that, Dungeon of Doom vanquished once more. A one match pay per view when all is said and done but still more watchable than more recent efforts from WCW. Thanks for reading and checking out the page and remember: there’s always another night!

No comments:

Post a Comment