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WCW Fall Brawl

by SamoaRowe

WCW Fall Brawl '95

September 17th 1995

From Asheville, NC. Our hosts are Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan.

WCW U.S. Championship #1 Contenders Match:
Flyiní Brian Pillman vs. Johnny B. Badd

This match has a fun little back story. There were political forces at work behind the scenes at WCW (no, shocking!) who wanted to expose and embarrass these guys by giving them a ridiculous amount of time to fill. They actually hoped that Pillman and Badd would stink up the joint. As youíll see, the plan backfired. They shake hands and start a feeling out process thatís clearly designed to buy them some time. Thereís some spurts of energy, but they rely heavily on mat work. Pillman takes control, looking for quick roll-ups in between applying wear down holds. Badd is bleeding from the eyebrow but comes back with a headlock takedown. Pillman counters with a backbreaker and is starting to feel like a subtle heel, using a closed fist and chops. Badd surprises with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker (with authority!) and goes after the legs with submissions. Tempers flare as they exchange shoves, setting the tone for the second third of the match. Pillman is acting more overtly heel and the fans rally behind Badd. Both men go down after a cross body collision, prolonged by a Pillman head butt. Badd risks a DQ with a reverse suplex off the apron, followed by a springboard cross body. Sadly, Badd flies into a drop-kick counter. Theyíre closing in on the 20 minute time limit as they exchange urgent near falls. Pillman looks for a submission victory as the one minute warning is announced. Badd rebounds with a lariat, but Pillman scores a springboard clothesline. The time limit expires, so referee Nick Patrick orders a sudden death overtime. The match continues with Pillman aggressively pummeling Badd into the corner. They brawl at ringside and Badd gets driven into the barricade. Back to the ring, a double drop-kick spot leaves them down and out. The match restarts with Pillman working a sleeper rather effectively. Badd struggles out but Pillman counters his sleeper with a belly to back suplex. Badd blocks a superplex and almost wins via flying sunset flip. Pillman nails a reverse rana for 2! Crucifix slam by Johnny gets another close 2 count, as does a top rope hurricanrana! Pillman nails a tornado DDT, but gets press slammed off the top and into the barricade!! Badd follows with a somersault senton to the floor, but Pillman counters a slingshot senton with his knees! Pillmanís suicide dive doesnít quite connect and he has a bad landing. A good portion of the crowd is standing now. They run the ropes and have a nasty double cross body collision, but Badd lands on Pillman for the pinfall at 29:51! HELL of a match, these guys busted out everything they had to tell a great story, and prove themselves to management in the process as well. A classic, must-see match, ****ĺ.
Winner: Johnny B. Badd

-Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Ric Flair backstage. Flair has to face his best friend, Arn Anderson, in singles action tonight. Flair puts over their brotherly bond but tonight they fight in Horsemen country. If you werenít interested in their match before, you are now, Flair was on top of his game.

Cobra vs. Sgt. Craig Pittman

Cobra looks like a G.I. Joe action figure come to life. He comes out to morse code entrance music and puts his dog tags on a young fan. That would lead you to expect him to be a dominating babyface, but his opponent is fellow military gimmick. One of Pittmanís pals comes out to his music as the real Pittman descends from the rafters to blindsides the friendly Cobra with a belt choke. I guess Pittman is a heel, even though that was a babyface entrance. Cobra attempts a flying shoulder block, but Pittman swats him off and applies a cross arm breaker for the win at 1:21. This squash match was weird and sloppy amateur-hour type stuff, DUD.
Winner: Sgt. Craig Pittman

-Paul Orndorff has an existential crisis backstage, tearing apart his locker room. Heís joined by Gary Spivey, who tries to cheer Paul up by sharing a psychic vision of his future success. Spivey tells Orndorff to look in the mirror and see Mr. Wonderful. That was just what Orndorff needed, as he resumes kissing his own reflection. Good pep talk, Gary.

WCW Television Championship:
The Renegade © (with Jimmy Hart) vs. Diamond Dallas Page (with the Diamond Doll and Max Muscle)

Renegade charges in with his faux-Warrior entrance, and DDP ambushes when his back is turned. Renegade rebounds, and DDP flees into the crowd, only to get dragged back to the ring. Renegade dominates, though DDP has some heel tricks up his sleeve. DDP ducks a cross body, and goes after the head and neck. The Diamond Doll resents having to hold up a ď10Ē card while DDP flaunts his own greatness. DDP counters a sunset flip, but Renegade counters back as they exchange near falls. Page misses a head of steam, and Renegade makes a bad comeback. DDP survives a double axe handle and nails a chin breaker. Big DDT by Page buys him some time. Renegade whips Page into Max Muscle, and takes him down with a flying shoulder block. Max grabs the leg, allowing DDP to hit the Diamond Cutter for the win and title at 8:07. This was pretty bad, even though Page does come across as a star in the making, *ľ.
Winner and new WCW Television Champion: Diamond Dallas Page

WCW Tag Team Championship:
Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater © (with Col. Rob Parker) vs. Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray, with Sister Sherri)

Slater struggles against the younger, more imposing Booker T, and Harlem Heat manage to isolate him early. Buck tags in only to find himself stuck in enemy territory too. After a lot of resting, Booker leap frogs Buck and nails a hip toss. Slater gets a hot tag of sorts and unleashes a flurry on Stevie, including a swinging neck breaker. Harlem Heat turns it around via choking. I mustíve fallen asleep, because suddenly Slater and Buck are back in control, isolating Booker T. Slater almost kills Booker with a piledriver at one point. The heat segment goes on and on and I flinch as Buck nearly breaks Bookerís neck with a terrible power slam. Iím getting restless, as this match has zero crowd heat and Iím not sure who Iím supposed to be cheering for. Stevie Ray finally gets the hot tag and plows through Buck and Slater. The match breaks down while Sherri and Col. Parker make out in the second ring. The Nasty Boys run in and attack Buck and Slater, allowing Harlem Heat to capture the titles at 16:46. The match was a complete disaster, DUD.
Winners and new WCW Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat

-New champions Harlem Heat arenít pleased with Sherriís behavior. Gene Okerlund interviews Buck, Slater, and Col. Parker on the stage, where Buck questions Parkerís state of mind. Parker insists that heís serious about Sherri and promises to get his guys another match. The Colonel raves about feeling like heís 20 years old again. Donít you just love bizarre angles that lead nowhere?

-Gene Okerlund interviews Arn Anderson backstage. Arn admits that heís a nervous wreck about having to trade fists with someone he loves in Ric Flair. Heís motivated by self-respect and the need to face himself in the mirror. Anderson is an underrated talker who comes across like a manís man.

Arn Anderson vs. Ric Flair

Theyíre treating this like a big-time encounter, going as far as showing numerous WCW stars in the crowd. Anderson and Flair trade holds, with Arn getting the best of the first exchange. The match restarts with another lock up leading to Arn slapping Ric across the face. Flair stalls for a while but Anderson goes after the arm rather ferociously. They put on a technical wrestling clinic before Ric starts throwing nasty chops. Anderson recovers, driving a knee off the top rope to the back of the head. Hammerlock slam by Anderson makes Flair beg for mercy. Arn goes back to the arm work, unfazed by Flairís defensive chops. Flair tricks Arn into flinging himself over the ropes, setting up a flying axe handle. Just like that, Flair is in the driverís seat, and he wears Anderson down as only the Nature Boy can. Arn brawls his way back in and nails a back body drop, but Flair makes a suspicious low shot to regain his control. Arn manages another backdrop on the floor, but Ric bounces back with a suplex. Flair is unable to get a pinfall and misses a wild punch to hit the canvas. Anderson makes a comeback, setting Flair in a tree of woe to dish out punishment. Flair blocks the DDT but gets routinely tossed off the top rope. Ric struggles but manages to apply the Figure Four! Flair spits at his former friend, inspiring Anderson to reverse the hold! A frustrated Flair tries to soften Anderson up for a finish, but Flyiní Brian hops on the apron and trades punches. A dazed Flair stumbles into Andersonís DDT for the pinfall at 22:47! If I had to sum this match up in one word, it would be ďdelightful.Ē That finish hurts it a little, but at least it lead to Pillman getting involved with the Horsemen, ****ľ.
Winner: Arn Anderson

-The hype video for the Hulkamaniacs vs. Dungeon of Doom battle is right up there on the list of greatest things Iíve ever seen. Kevin Sullivan, playing the Satanic Taskmaster character, provides a hilarious devil-ish voice over to images of the campy Dungeon of Doom gang. Sullivan was also the head booker during this time and has said in podcasts that his number one priority was keeping Hulk Hogan happy, and this time it meant assembling an army of cartoonish monster heels for him to knock down.

-Replay of The Giant trying to run Hulk Hogan over in a monster truck, but settling for destroying his motorcycle instead. Sadly, it cuts away before Giant can guffaw out the window.

-The camp factor gets turned up an extra notch as Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Randy Savage, and Sting (all donning camouflage and military face paint) have a group promo putting over their chances of winning War Games. Hogan rants that theyíve all drank Agent Orange (that explains a lot) and have declared war on the Dungeon of Doom. Savage denies there being any dissension amongst the group, crediting Sting for playing moderator. Sting doesnít want to talk, just tear things apart. Luger assures Mean Gene that heís fully on board and can be trusted. These guys are acting like they mixed Red Bull with cocaine and thereís nothing I can say that will do this justice, go watch this on WWE Network or Youtube.

War Games:
The Dungeon of Doom (Kamala, Zodiac, Shark, and Meng, with Kevin Sullivan) vs. The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sting, and Lex Luger, with Jimmy Hart)

Sting, being the nice guy that he is, starts against Shark (John Tenta) in the five minute opening round. Sting takes some punishment before dodging a head of steam. Sting leaps over the ropes from one ring to another to knock Shark over. Sting hurts his back delivering a power slam, so Shark counters a second attempt. Sting bites his way out of a bear hug. Shark tries to leap between rings like Sting did earlier, only to get himself caught draped over the ropes. Sting takes advantage with kicks and manages to crotch Shark on the ropes for more humiliation. Zodiac (Ed Leslie) joins the match just in time to break up the Scorpion Deathlock. Sting hangs form the cage to kick fend off Zodiac, but soon falls to the numbers disadvantage. Randy Savage joins the match to even the odds, but Kevin Sullivan grabs Sting through the cage to force Savage into a 2 on 1 situation. Hogan and Luger donít seem to mind the Dungeon of Doomís outside interference. Kamala is next in, changing the dynamic to 3 on 2. Sting and Savage get no offense in, so itís a relief when Lex Luger storms into the cage. Luger drops Shark and Kamala with a double clothesline and pulls Zodiac off of Savage. A problem arises when Luger and Savage start swinging at each other. This makes the Hulkamaniacs easy pickings for the fresh Meng. The Dungeon of Doom continue dominating until Hulk Hogan finally enters the match, heroically throwing powder into the eyes of his enemies. Hogan catches Zodiac between the ropes and bats him around to pop the crowd. Hogan and Friends are in complete control as Dungeon of Doom members take turns getting beaten up by Hulk. Zodiac succumbs to Hoganís Camel Clutch at 18:42. For lack of a better phrase, this match was dog sh!t, but Iíll be damned if it wasnít downright hilarious and awesome from all the campiness involved. ** match, but five stars for the Wrestlecrap factor.
Winners: Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sting, and Lex Luger

-Kevin Sullivan tries to sneak away, but Sting drags him into the cage for his five minutes alone with Hulk. The live crowd eats up the beating Hogan dishes out on Sullivan, at least until The Giant shows up for the save. The Giant wraps his hands around Hoganís neck, but Hulk breaks free to throw some ineffective punches. Giant snaps Hoganís neck and the Hulkamaniacs return for a late save. I feel a bit stupid for loving this.

Final Thoughts: I canít give this a thumbs down or in the middle. I simply cannot. The good stuff is great, and the bad stuff is hilarious. Thumbs Up, I donít care anymore.

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