WCW Fall Brawl – War Games
Date: 17th September 1995
Venue: Asheville, North Carolina
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
No doubt this will be my longest review to date, considering this is my first pay-per-view review for my blog. We are just two weeks after the debut of Monday Nitro here, so much of the build to this PPV would have been on their now-secondary show, WCW Saturday Night. We have the main event of War Games here, which I will explain later, of Team Hogan (Hogan, Savage, Sting and Luger) versus the Dungeon of Doom (Taskmaster, Shark, Kamala and the Zodiac) in a thrilling main event. I’m kidding this is gonna be so one sided its laughable. We also have Flair v Anderson in what should be a classic between these two veterans. Let’s begin.
We have introductions by Tony and Bobby, who talked about the war on the Dungeon of Doom by Hogan. There are two rings here for the double cage War Games.
WCW US Title No 1 contenders match: Johnny B Badd defeats “Flyin” Brian Pillman
Michael Buffer gives big match intros, which is weird for an opening match. The winner of this match gets a future US title match against Sting, at the end of September. One thing about this match: It told one hell of a story! Pillman started the match as a face but ended it as a heel, through many illegal tactics and great wrestling mixed in. Even the sportsmanship between the two deteriorated quickly. The match started slow, with many rest holds at the beginning, but it picked up the pace very quickly towards the end. Thankfully when the 20-minute limit expired, it went to sudden death, much to my and the live crowds delight.
See, this is what the company lacked at times, just guys who can go out there and have a good match to get the crowd into the event more. Both guys threw everything at each other here, including the kitchen sink, but Pillman and his heel turn would come into play again later on. Heenan: “This is wrestling!”. Yes this was and it was bloody brilliant to watch for a good half hour. Credit to both men and a great opener to this PPV. Rating: A
Flair talks about how he has to show Anderson tough love tonight.
Sargeant Craig “Pitbull” Pitman defeats Cobra
Pitman descends from the rafters in a cool entrance and strangles Cobra. They fight outside, missed crossbody inside by Cobra and the Code Red by Pitman gets the submission. This was nothing. Rating: D
We recap of “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff and his losing streak. He questioned himself after a loss…. until Gary Spivey (from Psychic Companions Network) told him he IS “Mr Wonderful”, which convinces Paul again of whom he is. What the hell was that??
WCW Television Title: Diamond Dallas Page w/ Kimberley defeats Renegade
Kimberley is SMOKING HOT! As for Renegade, he’s merely a rip off of Ultimate Warrior, without the charisma and talent. All I saw from Renegade was clotheslines; kicks and headbutts, while DDP was bouncing all over the ring and ringside area. Diamond Cutter ends the title reign of Renegade thankfully. Rating: C-
WCW World tag team titles: Harlem Heat w/ Sister Sherri defeats Dirty Dick Slater/Bunkhouse Buck w/ Colonel Parker
Colonel Parker and Sister Sherri are supposedly in love with each other after Sherri landed on her head at the last Clash of the Champions. The match itself was boring, making me wonder why it was allowed to go for seventeen minutes, but the angle is more important here. Parker and Sherri kiss in the second ring (due to the double cage), while the Nasty Boys come out and knock Slater out with his boot. Odd ending to the match but I like it…. somehow. Rating: C-
Ad for Halloween Havoc 95. That is next on my review list.
We recap the history of Flair/Anderson, with Flair losing it over Anderson losing tag matches for them. Considering Flair has recently been going mad in his drive to be number 1 in the world, he has alienated his family and friends, including Anderson in recent months. The match everyone wants to see according to many.
Arn Anderson defeats Ric Flair
Holy Crap what a war between these two! Back and forth action, which started slow at the beginning with holds and counters galore from both men. As with the opening match, the pace picked up towards the end, with Flair FINALLY using psychology towards the end by going after Anderson’s leg to soften it up for the figure four leglock. Heenan was perfect throughout saying it was horrible these two are fighting and how hesitant they were out there, which was absolutely true in the storytelling. Pillman interfering so Anderson could hit the DDT for the pin opens up the storyline to continue in the coming weeks, possibly till Halloween Havoc. Great wrestling; great storytelling and great commentary and it felt like a big match occasion here! A great recipe combined and that’s all you can ask for the majority of the time really. Rating: A
We recap the Hogan war on the Dungeon of Doom. This should fun(ny) to see in a moment. For the record, the Taskmaster (Kevin Sullivan) has come across as needing a doctor and some strong tranquilisers for a few years.
Oh and the Giant, part of the Dungeon, ran over Hogan’s Harley Davidson on an episode of Nitro. Remember that for later.The stipulation for the match is announced that if the Hulkamaniacs win, Hogan gets the Taskmaster alone in the cage for five minutes.
War Games: Hulkamaniacs defeats Dungeon of Doom
Dungeon of Doom: Meng, Zodiac, Kamala, Shark
Hulkamaniacs: Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sting, Lex Luger.
This has been described as one of the greatest match creations ever by many fans, although I cannot see this match being a classic. The rules are simple (apparently): two guys start the match for five minutes when a third man comes in from one team (dependant on a coin toss). Each period after this is then two minutes long, when the teams alternate by sending their man in until all eight guys are in the cage. Only after this happens do submissions count (no pinfalls), meaning the match will last a minimum of seventeen minutes). It’s easy to remember yeah?
This match was boring more or less, I have to say that straight away. Story of the match: The Dungeon dominates until Hogan comes in last and then the Hulkamaniacs dominate, till I think Sting gets the submission win on The Zodiac. This was around twenty minutes long and I couldn’t wait for this one to finish. I know this sounds harsh, but the Dungeon is so generic it’s laughable. The only newsworthy thing here is Luger accidentally clotheslining Savage and the both of them fighting it out together. The two of them collide the next night on Nitro, which has already been reviewed. Rating: D-
After the match, Hogan beats on the Taskmaster, as per the match stipulations, until the Giant comes out and destroys Hogan. The Hulkamaniacs surround a motionless Hogan to end the show.
Overall: B- This was a tricky one, as you have two great wrestling classics here in Pillman/Badd and Flair/Anderson, but you also have a boring main event in the War Games, which was WAY too one sided at the end. Despite that, everything else was either short or watchable and made sense in the grand scheme of things, which is all you can ask for really. On a side note, because of that awful Paul Orndorff segment earlier, we got the debut of the “Mr Wonderful” song after this show. Terrible song but also catchy, which scares me a lot.
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