WCW Fall Brawl 1998 9/13/1998

Written by: Arnold Furious

We’re in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan. They talk about the bastardised War Games tonight. There are three teams and you can win with pinfalls. What the fuck is that? Crowd drowns them out with “WE WANT FLAIR”. I mean LOUDEST CHANT, EVER. A big fuck you to Eric Bischoff and WCW there.

BACKSTAGE Ernest Miller is subdued by security. Erm. Ok. Point of that? None I can see.

Back to the announcers who ramble on some more about War Games.

FRONTSTAGE Gene Okerlund plugs some of tonight’s bouts. Out comes Chris Jericho to speak to his adoring public. He’s super over. He rants about Bill Goldberg and challenges him to a title v title match here tonight. He won the TV title off Stevie Ray after losing the cruiserweight belt. Stevie had been defending the title on behalf of his injured brother Booker T. Crowd reacts huge and chants for Goldberg. Hey, they had something going here! So obviously they completely fucked that up.

Boogie Nights v Davey Boy Smith/Jim Neidhart

They can’t even spell Neidhart’s name right, which shows you how much they care about these guys. I think Disco is a babyface. WCW’s heel/face alignments were starting to get pretty screwy by this point. Wright is definitely wrestling heel. Crowd chants “USA” to piss Alex Wright off. Davey is English so they’re not chanting for him. Stalling from him. Wright takes Bulldog down and the crowd cheers. I guess everyone is a tweener. Davey looks like shit. 1998 was the year he started to go down the toilet. I love the guy but he just started not caring. But then it’s WCW so no one noticed. Davey with a press slam. Disco-Anvil and they both half ass it too. Neither is a pretty sight. They’re sleepwalking out there. It’s almost offensive. This crowd is so ready to explode and they’re giving them nothing. The reaction when Jericho walked out here proved this crowd was ready to be charged up. Disco stomps on Neidhart and finally gets something going. More lazy stuff and Anvil isn’t even quarter assing this. Wright-Davey is much better but far from ‘good’. Wright dances to heat. You can dance, just don’t be so German about it. Crappy jumping calf kick gets 2. Wright’s chops just remind the crowd that Flair isn’t here. This is really dragging. Disco gets thrown outside and Anvil gives him a kicking. Disco runs into Davey’s knee. Disco comes back with a running…nothing. Davey helpfully sells it anyway. Crowd is bored. “WE WANT FLAIR”. Wright covers his ears. Heh. There’s no ignoring it, might as well sell it. Anvil misses a slingshot shoulderblock. Tag to Wright who hits a missile dropkick on Anvil but he gets split between the two guys so Anvil hits him from behind. Disco saves Wright from the running powerslam. Boogie Nights collide and the running powerslam finishes Disco off at 11.52. Davey can’t even get his finisher right fucking it up twice before actually hitting it. That’s NOT, repeat not, the match I’d have opened with. ¼*.

Chris Jericho v “Bill Goldberg”
This would have been seriously over and catapulted Jericho into the upper card as he was already getting the reactions. Jericho has his own faux Goldberg entrance here complete with his own security team (Ralphus and the Jericholic Ninja). They can’t find their way out into the arena because they’re incompetent. Jericho knows his gags and shouts “rock and roll” on his way around the back aping This is Spinal Tap. “Where’s the ring?” Jericho’s “Goldberg” pyro sucks. Jericho kicks at them and takes a deep breath. How did they not hit with this guy? There are JERICHOHOLICS signs in the crowd. Goldberg is 143-0. The anticipation for this match is really high. But you wouldn’t expect WCW to book their own world champion on a PPV would you? While the fake is quite amusing complete with plastic title belt. He’s about 4 feet tall. Jericho overpowers Goldberg and shoves him down. Crowd is chanting “bullshit” or possibly “Horsemen”. Cocky cover gets 2. Crowd wants the real Goldberg. SPEAR! HAHAHA. Jericho boots him back down and puts the boots in. Liontamer and it’s over at 1.14. DUD but it was quite funny. THE STREAK IS OVER! This would have been entertaining for an angle on Nitro but on PPV they should have just run Goldberg v Jericho. It’s not like Goldberg has anything else to do. Missed chance this was.

Norman Smiley v Ernest Miller

Miller is just coming out as The Cat now. Miller gets the mic to remind us he’s a three time karate champion. He can take a man apart in five seconds but because Smiley is a “brother” he’ll give him five seconds to leave and he won’t whoop his ass. Smiley punches him. Dropkick sends Miller outside. Outside and Smiley stands there looking like a chump because Miller has no timing at all. He kicks Smiley in the jaw. Miller with some crappy looking strikes. This isn’t pretty. Miller with more horrible strikes. You’d think a karate guy could at least make strikes look good. Smiley catches him in a back suplex. Smiley with a brutal looking elbow drop. Miller begs off. Yawn. Solidarity brother! Yeah, solidarity Reg. Miller with a few kicks. Stop the sucking! This is hideous. Smiley tries to get the crowd going but he doesn’t have the Big Wiggle here so they don’t care. Stalling suplex gets murmurs of interest and a 2 count. Smiley at least looks competent out there. Miller barely hits the Feliner. That’s an overly complex move for what is essentially a kick to the head. Another one follows for the pin at 5.04. Yeah, the guy that needed to be carried and no one cares about goes over. Well it IS WCW. ½*.

Rick Steiner v Scott Steiner w/Buff Bagwell
This is finally on after holding off on it for seven months. WCW happily rips off another great piece of music to have Rick come out to a terrible version of Welcome to the Jungle. They start out with bags of energy and flat out wail on each other. Rick hits a Steinerline and the roof comes off the place. This is how Sting-Hogan should have started. Scott eventually gets such an ass kicking he has to bail out. Rick sends him into the front row. Buff grabs Rick’s leg to slow him up. Scott goes low to avoid the belly to belly. The referee missed it because Buff was once again being a nuisance. From there the steam just goes out of this match. Scott slows the pace right up and occasionally hits Rick with clubbing rights. He looks gassed. I guess they went a little too fast out the gate. Scott can’t get the Tiger Driver and Rick powers out into a DDT. Buff jumps into the ring so Rick rams him head first into the buckle and Buff just dies. I mean motionless even though he barely hit it. The referee is concerned with him and has also lost control over the match. Scott shoves Rick away to check on Buff so Rick jumps him. Referee breaks it up because Buff is crying about his neck. Heenan points out how many times he’s cried wolf before. Crowd chants “bullshit” because they can’t even book this match after holding off on it for seven fucking months. Match is like * but the booking takes it down to a DUD. The energy at the start was nice to see though. Now we get really stupid stuff…

POST MATCH Buff gets hauled out of here and gets stuck in an ambulance. This takes forever. Rick looks full of remorse for injuring another worker. Five minutes just to get him out of the ring is somewhat excessive. Crowd doesn’t buy it. In fact only Rick buys it because he’s an idiot. It takes another four minutes to get him into the ambulance. Rick turns his back finally as Scott gets into the ambulance with Buff. He hangs his head and both heels jump out of the ambulance and kick his ass. Oh dear lord. “I was bullshittin’ ya” – Buff. -*** for running such a dumb angle to kill a hot match. Amazingly Rick actually trusted Buff enough to tag with him the following month. No prizes for guessing what happened there.

Cruiserweight title – Juventud Guerrera (c) v Silver King
Silver King? He’s been practically invisible during his WCW run so this is just a routine defence, which makes you wonder what it’s doing on a PPV. It feels like a Thunder midcard match. Tenay calls this the “sleeper match” of the night. In that it’ll send you to sleep. At least there’s effort here, which is an improvement on most of the card. They trade strikes before going into the poor lucha stuff. Juvi hits a headscissors. Silver King bails for a chair but it’s a plastic one. Lame. Back inside and King stands there waiting for Juvi to hit the springboard rana for 2. King breaks out a dropkick in the Farewell. King with a helicopter and dumps Juvi on the ropes. Tenay pulls out some facts about these guys because everyone is bored. Crowd chants “boring”. Shoulderbreaker from King gets 2. Dropkick sends Juvi outside. Springboard plancha connects. Juvi lies around holding his face. Good selling on that. Or he just landed on his face. Crowd chants “Taco Bell” at these guys. Yeah, they don’t care. Juvi fucks up a sunset flip. King thinks about doing something interesting but stops. Juvi with a flip up rana for 2. King begs off and gets the 5 count punches. King stands around waiting for a missile dropkick. This is so weak. Juvi is just throwing his spots out there and King looks like he’s in a different match. Or a different era. He looks like he fell out of the 70’s. King misses in the corner and the clash of styles continues. REVERSE RANA OFF THE TOP! That gets 2. Oh, that was a finish. Juvi Driver is countered into a roll up for 2. Snap suplex and King goes up but the moonsault misses. He wouldn’t have hit him where he was lying anyway. Juvi Driver and up goes Juvi for the 450 Splash, which finishes at 8.36. **. A few moves for the highlight reel, otherwise bad. King went over to Japan when his WCW run finished where he became Black Tiger, the old Eddy Guerrero character. With Mexicans being phased out by New Japan King took the Black Tiger character back to Mexico. Most recently he’s changed his gimmick to Ramses after playing a part of the same name in the movie Nacho Libre.

CLIPS of Saturn trying to dismantle the Flock. It starts with Lodi. Kanyon bitches at Saturn because Kanyon is now Raven’s buddy again. Raven cuts a promo about loyalty and breaks Saturn’s fingers. Saturn beats up Kanyon and gives him the Exploder. They ran a nice angle where Saturn was Lodi’s slave after losing to him. But then Lodi wasn’t at a show so Saturn was free. Raven sends the Flock after Saturn but he beats them all up. They book a match where Saturn is Raven’s servant if he loses. If Saturn wins the Flock has to disband.

Raven’s Rules – Raven w/Lodi v Perry Saturn

Kanyon is handcuffed to ringside for some reason. It wasn’t announced beforehand, it just got tagged on tonight to stop interference. “I am not the Elephant Man” screams a slightly mental Kanyon. This feud has been rumbling on for a while. Raven gets the mic and tells Saturn he’s an embarrassment and this begins his career of servitude. Saturn says this is about honour but Raven has none. If he wins or loses Saturn still has his integrity. Raven dumps Saturn on the ropes to start for 2. Raven with a knee lift. Saturn comes back with punches and a thrust kick. Slam gets 2. Saturn with a frogsplash for 2. Raven gets nailed off the apron and falls onto the rail. Lodi helps him back up but Saturn takes them out with a suicide dive. Lodi drags him into the rail and shouts at him. Lodi doesn’t want to be freed it would seem. Raven with a few sloppy elbow drops for 2. Sunset flip but Saturn counters it into a pin for 2. Raven with a sloppy clothesline and a sleeper. Jawbreaker frees Saturn but can’t revive him. This is dragging now. Raven with a Russian legsweep for 2. Saturn goes low when Raven starts putting him in gay covers. Raven has a chair and he hits his drop toehold. Out comes the Flock with a table. Horace, Riggs and Sickboy are out here and Kidman goes up top while the others set the table up. Kidman turns on Raven with a missile dropkick thus creating a hot new babyface in the cruiser ranks. The Flock chase him off. DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Ref gets distracted by Lodi for long enough for Raven to kick out. Saturn ducks a clothesline into the Exploder. Belly to belly! Saturn is on fire. Not literally. Springboard legdrop gets 2. Michinoku Driver gets 2. Raven gets an inside cradle for 2. Saturn takes him down into the Rings of Saturn. It should be over but Lodi breaks it. In comes Lodi but Saturn goes low on Raven and crotches Lodi upstairs. Ref is bumped. In a no DQ match? Ah, Kanyon gets the keys for the cuffs and he’s free. Flatliner for Saturn. Raven is on top but the ref is still out. Kanyon helpfully cuffs himself back up and wakes the ref up. Saturn kicks out to the biggest pop of the night so far. Saturn goes low again. Saturn spies Lodi still up top and DEATH VALLEY DRIVERS HIM THROUGH THE TABLE! The Flock is gone. Raven hits the DDT and the crowd senses evil but Saturn kicks out to out pop the last pop. Raven goes for it again but Saturn counters into the DVD for the pin at 14.02. **3/4. Hot finish on that one. Finally, a decent match. Plus they put the right guy over and blew off this feud in a big way.

Tony cuts in to tell us that Jim Duggan’s cancer surgery was successful. This leads into clips of Malenko-Hennig from Nitro. Yeah, put the cage match on the free show and save the straight up match for the PPV. That works. They even book a ref bump in that match too. While Hennig is tapping to the Cloverleaf the cage is unlocked by Bischoff and in come the nWo for the DQ. Stevie Ray has joined the nWo since the last PPV. Keep in mind that Malenko wins via DQ. Arn makes the save teasing the Horsemen reunion but Flair is still under suspension. We get an Arn promo where he tells Malenko that if he made the call he’d have Malenko in the Horsemen while in the past he wouldn’t have done.

Curt Hennig w/Rick Rude v Dean Malenko

Malenko starts fast and at least they’re trying to move him up the card. “WE WANT FLAIR”. Malenko takes out the knee and its the right one with a knee brace on. Rude gets involved to Malenko wails on him too. Hennig gets his knee posted. Hennig gets his feet up and goes for a slam but Malenko falls on top. Hennig comes back with chops. Malenko goes right back to the knee and tries for the Cloverleaf but Hennig goes to the eyes. Heenan talks about how it’s impossible to make your eyes tough. Hennig tries to come back but Malenko single legs him and takes the knee apart again. Rude helps Hennig out of the ring so he can limp around and really sell the knee. Malenko chases and wins on the floor. Hennig begs off so Malenko dropkicks his knee out. Hennig has a legitimate knee injury so all of this can’t be good for him. Rude helps Hennig get the ropes again. Malenko hooks a leglock. Hennig kicks at him and Rude gets in a cheap shot. Isn’t that a DQ? Hennig hobbles around and looks for the Perfectplex but the knee won’t hold the weight. Malenko steals the Perfectplex and it would probably end there if Rude didn’t jump in for the DQ, which he does at 7.36. **. Technically solid but not an interesting bout in any way. This would mark the last major appearance of Rick Rude who died of a heart attack after battling testicular cancer.

POST MATCH Malenko gets a beatdown but out comes Double A for the save only for him to take a whack to the neck and go down fast. They take Arn’s arm apart because he’s arm wrestling Bischoff this week for Ric Flair’s future. Crowd isn’t thrilled by this. “WE WANT FLAIR”. Notice how they ran almost the exact same angle that they ran with the cage match? Only with the babyfaces getting a total beating out of it. Way to please your crowd, WCW!

Scott Hall w/Vincent v Konnan

Hall is drunk, both kayfabed and not, and sips from what appears to be a Manhattan on the way out here. He does some overselling of his drunkeness. Crowd boos. This angle is NOT going over well AT ALL. The idea was that they played up on a real life incident where Hall drunkenly groped a 50 year old woman. You’d think such bad publicity would result in a suspension. Vincent tells him to not cut a promo. “Hey yo”. He stops for a sip of sweet, sweet malt liquor. He runs survey time and it seems the crowd are here to see the “lame Wolfpac”. I’m not. I hate the Wolfpac. Especially this evening as they’re represented by “K-Dawg”. You look like a fucking idiot. Konnan runs his catchphrases but doesn’t actually say anything. Hall keeps switching rings because he thinks it’s funny. Yeah, he’s wasted. Just breath on him Scott, he’ll fall down drunk and you can pin him. Hall suggests Konnan has a small cock. And a don’t mean a male chicken. Hall tries to pull Konnan’s hair but he doesn’t have any. This is completely lost on all the commentators, which is a pity because it was a nice bit of psychology. Hall messes with Konnan on a test of strength so Konnan slaps him. Rolling clothesline and I can buy Hall standing around waiting to get hit with stuff in this match because psychologically speaking he’s drunk. Konnan stomps Hall down between the two rings. It’ll take him a while to find his way out so Vincent kills time by distracting. Hall can’t sneak up on Konnan because he stinks of booze. He bails for another drink. Someone freshen his glass for Christ’s sake! What kind of promotion are we running here? You always keep the talent happy. Hall goes to a rest hold by holding onto Konnan’s arms. This goes on for 2 minutes until Konnan reverses it and Hall, like a complete moron, holds onto the arms still merely putting pressure on himself. Just let go you fool! Not even drunk people are that dumb. Hall goes low for 2 after positioning the referee. Last Call fallaway slam gets 2. Shades of Wilbur Snyder and Hall takes a swig from his drink. Hah, GENIUS! Middle of the forehead genius. Sadly he goes on to cheat instead of getting another swig. Vincent blames the cameraman for shaking the ropes. Konnan reverses it but Hall hip tosses out. Hall stumbles around and somehow manages a lariat. This isn’t getting any better. Back superplex from Hall. He calls for the finish but stops off to grab a swig. Vincent points out he should, yanno, PIN THE GUY. Hall is all “I’ll do what I wants to do’s. You’re not the boss of Scott, the boss of Scott is me. Scott”. Konnan unsportingly kicks Hall’s beverage out of his hands. NOOOOO, PRECIOUS ALCOHOL! X-Factor from Konnan. Gay. And the Tequila Sunrise causes Hall to tap, ahem, like a drunk man at 12.01. *. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. If Hall really was that drunk it was decent, if he wasn’t he was playing a drunk guy pretty well. The match still sucked but Hall was mildly entertaining. I know I talk about WCW never making stars but they went ahead and turned Konnan into a high card babyface. The big question would be – why? They were obviously after the latino market so why not push Eddy instead? Or Rey? WWE did and got more out of them than WCW ever got out of Konnan.

”War Games”
It’s in “” because this is the least traditional of the War Games matches. Pinfalls are allowed. There are three teams of three. The guy who gets the pinfall/submission gets a title shot at Goldberg at the next PPV. Yeah, that’s what War Games has come down to. Oh, and the match can finish at any time regardless of whether all the wrestlers have entered the match. LAME! First two guys are Diamond Dallas Page and Bret Hart. For some reason no one has entrance music here. This opening match will be five minutes. Bret works at the arm to start. DDP reverses. Already this is sluggish. Pinfalls in a War Games just seem stupid. It’s like winning the Royal Rumble by pinfall. Bret avoids a Diamond Cutter and dumps DDP on the buckle. DDT and a legdrop. Bret doesn’t seem interested in pinning. Or putting any effort into this. He stated afterwards he felt the match was dangerous because of the gap between the rings. Bret runs through his usual stuff showing little interest in finishing the match. Crowd pick up on it and don’t care. Russian legsweep gets Bret’s first near fall. Inside cradle gets 2. We’re approaching the end of the five minutes. DDP hits a clothesline as the time expires. Third man in is Stevie Ray. That doesn’t sit well with the crowd. He helps Bret beat up on DDP. He can’t even do stomps convincingly. He really did sink, in the ring, like a rock when he joined the nWo. DDP comes back with a double clothesline. Stevie kicks away for a minute and then out comes Sting. Stevie meets him and beats on him. Sting fires back and it looks like his character has finally recovered from Starrcade. Sting hits a dive over the ropes reminiscent of the Roadwarriors back in the day. Except he fell on his face. Crowd goes dead waiting for the next guy, which is Roddy Piper. He wails on everyone including Page, who’s on his team, because this isn’t even a team game because the winner gets a title shot. Why bother having teams then? It just makes Stevie Ray look like a bigger idiot for helping Bret. Also the crowd don’t want to see Piper and Page fight. Piper misses Bret punch him because Bret works so soft sometimes. Punch looked great but Piper was in his own little world. Next guy is Lex Luger. Great, FEEL THE WORKRATE. He strolls down here flexing. He goes after Stevie Ray and apparently Bret signalled to Luger but Luger drills him with a punch anyway. So what was the point in all that teasing? Crowd didn’t react at all. This whole thing is dumb. Tony can’t even tell the difference between Sting and DDP. Sting even has a top on. Next guy is Kevin Nash. He actually jogs out here and goes after Piper. Nash goes for a powerbomb but out comes Hogan before his time. He sneaks in and blindsides Nash totally undermining his push in the process. Luger is racking Bret but Hogan saves him. Slapjacks all round apart from Bret who Stevie clips. Everyone is lying on the floor now. Yeah, that Slapjack is like Kryptonite and cancer rolled into one. Hogan and Stevie pose a bit while everyone else stays down selling. This is ridiculous. Why did Hogan come in so early? Apart from to make everyone else in the match look like a complete fucking retard. In comes a load of smoke and WOYAH~! pops in through a trapdoor. Hogan lays him out from behind. More smoke. I hate this company. Couldn’t the lights go out instead? I mean really. Now WOYAH~! has disappeared and he reappears from the entranceway. “How’d he do that?” – Tony. Boy, some people really ARE as stupid as they look. Hogan bails and wants the door locked. WOYAH~! wails on Stevie instead. Yeah, there’s a bout everyone wants to see. Everyone else in the ring is STILL lying around selling that Slapjack. Oh, Bret is finally back up. WOYAH~! ignores him because he wants to get to Hogan, for reasons unspecified. Everyone else is still lying around. WOYAH~! kicks the side out of the cage, oh boy, and chases Hogan up the aisle. Sting tries to roll up Bret but DDP nails Stevie with the Diamond Cuttter and that’s enough for the pin at 20.05. -**. What a piece of shit main event that was. A bunch of guys who don’t care doing a grand total of nothing while Hogan runs away from a special effect. I guess we should be thankful for small mercies and be glad Hogan didn’t want to go over here. The selling in this was ridiculous as well. Nash and Piper were hit first by the Slapjack but remained down long after the others had recoverd. As did Luger. Or perhaps he’d just fallen asleep.

Final Thoughts:
I actually thought that Road Wild was worse. This is certainly appalling and the latest in a string of horrible disappointments from WCW in 1998. The main event caps off a poor night of wrestling in spectacular fashion. Why must everything else take second place to Hogan’s bullshit storylines?

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