WCW Fall Brawl 1997 9/14/1997
Written by: Arnold Furious
Hosts are Fat Tony, Bobby Heenan and Mike Tenay. I don’t remember when Da Dweem got shipped off but it was long overdue. I just couldn’t understand him. They shill the WARGAMES. It’s WCW vs nWo again. That didn’t work out well for WCW last year. As per usual we have 2 rings in preparation for WARGAMES.
Cruiserweight title – Chris Jericho (c) v Eddie Guerrero
Armdrag to start from Jericho and Eddie complains about a non-existent hair pull. Headlock takeovers with headscissor escapes and Eddie complains about a non-existent hair pull. Hehe. Eddie pulls the hair. Hehe. Jericho fires up (I just got a flash forward and Benoit screaming “Fire up Y2J” in 2001) and hits a shitload of armdrags and starts working the arm. Wristlock into an armbar from Jericho. Eddie pins out of it using the ropes for 2. CHEAT TO WIN HOMES! They trade Mahistral’s for 2 counts and Jericho goes back to the arm. Sweet Lionsault gets 2. He just can’t get that height anymore. Jericho works the arm some more. Eddie dropkicks him a few times and stomps the back. Mexican chinlock from Eddie. Back suplex from Eddie. Mexican stretch from Eddie and Jericho is contorted in there. Jericho gets out so Eddie works the back some more and hits a hilo on the spine for 2. Sweet. Gory Guerrero Special from Eddie and Jericho powers out into one of his own. Eddie gets partially out so Jericho powerbombs him face first. Ouch. Eddie tries to go hand held and gets crotched for his troubles. Crowd loves that. Jericho springboard dropkicks him to the apron. Jericho goes to powerbomb him off the apron but Eddie grabs the ropes and that sends them tumbling to the floor. Back inside and Eddie misses a hilo so Jericho hits an AWESOME RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX. Eddie lands on his head/neck and gets pinned for 2. Eddie avoids a powerbomb and connects with the Sambo suplex. Jericho recovers to hit a powerslam for 2. Spinning heel kick from Jericho gets 2. Flapjack from Jericho and La Mahistral is blocked for 2. Eddie goes for a rana and Jericho powerbombs him, holds on for a 2nd powerbomb and then hangs on again to dump him on the buckles. Superplex is countered into a crossbody however and Eddie is feeling froggy. Frog splash is enough at 17.16. ****. Well there is your match of the night. Really slow to get going but when it was there it was great. Both men were horrifically underused in WCW and never broke into the upper echelons of the card despite being the best workers (with Benoit/Malenko). Anyone who points out that even though they worked good matches the crowd wasn’t interested should probably watch this seeing as the crowd was into everything from the matwork through to the finish.
Larry Zbyszzzzzzzko joins the commentary team in Mike Tenay’s place. BACKSTAGE Jeff Jarrett answers a few questions on the WCW website.
Harlem Heat w/Jacquelyn v Steiner Brothers w/Ted DiBiase
This, unsurprisingly, is a #1 contenders match for the titles. Can anyone remember what the hell happened with DiBiase here? I know he was nWo and at this point he’s not to the point where he’s managing a babyface team. Scotty has himself a goatee for the 1st time in memory but there’s no bleach in sight. He looks more like a porn star than a wrestler. Scott gets beat up a bit until hitting a belly to belly on Stevie Ray. Booker attempts a full nelson, which, and you will be amazed at this – Steiner powers out of. Booker hits a suplex instead and comes off the buckles in order for Scott to hit another belly to belly. Rick bites the bottom rope, which makes you think they should pay him some decent money so he could afford food as well as Scotty’s steroids. They switch and Rick plays Gremlin in Peril. That doesn’t last and he powerslams Booker for 2. Stevie spends some quality time choking Scotty on the floor with a power cable. Jackie shouts on prompting this gem – “I like my managers the way I like my coffee – black, with big tits”. The source of that quote would be me. Scotty gets beaten up some more and amazingly hits a desperation suplex before hot tagging Rick. He hits a bulldog off the ropes on Booker who isn’t legal. Doomsday Missile Dropkick gets 2 but Booker gets sent outside. Steinerline/German Suplex finishes off Stevie Ray at 11.42. 3/4*. Ho hum, nothing much doing. All pretty much autopilot by the numbers stuff and there’s very little that pisses me off more.
TV title – Alex Wright (c) v Ultimo Dragon
Another re-match from Clash #35 where Wright won the belt. Mike Tenay re-joins the commentary team to make it a 4 man team. Erm, what’s the point of having Zybzzzzzzsyko and Heenan up there? Larry has so little talent I just don’t get his inclusion. I guess he slept with Eric Bischoff or something. Wright dances like a tosser so Dragon dropkicks him. They switch on arm ringers for a while. Dragon goes to the kicks but completely misses a spinning kick while Wright is on the ropes. Oops, that was a screw up. Wright takes the opportunity to hit a hot shot. Wright dances like a fairy to celebrate. Leg lariat gets 2. Appalling version of the Tiger Driver from Wright (like RVD’s only not clean) and he goes to the chinlock of doom. Wright likes it so much he goes to it again. He SO wasn’t good enough for that TV title or any other title or a contract. Back suplex gets 2 and he goes back to that damn chinlock. Dragon fires back with a crossbody and some stiff kicks to the spine. Wright avoids a spinning heel kick (possibly nice psychology after the original screw up miss, I like) and he goes back to that &%£@ing chinlock. Dragon gets out only to get caught in….THE CHINLOCK. Alex Wright is so versatile. Wright dances to prevent a sunset flip and gets rolled up for 2. Snap suplex from Wright and he does the “I’m going to eat boots off the top rope” move. He eats boots and even more so when Dragon goes kick fanatical (like ‘kick crazy’ only more, well, dedicated). Wright outside and he gets nailed with the Asai moonsault from Mr Asai. Back inside and Dragon hits a rana and they chop away at each other on their knees. Dragon gets pissed off and hits a dropkick from down there too. He climbs and gets dropkicked to the floor. Pescado from Wright as he follows out. Back inside and Dragon hits a butterfly suplex for 2. Tiger suplex – 2. They battle on the ropes and Dragon fails with a sunset flip bomb but holds on to hit a running powerbomb for 2. Moonsault – 2. Rana but Wright rolls through for 2. Dragon comes off the ropes to get met with a dropkick for 2. Dragon counters a back suplex for 2. They exchange cradles for 2’s. Wright goes after the German but it’s blocked. Super rana from Dragon and he hooks on a Dragon sleeper. Wright gets into the ropes and they battle over a sleeper. Wright hits a jawbreaker and the German suplex finishes at 18.43. ***1/2. Dragon carried Wright to a very good match here. First 10 minutes were sluggish due to all the Wright chinlocks. His array of dropkicks and chinlocks were enough to get me fast forwarding more than once but the finish was well put together and it dragged the rating up. Good stuff. The wrong man still has the belt though. Wright, despite playing a prick in style wasn’t as over or talented as Dragon. But since when has that ever stopped WCW?
BACKSTAGE Scheme Gene shills the WCW Hotline like the bald headed WHORE he is. Arn Anderson is on there getting upset at the nWo’s tasteless Horsemen parody, which they didn’t actually inform the Horsemen they were going to do. Meanwhile the nWo beat the crap out of Curt Hennig “off-camera” to give themselves at advantage later and convince people that Hennig isn’t going to turn in the main event. Yeah, right.
Dean Malenko v Jeff Jarrett w/Debra
Winner gets a shot at Mongo’s US title. Jarrett won the US title off Malenko and then lost it to Mongo but has his wife as his valet. So everyone is due revenge here. Jarrett sends Debra to the back (we’d see that again in the future in somewhat different circumstances). Jarrett hits an armdrag and struts. Jarrett continues to monkey around and Malenko ignores all of it and just wrestles him. I have to say these guys are normally the garnish for a more interesting wrestler (no offence, I’m a fan of both) and putting them against each other is a recipe for boredom. Malenko hits a dropkick and Jarrett takes a powder. Malenko fires up with sports entertainment punches, which looks weird. Jarrett uses a sleeper briefly but that doesn’t work. Malenko hits a superplex, which they both sell. Jarrett avoids a dropkick but Malenko goes back to throwing punches. Lame German suplex from Malenko and the Texas Cloverleaf is slapped on. Jarrett gets into the ropes and that brings Debra back out. The distracted Jarrett is crossbodied out to the floor. Tony refers to Debra as “the wife of US champ Debra McMichael”. Outside Malenko works over the knee a little. Back inside and another dropkick gets 2. He’s the man of 3 holds this show (rather than 1000 – Ed). Jarrett goes after Malenko’s knee. Touché. Malenko gets countered on a suplex for 2 so he slaps a sleeper on Jarrett. He back suplexes out of that. Malenko blocks a Figure 4 for a 2 count. Backslide – 2. Neckbreaker from Jarrett though cuts that comeback down. Near falls sequence follows. Jarrett hits a shinbreaker and a chop block. Figure 4 applied and Malenko is stuck in the middle of the ring so he puts Jarrett over at 14.55. ***. Very long for what it was and the first half of the match had a grand total of nothing going on. Still they got me back with the psychology of working the knee into a knee submission. Jarrett-McMichael made more sense for the following match so I guess I reluctantly agree to the booking as well although WCW weren’t aware of Jarrett’s reluctance to re-sign with them. He jumped ship soon afterwards.
We go to an nWo segment, which is heavily booed. Nash is leading this little nWo faction complete with Syxx, Konnan and Bagwell. 75% dead wood team, eh? Actually is this after Syxx’s neck injury? In which case it’s a 100% dead wood team. No one to carry their match. Crapola.
Wrath/Mortis w/James Vandenberg v Faces of Fear (Meng/Barbarian)
Whose bright idea was this? No one gives a crap about anyone in this and the only good worker is Mortis (Kanyon). Mortis decides to kick the crap out of Barbarian to make someone, anyone care about this. Barbarian battles back to my dismay and hits a clothesline for 2. Meng in and he stomps away so that brings in Wrath for a clubberfest. This is beyond ugly. Mortis comes in and Meng makes it very clear that he is NOT going to sell anything of his. Faeces of Fear continue to brutalise Mortis into a powerbomb for 2. That woke the crowd up thanks to the huge bump Mortis just took and Barbarian pumphandle powerbombs him to another nice rejoinder. Mortis comes back but it’s against Meng so naturally its wholly no sold. Barbarian climbs and Vandenberg crotches him. Mortis attempts a superplex but Barbarian can’t be bothered to take it so Wrath comes in to powerbomb Barbarian while Mortis hits a neckbreaker. I fast forward a Barbarian-Wrath segment and stop in time to see Mortis coming in with a Rocker Dropper off the ropes for 2. Wrath/Mortis do a superplex/Doomsday Device. That was cool. Mortis’s innovation is making the match remotely interesting. I fast forward Meng-Wrath. Meng frog splashes Mortis for 2. Vandenberg considers clubbering Meng and gets Tongan Deathgripped for it. Mortis hits a superkick, which is no sold and Meng puts on another Tongan Deathgrip. Wrath hits a butt ugly Rock Bottom on him to finish this off though at 12.21. 1/2*. It’s lucky that Kanyon was in this match or it would have outright sucked donkey penis. WAY too long with WAY too much Faeces of Fear. Interesting to note that they put over the no selling Meng and Wrath in the finish despite the fact that they both absolutely SUCK. I remember some Internet writer raving about Wrath back in 1997 and quite frankly it’s hard to see what the hell he saw in the guy (that would be ‘the Ditch’ in case anyone was interested).
BACKSTAGE Scheme Gene chats with the Horsemen (Flair/Benoit/Mongo). Benoit and Mongo open up while Flair stands by, looking bored, waiting to deliver. As soon as he opens his mouth the crowd goes nuts showing you why Flair was kept in the main events for as long as he was. He was the Hogan of the South, only with ability. Flair calls Benoit the “best wrestler alive today”. WHOO.
Scott Norton v The Giant
Norton is nWo. Giant isn’t nWo. Clubberfest to start. This is where I miss Da Dweem – “They be clubberin’ Tony, clubberin”. Great analysis. Giant suplexes Norton out on the floor. That looks about as painful as it sounds. Giant runs some standard offence until Norton hot shots him onto the ropes. I note the brick wall pattern on Norton’s tights, which would make him the “Brick Hit House”. Alright, I stole that one from the Simpsons, however Norton isn’t also known as the ‘Southern Dandy’. Norton pummels away and hits a back suplex to demonstrate his power. Giant’s feeling the power of the Chokeslam though – AAAAAAAAARGH and he hits a dropkick. See – he did try at one point. AAAAAAAAARGH Chokeslam finishes at 5.27. 1/4*. Even with effort the Giant still sucks. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH” – The Giant celebrates.
Diamond Dallas Page/Lex Luger v Scott Hall/Randy Savage w/Liz
This is ANOTHER re-match from Clash #35 except it was the main event there. Hall/Savage are Team nWo. So why isn’t Nash in this match thus making it for the tag titles and well, making sense? Pass. Luger overpowers Hall to start with but his offence is indolent looking (before the emails come in – ‘lazy’). Crowd dig it anyway as Luger pummels both heels. DDP comes in and gets worked over by Hall. DDP hits a piledriver (in WCW ‘pancake’ fashion) but Savage comes in to cut that comeback down. Hall hits him with the fall away slam for 2. DDP gets pounded in the nWo corner and Hall takes time out to hammer Luger down in the gap between the rings. DDP gets thrown over the ropes into the other ring and back again. Hall punks out the referee, which should be the end of this. Meanwhile DDP gets choked out by Liz. Another ref comes out and Hall punks him out too. Larry Zbyzzzzzzzzsko heads out to bore Hall into submission until alcoholism takes over. Luger crawls up from the gap meanwhile and rolls Hall up for Zbyzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsko to count 3 at 10.16. What the hell was that shit? DUD. The commentators shill the victory despite WCW having to CHEAT to win.
That match sucked so much I’ve recapped it again in the style of the Swedish chef from the Muppets just to try and make it entertaining.
Thees is ENOTHER re-a-metch frum Clesh #35 ixcept it ves zee meeen ifent zeere-a. Hell/Sefege-a ere-a Teem nVu. Su vhy isn’t Nesh in thees metch thoos mekeeng it fur zee teg teetles und vell, mekeeng sense-a? Pess. Looger ooferpooers Hell tu stert veet boot hees ooffffence-a is indulent luukeeng (beffure-a zee imeeels cume-a in – ‘lezy’). Crood deeg it unyvey es Looger poommels but heels. DDP cumes in und gets vurked oofer by Hell. DDP heets a peeledrifer (in VCV ‘punceke-a fesheeun) boot Sefege-a cumes in tu coot thet cumebeck doon. Hell heets heem veet zee fell evey slem fur 2. DDP gets puoonded in zee nVu curner und Hell tekes teeme-a oooot tu hemmer Looger doon in zee gep betveee zee reengs. DDP gets throon oofer zee rupes intu zee oozeer reeng und beck egeeen. Hell poonks oooot zee refferee-a, vheech shuoold be-a zee ind ooff thees. Meunvheele-a DDP gets chuked oooot by Leez. Unuzeer reff cumes oooot und Hell poonks heem oooot tuu. Lerry Zbyzzzzzzzzsku heeds oooot tu bure-a Hell intu soobmeessiun unteel elcuhuleesm tekes oofer. Looger crevls up frum zee gep meunvheele-a und rulls Hell up fur Zbyzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsku tu cuoont 3 et 10.16. Vhet zee hell ves thet sheet? DOoD. Zee cummenteturs sheell zee feectury despeete-a VCV hefeeng tu CHEET tu veen.
BACKSTAGE Scheme Gene doesn’t know anything but the WCW Hotline is open at $1.59 a minute. The crowd boo Scheme Gene for being such a damn WHORE. I understand that WCW feels the need to shill their own phoneline but TWICE on a PPV? People pay for this shit they don’t want more shit on top of that. Give it a rest.
WARGAMES – nWo (Nash/Syxx/Bagwell/Konnan) v Horsemen (Flair/Benoit/Mongo/Curt Hennig)
Nice to see Benoit in another main event. Not so nice to see Mongo, Syxx, Nash, Bagwell or Konnan. None of whom were legitimate main eventers in 1997. Only Nash of those listed was a legitimate main eventer at any stage during his career. Hennig is still missing at the start of the match thanks to the “beating” he took earlier. First 5 minutes one on one is – Buff Bagwell v Chris Benoit. Bagwell taunts and gets ‘caged’ head first for it, three times. Benoit suplexes Bagwell into the cage but he misses with a skilfully aimed Flying Wolverine. Benoit is caged and demonstrates how ‘selling’ is done. Benoit gets backdropped into the cage. Bagwell celebrates and I’m amazed they’ve let him get this much offence in. Benoit hammers him in the corner and nWo wins the coin toss to get a 2 on 1 advantage. Next man in is Konnan but Benoit beats both men down and slams Bagwell on Konnan. Bagwell gets a boot in though and Konnan hits a DDT. 2nd in for the Horsemen is Mongo. He goes on a scoop slam rampage reminiscent of the late, great Big John Studd. 3rd in for the nWo is Syxx and Benoit chops the shit out of him and cages him. Mongo decides to have fun with Syxx too and Farewell’s him into the roof. Benoit straps on the Crippler Crossface but Bagwell breaks it up. Still Syxx is crippled. Fans are going nuts at the anticipation of Flair coming in but out comes Curt Hennig with arm sling. 3rd in for the Horsemen is Flair. He chops away – WHOO. Mongo works over Konnan’s back setting him up for a potential submission. The last man for the nWo is Nash. He goes right after Flair with a sidewalk slam. Benoit isn’t going to take any shit though and he goes after Nash to a huge pop only for Nash to slam him into the cage because in his eyes he’s a vanilla midget who’ll never draw. Reasons why I hate Kevin Nash #28 there. Nash big boots Mongo and he’s just demolished everyone. Crowd chants for Sting because like everyone else in the world they don’t trust Hennig. Horsemen continue to take a beating and the last man into this thing is Curt Hennig. Syxx gets strapped in the Figure 4. Hennig, of course, turns heel and hammers Mongo with some handcuffs before helping the nWo beat down Flair. Benoit and Mongo get cuffed to the cage and Flair gets his ass kicked in front of a seriously pissed off crowd. Nash asks Benoit if he quits and Benoit spits on him. Benoit tries to break the handcuffs and he is trying so hard out there compared to the languid (‘lazy’, again. Thanks to the nWo for letting me use 2 ‘lazy’ synonyms in one review) nWo performance. The nWo drag Flair out of the cage and threaten to decapitate him with the cage door. Mongo tells them to stop it, which they interpret as the end of the match at 19.33 so Hennig slams Flair’s head in the cage door anyway. **1/2. Disappointing. The nWo did NOTHING in this match bar Syxx taking a few reasonable bumps. Crowd HATES the finish because it absolutely sucks and that’s the end of the show.
Overall PPV rating – C+
No star power and a lacklustre performance from many of WCW’s ‘big’ names. Also they let everything run long whether the match had any quality or not. Very confusing stuff. Malenko-Jarrett would have been better if it was shorter along with Dragon-Wright, which dragged with rest holds. If they were planning on handing out long matches – why not put Benoit in a singles match? If it weren’t for the Guerrero-Jericho match I’m certain this whole PPV would be stowed away into a dark corner somewhere and forgotten about. As it stands it’s brought the grade up to a reasonable ‘average’. Thumbs in the middle, etc. Not overly recommended. Fair to middling.