ThunderStruck: WCW Fall Brawl: War Games 1995 Review
Live from Asheville, North Carolina, it’s the 1995 edition of WCW Fall Brawl! Tony Schiavone and Bobby the Brain Heenan are on commentary as they hype the show at the opener.
They talk about the Giant trying to run over Hulk Hogan’s motorcycle on Main Event before the pay per view tonight.
We start the show with the legendary Flyin Brian(Pillman) taking on Johnny B. Badd(Marc Mero). Brian and Badd wrestle an outstanding match to a 20 minute time limit draw. The ref, Nick Patrick, talks to Bruce Buffer and puts the match in sudden death overtime as there must be a winner to face Sting for the US Title.
The match goes another nine minutes in overtime and Badd gets the win when the two collide in midair with a crossbody on one another and Badd gets the three count. Great match to kick off this pay per view as we’re now almost forty minutes into the show!
Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Ric Flair about his match with Arn Anderson later tonight. Flair talks about his history with Anderson and says Anderson faces greatness tonight. Flair says he loves Anderson but tonight he has to show him that there is only one king of the hill. Awesome promo from Flair!
Cobra(military guy) comes to the ring for a match. I know nothing about this guy. Time for google. Cobra is apparently Jeff Farmer, and Farmer would go on to portray the fake Sting in the nWo. Now we know who he is! Pitbull(Craig Pittman) is not coming to the ring for his match right away, but out comes someone else. Pitbull comes down from the ceiling(repels) while the extra guy distracts Cobra. He sneaks up on Cobra and chokes him to start the match.
Pitbull defeats Cobra in less than three minutes with the code-red(cross armbreaker). Definitely more of a gimmick segment than an actual wrestling match. Not impressed.
Schivone and Heenan talk about Paul Orndorf and his bad luck. Orndorf is shown flipping out backstage in his locker room as if he’s losing it. Crazy person gimmick? Gary Spivey shows up(from the Psychic Companions Network apparently) and talks to him. Spivey gives him a pep talk and tells him he’s still Mr. Wonderful.
The Diamond Doll(Kimberly) and Max Muscle escort Diamond Dallas Page to the ring for his TV Title match. I loved DDP’s cigar. Jimmy Hart is in the corner of the TV Champ, the Renegade(Warrior knock off). DDP attacks Renegade before the bell. Jimmy Hart stops Max Muscle from interfering in the match but then gets involved anyway by holding Renegade’s foot and allowing DDP to hit the Diamond Cutter for the win. Kimberly looks less than impressed. This was a good match up until the finish, but that’s the sort of thing you get with heel gimmicks. Excellent wrestling and probably the only match I’ve ever seen from Renegade that went longer than five minutes(nine or so here) that I actually enjoyed.
Schiavone and Heenan tell us that Colonel Parker and Sherri are finally on the same page and that it could effect the Tag Team Title match tonight.
Sister Sherri escorts the Harlem Heat to the ring as they challenge for the Tag Team Titles. Colonel Parker escorts the Tag Champs, Bunkhouse Buck and Dirty Dick Slater, to the ring. Sixteen minutes into the match, Sherri and Parker get it on in the second ring and the ref is distracted. The Nasty Boys come out to the ring and help Harlem Heat get the win by taking Slater out(Slater cost the Nasty Boys a match on Main Event against the American Males, so this was payback). Sherri and Parker don’t care as they’re lip locked in the other ring. Excellent Tag Team Match and a good amount of time given. Harlem Heat is unhappy with Sherri, and Buck and Slater are angry with Parker. Weird storyline, but it worked for the title change.
Mean Gene interviews Bunkhouse Buck with Parker and Slater. Buck is angry with Parker, but Parker tells them he’ll get them another match and sends them to the back. Parker tells Mean Gene he feels like he’s twenty years old because of Sherri, but he will get his boys another match.
Schiavone tells us Halloween Havoc will be on October 29 live in Detroit, Michigan.
Mean Gene interviews Arn Anderson after showing him a video package highlighting his rivalry with Flair. Anderson says the one thing he’s always given everyone is that he’s either loved with everything he had or hated with everything he’s had. He compares Flair to a family member that he needs to shake and straighten out. Anderson says the match has to happen to set Flair right. Excellent promo from Arn Anderson(highly underrated on the mic).
Arn Anderson defeats Ric Flair in a twenty two minute mat clinic. Anderson wins the match with a DDT after Flyin Brian gets on the apron and punches Ric Flair and kicks him in the back of the head. This may be one of the most underrated matches in WCW history. Excellent old school battle! Anderson getting the win was the right move, even with the interference. Having WCW performers in the audience watching the match tells me two things. First, they couldn’t fill the crowd(or they reserved seats for them). Second, the match was huge to a lot of these performers. These two told one incredible story. This is easily the best WCW match I’ve reviewed since I started with 1995 coverage.
Kevin Sullivan cuts a creepy pre-taped promo on Hulk Hogan. Good stuff.
The Hulkamaniacs(Luger, Hogan, Savage and Sting) are interviewed by Mean Gene. Hogan says they’ve drank a couple gallons of Agent Orange(ha!). Savage says there are no problems within the group and they are united as a fearsome foursome.
We are told that if Hogan’s team wins tonight, he gets the Taskmaster, Kevin Sullivan, alone inside the cage. The Dungeon of Doom comes out first, followed by the Hulkamaniacs. The match can only be won by submission.
The Dungeon of Doom sends in Shark(John Tenta) for the first five minutes and the Hulkamaniacs send Sting in. After five minutes, Team Dungeon wins the coin toss and the Zodiac(Brutus Beefcake) enters the match for the two on one advantage. They double team Sting and two minutes later, Savage enters the match and goes off on Shark and Zodiac. Two minutes later, Kamala enters the match for the Dungeon of Doom. Kamala works on Sting while Shark and Zodiac work on Savage as we wait for Luger to get into the match. Luger comes in to help his team and takes down both Shark and Kamala with a clothesline. Savage and Luger throw Zodiac’s head into the cage wall(ouch!). Now THIS is action! Meng joins the match two minutes later and the Dungeon gets the upper hand. Hogan comes in and now someone is allowed to submit or surrender. Hulk throws powder in the eyes of each Dungeon member. Hogan ends up forcing the Zodiac to submit in a steiner-recliner style/modified camel clutch and the Hulkamaniacs win the match! With the physicality and chaos of that match, what a fitting name for the show, Fall Brawl!
Taskmaster tries to get away after the match but security stops him. Sting forces Taskmaster into the ring as Meng and Zodiac just walk past them casually to the back. Brilliant logic. Hogan tosses Taskmaster against the cage walls repeatedly and chases Taskmaster to the outside to continue the assault before forcing him back into the ring. Hogan nails the big boot and then out comes the Giant. Giant throws a ref out of his way and enters the cage to go after Hogan. Giant brings Hogan to his knees and then shoves him to the mat. The Hulkamaniacs come back for the save and Giant leaves with Taskmaster. Giant is yelling that Hogan is through as his teammates try to help him. The show goes off the air with Hogan needing paramedics.
So we had an outstanding main event and a nice storyline continuation to end the show; that’s how a pay per view should go!
The only bad match on the card was the one minute joke. That aside, this was an excellent pay per view with solid wrestling and good/logical storylines filling up the show. Give it 8/10 for delivering in every place that it needed to.
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