WCW: Fall Brawl 1998
WCW: Fall Brawl
September 13, 1998
The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Bill Goldberg (7/6/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bret Hart (8/13/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Giant & Scott Hall (7/20/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Chris Jericho (8/10/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Juventud Guerrera (8/8/1998)
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Bobby Heenan. WE WANT FLAIR! Tony shows us a clip of WCW security trying to hold back Ernest Miller and Norman Smiley from ripping each other apart. Yeah, because when I think of EXCITING feuds where two guys who can’t keep their hands off each other, the Cat and Norman Smiley feud is at the top of that list.
Heenan said he would give us his bold prediction on who wins Wargames tonight. According to Bobby, anybody could win this match tonight. TALK ABOUT YOUR BOLD PREDICTIONS.
Gene Okerlund is discussing what a giant card Fall Brawl will be when the WCW world TV champion Chris Jericho interrupts to announce that tonight he will meet Bill Goldberg – TITLE VERSUS TITLE. The crowd is pretty pumped about this one. Goldberg is totally whining and complaining over Jericho having his own security detail now, so the match is definitely gonna happen. Yep.
- Davey Boy Smith & Jim Neidhart vs. Alex Wright & Disco Inferno
These two teams take a minute to figure out who will be starting the match. Once Alex Wright is done hearing a “USA!” chant from my fellow Winston-Salem people, he locks up with Bulldog. Wright stands up to Davey Boy, but takes a hiptoss and a press slam. They tag out as Neidhart overpowers Disco and mocks him a little bit. Disco trips him up and stomps the crap out of the Anvil. The crowd is LOVIN’ some Disco. A knee lift puts Neidhart down, but Anvil forces him into the corner where Bulldog is at for some double-teaming. Tag to Bulldog, Wright knees Davey Boy from the apron and beats him down into the corner. Davey Boy tries to cartwheel away from a monkey flip, but then Wright kicks him down for a two-count. Bulldog finally has enough and runs down Wright with a clothesline, but then he telegraphs a backdrop and gets kicked back down. Disco tags in and lands a flying vertical elbow for two. He follows up with an inverted atomic drop, but then Davey Boy throws Disco to the floor. Neidhart (or as Tenay calls him “Neidvil”) grabs Disco and puts him in the tree of woe of sorts on the guardrail. We get some more ringside violence before Anvil puts Disco back in the ring. It’s chinlock time for Bulldog. They keep talking about Bret Hart choosing to side with Lex Luger over his own brothers-in-law on last week’s Thunder since it’s possibly the only thing they can think of that has happened to Bulldog and Anvil during this run in WCW that’s remotely interesting. Now Heenan thinks Roddy Piper wins Wargames. Can you SERIOUSLY imagine Goldberg versus Piper? The crowd really wants Flair. At one point, Bulldog tries to slingshot Neidhart in from the apron with a shoulderblock, but misses. Disco kicks Neidhart away and makes the tag to Wright. He goes DROPKICK CRAZY and Wright backdrops Davey Boy onto the Warrior’s dang trap door that gave him a serious back injury. Let’s be real though, who really would buy the story that *this* injury started Davey Boy’s drug problems? No one. No one should believe that. Neidhart drills Wright from behind to slow him down. Bulldog goes for the Running Powerslam, but Disco helps out as he and Wright run down Davey Boy. There’s some leapfrog nonsense happening and Disco gets flipped into the ring from the apron as Wright falls to the floor. That leaves Bulldog to muscle up Disco and hit the RUNNING POWERSLAM for the win. (10:55) Certainly not the proudest moment of Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart’s careers. Either way, they should have done the job here to give Wright and Disco some added “something” because the win for Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart means nothing. ¾*
Gene Okerlund is backstage claiming Scott Steiner won’t be wrestling his brother Rick Steiner tonight. He knocks on Scott and Buff Bagwell’s “private” dressing room door. Scott comes out and shows he’s got an ice pack on his lower back and two band aids on his bicep. Buff reads a note from Dr. Cecil Schwartz that Scott Steiner isn’t cleared to wrestle tonight. Well, JJ DILLON appears out of thin air to rip up the doctors note and reminds Scott if he doesn’t wrestle Rick Steiner tonight, he’ll be banned from WCW 4-LIFE. As they all leave, Gene says he’s going to sort out what will happen tonight between the Steiner brothers.
- TITLE VERSUS TITLE: Chris Jericho (c) vs. “Goldberg”
Chris Jericho has Ralphus and “Kenny Powers” with him as his security detail. Just like what we saw on Thunder, they have no idea how to get to the ring, which is HILARIOUS and so Spinal Tap. He finally makes his way out the tunnel in front of the jumbotron where the pyro look quite lame, which is more Spinal Tap humor for ya. Our esteemed commentators go nuts getting you hyped for Goldberg’s entrance, but where is he? Wait, when the pyro dies down, it’s some short dude with a WCW toy belt doing a Goldberg impression. Heenan – “It looks like Goldberg when he was seven years old.” It might be Jamie Noble though. Crowd totally boos this, but it’s pretty brilliant. Jericho overpowers little Goldberg and gives him a vertical suplex for the C’MON BABY. Little Goldberg gets up and actually spears Jericho down, but Jericho NO-SELLS and boots him down. He puts the boots to Little Goldberg and applies the LIONTAMER for the immediate tapout in 1:15. This was an underrated piece of business WCW wouldn’t capitalize on and pretty much sent a mentally checked out Jericho to the WWF. N/R
Over at the WCW.com internet booth, Lee Marshall is talking to Rick Steiner. The nerd to the left of them typing is wearing an nWo t-shirt, which is about the dumbest thing you could do.
They replay Ernest Miller and Norman Smiley interrupting the Armstrong brothers “WCW International Television” interview from Thunder. I mean, SO MUCH HEAT AND INTEREST IN THIS CONTEST, FOLKS. You don’t want to leave your sets for this one.
- Norman Smiley vs. Ernest Miller
The Cat gives Smiley five seconds to leave because he’s such a lethal weapon. Smiley doesn’t leave and punches Miller. A dropkick sends the Cat to the floor who then argues with the ham-and-eggers at ringside. Smiley follows him out, but gets kicked and sent into the guardrail. Back inside, Miller does his karate stuff. Smiley comes back with a back suplex. Miller begs off, but goes to the eyes and trips up Smiley. This is awful. Smiley gives Miller a slam out of nowhere and takes him from corner to corner. There’s a stalling vertical suplex for two. Miller then shoves Smiley off the top and barely hits the FELINER. Smiley is smart enough not to sell it. He delivers another roundhouse kick and gets the three-count. (5:04) I’m seriously thinking these two are on the show because of “Hardwork” Bobby Walker’s lawsuit, no? Unfortunately, the fans are the ones who have to suffer. ¼*
- Rick Steiner vs. Scott Steiner (w/Buff Bagwell)
Rick has a new “Welcome to the Jungle” style theme song. They start off throwing bombs at each other. Rick wins that battle and drills Scott with a Steinerline. Rick NO-SELLS what Scott is giving him, so Scott bails out and heads into the crowd as Rick continues to pound on his brother. Back inside, Bagwell grabs Rick’s foot. It doesn’t seem to bother him too much though. Scott low blows out of a belly to belly suplex – not once but twice. Scott slows down the action, heads to the floor, and sends Rick into the steps. Back in, Scott lands a Steinerline, but can’t butterfly suplex him. Rick escapes and hits a DDT. The crowd goes NUTS. Buff appears on the apron and gets grabbed by the neck as he’s sent into the ringpost. Scott then throws Rick to the floor and runs Rick into the ringpost again. The ref is busy checking on Buff who looks hurt. Rick continues to come back against Scott, but Scott is very concerned about Bagwell. He’s looking like he can’t move and talking like his neck has been reinjured. (5:30) The crowd isn’t buying it. Trainers are out to check on Bagwell. He ends up doing a stretcher job, which allows Scott to not have to continue the match with his brother. Rick even follows everybody out to the ambulance. Oh man. NOBODY IS BUYING IT. They were all right not to buy it because Scott pops out of the back of the ambulance and jumps Rick. Bagwell looks fine to me as he joins in on the beatdown. The crack WCW security crew manages to stop it pretty quick though. The biggest problem is that the match was actually pretty fun until the unnecessary Bagwell bump. *
- WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Juventud Guerrera (c) vs. Silver King
Silver King throws some chops at Juvi, but Guerrera flips out of a suplex and chops Silver King back. He comes back and drills Guerrera with a front dropkick. Back to his feet, Juventud has more chops for Silver King and catches him with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Silver King retreats and grabs a chair. Back inside, Guerrera delivers a springboard headscissors and runs him down with a clothesline for two. Silver King then launches Juventud into the air and dropkicks him. He spins Guerrera around and drops him on the top rope. Big tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two. Silver King continues to work on Juventud as he drops to his knees with a muscle buster which is more like a spine compactor. Silver King sends Juventud to the floor and showcases his springboard plancha. Nice. Crowd decides to chant “Taco Bell” and “boring” during this match. Can’t blame them since WCW has never made Silver King into a serious title contender. Back in, they try a sunset flip spot that doesn’t work. Guerrera finds a hurracanrana, but only gets two. Silver King headbutts away a ten-count corner punch, but then Juventud delivers a missile dropkick. SILVER KICK gets two. He misses a Stinger Splash and with Silver King stuck up in the corner, Juventud gives him a Inverted Frankensteiner for 1-2-NO! What stinks is Silver King basically no-sells blocking the Juvi Driver with an inside cradle for two. Silver King misses a double jump quebrada, allowing the JUVI DRIVER and the 450 SPLASH for the win. (8:36) Didn’t overstay it’s welcome since like I said Silver King has never been pushed to be considered a cruiserweight title contender no matter what Mike Tenay would try to have you believe. Some cool moments, but nothing must-see and the crowd certainly didn’t care. **½
Back at the WCW.com table, a drunken Scott Hall stops by to slur some insults at Konnan.
- Raven’s Rules: Raven (w/Kanyon & Lodi) vs. Saturn
If Raven wins, Saturn would have to rejoin the Flock. If Saturn wins, the Flock will be set free. Kanyon gets handcuffed to a corner. Heenan compares Saturn’s animal aggression to someone like “Mad Dog Vachon”. I AM SO READY FOR THIS WHOLE THING TO END. Raven cuts off Saturn to start with a hotshot and does what he can to keep Saturn down and hurting. Saturn explodes on Raven with kicks for two. He atomic drops Raven and a springboard forearm smash gets two as well. Flying splash scores another nearfall. Lodi distracts Saturn long enough for Raven to cut him off. They fight on the apron as Saturn punches Raven down to the guardrail for the Pillman bump. As Lodi helps up Raven, Saturn delivers a NO-HANDS PLANCHA to wipe them out. Saturn tosses Raven back in, but then Lodi yanks Saturn off the apron to the railing. Raven continues to punish Saturn in the ring with elbow drops and such. Lodi has some funny Bill Clinton signs. Saturn escapes a sleeperhold and backslides Raven for two. The Rolling Russian Legsweeps get two. SATURN WILL NOT DIE! To settle that, Raven delivers the drop toehold onto a chair. Here comes Riggs, Sick Boy, and Horace carrying a table to ringside. While the ref is busy paying attention to them, Kidman shows up and climbs to the top rope. It looks like he’s going to give Saturn a Shooting Star Press, but Kidman hits Raven with a missile dropkick to show he wants out of the Flock. Huge pop for that. The Brainless Three run after Kidman and chase him back to the locker room. Meanwhile, Saturn hits a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER on Raven. The ref’s count gets delayed thanks to Lodi, but we still get a nearfall. Both men are down. Crowd is chanting “Saturn” which is pretty awesome. He runs wild on Raven with suplexes. A springboard leg drop gets two as well as a Juvi Driver. Whoops. There’s the RINGS OF SATURN! Lodi manages to pull Saturn off the hold to save Raven. Saturn fights off some heel double-teaming – leaving Lodi crotched on the top rope. The ref gets bumped thanks to Raven – conveniently right next to Kanyon who reaches in ref Mickey Jay’s pocket to find the handcuff key. Kanyon gets in the ring and gives Saturn a FLATLINER. Oh boy. He puts Raven on top and locks himself back in the handcuffs, but the ref is slow to count. There’s another epic nearfall. Saturn gets up and grabs Lodi off the top and gives him a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER OFF THE APRON THROUGH THE TABLE! Holy crap. As Saturn staggers into the ring, Raven grabs him for an EVENFLOW DDT for 1-2-NO! Raven tries another, but Saturn pushes him back into a corner and picks him up for the DEATH VALLEY DRIVER for the win. (14:03) It started out slow, but man it picks up in the last 5-7 minutes. I’m glad to see the feud end as it’s been going on for way too long now and stopped making sense a long time ago, but what a satisfying ending with Saturn ripping through the Flock and ultimately outsmarting Raven. Saturn to me looks like a made man after this one. ***¼
Good news from Tony. He says he’s been told that the cancer surgery went well and Hacksaw Jim Duggan will recover, as we all know to be the case. HOOOOO!
They take us back to Nitro to see Arn Anderson saving the day for Dean Malenko against Curt Hennig, Stevie Ray, and Rick Rude.
- Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) vs. Dean Malenko
Malenko goes right after Hennig’s knee to start – inside the ring and out and inside again. OW MY KNEE, says Hennig. Eventually, Rude tries to help Hennig back to the locker room, but of course Malenko jumps them and the match continues. It’s real Anderson family type gameplan here. Rude blasts Malenko from the apron allowing Hennig to take control. The Hennigplex won’t work, but Malenko giving Hennig the Hennigplex will. Rude jumps in the ring and goes after Malenko to call for the DQ. (7:38) The crowd is looking for Ric Flair, but I guess Arn Anderson will do. This time, Rude and Hennig are able to beat down Arn. WE WANT FLAIR! Where is he? No Flair tonight. After they stomp Arn’s arm real good (since he has an arm wrestling contest against Eric Bischoff scheduled for next Thursday night), Rude helps Hennig back to the locker room to end the segment. Match was nothing real important. *
- Scott Hall (w/Vincent) vs. Konnan
This is the big return of Scott Hall to the ring. Hall turns his alcoholic refreshment over to Vincent so he can do stuff with his hands. Hmm, I guess somebody figured the Road Warrior Hawk thing over on the other show was a *good* idea. Hall does the survey bit and doesn’t really seem to be acting all that drunk to me all of a sudden. Konnan says North Carolina State Wolfpack Football Team and gets a pop. Hall switches from ring to ring and finally locks up with a stepover armbar and some slaps to the head. Konnan clotheslines him back and slaps Hall on the head for retribution. Hall tries to pull the hair on Konnan to help out in an overhead wristlock, but of course there’s no hair. Konnan however gets a handful and yanks Hall down. Hall starts picking on Konnan teasing a test of strength, but Konnan slaps him back and hits the Rolling Lariat. Konnan then takes Hall to the gap between the rings and stomps him through the gap for the lulz. Vincent distracts Konnan while Hall comes out from the other side of the ring. Hall tries to sneak up on him, but Konnan blasts him. Back in, Hall mocks the ref’s count and gets back in at nine. He kicks at Konnan and goes behind him to pull back on the arms. This goes on for a while. Konnan reverses, but gets a low blow from Hall. Fallaway Slam gets two. Hall applies an abdominal stretch and takes a drink from Vincent while he’s got the hold applied. Konnan manages another counter, but Hall hiptosses him away only to miss THREE elbow drops. Konnan catches Hall with a few shots, but Hall stops a corner charge and runs him down with a clothesline of his own. Hall delivers a back superplex and grabs the drink from Vincent, but Konnan is there to kick the drink in his face. There’s the K-Factor and the TEQUILA SUNRISE for the submission. (12:03) Biggest win of Konnan’s career, but it’s not one of those jobs that you really remember Scott Hall doing for some reason. ¾*
- Wargames: Team WCW (Diamond Dallas Page, Roddy Piper, and the Warrior) vs. Team nWo B&W (Hollywood Hogan, Bret Hart, and Stevie Ray) vs. Team nWo Wolfpac (Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, and Sting)
Winner gets a WCW world title shot at Halloween Havoc, which negates the whole reason for teams. This is the first WarGames match where that is a stipulation, the first one where pinfalls are allowed, and the first one where the match can end at any time. In other words, you don’t have to wait until everyone is in the ring to officially start WarGames like every other one. It’s first pinfall wins, which is STUPID. DDP and Bret start the match. Since there is three teams, shouldn’t a member from the Wolfpac start too? I don’t know why I’m trying to make sense of WCW at this point. DDP controls for the first half of the initial five minute period while Bret gets a few of his Five Moves of Doom during the second half. Stevie Ray enters the match now. Forget about being fair, how does that even make sense? Two minute periods from here on out. Bret rests a little while Stevie Ray puts a hurting on Page in the corner. In comes Sting. Stevie Ray is there to meet him at the door. He beats Stevie Ray back and leaps from one ring into the other on him. With Stevie Ray in between the ropes and the cage, Sting gives him a couple splashes. Of course he tries one too many times as Stevie Ray ducks and Sting eats the cage. Roddy Piper joins the match now. He beats up on everybody. Sting tries to stomp Stevie Ray between the rings reminding us of the WarGames of old. Lex Luger is next. Piper tries to put away Stevie Ray with the SLEEPER. Kevin Nash joins us now, but Hollywood Hogan sneaks down into the cage about a minute too soon and knocks out EVERYBODY but Bret and Stevie Ray with a slap jack. Stevie Ray is just there to help out. Next thing you know, even Bret Hart gets clipped from behind by Stevie Ray. Imagine Michael Scott doing improv and shooting everybody with a gun. That’s what this feels like now. Hogan starts dishing out LEGDROPS to Nash. Meanwhile, smoke fills the ring and it’s WOYAH. Hogan is ready for him though and beats him down to the mat. Next thing you know, Hogan is left holding his jacket, but NO WOYAH! Oh wait, here he comes running down the aisle. Warrior beats up Hogan who escapes out the door thanks to the Disciple, leaving Stevie Ray to take the punishment. Now Warrior spots Hogan and tears through the cage to go after him! However, security manages to hold off WOYAH while Hogan and Disciple exit to the back. Meanwhile, Stevie Ray misses DDP with the Slap Jack and whacks Bret instead. Now he’s done. Everybody else is still knocked out cold. DDP leaps at Stevie Ray and drops him with the DIAMOND CUTTER for the 1-2-3. (20:06) At least Sting tried to cheer me up doing the old spots, but otherwise this was just ridiculous. ½*
Final Thoughts: I can’t imagine this would shock you, but this was the LOWEST drawing PPV of the year for WCW. I mean, I would even say that Road Wild trumps this show simply because the match of the night at least had more meaning and the main event was at least more interesting if even for the wrong reasons. They completely messed up the entire Wargames concept, half the card was thrown together just over the last few days and it’s terrible, and the only thing that was remotely satisfying about the entire show was the Raven-Saturn finish. This is one of those situations in a promotion’s history that when you’re hot you can do no wrong, but you only get so many of those moments before the fans start to leave. Clear thumbs down for Fall Brawl 1998.
HALLOWEEN HAVOC 1998 is the NEXT PPV. YES FOLKS, IT’S GONNA GET WORSE.
Posted on May 11, 2021, in WCW and tagged Alex Wright, Arn Anderson, Bill Goldberg, Billy Kidman, Bret Hart, Buff Bagwell, Chris Jericho, Curt Hennig, Davey Boy Smith, Dean Malenko, Diamond Dallas Page, Disco Inferno, Ernest Miller, Fall Brawl, Hollywood Hogan, Horace Hogan, Jerichoholic Ninja, Jim Duggan, Jim Neidhart, Juventud Guerrera, Kanyon, Kevin Nash, Konnan, Lex Luger, Lodi, Norman Smiley, nWo, nWo Wolfpac, Perry Saturn, Ralphus, Raven, Rick Rude, Rick Steiner, Roddy Piper, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner, Scotty Riggs, Sick Boy, Silver King, Stevie Ray, Sting, The Disciple, Ultimate Warrior, Vincent. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
Let’s face it. There are a lot less good ppv’s remaining in the WCW catalog
Where do you think it compares to other bad WCW PPVs that had come before it?
It’s hard for me to tell. It’s definitely the worst War Games match and probably only a step above Fall Brawl 95 in terms of quality. WCW had worse ppv’s in 1991, 1995, and early 1996, but this was feels worse because the talent level is so much higher and you can see them wasting it away with non-finishes (Steiners), feuds that’s go on too long (Saturn vs raven, Steiners again), a red hot world champion that is doing nothing with his title for the second month in a row (no reason he couldn’t destroy Jericho in a fun little cat and mouse feud). Early PPV’s were bad, but now we hit the point where the real decline starts, and there is no Dangerous Alliance to save the day this time.
LOTS of key injuries on the midcard that WCW was very reliant on have hurt the PPVs in the second half of 98.
That’s not an excuse because there’s a ton of missed opportunities here as well. The biggest in my opinion is Bret Hart should still be having good matches regularly with underneath talent to get them over – testing the “best there is, best there was, and best there will ever be” claim. Pay him his big money deal to make you some new stars just like he did in 1996 and 1997 making Austin into the real deal, but of course that didn’t happen.
They should have never turned Bret heel. It made no sense from a story line perspective to have him sniffing hogans butt. His traditionalism regarding wrestling made him a natural proponent for WCW, not the NWO.
They really had no long term direction for anybody and it really starts to show with these events. Things get even worse for guys like Brett heading into Halloween Havoc with his weird face turn/heel turn storyline at the expense of Sting.