The SmarK Retro Repost – Fall Brawl ’98


– Live from Winston-Salem, NC

– Your hosts are the Usual Gang of Idiots. The loudest “We Want Flair” chant I’ve ever heard goes behind the opening talk.

– Backstage, Ernest Miller is being held back by security.

– Jericho comes out to announce a title v. title match tonight against Goldberg.

– Opening match: Disco Inferno & Alex Wright v. Bulldog & Anvil. This was about as innocuous and by the numbers as it gets. Except for the horribly blown spots that popped up periodically. Crowd gets so bored that they start chanting “We want Flair” again. Neidhart blows nearly every spot he tries, badly. Finally it degenerates into a comedy match as the referee gets involved in a criss-cross, Alex accidentally goes headfirst into Disco’s crotch, and Bulldog lifts him up (on the third try) and allegedly powerslams him for the pin. Pathetic. DUD

– Mean Gene finds Scott Steiner and Buff in the dressing room. Scott has a boo-boo on his arm so he produces a document from Cecil Schwartz saying he can’t wrestle. JJ Dillon disagrees. Yay.

– Title v. title: Goldberg v. Chris Jericho. Jericho does the guided entrance thing again. He gets lost again. He finally makes it out to the aisle, but the pyro leaves a lot to be desired. You know, a title v. title match might be the sort of thing you want to build up to. Oh, wait. It’s not Goldberg, it’s a lookalike midget. Big “bullshit” chant. Jericho finishes it without much effort, of course. What a pile of horseshit for a $30 PPV. -*

– To waste MORE time, they show the Ernest Miller segment from Thunder this past week.

– Norman Smiley v. Ernest Miller. They seriously expect people to pay to watch this bullshit? The one coherant angle they put together in the past week and it’s Smiley v. The Cat? Miller tells him to get lost or lose. I wish. Cat with the big kick to the head for the exciting win. 1/2*

– Scott Steiner (w/ Buff) v. Rick Steiner. Rick has a new “Welcome to the Jungle” knockoff theme. They brawl for a bit, and then Rick tries a belly to belly and gets two ballshots from Scott. They brawl for a bit, and when Buff gets involved, Rick rams his head into the turnbuckle, and Buff lies there like he’s dead. They stop the match and trainers come out to attend to him and the match is stopped. For a long time. Paramedics follow with the stretcher and Buff is neck-braced and stretchered out. This eats up like 15 minutes as everyone and the camera follows Buff back to the ambulance and loads him in. Finally, Rick turns around and Buff leaps out of the ambulance and attacks him. Oh, for christ’s sake. Why are they wasting our time with this bullshit on PPV? No rating.

– Cruiserweight title match: Juvy v. Silver King. We’re so bored we start comparing the attractiveness of female tennis players. The one big highspot of this match: An inverted hurricanrana off the top rope on Silver King. It only gets two. 450 splash for the pin. Pretty pathetic for a CW title match. **

– A drunken Scott Hall interrupts a Gonnad online chat session.

– Raven v. Saturn. Kanyon is handcuffed at ringside for whatever reason. The usual Raven-Saturn match drags on until the Flock carries a table down to ringside and the Flock comes in. Kidman to the top, and he dropkicks Raven! Saturn with the DVD, but only gets two. Finally the crowd wakes up. Kidman runs for his life as the Flock chases him through the crowd. Saturn with the big comeback, springboard legdrop for two. Mich. Driver for two. Rings of Saturn, but Lodi forces the break. Lodi to the top but Saturn ballshots Raven and a double-whip results in a ref bump. Joy. Kanyon steals the key from the ref’s pocket and Flatlines Saturn. Only gets two. Saturn pulls Lodi off the top rope (where he’d been sitting for five minutes) and DVD’s him through the table. But Raven catches him with a DDT coming in. Only gets two, DVD, and it’s over. One can only hope that this will finally end the feud. **1/2

– A special look at the cage match from Nitro.

– Deano Machino v. Curt Hennig. Dean injures Hennig’s knee early. He works on it. And works on it. Finally Malenko with a cradle suplex on Hennig, but Rude runs in for the DQ. They beat on him and Arn makes the save. But he gets beat up and his arm gets stomped on. Flair does not make the save. *1/2 This is why the cage match on Nitro bothered me — because it would inevitably build up to a boring mess like this.

– Scott Hall v. Gonnad. Hall is doing a really good impression of someone who is right f*cked up. Vincent has a chilled beverage for him. Survey time. Then let Gonnad speak on this, etc. They slap each other for a while. Hall ends up falling between the rings and rolling back in while Gonnad argues with Vincent. An exciting extended surfboard results. Escape, but Gonnad falls prey to an abdominal stretch, as hall reaches for…his drink. Okay. Belly to back from the top, but now he decides he wants another drink, which allows Gonnad the chance to apply the Tequila Sunrise for the win. 1/4*

– Alleged main event: The “Wargames”. Here’s another stupid rule change for you: The match can end at any time. DDP and Bret start, no explanation why. Boring 5 minute opening period, then Stevie Ray gets to be the next man in. Yawn. Sting is next and he livens things up a bit. Piper is next and he eyepokes everyone and punches a lot. Luger is next. I’m just overwhelmed with excitement. Kevin Nash is next and he cleans house. But Hogan comes in a minute early with a slapjack and hits everyone. Everyone, including Bret, is laid out and dead. Hogan and Stevie Ray stand triumphant and beat on Kevin Nash…until the smoke of doom fills the ring and the Warrior appears. Hogan decks him and the smoke fills the ring again and when it clears HOgan is left holding the coat. But then Warrior runs in for the dressing room and is officially back. Disciple pulls Hogan out, and Warrior is left to beat up Stevie. Hogan and Warrior stand around and wave their dicks at each other while everyone is out. Warrior kicks a hole in the cage and chases after Hogan. Meanwhile, back in the ring, DDP suddenly recovers and Diamond-cuts Stevie Ray out of nowhere for the pin. What an overbooked pile of horseshit. DUD. The worst Wargames in the history of the gimmick. Easily. There was more time spent with Hogan and Warrior yelling at each other than there was with everyone else wrestling each other. And the wrestling stopped after Nash got in, because the Warrior angle took over. Pathetic. I hope everyone involved in this farce sleeps well tonight knowing that this is what their career has sunk to: Playing dead from smoke inhalation to put over the Hogan-Warrior “feud”.

The Bottom Line:

Once again, WCW proves me wrong. I thought there’d be no way to break any further through rock bottom than Road Wild did, but somehow this show did. An entire undercard that no one cares about with the only highlight being a passable match between Saturn and Raven, leading up to a Wargames where the participants barely even have enough time to make contact with each other. I’d call it the worst PPV ever, but I’m afraid WCW would just try to top themselves for the next show to prove me wrong again.

Welcome to the Warrior era.

Thumbs down.