December 2, 2009
WCW Fall Brawl 93
September 19, 1993
Astro Arena in Houston, Texas
Source: PPV Broadcast
Tony Schiavone welcomes us to Houston for Fall Brawl! Jesse "The Body" Ventura joins him on commentary, and the Governor is pumped! They briefly discuss tonight's War Games, and we're off to Eric Bischoff pointlessly as he sends it right down to Michael Buffer to begin our first match. And when Buffer is involved, a title is about to be contested!
Match 1: WCW World Televison Title Match - Lord Steven Regal(w/ Sir WIlliam) def champion Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat via pinfall at 17:05 to become the new WCW TV champion
I'm not really what you would call a play-by-play type of reviewer. Other people do that much better than I ever could. There are rather large banks of easy to see empty seats in the smallish Astro Arena which Tony puts down to late arrivals/traffic/etc. He also says over 2000 people will be turned away from the gates today. We shall see about that one Tony. I have a hard time believing WCW turned anyone away in the dismal business year of 1993. Steamboat's ribs are heavily taped from a previous attack by Regal and Paul Orndorff. The injured ribs play a big role in the match as Steamboat is pretty severely restricted in what he can do, and Regal zeroes in on them repeatedly often when he needs to regain control. The match is the kind of good, solid pro wrestling that one would expect from these two. Not elite-level stuff but fun to watch for sure. It ends with some expected shenanigans as Sir William drills the Dragon with his umbrella while the ref's back is turned, and Lord Steven hits a bridged German suplex for the pin. Steamboat was of course the model professional as always. He would be unfortunately forced to retire due to injury less than a year after this. If not for that he likely could've gone on and on like many of his comtemporaries as he was showing no real signs of slowing down. With what wrestling would become we probably also would've seen him turn heel and join the NWO or something years later. That could've been interesting. Anyhow, a good start to the show as Regal won the TV title for the first of four times.
Eric Bischoff interviews the Nasty Boys. The Nasties say their big secret will be revealed soon, and they are gonna beat the Horsemen for the tag titles tonight.
Match 2: Charlie Norris def Big Sky via pinfall at 4:35
Big Sky had been Woman's bodyguard Nitron previously. He would go on to be an actor and appear in a few big movies as Tyler Mane. He was not a very good pro wrestler, but he was big. Norris was another pretty bad wrestler who worked the traditional wrestling Native American stereotype. WCW was giving him a minor push until they realized just how awful he was I guess, and then they canned him soon after. The crowd chants "We want Flair!" and "Boringgggg" about a minute into this. After a thankfully short match, Norris wins with a boot to the face. This was not what I would call a PPV-quality bout. Moving on.
Scott Dunlap interviews Davey Boy Smith backstage about War Games.
Match 3: Special Bonus Match - 2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Alexander Bagwell def "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff & The Equalizer via pinfall at 10:46
Scorpio & Bagwell were an up and coming tag team at the time so this gets them another victory on the way up. Orndorff was an established name and wasn't on the card so he gets a spot. Under any name Equalizer/Dave Sullivan/Evad was a drag on pro wrestling in my opinion. His Equalizer persona is just a really subpar Bruiser Brody knockoff although of course in tag matches weaknesses can be more easily hidden. I am kind of dumbfounded that WCW chose not promote this match with at least some talented wrestlers that people like to watch and care about but apparently were willing to adverstise Charlie Norris as someone people should shell out money for. There is some good stuff with Orndorff and Scorpio in here. The rest is standard tag formula with Bagwell taking the lion's share of the beating. Scorpio ends it with another awesome 450 splash on Equalizer. The heels put the beatdown on Scorp and Bagwell post match. This was something resembling decent unlike the previous match so that's an improvement.
Bischoff interviews Sir William and the new World TV champ, Lord Steven Regal.
Match 4: Ice Train def Shanghi Pierce(w/Tex Slazenger) via pinfall at 3:28
Shanghi and Tex are the future Henry O. and Phinneas I. Godwinns, respectively, of WWF fame. They were a sort of cult tag team when they worked on WCW Saturday Night at Center Stage Theater at the time. They were never widely popular as Shanghi and Tex, but people there liked them. Ice Train would hang around on and off for a while, later forming the Fire & Ice tag team with Scott Norton during the Nitro years. Not a squash, but it was a quick Train showcase that he wins with a powerslam. It wasn't good but was approximately 43 times better than any Charlie Norris match on record.
Tony and The Body kill some time, and then we head to our next bout.
Match 5: WCW World Tag Team Title Match - The Nasty Boys(w/ Missy Hyatt) def Arn Anderson & Paul Roma via pinfall at 23:58 to become the new WCW World Tag Team Champions
The Nasty Boys' big surprise is their new manager Missy Hyatt, but it apparently was not that big of a surprise because a fan in the front row has a Nasty Boys/Missy poster made up and proudly displays it on camera. Another thing that was not a big surprise here was the Nasty Boys winning the belts as they had already been taped multiple times in front of crowds with them in the previous weeks. Yay WCW. Holy crap this match sucked. Much of the interest lies with guys in the front row chanting derogatory things at Missy and throwing dollar bills at her feet. The bout just kind of goes on and on especially when the Nasties take over with their electrifying rear chinlocks and bearhugs. Admittedly the Nasty Boys are not anywhere near the top of the list of my favorite tag teams. They are worse than usual here and completely drag any life out of the match with true restholds galore. They would go on to hang around near the top of the WCW tag division for the next couple years. The Horsemen have the match won, but Sags hits an elbow off the top rope on Roma when the ref's back is turned dealing with Arn leading to new tag team champions. Horrible, unmotivated stuff that even the great Arn Anderson could do absolutely nothing for. One of the low points in the history of the Horsemen. Well this whole run with Roma could probably be considered that.
Jesse the Body interviews Missy and the Nasties post match. They're happy.
A video package is shown of the last few months of Cactus Jack's life after he was powerbombed on concrete by Vader. Of course this includes the infamous Lost In Cleveland vignettes, the mysterious bag, the bounty placed on Jack's head by Harley Race and Vader, and ends with a great promo by Cactus saying the amnesia stuff was all fake but Race and Vader believed it.
Match 6: Bounty Match - Cactus Jack def Yoshi Kwan(w/ Harley Race) via pinfall at 3:39
This was Jack's return to the ring after months on the sidelines. Basically a nothing match and not really a rousing return for Cactus, but he's back in the mix and Lost In Cleveland can be forgotten. He wins with the double-arm DDT and then attacks Harley post-match in order to retrieve his mysterious lost bag. He gets the bag. Cactus then challenges Vader to a bout at Halloween Havoc which would end up being a good one.
A video package is aired on the buildup to the Flair/Rude "World" title match.
Match 7: "World" Title Match - "Ravishing" Rick Rude def "Nature Boy" Ric Flair(w/ Fifi) via pinfall at 30:49 to become the new "World" champion
This title is the NWA belt, but WCW can't call it that anymore so it becomes the generic "World" title that has no significance. It would float around until it was unified with the WCW World title in mid-94. Rude has a picture of Fifi on the front of his tights. The Body gets off a lot of sexist comments directed at Fifi and women in general and eventually gets his mic cut by the female audio person! That was pretty funny. No match involving Flair vs Rude is likely to be too awful, but this one is certainly a disappointment. It's really slow and doesn't go anywhere. I don't know if the two just didn't mesh or it was an off night or someone was a bit injured, but this was not primo Flair(or Rude for that matter) by any stretch. The energy does not appear to be in the air tonight. I guess it picks up a bit as it goes along as Flair takes over to be positive about it. The last ten minutes are much better than the first twenty. There's a part where Flair asks the ref for the time, and when the ref is checking he nails Rude in the nuts. That was fun. The finish comes when Flair has Rude in the figure four. The ref is tied up with Fifi, Rude grabs brass knucks out of his tights, and hits Flair. There are probably thousands of better Flair matches out there and hundreds of better Rude ones. Flair didn't seem to be feeling it, and Rude was really not feeling on this night.
Tony and Jesse discuss WCW's next PPV event, Halloween Havoc. And now it's time for War Games as the cage lowers over the two rings! Gary Michael Capetta goes over the rules of War Games. First two guys go for five minutes. Winner of a coin toss sends another guy in. There is a two minute period. Other team sends a guy in. There is another two minute period and so on and so forth until everyone is in and the Match Beyond begins, and it's submit or surrender.
Match 8: War Games/The Match Beyond - Sting & "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith & US champion Dustin Rhodes & the Shockmaster[accompanied by Road Warrior Animal] def WCW World champ Vader & Sid Vicious & Harlem Heat[accompanied Harley Race and Col. Robert Parker] via submission at 16:39
Shockmaster had recently debuted with a thud, and having Animal come out with the team showing a potential mystery partner that people would've cared about was a bad idea. He's already a comedy figure as Tony and Jesse aren't shy of making fun of him. The injured Dustin Rhodes starts for his team against the wishes of his teammates. Vader starts for the heels. Dustin is the only one to bleed during the course of the bout. As always, the heels win the coin toss and get the numbers advantage throughout. Shockmaster is in last and soon thereafter makes Kole(aka Booker T) submit to a bearhug of all things. This was a lackluster War Games, pretty much a pale imitation of great War Games such as the previous year's effort at Wrestle War. The main issue was with the participants. I understand having Sting, Bulldog, Vader, and Sid involved. Dustin is fine because he could basically fit any situation at the time and had already shown that he was good in the double cage. The problems come with Harlem Heat and Shockmaster. I have nothing against Harlem Heat as a tag team, but they were newcomers that nobody cared about at the time and had no good story reason to enter this dangerous supposedly feud-ending warzone. The Shockmaster situation explains itself, but suffice to say that whole thing was an awful decision made classically terrible by the former Tugboat's fall through the wall on his introduction. And with 5 on 5 it's easier to hide people that have no real business in the match and even make it work(like the first War Games but even then there was storyline reason). With a 4 on 4 situation like here everyone has to pull their weight in one form or another. WCW was relying way too much on the gimmick of the match itself this time around.
Post match the defeated team stands around looking dumbfounded. Booker T complains that he didn't give up. Sid screams at everyone. Vader looks upset. Tony and Jesse wrap it up saying that Vader and Cactus Jack will compete in a Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal match at Halloween Havoc.
Well it started off fine with Dragon/Regal but sunk like a stone after that. There is strong aura of boredom and laziness surrounding almost everything here. Even through the fog of 93 WCW could usually at least deliver some decent matches, but the cupboard was bare this time. When your War Games and your Ric Flair match are bad, you know you are in trouble. I would not go out of my way to watch this one.
Not Recommended At All