December 4, 2009
WCW Fall Brawl 99
September 12, 1999
Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, NC
Source: Turner Home Video
The 1999 edition of Fall Brawl came during a strange time for WCW. It was the very short post-Bischoff pre-Russo era whch lasted about a month or so. Eric Bischoff had been fired as WCW Executive Vice President literally days before the event because he had finally wasted too much of Uncle Ted's money with increasing (rapidly) diminishing results. He was sent home to collect the rest of his paychecks. Vince Russo had yet to be snatched away from the WWF to "save" the company so we're in a lame duck period. Going into the show, WCW promoted almost nothing on the card so nobody had a clue until really late what was going on. So under those chaotic circumstances WCW presents Fall Brawl 99!
We start with a quick video that actually does a decent job basically explaining the backdrop for our main event tonight which will be Hulk Hogan defending the WCW World Title against Sting. Hogan had promised Sting that he is back on the good side after his dastardly NWO run. Lex Luger told Sting not to trust the Hulkster. Sting was attacked. Hulk and Luger blame each other. And off we go.
Tony Schiavone welcomes us to the show. Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and Mike Tenay will join him for commentary. The announcers discuss how the main event tonight will be a big one and may be the biggest World Title bout in WCW history!
Match 1: Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio Jr, & Kidman def Vampiro & the Insane Clown Posse at 14:15 when Kidman pinned Vampiro
Insane Clown Posse are cult clown rappers and wrestling fans who had a short run in WCW as wrestlers. That would be WCW Bad Idea #4299 I believe. At least they were wrestling fans. The crowd chants heavily for Eddie, and they are really hot in general for the face team. WCW may be a mess, but this NC crowd wants to see some action! There is about three minutes of playing to the crowd after the bell. It's quick back and forth action after that and all going along okay(well as okay as it can get from the sloppy ICP) until Rey appears to injure his knee on a whip into the outside barricade. They have some trouble coming off of that. Vampiro and ICP might've been trying to kill some time, but Rey really needed out of the ring quickly. Finally Vampiro figures a way to get Rey a tag to Eddie. Eddie pretty much cleans things up once he gets in there. It turns into a big brawl shortly thereafter. Vampiro gets stuck in the ring with Eddie and Kidman. He takes a misssle dropkick off the top rope from Eddie and then a shooting star press from Kidman gets the 1-2-3 even though Kidman wasn't the legal man. Rey gets helped to the back post-match. The bout was lively, and the crowd was hot so it's hard to complain too much because of how Rey's injury affected it and how ICP aren't very good pro wrestlers.
The Revolution(Shane Douglas, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, & Perry Saturn) are backstage at the WCW.com area. They guarantee a clean sweep in their matches tonight and hit the road.
A recap of the surprising WCW Cruiserweight title win for Lenny, and Kaz Hayashi's road to a title shot is shown.
Match 2: WCW Cruiserweight Title Match - champion Lenny(w/ Lodi) def Kaz Hayashi via pinfall at 12:12
Lenny and Lodi were playing a homosexual tag team at the time, the West Hollywood Blondes, although by this time I believe they might've been referred to as brothers in order to appease Turner Standards & Practices. Early part of the match features a lot of gay innuendo. Kaz breaks that up with athletic moves, but Lenny goes running into the arms of Lodi to escape. Kaz does a twisting somersault plancha to take them both out. Lenny gets control after some interference from Lodi. Kaz gets it back after another spectacular dive to the outside. Lodi gets more involved then and tosses around Hayashi when the ref is distracted. Lenny gets vicious then with stomps and kicks. Hayashi looks like he busted up his nose on one of them. It's back and forth from there with good stuff like a running powerbomb from Kaz. Lenny eventually gets the upper hand with some more help from Lodi. The finish comes when Lenny hits a Stroke on Kaz for the pin. Sue me, but I liked this one. It was entertaining and had a good pace. The crowd got into by the end as well.
Mean Gene Okerlund is in the ring! Sting comes out to talk to Gene about what's been going on lately. Sting says Lex Luger is very close to losing any kind of friendship he had with him. Sting says that Hulk is walking a straight line, and he trusts him now. Sting does tell Hulk he is going to take the World title tonight.
A video package on the feud between the Revolution and the First Family is shown.
Match 3: No Disqualification - Hugh Morrus & Brian Knobbs def "The Franchise" Shane Douglas & Dean Malenko at 9:27 when Morrus pinned Malenko
Shane Douglas says Saginaw, Michigan instead of Winston-Salem when doing his pre-match spiel. Revolution are tweeners I guess. Nobody cares about The First Family as usual. The match starts as a big brawl that goes all over as expected. Surprisingly it settles a bit into a more normal tag bout. Not really a formula tag as there is no strong face team. If anything Morrus and Knobbs play the guys in peril as the more traditional wrestlers seize control in the ring. All of a sudden Douglas grabs his left arm as it appeared to be legitimately injured like Rey Jr's knee earlier. It of course breaks down a bit after that, but Dean holds it together. Jimmy Hart even takes a big bump onto Knobbs from the apron to the outside. The finish comes when Knobbs trips up Dean which allows Morrus to get the upper hand and hit a moonsault for the victory. Pretty blah match mostly, and Shane's injury didn't help matters. I don't really get the going nowhere First Family picking up the victory either.
A video package on the upcoming TV title match is aired.
Match 4: WCW World Television Title Match - champion "Dog Faced Gremlin" Rick Steiner def Perry Saturn via pinfall at 9:24
At the beginning of the bout, Tony announces that Buff Bagwell has not yet shown up to the arena for his match with Berlyn later on. Though Tony says an as yet unnamed WCW wrestler has stepped up to replace Buff. This match is pretty stiff and back and forth to start until Steiner takes over with a cheap shot. Tenay brings up the passing the previous week of referee Brian Hildebrand who had a long battle with illness. Steiner takes it to the outside where he whips Saturn into the stairs and then delivers a DDT on the floor. Steiner continues going at a snail's pace putting on the old methodical beatdown. Saturn makes some attempts at comebacks that don't work. Steiner slaps on a couple half crabs that eat up some time then hits a couple belly to belly suplexes. Rick is momentarily diestracted by a fan, and Saturn is able to use a missle dropkick to buy time. Saturn's also able to hit a suplex of his own and soon after a Death Valley Driver. Steiner kicks out of the DVD however. Saturn goes for another one, but Steiner counters and drives him stomach first into the turnbuckle. Steiner heads to the top, but gets crotched. Saturn goes for a superplex. Steiner is able to throw him off. The Dog Faced Gremlin then nails a bulldog off the top for the 1-2-3. Steiner was slow as molasses and treated his opponent like just a step above a jobber during this as was the norm by this time. I would've hated this match(and probably did hate it) ten years ago, but perhaps I'm feeling generous today because it didn't bother me a whole lot. Don't get me wrong though, Steiner was like a sloth in there. The Revolution is now 0-2 for the evening with Chris Benoit still to wrestle Sid Vicious.
Backstage Mean Gene interviews WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster is sick and tired of everyone thinking he is still on the dark side. He promised on his kids that he's on the up and up! He must be telling the truth. Hulk even gets annoyed at Mean Gene for asking too many questions. Hulk says he will prove what he's about tonight! Hogan says Sting can trust him. He swore on the red and yellow, he swore on his kids! There will be no stabbing in the back.
Buff Bagwell is still missing, and his match is next so we will have a replacement.
Match 5: Berlyn(w/ The Wall although I believe unnamed yet) def "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan via pinfall at 8:01
Alright let's get this out of the way. I loved the Berlyn character. To me it was like a breath of fresh air after so much halitosis in 1999 WCW. I was not an Alex Wright fan really but thought this was the perfect use for him. Of course it was torpedoed due to typical WCW stupidity. As for the match, Buff Bagwell didn't want to lose to Berlyn so we get this instead. Berlyn attacks from behind to begin. Duggan shrugs that off and takes control and eventually clotheslines Berlyn to the outside. A sign in the front row says "Bischoff Will Work For Food". Not with how much WCW is paying him to sit at home I would imagine. Back in the ring, and Duggan continues to control the match. Even when Berlyn takes over Duggan doesn't appear to take his offense seriously at all. They get into an amateur-style mini-match that appears almost real because Duggan is not really cooperating with what Berlyn wants to do. It seems that, like Buff, Hacksaw is not all that happy about losing to the new Alex Wright either. Okay so WCW has a new heavily hyped character they want to presumably push. Who do they feud him with to get him over? Why Buff Bagwell of course. The consummate professional athlete who will make anyone look good as long as it's himself. And when Mr. Bagwell can't be bothered to do his job who do you throw in there with him to really make him look good? Why Jim Duggan obviously. One of the probably worst choices(among the 150+, 200 whatever wrestlers they had under contract) to make someone else look like a million bucks. The match gets to the point where Duggan is doing literally NOTHING to help Wright out. Alex had been in a match similar to this 4 and a half years previous with Paul Roma at SuperBrawl V. That's some bad luck. The match is horrendous but fascinating. Duggan actually sells a clothesline, but it was from The Wall unfortunately. That turns things around as Berlyn quickly hits his neckbreaker finisher(although Duggan tanks that as well) and gets the pin. Well that was something else. As far as I remember Berlyn was pretty much a dying character after this. In any event it became just another failed gimmick on the trash heap.
Post-match Buff Bagwell finally arrives, and agent Mike Graham yells at him to be on time for once. Why couldn't Buff Bagwell have been sent home like Eric Bischoff? Seriously why did they reward this doofus by continuing to use him? How does Buff Bagwell of all people refuse lose a pro wrestling match and then still get put on TV the same night? Anyway Buff runs down to the ring to hug Duggan, but Hacksaw is not happy. Moving on.
A video package about the buildup to the tag team title match is aired.
Match 6: WCW World Tag Team Title Match - Harlem Heat def champions Barry & Kendall Windham(w/ Curt Hennig) at 13:07 when Booker T pinned Kendall to become the new WCW World Tag Team Champions
The Windhams are representing the West Texas Rednecks. Harlem Heat has the upper hand early, but the Windhams get control through cheating with Stevie Ray left to play the face in peril. But that's a fake out as Booker T gets the lukewarm tag and cleans house. It sort if becomes a mess after that with Hennig interfering liberally, and then Booker T becoming the one in trouble to be the real face in peril. There's a pretty large beatdown put on Booker for a bit after that, and we have ourselves the old formula tag team bout. Hennig interjects himself quite a few times in front of the ref with no consequences. Stevie Ray comes in illegally and cleans house with the ref again doing nothing to stop it. Hennig wallops Stevie with a cowbell, but the ref is distracted. Booker then comes out of nowhere with a missle dropkick off the top rope onto Kendall which leads to the three count. Harlem Heat wins the tag titles for the ninth time. The match was a pretty sloppy example of the formula tag match, but it wasn't really slow-paced or actively bad at any point. This was the time in his career though that Booker T should've been up near the top of the card as a singles wrestler after being elevated when they had the chance in 1998. He would eventually get there in some respects but without the momentum he may have had had it been done earlier on. Of course there were lots of people who were in that situation so it's not like he was the only one getting shafted.
A video package is aired about Sid Vicious' winning streak, and Chris Benoit's attempts to end it.
Match 7: WCW United States Title Match - Sid Vicious def champion Chris Benoit via pinfall at 11:49 to become the new WCW US champion
Sid's supposed win streak stands at 79-0 at this point, and he was known as the Millennium Man now to counter Y2J I guess or at least that's what people assumed at the time. Vicious was not what one would call a talented worker although I dislike that word, but he remained a name for years because of his size, look, and the monster aura he carried with him since at least the time he first entered WCW years before. Benoit was Benoit of course. Benoit tries to take the fight to Sid, but Sid's power is too much to overcome at first. After a bit speed does work though as Benoit goes after Sid's legs and then slaps on an Indian death lock of sorts. Sid fights out of that and starts aiming repeated kicks to Benoit's midesection. Sid misses a charge, and Benoit attacks Sid's leg viciously with the ringpost and steel steps outside. Back in and Benoit hits a German suplex that Sid takes really well. Some back and forth action results in Sid hitting a Samoan drop and then a devastating cobra clutch slam. Sid hits the rear chinlock, but Benoit is quickly up. Some more back and forth ends up with Sid in the Crippler Crossface. Sid powers out of it enough to get his foot on the ropes. Benoit goes up for the headbutt, but Sid moves. A big power bomb later and Sid becomes the new champ. I liked this one quite a bit. I don't recall people being pleased at the time about Benoit dropping the strap, but now it just is what I would call a really good bout. Sid's fudged record now stands at 80-0. The Revolution went 0-4 on the night. Probably not the best way the push a hot new stable, but that's WCW for you.
A video package about the DDP/Goldberg feud airs.
Match 8: Goldberg def Diamond Dallas Page via pinfall at 9:04
DDP was part of the Triad at the time that included Kanyon and Bam Bam Bigelow. The ref finds a chain and a couple rolls of quarters on DDP pre-match so DDP just attacks recklessly. DDP can't deal with Goldberg's power early on. Page gets on the mic and says if the crowd doesn't stop chanting "Goldberg!" he's outta here. The doesn't comply so he takes a walk through the crowd. Goldberg follows and brings DDP back in the hard way. Page nails a low blow, and then pulls out another foreign object which he hits Goldberg with while the ref is turned away. DDP celebrates and uses some brawling to subdue the big man. He also uses the object when he can. We hit the chinlock for a spell. Goldberg powers out and hulks up. DDP is able to get a fluke DDT in, but the good times don't last as Goldberg delivers a suplex. The Triad hits the ringside area, and Kanyon smacks Goldberg with some big thing. Bam Bam and Kanyon try to double team Goldberg, but he fights them off and spears DDP. A Jackhammer finishes the match. Not particularly good especially considering they did a whole lot better at the previous year's Halloween Havoc.
A video package on the World title match is shown.
Michael Buffer is the guest ring announcer for the next bout.
Match 9: WCW World Title Match - Sting def champion Hulk Hogan via submission/knockout at 13:56 to become the new WCW World champion
Hulk and Sting shake hands and pound fists before the match. Also before the match Bret "Hitman" Hart comes down to the ring to challenge the winner of the match. Feeling out process to start things. Hulk gets a little testy because Sting won't break cleanly. The match continues with a bunch of basic wrestling stuff. Hulk does pull out a drop toehold. The Hulkster gets Sting in the corner and unloads some knees. A whip to the other corner is followed by a running clothesline followed up by a slam and two elbowdrops. Hulk's looking spry tonight. Back up and Sting returns the slam/elbow combo. We move on with more basic stuff from Hogan ended by a vertical suplex. Sting gets right up from that and goes on the attack. Hulk takes a powder. Sting follows, and we get a brawl that Hogan comes out on top of ending with a slam/elbow combo on the outside. Sting retaliates with sending Hulk into the railing and then dropping him onto it. Hulk fights back and chokes Sting with the tv cable. Back in and Hogan hits a back suplex followed by a rear chinlock turned surfboard. Then into an abdominal stretch. The Hulkster tries a few unsuccessful pins. Back up and Hogan nails some big blows and then bites Sting. Sting ducks a clothesline then executes a cross body for 2. Sting hits two Stinger splashes but misses a third. HULK UP! Hogan with the big boot and leg drop, but DDP comes down to the ring and takes out ref Nick Patrick. DDP nails a Diamond Cutter on Hogan then drags Sting over for the cover. 1-2-NO! Page then hits a Diamond Cutter on the ref. Brat Hart comes down and takes out DDP. Sid Vicious then hits the ring but gets booted by Hulkster. Lex Luger then comes down, tries to attack Hulk with a baseball bat, but gets booted. Sting grabs the bat a wallops Hogan with it. Ref Charles Robinson comes down while Sting slaps on the Scorpion Deathlock. Hogan is out and the match is over. Sting and Luger have been working together all along in order to dupe Hogan out of the title. Show ends. This was no classic to be sure, but I have to at least applaud the effort here. They attempted to have a wrestling match before the crazy overbooking at the end. Dare I say I almost liked a Hulk Hogan match in 1999.
This is actually one show WCW could've been forgiven for had it been in worst ever territory. I honestly don't recall the reaction to it back then, but now in my opinion it's far better than quite a few other shows they had put on over the previous year. I mean there is still stuff like the Wright/Duggan match and the million run-ins on the main event, but that's WCW.
Favorite Match: Sid vs Benoit as an actual pro wrestling bout;Berlyn vs Hacksaw because it's an amazing, entertaining example of a veteran being unprofessional
Watch it if you can.........why not?