The War on Pay-Per-View: WCW Fall Brawl 1995
Posted by Maxwell Baumbach on 08.19.2013
The first pay-per-view of the "Monday Night War" era!
When the rivalry between the WWF and WCW is brought up, most people talk about the "Monday Night War," where Raw and Nitro battled for ratings supremacy. Often times, people will look back and attribute the events that took place on television and the ratings to the demise of WCW. However, I feel that the value of pay-per-view is often understated in the Monday Night War. Had WCW been able to draw greater interest in their pay-per-view events, perhaps they would have been more financially stable and would have been able to survive after having their television deal cancelled. In this series, I will look back at the pay-per-views during one of wrestling's best periods and evaluate WCW and WWF's shows. Though the television ratings have been analyzed to death, which company put on pay-per-views? That, my friends, is what we will find out. I will be keeping a scoreboard for each year to determine which company put on the best show each year, and I will also calculate a mean score to determine which company, on average, delivered the best pay-per-view content.
WCW Fall Brawl 1995
September 17, 1995
Asheville, North Carolina
The opening video hypes two main-events; the match between Ric Flair and Arn Anderson and the War Games match between The Hulkamaniacs and The Dungeon of Doom.
We get the opening pyro, and we have a two ring set-up tonight due to the War Games main-event.
Brian Pillman vs. Johnny B. Badd
These two are friends, but will be going at it tonight. Badd is actually more over than Pillman during the entrances. The winner of this match will get a U.S. Title shot against Sting. They do in-ring introductions, and Pillman gets booed. The two chain wrestle to start, and Pillman gets a hip toss. The next sequence ends with a stand-off. Badd bests Pillman a Japanese arm drag and takes control. Pillman takes over and targets the arm of Badd. Pillman gets a roll up and bridges back for a close near fall. Pillman then straps on a chinlock. Badd gets up, but Pillman get flying head scissors and then another roll up for two. Pillman goes back to the chinlock. Bad blocks a hiptoss and scores with an arm drag before applying a side headlock. Badd keeps the hold intact despite Pillman's efforts to escape. Pillman gets to his feet and PICKS UP BADD, DROPPING HIM INTO A BACKBREAKER! One, two, NO! Pillman goes to a Boston Crab to keep pressure on Badd's back. Pillman releases the hold and cracks Badd with a bunch. Pillman grabs Badd by the hair and starts to yell at the fans. Badd reverses a whip and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Badd starts to work the leg of Pillman. Badd switches to a surfboard stretch. Pillman gets the ropes. Pillman shoves Badd, and Badd shoves back to a huge pop. Badd lights up Pillman, who goes out to the floor. After taking a powder, Pillman offers a handshake. Badd shake his hand, so Pillman attacks him. Badd gets sent out to the apron. Pillman tries to send him into the turnbuckle, but Badd reverses. Badd scores with a SLINGSHOT LEGDROP! One, two, NO! Badd goes right into a chinlock. Pillman gets up, and the two collide as they both go for a leap frog, sending them both down to the mat. The crowd rallies behind Badd as he gets up, but Pillman gives him a headbutt. Both men crumble to the mat. Badd gets dumped out to the floor, and Pillman taunts him. Five minutes remain in the time limit. Badd gets up on the apron, and Pillman tries to suplex him in. BADD REVERSES AND SUPLEXES PILLMAN TO THE FLOOR! Pillman gets to his feet, and BADD WIPES HIM OUT WITH A PLANCHA! Badd takes Pillman inside and goes up top. Badd leaps off the top, but PILLMAN TAKES HIM OUT OF THE AIR WITH A DROPKICK! ONE, TWO, NO! Badd blocks a back body drop and scores with a SIT OUT POWERBOMB! ONE, TWO, NO! Pillman sends Badd off, and catches him with a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Pillman grabs Badd by the head and goes to the second. He tries for a Tornado DDT, but Badd shoves him off! Badd covers; one, two, NO! There are two minutes left on the clock. Pillman catches Badd with a Russian leg sweep and applies an octopus hold. Pillman lets go and switches to an abdominal stretch. There is one minute to go. 45 seconds to go, and Badd is not out! Badd gets to his feet. Pillman shoots him off, but Badd sends Pillman into the mat and gets the TOOTI FRUITY! ONE, TWO, PILLMAN IS UNDER THE ROPES! Badd celebrates, thinking he won, as Pillman goes out to the apron. SPRINGBOARD CLOTHESLINE! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! The clock expires!
Referee Nick Patrick tells Michael Buffer that because this is a number one contender's match, there must be a winner! Pillman drives Badd into the corner, and ends up biting him. Pillman goes to the floor, and he and Badd fight it out. Pillman reverses a whip that sends Badd into the barricade! Pillman sends Badd inside and goes up top. Pillman goes for a dropkick off the top, but Badd went for one of his own and both men crash down to the mat! Pillman finds a sleeper hold! Badd struggles to stay up, and Pillman pulls him to the mat with the hold still applied! The referee drops his arm twice, but Badd won't let it drop a third time. Badd gets the rope! Badd gets up, and he applies a sleeper of his own! Pillman hits a back suplex to break the hold! Pillman sets Badd up on the turnbuckles. Pillman goes up and tries for a superplex, but Badd sends him down to the mat. SUNSET FLIP BY BADD! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Badd sticks Pillman's head between his legs and goes for a powerbomb, but Pillman counters with a hurricarana! One, two, NO! Pillman covers again for two. Pillman tries for a crucifx, but BADD DROPS HIM WITH A MODIFIED AIR RAID CRASH! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Badd sets Pillman up on the buckles and goes up- BAD DAY! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Badd puts Pillman on the buckles again, but Pillman cuts him off. TORNADO DDT BY PILLMAN! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Pillman heads up top, but Badd stumbles into the ropes and crotches him. BADD GIVES PILLMAN A ROCKET LAUNCHER OFF THE SECOND ROPE INTO THE BARRICADE! Pillman is reeling on the floor, and BADD TAKES HIM OUT WITH A FRONTFLIP SENTON! Badd rolls Pillman inside. BADD TRIES FOR THE BAD MOOD, BUT PILLMAN GETS HIS KNEES UP! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Pillman drapes Badd across the top rope stomach-first. Badd regroups on the floor, but PILLMAN TAKES HIM OUT WITH A SUICIDE DIVE! Pillman didn't quite get all of it, and both men are down! Pillman gets inside, and Badd gets to the apron. Pillman jumps off the second to attack him on the apron, but BADD CROTCHES HIM ON THE TOP ROPE! ONE, TWO, NO! Both men run the ropes, and THEY COLLIDE IN THE AIR ON DUELING CROSS BODY ATTEMPTS! BADD COMES OUT ON TOP- ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: Johnny B. Badd This match was nuts. To say both guys put their working boots on would be an understatement. Badd had the crowd fully behind him, and Pillman made the adjustments he needed to. They both whipped out all of their heavy artillery and had the crowd on the edge of their seats for upwards of fifteen minutes. This was a tremendous contest, and if you haven't seen it, you should go out of your way to watch it. 1 for 1.
Backstage, Gene Okerlund is with Ric Flair. Flair talks about how much he and Arn Anderson went through together, and how they bonded. Flair says that this is Horseman country. Flair says that many people never have the opportunity to be around greatness. Flair says tonight, Anderson will face greatness. Flair says he loves Arn, but that their can only be one king of the ring, and that's The Nature Boy!
Cobra vs. Sgt. Craig Pittman
Cobra might have the worse entrance theme of all-time. It's not so much a theme as much as it is a series of weird beeping noises (presumably Morse Code?). A private comes out, and Cobra yells at him, telling him to deliver a message to Pittman. Pittman comes down from the rafters and sneaks up on Cobra. Pittman chokes Cobra to start, and then pounds away on him. Pittman sends Cobra to the floor and works him over. Cobra reverses a whip and sends Pittman into the ring post. Cobra goes up top and jumps off, but Pittman evades him and applies the CODE RED (arm bar)! Cobra gives up!
Winner: Sgt. Craig Pittman This match barely existed, and it was apparent that the crowd wasn't interested in either of them. 1 for 2.
Backstage, Paul Orndorff has a breakdown, because he isn't even sure if he's Mr. 1derful anymore. Gary Spivey "of the psychic companions network" comes into his room in a wig. Spivey tells Orndorff that he can see his pain, but that he is Mr. 1derful. He tells Orndorff that he needs to be Mr. 1derful. He makes Orndorff look into a mirror and repeat, "I am Mr. 1derful." Spivey talks about bigger cars, bigger houses, and more money. He says that Orndorff sees what he sees. Orndorff keeps repeating himself. This was really poorly edited with bad camera cuts and changes in audio levels.
Heenan says that this will turn things around for Mr. 1derful.
WCW Television Championship Match: Renegade (c) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Diamond Dallas Page w/ The Diamond Doll and Max Muscle
Page scores with a Russian leg sweep off the bat. Renegade takes over and beats up Page on the outside. Renegade throws Page inside. Page grabs Renegade by his gear and pulls him face-first into the second turnbuckle. Renegade still manages to find a side headlock. Page takes a clothesline for two. Page ducks a cross body that sees Renegade hit his face on the ropes. Page drops Renegade throat-first on the top rope. DDP hits a spinning neck breaker for two. Page throws Renegade out to the floor, but he hulks up. He gets to the apron but knocked to the floor. He gets to the apron again and tries for a sunset flip, but Page blocks it- one, two, Renegade rolls through! One, two, NO! Page hits a clothesline and gets two on the cover. Page sends Renegade into the buckles and follows up with a battering ram. Page tries the same thing again, but Renegade avoids him this time. Renegade evades a back body drop and scores with a boot. Renegade follows up with a series of clotheslines. Renegade hits a cartwheel back elbow in the corner! That was actually really nice. Renegade goes up top- double axe handle! One, two, NO! Page fights him off. Renegade tries for a hip toss, but PAGE TURNS IT INTO A DDT! Cover- ONE, TWO, NO! Page goes for the Diamond Cutter, but Renegade shoves him into the buckles and gets a school boy for two. Page gets sent into Max Muscle on the apron, and Renegade hits a power slam. Renegade goes up top, and HE JUMPS ON MAX MUSCLE ON THE FLOOR! Renegade gets back inside, but Muscle grabs his foot, allowing DDP to HIT THE DIAMOND CUTTER! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner and NEW WCW Television Campion: Diamond Dallas Page This match caught me by surprise, as Renegade was usually pretty tough to watch. The story here was great, and Page did a fantastic job. The final few minutes were really entertaining. I liked Renegade getting too big for his britches at the end, as it humanized him a little bit. It was also a nice way for Page to take the belt off of him. 2 for 3.
WCW Tag Team Title Match: Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater(c) w/ Col Rob Parker vs. Harlem Heat w/ Sister Sherri
Booker T gets off to a hot start on Dick Slater. Stevie Ray tags in and presses the advantage. Buck tags in and takes over. Stevie Ray tags in and works over Buck with a reverse chinlock. Booker comes in and scores with a leaping side kick before applying a side headlock himself. Buck gets a shoulder block after fighting to his feet, but Booker takes right back over. Stevie tags in and goes to work. Stevie gets a ten punch, but Slater hits a sloppy atomic drop. Slater gets a swinging neckbreaker for two. Stevie trips up Slater and chokes him. Stevie gets caught with a knee by Buck, and Slater dumps him out of the ring. Buck knocks Stevie down on the floor. Stevie gets sent back inside, and Buck tags in. Buck scores with a knee lift. Booker tags in, but then Slater works him over. Slater scores with a PILE DRIVER! One, two, NO! Buck comes in and chokes Booker on the top before dumping him to the floor behind the official's back. Slater sends him into the barricade on the floor before rolling him inside. Buck scores with a big boot. Booker mounts some offense. He tries for a running dropkick in the corner, but he moves, and Booker crashes and burns! Slater comes in and scores with a back suplex for two. Slater drops a knee and covers for two again. Slater drops an elbow and gets two. Buck tags in and straps on a chinlock. Buck nails a scoop slam and tags out to Slater, who scores with another swinging neckbreaker. Buck does a fake tag-in deal and does some basic offense. He tries for a back body drop, but Booker pulls up short and HITS THE SCISSORS KICK! HOT TAG TO STEVIE RAY! Stevie Ray cleans house. He plants Buck with a powerslam for two. Everyone brawls. Buck pulls Ray by his gear to the floor. Booker gets sent off and eats a double punch to the head, but Ray breaks up the pin. In the other ring, Parker seduces Sherri. She pulls off his hat. The Nasty Boys come in while they make out, and hit Slater with a boot. Booker pins- ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winners, and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions, Harlem Heat! Wow, this was nearly 20 minutes long, and most of it was heatless and uninspired. There isn't much to say about this, since barely anything happened until the finish. I have no idea why this got so much time. Definitely skip this one. 2 for 4.
Col. Parker is informed of the decision, and he leaves with his team. Harlem Heat aren't happy with Sherri helping them win that way.
Gene Okerlund joins the former champs at the top of the ramp. Buck is upset with Col. Parker for being love sick, and tell him he have been out of sorts. Parker says he's series about Sherri, and he runs this team. He tells them to head to the showers and assures them they will get the belts back. He says he's torn between two feelings, but his heart is soaring like an eagle. He feels like he's 20 years old. He calls himself the greatest promoter that ever lived and that they will get another match. This was bad.
Tony and The Brain hype Halloween Havoc. They then go over the main-event before throwing to Mean Gene.
Okerlund is joined by Arn Anderson. He throws it to a vignette going over their history together, with Arn often being the enforcer for Flair. They say Flair has dropped off since Hogan arrived, and that now he has snapped. There is no longer a way to patch things up, and they will go at it tonight. Arn says he's always loved or hated with a passion and a vengeance. He says everyone's had a family member that's messed up at some point, and that's how he sees Flair. He says he loves Flair more than God himself, but that he has to do something tonight. Arn says all a man can do is stand up and live by his word. Tonight, he's going to give Flair all he's got, and he's going to respect himself in the morning, and Flair will respect him. This was one hell of a promo. Arn will never get enough credit for how good he was.
Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson
Arn gets a real nice pop. Arn actually bests Flair on the first exchange and calls for a "WOO!" from the crowd. Flair tries to fire back into the match, but he gets slapped across the face. Arn keeps control and works over Flair's arm. This angers Flair, who gets slapped yet again. Flair finds a front chancery, but Arn counters out almost instantly into a hammer lock. Arn keeps focused and applies an arm bar. Flair escapes and lands a big chop that sends Arn to the mat. Flair hits a few more. Arn nails a back elbow and goes up top. Arn gets a sleeper, but Flair drives him into the buckles. Arn hops up to the second and nails a knee to the back! Arn follows up with a hammerlock slam! Anderson goes right to into a modified hammerlock. Flair gets two his feet and lands a few chops, but Arn keeps the hold in and sends him back down to the mat. Arn drags Flair to the corner and repeatedly whips his arm into the ring post! Flair gets a chop, but Arn takes him over with punches to the face. Flair low bridges Anderson to the floor, and he goes up top! FLAIR WITH A DOUBLE AXE HANDLE TO THE OUTSIDE! Flair throws some chops and punches on the floor. Back inside, Arn takes over and gets a back body drop. Flair sneaks in a low blow! Flair dumps Arn to the floor and chops him. Arn blocks a chop. Flair charges, but he gets back body dropped on the floor! Arn mounts Flair and hammers away on his head with punches. Arn tries for a suplex, but FLAIR REVERSES AND SUPLEXES ARN ONTO THE FLOOR! Back inside, Flair hits a stalling verticle suplex. Flair covers but only gets two. Flair whips Arn into the buckles and tacks on a big chop for two. Arn goes for a sunset flip, but Flair blocks. Flair misses a punch, and Arn takes over. Arn sends Flair into the buckles, and Flair gets stuck in a tree of woe! Arn stomps a mudhole in Ric Flair and chokes him! Arn goes for the DDT, but Flair holds onto the DDT to block it! Flair goes up top, but Arn cuts him off. Arn throws Flair off the top rope! One, two, NO! Arn goes up to the second and jumps off, but Flair punches him in the face! FLAIR STRAPS ON THE FIGURE FOUR! They are in the dead center of the ring! FLAIR POUNDS AWAY AT ARN'S QUADS WHILE THE HOLD IS STILL APPLIED! ARN FIRES UP AND TURNS THE HOLD! FLAIR BREAKS FREE! Both men are down. Flair chop blocks Arn. Flair goes for the Figure Four, but ANDERSON GETS A SMALL PACKAGE! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Both men get up, and Flair kicks Anderson's knee out! Flair tries to send Anderson into the buckles, but he collapses. Pillman comes out and gets up on the apron. PILLMAN KICKS FLAIR IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD! DDT BY ANDERSON! ONE, TWO, THREE!
Winner: Arn Anderson Although the finish was a bit of a let-down, the match itself was really good and told a fantastic story. Even though the way he won was cheap, Anderson looked like a main-eventer throughout the whole match. This was on par with the opener, except here, instead of doing a ton of moves to get the crowd into it, they focused on the basics and got to the fans emotionally. 3 for 5.
The American Males chase Pillman off after the match, and the crowd gives Anderson a mixed response.
A vignette airs, with Kevin Sullivan warning Hogan about The Dungeon of Doom. He says they can't co-exist with Hogan on this planet. There are some weird fake electrocution graphics for some reason. This was weird and cheesy.
Another video airs to hype the main-event. This features videos of Hogan's "army" running away from things that are on fire.
Mean Gene joins The Hulkamaniacs backstage. They all have green paint all over themselves, including Jimmy Hart.
Main-Event, War Games Match: The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Sting, and "The Macho Man" Randy Savage) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. The Dungeon of Doom (Shark, Kamala, Zodiac, and Meng) w/ "The Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan
Sting and Shark start it off. Shark takes control off the bat. Sting hits a scoop slam and tries for another, but Shark falls on top of him. Shark grabs a bear hug. Sting boxes in the ears of Shark to break free. Shark tries to jump out of one ring onto Sting in another, but he comes up short and is bridged across the top ropes between the rings! Sting goes in-between the rings and kicks Shark in the mid section a few times. Sting goes inside and tries to jump between the rings onto Shark, but he gets caught! Shark sends Sting back inside. Shark gets caught down low, and Sting takes over. Sting scores with a chop block as time ticks away. Sting gets the SCORPION DEATH LOCK! Shark taps, but it doesn't matter. Zodiac is in next. Sting lets go of the hold and fights off Zodiac. Shark comes over and drops Sting. Both men score with elbow drops. Shark nails a big leg drop. Sting gets sent down with a double clothesline. Sting ducks a double clothesline and bowls the Zodiac over. Shark keeps the advantage, though. Sting gets sent into the steel cage. Time expires, and Randy Savage enters the match! Savage explodes onto his opponents. Shark drops Sting with a power slam. The Dungeon of Doom start to pull Savage out of the cage while Zodiac works over Sting. Sting scores with a clothesline, and Shark sends Savage into the fence. The clock ticks down, and Kamala is the next competitor to join the contest! Shark drops Savage with a Manhattan drop. The heels control the action. Sting lights up Kamala, but he gets cut off. The clock hits zero, and Luger is in! Luger explodes on Zodiac, but he runs into Kamala and Shark. Luger clotheslines both men down to the mat! The crowd went nuts for that one. Zodiac gets sent into the cage wall by Savage and Luger. Savage hits a double axe handle onto Shark. Sting knocks Kamala down with a top rope clothesline. Luger accidentally hits Savage with a clothesline, AND THEY GO AT IT! Meng enters, and he cleans house on The Hulkamaniacs. Heenan says that there is no way The Hulkamaniacs can win divided. Kamala works over Luger in the corner, and Zodiac chokes Sting. Meng nails Luger with a side kick. The clock strikes zero, and HOGAN ENTERS! THE MATCH BEYOND HAS BEGUN! Hogan comes in and throws baby powder into the eyes of the heels! Hogan beats up Zodiac between the ropes. Meng gets whipped into the cage. The faces pretty much dominate the heels. Kamala gets sent face-first into the steel cage. Zodiac is sent into it next. Lots of brawling everywhere. Hogan applies a camel clutch on the Zodiac! ZODIAC QUITS! THAT'S IT!
Winners: The Hulkamaniacs At first, I wasn't too excited for this one based on the talent involved. However, as the match progressed, an interesting story developed. The Hulkamaniacs were falling apart at the seems, and The Dungeon of Doom was a well-oiled machine. The resolution to this story was The Hulkamanics getting along fine all of a sudden, dominating the heels, and an anti-climactic finish. 3 for 6.
As a result of the finish, Hogan has five minutes with The Taskmaster. The Taskmaster tries to run away, but he is sent back to the ring by security. Sting sends Sullivan inside. Hogan sends Sullivan off the side of the cage multiple times. He tries to escape, but Hogan continues his assault on the outside. Hogan sends him back inside. Sullivan begs for mercy, but Hogan won't give it to him. Hogan untapes his fists and chokes Sullivan. Big boot by Hogan. THE GIANT IS HERE! The Giant steps into the cage! He goes over the other side of the ring and grabs Hogan. Hogan lands a punch, but The Giant doesn't budge! Giant applies a neck crank and sends Hogan down to the mat! The Hulkamaniacs come back out! The Giant and Sullivan escape as Hogan is down and out!
The 411: It's hard to score this show, since there were two really great matches, a pretty good match, and little else. The main-event was a stinker that changed its story and ended out of nowhere, and the tag team title match went too long. Since the opener and Flair/Arn were so good, I think this show still warrants a small recommendation. Check those out, allow yourself to be surprised by DDP/Renegade, and skip the rest.