WCW Fall Brawl 1997 Review
WCW Fall Brawl 1997
Date: September 14, 1997
Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Your commentators are Tony Schiavone, The Brain and Larry with the part time stuff of Mike Tenay. I can finally say, NO DUSTY RHODES! HOORAH!
We are coming off two absolute stinkers of PPV’s and the card does look promising. Hopefully WCW can turn things around with some new twists and focus on the simple stuff. As always, War Games will be the main event of the evening.
Cruiserweight Championship: Eddy Guerrero vs Chris Jericho (c)
Alot of hair pulling shanadigans to start things off as Eddy tries to get on Jericho’s nerves. Crowd is red hot for this one, even though its a slow start with lots of mat work. Jericho is working on the arm of Jericho while Eddy is working on the back. Why? Im not so sure. Eddy puts in his old mans Gori Special which is then reversed and Eddy is pancaked face first. The action starts to really heat up with a German suplex from Chris. Takes him up top for a superplex but is reversed by Guerrero who puts all his weight into the reversal. Goes up top and slams the Frogsplash for the 1-2-3. (17:30) A new cruiserweight champion to begin the show.
Rating: **** - What a terrific start to a PPV.
#1 Contenders Match: Harlem Heat w/ Jacqueline vs The Steiners w/ Ted Dibiase
This is amazingly the 4000th #1 Contender match of 1997 and i can say the Steiners and Harlem Heat have won 2000 each. Every month though, its the same old story. Alot of power stuff to begin with the big boys flexing their muscles. Booker jumps from the top to only be caught by Scott, who hits a sweet Belly to Belly. Scott is then worked on outside by Ray but finally gets the hot tag and Rick hits a poor Steiner bulldog but the pin is broken up. Ray and Booker hit the Heetseeker but that fetches only 2. The Steiners recover and nail a Combination German for the win. (11:44)
Rating: **¾ - Not a bad match but when you have seen it so often in the past year, you’re bound to get over it.
TV Championship: Ultimo Dragon vs Alex Wright (c)
Wright comes out to some nice heat and his dance moves are just getting better and better. He would really rock a dance floor. Lots of mat work tonight as Dragon botches a few kicks. 5 minutes in and you can tell he isn’t really interested. Wright locks on numerous sleeper holds before Dragon hits an Asai moonsault to the floor. Back in the ring and Ultimo hits an awesome running powerbomb but only 2. Lots of roll ups and reversal as the action really picks up. Nails a hurricanrana from the top rope and goes for the Dragon Sleeper but is reversed with a jaw breaker and Alex plants him with the german suplex for the victory. (18:43)
Rating: ***½ - A little long but these two gave their all and things really picked up towards the end. Three good to very good matches to start things off. What a difference it makes.
Gene is cutting his usual Hotline shanadigans backstage before the nWo interrupts walking through the camera. Heads to a staff locker room where Henning is on the ground and holding his arm.
#1 Contenders Match to the US Title: Dean Malenkov s Jeff Jarrett w/ Debra.
Jarrett starts things off before going to the outside and telling Debra he doesn’t want any distractions and wants her to head to the back. Malenko doesn’t really look to give a shit and he shouldn’t. He is still wrestling in the middle tier with folk he has destroyed in the past. Malenko plants a german suplex and goes for the Texas Cloverleaf only for Jarrett to reach the ropes. All of a sudden Debra is back out as the boys hit some amazing roll ups for a couple of very close 2 counts. Jarrett finally locks on the Figure Four and Malenko cant continue. (14:53)
Rating: ** - This match was irrelevant in the end as Jarrett made a dash for the WWE, taking Debra with him and thus resulting in a totally different outcome for Halloween Havoc! Easily Jarrett’s best match in his tenure at WCW. At only two stars, thats saying something.
nWo cuts a stinking promo where they shock the world by stating they want to end the Four Horseman’s careers! Of course. Konnan really stunk it up.
Wrath and Mortis w/ Vandenberg vs Meng and The Barbarian.
Ok, did some research and Mortis was Chris Kanyon. What made me research this is wondering where the fuck this guy disappeared to after this gimmick. How wrong I was. An unbelievable talent in the ring and must have been judged very highly at that time.
Well after the longggggggg entrance of Wrath and Mortis, this one is finally underway. We get our first actual wrestling move after three minutes as Barbarian hits a MASSIVE powerbomb on Kanyon... I mean Mortis. Meng chases Vandenberg around the ring while W&M hit a combination powerbomb but the pin is broken up. A massive double team superplex is then used to slam the crap out of Barbarian but again the pin is broken up at 2. Meng gets the hot tag and eventually powerslams Mortis but only 2. Meng chucks on a double Tongan Death Grip on Vandenberg and Mortis before Wrath nails his from behind with the Death Penalty. 1-2-3. ALL OVER! (12:22)
Rating: **½ - Mortis carried this one and there were some nice spots. Definitely a pleasant surprise.
For Horseman cut a lengthy promo and its just classical Flair. Benoit and Mongo definitely hold their own and this grabs added attention to the War Games main event.
Scott Norton vs The Giant.
The Giant enters to no music and I have a feeling this wont last long.
Things go to the outside almost immediately as the Giant and Norton slug it out. One real bright spot in this one as Norton picks up the Giant and slams him head first into the top rope. Back to back suplex but only 2. Giant hulks up and hits a big boot then chokeslam for the easy 1-2-3. (5:27)
Rating: ** - Just a squash really. Why not replace this match with a Rey Mysterio vs a Psychosis or Super Calo just so they can throw in some high spots.
Tag Team Match: DDP and Luger vs Macho Man and Scott Hall
Luger starts things off showing everyone his power. Eventually DDP hits Hall with an atomic Drop which sends the crowd into a frenzy. Luger is then pounded on by Hall as he is stomped in between the rings. Hall distracts the ref in the other ring as Elizabeth and Savage lay into DDP. Hall knocks the ref out, who is then replaced by another ref which meets the same fate. Larry Zbyszko then makes his way down to the ring where he stalls and mocks Hall. Crowd is going nuts. Luger recovers from in between the rings and rolls up Hall. Larry counts the very quick three count and its over. Thank the lord. (10:11)
Rating: * - Although the finish is pretty entertaining (but expected), the match itself is absolute shit. Probably the only stinker the whole night.
War Games: nWo (Buff, Konnan, Syxx and Nash) vs The Four Horseman (Flair, Henning, Mongo and Benoit)
Coin Toss: nWo
Benoit and Bagwell start the first five minute period off and Benoit is on top from the get go. Slams him into the cage face first a couple of times which is then followed by a suplex into the cage. Misses the flying headbutt and Bagwell keeps him grounded for the rest of the first period.
Next in: Konnan
So its of course the nWo with the 2 on 1 as Benoit fights hard to about the 1 minute mark of the first 2 minute period (good luck trying to keep up if you have never watched war games) before Konnan spikes him with a DDT. More mat stuff to keep Benoit quiet for the rest of the period.
Next in: Mongo
Mongo rushes in like a mad man and nails both nWo combatants. Horseman take control as they nails the nWo on the mat.
Next in: Syxx
Benoit goes straight back to work on the nWo, beating down both Konnan and Syxx. Mongo cleverly throws Syxx into the roof of the cage and plants him. Henning starts making his way to the ring in a sling and wants in next.
Next in: Flair
Flair has none of it as waltzes in and chops the living shit out of all the members of the nWo. Horseman well and truly on top but the biggest challenge meets them now.
Next in: Big Sexy.
Nash cleans house immediately slamming Flair to the mat before picking up Benoit and slamming him into the cage. Big boots Mongo and all of a sudden, the Horseman are in some trouble.
Next in: Henning
Henning makes his way in and immediately removes the sling to reveal two handcuffs. This gets the crowd excited before he nails members of the Horseman. Mongo and Benoit are handcuffed to the roof of the cage as the nWo beats down on Flair for five minutes. Horseman don’t surrender and the nWo threaten to smash Flairs head in with the doors to the cage. Mongo surrenders but Henning goes through with it anyways. Your winners, the nWo. (19:37)
Rating: *** - Well i certainly didn’t see this coming and what a surprise it was. After being handed the Enforcer title by the one and only Arn Anderson, Curt basically spits in the face of the Horseman. Crowd are shocked and don’t know what to think. The match itself I think proved to everyone how much of a star Benoit is/could be and gets a rating point on that fact alone. There weren’t many times where younger talent was made to look this good, even in defeat.
PPV Rating: B
Definitely a very good show and probably the best WCW produced to date in 1997. They focused alot more on the in ring action and how unbelievable was it that Hogan was nowhere to be seen. That was definitely a positive and the younger talent was made to look excellent, even in defeat on some occasions. I definitely recommend to all. Massive thumbs up!
Good review man. I actually watched this show live on PPV. My only real problem with this card was the WarGames match. WarGames is my favorite match of all time, but I feel it should be an angle ender, not a starter. I was glad Henning went to the NWO, but I just wish this match would of ended clean. I was probley just burnt out because every single match in WCW that year had a twist ending.
Totally agree. It seemed as if WCW's whole mission throughout the year was to have the same impact with every turn like Hulk Hogan's from Bash at the Beach 96'. Curt Henning's heel turn i think was the turn of 1997 and if they had left it to maybe 1 member joining the nWo every six months compared to 5 or 6, then this turn could have been MASSIVE.
Either way, they did it in the right way and realized Henning was never really over with the WCW audience and turned him in the best possible way. The nWo would have continued to be a great angle with just Nash, Hall, Hogan, Henning and Bischoff.
With all the Japanese stars and Konnan, Buff and Syxx, kind of soured the whole angle a bit towards the end of 1997.
It was an ok ppv but I would change a few things around where I would have Hogan defend the title against Arn Anderson just to say he had a shot against the title but would lose in the end and I would put in 4 guys to represent the wcw and sting rather then the four horsemen, I would put in Page, Benoit, Luger & The Giant and have the Now be Hall, Nash, Syxx & Bagwell with the Nwo winning.
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