If Dr. Death Won Brawl For All

Discussion in 'The Wrestling Archives' started by The Brain, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. The Brain

    The Brain King Of The Ring

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    For those that don’t know the Brawl For All tournament was one of the stranger things the WWF ever did. It was a shoot fighting tournament that could be won by knockout or on a points system. It was similar to boxing but with takedowns thrown in. The strange part is it was real. Actual real competition in the WWF. That was its downfall. The WWF is not meant to be real so the Brawl For All was a failure.

    The tournament was basically created to get the newly signed Dr. Death Steve Williams over. It seemed as though the WWF just assumed Williams would be able to cruise through this tournament of low card guys and considering it was real it would give him instant credibility among WWF fans. The problem was because it was real anything could happen and Dr. Death was knocked out in the second round by Bart Gunn of all people. Instead of winning the tournament and getting a big push Dr. Death did nothing in the WWF after suffering the embarrassing knock out loss to Bart Gunn.

    What if Dr. Death did win the tournament? How far do you think he would have been pushed? It is well known that Williams was a favorite of Jim Ross who had an influential position of power at the time. Some think Williams would have been pushed into a main event program with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Would Williams have been a successful main event star? Would he have been a good mid carder for a few years? Would he have had one or two angles and then fizzled out?

    What do you think would have happened? What would you have liked to have happened? Do you think the Brawl For All should have been scripted like everything else to ensure the desired result?
     
  2. Y 2 Jake

    Y 2 Jake Slightly Autistic

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    I don't think anything would've come from it. He just didn't work in that era of WWE. In his first appearance he was wearing something like a quilted jacket or a tweed suit, which showed how out of place he was.

    If he'd won the Brawl For All they would've had plans for him to face Steve Austin if fans had accepted him in his subsequent feud. That would've most likely been against somebody like Foley and even working with somebody like that I don't think he would've truly got over.

    The only time I could see Williams being a star in WWE is during 1994-1996. And really he had better stuff do do than be in WWE back then.
     
  3. Hard Hit Prince

    Hard Hit Prince Not really working as a

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    First off, I did not like the Brawl For All Tournament, it was ridiculous and the fans didn't really enjoyed it. It killed some of the momentum that guys like Marc Mero had (he was just out of a program with Sable) and obviously guys like Dr. Death. But the thing that I find most dumb, is the fact that they did not give Bart Gunn a chance on his own. I mean, the guy knocked out JBL and Steve Williams, two of the toughest guys in the industry - Bart had a right look, and since badass characters with not much charisma were being used, I don't get it why they thought Bart wouldn't work - I mean they tried giving him a feud with Vader, but later Vader was out and they just dropped it.

    Now onto the subject of Steve Williams, I say that eventually he could have had a storyline with Steve Austin but I can't see him getting over that, I mean being the champion at least. He was already 38 years old, he wasn't really a box office name in the US - but man, that whole thing was a mess. Even if they scripted it, I can't see it being a good way to debut a guy, because when it's all said and done, people would only remember the moment where Dr. Death would attack Austin and not the tournament. It's also sad that he blamed J.R for his really bad stint in the WWF.

    However his run could have been a lot better, he was a good worker, he knew his psychology and if he had a proper debut and a proper build he could had been the one contender to face Steve Austin at Survivor Series or something after "The Highway to Hell". Well, at least we have his work in Japan and that was really something.
     
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  4. god-soldier

    god-soldier Pre-Show Stalwart

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    This is a question I always wondered as well!!!! I think he could have gotten over and faced Austin at some point between 98-99. He would of been seen as a tough SOB and really looked good enough in the ring against Austin because he was bigger and stronger than Austin and he could wrestle well. He needed that Brawl 4 All win so bad as much as I liked the idea of a real fight it should of been scripted I don't know what they were thinking. But Williams had a real good chance of making himself a huge main eventer because those matches with Austin would have been great fights and may have been the first 3 stages of hell knowing how tough both of those guys were in the ring could have been one of the greatest rivalry feuds ever!!!!!!!!!
     
  5. HBsam31

    HBsam31 Totally Reeking of Awesomeness

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    I think the same thing happened to Bart Gunn that happened to Dr. Death. Bart Gunn rolls through the Brawl for all and what do they do? They throw him in a boxing match with Butterbean. Butterbean goes on to brutally knock out Bart Gunn in like 45 seconds. If you haven't seen it check it out. He knocked Bart silly. I think it ruined him the same way it ruined Dr. Death.

    Now onto Dr. Death. I would think he also would have had to have that match with Butterbean after the tournament, and who's to say the same thing wouldn't have happened. Let's say everything went smoothly I think he could have built enough momentum, if he knocked out everyone in the tournament, to have a program with Austin. He wouldn't have taken the title, but he would have been a strong heel challenger imo. I think that is where it would have ended though. I don't think he had that kind of popularity in the US. When I saw he was going to be in the tournament I got a little excited, but I never expected he would be a big deal. I think after the initial feud with Austin he would have faded into the mid card. No disrespect to him, but I think his time in WWF should have been a few years earlier.
     
  6. Dmbfantomas

    Dmbfantomas Bald Billy was Better

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    Death would have ended up being a main eventer for a short time, midcard talent for the most part, picking up a few IC title and tag title runs, and at best he would have been fed to Undertaker at WM. That was his best hope, to be another notch on Taker's belt. Dr. Death was awesome, but he was tailor made for Japan.
     
  7. spaldoni

    spaldoni Pre-Show Stalwart

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    I was a big fan of Dr.Death and when I heard he was coming to the WWF, I immediately thought "Awesome! Austin vs Williams". First, I think the Brawl for All should of been scripted and not a boxing tournament. They should of had a wrestling tournament. Williams could of been a last minute entry, then destroy everybody in the tournament. This would of built him up right away as a serious contender. I think an Austin vs Williams feud would of drawn well. As somebody else mentioned, Williams could of also had a good feud with the Undertaker. I do think if Williams had come in with this type of build, he would of had a successful 2-3 year run in the WWF.
     
  8. #heel420

    #heel420 Mr. Wrestling

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    This whole thing was fucked from the start. You can't book exactly what's gonna happen in a shoot. They should have been straight up and told the guys they needed Dr. Death to go over in the end. Instead they have a tournament full of REAL fights that nobody believed were real and ended up injuring half of the guys that competed in it. Then Bart Gunn wins the damn thing and his reward for fucking up Vince's plans are getting fed to Butterbean at WM in under 30 seconds.

    I think they should of scrapped the entire thing. They knew they were gonna do the tournament at Survivor Series that year. So, I would have saved Dr. Death's debut for then as Mankind's mystery opponent. And, have him face Austin in the finals.
     
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  9. MrMojoRisin

    MrMojoRisin Championship Contender

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    Williams was so over in mid 80's UWF that older fans at least could still see him in a main event with Austin. Truth is though, I don't know how successful it would have been. Dr Death was past his prime by that point, and his bread and butter was his hard hitting, believable ring work. He couldn't have brought it like he used to against Austin, and he would have gotten eaten alive by Austin on the mic.

    By that point in his career, Williams would have been best used either putting people over in the mid card, or working tags. Too bad Gordy was also done by that point, because a run with their team would have been killer.
     
  10. Spack

    Spack Dark Match Winner

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    I'm glad it ended the way it did only because it lead to an AWESOME J.R. heel turn. That was one of the best angles I remember seeing J.R. involved in, especially when he had his own announce table built next to the ring.
     
  11. JoeyJoeJoe

    JoeyJoeJoe Championship Contender

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    This.

    If ever you want proof that Vince McMahon is no genius, look no farther than Brawl For All and the aftermath. Essentially, he creates a real MMA-style tournament that he thought was rigged for one guy to win, ends up having someone he considered a jobber win the thing, and then gives him to Butterbean to get knocked out.

    Net result: Your toughest guys aren't as tough as a fat, amateurish boxer.

    As for Dr. Death, go back and watch Brawl For All...he looked buffoonish in the ring. The fans were audibly against the whole concept of Brawl For All that no one would've looked good coming out of that thing. He would've had zero impact in the WWE.
     
  12. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    First off B4A was a dumb idea when you already had Severn and Shamrock on the payroll...and Severn in the damn tourney... all you had to do was have a 4 way round robin of "Lions Den" matches/MMA rules with Severn, Shamrock, Williams and Mero or Blackman (either a legit Martial Artist or a boxer) - everyone would be expecting the Shamrock/Severn match to be the killer one, and you let Williams go in and upset them both in the last matches to get the win.

    Had they done that or had Williams won legit (if indeed it was a shoot) then those hoping for the Austin feud are barking up the wrong tree. Austin's neck would have probably prevented any real "slobberknockers" with Williams, they'd have seemed tame as many of Austin's matches did after that injury. Where Williams could have found his niche was where Angle and later Brock did - as a new force offering something truly different and dangerous in terms of pure ability. It wasn't shocking when either won the World title so quickly and it wouldn't have been for Williams either - especially with guys like Severn putting hm over to build his credibility.

    Where it went wrong for Williams was that ultimately he would have needed a manager, the only real options were Cornette who was already on the outs or as started to happen JR, who was neither right for - nor comfortable as a managers role. Had they not wasted Dutch Mantell/Zeb or been able to get Harley Race back in to manage him it might have worked...

    Ultimately had B4A worked as intended not much would have changed, Williams/Gunn and anyone involved wouldn't have had long careers - Austin, Rock, Trips and Foley would all still have risen ahead of those guys and Kurt Angle would have knocked that winner off on the way to the title. Vince was never going to trouble UFC or its like...
     
  13. harrythem

    harrythem Championship Contender

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    The Rock was "The Peoples Champ" Mankind was "The Hardcore Legend" and Steve Austin was "The Toughest SOB". Dr Death was, by that point, a rather portly older chap who looked like Captain Haddock from TinTin (might seem a bit mean to Dr Death but Attitude Era wasn't really full of fans who knew his earlier work frmo the 80s/Japan.) He had no late 90s style charisma and, because it's wrestling, the majority of fans wouldn't have bought into the whole "he won a shoot tournament". He'd have got a push but, as with Shamrock, it wouldn't have lasted because he just didn't have "it" anymore.

    BFA was a stupid idea, as most have said, when you've got wrestling, which you display as "real" how the hell do you explain having a drunk fighting tournament featuring wrestlers on your show?

    Yeah, this is one of those Attitude Era "gems" that fans seem to forget when they talk about how great it was.
     
  14. thebarber

    thebarber Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    if you read Hardcore Holly's new book, he claims Dr Death was pre-paid the $100k prize money for the tournament winner as the tourney was rigged for him to win. Dr Death was awarded points in matches for things that didnt earn points, and was evident in the Bart Gunn fight. Obviously Bart destroyed their plans and entire angle to stem from this by knocking Dr Death the fuck out. Bart got paid also, thus the tourney cost them 200k in prizemoney plus $5000 per fighter each time they fought. A huge waste of cash. Gunn was fed to Butterbean as punsihment and was thought up by Jim Ross, supposed Mr Nice Guy. Regardless, Dr Death would not have been headlining any ppcs with Austin, he was white hot and being set for the feud with The Rock over the WWE Title. Dr Death may have feuded with Shamrock who was left lost in the shuffle after dropping the IC Title
     
  15. Mustang Sally

    Mustang Sally Sells seashells by the seashore

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    Eventually, it would have come down to that, yes. I enjoyed the concept; it added an element of genuine tension to WWE events, knowing that matters don't always proceed according to script. Plus, there was the real danger involved.....and nothing gave proof of that more than the Bart Gunn-Steve Williams fight.

    However, two things would have caused the results to become pre-determined: first, the chance that someone could get his brains legitimately scrambled, costing them a performer....and two, Vince McMahon's desire to control every-damn-thing went completely against the Brawl for All concept in the first place..

    In following pro wrestling, it's tough to tell who really is a tough guy, and who isn't......but if there was one wrestler I had always considered someone you would truly want at your back in a dark alley, it was Dr. Death. Even in the latter years of his career, I would have felt safe walking through hell if I was on his arm. I don't even know why I thought this, but I really felt if there was anyone a pro wrestler would want to avoid in a legit backstage fight, it was him.

    Nothing that happened against Bart Gunn that night changed my mind about this; Bart was simply more adept in this style of fighting and the unfortunate result totally derailed Dr. Death from the push for which I believed he was due. Had Williams won.....or at least looked better in the fight, subsequent events would have followed a completely different path.
     
  16. jason497

    jason497 Dark Match Jobber

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    Vince didn't create Dr. Death so he wouldn't have put him over as a big star all of sudden, plus he was older and seemed sort of out of place in the attitude era.

    He would have been fed a big program, lost and toiled in the midcard for awhile. He probably would have been one of the prominent Hardcore Champions, I think his career path would have gone something like Steve Blackman's.
     

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