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The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Fall Brawl 95

April 12, 2008 | Posted by Arnold Furious
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The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Fall Brawl 95  

The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Fall Brawl 95

Ric Flair v Arn Anderson and one of those great WCW PPV openers they used to do so well.

I missed this one out during my history of WCW deal because the copy I had sucked something fierce. The tape was horrendous. Luckily my buddy had a copy of it that’s far superior so I’ve borrowed that to do a show I remember being particularly good. This show was partly billed around Ric Flair facing off against Arn Anderson after there was trouble in Horsemen heaven. Flair was basically being a jerk so Arn got in his face and we get this. While it’s not a hostile arrangement, merely Arn trying to get years of being the “Enforcer” and not the champion out of his system, it’s still something surely worth a look.

We’re in Asheville, North Carolina. Hosts are Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan.

Tony rambles about Hulk Hogan declaring war on the Dungeon of Doom. I don’t care Tony. I don’t care if the Giant ran over Hogan’s motorcycle. Even if it IS Wargames. I still don’t care.

Brian Pillman v Johnny B. Badd

These guys are both babyfaces and friends in kayfabe. Pillman however is defacto heel because Badd is so over and Pillman can just play heel that much better. Badd blows his freebie throw hitting the turnbuckle that’s two inches in front of him. That doesn’t bode well. Michael Buffer is introducing the whole show, which kind of deflects the importance of using him for main events. He also sucks. More than a few boos for Pillman. Winner of this gets a shot at Sting’s US title. Pillman offers an early handshake to show he’s a babyface even if the crowd aren’t reacting to him that way. They run some nice counters into a double dropkick. That shows how evenly matched they are. Pillman gets the arm but Badd flips around into a very different looking armdrag. They’re starting out technically sound and the crowd are quiet because of that but you can see them all looking at the ring so we have a Japanese sort of vibe. Quiet appreciation. Badd gets the very near fall with a roll up but Pillman knows where he is and gets the ropes. Pillman counters standing into the Rolling Prawn Hold for 2. That was nice. Great execution. They run a nip out of the corner and Pillman goes into a headscissors at speed. Wow, that was legitimate fast. It was so fast Badd gets busted open hardway. Badd starts working a headlock but Pillman is in no mood to for that shit and backbreakers out for 2. Boston crab as Pillman starts focusing on a body part. Working the back should keep Badd grounded. Pillman gives up on it to punch Badd in the cut thus REALLY making himself the heel. Badd comes back with his own tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Badd rather confusingly goes after the leg, which Heenan also disagrees with. What it is doing is pissing Pillman off though and he shoves Badd over. Badd shoves him back and it’s FUCKING ON NOW! Pillman elbows Badd in the cut and starts using nothing but closed fists. Badd throws his own punches and he’s a Golden Gloves boxing champ. Pillman bails and the crowd are really getting on his case now. Pillman offers a handshake and Badd refuses it. Hmm, that’s not very nice. Pillman sucker punches him anyway and bites the cut. I notice they’ve not even acknowledged the cut because it wasn’t deliberate. They run some drop downs and leapfrogs until they both leapfrog into each other, deliberately, for a double down. Crowd is really getting into this now. Pillman headbutts Badd back down but knocks himself silly in the process. Double down. See, these guys know it isn’t all about high spots. They’ve not done anything but basics and they’re having a great match. It’s more about the story of the match. Pillman stomps Badd out of the ring and we’re 15 minutes into this 20 minute time limit already. Badd suplexes Pillman out of the ring and Heenan suggests that should be a DQ. Technically, I guess. Badd then follows out with a pescado. He’s getting desperate to wear Pillman down for the pin. Badd comes off the top but Pillman catches him with a dropkick on the way down. This feels like the opening seconds of a finishing stretch. Badd with a SIT OUT POWERBOMB for 2. Pillman counters again TOMBSTONE…for 2. Now they’re hitting the high spots. Crowd are buying into them thanks to the 18 minutes of action before. Pillman tries for a tornado DDT but Badd shoves him off for 2. Badd takes it to the mat because he clearly doesn’t know how much time is left. Buffer makes the call for 2 minutes and now Badd has no excuse for sitting in that hold. As he moves to get up Pillman Russian legsweeps him into an Octopus but Badd isn’t going to quit to that. One minute left. Pillman still trying to get the submission but Badd won’t give it up. 30 seconds left. TOOTI FRUITY! Pillman is out but he’s also under the ropes. NO PIN. Pillman flies back into the ring with a springboard forearm for 2 and the time limit expires at 20 minutes.

Nick Patrick tells Michael Buffer there must be a winner because it’s a number one contender match. Buffer fucks up the announcement but we’re into sudden death overtime. Pillman goes back after the cut but Badd uses his punches to keep Pillman away. They brawl out to the floor and Badd takes a header into the rail. He’s having trouble with his shoulder, which Pillman has sporadically worked all match. Pillman tries to come off the top with a missile dropkick but Badd hits a dropkick on the way down as they get some symmetry on those high risk moves. Pillman goes to a sleeper knowing Badd is already worn down and struggled with his other mat submission attempts. Badd rolls over and gets the ropes. Otherwise he was out there. Pillman comes off the ropes and SLEEPER the other way! Pillman doesn’t get taken down though and back suplexes out. This is mental WARFARE! I love it. Pillman starts getting cocky and slaps Badd around, which gets him caught in a sunset flip for 2. Badd goes for another powerbomb but Pillman counters into a rana for 2. Pillman gets a crucifix but Badd slams him out of it for 2. To the top – SUPER RANA from Badd, known as the Badd Day, gets 2. Pillman with the miracle kickout that time. Pillman counters in the corner and gets the tornado DDT…for 2. Pillman smartly delayed on the cover thus protecting his move. Pillman back up top looking for high risk but Badd falls into the ropes causing a crotching. Badd goes up and throws Pillman off into the rail. Badd follows with a slingshot senton, which his patented move to the floor. Pillman looks dazed. Slingshot splash from Badd but the KNEES ARE UP! Counters galore here. Badd kicks out. Pillman dumps Badd gut first on the ropes and he has to bail to regroup. Pillman sees a chance – TOPE! Pillman barely clipped him with that and he landed face first on the floor. Ouch. Pillman tries a springboard but Badd ducks and Pillman lands on the ropes for 2. Badd was under the ropes so the pin stopped. They collide at speed and Badd ends up on top for the pin at nearly 30 minutes. ****. That was crazy shit for an opening match in WCW. Nearly 30 minutes of action. They busted ass out there and ran through some fine psychology regarding the moves. WCW gained a reputation for great opening bouts during 1996 but this here is a template for many of those great matches. Top stuff.

BACKSTAGE Gene Okerlund gets a word with Ric Flair. He says he and Double A had this bond where they were brothers and best friends. He calls Arn privileged to be in his company and now he gets to face him.

Cobra v Sgt Craig Pittman

Cobra’s “music” is Morse code. Pittman sends out one of his privates, hur-hur, which is Prince Iaukea in army gear. Pittman repels down from the ceiling on the other side of the ring and sneaks in blind side. Cobra gets choked out with an ammo belt. Pittman just dismantles Cobra and beats him with the armbar in short order. Crowd doesn’t care. SQUASH.

BACKSTAGE Paul Orndorff, disgruntled and disillusioned, is ANGRY because he’s been on a losing streak. We get clips of him throwing his robe around and shouting. It would be quite good if it wasn’t so clipped up. He’s joined by Gary Spivey “of the psychic companions network” remarks Paul. This is ridiculously long with Spivey just shouting slogans and Orndorff staring in the mirror…”I am Mr Wonderful”. This is horrible. I don’t know whose genius idea this was but couldn’t it have happened on Spivey’s show and then we get clips instead? After all Spivey is a total goofball with a stupid wig. Unfortunately Orndorff’s injuries forced him into retirement shortly afterwards thus tanking the angle.

TV title – The Renegade (c) w/Jimmy Hart v Diamond Dallas Page w/Diamond Doll/Max Muscle

Kim is SMOKIN’ hot here. Why would DDP even want to leave the house? Wow. For those who don’t remember Renegade it was Rick Williams, a guy who looked a lot like the Ultimate Warrior. So much so that approximately no fans were fooled into believing he really was Woyah in a new guise. He actually doubled for Woyah when the real deal was signed a few years later but sadly his career hit the skids because he was a terrible and eventually got canned in 1998 and then killed himself in 1999. Another tragedy for wrestling. DDP does his best to try and make this match interesting but Renegade is only interested in making himself look like Woyah, which ruins everything. DDP isn’t much of a worker back in 1995 either, which doesn’t help matters. Renegade’s selling is so horrible. Just bouncing up into the air, like Santino Marella minus the comedy. Kim gives DDP the TEN for stomping away. She seems a little frustrated out there. The angle behind this was that she won $13M on the lottery but then DDP ripped her off and an assortment of crazy matches followed involving Johnny B. Badd who was fired prior to the pay off and replaced with Ed Leslie in another terrible gimmick as the Booty Man. Back to the match and the wrestling is pretty basic, which is for the best because anything complex would probably go wrong. DDP’s strikes haven’t really developed to any kind of decent level though so all his transitions look bad. Renegade is totally inexperienced and that was really starting to show but unlike Bill Goldberg a few years later he didn’t have the same level of support. He was going through people the same way but didn’t have the same vibe about him. He’s not the same psychical specimen as the other big guys so making him an unstoppable monster babyface doesn’t work for most of the crowd. Hell, DDP is bigger than him but they’re trying to sell the story differently. DDP does a nice counter into a DDT to avoid being thrown around. Damn, Kim is hot. Is she still single? Maybe I should give her a call. DDP goes for the Cutter but Renegade shoves him off. Max jumps on the apron but Hart interferes and the heels have a malfunction at the junction. DDP gets laid out but Renegade goes after Max Muscle. Idiot. Max grabs the leg as he goes back in and DDP hits the Diamond Cutter for his first singles title. ½*. Meh. Ugly match with a messy finish. Renegade’s push went out the window with this loss and it was all downhill from here.

Tag titles – Dick Slater/Bunkhouse Buck (c) w/Col Rob Parker v Harlem Heat w/Sista Sherri

The angle behind this was with Sherri taking a bump and falling in love with the Colonel. It seems ridiculous but it was probably better than letting this rabble just get on with it. The clash of styles is rather obvious. Two good old school heels clash with a big power guy and a guy who is more modern in terms of his offence. Booker isn’t up to the point where he can carry people yet and Slater & Golden are a bit long in the tooth. Slater at least has his psychology still and his veteran ring positioning. But working with Stevie Ray’s walking headlock machine is no fun for anyone. As per usual with this team Booker T takes the ‘heat’. Sherri is distracted by a flower she’s wearing that Parker gave her the show before. Head not in the game! Golden isn’t sure how to deal with Booker’s kicks so he has to go to a chinlock instead. This is swiftly becoming a real yawner. They should just get on with the storyline and skip over the matches. Slater blows an atomic drop, which Stevie sells anyway and because of his size Stevie is working like a heel. I’m guessing he just can’t work like a babyface, which is why Booker got the push even though he’s a better heel than a face he can do both. I know he’s a much better in ring performer too but that doesn’t automatically equate to a push in WCW. I praised WCW for giving the opening match time to develop but this match is never going anywhere and they give it a load of time too. The crowd responds by sitting on their hands and looking bored. Golden & Slater do some smart positioning of the referee to throw Booker over the top rope behind his back. Of course it wouldn’t matter if he saw it because the belts don’t change hands on a DQ. Who cares if you get DQ’d? You still keep the belts. Booker charges into the corner and knocks himself out. Slater doesn’t pin. Oh, come on man! He goes and brawls with Stevie on the apron instead. Yeah, smart move jackass. Slater has been at least focusing on Booker’s neck with a series of moves on that body part. Stevie gets tired of watching it and jogs in to kick him in the face. So the heels no tag switch just to fuck with him. Golden flat back bumps the axe kick. Jesus Christ man, front bump something for once in your life. That looked so, so stupid. Stevie gets the Luke warm tag. Everyone piles in anyway as impartial referee Nick Patrick watches on. They continue to brawl for AGES. Come on man, get some control. Meanwhile Parker and Sherri get NASTY with some serious making out. Speaking of NASTY the Nasty Boys run in and lay out Bunkhouse Buck with his own boot and the tag titles switch hands. That was nearly 20 minutes! *. Parker was more interested in liplocking Sherri. Shame the match was so boring. Crowd don’t really care.

POST MATCH the Heat are upset with Sherri but she points out they have just won the titles. So she’s saying she suckered Parker but she’s lying. Rob Parker must have loved this angle. Gene Okerlund gets an interview with Bunkhouse who blames Parker for the loss. Parker says he’ll get them a rematch and it ain’t no thang. Or words to that effect. He does say he’s serious about Sherri and his “heart is soaring like an eagle”.

BACKSTAGE Gene has Arn Anderson. We get a quick video clip showing how Arn has been backing up Flair but Ric has started hiding behind Arn and using him. They reached a head when Flair didn’t exactly help out Arn in a handicap match against Vader at the previous Clash of the Champions. Arn then refused to help out Flair in a match against Alex Wright. Arn is convinced that Flair has a problem. We get the interview where Arn says he’s nervous because he loves Flair more than God itself but actions needs to shake Ric Flair rather than words as they’ve done nothing. Arn intends to beat some respect into Flair.

Arn Anderson v Ric Flair

I know it’s a rarity but this is one of those rare times where WCW has done something right. It’s a pity really that this match is playing second fiddle to Hulk Hogan’s main event shenanigans in War Games. There are wrestlers watching at ringside to give an excuse for Horsemen shenanigans later on. Flair seems highly confident and stops off to play with his hair in lieu of the opening lock up. MIND GAMES! Arn schools Flair on the mat and rubs his face in it. That irks Flair but Arn gives a look as if to say “you wanted me to be like this, now you got it”. Flair gets in his face again but Arn shoves him over and then slaps him. OOOOOOHHHH. Flair bails. MIND GAMES! We get a great shot of a fan calling Flair a chicken. Arn, in typical Anderson fashion, works over Flair’s arm and stomps on it. Flair goes to poke him in the eyes but Arn knows that’s coming and slaps him again. The penny is dropping with Flair as he realises Arn knows all his tricks and treats him with more respect from this point. Arn picks off the arm again and Flair is in trouble already. Flair has to wrestle out and times a chop to perfection and that’s the first time his trademark stuff has connected. Arn is rocked every time he takes a chop and back bumps every single one. Arn goes up top and POKES FLAIR IN THE EYE, sleeper hold! Flair has to run back into the buckles but Arn is back up there and he knees Flair in the back. HAMMERLOCK SLAM! Flair begs off but Arn knows that trick and goes straight back onto the arm. Flair tries to chop him off and Arn sells is BUT pulls the hair to take it back to the mat. Crowd loves that and pops it big. It’s like Flair deserved it for all the cheating over the years. Arn starts using the ring post as a tag partner and Flair’s arm is already in bad shape. Flair unloads with another big chop but Arn fires back with punches. Flair with his corner bump and he runs the apron, Arn charges and Flair lured him in! He pulls the rope down and Arn falls outside. Flair axe handles him off the top rope. Now Flair is breaking out something different keep Arn off balance. He unloads with more strikes but has to stop because his arm is sore. Flair has Arn down though so he can pick his shots and he connects with a kneedrop. Arn wails away to come back and backdrops him for 2. He forces Flair into multiple kickouts by just leaning on him. Flair goes to beg off again drawing a punch but the ref blocks it and Flair cheap shots Arn below the beltline. There’s a bit of a blip on my copy of this so I lose about 5 minutes here and clip ahead to Flair putting the Figure Four on. Arn rolls him up for 2. Crowd are reacting big time to this. Flair has clearly been working the knee as he puts the boots in and Arn just crumples. Flair gives Arn a beating in the corner and Arn tries to escape but his knee buckles. Brian Pillman is up on the apron and he berates Flair and then cheap shots him. The ref was dealing with Arn so he misses it and Arn snaps off a quick DDT for the shock pin. ***3/4. Probably even better but I missed a chunk of the match. The psychology between these guys was phenomenal though and I’d pay good money to see another match.

VIDEO PACKAGE – A terrible promo from Kevin Sullivan where he attacks a Hulk Hogan action figure with a spade. *slow clapping*We get another package of Hogan battling the Dungeon of Doom. This whole idea was a disaster because everyone in the Dungeon just plain sucked.

BACKSTAGE Hogan, Savage, Sting and Luger are the team. No problem here. Luger just came in and his allegiance is in doubt. But the team are all stars and worthy of the main event status. Everyone cuts promos and they’re dressed in camouflage and look ridiculous. Jimmy Hart waves Old Glory just to round out the imagery that the Hulkster was aiming for.

War Games

If Hogan’s team wins then Hogan gets 5 minutes with Kevin Sullivan alone in the cage. Pervert. Dungeon of Doom is Zodiac (Ed Leslie with a bad gimmick), The Shark (Earthquake), Kamala, Meng and with them is Kevin “Taskmaster” Sullivan. Sting starts for the babyface team and Shark for the Dungeon. The rings are touching this year instead of leaving a gap between them, which I remember Bret Hart complaining about. Just to make sure the crowd is into this Shark totally dominates the early going giving them NOTHING to cheer whatsoever. Sting finally gets going when Shark bails out into ring two and Sting dives over the ropes. Sting gets manhandled some more and splashed. Shark then has the balls to put on a BORE-HUG. You have FIVE minutes and you can’t even make it halfway through without resorting to a rest hold. Nice work. Really. Shark attempts the ring to ring dive but lands on the ropes and Sting punts him in the ribs a few times. Why even attempt that? He was totally in command of the match. Shark continues the stupidity by posing on the ropes. Sting kicks his legs away and crotches the big man. They’ve sure sucked the fun out of this match. 30 seconds until someone else comes in and Sting clips the knee getting in his second piece of offence of the night. Scorpion Deathlock is on. TOTAL SILENCE. We know he can’t quit yet. Zodiac comes in as the heels get a 2 on 1 advantage and Leslie brings some of the worst selling I’ve ever had the misfortune to see. Sting tries for the Scorpion again leaving himself completely open to be attacked by Shark. The idiocy appears to be contagious. Sullivan & Meng have taken to hanging off the cage so the fans can’t see anything. Thanks assholes. Randy Savage is in next for the faces. His first attempt – trying to suplex Shark. *slow clapping*. Zodiac opts for choking Savage with some wrist tape. Sting is looking pretty worn down. Shark splashes him. The Dungeon are nefarious in their cheating as they drag Savage’s leg out under the cage and beat on it. Kamala is in next for the Dungeon. Another 2 minutes of heel domination follows. Sting finally gets a little offence in again but the heel cut off comes after about 5 seconds. Luger is now in. He decides to take on Shark and Kamala and clotheslines them both over. Luger has turned the tide. Zodiac is entirely ineffective so he’s easily picked off. Luger accidentally hits Savage and Sting has to play peacemaker. Meng is in next and he can pick them off easily. Another 2 minutes of heel dominance follows. Hogan is in last and he brings powder in there to throw in people’s eyes. Heenan calls him a low down cheat. Hogan is soon raking eyes and biting like the fine upstanding babyface role model…erm…yeah. He runs a really awful sequence with Zodiac where he punches him off the ropes a dozen or so times. I hate that rinky dink shit. Luger helps Hogan run a few heads into the cage. Hogan chinlocks Zodiac and that fucking pussy quits. *1/2. That was pretty awful. It didn’t even have a finish.

POST MATCH Sullivan is ordered into the ring and he refuses so Sting fetches him. This is a total mismatch. Sullivan is giving up about 75lbs and 6 inches in height. Hogan just beats his ass all over the cage. Big boot but out comes the Giant. The other Hulkamaniacs foolishly cleared out so Hogan is left alone. Hogan punches him but the Giant no sells it and chokes him down. Should have chokeslammed him really. The choking is boring and ineffectual. The Hulkamaniacs run back down here like the pack of geniuses they are. Too late as Hogan is left lying.

The 411: True most of the card is lame but there are two great matches on this show. Flair-Arn is a once in a lifetime kinda deal and you have a great opener in Badd-Pillman. Remember when there was a company that would give two undercard guys 30 minutes to open a PPV and make a name for themselves? Of course Eric Bischoff did his level best to kill every angle involving Ric Flair dead and he fired the hard working Marc Mero giving the WWF an easy free agent pick up. He may have put them out there in the first place but it was clear he wanted to do stuff with Hulk Hogan regardless of whether it’d draw or not. It wasn’t until he poached Nash & Hall from WWF in early 1996 that the company would really start putting pressure on the WWF.
Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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