Friday, March 7, 2014

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

The New World Order collides with Team WCW in WarGames! Plus, who's side is Sting really on?

WCW Fall Brawl 1996
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 9/15/96

We get a nice recap of the whole WCW vs. n.W.o. story that has developed for the past few months, including "Sting" turning on his longtime friend Lex Lugar (in favor of the New World Order) on the episode of Nitro before the PPV.

1.) DDP vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.: ***¼

So going into this, DDP had been feuding with Eddie Guerrero, so I suppose having a match here with Chavo Guerrero Jr. was pretty natural. The commentators were pushing that Chavo was fighting for his family's honor. Very solid opener here. DDP would eventually get the win with the Diamond Cutter.

2.) Submission Match - Scott Norton vs. Ice Train (with Teddy Long): *¾

These two had an atrocious match at Hog Wild. This time it's a Submission Match and Teddy Long is in Ice Train's corner. Another bad match, but definitely an improvement over their first. Ice Train gets the win with a Full Nelson.

3.) AAA Heavyweight Title - Konnan (Jimmy Hart) vs. Juventud Guerrera: ***

After losing the United States Title to Ric Flair, Konnan turned heel and joined The Dungeon of Doom, thus Jimmy Hart is out with him. I believe it was mentioned that Psychosis was originally scheduled to challenge Konnan but was injured, so Juventud Guerrera is taking his place. A fine match here. It had some fast paced action but both guys, at the same time, had a lot of missed and/or blown spots. Might have been on the same level of the Misterio Jr./Super Calo Match later on if not for that. Konnan wins & retains his title.

4.) Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit: ***¾

This is Jericho's WCW PPV Debut, and was before he would come up with his heel character later on. I really enjoyed this match. You can tell that Jericho was going to be a star judging by the fact that he was THIS good in late-1996. Benoit was really good also and he would leave with the win over the young Jericho.

5.) WCW Cruiserweight Title - Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Super Calo: ***¾

First time seeing Super Calo. Another really good match here. Both guys busted out some great high risk moves and put on a really good show. In the end, Misterio Jr. would retain his Cruiserweight Title.

6.) WCW World Tag Team Titles - Harlem Heat (with Sherri & Col. Robert Parker) vs. The Nasty Boys: ***¼

Now this is the kind of match that you might think would suck, but it was surprisingly pretty solid. Can't believe that out of the WCW PPV's I've seen on the WWE Network, The Nasty Boys are 2 for 2 in terms of entertaining matches in my eyes. It looks like they had the titles but outside interference from Parker & Sherri get Harlem Heat the victory.

7.) The Giant vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage: **

Wasn't really looking forward to this one considering The Giant's previous WCW performances I've seen. Since Hog Wild, The Giant has inexplicably joined the New World Order, which to me makes no sense at all. Anyway, his match with Savage was actually passable. Just ok, but easily his best, which says a lot about how bad the future Big Show was in 1996, despite being one of the company's top guys. The rest of the New World Order would interfere and attack Savage while the referee (Nick Patrick) was "distracted" with The Giant, who picked up an easy victory when Savage was carried back to the ring.

8.) WarGames Match - Team n.W.o. (WCW World Heavyweight Champion “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & “n.W.o. Sting”) vs. Team WCW (Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger & Sting): ***¼

A little backstory: Sting was originally on Team WCW, but on the episode Nitro before the PPV, he, along with the rest of the n.W.o., attacked Lex Luger in the pouring rain outside the arena. While Lugar & The Horsemen were doing a pre-match interview, Sting came to them and told them passionately that he didn't attack Luger, which he didn't believe.

This is my first time watching a full WarGames Match. I gotta say that I find the whole "two rings" idea is pretty weird, but I'm come to accept that I won't "get it" because I didn't grow up in that era, which is fine. I have my opinions. The match starts with Scott Hall & Arn Anderson. Kevin Nash is out next, then followed by Luger, Hogan & Flair (in that order). The fourth member of the n.W.o.'s team appears to be "Sting", who comes out and starts hitting all of Sting's signature moves. Then the real Sting shows up and reveals himself as the fourth member of Team WCW. He comes out and cleans house on the n.W.o., while his teammates just stand there and watch. Sting has words with Luger and basically tells him to go screw himself for not trusting his best friend when he said he didn't do it. Sting leaves the Cage, basically sending it back to a 4-on-3 n.W.o. advantage, and they shortly thereafter get the win. The match itself was pretty solid. I LOVED the whole storyline with Sting, as this would be the start of his dissent into his "Crow Sting" character that made him even more famous.

After the match, Randy Savage comes out to attack the New World Order but his beaten down. Miss Elizabeth comes out to protect Savage, but gets branded with n.W.o. Black Spray Paint for her troubles. On their way out, they run off the announce team and sarcastically close the show. 

Overall: 7.5/10

By WCW standards, this was a pretty consistent PPV. You only really had one match that I'd say is bad, but the rest is relatively solid. Even The Giant had an ok match. The undercard was, as always, very solid with guys like Benoit, Misterio Jr. & the newcomer Chris Jericho putting on great perfomances. The WarGames Match was on the whole a solid match that had a very important moment in WCW's History with regards to Sting. Once again, a pretty consistent showing from WCW.

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