THE SPECIALISTS Nostalgia Review: WCW Fall Brawl 1993; War Games, Rude vs. Flair, Steamboat vs. Regal
Sep 16, 2008 - 2:49:28 PM
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By: Brian Hoops, Nostalgia Specialist
This week’s wrestling flashback takes us back 15 years to the WCW promoted PPV called Fall Brawl. The event was held on September 18, 1993 and originated from Houston, Texas. The WCW was really struggling in 1993 but Ric Flair was back in the promotion and gaining power in the booking committee. This show was built around Flair defending the WCW International Heavyweight Title against Rick Rude and the War Games as the main event matches.
Announcers are Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura.
1. In a match for the WCW World TV Title, Steven Regal defeated Ricky Steamboat to capture the WCW World TV Title in 17:05. They worked a great, scientific match mixed with a little brawling. Steamboat had his ribs taped up, selling an injury at the hands of Lord Steven Regal and giving the match a great story. Steamboat attacked Regal before the bell as he wanted his revenge from the attack. Match began with lots of punches and kicks before Steamboat began to work over Regal’s arm. Regal reversed a backbreaker attempt and immediately worked over Steamboat’s ribs. Steamboat reversed a piledriver into a tombstone piledriver of his own. Steamboat went for his flying body press off the top rope but Regal threw Steamboat off before Steamboat could pin him. Finish came when Regal tried to through Steamboat over the top, but Steamboat tried to skin the cat, but Sir William (Bill Dundee) hit Steamboat with his cane and Regal pinned Steamboat to win the belt. *** ½
Eric Bischoff then interviewed the Nasty Boys who promised a big surprise for the Horsemen tonight.
2. Charlie Norris pinned Big Sky in 4:34. Norris was making his WCW PPV debut and was trained to wrestle by Eddie Sharkey in Minneapolis. This was an awful match as both guys were big and neither was very good. Sky worked an arm bar before Sky took control with punches and a kick. Crowd started a “We want Flair” chant followed by the “boring” chant. Norris threw Sky into the corner and followed it up with a kick to the face to capture the match. ½ *
3. Too Cold Scorpio and Marcus Alexander Bagwell defeated Paul Orndorff and The Equalizer in 10:44 when Scorpio pinned the Equalizer. Bagwell and Scorpio were beginning to get over with the crowd and WCW was pushing them as a tag team. Decent match when Orndorff wrestled, it went to bad in a hurry when the Equalizer was in. Match built around building heat on Bagwell until Orndorff accidentally hit the Equalizer with a knee, then Scorpio hit the Equalizer with the 450 splash for the pin. Orndorff and the Equalizer beat down Bagwell and Scorpio after the match to regain their heat. * 1/2
Eric Bischoff interviewed Regal and Sir William.
4. Ice Train defeated Shanghi Pierce in 3:26 of another bad match. WCW was trying to push untalented guys with size as Ole Anderson was back booking for WCW at this time. Pierce and Tex Slazenger collided together and Train power slammed Pierce to finish the match. DUD.
5. In a match for the WCW World Tag Team titles, the Nasty Boys with Missy Hyatt defeated Arn Anderson and Paul Roma to win the WCW World Tag Team Titles in 23:57 when Knobs pinned Roma. A brawl early that the Horsemen got the better of, then Roma and Anderson worked on Knobs knee. Only good spots of the match came at the finish. First the Nasty Boys went for a top rope bulldog, but Anderson pushed Sags off the top rope and then gave Knobbs a spinebuster. Roma went for a splash off the top, but Saggs hit Roma and Knobs pinned Roma for the win. * ¾.
Jesse Ventura then interviewed The Nasty Boys and Missy Hyatt.
In the next segment WCW reviewed the Cactus Jack story and the feud between Jack and Big Van Vader. In early 1993, WCW had one of their best angles in several years and a blossoming feud between Jack and Paul Orndorff and Big Van Vader. Instead of pushing this match in the spring and through the summer, WCW instead gave Jack a lame amnesia gimmick and pushed Vader against Sting and Davey Boy Smith in a feud that died. They finally decided to bring Jack back to finish his feud with Vader, but Jack had lost most of his momentum and the program had to start over again. Doing something that stupid was another testament as to why WCW was struggling so much in the early 1990’s.
6. Cactus Jack defeated Yoshi Kwan in 3:42. This was billed as a “bounty match” as Yoshi Kwan was a jobber doing a martial arts gimmick that was not over in the least. Harley Race and Big Van Vader hired Kwan to take out Jack. Jack made short work of Kwan, finishing it off with a double arm DDT. * Cactus challenged Vader after the match.
7. Rick Rude defeated Ric Flair in 30:30 to win the WCW International Heavyweight Title. On paper, this looked to be the show stealing match, with Rude being one of the best heels in 1993 and Flair returning to WCW at the top of his game. Flair defeated Barry Windham for the NWA Heavyweight Title at Beach Blast in July; however WCW stopped promoting the NWA shortly after and were left with Flair holding a title belt without a name. So WCW came up with the WCW International Heavyweight Title name. However, without the NWA name that Flair was synonymous with, there was no reason for Flair to continue to hold the belt. Flair was also gaining some power in the booking committee and proposed dropping the title so he could chase Vader and the WCW World Heavyweight Title. Match started slow and they never seemed to gain any momentum. The lack of crowd involvement didn’t help the match either. Finish came when Flair had Rude in the figure four, but Rude pulled the brass knux out of his trunks and hit Flair, “knocking” him out and covered for the pin. * ½
8. Sting/Dustin Rhodes/The Shockmaster/Davey Boy Smith defeated Sid Vicious/Harlem Heat/Big Van Vader in 16:36 in the War Games main event when the Shockmaster made Harlem Heat Kole (Booker T) submit to a bear hug. Animal lead Sting/Rhodes/Smith and the Shockmaster to the ring. Rhodes and Vader started the match in the first five minute period. Very little crowd reaction for this main event. Vader dominated Rhodes for the five minute period. Kane (Stevie Ray) of Harlem Heat is the next in, followed by Sting, Sid Vicious, Davey Boy Smith, Kole (Booker T) of Harlem Heat and finally the Shockmaster. Shockmaster, shockingly made it through the ropes and into the ring without tripping. The Shockmaster cleaned house and then applied the bear hug for the submission finish. The crowd popped for the finish, but I thought it was flat. The Shockmaster gimmick was not getting over at all and it was too premature to give him the finish in this match. ** ½
Summary: The best match on the card was the Steamboat-Regal match with Rude and Flair the most disappointing, but definitely not the worst match on the card as there were several that were in the running for that award. The War Games is usually a can’t miss main event; however this one felt flat and suffered from a lack of depth of talent in the main event. Harlem Heat, Dustin Rhodes and the Shockmaster were not main event level of talent. The booking of WCW was really poor during this timeframe and the constant switching of the titles revealed a lack of long term direction. This was an average show, not one that I would highly recommend.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please check out a new feature to the PWTorch.com called “Nostalgia Audio Podcasts” available each week.
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