Monday, October 17, 2022

WCW Fall Brawl 1996

(Yeah, we're shuffling the Musings a bit here. Today and tomorrow gets one and next week gets none. Things will be back to normal here in a couple weeks, promise.)

Yeah, we're going back to the WCW 1996 PPV well... mostly because I want to do a musings on that year's Halloween Havoc. To the best of my recollection, this was the first WCW PPV I actually watched back in the day... and yeah, that was a thing.

Diamond Dallas Page defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr. in the opening match. Chavo was just a no-name at this point and DDP has yet to be the more fully-formed character and people's champion who would stand up to the nWo, so these guys are in a weird place of sorts in hindsight. The match was fine for what it was, but that's about it, really.

Ice Train defeated Scott Norton via submission. You'd think that the last thing you would say about an old-fashioned hoss fight with two big fuckers beating the fuck out of each other is that it's boring, but turns out that's what this was because I almost passed out. I had to backtrack the stream to see the finish and apparently I didn't miss much. Also, this is a rematch from the Hog Wild show and I had the same reaction with their match at that show (Norton won that one, by the way. Not that it really matters at this point.)

Mexican Heavyweight Champion Konnan defeated Juventud Guerrera to retain the title. Said Mexican title is apparently a midcard title from the AAA promotion, but I don't recall which one. Anyway, this was a thing that happened. Not great, not bad, just there. Nothing special. But at least, it wasn't boring. So that's something, at least.

Chris Benoit defeated Chris Jericho via suplex. Good match.

Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio Jr defeated Super Calo in an entertaining lucha-style match to retain the title. Good match.

WCW World tag team champions Harlem Heat defeated The Nasty Boys to retain the title in a match that made me want to go back and watch their Uncensored 95 brawl near the concessions stands. This was a sloppy brawl, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your point of view.

The Giant (who is nWo at this point) defeated Randy Savage (who is NOT nWo) with help from the trademark nWo outside interference. I wonder what number Randy give the run-in in his match layout. This was a thing that happened... which may or may not be a good thing.

And then we have the main event... 

So the main story of this year's Wargames match was that it was the WCW team going up against the nWo. At some point, Luger was attacked by a guy in Sting make-up, but it wasn't Sting. Sting tried to prove his innocence, but no one believed him. So the match took place; nWo had the man advantage, but it eventually became three-on-three, with only one more participant on both sides. The nWo's fourth and final member turned out to be Sting... except not the real Sting, but rather the fake Sting... and a rather very obvious fake Sting, even to those watching this show on PPV through their really blurry CRT televisions. And yet the WCW guys and announcers thought that this was the real deal. All this lead to the final WCW guy - the real Sting - come out and beating the crap out of the nWo as well as the fake Sting on his own while the other three WCW guys just stand there and watch. After taking down all four members of the nWo team, Sting pretty much told his "partners" to go fuck themselves and walked out, leaving the remaining three WCW guys to get destroyed by the nWo.

Luger crawls out of the cage, calling out for Sting to come back and gets beat up. Meanwhile, the Horsemen are still in the cage getting their asses kicked.

The match was largely irrelevant; it was there for the sake of having a wrestling match and as a Wargames match, it was fine. Not one of the better ones, but it wasn't about that. It was all about getting to that endgame; with Sting having been scorned by his partners and showing that he could take on the nWo all on his own, he lets them fend for themselves and they get slaughtered as a result, which proved that without Sting, WCW had nothing and they were ripe for the nWo to pillage. And that's precisely what they did.

After the match, Macho Man runs in to try and even the numbers up, but he's quickly overwhelmed and beaten down. Elizabeth shows up and covers up Macho for some reason (I thought they were feuding at this point with all the Flair stuff) and she gets spraypainted. Then Hogan cuts the usual Hollywood Hogan promo to close the show and yep...

Fall Brawl, as a show, is nothing special. And like I said, the Wargames match was fine for what it was, but at the end of the day, it was just a means to an end. It got the wheels rolling, but it's not something you have to sit through an entire show to get to.

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