Fall Brawl '97: War Games - Sunday, 09/14/97
Fall Brawl '97: War Games - Sunday, 09/14/97
- I got a number of e-mails about Mark Curtis. My theory was correct, he is an ex-wrestler, sometimes even working under a mask, hence his impressive mastery of the situation when that fan rushed the ring on Nitro. Mark Curtis was also the referee, and bouncer along with Hulk Hogan, when a fan jumped into the ring during the Hogan-Piper match at Starrcade. Mark Curtis was trained to be a referree by Tommy Young.
- On the subject of the fan jumping into the ring, a reminder to all of you folks at the arena. You're not part of the show! It's as appropriate to jump in a wrestling ring uninvited as it is to run up onstage during a performance of Phantom of the Opera and start singing. Scream, wear your costumes, and wave your arms, but you should not be sending anything over the railing...no soda cups, no beams of laser light, and not yourself. While the jerks who jump over the rail are 99% responsible, I think WCW bears maybe 1% of the blame. It's one thing to have a guy like Raven jump the railing when he's a known wrestler. It's another to have people like Ernest Miller, who most people don't recognize, jumping the railing and cleaning house for their debut. Likewise, that ridiculous angle with the guy jumping the railing and giving Tony Schiavone and Larry Z. the videotape of Piper's video ("Is it ticking?!") just gives incentive to every would-be wrestler out there.
- I was hoping that the reason they hadn't announced the nWo side of the War Games match was that a big surprise was being planned. However, according to the official WCW home page, the nWo team will be Nash, Syxx, Bagwell, and Konan. Hmmm, what do you think the odds are of any of the Horsemen jobbing to Bagwell or Konan? And, once again, the heavyweight champion is a no-show at the pay-per-view. Very lame War Games match.
- According to Creed, the War Games commercial has been edited so Steve Regal can no longer be seen.
- For some reason, I think that whole spot on Nitro this past Monday with Bagwell was pretty funny. Nash says that the nWo is too busy to fight, but Bagwell pipes up saying he has nothing to do. What makes the spot so damn funny is Bagwell was sipping coffee before that moment, which was totally incongruous in the context of a wrestling interview, to reinforce the idea that he was kicking back.
- As for last Monday's Nitro, I received the following arena report after the show:
- My name is Mike P. and I live in Milwaukee, WI but attend the University of Wisconsin. This past Monday I made the trip home for Nitro and thought I'd give you some info about it. You couldn't even hear what Mongo was saying because the fans were all over him and his Bears jacket. I guess he forgot what city he was in. During the commercial break, Doug Dillinger says something to Mean Gene who then says something to Mongo. Next thing you know, Mongo is taking is jacket off and stomping on it and the crowd goes wild. I'm guessing that someone (probably Bischoff) sent a message to McMichael to do whatever it takes to get the crowd to stop booing him. The Horsemen were trying to get crowd support and it probably looked bad on TV that the crowd was booing.
- As for the guy in the ring during the Malenko match. The guy made a sprint down one of the aisles and hopped the railing just like a WCW wrestler would do. I thought this was legit since DDP did the same thing at the Clash in January. I found out it wasn't real when the ref kicked him in the head and then gave him a bulldog to the mat. Not bad for a ref. The commotion in the crowd was caused by the friend of the guy in the ring. This friend also decided to hop the rail and see what they were doing to his buddy. A security guard from the crowd picked this guy (not a small guy either) over the rail by his armpits and dragged him out of the arena. The excitement later in the match came from when the security guard made his reappearance in the arena because he was greeted to a standing ovation.
- Overall, it was a great Nitro show. We got to see the three legends (Hogan, Piper and Flair) and everyone else seemed to be there. I was really surprised that Hogan and Piper were in Milwaukee. The only disappointment came from our $40 seats which were about 25 rows up and behind the cameras. I could not believe that WCW would have their most expensive tickets go back 25 rows at a show where there are only 8,000 people. That really bothered me.
- Guess what, D.C. area wrestling fans! Starrcade '97 will be in Downtown Washington, D.C. at the MCI Arena on Sunday, December 28th. You can bet I'll be there!! No word as yet for when tickets go on sale. I'll let you all know. Nitro will be in Baltimore the following night.
- On a side note, if you are interested in the WCW house show schedule, check out their official home page. It always has their schedule some four months into the future.
- James Lawson, one of the writers from Scoops, let me know that Misterio's mask over his mask may have been a tribute to Mil Mascaras, the man of 1,000 masks. Mascaras used to do the same thing on the way to the ring.
- The e-mail of the week is a guy was from a guy who is trying to win the Nitro contest. I asked him if I was invited if he won. He responded with: "Of course you are invited. However, I have dibs on giving Kimberly Page the "small package", if you know what I mean."
- I'm a little surprised there wasn't more negative fallout on the Net to the spot where the Sting mannequin plummeted from the ceiling. In fact, I didn't see it mentioned anywhere. I've only gotten one e-mail from someone who felt silly because they thought it was real. For anyone who was at the arena that night, was it obviously fake or were people freaking out because they thought Sting had just plummeted to his death?
- A lot of people wrote me to say that Piper had said "he would make Mike Tyson look like a vegetarian and he would make Hogan look like he had e-coli". The reason I think he meant ebola is that he was saying he was going to rip Hogan up with his teeth, and that's why I think he meant ebola, the flesh-eating virus, not e-coli.
- Fritz Von Erich (real name Jack Adkisson) passed away this week at the age of 68, succumbing to cancer. Fritz had a brief reign (less than two weeks) as AWA World Heavyweight Champion beating Verne Gagne for the strap on 7/27/63 in Omaha, NE and losing it back to Gagne on 8/8/63 in Amarillo, TX. Even though he was a world champion, he was, sadly, more well-known for the tragedy that dogged his family. Fritz and Doris had six children, all boys. The oldest, Jack Jr., was accidentally electrocuted in 1959 at the age of seven. David Von Erich died at the age of 25 in his hotel room on 2/10/84 on a wrestling tour of Japan, supposedly is his sleep due to acute enteritis (severe intestinal inflammation), but rumored to be drug-related. Three sons, Mike (4/12/87, age 23), Chris (2/12/91, age 21) , and Kerry (2/18/93, age 33) committed suicide. Only one, Kevin, survives. Sadly, the Von Erich legacy is one of tragedy, not a dynasty. Supposedly, Doris blamed Fritz for contributing to the three suicides, claiming he pushed them too far and too fast, and she divorced him years ago. Not surprisingly, Fritz has often been criticized by WCCW wrestlers of that era of pushing his sons at the expense of other wrestlers when he was in charge of World Class Championship Wrestling. If nothing else, I remember WCCW as an exciting promotion to watch back in the mid-80s, and I miss the simpler days of the Von Erich boys fighting the Freebirds.
- Ever wonder how the feud between the Von Erichs and the Fabulous Freebirds started? On Christmas Day, 1982, Kerry Von Erich battled Ric Flair in a steel cage for the NWA World Title in Dallas with Freebird Michael Hayes serving as special referee. Hayes was a face at the time. Von Erich and Flair collided mid-ring and were both dazed. Hayes placed Von Erich on top of Flair but Von Erich wouldn't accept the title winning like that. Hayes called Von Erich an "idiot" and Freebird Terry Gordy slammed the cage door on Von Erich's head. This event ignited a five year long feud.
- In a kind of a segway, remember my comments about CPR in the ring? On 5/11/87, Kevin Von Erich (legit) collapsed during an eight-man match due to post-conscussion syndrome. He started turning blue and Fantastic Tommy Rogers performed CPR on him in the ring and revived him.
- Joe C. from Clanton, AL, sent me a correction to my previous Nitro report. Brad Armstrong did, in fact, beat Malenko in the original Cruiserweight tournament. Armstrong and Mr. JL beat Malenko, it was a double-elimination tournament. Hard to argue with Joe on this one, he was at the arena and saw the match live when Armstrong beat Malenko.
- I'll be on a plane while Nitro and the replay are on tomorrow night. Ben J. will be filling in in my absence.
Ken M. sent in the following arena report with the subject "Winston-Salem Rocked!":
- Show starts out with a montage of Flair pissed at the nWo and clips of Arn's retirement and the nWo skit.
- Eddie Guerrero pinned "Lionheart" Chris Jericho following a frog splash after reversing an attempted superplex by Jericho to win the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship.
- Crowd did some chant during the match that I couldn't understand. The announcers kept talking over it, so it must have been something they didn't want us to hear.
- Match was mostly Jericho early on. The match was pretty unimpressive early on, given what these guys, especially Guerrero, are capable of.
- Guerrero had an attempted submission hold I've never seen before. Chinlock from behind with his knees in Jericho's back.
- Great shots of Jericho's face as he is selling Guerrero's submission holds, including an upside-down backbreaker which I've never seen...and Jericho reversed it! Impressive.
- Eddie tried walking the ropes and Jericho crotched him and rocked the ropes.
- Yow! Jericho tried to powerbomb Guerrero from the apron to the floor! Guerrero reversed it and they both spilled out.
- Guerrero reverses another attempted powerbomb in the ring into a Death Penalty.
- Match got much better in the second half.
- Eddie got a clean win tonight. Not in any way, shape, or form a screwjob or heel win.
- The Steiner Brothers defeated Harlem Heat when Rick pinned Stevie Ray after a doubleteam combination lariat and German suplex.
- All Harlem Heat in the early going.
- Close up of Rick Steiner biting the ropes when Harlem Heat goes outside to take a time out during the match.
- An interesting note that is often lost when these guys fight is that it really is two brothers versus two brothers.
- Booker T. gave Scott Steiner a standing side kick that sent him sailing backwards over the top rope! Ouch!
- DiBiase is really starting to bug me. He's fat and he doesn't do a damn thing.
- Harlem Heat nailed Rick right before the end with a Heatseeker, but he powered out.
- WCW World Television Champion "Das Blunderpinned" Alex Wright pinned Ultimo Dragon with a German suplex following a jawbreaker on a reversal of the Dragon Sleeper.
- Lots of people dancing along with Alex before the match. Remind me of being in the Capital Centre years ago, with everyone dancing along with Akeem The African Dream.
- Ironically, after everyone dancing, a "Faggot!" chant started.
- Schiavone referred to a forward piledriver as a tombstone piledriver. Duh!!
- Mostly Alex Wright having the advantage in the early going.
- Ultimo Dragon tries a sunset flip which Wright counters with a punch to the head. Alex then starts to dance and Ultimo Dragon hooks him again.
- Ultimo Dragon missed a number of his signature kicks in this match. Alex Wright kept selling them even though they weren't even close. One missed kick even sent Wright out of the ring.
- Toward the end, Dragon kept trying to put Wright away, but Wright kept powering out.
- Dragon came off the top turnbuckle for a missile dropkick and Wright hit him with one of his own. That kick looked awfully stiff. Ouch!
- Impressive, three matches and three clean jobs.
- Okerlund hawking his hotline. The nWo War Games team goes running by. The run back in the other direction laughing thirty seconds later. Gene goes into the locker room and Curt Hennig is laid out. Gene calls for security. Day late and a dollar short.
- I think it is a set up for a turn by Hennig and the beating was fake. Either that or...Arn Anderson returing to the ring? Nah!! Actually, Hennig's life in the Horsemen is rumored to be very limited. Supposedly, at a recent TV taping, he came out to music other than Horseman music, didn't display the four fingers, and played the heel. We may see later on...
- Jeff Jarrett made "The Iceman" Dean Malenko submit to the figure-four leglock in another totally clean job. Jarrett will meet Mongo for the U.S. Title at Halloween Havoc, assuming Mongo doesn't lose the title before then. ;-)
- Malenko was way over with the crowd when he was introduced.
- Jarrett sent Debra back to the locker room before the match to watch on the monitor so Jarrett wouldn't be distracted. I smell something fishy.
- The "Jarrett sucks!" chant didn't start until three minutes into the match. A new record.
- Malenko nails Jarrett with a superplex. Impressive...Jarrett's not a small guy and Malenko is.
- Malenko gets the Texas Cloverleaf on and Jarrett gets to the ropes. This produces Debra.
- Action spills to the outside and Jarrett takes a beating out there.
- Going toward the end of the match, Jarrett and Malenko put on wrestling clinic of holds and counterholds.
- Wow, I have been impressed with the action thus far tonight. Four very solid matches.
- An nWo spot with time the nWo bought. The nWo War Games team says they are going to end the Horsemen's career team tonight.
- Wrath and Mortis defeated The Faces Of Fear when Wrath pinned Meng after giving him the Death Penalty when Meng had both Mortis and James Vandenburg in the Tongan Death Grip.
- Zbyszko: "If you got a little of the Barbarian into Dean Malenko, he'd be unbeatable." Heenan: "If you got a little of the Barbarian in Martha Stewart, she'd be unbeatable."
- Faces of Fear do the combination back body drop and powerbomb on Mortis. Announcers go nuts as if Faces of Fear have never done it before. Heenan: "That will put the 'riga' in Mortis".
- Barbarian goes to the top turnbuckle and Vandenburg shakes the ropes, crotching Barbarian.
- Referee Mark Curtis is holding Meng back and Schiavone refers to Curtis as "Shooter" Curtis, a reference to Mark Curtis beating up that fan that rushed the ring on Nitro. The "Shooter" comment was subtle and easy to miss, but really funny.
- Some incredible high impact moves, these guys used their entire arsenal. A new one was a superplex delivered on Barbarian by Mortis who was standing on Wrath's shoulders.
- Great match.
- Aside from some slow starts, five excellent matches, five excellent endings. Very solid card thus far.
- Okerlund interviews the Horsemen. It seems that Curt Hennig has been put out by the nWo for tonight. It seems the Horsemen are going ahead with just three. Yeah, right. We may be in for a surprise after all
- The Giant pinned Scott "Flash" Norton following a chokeslam.
- Contrary to what you might think, these guys went right at it from the opening bell and immediately spilled outside.
- Norton tried to suplex the Giant outside the ring. Bad idea, it got reversed. Duh.
- These guys definitely came to work tonight. And it's a see-saw battle.
- Norton's nickname of "Flash" comes from how quickly he can beat you arm wrestling.
- Norton scores a belly-to-back suplex on the Giant but Giant no sells, flips up, and dropkicks Norton. Chokeslam, and it's over!
- Not a squash, it was back and forth, but it was a short match and decisive.
- During the replay, as Giant's lifting Norton into the chokeslam, Heenan describes it as "...press the button for the penthouse...".
- "Diamond" Dallas Page and "The Total Package" Lex Luger defeated Scott Hall and Randy "Macho Man" Savage when Luger pinned Hall with a roll up.
- Cops lining the entranceway for the entrance of the nWo guys for this match.
- Schiavone tries to say how Scott Hall is truly a great wrestler and Zbyszko says Hall is the most overrated wrestler in the business.
- Luger cleans house of Savage and Hall early in the match.
- DDP gets tagged in and manhandles Hall including a pancake piledriver.
- DDP gets trapped in the nWo corner and takes a beating.
- Now the announcers are saying that Hennig may be coming out for War Games after all.
- Hall stamps Luger down in between the two rings and Elizabeth rakes the eyes of Page. Savage flings Page into the other ring. Hall beats Page up over there and Hall flings Page back into the other ring.
- As Savage is beating up Page, Hall purposely decks "Shooter" Curtis, the referee and does crotch chops over him.
- Mickey J. comes out to check on Shooter Curtis and Hall knocks out Mickey J. with a big foot. Larry Z. gets fed up and goes to ring number two where Scott Hall is. Larry teases coming in the ring as a beaten Luger has come out from between the rings and is crawling and sneaking up behind Hall. Luger rolls up Hall from behind and Zbyszko counts a very quick 1-2-3 and it's over.
- Hmm, the first screwjob ending tonight, but a screwjob in favor of the faces.
- Mean Gene hawks his hotline. They'll have the Fall Brawl results right after the broadcast. Hell, I have them for free and you don't have to listen to Mean Gene.
- Keeping reading for the result of the War Games match...I'd rather you have it unfold than hear the finish and then hear how it got there.
- Michael Buffer gets us ready to rumble.
- Pyrotechnics go off on the cage as it's being lowered.
- Team nWo comes out. The Four Horsemen come out sans Hennig.
- Acutally, I just had a revelation, Sting's going to come out as the fourth WCW player! We shall see...
- Definitely different than last year with both teams outside the ring when the match starts.
- Bagwell and Benoit to start. Benoit makes sense but I'm a little surprised with Bagwell. I would guess Syxx is in better aerobic condition and could last longer.
- Benoit gets the early advantage and keeps it for two and a half minutes. He goes for a flying headbutt but misses and Bagwell gets the advantage. Benoit couldn't stand up all the way on the top turnbuckle due to the top of the cage. Hmmm, a top on the cage means Sting won't be dropping in.
- Crowd is chanting "We want Sting!"
- Team nWo has won the coin toss. As a result, Benoit gets the advantage at the end of the first period so he can be doubleteamed.
- Benoit gets the early advantage on Konan and Bagwell until Konan hits a DDT. Time for a one minute mudhole stomp on Benoit.
- Here comes Mongo! House a-fire! A two minute mauling of Bagwell and Konan by Benoit and Mongo with Benoit on Bagwell and Mongo on Konan.
- Benoit nails Syxx when Syxx makes his entrance.
- Mongo tosses Syxx into the ropes and picks Syxx up and slams Syxx into the roof of the cage. Eventually, the nWo gets a short advantage but even though the nWo had a 3 on 2 advantage for the period, WCW had most of the advantage.
- Hennig comes to ringside with his right arm in a sling. At the end of the period, Flair goes in the cage.
- WCW has the advantage for the entire 3 on 3 period, Flair on Syxx, Benoit on Konan, Mongo on Bagwell.
- Bad news for WCW, here comes Nash. He trashes Flair and Benoit in his first 15 seconds in the ring and then trashes Mongo.
- Syxx is rubbing Flair's head against the cage. Is Flair going to blade?!
- End of last period. Hennig comes in, and he's not hurt at all!! And he's got handcuffs!!! And he turns on the Horsemen!!!!
- Benoit and Mongo get handcuffed to the top of the cage and the nWo starts taking apart Flair! The cage can't be lifted because it would pull Mongo's and Benoit's arm out.
- Nash grabs the mic and asks Benoit if he surrenders. Benoit spits in Nash's face. Nash asks Mongo and Mongo screams "No!". Flair can't even respond. Bagwell asks Benoit if he quits and Benoit spits in Bagwell's face. Bagwell gives Benoit one last chance and Benoit says "Bite me!"
- They pull Flair's head into the doorway and Hennig gets ready to slam it on Flair's head. Nash tells Mongo to give up or they will guillotine Flair. Mongo says "You gotta' stop this!" at which point the match is called. Hennig slams Flair's head in the door anyway. Ouch! That looked like it hurt. I think Flair bladed at that point, too.
- With that, the pay-per-view abruptly ended.
- An otherwise great card ruined by a terrible ending (if you are a Horsemen fan) and a mediocre second-to-last match.
- No dark matches. Some guy got in the ring and told everyone not to throw stuff, how to get on TV, blah..blah, then he gave the countdown and the fireworks began.
- Eddie Guerrero/Chris Jericho ***1/2 - crowd was fickle, they started a major "Eddie Sucks" chant, but then went crazy everytime he did something good. I joined in anyway...what the hell, he's a heel. Great ending, most of the marks enjoyed this except for a stupid "boring" chant which they used in almost every match. One redneck woman got fed up and said, "Take your ass home, then!"
- HH/Steiners ** - Team Harlem Heat got a good pop, but NC is Steiner Country. Big barking pop for the Gremlin during the match. I was completely pissed that the Heat lost. I didn't even want to see the rest of the PPV -- but I'd paid $35 and the seats were great. I'm the black guy in the Bulls/Rodman jersey if anybody watching the tapes cares.
- Alex Wright/Ultimo Dragon **1/2 - Wright was over as a heel, Dragon as a face. Wright had many imitators trying to do his dance, but the "faggot" chant started in force before long. You could hear Dragon's kicks all through the Coliseum. Everyone in the stands was expecting Disco Inferno to come out but he didn't.
- JJ/Dean Malenko **- Malenko got a LOUD pop; this wasn't strange, but I'd just been down here the day before Slamboree and Jarrett got a HUGE pop while wrestling Ultimo Dragon. Guess that was because he was a Horseman then. This ending sucked, we all agreed. If you took the ridiculous tights off Double J and gave him some better ones, his stock would go up immediately, I think.
- Wrath/Mortis v. FOF **1/2 - Neither one of these two teams was too over with the crowd, Faces of Fear got maybe a small edge. Sign of the night:
The entrance for Mortis and Wrath is a lot cooler in the arena.
- Giant/"Flash" Norton **1/2- This match was one of the few I could see the whole time. Giant was huge and seemed to be alright, despite the injury rumors. I was half hoping he would do that moonsault, especially after I saw the kip-up and drop kick.
- Wargames ***1/2 - All I can say about this is you could hear a pin drop after Hennig turned on the Horsemen. After they slammed Flair's head in the cage (Which I didn't get to see; I was on the lower level), the nWo started to exit out the other entrance. Doug Dillinger and his security force came in and made a big fuss over Flair. They put a towel over his head (soaked in blood) and led him away from the arena. The rednecks, needless to say, were ready to fight. It was about 5 minutes after the thing ended before people finally started exiting the coliseum.
- My Thoughts: This thing was awesome - most of the matches had clean endings, and though the ending was not a total surprise, it was graphic enough to counteract that. The fans were rabid the entire night. One guy was thrown out for something stupid, but other than that everything was straight. Those freakin' firecrackers really heat the place up, feels like someone's holdin a lighter in front of your face. Michael Buffer did a great job hyping this crowd as usual. I personally thought this was the 2nd best PPV of the year behind ECW's Hardcore Heaven.
The Meanie Weenie sends this arena report:
This past weekend my friend (we'll call him Bob forsake of argument) and I were fortunate enough to attend WCW's Fall Brawl at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston Salem, North Carolina. After nine years of being a fan this would be the first time I had attended a live wrestling event. So to say the least I was a little anxious and kind of excited.
From my home it is about a thirty minute drive to the Coliseum. So as to assure that we arrived early enough to take a look around before bell time we left at about 5:20 pm but due to the traffic situation, that being the fact that a police officer was holding the light to allow cars to turn one of which was a white limo with what I think was Harlem Heat in it , we finally got on coliseum property around 6pm. When we pulled up to a sidewalk to get out (we were let out we weren't driving) we were met by a security person. Apparently we had pulled up to VIP entrance which had been marked off to keep other cars out so the guy thought we might be heading backstage to the wrestler's and crew entrance this didn't dawn on me until after I had opened my big mouth and told Bob that we probably wouldn't be able to even see the wrestlers from our seats I actually said out loud and the guy heard me and paid no more attention to us. Next time I won't be so stupid.
That brings up another topic, not the fact that I'm stupid, but the fact that we had what sounded like lousy seats "Section 233 Row N Seats 5,6" and here is my excuse: When I heard the event was to take place, I went to the Coliseum's and ticketmaster's websites but both had no mention of when tickets went on sale and said that ticket prices had not been announced . Well the next week I was on vacation and while watching Nitro from an hotel room I found out the tickets went on sale the next day. Since I was far from home I had to wait until one week after tickets went on sale to get them. Keep in mind 4,000 tickets were sold the first day alone so ofcourse I only had two choices $50 tickets or $15 tickets, being the financially challenged person I am I opted for the cheap seats.
Before I jump ahead of myself let me tell what happened trying to get to those seats. First we got into the coliseum lobby then we had our tickets taken and were given the stubs then we were off and for a good couple of feet we were really truckin', then things came to a sudden halt. There were people everywhere. I made it to the merchandise vendors and when there wasn't room to move any further I stopped and bought my Ric Flair shirt. So Bob and me finally made it to our seats at about 15 minutes after 6pm and who do we sit amongst but the largest group of marks this side of the Mid South coliseum. I don't mean to insult my home state or wrestling fans from that state but it is likely that the average IQ of the entire building might not have made it out of the teens.
Alright, we have 15 minutes until the free for all so what do we do? We sit there and listen to the theme music of every one of the WCW wrestlers and the fans were even into this...they cheered with the Horseman theme and booed the nWo's music.
During this time the only person I could spot was the hard to miss Doug Dillinger who was talking with the police who would be near the ring (more on them in a minute).
Finally after a seemingly endless wait and numerous light and graphics test (they fiddle with the graphics on the monitor near the wrestlers entrance) we started the free for all (we didn't get the free for all but they did start trying to pump the crowd up around this time). First thing we hear is what sounds like Sable (from the WWF) entrance music but instead we get Wildcat Willey who does cartwheels and uses a trampoline to do flips in the ring for a good 5 minutes. Then the ring announcer (I'm going to go out on a limb and say his name is Gapeta anyway he's been with the WCW since Pangea split) comes out he welcomes everybody talks a little about the pay per view then the the first thing he tells us is to at no time throw things into the ring he says that a few children have been injured because of this. For some reason the crowd boos him. He then ask for all children under twelve to stand up and says that something you might throw at him could hit these children.
He goes on to tell the people about the Luger DDP vs Savage Hall match I guess this was done after Luger and DDP complained that it seem that they wouldn't be at the event after they were taken out of the main event. Then he ask if anyone wants to be on television and says the best way to do it is to have a sign he says that they have cameras that can pick you up even in the last row of the arena. He also says that the sign must be something they can show and if it's offensive it will be yanked. One liner note to that, before we went on the air WCW crew handed out signs to people in the front row I didn't see what they said but I did see people fighting for them while they were being passed out.
While were on the subject of the front row I'll tell you that if the arena looked packed to the rim on pay per view it was an optical
illusion because behind the front row there was room for about three more rows of seats I guess the angle at which they shot hides this.
Well, after that the countdown starts and the crew and cameramen run around giving a signal for people to make noise they come on the air.
Well, I guess you all know what happens after that, so I'll stick to things you may have not noticed during the PPV.
After every match they switched rings for reasons beyond me. After a match the winner walks out the loser sits in the ring tries to
get some sort of ovation from the crowd then leaves after which a new referee (different one for each match I think) and the ring announcer step in.
The area behind the wrestler's entrance is blacked out with tarps that cover the seats. No one is allowed to sit near this area although some sat above it on the second deck.
There's not really a bad seat in the house. You can see fine from almost anywhere. the WCW sits the arena up perfectly. The rings look smaller in person but the wrestlers on the other hand look larger.
During the entire event the heels (bad guys) entered from the right and the faces (good guys) entered from the left
Even after a warning people still throw things. I saw a number of paper airplanes and drink bottles fly onto the first level from the top level. I also saw some things thrown on top of the cage one of which became stuck (whatever it was it looked orange).
Harlem Heat were the best there at working the crowd. The other heels seemed not to care about the crowd.
When Luger went under the ring, he was there the whole time. No officials consulted him or anything I'm still wondering how he was signaled about Larry making his way to the ring either he had a monitor below or a walky talky.
The announcers don't always face away from the ring the entire show. At one time they did look towards it they might of been on a break while a promo was running.
The "Lets get ready to rumble" guy went over well with the crowd even though he only announced one match.
The cage was hanging in view to the crowd the whole time.
After WCW went off the air. The little referee (maybe you know who I'm talking about) came to the ring with a towel, reached under the cage and covered Flair's head as if to apply pressure to his cut, I'm thinking he might have bladed too deep and he wasn't clotting fast enough. After that Flair was carried back stage. Soon after a fight broke out in the ringside crowd near the walkway the wrestlers use. After a little confrontation the fighters turned their attention to the cops who were trying to butt in. They also became part of the action. One man was escorted away by the cops. The lights on the ring kinda went down and then the ring announcer thanked us for attending Fall Brawl and told us to drive safetly. Which was smart, since beer was sold during the show. Then the cage was slowly lifted.
All in all the show was great except for the ending which made a lot of people angry, this was noticed all through the arena as we exited (lots of angry Horesman fans who were about to get into it with some rather over cellist nWoites) . On the way to the parking lot we saw a couple of limos, some wrestling newsletter flyers which featured a nude picture of Sunny on it (it was a doctored picture which can be found on the Net), and a couple of nWo signs that had been ripped up. So as we left, I was satisfied and glad I had been there and hope to someday return.
Michael G. sends in the following arena report:
I just read your Fall Brawl report and thought I would fill in some of the gaps since I was sitting about three rows back. The chant you heard at the beginning of the Jericho match was "boring." There were no warm-up matches so the crowd was really ready for some action. Even though the crowd was ready to hang Eddie when he came out, he got one of the biggest pops of the night when he won the belt. He really can work a good match. I really hate how Harlem Heat always play the heels in NC, because they really get a good pop whether it be in Winston-Salem or Charlotte. The crowd was indeed chanting "faggot" for Wright, and most of the Dragon's kicks never did land. (Oh, and not everyone was dancing with Wright, just the people who had to put down their beer first.) I think Mortis is up to a name change, maybe "Human Punching Bag" would be better. Glad to see them get the win though. On a sidenote, when you see the event staff yelling at people at the events, its not because they are really doing anything wrong. They yell for people to sit down. I thought War Games was really good with a boatload of violence. The ending did suck, but at least Hennig is out of the Horsemen. Flair did indeed blade, and after the match all they did was uncuff the Horsemen funny how Doug Dillinger had the key all along) and help Flair to the back with Mongo yelling about how this wasn't over. I was happy to see Benoit get some great one-liners tonight, but he seemed really concerned AND pissed off at the injury to Flair. All in all, a great show in my opinion, but I guess it's always better when you're there. Oh, and by the way, I was the guy they showed with the "Too Sweet" sign as Hall was making his entrance. You'd be amazed at how long you have to yell at a cameraman to get him to give you your 5 seconds of air time. Later.
Jerry Lee P. sends in the following arena report:
I wanted to write with a few comments about Fall Brawl, from the stand point of having actually attended it in person. I'm from New Bern, NC which is about 3-4 hours from Winston-Salem, and it's about the only WCW event I can attend (I went to the one last year as well). My overall impression of the event was pretty good, I had great seats, 5th row, and right on the railing along the wrestlers entrance walkway. My one complaint was that at Fall Brawl they have the two rings set up and if you are seated on the left or right sides of the arena you have a hard time seeing the matches in the far ring.
On to the main reason I'm writing this is in regard to the seemingly great numbers of fans who continue to want to make asses of themselves by throwing stuff in the ring, using laser pointers and making obscene signs. You see it on TV all the time, and in person it's even worse, there were quite a few 'troublemakers' arrested near the section I was in, most of which were drunk. I still do not understand why they sell beer at these events, you're just asking for trouble IMHO. At the beginning of the event, Dave Penzer(sp) asked that everyone please refrain from throwing things into the ring or at the wrestlers, to which a lot of the crowd started booing, as if to pelt the ring was a God given right.
Well, to their credit, WCW did an admirable job at keeping very tight security, ecspecially during the nWo matches, and the only time anyone tried to throw things was after the tape stopped rolling and when the nWo team was leaving the ring. Well, to my absolute delight I got to see some idiot, debris throwing fan get his, and in grand fashion. Nash was starting towards the back when a fan one row in front of me pelted him with something, I never did find out what he throw, but I did see this huge man making a beeline straight towards the rail, upon which he grabbed the fan and literally shoved him into the floor very hard, and screamed, "Don't you ever throw anything at me again motherf****r!!!!" His face was blood red, I thought he was going to kill that fan. Security quickly swarmed over and calmed Nash down and he left, while I laughed at the poor jerk who probably wet his pants.
The look on Nash's face was truly frightening to behold. I don't know if anyone else has written you about this, but it is totally true, and was one of the highlights of the night at least for me. As a couple little side notes, at the beginning of the event a fan produced a sign that read 'Steven Regal Was Framed!' which immediately drew the attention of Doug Dillinger and other security, and they took the sign and trashed it. They also gave out Debra posters, I didn't receive one though. Also Buddy Lee Parker hung out behind the last row much of the night, I approached him and got a quick pic, he was very nice, as was Nick Patrick, he was very cool. Well, that's it just thought I'd share some of the behind the scenes info, take care and keep up the good work.
Jeremy from Yadkinville, NC sends in this arena report:
Let me start by saying this was my first live wrestling event in around ten years.. When I was a kid I went to Starrcade in Greensboro, the one with the Midnight Express/Road Warriors scaffold match, don't remember the year.
The big thing that struck me was how powerful the moves look when executed properly. The belly to back suplexes, powerslams, etc. looked a lot better live than they do on TV...on the other hand, Dragon's missed kicks looked horrible...I'm sure they looked a little better on TV.
I'm not going to go down the card and tell what happened, you already know that...so i'll just tell about some of the things the TV audience didn't see.
During the first several matches Jimmy Hart was standing beside the entrance curtain watching, wearing a suit and tie of all things, I thought that was kinda' interesting.
A lot fewer signs than I expected...in the high point of the night for me, my girlfriend and I were holding up a sign that said "Hall and Syxx, the ambiguously gay duo" and as Hall and Savage were leaving the ring, they saw it. (We were sitting just overlooking the curtain area where the wrestlers exited). So Hall looks up, laughs...and says "Oh, come on." It's not a brush with greatness, I guess.. but I thought it was really cool. On a down note, right after this one of the crack WCW security guys snagged our sign.
Only saw one guy get kicked out, that was for hitting Nick Patrick with some popcorn.
Eddy looks huge by the way...He's beefed up obviously and you can see it on TV.. but live he is just massive.
From where we were, we didn't see Flair's head get slammed in the cage...after it was over the nWo just left, and flipped off a bunch of kids in our section as they made their way backstage...Flair was carried out...didn't see any blood but my view of his head was blocked by the guys carrying him.
A big fight broke out along the entranceway right after flair was taken past...security pulled some guy out of the crowd...and finally...in the parking lot as we were waiting to leave...we saw a
couple of guys burn a horsemen shirt...these were horsemen fans who were pissed, not nWo fans.
Summing up: we had a great time...the last match was an amazing let down, though..I don't know how the crowd usually reacts to things like this...but as we walked out it seemed like nearly everyone was pissed off...seemingly not at the nWo.. but at WCW for keeping this thing going for so long...I think many people, including me, were expecting to see the Horsemen win tonight...I figured on Hennig turning...but I thought the Horsemen would find a way to win anyway...Last night was the first time in close to a year I didn't watch Nitro...well, I take that back...I got home from work a little before 10...watched Hennig take Mongo's belt...and decided I didn't wanna' watch it anymore...I hate to say it, but I almost hope Flair does go to the WWF.. and takes a big portion of the WCW with him, there they will at least be used as their talent dictates they should. WWF has some ridiculous story
lines, but they do at least seem to take care of their veterans...
Sorry, didn't mean to go off on a rant...