Thursday, 15 August 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Fall Brawl 1999

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 - Event poster
September 12, 1999
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

For the better part of the 1990s, World Championship Wrestling's annual Fall Brawl show was the one night of the year you were guaranteed to see one of the company's signature matches:

War Games.

Yet in 1999, both WCW and the wrestling industry as a whole were doing their best to throw tradition out of the window and establish themselves as a new, edgy, alternative kind of product that would basically redefine pro wrestling in the new millennium.

Alas, for the first time since the early 1990s, this year's show didn't feature any War Games match at all.

What it did feature, however, was red & yellow Hulk Hogan, Sting, Lex Luger and Kevin Nash. In other words, exactly the kind of stars you'd want to have on top of your card in order to position your company as new, edgy and different.






With that rather sarcastic introduction out of the way, let's head to Winston-Salem for Fall Brawl 1999.

Who can you trust?

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 - Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan
Tonight's opening video package recounted the problems between World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan and his upcoming opponent, Sting.

Basically, both Hogan and Lex Luger were trying to get in Sting's ear and convince him that the other one couldn't be trusted.

Would Sting be able to trust good guy Hulk Hogan who had previously been engaged in a notoriously long war with The Stinger back in 1997? Or would he be able to trust Luger, his long-time friend who had a proven track record of turning on him?

Only time would tell.

Or maybe the announcers would, as it was to them that we went next.

Tony Schiavone, Iron Mike Tenay and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan told us all about Sting's troubles with Hogan and Sting before running down some of the other matches on tonight's card, including our opening contest.

This led us to a quick video package detailing the rivalry that Vampiro & The ICP had with Eddie Guerrero, Billy Kidman, and Rey Mysterio Jr.

That match was next.

Vampiro & The Insane Clown Posse (Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope) vs. Eddie Guerrero, Billy Kidman, and Rey Mysterio Jr.

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 - Vampiro and the ICP faced the Filthy Animals
Last month, at Road Wild 1999, these two opened the show with a pretty fun contest. Tonight, they didn't quite live up to the standards they'd set back at the height of summer. There was far too much stalling in the early going and something about it just didn't quite click the same way.

Still, this was by no means a bad match.

The Insane Clown Posse - while hardly the next Brain Busters- were better pro wrestlers than you might have imagined, and they worked well with Vampiro, Guerrero, Kidman and Rey to put on a solid opener that got better the longer it went on.

After a good 15 minutes of action, Kidman hit the shooting star press to pick up the three.
Your Winners: Eddie Guerrero, Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio Jr.

Out in Internet Location, some random guy wanted to know if The Revolution could have a clean sweep in their matches tonight, but Saturn was more interested in how he could download photos of The Nitro Girls.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Lenny Lane (w/ Lodi) vs. Kaz Hayashi

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 - Lenny Lane and Lodi - The West Hollywood Blondes
Prior to the match, we got a look back at Lenny Lane's new team with Lodi and how he managed to upset Rey Mysterio Jr. for the title. At the same time, Kaz Hayashi had been on a roll, and even beat Lane in a non-title match, earning his title shot championship opportunity tonight and having the notable distinction of being the first Japanese wrestler in WCW history not to be managed by Sonny Onoo.

That's a joke by the way before you leave comments.

Like the previous outing, this one got better the longer it went on.

To begin with, Lenny's gay gimmick got in the way of him doing anything meaningful with his opponent, but when they finally got on to some proper wrestling, they turned in a decent, though hardly spectacular matchup which saw the champ retain thanks to interference from Lodi.
Your Winner and Still Cruiserweight Champion: Lenny Lane

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Sting
Up next, Mean Gene Okerlund was out in the ring for an interview with Sting. Ever the charismatic superstar, The Stinger was none too happy with Lex Luger and insisted that he and The Total Package were close to having no friendship whatsoever.

Sting then revealed that he had no problem at all with Hulk Hogan until they got in the ring, at which point he would try to take Hogan's title and become the nine-time champion.

The whole segment was pretty short and to the point, but Sting was very entertaining here and the crowd, naturally, loved him.

No Disqualification Match
The First Family (Hugh Morrus & Brian Knobbs w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Revolution (Shane Douglas &  Dean Malenko)

It's rare that I ever say this about a Dean Malenko match, but boy was this terrible.

Both teams started off brawling on the outside, which made sense for a No DQ match, but then they took to the ring and got on with a normal tag match, complete with Malenko standing on the outside while his partner got his ass handed to him when he could have just dove in there and helped him out.

For the rest of the match nothing, and I mean nothing, happened that justified the no disqualification stipulation. In fact, it's fair to say that nothing of any interest happened at all.

This was dull, messy and boring. The only good thing about it was that it ended.
Your Winners: The First Family

Prior to the next match, we saw that Rick Steiner and Perry Saturn didn't like each other. This was convenient since they'd now be competing for the TV title.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW World TV Champion Rick Steiner vs. Perry Saturn.

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 - Rick Steiner defended the TV title against Perry Saturn
You know, I started Retro Pro Wrestling as a fun little hobby, but watching WCW really makes it feel like work.

This was not a good match. Saturn tried, but Rick Steiner blatantly didn't give a damn about things, and neither did the announcers.

Instead, they took a verbal detour to tell us that Buff Bagwell had not arrived for his match against Berlyn and a substitute wrestler would take his place. They also told us that the referees and announcers were wearing black armbands as a mark of respect for the recent passing of Brian 'Mark Curtis' Hillibrand.

Back to the match, Steiner made the whole thing look like garbage then eventually won. It was atrocious.
Your Winner and Still TV Champion: Rick Steiner

Out in the back, Mean Gene wanted to know if Sting could trust Hulk Hogan.

Hulkster answered in the affirmative, insisting that he had made a promise to his kids that he was walking on the right side of the law and that he was going to beat Sting fair and square, with no shady goings-on.

Berlyn (w/ The Wall) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 - Berlyn w/ The Wall faced Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Sigh, let's get this one over with.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan was in this match because, rather than being 'late', Buff Bagwell had, in real-life, actually refused to job to Berlyn.

So whilst the novelty of having Evil German Berlyn (Alex Wright with a new gimmick) going up against Ultra-American Jim Duggan was kinda fun, that novelty value quickly wore off.

Hacksaw spent the first few minutes no-selling all of Berlyn's offence. The two then spent the next couple of minutes sat on the mat doing nothing before toppling to the outside, where The Wall clotheslined Duggan out of his boots, causing more damage with that one move than Berlyn had done the entire match.

Inside the ring, Berlyn hit a Rude Awakening and picked up a win which was met with absolute silence.
Your Winner: Berlyn

Out in the back, Buff Bagwell had finally 'arrived' and was trying to get Mike Graham to reformat the show so he could wrestle.

After being told to be on time 'for once in your life,' Bagwell rushed to the ring to embrace Duggan but was pushed off by a beat-up Hacksaw.

I'll remind you that Buff was the babyface here.

He looked like an idiot.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The West Texas Rednecks (Barry & Kendal Windham w/ Curt Hennig) vs. Harlem Heat (w/ Booker T & Stevie Ray)

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 - Stevie Ray
You know, after being totally burned out by the last couple of matches, it was really, really hard to get excited about anything Harlem Heat and The West Texas Rednecks did here.

That's probably because they didn't do very much at all, but even when they were trying -and I mean, really, really trying- it was a struggle to enjoy this one.

After what felt like the longest time ever, Booker hit the missile dropkick and Harlem Heat won the tag team titles for the second PPV in a row.
Your Winners and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat

Up next, we got a hype video for our upcoming US title match in which Sid Justice went on a dominant winning streak and promised to destroy Chris Benoit for the US title.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Chris Benoit vs. Sid Vicious

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 - Sid Vicious faced Chris Benoit for the US title
It says a lot about your show when a match involving a beat up Sid Vicious is one of the best things on it.

To be fair, almost everything good about this match was thanks to Benoit, how hard he worked and just how universally loved by the live crowd he was.

Not that his unwavering popularity did him any favours here.

Despite finding a number of ways to ground Sid, it was ultimately The Millenium Man who went 80-0 and became your new US champion after a pretty decent outing.
Your winner and NEW US Champion: Sid Vicious

Next, we got a video package of DDP threatening to kick Goldberg's teeth in and Goldberg replying by threatening to rip Page's throat out.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Goldberg

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 - DDP faced Goldberg
Could Goldberg and DDP recapture the magic they created back at Halloween Havoc 1998 in a match that Dallas famously made pages upon pages of plans for?

Not quite, but this was still a pretty fun bout between the two.

Page had his whole cocky, cowardly heel thing down to perfection by this stage, at one point taking to the mic and threatening to leave if the crowd didn't stop chanting for Goldberg. Naturally, they blew the roof off the place.

The actual in-ring action was as good as you were going to get from these two and made for an enjoyable showing.

In the end, The Jersey Triad ran out and bashed Goldberg over the head with an International Object which looked to be made of glass and caused a nasty cut on his neck. Undeterred, Goldberg clotheslined Bam Bam Bigelow and Kanyon out of their boots, then smashed DDP with both a spear and Jackhammer to win the match.
Your Winner: Goldberg

There's 21 minutes left on this show and only one more match.

Look, I enjoy Hulk Hogan as a character, but a 20-minute Hogan match in 1999? Please say it isn't so.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Sting

WCW Fall Brawl 1999 - Hulk Hogan defended the WCW title against Sting
Well, this was garbage.

In a match that went way too long, Sting got his ass beat by Hogan at the slowest, most tedious pace possible.

After several minutes of awfulness, Diamond Dallas Page ran in and hit Hogan with a Running Turd Breaker that looked like a crappy version of the Diamond Cutter. He draped Sting's arm over Hogan but Hogan kicked out, so Page hit the referee with another Diamond Cutter that was only slightly better than the first.

Then Bret Hart came down to beat up Hogan and Lex Luger came down also. As Hogan dealt with the dastardly Luger, Sting grabbed a baseball bat which he eventually hit Hogan with.

This was supposed to be Sting's big heel turn, but the crowd loved it.

Sting then hit the Scorpion death lock and became your new nine-time WCW champion.
Your Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Sting

Post-match, Sting and Luger embraced, revealing that they'd been in cahoots the whole time.





I rarely get angry these days, but having sat through that atrocity of a show, I actually feel my blood boiling.

The first couple of matches were pretty decent and things picked up a little towards the end before taking an absolute nosedive in the main event.

Seriously, do yourself a favour and avoid this one like the plague.



1999 events reviewed so far
Other WCW Fall Brawl reviews
  1. WCW Fall Brawl 1996
  2. WCW Fall Brawl 1997
  3. WCW Fall Brawl 1998
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    Retro Pro Wrestling

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