Ladies and gentlemen, we are back for our next show in the journey back to the glory days of World Championship Wrestling. Shout out to everyone who joined me for my first WCW RetroView – WCW Hog Wild 1996. This week we present WCW Fall Brawl 1996.
Next up we are looking back at WCW’s following pay-per-view, Fall Brawl 1996. During the Hog-Wild main event, Hollywood Hulk Hogan won the WCW championship, sending the company into turmoil. Something highlighted by the fantastic show opening video package. The surprise attacks continued, and the Giant joined the ranks of the nWo as did Ted DiBiase as the group’s financial backer.
On the Nitro before Fall Brawl, Sting, WCW’s franchise player, seemingly joined the rebel group. His apparent attack on Lex Luger left the main event of Fall Brawl in jeopardy. Team nWo – Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs Team WCW – Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger inside the infamous War Games.
The nWo kept their fourth competitor a secret continuing their mind games. Team WCW was in flux with Flair, Anderson, and Luger no longer trusting Sting. The announcing trio of Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby Heenan makes it very clear, that the war is in full force. Something Dusty Rhodes eloquently describes as
“Shockwave after shockwave have been delivered to the doorstep of WCW” – WCW Fall Brawl 1996
Enough backstory for the main event, it’s time for our first match.
WCW Fall Brawl 1996
Diamond Dallas Page vs Chavo Guererro Jr.
Our favorite WCW announcing trio makes it very clear that Page had been feuding with the Guererro family heading into this match. They talk up how the young Chavo is out to avenge the wrongdoings done by Page to the Guererro family. Chavo comes out red hot sending Page scurrying to the outside where he follows and whips Page with a belt. Eddie’s little nephew holds the advantage until a missed high-risk move in the ropes gives DDP his opening.
Page nails a beautiful diving clothesline from the top turnbuckle, a move that elicits some cheers for the heel. Chavo gets two false finishes in a row after a missile dropkick and head scissors take over. DDP answers that with an even more impressive tilt a whirl powerbomb. Eventually, Chavo succumbs to the Diamond Cutter, giving DDP another impressive victory.
Side Note: Even though Page played the heel in this match, you can feel the crowd wanting to cheer for him.
Winner: Diamond Dallas Page
After the opening match, we cut to the back where the WCW Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat are chatting with fans online. These segments are so cringe-worthy as they try their best at embracing the internet.
“Mean” Gene Okerlund gives us a Special Report breaking down the Hostile Takeover by the nWo. It’s a good segment highlighting Scott Hall and Kevin Nash’s first Nitro appearances, including Nash’s hilarious shove of Eric Bischoff. It shows the vicious powerbomb Nash gave to Bischoff at the Great American Bash. Plus, of course, Hulk Hogan’s shocking heel turn at Bash at the Beach is included. The video package ends with footage of “Sting” attacking Lex Luger in the rain during the Nitro before the show.
WCW Fall Brawl 1996
Scott “Flash” Norton vs Ice Train w/ Teddy Long
This is a rematch from their contest at Hog Wild. Only this time the former partners must make the other submit to earn the victory. A chubby Teddy Long leads his guy to the ring with revenge on his mind. These two brutes once again lay into each other and Dusty sums up their massive size by saying they have…
“Chests as big as the Grand Canyon” – WCW Fall Brawl 1996
Dusty was pure gold as a WCW commentator.
Both big men display some great athleticism in this match, especially Ice Train. There are a total of four submission attempts including a solid Boston Crab by Norton. Teddy Long’s distraction allows for Ice Train to lock Norton in the full nelson for the win.
Winner: Ice Train
WCW Fall Brawl 1996
AAA Mexican Heavyweight Championship
Juventud Guerrera vs Konnan w/ Jimmy Hart
Mike Tenay joins the broadcast team for this match and as always, provides great insight into their pasts wrestling in Mexico. Juventud comes out first and trips on the steps before entering. You can hear the commentators fighting back the laughter. Konnan enters next and the announcers really stress how his appearance and attitude have transformed since joining the Dungeon of Doom.
It is a little odd that even though this is a title match, neither man enters with a championship. Konnan dominates most of this match using his superior size and to hold down the high-flying Guerrera. The future n.W.o member really shows just how good he was in the ring with his rolling clothesline and various submissions. Guerrera gets a flurry of offense a few times in the match but ultimately falls after a power drop from the top turnbuckle.
Winner – Konnan
Up next, we get a white meat babyface Chris Jericho taking on Chris Benoit. As always their chemistry is solid but once again that’s all the shine we will give to one of these matches.
WCW Fall Brawl 1996
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Rey Mysterio Jr. (c) vs Super Calo
Another AAA competitor making an appearance on this show, Super Calo comes out first to almost no reaction. Mysterio however, gets a huge reaction, as the fans are really starting to get behind WCW’s top high flyer.
Side Note: Rey Mysterio Jr.’s entrance music in WCW is one of the most underrated themes of all time and deserves more recognition.
Listen to that theme below:
Mike Tenay is back out for this match and explains that Super Calo got his name from the number one rap group in Mexico, Calo. Got to love those Tenay gems!! Surprisingly, Super Calo controls most of the match, something the announcers attest to Rey’s rugged travel schedule. Eventually, Rey finds his rhythm and earns the victory with an impressive springboard Frankensteiner from one set of ring ropes to the other. This is not a Cruiserweight Championship match for the highlight reel that’s for sure.
Winner – Rey Mysterio Jr
WCW Fall Brawl 1996
WCW Tag Team Championship
Harlem Heat (c) vs The Nasty Boys
Once again Harlem Heat is accompanied to the ring by Sister Sherri and Col. Parker. And once again, I’ll say this is possibly the oddest pairing in wrestling history.
The Nasty Boys do their normal routine of being nasty while Harlem Heat excels in their roles as the heel champions. Most of the match is focused on the Nasty Boys getting their hands-on Sherri whose continued interference helps her clients. Eventually, Harlem Heat, the cunning champions they are, cut Brian Nobbs off from his partner. A hot tag to Jerry Sags makes it look like the Nasty Boys are on their way to becoming Tag Team Champions. But, after a pile driver near fall is broken up by Stevie Ray, the numbers game comes into play. Saggs goes up to the top turnbuckle for a splash but is tripped up by Col. Parker.
This distraction allows Sister Sherri to whack Nobbs across the head with Parker’s cane, allowing Harlem Heat to retain their titles.
Winners – Harlem Heat
Before the next match, we get a backstage interview with Macho Man Randy Savage. Not only is he about to take on the Giant, but he is challenging Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the WCW Championship at Halloween Havoc.
Savage as always is brilliant on the mic, delivering gems like how he’s going to flip the universe upside down.
And that he plans to…
“Rip your black heart out of your chest and crush Hollywood Hogan at Halloween Havoc.” – WCW Fall Brawl 1996
‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage vs The Giant
Savage enters first before the Giant comes out to his old Dungeon of Doom music that awkwardly transitions to the nWo theme. Savage thwarts The Giant’s first two attempts at entering the ring by delivering a pair of running forearms. The mistake Savage makes is trying to take the fight to the Giant outside the ring. A failed body slam attempt on the aisle swings the favor to the Giant. The Giant continues using his size, first full body pressing Savage into the ring before locking in the world’s largest Boston Crab.
Savage eventually turns the tide with an eye gouge to escape a bear hug. The best moment of the match is when Savage picks up and successfully body slams the nWo’s monster. The crowd absolutely loses it for this. Seizing the opportunity, Savage climbs to the top turnbuckle for his patented elbow drop. However, Hollywood Hulk Hogan comes out for the distraction. Seeing his mortal enemy, Savage gives chase where he is abruptly attacked by Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.
After a pair of vicious chair shots, Savage is brought back to the ring for the Giant to make the 1-2-3.
Winner – The Giant
It’s now time for the main event and the War Games cage begins its descent complete with pyro. But, before the match begins, we cut to the locker room for an interview with Team WCW. A fired-up Ric Flair speaks first and tells the world they are in the house the Horsemen built. He proclaims that Sting or no Sting, it will be him Arn and Lex sending the nWo to the hospital tonight.
An always intense Arn Anderson reiterates that even if they don’t have Sting, they’re still going to take down the nWo. Right on cue, Sting enters the locker room and proclaims his innocence on the Lex Luger attack.
Luger explains he looked him in the face before Sting attacked him and that he doesn’t believe his long-time friend.
Before walking off, Sting tells Luger,
“If you don’t believe me, then so be it. I’ll see you in a little while.”
– WCW Fall Brawl 1996
Team WCW vs Team nWo
Ring announcer Michael Buffer gives us a rundown of the War Games rules. One “Let’s get ready to rumble” later and we are officially ready for war. Compared to its predecessors this War Games match is rather tame. There is no bloodshed and the brutality is not nearly what you’ve come to expect with the match beyond. But, what it lacks in blood and guts, it makes up for in storytelling. Scott Hall and Arn Anderson begin the match. They trade moves for the opening five minutes, neither man really asserting any dominance.
Kevin Nash is the next competitor to enter the match. He runs to the ring surprisingly not pulling a quad in the process. We get the usual double team type stuff until it’s time for Lex Luger to come out and even the score. Luger hits the ring like a ball of fire. Hitting the nWo founders with a double clothesline followed by a running forearm to each. Eventually, the four competitors pair up with Luger and Hall fighting while Nash and Anderson trade blows.
WCW Fall Brawl 1996
The WCW World Champion Hollywood Hulk Hogan enters the fray next. He is immediately attacked by Arn and Luger, much to the delight of the WCW faithful in attendance. The numbers advantage proves too much as the nWo quickly takes control. With the crowd hitting a fever pitch, the “We Want Flair” chants begin. Quick to answer the call, Flair runs out before the allotted time expires. With all the competitors in the second ring, Flair enters the War Games and calls on the nWo to join him in ring one.
Here we get an awesome showdown between Flair and Hogan. Flair gets the advantage on Hogan before hitting Hall and Nash with a pair of low blows. Putting Hogan in the figure four elicits one of the loudest crowd reactions of the night.
That’s when the nWo’s fourth member, “Sting” comes out. The WCW announcing trio sells it like this is the real Sting, unable to tell its an imposter. With a four on three advantage, the nWo start pummeling team WCW.
This brings us to the huge reveal that Sting, in fact, did not turn on his WCW brethren. The real Sting makes his way to the ring and cleans house, hitting each member of the nWo with a Stinger Splash.
He turns to Lex Luger and asks,
“Is that good enough for ya right there?”
– WCW Fall Brawl 1996
Before exiting the cage.
On commentary, Bobby Heenan pleads for Sting to return and apologizes for everyone being wrong. Outnumbered, Team WCW falls to the n.W.o. The imposter Sting locks Luger in a scorpion deathlock while Hogan applies a front face lock. The total package passes out from the pain, rewarding the victory to the nWo.
After the cage rises, we get one of the greatest/cheesiest moments ever when Luger crawls up the aisle reaching out yelling, STINGER!
Looking back on it, it’s so cheesy but so good at the same time. The brawl continues at the entrance as Randy Savage returns for retribution against the nWo. He chases Hogan to the second ring, but before he can get his hands on his mortal enemy, the Giant intervenes. From here we get a nWo beatdown of Savage prompting Elizabeth to try and save him.
Not a group to discriminate, the nWo intimidates her before spray painting nWo on her and Savage’s backs. The show ends with the nWo running roughshod over the announcer’s desk, where Hogan and company proclaim that North Carolina is now n.W.o country.
So, there it is my look back at WCW Fall Brawl 1996. Join me for my next journey back to prime WCW when I look back at WCW Halloween Havoc 1996. The night a ghost from Hogan’s past arrived in World Championship Wrestling.