RetroView fans, it’s time for war. This week returns to one of my favorite annual WCW events, I’m talking about WCW Fall Brawl 1994 featuring War Games. For this RetroView, were going back nearly thirty years.
Dustin Rhodes rivalry with the Stud Club takes center focus in the show’s main event. It’s War Games, where Dustin teams with his dad Dusty Rhodes and the Nasty Boys to take on Terry Funk, Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck, and Col. Parker.
Tony Schiavone, a neck brace-wearing Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Mean Gene Okerlund welcome us to the show. Interesting observation, Mene Gene receives boos when he mentions the interview he’s going to have with WCW Champion Hulk Hogan later in the show.
WCW Fall Brawl 1994
Polar opposites in this one. Regal coming out with a powdered wig is gold. Immediately when the two lock up, the crowd begins a “USA, USA, USA” chant.
WCW Television Championship
Lord Steven Regal © vs Johnny B Badd
Once again, their contrast in styles meshes masterfully. Regal, the scientific brawler, and Badd, the athletic high flyer. This time around, though, Badd shows he’s very efficient at technical wrestling.
He surprises Regal with a bevy of grapples, holds, and tosses. The early momentum sends Regal reeling to the outside, where he’s met with a dive over the top rope by Badd. A distraction from Regal’s butler, Sir William, allows Regal to take control.
Regal’s offense is stiff and looks terribly painful. A pair of classic near falls come late in the match. Both coming after Sir William’s attempts at interference backfire.
A simple backslide leads to the end of Regal’s near-year-long reign as Television Champion. Obviously, this is something that the crowd erupts for.
Winner – Johnny B Badd
Schiavone and Heenan begin talking about the ongoing drama between Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and the WCW Championship. We get a highlight video for Clash of Champions where Hogan was attacked from behind by a masked man.
Hogan returned later that night with a bandaged knee. The video then cuts to the finish of the match, Hogan in charge, and the masked man once again attacks him. This is what Hogan will be addressing later in the Fall Brawl broadcast.
WCW Fall Brawl 1994
Heenan sums up this match perfectly, saying, “The battle of Belleview, this is for the championship of the nut house.” This fight immediately begins on the floor, before spilling out into the crowd.
Loser Leaves WCW Match
Kevin Sullivan vs Cactus Jack
The mat around ringside is pulled up by Cactus Jack and the wild man climbs to the middle turnbuckle. But, before he can jump on Sullivan, Dave Sullivan stops him. This allows Kevin to climb up and toss Jack on the exposed concrete floor.
When they get back in, Schiavone mentions Jack recently losing part of his ear in Japan. On right on cue, Sullivan begins assaulting Jack’s ear. Back to the floor, Cactus Jack once again hits the exposed concrete after Sullivan reverses his pile driver attempt.
Kind of an abrupt ending after about five minutes of mild (considering the two guys in the match) brawling, Sullivan gets the win with a basic roll-up.
Winner – Kevin Sullivan
We cut to the locker room where Mean Gene is interviewing the Stud Stable. This nefarious team is upset because Col. Parker has been forced to compete in the War Games match.
Terry Funk calls their opposition the F.B.I, which stands for Fat Boy Incorporated. Anderson, like always, is golden with his intense promo delivery.
WCW Fall Brawl 1994
Before this match, Schiavone and Heenan update the audience about current United States Champion Ricky Steamboat’s recent injury. Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel is in the ring before Austin and Steamboat come out.
WCW United States Championship Match
Jim Duggan vs “Stunning” Steve Austin
Steamboat enters in street clothes holding the United States Championship. Bockwinkel announces that Steamboat’s injury is forcing him to relinquish the championship so he can hand it to Austin.
Austin’s over-the-top reaction to Steamboat having to give up the championship is fantastic. His venomous words are stone cold as he shows no mercy to the injured Steamboat. Bockwinkel tells him he has to defend the championship tonight.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan makes his way out to a rousing ovation. Not at all happy about this, Austin gets in the face of Bockwinkel before walking into a backdrop, followed by a three count.
Schiavone and Heenan are out of their mind with how fast Sunning Steve just lost the United States Championship.
Winner – Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Duggan delivers his normal “USA” promo as he tries to contain his excitement after winning the United States Championship.
WCW Fall Brawl
Bagwell and the Patriot make their way out first, and it needs to be said, Bagwell looks weird when isn’t Buff. Orndorff and Roma enter next, both sporting fancy Ric Flair-like robes and sunglasses inside.
WCW Tag Team Championship Match
“Pretty Wonderful” Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma © vs “Stars & Stripes” The Patriot & Marcus Alexander Bagwell
Roma and Bagwell begin the match, and Roma is quick to take the early advantage. Lots of classic tag team wrestling staples in this match. Quick tags, bursts of offense from the Patriot and Bagwell.
Devious tactics by Roma and Orndorff gave them the advantage at various points. Once again, Orndorff pulls out the odd gyrations of what Heenan calls a wind up elbow drop.
The 90’s WCW version of the People’s Elbow, I guess. Eventually, Bagwell is isolated from his partner, and the bad guys begin to work him over. A pile driver on the ringside floor by Orndorf to Bagwell brings us another abrupt finish to a match.
Winners – Pretty Wonderful Paul Orndorf & Paul Roma
Mean Gene is now joined in the locker room by Team Rhodes. The Nasty Boys deliver their loudly annoying, yelling style of promo. Dustin questions the manhood of their opposition before Dusty stresses how important the War Games are.
Dusty ends the promo with a Woody Harrelson reference. Gotta love the 90s.
WCW Fall Brawl 1994
The Guardian Angel enters first to a mild ovation from the crowd. Next out is Vader, and as always, he’s met with a strong chorus of boos. Then it’s time for Sting and surfer Sting is donning red, white, and black face paint for this match.
Triangle Elimination #1 Contenders Match
Sting vs Vader vs The Guardian Angel
So this isn’t a regular triple threat match. There is a coin toss, each participant flips a coin, and the odd man out receives a bye. The other two will face off one on one. Sting receives the buy, which is not what I was expecting.
It needs to be noted again, prime villain Vader is untouchable when it comes to physically imposing heels. An early test of strength goes in Vader’s favor, then the monster goes to work.The Guardian Angel impresses with a back body drop but fails at two body slam attempts on Vader. Then Vader is back in control with an occasional assist from Harley Race. After taking a beating, the Guardian Angel finally body slams Vader for a close two count.
The referee is incidentally taken out, which allows Race to land a headbutt on the Guardian Angel. A Vader bomb from the middle rope later gives Vader the victory.
Winner – Vader
Sting makes his way back out, and the crowd erupts. We get a pretty epic stare-down before the two rivals lock up. Vader shoves Sting to the mat, and the Stinger hops right up and gets right in the bigger man’s face.
Sting’s frenetic energy is quickly snuffed out by Vader’s intensity and power. The match spills out to the floor briefly, and Harley Race tries to intervene. His interference is squashed by a suplex on the floor.
Back in the ring, Sting hits an impressive vertical suplex. Sting’s second splash attempt a few seconds later is countered by Vader raising his knees into Sting’s gut. It’s always impressive seeing the monster Vader climb to the top rope for his moonsault, even if he misses as is the case in this match.Just as impressive is Sting giving Vader a super plex from the top turnbuckle moments later. Sting starts firing up as only he can, but his efforts only gain a two count. Maybe the most impressive move by Sting comes in the form of a German suplex on Vader, but once again, he only gets a two count.
Something that Heenan emphasizes on commentary. Harley Race intervenes the next time Sting is on the outside, slamming Sting head first into the steps. We get another fire up from Sting after he receives multiple right hands in the corner.
With the time getting under four minutes, the crowd anticipation raises another level. They fight all the way into the second ring, and Sting hits a dive from the top rope, but once again, Vader kicks out at two.
Schiavone gives credit to Vader for his level of heart, despite being such a bad guy. At the one-minute mark, Sting turns Vader’s splash attempt from the middle turnbuckle into a power slam.
With 30 seconds left, Sting gets a burst of energy and puts Vader in the Scorpion Deathlock. Unfortunately, time runs out before he can force Vader to submit. Which means this match is heading to overtime, which consists of five extra minutes.
Vader controls the early portion of the overtime, but Sting fights him off from converting a super plex from the top turnbuckle. The big man once again climbs to the top, and once again, Sting keeps him from hitting a huge move with a backdrop from the top turnbuckle.
Overtime gets into the final ten seconds, and Vader hits a powerbomb, but the clock runs out before the referee makes the three count. Now we’re heading to sudden death, meaning the first man to knock their opponent down is the winner.
Both men are absolutely exhausted at this point. Vader comes out firing, gaining a second wind as he lays it into Sting. Hard right hands send Sting stumbling across the ring, but he doesn’t go down.
Sting’s able to fight back with the hard right hands of his own. Sting eventually gets Vader to fall down, but the Guardian Angel had made his way out to take out Harley Race. The referee is distracted by this and chases both men down the aisle.
When this happens, the same masked man who recently attacked Hulk Hogan hits Sting in the knee with a tire iron, forcing the Stinger to the mat. Of course, the ref returns to see Sting on the mat he declares Vader the winner.
Winner – Vader
Before the main event, Mean Gene is finally going to give the Hulk Hogan interview. Live via satellite from his gym in Florida, Hogan gives his usual spiel, which in turn receives boos from the crowd.
A retirement angle for Hogan’s career gets us to the conclusion of this segment. Flair accepts Hogan’s challenge, and if he defeats Hogan, then the Hulkster will retire. After Flair hangs up, Hogan reveals his knee is getting better there is barely any reaction from the crowd.
Nick Bockwinkel makes it official, announcing the match is scheduled for Halloween Havoc, and it will be a steel cage match.
WCW Fall Brawl 1994
Michael Buffer rings in the main event, and the cage makes its descent. We get a video showing the announcement that Meng will be replaced in the match with Col. Parker. Something that terrifies the Col., who is not a wrestler.
War Games Match
Team Rhodes: Dustin Rhodes, Dusty Rhodes, The Nasty Boys vs The Stud Stable: Terry Funk, Bunkhouse Buck, Arn Anderson, Col. Parker
Following that is another video highlighting Arn Anderson turning on Dustin Rhodes at Bash at the Beach and the return of Dusty Rhodes to join his son. Starting off the match is Dustin Rhodes and Arn Anderson for five minutes of one on one action.
Dustin comes out firing, but Arn plays mind games by slowly moving from ring one to ring two. The highlight of the first portion of the match is Dustin shoving Arn’s head in between the two rings multiple times.
Col. Parker’s team wins the coin toss, and they immediately send in Bunkhouse Buck. Dustin soon finds himself at a numbers disadvantage. Coming in to aid Dustin Rhodes at the next interval is Nasty Boy Sags.
Rhodes and Sags soon take the momentum, much to the crowd’s delight. As we close in on the final minute of this interval, Dustin locks Anderson in a sleeper hold. Terry Funk hilariously tries to throw a chair into the ring, completely forgetting their is a top on the cage.So instead, he takes his boot off to use as a weapon as he heads into the ring. The Stud Stable once again has the numbers advantage, and their ruthlessness picks up a notch.
Brian Nobbs comes in to even the score and uses the cage as a weapon on each member of the Stud Stable. Terry Funk’s boot is used against him as Dustin Rhodes levels him with it a handful of times.
It’s now time for Col. Parker enters the match, and he responds with a cowardly entrance. But his team has the advantage again, and Parker gets some kicks in on Dustin Rhodes, who is being held by Bunkhouse Buck.
Parker uses his leather belt on Sags before Dustin takes it and uses it on Parker. The crowd erupts for this.
Dusty locks in the figure four on Col. Parker while the Nasty Boys drop a plethora of elbows on him, and Dustin keeps the rest of his team away. Eventually, Col. Parker submits, giving Team Rhodes the win.
Winners – Dustin Rhodes, Dusty Rhodes, Nasty Boys
Not a bad show, a couple of title changes. Austin showing just how good he was as Stunning Steve, along with Sting and Vader putting on a classic, were the highlights. I just might have to continue my trek through WCW 1994 with Halloween Havoc.