Ah, 1998… I am so sick of you.
For those who don’t know, I have been watching both WWF Raw and WCW Monday Nitro in chronological order over the last two-and-a-half years. Starting from May of 1996, when Scott Hall and Kevin Nash jumped ship from the WWF, watching the Monday Night War has been interesting to say the least. While the years 1996 and 1997 belonged to WCW, the second half of 1998 was the most competitive the two companies ever were.
And honestly, I have no idea why.
I’ve previously talked about the decline in quality for WCW in the summer, but let’s be clear; the WWF wasn’t exactly producing the best content. Yes, the Monday Night War has been romanticized, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of incredible matches and moments.
Fall Brawl had became one of WCW’s biggest annual events. Since 1994, it had been the home to WarGames, WCW’s most famous stipulation match. Created by Dusty Rhodes, WarGames consisted of two teams of four (though occasionally five) entering a two-ring cage one man at a time. When all eight men are in the ring, the “match beyond” begins. The only way to win was when a member of a team submitted or surrendered. This year however, was changing up the formula.
See at this point in 1998, the WCW roster consisted of three factions; nWo Hollywood, nWo Wolfpac and the WCW loyalists. To accommodate for this, WarGames now consisted of three teams of three men. Not only this, but the winner of WarGames (i.e. the man who scored the winning pinfall) went on the face Goldberg for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Halloween Havoc the next month. This effectively killed the whole “team” aspect of WarGames. Why would any of these men work together when the reward only benefits a single individual?
This show occurred on September 13th, live at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to a sellout crowd of over 11,000 fans. One month prior on Nitro, The
Ultimate Warrior made his WCW debut, singling out Hollywood Hogan. Goldberg was undeniably the hottest star the company had, as well as current World Champion. Meanwhile, Steve McMichael, Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit were attempting to convince Arn Anderson to reform the Four Horsemen. And other than that, I think you’ll be able to fill in all of the blanks for whatever stories that may have been told on this show. But of course, if it didn’t involve Hogan, no other story-lines really got much attention. Now that you have a decent idea of where we are in the year, let’s relive WCW’s fall “classic,” Fall Brawl 1998.
WCW FALL BRAWL 1998: WAR GAMES
Our show opens with a video package introducing us to our three teams for WarGames. Cut to the arena where we see, for the final time in WCW history, two rings instead of one. Our commentators for the evening are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and the late Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
Even though we here on the site have all given our thoughts on the passing of “The Brain”, I’ll say this once more here; Bobby Heenan was the greatest performer in pro wrestling history. The man excelled at everything he did. The world is a better place for having had Bobby Heenan, may he rest in peace.
Tony explains to us the new rules of WarGames. Two men will begin the match, Bret Hart and Diamond Dallas Page. All remaining men will be drawn at random by their team’s captain. And then Tony says, “WarGames can end before all nine men enter the ring.”
This effectively RUINS the entire concept of what WarGames was! Eric Bischoff was on a roll here in ’98, wasn’t he?
Tony then takes us to a video from earlier in the day of Ernest “The Cat” Miller being restrained by Doug Dellinger and the rest of WCW security. It last for a whopping EIGHT SECONDS. The Cat is apparently pissed at anyone who doesn’t think he’s the greatest, thus meaning The Cat is pissed at me (probably).
We go over and see Mean Gene Okerlund interviewing Chris Jericho. Jericho explains that Bill Goldberg has been whining, complaining and that he called Jericho to challenge him. Jericho says that tonight we’ll see himself vs Goldberg, the WCW World Television Champion vs the WCW World Heavyweight Champion. I am skeptical of this. Gene says he has “gotten no word from Goldberg on that.” I’d like to imagine Gene Okerlund and Bill Goldberg talking on the phone for hours on end. Jericho claims that HE WILL END THE STREAK.
Match #1: Disco Inferno & Alex Wright vs Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
The Dancing Fools of Wright and Inferno are out first to their individual funky music. Next out is Bulldog and Anvil to perhaps the worst recording of “Rule, Britannia!” of all time.
Bulldog’s stomach at this point wasn’t far off from Neidhart’s, bless him. Wright and Bulldog are in the ring as the dumb crowd begins to chant, “USA! USA!” Sloppy lockup from Bulldog as Wright floats him over and takes him down. Second lockup goes into the corner as Bulldog gets the advantage, and the two men clobber each other. Gorilla slam from Davey, followed by the two men tagging their respective partners. I don’t know about you but Disco vs Anvil isn’t exactly a dream match of mine.
Disco’s pants are amazing, pink, orange and purple. Anvil overpowers Disco and stalls. And stalls. And stalls. Jesus. Crowd pops for Disco stomping Neidhart. STOMPS. Anvil and Davey double team Disco, and then Wright and Disco double team Bulldog. Alex monkey-flips Bulldog, who impressively lands on his feet only to then be dropkicked. Disco is in, giving Bulldog an atomic drop, only to be vaulted over the top rope for his efforts. Anvil works over Disco as Tenay calls Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, “Neidville.”
Heenan retorts by saying, “Neidville? Is that where he’s from!?”
I love Bobby Heenan with all of my heart. Anvil puts Disco back in the ring, as Bulldog knees him in the gut. Sunset flips by Disco and we are treated to “Aloha Davey.”
Bulldog stunguns Disco, who lands on the second rope and nearly freaking dies. Anvil gnaws on Disco as the crowd chants, “WE WANT FLAIR!” Alex Wright gets the lukewarm tag and nails Nattie’s Dad with a missile dropkick. Alex Wright then gives Bulldog a backdrop, and it’s at this point I realize what match I am watching. More on that in a second. Miscommunication between Alex and Disco lead to Bulldog giving Disco the running powerslam after struggling to lift Disco. Bulldog gets the three as he and Neidhart get the win.
The match was pretty bad, but its aftermath is very important. When Alex Wright gave Davey Boy the backdrop, Bulldog landed on a trap door in the ring that was set up for The Warrior to use later in the show. This backdrop caused to a severe injury in Smith’s back that subsequently led to an infection and hospitalization. While Bulldog was recovering in the hospital however, Eric Bischoff sent him a letter of termination. Yes, BULLDOG WAS FIRED BY WCW WHILE RECOVERING FROM AN INJURY SUFFERED IN THEIR RING FOR A STUPID STUNT DONE ON THEIR SHOW.
You stay classy, Bischoff.
Once Bulldog recovered, he was still in a tremendous amount of pain and became addicted to morphine. After seemingly beating it however, Bulldog returned to the WWF in August of 1999, a move that led to his brother-in-law Bret Hart to sever all ties with Davey. Bret was of course not only still bitter about the Montreal Screwjob but also the death of his brother, and Smith’s brother-in-law, Owen Hart, in a WWF ring three months prior. Bulldog wouldn’t stay long unfortunately, as addiction got the better of him. The British Bulldog was released from the World Wrestling Federation in the summer of 2000, never to have another match on national television again. He passed away from a heart attack in May of 2002, at age 39. This was his final WCW pay-per-view appearance.
Cut the backstage where Mean Gene is attempting to interview Scott Steiner, who claims to be too injured to wrestle his brother Rick on this show. They even present a doctors note to Gene and JJ Dillon. JJ shakes his head while over looking it and claims it’s bogus as the crowd pops. The stipulation is that if Scott doesn’t wrestle Rick tonight he’ll be BANNED from WCW.
Match #2: WCW Television Champion Chris Jericho vs WCW World Heavyweight Champion “Greenberg”
Jericho is out first coming from backstage where we have the WCW debut of the Jericho Personal Security WHICH MEANS RALPHUS IS HERE. And I freaking love Ralphus. Jericho and his security are having trouble actually finding the ring, which is kinda funny. They walk into catering and then to the backdoor. Jericho finally makes it the the stage and then has a piss-poor version of Goldberg’s pyro.
Hey, remember how everybody thought Gillberg was so funny, and the WWF were geniuses with their mocking of Goldberg? Well, here’s WCW doing it nearly six months prior. Revisionist history is a bitch.
Goldberg’s music hits as the crowd lose their mind. And out comes… a guy. A mystery bald man wearing a toy WCW title comes down to the ring. Tony apologizes for Goldberg not being here, not mentioning the fact that he WASN’T ADVERTISED. SCHIAVONE IS SAYING SORRY FOR GIVING YOU WHAT WAS PROMISED AND WHAT WAS PROMISED WAS NO GOLDBERG. WCW had effectively gotten everyone’s hopes up in half-an-hour, only to kill them. They disappointed a crowd that didn’t need to be disappointed. Only in Atlanta.
This mystery man became known as “Greenberg.” Jericho takes it to Greenberg as the crowd chants, “Bullshit.” Good job. Greenberg hits a spear that Jericho no sells. Jericho locks in the Lion-tamer and wins. Jericho then looks into the camera and asks, “Who’s Next!?”
This segment was great heel heat for Jericho, but let’s not mince words; THIS WAS STUPID. They led the crowd to believe Bill Goldberg, the second biggest star in all of wrestling, was in the building. He wasn’t. They were pissed.
We cut to Mike Tenay interviewing Steve and Scott Armstrong. Pardon? They are interrupted by Ernest Miller, who again to claims to be the greatest. The Cat jumps the Armstrongs, who are saved by Norman Smiley, pre-Screamin’ Norman days unfortunately. Security separates the two.
Match #3: Norman Smiley vs Ernest “The Cat” Miller
The Cat walks to the ring continuously saying, “I’m the greatest!” Cat grabs the mic and tells Smiley that he’s a three-time World Karate Champion. He says he could take Smiley apart in five seconds, but since they’re both brothers, his words, not mine, he’ll give Norman five seconds to leave the ring instead. At the count of five, Smiley turns Cat around and starts hammering away, then vaulting the Cat out of the ring. Cat takes over and whips Norman into the rails, then back in the ring. We then just gets several minutes of kicks from the Cat. At the three-minute-mark of the match, Smiley’s right buttcheek is completely hanging out of his trunks that say “Magic” on them. There is a joke here, I’m just not creative enough to make it.
Smiley mounts a small comeback before The Cat bounces back. Miller hits a springboard kick, followed by a spinning roundhouse kick for the win. A boring, nothing match that I can only describe as seven minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. One day, I’ll be on my deathbed, looking at my grandchildren. And I will apologize to them for not having another seven minutes to spend time with them, as I instead watch Norman Smiley vs Ernest Miller.
Tony throws to a video package recapping the split of The Steiner Brothers over the past seven months. I’ve been watching this feud week after week and both men have been doing a great job. Rick wants to kill Scott, Scott doesn’t want anything to do with Rick. Simple but effective. The Steiner’s had been a mainstay of WCW for nearly a decade at this point, which leads me to wonder why they didn’t save a match of this caliber for Starrcade. Scott turned on Rick and joined the nWo in February. They had already waited seven months, what’s three more?
Match #4: Brother vs Brother – Scott Steiner vs Rick Steiner
Scott is out first, being accompanied by Buff Bagwell. Bagwell was still recovering from a neck injury he suffered on Thunder at the hands of… Rick Steiner. Yes, Buff also hated Rick Steiner. Rick Steiner is out next to new music. Yep, “Steinerized“ is dead. Sad day. His new music sounds like the guitar riff from Welcome to the Jungle by Guns ‘n Roses, if it were rendered on a Nintendo 64. Bell sounds as Scott stalls on the outside. The two men then do an awesome spot of just straight up PUNCHING EACH OTHER IN THE FACE. I mean, these are live rounds, guys. No open fists. Scott goes for a Steinerline, but Rick counters with one of his own to a massive pop from the crowd. The first 45 seconds of this match had more action that the previous hour of this show combined.
Rick continues to destroy his little brother before Scott peels out of the ring. Rick punches Scott over the safety rail as Scott call for a “time-out.” The Dogface Gremlin tosses his brother back into the ring, but before Rick can enter, Bagwell grabs his foot from the outside. This causes a distraction that allows Big Poppa Pump to hit a low blow on Rick while the referee’s back is turned. The pace slows as Scott is in control. Scott tosses his brother outside and rams Rick into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Scott goes for the tigerbomb, but Rick fights out and lands a DDT. Rick heads up top for the top-rope bulldog, but Bagwell jumps on the apron as a distraction. Rick grabs Buff by the neck, allowing Scott to take control and AGAIN they tumble outside. It’s brief though, as Scott rams Rick’s head into the steps then tosses him back in the ring.
The two men go back and fourth until Scott Steiner notices Bagwell is still down on the apron, no moving. Bagwell, through tears says, “It’s my neck. It’s happening again.” Scott Steiner has a very concerned look on his face, as if he’s about to cry. The referee Mark Curtis calls for the medical staff to come to ring side. The crowd however, sees right through this and chants, “Bullshit” yet again. Even Rick Steiner at this point looks concerned and ashamed. Schiavone uses his “Owen voice” to apologize to the audience that this match has stopped.
The medical staff are examining Buff while he is STILL wearing his tophat. A gurney comes down to ring side, and the crowd BOOS the gurney. Thank God this wasn’t a real injury. Rick, concerned more that he is being lied to than that he may have just paralyzed a man, screams, “He better be hurt!” Gotta love that empathy. The medical staff wheels Bagwell out of the arena to the back. Eric Bischoff is seen, not wearing his nWo gear and is also concerned. Buff can be heard saying, “Can somebody call my Mother!?” My God, I think this is leading to World Tag Team Champion Judy Bagwell.
As the ambulance doors close, Rick Steiner shakes his head in shame and begins to walk away until SWERVE! Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell jump out of the back of the ambulance and attack Rick Steiner. Both men laugh and walk away so proud of what they’ve done. All three announcers are disgusted as you can imagine. Personally, I thought this was really well done. All men played their parts extremely well. At no point did I think it was real, but I think that has more to do with the fact that if it were, I probably would have remembered it.
Match #5: WCW Cruiserweight Championship – Juventud Guerrera (C) vs Silver King
Well, enough of that, on to the Cruiserweights!
Silver King is like the biggest Cruiserweight I have ever seen. Dude is HUGE, but short. The announcers could not give a flying shit about this match as they’re still chatting about Steiner and Bagwell. Match starts off with some basic lucha. By the way, I have been watching every episode of Nitro up to this point, and I have not seen Silver King in months. Also, am I the only one who thinks Juventud sucks? He’s so sloppy and dangerous looking. Watch two Ultimo Dragon matches and then watch two Juventud Guerrera matches, and I think you’ll see what I mean. Silver King on the other hand, ain’t bad. Mike Tenay tells us a little history about these two men. Silver King was the youngest World Champion in Mexico’s history and Juvi started wrestling at age sixteen. Tenay’s lucha libre trivia is far more entertaining that this match.
The racist crowd in Winston-Salem chants, “Taco Bell! Taco Bell!” And yes, I can call North Carolina racist; I’m from South Carolina, I would know. Not really much to say here folks. This was the same as any below average Cruiserweight match you’d see any given week on Nitro. Juvi hits an inverted Frankensteiner and pops the crowd for this first time in this match. Guerrera goes for the Juvi-driver, but Silver King counters it into a roll-up. King misses a springboard moonsault. Guerrera hits the Juvi-driver and the 450 for the win.
We then see Lee Marshall interviewing Konnan for WCW’s website. He talks about his opponent tonight, Scott Hall.
Okay, Scott Hall hasn’t been on TV at this point in like two months. But… whatever.
K-Dawg talks about how Scott Hall needs to leave his personal problems at the crib. His personal problem of course being that he enjoys few too many adult beverages. Hall interupts Konnan’s interview and throws a mixed drink in K-Dawg’s face. Heat.
Cut to a video package explaining the history between Saturn and Raven. Now, I’ll TRY to sum it up. Saturn wants control of the Flock. However, for the last month he’s been a slave to Flock member Lodi. Raven, Lodi and Kanyon have been torturing Saturn. This was essentially all a test for Saturn’s honor. Saturn was an Army ranger and thus an honorable man. On Nitro, after beating Flock member Riggs, Saturn is given an ultimatum. He must either break Riggs’ fingers, or have Raven break Saturn’s fingers. Saturn chooses to have his broken. The following Thunder, Saturn attacks and destroys the entire Flock… except Raven. Saturn grabs the mic and says, “This started as hurting you, Raven. Then it was about saving the Flock. Now, it’s about saving me.”
Match #6 – Raven’s Rules – Saturn vs Raven (If Saturn wins, The Flock is set free. If Raven wins, Saturn will be his slave… Forever)
Raven comes out first with Lodi and Kanyon. David Penzer announces the new stipulation of Kanyon being handcuffed to the ring post. Doug Dellinger cuffs him and then gives the key to referee, Mickie Jay. Saturn’s out next to his awesome siren music, wearing a FRESH ass bandanna. Raven cuts a promo while sitting in the corner and declares Saturn has been an embarrassment for too long. Saturn says this is all about honor and Raven has none. Raven jumps Saturn at the bell and immediately goes for a pin and get a two count. One of Lodi’s signs simply reads, “SATURN IS BALD.” Astute.
Saturn takes over and begins beating the crap out of Raven. Springboard back elbow from Saturn for a two count. Saturn then hits Raven with a frog splash for another two count. Saturn then punches Raven off the apron who lands jaw first on the guardrail. Suicide dive from Saturn who lands on Raven and Lodi. Lodi yanks Saturn off the apron, allowing Raven to take over. Raven with a second rope elbow for a two count. Saturn counters a sunset flip into a rollup of his own, but Raven waffles him with a clothesline. Raven locks in a headlock, but Saturn counters it into a jawbreaker. Raven hits two snapmare takeover but Saturn counters the third into a backslide. Very creative, I’ve never seen that before. Out of the backslide, Raven hits two Russian legsweeps before making three unsuccessful sexy pins. Lodi gives Raven a chair as Raven hits a drop-toehold and Saturn goes face first into it. Flock members Horace and Riggs bring a table to ringside, with Kidman and Riggs in tow.
Out of nowhere, Kidman hits Raven with a dropkick off the second rope! The rest of the Flock chases Kidman and Saturn hits Raven with a death valley driver! One… two… kickout!!?
Both men are down as the crowd chants Saturn’s name. Raven goes to pick Saturn up and gets a t-bone suplex for his troubles. Followed by a belly to belly from Saturn, who looks like a house of fire. Guillotine legdrop from Saturn for a two count. Raven goes for an unsuccessful inside cradle, but Saturn locks Raven in the Rings of Saturn before Lodi breaks it up. Lodi climbs to the top rope where Saturn crotches him. Raven throws Saturn into Mickie Jay, knocking the ref down allowing Kanyon to take the key from his pocket and unlock himself. Kanyon enters the ring and hits Saturn with the Flatliner. Kanyon drags Raven on top of Saturn, cuffs himself and revives Jay. One…two… SATURN IS ALIVE. Low blow from Saturn. Saturn hits Lodi with a death valley driver through a table! However, as soon as Saturn reenters the ring, Raven hits him with the Evenflow DDT. One…two… holy shit no! It’s not over yet. Raven goes for a second but Saturn hits another Death Valley Driver on Raven and gets the three count!
Wow, talk about a 180. This not only the best match on this show but probably one of the best matches I have watched for these articles. This was fantastic. I highly suggest finding it on the WWE Network.
Tony Schiavone then informs us that “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan had successful surgery to remove the cancerous tumor that was in his body. Duggan is still with us in 2017, so he obviously made a full recovery!
We then have a video recapping the cage match between Dean Malenko and Curt Hennig. One year prior at this event, Curt Hennig joined the nWo and slammed Ric Flair’s head in the cage door, ending the Four Horsemen in the process. In recent month, Malenko, along with Steve McMichael and Chris Benoit, had been attempting to convince Arn Anderson to reform the Four Horsemen, without Ric Flair. Anderson was adamant that the answer was no, as he couldn’t physically be a pro wrestler anymore, following his retirement one year prior. However, Hennig and Rick Rude were attempting to slam Malenko’s head in the cage door on Nitro, when Arn Anderson had seen enough.
He ran down to ringside, waffled Rick Rude and entered the cage. One last time, the Enforcer was back to save the newest Horsemen. The next Thursday on Thunder Arn Anderson says that if the day ever comes where the Horsemen are back, he would be honored to call Dean Malenko a Horseman.
Match #7: Dean Malenko vs Curt Hennig w/Ravishing Rick Rude
Hennig and Rude come out first. Hennig is wearing basketball shorts with the nWo logo on them rather than his trademark singlet. It looks… wrong. Malenko jumps Curt at the bell and beats the crap out of him before Hennig rushes out of the ring. Malenko then targets Curt’s knee, which has a giant Steve Austin like brace on it. Dean then beats up Rude, just because. Malenko continues to target the knee, as Tony Schiavone reminds us that focusing on a single body part was Arn Anderson’s trademark. Hennig goes for a scoop slam, but can’t lift Dean due to his knee.
What’s odd about this is that Dean Malenko, the babyface, is working like a heel while Curt Hennig, the heel, is the babyface in peril. It’s backwards and doesn’t exactly work.
Rude finally rescues Hennig and begins to walk him to the back. Worth noting that a camera man tripped over the steps while walking backwards filming Hennig and Rude. Malenko then runs and grabs Hennig, and gets his opponent back into the ring. He locks in a knee bar on Curt, bending the knee in the direction it’s supposed to go. Devastating. Curt fights out but Malenko immediately hits a back suplex on Hennig. Dean hits the ropes but Rude nails him from behind. Hennig attempts the Hennig-plex, but his knee gives out on him. Malenko hits a Hennig-plex of his own as Rick Rude jumps in the ring and attacks Dean for the DQ. As Rude and Hennig attack Malenko, Arn Anderson runs down and is also attacked by Hennig; his first bump since his retirement.
Then Rude and Hennig… just leave. Yeah, neither Benoit, Mongo or Flair make the save. Kinda weird.
We then get a kick ass spooky commercial for Halloween Havoc. I freaking love Halloween.
Match #8: Scott Hall w/Vincent vs Konnan
Scott Hall is out first with Vincent and an adult beverage in hand. Yep, this is the “Scott Hall is a drunk” storyline. I’d be fine with this story if Hall had been sober for a year or two at the time, but he was still battling his addiction at this point. A little odd that Eric Bischoff, the same man who would never push Hall as a world title contender due to his issues, came up with this lovely chestnut of a storyline. Hall is also wearing a tag team title belt. Why? Hell if I know, and I watch this show every week. Hall grabs a mic and JESUS, the state of him. Scott Hall claims to have never worked a match drunk, only hungover. If that’s true, he is amazing at acting drunk. Hall does the usual survey bit, only drunker. Konnan is out next to a pretty big pop, although I think people were more excited for the song than they were the guy. Konnan goes through his usual “Bout-It Bout-It and Rowdy Rowdy” shtick. Hall starts the match by switching rings… twice.
Toothpick in the face to Konnan, who points the his crotch, presumably telling Hall to suck it. The two men go back and fourth for a bit, and it’s at this point I notice that Konnan is disgustingly sweaty. Mike Tenay then has the audacity to claim that Konnan is right behind Goldberg in terms of popularity. Ha. The two men battle between the rings as Hall falls in the crack between, crawling under the ring. He emerges and attempts to sneak attack Konnan, who telepraphs it. Hall walks over toward Vincent as Heenan quips, “Vincent, don’t light a match!” Hall back in the ring and takes control over K-Dawg. Then, something amazing happens. Hall locks Konnan in an abdominal stretch and calls for Vincent to hand him his drink.
HALL TAKES A DRINK WHILE HE HAS KONNAN IN AN ABDOMINAL STRETCH. LEGEND.
Konnan then locks in an abdominal stretch of his own, and it looks like garbage. Hall hiptosses him and escapes. Hall perches Konnan on the top rope and hits a belly to back suplex. Hall goes for another drink as Konnan gets to his feet to hit the X-factor followed by the Tequila Sunrise for the win. Stupid, but harmless I suppose.
The time has come. Michael Buffer does the ring introductions for WarGames that take about ninety-five hours. Down comes the double-steel cage, for the final time. Such a tragic end to a celebrity life.
Team WCW vs Team nWo Wolfpac vs Team nWo Hollywood
WCW team captain Diamond Dallas Page is out first, followed by nWo Hollywood member Bret Hart. Schiavone then mentions that tomorrow night on Nitro, Goldberg will be taking on Sting.
WHY!? NOT!? DO!? THAT!? ON!? THIS!? SHOW!?
Match starts slow as Hart and Page keep it simple. Hart gets the upper hand on Page, as is WarGames tradition. The heels always excel in this match. It’s so weird seeing them go for pinfalls in freaking WarGames. It just ain’t right. nWo Hollywood’s Stevie Ray is out next. Why Hollywood and not Wolfpac? Well, apparently there was a coin toss. WCW apparently found a coin with three fucking sides. Stevie and Bret beat down Page. Stevie’s a bad pro wrestler, hot take I know. Next out is Sting from the Wolfpac. Sting pairs off with Stevie. He then does his traditional Stinger splash over both sets of ring ropes. Hard to believe this time one year prior, Sting was the biggest star in wrestling. Next up is WCW’s Roddy Piper who starts beating DDP. HIS PARTNER. Let me again as what is the point of teams if the reward is an individual prize? Was WarGames really too simple of a concept? Did we just HAVE to mess with it? And all these years I thought TNA didn’t know how to do WarGames; apparently WCW didn’t either! Luger is out next, in black jeans.
So yes, the last three men in the match are Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash and The Warrior; the three laziest and most non-athletic men in the match. At this point, the two referees in the match are starting to get in the way, yet another reason they shouldn’t freaking be there. Nash is out next. He tries running to the ring, and it’s goddamn hysterical. He also gets pyro! Because ego! He also destroys everyone in the ring. Because creative control! Then for some reason, Hogan SNEAKS down to the ring in the middle of a two-minute interval between entrances. Hogan sneak attacks Nash and Piper from behind. Why does he need to do tha… oh to hell with it. This match sucks.
Hogan and Stevie Ray clean house. What an odd statement. The ring fills with smoke. Spooky smoke. The trap doors that nearly killed Davey Boy Smith comes in handy, as The Warrior appears in the ring. Of course it wasn’t really the Warrior. It was Rick Wilson, the Renegade. You know, that guy that ripped Warrior off. How meta. Hogan attacks Warrior as smoke again fills the ring. When it clears, all that’s left is the Warrior’s jacket. His spooky jacket. I like how in the WWF, The Warrior was an alien on cocaine and in WCW he’s a ghost… on cocaine. The real Warrior runs from the back and enters the cage. He hammers away at Hogan, til Stevie Ray cuts him off and Hogan escapes the cage.
The Warrior then climbs up and kicks the corner out of the cage, escaping it. In the aisle way he hits Hogan before security seperates them.
Diamond Dallas Page (remember him?) then random-ass hits the Diamond Cutter on Stevie Ray and wins the match. At least the right man won here. Page was the second hottest babyface on the roster at this point. As history will tell us, that Page vs Goldberg match was a pretty good idea, wasn’t it?
And that folks, was Fall Brawl 1998. This show sucked.
I’m not alone in thinking this either, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter fan-poll gave this show 99% thumbs DOWN. And how couldn’t they? Other than Raven and Saturn, every match on this show was either bad or forgettable. I mean, a guy nearly died as a result of performing on this show. That tells you all the bad ju-ju you need to know right there.
My God, that main event. That was easily, the worst WarGames of all time. Even WarGames 2000 was better. YES, SOMETHING IN 2000 WAS BETTER. I hated that match with a burning passion. Just in case you couldn’t tell. The Scott Hall drunk storyline is terrible and, quite frankly, offensive. Even the commentary, which is usually a bright spot of this era, was nothing special. I can see myself sitting back one day and watching Mayhem 99 or that episode of NWA World Championship Wrestling again one day. This show? Not a goddamn chance.
My biggest takeaway is this; Thank God for Raven and Perry Saturn.
White hummer enthusiast, Tony Schiavone super-fan and the youngest WCW fan on the internet! Though my memories of watching WCW live are very few, my love and admiration for the company and brand run deep. I’ll be writing all sorts of interesting (hopefully) columns and opinion pieces about various WCW shows, many of which I may be watching for the first time. Proud to be on the website, where the big boys play!