Fall Brawl ’93

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

Fall Brawl

September 19, 1993

Astro Arena

Houston, Texas

The NWA/WCW relationship has finally come to an end. It wasn’t working and the other NWA territories complained that WCW monopolized the belt. WCW would keep the Big Gold Belt and rename it the International World Heavyweight Title. It would remain as a secondary World Title for a few more months before they would eventually merge it with the WCW Title. There will be no reconciliation between the two entities. WCW would never return to the NWA. They are officially on their own. The NWA, on the other hand, would continue working with independent wrestling promotions, including Eastern Championship Wrestling, but that’s a story for another time.

Meanwhile, Sting & Davey Boy’s feud with Sid & Vader escalated. Col. Parker added a new tag team to his stable named Harlem Heat. (They originally debuted with a very questionable gimmick. They were supposed to be ex-convicts that Parker won in a poker game. He led them to the ring in chains, but someone informed WCW that’s incredibly stupid.) At this point, they’re wrestling under different names. Stevie Ray is Kane (No, not THAT Kane.) and Booker T is Kole. These names would only last a few months before they switched to their more memorable monikers. Parker & Race now had a full four-man team for War Games and it looked like Sting’s team would be complete when the Road Warriors returned to WCW. However, Animal was on a break from wrestling because of his back and Hawk also developed a supposed injury. (I say supposed because there are rumors that he couldn’t get along with Animal because of his drug issues. Also, he wrestled on the Clash of the Champions after he had already been replaced in War Games.)

Dustin Rhodes would join Sting’s team and Hawk would be replaced by a debuting wrestler—THE SHOCKMASTER!! He is the former Tugboat/Typhoon and his debut is quite infamous. Sting revealed him as their mystery partner at Clash of the Champions. He was supposed to burst through a wall wearing a glittery Stormtrooper helmet and cut a distorted voice promo, but he tripped and fell on his face. If that wasn’t bad enough, there were audio issues and the pre-taped voiceover took a moment to begin. He had to stand there awkwardly while you could hear Davey Boy say, “He fell flat on his arse!” He finally spoke and sounded a lot like the Black Scorpion. (Ole Anderson did the voice. I guess he only knows how to do that one.) The entire thing was a disaster and the commentators couldn’t help but make fun of him. The gimmick was dead in the water.

In other news, Ric Flair will defend his International Title against Rick Rude, the Nasty Boys have returned to WCW and are in a Tag Title Match, and Lord Steven Regal looks to fulfill his mission to win the TV Title. There are also a few special bonus matches on this card, which only makes it seem like WCW didn’t plan this event very well. (After watching it, I’m sure this is the case.)

The show opens with what looks like a 1950s educational short film. The narrator talks about the summer turning into fall and kids returning to school. They show black and white images of classrooms and backyard barbecues, but then the narrator says not all is well at this hour. The lighthearted video transitions into a CGI game of RISK as the narrator says WCW is invading Texas. He talks about the matches and calls War Games the most explosive match in wrestling history.

Tony Schiavone welcomes everyone to the show and he says the Astro Arena is packed to the rafters. (That is demonstrably not true. Poor WCW. They couldn’t even fill one of the smallest venues they could use in Houston.) He’s with Jesse Ventura, who says he’s among the Texicans to add more fireworks than they saw at the Alamo. Tony then says it’s the most dangerous day in WCW, so Jesse claims he’s ready for combat. (I know he’s not wrestling, so I guess he’s planning on arguing with Tony throughout the show, as usual.)

Next, they go to Eric Bischoff, who doesn’t seem to realize how loud he’s talking. He yells about War Games and then introduces the man he claims made the rumble famous, Michael Buffer. (I feel like that was a shot at the WWF’s Royal Rumble. It seems like something Bischoff would do.)

TV Title Match: Lord Steven Regal (w/ Sir William) vs. Ricky the Dragon Steamboat (c)

Steamboat won the TV Title from Paul Orndorff at the Clash, but then he was attacked by Regal and Sir William. They hit him with William’s umbrella and injured his ribs. Regal said at the last PPV that he was on a mission from the Queen to win the TV Title and now he looks to accomplish that goal at this event. Michael Buffer does the introductions for this and all title matches on this event. (I have to state a possibly unpopular opinion, but I think Buffer is overrated. He has his catchphrase, but he otherwise seems unmotivated and gets names wrong all the time. WCW paid him a lot of money over the next 7 years, but I don’t know if he’s worth it.) During the entrances, Tony tries to explain the obvious empty seats by saying fans are still filing into the arena, but those seats stay empty.

Steamboat immediately jumps Regal, but Regal attacks his ribs. Ricky answers by sending him to the ramp and then back inside for a flying chop, but his ribs hurt too much. They fight back and forth until Steamboat takes control with some arm work and even lures him in by playing opossum. (Some fans try to tip-off Regal. There’s oddly a small group that doesn’t like Steamboat.) Steamboat keeps control with a cross body and a short-arm scissors. Regal tries to lift him out of it, but Ricky takes him back to the mat. However, Regal attacks the ribs again and hits a somersault senton. He stops a couple of comeback attempts and locks Steamboat in both a Canadian backbreaker and a surfboard stretch. Ricky’s ribs keep preventing him from taking control until he reverses a Tombstone. He then gets multiple pin attempts with an O’Connor Roll and a cross body, but he hurts his ribs again. Then, Regal throws him over the ropes and Steamboat tries to skin the cat, but William uses a ref distraction to hit him with the umbrella. This opens the door for Regal to hit a German suplex for the win.

This was a solid opening match. There was some great technical wrestling. It wasn’t overly thrilling, but they never lost the crowd. However, I’m not sure why some fans were booing Steamboat. The crowd reaction might have been a bit odd, but it didn’t detract from the match. Both men looked quite good and the way Regal won helps build his character. Plus, the Queen should be quite happy. Regal fulfilled his mission!

Winner: Lord Steven Regal (New Champion) (17:05)

Next, Bischoff is with what he calls the nastiest men in the sport, The Nasty Boys. He asks Sags about some secret that they have. Sags says the secret is sitting at the end of Nasty Street and two of the Four Horsemen will have to survive through Nastyville to learn that secret. Knobbs then gives away their entire game plan by saying they’ll end the match with a bulldog off the top rope and become the new champions. (No one ever accused Knobbs of being smart, but why would you tell your opponents exactly what you’re going to do?) Bischoff ends the interview by calling them nasty and overconfident.

Charlie Norris vs. Big Sky

The WWF has Tatanka as their Native American representation and he’s doing alright for himself. WCW decided to counter with their own native, Charlie Norris. He’s no Tatanka. He’s bigger, but he’s not nearly in as good of shape. They even gave Norris a winning streak. Meanwhile, his opponent is Big Sky, which is actor/wrestler Tyler Mane. (You might remember him as Nitron from my Starrcade ‘89 review or as Sabretooth in X-Men.) He’s back for another short stint in WCW. During the entrances, Jesse makes a questionable joke about Norris owning stock in a casino. (Tony ignores it, but you can tell he’s uncomfortable.)

They lock-up to a stalemate before trading arm wringers. Norris gets the advantage, which causes Sky to yell, “Shit shit shit shit!” (The fans don’t care. They start chanting for Flair. Hey—that rhymed.) Norris starts working Sky’s arm, so the fans chant, “Boring.” Sky finally kicks Norris in the face and surprises him with a boot in the corner before hitting a chokeslam. He also slams Charlie and hits a leg drop, but he misses a flying knee drop. Norris then starts doing Tatanka’s shtick of doing a war dance and hitting lots of chops before hitting a bicycle kick for the win.

This was awful. I’m not sure why they put two green guys on PPV against each other. This belonged on Worldwide or Pro. The match wasn’t long, but the fans were already chanting boring and other wrestler’s names within a minute. They only cheered the finish and that’s probably because they were glad it ended.

Winner: Charlie Norris (4:34)

Tony and Jesse talk about the night so far and recap the TV Title change. Tony then says they’ve added a special match pitting Scorpio & Bagwell against Orndorff & The Equalizer. (Oh, boy! They’ve pulled out all the stops!) Then, Tony sends it to a colleague he says they’ve known for months, Scott Dunlap. (Jesse says, “Who!?”)

(This is something pretty cool that WCW did. Scott is a handicapped young man that WCW gave an opportunity to do interviews. I think he did a good job.) Scott is with Davey Boy Smith and he talks about War Games. He says that Davey will be facing the quickness of Harlem Heat, the power of Vader, and big Sid Vicious and asks him for his comments. Davey agrees that their opponents are big and strong, but he says they’re facing his power, Sting’s speed, and the 400 pounds of the Shockmaster, but they won’t quit or surrender. Bulldog then poses while Scott sends it back to the ring. (Bulldog didn’t flub his promo this time, but he kept it pretty basic. I was kind of hoping for another amusingly bad interview from Davey.)

2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell vs. Paul Orndorff & The Equalizer

Why is WCW adding so many extra matches? Were there a lot of last-minute injuries before this show? During the introductions, it sounds like Cappetta’s mic either cuts out or he forgets Bagwell’s last name because he only calls him Marcus Alexander. Bagwell does an awful hip-thrusting dance, so Jesse says white men can’t jump or dance. (He uses that as a transition to plug his new movie, Demolition Man.) Scorpio then turns to the camera and challenges the winner of the Tag Title Match.

Bagwell and Equalizer start the match and Marcus has trouble getting the advantage until he hits a shoulder tackle. Scorpio & Bagwell then double team the Equalizer and send him outside to regroup. (He loses his cool and shoves Jesse, who tells Orndorff to control him.) Equalizer returns and awkwardly blocks a drop toe hold by Scorpio before tagging Orndorff for some double teaming. However, Scorpio fights back with a springboard cross body and he and Bagwell take control again. This continues until the Equalizer low bridges Bagwell and rams him into the apron. Marcus tries to fight back against the attack with a sunset flip and a crucifix, but neither work. Orndorff & Equalizer continue the two-on-one attack, but Paul has to remind Equalizer to get into position. (He is so awkward in the ring. I see why they give him his later gimmick.) Paul then locks Bagwell in a bear hug until he turns it into a back suplex and tags Scorpio. He cleans house with rapid punches, a dropkick, and a flying cross body, but the match becomes a brawl. Orndorff surprises Scorp with a clothesline and they try to double team Bagwell, but Orndorff accidentally hits the Equalizer. Scorpio then capitalizes with a 450 splash for the win.

This was a decent enough match when the Equalizer wasn’t in there, but his awkwardness brought it down a notch. It’s a good win for Scorpio & Bagwell and I like that WCW at least teased that they want a title shot. (WCW was good about attaching that much meaning to these throw away matches.) I know they’re planning a push for this team, so giving them a win on PPV makes sense, but I wish they had picked better opponents.

Winners: Scorpio & Bagwell (10:46)

Orndorff & the Equalizer attack Scorpio & Bagwell after the match. Orndorff hits a flying knee on Scorpio and suplexes Bagwell before they leave the ring. They walk away with their arms in the air, but it’s Scorpio’s music that plays.

Bischoff is with the new TV Champion, Lord Steven Regal, and Sir William. Eric says that Regal won under dubious circumstances, but William admonishes Eric. He says Bischoff doesn’t talk to Regal unless Regal wants to talk to him. William then says they will head back to England to be commended by the Queen. (Bischoff corpses for a moment at that comment.) Regal then says that it will be an honor because he’s the only Englishman to win the TV Title. Then, Regal says he will return to this land of decadence and defend his title with honor and pride. Bischoff cuts him off to question how it’s honorable to win a match by his valet. (Ouch! Did Bischoff just call Sir William a valet instead of a manager?) Regal says he’s an honest man and says if you can’t trust him, who can you trust? Eric replies, “Absolutely no one.” (This is more great stuff from Regal. He understands his character and gimmick perfectly.)

Ice Train vs. Shanghai Pierce (w/ Tex Slazenger)

Ice Train is another newcomer to WCW. He didn’t have a lot of experience before this, but I will admit I always thought he was kind of underrated. He had some charisma and he was decent in the ring later in his career. I enjoy his tag team with Scott Norton. However, this is a very green Ice Train and he’s facing one half of a semi-jobber team. (This is three straight filler matches. Is WCW trying to kill this crowd? Also, why use the guy from Texas as a heel in this match?) Before the match, Tony says that Ice Train is one of the biggest in WCW and he says he means big everywhere. (Oh, my! Wait, how does Tony know that?)

They shove each other around and grapple until Shanghai complains of hair-pulling. Train shoulder blocks Pierce, so he regroups and calls for a test of strength. Pierce quickly kicks him and Tex trips Train, so Shanghai attacks with elbows and kicks. However, Train blocks and reverses a suplex before hitting a back drop. Pierce answers with a thumb to the eye and he and Tex attempt to use a bull-rope, but Train runs through it and hits a powerslam for the win.

This is another match that belonged on Worldwide. Train looked impressive in the win, but it didn’t belong on PPV. It’s all for naught because Ice Train doesn’t do much in WCW until the mid 90s.

Winner: Ice Train (3:27)

Next, Tony plugs Halloween Havoc in New Orleans. Jesse laughs at the idea that Tony has to spend Halloween with him. He invites Tony to hang out with him in the French Quarter, but Tony declines. He then talks about the upcoming Tag Title Match and recaps the Horsemen winning the tag titles. Jesse says the win is tainted because Pillman was injured and Regal substituted for him. Tony turns to look at the crowd while he’s talking, so Jesse becomes angry. He continues to say that the Blonds were robbed.

Tag Team Title Match: The Nasty Boys (w/ Missy Hyatt) vs. Arn Anderson & Paul Roma (c)

The Horsemen beat the makeshift team of Steve Austin & Steven Regal for the Tag Titles because Pillman was injured. He would return and the controversy would lead to the breakup of the Hollywood Blonds. (WCW just couldn’t leave well enough alone. It’s sad to see the team end.) Now, the Horsemen have to defend those titles against the returning Nasty Boys. (People like to blame Hogan for bringing them into WCW, but they’re here a good year before Hulk. I guess you could say they’re his heralds.) They Nasty Boys make their entrance and everyone is shocked to see Missy Hyatt with them. Tony says she’s not a Nasty Boy and says he recognizes her because—he hesitates, so Jesse says, “The chest!!” (He then says he meant the pecs because someone must have yelled at him in the headset.) However, Jesse continues being a perv on commentary throughout the match. Buffer does the introductions again and he doesn’t seem that impressed by the antics of these men. (He’s collecting that paycheck.) He also says that Roma is becoming one of the most popular stars in WCW. (They must have told him to say that as a rib.)

Knobbs and Roma start and take turns posing. Knobbs tries to jump Paul, but he moves and catches both Nasties with powerslams and dropkicks. They regroup, so fans throw dollar bills at Missy and chant, “Crack whore.” (That’s lovely.) Sags then demands Anderson and gets him, but Arn takes control and attacks Sags’ leg. He breaks free, but Knobbs receives the same treatment. Arn & Roma continue the attack and the match slows. (WCW uses the opening to show a fan sign that depicts Beavis & Butthead saying wrestling is cool, which makes Jesse and Tony laugh.) The Nasties then take control with double teaming and slow the match way down with long rear chinlocks. (Jesse uses the opening to talk about the Houston Oilers blowing that big lead in the playoffs. He got big heel heat from me because of that!!) The Nasties then take turns locking Arn in an abdominal stretch until he reverses it. The ref misses Anderson’s tag, so Arn falls victim to more holds. They attack his back for ages until he finally hits a double facebuster and tags Roma. Paul cleans house and hits a double noggin’ knocker and a missile dropkick, but the Nasties double team him again. They attempt a doomsday bulldog, but Arn shoves Sags into the ring and hits a spinebuster. Roma follows up with a flying splash, but the ref is distracted. Sags uses the opening to hit Roma with a flying axehandle and Knobbs covers for the win.

I don’t know who thought a Nasty Boys match needed to go over twenty minutes. This match dragged and was dull. The Nasties are limited on offense, so having them control much of the match killed it. The fans were more concerned with taunting Missy and calling Knobbs Porky Pig. I don’t care for this incarnation of the Horsemen, but I’d rather see them as champs than the Nasty Boys.

Winners: The Nasty Boys (New Champions) (23:58)

Jesse is with the new Tag Champs, The Nasty Boys, and Missy Hyatt. He asks Missy how much of a difference she made in the win, but she says it doesn’t make a matter—difference. She says she promised to pay back Ric Flair and now the Horsemen are gone. Sags also claims the Horsemen are dead and Knobbs calls it the sweet smell of victory. He calls it the reign of the Nasty Boys and the two of them kiss their belts.

Next, they recap the Cactus Jack/Vader feud. They show footage of some of their brutal fights and they show Vader powerbombing Jack on the floor. This footage includes talk of a mysterious leather bag that Jack carried with him. Race stole the bag, while Jack was taken away in an ambulance. Then, they, unfortunately, recap the amnesia angle. Reporter, Catherine White, finds Jack living among the homeless in Cleveland. Jack doesn’t recognize his name or his family. Meanwhile, Harley Race started receiving mysterious packages filled with cacti before Jack made his triumphant return. They say that Race put a bounty on Jack’s head and hired Yoshi Kwan to take out Cactus.

Then, they go to a pre-taped promo from Cactus. He’s standing in a dirty alley with Smashing Pumpkins posters behind him. (I’m sure they loved the advertisement. We know how much Billy Corgan loves wrestling.) Jack admits he faked losing his memory and says that wasn’t really his wife and family on TV. He tries to say that it was mind games against Race and Vader. He says they believed it because they wanted to. (WCW is trying hard to backtrack on this awful storyline.) He lists the trophies that Vader has collected, such as Sting’s ribs, Ron Simmons’ shoulder, Joe Thurman’s back, and Nikita Koloff’s neck. Then, Jack refers to himself as a Saskatchewan Moose (Huh?) and says Vader wants his head, but he can’t have it. Jack says that being on the shelf gave him time for his thoughts to brew like a bag of tea in a sea of hatred. He says it’s not sipping tea, it’s brutality. (I’ll admit, that made me chuckle.) He then says if you can arrest a man for his thoughts, then they should hang him there. He finishes by saying it’s his time and a day with Cactus Jack is worse than any ghoul, specter, or ghost. (I guess that sets them up for Halloween Havoc. This was great crazy nonsense from Jack. He has an intensity that makes even the silliest of words sound threatening.)

Cactus Jack vs. Yoshi Kwan (w/ Harley Race)

WCW does not know how to leave well enough alone. They had a great feud between Vader & Cactus and they ruined it with the amnesia angle. Now, they have poor Jack facing a highly questionable gimmick. Yoshi Kwan is the very white wrestler, Chris Champion (Not to be confused with Todd.), but he’s playing an “Asian” wrestler. They dressed him up in Charlie Chan-like makeup and had him pretend to know martial arts. (I’m not sure how they thought this was acceptable even in 1993.) Kwan comes to the ring with Cactus’ mysterious leather pouch around his neck and Race makes sure to show it to the camera. (On a side note, during the entrances, they show a fan sign that mentions Mean Gene. Tony asks what that means, so Jesse replies that Gene is on his way.)

Jack immediately attacks Race and Kwan tries to jump him, but Jack takes him to the mat. Jack then hits a headbutt and a running knee attack on the ropes before both men tumble outside on a Cactus Clothesline. Cactus then goes after Race again, but this time Kwan jumps him. They fight to the ramp and Kwan hits an enziguri and a falling headbutt. They finally head to the second ring where Kwan hits palm thrusts and a wheel kick. He even goes for a Crane Kick. (They’re doubling down on this stereotype.) However, Jack blocks it and rakes Kwan’s eyes across the ropes. He then hits an inverted atomic drop that Kwan oversells. Race trips Jack when he hits the ropes and holds him for a move, but Cactus avoids it and hits a double-arm DDT for the win.

This was awful, but they at least kept it short. I know that they aren’t ready for the Jack/Vader match yet, but couldn’t they have given Cactus something better than this? I felt bad for both Cactus and Race. (Why do they always saddle Harley with these awful gimmicks? He’s a legend and he already has Vader.) Even Cactus couldn’t make this match interesting, but at least he will move on to better things now.

Winner: Cactus Jack (3:38)

After the match, Jack attacks Harley and suplexes him into the ring before grabbing the leather bag. He then turns to the camera and tells Vader he’s next at Halloween Havoc. He follows that up with a Bang Bang for the camera. Tony then compliments Jesse on his coat and greets a noisy fan before talking about the remaining matches.

Then, they recap the Flair/Rude feud. They show a clip from A Flair for the Gold, where Rude was upset about Fifi snubbing him. Rude argues with Flair and then forcefully kisses Fifi, who slaps him. (That hasn’t aged well.) Flair laughs at Rude and turns his back, so Rude grabs the belt and clocks Flair from behind. He then gives Flair a Rude Awakening on the floor and calls Fifi a gold digger.

International World Title Match: Ravishing Rick Rude vs. Ric Flair (c) (w/ Fifi)

During Rude’s entrance, Tony says this is Rude’s first shot at a World Title. (I’m pretty sure he faced the Warrior at SummerSlam ‘90, but I guess they can’t acknowledge that.) Flair makes his entrance with Fifi and Jesse almost doesn’t recognize her because she’s in an evening gown instead of her maid outfit. Buffer says his signature line and echoes Tony’s line about Rude wrestling for his first world title. (They must be saying that on purpose to downplay the WWF Title.) Buffer then says that Flair would like to say a few words, but it’s Rude that takes the mic. Rude taunts Ric and holds up a painting of a beaten and bruised Flair. He then reveals his airbrushed tights with Fifi’s picture on them.

They trade headlocks and wristlocks before Rude misses a flying fist drop. Flair uses the opening to quickly grab a Figure Four, but Rude makes it to the ropes. They fight in and out of the ring, but Rude is distracted by Fifi and Flair hits a flying axehandle. (What!? Flair hit a top-rope move!? Meanwhile, Jesse keeps making derogatory remarks about women, so the female producer cuts off his mic for a bit.) Then, Flair works Rude’s arm for a long time. He cuts off Rude’s comeback attempts and eventually both men go over the ropes on a cross body. Rude attacks Flair on the floor and suplexes him into the ring before attacking Flair’s back and neck for a while. Flair also tries to fight back until Rude press slams him onto the ropes and sends him to the floor with a Flair Flip. He then locks Flair in a long bear hug until Ric goes to the eyes. Rude answers with a hot shot and some flying axehandles, but Flair eventually punches him on another attempt. They trade suplexes and a DDT before Flair blocks a Rude Awakening and hits the move himself! Rude gets a foot on the ropes and rolls Flair up on a Figure Four attempt, but Flair answers with another flying axehandle. (He hit two top-rope moves in one match!? What’s happening!?) Flair goes to that well one time too many and Rude hits a flying fist drop before throwing Flair to the floor. He then taunts Fifi and she slaps him, so he kisses her again. An angry Flair returns and locks Rude in a Figure Four, but the ref is still distracted by Fifi. Rude uses the opening to grab some brass knuckles from his tights and knocks out Flair for the win.

This match wasn’t bad, but it dragged a lot. It would have been better if they cut out about ten minutes of it. Thankfully, these two have the personalities to keep it from becoming too dull. I guess I expected a bit more from these two, but it wasn’t bad. The final few minutes were good and I even liked the finish. It’s also nice to see Rude finally win a World Title, but it’s a shame that this belt doesn’t mean as much anymore.

Winner: Rick Rude (New Champion) (30:47)

Tony and Jesse recap the night and Tony plugs Halloween Havoc again. Then, Tony talks about the history of War Games. Jesse says the wrestlers expect pain and suffering and everyone will get hurt. Tony then says that Dustin Rhodes is already hurt going into the match.

War Games Match: Sting, Davey Boy Smith, Dustin Rhodes, & The Shockmaster (w/ Road Warrior Animal) vs. Big Van Vader, Sid Vicious, & Harlem Heat (w/ Harley Race & Col. Parker)

Cappetta explains the rules. (WCW always over-explains things. They could simplify the rules instead of having five slides to explain everything.) Then, the cage lowers over the rings with fireworks and ominous music. The pyro startles Tony, who loses his train of thought. The heel team enters first. (Vader doesn’t have his WCW Title with him. He’s announced as the champion, but he didn’t bring the belt.) Then, the face team is led to the ring by Road Warrior Animal. The Shockmaster is now dressed in a hard hat and a work shirt. (It didn’t take long to drop the Stormtrooper helmet, but did he join Men at Work? Also, is his gimmick that he’s an electrician? I don’t know if I’d use an electrician called the Shockmaster. That’s the opposite of what they should want to accomplish.) Animal advises that Shockmaster start the match because Dustin is hurt, but Rhodes sneaks into the cage while they’re not looking.

Vader and Dustin start the match and trade punches until Rhodes gets Vader down in the corner. He then removes his boot and hits Vader with it until Vader surprises him with a kick and a clothesline. They brawl back and forth, but Dustin’s ribs keep hurting him, so Vader hits a Vader Bomb and attacks the ribs. Dustin answers with a DDT and starts using the boot again, but Vader rams Rhodes into the cage. Then, the heels win the coin toss (Shocking!) and Kane (Stevie Ray) enters the match. He and Vader double team Dustin and send him into the cage again until he’s bleeding. They continue the attack until the round ends and Sting joins them. He cleans house with clotheslines, punches, and a Stinger Splash to Vader while Rhodes hits Kane with a lariat. Another round ends and Sid enters the match. He immediately fights with Sting, who looks to fight back until Vader hits an avalanche attack. Sid then chokeslams Sting and the heels triple team him. Sting tries to fight back with a facebuster, but the three-on-one attack is too much. They press Sting against the ceiling and slam him as Bulldog joins the match. Sid attacks him, but Davey hits a clothesline and powerslams Vader. Sting & Davey then return the favor by pressing Sid against the ceiling. However, Kane & Vader double team Bulldog. Meanwhile, Rhodes whips Sid into the cage, but Sid has to awkwardly jump because he’s moving too slowly. Then, Kole (Booker T) joins the match to complete Vader’s team. Kole takes a flying leap from one ring to another, but he misses his target. (It was still a cool visual. Booker was always incredibly athletic.) He recovers and joins Vader in double teaming Rhodes. (On commentary, Jesse and Tony joke about Shockmaster tripping when he enters the match. I see they’ve already given up on taking him seriously.) The final round ends and Shockmaster joins the fray, but he doesn’t trip. He attacks every member of the other team and rams Kole into the cage a few times before locking him in a bear hug—for the win. (That’s it!? What a terrible finish!)

This was easily the worst War Games I’ve covered. They barely even tried. There were almost no memorable spots and the finish happened so quickly that no one cared. Dustin Rhodes was the only one who seemed to try. He at least bladed to add some excitement to this match. Everyone else seemed to know it wasn’t good. I felt bad for the big names in this match. I think even WCW knew that this was going to stink after the disastrous Shockmaster debut, so they wanted to get it over and done.

Winners: Sting’s Team (16:39)

After the match, Vader and Sid yell that Sting’s team didn’t beat anybody. (Way to bury Harlem Heat.) They say they demand satisfaction. (So do the fans.) Kole then claims he didn’t give up and says he’s going to kill somebody. Vader & Sid pose in the ring like they won, while Kole continues yelling at the camera. Sid also says he’s sick and tired of this crap. (He’s shooting, brother!) Jesse says the Shockmaster can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but he can do a bear hug. Tony tries to say War Games was every bit the fight they thought it would be, but he doesn’t sound convinced. Tony and Jesse recap the night while Sid yells that Shockmaster is a big goof. The commentators take a few more shots at Shockmaster before Tony announces that Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal will return at Halloween Havoc when Cactus Jack meets Vader.

The Good:

– The opening match was solid.

– Cactus Jack’s crazy promo was entertaining.

The Bad:

– Too many pointless filler matches.

– Too many disappointing matches.

– The War Games Match was awful.

– The International Title Match was okay but disappointing.

Performer of the Night:

I’m going to give it to Lord Steven Regal. His match was good and his promo was entertaining. I will also give an honorable mention to Steamboat. He and Regal seemed to be the only ones motivated on this show.

Final Thoughts:

This was not a good show. In fact, it might be one of the worst I’ve covered in a while. There was one good match and one fair one and everything else was either horrible or disappointing. You can tell that WCW’s creative team is struggling for content. Then, you have the embarrassing Shockmaster gimmick and the flubbed Cactus Jack storyline. The good talent they do have is being misused and the rest of the card is filled with people who shouldn’t be getting pushes. This is not a good time for WCW.

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My next review will be WCW’s Halloween Havoc ‘93. Look for the review next Saturday!

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