The war is on!
No, I’m not talking about the Monday Night Wars that began earlier in September 1995 – though this IS the first of the Big Two pay-per-views after the debut of WCW’s Monday Nitro. No, the war here is War Games! Hulk Hogan and his allies taking the fight to Kevin Sullivan’s Dungeon of Doom (Kamala, The Shark, Zodiac and the monster Meng) in the double ring enclosed cage of the Match Beyond. Sullivan, for some reason, thought that sending a bunch of C-listers (and the monster Meng) against Hogan, Sting, Randy Savage and Lex Luger would be the way to end the scourge of Hulkamania.
With the brief exception of Savage and Luger going at it during the match after they accidentally bumped into each other, the result of this was never in doubt. With the win – forcing the Zodiac to submit – Hogan was granted 5 minutes in the ring with Sullivan. But the celebratory moment was ruined when Giant entered the cage and took Hogan out to drag this feud out a little bit longer. After wringing Hogan’s next a couple of times, the Giant and Sullivan casually walked away as Hogan’s buddies came back to save him.
Best Match: Arn Anderson defeated “Nature Boy” Ric Flair – The strife between former Horsemen and best buddies Anderson and Flair had been building throughout the summer, finally simmering over after losing a handicap match to Vader at the August Clash of the Champions. Anderson and Flair are two of the best in the business – even in 1995 – and they sucked the crowd in like almost no one else could. The involvement of Brian Pillman in the match, kicking Flair in the back of the head to set up an Anderson DDT for the win, moved the story along to help lead us to next month’s Halloween Havoc, with one of my favorite angles of the year.
Worst Match: Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman defeated Cobra – There was such a dramatic backstory created for this match, political intrigue and treachery and possibly treason within the armed forces and the country’s intelligence community. The commentary team of Tony Schiavone and Bobby “the Brain” Heenan really went into detail about the kayfabe history between the two men. And then Pittman came down from the ceiling of the building and basically squashed Cobra. Really a waste of pay-per-view time.
Dallas on the Rise: While The Renegade had been running roughshod over some very talented people – including Arn Anderson and Paul Orndorff – defending the Television Championship, he finally hit a wall at Fall Brawl. “Diamond” Dallas Page was very much a man who was slowly building his cache with the company in 1995. He would go on to play a major role in WCW’s hottest period over the next few years, even ascending to the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. But this was his first big win, his first major championship with the company. The Renegade would not have much of anything to do for the rest of his tenure.
Ranking Fall Brawl 1995
1 – Arn Anderson defeated “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
2 – Johnny B. Badd defeated Flyin’ Brian
3 – War Games: Hulk Hogan, Sting, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Lex Luger defeated Kamala, The Shark, the Zodiac and Meng
4 – WCW World Tag Team Championship Match: Harlem Heat defeated Bunkhouse Buck and “Dirty” Dick Slater
5 – WCW Television Championship Match: “Diamond” Dallas Page defeated The Renegade (c)
6 – Sgt. Craig “Pitbull” Pittman defeated Cobra
*DISCLAIMER* The Top 10 rankings are for discussion purposes only and in no way reflect an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion. If you disagree, let me know in the comments. New arrivals to the Top 10 are in bold.
1 – WWF Championship Match: Diesel (c) and Bret “Hitman” Hart battle to a draw – Royal Rumble 1995
2 – Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Shawn Michaels (c) defeated Razor Ramon – SummerSlam 1995
3 – WWF Championship Match: Diesel (c) defeated Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XI
4 – WCW World Championship Match: Hulk Hogan (c) beat Vader by disqualification – SuperBrawl V
5 – Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Hakushi – In Your House 1
6 – WCW TV Championship: Arn Anderson (c) defeated Johnny B. Badd – Clash of the Champions XXX
7 – ECW Tag Team Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Double Dog Collar Match: The Pitbulls defeated Raven and Stevie Richards (c) – ECW Gangsta’s Paradise
8 – Arn Anderson defeated “Nature Boy” Ric Flair – Fall Brawl 1995
9 – Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage defeated the Butcher and Kevin Sullivan – Clash of the Champions XXX
10 – WCW Tag Team Championship Match: The Nasty Boys (c) defeated The Blue Bloods – The Great American Bash 1995
The war between WCW and the WWF continues with our next installment, In Your House 3!