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11 hours ago, Oyaji said:

Second would be the faceplant as a result of Hearns' right hook. He was my dad's favourite and I really should go back and watch his prime stuff. 

Yeah, but that is older, heavier, more partied out Duran...young lightweight Duran is one of the best fighters who has ever lived.  

The Brawl for All episode was good, but it's just another example of someone being punished for being unexpectedly good at something.  I don't believe that Dr. Death would have got over in the late 90s WWF, everything about him screamed 1983.  The dopey mullet, the running in place, the kabuki mask he wore that time on Raw, everything about his presentation...he was never going to be a main eventer.  Yet, somehow they talked themselves into the fact that Bart Gunn ruined all of their plans by knocking him out.  The only real way to show him who's boss, make him fight a professional fighter and get damn near killed.  Seriously, that's one of the most devastating looking knockouts I've ever seen, and I've watched pretty much every UFC show, every Pride show, and thousands of boxing matches.

I also watched the Sasuke documentary, and I was left feeling sad for his wife and kids.  He reminded me of the old guy who's wife leaves him after the kids are out of the house and he doesn't know what to do with his life without his family...except he has a family.  He seems completely oblivious to the fact that breaking his body wrestling and breaking his spirit by running for office is hurting his family at least as much as it's hurting him.  I really want to know how many politicians are standing on Japanese street corners campaigning.  I honestly think it's just him.  With that said, I honestly believe he cares and the reason he does these things is that he believes that he can help people.  

 

 

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Something RIPPA forgot to mention in his summary of the WOR ep on the Brawl for All episode is Dave debunking the Butterbean was punishment for Bart winning the tournament. They thought Bart could beat Butterbean.

And FWIW, Dave was right about Butterbean and Mia St. John (the name Meltzer couldn't think of on the show) appearing on undercards of major PPVs. Butterbean was the King of the Four Rounders and Mia St. John was the Queen of the Four Rounders. At the time, TVKO (HBO PPV) and SET (Showtime PPV) were basically vying for doing something completely different to fit in with the times. Plus, as I mentioned in the Brawl for All thread or here IIRC, PPV was starting to become a bit saturated. If you're running both regular cards on premium cable and also PPVs, there is only a finite amount of fighters available to use. Don King, who basically was Showtime PPV for the longest, didn't give a fuck and would have five or six title fights on one PPV card. However, HBO ran with the model that everyone who isn't a big PPV attraction will be on regular premium cable. The PPV cards would be headlined by a big name or two kinda big names, you might get one young prospect who might be fighting for or defending a title, and the rest would be filler. That model is still pretty much in use today, which is why people complain about how terrible boxing undercards are till this very day for the last fifteen years. I mean UFC tried doing the first model with stacking cards when they were super hot but once they started doing cards three weeks on and one or two weeks off, they had to switch to the other, more feasible model. 

I say that to say that all this shit was a sign of the times. I mean there has always been strange shit in boxing. The aforementioned Archie Moore in my last reply in this thread has pro wins over Roy Shire, Dizzy Davis, and his last fight was against Iron Mike DiBiase. I'm assuming one or more of those were probably worked since Archie had over 200 plus recorded fights and still holds the KO record in boxing. However, if you go back, look through some of those late 90s boxing cards, and think about what was happening at the time, you will find that Butterbean is quintessential nineties. We found a fat guy in American flag trunks who can knock out guys who shouldn't be near a boxing ring, and you're going to pay for it. Mind you, he lost to a guy (Mitch Rose) who was 1-7-1 on the undercard of Arturo Gatti vs. Tracy Harris Patterson I/De La Hoya-Jesse James Leija. I don't mean on points...I mean he got dismantled. They still ran with him over the next few years cause what else were they going to do? He was basically the prototype of what EliteXC and Strikeforce would do with Kimbo except I can actually justify Kimbo being on cards. He was a real draw on TV. When Top Rank and Don King were putting the likes of Butterbean, Mia St. John, Christy Martin, and later Laila Ali on cards, there was a strong curiosity factor at first. Boxing undercards on PPVs were long as shit, and it was a decent way to kill time initially. Eventually, all that shit wears off. Butterbean in particular had a fast rise and fall because Toughman got a buzz on the underground, and it was a hit when it first got on TV. Then you had the celebrity boxing craze right after that. Between that though, people realized...I don't have to watch real boxing to see people like Butterbean fight. It's nothing special. He was no longer on PPVs...then he was on TV..then he was on some weird one off low budget PPVs ran by some money mark promoters and then he was forced to go into MMA and kickboxing to get paydays there. He was gone in no time.

Fun fact: Around that time (late 90s/early 2000s), HBO created a new (short lived) boxing series to go alongside Boxing After Dark and World Championship Boxing called KO Nation which was targeted to the urban (meaning black of course) demo. It came on in the afternoons which was very different than having cards at the usual time of 9:30 and 10 p.m. You had stuff like future Tyson victim Clifford "The Black Rhino" Etienne having a fun slugfest with Cliff Couser, and Floyd Mayweather returning from his first retirement/hiatus in what would be one of his toughest fights ever against the Drunken Master Emanuel Augustus. This was the beginning of fighters being sponsored by all these hip hop clothing lines like DaDa, Sean John, Phat Farm, and Enyce. They had fucking Ed Lover doing the ring intros! 

Anyway, another sign of the times...on one of the untelevised undercards for one of these KO Nation shows (in fact Mayweather-Augustus)...rapper Willie D (yes the same one from the Geto Boys) took on just a random journeyman. Keep in mind, Willie prior to being in the Geto Boys was a hell of an amateur boxer in the Houston area in the middleweight division. Besides beating the shit out of Melle Mel in a celebrity boxing match in 1992, he hadn't really been an active competitor in many years. So during I guess one of many breakups that the Geto Boys had, he decided to try his hand in the pro ranks. He had a little success. Then, in what was probably an audition to get a low key celeb bout on the televised portion of a future KO Nation card, he fought said journeyman. It did not go well. You know how bad it was? The video was on Youtube for a long time and was taken down for a copyright claim filed by...you guessed it Willie D.

WjfX8Qi.jpg

🤣

I love Willie....but this is a new level of petty. Gotta protect that tough guy image somehow.

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16 minutes ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

Anyway, another sign of the times...on one of the untelevised undercards for one of these KO Nation shows (in fact Mayweather-Augustus)...rapper Willie D (yes the same one from the Geto Boys) took on just a random journeyman. Keep in mind, Willie prior to being in the Geto Boys was a hell of an amateur boxer in the Houston area in the middleweight division. Besides beating the shit out of Melle Mel in a celebrity boxing match in 1992, he hadn't really been an active competitor in many years. So during I guess one of many breakups that the Geto Boys had, he decided to try his hand in the pro ranks. He had a little success. Then, in what was probably an audition to get a low key celeb bout on the televised portion of a future KO Nation card, he fought said journeyman. It did not go well. You know how bad it was? The video was on Youtube for a long time and was taken down for a copyright claim filed by...you guessed it Willie D.

Willie D is strikes me as the type of dude who's entire personality is based on everyone around him knowing that an ass whooping is possible.  

Butterbean was the dude who would have got worked by anyone with even a decent boxing pedigree, but he was someone who made a career boxing.  He was bad when compared to top flight professionals, but if they believed that Bart Gunn could beat him they were insane.  Bart Gunn was a big strong dude who could knock out a bunch with little to no boxing training, but he wasn't going to be able to box with a professional.  I remember talking to my cousin, who was a bouncer in clubs for years and is not someone you would ever want to fight, about how he couldn't beat up UFC fighters.  He was saying how he''s been in enough fights that he thinks he could at least compete.  Then I asked him, how much time do you spend training to be a better fighter, and he shrugged his shoulders as if to say, "not much."  Then I said, "they go to work everyday and work on being better fighters...that's legitimately their career."  He looked me dead in the face and said, "you need to have more confidence in yourself."  Him and his friends then went to Hammer House and got schooled by Wes Sims of all people.

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In addition to Butterbean's work as a premiere four-rounder boxer, that still doesn't tell the whole story: 

The big appeal of Butterbean, as said, was not just "King of the Four Rounders", but that Toughman competitions were getting a strong underground movement in the 1990s- and Butterbean was the face of Toughman competitions.

This is VERY IMPORTANT, because the Brawl for All, at its core, was a Toughman competition tournament. It basically used similar rules to Toughman matches, and for all intents and purposes that's what it was.

That needs to be mentioned, because this wasn't "Bart Gunn fought all the WWE's baddest in Brawl for All and won-let's put him in a boxing match with a tomato can". This was the '90s Toughman equivalent of "Bart Gunn won a Golden Gloves boxing tournament with the WWE roster- let's put him in the ring against Lennox Lewis!"

And honestly, this difference ties into @sabremike's claim that "this was a terrible decision and it ruined everyone's careers- even at the time that ties to this "nope, everyone's career was ruined except JBL, the guy it was made to punish" thing is also unrealistic. Even bypassing "well, Bart Gunn ended up having a good run in Japan", looking at the careers of the other, non-Bradshaw competitors in Brawl for All:

Bart Gunn: Won Brawl for All. Didn't do much of anything. Gets knocked out by Butterbean and is fired. His WWF career ended over it.

Brakkus: Got a career ending injury from Brawl for All. Career ended over it.

Savio Vega: Got a injury that ended his WWF career- but even that's a grey area. Savio was circling the drain in WWF anyway, and when he left the company he was able to bounce back, resuming his career in Puerto Rico where he's a living legend (and his MLW run brought him back to the States). His WWF career ended, but at the same time it's not like you can argue it was THAT BIG a setback for him either.

Steve Blackman: Blackman got injured in the Brawl for All in 1998. In 1999, Blackman did nothing much of note- but being fair, that likely had less to do with the Brawl for All and more to do with "Steve Blackman wasn’t very interesting at the time, and there really wasn't much you could do with him." A year later, Blackman shifted his character to "Blackman’s the only sane man surrounded by all these crazy people…and did you SEE the martial arts stuff this guy can do with hardcore wrestling?", and he became a star. Blackman  escaped the situation better off, albeit it taking a couple years…but honestly it probably would have taken that much time even if he didn’t wrestle in Brawl for All (because again, Steve Blackman wasn’t very interesting,  and it wasn’t until Head Cheese formed that WWE made that work for him.)

Marc Mero: By this time, he was already a failed experiment and nothing was going to save him. It was 1998- he was firmly "Sable’s Husband" by that point, and his guaranteed contract was close to expiring at the time making Mero not a going concern (and since Mero bombed hard for people with a guaranteed deal, it's not like WWF would have kept him anyway.) He was circling the drain anyway. Brawl for All may not have helped, but it's not like it was the cause of his woes either.

Henry Godwinn: By this time, the Godwinns gimmick had run its course, and it was hard-pressed to assume two hillbilly pig farmers would be able to live in the Attitude Era. Throw in that Godwinn was about to retire anyway due to a neck injury he suffered before Brawl for All, and he was close to circling the drain…and EVEN THEN, they repackaged the Godwinns into Southern Justice after Brawl for All. Not only did Godwinn end up better off, he did so even though his in-ring career was coming to a close, AND as a smoking gun there: They managed to make Henry Godwinn have this post-Brawl for All second act by successfully repackaging Mark Canterbury into a badass bodyguard, even though he lost with a relative whimper in the first round. He came out better off.

Droz: After the Brawl for All, they helped kick the LOD storyline of Droz replacing Hawk into overdrive, which in the process led to Droz getting a fairly good push and regular role on TV. We'll never truly know how big or how small that storyline for Droz would have ended up being due to the freak accident that happened, but it did look like Droz was a rising star in WWF, so it's fair to call it Droz being better off afterwards. 

Road Warrior Hawk: Got injured during his bout. Ended up worse off after Brawl for All…but was it the fault of Brawl for All, or was it the fault that Hawk was going through some problems with substance abuse at the time that would be a far more likely reason for him ending up worse off? Occam’s Razor dictates it’s more likely his drug/alcohol problems caused his career to go on the downswing than Brawl for All.

Bob Holly: The Brawl for All first round match ended the New Midnight Express, which allowed Holly to go off for repackaging, which led him to gain the Hardcore Holly gimmick which revitalized his career and turned him from "likely on the chopping block in 1999" to have a career for ten more years in the WWE, made him suddenly an important midcarder for the first time in his career and in the thick of the Hardcore/IC/Tag title reigns. It even eventually got him a World Title match at Royal Rumble 2004. Bob Holly ABSOLUTELY escaped Brawl for All better off.

Quebecer Pierre: The Quebecers were the lowest team on the totem pole in 1998. They were already borderline jobbers and Brawl for All wouldn’t change much. He was circling the drain before it, he was circling the drain after it. Even using "well, PCO is a big indie star now, so he could have been more at the time" is a bad argument, because PCO wouldn’t be PCO without being a grizzled veteran doing insane stuff he should not be doing in his fifties. Even if you assume he could come up with the PCO gimmick in 1998 ,it wouldn’t have been as awesome in 1998.

Steve Williams: Came out of it worse than before. Not really his fault- that was JR being in love with anything involving Oklahoma Sooners football and talking up Williams too much- but it sucked. (Even then, as we've talked about, it seems highly unlikely Dr. Death vs. Steve Austin would have been the gangbuster feud that the rumors were saying. Even if it would just be a non-big 4 PPV match for Austin otherwise, the fact Dr. Death’s WWF action figure is one of the most notorious pegwarmers in WWE action figure history makes it clear that Dr. Death was not capturing WWF fans' imaginations at the time, even independent of Brawl for All, and considering how white-hot WWF was in 1998-99 otherwise...no. Even a non-Big 4 PPV match with Austin wasn't likely in the cards for Dr. Death. Shit, I'd assume it'd be a struggle to keep fans from tuning to Nitro if they made Austin/Dr. Death main event an episode of Raw at that time period.)

Godfather: Before the Brawl for All, he was a throwin for the Nation. Afterwards, he managed to develop the pimp character and become a big part of the Attitude Era, become a memorable star, and eventually become a WWE Hall of Famer. Yeah, I’d say Godfather escaped better off.

Dan Severn: Came out worse off, but was honestly a failed experiment anyway due to his lack of charisma. Maybe if Severn stayed in the Brawl for All, presumably won due to his legit MMA chops, you have the case "not only could he have won, I would actually bet on Severn to beat Butterbean in the WM XV match- and suddenly you’d have a chance of things opening up."

8-Ball: DOA was circling the drain by this time period. Brawl for All didn’t help things…heck, it might have HURT things in the long run (since most of the Harris Brothers’ having a career past that was based on being identical twins- if 8-Ball did so much better, eventually it probably would have hindered them as a unit.)

Scorpio: Same as Hawk. Didn’t come out of Brawl for All better, but it’s far more likely the result of Scorpio’s drug problems at the time than Scorpio’s performance there.

 

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A lot of those guys became victim of the WWF roster getting better overall. From about 92 to 97, you had a litany of guys who probably should have never been in WWF, were just terrible fits, or got gimmicks that put a screeching halt to their careers. Some were a combination of all three. But hey, I guess at least some people can say they went to New York.

A side effect to that though was it made people who could work and probably had something expendable as well. If you weren't an instant hit or your first gimmick/repackaging didn't work, you got kicked to the curb. With them actually building and having stars on the horizon for the first time in a long time, they had the luxury of getting rid of anyone who they felt offered little or next to nothing.

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1 hour ago, SorceressKnight said:

In addition to Butterbean's work as a premiere four-rounder boxer, that still doesn't tell the whole story: 

The big appeal of Butterbean, as said, was not just "King of the Four Rounders", but that Toughman competitions were getting a strong underground movement in the 1990s- and Butterbean was the face of Toughman competitions.

This is VERY IMPORTANT, because the Brawl for All, at its core, was a Toughman competition tournament. It basically used similar rules to Toughman matches, and for all intents and purposes that's what it was.

That needs to be mentioned, because this wasn't "Bart Gunn fought all the WWE's baddest in Brawl for All and won-let's put him in a boxing match with a tomato can". This was the '90s Toughman equivalent of "Bart Gunn won a Golden Gloves boxing tournament with the WWE roster- let's put him in the ring against Lennox Lewis!"

And honestly, this difference ties into @sabremike's claim that "this was a terrible decision and it ruined everyone's careers- even at the time that ties to this "nope, everyone's career was ruined except JBL, the guy it was made to punish" thing is also unrealistic. Even bypassing "well, Bart Gunn ended up having a good run in Japan", looking at the careers of the other, non-Bradshaw competitors in Brawl for All:

Bart Gunn: Won Brawl for All. Didn't do much of anything. Gets knocked out by Butterbean and is fired. His WWF career ended over it.

Brakkus: Got a career ending injury from Brawl for All. Career ended over it.

Savio Vega: Got a injury that ended his WWF career- but even that's a grey area. Savio was circling the drain in WWF anyway, and when he left the company he was able to bounce back, resuming his career in Puerto Rico where he's a living legend (and his MLW run brought him back to the States). His WWF career ended, but at the same time it's not like you can argue it was THAT BIG a setback for him either.

Steve Blackman: Blackman got injured in the Brawl for All in 1998. In 1999, Blackman did nothing much of note- but being fair, that likely had less to do with the Brawl for All and more to do with "Steve Blackman wasn’t very interesting at the time, and there really wasn't much you could do with him." A year later, Blackman shifted his character to "Blackman’s the only sane man surrounded by all these crazy people…and did you SEE the martial arts stuff this guy can do with hardcore wrestling?", and he became a star. Blackman  escaped the situation better off, albeit it taking a couple years…but honestly it probably would have taken that much time even if he didn’t wrestle in Brawl for All (because again, Steve Blackman wasn’t very interesting,  and it wasn’t until Head Cheese formed that WWE made that work for him.)

Marc Mero: By this time, he was already a failed experiment and nothing was going to save him. It was 1998- he was firmly "Sable’s Husband" by that point, and his guaranteed contract was close to expiring at the time making Mero not a going concern (and since Mero bombed hard for people with a guaranteed deal, it's not like WWF would have kept him anyway.) He was circling the drain anyway. Brawl for All may not have helped, but it's not like it was the cause of his woes either.

Henry Godwinn: By this time, the Godwinns gimmick had run its course, and it was hard-pressed to assume two hillbilly pig farmers would be able to live in the Attitude Era. Throw in that Godwinn was about to retire anyway due to a neck injury he suffered before Brawl for All, and he was close to circling the drain…and EVEN THEN, they repackaged the Godwinns into Southern Justice after Brawl for All. Not only did Godwinn end up better off, he did so even though his in-ring career was coming to a close, AND as a smoking gun there: They managed to make Henry Godwinn have this post-Brawl for All second act by successfully repackaging Mark Canterbury into a badass bodyguard, even though he lost with a relative whimper in the first round. He came out better off.

Droz: After the Brawl for All, they helped kick the LOD storyline of Droz replacing Hawk into overdrive, which in the process led to Droz getting a fairly good push and regular role on TV. We'll never truly know how big or how small that storyline for Droz would have ended up being due to the freak accident that happened, but it did look like Droz was a rising star in WWF, so it's fair to call it Droz being better off afterwards. 

Road Warrior Hawk: Got injured during his bout. Ended up worse off after Brawl for All…but was it the fault of Brawl for All, or was it the fault that Hawk was going through some problems with substance abuse at the time that would be a far more likely reason for him ending up worse off? Occam’s Razor dictates it’s more likely his drug/alcohol problems caused his career to go on the downswing than Brawl for All.

Bob Holly: The Brawl for All first round match ended the New Midnight Express, which allowed Holly to go off for repackaging, which led him to gain the Hardcore Holly gimmick which revitalized his career and turned him from "likely on the chopping block in 1999" to have a career for ten more years in the WWE, made him suddenly an important midcarder for the first time in his career and in the thick of the Hardcore/IC/Tag title reigns. It even eventually got him a World Title match at Royal Rumble 2004. Bob Holly ABSOLUTELY escaped Brawl for All better off.

Quebecer Pierre: The Quebecers were the lowest team on the totem pole in 1998. They were already borderline jobbers and Brawl for All wouldn’t change much. He was circling the drain before it, he was circling the drain after it. Even using "well, PCO is a big indie star now, so he could have been more at the time" is a bad argument, because PCO wouldn’t be PCO without being a grizzled veteran doing insane stuff he should not be doing in his fifties. Even if you assume he could come up with the PCO gimmick in 1998 ,it wouldn’t have been as awesome in 1998.

Steve Williams: Came out of it worse than before. Not really his fault- that was JR being in love with anything involving Oklahoma Sooners football and talking up Williams too much- but it sucked. (Even then, as we've talked about, it seems highly unlikely Dr. Death vs. Steve Austin would have been the gangbuster feud that the rumors were saying. Even if it would just be a non-big 4 PPV match for Austin otherwise, the fact Dr. Death’s WWF action figure is one of the most notorious pegwarmers in WWE action figure history makes it clear that Dr. Death was not capturing WWF fans' imaginations at the time, even independent of Brawl for All, and considering how white-hot WWF was in 1998-99 otherwise...no. Even a non-Big 4 PPV match with Austin wasn't likely in the cards for Dr. Death. Shit, I'd assume it'd be a struggle to keep fans from tuning to Nitro if they made Austin/Dr. Death main event an episode of Raw at that time period.)

Godfather: Before the Brawl for All, he was a throwin for the Nation. Afterwards, he managed to develop the pimp character and become a big part of the Attitude Era, become a memorable star, and eventually become a WWE Hall of Famer. Yeah, I’d say Godfather escaped better off.

Dan Severn: Came out worse off, but was honestly a failed experiment anyway due to his lack of charisma. Maybe if Severn stayed in the Brawl for All, presumably won due to his legit MMA chops, you have the case "not only could he have won, I would actually bet on Severn to beat Butterbean in the WM XV match- and suddenly you’d have a chance of things opening up."

8-Ball: DOA was circling the drain by this time period. Brawl for All didn’t help things…heck, it might have HURT things in the long run (since most of the Harris Brothers’ having a career past that was based on being identical twins- if 8-Ball did so much better, eventually it probably would have hindered them as a unit.)

Scorpio: Same as Hawk. Didn’t come out of Brawl for All better, but it’s far more likely the result of Scorpio’s drug problems at the time than Scorpio’s performance there.

 

Other than (possibly) Bart Gunn this stupid thing didn't benefit anyone and caused several people to suffer serious injuries (not to mention others getting legit KO'ed). Anyone trying to defend this thing in any way is completely nuts, I mean they literally let a freaking guy compete in this thing with one goddamned eye.

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36 minutes ago, sabremike said:

Other than (possibly) Bart Gunn this stupid thing didn't benefit anyone and caused several people to suffer serious injuries (not to mention others getting legit KO'ed). Anyone trying to defend this thing in any way is completely nuts, I mean they literally let a freaking guy compete in this thing with one goddamned eye.

Even if that's the case, it tied to why I didn't buy Brawl for All as a Viceland documentary beforehand. Just by the "it didn't benefit anyone and several people suffered serious injury" thing, it's still just...a lowcard tournament at its core. What inherently makes Brawl for All so much more of a dark moment in wrestling history than, for example, the WCW Hardcore Junkyard Invitational? Just like Brawl for All, it was a lowcard storyline/angle/match series that was a stupid idea from bad creative, there were a number of people who had nothing better to do involved in the match (and like Brawl for All, had a number of people who'd go on to bigger and better things [Lord Steven Regal, Fit Finlay, Hugh Morrus]. Just like Brawl for All, a number of wrestlers suffered serious injuries in it- with some of them even more brutal injuries than Brawl for All (like Fit Finlay nearly losing a leg in the match). Like Brawl for All, there's at least one modern big star outside the major promotions in it (Brawl for All has PCO, the Junkyard Invitation had L.A. Park in it.)  It had someone we knew "Dark Side of the Ring' could get as a talking head in Hak (who we know could come in as a talking head since Sandman was literally a talking head on last week's New Jack episode.) Heck, the Junkyard Invitational even had more performers who are no longer with us in the match- Junkyard had Public Enemy and Silver King, Brawl for All onhad Steve Williams and Road Warrior Hawk.

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15 minutes ago, SorceressKnight said:

Even if that's the case, it tied to why I didn't buy Brawl for All as a Viceland documentary beforehand. Just by the "it didn't benefit anyone and several people suffered serious injury" thing, it's still just...a lowcard tournament at its core. What inherently makes Brawl for All so much more of a dark moment in wrestling history than, for example, the WCW Hardcore Junkyard Invitational? Just like Brawl for All, it was a lowcard storyline/angle/match series that was a stupid idea from bad creative, there were a number of people who had nothing better to do involved in the match (and like Brawl for All, had a number of people who'd go on to bigger and better things [Lord Steven Regal, Fit Finlay, Hugh Morrus]. Just like Brawl for All, a number of wrestlers suffered serious injuries in it- with some of them even more brutal injuries than Brawl for All (like Fit Finlay nearly losing a leg in the match). Like Brawl for All, there's at least one modern big star outside the major promotions in it (Brawl for All has PCO, the Junkyard Invitation had L.A. Park in it.)  It had someone we knew "Dark Side of the Ring' could get as a talking head in Hak (who we know could come in as a talking head since Sandman was literally a talking head on last week's New Jack episode.) Heck, the Junkyard Invitational even had more performers who are no longer with us in the match- Junkyard had Public Enemy and Silver King, Brawl for All onhad Steve Williams and Road Warrior Hawk.

I've already said why this qualifies as dark: It exposed just how little the company cared about the safety and well being of it's talent (seriously the thing about PCO being allowed to participate in this alone was one of the most low key fucked up things ever). And actually one of these on that Junkyard fiasco would actually be pretty interesting because it was basically the same thing in terms of complete disregard for safety.

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Junkyard story would be a lot less entertaining. 

"We were trying to figure out what we should copy from WWE."

Nitpicking but that Finlay injury didn't take place during that match. 

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If they did Dark Side of the junkyard invitational, they could show loads of Zona 23 clips as a way of illustrating how influential it was.

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19 hours ago, Peck said:

It's not like any of us would have a different reaction watching JBL get knocked silly.

I would absolutely give anything for footage of Styles cleaning Bradshaws clock! Bradshaw showing up the next night with a cowboy hat to conceal his shiner is one of those moments burned into my brain. 

I forgot who all dismissed it as just a sucker punch that JBL didn't see coming but considering that one time JBL jumped Blue Meanie from behind I'm not concerned with the semantics on Styles knocking him loopy.

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I'm not sure which would be better to have seen: Joey blackening his eye, or Bradshaw sobering up and then having to go into the locker room and basically grovel at Steve Blackman's feet in order to not get murdered.

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After listening to Cornette discuss the Brawl For All, I've learned that there is this really weird disconnect between Corny, Jim Ross, and other "wrestling lifers" that Steve Williams had much more appeal to "casual" American fans than there really was.

 

I mean, he was a great worker, and I love his All Japan stuff up until 1996 when his body started to break down, but to most of the guys in flyover country who attended Nitro parties or went to Raw to hold up signs and sing along with The Rock and Road Dogg's catch phrases, Doc was this guy who hadn't been a regular on North American TV since 1992, when he was doing a weird gimmick where he and Terry Gordy were "occidental otakus" who lived in Japan and obssessed with Japanese culture.

 

"Who's the more legit tough guy" is something that most Attitude fans didn't care about, and to them, Doc was a guy who'd been primarily a tag team wrestler,  and having him feud with Steve Austin would have had as much appeal as Bret Hart feuding with former WCW mid-carder for life The Patriot.

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Jim Ross channeling Big Bill Watts and his commensurate hard-on for college athletes and/or tough guys is my major objection to Ross' career overall. As a pasty team-sports-avoiding, East Coast leftie/anarchist/nihilist, it alienated me. That, and the killing of the sack of puppies but we didn't know about that at the time.

- RAF

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So, there was a story from Dave this well that Williams was originally going up get the push Triple H did in '99, starting with the attack on Ross.

I don't think it would've worked, but imagine Hunter never getting that push....

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I can already hear Bruce denying the shit out of that, and I think I believe him.

There's nothing wrong with thinking Dr. Death could have gotten over as a heel in WWF at that time - Shamrock did well enough. Main eventing with Austin? Probably not.

The issue is that he was broken down and couldn't go, not that he was never capable or "wouldn't fit."

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21 minutes ago, MORELOCK said:

I can already hear Bruce denying the shit out of that, and I think I believe him.

There's nothing wrong with thinking Dr. Death could have gotten over as a heel in WWF at that time - Shamrock did well enough. Main eventing with Austin? Probably not.

The issue is that he was broken down and couldn't go, not that he was never capable or "wouldn't fit."

I think Dr. Death would have fit fine in 1998-1999 WWF. I easily could have pictured him as a member of the Corporation. If the Big Boss Man's gimmick could be tweaked enough to fit in the Attitude Era, then Dr. Death could have been. 

IIRC, there was a rumor around that time of a shooter stable being put together with Shamrock, Severn, Williams, and Blackman.

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I just remembered that Terry Gordy also came back for a second as The Executioner about a year before Williams brief run. He had definitely lost a step in those later years but I'm wondering how a Miracle Violence Connection reunion would have gone over. I'm picturing them trying to work the latter day Road Warriors and can't imagine it being pretty.

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In a way, Brawl For All had some pretty big ramifications.

It was the final nail in the coffin of Cornette as an onscreen character with the New Midnight Express splitting.

It was the impetus for the first real moves made against Russo by anyone with real power in the company with JR now holding a grudge against him for the Dr Death injury. 

You wonder if Brawl for All doesn't happen or at least ends up with the sought after winner, does Russo ever get chased out by the "good old boys" to WCW?

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I thought Russo to WCW was more of him jumping than being pushed out? But even having said that, he'd Vince Russo. Everyone who has ever interacted with him has, at some point or another, realised he's an idiot who doesn't have a clue what the difference between a good idea and an absolutely terrible idea is.

Except Dixie Carter.

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Conrad's podcast covering the Brawl For All is a pretty fun listen. Apparently this was supposed to be a Season 1 episode, but VICE cut the episode order back down to 6 (or whatever it was). Bruce Prichard was going to be a part of this I guess, but when it came time to film S2 stuff, he was back in WWE.

And they also say that The Rock told Bart Gunn's son to convince his dad to do the episode, since he was an extra on Ballers and introduced himself to Rock (as Bart's son), and told him that he was thinking about doing something for Dark Side of the Ring. I didn't know Rock was a fan, but I guess he's made it publicly known before or something.

They also got super high and drunk with The Godfather at his strip club the night before his interview.

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12 minutes ago, AxB said:

I thought Russo to WCW was more of him jumping than being pushed out? But even having said that, he'd Vince Russo. Everyone who has ever interacted with him has, at some point or another, realised he's an idiot who doesn't have a clue what the difference between a good idea and an absolutely terrible idea is.

Except Dixie Carter.

I don't recall the exact reasoning, but I believe Ed Ferrara said that, after the initial SmackDown special for UPN in April 1999, McMahon asked he and Russo to write SD every week once it became a full-time show. Per Ferrara, the two go pushed out because they asked for twice the money as they were writing twice the shows.

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