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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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WIRTB Review: The Brawl for All

Once upon a time, Vince Russo thought it was a good idea to put jobbers and mid-carders in gloves and have them legitimately try to beat the shit out of each other for a chance to face Butterbean at WrestleMania XV (or something). It was an effort to give people who weren't Rock/Austin/Taker/DX/Mankind something to do and capitalize on the rising popularity of MMA and shoot fighting. According to who you ask, this was either the idea of Russo, JBL, Bruce Pritchard or Satan himself. Keep in mind, though, that this was during the sanctified Attitude Era (further proof that not everything AE-related is white gold-dripped platinum). So, without much other background information, as you should know something about this insanity, I'm Speed on the Beat and this is WIRTB Review: Brawl for All 1998.

Each match was scored on a wonky, janky-ass points system as seen below.

They even tried to make their "tale of the tape" seem "real" and/or like an old-school UFC knockoff.

I haven't seen this much "real sport" in wrestling since Mr. T. versus Roddy Piper. And we all know how that turned out, right? No? Well, let us continue. Because of the Brawl, several WWF talents were reduced to nothing. Dan Severn, a legitimate tough man and MMA legend, lost to The Godfather (technically, since Severn won, but was removed from the contest, because reasons). If you're toting this as legitimate, why the hell would you not allow Severn to continue? What's the worst that could happen? He wins this shit show and continues to be a WWF mid-carder, only to leave and continue to kick ass everywhere else?

Moving on.

As the BFA continued, one thing was apparent. The WWF, in their "real" shoot fighting, wanted to script a result. They wanted "Dr. Death" Steve Williams to win. This is fine, and great, and dandy. Dr. Death is a menacing SOB. He was backed by JR, for fuck's sake! If anyone, aside from Severn, had any chance of making this seem legit and real, it was him.

...that is, until he gets his shit rocked by Bart Gunn in the second round. Then, not only were all bets off, but all bets were flushed down the toilet. Seriously! Bart fucking Gunn? Formerly of The Smoking Gunns? With Billy "Mr. Ass" Gunn? He, of all people, lands a knockout on Dr. Death? That's not to say that Bart wasn't talented with his punches. But, jeez. Couldn't they find someone else to not do "the job" with Dr. Death? And, I haven't even gotten to the end of this catastrophe.

After injuries, a slew of mishaps, and more, we arrive at our final match. Bart Gunn vs. Bradshaw.

Bradshaw loses in about a half-a-minute. Yep.

As a reward for winning the BFA, guess what Bart Gunn gets. Well, for starters, he gets taken off TV. You mean to tell me that we went through all this foolishness, and the winner is buried? And when he comes back, he feuds with Hardcore Holly and has a "boxing" match with Butterbean which lasts about half-a-minute? Most of the other BFA participants end up...lost in the sauce. And the matches themselves were sheer stupidity.

So was it really that bad to watch Butterbean look like he was about to legit kill Bart Gunn?



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