Chris Toplack | Dark Side Of The Ring – The Brawl For All FULL RECAP
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-1309,single-format-standard,qode-social-login-1.0,qode-restaurant-1.0,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,select-theme-ver-4.5,side_area_over_content,header_top_hide_on_mobile,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.5.2,vc_responsive

Dark Side Of The Ring – The Brawl For All FULL RECAP

Dark Side Of The Ring – The Brawl For All FULL RECAP

Long known as the worst idea in the history of professional wrestling, the Brawl For All was a tournament featuring 16 professional wrestlers who would compete live on television in unscripted, or shoot, boxing matches, to declare who was the toughest wrestler on the roster. The experiment would lead to a backlash from fans, tens of thousands in medical bills, and the death of several careers. For the fourth episode of their second season, Dark Side Of The Ring dives into the horrid idea and the backstories behind it.

  • As with all of season two, the episode is once again narrated by ‘Le Champion’ Chris Jericho.

  • Interview subjects include Jim Ross, Jim Cornette, Vince Russo, as well as Brawl For All competitors The Godfather, Darren Drozdov and eventual winner Bart Gunn as well as Butterbean and D’Lo Brown.

  • Vince Russo discusses how he came to be a part of the writing team from his work on the WWF magazines.

  • Both Russo and Cornette discuss their contrasting ideals on how wrestling works.

  • Jim Ross confirms that the idea for Brawl For All came from the mind of Vince Russo.

  • Russo elaborates on how the idea came to be, revealing that he was not a fan of John Bradshaw Layfield (a sentiment many who have known him will share) stating that he was a loudmouth and a bully.

  • Backstage at a show Layfield was bragging that if the whole product was real, that he would kick everybody’s asses, leading Russo to essentially call his bluff and going to Vince McMahon to pitch the Brawl For All.

  • Russo pitched it to McMahon as since the product was becoming more real, why not let the guys go in there and fight for real to see who the real toughest person on the roster is.

  • Jericho reveals that since many of the top guys on the roster saw no benefit to the tournament, the challenge became finding 16 guys who had “nothing to lose.”

  • Bart Gunn discusses how he felt his career had stalled after the end of the Smoking Gunns, his tag team with now WWE Hall Of Famer Billy Gunn.

  • Gunn reveals that he was first approached by Bruce Prichard for the tournament but thought it was a stupid idea and he rejected it.

  • He was then talking with announcer Kevin Kelly who advised him it would be a good career move, as the plan was for the eventual winner to work a program with Stone Cold Steve Austin.

  • The Godfather Charles Wright discusses his various personas (Papa Shango, Kama Mustafa, etc.) and how while he was in the Nation Of Domination he needed to do something to stand out.

  • JR and Drozdov briefly discuss how Droz came into the company.

  • Cornette discusses first hearing the idea.

  • Audio of Bruce Prichard on his Something To Wrestle podcast is heard discussing how he put all the names in a brown bag and had Savio Vega draw the names to create the brackets.

  • Russo discusses some of the talent’s backgrounds potentially serving them well, including Steve Blackman’s martial arts background and Marc Mero’s past as a Golden Gloves boxer.

  • The interviewees go through the rest of the bracket discussing each talent.

  • Special focus goes to Dr. Death Steve Williams, who had recently been acquired by WWF. JR reveals the long-standing rumor that they were planning on having Dr. Death feud with Austin and they hoped he would maul through the competition.

  • Jericho goes over the rules of each fight.

  • We see footage of the interviewees watching the Brawl For All itself.

  • Godfather reveals that before his fight with UFC legend Dan Severn that he was outside smoking weed. In his words, he was always smoking weed, but it was his way of saying he had no fear.

  • The struggle of all the competitors, the commentary and the referees are discussed.

  • Despite defeating The Godfather, Dan Severn drops out of the tournament, not wanting this debacle to tarnish his legacy as a legit fighter. This allows The Godfather to move on in the tournament.

  • The Godfather reveals that all the guys essentially decide to just punch the hell out of one another to try and make it a little more exciting.

  • Bart Gunn discusses not believing that the draw was legit, as in the first round he was placed against Bob Holly, his tag team partner in the New Midnight Express.

  • Bart talks about the awkwardness of sharing a room with Bob Holly the same night he defeated him.

  • The insane amount of injuries suffered by the talent is discussed.

  • Bart Gunn reveals he was heavily bullied as a child.

  • Bart talks about asking if he would get heat for beating Dr. Death in the second round.

  • Cornette talks about Dr. Death tearing his hamstring during the match.

  • The discussion turns to Dr. Death’s WWF career ending due to the injuries and the damage to his reputation from being knocked out by Gunn.

  • Droz and Bradshaw faced off and everyone talks about how Droz really should have won the match.

  • Russo talks about how he was dying to see Bradshaw get knocked out.

  • The Godfather discusses working at a Las Vegas strip club and how much he hated pimps.

  • He would knock pimps at the bar out with one slap.

  • Godfather talks about how overconfident he was, laughing at Bart telling him he was going to knock him out.

  • Godfather talks about he got hit by Bart and went back to the corner saying “I don’t have my legs”

  • It would lead to Godfather getting knocked out, and how bad his leg was from the injuries suffered in the tournament.

  • Godfather’s wife would blame his loss on him smoking weed, but he says he didn’t give enough respect to Bart.

  • The finals would come down to Bart and Bradshaw.

  • Within a few moments Bart would knock Bradshaw down, but he got back up, only to be knocked right out by a series of hooks.

  • Russo talks about how great he felt watching Bradshaw getting knocked out.

  • Cornette discusses how bad of an idea it all was, and how much he hates Russo and the entire idea.

  • Discussion turns to the feud between Jim Cornette and Vince Russo. 

  • Russo tries to pass it all off, while Cornette talks about his passion for wrestling and why it fuels his hatred of Russo.

  • Bart talks about winning the tournament and a discussion between him and JR about him beating Dr. Death.

  • Bart talks about expecting a big push from winning the tournament, while Ross and Cornette discuss why they wouldn’t be able to push him.

  • Butterbean and Bart Gunn are set up for a Brawl For All style match at WrestleMania XV.

  • Butterbean discusses how he felt he was the punishment for Bart knocking Dr. Death out of the tournament.

  • Godfather discusses sitting with Gillberg smoking weed while Butterbean told them he was going to knock out Bart within seconds.

  • Butterbean talks about Bart not being trained properly for the match, as he tried to fight as a boxer.

  • Butterbean would knock Bart Gunn out easily.

  • Bart talks about doing MMA in Japan and beating a fighter quicker than Butterbean did.

  • The MMA fight with Butterbean would never happen and Bart would leave the combat sports profession.

  • Conversation turns to Droz and how the injury that would paralyze him for life happened.

  • Droz and D’Lo Brown discuss the accident that happened during a SmackDown! taping for WWF.

  • Russo discusses how he does feel bad seeing the guys taking the shots to the head with how much we know about CTE and head injuries.

In the end, the Brawl For All will always be remembered as possibly the worst idea in the history of wrestling. This episode, given it being a much lighter topic than the rest of the second season so far, seems almost like a reprieve from the darkness that’s engulfed it thus far. That said, for any longtime wrestling fans who want a deeper dive into the jinxed tournament, it is a good watch. Join us next week when things get more serious once again as Dark Side Of The Ring investigates the alleged murder of Nancy Argentino by WWE Hall Of Famer Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.