Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Quintessential Breakdown of Brawl For All - Part 1

Brawl For All was one of the most fascinating ideas in WWE history. It's when the WWE took the reality era to a logical place, having real fights, under extraordinarily stupid rules. You may think the WWE did this to capitalize on the popularity of the UFC, and I'm sure that was kind of the case, but there was just one problem. WWE is always like five years behind on things, so instead of the UFC being fresh and exciting, it was actually at its lowest point in popularity since starting in 1993. It was literally the worst time to have Brawl For All, but as it turned out, there was never going to be a good time to have Brawl For All.

The rules allowed punching and takedowns with most punches landed in a round worth five points, each takedown worth five points, and a knockdown being worth 10 points. The entire fight was three one-minute rounds with 30 seconds rest between each round.

Before we get started with the "fights," I'd like to point out that this tournament is officiated by a 70 year old dude who seems pretty spry. That's because he's Danny Hodge, a legend in amateur and professional wrestling, and I would probably pick him to beat at least half of these guys. And that's not in his prime. That's 70-year-old Dan Hodge just schooling fools. In his prime, he wins the whole tournament.

1st Round - Marc Mero vs. Steve Blackman
This was probably the most interesting fight of the first round on paper. Marc Mero was a Golden Gloves boxer and Steve Blackman was some sort of kickboxer who seemed to be good with numbchucks. Unfortunately, there were no numbchucks allowed for this one. I'm guessing the WWE thought this would be a good slugfest to get things going. Instead, Blackman put on a wrestling clinic, and there were only about seven punches thrown in the fight, as Blackman landed ten takedowns over the three minute fight. Honestly, Blackman's blast double looked pretty good, and he believably could have fought some real fights. I'd totally take Blackman over CM Punk in a fight. Unfortunately, the crowd booed the fight the entire time, so it was not an ideal start to things. Also not ideal, Blackman got hurt training for his next match and Mero got put back in the tournament despite losing his first fight 65-0.

Brawl For It All Fight 1 by xusername26x

1st Round - Mark Canterbury vs. Bradshaw
Canterbury was formerly in a white trash hillbilly gimmick as Henry O. Godwin (HOG, get it?) but wanted to go by his real name, so he could get all the fame from winning Brawl For All. Bradshaw thought he was the toughest guy in the WWE but would later get punked out by ECW announcer Joey Styles. This was more what the WWE was looking for, but it was still fairly shitty. These guys came out swinging for the fences and throwing haymakers but generally not looking like they knew what they were doing. After about 30 seconds, they came to a scary realization: Fighting is super tiring. So they both rested for the second half of the first round. Then Bradshaw threw some decent punches in the second round and rocked Canterbury, but it still wasn't enough to get a knockdown. Before the third round, the fans had started a "Boring" chant, and the third round delivered on that chant as neither guy had any energy.

Brawl For It All Fight 2 by xusername26x

1st Round - Brakus vs. Savio Vega
Poor Brakus. He was a massive German who had the look that Vince McMahon loves. They had vignettes building him up, but he got put in the Brawl for All and got his face smashed by Savio Vega, because Vega was a legitimately tough Puerto Rican. He fought like you would expect a bodybuilder to fight, big punches with thuds but no snap in them, and Savio was much quicker and repeatedly punched Brakus in the face. He tried using his strength for takedowns, but that only worked in the first round. Then, Savio adjusted, and repeatedly punched the guy in the face. This was basically the end for Brakus.

1st Round - Hawk vs. Darren "Puke" Drozdov
This may be my favorite fight of the entire tournament. It wasn't good by any means, but it was hilarious. Hawk was a tag team wrestling legend, and Darren Drozdov could puke on command. Hawk came out as Hawk with full wrestling attire and face paint for his fight. I think all UFC fighters should start wearing face paint, because it is totally awesome. Then to start this fight, it looked like Drozdov did not want to throw punches. Then Hawk kept punching him in the face, and Drozdov just kept taking punches. In the second round, Drozdov just repeatedly threw right hands but they connected a good amount and he rocked Hawk a couple times to win the second round. Then, they both threw punches in the third round. Since Hawk had the cardio of an obese 70 year-old, he had to spit his mouthpiece out to breathe, and Drozdov decided to do the same. They threw more punches at each other, and it was bad but mildly entertaining. Then, the most amazing thing happened. They called it a Draw. In the third round, they landed the exact same amount of punches. No fourth round, no nothing. I have no idea how they planned to decide who was going to move on. Luckily, Hawk was injured in the fight, so they had to keep Drozdov in the thing.

Brawl For It All Fight 3 by xusername26x

This is just the first half of the first round. There is so much more to come.

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