Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Quintessential Breakdown of Brawl For All - Part 5

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.

It all started with Marc Mero getting beaten up by Steve Blackman. Blackman never lost, but that doesn't mean he made the finals. We continued with Dan Severn beating up The Godfather, but Severn also dropped out of the tournament. We then went on to the second round where Bradshaw also beat Marc Mero. Finally, we made it to the semifinals, where Bart Gunn gave The Godfather his second loss of the tournament.

And now we have made it to the finals of the tournament. Bart Gunn made it there by annihilating his opponents, and Bradshaw made it there through cheating and very friendly scorecards, but they both made it there.

Bradshaw actually came out with a good strategy as he connected with a few straight jabs to start off the fight. Then Bart Gunn started swinging wild hooks, so Bradshaw decided to start swinging wild hooks; this was a less good strategy on Bradshaw's part. What immediately became clear was that Bradshaw was throwing pillows while Gunn was throwing bombs. It did not help that Bradshaw basically started throwing both his left and right hand at once, and there's a reason you've never seen that in professional fighting; it's because it doesn't work. And with both hands away from protecting his head, Bart Gunn decided to throw a hook at his head. It connected, Bradshaw fell on his face, managed to get up at an eight count, then Bart Gunn did it again. The whole thing only lasted 41 seconds, and Bart Gunn was your first ever Brawl For All Champion.

My favorite part was Jim Ross remarking after the fight, "Are you gonna see this anywhere else?" And it's kind of an amazing comment as, yes, you could watch Toughman Contests, which is basically what the WWE wanted this tournament to be. Or, you could watch the UFC, which had guys who would absolutely annihilate anyone in this tournament.

And that concludes the Brawl For All tournament. It was not good, but it was strangely fascinating. Like, I thought for sure that Dr. Death would dominate this tournament, and had the rules been more conducive to grinding for a takedown as opposed to only allowing a blast double, he might have done that. After that, I'm still wondering how tough Steve Blackman really was and whether Marc Mero, a traditional boxer, could have given Bart Gunn trouble since his biggest weakness was just stopping takedowns. It was fascinating; it was not good.

Oh, and even though the tournament is over. There is still a part 6 to look forward to (or dread, depending on your stance). We bring a ringer to the ring to see if anyone can stop the dominance of Bart Gunn.

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