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WWE Flashback: Brawl For All and how it didn't work well for the WWF

Steve Blackman and Marc Mero were two of the competitors in the Brawl For All boxing competition
Jeremy Bennett

What’s the story?

MixedMartialArts.com recently took a look back at one of the few failures of the WWF Attitude Era, Brawl For All. This was a non-scripted boxing tournament that stretched from June to August of 1998.

There were a few reasons why Brawl For All Was a major flop. Some include the number of serious injuries that happened as a result of the tournament, it didn’t elevate anyone as a star, and the action was very sloppy which made the competitors look completely terrible.

In case you didn’t know...

Bart Gunn’s biggest mark in pro wrestling was with his (kayfabe) brother Billy Gunn when they formed The Smoking Gunns from 1993 to 1996.

The team did find some success as they held the WWE Tag Team Championships a total of three times.

The heart of the matter

Former WCW and WWF manager Jim Cornette called the tournament “the stupidest thing the WWF has ever done”. The fans rejected the idea as well, but for some reason, Vince McMahon decided to have the Brawl For All winner Bart Gunn take on professional boxer Butterbean at WrestleMania 15.

The poor concept saw even more failure when Butterbean knocked out Gunn in only 35 seconds. Ex-WWF Superstar Bob Holly believed Vince McMahon fed Gunn to Butterbean as punishment when the WWE wanted Steve Williams to win the tournament.

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Author’s take

When Brawl For All occurred, I was in college. I didn’t have the behind the scenes knowledge of the business then like I do today. I was just a college kid enjoying the Attitude Era, and I vividly remember how terrible this was.

I’d consider myself a casual fan at this time, and I would be extremely bored of the tournament. At least Butterbean slammed the coffin door shut on this concept and gave us a pretty enjoyable WrestleMania moment.


Find out the real reason why Sting came to WWE only to lose his debut match right here.

Edited by Staff Editor

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