Bring it Back!: Brawl for All

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July 10, 2012

Butterbean decimated Bart Gunn at WrestleMania XV.

Eric “Butterbean” Esch was a 6-foot tall, 420-pound Super Ball of a man whose ruddy red face and hairless pudge made him resemble the world’s most dangerous infant. The breakout star of the amateur Toughman boxing competitions, Butterbean had gained a bit of pop culture notoriety for his unique appearance, affable nature and his ability to hospitalize a man with one punch. The veteran of dozens of brutal slugfests, Butterbean was the man selected to face Bart Gunn in the Brawl for All grand finale at WrestleMania XV. And it took him all of 34 seconds to knock Gunn unconscious. (WATCH)

That shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Gunn was a dangerous puncher, but by no means was he a professional boxer. Add even if he was, he had no business fighting Butterbean. The man was twice his size. Gunn was doomed before his pyro even hit. By the time his head thudded against the canvas, Gunn had lost all of the credibility he’d gained from his devastating knockout victories and the star of Brawl for All became a big lug from Alabama named Butterbean. And that wasn’t even the tournament’s biggest problem.

“I didn’t like the concept of it, because I just don’t think the crowd knew what the rules were or what we were doing,” Steve Blackman said. “And it also caused some animosity with some of the guys. Like when Godfather got cracked, he snapped his leg when he fell. It just caused problems, because some of the guys got hurt.”

Godfather wasn’t the only Superstar who was injured. Blackman himself had to withdraw from the tournament after injuring his leg during a training session. And “Dr. Death” was beaten so badly in his fight against Gunn, he ended up in the hospital with a dislocated jaw and a busted knee. That loss didn’t only seriously injure Doc, it embarrassed him. Before Brawl for All, the arrival of the powerhouse in WWE was hotly anticipated. By the time it was over, he was an afterthought.

Godfather and Dan Severn battle during Brawl for All.

So would Brawl for All work today? Probably not. There was too much risked and too little gained in the original tournament to warrant a relaunch. But, for the sake of argument, what if WWE brought Brawl for All back? Who would win?

“If Mark Henry hits you with a left hook, you’re out. He’d be nearly impossible to take down,” Daniel Bryan said of the dangerous Superstar he faced many times. “Guys like [Jack] Swagger and Dolph [Ziggler] would be tough, because of their wrestling. Alberto would do really well. Show would be difficult, because of his reach and his boxing experience.”

The always quotable Matt Striker agreed with the former World Heavyweight Champion's assessment and went as far as to illustrate the finals of the tournament for WWE Classics.

“I’m going to go with Big Show in the finals against Kane,” Striker predicted. “And I think Kane has the stamina and may even have a slight reach advantage, so I’m going to give you the upset pick for Brawl for All 2012 — Kane is your winner.”

Kane in boxing gloves? Now who wouldn’t want to see that? Ah, what the hell — bring it back!

Should WWE bring back Brawl for All? Vote now!

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"Dr. Death" Steve Williams Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles JBL Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles The Road Warriors Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles Matt Striker Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles Daniel Bryan Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles Steve Blackman Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles

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