"Brawl For It All," is a set-up. It is a vehicle for the introduction to the WWF for Steve Williams. Steve is Jim Ross's best friend. Jim has known Steve since he was played football for the Oklahoma Sooners." The voice on the other end of the telephone was my brother, Terry Funk. It wasn't hard to believe what he was saying as I looked over the competition in, "Brawl For It All." No doubt there were some tough guys, but where were the top stars of the WWF? (Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Kane, Shawn Michaels, Hunter Hurst Helmsley.
After looking over the competitors in "Brawl For It All," it made sense. Steve Williams is a great athlete in two of the toughest sports I know, football and wrestling. Steve is the only man I have ever heard of who has four conference championship rings, two in wrestling and two in football for the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 8 conference.
At Oklahoma University, Steve's football coach, Barry Switzer, considered there were eleven fights on the field on each play and to win the game, his team had to win seven of them every time. With this in mind, "Brawl For It All," fights were a part of practice for his players. In his four years at Oklahoma University, Steve Williams never lost one of these fights.
Was it a set-up? Jim Ross knew Steve's background and that he had lots of experience in this type of fighting, It is kind of a mixture of wrestling, boxing, and back alley street fighting. "Brawl For It All," came with little notice and wrestlers had little time to train and prepare for this unique style of fight.
There was no question Steve Williams was the favorite in the "Brawl For It All." One day mid-way through the competition I was browsing the web and found wrestling fans were making book on the outcome:
WHO WILL WIN BRAWL FOR IT ALL?
A Steve Blackman 9-2
B Bart Gunn 210-1
C Scorpio 326-1
D Bradshaw 54-1
E Savio vega 23-1
F Dan Severn 9-2
G Steve"Doctor Death" Williams 11-10
On July 26th, it certainly looked like the deck was stacked in favor of Dr. Death, Steve Williams.
On July 27th, 1998, I wrote the following report after watching Raw/War Zone coming from Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California in front of 18,000 fans and millions on television.
Holey Shit!!! Bart Gunn knocks out Dr. Death Steve Williams. Gunn gets a nice leg dive early and puts Dr. Death through the ropes. In the third round we see Bart block a leg dive with an old wrestling move, the Wizzer, named for the former wrestler, Chief Justice of the supreme court "Wizzer" White. This is followed by a single leg take-down with a shoulder driven into Doc's left knee. Doc gets up limping and walks into a powerful left that knocks him out. The fans erupt after a "boring chant" at the start of the last fall. A reputation was on the line. Bart is tough as hell. He has wrestling and fighting skills. This was a shocker, good for business, a new star is made, WWF attitude is no joke. Much credit to Dr. Death Steve Williams for putting it all on the line. This single event electrified the audience and the viewers. A great match on Raw. (If Steve will come to the WWF Funking Dojo, we will teach him the Bob Gigel special reverse to the Chief Justice White, "Wizzer.")
Steve was ahead going into the final minute of competition. All he had to do was stall the last minute and the match and $100,000 prize would be his. He chose to fight it out. In the final round, Bart surprised Steve, going for a leg dive and catching Steve by the ankle with one hand and driving his shoulder into Steve's thigh. The leverage belonged to Bart and the tension on Steve's hamstring was tremendous. It snapped. Critically injured and in intense pain, Steve got up and tried to continue. He walked into a powerful left by Bart Gunn that finished the fight.
Steve Williams spent four months in therapy and training. He came to the WWF Funking Dojo to make sure his recuperation was complete and he was a hundred percent ready to return to the ring. I vouched for him that he was ready to return to competition. Steve provided excellent leadership for those in the Funking Dojo, however he is so big and strong that in order to prevent serious injury to some of our younger boys, I had to hold him back on his aggressiveness.
A hundred thousand dollars in one lump sum is a lot of money and the temporary loss of career can be devastating. Wrestlers do get mad, reputations are on the line and this is the most competitive business in the world. This is why it was not surprising to me while watching Raw the other night when a big masked man in red appeared on stage and attacked Bart Gun, then threw him fifteen feet into a table on the floor of the arena. The Big masked man in Red left the scene. A left hook to the chin and for now, a reputation is redeemed.
Steve Williams is back. Did Jim Ross take care of his friend? Is Bart Gunn's biggest nightmare yet to come?
Dory Funk Jr.
Coach of the WWF Funking Dojo
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