Brawl For All 2023 anyone? WWF Monday Night RAW, June 29, 1998. That is the event that started the now infamous “Brawl For All”. The concept was that 16 pro wrestlers from the WWF roster would come together voluntarily and fight in single elimination tournament-style boxing matches from June to August of 1998.
Brawl For All 2023
The tournament consisted of Steve Blackman, Marc Mero, Mark Canterbury, Bradshaw, Brakkus, Savio Vega, Droz, Hawk, Bart Gunn, Bob Holly, Quebecer Pierre, Steve Williams, The Godfather, Dan Severn, 8-Ball, and Scorpio. Bart Gunn ended up winning the entire tournament after knocking out Bradshaw in the finals.
Bart Gunn then went on to face pro-boxer Butter Bean at WrestleMania XV, where Butter Bean would win by knockout. Overall, the tournament and concept of Brawl For All didn’t go over so well with the fans, many within the company and even participants in the tournament have regrets. No one was properly training, there was no fight camp, just wrestlers thrown into a ring with gloves and told to box. But, with a change in how things happen, is it possible that a revived Brawl For All could be better than the original?
Back in the ninety’s, Boxing was just that. Boxing. Pro-Boxing was nothing like it is today. Now, in 2023, the concept of influencer boxing is taking over the scene. From YouTubers, TikTok stars, singers, dancers, and other sports-based athletes all trying their hand at boxing under companies like Misfits, KingPyn, and Creator Clash. Young women and men with no prior experience are doing full camps and training to fight other influencers and that even includes pro-wrestlers.
This past Saturday, John Hennigan, otherwise known in WWE as John Morrison, stepped into the boxing ring for the first time to fight YouTuber Harley Morenstein at Creator Clash 2. Hennigan won via knockout in round 2. Following the bout, Hennigan called out fellow influencer boxer, KSI, The top dog of Misfits Boxing. While KSI is currently in training camp to fight pro-boxer Joe Fournier on May 13th, it got me thinking. If Hennigan wants to keep boxing, why doesn’t he fight a fellow pro wrestler?
Brawl For All was a disaster. But, I believe a newly worked concept could definitely make it better than the original and make Brawl For All a new success. Now that influencer boxing has taken over, surely there’s someone out there that can rally up a sixteen-man tournament of pro wrestlers, give them time to actually train, and have them fight. King Spun Boxing, a new organization, is having its first show this upcoming Saturday with the likes of King Kenny, Jarvis, Gib, and many more men and women in tournament-style boxing.
Which Wrestlers Would Put On The Gloves For Brawl For All?
Just like King Pyn, Brawl For All 2 could be tournament-style with everyone at the same weight. Naturally, the weight class would be Heavyweight, which is what John Hennigan fought at in his debut. Give enough time for the wrestlers to properly train and bulk up if need be to reach the Heavyweight limit. This event would consist of not just WWE talent, but wrestlers from all around the scene. I’ve put together a class of sixteen men who I believe could be in this tournament.
Naturally, Hennigan has to be the first man in this tournament. Having had a boxing debut in the influencer scene, Hennigan has now stated as early as today on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour that he is down to continue boxing, even noting that he would love to stop wrestling to have a full proper training camp for his next fight, something that he didn’t get on his first go-around.
Not only is Corbin a pro wrestler in WWE, but he is also a former two-time golden gloves champion. Back in 2007 he won his second golden gloves regional amateur boxing championship and continued to participate in the 2008 Golden Gloves National Tournament of Champions, where he did make it to the Wu quarter-finals of the super heavyweight tournament. With this boxing background, of course, Baron Corbin is a shoo-in to fight once again.
Royce is currently wrestling all around the independent scene as well as frequently competing with New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Though he has not had an official boxing fight, Isaacs has trained in boxing and several forms of mixed martial arts and was the sparring partner of John Hennigan for his boxing debut. They both train under former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Josh Barnett. Hennigan has gone on record to say that he believes Royce is an even better boxer than him, so, let’s see what he’s got, he could be a great addition for Brawl For All.
Mojo is a former WWE Superstar who currently works for TMZSports. He’s also a former Football player, so we know he has the size. Mojo has said publicly that he’d love to box fellow wrestler and his former tag team partner, Matt Cardona. While Matt has said he has absolutely zero interest in boxing, maybe Mojo would be up for a fight with another fellow pro wrestler.
Currently working for WWE, Matt Riddle is a former MMA fighter who’s even fought in the UFC. He has an 8-3 record in MMA and even though he fought at 170 pounds, bulking up to heavyweight would surely be no issue for the now more muscular WWE superstar. His extensive fighting background makes Riddle a no-brainer to enter into a pro-wrestling boxing tournament.
Bobby Lashley is currently in the WWE and a former WWE Champion at that. Also, he’s a former MMA fighter with a record of 15-2. Lashley already fought at heavyweight and six of his 15 wins coming by way of KO/TKO. The man is a monster and having him throw on the gloves would automatically make him a favorite to win the entire tournament. Another great addition for Brawl For All.
Not only is Nakamura a big deal in the Japanese scene of pro-wrestling, but he’s been a star all over the world for years now as a WWE superstar. While Shinsuke is touted as one of the best pro wrestlers, he also has an MMA background with a pro record of 3-1-1. Nakamura has finished all of his wins by way of submission, but don’t let that fool you, he has hands. Though the last time Nakamura competed in MMA was in 2004, the potential of him putting on some gloves for one more fight in a boxing ring could excite a lot of fans.
One-third of the current World Trios Champions in AEW is Malakai Black. Though he has never had a pro fight, he’s trained in kickboxing, Pencak silat, and MuayThai all of his career, incorporating it into his wrestling style. Recently, Malakai was even training with former UFC fighter and current ONE competitor, Sage Northcutt. Malakai has a huge love of combat sports and it would be interesting to see him step into a boxing ring to show off his skills.
Probably the most experienced of the bunch, Anthony Ogogo is currently a pro wrestler signed with AEW, but, he is a former bronze medalist at the Olympic Games in 2012 as an amateur boxer. He has an 11-1 record with 7 of his wins coming by way of knockout. He competed in boxing at middleweight, but he’s every ounce of a heavyweight in his wrestling career. Another shoo-in to win the all-pro wrestling boxing tournament. A British contender in Brawl For All?
The current AEW star and former WWE World Champion Jake Hager is also currently an MMA fighter under the Bellator banner. Though he hasn’t fought in Bellator in three years, he is undefeated at 3-0 and continues to train in mixed martial arts. Also a former champion in collegiate wrestling, Hager also competes at Heavyweight. As an MMA fighter, Jake has shown he can grapple and submit people with ease. But, let’s see how he would fare in a boxing match.
The current AEW star and ROH World Championship Claudio Castagnoli is just a freak of nature. Though he doesn’t have a martial arts or boxing background, he is an avid powerlifter as well as a pro wrestler and many of his peers have gone on record to say he’s one of if not the strongest competitors they’ve ever met inside of the ring. He’s an insane athlete and whatever he sets his mind to, he does it with perfection. Maybe, if he set his mind to boxing and showing off that strength behind some power punches, Claudio would crush in the boxing ring.
Bobby is a former WWE and AEW wrestler who has recently taken a hiatus from the sport to take up boxing. He had his first fight on the undercard of Deji vs. Floyd Mayweather where he TKO’d his opponent in the second round and has already signed a two-fight deal with Global Titans Fight Series. Naturally, Bobby Fish would make a great addition to the fantasy of a Brawl For All 2.
Davey Boy Smith Jr:
Otherwise known as Harry Smith, the son of the legendary British Bulldog. The former WWE star now wrestles all over the world r various different companies in the United States and Japan. Davey Boy has trained in MMA and competed in Josh Barnett’s self-titled BloodSport event which mixes pro wrestling and the MMA grappling style. Davey is also no slouch when it comes to size, billed at 6’5 and 260 pounds, he’s easily one of the biggest heavyweights on this list, and putting on the gloves would be an interesting watch from someone his stature.
The AEW Star, Butcher otherwise known by his real name Andy Williams, is a pro wrestler and also a rockstar with the band Every Time I Die. He’s another pro wrestler who trained under Josh Barnett while transitioning from music to wrestling. Though he has no prior fight experience, training under Barnett has produced a slew of stars, and being a massive guy himself, it brings yet another interesting acquisition to the potential pro-wrestling boxing bouts. Plus, Butcher has the intimidation factor down pat, so that has to count for something.
Another MMA star turned pro wrestler, Tom has wrestled all around the world on the independent scene and has wrestled under Major League Wrestling (MLW). But, before that, Tom was a mixed martial arts fighter with a record of 11-8. He fought as a Light Heavyweight, so bulking up to Heavyweight wouldn’t be such an issue. Plus, as one of the most experienced guys on the list, having fought against the likes of Chris Weidman and Corey Anderson in the UFC, it’s evident that Lawlor is not someone to sleep on. Let’s get him in the boxing ring. He could bring a lot of experience to Brawl For All.
Kenny Omega is arguably one of the biggest stars in pro wrestling today. The former AEW World Champion has wrestled all around the world, collecting championships with nearly everyone he’s been. Now, as a current member of the AEW roster, he’s crushing it weekly on TV. But, before he was a mega star in the wrestling world, he has competed in MMA in the past, even making his MMA debut against the legendary Dan Severn, someone who was in the original Brawl For All. Kenny has a record of 4-3 in MMA with all four of his wins being finishes and three of them by way of knockout. Though Kenny hasn’t fought since 2008, throwing the gloves on and stepping into the boxing ring would bring more eyes than we’ve ever seen as far as influencer boxing goes.
The potential of this happening and all companies being down to let their talent mix and ‘shoot fight’ in a boxing ring is slim to none. But, the thought of it brings excitement. Though we may never get a Brawl For All 2, as much as we’d hope for it, maybe John Hennigan stepping foot into a Creator Clash ring has opened up the potential for more wrestlers to step into a boxing ring under one of the influencer company’s banners. Who from this list would you like to see step into the ring?
The potential of seeing someone like Tom Lawlor fight a King Kenny, or Jake Paul taking on Kenny Omega is an insane scenario, but in this day and age, one that’s not fully out of the realm of possibility. Anything could happen in the world of influencer boxing. So, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for a Brawl For All revamp.
By: Brady Alexander