Marc Mero Says This Match Ruined Bart Gunn's WWE Career

"We Want Wrestling" was the chant by 16,505 fans in unison inside the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 29, 1998. That night on "Raw is War," the WWF debuted a hybrid tournament of boxing and wrestling known as the Brawl For All. The first match saw "The Lethal Weapon" Steve Blackman defeat "Marvelous" Marc Mero.


"The guys that did it are guys that definitely had some balls," said Mero of the tournament on the "Ten Count" podcast. "It took a lot of guts to get out there and really, you know, put your career on the line so to speak." 

The brainchild of then head WWF writer Vince Russo, who revealed on "Dark Side of the Ring" that he created the concept out of spite for John "Bradshaw" Layfield, and was won by Bart Gunn.

Seven months after winning the tournament, Gunn faced Eric "Butterbean" Esch in a Brawl For All match at WrestleMania XV. Gunn was knocked out in 35 seconds in what would be his last WWF appearance. "Watching what Butterbean did to Bart Gunn at the pay-per-view was devastating," said Mero. "Now here you've got one of the toughest guys that's probably going to go into a program with the top guys in the company because of what he did in the Brawl For All and then getting demolished, it was ... you know, it ruined his career too when you really look back on it."


Of Gunn's four victories, three were by knockout — "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, The Godfather, and Bradshaw in the finals. Bob Holly, Gunn's first-round opponent, was the only one to go the distance against him.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Ten Count" podcast with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.