Sunday 3 April 2022

WCW Starrcade 1992 Battle Bowl Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that skateboards better than Cora Jade! It’s WCW’s Starrcade 1992 Lethal Lottery Battle Bowl II! They have learned from the first terrible concept by having at least a few normal matches to breakup the tournament matches. So, we have Sting vs Vader for The King of Cable crown, we have Ron Simmons vs Dr. Death for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship match, Barry Windham and Brian Pillman challenge Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas for the Tag Team Championships. I hate Battle Bowl and Lethal Lottery so we will see how this turns out!


 Van Hammer & Dangerous Danny Spivey vs Cactus Jack & Johnny B. Badd

Forgot Van Hammer was here, it’s been a long time since I saw him on PPV. Danny Spivey is back which sucks, Badd and Cactus is a lovely odd-pairing. Cactus and Hammer have feuded before, bit of continuity here. Elbow in the corner and rib shots by Cactus, knees in the corner by Cactus. Hammer blocks the Irish whip and clubs Cactus. Cactus meets the buckle but Cactus tackles Hammer and rolls him up for two, Hammer slaps Cactus twice. Corner clothesline and scoop slam by Hammer, leg drop by Hammer for two. Cactus grabs a side headlock and tags in Badd, Hammer lands a hip-toss but Badd lands two arm-drags and a massive hurricanrana for two. Tag to Cactus, hip-toss and the elbow drop misses so in comes Spivey.


Spivey clubs Cactus down, Cactus reverses the Irish whip but both men miss clotheslines before Spivey lands a massive clothesline on Cactus. Kick to the spine, tag to Hammer. Side headlock from Hammer, head-scissors counter from Cactus. Eye rake from Cactus and a tag to Badd, side headlock from Badd. Spivey lands a knee on the apron to take down Badd, Hammer is disgusted by the actions of Spivey. Sidewalk slam from Spivey, bearhug from Spivey. Hammer comes in and lands a suplex for two, tag to Spivey. Irish whip but Badd lands a knee-lift, tag to Cactus. Cactus lands elbows to Spivey, face-buster from Cactus. Elbow drop for two, Spivey sends Cactus to the floor. Clothesline from Cactus, Badd is down so there is no tag.


Spivey lands a clothesline to the back of the head, Russian leg-sweep for two. Flying shoulder block from Hammer, Badd elbow drops Cactus by mistake. Cactus shoves Badd who lands his Left Hook and Hammer & Spivey advance in The Battle Bowl!


Very basic tag match and the wrong team goes over in my eyes, where has Spivey been? What is the point of having Hammer in there over Cactus and Badd? Terrible stuff from WCW once again.


Winners: Team Spivey over Team Cactus via Roll-Up!


Dustin Rhodes & Vader W/ Harley Race vs Kensuke Sasaki & Barbarian

More can they co-exist bullshit, we have Vader and Rhodes against Barbarian and Sasaki. At least this will be stiff, lock-up and clean break. Clothesline does not phase Vader, clothesline does not phase Barbarian. Barbarian slams Vader, Vader is not happy. Headbutt by Vader, a second headbutt and a scoop slam. Vader lands his Vader Hammer and begins clubbing Barbarian, Barbarian lands two big clotheslines in retaliation. Irish whip reversal from Vader into a short-arm clothesline, tag to Rhodes. Hart Attack from Team Vader for two, side headlock is countered as Barbarian spikes Rhodes with a belly to back suplex. Two for Barbarian, Rhodes returns the favour. Tag to Sasaki who whips Rhodes to the buckle, elbow from Rhodes for two. Chops from Rhodes, Irish whip to the buckle but Sasaki lands a stiff lariat. Rhodes counters with a massive dropkick and a tag to Vader.


Middle rope shoulder block from Vader, lariat that drills Sasaki. Powerslam from Vader for two, Sasaki lands a dropkick and a big lariat but Vader comes back with a boot. Sasaki snap suplexes Vader, Rhodes and Barbarian come into the ring. Kick and knee-lift from Rhodes with a dropkick for added measure, flying clothesline for two. Sasaki makes the save, Rhodes and Sasaki trade blows. Barbarian clotheslines Sasaki off the apron as Rhodes dodges and Rhodes secures the win with a roll-up. After the match, Vader wipes out Rhodes with a clothesline.


It was stiff, that’s what I wanted and it was over before it got boring, not a lot more I can say, like that Vader gave Sasaki a little shine with that suplex. They do try to do some things with the NJPW talent when there are on WCW PPV which is nice.


Winners: Team Vader over Team Sasaki via Roll-Up!


Barry Windham & The Great Muta vs Flyin’ Brian Pillman & 2 Cold Scorpio

So look at this bullshit right here, we have Barry Windham and Brian Pillman challenging for the tag team championships later in the night but for now they have to beat the piss out of one another to advance in the Battle Bowl. Windham and Scorpio to start, Windham suplexes Scorpio before Scorpio lands dropkicks and arm-drags. Arm-bar from Scorpio, tag to Muta. Muta takes the back, Scorpio brings Muta to this corner and in comes Pillman who chops Muta. Irish whip and dropkick for two, Pillman has the arm before Muta lands a gut shot. Side headlock and shoulder block by Muta, dropkick and side headlock takedown on Pillman. Muta tags in Windham, the tag team championship challengers are in the ring now.


They chop one another, stalemate. Tag to Muta, kicks to the ribs. Irish whip but Muta lowers his head, kick and face-buster from Pillman. Side headlock and shoulder block but Muta lands his spinning sole butt. Pillman pulls Muta into the buckle and tags in Scorpio who misses a splash on Muta who blocks with his knees. Windham is in, flying lariat and leg drop for two. Big right hand knocks down Scorpio, tag to Muta. Double dropkick on Scorpio, snap-mare into the Flashing Elbow drop. Scorpio sends Muta to the buckle, corner splash and twisting leg drop for two. Spinning sole butt from Muta, slingshot splash from Scorpio before the match breaks down. Windham drills Scorpio with an Implant DDT, Moonsault from Muta for the win.


Best of the bunch for now, no surprise considering the four competitors inside of the ring. Hopefully big things for Scorpio moving forward in the company, always good to see Muta in a WCW ring and I have no issues with Windham and Pillman who always deliver inside of that ring.


Winners: Team Windham over Team Pillman via Moonsault!


Sting & Steve Williams vs Jushin Thunder Liger & Erik Watts

Seems a bit one-sided, Sting and Liger to start. They both show tremendous counters for one another, Sting grabs the arm and tags in Williams. Williams tries a suplex but Liger slips out, eye-rake by Williams but Liger dodges the splash and in comes Erik Watts. Watts lands two arm-drags before Williams clotheslines down Watts. Kick to the gut and knee to the face from Williams,  Watts ducks two clotheslines and lands a flying crossbody for two. Williams lands stiff chops on Watts, Irish whip and Liger blind-tags into the match. Kicks and chops by Liger, Irish whip to the buckle. Monkey flip is blocked and Williams lands a clothesline on Liger. Tag to Sting who sends Liger into the buckle in a powerslam fashion, two for Sting.


Sunset flip from Liger for two, tag to Williams. Chops from Williams, Williams military presses Liger onto the top rope. Tag to Sting who lands a scoop slam for two, Stinger Splash misses as Liger dodges but Liger cannot tag in Watts. Williams comes in and stomps all over Liger, Sting and Williams take turns stomping all over Liger. Liger is choked across the top rope, Liger reverses Williams for a sleeper before a Backdrop Driver from Williams puts down Liger. Tag to Sting who covers for two and lands a suplex for two, Williams comes in but eats a massive face-buster from Liger. Tag to Watts and they are trading bombs. Lariat to the back of the head and shitty dropkicks from Watts, Watts wants the STF. Williams makes it to the ropes, Watts is sent to the floor and is on the apron now. Stun-gun from Williams for the win.


They just beat up Liger forever and Watts messes up his hot-tag which speaks volumes about how this is way too much too fast but whatever, not sure why Williams would care about Battle Bowl if he is wrestling for the world championship later in the night. This concept is so dumb.


Winners: Team Sting over Team Liger via Stun-Gun!


(NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match) The Great Muta vs Masahiro Chono ©

Interesting piece of information about this match is apparently Bill Watts told the duo to not top their NJPW match so they proceed to have one of the most boring matches on PPV in existence. I could believe that considering how bad Chono vs Rude was at Halloween Havoc.


The match starts with Chono landing kicks, snap-mare into a Yakuza Kick but Muta answers right back with a forearm to the face. Side headlock takedown from Muta, head-scissors counter from Chono. Muta wriggles around and grabs the foot, enzuigiri from the champion. Side headlock from Chono, Muta looks to counter. Shoulder block by Chono, test of strength. They trade control before Muta applies an abdominal stretch. Chono counters the hold, Muta reverses and works the leg before applying a figure four head-scissors. Chono slips out for an Indian death-lock like hold, Muta makes it to the ropes and we have a clean break. Chono sends Muta to the floor, Muta returns the favour. Arm-wrench from Chono, arm-bar from Chono. They continue to wrestle on the mat before Chono decides to climb the buckle, Muta counters and lands a superplex. Back body-drop from Muta, single leg Boston crab. Indian Death-Lock from Muta, Muta bridges back into his Muta-Lock.


Chono breaks free and dodges a clothesline but eats a spinning sole butt, Chono powders while Muta continues to limp. Kick to the ribs and handspring elbow from Muta, back-breaker from Muta and Muta climbs high. Moonsault does not connect and Muta’s leg buckles on him. Chono kicks the leg multiple times, Yakuza Kick to the face. Another kick but Muta lands a massive forearm, small package for two. Chono lands a suplex, Chono wanted a belly to back suplex but Muta lands on top for a close two. Muta misses a dropkick off an Irish whip, Chono applies The STF and Muta gives up to the disappointment of everyone in the arena.


Poor Chono, in America everyone believed Muta to be infinitely more charismatic and cooler so nobody wants to see Chono do well in this match. They really do lots of mat work in this one, it’s quite dull when you consider how good these two can be inside that ring. Seen a few different reports now saying that Watts was worried the NJPW guys would blow the WCW guys out of the water so could very much been an order from Watts. Shame how he could not grasp a good match would help WCW, it’s not like NJPW is direct competition to WCW.


Winner: Masahiro Chono over Great Muta vis STF!


(WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Ron Simmons © vs Dr. Death Steve Williams

Will this be a stiff battle between these two? Side headlock by Simmons, Williams is looking for a suplex of some kind and to break the hold. Shoulder blocks and neither man move so they are going to charge one another like we have seen many times, they both do their crazy pose before Simmons does what Williams did on the Clash, Simmons leapfrogs Williams and clotheslines Williams hard. Arm-bar from Simmons, Williams pulls the hair to take down Simmons which Simmons does not appreciate in the slightest so they trade bombs. Simmons wins that war, whip to the buckle is reversed by Williams. Elbow counter by Simmons and a massive face-buster for two, arm-bar from Simmons.


Hammerlock with knees by Simmons, scoop slam from Simmons. Simmons climbs high but misses the diving shoulder block, Simmons lands on the mat hard. Williams starts working the leg of Simmons, dropkick to the knee. Stomp after stomp, Williams has his target. Single leg Boston crab from the challenger, Simmons kicks off Williams but Williams continues working the leg trying a heel hook next. Simmons mounts a comeback but the flurry comes to an end as Williams kicks the leg once more. Simmons continues to fight back but an eye-rake from Williams and a back-breaker for two. Clothesline from Williams for two, scoop slam from Williams. Chop-block to the damaged knee, make it two.


Simmons lands a clothesline out of desperation, Spinebuster from Simmons. I guess the knee is fine because Simmons is going to land a chop block and Simmons nails two chop-blocks with no problems. Simmons misses his third block attempt so they brawl on the floor, chops and right hands. Simmons clotheslines Williams against the ring-post, Williams dodges the second attempt but both men are counted-out.


Well that was shite but I am guessing you can have sympathy for them considering the match was meant to be Rick Rude vs Ron Simmons and it was expected to be Rick Rude capturing the championship but they could have had Williams lose right? What plans could they have for Williams with Gordy gone? What value is there in Williams without Gordy? Williams best years would be ahead of him in AJPW and I think putting over Simmons would have been fine, make the champion look more dominant before eventually dropping the championship but whatever, Williams heat segment was as dull as his tag segments where it is just a collection of different submissions back to back. Simmons is nowhere near WCW main event level but Bill Watts is in charge brother so that is what you get brother.


Double Count-Out!


(NWA/WCW World Tag  Team Championship Match) Ricky The Dragon Steamboat & Shane Douglas © vs Barry Windham & Flyin’ Brian Pillman

Douglas and Pillman to start, Douglas has Pillman in the corner for a clean break. Pillman takes the waist but Douglas shakes it off, Pillman has Douglas in the corner. Shoulder blocks and shoulder thrusts before Douglas sends Pillman to the opposite buckle, Pillman leaps over and lands a hip-toss but Douglas lands a massive right before we reset. Pillman and Douglas counter one another before Douglas lands a dropkick on both challengers. Double dropkick on Windham by the champions, Pillman watches from ringside. Double chop and back body drop on Windham, Windham is legal now and in comes Steamboat. The two are slugging it out, massive chops by The Dragon. Suplex on Windham, front chancery from The Dragon.


Snap-mare and tag to Douglas, diving axe handle from Douglas. Snap-mare into the reverse chin-lock, Windham counters with belly to back suplex. Douglas fights back with right hands though, tag to Steamboat. Snap-mare into a snap-over neck-breaker, chop to Pillman also and Steamboat clotheslines Windham to the floor. Scoop slam on the floor, Windham is dropped on the ramp and back into the ring before in comes Douglas. Snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock, jaw-breaker counter from Windham. In comes Pillman with a jaw-breaker and a face-buster, choke from Pillman. Chops in the corner, Irish whip to his corner with Windham landing an elbow. Douglas elevates Pillman to the apron, dropkick and Pillman lands throat-first on the guard-rail.


Douglas is on the top rope, Windham distracts Douglas and Pillman dropicks Douglas to the floor. Clothesline on the floor by Windham, Windham is legal now and roughs up Douglas. Behind the referee’s back, Pillman works the chest and throat of Douglas who cannot move. Rope guillotine from Windham, tag to Pillman who lands a massive chop. Douglas fights back but Pillman lands a drop toehold and tags in Windham, Windham tosses Douglas into the guardrail. Steamboat is pissed and waffles Windham in the spine with the chair, the fans are coming alive for The Dragon. Pillman gets the tag and lands a belly to back suplex to stop the tag, two for Pillman. Tag to Windham who lands a diving fist to the top of the head.


Belly to back suplex from Windham, right hand from Windham and a tag to Pillman. Forearm to the face, suplex with a splash for two. Pillman smacks Steamboat, Steamboat is with the referee as the challengers torture Douglas. Steamboat is irate on the apron, tag to Windham who kicks Douglas in the ribs. Douglas manages to suplex Windham, Steamboat wants the tag so badly. Douglas lands a right hand and tags in Steamboat who dropkicks and chops everything in sight, scoop slams for the challengers. Powerslam on Steamboat from Windham, belly to back suplex from Windham. Tag to Pillman, Steamboat is tossed over the top rope. Windham sends Steamboat into the ring-post, shoulder thrust from Steamboat. Springboard diving chop from Steamboat, Windham saves Pillman.


Head-scissors from Pillman for two, tag to Windham who lands an axe handle to the back. Steamboat is telling Windham he will take him down, chops from Steamboat. Right hands from Steamboat, boot by Windham but the diving fist misses. Superkick by Steamboat and a face-buster, Steamboat tags in Douglas. Elbows and right hands, scoop slams galore. Back body drop by Douglas on Pillman, Steamboat and Windham are brawling on the ramp. Pillman lands a boot but runs into The Belly to Belly Suplex from Douglas for the win.


Really good tag team match here, Douglas has probably the best match I have seen him in, full of promise here taking one hell of a beating from the big bully that is Barry Windham, I didn’t think Windham was used all that great during his 88’ run in The Horsemen when it came to people to work with but that’s not a problem when he has feuds lined up With Ricky Steamboat and Dustin Rhodes, Douglas as the smaller man is perfect against Windham. Steamboat shows another side of himself here, the quiet man gone mad who is so frustrated that he smashes Windham with a chair, just great stuff. Would have loved to have seen Steamboat clean house more but we get more of that trademark selling and Steamboat’s rage allows him to stop Windham from saving Pillman who does great in this match also from Douglas’ finishing manoeuvre. Very fun tag team match, hard to believe there is something so good on this PPV.


Winners: Team Steamboat over Team Windham via  Belly to Belly Suplex!


(King of Cable Finals Match) Vader W/ Harley Race vs Sting

The last time these two met Vader dethroned Sting as WCW champion, Vader has been unstoppable so can Sting show he has learned a thing or two since the Summer? Vader lands scoop slams and a clubbing blows, Sting is pressed onto the top rope. Vader does it again, Sting ducks two clotheslines and lands his Kappu Kick. Dropkick sends Vader down,  German suplex from Sting. Clotheslines to the floor from Sting, plancha by Sting onto Race and Vader. Vader re-enters the ring and clubs Sting in the corner, corner splash misses as Sting lands an arm-drag. Stinger splash is blocked with a boot to the face, Sting kicks back and lands a DDT.


Sting lands a superplex off the middle rope, two for Sting. On the floor, Sting misses a Stinger splash against the guardrail. Corner splash in the ring and a clothesline by Vader, cover for two. Vader lands right hands to the jaw, belly to back suplex. Reverse chin-lock from Vader, Vader lands a short-arm clothesline for two. Sting counters for a backslide, two for Sting. Sunset flip but Vader wants that splash, Sting moves out of the way and Vader crashes down on his ass. Another reverse chin-lock, Sting tries covering up but Vader continues punishing Sting again and again. Sting sells Vader’s shtick like death, Race wants Vader to finish the match. Vader wants a superplex, Sting punches Vader off the buckle. Both men are down, Sting says bring it as Vader continues to punch with everything he has got. Vader is slowing down, Sting is starting to shake off those blows. Sting is firing up, Vader is shocked. Right hand by Sting, another big one, a roundhouse right.


The fourth right hand knocks down Vader, can Sting capitalize? Samoan drop from Sting, the foot is on the ropes. Diving Top Rope Splash from Sting for a close two, Harley Race is on the apron. Sting is distracted and Vader lands his massive clothesline to the back of the head, chokeslam from Vader. Vader is going for a middle rope splash. It connects, Vader wants one more. Vader dives onto Sting who reverses for a powerslam and the three count!


Great match here, Sting got his ass handed to him for so long here and you believe it, Vader is an absolute monster who continues to dominate everyone in his path. Sting looks like one more shot can kill him, credit to Vader too though who puts over every attack from The Stinger. These two have great chemistry in there in that ring, I love the way they work with one another and the stories they have told so far with The Great American Bash and here at Starrcade. Looking forward to the next match between these two!


Winner: Sting over Vader via Powerslam!


Battle Bowl Match

Last time they had two rings and 40 competitors but not this time, we have a lot fewer competitors. Surprised that Muta redid his paint for this stupid battle royal. Anyways it is a mini-Royal Rumble. You know all the competitors as it is just everyone who won in their tag matches.


Vader and Sting brawl on the ramp which is no surprise while everyone works in the ring. Windham and Rhodes are going after one another, you would think there would be a little more fire there but it seems tame. They brawl for a long time, lots of kicks and punches no other way to really call the action before Steve Williams throws out Van Hammer and Sting throws out Danny Spivey. Vader and Sting are eliminated as Vader runs full-force at Sting and they both tumble over, not the final four you would expect right? Dr Death throws himself over basically by running full-force at Rhodes and they both go sailing over so we have Muta and Windham as the last two.


Right hand by Windham, Windham tries throwing over Muta but Muta will not let go of the ropes. Windham is frustrated but cannot do much about it, belly to back suplex from Windham. Superplex time and it connects big time for Windham, dropkick from Windham. Muta is thrown over the top but skins the cat and dropkicks Windham twice who falls over the top rope. Muta wins!


So you have Muta and Chono stink up the joint but you want Muta to win Battle Bowl in your big main event? I do not really get it at all but this was a very basic battle royal. No real spots, no real fire that you want to see. Sting and Vader remember they hate one another and give us a little interesting part but you have Vader and Williams fighting, Sting and Hammer. It just goes far too long and the Royal Rumble concept is infinitely more interesting than WCW’s way of doing things.


Winner: The Great Muta!


That was WCW’s Starrcade 1992 Battle Bowl and it was another bad PPV for WCW, they wisely realized that a card of 10 plus tag team matches was not a wise choice but they still had to get in their dumb concept of Battle Bowl so we have a bunch of meaningless tag matches that do nothing for me in terms of developing angles or meaning. Every battle bowl tag could be skipped and you would be fine, things get worse actually with the two heavyweight championship matches. Muta vs Chono is very tame, mostly mat-wrestling and has an anti-climatic finish while Simmons vs Williams is just so basic and barebones, nothing memorable and Simmons stills looks like a man way out of his depth as world champion. The Tag Team Championship match is tremendous, great tag team wrestling with Douglas and Pillman eager to show how good they can be given the opportunity and heel Windham is great here against the smaller Douglas while an irate Steamboat is quality, the man still draws huge reactions from the fans so I hope we get more meaningful performances from The Dragon. Sting vs Vader is also a great match, Sting and Vader work so well together. Sting has no qualms about showcasing Vader as an absolute menace, Vader looks like he is killing Sting with every move and the sympathy from the fans is off the charts. Sting comes back with great fire and just when all hope is lost, Sting pulls it off and makes everyone go insane. Love that shit, the Battle Bowl is a poor man’s rumble with an ok finish, nothing close to exciting in there and rather shocking when Sting and Vader are not your winners. 1992 began with potential to be my favourite year in WCW, I hated the likes of Tommy Rich, Big Josh and Richard Morton but they were all being phased out, The Dangerous Alliance against Sting and his friends had so much mileage. I could lose myself in all the great matches The Alliance had against Windham, Rhodes, Nikita, Steamboat and Sting but they cut it short and switched focus to the likes of Simmons and Vader. What hurt was the tag tournament from Great American Bash, Simmons’ underwhelming championship reign and the influx of NJPW stars who were not delivering what they could deliver when in their home country. Halloween Havoc and Starrcade were rough, matches and concepts both being at fault here. It’s a shame because had we continued with The Dangerous Alliance, I really think WCW could have been in a much better position but as we enter 1993, there is most uncertainty and now Bill Watts pays the ultimate price. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

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