Classic Wrestling Review: Starrcade ’92

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

Starrcade

December 28, 1992

The Omni

Atlanta, Georgia

WCW brought back Battlebowl for the second year in a row. The plan was to make it a yearly event, but it would thankfully be moved to its own PPV the next year. They also made a couple of changes to the format. They cut the field of participants in half and dropped the two-ring setup. Thankfully, that means there will be more than just the Lethal Lottery on this show. The primary feud for Starrcade was supposed to be Ron Simmons defending his WCW Title against Rick Rude, but Rude, unfortunately, suffered a herniated disc in his neck at the last minute. Poor Ron can’t catch a break in this title reign because his replacement opponent is a total disappointment. (I’ll cover that more in the review.)

In other non-Battlebowl news, WCW held a tournament called, “The King of Cable.” This must be an answer to the WWF’s King of the Ring. (That might explain why the WWF decided to make it into a PPV in 1993. It’s another example of the two companies trying to one-up each other.) The tournament was held on TV, but the finals between Sting and Vader will take place at this event. Also, the NWA Title will be defended when Masahiro Chono faces the Great Muta. It will be the first time the title has been defended between two Japanese stars. (That’s not going to help with the fan apathy about this NWA revival.) However, in a move that embodies Bill Watts’ philosophy, all of the title contenders (including Sting and Vader) have to pull double-duty in the Lethal Lottery.

Meanwhile, we have had another heel turn. The tensions between Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes finally boiled over when Barry turned on Dustin after they lost the Unified Tag Titles. (I thought Barry said there were no problems. I can’t believe a heel lied!) Barry also attacked the new champions, Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas, with a chair. Then, Windham aligned himself with fellow disgruntled employee, Flyin’ Brian Pillman. Now, the team of Windham & Pillman have a shot at the tag titles. (It’s a short-lived pairing because Pillman is about to form an even better team, but it’s not a bad duo.)

The show opens with a voice telling us this is the 10th annual Starrcade ‘92. (They’ve had 10 Starrcade ‘92 events?? Is WCW stuck in a time-loop? It’s a good thing Erik Watts is in the company since he’s a time traveler. Wait, has that happened yet or is that only when he joins Tekno Team 2000? I don’t know how time travel works.) The voiceover also talks about the history of Starrcade and says there are five titles on the line tonight. (Are they counting the King of Cable and Battlebowl as titles?) The video package also still advertises Rude vs. Simmons because they didn’t have time to change it. Then, they show an animation of the forging of the Battlebowl ring. All that’s missing is an epic narration about how the Battlebowl ring controls all the other rings in wrestling. They also could have used a big fight scene. (WCW should have hired Peter Jackson.)

Jim Ross welcomes everyone to Starrcade. He’s with Jesse Ventura, who is wearing a Malcolm X hat. They’re standing in front of a sign that says, “Ted & Jane, wake up. Starrcade is on.” (I know that Ted Turner loves wrestling, but I’ve always wondered what Jane thinks of it.) Jesse says he’s pumped to call his first Starrcade, but I wonder how Ross feels about calling his last. (I’ll discuss that more in the SuperBrawl III review.) J.R. talks about the card and then says there’s big news regarding the WCW Title Match. He throws it to Eric Bischoff for an update.

Eric is in the control room, which is totally not a rip-off of the WWF control center. He says that the doctors have confirmed that Rick Rude has a herniated disc in his neck and will be out 5-7 weeks, so the board of directors has appointed Dr. Death Steve Williams as his replacement in the match. (Oh, joy! That should be—oh, who am I kidding? That’s a complete disappointment.) Ross says it will still be a good match and Jesse says his heart goes out to Rick Rude. (His heart should go out to the fans too.) Then, they show the wrestlers in separate locker rooms. They’re waiting to be picked for the Lethal Lottery.

Next, they go to the ring where Tony Schiavone is with Bill Watts and baseball legend, Hank Aaron. (Hank has a look on his face like he’s thinking, “I’m about to end this man’s whole career.” Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll talk about that in the SuperBrawl III review.) They are there to present Sting with his Battlebowl ring for winning last year’s event. Watts blames—I mean credits Dusty Rhodes with the concept of Battlebowl and says it will be a tradition for every year’s winner to receive a ring. Then, he introduces Sting, who jogs to meet them. Hank presents Sting with his ring and congratulates him, so Sting compares himself to Aaron and says he hopes he can win two Battlebowls in a row. He also calls Atlanta his home, which gets a good reaction. (I see he’s going for that Mick Foley cheap pop.) Watts spends the entire segment with a goofy open-mouthed grin. (If only he knew what was coming.)

Then, they go to Larry Zbyszko and Missy Hyatt, who will draw the names for the Lethal Lottery. (Why do all these Watts-era PPVs have such long intros?) Larry talks about the excitement and tells Missy she gets to draw the lottery with a living legend. Missy genuinely doesn’t seem thrilled about that fact. (On a side note, what is Missy wearing? It’s not as flattering as she seems to think.) Missy then informs everyone that the first two teams were already picked at the Clash of the Champions, so they go to Gary Cappetta for the first match.

Van Hammer & Dan Spivey vs. Johnny B. Badd & Cactus Jack

Van Hammer is announced with the nickname of Heavy Metal, but he’s wearing the most un-metal outfit I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t even have his guitar anymore. Everyone enters to generic music, which is a shame, but it is good to see Cactus Jack back from injury. Ross says there are some diverse wrestling styles in this match, which is his way of covering for the potential sloppiness. Also, during this match, Ventura refers to Van Hammer as the strongest arm in WCW because Hammer won an arm wrestling contest. (I can’t believe they’re still trying to make something out of Van Hammer.)

Cactus and Hammer begin the match and Cactus soon attempts to pin him with his feet on the ropes. Van takes exception and answers with a running clothesline and a leg drop, but Jack fires back with a headbutt. He then tries to double team him with Badd, but Johnny is having none of that. However, Badd has no issue with spiking poor Hammer on his head with a hurricanrana. Cactus and Spivey eventually meet and both miss clotheslines, but Dan hits a third attempt and punts Cactus. Hammer returns, but Jack rakes his eyes and tries another double team that Badd rejects. Spivey, on the other hand, has no qualms with cheap shots, which annoys Hammer. Dan starts working over Badd’s back, but Johnny tags Cactus. Spivey answers by knocking Badd to the floor and throwing Jack out as well. Cactus fights back and tries to tag Badd, but Johnny is still outside the ring. Jack finds himself in trouble and Hammer hits a shoulder tackle, but Badd finally returns to try and break up the pin. He, unfortunately, hits Jack by mistake, so Cactus complains and shoves Johnny. He responds by decking Cactus with a punch, so Hammer rolls Jack up for the win.

They did their best to cover the flaws of the match with storytelling and did a decent enough job on that front. However, it still wasn’t a good match. The finish kind of made Badd look heelish because Cactus had a legitimate complaint. Plus, it makes Johnny look like he couldn’t care less about Battlebowl. That’s not a good way to put over the concept. We also didn’t get any cool spots by Cactus, but that’s understandable. He just returned from injury.

Winners: Hammer & Spivey (6:51)

Next, Tony, Larry, and Missy draw the next two teams. Dustin Rhodes will team with Vader to face Kensuke Sasaki and the Barbarian.

Dustin Rhodes & Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race) vs. Kensuke Sasaki & The Barbarian

Vader and Race both yell at Dustin before the match, but he doesn’t seem fazed. Ross talks about how Rhodes and Vader faced each other in the King of Cable Tournament. He also talks about how both teams could potentially be eliminated in the case of a double count-out or double DQ. (It’s never a good sign when they point out something like that.) Then, Vader and the Barbarian come face-to-face and shake hands. However, Barbarella must say something to offend Vader because he shoves him.

Vader and Barbarian shove each other and grunt a lot before trading ineffective clotheslines. Then, they trade slams and shoulder blocks until Vader hits an avalanche attack and beats Barbs into a corner. Rhodes then tags and he and Vader surprisingly hit a Hart Attack on Barbarian. Sasaki soon enters the match and trades clotheslines with Dustin, but Rhodes dropkicks Kensuke out of the air. Sasaki also falls victim to a second-rope avalanche attack by Vader and a powerslam, but he reverses a suplex. Both Rhodes and Barbarian return to the fight and Rhodes hits him with a knee-lift, dropkick, and a lariat, but Kensuke breaks up the pin. Dustin starts brawling with him, so Barbie tries to attack from behind, but he hits Sasaki by mistake. Rhodes uses the opening to roll up Barbarian for the win.

The exchanges between Barbarian and Vader were entertaining and Dustin did his part to keep this exciting. It was a short match, but they did a good job of packing just the right amount of action into it. It was about as good as can be expected for a 6-minute match. Also, I’m glad my fears were unfounded. They didn’t end with double elimination, despite Ross’s warnings.

Winners: Vader & Rhodes (6:56)

After the match, Vader appears to be proud of Dustin. He raises his arm in victory—and then hits him with a clothesline. Harley Race also drops a knee on Dustin’s head, while Ross asks what’s the point. Ventura explains that they’re trying to eliminate Rhodes from Battlebowl. (I’m not sure how Ross didn’t get that. It’s kind of obvious.)

Ross then plugs SuperBrawl III and says he hopes everyone will join them on Sunday, February 21st. (Ross, ironically enough, won’t be joining them.) He then discusses the end of the last match and Ventura says that Race masterminded that attack. (You don’t say!?)

Then, Missy draws the next teams, while Larry complains about something. (It sounds like they’re legitimately annoyed with each other.) The next team is Barry Windham and the Great Muta. They will face 2 Cold Scorpio and Flyin’ Brian. Larry is shocked at the fact that Windham and Pillman will be on opposite teams.

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

This is the PPV debut of 2 Cold Scorpio. He’s an amazing high-flier who will go on to compete in all three major companies throughout the 90s. I’m glad to see him because I’ve always been a fan of his work. They show a male fan in the crowd with a sign that says, “2 Cold Scorpio is too hot!” (Hey, I won’t judge. The man likes the high-fliers. I guess he’s hoping he will flash that funk at him.) It’s also nice to see Muta still gets a good reaction. WCW fans haven’t forgotten him.

Scorpio and Windham start the match and Scorp holds on for dear life to Barry’s arm through some arm drags. Muta then enters and trades waistlocks with Scorpio before he tags Pillman. Muta and Brian use their quickness to avoid each other until Muta takes him to the mat. Then, tag team partners, Pillman & Windham, face each other. They start trading hard chops until Windham tells him to settle down and save his energy for their tag title match. Windham tags out, so Pillman and Scorpio both try their hands against Muta. Scorpio gets the advantage, but Muta raises his knees on a splash. Windham then returns and hits Scorpio with a lariat, leg drop, suplex, and a hard punch. He even double teams Scorp with Muta and Muta hits his snap elbow. However, Scorpio answers back with a slam and a twisting springboard leg drop that impresses Jim Ross. Muta responds by sending Scorpio to the ramp, but Scorp knocks him down and enters the ring with a sloppy slingshot somersault splash. The match then turns into a brawl and Windham hits Scorpio with a lifting DDT before Muta grazes him with a moonsault for the win.

The match was slightly sloppy, but it was still enjoyable. Scorpio was doing innovative moves that the crowd hadn’t seen and they reacted accordingly. This is still early in Scorpio’s career, so he doesn’t have the polish he would later, but he’s still fun to watch. It also helps that the fans like Muta, so this match had some good crowd reactions. They were enough to make up for the shakiness of the action.

Winners: Windham & Muta (6:59)

Sting is already in the Lethal Lottery because he won last year, so Missy draws the name of his partner. He will team with Dr. Death Steve Williams, who Larry calls the last of the real men. They will face the team of Erik Watts and Jushin Thunder Liger. (That has to be the biggest disparity of talent I’ve ever seen. Where’s Abdullah the Butcher to attack Watts before the match? Let Liger wrestle the entire thing, please!)

Dr. Death Steve Williams & Sting vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & Erik Watts

Sting and Liger get good reactions, but Erik Watts is booed. Erik comes to the ring with what looks like chop welts on his chest. (Was someone attacking him backstage? It wouldn’t surprise me.) The crowd cheers once they see that Sting and Liger will begin the match.

Liger can’t take down Sting, but he does use his quickness to outmaneuver him until Sting tags Williams. Steve goes to the eyes, which shouldn’t work since Liger has a mask. However, Liger sells the move anyway. He then tags Watts, who attempts some arm drags until Williams shoves him. He then surprises Williams with a cross body, so Steve chops the hell out of him. (I think I found who was attacking him backstage.) Liger then makes a blind tag and kicks Williams into a corner, but Steve clotheslines him when Liger feigns a monkey flip. Sting then returns and backs Liger into a corner, but Liger surprises him with a sunset flip. It’s not enough and Williams returns to hit a hotshot. Then, Williams & Sting take turns wearing down Jushin with holds. Liger tries a sleeper, but Williams dumps him on his head with a back suplex. Liger finally gets the advantage when Steve ducks and Liger hits a facebuster. He then tags Watts, who clubs Williams and hits the worst dropkick in history!! (He barely got off the ground and timed it wrong. He hit somewhere around Williams’ thigh.) Watts follows that blunder by attempting an STF, but Williams reaches the ropes. Watts tries to continue, but Williams sends him to the apron and brings him back inside to hit a hotshot for the win.

They sadly wrestled at Williams’ pace, so we never got to see Liger do his thing. The match was kind of dull and Watts made it worse with his awful wrestling. Sting and Liger couldn’t do anything to save this bout. I felt bad for both of them. You could tell they were frustrated. I can only imagine how Williams reacted backstage to Erik’s awful dropkick. He probably gave him a few more chops.

Winners: Sting & Williams (9:08)

Ross and Ventura then list the final competitors for Battlebowl, while they show graphics for each man. Ross says that Sting has an opportunity to defend his Battlebowl title successfully, so Jesse compares it to winning back-to-back Super Bowls.

Then, Larry and Tony talk about the NWA Title Match. They show footage from Japan of Muta and Chono wrestling, which surprisingly includes shots of Muta without face paint. (He only wears the paint in America.) Tony says that Chono is the master of the STF and compares him to Erik Watts. (That’s insulting to Chono.) Larry is convinced the match will end up on the mat, which he says is in Chono’s favor.

NWA World Title Match: Masahiro Chono (c) vs. The Great Muta

This is a rematch between the two from Japan and based on the footage, that looked like a better match. Chono makes his way to the ring and I can’t help but notice the Big Gold Belt is already developing that pronounced bend in the top. (It always annoyed me that they never fixed that. It looks bush league when they can’t use that Turner money to fix their belt.) Ross does a great job of putting over the history between the two men. He talks about how they knew each other as amateurs. He also talks about how this is the first time two Japanese wrestlers will face each other for the NWA Title. (Was their Japan match not for the title?)

They start by trading kicks, takeovers, and mat holds, but Muta keeps bailing outside to regroup. He returns and they do a test of strength, which turns into more submission reversals. Both men trade cross armbreakers and other holds until Muta reaches the ropes. Chono answers by throwing Muta to the floor a couple of times before taking him back to the mat. Chono even manages to hold onto an armbar through some arm drag attempts, but he breaks it to go to the top rope. Muta catches him with a superplex, so Ventura rightfully questions Chono’s motives. Then, Muta locks Chono in a Half Crab and soon turns it into an Indian Deathlock with a bridge. Chono finally realizes he’s inches away from the ropes, so he gets the break and hits a snap suplex on Muta. (So much for selling the holds.) Muta surprises him with a back kick and Chono regroups. When he returns, Muta also hits a handspring elbow and a backbreaker, but he misses a moonsault. He lands on his feet, but Muta sells the knee. Chono pounces on the leg, but they end up trading hard strikes and both attempt a dropkick. However, Chono dumps Muta on his head with a suplex. Muta responds by reversing another one for a close two-count. He tries to follow up with a dropkick, but Chono moves and then locks him in the STF for the win.

I know this match gets some hate, but I didn’t mind it. It was a bit slow and technical, but I thought there were some decent moments and the final couple of minutes were good. The crowd still doesn’t care much for Chono, but they liked Muta. They cheered loudly for him to break the STF, so they wanted to see him win. However, this isn’t enough to make WCW fans care about the NWA revival. It especially doesn’t help that no WCW regulars were in this match. The presence of the NWA Title is becoming more and more pointless.

Winner: Masahiro Chono (12:49)

Ross and Ventura then talk about the WCW Title Match. Jim says there will be a tournament to determine the #1 Contender to Rude’s U.S. Title. The winner will face Rude at the Clash of the Champions on January 23rd. However, if Rude cannot compete by then, he will be stripped of the title. (Didn’t they say he will be out 5-7 weeks? I’m pretty sure they already know he can’t compete.) Rude apparently hears them, so he walks to the announce table and grabs a mic. He starts by saying, “Stabbed in the back by a neurosurgeon!” (I’ll take random non sequitur statements for $100, Alex!) Rude then says that a stinkin’ doctor foiled his chance at becoming WCW Champion and now WCW wants to twist the knife by threatening to strip him of the U.S. Title. He points out that Sting wasn’t treated this way when he broke his ribs, so he says WCW is conspiring against him and they won’t take his title. He then leaves and Jesse says it’s politics. He points out that WCW isn’t giving Rude a full 30-days. Ross would later counter that Rude hasn’t defended the title since November.

WCW Title Match: Ron Simmons (c) vs. Dr. Death Steve Williams

Ross makes sure to point out that Simmons and Williams faced each other in college football. (I’m sure he delighted in sharing that fact.) Simmons then makes his entrance and I was sad to hear he got a new theme. I liked his old one better. (This one is a rap song, but the sound quality was so poor that it sounded like mumbling. I couldn’t hear the lyrics.) Jesse continues complaining about Rude and compares it to politics, so Ross loses his cool and calls him ludicrous. Ventura replies, “I get ludicrous sometimes.” (Is he going to start rapping?) Then, Williams offers a handshake. Simmons is reluctant, but he eventually obliges.

They begin with a long headlock by Simmons before they get down in three-point stances and trade shoulder blocks. Ron ends up leapfrogging him, hits a clothesline, and goes after Doc’s arm. Williams breaks free and regroups, but Simmons keeps going after the arm. Doc responds by going to the hair, so the match becomes a short brawl until Ron hits a facebuster and goes back to the arm. However, Simmons makes the mistake of going to the top and Williams sidesteps him. He then goes into a long sequence of sloppily working on Simmons’ leg. Doc can’t seem to decide between the right or left, but he settles on the right leg. He even nearly drops Ron on a backbreaker. (How is he this tired? He didn’t wrestle that long earlier.) Ron finally fights back and both men trade chop blocks until Ron surprises him with a clothesline and a spinebuster. Simmons then goes for another chop block, but Doc moves and Ron crashes to the floor. Then, they brawl outside the ring until the ref has no choice but to count out both men. However, the brawl continues after the bell and Doc climbs to the top rope before driving Simmons to the mat with a knee. The ref has enough and reverses his decision to give Simmons the win by DQ.

This match was dull and Williams was gassed. He was sloppy and could barely remember which leg to work. I felt bad for Simmons. I know this was a last minute replacement, but you’d think Williams could come up with better than this. The crowd unsurprisingly hated the finish. Ron can’t catch a break in this title reign. This would have been so much better if Rude had been his opponent.

Winner: Ron Simmons (by DQ) (15:12)

Then, they show a commercial for SuperBrawl III. They show stylized clips of wrestling action that’s set to generic rock music and odd sound effects. (It sounds like the effects from that Super Nintendo WCW video game.) The commercial calls it SuperBrawl Sunday and I could practically hear the NFL get on the phone to their lawyers.

Tony and Larry then talk about the upcoming Tag Title Match. They show a clip of Windham attacking Steamboat & Douglas with a chair and a brawl between the two teams on Saturday Night. Tony says it’s the first time that two men will go for the tag titles after facing each other earlier in the night. However, Larry says that Pillman & Windham are professionals, but Douglas is a weak link.

NWA/WCW Tag Team Title Match: Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas (c) vs. Barry Windham & Flyin’ Brian

Shane Douglas finally found a tag team that isn’t embarrassing. They paired him with Ricky Steamboat and the team has a good dynamic (dude) of the veteran and the young guy. They make a surprisingly good team and would go on to have some good matches against the Hollywood Blonds, but I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. I’ll talk about that team at a later date. They even managed to win the tag titles, which was the catalyst for Windham’s heel turn. (On a side note, Steamboat & Douglas come out to one of the cheesiest theme songs I’ve ever heard. It’s some light-rock ballad about being a family man. It’s awful.)

Douglas and Pillman start the match and trade chops, forearms, and quick reversals until Shane catches both Pillman & Windham with dropkicks. Steamboat & Douglas then double team Barry, so Pillman & Windham regroup. Windham demands a tag, so Steamboat does the same and the double teaming continues. They chase Windham to the floor and to the ramp before Steamboat hits a swinging neckbreaker. They take turns wearing down Windham until he hits a jawbreaker and Pillman enters the match. He focuses his attack on Shane’s head and keeps sending him into the guardrail. Then, Pillman & Windham use ref distractions to cheat and double team. Steamboat finally has enough and uses a chair behind the ref’s back, so Ventura says it stinks! Shane eventually fights back and reverses a suplex before tagging Steamboat. He cleans house, but Windham catches him in a powerslam and uses more ref distractions to take back control. Steamboat is in trouble, but he taunts Barry, who gives him a rude gesture in return. However, Windham ends up missing a flying clothesline and Ricky hits a facebuster, so both men tag their partners. The match then becomes a brawl, and Steamboat fights Windham on the ramp. Pillman and Douglas are left in the ring, so Shane hits a belly-to-belly suplex for the win.

This was a fun match. Both of these teams work well together despite being new pairings. I was even impressed by Shane Douglas, which is surprising. He played the face in peril well in this match. I also liked the storytelling of Steamboat losing his cool and getting revenge on Windham for the chair attack. The only gripe I have is I’m not a fan of the heel team getting two separate heat segments because it kind of kills the hot tag. However, that wasn’t enough to bring down this match. It was still quite enjoyable.

Winners: Steamboat & Douglas (20:02)

Ross and Ventura then talk about the King of Cable finals. J.R. says that these two men are no strangers to each other. They show a clip from Saturday Night of Vader hitting a flying splash on Sting and they also show Sting retaliating with a 2×4. (Is he Jim Duggan now?) Ross says he talked to Sting earlier and he said he was going to try and wear out Vader with a longer match. (Way to give away Sting’s strategy, Ross!)

King of Cable Tournament Finals: Sting vs. Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race)

The winner of this match will receive a trophy, which I’m sure will remain intact. (Don’t they always?) I’m not sure what else they get besides bragging rights. (Maybe the winner gets to decide which cable TV shows get canceled.) Vader makes his way to the ring in a durag, which is an odd look for him. (Did he leave his mastodon helmet at home?) He lifts the trophy when he enters the ring, but the ref has to tell him, “No, that’s not yours!” Vader then taunts Sting with his Vader hand-sign, but he can’t rustle Sting’s jimmies.

They shove each other around and Sting tries some ineffective punches, so Vader answers with some slams. Sting attempts a Stinger Splash in return, but Vader surprises him with an avalanche attack and then press slams him onto the ropes twice. He then misses a couple of clotheslines, so Sting hits a rolling kick and a German suplex before clotheslining Vader out of the ring and out of his mask. Then, Sting follows that with a slingshot cross body that hits both Vader and Harley. Vader returns and fires back with headbutts and punches, but he misses a corner splash. Sting attempts to capitalize with a Stinger Splash, but Vader raises his boot. However, Sting surprises him with DDTs on the mat and off the second-rope before locking Vader in a Scorpion Deathlock. Vader makes it to the ropes and regroups outside, but Sting follows him. He tries another Stinger Splash, but Vader moves and Sting hits the guardrail. Vader takes advantage with clotheslines and splashes, but he pulls Sting too far over on a pin attempt and curses to himself about it. Sting keeps trying to fight back with a backslide and sunset flip, but neither work, so Sting takes a new tactic. He starts using the rope-a-dope strategy and covers up while Vader leathers him with punches. It starts to work and Sting manages a Samoan Drop and a flying splash, but he only gets a two-count. Then, Race distracts Sting, so Vader hits a clothesline and a chokeslam followed by a second-rope splash. He then goes to the top rope for another splash, but Sting catches him in a powerslam for the win.

This was a great match. It had a good mix of intense power wrestling and good storytelling. I liked that they followed through on the story of Sting wearing out Vader. Also, the finish was close enough that it did not make Vader look weak. I would even say this is better than their Great American Bash match. Thankfully, this isn’t the end of the feud. We will get more from them.

Winner: Sting (16:50)

Jesse joins Sting to present him with the trophy. He calls it a hell of a victory and congratulates him. Sting agrees that it was a good win, but he also says it was a hell of a butt kicking that he took. Then, Sting says he has one goal left and that’s to win his second Battlebowl. Jesse replies that would be a feat beyond belief.

Tony and Larry then talk about Battlebowl. Larry can’t believe that Sting won against Vader, but he also can’t believe they have to wrestle again. Larry then says that looks, money, and women will leave you, especially when the money runs out, but you can keep the Battlebowl ring until your dying day. (I’m curious how many winners still have their ring.) Tony then talks about how he spoke with NFL player, Paul Hornung, who still has his ring from the first Super Bowl. They even show footage of Tony’s interview with him because they’re buying time for Sting and Vader to rest. Hornung does indeed talk about the importance of rings to professional athletes, so at least we know Tony was telling the truth. He says that the ring should signify who is the number one man in the wrestling business. (Isn’t that why the WCW Title exists?)

Battlebowl Battle Royal

Thankfully, they ditched the two-ring setup from last year, so this will be a regular Battle Royal. The participants are Dan Spivey, Dustin Rhodes, The Great Muta, Barry Windham, Steve Williams, Van Hammer, Vader, & Sting.

Vader immediately attacks Sting on the ramp, while everyone else brawls in the ring. The officials try to stop them, but Vader locks a hold on him. (I see they’re trying to get every bit of rest they can.) Then, Vader sends Sting into the ring and hits a jumping clothesline over the ropes. (I take that back.) They show split screens of the action, despite showing a wide shot of the ring. (Someone must realize it’s pointless because they stop it quickly.) Vader and Sting continue brawling and Rhodes and Windham also fight each other. Vader attempts to eliminate Sting, but he can’t lift him over his head. He soon gives up and starts fighting with others, including Van Hammer. (If this were 2000 WCW, they’d probably fight over the name, “Van.”) Then, Rhodes gets some revenge for Vader’s attack earlier, while Van Hammer is the first man eliminated. Rhodes and Windham fight again and end up on the ramp, but they went through the ropes. Dan Spivey isn’t so lucky. Sting dumps him over the top to the ramp, which counts as an elimination. However, Sting and Vader fight again and Vader takes both Sting and himself over the top with a clothesline, which draws the ire of the fans. (Final Four: Great Muta, Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham, & Steve Williams)

Windham and Rhodes brawl and Muta fights with Williams. Dustin manages to bust open Barry’s nose, so Windham slams him and goes to the top rope. Dustin stops him, but he slams him into the ring instead of the floor and Ventura calls him on it. Then, Williams sees an opening and clotheslines Rhodes over the ropes, but he too falls to the floor. It’s down to just Windham and Muta, so the fans start chanting Muta’s name. Barry sucker punches him and wears him down with a suplex and superplex. He then throws Muta over the ropes, but Muta skins the cat and dropkicks Barry out of the ring for the win.

Battle Royals usually only become interesting at the end, but this one never found any momentum. It was okay, but it wasn’t anything thrilling. I guess Watts wanted to push Muta. The fans wanted Sting to win, but they accepted Muta as a close second. However, this was kind of a weak way to end the show.

Winner: The Great Muta (14:01)

Ross and Ventura then recap the night. Jim says that Chono showed that the STF is one of the most devastating finishers in the sport. (Somewhere backstage, Bill Watts says, “You said Erik Watts wrong!”) Then, Ross talks about the Rude situation, so Jesse brings up politics again. J.R. rolls his eyes at Jesse and brings up the fact that Rude hasn’t defended the title since November. Ventura counters that he was preparing for Simmons. J.R. then plugs SuperBrawl III and says goodnight.

The Good:

– Sting/Vader was awesome.

– The Tag Title Match was good.

– A couple of other matches were decent.

– It was nice to see 2 Cold Scorpio.

The Bad:

– Battlebowl still wasn’t that interesting.

– Erik Watts—again.

– A couple of the matches were bad.

– Not getting Simmons/Rude.

Performer of the Night:

I’m giving it to Sting for a great match and great storytelling. Plus, he had to wrestle multiple times.

Final Thoughts:

There were a couple of stand-out matches and some decent stuff, but the rest of the show was average or bad. This is a middle of the road PPV. I would recommend watching Sting/Vader and maybe a couple of other matches, but that’s it. I guess I really do have to take back what I said about 1992 being a great year for WCW. A lot of this stuff hasn’t aged as well as I thought. Unfortunately, 1993 won’t be any better.

Thank you for reading. You can like and follow the Facebook page by clicking here and the Twitter page by clicking here. I look forward to your feedback. Also, we’re approaching the one-year anniversary of this blog. I want to thank everyone who has been reading. I started this insane project as a weekend hobby and it’s grown far bigger than I anticipated. I want to personally thank all my readers for coming back week after week. You guys are the best!

My next review will be a bonus look at the first ever episode of Monday Night RAW. Look for that bonus this Wednesday and then look for my regularly scheduled review of Royal Rumble ‘93 next Saturday!

 

Written by Paul Matthews

I am chronologically reviewing all the pre-network era WWF/WCW/ECW PPVs from Starrcade '83 to WrestleMania 30. Join me on this journey every Saturday!
Like and Follow the Facebook page for this blog here: https://www.facebook.com/ClassicWrestlingReview.
Also, follow me on twitter @PaulDMatthews78

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