Through the Years: WCW Starrcade 1991

Starrcade 1991

For a reviewer, shows like Starrcade 1991 can be our worst nightmare. The tag team aspect mixed in with partners who don’t normally team up is very difficult to review. As a fan, shows like this are really cool. Getting to see people team up that don’t ordinarily team up is a lot of fun. Another thing is that I’ve never seen this particular show. I actually don’t expect anything here to have long-lasting consequences. Let’s see how the “random draw” concept works.

 

– December 29th, 1991, from the Scope in Norfolk, Virginia

 

WCW actually had the whole arena lit up, because it was full! Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone are our announcers, and they talk about THE LETHAL LOTTERY. Simply put, the winners of the tag matches go into BATTLEBOWL. Eric Bischoff, Missy Hyatt, and Magnum TA are at the lottery position, and right after they’re shown, all of the participants are as well. I do not know these matches, by the way.

 

THE LETHAL LOTTERY: Michael Hayes and Tracy Smothers (WCW US Tag Team Champion) vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Jimmy Garvin

Pre-Match Thoughts: You know how long the odds are of such a match happening? Quite long. Not only is Hayes teamed up with somebody he feuded with, but he’s against his current tag partner. I have no idea why they needed two rings for the 20 man battle royal that closes the show. Come on.

Match Review: Hayes and Garvin shake hands, and head out of the ring. Smothers shoves Bagwell, Bagwell returns the favor, and Bagwell takes Smothers down with a shoulder. After a lot of stalling, Bagwell arm drags Smothers. He rolls Smothers up for 2, and this bullshit of showing the crowd needs to stop right now. They’re missing nearly everything in the match. Bagwell hip tosses Smothers, dropkicks him, and there’s another arm drag. Garvin wants to tag in, does so, and these two dance around the ring a little bit until Smothers attacks Garvin. Garvin hip tosses and dropkicks Smothers, knocking him out to the apron, where Garvin kicks him in the face. Smothers gets back in there, gives Smothers an atomic drop, and that sends him over the top. Bagwell tags in and gives Smothers a double axehandle from the top, with Smothers being in the ring of course. Smothers hits Bagwell with a knee lift, and tags in Hayes for the first time. Hayes hits Bagwell with a back elbow, and does his dances as usual. Hayes puts an armbar on Bagwell, tags Smothers back in, and he works the arm too. Bagwell reverses and leg drops Smothers arm, and I’m noticing there are green blotches on the canvas. Why? Bagwell arm drags Smothers again, and bodyslams him. After that, Garvin and Hayes both tag in, leading to a showdown. The crowd seems interested, and after a handshake, the Freebirds lock up with each other. Hayes arm drags Garvin on the break, and Garvin returns the favor. Hayes rolls Garvin up for 2, and they do a headlock takeover, get up, and dance back to their corners for the tag. That was funny. Smothers hits Bagwell with a dropkick, slams him, and misses the elbow drop. Bagwell tags in Garvin again, and he backdrops Smothers. Garvin hits Smothers with a big forearm, and Bagwell leaps off the top with a cross body that gets 2. He hits Hayes after that, all four guys are in there. Hayes clocks Bagwell and Garvin with left hands, and the Freebirds start pushing each other. So, Smothers heads up top and tries a redneck moonsault on Bagwell, hitting the knees on the way down. Couldn’t think of any other way to describe what he did. Bagwell picks Smothers up, drops him with a FISHERMAN’S SUPLEX, and that gets the victory at 12:33. As soon as the match finished, the Birds made up with each other.

My Thoughts: This match never really got out of first gear. I wasn’t bored or anything like that, but there was certainly nothing here to draw any conclusions from. Bagwell did look very green and have a lot of tricks to resort to, so his presence in the match took a bit of fun out of it. Given that this wasn’t a random draw at all, they could have made sure someone else was in this. *1/2.

 

THE LETHAL LOTTERY: Steve Austin (WCW TV Champion) and Rick Rude (WCW US Champion, w/Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Van Hammer and Big Josh

Pre-Match Thoughts: Well, there’s absolutely no doubt who’s going to win this match. Absolutely no reason to doubt it at all. I don’t like that these guys don’t enter to their themes. At least the Dangerous Alliance was teamed up in one of these matches.

Match Review: Austin and Hammer will start, and Hammer shoves his foe. Hammer folllows that with a bodyslam, but Austin knocks him around for a bit. Austin goes for a suplex, but it gets reversed into one by Hammer that gets 2. Austin takes Hammer down with a drop toe-hold, and Hammer reverses to a hammerlock. Guess he can wrestle some. Austin gains control with a series of snap mares, then dodges a charge to the corner and takes Hammer down with another snap mare. Rude tags in, hits Hammer with a sick clothesline, and does a bit of hip swiveling. Rude and Hammer trade bombs,until Rude knees Hammer in the gut and tags out. Austin drops Hammer with a clothesline of his own, and follows with a gutwrench suplex that gets 2. Rude puts Hammer in a front face-lock, but Hammer tags out anyway. Josh powerslams Rude, and log rolls him in hilarious fashion. Rude starts selling the power of his abs, so Josh clotheslines him for 2 a few times. Austin runs in and gets clotheslined, then the heels are taken out with a noggin-knocker. Josh arm drags Rude, but Austin relieves his partner, only to be arm dragged too. Austin gets out, but Josh drops him throat-first on the top rope. After a clothesline, Josh covers for 2. In comes Hammer again, and he goes to work on the left arm. Back out he goes, then Josh runs into a clothesline from Rude. Rude legally tags in, heads up top, and flies off there with a big right hand for 2. Austin tags back in, chokes Josh with the ropes, and hits Josh with a leapfrog body guillotine that gets 2. Rude tags back in, slaps a chinlock on Josh, and squeezes away as best he can. Paul gets on the apron so that Rude and Austin can switch places, and Austin drills Josh with a back elbow. Austin throws Josh out of the ring, and Rude throws him into the steel barricade. Back in he goes, and Austin puts a chinlock on Josh. Josh breaks the chinlock, and slams Austin. He misses the elbow drop, so Austin wants Josh held there for another leapfrog body guillotine. This time, Josh moves and Paul gets hit with it, so Hammer makes the tag in. He powerslams Austin, and gives him a back suplex too. Hammer hits Austin with a flying shoulder, and Rude breaks the cover, so everyone’s in the ring now. Hammer backdrops Austin, but Austin made a blind tag. So, Rude comes in, hits Hammer with a RUDE AWAKENING, and that’s it for this match after 12:55.

My Thoughts: I liked this much more than the opener, and perhaps it would have been a better fit as the opener. Hammer showed decent competency, and he was facing good opponents here. The reviews I’ve seen for this match aren’t good, but I didn’t have any problem with it at all. I thought there were good spots, and I’m glad to see that finish because it means Van Hammer won’t be so prominently placed anymore. **.

 

THE LETHAL LOTTERY: Dustin Rhodes (WCW Tag Team Champion) and Richard Morton vs. El Gigante and Larry Zbyszko (w/Madusa)

Pre-Match Thoughts: I seem to remember Morton’s turn coming as a result of teaming with Rhodes in the first place. The second team is as strange as it gets. Gigante had been completely phased out of an important position and appeared to be letting himself go. There was a bit of fat on that body for sure. I don’t think this match will be too long.

Match Review: Zbyszko and Dustin will start this, and Zbyszko wants to come up with some sort of plan with El Gigante. Looks like strategy, but this guy doesn’t speak English. Zbyszko hip tosses Dustin, but Dustin goes to a headlock shortly after. They criss-cross, and Dustin knees Zbyszko in the gut. Morton and El Gigante tag in, and Morton immediately tags out. That was neat. He then bodyslams Morton anyway, and Dustin tries to hit the big guy with a dropkick that doesn’t knock him down. Dustin goes to a drop toe-hold, but that doesn’t work either. Gigante slams Dustin, goes to a wristlock, and tags in Zbyszko. Zbyszko slams Dustin, stomps the face, and gives him a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Zbyszko goes for another slam, but Dustin cradles him up for 2. Gigante gets in an argument with Madusa, then Dustin hits Zbyszko with some elbows. He clotheslines Zbyszko in the corner, hip tosses him, and signals for his finish. Zbyszko blocks the bulldog, so out he goes. Gigante gets tired of being screamed at by Zbyszko, who then slaps him. Gigante throws Zbyszko into the ring, throws him into a double dropkick by Morton and Rhodes, so Morton and Rhodes advance to BATTLEBOWL after 5:54.

My Thoughts: This was a fun contest, by no stretch featuring good wrestling or anything of the sort. The point was to have Zbyszko boss around El Gigante until the inevitable happened. I’m totally cool with that, and it broke the monotony of the show to this point. It is absolutely monotonous and I’d be lying to say otherwise. * for this one, and with that, one of the Dangerous Alliance members has been eliminated.

 

THE LETHAL LOTTERY: Bill Kazmaier and Jushin Liger (WCW Light Heavyweight Champion) vs. Mike Graham and Diamond Dallas Page

Pre-Match Thoughts: Why in the hell would they pair Kazmaier and Liger? This match sounds like the worst of the bunch. Bear in mind that DDP could hardly even wrestle at this point of his career, and hardly could be a major exaggeration. Graham looks like a jobber and doesn’t belong here. I must also mention that Liger beat Pillman for the Light Heavyweight Championship at the Omni just before this show. That match wasn’t aired in full or even close to in full, so I didn’t watch it.

Match Review: Liger and Graham start, and Graham takes Liger over with a fireman’s carry. Liger flips out of a wristlock, but Graham hip tosses him. Liger then takes Graham down with a flying head-scissors, but it looks like Graham tweaked his neck on the bump. Liger misses a handspring something, so out he goes. Don’t think he’s happy. Kazmaier tags in with this little guy, and throws him the whole way across the ring. DDP tags in next, and goes for a bodyslam that gets blocked. DDP tries a cross body instead, and gets slammed. DDP tries to throw Kazmaier over the top, but Kaz SKINS THE CAT and clotheslines DDP for 2. He follows that with a big powerbomb for 2, and yet another scoop slam. Kaz misses a splash from the second rope, so DDP goes to a chinlock. He then clotheslines Kazmaier with the top rope, and Liger’s able to tag in anyway. DDP gives Liger a Russian leg sweep for 2, but Liger comes back with a spinning wheel kick. Graham tags in and Liger hits him with an enzuigiri, then follows with a slingshot splash for 2. Kazmaier tags in, and Graham trips him. That seems smart. Kazmaier throws him away, and DDP tags in afterward. Kazmaier clotheslines Page, and Page tags back out. It’s obvious which team is losing this at this point. Liger takes Graham down with a drop toe-hold, and locks him up in a surfboard! Graham gets out and uses a ROLLING BOSTON CRAB, don’t see either of those moves very often. Liger powers out, and they do pin reversals for a little bit, each man getting counts of two. Liger takes Graham down with a headlock, Graham reverses, and Graham bridges to a backslide for 2. Liger trips him and locks up the leg, then tags in Kazmaier for what should be the closing part of this match. DDP tags in too, hits Kazmaier with a back elbow, and back out he goes. Liger tags in too, hits Graham with a rolling kick, and kicks him in the chest a TON. Kazmaier tags back in, picks Graham up, and slams him across the ring for 2. Liger gets back in there, dodges a charge to the corner, and Graham flies over the top. Liger flies to the outside with a tope con hilo, about time something good happened in this match again. Liger suplexes Graham back into the ring, and covers for 2. Next up is a backbreaker, and a moonsault that also gets 2. Kazmaier and DDP get into the ring, and DDP gets thrown into Graham. Kazmaier picks Liger up in press slam position, throws Liger onto DDP, and they pick up the pinfall at 13:09.

My Thoughts: This was utterly boring and tedious outside of a few things. Liger was entirely wasted and I almost feel bad about it, but this was 14 years ago. I shouldn’t feel bad. DDP and Kazmaier sucked, there’s no sugar coating it. Too bad Graham didn’t have the right look. Definitely had ability, and it could be seen in this match even though he wasn’t perfect by any stretch. Really down on this concept after this match, honestly. 1/2*.

 

Time for a SuperBrawl II commercial! They seemed to not know what they were doing as nothing was advertised.

 

THE LETHAL LOTTERY: Arn Anderson and Lex Luger (WCW Champion, w/Harley Race) vs. Tom Zenk and Terrence Taylor

Pre-Match Thoughts: This team of Luger and Anderson was a fantastic idea. My preference would be for them to be in a competitive match, and this one certainly won’t be. Luger and Zenk had done house show matches earlier in the year, so I suppose that makes sense on some level. Taylor and Zenk being paired is something that could have been a good idea if they were going to push them, and a good idea a year before this when Zenk showed potential.

Match Review: Arn and Zenk begin the match, and Arn knees Taylor off the apron. Arn ducks to the outside to avoid a clothesline, and Taylor decks him. Good spot. He sends Arn back in the ring, and Zenk hits him with an enzuigiri that gets 2. Luger and Taylor get in the ring and these guys brawl with each other, and the heels get cleared to the outside. Luger makes a tag in after that, and he’s not happy. Zenk hip tosses him and hits him with a dropkick, then takes Luger down with an arm drag. Taylor tags in there, puts a wristlock on Luger, and Luger gets out of it for a press slam. Taylor replies with a jawbreaker, and follows with a neck snap that gets 2. Taylor gives Luger a neckbreaker for 2, and goes to a hammerlock. Luger elbows Taylor to break it, but Taylor takes him over with a sunset flip. Arn tags in during the hold and drops some knees on Taylor, then blocks a charge to the corner with a big elbow. Taylor comes back with a backslide that gets 2, and clotheslines Arn for another 2 count. Taylor blocks a charge to the corner this time, and hits Arn with a pump splash that gets 2. Zenk tags in and flies off the top with a cross body that gets 2, then he takes Arn to the corner for punches. Zenk gets tripped by Race as he runs the ropes, so Arn spikes the guy with a DDT that gets 2. Luger tags back in and suplexes Zenk, it gets 2 as well. Arn switches in there and gets hit with a facebuster, but he blocks Zenk from the tag. Luger powerslams Zenk for 2, then brings Arn back in. Arn eats a knee on a charge to the corner, then a boot, and Zenk misses a double axehandle. He should have made the tag. Arn comes down with a flying nothing and misses too, and this time Zenk makes the tag. Luger tagged in too, so Taylor beats him up with forearms. Taylor atomic drops Luger into Arn, and rolls Luger up for 2. Taylor takes Luger down with a cross body for 2, then backslides Luger for 2. Luger pokes him in the eye, but Taylor gives him a gutwrench powerbomb for 2! Now Arn gets in there, only for Zenk to kick him in the back of the head. Taylor rolls Luger up, but there’s nobody to count as the referee is busy figuring things out. Taylor runs the ropes and Arn hits him with another knee to the back, so Luger PILEDRIVES Taylor and covers for the win at 10:25.

My Thoughts: I thought this was the best match so far, and it’s nice for that to be the case. Really needed to see something positive here. Taylor was so misused, it’s hard to believe that he never got a push of any sort. Offensively, selling wise, and really in terms of everything he had a lot to offer. Luger should have been above this concept and looked like another one of the guys by being in this match. That’s how I feel anyway. ***, good match. Maybe even a show saver in terms of getting my interest back up.

 

THE LETHAL LOTTERY: Ricky Steamboat (WCW Tag Team Champion) and Todd Champion vs. Cactus Jack and Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker

Pre-Match Thoughts: I actually can’t believe they’d put Cactus with Parker. Oh wait, they didn’t? Abdullah the Butcher runs up on the guy and slams his head into the lockers, so I guess Cactus will have to go alone. That was funny. He smashes Parker’s head with a chair too in addition to the locker. This was sold as Abdullah not understanding that Cactus wasn’t allowed to be his partner due to the random draw. That’s funny. I have little interest in this match anyway. Steamboat and Cactus had a singles match that was awesome, I believe. Hey, Abdullah is walking to the ring! The referees stop him, so we’ll see if Parker shows up.

Match Review: Cactus and Steamboat get this one started, and there’s Parker on the ramp! Abdullah beats him up even more, this poor bastard. Cactus falls to the outside, and Champion threatens to give him the what’s what. I don’t want to see that. Cactus gets in the ring and rakes Steamboat’s face, and sadly it appears that Cactus is wearing pants with holes in them. He clotheslines Steamboat for 2, but Steamboat comes back with some chops. Cactus throws Steamboat over the top, but he skins the cat and backdrops Cactus over the top! Steamboat flies out with a dive through the ropes, rams him into the rail, and Cactus has to roll back in the ring. Steamboat kicks Cactus in the face, and tags in Champion for a double axehandle. Champion slams Cactus, drops a leg on him, and puts a chinlock on him. Parker is crawling towards the ring! This is more interesting than the match at this point. Champion puts Cactus in a bear hug, but he breaks it and throws Champion to the floor. Cactus decides to go up to the second rope, and DOWN WITH THE BIG ELBOW. Back in the ring, Cactus slaps a chinlock on Champion, and that goes for quite some time. So, when it’s over, Champion powerslams Cactus for 2. He misses a leg drop after that, and Cactus decides to head up top. He gets hit on the way down, and they collide with each other. Cactus tags Parker in and hip tosses him, so I guess he doesn’t give a fuck. Steamboat powerslams Parker, heads up top, and comes down with a cross body. Obviously, that gets the win at 7:51.

My Thoughts: There were some very obvious issues with this, but Cactus tried his absolute best. The most obvious of those issues was Todd Champion, who was absolutely terrible. I’ve been over this before, and nothing changes. This match also had no story implications of any sort, so it was easy to get bored by it. *3/4 regardless. The problem I’ve found with this show is that they should have put a title shot on the line for the winner of Battlebowl. More Champion and less Cactus is a very bad thing.

 

THE LETHAL LOTTERY: Sting and Abdullah the Butcher vs. Brian Pillman and Bobby Eaton

Pre-Match Thoughts: This is the best looking matchup of them all. Pairing Sting and Abdullah was genius. Pillman and Eaton being paired is the same thing. If this was a real match, wrestled with both teams being teams, I think it would be fantastic. Instead we have two instances of partners that don’t mesh. Abdullah faked like he was happy to be Sting’s partner, AND CLOCKED HIM. THIS IS GREAT! He starts choking Sting with the kendo stick, but Pillman runs out there and attacks Abdullah! He takes the kendo stick, and starts beating Abby with it! Best thing on the show so far, right here.

Match Review: I think this thing has started, so Eaton runs out and attacks Pillman, then Sting too. Abdullah pushes Pillman off the ramp and throws him onto the pads, and Eaton decides to work on Sting’s left leg. This is WEIRD. Eaton and Sting go into the ring, and Sting backdrops Eaton onto the ramp. Sting then takes a dive out to the ramp and clotheslines Eaton, following that with a dropkick. Sting throws Eaton back into the ring now, and Eaton begs for forgiveness. The crowd shots have to stop. I missed something, so of course Eaton gets control and tags in Pillman with a chop. Maybe that’s not a tag, I don’t know anymore. Abdullah attacks Sting from behind as Sting has a wristlock on Eaton, so Eaton covers for 2. Eaton goes to a chinlock, and Abdullah has a pencil. I wonder what for. Eaton beats up Sting for a little bit, and Abdullah jabs Sting with the pencil. THIS IS CHEATING. Pillman runs in and dropkicks Abdullah, then Sting throws Eaton to the floor. Sting posts Eaton, and Pillman bodyslams Abdullah as that’s going on. Pillman heads up top, and comes down with a big splash on him. Sting and Eaton are still the legal men, and Pillman won’t tag in. Eaton tags in Abdullah, which makes no sense at all. I like it. Sting goes to a wristlock on Eaton once that’s disallowed, then Eaton puts Sting in an abdominal stretch. Sting gets out and botches a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER, then Abdullah attacks Sting again. All four guys are in the ring, so Sting backdrops Eaton. Now Abby ties Cactus up, and Cactus comes out with his own kendo stick. Cactus hits Abby with it on accident, Sting heads up top, and down he comes with a cross body on Eaton that gets 3 at 5:50.

Now we’re lucky enough to see Abdullah and Cactus start fighting! Awesome! This was actually kind of shitty.

My Thoughts: Nothing about this made sense, but that’s why it worked. This was very entertaining and certainly the best thing on the show even though it was quite short. Perhaps with the partner selection and post-match it wasn’t that short, but I can’t think of another match with this kind of dynamic. Maybe I’ll find more as I go along, but I guess this is why some people were interested in this PPV. Things like this were bound to happen because the draw was not real. ***1/4. Business has picked up!

 

THE LETHAL LOTTERY: Rick Steiner and the Nightstalker vs. Big Van Vader and Mr. Hughes

Pre-Match Thoughts: The Nightstalker was a replacement for the Diamond Studd, who was injured. You may know this man as Adam Bomb or Wrath. He was awful at a Clash of the Champions event in 1990, and this is only a year from that. I really doubt he got any better. I like the second team a lot. Vader didn’t even do his entrance with the headgear and didn’t have his mask. This show is so weird. Vader and Hughes were being pushed as an actual team based on what I hear here. I like that Schiavone said Nightstalker was inexperienced. That’s very true.

Match Review: Vader and Steiner will start, and this seems awesome to me. They lock up, and Vader lands some BIG SOUPBONES. He clotheslines Steiner, and crushes him with a running splash. Vader then charges to the corner, and gets STEINERLINED. Steiner follows that with a belly to belly, and clotheslines Vader over the top! Good mini-match we have going here. Steiner follows with a cross body from the apron, and they grade bombs on the outside. Steiner smiles at being clotheslined, then Vader rams his back into the post. Vader puts Steiner in the ring and tries to suplex him to the outside, but instead Steiner suplexes him. Barely. Hughes tags in, slams Steiner, and drops a big elbow for 2. Steiner responds with a backdrop that gets 2, so Hughes goes to kicks. Hughes misses a charge to the corner, so Steiner drops him with a German suplex that gets 2. Hughes then runs Steiner over, but falls down in the process. The Nightstalker makes an unwanted tag in and heads up top, and comes down with a flying clothesline. Vader makes a blind tag, right as Steiner dropped Hughes on the top turnbuckle. Vader then clotheslined the Nightstalker, and Steiner bulldogs Hughes from the top! He’s not the legal guy, so Vader nearly breaks the Nightstalker’s neck with a big splash that gets 3 at 5:05.

My Thoughts: Man, that would be a really shitty way to die or get paralyzed. Having Vader’s weight come down on his neck was some kind of stupid. Besides that, I liked the match. Steiner was really good in this thing, and so were Vader and Hughes. Nightstalker was only in there for a little bit, so I can’t complain too much about it. **. Nice to see Vader going into the battle royal.

 

THE LETHAL LOTTERY: Scott Steiner and Firebreaker Chip vs. Johnny B. Badd and Arachnaman

Pre-Match Thoughts: This actually seems like a random match, as a match with four babyfaces makes no sense at all. This match does have three guys who try very hard so this could be a strong match, you know. I didn’t quite think about that until the bell rang.

Match Review: Badd and Chip lock up, and do a sequence where Chip takes Badd down with arm drags. Badd comes back with some punches, and hits Chip with a back elbow. After an elbow drop that gets 2, Chip comes back with a cross body that gets 2. Looked like a dangerous leap from the top. Arachnaman tags in and so does Scott Steiner, who is clearly the most over guy here. He takes Arachnaman down with a fireman’s carry, and powerslams him. Scott follows that with a backdrop, and there’s a STEINERLINE to send Spiderman…oops, Arachnaman over the top. Badd tags in there, slugs Steiner a few times, and that makes Steiner angry. He picks Badd up and takes him down with a spinebuster, then picks him up and tosses him hard into the corner. Steiner follows that with a pumphandle slam, and out he goes. Chip puts a chinlock on Badd, which gets reversed to a hammerlock. Chip gets out, and Arachnaman tags in. Chip arm drags the guy, and tags in Steiner for a snap mare. Badd tags in and Steiner goes after him again, drilling him with a STEINERLINE. I think Scott hates this guy. After a TIGER BOMB, both guys tag out. Arachnaman elbows Chip in the face, takes him to the buckle, and dodges a charge that causes Chip to fly out of the ring. Chip comes back in with a pinning combination that gets 2, but Arachnaman knees him in the face for 2. Now to the chinlock, which Chip will have to fight out of. When he does, he gets dropkicked, and has to fight back by putting a Boston crab on Arachnaman. After that’s stopped, Badd tags in and goes to a chinlock on Chip. He tags out, and I’m bored as shit. They do a criss-cross, and Steiner makes a blind tag. He nails Arachnaman with a STEINERLINE, follows with a tilt-a-whirl slam, and slams Badd when he runs in there. Arachnaman heads up top, but Scott catches him and a belly to belly throw gets 3 at 11:16.

My Thoughts: I really feel very strongly about not liking this show. The stuff here is just too long and carries no importance whatsoever. What I need in my wrestling shows is to see feuds wrapped up or furthered along. Not getting that at all here. Scott’s spots are great and that’s why this was *1/2. Otherwise, it dragged and was very boring.

 

THE LETHAL LOTTERY: Ron Simmons and Thomas Rich vs. Steve Armstrong and PN News

Pre-Match Thoughts: One bad piece and two decent ones, with one good one. This match could be fine, although the dynamics here have been all kinds of fucked up. They saved Simmons until much too late in the show given the lack of star power in these latter matches. Rich looked like a scumbag with his new beard. It’s a good look for him. Will News rap? Can usually tell if he’s jobbing based on that. He didn’t rap. Jobbing.

Match Review: Simmons and Rich argued about shaking hands for a bit, and they wound up not doing so. Simmons and Armstrong started the match, and Simmons belted him. He press slams Armstrong, but has a backdrop blocked. Armstrong gets taken out by a flying shoulder, and in comes Rich. Rich goes to work with his own right hands, but Armstrong throws him into the corner and runs in with kicks. Rich backdrops him, and misses an elbow. News tags in there, and doesn’t want to do any double teams. That’s dumb. Rich goes for a bodyslam, but News slams him instead. He throws Rich off him when he tries a headlock, and Simmons tags in there. Simmons and News wrestle fairly, until News dishes out the first cheap shots. He splashes Simmons in the corner, and runs into an elbow on the second. Simmons facebusters him for 2, but News comes back with a clothesline. A News cross body gets 2, and Armstrong tags in there. Rich tags in too, and chokes Armstrong with some tape. Rich runs into a big boot, so Armstrong grabs the tape and chokes Rich. Armstrong gives Rich a tape clothesline, so Rich forces Simmons to tag in. Armstrong attacks Simmons from behind, but Simmons clotheslines him for 2. Rich tags in again and dishes out a back suplex, and fist drops Armstrong from the second rope. Rich eats a boot, then News tags in. News hits Rich with a clothesline for 2, and resorts to that pesky double teaming. Armstrong splashes Rich in the corner, and misses on the second one. News tags in for a bodyslam, and Armstrong misses a splash after another tag. So many tags. Rich is too selfish to tag out, or so it goes, and still won’t do so. Armstrong and News argue a little bit, and Armstrong uses a swinging neckbreaker for 2. This is dragging so badly and has no heat. Rich finally makes the tag out after more punishment, and Simmons powerslams Armstrong. Simmons then slams News, and drops Armstrong with a SPINEBUSTER for the victory at 12:01.

My Thoughts: This was also much too long, and even worse than the last match at that. I almost feel like shutting this show off knowing how bad battle royals usually are. Bad match, Simmons was over, and there’s really nothing else to be said about the other three. 1/2*.

 

BATTLEBOWL

Pre-Match Thoughts: The participants are the teams that won their matches here. They are Ron Simmons, Steve Armstrong, Big Van Vader, Mr. Hughes, Scott Steiner, Firebreaker Chip, Sting, Abdullah the Butcher, Ricky Steamboat, Todd Champion, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Jushin Liger, Bill Kazmaier, Richard Morton, Dustin Rhodes, Rick Rude, Steve Austin, Marcus Alexander Bagwell, and Jimmy Garvin. In all fairness there is a good balance here and quite a bit of starpower. This is a two ring battle royal, though. I hate them. Can’t even pay attention to what’s going on. Based on the look on Missy Hyatt’s face, it’s like she was trying to audition for a modeling job or something. The rules say that everyone starts in the first ring and when they’re thrown into the second ring, they have to fight with people there.

Match Review: Everyone gets to brawling, and that’s the only way to describe this. Vader picks Sting up with a choke, which is quite good forboding. Arn and Steamboat start fighting on the ramp, and Arn gives him a bodyslam. Steamboat atomic drops him, and back into the ring they go. Kazmaier gets dumped out first, but he has to be thrown into the second ring. Therefore, he’s not eliminated. That’s absurd. The thing about talent being in a battle royal, is that it only matters when it comes down to the last four guys. Vader knocks Steamboat over the top too, but again, that doesn’t matter. He slams him on the ramp, and follows with a splash that misses. At least these guys are working! Vader picks Steamboat up, but he’s not able to throw him into the other ring. Vader press slams Steamboat onto the ramp, then drops a big elbow on him. Steamboat is earning his money. He takes a big bump back into the ring, and Thomas Rich takes a fall into the second ring, where he can rest for a little bit. Sting and Luger finally start throwing down, and Bagwell heads into the second ring. Rich suplexes him, and it’s obvious WCW is not going to be able to keep track of the action. That sucks. Hughes throws Firebreaker Chip into the other ring now, and Morton goes in with Liger as well. Morton and Liger go at it, and I can’t see shit. Morton gets powerslammed on a cross body attempt, and Liger follows that with an asai moonsault! Liger does a great flying head-scissors, then a spinning wheelkick. He charges at Morton, and the two go out on a cross body at 9:13. I don’t think Liger wanted to do that. Hughes takes a huge fall into ring #2, and Steamboat is brawling with Arn on the outside. Vader’s taking Dustin Rhodes to the woodshed, and out Rich goes too. Steamboat and Arn are in the second ring, because I suppose this makes no sense. I see Champion and Garvin in the second ring too. All the good action is in the second ring, for now. Steiner tumbles into the second ring, right as Arn Anderson gives Steamboat a suplex. Abdullah and Austin are in ring #2, and Garvin gets backdropped to the outside by Chip at 11:06. Simmons takes a run at Rude and flies into the second ring, then Dustin gets backdropped in by Luger. We have four guys in ring #1, those being Sting, Rude, Vader, and Luger. Sting and Rude tumble into ring #2, and Vader runs Luger over. Vader then splashes Luger, and clotheslines him. Vader splashes Luger in the corner this time, and Arn backdrops Chip out of ring #2. Good. Vader runs into a big boot, and Luger clotheslines Vader into ring #2 at 13:07. He wins ring #1!

Steamboat eliminates Abdullah with a chop one second later, and Abby pulls Kazmaier and Champion out too. Austin slams Bagwell, then Rude tries to dump Sting out. Sting blocks it, then I see Arn get crotched on the top rope. Dustin then dropkicks Arn over the top, so he’s out at 14:54. Right after that, Austin backdrops Dustin to the outside, and Hughes tumbles over with Simmons. Those were big bumps. Austin throws Bagwell out right after, and Vader gets hit with a double clothesline from Sting and Steamboat. These eliminations are too quick. We have Sting, Austin, Rude, and Steamboat left in the match. Sting hits Rude with a flying clothesline, then throws Austin and Rude into the same corner. Rude then accidentally whips Sting in for a STINGER SPLASH on Austin, popping the crowd. This part of the battle royal is very good. Steamboat gives Rude and Austin a noggin-knocker, then Rude goes for a clothesline on Steamboat and sends Austin over the top on accident at 17:12. Rude tries to throw Steamboat out, but he skins the cat and head-scissors him out. After that, Rude pulls Steamboat out and throws him into the rail. So, Sting wins ring #2 at 17:32!

Right after that, before the one on one starts, Rude runs back in the ring and hits Sting with the RUDE AWAKENING. Rude is GREAT as a top heel in this promotion. Luger’s not unhappy about this at all. Sting pulls himself up and decides to climb into the other ring, and Luger works him over with right hands. Remember, Luger paid other people to take on Sting. Luger hits Sting with a running clothesline, and follows that with an inverted atomic drop. Luger throws Sting out to the ramp and distracts the official, but Sting gives Harley Race a bodyslam! That sneak attack didn’t work. Luger pushes Sting from the ramp to the rail, but Sting rams Luger into the rail. After doing it a few more times, they go all around ringside and back inside. Sting puts Luger on the top rope, and gets in some punts to the gut. Race gets in the ring and Sting suplexes him, then Sting goes for the STINGER SPLASH only for Luger to get out of the way. Luger throws Sting over the top, but he holds on and doesn’t go out! Sting goes to work as the crowd gets heated, then he drops Luger with a facebuster. Sting clotheslines Luger, but Luger holds on, so Sting has to power off the ropes and dump him out at 25:08 to WIN BATTLEBOWL!

After a big fireworks display that surpasses those when Sting won the WCW Championship, the show is over!

My Thoughts: I liked this match more than most despite how little sense it made. There were some good spots, particularly Steamboat’s bumping all over the place and fighting on the outside. That paled in comparison to the mini-match between Sting and Luger, which was great for the time it lasted. Of course, this was a very long battle royal and anyone should take that into account when deciding to watch it. You’ll need time to check it out. All in all, I think this was a good ending to a poor show. **1/2. Regardless of how much talent winds up in a battle royal, these always seem to go the same.

 

This was definitely not my favorite PPV and I detested the concept. The problem was that the excitement of seeing strange partners and ten tag team matches subsided very quickly. I wasn’t quite expecting that to happen. The show also ultimately meant nothing in terms of the programming, except to show that Sting was capable of beating Lex Luger. That was the main objective and it worked. I liked seeing Vader become more involved too, and I’m really looking forward to what he became in WCW going forward. I’ve only seen a few shows here and there for that era. Next up, it’s finally into 1992, and hopefully it’s more fun than this, with WWF matches up to the Royal Rumble.

Wrestling Time: 2:00:07. It was too much, honestly. So much of this was boring.

Best: Sting and Abdullah the Butcher vs. Brian Pillman and Bobby Eaton. That’s my favorite thing here, for sure. Abdullah was the best.

Worst: The concept didn’t match up to the advertising. They teased the idea that Sting would team with his enemies, and that people like the Steiners would face each other. That did not happen.

Card Rating: 4/10. I may be giving a generous rating, but I absolutely do not recommend watching this.

Written by Sage Cortez

Sage is a boisterous Los Angeles sports fan. Unsurprisingly, like many other loudmouth LA fans, he also likes the Raiders and a range of combat sports.

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