WCW Battle Bowl ’93

Context surrounding Battle Bowl 93

  • The PPV universe has gotten even more full as the UFC debuted and scored a big buyrate. WCW is running more and more PPVs to ramp up revenue since the company is flat lining.
  • The Xmas Omni card has been canceled much like the Thanksgiving card was.
  • Three weeks before this PPV, the arena had only sold 250 tickets.
  • Eric Bischoff went to Lucha Libre company AAA and offered them a cable deal if they would let WCW use their talent on WCW TV. AAA refused because WCW was such a mess that they saw no value with being on their TV. Plus New Japan had a working deal with WCW and their talent was misused, which sent red flags up in the AAA offices.
  • WCW continued to air Arn Anderson matches to set up Roma’s heel turn. The PPV match it leads to with Anderson vs. Roma won’t come to pass though.
  • Missy Hyatt revealed on the WCW hotline that she is dating Hawk in real life. Since Hyatt manages the Nasty Boyz and Hawk is feuding with them, this made little sense to reveal.

Battle Bowl 93

Jesse Ventura and Tony Schiavone run down the card concept. Mean Gene and Fifi will pull the names out of a bin. Mean Gene sexually harasses her.

Vader and Cactus Jack vs. Stevie Ray and Charlie Norris
Vader shoves Rip Rogers off his chair as he storms to the ring. That was funny. Vader and Jack brawl right away. Ray comes in to help beat on Jack. Norris comes down and Vader destroys him on the ramp. Jack knocks Ray to the floor and Vader comes down for some cheap shots before Jack rakes Vader’s face forcing Harley Race to make peace. Schiavone annoys me by talking about Jack being injured by Vader and wandering around Cleveland – TONY THAT WAS REVEALED ON NATIONAL TV TO BE JACK FAKING AMNESIA. For fucks sake!

Jack and Vader actually double-team Norris in between making some leery tags. Ray gets some shots in on Jack and Vader comes in to save him. Norris locks Jack in a rest hold and Vader saves him again. Norris tries to chop away on Vader but Vader just stares at him and plows him with punches, earning Vader a big pop. Vader then botches a powerbomb on Norris, falling backwards as he tried to flip Norris over his shoulder. This gets the pin anyway. Vader holds his back after and struggles against the ropes as he tries to stand. I’m assuming Norris dead weighted him. Match was dull as the finish was in little doubt and neither Norris or Ray have a single interesting move in their arsenal. Jack and Vader don’t even brawl after the match.

Mean Gene feels up Fifi and makes a pussy munching reference as Fifi picks names next to this creeper.

Paul Roma and Erik Watts vs. Johnny B. Badd and Knobbs
They actually booked this. This is a thing that happened. A Vanilla Nepotism Noob, a roided out shithead, Johnny who is often still Badd and freakin’ sloppy ass Knobbs. Roma and Badd go through some basics since they are both babyfaces. Knobbs tags in and hits his shitty punches, then blows a backdrop spot. Watts tags in and quickly disposes of Knobbs to the floor. Watts and Badd square off and shake hands. They go through more bland offense, lest the babyfaces come across as uncouth. Knobbs tags back in and slugs away as this thing just keeps going. Headlocks from Roma on Badd. Knobbs and Badd argue over Knobbs cheating. The announcers are bored and talk about other things not related to the match. Knobbs finally mercifully ends this by pinning Watts with a handful of tights. This match went on for an eternity and had absolutely no flow. The fans are dead quiet since the heel/face dynamics are all mixed up.

Shockmaster and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Lord Steven Regal
Uncle Shocky starts a “Paula” chant that doesn’t endear him to his partner. Steamboat and Orndorff start things off. Mr. Wonderful and the Dragon spill to the floor and Orndorff delivers a number of nice looking punches. They grapple on the mat before knocking heads and tagging off to their partners. Regal is befuddled as to what to do with this big oaf. Tugboat carries Regal around before placing him on the top rope and patting his head. Regal tries a European uppercut and Shockmaster just smirks at him. Orndorff tags in after browbeating Typhoon, so Shocky leads another “Paula” chant. Regal and Wonderful shake hands and that riles Steamboat up. Orndorff and Regal run through some nice grappling/reversal sequences. Steamboat tags in and immediately finds himself beaten to the mat.

Orndorff tags in Shockmaster and Steamboat wisely goes for the tag, not wanting to have his offense ruined by this goof. Regal tries to avoid it but Big Steel Man forces the tag then flips Regal into the ring. He misses a charge in the corner and Orndorff runs in and accidentally hits his partner. While Shocky and Wonderful argue, Steamboat and Sir William fight over an umbrella. Steamboat yanks it away and cracks Regal with it by mistake. Shockmaster hits a big splash and ends it. This was actually quite fun as Regal was able to have some good segments with the Tugmaster, plus Steamboat, Orndorff and Regal had some solid wrestling while intermingling.

We see a vignette where Mean Gene announces Starrcade will be in Charlotte, North Carolina. Vader is confronted by Ric Flair, who offers up his career versus Vader’s title in order to receive a rematch with the champ.

Back in the arena, Mean Gene is trying to convince Fifi to participate in some light bondage.

Awesome Kong and The Equalizer vs. King Kong and Dustin Rhodes

Can they saddle Rhodes with anymore shitty workers? Rhodes out wrestles The Equalizer (no kidding), then Awesome Kong comes in and batters The Natural with forearms. Dustin tags in King but the Kongs won’t fight and Rhodes is tagged right back in. The Equalizer and Rhodes trade arm bars before King tags in. King and Equalizer stand and trade shitty punches as the announcers point out the lack of mobility by all involved. Rhodes comes back in and downs Awesome Kong with an elbow. All four men “brawl” before the Kongs squash the Equalizer but hurt themselves in the process, leading to a Rhodes’ bulldog for the win. The crowd cheers, probably because this shit fest is over. The bar has been set to a new low for the night.

We are barely an hour in. FML.

Mean Gene wants to go shopping for Fifi’s melons.

Sting and Saggs vs. Ron Simmons and Keith Cole
Saggs stalls to start, because we had to calm the crowd down after the barn burners we’ve endured so far. Ventura explains why jobber Keith Cole is on a PPV. He’s loses a lot, but always tries hard. Saggs hacks away at Cole, Cole fires back with some exciting armbar action! Sting and Simmons square off. They botch a roll up and Sting turns it into a amateur takedown. Cole and Saggs tag back in and Cole goes right back to his devastating armbar. Saggs delivers some reckless looking kicks and both men tag out. Sting and Simmons go at it again. Simmons finally gets sick of playing nice and cheap shots Sting.

A powerslam is then followed by a face rake. Cole tags back in and wait for it…wait for it…locks on an armbar! Simmons tags in to guillotine Sting and tags back in Cole, who, no joke, locks on an armbar. Ok now it’s so absurd I’m amused. Ventura rips on Cole for going for a basic move while Sting is laying on the mat helpless. Sting kicks Cole’s butt as Simmons is aghast in the corner. Sting nails a Stinger splash but Saggs tags himself in and hits the flying elbow for the win. Simmons spinebusters Cole after the match to turn heel. This match wasn’t good or anything, but when your getting kicked in the balls time after time, an occasional punch to the gut is a welcome relief.

Gene is dancing with Fifi.  Why is Flair allowing Gene to lay his hands all over his mistress?

Ric Flair and Steve Austin vs. 2 Cold Scorpio and Maxx Payne
Austin is wearing his “Hollywood Blonds” ring jacket for some reason. Payne’s ring gear appears to be pajama pants and a T-shirt. Payne shoves Austin down and Austin seeks a tag but Flair just struts. Payne tosses Austin around at will, then lets Scorpio give it a go. Scorpio does a bunch of extra unnecessary flipity-dos and finishes by botching an armdrag. Flair tags in and decides he’s not going to play 2 Cold’s air game, so he grounds him with arm work, but Scorp is game for a grappling test. Flair teases a tag out to mock Austin but winds up in the ring with Payne and that quickly goes sour for him.

Austin tags in and finds himself once again bumping around for Payne. Austin and Flair take turns working over Scorpio. Austin tries to cheat and Flair won’t allow him to. This leads to a brief skirmish between the men. After several minutes, Payne finally makes the tag and he goes loco on Flair until he crashes his knee into the turnbuckle. Flair quickly locks on the figure-four and earns the submission win. Other than the interaction between Austin and Flair, this wasn’t much better than passable.

Gene tries to look up Fifi’s dress.

Rick Rude and Shanghai Pierce vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Tex Godwinger
Rude somehow looks more cut than usual. Rude tells Piece “I’m your partner, Tex ain’t shit.” Rude shoves Bagwell down as he’s much more functionally powerful. Tex comes in for some clubberin’. Pierce tags in and the Godwins almost explode, but Pierce tags Rude right back in. Tex jumps Rude while he’s arguing with Pierce. Bagwell and Pierce end up in the ring and things slow to a crawl as we get armbars galore. The partners get pissy again as things grind to a halt. A Bagwell headlock allows the announcers to talk about their upcoming Thanksgiving dinners. Rude aids his partner is tossing Bagwell over the top rope. Rude and Pierce spend several minutes working over Bagwell. Did somebody slip me an Ambien? Pierce locks a headlock on Bagwell in case the dead crowd hadn’t had enough chances to go to the bathroom.

Pierce hits a gut wrench powerbomb which leads to Tex making the save. The Godwins scuffle to finally wake me and the crowd up. Rude sneaks in with a neckbreaker to finally end this snoozer. WAY too long for who was in the match. Rude felt way out of place slumming it here with the jabronis.

Fifi is implied to be blowing Gene.

Hawk and Rip Rogers vs. Booker T and Davey Boy Smith
Rogers annoys Hawk until Hawk lays him out. T and Smith both take shots on Rip and he’s laid out of the ramp. Hawk and Smith trade tests of might and prove to be equals. T lips off, so Smith lets him tag in and try Hawk on for size. T hits some weak looking forearms and we get a prototype spinarooni. Smith is rooting for Hawk, which annoys T. Rogers almost makes it to the ring, so T whacks him down. T controls Hawk with some uninteresting rest holds and cracks Rip again. Hawk clubs away as he and T have an awkward sequence. Hawk finally gets as bored as the viewing audience and tosses Rogers at T which gives Rogers the win. Another absolute snoozer of match.

Mean Gene lies and says this is one of the best cards he’s seen in his 25 years of covering the sport. He gives Fifi his hotel room number and she shakes her head no and leaves to be with Flair.

Battle Bowl Battle Royal: Vader, Sting, Hawk, Rip Rogers, Rick Rude, Cactus Jack, Shanghai Pierce, Johnny B. Badd, Knobbs, Saggs, Shockmaster, Paul Orndorff, King Kong, Dustin Rhodes, Steve Austin, and Ric Flair

Standard battle royal to start as everybody pairs off and hugs near the ropes. Pierce and Rogers are dumped fast – off camera of course. Jack isn’t trying to kill Vader, which makes little sense. Hawk and Flair both try their luck with the Mastodon though. Flair and Austin brawl to the floor. Jack has found Vader now and they goozle each other in the corner. Shockmaster and King Hippo Kong trade blows in a collision of suck that could only be found on PPV. Vader dumps Jack, establishing Cactus’ role as a mid-card geek. The ring starts to clear out a bit. Vader calls spots with Ric Flair right in front of the camera. Sting works over both Nasty Boyz to tease their Starrcade match. Rude and Vader trade blows in a pairing we were never destined to see as opponents. Vader goes back to bringing the pain to Flair.

Rhodes is tossed to the floor and comes back bleeding. Rhodes dumps both Nasty Boyz in an odd booking move since Hawk and Sting were right there to set up the next PPV with. Hawk and Rude go in short fashion thereafter. Flair goes after Race on the ramp, which allows Vader the chance to kill him with a splash. Sting saves Flair but ends up jumped by Austin and now all the remaining participants are sprawled out on the ramp. Austin and Vader double team Sting as Flair is announced as medically unable to continue. Race comes over to attack Flair while he’s on a stretcher, meanwhile two armed security guards stand idly by.

Sting is tossed back in the ring. He gets chance at a comeback when both heels scaled the ropes and fail to connect of their aerial attack. Sting tries to fight the numbers game but cat and mouse isn’t a fair game when there are two cats. The heels maul the Stinger. Vader drops several splashes onto the prone Sting. Sting pops up and wails both heels with big bombs but Sting doesn’t have enough fight left in him to keep them off kilter for long. Vader hits a Vader bomb and hurts his back again. Austin is squashed by Vader accidentally and Sting dumps him. Vader swarms Sting and tries to finish him off. Sting gets an accidental low blow to keep the monster down. Sting props Vader in the corner and tries a Stinger splash that misses and Sting falls to the floor. Match was every battle royal you’ve ever seen until the final four, then business picked up. Obviously they had big plans for Austin that never came to pass.

Final thoughts: A night of abhorrently dull action, almost every match had one team that was obviously superior to the other and they booked no upsets to keep things interesting. A lot of phoned in efforts, and not a lot of build to the biggest show of the year, which I’ll be covering next time.

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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