Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Battlebowl 1993!

Live from Pensacola, FL

Airdate: November 20, 1993

Attendance: 7,000 (3,000 paid)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura
This year’s event marks the third Battlebowl. In previous years Battlebowl occurred at Starrcade. While hyping the event Jesse mentions that the winner receives a Battlebowl ring. Both the heel and face locker rooms are shown via split-screen. Recounting Battlebowl history Tony notes that Sting won the first event and is here tonight while the Great Muta who won the second one isn’t here. Remember these marquee names when the names get pulled. Oh, (though unmentioned on camera) Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson are still suspended due to the hotel room altercation. Hopefully that should clear up some of the names drawn in the Lethal Lottery.

An excited “Mean” Gene Okerlund and Fifi rotate the tumbler in order to pull out the first batch of names. Cactus Jack’s name is called first. Were they trying to find best-selling authors or hardcore legends here? Anyways, WCW World champion Vader gets called next. Kole (Booker T) from Harlem Heat is named as the third participant; however, Kane (Stevie Ray) takes his place. The fourth name called is Native American Charlie Norris. See what I mean yet?
Match 1: Vader and Cactus Jack (w/ Harley Race) versus Charlie Norris and Kane (Harlem Heat)
Highlights:
· Before the match began Vader and Cactus Jack brawled on the ramp.
· Kane joined Vader in the melee.
· An unwilling Vader hit Harley Race to protest his participation though Race convinced Vader to compete.
· Reluctantly Cactus Jack tagged in Vader.
· He gave Norris a short-arm clothesline, a slam, and then a Vader bomb.
· Somersault plancha from Jack from the apron to the floor.
· Clothesline from Kane to Cactus Jack prompted Vader to enter the ring to brawl with Kane.
· Big foot from Norris knocked Cactus Jack out of the ring.
· Kane then made Cactus Jack taste the steel railing. Needs Miracle Whip.
· Double-arm DDT from Cactus Jack on Kane.
· Series of chops from Norris until Vader bulldozed him down.
· Vader splash off the ropes.
· Powerbomb from Vader but he lost his balance. I guess he misjudged Norris’ weight.
· Nevertheless Vader pinned Norris.
Rating: *
Summary: The concept of having Vader and Cactus on the same team was the only interesting aspect of this match. Vader and Cactus Jack move on to the battle royal.
After the match Vader appears to have hurt himself with that powerbomb.
Shenanigans between Okerlund and Fifi are teased as the next names are drawn. Paul Roma’s name is called first. Yikes! His partner will be Erik Watts. He’s still employed? Oh brother. Regardless, their first opponent is Johnny B. Badd. That’s three guys from the face locker room at this point. The last name drawn is Brian Knobbs from the Nasty Boys. I sense a train wreck with this group.
Match 2: Brian Knobbs and Johnny B. Badd (w/ Missy Hyatt) versus Erik Watts and “Pretty” Paul Roma
Highlights:
· Perhaps Missy will get involved against Watts since they used to be an item.
· According to Tony on the episode of WCW Saturday Night that aired prior to the PPV (taped 10/6/93) Arn Anderson was double-teamed by “Stunning” Steve Austin and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff before being rescued eventually by Roma. Afterwards Anderson was none too pleased with his fellow Horseman.
· Slam and a dropkick from Roma prior to tagging in Watts.
· Watts then nailed Knobbs with a knee lift and a dropkick.
· Top rope double sledge to the shoulder by Roma.
· Anderson slam by Roma. Who said he didn’t learn anything from being a Horseman?
· Funny bit as Missy turned her back on the match when Watts was tagged in.
· Sweet powerslam from Roma. No count due to Missy’s distraction of referee Nick Patrick.
· Badd didn’t agree with Knobbs’ heel trip of Roma off the ropes.
· Missy berated Badd for not capitalizing on the downed Roma outside the ring.
· Knobbs tried the assisted abdominal stretch with Badd, but Johnny would not comply.
· Knobbs ate boot after trying a second-rope splash.
· Enziguri from Roma.
· Flying body press from Watts, but Knobbs used momentum (and the tights) to roll through and pin Watts.
Rating: **
Summary: Fascinating dynamic with respect to the match flow because when Badd was tagged in a wrestling match occurred; on the other hand, when Knobbs was tagged in it was a brawl.
Back to Okerlund and Fifi who appear to be having a private conversation. For the next match the first participant is the Shockmaster. NO! Dammit! The second name called is Paul Orndorff. Fifi is getting quite cozy with Gene so much so that Gene makes a remark. Their first opponent will be Ricky Steamboat while the second opponent will be WCW World TV champion Lord Steven Regal.
Match 3: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Lord Steven Regal (w/ Sir William) versus the Shockmaster and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Highlights:
· Regal’s facial expression of disgust at the onset was undeniably great.
· Steamboat skinned the cat then headscissored Orndorff over the top rope.
· Next they brawled on the floor.
· After tags were made on both sides Regal continued to be disgusted having touched Steamboat.
· Shockmaster touched Regal’s hair causing his Lordship to become quite miffed. Must not be his day.
· Flying body press by Regal countered into a slam by Shockmaster.
· Regal craftily countered a full-nelson and celebrated with a cartwheel.
· Stungun from Orndorff to Steamboat.
· Sidewalk slam by Orndorff.
· Shockmaster forced the tag between Steamboat and Regal then missed an avalanche.
· Regal attempted to use the umbrella, but Steamboat stopped him.
· Jockeying for the umbrella Regal knocked Steamboat into the ropes. Consequently Steamboat’s momentum caused the umbrella to hit Regal.
· While Steamboat chased Sir William outside the ring with the umbrella Shockmaster splashed Regal for the pin.
Rating: **
Summary: The bickering between tag partners in this match made for quite the entertaining bout. The ironic twist at the end told a good story as well.
After the match Steamboat griped with Regal. Perhaps he promised his Battlebowl ring to Bonnie.
Don’t miss Starrcade on Monday, December 27! Tony details the highlights from the inaugural Starrcade back in 1983. Meanwhile at the Starrcade press conference while standing next to a dapper Vader (including head gear) Okerlund refers to Starrcade as “the premiere event for (WCW).” He then mentions all of the cities that bid for the venue slot. Ultimately Okerlund announces that Starrcade will emanate from (the Independence Arena in) Charlotte, NC.
As Okerlund hypes Vader as the current WCW champion, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair interrupts the proceedings by presenting a contract to face Vader at Starrcade. Vader asks what Flair brings to the table. Flair offers his ten world titles. Vader counters with his ten titles across four continents. Flair counters with a retirement stipulation should he lose the match. Vader lists all of the wrestlers he has either injured or put out to pasture then accepts the match.
As an aside here Starrcade was supposed to feature the break-up of the Masters of the Powerbomb. Nonetheless, due to the hotel altercation between Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson in England both wrestlers were suspended. This situation caused not only the World title match (and subsequent plans for the title) to be altered but also cancelled the Anderson-Roma match.
When we return live to the arena Okerlund and Fifi are having another intimate moment. In fact Gene holds up a pair of handcuffs. How naughty! No wonder this show is rated TV-14. The first participant in our next match is Awesome Kong. Sadly he’s not so awesome. His partner will be the Equalizer. Ugh! My stomach hurts. On the opposite side of the ring will be Dustin Rhodes and King Kong. Will Fay Wray be far behind? Let’s hope “The Natural” can perform a miracle here.
Match 4: “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes and King Kong versus the Equalizer and Awesome Kong
Highlights:
· Three dropkicks from Rhodes couldn’t take Awesome Kong off his feet, but a rollup received a 2 count.
· Rhodes tagged in King Kong to face his partner.
· To say that a match between the Kongs is the polar opposite of a match between the Rockers in 1993 would be an accurate statement.
· Immediately King Kong tagged out avoiding the confrontation with Awesome Kong.
· Since three of the four men in this match are heels the crowd is noticeably VERY quiet.
· Flying shoulder block from the Equalizer knocked King Kong to the canvas, but he missed the leg drop.
· Bionic elbow got a 2 count.
· Pandemonium ensued with all four men in the ring. In turn Awesome gave his own partner a Kong sandwich in the corner but knocked himself silly.
· Immediately Rhodes hit the bulldog on Awesome Kong and gained the victory.
Rating: DUD
Summary: Nope, Rhodes is merely mortal as this match truly sucked. Yuck! I believe the crowd reaction when Rhodes pinned Awesome Kong was for the fact that the match was over rather than anything else.
Methinks Gene is sweating as he stands next to Fifi. The first participant in the next match is Sting. That woke up the crowd! His partner will be Jerry Sags of the Nasty Boys. The next name called is Ron Simmons while his partner will be…Keith Cole? Seriously, an enhancement talent gets a PPV match? Talk about random.
Match 5: Ron Simmons and Keith Cole versus Jerry Sags (w/ Missy Hyatt) and Sting
Highlights:
· Holy incredible mullets, Batman! That is one heck of a hairstyle on Keith Cole. Take a flat top and give it a long tail.
· After former WCW World champion Simmons brought the workrate to the match Cole tagged in and bored the crowd with some arm bars. In response the crowd chanted “We Want Sting!” Sags teased the crowd with a couple of false tags just to be a dick.
· Although after Sags had some trouble with his opponents Sting was finally tagged in.
· Having some fun with Simmons’ neon green tights Jesse changed Ron’s allegiance from Florida State to Notre Dame. I wonder if that means anything.
· Sting shook Cole’s head. Cole’s response was praising Sting’s similar hairstyle.
· Sting countered a hip toss with a backslide.
· Sweet powerslam from Simmons.
· Catapult clothesline on the bottom rope by Simmons.
· After Cole exposed his inexperience Sting took control.
· Stinger splash.
· Sags blindly tagged in, dropped the elbow from the top rope, and pinned Cole.
Rating: ***
Summary: Aside from Cole’s inexperience (who else was going to eat the pin here?) this match brought some athleticism to the ring. Even though this show was in his home state Simmons teased a heel turn and received the appropriate crowd response.
After the match Simmons is disgusted with Cole. In fact he’s so disgruntled that he delivered the Dominator to him cementing his heel turn.
As the camera returns to Gene and Fifi they are shown dancing quite closely. Our next participant is “Stunning” Steve Austin. His partner is “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Considering these two were on opposite teams in a match for Clash XXII earlier in the year their pairing ought to be exciting. Moving along, their opponents will be Maxx Payne and Too Cold Scorpio. Is the outcome too obvious here or what?
Match 6: “Nature Boy”Ric Flair and “Stunning” Steve Austin (w/ Colonel Parker) versus Too Cold Scorpio and Maxx Payne
Highlights:
· Austin was still sporting his Hollywood Blonds jacket and trunks. Also he was the only heel in this match.
· Standing choke from Payne then he dropped Austin on his back.
· Flair and Scorpio took it to the mat ending with a backslide from Scorpio for 2.
· Standing moonsault from Scorpio.
· Austin walked into a superkick from Scorpio.
· Superplex from Austin.
· Belly-to-back suplex from Flair only got 2 thanks to a save by Payne.
· Rope-assisted abdominal stretch from Austin broken by Flair.
· After an argument with Austin Flair gave Scorpio a delayed vertical suplex.
· Top rope forearm from Austin. Again Payne made the save.
· Out of nowhere Scorpio hit the spinning heel kick.
· After no-selling Flair’s chops Payne went on the attack.
· Unfortunately he missed a running knee in the corner prompting Flair to slap on the figure four leg lock for the submission victory.
Rating: ***1/2
Summary: Even with Payne involved the workrate was very strong in this match. On the other hand Payne as a face doesn’t sell too well.
Upon their re-emergence on camera Gene takes a moment to “tie (his) shoe” and inauspiciously tries to look up Fifi’s evening gown. Subtle, Gene. The next name called is WCW International World Champion “Ravishing” Rick Rude. His partner will be Shanghai Pierce. For those unfamiliar that is Henry Godwinn with a mask. Their opponents are Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Tex Slazenger (aka Phineas Godwinn). To say one of these men is not like the others would be an understatement.
Match 7: Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Tex Slazenger versus Shanghai Pierce and “Ravishing” Rick Rude
Highlights:
· Rude showed off his physique then his strength with an unassisted vertical suplex on Bagwell.
· He then tagged in Pierce to face Slazenger, but again he tagged out to avoid wrestling his partner.
· Splash from Bagwell got a 2 count.
· To illustrate how boring this match is, Tony asked Jesse about his Thanksgiving plans.
· Vertical suplex with a float-over by Bagwell.
· As Bagwell tried to bounce off the ropes Rude supplied the low bridge sending Bagwell to the floor.
· Jesse’s Thanksgiving response became a cheap shot at Vince McMahon regarding his indictment.
· Rude with a delayed vertical…nope, make that a gourdbuster.
· Pierce hit a knee drop from the second rope.
· To bore the crowd even further Rude applied a bear hug.
· False tag led to a double-team on Bagwell. Not the Showtime variety.
· Big boot off the ropes by Pierce followed by a sit-out powerbomb. I’m as shocked as you are.
· Slazenger made the save kicking Pierce in the back.
· Tex tagged in and the future Godwinns brawled with one another. It resembled a brawl you’d see at the local watering hole.
· As Pierce set up Slazenger for a sunset flip Rude tagged in and gave Slazenger the Rude Awakening for the pin.
Rating: *
Summary: Thank goodness it’s over. That match was a cure for insomnia. Rude’s involvement along with the sit-out powerbomb rises this one from the dead.
After the match Slazenger and Pierce beat up Bagwell then reunite. Aww.
As we return to the tumbler Fifi is suspiciously on her knees while Gene has an enormous grin on his face. And you wonder why Missy Hyatt sued this company for sexual harassment? The next participant will be Road Warrior Hawk. If his partner doesn’t have a stash of either downers or hormones I don’t like his chances. Hawk’s partner will be…Rip Rogers? Seriously? Yikes! Their opponents will be Davey Boy Smith and Kole of Harlem Heat. In actuality it was either going to be Kole or Kent Cole as nobody else was left in either dressing room.
Match 8: “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith and Kole (Harlem Heat) versus Road Warrior Hawk and Rip Rogers
Highlights:
· Rip Rogers was so excited to be a part of Battlebowl that Hawk destroyed him on the ramp prior to their entrance to the ring.
· Not surprisingly DBS kicked the downed Rogers as he made his way to the ring.
· Kole stopped to check on Rogers then stomped him. And you thought Regal had a bad night?
· Spinaroonie from Kole.
· We’re five minutes in, and Rogers had not yet checked into his corner.
· Sidewalk slam from Kole.
· As Rogers got on the apron he got nailed by Kole.
· After Kole hit a forearm smash off the top rope he hammered Rogers again on the apron.
· Backbreaker from Kole, but a second-rope elbow missed.
· Hawk then brought Rogers into the ring, pressed him overhead, and tossed him onto Kole for the pin!
Rating: *
Summary: Well, there’s your comedy match for the evening. Kole was definitely game here. Notwithstanding DBS was not even a factor in this match. In fact this was his last WCW PPV appearance until 1998.
Okerlund loses his composure after hearing Fifi thank him for their Battlebowl experience together. Profoundly Gene remarks on the possibility of the Nasty Boys’ working together to win Battlebowl.
Match 9: Battlebowl Battle Royal
Highlights:
· In lieu of Michael Buffer a strange voice located nowhere near the arena (Thanks WWE!) listed the names involved: Vader, Cactus Jack, Brian Knobbs, Johnny B. Badd, The Shockmaster, Paul Orndorff, King Kong, Dustin Rhodes, Sting, Jerry Sags, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, Rick Rude, Shanghai Pierce, Road Warrior Hawk, and last but certainly not least Rip Rogers.
· Rip Rogers staggered to the ring.
· Once inside he tangled with Badd probably for the title of the most flamboyant outfit.
· Shortly thereafter Badd eliminated him.
· Cactus Jack low-bridged Pierce over the top to eliminate him.
· A preview of Over the Edge ’98 occurred as Austin and Cactus Jack brawled in the corner.
· Flair and Austin fought on the floor yet still remained active in the match.
· Orndorff eliminated Badd.
· Jesse questioned why Hawk would save Flair from elimination. My guess would be that he was ensuring Flair would be buying rounds at the Marriott later on.
· Vader blocked a superplex attempt by Cactus Jack then eliminated him.
· All of a sudden Orndorff exited unceremoniously thanks to Dustin Rhodes.
· Shockmaster eliminated King Kong, but both Nasty Boys get rid of him.
· Vader press slammed Sting onto the ramp though Sting was not eliminated.
· Austin tried a double sledge from the second rope but got caught in the midsection by Rhodes.
· Tony mentioned Austin’s challenge for the US title from WCW Saturday Night.
· Vader and Flair have a mini-battle to hype their match next month.
· Austin tossed Rhodes through the ropes to the floor then rammed his head into the ring post.
· Dustin was busted open.
· Rhodes backdropped Knobbs over the top rope eliminating him.
· He then lifted Sags to throw him out, but Austin assisted both of them over the top rope.
· Hawk eliminated Rude then was eliminated by Vader.
· The final four stood as Sting, Vader, Flair, and Austin.
· Sting gave Austin a vertical suplex.
· Vader missed an avalanche.
· Race dragged Flair onto the ramp signaling a brawl between the two.
· After Flair gave Race a vertical suplex Vader elbowed Flair on the right leg.
· Vader then splashed Flair on the ramp.
· Meanwhile in the ring Sting attempted to give Austin the Scorpion Deathlock but came to Flair’s aid instead.
· All four men were on the ramp.
· Flair was checked out by the trainer and placed on a stretcher.
· Flair was deemed “unable to continue” according to ring announcer Gary Michael Capetta.
· Will Flair make it to Starrcade?
· Vader and Austin double-military press Sting back into the ring.
· Both Austin and Vader mount the top rope, but Austin ate boot on the way down.
· Sting then caught Vader with a powerslam.
· Much to the crowd’s delight Sting rallied successfully.
· Vader and Austin pinball Sting with right hands.
· While Austin held the legs Vader splashed Sting twice.
· After wasting some time Vader missed the third splash.
· Once again Sting rallied igniting the crowd.
· Vader bomb, but Vader held his back due to the earlier powerbomb.
· Austin missed a top rope splash.
· Sting sent Austin over the top rope to the ramp then Vader clotheslined Sting to the ramp.
· Austin went to the floor thus being eliminated via Sting.
· We’re down to Vader and Sting.
· Clothesline and splash by Vader.
· Coming off the ropes Sting knocked Vader down then accidentally head-butted him low.
· Sting placed Vader in a fireman’s carry onto the top turnbuckle.
· He then attempted the Stinger splash but missed and went over the top rope to the floor.
· Vader won.
Rating: ***
Summary: As a preview to Starrcade this match served its purpose. Once the match evolved into a four man match the excitement started. The stretcher job by Flair keeps the audience in suspense for the title match scheduled for Starrcade. Additionally Vader’s injury was a nice bit of continuity from the opening tag match.
Afterwards Vader yells at the camera above Tony and Jesse.
Conclusion: Though enjoyable at times, as a PPV, this show was meaningless. It would have been much better served as a Clash because its main purpose was to sell Starrcade to the paying customer. Since the show has zero historical significance I would only recommend it to tag team enthusiasts and WCW fanatics; otherwise, skip it and let’s go to Starrcade!
Buyrate: 0.27 (Buh-bye Battlebowl!)
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