Rock Star Gary reflects on WCW Starrcade ’92

Live from Atlanta, GA

Airdate: December 28, 1992

Attendance:  8,000 (6,500 paid)

Hosted by Jim Ross & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Who will win Battlebowl? Who will become the King of Cable? Can either Simmons or Chono retain their respective World titles? Or do Rude or Muta stand a chance to unseat them? Let’s find out!

WCW SPECIAL REPORT: Eric Bischoff states that “Ravishing” Rick Rude suffered a herniated disc in his neck and will be out for five to seven weeks; thus, he will be unable to challenge for the WCW World title tonight. Furthermore, Williams will receive the title shot in Rude’s place. Well, there went Rude’s chances.

In the ring, Tony Schiavone hosts a presentation along with WCW Executive Vice-President “Cowboy” Bill Watts and “Hammerin'” Hank Aaron. Watts “establishes a tradition” by honoring the annual Battlebowl victor with a celebratory ring. After Sting comes to the ring, Aaron presents him with the ring for last year’s victory. Sting then vows to win Battlebowl again.

On a platform, Larry Zbyszko and Missy Hyatt will draw wrestlers’ names randomly later in the show. What in the blue hell is she wearing? Erik Watts must be doing her laundry because her attire looks like she just grabbed it out of the hamper. Nonetheless, during Clash XXI, the contestants for the first match were drawn:

Match 1 (Lethal lottery): Cactus Jack & Johnny B. Badd versus “Dangerous” Dan Spivey & “Heavy Metal” Van Hammer

Highlights:

  • For those that care, Hammer won the Jesse Ventura Invitational Strongest Arm Tournament by defeating Simmons in the finals.
  • C’mon, Schiavone, wait until 1999.
  • Hammer gave him a cross corner whip, but Cactus took him down and attempted a pin with his feet on the ropes.
  • When Hammer gave Cactus another cross corner whip, he followed with a corner clothesline.
  • He then slammed Cactus and hit a leg drop for a 1-count.
  • As Badd tagged in, Hammer leap-frogged and hip-tossed him.
  • He then delivered an elbow drop for 2.
  • After Badd gave Hammer a huracanrana, he got 2.
  • Cactus tagged in, hip-tossed Hammer, but missed an elbow drop.
  • When Spivey tagged in, Cactus gave him a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Spivey also came up empty on his follow-through but delivered a big boot to Cactus.
  • As he clotheslined Cactus, Spivey slammed him.
  • Tags were exchanged on both sides while Spivey put a knee into Badd’s back. SNEAKY!
  • After Spivey tagged in, he delivered a Bossman slam to Badd.
  • He then applied a bear hug and tagged in Hammer.
  • When he slammed Badd, Hammer got 2.
  • He then gave Badd a belly-to-back suplex for another 2.
  • As Spivey tagged in, a mid-ring collision occurred.
  • Cactus tagged in, gave Spivey a cross corner whip, and face-planted him.
  • After he hit an elbow drop, Cactus got 2.
  • He then clotheslined Spivey and attempted to tag out.
  • However, Badd was still incapacitated on the concrete floor.
  • Spivey then delivered a side Russian leg sweep to Cactus for 2.
  • When Hammer tagged in, he gave Cactus a flying shoulder block for another 2.
  • Miscommunication between Badd and Cactus led to the Kiss that Don’t Miss from Badd to Cactus.
  • As Hammer rolled him up, he pinned Cactus.
  • Hammer and Spivey advanced.

Rating: *

Summary:  How much time did they have to plan this match? And THIS is what they concocted?

On the platform, Schiavone, Zbyszko, and Hyatt declare that Rhodes, Vader, Sasaki, and Barbarian will compete next.

Match 2 (Lethal lottery): The “Natural” Dustin Rhodes & Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race) versus the Barbarian & Kensuke Sasaki

Highlights:

  • At the onset, Barbarian and Vader shook hands. I smell conspiracy.
  • As Barbarian clotheslined Vader, it didn’t faze him.
  • Vader then hit a short-arm clothesline, but it didn’t faze Barbarian.
  • When Barbarian slammed him, Vader returned the favor with fervor.
  • He then gave Barbarian a running body block but missed a big boot.
  • After Barbarian clotheslined him twice, Vader reversed an Irish whip into a short-arm clothesline.
  • Rhodes tagged in, and he and Vader delivered a Hart Attack to Barbarian for 2. Wow!
  • As Barbarian rebounded with a belly-to-back suplex, he got 2.
  • Rhodes hit his own belly-to-back suplex, but Barbarian tagged out.
  • When Sasaki gave Rhodes a cross corner whip, he ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
  • Rhodes then gave him a cross corner whip, but Sasaki exploded with a clothesline.
  • After he mounted the second turnbuckle, Sasaki leaped but ate a dropkick.
  • Rhodes then slammed Sasaki and tagged in Vader.
  • As Vader mounted the second turnbuckle, he hit a flying body block.
  • He then clotheslined and powerslammed Sasaki for 2.
  • When Sasaki escaped a suplex, he dropkicked and clotheslined Vader.
  • Vader then came back with a big boot, but Sasaki countered a vertical suplex with one of his own.
  • While tags were exchanged on both sides, Rhodes delivered a knee lift to Barbarian.
  • He then dropkicked Barbarian and followed with a lariat for 2.
  • After Rhodes and Sasaki squabbled, Barbarian charged but nailed Sasaki.
  • Rhodes then rolled up Barbarian.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Rhodes and Vader advanced.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Good match that caught and kept the Atlanta faithful’s attention. Each side was extremely STIFF more than likely due to the upcoming tour of Japan.

After the match, Vader DEMOLISHES Rhodes, and Race adds the cherry on top. That’ll earn him a heel reaction later in the show.

Ross then shills SuperBrawl III LIVE on PPV on 2/21. Order NOW!

On the platform, Hyatt gets catty with Zbsyzko while Windham, Muta, PIllman, and Scorpio will compete next.

Match 3 (Lethal lottery): “Flyin’” Brian Pillman & 2 Cold Scorpio versus IWGP champion Great Muta & Barry Windham

Highlights:

  • Scorpio hip-tossed and dropkicked Windham.
  • While tags were exchanged on both sides, Pillman dropkicked Muta for 2.
  • Following a leap frog by Pillman, Muta returned the favor to him.
  • Windham tagged in and non-verbally informed Pillman to “take it easy” due to their upcoming tag title match.
  • When Muta caught him with a spinning thrust kick, PIllman used momentum to send him face-first into the second turnbuckle.
  • Scorpio tagged in and clotheslined Muta for 2.
  • As he slammed Muta, Scorpio ate knees on a splash attempt.
  • Windham tagged in and hit a lariat to Scorpio followed by a leg drop for 2.
  • After he suplexed Scorpio, Windham got another 2.
  • Muta tagged in, and he and Windham delivered a double dropkick to Scorpio. Impressive!
  • When Muta delivered a flashing elbow, Scorpio reversed a cross corner whip and followed with a shoulder block.
  • He then slammed Muta and hit a corkscrew leg drop for 2. Amazing!
  • As Muta gave him a spinning thrust kick that sent him to the ramp, Scorpio responded with a springboard somersault senton. Unfortunately for Scorpio, Muta was too close to the ropes, so it didn’t look crisp. Regardless, it got 2.
  • All four wrestlers were in the ring while Windham planted Scorpio with an implant DDT.
  • After Muta mounted the top turnbuckle, he delivered a moonsault.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Windham and Muta advanced.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Muta and Scorpio provided plenty of high-flying while the #1 contenders to the World tag team titles survived unscathed. Considering the other three wrestlers had matches later in the show, it made sense that newcomer Scorpio took the pin.

On the platform, Schiavone, Zbyszko, and Hyatt reveal Sting’s partner as Williams. They then disclose that Liger and Watts will be their opposition.

Match 4 (Lethal lottery): Sting & “Dr. Death” Steve Williams versus Jushin “Thunder” Liger & Erik Watts

Highlights:

  • Even Hyatt had to laugh when Zbyszko read Watts’ name because he had ZERO reason to be included.
  • Williams tagged in, gave Liger a cross corner whip, but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • While Ross subtly played up the rarity of a match-up between Liger and Williams due to their NJPW-AJPW affiliations, Watts tagged in.
  • Williams then missed a pair of clotheslines, and Watts delivered a cross body block for 2.
  • As Liger blindly tagged in, he gave Williams a cross corner whip but ate a clothesline for 2.
  • Sting tagged in and sandwiched Liger sternum-first into the corner for another 2.
  • When Liger hooked a sunset flip, he earned a 1-count.
  • Williams tagged in and guillotined Liger with the top rope.
  • After Sting tagged in, he clotheslined Liger for 2.
  • He then slammed Liger for another 2.
  • As he gave Liger a cross corner whip, Sting missed a Stinger splash.
  • Shortly after, Sting hooked a single-leg crab, but Liger made the ropes.
  • Williams tagged in, but Liger hooked a sleeper.
  • When Williams countered with a belly-to-back suplex, Sting tagged in for 2.
  • He then suplexed Liger for another 2.
  • After Williams tagged in, Liger face-planted him.
  • Watts tagged in, attempted a dropkick, but was too close to Williams; hence, he botched it badly.
  • As Watts applied the STF, Williams immediately grabbed the bottom rope.
  • He then dumped Watts to the concrete floor much to the delight of the Atlanta faithful.
  • Upon Watts’ return, he attempted a cross body block, but Williams countered with a stungun.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Williams and Sting advanced.

Rating: **

Summary:  This match earned an infamous reputation for the ill-timed Watts dropkick, but Liger took a hellacious beating before Watts was put out to pasture. The adulation that Watts received at Clash XXI has faded, and the WCW faithful have collectively jeered him due to nepotism.

Prior to the next match, we see footage of Keiji Mutoh versus Chono in Japan (aired 10/17, taped 8/11).

Match 5 for the NWA World title: Masahiro Chono (champion) versus IWGP champion Great Muta

Highlights:

  • Chono delivered an enziguri, and Muta sought refuge outside the ring.
  • While the Atlanta faithful chanted “Mu-ta,” their favorite converted a full nelson into an abdominal stretch.
  • Chono then escaped and hooked his own abdominal stretch.
  • Shortly after, he slammed Muta and mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Muta then caught, joined, and superplexed Chono.
  • When he backdropped Chono, Muta hooked a single-leg crab.
  • He then switched to an Indian death lock while the Atlanta faithful took a collective nap.
  • As Chono delivered a snap suplex, Muta rebounded with a spinning thrust kick.
  • He then hit a handspring elbow to wake up the Atlanta faithful.
  • After he gave Chono a backbreaker, Muta mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • He then attempted a moonsault, but Chono evaded him. Luckily for Muta, he landed on his feet.
  • When Muta hooked an inside cradle, he got 2.
  • Chono rebounded with a belly-to-back suplex, made a second attempt, but Muta landed on top for another 2.
  • As Muta missed a dropkick, Chono hooked the STF.
  • Muta submitted so Chono retained.

Rating: **

Summary:  Definitely not a main event in any arena as the dull rest holds in the middle of the match removed the Atlanta faithful from it. Hopefully, their match next week in Tokyo will be a vast improvement over this one.

According to Ross, an eight-wrestler single-elimination tournament to crown a #1 contender for the US title will commence on the next episode of WCW Saturday Night. The winner of the tournament will face Rude on the 1/23 episode. Should Rude be unable to compete, he will be stripped of the title.

Speak of the devil! Rude comes to the ring and feels screwed by both his doctor and WCW. As he notes that WCW didn’t strip Sting of the World title when Vader injured him in April, Rude senses conspiracy against him and adamantly vows to keep his title.

Match 6 for the WCW World title: Ron Simmons (champion) versus “Dr. Death” Steve Williams

Highlights:

  • Williams and Simmons shook hands at the onset.
  • As Simmons leap-frogged over a three-point stance tackle, he clotheslined Williams for 2.
  • Williams then reversed a cross corner whip but ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
  • When Simmons face-planted him, he got another 2.
  • He then attempted an Anderson slam, but Williams freed his arm before landing.
  • After Simmons mounted the top turnbuckle, he leaped, but there was no water in the pool.
  • Williams then rammed Simmons’ knee on the apron and dropkicked him.
  • Shortly after, he gave Simmons a backbreaker for 2.
  • He then clotheslined Simmons for another 2.
  • As he slammed Simmons, Williams hit a pair of three-point stance tackles.
  • He then made a third attempt, but Simmons clotheslined him.
  • When Simmons delivered a spinebuster, he gave Williams a pair of three-point stance tackles.
  • He then made a third attempt, but Williams evaded him.
  • After Simmons spilled down to the concrete floor, Williams joined and brawled with him.
  • Simmons then tried to clothesline Williams but HIT THE POLE instead.
  • As referee Nick Patrick reached the count of ten, both wrestlers were counted out.
  • Simmons retained.
  • BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Rating: **

Summary:  Second match in a row where the mat wrestling in the middle extricated the Atlanta faithful from the match. One would hope that WCW comes to their senses and takes the title off Simmons very soon.

After the match, Williams wants to ram Simmons into the ring post but eats it himself. When Simmons returns to the ring to a mixture of cheers and jeers, Williams attacks him from behind. He then mounts the top turnbuckle and plants a knee behind Simmons’ head. After referee Mike Adkins helps to separate the wrestlers, Patrick changes the decision to a Simmons victory by DQ.

HISTORICAL NOTE: Williams continued his North American unpinned streak which began in 1987. Following this show, Williams returned to AJPW and wouldn’t return to WCW for seven years.

Promo airs for SuperBrawl III. Call your cable company now to order.

Prior to the next match, we revisit Clash XXI when Windham CREAMED Steamboat and Douglas with a chair in the locker room. We then revisit WCW Saturday Night when he and Pillman brawled with the champs to end the show (aired 12/26, taped 12/7).

This show is quickly falling off the rails. Can someone please save it?

Match 7 for the NWA and WCW World tag team titles: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat & Shane Douglas (champions) versus “Flyin’” Brian Pillman & Barry Windham

Highlights:

  • Douglas reversed a cross corner whip, but PIllman floated over and hip-tossed him.
  • When Douglas leap-frogged him, he dropkicked Pillman to the ramp.
  • Windham came in and ate one too.
  • Upon double-dropkicking Windham, the champs subsequently double-backdropped him.
  • Tags were exchanged on both sides while Steamboat suplexed Windham.
  • As Douglas tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle and lowered the boom on Windham.
  • Speaking of Windham, he countered a side head lock with a belly-to-back suplex.
  • After Steamboat tagged in, he gave Windham a neck snap and nailed Pillman in the corner.
  • He then clotheslined Windham over the top rope to the concrete floor.
  • When he joined Windham, Steamboat slammed him on the concrete floor. OUCH!
  • Windham made it to the ramp only for Douglas to slam him on it.
  • As Steamboat delivered a swinging neckbreaker, he got 2.
  • Douglas tagged in, but Windham countered a rear chin lock with a jawbreaker.
  • After Pillman tagged in, he sent Douglas into a back elbow from Windham.
  • Douglas then vaulted Pillman to the apron and dropkicked him. That caused Pillman to taste the steel railing which must have tasted like the Hot Mess at Park Bar.
  • When Douglas mounted the top turnbuckle again, Pillman dropkicked him all the way down to the concrete floor. Look out below!
  • Windham then clotheslined Douglas on the floor. Nefarious!
  • As Pillman guillotined Douglas with the top rope, Windham tagged in and lowered the boom on Douglas.
  • While Windham and Steamboat distracted referee Randy Anderson, Pillman gave Douglas the business. How dastardly!
  • Windham then guillotined Douglas with the bottom rope and tagged in Pillman.
  • After Windham tagged in, he launched Douglas through the ropes causing him to taste the steel railing. Waiter, could you give the blond babyface in yellow a Cumberland please?
  • Windham then joined and pounded on Douglas until Steamboat WALLOPED him with a chair.
  • When PIllman tagged in, he prevented the hot tag and delivered a belly-to-back suplex to Douglas for 2.
  • Windham tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and provided even more boom for Douglas.
  • As he gave Douglas a second belly-to-back suplex, Windham got another 2.
  • Pillman tagged in and hit a back elbow on Douglas.
  • After he suplexed Douglas, Pillman splashed him but couldn’t get 3.
  • Steamboat then distracted Anderson, and the heels double-teamed Douglas in their corner. Devious!
  • When Windham tagged in, Douglas blocked a suplex and delivered one of his own.
  • Hot tag Steamboat.
  • Windham then reversed an Irish whip and powerslammed Steamboat.
  • Upon giving Steamboat belly-to-back suplex #3, Windham tagged in Pillman.
  • While Douglas distracted Anderson, Pillman tossed Steamboat over the top rope to the concrete floor. Crafty!
  • Windham then joined and made Steamboat HIT THE POLE.
  • After Steamboat climbed the ropes, he chopped Pillman on top of the head for 2.
  • Pillman then delivered a flying headscissors for 2.
  • When Windham tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle yet again and supplied the boomiest of booms to Steamboat.
  • Nevertheless, Windham then mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but Steamboat evaded him.
  • As Windham reversed an Irish whip, Steamboat face-planted him.
  • Tags were exchanged on both sides again while Douglas gave Pillman a back elbow.
  • After all four wrestlers were in the ring, Douglas backdropped Pillman.
  • Steamboat then hit a cross body block that sent him along with Windham over the top rope to the ramp.
  • When Douglas reversed a cross corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
  • He then delivered a belly-to-belly suplex to Pillman.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Douglas and Steamboat retained.

Rating: ****1/2

Summary:  Whatever heat left the Omni during the prior two matches returned with a BLAZE with this hot match. Great job, guys!

We then revisit WCW Saturday Night when Vader mauled Sting in the ring, but Sting got revenge with a 2×4 during a later interview (aired 11/21, taped 11/16).

Match 8 for the King of Cable (final): Sting versus Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race)

Highlights:

  • Is it just me or do you also fear what happens to this trophy?
  • While Vader slammed Sting twice, Sting charged only to eat a running body block.
  • As Vader pressed him overhead, he guillotined Sting with the top rope.
  • He then repeated the move just to spite Sting.
  • When Vader missed a clothesline, Sting borrowed an abisegeri from Liger to take down Vader.
  • He then hit an enziguri followed by a release German suplex. Somebody’s ready for Japan.
  • After both wrestlers went over the top rope courtesy of a Sting clothesline, Sting returned to the ring and delivered a plancha taking out both Vader and Race. Woohoo!
  • Back in the ring, Vader gave Sting a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Sting then attempted a Stinger splash but ate boot.
  • As he rebounded with a DDT, Sting placed Vader atop the top turnbuckle.
  • He then gave Vader an elevated DDT for 2.
  • When Sting hooked a Scorpion death lock, Vader made the ropes to escape.
  • Vader then sought refuge outside the ring, and Sting joined him.
  • While Sting charged, Vader evaded him causing Sting to taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Megan’s Favorite at Manuel’s Tavern.
  • Moving right along…
  • Sting then barely beat the count back into the ring yet ate a short-arm clothesline.
  • After Vader gave Sting a cross corner whip, he followed with an avalanche and a clothesline for 2.
  • As he delivered a belly-to-back suplex, Vader splashed Sting for another 2.
  • He then clotheslined Sting again but couldn’t get 3. Out of frustration, he shoved referee Mike Adkins.
  • When Sting blocked another short-arm clothesline attempt, he hooked a backslide for 2.
  • He then tried a sunset flip yet avoided getting SQUISHED.
  • After Sting countered a side head lock with a belly-to-back suplex, Vader actually got 2.
  • He then placed Sting atop the top turnbuckle, joined, but Sting nailed and sent him CRASHING down to the mat.
  • As Sting began to no-sell Vader’s blows, he delivered a series of discus punches.
  • He then gave Vader a Samoan drop, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a splash for 2.
  • When Race got up on the apron, Vader nailed Sting.
  • He then chokeslammed Sting, mounted the second turnbuckle, and splashed Sting.
  • After Vader mounted the top turnbuckle, Sting caught and powerslammed him.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Sting won and became the King of Cable.

Rating: ****1/2

Summary:  Awesome match where both wrestlers let it all hang out, and it worked in spades. Excellent work, fellas!

After the match, Ventura interviews and congratulates Sting who states that he took a “butt-kicking” yet strongly desires to win Battlebowl for the second consecutive year.

In a pre-recorded interview, Schiavone and Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Hornung discussed the importance of a ring as a glorious achievement.

Match 9 (Battlebowl):

Participants:

Great Muta, “Heavy Metal” Van Hammer, the “Natural” Dustin Rhodes, Sting, “Dangerous” Dan Spivey, Big Van Vader, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, Barry Windham

Highlights:

  • Race accompanied Vader to the ring although I’m unsure what impact he’d have.
  • When Sting made his entrance, he and Vader brawled on the ramp.
  • Rhodes gave Windham the ten-punch count-along, blocked an inverted atomic drop, and clotheslined Windham.
  • As Vader clotheslined Sting, Windham delivered a belly-to-back suplex to Hammer.
  • Williams attempted to suplex him, but Muta blocked it and gave Williams one of his own.
  • After Williams eliminated Hammer, Rhodes bulldogged Windham on the ramp.
  • Williams then hit a belly-to-back suplex to Vader, and Sting eliminated Spivey.
  • When Sting delivered a Stinger splash to him, Vader tried a running body block and eliminated both Sting and himself.
  • FINAL FOUR: Muta, Rhodes, Williams, and Windham
  • Rhodes then vertically-suplexed Windham, and Muta gave Williams a pair of spinning thrust kicks.
  • According to Ross, Windham’s nose was BUSTED OPEN and possibly broken.
  • As the bloodied Windham delivered a DDT, he slammed Rhodes.
  • He then mounted the top turnbuckle, but Rhodes caught and slammed him down to the mat.
  • After Rhodes hit his own DDT, Windham tried to eliminate him.
  • Williams then charged and clotheslined Rhodes causing both wrestlers to spill over the top rope to the concrete floor.
  • While Windham and Muta remained, the Atlanta faithful heavily cheered Muta.
  • When Windham hit a vertical suplex, he couldn’t eliminate Muta.
  • He then gave Muta a belly-to-back suplex, placed him atop the top turnbuckle, and hooked a superplex. Wow!
  • As he dropkicked Muta, Windham tossed him over the top rope.
  • On the other hand, Muta skinned the cat back into the ring.
  • He then dropkicked Windham, and a second dropkick eliminated him.
  • Muta won.

Rating: NONE

Summary:  While it may seem like nothing, I bet Muta and Windham will cross paths again. For a quick, show-ending battle royal, this wasn’t bad.

Conclusion: With two World title matches, Battlebowl, the World tag team title match, and the King of Cable final, you can’t fault WCW for stockpiling matches for the big PPV. On the contrary, both World title matches stunk on Melba toast. If the tag title and King of Cable matches had been merely mediocre, this show would rival Great American Bash ’91 for worst WCW PPV.

Thankfully, those matches were golden; therefore, I’d recommend that you seek them out STAT.

Buyrate: 0.50

Stay tuned for WCW/NJPW Supershow III!

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