Date: December 28, 1992
Show: Starrcade ’92
Roster (8): Van Hammer, Danny Spivey, Big Van Vader, “the Natural” Dustin Rhodes, Great Muta, Barry Windham, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams and Sting
I didn’t watch all that much WCW in my childhood and I especially didn’t see any WCW PPVs. The concept of Battlebowl always had me interested, though, and it’s something I’d love to see WWE bring back. The first step to it is the Lethal Lottery. A bunch of wrestler names are picked out of a hat to create very random tag team matches. For instance, at this show, Big Van Vader and Dustin Rhodes had to team up to face the Barbarian and Kensuke Sasaki. Vader and Dustin won, each advancing into the big battle royal to end the show. In Vader’s case, it also softened him up a bit for a scheduled match against Sting that he ended up losing.
Sting is the last entrance into the fray and as they hype him up as last year’s winner, Vader rushes out the ring and collides into him. He goes from repeatedly clobbering him to trying to choke him out while Harley Race cheers him on. Refs try to separate the two while the other six go at it in the ring.
Sting and Vader eventually find their way in there and for quite a while, a big pile of nothing happens. It’s made a bit more boring from the fact that whoever’s directing this feels the need to hold back on changing any camera angles. It’s just the same hard camera shot of eight men brawling for far too long. Eventually, they show two more screens of other camera angles, which makes an 8-man brawl look more complicated than it really needs to.
Dr. Death eliminates Van Hammer about five minutes in and finally we’re onto something, but it’s barely noticed as the focus is more on Dustin giving Windham a bulldog on the walkway to the ring. With the eight guys involved, the only two feuds that have any meat on them are Sting vs. Vader and Dustin vs. Windham, who were partners before Windham turned heel. Sting soon after eliminates Spivey and that too is rather underwhelming.
With six guys left, Vader cuts it down quite a bit by diving into Sting and taking them both out in one go.
That leaves Muta vs. Dr. Death while the Dustin/Windham fight keeps on keeping on. Once it’s time to reach the end, Dr. Death repeats the same exact spot as Vader and accidentally eliminates himself along with Dustin Rhodes. That brings us to Windham – who is bloodied from that earlier bulldog – and the Great Muta. The crowd suddenly wakes up at this point and there are huge chants in support of Muta.
Windham works on Muta and holds the advantage for a few minutes. After a nice dropkick, he figures it’s time to finish it and throws him over the top rope. Muta holds on, does the “skin the cat” spot and saves himself from elimination.
He bombards Windham with a couple dropkicks and sends him over the top, thereby winning the Battlebowl Ring in what Jesse Ventura insists is an upset. The place goes nuts and fireworks go off for our Japanese victor.
Keep in mind, this is a pretty mind-blowing finish for the time. Shawn Michaels made it memorable at the 1994 Royal Rumble, but that’s still just over a year away by this point. So that’s cool.
Speaking of Shawn Michaels, tomorrow is all about his absence and the need for a replacement.