Open: Eric Bischoff gives us an update on the WCW World Heavyweight Championship match. ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude has suffered a herniated disc and will not be able to challenge Ron Simmons for the belt. He will be replaced by ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams.
In The Ring: Tony Schiavone is in the ring and he introduces Bill Watts & Hank Aaron. Watts explains that Battlebowl was a dream of Dusty Rhodes and Sting won the inaugural competition last year. The winners will now be awarded a special ring for winning and Aaron will do the honors of presenting last year’s victor with one. Sting makes his way down to the ring, he accepts the ring and hopes to repeat his performance this year.
In The Arena: Larry Zbyszko & Missy Hyatt will be doing the drawings for the lethal lottery tonight. Hyatt explains that the first two teams were already drawn at the last Clash of the Champions, so we’re ready to kick off the action.
Match #1: Van Hammer & ‘Dangerous’ Dan Spivey vs. Johnny B. Badd & Cactus Jack
Jack and Hammer kick things off. Collar and elbow tie up, Jack gets position and a few forearms. Knee to the gut by Jack, Hammer hanging on to prevent the Irish whip. Hammer switches sides and pounds on Jack in the corner. Irish whip by Hammer, Jack stops short and catches him with a double leg pick up. He uses the ropes for leverage but Hammer kicks out. They do a bit of jawing in the middles of the ring and Hammer slaps him across the face. Another Irish whip and a high impact clothesline by Heavy Metal before lifting Jack with a scoop slam.
Big leg drop across Jack’s face, lateral press and there is a kickout at 1. Up to their feet and Jack goes for the eyes before tagging in Badd. Side headlock by the flamboyant Badd and they hit the ropes, leapfrog by Hammer and he scores with a hip toss. He drops an elbow across Badd’s forehead, hooks the leg and gets a two count. Badd reverses the whip to the ropes and throws Hammer with a deep arm drag, quickly followed by a modified arm drag. Badd leaps onto Hammer’s shoulders and takes him over with a head scissor, kickout at two. Badd grabs an arm bar and tags in Jack.
Hammer is thrown with a big hiptoss, but he rolls out of the way of the elbow and tags in Spivey. Dangerous Dan and Jack exchanges clubbing blows, Spivey with the advantage. Jack reverses the Irish whip to the corner, they take turns missing clotheslines and Spivey finally gets a big boot up to the jaw. He charges Jack and lands a clothesline, following it with a scoop slam and a kick to the ribs. Hammer is tagged back in, he stays in control with a side headlock takedown, it’s reversed into a head scissor and Hammer kicks out of it and all the way up to his feet. Up to their feet, Jack rakes the eyes and introduces Hammer to the turnbuckle
Badd is tagged back in, they hit the ropes and Spivey lands a cheap kick to Johnny’s kidneys. Hammer is confused but tags his partner in, Spivey sends Badd for the ride and lands a side slam. Clubbing forearms by Spivey followed by a bear hug. Badd is chucked into the corner and Hammer is tagged back in. Van Hammer lifts Badd for a scoop slam and it’s a near fall at two. Belly to back suplex by Hammer but he still can’t get him. Quick tag back to Spivey, a big boot and a big left before sending Badd for the ride but Johnny is able to come back with a big knee. Both men are shaken, Badd is able to tag in Jack and he comes in pummeling Spivey.
He buries his forearms into Dangerous Dan’s face in the corner, he sends him for an Irish whip and plants him with a modified bulldog. Cactus drops his elbow across Spivey’s jaw, lateral press and Dan kicks out. Jack goes to pick Spivey up but he’s instead dumped through the middle rope and out to the floor. Spivey doesn’t give chase, Jack returns to the ring, he’s thrown to the ropes, Spivey sets up for a back body drop and Cactus boots him in the face. A high impact clothesline by Jack. They’re both slow to get up, Jack looks for a tag but Badd is still recovering down on the floor.
Russian leg sweep by Spivey and Jack kicks out at two. Hammer is tagged in, he sends Jack to the ropes and leaps into the air with a clothesline. Badd rolls into the ring to break up the pin with an elbow, Hammer moves and Johnny strikes his own partner. Cactus gets up, put off by what just happened and they exchange blows. Jack is hit by Badd’s left hook and Hammer rolls him up from behind to advance to Battlebowl.
Winners: Van Hammer & ‘Dangerous’ Dan Spivey (Hammer/Schoolboy)
- EA’s Take: Hammer botched that headscissor bump and it looked like it could have been Concussion City. This is probably the first Cactus Jack match I’ve seen that didn’t involve brawling on the floor. This felt like a “get it out of the way” match because there is no case to be made for either advancing participant to actually win Battlebowl, so now we’ll just see if Jack shows up somewhere else on the show because he always seems to find a way.
Match #2: Big Van Vader & ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes w/Harley Race vs. Kensuke Sasaki & The Barbarian
Vader and Barbarian will start this one off. They shake hands, words and appear fired up. Collar and elbow tie up and a quick, clean break. They do it once more with the same result. A third tie up, Barbarian tries to grab a wristlock and hit a clothesline but Vader doesn’t budge. They lock up, Vader tries the same tactic and Barbarian doesn’t give an inch. A lock up and Barbarian shows off his strength with a scoop slam. They square each other up, Vader gets a headbutt in, he takes position in the corner, but no clean break.
Scoop slam by the former World Champion, Barbarian shakes it off. Barbarian hits the ropes and neither gives an inch in the center of the ring. He tries again, same result. A third attempt and this time Vader flattens him. Clubbing shots by Vader in the corner and Barbarian drops. Whip to the ropes, Barbarian moves away from a big boot, he lands a more effective clothesline but the big man doesn’t fall. Vader staggers and a second clothesline drops him to the mat. Vader stops short from a whip to the ropes and hits a clothesline. A tag is made to The Natural who hits a clothesline, assisted by his partner.
Rhodes hooks the leg and Barbarian kicks out. Dustin grabs a side headlock and its immediately reversed by a belly to back suplex. Lateral press and Rhodes kicks out. Up to their feet and this time its Rhodes hitting the suplex. Barbarian reaches out and makes the tag to Sasaki. Collar and elbow, armbar grabbed by Sasaki, he sends Rhodes with an Irish whip but eats an elbow. Dustin hooks the leg but can’t get him. Rhodes with chops in the corner, he sends Sasaki with a whip to the corner and Kensuke comes back with a clothesline. Sasaki leaps from the second rope and Rhodes catches him with a drop kick. Scoop slam by The Natural and Vader is tagged in.
The big man climbs to the 2nd rope and comes off with a powerful body block. He sends Sasaki for the ride and lands a vicious clothesline. Vader lifts him for a power slam and the young opponent is able to kick out. A front face lock by Vader, he goes for a vertical suplex, Sasaki leaps out of it and lands a drop kick. A powerful clothesline by Sasaki and Vader stumbles. He attempts another but runs into a boot. Another front facelock by Vader, Sasaki blocks the vertical suplex and impossibly takes the 450 pound man over for a snap suplex. Slow to crawl over on both sides, Rhodes and Barbarian are both tagged in.
Rhodes lands the first punches, he sends Barbarian to the ropes and scores with a kick to the gut and a running knee lift. Barbarian goes down with a drop kick followed by clothesline off the ropes. Sasaki is just barely able to the make the save, Rhodes shows him how he feels about that and they exchange blows. Barbarian tries charging Rhodes from behind, Dustin moves and he collides with Sasaki, knocking him off the apron. Rhodes schoolboys Barbarian and we have a similar finish two matches in a row.
Winners: Big Van Vader & ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes (Rhodes/Schoolboy)
- After The Bell: Vader and Harley Race knock Rhodes out with cheapshots proving they have no allegiance going into Battlebowl.
- EA’s Take: Gee, what a “creative” finish after match number one. The losing team tries an ambush, the opponent moves out of the way, partners collide and the winner scores with a schoolboy. Literally the same thing back-to-back to open the show. Vader and Barbarian were disappointingly awkward in what should have been some fun, hard-hitting action. I rarely get to say this about a match Rhodes is involved with, but I wouldn’t be shocked if this turns out to be the dud of the night.
Match #3: ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman & 2 Cold Scorpio vs. The Great Muta & Barry Windham
Scorpio and Windham start, quick back body drop by Windham, followed with a hip toss and a drop kick by Scorpio. Deep arm drag by Scorpio, Windham reverses and they struggle for positioning. Windham tries a scoop slam but Scorpio hangs on and flips him over. Scorpio stays in control of the arm, but Windham is able to make the tag. Muta backs him off with a roundhouse kick. They lock up, waistlock by Muta, standing switch by Scorpio who drives him to the ropes and tags in Pillman.
Kick and forearm by Pillman, Muta is sent for the ride and a dropkick. He makes the cover and gets two. They hit the ropes, shoulder block by Muta, they run again, avoid contact and show off their athleticism before Muta lands a dropkick. Side headlock takedown by Muta, he hangs on, Pillman tries to roll him over but can’t make the pin. Back to vertical and Windham is tagged back in. Side headlock takeover, countered by a head scissor. They lock up, Windham takes position in the corner, and the two tag team partners lay into each other with chops. Collar and elbow, Muta is tagged back in, he sends Pillman to the ropes but eats a kick to the face.
Pillman drives Muta into the canvass, grabs a side headlock, they hit the ropes, Pillman with a shoulder block and Muta with a karate kick on the comeback. Drop toe hold into the 2nd turnbuckle by Flyin Brian. He grabs a front facelock and tags Scorpio back in. Muta is sent to the ropes and is hit by a big clothesline. Scoop slam by Scorpio and Muta gets his knees up, preventing the splash. Tag is made to Windham, he sends Scorpio for a big lariat followed by a legdrop. Front face lock and a vertical suplex by Windham, a lateral press earns him two. Big right hand knocks Scorpio on his back and Muta is tagged in. They double drop kick Scorpio, Muta with a snapmare and an elbow.
Scorpio is shaken and finds himself in a submission on his left ankle. Irish whip is reversed by Scorpio who comes in with a big splash. Muta is planted on the mat and Scorpio uses the turnbuckles for leverage and scores with a legdrop. He hooks the leg and Muta kicks out. Spinning karate kick by Muta knocks Scorpio out to the entrance ramp. He approaches the ring and buries his shoulder into Muta’s gut. Scorpio flips over the top rope and lands a splash on his opponent, Windham breaks the pin. Pillman charges in but he’s dumped to the floor by Muta. Windham reverses a scoop slam and he plants Scorpio with an elevated DDT. Muta comes off the top rope with a moonsault and they’re advancing.
Winners: The Great Muta & Barry Windham (Muta/Moonsault)
- EA’s Take: Much better match than the first two. Not much was made about the fact that Windham and Pillman are partners and they in fact went at each other quite hard. Is that not one of the selling points of this whole thing? Why not bring that up?