Match #10 – BattleBowl: Van Hammer, ‘Dangerous’ Dan Spivey, Big Van Vader, ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes, The Great Muta, Barry Windham, Sting, ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams
The last match is apparently not over as Vader attacks Sting on the entrance ramp. Everyone in the ring selects a dance partner. Spivey and Muta hammer on each other. Vader is thrown into the ring and Sting follows. Vader holds onto Sting and Windham hammers away on him. The brawl ensues, Williams being pounded by Muta. Big lariat by Rhodes on Windham. Van Hammer tries to work over Spivey. Vader lifts Sting but cannot get him to the floor. Big lariat by Vader. Hammer comes in with some rights on the big man, but cannot get much on them.
Rhodes and Williams do battle, Williams trying to put him over but cannot. Rhodes gets positioning and he cannot get his opponent over. Vader comes over and grabs a full nelson and he stomps away. Spivey lifts Sting but he hangs onto the ropes. Spivey thinks he got him, but he turns around into a drop kick. Sting grabs a reverse chin lock on Vader which is worked out of. Spivey lifts Muta who fights off elimination. On the other side, Steve Williams elevates Van Hammer with a back body drop over the top rope. Van Hammer has been eliminated. Windham and Rhodes do battle on the elevated entrance ramp and The Natural lands a bulldog.
Belly to back suplex on Vader while Sting dumps Spivey over the top rope. Dan Spivey has been eliminated. Rhodes gets worked over by a couple of opponents as Sting comes in to grab a chinlock on Windham. Rhodes saves himself with a rake to the eyes and Vader pursues Muta. The big man hangs him over the top and Sting saves him with a splash from behind. The two opponents from the previous match tussle, Vader charges him with a big splash and both men tumble over the top rope onto the entrance ramp. Sting and Big Van Vader have been eliminated.
Vertical suplex by Rhodes on Windham while Williams and Muta do battle in the corner. Straight right by Rhodes with a martial arts kick by Muta. Windham is busted open and The Natural stays on him hard. Muta sends Williams to the corner but Doc fights back. On the other side, a DDT by Windham on Rhodes. Muta blocks a corner shot and sends Williams into the turnbuckle. Scoop slam by Windham on Rhodes and he heads to the top rope. Rhodes catches him and military presses him to the mat. DDT by Rhodes on Windham. Back to their feet, Windham and Rhodes struggle at the ropes – Dr. Death comes in hard with a clothesline and he takes both he and Dustin over at once. Dustin Rhodes and Steve Williams have been eliminated.
With two left, the crowd is firmly behind Muta. Windham cheap shots Muta off of a test of strength. He drives the head into the turnbuckle and lands a vertical suplex. Straight rights on the mat, Windham attempts to throw Muta over the top rope but he hangs on tight – Belly to back suplex instead. Windham lifts Muta and seats him on the top rope, scoring with the superplex. Standing drop kick by Windham, he throws Muta over the top rope and turns around to celebrate, unaware that Muta held on. Big drop kick by Muta, Windham staggers up and he’s hit by another which knocks him out to the floor. Barry Windham has been eliminated. We have a Battlebowl winner!
Winner: The Great Muta
- EA’s Take: During this era, you need a good excuse for Sting going down and furthering his rivalry with Vader was a pretty good one. The crowd was definitely all about Muta and seem to have been for most of his appearances the past year-plus, so the Battlebowl win was a good payoff to an otherwise lackluster PPV.
EA’s Finisher: This is how I imagine the booking meeting went: “Alright, what do we have to work with? Well, we don’t have Rick Rude, Steve Austin, Arn Anderson or Paul E. Dangerously on the show, Watts just idiotically low-balled our best tag team, The Steiner Brothers, and drove them to the WWF, and top card guys like Ric Flair and Lex Luger are now in the distant rear view mirror. What can we do to save our biggest show of the year? Hmmmm, I know: we’ll open the show with Sting and then have him wrestle in 3 of the last 6 matches!”. When they called him ‘The Franchise’ they weren’t kidding – he really carried the weight of the company on his shoulders through some interesting times. Last year, the whole card revolved around Battlebowl. I wasn’t a fan of that because this is your ‘WrestleMania’ and I thought that concept could be better served on its own gimmick PPV. That being said, it involved 10 tag team matches. That means 40 participants and a 20 man, double ring battle royal. It was a stretch at the time, but the roster clearly did not have the depth to pull something like that off this year, as the field was cut by 60%. That’s fine because I also think the big belts should be defended on the show, but with 5 different Superstars working 3 of the 9 matches on the card, that’s rough! With a lackluster Battlebowl tournament and all the champs retaining, there is nothing to write home about here.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas vs. Barry Windham & Brian Pillman
2 – Sting vs. Big Van Vader
3 – Masahiro Chono vs. The Great Muta