Open: Much like the past two Starrcade PPVs, a “Lethal Lottery” will randomly pair competitors together for preliminary tag team matches. The two winners from each match will be placed in the main event Battle Royal, with the last man standing being crowned the winner of BattleBowl. ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund & FiFi will be drawing the names tonight.
Match #1: WCW World Heavyweight Champion Big Van Vader & Cactus Jack w/Harley Race vs. Charlie Norris & Kane
Vader and Jack are not interested in getting along and they brawl on the entrance ramp before their opponents can even get to the ring. Race tries to get things under control. Kane comes in from behind and helps out Vader. Norris rushes down and he’s greeted with headbutts from the champ. Norris is tossed off the ramp while Kane and Jack duke it out between the ropes. Jack throws him into the turnbuckle. Outside, Race reminds Vader that he can’t go to BattleBowl if he doesn’t work together. Kane is dumped to the floor and Vader hits him with rights. Jack cuts Vader off from behind as this is his man.
He dumps Kane inside and Race is caught in between the foes who are forced to partner. Inside, a scoop slam by Kane on Jack and a tag is made to Norris. Big forearm and a whip to the ropes, Norris kicking Jack in the face. Jack comes back with headbutts, Vader reaches for a tag and Jack reluctantly obliges. Standing clothesline by the champ followed by a scoop slam. Vader to the 2nd rope and he hits a big splash. Norris is dumped to the floor and Vader follows. He holds Norris in place and lets Jack somersault to the floor. Back in the ring, Vader sends Norris down with all his weight. Tag is made to Jack who hits a leg drop.
He hooks the leg and Norris kicks out. He tries again, another kick out. Belly to back suplex by Jack and Kane forces the break. Norris is up first and he makes the tag. Kane clubs Jack over the back of the head, sends him to the ropes and hits a clothesline. Vader tries to sneak in, and he exchanges blows with Kane. Jack sends him for a back drop but it’s reversed with a boot. Tag is made to Norris who hits a vertical suplex on Jack. Norris hits a big boot and Jack tumbles to the floor. Kane attacks him on the outside, introducing Jack to the railing. Cactus rolls back in and eats some karate chops and a snap mare into a reverse chin lock from Norris.
Vader comes in to break the hold. A tag is made to Kane, Jack ducks an elbow an plants him with a double arm DDT. Both are slow to get up and tags are made. Norris with a chop from the top rope. He rushes the champ, but he’s too big and strong. Vader with a running splash and he calls for the power bomb. He lands it, Jack prevents Kane from interfering and the enemies move on together, staring each other down as their arms are raised.
Winners: Big Van Vader & Cactus Jack (Vader/Powerbomb)
- EA’s Take: If you were going to put foes together as a team, this was a good choice to kick the show off. Norris was sloppy, sloppy, sloppy on multiple spots in this one, just one of a few good indications why he never got off the ground. Pretty unusual that Vader is opening your show here, but anything’s possible with BatleBowl, right? At least that’s the premise.
Match #2: WCW World Tag Team Champion Brian Knobs & Johnny B. Badd w/Missy Hyatt vs. Paul Roma & Erik Watts
Knobs and Hyatt lecture Badd, they want to see what he has so he’ll start against Roma. Collar and elbow, they circle and it’s broken on the ropes. Knobs is still on Badd’s case. Collar and elbow, side headlock by Badd, to the ropes, and neither can land a hip toss as they dance around with reversals. Collar and elbow, headlock by Badd, to the ropes, shoulder block by Badd. Roma leapfrogs, but down he goes with an arm drag. Badd cranks the wrist, Roma with a knee to the midsection.
Rights from the Horseman and to the ropes they go. Leap frog and a duck down before another arm drag by Badd. Knobs won’t get out of his ear and he’s tagged in. He ambushes Roma and throws him into the turnbuckle. To the ropes for a big clothesline, and he tells Badd that’s how you get aggressive. Forearm shots by the Nasty Boy. Roma ducks an elbow and gets Knobs with a back drop and a scoop slam. Standing drop kick and a tag is made to Watts who delivers a big knee and drop kicks him to the floor. Knobs rolls in and tags Badd. They shake hands and lock up, hammerlock by Badd quickly reversed but Badd scores with a hip toss. Double leg into a bridge by Badd and Watts kicks out at two.
Watts is up quickly and he grabs an arm bar before tagging Roma who comes off the top with an ax. Roma with a hammerlock/scoop slam combo and another quick tag is made. Double ax handle by Watts who stays on the wrist. An Irish whip but Badd moves out of the way. Carry over by Badd and a tag is made to Knobs. Watts is sent to the corner, an Irish whip with a follow up clothesline by Knobs who then drops an elbow. Forearm shots by Knobs. They hit the ropes and Watts avoids the clotheslines with two arm drags. Knobs goes to the eyes and tags in Badd. Collar and elbow, side headlock to the ropes. Badd avoids contact and hits a drop toe hold. Watts reverses the hammerlock on the mat.
Tag is made to Roma and they send Badd for a double elbow. Lateral press and Badd kicks out. To the ropes again and it’s Roma with a scoop slam. Missy Hyatt runs a distraction on the apron to avoid a pin being made. Side headlock takedown by Badd and he hangs onto it. Roma breaks it with elbows to the back of the head. To the ropes and Knobs trips Roma from the floor. Badd is hesitant to take advantage of it. Badd tags in Knobs who has no problem stomping away. He rolls him to the floor and the ref backs Watts back to his corner when he checks on his partner. Hyatt instructs Badd to cheapshot Roma but he doesn’t do it. Roma rolls back in and Knobs hits a vertical suplex. Roma kicks out at two.
Knobs locks in an abdominal stretch and tags in Badd. Johnny with a side head lock, he sends Roma for the ride and they collide with shoulder blocks. Badd is up first and he tags in Knobs. Scoop slam to Roma and he says this match is finished. To the 2nd rope, he tries a splash and Roma gets the boot up. Roma is blocked from making the tag and he hits an enzigure. He’s able to tag Watts who sends Knobs for an elbow, a clothesline and a scoop slam. Watts with a big elbow drop and he throws Knobs into the turnbuckle before laying in a big right. Knobs reverses the Irish whip, Watts comes back with a crossbody, Knobs uses the momentum to roll all the way over. He grabs a handful of tights and the team of Knobs and Badd advance.
Winners: Brian Knobs & Johnny B. Badd (Knobs/Roll-Up)
- EA’s Take: Nothing overly exciting here, Badd is playing the role of the consummate babyface, absolutely refusing to take advantage of any foul play. You have to imagine that most of your belt holders will advance, so here comes Nasty Boy #1.
Match #3: WCW World Television Champion Lord Steven Regal & Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat w/Sir William vs. The Shockmaster & ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff
Regal and Steamboat are not impressed with being partners while Orndorff deals with the “Paula” chants. The Dragon and Mr. Wonderful kick things off. Collar and elbow, side headlock take down by Steamboat. He holds it on the mat, Orndorff back to his feet. They hit the ropes and it’s a shoulder block by Steamboat. Orndorff almost DQs himself early by throwing Steamboat over the top rope. Dragon hangs onto the rope, lifts himself up and pulls Wonderful over the top with a head scissor. Vicious brawl ensues on the floor, they move it back to the ring, Orndorff heads for the top rope but Steamboat cuts him off with a shot to the midsection.
A knee to the skull and Steamboat covers for two. He moves into a reverse chin lock. Up to their feet and to the ropes. Orndorff tries a monkey flip but Steamboat stops short. Side headlock by Steamboat and they jockey for pinning position. Up to vertical, Orndorff with body shots and elbows to the head. Steamboat tries a chop but it’s Wonderful with the Irish whip. Steamboat leapfrogs and hits an atomic drop. Orndorff bounces off the corner with a back elbow and they both collapse. Regal finally gets his tag, but on the other side it’s Shockmaster. Collar and elbow and Shockmaster tosses Regal aside. Lord Steven ducks and works into a side headlock. Shockmaster picks him up and sets him on the top rope, petting him on the head.
Regal is furious. Shockmaster with a wristlock, broken by a knee and a European uppercut but that simply wakes Shockmaster up. Shockmaster reverses the whip, Regal tries a flying body press but he’s caught and slammed out of the air. A tag is made to Wonderful who isn’t happy about coming in. Shockmaster leads the Paula chants. Regal offers a handshake, Steamboat is ticked and telling Regal to just wrestle. Collar and elbow, Regal with the side head lock and works Orndorff down to his knees. Shoulder block by Regal, side headlock takedown by the champ and he holds him on the mat. To the ropes again, Orndorff with a leapfrog, Regal counters the hip toss. Orndorff tries a backslide and Regal kicks out. Regal slows things down again and offers another hand which angers The Dragon. Collar and elbow, Regal with a full nelson.
Orndorff reverses into one of his own. Regal grabs the ankle to escape and cartwheels across the ring. The partners continue to argue and Steamboat insists that it’s his turn. To the ropes, Steamboat tries a leapfrog, Orndorff catches him and hangs him across the top rope. Wonderful drives the knees into Steamboat’s kidneys, William insisting Ricky tag Regal back in. Side slam by Orndorff who follows with a scoop slam. He makes a reluctant tag to Shockmaster. He tries an elbow and Steamboat moves. Regal reaches for a tag but pulls back when Dragon tries to make it. Shockmaster puts their hands together and throws Regal over the top rope and in. Regal is driven into the corner. He tries an Irish whip but Regal makes him miss.
Wonderful tries to break up the pin, Regal moves and Orndorff elbows his own partner. Shockmaster is up, taking exception to this, but on the other end Regal and Steamboat have come to blows. Steamboat hits Regal in the head with Sir William’s umbrella. William yells at him and The Dragon chases him off. Shockmaster sees the supine Regal in the center of the ring so he drops a big splash and he and Orndorff advance.
Winners: The Shockmaster & ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff (Shockmaster/Splash)
- EA’s Take: Surprising not to see Regal and/or Steamboat advance, but the end of the match ultimately sets up a challenge by Steamboat for the TV Title. Definitely the best match so far in terms of both work and story. Also of note, until covering the start of Regal’s WCW run earlier in this same year, I never realized Sir William was Bill Dundee. Still really odd to think about.