WCW Starrcade 1992 – Battle Bowl | WCW Sunday Night RetroView

RetroView fans, we are diving deep into the WCW library for today’s RetroView. It’s WCW Starrcade 1992: Battle Bowl – Lethal Lottery 2. We open the show with a fantastic, straight out of the early 90’s video package highlighting the rich history of WCW’s biggest event. 

It’s the tenth version of the annual event and this show has five championships on the line, including Ron Simmons defending the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against WCW United States Champion Rick Rude. 

Into the Vault: WCW Starrcade 1992 - The Overtimer
[Photo: TheOvertimer]
Also, the NWA Heavyweight Championship is also on the line between Masahiro Chono and The Great Muta. The Lethal Lottery and BattleBowl battle royal, along with the King of the Cable tournament finals between Sting and Big Van Vader, are taking place.  

Jim Ross and Jesse “The Body” Ventura are the two announcers for WCW Starrcade 1992. Eric Bischoff gives us a WCW Special Report telling us Rick Rude has suffered an injury and won’t be competing on the show. 

In his place will be Dr. Death Steve Williams in the WCW Championship match against Ron Simmons. There will be four tag team matches with randomly assigned partners, the winners of each match advance to the battle royal to end the night. 

We cut to Cowboy Bill Watts and Tony Schiavone who are joined by Hank Aaron, who receives a hero’s ovation from the Atlanta audience. Aaron presents the BattleBowl Championship to the 1991 winner Sting. We now jump to Larry Zbyszko and Missy Hyatt who are going to do the random draw for the Lethal Lottery. 

WCW Starrcade 1992
BattleBowl – Lethal Lottery 2
Van Hammer & Dan Spivey vs. Johnny B Badd & Cactus Jack

Starrcade '92 - Classic Wrestling Review
[Photo: ClassicWrestlingReview]
It’s wild seeing Van Hammer and Dan Spivey. They aren’t wrestlers one searches for often. Jack and Johnny B Bad look like stars compared to their opponents. Hammer and Jack begin the match and the best word to describe Hammer is clunky. 

He does hit a solid flying clothesline into the corner early on. Badd and Jack’s first tag is tumultuous, to say the least, as Badd shoves Jack out of the way. A Frankensteiner by Badd elicits a loud pop as this was not common for the times. 

Spivey and Jack have better chemistry and hit it each with some moves Jim Ross describes as high impact. Hammer and Spivey get confrontational after Spivey hits Badd with a knee to the back outside the ring. 

Eventually Jack get the hot tag of all people, and hits Spivey with a flurry of offense. A missed tag opportunity and errant elbow drop on Jack from Badd leads to a punch in frustration from Badd. This allows Spivey to get the roll-up for the victory. 

Winners – Danny Spivey & Van Hammer

We get our first live drawing for the Letha Lottery and it is the “Natural” Dustin Rhodes and Big Van Vader taking on Kensuke Sasaki and the Barbarian. 

WCW Starrcade 1992
BattleBowl – Lethal Lottery 2
Dustin Rhodes & Big Van Vader vs. Kensuke Sasaki & The Barbarian

WCW Starrcade 1992: Battlebowl/ The Lethal Lottery II Review | My Journey Through Wrestling
[Photo: MyJourneyThroughWrestling]
Rhodes and Vader are coming off a semifinal match in the King of Cable tournament, something Jim Ross lets us know. Vader and Barbarian start the match with a handshake followed by a shove from Vader. 

Classic big man one-upmanship gets this match started; neither man was able to make the other budge. Vader strikes first with an impressive body slam. In his prime, Vader is fun to watch with his aggressive approach. Vader and Rhodes show some good teamwork with a double-team clothesline. 

Sasaki and Rhodes have a good back and forth midway through the match. When Vader re-enters he hits a jumping clothesline from the middle rope. This is good old-fashioned, hard-hitting wrestling between these four. 

Sasaki shows impressive strength with a suplex of Vader, before Rhodes and Barbarian have a go-round. Much like the first match, a miscommunication between Barbarian and Sasaki leads to Rhodes getting the roll-up win. His success is met with a massive clothesline from his partner much to the chagrin of the announcers and audience. 

Winners – Big Van Vader & Dustin Rhodes

It’s time for our next drawing and this time Missy Hyatt pulls out Barry Windham, the Great Muta versus 2 Cold Scorpio and Brian Pillman. 

WCW Starrcade 1992
BattleBowl – Lethal Lottery 2
Barry Windham & the Great Muta vs. 2 Cold Scorpio & Brian Pillman

Starrcade '92 - Classic Wrestling Review
[Photo: ClassicWrestlingReview]
This is a great example of how good this concept is. Mixing various personalities and styles helps make this event feel unique. Great Muta, always larger than life, comes out with red face paint. Scorpio and Windham start this one-off. 

The first tag between Muta and Windham is a hostile one. Muta and Scorpio both move so smoothly in the ring; you can’t help but enjoy their interactions together. Even more impressive is Muta and Pillman’s chemistry. Windham brings the rough and tumble aspect to the match as he imposes his will. 

Pillman and Windham have a great exchange, slapping each other as hard as possible. That is until they realize they still have a tag title match later in the night. Windham and Muta get the win after a spike DDT by Windham on Scorpio and a masterful moon sault by Muta. 

Winners – Barry Windham and the Great Muta

Time for the final random drawing for the Lethal Lottery and Missy Hyatt pulls Dr. Death Steve Williams who is partnering with Sting taking on Eric Watts and Jushin Thunder Liger. 

WCW Starrcade 1992
BattleBowl – Lethal Lottery 2
Sting & Dr. Death Steve Williams vs. Eric Watts & Jushin “Thunder” Liger

Starrcade '92 - Classic Wrestling Review
Photo: ClassicWrestlingReview]

Dr. Death and Eric Watts have a series of moves to start this match. Jim Ross is quick to mention Williams’ history playing at Oklahoma. Sting and Williams show some good team work as they wear down Liger, whose resilience impresses Ross. 

The majority of this match is Williams and Sting pummeling Liger. Watts gets one last flurry offense, almost locking in his patented STF, but it doesn’t last long. Dr. Death gets the win after dropping Watts neck first on the top rope. Kind of an abrupt ending. 

Winners – Sting & Dr. Death Steve Williams

The BattleBowl battle royal is set and will feature Big Van Vader, Dustin Rhodes, Van Hammer, Dan Spivey, Barry Windham, the Great Muta, Sting and Dr. Death Steve Willams. 

WCW Starrcade 1992
NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Masahiro Chono © vs The Great Muta

Starrcade '92 - Classic Wrestling Review
[Photo: ClassicWrestlingReview]
Zbysco and Schiavone give a great rundown of the lead-up to this match. You can tell Ross is amped up for this, even then he builds up championship matches like no other. We get some smooth mat wrestling to start the match, Muta makes a quick escape after receiving a swift kick from Chono. 

Any time Chono gets an edge, Muta refocuses outside the ring. Finally, Muta gets the advantage and begins working on Chono’s arm, something Chono is more than happy to return the favor on. 

There is a real methodical pace to the match, the in-ring chemistry front, and center. Next, Muta switches his focus to Chono’s knee, trying to earn a submission with various leg locks. Unfortunately, a miscalculated moonsault causes Muta to land awkwardly on his knee, something that is critical to the finish. 

Late in the match simultaneous drop kicks from both men is an impressive sight. Once Chono gets his deadly STF locked in, Muta is forced to submit. What a match!

Winner – Masahiro Chono

Jim Ross lets us know Rick Rude’s status and that he is in jeopardy of having his United States Championship stripped from him. Rude comes out, throws his doctor under the bus, and rips into WCW for their threats. Claims of conspiracy spout from Rude’s mouth, something Ventura agrees with. 

WCW Starrcade 1992
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Ron Simmons © vs. Dr. Death Steve Williams

Tape Machines Are Rolling — Scott Watches Starrcade '92: Battlebowl
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Ross gives us another rundown of Williams collegiate career tying masterfully into Ron Simmons history on the gridiron. Their attire further bolstered Ross’ claim with Simmons in Florida State colors while Williams donning Oklahoma’s. 

While Chono versus Muta was a brilliant piece of technical wrestling, this is a slobber knocker. A handshake begins this match to an appreciative applause from the audience. After a brief stalemate, both men get in a three-point stance and charge into each other much to the delight of the Atlanta crowd. 

Simmons outsmarts Williams on the next football rush, leapfrogging Williams before leveling him with a clothesline. This early flurry of offense sends Williams to the outside to regroup. Back in the ring, Williams hits Simmons with a punishing forearm, something that angers the champ. 

A hair pull by Williams slamming Simmons to the mat leads to the fisticuffs. An exchange Simmons comes out on top of. A high risk move from the top rope misfires for Simmons and Williams quickly begins to assault Simmons leg. 

Williams is the perfect adversary for the baby face Simmons. He’s big enough and intimidating enough to make his offense look impressive on the physical champion Simmons. 

Crowd is fully behind Simmons when he begins his comeback and it begins when Simmons lands a clothesline on a charging Williams. Then, a modified sidewalk slam allows Simmons to hit Williams with a pair of chop blocks. After the fight spills to the floor, the two are eventually counted out. 

The brawl continues until Simmons gets the edge, sending Williams shoulder first into the outside ring post. Williams gets the last word attacking Simmons from behind and hitting the champ with a knee drop from smash from the middle turnbuckle. The refs change the decision to a disqualification instead of a double count-out. 

WCW Starrcade 1992
Tag Team Match for the NWA & WCW Tag Team Championships
Shane Douglas & Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat © vs. Barry Windham & Brian Pillman

Starrcade '92 - Classic Wrestling Review
[Photo: ClassicWrestlingReview]
Douglas and Pillman begin the match. This match really picks up when Steamboat and Windham face off. Steamboat’s explosiveness is a sight to see. He and Douglas work well together with some quick tags early on. Windham eats a pair of hard slams to the outside floor and walkway ramp before Steamboat continues the assault inside the ring. 

It’s not until Pillman tags in that the challengers gain the advantage. But Douglas cuts off the assault drop, kicking Pillman off the ring apron. Pillman crashing into the metal guardrail is well done. 

Windham’s attack outside the ring swings the momentum back to the challengers. They begin to work over Douglas, isolating him from his corner. When Windham takes the fight to the floor again, he’s met with a chair by Steamboat, something that riles up Ventura on commentary. 

Back in the ring, it doesn’t take long for Windham and Pillman to retake control. As the hero in peril, Douglas gets the crowd amped for a Steamboat hot tag. This comes after a suplex reverse by Douglas and the crowd erupts when the Dragon enters. 

Steamboat’s quick assault is countered by a precise Windham power slam. Now its Steamboats turn to be in peril. Pillman and Windham continue their quick tags. Steamboat begins pointing at Windham after each strike, puzzling Windham. 

A missed ax handle off the top rope allows Steamboat to make the hot tag to Douglas. The man would become the Franchise of ECW, tosses Pillman around the ring. As Windham and Sting brawl on the outside, Douglas hits Pillman with a belly-to-belly suplex to get the three count. 

Winners – Shane Douglas & Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

WCW Starrcade 1992
King of Cable Tournament Final
Sting vs. Big Van Vader

WCW Starrcade 1992
[Photo: Sportkeeda]
Before the match, we see footage of both men pulling off surprise attacks on WCW television. Sting and Vader were always so good together in the ring and this is just another example. Vader and Harley Race make their way out first, Ross sums Vader up perfectly calling him a one-person army. 

Sting is met with a hero’s welcome donning his powder-blue face paint and attire. The King of Cable trophy is on the line in this contest and the crowd is super into this one. We get an early stare down, Vader’s intimidation met by Sting’s unphased response. 

Sting opens with a flurry of punches that are brushed off by the monster. Vader’s power and brute force control the early portion of the match. Sting meets this force with some high-impact maneuvers before impressively German suplexing the big man. 

A Sting cross body block over the top rope onto Vader and Harley Race drives the crowd nuts. Vader meeting a Stinger Splash with a boot shortly pauses Sting assault, but the red hot baby hits a DDT on Vader. He follows that up with an even more impressive suplex from the tip turnbuckle before locking Vader in the Scorpion Deathlock. 

After escaping the hold by reaching the ropes, Vader looks for a reprieve outside the ring. Sting misses a cross-body block and crashes into the steel guardrail. When Sting finally gets back in the ring, Vader goes on the attack. 

The evil monster begins twisting Sting arms in all types of holds. Finally, battering Sting all across the squared circle, Vader seems to be on the verge of victory. That is until he sets Sting on the top turnbuckle before being shoved to the mat by Sting. 

Jim Ross is quick to compare Sting utilizing the rope, a dope strategy made famous during Ali-Foreman. Sting eventually fires up like only he can but is distracted by Race, giving Vader time to recover. 

Vader’s final attempt at hitting his Vader splash is his undoing when Sting catches him for one of the finest power slams for the win. 

Winner – Sting

Ventura presents Sting with the King of Cable trophy before it’s time for the main event. Sting gives praise to Vader for the butt-kicking he just took before saying he plans to win BattleBowl for the second year in a row. 

WCW Starrcade 1992
BattleBowl 2
Sting vs Big Van Vader vs Barry Windham vs The Great Muta vs Dustin Rhodes vs Van Hammer vs Dan Spivey vs Dr. Death Steve Williams

Vader and Sting immediately begin brawling on the walkway ramp. The other six men pair off in the ring for this good old-fashioned battle royal. All eight men finally enter the ring and we get a three-way split-screen to watch all the action. 

What makes this battle royal really work is there are always moving pieces. Nobody focuses their attack on just one guy for too long. Brief alliances and assists carry most of this match. 

The first man eliminated is Van Hammer, no surprise there. Then, on the rampway, Rhodes hits Windham with a bulldog before they both make their way back to the ring. Spivey is the next man eliminated with a backdrop over the top rope by Sting. 

Vader and Sting are both eliminated when Vader sends both men over the top rope. The final four are Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham, Dr. Death Steve Williams, and the Great Muta. Windham at some point gets what looks like a broken nose, something Ventura blames on Rhodes hand cast. 

Williams and Rhodes go out together after Williams clothesline sends them both over the top rope. Down to just two, the crowd begins to chant for The Great Muta as he and a bloodied Windham lock eyes. Windham goes on the offensive hitting Muta with a suplex and a series of punches. 

Despite his best efforts, Windham is unable to eliminate Muta, who gets the win with a picture perfect drop kick that sends Windham flying over the top rope. 

WCW Starrcade 1992
[Photo: WWE.com]
As Muta celebrates, the pyro goes off, and the crowd goes home happy.

Winner – The Great Muta

This was a fun show to watch, an interesting and compelling way to weave a great story throughout the night; add in the plethora of championship matches and WCW knocked it out of the park in my opinion. Next time I’ll continue my dive into the event known as Starrcade, just have to decide which one.