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Charles (Loss)

[1991-12-29-WCW-Starrcade] Sting & Abdullah the Butcher vs Bobby Eaton & Brian Pillman

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My favorite match of the night I think best proves the concept behind the Lethal Lottery. Abdullah attacks partner Sting. Brian Pillman runs out and starts attacking Abdullah with his stick until his partner Bobby Eaton comes out to stop him and immediately goes after Sting's leg. They worked so hard to make Sting's leg injury a thing during this time, but Sting just didn't want to sell it. Abdullah uses a pencil as a weapon until Pillman stops him. This crowd loves Pillman vs Abby! WCW should have run that match on TV at some point. Cactus Jack runs in with a stick and accidentally hits Abdullah, and Sting is able to pin Eaton. He and Abdullah advance to Battlebowl. Fun match.

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Johhny B. Badd has a big reaction to Abdullah being picked as Sting’s partner. The Butcher attacks his partner Sting on the ramp before the match even starts. Opponent Pillman makes up the save. Mostly Sting versus Eaton in match with partners getting involved on the side. Sting gets the win much to Pillman’s joy. Pillman even high fives Sting. It did play up the Lethal Lottery of random guys getting put together but you then had a guy like Pillman who seemed more than happy to get his opponent Sting the win.

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The reactions of Johnny B. Badd and Abby to the Lottery announcements are gold. Big reactions to Pillman whaling away on Abdullah with the kendo stick, and later he bodyslams him to a huge pop (and naturally the crack WCW camera crew misses it) and drops splashes on him from the top. Cactus Jack accidentally hits Abdullah with another kendo stick, leading to Sting getting a pin on Eaton, and that precipitates the Abby/Cactus breakup. Fun, chaotic match.

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Battlebowl is always a concept i liked better hypothetically than executed out. This match does a good job of showing the intricacies you can use with the concept and featured some fun moments with Pillman vs. Abby and Eaton and Sting locking up. All of this is interspersed with Abby and STing fighting each other as partners. It is a fun concept.

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I just watched this for Where the Big Boys Play and I LOVED it. Abby's grin when he was on his way to face Sting was terrific.

 

Sure you had the ridiculous Pillman trying to save Sting, however, his saving Sting was attacking Abby who was his opponent, so I had no issue with that.

 

I would had gone 3.5 stars if the camera caught the bodyslam, but otherwise I enjoyed this one. Really the height of the Lethal Lottery.

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I didn't like this at all. Oh, the match we saw was good, very good in fact. Sting vs. Eaton was very well done, and the interference from cornermen Pillman and Abby (with an assist from Cactus) made for a very fun, if slightly surreal, atmosphere. This match was much better than their match in November of '90, which was marred by the ridiculous Black Scorpion garbage.

 

The problem was, this was supposed to be a tag team match, and it never was, not even for a second. I have a hard enough time with the idea of two separate ideas like a random tag tournament and a battle royal being combined in the first place, but if we're going to have tag team matches, let's have tag team matches. Partners fighting each other should have been immediately disqualified, period.

 

The intrigue of the Lethal Lottery should have been: How do Sting and Abby fare when they're forced to actually work as a tag team should? Of course, Abby's a horrible example since he's not really a team type of guy anyway, but my larger point stands. Instead, we just have a random brawl that we could have had on any WCW show, with Pillman helping out his buddy Sting even though it means he doesn't advance to the battle royal, which is supposed to be the idea behind the whole evening. In fact, he's happy that he lost, because that means that Sting won. How ridiculous is that?

 

I understand that with the success of the Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble, it seemed like a good idea to combine elements of both and see what kind of pay-per-view could be made out of it. But this isn't the combination Dusty needed to come up with. I'm not exactly sure how I would have fixed it had I been asked to; the best I can come up with would be to divide the roster into two camps. one nearly all faces and one nearly all heels, then do almost all standard face/heel tag matches with the exception of one, maybe two. The teams would still be a little something different, but the philosophies would mesh. This match, for example. would have been Sting/Pillman vs. Abby/Eaton. A fresh matchup, but still one that could be conducted as a normal match, at least as normal as an Abby match can be.

 

I got more of a kick out of the brawl between Cactus and Abby, and it's a shame that they never really had a feud in WCW, because it would have been a classic. I didn't envy the security people who had to try to break it up at all; Mick and Abby were having such a good time fighting that they didn't especially care who they hit. For that matter, I'm surprised Heyman didn't try to bring Abby in to feud with Mick in ECW. Maybe he did and the money wasn't to Abby's liking, which is highly likely.

 

Line of the match: Tony, talking about why Abby might have stolen a pencil from the broadcast table: "He sure isn't going to take notes on this match."

 

You'd think the camera people would have been smart enough to see Pillman starting to slam Abby and cut to it, or at least that the videotape people would have captured the moment so that it could shown on replay. This being WCW, neither of those occurred. Thank heaven JR and Tony broke the rule about announcers only calling what they can see on the monitor so they could at least tell us about it.

 

Where were Heyman and Medusa? JR even brought this up on commentary. Did the idea of a member of the DA having to team with someone like Pillman offend them to the point that they chose to stay away in protest? It would certainly play into the Heyman vs. Turner Broadcasting storyline if that was the case. Or was there another. more obvious explanation?

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In the case of Paul E.'s absence, I suspect that they felt they had enough going on in the match without adding him at ringside. This more than any match on the card was the one designed to get over the wackiness of the Lethal Lottery concept, and maybe they thought -- right or wrong -- that Paul E. at ringside would add another layer to everything that would only muddy the water.

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I liked this match to get over the craziness that Battlebowl could bring about. It was essentially a Sting vs. Bobby match with their opponent's partners interfering on their behalf. They did some fun stuff and the Cactus/Abby brawl post-match was good too.

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