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5 Reasons why AEW should bring back WCW’s Battlebowl concept

Mike Chin
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
15.56K   //    30 Aug 2019, 19:15 IST

Might AEW bring back Battlebowl, a staple of 1990s WCW?
Might AEW bring back Battlebowl, a staple of 1990s WCW?

For a short stint, Battlebowl was an annual attraction for WCW. The unusual event entailed wrestlers being assigned to randomly drawn tag teams. They’d compete in traditional tag team matches, out of which the winners would compete in a battle royal to crown the victor.

The Battlebowl had its limitations. Famously, promoters are reticent to book events that focus on tournament-style wrestling because it’s difficult to advertise the card in advance, and thus difficult to draw unless the tournament itself is considered a draw.

Moreover, WCW rarely had clearly defined stakes attached to Battlebowl, meaning that it felt more like fun, but a forgettable contest for its lack of consequences—not unlike, for example, the Greatest Royal Rumble or the World Cup tournament.

However, there were some unique prospects inherent to the Battlebowl concept, particularly when executed to its full potential. This article takes a look at what might be if All Elite Wrestling were to bring back and make use of this old school concept.


#5 Working within an established gimmick

The Casino Battle Royale left a lot of fans cold; AEW could benefit from leaning on a better-proven concept.
The Casino Battle Royale left a lot of fans cold; AEW could benefit from leaning on a better-proven concept.

At Double or Nothing, AEW introduced the Casino Battle Royale concept. It was an innovative idea that put a fresh spin on the gauntlet battle royal format popularized by WWE’s Royal Rumble. Moreover, it matched up well with the Las Vegas setting for that specific PPV. Finally, the fact that Hangman Page ultimately won was a refreshing move to insert a relatively new face on the national scene immediately into the world title picture.

For all of these strengths, the Casino Battle Royale didn’t necessarily come across well on the whole to the viewing audience. The rules for entry felt both a bit convoluted and random and the presentation of the different “suits” wasn’t particularly well produced to come across like it meant anything.

Double or Nothing went on to be an excellent show, but this bout demonstrated the company isn’t necessarily ready to successfully promote original gimmick matches. Battlebowl would lend AEW a concept that simultaneously has established and well-conceived rules and hasn’t already been over-exposed for few promotions doing anything like it since WCW’s original run of events.

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