Induction: Battle Dome invades WCW – Featuring Terry Crews vs. Rick Steiner

34 Submitted by on Thu, 15 June 2017, 21:21

WCW, 2000

Wrestling has had no shortage of invasion story lines, whether it be UWF vs. JCP, nWo vs. WCW, or WCW vs. WWF. There’s one common thread in all of those angles that should be too obvious to even mention: they all involved one wrestling organization taking on another.

In the fall of 2000, however, WCW made like Goldberg and threw out the script, booking an invasion not against another promotion, but against an American Gladiators knock-off.

Battle Dome lasted only two seasons in syndication and was basically American Gladiators with elements of sports-entertainment thrown in. WCW took one look at this organization (probably on a Saturday afternoon after WOW: Women of Wrestling) and decided that it was its ticket back to the top of the wrestling world. 

There are a lot of complications that come with writing a story that plays out across two different TV shows, especially when one of those shows is live and the other is taped weeks in advance, and especially when one of those TV shows is produced by WCW, which does not have the greatest track record in terms of continuity.

Battle Dome and WCW thus told wildly different stories regarding the timeline of their feud, with both sides claiming that the other guys started it.

For simplicity, I’ll start with what happened on Battle Dome.

First, Diamond Dallas Page, Buff Bagwell, Rick Steiner, and Ernest Miller invaded the Battle Dome arena and spat in the ring, with Steiner going so far as to steal the Battle Dome belt.

The next week, they took over the announce booth but were run out of the arena by the Battle Dome Warriors.

This led to a showdown between Rick Steiner and Battle Dome’s T-Money, a former NFL player who looked just like Terry Crews because he was Terry Crews.

After Steiner arrived that day with his entourage, Battle Dome’s Bubba King cut a promo on Rick Steiner calling him a fake and a phony… and ugly.

Steiner was understandably furious as he heard the comments and had to be restrained by his WCW compatriots.

T-Money cut down the WCW guys, as well, dismissing their work as “fake junk”.

We then saw footage of Steiner warming up backstage, playfully sparring with the WCW guys in what turned out to be the exact same footage as seen minutes earlier.

In the cage, T-Money and Steiner prepared to see just who was the tougher fighter by suiting up and trying to get a ball into a cylinder. Steiner had enough after only half a minute, ditching the ball and brawling with Crews.

A brouhaha broke out, with Crews cheap-shotting Steiner and Steiner cheap-shotting the referee.

On a later episode, Steiner and T-Money again squared off, and again a big pull-apart brawl broke out between the Dome dudes and the wrestlers.

While this story line was playing out on syndicated television, it spilled over onto the live Nitro.

Unbelievably, the Battle Dome Warriors were shown on camera sitting at ringside.

Unfortunately, this shocking turn of events was completely ignored just seconds later as yet another shocking development (the arrival of Jamie Knoble without a mask) distracted the announcers. It’s as if the Battle Dome guys weren’t supposed to appear on camera yet.

After the commercial, DDP made a surprise return to WCW. At least, it would have been a surprise had he not shown up previously on Battle Dome with other WCW guys.

He cut a promo – a shoot promo! – about getting excited about wrestling again after being “one negative S.O.B.” “And you know what that means!” said Scott Hudson.

It means, “son of a bitch”.

Before DDP was through, he diverted his attention to the five Battle Dome Warriors seated at ringside.

After taunting the five of them over their low ratings (as if he were one to talk; by this point, Nitro was only doing less than a point higher in the ratings than a 2017 episode of RAW), Page brought out three WCW pals to even the numbers…

…almost.

Buff Bagwell questioned the warriors’ sexuality by calling them “Battle Dome queers.” And if anyone’s an expert on being heterosexual, it’s Bagwell.

He’s a professional now.

Rick Steiner, who was also making a surprise return (and whose previous appearance on Battle Dome had ruined that surprise) gave the invaders John Cena’s catchphrase, and it was on!

Terry Crews’s crew hopped the guardrail and attempted to brawl with the WCW gang until security intervened.

By Buff Bagwell’s count, this put WCW up 1-0…

in so many words.

For some reason, despite ripping on the warriors and their low-rated TV show, the WCW announcers knew all their names. Why would they watch a TV show they hate just so they could make fun of it later? Anyway, back to my Wrestlecrap article…

The next week, the WCW announcers recapped the events of  “last week”, where the WCW wrestlers spat on the Battle Dome ring and invaded the announce booth (which happened on two separate episodes of Battle Dome).

The Battle Dome Warriors thus retaliated by taking the fight overseas, showing up to Nitro in London so that Terry Crews could call Doug Dillinger, “Santa Claus” backstage.

The invaders then brawled with the WCW contingent, all while wearing the exact same clothes they had worn the week before.

The following week on Nitro, only four of the Battle Dome Warriors showed up, meaning that the numbers would finally be even…

…except Rick Steiner showed up alone this week, his friends having been reassigned to other, more important feuds.

And in his possession was the Battle Dome championship belt, which he had stolen weeks earlier, despite WCW’s announcers never having mentioned this key fact.

Despite the four-to-one handicap, Steiner nonetheless challenged T-Money Terry Crews to a fight in the ring.

Naturally, the Battle Dome guys beat down Steiner and took their belt back (while Mark Madden chided them for no-selling).

You would think that after retrieving their property and proving their superiority over WCW, the Battle Dome Warriors would just walk away, never to return to Nitro.

And that’s exactly what happened, as the story line was never mentioned again.

Leave it to WCW to book an invasion angle and have their own side lose miserably. I mean, again.

See if you can figure out who benefitted from this angle:

The Battle Dome guys called WCW fake on Battle Dome

…WCW called Battle Dome fake on Nitro

…while the WCW wrestlers reminded their own fans that people thought their show was fake

…and Battle Dome used a transparently fake story line to somehow prove to their own fans that they were real.

In the end Battle Dome just barely managed to outlast Nitro.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the “How Much Does This Guy Weigh?” blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell.

Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com

34 Responses to "Induction: Battle Dome invades WCW – Featuring Terry Crews vs. Rick Steiner"
  1. Sean Bateman says:

    a WOW reference? wh not Wrestlelicous?

  2. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    I somehow managed to miss this when it happened. I think this was during the point where I stopped watching WCW. Nice induction as always, Art.

  3. E-Squared says:

    Man, I was wondering when this angle would be inducted. Anyway, I remember watching Battle Dome back in the day. My local UPN affiliate initially aired it at 11 p.m., which I felt was a little late. It also came on around the same time as Jakked and Worldwide (My local CBS affiliate aired those two back to back, believe it or not). Then later on, the channel started airing Battle Dome at 11 a.m., which was more appropriate.

    It was an okay show. I remember how the second season started having Perfect 10 models representing contestants.

    • CP says:

      I thought the first season was better than the second but looking back on it now, there wasn’t a whole of to say about Battle Dome.

      Like, if there was a dispute over that title belt between the warriors, how’d they settle it? Wrestling? No! They would stand on platforms behind giant metal discs and play human cannonball, with the asshole that fell off losing.

      And the ring! First you had to throw your opponent out, then in season two you actually had to wrestle and pin him.

      And then Bubba King…the king of the event where you hung from an upside down pachinko board and tried to kick your opponent off the grid. One of, if not the most, pointless games they offered.

  4. Cpt SuckerPunch says:

    Battle dome using the same footage for two different scenarios. I immediately thought, only in wcw. Then realised, oh wait this bit is on battle dome. I guess wcw and battle dome just use the same editors. Good fucking god battle dome.

    Also the line “Why would they watch a TV show they hate just so they could make fun of it later? Anyway, back to my Wrestlecrap article…”, damnit Art is hilarious. Got a genuine laugh out loud from me.

    And just the idea that wcw would book this whole mess, that has the other company going over. Now that, is a ‘only in wcw’ moment.

  5. John C says:

    Oh man President Camacho was lucky Matt Borne didn’t hear him throw around the “F” word about wrestling cause all the clowning around then would have ceased. Is there any way possible that Buff Bagwell could have sounded like a 12 year old on a playground. He wasn’t sophisticated enough to call them a bunch of Battle Dome-o’s or told them his mom could kick their hineys. Where would WCW have gone to next for a invasion of a syndicated show, The People’s Court?

  6. Christopher Haydu says:

    This was a dumb angle, for sure. I don’t think it gives wrestling any credibility when athletes from two different sports compete. I never saw this when it first happened… I must say, though, the .gifs really tell a different story. The .gifs when all the guys are brawling each other looks like a real mêlée. It makes me think that instead of trying to massage the ratings by having each side appear on the other’s show, they should’ve just had a big five on five brawl. At least it could’ve been a decent match.

  7. mfm420 says:

    wait, so turner wouldn’t let them say bitch on nitro, but queer didn’t get bleeped? either time? that seems a bit odd (even if it was a different era)

  8. Barronmore says:

    Wow…I thought I had hung on until the end…I clearly remember watching until the end…but I have NO memory of this. I even remember battle dome being on the air but none of this rings a bell. I think this the first time I’ve ever been greatful for my “Swiss cheese” memory…

  9. TheGreat31 says:

    To quote the Simpson’s short film episode, watching the gif of Terry Crews kicking Rick Steiner in the Dog Pound over and over: “Let’s see that again!”

  10. Doc 902714 says:

    Ah Terry Crews [T-Money]. You’ll always be “Big Black Jack” from Norbit to me.

    “I’m coming after you with razor blades and lemon juice. I’m talkin’ searin’ mind numbin’ pain boy.”

  11. Another Dave says:

    Somehow I have zero memory of this, and I was pretty dialed in to WCW to the bitter end.

    Perhaps it’s for the best.

  12. El Atomico says:

    IIRC, Scott Steiner’s then-“freak” Midaja was married to one of the Battle Dome Warriors in real life, and was the conduit behind this angle.

    • Cenamark says:

      I can see why. I’ll bet he got pissed off when he found out his wife seeing another man. That must have caused him to plot the invasion.

  13. Hulk6785 says:

    Leave it to WCW to book themselves to lose an invasion angle…

    TWICE!

  14. Caveman says:

    I don’t recall this angle at all, nor did I ever hear of Battle Dome before. I must have been busy watching RAW.

  15. Guest says:

    I had to make sure while looking at the WCW pictures they weren’t screen capped from Impact.

    Like who hell came up with the idea of having the ring ropes on Nitro be blue?

    • E-Squared says:

      I am sure that those screen caps were from Thunder, not Nitro. Nitro had red ropes.

      • Art0Donnell says:

        Nope, all Nitro. This storyline, like many from Nitro, never even made it onto Thunder, which often seemed to exist in an alternate universe. But by this point, Thunder was taped right after Nitro, so I guess they had blue ropes all night.

  16. TortureRackofDoom says:

    Like a few others, I watched Nitro ’til the bitter end, but I don’t remember this angle whatsoever. I do remember Battledome though. Or more specifically, I remember Michael O’Dell (Midajah’s then-husband) being escorted around by the Dahm Triplets. Or more specifically, I remember the Dahm Triplets.

    • E-Squared says:

      I remember the Dahm Triplets, along with the school girl who accompanied that biker guy, as well as that hot blonde who was the “commissioner” of the show (Who also happened to be the same blonde from the “Cherry Pie” video). There was also a hot Asian woman on the show, and of course, the Perfect 10 models.

      Man, the producers really went to town with hiring a lot of attractive women.

  17. Thomas says:

    What’s remarkable about this induction is that WCW/BattleDome was one of the original WrestleCrap Definitons all the way back in the year 2000.

    https://scontent-sjc2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/fr/cp0/e15/q65/19149426_1373821035988665_1413036609498502385_n.jpg?efg=eyJpIjoidCJ9&oh=15b8e21766ea720d1b6970402be7fff6&oe=59E42318

  18. Mister Forth says:

    Crews came out of this doing pretty well, while Bagwell sells a service next to a guy named Hunter.

  19. Fight Sphere says:

    Am I the only one who wishes Battle Dome would come back unironically?

  20. #OPC says:

    Anyone remember Knights & Warriors?

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