Weird Merch: WCW/nWo Bowling Balls and the WCW Bowling League [1999]

WCW spared no demographic when creating their oddball merchandise.

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The WCW Bowling League! Join today and get cool WCW & nWo stuff!

In late 1998, World Championship Wrestling struck up a deal with AMF Bowling Co. to start up their own WCW Bowling Leagues at various alleys across the country. This was something I was never aware of back then, but I’ve seen several of these bowling balls on eBay in PRISTINE condition. I never realized until recently why that was.

Taken from the 8/20/98 edition of DDTDigest:

“Some friends and I went bowling tonight and as we walked in, we saw a life-sized cut out of Hogan.

Surprisingly, we didn’t turn around and leave. Anyways, we looked around and found out that WCW is co-promoting some bowling leagues with AMF, “Bowl Where the Big Boys Play” or something like that. For the league fee, you get a nWo or WCW cap, shirt and bowling ball, I think.”

The reason these bowling balls are so plentiful online is because they were given out to anyone that signed up! It looks like the league would run on Monday nights so that the bowling alley could also broadcast WCW Monday Nitro to those lucky people in attendance. A news story from October 1998 has the AMF Somerset Lanes in Massachusetts charging $12.50 a week to join, with the only kicker that you have to stick around for the full 20-week schedule. Is $250 too high or too low for a bowling league and unique wrestling merch? I don’t know, I was more into my Nintendo 64 than anything closely resembling a physical sport at that time.

These are all fantastic looking pieces of wrestling memorabilia that I would LOVE to own… except for the fact that they’re as heavy as, well, a bowling ball.

I also came across a poster and tabletop promo ad (see header above) for the WCW Bowling League on eBay that I scanned in:

Devastated at the lack of a Mongo ball.

Why a bowling ball league, you’re wondering? Because WCW.

They were the kings of oddball partnerships and co-promotions. Was this a bad idea? I’d say so. It was probably something brought up by some brain trust who thought that BOWLING of all things was the hot thing in the late 90’s. I mean, how much money was WASTED on making these bo–oh, what’s that? The WWF did the same thing as well??

Kudos to World Championship Wrestling for always being the trailblazers for these kind of things!! Where they went, other wrestling companies were sure to follow!!

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Anonymous
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“Some friends and I went bowling tonight and as we walked in, we saw a life-sized cut out of Hogan.

Surprisingly, we didn’t turn around and leave.”
—jeez, nice to know people were crapping on Hogan in 1998 too

WCW Worldwide Fansite
Guest

I think you can go back to the 80’s for that as well.

Anonymous
Guest

Would totally buy a Sting one if it had the Scorpion logo. I think DDP and Goldberg’s turned out the best

WCW Worldwide Fansite
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Agreed. DDP’s looks fantastic.

Anonymous
Guest

WCW Worldwide Fansite Whoever did the design should give a “self high five”

Anonymous
Guest

I didn’t know there was a league. I figured it was just them stamping their name on another product. I would have loved to join it!

Anonymous
Guest

I still have my NWO wolfpack ball too

mac10k
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mac10k

I bought the Goldberg Ball 7 Years ago, for just 30$ at Ebay. But the Shipping Price to Germany was 90$, Very heavy Beast XD

Anonymous
Guest

Still have my kevin nash ball undrilled

Anonymous
Guest

I had no idea but I’m not surprised. There’s WCW/nWo-branded everything else so why not bowling balls too?

Anonymous
Guest

I need a Scott Steiner Bowling Ball bruh

Anonymous
Guest

This is amazing

Anonymous
Guest

Does that mean if I throw 3 strikes in a row, I get a Hogan rather than a turkey? 😀

Anonymous
Guest

Can I pick up the “Macho Man” spare?

Dane Whittington
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Dane Whittington

Hey I got an Undrilled hogan and sting on a bowling ball Facebook group like two years ago. I’m wondering if I should drill them but I’m worried they’re going to skyrocket in value.