?Brett Mix`s- “Starrcade: The Essential Collection” 3 Disc Review:
“The Dream Matches, happened at `Starrcade`.” -Jim Ross
-Starrcade: The Essential Collection was put together with a Documentary on Disc 1 followed by six matches, then matches up to 25 on the following two discs with matches selected by fans as the best in the history of NWA/WCW Starrcade.
Disc 1 Documentary:
-We are shown Crockett and Co discuss the first ever Starrcade, 1983’s “A Flair for the Gold” between Ric Flair and Harley Race.
-They basically cover how big of an event this was, and how Starrcade was the beginning to what ne now know as their makin company PPV today.
-Jim Ross saying getting the chance to work Starrcade would be like getting the chance to work the Superbowl,
-Some talk about how Starrcade and the WWF’s Survivor Series used to go up head to head.
-Not the longest Documentary but still it does its job nicely to set you up for a ton of gem’s on the following discs. The matches is where it’s at here, you can only say so much about a PPV in a documentary form for so long.
So now to the good stuff!
Disc 1 Matches:
Note: The Great Muta vs Sting does not work on my player therefore can not be reviewed, so 24 instead of 25 matches will be reviewed.?
24) “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan (c) in “The Match of the Decade” -WCW Starrcade 1996
This match is here to start out the set because of its significance. Both Piper and Hogan obviously had a huge feud during the 1980’s boom and as WCW was picking up steam they needed to market this match right.
Obviously it was a far cry from the “Match of the Decade.” This was ten years after the War to Settle the Score, and no it wasn’t even Wrestlemania.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan’s transformation into a HEEL from Babyface was picture perfect. There’s not too many things you can say in Pro-Wrestling that were done as well as this. I mean to take a guy that is loved by millions and make money off of it, starting a foundation, a mecca in sports-entertainment, and THEN…
And then to have those Same people all HATE YOU and you still rake in the cash. Way to go Bischoff and Hollywood.
The Hulkster was in full nWo form here as the bad guy while Piper was still the fan favourite in a big way. DiBiase gave Hogan a few words before he joined the Hot Rod.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan asked the official to get Roddy back as he’s going to beat him in that very ring.
The Hot Rod cornered and Hogan gave him a nice slap. Hogan smacked Piper again and Hulk knew Piper was in for a fight regardless. Piper unloaded with several shots to Hogan and now he had to walk to the back.
Hogan back in came with a vengeance. Raking the back and chest of Piper. Hulk slammed Piper head first in the buckle. Hollywood Hulk Hogan sent Hot Rod to the corner, he moves and he landed a clothesline on Hogan. Hogan in a bad way seemingly but went to go again with Piper, Roddy with a side headlock on Hulk, off the ropes but Piper maintains it as Hogan tried desperately to shove him to the side.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan tried again but the Hot Rod torked this on more and more. Piper slowing things down wearing down Hogan. A suplex but Piper did not let the hold go. Piper has kept it locked in no matter what! Back to a vertical base is both men and now and they take the action to the floor. Hogan raking the face of Piper and then the back. Hogan back inside lands another shot until he turned around and Piper drops him with a clothesline. Piper with a unique dropkick bewteen the shoulder blades. Hollywood Hulk Hogan has had enough. Piper chases.
The Hot Rod meets Hogan in the entrance way. Piper takes off his belt and is forced to get a tad rough himself now whipping Hogan with a belt, all across his back. Piper with a bodyslam on Hogan. Out to the floor Hogan gets an upperhand on Piper out of desperation he lands a few shots to Piper across the front row. Hollywood Hulk Hogan rakes his back again.
Inside the ring Hogan kicks the hip of Piper and then once more. Hogan with an abdominal stretch to Piper working over the hip region. Hollywood Hulk Hogan wearing down the Hot Rod despite the chants of “Roddy” in the arena.
Piper with both fists to the side of the head is caught by Hollywood Hulk Hogan, however the Rowdyness of Piper picks up and he pulls out Hogan’s hair. An inside cradle by Piper and then Hogan kicks out. Hollywood Hulk Hogan kicks Piper in the mid-section and now Piper fights back. Both guys fatigued quite obviously.
Piper rakes his eyes, fans love it. Piper tries to suplex Hulk and he goes it. The Hot Rod gets a two. The Giant comes out and goes to chokeslam Piper, but he gets out.
Hogan distracted falls into the Sleeper by Piper.
In the end at 15:36 Piper defeated Hogan after a Sleeper, the crowd love it.
This match is two guys way past there prime, but they did alright through some of it. It’s certainly watchable but not the kind of match you’d like to watch again.
23) Barry Windham and “Flyin” Brian Pillman (c) vs Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Shane Douglas for the WCW Unified World Tag Team Championship -WCW Starrcade 1992
Four incredibally gifted workers for WCW putting on a tag team clinic here, sounds like a good time.
Oh look we get Jesse Ventura joining Jim Ross this time. The Best Play by Play with the Best Color guy ever, sounds awesome.
This match here featured twenty minutes of full-throttle tag work that only the NWA could of brought you back then.
Here we go, Tag Team Rivalry and it set the stage for this match.
“Flyin” Brian begins with Shane Douglas.
The Acton is going to be constant and fast. Pillman ties up with Douglas and he backed Pillman off and a clean break. Pillman with a waistlock which is countered by Douglas. Pillman buries his shoulder in the mid-section, lands some chops. Pillman puts on the breaks and hits a hiplock on Douglas. Pillman all over Douglas turning inside and out but Douglas caught him with a few hard shots this time around.
Pillman the quicker of the two thus far, easily. Pillman with an arm-ringer, and then its countered quickly by Douglas into a hammerlock. Pillman chops Douglas and choked him out on the top rope. Pillman with a hard forearm shot. Douglas lands behind Pillman, a leapfog and a dropkick to Pillman to the outside. Now Douglas and Steamboat double team Barry Windham inside the ring.
Action resume’s and Steamboat wants in. The Dragon wants Windham. A slugfest broke out, Dragon lands chops like only he could and off the ropes he takes him down. A front facelock by Steamboat into a suplex on Windham. Big Barry wanted to tag in Flyin Brian but Ricky wouldn’t allow.
The Dragon hits Barry Windham with a snapmare. Douglas tags in and leaps off the top onto Windham. Another snapmare by Douglas to Barry Windham and a reverse chinlock to wear the big man down. Awesome material. Windham up to a vertical base. Barry lifts Douglas and drops him on his back, good counter move. Douglas keeps on Barry Windham as Douglas and Steamboat begin to isolate Barry Windham while Flyin Bryan waits on the outside.
Steamboat caught Barry Windham knocking him to the outside over the top rope. The Dragon slams Barry Windham hard to the concrete floor. Pillman like a man man paced around outside the ring. Douglas slammed Barry Windham on the ramp way. Steamboat relentless as well throwing Barry Windham back inside. Steamboat had Barry Windham where he wanted him and he hits a reverse neckbreaker. Steamer into a front facelock. Another tag to Shane Douglas as Barry Windham has been isolated all match, Pillman wanted a hot tag in the worst way.
wMore weardown holds by Douglas to Windham into a reverse chinlock. Up is Windham who out of desperation hit a jawbreaker. This time a much needed tag is made to Flyin Brian who is well rested. Pillman drives Douglas’s head into the mat hard. Brian Pillman lands thunderous chops in the corner. Douglas backdropped Pillman onto the apron and then he knocks Pillman into the steel off the apron, onto the concrete floor taking flyin Brian out.
Brian comes back in and Douglas took his time, Pillman got up somehow and WOW he dropkicks Douglas off the top to the floor. Barry Windham drops Douglas with a clothesline out on the floor.
What action again!
Awesome team work by both teams.
Pillman again showing he could go with the very best. Pillman choked out Douglas by the ropes, Barry Windham drops in with a double axehandle. Windham with a headbutt to Douglas. Barry Windham with a big right, Steamboat wanted in now as he was the guy that found himself in the hot tag position. Barry Windham and Pillman isolating Douglas on there side. Douglas fought back but he met a big cowboy boot by Barry Windham. Pillman behind the official did the dirty work throwing forearms to the chest of Douglas, Douglas gasping for air. Windham blocked by Douglas, Pillman keeps up with the cheap shots.
Pillman back in with Douglas drops him with a chop, then some more in the corner. All of the sudden Douglas fights back from the corner. Pillman knew he was going down and intelligently he tagged in Barry Windham. Barry Windham throws Douglas into the railing, a very smart team this Pillman and Windham team were.
Steamboat gets a chair behind the official and knocks out Barry Windham outside the ring. The fans love this clearly.
Pillman comes in and suplexes Douglas but he kicks out. Pillman grabs Douglas and drives him into a boot of Barry, and then again showing great team work. Pillman held Shane Douglas up while Barry Windham comes flying off the top and he drives the righthand in on Douglas.
Another hard suplex and this should be it for Douglas, Steamboat interupts the count. Barry Windham having his way with Shane Douglas.
Pillman off the ropes lands a reverse elbow at Douglas who tried to move at any cost.
Front facelock into a snap suplex and Pillman with a big splash still doesen’t get Douglas. Steamboat wanted in but he is distracting his own official which is dumb as Barry Windham and Pillman go to town on Douglas in the corner with several cheapshots.
Still Pillman can’t seem to put Douglas away!
Barry Windham back in attempted a suplex on Douglas, he counters to a front facelock then a snapshot vertical suplex of his own on Barry Windham. The hot tag to the Dragon as he finally comes in and is chopping everybody he sees. Steamoat with bodyslams and chops to Barry Windham and Pillman, all of the sudden Steamboat’s offense slows down as Big Barry Windham drops the Dragon with a powerslam! Windham follows this up with a back suplex.
Barry Windham tags in Brian. Pillman tosses Steamboat to the floor behind the official or apparently it’d be a DQ. Pillman in the ring distracting the official, meanwhile outside the ring Barry Windham pushed Steamboat into the post.
Steamboat somehow managed to come back in the ring and he was angry. This time Pillman gets speared by the Dragon who comes in and he caught Pillman witha big chop. Pillman threw a knee into the lowerback of Steamboat. A chopping war between two of the best ever in Pillman and Steamboat.
Amazing counter by Flyin Brian on Steamboat as he goes into a headscissors on Steamboat, still only a two. Another tag to Barry Windham who clubs a stiff forearm shot to the back of Steamboat. Steamboat points at Windha, for some reason and Steamboat gets another blow.
Barry Windham kicks Steamboat in the groin, misses a high risk move and catches a trust kick by Steamboat. The Dragon drives Barry Windham facefirst into the mat buying himself a moment.
Who is going to make the next tag!? Both do, Flyin Brian and Shane Douglas come in. Douglas slams Pilman and then Barry Windham.
A backdrop by Douglas to Pillman. Pillman threw Douglas into the corner and unleashed chops, all of the sudden Douglas with a belly to belly off the ropes to Flyin Brian and he got him!
Douglas gets the three, everyone cheers!
In the end at 20:02 Douglas pinned Windham to retain the title’s! What a match!
This match is a ton of fun and a classic early WCW tag team attraction, that helped implement that high flying style in North Amerca. Constantly innovating was Flyin Brian.
What’s most remarkable about this match is the fact BOTH teams needed hot tags, the action was so fast, so back and forth that both teams were isolating one another and if you weren’t watching closely you’d miss it.
This match was ahead of its time, one of the best tag attractions I’ve ever witnessed and a personal favourite.
22) Goldberg (c) vs “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash in a NO DQ Match for the WCW Championship -WCW Starrcade 1998
This match is here because it is the first loss of Goldberg, and arguably a significant turning point for the entire company.
Certainly a big match at the time, it was Goldberg, his undefeated streak and his World Title up against “Big Sexy” soon to be booker, Kevin Nash.
The hype was still good for this despite the WWF and Steve Austin taking most of Wrestling’s main stream attention away from WCW at the time.
Goldberg, the Champion who is 173-0 is up against Nash.
Kevin Nash raised his arms and the Wolfpac were here. Goldberg does a taunt and the two big guys finally lock up.
Kevin Nash after a tie-up goes into a standing side headlock on Berg as he had the height advantage. Nash held it on pretty good but Berg was able to pick up Nash and he hit Nash with a back suplex.
Tenay says it’s unbelievable because Nash is so big, but not when it’s Goldberg doing these things. Goldberg took his time coming back in the ring.
Fans chant “Nash Sucks” as Nash lands kneedrops to Berg. Nash drives another knee into Goldberg. Nash with three hard forearm shots to Berg. Nash then sized up Goldberg and began choking him out with a boot. Kevin Nash is dropped as Berg powered his way out of it.
Goldberg showing why he is the MAN and goes on top of Nash, Kevin Nash tried an armbreaker on Goldberg, Goldberg busts out to an Anklelock.
Both power guys going into submission moves, impressive and funny.
Berg drops Nash with hard rights both in the corner and again in mid-ring. Nash grabs Goldberg’s tights and he goes headfirst into the buckle. Nash choked out Goldberg again.
Goldberg ducked two boot attempts from Nash and lands a Spear off the ropes.
Everyone was ready for Berg to go 174-0.
Goldberg has Nash where he wants him, he was about to get the big man up but Kevin Nash hit a lowblow on Goldberg. Both men down now and Nash throws Goldberg to the post and hits a backbreaker. Kevin Nash had difficulty holding Berg in the air but he did slam him hard.
Kevin Nash choked out Goldberg on the middle rope before dropping all of his bodyweight on top of Goldberg, another cover but he kicks out.
Nash elbows Goldberg down. Nash goes for a vertical suplex on Goldberg and he
counters into a swinging neckbreaker. Goldberg then kicks Nash of his feet with a thrust kick. Goldberg with Kevin Nash on his shoulders drives him hard into the mat but Kevin Nash kicks out.
Disco comes out and gets Speared. Bam Bam comes in and Goldberg clotheslines him in and out. NO DQ here which is the story.
Hall then Stun Gunned Goldberg. That’s gotta be it.
Nash hits the Jacknife Powerbomb.
In the end at 11:20 Nash became the first person to beat Goldberg and now he was WCW World Heavyweight Champion.
This match is memorably, it flowed well, for its significance I’ll be easy on it as it was a rather fun match at times. It’s not by any means great, just important.
21) BattleBowl Match -WCW Starrcade 91
Here we get something fun, it’s a BattleBowl!
Tag Teams were drawn at randon earlier and if they won earlier on in a tournament they got the right to participate in the BattleBowl here at Starrcade.
They were just full of ideas.
Big Van Vader is introduced first.
We got Stunning Steve Austin here as well as Dustin Rhodes and a whole bunch of other solid workers. Luger comes out then Sting to a good pop and now things get going.
Here we go! Should be good.
Action a little hard to follow as everyone was in the same ring at the same time.
Matches like this I don’t do my usual “attention” to detail reviewing style and rather just point out the big moments of the match followed by my final analysis.
So that’s what I’ll do here.
Double A is roughing up the Stinger on one side. Big Van Vader is getting a piece of Jushin “Thunder” Liger. Imagine a match those two could put together. I would be willing to bet the contrast in styles would help the match’s cause and presentation, those two could get something unique done.
As mentioned, this match is beyond hard to follow as there is no eliminations visible. Austin and Sting go at it, a dream match for many that we could see here on WCW before Stunning became Stone Cold. Big Van Vader with Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, he tossed him back inside the ring.
Ring starts to clear out a tad but not to the point where you could follow the match in comfotable fashion. Finally some action as Liger turns Morton inside out with a headscissors.
Liger and Morton have been eliminated, as is Mr. Hughes. Big Van Vader clotheslines Dustin Rhodes outside the ring.
The ring clears nearing the climax and Austin, Vader, Rhodes, Everyone is gone.
Final two are Luger and Sting.
Everyone watching the BattleBowl loves this. Sting delivered a kick to Lex right in the gut as he layed on top of the turnbuckle.
Sting went for the Stinger’s Splash but Luger moved! Sting is hanging upside down but Luger can’t capitalize. Sting flips back down.s
Sting rubs his face in the canvas and Lex is down. Sting and Luger both up now slugging it out and in dramatic fashion, Sting gets Luger over the top rope to the floor.
Fireworks go off.
In the end at 25:10 Sting last eliminated Lex Luger to win the Battle Bowl.
This match was hard as hell to watch the first 10-15 minutes, but it’s a lot easier on the eye in the last ten. It was great.
20) “Stunning” Steve Austin (with Col. Robert Parker) vs “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes (c) in a 2 out of 3 Falls for the WCW United States Championship -WCW Starrcade 1993
It’s definitely both fun and interesting taking a look at what would just be a few years away from “Goldust vs Stone Cold Steve Austin” in the WWF.
Here under completely different persona’s, this is a straight “Wrestling” match, 2 out of 3 falls on a big time PPV for the WCW…Starrcade.
It’s Jesse ventura on commentary! Everyone wins.
Fall 1 begins.
Dustin the Champ, Austin the challenger.
A feeling out process begins, Austin into a waistlock, and a standing switch by Dustin. Steve went for a vicious elbow.
A sidehead lock takedown by Austin countered into a headscissors by Dustin Rhodes.
Austin has his legs on the rope, official Nick Patrick must break it up. Austin lands a shoulderblock but he ran into a hard elbow from Dustin Rhodes.
Austin goes for a long walk and the two circle one another again. Steve lands a jab, a snapmare but Dustin Rhodes counters into an armbar. Dustin Rhodes drives his knee into Austin’s arm, and then an overhead wristlock.
The Champ in control was Dustin Rhodes, and Stunning Steve went for another walk as he is not pleased with himself. Side headlock by Rhodes on Austin. Off the ropes shoulder block by Dusty, Steve had his shoulders down on the mat for a second and a backslide by Dustin Rhodes did not go through.
Steve Austin goes for a long walk a thid time. Austin finally got Dustin Rhodes to his corner and now its a brawl. Both guys unleash hard rights until Dustin Rhodes catapolts Austin over the safety rail.
Dustin Rhodes gets back in and goes right back to work grounding Austin with a side headlock. Austin doesen’t wast time getting out of that predicament and showing he can be a rough neck, Steve in his early brawling days you could sitll see the potential breaking out. Austin meets Dustin Rhodes with a big reverse elbow.
A sunset flip by Austin and Dustin Rhodes kicks out. Dustin Rhodes drops Austin with a dropkick and covered him. A slugfest broke out again in the first fall.
Austin drove his knee to the back of Rhodes. A double collision as Dustin Rhodes and Steve Austin both met each other with a shoulder block.
Dustin snapmares Austin and attempts to get up and finally does. A clothesline and a powerslam by Dustin Rhodes. Then Dustin got himself DQ’d after interfering with Steve’s manager.
Steve up 1-0 in this best out of three.
Stunning Steve busted open outside the ring while Dustin Rhodes waited for him inside until the bell rang. An angry Dustin Rhodes dragged a bloodied Austin inside, Rhodes dropped off the top with a double axehandle.
The lights then go out. Dusty drops an elbow on Austin. Dustin Rhodes lands shots on the top of the head on Austin. Austin rolled the tights out no where on Rhodes.
New Champion! A bloodied Austin celebrated.
In the end at 15:00 Stunning Steve Austin won the 2/3 falls match by a score of 2-0.
This match was very good, both men weren’t on top of there game yet and it showed, still was a good skilled match.
Disc 2 Matches:
19) Road Warriors vs Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard (c) (W/James J Dillon) for the NWA Tag Team Championship -NWA Starrcade 1987[/U][/B]
Two of the greatest teams of all time going at it here, and why not at the biggest show of the year in the NWA. (Wrestlemania 3 was the biggest show of 1987)
The story was that the Road Warriors had never held the title’s.
Also the fact this match took place in The hometown of the greatest tag team of all time in Chicago going up against the Horsemen. What could be better?
Tully and Arn did not get the best response from the Windy City, quite obviously.
Road Warrior Hawk began in with Double A, shot in the corner but Anderson lifted a knee. Arn climbs up but Hawk scoops him in the air and slams him to the mat. Tully checks on his partner’s back on the outside.
Hawk in with Arn again, Arn hesitant to get things going. Anderson with a standing sidehead lock has it taken over by Animal who then drops a leg on Anderson. Hawk’s strength has gotten the best of Anderson.
The Horsemen needed time to re-groip. Another tie up and Hawk shoves Tully down this tiem. Tully runs into a clothesline, on the outside now Road Warrior Animal lifts up Blanchard who had fell to the floor and the fans love this. Road Warrior Animal tosses Tully right back in for Hawk but Blanchard rolled out of the ring.
Hawk met him near the entrance way and threw him back inside the ring. Hawk sends Tully to the ropes and nails him with a dropkick. Blanchard barely escaped and Animal tagged in. Tully bought himself a break with a knee in the corner but Animal caught him up top and slammed him! Road Warrior Animal gets another near fall and the Legion of Doom are in control.
Double A wants to attempt at slowing down the Road Warriors as he comes in slowly. Arn releases a few shots before Road Warrior Animal gets the better out of him in the corner. The fans in Chicago love how much there boys, The Road Warriors were in control. James J Dillon had to have a talk to both Blanchard and Double A.
Hawk sends Anderson and then they criss-cross until Hawk slaps on a bearhug and its broken up immediately by Blanchard. Both of them try and double team Haw sending him to the corner but he bounced back with a double clothesline to both men. Hawk lands a right hand and in comes Road Warrior Animal. Animal weith a unique lowerback hug and as he lifts him up Hawk delivered an extra shot from the apron.
Road Warrior Animal has punished Blanchaed and he couldn’t gain an inch from the corner. Animal wins a chopping war with Tully until he lands a elbow to the head. Arn tags in and he tries to intimidate Road Warrior Animal anyway he could. They tie up and Arn has a standing side headlock, he gets pushed off the ropes and leaps over Animal, he saw him coming and went for a run.
Back in the ring Arn went for a piledriver and Road Warrior Animal countered with a backbody drop. Animal showing power pressing Arn Anderson twice in the air before dropping him to the canvas. Hawk tagged in and went to work on Blanchard but there seemed to be problems with his knees and Tully went at it like a Shark who smelt blood.
Tully Blanchard all over the knee of Road Warrior Hawk as the finally found an opening. Outside the ring the Horsemen followed up work on Hawk’s knee as they smacked his leg with a chair on the concrete floor. Hawk could barely stand now as the Brain Busters strategy was starting to work. Anderson scored a cover on Hawk. Anderson hit a ddt to Animal.
Blanchard tags in and goes for a figure four and Hawk countered it into a small package until Blanchard rolled through again and went right back to work on the leg of Hawk. Blanchard carried his leg while they methodially took him down any way they could. Anderson with a spinning leglock to Hawk but he kicks off Anderson to the corner with his good leg. Hawk tries to tag and Anderon stops him nicely.
Brain Busters isolating the injured Road Warrior Hawk and his left leg. Double A slaps on a figure-four on Hawk in mid-ring. Can Hawk escape this predicament was the question. Another tag to Tully and he continued the damage, and in again comes Blanchard, frequent tags to isolate Hawk. A snapmare into an overhear wristlock as Double A went to pin Hawk any chance he got, but tremendous strength from Hawk helped him lift his knees and catch Double A.
Hawk had boughten himself a moment and Chi Town erupts! Road Warrior Animal tags in after a limping Hawk and Animal went right to work on Blanchard with a dropkick, he went to Anderon but Tully tropped him from the outside.
The official went flying to the floor with all the carnage from the four men in the ring. Anderson went to the outside. On the inside Road Warriors double-clothesline Blanchard and then hit him with a Dommsday Device, they get the cover and the three!
In the end at 12:17 The Road Warrios defeated The Brainbusters for the NWA Tag Title’s. They did it for the first time in there home town.
Wow, what a story this match told. From the intimidation of the Busters to the Road Warriors, all the way to the isolation of Hawk and his leg. Both these teams brought it out in this memorable clash that could even be defined as an 80’s Classic from the NWA.
18) Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Jushin Thunder Liger -WCW Starrcade 1996
On the same night as this, Dean Malenko took on Ultimo Dragon in one of the best Cruiserweight matches of all time as far as I’m concerned.
That is clearly the biggest mistake when it came to this DVD, they only included one of those two matches.
This one is still great though and Mysterio vs Liger is a dream match in its own right so of course, it is a great addition.
Jushin Liger is arguably the greatest of all time, and Rey is Rey. Liger recently had a brain tumor and he was back in no time for this.
Here we go.
A tie-up and Rey is sent to the corner, this was a dream match.
Rey and Liger.
Rey went for a single les on Liker and he finally flipped him forward. Now Rey Mysterio locks on a modifed surfboard on Liger, he turns it around countering into a long pull from Liger. Rey who can be flexibile lands Liger in the head with a boot.
Now Liger catches Rey in a standing side headlock and off the ropes goes Liger, he hit Rey with a shoulderblock, Rey kicked up and Liger dropkicked him back down.
Jushin Thunder Liger showed who was boss as he powerslammed Mysterio. Liger then lifted Rey in the air and dropped back with a nice vertical suplex. Liger then sent Rey head first into the corner hard. Liger keeps on Mysterio.
Irishwhipped and then elevated into the air from Liger to Rey. Liger hits a picture perfect powerbomb on Mysterio, all over him with power moves. Liger with a chop. A headscissors takeover by Rey getting him back in the match. Mysterio then flew around and showed he could still go.
Liger gets a shot from Rey and he begins to put Liger back in the ring but Liger bounced Rey down on the mat. Liger hit a powerbomb on Mysterio down to the floor.
Liger sets up Mysterio on the top rope and he is bounced back by Rey. Rey went for a dropkick and Liger had it scouted and moved. Mysterio off the ropes into a backbreaker by Jushin Liger, nicely applied. Now a tilt-backbreaker into an upsidedown surfboard on Mysteri. Awesome submission hold by Jushin THUNDER Liger.
Rey rolls out and now he is in a considerable amount of pain as Liger is now in control.
No one can understand what Dusty Rhodes is saying on commentary and they ignore him which is just priceless.
Rey fights back with a deseration dropkick. Mysterio into a camel clutch. Rey now held that move and springboarded from the corner but Liger caught Rey in mid-air with the dropkick.
Liger with another takedown and once again Mysterio kicks out. Liger goes into a halfcrab on Rey now. A dragon screw legwhip by Liger and Rhodes on commentary has a laugh because he thinks it sounds somewhat sexual. Liger catches Rey in the corner who monkeyflips him and then hits a spinning heel kick to Liger. Rey blocked Liger coming at him with his foot, Rey off the ropes swings over and then moves quicker then Liger as he kicks him out to the floor.
Rey Mysterio hits a springboard moonsault going all the way to the top rope out to the floor on Liger.
Mysterio breaks the count.
Rey drops Liger with knee shots and then he goes to the top and drops a leg down on Liger from the top rope. Rey missed on a springboard backsplash and Liger goes up high and hits a diving headbutt. Liger is shocked to find out it’s just a two. Liger pushed Mysterio all the way to the floor as he hung on the apron, Jushin in conrol and he goes to the top but this time Rey dropped him on his groin, Rey attempted a springboard into a hurricanrana off the top, he missed and Liger drove Mysterio into the mat witht the Liger Bomb at 15:04.
A little slower then you might expect but these two world class athlete’s bring it here.
17) Rock ‘n Roll Express vs The Midnight Express (W/Jim Cornette and Big Bubba Rogers) in a Scaffold Match -NWA Starrcade 1987
Two legendary tag teams going at it at Starrcade 87, a familiar theme as the set just recapped The Busters and Warriors earlier on from the same night.
Both the Rock n Roll Express and the Midnight Express had a tremendous rivalry going, I recently watched a match between the two on the Rise and Fall of WCW DVD from Wrestlewar, it was a Classic. **** 1/4
Here they battle again a few years earlier at Starrcade.
One of the best rivalries in all of Wrestling right here.
The winning team is the team that can stay on the Scaffold.
Jim Cornette is not going to like this.
All four men are up top of the Scaffold. Tennis Rackets galore up there. Ricky Morton slammed Stan Lane face first.
Everybody is full of blood and both teams are trying will all they had to throw the other team of the Scaffold. A racket shot to the head by Gibson to Eaton. and he looked as if he might fall but he remained on.
Stan Lane looked as if he was falling. Bobby Eaton got knocked out twenty feet above the ring on top of a Ladder. The other two Stan Lane and Ricky Morton are climbing the Ladder but stan drops.
It’s now two on one.
Bobby Eaton is still in it for the Midnight Express. The Rock n Roll Express go to work on Eaton as they deliver shots with a racket, they want to make him fall and ultimately win the skyrocket match.
With both Rock n Roll members kicking he finally landed.
In the end at 10:23, the Rock n Roll Express got the victory.
This match was unique and fun, but nothing more.
16) “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (c) (W/James J Dillon) vs Lex Luger for the NWA Championship -NWA Starrcade 1988
One of the great Flair-Luger matches around this time period happened at Starrcade.
Lex Luger never looked better in the ring then he did with Ric Flair. He looked great in there with guys like Pillman, and Randy Savage could bring a good match out in him but Ric Flair made him look like a million bucks.
Lex Luger becomes Champion of the world if Flair is Disqualified.
Luger apparently dropped weight for this one. Flair bounced off the ropes “Wooing” at Luger.
Lex Luger sent Flair to the ropes, he hung on but not before posing trying to get in Lex’s head. Flair and Luger tie up again and Ric layed a shot until Luger retalited sending him to the ropes, Flair chopped Luger until Lex clotheslined him over the top rope.
Now Lex poses for all of his fans. All 26.
Ric Flair back into a side headlock into a hammerlock, Luger ducks and reverses it holding the Champion until he is told to break off. A side headlock to Flair now and off the ropes he runs into Flair with a shoulderblock. Flair and Luger go to tie-up again and Flair drops an elbow to the head before some chops, Ric hits two shoulder drops, Lex Luger leapfrogged Flair and hit him with a powerslam sending Naitch out of the ring. Sent to the ropes again by Lex and he press slammed him.
Lex Luger gets a nearfall from Flair. Flair is in pain in the corner of the ring. Luger hits an arm-ringer on Flair into an overhead wristlock. Luger sends Flair to the corner hard. Flair gives Luger a cheapshot, he fired right back sending Flair in hard and now Luger went right back for the hammerlock. Luger held it while delivering shots to the Nature Boy. Flair elbowed out but ran into big Lex once more. Luger with an armbar Flair reverses it, and into the ropes runs into a football tackle. Lex Luger again off the ropes this time with a hiplock. Flair was in trouble.
Lex Luger gets a thumb to the eye and now Flair attempted to bring down the total package with some blows as he chops Luger in the corner. Lex Luger started to ask for more shots as Flair knew he was in trouble and outside the ring Lex Luger tries to break Flair’s arm.
Lex Luger brings Flair by an armbar back to the ring and he shoved him to the ring post. Lex Luger was after Flair and he slapped on an arm-ringer, into a full out armbar on the weakened arm Lex had been working on. Flair let go a shot to the abdomen but Luger remained in control. Luger drops Flair with a clothesline after Flair missed a leapfrog. Luger has Flair set up for a suplex back into the ring and he drops him in the ring. Lex Luger gets a two count, hesitates and runs off the ropes dropping an elbow but Flair moved.
Ric Flair bought himself a moment and he shoots back with a kick to the mid-section. Flair chops at Lex more and more but Lex doesen’t budge. Finally Flair scored himself a big break sending Luger to the floor through the middle ropes out to the floor.
Flair chopped at Luger and then threw out a righthand before a kick and another chop. Ric Flir drove Lex insto the steel and Flair got back in the ring in a shoving match with the official.
Flair drops his knee to the head of the total package as he was rising up. A chop by Flair followed by a Snapmare. A kneedrop into Lex. Flair hit Luger with tons of chops and Luger flexed as he shook it off. Lex Luger caught a sleeper on Flair.
This could be it as Flair found himself in a good position out of desperation before but Lex Luger had Flair down for now. Flair hits a counter back suplex to Lex Luger. Ric Flair dropped him with another snapmare but Luger tried an inside cradle as a counter to Flair’s figure four, Flair kicked out and hit another snapmare.
Flair goes to where he never wins, the top rope. The package followed him up there and hit a Superplex but Ric Flair STILL kicks out. Luger now slaps on Flair’s figure four mid-ring to Ric Flair! The NWA crowd are vocal until Naitch finally breaks the hold. Flair having a hard time standing was in the corner and Luger went right back to work on him but as he accidentally hits the ref, Flair rakes the face
Flair threw Luger over the top rope.
Official didn’t see it, Luger hits a crossbody off the top but there was no official. Flair went for a hiplock, couldn’t do it and Luger hits a backslide but Flair flipped over.
Luger gets Ric in the corner and asks the fans of the NWA to go along with him as he punches Flair ten times then Flair goes hard into the opposite buckle. Flair on the apron is suplexed in by Luger but only a two count. Flair chopped Luger over and over but Lex didn’t budge and landed a powerslam. Lex Luger hit it again off the ropes and now he grabs JJ Dillon giving Flair a break. Flair grabbed Luger by the boots and he took out his knee using a steel chair from the crowd!
Ric Flair walked as if he didn’t do anything and Luger ws in a considerable amount of pain while the official got up. Flair goes to drop more pressure on the leg by the ropes as the Champion dropped his body on Luger’s leg which he could barely stand on. Flair focuses on the knee now with a chop block. Flair targets the leg once more and give him a kick. Now with Lex down in the middle of the ring Flair drops the final knee blow to Luger.
Now Ric Flair slaps on the Figure Four to Lex Luger.
After all the kneework Flair had done, now he had Lex in a Figure Four. Luger still wouldn’t give up posing in the move as he turned the Champion over. Lex Luger eventually reverses the hold.
Both men have injured legs now and Flair crawls to a corner and hit his leg once more. A snapmare to Lex and now Ric is going for it all on the top rope. Lex Luger catches him with one leg and goes to powerslam him from the top and does, even with one leg!
Luger crawls to Flair but he shoved him out of the ring. Luger came back on adrenline and Flair begged him off. Luger hits a bodyslam, then Flair throws Luger to the outside. Luger somehow manages to sunset flip back into the ring getting Flair in a pinning combination.
Luger attempts a big forearm and falls to his back as Luger pretends as if he didn’t hit anything. Luger poses some more and goes to the top to Flair once more. Luger drops Flair with a clothesline and he couldn’t get a grapevine on Flair, but off the ropes Lex hit the Powerslam. Luger on one leg goes to set up Flair in the torture rack!
Lex Luger has the torture rack! Lex’s leg buckles underneath him. Brilliant. Flair gets the count then uses his legs using the ring ropes behind the official to gain the fall just before the time limit.
In the end at 30:59 Flair put away Luger to retain the World Title.
Flair wins! Flair wins!
This match is a Classic.
It helped make Luger a star, these were his glory days without a doubt. Awesome ride this one was, great to look back on.
You’d legitimately think Luger was going to become World Champion. Awesome
psychology and pacing from both men.
15) Eddie Guerrero vs Shinjiro Ootani -WCW Starrcade 1995
What was happening in the mid 90’s was, in WCW New Japan came in and they would feature a lot of WCW vs Japan dream matches.
Here we got Ootani and Guerrero going at it.
A 24 Year old Ootani going after Guerrero, these two had met over in Japan.
As mentioned, WCW was having an ALL WORLD type storyline and Japan and the States were tied at two a piece heading into this one.
The two locked up here at Starrcade 95 with Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan and Dusty Rhodes on commentary, some rare goodness from the WCW is always a treat on DVD sets and this was the first match on this set from the Dubya C Dubya.
Eddie Guerrero was already being called pound for pound the best in the game by Rhodes before the match, Heenan also says he is the best wrestler in the world in 1997 at Halloween Havoc, this was just a feeling many had throughout his career which is another thing that just made him so great.
I expect to see both these guys try and one up the other and it should be some fun competition given the story going into this contest, I also expect to see a play to Puro since both have been there.
Eddie Guerrero circled around Ootani and “Eddie“ chants started up in the air at Starrcade.
Eddie Guerrero posed to the crowd on the top turnbuckle, and Ootani didn`t like the chants. Interesting story about Ootani dressing up as Jushin “`Thunder“ Liger to get noticed by promoters, after all he is one of the best ever if not the very best that, Liger.
Some great chain wrestling to begin on the mat, Ootani on top of Eddie riding him in the early stages but Eddie Guerrero using his natural mat instinct to get out of that predicament. Eddie Guerrero pressed to the side ropes by Ootani and then he raked his face. Ootani grabbed a single leg of Eddie and then he kicked the back of his head.
It would help the match if the broadcasters treated this like a PPV match, instead they treat it like a TV one and go over other storylines and matches. I love Savage but now is not the time to talk about him. Now they`re talking about cars. Cool.
Eddie with a snap takedown but OOtani quickly got on top of him to ground him but Eddie Guerrero got right back on top and put on a rear chinlock. Eddie Guerrero being grounded is a natural strategy for his opposition due to his high flying. Ootani with a great move sending him to the mat but off the ropes he caught Ootani with a headscissors takeover. Just when you think you got Guerrero he usually has you, said by the Brain. Wonderful quote and how true it was.
Ootani took a walk around the ring to re-group.
Once back in tied up with Eddie Guerrero with a roman knucklelock but then Eddie Guerrero hit a standing dropkick high before a scoop slam and then a summersault over the ropes using the top rope to springboard. Eddie Guerrero then locks on a picture perfect Boston Crab that began as a halfcrab because he wasn`t all the way over but once he got time to apply it, it locked on wonderfully. Eddie Guerrero taking out the long legs of Ootani but he was close to the ropes and eventually he grabbed onto the bottom rope to break the Crab, but it took it`s toll on Ootani.
Eddie kicked at his head and then picked him up. Eddie hits a nice standing powerbomb and folded him up which got him just a two count. Eddie Guerrerbrainbuster but only a two as Ootani`s long reach with his legs was able to o pulled Ootani by the hair to his long vertical base and then Eddie Guerrero hit a nice get on top of the rope to break the count. Eddie Guerrero irish whipped Ootani to the corner and hit him with a hard clothesline as the charge succeeds. Often spots like that are met with Eddie hitting the buckle, spoke too soon as this happened right after Ootani was whipped to the corner again and Eddie hit the buckle. This time it went down. Ootani sent him to the outside and then ran off the ropes and springboarded to the outside catching Eddie Guerrero on the floor. Nice.
Ootani throws Eddie Guerrero basck in the ring, now he`s on the offensive. A great vertical leap by Ootani with that long leg spring catching Guerrero with a standing dropkick. Eddie Guerrero down and Ootani is choking him out on the bottom rope. Ootani stomped on his head from the apron to slow down the flash of the match and he just made things rough here and kept kicking away at Eddie Guerrero before he stretched meanwhile faking the face of Eddie and then slapped on a choke hold. Eddie Guerrero got to his feet and tried to power out of the sleeper, Eddie did get to his vertical base, got behind him, hit Ootani with an elbow and a side suplex. Eddie with a lateral press but Ootani easily got out as Eddie Guerrero wasted too much time getting on top, must of been drowsy from the sleeper.
Ootani with a wonderful German Suplex and Eddie kicked out. Ootani flew off the top with a spinning heel kick in mid-air to Eddie Guerrero. Ootani slammed him down on the mat and then signalled to go up top again. Eddie Guerrero caught him up there with shots to the abdomen and then hit him with a Frankensteiner and the fans got back into it, Eddie covers him up but Ootani kicked out!
Eddie Guerrero picked up Ootani and then with his long body hit a nice sitdown powerbomb that still doesen`t quite put Ootani away, I felt he was going to go for a Gory Special but didn`t.
Eddie Guerrero with a go behind waistlock, Ootani reversed it, slapped on one of his own then grabbed a single leg of Eddie Guerrero and dragged Eddie`s leg with a submission hold and Eddie reached onto the bottom rope to break the hold but the damage was done. Ootani charged to Eddie then fell out of the ring as Eddie dodged it. Eddie Guerrero irishwhipped Ootani into the fencing and then he slammed his back hard on the concrete before climbing the steel steps that were mid-ring to the apron, Eddie Guerrero springboarded off the top rope with a turn-around in mid-air into a crossbody. Eddie Guerrero yelled something as he felt in control and tossed Ootani back in the ring. Eddie Guerrero set up Ootani with a suplex from the outside of the apron, but Ootani reversed it in play to the Malenko-Guerrero ECW series and suplexed him back into the ring.
Another springboard as this time Ootani leaped from the top and caught Eddie Guerrero in the back of the head. Ootani signalled for the end. Ootani picked up Eddie, slapt on a Full nelson but Eddie elbowed him before going off the side ropes for leverage with speed and then Eddie hit a leg scissors, Ootani flipped him over, Eddie Guerrero flipped him over the other away and a two, Ootani then rolled him over and this time he got the three! Japan has a 3-2 lead now as Ootani defeated Eddie Guerrero after a series of a roll-up`s.
Outstanding action at times, especially with the high risk moves, these two men were different size but you could feel the chemistry still there.
Great confrontation at Starrcade! Highly enjoyable action here.
Good change of pace.
14) “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and Sting vs The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) (W/Paul Ellering) (c) for the NWA Tag Team Championship -NWA Starrcade
On the same Starrcade Flair and Luger headlined, now we get some tag action from some NWA favourites
Road Warrior Animal excites us before the match.
Road Warrior Hawk begins in with Sting as loud LOD chants are heard. Animal tagged in and overpowered Sting with a shoulderblock and suddenly caught a dropkick from the Stinger. Animal walks it off and comes back in and gets treated to some arm dragging by Sting who tags in the American dream.
Rhodes lands an elbow and then forearms on Animal taking him out of the ring. Animal then gets in control on Dusty with a few shots landed.
Road Warrior Animal had Rhodes grounded and he continued to deliver an onslaught of punishment to the American Dream.
Animal tags in Hawk. Hawk and Rhodes tie up and in the corner both recieve shots, Rhodes in control rings the arm of Hawk and he tags in the Stinger ààontinues to turn and twist the arm of Hawk. A wristlock into an armbar now.
Hawk rakes the face of Sting and lends some righthands on Sting before some boots in the corner. The stinger gets out of this predicament and now Sting with a powerslam on Hawk and then an elbow drop. Sting goes to work on Animal again. Animal with a kick to the gut then a military press to the Stinger. Road Warrior Animal poses. Animal then lifts him up dropping him against the top rope but Sting landed on his feet and he dropped him with two clotheslines.
Sting flies off the top with a bodypress to Road Warrior Animal on the concrete floor and the crowd go wid. Rhodes took Road Warrior Amimal’s leg around the steel post and the tag was made to Road Warrior Hawk. Hawk ties a test of power with the American Dream.
The action goes out to the floor and since its a brawl the Road Warriors are the victor’s, back inside with the momentum back in favor of LOD Road Warrior Hawk hits a dropkick on Dusty Rhodes. Hawk lands some shots to the Dream who is down and feels it as he tries to shake it loose. Hawk kept up with the shots but Rhodes danced up and hit a nice dropkick to Road Warrior Hawk. Road Warrior Animal came in and twisted the neck of Rhodes.
Animal with a kick to the head and a neckvice to Rhodes. Road Warrior Animal into a standing side headlock but Rhodes elbows out. Road Warrior Hawk comes in and gives it to Rhodes, a chop on the ropes and then a crushing righthand to the cranium. To the ropes Road Warrior Hawk caught him in another sleeper. The American Dream counters with a desperation jawbreaker on Road Warrior Hawk. Animal and Sting both tagged in, Sting with the hottag takes it to Animal and gives him a running bulldog as the fans go wild.
The Stinger revesed into the corner and leaped behind Road Warrior Animal just before dropkicking him face first in the corner. Stinger Splash, and now the Scorpion Deathlock. Road Warrior Hawk came in the match and threw Sting over the top to the outside. Double team to Rhodes, Sting comes back and hits a crossbody on Road Warrior Animal but Paul Ellering hit the official.
In the end the Road Warriors got themselves DQ’d at 11:50 after Paul Ellering dragged the official out of the ring after Sting hit a crossbody on Animal looking to win.
This match works fine, but you’ve definitely seen better before and after on this set.
13) Big Van Vader (W/Harley Race) in a “King of Cable” Tournament Final -WCW Starrcade 1992
Big Van Vader was such a force back here and the Stinger a crowd favourite.
We hear Ventura on color which is a treat. Big Van Vader wanted a challenge and he shoved Sting down easily.
Another tie up and Sting landed lefts and rights, Big Van Vader said no pain. Some fans like this kind of toughness. Vader walks in a circle with Sting and another lockup, this time a scoopslam by Big Van Vader. He says “Come on”.
Race taunted Sting from outside the ring.
Up Sting goes and down he went again.
This time Sting knew he had to do something so he ran at Big Van Vader with a charge and he fell right back down. Sting then was pressed in the air and Sting clotheslined back landing or dropping on the top cable, in a stun gun motion. Vader methodially taking apart Sting dropping him across the top rope on the either side.
Sting comes back with heavy rights and lefts, he ducks two clothesline’s then catches a break as he levels Big Van Vader with a dropkick getting the big man off his feet. Sting catches him in the face with another shot. Sting goes for a waistlock on the mastadon and he hits a back suplex, the crowd went wild.
Forward momentum for the Stinger landing two clotheslines on Big Van Vader, the Ladder taking both men outside to the floor.
This is now a MATCH.
The mask was off Vader. Sting dropped from the top to the floor on Big Van Vader with a flying crossbody, Ross loves it and so does the crowd as Sting knew he had to take it to Vader. Big Van Vader got back to his feet maskless outside the squared circle. Vader comes in with a gutshot then a headbutt.
Vader delivered some striking blows to The Stinger in the corner.
Rights to the head, lefts to the body, Sting reverses an irishwhip sending Big Van Vader to the corner, Sting went for the Stinger Splash but he had it scouted lifting the boot up to sting.
Off the ropes is Big Van Vader and Sting lifts the boot up this time to return the favor, he kicks him again and then plants Vader down with a ddt.
The Stinger got the Big Man up on the top rope and he put him in a front facelock.
The Stinger hit a SUPERPLEX to Vader, wow. A nearfall is scored. Sting then goes to lock on the Scorpion Deathlock and he turns Vader over as the crowd cheer. Big Van Vader somehow was able to reach for the bottom rope. Vader limped on the outside and Sting charged to Vader outside the ring and crashed into the security railing catching Big Van Vader a break.
Race tells Big Van Vader to get back in the ring and he does.
Big Van Vader drops Sting with a clothesline bringing him in. Sting down in mid-ring and Vader controls sending Sting hard into the buckle and then landing a big splash on him in the corner, followed by a hard clothesline. Nearfall.
Vader lands two righthands to Sting in the corner then sets him up for a side suplex and drops him. Vader had Sting down and Big Van Vader splashed him on the canvas. Vader sets Sting in a reverse chinlock into a modified bodyscissors down on the mat wearing down the Stinger. Big Van Vader twists the head of Sting for additonal pressure.
Sting is covered again by Vader and again he kicked out. Sting goes for a backside on Big Van Vader and he does, Vader rolls out. Sting with another desperate chance but Big Van Vader was too powerful and he lands high kicks to the Stinger in the corner, an irishwhip and Sting goes for another sunset flip, Vader drops south but the Stinger moved!
Sting now gets up with Big Van Vader at the same time and recieved a hard right by Vader. Vader kicks Sting in the ribs. Big Van Vader with a standing side headlock, countered by Sting into a side to back suplex to Big Van Vader. Vader gets up first for some reason and counts Sting. Ventura spots it wisely and makes a crack. Big Van Vader corners Sting and drops hard forearm shots to him in the corner. Sting hit with shots and now Vader goes up for a Superplex but Sting pushes him off the top.
Sting hammers Vader from the top rope and now Vader kicks out, Big Van Vader gets up and goes at the Stinger with clubbing blows, and hard chops. Sting asks for even more of a fight. Vader kicked at Sting as his manager Race just told him to finish off. Vader with clubbing forearms Ross refers to ass treetrunks. Vader with Sting lifts him and sets him up on the top rope. Big Van Vader goes up showing his amazing agility for a bigman but Sting fights back and knocks him off. Sting lands a clothesline then a few hard shots. Sting takes Vader down finally.
Sting goes fora fall away slam and Vader landed with his leg over the rope. Sting from the top hits a splash but Big Van Vader kicked out. Vader hit Sting in the back while Race distracted him. Big Van Vader with a takedown picking Sting up from his chest driving him into the canvas. Big Van Vader says its over as he attempts a splash up high. Vader hits it and then elects no to cover Sting.
Big Van Vader goes up for a third time to try something else, which is costly, Sting reverses a move from Vader in mid-air into a powerslam! Stinger has got him.
In the end at 16:50, The Stinger got the victory on the man they call Vader.
This match is possibly the best I’ve seen from the two, just a tremendous clash of physicality.
12) The Brisco Brothers (c) vs Jay Youngblood and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat for the NWA Tag Team Championship -NWA Starrcade 1983
The Hall of Fame tag team, the Brisco Brothers finally getting time to shine on WWE DVD.
The first Starrcade this one was, headlined by Flair and Race.
Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood met the famous Brisco’s for the tag title’s.
Jack Brisco begins with Ricky Steamboat.
Jack and Ricky Steamboat circle one another until a tie-up brings Jack to the corner. A clean break and Brisco poses and Steamboat teases a chop. A side headlock by Jack and then two leapfrogs by the Dragon off the ropes.
Jack backs off but Ricky Steamboat had him well scouted. Another tie-up and an arm-ringer by Jack and a tag to Gerry. Gerry with a droptoe hold but Ricky Steamboat gets up. Gerry into a hammerlock on Ricky Steamboat. Brisco has Ricky Steamboat leap up and drop behind him, a spin-under takedown, Brisco tells him to wait off.
Another tag to Jack. Ricky Steamboat still the only man in for his team. Another tie-up and cornered is Ricky Steamboat by Jack who then drops a rough set of forearms. A break into a front facelock but Ricky Steamboat keeps him off. Another front facelock in the corner and the official breaks him off.
Brisco tells Ricky Steamboat to come on. Brisco and Ricky Steamboat tie-up and Ricky Steamboat gets cornered and recieved a hard lefthand. Another shot to the corner blocked this time by the Dragon who sends Jack in headfirst. Two hard righthands by Ricky Steamboat into a side headlock.
For the first time in comes the late Jay Youngblood who lands a side headlock takedown to Jack Brisco who remains on the man. Fans getting involved now as Brisco regains his vertical base. Youngblood spears him in the corner and then waits before tying up again. A test of power into an armbar by Youngblood, Brisco goes for a slam but Youngblood keeps an armbar on in unique fashion riding him on the mat, he bridges out of a pinning attempt and a tag is made from Younglood who has Brisco in an arm-ringer.
Ricky Steamboat leaps in and continues the arm pressure. Another frequent tag isolating Gerry and Youngblood goes for a cover getting a nearfall. Out of desperation Gerry rams Ricky Steamboat’s head into the turnbuckle and Jack is finally tagged in. Jack lands hard shots on Steamboat and then hangs him over the ropes clotheslining him back to the canvas. Snapmare by Jack followed by a kneedrop. Now a sleeper in mid-ring by Jack to weardown the much quicker Ricky Steamboat. Up to his feet with the help of the crowd Ricky Steamboat in Jack Brisco’s sleeper elbows out, charged off the ropes and landed a shoulderblock, off the ropes Jack with a leapfrog and then a backdrop. A deep double underhook gutwrench suplex by Brisco.
Nice move and then a unique bridge pinning combo but Ricky Steamboat gets out, a high bridge and again the Dragon gets out.
Nice back and forth tag contest going here, especially impressive for its time, the pacing is quite good now.
Ricky Steamboat gets up to the ropes and Jack irishwhipped him to the side and a hiplock into a keylock on the arm of Ricky Steamboat by Jack Brisco, this is especially a good submission considering Ricky Steamboat loves his armdrags. Nice strategic thinking by the Brisco’s. Ricky Steamboat gets up and lands Jack on his back in the keylock.
Youngblood makes the hot tag and he rams Gerry and Jack into the corner as Gerry ran in. Youngblood attempts a suplex but its blocked by Brisco and he hits a snapshot vertical suplex. Brisco with a kick to the mid-section and a tag into the man we know now as Gerald Brisco. A whip and a double shoulder block. Gerry drops the knee into the shoulder and he gets a nearfall. Now in mid-ring Gerry hits a vertical suplex. Gerry lands a hard right and then another into an abdominal stretch into a unique pinning combination. Gerry complains about the count and the ref shoves back. Youngblood lands shots and then Ricky Steamboat comes in with momentum and lands a giant chop in mid-ring posing for the fans.
Hey, the ladies really do love Steamboat.
Ricky Steamboat with another flying charge to Gerry Brisco and then a tag to Youngblood and taking a page out of the Brisco’s playbook land a double blow, and now a tag back into Ricky Steamboat who continues to utilize the same strategy the Brisco’s had shown all match. Ricky Steamboat tags back in Youngblood and drops him on Gerry and they get the three at 13:00.
Fans go wild for new Tag Team Champions.
It’s important for you to realize this was 1983 when watching this. It has a slower pace but that doesen’t mean it’s not good. Infact this is actually quite great as it features a ton of nice wrestling and loads of psychology blended with fine tag team work between two tremendous teams arguably in the prime of their career’s.
11) “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (c) vs “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship -NWA Starrcade 1985
Good little storyline coming in with Flair breaking the ankle of Rhodes before the build started.
I always enjoyed this one even though I was never a huge fan of the American Dream, despite respecting his capabilities as a big worker and my appreciation for his large amount of charisma.
Flair and Rhodes stand toe to toe and this one is big and everyone can feel it. Flair is the confident, cocky, arrogant champion that even while full of himself looks a tad worried staring at a big determined Dusty Rhodes who does his little gay, sorry dance he does and the fans go apeshit for some reason. He was popular, I get it, doesen’t mean I’m a fan though. Rhodes and Flair were about to tie up but Flair looks like he’s determined to make the right move and backed off a little before chopping at Dusty. Soon all hell broke loose and Rhodes gets the better of some back and forth action in both corners. Flair soon has to leave the ring because he is being dominate and he shrugs it off for about 25 seconds and the ref tells him to get back in the ring and while Flair’s chops do set Dusty back a little bit, it doesen’t last very long and 40 seconds later we’re back in the same situation with Flair pacing slowly around the ring. (Unlike say Savage who would be running like a Maniac but this was good story telling here) as Flair tried to look scared and confident all at the SAME time. When he gets back in for good Dusty applies an arm bar to Flair’s left arm and Ric screams like only he can and Rhodes grounds Naitch to the canvas. Flair shakes his head in pain to the ref asking if he wants the match to be over this quick. Flair finally somehow manages to get out of this punishing predicament and then chops Dusty into a corner until he falls down and them he slams his knee into his face but only scores a near fall.
Now it’s Rhodes who is walking around outside the ring, taking a breather and seems to be in a considerable amount of pain. (selling the injury from the angle before about the bad knee) and Rhdoes was about to get knocked off the ring apron from the outside but he blocks Flair’s attack and applies some elbow drops into the back of Naitch’s head from outside the ring apron. Karma comes calling on Flair and now it’s Dusty who is targetting the leg of Ric Flair.
Rhodes goes to work on Flair’s right leg to be exact in some smart act of revenge on the part of the American Dream. Flair screams in pain and the fans like it. Flair tries everything he can to get out of Dusty’s submission stretching the leg of The Nature Boy but he simply can’t and Dusty gets back up and applies it in stronger to which the fans openly accept. Even though Flair’s right knee had only been worked on just a little bit at the time I really loved the spot where Flair was about to give Rhodes a suplex and his right knee buckles on him due to the pain and he collapses. Good selling by Flair and then Rhodes hits a quick snapshot vertical suplex for a man of his size. After a brief pause after a near fall from Dusty Flair tries to scrape at Rhode’s face and then sends him to the ropes and gets a sleeper hold on the American Dream. It only lasts about 10 seconds and then Flair is sent into the corner with his head hitting the turnbuckle.
This has been quite the thrill ride even if there was a little bit of slow action for a minute or two in the first 5-7 minutes of the match.
Rhodes on the outside of the ring captalizes on Flair’s injured right leg and slams it into the ring post on the outside. Rhodes takes his time to get back in the ring and when he does Flair makes it to his feet and chops Rhodes, Dusty counters it by chopping him back until he gets tripped and they both fall down.
Flair then is the first one up and climbs to the top where (you guessed it) Rhodes scoops him up and slams him to the canvas. Rhodes attempts to lock in Flair’s figgure 4 leg lock but is kicked away and Dusty sells his injured left foot some more. Flair then goes for the figure four and Dusty finds enough power to kick out of it and Ric Flair looks very worried. Flair was great at telling a story of the match with just his emotion alone and he pushed Dusty to the corner but as much as he tried to take control of the match by aiming at that injured foot the more Dusty used it to his advangtage. The way Rhodes did this was by also using his body language and you knew he would stop at nothing to get revenge. Dusty sent Flair to the far ring post and Flair did his usual flip over the top rope’s turnbuckle and outside on the ring apron he actually falls to the outside and it doesen’t look planned but it actually helps the story of the match considering Dusty had just worked on Flair’s knee.
When Flair gets back in the ring he slaps away on Dusty till he goes to the outside and Flair is now a bloody mess from going into the guard rail on his way out the last time I’d imagine. Both guys on the canvas a few spots later and Rhodes drops his big fat elbow ontgo the top of Flair’s bloodied skull. He then gives him more rights and lefts and the crowd is REALLY getting behind this. Rhodes backs The Nature Boy into a corner and does more of the same to Flair’s head and Ric is just out of it by this point as he is getting the shit kicked out of him. You all know the deal here as he then walks away and collapses on the canvas. When getting up he takes more blows by Rhodes and then falls down again. Finally, he asks for no more. He asks for some sense of mercy from Rhodes but obvioussly given the story of the angle Dusty would have none of that. Rhodes sends Flair over the top of the rope in the opposite corner again until Flair flies from the top but doesen’t hit the Dream, just kind of falls.
Rhodes is down though and Flair goes to work on that injured foot. Flair puts it on the bottom rope and he jumps up and delivers a big splash using his body weight. One of the few moments of the match where the Champion showed any signs of life let alone dominance and he continued this approach for a few more moments repeating the same moveset then slaps on his figure 4.
Dusty obvioussly had come to far to give up after returning from injury and dominating the bulk of this fast paced match to just give up now but he did look out of it as Flair used all of whatever power he had left in him to make it count. Somehow though, through all the pain Dusty got to the ropes to which the fans applauded.
Flair chopped Dusty once he was up but Rhodes countered back and hits him with a clothesline. With all that body weight he covers Flair but somehow once again Flair manages to kick out. Rhodes jumps off the top rope and goes for the near fall and amazingly again Flair kicks out! Rhodes then slaps on Flair’s figure four leg lock after Ric attempted to stop the move and now Flair is squeeling like a pig all bloodied and fatigued in the middle of the ring. His title looked to be in jeopardy until the Horsemen (Tully specifically) interfered with the ref being knocked down in this spot and broke it up. Once the ref got up Flair went for a Vertical Suplex but his leg collapsed again due to the punishment it had recieved throughout the match that Rhodes was able to snap a small package on Flair and get the 1, 2, 3. We have a new champion and the place erupts. Dusty won the NWA title at 22:08 with that cradle that was applied pretty convincingly.
Some people don’t like it when a classic match ends with a small package or a roll-up, I don’t mind it, especially if it plays to the story of the match and it’s done in dramatic fashion in the appropriate time like Bret-Diesel at SS 95. This match is like that in that sense and fits the bill appropriately. Rhodes had overcome the odds and was put over Flair here and it was the defining moment of his career and it really helped the rivalry and the NWA’s popularity as The American Dream had been a big hit. Once again I was never a fan but I appreciate the work in the run.
Fast, exciting, emotion filled and action packed with a good story in an important battle in a great feud on a big event. COuld of been a bit longer but at the pace they were going I understand why it wasn’t.
Pretty brilliant and by all means epic.
One of the better big matches of the mid 1980’s and that’s REALLY saying something.
10) Eddie Guerrero (c) vs Dean Malenko for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship -WCW Starrcade 1997
This was the opening match to one of the biggest PPV`s ever.
I believe it got over a million buys.
Both these guys could of done a lot better during this match, that is for certain.
Eddie Guerrero attacked Malenko and hit a suplex, in a play to there old matches both guys rolled around but Malenko vicously levelled him with right hands. It`s interesting watching Malenko as a babyface here and the crowd cheered when he dished out those right hands. Eddie Guerrero kicked at Dean Malenko in the corner but he turned the corner and hit him with some shots, Malenko with a dropkick tO Eddie Guerrero and then a nearfall. Eddie Guerrero got a series of rights from Malenko.
Eddie to his vertical base hit a side headlock, Dean then with a waistlock go behind, this sequence repeats until Eddie jumps off the top, went for a headscissors but Malenko beautifully countered in mid-air into a powerbomb. Malenko picked Eddie up and slammed him hard with an awesome powerbomb. Malenko rolled over Eddie pinned him, but Eddie was ready to bridge out and did, Eddie Guerrero then ducked a clothesline but ran right into a powerslam and Malenko got a two count but only two. Eddie slammed his hand on the mat in frustration as the challenger controlled the whole match tot his point.
Eddie on his knees with both fists up and then left the ring and went for a walk. Eddie Guerrero realized Dean was doing everything he could and he wasn`t sure he could beat him.
It`s safe to assume this match had a different outline then the ECW classics which isn`t a good thing, but this is still better then your average match.
Eddie runs back in and takes down Malenko with a single leg takedown. Eddie kicks at Malenko`s leg and then hit an uppercut. Eddie Guerrero had Malenko at the side ropes and hit him with a blow to the jaw. Eddie with a hard chop to Dean and then Eddie stomped away on the face of Malenko, Eddie Guerrero wih a dropkick to Eddie who was down, Eddie posed around.
Eddie Guerrero went for a suplex but Dean Malenko powered out and hit a nicely executed front suplex to Eddie Guerrero and he landed abdomen first on the top rope, fell into a clothesline but Malenko only got a two as he almost became Cruiserweight Champion. Malenko then hits a slam to Eddie Guerrero and a rear chinlock into a head scissors. Malenko kept this held on Eddie Guerrero. Malenko rolled over and used the ropes for leverage until RObinson broke it up. Malenko threw Eddie to the ropes and elevated him up high until he hit the canvas. Eddie Guerrero begged to get Malenko off of him. Eddie took out his hand and then bowed towards Malenko.
Dean then hit a dropkick right between the eyes. Eddie Guerrero rolled out of the ring by the fencing area and they teased a potential Malenko leap but it didn`t happen. Guerrero then put his hand up with a test of strength and his arms were twisted by Malenko in the roman knuckle lock. Dean stomped on Eddie`s hands. Dean then speared Malenko into the corner. Malenko picked up Eddie at the top and dropped him on the canvas before a back body drop into the buckle. Instead of a cloverleaf he went for a pin. Eddie Guerrero was in a world of trouble and then Malenko hit him with some shots, Eddie though tried a suplex out of desperation but Malenko picked him up and threww him over the top rope, Eddie landed on the apron and stretched over to apply an offensive move to Malenko grabbing his head and slamming it against the rope. Eddie Guerrero then worked over the leg of Malenko. A slingshot move to Malenko continuing the leg follow up. Eddie Guerrero on the outside wrapped Dean`s bad knee around the steel post. With Malenko in this bad predicament Eddie dropkicked his legs into the steel steps. Eddie Guerrero picked up Malenko and threw him in the ring.
Eddie Guerrero in control here as they show Ultimo Dragon in attendance watching on. Eddie then grabs Malenko in the middle of the ring and hit a nice standing powerbomb with authority, doesen`t get it as Malenko kicked out. Eddie Guerrero then leaped up on top of Dean but he flipped him fron the front side to the back side with Eddie Guerrero on top of him, a desperate move by Malenko. Dean kicked Eddie Guerrero and irishwhipped him to the corner but Eddie Guerrero caught him with a reverse elbow in the corner but Eddie Guerrero got caught with a back breaker by Malenko! Near fall.
Awesome stuff, the pace sure picked up of an otherwise mediocre bout.
Eddie Guerrero sent Dean to the corner, he elevated him up over the rope to the outside apron. Eddie Guerrero on the top rope tried to position Dean up there trying to take him down, Malenko held onto the tights and both men fell down, it looked like a botch. Neither move worked for either man as the action seemed a bit sloppy. Eddie Guerrero powerbombed by Malenko hard, we could have a new champion!
The fans pop as Malenko almsot locked in a cloverleaf but Eddie Guerrero got out of the predicament went for a dropkick and that backfired. Malenko still favored the knee, Eddie Guerrero dropkicked the knee, Eddie Guerrero with a high risk move and hit the frog splash on the bad knee of Malenko and he retained the Cruiserweight title at 14:56.
Somewhat sloppy, very strange and uncharacteristic for them.
So pretty underwhelming considering who is involved but still some decent material here and there, this isn’t anywhere near a classic by any means, but still a nice gem added to the collection.
Disc 3 Matches:
9) The Road Warriors (With Paul Ellering) vs The Steiner Brothers in an Iron Man Tag Team Tournament Match -NWA Starrcade 1989
Another great tag contest to look at.
This was the first time both teams EVER wrestled.
Both these teams were well tremendously over with the crowd.
The Steiner’s had an amateur background from the University of Michigan and The Road Warriors had the power game.
Both teams had already wrestled once tonight and the winners would again, so taking that into consideration it’s also a very rare meeting between two of the greatest of all time as far as teams go.
A very special meeting here.
Ross and Cornette on commentary.
The bell rings and its Road Warrior Hawk starting with a very young (as we know him) Scott Steiner.
A lockup and a clean break. A single leg takedown by Steiner and he’s told to back off by a young Nick Patrick officiating. Scott Steiner goes for another single leg takedown and Hawk hits a modified inziguri.
Road Warrior Hawk caught Scott Steiner offguard and this time Scott Steiner catches
Hawk offguard with a unique single leg takedown. Cornette puts over how unorthadox both teams moves are on commentary.
Off the ripes is when RW Hawk hit a huge clothesline on Scott Steiner. Hawk tags in Animal.
Both Road Warriors land a double elbow to Scott Steiner. He tags in Rick and levelled Animal with a Steiner line. Rick ties up with Animal and has him up against the ropes, Animal lands to knee shots and then a flying knee off the ropes. Animal irishwhipped Rick and Rick reverses a bearhug into a belly to belly suplex. Hawk comes in to prevent the pinfall. Rick tags in Scott Steiner.
Scott Steiner goes to work on Hawk who is also tagged back in by Animal. Hawk kicks him in the mid-section and he hits a military press. An elbow drop and then a nearfall as Rick Steiner breaks up the count this time. Hawk sends Scott Steiner to the ropes and he drops him with a boot to the face and another nearfall. Hawk is cornered by Scott Steiner and Animal comes in as he was cornered in the wrong side of the ring.
Animal lands a powerslam and then goes for an elbow and Scott Steiner moves out of the way. Scott Steiner hits a belly to belly but gets a nearfall.
Scott Steiner sends Animal to the corner but he comes flying out landing a powerful clothesline, something the Road Warriors were known for, their power. Hawk gets tagged in and he goes for a backbreaker, a modified version with Scott Steiner on his shoulders. Animal then lands a gutwrench suplex and a two count.
Scott Steiner had Hawk up on the second rope and hit a belly to belly off the top, it took something out of both men. Animal got tagged in and he picked up Scott Steiner in a bearhug.
Scott Steiner with a knee lift up high, Animal off the ropes kicks at Steiner as he bent down and Rick breaks it up again pulling Animal right off.
Animal with an arm-ringer and a tag into Hawk who kicks at Scott Steiner. Hawk sends Scott Steiner to the ropes and lands an excellent powerslam. Animal drops the elbow and grapevine’s the leg and Rick again breaks the count, Road Warrior Hawk is pissed off as this has been the 8th time Rick has done this.
All hell breaks loose as Road Warrior Hawk goes after Rick, with Rick out of the way the LOD knowing that time may be up hit the Doomsday device.
Animal pins Scott Steiner but he had his shoulders back and Nick Patrick shocks the Road Warriors. The World Tag Champions, the Steiner’s reversed the pin as the replay shows as Scott Steiner falls back to lift his shoulders on Animal not realizing his were down.
In the end at 7:27 The Steiner Brothers were the winners.
It’s mind-boggling to think one company had two teams like this in just a second round match of a tag team tournament at one point. That’s real depth.
This match is excellent for the time it lasts, a dream match and these two teams go all out. A lot of fun.
8 ) 3 Count vs Jamie Knoble & Evan Karagias vs Jung Dragons in a Three Team Ladder Match for a Contract for the World Cruiserweight Championship -WCW Starrcade 2000
It’s nice to see forgotten gem with no big names get some love here, and the reason it’s forgotten is because next to nobody was watching WCW by the time this match happened.
This match opened Starrcade 2000.
We get Chavo Guerrero on commentary.
3 Count sucks is chanted.
Some good back and forth material to begin with Shannon Moore. Some boring chants are undeservingly chanted.
Helms comes in and goes to work with one of the Jung Dragons. All the teams go runnng for the ladders. 3 Count set up a Ladder as they swerved both teams but the Jung Dragon’s broke it up sending them off the ladder and clotheslining them over the rope. Jamie Knoble comes back in and the Dragons dropkick the Ladder into him. A Dragon lands a moonsault to the top of the ladder.
Moore is levelled on the announcers table. Jamie Knoble sends Helms into a Ladder set up in the corner with a droptoe hold. Karagias and Jamie Knoble drop one of the Jung Dragon’s on the Ladder, Jamie Knoble sets up another Ladder.
Jamie Knoble goes up but Karagias pulls him off like a moron as he wants to take all the glory. The two take each other off the Ladder until the Jung Dragon’s come from behind and land a dropkick from the top. Yang sends Jamie Knoble into the Ladder and he bumps backfirst. Shannon Moore is pushed off and he lands a boot to the face followed by a gutbuster.
Yang then with a corkscrew moonsault to Shannon Moore.
Helms pushed Yang off and landed a suicide dive off the top. Non-stop springboards off the top to the floor on everybody, until Shannon Moore lands a springboard moonsault to the rest. Jamie Knoble climbs the Ladder meanwhile in the middle of the ring. He is pushed off the Ladder onto everyone on the floor by one of the Dragon’s standing alone in the ring. Evan was alone until one of the Dragon’s springboarded off the top rope onto him and he lands a powerslam off the Ladder in mid-air.
Another springboard by Moore hitting Karagian with a showstopper from the top of the Ladder set up Horizontal on the top rope between that and Another Ladder set up vertical in the ring. Now Helms had Noble on top of the horizontal ladder and Sugar Shane hit the world’s highest neckbreaker to Jamie Knoble.
Nice bumping, the match really has picked up after a slower start.
Some slow climbing up to the top of the Ladder and 3 Count is the only two members of a team up. A sunset flip from Noble to Helms off the top. Moore and Yang chop at one another at the top. Yang goes on the other side off the Ladder so Moore can take him off with a modified side effect.
A back breaker by Karagias and now some sloppy moments with a ton of Ladders set up. A criss-cross powerbomb by the Dragons to Evan Karagias this time. All three Ladders are set up and 3 Count comes back in to attack the dragons with a few shots sending one of them headfirst into the Ladder. Yang sent headfirst into the Ladder. Jamie Knoble hits a piledriver on Moore.
A unique headscissors takeover by Shannon Moore from below a Ladder. Jamie Knoble is sent off by Helms from a hiptoss. 3 Count then both go up and take the contract at one time.
Fans boo as it wasn’t just one person who took a contract to meet Chavo on Nitro. Fans in WCW 2000 booed anything though.
The end came at 13:29.
This match is quite fun at times, but pretty sloppy everywhere else.
7) Sting vs “Nature Boy” Ric Flair in a Iron Man Singles Tournament Match -NWA Starrcade 1989
Big match here. These two had a classic almost two years before this in a match that arguably made Sting as he went forty-five minutes with Naitch.
Ric Flair and Sting in their prime’s could always deliver a Classic and at the biggest show of the year it only felt more important.
Sting had already beaten the Great Muta earlier in the night.
Sting with a headlock on Flair and a shoulderblock off the ropes.
Flair tried a hiplock at this exchange and Sting hits a hiplock back on Flair as a reversal.
Ric Flair down now and Sting with all of the offensive momentum at the beginning as Flair goes for a breather. Sting upon Flair’s return does not look the least bit impressed from Flair’s “Wooing”, as Naitch tried every trick in the book to try and regain any momentum already lost. Flair listened to Sting’s wild call before Flair went behind Sting with a Hammerlock, he counters it into a drop toehold. Sting followed up the basic drop toehold into a leglock. (To follow up ont the Scorpion later)
Flair crawled out of it and set Sting up on the top rope and it gets a clean break.
A tie-up in mid-ring as Sting has Ric Flair in an overhead wristlock. Sting held the leverage until Flair grabbed the bottom rope. Flair circled around Sting and the two lock up again. Flair into a side headlock and off the ropes he hit a shoulderblock. Flair jump over Sting, then Sting with a leapfrog, Sting held up Ric Flair and he threw him with a military press.
Sting’s conditioning must of been better then Flair’s, as the Nature Boy slow on breat pushed Sting and he pushed right back sending him down and he goes for a walk. The Nature Boy re-enters the ring and the two guys tie up yet again. Sting off the ropes hits a shoulderblock on Flair, off the ropes Flair attempts a hiplock but the Stinger reverses it into a backslide and he got a two. Flair got up and chopped Sting down. Ric Flair with a thumb to the eye of Sting in the corner and he reverses an irishwhip finally landing a hiplock into two dropkick’s and a kickout.
Sting with a shoulderblock into another long two which he questioned from official Patrick. Ric Flair down on his knees prayed for nothing more as he came off the ropes playing mindgames did Flair and the dirtiest player in the game kicked him in the gut before throwing him outiside the ring on the floor landing chops.
Ric Flair irishwhipped the Stinger into the security fence and Woo’d some more.
Flaiir breaks the count and goes back in the ring. Flair with Sting on the outside apron hangs him across the top cable dropping him back down. This time coming in the Stinger goes by the way of a standing vertical suplex from Flair and he gets a two count. Flair then drives a knee into Sting’s head. Flair picking Sting up lands a solid chop and goes into an abdominal stretch right into a pinning combination on the oklahoma roll but Sting’s arm got up.
Another inside cradle by the aggressor, and Naitch gets a two count again.
Each men’s third match of the night and it showed. Flair hit another powerful standing vertical suplex to Sting holding him in the air for a few seconds before dropping a fatigued Sting on the mat. A hard irishwhip back first to the corner turnbuckle went the Stinger. Sting then got another one.
Ross reminds us Luger wins it all if these men draw.
A double arm suplex (Gutwrennch) by Flair to Sting and another two. Sting sent for the ride but he caught Flair on the return coming back with a desperation clothesline. Sting started to feel it and Flair chopped at Sting who was coming after Naitch outside the ring.
Flair begged and fooled Sting by dropping him as he came through the ropes. Flair went to suplex Sting to the outside but Sting reversed it and hit a vertical suplex to Ric Flair back in the ring getting a two. Flair gave Sting some shots and Sting bounced around asking for more. The popular Sting got Ric Flair in the corner and he began with the onslaught of righthands getting to six, then a hiplock off the top, and a clothesline. Flair sent to the corner and Sting hit it.
Sting hit the stinger splash and now the Scorpion Death Lock is slapped on Flair. Nature Boy had it scouted went right for the ropes. Flair dropped on Sting’s leg then slapped on the Figure Four mid-ring to add to the drama. Sting just managed to get to the ropes.
As the match is nearing a finish both men are reaching for whatever they have. Flair goes back to the bad leg of Sting as he limps across the ring.
Sting was running away from Flair and he gets him out of a corner and drops him with a big chop. Flair goes back to the leg of Sting and drops his knee on the bad leg. Flair with a side headlock takedown, Sting gets out with a legscissors, then great strength as the two bridge up and Sting gets a nearfall. Flair cornered Sting with a minute left with a jab in the corner.
One minute left in the time limit, Flair drops Sting on his bad leg then uses his whole body to drop down on Sting.
Now it was over for the Natue Boy as he goes to slap on the Figure Four Leglock on
Sting who was down. Sting though reverses it into an inside cradle and gets the surprise victory as everybody pops.
For the time it lasted this felt perfect, everything was booked tremendously given it was each man’s third match of the night.
In the end at 14:30 Sting defeats Ric Flair.
This match isn`t quite on par with there Clash of the Champions but still a Classic Wrestling match between the two biggest legends of the NWA at the company`s biggest annual show.
6) “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (c) in a Dog Collar Match for the NWA US Title -NWA Starrcade 1983
Here we go, fans were really looking forward to this one.
This was of course from the original Starrcade, the same event that saw Youngblood and Steamboat take on the Brisco’s and Race take on Flair.
But before all that was the famous Dog Collar Match.
The Hammer was a big heel in this one as the reigning NWA US Champion.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper had the sentiments of the broadcasters.
The two chained superstars locked up hanging by the neck from ring to ring with nothing but a chain locking them together.
At the time it was called one of the most dangerous matches, and the story going in hd to to with Piper’s bad head.
The Hammer would then focus on that.
Both guys tugged with there heads, and the crowd exploded cheering while they tuged with each other’s neck to show who could move who.
Interesting beginning. Valentine reached out as he held the links of the chain, but Roddy Piper had a better link folded up and he gets the first great shot on The Hammer. Things settle down a little bit and the two move in close yet again.
The Hammer swings for the bad head of Piper twice but he dodged it time and time again getting to his paticular corner and the crowd loved it. Both guys forget the chain and meet mid-ring.
Combat breaks out as righthands fly both ways, stiff as hell. Crockett gets his due on commentary for the success of this event.
Roddy Piper charged at Valentine up high catching him again. Roddy had Valentine in trouble in the corner and with a chain arounsd his wrist he levelled Valentine. Greag came in and Roddy Piper slapped it around his head and he used it as a weapon repeatedly on the valentine, and everyone loved this.
Out of desperation the Hammer fought back with the chain in hand catching Piper in the ear. Piper is down and Valentine wrapped the chain around his eyes, his throat and the Hammer drops his devistating elbow drop twice to the hot rod.
Valentine showed nice psychology also hitting the elbow with his ear. This time Piper pushed Valentine down and spread the chain across the face of the Hammer and the nose paticularly, the fans ate this up. Roddy Piper had him tied to the corner and he used the ropes for leverage. The Hot Rod closes in on his face beginning to almost chew at the Hammer who was down in a considerable amount of pain. Piper kept slugging away.
The Hammer is a bloody mess.
Valentine tied up and Roddy Piper borught him to the floor. Both guys are hitting each other’s bloddied skulls all changed together right in front of the crowd on the floor now to make it extra dramatic. Roddy Piper attempted to hang the Hammer.
While the official bumped into him Piper got caught in the bad year.
Valentine following up on Piper’s bad ear showed good strategic wrestling and innovative offense with the chain molbilizing the ear and head region of Roddy Piper. Piper full of bood outside the ring fell to the concrete and Valentine kicked him off again. Valentine keeps dropping the knee inside the ring on the Hot Rod but Piper somehow a bloody mess decided to shake it off. Piper in the corner gets hard righthands by the Hammer who was as tough as they come.
Piper with everything he had came fighting back, Valentine drops the elbow on the hot rod as a second effort. Piper almost unable to defend himself hit with another hard elbow by Valentine.
The rough stuff continued as Piper fought back with the crowd behind him, but every chance he got back in it Valentine would take over because of his mass. Valentine drops the knee on Piper who is a ton of blood.
This is a war.
The Hammer wonders what he has to do to put him away, Valentine and Piper both block each other using the chain as they attempt a vertical suplex and this time it is Roddy Piper with a roar from the crowd who lands the slow vertican suplex. Both men were covered so no count.
Both warriors stand up exchanging or “slugging” forearms and as Piper goes sternum first to turnbuckle, the Hammer slaps a Sleeperhold on a bloodied Roddy Piper.
Roddy Piper shrugs Valentine off of him but the Hammer lands back with two elbow drops out of desperation seeing this as his last resort. Valentine went for a third elbow drop but Piper aggressively pulled onto the chain swinging The Hammer back in and Piper hooked the leg and got the win.
What a pop, what a war.
In the end at 16:08, Finally Roddy Piper gets the win and is the NEW NWA US Champion.
This match was a Rough Classic for its time. It’s not some something I’d like to watch over and over but you can appreciate its greatness.
It still holds up as a stiff contest between two of the 1980`s most underrated talents.
5) Road Warriors vs The Midnight Express (With Jim Cornette) in a Scaffold Match -NWA Starrcade 1986
Jim Cornette was injured in the match when he fell to the ring from the underside of the scaffold.
Two excellent teams going at it again here.
The Scaffold was a hard thing to climb up on above a ring, Road Warrior Animal still claims its one of the most dangerous matches in Wrestling history.
The Midnight Express showed they were scared of it. Cornette talked “Beautiful” Bobby into meeting Road Warriors all the way up there.
So here it is, two teams completely different but awesome in their own right in the NWA, meeting here at Starrcade, the stage was set.
Bobby Eaton slides in those last couple of feet and he meets the LOD up high on the Scaffold. The Warriors meet both members of the Express.
To win you must throw both men off the Scaffold. Road Warrior Animal with Bobby on one platform exchanging rights, Hawk on the other side gets powder thrown into his face by the opposite Express.
Eaton then throws the powder in Animal’s face. Now the Express go to work on the Road Warriors on both ends taking it to them, Cornette obviously had the POWDER game up his sleeve. Hawk looked to be slipping off but his head was being grated by the hard steel, which was the Scaffold holding them up there.
Both teams neared one another, Hawk hanged off one side. Road Warrior Animal was being dragged by the leg, and Beautiful Bobby hung from a ladder to add excitement. Eaton remained alive as he grabbed onto the red rope. Hawk drops a double axehandle.
All teams back up on the Scaffold and the Express are busted open as Road Warrior
Animal gives him some hard rights on the steel.
More brawling until the Warriors chase the Express and at 7:08 the LOD kick the Express off the Scaffold.
Afterwards Cornette falls.
Great stuff, full of violence, creativity and excitement.
4) Hollywood Hulk Hogan (c) vs Sting for the WCW Championship -WCW Starrcade 1997
This match was beyond big at the time, it produced a tremendous buyrate for WCW because it had the most buildup as argably any match has had in the history of Pro-Wrestling.
Unfortunately it didn`t really pay off.
Everyone wanted to see the Stinger win and win big here.
Sting and Hogan would finally clash at the biggest event for WCW.
Sting had a great entrance as did Hogan and both men don’t gain an inch early.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan just kept raking the back of Sting if not giving him a hard righthand shot.
Hogan scoop slammed Sting and both men have a very cautious approach, a headlock on Sting and then Sting is run into from a shoulder block.
Sting scores with a duck and two dropkick’s elevating Hollywood Hulk Hogan outside the ring.
It definitely felt like a big match from both men, as it should of been. However the fans and action were surely not making up for the lost feel.
Hogan went for a walk and back in got a wristlock and then Sting slapped the sleeper on Hogan. Sting hit a shoulderblock on Hogan, Hogan hit one on Sting.
All of te sudden Sting’s offense came firing out until Hogan raked the eyes. Hogan beat on sting on the floor and played around with the crowd. Sting sent Hogan intot he fence and went for the Stinger Splash and he missed.
In a play to Wrestlemania 13, Hogan clotheslined Sting off the steel barricade to the floor where he was originally sitting groin first.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan in control hit the big boot to Sting and then the leg drop.
All of the sudden Bret “Hitman” Hart came out and said the bell was not going to be able to ring with Hogan covering Sting as Hogan thought he got the three.
Bret lays out an official and throws Hogan back in the ring. Hogan begged for nothing and Sting unleashed punishment hitting the Stingers Splash. Sting went for it again and Hogan hung on to the top rope. Sting nails Bagwell and everyone else from the nWo off as Sting hit the splash again in the opposite corner.
Bret Hart rings the bell and everyone loves it. New WCW World Champion.
In the end at 12:53 Sting defeated Hollywood Hogan.
This match was considered a dissapointment on quite a few levels.
It did its job in getting Sting the title, but the questionable finish and action throughout is nothing special.
3) “Nature Boy” Ric Flair vs Harley Race (C) for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in a Steel Cage Match -NWA Starrcade 1983
“I’m going to call it…..Starrcade 1983.” -Jim Crockett Jr.
The original right here.
Seems fitting WCW’s BIGGEST show of the year took place in Flair Country.
We have the NWA Champion and one of the biggest legends in Wrestling history in Harley Race the then Champion going one on one with The Nature Boy who was exactly the same thing to the industry of Pro-Wrestling.
The feud between the two had begun after Race won the title from Flair that June.
Race then offered a bounty to have Flair put out of professional wrestling. I knew
Triple H got his ideas from somewhere…
Flair and Race have a really solid contest here for its time.
Of course it hasn’t aged well due to its slow pace and it’s very, very different from most Cage matches. This is still when the Cage was used mainly for appearance and that no one could (kayfabe) interfere or escape. The structure is partially used in this match although not a whole lot in total and the parts where it is aren’t very good at all.
Still for its time it was a sight to see which ultimately wins here.
Flair bladed relatively early and that certainly helped the visual of the match and made it seem like a TRUE war. Of course…Harley Race’s offense is about as slow as the Detroit Lions of the past few years so I don’t know how he even drew blood to be honest.
It’s worth noting in this steel cage match that Gene Kiniski was the special guest referee and definately got recognition during this period. (Even if for all the wrong reasons) Some might have enjoyed that aspect though.
Race “passed the torch” so to speak to Flair here so this is definately one of the all time classic matches for that reason alone.
It got a lot of time and it was very memorable but as I said it doesen’t hold up well in comparison to other matches as mentioned.
The historical and career significance of this Cage Match boosts up the overall rating here.
Hell it even helped build the PPV’s annual credibility as the biggest show of the year, so it`s essential it belonds on the Starrcade DVD.
Observation: Those headbutts from Harley Race are fun to watch as they sure were different from most offensive moves from other wrestlers in this time or any time period for that matter. Like Flair’s match with HHH over twenty years later (that was actually better) at Taboo Tuesday 2005 this match told a great story.
Race dominated a great deal of time but Flair won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in the end at 23:46.
2) Tully Blanchard (c) (With Baby Doll) vs Magnum T.A. in a Steel Cage “I Quit Match” for the NWA United States Championship -NWA Starrcade 1985[/U][/B]
Falls don’t count, blood doesen’t make any difference.
You had to say “I Quit”, that was a big thing for Wrestler’s to admit back then.
This match was a huge success at the time, it took the Cage match to new heights and still today remains one of the very best Cage matches of all time.
It would take the great and tragic Magnum T.A. to make Tully go.
Starrcade had only been two years old by this point.
Here we go, arguably the Greatest Cage Match of all time.
Magnum T.A. was as focued as he ever was. He shoved down Tully and the two lock up again.
Tully with a single leg-takedown but Magnum shoved him off. Magnum T.A. on the mat tried to gain pressure over tully but the two turned each other around inside the cage. Blanchard let an uppercut go.
Magnum T.A. fought back with the crowd roaring behind him and now he held Blanchard over the ropes holding his throat back and he dropped in elbow in the throat of Tully. Wisely Blanchard uses the ropes for agility and bounced off knocking Magnum T.A. in the head with an elbow drop.
Nice resourceful wrestling by Blanchard. Blanchard sent Magnum T.A. into the steel cage and then slapped on a Camel Clutch. Magnum T.A. broke the grip of Tully and sent throat first into the rope he went. Back up Magnum T.A. reverses an irishwhip and he hangs Tully throat first across the top rope clotheslining him back to the canvas. Everyone loved this.
Magnum T.A. met Tully with a hard righthand and he kicked back sending him to the corner. Back up Magnum T.A. dishes out harder chops and in a side headlock delivered an uppercut to Blanchard. Tully from a sitting position though countered by swinging Magnum T.A. by his tights into the Cage. Tully was like a pitbull all over Magnum T.A. his competition.
Tully Blanchard drops a high knee, Magnum T.A. is bloodied open.
Magnum T.A. was able to get Tully’s arm behind him and drive him head first into the Cage.
Magnum T.A. still with one arm tied back elevated Blanchard this time into the OTHER side of the cage.
Magnum had a bloodied Blanchard on the mat and the crowd roared in approval.
Magnum T.A. was back in control and Tully was in a lot of trouble here. Magnum T.A. continued with a neckgrip and then out of desperation Tully delivered a headbutt into the abdomen of Magnum T.A. sending him back down. All this after Magnum T.A. picked up a microphone asking if Tully would quit.
Magnum T.A. was still able to roll back onto Blanchard grinding the blood from his skull. Magnum T.A. and Tully on there backs engaged in a test of strength, both guys were full of blood.
This was beyond a brawl, it was an all out war full of hatred from the NWA in a Cage. Just greatness.
Still exchanging blows in this beatdown state, Blanchard with a high knee, Magnum T.A. all bloodided to his knees is on the recieving end of a mic shot once or twice to the busted head of Magnum T.A.. Tully asked Magnum T.A. to quit and he’d respond with “HELL NO”!
Blanchard dragged Magnum T.A. backwards into the Cage. Blanchard grabs the mic again seeing if the great Magnum T.A. would give in but still he elected not to.
Blanchard all bloodied and fatigued managed to drop an elbow to the head of Magnum T.A. also bloodied, he went for a second and Magnum T.A. moved as the crowd cheered. This bought Magnum T.A. an oppurtunity to fight back. A slugfest broke out in the center of the ring from both men who were wobbly. Magnum T.A. all over Tully and with the mic in his face he still said no.
You can see the old schoo brutality brought out full force.
The selling was incredible here, you really could feel the pain from both competitior’s like on this last case where Magnum T.A. put the mic in Tully’s face.
Both men raked each other’s bloody face and still neither would give. This is quite amazing.
Magnum T.A. was in control until Tully hit a knee from behind. He drove Magnum T.A. right into the cage. He knocked intot he official grabbed a chair and broke a wooden chair. Tully kicked the ref and went after Magnum T.A. with the chair but he held it off.
Amazing drama here.
Pure hatred this is tremendous.
Magnum T.A. holding the piece of the wooden chair Tully ripped off and was now trying to dig in his skull.
Fans on there feet as Magnum T.A. knees Tullly off of him. Magnum T.A. fought back and everyone loved it. This was desperation time. Magnum T.A. grabbed the wood and started to dig it into Blanchard’s face until he said yes.
In the end at 14:43 Magnum T.A won the “I Quit” Steel Cage Match as the fans went wild.
This Classic match is one to be remembered as one of the best, if not the very best in the history of Starrcade.
It is also arguably the greatest Cage match of all time.
1) Big Van Vader (c) (With Harley Race) vs “Nature Boy” Ric Flair for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and with Ric Flair’s Career On the Line -WCW Starrcade 1993
Another match that is arguably the best in Starrcade history now, to end this DVD set appropriately.
Jesse Ventura and Tony Shiavone with the call.
Vader the defending Champion and big man going against a legend past his prime. What kind of strategy could the hero Flair give up.
Flair locks up with Big Van Vader in the corner and he pushed him off. Any time Flair neared in Vader shoved him off. Flair ran and then broke the count back inside.
Vader lands a headbutt then a big right, an arm-ringer is slapped on just with one of Big Van Vader’s wrists and Flair goes down to his knees in pain. Flair up again gets the wristlock torked in more and he brought Naitch in for a big clothesline.
Flair out of desperation chopped Vader across the ring but those chops didn’t have the best effect as Vader remained in control. Vader let go with some shots on Naitch in the corner. Big Van Vader picked up Flair now in a military ppress position and slammed him to the mat. Flair rolled over in pain.
It looked like it was only a matter of time with the way Big Van Vader was manhandling the Nature Boy. Flair is picked up by Big Van Vader and dropped across the steel railing. We get asked who the man is. Vader crashing into Flair on the barricade failed as Slick Ric moved and he chopped away at the big man.
Race drops Flair though outside the ring the second Ric had some momentum going. Race who met Flair at this event ten years back threw Flair back inside and Vader suplexed Flair. Again Big Van Vader tried to take Flair to the floor as he screamed on in agony.
Big Van Vader goes to suplex Flair ans does all the way back inside the ring. Vader with headbutt’s in the ring. Vader with two right’s on Flair in the corner and then a hard irishwhip to the other corner. Vader sent Flair to the corner again and he swung upside down and fell off the WCW ramp to the floor.
Flair had to WIN this match so despite the pain and punishment, there’d always be will to win from Naitch. Inside the ring Vader threw Flair’s head to the mat and then choked him in the corner. Vader measured Flair telling him he was nothing landing more righthands. Flair held himself up using the top rope for leverage and chopped back on Vader. Absolutely no effect on the World’s Champion as Vader slugged back on Naitch in the corner.
Vader gets a nearfall. Vader then goes to the top rope showing awesome agility for his size and drops Naitch with a basic clothesline. In the corner Flair is grabbed and slammed hard to the mat. Vader goes back up and signals for a big splash but Flair moved out of the way just in time. Now the Nature Boy goes up and he drops a move suprisingly, an elbow drop.
This time Flair barely catches him but he has Big Van Vader off his game enough to go for a third, and he clicks with the third elbow dropping the big man as the fans cheer. Flair drops a running knee to Big Van Vader.
Big Van Vader shoved him off and picked him up, setting down Flair on top of the turnbuckle. Big Van Vader landed shots and took the climb meeting Flair up there. Big Van Vader attempted a Big Superplex from the top and he hit it, taking it out of both men or else Vader surely could of got the three.
Big Van Vader didn’t go for the cover and Ventura calls it a mistake, which would come back later. Vader wanted to torture Flair seeing as he had hinm where he wanted him. Big Van Vader dropped an elbow on Flair and he was in pain, an instinct made him move a second time as Vader hit the mat buying Flair a moment. Flair ran off the ropes and runs right into the brickwall known as Big Van Vader and Flair dropped right back to the mat. Vader tossed Natich out of the ring.
Flair fought back with chops and all he could but Vader continued the pressure cornering Naitch and choking him out. Flair hit a desperation move and tied Big Van Vader’s leg arounf the ring rope. Flair did all he could to get the beat off his feet.
With Big Van Vader finally down Vader became unmasked and Nature Boy Ric Flair hammered on Big Van Vader any way he could with both striked and chops. Flair grabbed Vader by the arm and every time he swung back Flair did the exact same. Flair grabbed Vader by the side of the head and let go a lot of right’s. Flair grabbed another chair and dropped it on Vader.
Flair pushed the big man down and everyone loved it. Race was backed off by official Nick Patrick and Slick Ric made sure of it. Vader firing back in the ring without a mask and Flair is following him.
Flair risked DQ to get the big man where he wanted him.
This is becoming a Classic as the older man has taken down the giant and everyone loves it at Starrcade. Flair goes for the Figure Four leglock on Vader as he softens him by landing his whole body on the right side of his knee from the ring rope. Vader swung up with shots but Naitch dropped him with another right.
Flair goes for the Figure Four but Big Van Vader had enough in him to throw him off. Just like that everything is silent.
Big Van Vader knows he was in desperate times went for a Vader Bomb and he missed it.
Flair now knew this was his time. Flair slapped on the Figure Four mid-ring. Race tried to get in to break it up but Flair still held on to the Champion of the world.
Big Van Vader made it to the ropes. Flair ran into Vader in the corner and ran into a big boot. Vader now positioned Flair in the corner where he wanted him but not before dropping a huge elbow and then slugging forearms at the head of a beaten down Ric Flair fighting for everything he had left.
Vader goes to the top once more and now Big Van Vader goes ALL the way up to the top rope looking for the vadersault and missed! Flair moved again. Big Van Vader missed on his chance and Flair with the cover, Race climbed to the top and jumped off, Flair moved and he hit Big Van Vader. Race got pushed away.
Nature Boy let chops out on Vader then ran into Big Van Vader and fell. Ric tried an inside cradle and he got him! Finally! Huge pop.
In the end at 21:11 Flair got the big win over Vader becoming the new WCW Champion.
What a match.
This Classic was enthralling from bell to bell, the contrast in styles definitely made each sequence of the match enjoyable and the story was told very well.
It goes to show that Big Van Vader was the best big man in the business and even Ric Flair could keep up, all at Starrcade.
Final Rating for Starrcade: The Essential Collection = 8/10
No mistake about it, you get 25 quality matches here. A few matches involving the likes of (Doom, Malenko, Ultimo, Jarrett, Benoit) are missing (the latter for obvious reasons) but all in all, this is an enjoyable set which gives you a ton of rare footage from the glory days of the NWA and WCW. Pick this solid addition up for sure if you see it available.
Pretty much but your suggestions are not a bad idea to put in the overall thoughts area.
I’d like a bit more DVD focused talk like how good/bad the artwork is on the packaging, extras, easter eggs etc. I assume your focus is the matches because of the love of the art of wrestling? Can respect that.
i don’t understand why you’re going through the DVD hold-by-hold. That isn’t a review so much as a set of thorough results. You can give your thoughts on a match or segment and present an opinion without giving away every moment to an audience. Even if you contained it to just your wrap-up comments for each match its better to read and not as daunting to a reader. Just an opinion though. Great site guys.
I agree Bryan it is criminal that Malenko vs Dragon from Starrcade 96 **** 1-2 is not on the list. Or Jarrett-Benoit Ladder from 99 but we know why that one is not included. Anyway thanks and as fo wwefan89, my review style is not the cup of tea for everyone.
Great review as always Brett, but I have to say that Hogan/Piper match is one of those matches I really hate and even though it’s only #25 they could have put something much better in like Masahiro Chono vs Great Muta from Starrcade 92 or even Ultimo Dragon vs Malenko from 96.