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Nickrj’s rant for Starrcade 1997

 

This was a HUGE show for WCW because they had been building up Hollywood Hogan and Sting for the World title ever since Hogan joined the N.W.O. However Sting hasn’t wrestled since Fall Brawl 1996 because he decided to change his look and hang out in the rafters waiting for the right moment to strike Hogan and the N.W.O. Take Uncensored 9 months earlier as an example. Well here we go!

 

Live from the MCI Center in Washington D.C. on December 28th 1997.

 

Your hosts are Tony, Dusty and Mike. What happened to Bobby? There are a ton of WCW wrestlers not competing tonight in the audience. Tony says that Kevin Nash is not here tonight to face The Giant.

 

Cruiserweight title Match: Eddy Guererro VS Dean Malenko

These two had a great match at Uncensored with Dean winning the U.S. title. Can he do it again for the Jobberweight belt? Eddy jumps Dean from behind and gets a waist lock drop. Dean comes back with some punches. One foot dropkick gets 2. Vertical suplex. More right hands by Dean. Eddy tries a top rope hurricurana but is powerbombed for 2. Back slam by Dean and a rollup gets two. Powerslam by Dean for 2. Eddy bails out of the ring and draws some heat. He comes back in and clips the left leg of Dean. Snapmare and a dropkick to the face. Why doesn’t he go to work on the knee? Dean drops Eddy on the ropes. Clothesline gets 2. Snapmare into a chinlock. Dean puts Eddy 8 feet in the air and drops him. Eddy tries some trickery but Dean doesn’t buy it. Eddy bails out again. Test of Strength and Dean stomps on the hands and a dropkick. He sets up Eddy on top and tosses him off and into the turnbuckle. Belly to back for 2. Suplex blocked by Dean and he drops him on the apron but Eddy clips the right leg and now he starts working on it by ramming it into the post. He uses the stairs on it as well. Back in Eddy gets a powerbomb for 2. Victoryroll countered into a back slam by Dean for 2. Dean runs into an elbow but hits a backbreaker for 2. Eddy climbs to the top but is caught again. He gets drop and both men down. Roll up by Dean for 2. Powerbomb by Dean. He goes for the cloverleaf but Eddy kicks him off. Eddy misses a dropkick to the bad knee. He climbs to the top and hits a missle dropkick to the knee. He goes up top again and frogsplashes the knee to get the pin at 14:57 to retain. Definitely not as good as their Uncensored match. **1/2

 

Scott Hall comes out now wearing a bogus tag title. The tag title champs were the Steiners at this point. He wants the crowd to know if he’s with the N.W.O or against them. Crowd chooses against. Hall says that he gets a title shot at Superbrawl VIII two months later. Then he points out that Kevin Nash isn’t here and the crowd boos because they want to see him get beat up. He asks for a referee and wants him to tell the Giant that he’s won. The G Man comes on out and tells Hall he’s a forgiving man and a patient man. Hall throws his toothpick at Giant. Big mistake. Giant destroys Hall in the ring and powerbombs him. Crowd loves it!

 

Six Man Tag: The Steiner Brothers and Ray Traylor (With Ted Dibiase) VS Scott Norton, Vincent and Randy Savage (with Elizabeth)

Savage is replacing Konnan. He starts it off with Scott Steiner who is about to turn into Big Pompa Pomp but he doesn’t have blond hair yet. Tie up and nothing happens. Another tieup and nothing happens. More stalling. Tieup and Scott gets a shoulderblock. Slapfest develops and a doubleteam leads to a stungun by Savage. Vince comes in and does the same. Norton is now in and he gets a samoan drop and a backbreaker. Savage goes to the top and hits a double axhandle. Scott gets a double underhook suplex which Bobby thought was a piledriver one time. Press slam and now all 6 men brawl won by the faces!! Steiner picks up Liz for some reason. Norton and Rick Steiner are now in. Rick botches a powerslam and hits a clothesline. He does another powerslam and it’s pretty weak. Ray Traylor is now in for the first time. He goes to town on Norton but is dragged into the wrong corner. Vince is in and he gets caught in a spinebuster. Ray drops him again and tags Scott who gets a belly to belly. Ray is back in. Crowd is dying out here. Slam by Ray. Rick is in and he hammers on Vince some more. Ray is in again and he misses a splash. Norton gets the tag and clothelines Ray. Ray’s starting to take a beating now. Vince back in and a double KO spot occurs. Rick is in and he hammers on all 3 N.W.Oers. All 6 men are in again. Scott hits the Doomsday Bulldog on Vince for 2 with Norton saving. Scott gets a Frankensteiner off the top for 2 but Savage saves. Scott sets up Savage on the top but Norton picks Scott and drops him on his back and Savage hits the flying elbow for the pin at 11:06.  A hot finish saves this from being a DUD. 1/4*

 

Gene Okerlund intros J.J. Dillon who announces that Nick Patrick will be the referee for the main event tonight. Kinda shocks the crowd there.

 

Bill Goldberg VS Steve McMichael

Goldberg was something like 35-0 at this point. He has no heat and no pyro either but he still has the same music he would have later. Mongo is of course a former Chicago Bear. In face Goldie was a former Atlanta Falcon as well. They slug it out in the aisleway to start. Goldie carries Mongo in the ring and sets up a table in the corner outside the ring. The match is now underway as Mongo pummels on Bill. Sidewalk slam for 2. Flying tackle by Bill for 2.  He sends Steve outside and pummels on him. Mongo won’t go into the table however. Steve goes upstairs and catches a shot to the guy. Nice rollup into a crossarm by Bill. He now goes to the right leg but doesn’t stay on it. Spear for 2. Crowd says something like “Goldie sucks!” or something. Goldberg sets up the table outside the ring and he picks up Mongo but Mongo falls on top for 1. Dropkick sends Mongo to the outside. Steve jumps on the apron but Bill punches Mongo into the table forcing an “ECW” chant. Steve continues to fight back but his back gives out on the tombstone piledriver and Goldie jackhammers him for the pin at 5:59. 36-0 for Goldie now. DUD

 

Perry Saturn VS Chris Benoit

It was supposed to be Raven VS Chris Benoit but instead Raven comes out and says he doesn’t want to fight Benoit so he wants Saturn to fight him. Benoit wants Raven but instead he goes after Saturn. Sleeper by Perry but Chris gets out. Drop toehold by Perry but Chris fights out of it. Suplex by Perry and Chris can’t get up this time. Chris gets a dragon screw leg whip and nails Kidman into the apron. Perry is thrown into the rail and sithboy comes out and nails Benoit and Kidman hits a moonsault from the apron. Legdrop by Perry back inside. Snapmare into a chinlock by Perry. Mike says that this match is under Raven’s rules which means no DQ’s. Neckbreaker by Saturn for 2. Slam by Perry and Benoit blocks a springboard moonsault. Knee in the gut by Perry. Another one. Legdrop to the neck. Another knee but Benoit rolls him up for 2. Lariat by Saturn for 2. Camel Clutch by Perry. Brain buster by Perry for 2. Into the chinlock. Sunset Flip by Benoit gets 2. Clothesline knocks both men down. Chris fires back but is caught down again. Michinoku Driver by Perry. He goes up to the top but Chris catches him and tosses him to the outside. He hooks the Crippler Crossface outside but the entire flock swarms Benoit. Perry misses a moonsault and hits his own men. Back inside Benoit gets a snap suplex. He goes up to the top and hit his flying headbutt. The flock runs in as Perry is dropped outside. Chris takes care of the flock and Raven comes in and Chris wants him but Van Hammer nails him and Raven DDT’s Chris. Perry hooks the Rings Of Saturn for the submission at 10:50. Crowd boos that finish as do I. *3/4

 

Lex Luger VS Buff Bagwell

Buff calls Lex “Lex Loser.” Tony says that Lex is anything but a loser. Yeah right. Buff stalls a lot before coming in. Tie up and they go into two corners before breaking. Buff sells a spit in the face I can’t believe that. Buff goes to work on Luger but Luger naturally turns it around. Hip toss. Slam and a press slam. Clothesline over the top rope which at this point is no longer a DQ. Buff looks like he’s going to leave the ring but out comes Vincent. Buff wants a test of strength and Luger falls for it because he’s stupid. Luger is thrown to the outside and blocks a throw to the rail. Buff goes into the rail and into the post. Luger with several butt splashes on the ropes. Vince gets decked on the outside as well. Buff now starts to take control with Vince getting some shots as well. More choking by Buff. Man this is terrible. Buff runs into a boot and Luger takes control. But Buff gets a two count and goes to the chinlock. Jeez and it’s a long one as well. Luger gets out of it but Buff counters a headdown for 2. Luger gets a rollup for 2. Clothesline by Buff gets 2. Buff is back to the chinlock. (Snore) Luger gets up and takes a knee to the gut. Buff hooks a sleeper. Is this all that Buff can do? Back suplex by Lex. Lex blocks a splash and now starts to fight back. Backdrop. Clotheslines. Inverted Atomic Drops. Vince gets knocked off the apron. Lex hits the ACE ELBOW OF DOOM and he hits a suplex. Vince goes to the top and Lex throws him onto Buff. Lex pounds on Buff but the ref warns him and Buff knocks Lex into the ref. You can guess the finish at this point. Lex powerslams Buff and Racks him. Randy Savage comes in but he falls victim to the torture rack as well. Scott Norton in and he hits Luger with a leash and Buff is dragged over Luger and Buff gets the pin at 16:36. Jeez the N.W.O strikes again on Lex Loser. Horrible match -**1/2

 

U.S. Title Match: Curt Hennig VS Diamond Dallas Page

DDP has taped ribs here. He gets a rollup right away for 2. He goes to work on the right arm and Curt drags to the outside. Curt gets an eyepoke and starts going to town on Page. Snapmare into a chinlock but DDP gets a sideheadlock. Curt with some hard chops in the corner. Sideheadlock takeover by DDP. Shoulderblock and a hairpull slam. Curt is knocked to the outside and Page throws him back in knowing the rules. Curt stuns him on the outside though. He goes to the injured ribs now and kicks DDP to the outside. Page is thrown ribs first into the steps. Another shot to the ribs. Back inside Curt steps all over Page. Page starts fighting back but he runs into a boot and Curt gets a clothesline for 2. Chinlock and Curt uses the ropes for balance. DDP fights out of it and gets a jawbreaker. Slugfest develops and Page sends Curt over the top and gets a slingshot double axhandle. DDP hits him in the crowd and they go back in. He slides to the outside and crotches Curt on the post. He goes for the cutter but Curt hooks the ropes and tries the Flair pin but can’t get it. Roll up by DDP for 2. Curt tries the Perfect Plex but DDP cradles him for 2. Curt gets a clothesline for another 2. Curt tries another Perfect Plex but Page gets an armbar takedown. Both men get shots and go down. Curt sends Page into the ropes. Page goes over Curt and hits the Cutter for the pin at 10:52. And we have a new U.S champion! Decent enough **

 

Battle For Nitro: Larry Zbyszko VS Eric Bischoff (With Scott Hall)

If Bischoff wins, The N.W.O gets Nitro for good but if Zbyszko wins, Nitro goes back to WCW. Bret Hart coming off the Montreal screwjob is the special referee here making his WCW debut. Crowd is pumped up for this one. Stalling to start it off. Eric gets a right hand that doesn’t even connect. Eric steps out and gets some instructions from Hall. Eric stalls some more after some slapping. Eric gets a kick to the ear. Larry comes back and gets a weak snapmare and rubs Eric’s face into the mat and Bret gives Larry a warning. Larry hooks a sleeper but Bret thinks it a chokehold. Larry goes to a legscissors and Bret still jaws at Larry. Yep Bret still remembers what happened to him at Montreal. Scoop slam and he hooks a standing Figure Four but Eric makes the ropes. He works on the right leg of Eric who rolls out next to Hall. Eric is thrown into the post outside. Bret jaws with Larry again. Eric is thrown into the steps. Bret blocks a right hand from Larry and Eric gets a kick to the head. Eric kicks away on Larry. Eric starts punching himself out and Larry comes back. Suplex by Larry. Swinging neckbreaker. He hooks him in a tree of woe and Hall gets nailed. Bret gets Larry away and Hall grabs a steel plate and puts it in Bischoff’s foot. Eric kicks with the loaded foot and the plate goes flying. Eric thinks he’s won it and then Bret nails him to a big pop. He nails Scott Hall as well and puts him in the Sharpshooter and Larry chokes out Eric with Scott’s belt. Bret declares Larry the winner at 11:11. Geez what a farce. -**

 

WCW World Title match: Hollywood Hogan VS Sting

Now Scott Keith mentioned it before but the match should’ve gone with Sting destroying Hogan to win the title in about 3 minutes. But Hogan had other ideas though. He comes out to what would be his music in the WWE in 2002. We also get a cool light promo of Sting before he comes out. Hogan gets a shove and Sting retaliates with a shot to the face. Hogan drags Sting into the corner and Sting gets a right hand. “Hogan Sucks” chant goes out. Hogan wants a test of strength and Sting falls for it. Hogan goes to work pummeling on Sting. Slam by Hogan and he misses 3 elbows. One foot dropkick sends Hogan to the outside. Hogan stalls outside before coming back in. Hogan with a headlock and a tackle. Leapfrog and a better dropkick by Sting. Another one sends Hogan to the outside again. Hogan stalls some more outside. Sting with a headlock but Hogan won’t go into the ropes. Tony says Sting has never looked better. What does he know? Hogan gets a tackle and does some taunting. Suplex but Sting pops back up. He pounds on Hogan in the corner. Sting is thrown to the outside though. He’s thrown into the timekeepers table and is nailed with a bat. Hogan grabs an N.W.O t-shirt and rubs it in Sting’s face before beating him some more. He’s thrown into the rail but Sting misses a Stinger splash. Hogan crotches Sting on the railing. They go back in the ring finally. Inverted atomic drop by Hogan and some choking. Big boot by Hogan. Legdrop and Nick Patrick was supposed to have done a fast three count but it looks a little slower than that to me. Bret Hart comes out and grabs the timekeeper before he rings the bell. Bret nails Patrick and brings Hogan back in the ring before Hogan leaves. The match is restarted with Bret as ref and Sting hits a Stinger Splash and fends off the entire N.W.O. Another Stinger Splash and he hooks the Scorpion Death Lock and Hogan taps out at 12:51. Sting is the new WCW champion but it was a terrible finish with Patrick counting slow. The entire WCW roster fills the ring to congratulate Sting. However it was because of the bad finish, Sting would only hold the title for a week as it was declared vacant. He should’ve gone over clean. DUD

 

Summary: Well this show was 18 months in the making and I can safely tell you. It wasn’t worth the wait. This show drew a 1.2 buyrate which was huge for them. I bet most of those watching that night were either angry or disappointed. And 3 years from this point Starrcade 2000 would only draw a measly 0.11 buyrate or only 5 PERCENT of what this show drew. So this show was the beginning of the end for WCW and it took more than 3 ¼ years of a slow and painful death. STRONG RECOMMENDATION TO AVOID