WCW Starrcade 1998 Review

WCW Starrcade 1998 Review
Date: December 27, 1998
Attendance: 16,066
Location: MCI Center

When I think Starrcade, I think fuck up. The 1997 version was a very poor PPV extravaganza that was ruined by the overbooked and much maligned main event, with absolutely nothing carrying it in the mid to lower card. This year is a bit of a different story. I have no issues with how they have booked certain storylines but the main event looks to be a total mess. It seems WCW has absolutely no idea who they want to push in their World Title match with Goldberg with Bam Bam, Hall and Nash all clusterfucking the picture week after week on Nitro. It’s Nash vs Goldberg finally but we could be in for another screwjob finish to polish off what is rather a terrible year for WCW PPV wise.

It’s Tony, Weasel and Mike in chair and we have breaking news that Eric Bischoff has requested all Horsemen be barred from the building while he wrestles Ric Flair. Whats more shocking is that Flair has agreed to this and I already know it’ll be a complete mess.

We are with Gene as Mongo has just been escorted out of the building by police. But of course before we get the action underway, we have to get the hotline plugged. $1.95 a minute? WOW.

Cruiserweight Title: Juventud Guerrera vs Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Kidman (c)

La Razzzzaaaaa. Why did all versions of the nWo have the coolest entrance music? This will steal the show no doubt. You really have to shake your head and wonder how WCW managed to die with these three emerging superstars in the same company.

Kidman and Rey are immediately after Juvi after his heel tactics with a lot of fast paced action. Backbreaker, dropkick and a flying kick from Mysterio have Guerrera well and truly on the back foot but it all turns pear shaped when Juvi ducks a forearm from Rey and watches it connect with Kidman. That didn’t last long at all. It turns into a three way brawl in what is a pretty energetic start from the three.

Juvi is whipped into the ropes and picked up by Kidman but a really slick double bulldog plats both competitors through the mat. NICE! Follows up with a delayed pin but can only get a near fall. All men are back on their feet and holy mother of Joseph, Guerrera lashes out some massive chops that even have his hands ringing. Rey is straight back into it though and whips Juvi into the corner, catches him for the German Suplex but Juvi lands on his feet. It doesn’t matter, Kidman hits a massive clothesline and then Rey hits a high air bulldog that gets another near fall. WOW, this is really really fast action.

A couple of nice spots as a Juvi springboard head scissors on Rey off the shoulders of Kidman has him firmly on top but Rey dishes it right back with a head scissor off the apron to Juvi all the way to the outside. And for god’s sake, SCHIAVONE, I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE GIANT AND DDP MATCH AT THE MOMENT! Rey lands another bulldog on Kidman but it gives Juvi a chance on the rebound to smack on a tiltawhirl backbreaker for another two count. Rey and Juvi back up first and a quick sequence of moves sees Guerrera land the Juvi Driver but the pin is broken up by Kidman. So close. Kidman is now positioned on the top rope and Rey charges from the other side of the ring and is launched by Juvi onto Kidman to deliver a frankensteiner, 1-2 NO! All men back on their feet and a top rope shooting star press to the outside nails both Juvi and Rey. HOLY SHIT! And we are no greeted with the presence of Eddy Guerrero at ringside which steals all the attention of the referee. Kidman clearly has the win with a quick pin in the ring but Eddy makes his way in and pushes Juvi on top of Kidman 1-2 and Rey breaks up the pin. In the process though, Kidman ends up on top of Guerrera once again and it’s a 1-2-3! Kidman retains! (14:55) After the match, Guerrero goes on a rant about how Rey and Juvi let the LWO down. Challenges Kidman to a match in which he duly obliges. HELL YES, TWO KIDMAN MATCHES!

Rating: **** - This was an awesome opener and very quick early on. Crowd was well and truly into it from the get go but it did become a very spotty affair which took away from the storytelling early on in my eyes. All three men worked particularly hard and was a very good way to start the show though. Kidman was seriously a golden nugget at the time.

Cruiserweight Title: Eddy Guerrero vs Kidman (c)

Eddy wants to head to the back to put his gear on but Kidman states if he wants the match, then its going down right here right now.

Eddy with a couple of quick roll up attempts in the early goings but walks away with a couple of near falls. Is absolutely all over Billy, applying an abdominal stretch that gets a helping hand from Juvi on the outside which then sees Rey involved. Back in the ring and a different version of a scorpion death lock in the middle of the ring gets some ‘Eddy sucks’ chants from the crowd. Kidman fights back briefly but receives a jaw breaker for his troubles from a poorly locked sleeper hold. Kidman begins to go nuts in the corner and walks back for a run up. Eddy takes his workers shoe off in the corner and absolutely nails Kidman with it but Billy is out at two! Guerrero senses a chance and goes up for his frogsplash but Kidman up quickly and plants him with a superplex. 1-2 NO! We get Eddy using the ropes for leverage in a submission hold but Rey waffles him with his shoe which breaks the hold. Amazingly, with one shoe on, springboard off the top rope and nails a frankensteiner. 1-2 out again! Both men head to the top as we have another member of the LWO out distracting the referee. Kidman is the first to get knocked onto the top and as Eddy is about to capitalize, Rey heads up and pushes Eddy onto the top rope and BANG, SHOOTING STAR PRESS! 1-2-3 (10:55)

Rating: ***¾ – Back to back matches from Kidman but you still get the same effort and intensity no matter the situation. The man was an absolute star! They had to slow the pace down obviously as working two matches in a row is no easy feat but Eddy played the perfect heel role in the midst of that. The LWO shanadigans on the outside added another little side story while the action in the ring was taking place. Look at the four names to kick this PPV off and you have the reason why WCW failed.

Norman Smiley vs Prince Iaukea

Could you be given a more irrelevant PPV feature match for the evening? The Prince can get fucked but Norman Smiley is hilarious at least. This was in the middle of his massive push from Saturday Nights to Thursday Thunder to Monday Nitro.

Well this is basically just a filler, a veryyyyy longggggg filler. And the crowd isn’t all that impressed as a loud ‘boring’ chant goes around the massive stadium.  The Prince is getting absolutely zero offence in and in a very tight and technical affair, means he has very zero to offer. I mean, why put The Prince, a high flyer in a match with Smiley and expect a technical masterpiece? Well the biggest pops in this were Norman’s dancing and the wobbling of his tits. Well this one is over after a prolonged period of time, 11 minutes in fact, when Norman fights to lock on his Norman Conquest submission manoeuvre and finally does. It’s funny; Iaukea was on top of Smiley when the submission was on with the shoulders on the mat. I want the decision reversed! Easy, long squash in the end. (11:31)

Rating: *½ – They picked it up to a snail pace towards the end but this was too slow for anyone to really give a shit. Wrong wrestler’s used, wrong time limit but an awesome result for the Norman. “And Norman Smiley, I think I would say, has picked up the biggest win of his career”. That about sums up this pile of crap Tony.

Scott Hall is making his way out with an Outsider’s shirt on. Some pretty deep stuff here but not really understanding the point.

Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller (w/ Sonny Onoo) vs Perry Saturn

There are quite a few wrestlers I have genuinely despised watching in this company but none more so than Ernest Miller. He is fucking terrible and I have absolutely no idea why he was pushed so hard by WCW. No doubt it had something to do with Bischoff’s and his fanatical support to taekwondo and karate but by god, this gimmick was terrible.

Well Miller comes up short after his ‘cat’ like tactics (sorry, I had to do it) and ends up getting stomped the crap out of on the mat. And from here on out, it is exactly what I expected. Poor selling and absolutely no structure involved at all. I really could have gone without this right now. Anyways the Cat is calling Sonny into the ring but hits his Jackie Chan running kick on his own man. Death Valley Driver and this one is all over! (7:54)

Rating: * - Poor Saturn. Jobs to Onoo then has to pull this out of the hat on WCW’s biggest PPV of the year. “That could be arguably one of his biggest victories in World Championship Wrestling”. Tony mate, what the fuck are you smoking?

Ric Flair is out with Mene ‘Woo’ Gene for what is another pointless interview. It’s pointless, but it is still classic Flair. We also get a recap of the whole Bischoff nonsense from way back in 1996. They also show the vision of the supposed Ric Flair heart attack in the middle of his promo on Thunder.

Scott Norton and Bryan Adams vs Fit Finlay and Jerry Flynn

WHY OH WHY?  We have a match made on the spot, with a tag team made on the spot with no meaning or significance whatsoever. This is what I call a tag team shit storm.

“If anybody can take Norton down, it’s Fit Finlay”. Schiavone is in ripping form tonight. Lots of stop start action with a Norton powerslam, Jerry Flynn sidekick and Bryan Adams back breaker. Adams follows it up with a piledriver and DDT but can still only come away with a two count. Crowd has been well and truly burned since the first two matches on this card. For some reason all four men randomly enter the ring and Flynn sends Vincent flying. Finlay just randomly jumps out of the ring and follows Adams to the outside (why not stay in and double team Norton?). Norton, powerbomb, splat (8:56)

Rating: * - It was clean with no errors but it was still shit. I ordered a pizza and a very strong Ice tea to get through this and it was really lacking some Norman Smiley tit shakin’. Worst match of the night so far.

WE ARE BACK WITH MENE GENE FOR HIS 5th SEGMENT OF THE NIGHT. YAY! Eric Bichoff is called out and its some more gossip and trash talk. I don’t really care.

Television Title: Chris Jericho vs Konnan (c)

This PPV could honestly not get any worse. We are greeted with some more quality work on the mic from Jericho but my smile is quickly quashed with the Konnan rap video. I FUCKING HATE YOU! Well, thankfully for his own career, Jericho was off to the WWF where his potential and charisma was recognised by perhaps the smartest wrestling mind out there.

Jericho is quick to take off and land a standing missile dropkick before Konnan scatters to the outside of the ring. Jericho sets up the steps but a couple of quick whips into the guard rail see’s this entire set-up become irrelevant as they didn’t even utilize it. Back in the ring and Konnan with his rolling clothesline which is followed by whiplash slinging blow thingy mabob but Jericho is out at two. Konnan goes for the gut shot and head slam combo but Jericho moves for the Liontamer and decides to catapult him into the ropes. Jericho is pushed into the corner where the ref bump of the century takes place and waffles Konnan with the TV Title. 1-2 out at two. Gut shot, head smash, worst finisher of the century time and all over. Fuck you Nash. (7:27)

Rating: *¼ – This was shit. Jericho couldn’t give a shit at that time (and who could blame him?) while Konnan was the most horrible thing WCW could put a title on. Would settle for second gear in the ring and have his cheap one liners on the mic. But WCW rewards that sort of behaviour yeah?

Ric Flair vs Eric Bischoff

Flair is immediately after the little twerp and begins laying in to him on the outside. Tosses him back in the ring and the beat down continues with numerous strikes and slurs in the corner. Bischoff starts to hold the knee but that doesn’t deter Flair and begins nailing him on the supposed sore knee. Out of nowhere, Eazy E smacks a kick to the temple that has Flair reeling. Flair blades and has a sudden burst of anger before the chops from hell on the bare chest of Eric.

Referee does his best to get him out of the corner but nails the ref to continue the beat down in the corner. Textbook vertical suplex and goes for the figure four leg lock. Locks it in but out comes Curt Henning who hands him a foreign object and waffles Flair in the head. Well it was a very tame punch that wouldn’t even knock out my 86 year old grandma. 1-2-3 (7:08) Fuck you Nash.

Rating: ½ – This is the wrong result in every way. Crowd was fucking hot for Bischoff to have his arse handed on a platter but Flair comes back to WCW to job on their version of Wrestlemania. Ahhhhhh, the sweet smell of control, power and politics.

Giant vs DDP

DDP is off to work immediately but cant seem to floor the 7 ft monster. A clothesline takes him to the outside but DDP is now in danger territory and whipped into the steps before being thrown into the crowd. He gathers his feet and picks up a trash can to block a deadly right punch and then waffles The Giant with it. No DQ?

Back in the ring and it is all Giant with strike after strike after strike before locking in the mighty bear hug. HELL YEAH! Page begins the slow and steady fightback but walks directly into a powerslam. Giant pulls out of the pin at two to begin the cocky antics before the climatic finish. Goes for the sunset flip but Giant catches him justtttt and plants him with a chokeslam across the knee in some of the most entertaining action of the night. Giant picks him up to his feet but eats the Diamond dream DDT as both men are down. And out comes Bret Hart.

Hart enters the ring with a chair, goes for the waffle shot on DDP but absolutely annihilates his own man. DDP low blows Hart and covers the Giant but gets an anti-climatic one count. One diving clothesline off the top, another clothesline off the top, goes for the third and is caught with the giant duke of the Giant. Tries to fight him off but no avail, Giant sits him up top and goes for the chokeslam. REVERSAL, DIAMOND CUTTER! 1-2-3! (12:45)

Rating: **¾ – This was very well done and is the big man match of the night by a mile. I hate to say it but DDP has that bit of John Cena in him, is made to look like a hero that never gives up to stealing the win with the deadly finisher. Really cool finish as well.

World Heavyweight Title: Kevin Nash vs Goldberg (c)

Well it’s the battle of the big boys in a mist filled arena. Let’s see how Nash books this.

Both men circle each other for an extended amount of time before Nash attempts to put Goldberg in a rear choke hold. All that does is spark DA MAN into a back body drop of death. Nash quickly bails to the outside of the ring as once again they stalk each other in this mega battle. Nash whips Goldberg into the ropes, Goldberg ducks the big boot and SPEAR! Begins picking up Nash for the jackhammer but a low blow right in front of the referee sees both men floored on the mat. Nash is up first and actually gets a decent amount of offence in before we have run in galore with the Disco Inferno and then Bam Bam entering the ring. Disco is mauled with a spear and Bam Bam is clotheslined out of the ring in no time. Goldberg gears up for the spear but Scott Hall is on the apron and stuns him with the cattle prod!! Kevin Nash picks him up and JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB! 1-2-3! The streak is over! (11:20)

Rating: **¾ – Surprisingly, the crowd popped big for this and I don’t even think they expected the streak to end on the night. This match has copped a lot of flack but I believe that’s due to the events that followed one week later on Nitro. This ultimately led to the Fingerpoke of Doom as everyone knows but the match itself wasn’t bad, in fact it was quite good. You had two big men using their power game and I thought they utilized it in an effective manner. Goldberg getting pinned clean just wasn’t going to happen and being cheated out of the title was the only avenue I saw IF they were booking Goldberg to be beaten for the first time.

What pisses me off about this? Well in my opinion, you are a shit booker when you are booking yourself to win the company’s top title. I just don’t see how you can look at that and not think that it’s setting a terrible example for the rest of the locker room. I don’t understand why Nash had to book himself, a man that has had a world title run (all be it in another company) and been at the top of the mountain, instead of booking a young future star. Think about it, you pin Goldberg. Clean. That right there is instant stardom. You right there have a champion that will look a million dollars once the three counts completed. I would love to ask him why this didn’t appeal to him. And the answer I think is ego; looking after yourself instead of looking out for the company. The whole thing leaves a dirty taste in my mouth. The match was fine though.

PPV Rating: *¾
 This was a pretty terrible PPV with a heap of matches just thrown together in what is their biggest event of the year. Kanyon vs Raven would have been a great match to add to the card as it had a story and some meaning. Wasn’t to be though and a heap of time was taken up with promo’s and unnecessary interviews. The main event certainly wasn’t the death of WCW, nor is the fingerpoke of doom in my eyes. There was just too much crap going on behind the curtain, and the refusal to push the right talent is what killed this company. Thumbs down!

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