The Way Too Long Review of the Essential Starrcade Collection

Before we get started, a reminder that I make my debut with The Wrestling Press, formerly Pro Wrestling Press, with issue two next week.  Check it out at thewrestlingpress.com

This is the same program that was featured on WWE 24/7, with the first bumper hosted by Mean Gene.  Because when you think of NWA/WCW, the first thing that comes to mind is Mean Gene.  Really.  Anyway, the matches were all voted in by the fans, something the WWE should never do with it’s DVDs.  Fans are stupid and vote in crappy matches with big names instead of good matches with guys they’ve never heard of.  Plus you get a lot of overlaps, because people vote for good matches they’ve already seen, likely because they already own those matches on DVD.  Basically, anytime the WWE puts a set to a vote, prepare for the overall package to likely suck.  Thus I’ve set up a scoring system.  If the match makes *** or better, I’ll score one for the DVD being good.  Anything less, and the retards get a point.

Included exclusively to the DVD is a short (45 minutes or so) documentary on Starrcade that is almost completely useless.  Skip it.

The matches are ordered from 25 to 1, and I’ll comply.  Thus…

DISC ONE


Match #25: WCW World Heavyweight Championship
(c) Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper
12/29/96 Starrcade

So WCW billed this as a non-title match for the World Title, which confused the hell out of everyone.  Right up until the finish of this match, everyone thought this was a title match.  The announcers called it a title match.  The commercials advertised this as Piper’s last chance to be a world champ.  As both guys step into the ring, Tony Schiavone says how Piper needs to score the pinfall in the… then he cut himself off.  Just a further example of WCW’s contempt for their own fans.  Regardless, this was a HUGE money match for the company, which might seem silly considering the advanced ages of both guys, but this played to a record-drawing buy-rate and gate.

Lockup goes nowhere.  Another lockup leads to Piper getting bitch-slapped by Hogan.  Another lockup goes nowhere and Piper slugs away on Hogan, who bails (or gets dumped, who knows).  After stalling for… forever… Hogan gets in and beats the crap out of Piper, raking his tits (eww) and slamming him into the turnbuckle.  Clothesline in the corner misses and Piper takes advantage with the casual eye gouge and a clothesline.  Hogan again bails.  Piper grabs a headlock, then takes a knee to prevent a shoot-off.  Piper cranks on the headlock, trying to channel the spirit of Jack Brisco.  Of course, Jack isn’t dead, so that gets nowhere.  He still holds on to the headlock, but Hogan manages to tie Piper into the ropes and sends him to the outside.  Hogan brawls with him out there, raking his back.  Clothesline misses and Piper punches Hogan down pathetically, drawing boos.  Dropkick by Piper (!!!!!) sends Hogan to the outside, where he decides to walk away.  Piper gives chase and rams him into the guardrail.  Piper grabs a belt and whips Hogan with it.  Scoopslam by Piper in the ring but Ted DiBiase grabs his foot to distract him.  Hogan beats on Piper, slamming him into the stairs and doing thrusts to the throat.  Blatant choke by Hogan on the guardrail.  Hogan tosses Piper into the fans, then tosses him back into the ring.  Hogan starts to work the bad hip of Piper.  The camera gets a great close-up of Piper’s huge scar on his hip.  Abdominal stretch, which Piper turns into a hiptoss.  Both guys brawl, and again DiBiase trips up Piper, who doesn’t really sell it.  Piper starts to pull Hogan’s hair out.  Quote the Brain, “That shouldn’t take long.”  Brawl to their feet, with both guys clearly gassed.  Another casual eye gouge by Piper, and a suplex for two.  Hogan takes control and drags Piper to the center of the ring.  Legdrop MISSES and Piper is alive.  He kicks Hogan’s legs, BUT WAIT… here comes the Giant.  He tries to chokeslam while a fan runs into the ring to attack Hogan.  Dibiase tries to stop the fan and gets meekly punched.  Security beats the fan to death while Piper tosses the Giant with an eye gouge.  Hogan misses a clothesline and Piper locks on a sleeper hold.  The fans don’t even notice because they’re busy watching the retarded fan get his ass kicked by security.  So when Hogan is out cold and the ref calls the match for Piper, nobody is even watching.  Piper wins.  Funny enough, this was Hogan’s first clean loss since Wrestlemania 6, when he got pinned by the Ultimate Warrior.  Rhodes then fights off both Outsiders.  Giant doesn’t fight him because he figures he’s getting a title shot… only he’s not, because Piper is not the champ.  Dusty Rhodes calls Piper the WCW World Champion, then says maybe not.  Hell, even he doesn’t know.  Finally, they admit it’s a non-title match.  Classy move WCW.  And you wonder why you went bankrupt.
* Honestly not THAT bad, for two old geezers.  Yes, it should have been a title match.  But who cares?  It was thirteen years ago, and the only person who isn’t over this match is the guy who lost it.  That said, this is supposed to be the BEST OF STARRCADE, when it clearly is not.

Good DVD: 0
Retards: 1

-On to Jim Ross who calls Starrcade ’89 one of the best of the series.  And it was based on a couple tournaments, one singles, one tag.  Four guys were entered into an Ironman Tournament.  20 points for a pinfall/submission, 15 for a countout, 10 points for a DQ, and 5 points for a draw.  You get nothing if you lose, duh.  Every match had a 15 minute time limit.

Match #24
Great Muta vs. Sting
12/13/89 Starrcade

This is part of that tournament.  Muta had only one loss at this point in North America.  Actually two since this is his second match of the show, and the same goes for Sting as well.  Muta actually lost every match on this show, so there goes that push.  Muta throws a few kicks but misses.  He gets a full-nelson, then Sting reverses for his own.  Muta backs him into a corner then hits a mule kick.  Karate stuff to smack Sting around, then a headlock takeover.  Shoot off by Sting but Muta gets a shoulderblock, followed by a monkey flip by Sting and a clothesline.  Snap suplex by Sting gets two.  Jim Ross and Terry Funk are just awful on commentary, calling Sting “Muta” and Muta “Sting.”  It’s not that fucking hard guys.  One is blond, the other isn’t.  Just because both guys have face paint, they’re not exactly the Harris Twins.  Sting takes him down and goes for the Scorpion Deathlock, but Muta gets to the ropes before he hooks it in.  Muta in and he rakes the eyes to take advantage, then shoots off Sting and backdrops him.  Snapmare and an elbowdrop by Muta.  Bridged butterfly lock by Muta on the ground.  Sting reverses and mounts some punches.  He slams Muta into the turnbuckle, then kicks away.  Press-slam and a cover for two.  Scoopslam and an elbowdrop gets two.  Chinlock now.  Muta gets to his feet and forces Sting to the corner, then fires off a could shoulderblocks.  Choke with the knee against the ropes, then some chops in the corner.  Muta sets up Sting for the moonsault but Sting moves out of the way.  Muta lands on his feet, then hits a kick.  Nice.  Muta climbs but Sting dropkicks Muta, crotching him.  Superplex by Sting… gets the pin.  Well, this was 1989.
*** Pretty good actually.  Needed a bit more time.

Good DVD: 1
Retards: 1

Match #23: WCW/NWA Tag Team Championship
(c) Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas vs. Brian Pillman & Barry Windham
12/28/92 Starrcade

Interesting combinations.  And I’m quite frankly SHOCKED that fans would vote this in.  Douglas is pretty much unknown these days, Windham more so, Pillman has been dead for more then a decade, leaving Ricky’s reputation alone to get this voted in.  Then again, maybe the match is good.  I’ve totally forgotten about it and all my WCW Tapes were ruined in 1997 so it’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen this one.

Censorship Note: Jesse Ventura’s commentary is… NOT edited out.  Hey, that’s nice.  WWE must have reached a deal with him.  Or he was hard off for cash and realized listening to his voice for a total of 15 minutes or so at a time isn’t worth the bucket load he was asking from WWE.

Douglas starts with Pillman.  Headlock takeover by Douglas to start.  Pillman, who looks a lot like a Von Erich here, chops away in the corner, then gets a hiplock, but Douglas smacks him down.  Sunset flip by Pillman is sat on Douglas and we have a stalemate.  You know, if Ventura is done with politics he should really return to wrestling.  He was a great color guy for the heels.  Pillman counters a hammerlock and slugs away, choking in the corner.  Shoot off but Pillman misses a clothesline.  Big reversal sequence sees Douglas dropkick Pillman, then Windham, then a double dropkick to Windham.  Double backdrop by Steamboat and Douglas while Pillman takes a powder.  He returns and tags in Windham, who in theory should be worse off then him at this point.  Steamboat asks for the tag and gets it.  Slugoff but Steamboat gets a flying chop, then a karate shot to the neck.  Suplex and a front facelock by the Dragon.  He lets go of it, then snapmares Barry down.  Tag to Douglas who drops a sledge off the top.  Snapmare and a chinlock.  Windham to his feet and he counters with a backdrop suplex.  Slugoff, and Douglas tags to Steamboat while he grabs a headlock.  Snapmare and a neck snapper by Steamboat.  Big punch sends Windham over the top and to the floor.  Shouldn’t that cause a DQ in WCW?  It’s hard to keep track of when that rule was active.  It was on and off for a while.  On the floor, Steamboat scoopslams him.  Windham gets onto the entrance ramp, where Steamboat slams him again.  Ricky tosses him back into the ring and gives him a swinging neckbreaker for two.  Front facelock by Steamboat and a tag to Windham.  Snapmare by Douglas gets a one count.  Chinlock again by Douglas.  Windham gets to his feet and fires off a jawbreaker.  Tag to Pillman, who slams Douglas around.  Chops all around, but Douglas dropkicks Pillman off the apron and into the guardrail in a sick bump.  At the time, WCW had no protective mats on the outside because Bill Watts, at the time the man in charge of WCW, thought it would make wrestling look more real.  So when they fall to the floor, they’re landing on particle board that is covering the ice rink for the local hockey team.  Douglas throws Pillman back in the ring, then climbs, but Brian recovers and dropkicks Douglas off the top and to the floor.  Holy shit!  Then Barry Windham drops down and clotheslines Douglas on the floor in another sick bump that breaks up the particle board.  If it sounds like it’s a soft landing, trust me, it’s not.  Oh lord, is it not.  So many guys suffered major injuries because of the lack of mats during the Bill Watts era that he’s forced to carry a gun around with him to this day for self defense.  Douglas to the apron where Pillman gives him a hangman, then chokes him on the apron.  Tag to Windham who drops a forearm off the top.  Headbutt by Windham which knocks himself goofy for a bit.  He follows up with a big right hand and an elbow to the back of the neck.  Heels lure Steamboat into distracting the ref so they can double team Douglas with shots to the throat.  Neck snap into the bottom rope but Windham slips and the move is kind of botched.  Tag to Pillman who chops away.  Douglas tries to fight back, but Pillman drop toeholds him and tags Windham in.  Windham in and he tosses Douglas out of the ring and into the guard rail again.  Pillman distracts the ref, so Steamboat takes advantage and chairs Windham.  Huge pop for that.  Jesse Ventura is besides himself on commentary.  In the ring, Pillman gets a backdrop suplex for two.  Slam into the turnbuckle, then into Barry’s boot.  Tag to Windham who drops a punch off the top rope.  Backdrop suplex gets two.  Tag to Pillman who fires off a backelbow, a snap suplex, and a big splash for two.  Pillman lures Steamboat in the ring again so the heels can double team Douglas.  It gets a two count.  Tag to Windham who goes for a suplex, but Douglas counters with one of his own.  Windham is groggy but gets up first.  Slugout, but Douglas makes the hot tag to Steamboat.  Dropkicks for all.  Chops for all.  Scoopslams for all.  Shoot off is reversed and Windham gets the powerslam.  That took the wind out of the crowd.  Awesome psychology here.  Backdrop suplex and a tag to Pillman.  He punches Douglas to lure him in and distract the ref.  Pillman tosses Steamboat over the top rope, which would have been a DQ.  That’s right, if you punch a guy over the top it didn’t count.  On the floor, Windham throws Steamboat into the ringpost.  Pillman is all cocky in the ring, but Steamboat fires off a chop off the ropes out of nowhere for two.  Chop-off is won by Steamboat, but Pillman counters a slam with a headscissors for two.  Tag to Windham who hits a forearm off the top.  Steamboat wags his finger in Windham’s face.  They slug it out.  Ricky is banana-legged and is holding himself up using the ropes.  Steamboat fights off Windham, then get a facebuster.  Hot tag to Pillman, hot tag to Douglas… who doesn’t get much of a reaction.  He’s still pissed he didn’t get a push, despite the fact that he wasn’t all that over in WCW.  Punches for all.  Scoopslams for all.  Backdrop to Pillman while Steamboat takes Windham out of the picture.  Belly to Belly suplex finishes for Douglas.  Weak ending…
****1/2 Very good match overall though.  Nicely paced, good use of psychology.  I think a bigger variety of moves would have upped this one to five-star level.  A more peppy finish might have worked as well.

Good DVD: 2
Retards: 1

Match #22: WCW World Heavyweight Championship
(c) Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash
12/27/98 Starrcade

The match that killed WCW dead.  Nash became head booker of WCW shortly before this and instantly booked himself as the #1 contender to the title.  He then killed the winning steak (and all associated heat) for Wraith to establish the fact that he was going to take the title come hook or crook.  Considering how bad of shape WCW was in at this point, the fact that they would take the title off Goldberg, the only guy they had left who was proven to spike the ratings and increase the buyrates proves that those in charge had to WANT the company to fail.  The only other explanation is pure mental retardation.  Even though this is WCW we’re talking about, surely at some point someone could have pointed out that nothing good could have come from jobbing Goldberg at this point.  So sabotage is the only thing that makes sense.  Everyone’s contract was guaranteed in the event the company folded, thus meaning everyone would get paid regardless of whether they were actually working or not.  And even if the company didn’t fold outright, as long as it was losing money the first thing they would have cut is the house show circuit, which means fewer dates to work.  Or they would make Nitro shorter, or cut Thunder, or cut WCW Saturday Night (which they did later), or a million other things that ultimately would have meant less work for most of those in charge.  If you can think of a better explanation, name one.

So to the match.  The arena is poorly vented and thus Goldberg’s pyro has drowned the ring out in smoke.  I hate pyro in wrestling.  It really needs to be banned.  Hell, you can’t smoke anywhere indoors anymore because it might offend someone or set off their asthma (usually faked) or give them cancer, so why on earth are they allowed to shoot off barrels full of gunpowder and choke the entire audience with it?  Don’t tell me that smoke from fireworks doesn’t cause as much or more damage to your lungs as tobacco smoke does.  Does pyro actually draw money for wrestling?  Does anyone pay $50 for a ticket or a pay-per-view to watch a firework display?  Same goes for Football games or Baseball games.  Having been to several shows where the fireworks went off and the ventilation was awful, I can tell you that nothing is more shitty then trying to watch a wrestling match with your eyes burning.

End of rant.  Let’s start over.  The two guys try to rile up the crowd, then circle and lockup.  Nothing comes of it and they end up in the corner for a break.  Bobby Heenan: “Everything is at stake here.  Goldberg’s streak.  Goldberg’s title.  Nash’s…  … … reputation.”  Heh.  Even when he’s off Bobby Heenan never failed to make me smile.  Nash grabs an extended headlock and tightens it up, but Goldberg suplexes out of it and Nash bails.  We start over as the fans chant “Nash Sucks.”  Nash slugs away and knees at the guts.  This goes on for a bit.  Choke with the foot, but Goldberg grabs Nash’s foot and takes him down.  Awesome counter and one of the reasons I liked Goldberg matches.  Smart marks to this day hate on him almost non-stop, but I was always entertained by his matches because he would power out of moves at unexpected times, and it always looked real when he did it.  For a guy with a rep as a bad wrestler, the believability factor with him was always pretty high.  Goldberg slaps on a cross-ankle breaker, but Nash is close to the ropes and they break.  Goldberg doesn’t give him a chance to recover and starts to slug it out.  Big punch actually knocks Nash down.  Can’t think of too many times Nash was knocked down with a punch.  Actually a good match in terms of having unexpected spots.  Minority of the fans break out a “Goldberg Sucks” chant.  Goldberg misses a charge and hits the turnbuckle.  Nash smacks him around and chokes with the foot.  Shoot off but Nash misses a big boot and Goldberg hits the spear.  He calls for the jack hammer, but Nash hits a low blow to escape.  Fans pop for it.  Sidewalk slam by Nash gets two.  Nash brawls him around a bit more and hits an elbowdrop for two.  Head of steam on the ropes gets two.  Hammerlock by Nash, then a kick to side by Goldberg.  Shoot off and a clothesline fails to knock Goldberg over, but another clothesline does and gets two.  Nash goes for a suplex but Goldberg turns it into a snapping neckbreaker.  Greco-Roman Suplex gets two.  Superkick by Goldberg and a powerslam gets two.  Nash is taking more bumps here then any other match in his career.  Spinheel kick by Goldberg, BUT WAIT~!!, here comes Disco Inferno.  Goldberg kills him.  BUT WAIT~!!, here comes Bam Bam Bigelow.  Goldberg takes him out too.  BUT WAIT~!!, here is Scott Hall, who zaps Goldberg with a cattle prod.  Goldberg is out, so Nash loads up the jackknife, hits it, and kills WCW deader then Kelsey’s Nuts.
**3/4 Not that bad before the abrupt finish.  Ignoring all the fall-out of this match, where I find fault in it from a technical standpoint is there was no ending sequence from the two wrestlers.  It was like halfway through the match they just decided to send out the guys doing the run-ins.  It’s a shame because this was WAY better then I ever would have guessed it would be and it could have been even better if they had just been given about five more minutes to do a couple false-finishes.  Anyway, a week after this Nash dropped the belt to Hogan, who was in cahoots with Nash and Hall all along, reforming the nWo and ultimately putting the final nail in WCW’s coffin.  They hung around for a few years after that, but when they did the Finger Poke of Doom, they reached the point of no return.  Goldberg never got the belt back (he won it again at Halloween Havoc 1999, but was stripped of the title the next night and his one-day championship reign voided entirely) and was never again the primary focus of the company.  Again, how can anyone not think this was anything but intentionally trying to kill the company?

Good DVD: 2
Retards: 2
.

Match #21: Battlebowl Battle Royal
Participants: Marcus Bagwell, Jimmy Garvin, Steve Austin, Rick Rude, Dustin Rhodes, Ricky Morton, Bill Kazmaier, Jushin Liger, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Ricky Steamboat, Todd Champion, Sting, Abdullah the Butcher, Vader, Mr. Hughes, Scott Steiner, Firebreaker Chip, Ron Simmons, and Tommy Rich.
12/29/91

Here’s the idea which was incredibly shitty to do at Starrcade, the premier show for WCW: Every match on the card before this was a tag team match.  There were ten matches, and every team was drawn at random.  So you would get odd parings.  Hell, the parings are so odd and so little came of the matches that I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually WAS random.  Anyway, if you won your tag match, both guys in the team would be entered into the main event’s battle royal.

But it’s no ordinary battle royal.  There are two rings and it’s double elimination.  Everyone starts in one ring, and you get eliminated from it by being tossed over the top rope into the second ring.  Once there, you could be eliminated by being tossed over the top and too the floor.  The winner of ring #1 faces the winner of ring #2, and the first one to dump the other to the floor wins.  Just way overly complicated.  Lex Luger was WCW Champion at the time and is entered in here, but his title isn’t on the line.  In fact, nothing is really on the line here.  Officially, not even a title shot was at stake here, although the winner did receive one as a result of this, but it was unadvertised.  There was really no incentive to watch this show.  No titles at stake, no storylines being capped (at least none were advertised to be capped), no idea of what actually would be happening in terms of teams.  WCW was in bad shape around this time, having recently lost Ric Flair to the WWE and making an ill-advised heel turn with Lex Luger.  This was close to the low point for them.

To the match.  I suck at recapping Battle Royals.  Just a heads up.  Random brawling.  Nothing more complicated then punches.  Arn Anderson and Steamboat are on the ramp where Anderson slams Steamboat, then Steamboat gives Arn an atomic drop.  Kazmaier is dumped but not into the second ring, so he’s still in.  Yeah.  Shouldn’t this entire fight be taking place on one side of the ring?  Eh, sorry.  Logic in wrestling, what am I thinking?  Steamboat gets dumped by Vader with a sick clothesline to the ramp, but Vader misses a splash there.  A few minutes in and no eliminations.  Fans aren’t doing more then random cheering and whistling.  It’s not exactly enthusiastic.  Then again, there’s only like 6,000 people there so maybe they’re as loud as they can get.  More random brawling.  Vader press-slams Steamboat out of the ring and onto the ramp.  Jesus, why couldn’t he have done that into the other ring?  This match is stupid.  Still no eliminations five minutes in now.  Lots of punching.  Tommy Rich is the first person dumped to the second ring by Ricky Morton.  He’s alone there and can rest.  Sting and Luger get into it and the fans are happy.  Camera angles are just awful.  Bagwell gets dumped into the second ring by Ricky Morton as well.  Rich fires off a suplex at Bagwell.  We cut back to the first ring.  Where guys are just punching each other.  This whole concept is flawed in so many ways.  I’m sure this would be more fun to watch live, but on TV it’s brutal and impossible to fire.  They show a wide shot of both rings, but the producer gets bored with that and goes back to the first ring where guys aren’t doing anything more complicated then a punch.  Meanwhile, Bagwell fights back against Rich.  Ugh, I hate hate hate hate this match, and I’m not sure it necessarily sucks, but we can’t see the actual WRESTLING they’re doing in the second ring.  Curtis Hughes tosses Firebreaker Chip into the second ring.  Rich gives him and Bagwell a noggin-knocker.  Liger is tossed into the second ring by Morton, who is apparently hot this match.  Morton appears to follow him voluntarily, which is a smart game plan it would seem.  However, he is declared eliminated.  Ohhhh kay.  Morton goes for a crossbody off the top but Liger catches it with a powerslam, then hits a flipping senton on Morton.  Asai Moonsault to Morton, then a victory roll DDT.  Liger hits a crossbody on Morton that sends both guys over the top and to the floor, eliminating them completely from the match.  Sure, because they were only thing the match had going for it at this point and we wouldn’t want the fans to be entertained or anything.  Hughes misses a dive and ends up flying over the top and too the floor.  Camera misses who eliminates Tommy Rich from the second ring.  Camera is missing EVERYTHING at this point in fact.  I’m not even going to bother rewinding.  If I miss it, I miss it.  The second ring fills up quickly.  Jimmy Garvin is tossed to the floor by Firebreaker Chip.  Simmons is tossed into the second ring.  Dustin Rhodes is tossed to the second ring and again the camera misses it.  Rick Rude and Sting finally lock up, being involved in a bitter feud at the time.  Crowd is fired up.  Both guys tumble over the top and between the first and second ring.  That counts as an elimination from the first ring.  So the final two in ring #1 are Vader and Lex Luger.  Interesting choice considering that Luger is a heel here and so is Vader.  Every aspect of the booking here is bad, illogical, and impossible to follow.  Firebreaker Chip is eliminated by god knows who.  Luger hits a running clothesline and knocks Vader into the second ring, winning the first battle royal.  NATURALLY, now that only one ring needs to be focused on, they spend a great deal of time in the wide shot, so we can see both the action and Luger pacing around alone in his ring.  Abdullah is eliminated.  Jim Ross hypes up Marcus “Buff” Bagwell on commentary, as he was the hot rookie at this point.  Sting and Rude keep going at it, which is the only thing the crowd gives a crap about at this point.  They two smaller alternate angles to watch the match at the bottom of the screen.  First off, it still isn’t possible to follow because you can’t concentrate on all three images at once.  Second, all the angles SUCK SHIT unless it’s on a wide shot.  Dustin Rhodes knocks Arn Anderson out of the match, then Dustin gets knocked out, then Hughes and Simmons at the same time, then Scott Steiner, then Vader.

FINAL FOUR: Steamboat, Austin, Rude, and Sting.  Not bad actually.  Sting sends the heels into the corner.  Then Steamboat whips Sting into them with a stinger splash.  Sting goes after Austin while Steamboat and Rude square off.  Austin is the TV Champion at this point, Rude the US Champion, Steamboat is one half of the tag champions, and Sting is the most popular guy in the country.  Random brawling until Rude accidentally eliminates Steve Austin.  Rude dumps Steamboat, who grabs the ropes, skins the cat and eliminates Rude with a rana.  He goes to skin the cat again but Rude pulls him out and Sting wins the second ring.

FINALS: Before Sting can face Luger, Rude dives in the ring and gives Rude the Rude Awakening neckbreaker.  Steamboat rolls in the check on Sting, while Luger arrogantly paces around.  Luger enters the second ring, then leaves so Sting can go to the first ring.  Whatever.  Short of summoning Jesus himself to this match, nothing is going to save us from a DUD at this point.  Luger clotheslines Sting.  Running atomic drop, then a kick to the balls.  Luger smacks him around and then rakes him across the top rope.  Luger sort of stalls for a bit.  He tosses Sting between the ropes and to the ramp.  As opposed to tossing him over the top rope to actually win the match.  Harley Race, Luger’s manager, goes to attack Sting but gets slammed on the ramp instead.  Luger sneaks up and wipes out Sting again, then tosses him off the ramp and into the guardrail.  Sting hulks up, slams Luger around the ringside area into everything that’s metal.  Luger’s selling is pitiful.  He doesn’t even change his facial expression.  It’s like watching a video game wrestling match.  Back in the ring, Sting rubs Luger’s face into the canvas, then tries to dump him.  He ends up placing him face down on the corner and kicking away at him.  Race on the apron only to get suplexed by Sting.  Sting misses a Stinger Splash and almost falls over the top and into the… second ring.  Wow, that would be a shitty way to end the match.  But Luger is gassed and can’t recover fast enough to knock him out.  Luger goes to dump Sting and thinks he does, but Sting holds onto the ropes.  Sting sneaks up on him, hits his whacky wind-up punches, a leg-lace bulldog, then dumps a bit with a clothesline but Luger appears to sandbag it, so Sting bounces off the ropes and pushes him to the floor.
DUD This will be one of those matches I get an insane amount of hate-mail over, because a lot of guys like Scott Keith gave this high marks.  I hated it.  Terrible, needlessly complicated, poorly produced, and lacking any high spots.  No redeeming value whatsoever.  Horrible choice for the DVD and so unwatchable it should not have even been given to the fans as an option.  And sadly, it’s not even the worst match that is in this set.

Good DVD: 2
Retards: 3

Match #20: WCW United States Heavyweight Championship, Best 2 out of 3 Falls
(c) Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Austin
12/27/93 Starrcade

This is why you can’t give the fans the vote.  They see the name “Steve Austin” and they think they’re getting Stone Cold and the match is going to rock the house.  Instead, they’re getting a pissed off, barely motivated Stunning Steve Austin.  This was right after the Hollywood Blonds were broken up because they had the nerve to get over when that was never planned for them.  To make Austin happy, they decide to put the US title on him in this match.  Well, that pissed off Dustin Rhodes, who is equally unmotivated here.  His US title reign was to last longer but because of total bullshit politics, he’s getting his reign cut short because a tag team unrelated to his agenda got over and had to be destroyed by the powers that be.  WCW’s sheer ignorance was at times mind numbing.  Why on earth would anyone in any situation getting over with the fans be a bad thing?  The idea is to draw money, and if the fans like them enough or hate them enough to be hot for their every action, then you can make money with them.  It couldn’t be more simple.  Even actual politics that rule countries are not as blatantly counter-productive as wrestling politics, especially those of WCW.  They’re not around anymore and anyone who blames the Time Warner/AOL merger on it is kidding themselves.  If WCW had been run competently and been profitable, they would have had a place in the corporation and on the networks.  Yes, at the time WCW folded, Nitro’s ratings were still better then 90% of other shows on cable TV.  But I truly in my heart of hearts believe Jamie Kellner, the man who cancelled all WCW programming from TNT/TBS, would have kept the shows going if the overall company had been profitable.  It wasn’t.  The deal that Eric Bischoff worked out with Fusient Media Ventures to buy WCW likely included clauses where TNT and TBS would have had to cover a large percentage of production budget.  Bischoff is famous for spending loads of money on horrible, ill-conceived sets and angles, and that money would have come out of AOL-Time Warner’s pocket.  More over, I believe they asked for a 10-year-deal with TBS and TNT, which was outrageous.  Nobody gets a deal that long in TV.  Not even real sports leagues.  Assume the market for wrestling completely bottomed out.  Not very likely, but if Nitro got to the point where it was drawing less then a full point in ratings, they would still be under contract to air it.  Ultimately, all those involved with TBS and TNT, including Kellner, knew that WCW was horribly managed and unstable.  It was under Eric Bischoff, so with Bischoff actually owning a piece of the company and having final say in it, they had no reason to believe this WCW would function better then it had before.  And that’s why they cancelled.  Don’t blame Kellner wrestling fans.  You can choose any booker or executive who had a run with WCW, each and every one of them, and say it was their fault.  It never ran smoothly, even when it was on top.

End of the extended rant.  To the match, but not before Ventura and Schiavone on commentary argue over fake boobs.  Takedown by Dustin goes nowhere.  Lockup and Austin gets a waistlock, reversed by Dustin for a break.  Dustin gets a head-scissors but Austin gets to the ropes.  Fans don’t really care about either guy.  Lockup, shoot off and Rhodes gets a spinebuster, turned into a backelbow by Dustin for two.  Austin bails to get his wits about him.  Austin slugs it out but gets taken down Dustin, who knees him in the back.  Lockup and Dustin gets a headlock takeover.  To their feet, shoulderblock by Dustin but a kick by Austin.  He goes for a powerbomb but Dustin turns it into a backslide for two and Austin bails again.  Takedown by Dustin and a stomp, but Austin fights him off and brawls him on the floor.  Dustin comes back and they slug it out on the outside.  Austin gets reversed on a whip and sent over the guardrail and into the seats.  Austin gets back in and we basically start over.  Austin offers a handshake, which Dustin gives him, then gives Austin a big knuckle sandwich.  Awesome punch, awesome tiiiimmmbbbeeeerrrr sell job by Austin.  Dustin grabs a headlock, but Austin fights him off and punches him.  Snapmare and the FU Elbow.  Ground brawling and a two count.  Snapmare and the ref counts a two despite Austin not pinning him.  Dustin fights back and smacks away at Austin, but runs into a backelbow for two.  Dustin misses a clothesline and Austin dumps him through the ropes and to the floor.  Dustin dives over the apron with a sunset flip for two.  Dropkick by Dustin gets two.  Rhodes goes after Colonel Parker, which leads to Austin taking him out with a big punch.  Austin covers for two.  Malfunction at the Junction and both guys knock each other out.  Slugout and Austin smashes Rhodes with an elbow.  He counters a powerslam and falls on top for two.  Snapmare and an elbow off the second rope misses.  Dustin punches away and hits a bionic elbow.  Diving clothesline and Dustin is feeling it.  Powerslam gets two and Colonel Parker gets on the ropes.  Dustin decides to deal with Parker by tossing Austin into him.  Unfortunately for Dustin, Austin does hit Parker but still flies over the top rope and to the floor, causing Dustin to get disqualified.  Weird.  It’s supposed to be a 30 second rest period, but Dustin goes the floor and throws Austin into the ringpost, busting him open.

Second fall, and Austin is out of it on the floor.  Dustin bails and tosses Austin in the ring.  The lights flicker on and off, while Dustin hits an axehandle off the top and a suplex.  Elbowdrop gets two as they turn the flood lights on.  Jesse Ventura calls it a ‘dark match.’  Clothesline in the corner by Dustin and a ten punch, but Austin throws him down and pins him with a handful of trunks to win the United States Championship
** Pretty dull overall.

Good DVD: 2
Retards: 4

DISC TWO

Match #19 NWA Tag Team Championship
(c) Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson vs. The Road Warriors
11/29/87 Starrcade (in Chicago)

Blanchard & Arn Anderson are at their peak as a tag team for this match, as it was pretty much all down hill from here.  Warriors hadn’t yet been NWA Champions, though they held the NWA National (TV) Titles.  Hawk and Anderson start out, and Anderson starts cussing at Hawk.  Hawk responds by grabbing a chokehold.  Arn powers out and goes up top, but Hawk grabs him and press-slams him down.  Arn bails while JJ Dillon calls for time.  Heh.  Back in, Arn and Hawk lock up, and Arn goes for a hammerlock, but Hawk powers Arn down and drops a knee.  Arn bails again, and the managers have a standoff.  Tully tags in, and they fight.  Hawk goes for a big boot, but Tully puts on the breaks.  Hawk knocks him down anyways.  Good stuff.  Tully bails, but this time Animal press slams him back into the ring.  He bails again, but returns to the ring.  Hawk hits a HUGE dropkick for two, and Animal tags in.  Tully goes up, but Animal turns it into a powerslam, and Arn makes the save at two, and they’re wondering what they have to do to gain any advantage.  Arn starts brawling with Animal, who reverses a whip and clotheslines Arn down to the ground.   We restart again, and Hawk spits at JJ Dillon.  Arn uses this to his advantage, but Animal grabs a bearhug.  Tully and Arn try to double team, but Hawk fights out of it, now the legal man.  Hawk press-slams Tully into a bear hug for Animal.  Good stuff.  Inverted atomic drop on Tully, and the LOD is just kicking the ever loving crap out of the Horsemen.  Tully tries to chop out of it, but Animal just starts pounds him, and hits some chops, headbutts, and a dropkick to the knees.  Tully tags in Arn, who’s pissed.  Animal whips Arn, who bails.  In the ring, Arn tries to hit a piledriver, but Animal gets out and press slams Anderson.  This is just a total squash, but in the best way possible.  Hawk went to press slam Tully too, but Anderson finally clips Hawk’s knees and Tully takes advantage.  Tully works the knee and tags in Arn, who stomps Hawk low and drags him outside the ring.  They start smashing Hawk, and Tully hits hawk with a chair to the knee.  CHEAT TO WIN!  Arn hits a NASTY looking DDT, but Hawk powers out at two.  Tully in and he goes for a figure four, but Hawk rolls through it.  Tully just keeps working the knee, throwing everything he can at it, but Arn tags in to keep up.  Spinning toe hold by Anderson, but Hawk kicks him in the corner.  Anderson grabs the leg to prevent the tag, and now Tully is in with the figure four.  Arn uses some illegal leverage, but opts to just tag in.  Arn uses a wrist lock to get some near pinfalls, but misses a kneedrop and Hawk makes the super hot tag to Animal, who hits a huge dropkick on Arn.  Tully trips Animal from the outside, and things break down.  Tully comes in and bumps the referee HARD.  That was the biggest bump of the match.  Animal knocks Arn over the top rope.  Double clothesline, and the Doomsday Device, and fresh ref Earl Hebner counts the three, finishing the match for the Warriors and giving them the tag belts.  BUT WAIT~!!  The original referee comes to and DQs the Warriors for throwing Arn over the top rope.  Yep, a Dusty finish.
****1/4 Great match, ending completely ruined it, as this was a major show in the Warriors’ hometown and they should have walked with the belts.  Crockett (and Dusty Rhodes, the head booker to be specific) had been using the same finish at nearly every show for months, pissing off the fans to no end.

Good DVD: 3
Retards: 4

Match #18
Rey Mysterio vs. Jushin Liger
12/29/96 Starrcade

The hype for this match was insane at the time.  Truthfully, Liger was somewhat fresh off of brain surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor from his head and had just begun to tone down his style.  So many, many smarks on RSPW were super disappointed with this.  I haven’t watched this myself in years and don’t even remember who won.  So let’s see if the disappointment was jushinfied heh heh.  Circle and lockup, with Jushin shrugging off hard.  Mysterio grabs a surfboard into a windmill but Jushin turns it into his own windmill.  Rey mule-kicks out of it.  Headlock by Jushin and then a pair of dropkicks.  Scoopslam and Jushin is certainly showing off his new power move set.  Suplex and Jushin is looking a big sluggish.  Hard chop then a running ram into the turnbuckle.  Hard powerbomb by Jushin.  Truthfully, you can’t blame Liger for changing his style, but at this point he hadn’t figured out how to string together his new moves.  Some say he never really learned and the brain tumor killed his career as a show stealer.  Reversal sequence ends with Mysterio knocking Jushin out of the ring with a rana.  Mysterio tries to suplex Liger back into the ring but Jushin reverses and suplexes Mysterio to the floor.  Hard powerbomb on the protective mats by Liger.  Dusty covers Liger’s change of style.  I heard a rumor that Dusty flew to Japan to visit Liger before his surgery.  I don’t doubt it.  Dusty has his haterizers but he’s actually a pretty soft and personable guy.  Class act really.  In the ring, Liger hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.  Mexican surfboard and then Liger turns it into a sort of facebuster.  That or Rey oversold the release.  German suplex by Rey and a standing moonsault for two as the fans are sort of out of it for some reason.  It’s not a bad match, but WCW fans… any fans in the US really… are fickle with cruiserweights.  Split-leg moonsault for two by Rey.  Springboard dropkick and a nip-up, then he hooks in the camel clutch.  Crossbody is stopped with a dropkick by Jushin for two.  Release german for two.  Half crab and Jushin almost falls over applying it.  I mean, he’s just four months removed from brain surgery.  Hell, he was actually back in six weeks from it.  Dragon screw and Liger starts to stomp the knees.  Spin kick in the corner.  Liger sets Rey on the top but Rey hits a reverse rana and a reversal sequence ends with Mysterio kicking Liger to the floor and hitting an Asai Moonsault.  Fans pop huge, and some audibly yell “copycat.”  I think Ultimo hit one earlier in the show.  Liger almost gets counted out but Rey tells him to stop counting.  Rey drops a dime on Liger for two.  Liger looks out of it, legit.  Side slam and Mysterio goes for a springboard backsplash but Liger rolls out of the way.  Liger hits a diving headbutt off the top for two.  Hard chop by Liger and a whip is reversed but Liger wipes out Mysterio and he tumbles to the floor.  Mysterio to the apron but Rey catches him.  They botch a frankensteiner off the top or some reversal of it that was meant to be the finish.  So Liger hits a Tiger Bomb for the pin.
***3/4 Liger likely came back too soon.  The match didn’t even come close to sucking but people thought it was going to be the best match of the year or something.

Good DVD: 4
Retards: 4

Match #17: Scaffold Match
Rock ‘n Roll Express vs. Midnight Express
11/26/87 Starrcade

Everyone starts to climb while Big Bubba (Big Bossman) hits the Bubba (Bossman) Slam on Ricky Morton in the ring.  It’s 2 on 1 on the top for the Midnight Express.  Eaton and Lane beat on Gibson on top of the scaffold.  To their credit, they’re not barely moving around like most guys who ended up in these types of matches.  Morton  recovers and takes out Jim Cornette, stealing his tennis racket.  He climbs to the top and beats up the Express.  Random brawling on top.  They tease both teams falling.  Gibson almost falls head first.  Camera angles suck and it’s hard to follow, so this recap will not be my best.  Apparently someone used powder.  They have a wide shot that works but they keep going back to camera set below the scaffold, which is horrible and made worse by the lights drowning out the entire view.  Anyway, I’m not missing much.  You can’t really wrestle up on it, just throw punches and kicks.  Eaton grabs the racket but gets stopped by Gibson, and the racket falls down.  Lane ends up almost falling off and hanging on by the supports.  Somehow, the Tennis Racket ends up back on the thing, while Morton and Lane brawl on the supports.  Eaton is gets knocked out by Gibson with the racket on the top.  Meanwhile, Stan Lane tries to run from Ricky and monkey-bars across the thing, but he falls.  Fans pop.  The faces now have a two-on-one advantage and quickly beat him up and push him off to win the match.  Afterwards, the Bossman climbs and challenges Ricky Morton on top of it.  Morton punches him in the balls and quickly climbs down.
DUD Crappy match.  Fans are idiots for picking it.  Scaffold matches are garbage, the only decent one being the Midnight Express vs. The Road Warriors.  The big drops weren’t even good because the production was weak and they weren’t filmed properly.

Good DVD: 4
Retards: 5

Match #16: NWA World Heavyweight Championship
(c) Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger
12/26/88 Starrcade
Special Stipulation: If Flair loses by DQ or Countout, he loses the championship

Very interesting match-up if you know the whole back story to it.  Luger had been penciled in to win this match and the title, but Ted Turner had bought WCW about one month before this and put a man named Jim Herd in charge.  Herd put a freeze on all title changes until focus groups could be used to decide which wrestlers they would rather see be champions.  I shit you not.  The only exception was the TV title, so as to have at least one historic moment at Starrcade that year.  The idea to do focus testing was dropped when Ricky Steamboat arrived on the scene and was given a run with the title because he had recently been on the more popular WWE programming at the time.  Of course, the bad part was this totally destroyed Luger’s run.  Luger had broke from the Horsemen and challenged Flair at the Great American Bash.  Luger had the match won with Flair in the torture rack, but the bookers took advantage of a weird law in the state of Maryland that says any blood would result in a the company being fined.  Since the fans knew about the blood rule, the bookers turned ‘fine’ to ‘immediate match stoppage’ which gave them an excuse to keep the feud going through December.

When Luger dropped this match (sorry for the spoiler) via pinfall, he looked like the biggest choke artist ever.  And this was made worse by the fact that he won the United States Championship two months later with little effort.  He went on to have the longest reign anyone has had with the belt, but the fact that he couldn’t beat Ric Flair after all the build and hype then easily won a secondary championship made him look like a total wank stain.  For all the venom wrestlers show towards Luger these days, I don’t think anyone can say that he was given a fair shot at being the main guy in the company at any point.  When he did get a run with the belt, he was turned heel for no logical reason.  At that point, Flair had left WCW and the fans were a bit pissed about it.  Luger as a babyface champion might have softened the blow.  Instead, his heel turn tanked attendance and left him unable to draw and profit from his run.  He’s not the most popular guy in the business, but he sure was booked into oblivion on multiple occasions.

To the match.  Circle to start, lockup, and Luger shoots off but Ric grabs the ropes to stop himself.  He poses to huge heat.  Production value are really bad, with shaky hand cameras and some really bad wide shots.  To the corner where Flair teases a clean break but throws a punch.  Luger grabs at Flair only to get chopped and shot off.  He holds the ropes, but Luger dumps him over the top instead.  I guess that wasn’t a disqualification during this period.  Hard to keep up with when it was and wasn’t a DQ.  Lockup and Flair gets a hammerlock, reversed by Luger, and Ric grabs the ropes.  Lockup and Luger grabs a headlock.  Shoot off and Luger gets a shoulderblock.  Luger asks for a test of strength but Flair is too smart for that and chops him instead, then gets a shoulderblock, but Luger gets up and powerslams Flair, nearly botching it, and Flair bails.  Jim Ross covers for Luger on commentary.  Flair returns only to get press slammed for two.  Flair holds onto the ropes, and as soon as he lets go Luger pounces with a wristlock.  Shoot to the corner and Flair oversells it with gusto.  Arm ringer but Flair escapes and chops Luger.  This only pisses Lex off, causing Flair to beg off and bail.  Luger gives chase.  They return only for Flair to chop him again, only for Lex to shoot Flair into the corner again.  Flair collapses and Lex mounts a grounded hammerlock.  Luger works it too instead of just lying there like a lump.  It’s an art that’s lost on holds these days.  Luger reverses a comeback with a hiptoss, but Flair thumbs the eye to apparently take control.  Flair chops away, but Lex hulks up and Flair bails again.  Lex catches him on the outside and applies a hammerlock on the steel railing.  He then rams Flair into the post then tosses him back into the ring.  Back in, Lex hooks in an armbar.  Flair is sure doing everything to make Lex look like the real deal.  Flair counters out and ducks one clothesline but eats another for two.  Flair bails to the apron only to be caught and suplexed back in for two.  Elbow drop misses, and Lex sells it like death.  Flair kicks Lex in the gut and hits a kneelift.  He then dumps Lex to the floor, then rams him into the rail a few times.  He returns to the ring, but Lex beats the count.  Back in, snapmare and a kneedrop.  Another snapmare and a double stomp.  Flair seems to be stalling a little too much.  In the corner, Flair chops away.  That didn’t work before, and it doesn’t work now as Lex hulks up again. Luger punches away, Flair hits a shoulderblock, then Lex grabs a sleeper.  Flair escapes it with a back suplex and both guys are out.  Flair recovers first and goes for the figure four, but Lex catches him in a small package for two.  Chop by Flair and a snapmare.  Flair climbs but Lex catches him and superplexes him for two.  Luger is feeling it and puts on his own figure-four, drawing a few near falls.  J.J. Dillon.  Flair grabs the ropes but the referee kicks his foot off.  In the old days, you needed your arm or leg to cross the plane of the rope to cause a break, and just getting a hand on the rope was not enough.  Luger punches Flair in the corner, then blatantly elbows the referee.  They said it was accidental.  Who the fuck did Lex think was talking to him?  Flair then dumps Luger over the top rope… which apparently is a disqualification… but the referee doesn’t see it and Luger returns and climbs the top rope.  Crossbody hits for two.  Flair goes for a hiptoss but Lex turns it into a backslide for two.  Ten punch in the corner and a hard whip to the corner sends Flair up and down.  Flair to the apron where Lex suplexes him back in for two.  Flair chops away but Luger no-sells it and press slams Flair.  Powerslam and Lex calls for the torture rack, but J.J. gets on the apron.  Flair trips up Lex and pathetically chairs him in the knee.  One of the worst looking chair shots I’ve seen.  The average person likely has more force sitting down on a chair then Flair used there.  Ugh.  Flair back in where he drops his weight on the knee.  Luger stands up only for Flair to kick at the knee.  Chopblock and Flair stomps away.  Kneedrop to the injured knee and the figure four.  To Luger’s credit, he’s sold this whole sequence like death.  Luger fights back and turns him over, causing the hold to be released.  Flair goes to work the knees some more.  Snapmare and a kneedrop to the injured knee again and Flair climbs again.  Again, he’s caught by Luger and tossed off.  Luger collapses afterwards.  Flair dumps Luger through the ropes, then tries a hangman but Luger holds onto the ropes.  Press slam hits, but again he collapses after the move and Flair dumps him again.  Luger up quickly and he hits a sunset flip for two.  Flair hits a running forearm, but Luger no-sells it and Ric bounces off him in a cool spot.  Another ten-punch, then a shoot to the corner and a clothesline for two.  Powerslam and Lex again calls for the rack.  He slaps it on and holds onto for a bit, but his leg buckles on him and Flair lands on top, putting his feet on the rope for the pin.  Fans are PISSED!  Luger forgets to sell the knee injury while he complains.  What happened, did the buckling cause it to pop back into place?  Horrible.
***1/2 Not bad.  I have three complaints.  (1) Like the match with Sting from Clash at the Champions, they kept running through the same sequence of moves and repeating them over and over instead of using any type of variety.  That said, they did so in much better fashion then the Sting match.  (2) The chair shot was incredibly weak and took me out of the match.  (3) Luger didn’t sell the knee injury after the match ended.  Considering his brilliant sell-job to that point, that really irked me.  That said, this was entertaining, even if it made Luger look like a chump in the end.

Good DVD: 5
Retards: 5

Match #15
Eddie Guerrero vs. Shinjiro Otani
12/27/95 Starrcade

This is part of a best of seven tournament thingy between New Japan and WCW.  Score is currently 2-2 going into this match.  Circle to start, then a long delay.  Lockup and Eddie grabs headlock, turned into a top wristlock by Otani, into an armbar.  Grounded into a hammerlock, then a rear chinlock, then a break.  Thumb to the eye by Guerrero and an enziguri.  Snapmare by Eddie and the face twist.  Takedown by Otani into a half-crab, turned into a headlock by Eddie.  Monkey flip by Otani but he misses a clothesline and Eddie fires off a rana.  Otani bails.  Knucklelock test but Eddie opts for a dropkick.  Scoopslam and the over the ropes splash.  Boston crab by Eddie.  He lets go of half of it and focuses left leg, but Otani gets to the ropes.  Sick ass tiger bomb gets two.  Brainbuster gets two.  Clothesline in the corner.   Eddie misses a splash in the corner and Otani hits a huge missile dropkick of the top.  Plancha hits and the fans give Otani huge heat.  Awesome looking dropkick by Otani and a choke with the foot, then a choke on the ropes.  Stomping by Otani and mounts a camel clutch, fish hooking the mouth.  Into a chinlock, but Guerrero fights back with a side suplex for two.  Otani gets out of a suplex and gets a german suplex for two.  Otani springs off the top ropes with a spin-heel kick for two.  Scoopslam and Otani climbs but Eddie catches him with a rana for two.  Splash mountain gets two.  Otani snatches him in an ankle lock but Eddie gets the ropes.  Otani refuses to break, and when he does he misses a charge and falls through the ropes.  Eddie slams him into the guardrail, then scoopslams him on the concrete.  Springboard crossbody on the floor and Eddie is feeling it.  Eddie puts him in the ring, then tries to suplex him to the floor, but Otani counters with his own suplex.  Missile dropkick to the back of Eddie Guerrero’s head that looked vicious.  Otani calls for the end and hooks in a full nelson, but Eddie gets out, they roll around trading two counts, with Otani actually winning on one of them with a three count.  Never saw that ending before.
***3/4 Pretty good, lacking a certain something to push it to four-star level.

Good DVD: 6
Retards: 5

Match #14: NWA World Tag Team Championship
(c) Road Warriors vs. Dusty Rhodes & Sting
12/26/88 Starrcade

Animal starts with Sting and misses a big punch in the corner.  Lockup and shoot off where Animal gets a shoulderblock, then bounces off the ropes and eats a dropkick from Sting.  Sting grabs a wristlock and works it around, then tags Dusty.  Elbow, punches, and a clawhold sends Animal to the outside.  Animal gets back in and tags Hawk.  Lockup, and Rhodes elbows and chops away on Hawk.  Wristlock and a tag to Sting, who holds the wristlock and even bites on it a bit.  Hawk rakes the eyes to escape and stomps away on him in the corner.  He stomps a mudhole and walks it dry.  Hawk slugs it out, then comically taunts the fans as Sting misses a clothesline.  He turns around and Sting does hit him with a punch.  Powerslam by Sting and an elbowdrop.  Hawk gets the tag to Animal.  Press-slam and a drop on the ropes, but Sting no-sells it and fires off a clothesline, leading to Animal bailing.  Sting climbs and hits a cross-body off the top and to the floor.  Fans are nutty for this one.  Dusty tags in with some chopping, then wrings Animal’s leg on the post a couple times.  Hawk tags in and reaches for a test of strength.  Dusty accepts, then kicks Hawk in the gut and goes to slap on the figure four, but Animal comes in and weakly stops him.  Hawk rakes away at the injured eye of Rhodes, which came from an attack using a spike off their shoulder pads.  Back in, Hawk fires off a dropkick and more eye gouging.  Hawk punches at the injured eye, but Dusty whales up.  He throws a dropkick of all moves to Hawk, leading to Animal tagging in.  He slaps on a head-vise.  Dusty gets ready to fight back so Hawk tags in and chops away.  Sleeper hold.  Dusty hits a jawbreaker to escape, so Animal tags in, but Sting gets the hot tag.  He kicks away and hits the bulldog.  He shoots over Animal, then hits the Stinger Splash to him.  Scorpion Deathlock, but Hawk saves and dumps Sting over the top rope.  Warriors double team Dusty, but he fights back and Sting hits a crossbody off the top for two as Paul Ellering comes in to draw the DQ.  Lame ending.
* Bad match.  I can see why this match wasn’t included in the Road Warriors DVD, because it makes them look rather weak.

Good DVD: 6
Retards: 6

-Ric Flair and David Crockett sit and talk wrestling.

Match #13: King of Cable Tournament Final
Sting vs. Big Van Vader
12/28/92 Starrcade

Circle to start.  Lockup and Sting gets pie-faced down.  Lockup and Sting slugs it out, but Vader feels not pain.  I hear he fears no man either.  Except maybe Paul Orndorff.  Scoopslam by Vader, then another.  Sting gets pissed and charges at him, only to run straight into a body splash.  Press-slam and then Vader casually throws him like a lawn dart into the top rope.  He then does it again on the other side of the ring, and Sting bails.  Vader slugs it out but misses a clothesline and Sting hits a rolling wheel kick.  Spin kick and a German suplex by Sting, then a clothesline followed by a Cactus clothesline to send both guys to the floor.  Vader ends up unmasked and HOLY SHIT~! VADER IS REALLY REY MYSTERIO IN A FAT SUIT!  I have to admit, I always suspected it.  Sting hits a plancha on Harley Race and Rey Vader on the outside.  Vader slugs it out but misses a splash in the corner and gets an armdrag, but eats a big boot while going for the stinger splash.  Sting kicks Vader in the face a couple times and hits a DDT.  He places Vader on the top rope and superplexes him for two.  He hooks in the scorpion deathlock but Vader makes the ropes.  Vader bails, where Sting misses the stinger splash and kills himself on the guard rail.  Vader gets back in, and Jim Ross declares that “he can’t win the King of Cable title via count out.”  He can’t?  Then why is the referee counting?  Clothesline by Vader, then a splash in the corner and another clothesline.  More punching, then a back suplex and a big splash for two.  Now to a chinlock.  And I mean that literally because Vader is squeezing Sting’s chin.  He then covers for two.  Sting blocks a clothesline and goes for a backslide, hitting it for two.  Sting goes for a sunset flip, then misses Vader’s butt-splash counter.  Vader manages to hit some big punches, then slaps on a headlock.  This is quickly turned into a back suplex by Sting.  Vader recovers first and covers for two, on the assumption that Sting used everything he had left in the tank to get that big move.  To the corner where Vader slugs it out.  More punching, then Vader loads him up on the top rope.  Sting fights him off and Vader falls off the top with a big splat.  Sting can’t follow this up with anything because he’s been beaten to a pulp.  Vader is up first and slugs it out in the corner.  Sting gets a second wind and uses it to tell Vader to punch him some more.  Shoot off and now Sting starts hitting his own punches.  It takes four to drop Vader down.  Samoan Drop by Sting, but Vader falls in the ropes and Sting can’t cover.  He climbs and hits a big splash off the top for two.  Sting is well known for being stupid, so he turns his attention on Harley Race and gets smacked by Vader.  Chokeslam sets up a splash off the second rope, which Vader hits.  He hits it so good that he bounces off Sting.  He climbs again but this time Sting hits a powerslam off the top rope for the pin.
***3/4 I didn’t like it as much as some.  I think Sting is easily the most overrated wrestler of the 90s and this match is like a laundry list of reasons why.  Can’t pace a match, limited moveset, and just plain boring.  Vader carried him quite nicely though.

Good DVD: 7
Retards: 6

Match #12: NWA World Tag Team Championship
(c) Brisco Bros. vs. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
11/24/83 Starrcade

So who’s this Youngblood guy?  Well, he was a pretty good wrestler who unexpectedly had a heart attack in the middle of a match in 1985.  They rushed him to the locker room, where he had another one and died.  It’s sad because he likely would have made something of himself during the Hogan era.  Anywho, Ricky starts with Jack, who is 42 here but looks MUCH older.  Gerry is only 30ish and he looks old too.  And both guys were considered WAY past their prime.  Jack and Ricky lock up, shoot off and Ricky leapfrogs him.  Jack grabs the ropes and we’re at a stalemate.  Wristlock and a tag to Gerry, but he gets drop-toe-holded.  Tag back to Jack who slaps on a hammerlock.  Ricky flips out of it and armdrags Jack down, leading to Jack begging off.  You could say he’s jacking off!  Ahem.  Gerry in and he locks up with a clean break in the corner, then throws a punch.  Ricky holds the ropes while Gerry bounces off him like a schmuck.  Lockup and Gerry punches away in the corner.  Ricky fights back with karate stuff, then tags Youngblood.  Headlock takeover and he grounds it out on the mat.  Keylock by Youngblood but Gerry slams him.  Youngblood rolls through it and makes the tag to Steamboat, who flies off the top with a chop.  Wristlock and then a tag to Jay who comes flying off the rope with a chop himself.  Gerry tries to make a tag but Jack gets wiped out.  Gerry fights him off and does make the tag.  Jack slings Ricky onto his shoulder and decapitates him on the ring rope.  Snapmare and a kneedrop, followed by a chinlock.  Steamboat quickly to his feet and he fights out and shoulderblocks Jack.  He bounces off the ropes but Jack catches him in a backdrop.  Butterfly suplex and an Oklahoma roll for two.  He holds the bridge for another two, then holds the waistlock.  Shoot off by Brisco and an armdrag into an armbar.  Steamboat to his feet and he dead lifts Jack up and slams him down to break the hold and draw a huge pop.  Gerry gets the tag, and Youngblood gets the hot tag.  Chops but Gerry blocks a suplex and gets one of his own.  Tag to Jack and a very nice double three-point-stance by the Briscos.  Gerry back in and he drops his weight on Youngblood’s back.  Suplex for two.  Abdominal rollup for two.  Gerry jaws with the ref and ends up getting shoved down by him.  Steamboat tags in and hits a sweet looking flying fist-drop on Gerry.  That looked almost Air Jordan-esq.  Shoot off and a big chop by Ricky.  Another fist-drop, tag to Youngblood and a double chop.  Shoot off by Jay, tag by Ricky and a double team kick.  Another tag leads to a scoopslam and a press-slam splash for the pin and the titles.  Briscos wipe out the ref and the babyfaces after the match.  Huge brawl breaks out and the faces end up knocking the Briscos back to Oklahoma.
***3/4 Pretty good match, lacking a certain something to get it up to four-star level.

Good DVD: 8
Retards: 6

Match #11: NWA World Heavyweight Championship
(c) Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes
11/28/85 Starrcade

As seen on Ric Flair’s original, best selling DVD set that anyone who would buy a “Best of Starrcade” set already owns.  Boooooo!  Retards will get the point regardless of the rating.  Long stall to start, then a lockup and Flair gets Dusty to the corner and they have a chop-off.  Dusty jabs away and then hits an elbow.  Another and Flair bails.  Back in, they lockup and Flair opts to chop instead of try anything technical, but Rhodes fights off with some elbows.  Shoot off the ropes and another elbow and Flair bails again.  Back in, reversal sequence ends in Rhodes getting a hammerlock and grounding it.  Back to their feet and they chop it out, with Flair winning out, a true rarity as Dusty almost always wins his slugouts.  Snapmare and a kneedrop and Flair feels good and covers for one.  Dusty gets knocked to the outside but fights back on the apron and starts to attack Flair’s foot, striking it then grabbing an anklelock type move.  Elbowdrop to the knee but Flair rakes the eyes to fight out of it.  Flair goes for a suplex but Rhodes weighs a thousand pounds so it gets reversed and Dusty goes back to the leg.  Flair fights out by grabbing a crossface, then to their feet where Dusty gets a shoulderblock, then walks into a sleeper.  Rhodes fights out of that and gets to the outside where he rings Flair’s leg on the post.  More attacking the foot and leg, then Dusty no-sells some chop-socky and slams him down, but then misses an elbow.  Flair climbs but Rhodes catches him and throws him down, then goes for his own figure four.  Flair shoves off and Dusty seems to have hurt his leg.  Flair pounces like a shark and goes for the figure four, but Rhodes fights out of it a couple times, but a hard shot sends Flair to the outside where Rhodes slams him around.  Elbows to the head and Flair is dazed but not out.  Flair throws Dream over the top rope which should be a DQ but the ref didn’t see that having previously been grazed by a shot and trying to clear his cobwebs.  Rhodes gets a crossbody for two, would have been a three if the ref had seen it.  Mounted punches and some more shots from Dusty.  Elbow to the head then a ten punches in the corner leading to a Flair Flop.  Flair tries to escape but there is no escape.  Hard whip to the corner send Flair up and over but he does his run down the apron thing and climbs and manages to actually make the jump but Dusty caught him with a shot.  Flair gets a shot in and then hounds the knee and slaps on the Figure Four.  It gets a couple two counts but Rhodes is alive.  Rhodes gets to the ropes.  Flair chops away but Rhodes fights back with the elbows and a clothesline for two but Flair’s kick out knocks out the ref, then another shot sends the ref to the floor.  Dusty goes for the figure four but Flair fights off, so Dusty hits the bionic elbow and finally gets the figure four in.  But wait, here comes Arn Anderson and Ole too.  They wipe out Flair and a new referee comes in and counts… to two.  Flair goes for something but Dusty turns it into a small package for the pin and the championship.  HOWEVER… after the show the original referee rules the match a DQ for Dusty because the Andersons interfered, giving Flair the title back.  This is quite frankly the biggest ‘screw you’ to the fans in wrestling history.  I mean, if Flair cheated, why would a referee want him to have the title?  This was TERRIBLE booking, especially for the biggest show of the year for the NWA.
***1/4 for the match.  Fast paced a pretty peppy, and these guys had good chemistry, even though Dusty was never great in the ring.

And, like I said, because anyone who would want this set likely already owns the “Ultimate Ric Flair Collection” score another for the retards.

Good DVD: 8
Retards: 7

Yes, other matches on here have been repeats from previous sets, but this one is more damning then most.

Match #10: WCW Cruiserweight Championship
(c) Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko
12/28/97 Starrcade

The opening match to the show that was the beginning of the end for WCW.  Malenko slugs it out to start and mounts some punches on Eddie.  Guerrero offers a handshake but Malenko kicks him.  Eddie gets some punches in the corner and rakes him across the ropes.  Shoot off and Deano gets a dropkick for two.  Suplex and more mounted punches by Malenko, but Eddie grabs a headlock.  Dean turns this into a waistlock, then Eddie goes for the wristlock into the head scissors off the ropes but Dean turns it into a powerbomb for two.  Alabama Slam by Dean and a jack-knife cover for two.  He bridges it for another two, then Eddie bridges out of it and eats a powerslam for two.  Eddie is sloppy as hell here.  Eddie gets bored and bails on the match.  Tony Schivonani takes the time to say “Eddie on the outside of the ring reminds me of the Outsiders…” then goes on to shill the fact that Kevin Nash faked a heart attack to get out of job duty for the Giant.  Stall and then Eddie gets back in and flings himself at Dean’s knee to cut him off.  Given how short Dean’s legs are, that requires pin-point accuracy, not unlike that used in the US’s ICBM technology.  Dean tries to slug it out, but gets raked in the eyes.  Snapmare and the face-rake, then a dropkick to the face.  Dean fights back and hot-shots Eddie on the ropes.  Clothesline by Malenko gets two.  Chinlock now, into a head scissors, then they weakly roll to the ropes.  Body-press by Dean and Eddie begs off, actually kissing Malenko on the boots.  Dean doesn’t buy it and dropkicks him.  Eddie bails again and we have another long stall.  Jesus, this match is kind of sucky.  Eddie rolls back in and calls for a test of strength.  Dean wins it, then stomps Eddie’s hands and dropkicks him.  Eddie gets pissy and starts to shoulderblock Dean in the corner.  He goes for a tornado DDT, but Dean throws him off, then throws in in the corner and hits a back suplex for two.  They fight over a suplex, ending with Eddie landing on the apron and hitting a reverse hangman on Deano.  Eddie jumps over the ropes for a stomp, then out of the ring to whack Dean’s leg.  He ties up Dean and hits his knee into the ring post, which is affective at hurting both knees.  He sandwiches Dean’s leg between the post and the stairs and dropkicks the stairs.  Back in, Eddie grinds an ankle lock in.  He then fires off a powerbomb for two.  Eddie tries to flip off of Dean’s shoulders with a DDT or a bulldog, but Dean turns it into a German suplex for two.  Airplane spin into a backbreaker by Dean for two.  His leg is still hurting.  They fight to the corner where Eddie goes for a rana, but Dean blocks it.  Dean tosses Eddie off the top, but can’t follow it up because his legs are still hurting.  Cradle by Dean gets two as Eddie is in the rope.  Powerbomb by Dean and he calls for the cloverleaf, but Eddie kicks at the injured leg.  Dean side steps an Eddie charge and Guerrero falls out of the ring, but Dean’s leg is too hurt to go on.  Missile dropkick off the top to Dean’s leg, then a frog splash to the leg gets the pin.  Wow, that was abrupt.
**1/2 Really lacking a good pace to mean anything.  A huge disappointment.  It’s like these guys couldn’t get anything going.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Eddie was sloshed here.

Good DVD: 8
Retards: 8

DISC THREE

Match #9: Iron Man Tag Team Tournament Match
The Road Warriors vs. The Steiner Brothers
12/13/89 Starrcade

I can already tell you this was a shitty choice by the fans as basically none of the matches in any of these iron-man tournament matches were given any time to mean anything.  Second match for both teams of the night.  Scott starts with Hawk.  Lockup goes nowhere.  Scott goes to the leg, but Hawk gets to the ropes.  Scott goes to the leg again, but Hawk gets an enziguri.  Shoot off and Scott catches Hawk’s foot and whips him around by it. Another lockup leads to Rick getting the tag.  Lockup and Hawk slugs it out and gets a clothesline for two.  Tag to Animal and a double elbow.  Rick gets a clothesline and Animal sells it pretty good.  Lockup and both guys end up in the ropes.  Flying shoulderblock by Animal, then a belly-to-belly suplex by Rick for two as Hawk breaks it up.  Both guys tag out.  Hawk and Scott lockup up, leading to Hawk getting a press-slam and a fist-drop for two.  Shoot off and a big boot by Hawk for two.  Tag to Animal who hits a scoopslam, but an elbowdrop misses.  Belly-to-belly suplex by Scott gets two.  Shoulderblocks by Scott, then a shoot to the corner, but Animal explodes out of it with a clothesline.  Tag to Hawk who hits an over-the-shoulder back-breaker and a gut-wrench slam for two.  Scott takes Hawk to the corner and hits a belly-to-belly suplex, nearly killing Hawk and himself with it.  Tag to Animal because Hawk lands next to him, leading to Animal slapping on a bearhug.  Scott knees out of it but lowers his head into a kick for two.  Tag to Hawk who kicks away on Scott and hits a powerslam.  Tag to Animal who hits an elbow for two.  Things break down and Hawk slugs it out with Rick while Animal loads up Scott.  The LOD hit a modified version of the doomsday device, in this case a back suplex-clothesline, and Animal bridges it.  Referee counts to three, only Scott gets his shoulder up and Animal does it and thus the Steiners win the match.  Whatever.  Road Warriors would go on to win the tournament.
*** Decent, but limited by the tournament gimmick.  Horrible ending as well but I never score against that.

Good DVD: 9
Retards: 8

But just barely.

Match #8: Ladder Match
Shannon Moore vs. Shane Helms vs. Jamie Knoble vs. Evan Karagias vs. Jimmy Yang vs. Kaz
12/17/00 Starrcade

I can just see the retarded fans voting for this.  “Hey, a ladder match!  Those ROCK~!”  Anyway, winner of this gets a match against Chavo Guerrero for the Cruiserweight Championship.  Match is a tag match, even though only one person gets to win.  Yeah.  Kaz starts with Shannon.  Chain wrestling sequence.  Kaz botches a DDT on Moore and knocks himself out.  Fans already start to chant BORING, out of spite at this point.  Jimmy in, along with Helms.  Fans chant boring again, so they just say ‘screw the rules’.  Schiavone calls it a “swerve.”  I hate WCW.  Every team makes a play for the contract and fails.  Yang dropkicks the ladder into Jamie and Evan.  Kaz hits a moonsault on in.  Another blown spot sees Evan and Jamie try to do a flapjack to Kaz on a ladder, but instead they just drop him on his head.  Awful.  Evan and Jamie fight over who gets the contract, leading to Yang taking out both guys.  Yang catches Moore off the ropes into a gutbuster, then hits a corkscrew splash off the second rope.  Helms dumps Yang and hits a flip plancha on the outside.  Everyone takes turns hitting planchas.  Moore hits an Asai Moonsault on everyone.  Jamie is the only person left and he climbs the ladder for the contract, but Kaz, still fucked up from the earlier botches, dumps Noble.  Yang creates something quite interesting… the ladder is sandwiched in the ropes and the standing ladder, thus creating a platform to stand on.  Yang tries to stop Evan but gets powerslammed off the platform.  Moore hits a Rocker Dropper off the platform, nearly killing Evan.  Helms gives Knoble a neckbreaker off the ladder, nearly botching it. Two ladders stood up and there’s a four-way slugoff on top of them.  Knoble gives helms a murder-death-kill bomb off the ladder.  Sleeper DDT off the ladder by Moore to Yang.  Evan in with a huge ladder.  He walks away from his target to set up another ladder, then climbs back to the ladder he was on.  LAME!  The Yung Dragons take Evan and do a double team Michinoku Driver type move on him.  They create another platform with the twenty-foot ladder and two smaller ones.  3 Count sends the Dragons into the platform, with the Dragons each having to jump into the platform to hit it because they’re so short.  Kaz then sits down on the platform for no damn reason and Evan knocks him off.  What the fuck?  Yang and Helms fight on the platform, and Shannon more grabs the Platform and skins the cat up the platform to rana Yang off of it.  Moore up to the platform and he hiptosses Knoble off of it, then Moore and Helms both grab the contract to win.
* Bleh.  This is like an evil mirror universe of the WWE’s three-team ladder matches from the same time period.  Blown spots everywhere.  This didn’t deserve to be on disc.

Good DVD: 9
Retards: 9

Match #7: Iron Man Tournament Final Match
Sting vs. Ric Flair
12/13/89 Starrcade

Flair only needs to win by any means to win the entire tournament.  Sting needs to win via pinfall or submission.  If they fight to a draw, Lex Luger wins.  If Flair, Sting, and Luger all go nuts and murder their families, they get retroactively removed from wrestling history and Great Muta wins.  Lockup to start.  Sting grabs a headlock, shot off by Flair into a shoulderblock.  Hiptoss by Sting and Flair bails.  Back in, lockup and they trade hammerlocks, into Sting getting a drop-toehold.  Sting ties Flair up in on the mat, then to their feet where Sting works a wristlock.  Flair places Sting on the top turnbuckle and backs away.  Lockup and they fight over a top wristlock, with Sting winning out and Flair ending up on the canvas, grabbing the ropes.  Lockup and Flair grabs a headlock.  Shot off by Sting into a Flair shoulderblock.  Sting ends up with a press-slam and they have a shove off.  Flair loses and bails.  Back in, lockup and Sting gets shoulderblock and then blocks a hiptoss and hits a backslide for two.  Flair chops away, but Sting fights back with a hiptoss and a pair of dropkicks.  Shoot off by Flair into a Sting shoulderblock and clothesline for two.  Flair begs off and then kicks Sting in the gut and dumps him through the ropes.  On the floor, Flair chops away, then whips Sting into the guardrail.  On the apron Flair hits a snapping hangman, then suplexes Sting over the ropes for two and two.  Kneedrop and Flair chops away, then slaps on an abdominal stretch, then rolls him down for two.  Small package gets two.  Vertical suplex gets two.  Hard whip to the corner, then another.  Double-arm suplex gets two.  Whip to the corner but Sting explodes out of it with a clothesline for two, causing Flair to bail.  Flair chops away but Sting hulks up with five minutes to go in the time limit.  To the apron where Sting goes for a sunset flip, but Flair punches out of it.  Flair tries to suplex Sting to the floor but Sting reverses for two.  Flair tries to brawl but Sting no-sells it and asks for more.  Ten punch by Sting, then a hiptoss and a clothesline for two.  Stinger Splash hits and then he goes for the scorpion deathlock.  He gets it on but Flair quickly gets to the ropes.  Flair gets a half-atomic drop and slaps on the figure-four, but Sting makes the ropes.  Two minutes left and Flair kicks away at Sting’s knee, then chops him down.  Kneedrop to Sting’s leg, then a headlock takeover.  Flair flips through it, then tries a bridge, but Sting bridges out of it and gets a backslide for two.  One minute left.  Another half-atomic drop by Flair, then a knee cruncher.  Flair struts around like a douchebag instead of going on the attack, with only fifteen seconds left.  He finally goes to slap on a figure-four, but Sting gets a small package for the pin and the tournament.
***3/4 Liked everything up until the lazy ending, and in this case I am going to score against it because it was on the wrestlers.  Flair could have worked the last minute and instead he kind of just struts around.  It was not-realistic and took the air out of what should have been a hot final minute.  Otherwise, pretty good.

Good DVD: 10
Retards: 9

Match #6:Dog Collar Match
(c) Greg Valentine vs. Roddy Piper
11/24/83 Starrcade

To be perfectly honest, I never cared for Greg Valentine.  I find him to be a boring wrestler with little if any personality.  They start off with a tug off, without using hands.  They get close to each other and Piper whips Greg.  Nice.  Piper barely misses a full fledges whip to the face with the chain.  Brutal if it hit.  Another standoff, and they close in on each other for a slugoff, then they break it up.  Piper slugs it out in a corner, using the chain.  He pulls Greg to him for a punch, then crotches him with the chain.  Greg fights back and slugs away with the chain in the corner.  Piper lost his hearing in this match.  Choke with the chain, and Greg wraps Piper’s eyes for good measure.  Piper fights off and chokes, wrapping it around Greg’s mouth in a neat visual.  He sets up a wench with the chain and the ringpost to get a choke in.  Neat.  Greg fights off and grabs a choke with his hands, and they both slip out of the ring, where they slug it off.  Greg’s bleeding, and they get on the apron and slug it off, but Greg uses the chain to slug Piper in the injured ear.  Greg then slings Piper full force into the post.  SICK!  Piper is then thrown in into a pile of chairs, and Piper is bleeding from the ears.  Gross.  Greg drags him back into the ring and slugs away with the chain to Roddy’s ear.  Valentine goes for a suplex, but Piper fights out.  Greg beats him down to the canvas and drops an elbow for two.  Another elbow for two.  Piper drags him down with the chain and he’s hulked up.  Piper’s going crazy, stomping away, and he punches away with the chain.  Piper whips Greg with the chain, brutally I might add.  Piper is bloody as hell, while Greg fights back, slugging away at the ear.  Piper fights back with slugs of his own.  Irish whip, and Greg hits a forearm.  Splash by Greg for a pair of one counts.  Greg drops some knees, then goes for a suplex.  A series of reversal attempts ends with Piper hitting a suplex and a double KO spot.  Back to their feet, and Greg starts throwing forearms.  Valentine grabs a sleeper, but Piper’s still alive.  A chain blow by Piper gets him out of that, but Greg hits an elbow smash off the second rope.  Elbow drop by Greg and he climbs the second rope, but Piper drags him off, whips him with the chain a couple times, then pins him to finish.  Bad ending.  After the match, Greg chokes away at Piper to get his heat back.
***1/4 Stiff as hell and lots of blood, but it seems they had pacing issues.

Good DVD: 11
Retards: 9

Despite the best efforts of the retards, they’re blowing it in the end.

Match #5: “Skywalkers” Match (aka Scaffold Match)
Road Warriors vs. Midnight Express
11/27/86 Starrcade

It’s funny… the Midnight Express are pretty much the only tag team that tried to wrestle on the always dangerous and scary scaffold, but their ability to do so is of course limited to how much their opponents are willing to work.  The Road Warriors are already on the scaffold.  Hawk had legitimately broken his knee the previous week.  Midnight Express refuses to climb.  Dennis starts to climb, but he heads down.  Jim Crockett, to his credit, made sure the Scaffold was tied down so to avoid wobbling.  Dennis nearly makes it to the top again but he climbs down again.  James E Cornette runs over to the commentary, freaking out for the Express.  After a long, long, long stall, Dennis on top, followed by Bobby.  They are basically crawling around, while the Warriors slowly make their way over to them.  They start brawling and the match finally starts.  Hawk is clearly terrified.  Bobby almost falls off.  Bobby gains control on Animal, while Dennis hits Hawk in the eye with powder.  Bobby follow suite, and now the Warriors are blinded.  This is making my feet sweat just looking at it.  Hawk always falls, as he barely holds on.  They accidentally break part of the safety rail off… and Bobby nearly falls, holding on to Animals leg.  He grabs onto the ladder… good visual, had me scared and I already know what happens!  Bobby is cut, and they brawl a little more.  Animal tries to push Bobby off, but he hangs on.  Dennis is busted open too.  Dennis tries to climb the ladder down, but Hawk grabs his hair and nearly punches him off the thing.  The entire ladder looks like it’s about to give.  Dennis tries to flee, but Hawk catches up with him.  Dennis tries to monkey bar away from Hawk, but ends up staying on the ladder.  Meanwhile, Bobby gets the better of Animal and works on tossing him.  Hawk and Dennis are now fighting on a ladder run, while Cornette makes him way to the ring.  Bobby starts monkey barring across, trying to chicken fight Dennis, playground style.  Hawk knocks Dennis down, and Animal chicken fights Bobby down to win the match.  Cornette runs in, but then goes up the Scaffold to escape Hawk.  He runs into Animal and Ellering.  Cornette falls off the ring, blowing out both his knees by trying to land on his feet.  Who says Cornette is a genius.  Cornette screams that his right knee is gone, but actually both are.
*** One of the best Scaffold matches ever, which isn’t saying anything, but there was SOME action between the drops, which doesn’t happen very often.

Good DVD: 12
Retards: 9

Match #4: WCW Championship
(c) Hulk Hogan vs. Sting
12/28/97 Starrcade

Good DVD: 12
Retards: 10

Oops, getting ahead of myself, ain’t I?

Oh Christ… I can’t believe this abortion made it onto a DVD.  There are a hundred different versions of what went wrong with this match.  All logic says this match lasts two minutes and consists of Sting beating the shit out of Hogan, then slapping on the Scorpion Deathlock to win.  Nobody would have complained.  It would have been one of the most memorable moments in wrestling and it would have legitimized Sting.  But this is WCW, so after building a match for 15 months… and that’s a LONG time… they fuck it up so royally that I’m sure it gave Vince McMahon a throbbing erection.

They shove off to start.  Hogan circles around Sting and jaws with the fans, and beats on the ring ropes.  Sting just stands there like a schmuck.  Lockup, and Hogan forces Sting to the corner.  Sting no-sells and punches Hogan, who begs off to the corner.  Sting just stands there again.  Hogan starts to club Sting, who is selling it.  That’s the first mistake.  Hogan beats Sting from pillar to post.  Fifteen months and Sting already looks like a bitch.  Scoopslam but Sting rolls out of the way of an elbowdrop, then does it again, then does it again.  Sting dropkicks Hogan out of the ring.  Sting looks like he’s going to cry or something.  He certainly doesn’t look tough.  He looks rather pathetic.  Fans start to chant BORING.  Biggest match WCW ever built to and it gets a boring chant.  Sting leapfrogs Hogan a couple times and dropkicks him twice to send him outside.  Sting gets a side-headlock.  Hogan tries to shoot him off so Sting sandbags him.  Hogan tries to make the comeback like a babyface, then catches himself and pushes the ref.  Weird.  Shoulderblock and clothesline by Hogan to take control.  Yeesh.  Suplex is no-sold by Sting.  Hogan oversells the no-sell.  Well at least someone is selling, damnit!  Sting does NOT take control after this moment, and instead gets punked out like a little bitch and tossed to the outside.  Sting gets thrown into the announce table, then he beats Sting over the head with a baseball bat, which is Sting’s weapon.  Yeah.  Hogan throws Sting into the ringpost.  Sting reverses a whip into the guardrail, but misses a Stinger Splash and KOs himself.  Announcers explain Sting’s shittiness as ring rust.  Hogan crotches Sting on the guardrail then brings him back in the ring.  Big boot, and now the fans are cheering for Hogan.  Legdrop gets the clean pinfall.  No fast count.  Sting was supposed to kick out, then Hogan was supposed to hit another legdrop and get the fast count.  BUT WAIT~!  Bret Hart missed his cue and is already out, saying he’s not going to allow anyone to get screwed again.

So what happened?  Two things… one, Sting forgot to kick out.  Usually when it’s a big match like, say, the main event of your company’s biggest pay-per-view of all-time, you should know when to kick out of a pinfall.  Also, Bret Hart was already out, because he missed his cue, but hell, he was screwed by Vince McMahon, that no good bastard, so he wasn’t in a right emotional state here.  Really, that’s Bret’s excuse.  So the match gets restarted even though it looks like to everyone that Hogan has just won fair and square.  I’m laughing my ass off right now.  Bret now is the referee.  Because… uh… because he got screwed in Montreal by Vince McMahon, damnit!  Stinger splash, and the entire nWo runs in, only to get beat up by Sting.  A couple guys fall down even though Sting isn’t swinging at him.  Scorpion Deathlock, and although Hogan is clearly saying “no” Bret Hart is clearly saying “After twelve years with the company, he screwed me.  He really screwed me the lousy bastard.”  And somewhere in there, he hears Hogan quit, so he RINGS THE FUCKING BELL and bolts out of the ring into a waiting limo.  No, wait, he waits in the ring and declares Sting the winner of the match.  Because he has the power to do so, because he… uh… is Bret fucking Hart or something.  Fans are clapping, although some are clearly confused.  WCW runs in the ring and celebrates with Sting.
DUD The single biggest botched match in wrestling history.  Everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and nothing at the end made sense.  This is my personal choice for the worst match in wrestling history.

Good DVD: 12
Retards: 10…

No, that doesn’t seem right.  I think the retards should get a bonus point for picking that one.

Good DVD: 12
Retards: 11

Who would have guessed that the Vote for the Worst guys that stalk American Idol would invade wrestling?

Match #3: NWA Championship, Steel Cage Match
(c) Harley Race vs. Ric Flair
11/24/83 Starrcade

Gene Kiniski, former NWA Champion for three years in the late sixties, is the guest referee and looking completely feeble and out of place.  Funny enough, he was still wrestling at this point all over North America and would continue to do so for the next ten years.  I usually don’t go on about referees like this but I brought it up because some people to this day believe that Kiniski intentionally tried to sabotage the match for some illogical reason that is so incredibly stupid I have to assume it’s true.  But Flair and Race were not to be denied tonight, despite Gene being a stumbling fuck up.  I’ll do my best to ignore him.  Lockup to start, draws nothing.  Flair grabs a headlock and a takeover, then Flair gets yelled at for using a closed fist.  Flair chops away and grabs a headlock, but Race fights out with a kneelift… and Kiniski yells at him for it.  What a dick.  Snapmare into a headlock by Flair but Race fights out and hits his knee lift, but Flair fights back with a headlock takeover.   They roll around on the mat with Race almost getting pinned a couple times.  To their feet, with Flair holding a front facelock but Race gets a suplex for two.  Elbowdrop misses but Race blocks a scoopslam for two which takes forever because Kiniski seems to be afraid that he would break a nail or something.  Kneedrop and Race starts to ground and pound which forces a break.  Slam to the turnbuckle and a sledge to the back of the neck.  Kneedrop into a blatant choke, so Kiniski throws him off.  Race gets a piledriver but doesn’t make the cover and opts for an elbowdrop instead for two.  More knee attacks from Race and a swinging neckbreaker for two.  Ram into the cage and Race is complete being like a terminator here.  Neat overhead shot of Race hitting a powerslam for two.  Flair tries to fight back but Race gets a headbutt to stop it, then a diving headbutt.  Slam into the cage to Flair who’s bleeding now, naturally, then another hard one.  Man, it’s weird to hear Gordon Solie talk about Flair not having the experience to win.  I mean damn, twenty-four years later and Flair is still at it.  Flair finally starts to fight back but Race headbutts out of it again.  Flair is able to finally get the better of Harley by reversing a whip and sending him hard into the turnbuckle, then a hard whip into the cage and a scoopslam.  Kneedrop and now Harley is bleeding too.  Flair’s bleeding a gusher.  Piledriver for two by Flair.  Neckbreaker and a butterfly suplex for two, then back to throwing Race in the fence.  Hard throw into the fence and now Kiniski is yelling at Flair.  I mean damn, it’s a cage match you selfish old fuck, quit trying to hog the limelight.  Race tries to rake Flair into the cage, leading to Flair blading again.  Hard whip to the fence and now Flair can’t see or something and he’s swinging wildly.  Flair fights back and chops Race down for two as the tempo is turned up now.  Elbowdrop and mounted punches.  Flair’s blooding hair looks so good it was like he intentionally dyed it that way.  Scoopslam and Flair locks on the figure four.  Race rolls it over and they get to the ropes.  Race headbutts some more to gain advantage and goes for a suplex but Flair turns it into a pin for two but the cameramen decided the drama of the possible win wouldn’t mean as much seeing some poorly lit footage of the crowd.  I love this shit, don’t get me wrong, but the NWA had serious production value issues.  Race climbs and hits, and I do mean hits (OUCH) a diving headbutt off the ropes.  It only gets two.  Suplex for two.  Flair gets flung into the cage and Race gets a blatant choke with a foot and won’t break it, so Kiniski pulls him by the hair to break it up.  Another suplex fails as Flair turns it into one of his own, but misses a running elbowdrop.  Headlock and Race headbutts the ref, allowing Flair to climb the top rope and hit a crossbody, but the spot goes awkward as Kiniski was behind Race.  It still gets the pin.
***** I’m not going to fault the wrestlers for the horrible referee.  This was an awesome match.

Yes, I scored against the Dusty Rhodes match being repeated from Flair’s set, but that match was just okay.  Realistically, you can’t have a “Best of Starrcade” set without having this match.  Thus…

Good DVD: 13
Retards: 11

Match #2: United States Championship, “I Quit” Steel Cage Match
(c) Tully Blanchard  vs. Magnum TA
11/28/86 Starrcade

Magnum is announced as “The vastly popular Magnum TA.”  Heh.  This is without question one of the biggest grudge matches ever.  They lock up, and Magnum shoves off, then they throw some punches and roll around the ring.   Tully stomps in the corner and throws some stiff ass haymakers.  Magnum fights back, and they are just plastering each other.  Magnum rams Tully into the cage and grates his face, but Tully fights out.  Tully rams Magnum into the cage, and TA is bleeding.  Tully starts biting him, but Magnum fights out.  Magnum was set to be the NWA’s version of Hulk Hogan before a car wreck ends his career.  TA hotshots Tully, but he recovers and fights back again.  Tully low bridges Magnum into the cage.  They both fight for the microphone, but nobody is ready to quit.  Magnum rams Tully into the cage post, which doesn’t give at all.  Ouch.  Another full force ram into the cage, followed by raking his fingernails into Tully’s arms, while Baby Doll looks on in horror.  Tully and Magnum fight to the mat, and Magnum just blades the hell out of his forehead.  Tully is bleeding hard-way from his arm, and it looks nasty.  Tully tells Magnum to say it, and Magnum responds “HELL NO!”, so he hits him with the microphone.  TA still won’t quit, as both guys are covered in blood.  Tully covers like an idiot, then throws TA into the cage.  Tully climbs the ropes and hits a sledge on TA, but it didn’t look so good.  Magnum still won’t quit.  Tully misses an elbow and Magnum is back up.  Now Magnum tries to get Tully to quit, but he won’t.  Both guys start trying to yard out each other’s hair. Magnum fights Tully to the floor, but Tully won’t quit and manages to kick Magnum in the head.   Magnum gets Tully into the corner for ten punches, but Tully hits a huge atomic drop.  Tully tries to get Magnum to quit.  Tully hits a young Earl Hebner, knocking him out, then gets a chair that Baby Doll threw into the ring.  He makes a spike out of the wooden chair, and tries to stick it in Magnum’s eyeball.  Magnum fights back, gets the stake, and sticks it right in Tully’s GODDAMN FUCKING EYEBALL!   Blanchard, smart man that he is, surrenders the US title to Magnum.
****1/2 Great match but not the five-star puppy people wax their turtles to.  I loved the vileness of it all.  You know, if they ever decide to end the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania winning streak, they should do it by having someone rip his eyeball out.

Good DVD: 14
Retards: 11

And the #1 mostest bestest match in Starrcade history is…

Match #1: WCW Championship
(c) Big Van Vader vs. Ric Flair
12/27/93 Starrcade
Special Stipulation: If Flair loses, he retires.

I don’t think fans actually intended this to be #1, but so many people voted for it because it got chopped from both of Ric Flair’s sets.  Legend has it Vader was in a really pissy mood going into this match.  Circle and lockup.  Vader shoves Flair down.  A couple more lockups and Vader shoves off some more.  Finally, Flair bails and lures Vader out with him.  Flair gets back in, but Vader takes his time getting back in so he can’t get suckered into getting smacked around.  Flair slugs it out and grabs a wristlock.  He slaps away on Flair, then hits a clothesline.  He holds the wristlock and talks trash, but Flair gets him in the corner and chops away.  Vader just pushes him off and sends Flair flying across the ring.  Flair bails, then returns to run into some stompery.  Press-slam by Vader and Flair rolls out of the ring again.  This time, Vader gives chase and press-slams him onto the guardrail.  Vader goes for a splash against the guardrail, but misses and Flair becomes a house of fire.  He slugs it out on Vader and sends him into the post, but the referee turns his back and Harley Race gets some cheap shots in.  He places Flair on the apron and Vader hits a standing suplex into the ring.  He does it again, then slugs it out in the corner.  Hard whip to the corner sends Flair up and over to the apron, then to the floor.  Back in, Vader tees off on Flair’s face, then shoots him off and hits a stiff clothesline.  Everything Vader does tonight is stiff.  Even Harley Race chewed him out for it after the match.  More stiff punches from Vader in the corner.  Flair cries to chop out of it, but Vader no-sells it and smacks him down.  World’s Strongest Slam by Vader gets two.  Vader climbs and hits a flying clothesline off the second rope almost breaks Flair’s jaw.  Flair’s face is good and bloody now.  Snapmare by Vader to set up a splash off the second rope, but Flair rolls out of the way.  He climbs and actually hits a chop off the top rope.  He climbs again and completely whiffs on a chop off the top, but Vader still sells it.  LAME~!!  Flair climbs again and drops a chop off the top rope, and this time it drops Vader.  Kneedrop by Flair, but Vader gets up and hits a clothesline.  Vader says it’s over and places Flair on the top rope.  Superplex hits and takes out both guys.  Vader is slow to recover and doesn’t go for the cover.  Elbowdrop to Flair’s leg, then a big splash which misses.  Flair bounces off the ropes but eats a body splash.  Vader then dumps Flair between the ropes and to the floor.  Referee goes to jaw with Vader, which frees up Race to stomp Flair and stand on his face.  Back in, Flair chops away, then avoids a splash in the corner.  Vader reverses a whip and hits the splash in the corner.  Vader goes to work on Flair’s face some more, nailing some stiff punches.  Wristlock by Vader, then Flair fights back with some chops and punches that sends Vader to the canvas.  Vader loses his mask and HOLY SHIT~!  VADER IS REALLY AKEEM THE AFRICAN DREAM!  Flair grabs Akeem Vader and pulls him to the post, then rings his leg.  He grabs a chair and Race tries to get the ref’s attention, fails, and Flair breaks Vader’s leg.  Flair chops away on the outside, then smacks Vader around some more.  He grabs another chair, and these are not folding chairs, mind you, then bashes Vader in the face.  Race must be the worst manager in the world to distract the ref from this assault.  Vader gets back in the ring, where Flair slugs it out and bites him.  He drags Vader to the ropes and drops his weight on his knee.  He goes for the figure-four but Vader kicks him off.  Vader climbs and sets up for the pump splash.  He misses and Flair slaps on the figure four.  This should be the ending, but Harley Race gets on the apron.  Race points out that Vader has made the ropes.  They break and Flair charges into a big boot.  Vader gets pissy as hell and drops an elbow on Flair, then lays in some sick shots to Flair’s face.  Apparently Vader felt that Flair was selling like a buffoon or something.  I guess he had never seen a previous Flair match.  He climbs to the top for the MOONSAULT THAT SHALL NEVER HIT~!!, which misses.  Flair covers for two, then Harley Race misses him with a top-rope headbutt and hits Vader by mistake.  The ref tosses Race out of the ring, then Flair hits a forearm and some chopping.  Flair charges and runs into a body splash.  He then trips up Vader and weakly covers… for the pin and the title?  Yipes, just about the worst clean-pinfall I’ve ever seen.
****1/4 Pretty good.  Hated the ending, but otherwise I thought this was a typical Vader big-man vs. little-man match.

FINAL SCORE
Good DVD: 15

Retards: 11

BUT WAIT~! because it’s my review and I’ll choose how to really score it.  So let’s throw out every match that has previously been seen on DVD.

Yep, I’m an asshole.

BOTTOM LINE: Of the twenty-five matches presented here, FIFTEEN have already been on DVD.  That’s embarrassing.  That leaves ten matches exclusive… for now…  to this set.  Those would be…

-Great Muta vs. Sting: ***
-Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas vs. Brian Pillman & Barry Windham: ****1/2
-Battlebowl Battle Royal: DUD
-Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Austin: **
-Rock ‘n Roll Express vs. Midnight Express Scaffold Match: DUD
-Road Warriors vs. Dusty Rhodes & Sting: *
-Sting vs. Big Van Vader: ***3/4
-The Road Warriors vs. The Steiner Brothers: ***
-Flair vs. Sting: ***3/4
-Flair vs. Vader: ****1/4

So you have two four-star or better matches, two nearly four-star matches, two matches that are just okay, and four stinkers.  Now, assuming you have none of the good matches that were repeated here on DVD, this is an easy set to recommend.  For everyone else… you know what, I’ll go a very, very mild thumbs up but I’m hugely disappointed overall and hope the WWE stops letting fans vote on matches.  The next one is getting a thumbs down by default, even if it’s “Flair vs. Steamboat: The Lost Matches.”

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