The SmarK Rant for WWE Starrcade 2018 – 11.25.18
Gotta love WWE still burying poor WCW 18 years later, taking their biggest show, which was the precursor for Wrestlemania, and burying it as a house show and afterthought taped one hour show.
Taped from Cincinnati, OH
Your hosts are Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton
Elias kicks things off with a song and introduces Ric Flair for a duet. This is sadly interrupted by Nia Jax, Tamina, Alicia Fox and Mickie James for some reason. The production is really distracting here, because the microphone echo isn’t fixed and it’s kind of annoying. Elias sings a bit of his song and Nia suddenly breaks in with even worse singing, claiming that she gave up a record deal to sign with WWE. So this brings out Sasha, Bayley, Ember Moon and Dana Brooke.
Sasha Banks, Bayley, Ember Moon & Dana Brooke v. Nia Jax, Tamina, Mickie James & Alicia Fox
Wasn’t there just a whole thing about Nia Jax and Tamina constantly fighting each other? Ember gets a springboard bodypress on James for two and brings in Brooke, who I guess is just a babyface now for no reason. She gets a terrible handspring elbow and splash for two as the announcers discuss the ramifications for the Strowman v. Corbin match at TLC. Apparently if Corbin wins, he’s the permanent GM of RAW, and if he loses, he loses all power. How will RAW ever survive without a corrupt heel GM? Bayley comes in and gets worked over by the heels and chinlocked to death as the announcers move onto Mixed Match Challenge and how the winner gets the #30 spot in the Rumble. So now instead of the winner of the Rumble getting the World title shot, the big draw is that the winner “headlines Wrestlemania”. Which is funny because I don’t recall either Nakamura or Asuka headlining Wrestlemania last year. Sasha gets a hot tag and suddenly everyone hits their big moves and Sasha taps out Fox with the Bank Statement at 6:55. Absolutely nothing to this one. *
Speaking of absolutely nothing, The Miz is here with Shinsuke Nakamura and Rey Mysterio. The announcers are just the WORST here, reciting facts about Starrcade and the US title like they’re reading it off a cue card and making sure to brand stuff properly, like namedropping “WWF Hall of Famer Superstar Billy Graham” in the most phony way. Anyway, Rey talks about Eddie Guerrero and Nakamura pretends to mix up “Starrcade” and “Arcade” and then admits he’s just doing it to mess with Rey. And then they argue about who cost Team Smackdown the match at Survivor Series and Nakamura attacks Rey and rips off the neck brace.
US title: Shinsuke Nakmura v. Rey Mysterio
Nak drops knees on the neck and tries the Kinshasa, but Rey cradles him for two. They fight to the apron and Rey baseball slides him into the railing and then hits Miz with a senton off the apron. Back in, Rey springboards back in with the senton, but Miz attacks him for the DQ at 2:07. So this brings out Rusev to make the save, and Lana suddenly speaks perfect English now and challenges them to a tag match. When did she stop being Russian? Did I miss a memo?
The Miz & Shinsuka Nakamura v. Rusev & Rey Mysterio
The babyfaces quickly clean house on the heels, but Nakamura cuts off a 619 attempt on Miz and chokes Rey out in the corner. Miz comes in with a clothesline and they double on Rey in the heel corner before Nakamura goes to a facelock. Hot tag Rusev and hits a high kick on Miz for two, but goes for the Accolade and winds up taking the Skull Crushing Finale for two. Rey sends Miz into Nakamura on the apron, hits the 619 on both heels, and Rusev finishes Miz with the Machka Kick at 5:20. This was like some bizarre random house show match aired on Prime Time Wrestling or something. *1/2
Steel cage match: AJ Styles v. Samoa Joe
Styles slugs away in the corner and tries a suplex, but Joe reverses him into a front suplex instead and runs him into the cage. AJ tries a comeback and Joe puts him down with an elbow and runs him into the cage a few more times. He tries a charge and hits the cage, allowing AJ to fight back with a running forearm in the corner and the springboard inverted DDT for two. The foot was on the ropes but “it doesn’t matter in the steel cage” notes Tom Phillips. I’m pretty sure it does and the ref just fucked up, but whatever. Styles goes up and tries a top rope forearm, but Joe swats him down and contemplates going out the door. AJ comes back again with a tornado DDT, but Joe reverses the Styles Clash and catapults him into the cage for two. Joe sets up for the Muscle Buster, but AJ escapes and clips the knee, only to walk into the uranage in the corner. AJ rolls to the cage door, but suckers Joe into the Calf Crusher and he taps at 11:54. Every Joe-AJ match you’ve ever seen, but in a cage. **1/2
So yeah, this whole show was a lot of nothing, with TERRIBLE announcing that was more concerned with hyping up whatever stupid shit was coming up on RAW and Smackdown than with paying any attention to the goings-on in the ring. It was fine, but not particularly worth an hour of your time or anything.
Tags: starrcade, WWE Starrcade 2018