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SHOW REVIEW: Starrcade '83: A Flair For The Gold


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16 months before the first Wrestlemania, Jim Crockett Promotions decided to go big, broadcasting Starrcade '83: A Flair For The Gold on closed circuit in eight states and flying in talent from the Puerto Rico and Florida territories to really give this the ultimate supercard feel. One could argue the first Starrcade as the night wrestling stopped being what it was and started being what it is, since from here on, the biggest and most notable shows were delivered to a much broader audience than just those attending live. It was a card that predicted the pay-per-view model for pro wrestling, even if it wasn't a pay-per-view itself. Soon after, the famed "War of '84" hit pro wrestling with Hulk Hogan (who was briefly advertised to appear on this card) debuting on WWF television as the WWF began an aggressive national expansion campaign, making this show the end of something every bit as much as it is the beginning. Roddy Piper and Greg Valentine, both of whom would be in the WWF within a few months, stole the show with a bloody dog collar match and the popular Ricky Steamboat-Jay Youngblood tag team regained the NWA World Tag Team Titles from Jack and Jerry Brisco in a very good semi-main event. However, it's the main event that's the most memorable match from the show, with Ric Flair winning his second NWA World Title from Harley Race, ostensibly a full passing of the torch. While Flair was already established as the top NWA star and had great success, this title win was much higher profile than his first one and is arguably the point when he truly became The Man. The show is a bit clumsy in its audio problems and excessive backstage interviews, just as Gordon Solie's performance isn't his best. Those issues fall aside as the historical importance and audacity of even doing the show take center stage; an idea that was prompted by a massively successful Greensboro card in March became an annual staple in JCP and WCW that continued until the company's final days.

  1. The Assassins vs Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw
  2. Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin vs Johnny Weaver & Scott McGhee
  3. Abdullah the Butcher vs Carlos Colon
  4. Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood vs Bob Orton Jr. & Dick Slater
  5. NWA TV Title, No DQ, No Time Limit: Great Kabuki vs Charlie Brown
  6. Dog Collar: Roddy Piper vs Greg Valentine (Discuss)
  7. NWA World Tag Team Titles No DQ: Jack & Jerry Brisco (c) vs Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood (Discuss)
  8. NWA World Heavyweight Title, Cage:  Harley Race (c) vs Ric Flair (Discuss)

Bold matches are PWO Recommended.

Provide your comments in the Show Discussion thread.

Starrcade83_program.jpg

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