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Found 83 results

  1. G. Badger

    Spotlight: Starrcade

    I was never what you would call a WCW fan growing up. I liked seeing the matches on Saturday or Sunday but, I never went out of my way to watch Nitro until the Monday Night Wars stuff. It was WCW that grabbed my attention first with Goldberg and his streak. Plus my older cousin thought he was cool and therefore I did too Quickly, I found out that I preferred WWF to WCW in most instances and then ECW came in the picture and I never looked back really. So, with that being said, I never gave a thought to WCW's pay-per-views and although the titles were cooler than WWF's the cards usually sucked. So, here I am all of these years later willing to call bullshit on myself and check out the best of the best PPV that WCW had to offer - Starrcade. The saving grace of this project is that many of the matches on this list (this is the Starrcade Essential Collection set by WWE) are from Jim Crockett Promotions and/or in the early days of WCW. Half are from the 80's and 5 more are between 1990-1993. Anyhow there's 25 matches and I'm going run down (or up?) the list to see just how essential these matches are. I might give impressions for some, others I might have a review, and even more I might have written something up in the match discussion archives. Let's start Roddy Piper vs Hollywood Hogan (1996): Good match with good action that tells the Match of the Decade story well. Intense too which was a big surprise considering Hogan was in the ring...I mean honest-looking intensity and not that hammy crappola. Sting vs Great Muta (1989): Iron Man tournament match which I saw a few months ago during my Great Muta You Might Have Missed post ( https://forums.prowrestlingonly.com/blogs/entry/685-great-muta-you-might-have-missed/). Shit that was almost a year ago!? Anyhow, an under 10 minute banger with Sting and Muta at the height of blending simple wrestling with a fast pace and a few flashy moves. I liked this quite a bit. I'll say a very good match. Barry Windham & Brian Pillman vs Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas (1992): Awesome action packed title match. This Starrcade thing doesn't seem that bad! This also featured Pillman and Douglas ushering a crash-bang style that we would we would see in ECW and the Attitude era. Not that they invented it or anything but, its in contrast to Windham and Ricky's style here. Great match! Goldberg vs Kevin Nash (1998): The match that ended THE STREAK and perhaps was an early sign of things to come. Goldberg and Nash actually wrestle a good match up until the hi-jinks and Hall electrocutes Goldberg. Battlebowl (1991): I don't like Battle Royals. So, I'll make a couple suggestions. Fast forward to when Ricky Morton & Liger are wrestling each other. Then fast forward to when Luger and Vader are in ring #1 by themselves (yes there are two rings). Then fast forward to when it boils down to Steamboat and Sting vs Austin and Rude (Luger is in waiting so to speak). Then watch the rest of the match and you might call this good. This rated higher than the 1992 tag match? horse shit! Dustin Rhodes vs Steve Austin (1993): Starts of pretty good and just sorta ends. I had high hopes for this but, uh yeah it's very much what I expect out of WCW. The last 3 matches don't seem very "essential" to me. I talk more about it in the 1993 match discussion yearbook. I really don't want to do that again here...if that gives you an idea. Road Warriors vs Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (1987): Oh crap the Road Warriors...this is not looking good..let's see. Oh man am I wrong! Maybe it's Arn and Tully but, this is perhaps the best Warriors match I've seen. We see a brains & brawn story unfold despite their early domination, Hawk & Animal don't seem invincible. There are some hi-jinks but, it is pandemonium so it works. I loved this match- it was all about selling and timing and it comes off beautifully! Near classic match...hells yeah! Rey Misterio vs Jushin Liger (1996): Oh Rey vs Liger '96, this should be an easy great match! Nope! It's neat but, just felt clunky and the commentary team bury them. This is a great example of how WCW was out of step with where wrestling was headed. It was a fun exhibition match though. Rock 'n Roll Express vs Midnight Express (1987): I wish they could have put another type of match on here with these teams. It was high risk and whatnot but, is really a novelty that doesn't really show what these guys do best. Nevertheless it was one of the best scaffold matches I've seen. I've seen like 4 so...maybe that's not a recommendation. Sorta goes into the realm of Battle Royal matches to me. Ric Flair vs Lex Luger (1988): Here we have our first classic match of the set! I never would have thought it'd come from Luger. Simple but effective stuff! GO SEE THIS!! 1988 Everything else folder has more gushing if you need it. Eddie Guerrero vs Shinjiro Otani (1995): I've seen this match twice and liked it better the 2nd time. Its what the Rey vs Liger match needed to be. Skip that one and watch Otani and Eddie go! Again, I beat a dead horse in the 1995 December yearbook if you want to see that Very good match. Not sure why this is "ahead" of Flair/Luger '88 at all though...gotta give something to Eddie I suppose. Dusty Rhodes & Sting vs Road Warriors (1988): Hmm can't seem to find my notes on this one...I remember it being good with Sting doing his thing. It was not as good as the Tully/Arn match I can tell you that much. I think it was meant to get Sting over since I really don't remember Dusty or the Warriors doing much but a good match and letting Sting shine. Sting vs Vader (1992): People have called this a classic match but, I disagree. Its great but, not a classic. There are a few too many flaws that screw with my suspension of disbelief to put it in that **** 1/2+ class. Selling and the finish being the two biggest complaints. Nevertheless, it is Sting vs Vader - Go watch it for yourself and then head over to the 1992 December archives and see where your opinion falls. Jack & Jerry Brisco vs Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood (1983): A great action packed match. Maybe people don't think that can happen in 1983 here we have it! There were tons of double team moves from both sides. Angelo Mosca is the ref and played his role perfectly. This felt like a real battle in the unreal realm of pro-wrestling! Dusty Rhodes vs Ric Flair (1985): An entertaining match that was kept even keel for some reason. This lacked the charisma and excitement I expected. It felt very average. Eddie Guerrero vs Dean Malenko (1997): Again, I can't find any notes on this one. From memory it started off well but, I don't think it really set the world on fire. Probably very much like the Dusty/Flair match above. They had to give a nod to the feud I suppose so, here it is... Road Warriors vs Steiner Brothers (1989): Everyone was selling and bumping. There were no miscues or blown spots. They did their power moves and throws. What more can you ask really!!? It was a dream match as your gonna get. I thought it was very good and should be in both teams highlight reels. Certainly so for the Steiners as I thought the quality and style was right around what they would be doing in NJPW in the 90's. Ladder Match (2000): This is the 3 way ladder match that was really a harbinger of early 2000's indy 'let's try anything' wrestling. It sucks that Jamie Noble and Kaz Hiyashi (who I like) are in this thing. Its also on the first WWE Ladder Match DVD set so, I skipped this. Sting vs Ric Flair (1989): I believe this is the Finals of the 1989 Iron Man tourney. Terry Funk and Jim Ross are on commentary (yes!). This was a great match featuring athletic, charismatic wrestling as you'd hope for. Both guys really put on an action filled match despite the previous bouts and you gotta give it to them for that alone. From what I've seen here and above 1989 looked sweet. Roddy Piper vs Greg Valentine (1983): And if '89 looked sweet then '83 was sweeter. Oh man, we get the legendary Dog Collar match between Piper and Valentine and it does not disappoint. It was a madhouse type of match where they're just wailing away on each other with abandon. So many visually remarkable moments involving the chain...man they just did it right. A brutal and bloody affair. A classic match. Road Warriors vs Midnight Express (1986): Another scaffold match. This was remarkably dangerous and Cornette takes a bump off the scaffold (dangling) that seriously injures him. Watch it on fast forward perhaps. Again, these really aren't my thing :/ Sting vs Hogan (1997): Sting's entrance gave me goosebumps. Make no mistake though this is late 90's WCW and they have to fucking slip in some interference in every big match just for the hell of it. Its like having a nice meal at a restaurant and right before you finish, the waiter comes over and drops a fly in it. Like "Why man? Why?" It was a good match even though they dropped a fly in it. For nostalgia sake, watch this big moment in wrestling. I never saw it before and I'm glad I did. Hogan may actually out wrestle Sting too! Ric Flair vs Harley Race (1983): Steel cage NWA world title match. I watched this a couple times in a week about 7 years back and recall it being very good. It was nice and stiff but, a little to methodical if memory serves me correct. I think it was kinda long too...could be wrong. Maybe it just felt long?? I decided to pass but, this is a big time match up so, if you're curious check it out. Tully Blanchard vs Magnum TA (1985): This I Quit match was the #1 reason that I spent the $5 at the used DVD/game store for this DVD set. This was violent from the very start...they looked like they wanted to maim each other. I believed it man. I mean Magnum was digging his fingers into Tully's arm trying to pull Tully's wound apart and he's the babyface!! They had to switch cameras that it was so nasty. Visceral barbaric wrestling...this did not disappoint. An all time classic without a doubt. If this is your thing, go see this match. If you gotta buy this DVD, do it. It's worth the dough. Vader vs Ric Flair (1993): This was Vader's title against Flair's career. I bet you know who wins This was deemed the greatest Starrcade match of all time by someone(s) at WWE. That's arguable but, I understand why they put this over Tully and Magnum. Flair. And it is a great match. It is not without its detractors and I am one of them. I watched this twice in 2 days and my take away is this- it is too slow at the start. Vader wants to pick apart and torture Flair rather than just pin him. I get this but, it is at a turtle's pace. Flair should have had a couple pin attempts in there to show that he had fight rather than getting pummeled. It does get good once Flair makes his successful come-back. However, the pacing and finish are all off to me. The finish required Vader to sell the leg being hurt but, he didn't at all/forgot/etc. so, it seemed like an odd fluke win. Maybe that's what they were going for but, it was clumbsily executed on Vader's part (understandable). But that's a small quibble next to the drawn out first half of the match where Vader beat Flair like a rented mule. Some of the appeal had to be thinking that Flair was going to lose...but, in 2019 that magic has worn away. So, I would say this set was hit or miss with more hits in the end. Ranking the hits Honorable Mention: Eddie Guerrero vs Shinjiro Otani (1995) 10) Sting vs Great Muta (1989) 9) Road Warriors vs Steiner Brothers (1989) 8) Barry Windham & Brian Pillman vs Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas (1992) 7) Sting vs Vader (1992) 6) Sting vs Ric Flair (1989) 5) Jack & Jerry Brisco vs Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood (1983) 4) Road Warriors vs Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (1987) 3) Ric Flair vs Lex Luger (1988) 2) Roddy Piper vs Greg Valentine (1983) 1) Tully Blanchard vs Magnum TA (1985) I'm very glad that I shelled out the 5 bucks for 10 awesome matches. I feel like Race vs Flair should also be an honorable mention as well. So 12 out of 25 matches that are totally worth checking out...not bad. I'm not sure what that says about WCW or maybe it says more about WWE, I suppose. I'd probably thing the latter is the culprit. They probably could have loaded this with great stuff from 83-89 and I would have been pleased as punch. Heck, Starrcade 83-93 would have been more than acceptable. Thanks for reading! At the very least watch the top 3 matches above! I'm so glad that I did. Until next time...
  2. Pro-wrestling is goofy. So, this is a lights out match. It is announced before the match : this is not sanctioned by the NWA. Ok. So why is Tommy Young in the ring, checking for foreign objects and all ? How can it officially be a TV title match ? Doesn't make a lick of sense. Pro-wrestling has always been crass. "This match is for the TV title and Baby Doll". Wait, what ? So, a woman is officially the same thing as a piece of luggage. They could have said "Dusty gets the services of Baby Doll for 30 days." Nope. "Baby Doll is his." Women as property. Ah, the good old days. As far as the match goes, it's okay. Let's be honest now. Dusty is just not very good. He shows glimpse of goodness, but he's not bumping very well, his stuff looks sloppy most of the time, and you can give so many elbows before it gets boring. He's also not very good as building a match at all. People dump on "Your turn My turn" as if it was a workrate invention. This match is pretty much all "My turn Your turn". Dusty never sells for long enough to build a meaningful comeback. He sells, then simply goes back on offense whenever he sees fit. Ok, it's a brawl. Not a particulary intense one because Dusty is just moving at a snail pace and not selling very well. No drama, no sense of building toward a finish. It ends when Dusty simply wins. Blanchard is very good here. Dusty is ok at best. Since Dusty is basically doing what he wants, the match is ok. On the same show, big log Nikita Koloff showed a much better sense of selling and putting over the offense of Flair, along with the cumulative damage.
  3. Tully is the challenger here. Baby Doll gets more boos than Tully. Baby Doll must also go into a cage above the ring. I love that stip. I've never seen this match so I'm not sure about its availabilty in trading circles. Bull and Magnum interview. Both guys fighting for position. Dusty working the leg. Dusty has the people eating out of his hands. Figure 4 and Tully makes the ropes. Time runs out as Tully is getting the heat.
  4. NWA World TV Champion Tully Blanchard vs Don Kernodle - WWW 5/11/85 Tully Blanchard dealt with the dealer the previous week defeating Dusty Rhodes for the TV title, I kinda miss the days of such large egos that finishes like a ref bump, foreign object and foot on the ropes were used to protect someone like Dusty. There is just something so pro wrestling about that. Tully had spent the majority of 1984 being the number 1 heel (an argument could be made for Slater or Wahoo at times) in Mid-Atlantic as Flair would begin to appear more regularly, he would learn to slide into a solid number two heel position. The American Dream entered Crockett full time in late 84 and set up his first major program against the Brat for his TV championship. Magnum TA at this point had just wrapped up his feud with Wahoo over the United States Championship (winning that title) and they were teasing a feud with Flair. Magnum and Dusty as the top two faces had recently developed a bond that would turn into a America's Team. Finally, "The Pride of Carolinas" Don Kernodle just finished his midcard feud with the Russians and was now being shunted down the card. At this point, he was still a relatively big name in the area and the crowd was super hot for this match. The basic layout was Don Kernodle totally overwhelmed Tully Blanchard throughout this match. Within the first minute, he caught Tully coming off the top into a powerslam and the first nearfall got tremendous heat. They worked this in a sprint fashion with lots of babyface offense and a ton of hot nearfalls. Given the TV title time limit stipulation, this is a perfect way to work the stip with a prick champion like Tully. They never overdo the moves. In 1985, each move, the elbow from the top, atomic drop and suplex all feel like hot nearfalls, but also something that is plausible for Tully to kick out of. Tully was on fire here stooging and bumping for Kernodle. The crowd hates Tully. He was pulling out every heel trick in this. Since this was worked with Kernodle on top for the vast majority, I thought Tully timed his heel "hope spots" for lack of a better term perfectly cutting off in a devious manner or taking advantage of a mistake, but never taking too much on top. The goal was clearly to invest in the idea that anyone could beat Tully, but that by hook or by crook he would keep the title. It was by crook as Baby Doll pushed Kernodle off the top. This got Magnum involved, but Tully recovered his heat just like that by nailing the Slingshot Suplex and bloodying Magnum. Tully is able to give an exciting match against a solid midcard talent, but retains his heat by laying out the number two babyface. This is an entertaining TV match with a hot crowd great babyface offense complemented by awesome heel stooging. ***
  5. This is a brand new show that is going to come out every Friday AM over at PlaceToBeNation.com Shows will never be much longer than 45 minutes. I'll post all the shows in this thread. -------------- Episode #1: http://placetobenation.com/letters-from-center-stage-1/ In the premier episode of Letters From Center Stage, JT & Allan head into their offices in Atlanta, GA to dive deep into the outer rim of the nostalgia mothership that was WCW: 1. The Mailbag: Bruno Sammartino in WCW / WCW rings 2. This Week in History: April 17 – 23 3. The Long Topic: WCW gaffes, both big and small To write in to the mailbag, tweet @allan_cheapshot or @place2benation or email lettersfromce[email protected] Follow along with our YouTube playlist as well: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoeBY9gVL9d1LkIQKLVj1C69XV4L3LLdn The PWO-PTBN Podcast Network features great shows you can find right here at Place to Be Nation. By subscribing on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ptbn-wrestling-network/id715657490?mt=2) or SoundCloud (http://soundcloud.com/jerryvonkramer), you’ll have access to new episodes, bonus content, as well as a complete archive of all shows on the Network! For more on the great family of podcasts at Place to Be Nation, visit: http://placetobenation.com/podcasts LISTEN DIRECTLY: https://soundcloud.com/prowrestlingonly/letters-from-center-stage-1
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