Live from Washington D.C. - Starrcade 1998 is on the air!
Tony, Tenay and Heenan are the hosts. They talk about the World Title match then cut to a "news bulletin" saying that Bischoff has added a stip that the other members of the Horsemen are banned from the building tonight.
Of course that means that Flair will be on his own against the entire nWo tonight at some point.
Juventud Guerrera vs. Rey Misterio, Jr. vs. Kidman - Triangle match for the Cruiserweight Title - these are both guys that Kidman has trusted in the past. Rey could go bad here and make a real nice surprise ending. After a moment of feeling each other out - Kidman and Misterio start to cooperate until Rey accidently hits Kidman then they start to fight! Kidman goes into singles mode and is fighting both guys - as the match progresses we see some of the best three-man maneuvers with Juventud getting double blows on his opponents time and time again. Kidman and Misterio continue to combine their attack from time to time. Kidman falls to the floor wherupon Rey flies at Juvey only to be catapulted over the top and into a splash on Kidman! Juvey gets to the tops and launches himself only to be double drop-kicked out of the sky!! Moments later Juvey throws a super-Frankensteiner on Rey off of the shoulders of Kidman!!! In several instances one combatant will devestate an opponent only to see his other opponent go for the pin. After another trip to the floor Juvey is out of it. Kidman and Rey battle in the ring until Kidman gets a pin attempt - then Juvey returns groggily to the ring. Kidman takes advantage of him but Rey makes the save with a drop-kick. And so it goes - one guy needs to be disabled for this to end. Back on the floor again, Rey throws an asahi moonsault on both his opponents then drags Juvey into the ring. He goes for a pin but is prevented by Kidman. The two Luchedores are on the floor when Kidman throws aspectacular Shooting Star press on both of them. Eventually Eddie Guerrero shows up to interfere but is unable to affect the ending as Kidman pins Juvey to take the pin and keep the Title.
After the match Guerrero goes ballistic on his charges because they can't beat a "pretty boy" like Kidman. He castigates them in English and Spanish then decides to go after the Cruiserweight Title himself. Kidman comes back out and accepts the match right now! Eddie wants to have time to change to his wrestling gear but Kidman insists that they start it right now. Eddie agrees...
...and he is immediately all over Kidman who is fatigued by just wrestling for 15 minutes. Kidman is still in it however and holds his own until he lets Juventud distract him so Eddie can clip his knee. Guerrero applies a body stretch on the Champ then releases it. He poses for the crowd as Rey starts to drag Kidman out of the ring. Eddie follows him out and takes control of the Champ. Back in the ring Kidman gets a flurry and ends it with a sleeper. Eddie uses a jawbreaker to escape. Now Eddie is taking the blows but you can see he is planning something. He rolls in the corner and takes off a boot. As Kidman rushes in he gets an empty boot to the face then Eddie attacks Kidman's knee again. On the outside, Rey has Eddie's discarded boot and pops Juvey with it - then he prevents Guerrera from interfering in the match. Kidman is making his comeback in the ring. The match goes into see-saw mode. Eddie is out of it in the center of the ring and Kidman is getting ready to fly when the LWO bodyguards tries to invade the ring. Rey delays him which allows Kidman to get the Shooting Star press and the pin (again).
Wow! That opening lasted almost 45 minutes...
Prince Iuakea vs. Norman Smiley - I have trouble getting behind Smiley but he does know how to wrestle. In this one the Prince comes on with his customary aggression and takes the early advantage. Smiley waits for him to relax his guard then snatches the initiative. He ties the Prince up for a bit then Iaukea escapes. Smiley immediately redoubles his efforts and takes the advantage once again. He continues to work Iaukea over as the crowd begins to get restless. They don't like him either...Iaukea gets loose on a corner to corner whip but is stopped short by Smiley who applies a double underhook suplex which has the Prince screaming. A double arm breaker is next. Iaukea gets loose again and delivers one blow before being stopped again. Smiley continues to display his submission background as he ties the Prince up like a pretzel! He leaves off to try for a pin but no cigar. He double stomps his opponent's abdoman. He stops to dance and gets surprised by the Prince who starts to make a comeback until Smiley puts fingers in his eyes. He dances again and then turns around to run into another attack. Now Smiley decides to end it. He struggles into a cobra clutch type sleeper which finally gets him the win.
Here comes Scott Hall wearing an "Outsiders" T-shirt. He enters the ring to the support of his fans but no music. He comments that being in D.C. is "too sweet..." then goes on to whine about his lone wolf staus but says "that's OK." He says he is beholdin' only to himself and declares that 1999 will be his year.
Promo piece for the main event.
The Cat (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Saturn - finally we get these two facing each other in the ring instead of Miller sneaking up from behind - so now Oono gets to do the sneaking...
The fact that he is challenging this guy is the only thing that makes Miller interesting. He insists on giving Saturn "5 seconds to leave" and turns his back to count. Saturn waits him out winding up and clobbers him as he turns around. Miller abandons the ring. He runs back as Saturn takes his eye away but then he fails to slide in far enough. Saturn chuckles and puts the boots to him. Miller splits again then slowly returns wanting to shake hands. He suckers Saturn in and hits a blow to the throat to turn the tables. He keeps control this way for several moments then Saturn starts wrestling to wrest the inititive away. MIller is frustrated again. He leaves the ring then comes back in, suckers Saturn into an attack then back kicks him to the mat. They trade blows with Saturn continue to answer Miller's martial arts attack with pure wrestling. Miller is gettins less and less offense. Saturn launches himself onto a sidekick. Miller traps Saturn and invites Sonny Oono into the ring to get in a shot. Oono delivers a kick to Miller of course and gives Saturn a chance to apply the DDD and win.
Mean Gene introduces Ric Flair. They talk about the Horsemen being absent - Flair doesn't care he plans to kick Bischoff's a$$ tonight. Flair talks about the dasterdly things he plans to do to his opponent - it sounds pretty gruesome... and he promises Bischoff that he will "bleed and sweat". Cut to the History of the nWo video.
A camera is sent to the back to see Steiner and Bagwell cornering Konnan in his dressing room. They are about to come to blows when Lex Luger runs in and gets between them. Luger is being vague about his loyalties again...
Tony says that the World Title match will be no-DQ tonight.
Scott Norton/Brian Adams vs. Jerry Flynn/Fit Finley - Finley and Flynn seem less then happy about this team up. Adams tries to run over Finley to start but the whiley Irishman out maneuvers him. He gets Norton next and fares less well. We are hearing that Finley and Flynn have competed as a tag team in the orient pretty regularly. Flynn faces Adams and dominates the action until Vincent gets involved and distracts him. Adams comes on staring but Flynn still manages to come back and kick him. Finley comes in and applies a reverse chinlock on Adams. He drops elbows on the top of his head then re-applies the chinlock. Adams gets loose and tags Norton in. Norton rearranges Finley's face then drops him with a suplex. He mashes him in the corner - Finley drops to the floor. Adams follows and continus the assault. Back in the ring he pretends to let Finley tag Flynn but drags him back for more punshment. He applies a back breaker then turns it into a shoulder breaker. Adams comes in to continue the pressure. Finley has been isolated for several minutes now. Adams gorilla presses him into a gut buster over the knee. Flynn gets in and faces Norton - he attacks immediately as Vincent pops onto the apron. Flynn is neutralized and Flynn is distracted so that Norton can get his big powerbomb and the win.
Mean Gene is out again to talk to Eric Bischoff this time. Bischoff is his usual smarmy self. He addresses the First Family personally as he again states how sorry he is to have caused so much trouble for Ric Flair and his family. He says he feels bad for Flair because he is pushing himself beyond his physical capabilities. He is still insisting that Flair did have a heart attack and that he is desparate and broke. He remainds Flair that he (Bischoff) is the real kiss stealer.
Chris Jericho (w/Ralphus) vs. Konnan - World TV Title match - Jericho wears the title belt which he stole recently. He exaults himself in rhyme and taunts Konnan. We are forced to look at a piece of Konnan's video before the Champion makes his appearance to Wolf Pack music. He goes into his call and response schtick and then we get underway. They have an extended first exchange which ends in a drop-kick to Jericho as he is seated. Jericho comes right back and they struggle for position again. The fight goes to the floor where Jericho cements his advantage. back in the ring, Jericho is taking his time showboating to be effective. He grabs a reverse chinlock and shouts at the crowd over his opponent's bald head. Tony is speculating that maybe Flair didn't have a heart attack... In the ring Jericho is fully in control at last. He showboats on the top rope - taking his time again - and launches himself onto an upraised boot. Konnan gets a two count. Jericho comes back with a Lionsault and gets a two count of his own. The match goes outside again and Jericho gets clobbered on the steel steps. Back in the ring, Jericho is trying for the Liontamer but Konnan blocks it. He switches to a catapult which catches the referee as well. He hits Konnan with the belt but it doesn't help him as the Champ kicks out. They struggle again and Konnan applies a Tequilla Sunrise. Jericho taps out.
Ric Flair vs. Eric Bischoff - grudge match - this is much anticipated of course. Flair sprints to th ring looking in pretty god shape for 49. He chases Bischoff around the ring then catches him, pummles him and rolls him into the ring. He pounds the jerk in the corner then drops him and grabs a choke hold. The ref complains so Flair turns him loose then rearranges his face and pummels him some more. He is saying, "My wife huh?" as he punches Bischoff in the face. Biscoff suddenly grabs his knee as if it is injured. Flair goes to work on it until the referee gets in the way. He turns away and gets kicked to the temple. Bischoff starts laying in kicks to the side of the head but Flair is rallying slowly. He is bleeding from the forehead. He slips in a low blow then puts on another one. He tears Biscoff's shirt off then stands him in the corner. Now it is all Flair again as he gets a big verticle suplex. The referee has been wiped out but Flair goes for a figure four and then tries to revive him. Curt Hennig runs in and hands Bischoff a gigantic set of brass knuckles. Bischoff pops Flair in the head and then gets the pin. Big disappointment this one...
The promo for the next match seems to be going to a lot of trouble to keep Bret Hart's name involved even though he is not participating tonight.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. The Giant - The Giant sits on the corner buckle as DDP enters the ring. He spits his gum at Page. Page answers with a fisticuffs attack then goes for a Cutter but fails. The Giant knocks him to the floor then follows him out. Page is knocked over the railing but then grabs a garbage can and uses it. The Giant answers with a smash into the steel steps followed by a post shot. He runs his opponent into the post shoulder first then press slams him back into the ring over the top rope!! Back inside it is all Giant now. He is working on Page's left leg. Page has to dig into the Giant's eye to escape. Page comes back for about a second then is mashed in the corner again. DDP is facedown in the ring - the Giant stands over him, waiting for him to rise. Page pulls himself up by climbing the Giant's legs. He is pulled right up into a bearhug. He releases him and knocks him down. Page rises with help, is whipped and powerslammed. The Giant pulls him up instead of taking the pin. Dumb... He is posing for the crowd between blows, moving too slow as Page recovers. He grabs another bearhug. The referee checks his arm but Page is still in it. He applies a bellringer then grabs his nose to escape. DDP tries a sunset flip but is snatched into the air by his throat. The Giant seems to be running out of moves. He picks Page up but Page floats over and gets the Diamond Cutter. Both are down and the referee has been downed as well. They both struggle up as Bret Hart runs in and accidently smacks the Giant with a chair. DDP goes for a cover but no luck. He tries to kick the Giant but gets caught in the chokeslam position. He is lifted into the air but changes the balance point and delivers a Diamond Cutter as they plunge toward the mat. DDP gets the pin.
Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg - WCW World Heavyweight Title match - this must have been a good PPV because it seems to have gone by very fast. Michael Buffer introduces the competitors. Nash comes out first of course.
Nash looks like he's all business tonight - he has his game face on big time. Goldberg takes his usual long walk to the arena surrounded by security. He stops to autograph a young fan's shirt in the hall. He stands in front of the Starrcade logo as his pyro goes off. He breathes fire as he continues to the ring. He is 174-0 as this match begins. The two circle each other as the crowd tries to sort out which one to root for. The first lock-up is a standoff. Nash is forced into the corner and the referee breaks it up. Nash uses his height advantage to grab a headlock and holds onto it until the Champ suplexes him (belly to back). He rolls out and regroups then re-enters the ring. The next encounters sees Nash start in punching. He lays in two big kness in the corner then socks the top of Goldberg's head a couple of times. Another knee and then he puts his foot to his throat. Goldberg grabs his foot and throws him away. Nash topples and Goldberg grabs an anklelock. Nash gets to the ropes to escape. Bot rise and they trade punches - Nash is sent to the mat again. Goldberg rushes him but Nash sidesteps and Goldberg hits the post. Nash whips him and raises a boot but misses - Goldberg hits the spear! Goldberg is positioning himself but Nash hits a low blow and Goldberg falls. Both are down. Goldberg is favoring his ribs as he arises. Nash gets sidewalk slam - now Goldberg is reeling. Nash tries to pin him and Goldberg barely gets away. Now it is all Nash - we have never seen Goldberg in this much trouble. Nash bounces him off the ropes and smashes his back with forearms. He knocks the Champ down again and gets two again. Goldberg comes back with a spinning neckbreaker and gets a two count. He follows with a standing side kick - this guy is really showing us something! He whips Nash and hits a spinning drop-kick. Suddenly Disco Inferno is in the ring and speared, followed by Bam Bam Bigalow who is ejected. Scott Hall shows up ringside with a cattleprod and uses it on Goldberg. Nash plants him with a Jack Knife and gets the pin. Kevin Nash is the new World Champ!
That was one of the better PPV's this year. Starrcade makes a comeback...
I received considerable correspondence last week concerning the idea that the Bret Hart documentary film, "Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows" might have been a work - a put up incident arranged between Bret and Vince McMahon. Some of these letters appear on the Mailroom pages.
It is would seem this incident might be on it's way to becoming an enduring conspiracy mystery such as the JFK assasination ;-)
One such letter appears below along with my own (somewhat expanded) response.
Certainly you aren't the only one who sees it that way, but personally, I find that theory somewhat suspect.
First of all, Vince didn't "put it on the air" - the National Film Board of Canada did.
I have no doubt that for those who saw this film, the "Vince McMahon" character as portrayed in "Wrestling with Shadows" rather neatly dovetails with the "Mr. McMahon" character as portrayed in the current WWF storylines. I would attribute that, however, to Vince knowing what was coming and deciding to run with it in order to confuse the issue in the minds of the fans.
"...made in cooperation with the WWF?" - that is a given for any film like this to be made, but that doesn't automatically imply that the film was a work.
The film company had a contract agreement with Titan before they started filming concerning the use of the historic WWF footage, copyrighted characters and the like - it wouldn't have been possible to tell the story without those agreements.
Last year, when the events happened, it immediately stirred up a fuss with the fans, especially on the Internet. To his credit, McMahon saw the possibilities of running with the evil "Mr. McMahon" character and started his "Why Bret Why" character assasination pieces. Meanwhile, he also tried to get out of the agreement with the film company - but they insisted that Titan honor the contract. Titan eventually caved in and the film was completed.
How many wrestling fans do you think actually have seen this film? Not many who aren't Internet Wrestling denizens, I'll bet.
After the film was completed, Titan negotiated an agreement under which WCW could not be allowed to exhibit the film or publicize it and they have made it a policy not to mention it or publicize it themselves - by doing that, they were clearly attempting to minimize the PR damage of the whole Bret Hart Doublecross incident by keeping this film from the public eye as much as possible.
Why would they do that if it was a work?
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie. Copyright 1998 - Jump City Productions