Volume 1, Issue 90
December 12, 1996
Before we get into the meat of today's addition I just want to say farewell and good luck to David Gilmore of DINFERNOs Wrestling Page. David has been a good friend and an inspiration to many of us in the Internet Wrestling Community (he was the first one to put a link to this page on his site and awarded me his Dinferno Award shortly thereafter). He has recently found the expense of running his own domain server to be overwhelming. The good news is that I just read on his site that he hopes to be back on the net in January, same URL, different ISP. I hope that will happen because I for one would miss his presense here on the Web.
In this edition of Solie's Wrestling Newsletter, Ervin Griffin continues his exploration of what make Starrcade the premiere WCW event.
"Starrcade is THE induring "supercard" in WCW. Others such as Slamboree, Bash At The Beach (originally Beach Blast) and World War 3 have only been around for the last four years or so, while The Great American Bash was taken off the calender for two years (1993-1994).
The '90's versions of Starrcade, while not as exciting as their 80's counterparts, have (nonetheless) been eventful. The first Starrcade of this decade took place in St. Louis, Missouri. This card was not only significant for its matches but it also signaled the changing of the guard as far as the company was concerned (WCW becoming independent from the NWA).
As for matches, this version featured Lex Luger winning his fourth US title from Stan "The Lariat" Hansen in a Texas Lariat Match. It also featured the Steiners (then-holders of the now defunct US Tag Team title) winning the "Pat O'Conner Tag Team Tournament" by defeating a team from South Africa (can't remember the names) in the first round, downing Rey Mysterio, Sr. and Konnan (yes, it was the Konnan that we now know from the Dungeon of Doom) in the semi's and defeating The Great Muta and Mr. Saito in the finals. This card also featured Barry Windham and Arn Anderson battling WCW/NWA World Tag Team champs Doom (Butch Reed/Ron Simmons) to a no-contest in a match with "street fight" rules. The "no-contest" ruling came because of a double-pin (Simmons pinned Anderson at the same time that Windham had Reed pinned). Personally, I thought that was terrible way to end wonderfully (?) beautiful match and thought that the referee (Nick Patrick) should have made the match continue.
Starrcade '91 was called "The Lethal Lottery." It was the first time that the "Battlebowl" concept was used and, in my opinion, it was the best "Battlebowl." The concept of tag-teams being picked by random draw on that night with the winners going on to an over-the-top battle royale (in this case, a TWO ring over-the-top battle royale) was unique. I will name then give the results of this card to give you an idea of how crazy this was:
In the Battle Royale itself, Lex Luger was the winner in ring #1 while Sting won in ring #2. They battled until Sting was finally able to put Luger over the top rope to the floor, becoming the winner of "BattleBowl." This is easily my favorite Starrcade of the '90's.
Starrcade '92 took place in Atlanta, Ga in the Omni. BattleBowl was done again that year and the winner was The Great Muta. Muta also wrestled in a losing effort against then-NWA champ Masa Chono. Rick Steamboat and Shane Douglas retained the NWA/WCW Tag Team belts against Barry Windham and Brian Pillman. Steve Williams lost a close match to then -WCW World Champion Ron Simmons and Sting won the finals of the "King Of Cable" tournament by defeating Vader.
Starrcade '93 was held in Charolette, NC. While is was not the greatest card, it did have some significant matches and held one of my favorite matches (Ric Flair VS. Vader). Steve Austin won the US title in a two out of three fall match against Dustin Rhodes. It was also to be (unexpectedly) the last national appearance of Missy (Melissa) Hyatt as she led then-WCW Tag Team champs The Nasty Boys to a disqualification loss against Sting and Road Warrior Hawk. Hyatt later left WCW and filed a sexual discrimination suit against them (it is not known if this was ever settled). Of course, Ric Flair defeated Vader to become WCW champion for the first time and a world champion for the ELEVENTH time (He had held the NWA title eight times and the WWF title two times previously)!!!! It was a brutal match (in which the majority of the action was controlled by Vader) and, even though Flair did use some underhanded tactics that he is famous for, it was a miracle that he won at all or walked out in one piece!!!
Starrcade '94 and '95 were both held in Nashville, TN. Personally, I thought the 1994 version was probably the worst of all time. The only signigicant event came after the card was over when Vader challenged Hulk Hogan to match for the WCW belt (which took place in February of the next year). It started a feud that, in my opinion, still hasn't been settled. I know, Hogan holds two victories over Vader but neither were by pinfall or submission. But that's another subject for another editorial.
The 1995 version was a little bit better as it featured WCW against the wrestlers from New Japan Pro Wrestling. My favorite match was Eddie Gurerro against Otani, in which Gurerro lost a closely contested match-up. It also featured Ric Flair becoming WCW champ for the second time and becoming a world champion for the 12th occasion as he defeated Randy Savage (thanks to Arn Anderson and "international" object).
The Starrcade's of the 90's are not as good as their 80's counterparts, but then again none of the WCW big-events are as good as their early versions (the exception being WCWUncensored which they should have flushed down the damn toliet after the first time because of Eric Bischoff's reluctance to let this wrestling card be violent and back-up his hype about this card being the one night that wrestlers can settle their grudges, but that (again) is for another column).
Well, gotta run. If you like to debate me or comment on anything that I have said, please e-mail me at either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ervin Griffin, Jr. is a regularly featured in the Ringside Insider and has helped liven up my Readers' Forum since it's inception.
Thanks Ervin. Another stirling performance.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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