Volume 1, Issue 95
December 18, 1996
Editor's Note: From time to time Solie's editorialist, Ervin V. Griffin, likes to look at classic wrestling cards from the past. In this report he gives us a review of the 1989 Edition of Starrcade
Starrcade '89 took place in Atlanta, GA at the Omni. The event was dubbed "Future Shock."
I think the reason for this nickname was because the" past/present was going against the future" in IronMan and IronTeam tournaments. In the IronMan division, then-NWA Champion Ric Flair (past/present) took on then-US Champion Lex Luger, then-NWA TV Champion The Great Muta and Sting. The latter three were (at that time) considered the future of the NWA (now WCW). Likewise, The Road Warriors faced what was considered the future of tag-teams as they faced then-NWA Tag Team Champions the Steiners, Doom (Butch Reed/Ron Simmons) and The Wild Samoans (Fatu/Samoan Savage). The way this round-robin tournament was scored was like this:
Draw-5 (for each competitor/team)
Each match had a 15-minute time limit.
The Steiners VS. Doom
This was the opening match of both the IronTeam tournament and the card itself. There was already heat for this match from two months earlier when Woman (Doom's manager at the time) had Reed/Simmons attack Scott Steiner and from a previous encounter at Halloween Havoc '89. This match was furious with Doom using clotheslines and headbutts while the Steiners relied on various suplexes and powerslams. The match turned in favor of Doom when Scott missed a clothesline and was attacked by Woman's bodyguard Nitron (I believe this was Kevin Nash)(Editor's Note: that is correct).
Doom then proceeded to maul Scott. At one point, Simmons nailed Scott with one of his incredible "spine-buster" slams and got a 2 3/4 count. Finally, all hell broke lose when all four men started battling outside the ring. Rick Steiner, who was the legal man at that point, rolled back into the ring before the 10 count.
Lex Luger VS. Sting
This was the opening match for the IronMan tournament. This match was probably the best that I've seen between these two. Although both were known for their power, it was really Sting's speed and science VS. Luger's strength. It ended with a screwjob ending as Luger used the bottom rope to pin Sting.
Road Warriors VS. Doom
This second match of the IronTeam division was really a blowout. The Warriors were in no real danger of losing this match as they dominated most of the action. Only when Hawk did his famous "shoulder-to-the-ringpost" manuver did Doom take the advantage. After about three to five minutes of pounding on Hawk, Animal was tagged back in and the Warriors took over again. Hawk finally put Doom (who was garbage back then) out of their misery when he clotheslined Butch Reed from the top rope for the pin
Winner: Road Warriors
Ric Flair VS. Great Muta
Flair, sensing that Gary Hart (Muta's manager) might have a trick up his sleeve, brought down Ole & Arn Anderson for this match. It proved to be a wise choice as Flair caught Muta in the figure-four leglock early in the match. Hart called his "troops" (the late Buzz Sawyer and The Dragon Master) down to the ring and a big brawl broke out!!!
Muta, taking advantage of the confusion, kicked Flair in the mid-section and set him up for his Moonsault. Muta, as it turns out however, was the one being set up as Flair pulled up his knees just as Muta was making impact. This move set Muta up for a small-package and pin by Flair.
Winner: Ric Flair.
Road Warriors VS. Steiners
This was, by far, the most anticipated match-up at Starrcade. While rather slow during some spots, it did not dissapoint as far as high-impact action. After hitting each other with suplexes, backbreakers and clotheslines, the match broke down into a brawl with a screwjob ending. The Road Warriors went for a variation of their "Human Sacrifice" manuvear on Scott Steiner. They did connect but both Animal's and Scott's shoulders were pinned. Scott, however, got his shoulder up before the 3-count.
Sting VS. The Great Muta
Both men needed points going into this match as they both lost their first matches earlier. There was also good heat for this match as Sting had lost the TV title to Muta on September 3 of that year in the Omni. A lot of this match was fought in the air with bodypresses, monkeyflips, savate kicks and dropkicks. The end came when Muta was croutched on the top bar (the part that connects the turnbuckle to the ringpost). Sting then superplexed Muta off and got the pin.
Doom VS. Wild Samoans
I'm not going to even discuss this match. This was by far the worst match on the card and even before the bell you knew who was going to win.
Winner: Wild Samoans
Ric Flair VS. Lex Luger
This was their first PPV match-up since Starrcade '88 (which I will discuss in a future column for RingSide Insider). This is where I first started to appreciate Ric Flair as a scientific wrestler. Previouly, I always thought of him as a cheater and a man who couldn't win without some out or outside interference. To put it simply, Flair kicked Luger's a** in this match-up. Granted, Luger did have his moments but couldn't put Flair away. The match ended in a draw with Flair having Luger in the figure-four as the time ran out. While I don't believe Luger would've submitted, I think he would have lost to Flair this night.
Winner: Time-limit draw
Wild Samoans VS. The Steiners
The Samoans were clearly the aggressors in this match-up. They mauled Scott Steiner for most of the match-up. The match ended when Scott backdropped Fatu over the top rope, causing the Steiners to be DQ'd.
Winner: Wild Samoans
Lex Luger VS. Great Muta
Luger was still feeling the effects of Flair's figure-four going into this match-up. Muta took full advantage and worked over Luger's leg mercilessly. The end of this match came when Luger (after being dominated for most of the match) tried to put Muta in the "Torture Rack." As he went for it, Luger saw Gary Hart on the apron and chased him off. Luger turned around and got a facefull of green mist. Muta was disquallified.
Winner: Luger (DQ)
Road Warriors VS. Wild Samoans
The Warriors took this match by the horns and never let go. The Samoans did gain a brief upper hand when the Savage groined Animal with a headbutt. But the Warriors finally took the match (and the tournament) when Hawk clotheslined the Savage for the pin.
Winner: Road Warriors
Ric Flair VS. Sting
This was Sting's first PPV meeting with Ric Flair and his third televised meeting with Ric Flair overall (they met on World Wide Wrestling in Feb. 1988 and at the Clash of the Champions I. on TBS).This match was a real classic as both men bent and twisted the rules. Sting had his "scorpion-deathlock" on Flair but Flair escaped by getting to the ropes. Flair then used one of his patened "knee-breakers" to set up Sting for the figure-four. Before he could put it on though, Sting rolled up Flair for the pin and the victory in the IronMan tournament.
About the only knock on this Starrcade is that their were no other matches other than the tournament matches. When you think about it though, there was no need for other matches. Anyway (to quote Earl), that's the way I see it...
Ervin V. Griffin is a regular contributer to Solie's Wrestling Newsletter and others including the Ringside Insider. He has also helped liven up the Solie's Readers' Forum since it's inception.
I want to thank all of the many folks who responded with encouraging words regarding the subject of Issue #93 in which I outlined a series of personal attacks to which this editor has been subjected over the last few months. I think the main reason I wrote that article was to get the whole business out of my system in order to move on. Thank you all again for your kind words.
I also want to thank the many of you who have responded to my Readers' Poll regarding the selection of Year End Awards and Awards winners for my coming Year End Review issue (I hope to make it Issue #100!). Despite the fact that the Readers' Poll guestbook has been un-viewable most of the time I encourage you to keep the votes coming in. I can access the board through my delete utility and have been faithfully saving all of the entries. I am still asking people to vote on these specific catagories:
Wrestler of the Year
Manager of the Year
Match of the Year
Best Pay-Per-View Show
I am also taking suggestions for specialty awards
Whither the New World Order...
There continues to be a lot of discussion on the Readers' Forum about the direction of the NWO storyline. Quite a few people object to the growth of the NWO stable - suggesting that it is losing it's quality of being an elite group with the addition of wrestlers such as Marcus Bagwell, Bubba, Scott Norton, Mr. Wallstreet and Masa Chono. Most correspondents agree that Chono is an excellent addition, but are concerned that he will be ill-used, possibly relegated to being part of a "Japanese contingent" rather than a full-fledged member of the group. Scott Norton gets rave reviews in some corners and pans from others. Most seem to agree that Bagwell and Bubba are not up to NWO standards. Wallstreet's reception has been lukewarm at best.
One suggestion is that athletes like Bagwell, Bubba and Wallstreet are being recruited in order to give the WCW guys someone they can beat without jeapordizing Hall and Nash's undefeated status. Obviously, with an NWO pay-per-view on the horizon it behooves them to strengthen their ranks.
My own contention (expounded upon at length here a few Issues ago) is that eventually the NWO will more or less absorb the WCW. There is some evidence for this direction in the call by Eric Bischoff for WCW wrestlers to convert their contracts to NWO contracts. I still see that big Hogan/Nash confrontation down the road with Kevin Nash as the reformed bad guy fighting for the "heart and soul" of the new hybrid organization...but probably not before there have been several NWO pay-per-views.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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