Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: December 17, 2000
Location: MCI Center, Washington, D.C.
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson
We’ve uh…..arrived. It’s the final edition of WCW’s flagship show and it’s looking somewhere between a bad C show and a horribly unfunny joke. The main event is Scott Steiner (won the title three weeks ago) defending against Sid Vicious (not in the promotion three weeks ago). Such is life in the dying days of this company. Let’s get to it.
Before we start, here’s a good idea of how bad it’s gotten for WCW. The attendances for the last four Starrcades, all in the same arena.
1997 – 17,500
1998 – 16,066
1999 – 8,582
2000 – 6,596
In three years, the attendance has fallen by nearly two thirds. That’s impossible to defend.
The opening video makes this look even more of a disaster than it’s likely going to be.
3 Count vs. Noble and Karagias vs. Jung Dragons
Ladder match for the #1 contendership, which will somehow be give to one man, making me wonder why this isn’t just a six way match. Champion Chavo Guerrero Jr. is on commentary. Oh and they’re starting with tags because LADDER MATCHES (remember that this is after the first TLC match) needs law and order. Kaz and Moore hit the mat to start until they crash into each other to put both guys down.
Shannon goes for the ladder but Evan will have none of that because that’s not how a well organized ladder match is supposed to go. Everyone goes for the ladders and it’s 3 Count sneaking in to go up at the same time until the Dragons make the save. Yang dropkicks a ladder into Noble and Karagias, followed by Kaz moonsaulting onto the ladder and the two of them. A double flapjack sends Kaz into the ladder but Evan pulls Noble down, making the entire idea of the match a waste of time.
Yang sends Noble hard into the ladder and busts out Yang Time (phoenix splash) off a ladder on the middle rope to crush Shannon. Shane is back up and sends Yang to the floor for a big flip dive of his own. That’s the start of the big set of dives (Chavo: “Keep killing yourselves boys.”) until Yang shoves Noble off the ladder and onto the pile for a great crash. Yang bridges a ladder into another one but Evan slides back in for a suplex.
With Evan on the bridged ladder, Kaz tries to springboard in, only to get powerslammed out of the air for a great looking landing. Shannon springboards onto the ladder for a Fameasser onto Evan, leaving Shane to grab a neckbreaker to bring Noble off the ladder. Yang, Noble and 3 Count go up two different ladders so Noble sunset bombs Helms down and Shannon plants Yang with a sleeper drop.
Cue Leia to go after Noble as two more ladders are brought in. Yang flips Evan off a ladder in the corner and into a Kaz powerbomb (cool spot) before erecting a scaffold with one ladder bridged into three others. I’ve heard worse ideas actually. Noble and Karagias take out 3 Count before Kaz gets knocked off the scaffold. That leaves Shane and Yang on the scaffold, allowing Shannon to headscissor Yang down for another crash. Jamie gets hiptossed off as well, leaving 3 Count to pull down the contract at the same time, again defeating the point of the stipulations one more time.
Rating: B. It has nothing on any of the WWF counterparts but this was a bunch of fun spots with six guys who wanted to show off out there. As always you can see people trying their hardest instead of just phoning it in as so often happens. Oh and well done having this match go on first so that it’s going to be forgotten an hour and a half into the show while Bam Bam Bigelow or Shane Douglas are out there as the midcard draws because WCW exists as a haven for people like them.
Jim Duggan is polishing his board (dude CLOSE THE DOOR) when Lance Storm comes in to say no one is going to take Jim back. If Duggan wants a paycheck, his future is with Team Canada. After all those times where Duggan has screwed up, why would Storm want him around?
Jeff Jarrett asks Mike Sanders to make the six man against the Filthy Animal a Bunkhouse street fight.
Kronik is in a steam room and will be getting paid tonight, cash in hand. Adams: “Wow, am I baked.”
Lance Storm vs. The Cat
No Duggan with the Canadians here. Storm has something to say before the match, which Hudson calls a Canadian gimmick. Lance rips on the Presidential elections again so here’s Cat to do his usual “I’m going to beat you up” stuff. They start slowly with a lockup on the ropes and a clean break. You really can feel the hatred here. An armdrag puts Storm down but he comes right back with a wristlock.
That earns him a few kicks to the chest but Major Gunns grabs Cat’s foot, nearly triggering a catfight. Tony: “Speaking of accidental and speaking of cleavage.” The women get inside for no action until Storm takes over with a jawbreaker. You know, as part of the wrestling match. Storm spends too much time yelling to the crowd and has to kick out of a small package. Cat throws him into the air for a low blow (with the referee cringing) before being sent outside to hit Skipper in the head with a bottle of water.
Now the women actually get involved as Jones accidentally kicks Cat, earning herself a dropkick from Gunns. Back in and Storm missile dropkicks Cat for no count as the referee is still getting up. Cue Duggan to pull back the board to hit Cat but instead it’s a halfhearted clothesline to set up the Mapleleaf to make Cat tap.
Rating: D. Not the worst match in the world but I’m getting tired of having everyone having to work down to Cat’s level. Storm should be able to fly around with anyone but he’s stuck with this dancing goon who can’t work a straight seven minute match because it’s beyond his physical capabilities. Now can we PLEASE get Duggan on to something else?
Team Canada beats Duggan down post match.
The ambulance arrives.
Buff Bagwell, now an interviewer, says he had to be on the show to draw a rating because pay per views have ratings. The Filthy Animals come in and aren’t worried about Jarrett and the Harris Twins no matter what the stipulations are.
Reno and Vito tell the Thrillers to mind their own business tonight.
Hardcore Title: Terry Funk vs. Crowbar
Crowbar is defending but first Daffney has to yell at him over the 70s clothes. Thankfully Funk jumps him with a fire extinguisher to get things going in the back. Funk sends him into various objects for two as Hudson tries to figure out how Terry got a shot after just coming back. Uh, I believe it’s because Crowbar said “yeah you can have a title shot.” That gem is followed up by Tony talking about Terry retiring the same year that Starrcade debuted and having a title match seventeen years later.
They fight in the back of a production truck as Hudson gets the date of Clash of the Champions IX: New York Knockout wrong. Crowbar gets hiptossed out of the truck and through a table but comes back by slamming a door onto Funk’s head. Funk pops up and does the same thing to Crowbar a few times over as Hudson says Crowbar is someone’s son. You know, because Funk isn’t.
Funk handcuffs him and blasts Crowbar in the head with a chair because the 1999 Royal Rumble is ripe for nostalgia. They head into the arena (not back into the arena Tony) with Funk bringing a car door with him to blast Crowbar in the head again. Now it’s time for a table (ignore the thing bending in the middle along a line that clearly shows it’s pre-cut) but Daffney pulls Crowbar off.
Terry goes after her but I’m sure he’s still the face in the match because he’s old and therefore awesome. Crowbar, still handcuffed, fights up and dives through Funk and the table for two. Another chair shot to the head sets up a piledriver onto the door to give Funk the pin and the title.
Rating: D. So Crowbar is built up as something special in the hardcore division and then he faces a legend and loses in a glorified squash. But hey, another old name gets to be a champion in WCW and that’s what really matters. This is another head shake inducing moment and that’s the sad part about WCW.
Storm rants about Duggan still being American and says it’s time for Team Canada to move forward. Gunns screws up her only line so Gene tells her he’s got a pole she can run that Canadian flag up.
Lex Luger has brass knuckles ready for Goldberg.
Kronik vs. Big Vito/Reno
Before the match, Adams implies that Marie is the one paying them off. It’s a brawl to start as Hudson suggests that Marie being the one behind this could be the story of the year. Is it even the story of the match? Vito powerslams Clark and drops a leg for two before Reno gets the same off a neckbreaker. An elbow stops Clark’s comeback as Adams goes outside to yell at Marie. Vito goes to save his sister but the distraction lets Clark get in his flip dive from the apron.
Back in and Vito clotheslines Adams for two as we’re just waiting for the big swerve. A full nelson slam and belly to back suplex drop Vito for two and it’s off to a chinlock because this wasn’t slow enough already. Cue the Thrillers to distract Reno so Kronik can get in a double big boot to Vito. A double cross body body puts Vito and Clark down and it’s the tag to Reno, who immediately Rolls the Dice on Vito…..for a pinfall. Good thing they went that long before doing something else stupid.
Rating: F+. I hate these stories because it sets up the potential of something interesting and then rips it away in the span of a few weeks. Why bother having them get back together if they’re going to be split up just a few weeks later to get us back to where we started? Why bother having them even be brothers in the first place? Huge waste of time here and a bad match on top of that.
Post match Reno pays Kronik off and rejoins the Thrillers, making this whole story a complete waste of time. Kronik beats Vito up a bit more.
3 Count argues over who gets the title shot tomorrow night so Chavo comes in and beats them down.
Hugh Morrus goes on a rant about how he’s not going to be a stepping stone for Shane Douglas.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Mike Awesome
Ambulance match because that’s what Awesome does, or at least did months ago before the 70s nonsense. Madden: “Mike Awesome has never won an ambulance match.” But it’s his SPECIALTY right? Awesome climbs the buckle for a jumping back elbow to the face to start but Bigelow takes it outside and drives Awesome into the post. Bigelow sets up a chair in the aisle and they ram each other into the side of the ambulance.
Awesome ducks a right hand to send Bigelow’s fist through the window so let’s go back to the ring because this thing MUST KEEP GOING. Both guys are sent into the announcers’ table before Bigelow backdrops him through a regular table. They head back to the ambulance (with the driver still in the cab looking more bored than most of the fans) and Bigelow goes up top, only to be knocked through the roof to give Awesome the win.
Rating: F. Just nothing here with both guys beating on each other minus any particular rhyme or reason. I don’t know why I’m supposed to care about these hardcore guys when Bigelow is WAY over the hill, Awesome has been a comedy guy for months and Terry Funk is the champion after having beaten the other 70s guy. I’m sick of these matches eating up so much time and going nowhere but it was something in ECW and that’s what matters I guess.
Reno says the Thrillers are his real family. Sanders and the Perfect Event are sure they’ll retain the titles. Gene promises to slap Stasiak one day.
US Title: Shane Douglas vs. Hugh Morrus
Morrus is defending and we’ll go with the old name because they’re being used interchangeably at this point. Shane promises to rip a hole in Morrus’ heart, meaning it won’t take 36 days to determine who won this contest. A bunch of chops don’t do much damage to Morrus early on but a poke to the eye works a bit better. We almost get a crash into the referee but the second attempt hits Shane as it was supposed to. A low blow and right hands have no effect either so Hugh grabs a bearhug. This draws a GOLDBERG chant of all things until Shane finally bites his way out.
No Laughing Matter is broken up and Shane gets in a piledriver but opts to pose instead of covering. Off to a neck crank for a bit before they go back outside for more nothing. Shane goes hard into the post to draw some blood (hardway it seems) but another moonsault misses. That means it’s chain time but Morrus breaks it up with a belly to back suplex. Cue Chavo to throw the chain back to a stunned Douglas…..before telling the referee about it to draw a DQ.
Rating: D-. Gah this story continues to do nothing for me. Shane Douglas really isn’t interesting but Morrus is even worse now that he’s finished with the war against Canada. I still don’t see Morrus as someone who should be at this level either and it’s really hard to buy him here. Unfortunately he’s one of WCW’s only options as everyone on the roster is FIRMLY stuck in the places with little opportunity to move up without turning 40 years old.
Shane beats on him with the chain post match until Chavo comes in for the failed save. The Misfits come in to clear Shane out but Lash sides with Chavo and AWALL sides with Morrus.
Steiner goes on about how he’s going to win tonight and then have a great night with the freaks.
Glacier is still coming back.
Nash and Page laugh off the idea of Perfect Event as any kind of a threat and make jokes with Buff.
Jeff Jarrett/Harris Twins vs. Filthy Animals
Bunkhouse street fight, meaning the third hardcore based match assuming you ignore the ladder match. There are weapons all around and in the ring, including a bar and a popcorn machine. The Animals quickly clean house as Tygress sits in on commentary. The spray painted trashcans have the Nashville World Order (commentators’ words) as this is even more mindless brawling.
Jarrett is sent face first into the popcorn and the Twins both get Bronco Busters. Back in and Jarrett gets slammed off the middle rope and through the bar for two. Well at least the wood erupting looked good. Rey comes off the top with an atomic Arabian facebuster with a Wrong Way sign on Don. There’s nothing going on between these big spots other than some punches and kicks.
Jarrett finally counters a hurricanrana and powerbombs Rey over the top into a dumpster. The match actually settles down into a regular tag match because the words STREET FIGHT are lost about seven minutes in. A double big boot drops Kidman as the fans start getting into things. It’s almost like presenting old school wrestling on a wrestling show instead of hardcore match after hardcore match is a good idea. Ron cuts off a hot tag attempt and hands it back to Jarrett for a chinlock.
Kidman finally flips out and grabs a Bodog, setting up the hot tag off to Konnan. You can actually see the fans paying attention and caring about the match with such a simple story. Take that Russo. The H-Bomb puts Konnan down and it’s table time but Rey comes out of the dumpster with a broom for a double clothesline. Another H Bomb puts Rey through a table though, leaving Kidman mostly on his own. The Kid Crusher looks to set up the shooting star but a bottle to the head lets Jarrett get in the Stroke for the pin.
Rating: C. Other than the ladder match, I think I liked the wrestling section in the middle of this match better than anything else on the show tonight. It was so nice to hit the brakes for a bit and just watch something out of a wrestling match. But hey, where would we be without an exploding bar and a popcorn machine?
Sarge thinks Goldberg is ready for Luger. Lex runs in and beats him down until Buff gets rid of him.
We cut away from this and look at the weapons being taken away.
The announcers talk about Goldberg to kill time.
Tag Team Titles: Insiders vs. Perfect Event
Perfect Event is defending and this is a rematch from last month where the Insiders won the titles but had them stripped away because they pinned the wrong man. Before the match, Flair says the title change hands if Sanders goes anywhere near the ring. You know, aside from being at ringside as a manager. Nash and Palumbo get things going with Kevin hitting some running clotheslines in the corner.
Chuck wants a timeout so Stasiak gets in a cheap shot from the apron, only to have Page get tagged in a few seconds later for a flying shoulder. Page ducks a boot in the corner and crotches Stasiak against the post. A belly to belly gets two but Shawn gets out of the Diamond Cutter. Page hits a quick Rock Bottom (called a chokeslam which is close enough) but Palumbo sneaks in with a Jungle kick to put Page down.
After a few near falls, Page throws Palumbo into the corner for some right hands, only to be thrown into the wrong corner for a double stomping. Some kicks to the ribs have Page in trouble because a three year old injury still isn’t fully healed. That’s a very slow healing injury. Palumbo hits him low to stop a comeback but a single forearm allows the tag off to Nash.
Sanders low blows Page on the floor and Stasiak gets two off a top rope clothesline. The camera misses a Diamond Cutter to Stasiak on the floor (because Page doesn’t sell low blows) and here are Jindrak and O’Haire to get laid out as well. Nash kicks Chuck in the face and the Jackknife gives the Insiders the titles back.
Rating: D+. The match was actually decent with the old school formula but the same problem stands: the Insiders, a team thrown together about five weeks ago, have now decisively beaten the Thrillers twice in a row to give them another unnecessary title. As late as it is, this is another on the long list of things that killed WCW. At some point, you have to have these old guys lay down and take a big fall from someone under the age of thirty.
Recap of Goldberg vs. Luger, which is happening because Luger was a big deal ten years ago and therefore should have a prominent role on the show instead of having Goldberg winning the title like he should. Goldberg beat Luger last month but a referee was speared so it should have been a DQ, requiring this rematch. There’s also been stuff with Luger beating up Goldberg’s trainer to try to add more interest to a match no one wanted to see in the first place, let alone a rematch.
Goldberg vs. Lex Luger
No DQ to add a fourth hardcore based match on a ten match card. They fight at the announcers’ table to start with Goldberg easily taking over. A clothesline puts Luger down in the ring and a powerslam puts him out on the floor. Luger sends him into the post and barricade so here are Sarge and Bagwell for no apparent reason.
Back in and Luger hides behind the referee to avoid the spear before the brass knuckles knock Goldberg silly for two. The Blockbuster hits Goldberg “by mistake”, ignoring the fact that Luger was touching the turnbuckle when Bagwell jumped. Bagwell hits Sarge to officially turn heel, leaving Goldberg to hit the two moves to reach 31-0.
Rating: D. Just like last month, no one cares about Luger but for some reason he was pushed in this spot instead of having Goldberg get a major push and win the title again as he should have done. The Sarge stuff was fine but there was no logical reason to have Luger here. Goldberg is way past the point of needing a worthless rub from Lex Luger and since we need Sid in the main event, here’s what we’re stuck with for no apparent reason. The match was a somewhat passable brawl but Goldberg squashed him for the most part, as you would expect.
Bagwell lays Goldberg out with the chair post match.
We recap Sid Vicious vs. Scott Steiner. Basically Sid never lost the title back in April, then he disappeared for about seven months and came back to fight Steiner here. That’s really about it for the story, which sums up this show so well.
WCW World Title: Scott Steiner vs. Sid Vicious
Sid is challenging. Steiner pounds him into the corner to start but Sid catches him with some clotheslines and a side slam to send the champ outside. Back in and Steiner poses a lot before easily winning a test of strength. Sid gets back up and puts Scott down, setting up a legdrop across the face for two.
They head outside where Midajah gets in a steel pipe to Sid’s back, followed by some chair shots from Steiner. Back in and Steiner easily presses Sid for a few curls, followed by the spinning belly to belly. The Recliner goes on but Sid is too close to the ropes to make sure this continues.
Scott gets it on again and good grief it looks HORRIBLE as Sid’s back is straight and Steiner is clearly not even pulling back. You can make that hold look devastating but this is worse than Rock’s Sharpshooter ever hoped to be. Sid starts to fight back so Midajah comes off the top for a high cross body which hits the champ by mistake. The chokeslam (Sid’s back is fine. Why are you asking?) gets two on Steiner so we hit a cobra clutch of all things.
Steiner slaps the referee before getting slammed, meaning there’s no count. Pipe to the back gets two and here’s Jarrett with the guitar to hit Scott by mistake. In an awesome moment, Sid covers for two but Jeff pulls Robinson to the floor and tries a clothesline, only to have Robinson duck underneath and slide back in for the two count. Two low blows set up a t-bone suplex and the Recliner makes Sid pass out (of course) to retain.
Rating: D. And that’s probably very generous. The highlight of this match was a referee ducking a clothesline and sliding back into the ring to count a near fall. Not the wrestling, not the brawling and not the finish, but a referee. Among its many obvious problems, the issue here was how nothing this match was. There’s no reason for these two to really be fighting other than the title being stripped eight months ago and that’s barely been mentioned. This whole main event has been treated like an afterthought and that’s perfect after this mess of a show.
Steiner holds up the belt, with one of the side plates hanging off, and flips off the fans to end the show.
Overall Rating: F. You can add Starrcade to the list of things that this company has wrecked. Looking at the show and its buildup, this was just about exactly what I expected. The main event was nothing, Goldberg’s match was an excuse to have Luger on the show for whatever reason……and I’m already having issues thinking of the rest of the card because it was that forgettable.
The show felt like a card they scraped together with whatever leftovers they had at the time and then slapped STARRCADE on the marquee. Nothing on this show felt like it mattered or seemed important or had any other purpose than making sure the same people were in the same spots as we head into 2001. The really fun ladder match at the beginning was forgotten by the end of the show due to all of the other hardcore messes in the middle, which was probably the idea at some point. Why let them get over when the made men can get over even more?
Above all else, this show was disappointing. Any given Wrestlemania card can be lackluster and still feel like something special on the strength of being Wrestlemania alone. That should be the case with Starrcade but I might as well have been watching Uncensored or Souled Out with what we got here.
What happened on this show? Steiner retains the title, Sid is treated like a nothing wrestler (fair enough), Goldberg wins as he always does, we’ve set up a tag match involving a career jobber who is now a big deal because he trains wrestlers, the Insiders got the titles back and Rey Mysterio was powerbombed into a dumpster. Why not have Steiner win the title here instead of at Mayhem? Ah yes, because Mayhem fit his name and that’s going to save the company. Steiner winning like a monster is fine but give him the big moment at the big show instead of at the nothing show.
This show was a huge mess but in a different and much more disappointing way than the Russo shows. Those things were all about someone having no idea what he was doing flying off a cliff because no one told him no. This show was a bunch of people who might have been interesting at some point giving up and just fulfilling obligations with no ambition or plans on how to make things feel interesting or important for the fans. Here lies Starrcade and it’s very sad to see it go down like this.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!
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