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. 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: November 25, 2018
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton
This is something that could range from interesting to head scratching. Last night, WWE held a big house show featuring stars from both shows under the name of Starrcade. The show ran about three and a half hours and tonight we’re seeing a one hour version with some special moments and matches selected. Let’s get to it.
We open with Elias playing a little song. He knows it can’t get better than having him here but he’s willing to try with a special guest. That would be Ric Flair, who puts Elias over as a big deal. Elias thinks they need to sing a son off his album and asks people to silence their cell phones, but here are Nia Jax, Mickie James, Tamina and Alicia Fox to cut them off. Nia says they want to walk with him and Flair is rather pleased.
Flair calls them all beautiful and Elias sings some of Elias’ Words. Even Flair gets in a few lines and dances a bit until Nia screeches out a line, much to the fans’ annoyance. Fox starts dancing but Elias calms them down. Elias tells Nia to shut her mouth, but he’s got some friends to do it for him. This was HEAVILY edited as the full version ran nearly twenty minutes as opposed to the ten it got here.
Nia Jax/Tamina/Mickie James/Alicia Fox vs. Bayley/Sasha Banks/Ember Moon/Dana Brooke
Ember and Mickie start things off with both going for the arm until Ember hits the spinning middle rope crossbody for two. Brooke comes in for the handspring elbow and the cartwheel moonsault for a near fall of her own. It’s off to Bayley to a nice reaction, sending Mickie over to Tamina for some hiding. Tamina comes in properly and crushes Bayley in the corner before sending her to the apron. That earns Tamina a Stunner over the middle rope but Nia sneaks in to run Bayley over for two.
The rapid fire tags in the corner allow Fox to grab a chinlock before Jax does the same. Bayley sends Jax into her partners though and that’s enough for the hot tag to Banks. Everything breaks down and Moon hits the Eclipse on Tamina, followed by Brooke’s high crossbody to Mickie’s knees. Jax gets taken down and Bayley drops a top rope elbow to the back, leaving Fox to get caught in the Bank Statement for the tap at 6:53.
Rating: C-. Perfectly fine opener here that didn’t overstay its welcome and played off a fun opening segment. Banks and Bayley were very over with the live crowd and anything that involved Jax taking a beating was getting a strong reaction. Now if only Bayley and Banks were allowed to do anything interesting, or even different, from week to week.
Samoa Joe says the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Some might say Joe has been insane, but others might think AJ has been because AJ has taken beating after beating. The real definition of insanity is walking into a cage with Joe and expecting to walk out at all.
Here’s Miz for MizTV, starting off with a discussion of some great Starrcade matches from years gone by. One such match was for the US Title, which will be on the line tonight. That includes Rey Mysterio, who comes out in a neck brace thanks to Randy Orton on Smackdown and Shinsuke Nakamura, who looks weird in all blue. Miz asks Rey what it means for Rey to be here and we hear some Starrcade legends name dropping.
Rey wants to take a piece of history with him, like the US Title. Nakamura doesn’t quite get the idea of Starrcade but eventually clarifies that he doesn’t care about the show or Rey. He loved watching Orton go evil on Rey and Miz agrees, so Rey tells him to shut up. Rey invites Nakamura to get evil right now but Miz runs his mouth again, this time for a distraction so Nakamura can jump Rey to start us off.
US Title: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rey Mysterio
Nakamura is defending and rips the neck brace off to start fast with the knees to the neck. Kinshasa is countered into a rollup for two but Nakamura blasts him down again. Rey is put on the corner for the running knee to the ribs but kicks Nakamura down. That sets up a missed dive which takes out Miz instead and I think you know where this is going. The springboard seated senton drops Nakamura, only to have Miz come in for the DQ at 2:11.
Post match the beatdown is on until Rusev makes the save. Lana is out with him and wants a tag match right now.
Rusev/Rey Mysterio vs. Shinsuke Nakamura/The Miz
The villains tease leaving to start but get thrown back in so we can start properly. Nakamura breaks up an early 619 to Miz and cranks on a cravate to Rey’s bad neck. Rey gets sent outside for some cheap shots from Miz and it’s right back to the neck cranking. A kick to the face finally gets Rey out of trouble and an enziguri is enough for the hot tag to Rusev.
Everything breaks down in a hurry and there’s the Machka Kick for two on Miz with Nakamura making the save. Another distraction lets Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale for two but Rey is right back up with a double 619. The jumping superkick is enough to put Miz away at 6:05.
Rating: C. All it was missing was Alfred Hayes and Sean Mooney calling it a Coliseum Video exclusive. This was a rather random tag match that worked just fine, even though it didn’t get a ton of time. There’s nothing wrong with that of course and the wrestling worked perfectly fine for what it was. I don’t need to see either of them team together again, but at least it was fun.
Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles
In a cage. Joe goes right at him to start and drives AJ into the corner but some kicks to the leg have Joe in trouble. AJ starts driving him into the corner as well, this time for some shoulders to the ribs. Back up and Joe faceplants him before starting the whips into the cage, which you had to know were coming. A running forearm drives AJ into the cage and a back elbow gets two.
It’s too early for Joe to leave so Joe slams him out of the corner instead. The corner enziguri rocks AJ again for two but Joe misses a charge into the cage to give AJ a shot. AJ’s moonsault out of the corner into the reverse DDT gets two, even with Joe’s foot on the ropes because that doesn’t matter in a cage match. Well not in this one at least as that rule changes depending on how the referee is feeling at the time.
Joe ducks the Phenomenal Forearm and plants AJ again for a double knockdown. It’s time to fight next to the door but Joe misses another charge and gets caught with a tornado DDT. That’s good for two and AJ is sent face first into the cage again, setting up the backsplash for two. AJ charges into a Rock Bottom out of the corner but Joe takes too much time going for the door, allowing AJ to get in a chop block. The Calf Crusher makes Joe tap at 11:54.
Rating: B-. Good match here, but were you expecting anything else from these two? They could have a good match in their sleep so having them do it inside a cage isn’t exactly shocking. AJ winning makes complete sense as it’s not like this match means much in the first place and he’s won almost everything in the whole feud now anyway. As solid as these two are against each other, Joe really needs to move on to someone else, just to avoid losing any more.
Overall Rating: C+. Well it was fun while it lasted, but the whole thing ran three and a half hours as opposed to this one only getting fifty seven minutes. Given that it’s the WWE Network, you would think they could just air the full show, especially since they were already filming the thing anyway. What we got was good, but there was a lot of other rather entertaining stuff that was left out for reasons I still don’t quite get. Anyway, fun little show, but nothing worth going out of your way to see.
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!