Friday, November 24, 2017

WCW Starrcade 1990

Oooh... It's Sting vs. the Black Scorpion... by which I mean the masked wrestler and not the Roger Corman-produced superheroine film that spawned a short-lived TV show.

This is a random choice... and to be honest, I don't know why I went with this one other than to have a "classic" era Starrcade to fill the slot or something. In hindsight, I should've tried my luck again and went for one of the 80s iterations. However, what's done is done and we can't take that back.

Would've been nice...

Okay, before I dive into the matches, there is one thing I need to touch on and I want to get this out of the way before moving on to the individual matches; the Pat O'Connor Tag-Team tournament, a one-night event where eight tag teams from around the world compete to see who is the best tag team not holding the tag titles at the moment. Naturally, this being an American promotion, it's only natural that the Steiner Brothers (representing the good ol' U.S. of A.) would win the kit and kabooble to bring some patriotic pride to the crowd or something.

The problem with this tournament basically boils down to the matches being fairly short, probably 5-6 minutes at most. They also feature wrestlers that I largely have no familiarity with and as such, sitting through these matches when they're taking place was basically done in a daze and not with any semblance of excitement or interest.

For the sake of inclusion, here are the quick match results. But as far as comments... I wasn't that interested one way or another. Sorry, folks. But this isn't a review; it's a bunch of musings.

Quick Tournament Results

The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner) (USA) defeated Colonel DeKlerk and Sgt. Krueger (South Africa)
Konan and Rey Misterio (Mexico) defeated Chris Adams and Norman Smiley (United Kingdom)
Mr. Saito and The Great Muta (Japan) defeated The Royal Family (Jack Victory and Rip Morgan) (New Zealand)
Salman Hashimikov and Victor Zangiev (Soviet Union) defeated Danny Johnson and Troy Montour (Canada)

The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner) (USA) defeated Konan and Rey Misterio (Mexico)
Mr. Saito and The Great Muta (Japan) defeated Victor Zangiev and Salman Hashimikov (Soviet Union)

The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner) (USA) defeated Mr. Saito and The Great Muta (Japan)

The Rest Of The Show

Bobby Eaton defeated the "Z-Man" Tom Zenk to end whatever winning streak he was supposedly on - I don't know, I haven't been watching. Fine opening match; fast paced, good energy, kept me interested for the short time it played along. Wonderful.

Michael Wallstreet (with Alexandra York) defeated Terry Taylor. Michael Wallstreet would eventually jump ship to WWF and be IRS while Terry Taylor would be York's new computerized man of the 1990s... despite looking like a rooster or something. Meanwhile, there's a countdown clock because according to York's Radio Shack computer, Wallstreet would win in eight minutes. He'd beat that time, by the way... eh, whatever. Not the worst thing ever.

The Skyscrapers (Danny Spivey and Sid Vicious) defeated The Big Cat and The Motor City Madman in a match that barely lasted a minute.

Tommy Rich and Ricky Morton (with Robert Gibson) defeated The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin and Michael Hayes)... eh. Eh.... Meh.

Lex Luger defeated U.S. Champion Stan Hansen in a Texas Lariat match to win the title. A Texas Lariat match is another name for every Chain Match, Rope Match, String Match, and other gimmick where you need to touch all four corners to win and it's the lamest concept ever because it usually leads to stupid bullshit finishes... like this one:

At some point, Luger manages to snag all four corners, but the referee gets KO'ed. Another ref comes in as Hansen touches all four corners while dragging Luger around. However, the first ref recovers and tells the world Luger did touch all four first, so he wins the match after all. I like Hansen's crazy man schtick, but don't care for the Dusty Finish.

The Street Fight match between NWA World Tag Team champions Doom (Butch Reed and Ron Simmons) (c) (with Teddy Long) and Arn Anderson and Barry Windham ended in a no-contest when Windham pinned Butch while Ron pinned Arn and the ref just counted them all. Doom retain the titles... Shit finish aside, this was a good fight.

WCW World champion Sting (c) defeated The Black Scorpion in a Cage match to retain the title and forcing the Black Scorpion to reveal his identity. But anyone who knows wrestling can figure out who the Black Scorpion is long before the conclusion of the match. In fact, despite the Scorpion doing some basic stuff that you'd associate with a generic CAW template in any of the WWE video games, some fans figured it out rather quickly and started chanting his real name... the chin gives it away, methinks.

Anyway, this was dull. It's bad enough you have a mystery wrestler who has to wrestle a very basic, very unassuming style so that you don't give away your true identity, but you also have the unfortunate task of wrestling a very basic, very unassuming style while coming off as a potential threat to the defending World champion. Even without watching the back story involving false Scorpions and magic shows - I just gathered the backstory via Wrestlecrap - there is no way in hell you'd try and convince me that Sting was in any trouble of losing the title to this masked fellow.

The guy behind the mask? It's Ric Flair, who'd ditch the silly gimmick and win the title from Sting a month later at a house show.

Starrcade had two main focuses here and neither of them were that interesting. I suppose I'd care about the tag tournament a little more if I were more familiar with the talent - only a handful of names are familiar to me - but even then, the matches are so brief and so uninteresting that the whole thing feels like a colossal waste of time. And as far as the main event goes... eh.

Maybe I should've went with that one Starrcade that had the Magnum/Tully cage match... oh well. Next time.

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