Monday, November 20, 2017

WCW Starrcade 1993

Warning: The above image never appears on today's subject matter, since by this point, the Hollywood Blonds tag team has long since split and went their separate ways.

Another warning: The above parody turned out to be not an accurate portrayal of old Ric Flair, who nowadays looks like a living skeleton. On the up side, at least he's still alive and kicking... so good on ya, Ric.

All "kidding" aside, we go back to 1993 where we have Ric Flair putting his career up on the line against Big Van Vader for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. This was a last minute change from the originally-intended main event that would've seen Psycho Sid Vicious Justice Guy beat the Mastadon for the title... but then Arn Anderson and a pair of scissors wished Sid the best of luck on all his future (softball) endeavors and we got this match instead.

And for what is essentially a last-minute booking job, they did a rather fine job of building to this main event throughout the show, as cameras showed Ric Flair leaving his house, taking a rather somber limo ride with Mean Gean, and other backstage bits to somewhat give the impression that this could very well be the end of a long career... that wouldn't come along until a decade and a half later, but I digress. The point is that this is a wonderfully told little backstory that did enough to get you up to speed on the stakes of this show's main event.

But first... we have the rest of the card to blow through.

And blow we shall...

Or rather, blow the show shall while we witness it fall way the fuck apart.

Paul Roma and Paul Orndorff defeated Marcus "Not Quite Buff" Bagwell and 2 Cold Scorpio. Hey, did you know Paul Roma is a former Horseman? Apparently, not one looked upon favorably by wrestlers and fans alike... but someone like Mongo McMichael is a-okay, apparently. Match was nothing, by the way; nothing remotely memorable happened that was worth writing about and ended way too quickly.

Shockmaster (Fred Ottman in a construction hat and sadly not in a Stormtrooper helmet) defeated Awesome Kong (some big dude in a mask, not the burly woman wrestler) in a really short match. Sorry, I tuned out as soon as I didn't see a Stormtrooper helmet on the Shockmaster, who has some rather interesting music (an out-of-tune guitar attempts to play some "popular" tunes and fails).

The TV title match between champion Steven Regal and Ricky Steamboat end in a time out. Steamboat was a pretty wrestler back in the day and Regal's no slouch, either, but good lord, was this boring. It's as though you have two young veterans wrestling like they're old timers; slow and plodding. Maybe you should have these guys go at it nowadays and maybe they'll wrestle a match like they're twelve year olds. Should be a step up at least.

Cactus Jack/Maxx Payne defeated the Godwinns... er, I mean Shanghai Pierce and Tex Slazenger in what was essentially a one-sided contest. I guess there's a novelty to be had in seeing the careers of two guys who would eventually go to the WWF and be pig farmers (and one of them would eventually be Naked Mideon, but I digress.) But other than that, nothing to this one that's worth retaining.

Stunning Steve Austin defeated U.S. champion Dustin Rhodes in a 2-out-of-3-falls match to win the title. Again, the only thing that makes this match worth watching is from a historical footnote context if you're interested in either man's pre-WWF days, but man, is this bad. This is during the days when WCW still had that rule where tossing someone over the top is grounds for a disqualification... and sure enough, Austin is tossed over the top rope by Rhodes, which earns Austin the first fall... lame. The second fall comes when a power outage knock out the lights or something (bringing new meaning to the term, dark match) and apparently, that brief distraction is enough for Austin to roll up Rhodes for the winning fall and the title. Austin would hold onto the title until August, where he'd lose it to Ricky Steamboat.

WCW International World champion Rick Rude defeated The Boss... Man, is he big... to retain the title. The story of the WCW International World title and how it came to be is perhaps more interesting than the match itself.

At the time, WCW had two World titles; the WCW title that was mostly around Vader's waist, and the NWA title, represented by the Big Gold Belt. WCW one day withdrew from the NWA, but kept the belt around as a title to be defended. It was then decided that WCW had an International committee and declared the belt the International World title, which would stick around until mid-94 when Ric Flair would unify both World titles into one world title and the Big Gold Belt would be the defacto WCW Championship until it was unified with the WWF title in 2001... boy, what a salad.

Sting and Road Warrior Hawk defeated WCW Tag champions The Nasty Boys (with Missy Hyatt) via disqualification when Missy interfered or something. I don't know; after ten minutes, I started dozing off. Somehow, this merited 30 minutes of PPV time... and Hogan wasn't even in the fucking company by this point!

You know what? I'm honestly thinking that WCW booked this show to have all terrible matches so that the main event would be the only good one.

Ric Flair defeated WCW World champion Vader to win the title in a really good match... that is all.

No, really. I'm not saying anything else in regard to that match. It's a really good back-and-forth contest with Vader fighting to retire Flair and Flair doing his best to save his career. It's a nice story and it deserves at least one viewing.

Starrcade 1993 is not a good show. It has one good main event that you could probably find online somewhere or as part of a DVD compilation. The amount of garbage you have to sit through in order to get one good match is almost reminiscent of a lot of WWE Pay-Per-Views as of late. I did not have a good time with the show. It was pretty bad... but at least Flair vs Vader was good shit, so if you get a chance, go watch THAT match.

Tomorrow we go forwards... and it'll be Russoriffic!

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