Saturday, November 25, 2017

WCW Starrcade 2000

Well, kids. We've reached the end of our Starrcade Week of write-ups. Tonight, WWE will be hosting its own Starrcade event from the Greensboro Coliseum and hopefully, this will make it over to the WWE Network somewhere down the line. And it seems almost appropriate that on the eve of the first new Starrcade wrestling card, we look at the final event to grace PPV back in 2000.

And so, here we are... the last ever WCW Starrcade Pay-Per-View event.

Three Count (Shane Helms & Shannon Moore) defeated the Jung Dragons (Jimmy Yang and Kaz Hayashi) and Jamie Noble & Evan Karagias in a ladder match to win a shot at Chavo Guerrero's Cruiserweight championship... how a tag-team match is supposed to award a shot at a singles title is beyond me, but I've stopped thinking hard about these things ages ago.

The ladder match isn't touching the stuff that the WWF were shooting out with the various matches between Edge & Christian and the Hardyz, but this was still a fairly entertaining and exciting ladder match with lots of flying people and high risk maneuvers. If nothing else, it's a nice spotlight on six younger fellows who were willing to give it their all to put on the best match they could and they did pretty much that. No complaints here; I enjoyed this.

Now with that said and done, it would probably be best if you tuned out on the rest of the show. Don't bother skipping to the end; just stop the video and move on to something else. Because that ladder match is about as good as you're going to get from this Starrcade event and everything else just goes to shit really, REALLY fast.

Lance Storm defeated Ernest "The Cat" Miller with an assistance from Jim Duggan, who half-assedly whacks Cat with a board. This is the kind of match that has me wondering if maybe Lance would've been content having a terrible match with Disco Inferno instead. Maybe, just maybe, I would've cared a bit more if only due to the whole podcast feud thing or whatever. But hey, it's not too late to have THAT match.

Terry Funk defeated Hardcore champion Crowbar to in a hardcore match to win the title... yes, Terry Funk, who has retired fifty times up to this point, has won the Hardcore title. The title would then be won by Meng the following month, who would then jump ship to WWF and make a surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble as Haku... complete with his crazy afro. Now THAT'S how you pull off a surprise entry.

The match between Cronic (or is it Kronik? Who the fuck knows?) and Reno and Vito baffles me. Vito fights off Kronik, then gets beat up, then gets a second wind to make the tag to Reno, who then SWERVES Vito and hits his finisher for the pin... on Vito. Yes, Reno pinned his own tag partner... were they trying to redo the thing where the New Age Outlaws pinned each other to retain their own tag titles? Because if that's the case, it doesn't quite work here.

Mike Awesome defeated Bam Bam Bigelow in an Ambulance match... which is a match where you toss your opponent into the ambulance to win the match. And after watching this match, whose only highlight is seeing Awesome power-bomb Bam Bam through the roof of the ambulance for the win, suddenly the match between Brown Strawman and Aqua Reigns is coming off as slightly better... only slightly.

The match between U.S. champion Hugh Morris (or Rection... or Bill Demott... or whatever his name is this week) and Shane Douglas ends in a DQ when Douglas used a chain on Morris, tosses it away, and then Chavo gives the chain back to Shane and stooges to the ref who calls for the DQ. If that sentence came off as convoluted, it only barely matches the convoluted nature of this entire match. The only decent part were the brawling bits, but really, I didn't care.

Jeff Jarrett and the Harris Twins beat the Filthy Animals in a rather forgettable match. I recall some vague bits of wrestling bits, which is nice... even though this is supposed to be a street fight, but other than that... meh.

DDP and Kevin Nash (The Insiders... because WCW, I guess) defeated the Perfect Event (Shawn Stasiak and future WWA commissioner Mike Sanders) to win the vacant Tag Team titles that they won last month, but were forced to vacate because they apparently pinned the wrong guy and my brain hurts. Even during the twilight days of WCW when they should've been making some young guys into viable future stars, we still have the old guys going over as big stars while the young meat are just that... meat. Back in the day, I would've been more frustrated than angry and even then, I probably wouldn't have cared as much. Watching this years later, I'm less than interested. I'm just uncaring.

Speaking of uncaring, Goldberg defeat Lex Luger despite interference from Buff Bagwell, who also beats up some guy named Sarge. If this had happened a couple years earlier when Goldberg was WCW champion, this probably would've mattered more. As it is... fuck me, I already know somewhere down the line, Goldberg ends up losing a future match and is "retired." This is just a waste all around.

WCW World Champion Scott Steiner defeated Sid Vicious to retain the title in a match that feels more like an afterthought than anything. Scott Steiner being World champion didn't do much for me back then, but maybe if he had worthwhile matches with worthwhile opponents, my tune probably would've changed ever so slightly. However, back then, I was already on the verge of abandoning the WCW ship and watching this match today, it amazes me that I "stuck around" for as long as I did. This was a complete and utter waste of time, save for one moment when Jeff Jarrett comes up and hits Steiner in the head (by accident, because Sid dodged the blow.) Sid goes for the pin, referee Charles Robinson goes for the count, at which point Jarrett pulls Robinson by the leg and throws a clothesline which Robinson ACTUALLY FUCKING DUCKS UNDER and runs back to the ring to do the count before Steiner kicks out at two. It is perhaps the single best moment of the entire three-quarters of the show that didn't involve a ladder.

When the FUCKING REFEREE provides you with the only real highlight of the night that isn't the opening ladder match, you may as well stick the fucking fork in the show; it's fucking done.

Perhaps Cody shouldn't be too upset that WWE is bringing back Starrcade now because whatever they happen to put on the card, it's bound to be yards ahead of what WCW did to close out the Granddaddy of them all. This 2000 iteration is a truly bad wrestling show even on its own fleeting merits. When your only good match is the opening match - and it's a damn fine ladder match as far as I'm concerned that's worthy of inclusion on that Ladder Match compilation disc released ages ago - and your only real memorable highlight is a referee dodging a lariat so he could finish his two-count, then something is seriously wrong. Once that ladder match is over, that's when you best tune out because the rest of the show reaches depths that wouldn't be reached until many years after the fact. In fact, for the sake of my closing thoughts, let's forget the ladder match ever happened because it doesn't deserve to be in saddled with the rest of this show.

WCW's last Starrcade ends a storied tradition on a truly dire note. Something that was once given the same reverence and respect that WWE gives Wrestlemania closes out its long legacy with a show that feels less like a granddaddy of all and more like the bastard child you kept in the basement and fed leftover chicken to. This was a 9-to-5 PPV; everyone punched in, did their designated bits, and punched out. And at no point throughout the show did I feel anything resembling remote interest in the proceedings taking place on my television. Whereas Starrcade 99 had a bunch of random shit going on without a reason to care, Starrcade 2000 had nothing going on and gave you plenty of reason to NOT care about the show's "festivities." Both scenarios are equally terrible for their own reasons and I prefer neither.

It paints a truly morbid picture of a company on its last legs and everyone pretty much going through the motions before someone pulls the plug. The remainder of WCW's days end up being a complete blur to me and outside of the Sid injury at a later show, I don't recall anything of WCW's final days until the very last Nitro. I don't even remember if I bothered to watch the PPVs at that point, as I was mostly invested in the WWF's story of Steve Austin's road back to the top of the mountain that would eventually take place at Wrestlemania 21.

This is a show best left forgotten... and a sad end to a storied franchise... until tonight, that is.

Which isn't being aired on the WWE Network.

Stupid idiots.

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