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DVD of the Day #16 - Starrcade: The Essential Collection

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Okay, these are the 25 best matches from the 18 Starrcades that the NWA/WCW had. Instead of doing the reviews as I’ve done before. I’m just going to go into the 25 matches, rate them on a scale from 1-10 and talk a sentence or two about the matches.

#25. Roddy Piper vs Hulk Hogan - 1996. Seriously? Why would anyone vote for this considering this was when both men were ten years over the hill and the match is considered to be the second worst they ever had. It’s mainly rest holds and nWo interference. Blah. 2/10

#24. Sting vs The Great Muta - 1989. Both men have had better matches, but for a nine minute match, this was a lot of fun. Sting and Muta had great chemistry and although GAB 1989 was far superior, you can’t go wrong watching this one. 7/10

#23. Whindam and Pillman/Steamboat and Douglas - 1992. Rock n Roll Express formula with Steamboat playing Ricky Morton. Long, plodding and boring match although this is Whindam just after his prime, Pillman near his prime and Steamboat is always fun. Mediocre match overall. 5/10.

#22. Goldberg/Nash - 1998. Worst way to break the streak and aside from some surprising chain submission wrestling from Goldberg, who was a lot better than any of us gave him credit for, this is easily the worst match on the disc. 2/10

#21 Battlebowl 1991. 1992 was far superior, so god knows why this was chosen. A slow boring battle royal that at least featured some Richard Morton vs Jushin Liger and Sting/Ric Rude moments that saved the entire thing from being pure crap. I loved the idea of the Battlebowl and the Lethal Lottery as a kid, but this was shit. 3/10

#20. 2/3 falls: Steve Austin/Dustin Rhodes - 1993. These two men wrestled several times and this was easily there worst match. Why is this on here. Blown spots, bad wrestling. No charisma in either man at this time. Just a sub par match from two men that could normally put on a quality show. Embarassing that this highlights both men’s WCW career. 3/10

#19. LoD - Arn and Tully - 1987. This is a perfect example of why Dusty Rhodes should have never been given the book. Four great wrestlers, a hot Chicago crowd, and awful Dusty booking that ruins the match with a swerve ending.Could have been great, but the ending knocks it down a bit. Both teams did have better matches. 6/10

#18. Rey Mysterio vs Jushin “Thunder” Liger -1996. Second best match on the dvd. A great showing of both men in their prime and for Liger, this was a chance to show off for the first time since his brain tumour removal surgery. Both men have had better matches, both with the Ultimo Dragon, but this is the best match both men ever had against each other. This was also their first. Go figure. 9/10

#17. Scaffold Match: Rock N’ Roll Express vs Midnight Express - 1987. Not as good as the 1986 scaffold match that is on the disc later, but Morton, Gibson, Lane, and Eaton were alway an amazing combination. 6/10

#16. Flair vs. Luger - 1988. I’ll never understand how people think Luger and Flair worked well together. All of their matches were the following formula: Luger does a power move. Luger does another power move. Luger with a rest hold. Flair with a cheating move. Flair takes over. Luger takes back over. Flair cheats to win or gets a Dusty finish or a DQ ending. This was decent by Flair vs Luger standards, but it was still mediocre at best. 5/10

#15. Eddie Guerrero vs Shinjiro Ohtani -1995. The only match they put on from the 1995 Starrcade and there are better. This got on only because of Eddie name and ignorant voters. Fuck Sting/Sasaki was better, Luger/Chono and even the Flair/Sting/Luger triple threat was better. This isn’t a bad match per say. In fact, it’s enjoyable. But Benoit/Liger was the best match on the card and it’s nowhere to be seen. 6.5/10

#14. Dusty Rhodes and Sting vs LoD - 1988. Three great worker and one awful Dusty Rhodes. This was a blow off to the break up of the six man tag team between Dusty and the LoD. It’s a decent match, but Rhodes ruins pretty much every match he’s ever been in. I still can’t understand how he became popular or was even more than a midcarder. Vince was right - midcard comic relief = Dusty Rhodes. 5.5/10

#13 Sting vs Vader - 1992. Again, both men have had better matches, but they’ve never had a bad one when put together. Sting and Vader has some great but brutal in-ring charisma. This is a fun match and both men get some nice moves in, but I think I preferred their battles in the UK to this one. Still, this is one of the reasons to buy this thing. 8/10

#12. Jack and Jerry Brisco vs Jay Youngblood and Ricky Steamboat. Mediocre match by both teams. It’s fairly short and the ending is abrupt. I’m kind of surprised it made it up this high. 5/10.

#11. Dusty Rhods vs Rick Flair - 1985. Ever heard the adage about how Flair could wrestle a broomstick to a *** match. It’s Dusty Rhodes that was proof of that. Alas, Dusty was less talented than a broomstick and had an ego the size of an entire broom making factory. Flair tried, but the match was still pretty unwatchable. 3/10

#10. Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko - 1997. Another match which I can’t figure out how this made this on here. Guerrero and Malenko not only had better matches, but this is actually pretty crappy by their standards. A lot of blown spots, bad timing and a lackluster ending. Easily the worst match the two ever had. 4/10

#9. LoD/Stieners - 1989. This was the first match both teams ever had and had it been outside of the Iron Man environment, it would have been a classic. But due to the rushed format, the match is never quite as good as it could have been. It’s still a fun match with both teams in their prime. A bit of a swerve ending but it works here as it highlights the Steiners collegiate wrestling background over pro wrestling power. 7/10

#8. Triangle Match: Jung Dragons vs. 3 Count vs Knoble and Karagais - 2000. This was a great CW match and the best thing about the last Starrcade. 7/10

#7. Sting vs Ric Flair - 1989. A lot of people talk about the 45 minute match both men had at Clash 1, but that was mainly rest holds. This is sixteen minutes of nonstop action and crowd manipulation giving Sting his first big win over the NWA world champion and was the ste up for the best the last part of an angle that had run since the Chi Town Rumble and which would go for another 9 months. This is tied with Liger/Mysterio for th ebest match on the collection. 9/10

#6. Dog Collar Match - Greg Valentine vs Roddy Piper - 1983. Fun brutal match. Definite must see. 8/10

#5. Scaffold Match - LoD vs Midnight Express - 1986. The only way this match could have been better is if it had been the Eaton/Lane express instead of Condrey/Eaton. Jim Cornetter blows out both his knees at the end of this. Whoops. Easily the best scaffold match ever. 8/10

#4. Sting vs, Hollywood Hogan - 1997. This is one of the worst matches of all time and if you know anything about wrestling you know why. So much hype, so much potential, so much went wrong. IF not for Goldberg, this was the match that would have killed WCW dead when it should have killed the WWE. Only Warrior/Hogan was worse. 1/10

#3. Steel Cage match - Ric Flair vs. Harley Race - 1983. The first Starrcade Main Event and although it hasn’t aged well at all, it’s still a fun match, if only to see what a young Flair was willing to do to be a TWO TIME world champion. 7/10

#2. Magnum TA vs Tully Blanchard - 1985 - I Quit match for the US title. Easily the best match is the history of Starrcade and one of the ten best matches in NWA history. This really should have been #1. It a match that everyone, regardless of whether you are a wrestling fan or not should watch - if only to see just how much two men can pretend to hate each other. 10/10

#1. Ric Flair vs Vader - 1993. Although criminally overrated, this is still a fun match. In truth, most of the value in this match has to be placed in context of the Scissors Sid adventure in the UK coupled with the retirement angle that surrounded this match. It’s dramatic, Flair oversells, Vader is brutal, and the crowd is electric. The ending is weak and the pacing is off while Vader waits for Flair to catch his breath often, but it’s a match no Flair fan should be without. 7/10

Is It Worth Keeping? Yep. 11 out of 25 matches do deserve to be on here and some of these have never been on DVD before. Plus this means I can trade it the Steel Cage collection I have that I purchased only for Magnum/Tully.

Rating: 6/10 (actually 5.84, but I’m rounding up)

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