Wednesday 5 April 2017

WCW Starrcade 1998 Review

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Hello and welcome to a burial-loving edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! This is a big one, some people see the downfall of WCW as Starrcade 1997 and others point to Starrcade 1998. Today, I will bring you my thoughts on what some see as a death blow for WCW. Looking up and down this card, I find it hard to believe this is meant to be Starrcade, it looks like I am going to be seeing a lot of matches that would be at home on Thunder. Anyways, we have Kevin Nash vs Goldberg, DDP vs The Giant, Eric Bischoff vs Ric Flair and much, much more. So, shall we take a look at some stupid booking? Hell yeah, this WCW's Starrcade 1998, let's rock!

Opening Promo

It is garbage, it is a few different angles of Goldberg, close-ups and such. No hype for matches, nobody else, thanks WCW this was so clearly on par with last year's production.

(WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match) Juventud Guerrera vs Rey Mysterio vs Billy Kidman (C)

No championship advantage for Kidman, Mysterio cost Juventud his match against Kidman at World War 3, Juventud slaps Kidman and Mysterio so Mysterio & Kidman double team Juventud. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Mysterio to Juventud, corner dropkick by Kidman. Bronco buster by Mysterio, Mysterio hits Kidman by accident so their alliance breaks down before Juventud gets decked for being an annoying twat. Kidman clubs Mysterio and Juventud, Juventud misses a crossbody from the top, Kidman suplexes Mysterio onto Juventud, both men try winning the match before going back to beating up Juventud.

Double bulldog by Juventud, double cover for two. Juventud chops Mysterio & Kidman, Mysterio tries to German suplex Juventud, Juventud lands on his feet so Kidman clotheslines Juventud, facebuster by Mysterio on Kidman. Kidman is clotheslined to the floor, Mysterio is elevated onto Kidman. Springboard splash by Juventud onto both men, Juventud eats a double dropkick after attempting a crossbody. Springboard hurricanrana by Juventud to Mysterio who was on Kidman's shoulders. Two count for Juventud, bulldog by Kidman on Juventud for two. Kidman misses a splash on Juventud, Mysterio connects with a split-legged moonsault, Juventud saves Kidman.

Mysterio hurricanranas Juventud to the floor, suplex by Kidman. Middle rope leg drop by Kidman for two, powerbomb by Kidman to Juventud as Mysterio makes the save. Bulldog by Mysterio, Juventud pulls off Mysterio. Backbreaker by Juventud, Kidman makes the save and Juventud is on the floor. Kidman is lowbridged by Mysterio, Asai moonsault by Mysterio onto both Juventud & Kidman. Springboard hurricanrana by Mysterio, Juvi Driver and Kidman breaks up the pin. Kidman is crotched on the top rope and Juventud lifts Mysterio up to Kidman and Mysterio pulls off a hurricanrana for two.

Sky High by Kidman, Mysterio saves the match. Juventud and Mysterio spill to the floor, Kidman climbs to the top rope and Shooting Star presses onto Mysterio & Juventud. Eddie Guerrero is here, Juventud hotshots Kidman. Sunset flip by Juventud, Kidman counters but Eddie clotheslines Kidman. Mysterio dropkicks Juventud and Kidman holds on and pins Juventud to retain his championship.

Well, they went out there and pulled out every trick in the book. Some really nice spots in this match, a bit on the long side with some dull moments. If they cut off a few minutes, this could be a really tight match but it did not come together, finish was a bit wacky with Kidman winning by poor fluke thanks to Mysterio. Poor Mysterio looks like a moron but it was fun and enjoyable.


Winner: Kidman over Juventud & Mysterio via sunset flip!

(WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match) Kidman (C) vs Eddie Guerrero

Eddie dresses down Juventud before calling out Kidman for a match, Kidman accepts the match and it takes place now. Eddie clotheslines and powerbombs Kidman for two, small package by Eddie for two. Chops by Eddie, flapjack by Eddie. Abdominal stretch by Eddie, Juventud helps with the leverage, Mysterio pushes Juventud so that Eddie has to have a fair fight. Slingshot headscissors by Kidman, Eddie squashes the comeback with huge chops and a clothesline, Kidman comes back with a dropkick, Kidman tees off on Eddie. Juventud grabs Kidman's leg and Eddie chop blocks the champion. European uppercut by Eddie, Mysterio pulls out Kidman to the floor.

Kidman recovers to send Eddie into the guard rail, Juventud interferes and Eddie smacks Kidman into the ringpost. Ten punches by Kidman in the ring, sleeper by Kidman but Eddie jawbreakers Kidman. Eddie unties his boot, slaps by Eddie. Kidman pummels Eddie, corner clothesline but Eddie takes off his boot. Boot to the head by Eddie, cover and Kidman kicks out at two. Brainbuster by Eddie, Kidman crotches Eddie on the top rope. Superplex by Kidman for two, Eddie goes back to the knee. Indian deathlock by Eddie, using the ropes for leverage, Mysterio clocks Juventud and Eddie with the boot.

Eddie executes a beautiful hurricanrana, Kidman counters a powerbomb for a facebuster. Kidman stomps all over Eddie, scoop slam and slingshot leg drop by Kidman for two. Top rope hurricanrana is blocked by Eddie, Kidman is placed on the top rope. Kidman shoves off Eddie, Juventud crotches Kidman on the top rope. Mysterio pushes Eddie into Juventud and Kidman nails The Seven Year Itch to retain his championship.

That was more fun from the cruiserweights, good to see a champion put over strong, it really was not a strong point of WCW. Great to see Eddie back on pay per view, have not seen him properly since his feud with Chavo which went nowhere and did nothing for the man, Kidman comes off as a gutsy babyface for his performance while Eddie is the man with egg on his face for claiming he could beat Kidman no problem.


Winner: Billy Kidman over Eddie Guerrero via Seven Year Itch!

Norman Smiley vs Prince Iaukea

Why? Why? Why? Norman Smiley vs Prince Iaukea? Iaukea had been a failed project since 1996 and Smiley is brand new, this is a terrible idea and did they not have bigger feuds for Starrcade? Where is Bam Bam Bigelow? They made such a big deal for Bigelow at the last pay per view, where is he now? Iaukea looks ridiculous, lock-up with a roll-up by Iaukea, Smiley slaps Iaukea on the chest and back, dragon screw legwhip by Iaukea followed by a dropkick.

Poorly missed time apron senton by Iaukea for two, Smiley headbutts Iaukea, more slaps. Uppercut by Smiley, hammerlock into a kimura by Smiley, short-arm scissors. Right hands by Iaukea but Smiley suplexes Iaukea onto the top rope, Smiley dances showing the world The Wiggle. Scoop slam for two, headscissors hold by Smiley. Sunset flip by Iaukea for two, snapmare and knee drop by Smiley, right hands and uppercuts by Smiley. Double stomp by Smiley, rolling cradle pin by Smiley. Iaukea fires up with chops and kicks, Smiley blocks a suplex for his own suplex.

Double underhook suplex by Smiley for two, cross armbreaker by Smiley. Palm thrusts by Iaukea, shoulder thrusts but Smiley counters with a drop toehold, Wiggle Time. Iaukea drops Smiley with a northern lights suplex for two, Smiley throat thrusts Iaukea, bodyscissors by Smiley. After a series of awkward looking submissions, Iaukea fights backn headbutt to the groin. Smiley powders, Iaukea stomps Smiley before Smiley rakes the eyes. Iaukea misses a corner splash, snapmare by Iaukea, springboard crossbody but Smiley rolls through for two, Smiley reverses an Irish whip for a Crossface Chickenwing, Smiley wins the match.

God, that was bad, these two should not be having a match longer than three minutes, it was so boring, Iaukea has the worst offence as a babyface, slaps and more slaps do not make a great babyface, Smiley was awful too. They were not on the same page, it was so sloppy and that finish was cringeworthy in how poorly it was executed, I felt bad for the two wrestlers involved, hopefully I never have to watch the two wrestle ever again.


Winner: Norman Smiley over Prince Iaukea via Crossface Chickenwing!

Scott Hall Promo

Scott Hall talks about Kevin Nash and the fans, Hall says he does not have to prove anything to anyone. Hall talks about 1999 as the year of Scott Hall.

Ernest The Cat Miller W/ Sonny Onoo vs Saturn

This damn feud so, Satrun teamed with Kaz Hayashi and was pinned by Miller after good matches with Goldberg and a great match with Raven at Fall Brawl. Miller cuts a promo at the start of the match, hyping himself. Saturn looks like a gay biker, Saturn needs to lose that vest and the bandana and the glasses, what was the man thinking? Miller does his usual shtick of asking his opponent to leave, Miller counts to five and Saturn has not moved.

Saturn decks Miller, Miller powders to the floor. Miller tries leaving but sees Saturn's back is turned, Miller slides into the ring just short of reaching Saturn, Saturn stomps and pummels Miller. Miller offers a handshake, Saturn boots Miller. Miller rakes the eyes and sweeps Saturn, choke hold by Miller. Saturn is choked on the top rope, Saturn trips Miller for a pin attempt, two count for Saturn. Miller stalls and stalls, huge thrustkick by Miller. Two for Miller, Saturn fires up but Miller nails a huge knee. Miller gets caught as a kick goes wrong and Saturn slams Miller.

Belly to belly suplex by Saturn for two, swinging neckbreaker by Saturn. Miller dodges the double axe handle and nails Saturn with a thrustkick. Miller covers for two, Miller blocks the exploder suplex, another huge kick by Miller. Miller asks for Onoo, Onoo kicks Miller by mistake so Miller boots Onoo and walks into a Death Valley Driver and this match is over.

More garbage from WCW, was what the point in killing Saturn's momentum? Saturn had a great 1998 in terms of coming in and being a killer, working with Goldberg before the main event run and having a great feud with Raven. Yet, you have him doing this crap with comedy wrestlers like Miller, it is a waste of Saturn and another match that does not belong on Starrcade.


Winner: Saturn over The Cat via Death Valley Driver!

Flair Promo/Steiner Punks Konnan

Flair promises to whoop Bischoff's ass, Flair is fantastic. Steiner & Bagwell punk Konnan, Luger pulls Konnan away, none of these man are on the show except Konnan, this saddens me greatly.

Bryan Adams & Scott Norton W/ Vincent vs Fit Finlay & Jerry Flynn

This is Starrcade? Jerry Flynn on WCW pay per view? Is someone taking the piss? Jerry's mullet should be a national treasure but this man has no place on this pay per view nor does this match. Adams & Finlay start, lock-up with Finlay kicking Adams, boot by Adams and a corner clothesline. Finaly blocks the corner clothesline for his own, elbow by Finlay for two. Uppercut and knee drop by Finlay, Finaly misses a corner spear and in comes Norton. Eye poke by Finlay, powerslam by Norton and Jerry Flynn makes the save. Tag to Flynn, Norton runs through both with a double clothesline.

Corner kick by Flynn, tag to Adams. Chops by Flynn, spinning chop by Flynn. Cheap shot by Vincent and a backbreaker by Adams, two count for Adams. Thrustkick by Flynn, tag to Finlay. Clothesline by Finlay for two, reverse chinlock by Finlay. Elbows by Finlay, Finlay ducks on an Irish whip and eats a piledriver, tag to Norton. DDT by Norton, neck crank by Norton. Neckbreaker for two, corner splash by Norton. Adams puts the boots to Finlay on the floor, shots to the kidneys by Norton. Short-arm clothesline and chops by Norton, Shoulderbreaker by Norton for two.

Double back elbow, Finlay recovers for a DDT. Finlay misses a middle rope splash, gutbuster by Adams. Adams tries to splash Finlay, Finlay blocks and a hot-tag to Flynn. Flynn kicks Norton, enzuigiri by Flynn. Adams and Finlay brawl, Flynn is clotheslined by Norton. Powerbomb by Norton, the match is over.

Garbage match, garbage psychology, garbage hot-tag. Just terrible all around, Flynn looked like a joke, he was a jobber so I expect no less but it begs the question: Why have this match on your biggest show of the year? Just awful, waste of time.


Winners: NWO Hollywood over Flynn & Finlay via Powerbomb!

Eric Bischoff Segment

Bischoff gives a bullshit apology for what he has said abour Ric Flair. Meh I do not really care.

(WCW Television Championship Match) Chris Jericho W/ Ralphus vs Konnan (C)

Lock-up, right hand by Konnan. Kick by Jericho, side headlock by Jericho. Shoulder block by Jericho, low dropkick by Konnan. Spinning heel kick by Jericho, Jericho struts and climbs to the top rope. Jericho misses a crossbody, clothesline to the floor by Konnan. Konnan doves off the apron but hits the guard rail hard, Konnan whips Jericho into the guard rail, Konnan tries a clothesline but Jericho blocks with a boot and Konnan hits the ringpost hard, more posing from Jericho. Suplex and a cocky pin for two, reverse chinlock by Jericho. Konnan fires up but Jericho knees Konnan in the ribs.

Chops by Jericho, foot choke by Jericho. Scoop slam, Jericho climbs to the top turnbuckle. Jericho dives into the boot of Konnan, rolling clothesline by Konnan. Alabama slam with a jacknife cover for two, jawbreaker by Jericho. Forearm and Lionsault for two, Jericho tries a springboard plancha, Konnan sidesteps and Jericho hits the steel steps hard. Cover for two, K-Factor is blocked for The Liontamer, Konnan blocks so Jericho catapults Konnan into the corner.

Konnan avoids Jericho's corner splash, right hands by Konnan. Konnan shoves the referee down, championship to the face by Jericho for two, K-Factor by Konnan. Tequila Sunrise by Konnan and Jericho has no choice but to tap-out to the submission hold, Konnan is still your television championship.

Another match that means nothing, it was just there. Jericho is entertaining but there is not going on in the ring, Konnan may be good on the microphone but I have never seen what was so special about K-Dawg in the ring, feels like Jericho wants out of the company and Jericho would get his wish in the summer so hang in there Y2J, only a little longer.


Winner: Konnan over Chris Jericho via Tequila Sunrise!

Ric Flair vs Eric Bischoff

A match almost a year in the making, Flair wanted to watch his son wrestle in a tournament, Bischoff fired Flair for no-showing a Thunder taping and Bischoff's off-camera treatment of Flair was horrendous but Flair would return in a very memorable Nitro segment, reuniting The Four Horseman and calling Bischoff a no good son of a bitch. Now, they meet at Starrcade after Bischoff mocked Flair's family and Flair suffered a heart attack.

Flair sprints to the ring and chops and punches poor Bischoff, knee drop by Flair. Right hand by Flair, Flair stomps Bischoff. Bischoff screams out his knee is hurting, Flair does not buy it and attacks the knee of Bischoff. Flair stomps on the knee, the referee pulls back Flair and Bischoff decks Flair with a huge kick. Flair is introduced to the guard rail, Flair is bleeding and Bischoff continues kicking Flair. Right hands by Bischoff, Flair shakes off Bischoff but Bischoff regains control until a low blow by Flair.

Another low blow and a knee to the balls, Bischoff is chopped hard. The referee is down after getting in Flair's way, huge chops by Flair. Shattered dreams by Flair, back suplex by Flair. Suplex by Flair, Figure Four by Flair. Bischoff taps like a little girl, here is Curt Hennig. Hennig hands Bischoff brass knuckles and Bischoff beats Flair.

This match was everything it should have been until the finish, why did Bischoff go over Flair. After months of torment from Bischoff, Flair loses at Starrcade? This company is so fucking stupid sometimes, I swear I cannot take much more of this company. The stroyline would be resolved as Flair would beat Bischoff for the presidency of WCW but Flair would turn heel because it is WCW.


Winner: Eric Bischoff over Ric Flair via Brass Knuckles!

DDP vs The Giant

WCW put the United States Championship on an injured Bret Hart.... this company continues to be such a joy to look back on for historical purposes. Anyways, Giant Chokeslammed DDP multiple times, both men spit on one another to start the match. Shoulder thrusts by DDP, right hands and Giant is clotheslined to the floor. Giant pulls out DDP, right hands by DDP until Giant clotheslines DDP. Headbutt by Giant, DDP uses a trash can to block a punch from The Giant and cracks Giant with the trash can. Giant recovers to send DDP into the steel steps.

Giant military presses DDP into the ring, DDP is clutching his leg. Giant elbows the leg, knees the leg and stomps DDP's chest. DDP rakes the eyes, huge chest slap by The Giant. Corner clothesline by Giant, Giant poses before kicking at DDP. Headbutt by Giant, DDP pulls himself up but Giant locks in a bearhug. Powerslam by Giant, Giant pulls up DDP for more punishment. Giant mocks DDP's pose, another bearhug by Giant. DDP bites the nose of The Giant, sunset flip does not work for DDP. Huge backbreaker by Giant, DDP screams out in pain.

Giant whips DDP into the ropes and DDP drills Giant with a huge floatover DDT, DDP covers for two. Giant pushes off DDP and the referee is squashedn here comes Bret Hart. Hart cracks Giant by mistake, low blow to Hart. 1... Giant kicks out instantly. DDP connects with a top rope clothesline, make it two. DDP jumps into a Chokeslam but no, DDP low blows Giant. Giant holds on and DDP is on the top rope, DDP counters The Chokeslam for a Diamond Cutter, DDP defeats The Giant.

What was the point of the Bret Hart run-in? Hart's chair shot did fuck all, it was utterly pointless. This match was boring, giant's offense was dull and the match was boring as a result. The finish was nice, got a big pop from the crowd but everything else about the match was not worth your time.


Winner: DDP over The Giant via Diamond Cutter!

(WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Kevin Nash vs Goldberg (C)

There is not much of a promo package, more of just footage of the two men in action briefly with opera-like music in the background, WCW's production has never been on par with The WWF and it shows with stuff like this, Michael Buffer does his introductions and Schiavone states The Biggest match in the history of our sport is about to begin, Schiavone is so lame that he is lovable.

Lock-up, Nash is pushed back by Goldberg, lock-up and side headlock by Nash. Back suplex by Goldberg, Nash powders to the floor. Knees by Nash, forearms and elbows by Nash. Knees in the corner, right hands in the corner. Elbows by Nash, foot choke by Nash. Goldberg powers down Nash, right hands and a chokehold by Goldberg, Nash counters for a cross armbreaker but Goldberg counters for a heel hook. Right hands and stomps by Goldberg, Nash is decked by the champion. Nash pulls Goldberg into the corner, foot choke by Nash. Nash misses a big boot and Goldberg Spears Nash.

Low blow by Nash, Sidewalk slam by Nash for two, elbow for two. Goldberg is choked on the middle rope, leg across the back for two. Forearms to the back by Nash, Goldberg fights back but eats a back elbow and clothesline for two. Goldberg turns the tide with a spinning neckbreaker, double underhook slam for two. Thrustkick by Goldberg, powerslam by Goldberg for two. Spinning heel kick by Goldberg, here is Disco Inferno. Spear by Goldberg, Bigelow is clotheslined to the floor by Goldberg. Scott Hall is on the apron, Hall tasers Goldberg and Nash picks up Goldberg for the mother of all Jaknife Powerbomb, Nash breaks the streak and Nash is now your World Heavyweight Champion. Goldberg is pulling himself up but Goldberg cannot stand as Nash looks on, not understanding what is wrong with Goldberg.

Ok, could people buy into Nash beating Goldberg? I think yes, it was not like Nash was unpopular, the crowd were into Nash and there were Goldberg sucks chants. Let me be clear, I am not trying to justify Nash's win, I am just looking at the factors and events surrounding the win. If it were me, I would have had DDP do it at Halloween Havoc, I think it was time for DDP as champion, you have to strike when it is time and I felt Halloween Havoc was a missed opportunity. However, I do think that Nash winning was not the worst call in the world, Nash was up there with DDP in terms of popularity and they were both babyfaces so maybe it was not the worst decision, you had to beat Goldberg at some point.

That being said, the execution was awful. Of all the ways you could have had this play out, you have Scott Hall taser Goldberg. It was just a terrible idea to have it done this way, the crowd were into the match though, it was alright. Godberg had the match of his life against DDP and Nash was not going to be ablt to match that kind of match, they did their best but it is not great.


Winner: Kevin Nash over Goldberg via Jacknife Powerbomb!

That was WCW's Starrcade 1998, a show that had a card that did not live up to the name. The cruiserweight matches open the show and do their best to entertain the audience. After those matches, the show goes to absolute shite, every match is dull and boring with superstars who do not deserve to be Starrcade. Iaukea, Smiley & Jerry Flynn? Get out of here with this crap, this is not acceptable for Starrcade. DDP vs Giant has a nice finish, Giant's offense is terrible while Goldberg vs Nash was alright until the finish, absolutely dreadful. My advice is do not watch this show only for the historic main event if you want to have your judgement on Goldberg vs Nash

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