Friday 19 November 2021

NWA Starrcade 1985 Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that goes longer than a NJPW Main Event! It’s Starrcade 1985! We are getting into the thick of it now, Ric Flair vs Dusty Rhodes inside a steel cage, The Rock N Roll Express taking on The Koloffs and Magnum T.A vs Tully Blanchard. Big names galore all over the card and this might be the best Starrcade yet based off of the matches announced but will it deliver? That’s the key question so let’s get it on!


(NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship Match) Sam Houston vs Krusher Krushchev


What a name eh? Krusher Krushchev who would later become Smash and Repo Man against very popular babyface Sam Houston competing for a vacant championship. Dusty Rhodes had a dispute with then champion Buzz Tyler over money and thus, we have this situation upon us. Houston has been called young at least 4 times before they have even touched so I think I can tell what way this is going to go based off of that alone but I digress, Krusher throws down Houston with his power advantage.


Houston sends Krusher to the floor, right hands from Houston. Krusher begins to use his power to torture Houston, Krusher misses an elbow drop though. Back to square one with both men trading control, knees from Krusher. Houston escapes the scoop slam and pops Krusher in the face twice. Krusher is getting frustrated, side headlock from Houston. Krusher shoves off Houston, leap-frogs and drop-downs follow but Houston cannot toss the big man so Houston uses his legs to nail a headscissors. Krusher grabs at the hair, looking for a way to escape. Krusher puts Houston in the corner, Houston is climbing high to escape and lands a big right before leaping over Krusher and landing a big dropkick into an arm-drag with an arm-bar.


Krusher escapes and flapjacks Houston, the crowd is not happy about that at all. Krusher jaw-jacks with the fans, massive right hand for two. Military press slam from Krusher, Houston slides through the legs of Krusher but eats a right hand to the face. To the buckle we go, bearhug from Krusher. Houston escapes and kicks Krusher in the face, scoop slam from Krusher. Krusher climbs to the buckle, Houston lands a dropkick and right hands that have the big Russian in trouble.


Ten punches in the corner and an Irish whip to the corner, Running Bulldog from Sam Houston who thinks he has won, he did not see the foot of Krusher on the ropes, Russian Sickle decapitates Houston and the referee misses that Houston’s foot was on the ropes, what a twist!


These two will continue to feud it seems, fairly standard stuff though. Nothing particularly amazing here in this opening match and the announcers do not seem to pull any attention to the cheating ways of Krusher.


Winner: Krusher Krushchev over Sam Houston via Russian Sickle!


(Mexican Death Match) Ragin’ Bull vs Abdullah The Butcher W/ Paul Jones


Only way to win the match is climb a pol and grab the hat? Vince Russo be damned, two hardcore brawling specialists though. Hoping that Ragin’ Bull can offer something a little more in terms of story-telling after watching his match the year prior with Black Bart. Abdullah jumps Ragin’ Bull and Ragin’ Bull is bleeding already, fuck yes no messing around. Abdullah scrapes and bites and claws at the face of Ragin’ Bull. Ragin’ Bull starts firing back with boots and a monkey flip to Abdullah. Paul Jones is going insane at ring-side, Ragin’ Bull leaps off the top rope and cracks Abdullah in the head with his boot. Again and again, Ragin’ Bull cracks Abdullah in the head who is bleeding also. Abdullah battles back, catching Ragin’ Bull in the ribs and uses the boot on Ragin’ Bull.


Abdullah almost reaches the hat but Ragin’ Bull lands one hell of a low blow, both men are feeling the effects of this war. Ragin’ Bull is battering Abdullah with his other boot, Ragin’ Bull almost makes it to the top rope before Abdullah cracks Ragin’ Bull with the boot. Ragin’ Bull takes off his belt and starts whipping Abdullah, massive belt shot to the face.  Abdullah lands a throat-thrust, boot to the throat. Headbutt and massive elbow drop incoming, Ragin’ Bull musters up the strength to dodge the elbow drop. Flying clothesline from Ragin-Bull, Abdullah is only sitting up thanks to the ropes. Ragin’ Bull suplexes the massive Abdullah The Butcher! Ragin’ Bull was close but Abdullah stabs Ragin’ Bull with a foreign object, headbutt from Abdullah. Flying Burrito from Ragin’ Bull and a middle rope diving clothesline. Ragin’ Bull climbs high once more, Abdullah avoids the diving splash.


Abdullah waddles over to Ragin’ Bull, Irish whip to the buckle. Abdullah comes charging in but misses the spear, Ragin’ Bull sprints up that rope and grabs the sombrero, ending this match as Paul Jones freaks out!


Well having this sort of stipulation in what was called a Mexican Death Match is odd to me but they give you what you would expect, Ragin’ Bull is a bloody mess within less than 30 seconds, Abdullah and Ragin’ Bull beat the piss out of one another, it’s bloody and sloppy and looks like a train-wreck but I will be damned  if I didn’t enjoy this spectacle.


Winner: Ragin’ Bull Manny Fernandez over Abdullah The Butcher via Retrieving The Sombrero!


(Texas Bullrope Match) Cowboy Ron Vass vs Black Bart W/ JJ Dillon


If Bass wins, it’s five minutes alone with JJ Dillon. Black Bart and Bass are going to brawl, Bart is cracked with the bull-rope ten seconds in, I guess we are getting hardcore back to back. Bart is bleeding already, cowbell to the head does damage as always. Bas chokes Bart with the rope, Bart has been battered the entire match. Bart begins to brawl his way back in, Bass chokes him with his cowbell. Irish whip and a right hand, Bart slugs his way back into cracking Bass in the head. Bass is bleeding, Dillon winces as both men continue to batter one another. More cowbell shots over and over, Bass knocks out Bart with three right hands but somehow Bart kicks out, Bart comes back into the match with throat thrusts. Irish whip with both men banging heads, Bass clocks Bart eventually one more time and wins the match.


So we will continue the review as JJ Dillon jumps in immediately to attack Bass as it should be, Dillon takes off his shirt exposing his “physique” as it should be. Cowbell shots to the head over and over, I doubt they even hurt as this stage because I saw Bart and Bass clock each other at least 500 times. Dillon tries choking Bass, Bass powers up and Dillon shits himself. Dillon tries running, Dillon is pleading. Massive cowbell shot to the head, Dillon is bleeding now. Bass chokes Dillon who is on dream street, shot after shot with Dillon rocking back and forth. Bass cracks the referee by mistake though, Black Bart drops Bass with a piledriver and Dillon gets the pin.


Well if this is your big show, is this not the time and the place to pay-off your big angles? Would this not be the time for Bass to slaughter both and stand tall? Not that I cared too much, Bass vs Dillon was far more entertaining than the previous match with Bart and Bass just hitting one another time and time again. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done and I just saw it with Manny and Abdullah but I am going to get numb to it if it continues to be like this and unfortunately for Black Bart and Ron Bass, neither of them come close to the level of charisma or fan reaction that Ragin’ Bull Manny Fernandez has which leaves us with a rather boring affair.


Winner: Ron Bass over Black Bart via Cowbell To The Head!


Winner: JJ Dillon over Ron Bass via Piledriver From Black Bart!


The Barbarian W/ Paul Jones vs Superstar Billy Graham


No more kung-fu Billy Graham? Disappointing for sure, Barbarian is here and looking like an animal, no surprise there. We have an arm-wrestling contest to kick us off, Graham wins that contest before Paul Jones cracks Graham with his cane. Graham is bleeding, for fuck sake is everyone going to bleed on this card? Barbarian bites at the head of Graham, not a fun time for The Superstar. Graham comes back but Barbarian is too strong, Graham dodges the diving headbutt. Stomps to the head from Graham, Irish whip into the bearhug. Barbarian almost fades but Paul Jones attacks with the cane again. Graham grabs the cane and cracks Paul Jones, Barbarian eventually saves his manager.


Goodness gracious can we stop with everyone bleeding? I don’t think it means anything if everyone is bleeding on the card, for the hardcore matches ok I get it, it’s brawling and that is expected but must everyone bleed on this night? Anyways, it was alright, nothing has been awful on this show like the prior years. It has been quite watchable so far and it’s only going to get even better as we get to the more serious matches on the card.


Winner: Billy Graham over The Barbarian via DQ!


(NWA National Championship Match) Terry Taylor © vs Buddy Landel


Madness how I only see The Red Rooster when I look at Taylor but Taylor was quite good inside of that ring and had some very interesting angles during his tenure. Buddy Landel could be mistaken for a Ric Flair rip-off but Landel could work inside of that ring too, his demons would ultimately get the better of him though. Tremendous athletes who are young is the description of this match from Bob Caudle. Lock-up, Landel shoves Taylor to the corner. Taylor is fired up, Landel looks hesitant. The challenger complains about hair-pulling etc, slap from Landel which sees Taylor fire up with a slap. Landel stalls and stalls, lock-up again.


Wrist-lock from Landel who works that arm, Landel talks trash as Taylor looks for a way out of the hold. Arm-drag from the champion, Landel pushes Taylor to the ropes. Taylor blocks the punches and decks Landel, Landel has been rocked by this turn of events. Side headlock takedown from Landel, Taylor works the arm before Landel shoves Taylor to the corner. Massive chops and shots before an Irish whip to the opposite buckle, Taylor rocks Landel with a boot. Back body-drop, Taylor lands a knee-drop to the head for one. Wrist-lock from Taylor, Landel spins out and nails Taylor with a brutal forearm. Landel goes to work with stomps, right hand to the jaw. Jabs in the corner and chops from Landel, snap-mare into a rear chin-lock. Landel stops the comeback of Taylor with a massive clothesline, two for Landel.


Suplex is countered into a small package for two, Landel pops up and applies a camel clutch. Taylor shoves off Landel, Landel misses a right hand as Taylor fights back once more. Chops and a right hand, snap-mare and a face-walk. Suplex for two, right hand to the jaw from Taylor. Landel is bounced off the turnbuckle, Landel swings back at Taylor and down goes the referee. Referee is wiped out a second time because the first time was not enough, Dillon is on the apron. Landel is whipped into Dillon, forearm from Taylor. Taylor wants the superplex, Landel is not doing too well. Taylor went for the superplex but Dillon tripped his leg and Landel crushes the head of Taylor and secures the victory.


Solid match from these two, enjoyed the heelish antics of Landel in this match, had the routine nailed down to a tee while Taylor showed a lot of fire when given the chance, would have benefited from a little more action on the part of Taylor but maybe that’s why Landel is the man who went over, Landel seemed to have more to offer in this one. Finish was good, not sure why referee had to be obliterated twice but it is not all doom and gloom, an entertaining match for sure!


Winner: Buddy Landel over Terry Taylor via Shenanigans!


(NWA National Tag Team Championship Match) Ole & Arn Anderson © vs Billy Jack Haynes & Wahoo McDaniel


The Minnesota Wrecking Crew, Ole and Arn mixing it up against Wahoo and Billy Jack. Billy Jack and Arn to start, Arn is thrown back to the corner. Announcers hype up the full-nelson, nobody can escape it they say. Side headlock from Billy Jack, shoulder block and a military press slam. Arn is retreating, in comes Ole. Lock-up and these two big bears brawl to the ropes, Billy Jack out-fires Ole who is against the ropes. Ole is in the challengers’ corner and is whipped around, in comes Wahoo who chops everything in sight. Ole tags in Arn, Arn is cautious but ready to mix it up with Wahoo. Wahoo ducks the left and slaps on a side headlock, takedown from Wahoo. Arn reverses the hold, dragging Wahoo to his corner. In comes Ole who works the arm, no surprise there.


Boots to the ribs, Wahoo chops back at Ole. Ole tags Arn and leg-laces Wahoo who cannot escape, Arn works the arm. Billy Jack is trying to get the crowd involved, Arn continues wrenching the arm and stomping on it repeatedly. Hammerlock from Arn, Wahoo is firing up though. Ole comes in from the tag, more arm work from Ole. Massive stomps to the ribs and arms, scoop slam and elbow drop for two. Knee from Ole, tag to Arn. Billy Jack has had enough but the referee stops Billy Jack from coming in, Wahoo starts chopping with his one good arm. Ole comes in, Ole is trading with Wahoo but Wahoo rolls away and tags in Billy Jack. Rights and lefts, noggin knocker from Billy Jack. Coconut crush from Billy Jack on Arn, Wahoo chops out Ole.


Ole grabs Billy Jack illegally, Arn takes control before Billy Jack tags back in Wahoo. Irish whip and massive chop, Ole makes the save for the championships. Billy Jack and Ole might brawl but the referee stops it, Ole trips up Wahoo for a close two, Billy Jack is still in the ring. Wahoo chops at Arn, Ole drops Wahoo near the ropes and Ole holds down the legs of Wahoo allowing Arn to steal the win.


That was a little tough around the edges, The Andersons work the tag formula very well but I didn’t get my Billy Jack running wild moment, it seemed a little abrupt which was sad to see, thought we could have had a little more from this match. First time I have been disappointing on this card, a shame but we march on!


Winners: The Andersons over Billy Jack Haynes & Wahoo McDaniel via Roll-Up!


(NWA United States Championship Steel Cage I Quit Match) Tully Blanchard © vs Magnum T.A.


The match boys and girls, the one you are meant to know about when it comes to this card, Tully Blanchard one of the biggest dickheads to ever lace up his boots, a true heel who draws such hatred from every person in that crowd. Never would you ever mistakenly cheer this individual or admire his heel work because he was just that antagonizing while Magnum T.A. is the next big thing in wrestling, nobody has more fire than this man right here.  On top of all that, both men despise one another and it’s a damn steel cage I Quit match. Crowd is rampant before we even ring the bell, this is going to be a war.


Lock-up, Blanchard backs Magnum to the corner but Magnum sees the right hand coming, right hand floors Blanchard. Magnum is staring down Blanchard, it’s great stuff. Blanchard goes for the leg twice but Magnum sees the double-leg coming. Tully goes to the eyes and starts laying in the shots, rib shots to Magnum. Magnum fires back though, Tully is not going to win that war. Tully is in between the cage wall and the ropes, Magnum is teeing off now. Clubbing shots to the throat, Tully blocks the cage and a low shot saves the champion from tasting the cage wall. Axe handle from Tully who delivers an elbow to the head, Magnum meets the steel cage hard. Camel clutch from Tully, Magnum is bleeding lightly. Magnum is coming up though, Tully goes to the ribs with a knee.  Irish whip but Magnum drops Tully on the top rope with a military press, massive right from Magnum. Boot and kicks from Tully, the champion is rocked by rights from the challenger. Tully pulls Magnum into the cage, Tully dives onto Magnum with the microphone but Magnum will not quit.  Knees from Tully, Magnum sends Tully into the cage wall. Hammerlock throw from Magnum, Magnum starts going after the arm of Tully which is bleeding. Low headbutt from Tully, both men are on their knees dishing out the shots.


Magnum bites the arm of Tully, anything to get his arch-rival to utter those words. Tully bites back at the head of Magnum, kicks from Tully. Tully stabs Magnum with the microphone. Diving axe handle from the champion, Tully has the microphone, pleading with Magnum to quit. Magnum will not quit, Magnum avoids the elbow drop from Tully. Right hand and forearm shot from Magnum, Magnum tries to choke Tully with the microphone but Tully will not quit. Another shot with the microphone, Tully continues to refuse to quit. Tully claws at the eyes of Magnum, Magnum claws at the face of Tully. Tully rakes the eyes, ten punches in the corner before Tully lands the inverted atomic drop and down goes the challenger. Magnum says no, Tully drops more elbows and punishment.


Tully has a chair now, Tully breaks apart the chair looking to drive a stake into the head of Magnum but Magnum sees the stake coming, Magnum blocks and fights with all his strength to stop the evil Tully from stabbing him in the head. Magnum kicks off Tully, Magnum dives for it and stabs the head of Tully, Tully screams out in pain and Tully screams I Quit! We have a winner, Magnum T.A. is the new United States Champion, Babydoll looks on in horror as Magnum walks away victorious!


Now that’s a hardcore match right here, you can feel the hatred between these two the second the bell rings, these two want to take one another apart in the most brutal ways possible, Tully is so good at being completely unlikeable, the guy is slimy and disgusting and you are on the edge of your seat waiting for him to experience pain at the hands of Magnum, they waste no time in brawling before the cage is introduced, they are stabbing one another, torturing one another and battering one another all around the ring. Magnum’s fire is on full-display here, fans love him and he is a star waiting to happen and that ending is top-notch stuff. Tully who is utterly frustrated by the resilience shown by Magnum snaps and decides I am going to stab this son of a bitch only for Tully to fall victim to the very weapon he introduced and a wonderfully violent moment takes place with Magnum standing over Tully who screams I Quit. Excellent wrestling match, loved it!


Winner: Magnum T.A over Tully Blanchard!


Jimmy Valiant & Atlanta Lively W/ Big Mama vs The Midnight Express W/ Jim Cornette


Jimmy Valiant is over, a fact of life that does not matter what year it is. However, what is going on here at all? Midnight Express all in tuxedos while Ronnie Garvin is dressed in drag as Atlanta Lively, who is Big Mama? I wish I had a bit more context to this one but I am stumped unfortunately, the heels try to jump the babyfaces and it backfires big time as Atlanta batters Bobby, choking and theatrics ensue. Valiant is beating up Loverboy with a chair, Bobby kicks back at Atlanta. Loverboy has got colour brother, I think Bobby is opened up too. Lots of punching going on with both members of Midnight Express bleeding all over the ring, Sleeper from Valiant. Dennis and Bobby pull out powder and a foreign object, Valiant is bleeding now I believe. Lots of powder being thrown, Dennis whips Valiant while Lively is being stripped.


What in the Lord’s name am I watching here? Valiant saves Lively, there is more brawling going on, I have never seen so much blood in a comedy match in my life. Beautiful Bobby has been stripped while Lively attacks Dennis. Lively is being attacked now, Cornette cracks Lively in the head. Bobby lands a diving axe handle, Valiant cannot make it into the ring. Valiant cannot make an impact on the match, Big Mama continues to cheer on Valiant. Valiant fires up and goes after Bobby and Dennis, right hands before a double clothesline takes down Valiant. Lively saves Valiant with a huge right hand for the win!


Garbage match that probably would have been passable as a buffer to the man event but this positioning was rather poor and the amount of blood for a comedy match like that is just overkill at this point.


Winners: Atlanta Lively & Jimmy Valiant over The Midnight Express via Right Hand!


(NWA World Tag Team Championship Match) The Koloffs © vs The Rock “N” Roll Express W/ Don Kernodle


Can you say popular babyface tag team? The Rock “N” Roll Express challenge The Koloffs, Kernodle is in the corner of the challengers. Another cage match after Magnum vs Tully is a bad idea but it’s important to remember that this event was held in two different cities so not all in the one location on the same card did the people have to see the cage matches.


Ricky and Nikita to start, Ricky throws down Ricky with ease. Shoulder block does not work for Ricky but a dropkick sure does, we reset with both men staring one another down. Boot and clubbing blows from Nikita, Ricky meets the cage. Ricky is dragged to the champions’ corner, Ivan is too slow for the quicker Ricky. Flying crossbody from Ricky, Ivan drops Ricky on the top rope for a close two. Robert is in, dropkick from Gibson. Knee drop from Gibson for two, side headlock and a tag to Ricky. Snap-mare into a fist drop from Morton, two for Morton. Another quick tag, schoolboy from Gibson for two. Tag to Morton, tag to Gibson who lands an elbow to the back of the head. Ivan rakes the eyes of Gibson, they go to the ropes.


Clubbing blow from Ivan, Gibson shoves Ivan into the cage. Morton climbs high, diving fist-drop by Morton. Ivan meets the cage again, Morton climbs high with a diving axe handle for two. Gibson comes in but has his eyes raked once more, Nikita comes in and clubs Gibson but Gibson trips up the monster. Nikita returns with a mean flapjack into the cage, Ivan is a bloody mess and I imagine now that Gibson has donned the crimson mask. Ivan lands a diving axe handle to the head of Gibson. Gibson meets the cage again, elbow drop from Ivan for two. Nikita comes in and bites the head of Gibson, scoop slam from Nikita. Ivan comes off the top rope again with a fist to the head, Morton saves the match with a boot to the head.


Morton has to watch on as the champions torture Gibson, snap-mare into a leg drop for two. Gibson avoids the second leg drop but Nikita is in fast, rear chin-lock from Nikita. Ivan batters Gibson with right hands, both Russians decimate Gibson to cut off the fiery babyface. Morton continues to save his partner, Ivan is dealing out the right hands, Gibson slips through the legs and dropkicks Ivan but the referee is down too. Russian Sickle to the head of Morton, shoulder tackle on Gibson. Ivan is on top but the referee is rocked, Gibson tags in Morton. Ivan back-drops Gibson but Morton comes in with the O’Connor Roll for the win. The heels get their heat back after the match, decimating the new champions.


Very good match but very hard to top what I saw previously in the night in that cage, Morton and Gibson are ridiculously popular and make for the perfect foil for the big nasty Russians but nothing inside of that cage was going to come close to Magnum and Tully unfortunately so maybe on a different night, they could have stolen the show but it was not meant to be on this night. Fun tag team match but overshadowed!


Winners: Rock “N” Roll Express over The Koloffs via O’Connor Roll!


(NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match) Ric Flair © vs Dusty Rhodes


These two men main-evented the previous year’s Starrcade and it did not deliver with a finish that had me scratching my head considering it was for excessive blood loss/injury when everyone on the card almost bled, it seemed like overkill. Yet, maybe they needed more time, maybe they wanted to spin a finer story well tonight is the night. Put up or shut up, Nature Boy vs The American Dream II for the richest prize in the game.


Intense stare-down to begin, cautious approach from both challenger and champion. Lock-up, Flair has Rhodes in the corner. Flair goes to trade punches, bad ideas as Rhodes jabs his way and knocks down the champion. Elbow and big thrust sends champion to the floor. Flair hops over the guardrail for his breather, re-evaluation time for The Nature Boy. Knees from Flair, right hand to the face but Rhodes lands elbows to get back into the match. Shoulder block and elbow from Rhodes, Flair is begging off and powders once more. Flair steps in for round three, Rhodes is confident at this point. Lock-up and side headlock from Flair, Rhodes counters for a hammerlock. Flair runs around the ring before going to the mat, Flair makes it to the ropes before attacking the leg of Rhodes. Rhodes sells it, a point of weakness for sure.


Flair goes low and starts chopping, Rhodes eats a mean right to the head. Snap-mare into that knee-drop which finds the mark, Rhodes is in trouble. Barely one for Flair, Rhodes takes one kick to the leg and jumps over the guardrail, perhaps a little exaggerated but maybe Flair is as deadly as Jose Aldo with those lethal leg-kicks. Flair tries attacking Rhodes who re-entering the ring but Rhodes blocks and delivers massive elbows to the back of the head, Rhodes stomps the leg of Flair. The fans love that, Rhodes giving Flair a taste of his own medicine. Massive elbow to the knee from Flair, Rhodes asks the fans if they want to see and delivers a big elbow to the knee but Flair rakes the eyes. Flair sells the leg, Flair wants a suplex but the leg gives out on the champion.


Rhodes suplexes Flair, Rhodes delivers another elbow to the leg. Flair slaps on a sleeper to take out Rhodes but Rhodes runs Flair to the corner. Rhodes slips out of the ring and grabs Flair’s foot, Flair begs for mercy as Rhodes wraps that leg around the ring-post. Elbow to the ankle from Rhodes, Rhodes chops Flair and with a snap-mare, misses a crucial elbow drop. Flair decides to climb to the top rope, bad idea for the champion. Figure four is blocked by Flair, Rhodes is kicked off and clutches his knee. Chop and Figure Four does not connect for Flair, Flair is persistent though and tries again. Flair decides to work the leg first, Rhodes clubs at Flair with a giant headbutt. Irish whip with Flair flip to the floor, Rhodes smacks Flair off the guardrail.


Flair is bleeding, all drama from that has been lost on me unfortunately. Flair is dragged into the ring, chops from the challenger. Flair kicks low and sends Rhodes to the floor, Rhodes decides to climb to the top rope. Diving crossbody for two, fans are in uproar as the referee was dealing with something. Rhodes lands right hands to the head of Flair, Flair wriggles free. Bionic Elbow decks Flair, ten punches in the corner from Rhodes. Flair flop to the mat, Rhodes is feeling the energy in the building at this point.  Jabs stagger Flair, Flair is backing away. Flair flip to the apron, Flair tries an axe handle but Rhodes catches Flair with a gut shot. Rhodes tries a kick to the gut, Flair dodges and Rhodes hurts his aggravated knee. Flair begins to work, Flair drops all his weight down on the leg.


Knee-drop on the ankle, Flair lands a right-hand to the face. Figure Four in the middle of the ring, Rhodes is in terrible pain. Rhodes fights and fights, reversing the pressure and forcing The Nature Boy to release the hold. Flair chops at Rhodes, Rhodes is firing up now. Right hands and elbows from Rhodes, flying clothesline from Rhodes. Flair kicks out at two, Rhodes pulls Flair into the corner but takes out the referee by mistake. Rhodes and Flair scramble, Bionic Elbow and a figure four from Rhodes. Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson are here, a giant knee flattens Rhodes. 1….2… Rhodes kicks out! Scoop slam attempt by Flair but Rhodes counters into a small package, 1..2….3!


Lots of fun here in this main event, it may not be the first time that Rhodes has been champion but you might not hear a louder reaction that this moment right here, two legends at the top of their game. Working the fans and making us believe that wrestling is real ladies and gentlemen. Loved the pacing, loved the intensity they brought and loved the little things like Rhodes tweaking his knee and Rhodes going after Flair’s leg. Thought the ending was a little abrupt but take nothing away from this match, it was a great way to cap off the PPV and it left room for a rematch if need be, quality right here.


Winner: Dusty Rhodes over Ric Flair via Small Package!


Starrcade 1985 was a fun show with some great matches on the card. It could be the fact that I had watched two prior Starrcades back to back before watching this but this was miles better than both. The only worthwhile match I can pull from the other two for me was Piper vs Valentine, this has a main event that lives up to the hype, a career-defining cage match between Magnum T.A. and Tully Blanchard and the undercard is not all that bad, I think I only groaned when two matches came on and they went too long and had no business on the card all things considered. I also want to note that commentary was bizarre on this show, you had I want to say minutes of silence before Tony or Bob would chime in, really took me out of the experience because I didn’t have those commentators filling in the blanks and providing that extra depth and drama but this was the best Starrcade I have seen thus far and the talent is red-hot, the crowds are red-hot and I can only imagine what is coming next in the year of 1986! Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

Sunday 14 November 2021

NWA Starrcade 1984 Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that still wonders if Hogan is the third man! It’s NWA Starrcade 1984 headlined by The Million Dollar Challenge as The Nature Boy Ric Flair defends his NWA World Heavyweight Championship against none other than Dusty Rhodes, we have a number of matches on the card featuring various talent but let’s see if the grudge matches on this card live up to the previous year’s edition. Let’s get it on!


(NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship Match) Mike Davis © vs Denny Brown


Referee Earl Hebnar checks both competitors, side headlock and shoulder block from Davis, Brown counters with a hip-toss and a headscissors. Arm-drag into an arm-bar, Brown continues out-wrestling Davis with superb arm-work. Davis breaks free, sending Brown to the floor. Brown is in a bad way, Davis helps Brown into the ring, nice piece of showmanship. Brown manages to land a massive forearm to get back into this match, Davis catches Brown for a small package. Two for Davis, Davis goes to work with forearms. Whip to the corner, Brown leaps to the middle rope and lands a diving forearm. Back body drop with Brown showing some fire, dropkick for two. Irish whip and drop-down spot ends with both men banging heads, forearms from Brown. Uppercuts but Davis sends Brown to the buckle and with a beautiful belly to back suplex, this match is over but wait we have a new champion because Denny Brown is the champion as Brown was able to raise his shoulder off the suplex.


Seems like this championship means nothing here and then, I guess it is all summed up with the finish as the ring announcer completely messes up the winner, it was very vanilla to be fair. Never heard much about either man so I am having a few flashbacks to the previous year, looks like I am going to be gorging myself on a whole load of nothing to kick us off.


Winner: Denny Brown over Mike Davis via Belly To Back Suplex!


Mr. Ito vs Brian Adidis


How kind to refer to him as Mr. Ito, motherfucker does not even have a first name but the fans loves Brian Adidis, Brian and Ito are trading holds to kick us off, Ito and Adias trade the advantage on more than one occasion. Leapfrogs and a dropkick, side headlock from Adidis. Ito counters and works the arm, down goes Adidis. Adidis goes to the ropes, Ito holds onto the arm. Karate chop to the arm, Adidis reverses and works the arm with his knees and a short leg-drop. Ito goes for a scoop slam but Adidis rolls through, Ito goes to the ribs and chops Adidis in the face. They are brawling, Adidis is winning that war. Adidis spins around for the airplane spin and this is over. Well brief and a couldn’t give a shite about these two, let’s move on!


Winner: Brian Adidis over Mr. Ito via Airplane Spin!


(NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship Match) Mike Graham vs Jesse Barr


Nepotism, thy name is Mike Graham. Never drew a dime man who looks like a grandad against the champion Barr. Mat-work to kick us off, credit to Graham who can work as far as promoter’s sons go, Graham has an Indian Death-lock but Barr grabs the throat and slaps on a rear chin-lock. Graham tries to wriggle free, Graham drops down but Barr uses the hair to regain control. Graham almost breaks free but Barr uses the hair again to break the hold.  Elbow escape and shoulder block from Graham, arm-drag for two but Barr pulls the hair to get back into control. Key-lock from Barr, Graham is starting to get frustrated with Barr’s continued cheating tactics. To the corner, Barr drives in the knees and forearms. Barr uses the ropes to wrench the arm, again and again.


Irish whip but Graham reverses, drop toehold and Graham says he is going to break his leg. Graham works the leg again and again, Barr slips out of the figure four. Barr is in the corner, Barr wants a test of strength. Graham is cautious, rightly so with Graham wanting to have the match back in the middle of the ring. Barr has the strength advantage in the tie-up, Graham rallies but Barr uses the ropes for leverage with Earl Hebnar unable to see the cheating ways of Barr. Barr goes low with boots to maintain control before Graham lands a headbutt and we have a fireman’s carry into the arm-bar. Right hand from Graham into the figure four but Barr scrambles to the ropes.


Tentative lock-up, Barr and Graham lock-up. Side headlock from Barr, Graham counters the side headlock into a roll-up for two. Twice Graham almost escapes but Barr holds onto the hair before Graham drops Barr with a shin-breaker, more knee-wrenching from the challenger. Repeated knees into Barr’s legs, Figure Four and Barr reaches the ropes. Knee by Barr, Graham lands a sunset flip for two, Graham almost pins Barr off a small package but the referee was down. O’Connor roll for two, Barr reverses and holds the tights for two! Graham is taken down with a double leg near the corner, Barr uses the ropes for leverage and pins Graham.


Barr seems a bit vanilla for my liking, Graham works hard and knows what he is doing inside of that ring but Barr seems a little out of his depth, the last minute or so is quite exciting and the heel cheats his way to victory, solid performance and the first watchable match of the night, good stuff.


Winner: Jesse Barr over Mike Graham via Roll-Up with Leverage!


Zambuie Express W/ Paul Jones vs Assassin 1 & Buzz Tyler


A lot of meat in this one and it’s a tag team elimination match, Assassin 1 fails to get a Weasel chant going for Paul Jones, sign of things to come? Bit of brawling and the babyfaces are winning that war, Buzz Tyler outfoxes Kareem who gets decked by The Avalanche. Assassin 1 vs Elijah, Elijah clubs Assassin 1 before Assassin 1 sends Elijah to the corner, the babyfaces pummel Elijah. Kareem and Buzz Tyler are now legal, Kareem pummels Buzz. Buzz eats a headbutt from Elijah, Buzz fires back at Elijah. Everyone is in the ring, can’t this end? Buzz and Elijah are eliminated I believe, they have been counted-out. Assassin 1 and Kareem collide, Buzz pushes Assassin 1 on top of Kareem and this is over? What a load of shite!


Winners: Assassin 1 & Buzz Tyler over The Zumbuie Express via Splash!


(Brass Knuckles Championship Match) Raging Bull Manny Fernandez  vs Black Bart © W/ JJ Dillon


We going to get a little hardcore? FMW be damned as Black Bart takes on Manny Fernandez, lock-up with Manny getting the better of Black Bart. Manny works the ribs with big right hands, Manny continues to jab and chop Black Bart. It is all Manny for now, lock-up with a knee from Black Bart. Shot to the head, Manny fires back with more punches. This really is just punches, Bart and Manny just keep punching each other, punches to the head and punches to the gut. Bart makes a great punching noise though, Manny has decided to blade to make things more interesting. Would be great if I felt there was more to this, Bart bites the head of Manny but Manny comes back with more punches and chops.


Manny is firing up, right hands to the head. Bart is dumped to the floor, axe handle off the apron. Bart is in serious trouble, Dillon motivates Bart to get back into the ring. Irish whip and right hand from Manny, another massive right hand from Manny. Low blow from Bart, anything goes so no surprise right there. Bart is a bloody mess, more right hands. Bart shoves the referee and has his rope but Manny catches Bart with an O’Connor roll for the win.


Punch and punch and punch and punch, rinse and repeat. Fair play to the fans being interested in it because I certainly didn’t care when it was over, nothing to it when all was said and done.


Winner: Manny Fernandez over Black Bart via O’Connor Roll!


(Loser Leaves Town Tuxedo Street Fight Match) Paul Jones vs Jimmy Valiant


Jimmy Valiant is ridiculously over, has been since the dawn of time it almost seems like. Paul Jones is a hated manager who is going to take a whooping in this match but I have a sneaky feeling that Paul Jones might have something up his sleeve. Valiant chokes and rips at Jones to start, Jones is doing his best anyways. Valiant starts throwing some of the funkiest looking punches I have ever seen, Valiant shoves something down the throat of Jones. Jones is being picked apart, this is very much one-sided. Jones has been stripped, is this not over? Must it end by pin-fall or submission. Jones lands a knee to the back and knees to the heads of Valiant but Valiant is firing up.


More funky-ass punches, sleeper from Valiant. Jones has bladed for this, for Christ sake, the Tuxedo match has blading in it. Incredible, the commitment to the Street Fight aspect. Valiant decks the referee trying to hit Kareem or Elijah of the express, JJ Dillon clocks Valiant with some sort of object. 1….2…3! Paul Jones wins! Brief yet successful!


Winner: Paul Jones over Jimmy Valiant via Foreign Object To The Head!


(Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship Match) Ron Bass © W/ JJ Dillon vs Dick Slater


Bass along with Black Bart had taken down Steamboat and Slater in a brutal assault, JJ Dillon is in the corner of the champion while Dick Slater looks for revenge. Slater begins chopping back and knocks down Bass, Slater chases Dillon before Bass covers the behind of his manager. Slater is whipped off the ropes and ducks a chop, escaping Bass and chasing after Dillon. Slater is over like rover, reminds me of Terry Funk a lot at the moment. Slater chops Bass and has a side headlock takedown with Bass trying to roll over the challenger, Bass grabs the hair but Slater has good control. Bass escapes and lands an elbow but misses the elbow drop, headbutt and side headlock takedown from Slater. Bass rakes the eyes but Slater nails an atomic drop, Slater scares Dillon once more.


Slater headbutts Bass who was trying to re-enter the ring, snap-mare into the ring and Bass manages to rake the eyes and land a knee-lift. To the buckle, Slater is bounced off the buckle repeatedly. Bass batters Slater who is in the ropes, Dillon cracks Slater behind the referee’s back. Suplex for two, Bass is in control now. Running bulldog out of the corner, Slater is brawling back though with shots to the ribs and a massive jab with a roundhouse right. Snap-mare and Slater rubs his foot across the face of Bass, Bass goes to the eyes and dumps Slater to the floor. JJ Dillon gets in a few boots behind the referee’s back, Slater is battered in the corner with mean rights from Bass. Slater is shaking them off though, Bass runs into the corner and Slater tees off with right hands. The referee is flung to the ground, back suplex from Slater but the referee is down.


Dillon comes in and boots Slater, no effect on Slater who lands a scoop slam and a right. Scoop slam for Bass and a leg drop but the referee declares that Bass is the winner as Slater threw the referee to the floor, Slater’s temper cost him the match.


Decent match, could have been more if Slater and Bass give us just a little more action but Slater gets his heat back at the end beating the two heels but I would have liked to seen a lot more from these two in this match, had the makings of something fun but just did not click into that next gear.


Winner: Cowboy Ron Bass over Dick Slater via DQ!


Ole Anderson & Keith Larson W/ Don Kernodle vs The Koloffs (Nikita & Ivan Koloff)


Don Kernodle & Ivan were tag team champions earlier in the year before Nikita came in and it was time for Don to bite the dust. Communism is ret hot as a topical issue so you know this one will have lots of fans invested in this one. Nikita looks like a God damn star next to Ivan, always strange to see babyface Ole Anderson but it can be done as evident in the infamous angle with Dusty Rhodes in 1980. Our babyfaces rush The Koloffs, it’s brawling times boys. Ivan is knocked down by Larson who tees off, back body drop and a right hand from Larson. Two for Larson, fists of fury from Larson. Dropkick from Larson, Ivan is battered by both babyfaces, tag to Anderson.


Anderson works the arm, over and over before Larson nails an axe handle to the arm. Elbows too, Larson and Anderson exchange quick tags with Ivan in serious trouble, arm-wringer and a short-arms scissors for Anderson. Tag to Larson, knee-drop to the arm. Arm-bar from Larson, Ivan is reaching for the tag but Larson maintains control. Another tag to Anderson who wants and delivers a hammerlock scoop slam. Anderson stomps the arm over and over, right hands to the face. Tag to Larson, elbow drops to the arm. Anderson and Larson continuing working the shit out of the arm of Ivan. Ivan grabs the hair but the hip-toss is from Larson for two, tag to Anderson again.


Double elbow to the jaw, elbow drop from Anderson for two. Anderson has Ivan in the ropes, elbows and knees. Hammerlock throw into the buckle, another tag to Larson. Anderson and Larson continue to batter Ivan, I have never seen babyfaces beat up a heel for so long. Larson has an arm-bar on Ivan, Nikita is infuriated on the apron. Nikita wants in badly, Anderson is in the ring and working the arm of Ivan, Ivan rakes the eyes of Anderson and Anderson meets the boot of Nikita.


Nikita comes in and chokes Anderson, Ivan distracts the referee. Anderson tries raking the eyes, Nikita lands shoulder thrusts over and over. Anderson throws rights and lefts on Nikita, Nikita takes Anderson to the corner. Bearhug from Nikita, Anderson is in serious trouble. Anderson tries to fight his way out, Anderson begins to fade in this hour-long bearhug. Anderson is moving though, Anderson is digging down deep. Clubbing blows, Nikita tags in Ivan who stops the tag. Elbow from Ivan, Anderson is down and hurt. Nikita comes back in and does that bearhug, large USA chants ring throughout the arena. Anderson clubs at the mammoth Nikita, inverted atomic drop from Anderson. Larson gets the hot-tag, right hands to Nikita and Ivan.


Noggin-knocker, Larson is fired up! Big elbow to the jaw of Nikita, Nikita dodges the dropkick by holding the ropes, massive clothesline into a choke-hold. Tag to Ivan, hot-shot onto the ropes. Small package from Larson for two, Nikita and Anderson come in with Nikita being knocked to the floor. Nikita clotheslines down Don Kernodle, Anderson brawls with Nikita. The referee does not see Ivan clock Larson with a chain to the head for the win! The Koloffs steal the win in this match! Don Kernodle gets revenge and saves his brother at the end of the match.


Quite a hot match, couldn’t understand why Ivan was worked over for so long until I saw Nikita in the ring, green as goose shit right there. Big and powerful but a long way to go for Nikita here, Anderson did very well in his role as babyface in peril, believed that ass whopping and Anderson did put over how dominant Nikita was, best match of the night so far I would say!


Winners: Koloffs over Ole Anderson & Keith Larson via hain to The Head!


(NWA World Television Championship Match) Tully Blanchard © W/ JJ Dillon vs Ricky Steamboat


Our champion has developed a habit of stalling and going to time-limit draws to protect his beloved championship so a rule has been made for this match that if Tully stalls in this match, Tully will forfeit his championship. Tully oozes overconfidence, the man could not be more cocky if he tried, there is no disqualifications for this one so it seems the champion has been backed into a corner.


Steamboat goes in with injured ribs, Tully goes right for the ribs with vicious shots and Steamboat brawls back winning that war with Tully scrambling to run away. Steamboat drops a knee, suplex into the ring. Jumping chop for two, Steamboat and Tully are bringing energy in the first seconds that blows away everything I have seen thus far. Rear-naked choke from Steamboat, Tully comes up and tries to wriggle free but Steamboat is in control. Tully makes it to the ropes, Steamboat lands a knee-lift. Tully cannot slip to the floor though, Steamboat holds his ribs showing a sign of weakness. Tully comes closer, stalking the challenger. Shot right to the ribs, Tully begins working it with big right hands. Back-breaker and elbow to the spine, kick to the ribs from Tully.


Elbow to the ribs from Tully, Steamboat battles his way back in but Steamboat is not looking too good in this one. Massive chops from Steamboat, Tully is in trouble. Knee drop to the head, make it two. Two count for Steamboat, rear chin-lock from the challenger. Tully tries diving to the floor to avoid pain, Tully attacks the ribs again. Belly to back suplex from Tully, kidney punch for two. Steamboat escapes the sleeper for a choke-hold, Tully makes it to the ropes. Tully backs away, a reversal of what we saw earlier. Tully begins jabbing and dancing around the ring, Steamboat seems unfazed. Tully spits on Steamboat, Steamboat continues to stay calm because Tully will not lock-up. Leapfrogs and powerslam for two, Tully is scrambling as Steamboat rams Tully into the turnbuckle. Double chop for two, massive right from the challenger. Steamboat lands ten punches in the corner, another knee drop to the head.


Massive chop levels Tully, two for the challenger. Tully is rocked, Steamboat looks down on the champion. Tully is bleeding, Steamboat spits on Tully and lands massive corner chops. Swinging neck-breaker for two, slingshot suplex for two and a half! Dropkick levels Tully, two for the challenger. Tully is out on the floor but has some sort of foreign object, Steamboat ducks the first shot but when trying the belly to back suplex, Tully clocks Steamboat in the head. Flying crossbody for two, the champion is in control. Tully wants the superplex, Steamboat counters and nails the top rope splash for two and a half! Tully reverses an Irish whip, Steamboat wants the sunset flip but Tully clocks Steamboat in the face with a foreign object and retains the championship.


Damn I wanted more, I thought they could have gone just a few more minutes and I wouldn’t have had a problem, Steamboat is such a great babyface and his selling is tremendous, Tully is the ultimate smug piece of trash and they play their parts to perfection. I would have thought the ribs would have played more into the finish but cracking someone with a foreign object is good protection for The Dragon, great stuff though. Both men were great and I would loved some more!


Winner: Tully Blanchard over Ricky Steamboat via Right Hand!


(NWA United States Championship Match) Wahoo McDaniel © vs Superstar Billy Graham


Superstar Billy Graham is all about the posing right here, Wahoo McDaniel looks pissed so this should be fun? Maybe? Who knows? Both men have seen better days, they are slow to lock-up with Graham wanting to karate kick the head off of Wahoo. Very slow before we have an eye-rake from Wahoo, chops into the chest and back of the head. Hard Irish whip to the corner, Graham reverses and slaps on The Full-Nelson!!! Wahoo makes the ropes, Graham has to break the hold. More clubbing with Graham landing a shoulder block but a stiff chop ends this one. What was that? Seriously? Probably the most inconsistent card I have ever seen!


Winner: Wahoo McDaniel over Superstar Billy Graham via Chop!


(NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match) Ric Flair © vs Dusty Rhodes


Smokin Joe Frazier is here for this match, big fight feel for this main event. The Nature Boy vs The American Dream, the moment we have all been waiting for or at least I hope so. It’s for all the marbles, Rhodes vs Flair. Rhodes and Flair lock-up, Rhodes backs Flair to the corner but we have a clean break. Lock-up, side headlock and shoulder block from Rhodes, elbow to the head decks Flair. Flair is a little shaken, side headlock from Rhodes. Flair wants the leg, Rhodes squeezes hard to avoid a shin-breaker. Flair pushes Rhodes to the ropes, clean break from Nature Boy. Knee to the ribs, chop from Flair. Chop after chop before Rhodes lands stinging jabs, side headlock from Rhodes. Flair escapes and lands a knee drop to the skull, kicks to the ribs from Flair.


Right hand to the skull, Rhodes meets the buckle hard. Snap-mare into a knee drop from Flair but it misses, Rhodes applies the figure four on Flair. Flair makes it to the ropes but the effects are clear, the champion is in a bad way as Rhodes begins working that leg. Flair can only grab at the face of Rhodes, the challenger is in control until Flair escapes the hold and punches Rhodes in the face over and over. Flair is in the corner, Rhodes is not happy about the right hands to the dome. Side headlock from Rhodes, Flair applies a massive key-lock before Rhodes reverses the hold. Arm-bar from Rhodes, Flair escapes but runs into a gorilla press slam, chop takes down Flair. Bionic elbows and chops are traded, Rhodes clubs down on Flair. Whip to the buckle with Flair flipping to the floor, Flair climbs high and gets caught from Rhodes. Rhodes misses an elbow drop, Rhodes blocks the right hand and attacks Flair. Flair shoves off Rhodes, sleeper from the champion but Rhodes runs around and sends Flair to the floor.


Flair trips up Rhodes, chops and right hands on the floor. Rhodes hits the ring-post hard, Rhodes is bleeding everywhere.  Referee Frazier is checking the eye of Rhodes, Flair wants to go in for the kill. Snap-mare into mounted right-hand punches, Rhodes is up fast though and delivers a massive elbow on Flair. Flair fires back at that cut, Joe Frazier is not happy about the damage done to the eyes. Flair continues brawling with Rhodes, elbows and punches. Joe Frazier is checking the eye, Frazier waves it off?? WHAT?????????????? Flair is the winner??????


You cannot be fucking serious, the main event of your big show ends in a finish like that? Rhodes is not even the only person on this card to bleed! What the hell is this? I cannot believe what I am seeing right here? How can Starrcade be considered so iconic when the second event ends like this? Forget about all the action in the ring, that ending has left such a sour taste in my mouth, what garbage!


Winner: Ric Flair over Dusty Rhodes via Referee Stoppage!


That was NWA’s Starrcade 1984, easily one of the worst shows I had to sit through when reviewing, very little redeeming qualities when it comes to this show. Without context, Steamboat and Tully is a great contest, I wish it was a little longer but when you add in everything they were doing on TV, it would seem that Steamboat winning was the right call especially when Dusty would go onto do what Steamboat could not a little later but large portions of this show was awful and had me asking “Why?” Naturally, a terrible sign if you are looking at something and that’s the word that comes to mind. It seems Starrcade may have some of that early Wrestlemania feel where nothing matters except two matches but sometimes, even those big matches are not hitting that sweet spot. Pretty bad, one of the worst I had to sit through so hopefully, things pick up soon with these Starrcade reviews! Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!


Friday 12 November 2021

NWA Starrcade 1983 Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that cuts a longer promo than Triple H! It’s time for Starrcade, the first-ever Starrcade in 1983 as we see Ric Flair battle Harley Race for The NWA World Heavyweight Championship! A Flare for The Gold, WCW’s Wrestlemania if you will but it’s important to note that this came 2 years before we had our first Wrestlemania. It’s a big night and a memorable for sure and if you checked out the prior review, you would know this is uncharted territory for me, I know the wrestlers on this card and I know the big angles of the era and the years that follow but never had I sat down and truly watched many of Flair’s reigns, Dusty’s war with The Horseman, the rise of Sting, the various incarnations of The Horsemen, The Dangerous Alliance and Hulkamania coming to town. What surprises await me? Will I enjoy this wrasslin as opposed to the glitz and glamour of WWF’s sports entertainment? Let’s find out!


The Assassins vs Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw


Bugsy and Assassin lock up, shoulder block by Assassin but Bugsy lands a hip-toss and a scoop slam, Bugsy goes for the mask but Assassin is simply too fast for him, powdering to the floor. 16,000 in the Greensboro Colosseum, a full-house to witness Flair vs Race. Gordon Solie and Bob Caudle welcome us to the action as Bugsy continues to get the better of Assassin, Bugsy out-slugs Assassin. The thinner Assassin is in the ring now, hoping to do better than his heavier partner. Side headlock, Bugsy is knocked down with a shoulder block but Bugsy continues to maintain control, hip-toss and scoop slam. In comes The Freight Train with a massive elbow and dance. Assassin 2 is down, cover for two.


Hip-toss from Jones who steps on the head of Assassin 2, knees to the ribs and arms. Right hand from Assassin 2 who hurts his hand on Jones’ hard head. Tag to Bugsy who works the arm, Assassin 2 batters Bugsy to the corner. Assassin 1 is in, he is hesitant to lock-up with Bugsy. Assassin 1 works the arm, Bugsy lands big elbows and tags Jones. Jones continues working the arm, headbutts to the arm. Double thrusts from Jones, Assassin 1 continues to back-off but Jones lands two big right hands. Whip to the opposite buckle, Assassin 1 uses something to rake the eyes of Jones. Tag to Assassin 2, Jones manages to headbutt low as Bugsy gets the tag. Jabs and headbutts, elbows and a right hand. Everyone is in the ring, atomic drop on Assassin 2. Back body-drop, Assassin 1 comes in with the schoolboy and steals the win.


Nothing wrong with that for an opening match, the crowd loves the babyfaces in Bugsy and Rufus while hating the heels, classic wrestling done right. The Assassins bump all over the ring for the babyfaces and Jones & Bugsy have a lot of charisma to them, match was a breeze to get through. Could not have been an easier watch, great way to kick things off!


Winners: The Assassins over Bugsy McGraw & Rufus R. Jones via Schoolboy!


Johnny Weaver & Scott McGee vs Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin W/ Gary Hart


Lewin & Sullivan should be tremendous fun to watch in this one, very familiar with their work in Florida and their feud with The American Dream. Scott and Kevin work an electric pace to start off, two dropkicks from Scott. Tag to Lewin who wants to chop Scott, side headlock and a tag to Sullivan. Scott grabs a headlock, in comes Johnny Weaver. They run the ropes, in comes Lewin. Test of strength, Weaver works the arm of Lewin. Tag to Scott, Scott continues working the arm. Lewin has a head & arm triangle which brings Scott to the corner of Sullivan, Sullivan and Lewin take turns battering Scott. Knees from Sullivan and a nice arm-bar, Lewin continues to chop and stretch Scott, Scott reaches out for Weaver. They tease the tag with Sullivan distracting the referee, Weaver cannot enter the ring.


Sullivan and Weaver combine to batter Scott, more quick tags and beat down of Scott. Scott fights back though, a headbutt staggers the young fighter. Lewin is in and Lewin chokes at Scott. Sullivan is over-zealous and Weaver is able to be tagged in, massive bulldog with Lewin making the save. Sullivan survives the second bulldog, Lewin stomps all over Weaver and quick tag to Sullivan who batters the arm of Weaver. The referee is holding back Scott as Lewin drops a knee onto the arm of Weaver for the win, Scott tries to batter the two heels before Gary Hart takes an object out of his boot which allows Lewin to stab Scott over and over, there is blood everywhere.


Again not that bad, checking my timeline it seems like this is a very tame rendition of Sullivan’s Satanic Worshipper gimmick with Lewin under his spell, the unveiling of Lewin is tremendous as he came up out of the sea like a monster, Cornette would later do the same with Leviathan (Batista) in OVW but solid and Scott gets a gusher going over the assault with the object.


Winners: Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin over Scott McGee & Johnny Weaver via Diving Knee Drop!


Abdullah The Butcher vs Carlos Colon


A match so brutal and violent, it’s been banned from Puerto Rico. No stranger to violence is Abdullah The Butcher, the brawling hardcore icon who waged wars with The Funks, Bruiser Brody and everyone who was worth a damn when it came to brawling and having hardcore matches. Carlos Colon is bitten immediately on the head, big thrust shots and headbutt from Abdullah. Choking in the corner, uppercuts and headbutt continue coming as Carlos is in serious trouble. Clothesline and elbow drop from Abdullah, fork to the head behind the referee’s line of vision. Carlos fires back, stabbing Abdullah with whatever object Abdullah used previously. So we are just watching two men stab and bite one another, referee seems powerless.


Abdullah is down to a knee, Abdullah is being stabbed in the mouth and head, Abdullah has seen better days as the referee continues to watch on in horror mostly. Kicks and punches from Carlos, massive leg drop from Carlos. Abdullah kicks out, elbow dropping the referee who was in the way. Carlos fights back with a massive dropkick, Carlos works the leg and applies a figure four! Somebody charged the ring? We don’t know this man? It’s Hugo Savinovich! Abdullah covers for the win!


Well that was an interesting affair, not the bloodbath I expected so maybe they should not have bothered with this match?


Winner: Abdullah The Butcher over Carlos Colon via Foreign Object to the Head!


Bob Orton Jr. & Dick Slater vs Chief Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood


We get a screen graphic for this match, signals a bit of an importance here I guess. Important to note that Dick Slater and Bob Orton were the two men who answered the bounty on Ric Flair’s head so they have a whole lot of heat going into this match. Slater and Wahoo lock-up, both men chop one another before Slater is whipped to the buckle and flips out to the apron. Lock-up, Wahoo has a wrist-lock. Tag to Mark who works the arm with a leg drop, arm-bar, Mark lands a scoop slam but Slater sweeps the legs into a jacknife cover for two. We reset, Slater takes the arm into a hammerlock before Mark counters for his own hammerlock. Slater bends over looking to sweep the leg but Mark’s position is good at first before Mark kicks Slater to the apron. Orton and Slater take control on Mark, massive back-breaker from Orton.


Wahoo is not happy, Orton lands a snap-mare but Mark dodges the elbow drop. Orton runs to the floor, we have a chase and Mark lands a hip-toss in the ring. Tag to Slater who is hesitant, Orton decides to continue and the heels talk strategy. Orton lands a back-breaker with Slater coming in for an elbow drop, Slater steps all over the face of Mark. Hard right hand decks Mark, gut-wrench suplex by Slater for two.  Slater hurls Mark to the floor, Orton batters Mark as the referee disagrees with Wahoo. Mark is dropped back-first on the guardrail, Slater stomps Mark before tagging in Orton who slaps on a reverse chin-lock. Orton eats a shoulder block but lands a boot to stop that flurry, massive stomp to the head and Orton slaps on another reverse chin-lock. Tag to Slater, Slater lands a headbutt and a back elbow. Beautiful suplex for two, Mark escapes the clutches of the heels and tags in Wahoo who is chopping and beating up Orton.


Inverted atomic drop and massive chop to the back of the neck, Irish whip and a scoop slam, Wahoo lands a chop for two. Another cover with Orton’s foot reaching the ropes, Wahoo stands on the head of Orton. Orton trips up Wahoo, tag to Slater. Stomping away, Slater is in control. Tomahawk chops are rocking Slater, Orton gets in a cheap shot and Slater lands a back suplex for two. Leg drop from Slater, elbows to the face of Wahoo. Orton tags in and delivers a vicious knee drop to the head of Wahoo, two for Orton. Slater goes high and tries an elbow but Wahoo dodges, Slater takes out Orton. Atomic drop from Wahoo, tag to Mark and they land a double chop. Orton knees Wahoo in the back to the floor. Orton manages to tag Slater, Mark lands a dropkick.


Dropkick to Slater and a dropkick to Orton again, Orton is being rocked all around the ring. Mark tries whipping Orton, Orton survives thanks to the help of Slater who holds onto his partner which makes Mark miss the dropkick. Orton has Mark up high, the superplex connects and Wahoo is too slow to save his partner.


Solid tag team match, big fan of the work of Orton and Slater while I know Wahoo was a powerhouse and quite the babyface in his day. Heels get more heat after the match, they are quite hated by the fans so I am all for it. A lot of tag matches on this card though, might be wearing me down a little bit, I am having a little bit of NJPW syndrome where I can only handle so many tag matches. Good stuff though, very happy with this match.


Winners: Dick Slater & Bob Orton Jr. over Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood via Superplex!


(NWA Television Championship/Mask Match) Charlie Brown vs The Great Kabuki W/ Gary Hart


More match graphics so everyone knows Charlie Brown is Jimmy Valiant while Kabuki is a foreign heel who the fans love to hate, Brown tees off with big right hands. Into the ring-post, Kabuki meets it hard. Brown uses a chair to rough up Kabuki, Kabuki meets the ring-post hard. The crowd is loving Brown, big love for Brown. Gary Hart is furious with this lack of officiating from the referee, Brown stomps Kabuki low, choke from Brown. Sleeper from Brown, Kabuki is in serious trouble. Kabuki is fading fast, this could be great for Brown. Kabuki fights out but falls into the sleeper again, Kabuki escapes and lands chops and spinning kicks because he is a master of The Martial Arts Brudda! Claw-hold from Kabuki, Brown begins to fade. Brown survives the claw, whip to the buckle. Brown is rocked though, massive kick from Kabuki.


Kabuki is on the top rope, Kabuki motions for a massive chop and applies the claw. Did we not see this for an age just seconds ago? More selling and twitching from Brown. Another diving chop, two for Kabuki. Brown begins to fire up, Kabuki’s attacks have no effect as Brown dodges a corner kick and Brown pins Kabuki with an elbow drop.


I do not understand the appeal of Jimmy Valiant but the crowd sure do love him, this match was dogshite though. Kabuki and Valiant had won of the most boring matches I have ever seen, the announcers cannot even tell us if the championship changed hands which sums up this disaster.


Winner: Charlie Brown over The Great Kabuki via Elbow Drop!


(Dog Collar Match) Roddy Piper vs Greg Valentine


Two men who are going to beat the piss out of one another, that’s what I want to see. We know what Piper can do given the right material while this will be a test in my eyes for good old Greg Valentine because Valentine is one mean son of a gun but can he give me a match that is worth watching? Piper had been working through all the heels so Valentine might be just another victim when all is finished. The commentators talk about the history between the two as well as how the chain can be used in this match, possibly the most dangerous match in professional wrestling. Piper and Valentine are in a tug of war, not good for either man’s neck. It looks quite funny but you just know its going to get good once they meet, Valentine is so hesitant. Piper lands the first hit with the chain, both men back-up and start once more.


Valentine misses two blows, they get close again as Piper whips the knees of Valentine and Piper closes the distance, big chain shots to the head. Piper tortures Valentine with the chain before Valentine fires back with right hands and shots to the ear. Valentine starts choking Piper with the chain, the chain is around the eyes of The Hot-Rod. Elbows to the head, pinpoint accuracy from Valentine. Piper lands a knee-lift and chokes back at Valentine, Valentine is in some serious trouble, it’s double-wrapped around the face of Valentine. More shots to the face, Valentine is being choked by Piper’s strength and using the turnbuckle. Valentine is in serious trouble, Piper continues to unload rights and bites the head of Valentine. Valentine is gushing blood from Piper’s attacks, Valentine manages to choke Piper with Piper wiggling free at the end.


Piper whips the chain across the head of Valentine, Valentine answers back. Piper throws a chair, Valentine is rocked. Piper pulls Valentine up to the apron, the referee was in the middle of the two and Valentine takes control with a shot to the face, Valentine works that damaged ear. Piper is thrown into a number of chairs, bleeding from his ear I believe. Valentine continues decking Piper with big right hands with the chain, Piper will not quit though. Valentine continues decking Hot-Rod, Valentine bits the ear of Piper. Piper uses the chain to come back into the match, Valentine continues to maintain control with vicious elbows and right hands. Picture perfect elbow drop by Valentine for two, more elbows to the top of the head.


Valentine was going for a third elbow drop but Piper uses the chain to pull down Valentine, Piper has gone berserk with a flurry of right hands. Piper feels the blood from his ear, chain-shots take down Valentine. Piper cracks Valentine over the head, Piper continues to touch his ear and lands a fist-drop to the head. Piper rounds off multiple right hands, Valentine answers with a clothesline. Valentine knee drops Piper on the chest with Piper continue to kick out, Valentine is irate and lands another fist drop for two. Piper blocks a suplex and lands a suplex, Valentine sends Piper to the corner and slaps on a sleeper. Piper almost passes out before cracking Valentine in the face with the chain, Valentine lands a middle rope elbow to the head, elbow drop from Valentine. Valentine is on the middle rope, Piper pulls Valentine into his fist. Right hands from Piper and Piper folds up Valentine with the chain.


A bloody war from these two, certainly felt the animosity between these two in this match, it is everything you would want from a match with this stipulation. Piper and Valentine start off cautious, neither man wanting to fall victim to a shot from the chain, the violence is on full-display as both men take turns destroying one another with the chain, Piper bites at the head of Valentine, causing the champion to bleed everywhere while not to be out-done, Valentine cracks open Piper’s ear, that damaged ear which Gordon Solie has told us about throughout the match. Piper’s comeback was fantastic as the people love Piper, just wish the finish was executed better, Valentine falling off the rope and losing to a punch to the throat could have been handled better. However, this was a brawl and a violent spectacle which I was sucked in, hats off to these two.


Winner: Rowdy Roddy Piper over Greg Valentine via Roll-Up!


(NWA World Tag Team Championship Match) The Brisco Brothers © vs Jay Youngblood & Ricky Steamboat


These two have battled for quite some time with The Briscoes showing heelish tendencies which led us to this match here and now, Steamboat and Jack to start. Clean break from Steamboat, side headlock from Jack with Steamboat looking for his chop but Jack knew what was coming.  Arm-wrench from Jack, tag to Gerald who lands a big axe-handle before Steamboat takes down Gerald who is not happy about being out-done by Steamboat. Hammerlock from Jack,  Steamboat flips out and lands an arm-drag, Jack begs for mercy. Tag to Gerald, Gerald backs Steamboat into the corner, no clean break as Gerald lands huge forearms in the corner. Front chancery from Gerald, lock-up with Steamboat being backed into the corner. Hard left gut punch and hard Irish whip from Gerald, Steamboat puts on the brakes and sends Gerald to the corner. Chop and tag to Youngblood.


Side headlock takedown for two, Gerald is caught in an arm-bar with no escape given to them from Youngblood. Tag to Steamboat who climbs high, diving axe handle from Steamboat. Youngblood does the same after receiving a quick tag, Youngblood chops down Jack so Gerald cannot tag anyone. Gerald goes low with a kick, Jack comes in and double-teams Steamboat. Jack drops Steamboat on the top rope, snap-mare into a knee drop. Back body drop from Jack, Gerald lands a double arm suplex with a cover for two. Waist-lock from Gerald, squeezing the life out of Steamboat. Hip-toss into a short-arm scissors from Gerald, Steamboat powers up with Gerald on his arm and electric-chair drops him down. Youngblood gets the hot-tag, chops onto Jack. Jack reverses a suplex and lands a beautiful suplex, kicks to the ribs from Jack who tags in Gerald.


Double tackle from the champions, Gerald is getting into a war of words with special referee Mosca, Steamboat receives the tag and chops everything in sight. Jumping chop from Steamboat, double chop from the challengers. Tag to Steamboat again, assisted dropkick and shot to the throat. Tag to Youngblood, assisted splash for the win!


Talk about abrupt! If you thought the last one was abrupt, this match raises the bar. I felt like It came out of nowhere, was really expecting a lot more considering who was in the ring, Steamboat was excellent as always and the champions were unlikeable so I don’t have a problem with that at all, just thought for the position on the card, it would have delivered more but nothing wrong it overall, just a little abrupt for my taste!


Winners: Jay Youngblood & Ricky Steamboat over The Briscoe Brothers via Assisted Splash!


(NWA World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match) Ric Flair vs Harley Race ©


A Flare for The Gold brothers and sisters! Here we are, the moment everyone has been waiting for on this historic night. Harley Race had dethroned Ric Flair for the championship, issuing a bounty on the head of The Nature Boy and ducking his challenge for a long time but there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide as both men enter a steel cage to settle the score, they can only be one winner. Gene Kiniski is the special referee for this one, a lot of history and legacy in that ring before we ring the bell.


The stare-down with Gene providing the rules is a tense as you could wish, Flair and Race back into their corners before the bell does not ring? There we go, they lock-up with Gene asking for a clean break. Side headlock takedown from Flair, Race rolls over for a cover but we have a stand-off. Lock-up, chops and elbows from Flair. Side headlock from the challenger, Race backs Flair into the ropes. Knees from Race, Flair returns the favour and we have a nice snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock. Race shoves off Flair, high knee from Race but Flair dodges the falling headbutt. Chop from Flair for one, side headlock takedown from Flair. Flair continues to work Race who is stuck in a headlock from the challenger, Race manages to counter but misses an elbow drop which allows Flair to reassume control.


Scoop slam does not work as Race is too heavy, Race almost steals one. Knee drop to the head from Race, knee across the throat from Race. Race continues driving the knee into the throat of the challenger, the referee is involved once more with Race being infuriated during the exchange. More choking using the knee from Race, piledriver from Race. Elbow drop and elbow to the back of the head, neck-breaker from Race for two. Shoulder-breaker from Race for a close two, Flair fights back before a headbutt drops Flair. Falling headbutt from Race, Race sends Flair into the cage, using the cage as a weapon. Closed fist to the face, Flair has donned the crimson mask. Flair is able to land a huge right hand, chops from Flair. Elbow to the head, punches from Flair but the referee gets involved once more which allows Race to land a headbutt.


Flair sends Race to the cage, Race is now bleeding. Piledriver for a close two, Flair rips at the neck of Race. Double underhook suplex from Flair for two, Race meets the steel cage once again. Race meets it again, headbutt into the groin from Race. Flair’s head is grinded into the cage, more referee arguing. Headbutt puts down Flair, Flair fires back though with a massive chop. Flair applies The Figure Four, they are in the ropes though so it does not go for Flair. Headbutt from Race, Race tries a suplex but Flair falls on top for another close two. Flair is knocked down by a headbutt, Race is on the middle rope and lands a diving headbutt. Beautiful suplex for two, Flair blocks a suplex and lands one delayed suplex of his own. Flair wants an elbow drop but Race dodges out of the way, side headlock from Race which ends up with Race running into the referee. Flair fights out of the corner with rights and lefts and lands a diving crossbody off the top rope for the win!


Ric Flair ascends to the top of the mountain, not the match I would have wanted to end the show I think the match was actually quite hampered by the referee’s involvement at critical moments, I think Race looked past it here if I am honest. This for me didn’t have the nastiness or heat it should have had for a show closing feud, I thought Piper and Valentine topped this when it came to violence and a bloody spectacle although I never have really known Flair as a great comeback artist in his years wrestling so maybe I shouldn’t have been expecting so much. Regardless, a good match that caps off what they wanted to achieve but I felt it was not as dramatic or hard-hitting as Piper vs Valentine!


Winner: Ric Flair over Harley Race via Diving Crossbody!


That was Starrcade 1983: A Flare for The Gold, a concept that was ahead of its time and an enjoyable watch for the most part. The undercard is largely forgettable but the work inside the ring is fine apart from Carlos Colon and Abdullah but I can look pas it as I said as the action is mostly good between the ropes. The big matches of the night suffer from abrupt finishes and maybe tame finishes if I could apply that word to it, Piper and Valentine is a war and easily my favourite of the night but the finish stops it from being a classic for me while I also love the tag team championship match, the abrupt finish takes away from the hard work that was put in during the other parts of the match so a big event for sure and a big moment historically but I was left disappointed by the big three matches. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!