Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that never ever delivers anything of quality! It’s Starrcade 1987! Headlined by Ric Flair and Ronnie Garvin for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship! We also have Dusty Rhodes and Leg Luger for The NWA United States Heavyweight Championship, Nikita Koloff takes on Terry Taylor and much more! Starrcade 1986 was mostly disappointing so can Starrcade 1987 deliver? Let’s find out!
Sting & The Fabulous Freebirds W/ Precious vs Rick Steiner/Eddie Gilbert/Larry Zbyszko W/ Baby Doll
This is the first NWA PPV and this also takes place after the UWF ran by Bill Watts has been bought out by Jim Crockett Promotions, Sting has turned babyface after being double-crossed by Eddie Gilbert. Steiner and Sting to start, Steiner lands two clotheslines to rock Sting. Steiner tries a third clothesline but Sting dodges and Steiner lands on the floor, plancha to the floor from Sting. Missile dropkick by Sting, Freebirds nail dropkicks on Gilbery and Larry. The babyfaces clean house, this is what you call an opening match ladies and gentlemen. Sting tags in Hayes who works the arm of Steiner, tag to Garvin who kicks at the arm of Steiner. Back body-drop from Garvin, Steiner tags in Larry.
Larry sucks rings throughout the arena, Larry is not pleased with this turn of events. Side headlock from Garvin, big shoulder blocks from Garvin. Boot takes down Larry, Larry is peppered in the babyface corner. Hayes grabs the nose of Larry and lands a huge right, elbow to the face and strut from Hayes. Gilbert is in, shove-off and drop-downs with Hayes strutting around and smashing Gilbert in the face. Gilbert is brought to Sting, middle rope axe handle from Sting. Sting works the arm, clothesline from Sting. Wrist-lock from Sting, Gilbert slams Sting down to escape and tags in Steiner. Steiner gets caught in an arm-bar, Sting grabs hold of the arm. Sting tags in Garvin, Steiner whips Garvin to the corner but Garvin counters for a sunset flip. Two for Garvin, Steiner drags Garvin to the corner.
In comes Larry who lands a spinning sole butt, the heels batter Garvin behind the referee’s back. Larry gets a close two, Gilbert comes in and lands a massive atomic drop. Gilbert works the back, back-breaker for two. Scoop slam but Gilbert misses the elbow, Steiner cuts off Garvin’s tag attempt. Steiner tees off with massive rights, powerslam for a close two. Bearhug from Steiner, Garvin almost escapes but Larry comes in with a beastly abdominal stretch. Garvin manages to hip-toss Larry, in comes Sting for the tag! Sting stomps away at Larry, Gilbert and Steiner are being decked by Stinger. Larry rakes the eyes and Gilbert lands a middle rope fist to the head of Sting. Gilbert tosses Sting to the floor, Hayes helps up Sting.
Gilbert lands a beautiful suplex for two, knee-drop from Gilbert. Tag to Larry, right hand from Larry but Sting blocks the suplex and suplexes Larry. Steiner comes in and applies a sleeper but Sting runs Steiner into the buckle. Larry comes in but Sting sends Larry into the buckle, tag to Hayes who explodes. Back body-drop and right hands from The Freebird, ten punches in the corners as all babyfaces are kicking ass. Running Bulldog on Larry, Larry’s foot is on the rope. Sleeper from Hayes, Gilbert climbs high and lands a diving axe handle. Larry tags in Steiner who works the ribs with a big bearhug, belly to belly suplex for a close two. Gilbert comes in and looks for a back-drop but Hayes counters with a small package, sunset flip for a close two and the time-limit expires.
Very fun opening match, a massive step-up from the likes of Mr. Electricity and Denny Brown, everyone in this match knows what they are doing and gives us exactly what we are looking for when it comes to this match. You have Steiner throwing people around, the explosive energy of Sting and the crowd is big into this one. Good stuff, not a fan of time-limit draws but the best opening to a Starrcade so far!
(UWF Heavyweight Championship Match) Dr. Death Steve Williams © vs Barry Windham
Two big bastards right here who know exactly what they are doing inside of that squared circle, Barry Windham is fantastic inside of that ring while Dr. Death would soon go to dominate All Japan with Terry Gordy as The Miracle Violence Connection with Terry Gordy. The match starts quick, Windham is tossed around by Williams, Williams is caught by Windham’s quickness and they begin trading wrestling holds on the mat. Crowd is not a fan of this style of wrestling, they don’t want to see technical wrestling and two men show how good they are at wrestling. Williams and Windham are both being nice to one another, crowd wants blood. Windham goes for a side headlock and Williams lands his back-drop driver which rocks Windham’s world. Windham lands a gut-wrench suplex on Williams.
Side headlock from Williams, Windham looks for a shin-breaker. Windham counters with a teardrop suplex but Williams won’t let go, Windham nails a shoulder block and they continue wrestling before Windham headbutts Williams in the groin. Windham allows Williams to recover, not sure if this was a wise choice. The match has an interesting layout for sure, Windham talking to Williams as Williams looks like he is in serious pain. Side headlock takedown from Windham, Williams tries a head-scissors but Windham is too quick. Shoulder block from Windham but Williams low-bridges as Windham goes flying to the floor off a flying crossbody. Oklahoma roll for the win and this match is over!
What in God’s name was this match? This gave me nothing of what I love from these two men? That was an absolute joke, I can’t believe that is what they came up with when trying to showcase these two men.
Winner: Steve Williams over Barry Windham via Oklahoma Roll!
(Scaffold Match) The Midnight Express W/ Jim Cornette & Big Bubba Rogers vs The Rock “N” Roll Express
The rivalry and the match that you want to see right here although wait, what’s that? A scaffold match? Why can’t I enjoy these two just wrestling in the ring? As you may also notice, Dennis Condrey is gone and we have Sweet Stan Lane in his place. The most famous incarnation of the team taking on my favourite tag team during this era.
Match starts with Big Bubba spiking Morton with his Bossman Slam, The Midnight Express batter Gibson who is on the scaffold alone, this looks more like a handicap match. Eaton sends Gibson into the scaffold face-first, Bubba was going to climb up but Morton uses the racket to batter Bubba down. Morton joins the fray, not much drama in seeing whether Morton was going to get involved or not I guess. Morton is beating the piss out of Eaton with the racket while Gibson and Lane pair off in another corner. Eaton and Lane use powder to blind Gibson & Morton, this one is getting ugly! Eaton is bleeding as Morton almost falls off the scaffold, Lane kicks away at Gibson. Eaton decks Lane by mistake as Gibson ducks, Morton waffles Eaton with the racket. Eaton and Lane brawl back into it and beat Morton with the racket.
Gibson beats Eaton with a metal railing, lots of punching and brawling on the scaffold. Lane is hanging off the site, Cornette throws Eaton the racket and Eaton catches the racket and nails Gibson. Lane is in serious trouble, Morton and Lane brawl on the side of the scaffold while Gibson batters Eaton with the racket. Morton kicks off Lane, Eaton battles with his racket against both members. Morton hits Eaton with the racket over and over, Eaton is beginning to fall, Eaton is kicked to the floor.
Same thoughts as last time: a spectacle that looks amazing but the match is piss-poor, they are limited and cannot do a thing, all very boring and whatever suspense and drama that you think would be there, grows old after about two minutes. Not my thing at all but I give them the credit for going up there and risking their backs/legs to take bumps up there.
Winners: Rock “N” Roll Express!
(NWA & UWF Television Championship Unification Match) Terry Taylor © W/ Eddie Gilbert vs Nikita Koloff ©
Koloff and Taylor stare one another down, I admire Taylor’s confidence going up against an absolute monster in Koloff. They square off, clean break from Koloff. Arm-drag from Taylor, Koloff pops right back. Taylor is taking back by Koloff, side headlock by Taylor. Koloff knocks down Taylor with a shoulder block, we have a clean break again. Taylor works the arm, wrenching it with Koloff getting progressively angrier and Taylor gets caught in the arm-bar from Koloff. Taylor cannot do a thing as Koloff continues working the arm, Taylor makes it to the ropes and talks strategy with Gilbert before re-entering the ring. Taylor talks trash and gets slapped hard, more arm-work from Koloff and a back body-drop for two. Taylor powders once more, more strategy talk.
Koloff tried a corner clothesline but Taylor blocks with a knee and uses the ropes to almost steal the win. Koloff comes back in with a hammerlock, Koloff continues wrenching with Taylor all tied up. Eye-rake from Taylor, right hands and elbows from Taylor. Snap-mare, Koloff dodges the elbow drop. Arm-bar from Koloff, headbutt and right hands from Taylor which do not work at all. Whip to the buckle and choke from Koloff, Koloff wants it but Taylor ducks and Koloff smashes his arm off the ring-post. Taylor sends Koloff to the floor, chop from Taylor. Hammerlock throw into the ring-post, Taylor wrenches the arm. Gilbert sends the arm into the ring apron, Taylor has a weak spot now. Knee-drop into the arm, Taylor grinds his knee into Koloff’s arm. Knee-drop to the head with Taylor talking massive trash.
Koloff powers out at two, Taylor is a little hesitant. Koloff uses an elbow to try and take out Taylor but the pain is too great, Taylor continues working the arm. Koloff blocks a sunset flip with a big right hand, Koloff blocks the suplex and plants Taylor. Taylor is still up first, right hand after right hand but the big man is firing up and we have huge right hands to the head of Taylor. Inverted atomic drop from Taylor, for two, schoolboy from Koloff for two. Back body-drop from Koloff, right hands from Koloff. Taylor runs around the ring, Koloff is suckered in and is kicked in the head while Gilbert attacks the hamstring of Koloff. Taylor works the leg and calls for the finish, Figure Four from Taylor. Taylor uses the ropes and Gilbert for pressure, the referee catches Taylor cheating. Taylor runs into Gilbert and eats a Russian Sickle for the win!
This is a match where you take everything that I love about Nikita Koloff and strip it away from him, we don’t get to see Koloff destroy and toss around Taylor. We are treated to Koloff working the arm for 10 to 12 minutes, it’s awful quite frankly and a huge disappointment in my eyes, this card is not going how I had anticipated based on the talent I saw on the card. I don’t want to see Koloff wrestle over 10 minutes just like Sid Vicious, they can be extremely fun if they are protected and allowed to show their strengths, this was not the way to go about it, horrible match.
Winner: Nikita Koloff over Terry Taylor via Russian Sickle!
(NWA World Tag Team Championship Match) Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard © W/ JJ Dillon vs The Road Warriors W/ Paul Ellering
Now this is going to be some good shit, no doubt about whatsoever. Anderson and Hawk to start, Hawk sends Anderson off the top rope to the mat. Anderson powders, Dillon is not happy. Anderson as always backs into his corner, trying to cut the ring in half before even locking up, Hawk powers out of a side headlock into a top wrist-lock. Leg drop to the arm with Anderson bailing once more, Anderson threatens Precious Paul. We have a stand-off on the floor, Blanchard is thrown down and eats a clothesline before Animal throws Blanchard back in the ring. Blanchard tries running but Hawk brings him back in, dropkick from Hawk for two. Tag to Animal, whip to the buckle but Blanchard boots away Animal. Blanchard tried a diving crossbody but Animal powerslammed him down. Anderson jumps Animal and gets tagged in, regret sets in on the face of Anderson.
Animal clotheslines down Anderson, Blanchard gets knocked down for trying to get involved. Hawk is attacked by both Horseman but a double clothesline sends them down, Blanchard’s foot is on the ropes so the champions survive for now. Bearhug from Animal, inverted atomic drop. Blanchard chops at Animal but Animal chops down Blanchard over and over. Dropkick floors Blanchard, Anderson has had enough. Side headlock from Anderson who powders from Animal, Animal gives chase. Animal blocks the piledriver, military press slam from Animal. Anderson dropkicks the knee of Hawk, Blanchard can go after it now. Blanchard pounces, wrenching and attacking as Hawk scrambles like a fish out of water.
Anderson drags Hawk to the ring-post, Hawk’s leg is smashed into the ring-post. Blanchard waffles Hawk’s leg with the chair, Hawk is in serious trouble. DDT from Anderson for two, Hawk presses out big time. Tag to Blanchard, they stretch the leg with Blanchard missing a figure four. Knees driven into the leg over and over, Hawk cannot escape the grasp of the champions. Figure four from Blanchard, Anderson comes in and tries to squeeze out the win. Knees to the arms but Anderson cannot secure the pin-fall, Hawk drives his knees into Anderson and Hawk tags Animal. Dropkick on Anderson, clothesline to Blanchard. Blanchard trips up Animal, Blanchard shoulder blocks the referee to the floor. Double clothesline to Blanchard, Animal lifts up Anderson and we have The Doomsday Device for the win! They reverse the decision though as The Road Warriors sent Arn Anderson to the floor via the top rope which is a DQ.
This was a lot of fun but the ending puts quite the sour note on it, sums up the card pretty well though as it just continues to let me down. The Road Warriors are allowed to toss people around which is great, The Horseman know how to bump and make The Road Warriors look amazing so all of this is top quality with everyone playing their roles to perfection, Hawk sells his leg for The Horseman and it looks like they are going to put the championships on the Chicago boys but nope, a reverse decision and just like that, the air and excitement of the arena is driven out of it, nice one.
Winners: The Four Horseman over The Road Warriors via DQ!
(NWA United States Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match) Dusty Rhodes vs Lex Luger © W/ JJ Dillon
I must say I am growing bored of the big championship matches taking place inside of a cage back to back, I don’t know how I am supposed to be as excited the second time around when I have just saw a cage match just before but what do I know right? If Rhodes loses, he can not wrestle for 90 days which means he will starve apparently because Rhodes must eat money as well as spend money. Luger backs Rhodes to the corner, we have a clean break from Luger. Luger clubs Rhodes, Rhodes blocks the cage and elbows Luger. Luger is cautious now, Rhodes and Luger trade poses while Rhodes struts around the ring. Luger does not want to rush in there with Rhodes, they lock-up with Rhodes being shoved into the corner. Rhodes jabs his way out and elbows down Luger.
Atomic drop from Rhodes, Rhodes applies The Weaver Lock to put Luger to sleep but Luger gets into the ropes. Side headlock from Luger, shoulder block from Luger but Luger runs into The Weaver Lock. Rhodes takes control and starts working the arm with an arm-bar, Rhodes continues his controlling position with Luger reaching for his hair to break the hold. Luger backs Rhodes to the corner, Luger tees off with rights but runs into the buckle as Rhodes works the arm some more with elbows and a key-lock. Luger escapes that hold ands sends Rhodes’ head into the cage wall, raking the face of the challenger off the cage. Luger lands massive right hands to the head of Rhodes, Rhodes meets the cage wall again with Luger getting a close two. Rhodes begins to shake it off though, blood is spilling down his face though.
Luger lands a massive elbow for two, Luger works the spine with massive forearm shots and clubbing blows. Rhodes reverses an Irish whip and lands a dropkick, not too wise from The Dream. Luger lands a back-breaker, Rhodes uses the cage to survive the hold. Luger chokes Rhodes with the top rope for a close two, Luger works the arm and uses the ropes for leverage. Rhodes tries escaping but Luger pulls Rhodes down by the hair. Right hands and yanking of the arm from Luger, Rhodes is firing up though. Rhodes fires up, jabs from Rhodes and a Bionic Elbow. DDT which looks like dog-shite for a two, Luger is still in this match. Eye-rake from Luger, Irish whip and Rhodes ducks the clothesline and locks in The Weaver Lock. Rhodes jumps on the back of Luger, this could be all but JJ Dillon has taken down Weaver and grabbed a chair.
Dillon throws the chair into the ring, Luger took out the referee. Luger has the chair almost but Rhodes suckers in Luger and plays possum. As Luger reaches for the chair, Rhodes comes in and drops Luger with a sickening DDT on the chair, The American Dream is champion once more!
It was fine, nothing particularly special about this one. A better performance from Rhodes than his 86 match with Blanchard though, Luger looks fine in the match not exposed or shown to be bad. Didn’t really feel the drama in this one, I am almost numb to wrestlers bleeding as it happens up and down the card in the NWA, I don’t think Luger ever looked like he had Rhodes in danger.
Winner: Dusty Rhodes over Lex Luger via DDT!
(NWA World Championship Steel Cage Match) Ronnie Garvin © vs Ric Flair
Ronnie Garvin’s run has been described as a mistake, promoters weren’t mentioning that Garvin was on the card because Garvin was not the draw they needed, not championship material and all of that is up to interpretation as all I want to talk about going into this one is that Garvin is champion while Flair is the challenger. Who would be the man to dethrone Flair? Garvin had done it, Rhodes had done it and Magnum was meant to do it but none were a true successor to Flair so who is going to be the next big star in The NWA?
They lock-up, they chop one another with Flair avoiding the lethal right hands of Garvin. Garvin tees off with chops and a hip-toss, Flair begs for mercy. Flair loses every exchange with Garvin, Garvin sucks from the fans which in 1987 for a babyface is a really bad thing to be happening. Shoulder block from Garvin, Garvin rakes at the face of Flair. Massive corner chops from Garvin, Flair flops down early. Whip to the buckle and back body-drop, Flair begs for mercy. Arm-bar from Garvin, ten punches in the corner and another back body-drop with Garvin landing his Garvin Stomp all over Flair. Flair is scrambling bad, Garvin rakes and chokes Flair. Slaps from Garvin, Flair chops back but Garvin is too strong and floors Flair again.
Low blow from Flair, inverted atomic drop from The Nature Boy. Right hand in the corner from Flair, chops too. Snap-mare with a knee-drop for two, Flair begins to work the ankle of Garvin who screams out in pain. Chops and a vicious shin-breaker and a Figure Four Leg-Lock from The Nature Boy. Flair continues attacking the leg and tries sending Garvin into the cage but Garvin blocks. Garvin sends Flair into the cage again and again, Flair’s face is raked across the cage. Flair meets the cage once more, Garvin bites the head of Flair. Flair tries climbing away over the top of the cage, Garvin bounces Flair’s head off the cage before Garvin drops down. Flair battles away from Garvin, Garvin yanks Flair off the top rope.
Garvin dishes out the Figure Four, Garvin sends Flair into the cage. Diving crossbody from Garvin for two, Flair whips Garvin and tries a hip-toss but Garvin reverses for a backslide. Two for Garvin, Flair’s face meets the cage again. Chop after chop from Garvin, Flair looks to escape again but Flair meets the cage again. Flair is headbutted and drops down groin-first on the cage, the diving sunset flip from Garvin does not work as Flair counters holding on the ropes for a close two. Garvin chops and chops and now lands ten punches before Flair throws Garvin into the referee. Knockout Punch from Garvin for a close two, Irish whip and Flair sends Garvin into the cage wall and Flair covers for the win!
Average match to be honest, I think I am not meant to watch cage matches back to back because it’s not for me. I don’t know how I ever survived a Lockdown PPV in TNA because this concept is not for me, Garvin getting booed in the time where babyfaces are rarely ever booed is a true sign of how damaging that run with the championship was for Hands of Stone. They had fine chemistry in the ring, wouldn’t have said it was main event calibre though.
Winner: Ric Flair over Ronnie Garvin via Flapjack into Cage Wall!
That was NWA’s Starrcade 1987, a disappointing PPV if I am to be honest. The card is stacked with big name talent following the acquisition of the UWF. Every match has endless possibilities of fun but none of them bar The Road Warriors match and the opening match reach that level. Crowd is red-hot to begin with and the six-man match is a lot of fun albeit the time-limit finish. Things take a turn for the worse then with Dr Death and Barry Windham of all people having a boring match followed by a Scaffold match that is a spectacle more than anything else followed by Nikita’s worst match because they made him go 17 minutes! The Road Warriors winning could have redeemed some credibility but they reverse that and two cage matches back to back was not for me, at least last time we had a tag team cage match to mix it up a little. Anyways, NWA’s first actual PPV does not deliver, nothing really special about this card so best to avoid it and move on! Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!