Saturday 5 February 2022

WCW Starrcade 1989 Review!


Hello and welcome to another ravishing edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that pipes in more fake applause than a Monday Night Raw Episode! It’s time for WCW Starrcade 1989 which might have one of the most unique concepts when it comes to a PPV. So it’s a round-robin style tournament between the top 4 singles’ stars and top 4 tag teams in the company meaning that the biggest show of the year has no real money-making feud main event but at least we will get awesome matches right? Right?? Well let’s find out!


The Steiner Brothers vs Doom W/ Woman & Nitron

The Steiners are your tag team champions but of course, we did not see the championship change. Well glad the championships are off The Fabulous Freebirds as they were simply not the best thing for the division. Not going to explain the rules when it comes the point, we will just enjoy the match. This starts out with Scott and Ron Simmons, Scott lands a powerslam and Steinerline. Rick still wants a piece of Woman, you will remember that Doom beat The Steiners at the previous Clash. Simmons counters the hammerlock with the jaw-breaker, belly to belly suplex from Rick. Reed comes in and eats a slam, Reed lands a knee to the ribs and a knee-lift. Snap-mare with big fists from Reed, Rick leapfrogs before landing a massive powerslam for two.


Tag to Scott, Scott grabs a side headlock. Reed is taken down again as Simmons watches on, tag to Rick. Reverse chin-lock, Nitron might be the most 1989 name I have ever head. Scott lands a back-breaker on Reed for two, Simmons comes in and eats an inverted atomic drop. Scott misses a clothesline though, Nitron smashes Scott behind the referee’s back. Powerslam by Simmons for two before a choke on Scott, tag to Reed. Reed lands a big kick, Reed stomps the head of Scott and leaves Scott on the floor. Nitron lands more right hands, Scott tries a small package for two before Reed kicks out and stomps on Scott again. Tag to Simmons, double back body-drop with a choke for good measure. Spinebuster from Simmons for two, Scott is dumped to the floor by Reed. Rick stands over Scott to protect him, Rick wants a piece of Doom bad.


Reed tries a suplex but Scott counters, a visual pin-fall but the referee was out of position with Rick, Scott counters a piledriver. Scott lands a belly to belly suplex on Reed, tag to Rick who comes in with massive right hands. Steinerline on Simmons, massive powerslam. Two, Steinerline to the floor. Reed eats another Steinerline, Simmons is on the apron and eats another stiff right hand. Reed attacks Rick, Irish whip but Rick ducks. Rick takes out Nitron but now Reed jumps Rick, everyone is brawling on the floor. Rick rolls into the ring before the count of ten and we have our winners by count-out.


Fun match for what it was, four big bastards clobbering each other while saving themselves for the other matches that they are going to have to work later in the night. No doubt that The Steiners deserve to be the premier babyface tag team in WCW at the time, they are on fire.


Winners: The Steiner Brothers over Doom via Count-out!


Sting vs Luger

Oh we are really going here right off the bat? Wow, was not expecting this. Luger starts out by jaw-jacking and getting pissed at the fans, Luger has been on fire since turning heel in 1989. Luger is so dejected by the fans’ reaction, he almost leaves the arena. Sting batters Luger against the guardrail, Luger eats a massive left. Sting lands a massive clothesline and slingshot splash for two, more clotheslines for Luger. Luger is on the floor, Luger is bounced off the guardrail and clotheslined to the floor. Luger is begging off in the corner, ten punches from The Stinger. The inverted atomic drop misses for Luger, clothesline from Sting. Luger comes back though with a big inverted atomic drop, make it two. Luger stomps Sting to the floor, things are not looking good for The Stinger. Luger mugs for the camera, The Total Package is in control.


Luger decides it is time for a little high-risk, double axe handle clocks Sting right in the head for two. Luger is not happy with this result, Luger smashes the face of Sting with his knee before raking his eyes with the rope. Sting starts kicking back at Luger, powerslam from Luger. Torture Rack is countered as Sting backs off to the corner, perhaps Sting did something to his knee here I am not too sure. Luger tees off with right hands, Sting is shaking it off. Boots and a right hand floors Luger, shots to the ribs. Sting chokes Luger, something went wrong there. Suplex by Sting for two, Luger rolls to the floor. Luger is on the apron, Sting continues smashing Luger but Luger and Sting cuddle it over the top rope and Luger uses the ropes for leverage for the win.


Garbage finish, not sure how they thought they could make that look good, should have settled it with a simple suplex or roll-up with feet on the ropes, I mean what are they trying to do? Pretty concerning that the big two rising stars in the company wrestled like that when asked to put something together.


Winner: Lex Luger over Sting via Smother Of Death!


The Road Warriors W/ Paul Ellering vs Doom W/ Woman & Nitron

Animal and Reed to start, best thing about this is Woman changed her dress. Animal lands a dropkick and poses, tag to Hawk. Hawk works the wrist, both men collide before Hawk lands a clothesline. Simmons comes in and eats a powerslam from Hawk, flying shoulder tackle from Hawk. Elbow from Animal, Animal slaps on a reverse chin-lock. Animal whips Reed to the corner, clothesline and a tag to Hawk. Hawk lands a dropkick before missing a corner spear, Hawk is down on the floor after cracking the ring-post. Simmons takes control with a reverse chin-lock and a little help from Woman. Tag to Reed who lands an elbow and a face stomp, scoop slam from Reed. Diving elbow drop from Reed, referee is not happy.


Reed lands a massive flying clothesline for two, another chin-lock. Hawk fires up and elbows the ribs of Reed. Hawk lands a shoulder block and a fist-drop, Reed cannot land the slam and Hawk rolls to the tag. Flying shoulder block from a legal Animal, powerslam on Reed. Simmons makes the save, Hawk comes in for the save. Eye rake by Reed, Reed wants a piledriver but Hawk lands a Diving Clothesline on Reed and Animal covers for the win.


It was fine, nothing spectacular but fun at the end of the day. Poor Doom, they are the whipping boys of this tournament. Hawk nearly decapitates Reed which is nice. Important to note: I said earlier that I see The Steiners are the premier babyface tag team in WCW, I say that because I feel The Road Warriors are so beyond everyone else at this stage, they don’t need the championships or championship feuds, they just need bodies to destroy and boy do they do it well.


Winners: The Road Warriors over Doom via Diving Clothesline!


Ric Flair W/ Ole & Arn Anderson vs The Great Muta W/ Gary Hart

The undefeated Muta vs the world champion, Muta fires off big kicks and ten punches. Flair eats the handspring elbow and the flashing elbow, Muta steps all over the face of Flair. Flair chops back at Muta, right hands from Flair. Inverted Atomic Drop and a big chop, shin-breaker from Flair. Figure Four lock in already, J-Tex Corporation are at ringside and they brawl with The Andersons. Muta tries the moonsault but eats knees, Flair rolls-up Muta and just like that, the undefeated streak is gone. Wow, just wow. There was money in this match and they decided to do this, unbelievable really.


Winner: Ric Flair over The Great Muta via Small Package!


The Steiner Brothers vs The Road Warriors

The big flaw of the system that does not translate from Japan is that we have clear babyfaces and heels in American wrestling so here we have two beloved teams going at it in the ring. People are a little confused as to who they are meant to cheer, Animal and Scott wrestle before Hawk murders Rick. Rick lands a Steinerline on Animal, Animal is rocked. Scott and Hawk are in, military press slam and fist-drop from Hawk. Two as Rick makes the save, big boot from Hawk for two. Scoop slam by Animal, Animal misses the elbow drop as Scott lands the belly to belly suplex for two. Hawk slams Scott for two, Scott fights back and sends Hawk to the corner. Belly to belly suplex from the middle rope, that looked scary.


Hawk is rocked but tags Animal who applies a bearhug, Scott whips Animal off the ropes but Scott lowers his head and gets kicked in the head. Hawk comes in and slams Scott, tag to Animal who lands an elbow drop. Rick saves Scott, Hawk decides to brawl with Rick. Scott is caught in a belly to back suplex with Hawk landing a Doomsday Device for the win but wait Animal’s shoulders were down while Scott’s shoulder was up.


Well The Steiners beat The Road Warriors which is a shock and the crowd are not buying it either so that’s not a good thing. Could have been a big money match one day even a changing of the guard type thing but here it is just a match, nothing more.


Winners: The Steiner Brothers over The Road Warriors via Shoulder Up!


The Great Muta vs Sting

Muta starts with a full-nelson, Sting turns the tables but Muta backs Sting to the corner and kicks down Sting. Side headlock takedown, Sting shoves off and eats a shoulder block. Monkey flip and clothesline from Sting, suplex for two. Scorpion Death-lock is applied but Muta survives, back body-drop from Muta. Snap-mare and flashing elbow, cattle mutilation from Muta. Sting survives and lands right hands before Muta lands Sting in the corner with shoulder thrusts. More stomps by Muta, Muta chokes Sting in the corner. Back-breaker by Muta, Muta misses the moonsaults but lands on his feet. Spinning sole butt from Muta, Muta climbs high. Superplex from Sting and Sting picks up the win!


Muta beaten twice now, the whipping boy of the block is going to be the undefeated Muta. Beaten by a superplex too? Could they have thought of something better? Also I am not done here, Muta was fantastic when he came to WCW and killed it with Sting in his first match, I heard about all these wonderful things the two did when they faced one another but beyond The Great American Bash, these two did not get to do awesome things on PPV. I was waiting for the comeback of Sting to capture the championship before Muta went back to NJPW but this is not going to happen considering the way things are going here in the company.


Winner: Sting over The Great Muta via Superplex!


Doom W/ Nitron & Woman vs The Samoan Swat-Team W/ Oliver Humperdink

Why Humperdink? Why The Wild Samoans now? What was wrong with Samoan Swat Team? Woman changed outfits again, we have two heel teams here so I can imagine this will be even more awkward than the babyface match. Fatu and Reed to start, they lock-up and we do not get clean breaks without the referee almost being wiped out. Reed slams Fatu, pose from Reed. They lock-up, Fatu slips out of a slam and slams Reed with a running powerslam. Reed is rocked as Fatu poses, we swap partners and we have Simmons and Tama brawling. Powerslam and headbutt but it does not work, superkick from Tama. Simmons dodges a splash, scoop slam by Simmons. Neck-breaker by Reed for two, blatant choke from Reed. Tama comes up with chops, Simmons tags into the match and kicks Tama in the back of the head. Simmons grabs the leg and tags in Reed, middle rope diving elbow drop. Two for Reed, Reed rosses Tama to the floor. Tama tries a sunset flip from the apron but gets a two, Reed misses a bulldog as Tama shoves him away. Reed and Simmons double team Tama, two for Simmons. Another scoop slam, middle rope shoulder block does not connect. Fatu comes in with a flying headbutt, the match breaks down. Fatu and Reed bang heads, Humperdink shoves Fatu on top.


So Doom win fuck-all, what was the point of this tournament for them? Why would they have Nitron there doing nothing after the first match? The man could strangle everyone yet never involved? Fuck this terrible idea!


Winners: The Wild Samoans over Doom via Headbutt!


Ric Flair vs Lex Luger

Two champions duking it out, Luger and Flair to go at it after battling for Flair’s championship in times gone by, here Flair is the hero to the fans while Luger is the hated antagonist. Flair is stylin’ and profilin’ early as Luger looks upset by this turn of events before telling the fans that he will kill them all if they do not shut up. Luger continues to entertain me, lots of stalling here before Luger takes a side headlock with a takedown. Flair wriggles and wriggles, brief pin-fall attempt from The Nature Boy. Flair counters to a keylock before Luger pulls Flair down by the hair. Luger backs up, Flair backs Luger to the corner but the chops are not affecting Luger thus far but Luger does collapse down after the tenth or eleventh chop. Luger is on the floor getting chopped, Luger lures in Flair and lands right hands before Flair counters with a back body drop.


Flair works the arm with knees to a hammer-locked Flair, Luger knees Flair in the ribs. Luger goes to work with massive shots to the ribs, Luger ducks the head off an Irish whip with Flair landing an elbow and a double-arm suplex for two. Flair goes back to the arm, wrenching away at The Total Package’s arm. Luger pulls Flair down by the hair but Flair chops down Luger, arm-bar from The Nature Boy. Luger shoves off Flair but eats another chop, more arm-work from Flair. Flair continues to work the arm, looks like we could be heading towards the draw because despite this work from Flair, I am used to body-work leading to draws in the NWA. On top of that, why work the arm when you use the figure four?


Luger rakes the eyes and rakes Flair’s face across the top rope, big right from Luger. Boots to the ribs, Flair dodges the powerslam. O’Connor roll for two, small package for two. Schoolboy for two, Luger is chopped down again. Luger sends Flair into the buckle, Flair may be having trouble with his vision. Luger stomps all over Flair in the corner, Irish whip into a clothesline. Forearms to the chest from Luger, military press slam. Hot-shot from Luger, Luger stomps all over the head of Flair. Flair blocks the suplex and suplexes Luger, backslide from Flair for two. Chops from Flair, right hands from Luger. Trading blows, Flair flip to the apron. Flair tries a diving crossbody but Luger lands a clothesline for two, Flair barely kicks out!


Luger is frustrated now, Luger shoves Flair to the floor. Not sure of that psychology from Luger, apron sunset flip from Flair for two. Luger tees off again, belly to back suplex from Flair and Flair applies The Figure Four Leg-Lock with thirty seconds left in the match. Luger manages to survive the time-limit expires, we have a draw.


I have no problem with two people going to a draw but they really worked it like they needed to kill 15 minutes and that is just not my thing at all, no urgency from either man to end this match. Flair comes alive in the last thirty seconds, trying to win. Flair doesn’t even go after the damn leg, it’s a bizarre one for sure but I guess that is how it goes when you are stalling for time.


Time-Limit Draw!


The Wild Samoans W/ Oliver Humperdink vs The Steiner Brothers

Lots of stalling before we get Rick in there with Tama who rakes the eyes and we have another pose off between the two. Lock-up and headbutt from Tama, scoop slam but the elbow drop misses with Rick mocking Tama. Right hands from Rick and a Steinerline, Tama rolls out of that ring as fast as possible. Rick has clotheslined a braid off the head of Tama, that’s pretty neat. Stalling before Fatu comes in, clothesline by Fatu. Rick lands a Steinerline, Fatu rolls to the floor. Scott and Fatu wrestle now, Scott lands a Steinerline and clamps on a front chancery rolling into a cradle. Tag to Rick, Rick works the arm before Rick is backed into the wrong corner.


We have a mis-fire, seen this spot a bunch with The Samoans, seems to happen constantly. They tease killing one another before Scott comes in, no Frankensteiner so The Samoans go to work. Fatu crotches Scott on the guardrail, headbutt to the groin. Choke behind the referee’s back, Fatu rakes at the face of Scott while Tama rakes illegally from the apron. Scott is almost pinned, Rick bites at The Samoans. Double clothesline from The Samoans, Scott is dumped to the floor again. Bearhug from Fatu, Scott escapes but Fatu lands a low blow behind the referee’s back. Rick is getting angrier and angrier, superkick to the floor from Tama. More choking, more bearhugs. Scott almost gets the win with a backslide, Frankensteiner on Fatu.


Two minutes left, Tama comes in and clubs Scott. Irish whip, sunset flip for two. Scoop slam but Tama misses the splash, Rick does not get the tag. Rick comes in and starts brawling, Steinerlines for both Samoans. Scott sends a Samoan to the floor, Rick is looking to help his brother. The referee declares The Samoans the winners by DQ.


So a count-out and a 14 minute match which ends in a DQ back to back, what a crock of shit that was, I am fed up with this tournament by this stage. It was a terrible idea, how they could not see beforehand how this would be a terrible idea is beyond me.


Winners: The Samoans over The Steiner Brothers via DQ!


Lex Luger vs The Great Muta W/ Gary Hart

New trunks for Luger, pulling that old Woman gimmick I see. We have Luger limping slowly to the ring, stalling before Muta kicks the knee of Luger over and over. Leg-trip and leg-wrench from Muta, toe-hold from Muta. Muta continues kicking the leg on the floor, Luger is in serious trouble here. Muta drops his weight down on the leg, Muta continues working the leg. Muta continues working the leg some more, this is all Muta. Single leg Boston crab by Muta, Muta-Lock! Luger survives but Muta calls for the end, Luger begs off before rallying with massive right hands. Muta lands a dropkick to stagger Luger, Luger is using the ropes to move around. Clothesline by Luger, they trade blows. Whip to the buckle and back body-drop by Luger, Luger sends Muta to the floor. Muta goes for an apron sunset flip, two for Muta. Luger lands a powerslam before Muta. Luger calls for the rack and Muta mists Luger for the DQ because why not?


The stellar booking continues, I know that the Japanese talent are ultimately in America to get over their guys but in one night, they really did a lot of market damage to Muta here. The booking was atrocious for him and this makes little sense here, Muta dominated and just went ah fuck it and misted Luger. As good as Luger was selling here, the match was flat.


Winner: Lex Luger over The Great Muta via DQ!


The Wild Samoans W/ Oliver Humperdink vs The Road Warriors W/ Paul Ellering

We have a piledriver to start with a no-sell before a massive clothesline, massive LOD chants in the arena. Tama is thrown down off the rope, they chop one another before Hawk whips Tama. Back body drop from Hawk, massive rights before an inverted atomic drop from Tama. Dropkick from Hawk for two, side headlock from Hawk. Tag to Animal, headbutt from Tama. Fatu comes in and eats a powerslam. Irish whip reversed by Fatu and Animal leapfrogs and clumsily elbows Fatu. We have another ugly botch, both men are down. Chop and superkick from Tama, choke from Tama. Back-rake and top rope choke, snap-mare into a chin-lock. Hawk manages to get the tag, more ugly botches before Tama gets beheaded with a Diving Clothesline by Hawk.


Looked like shit to be honest with you, Doom finish with no-points while the last team added almost end up winning the damn thing. They replay the finish which perfectly sums up this mess. Animal and Tama are all over the place, many blown spots in this one and I just can’t help but think what were they thinking with this concept?


Winners: The Road Warriors over The Wild Samoans via Diving Clothesline!


Sting vs Ric Flair

The big match, the big two. Seems like a lifetime ago when they battled at the first Clash of The Champions, they have been tag team partners throughout 1989 against The J-Tex Corporation but now these two will battle it out. Sting shoulder blocks and hip-tosses Flair, looks like this will be a lot more serious than Flair and Luger. Drop toehold from Sting, Sting tries to cradle Flair over but Flair gets to his feet, Flair is caught in a hold before attempting a fireman’s carry. Sting is on the top rope after Flair placed him there, Flair letting Sting know who is the man. They lock-up, top wristlock battle. Side headlock from Flair, shoulder block from Flair. Leapfrogs and drop-downs, military press slam from Sting.  Flair shoves Sting and Sting shoves down Flair, Flair wants Sting to come to the floor but Sting won’t be falling for that. Flair has his hip-toss blocked, backslide by Sting for two. Chop from Flair, Sting is rocked by this chop. Flair wants the hip-toss but Sting reverses and lands a dropkick, make it two. Side headlock takedown from Sting, Flair asks for a timeout. Flair lures in Sting with a boot and dumps The Stinger to the floor. Flair is getting a little more irate here, little more devilish than we have seen in recent months.


Flair sends Sting into the guardrail, snap-mare into a knee-drop. Abdominal stretch into a cradle from Flair for two, small package for two.  Hard Irish whip to the buckle, make it two. Butterfly suplex for two, Sting is whipped to the buckle but explodes out with a massive clothesline. Flair lures in Sting again, chops and chops do not work. Flair is backing away, elbow to the head before Sting tries for the apron sunset flip. Flair lands a massive right to the head of Sting, Flair wants a suplex to the floor but Sting suplexes Flair back into the ring. Two for Sting, the chops and kicks of Flair are not working as Sting is firing up. Ten punches in the corner, hip-toss and a clothesline for two. Stinger Splash and it’s Scorpion Death-Lock time! Flair crawls under the ropes, shin-breaker from Flair. Figure Four Leg-lock and Sting crawls to the ropes, Flair starts kicking the knee.


Flair continues to work the knee, Sting collapses to the corner. Flair chops Sting down, Flair wants to destroy the knee. Knee-drop to the inside of the knee, side headlock takedown from Flair but Sting reverses with his legs. Bridge-up from Sting and a backslide for a close two, Flair attacks the knee again. Shin-breaker drills Sting, Flair drops all his weight on the knee. Flair kicks and kicks the hamstring before Sting counters with the small package for the win!


Bit abrupt of a finish for me but considering the night I have seen, I would call this a classic compared to the horseshit I saw before on this night. The best compliment I could give about this match is that we saw what was coming down the line with Flair heeling it up, going back to his old ways. Maybe that draw at the Clash has eaten away at The Nature Boy, Sting is just too strong to stop and it looks like a disaster for Flair because his greatest ally in the battle against J-Tex Corporation may be the very man to dethrone him and bring his reign as champion to an end! Classic Flair offence and selling in this one, blows everything else on the card out of the water but I just was burnt out by the end.


Winner: Sting over Ric Flair via Small Package!


WCW’s Starrcade 1989 is a disaster of a show from top to bottom, you think a round-robin tournament with the best of the best that the company has to offer would be something special but it truly is not, we see matches go way longer than they have any right to be, matches with horrible finishes and the momentum of two acts in Muta and Doom go down the drain. Maybe Flair vs Muta would not have been the most high-profile match they could do but an undefeated streak against the world champion would have made for a better watch than this, move Sting up the card in terms of championship by having him dethrone Luger. Do anything better than what they did on this night, The Road Warriors vs The Wild Samoans sums it up perfectly, they were blowing spots and all over the place, sloppy work all around and all we have to keep us hooked is that Sting bet Flair. It’s a good angle but this was a disaster show. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

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