Wednesday 21 September 2022

WCW Starrcade 1994 Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that is older than Bobby Fish! It’s time for WCW Starrcade 1994 and what a night it will be with supposed three main events to sink our teeth into, we have Kevin Sullivan vs Mr. T which hopes to be as good as Piper vs Mr. T, we also have Avalanche vs Sting and Hulk Hogan defending his World Championship against The Butcher. Rounding out the card we have Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs Vader for the United States Championship, Alex Wright vs Paul Levesque and Johnny B. Badd defending his WCW TV Championship against Arn Anderson. Why? Apparently Honky Tonk Man walked out not wanting to job for Johnny B. Badd. Will this be good? Let’s find out!


(WCW United States Heavyweight Championship Match) Hacksaw Jim Duggan © vs Vader W/ Harley Race

Vader and Duggan had a brawl at the previous Clash, this starts on the ramp. The two brawl as Duggan sends Vader into the guardrail and Race gets bounced around for his troubles. Duggan punches Vader in the head over and over, clothesline takes the big man down. Duggan picks up some steam and clotheslines Vader to the floor, the number one contender for the world championship is being bounced around the ring like a jabroni. Duggan slams Vader and gets a two, big right hands to the head of the challenger. Duggan lands forearms to the head, an elbow smash to the face. Duggan continues punching Vader, Duggan clotheslines down Vader again. Knee drop by Duggan for two, Vader has been decimated in this match. Reverse chin-lock from Duggan, Vader escapes and starts slugging it out. Massive ear-clap from the challenger, Vader looks to take control.


Duggan brawls back though, Irish whip by Duggan. Clothesline and down goes Vader, elbow drop to the ribs. Duggan is on the middle rope and misses and elbow drop, a first for Schiavone. Vader clubs Dugan to the floor and into the guardrail, Vader roughs up the ribs of Duggan. Scoop slam and Vader Bomb time, it connects! Duggan survives with a foot on the ropes, Vader was too slow and gets kicked in the nuts but Vader splashes Duggan down and Duggan spills to the apron. Harley Race chokes Duggan behind the referee’s back, they slug it out though with Duggan winning that war before Vader lands that ear-clap to floor the champion. Could it be Vader Bomb time again? Vader goes to the top, Vadersault misses as Duggan rolls out of the way!


Duggan lands a desperation clothesline to floor Vader, Duggan lands rights and lefts to stagger the challenger. Vader is pushed to the corner, forearms from Duggan. Polish Hammer and Duggan calls for this Three-Point Stance Clothesline. Vader is drilled with the clothesline, Race rakes the eyes of Duggan. Vader climbs to the middle rope, Duggan counters the crossbody with a slam. Race distracts the referee, Duggan is irate. Duggan dodges a blow from Vader, double sledge blow by Duggan. Duggan tries his clothesline but Vader dodges and sends Duggan into Race who is holding the 2X4. Duggan has his head smashed into the 2X4 and Vader lands his wheelbarrow style slam for the win!


Wow I expected some shitty DQ because Vader is going for the world championship so why give him the United States Championship right? However, WCW pulls the surprise on me and catches me off-guard. Not sure where that’s going to go but if it means Sting vs Vader again, that’s going to be a lot of fun. As for this match, Duggan got a lot of offence in there against Vader, thought it hurt the flow of the match because Duggan punching around Vader in the ring isn’t as thrilling as it sounds. Hoping I don’t have to see some PPV rematches in the future.


Winner: Vader over Hacksaw Jim Duggan via Wheelbarrow Slam!


Alex Wright vs Jean Paul Levesque

Moonsault into the ring before dancing away like a God, we have Alex Wright a 19-year old German sensation taking on the arrogant French Jean Paul Levesque who would go onto to have quite the career in the WWF. They lock-up with neither man wanting to give up ground, Levesque is the stronger of the two. Levesque shoves the face of Wright, arm-drag by Levesque. Wrist-lock from Levesque, they continue to trade wrist-locks with Wright landing a dropkick and then an arm-bar. Levesque manages to break free but eats a dropkick and gets caught once more. Lots of mat-wrestling here with Wright out-performing Levesque. Right hand by Levesque, stomps and Levesque no longer gives a shit about this match. To the corner, forearms and stomps on the corner. Choke under the middle rope, Irish whip and spinning wheel kick from Levesque. Levesque poses and continues stomping Wright.


Wright fights back but Levesque counters and sends Wright to the floor. Baseball slide sends Wright tumbling to the floor, Wright tries an apron sunset flip but Levesque lands a right hand to the head. Reverse chin-lock from Levesque, dropkick by Levesque to cut off Wright. Two for Levesque, reverse chin-lock. Wright fights out of the hold but eats a tilt-a-whirl back-breaker from Levesque, Levesque is climbing high. Elbow drop from the top rope misses big-time! Wright uses huge forearms and uppercuts, spinning elbow to the face. Hip-toss for two, both men bang heads. Levesque whips Wright to the corner but Wright flips over and O’Connor rolls Levesque for the win.


Little too long for my tastes as both men are young and are not close to the finished product but a nice showcase for two young wrestlers in the company, always was a fan of Levesque’s character work, it works quite well and riles up the fans with ease making it an easier night for his opponents to be cheered because Levesque was so antagonizing. We shall see how Wright develops in WCW before the cruiserweights completely overshadow his high-flying skills.


Winner: Alex Wright over Jean Paul Levesque via O’Connor Roll!


(WCW World Television Championship Match) Johnny B. Badd © vs Arn Anderson W/ Col. Robert Parker & Meng

I would love to be Meng as that man is being paid a shit-tonne of money to stand around and look menacing, not one bump for him to take. Great guy by all accounts also. Anyways, this was meant to be Honky Tonk Man vs Johnny B. Badd but Honky Tonk Man didn’t want to do the J-O-B so say goodbye to that feud and Honky Tonk Man. The reliable Arn Anderson is here, The Stud Stable has been a complete flop at this point so Anderson is doing nothing which is kind of crazy considering Flair is this man’s best friend but it seems like Flair was perfectly happy with Anderson languishing in mid-card hell as long as Flair was taken care of which makes me laugh.


Anderson lands a big shoulder block, smiling with his work. Anderson uses the hair to pull down Badd, Badd wants Anderson but the challenger continues to hide behind the referee. Side headlock and hair-pull again, hammerlock by Anderson. Hammerlock into a drop toe-hold and a front chancery by the champion, knees to the arm of Anderson. Fireman’s carry by Anderson, Badd counters with a head-scissors, Badd continues out-wrestling Anderson with Anderson complaining that Badd pulled the hair of Anderson. Not like there is a lot to grab onto but the referee questions Badd. Anderson brings Badd to the corner and slaps him, Badd hops over Anderson and lands a hip-toss, knee by Anderson. Badd lands a Japanese arm-drag and a dropkick, Anderson sends Badd to the corner. Anderson gets caught by lefts and rights, Anderson lands his spine-buster though! Irish whip to the buckle, Anderson steps all over the throat of Badd.


Badd has his face raked across the ropes, Colonel Robert Parker talks great shit at ringside. Abdominal stretch by Anderson while using the ropes for leverage, Badd cannot escape and gets caught with an elbow for two. Reverse chin-lock from Anderson, Badd has a sleeper but Anderson lands a jaw-breaker. Back body-drop by Badd, boot and knee-lift from Badd. Diving sunset-flip from Badd, Anderson avoids the monkey flip and uses the ropes for leverage but the referee says no way I am not counting so Badd rolls-up Anderson for the win.


For a match that was not meant to happen, it was very solid. No reason why it should not be as Anderson is reliable as they come, it’s sad to think that there is not something more for Anderson to do in the company considering his talent but WCW has had a major year in terms of change so I am not all that surprised. Johnny B. Badd’s reign as champion though continues to be unfortunately rocky, I think WCW have something in Badd but they need opponents and matches and The Honky Tonk Feud was a disaster.


Winner: Johnny B. Badd over Arn Anderson via Schoolboy!


Harlem Heat W/ Sister Sherri vs The Nasty Boys

Sherri would join Harlem Heat at the previous Clash being revealed as the secret advisor to the tag team, Sherri had nothing to do with Flair taking time off so this is a good pairing, gives legitimacy to a team that disappeared for like a year. The Nasty Boys are babyfaces which I feel is never in their favour but I hope that this is a brawl because I have no interest in seeing a competitive normal tag team match between these two.


We have a face-off before we start brawling, Sags and Booker start in the ring. Pump-handle Slam for two, this match could have been finished but the referee was distracted. Lots of stalling before we have Booker and Sags brawling, flying clothesline and elbow drop by Booker for two. Sags catches Booker for a front slam, tag to Knobbs. Double shoulder block to both members of Harlem Heat, clothesline by Sags. Corner splash by Knobbs, Stevie Ray meets the ring-post and then the guardrail. Knobbs is caught by a clothesline from behind as Sags was with Sherri. Knobbs is whipped to the buckle, Knobbs explodes out with a clothesline. Booker is knocked off the apron, bulldog from Knobbs for two. Tag to Sags and they batter Stevie Ray, two single arm DDTs by Knobbs to take down Harlem Heat.


Tag to Sags, headbutt to the arm by Sags. Sags spills out to the floor and Stevie Ray pump-kicks his face into the ground. Sags continues to get whipped into guardrails by Stevie Ray, Booker tries winding up the crowd, eye-rake from Booker. Harlem Side-Kick by Booker, tag to Stevie Ray. Stevie Ray and Booker take turns roughing up Sags, this heat segment continues to go and go. Booker walks into a boot and Sags explodes with a clothesline. Stevie Ray decks Knobbs to stop the tag, Sags is whipped but ducks the clothesline. Double DDT from Sags! Knobbs is firing up the crowd, could we see the tag?


Knobbs comes in and lands right hands all around, elbow to Booker. Clothesline to Stevie Ray, Knobbs whips Stevie Ray to the corner. Stevie Ray counters with a boot, Sherri is on the apron. Sherri sprays Stevie Ray by mistake, Booker is yanked off the top rope by Knobbs. Sags lands his elbow drop on Booker, Sherri wants to do a dive from the top rope. She dives onto Booker as Sags dodges, Sherri has her faced shoved into the arm-pits of Sags and the match is over! The Nasty Boys won by DQ despite Sherri landing on her own men.


God that went too long, I hate The Nasty Boys so much. One of my favourite memories of covering WCW is watching The Steiners murder these two before they jumped to the WWF. They just have no likeable qualities and the heat segment on Sags is just torturous, give them brawls. Cater to their strengths, they aren’t the tag team champions so they don’t need to have great matches just keep giving them brawling like matches. On PPV watching long Nasty Boys matches like this just make me want to walk away from the computer.


Winners: The Nasty Boys over Harlem Heat via DQ!


Kevin Sullivan vs Mr. T

Not sure what level of stardom Mr. T was at here, it’s obviously after his hey-days on The A-Team but were people still talking about Mr. T in 1994? Sullivan is also the evil leader of the new top heel faction yet here he is with a celebrity. Santa Claus is here and clearly Dave Sullivan, Mr. T is landing rights and lefts as well as headbutts. Irish whip to the buckle, more corner shots by Mr. T. Sullivan pulls T to the floor, kicks and chops on the floor. T is out here dressed like the Great Sasuke, Sullivan continues beating T until Dave Sullivan as Santa cracks Kevin Sullivan with a megaphone and T wins. Comedy match that went an appropriate length.


Winner: Mr. T over Kevin Sullivan via Megaphone!


Sting vs Avalanche

Sting the most popular wrestling in WCW continues to be kept away from the WCW Championship and is reduced to the sidekick role once more, this is the first PPV for The Three Faces of Fear so surely if someone is going to put over this faction, it will be Sting right? They push one another, Sting punches Avalanche who just shrugs it off, shove to the corner with Avalanche smashing Sting in the ribs. Clubbing blows by Avalanche, rake across the ropes by Avalanche. Elbow to the head, whip to the buckle but Sting dodges. Sting softens up the leg of Avalanche. Very slow but we continue, Avalanche begins to dominate Sting with clubbing blows and slamming Sting into the buckle. Avalanche steps on the throat of Sting, more face-rakes from Avalanche. Sting rakes the eyes and starts swinging back and throwing leg kicks. The big man is down and scrambles to the floor, Sullivan talks strategy with Avalanche.


Back in the ring, we have a side headlock from Avalanche. Sting escapes and kicks the leg before being clubbed again, powerslam by Avalanche. Sting is thrown to the mat again and again, big corner chop from Avalanche. Bearhug, Sting fights out and is clubbed down again, this is slow and dull. Another powerslam by Avalanche, Sting powers up after a slam. Clothesline by Sting, Sting has come alive. Diving tomahawk chop, clothesline and dropkick. Referee is squished behind Avalanche, Stinger Splash and Sting slams Avalanche. Referee is dead though, Scorpion Death-Lock! Sullivan is in and gets beaten down for his trouble, Sting military presses Sullivan into Avalanche but Avalanche says fuck that and squishes Sting. Avalanche Drop! Hogan comes down with a chair, Hogan clears the ring.


Garbage utterly garbage with Sting not being Sting, Sting being almost in a catatonic state for the duration of this match. Honestly, the regression of the wrestling in WCW is laughable at this point, we have been robbed of Flair’s vision of WCW in 1994 with hard-hitting action and quality matches to matches that would have worked in a red-hot WWF in the late 80s but WCW is not red-hot, it is not the late 80s, it’s 1994! Sting was good for the last 20 seconds, everything else was horrific.


Winner: Sting over Avalanche via DQ!


(WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Hulk Hogan © vs The Butcher W/ Kevin Sullivan

It was quite the interesting story with long time friend of Hogan, Beefcake betraying The Hulkster but main-eventing the biggest WCW PPV of the year? Are you crazy? They lock-up and Hogan shoves Butcher, three times in a row Butcher is shoved into the corner. Butcher starts chopping, throat thrust. Side headlock from Butcher, Hogan is stabbed in the throat. On the floor, Butcher rakes the back and chokes Hogan with a camera cable. Butcher wants to use the chair but Jimmy Hart takes the chair, atomic drop by Butcher. Eye-rakes by Hogan, Butcher meets the ring-post. Hogan grabs the chair, Butcher is cracked across the back. In the ring, Butcher chops and chokes Hogan. Middle rope elbow drop misses as Hogan Hulks Up, right hands by Hogan. Butcher begs for mercy on his knees, Hogan bites the head of Butcher.


Back-rake by Hogan, Butcher’s facials are ridiculous. Clothesline and foot take by Hogan, right hands to the face by Hogan. Irish whip to the clothesline, corner clothesline and Butcher eats chops and right hands. Eye rake and ten punches in the corner, shoulder claw from Butcher who is fighting back into this match. Butcher squeezes, Hogan is up on his feet though landing massive elbows to the ribs. Shoulder block, fans are watching the ramp for some reason. Perhaps a fight in the crowd because the camera crew aren’t reacting anyways, whip to the buckle and Butcher has the Sleeper! Hogan is out but Butcher lets go instead of winning by submission, Butcher pins Hogan after much stalling and it leads to Hogan Hulking Up and landing right hands to stagger Butcher. Big boot, here comes The Three Faces of Fear. Sullivan and Avalanche are decked, Atomic Leg Drop on Butcher and this horror show is over.


Randy Macho Man Savage comes down to the ring after the match, Randy Savage could be the newly minted member of The Faces of Fear! However, Savage swerves those jabronis and beats the piss out of The Three Faces of Fear!


As a main event for 1994, horrific that I had to sit through that, this was a terrible main event. You think Hogan would stray from the formula just a little bit, you know his best friend turned on him and that would make Hogan angry, angrier than he has ever been so we could have had some sort of brawl but nope, Hogan wrestles it as if it was Flair or any random person who walks in his path. How disappointing, WCW continues to sink lower.


Winner: Hulk Hogan over The Butcher via Atomic Leg Drop!


That was WCW’s Starrcade 1994, an abysmal effort from WCW for the biggest show of the year. I spoke about how WCW would change, how I would witness The Hogan Era begin and how Hogan’s buddies would come to dominate the card. We have had roughly 6 to 7 months of The Hogan Era now and I am bored of it, well and truly. WCW instantly blew their huge money match in Hogan vs Flair, they could have made that huge for Starrcade but they wasted it away and the feud was corny and a joke. Anyways, let’s talk about this card so we kick off with Duggan vs Vader, I like Duggan he’s not US Champion material though and is being pushed beyond his level, I expected a DQ but we have Vader winning who felt lazy on this night because I don’t remember him doing anything beyond some punches and the Vader Bomb/Vadersaults attempts. Interesting to put the championship on Vader when he’s still the number one contender but I guess we will have more Faces of Fear and now we have Savage in the mix so it’s all sorts of confusing. Alex Wright vs Jean Paul Levesque was a long match for two men who are not the finished product, it’s ok in parts but nothing memorable. We continue with Nasty Boys vs Harlem Heat, no tag team championship match on this card tells you all you need to know about the importance of the champions, Nastys do not wrestle in a brawl-style match so it’s torturous and not even the sight of Sherri can make this watchable for me. Johnny B. Badd vs Arn Anderson is fine, nothing major a Anderson is solid as always but the momentum that Badd had is losing steam fast, his big championship reign is turning into a disaster, it’s sad to see as one of his critics of his early booking and matches. Blossoming into a more complete performer, poor Badd has not received the booking needed to ascend nor has Regal who dropped the championship to him, the big projects of 1993 like Badd, Regal, Pillman and Austin are nowhere to be seen in WCW.


We continue to our triple main events, what a joke this was. Sullivan vs Mr. T was comedy but again, Sullivan is the leader of the new heel faction, can’t we not treat him like a joke? I know he’s small but they are treating him like he’s some sort of elf, it’s wild. Sting vs Avalanche is another torturous affair with Sting putting in one of the lowest energy performances I have ever seen from someone who usually goes bananas in every match. With the arrival of Savage, Sting is pushed further down the babyface side of things and when it comes to doing jobs, I only see Sting putting over The Faces of Fear if they ever get a win! The main event is crap, Hogan’s shtick is running thin now and Hogan does not even change it up to give us a match that should match the angle they are trying to tell here, couldn’t Hogan muster up some emotion after his best friend turned on him? Seems like another day at the office for Hogan and that’s why Starrcade 1994 might be one of the worst PPVs I have seen in quite some time, The Battle Bowl concept is quite horrific but this so-called triple main event was truly torture, let’s see what 1995 brings!


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