Starrcade 1999

Starrcade
1999
Date:
December 19, 1999
Location: MCI Center, Washington
D.C.
Attendance: 8,582
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott
Hudson, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We
have arrived. We have reached the biggest show of the year for WCW.
It’s the final pay per view of the year and the final Starrcade of
the 1990s. Over the years this show has been a showcase for legends
like Sting, Ric Flair, Lex Luger and Hulk Hogan. There have been
great matches, moments and shows in general, many of which have been
some of WCW’s best shows of all time. Now, forget everything I just
said, because this is going to be one of the biggest disasters in the
history of……I would say professional wrestling but that has
nothing to do with what I’m about to sit through. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a Scott Hudson narrated highlight package to preview the
card. Up first in the package: the Revolution vs. Jim Duggan/his
mystery partners. I’m pretty sure every match gets some time here,
but my goodness they aren’t off to a rousing start by making me think
about all of the impending disasters.
Now
we get a standard opening video, focusing on the powerbomb match and
then the World Title match.
Disco
Inferno/Lash Leroux vs. Big Vito/Johnny the Bull
Disco
lost a lot of money gambling (which I don’t think he ever paid back)
to the Mafia so Don boss Tony Marinara sent Big Vito and Johnny the
Bull after him. Lash helped Disco out and basically started a war
against the mob, setting up this tag match. It’s also probably the
match that has gotten the most build on the card. Normally I would
ask why a match like this is opening the show, but the more I think
about it, what else do they have?
It’s
a brawl to start with Vito punching Lash down early on. A nice
suplex drops Lash again and Vito nails a good looking superkick.
Heenan gets in another of his lines that are open to interpretation
as he wonders why the people in the back are so quiet. Off to Johnny
who eats a dropkick from Lash and a clothesline from Disco for one.
Disco
stomps away in the corner but Johnny sweeps the leg (because he’s the
best in town) to take over. Vito scores with a hard running
clothesline and Johnny’s swinging neckbreaker gets two. We hit the
chinlock for a bit before something like a double powerbomb plants
Disco again. Vito spends too much time mocking the crowd on the
ropes though and hits the mat, allowing the hot tag to Lash.
Everything
breaks down and the goons are dropped with clotheslines. A gorilla
press drop puts Lash down but he avoids a top rope spinning legdrop.
Disco hits a top rope splash for two but Vito comes off the top to
break up the save (granted the really slow count made it a bit
easier). Vito reverses a whip from Lash and sends him into the Last
Dance from Disco by mistake, setting up Vito’s spinning DDT for the
pin.
Rating:
C. Totally acceptable tag match
here, but I have a feeling we’ve just seen the match of the night.
It’s the old power vs. speed formula which has worked for the better
part of ever and worked here as well. The story made sense and was
actually different for a change, but this could have been on almost
any given Nitro. Still though, totally acceptable.
Post
match Disco gets beaten up and thrown in the body bag, along with a
bottle of ether. The mob takes him back to the parking lot and throw
him in their car to take them away.
Goldberg
vs. Hart is No DQ. If that was the stipulation beforehand, I haven’t
heard of it.
Scott
Hall is out of the US Title match due to a knee injury so Benoit is
the champion.
The
announcers run their mouths to fill time on a show with 13 matches.
Keep in mind that this is
coming after a backstage segment. Not only is it boring for the PPV
audience, but it’s letting the crowd come down after a decent opener.
Cue
Chris Benoit to say he doesn’t want the title this way, so it’s
officially vacant. However, he’ll still have the ladder match
against anyone that wants to face him for the title.
Cruiserweight
Title: Madusa vs. Evan Karagias
Evan
is defending and Madusa offered sex to get this show. After she
earned the shot, Evan dumped Madusa for Nitro Girl Spice, making this
just another title match but with man on woman violence because Russo
is obsessed with this idea. Madusa dives off the top to take out
Evan and Spice before sending him into the barricade. They head
inside where Evan slaps her in the face and plants her with a
powerslam, only to miss a Lionsault.
Madusa
dropkicks him down but gets slammed off the top. A powerbomb puts
Madusa down for two so Madusa powerbombs him right back. They head
outside with Evan diving onto Madusa, but Spice gets on the apron to
distract the champ. It’s just a ruse for the worst low blow ever,
setting up Madusa’s German suplex for the pin and the title.
Rating:
D-. So not only did they have a
swerve, they had only the bare bones of a match as this was nothing
more than a spot fest with no flow to it. Yeah Mysterio and Guerrera
would do a bunch of spots, but at least they knew how to make them
exciting. This was less than four minutes long and more about the
fact that Madusa is a woman. In other words, they were trying to
recreate Chyna without putting in the effort of building her up in DX
all those years. That’s Russo’s philosophy: just go to the end goal
without putting in any of the work and then blame the fans for not
caring.
On
the storyline front, let’s recap what just happened to Evan: he was
duped into giving Madusa the shot by the offer of sex, then Madusa
won the title shot again in a triple threat, then Evan got pinned on
Thunder for no apparent reason, then the other woman, who was
involved in this story to distract Evan, turned on him to give Madusa
the title for no reason other than to mess with Evan, who made the
mistake of being a champion and going after a pretty girl who seemed
interested in him. Oh and Madusa hit cheated to win the title. I’m
not sure if she was the face or the heel here, but I’m sure WCW
didn’t know either.
Norman
Smiley is dressed up like a Washington Redskin for his match with
Meng. He certainly isn’t scared and ignore the scream when the
producer tries to count him out of the interview. Sudden moves like
that just are not necessary when Norman is a coiled spring ready to
explode! Ignore the fact
that the Hardcore Title is practically identical to the ECW Title.
Hardcore
Title: Meng vs. Norman Smiley
Norman
the coward is defending. They
throw weapons at each other to start before Meng shoves the cart full
of weapons runs Norman over. It’s
in the back without Norman ever making it to the ring and Norman
blasts him in the head with the chair for almost no effect. Norman
runs away through catering before Meng slams him through a table.
Meng
throws a cinder block at his head but Norman avoids the whole death
thing. Smiley dives behind some boxes to hide, allowing Finlay and
Brian Knobbs to come up and beat Meng down. Well
kind of as Meng no sells the chair and trashcan shots until Finlay
NAILS him with a lead pipe to knock Meng silly. Norman comes out and
covers to retain.
Rating:
D. Norman is a guy that tries
so hard but can’t get out of this hardcore nonsense. This was your
standard hardcore match with Meng dominating and Norman screaming a
lot but somehow escaping for the title. In other words, it’s your
standard TV match being held at Starrcade because Russo doesn’t know
the difference between the shows.
Meng
beats up Nick Patrick for reasons.
David
Flair has a gold crowbar delivered to him and seems very happy.
Oklahoma
and Steve Williams are ready. There’s nothing more to this segment.
Oh
wait there is, as we cut back to see the Misfits kidnap Oklahoma.
We
recap Jim Duggan vs. the Revolution, which is based around the idea
of the Revolution thinking they’re a sovereign nation and wanting to
deface the American flag. Bringing Duggan in makes sense there, but
the Powers That Be says there’s nothing to his love of America and
made him a janitor because that’s funny or something.
Jim
Duggan/??? vs. Revolution
It’s
Asya/Saturn/Malenko/Douglas here and we have no idea who the partners
are here. If Duggan wins, the Revolution has to be the janitors for
30 days, but if Duggan loses, he has to denounce
America. Duggan’s partners
are…..the Varsity Club, a team which hit its peak in 1988/1989. In
case you’re like, young or something, it’s Rick Steiner/Kevin
Sullivan/Mike Rotundo with Leia Meow (ECW’s
Kimona)
as their cheerleader.
Shane
sits in on commentary to make it a handicap match. Dean
and Duggan start things off but Saturn comes in less than ten second
in. The Varsity Club gets in some cheap shots in the corner before
Duggan hammers away with forearms to the back. Dean
comes in again for an elbow to the face and a slam, followed by the
three point clothesline for two.
Saturn
gets the same off a missile dropkick as Heenan points out that Duggan
hasn’t tried to tag out. Just get to the swerve we all know is
coming from here. Saturn
misses a middle rope splash but Dean hits Jim in the head with a
flag. Everyone comes in
with the Varsity Club cleaning house, including tying Asya in the
Tree of Woe for Sullivan’s running knee. Then they turn on Duggan
because what else were they going to do here? Shane runs in for the
pin as the Varsity Club keeps beating up Saturn on the floor.
Rating:
F. This is STARRCADE 1999 and
they bring out the Varsity Club? If they were going for some kind of
nostalgia/history thing here, they completely missed the point as the
Varsity Club’s biggest moment was when they were fighting each other,
assuming anyone remembered/cared about that in 1999. As
it is, this is just another four minute match capped off by a
beatdown to make it a Jim Duggan story. What is the mass appeal here
and who thought the one thing this show needed was MORE people
running around?
Shane
tells Duggan he has 24 hours before he has to renounce America. They
drape the Revolution flag over him, only to take it right back off.
The
Misfits have Oklahoma in a shark cage to make sure he stays out of
the Vampiro match.
Vampiro
vs. Steve Williams
If
Vampiro wins, he gets five minutes with Oklahoma. The
Misfits wheel out Oklahoma in the shark cage but he has a headset on
and can still do his Jim Ross jokes because…..screw the sarcasm.
This whole thing is stupid. Vampiro
dives off the cage to take Williams out and the brawl begins on the
floor. They head inside with Oklahoma yelling at the commentators.
Williams fires off a chop so
Oklahoma shouts CHOP over and over.
Some
three point tackles take out Vampiro’s legs followed by some chops,
but Oklahoma gets bored saying chop over and over. A
belly to belly superplex sends Vampiro flying but brings in the
Misfits. Williams cleans house with ease and suplexes Vampiro down
again. He hammers on Vampiro but shoves the referee down (how have
we not had a ref bump tonight?) for a DQ, setting up Vampiro vs.
Oklahoma.
Rating:
D. So their solution to make us
care about Vampiro is to have him get beaten up until the referee
gets knocked down while Oklahoma gets to do his same joke over and
over and over and over and over. I feel like iTunes on repeat (who
uses records anymore?) saying this but STOP USING THE SHOW FOR YOUR
OWN STUPID JOKES THAT AREN’T EVEN FUNNY IN THE FIRST PLACE!
The
five minute clock starts immediately.
Oklahoma
vs. Vampiro
Security
gets Williams out of here as we’re still waiting on Oklahoma to get
out of the cage. Oklahoma
gets in after about two minutes and kicks Vampiro in the head. More
slow stomps connect before Vampiro hits a single chop, only to have
Oklahoma nail two straight low blows. A
quick Rock Bottom drops Oklahoma and the Misfits come in for some
shots, which the referee doesn’t seem to mind. The
Nail in the Coffin ends this mess.
To
recap, Vampiro needed the help of a punk rock band (how many of the
fans actually know who they are?) to beat Oklahoma, who beat the tar
out of Vampiro for most of the “match”. Again,
the announcers are getting the push at the sake of someone like
Vampiro, who may or may not be entertaining but he’s an actual
wrestler.
Russo
tells Hennig/Shane/La Parka/Creative Control that he has something
big planned for tonight so he can’t quite focus on their match.
Thanks for letting us know
about this an hour into the show instead of building it up for a few
weeks, but they probably didn’t know a few weeks ago.
Stevie
Ray tells Booker he won’t have his back tonight.
Harlem
Heat/Midnight vs. Curt Hennig/Creative Control
The
winning tag team is #1 contenders so
Hennig and Midnight are just kind of here to fill in the roster,
because Heaven forbid we just have a regular tag match. My goodness
there are suddenly a lot of empty seats across from the cameras. I
couldn’t have missed those earlier.
There’s no Stevie so it’s a
handicap match with more man on woman.
Gerald
stomps Booker into the corner to start before
no selling a spin kick to the face. So much for this one changing
the tide of the show. We look at the ladder for later and come back
with Midnight in without seeing what happened in between. I’m
betting Gerald lost a Canasta game and had to allow the hot tag.
It’s
quickly back to Booker who gets beaten down again but quickly gets
over to tag in Midnight for some dropkicks. Hennig
clotheslines her out to the floor and the heels take over again.
Back in and Creative Control
takes over on Midnight as Hudson talks about the big events of the
night: the return of the Varsity Club and Disco being thrown into a
car. We get the old
“referee doesn’t see the tag” spot as Stevie Ray comes out, only
to be sent to the back by Booker.
Midnight
gets slammed down and Patrick drops some elbows for two. He misses
the middle rope elbow though and Midnight gets over for the hot tag.
It doesn’t count as Nick Patrick was “talking to Stevie Ray.”
That’s true, but THEY WERE LOOKING AT THE TAG. As in Nick clearly
realized he wasn’t supposed to see it and you can see him try to snap
his head away in time so it doesn’t look that bad but it doesn’t
work. Hennig sneaks in with
a foreign object to knock Booker silly for the pin and a delayed
bell.
Rating:
D. As
usual, this was an angle disguised as a match. On top of the match
being boring for the most part and yet another woman being in there
for the sake of being in there (Midnight was fine but the announcers
spent the whole match talking about how awesome it was to have a
woman in there, which just puts more attention on the fact that she’s
nothing special), the gaffes like Nick seeing the tag made this a
huge mess. Above all else though, I just do not care because I
haven’t been given a reason to care. These people are just
characters with little development so it’s really hard to get
interested.
We
recap Jarrett vs. Rhodes. Basically Dustin returned as something
resembling a child abductor but he decided he wanted to be Dustin
Rhodes because THAT has such a great track record for him. Jeff
thought it was funny that Dustin’s dad got fired so the feud began
again and of course it turned into a bunkhouse match to make it about
cowboys and hardcore.
Dustin,
wearing a Dusty Rhodes
shirt, talks about the match
but Jeff jumps him to start.
Jeff
Jarrett vs. Dustin Rhodes
Jarrett
runs Dustin’s knee over with a wheelbarrow and hits him in the throat
with a kendo stick. They
slam each other into the wheelbarrow before heading inside for the
first time with Jeff taking a cowbell to the head. Well you knew the
bullrope and cowbell were going to be involved somehow. Some
bell shots knock Jarrett onto the announcers’ table but hitting him
in the head with a metal bell doesn’t sound as good as throwing
powder in Jeff’s face.
Dustin
pulls out a whip and nails both Jarrett and the referee before duct
taping the referee to the ropes. Jeff
shrugs off a shot with some chaps (you think I care enough to react
to that at this point?) and kicks Dustin low as Curt Hennig comes out
to untape the referee. We
hit the sleeper as Jarrett tries to make this wrestling for reasons I
don’t understand.
Dustin
finally suplexes his way out and gets two off a Boss Man Slam.
Shattered Dreams connects
but Hennig pulls the referee
out at two. That earns Curt
some Shattered Dreams of his own and
all three head up to the entrance. Dustin plants Hennig with a
bulldog but Jeff climbs the ladder and blasts him with a guitar for
the pin.
Rating:
D. Ok. What
else do you want me to say here? Two guys who are feuding over
someone not even working for this promotion anymore had a long (by
this show’s standards) match and the heel had someone else come in to
basically make it a handicap match. The good guy fought back and
then the two beat him without anything overly interesting happening.
Jeff
Jarrett continues to not by over but gets pushed to the moon (dig
that huge win over DUSTIN RHODES!) because he beat up a woman in the
WWF and that’s clearly like porn to Russo. These
guys weren’t really putting in a ton of effort though and it’s clear
that no one has anything special without some kind of character
behind them. It’s just two old school style guys having a boring
match and that’s not something I want to watch for eleven minutes.
David
Flair makes the headless teddy bear stroke the golden crowbar.
Somehow, there isn’t a single bit of innuendo in that entire
sentence. Why David is
wearing a Halloween Havoc shirt isn’t clear.
Page
says his hands will have a crowbar in them tonight and then those
same hands will give Flair a bang.
Diamond
Dallas Page vs. David Flair
IT’S
A CROWBAR ON A POLE MATCH!!! This is like Russo’s hit parade if I
had to pay $30 to see it. This match is due to David stalking
Kimberly after Kimberly slept with Ric Flair instead of David. So
yeah, we have sex, insanity, illogical stories and a thing on a pole.
Like I said, the hit parade rolls on. The
crowbar is pitifully low as anyone of average height could reach it
from the mat.
David
sneaks up from behind with the gold crowbar (different from the one
on the pole) but Little Naitch (who should be in David’s corner in
theory) takes it away, because even if you’re insane and carrying a
crowbar, you MUST follow the rules! The
referee checks on Page and says the match will be a forfeit, but Page
shoves Penzer away and wants to go.
We
get the opening bell and David hammers away because how else was this
going to be competitive? David
counters a sunset flip and punches Page in the face for two. A
clothesline gets the same as we’re still waiting on any attempt at
the crowbar. Flair hits a
low blow and puts on a Figure Four but Page turns it over for the
break. Flair gets the crowbar, misses a swing and eats the Diamond
Cutter for the pin.
Rating:
F. Remember when Chris Jericho
would lose and then go insane and beat the post with a chair? That’s
how I feel here. There was no reason for this to be on pay per view
or for this to be a gimmick match other than to make the match more
believable. In other words, they can’t have a good match without
making it a gimmick and the match can’t be good because it’s a
gimmick. Who other than
Vince Russo could book a sub four minute match into a paradox while
almost completely ignoring the gimmick that causes the paradox in the
first place?
Page
gives him a middle rope Diamond Cutter post match and it about to hit
him with the crowbar but the yet to be named Daffney runs in to cover
Flair up. Page leaves instead of hit the crazy chick.
Heenan
wants a beer. I don’t drink but can someone get me a hammer to crush
my own skull?
We
recap Luger vs. Sting, which has seen Luger treat Liz like garbage
(more anti-women porn for Russo), which sent her running off for
Sting to help him. At the same time, Luger “inadvertently” cost
Sting some matches and kept trying to make it up to him, only making
it worse in the process. Their match tonight is for Liz’s freedom,
which she totally and completely wants of course.
Total
Package vs. Sting
In
the back, Sting gives Liz “super high octane” mace. The
STEROIDS chant begins and Luger quickly sends Sting outside. Some
whips into the barricade have Sting in more trouble before some
elbows get two. Sting no
sells a ram into the buckle and Luger gets caught between slaps from
Sting and Liz. A double
clothesline puts both of them down because of those two and a half
DEVASTATING minutes of action.
Liz
comes in to check on Luger and sprays the mace at Sting, but it’s
silly string because Sting actually outsmarted someone!!!!! Even
the announcers acknowledge how shocking this is. Sting
makes his comeback and hits a top rope splash for two. A
pair of regular Stinger Splashes look to set up the Deathlock but Liz
comes in with the ball bat for a very loud sounding shot to the jaw
for the DQ.
Rating:
D+. I’m upgrading this because
of the bat shot and the string. Other than that, this was a big mess
with the whole thing not even breaking six minutes despite it being
one of the bigger matches on the card. This changes nothing as Liz
is freed from Luger but apparently wants to stay with him, making
this whole thing a big waste of time. Imagine that.
Luger
Pillmanizes Sting’s arm post match. Remember
two years ago when Sting was in the biggest match in WCW history?
How was that just two years ago?
To
recap, that was the tenth match of the show and, assuming you count
Madusa as a heel, the third match where the heel didn’t either win or
get the last laugh after the match. Those three are Vampiro and the
Misfits beating up Oklahoma (who dominated the “match”), Page
over David Flair and Norman Smiley over Meng where Norman was treated
like a goon all match. Is
there any doubt why so many fans are leaving their seats halfway
through the show?
We
recap Sid vs. Nash in the powerbomb match. I’ve watched the shows
setting this match up and now I’ve watched the video and I’m still
not exactly sure why they’re fighting. They’ve
fought a few times but I’m not sure why they started in the first
place. Again though, I doubt WCW does either other than “hey,
they’re both big!”
Sid
Vicious vs. Kevin Nash
You
win by using a powerbomb instead of a pin or a submission because
we just couldn’t have either guy do a real job for the sake
of…..probably some legal deal actually. Nash
takes over to start and hits the framed elbow and a side slam for
two. A low blow breaks up
Sid’s powerbomb attempt and it’s time to go outside so they don’t
have to wrestle. Sid hits
him in the back with a chair but stops to tell the fans to shut up.
Good grief dude at least know what you’re supposed to be doing out
there. Back in and Sid
tries to start a powerbomb chant but the fans are mostly silent.
Well to be fair that’s what Sid wanted.
The
referee FINALLY GETS BUMPED, right before Sid hits a powerbomb. Cue
Jeff Jarrett with
a guitar to knock Sid out cold. The referee slowly gets up and Nash
loads up a powerbomb but his back is out. Now the referee turns
around as Nash is holding his back and Sid is down. Nash: “Yeah I
powerbombed him.” Referee: “WELL OK THEN!” Nash wins. Scott
Hudson: “I refuse to refer to Nash as the master of the powerbomb!”
Oh dang man. No Scott Hudson endorsement? This is a sham of a
reign as powerbomb master!
Rating:
F. Failure, freaking stupid,
for the love of all things good and holy, for goodness’ sake, fire
them both. Pick any two and that’s what the F stands for here. I
actually had to get up and walk around for a bit before I started
talking about this. They somehow booked a match built around one
finisher and then they couldn’t even do that finish because Nash
didn’t want to do the powerbomb.
From
a kayfabe perspective, how freaking horrible do the referees in this
company look? Ranging from staying down for five minutes off a
single shot to not being able to see a tag literally three feet in
front of them to saying “yeah, sure I’ll believe you when you say
you powerbombed him. You would never lie”, these are the worst
referees I’ve ever seen. Oh and then there’s Roddy Piper who has a
young boy doing his work for him and who hears voices in his head. I
would do a Randy Orton joke there but Orton is too good for this
show.
Benoit
says the open challenge is still, uh, open.
US
Title: Chris Benoit vs. ???
Ladder
match and the title is
officially vacant coming in The
mystery opponent is……Jeff Jarrett, because why have two Jarrett
segments when you can have three??? And
my goodness did he change from jeans to gear in a hurry. It’s
a brawl in the aisle to start with Benoit chopping Jeff into the
ring. Something like an Irish Curse drops Jarrett and a superplex
allows Benoit to go get the first ladder.
Jarrett
gets up and hits a baseball slide to drive the ladder into Benoit,
but Chris whips him into the ladder in the corner a few times to take
over again. Benoit gets
crotched against the ladder
for something like a Russian legsweep out of the corner. Chris is
busted open
but still able to tie Jeff in the Tree of Woe in the standing ladder,
only to find out that it’s hard to climb a ladder with someone
hanging from the other side.
Both
guys go up until Jarrett gets knocked down, followed
by both guys going up and getting knocked over for nice crashes. In
the best spot of the match, Benoit goes up but Jarrett dropkicks the
ladder out from underneath him, sending Benoit down for a huge crash.
Benoit is up first and
dropkicks the ladder onto Jarrett but Benoit would rather drop a Swan
Dive off the top of the ladder instead of grab the belt. Now he goes
up and gets the belt for the win.
Rating:
B. That
might be high but anything above horrible would be ten times better
than everything else on this show. Best
match of the night here by about 19,000 years and naturally it only
has ten minutes because we needed to give Oklahoma two matches and
have the really stupid David Flair match instead of giving this
another eight minutes. There isn’t much to say here other than the
guys were doing big spots and making them look good. In other words,
the polar opposite of everything else tonight.
We
recap Goldberg vs. Hart, which started over Hart wanting to give
Goldberg a title shot, and then became an Outsiders story involving
the Tag Team Titles. Other than a few one off promos, these two have
barely addressed each other.
Bret
says he’s winning whether Goldberg likes it or not.
WCW
World Title: Bret Hart vs. Goldberg
No
DQ and there must be a winner with Bret defending. Instead
of asking if we’re ready to rumble, Buffer tells us we’re ready
because the fans would probably boo such a question out of the
building for making this last even longer. You
know how most of the time at Wrestlemania the main event eats up like
40 minutes? The bell here rings with just
over thirteen minutes to go
in the show. For some reason it would feel wrong if the main event
of the biggest show of the year had more time than that.
They
shake hands and we’re ready to go. Goldberg
shoves him down out of a lockup to start but Bret takes him down with
a headlock. That goes
nowhere so Goldberg gorilla presses him into a powerslam for two.
Goldberg tries that rolling
leglock but Bret turns it into an early Sharpshooter attempt as only
he could do. They fight
outside with the referee getting bumped. It’s
not even a big deal at this point.
Robinson
comes out as a replacement and an overly excited (and likely drunk)
fan is dancing badly in the front row. A big boot puts Hart down
back inside but Robinson gets bumped on a hiptoss. Goldberg spears
the turnbuckle as the third referee comes down to see Bret put on the
Figure Four around the post. Back
in and Bret starts in on the leg and puts on a regular Figure Four.
The turn sends Bret running for the ropes so he wraps the leg around
the middle rope in the corner.
Goldberg
reverses and hammers away but referee number three goes down.
There’s the Bret Killer
superkick to set up the spear but a dejected Roddy Piper comes out to
be the fourth referee. Bret, apparently having shrugged off the
spear kicks Goldberg in the knee and MONTREAL STRIKES AGAIN as Piper
calls for the bell before Bret turns the Sharpshooter over. Hudson:
“NOT MONTREAL ALL OVER AGAIN!” Yes
it’s Montreal all over again, because THAT’S THE DUMBEST THING THEY
COULD POSSIBLY DO!
Rating:
D-. The match was watchable but
between the whole ending Bret Hart’s career and going back to a fake
Montreal over two years later with Bret on the good end this time is
one of the worst possible ideas they could have come up with. If you
want Bret to keep the title on a screwjob then have someone lay
Goldberg out from behind or whatever, but good night don’t do it like
this. I mean, if this is the best they can think of, just close the
doors now because Russo is clearly not what he’s cracked up to be (oh
gee what an understatement) and they need to find ANYONE else to give
the reigns over to immediately.
Piper
hands Bret the belt and walks off to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
No. No no, no no no,
no no, no no. This is flat
out not acceptable as the biggest show of the year for any promotion,
or as a show for any serious promotion actually. Where
in the world do I even start? Well let’s start at the ending
actually, as the main event was the longest match of the night at
12:07. This past week’s
episode of Raw had two matches longer than that and that’s a run of
the mill TV show.
Above
all else, this felt like it could be any given filler pay per view
where they’re not trying. I know WCW had mixed feelings about how
big of a deal Starrcade really was, but at least they would usually
give lip service to the fact that it’s the biggest night of the year.
This felt like Fall Brawl or Uncensored instead of Starrcade and
that’s a feeling that you can’t shake off no matter what.
Starrcade
1999 was Vince Russo with time to come up with his best possible
ideas. Somehow he’s managed to produce the one of the worst
Wrestlemanias and the one of the worst Starrcades of all time, IN THE
SAME YEAR. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to do that in
the span of about nine months? So
much of this can be blamed on the writing and booking too. When you
have thirteen matches in a show that runs less than two hours and
forty five minutes, there’s very little the
wrestlers can do to make the
thing work.
The
Mamalukes vs. Disco/Lash was the best match of the night until Chris
Benoit and a ladder took their top spot. That’s almost inconceivable
that a totally average tag match was as good as this show could do
for about 80% of the card. These
stories are thrown together with no real rhyme or reason to most of
them and at some point the fans just gave up. Yeah, it worked back
in the WWF in 1999, but
it’s the same argument made about TNA now: why would I want to watch
a lite version of the same stories with lesser and older talent doing
the work?
There
comes a point where you have to show your audience some respect or
they’re going to turn on you. That’s where Russo doesn’t get the
point: he thinks the fans are going to follow whatever he does
because they’re watching a wrestling show and therefore aren’t that
smart. That means he can throw some big series of swerves at us and
expect us to just go with it with an explanation of “YOU DIDN’T SEE
IT COMING!” and then somehow blame us for not getting it. I know
this is rambling but after watching this disaster there’s no way to
have any sort of coherent thought process.
It’s
just one big surprise after another, but the problem is you can start
to see the surprises coming about half an hour into the show. If you
train your audience to expect a big swerve, it stops being a swerve
and becomes part of the plot. Piper coming out at the end of the big
swerve would have worked better if we didn’t have so many people
turning on each other or one big surprise after another for two and a
half hours leading up to it.
It
doesn’t help that Piper is a legend and hasn’t had a good match in
about seven years at this point but he’s being featured as a major
plot point for a story that people don’t care about. The build for
this show didn’t make me want to see it and then the show itself was
horrible, making me have no desire to keep tuning in.
What
is there that’s left untied here? Nash wins to show Sid is
worthless, Hall is probably going to come back and take the title
from Benoit, and we get to see more Jeff Jarrett. The big
cliffhanger here is “WHY DID PIPER SCREW BRET???” If that’s the
big question going into Nitro tomorrow, I have zero desire to keep
watching this promotion, but I’m sure it’s my fault for not
supporting Russo like he deserves for putting on all this EXCITING TV
for me. Total disaster of a show and more like hitting a rock wall
instead of starting some new chapter in the company’s history as the
year is coming to a close.
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