Rock Star Gary reflects on…NWA Starrcade ’85!

One of my all-time favorite shows…

Live from both Greensboro, NC and Atlanta, GA

Airdate: November 28, 1985

Attendance:  sold out in both locations

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Bob Caudle

Finally, after all of that WWF stuff, we return to Jim Crockett Promotions for their annual supershow. In an act of one-upmanship, Crockett expanded Starrcade from one location to two.  By having two cards in two locations, Crockett sold out both the Omni and the Coliseum and provided each with a main event.

This is for those of you who enjoy the promo for the show along with its theme song.

Amazingly, this show is rated TV-MA! Put the kiddies to bed before reading this please.

While Bob and Tony open the show in Atlanta, Johnny Weaver handles interviewing duties in Greensboro.

Prior to the opening match, ring announcer Tom Miller asks the crowd to rise for the National Anthem.

Match 1 for the vacant Mid-Atlantic title: Sam Houston versus Krusher Khrushchev


  • This match took place in Greensboro.
  • Houston used Khrushchev’s momentum to send him outside the ring.
  • Standing choke by Khrushchev but he missed an elbow drop.
  • Flying headscissors by Houston took Khrushchev down to the mat.
  • Khrushchev, while still in a headscissors, stood up and placed Houston atop the top turnbuckle.
  • Dropkick by Houston was followed by an arm drag.
  • After reversing an Irish whip, Khrushchev vaulted Houston sending him face-first to the mat.
  • Military press by Khrushchev who then dropped Houston face-first again.
  • Bear hug by Khrushchev as a healthy “U-S-A” chant emanated from the crowd.
  • After a slam, Khrushchev mounted the top turnbuckle but got crotched.
  • Ten-punch count-along by Houston was followed by a cross-corner whip.
  • Bulldog by Houston got the 1-2-NO!
  • Krushchev’s foot was on the bottom rope.
  • Houston prematurely celebrated then ate the Russian sickle.
  • 1-2-3.

Rating: **

Summary: Not a bad opener, but nothing to write home about either.

Match 2 (Mexican death): The “Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez versus Abdullah the Butcher (w/ Paul Jones)


  • This match took place in Atlanta.
  • First combatant to retrieve the sombrero on the pole won.
  • Immediately, Abdullah was on the attack and used his plastic knife.
  • As you can imagine, Fernandez was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Abdullah borrowed the timekeeper’s hammer and nailed Fernandez with it.
  • Fernandez was a bloody mess.
  • Monkey flip by Fernandez was quite miraculous.
  • Fernandez then removed his right boot and nailed Abdullah in the head with it.
  • Abdullah was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Fernandez charged and missed Abdullah dropping the boot in the process.
  • Abdullah nailed Fernandez with it then climbed to retrieve the sombrero.
  • Fernandez went low to thwart the attempt sending Abdullah from the second turnbuckle back-first down to the mat. TIM-BER!
  • Jones got up on the apron but was restrained by the referee.
  • Fernandez made an attempt at the sombrero but ate a boot to the back and fell down to the mat.
  • Fernandez removed his belt and whipped Abdullah.
  • Abdullah punted Fernandez in the throat which was sold extremely well.
  • After a head butt, Abdullah missed an elbow drop.
  • Fernandez unbelievably suplexed Abdullah. Wow!
  • As Fernandez made another effort toward the sombrero, Abdullah took out the plastic knife and hit Fernandez extremely low. OUCH!
  • After delivering a pair of head butts, Abdullah missed a clothesline.
  • Fernandez came off the ropes and hit the flying burrito.
  • He then mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a flying clothesline.
  • Next, he mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a splash.
  • After giving Fernandez a cross-corner whip, Abdullah got stuck on his follow-through.
  • That enabled Fernandez to climb the turnbuckles and retrieve the sombrero.
  • Tony’s commentary: “The Bull wins!”

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Bloody brawl that the Atlanta crowd ate up with a spoon.

Back in Greensboro, Weaver interviews the NEW Mid-Atlantic champion Khrushchev. In his best Minnesota accent, Khrushchev is proud to defend his title anywhere in the world.

Match 3 (Texas bull rope): “Cowboy” Ron Bass versus Black Bart (w/ James J. Dillon)


  • For this match, we return to Greensboro.
  • If Bass wins, he receives a five-minute bull rope match with Dillon.
  • In lieu of wearing a tuxedo, Dillon wore a tuxedo t-shirt. It truly was hip to be square in the 80s.
  • Bass grabbed the cowbell first and nailed Bart with it.
  • A second shot sent Bart straight down to the mat.
  • On cue, Bart was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Bass choked Bart with the bull rope.
  • He then rammed Bart into the bell.
  • Bart nailed Bass low to turn the tide.
  • After receiving four shots with the bell, Bass was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Bart, now a bloody mess, missed a clothesline Bass over the top rope and ended up on the concrete floor.
  • Bass climbed over the top rope, leaped from the apron, and nailed Bart with the bell again.
  • Tony acknowledged their former partnership as the Long Riders.
  • Double shoulder block knocked both men down to the mat.
  • After another shot with the bell, Bass got a 2 count.
  • Bass mounted the second turnbuckle, nailed Bart with the bell again, and pinned him.

Rating: *1/2

Summary: If you can recall from the Great American Bash, Bass wanted to get his hands on Dillon. Now he gets his chance!

Match 4 (Texas bull rope): “Cowboy” Ron Bass versus James J. Dillon


  • Dillon attacked the bloodied Bass at the onset.
  • He then clocked Bass with the cowbell and got 2.
  • After two bell shots, Dillon choked Bass with the bull rope.
  • Bass came back so Dillon tried to escape to no avail.
  • He then walloped Dillon in the head with the bell.
  • Dillon was BUSTED OPEN!
  • A dazed Dillon fell face-first to the mat.
  • As Bass had Dillon hog-tied, he kept nailing him with the bell.
  • Just as Tony mentioned that Black Bart could be hovering around the ring, a wild shot with the bell knocked down referee Sonny Fargo.
  • With Fargo down, Bart re-entered the ring.
  • When Bass tried to cover Dillon, Bart nailed him then delivered a piledriver.
  • He then pulled Dillon atop Bass.
  • 1-2-3.

Rating: DUD

Summary: This was not the comeuppance that Bass wanted against his former manager. Perhaps he’ll get another chance soon.

Match 5 (arm-wrestling): “Superstar” Billy Graham versus the Barbarian (w/ Paul Jones)


  • We return to Atlanta for this scintillating classic.
  • $10,000 was the prize for winning this contest.
  • Barbarian was wearing a cast on his right hand, so he and Graham agreed to arm wrestle left-handed.
  • Graham, a spry 42-year old grappler by this point in time, won.

Rating: NONE

Match 6: “Superstar” Billy Graham versus the Barbarian (w/ Paul Jones)


  • As soon as Graham won, Jones nailed him with the cane.
  • Graham was BUSTED OPEN!
  • After using the cast and biting Graham, the Barbarian delivered a head butt.
  • Graham was on wobbly legs afterwards.
  • Big boot by Barbarian put Graham down on the mat, but a leg drop missed.
  • To thwart a bear hug attempt, Barbarian nailed Graham in the throat.
  • With Graham on the mat, Barbarian mounted the top turnbuckle but missed the diving head butt.
  • Graham applied the bear hug.
  • Just as Barbarian was about to pass out, Jones entered the ring and hammered Graham in the back with his cane.
  • Graham won by DQ.

Rating: *

Summary:   Graham was nearing the end of his career here. This was a fascinating way to send him off to pasture by the NWA.

After the match, Jones tries to hit Graham with the cane again but Graham blocks it, retrieves the cane, and hits Jones with it. The Barbarian nails Graham from behind with the cast sending him to the concrete floor. Outside the ring, Barbarian rams Graham head-first into the ring post. Once Graham falls over the steel railing, Barbarian follows him and makes Graham taste it. It must have tasted like the Big V bacon cheeseburger at the Varsity. Barbarian grabs a chair and hits Graham in the midsection. Finally, the referee steps between them and raises Graham hand in victory.

Match 7 for the NWA National title: Terry Taylor (champion) versus “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel (w/ James J. Dillon)


  • We return to Greensboro for the second title match of the show.
  • Before he was the Red Rooster and the Taylor Made Man, he was just smiling babyface Terry Taylor, National heavyweight champion.
  • Dillon was not present at the start of this match due to his involvement in the bull rope match.
  • A slap by Taylor knocked the taste from Landel’s mouth sending him down to the mat and scurrying to the corner.
  • Taylor countered a side head lock with a top wrist lock taking Landel down.
  • After delivering a couple of chops, Landel gave Taylor a cross-corner whip.
  • However, he ate boot on his follow-through and fell face-first to the mat.
  • Back drop and knee drop got a 1 count for Taylor.
  • Dillon, bandaged up and wearing a tuxedo, finally showed up for Landel.
  • In the meantime, Taylor countered a side head lock with a belly-to-back suplex.
  • Backbreaker and leg drop got another 1 count due to Landel’s foot on the bottom rope.
  • Landel reversed a cross-corner whip and delivered a crisp clothesline for 2.
  • Taylor countered a vertical suplex attempt with an inside cradle for 2.
  • He then countered a reverse chin lock by making Landel walk like a crab and then shoving him face-first to the first turnbuckle.
  • Vertical suplex by Taylor got 2.
  • After ramming Landel’s head four times into the top turnbuckle, a shot by Landel knocked both Taylor and referee Sonny Fargo down.
  • Dillon got up on the apron so Landel whipped Taylor into Fargo again.
  • Landel tried to whip Taylor into a shoe shot from Dillon, but Taylor reversed it sending Landel into Dillon. Subsequently, Dillon fell to the concrete floor.
  • Five-arm by Taylor who then hoisted Landel to the top turnbuckle.
  • Taylor attempted a superplex, but Dillon tripped him.
  • 1-2-3.

Rating: ***

Summary:  This was a nice feather in the cap for Landel; however, his tenure in JCP was cut short due to cocaine issues. RIP Landel.

Match 8 for the NWA National tag team titles: Ole & Arn Anderson (champions) versus the US tag team champions Billy Jack Haynes & Wahoo McDaniel


  • We return to Atlanta for the third title match.
  • Haynes and McDaniel were on loan from CWF for this show.
  • After a leapfrog by Anderson, Haynes gave him a gorilla press slam.
  • McDaniel tagged in and gave Ole a chop off the ropes then nailed Arn in the corner.
  • Arn countered a side head lock by McDaniel with a headscissors.
  • With Ole holding an arm bar, McDaniel chopped his way out of it.
  • On the other hand, Ole grapevined the ankle and tagged in Arn.
  • Spinning arm hold by Arn was followed by a hammerlock.
  • Slam and elbow drop by Ole got 2.
  • Tired of watching the Andersons beat up on his partner, Haynes came in and nailed Ole.
  • Another chop by McDaniel sent Arn falling backwards; however, he made the tag to Ole and grapevined the ankle to prevent the tag.
  • McDaniel broke free from Ole and somersaulted toward his corner.
  • Hot tag Haynes.
  • After delivering some right hands, he rammed both Andersons’ heads together.
  • McDaniel tagged back in and delivered another chop off the ropes to Arn for only a 2 count thanks to a save by Ole.
  • As McDaniel came off the ropes, Ole tripped him.
  • When McDaniel was chopping Arn close to the Anderson corner, Ole tripped him again.
  • Arn made the cover as Ole held McDaniel’s leg.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The Andersons retain.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Text-book tag team wrestling by the Andersons was on display here. If I was a young heel wrestler, I’d take notes from this match. The hot Atlanta crowd booed the Andersons mercilessly afterwards.

Back in Greensboro, Weaver informs us of a fifteen-minute intermission. Go grab a snack and drink, and this reflection will be right back.

Wasn’t that refreshing? Now enjoy an interview by Weaver of Landel with Dillon. I hope acid reflux doesn’t kick in.

Match 9 for the NWA US title (steel cage/”I Quit”): Tully Blanchard (champion w/ Baby Doll) versus Magnum T.A.


  • I’ve been looking forward to reviewing this match.
  • Back on 7/21, Blanchard beat Magnum for the title with the help of Baby Doll (disguised as a police officer) and a foreign object.
  • A right hand by Magnum, followed by an “Ooh” from the crowd, sent Blanchard between the ropes.
  • Magnum tried to ram Blanchard face-first into the cage, but Blanchard blocked it by going low.
  • Blanchard then climbed the ropes and delivered an elbow.
  • He then rammed Magnum face-first into the cage.
  • To counter a reverse chin lock, Magnum powered out of it magnificently.
  • However, Blanchard put a knee in his side to retake control.
  • Magnum reversed an Irish whip then guillotined Blanchard on the top rope.
  • Blanchard pulled Magnum’s trunks sending him face-first into the cage again.
  • Magnum was BUSTED OPEN!
  • He then stuck the microphone in Magnum’s face but received no response.
  • Referee Earl Hebner checked the microphone and it was on.
  • Magnum then rammed Blanchard shoulder-first into the cage twice.
  • He then tore into Blanchard’s bloodied shoulder then grabbed the microphone to get Blanchard to quit.
  • Magnum then bit the open wound on Blanchard’s shoulder. Magnum T.A. = Zombie T.A.?
  • Blanchard: “Say it!” Magnum: “NO!’ (THUMP went the microphone to Magnum’s head.)
  • Blanchard then picked up Magnum and again put him face-first into the cage.
  • Next, he mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a shot.
  • Once again, Blanchard grabbed the microphone. “Say it!” Magnum: “NO!” (THUMP!)
  • Blanchard delivered an elbow drop but missed the second one.
  • Magnum grabbed the microphone. “Say it!” Blanchard screamed: “NOOOOOOO!” (THUMP!)
  • Once again, Magnum asked Blanchard, but received a strong negative response.
  • These two guys are beating the shit out of each other.
  • Magnum grabbed the microphone one more time, but Blanchard kicked it out of his hand. Awesome!
  • Ten-punch (no count-along though) in the corner, but Blanchard countered with a nasty inverted atomic drop. I don’t think Magnum would have a hot date later in the evening.
  • Instead of asking questions first and shooting, Blanchard did the opposite with the microphone. Tony’s response: “It’s legal.”
  • Again Magnum said “NOOOOOO!”
  • After a couple of elbow drops, Blanchard tossed Hebner down.
  • Immediately, Baby Doll tossed a wooden chair over and into the cage. Blanchard caught it and destroyed it.
  • Upon grabbing a piece of the chair, he kicked Hebner down again and attempted to murder Magnum live on TV. Yikes!
  • Actually, he was trying to put a wooden spike into Magnum’s forehead.
  • Using all his strength, Magnum fought back and got the spike away from Blanchard.
  • He then grabbed the spike and jammed it into Blanchard’s head.
  • Blanchard was BUSTED OPEN!
  • With the microphone nearby, Tully screamed “YESSSSSSS!”

Rating: *****

Summary:  If you look up the definition of method to settle a feud, this match fits it perfectly. While not a technical classic, it is a fight between two men who want to destroy one another. Magnum gets his revenge by taking back the US title, and Blanchard, for the rest of his career, gets people to taunt him with “I Quit.” This match is a bona fide classic that every wrestling fan should witness, and is one of my all-time favorites.

Match 10 (Atlanta street fight): The Midnight Express (w/ Jim Cornette) versus the “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant & Miss Atlanta Lively (w/ Big Mama)


  • For those unaware, Miss Atlanta Lively was Ron Garvin’s first match dressed in drag. Insert your own joke here.
  • While the Atlanta faithful witnessed this match live, I’m sure the Greensboro crowd went for popcorn and to discuss that great match. Anyways…
  • Say what you want about Valiant, but you can tell that he loved being a pro wrestler.
  • For whatever reason, the Midnight Express and Cornette were wearing tuxedos.
  • I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to determine how Big Mama got her moniker.
  • Eaton and Condrey tried a sneak attack, but Lively squeezed a bottle of baby powder in Eaton’s face.
  • Outside the ring, Condrey tried to ram Valiant’s head into the ring post, but instead Valiant rammed him shoulder-first into it.
  • Lively removed “her” yellow pearl necklace (how subtle) and choked Eaton with it.
  • I cannot keep a straight face reflecting upon this match.
  • Outside the ring, Valiant rammed a plastic chair into Condrey’s midsection.
  • He then choked Condrey with it as the tuxedoed one was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Out in the crowd beyond the steel railing, Valiant launched Eaton across the Omni.
  • Back in the ring, Valiant applied a sleeper to Condrey.
  • Condrey threw powder in Valiant’s eyes then Eaton nailed the Boogie Woogie Man.
  • Valiant was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Eaton turned the tables on Lively with powder in “her” eyes.
  • Condrey removed his belt and whipped Valiant with it.
  • Oh no! Condrey pantsed Lively practically exposing Garvin on live TV.
  • This is hysterical.
  • Valiant then choked a bloodied Eaton with his own vest.
  • After Valiant choked Eaton with his own shirt, Eaton popped him sending him between the ropes to the floor.
  • With Valiant down and out on the floor, Cornette entered the ring and WALLOPED Lively in the head with his tennis racquet.
  • Condrey placed Lively in the center of the ring so that Eaton could leap from the second rope and nail “her” with an elbow.
  • Valiant returned but only briefly as Eaton tossed him back out.
  • As Condrey beat “her” down, Lively was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Eaton tossed the referee down as the Express delivered a double clothesline to Valiant.
  • With Valiant positioned in the middle of the ring, Eaton mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a solid right hand from Lively.
  • Lively pinned Eaton.

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Comedy relief at its finest here. But what about Cornette?

After the match, Valiant catches Cornette and rips his tuxedo off to reveal heart-shaped boxers. Before any other chicanery occurs, Eaton and Condrey grab their manager and hightail it.

Back in Greensboro, Weaver interviews the bloodied but NEW US Champion Magnum T.A. Like a fighting champion, he’s ready to take on all challengers. Great promo.

Match 11 for the NWA World tag team titles (steel cage): Ivan & Nikita Koloff (champions w/ Krusher Khruschev) versus the Rock’n’Roll Express (w/ Don Kernodle)


  • We return to Greensboro for their live main event.
  • Back on 10/13, the Soviets beat the Rock’n’Roll Express to win the World tag team titles.
  • The Soviet national anthem (not sung by Nikolai Volkoff) played the champions to the ring.
  • Nikita missed a chop then ate a dropkick from Morton.
  • Cross body block by Morton got 2 on Ivan.
  • Ivan took exception and crotched Morton on the top rope. OUCH!
  • Morton blocked a shot to the cage and tagged in Gibson.
  • After a dropkick, slam, and knee drop, Gibson got 2.
  • Frequent tags by the Express kept them in control of Ivan.
  • Gibson tagged in, delivered an elbow to the back of Ivan, and got 2.
  • He then ducked a clothesline and rammed Ivan into the cage twice.
  • Morton mounted the top turnbuckle and nailed Ivan twice.
  • Ivan was BUSTED OPEN!
  • After the second trip, Morton earned a 2 count.
  • Nikita grabbed Gibson around the waist then rammed him face-first into the cage.
  • He then rammed him again, and the ricochet sent Gibson all the way across the ring.
  • Another trip to the cage showed that Gibson was BUSTED OPEN!
  • As Morton distracted referee Earl Hebner, Ivan mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a right hand to Gibson.
  • After sending Gibson to the cage again, Ivan hit an elbow drop for 2.
  • Upon biting Gibson, Nikita slammed him.
  • Once again, Morton distracted Hebner, so Ivan mounted the top turnbuckle and nailed Gibson.
  • He only got a 2 count thanks to a save by Morton.
  • After a forearm shot to Gibson’s back, Ivan attempted a running guillotine but missed.
  • Boot to the midsection and a leg drop got another 2 count for Ivan on Gibson who was taking a shitkicking in this match.
  • As I type that last sentence, leg drop #2 missed.
  • Gibson escaped a rear chin lock with right hands and a knee to Nikita’s bald head.
  • As Nikita blocked a tag, Ivan put a knee into Gibson’s back. Great teamwork!
  • After a head butt and a knee to Gibson’s head, Ivan got a 2 count because Gibson put his unhooked foot on the bottom rope.
  • After Ivan tagged out and blocked another tag, Nikita rammed Gibson into the cage yet again.
  • Nikita tried a cover, but Morton saved again. As Tony pointed out, since this was no-DQ, each team could make a save more than once.
  • As Kernodle worked up a U-S-A chant with the crowd, Gibson delivered a dropkick to Ivan.
  • As Ivan went down so did Hebner.
  • Gibson tried to cover but received no count. Simultaneously, Nikita gave the Russian sickle to Morton.
  • He then knocked Gibson down and put Ivan atop him. However, Hebner was still down so no count was forthcoming.
  • As Ivan gave Gibson an Irish whip, Morton tagged in.
  • Just as Ivan delivered a back drop to Gibson, Morton rolled Ivan up.
  • 1-2-3. As Ivan kicked out after the pinfall, Morton went into the cage and was BUSTED OPEN!
  • The roof practically blew off the Coliseum.

Rating: *****

Summary:  If you can find a better tag team cage match than this, be my guest. This was the epitome of good versus evil and big man versus little man. You owe it to yourself to see this match.

After the match, Nikita tosses Morton over the cage to the concrete floor. He and Ivan then double-team Gibson. Morton is a bloody mess. Krushchev enters the ring to make it 3 on 1. As Ivan and Nikita hold a chain, Krushchev whips Gibson into it clotheslining him. As Krushchev hoists Gibson up, both Ivan and Nikita deliver Russian sickles to Gibson. Kernodle is down outside the ring. As the locker room empties to assist Gibson, Ivan whips Gibson with the chain.

Match 12 for the NWA World title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion) versus the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes


  • Back on 9/29 here at the Omni, after Flair had retained the World title against Nikita Koloff in a steel cage, both Ivan and Nikita Koloff demolished Flair until Rhodes came to his aid. Once both Koloffs were gone, Ole & Arn Anderson hit the ring, locked the cage behind them, and severely injured Rhodes’ ankle. To promote this as a retribution-style match, Rhodes cut this excellent promo.
  • Fireworks and dry ice accompanied the challenger to the ring.
  • Due to the severely sprained ankle, Rhodes wore a special boot.
  • Rotating beacons of white light and fireworks accompanied the champion to the ring.
  • To protect himself from any potential fan mishap, Flair had Atlanta’s finest surround him.
  • As you can imagine, Flair was booed mercilessly upon his introduction.
  • Rhodes won a slugfest to begin the match sending the champion into the crowd to regroup.
  • Flair delivered some chops, but Rhodes responded with the bionic elbow.
  • Leap frog by Flair, but he ate another bionic elbow.
  • To counter a hammerlock by Rhodes, Flair went after the ankle. Immediately Rhodes backed away.
  • Knee drop by Flair got a 1 count.
  • A kick to Rhodes’ injured ankle forced him to scurry outside the ring to recover.
  • As Rhodes returned to the apron, he gave Flair four elbows to the back of the neck.
  • Next, he stomped on Flair’s ankle to even the score.
  • Flair escaped a leg bar with an eye rake.
  • Flair tried a vertical suplex but received one from Rhodes instead.
  • Sleeper by Flair, but Rhodes used momentum to send Flair face-first to the top turnbuckle.
  • He then wrapped Flair’s leg around the ring post.
  • Rhodes missed an elbow drop, so Flair mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Rhodes caught him and brought him down the hard way.
  • Following that, he attempted to hook the figure-four leg lock, but Flair kicked him away.
  • It appeared as if Rhodes reinjured his ankle upon landing.
  • After a chop, Flair tried a figure-four leg lock, but was thwarted twice.
  • Cross-corner whip by Rhodes resulted in a Flair flip to the concrete floor.
  • Rhodes followed Flair and rammed him face-first into the ring post.
  • He then made Flair taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Springer Mountain Farms fried chicken at South City Kitchen.
  • Flair was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Before Flair returned to the ring, an errant shot by Rhodes grazed referee Tommy Young.
  • While Young tried to recover, Flair tossed Rhodes over the top rope to the concrete floor. SNEAKY!
  • Rhodes recovered quickly, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a cross body block that might have gotten 3 if Young had been fully intact.
  • Ten-punch count-along for Rhodes resulted in a Flair flop.
  • Cross-corner whip by Rhodes gave us Flair flip #2, but Flair caught his balance on the apron.
  • He then mounted the top turnbuckle but got caught in the midsection on the way down.
  • Rhodes tried to kick Flair with his injured leg, missed, and hit the second turnbuckle.
  • Like a shark smelling blood in the water, Flair delivered a knee drop to the ankle.
  • He then applied the figure-four leg lock.
  • Flair received a couple of 2 counts, but Rhodes wouldn’t submit.
  • Rhodes then reversed the hold.
  • A clothesline by Rhodes got 2, but Flair’s kick-out landed Rhodes atop Young.
  • Rhodes pulled Flair into the ropes sending Young to the floor.
  • As Rhodes applied the figure-four leg lock, Arn Anderson hit the ring.
  • After Rhodes disposed of Arn, Ole put a knee in Rhodes’ back.
  • Another referee ran in and counted 2 for Flair.
  • Flair tried a slam, but Rhodes countered with an inside cradle.
  • 1-2-3.

Rating: ****

Summary:  That star rating may seem high, but please let me explain. Rhodes HAD to beat Flair for two reasons. The first reason was putting the icing on the cake of a great show. More on this later. The second reason was due to the severe beating the Horsemen laid upon Rhodes back on 9/29 the fans supposedly rioted, and order had to be restored before the Horsemen could be removed from the ring. Therefore, Rhodes had to win. While the AWA had used this tactic in the past to maintain its champion, this match marked the first time Dusty Rhodes booked it as the “Dusty finish.”

What do I mean, you ask? Didn’t Dusty win? Well, yes and no. On the next episode of World Championship Wrestling, Tommy Young indicated that he had seen Arn in the ring and ruled the match a disqualification of Flair. Yes, Rhodes won, but the title cannot change hands on a disqualification; therefore, Flair remained the NWA World Champion.

After the match, Manny Fernandez, Billy Graham, Pez Whatley, Billy Jack Haynes and the Italian Stallion run into the ring and hoist Rhodes up on their shoulders. Outside the ring, the Horsemen are pissed.

Back In the dressing room, Tony interviews Rhodes and congratulates him on his victory. Great victory speech by Rhodes. To close out the show, Caudle notes the 50th anniversary of Jim Crockett Promotions.

Conclusion:  Having seen WrestleMania, WCCW PoC 85, AWA Superclash, and CWF Battle of the Belts, I can honestly say that Starrcade was the best show among them, but with an asterisk. I apply the asterisk only due to the brutality of the matches. There were numerous blade jobs (16) throughout the show making this show unsuitable for family viewing. If you’re at least a teenager or older and not squeamish, then this show provides tremendous excitement for you. I fell in love with this show as a kid and still am enamored thirty years later.

See you for WCCW Christmas Star Wars 1985!

Buyrate: NONE

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