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411 Video Review: Starrcade 1988

June 2, 2002 | Posted by Bob Barron

Live from Norfolk, Virginia. Your hosts are JR and Bob Caudle.

We get a video package of all the big matches.

The Fantastics v. Dr. Death Steve Williams and Gamesmaster Kevin Sullivan for the NWA US Tag Titles

Sullvian and Fulton start. Sullivab kicks his ass but gets elbowed. Fulton does a Lou Thesz Press for two. Fulton hammers away and tags Rogers who gets a backdrop. Tag Fulton. Jason Hervey is of course here. Was he at every NWA/WCW show ever? Fantastics work over Dr. Death. Dr. Death finally just has enough and gives Fulton a mega press slam. CLIP! Fulton goes to the eyes, hot tag Rogers who runs into Sullivan’s foot. Sullivan goes up top but gets thrown off. Rogers goes up top but hits knees. Tag Dr. Death. Dr. Death kicks his ass and Rogers plays face-in-peril as the VC work him over and get some near falls. Rogers gets a dropkick but Sullivan cuts off hot tag. Two double stomps only get two. Rogers gets a suplex hot tag Fulton who cleans house. A pier-four erupts and Dr. Death drops him on the top rope for three. That whole last sequence was botched badly. *1/2

Original Midnight Express (w/Paul E. Dangerously) v. New Midnight Express (w/James E. Cornette)

Cornette: I’m gonna give a Christmas present to America- I’m gonna kick that little punk’s butt.

Whoa- Cornette not liking Paul E- that’s a shocker. Why do these guys hate each other anyway? My theory is that Cornette is Mr. Kayfabe. In his own promotion he won’t let heels hang with faces and all that. So I think during their feud Cornette started to believe the promos he was cutting. That or he doesn’t like New Jack.

I really don’t know the story behind this one but it probably involves something like Paul E and the OME not liking what Cornette and the NME were doing. OME is Randy Rose and Dennis Condrey, the NME are Stan Lane and Bobby Eaton. NME beat up OME- NME bail. Again- same result. Lane and Condrey start- Lane hammers away and knicks him out where Cornette whacks him with the racket. Crowd explodes. Paul E rings the bell. Condrey hammers away but Lane gets an atomic drop. OME bail. Teddy Long is the ref which means three great managers are involved. Randy Rose tags in as does Bobby Eaton. Eaton works him over to the outside. Cornette whacks him with the racket, Paul E is soooo pissed an again rings the bell. This is hilarious. Eaton continues working him over. Lane throws him into the ringpost. Back in- tag Lane. Lane gets a crossbody for one. Rose offers a handshake, Lane accepts and beats him down. Tag Eaton. Condrey and Eaton slug it out. Eaton hits flying elbow and tags in Lane who karate kicks him and rests. Tag Eaton who gets a bulldog. Tag Rose, tag Lane and they continue working them over. NME do like a rocket launcher move but Eaton badly misses a blind charge and becomes face-in-peril. OME miss their version of the Rocket Launcher, hot tag Lanr who destroys anything that moves. Paul E comes in and bashes Lane with his cell phone drawing Cornette in the ring. Rose covers Lane and gets two but then Long notcies the cell phone. Rose is busy begging the ref not to DQ them and the NME hit the Double Goozle. Great little old school match and the stuff involving Cornette and Paul was hilarious. The whole thing ended up being blown off at GAB89 with a tuxedo match. **** OME beat the shit out of everyone.

The Russian Assassins (w/Paul Jones) v. Junkyard Dog and Ivan Koloff where if JYD and IK win- RA must unmask and Paul Jones must retire

JYD and Koloff beat up the damn Commies. Ivan gets some claw hold for two. RA #2 cheats to take control. Koloff quickly comes back as the RA keep cheating to prevent losing. JYD misses headbutt but they soon kick ass. Teddy Long is such a bad referee in this match- he misses like every pinfall. The glasnost lovers take it to JYD but miss the Russian missile. Hot tag Ivan who cleans house with JYD. Russian Sickle but of course Teddy Long and misses it and one of the Assassins load up the mask and nails Ivan for the win. Ѕ*

Mike Rotunda (w/Sullivan in a cage) v. Rick Steiner for the NWA TV Title

This is the blowoff to the Varsity Club angle where Dr. Death, Sullivan and Rotunda pushed around Rick and treated him like shit until Rick snapped and become the loveable stupid crowd-loving babyface.

They shove each other and Rick kicks his ass. Rotunda bails. CLIP! Rotunda has a chinlock and of course uses the ropes. Rotunda hammers away. Steiner fights back but gets kneed. Elbow-one. I think they clip to a chinlock. JR and Caudle start talking about how great a champ Rotunda- you know what that means. Steiner gets sunset flip but Rotunda continues kicking ass. Dropkick misses and Rick gets an inside cradle for two. Rick is all pumpd up and he’s PISSED. Rick kicks his ass but heeeeeeeee’res Dr. Death. Slam-2. Belly to belly- Dr. Death rings the bell to stop the count and they start lowering the cage. Teddy Long thinks the time limit is over but Tommy Young comes out, sorts it out and the match is on. Sullivan goes after Young and in the confusion Rick whips Rotunda into Sullivan and wins the title with Long and Young counting three. He runs around the ring screaming and yelling and the crowd is just going crazy. Match sucked and is clipped heavily but its great to see. *1/2 Thank god for clipping- Rick Steiner v. IRS for seventeen minutes? Ugh

Barry Windham (w/JJ Dillon) v. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink) for the NWA US Title

They lock up a couple times. Bigelow overpowers him and shoves him back. Windham hammers away but Bigelow just drops him. Windham bails. Back in- Windham hammers away and suplexes him. Bigelow no-sells. Windham bails. Back in- Bigelow kicks his ass. Windham goes to the eyes and hammers away but Bigelow no-sells all. Press slam and Bigelow keeps dishing out the punishment. Flair flop by Windham and he flies out trying for a DQ on a dropkick. Back in- Bigelow continues working him over. Suplex-2. Windham fights out of a chinlock and tosses him out of the ring. Brawl on the outside. Bigelow slingshots himself into the ring on to Windham for two. Press slam but he misses headbutt. Windham works him over and kills him with a lariat. Windham works him over and gets the claw. Bigelow makes the ropes. He slams Bigelow but misses an elbow. Bigelow hammers away and they both go flying outside. Bigelow gets rammed into the post and counted out. Windham was the man back then, and Bigelow was no slouch himself. ***1/4

The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) v. Dusty Rhodes and Sting for the NWA Tag Titles

This feud resulted in a rather infamous beatdown where Road Warriors turned on Dusty and drove a steel spike into his eye and Dusty tapped a gusher. This was all shown on TBS and no one was really happy with Dusty and he was fired soon after. I believe the Road Warriors also turned on Sting as well. Dusty knew that Sting was basically the coolest thing ever (which he was) and wanted to team with him so the American Dream would look cool if you weeeeeeel.

Big Pier-4 brawl with the faces taking control. Animal and Sting start. Animal overpowers him but gets dropkicked and bails. Sting works on the arm and tags Dusty. Dusty kicks his ass so Animal bails and tags Hawk. Bionic elbows and he tags Sting. Hawk stomps a mudhole in him and walks it dry. Sting just kills Hawk with a punch and gets a powerslam for two. Elbow, tag Animal. Animal presses Sting and flexes. He tries to slam Sting again but he lands on his feet and kicks Animal’s ass. Animal goes to the outside and Sting flies out after him. Tag Dusty who rams his knee into the post. Tag Hawk. Dusty tries a figure four but the Warriors cheat and Dusty plays face-in-peril as they beat his ass. Dusty tries to shake it loose if you weeeeeeeel and he gets a dropkick. The Warriors shrug it off and kick his ass more. Dusty breaks a sleeper with a jawbreaker- hot tag Sting who cleans house. Stinger Splash to Animal but Hawk breaks Scorpion Deathlock. Dusty ballshots Animal allwoing Sting to hit the flying bodypress but Paul Ellering stops the count for the DQ. ***1/2 Post-match faces clean house. Fun match to watch- Sting was so cool back then and was so over and awesome its scary. What happened?

“Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/JJ Dillon) v. “The Total Package” Lex Luger for the NWA Title- if Flair is DQed he loses title

Flair struts around and flexes. Lockup- pretty even and Flair wooos. Luger clotheslines Flair out. Flair takes his time. Lou Thesz is there. Flair gets a hammerlock, Luger reverses and Flair makes ropes. Luger shoulderblocks him- Flair bails. Back in- Flair chops him and knocks him down but gets powerslammed- Flair bails. Press slam. Flair starts saying: Oh god. JR starts talking about the plane crash as Lex works on the arm. Flair gers sent flying into the corner. He tries to chop him but it’s the Total Package- chops don’t work. Flair bails Lex goes after him but gets stopped by Tommy Young. Back in- Flair kicks him and chops but Lex shrugs it off, sends him into the corner and we get a Flair flop. Luger locks in a hammerlock. Lex continues kicking his ass. Flair goes to the eye and hammers away. But the chops only piss Lex off. Flair bails. Lex follows and they brawl on the outside. Back in- Lex works on the arm. Flair tries a comeback but Lex gets a clothesline for two. Delayed vertical suplex gets two. Luger misses an elbow. Flair works him over and throws him out. Brawl on the outside. Flair and Young start getting into it. Back in- Flair kicks his ass. Flair chops him and again Luger just gets pissed off and gets a sleeper. Flair fights out with a back suplex. Flair continues taking him to school,. Luger blocks figure four with small package for two. Flair cotinues kicking his ass but goes up top and Lex superplexes him down for two. Lex applies the figure four and the crowd explodes. Flair makes ropes. Lex hammers away and accidentally bumps Young. Flair throws him over the top, normally a DQ, but Young misses it. Luger comes back with bodypress for a two- Young was distracted. Luger gets a backslide for two. God damn JJ Dillion- I want to see Luger the belt. Ten punches and we get a Flair flip. Suplex-two. The chops again just make Lex hulk up. Flair begs off but gets press slammed. Powerslam, Lex goes after JJ as Flair bails. Flair chairs his leg- you damn ratfuck. The crowd absolutely hates it. Flair is a shark smelling blood and of course works on the leg. Figure four time. Woooooo! Luger turns it over and the hold is broken. Flair goes back to the leg. He drops the knee right on the leg. Flair goes up top but of course Luger throws him off. Flair throws him out but Lex is all pissed off and he ain’t taking any more shit. Press slam but Luger hurts his leg. Flair throws him out again. Sunset flip by Luger-two. Woooooooo! Flair tries a forearm but Luger is all fuck that shit and flexes. Ten punches and Luger clotheslines him for two. Slam. He hooks the Torture Rack but his leg gives out and Flair does a Flair pin for the win. ****1/4

I feel bad for Luger. Seriously- I do. Sure the guy was a ratfuck prick in the dying days of WCW but then again- so was everyone. The guy throughout his career has made to look like a huge choker. The one thing I don’t like about Flair is his dislike for Luger and his refusal to put him over. I mean Lex was insanely over and with the right booking would’ve gone over fine. I think Flair was selfish and wanted to hold onto the title longer and make more money, plus he also didn’t like Dusty. Dusty Rhodes’ idea was to have Rick Steiner win the title from Flair in a five minute squash. Flair refused, threatened to quit and go to the WWF and Dusty was fired.

The Bottom Line- A very good show with a terrific main event and a bunch of good matches. It’s fun to look back and remember when Sting, Luger and Rick Steiner were all really cool.

Highly Recommended

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Bob Barron
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