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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Starrcade ’86: Night of the Skywalkers

September 25, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Starrcade ’86: Night of the Skywalkers  

NWA Starrcade ’86: Night of the Skywalkers
by J.D. Dunn

Faced with the choice between a shoddy full version of the actual show or the commercial incarnation, I picked the commercial tape. Much like WrestleMania 2 from the same year, Starrcade featured matches at three different NWA venues across the country. The Kansas City portion has been excised for the commercial release which works out just fine because there wasn’t anything particularly worth seeing there.

  • November 27, 1986.
  • From Atlanta, Ga. and Greensboro, NC.
  • Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Rick Stewart, Bob Caudle and Johnny Weaver.

  • Indian Strap Match: Wahoo McDaniel vs. Rick Rude (w/Paul Jones).
    This would be before the tape “officially” starts. Wahoo is the master of the strap match. IIRC, the real feud was between McDaniel and Rude’s partner Manny Fernandez, and this is just a side feud. This is “touch the corners” rules, which is fine by me, because I find those rules suspenseful when done right. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those times. Rude chokes Wahoo with the strap. Wahoo stretches it across Rude’s face. There are, almost literally, no moves to recap until Wahoo touches three corners. Jones hops up on the apron to prevent him from reaching the last one, but Rude hits him from behind and knocks him into it for the win at 8:12. Rude and Jones try a beatdown, but Hector Guerrero and Baron Von Raschke make the save. 1/2*

  • NWA Tag Team Titles, Cage Match: Rock ‘n’ Roll Express vs. Ole Anderson & Arn Anderson.
    The Andersons were pioneers of tag team strategy. The R’n’Rs were pioneers of tag team formula. Something had to give. The Andersons sucker Ricky to get in and distract the ref so they could double team Robert. It doesn’t work, though, because Robert fights them both off. Ricky comes in and he’s a house of fire outquicking Ole at every turn. Arn comes in and things calm down. Arn is the REAL cerebral assassin. Robert tags in but misses a charge and messes up his knee. Now, it’s on! The Andersons cut off the ring and go to work on that leg. This is a textbook example of how to work a body part over without it getting too boring. Robert escapes and makes the hot tag to Ricky who promptly goes face first into the cage. D’oh! Morton then plays “Ricky Morton”. Arn delivers the #1 AND THE BEST~! spinebuster in the business. Ricky fights back and topples Arn but…Ole…just…makes…the…save. That’s just plain cruel to the fans. Ole goes for a slam but gets small packaged, drawing Arn in to make the save. This, of course, draws in Robert Gibson and we have a donnybrook which ends when Ole goes for another slam on Morton only to have Gibson dropkick them over. Morton lands on top for the three count at 18:59. Winners and still champions: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. ****

  • Louisville Street Feet: Ron Garvin vs. Big Bubba Rogers (w/Jim Cornette).
    Pinfall, submission or 10-count TKO win it here. Rogers is the late Ray Traylor who went on to become the Big Bossman in the WWE. At this point, he’s just a green monster who no-sells a lot. Think Samoa Joe if Joe was a redneck. This is kind of “immovable object/irresistible force” territory because Garvin has the ultimate offensive weapon in his “hands of stone” while Rogers is seemingly impervious to pain. Garvin sticks and moves, pasting Bubba with a series of rights. He finally gets tired and throws a drink in Bubba’s face. Cornette slips in a roll of nickels for Bubba to use. Hey, why spring for quarters? Bubba gets an eight count out of a nickel-assisted right hand. Garvin catches Rogers going up and slams him to the mat for two. Cornette hits Garvin with his tennis racket, knocking both men out. Referee Tommy Young rules that there must be a winner, however, and says that the first man to his feet will win. Garvin staggers to his feet, but Bubba has hold of Tommy Young’s pantleg, drawing his attention from Ronnie. That gives Corny the opening to whack Garvin’s knee with the tennis racket, knocking him down again. Bubba gets up for the win at 7:54. Inventive finish, disappointing match. *

  • Hair vs. Hair: Paul Jones vs. Jimmy Valiant (w/Big Mama).
    This is actually Jones’ hair versus “Big Mama’s” hair because Valiant had already been shaven bald by Jones and his cohorts. Speaking of which, Manny Fernandez refuses to get in the cage they have set up for him to keep him from interfering. Babyfaces Baron Von Raschke, Tim Horner and Wahoo McDaniel run down and *force* him into the cage so we can get underway. Valiant, for the uninitiated, is basically the white Junkyard Dog. If you don’t know what that means, just picture Hulk Hogan twenty years from now. Jones uses a foreign object a lot and bloodies Valiant’s forehead, but Valiant comes back with the sleeper. Jones tries to use the foreign object again, but Valiant steals it from him and knocks him out with it for the win at 4:27. Jones does, indeed, get shaved after the match. Fernandez gets out of his cage and jumps Valiant. Then, Rick Rude joins the attack to the horror of the crowd. This sucked something fierce. O

  • NWA World Television Title, First Blood Match: Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard (w/JJ Dillon).
    This actually happened before the Horsemen’s cage match, but I guess Dusty didn’t want to look like he was further down on the card or something — hence the switch. JJ tries to put wrestling headgear on Tully to keep him from bleeding, but Earl Hebner demands that he take it off. Funny stuff. Dillon’s backup plan is to coat Tully’s head with a thick coat of Vaseline, but Hebner again makes him wipe it off. Dillon argues with Rhodes and takes an elbow to the forehead, busting him open. Tully stalls forever, refusing to get close to Dusty’s balled-up fists. Eventually, they actually start wrestling, and Dusty works Tully’s legs, trying to immobilize him long enough to punch his skull open. The ref gets bumped, allowing JJ to throw his show in the ring. Dusty grabs the shoe instead, but he refuses to use it because he’s a babyface and all. Instead, he pummels Blanchard’s forehead until he busts him open. The ref is still down, though, so Dillon wipes off the blood and applies Vaseline to the cut. He also makes sure to hand Tully a roll of coins. Tully SMASHES Dusty in the head with them. The ref recovers and sees Dusty bleeding, handing Tully the win and the title at 8:39. I’ll say this for Dusty, he always found new and inventive ways for heels to screw over babyfaces. *

  • Scaffold Match: The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering) vs. The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette & Bubba Rogers).
    The Midnights stall for a good 3-4 minutes, refusing to climb up to the top. When they do, the Roadies start shaking the scaffold to scare them. There’s not a lot they can do with this match. They crawl around and hit each other carefully, so as not to lose their balance. The Midnights toss powder in the Roadies eyes to blind them. Hawk nearly goes over but hangs on to a poorly-fastened rail. Eaton grabs on to his leg and swings to safety. They all wind up under the walkway and start chicken-fighting. The Midnights don’t last long after that. There goes Condrey. There goes Eaton. The Roadies win at 7:08. Ellering chases Cornette to the top. Cornette tries to crawl under the walkway and falls to the ring where Bubba was supposed to catch him. Instead, Bubba misjudged his fall, and Cornette screwed up his knees pretty badly. *1/2

  • NWA Heavyweight Title: Ric Flair vs. Nikita Koloff.
    This was scheduled to be Flair vs. Magnum T.A., with Magnum becoming the face of the NWA and the babyface star that could compete with Hulk Hogan. Unfortunately, Magnum’s career was ended in an auto accident, so the NWA quickly turned Nikita babyface and that’s where we are here. Nikita overpowers Flair early, shoving him all around the ring. He grabs a bearhug, which Flair sells like his intestine is being forced out through his anus. Finally, Nikita misses a charge, and Flair takes over with a suplex. Actually, Nikita no-sells it, but the THV folks clip the match to Nikita limping around the ring. Nikita starts his comeback, but Flair tosses him to the floor. Back in, Nikita makes the comeback for real and begins tossing Flair around the ring. Flair flips over the top rope to the floor, and Nikita follows him outside and slams his face into the scaffolding. Tommy Young gets bumped in the fracas, and Nikita hits the Russian Sickle. Koloff covers for about ten as back-up ref Scrappy McGowan runs down to check on Young. Flair knees Koloff from behind but only gets two. Nikita misses another Sickle and kills Lil Scrappy. Nikita gets really pissed now and starts pummeling Flair. Tommy Young tries to break it up, but Nikita tosses him to the mat for the double DQ at 13:18. Not sure what Flair did that Young actually saw. The heels all run in and attack Nikita, but the faces empty the locker room and fend them off. Flair retains in what would be a better finish if it weren’t the biggest show of the year. Good stuff from Flair, though. ***
  • The 411: Anything involving the Horsemen was interesting (not surprising), but everything else was a miss. The scaffold match, while an interesting concept and legendary match, was a waste of the Midnights' talents. The hair match was just atrocious, and the rest had screwy finishes. Although it does give you a nice, nostalgic feel, there's really not much to recommend that you can't find elsewhere.

    Mild thumbs down.

    Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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