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Going Old School: Starrcade ’94

May 17, 2008 | Posted by Matt Adamson
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Going Old School: Starrcade ’94  

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus recently as I’ve been very uninspired due to the loss of my younger brother. It’s been a rough time for me as the two of us were very close and his passing has left a void and has dramatically changed my life. So I apologize to anybody who has been desperately awaiting my review of this show. If you have in fact been waiting, I have one thing to say… WHY? Seriously, it’s a pretty well established fact that this is one of the most useless shows WCW ever ran and it is probably the least meaningful Starrcade as nobody really ended up elevating their status or getting a rub in any way from this show. In fact, even before my family tragedy, I could hardly even make it through a match of this show before wanting to never watch wrestling again. Ok Ok, I’m giving it all away.

Before I get started I wanted to thank everybody who reads my reviews. Having started writing puro for 411, I never really understood what writing for 411 was really like. However, thanks to all the emails and comments, I’ve begun to understand. You folks are the bread and butter to this place. If there is a show anybody here wants to see reviewed, please let me know. It’ll be a while, thanks that that workHOSE J.D. Dunn, who seriously must watch 3-4 wrestling shows EVERY SINGLE DAY, so when I go to post my reviews it’s a lot like stepping in dog shit. Thanks again Dunn! Could you hand me that stick? Anyway, now that I’ve likely brought doom upon myself if Dunn ever reads this, let’s get this rolling.

WCW brought Hulk Hogan in midway through 1994 thinking that they could establish themselves as the top brand. Instead of gaining the advantage, WCW looked staler than ever, with a watered down, scripted version of the Hulkster working a part-time schedule. Since his arrival there had been a masked man attacking him periodically (when he did wrestle), eventually being revealed. The idea was to bring on some big name, but instead we got Brutus Beefcake and nobody cared. The resulting booking created this show.

December 27th 1994 from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee in front of a crowd of 8,200 fans…

Starrcade ’94 – Triple Threat

Hosts: Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan

United States Heavyweight Championship: Jim Duggan © vs. Vader

When Hulk Hogan came onto the scene in WCW, you’d swear that one of his demands was to bring in anybody he wanted. Jim Duggan was one of those wrestlers that didn’t fit WCW, but came along with the Hogan parade. Vader was nearly one of the casualties of the Hogan parade as he was pushed aside and fell from main eventer to mid-carder/#1 contender that never gets a shot. Once Hogan came to WCW if felt as though Vader had fallen off the face of the earth and nobody cared.

Speaking of caring, Vader simply doesn’t care about this match. The whole match he phones it in big time. Duggan on the other hand tries to wrestle. It’s a welcome change as the match is simply a brawl, but a good one, especially considering who’s involved. Harley Race inserts himself into that match and shows more effort than Vader. You can tell Vader has just about had it with WCW’s shit at this point. One Race gets Duggan distracted enough, shenanigans go down and Vader hits him with a powerbomb for three. If Vader had given ½ the effort that Duggan gave, this may have been a fantastic match. As it stands it’s pretty damn good and thanks to Race and Duggan entertaining as hell.

Winner and NEW champ: Vader
Match Rating: **3/4

Alex Wright vs. Jean-Paul Levesque

You have to love this match. This is the Pay Per View debut of Triple H. In 1994, you never would have thought that Jean-Paul Levesque would be one of the most recognizable figures in wrestling as many as 13 years later. Levesque looks good, but green as all hell here. He’s all blue blood and I guess it suits him better to be a jackass. Wright, in my opinion, was always one of the most irritating wrestlers to watch, both in the ring and out. You could call me on my bias against him, but I really don’t care because I’d rather go to the dentist than watch Wright wrestle.

The match starts off rather slow and Wright shows how awesome he is by resting and trying a mild variety of time wasting moves. You can see Levesque getting pissed. It’s fairly obvious as the crowd falls asleep that Wright sucks. Levesque starts to hear snoring and decides to beat the living shit out of Wright. I always knew I liked Levesque. The beat down wakes up the crowd and it seems as though some of the gentlemen in the crowd are getting behind the blue blood. Though Levesque is green, at least he gave it the old college try. Wright on the other hand gets the win after a reverse roll-up and is still worthless. The match got what felt like an eternity (nearly 15 minutes). Man, WCW was just full of shit ideas by the end of 1994.

Winner: Alex Wright
Match Rating: *1/4

World Television Championship: Johnny B. Badd © vs. Arn Anderson

By 1994, Arn Anderson as a singles wrestling is a tad unrealistic. He was known as one of the greatest tag team wrestlers of all time at this point and had already had a solid singles run in 1990 and 1991. Originally this match was supposed to be Badd vs. Honky Tonk Man, but Honky had walked out earlier. They had nothing for Arn at this point so they threw him in a TV title program with Johnny B. Badd starting here. See they spent so much effort and time on the “friends of Hogan” that they often neglected to put together interesting programs for guys like Arn Anderson. Any of you readers could have done a better job with WCW at this point, I truly believe that.

Much like Vader, Arn is deliberately dogging it, likely due to being fed up with WCW’s shit. You’d think this was 1991 and Ric Flair had just jumped ship to the WWF after WCW treated him like he hadn’t carried the company for much of the previous 10 years. Strangely, despite the obvious dogging it that Arn is doing, he’s actually doing alright. He does too much stalling early on, but turns it into a formula Arn match, which isn’t a terrible thing. Arn tries cheating, but is stopped by the ref. Badd quickly rolls him up for the pin. The match was crap, but not as bad as it was looking to be early on. Probably the worst Arn Anderson match I’ve ever seen.

Winner: Johnny B. Badd
Match Rating: *1/2

The Nasty Boys vs. Harlem Heat

Strange thing about this match is that while Harlem Heat are the champs, nobody seems to be acknowledging it, leading me to believe that this was a case of WCW taping a title change before a Pay Per View, but airing it afterward. I don’t recall. Readers, if you know the facts about this exchange, let me know. This just keeps getting easier and easier. I want to like every Starrcade, but this one has just become impossible to enjoy.

If there was ever a match that one wanted to see that described the word “ugh”, this is it. For one, most of the moves are restholds and they are applied for long periods of time. Second, any psychology attempted in the match falls flat as the recipient just forgets what the fuck it is that they are doing. I get real tired real quick of watching this shit, and this show is loaded with stuff just like this. The match goes nearly 20 minutes before the finish. A fucking DQ finish when Sherri runs in giving the Nasties the win. Fuck this show, seriously.

Winners: The Nasty Boys by DQ
Match Rating: ¼*

Kevin Sullivan vs. Mr. T

WCW desperately wanted to recapture the magic that was the original WrestleMania. They even went as far as bringing in the same non-wrestler, Mr. T, to work a match. Kevin Sullivan and The Dungeon of Doom had been “terrorizing” T, Sting and others. It was lame and boring and I don’t think anybody cared. If any of you readers cared or know anybody who cared, please correct me.

The match itself is a squash and a waste of time. This is a summary of what went down… T and Sullivan start wrestling. Santa Claus runs in. Santa Clause shows what we all knew all along, that he is indeed The Equalizer… I mean Evad Sullivan. Evad Sullivan hits Kevin Sullivan with Jimmy Harts megaphone. Mr. T actually wins this piece of shit match. The End.

Winner: Mr. T
Match Rating: BOO!!!

Sting vs. Avalanche

Its hard to believe that a company based in Philadelphia was putting on wrestling shows that one could actually call “awesome” at the same time as cartoonish shit like this. See, I’m not against the cartoonish wrestling, in fact if I were, I wouldn’t be writing old school reviews. However, everything surrounding this show is so ultra cartoonish and geared toward 5 year olds that its just too tough to enjoy. If I were ever to watch this show again, I’d make sure it was with my son, who has a couple more years until he turns 5. I’d ask him afterward if he liked it. If he said yes, I’d say that this show did its apparent job. I’ll never know for sure, because I’m never watching this show again. Did I mention that Avalanche is Earthquake? Yeah, so you know what we’re in for.

This is yet another match that went way too damn long. Over 15 minutes of watching this one had me asking my wife for an upper. Avalanche spends much of the match taking a breather as he can’t keep up with Sting when Sting’s laying down. I’d go into the details of the match, but I’d rather you just know the goodies. Ugly ref bump, new ref, Sullivan interferes, Hogan makes the save and Avalanche is DQ’d. One of the worst matches I’ve seen at a Starrcade, only trumped by Sullivan vs. Mr. T. Watching this was an enormous waste of time.

Winner: Sting by DQ
Match Rating: BOO!!!

World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan © vs. The Butcher

The Butcher is of course Brutus Beefcake, who was brought along during WCW’s attempt to destroy its own progress. In retrospect Beefcake in the main event seems like a terrible idea, but its not. People bought into him as a legit threat due to their history. WCW did a decent job of selling it. If they hadn’t, the buyrate would have probably been ¼ what it was. Hogan had been champ for half the year of 1994 and had “retired” Ric Flair during that time. It was actually a decent run with a series of good matches with Flair. The only problem, Beefcake is no Ric Flair.

Have you ever been hanging out with friends and decided to have what many call a “bitch fight”? You know the type, where you swing your hands in a downward slapping motion at your opponents hands which are doing the same. It was the type of thing meant to mock the way women supposedly fight (which is FAR from the truth, they are VICIOUS). Well, this match is a great example of the wrestling equivalent of such a fight. I don’t know how else to describe it. There are slaps, chest-rakes, chopping, and sleepers. The end is a fantastic display of shitty timing as the Dungeon of Doom wait patiently for Hogan to win the match after a leg drop before running in. Unreal, you need to see this shit to believe it. After the match is over Randy Savage comes out and fools Hogan by looking like he is going to slap him. He then asks for a handshake and the crowd is happy. Thank goodness this show is over!

Winner: Hulk Hogan
Match Rating: ½*

The 411: I really tried to enjoy this show, but it wasn’t happening. People often attribute the title of “Worst WCW Pay Per View Ever” to Great American Bash 1991 or Fall Brawl 1998. I was in the camp that hates Fall Brawl 1998 more, but no longer. This show is absolutely brutal to watch. There is literally no reason to watch it and even the best moments are messed up in one way or another. If you haven’t seen this show, let me just say that if you are planning on it, change your mind. You can’t get back the time you lose enduring this show.
Final Score:  1.5   [ Extremely Horrendous ]  legend

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Matt Adamson

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