Friday, June 25, 2010

The Canon Review of Starrcade 1994

After reviewing the brief WCW tenure of the Honky Tonk Man a couple of weeks ago, I found myself interested in watching more of World Championship Wrestling, circa 1994. This can't be a healthy interest, as most wrestling fans are not big fans of that particular time period, and for good reason. Well, I don't care, I'm going to watch and review Starrcade 1994 anyway. Starrcade 1994 is notable because the main event featured WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan taking on his best friend Brutus Beefcake, going by the moniker of "The Butcher" for some reason here. Yes my friends, WCW's biggest show of the year is main-evented by Brutus freakin' Beefcake. But wait, there's more, as the other big matches include Sting vs. Avalanche (John Tenta), Vader vs. U.S. Champion Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and in what was likely the match of the year, Kevin Sullivan wrestles Mr. T. This looks to be quite the show. Actually, I've seen it before, but that was like 10 years ago and besides, a show like this should be rewatched at least 9 times. So, in the words of Tazz, here comes the pain.

We open with a rundown of the card and the introduction of our announcers, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Gene Okerlund doing the interviews. Great, I'm going to have to suffer three hours of Bobby telling jokes and Tony refusing to laugh at any of them. Bobby makes some joke about Nashville being full of rednecks which Tony ignores and Gene chastises Bobby for. Aaron Tippin sings the national anthem, wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey for some reason. After that, we see clips of Randy Savage promising to confront Hogan at Starrcade and Hogan accepting the Wrestler of the Year award from Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine. After all of that nonsense, we are finally ready to start this show.

Up first is the first of tonight's "Triple Main Event", between Vader and Hacksaw Jim Duggan for Duggan's United States Championship. Duggan comes out ready to fight tonight, as he constantly beats Vader to the punch and keeps his opponent off balance for the first few minutes of the match with a variety of clotheslines and punches. Duggan even pulls out a cross-body block and bodyslams the 450 pound Vader at one point. Eventually, Vader takes control, and gets a two count after the Vader splash off the second rope. A short while after, Vader attempts the moonsault, but Duggan moves out of the way. Duggan gets back up, clotheslines Vader a couple of more times, and catches and slams Vader down after Vader jumped off the middle rope. Duggan's got the cover, but referee Nick Patrick is distracted by Vader's manager, Harley Race. Duggan goes into the three point stance and charges his opponent, but Vader throws Duggan into Race, who puts Duggan's 2 x 4 in the air and Duggan runs into it. Duggan's down, but Vader picks him up off the ground, and slams him face first with an inverted powerbomb type maneuver. That gets three, and Vader's the new United States Champion. Not a bad match, and Duggan got the crowd fired up early, even though a lot of people cheered when Vader eventually won. Too many clotheslines in this match, though, and Vader didn't seem all that interested, to be honest. I'll give it a 2.5 out of 5.

Mean Gene's in the back with the Faces of Fear (Butcher, Kevin Sullivan, and Avalanche). Sullivan's the only one that should talk, but everybody gets some mic time and Butcher ends up flubbing a couple of lines. Up next is a matchup of two young superstars. One of which would become arguably the biggest star in the business, while the other had a few years of employment, but by and large was out of the sport a few years later. It's Alex Wright vs. Jean-Paul Levesque, better known today as Triple-H. I suddenly became very sleepy while watching this match. A LOT of chin locks and mat wrestling that really goes nowhere. Levesque used a spinning wheel kick at one point, which I don't think he's done since. The end comes after Levesque whips Wright into the corner, Wright backflips behind his opponent, schoolboys Levesque and gets the victory. After watching the match, it was clear that Levesque was the better worker, but both men were very inexperienced at this point and the match basically killed the crowd dead. Afterwards, WCW kept pushing Wright as it's hot young superstar, while Levesque soon left WCW to go on to bigger and better things in the WWE. In hindsight, I think WCW might have made a mistake here. Match gets a 1.2 out of 5.

The next match is supposed to be the third Honky Tonk Man-Johnny B. Badd match, but HTM walked out on the company just before the show, so mercifully I am spared from watching that debacle. Instead we get Arn Anderson vs. Johnny B. Badd for Badd's television title. Heenan states that they should have bombed Nashville instead of Horishima, which just horrifies Schiavone. I guess Heenan's not a fan of the Music City. The match starts with a bunch of tie-ups, Badd pulls off a move, and Arn quickly backs away sequences. Johnny B. gets the advantage with a few punches, but Arn hits the spinebuster, but doesn't cover Badd because he's still dazed from the punches. From there, Arn takes over, using the abdominal stretch, and a sleeper hold. Badd gets out of the sleeper, puts on his own sleeper, but Anderson gives Badd the jawbreaker to get out of it. Both men get back up, and Badd counters out of an Irish whip with a nice-looking headscissors. He gets a couple of two counts, than attempts the sunset flip from the top rope. Badd hits it, but Anderson once again kicks out at two. Anderson rolls up Badd and has his foot on the ropes, but the referee saw it and gets Arn off of him. Arn thinks he's won for some reason, but Badd sneaks up behind him and uses the same finish as the previous match, a schoolboy that gets the three count. Anderson is in shock and Badd retains the TV title. Probably better than anything HTM and Badd could have put together, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch this match again. I'll give it a 2 out of 5.

The Nasty Boys are presented with the 1994 PWI Award for Tag Team of the Year, which leads us into our next match featuring the Boys and Harlem Heat, who are accompanied by Sister Sherri. The match starts off as a brawl between the two teams, but quickly becomes an honest to goodness wrestling match. That's not really a good thing, though, as basically the Nasties do a lot of arm work on Harlem Heat, but that's quickly forgotten, so we basically got four minutes of mat wrestling for no real reason. Stevie Ray drags Jerry Sags out of the ring, and gives him a pump kick out in the aisle, giving Harlem Heat the advantage. However, Booker T's the legal man, so we have to wait for about a minute before Stevie drags Sags (hey, that rhymes) back to the ring. From there, Booker T delivers a scissor kick, but only gets two. Harlem Heat slows the match down even more, because clearly that's what this show needed, another slow match. Sags delivers a DDT to both men and gets the hot tag to Brian Knobbs, who gets in there and brawls with Stevie Ray. Sherri gets on the apron, goes to spray Knobbs with some sort of aerosol product, but she "accidentally gets Stevie Ray instead. I say accidentally because Knobbs ducked some five seconds before Sherri used the spray. Booker gets on the top, but Knobbs throws him off and Sags hit a big elbow drop. Cover, but Sherri dives off the top to break it up. Somehow, the Nasties see this and move, making Sherri land on Booker T instead. The ref calls for a disqualification, and the Nasties have Sherri cornered. They then stick Sherri's face in Sags' arm pit. Well, that's disgusting. After the match, both teams are shown in the back delivering promos about how they'll continue to fight or whatever. The promos looked very ECW-ish, if that makes any sense at all. This match kind of sucked, I'll give it a 1 out of 5.

Sting is presented with PWI's most popular wrestler of the year. We go to the back with Sting and Gene. Sting says he's tired of hearing everybody talk about what they're going to do at Starrcade, so naturally, he talks about what he's going to do at Starrcade. I wish he would have talked more, because up next we have Kevin Sullivan wrestling Mr. T. Sullivan comes out, and we get another ECW-style promo of Sullivan clawing at the wall backstage because he's crazy. Mr. T has decided to dress like a prisoner, with a black-and-white striped shirt and stocking hat on. T gets the first moves in, but Sullivan gets the advantage with some brawling. They go the outside, a cameraman trips over the stairs, and unfortunately for him, T and Sullivan decide to wrestle in the exact same area, so the poor cameraman is under Mr. T, who is getting beat down by Sullivan. It was actually funny, at least to me. Santa Claus comes out, somebody in the audience pulls off his hat and Jimmy Hart gives him a megaphone to put in his bag. Santa's actually Evad Sullivan, Kevin's "brother" and he wallops Kevin in the back with the sack. Mr. T covers, and wins the match. Evad celebrates with the fans outside the ring, but Kevin comes up from behind and beats him up. He takes Evad to the ring, and Evad's pants are falling off. Luckily, he had his wrestling gear underneath, or otherwise that would have been a quite unwelcome sight. Kevin piledrives Evad, takes Santa's belt off, and whips his "brother" in the face with the belt. That looked like it might hurt. The match gets a 0.3 out of 5, as T really couldn't do anything and well, it just sucked.

Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart are in the back with Gene. Hulk addresses both the Butcher and Randy Savage and promises to rip all of his opponents in half. Jimmy Hart says he'll never leave the Hulkster's side. Well, that turned out to be a lie, didn't it. Avalanche comes out for his match with Sting, and naturally, Sting follows. What transpires after this is one of the sloooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeesssssssstttttttt matches you will see. Avalanche does hardly anything and is blown up about five minutes in. All Sting can do with Avalanche is kick him in the leg and wait for Avalanche to get his breath back. Sting tried, but it just was not going to happen. Avalanche stalls a lot and does a bunch of side headlocks with the occasional leg drop or clothesline thrown in. Sting finally starts to get some momentium, knocking Avalanche down with a clothesline. He backs the 'Lanche into the corner and hits the Stinger Splash, but the referee was trapped behind Avalanche and he goes down as well. Sting turns over Avalanche for the Scorpion Death Lock, but Kevin Sullivan interferes. Sting has some success fighting them off, but the numbers are too much for Sting. Avalanche uses his patened sit-down splash on Sting, and goes for another one but Hogan comes out and chases his two enemies out with a chair. Sting wins by disqualifaction, marking yet another unsatisfying and cheap finish on this show. I almost fell asleep during this match at least twice, so I'll give it a 0.5 out of 5.

We see Jimmy Hart win the Manager of the Year Award from PWI. Whoop-dee-damn-do. We then get a recap of the events that led up to Hogan wrestling his best friend. See, a masked man kept attacking Hogan, and at Halloween Havoc, that man was revealed to be Brutus Beefcake. So, here we are. Butcher comes out with Sullivan and Avalanche, while Hogan comes with Jimmy Hart and a chair. Michael Buffer makes the introductions, which takes up about three minutes of time, Avalanche and Sullivan are sent to the back, and off we go. This match set the record for most back rakes used in a single match, as 80% of both men's offensive repertoire was the dreaded back rake. Hogan even pulled out the dreaded chest rake as well. Hogan uses a chair, but the match still continues. Hogan starts biting the Butcher, but again, the ref lets it go. Butcher does something, I don't remember, but it ends with a nerve hold on Hogan. Butcher then puts his patented sleeper on Hogan. Hogan's arm drops twice, but he just barely holds it up the third time. Butcher thinks that he's won, but he has not, and Hogan begins to Hulk out all over Butcher. Sullivan runs out, and Avalanche struggles to jog out. They both get blows from Hogan, so they hang out on the apron and watch Hogan legdrop Butcher for the three count. Afterwards, the three Faces of Fear surround Hogan, but here comes Randy Savage. Savage shakes Sullivan's hand, but WAITAMINUTE! Savge attacks Sullivan and teams with Hogan to run the threesome off. Savage shakes Hogan's hand and the two celebrate. To the locker room with a post-match interview with Savage and Hogan. They talk about this and that, but here comes Vader, who calls the Hulkster out. Chaos then ensues as wrestlers and security struggle to hold the two men apart. Looks like we've got a main event for the next WCW Pay-Per-View spectacular. I don't know what to give this match and I never want to see it again, so I'll just say a 1 out of 5 and leave it at that.

Well, that was not very good at all. Most of the matches either disappointed or sucked as much as you thought they would. The first match was the best of the night, and even that was just ok. So I strongly recommend you not watch this show unless you are having trouble falling asleep one night. I'll give the whole show a 2.4 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any better ideas for reviews than this, then for goodness sakes send them to me. You can send them either by e-mail at or by leaving a comment on the blog.


  1. I remember this show sucking really bad when we watched it like 10 years ago, but this sounds like it is even worse than I remembered. Which is hard to say because, I think I refuse to watch the main event because Brutus Beefcake was in it.

    Goddamn was he terrible...especially in WCW.

  2. I wish I had refused to watch the main event. Of all the people they could have put in that spot, they chose freaking Beefcake. Vader would have made a lot more sense here, as it was the biggest potential main event they had unless they turned Sting, and that would have just been silly. Hell, Regal and Austin were still there, why not give one of them a shot? But Hogan was just looking out for his own interests, like usual.