Starrcade 1998: Come Meet That Fresh Young Star To Lead The Company Into The Future: Kevin Nash!

Starrcade 1998
Date: December 27, 1998
Location: MCI Center, Washington D.C.
Attendance: 16,066
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby HeenanSo while this show is far less centered on one match, this is another example of people managing to screw stuff up that should have been unscrewable. This show’s main event is another great example of how WCW and the old guys screwed stuff up as Goldberg defends against Nash in the main event. Yes, this is the Streak ending at the hands of a man in his late thirties in a screwjob before literally handing the title to Hogan 8 days later which we’ve already covered. Other than that we have Bischoff vs. Flair and DDP vs. Giant in one of if not the last match in WCW for the now Big Show. Apparently it’s his next to last one but that’s not the point. I forget the point I was going to make so let’s get to it.Standard opening video but the name makes you feel good as you hear about the legacy of Starrcade which is true.And we open with Gene saying only Flair is here as far as Horsemen go. That’s kind of out of nowhere. Oh and call the Hotline.Cruiserweight Title: BillY Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Juventud Guerrera

Kidman comes in as champion here and both other guys are in the LWO, Latino World Order, which was an angle thrown to Eddie to make him happy since Eric promised him a big push but then blew him off about it. The LWO music just kind of sucks. Eddie is mad at Rey for wanting the title. Rey has his own music which sucks a bit less. Then we get the awesome Kidman music which helps a good bit. Yeah there’s not much else to talk about here in case you couldn’t tell.

One fall to a finish here. Kidman and Rey immediately go after Juvi despite Juvi and Rey being stablemates. Broncobuster is kind of botched as Juvi is out a bit from the corner so the impact blasts his head into the buckle which looked painful. Tony drops the term receipt which I don’t think was intentional. Some very cool double team stuff from Kidman and Rey get a pair of twos on Juventud.

Naturally we talk about Flair (in his biggest match ever) and the main event. Juvi misses his spot and Kidman has to kick out of a Rey bulldog. We hit the floor so Juvi can hit his big dive but he slips the first time which kills the pop. Guerrera tries another dive but eats four boots. This is a rather spotty match to put it mildly. Springboard Doomsday Rana to Rey gets two.

Crowd is surprisingly dead here. Guillotine legdrop from the middle rope to Rey gets two for Kidman. Nice powerbomb by Kidman gets two on Juvi this time. Tenay says we’ve had 25 near falls. It’s more like ten but points for trying I guess. The move that would become known as the 619 allows Rey to put Kidman on the floor. HUGE Asai Moonsault takes out everyone as Tony can’t tell the difference between in the ring and out of the ring for reasons of general idiocy I suppose.

This of course gets a small reaction at best. What is up with this crowd? That was a SWEET looking spot but it gets nothing. Springboard Rana puts Juvi down while Kidman is still outside. Juvi Driver is broken up by Kidman at the last second. Kidman does the Shooting Star to the floor to take out both guys and here comes Eddie, of course drawing more heat than anyone in the match. Eddie rolls a Kidman pin over for Juvi before Rey reverses it again so Kidman can retain.

Rating: C. Match was just kind of dull. I know the term spotfest is thrown around a lot but that’s what this match was. For fifteen minutes they just did high spots, which is fine but it gets a bit boring after awhile. This was an ok match but the three guys kind of made it awkward. You can only watch so much of this guy gets a cover and the third guy breaks it up before it gets repetitive. I don’t get the dead crowd at all though as the match certainly had some high spots in there.

Eddie goes off on both Latino guys after the match, saying how embarrassing they are to him. He challenges Kidman to a title match RIGHT NOW. Kidman says sure why not. Both guys are called sissies so you know they’re serious here.

Cruiserweight Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Billy Kidman

Both are more or less in street clothes here but Kidman is on purpose. Eddie dominates early until Kidman just goes off, beating the heck out of Eddie. A knee shot ends the rush and Eddie throws on a submission hold I’ve never seen before. Picture a really sloppy Sharpshooter but Eddie wraps his leg around the leg of Kidman that is pointed at an angle and also bends his arm back. Looks painful indeed.

Kidman escapes and cranks it up. This is kind of a mess in a weird way. Eddie unhooks his boot (as in a real boot and not a wrestling boot) but doesn’t take it all the way off. Ah there’s the boot straight to the head. Is that a foreign object? I wouldn’t think so. It gets two which makes it kind of pointless. Frog Splash doesn’t work as Eddie is slammed off the top.

Eddie is in one shoe and one sock as he hits a rope walk rana. The Professor, Mike Tenay, calls it a flying headscissors. It amazes me how much the announcers forget during the course of a year or so. Slingshot legdrop gets two for Kidman as this is picking up a bit. Top rope rana is blocked by Eddie and we get about the 10th interference of the match as Juvy tries to stop Kidman. Rey stops Juvi so the Shooting Star can end Eddie.

Rating: C-. This was ok but it just didn’t do it for me. This really should have just been one longer match rather than the two of them combined. I didn’t like it that well but it’s ok. Also the CONSTANT interference was just getting to me by the end. It’s also kind of annoying that this is going to be completely forgotten by the end of the night. It’s not bad but it just didn’t really do it for me. Also the dead crowd continues for some reason. Weird.

Video without words about Goldberg and Nash. At this rate you should have known this was going to go badly.

Norman Smiley vs. Prince Iaukea

Yeah….WCW didn’t really get the idea of a major show at times. Iaukea is your general islander/martial artist. Norman Smiley is currently the GM of FCW and is a very good wrestler who would get popular in about a year, instantly being depushed for his efforts. Iaukea kind of messes up a front flip to the floor as the fans are, of course, dead. Wouldn’t you be for a match like this that belongs on Saturday Night?

For once I’m glad they’re not talking about the match as the topic is Flair vs. Bischoff. Can you blame them on this case though? Tony makes it clear he WILL be biased in that match tonight so in other words everything will be fine. Smiley works the arm as the life is even further sucked out of this show. This is just boring to put it mildly. For a regular show it could be ok but on the biggest show of the year? REALLY?

Smiley does some near MMA level stuff which is rather fun to see. Prince gets a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Springboard cross body gets two for Prince as this is a rather technical match. Norman goes for the chickenwing and gets half of it on, prompting Tenay to say “I think he’s going for the chickenwing!” Norman gets the tap out with it on the second attempt to thankfully end this.

Rating: D+. Boring for the most part but technically sound. Again though, Prince Iaukea vs. Norman Smiley at Starrcade? It sounds like a REALLY low level indy midcard match. This went nowhere but we ok for what it was supposed to be. We’re 50 minutes into this show and this is all we’ve had so far. What does that tell you for later on?

Scott Hall of all people comes out in an Outsiders shirt. No music at all as he’s a guy with no organization to call his family. You know because people have to be in a group. We can’t have individuality or anything like that right? He blames himself for his actions and losses this year and says good things about Nash. He only has to prove things to himself now rather than anyone else.

We recap a clip from Nitro where Bam Bam Bigelow, who was supposed to be a huge deal, popped up and beat up Scott Hall, complete with a SURGE MACHINE! I miss that drink BADLY. There was a threeway with Nash, Goldberg and Bigelow because there’s nothing wrong with a threeway with the main event of Starrcade involved right?

Ernest Miller vs. Perry Saturn

Yep it’s another meaningless match. Why are you surprised? It’s WCW so of course having one match that means anything at all be everything for the show is just fine! Well there’s also Bischoff and Flair so that’s something at least. Miller stalls and offers Saturn a five second head start to leave and avoid pain. Naturally he turns around and takes a clothesline.

Cat runs but dives back at Saturn, falling just a few inches short. Cat is Miller’s nickname in cast that confused you. He still has his robe on too. This is what you call a comedy match as it’s Cat begging off and having to steal cheap shots. Mike randomly talks about some referee that doesn’t like Saturn so Bobby talks about Scott Steiner. Crowd is DEAD. Cat of course can only kick.

We talk about Killer Kowalski and Mad Dog Vachon in a desperate attempt to fill time since this is just horribly boring. Another kick gets two for Cat. Cat hits a big kick and calls in Sonny for a REALLY big kick but he accidentally kicks Cat. Cat kicks him and a Death Valley Driver ends this mercifully. This is one of Saturn’s biggest wins apparently.

Rating: D-. Why in the name of overrated jobbers did the Cat keep getting pushed time after time? I don’t remember anyone actually liking him or anything so he was pushed for well over a year. He went nowhere at all for one major reason: ALL HE DID WAS KICK PEOPLE. Oh wait I think he had a stupid elbow somewhere along there too. This was just boring on so many levels but hey, it’s STARRCADE so it’s awesome right?

Flair comes out to talk because he’s fine for an interview before THE BIGGEST MATCH OF HIS LIFE. He rants about how badly he’s going to destroy Bischoff. Take a guess as to how well that goes for him. Go on take a guess.

We get a video hyping up Eric Bischoff, who is a former announcer but is currently in the second biggest match on the show of the biggest show of the year. By comparison that was Batista vs. Cena for the WWE Title this year. He got fired but still had power anyway because this is WCW and continuity means nothing at all. Oh and Ric Flair had a heart attack after one of the best promos he ever did. Naturally this gets four minutes of PPV time, as in longer than the video for Rock vs. Austin II at Mania 17.

Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell come to see Konnan as we have Black and Red vs. Black and White because in the past year instead of making the NWO die they just made it split into two factions because clearly that’s what people want to see right?

Scott Norton/Brian Adams vs. Fit Finlay/Jerry Flynn

Oh sorry I must have popped in one of the Lethal Lottery shows. Yeah this can’t be an actually well run show because no one would put a match like this after two other pointless matches and absolutely kill the crowd once we had two decent matches to start things off. It would be far less funny if it wasn’t true. Note that this is Jerry FLYNN and not the actually talented Jerry LYNN.

Oh and on a side note, Nash vs. Goldberg is now No DQ. Well that came out of nowhere. In some unintentionally funny commentary Tony asks who pushed for THIS. He’s talking about the stipulations but we’re seeing Brian Adams stare down Flynn at this moment. This is of course the same Finlay that would have a leprechaun for a son. He has a big shamrock singlet (think Angle but with tights instead of shorts on his legs) that is lime green and black to go with his bleach blonde hair.

Norton is the reigning IWGP Champion for you Japan fans out there. We hit the chinlock as Tony talks about how all title matches should be no DQ. There’s a thread in there somewhere. Tony just flat out says they’re not going to talk about the match that’s going on at the moment because other matches are more important. Heenan sounds only slightly drunk so he’s improving. Cold tag to Flynn who kicks Norton a lot. And then Norton powerbombs him for the pin.

Rating: F. Do I really need to explain this one?

Bischoff comes out and talks about Flair. Yes we get it Eric: you’re in a wrestling match tonight. Oh and despite being fired he still is called the boss. His music plays twice because we NEED to hear it twice. There’s another four minutes spent on Bischoff.

We recap one of Jericho’s comedy segments, hyping up his TV Title match.

TV Title: Chris Jericho vs. Konnan

Jericho is challenging here and has pretty much zero chance of winning. He stole the belt recently as this is one of his final angles that meant anything. He would be in WWF in about eight months. He’d have a brief feud with Saturn and fight random people for like two months then just go chill in Japan for the summer and debut against Rock in the famous promo in August.

He does a rather funny rap/poem as you can see the talent as well as the total lack of caring in his eyes at this point. The only think good about Konnan’s intro is a VERY hot Stacy Keibler lookalike in a Wolfpack shirt dancing to his music. My eyes musc be deceiving me as this match actually MEANS SOMETHING. Konnan even pretending that he can out talk Jericho is hilarious.

Jericho hits a spinkick and then goes up. In a funny spot Konnan tells him to jump so Jericho does, allowing Konnan to just step aside. Once the bell rings here Jericho is just awesome with his insane over the top persona that will not shut up. It’s nice to have a guy that can back it up in the ring though. I saw him in a Superstars match against Yoshi Tatsu about three months ago and he was just hilarious. I’ve seen him differently ever since.

Lionsault gets two as Heenan is slipping further and further into flat out drunkenness. In a SICK bump, Jericho does the running springboard dive that Christian does now but lands chest and ribs first on the steps that they moved earlier. That looked and sounded awesome. Jericho counters an X Factor into the Walls for a BIG pop. He can’t get it on and he hits Konnan with the belt. Wait was the ref bumped? If so it wasn’t exactly mentioned. It only gets two anyway. Konnan hits like two moves and gets the Tequila Sunrise for the tap.

Rating: C-. That’s almost all Jericho too as he was the only interesting thing at all out there. Konnan was always a favorite of mine but this just wasn’t incredibly interesting either way. Not a bad match but at just over seven minutes and with no real heat on the match at all there was no point at all. Jericho was just flat out wasted in WCW.

The Giant is doing an interview for WCW.com and threatens to eat Lee Marshall and DDP.

Eric Bischoff vs. Ric Flair

This is billed as a much anticipated grudge match. Now remember: Flair HATES Bischoff and is a wrestler who is still sort of active while Bischoff is an ex-announcer and a businessman. In short, Eric should get in about as much offense as Vince got in on Bret at Mania (which was a good match dang it). Flair comes to the ring pissed and you know this is going to go bad.

Flair sprints to the ring after a few steps and Bischoff runs. He’s on his own here remember. There’s real life heat here and if you’re unfamiliar with it, go read my review of Nitro on September 14, 1998 where Flair reforms the Horsemen because I explain it in full detail there and don’t want to do it again. Here I’ll even give you the link:

http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showth…40#post2351840

Naturally Bischoff gets his head kicked in early on as Tony says Flair will show no emotion at all here. This is all Flair of course because Bischoff isn’t a wrestler or anything close to one. Again Tony talks about how this is his biggest match ever. Yeah this clearly trumps the cage match with Race just to name one. Bischoff fakes a knee injury and Flair doesn’t seem to be concerned.

He kicks at it of course but Bischoff gets in a kick to the side of the head and we brawl a bit on the floor. Tony actually says “anyone that follows TOURNAMENT KARATE will tell you Eric Bischoff is awesome.” Do I even have to make fun of him anymore? Flair gets fired up and gets kicked in the head again, putting him right back down. Low blow evens us up again.

Flair rips Eric’s shirt off and let the chopping begin. He shoves down the referee and it’s not like it matters. Tony: this is not about a pinfall. Keep that in mind for later. The fans are way into Flair if you didn’t guess that one. Flair goes for the Figure Four and the referee is still down. Eric gives up and here’s Hennig to give Bischoff something, and say it with me, Bischoff pins Flair. Tony FREAKS because this pinfall means a lot.

Rating: F. Again do I need to explain this? Sure why not this time. Bischoff yet again shows what was wrong with this company. Rather than letting the fans have their big and happy moment which you could tell they wanted, the feud became about HIM and getting HIM over. This was of course horrible because Bischoff got his teeth kicked in and got the win anyway. To top that the next night Flair fought Bischoff again and beat him clean. We can’t have that on the PPV though because Eric Bischoff had more to do with the successes of the company than Flair did right? Just an awful match that the fans DIED after the ending of. Absolute abomination here.

Recap of DDP vs. Giant which started when Giant cost DDP the US Title against Bret Hart. This was a pretty well done feud actually as I remember it pretty well.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. The Giant

It’s Giant’s next to last match with the company. Who do you think is winning here? DDP runs over to the internet place where you see Wrestlezone’s own Mark Madden before he meant anything. Wait…what? DDP was just awesome around this time but not quite as hot as he was earlier in the year. They spit at each other but Giant has gum and DDP has spit. We head to the floor almost immediately where Giant wins of course.

Giant works on Page’s arms which makes sense. Page can’t really do anything here due to the size of the Giant which makes sense. Page was well known for psychology and having good thinking when he was in the ring. That means just about whatever he did made sense and this is no exception. His trainer by the way: Jake Roberts. Again, that makes sense. He scratches Giant’s eyes which appears to work pretty well.

We go into a bearhug because the arms are so connected to the back right? Heenan is DRUNK now. Powerslam more or less kills Page but Giant keeps picking him up. We get bearhug redux to fill some more time. A bite to the nose gets Page out of that as this is just kind of boring. A DDT out of a hiptoss gets us back to even. Giant presses out of a pin to crush the referee.

Here’s Bret with a chair but he hits Giant by mistake. DDP low blows Bret but Giant just kind of shoves him off of him before a count. In an impressive spot DDP jumps from the apron to the top for a clothesline. Another one hits and he says Diamond Cutter. Giant grabs him by the throat and Giant NO SELLS A LOW BLOW. Ok that’s just bad awesome. He chokes Page into the corner and in an awesome spot, Page is chokeslammed out of the corner from the top rope but turns in midair and pulls Giant into a Diamond Cutter. The pin is academic as Giant is OUT. One of my favorite endings as that was smooth as silk. Page’s face when they landed was like OH SNAP DID I REALLY JUST DO THAT?

Rating: C. Match was bad but that ending is awesome. Giant knew he was gone and just didn’t care anymore at all here. DDP could more or less do no wrong at this point which of course meant he needed to wait about a year to get his shot in the main event which sucked too. This didn’t quite suck but it was close. The ending makes up for it though.

Same Goldberg vs. Nash package as earlier.

WCW World Title: Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash

Crowd barely moves for the announcement of the title match. Nash was the booker at this point but we’ll get into that later on. Face pop for Nash which we’ll also touch on later. Buffer gets one of the most overblown lines ever when he introduces Nash: “though he hails from Detroit, Michigan, his wrestling accomplishments make him a citizen of the world.” WOW. Factor in that Nash had never won the WCW Title at this point but he’s world famous don’t you know.

FAR bigger pop for Goldberg but the smoke from his pyro has filled the arena so you can barely see jack. Nash throws up the Wolfpack sign so Goldberg gets on the middle rope and yells at him. They lock up for the big showdown and it’s nothing that special. Belly to back suplex by Goldberg as we’re doing the thing where we pause after every move to go ooh and ahh. This smoke thing is getting annoying already.

LOUD Nash sucks chant. The announcers try to make this sound epic but we’re a year after Sting vs. Hogan so it’s kind of hard to do. Now Goldberg sucks but not as loudly. Nash tries a freaking cross armbreaker of all things (Alberto Del Rio’s finisher) and it’s as bad as you would expect it to be. I love that little tongue flick that Goldberg did. Spear out of nowhere which is really more of a shoulder block.

Nash punches him in the balls as he’s setting for the Jackhammer though so we’re back to even more or less. I forgot about the No DQ aspect here. Sidewalk slam works fairly well bit not as well as it’s done before, but to be fair they said Nash might have had his ribs hurt by the spear. Elbow gets two for Nash. The referee counts when Nash chokes him on the ropes because the referee is a stupid man.

Goldberg hits his sidekick to kind of reset things here. He hits a jumping spinwheel kick which was more or less awesome. Tony can’t name it of course. Disco freaking Inferno and Bigelow come down to distract Goldberg and then Scott Hall stabs Goldberg in the chest with a cattle prod or tazer or whatever to end Goldberg more or less. Jackknife ends the Streak even though Goldberg’s convulsing caused his arm to pop off the mat but whatever.

Rating: D+. The match was watchable, idiotic ending aside. This wasn’t about how bad the match was but the booking in general. Nash got a pop for the win which I think was just because they were surprised that SOMETHING happened at this show. This wasn’t much of a match but it could have been MUCH worse.

Now before we get to the overall rating, I’ll address the obvious thing here. The problem here is that while Nash got a pop for winning the title, in short, he had no business being in this match in the first place. Nash was booker at this time and made things about him rather than about what was good for the company. Goldber’s streak was something special and by having some old dude beat him, it made the streak look like something that was more luck than skill as when he met this one guy the one guy was able to figure him out rather than being better than him.

The main idea here is that the win doesn’t help anyone but Nash. It makes him look good but it doesn’t elevate anyone else at all. You couple this with the Fingerpoke of Doom 8 days later and how bad does the title picture in WCW look at this point? The whole thing is just a mess driven by the egos of guys like Nash and Hogan with Bischoff mixed in on the side. At the end, Goldberg was defeated, Sting was gone, DDP was in the midcard and the NWO dominated again. How does that benefit anyone but them? It didn’t and WCW was dead for all intents and purposes by the end of the year.

Overall Rating: D-. This show sucked and that’s all there is to it. The crowd didn’t care, the matches were mostly worthless and the booking sucked beyond belief. This is like a big thank you gift from Bischoff to all of his friends as there was almost nothing appealing here at all. When the highlight of a show is a counter to a finishing move, yuou know you’ve had a bad show. This just didn’t work well in the slightest and is one of the weakest shows pre-1999 from WCW I can ever remember. Just awful, especially considering it’s the biggest show of the year. You could see things falling apart very fast for these guys, and the worst was certainly yet to come. Awful show.

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2 comments

  1. Max says:

    Nash was not the booker at the time sir.

    Rocko Reply:

    Only Kevin Nash claims that. No one else has backed up this claim. Most claim he was the booker already