Starrcade 1999: The Big Idea All Over Again

Starrcade 1999
Date: December 19, 1999
Location: MCI Center, Washington D.C.
Attendance: 8,582
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, Bobby Heenan

 

Other than the main event, there isn’t much here. The card is thirteen matches long as opposed to the eight or nine that we’ve had for the past few years. The only other main match on the card is a battle of the powerbombs between Nash and Sid who returned earlier this year. There just isn’t much to see here but that’s the case with Russo shows. Another interesting sign about this show: the attendance. Starrcade 1997-2000 were all in the same arena. 1997 drew 17,500 fans, 1998 drew about 16,000, 1999 drew about 8,500 and 2000 drew about 6,500. The writing is on the wall already. Let’s get to it.

 

The intro video lists off all of the matches tonight, starting with the least interesting of them all. Usually it’s the other way around.

 

Disco Inferno/Lash Leroux vs. Mamalukes

 

Leroux is a pretty generic cruiserweight from Louisiana. The Mamalukes are two Italian guys named Johnny the Bull and Big Vito who are your basic mafia gimmick. Vito and Lash start after a quick brawl. The Cajun guy is pounded into the corner as Vito does every Mafia stereotype you can think of. Lash takes a side kick to the face and it’s off to Johnny for some double stomping. Leroux takes him down with a hiptoss and it’s to Disco. Inferno gets two on the Bull via a clothesline and two off a clothesline and Russian legsweep.

 

As Disco stomps away in the corner, we get the story behind this: apparently Disco owes the Italians’ manager Tony Marinara (just go with it) $25,000 and the makeshift team is together because they used to not like each other but now respect one another. Disco has also tarred and feathered Marinara before pouring meat sauce on Vito and the Bull. I’ve heard stupider angles. I can’t think of many but I’ve heard of them.

 

The Mamalukes take over and it’s off to Vito who hits a neckbreaker to give Johnny a two count. After a quick chinlock by the Bull and some double teaming including a wishbone split for Disco’s legs, a double powerbomb gets no cover on Inferno. Instead Vito misses a middle rope splash and it’s off to Lash.

 

Leroux speeds things up and takes Vito down with a spin kick before making the heels hit each other by mistake. Everything breaks down and the Italians hit a double clothesline to take over. Disco and Vito go to the floor as Johnny misses a guillotine legdrop, allowing Disco to hit a splash for two. Everyone is back in again and Disco tries his Chartbuster (Stunner) but Vito breaks it up, sending Disco into Lash for a Chartbuster to his partner for no apparent reason. That and a spinning inverted DDT to Disco are enough for the pin by Vito.

 

Rating: C-. Very basic tag match here but I’ve seen worse. Again though, the idea of this story being based around a guy named Tony Marinara does it no favors and makes for a rather stupid story all around. Disco continues to be impressive though as he was nothing but a comedy character who lasted for many years with the company. He also wasn’t half bad in the ring, but his career was hindered by the character.

 

Post match Disco’s face is covered with an ether rag and placed in a body bag. The Italians carry him to a waiting car and drive off.

 

The announcers hype up the rest of the card.

 

We’re told that US Champion Scott Hall is injured and therefore has to forfeit the title. Here’s Chris Benoit who is awarded the title in Hall’s absence, so he issues an open challenge for a title defense later on in the show. The match will be a ladder match like Benoit vs. Hall was scheduled to be. Ok then.

 

Cruiserweight Title: Madusa vs. Evan Karagias

 

Evan is a generic pretty boy wrestler and is defending. These two used to be a couple but have since split over the title. Madusa jumps him on the way to the ring and sends him into the steps to take over. Evan can’t bring himself to hit her but then he punches her down anyway. What drama indeed as the reaction from the fans (or lack thereof) can tell you. A slam puts Madusa down but Karagias misses a moonsault (which would have missed even if she hadn’t rolled away) and Madusa hits (kind of) a middle rope dropkick for no cover.

 

She goes up again, only to be slammed down by Karagias. They trade powerbombs (Tony on Madusa’s: “that was almost like a powerbomb!”) followed by a neckbreaker from Evan. The fans rightly think this is boring as Evan dives on Madusa on the floor. Cue Evan’s chick Spice to turn on him with a low blow, allowing Madusa to German suplex Karagias down for the title. Did I mention that Spice and Evan hooked up on Monday, making this turn completely pointless?

 

Rating: F. Madusa is one of those very annoying female wrestlers who is supposed to be interesting because she’s a female wrestler, but at the end of the day she just isn’t entertaining. Karagias was as generic of a wrestler as you could get, making this to be absolutely terrible and sloppy on top of that.

 

Cue Norman Smiley in Washington Redskins gear to scream a lot before the match. See he’s a coward, so a producer saying they’re out of time terrifies him.

 

Hardcore Title: Meng vs. Norman Smiley

 

See, it’s funny because it’s a monster vs. a coward. Norman brings out a dumpster full of weapons but puts on a helmet before starting things off. Smiley, the champion, throws the weapons into the ring but has them thrown back at him, sending Norman running off. A garbage can to the head sends Norman staggering away and we head to the back after about fifteen seconds of “action”.

 

Meng is hit by a chair a few times but a trashcan shot has no effect. They head to the catering area with Norman stumbling around. This is a Vince Russo trademark by the way. Meng pounds away on him, throwing Norman through a table. Norman finds a fire extinguisher to blast Meng with, only to have hardcore guys Fit Finlay and Brian Knobbs show up to beat Meng down. A shot to the head with some kind of a metal bar is enough to knock Meng out, allowing Norman to come out from under a table and retain the title.

 

Rating: D-. These are the same kind of matches that the WWF was having at the time and they were doing them much better. The problem here is that these matches are done over and over again and they just aren’t funny anymore. Norman constantly ran around while screaming, only to win the title due to some shocking coincidence. Nothing to see here, again.

 

David Flair, Ric’s son, is presented with a golden crowbar as a gift. Ok then.

 

Punk band The Misfits kidnaps Oklahoma, a character designed to make fun of WWF announcer Jim Ross. This will be explained better in a bit.

 

We recap the Revolution vs. Jim Duggan. Fed up with never getting elevated up the card, Perry Saturn, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Shane Douglas formed a group called the Revolution, which was designed to rebel against the established veterans to take their spot on the top of the card. WCW, in its infinite wisdom, turned them into an anti-American group who declared statehood, thereby ticking off patriot (and resident WCW janitor) Jim Duggan. Duggan will have mystery partners for an eight man tag tonight.

 

Jim Duggan/???/???/??? vs. Revolution

 

Oh and if Duggan loses, the Revolution has to do his janitor job for thirty days, but if Duggan loses he has to renounce his citizenship on Nitro. Duggan’s partners are…..the Varsity Club. Yes, the same three guys (Rick Steiner, Kevin Sullivan and Mike Rotundo) from 1988 are back again for absolutely no apparent reason. Instead of Shane in the match, it’s WCW’s version of WWF bodybuilding chick Chyna, named Asya. Get the joke? Also Benoit isn’t here because of the US Title match later tonight.

 

Duggan wants to start the match himself so he sticks his tongue out at the Varsity Club. Saturn starts for the Revolution and gets pounded down by Duggan so it’s Malenko’s turn. Jim beats him down as well with the Three Point Clothesline but he doesn’t seem interested in tagging. The Varsity Club yells at him and you can feel the heel turn coming from here. Saturn comes in again with a springboard missile dropkick to take Duggan down.

 

The Revolution takes turns beating on Duggan in the corner as this is rapidly going nowhere. Dean hits him with the Revolution flag and even Asya gets in some shots of her own. The Varsity Club finally gets bored of standing on the apron and everything breaks down. To the shock of no one paying attention, the former heel stable turns on Duggan and lays him out, allowing Douglas to come in and steal the pin.

 

Rating: D. As predicted, no one knew who the Varsity Club was so no one cared when they turned on him. Why Duggan would pick them as partners is beyond me, but as mentioned he wasn’t that bright. This was a waste of Malenko and Saturn, which is a big part of why the bailed to the WWF along with Guerrero and Benoit in about a month.

 

The Misfits have Oklahoma in a one man cage and berate him a bit.

 

Vampiro vs. Steve Williams

 

The Misfits are Vampiro’s friends and Williams is Oklahoma’s heavy. Oklahoma is designed to do one thing and one thing only: make fun of Jim Ross. Vampiro gets five minutes against Oklahoma is he wins, but since Oklahoma has a mic on we have to hear him talk during the match. Vampiro climbs on top of the cage to start and dives down onto Williams before whipping him into the barricade. A kick to the face staggers Doc and we head inside for the first time.

 

Vampiro pounds on Williams as this is already going nowhere, much like the majority of the card tonight. Doc fires back with some chops, causing Oklahoma to shout CHOP CHOP CHOP because that’s FUNNY you see. Williams hits some shoulder blocks but misses a splash in the corner. A suplex puts Williams down but as Vampiro goes up, Doc pops up with a superplex, nearly breaking Vampiro’s neck in the process. That’s enough for the wrestling so here are the Misfits to distract Williams. Vampiro kicks Doc down but a second kick is caught in a suplex. Williams pounds away until he shoves the referee for the lame DQ.

 

Rating: D. So to be clear, Vampiro was supposed to be a big deal in WCW around this time, so let’s have him get destroyed by someone who hasn’t been around in years for the sake of pushing a feud to make fun of someone who isn’t even in this company anymore. Did I mention that 1999 was a really stupid year for WCW?

 

The five minute clock immediately starts despite Oklahoma being in the cage still.

 

Vampiro vs. Oklahoma

 

To further the stupidity, Williams beats Vampiro up for about two more minutes while Oklahoma spouts off stupid jokes from inside the cage. Oklahoma finally gets out and drops Vampiro again with a DDT before stomping away in the corner. Vampiro gets up so Oklahoma runs, only to have the Misfits throw him back in. After a few low blows from Oklahoma (yeah the announcer is hanging in there with a wrestler. Why are you surprised?), Vampiro hits a Nail in the Coffin (Michinoku Driver) for the pin. They weren’t even “fighting” for a minute.

 

The Powers That Be (the faceless bosses of the company) talk to Creative Control/Curt Hennig, telling them to go become #1 contenders in the six man tag. The faceless voice seems distracted and says something big is going down tonight.

 

Harlem Heat and Midnight, a big muscular chick that no one cared about, get in an argument before said six man. Stevie walks out due to Midnight.

 

Harlem Heat/Midnight vs. Creative Control/Curt Hennig

 

It’s a handicap match because Stevie is gone. Creative Control is a pair of big bald twins named Gerald and Patrick who have teamed for years under a variety of names. The winning team here become number one contenders to the tag belts. Booker and we’ll say Patrick start things off with Booker being shoved into the corner. Booker fights back with a spin kick to the head for two but the twins double team Booker by working on his ribs. Gerald gets taken down by a forearm and put in an armbar before it’s off to Midnight.

 

She stays on the arm but gets taken into the corner and pounded with some shoulders. Booker comes in very quickly but is tripped up by Patrick as the heels quickly take over. Curt comes in for all of five seconds before it’s back to Gerald who gets two off a big boot. Patrick comes in again and gets caught by an ax kick for two before Midnight gets another tag. Hennig comes in again and after ducking a leapfrog, decks Midnight in the back of the head to knock her to the floor.

 

Curt stays on Midnight as the fans simply don’t care. The announcers talk about the big deal that the Powers That be were talking about with Hudson asking what could be bigger than Disco Inferno being thrown in a car. Like I said, 1999 was very stupid. Stevie finally comes out but Booker tells him to leave, which Stevie does.

 

Patrick comes back in for a slam and a series of elbow drops. Booker makes the save as Stevie is still at ringside. Patrick misses a middle rope elbow drop and there’s the tag to Booker, but the referee is with Stevie. Booker cleans house but Curt hits him in the head with a foreign object, allowing Gerald to get the pin.

 

Rating: D. This is yet ANOTHER match that could have been on Nitro and had no business here at all. That’s the problem with almost everything so far: it’s either stupid or WAY too short to mean anything at all. Other than the opener, nothing has lasted more than nine minutes so far which makes it hard to get interested in anything.

 

We recap Dustin Rhodes vs. Jeff Jarrett. Rhodes had returned as a man in black and white named Seven who was based on the seven deadly sins. That sounds interesting, so Dustin dropped the gimmick and became just Dustin Rhodes, who isn’t interesting no matter how many times you remind us that he’s Dusty’s son. Jeff Jarrett is tired of him so tonight it’s a Bunkhouse Brawl, meaning hardcore match.

 

Dustin is in the back and complaining about his father not working here anymore when Jarrett jumps him to start the match.

 

Jeff Jarrett vs. Dustin Rhodes

 

Jarrett takes it back into the arena and runs Rhodes over with a wheelbarrow full of guitars. Dustin is wheeled into the barricade but Rhodes comes back with a cold drink to the face. They head inside with Dustin getting in some shots to the back with a wooden stick. It’s time for the bullrope and cowbell because that’s what guys from Texas use. They head outside again with Jeff being pounded on the announce table and being pulled into the post by the rope.

 

Back in and Dustin throws powder into Jeff’s eyes before pulling out some duct tape. Oh wait first of all let’s have a few whips with a belt and beat up the referee. The referee is taped to the ropes but Jeff is still blinded by the powder. Jeff gets in a shot to the ribs as Curt Hennig comes out to untie the referee. A wooden stick is broken over Rhodes’ back before Jeff puts on a sleeper. Back up and Dustin gets two off a quick belly to belly suplex as the fans are REALLY restless now.

 

Dustin gets a rollup but Hennig breaks it up to give Jarrett a near fall of his own. Back up and Dustin hits Shattered Dreams on Jarrett (if you don’t know what that is, keep it that way) but Hennig pulls the referee out. Curt has his own dreams shattered but Dustin is backdropped to the floor by Jeff. They head up to the set and climb up the structure before hopping back down. Hennig is back again but gets bulldogged on the concrete. Jarrett climbs up on the set with a guitar to crack Dustin in the head for the pin.

 

Rating: D+. This is one of the best matches of the night so far. Let that sink in for a minute. This is also the first match to break ten minutes tonight and we’re eight matches into the show. These hardcore matches are getting really hard to sit through as they’re getting repetitive and there’s such little focus on story that it’s almost impossible to get into them.

 

DDP promises to beat up David Flair with the crowbar.

 

David Flair vs. Diamond Dallas Page

 

This is a crowbar on a pole match, meaning if you climb the pole and bring the crowbar down, you can use it on the other guy. They’re fighting because DDP took out Ric Flair, sending David into insanity. David brings his own crowbar to attack Page from behind. The referee takes it away which should be considered theft when you think about it. Apparently Page can’t continue but he shoves the announcer before the match can end, so let’s get going with the bell. How can you not continue a match that hasn’t started yet?

 

As I try to figure that out, Flair stomps on Page in the corner but gets rolled up for two. A sunset flip is easily blocked by a Page right hand so Flair takes him down with a DDT for two. DDP gets up and pounds away in the corner, only to be clotheslined down for two. The announcers are shocked at Flair’s abilities, as before this he had been a complete joke (and US Champion but the less said about that the better).

 

Page clotheslines him down but can’t follow up. David gets up first and puts on a figure four, only to have it reversed a few seconds later. There’s the crowbar (which was maybe seven feet above the mat, making the “climb” a joke) but a single swing misses, allowing the Diamond Cutter to end David quick.

 

Rating: F. ANOTHER worthless match here that didn’t even break four minutes. The crowbar wasn’t a factor whatsoever, making me wonder why this match even existed. That’s what this show can be summed up as: a bunch of quick ideas which have no time to develop, meaning that as soon as they’re done you forget about them because they didn’t have enough time to mean anything.

 

Post match Page hits a Diamond Cutter off the top rope but as he lifts the crowbar, a fan who is obsessed with Flair comes in for the save. She would be revealed as Daffney soon after this.

 

We recap Sting vs. Total Package (Lex Luger) which is all about Elizabeth. The idea is Luger abuses her by making her wrestle in dangerous or humiliating matches, so tonight her contract with Luger is on the line in Sting vs. Luger’s match.

 

Sting vs. The Total Package

 

Luger changed his name to the Total Package (his nickname for years), which was supposed to make him a TOTALLY different guy. This worked about as well as you would expect given that by this point, Luger was pretty much a parody of himself. Before the match, Sting gives Liz a SPECIAL can of mace to use just in case something happens. Luger jumps Sting as he comes in before stomping away. Sting is sent to the floor and rammed into the apron for good measure.

 

Back in and Luger pounds Sting down for two as he keeps looking out at Liz. Sting no sells a ram into the corner as Liz is now on the apron. A suplex is no sold as well and Luger gets pinballed back and forth between Sting and Liz. Sting and Luger clothesline each other down and Liz has the mace. She goes to turn on Sting (a running joke at this point) but the can is silly string, because for the first time ever, STING OUTSMARTED SOMEONE! Liz bails and Sting pounds away on Luger with an atomic drop and top rope splash for two. There are two Stinger Splashes but Liz comes in for the DQ.

 

Rating: D. This was a one joke match and while the joke was good, it was clear that neither guy was interested in doing anything here. It’s another match not even making it to six minutes, which makes you wonder why this match needed to be on PPV at all. Luger deteriorated so far in just a few months that it was uncanny.

 

Liz hits Sting in the jaw with the bat, knocking him out cold. Luger crushes Sting’s wrist with a chair, putting him out until March.

 

Sid vs. Kevin Nash

 

This is a powerbomb match, meaning the first person to hit the move wins. Basically they’re fighting because they’re both big and both use the same move. Nash is one half of the tag champions with the injured Hall. Nash takes him into the corner to start and fires off his usual knees to the ribs and elbows to the jaw. They botch a double clothesline as only Sid goes down. Back up and a low blow stops Sid’s powerbomb attempt, sending him to the floor. Nash has one blocked on the floor as well before Sid rams him back first into the apron a few times.

 

Nash is sent into the barricade a few times as this is already very slow paced. A chair to the back keeps Nash down again and Sid yells at the fans a lot. Back in and a clothesline puts Nash down and there’s a legdrop for good measure. Sid fails at starting a powerbomb chant but Nash pokes him in the eye. There goes the referee as you would expect, followed by a horrible looking powerbomb by Sid. Cue Jeff Jarrett to break a guitar over Sid’s head as the referee wakes up. Nash can’t get Sid up so he tells the referee he powerbombed Sid…..AND THAT’s GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE REFEREE, meaning Nash wins.

 

Rating: F. There was a match designed to keep either guy from having to be pinned, and the match was won because Nash said that he powerbombed the other guy. The fact that this company survived the year 2000 is absolutely stunning considering how long these same guys were on top.

 

Benoit says the open challenge hasn’t been answered yet but he’s heading to the ring to face somebody.

 

US Title: Chris Benoit vs. ???

 

This is a ladder match, meaning the belt is hanging from the ceiling and you have to climb a ladder to bring it down. And it’s Jeff Jarrett. The roster is as stacked as it is so we have Jarrett appear in his third match of the night. You couldn’t possibly throw Booker T or Malenko or someone like that out there right? Tony: “Jeff Jarrett? Again?” Benoit is cool with fighting Jarrett and brings him in for a hard clothesline and an elbow to the face. A backbreaker takes Jeff down and a superplex does it even better.

 

Benoit brings in the first ladder but Jeff baseball slides it into Chris’ ribs before blasting him in the face to take over. Back inside and the ladder is set up in the corner but it’s Jeff being whipped into it by Benoit. The champion heads up for the belt but Jeff pulls Benoit down and crotches him on the top rope. The earlier ladder shot to Benoit’s head has busted him open. Benoit is whipped into the ladder in the corner but he comes right back for a whip of his own to put Jarrett down.

 

Jeff responds by putting Benoit in the ladder and dropping it back onto the champion in a painful looking landing. Benoit comes back by tying Jarrett’s legs in the ladder and hanging him upside down, only to have Jarrett shake Benoit off the ladder to put both guys down. Jarrett goes up again but gets dumped off, only to do the exact same thing to Benoit a few moments later.

 

Benoit gets up and shoves the ladder down again, sending a climbing Jeff down onto the ropes. Chris goes up but Jeff dropkicks the ladder from the top rope, sending Benoit crashing down in a scary fall. Back up again and Benoit rams the ladder into Jarrett’s face to put him down, allowing Chris to climb up…..and hit a Swan Dive headbutt to knock Jarrett out even colder. Benoit climbs up and keeps the title.

 

Rating: B-. It’s not great but this is by far and away the best match of the night so far. The fact that there wasn’t a boring and stupid story to this helped it a lot. Instead of having to adjust to some idiotic idea, they just went out there and beat each other up for ten minutes. Given what we’ve had to sit through on this show so far, that’s the best thing they could have done.

 

Bret says he’ll win because he wants to prove how great he is.

 

WCW World Title: Bret Hart vs. Goldberg

 

Bret is defending and this is No DQ. He won the title at Mayhem in November and Goldberg wanted a shot, so for some reason they won the tag titles, only to lose them in a few weeks. Ignoring the fact that it took two years for Bret to win the WCW Title, I’ve heard worse ideas for the main event of the biggest show of the year. Goldberg is the more popular guy but they’re both mostly good guys. They shake hands and we’re ready to go.

 

Feeling out process to start until Goldberg shoves him to the floor with ease. Back in and Bret headlocks him down to the mat, only to have Goldberg fight up and hit a gorilla press into a powerslam to wake the crowd up a bit. A clothesline puts Bret down and Goldberg puts on a leg lock, only to be countered into a Sharpshooter attempt. Goldberg kicks him away and they head to the floor where the referee is bumped less than five minutes into the match.

 

A second referee comes out as Bret is dropped onto the barricade chest face. Back inside and a big boot to the face puts Bret down. A powerslam looks to do the same….and there goes the second referee. Bret avoids the spear and puts the Figure Four on around the post. There’s a third referee in (remember we’re maybe seven minutes into this at most) as Bret drops the hold around the post. Back in and Bret goes after the leg by cannonballing down onto it and bending the leg around the ropes.

 

Off to a figure four by Bret and Goldberg is in trouble. The fans chant his name and Goldberg turns it over. Bret makes the rope….which shouldn’t mean anything in a No DQ match but what has made sense tonight? Bret stays on the leg in the corner but Goldberg chokes him into the corner and pounds away, only to knock down the third referee.

 

In the famous moment of the match, Goldberg hits a superkick to Bret’s head, giving Bret such a concussion that his career basically ended right there. Bret would wrestle five more times in WCW in the next three weeks and then not again for over ten years. Anyway, the spear puts Bret down and here’s Roddy Piper to be referee. The distraction legs Bret hit him in the knee and load up the Sharpshooter…..and it’s Montreal AGAIN, with Piper calling for the bell before Bret can turn the hold over.

 

Rating: C-. Bret killing kick aside, this wasn’t much to see. The leg work was fine and looked to be setting up an interesting ending, but why do that when you can have ANOTHER Montreal Screwjob moment? The match watch wasn’t too bad, but after two hours of drek like we’ve just sat through, you need something WAY better than this.

 

Overall Rating: F. As in failure. That’s what this show was on almost all levels. The ladder match is quite good (imagine that: two guys who were 32 at this time had the best match of the night) and the opening tag match is watchable. There’s your biggest problem: arguably the second best match of the night is the Disco Inferno and Lash Leroux vs. the Marinara Goon Squad.

 

Like I said, there are thirteen matches on the card and three of them (Bunkhouse, ladder, world title) break ten minutes. Everything else goes by so fast that you don’t have time to determine if it’s good or bad. All you know is that something happened, but so much other stuff is flying at you that you can’t process anything else. That’s Russo booking 101: throw everything you can at the audience and hope they like something instead of slowing down a bit and letting a good show develop. Terrible show which illustrates everything wrong with the company at the moment.

 

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete 2001 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $4 at:

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1 comment

  1. wcwNumber1 says:

    Your tolerance for this show is remarkable.

    Just one thing tho, for the Duggan 8-Man… Benoit had long since quit the Revolution back in November, prior to the Mayhem PPV. He and Dean both quit together, with Dean actually only pretending to (fooled you!), and attacking Benoit later on.