WCW Starrcade 1995: World Cup of Wrestling (12/27/1995)- Nashville, TN
We start off with the announcers (Heenan, Schiavone, & Dusty) discussing the show. Dusty promises us that there will be both “clobbering” and “hiney-kicking.”
WORLD CUP OF WRESTLING MATCH #1: Chris Benoit(WCW) vs. Jushin "Thunder" Liger(NJPW) (w/Sonny Oono)- 5.5/10
The match was going decently well, but then Kevin Sullivan came out and distracted Benoit to allow Liger to get the pin. I’ll let you insert your own joke about the booking making sure his guy doesn’t lose cleanly.
EDDIE GUERRERO PROMO- he put over the whole World Cup of Wrestling thing, but otherwise he was a completely generic babyface who didn’t want to let the fans and the company down.
WORLD CUP OF WRESTLING MATCH #2 FOR THE IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Koji Kanemoto(c)(NJPW) (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Alex Wright(WCW)- 4/10
They did high-flying stuff, but it just wasn’t exciting in any way.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND INTERVIEWS SONNY OONO- he hints that someone on WCW’s side might have been paid off to lose.
WORLD CUP OF WRESTLING MATCH #3: Lex Luger(WCW) (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Masahiro Chono(NJPW) (w/Sonny Oono)- 4.5/10
Luger survives the STF and TWO Mafia Kicks, then wins with the Torture Rack, having hit a combined total of about three offensive moves all match… in less than seven minutes. How the hell did they get Chono to agree to this?
GENE OKERLUND INTERVIEWS STING- he cut an okay promo hyping up his two matches tonight.
WORLD CUP OF WRESTLING MATCH #4: Johnny B. Badd(WCW) (w/Kimberly the Diamond Doll) vs. Masa Saito(NJPW) (w/Sonny Oono)- 3.5/10
Kim is in a cheerleader outfit and all of a sudden looks a lot hotter than she did in those long dresses. Funny how that works.
Johnny won by DQ when Saito threw him over the top rope. No, you didn’t misread that. Former Olympic wrestler and AWA World Champion Masa Saito lost to Marc Mero by DQ for throwing him over the top rope… in 1995.
After the match there was a worry that Saito would attack Kimberly, so not only did Johnny win, but he got to lay Saito out as well.
MEAN GENE INTERVIEWS LEX LUGER & JIMMY HART- both guys were decent. Luger asked Jimmy to not be in his corner for the #1 contendershp match out of respect to Sting’s wishes.
WORLD CUP OF WRESTLING MATCH #5: Eddie Guerrero(WCW) vs. Shinjiro Otani(NJPW) (w/Sonny Oono)- 7/10
Great action, and a finish that must have seemed CRAZY in 1995
MEAN GENE INTERVIEWS RANDY SAVAGE- He said “TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!” twice in this promo, so I guess he just saw Toy Story, which had come out recently.
WORLD CUP OF WRESTLING MATCH #6: "Macho Man" Randy Savage(WCW) vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan(NJPW) (w/Sonny Oono)- 0.75/10
Tenzan took the whole match until he missed a moonsault, then got pinned after just a clothesline, a gordbuster onto the ropes, and an elbow drop.
MEAN GENE INTERVIEWS RIC FLAIR- okay
Gene also plugged the hotline, which was being staffed by Mark Madden and “Michael Tenay.”
WORLD CUP OF WRESTLING MATCH #7: Sting(WCW) vs. Kensuke Sasaki(NJPW) (w/Sonny Oono)- 4.75/10
Kensuke hit the Northern Lights Bomb, and the announcers just talked through it, clearly having no idea that this move was a finisher. They then did the same exact thing with the strangle hold. With three men in the booth, you’d think at least one of them would have bothered to do their homework, but apparently not.
This match was also short, but at least it was enjoyable.
TRIANGLE MATCH FOR A SHOT AT THE WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE IN THE MAIN EVENT: Ric Flair vs. Sting vs. Lex Luger (w/Jimmy Hart)- 4.25/10
They showed a video package for this match which had horribly goofy graphics. The video package put over how much Sting hated Flair, to the point where it might cost him this match if he focuses on Flair too much. Well… for a guy who hates Ric Flair so much, it took Sting F*CKING FOREVER to actually try to get his hands on him… and they were the two guys who STARTED THE MATCH!
Standard Flair stuff with Sting getting shined, Flair getting some heat, then Sting making a no-selling comeback. Luger wound up tagging in for Sting and then they repeated it with Luger, although his offense was admittedly more impressive than Stings, and his heat segment was better (apart from the horridly lame chairshot). The problem was that I have seen this exact same thing way too often in the past two months of Nitro, so I was just bored for most of it.
Flair eventually tagged Sting in, and we got the big Sting-Luger confrontation we had all been waiting for… and while they got the story (to what level is it acceptable to suspend friendship when a title shot is on the line?) across well, the actual confrontation and the atmosphere just didn’t feel as epic as it should have.
The culmination of the aforementioned story was a low blow by Luger, which was right in front of the referee and was not called as a DQ, despite the announcers talking about the possibility of one man being DQed and the match continuing with the two remaining men.
Luger eventually got Sting up in the torture rack, resulting in a horribly lame ref bump, which allowed Flair to come in and clip Luger’s knee. After Luger rolled to the outside, Flair, being a dastardly heel, committed the blatantly illegal act of throwing Sting over the top rope to the floor. Flair then went to go wake up the referee who then counted both Sting and Luger out of the match at the same time, awarding the win to Flair.
I have to give WCW credit for this finish, and not just because I am the guy who always hems and haws about how there should be more rules in multi-man matches. Sting was about to make it back in the ring, when Luger, who was still down on the outside, grabbed his leg and stopped him from getting back in. This finish not only protected Sting and Luger, but it also gave them a direction to go in after the PPV, rather than just resolving the “are they friends or not” point right here. Competing against each other is one thing, but if they are really friends, and Luger knew he couldn’t get back into the ring in time but that Sting could, why would he kill his supposed friend’s chances of winning the match and hand the win and the title shot to a man they both hate?
With that praise of the finish aside, I have to say that this match was REALLY boring, especially the Flair-Sting stuff, but even the Flair-Luger segment just wasn’t very interesting. The Sting-Luger stuff, while good, was only a few minutes of this twenty-eight minute match.
POST-MATCH STUFF- decent
Sting didn’t help Luger up after the match.
Jimmy Hart came out and offered to manage Flair, who accepted.
WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: "Macho Man" Randy Savage(c) vs. Ric Flair (w/Jimmy Hart)- 4/10
Paul Orndorff showed up on the ramp in a neckbrace (the Horsemen had given him a spike piledriver on the concrete floor about a month ago). This led to absolutely nothing.
The match was very short. Flair worked over Savage’s already-injured left arm. Savage made a comeback. Flair bled all over the place for the last minute of the match (apparently he asked Macho to juice him and Macho did way too good a job). The finish was all overbooked crap with Horsemen interference and weapons, though the one spot where Savage tossed Pillman into Benoit when they tried to interfere was cool.
A very bad show from WCW. The World Cup of Wrestling stuff was utterly impossible to care about, as it hadn’t been built up at all and we had no reason to care about not only the majority of the New Japan guys (everyone except Sasaki), but also many of the WCW guys as well. Because of the double-duty required of them, the matches for WCW’s biggest stars (which also happened to be against New Japan’s biggest stars) were all very short and disappointing. The whole thing just felt like a big waste of time.
The only matches on this card that were built up in advance were the Sting vs. Flair vs. Luger match and the resulting world title match for the winner, and both of those were disappointing as well. This didn’t feel like the biggest show of the year at all. It felt like a filler PPV, and a bad one at that. If not for the Eddie vs. Otani match, this whole show would have been an utter disaster.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Schiavone said that Liger was “unique in the wrestling business” for having his own cartoon.
Ah. The good, old-fashioned stupidity double-whammy!
A) The show was not made for Liger as Schiavone claimed. Liger got his gimmick from the show.
B) You’d think that, being a long-time wrestling announcer, Schiavone would have heard of Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, which starred a man who is now one of his company’s biggest stars.
2. Dusty Rhodes scolded Tony Schiavone for calling a German Suplex a German Suplex. Dusty insisted that "it's just a suplex."
3. Dusty Rhodes did not know the term “playing possum.”
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