JCP Starrcade 1987: Chi-Town Heat (11/26/1987)- Chicago, IL
EDDIE GILBERT, RICK STEINER, & LARRY ZBYSZKO (w/Baby Doll) vs. STING & THE FABULOUS FREEBIRDS (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) (w/Precious)- 6.5/10
Only the babyfaces got their entrances shown. As someone who grew up in the nineties, the idea that Michael Hayes’ look was ever cool is just baffling to me. Things were hot throughout, with some decent heat and fun action, but the time-limit draw finish seemed to kill things at the end. It’s Starrcade, and it’s the opener. Just let the babyfaces win! They were on top at the end and beat the heels up a little bit afterwards anyway, so why not just give them the win?
MISSY HYATT BACKSTAGE- Ross and Schiavone pitch it to Missy for no reason other than getting Missy on TV. She never appeared again. Missy belongs in that same “I can’t believe the 80’s liked this” category I put Michael Hayes in earlier.
UWF HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Steve “Dr. Death” Williams(c) vs. Barry Windham- 4/10
Ross took the first opportunity to put over Oklahoma Football that he found. They did a bit of wrestling, then Dr. Death went for a leapfrog but Windham didn’t duck so Doc got headbutted in the nuts. Windham gave him a million years to recover and even got the ref to stop the ten-count. Then they did one or two more spots until it was Windham’s turn to face accidental misfortunate when he got inadvertently sent over the top rope to the outside and while he landed on his feet, he staggered and hit his head on a table… and when he got back into the ring, Williams immediately grabbed him and pinned him with an Oklahoma Roll, not giving Barry the sportsmanly time to recover that Barry had given him.
SCAFFOLD MATCH: The Rock N’ Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette & Big Bubba Rogers)- 6/10
Bubba jumped Ricky on the ground, starting us off with the heels having a two-on-one advantage up top. Bubba then tried to climb up but Ricky hit him with Cornette’s tennis racket a bunch of times to knock him down before climbing up to even the odds.
As far as scaffold matches go, this was pretty good. They had a nice long fight up there that, while repetitive, felt realistic and made me think they really wanted to hurt each other before going for the win (rather than relying on constantly teasing the big bump, which there are only so many ways you can do). Stan got knocked off first, but the camera missed him hitting the ground. The camera did manage to catch Bobby taking his plunge, though. Even though the match was over Corette ordered Bubba to go up and attack the Rock N’ Roll Express. Robert was already climbing down when Bubba got up there, leaving Ricky alone with Bubba (and, as Ross noted, after Ricky had already had a match). Ricky showed no fear and walked right up to Big Bubba… and just punched him in the testicles and walked away and climbed down. I laughed my ass off at that.
FREEBIRDS & PRECIOUS INTERVIEW- almost entirely pointless. He spent a good chunk of this hyping up all of the other matches on this PPV that we have already purchased. The only part that of this that actually mattered was him saying he and Hayes want to challenge the winners of the NWA World Heavyweight Tag Team Titles… and then he just kept going on and on about all of these other matches. I actually shouted “SHUT THE F*CK UP ALREADY!” at my TV screen, and popped when Bob Caudle signaled for him to wrap it up.
DR. DEATH INTERVIEW- GREAT!
He said that Windham gave it a good try, but there was a title on the line so he’s not going to be nice. He won, and he says he’ll keep on winning. He also claimed to be “the Wrestling Machine of the Year,” which, as we all know, is the most coveted and prestigious award voted on by the readers of Pro Wrestling Robots Illustrated.
TITLE UNIFICATION MATCH: NWA TV Champion Nikita Koloff vs. UWF TV Champion Terry Taylor (w/Eddie Gilbert)- 5.5/10
Nikita looks like a very young Adam Pearce, which makes me laugh. He worked Taylor’s arm for about fifteen minutes in the most boring manner possible. He went for the Sickle but missed and hit the turnbuckle, allowing Taylor to take over. Taylor worked the arm until Gilbert hit Nikita in the knee with a chair so Taylor locked in a Figure Four Leg Lock. Gilbert tried to interfere again but Nikita got his hands on him. The heels bumped heads and Nikita hit the Sickle and won. This was quite boring for a match that went nearly nineteen minutes.
NWA WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard(c) (w/J.J. Dillon) vs. The Road Warriors (w/Paul Ellering)- 5/10
This match was about eighty percent shine. The heat didn’t last long, and the camera even missed the move that started it. The Road Warriors made their comeback and picked up the win… except it turned out to be a Dusty Finish.
NIKITA KOLOFF PROMO- he doesn’t sound like he’s speaking Russian so much as a trying to be a caveman speaking in a Japanese accent. I think I’ve seen enough babyface Nikita Koloff for my lifetime at this point.
J.J. DILLON PROMO- this was pretty dull. These promos are all WAY too rambling. Can’t people think of a basic beginning and end to what they want to say and just stop speaking when they’re done? At least when Flair does it he has the courtesy to come across like a major star. No wonder Cornette was such a big star; he could actually talk without rambling on forever.
STEEL CAGE MATCH FOR THE NWA UNITED STATES TITLE IN WHICH IF DUSTY RHODES LOSES, HE CAN’T WRESTLE FOR NINETY DAYS: Lex Luger(c) (w/J.J. Dillon) vs. Dusty Rhodes- 5.25/10
I sh*t you not: they are billing this as “Title vs. Career” with the excuse being the ridiculous claim that not wrestling for ninety days is some sort of career death sentence because no one will remember who you are. Give me a f*cking break. And if there’s anyone who bought this PPV because they thought Dusty’s actual career was on the line, Dusty (the booker), Crockett, and everyone else involved in this are a bunch of assholes.
The stipulation pretty much guaranteed that Dusty would win (otherwise their ridiculous claim that ninety days without wrestling would end your career would have to be exposed for the obvious lie it is), so there wasn’t much suspense here, but Dusty was a talented enough babyface to make a paint-by-numbers match feel slightly interesting.
STEEL CAGE MATCH FOR THE NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Ronnie Garvin(c) vs. Ric Flair (w/J.J. Dillon)- 7/10
They had a pretty great brawl here, to the point that, when it was over and Jim Ross told me this was “one of the most physical battles in the history of this great sport,” I believed him. They had some good spots that played off of the finish of the match that Garvin won the title in, and had great psychology, but this match will go down in my own personal history for the confusion it caused in me when 1) they had a ref bump that was so pointless it might have been an accident, and 2) when it became clear that, in this Steel Cage match, rope breaks were being strictly enforced. Baffling.
This was a fun, if underwhelming show. Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone were an excellent commentary team, and the crowd was usually quite hot. The worst thing about it was the production. The graphics were overbearing at times, and the camerawork was terrible, missing several big spots, including (but certainly not limited to) Sting’s big dive in the beginning of the opener, Arn’s dropkick that cut Animal off to start the heat in the tag title match, and Stan actually hitting the ground on his scaffold bump. Overall, though, this was a decent way to spend two and a half hours, and if you haven’t seen this era of JCP/WCW/NWA, I’d definitely advise picking this show as one that will give you a great feel for it to decide if you like it.
WCW, ECW, UPW, etc
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