Jump to content
TSM Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Guest TSMAdmin

NWA Starrcade 1988

Recommended Posts

Guest TSMAdmin

NWA Starrcade 1988- True Gritt




I was looking around a wholesale store on Friday and I found a two pack of the original Planet of the Apes and the new Planet of the Apes for $26, so I had to get it. I just saw the new Planet of the Apes for the first time Saturday. The makeup and costumes are some of the best I have ever seen. They alone are worth $26. I think the story is more interesting in the new movie, but the ending is downright horrible. I remember 20th Century FOX called it the most unbelievable ending in movie history. Give me a break. First of all the ending makes almost no sense. Even when Tim Burton's commentary is on, he can't even describe what is happening, yet he tells us how much he likes it. Plus the horrible ending was also predictable. The movie gets 6/10. Now the power of DVD comes into play. This is a two discs set and I have yet to even see half of the special features. Disc 1 has the movie, two commentaries, enhanced viewing mode, and three Easter Eggs. Disc 2 has six VERY GOOD "Making Of" featurettes, a few galleries, some promotional stuff, five extended scenes, a music video, and DVD-ROM stuff. There are supposedly 13 hours of stuff there, which makes sense since the two commentaries and enhanced viewing mode total six hours alone. To say the extras save this DVD is an understatement, 9/10.




Not much on my mind this week, so we'll talk about wrasslin'. I’m still shocked that the WWE still had it in them to put on a Raw like the last Monday’s. Everything besides the Undertaker-Dreamer stuff was interesting and fun to watch. The Ladder Match has potential to be the match of the year. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a better match this year. Turning Benoit was a good swerve, but I would have waited until next week to do it, that way his hometown crowd wouldn’t be there to cheer for his heelish actions.




I'm a little shaky on NWA/WCW history, but I'll do my best to sum up the big feuds going into this show. Let's start with the NWA Title. At the Great American Bash, Ric Flair retained his title against Lex Luger after the Maryland State Athletic Commission stopped the match due to the amount of blood Luger lost. Some people believe that the Maryland State Athletic Commission really stopped the match, but in reality it was all part of the planned finish. As for the Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane), Paul E. Dangerously had just debuted the Original Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose). Jim Cornette's Midnight Express were beginning to get face pops even though they still wrestled as heels. The Fantastics had just won the US Tag-Team Titles a few weeks earlier in a tournament final against Eddie Gilbert & Ron Simmons at Clash of the Champions IV. Rick Steiner had just recently been fired from the Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotundo, and Steve Williams) for attacking Rotundo, who was the TV Champion. The Road Warriors (World Tag-Team Champions) had just stabbed Dusty Rhodes in the eye with a stake or something like that, so Dusty recruited Sting to team up with him against the Warriors. Sting was also attacked by the Warriors, so their pairing was inevitable. I'm not sure about the build-up for the United States Title match between Bam Bam Bigelow and Barry Windham, but I know that Barry won the title in a tournament after Dusty Rhodes was stripped of the title for attacking Jim Crockett with a baseball bat. There is also one tag match on the card that I'm pretty sure had no real purpose. If that description isn't good enough for you, go to Kayfabe Memories, they probably have a column about 1988. This tape is the Turner Home Video version, so most of the matches are clipped. There is quite a bit of clipping in some of the matches, so I won't bother to mention it.


Starrcade 1988

December 26, 1988 in Norfolk, VA

The Scope drawing 10,000 ($150,000)

Shown live on PPV (1.8)


Your commentators are Jim "BY GAWD!" Ross & Bob Caudle


A cool video package is shown to start the tape. It includes some comments from Flair, Bigelow, and Dusty.


NWA United States Title: The Fantastics vs. Kevin Sullivan & Steve Williams

Kevin was overweight here. Surprisingly he looks better in 1996. Bobby Fulton and Kevin Sullivan start. Sullivan hits him with some chops in the corner. Fulton comes off the second rope with a Thesz Press for 2. Fulton follows up with some rights and tags Tommy Rogers. Rogers hits Kevin with a crossbody and both men quickly tag out. The heels try to doubleteam Fulton, but he is having none of that. Fulton applies an armbar and tags Rogers. Williams gets Rogers in a wristlock, but Tommy escapes with a kip up. Fulton tags. Williams charges him, but Fulton moves. Rogers enters the ring and the Fantastics hit Williams with a double monkey flip. Fulton goes for another monkey flip, but Williams pushes him off. Williams catches Fulton with a military press slam. Williams has Fulton in a bearhug. Bobby escapes with a thumb to the eye. Both men tag out. Rogers misses the blind charge. Tommy catches Sullivan up top and slams him to the mat. Rogers comes off the top with a splash, but Kevin gets his knees up. Williams tags in, hits Rogers with a short-arm clothesline and tags Sullivan back in. Sullivan hits Rogers with a kneelift and applies a reverse chinlock. Rogers comesback with a shoulderblock, but Sullivan kills his momentum with another kneelift. Williams tags in and delivers a legdrop. Williams follows up with snake eyes and a falling headbutt for 2. Williams goes to a chinlock for a LONG TIME. Rogers elbows his way out and hits Steve with a dropkick. Sullivan tags in and is able to stop Rogers from tagging Fulton. Sullivan slams Tommy and gets him with the double stomp TWICE for 2. I love that move. Kevin goes for a suplex, but Tommy reverses it into a suplex of his own. Fulton finally gets the tag and all four men end up in the ring. Williams tags, only to get caught with a 10 punch in the corner courtesy of Fulton. Williams picks him up for an inverted atomic drop. Fulton applies a sleeper to Williams. Meanwhile, Rogers has a sleeper on Sullivan. Fulton goes for a Thesz Press, but Williams catches him and stun guns him for the pin. (9:50) **1/2 Much better than I expected and a pretty good opener at that. About six minutes were cut from this match. Sullivan will be back a little later in the show.


The Midnight Express w/Jim Cornette vs. The Original Midnight Express w/Paul E. Dangerously

This was before the legit heat between Cornette and Heyman started, so they were able to work with each other in 1988. As I mentioned earlier, Cornette's Express were getting over as faces during this feud. In his RF Shoot Interview, Cornette talks about how the Midnight Express were the first heels to ever be cheered. A very fast start here as the Midnights quickly clear the ring of the Originals. Cornette gets in the ring and challenges Dangerously to fight him right then and there. Paul E. wants none of Cornette. All four men are once again going at it in the ring. The Midnights send the Originals to floor for a second time, which makes Cornette a little giddy. The match finally gets started with Condrey and Lane as the legal men. Lane throws Condrey to the floor, where Cornette NAILS him with the tennis racket. That one echoed throughout the arena. Paul E. gets pissed and rings the bell. Cornette makes fun of Dangerously’s sexuality by prancing around the ring. Back in, Condrey goes to work on Lane in the corner. Lane comesback with a quick inverted atomic drop. The Originals regroup on the floor. Randy Rose and Bobby Eaton both tag in. Lane catches Rose with a droptoe and Eaton quickly drops an elbow. Eaton sends Rose to floor. Cornette now hits Rose with the racket causing Paul E. to ring the bell once again. Rose tries to get back in the ring, but he gets caught up in the ropes and ends up on the floor again. Lane sends him facefirst to the ringpost. Rose finally makes it back in to the ring and begs off. Lane tags in and hits Randy with a quick crossbody for 1. Condrey and Eaton both tag in. The ex-partners shake hands, but Eaton kicks Condrey in the gut. It's weird to see the face hit the heel with a cheapshot. Lane guillotines Condrey on the top rope and Eaton sends him into the turnbuckle. Eaton comes off the top with an elbow drop and tags Sweet Stan. Stan kicks Condrey and rolls him up, but Dennis gets his foot on the rope. Eaton tags back in and gets Condrey with a bulldog. Randy Rose and Stan Lane both tag in. Rose goes for a monkey flip, but Lane blocks. We saw that same spot in the last match. Eaton tags and hits Rose with a few rights. Lane quickly tags back in. Eaton holds Rose over the top rope for Lane to leapfrog on to for 2. Eaton comes back in and charges Rose, but he gets crotched in the corner. Condrey tags in, works on Eaton in the corner and throws him to the floor. Outside, Rose gets Eaton with an atomic drop. Cornette and his team regroup. Back in, Rose chokes Eaton with the ropes. The Originals doubleteam Beautiful Bobby. Condrey comes in and powerslams Eaton. The Originals go for the Rocket Launcher, but they miss! Lane tags in and opens a can of whoop ass. Lane hits Rose with an enziguri and covers him, but the ref is with Eaton and Condrey. Dangerously comes in and nails Lane with his cell phone. Cornette comes in and punches Dangerously out of his boots. Rose covers Lane, but Teddy Long sees the phone. He asks the crowd whether or not the Originals used the phone and they go CRAZY!! The Midnights quickly hit Randy with the double goozle for the pin. (12:12) **** After the match, the Originals get control of Cornette's tennis racket and beat the shit out of the Midnights. Cornette takes quite a beating, but Eaton recuperates in time to make the save. Great match with a ton of heat. This is the reason why so many people love the NWA. About 5 minutes were clipped here. From what I can tell, most of the missing footage was during the time the Originals were in control of the match.


The Junkyard Dog & Ivan Koloff vs. The Russian Assassins w/Paul Jones

I have no idea what the point of this match is or why it is even on Starrcade. The idiots at Turner Home Video decide to show this match in its entirety, yet clip the awesome match before it. Anyway, Assassin #1 is Angle of Death and Assassin #2 is ECW mainstay Jack Victory. If I remember correctly, Ivan is fresh off a face turn and JYD just showed up in the NWA a few months earlier. The stipulation here is that if the Russians lose, they have to unmask and Paul Jones is forced to retire. JYD quickly goes to work on #1 with his trademark headbutts. JYD sends #1 shoulderfirst into the ringpost. JYD hits him with a clothesline and covers, but Paul Jones puts #1's foot on the rope. #2 tags in only to get knocked over the top to the floor by JYD. Koloff rolls him back in, JYD covers, but Jones once again puts his man's foot on the rope. Ivan tags in and faces hit #2 with a double back-elbow. Koloff hits #2 with a chokeslam (!) for 2. Ivan is pretty spry for a guy in his 50's. #2 comesback with an eyegouge and chokes Koloff in the corner. #2 misses a blind charge. Ivan hits him with a clothesline from the second rope, but #1 makes the save. #1 tags in, but Ivan hits him with a back-elbow and a sunset flip (!). #2 distracts the ref, so he can't count the pin. JYD tags in and the faces hit #1 with a double clothesline. JYD misses a falling headbutt, giving #1 the chance to tag in #2. #2 knocks JYD to the floor. Back in, the ref is with Koloff. Meanwhile #2 holds JYD for #1 to hit with an axehandle off the top, but JYD moves and the plan backfires. JYD covers, but the ref is still with Ivan and #1. The Russian's doubleteam JYD in the corner. The Assassins miss the Russian Missile. There are way too many Cold War references in this match. Both #1 and Koloff tag in. Koloff fends off both Russians and Paul Jones. The heels get whipped into each other. #2 runs into Ivan, who in turn knocks #1 to the floor. Paul Jones loads #1's mask with something VERY HARD! JYD hits #2 with an atomic drop, followed by a clothesline from Koloff. JYD covers, but #1 breaks up the pin with a falling headbutt, loaded mask and all, for the pin. (6:47) ** Surprisingly fun match here with literally non-stop action. I'm shocked neither of the senior citizens had to resort to any rest holds. I also can't believe that Koloff was still able to put on a good match in 1988.


NWA Television Title: Mike Rotundo vs. Rick Steiner

Rotundo's manager, Kevin Sullivan, is put in a cage above the ring. Leading up to this match, Mike Rotundo gave Rick Steiner the Florida State Heavyweight Title as a gift while he was still in the Varsity Club. Although the NWA recognizes Steiner as the Florida State Heavyweight Champion here, I'm pretty sure the title was abandoned just a few weeks later. A little shoving to start. Steiner punches the hell out of Rotundo, sending him to the floor. The crowd is unbelievably HOT for this match. Back in, Rotundo applies a reverse chinlock and uses the ropes for leverage. The ref, Teddy Long, catches Mike and makes him break the hold. Rotundo starts to get cocky, but Steiner fights back with some rights. Rotundo stops Rick's momentum with a knee to the gut and a quick elbowdrop for 1. Rotundo once again goes to a reverse chinlock. Steiner elbows his way out, but Rotundo flattens him with a clothesline. Steiner comesback with a sunset flip for 2. Rotundo misses a dropkick and goes for a slam, but Steiner reverses it with an inside cradle for 2. Steiner hits him with a HUGE clothesline. The crowd seems to REALLY like Rick Steiner. Steiner hits him with the 10 punch in the corner. "Dr. Death" Steve Williams comes down to the ring. Williams is also a member of the Varsity Club. Steiner continues his assault with a backbody drop and a powerslam for 2. Steiner gets Rotundo with his finisher, the belly-to-belly suplex. Steiner covers and Williams rings the bell. Steiner thinks he won the match, Teddy Long thinks time has expired, and the guy in charge of the cage lets Kevin Sullivan out, thinking the match is over. Head referee Tommy Young comes out and converses with Teddy Long. Young restarts the match. Steiner whips Rotundo into Sullivan, who is still on the apron, and pins him for the title. (6:50) ** DAMN, that was quite the finish. The beginning of the match sucked, but it sure picked up when Steiner began his comeback. 11 minutes were clipped here. About 10 of those minutes probably included Rotundo applying his trademark abdominal stretch.


NWA United States Title: Barry Windham w/J.J. Dillon vs. Bam Bam Bigelow w/Sir Oliver Humperdink

Bigelow had just left the WWF for the NWA a few months earlier. The match starts with a few lockups and a lot of stalling. Windham works on Bigelow in the corner, but Bigelow comesback with a torture rack-like move. Windham bails and converses with Dillon. Back in, Windham hits a quick belly-to-back suplex, which Bigelow doesn't sell. Windham begs off and goes outside again. Both men talk with their respective managers. Bigelow hits Windham with a big shoulderblock. Windham stops Bigelow with an eye gouge and some stiff rights, which have no effect on Bam Bam. Bigelow gets him with a military press slam. Windham once again regroups on the floor. Back in, Bigelow delivers a few punches in the corner. Windham Flair Flops out of the corner. Bigelow dropkicks him over the top to the floor. J.J. wants a DQ called, but Tommy Young says no. Back in, Bigelow hits him with some headbutts and a hanging vertical suplex for 2. Bam Bam applies a reverse chinlock, which Barry elbows out of. Windham dumps him to the floor, causing Bam Bam to smash his knee on the concrete. While on the apron, Bigelow hits Windham with a headbutt and comes crashing on to him with a slingshot splash. Bigelow covers, but STOPS THE COUNT AT 2! You idiot, you're only supposed to do that in non-title matches! Bigelow gets him with another military press slam, but misses a splash off the top. Windham hits him with a stiff lariat and taunts the crowd a bit. Windham hits a belly-to-back suplex and dropkicks Bigelow to the floor. Barry sends Bigelow facefirst to the post. Back in, Barry applies the CLAWHOLD! Bam Bam makes the ropes. Windham slams him and misses an elbowdrop from the top. Bam Bam begins to fight back, but Windham hits him with a crossbody, causing both men to go over the top rope. While on the floor, Bigelow gets Barry with an atomic drop. Bigelow charges him, but runs into the ringpost. Barry makes it back to the ring in time, while Bam Bam gets counted out. (15:53) ** The match never really picked up it's pace and there was a lot of stalling here. About two minutes were clipped.


NWA World Tag-Team Titles: The Road Warriors w/Paul Ellering vs. Sting & Dusty Rhodes

Dusty was on his way out of the NWA by now, only to show up in the WWF and be made a mockery of. That's either a good example of karma or politics, I can't decide. The Road Warriors jump Dusty and Sting before the intros. Dusty and Sting fight back and clean house. Everything calms down for the introductions. Sting and Animal start the match. Animal hits Sting with a shoulderblock, but Sting returns the favor by dropkicking him to the floor. Back in the ring, Sting puts on a wristlock and tags in the American Dream. Dusty hits Animal with a few elbows to the head and bites him as retribution for stabbing his eye a few weeks earlier. Animal bails to regroup. Hawk tags in. Dusty beats on him in the corner and tags Sting. Sting bites Hawk's arm and applies a wristlock. Hawk gouges his way out and stomps a mudhole in Sting. Sting decks Hawk and taunts him. Sting catches Hawk with a powerslam and an elbowdrop. Animal tags in and gets Sting with a military press slam. Animal drops Sting across the top rope, but Sting lands on his feet. Sting clotheslines Animal twice, sending him to the floor. Sting FLIES OFF THE TOP WITH A CROSSBODY TO THE FLOOR! Very nice hangtime there, as Animal was standing pretty far away. The crowd is on their feet. Rhodes tags in and wraps Animal's leg around the steel post. Hawk tags and wants a test of strength, only to get caught with a kick to the gut from Rhodes. Dusty goes for a Figure-Four, but Animal makes the save. Outside the ring, Hawk gouges at Dusty's eyes. Back in, Hawk hits Rhodes with a standing dropkick and continues to gouge at his face. Dusty no-sells some punches and starts to get FUNKY LIKE A MONKEY. Dusty pulls out a STANDING DROKICK! WOW, everyone is busting their ass tonight. Animal tags in and goes to work on Dusty's face. Animal cranks Rhodes' neck and tags Hawk. Hawk puts on a sleeper, but Dusty fights out with a jawbreaker. Both Animal and Sting tag in. Sting catches Animal with a bulldog and the Stinger Splash. Sting goes for the Scorpion Deathlock, but Hawk breaks the hold. Hawk throws Sting over the top. The Warriors doubleteam Dusty. Dusty comesback with a low blow to Animal. Sting flies off the top for a crossbody and has the match won, but Paul Ellering pulls Tommy Young out of the ring. Dusty and Sting win by DQ and the crowd goes WILD! (11:17) ***3/4 Considering the participants, this match kicked ass. Plus there was no clipping.


NWA World Title: Ric Flair w/J.J. Dillon vs. Lex Luger

The DQ rule is waived here, meaning if Ric Flair gets disqualified, Lex Luger wins the title. Some mindgames from Flair to start. Flair chops Luger, who in return clotheslines Flair out of the ring during a “WHOOOO”. Flair takes his time getting back in and teases leaving. Flair puts on a hammerlock, which Luger reverses into one of his own. Flair makes the ropes and runs into a shoulderblock. Flair begs off in the corner. Luger wants a test of strength, but Flair nails him, followed by some chops. Luger powerslams Flair. Lex gets 1 off a military press slam as Flair puts his foot on the rope. Luger applies a wristlock and whips Flair into the corner, where his shoulder hits the top turnbuckle. Luger goes to an armbar and Flair hits him with a MONSTEROUS chop, which of course has no effect because of Lex’s well-developed pectoral muscles. They have a little chase around the ring. Back in, Flair tries to mount a comeback, but Luger once again whips him shoulderfirst to the buckle resulting in a Flair Flop. Luger uses an armbar and drops some knees to Flair’s shoulder. Flair elbows out, but is quickly knocked down to the mat. Luger gets him with an hiptoss and another armbar. Flair escapes with a thumb to the eye and chops him in the corner. Luger wants some more, so Flair bails. Luger follows and applies a hammerlock outside the ring. Flair is sent shoulderfirst to the post. Back in, Luger goes back to the armbar. Flair mounts a mini-comeback, but Luger flattens him with a clothesline for 2. Flair ends up on the apron, so Luger brings him back in with a hanging vertical suplex for 2. Luger misses an elbowdrop, giving Flair the chance to gain some momentum. Flair kicks Lex’s ribs a few times and throws him through the ropes to the concrete. Flair smashes Luger’s head into the rail twice. In the ring, Tommy Young gets in Flair’s face and the two shove each other. Flair hits Lex with a kneedrop and a double stomp. Flair chops him in the corner and Luger comesbacks with some punches. Luger applies a sleeper. Flair breaks the hold with a belly-to-back suplex. Flair goes for the Figure-Four, but Luger cradles him for 2. Luger hits Flair with a superplex and puts on a Figure-Four of his own for a few nearfalls. Flair barely reaches the ropes, so Tommy Young kicks his hands off. Flair makes it to the ropes again and Young breaks the hold. Luger accidentally punches Tommy Young, giving Flair the chance to throw him over the top rope. Flair should have lost the title there. Luger comes off the top with a crossbody, but Young is with Dillon, so he only gets 2. Luger backslides Flair for 2. Lex hits Flair with the 10 punch leading to a Flair Flip. Luger suplexes Flair back in for 2. Flair chops Luger and they still have no effect. Give up Ric…Luger catches Flair with a military press slam and a powerslam. J.J. Dillon gets on the apron and distracts Tommy Young. Flair pulls Luger halfway out of the ring and SMASHES A CHAIR into his knees. This is awesome stuff considering it’s 1988. Back in, Flair works the knee like a motherfucker and puts on the Figure-Four. The crowd is going nuts with a HUGE “LUGER!!” chant. Flair slaps him a bit and Luger reverses the hold. Flair breaks it and both men are down. Flair goes back to the knee, but Luger catches him up top and slams him to the mat. Luger’s leg gives out and he is quickly thrown to the floor. Luger quickly makes it back to the ring and military press slams Flair. His leg once again gives out. Flair throws Luger out. Luger comes back in with a sunset flip for 2. Luger gets Flair in the TORTURE RACK, but his knee buckles and Flair falls on top for the pin with his feet on the ropes. (30:56) ****1/2 WHOOOO! What a match.




Quite the Starrcade here with no bad matches. Every match was able to keep my interest, which not to many shows can do. This was easily the “Grand-Daddy Of Them All” in 1988. I know of three sites that sell this tape, so here they are:

Wrestling Power

Wrestling Archives

John McAdam



Next Up: I’ll have a recap of this week’s Confidential up on Sunday and I’ll be back late next week with a review of Hulkamania; the first ever Hulk Hogan tape.


Retro Rob

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this