Sunday, October 14, 2012

WCW Starrcade 1991 Review

WCW Starrcade 1991 Review

WCW Starrcade 1991
This is Part 1. Part 2 is here:

This is the PPV version of Starrcade 1991. Why does it matter? Turner Home Video, WCW's home video production company was notorious for clipping matches and cutting them in order to make the 2 hour limit on each commercial release. Therefore, unless you watched the original PPV, you missed out on whole matches and other goodies. Until tape trading got more popular and until youtube arrived, if you didn't have the original recording, you had no way to ever see these matches. It drove me crazy for years as I searched for matches from Wrestlewar 1991 that I knew I had seen, but were not on the WCW releases. For this show, the Turner version had almost every match clipped with the last few barely having more than a minute shown.

This show also includes a 30 minute countdown, but I won't be reviewing that because there's nothing to review. 30 minute countdown's are also rare gems because at times they included matches/promo's that couldn't be seen anywhere else and they are never shown again, not even through 24/7.
"Welcome to Starrcade 1991 - BattleBowl. 40 of the greatest stars in WCW will be chosen at random to compete as 20 tag teams and they will compete at random. The wrestlers must then win their tag matches to advance to BattleBowl." - Jim Ross
In case you've never see Battlebowl, I will explain it. There are 10 tag team matches. Each wrestler is chosen at random by the lottery. The winners of each tag team match advance to a 2 ring match called Battlebowl. Battlebowl is double elimination. A wrestlers must be thrown into the second ring to be eliminated from the first. While in the second ring, if a wrestler is thrown to the floor, he is eliminated for good. At the end, the last surviving member of ring one and ring two meet and the first one to send his opponent over the top wins. What's cool about Battlebowl is that anyone could team with anyone. You could see Rick Rude and Sting, Steiner against Steiner or something really wacky like Liger and Abdullah. There's over 1560 possible combinations of teams and 2,193,360 possible matches that could occur(I'm not a math major though, so correct me if I am wrong, because I probably am).

Michael Hayes and Tracy Smothers vs Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Jimmy Garvin
We have Freebird vs Freebird here and a Freebird teaming with a Young Pistol.
The Freebirds both tagged out after just doing a basic headlock spot.
"I felt sorry for Bagwell and Tracy here knowing that their partners were actual partners in real life." - Tony Schiavone

Jimmy Garvin and Marcus Alexander Bagwell beat Michael Hayes and Tracy Smothers after Bagwell hit a fisherman's suplex on Smothers. This was a fun match. They worked the angle of the Freebirds being friends well and showed them almost coming to blows. However, they are friends to the end and they made up after the match. Smothers was also a fun jerk heel here. Rating: *1/2

Stunning Steve Austin and Ravishing Rick Rude vs Van Hammer and Big Josh
The Dangerous Alliance scored big here with two of their guys on the same team while Van Hammer and Big Josh have never teamed before. A funny thing to note here is that WCW had two "Van's" in WCW at this point with Van Hammer and Big Van Vader. Add in Van Van Horne, a jobber from the WWF, and you had three Van's at one time! Add in Big Van Walter and we could have had a match with all four Van's. This match is also interesting as 3 of the 4 guys wrestled in WCCW/USWA.
"Yeah, it didn't hurt those abdominals at all." - Tony Schiavone
"Wrong place to go to on Ravishing Rick Rude." - Tony Schiavone
"How do I know?" - Paul E. Dangerously on the phone
Ravishing Rick Rude beat Van Hammer win the Rude Awakening to get the pin. This was alright but nothing special at all. Nothing bad but nothing particularly that good either. Rating:*

Dustin Rhodes and Richard Morton vs El Gigante and Larry Zbyszko
So we got the Natural Foundation vs the Gigantic Crunchers here. Larry wasn't happy about having El Gigante as his partner but if you think about it, that's about as good as you are going to get minus Vader. He could have ended up with Arachnaman after all.

Some teams work out better than others.
The finish
Dustin Rhodes beat Larry Z after a dropkick when El Gigante turned on Larry. Maybe I was wrong about having El Gigante as a partner. This was mostly a nothing match. It was very very short and focused on the fighting between the Larry/Gigante team. It was entertaining though.

Diamond Dallas Page with Scott Hall aka The Diamond Studd in the back.
Jushin Thunder Liger and Bill Kazmaier vs Diamond Dallas Page and Mike Graham
The finish
Jushin Liger pinned Diamond Dallas Page when Kazmaier flung Liger onto DDP. Fun match here. Liger brought the workrate and dazzled a very unassuming crowd, Mike Graham looked like he was trying not to hurt himself and overall it was really entertaining. I'd totally be up for another Kaz/Liger teaming. Rating:*1/2
"Z-man puts himself in a very touch situation here. Three men caae from the same dressing room. He could have the odds against him." - Tony Schiavone
Z-Man and Terry Taylor vs Arn Anderson and Lex Luger
"I've always thought, and probably because of the computer, that Terrance Taylor was one of the most underrated athletes." - Tony Schiavone

Lex Luger beat Terry Taylor with an Attitude Adjustment Piledriver. This was a great match. Taylor worked face here and was amazing at it. I've said before that this is Terry Taylor's finest hour and I stick by it. His team were great faces and Arn Anderson was a really great heel here. He did lots of stooging and attacking when the opponents were down. Lex was totally fine here too. Fun stuff! Rating: ***1/2

Part 2 is here:

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