WCW Starrcade 1997 Review 

  
Now it’s time to see if WCW could capitalise on an incredible 18 month build to Sting’s return to save the company from the villainous nWo. It’s WCW Starrcade 1997! 

WCW World Cruiserweight Title Match 

Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Dean Malenko 
I really enjoyed this one but the commentary team said next to nothing about either competitor, the cruiserweight division or the in ring action. Instead they just spoke about the main event. I get that this was a one match show, but you can see here that one of WCW’s biggest mistakes was not focusing on the great stuff that they already had going for them. Guerrero and Malenko’s chemistry was incredible and this match showcased an enthralling combination of flippy action and hard hitting power moves. (***1/2) 
Kevin Nash was scheduled to take on The Giant, but to avoid doing the job he simply no-showed the event. Imagine the repercussions a talent would face for no showing WWF’s answer to Starrcade, Wrestlemania. For the record, Nash reportedly called the office that afternoon to say that he believed he was having a minor hear attack, but nobody backstage bought the story and Nash’s avoidance to job for Giant soon became a running joke. We didn’t even get a replacement Hall vs. Giant match, instead The Giant just chokeslammed Hall. 

Six Man Tag Team Match 

Ray Traylor & The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner) (w/Ted DiBiase) vs. The nWo (Randy Savage, Scott Norton & Vincent) 
This was horrible. Vincent/Virgil has got to be one of the least athletic and entertaining ‘talents’ in the history of pro wrestling and his involvement in actual matches completely bemuses me. Funnily enough though, the only highlight here was Vincent taking a frightening bump from a Steiner DDT double team. (-**) 
Singles Match 

Bill Goldberg vs. Steve McMichael 
Two ex-football players did their best here to put together a respectable and entertaining match, but there’s no way such inexperienced wrestlers should have ever been put together. This was so messy and involved a table despite being a regular singles match. (-*) 
No Disqualification Match 

Chris Benoit vs. Saturn 
I really like the idea of Raven’s flock and it was cool to see them in action here, but Raven’s mispronounced opening promo sort of set the disorganised tone for this as the heels prevailed after a scrappy match. Kidman’s Shooting Star to the outside was great but Saturn’s music may be the most annoying I’ve ever heard; not even good annoying like RTC’s! (*) 
Singles Match 

Buff Bagwell vs. Lex Luger 
Starrcade was presented leading into the show as the end of a story arc where WCW were on track to recovering some of their momentum in the war against the now but despite being WCW Champion just four months prior, Lex Luger did another job for Bagwell in a frightfully boring match. (-***) 
WCW United States Heavyweight Title Match 

Curt Hennig (c) vs. Diamond Dallas Page 
I didn’t enjoy this as much as their match at Road Wild, but this was WCW’s only definite victory of the night and I love hearing the crowd pop for the Diamond Cutter. DDP and Hennig worked a solid match and I like both guys.. (**1/2) 
Control For Monday NITRO Match (Special Referee: Bret Hart) 

Eric Bischoff (w/Scott Hall) vs. Larry Zbyszko 
So WCW had just a month prior acquired the former WWF Champion following the most controversial moment in wrestling history, and to take advantage on the excitement Bret Hart brought with him, he was booked to referee a match between a non-wrestler and a retiree. That says it all. Ghastly match. Never watch it. (-****) 
WCW World Heavyweight Title Match 

Hollywood Hogan (c) vs. Sting 
The main event came with many hoping that despite a hugely disappointing pay-per-view,that the ultimate pay-off would more than make up for the rest of the show. Sting was back, and he was back to kick Hollywood Hogan’s ass and reclaim WCW’s heavyweight title. While the record books will state that Sting did win this match, the convoluted manner in which the story unfolded has to be seen to be believed. 
After dominating most of the match, Hogan hit his leg drop and Nick Patrick (who had recently returned to action after being storyline suspended for his affiliation with the nWo, and was “randomly” selected to officiate this match) counted one, two… three? 
Sting didn’t kick out! Sting had failed in his quest to conquer the leader of the New World Order. According to the announcers though, Nick Patrick’s count was fast, but the issue is, that it really wasn’t. 
There are plenty of theories as to what happened here, from Patrick just forgetting to Hogan paying him off to not count fast so he didn’t make the champ look bad. But Nick Patrick’s explanation was that he really did think he was counting fast. 
The stunned silence of the crowd was barely broken by Bret Hart getting on the mic to say “This isn’t going to happen again”, in a clear reference to the Montreal Screwjob. So Bret nailed Patrick and became the new referee as the match restarted. Sting applied the Scorpion Deathlock and Bret called for the bell after an apparent verbal “I quit” from Hogan. 
WCW wrestlers, many of whom had been awkwardly placed on seats with the crowd for the night, flooded the ring and in an embarrassing moment, Sting capped off the night by shouting something hugely irrelevant and Spanish along the lines into the camera. Even Sting’s incredible entrance couldn’t save this one from my wrath. (-*****) 
To close this article and review, I’ll quote Bryan Alvarez and R.D Reynolds classic (The Death Of WCW), which inspired this series: 

“And as the wrestlers and the fans celebrated, so did Bischoff. All his hard work, all his patience, it had all paid off big-time. Starrcade ’97 was, without question, the biggest money maker WCW had ever produced. 

17,500 fans. 

A $543,000 gate. 

An incredible1.9 buy rate, meaning nearly $6 million in revenue. 

And the beginning of the end.” 
follow me @julianexcalibur 

How has TNA wrestling has improved

Julian Cannon back again for another post.and I would like to thank everyone for the feedback I have received on my last post. This time is a follow up to my post last year titled “10 ways to save tna wrestling “..

Within the last year,tna wrestling has changed a lot. Some are good and some are bad.I for one want tna to succeed and oneday compete with wwe THE RIGHT WAY NEXT TIME!. TNA wrestling has been around since 2002 and from that year until 2009, that was their best years. Within the last few years,tna has been compared to Wcw in many ways. Now let me get to the changes that they have made since June 2012..

1.going live

Tna needed to go live for a long time now. Fans who read the results online can hurt the show(this happens sometimes in wwe also). Since they have been live,the show feels different than it did when they were taped. Outside the many botches in the matches they do,the show has been entertaining for the most part. But for some reason, they cannot go higher than a 1.7 rating..the fans wanted them to go live,they got it but they still choose not to watch it..that’s the “internet wrestling community ” for you who cannot decide what they want.
Believe me it has been like that since 1997.

2.world champions

Bobby Roode is now the longest reiging world champion in tna,beating stings record he set in 2009. Bobby has made the belt important again from Jeff Hardy’s tarnished reign in 2011. He then lost it to Austin Aries in July and when Aries had the belt,he was not booked right at all..he held the xdivision title for the longest since Daniels back in 2005 and has had very solid matches and feuds..him with the world title just didn’t seem to click with the fans at all..I was for it but then he made face and heel Turns that didn’t make sense at all..then Aries lost the belt to Jeff Hardy and many believe that Hardy did not deserve it..Hardy has been through a lot before the win and he sells the most merchandise in the company so strapping the belt in my point of view makes sense although I would like to see bully ray or James storm or an styles become champ again.

3.aj styles vs Daniels feud put to rest…or is it?

Styles and Daniels has had over 900 matches (estimated) in total between tna,roh,pwg and new Japan pro wrestling. In bound for glory 2011, their match was tag lined “one last match “..now who think that was going to be their last match..they then wrestled throughout 2012 and at November of that year,they had another “one last match” but this time if an lost, he would not get a shot for the world title until October 2013.. I didn’t believe that would happen but it did. How can tna do this to styles when he has been there from the beginning. For them to do that,that was a slasp in the face to his legacy and his fans..but who knows,these two wrestled a lot of times so we could see it again at bfg 2013 with the championship on the line

4.slashing away ppvs

In December 2012,Dixie Carter announced that tna will only have 4 ppvs a year..this brought confusion to the fans to why she would do this..this may be a good move but a risky one, this worked in wwe when they had 5 ppvs a year back from the “golden age era” to the early stages of the “new generation era”..this also worked for ecw when they had ppvs once every 2 months ..the big question is that can it work for tna..on order to do this,the feuds leading to the ppvs has to be very strong from the start..the problem with feuds is that they are bevy not memorable at all..why, is because after the ppv and then on the next TV show, 9 times out of 10,the payoff match will not get mentioned at all unless it is at the opening segment or music video. So if they want to put a risk for this, they can try.

5.aces and 8’s

The first time this group started in tna I thought that it was a good move.but a few weeks later, I realized that this group can’t be taken seriously at all. They run away from most people knowing that they outnumber those 2-3 people in the ring,they have not won one match until a February 2013 edition of impact, and the members anybody can care less about them. Now taz is the mouth piece of that group but yet he returns to commentary the following week which is ridiculous ..other then Mr Anderson and Devon who were established stars and wrestlers, the other members are ex wwe jobbers and just Eric bischoff son. Fans want to compare it to the nexus but they can’t because they were all new people and rising stars that wanted to get noticed and most of them are very good now in the main event/midcard scene right now..for me I want aces and 8’s to end already.

6. Tna on the road

Also announced from Carter is that tna will no longer tape their show at the impact zone..this is a great move because they have been there since 2004 and every wrestling fan wanted them to get away from Florida for a long time and at March they will start doing that..I am for this 100% but the question is that how long can they do this before the wrestlers get burned out..the one primary reason why ex wwe employees go there because they don’t have a brutal travel schedule..but after March they will hit the road week after week..I’m also for this because not a lot of places know what tna wrestling is so it is good to get your name out there..this year’s bound for glory will take place at the Alamo dome in San Antonio ,Texas..the last wrestling event to have ever sold out that arena was the 1997 royal rumble which would headline Shawn Michaels vs Sid for the wwf championship ..to me this match is the most underrated match of the career of Shawn Michaels and I would watch it over and over again if I had to.

7. The x division

Nobody cannot deny this because the x division is not the same since Hogan and bischoff came along..these were also the matches the fans look forward too and the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the letter “tna”. Rvd is the current x division champion..he was xdivision before the name was even coined. But honestly he does not need to be champion in the xdivision.. Kenny king and a few others are looking good right now..but the wrestlers in this division has been cut down..Alex Shelly is no longer there,Jay lethal is back in roh, Jerry Lynn has retired and few others has moved up to the main event scene..the last person to have made the division important was Austin Aries and since then, it became an after thought. What can improve from the xdivision, the world will never know.

8.the roster /brook Hogan

I can say that the roster of TNA has had a drastic change within the last 7 months..the gut check segments are quite innovative as well..the best they have picked up is Christian York..he has wrestled in ecw with Joey mercury and in ring of honor for several years so for him to make it to either wwe or tna is a great move..also we seen the most dickhead move that tna has ever done which was bringing in brook Hogan..every time she is on tv, I change the channel because she is very awful as a character..not only that, she is the head of the knockouts division..lets give them a round of an applause because that absolutely sucks.

I really want tna to succeed but there is very little that has to be done to do that..we know it does not happen over night but a change does though..my idea is to get Hogan out there as soon as possible because he has not done anything for them other than making the ring four sides again..

Send your feedback. At juliancannon70@yahoo.com

31 days of Halloween: top 10 best wrestling gimmicks of all time

I am back with another post, this time, the sequel to the top 10 worst gimmicks of all time, This time it will be the top 10 best wrestling gimmicks of all time

10. The Boogeyman

Like many gimmicks on this list, the Boogeyman gimmick remains a cult favorite with a lot of fans. Marty Wright got booted from Tough Enough for lying about his age, but got what he wanted out of the deal anyway. WWE saw potential in him, and he ended up with the Boogeyman gimmick. Wright embraced the gimmick wholeheartedly. You really couldn’t have asked for more. His recitation of nursery rhymes, combined with his mannerisms made what should have been a ridiculous gimmick something not only believable, but occasionally creepy. The crawling, the fantastic makeup, and the mouthful of worms combined to make WWE’s version definitely creepier than the Boogeyman from The Ghostbusters cartoon. Wright lasted nearly four years off and on with WWE with this gimmick, and scored several high profile wins over talent such as JBL and Booker T. Boogeyman remains proof that any gimmick can be successful if talent is willing to sell out for it to make it work.

9.Gangrel

The Vampire Warrior gimmick began in Memphis in the USWA, which has been home to several outlandish gimmicks. He parlayed that into a job with the World Wrestling Federation, thanks to Bruce Pritchard and Vince Russo, who felt that a vampire gimmick had legs. The character was fleshed out a bit by giving it a gothic twist, similar to what fans had seen in the screen adaptation of Interview With A Vampire. However, the true influence for the character came from the game Vampire: The Masquerade. Much like The Boogeyman, the behind the gimmick (David Heath) embraced it wholeheartedly and made it work. He would be given a couple of lackeys – Edge and Christian – in a stable called The Brood. It could be argued that a big part of the success Heath enjoyed is due to the Brood’s intro, because this was the greatest entrance ever. Gangrel could deliver in the ring, though. Everything about this gimmick worked, from blood baths to the spitting of the blood to his participating in the Ministry with The Undertaker.

8.Latin American Exchange

These three men took the world of pro-wrestling by storm, in many ways. They were a very unique team with Konnan on board, as the revolution began in TNA. The team of Homicide and Hernandez would capture many championships, Have their own Commentator table, and along with many bloody battles along the way, with names such as The New Age Outlaws, The Dudleys, Beer Money, and AJ Styles and Daniels. It’s been prove true over the past few years, there is nothing like the original as The Latin American Xchange can never be duplicated.Clearly they were the best group in TNA until the Main Event Mafia in 2008.

7.Sting

ting is arguably the most popular wrestler of all-time. He was named “Most Popular Wrestler of the Year” four times by PWI, which is more than any other wrestler.

He became known as WCW’s “Franchise” and was its most important star from the late ’80s until the company folded in 2001.

Sting is currently the only wrestler to ever win the NWA, WCW and TNA world titles and is considered by many to be the best wrestler to never step foot in a WWE ring.

Sting was WCW’s brightest star in the ’90s along with his trademark blonde flattop and various face paints.

Sting feuded with many of the company’s biggest stars including Sid Vicious, Lex Luger, The Great Muta, Cactus Jack, Vader, Nikita Koloff, Rick Rude and most famously Ric Flair.

Flair and Sting feuded for years and it was Sting who would defeat Flair in the last WCW match ever.The most dramatic moment of Sting’s career happened in 1996. Sting traded in his bright blonde hair and carefree persona and transformed into a gloomy and dark Sting.The new Sting wore all black, covered his face in white paint and would often descend from the rafters during shows. Sting would not speak on WCW programming for over a year.It was during this time period that WCW held a distinct edge over the WWE in the Monday night ratings “war.”Some of WCW’s success had to be attributed to the presence of Sting. Many fans tuned into the WCW programming to find out if and when Sting would make his next appearance.In December of 1997, Sting captured the WCW title from Hulk Hogan in the main event of Starrcade.Sting continued with WCW until the company was bought out in 2001.Sting joined the TNA wrestling company in 2006 where he still competes under the same name.

The man they call Sting is one of the greatest professional wrestling stars ever.

6.Raven

Raven – yes raven this guy was deeply disturbed he wore all black and looked like he would kill you and in his mind he probably was.From Scotty Flamingo in WCW , to Johnny polo in WWF, Raven Would soon land in ECW on January 1995 . Raven IMO is singlely the most underrated, underutilized character ever! Raven was this character that could go in many different directions . He was an ECW hardcore legend he put on some of the most extreme matches in ecw history with Tommy dreamer,The Sandman and Justin credible . Look at the promo work he did to he was able to be well worded with his work to he was able to run with emotions that IMO I believe other wrestlers look back and look to feed on. The funny thing is this guy could work the heel so well his character was made for it but he was able to get the fans behind him. In WWE,TNA,WCW and ECW, this guy had a gift maybe because deep in our minds we understand him. He won quite a few titles but when he got into wwe it seemed like they were to scared to push him I would loved to see him and Kane or undertaker feud I really would

5.Goldust

Yes Goldust I agree with a comment Mean Gene or Mick Foley said Without Goldust you might have never seen an attitude era, But then again it was ECW involvement and Brian Pillman’s “Pillman got a gun” segment.But anyways, I mean he was the man that started it pushing the envelope you never saw anything like it I mean you didn’t know what he was gonna say or do next. He not only should be on there because of that but because he deiced to take himself out of bein dusty son. He was also very good in the ring and I always just wondered that if it wasn’t for back stage politics how far he could of gone. Goldust was able to draw heat and gain fans especially during his rivalry with Lawler and his team up with Booker t.Scott Hall even said in an interview one time that he did not want to work with that guy because of the gimmick. Goldust will never get the credit he deserves – Cody Rhodes. I agree with that he never will I honestly think he should be IMO in the Hall of fame.But we will never know

4.Kane

Kane has evolved through the years, becoming at times a comedic character. He’s been masked and unmasked, heel and face. Way back when, though, the character was inspired by one of the great horror icons. Glen Jacobs himself has said that his portrayal of Kane was heavily influenced by none other than Michael Myers, the antagonist of Halloween. Despite the obvious differences in color patterns, the similarities are there – a slighted brother hellbent on destruction, the mask, remaining silent for years. In his early days, and occasionally in the years since, Kane was an indestructible force that was constantly moving forward. As time has gone by, there have been layers added to the character. At its roots, though, the Kane figure remains a dominant monster in WWE. For me, the night he took of that mask in 2003 is the greatest moment in the history for the big red machine

3.Mankind

The original idea for this character was “Mason the Mutilator”, a name dreamed up by Vince McMahon. Foley himself suggested the change, and the rest is history. Long before Mankind was a lovable underdog, he was a monster. Mankind was originally a masochistic sort that lived in boiler rooms, tucked away from society. Once he was brought into society, he was a force of destruction. Seemingly incapable of controlling himself, Mankind was prone to acts of violence and screeching fits of masochism in the middle of the ring. Mick Foley has always been able to deliver on the microphone, and his eloquent monologues and understanding of the value of vocal inflections allowed Mankind to become a very unsettling character on WWF television in the mid-90’s. Even now, watching the interview segment that results in Jim Ross having the Mandible Claw applied to him by Mankind gives me an uneasy feeling. Mankind is one of the truly great characters in wrestling history.

2.John Cena (rapper)

I’m still in shock over this.

When he debuted in the WWE, John Cena was one of the bland, faceless blue chippers. The only thing that made him stand out were his pastel tights. And then, one day, Stephanie McMahon caught him free-style rapping. Thus, Cena ditched the colorful shorts and put on some jean shorts as he adopted a white rapper gimmick. “Well, that’s it for Cena,” I thought.

And a weird thing happened. Fans started to root for him. This totally blew my mind. A rap gimmick hardly works for black wrestlers. Does anyone remember the No Limit Soldiers? Me neither. It’s even worse for white wrestlers. I mean, when I think of white rappers, I think of pop culture jokes like Vanilla Ice and Snow… and of a barely remembered tag team known as PG-13. How is this black hole of a gimmick actually getting John Cena over?

Then Cena took it to the next level. He started wearing throwback jerseys and pump shoes. He blinged out the US Title. OK, I thought, maybe fans are OK with white rappers since the Eminem thing. But Eminem’s not the kind of guy you associate with the “bling.” And Cena was also starting to do stupid puns revolving around the words “deez nutz.” Fans are going to turn on him soon, aren’t they?

In less than a year, Cena would ride the “white rapper” gimmick all the way to the WWE Heavyweight Title.

Oh, sure, eventually some fans would get tired of the gimmick and start booing Cena. And Cena would gradually drop the more overt aspects of his persona (like the rap offs) to become a superstar reminscent of Hulk Hogan. But that doesn’t change the fact that Cena parlayed a “white rapper” gimmick into one of the longest title reigns in WWF/WWE history.

1. The Undertaker

When the Undertaker debuted, it was assumed that it would be just another cartoonish gimmick that faded away relatively quickly. Instead, the character gained a cult following even as a vicious heel, and survived longer than most gimmicks – cartoonish or not – do in professional wrestling. The Undertaker has become an iconic character, the “franchise” of WWE, and an attraction unto himself. The original look for the Undertaker was based on the morticians of the old west, and the close relationship with death was enough to make people uneasy. His affinity for locking people in caskets and undead appearance furthered the effectiveness of the gimmick. As the years went on, The Undertaker became a cult leader, a biker, returned to his undead persona before becoming something of an undefined supernatural force. No matter how often this topic is revisited, or how far into the future it goes, it’s going to be virtually impossible to knock The Undertaker off this perch.