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For what was WCW's biggest pay per view of the year, Starrcade 1994 can go down as a huge disappointment. A company in 1994 that before the arrival of Hulk Hogan produced a string of very enjoyable pay per views then, even if the quality of the action probably went down, were able to follow with big buyrate lead events at Bash at the Beach and Halloween Havoc – Starrcade was neither of these, and it ended WCW's year on a low note.
The focus going into the show was on a “triple threat” of main events (although it was actually more like four 'major' matches, even if one was an exhibition). After the “retirement” of Ric Flair, Hogan's next focus was the “Three Faces of Fear” faction of Avalanche (Earthquake), The Butcher (Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake”) and Kevin Sullivan. After defeating the trio in a six man tag at Clash Of The Champions XXIX, Hogan would face his former best friend The Butcher in the main event.
Vader (With Harley Race) vs “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship
Probably the best match on the show this, but that says more about the poor quality of the rest of the card than it does about this being, at best, an above average match. Vader deserved better to be in the opening match here, but he and Duggan put on what we can call a good opening match typical of what you'd expect from Vader at this time. Duggan gets criticism a lot for being a “friend of Hogan”, but his performance here even while very basic as a upstanding babyface, was something that gives him value on the WCW roster. Vader goes over Duggan after a distraction from Harley Race and wins the United States Title.
“Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright vs Jean-Paul Levesque
Yep, this is Triple H's one and only WCW PPV match. Interesting, at the time, as the company viewed both of these two as future stars for them (although the WWF were very much interested in signing Levesque at this stage). This was far too soon for Wright, as the babyface. While he might have the wrestling basics down, his babyface psychology was poor in a way that Duggan's in the match before was very good. Far too much mat wrestling at the start, causing Levesque (seemingly) to call an audible mid match and start slugging Wright to wake up the otherwise dead crowd. Wright ends up winning by role up, but it's evident at this stage that Levesque had something above the ordinary.
Arn Anderson (with Col. Robert Parker and Meng) vs Johnny B Badd for the WCW Television Championship
So... Honky Tonk Man was supposed to be in this match, but after finding out he'd be losing here he walked out on the company. It saved us another dire Honky Tonk Man match, but Anderson and Badd at such short notice were unable to produce something all that much better. Both guys were capable of bettering this match, but barring a trademark spinebuster from Anderson and a floatover sunset flip from Johnny B Badd, this match was very forgettable. Badd retains via roll up.
Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray with Sister Sherri) vs The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags)
The Heat, by this stage, had won the tag titles from Stars and Stripes at TV tapings earlier in the month, but things hadn't aired by this stage. This match was OK, but suffered from being probably a bit too long and like the Wright/Levesque match had too many rest holds. Both teams were better than this, and the finish – Sherri accidentally spraying perfume into Stevie Ray's eyes before then hitting a top rope splash onto the fallen Booker T after Knobbs moved out of the way.
Mr. T vs Kevin Sullivan
Now this was bad. Mr. T. walks out in his refereeing gear from the previous two shows, Heenan described him as a “Zebra with a beard”. The only positive about this was that it was short, that didn't stop Mr T. blowing up during it anyway. There was a rather comedic moment when the action spilled to the outside when one of the cameramen tripped over the ring steps. He remained horizontal before Mr T. then fell on top of him. Mercifully, it ended soon afterwards when Santa Claus (Dave Sullivan) struck Mr T. with his sack – complete with Jimmy Hart's megaphone. After the match, Kevin Sullivan piledrove Santa Claus.
Avalanche (With Kevin Sullivan) vs Sting
I didn't hate this match, in the sense in that it was about as good as an Avalanche vs Sting match was ever going to be – that is pretty bang ordinary. Some nice psychology with Sting being unable to lift Avalanche but Avalanche being able to toss around Sting with ease. Match didn't go anywhere fast before there was a ref bump. Sting then finally got Avalanche up for a bodyslam to a big crowd pop. Eventually Sullivan comes to interfere and Hogan comes out and runs him off with a chair.
Hulk Hogan (with Jimmy Hart) vs The Butcher (with Avalanche and Kevin Sullivan) for the WCW World Heavyweight Title
Surprisingly not bad this one. Again, on the scale that had this match being a horror show these two delivered a decent match which the crowd was into, even if there were about four or five occasions where a DQ could and should have been called. Hogan eventually plays possum after being in a sleeper hold, before hulking up, fighting off Sullivan and Avalanche before dropping the leg on Butcher to retain.
This show won't be remembered for much. The only significant things of note happened after the main event, where the PPV debut of Randy Savage teased an alliance with the Three Faces of Fear before helping Hogan run them off. Backstage, Vader interrupted Hogan's victory promo with a great one of his own setting up their feud going into 1995.
Score Rating: 3/10.
Bits worth watching? None, really. It's not a terrible show, but certainly the worst WCW PPV of 1994. Recommend Spring Stampede or Bash at the Beach if you're looking for some WCW 1994 action.