NWA Starrcade 1984: The Million Dollar Challenge

I can tell that the source for this rip is something extremely old.

There’s a clip of Ric Flair pinning Harley Race to win the title in the main event of Starrcade ’83.

Gordon Solie and Bob Caudle are our hosts.  They hype the main event, Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes in a $1 million Challenge Match for the NWA World Championship.

There’s something of  a light show around the ring.

Ring announcer Tom Miller gets us rolling.

NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship Match: Mike Davis (c) vs. Denny Brown.  A young Earl Hebner is the referee.  No opening bell, which is annoying.  Brown has some nice offense with a head scissors and an arm drag into an armbar.  That must have been mind blowing in 1984.  Brown is really impressive.  It’s basic wrestling, and still it really impresses me because nobody really does that stuff today.  Davis drops down and causes Brown to spill to the outside and hurt his back.  Davis kindly helps him back into the ring.  Davis body slams Brown a couple of times to work over the bad back.  A backbreaker gets 2.  Brown hits a forearm, but sells the back injury instead of capitalizing.  Davis gets an inside cradle for 2.  Brown fights back and hits a dropkick for 2.  They collide into each other.  Brown gives Davis some licks.  Davis hits a backdrop suplex that puts both mens’ shoulders to the mat.  Brown lifts his shoulder at the last second to get the pin and win the title.  There’s some confusion about who won, but in the end, Brown is the new champion.  Fun little match here.  I love basic wrestling like that.

Tony Schiavone is the locker room putting over the fact that he’s in the locker room.  Ric Flair paces back and forth in the background.

Mr. Ito vs. Brian Adidis.  Never heard of either of these guys, and that’s saying something.  Fine, quick paced wrestling early on.  I think Hebner is still the referee.  It’s surreal seeing him with a full head of hair.  They wring each others’ arm.  Adidis keeps an armbar locked in.  Ito fights back and kicks his ass.  Adidis respons with some shots and spins Ito around with an airplane spin.  Adidis gets the pin in 3:11.

Solie and Caudle talk over replays.

NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship Match: Jesse Barr (c) vs. Mike Graham.  They lock up.  Graham looks like a midget next to Barr.  They do some nice wrestling.  Barr works a rear chin lock.  Graham reverses it into a pinning predicament for 2.  Barr turns it into an arm lock.  Barr keeps cranking on the arm.  Graham makes a comeback and gets sort of an Indian death lock on Barr.  Graham goes for the figure-four, but Barr slips away.  They work a knuckle lock for a while.  Graham fights out of it and gets an armbar on.  Graham locks in the figure-four, but Barr gets a rope break.  Barr takes Graham over with a side head lock.  Graham struggles in it for a while.  Graham finally uses a shin breaker to escape, then works Barr’s leg.  Graham puts the figure-four on again, but Barr gets a rope break again.  Graham gets a sunset flip for 2.  Ref bump.  Cradle reversals.  Barr pins Graham with his feet on the ropes in 11:46.  Pretty good match, but man, they milked those holds forever.

They show an angle with Ron Bass, Black Bart, and Tully Blanchard beating down Dick Slater and Ricky Steamboat.  I think that’s what’s went on, anyway.  Steamboat wants revenge!

They show a replay of Barr’s cheating pinfall.

Elimination Match: The Zambuie Express (w/ Paul Jones) vs. Buzz Tyler & Assassin #1.  The Zambuie Express is Elijah Akeem and Kareem Muhammad, two large black men of Big Daddy V proportions.  I have no clue which one is which.  All four brawl to start.  Man, they’re working poor Earl to death tonight.  He’s been the referee for every match so far.  The match gets some order and Tyler goes with one of the Zambuies, knocking him out of the ring.  That was Muhammad.  Tags to Akeem and Assassin #1.  I think Akeem is less wide of the two Zambuies.  He gets his ass kicked as well.  Tags to Muhammed and Tyler.  Muhammed kicks Tyler’s ass.  Tag to Akeem.  They double team Tyler a bit.  Tyler fights back against Akeem.  He knocks him down with a punch and covers for 2.  Assassin comes in and brawls with Muhammad.  Tyler and Akeem brawl outside and are both counted out.  Assassin pins Muhammed in 4:58.  Assassin goes after Paul Jones, who keeps his distance.  Kind of fun in a fun, bad match way.

Solie and Caudle talk.

Tony Schiavone interviews Dusty Rhodes.

NWA Brass Knuckles Championship Match: Black Bart (c) (w/ JJ Dillon) vs. NWA World Tag Team Champion “The Ragin’ Bull” Manny Fernandez.  I’m guessing the Brass Knuckles Championship is like a Hardcore title, as it’s anything goes with no time limit.  They brawl, slowly to start.  Bart beats up Fernandez and BUSTS HIM WIDE OPEN!  Fernandez fights back, sends Bart out of the ring, and comes off the apron with a big blow to the head.  Back inside, and Manny is rolling.  Bart is bleeding too.  Manny with a swank knee drop for 2.  Another big punch gets 2 for Manny.  Bart fights back and has Manny reeling.  Dillon throws Black Bart’s bull rope to him, but before he can use it, Manny gets a reverse cradle for the pin in 7:38 to win the title.  Not a horrible little brawl.  There’s a six-man on the Horsemen DVD where Manny is just awesome and left me feeling like I need more Manny Fernandez in my life.

Solie and Caudle talk.  Intermission, so it’s time for some filler.

They show Flair beating Race last year again.

Schiavone tries to interview Ricky Steamboat, but there’s a technical fuck up, so Solie and Caudle talk more.  Schiavone finally gets his interview with Steamboat.  He’s put up $10,000 to get him some of Tully Blanchard.

Solie and Caudle talk some more.

Schiavone is now in the heel locker room to interview JJ Dillon and Tully Blanchard.

Solie and Caudle talk some more.  Yeah, there’s a lot of that, but it’s cool, because they’re actually promoting the matches instead of whatever bullshit announcers today do.

Loser Leaves Town, Tuxedo Street Fight: Paul Jones (w/ Elijah Akeem) vs. Jimmy Valiant (w/ Assassin #1).  The referee makes Akeem get out of the ring.  Jones begs off and runs away from Valiant.  Valiant gets hold of him and ties him to the top rope by the neck with a rope.  Valiant takes off his jacket and kicks Jones’ ass.  He stuffs Jones’ suit flower (I’m sure there’s a name for that) in his mouth, then rips his suit off, stripping him down to his drawers.  Jones gets untied while Valiant is distracted and attacks Valiant from behind.  Valiant hulks up and locks Jones in a sleeper hold.  Jones is BUSTED WIDE OPEN!  The referee goes to call for the bell, but is distracted by Akeem.  Clusterfuck ensues.  JJ Dillon comes in and hits Valiant with an international object.  Dillion pulls Jones on top of Valiant for the pin in 5:25.  The match worked in context.

Tony Schiavone interviews the World Champion, Ric Flair.

Solie and Caudle talk.  There’s an idiot sitting right behind Caudle that keeps poking his head into the shot.  He did it during their last segment too.

NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship Match: NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champion “Cowboy” Ron Bass (c) (w/ JJ Dillon) vs. Dick Slater.  They lock up.  Slater drops him, chases JJ Dillon around the ring.  They lock up again and Slater chases Dillon again.  Focus, Slater, focus!  They finally go at it in the ring.  They work a grounded headlock, which I always enjoy.  Solie repeats his great line about Slater from last year, “He’ll fight a buzz saw and give it the first two rounds.”  Slater hits an atomic drop, starts to chase Dillon around, but stays in the ring.  Bass bails.  Bass hits the JYD-style head butts.  The referee won’t let Slater stomp Bass in the face.  Bass gets the advantage.  Slater gets caught in the ropes.  Dillon gets his cheap shots in.  Bass keeps the heat on Slater.  Slater comes back and grinds his boot into Bass’ face.  Bass scrapes Slater’s eyes and throws him out of the ring.  Dillion gets his cheap shots in and throws him back in.  Slater fights back, shoves the referee down, and hits a backdrop suplex.  Dillion comes in and stomps on Slater.  Slater kicks Dillon’s ass and throws him out of the ring.  Slater hits a knee drop and covers.  The referee wakes up and DQ’s Slater for shoving him in 9:11.  Slater beats up both of them after the match.  I dug this match.

Solie and Caudle talk.

They play the national anthem, which is random for the middle of the show.  Then they have a light show to “Coming To America.”  Oh, it’s because the next match has the Americans against the evil Russians.

Ole Anderson & Keith Larson (w/ Don Kernodle) vs. Ivan & Nikita Koloff.  Tommy Young is the referee!  This is a Grudge Match.  The Russians had previously injured Kernodle, who is Larson’s brother.  Anderson and Larson jump the Russians.  No opening bell that I heard.  Nikita gets knocked out of the ring and the match gets under order with Larson beating up Ivan.  The faces make quick tags and work over Ivan.  Ivan almost gets something going against Larson, but fails.  The demolition of Ivan Koloff continues.  They work Ivan’s arm.  The heels finally manage to get the advantage.  Nikita finally gets the tag in.  The Russians get heat on Anderson for several minutes.  Anderson finally makes the hot tag.  Larson runs wild on the Russians.  Koloff holds onto the ropes to avoid a dropkick.  The Russians beat up Larson.  Larson gets an inside cradle on Ivan, but Nikita saves.  Clusterfuck ensues.  Nikita clotheslines Kernodle (who is on crutches).  Ivan hits Larson with an international object for the pin in about 15 minutes.  The Russians try to continue the beat down on Larson, but Kernodle makes the save and beats the hell out of them with his crutch.  Good match here.

Solie and Caudle talk.

NWA World Television Championship Match: Tully Blanchard (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat.  They’ve each put $10K on the line, and Blanchard can lose the title by DQ or by “running,” which I assume means by count-out.  Blanchard goes on the attack immediately.  Steamboat responds in kind.  Steamboat kicks Blanchard’s ass, and it’s awesome.  Steamboat with a suplex off the apron and a karate chop for 2.  Steamboat with a rear chin lock.  Blanchard tries to roll out of it, but Steamboat keeps it clamped on.  Blanchard gets the ropes to force a break.  Steamboat sells his injured ribs.  Blanchard attacks the ribs.  Steamboat fights back with chops.  Steamboat with a rear chin lock.  Blanchard gets to the ropes to break it.  Blanchard hits a backdrop suplex and punches Steamboat in the back for 2.  Steamboat reverses Blanchard and locks in the chin lock again.  Blanchard gets a break again.  Steamboat wants a test of the strength.  Blanchard acts like a little girl sticking her toe into the pool to see if the water is cold.  Lock up, leap frog, leap frog, Steamboat hits a powerslam for 2.  Steamboat beats up Blanchard some more.  Steamboat hits Blanchard’s own favored slingshot suplex on him for 2.  Steamboat hits a dropkick for 2.  Blanchard is BUSTED WIDE OPEN!  Blanchard gets an object from somewhere and swings.  Steamboat ducks and goes for a backdrop suplex, but Blanchard punches him with it for 2.  Steamboat fights off a superplex attempt and hits a diving splash for 2.  Steamboat goes for a sunset flip.  Blanchard fights it, pulls the object out of his tights, and hits Steamboat with it for the pin in 13:16.  Awesome match!  They show highlights of this awesome match of awesomeness.

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship Match: “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel (c) vs. “Superstar” Billy Graham.  Graham comes out to “Kung Fu Fighting,” which is awesome.  They start with a test of strength.  They lock up and Graham over powers Wahoo.  Wahoo hammers Graham.  Graham locks Wahoo in a full nelson.  Wahoo gets a rope break.  Graham hits a karate chop and locks in the full nelson again.  Graham covers for 2.  Graham hits an elbow smash and an elbow drop for 2.  Wahoo chops Graham down for the pin in 4:18.  Well this wasn’t much of a match.  Graham claims that Wahoo pulled his tights, but the camera doesn’t show any such shenanigans.

Solie and Caudle talk.  Another intermission.  Another replay of the Starrcade ’83 finish.

Schiavone interviews the judges for the main event, Duke Keomuka, Joe Frazier, and Kyle Petty.  Frazier will also be the referee.

Solie and Caudle talk some more.

Long entrances with odd music choices playing.  Dusty comes out to “Purple Rain.”

$1,000,000 Challenge Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship: “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair (c) vs. NWA World Tag Team Champion “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.  As mentioned, “Smokin'” Joe Frazier is the special guest referee.  They lock up.  Rhodes drops Flair with a shoulder block, then cranks on a side headlock.  Flair hits some chops.  Rhodes fires back with jabs.  Rhodes with the head lock again.  Rhodes drops Flair with a clothesline.  Flair avoids an elbow drop.  Flair fires some chops and punches Rhodes down in the corner.  Flair hits a knee drop for 2.  Rhodes avoids a second knee drop and locks Flair in the figure-four leglock.  Flair suffers for a minute, but manages to reach the ropes to break it.  Rhodes works Flair’s leg.  Flair punches his way free.  They lock up again.  Flair gets a wrist lock on Rhodes.  Rhodes powers him down.  Rhodes hits Flair with a chop and an elbow.  Flair charges Rhodes and gets press slammed.  Flair fires some chops.  Rhodes responds by clobbering him and whipping into the corner.  Flair flips out of the ring.  I was going to say that he Flair flipped, but that would be redundant.  Rhodes suplexes Flair into the ring for 2.  Flair goes up top and gets thrown off.  Flair avoids an elbow drop.  Flair gets Dusty in a sleeper hold.  Rhodes manages to send Flair out of the ring to break the hold.  Flair pulls Dusty out of the ring.  They trade blows at ringside.  Flair sends Rhodes into the post to give him a reason to blade.  Rhodes is BUSTED WIDE OPEN!  Frazier checks on the cut.  Flair attacks Rhodes in the corner and clobbers him with punches on the mat.  Rhodes fights back, but Flair keeps clobbering him.  Frazier checks the cut again.  Flair goes after Rhodes again.  Frazier separates them and checks the cut.  Frazier stops it due to blood in 12:21.  Really good match.  Dusty is pissed and tries to go after Frazier, but he’s held back.  Jim Crockett gives Flair the $1 Million check.

Solie and Caudle talk.

Schiavone has a post-match interview with the man who’s a million dollars richer and still the World Champion, Ric Flair.

Solie and Caudle talk some more.  Another idiot behind them in the shot.

Schiavone has a post-match interview with a bandaged Dusty Rhodes (with his partner, Manny Fernandez in the background).  He’s pissed at Joe Frazier and Ric Flair.

Solie and Caudle talk one last time, then a highlights package closes the show.

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