NWA Starrcade 1988: True Gritt

Tony Schiavone and Magnum T.A. open the show, LIVE from the Norfolk Scope!  Jim Ross and Bob Caudle are the announcers.  Gary Michael Cappetta is the ring announcer.

NWA United States Tag Team Championship Match: The Fantastics (c) vs. Kevin Sullivan & “Dr. Death” Steve Williams of the Varsity Club.  Sullivan beats up Fulton to start.  Fulton fights back and hits a diving Thesz press for 2.  The Fantastics make quick tags and work over Sullivan.  Williams tags in.  Jason Hervey of the Wonder Years is in the crowd.  I loved that show.  The Fantastics make quick tags and try to dominate Williams.  They hit Doc with a double monkey flip.  Fulton gets press slammed.  Williams blasts Fulton with a clothesline.  The Fantastics bail to talk strategy.  They come back in and knock Doc out of the ring with a double dropkick.  Fulton tries a headlock, but Williams hits a backdrop suplex.  Fulton avoids an elbow drop and makes the tag.  Rogers dropkicks Williams into the corner.  Sullivan tags in.  They double clothesline Rogers.  Rogers avoids a clothesline from Sullivan, who tumbles out of the ring.  Sullivan comes back in and Rogers puts him in a headlock.  Rogers lands on his feet from a backdrop and dropkicks Sullivan.  Doc tags in.  Rogers rights both of them.  Fulton comes in and the double team both opponents.  Williams hits a stalling suplex on Rogers for 2.  Rogers gets a sunset flip for 2.  Hey, Teddy Long is the referee!  Rogers inside cradle Sullivan for 2, fucks up a Thesz press, then makes the tag to Fulton.  Williams tags in and beats up Fulton.  Fulton thumbs Doc in the eye to escape a bear hug.  Rogers and Sullivan go at it.  Sullivan catches Rogers with a boot in the corner and goes up top.  Rogers throws him off.  Rogers goes for a dive, but Sullivan gets his knees up.  Williams and Sullivan get the heat on Rogers.  Rogers rallies and makes the hot tag to Fulton, who runs wild.  Fulton gets Doc in a sleeper hold.  Rogers does the same to Sullivan.  Fulton goes for a Thesz press on Williams, but Williams hot shots Fulton into the ropes for the pin in 15:51.  Good match.

Schiavone and Magnum talk about the matches still to come.

The Original Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey & Randy Rose) (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane) (w/ Jim Cornette).  MX jumps the OMX during their ring entrance.  Cornette wants to fight Dangerously.  They have intros, then the match starts and the MX beats up the OMX some more.  Lane and Condrey finally lock up.  Condrey knocks Lane out of the ring and Cornette whacks him with the tennis racket.  Dangerously rings the bell in protest.  The MX and Cornette as babyfaces is bizarre.  Condrey and Lane go at it again.  Condrey hits punches in the corner, but Lane brings him out with the inverted atomic drop.  Rose and Eaton tag in.  MX double teams Rose.  Cornette whacks Rose in the back with the tennis racket on the outside.  Dangerously rings the bell again.  Lane sends Rose head first into the ring post, then throws him back inside.  Rose begs off from Eaton.  Lane tags in and hits Rose with a cross body for 1.  Condrey tags in and wants a handshake.  Lane kicks him.  Eaton tags in.  Condrey hammers him on the apron before he can get in the ring.  Eaton fights him off and hits a diving elbow drop, then decks Rose.  Lane decks Condrey from the apron.  MX double team Condrey.  Lane locks him in a rear chin lock.  Lane gets Condrey in a crucifix hold, but takes him into the ropes.  Eaton tags in and hits a bulldog headlock on Condrey.  MX works over Rose.  Rose avoids Eaton in the corner and Eaton crotches himself, giving the OMX the opening to start kicking his ass.  Eaton plays face in peril, getting the ever loving shit beat out of him for several minutes.  Eaton avoids the Rocket Launcher and makes a very hot tag to Stan Lane.  Lane runs wild.  The referee gets tied up with Eaton and Condrey.  Dangerously hits Lane with the cell phone.  Cornette runs Dangerously off.  Teddy Long finds the cell phone and refuses to count Rose’s pin.  MX hits the high/low on Rose and Lane gets the pin in 16:47.  Great match.  Condrey attacks the MX and Cornette with the tennis racket after the match.  Dangerously puts the boots to Cornette as the OMX beats down the MX.  Eaton gets the tennis racket and runs the heels off.

Schiavone and Magnum, then Ross and Caudle talk about how this war will continue to rage!

Magnum T.A. interviews the Varsity Club.

The Russian Assassins (w/ Paul Jones) vs. Junkyard Dog & Ivan Koloff.  If the Assassins lose, they have to unmask and Jones has to retire.  JYD rolls around with one of the Assassins, the headbutts him, then throws him into the turnbuckles.  The other Assassin comes in and JYD punches him out of the ring.  Koloff throws him back in the ring and JYD covers, but Jones puts the Assassin’s foot on the ropes.  Koloff tags in and he and JYD double team the Assassin.  The Assassin beats up Koloff a bit.  Koloff rallies and hits a diving Russian Sickle.  The other Russian saves, then tags in and gets beaten up.  Koloff gets a sunset flip, but the referee has his back turned, dealing with the other Assassin.  JYD tags in and misses a headbutt.  The Assassins beat up JYD.  The illegal Assassin comes off the top rope, but accidentally nails his partner.  JYD covers, but Teddy was out of place again.  JYD avoids the Russian Missile and makes the lukewarm tag to Koloff.  Koloff beats up the Assassins and knocks Jones off of the apron.  Koloff hits the Russian Sickle on one of the Assassins.  Jones gives the other Assassin something to put in his mask.  The Assassin headbutts Koloff, allowing the legal Assassin to get the pin in 6:47.  Not good, but at least it wasn’t painfully long.

Ross and Caudle talk.  They lower a cage from the ceiling.  Kevin Sullivan will be locked in the cage for the next match.

NWA World Television Championship Match: Mike Rotunda (c) (w/ NWA United States Tag Team Champion Kevin Sullivan) vs. Rick Steiner.  They shove each other, then brawl.  The issue here is that Sullivan and Rotunda kicked Steiner out of the Varsity Club.  Rotunda bails, then comes back in and cranks Steiner’s arm.  Steiner takes Rotunda over with a fireman’s carry.  They lock up.  Steiner grabs a headlock and cranks on it for a bit.  They jump around and Steiner hits a Steiner Line for like 1, then Rotunda bails.  They do some nice wrestling.  Steiner gets Rotunda in an arm lock.  They do some more good wrestling.  Steiner hits a cross body for 2.  Steiner dances a bit, so Rotunda bails.  I don’t get it either.  Fans chant “SYRACUSE SUCKS!” to piss off Rotunda.  They lock up again.  Steiner hits a Steiner Line, goes for another one, but Rotunda throws him out of the ring.  Rotunda hot shots Steiner into the barricade.  Rotunda beats up Steiner back inside.  Rotunda clamps on a rear chin lock.  Steiner fights back as the crowd barks.  Where the fuck did the commentary go?  Rotunda drops Steiner with an elbow and cranks on the rear chin lock again.  Rotunda drops Steiner with a clothesline.  Steiner gets a sunset flip for 2.  Steiner avoids a dropkick, the counters a slam attempt with an inside cradle for 2.  Steiner hits another Steiner Line and crowd barks some more.  The commentary finally starts up again.  Steve Williams comes out.  Steiner backdrops Rotunda.  Steiner hits a powerslam for 2.  Steiner hits a belly t0 belly suplex.  Williams rings the bell, which confuses Steiner.  They lower Sullivan’s cage.  Tommy Young comes out to talk to Cappetta and Teddy Long.  Sullivan grabs Young.  Steiner sends Rotunda crashing into Sullivan, then gets the pin in 18:02 to win the World Television Title.  It was fine, but went longer than I cared for it to.

Schiavone and Magnum talk.

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship Match: Barry Windham (c) (w/ JJ Dillon) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink).  They lock up, break, lock up again, break again, lock up again.  Bigelow shoves Windham into the corner.  Windham hits Bigelow with some punches.  Bigelow catches Windham with a fireman’s carry, then drops down, putting the impact on Windham’s midsection.  Windham punches Bigelow some more, then hits a backdrop suplex that Bigelow no sells.  Windham bails.  Back inside, they fuck around until Bigelow drops Windham with a shoulder block.  Windham punches Bigelow to little effect.  Bigelow press slams Windham.  Bigelow’s punches have far more effect on Windham.  Bigelow dropkicks Windham out of the ring, where he stumbles into the barricade.  Bigelow kicks Windham in the middle, then hits a vertical suplex for 2.  Windham throws Bigelow out of the ring and Bigelow’s knee hits the concrete.  Biglelow hits a slingshot splash for 2.  Bigelow let him up, apparently.  Bigelow press slams Windham again and goes for splash off the top, but Windham avoids it.  Windham throws some more punches and hits a lariat.  He poses on the turnbuckles instead of going for the kill.  Windham hits a backdrop suplex.  Windham dropkicks Bigelow out of the ring again.  Windham follows and rams Bigelow’s head into the post.  Back inside, Windham clamps on the Claw.  Bigelow gets a rope break.  Windham slams Bigelow, then goes for a diving elbow drop.  Bigelow avoids it and makes his comeback.  Windham hits a cross body, sending them both tumbling over the top rope.  Bigelow hits an atomic drop on the floor, then charges Windham.  Windham avoids Bigelow, who runs into the post.  Windham beats the count back inside to win it at 16:16.  Pretty good stuff here.

Ross and Caudle talk about the last match.

Magnum T.A. interviews the NEW World Television Champion, Rick Steiner.  Stupid Rick Steiner is funny.

Copy & Pasted from the Starrcade: The Essential Collection DVD Review, slightly edited:

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match: The Road Warriors (c) (w/ Paul Ellering) vs. Dusty Rhodes & Sting.  Roadies attack Dusty and Sting before the match.  Sting and Dusty send them packing.  Intros, then the match starts.  Sting and Animal lock up.  Sting sends Animal out, then works his arm when he comes back in.  Tag to Dusty.  Dusty hits the elbow on Animal, who tags out to Hawk.  They brawl a bit, then Sting comes back in and brawls with Hawk too.  Animal comes back in and press slams Sting.  Dusty tags in and works over Animal’s leg, wrapping it around the post.  Hawk tags in and wants a test of strength with Dusty.  Dusty nails him and goes for the figure-four, but Animal stops him.  Hawk and Dusty end up outside the ring, where Hawk beats up Dusty.  Back in the ring, the Warriors make the exchange and Animal takes a turn wearing down Dusty.  Warriors continue getting heat on Dusty.  Dusty manages to tag Sting, who comes in against Animal.  Sting hits the Stinger Splash and locks in the Scorpion Death Lock, but Hawk breaks it and sends Sting to the outside.  Warriors beat on Dusty.  Sting comes in and hits a cross body on Animal.  Ellering stops the referee from making the count to cause the DQ at 11:18.  Dusty and Sting celebrate afterwards, even though they didn’t win the belts.

Schiavone and Magnum talk about the match.  They show some replays.  They talk about the main event, where Flair can lose the title by DQ.  Ross and Caudle talk about the main event, too.

Copy & Pasted from the Starrcade: The Essential Collection DVD Review, slightly edited:

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match: Ric Flair (c) (w/ JJ Dillon) vs. Lex Luger.  Luger clotheslines Flair out of the ring early.  They show Lou Thesz in the crowd.  Luger overpowers Flair early on.  Flair chops Luger, who doesn’t sell it, so Flair bails and begs off.  Luger works Flair’s arm.  Luger doesn’t sell Flair’s chops again.  Luger beats up Flair some more.  Flair shoves the referee, who warns him.  Flair must have forgotten that he can lose the title on a DQ.  Flair finally gets the advantage.  Luger locks on a sleeper hold, but Flair escapes.  Flair goes for the figure-four, but Luger counters with an inside cradle for a near fall.  Luger hits a superplex for a near fall, then puts Flair in the figure-four.  Flair doesn’t give up, though, so the match continues.  Luger accidentally nails the ref, then Flair throws Luger over the top rope.  Ross says it should have been a DQ.  Why wasn’t Luger DQ’d in the first few minutes when he clotheslined Flair over the top rope?  Anyway, more neat stuff happens while I was typing.  Flair attacks Luger’s leg with a chair while the referee isn’t paying attention.  Flair works Luger’s leg over.  Flair locks in the figure-four.  Luger manages to turn it over.  Flair goes up top, but of course Luger throws him off.  Luger gets a sunset flip for a near fall.  Luger puts Flair in the Torture Rack, but his leg gives out and Flair gets the pin with his feet on the ropes at 31:02.  Really good match.

Schiavone talks about the match and they show some replays.  Ross and Caudle talk about it, too.

Magnum T.A. interviews the World Champion, Ric Flair.  Typically great Flair promo.

Schiavone talks, then Ross and Caudle talk, then we get a highlights video to close the show.

Pretty good show, with a few really good matches, and nothing really bad.

One Response to “NWA Starrcade 1988: True Gritt”

  1. […] 1988 1/24- NWA Bunkhouse Stampede / WWF Royal Rumble 1988 3/27- WWF WrestleMania IV 7/10- NWA Great American Bash 1988 8/29- WWF SummerSlam 1988 11/24- WWF Survivor Series 1988 12/13- AWA SuperClash III 12/26- NWA Starrcade 1988 […]

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