DVD Review: WWE Starrcade: The Essential Collection

WrestleZone


The documentary on the upcoming WWE Starrcade: The Essential Collection 3-Disc DVD set must have been filmed while Vince McMahon was on vacation.

While the WWE logo adorns the DVD set (available tomorrow), this comes across as an NWA/WCW production through and through. Many NWA/WCW stalwarts are interviewed, even down to staff members from the famed Greensboro Coliseum. And the history of the event as it is portrayed is anything but revisionist. They pay tribute to the event itself and the significance it holds in wrestling history.

Vince is actually portrayed as the villain as Starrcade was entering its 1987 iteration. He does not appear in the documentary, but is represented in photos that make him look downright smarmy. The NWA having the annual Thanksgiving-day tradition clearly did not sit well with Vince. So, he created the Survivor Series and put the show right up against it. Pay-per-view capability being what it was, the notion of carrying two wrestling shows would not work technologically. Cable companies had to make a choice and Vince put the hammer down by denying Wrestlemania III to those providers who went with Starrcade.

Perhaps that is where the a$$hole chant was born.

The loss of revenue forced the Crockets to sell to Ted Turner. Next year, the now-WCW would move Starrcade to the end of December. That was the first of many moves that stripped the uniqueness and legacy of Starrcade. It became just another pay-per-view. The event went from main eventing Ric Flair vs. Harley Race in 1983 to Hulk Hogan vs. the Butcher. Today, the “Granddaddy of Them All” moniker belongs to WrestleMania.

The story of Starrcade even takes time to talk about the 1986 car accident that ended the career of “Magnum TA” Terry Allen. He was slated to defeat Ric Flair at that year’s Starrcade and become the new NWA champ. Magnum has “superstar” written all over him. Wrestling history was changed on that fateful rainy day.

In addition to the documentary, the DVD set features the Top 25 Starrcade matches as voted on by the fans. While there are a couple that will make you scratch your head, the bouts are truly reflective of the Starrcade era. And you don’t have to worry about the blurring of any logos or any editing because of a certain wildlife federation.

Filled with reflections from the wrestlers of that time and old promos and 80’s-style graphics, this DVD set is truly made for the wrestling fan who attended that older school. Pure delight and some moments that will bring out the latent mark in you (Does anyone else enjoy Tom Miller and Bob Caudle as much as I do?). For new wrestling fans, WWE Starrcade: The Essential Collection is a true and valuable history lesson.

The Particulars

Disc 1

Starrcade December 29, 1996 – The Match of the Decade

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Starrcade December 13, 1989 – Iron Man Singles Tournament

Sting vs. The Great Muta

Starrcade December 28, 1992 – Unified World Tag Team Championship

Barry Windham / Brian Pillman vs. Ricky Steamboat / Shane Douglas

Starrcade December 27, 1998 – WCW World Heavyweight Championship

Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash

Starrcade December 29, 1991

BattleBowl

Starrcade December 27, 1993 – 2 out of 3 Falls for the WCW United States Championship

Dustin Rhodes vs. Stunning Steve Austin

Disc 2

Starrcade November 26, 1987 – NWA World Tag Team Championship

Road Warriors vs. Arn Anderson / Tully Blanchard

Alternate Commentary: Todd Grisham / Road Warrior Animal

Starrcade December 29, 1996

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Jushin Thunder Liger

Starrcade November 26, 1987 – Scaffold Match

Rock ‘n Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express

Starrcade December 26, 1988 – NWA World Heavyweight Championship

Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger

Starrcade December 27, 1995

Eddie Guerrero vs. Shinjiro Ootani

Starrcade December 26, 1988 – NWA World Tag Team Championship

Dusty Rhodes / Sting vs. Road Warriors

Starrcade December 28, 1992 – King of Cable Tournament Final

Sting vs. Big Van Vader

Starrcade November 24, 1983 – NWA World Tag Team Championship

Brisco Brothers vs. Jay Youngblood / Ricky Steamboat

Starrcade November 28, 1985 – NWA World Heavyweight Championship

Dusty Rhodes vs. Ric Flair

Starrcade December 28, 1997 – WCW Cruiserweight Championship

Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko

Disc 3

Starrcade December 13, 1989 – Iron Man Tag Team Tournament

Road Warriors vs. The Steiner Brothers

Starrcade December 17, 2000 – Ladder Match for a Contract for the World Cruiserweight Championship

3 Count vs. Jamie Knoble & Evan Karagias vs. Jung Dragons

Starrcade December 13, 1989 – Iron Man Singles Tournament

Sting vs. Ric Flair

Starrcade November 24, 1983 – Dog Collar Match

Greg Valentine vs. Roddy Piper

Starrcade November 27, 1986 – Scaffold Match

Road Warriors vs. The Midnight Express

Alternate Commentary: Todd Grisham / Road Warrior Animal

Starrcade December 28, 1997 – WCW World Heavyweight Championship

Sting vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Starrcade November 24, 1983 – Steel Cage Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship

Ric Flair vs. Harley Race

Starrcade November 28, 1985 – Steel Cage “I Quit Match” for the NWA United States Championship

Magnum T.A. vs. Tully Blanchard

Starrcade December 27, 1993 – WCW World Heavyweight Championship – Ric Flair’s Career Is On the Line

Ric Flair vs. Vader

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