Hello everyone and welcome to my return to the Starrcade review series with the WCW Starrcade 1990: Collision Course review! This show looks quite interesting to say the least. Looking at the progress bar at the bottom of the WWE Network stream, there are no less than 12 matches and most of the matches look like they get next to no time. That does not look good when it comes to match quality, but at least I know none of the matches should be long and boring from the way this looks. Overall, I have not heard much hype for this show, but it can’t be worse that Starrcade 1989, right? Anyway, lets get on to the show!
We start the show with a little video package that essentially just shows some of the primary wrestlers in cheese graphics. Jim Ross in the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, MO, greets us and he introduces both him and Paul E. at ringside. Both Jim Ross and Paul E. do a great job hyping the card and getting me somewhat excited. Sam Muchnick, a legendary promoter, is introduced, and he seems to cut a promo, but the audio for his mic cuts out. Nice job WCW. Nice job. -_- His mic finally comes back, and he thanks the WCW office for allowing him to come here tonight. He also hypes the card and says the crowd is tremendous. Next, the United States national anthem plays and a group of marines stand on stage. Finally (!) our first match starts, which is…
“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton vs. The Z-Man
Okay, let me just start by saying, “The Z-Man”. What type on name it that? It is the antithesis of creative, and completely unoriginal. It would be like my name being Terrance, so my wrestler name is Mr. T. Oh wait…
Anyhow, this match appeared to be a nothing match early on, it actually got pretty decent down the stretch. For a while this match was just rest hold and nothing submissions, with the most significant spot being an insane crossbody with The Z-Man leaping from the mat to the top rope in one jump and then hitting a crossbody. That was great. Other than that, the early going was the most nothing match I have ever seen. Then, Z-Man suplexed Eaton on the ramp and the match got exciting. Z-Man had very impressive offense, and it was very fast paced and quite impressive. Eaton kept up to his credit, and even hit a stunning legdrop from the top rope. The transition after the legdrop, though, was baffling. Eaton didn’t go for a pin after such a devastating move; he lifted Z-Man up and got himself crotched on the middle turnbuckle. That made Eaton look very stupid, but it’s a small issue. The finish kept both guys pretty strong, but still felt definitive and did not disappoint. Overall, the boring first half transitioned into a very fun second half that redeems the match.
Tony Schiavone introduces Dick The Bruiser. Dick says that he is the champion of cage matches, and that there may be more than one Black Scorpion. He also says there will be a winner and he will see to it that it is square, whatever the hell that means. A Parade of Nations celebrates the Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament. The winners of the tournament are the freaking CHAMPIONS OF THE UNIVERSE! That is a pretty big title for winning a nothing tag team tournament. Our next matchup is…
The Steiner Brothers vs. Col. Deklerk & Sgt. Krueger – Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinal Match
This was essentially a squash match, but even by that standard it was bad. This was very sloppy and had absolutely no flow. It was essentially the heels try for a move, maybe hit it, but then get immediately reversed. Not only was the structure bad, but also this match was sloppy as hell. The most glaring example was when one of the heels tried for a tope con hilo and Rick Steiner tries to catch him, but only succeeds on dropping the heel neck first on the floor. Then the finish was the dirt worst, because the referee and Scott Steiner mess it up so bad that a one count gets the Steiners the win. This was bad, even by squash match standards.
Our next match is…
Norman Smiley & “Gentleman” Chris Adams vs. Rey Misteric (???) & Konan – Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinal Match
This was a very, very fun match that could have been better if it was a bit crisper. While this was worked at a very fast pace with the fair share of wacky submissions, fun sequences, and innovative spots, some parts weren’t the crispest and could have been better. That does not detract from this match too much, though, as it was actually insane some of the stuff they did at this time in wrestling history that I wont even try to explain. Two of the most memorable spots were, first, an insane corkscrew armdrag from the top, and, second, a beautiful superkick transitioned into a great german suplex. While there were other memorable spots, these are two most memorable ones that I can actually describe. This was really fun, different, and innovative for the time. Who cares that is isn’t the crispest when it is just this fun?
(Sidenote: Nice job to WCW for misspelling Misterio to Misteric. A+ production wise so far.)
In a hilarious spot post match, Misterio does a plancha over the top to Adams, but misses by a mile. Without an ounce of guilt, I laughed. Why did he do that? He freaking legit hurt himself! What a dumbass decision. Michael Wallstreet and Alexandra York hype the match between Wallstreet and Taylor. Apparently a computer says Wallstreet will beat Taylor in less than 8 minutes. It was a very bad promo. Next up is…
The Royal Family (Rip Morgan & Jacko Victory) vs. Mr. Saito & Great Muta – Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinal Match
I have nothing against this match, but it doesn’t really do too much to stand out. The structure of the match was basic, with the Royal Family getting the heat on Saito and Muta getting the comeback. That was probably for the best, especially since Muta has the most dynamic offense, but it also meant that the rest of the offense wasn’t really great. It was adequate, but it never really did too much for me and could have been done better. The only real good move done by someone not named The Great Muta was a nice lariat by Saito. Other than that, everything was solid, but unspectacular. The pace always picked up when Muta entered but he wasn’t in the match too much. Overall, an adequate match that could have been both better and worse.
Paul E. interviews Great Muta & Mr. Saito, and Saito says they are the best and they don’t care who they face next. They also say the Steiners are soft and say they will beat them, which essentially spoils the tournament. The next match is…
Danny “Bull” Johnson & Troy Montour vs. Victor Zangiev & Salmon Hasimikov – Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinal Match
This match wasn’t great, but watching the Russians throw the other two around like ragdolls was great. Both Zangiev & Hasimikov just threw the other two around, dropped them on their heads, and out classed them on the mat, and it was glorious. That pretty much sums up the entire match. The Canadians did next to nothing while the Russians murdered them and won quickly. While he finish may have been a bit botched, it’s not a huge issue since this match doesn’t matter much. This wasn’t much, but I had fun.
Backstage, Tony Schiavone interviews Sting, and Sting says that his head is clear and he knows what he needs to do. He vows that he will find out who the Black Scorpion is. Next up, a clip of a confrontation between Michael Wallstreet & Terry Taylor is shown. Our next match is…
Terry Taylor vs. Michael Wallstreet (w/ Alexandra York)
I didn’t think much of this match going in, but it turned out rather solid. The story was Taylor wanted to increase the pace while Wallstreet was most successful in slowing the pace down. This lead to Wallstreet neutralizing Taylor and heeling it up, while Taylor made comebacks and nearly beats Wallstreet on multiple occasions. This lead to some decent if forgettable sequences, and some solid if forgettable heel antics by Wallstreet. Honestly, that is the story of the match. Everything was done well, but nothing was done well enough to be memorable in any way. While this was a decent way to spend 7 or so minutes, I probably won’t remember this long after its ended.
A very goony promo hypes Wrestle War 1991. Next up is…
The Motor City Mad Man & The Big Cat vs. The Skyscrapers (“Dangerous” Danny Spivey & Sid Vicious)
This was a sloppy squash match that was done before it even got started. All I will say is the Double Powerbomb finish looked really cool.
Paul E. interviews the Skyscrapers, who pick up Paul. Spivey says that the Skyscrapers decide where, when, and how they will do things, which hints at the Skyscrapers will be a more regular act in 1991. Then Sid yells that the Skyscrapers rule the world. The next match is…
Tommy Rich & Ricky Morton (w/ Robert Gibson) vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael PS Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) (w/ Little Richard Marley)
This was a nothing match that succeeded in giving the heels some semblance of comeuppance. The Freebirds had broken Gibson’s leg, so Morton found a new partner and wanted to get his revenge. While in a match like this there should have been fire, they were very tame, and never really hinted at any animosity. On top of that, the match was very limited in both structure and maneuvers. There was very little diversity with moves, as it was mostly punches. There were a few cute sequences, but there was nothing really standout or exceptional. It was just a painfully average string of spots loosely held together. The only part of this match I would call “good” is when Morton & Rich locked both Freebirds members in figure fours, since the move targets the legs and they injured Gibson’s legs. That was clever. Otherwise, this was a painfully average match that is completely forgettable.
Post match, the Freebirds beat down Richard for costing them the match, and the faces leave him to die. Richard eats a double DDT, the faces check on Richard, and the Freebirds corner Gibson on the ramp. The Freebirds clothesling Gibson, and then run away as the faces come to meet them. I guess this feud will continue. Tony Schiavone interviews Stan Hansen, and Hansen says that that the rope will hold Lex Luger. Also, he explains the rules and says he’s coming for the four count. Next up is…
Rey Misteric & Konan vs. The Steiner Brothers – Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Semi-Final Match
This started off very good, and then it just ended. There was some very nifty mat work early between Rick Steiner & Konan, but that was quickly cut off by a doomsday bulldog out of nowhere. Then, Misterio & Scott had some nice back and forth, before the finish came out of nowhere. While everything was crisp and well executed, the structure of this match was abysmal. Each transition was very sudden and had no build, even though both moves were hit beautifully. Overall, at under 3 minutes, this match had no time to become anything, but it was on the path to being very good.
Tony Schiavone interviews the Horsemen and shows a clip of Flair getting kidnapped. The Horsemen say that Doom made this personal and anything goes. Next up is…
Victor Zangiev & Salmon Hasimikov vs. The Great Muta & Mr. Saito – Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Semi-Final Match
This had everything a very good match needed except time. This was a very mat based matchup, and all the mat transitions were smooth and beautiful without looking staged. Also, every spot felt like a real struggle to pull off, as the Russians world try to fight off every offensive maneuver of Muta & Saito. This made the match feel very gritty and real, which is quite novel. Another great aspect is that they built to every high impact move or throw, and never used a move in passing. Every moment felt important to the match, and felt like it could be the end. The only real issue is the time, as the match could never get out of first gear with the time constraints. Even with this time issue, they didn’t waste a second and put on a quick, if highly enjoyable match.
(Sidenote: The Russians desperately need to wear cups for the sake of everyone’s eyes. That is all I will say for decency’s sake.)
Tony Schiavone interviews DOOM, and their manager Teddy Long says that he has two hits out on the opponents, and Ron Simmons says their Tag Team Championship belts are proof that they are winners. Butch Reed says they are champions now and will be champion by the end of the show. Reed also says he originated the street fight and was born in the streets. This was the best promo of the show so far, and I am hyped for the Horsemen vs. DOOM now! Next up is…
Stan Hansen (c.) vs. Lex Luger – Texas Lariat Match (Bullrope Match) – United States Heavyweight Championship Match
This match was a very good brawl and better than most matches with this gimmick. As stated in the Starrcade 1986 review, these gimmicks usually suck, but these two utilized the No DQ part of this gimmick and made this a wild brawl. Hansen beat the hell out of Luger with stiff strikes and by tossing him all around the arena, even onto the photographers at ringside. This was a match in Hansen’s wheelhouse, and Lex had to try to survive to onslaught and comeback. It was simple and well done, especially since Hansen is great at wild brawls. Also, the nearfalls in this match where 3 of the turnbuckles were touched were well done, and worked the crowd into a frenzy by the finish. Speaking of the finish, it was very climactic and got the perfect reaction for what they were going for. While this won’t win any MOTY awards for 1990, it was a fun, wild brawl that was certainly worth a watch.
Post match, the original referee reverses the decision since he saw Luger touch all the corners. You see, I was preparing to bash this finish, but it actually worked really well and got a huge pop. For once a Dusty Finish works! It’s a Christmas miracle. Jim Ross interviews Lex Luger, and Luger says that it feels great to win the belt, and that his feud with Hansen has just begun. Next up is…
Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed) (w/ Theodore R. Long) vs. The Horsemen (Arn Anderson & Barry Windham) – Street Fight– World Tag Team Championship Match
This was one of the wildest brawls I’ve seen in a while, and a tremendous match on a show in dire need of one. There was nothing cute or crisp here; it was all gritty action that looked completely unplanned and like a real brawl. These two teams went all out with brawling, punches, weapons, and high impact moves to try and punish their opponents. The best part was the aforementioned fact that this felt completely unplanned, because while there were no ugly spots, there was no getting in position and not everything went as planned. For example, Reed went to the middle rope to hit Arn, who had his back turned. Arn, however, didn’t see Reed and stumbled away, so Reed had to give up his plan and go on the attack. Moment that feel spontaneous, like that one, add so much to a match like this, and make it feel real. Honestly, this is one of the best, most intense brawls I have ever seen. Hunt this match down right now, because it is must watch.
After a non-finish, the teams continue to brawl up the aisle, and take nasty bumps along the way. For example, one of the DOOM members reversed Arn’s piledriver into a backdrop in the aisle. Ouch! Jim Ross and Paul E. get heated, and Ross calls Heyman stupid. They have been at each other’s throats all night, which has made the commentary awesome. Another goofy Wrestle War 1991 ad plays. Next up is…
The Great Muta & Mr. Saito vs. The Steiner Brothers – Pat O’Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament Finals
This match was formatted in a really odd way, but it worked out well for the match. Usually a tag team match is structured where the first and last third are back and forth action, and the middle third is the heat, but this match had the first two thirds consist of action, and the last third be the heat. This allowed a period of uninterrupted action in the beginning of the match, which really started the match off right. There was some very fun back and forth action to start, which began as nice mat work and progressed into really good high impact combat. Then, the heat happened and it was about as good as it gets. The heels did a wonderful job using dastardly tactics to gain and keep the advantage. This brought the crowd into the match and also, since it was the final third of the match, convinced the crowd that the heels were about to win without the faces making a comeback. The finish was also really good, as it kept both teams strong while also giving the winners a definitive win. This was a very fun, good match that is an asset to this show.
Post match there is a huge award ceremony with Jim Herd to present the Steiners with the trophy. Pat O’Connor’s family is applauded, and Jim Herd thanks all the countries and wrestlers in the tournament, and then presents the Steiners with the trophy. Scott Steiner says they are proud to rep the United States, and thanks the troops in other countries. Jim Ross and Paul E. hype the final match, and now it is finally time for our MAIN EVENT!
Sting (c.) vs. The Black Scorpion – Steel Cage Match – Mask vs. Title Match – World Heavyweight Championship Match
The big question of this match is who is this Black Scorpion who has tormented Sting all this time. We either get our answer or we have a new World Champion. Multiple Black Scorpions enter down the aisle, and one enters via a funky space ship thing. This is weird. A gravely voice says that there is only one Black Scorpion and the rest are messengers. I repeat, this is weird. Sting enters with a more normal entrance, which is a sight for sore eyes. Our referee is Dick the Bruiser.
This was an insanely boring match for a while, but they really picked it up in the last five minutes. Since the Black Scorpion didn’t want to give away his identity, he didn’t use moves from his normal moveset. Instead, he did very basic moves, like punches and chin locks, which are not the most exciting moves. This wouldn’t be too big an issue if the Scorpion wasn’t in control for pretty much the whole match. He was, though, so the majority of the match was just punches and chin locks. Also, Dick was a pretty bad, and counted at a snails pace. This butchered all the nearfalls and helped kill the crowd. Because of the painfully slow counts and basic moves, the pace of the match for most of it was a crawl, which, for lack of a better term, was boring. Once Sting got control, though, it was all about Sting getting vengeance, which was very fun. It was fast paced, action packed, and very fun. Too bad the body of this match wasn’t as good as the finish, because then this might not be the worst Starrcade main event yet.
All the other scorpions enter and Sting and Dick the Bruiser clean house. Masks are removed and the real Scorpion tries to escape. Arn Anderson and Barry Windham enter and beat down sting with a chair. The Scorpion joins the fray and uses the chair as well. Some faces enter and the Steiners cut the lock off the door. The faces enter and the Scorpion is revealed as Ric Flair. #SWERVE. Jim Ross quickly bids us farewell. Close curtain.
I thought this show was going to suck, but it actually turned out quite good. There were not too many bad matches and most hovered around average. Then, there were three matches near the end that ranged from very good to classic. While this isn’t an amazing show or anything, especially since the main event wasn’t very good, I can safely call this good and one of the better Starrcades yet.
Overall Rating: ***
So that was my return to my Starrcade reviews with WCW Starrcade 1990 review! This was a lot of fun, and I am excited to be back to this for the long haul. If you enjoyed, please like, follow my blog, and comment on this post. In other news, I am still working on RMRs for you guys and I plan to review the next NXT special as soon as it happens. If you want to contact me, my contacts and social media are here or at the sidebar to the left. Also, I write for the site Free Pro Wrestling, which is a tremendous site with multiple great reviewers. Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed and see you next time!
Top Ten Matches in Starrcade History:
- Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum TA – ’85 – *****
- Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger – ’88 – ****½
- Doom vs. The Horsemen – ’90 – ****½
- Tully Blanchard vs. Ricky Steamboat – ’84 – ****¼
- The Minnesota Wrecking Crew vs. The Rock & Roll Express – ’86 – ****
- Greg Valentine vs. Roddy Piper – ’83 – ****
- The Original Midnight Express vs. The Midnight Express – ’88 – ****
- Ronnie Garvin vs. Ric Flair – ’87 – ****
- Harley Race vs. Ric Flair – ’83 – ***¾
- The Road Warriors vs. Sting & Dusty Rhodes – ’88 – ***¾