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WCW Starrcade 1989: Future Shock
by Scrooge McSuck
- We've come to an end to the decade, and WCW decided to go out with a bang, by using it's biggest show of the year to experiment with an idea that could've worked out, but flopped miserably. I'm talking about the "Iron Man" and "Iron Team" Tournaments. The premise was simple...
In the Iron Man brackets, Sting, Ric Flair, Lex Luger, and the Great Muta would wrestle three matches, with everyone wrestling the other three opponents, once each. If you win the match by pinfall or submission, you get 20 points, if by count-out 15 points, Disqualification 10 points, and 5 points for a Draw. 0 points is awarded for a loss, of course. The competitor with the most points after three matches wins, so it's pretty much a dead give away who's winning by the time the last couple of matches take place. Oh, and for tag teams, it's The Steiner Brothers, The Road Warriors, Doom, and subbing for the Skyscrapers, the New Wild Samoans (Fatu and the Samoan Savage), and with the same points system. How can anyone call the NEW Wild Samoans one of the four "greatest tag teams" when the Midnight Express were left off the card?
- Broadcasted live, on Pay-Per-View, on December 13th, 1989, from the Omni in Atlanta, GA. Jim Ross is joined in the broadcast booth by Terry Funk and Jim Cornette. Now there's three wrestling minds for you.
The Steiner Brothers vs. Doom (w/ Woman & Nitron):
(Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Doom #1 & Doom #2)
Interestingly, this was the only combination of tag teams to actually be feuding, so the most important match of the group is blown first. Big surprise. The Steiners won the Titles a few weeks earlier (in television time) from the Freebirds, but all matches are Non-Title, of course. Scott Steiner and Doom #1 (Ron Simmons) start. Lockup into the corner, and Scott gives a clean break. Lockup again, and Doom #1 shoves Scott off. Slugfest time, and Scott quickly takes Doom #1 over with a powerslam for a two count. Irish whip to the corner, and Doom #1 boots Scott on a charge attempt. Irish whip, and Scott surprises Doom #1 with a Steinerline. Scott with a snapmare, and a chinlock applied. Rick tags in, and... well, nothing really happens. Lockup, and Rick works the arm before being hit with a jaw buster. Irish whip, and Rick takes Doom #1 over with a belly-to-belly suplex. Doom #2 comes in and gets slammed down. Doom #2 tags in, officially, and drives a knee to the midsection. Doom #2 with a snapmare, followed by a series of short rights. Irish whip, and Rick plants Doom #2 with a powerslam for a two count. Scott tags in and slaps on a headlock. Jim Ross makes an excuse for a half-empty crowd while Cornette hypes the format of the tournament. Scott with a roll up for a two count. Lockup, and Scott with a single leg pick. Rick tags in and slaps on a chinlock. Doom #2 escapes with an arm drag, but Scott tags in and connects with a back breaker. Doom #1 tags back in and hammers away. Scott comes back with an inverted atomic drop, but goes flying over the top rope attempting a clothesline. Nitron takes advantage of the situation and pounds away on Scott while Doom #1 distracts the referee. Back in the ring, and Doom #1 with a powerslam for a two count, then some choking. Doom #2 tags in and puts the boots to Scott. Back outside the ring, and Nitron takes more cheap shots. Back in the ring, and Doom #2 with a suplex for a two count. Scott surprises Doom #2 with a cradle for a two count. Irish whip, and Doom with a double back drop, and Doom #1 follows with more choking. Irish whip, and Doom #1 with his signature spine buster for a two count. Doom #1 tries for another pin, then goes to the chinlock. Yes, he uses the ropes for leverage. Irish whip, and Doom with a double back elbow. Doom #2 slams Scott over the top rope while the referee was distracted by Rick. Scott counters a suplex into the ring and falls on top of Doom #2 for a near fall. Scott back drops out of a piledriver attempt, then takes Doom #2 down with a belly-to-belly suplex. Rick gets the hot tag and goes crazy on Doom #1, nailing the Steinerline. Irish whip, and Rick with a powerslam. Another Steinerline sends Doom #1 over the top rope, and Doom #2 to take one as well. Doom #1 runs into a nasty roundhouse right. Irish whip, and Rick gets tripped up by Nitron, so Rick runs out and takes his head off to a huge pop. Doom #2 jumps Rick from behind, and now everyone brawls. Rick rolls back in the ring in time to beat the count, and Doom is counted-out at 12:29. Cheap finish. Really cheap. On the biggest PPV of the year. *1/2 There was some okay stuff scattered throughout, but if you notice, the whole match was powerslam-powerslam-clothesline-powerslam.[Steiners - 15 points; Doom - 0 points]
Sting vs. "The Total Package" Lex Luger:
Luger is the reigning United States Champion, but you know the drill. This might be one of the first times Sting faced Luger, at least on a large stage like a PPV or something. Luger plays to the crowd to start (to boos), as does Sting (to cheers). Luger tries to take a walk, but Sting chases up the aisle and slugs away with rights. Back in the ring, and Sting continues to pound away. Sting goes for something, but flies over the top rope. Sting hangs on though, and clotheslines Luger, then sling shot splashes Luger for a two count. Sting with a threesome of clotheslines, sending Luger out of the ring in a daze. Luger pulls Sting out of the ring and rams him into the apron. Sting blocks being rammed into the rail, and instead rams Luger into it. Sting continues to hammer away and puts Luger down with a clothesline. Sting heads to the top rope, and comes off with a cross body for a two count. Sting with mounted punches in the corner. Luger ducks a clothesline, but Sting catches him on the boomerang and covers for a two count. Sting goes to work on the arm. Luger takes it to the corner for a break, but Sting surprises him with another cross body for a two count. Sting goes back to the arm with a wristlock. Whip to the corner, and Luger meets the knee on a charge attempt. Sting connects with a dropkick, then heads to the top rope, but Luger catches this cross body attempt and connects with an inverted atomic drop. Luger scoops up Sting and gives it to him one more time, just for the hell of it. Luger with a stomach buster, then drives a forearm into the midsection. Luger, channeling his football career, punts away at Sting, sending him out of the ring. Yes, I know Luger wasn't a Kicker, it was just a terrible joke. Luger follows out and rams Sting into the security rail. Back in the ring, and Luger comes off the ropes with a double axehandle for a two count. Luger uses the laces on his boots to rake the eyes, then rakes Sting across the top rope. Luger pounds away, but Sting tries fighting back, but he's still selling the abdominal work Luger had done. Irish whip, and Luger takes Sting over with a powerslam. Luger goes for the Torture Rack, but Sting rolls off the shoulders, collapsing to the canvas. Luger continues to pound away in the corner. Sting starts no-selling, so you know he's ready to explode. Sting with boots to the midsection, followed by a series of rights. Sting teases a high risk move, but decides to choke instead, then takes Luger over with a suplex for a two count. Luger rolls out of the ring, and Sting follows, ramming Luger into the rail. Sting pounds away from the apron, and they tumble over the top rope, back into the ring, with Luger landing on top and using the ropes to get the three count at 11:36. **1/2 To steal a phrase, this was perfectly acceptable. There wasn't anything outstanding about it, but it wasn't bad either. Just there. Kind of unique ending though for the "pin near the ropes" finish, I'll give them that much.
[Luger - 20 points, Sting - 0 points]
The Road Warriors (w/ Paul Ellering) vs. Doom (w/ Woman & Nitron):
(Hawk & Animal vs. Doom #1 & #2)
Poor Doom, having to go out and have their second match already, when it's only the second match of the Tag Team Round Robin Tournament! Random draw to decide the match order my ass... Animal starts wth Doom #2, and Doom #2 quickly does his "Butch Reed pose." Lockup, and Animal shoves him off. Lockup #2, and Doom #2 shoves Animal. Animal quickly sends Doom #2 into the corner with a dropkick. Hawk tags in, and comes off the top rope with an axehandle, then slaps on a wristlock. Irish whip, and a shoulder block doesn't do much. Hawk comes off the ropes with a clothesline, then we CLIP! Doom #2 tries for a slam, but Hawk falls on top, then tags in the Animal. Irish whip, and Animal with a diving shoulder tackle. Irish whip, and Animal with a powerslam for a two count. Hawk and Doom #1 brawl in the corner until Hawk gets dumped. Doom #2 goes for a piledriver, but Hawk comes off the top with a clothesline, and Animal covers for three at a butchered 3:01. DUD Not much here to rate.
[LOD - 20 points, Steiners - 15 points, Doom - 0 points (2)]
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair (w/ Arn & Ole Anderson) vs. The Great Muta (w/ Gary Hart):
Flair is the reigning World Heavyweight Champion, and Muta is the Television Champion, but again, no titles will be defended tonight, on the biggest PPV of the year. This would normally make an awesome Main Event, but I guess here it's ruined. Norman is at ringside, dressed up as Santa Claus again, hanging out candy to the front row. Hey look, Arn Anderson is back, only about three weeks removed from making his last appearance in the WWF. I guess they didn't have no compete clauses back then. Lockup to start, and Muta grabs a headlock, then puts Flair down with a shoulder block. Flair tries a hip toss, but Muta pokes the eyes, then mounts Flair in the corner. Irish whip and Muta with a hand-spring elbow, followed by a snap elbow drop. Flair chops away on Muta, and Muta retaliates with slaps to the chest. Flair with an inverted atomic drop, followed by another, with the preasure going to the left knee. Flair quickly slaps on the Figure-Four, but suddenly Buzz Sawyer and the Dragonmaster hit the ring, only to be cut off by the Andersons. Muta attacks Flair from behind with a spinning heel kick. Muta with a back breaker, but he misses a moonsault. Flair surprises him with a cradle for the three count at 1:55. What?! And that wasn't clipped! They jobbed Muta in two-minutes!? DUD Total waste of time.
[Flair - 20 points, Luger - 20 points, Sting - 0 points, Muta - 0 points]
The Steiner Brothers vs. The Road Warriors (w/ Paul Ellering):
(Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Hawk & Animal)
THIS might be the only reason to check the show out, the only time I can recall these two teams ever being put against each other on a televised event. Note that I do NOT count anything from the late 90's as something worthy enough of remembering, so let's just stick to the teams' primes. Scott Steiner and Hawk start. Lockup into the ropes, and we get a clean break. Scott with a single leg pick and takedown, but Hawk grabs the ropes. Scott picks the leg again, but Hawk nails him with an enziguri! Irish whip is reversed, and Scott with a single leg roll. Scott slaps on a wristlock, then tags out to Rick. Lockup into the ropes, and Hawk pounds away. Irish whip, and Hawk kills Rick with a clothesline, complete with oversell. It only gets a two count, though. Irish whip, and the LOD with a double back elbow. Irish whip, and Rick nails Animal with the Steinerline. Lockup into the ropes, and Animal drives a pair of knees to the midsection. Irish whip, and Animal with a diving shoulder tackle. Irish whip, and Rick counters with a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count. Scott and Hawk tag back in. Lockup, and Hawk with a military press slam, followed by a jumping fist drop for a two count. Irish whip, and Hawk with a big boot for another two count. Hawk takes it to his corner, and Animal tags in. Animal with a slam, but he misses an elbow drop, and Scott takes him down with a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count. Scott with a series of shoulders to the midsection in the corner. Whip across the ring, and Animal charges back out with a clothesline. Hawk tags back in and connects with a gut-wrench back breaker, followed by a slam, for a two count. Scott with a shot to the midsection, then scoops Hawk up onto the second turnbuckle and takes him over with a horribly botched overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Animal tags back in and slaps on a bearhug. Scott fights free, but gets a boot to the face for his troubles. Animal slaps on a wristlock, and Hawk tags in to put the boots to Scott. Irish whip, and Hawk with a powerslam. Animal tags in and drops an elbow for a one count, broken up by Rick. Hawk and Rick slug it out in the corner. Animal scoops Scott up for a modified version of the Doomsday Device, but Animal bridges Scott for the pin attempt, and you know the deal 7:32. Scott rolls his shoulder up while Animal lays flat, giving the match to the Steiner Brothers. *** Pretty good match for what it was, but it was way too short. Everyone hit their signature stuff and the flow seemed pretty good, with minimal resting.[Steiners - 35 points (2), Road Warriors - 20 points (2), Doom - 0 points (2)]
Sting vs. The Great Muta (w/ Gary Hart):
Well, Muta should be fresh, considering he was jobbed out to Flair in under two minutes on the biggest PPV of the year. These two had some pretty good encounters throughout 1989, but after seeing the last match between Flair and Muta, I can't be so sure if we're going to see anything worthwhile. They do a feeling out bit before settling in to a knuckle-lock. Muta quickly slaps on a full nelson. Sting powers out and slaps on his own full nelson. Muta takes it into the corner, and connects with his signature mule kick. Muta with a side headlock into a takeover. Irish whip, and Muta with a shoulder block. Criss-cross ends with a Sting monkey flip, followed by a clothesline and snap suplex for a two count. Sting with an atomic drop, followed by a boot to the chest. Sting picks the leg and goes for the Scorpion Deathlock, but Muta hooks the ropes and rolls out of the ring. Back in the ring, and Muta rakes the eyes. Irish whip, and Muta with a back drop. Muta with a snapmare, followed by a snap elbow drop. Muta rolls Sting over, then applies an unusual bridging double arm chicken-wing submission hold. Sting bridges out to escape and hammers away with rights. Sting rams Muta to the buckle, then follows with a press slam for a two count. Sting with a scoop slam, followed by a jumping elbow drop for another two count, then slaps on a chinlock. Muta takes it to the corner and drives a pair of shoulders to the midsection. Muta chokes away in the corner,, followed by chops. Muta with a back breaker, then heads to the top and misses a moonsault, but lands on his feet, and connects with a spinning heel kick. Muta heads to the top rope, but Sting dropkicks him, then takes Muta down with a super-plex. That's enough for the three count at 8:40. Well, Muta might as well pack it up and head back to Japan. ** Another decent match, but there seemed to be a lack of motivation behind both guys, and the crowd was really not into it for the most part. That's always the problem with these sorts of odd booking choices. American audiences aren't used to a tournament of this kind, and just randomly throwing it out there just seems odd.
[Flair - 20 points, Luger - 20 points, Sting - 20 points (2), Muta - 0 points (2)]
- We run down the results so far. There's a three-way tie for the Singles Tournament, and in the Tag Team Tournament, Doom is being shut out, the Steiner lead after a surprise pinfall over the Road Warriors, and the Wild Samoans have yet to wrestle, which means we see them THREE times in the next six matches. Hurray for me. Terry Funk picks Luger to win it all, and Cornette thinks the Samoans have a shot to surprise everyone.
The New Wild Samoans (w/ The Big Kahuna) vs. Doom (w/ Woman & Nitron):
(Fatu & The Samoan Savage vs. Doom #1 & #2)
Yes, the screen graphic says "New Wild Samoans." This match has ugly written all over it. Doom is basically playing the role of spoiler, as they have no hope of winning the tournament thanks to two losses and the Steiner having more than 20 points. We CLIP! Doom #2 with a clothesline on the Savage, then dumps him out of the ring, into the security rail. Doom #1 comes over to ram the Savage into the rail again, then tosses him back in the ring. The crowd is DEAD. Irish whip, and Savage with a sunset flip for a two count. Doom #2 tries for a bulldog, but Savage holds his ground, throwing him off. Doom #1 tags in and drops an elbow. Doom with double teaming on the Savage. Doom #1 with a sloppy slam, nearly dropping the Savage on his head. Doom #1 comes off the second rope, missing a shoulder tackle. Doom #2 tags in and gets nailed with a flying headbutt from Fatu. It's a pier-six brawl! Fatu headbutts Doom #2, then falls on top for a three count at a heavily clipped 3:21. 1/4* Not much here. Poor Doom gets jobbed out in all three matches?! The camera shows Woman looking not very happy. [Steiners - 35 points (2), Road Warriors - 20 points (2), Wild Samoans - 20 points, Doom - 0 points (3)]
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair vs. "The Total Package" Lex Luger:
The same time a year earlier, this was the Main Event, except Flair was the heel and Luger was the babyface. I don't think Flair even broke a sweat in his first match against Muta. We seem to clip to Luger ramming Flair into the turnbuckle, then starts putting the boots to him. Irish whip, and Luger with a charging clothesline, followed by a trio of elbows for a two count. Luger rakes the eyes with the laces on his boots, and Flair retaliates with a chop. Irish whip, and Luger with a press slam, sending Flair out of the ring with the momentum. Luger snaps Flair across the top rope, then chokes away. Luger continues the assault, stomping away. Luger tries for a suplex, but Flair blocks and takes him over with a suplex of his own. Luger is up first, but Flair surprises him with a back slide for a two count. They exchange blows, chops vs. rights. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Flair lands on the apron. Flair heads to the top rope, but comes down and gets nailed with a clothesline. Luger takes his time to cover, and only gets two as a result. Luger tosses Flair out as we plug the wrestling hotline, 1-900-909-9900. Flair with a sunset flip back into the ring for a two count. Luger measures Flair up and floors him with a roundhouse right. They trade blows again, with Luger winning that battle. Flair heads to the top rope for whatever fucking reason and gets slammed off for it. Luger hits the ropes but misses his stupid jumping elbow drop. Luger grabs a headlock, but Flair counters with a back suplex. Flair slaps on the Figure-Four, but the bell rings for a Time Limit Draw at a clipped 6:54. I'm not surprised these two were booked for a Time Limit Draw, considering they never had matches shorter than 20-minutes. *1/2 Seemed like it might have been good, but the clip job didn't really do much for it.
[Flair - 25 points (2), Luger - 25 points (2), Sting - 20 points (2), Muta - 0 points (2)]
The Steiner Brothers vs. The New Wild Samoans (w/ The Big Kahuna):
(Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Fatu & The Samoan Savage)
This show is really starting to drag me down. If the Steiners win by any means, they will automatically win the Iron Man Tournament... and thus, we get the problem with this kind of set up. The booking decisions are severely limited at this point, so we know the Steiners aren't winning, otherwise the Road Warriors vs. Samoans match later would be completely worthless. We clip to Scott being brutally attacked by the Samoans. They connect with a double headbutt for a two count. Irish whip, and the Samoans with a double clothesline. Fatu tags in and dumps Scott over the top rope as we announce 5-minutes left in the time limit. Scott comes back in with a sunset flip, but Fatu counters. Irish whip, and Fatu slaps on a bearhug. Yes, the team that's done the least work is resting. Scott fights free, but Fatu maintains control. Double thrust kick from the Samoans, followed by choking. Irish whip, and the Savage slaps on a bearhug. Irish whip and Scott with a shoulder block, but the Savage takes him over with a powerslam, then chokes again. Fatu tags back in and gets caught with a shitty back slide for a two count. Irish whip is reversed, and Scott with the Frankensteiner! The Savage tags in and pounds away on the back of Scott. Irish whip, and Scott with a sunset flip for a two count. Savage with a slam, but he misses a splash. Rick comes in and hammers everyone with Steinerlines. Scott back drops a Samoan out and the ring is cleared... but the referee disqualifies the Steiners despite NOT seeing the spot! 5:56. Terrible finish to a boring match. 3/4* So the Samoans win by Disqualification, so they won't run the risk of a tie to end the tournament, and the Steiners lose, so they won't run the risk of ruining the last match by having a winner already declared. Lame. [Steiners - 35 points (3), Samoans - 30 points (2), Road Warriors - 20 points (2), Doom - 0 points (3)]
"Total Package" Lex Luger vs. The Great Muta (w/ Gary Hart):
Muta hasn't bothered to redo his face paint, and Luger is selling a limp, probably from the 20-seconds he spent while being in the Figure-Four to end his last match. Again, for the sake of the tournament, if Luger wins by pinfall, he guarantees at least a tie, so he's either winning by cheap DQ or heading towards another Draw, or Muta will get some points on the board. The former seems more likely. We clip to Muta being in control. Luger staggers to the corner on an Irish whip spot, and Muta follows in with a springboard elbow. Muta drops an elbow across the left knee and grapevines the leg. Muta releases and quickly slaps on a spinning toe hold. Luger rakes the eyes to escape and drops a pair of elbows for a two count. Muta kicks the leg, and Luger sells with his usual screaming sell jobs. Remember how I said the crowd was dead a few matches ago? Well, they're still dead. Muta continues to work the leg and applies a single-leg boston crab. Muta grapevines the legs and applies a bridging chinlock. Luger makes it to the ropes, though, to break the hold. Muta maintains control, but I've seriously lost interest at this point. Luger fights back with a series of rights, but Muta cuts off the comeback with a spinning heel kick. Irish whip, and Muta connects with a dropkick. Luger makes it to his feet and throws everything he has into a clothesline. Luger puts the boots to Muta and pounds away. SLUGFEST! Irish whip to the corner, and Luger back drops Muta on the follow through. Irish whip, and they blow a hip toss. Luger tosses Muta out of the ring. Muta with a sunset flip back into the ring, but that only gets a two count. Irish whip, and Luger with a powerslam. He calls for the end! Muta blocks and spits mist in his face for the Disqualification at a clipped 7:08, giving Luger 10-points and Muta is shutout, although he went out on his own terms at least for this match. *3/4 Another okay match, but I took points off for some sloppy stuff like that patheticaly blown hip toss spot towards the end.Luger - 35 points (3), Flair - 25 points (2), Sting - 20 points (2), Muta - 0 points (3)]
The Road Warriors (w/ Paul Ellering) vs. The New Wild Samoans (w/ The Big Kahuna):
(Hawk & Animal vs. Fatu & The Samoan Savage)
We're finally at the end of the Tag Team Brackets. The Road Warriors need a pinfall or submission victory to claim the tournament, while the Samoans just need a win by any means. I won't bother going into any other possible outcomes, because they wouldn't make sense. Animal and Fatu lockup into the corner, and we get a clean break. Fatu rakes the eyes and chops away. Animal no-sells a piledriver and nails Fatu with a clothesline. Hawk and the Savage tag in for an anti-classic. Hawk attacks from behind and hammers away. Savage no-sells and they exchange chops and slaps, with no one selling a damn thing. Irish whip, and Hawk with a back drop. Savage with an inverted atomic drop, followed by an over-head throw. Hawk no-sells it and punches the head, but Savage no-sells that. Irish whip, and Hawk connects with a dropkick for a two count. Hawk slaps on a headlock, then Animal tags in and does the same. Fatu tags in and pounds away. Irish whip is reversed, and Animal takes him over with a powerslam. Irish whip is reversed, and Animal nearly falls down, then they try again, and blow the spot AGAIN!? Holy shit, how little chemistry do these teams have with each other? The Savage tags in and does the usual samoan crappy offense. There's some choking and biiting, of course. Savage with a snapmare, and it's a nerve hold time! Savage with a slam, but he misses a splash from the second turnbuckle. Hawk gets the warm tag and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Animal comes in to brawl with Fatu. Hawk nails the Savage with a clothesline after the Savage and Animal blow ANOTHER spot, and Hawk makes the cover for the three count at 5:48. The Steiners hit the ring and off congratulations to the Road Warriors. -* I know this might come across as mean, but this match sucked. Despite only going slightly more than 5-minutes, there was cheap rest periods and blown spots left and right. This match had no right being the last one to decide the Tournament, but I guess it's a good example of the overall thoughts on the entire tournament idea. Crap.
Final Tag Team Round Robin Scorecard...
Winners - The Road Warriors - 40 points (2-1)
2. The Steiner Brothers - 35 points (2-1, 1 Countout)
3. The New Wild Samoans - 30 points (2-1, 1 DQ)
4. Doom - 0 points (0-3)
Sting vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair:
We've got the final match of the Tournament. Lex Luger leads with 35 points, so if this match ends in a Draw, he wins. If Flair wins by Count-Out or Pinfall/Submission, he wins, or a DQ will force a "wrestle off", while Sting needs to win by at least Count-Out to tie, and a Pinfall/Submission to win. Sting and Flair were kind of friendly at the time, but not super friendly, despite main eventing Halloween Havoc in a Tag Team match. Unlike the Great Muta, Sting HAS taken the time to redo his face paint. They give a handshake to start. Lockup, and Sting slaps on a side headlock. Irish whip, and Sting with a shoulder block, followed by a hip toss, sending Flair out of the ring. Back in the ring, and they trade "Woo's!". Flair with a headlock, then turns it into a hammerlock. Sting counters with a drop toe hold, then grapevines the legs and slaps on a wristlock. Flair counters with a fireman's carry, setting Sting up on the top rope, but then gives a clean break. WHATEVER! Lockup, and Sting with a headlock. Flair counters into an overhead wristlock, but Sting powers Flair down with the hold. Lockup, and Flair grabs another headlock, then puts Sting down witth a shoulder. Criss-cross sequence, and Sting takes Flair over with a press slam. Shoving match, won by Sting, forcing Flair out of the ring. Back in the ring, and Sting with another headlock and shoulder block. Flair tries a hip toss, but Sting blocks and takes him over with a back slide for a two count. Flair floors Sting with a chop, then goes to work in the corner. Sting blocks a hip toss attempt and takes Flair over with his own, then connects with a pair of dropkicks. Irish whip, and Sting with a shoulder block, followed by a clothesline for a two count. Flair with a boot to the midsection, then tosses Sting out of the ring. Flair follows out, and chops away on Sting some more, then whips him into the security rail.
Back in the ring, and Flair snaps Sting throat-first across the top rope, then brings him in from the apron with a delay vertial suplex for a two count. Flair covers again for another two count. Flair comes out of the corner with his signature knee drop, then slaps on an abdominal stretch and turns it into a pinning combination for a pair of two counts. Flair with an inside cradle for another two count. Flair with another suplex for a two count. Whip to the corner, and Sting sells it with extra force. Whip to the corner again, with the same result. Flair with a double under-arm suple for a two count. Irish whip to the corner, and Sting charges back out with a clothesline for a two count of his own. Flair rolls out of the ring, but Sting follows him out. Flair with chops, but Sting won't sell them anymore. Sting with a sunset flip back into the ring, but Flair nails him with a right hand to break his momentum. Flair heads to the apron and tries to suplex Sting over, but Sting blocks and brings Flair back into the ring with a suplex for a two count. Sting no-sells Flair's offense and does his form of Hulking Up, I guess. Sting backs Flair into the corner and mounts him for some rights, and the crowd is showing signs of life again. Sting with a hip toss out of the corner, followed by a clothesline for a two count. Whip to the corner, and Sting connects with the Stinger Splash! Sting slaps on the Scorpion Deathlock, but Flair makes it to the ropes. Flair connects with an atomic drop, then quickly slaps on the Figure-Four, but Sting manages to force a break, as well. Flair stomps at the left knee of Sting, followed by a nasty chop. Flair with a knee drop across the leg of Sting. Flair with a headlock takeover, but Sting counters with a head scissors. Flair bridges into a pin, but Sting powers up and back slides Flair for a two count. Flair goes back to work on the leg, connecting with another atomic drop. Flair takes Sting to the ropes and drops his weight across the left knee. Flair goes for the Figure-Four again, but Sting counters with a cradle, and that gets the three count at 15:54... wait a minute, I thought these matches were 15-minute time limits, not 16-minute time limits! Oh well, it was a great match, so I can't argue too much. After the match, the Andersons hit the ring and congratulate Sting on his victory. This would lead to Sting's brief alliance as a member of the Horsemen. ***1/4 Not the best match these two ever had, but it was pretty energetic and featured some good near falls. I had to knock a bit off, though, for the ignorance of the time limit, just to show I don't play favorites.
Final Iron Man Singles Round Robin Scorecard...
Winner - Sting - 40 points (2-1)
2. Lex Luger - 35 points (2-0-1; 1 DQ)
3. Ric Flair - 25 points (1-1-1)
4. The Great Muta - 0 points (0-3)
I must say, Luger was heavily protected here, being the only one on the entire card to not lose a match. Of course, he also only won one match by pinfall, and even that wasn't a very impressive victory, so I guess he also got the least impressive victories out of everyone as well.
Final Thoughts: Much like Wrestlemania IV, this show suffers from a bad case of boring. The Tournament idea seems great in theory, but the actual delivery left a lot to be desired, and the outcome for the last few matches seemed a little bit obvious considering this isn't a real sport and everything has to fall into place to make sense by one way or another. While there's a handful of matches scattered throughout that are pretty good, everything just comes across as boring and/or meaningless. Outside of one match, this is an incredibly forgetable show in terms of quality, but kicked off the tradition of Starrcades featuring incredibly stupid new concepts to make it different. Strong Recommendation to Avoid.
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