Sunday, December 10, 2006

NWA Starrcade ‘87

1. Rick Stiener, Eddie Gilbert, and Larry Zbyszko vs. Fabulous Freebirds and Sting – 4
2. Barry Windham vs. Steve Williams – 2
3. Rock ‘N Roll Express vs. Midnight Express – Scaffold Match – 4
4. Terry Taylor vs. Nikita Koloff – 4
5. Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson vs. Road Warriors – 5
6. Lex Luger vs. Dusty Rhodes – Steel Cage Match – 6
7. Ric Flair vs. Ronnie Garvin – Steel Cage Match – 8

The opening six-man tag featured all kinds of guys, with varying degrees of talent, and carrying varying severities of sexually transmitted diseases. It went to a time-limit draw; with the only truly memorable moment being Zbyszko’s strange sell of a bulldog where he practically did a headstand. Windham and Williams are two truly tough brutes; here we got them working a really short match void of any of the aggression we so desperately hoped for. The scaffold match was your typical scaffold match; a bunch of guys timidly tiptoeing around, throwing substandard punches, etc. It’s a spectacle, true, but offers little otherwise. Taylor and Koloff worked a more basic match, not relying on much flash, but told a pretty decent, albeit uniform story. It was a treat seeing Anderson and Blanchard mix it up with the always-devastating Road Warriors, although, it wasn’t the classic it could have arguably been. It’s disappointing knowing they were capable of having an epic bloodbath, and instead, we got a marginally acceptable showing. Rhodes carried Luger to a pretty good match; I’d given it a 7 upon originally reviewing it in my critique of the Dusty Rhodes DVD, but upon closer inspection, changed my score. It works on some levels, but there’s not a lot going on during the mid-portion of the match, and ultimately, Luger’s just not that good. The main event, however, is borderline excellent. Garvin’s a little rough around the edges, but damn, he can sure beat someone’s chest into hamburger meat, and on the other end, Flair could make a corpse look like a superstar. As a child, Garvin was signing autographs at a local bowling alley one night and I went; when I got up to meet him, I said I didn’t want an autograph, but instead, just wanted to shake his famed “hands of stone.” There’s blood, drama, and a major title change – all elements of a great main event finale.

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