Starrcade ’83

|Date: November 24, 1983
|Venue: Greensboro Coliseum |City: Greensboro, North Carolina
|Attendance: 15,447

|tweet me: @BastionBlogger

The show begins without titles or a video package, instead the four wrestlers in the opening match are already in the ring and the action begins.

The Assassins (#1 & #2) vs. Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw

Match: Assassin #1 and Bugsy McGraw kick off the match and the show. The crowd are hot for Bugsy who starts quickly, hitting a big powerslam. The Assassins have Paul Jones in their corner. McGraw keeps the early advantage until Assassin #1 tags out to Assassin #2. McGraw hits hiptosses and right hands before tagging out to current Mid Atlantic Champion Rufus R Jones. Jones dances around as he lays into the Assassin. IT’s all McGraw and Jones for much of this match but Assassin #1 takes control with a rake to the eyes. Assassin #2 tags in and the man under that mask is the future Hercules Hernandez. It’s not long before all hell breaks loose and all four men are in the ring. McGraw then goes after Assassin #2 but Assassin #1 is the legal man and he rolls up McGraw for the three!

Result: The Assassins win by pinfall.

Review: This was a good way to kick off the show. Bugsy and Rufus both bring a lot of energy to their matches and this was a good way to get the crowd going. The Assassins win the match which I don’t mind as they are a proper tag team and the other two guys will probably go back to singles after. Paul Jones must be disappointed to not be involved in-ring tonight. A fun match to kick things off.

Rating: 5.75/10

Bob Caudle and Gordon Solie hype up the event tonight. They throw to Tony Schiavone who is in the dressing room. Ric Flair and Roddy Piper are talking behind him whilst the likes of Charlie Brown, Ricky steamboat and Jay Youngblood also walk around.

Johnny Weaver & Scott McGhee vs. Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin

Match: Sullivan and Lewin have Gary Hart in their corner. Kevin Sullivan and Scott McGhee kick off the match, a second straight tag team match. There’s plenty of tags early on in the match as both teams look to take the advantage. Mark Lewin is a big guy. It’s a back and forth start to the match but Sullivan and Lewin eventually take control against Scott McGhee, making quick tags to keep McGhee away from his partner. Johnny Weaver makes a hot tag and fires up against both opponents. Weaver gets a near fall after a bulldog and then tries for a second but Sullivan counters. As the referee deals with Scott McGhee, Gary Hart also gets involved, grabbing the arm of Johnny Weaver which allows Lewin to come off the top with an axe handle which is enough for the three! After the match all four men continue the fight with Gary Hart also getting involved. Lewin then uses an object to bust open Scott McGhee! Angelo Mosca comes out and eventually makes the save but Scott McGhee is seriously busted open.

Result: Kevin Sullivan and Mark Lewin win the match by pinfall.

Review: This match was ok, a more standard tag team match. Longer than the previous match but not as entertaining. Kevin Sullivan and Mark Lewin get the win with thanks to their manager Gary Hart.

Rating: 4/10

Barbara Clarey is reporting ringside, asking the fans who they think will win the main event tonight and they think Ric Flair.

Tony Schiavone is with Harley Race backstage. The Briscoes and Greg Valentine are also present.

Carlos Colon vs. Abdullah The Butcher

Background: This match is from the long running feud between the two men dating back to the 1970’s in Puerto Rico. It’s a match that was eventually banned in Puerto Rico but it takes place here tonight.

Match: It’s a back and forth start to the match but Abdullah has control for the most part, using his strength and power. Abdullah looks to pull an item out of his trunks but it’s Colon that ends up using the sharp weapon. Colon busts The Butcher wide open and it’s seeminly no disqualification because the referee just leaves him to it. Carlos looks for a pinfall but Abdullah powers out and Colon flies up and lands on the referee. Adbullah then looks for an elbow drop but Colon moves and Abdullah hits the referee. Carlos Colon then locks on a figure four but Hugo Savinovich gets in the ring and drops an elbow on Colon! Abdullah The Butcher pins Colon off the back of it and the referee sees it and counts the three.

Result: Abdullah The Butcher wins by pinfall.

Review: This was a pretty good match. Carlon Colon using a foreign object and busting Abdullah The Butcher open was the highlight but I’m not really sure how this stood. We got the first ref bump of the night and in the end it was an elbow drop from someone not involved in the match that won it for Abdullah. A weak finish to a decent enough match.

Rating: 6/10

Tony Schiavone is backstage with Angelo Mosca who is the special guest referee for the tag team match later but has already been busted open by Mark Lewin. Mosca isn’t happy and compares Lewin to his 21 year old son. Scott McGhee is a bloody mess next to him, he actually looks dead. Mosca thinks Ric Flair will win tonight.

Barbara Clarey is with more fans at ringside who also think Ric Flair will win tonight.

Chief Wahoo MacDaniel & Mark Youngblood vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton Jr & Dick Slater

Background: The match between the team of Bob Orton Jr. and Dick Slater and the team of Mark Youngblood and Wahoo McDaniel was made for Youngblood and McDaniel to avenge Orton and Slater’s attack on their friend Flair.

Match: Wahoo MacDaniel and Dick Slater kick off the match with Wahoo getting most of the early offence in. Mark Youngblood, the kayface brother of the more famous Jay Youngblood, tags in. There’s a shot above the ring as Mark lays into Dirty Dick. Some double teaming from Orton and Slater allows them to take the advantage but not for long as Youngblood fires up. More double teaming from Orton and Slater gives them control back as they keep Youngblood away from his corner. I like Slater, he’s unpredictable and scrappy. youngblood and Slater butt heads and both men are down. Youngblood then makes the hot tag to MacDaniel! MacDaniel picks up the pace, laying into Orton with chops and elbows. Slater and Orton get control back by double teaming Wahoo. That comes to an end when Slater comes off the top and accidentally hits Bob Orton! Youngblood fights off both opponents but misses with a dropkick on Orton. Orton hits a superplex for the three. It did look like MacDaniel saved that but the decision goes to Orton and Slater. All the heels have won so far tonight. After the match Slater and Orton look to injure MacDaniels arm.

Result: Bob Orton and Dick Slater win by pinfall.

Review: This was a good match. Some really solid workers in this match, I do like Slater and Orton in particular.

Rating: 6.25/10

Tony Schiavone is backstage with Ric Flair who is joined by Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood. Ric seems nervous, he wishes Steamboat and Youngblood luck.

Barbara is having audio issues, she’s stood with Dusty Rhodes. He cuts a promo that we can’t hear because of the audio issues.

The Great Kabuki (c) vs. Charlie Brown – Television Championship match

Background: In August, Jimmy Valiant was forced to leave JCP after losing a Loser Leaves Town match to Kabuki. Valiant returned under the name Charlie Brown and wore a mask to hide his identity. Kabuki speculated that Brown was Valiant, and was given the opportunity to expose Valiant in a Title vs. Mask match. If Brown was revealed to be Valiant, he would be suspended by the NWA for one year.

Match: This match is Great Kabuki’s title against Charlie Brown’s mask. Charlie Brown being Jimmy Valiant under the mask of course. Kabuki has Gary Hart in his corner. The fight goes right to the outside where Charlie Brown uses a chair and then does the old legs around the ringpost move. Brown then stomps Kabuki in the crotch as the refeee was distracted. Brown locks on a sleeper as we are reminded that the title is only on the line for the first 15 minutes of this match. Kabuki locks on a claw but Brown fires up and powers out of it. I like how Brown sells his head whilst trying to fight back. Kabuki goes to the top and locks on the claw again but still Charlie won’t submit. Brown then fires up again nd hits an elbow drop for the three!

Result: Charlie Brown wins the match by pinfall.

Review: This was a fun match. Two good wrestlers with very different styles. Kabuki bought a slow pace to the match whilst Charlie Brown was a lot quicker. It was a predictable result but a popular one and the right one.

Rating: 5.75/10

Bob Caudle and Gordon Solie hype up the rest of the night and interview a local reporter.

Tony Schiavone are backstage with Harley Race, Bob Orton and Dick Slater. They re all confident that Race will be leaving with the title tonight. Harley is coming for Ric Flair’s previously injured neck.

Barbara Clarey is backstage with Dusty Rhodes. Dusty challenges the winner of the main event tonight. Rhodes picks Harley Race to win tonight.

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine – Dog Collar Match

Background: This match between Greg Valentine and Roddy Piper was made to culminate their feud, which stemmed from their match on April 30. During which Valentine used the ring bell to attack Piper’s left ear. Piper lost the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship, and 75 percent of the hearing in the ear.

Match: It’s a cagey start to the match with both men trying to keep distance and draw their opponent in. Both men try to use the chain as a weapon with Piper having more success there. Piper is vicious in his attack and uses the chain to his advantage, wrapping it around Valentine’s face. Valentine is busted wide open but he targets the previously injured ear of Piper. Piper is busted open too now and the match is a scrappy back and forth affair. Piper hits some big jabs and right hands. Piper hits a suplex and both men are down. Valentine locks on a sleeper but Piper uses the chain to get out of it. Valentine goes up to the middle rope but Piper pulls him down using the chain and then pins Greg using the chains for the three! After the match Greg Valentine attacks Roddy Piper and chokes him using the chain.

Result: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper wins by pinfall.

Review: This was a really good match. Definitly one for the ages. There was lots of blood and it was very back and forth. Roddy Piper wins the match though which was the right result. The title was not on the line tonight so Valentine leaves with that.

Rating: 7.5/10

Tony Schiavone is backstage with Ric Flair and Wahoo MacDaniel. Flair isn’t happy about what Bob Orton and Dick Slater did to MacDaniel earlier. Wahoo says that the title will be coming to Ric Flair tonight.

Barbara Cleary is with Don Kernodle who wishes both tag team luick in the tag team title match and also thinks Ric Flair will win tonight.

Jack Briscoe & Gerald Briscoe (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood – NWA Tag Team Championship match

Background: The match between the team of Jack and Jerry Brisco and the team of Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood stemmed from their feud which began earlier in the year. In the storyline, they were originally friends before the Briscos became antagonists by turning on Steamboat and Youngblood. The Briscos won the NWA World Tag Team Championship from Steamboat and Youngblood on June 18.

Match: Angelo Mosca serves as special guest referee for this match. Jack Briscoe and Ricky Steamboat kick of the match Steamboat hits one of his lovely armdrags on Gerald Briscoe. Steamboat keeps control for his team and tags in Jay Youngblood for the first time in the match. Steamboat comes back in off the top with a big chop. The crowd are hot for this one, there’s no doubting Steamboat and Youngbloods popularity. The Briscoes take control with quick tags and some nice suplexes and submission holds. Steamboat powers Gerald Briscoe up at one point with an impressive show of strength. Jay then gets the hot tag and picks up the pace but some double teaming from the champions slows him down. Gerald hits an Oklahoma roll for a near fall and then gets in the face of referee Angelo Mosca who pushes him over. Steamboat tags in and goes to town on Gerry, hitting some of his trademark chops. There’s some double teaming from Steamboat and Youngblood, Ricky drops Jay on Gerry for the three! After the match the Briscoes attack Steamboat, Youngblood and Mosca but the numbers become too much for them and the champions stand tall.

Result: Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood win the NWA Tag Team Championships by pinfall.

Review: This was a really good match. Steamboat and Youngblood are a very popular, fast paced tag team whilst The Briscoes are a solid, talented tag team. Their styles complimented each other well. It’s nice to see Ricky and Jay as tag team champions again.

Rating: 7.25/10

Gordon Solie goes through the credits which is nice for those working on the show.

Ric Flair is shown pacing backstage ready for his match. Charlie Brown then comes in with his Television Championship, he’s happy with his win and did it for Jimmy Valiant. Roddy Piper then steps in and says that he’ll be taking the United States Championship next. Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood are next and will be defending champions.

Bob Caudle and Gordon Solie talk up the main event and then throw to Barbara who isn’t there. They fill for a couple of minutes and then throw to Barbara who is with Dusty Rhodes and group of girls. The girls are all backing Ric Flair.

Ring announcer Tom Miller introduces James “Tiny” Weeks to sing the national anthem.

Harley Race (c) vs. Ric Flair – Steel Cage match for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship

Background: In 1981, Flair won the title from Dusty Rhodes on September 17 in Kansas City, Kansas. On June 10, 1983, Race won the title from Flair, and began his seventh reign as the champion. Race offering a $25,000 bounty to have Flair put out of professional wrestling to avoid losing the title. On August 31, Bob Orton Jr. and Dick Slater attacked Flair by performing an aided piledriver, dropping his head into the canvas. Flair was suffering from a serious neck injury, and they collected the bounty from Race. Flair announced his retirement from professional wrestling, but returned on September 21 by attacking Orton and Slater with a baseball bat. The promoters planned for their feud to culminate at Starrcade after a long pursuit.

Match: Gene Kiniski serves as special guest referee for this match. Ric Flair gets quite the entrance, he’s the only man with music, smoke and lights. It’s a back and forth start to the match with Ric Flair wrestling a quicker pace than Harley Race. Race soon takes control and slowly wears Flair down with a mix of strikes and holds. It is all Harley Race for a long time, he busts Ric Flair open. Flair, with a crimson mask does hit a comeback and gets a near fall off a piledriver. Race is also busted open now. Gene Kiniski has got in the face of both competitors in this match as they both break the rules. Race takes control back with what looked like a low blow. Flair gets back into it and locks on the figure four in the middle of the ring but Harley manages to reverse it causing Flair to break the hold. It’s back and forth as the scrap continues. Gene Kiniski grabs Harley by his hair at one point to drag him off Flair. Harley Race applies a headlock but Flair shoves him into Gene Kiniski, headbutting him. Flair then heads to the top and hits a cross body, pins Harley Race and gets the 3!

Result: Ric Flair wins the Worlds Heavyweight Championship by pinfall.

Review: This was a great main event. It was back and forth throughout and could have gone either way. This was all about the making of Ric Flair though. Ric looked like a superstar and there’s something about a blood soaked Ric Flair. I’m not sure about the finish, it was a bit quick. An unexpecged finish for Flair to win with a cross body though.

Rating: 8.25/10

After the match the locker room empties as the babyfaces pour out to celebrate with Flair. Flair gets on the mic and thanks everyone for tonight. Ric Flair continues the celebrations backstage where Dusty Rhodes reminds him that he’s next.

Barbara interviews Harley Race who says that he us going to make life a living hell for Ric Flair.

And that was the first ever major event held by a wrestling company. It’s aged well actually, I thought it was a good show from top to bottom ,the quality of the matches was decent and I liked how we kept going backstage to the locker rooms, it made the show feel like a big deal. In some ways it was a show of two halves with the second half featuring all of the big matches. The first four matches of the show were all about getting wins for heels. The Assassins, a traditional masked tag team got a big won over the reigning Mid-Atlantic Champion Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw, Kevin Sullivan and Mark Lewin won a predictable but bloody match, Abdullah The Butcher won another bloody match against Carlos Colon and then Bob Orton and Dick Slater beat the old and young duo of Wahoo MacDaniel and Mark Youngblood.

Charlie Brown (from outta town) defeated The Great Kabuki to win the Television Championship. It’ll be interesting to see how Jimmy Valiant comes back and whether “Charlie Brown” keeps the title. Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine in the dog collar match to put that rivalry to bed. This was a classic. There was a lot of blood and it added a lot to the match. Ricky steamboat and Jay Youngblood won the tag team championships in another really good match. You had two teams here with contrasting styles but a lot of the second half of Starrcade here was to get victories for the babyfaces. Ricky Steamboat is so good, I’d love to see him have a decent singles run. In the main event Ric Flair beat Harley Race to become World Heavyweight Champion. This match really delivered and the crowd were behind Flair the whole way. It capped off a good night of action.

Overall Rating: 63.4/100

Match Of The Night: Harley Race vs. Ric Flair
Worst Match Of The Night: Johnny Weaver & Scott McGhee vs. Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin
Surprise Of The Night: N/A
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: Ric Flair
Starrcade 83 Will Be Remembered For: Ric Flair winning the Worlds Championship

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