Starrcade ’84

|Date: November 22, 1984
|Venue: Greensboro Coliseum Complex |City: Greensboro, North Carolina
|Attendance: 16,000

|tweet me: @bastionblogger

The show starts with a clip of how last years Starrcade ended with Ric Flair beating Harley Race for the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship. Gordon Solie and Bob Caudle then welcomes us to this years event.

Mike Davis (c) vs. Denny Brown – World’s Junior Heavyweight Championship

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Starrcade PPV Record: Both men wrestle at Starrcade for the first time tonight.

Match: The match starts with some quick action, plenty of flying head scissors and arm drags from Denny Brown. Denny misses with a cross body and falls out of the ring, selling a back injury. Mike Davis then helps Denny back into the ring. Davis takes control from here, he’s the much bigger guy and I’m not sure how he’s in this division. Denny fights back, picking up the pace until the two men knock heads. Davis hits a belly to back suplex and that’s enough for the three. Wait. Denny Brown celebrates with the title. The ring announcer says that it was Davis that won. A lot of confusion here. I think Denny Brown won?

Result: Denny Brown wins by pinfall.

Review: It’s a confusing match to kick things off. The psychology was pretty good and there was some decent selling from Brown. Denny Brown was a lot quicker and is a better fit for this division. The ending was so weird though, they showed a replay which didn’t clear things up either.

Rating: 3.75/10

Tony Schiavone is in Ric Flair’s dressing room. Ric Flair is pacing back and forth but no word with him yet.

Brian Adidis vs. Mr Ito

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Starrcade PPV Record: Both men wrestle at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: Brian Adidis gets the better of the early stages. Mr Ito hits back with some right hands but Adidis scoops him up, performs an airplane spin and pins Mr Ito for the win.

Result: Brian Adidis wins by pinfall.

Review: This was very short. Brian Adidis gets the win, he was the favourite, I didn’t even know who the other guy was. There really wasn’t much to this match, a few dropkicks and then an airplane spin. Mr Ito hit a couple of karate chops but that was it.

Rating: 2.25/10

Jesse Barr (c) vs. Mike Graham – Florida State Championship match

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Starrcade PPV Record: Both men wrestle at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: There’s some chain wrestling in the early going. Plenty of wristlocks and hammerlocks. Mike Graham looks for a figure four but Jesse Barr rolls out of it. More wrist locks and tests of strength. Lots of headlocks and armbars, this os one for the submissions purists. Mike Graham locks on the figure four but Jesse gets to the bottom rope. Barr then throws Graham into the referee (Earl Hebner) who hits the deck. Pointless ref bump though as he gets up shortly after. Jesse Barr does pin Graham and puts his feet on the ropes for the win.

Result: Jesse Barr retains the Florida State Championship by pinfall.

Review: This wasn’t my kind of match but it wasn’t terrible. Jesse Barr gets the big win and retains his title, albeit by cheating.

Rating: 3.75/10

We’re shown some footage of Black Bart, Ron Bass, JJ Dillon and Tully Blanchard attacking Dick Slater and Ricky Steamboat.

Assassin #1 & Buzz Tyler vs. The Zambuie Express (Elijah Akeem & Kareem Muhammad) – Tag Team Elimination match

Background: Assassin #1 has recently left Paul Jones’s stable, a stable that features The Zambuie Express. Tonight he looks to get revenge against his former manager, teaming with Buzz Tyler.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two teams.

Starrcade PPV Record: The only one of these four to have wrestled at Starrcade before was Assassin #1 who scored a big win last year.

Match: Buzz Tyler and Kareem Muhammad kick off the match and it’s all Tyler a she knocks his big opponent out of the ring. Both men make tags and Assassin #1 continues the advantage for his team. Elijah Akeem is the former Leroy Brown. Muhammad tags in and lays into Buzz Tyler. The crowd seem into this match. It breaks down and all four men get involved again. Assassin #1 hits a splash on Kareem Muhammad with a little help from Buzz Tyler and gets the 3! Muhammad has been eliminated form the match. Oh, it’s then that we realise that Buzz Tyler and Elijah Akeem were actually counted out before. Assassin #1 wins the match!

Result: Assassin #1 wins the match for his team.

Review: This wasn’t a bad match, I just wish it was given more time and it was more clear that Tyler and Akeem were counted out. Assassin #1 gets the win tonight and that’s the right result, he gets revenge on Paul Jones.

Rating: 3.5/10

Tony Schiavone is backstage with Dusty Rhodes who looks like he’s sleeping on a chair. Rhodes is confident tonight.

Black Bart (c) vs. “The Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez – Brass Knuckles Championship match

Previous PPV matches: This is a first PPV match between these two men.

Starrcade PPV Record: Both men make their Starrccade debut tonight.

Match: Anything goes in this match. The Raging Bull starts well but it soon turns into a back and forth contest. It’s not long before both men are busted open. The fight goes to the outside where Fernandez comes off the apron with a big right hand. Manny Fernandez is dominant for much of this match until Black Bart hits a low blow to take control. There’s a nice camera above the ring. Black Bart asks his manager J.J. Dillon for his rope but as Dillon hands it over Manny Fernandez rolls him up for the win!

Result: Manny Fernandez wins the Brass Knuckles Championship by pinfall.

Review: This was another match very of it’s time. We get blood for the first time tonight and I will guess that it won’t be the last time. Manny Fernandez, who is very popular, wins the match and the title that I had never heard of.

Rating: 3.5/10

Apparently we have a seven minute intermission now. It’s an intermission that starts with highlights from Ric Flair beating Harley Race last year and then an interview with Ricky Steamboat. Tony Schiavone then interviews Tully Blanchard and J.J. Dillon.

Jimmy Valiant vs. Paul JonesLoser leaves town tuxedo street fight

Background: This all started with Paul Jones cutting off Jimmy Valiant’s beard. Since then Valiant has vowed revenge and he got this match tonight based on the loser leaving town.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Starrcade PPV Record: Jimmy Valiant has a 1-0 record having defeated The Great Kabuki last year under the mask of Charlie Brown. Paul Jones wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: Paul Jones has The Zambuie Express with him tonight, Jimmy Valiant has Assassin #1 in his corner. Valiant goes right to work on Jones as the bell rings, tying him around the next to the tag rope. Valiant then takes off his own jacket which he’s not supposed to do. Jimmy then rips off Jones’ jacket, shirt and pants! I guess that’s the end of the match? Maybe not. Jones unties himself and attacks Valiant from behind. Jones is busted open. Valiant locks on a sleeper, the referee check on Jones who appears to be out but The Zambuie express are up on the apron which distracts the referee. Assassin #1 fights off Zambuie but J.J. Dillon comes out of nowhere and nails Valiant with something! Jones pins Jimmy and gets the 3!

Result: Paul Jones wins by pinfall.

Review: This was what it was. A bit of fun but by no means a classic. In the end it was Paul Jones that won despite being completely stripped. That means Jimmy Valiant must leave town. Will he come back as Charlie Brown again? Not a great match here but a big win for Paul Jones.

Rating: 3/10

Tony Schiavone interviews Ric Flair who says he will beat Dusty Rhodes tonight. Tony Schiavone seems to agree.

Ron Bass (c) vs. Dick Slater – Mid-Atlantic Championship match

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Starrcade PPV Record: Dick Slater wrestled last year and won. Ron Bass wrestles at Starrcade for the first time tonight.

Match: Dick Slater is unpredictable as he goes after Ron Bass and then J.J. Dillon on the outside. It’s back and forth between Slater and Bass with Ron using some big strikes and Slater looking for submission holds. There’s a strange spot where the referee grabs Slater’s leg to stop him from dropping his foot on Bass and it allows Ron to take control. J.J. Dillon gets involved quite a lot behind the referees back. Dick starts a comeback and ends up throwing the referee out of the way. J.J. Dillon gets involved again but Slater disposes of him. Slater then hits a legdrop on Ron Bass and covers him but the referee disqualifies Slater for putting his hands on him earlier!

Result: Ron Bass retains the Mid-Atlantic Championship by disqualification.

Review: This was the best match of the night so far. I like Dick Slater, he brings a lot of energy to a match. I actually think he’s better as a heel but still, the crowd were behind him. J.J. Dillon’s involvement was good and stacked the deck against Slater. A win for Ron Bass tonight though.

Rating: 4.75/10

American national anthem interlude.

Ole Anderson & Keith Larson vs. Ivan & Nikita Koloff

Background: Don Kernodle use to team with the Russians but when they lost the tag team championships to Dusty Rhodes and Manny Fernandez, The Koloffs turned on Kernodle, attacking and injuring him after the match. Keith Larson, the brother of Kernodle and the man that trained him Ole Anderson vowed to get revenge for Don.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV tag team match between these four men.

Starrcade PPV Record: All four of these men wrestle at Starrcade for the first time tonight.

Match: All four men go right at it as the bell rings. Keith Larson and Ivan Koloff officially start the match with Larson setting a fast pace. Larson and Anderson make quick tags, keeping Ivan away from his nephew. It’s not often we see the babyfaces dictate a match like this. Lots of quick tags between Larson and Anderson. Ivan finally tags in Nikita Koloff who takes control for his team. I like Nikita, he is a big lad. Nikita locks a bearhug on Ole Anderson but Anderson manages to break it. Ole makes the hot tag to Keith Larson who picks up the pace. All hell then breaks loose with all four men. Nikita leaves the ring and takes out Don Kernodle who is out supporting his team. Ivan then pins Larson in the middle of the ring and gets the 3! After the match Don Kernodle attacks The Koloff’s with his crutch.

Result: Ivan & Nikita Koloff win by pinfall.

Review: This was a good tag team match. It’s rare you see the babyface team dictate the match but maybe they needed to get a good run in before losing the match. I like this result to be honest, I like how The Koloff’s are a proper tag team. And I prefer them to the team of Ivan Koloff and Don Kernodle.

Rating: 4.5/10

Tully Blanchard (c) vs. Ricky Steamboat – £10,000 challenge for the Television Championship

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Starrcade PPV Record: Ricky Steamboat wrestled at last years event in a winning effort, Tully Blanchard wrestles at Starrcade for the first time tonight.

Match: Tully Blanchard looks to get an early advantage but it’s all Steamboat. Ricky sells his ribs injury and Tully goes right for them. Steamboat continues to set the pace but Blanchard keeps taking shots at the ribs. It’s a cagey match of cat and mouse as neither man wants to commit. Steamboat finally catches him and picks up the pace with a big powerslam and chops for near falls. Blanchard is busted open now. Steamboat hits a neckbreaker, suplex and dropkick for a near fall. Tully loads his hand with brass knucks and punches Steamboat in the face with it! Tully can’t keep Ricky down though. Steamboat hits a cross body for a near fall. Steamboat attempts a sunset flip but Blanchard again hits him with the brass knucks before pinning Steamboat for the three.

Result: Tully Blanchard retains the Television Championship by pinfall.

Review: This was a really good match. Ricky Steamboat is just so damn good. Tully Blanchard is no slouch either. The psychology was really good too. Tully wins a great match and retains his championship. Plenty of shady tactics from Tully here. I will guess that this rivalry isn’t over yet.

Rating: 7.5/10

“Chief” Wahoo McDaniel (c) vs. “Superstar” Billy Graham – United States Championship match

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Starrcade PPV Record: Wahoo McDaniel lost in tag team action at the last Starrcade, Billy Graham wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: Wahoo McDaniel takes an early lead against Billy Graham. Billy Graham takes control with a full nelson and some high impact moves. McDaniel hits a tomahawk chops and pins Graham for the three!

Result: Wahoo McDaniel retains the United States Championship by pinfall.

Review: This was over quick. There isn’t too much I can say but considering how much they’ve been building up Billy Graham on commentary, I’m surprised he lost so quickly. Wahoo McDaniel retains the title cleanly and that’s all she wrote.

Rating: 2/10

Tony Schiavone is backstage with the three judges for tonights match.

Ric Flair (c) vs. Dusty Rhodes – World’s Heavyweight Championship $1m dollar challenge match

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men tonight.

Starrcade PPV Record: Ric Flair won the title in the main event of Starrcade last year whilst Dusty Rhodes wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.

Match: “Smoking” Joe Frazer is the referee assigned to this match. Dusty Rhodes takes the advantage in the early going to a mixed reaction. Flair starts a comeback but Dusty avoids a kneedrop and then locks on a figure four! Ric gets to the bottom rope to break the hold. We get some classic Ric Flair selling as he hits the deck following a chop. Joe Frazer gets in the way a bit as Dusty hits a suplex from the outside in. Flair goes to the top but Rhodes throws him off. Outside the ring Flair shoves Dusty into the ringpost which busts him open. Dusty gets back into the ring and Joe Frazer calls for the bell! Ric Flair wins the match! What a terrible way to finish the evening. This one felt like it didn’t really get going.

Result: Ric Flair retains the World’s Heavyweight Championship by referee stoppage.

Review: This was a really disappointing way to end the show. It felt like the match was just getting going and they pulled the plug. Ric Flair retains the title but this rivalry feels far from over.

Rating: 4/10

After the main event there are interviews with Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes. Neither men are happy with how it ended tonight. Joe Frazer explains that the match had to end because of the cut above Dusty Rhodes eye.

And that was Starrcade 84. I have to say, it wasn’t as good as Starrcade 83. Maybe it was due to WWF taking a handful of big name wrestlers from NWA before this show, the likes of Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda who were due to wrestle on this show. I couldn’t bring myself to care for the opener, I had no reason to invest in either of these guys and the botched finish ruined the match. Nobody seemed to know who had won, even after the replay. Brian Adidis was always winning the second match, I had no idea who Mr Ito is. Jesse Barr is a charismatic guy but he couldn’t save this match for another title I didn’t care for. The tag team match won by Assassin #1 had a lot of potential on paper but again there was confusion as to who was eliminated and that took a lot of wind out of the match. Assassin #1 won the match which made sense though.

Manny Fernandez beat Black Bart for the brass knuckles championship. Seriously, what is this championship and did they just make it up for this show? Paul Jones beat Jimmy Valiant in a loser leaves town tuxedo match. They should have explained the rules for this match better as I thought the first person to strip the other of their tuxedo would be the winner but that wasn’t the case. It’s a shame to see Jimmy Valiant go, he’s been a big part of Mid-Atlantic over the past three or so years. Maybe he’ll be back as Charlie Brown again. Ron Bass beat Dick Slater in the best match up to this point. Slater getting DQ’d make sense as he is a very heelish babyface. I can see this rivalry continuing. The Russians then beat Ole Anderson and Keith Larson in an ok match. I like the Russians winning and this rivalry with escalate when Don Kernodle returns.

Tully Blanchard beat Ricky Steamboat to retain the Television Championship in a great match. This was definitely the match of the night and it was between two very talented wrestlers. I’d love to see more from these two. Steamboat is so good and Blanchard can go too. It was a dirty win for Tully and a win I wasn’t necessarily expecting. Wahoo McDaniel beat Billy Graham in a disappointing match. They have been hyping Graham up for weeks just to have him beat in four minutes. Both men past their best. And speaking of disappointing, Ric Flair beat Dusty Rhodes in the main event after referee stoppage. This could have been an all time classic but because of how it ended it left a real bad taste in my mouth. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Flair turn heel and this rivalry continue.

Overall Rating: 38.6/100 (ranked 2nd out of 2 WCW PPV’s)

Match Of The Night: Tully Blanchard vs. Ricky Steamboat
Worst Match Of The Night: Wahoo McDaniel vs. Billy Graham
Surprise Of The Night: Paul Jones beats Jimmy Valiant
Worst Booking Of The Night: The finish to the main event
Superstar Of The Night: Ric Flair
Starrcade 84 Will Be Remembered For: Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes and the poor finish

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