Ringside Apostles Present… FLASHBACK FRIDAY [Episode 8]: Ho, Ho, Hogan!!

“Pastor” Shawn Puff

Yo, yo, yo! It’s your boy Shawn Puff and this is Flashback Friday! Last week was my birthday so I couldn’t go back in time for fear of breaking the time/space continuum. But this week we’re back at it and firing up the Wayback Machine and traveling to 1994. Two days after Christmas. I was a Senior in high school and just becoming cool. Yeah, I know. Hard to believe I wasn’t always cool. Go figure.

Anyway, we’re heading to Nashville, Tennessee so put on your cowboy boots and five-gallon hat, and let’s get this Flashback going.

Yes. It’s a WCW PPV. From my experience, they tend to do a good job. Schiavone, Heenan & Mean Gene are in the broadcast position. Santa Claus is in the crowd as it’s two days after Christmas. Aaron Tippin sang the national anthem… whoever the hell he is. This is Nashville. This is WCW. This is Starrcade ’94… Wait, why is the Nashville Country Music Star wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey in Nashville?

We see Hulk Hogan receiving the 1994 Wrestler of the Year Award from Pro Wrestling Illustrated before we get this thing going. Hogan talks about how he was making Thunder In Paradise and he had no intention of returning to the ring. However, fans and the “people who voted for him” convinced him that he needed to get back in the ring and that Hulkamania wasn’t finished.

United States ChampionshipVader w/ Harley Race vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (C) – Vader attacked Duggan as he walked to the ring. Dugs wasn’t backing down so this thing opened up with the two of them battling on the floor. And Starrcade is underway. Hacksaw looked good as US Champ. Seriously. This is like USWF Duggan. He took out Harley Race as well. Wow. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen Duggan operate off the ropes, too.

Harley Race helped Vader get control of the match and it started to look really bad for Ole’ Hacksaw. Vader missed a Vadersault and that turned the tables in favor of Duggan, who would hit his three-point stance clothesline, but Vader was close enough to the ropes that Race was able to rake Duggan’s eyes to break the pin. The Champ hit a powerslam but Race had the ref distracted. Hacksaw went after the ref and that allowed Vader to take advantage. Race grabbed the 2×4 and Vader sent Duggan, face first, into it. Vader dropped Duggan on his face and got the pinfall to become the new United States Champion – 3/5

Not a bad match to kickoff the show. Duggan and Vader both looked good and got the crowd hot. Way to start the night off WCW.

The Three Faces of Fear are in the back with Mean Gene. It’s Earthqua… err, Avalanche, the Barb… I mean, the Butcher, and Kevin Sullivan. Apparently, they have a deal with someone. I’m pretty sure it’s Macho Man because of the vernacular the Task Master used. Also, am I the only one that noticed that Avalanche’s trunks make it look like he has a vagina? Beefcake had a tombstone made for Hogan. For his birthday. … Does Beefcake really think he has a chance against Hogan? … Who the hell gave this guy a title shot in the first place? At Starrcade no less??  HOGAN!!! WTF?!?!

Jean Paul Levesque vs. Alex Wright – This Jean-Paul Levesque guy looks very familiar. He’s from France? Hmmm… That nose. Das Vunderkin never really got the push he deserved outside of WCW. Wright was only 18 years old. This started out as a technical masterpiece of sorts until Jean-Paul took the boots to Wright and started in on him. Triple H… I mean, Jean-Paul Levesque looked vicious here. I love that they played out that Levesque wasn’t American. These two are returning from a tour of Germany in December. Way to get them some exposure.

Levesque went for a dive off the top rope and nobody was there. How many times are we going to see that same spot tonight? The fans weren’t really into this since they weren’t really familiar with either competitor. That’s a shame. This is pretty damn good. Wright leaps over Levesque and hits a rollup out of the corner as Levesque runs into the turnbuckle and steals a three-count to get a victory at Starrcade. Yeah. Alex Wright owns a pinfall victory over Triple H at Starrcade. – 3/5

Would have been better but the horrid fans killed this one by not giving two flying fucks what was happening in the ring.

Television Championship: Arn Anderson w/ Col. Robert Parker & Meng vs. Johnny B. Badd (C) – Honky Tonk Man was supposed to be Badd’s opponent tonight. His music even started. Guess I gotta call the wrestling hotline to see what’s going on. 1-900-909-9900 I think. OK. I spoke to my sources. Eric Bischoff fired Honky Tonk days prior to Starrcade because he refused to put over Badd. Makes sense that the announcers wouldn’t say that.

Badd looked very good here thanks to Double A. I feel like Johnny made out with this last-minute adjustment, to be honest. Matches like this are kind of predictable. I mean… you’re not going to have the last-minute replacement win the match. And Johnny B. Badd wins with a rollup. Big surprise right? – 2.5/5

Might have gotten another point if the ending wasn’t so predictable. They should have done something on WCW Saturday Night or Thunder or something to create a storyline that made it believable that Anderson had a chance.

The Nasty Boys received Tag Team of the Year from Pro Wrestling Illustrated so we get a video of the Boys accepting the award. Oh joy. Why, you ask? I’m still not sure. Oh yeah. Knobbs is Hogan’s boy. Damn you Hogan. Literally nobody wants to be “Nastisized”. Just sayin.

The Nasty Boys vs. Harlem Heat w/ Sister Sherri – What is this horrible Nasty Boys entrance music?? Who wrote this shit? These two brawled back and forth, back and forth. Nobody expected a technical showcase from these four men, I guess. The fans didn’t really get into this outside of a few spots here and there. This isn’t the Sturgis crowd, so the Heat isn’t getting that wild heel heat here. I almost prefer the racist heat over the dead crowd here. The fans got behind the Nasty Boys to an extent at one point.

I feel like the fans don’t even know who to root for.

Oh sweet, Sherri sprayed Stevie Ray with hair spray or something. The Nasty Boys went for the win and Sherri jumped off the top rope to break up the pin. Saggs moved and she landed on Booker T and the ref disqualified the Harlem Heat. Huh? Why? Hogan booking fuck finishes so his boys get the win. Stupid. Now the Nasty Boys grab Sherri and give her a Pit Stop. I think that’s what the move is called. … Hey, look! It’s a replay that shows that Sherri actually missed Stevie Ray and tried to spray more at him because of it. Botch City bitch. Way to ruin it guys in the production truck. You had one job. – 2/5

Nobody seemed to care and I can’t say that I blame them. I just know that theme music made my ears bleed. And this WASN’T for the Tag Team Championship despite the attached video saying it was.

Why do we have to keep going to these stupid PWI Awards? Nobody cares. Great. STING is Most Popular Wrestler of the Year. Whoodee-doo, Bazel. Who tf cares? They could have at least used a better camera at this horrible award ceremony. Wait… was it just WCW wrestlers at this thing or did Vince send WWE wrestlers too? I mean, I wouldn’t expect that WCW won ALL the awards or did Vince boycott because Hogan got the cover? I mean, it’s the PWI Awards. SOMEONE has to care about them. Things that make you go hmmmmmm…

Kevin Sullivan vs. Mr. T. – OK let’s start with the fact that T is wearing what looks like a referee’s shirt and a referee’s sleeping cap?? WTF?? Who dressed him?? Seriously, Mr. T is wearing referee pajamas right now. Santa Clause is walking down the aisle handing t-shirts out to the fans. Heenan points out that Santa walks like someone we know. Way to give away that he’s getting involved in some form. Is that supposed to be foreshadowing? Sullivan is stripping T outside of the ring. Another thing I don’t really understand. I guess Santa is Dave Sullivan and he’s coming down to the ring.

Jimmy Hart runs out with the megaphone and distracts the ref while Dave nails Kevin in the back and knocks him out. T gets the pin after cheating?? So, the faces cheated to win? What was the point of this match? Kevin Sullivan attacks his brother after the match and I’m sure a bunch of kids are wondering why Kevin Sullivan is beating up Santa Clause. What the hell did I just watch and why did I have to watch it? FFS. – DUD/5

Who booked this shit? Seriously.

For the third time, we’ve got Mean Gene in the back with Hogan and Jimmy Hart. Billionaire Ted must be thinking we need more Hogan than digestible to get ratings. We get it, but it’s a PPV so they already paid to see this. Nobody is just going to randomly flip to the channel and see Hulk Hogan. Get off his dick already. Okay. You signed Hulk Hogan. He’s your World Champ. We get it already. Now stop it.

STING vs Avalanche – Everyone loves STING. I can’t say the same about Avalanche. I love how WCW didn’t repackage anyone. They just changed their name slightly, so they couldn’t get sued. Lazy writing from bad creative. Anyway, Avalanche pretty much controlled this entire match. The first five minutes were a complete bore-fest. Avalanche isn’t the most charismatic or entertaining of superstars. Just sayin.

Of course, Avalanche poses when he should go for the pin and it allows STING to get his bearings. STING goes on the offense but accidentally squashes the ref behind Avalanche with a Stinger Splash. And here comes Kevin Sullivan with the ref down and out. Avalanche drop on STING’s chest and here comes the Hulkster to clear the ring, steal the spotlight and pose. How do we always get a second referee way too late? STING wins by DQ. Bleh. – 2/5

This wasn’t even really a match. It was all Avalanche and then one round of moves from STING and it falls apart. Seems like it was just a chance to get Hogan MORE camera time.

And we’re back with Bill Apter at Stouffer Hotels to see Jimmy Hart receive PWI Manager of the Year. Alright. If I have to see one more fricking PWI Awards segment tonight, I swear to God… Is this WCW’s answer to the Slammy Awards? It’s horrible. This has just been a Hulk Hogan kiss ass ceremony all night. Fuck, this is annoying. This show could have ended a half-hour early without all these unneeded segments. Somebody needs to tell Billionaire Ted to stop stroking his own ego because nobody cares.

WCW Championship: The Butcher w/ Kevin Sullivan vs Hulk Hogan (c) w/ Jimmy Hart – Before the match starts we get the story leading up to this match. In short, Brother Bruti played Hogan for weeks as the mysterious masked man and kept attacking him before forming the Three Faces of Fear with Kevin Sullivan & Avalanche. The trio took on Hogan, Dave Sullivan, and STING at Clash of the Champions.

After that match, the Butcher put Hogan in a sleeper hold and wouldn’t let go. And now we’re at Starrcade and Beefcake is in the main event. WTF? Who thought this was a good idea? I’m looking at you Hulkster. So, this is just a fight. It’s not even a wrestling match. Have they even used a single wrestling move? Schiavone says we’ve never seen Hogan like this, but I beg to differ. Clearly Tony hasn’t watched the Desert Storm match in MSG or any other Hogan matches that we’ve gone back in time for.

Hogan’s a heel the same way Daniel LaRusso was in Karate Kid. Eventually, the Butcher locked in the sleeper and Hogan got his arm up at 2. Beefcake didn’t realize it and Hogan Hulked up, because that’s what Hogan does. The Faces of Fear ran down to the ring. If that’s what you want to call what Avalanche was doing. Somehow, in this entire mess, Hogan was able to pin the Butcher cleanly. Randy Savage came out and looked like he was going to help Hogan. Savage stopped and shook the hands of the Faces of Fear before turning on them and helping the Hulkster clear the ring.

Hogan and Savage shake hands and the Mega-Powers are back together again. Hogan and Macho celebrate by posing in the ring because Hogan still must pose. Even in WCW. Am I the only one with Bobby Heenan, hoping Savage would just waffle Hogan and leave him laying? Oh well. Maybe next time. After the match, we go to the back with Mean Gene who gets another Hogan interview with his entire entourage. And here comes Vader to challenge Hogan and a scuffle breaks out between the two of them to set up Hogan’s next feud. – 1.5/5

Hogan matches are never really that great. Add to it that Brutus was on the other side of the ring in this one. This thing probably should have gotten a worse rating than it did, but I’m in a good mood right now. 

Overall = 2/5 Bibles.

Well, another Flashback Friday in the books and a lesson learned. WCW in the Hogan era wasn’t as great as I remember it. I mean, is he booking the entire show? Why do I need Hogan in every segment? Did he really think Beefcake in the main event of Starrcade was a sound idea? Who thought anyone cared about the PWI awards enough to have multiple segments and speeches on this PPV? They should have put that on WCW Saturday Night or something. The best match on the show was Triple H was Das Vondurkin. Seriously. Starrcade is supposed to be the show of shows for WCW. This was definitely not that. This was … this was bad creative at it’s finest.

-Shawn Puff

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