Thoughts On The Underwhelming Atrocity That Was Starrcade 2017
This past weekend, WWE ran a meaningless house show in a market that hasn’t been relevant in thirty years, and in an attempt to bolster tepid ticket sales in the onetime NWA stronghold of Greensboro, decided to try and lure nostalgic (and by this time, likely senile) wrestling fans of years gone by in by branding the show Starrcade. While it did lead to a boost in ticket sales, “Starrcade” (if we’ll insist on calling it that) reeked of a desperate attempt at a one-time pop in interest the likes of which haven’t been seen since Bill Goldberg’s title win over Hulk Hogan in 1998. Unfortunately, much like the Georgia Dome has, this idea imploded pretty quickly for a number of reasons.
For one, it wasn’t televised or even streamed on the WWE Network. We’re talking about a company that will run anything from Corey Graves talking about tattoos to wrestlers FUCKING DRIVING FROM TOWN TO TOWN (and they even manage to fit some wrestling in there as well), so the fact that this supposedly important event wasn’t even considered to be worth airing says a lot.
Also, how can you have a Starrcade without even a single NWA title being defended? And if you’re going to try and tell me the WWE United States Title is the same title Barry Windham held, then I’ll tell you Dale Gagne’s AWA was the real deal. I mean, with all the hype Billy Corgan has been putting behind Tim Storm, you’d think he could get the weekend off from his day job as a pastry chef to be here for this. Then again, maybe it was better that WWE didn’t put a geriatric in the ring, that hasn’t gone well for them in the past.
I appreciate the video packages looking back at the old stuff, but the glaring issue I had with it is that I’m pretty sure that when the NWA ran Greensboro back in the day, they didn’t even have electricity and indoor plumbing, much less a video screen. It made it difficult to suspend my disbelief.
Another dead giveaway that this was a WWE event and not a REAL Starrcade is the fact that it was entirely built around old guys who came in, hogged the spotlight, and held all the young up and comers down. Sure, Dolph Ziggler’s a great wrestler…until Arn Anderson comes for his ass! Dash Wilder was half of one of the greatest tag teams in NXT, but pales in the face of the might of “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes! We’ve got four teams fighting over the tag team title, but we know the REAL stars of the show are the Rock N Roll Express! Come on, is this supposed to be Starrcade, or Wrestlemania with all these nostalgia acts?
Well, the good news was that they at least turned down the lights during the matches, which covered for the fact that half the crowd left before the main event since they can’t drive in the dark anymore. They didn’t even do a Dusty Finish in the main event. Calling this trainwreck Starrcade would be like if WWE put Bart Gunn and Bob Holly together as a tag team and called them the Midnight Express: a blatant misdirection aimed at a segment of the fanbase who is probably just too old and confused to know any better (and probably weren’t that smart to begin with).