Part 12: WCW/nWo Starrcade 1998
Well, it's finally time. After a year that's seen plenty of changes and a lot of new faces making names for themselves, WCW has finally reached their biggest show of the year. Titles are on the line, scores are going to be settled, rivalries will get more intense, and new superstars will continue to make their presence felt as 1999 swiftly approaches.
One thing I found out right away when doing my EWR/WCW scenario is that I always wanted to plan out Starrcade first, and figure out everything else from there. To go a little behind the curtain, I've actually already got my Starrcade cards for 1999 and 2000 planned out already! While I do have the PPV cards for the rest of those years mostly figured out as well, Starrcade has always been the first show I set in stone, in terms of the lineup.
When it comes to my version of Starrcade 1998, it's obviously very different from Starrcade 1998 in OTL. I'm pretty sure that you would all agree that my card is a lot better. Of course, a lot of the feuds and stories I've been doing have been building throughout 1998, but they've all been buildings towards this big show....the biggest show of WCW's calendar year.
DDP's victory in the main event of Blood, Sweat, & Tears set in stone his title match with Goldberg at Starrcade, and since both are babyfaces, their hasn't been much fighting between the two on TV. They've been helping each other against the forces of nWo Hollywood, and they even managed to hold the NWA World Tag Team Titles together for a brief period, as they defeated Vicious & Delicious to win the titles on the December 7th edition of Nitro. However, that title reign was short lived, as they lost them one week later to Harlem Heat in a three-way that also involved Vicious & Delicious (who they pinned). That quick title loss build a little bit of tension between DDP and Goldberg as they headed towards their main event clash.
Speaking of titles, the only title that changed hands since the last PPV was the newly-created WCW Hardcore Title. As I mentioned in the previous post, Tommy Dreamer won a battle royal the night after Blood, Sweat, & Tears to become the first champion. Dreamer lost it to La Parka on the December 3rd edition of Thunder, and La Parka lost it a week later (on the December 10th edition of Thunder) to Perry Saturn, who still holds the title going into this PPV.
I'll explain the card a little bit more after the percentage breakdown, but first, here's the lineup for the PPV:
- Non-Title - The Great Muta def. WCW Cruiserweight Champion Kidman
- WCW World Tag Team Titles - Triangle Ladder Match - RVD & Sabu def. The Four Horsemen (Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko) & nWo Wolfpac (Konnan & Rey Mysterio Jr.) (c)
- Booker T last eliminated Scott Steiner to win the Starrcade Battle Royal
- WCW World TV Title - Chris Jericho (c) def. Jushin "Thunder" Liger
- WCW United States Title - Falls Count Anywhere - Mike Awesome def. Randy Savage (c)
- Submission Match - Sting def. Bret Hart
- NWA World Heavyweight Title - Steel Cage Match - Ric Flair def. Eddie Guerrero (c)
- #1 Contender's Triple Threat Match - Kevin Nash def. Hollywood Hogan & Scott Hall
- WCW World Heavyweight Title - Bill Goldberg (c) def. DDP
For Starrcade 1998 (which took place on December 27, 1998, just like in OTL), I got an overall score of 84%, which tied my highest score to date, which was set by Blood, Sweat, & Tears. So that's two strong PPVs in a row for WCW to close out 1998. In deciding between the two shows, I would give the slight nod to Starrcade 1998, since this show had more matches with a higher rating. While Blood, Sweat, & Tears had one match at 92% and two matches at 90%, this show had two matches at 92% and one match at 90%. Both Eddie Guerrero vs. Ric Flair in a Steel Cage for the NWA World Heavyweight Title and the Triangle Ladder Match for the WCW World Tag Team Titles got a 92% score, while Chris Jericho retaining the WCW World TV Title over Jushin "Thunder" Liger got a 90% score. Outside of those top three, four matches scored in the 80% range, with the Kidman/Great Muta match getting 87%, Mike Awesome/Randy Savage in a Falls Count Anywhere Match for the WCW United States Title and Bret Hart vs. Sting in a Submission Match both getting 85%, and #1 Contender's Triple Threat Match getting 83%. Bill Goldberg vs. DDP for the WCW World Heavyweight Title only got a 77%, which was a little disappointing, considering the slot and the decent chemistry these two seemed to have in real life. Finally, the Starrcade Battle Royal (predictably) got the lowest score with a 72%.
Out of all the PPV cards I put together, I think this is the one that I'm probably the most proud of. I just felt like everything came together well, and while I was slightly disappointed with one particular score (which I mentioned already), pretty much everything turned out exactly how I thought it would. I already mentioned how DDP vs. Goldberg came together, so I'll go through some of the other matches.
The semi-main event was a match that I knew I wanted to book from the very beginning. The nWo explodes!! Even though the match probably wouldn't have been that good IRL, I really believe WCW missed the boat by never doing this match. It probably could've drawn a ton of money for them. Anyway, the winner would get a shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Title at Souled Out 1999, and I gave the nod to Kevin Nash. While he would focus on that, Hollywood Hogan and Scott Hall would feud with each other (and with their respective factions) going into 1999.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Ric Flair doesn't need much explanation. After losing a Texas Death Match to Eddie Guerrero at Blood, Sweat, & Tears, Ric Flair was given one more shot at the title, in a Steel Cage, with the stipulation that he couldn't challenge again if he lost. Obviously Ric Flair winning the NWA World Title again, in a Steel Cage, at Starrcade, would be a massive moment, and (as shown on previous shows) Eddie Guerrero is a great opponent for Flair.
Bret Hart vs. Sting in a Submission Match was the culmination of their long rivalry, and Sting would emerge victorious. However, that doesn't mean there weren't big things planned for Bret Hart going into 1999 (more on that in later posts).
After their No Contest at Blood, Sweat, & Tears, Mike Awesome and Randy Savage met once again for the WCW United States Title, but this time in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. This is a feud very much designed to elevate Mike Awesome to a higher position in WCW. He would capture the title here, and (spoiler alert) he would get a few more wins over Randy Savage in 1999.
The PPV opener was the first time I tried to do a big, multi-team Ladder Match. That was something I was thinking of doing for awhile, and I figured the three teams I went with were the best picks for that kind of match. Obviously Benoit and Malenko (more so Malenko than Benoit) weren't known as spectacular high-flyers, but I figured they'd be good bases (along with Konnan) for Mysterio, RVD, and Sabu. The Four Horsemen and nWo Wolfpac both held the titles in the lead up to this PPV, so I thought it was time for the titles to go back to the team that I signed away from ECW at the very beginning of my scenario.
Jericho vs. Liger and Muta vs. Kidman were just two matches that I put together because I thought they'd be really good matches. As for the Battle Royal, I think my plan is to make the Starrcade Battle Royal a tradition, to feature a lot of the mid-card guys who weren't featured in other matches on the card. Other participants in this particular battle royal (outside of the final two of Booker T and Scott Steiner) included Buff Bagwell, Curt Hennig, Davey Boy Smith, Fit Finlay, Jerry Lynn, Juventud Guerrera, La Parka, Lex Luger, Perry Saturn, Psychosis, Rick Steiner, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Scott Norton, Steve Corino, Steven Regal, Stevie Ray, The Giant, and Tommy Dreamer.
That's it for my Starrcade 1998 breakdown!! I don't think my next post will be Souled Out 1999 just yet. Instead, I think I'm going to do another breakdown post, where I go into PPV buys, attendances, ratings, and other things. Not quite sure yet, but we'll see what I end up doing.