SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE STARRCADE 2019 REPORT
DECEMBER 1, 2019
STREAMED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY CHAD KOENIG, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Tom Phillips & Byron Saxton
-Kevin Owens brings out Ric Flair. Chants of “We can’t hear you” started because Flair’s mic wasn’t on. Owens gave him his mic. First, Flair was telling the crowd something about being scripted and given bullet points but it didn’t really make sense or go anywhere to me. He then said that wrestlers are “a family like no other.” He proceeded to thank Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes and Sting for their matches with him at Starrcade over the years. Owens asked Flair to do a “Woooo” with the crowd. Flair set himself up for a “Wooo” after his “limousine ridin’…” speech, but Gallows and Anderson interrupted. They said that instead of listening to Ric Flair talk about the past, that they wanted to talk about themselves as the now, and asked the people in the WWE truck to show a highlight reel of themselves. Owens asked to instead show a highlight reel of themselves recently, and brought up AJ losing the United States Championship to Rey Mysterio, amongst other things to upset the O.C. The Street Profits came out and went face to face with The O.C., and said that they should “cook up some highlights tonight in Atlanta.” A match was started.
(1) STREET PROFITS vs. The O.C. (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
WINNER: Street Profits via pinfall in 8:47
-The Street Profits celebrated with Flair in the ring afterwards.
(Koenig’s Analysis: A fine match that we’ve seen before It’s what you would expect it to be. Brawling by the O.C. and terrific athleticism from the Street Profits.)
-Bayley and Sasha backstage. They mocked the town and said that they wanted to hurry up and win the championship tonight so they could leave.
(2) KABUKI WARRIORS (Asuka & Kairi Sane) vs. BECKY LYNCH & CHARLOTTE vs. ALEXA BLISS & NIKKI CROSS vs. SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY – Fatal Four Way for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships)
WINNER: Kabuki Warriors at 13:21 by pinfall (Cross tapped out to Asuka)
(Koenig’s Analysis: This was the low point of the show. No storylines in this match. This was just another way to shove as many women in one match as possible. Asuka did steal the match by her mannerisms alone. I loved her screaming in Japanese at her opponents. Also, when she tagged herself in, she got in the face of the person she tagged in and pointed and screamed for her to get out. She’s a tremendous heel.
– WWE TLC commercial
– WWE 24 Trish Stratus commercial debuting after Starrcade
– Lana grabs the mic and states how thankful she is for her boyfriend Lashley. He said Rusev will never appreciate her like he does. Heavy “Rusev Day” chants started. Lana says that there will be no match tonight because of her restraining order against him. Lashley asks for victory via forfeit, and as they celebrate, KO comes out and says mentions that nobody cares about their relationship and was challenged by Lashley so he accepted.
(3) BOBBY LASHLEY vs. KEVIN OWENS
WINNER: Lashley at 9:29 via DQ due to Rusev running in and attacking.
-After the match, Lashley and Rusev had a walking brawl into the crowd and back into the ring. Lashley pulled out a kendo stick from under the ring. Rusev powered it out of his hands and laid into Lashley’s back before breaking the stick on his legs. Rusev proceeded to beat Lashley down with a chair. “Rusev Day” chants followed as the show ended with Rusev, who has got to be a #2/ #3 babyface on Raw now, getting a massive response from the crowd.
(Koenig’s Analysis: Although this was not the advertised match, it ended up being a solid match between a couple of brawlers. But the lack of storyline doesn’t make up for what was advertised..)
FINAL THOUGHTS: First, let me state that I have hated the Starrcade “revival” since it was brought back a couple of years ago. As an old school guy, I find it disrespectful to Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, Ric Flair, and all of the greats that have made Starrcade a premier wrestling show in the history of the sport that we love. This was a house show that they slap the name on to provide more content on the WWE Network, and assumably sell specialized merchandise at the show. I’m all about them adding an occasional house show to the network. In fact I applaud it. But it’s not right to call this “Starrcade.” Apart from the show closer, these matches were sub-par and went in with little or no storyline to submerse yourself in. Also, with the women’s match… I could have sworn that Survivor Series was the only time that wrestlers from different brands faced each other.
As for the “main event” of Lashley vs. Rusev, this was yet another situation where WWE advertised something that they didn’t follow through with. I will give this one a slight pass being Rusev did show up at the end, and they did brawl, but they didn’t have the match. And although the match between Lashley and Owens was a good one and fun to watch, it was a consolation match for something that we had an actual investment in, especially coming off of the sole hot angle from this disastrous storyline that appeared on Raw last week. This show is completely skippable and the Rusev-Lashley angle will be highlighted on Raw tomorrow for sure.