Starrcade is a recurring professional wrestling event, originally broadcast via closed-circuit television and eventually broadcast via pay-per-view television, held from 1983 to 2000 by the National Wrestling Alliance and later World Championship Wrestling. WWE would revive the Starrcade name with a SmackDown live event last year. This year WWE held a co-branded Starrcade event and aired a one hour special for WWE Network subscribers. Here is a recap of what was shown on the WWE Network special.
The show begins with Elias in the middle of the rings as Tom Phillips introduces us to Starrcade on commentary. It doesn’t get any better than Elias…according to Elias. The reason for Elias being out there is to introduce a Starrcade staple, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Elias and Flair are apparently going to sing us a song off Elias’ album but they are interrupted by Nia Jax and her entourage. Elias is actually not upset about being interrupted and goes on with his performance. Nia Jax takes the opportunity to give the crowd a little vocal solo. It sounded like a mangy cat being strangled to death. Elias says Nia should have gone with her original plan and kept her mouth shut. Since Elias and Ric can’t do that for Nia, they called some backup.
Nia Jax, Tamina Snuka, Alicia Fox, and Mickie James vs. Sasha Banks, Bayley, Dana Brooke, and Ember Moon: There is some nifty chain wrestling from James and Moon to start off the match. Dana Brooke got a little shine, showing improvement and a nice handspring into a splash. Tamina continues to be the powerhouse but Bayley was too quick for her. Tamina does the smart thing and tags in Nia Jax who comes into the ring to a shower of boos. Not a lot of offense from Jax before she tags in Fox. Bayley is kept grounded thanks to a chin lock until Jax is tagged back in. An accidental collision between Jax and Snuka allows Bayley to get the tag to Sasha. Banks cleans house until she is stopped by Tamina. From there it’s a back and forth high flying attacks. Alicia Fox tried catching Sasha off guard with a roll-up pin but Sasha reverses the pin into the Banks Statement for the submission victory. Decent match with good pacing.
MizTV with Rey Mysterio and Shinsuke Nakamura
Mis begins the segment talking about the history and tradition of Starrcade before introducing his guests Rey Mysterio and Shinsuke Nakamura. Fun fact from Tom Phillips, Rey Mysterio is the only active member of the WWE roster to have competed on the final Starrcade event for WCW. The Miz wants to know why Rey Mysterio is here and not at home healing from injuries at the hands of Randy Orton. For Mysterio, it was important for him to be here in honor of past WCW Legends he called heroes. Shinsuke doesn’t care about Starrcade or Rey Mysterio. The Miz tried blaming Mysterio for SmackDown’s loss at Survivor Series. Rey fires back using a Spanish remixed version of The Miz’s “mouth shut” catchphrase. An angry Miz allows for Shinsuke to attack Rey from behind. The referee makes his way to the ring and we have a match.
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Rey Mysterio for the United States Championship: The bell rings and Nakamura has the advantage. Nakamura attempts to end things quickly with a Kinsasha but Rey turns it into a pin attempt for two. The action spills outside where it looks like Miz is giving Nakamura pointers. Rey comes off the apron looking to hit Nakamura with a seated senton but connects with The Miz instead. Nakamura rolls Rey back into the ring. Rey finds an opening on the apron and hits Shinsuke with a springboard seated senton. Shinsuke tries to halt the attack but gets caught in position for the 619. Before Mysterio can execute the maneuver The Miz pulls Rey out of the ring in full view of the official who calls for a disqualification.
The Miz and Shinsuke begin to attack Mysterio when Rusev comes charging to the ring to make the save. Lana thinks this match should be a Tag Team match and it is restarted.
Rey Mysterio and Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and The Miz: The bad guys tried to bail on the match but are stopped by Rusev and Mysterio. It almost looks like this will be a quick affair with Rusev and Mysterio working well together as a team until they are cut off by Shinsuke. The Miz and Nakamura continue to work over Mysterio not allowing him to get the tag to Rusev. Mysterio hits an enziguiri and is finally able to get the tag to Rusev who comes in on fire. Rusev goes to put the Accolade on The Miz but Shinsuke distracts him from the apron. The Miz sneaks up behind and hits the Skull Crushing Finale but the pin is broken up by Mysterio. Nakamura once again tries to be a distraction from the apron but Mysterio hits The Miz with head scissors sending him into the gut of Shinsuke. The Miz and Nakamura are in prime position for Rey to successfully hit the 619. Rusev nails The Miz with a Machka Kick off the rebound and this one is over.
Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles in a Steel Cage Match: Man is it weird seeing AJ Styles without the WWE Championship. The beginning of the match is a battle to see who can use the cage to inflict damage to their opponent. The attack strategy of Styles is to be slow and methodical. Styles attempts to suplex Joe who stands firm and drops Styles with a face plant. For here Joe uses the cage for offensive advantage. Styles tries to fight back but Joe halts the comeback. Joe really beating down AJ using the cage until he tried to pin Styles to the cage with a cross body. Styles ducks finding the opening he needs to take over on offense. AJ attempted a Phenomenal Forearm from the corner but Joe turns it into a belly to belly suplex. Both men battle to escape the cage but neither can. Joe is back on offense after reversing the Styles Clash. Joe tries for a Muscle Buster. AJ fights out and hits Joe with a chop block. Ah goes for a running attack and gets planted with a Uranage. After a few seconds, Joe looks to put things away but Styles traps Joe in a Calf Crusher. Remember, in a Steel Cage match submissions cannot be broken up by getting to the ropes. Samoa Joe has no choice but to tap out in defeat.
For an hour long deal on the Network, this wasn’t a bad watch. It was basically something new to watch in case your brain isn’t tired of all the available content.