Each and every Thursday I will look back at a different pay-per-view event from the past via the WWE Network. Want to see a certain event covered? Send your suggestions to @VaughnMJohnson on Twitter.
Last time, I covered the WWE No Mercy 1999
WCW Starrcade 2000
Date: Dec. 17, 2000
Venue: MCI Center (Now the Verizon Center), Washington, D.C.
Some random notes
This was the 18th and final Starrcade event to date. In March of 2001, World Championship Wrestling was purchased by WWE, putting the company, as we all knew it, out of business.
Starrcade was looked as WCW's marquee event. It was the company's WrestleMania. The event never really had the pomp and pageantry WrestleMania had, but it had its share of memorable moments and big matches.
The very first back in 1983 featured Ric Flair going up against Harley Race in the main event. In 1985, Flair went up against Dusty Rhodes. In 1997, Sting and Hulk Hogan were featured in a highly anticipated main event.
By 2000, the event — and WCW in general — was a shell of its former self. The company way too many regime changes and had lost the faith of the wrestling audience, which had migrated over to the red-hot WWE en masse.
While WWE was gearing up to sell more than 60,000 tickets for the ensuing WrestleMania, there weren't even 7,000 people in attendance at the MCI Center that night in our nation's capital.
WCW clearly had the look of a company on its last legs.
The talent wore the despair of the company on their faces, as many of them just looked uninspired and uninterested in being there — not the vibe you want to give off for your supposed biggest event of the year.
It can be heard in the announcing as well, which Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson and Mark Madden handled. All three men had something good to offer on their own, but together, they were just a train wreck, especially on this night. It just felt like they were in desperate need of someone to rein them in, but in WCW, that person didn't exist.
Madden tried very hard — maybe even a little too hard — to bring humor to the broadcast, but mostly came off as just downright offensive.
All three men were guilty of using insider-wrestling terms that just don't fit within the framework of the television show. Terms like "spots" and "swerve" and "stooged" are best left inside the industry and for fans to use in the wrong context.
When saying them on television, they don't fit because no matter how many people are watching, there is always going to be a large segment of the audience that have no idea what those terms mean.
Plus, it comes off as the announcers trying to sound cool to the fans that follow the ins and outs of the business. However, they just come off as dorks, in my opinion.
Among the many poor decisions on this show was a Glacier promo hyping his return to WCW. His first run with the company accomplished virtually nothing, so I guess that was worthy of another run WCW's eyes.
For some reason, WCW still shelled out the mountain of money required to have Michael Buffer announce the last two matches.
On a personal note, I have been a big proponent of WWE bringing back Starrcade. I would love to see Starrcade replace Survivor Series as the company's November pay-per-view. Survivor Series doesn't mean nearly as much as it did 20 years ago and Starrcade was traditionally a November event. What do you think?
With that said, let's get to the matches.
Ladder match – 3 Count (Shannon Moore & Shane Helms) def. The Jung Dragons & Jamie Knoble & Evan Karagias
Ladder matches was not the norm in WCW, but when WWE enthralled wrestling fans with them at WrestleMania and SummerSlam that year, WCW had to get on the hype train and try to duplicate that success. I didn't quite workout as well.
The winner earned a chance to face Chavo Guerrero for the WCW World Cruiserweight championship the next night on Monday Nitro. Why WCW didn't just book a big ladder match for the Cruiserweight title on its biggest show of the year is beyond my comprehension.
What was also beyond my comprehension was the use of tags during this match. What? I know that there were three tag teams in the match, but I thought it was every man for himself. Plus, it was a ladder match. Why would there be tags?
They eventually stopped using tags halfway through the match anyway and chaos ensued, which is the sole reason why people love ladder matches to begin with.
Despite the silly structure to the match, all six men worked really hard and did some innovative things. Although, there were at least two instances that I saw someone get dropped right on top of their head. That was not very innovative.
The match probably could have been better if Chavo Guerrero wasn't so awful on commentary. He literally added nothing.
The finish was so WCW. The whole point of the match was that the teams involved would have to throw away their respective allegiances at some point to be the ONE man to earn the title shot. However, WCW had to make things "interesting" by having two men — Moore and Helms — win the contract anyway. How dumb is that?
They both pulled the contract down and declared themselves the winners, meaning that both would receive a title shot. Terrible.
Lance Storm def. Ernest Miller
Jim Duggan, who was all about the US of A, turned on the fans and the United States and began representing Canada by reluctantly joining Storm's Team Canada. This would come into play during the match.
Speaking of Storm, him asking if he could be serious for a minute was always hilarious.
I never saw the appeal of Miller. Sure, he was kind of funny and was a legitimate kickboxing champion, but I just never really saw why he was featured as much as he was.
However, I easily saw the appeal of his valet Ms. Jones. She could have used a couple more dance moves though.
The match featured a lot of interference from both sides, as did pretty much every match on this card. Eventually, Duggan hit Miller from behind, which allowed Storm to apply a submission. Miller quickly tapped out. Storm then turned on Duggan after the match.
Miller got back to his feet and helped Duggan fend off Storm and Skipper. This was thrilling stuff here.
WCW Hardcore championship – Terry Funk def. Crowbar
The match started backstage after Funk attacked Crowbar with a fire extinguisher.
The best thing the announcers said all night was that Funk's first retirement match, because he has had quite few, was the same year as the very first Starrcade back in 1983. He was 39 years old.
At the time of this match he was 56 during this match and probably contemplating retirement No. 4.
Unfortunately, the crowd cared nothing about any of that or this match.
Daffney cared quite a bit, as she screamed the entire match. It was quite annoying.
At one point, Funk handcuffed Crowbar and repeatedly hit him over the head with a steel chair a la Mankind and The Rock at the 1999 Royal Rumble. They upped the ante by using a car door. I guess Crowbar was trying to have a Mick Foley moment.
Crowbar managed to fight back a little bit, but eventually succumbed to Funk.
Kronik vs. Big Vito & Reno ended in a no contest
Reno's haircut was absolutely horrific. He had a ponytail and nothing else. He had no other hair on his head. The year 2000 was very, very strange.
Kronik were essentially two hit men/mercenaries, who were paid to beat people up. They were all about "breaking necks and cashing checks." They sounded very similar to the APA, but whatever.
The whole story of the match was that Kronik was being paid by a mysterious person to take out Big Vito and Reno. It was supposed to be revealed at some point during the match, but Hudson stupidly gave it away by guessing that Vito and Reno's valet could be the one paying off Kronik.
Guess what happened? Kronik said that she was the mysterious benefactor before the match. It turned out that she didn't have anything to do with it, but it still sounded really dumb.
Reno pledged his allegiance to his brother Vito before the match, but turned on him during the match and went for a pin. The problem is that since he and his brother were on the same team, there couldn't be a pin.
Kronik forced the referee to count the pin although it wasn't official.
Reno then revealed himself as the benefactor and re-joined the Natural Born Thrillers, revealing that the whole thing was a big charade.
Again, no one at the MCI Center cared and the match was forgettable. This was nowhere near worthy of being on the biggest show of the year. This had Thunder written all over it. This wasn't even good enough for Nitro.
Ambulance match – Mike Awesome def. Bam Bam Bigelow
Awesome was "That '70s Guy," but came out of the gimmick before the match. Thank goodness.
Both of these men were supremely talented, but somehow never reached the very top of the wrestling business despite having the potential to do so.
Bigelow lost after he fell through the ambulance. John Cena and Ryback sort of stole this finish at Extreme Rules 2013.
Like all of the other matches on this card, it meant nothing.
WCW United States Heavyweight championship – General Rection def. Shane Douglas via disqualification
Of all the great wrestlers that held the United States Heavyweight championship — names like Race, Rhodes, Flair, Sting, Magnum T.A., Ricky Steamboat, Eddie Guerrero and Booker T — it somehow landed on the ridiculously named General Rection.
That is pretty much all you need to know about the state of WCW in the year 2000.
It's not that Bill DeMott wasn't talented enough to be champion. It's just that he held the title as such an awful character.
It was especially ridiculous when WCW had guys like Mike Awesome and Bam Bam Bigelow on the roster.
The match ended when Chavo Guerrero tricked Douglas to use a chain in front of the referee, which got him disqualified. I have no idea what was going on here. People were doing things for no real reason and this was just another example of that.
Also, having a championship match on the year's biggest show end in disqualification was pretty lame, but so WCW at this point so I guess it fit.
Bunkhouse Brawl – Jeff Jarrett & The Harris Brothers def. The Filthy Animals
I'm not totally sure what a bunkhouse brawl is, but whatever.
Mysterio looked so silly with devil horns and without his mask. Konnan looked even sillier with a Fubu jersey.
This match was all over the place. There was even a popcorn maker at ringside. The match started in total chaos, but there eventually tags. Why were there tags in a bunkhouse brawl? I have no idea. I scratched my head so much during this show I barely have a scalp left.
Speaking of scalps, I could tell that the Harris Brothers had fun throwing little Mysterio around.
Jarrett and the Harris Brothers won and the only people in the building that cared were Jarrett and the Harris Brothers. The fans sure didn't care.
WCW World Tag Team championship – The Insiders def. The Perfect Event
Nash and Page looked so uninterested. Who could blame them? WWE was rolling on all cylinders by this point and here they were toiling away in WCW.
This was mostly a standard tag team match that saw the Natural Born Thrillers try to interfere, but were easily thwarted.
Nash and Page won and I'm not sure they even cared. The fans sort of did.
No Holds Barred Match – Goldberg def. Lex Luger
Goldberg had a new streak at this point. He was apparently 30-0.
In the lead-up to this match, Luger made this personal by bringing in Dwayne Bruce, better known as Sarge. He trained Goldberg, along with many others, at the WCW Power Plant, which was the company's training facility. It was no WWE Performance Center, but it was known as a quality wrestling school during its time.
Bruce eventually went to the ring during the match with Buff Bagwell, who interviewed Bruce right before Luger attacked him earlier in the night. Both men looked like goof balls when they tried to help Goldberg, but they both failed.
But for whatever reason, Bagwell attacked Bruce outside of the ring. Bagwell just tried to help Bruce just moments earlier. My head hurts.
While that was happening, Goldberg finished off Luger. Bagwell then attacked Goldberg after the match. Schiavone asked, "Why? What's his motivation?" I feel like he asked that 75 times during the night because of so many people doing things that didn't make sense.
Bagwell then left with Luger. My head still hurts.
WCW World Heavyweight championship – Scott Steiner def. Sid Vicious
This was billed as a pair of lunatics going against each other. That was right in storyline and in real life. These guys weren't known as the most mild-mannered people in the world.
Schiavone named some of the other memorable main events in Starrcade history. He tried to put this match in the same pantheon as those others. All it did was remind everyone how far WCW had fallen.
This was match considerably short for the main event of the biggest show of the year, clocking in at about 10 minutes. Ten minutes? That's it? The biggest match on the biggest event of the year only lasts 10 minutes? That would be considered a farce today and for good reason.
The best part of this match was Steiner cursing out the fans at ringside. That was the best part of most of Steiner's matches during this time period.
During the course of the match, Steiner swung at the referee, but clearly missed. The referee took a terrible bump anyway.
Jeff Jarrett then came down to try to help Steiner by hitting Sid with a guitar, but hit Steiner instead. That was probably third or fourth instance interference backfiring on this show.
All of this happened right in front of the second official by the way. There was no mention of this being a no disqualification match.
Steiner thankfully ended this mess by hitting a low blow (right in front of the official) and applying the Steiner recliner.