Welcome back to the TJRwrestling retro reviews where we are breaking down every WCW Pay-Per-View during the “Monday Night War” Era. I just covered WCW World War 3 1996, and it was a bit of a dud with some memorable stuff sprinkled throughout. The 60-Man Battle Royal is always a beast to follow along with. That show did have a big angle and signed the main event for this show, between “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. You can read my thoughts on that show and all the other ones I have covered on the site here. How will WCW rebound from a lackluster showing in November? Let’s find out!
December 29th, 1996
They start the show with a package talking about the main event of the evening with clips showing how they got to this point.
We are joined by the broadcast team for the evening which is Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. They talk a little bit about the night ahead before going down to the ring for the first match of the night.
J-Crown and WCW Cruiserweight Title Unification Match
The Ultimate Dragon (c)(w/Sonny Onoo) vs Dean Malenko (c)
There are 9 titles on the line in this match, including the WCW Cruiserweight Title. You read that right.
The two men square off in the ring with Malenko gaining an early advantage. Dragon works his way out and both men exchange submission holds on the mat. Malenko fights his way back to his feet and locks in an armbar, but Dragon escapes quickly. Dragon kicks Malenko in the head and follows that up with some kicks to the spine. Malenko catches the last kick and turns it into a suplex that takes Dragon down to the mat. Dragon gets back to his feet and stomps on Malenko before hitting a snap suplex for a two count. He hits a series of kicks and puts Malenko in a Half Crab. Dragon drives his head into the turnbuckle and throws him to the other side, but Malenko tosses him to the outside. Dragon recovers and hits a scoop slam as Malenko came out after him. Dragon jumps in the ring and comes out with a suicide dive that takes Malenko down to the floor. He rolls him in and covers, but only gets a two count. Malenko reverses a suplex and both men are down on the mat. Malenko hits a Sunset Flip, but only scores a two count. Dragon is back up and hits a neck breaker for a two count. He locks Malenko in a surfboard, but he refuses to give up.
He throws Malenko into the ropes and puts him in a sleeper, but Malenko reverses it into a suplex. He hits Dragon with a German Suplex for a two count. He locks Dragon in a leg stretch and works on the ankle area. Dragon gets to the ropes, but Malenko pulls him back out and locks him in the move again. Malenko picks him up and hits a knee breaker before dropkicking the knee for good measure. He wraps himself around the leg once again, and it has Dragon in a bad spot. Malenko lets the hold go and works Dragon into the corner and hits some shots. Dragon charges in, but Malenko takes him quickly down with a power slam. That got a big pop from the crowd. The Dragon regains his composure and hits a spin wheel kick and follows that up with a powerbomb, but he only gets a two count. Malenko gets back up and hits Dragon with a Tombstone Piledriver, but Dragon kicks out! That was a great spot. Malenko hits the double underhook powerbomb, but Dragon kicks out again. Both men get back to their feet and Malenko sends both of them to the outside. Dragon hits an Asai Moonsault and it wipes both of them out. Back in the ring, Dragon climbs up top, but Malenko climbs up right behind him. Dragon goes for a moonsault, but Malenko rolls out of the way. He puts Dragon in the Texas Cloverleaf. Onoo gets on the apron and distracts him, and Dragon scores a near fall with a small package. Malenko with a brainbuster, but Dragon will not stay down. Dragon gets back to his feet and hits a Dragon Suplex and picks up the win after 18:30.
Winner and NEW Unified Champion: The Ultimate Dragon
Match Rating: 4.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Holy Hell, that was a great way to start the show off right! Anyone that has read my past reviews knows how much I gush over this division and they delivered here and then some. The crowd popped huge for a lot of spots and it looked like the match could have gone either way. It was smart to have Dragon win since he was The J-Crown Champion at the time, but Malenko put up a great fight. There are not many matches that are that caliber to fire up a PPV.
WCW Women’s Title Finals Match
Akira Hokuto (w/Sonny Onoo and Kensuke Sasaki) vs. Madusa
This match is the finals of a Women’s Title tournament going on during Nitro leading up to this show.
Hokuto starts the action off quickly and starts throwing Madusa around the ring. Madusa rebounds and takes her down to the mat by the hair. She comes off the ropes, but Onoo is there to pull her down. Hokuto starts choking her on the ropes and tosses her down to the mat. Madusa recovers and takes her down by the head and Hokuto hits the mat. It doesn’t last long though, and Kokuta is quickly back on the offensive with a half crab. She starts working on the legs of Madusa and takes her down with a suplex. Madusa fires back and takes her down with some shots and slams. She goes to the well one too many times though, and Hokuto reverses course and takes Madusa down to the mat. She starts choking Madusa and hits a Nothern Lights Suplex for a two count. She continues to work on the arm and hits a bridging German Suplex for a two count. Madusa climbs up top and hits a Tornado DDT as Hokuto made her way over. Madusa hits a powerbomb, but only grabs a two count. She tries the move again, but Hokuto comes down awkwardly and it takes both of them down. She kicks Madusa in the chest, but Madusa reverses a second one into a suplex for a two count. Madusa climbs up top, but Hokuto follows her up and hits a superplex for a two count. Madusa hits a dropkick and that knocks Hokuto to the outside. Onoo hits Madusa with The American Flag while the referee is distracted and that leads to Hokuto hitting a Brainbuster. She covers Madusa and picks up the win after 7:06
Winner and NEW WCW Women’s Champion: Akira Hokuto
Match Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a pretty sloppy match. Both women hit some solid moves and they went back and forth for most of it, but it was forgettable. This championship didn’t stick around for long as women’s wrestling didn’t really kick into full gear for a couple of years after this. Madusa was in most of the WCW Women’s matches and they all seemed to have the same formula of her representing America and fighting a foreign woman adversary.
Mean Gene is backstage with Roddy Piper. Piper starts laughing and says that tonight Hogan is in some serious trouble. He says that Hogan belongs in Jurassic Park and not in WCW. He said it’s a match of icons and that he is ready for a fight tonight. He starts talking about icons in the industry other than themselves, and he says that he is the only one allowed to call his kilt a dress. He says his whole life has been hard and he won’t ever give up. He says Hogan’s ego is too bus and he will exploit it. Gene asks about his hip and he just skips out of the shot. Wow. I have no words after that.
Jushin Thunder Luger vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Both men shake hands in the ring before locking up. Liger throws him into the corner, but Mysterio grabs on to the leg and slaps him in a surfboard. Liger fights out and starts to work on the back. Liger hits a dropkick and follows that up with a scoop slam. He hits Mysterio with a delayed vertical suplex and continues to stay on the offensive with some chops to the chest. He throws Mysterio into the corner with some force and hits an uppercut that knocks Mysterio to the ground. He lifts him up sky high and Mysterio crashed into the mat. He hits a powerbomb that had some stank on it and he continues to stomp away. He picks Mysterio up in the air, but he catches Liger with a head scissors. He sends Liger to the outside and teases coming out through the second rope. Liger regroups before getting back in the ring and is immediately hit by Mysterio. He tries to suplex him in the ring, but Liger uses his power and sends Mysterio to the outside with a suplex of his own. Liger hits a powerbomb on the outside and gets back in the ring while Mysterio is in pain. Mysterio slowly gets back in the ring and Liger is right there to put him on the top rope. Liger comes up after him, but Mysterio pushes him off. He comes off the top, but Liger is there and hits a dropkick. He hits Mysterio with a backbreaker and puts him in a surfboard submission. He attempts a suplex, but Mysterio reverses it and hits a german suplex for a two count. He hits Liger with a brainbuster and a moonsault off the top for a two count. Mysterio hits a springboard dropkick and puts Liger in a Camel Clutch type maneuver. Mysterio comes off the top again, but Liger is there with a dropkick that takes him out. Liger with a German Suplex, but it isn’t enough to win the match. He throws Mysterio into the corner and charges in with a kick to the head. Mysterio fights back with a kick and goes up top to hit a head scissors. He sends Liger into the ropes and sends him to the outside. Mysterio hits a springboard moonsault that takes both men out. That was an awesome move. Liger gets back in the ring, but is quickly met with a leg drop. Mysterio hits a spinebuster and goes for a senton, but there is no one home. Liger comes off the top with a Diving Headbutt for a two count. Mysterio gets back to his feet and goes for a Hurricanrana, but Liger lands on his feet. Liger hits Mysterio with a Liger Bomb and picks up the win at 14:16.
Winner: Jushin Thunder Liger
Match Rating: 4/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was another hellacious Cruiserweight match in which both men went toe-to-toe all the way up until the end. Liger picking up a win wasn’t shocking because he would go on to wrestle The Ultimate Dragon for the 9 belts that he had at the time. Mysterio was having fantastic matches no matter who was in the ring with and this was no different. It was just solid the whole way.
No Disqualification Match
Chris Benoit (w/Woman) vs. Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett has been teasing over the last couple of weeks that he would become a new member of The Four Horsemen.
They lock up with Jarrett working Benoit to the corner, but quickly gets knocked down. Both men trade some mat wrestling before Benoit just punches him in the face. Benoit hits a chop and takes Jarrett down with an elbow. He continues the assault by drilling Jarrett in the back of the head, but Jarrett takes him out after Benoit starts pandering to the crowd. Jarrett stomps on the head and throws Benoit across the ring with a slingshot move. Benoit takes back the advantage and stomps on Jarrett in the corner. Jarrett charges in and takes Benoit down to the mat and both men exchange blows back and forth. They roll out of the ring, and Benoit knocks Jarrett down to the floor. He rolls him back in the ring and slingshots him into the turnbuckle. He hits some chops in the corner and continues to pound away on Jarrett. He picks him up to the top and attempts a superplex, but Jarrett shrugs him off. He goes to hit Benoit with a move on the ropes, but Woman moves Benoit out of the way. He tosses Jarrett to the outside and he throws him into the guardrail. Jarrett comes back with a shot, but Benoit stays in control. He throws Jarrett into the rail again, but Jarrett fights back and drops Benoit’s throat on the guardrail. Both men are back in the ring and Benoit hits a suplex for a two count. He puts Jarrett in a chin lock and uses the ropes for leverage. Jarrett fights his way back to his feet and hits a suplex which causes Benoit to break the hold. Jarrett rolls him up for a two count and hits a boot to the face as they get back to their feet. Benoit hits a clothesline and covers, but Jarrett gets a foot on the rope. He works Jarrett into the corner and hits some more chops. Jarrett comes out of the corner and hits Benoit with a dropkick. He follows that up with a Belly to Belly Suplex and drops Benoit on the top rope gut first. Jarrett signals for The Figure Four, but Woman gets on the apron to break it up. Arn Anderson is making his way down to the ring and he walks right by Benoit, who is already a member of the Horsemen. Jarrett hits a back body drop that sends Benoit to the outside, and he follows him out. The Dungeon of Doom make their way out and they try to kidnap Woman. She tries to fight them off and that brings Sullivan out to the ring who hits Benoit with a piece of wood in the back of the head. At the same time, Anderson lays out Jarrett with a DDT on the floor. He rolls Jarrett back in the ring, and he covers Benoit to pick up the win after 13:48.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
Match Rating: 3.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a pretty good match for what it was. The No DQ stipulation didn’t really come into play until the end, but other than that it was a solid match all around. Benoit hit all of his usual stiff offense, and Jarrett has flashes of athleticism that I forgot he had until watching this match back. Anderson hitting him with a DDT was a double-cross and lead to Jarrett being on the outs with The Horsemen.
Gene tries to get a word with Arn Anderson, but he brushes him off. He tries to get a word with Benoit and Jarrett as well with no luck from either. Steve McMichael comes out and says that if Gene is looking to talk to a Horseman, here he is. McMichael says that he has always been a winner and he will answer any questions they have. He says that Benoit is too wrapped up with Woman and it’s blinding him. Debra starts talking on the mic, but it’s not audible until they adjust it to the broadcast feed. Debra talks trash on Woman and says that she is the only woman in The Horseman. She says that she is too much of a woman for any man to handle and they leave. It’s time for the next match.
They show a package going over the last couple of months in regards to Sting and his alliance. It was still up in the air at this point and they did a really good job promoting him during this era.
WCW Tag Team Title Match
The Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) (c)(w/Syxx) vs. The Faces of Fear (Meng and The Barbarian) (w/Jimmy Hart)
These two teams have squared off last month in a Triangle Match for the titles. Nick Patrick is the referee for the match which means he is probably going to favor the NWO.
Meng and Hall are the first two in and they exchange blows in the middle of the ring. Meng takes him down to the mat with a clothesline and throws him into the corner. He hits a kick to the head and starts chopping the chest. Hall reverses course and hits Meng with a bulldog from the second rope, but only gets a two count. Meng stands back up and takes Hall down with a clothesline. He makes a tag to The Barbarian and Hall cowers into his corner and makes the tag to Nash. He hits a knee and starts working on The Barbarian in the corner. He throws him into the other corner, but The Barbarian gets an elbow up. He starts choking Nash and walks away, but Nash knocks him down with a clothesline. Meng comes in and both men start wailing on Nash in the corner. They hit a double headbutt and it knocks Nash to the mat. The Barbarian comes off the second rope with an elbow, but Nash rolls out of the way and picks him up for some Snake Eyes. He gets his boot into the throat and Hall hits him with a clothesline from the apron. Hall tags in the match, but soon finds himself in the wrong corner and he is getting beat on by both men. The Barbarian hits a big boot and makes the cover, but Nick Patrick was delayed and makes a slow count. He tags Meng in and he hits Hall with a Piledriver before covering for him for a near fall. The Barbarian is back in the match and hits Hall with some shots and a headbutt. He hits him with a big powerbomb, but Nash breaks up the pinfall. The Faces of Fear work over Hall with some double-team moves that keep him grounded. Hall hits a move and both men are down on the mat. Syxx grabs Jimmy Hart and chases him to the back while The Barbarian is back to his feet and continues on the offensive. Hall makes his way back to his feet and hits a suplex and both men are down again. He makes the tag to Nash and both men stand toe-to-toe and hit each other with all kinds of offense. All four men are in at this point with Meng and Hall falling to the outside. Nash hits The Barbarian with The Jackknife to retain the titles after
Winner(s) and STILL WCW Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders
Match Rating 2.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a very solid Tag Team Title Match between two teams that knew each other well. The hot tag spots were great and The Faces of Fear matched up well with Hall and Nash. Meng and The Barbarian were in control for a lot of the match, but in the end, The NWO retained the gold. This was a rare match for this time period where Nick Patrick didn’t play a big part in the win, although some of the counts were a little slow. Either way, I enjoyed the match.
Ted Dibiase is backstage with Vincent, Elizabeth, and Hogan. Dibiase says that Piper is going to get what he wants tonight. Hogan starts going on about Piper and how he isn’t nearly the star Hogan is. Hogan says that he begged to not have to do this to Piper, but he didn’t hear his warning. Hogan says he almost went out and told all the fans that he is the true icon and that Piper isn’t anything. Hogan says that after tonight, Piper is going to leave all of his kids behind and forget about wrestling. Hogan says that today is “Hollywood Day” and it’s a celebration of him putting wrestling on the map.
WCW United States Title Finals Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero
This is the second tournament final match on the night. This is for The United States Title that was vacated by Ric Flair after he got injured.
Both men lock up in the middle with neither gaining an early advantage. They are back to their feet and exchange takedowns with Page looking flustered. He gets Guerrero into the corner and hits a chop, but it doesn’t last long and Guerrero is back on the attack. He hits Page with a dropkick that sends him to the outside and throws him into the guardrail. Page recovers and slams Guerrero’s head into the steps and rolls him back in the ring. He pounds on his chest and continues to remain on the offensive. Guerrero fights back and hits Page with a splash and puts him in an armbar in the ring. He sends Page back to the outside and comes out after him with a splash. Guerrero rolls him back in the ring and starts punching him, but Page reverses it and drops him headfirst on the top turnbuckle. Page hits a Piledriver and showboats to the crowd. He gets Guerrero neck first on the second rope and kicks him in the side. He lays some boots to Guerrero and hits a suplex. Page tosses him into the ropes and locks Guerrero into an abdominal stretch. He uses the ropes for some extra leverage and hits an elbow to the side before releasing the hold. Guerrero rolls Page up, but only gets a two count. Page comes back with a neck breaker and puts him in an abdominal stretch again. Page fights with the referee, but he isn’t backing down. Page goes back after Guerrero, but he gets rolled up for two. Page gets back to his feet and hits a big clothesline, but doesn’t cover him. He throws him into the corner and charges in with a shoulder block. He does it again, but Guerrero moves this time and he hits nothing but steel post. Guerrero takes him down with a leg sweep and continues to hit some shots to the head. He slams Page’s head into the turnbuckle and hits a brainbuster for a two count. He climbs up top and goes for a Frog Splash, but Page rolls out of the way. They had a pretty awkward landing. Page hits a power slam and covers for another near fall. Page with a gutbuster and climbs to the top rope, but Guerrero quickly knocks him off. He climbs up and hits Page with an atomic drop and rolls him up for a two count. Guerrero gets a couple of backslides in, but can’t pick up the win. Page reverses a move into a big powerbomb and gets a near fall. Page signals for The Diamond Cutter, but Guerrero fights out with a headbutt. Nash, Hall, and Syxx come out to the ring and Hall hits Page with an Outsider Edge. This stems from Page turning down the NWO and their help in winning the title. Guerrero hits a Frog Splash and wins the title at 15:20.
Winner and NEW WCW United States Champion: Eddie Guerrero
Match Rating: 3.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a very good match between two guys with great chemistry. I think Page is one of the more undervalued wrestlers in history, and he could really have a good match with just about anyone. Obviously, Guerrero was always a pro, and these two had a match fit for the United States Title. The angle at the end of the match comes from Page hitting Hall with a Diamond Cutter when he was asked to join The NWO in one of the more famous segments in Nitro history.
After the match, Guerrero fights The NWO, but the numbers game is too much. Nash takes him down with a clothesline, and the three men circle him like a pack of wolves. They lay him out and talk trash to Page before leaving the ring.
The Giant vs. Lex Luger
The NWO music just kept playing from The Outsiders leaving so that was a good segway. The Giant won World War 3 last month, which means he is next in line for a shot at the WCW Heavyweight Title.
Both men circle each other in the ring before locking up. Luger uses his strength to try and get The Giant into the corner, but he gets shoved off. Luger hits a forearm and starts working on The Giant in the corner. The Giant throws him back again, but Luger comes right back with some shots to the head. The Giant hits a clubbing shot that takes Luger down to the mat, and he follows that up with an elbow drop. Luger rolls out of the ring to recover. The Giant suplexes him back in the ring and hits a kidney shot. He steps on his back and continues to dominate. He throws Luger hard into the corners and it has Luger down on the mat. He steps on the midsection of Luger and hits another shot. Luger gets back to his feet and hits a forearm. He goes for a scoop slam, but The Giant is too much and he buckles. He hits Luger with a headbutt to the groin and chokes him on the second rope. The Giant throws him in the corner and he charges in, but Luger moves out of the way. He starts hitting The Giant with everything he has, but is taken down with a boot by the end of it. The Giant continues to kick and stomp on Luger and hits some more chops to the chest. The Giant tries a dropkick, but Luger moves out of the way. Luger pulls himself up and hits an elbow. He comes off the ropes with some clotheslines and it has The Giant reeling. Luger hits him with a neck breaker and it takes The Giant down to the mat, but he kicks out at 2 powerfully. Luger lands on the referee from the kick out, so he is wasted now. Nick Patrick makes his way down to the ring as Luger hits The Giant with a slam and puts him in The Torture Rack. Nick Patrick kicks out the knee of Luger which causes him to drop The Giant. Sting makes his way down to the ring, as well as Syxx, who kicks Luger in the face. Sting gets in the ring and pushes Nick Patrick to the ground. He picks up Luger and The Giant’s head and whispers to both of them before jumping out of the ring. Luger hits a low blow and starts hitting The Giant with Sting’s baseball bat that he left in the ring. Luger covers him as the referee slowly climbs over and counts the three. The match went 13:23.
Winner: Lex Luger
Match Rating: 2.75/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: So, my first takeaway from this match is how over Luger was at this point. The crowd was into everything he was doing. The Giant showed some flashes throughout to show how agile he was for a big man. Syxx and Nick Patrick came out to assist, but it wasn’t enough. This is also pushing forward The Sting storyline and people had no idea what direction they were going with him. Luger winning this match just kept his momentum going and it did what it needed to continue to push.
Post-Match, The Giant looks stunned in the ring as the announcers speculate why more members of the NWO didn’t come down to help The Giant out. It’s time for the main event.
“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan (w/Ted Dibiase, Vincent, and Miss Elizabeth) vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
This isn’t for the WCW Heavyweight Title. Also, this is the closest that Vincent, AKA Virgil, would ever get to a title match.
Hogan starts the match on the floor, which should be a shock to absolutely nobody. He gets in the ring and both men lock up. Hogan actually talks some trash mid-lockup, which is a new experience for me. Piper hits Hogan with some right hands and he knocks Hogan to the outside. Piper tells Hogan to get back in the ring and continues to egg him on until he does. Hogan gets an eye rake in and starts to pound away on Piper. He slams his head into the turnbuckle and charges in, but Piper moves out of the way and starts hitting Hogan with some more shots. Piper hits a clothesline that sends Hogan to the outside, again, to regroup. Piper gets a headlock put on and Hogan can’t get him to release it. Hogan finally fights out and sends Piper to the outside with a shot to the head. He follows him out and hits an eye poke. He continues to work on Piper as they get back in the ring, but Piper comes back with a clothesline of his own. He hits a dropkick that sends Hogan to the outside, and he starts to walk up the aisleway. Piper is out after him and throws him into the guardrail multiple times and starts whipping him and choking with the belt from his kilt. He hits a scoop slam and tries to come off the ropes, but Dibiase grabs his foot.
Piper goes out after him, but is hit from behind by Hogan. He punches Piper against the guardrail and continues to beat on him on the outside. He rolls Piper back in the ring and kicks him in the repaired hip. He puts him in an abdominal stretch and puts something extra on it with Piper riving in pain. Somehow, Piper flips him over and hits some shots to the head. Piper continues the assault and starts pulling on the hair of Hogan. Piper rolls him up in one of the ugliest rollups in history, but only gets a two count. Both men exchange shots and Piper rakes the eyes and hits a vertical suplex. The announcers oversold that move something fierce. Piper goes for a knee drop, but Hogan is one step ahead and rolls out of the way. Hogan goes for the Legdrop and misses when Piper moves at the last moment. The Giant gets in the ring and grabs Piper by the neck and holds him up as a fan jumps in the ring and is taken out by Hogan. Piper fights out and kicks Hogan to the mat. Piper hooks on a Sleeper Hold and Hogan is fading. Hogan passes out and, for the first time in history, the three-arm drop works to give Piper the win. The match went 15:27.
Winner: Roddy Piper
Match Rating: 2.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: So, to start off, this match wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. With that being said, it was still pretty average. Piper was on the offensive for a lot of it, and he kept Hogan and The NWO at bay. Hogan spent so much of this match on the outside of the ring, but he has been more offensive with it in past matches. This did feel like a big deal between two of the biggest stars in the business, so it had that going for it. The Giant holding Piper up in the chokeslam was not supposed to last as long as it did, but the idiot fan getting in the ring caused the spot to be delayed. Piper winning with a sleeper and Hogan’s arm dropping three times wasn’t something you saw often and at least had a different ending than it could have had. My only gripe is that Hogan was right back up seconds after the match. They would continue this feud as the months went on, but got Piper a big win here.
Post-Match, the rest of the NWO hits the ring, but Piper fights them off. The Giant stands in the aisleway and looks in the ring, as Piper makes his way to the back. He looks back at Piper and slowly starts walking back himself. Nash, Hall, Hogan, and Dibiase chase after The Giant and catch up with him in the entrance. The Giant yells at Hogan about the title shot that is owed to him. Hogan tells him to calm down and he sends The Giant to the back and says that he dropped the ball tonight. The NWO goes back into the ring and looks on as the music hits, Hogan spits on the camera, and the show comes to a close. It’s on to NWO Souled Out.
Overall Show Rating: 7.75/10
This show was one of the better shows WCW had produced to this point. Both of the Cruiserweight matches on the night were show-stealers, and everything else was actually pretty solid. The title matches were all above-average and there were some surprise standouts as well. I thought The Outsiders vs. The Faces of Fear, and Page vs. Guerrero were two matches that flew under the radar, but were really good overall. The Giant having some words with Hogan to end the night was good storytelling in their feud for the title and that was probably the best thing about the main event. Piper and Hogan didn’t stink the joint up, but it definitely wasn’t the best match. Overall, an above-average outing for WCW here.
What did you think of WCW Starrcade 1996? Loved it? Hated it? Didn’t watch it yet? Either way, hit me up over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. While you are there, check out my podcast network, The Heel Turn Collective. We have three shows a week, including an AEW Dynamite breakdown show every single Friday. Take care of yourself, and take care of each other. I will be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.