The biggest event of the year was WCW Starrcade 1997 and it was a match almost sixteen months in the making, with Sting against Hollywood Hogan for the WCW Championship. It was supposed to be a night that WCW was supposed to achieve their ultimate triumph over the New World Order and the night that they were going to rise to the next step to crush Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation under their foot.
It didn't quite happen that way. The New World Order won many matches, with the trio of Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Scott Norton, and Vincent defeating the Steiner Brothers and Ray Traylor and Buff Bagwell defeated Lex Luger. However, there was some good news for WCW, as Diamond Dallas Page cut down Curt Hennig with the Diamond Cutter to become the United States Champion.
Yet in the three big matches, one did not happen, with Kevin Nash not being able to show up for his match with the Giant, due to a heart attack. While there was a history of heart problems in Nash's family, there were many who were rather dubious about the claims of Kevin Nash. The Giant just simply beat up Scott Hall and left him lying in the center of the ring.
The next one was with a lot of controversy, with Larry Zbyszko taking on Eric Bischoff for the control of Nitro, with Bret Hart as the special guest referee. Bret Hart called the match right down the middle, much to the disapproval of Eric Bischoff. Eventually Scott Hall got involved, giving Bischoff an international object, allowing Bischoff to use it to knock Larry down. However, Bret caught it and revealed that he was not NWO after all. He punched out Hall and took down Bischoff, before awarding the win to Larry Zbyszko. An odd finish but WCW still had Nitro.
Then we had the main event, with Hollywood Hogan taking on Sting for the WCW World Championship. It was supposed to be the crowning achievement for Sting but Sting did not win, in fact Hogan dominated most of the match and pinned Sting, one, two, three. Yet out comes Bret Hart, to dispute the count that might have been a little slow as fast, saying that he's not letting this happen again, based off of Survivor Series 1997. Bret takes out referee Nick Patrick and restarts the match, with Sting fighting off the NWO and slapping the Scorpion Deathlock on Hogan, for the submission.
There was supposed to be a fast count but Nick Patrick messed up or was paid off legit, depending on what theory you subscribe to. Regardless, Sting is the WCW Champion and the first dent has been put in WCW.
The next night on Nitro, we got Sting and Hollywood Hogan in a return match but suddenly when Sting hit the Stinger Splash on Hogan, the show faded to black. What happened? It was actually a ratings ploy to string viewers along for the debut of Thunder on January 8th. A ploy that would not really work in this day and age, but the Internet was not what it is today in late 1997.
Yet over in WWF, fresh off of a rather stale taped RAW, we are live for the final RAW of the year, featuring Owen Hart against Triple H for the WWF European Championship...or do we?
WWF RAW is WAR 12/29/97
A recap from last week on RAW, with DX managing to pull one over the system and Triple H is your new WWF European Champion.
We see Goldust out of the ring and he is dressed as baby new year. This segment serves the duel purpose scarring us for life and also for Stone Cold Steve Austin to make his mandated appereance on RAW. Steve Austin hits the Stone Cold Stunner on Baby New Year Dust. Then he shoves him in a Port-a-Potty and tips it over with Goldust inside. This was quite the segment.
There is a crate at RAW tonight. What can be inside? Stay tuned.
8-Ball, Chainz, and Skull of the DOA defeated Savio Vega, Miguel Perez, and Jesus Castillo of the Los Boricues.
Hey it’s this match again! And it’s a streetfight. Shorter and less awful than their match at DeGeneration X but it wasn't anything especial. Jose enters and gets pinned, despite not being in the match. The DOA wins.
Triple H is out on crutches. It is announced right here that he suffered an injury over the holidays, a dislocated knee cap and he'll be unable to take on Owen Hart tonight, too bad, so sad. The lights go out and the Undertaker's music kicks up but its Shawn Michaels in the casket. Remember its going to be Shawn Michaels against the Undertaker in a Casket Match at the Royal Rumble. Chyna is also out, having gotten some cosmetic surgery over the holidays and they announce the two newest members of DX, if you catch my drift. Let's just say, they'll have to change their name to Double DeGeneration X, so quips Shawn Michaels. Out comes Slaughter, to announce that since Hunter is hurt, it’s going to be Owen Hart against Shawn Michaels for the World Wrestling Federation Championship tonight! Shawn freaks out about going in the ring with this mad man.
Ken Shamrock made Kama submit to the Ankle Lock.
Last week Shamrock beat D'Lo Brown and this week he beats Kama. Out comes the rest of the Nation and the Rock will face off against Ken Shamrock at the Royal Rumble, but first, the Rock states that Faarooq is going to take on Shamrock. Faarooq is none too pleased that he's going to have to face the World's Most Dangerous Man. Shamrock got shuttled down the card rather quick, not too far, but still he was the number one contender to Shawn Michaels a month ago.
Vince McMahon wishes the fans a happy new year. How nice of him.
Out comes Brian Christopher and Jerry Lawler for a match with TAKA Michinoku. Lawler claims that Jim Ross is really Brian Christopher's father. Okay that was funny. TAKA has a mystery partner and it’s...George "The Animal" Steele.
Jerry Lawler and Brian Christopher defeated George "The Animal" Steele and TAKA Michinoku via disqualification.
George "The Animal Steele" wrestled only in the summers during the 1960s and 1970s. His career for the rest of the year. He was a school teacher. Yes indeed. This match was not that much to write home about. Disqualification win for Christopher and Lawler, when The Animal goes insane. Also, Brian Christopher against TAKA Michinoku for the Lightheavyweight Title is announced for the Rumble but it never happened. Got to make room for those minis.
The crate is stirring.
Here come the New Age Outlaws. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn brag about their demolition of Dude Love and Mankind over the past few weeks. Dude Love is on the screen, teasing that he is going to take down the Outlaws but says he'll step aside and his picture shifts right into that of Mankind. Mankind says that he might be up for it but he knows someone better. Then we have...Cactus Jack! The most dangerous split personality of Mick Foley has shown up and he is out for the blood of the New Age Outlaws.
Cactus Jack defeated Billy Gunn via disqualification.
Short, as Cactus Jack fights off the New Age Outlaws, but the disqualification is rendered. Then a man buzzes through the crate and its Chainsaw Charlie! Chainsaw Charlie is Terry Funk wearing pantyhose on his head. Yes indeed. Chainsaw Charlie makes the save, helping Cactus Jack fight off the New Age Outlaws.
Sable is interviewed by Kevin Kelly. It is announced that Sable is in the latest addition of RAW magazine. Marc Mero is not happy that Sable is showing some skin in RAW magazine. Just wait until the Internet gets big. Kevin Kelly gets struck down by a low blow. Then Tom Brandi runs out and fights with Marc Mero. Mero turns the tide and hits the TKO on Brandi, before stuffing the magazine down his throat.
We have wrestlers come out, including the Headbangers, DOA, Flash Funk, and Scott Taylor, men who Kane has attacked over the past several weeks. It is going to be seven on one and Kane makes his way down to the ring, to kill some people. Then out comes the Undertaker. It is teased that Undertaker is going to fight Kane but the Undertaker turns around and helps his brother fight off everyone, laying them out. Undertaker declares he'll never fight his brother and he leaves. Slow burn, I like it. This is why Russo can be good when he has a very tight leash on him.
The New Age Outlaws are scared off backstage by a chainsaw. Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack charge onto the scene and get themselves a piece of the Outlaws, but they escape.
Jim Cornette doesn't like a lot of people. Swipes of Eric Bischoff during this promo and an obvious swipe at Cornette's mortal enemy Vince Russo. He vows to bring wrestling back to the World Wrestling Federation.
It is announced that Mike Tyson is in negotiations to be a part of the World Wrestling Federation. More to come later. He will be a part of WWF Wrestlemania 14, which is thirteen weeks away and counting. Boy was he ever but that's to come.
Owen Hart defeated Shawn Michaels via disqualification after Triple H interfered; Shawn Michaels retains the WWF Championship.
A pretty amazing match for what it was worth, most certainly the match of the evening. Owen Hart nearly beats Michaels several times and he traps Shawn Michaels in the Sharpshooter. This causes Triple H to hobble in with the crutch and clock Owen, for the disqualification and saving his buddy's title. DX beats on Owen and the show ends.
DX had the last laugh as 1997 ended, but 1998 will be a new day and that's the bottom line.