This past weekend, WWE revived the old marquee WCW pay-per-view, Starrcade. It was effectively the now-defunct promotion’s equivalent of WrestleMania and it hasn’t been staged since the year 2000. The original few Starrcades during the 1980s all took place on or around Thanksgiving and aired from Greensboro, California. That’s why when WWE decided to bring back Starrcade it took place this past weekend on Thanksgiving weekend and returned to the Greensboro Coliseum for the first time since 1986. It was a pretty big deal and played host to a pretty awesome card. If you follow WWE on any form of social media, then you couldn’t have possibly missed it. Which begs the question, why didn’t WWE air it on the Network? They’ve done it with house shows before but for some reason decided not to do it with Starrcade. Here are five things that happened which fans would have loved to have seen live.
5. Jeff Hardy Returned
Starrcade and North Carolina quite rightly often revolve around Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair. The two of them and the rivalry between them during the 1980s is what put that event and Greensboro on the pro wrestling map. However, Matt and Jeff Hardy are pretty famous North Carolinians in their own right. Saturday night’s Starrcade may have been a SmackDown Live event but it wouldn’t have felt right without The Hardy Boyz. Although Jeff still has his arm in a sling, the former WWE Champion came to the ring with his brother and they paid tribute to another legendary tag team who were in the building, The Rock N Roll Express. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn interrupted proceedings but soon after The New Day came to the ring, dispatched the intruders, and danced with the two legendary teams left in the ring.
4. Arn Anderson Rolls Back The Years
Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode renewed pleasantries during the opening match of the night. That alone probably isn’t something fans would have been upset that they missed. No offense to the two Superstars, but we’ve seen that match a fair few times now. This one had a twist though. Another Starrcade alumni, Arn Anderson, acted as the special guest enforcer for the match. The 59-year-old former Horseman had to interject into the action as well. Ziggler attempted to bring a steel chair into the equation, but Anderson wouldn’t allow it, receiving a punch from The Showoff for his troubles. That resulted in Ziggler getting a spine buster from The Enforcer. It was picture-perfect at that despite Anderson’s age. A pretty awesome moment to say the least.
3. ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes
When WWE first announced that they were bringing back Starrcade, almost immediately they were basically told that Goldust had to be a part of the show. Dusty Rhodes was the man behind Starrcade and it was only right that his son wrestled on the resurrection of the event despite him being on Raw and the show being a SmackDown Live event. There was even talk of Cody coming back for one night only, but that obviously couldn’t get figured out. Goldust’s appearance on the show was a pretty special one though. In an ode to his father, Goldust forewent his signature face paint and instead wrestled as ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes. Rhodes picked up a win against fellow Raw Superstar Dash Wilder in what must have been a very emotional night for the veteran.
2. Double Steel Cage Main Event
All the way back in 1983 at the very first Starrcade, Ric Flair and Harley Race did battle inside of a steel cage for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. As a tribute to that landmark event, the final two matches on Saturday night were held inside a steel cage. First up Natalya faced off against Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship and then AJ Styles defended the WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal. Although it was never very likely that either title was going to switch hands the matches themselves would have been spectacles. It’s a shame that they weren’t aired live on the WWE Network for all of us to see considering the amount of work that would have been put into them and how hyped the in-house crowd probably would have been.
1. The Nature Boy Returns Home
Starrcade at the Greensboro Coliseum, you could rest assured that Ric Flair was going to be there in some form or fashion. The show simply wouldn’t have been complete without him. Even if The Nature Boy had still been hospitalized as he was earlier this year, he would have found a way to strut out in front of that North Carolina crowd. The fact that Flair did successfully fight through a life-threatening couple of months not so long ago made his presence at Starrcade even more emotional and more special. The 16 time World Champion came out before his daughter’s championship defense and introduced Charlotte. Unsurprisingly, there were tears and all in all it made for one more incredible Starrcade moment involving Ric Flair.
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