The legacy of WCW Starrcade

Page 3 of 4
December 29, 2011

After nearly a year of building up to the event, Starrcade 1997 became WCW’s most successful pay-per-view ever. Featuring Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko, Diamond Dallas Page vs. Curt Hennig and the emergence of Goldberg as a truly dominant competitor, the main event certainly had to live up to the hype. In the final contest of the evening, Sting defeated Hogan for the WCW Title, and Bret “Hit Man” Hart made his WCW debut a month following the infamous “Montreal Screwjob” in WWE.

With the success of Starrcade 1997, WCW created a second weekly television program, WCW Thunder. The organization also added a third hour to Monday Nitro and reigned supreme in television ratings for much of 1998. However, the rise of WWE Superstars like The Rock and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin began to captivate audiences around the world. Even as WCW saw Goldberg become an undefeated champion, viewers found themselves unable to change the channel whenever The Rock or Austin appeared on Monday Night Raw.

WWE began dominating in the television ratings war and with Starrcade rapidly approaching, WCW was unable to capture the same momentum they had a year prior. Starrcade 1998’s main event featured undefeated WCW Champion Goldberg against Kevin Nash in a No Disqualification Match. In what many cite as the moment WCW’s ultimate demise began, Goldberg’s streak and title reign ended when Scott Hall struck him with a taser and allowed Nash to secure the victory. The questionable ending to the match created disappointment among fans and tarnished the legacy of Starrcade as a whole.