Live from both Greensboro, NC and Atlanta, GA

Airdate: November 28, 1985

Attendance: sold out in both locations

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Bob Caudle

Finally, after all of that WWF stuff, we return to Jim Crockett Promotions for their annual supershow. In an act of one-upmanship, Crockett expanded Starrcade from one location to two. By having two cards in two locations, Crockett sold out both the Omni and the Coliseum and provided each with a main event.

This is for those of you who enjoy the promo for the show along with its theme song.

Amazingly, this show is rated TV-MA! Put the kiddies to bed before reading this please.

While Bob and Tony open the show in Atlanta, Johnny Weaver handles interviewing duties in Greensboro.

Prior to the opening match, ring announcer Tom Miller asks the crowd to rise for the National Anthem.

Match 1 for the vacant Mid-Atlantic title: Sam Houston versus Krusher Khrushchev


Rating: **

Summary: Not a bad opener, but nothing to write home about either.

Match 2 (Mexican death): The “Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez versus Abdullah the Butcher (w/ Paul Jones)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Bloody brawl that the Atlanta crowd ate up with a spoon.

Back in Greensboro, Weaver interviews the NEW Mid-Atlantic champion Khrushchev. In his best Minnesota accent, Khrushchev is proud to defend his title anywhere in the world.

Match 3 (Texas bull rope): “Cowboy” Ron Bass versus Black Bart (w/ James J. Dillon)


Rating: *1/2

Summary: If you can recall from the Great American Bash, Bass wanted to get his hands on Dillon. Now he gets his chance!

Match 4 (Texas bull rope): “Cowboy” Ron Bass versus James J. Dillon


Rating: DUD

Summary: This was not the comeuppance that Bass wanted against his former manager. Perhaps he’ll get another chance soon.

Match 5 (arm-wrestling): “Superstar” Billy Graham versus the Barbarian (w/ Paul Jones)


Rating: NONE

Match 6: “Superstar” Billy Graham versus the Barbarian (w/ Paul Jones)


Rating: *

Summary: Graham was nearing the end of his career here. This was a fascinating way to send him off to pasture by the NWA.

After the match, Jones tries to hit Graham with the cane again but Graham blocks it, retrieves the cane, and hits Jones with it. The Barbarian nails Graham from behind with the cast sending him to the concrete floor. Outside the ring, Barbarian rams Graham head-first into the ring post. Having fallen over the steel railing, Graham is followed by Barbarian who makes Graham taste it. It must have tasted like the Big V bacon cheeseburger at the Varsity. Barbarian grabs a chair and hits Graham in the midsection. Finally, the referee steps between them and raises Graham hand in victory.

Match 7 for the NWA National title: Terry Taylor (champion) versus “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel (w/ James J. Dillon)


Rating: ***

Summary: This was a nice feather in the cap for Landel; however, his tenure in JCP was cut short due to cocaine issues. RIP Landel.

Match 8 for the NWA National tag team titles: Ole & Arn Anderson (champions) versus the US tag team champions Billy Jack Haynes & Wahoo McDaniel


Rating: ***

Summary: Text-book tag team wrestling by the Andersons was on display here. If I was a young heel wrestler, I’d take notes from this match. The hot Atlanta crowd booed the Andersons mercilessly afterwards.

Back in Greensboro, Weaver informs us of a fifteen-minute intermission. Go grab a snack and drink, and this reflection will be right back.

Wasn’t that refreshing? Now enjoy an interview by Weaver of Landel with Dillon. I hope acid reflux doesn’t kick in.

Match 9 for the NWA US title (steel cage/”I Quit”): Tully Blanchard (champion w/ Baby Doll) versus Magnum T.A.


Rating: *****

Summary: If you look up the definition of method to settle a feud, this match fits it perfectly. While not a technical classic, it is a fight between two men who want to destroy one another. Magnum gets his revenge by taking back the US title, and Blanchard, for the remainder of his career, gets people to taunt him with “I Quit.” This match is a bona fide classic that every wrestling fan should witness, and is one of my all-time favorites.

Match 10 (Atlanta street fight): The Midnight Express (w/ Jim Cornette) versus the “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant & Miss Atlanta Lively (w/ Big Mama)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Comedy relief at its finest here. But what about Cornette?

After the match, Valiant catches Cornette and rips his tuxedo off to reveal heart-shaped boxers. Before any other chicanery occurs, Eaton and Condrey grab their manager and hightail it.

Back in Greensboro, Weaver interviews the bloodied but NEW US Champion Magnum T.A. Like a fighting champion, he’s ready to take on all challengers. Great promo.

Match 11 for the NWA World tag team titles (steel cage): Ivan & Nikita Koloff (champions w/ Krusher Khruschev) versus the Rock’n’Roll Express (w/ Don Kernodle)


Rating: *****

Summary: If you can find a better tag team cage match than this, be my guest. This was the epitome of good versus evil and big man versus little man. You owe it to yourself to see this match.

After the match, Nikita tosses Morton over the cage to the concrete floor. He and Ivan then double-team Gibson. Morton is a bloody mess. Krushchev enters the ring to make it 3 on 1. As Ivan and Nikita hold a chain, Krushchev whips Gibson into it clotheslining him. As Krushchev hoists Gibson up, both Ivan and Nikita deliver Russian sickles to Gibson. Kernodle is down outside the ring. As the locker room empties to assist Gibson, Ivan whips Gibson with the chain.

Match 12 for the NWA World title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion) versus the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes


Rating: ****

Summary: That star rating may seem high, but please let me explain. Rhodes HAD to beat Flair for two reasons. The first reason was putting the icing on the cake of a great show. More on this later. The second reason was due to the severe beating the Horsemen laid upon Rhodes back on 9/29 the fans supposedly rioted, and order had to be restored before the Horsemen could be removed from the ring. Therefore, Rhodes had to win. While the AWA had used this tactic in the past to maintain its champion, this match marked the first time Dusty Rhodes booked it as the “Dusty finish.”

What do I mean, you ask? Didn’t Dusty win? Well, yes and no. On the next episode of World Championship Wrestling, Tommy Young indicated that he had seen Arn in the ring and ruled the match a disqualification of Flair. Yes, Rhodes won, but the title cannot change hands on a disqualification; therefore, Flair remained the NWA World Champion.

After the match, Manny Fernandez, Billy Graham, Pez Whatley, Billy Jack Haynes and the Italian Stallion run into the ring and hoist Rhodes up on their shoulders. Outside the ring, the Horsemen are pissed.

Back In the dressing room, Tony interviews Rhodes and congratulates him on his victory. Great victory speech by Rhodes. To close out the show, Caudle notes the 50th anniversary of Jim Crockett Promotions.

Conclusion: Having seen WrestleMania, WCCW PoC 85, AWA Superclash, and CWF Battle of the Belts, I can honestly say that Starrcade was the best show among them, but with an asterisk. I apply the asterisk only due to the brutality of the matches. There were numerous blade jobs (16) throughout the show making this show unsuitable for family viewing. If you’re at least a teenager or older and not squeamish, then this show provides tremendous excitement for you. I fell in love with this show as a kid and still am enamored thirty years later.

See you for WCCW Christmas Star Wars 1985!

Buyrate: NONE

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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