The main event of WCW Starrcade 1997 should’ve been a classic. But It rather became a disaster on the grounds of a bad finish.
WCW’s downfall is one of the most prominent stories in wrestling history. The Finger Poke of Doom, the Vince Russo singing, and the Bash at the Beach 2000 debacle are often pointed out as the foremost causes of the WCW collapse. Although each incident was doomed from the beginning and fans never had any real expectations.
But, there is one more incident, one that cracked the foundation of WCW and accelerated its demise. This botch took place on the highest-grossing of WCW history, Starrcade 1997, that featured the match between Sting and Hollywood Hulk Hogan. But instead, it ended up being a disaster and resulted in a botched finish.
WCW Starrcade 1997: The Biggest Event in History of the Company
The buildup for the match was so good that even the WCW fans were excited. Bash at the Beach 1996, Hogan turned heel, nWo became WCW’s focal point throughout the year.
Sting, the face of WCW at that time, transformed into a darker character to save WCW from NWO who had commenced to poison the company. Sting watched over from the rafters and sometimes descended and delivered beat downs on the enemies. His motives remained somewhat of a mystery but kept the fans hooked. All of that led to an epic showdown between Sting and Hulk Hogan (the leader of the NWO).
Sting vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan booked for WCW Starrcade 1997.
Sting gave a beatdown to the members of nWo and made his intentions clear during WCW Uncensored in 1997 when he pointed his bat (His weapon of choice) in Hogan’s direction. The fans in the arena went wild, the match was made official for Starrcade 1997. Nevertheless, the company botched the biggest match of its history and did that for a reason that was beyond the comprehension of the wrestling fans.
Explaining the reason that led to the botched finish of WCW Starrcade 1997.
The finish of the match was not as good as the build-up. The original plan was Hogan getting a fast count by Nick Patrick (the referee), resulting in Bret Hart emerging to start the match again. Sting would then pin Hogan clean to finally end the feud, with good triumphing over evil. Yet, the referee counted a normal pin and the fans watching the match saw Hogan pinning Sting fair and square. Although Bret Hart came out to restart the match, Sting made Hogan submit, but it was too late for that.
Eric Bischoff, then-president of WCW, talked about the reason that led to that botched finish on a podcast titled “83 Weeks”. He stated that Sting seemed deflated and much smaller than usual and looked like he had stopped working out. Sting did not have a tan which rang the bells in the head of WCW President Eric Bischoff. Sting’s missing tan warranted an alternation in the plans.
WCW continued for the next couple of years, and even after that botched main event, the company was leading the rating war with its rivals. But WCW botching the finish to the biggest match of its history is adequate proof for its failure afterwards.
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