Fantasy Rebooking WCW Starrcade 1998 PPV Card Lineup of Matches | Smark Out Moment

Fantasy Rebooking WCW Starrcade 1998 PPV Card Lineup of Matches

Posted by Anthony Mango Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Welcome to a special edition of FANTASY BOOKING where we discuss what we would do if we were given the power to control what happens when it comes to pro wrestling creative and the planning of events.

Normally, I usually just tackle SummerSlam and WrestleMania before they happen. However, this edition was requested as part of the Pick Your Poison tier on the Smark Out Moment Patreon by Magpie's Nest Productions. Many thanks for sponsoring this!

As this is a retrospective, rather than a look forward, I'll be tweaking the normal rules ever-so-slightly, but not all that much. The idea is still the same: put yourself in the shoes of the writers at that time and try to book the best card you can think of.

The Rules (set forth by our sponsor and myself):

1) The earliest time you can go back to is after Starrcade 1997. You can't alter that event, but anything beyond that point is fair game.

2) You must stick to the roster itself, including general releases, injuries and signings. No randomly adding people into the mix that weren't there. For example, you can't just say you'd sign Owen Hart and have him avoid his tragic death.

3) Time constraints need to be taken into consideration. This was less than a 3 hour show. As such, you can't book 20 matches that all go 15 minutes.

4) There is some major benefit of hindsight that is just unavoidable. I think it's impossible to look at this event and disregard Chris Benoit's future actions, for instance. However, I'll try to keep myself in the mindset of 1998 and not dwell as much on looking back with 2021 goggles.

MATCH MAKER: FANTASY REBOOKING WCW STARRCADE 1998 EVENT

THE SETUP:

Here's what you need to know about my landscape coming out of Starrcade 1997. Sting has defeated Hollywood Hogan for the title, but nWo is still powerful enough that they have the pull with Eric Bischoff to make it a less-than-celebratory title reign.

After jumping through hoops, defending his title against people like The Giant in No Disqualification matches and such, Sting is eventually set up for a no-win scenario. Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall have all made an agreement among themselves that Hogan's had enough title shots and it's time for someone else to take a shot at bringing the title back to nWo. Nash and Hall do something (rock/paper/scissors, a match...it doesn't matter) to decide between the two and the winner is Nash. The fix is in. The plan is for nWo to make it impossible for Nash NOT to walk out of his upcoming match with Sting as the new champion.

But surprise surprise, Bischoff and Hogan are slimey bastards and they screw Nash out of the title shot by doing something like puncturing his tires so he can't get to the arena on time. It's decided Hall will be his replacement, but he's found beaten up backstage. Hogan then "volunteers" to be the new replacement. Hogan wins the title from Sting and everything seems like it's going off the rails again and Sting's conquest was for nothing.

The next time we see Nash, he's PISSED. He knows they screwed him over and he's done with them. It's fully revealed that Hogan and Bischoff and a few other people conspired to push Nash and Hall out of the title opportunity and nWo fractures. Some people support Nash and Hall. Some people support Hogan. Nash and Hall break off with a select couple people to form an offshoot called The Wolfpac. They aren't nWo Red—they aren't nWo at all, so there's no need for nWo Black and White to be nWo Hollywood. They're just nWo, Wolfpac, and there's still the tried and true WCW alliance.

Over the course of 1998, these three alliances feud with each other. WCW are generally the pure babyfaces. Wolfpac are tweeners as they're cool guys for that time frame and get into some dirty stuff here and there, but they aren't the true heels, which is nWo headed by Hogan and Bischoff, who say Nash and Hall were just a means to an end. Any two other people could have been with Hogan and Bischoff from the start and The Outsiders were always outsiders who only got to this level because of being associated with Hogan. Typical heel shtick.

Goldberg is built up with his winning streak. He wins the United States Championship and eventually gets a shot at Hogan and beats him. WCW is back in control of the title and Hogan spends the latter half of the year fighting off Wolfpac and having celebrity tag team matches with Dennis Rodman and such as featured segments, but not always in the title picture, necessarily.

Eventually, we get our Triple Threat at Fall Brawl with a WCW vs Wolfpac vs nWo WarGames match. More on that later. That's most of what you need to know, other than how some of the members of these factions are different from what they actually became in 1998. I'll detail some more of that with individual examples in matches below.

WCW Television Championship Match: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Chris Benoit

You can't go wrong with these two fighting each other. Jericho spends 1998 either as cruiserweight champion or hovering around that. Midway through the year, he transitions to more of a bona fide midcarder role outside of the cruiserweight division and starts to "graduate", so to speak, to other non-cruiserweight talent. By this point, we know he's still working better with those guys and Benoit can serve as both a cruiserweight and someone in the legitimate midcard.

Eddie Guerrero, Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis and La Parka vs. Konnan, Rey Mysterio Jr, Chavo Guerrero Jr and (a fourth person)

Your fourth person is anyone you want to use at that moment. Hector Garza, Ciclope, El Dandy, Silver King, whatever. It's a shame Ultimo Dragon is Japanese instead, as he'd be a great fourth person if that wasn't the case.

To set this up, there's some sort of Latino World Order or Filthy Animals type idea going on in 1998. I'm leaning toward the idea that when nWo splits, Konnan wants to start his own group of LWO, but Eddie Guerrero challenges him for leadership. There's basically a divide between these wrestlers with Konnan leading the babyface group and Eddie with the heels.

Possibly, this match is for leadership with a consolidation and Eddie wins. I know he'd suffer an unfortunate car accident after this, but if I'm booking with the idea in mind that I don't know that will happen, I'd probably go with Eddie winning and then run into that problem, realistically.

WCW Tag Team Championship Match: Curt Hennig and Lex Luger vs. The Giant and Scott Steiner

Hennig and Luger were part of the Four Horsemen. Neither of them, in my mind, ever really fit nWo all that much. Luger as Wolfpac felt odd, too. So let's revert them back to being on the WCW alliance.

The Giant and Scott Steiner are nWo. Steiner has ditched his brother in favor of teaming with The Giant since he's, you know, bigger and more dominant, and Steiner's getting more and more obsessed with his musculature and all.

I think I'd probably go with Hennig and Luger as tag champions going in and leaving.

Cruiserweight Championship Match: Dean Malenko (c) vs. Billy Kidman

This is just a typical great cruiserweight match. Nothing much more to it. Let them do their thing. You don't even need a real story behind it, but if you do, I guess Malenko's playing more of the heel that Kidman has to overcome. Maybe Kidman isn't able to get the job done, or maybe he does. It depends on how many title changes you want on this card.

Kevin Nash vs. Scott Hall

Wolfpac had a falling out. Hall turned on Nash at World War 3 and they're duking it out here. This is some soap opera stuff of the two best buds no longer being friends anymore.

Nash wins.

Intermission Buffer Segment

Let's give the crowd a breather and book something that isn't a match. This is just a bathroom break segment. Ideally, it's something comedic to lighten the mood. Maybe it involves Ernest "The Cat" Miller. Maybe it's a silly dance-off thing with Disco Inferno and Alex Wright wanting to show up the Nitro Girls or something, so everyone can boo the heels and cheer the girls. Ultimately, it doesn't matter too much. It's just a five minute buffer and it could be cut from the card if it's running over.

Hardcore Match

I don't have a distinct name for this in mind, but we'd give it something. Hardcore matches are gaining more and more popularity and there's Raven's Rules and such. Let's showcase that. Toss a bunch of people into the mix and have them beat the hell out of each other.

This could include Perry Saturn, guys like Scott Norton, The Disciple, Ray Traylor, Steve McMichael, maybe even Fit Finlay, Stevie Ray, Rick Steiner, etc.

Since Bam Bam Bigelow was from ECW at one point and he goes to WCW in November 1998, let's give him the win. He can be built up as a big deal for someone like Booker T to beat down the line. Plus, I like Bam Bam. I'll play favorites.

United States Championship Match: Bret Hart (c) vs. Booker T

Bret Hart is such a big name that you can't deny him a huge spot on this card. However, he's not the guy to fight Goldberg here.

Booker T is climbing up the ladder. He wins the title here and it's a great means to show that he's heading toward the main event. In a few months, he'll drop the United States title to someone like Scott Steiner and be a world title contender for something you haven't seen in 1999 WCW.

Tag Team Match: Ric Flair and Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eric Bischoff and Hollywood Hogan

If Flair and DDP win this match, Flair gets a singles match against Bischoff on the following Nitro. If he wins that, Bischoff will lose control over the company for an indeterminate amount of time.

Naturally, Flair and Page win this and Flair will go on to beat Bischoff, too.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match: Goldberg (c) vs. Sting

Goldberg is the undefeated, dominant champion. He's taken out all the competition that has come his way and he seems unstoppable.

But World War 3 just happened and those rings had an equal share of people from WCW, Wolfpac and nWo. The final three ended up being Sting from WCW, Nash from Wolfpac and either Hogan, Giant or Steiner from nWo.

Sting was victorious because he last eliminated Nash, who was screwed over by Hall, remember? Sting's got his title shot and the idea in mind is that last year, Sting walked out of this event with the belt and he's gotten himself back on track. If anyone's going to be a damn good challenge for Goldberg, it's WCW's Undertaker, essentially, and the guy who has been THE WCW guy for years. He took out Vader, for God's sake. He can take out Goldberg...maybe.

But he doesn't. Goldberg cheats to win. It's ambiguous enough that you're not sure if he did it on purpose. Maybe it's something like an exposed turnbuckle where Goldberg spears Sting into the corner and they can play up how he didn't know that was there (but he totally did).

WCW wants a big angle to come out of Starrcade and eventually sets up the Fingerpoke of Doom. I'm not doing that. Instead, I'm doing HEEL GOLDBERG. I've always felt like Goldberg's undefeated streak should have been conquered by someone who was a babyface who could benefit the best from it.

That's where Booker T comes in. At some point in 1999, Goldberg has turned definitively heel and has gone through beating all the babyfaces. That includes even a reformed Hulk Hogan in the red and yellow, for instance, as well as Wolfpac Nash who is babyface rather than tweener because of how Goldberg is definitively a heel. Then, probably around the one year mark of Goldberg as champion (or whenever the crowd starts to waver on him), he'll lose to Booker T, who will be the next Sting in a sense where he's "the guy" going forward and he's beaten Goldberg to prove himself.

PODCAST VERSION:

Want to hear my pitch about this in podcast format and listen to what my co-hosts have to suggest for their own cards? Check out the latest episode of the Smack Talk podcast below!

HOW WOULD YOU REBOOK STARRCADE 1998?
LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

AUTHOR OF THIS POST: ANTHONY MANGO

The founder, editor-in-chief, head writer, podcast host, and more for Smark Out Moment and all branches under A Mango Tree including Fanboys Anonymous. Tony Mango is not just a pundit/analyst, but also a creative director/consultant, media manager and more. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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