It's undoubtedly going to be a slow Saturday night, so instead of sitting around and twiddling our thumbs how about we make use of that certain over-the-top service so many of us pay $9.99 a month for and go retro with a live blog?
Our latest retro live blog will cover Starrcade 1996, which took place on Sun., Dec. 29, 1996, at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee and featured Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper for the world heavyweight championship.
We'll treat this live blog like we would any show airing live. It will kick off at 8 p.m. ET tonight, so if you want to follow along and chat with your fellow fans and friends here on the site, make sure you click "play" on the WWE Network at 8 p.m. ET and come back here for all the fun.
Coverage will roll below.
STARRCADE 1996 LIVE BLOG
They open as usual with Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby Heenan on the call. They put the main event match over, selling it on the fact that Hollywood Hulk Hogan has never defeated Roddy Piper in his career.
Ultimo Dragon vs. Dean Malenko
This was for the cruiserweight championship.
During the match, Mike Tenay joined on commentary and gave us gems like Dragon is "Ultimo Drago" where he comes from, and that is the sign of making it to the highest honors. Schiavone responded to this with "well, how about that?" Dusty just said "that's strong."
The match was solid, though they worked a slower pace with a lot of holds. It wasn't as exciting as these crusierweight matches usually are. It got hot late when Malenko got near falls on powerbombs and lateral presses. Crowd was really into it.
Dragon hit a moonsault on the outside, then tried again on the inside and missed. He sold the knee and Malenko locked in the Texas Cloverleaf. Sonny Onoo got up on the apron for the distraction and that led to a roll up from Dragon that got two.
Malenko followed up with a brainbuster for two and Schiavone was freaking out about Dean hitting him with everything and the kitchen sink. A series of reversals late in the match saw Dragon get the better of it with a tiger suplex into a pinfall to win the cruiserweight title.
Dragon def. Malenko
Akira Hokuto vs. Madusa
Lee Marshall joined the commentary booth to tell us this would be the culmination of a tournament to crown a "world's women's heavyweight champion."
Madusa was over as hell, decked out in Amercia gear.
Sonny Onoo was with Akira and he was interfering early on. The crowd chanted "U-S-A" in an attempt to get Madusa back into the match. Akira responded to this by biting Madusa's foot. Dusty Rhodes called this by saying "she's biting the foot! She's teething on the foot and Nick Patrick ain't doing nothing but hitching his draws up!"
Madusa made a comeback but Akira snuffed it out by just grabbing her by the face and lifting out of a pin.
Later, Madusa took control with a DDT from the corner and Schiavone said "oh, she bulldogged her! ... Actually, it was more like a DDT."
The commentary for this match was laughably bad. I haven't come close to mentioning all the issues with it here.
The finish was Onoo sneaking into the ring and using a flag to hit Madusa while Patrick was distracted. That led to Akira hitting a brainbuster to get the pinfall victory.
Hokuto def. Madusa
Backstage, Mean Gene Okerklund interviewed Roddy Piper, but not before calling Piper's match against Hogan later in the night the "Match of the Century."
Piper cut a promo calling himself a midget and Hogan a giant man. "With Hogan it's going to be a walk in the park ... Jurassic Park." Then he went on to talk about icons in pro wrestling history.
He went off some more and tried to leave but Okerlund stopped him to ask about his hip. Piper responded by hopping off on one leg.
Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Rey Mysterio, Jr.
Mike Tenay and Dusty Rhodes spent the early portion of the match saying the cruiserweights were revolutionizing the pro wrestling business.
The match was fun, though it went a little longer than it probably should have.
The finish was Mysterio missing a hurricanrana off the rop rope and Jushin hitting a Liger Bomb not long after to get the pin.
Liger def. Mysterio
Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Jarrett
This is quite the match to watch, considering. Benoit was beating the tar out of Jarrett, kicking him in the head, smacking him around, kicking dirt on him. Real physical, real nasty type stuff, for wrestling standards.
They did it to build heat and Jarrett was over big on his comebacks. It was no disqualification, so they turned it into a brawl that went to the outside. There, Woman helped Benoit.
Late in the match, Arn Anderson came out and walked by Benoit. Schiavone provided backstory that The Four Horsemen were having issues, with Ric Flair having endorsed Jarrett for a spot and Benoit already there. Anderson showing up and walking past Benoit said something.
Suddenly, Woman was kidnapped by Konnan and Hugh Morrus. Kevin Sullivan then got in the ring and took a chair to Benoit while Anderson was hitting Jarrett with a DDT. Jarrett, however, rolled into the ring and put his arm over Benoit to get the pin.
Jarrett def. Benoit
Woman came back into the ring, so she wasn't kidnapped as much as held for a minute so Sullivan could get to Benoit.
Okerlund tried to interview everyone on their way to the back but no one would talk to him. That is until Steve McMichael came out with Debra. Gene asked about what's going on with the Four Horsemen. McMichael said Woman has Benoit weak in the knees. Debra tried to talk and was heavily booed. She eventually said Jarrett is a winner and definitely Horsemen material but Woman has been "rode hard and put up wet," which resulted in Okerlund freaking out about them being live and on the air.
Debra then called out everyone for wanting her as a Christman present but she's all Mongo's and they couldn't handle her anyway.
The Outsiders vs. Faces of Fear
Physical match, of course. Meng and Barbarian beat on Scott Hall, then they beat on Kevin Nash, then Hall again. There were a few times Hall just stopped selling to get his own offense in but the Faces of Fear just kept beating on him.
Nick Patrick was the referee and considering he was in the nWo's pocket, he was taking his sweet ass time making counts and taking even more time once he actually made them.
Syxx was in the nWo corner while Jimmy Hart was in the Faces of Fear corner. That is until Syxx ran Hart off, chasing him down while screaming "get out of here, you little idiot!"
Commentary was getting increasingly frustrated with Patrick, who wasn't checking on Hall to see if he was out when Barbarian had him in a nerve hold. As they were screaming about Patrick not checking on him, Hall was getting up to make his comeback.
The finish was Barbarian missing a kick and Nash hitting the Jackknife Powerbomb to get the pin.
The Outsiders def. Faces of Fear
Backstage, Ted DiBiase was telling Roddy Piper "the time for talking is over" before calling in Hollywood Hogan for an interview.
Hulk said he hoped Piper didn't high tail it out of there but as it turns out, he saw one of Roddy's "snotty nosed kids running around trying to bum a quarter to buy a coke."
Hogan said it doesn't matter how much of a woman Piper is under his skirt, you don't leave your kids behind.
This man has no idea what he's talking about.
He called today "Hollywood Day" and he's going to put a period on his legacy. Not an exclamation point, Hulkster?
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero
This was for the United States championship.
I had trouble getting into this early, but they turned it up late. Eddie got a couple near falls that had me convinced, like a backslide for a really late two, then a Diamond Cutter reversal into another backslide that somehow also had me convinced.
Great commentary moment after a Page slam that got two, just after Guerrero kicked out:
Schiavone: "NO! NO!"
Rhodes: "HOW MUCH MO?"
Eddie was sent to the outside and the nWo came out. Syxx distracted the referee so Hall could hit the Outsiders' Edge on DDP in the ring. Guerrero then hit the Frog Splash and got the pin to win the title.
Guerrero def. Page
They explained it as the nWo taking DDP out for not accepting their offer to join the crew and Eddie taking the pin because he wasn't aware of the nWo having come out to do what they did. Once he saw them, he invited them in and started fighting with all three. He got the edge for a short time too, hitting dropkicks and what not -- and the crowd went NUTS when he was on offense -- but he was quickly overwhelmed by the three.
The Giant vs. Lex Luger
This was set up by World War 3 and Giant eliminating Luger. They also made sure to mention Sting, and his status as a dark shadow looming large over his former best friend.
The story of the match was Giant using his size advantage to destroy Luger. In the midst of this, Schiavone was dropping gems like "the nWo style is not to worry about referees."
Lex made a comeback and commentary wondered if his back could handle giving Giant the Torture Rack. They set up a big spot with Luger using a series of punches to stagger Giant and a neckbreaker to finally get him down. Fans went nuts for this.
Giant kicked out of the ensuing pinfall attempt so hard it sent Luger flying into the referee. Nick Patrick then came in and kicked Luger's leg out from under him once he picked Giant up for the Torture Rack. At that point, they showed Sting walking in through the crowd.
Luger got Giant back up in the Torture Rack but Syxx showed up and put an end to that.
Sting got to the ring with everyone laid out. Patrick got in his face and Sting pushed him away. Then he dropped his bat, picked Luger up, said something in his ear, then said something in Giant's ear, then he left.
Luger got to the bat, then Giant stepped did but Lex eventually got it away and used it to put Giant down. That was enough to get the three count from the now revived refere to a huge ovation.
Luger def. Giant
They said this was the first official loss for the nWo. Heenan really went after Giant, saying Hogan hung him out to dry only sending Luger and Syxx out to help him.
Main event time.
Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper
This was your kick punch style match, considering the limitations of those involved. Lot of heat for everything they did, though. DiBiase was out interefering on Hogan's behalf.
Late in the match, Hogan called for the finish but Piper moved when he went for the Leg Drop. The Giant came out after this and picked Piper up for a choke slam. A fan rushed the ring at that moment and both Hogan and the referee rushed over to kick him out. Giant had to stall with Piper up in the choke slam until Hogan could go over and take a bump, leading to Piper fending off Giant and sending him out over the top rope.
Piper then locked Hogan in a sleeper. The referee picked Hulk's hand up once, and it fell. He picked it up a second time, and it fell again. Then he picked it up once more, and it fell a third time.
Piper def. Hogan
This never happens, so the ref was SHOCKED.
It also meant Piper won.
You probably thought he won the title, but it wasn't actually a title match even though we thought it was. Because of course.
Still, WCW ended the main event match of its biggest PPV of the year with a sleeper.