Starrcade was an annual professional wrestling event, originally broadcast via closed circuit and eventually broadcast via pay-per-view, held from 1983 to 2000 by the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and later World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Starrcade was regarded by the NWA and WCW as their flagship event of the year, much in the same vein that its rival, the World Wrestling Federation, regards WrestleMania. As a result, the buildup to each Starrcade featured the largest feuds of the promotion.
From 1983 to 1987, Starrcade was produced by Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP), the dominant promotion of the NWA, and aired on Thanksgiving Day. In 1987, the WWF scheduled a pay-per-view of their own, Survivor Series, on Thanksgiving night and demanded exclusivity from cable providers on carriage of the event. In order to prevent such a problem, Starrcade was moved to December the following year and the show was held around Christmas Day, mostly in the days following, beginning in 1988.
Also in 1988, JCP was sold to Ted Turner due to financial problems and became WCW though Starrcade was held under the NWA banner until 1990. It is widely regarded as WCW's counterpart to WrestleMania.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, it was tradition for JCP to hold major professional wrestling events on Thanksgiving and Christmas, mostly at Greensboro Coliseum. In 1983, JCP created Starrcade as their supercard to continue the Thanksgiving tradition, and spread it across its territory on closed-circuit television. It popularized broadcasting on closed-circuit television and was financially successful. From 1987, Starrcade was broadcast on pay-per-view, the first NWA event to do so.
The rights to the event now belong to WWE (formerly the World Wrestling Federation). In November 2008, WWE 24/7 Classics aired a special as a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the event called The Essential Starrcade. This five-part series counts down the top 25 matches in Starrcade history. In January 2009, WWE Home Video released Starrcade: The Essential Collection as a three disc DVD set. With the launch of the WWE Network in 2014 all Starrcade shows became available on demand to Network subscribers.
Dates, venues, and main events
|National Wrestling Alliance|
|Starrcade '83: A Flair for the Gold||November 24, 1983||Greensboro, North Carolina||Greensboro Coliseum||Harley Race (c) vs. Ric Flair in a Steel Cage match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship|
|Starrcade '84: The Million Dollar Challenge||November 22, 1984||Greensboro, North Carolina||Greensboro Coliseum||Ric Flair (c) vs. Dusty Rhodes for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship|
|Starrcade '85: The Gathering||November 28, 1985||Greensboro, North Carolina||Greensboro Coliseum|
|Atlanta, Georgia||The Omni|
|Starrcade '86: Night of the Skywalkers||November 27, 1986||Greensboro, North Carolina||Greensboro Coliseum||Ric Flair (c) vs. Nikita Koloff for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship|
|Atlanta, Georgia||The Omni|
|Starrcade '87: Chi-Town Heat||November 26, 1987||Chicago, Illinois||UIC Pavilion||Ron Garvin (c) vs. Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship|
|National Wrestling Alliance/World Championship Wrestling|
|Starrcade '88: True Gritt||December 26, 1988||Norfolk, Virginia||Norfolk Scope||Ric Flair (c) vs. Lex Luger for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship|
|Starrcade '89: Future Shock||December 13, 1989||Atlanta, Georgia||The Omni||Ric Flair vs. Sting|
|Starrcade '90: Collision Course||December 16, 1990||St. Louis, Missouri||Kiel Auditorium||Sting (c) vs. The Black Scorpion for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship|
|World Championship Wrestling|
|Starrcade '91: Battlebowl/The Lethal Lottery||December 29, 1991||Norfolk, Virginia||Norfolk Scope||Battlebowl|
|Starrcade '92: BattleBowl/The Lethal Lottery II||December 28, 1992||Atlanta, Georgia||The Omni||Battlebowl|
|Starrcade '93: 10th Anniversary||December 27, 1993||Charlotte, North Carolina||Independence Arena||Vader (c) vs. Ric Flair for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship|
|Starrcade '94: Triple Threat||December 27, 1994||Nashville, Tennessee||Nashville Municipal Auditorium||Hulk Hogan (c) vs. The Butcher for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship|
|Starrcade '95: World Cup of Wrestling||December 27, 1995||Nashville, Tennessee||Nashville Municipal Auditorium||Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger vs. Sting in a Triangle match to earn a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match immediately
Randy Savage (c) vs. Ric Flair for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
|Starrcade '96||December 29, 1996||Nashville, Tennessee||Nashville Municipal Auditorium||Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper|
|Starrcade '97||December 28, 1997||Washington, D.C.||MCI Center||Hollywood Hogan (c) vs. Sting for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship with Bret Hart as special enforcer|
|Starrcade '98||December 27, 1998||Washington, D.C.||MCI Center||Goldberg (c) vs. Kevin Nash in a No Disqualification match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship|
|Starrcade '99||December 19, 1999||Washington, D.C.||MCI Center||Bret Hart (c) vs. Goldberg in a No Disqualification match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship|
|Starrcade 2000||December 17, 2000||Washington, D.C.||MCI Center||Scott Steiner (c) vs. Sid Vicious for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship|
- Jim Crockett Promotions
- List of NWA pay-per-view events
- List of WCW pay-per-view events
- National Wrestling Alliance
- World Championship Wrestling
- Molinaro, John (1999-12-17). "Starrcade, the original "super card"". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- Meltzer, Dave (2003-11-27). "Thursday news update: It was 20 years ago today....". Wrestling Observer. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- "Flair defeats Race for wrestling title". Greensboro Daily News. 1983-11-25. p. D3. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- Hoops, Brian (2007-12-18). "Specialist - 20 Years Ago: Detailed look back at Starrcade '87 with Flair vs. Garvin". PWTorch. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
- Starrcade: The Essential Collection (DVD). World Wrestling Entertainment. 2009.