WCW Starrcade: Deadly Unions, Day 1
Bret "The HitMan" Hart VS. Raven (Raven's Rules Match)

Bret "The HitMan" Hart (shown here with the "Sharpshooter Deathlock" on Scott Hall at Starrcade '97)
Photo provided by Jon Shetler, Jr.


The crowd is jacked and psyced up for this. The commentators for Friday's PPV broadcast is Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse "The Body" Ventura. The National Anthem for this first day was done by country singers Reba McIntire and Kenny Rogers accompanyed by country music group Alabama. As the program begins, Monsoon and Ventura tell what matches are going to be featured that night and that it will feature Bret "The HitMan" Hart VS. Raven in the "Raven's Rules" match as its main event for this first night of Starrcade: Deadly Unions.

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper VS. Chris Jericho

This opening contest was interesting both on the mic as well as in the ring as both men tried to show up the other. Jericho tried his stalling tactics but the veteran Piper would have none of it. Ten minutes into the bout, Jericho nearly caught the "Rowdy Scot" in his "LionTamer" boston crab but Piper managed to reach the ropes for safety. Jericho, feeling arrogant, then bodyslammed Piper and went for his "Lionsault" from the middle rope but Piper put up the knees to stop him. Piper then put his sleeper hold on Jericho. Jericho tried valiantly to make it to the ropes but to no avail. Piper won the match by submission as he knocked Jericho out with the sleeper. A good opening contest for Starrcade.

Cactus Jack & Terry Funk VS. Yokozuna & Abdullah The Butcher

The crazed Cactus and the maniac Funk battled the massive Yoko and Abdullah, despite being outweighed by a combined weight of over 400 lbs.!!! As the match wore on, Jack and Funk took over because of the tremendous weight that Yoko and Abdullah carried. Still, the two massive opponents managed to hold the advantage until seventeen minutes into it when Abdullah went for his patened elbow on Funk. Funk moved out of the way and Abdullah hit nothing but canvas. Meanwhile, Cactus had managed to get Yoko tied up in the ropes by his feet so Yoko couldn't come to the rescue. Then, in a awesome move, Cactus and Funk executed a piledriver on Abdullah!!! Cactus then followed it up with an elbowsmash and covered for the victory.

The Rock n Roll Express VS. The HeadBangers

The former NWA World Tag Team Champions (Rick Morton/Robert Gibson) took on the unorthodox Headbanger combo of Mosh and Thrasher. In this wild bout, only the inexperience of the 'Bangers kept them from winning as they actually controlled 90% of the match. Gibson moved out of the way of a splash by Thrasher and made the tag to Morton. Morton was a house of fire as he took on both Mosh and Thrasher. Thrasher, however, got in a dropkick to the chops that put a stop to Morton. As Gibson tried to come back in, Mosh threw in a knee that stopped him and put him back out of the ring. The 'Bangers then did a double-team move where Mosh picked up Morton in a powerbomb position and held him up there. Thrasher then came off of the top rope and rammed into Morton with his crotch and crashed to the canvas. Mosh covered Morton for the three count and a shocking victory over the favored R n R's.

Sid Vicious VS. Big John Studd

A slow but brutal match between two big strong men. Studd, being the more experienced, went after the bad right arm of Vicious. Vicious, showing some smarts for once, went after the back of Studd as it has been injured in the past (in real life while he lived). Fifteen minutes into the match, Studd went for the big foot Vicious caught it, spun Studd around and lifted him up in a thunderous choke-slam. The move, however, took some toll on the left arm of Vicious. Vicious, despite the pain, went in and hooked in his powerbomb for the victory. Studd suffered a ruptured disk in his back as a result and had to go to the hospital. Vicious, however, had to be hospitalized as well because of his right arm.

New Jack & John Kronos VS. The Harlem Heat (ECW Rules)

This match was wild from the beginning. This match started out as a traditional tag team bout but soon turned into an ECW style brawl. It especially got heated between Booker T and New Jack. The match's high point came where Stevie Ray got DDT on the floor by Kronos. Meanwhile, New Jack managed to get Booker T onto a table at ringside. Kronos, who brought a ladder to the ring before the bout, brings a ladder into the ring and sets it up. N.J. then climbs to the top of the ladder and performs a big splash on Booker T that drives them through the table!!! Both men are hurt from this move!!! Kronos quickly gets Booker T back into the ring, goes to the top rope and does the "StarDust Press" (450 Splash) on Booker T. The ref covers and puts an end to this match as N.J. and Kronos leave victorious.

Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard VS. The Midnight Express (NWA United States Championship Match)

This was another match in a long running rivary between these four men that stems from when the Midnights once beat Tully and Arn for the NWA World Tag Belts (those titles have since been unified). Arn and Tully vowed revenge by getting the US tag titles. This heated rivary saw Tully and Arn enlist their former manager and WCW Executive JJ Dillion to counteract the Midnights' manager Jim Cornette (because this is an NWA title match and because Dillion kept his manager's licence current, Dillion was allowed to come out in a managerial role). This match was a heated one as it went back and forth. After 30 minutes of action, "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton nailed Tully with the "Alabama Jam" top rope legdrop and had the pin. Arn came in for the save. "Sweet" Stan Lane came in and now all four men are in the ring. Cornette tries to nail Tully with his tennis raquet but is cut off by Dillion. Dillion decks Cornette with a right hand and he now has the raquet. Arn catches it, lays it on the ground, kicks Eaton in the gut and DDT's Eaton on the raquet while Blanchard distracted the ref. Blanchard then went in for the pin while Arn held Lane at bay and got rid of the evidence. Tully got the three count and Arn & Tully are the new NWA US Tag Team Champions. Afterwards, Arn had this to say.

ARN: First off, I would like to thank JJ for coming out one more time to help us (both Arn and Tully shake Dillion's hand). This victory vindicated all three of us for that fluke win the Midnights once scored on us for the World Tag Team Title. Speaking of which, we will be fighting US champions but Brody and Hansen or whoever is the World Champs after Starrcade, we are coming for you.

Diamond Dallas Page VS. Jake "The Snake" Roberts (WCW World Television Title Match)

In this grudge title match, DDP and Jake went at it with fire and intesity. Ten minutes into the match, Jake went for a clotheline on DDP but DDP ducked it and Jake nailed the ref. With the ref down, DDP grabbed Jake in the "Diamond Cutter" headlock. He then ran up the ropes, spinned in mid-air, and nailed Jake with the move. Page has Jake beaten until Raven showed up and nailed Page with a chair to the back. He then DDT'ed Page onto the chair and put Jake on top of Page. Raven then left, taking the evidence with him as the ref counted DDP down. Jake Roberts was now the WCW World TV Champion as the nWo added another trophy to their collection.

TAZ VS. Ken Shamrock (WWF Intercontiental Title Match)

These two submission specialists used brawling and wrestling as the fans were treated to a technical but brutal match up. Both TAZ and Shamrock tried their respective finishers with no success. TAZ went for the "TAZ-mission" but Shamrock countered with a "Stone Cold Stunner". Likewise, Shamrock tried for his anklelock but TAZ countered with a hard kick to the head before he could lock it in completely. The war went to the outside where both men were counted out. TAZ would keep the I-C belt but he didn't care about that at this moment and neither did Shamrock as these two continued to go after each other. The went all the way back to the dressing room with this fight. Unfortunately, it was the nWo locker room!!! Hogan and Co. jumped both Shamrock and TAZ but, amazingly, the two S.O.B.'s fought them off and ran them out of their own dressing room!!! Then, these two went after each other again. This time, refs and security finally restored order and escorted these men to their dressing rooms.

"Big Sexy" Kevin Nash VS. Vader (WWF World Title Match)

Nash put his WWF title on the line against the "Mastadon" known as Vader. Vader and Nash put on a hard-hitting match that saw Vader control most of the bout. Nash did manage a brief comeback but, as he executed an amazing "Jacknife" powerbomb on Vader, his back went out on him. Nash tried to make it over for the cover but couldn't. Vader, meanwhile, recovered and executed his powerbomb on Nash. He quickly covered and got the three count as Vader won the WWF World Title as The WolfPack has claimed a second title (Benoit is, at this moment, the WCW United States Champion).


The ring announcer is Howard Finkle.

FINKLE: Ladies and gentlemen, this feature contest is a "Raven's Rules" match. That means no disqualifications, no countouts and no time-limit. The match ends when there is a pinfall or submission. The fight can go anywhere with in The Kiel auditorium and falls will count anywhere.

The nWo music starts up.

FINKLE: Coming down the aisle, from the bowery. He weighs in at 240 pounds and is a member of the nWo, RAVEN!!!

Raven comes down with his usual garb and heads to the ring and slumps in a corner, almost like a statue.

FINKLE: His opponent (the WWF music of Bret starts up at this point), is from Calgary, Alberta Canada. He weighs in at 235 pounds. Bret "The Hitman" Hart!!!

Bret comes down in a black t-shirt, black jeans, tennis shoes and nothing else. He hits the ring and Raven goes for a double-leg takedown and straddles him. Raven is now peppering him with right hands. Bret reveses things and now he's throwing quick rights to the head of Raven. The two role to the outside of the ring where they continue to trade fists with each other. Raven rakes the eyes to gain a slight advantage. He tries to suplex "The HitMan" on the outside but Bret reverses it, picks him up and drops him "balls-first" on the saftey rail!!! Bret then clotheslines him off of the rail and into the crowd. Bret goes after Raven amongst the fans. They are still trading fists with Bret coming out ahead. Raven then takes a fan's beer and throws it in the face of "The HitMan". He then jumps in the air, takes Bret by the hair and rams his face into an empty chair. Raven then takes the chair and bashes him across the back. He then goes for a piledriver but Bret blocks it and backdrops him on the concrete. Raven, surprisingly, gets up to his feet quickly but he is hurt. He is heading back to the ring with Bret in hot pursuit. As Raven makes his way back over the safety rail, Bret goes up to the top of the rail and comes of with his elbow onto Raven's back. Bret then throws Raven back into the ring. Bret then tries to throw Raven into a corner but Raven reverses the whip and sends Bret in chest-first. Bret hits the corner hard and hits the canvas just as hard. Raven follows it up with an elbowsmash and covers. He gets a two count. He then throws Bret to the outside again. Raven goes and gets part of the steel steps. He carries them over and tries to drop them onto Bret. Bret sees them and gets out of the way. Bret then tries to move in but Raven dropkicks him and Bret goes backwards into the steel post. Bret's head smacks hard against the pole. Raven then takes Bret to the bottom half of the steel steps, picks him up in a piledriver and drops him hard onto them!!! It looks bad for the "HitMan" as Raven has taken over this match.

Raven then throws Bret back into the ring. He brings with him a steel chair. He takes it and sets it up in a seating position. He then throws Bret into the ropes but Bret reverses and does a drop-toehold on Raven. Raven goes headfirst into the chair hard!!! This gives Bret more time to recover. He slowly gets to his feet and gets the chair (the back of Bret's head, by the way, is bleeding from smacking that ringpost on the outside). He then nails Raven flush in the face with it. Raven is now starting to bleed. Bret follows up on that cut with kicks to the face. Raven is now bleeding unmercifully. Bret is still following up on that cut but Raven counters with a lowblow kick to Bret. Raven then sets up the chair in a flat position. He then puts Bret on the top turnbuckle and goes for a superplex. Bret blocks it by grabbing the ropes. Bret then, somehow, turns Raven upside-down into a "Tombstone" piledriver position!!! Bret leaps and drives Raven's head into the steel chair. Raven is nearly unconscious as Bret hooks in his "Sharpshooter Deathlock". At this point, the new WCW TV Champion Jake "The Snake" Roberts is coming down and is on the apron. Before he could even distract anyone, however, Diamond Dallas Page comes out of the crowd and gets on the apron with Jake. He spins him around, grabs his head, leaps off of the apron and "Diamond Cuts" him from the ring apron to the floor!!! Jake is out!!! Meanwhile, Raven has lost a lot of blood and is still trapped in Bret's "Sharpshooter". Raven does not quit but does pass out from loss of blood. The ref has no choice but to stop the match and award the decision to Bret Hart. Bret stands over a bloody and beaten Raven with his hand raised. He picks up the chair as if he's going to do more damage to Raven but chooses to throw it down on him and leaves as the first night of Starrcade comes to a close.


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Photo of Raven
Came from Raven's Fan Web Site