I know that over the years the death of WCW and Starrcade 97 have been discussed around here ad nauseam. I don't see the two things ever being discussed together, however. So, with this thread, that's what I want to do because it is in my humble opinion that Starrcade 1997 is the first of many things that led to the destruction of WCW. Starrcade 97 should have been the event that put WCW so far ahead of WWF that it would have been impossible for WWF to come back. At this point in time WCW had already been more than a year undefeated in the ratings war between Nitro and Raw. Sure, Stone Cold Steve Austin, DX, and other things were starting to get some traction in WWF, however, nobody was paying any attention. Then we come to Starrcade on December 28, 1997. An event that was 18 months in the making. Everything leading up to this night had been done just about as well as anyone could've done it. In the fall of 96 WCW had the whole Sting controversy where he seemingly attacked Lex Luger in the parking lot a week before Fall Brawl. It was a fake Sting but all of the WCW guys didn't trust Sting anymore so this lead to Sting no longer wearing the bright loud colors and being the all American hero. Instead, he would take on a darker tone, hang out in the rafters during events, and wear nothing but black and white. For awhile after this transformation, it was a mystery as to who's side Sting was really on. Every once in awhile he would come down to the ring with his trademark bat and hand it to someone and then turn his back on that person (I never got that). It wasn't until Sting finally attacked the nWo did we know for sure that he was still one of the good guys. For months J.J. Dillion would offer Sting contracts to fight various wrestlers only for Sting to turn them down. Of course Sting would do things like hold up a fan's sign that said Sting wants Hogan and point to a crowd chanting Hogan while Dillion was asking Sting who he wanted to wrestler but of course Dillion just didn't know how to make Sting happy. Finally, though, the match is made and we get to Starrcade 1997. This is the night that WCW has been waiting for. Hell, this is the night that any wrestling fan worth their salt has been waiting for. Sting vs. Hogan; a match that we had never seen at this point and absolutely the biggest match that WCW still had on the table and it is a complete and utter clusterfuck failure. I'm not going to go over the rest of the show because the, to be honest, it wasn't much better than Sting vs. Hogan. I'm just going to talk about this one match. As I talked about above, the WCW had spent about 18 months building up to this match. By the time Starrcade 97 rolled around it's not a stretch to say that Sting was far and away the most popular babyface in all of wrestling and that Hogan was probably the heel with the most heat. So they had been doing something right going into the show. Let's talk about what they should've done and what the fans wanted to see. Sting finally get his hands on Hogan, beat the ever loving shit out of him, and win the WCW championship. That's all they had to do with this match and it would've been a success. Is that what they did? Well, obviously not because I wouldn't be making this thread if they did. No, instead we got a match of Hogan completely dominating Sting, dropping the leg on him, and pinning him for the three count. Of course, that was supposed to be a fast three count but it wasn't. It wasn't even kind of fast. It was a normal, run of the mill 3 count. So the fans in the arena and the ones watching at home are completely shocked because to everyone watching it appeared that Hogan had just beaten Sting and easily. So then we get Bret Hart coming in saying that he's not going to let it happen again and yet again, the fans are confused because what happened? He's not going to let people be pinned with a normal 3 count again? So he restarts the match, Sting hits a couple Stinger Splashes, and then he hooks in the Scorpion Death Lock. Then all of a sudden, Hart points to the time keeper to ring the bell and the match is over, Sting has won the title. What? When did Hogan tap out? Well, he never tapped out. Instead, I guess, he verbally gave up. Yet again, the fans are confused and at this point nobody knows what's going on. So what happened? Well, Hogan happened. He was originally supposed to go into the match and lose clean to Sting. Of course, though, that didn't work for him brother. So he used his creative control card and changed the finish. Now, I'm not sure whether he had played that card before that point in WCW, however, I am sure that this was the first major incident in which he did and it wasn't the last. Ultimately, instead of being the knockout blow to the WWF that it should've been, Starrcade 97 ended up being the first wound to WCW that allowed WWF to ultimately get back in the fight, mount a comeback, and win. Don't get me wrong, Starrcade was a financial success. It was the highest grossing PPV in wrestling history at the time, but the suck ass show and screwy finish turned a lot of fans off to WCW. I am one of those fans. I had probably been watching WCW over WWF for about 8 months at the time of Starrcade 97. When that clusterfuck went down, though, I started watching WWF again and they just kept getting better and better. So I never turned back to WCW. At least, not as religiously as I did in the past. So what killed WCW? It was a bunch of things, however, Starrcade 97 was the first and may have been the most important factor that led to the demise of WCW.