Today In Pro Wrestling History (Dec 28): Hogan and Sting Finally Meet at Starrcade

Today in Pro Wrestling History: On December 28, 1997, the Starrcade match between “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan and Sting at WCW’s pay-per-view was one of the most anticipated wrestling events of its time, often referred to as “The Match of the Century.” It was the culmination of a year-long buildup and was seen as a classic Good vs. Evil battle, representing the defining moment of the rivalry between WCW and the NWO​.

Today In Pro Wrestling History (Dec 28): Hogan and Sting Finally Meet at Starrcade

Today In Pro Wrestling History December 28
December 28: Hogan and Sting Finally Meet at Starrcade

Behind the scenes, however, the situation was tense and uncertain. Hogan, often accused of not putting others over, was unsure about the match’s finish. It was left to Hogan and Sting to decide the outcome, which was eventually agreed upon as Hogan won the title by a fast count from referee Nick Patrick. This would be followed by Bret Hart’s intervention, leading to the match being restarted and Sting winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

The match, however, did not go as planned. Hogan defeated Sting in a rather underwhelming thirteen-minute contest with a Leg Drop, and the referee, Nick Patrick, did not deliver the fast count as expected. This outcome diminished Sting’s aura and led to controversy, with various theories circulating about why Patrick didn’t execute the fast count. The event, despite being WCW’s highest-grossing, is often remembered as the beginning of WCW’s downfall​.

Eric Bischoff, a key figure in WCW, later discussed the event, indicating that the original plan was for Sting to win decisively. However, concerns arose when Sting (Steve Borden) appeared for the match. Bischoff and others noted that Sting did not seem physically prepared and lacked the energy and presence expected for such a significant event. This observation led to reconsiderations about the match’s direction.​

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