Thanksgiving 1986: Remembering the Skywalkers

Starrcade 1986!

If you have the WWE Network then I recommend checking out Starrcade 86: Night of the Skywalkers. This event isn’t exactly quality wrestling, it’s not exactly bad, it’s just not exactly good either. It’s a card that shows the huge gap in talent that the NWA at the time had at the time. With main event quality competitors like Ric Flair, the Andersons, the Road Warriors, and the Midnight Express being featured on a card that also includes the team of Tim Horner and Nelson Royal…Royal who was beyond past his prime at this point.

The main events of the night were the Rock N Roll Express vs the Andersons, in a steel cage, and Ric Flair vs Nikita Koloff for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. However the match that the card derives it’s name is the Skywalkers Match(Scaffold Match) between the Road Warriors and the Midnight Express.

God they built up this match and by the time of the event it was clear that someone was going to get killed… What we actually got was a match that only lasted 7 minutes, ended in legitimate injuries, and probably should never have taken place to begin with…sadly this wouldn’t be the last scaffold match we’d see in wrestling.

The match itself is awful, and it was going to be awful considering that Road Warrior Animal was wrestling a gimmick match with a broken leg, but if it had been a regular tag match this injury might have been hidden by allowing Hawk to take most of the match. Instead we got a match with four competitors who are all visibly horrified to be that far up above the ring.

This match would probably go down as just another bad gimmick match if not for the bump at the end. Jim Cornette was set up to fall from the ring and land in the arms of Big Bubba Rogers, what happened though is Rogers missed his spot, Cornette fell to the ring, and landed in such a way that destroyed his knees. It’s a horrific sight to see and you can tell things are not ok from the moment he hits the mat.

This match should have been an example that gimmicks shouldn’t be placed above the safety of the wrestlers involved, however as we all know it did not work out that way. Scaffold matches have continued to be held with huge numbers of injuries, they are always awful matches, and the wrestling world has created even more dangerous matches since then.

So if you have some time on your hands this Thanksgiving, pull this one up, sit back, and enjoy. It’s not the greatest event but it does feature some great matches and classic Starrcade events should always be a Thanksgiving tradition!