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  Dec 27, 1997



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

This is WCW's chance to shine


By GLENN COLE -- Toronto Sun
It is the most-hyped wrestling bout in the past few years.

Anticipation is high. Now it is up to the WCW to deliver.

Starrcade 1997 features the long-awaited return of Sting, who has not wrestled since September 1996, set to lock horns with the immortal Hulk Hogan.

The buildup started months ago and fans across the U.S. and Canada can't wait to see Sting put a beating on Hollywood Hulkster.

It is time for the WCW to stand and deliver a solid pay-per-view. No screwy endings, please.

There are eight other bouts on the card, which is being staged at Washington's MCI Center, including Diamond Dallas Page against Curt Hennig for the U.S. title and Kevin Nash battling The Giant.

Edmonton's Chris Benoit, an excellent performer who almost gets lost on the star-laden WCW roster, takes on the Raven, if the latter is feeling better. Also, Calgary's Bret Hart has refereeing duties in the Eric Bischoff-Larry Zybysko match and there is a feeling that Hart may even be implicated in the result of the Hogan-Sting thing.

Action starts at 7 p.m. on Viewer's Choice. Cost is $29.95.

HART-LESS HAMILTON: Owen Hart, who will meet European champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley on Raw Monday night, is not scheduled to appear at Copps Coliseum on Sunday afternoon as the WWF returns to this area for the first time since Hart's brother Bret officially left. De-Generation X, not popular in these parts, also won't be around, but the Undertaker, Stone Cold Austin and Kane will be. The Undertaker battles that weirdo Goldust while Austin pairs with Dude Love to battle Rocky Maivia and Faarooq. Kane, who no doubt will interfere with the 'Taker's match, is scheduled to meet Vader in what should be a good battle. Former CFLer Glenn Kulka is scheduled to be on the 2 p.m. card as well.

TELLING NUMBERS: It now appears unlikely that Bischoff will win against Zybysko tomorrow at Starrcade, which would have enabled the NWO to assume control of Nitro. Here's why: A poor test run this past Monday. Nitro began with a 4.0 rating in the first hour, dropping to a 3.6 and 3.0 in the second and third. The overall rating for the broadcast was a 3.5, one of Nitro's worst in a long time.

Raw had a 3.2 in the second hour, beating Nitro's third hour for a rare WWF edge.

The Nitro show was dull, predictable with far too much fawning over Hogan.

Maybe there was a message sent to the WCW by U.S. TV viewers Monday night. Will it be smart enough to heed it?

HERE AND THERE: Still no sign of the WCW's Canadian invasion which makes one wonder if it plans to come at all. Their Canadian reps won't even return phone calls ... WCW star Alex Wright is out indefinitely with a head injury ... Crush is negotiating with WCW ... Wouldn't it be fun if Kurgan got his hands around Shawn Michaels' head with that claw?