Ex-WCW Referee Finally Breaks Silence On Controversial Starrcade ’97 Finish

WCW’s Starrcade event in December of 1997 ended up being the biggest event in the history of the company, as it marked the payoff to the year long angle between Sting and the New World Order.

To say that the Sting vs. Hogan match didn’t live up to the hype would be a massive understatement, and one of the reasons for that was the wonky finish.

Originally, referee Nick Patrick was supposed to screw Sting out of the match by fast-counting when Hogan covered him. But instead, the WCW official counted in his normal cadence, which really made Sting look bad.

20 years later, Nick Patrick broke his silence regarding the issue on Dave Penzer’s Sitting Ringside podcast. He basically chalked the situation up to miscommunication backstage, which was pretty common in WCW.

“What happened was two people, Sting and Hulk, they were the two franchise guys and the two franchise guys were butting heads at that point in time,” Patrick said. “One guy came up to me and told me to fast-count it to get some heat and give him an out, and the other guy said ‘don’t fast count it. Keep it nice and slow.’

“So the person that was in charge evidently didn’t want to make a call, didn’t want to pick a side, and made themselves scarce all night long to where I couldn’t find them to ask them ‘Hey, what do you want me to do?’”

For years, there has been a rumor going around which suggested that Hulk Hogan instructed the WCW official to count at his regular pace, and Patrick’s story pretty much confirms that rumor.

Of course, Hogan has never admitted to telling Nick Patrick to count “nice and slow,” nor should you expect him to.