I'd just like to post my thoughts about the chain match we watched between Greg Valentine and Roddy Piper. When I think of older matches from the 70s, this is not the kind of match that comes to mind. A more appropriate match that I would think of would be something like Dusty Rhodes against Harley Race - which, interestingly, seemed like a slow methodical match from the viewpoint of someone who's a fan of a very fast-paced modern product. However, this chain match at Starrcade was interesting because of how violent it was. I would've never expected to watch a match from this time period where the bloody violence was escalated to this point. Yes, it wasn't a hell in a cell match, but you could start to see the beginnings of the level of violent matches that still are used from time to time today.
The difference is that these two put on a terrific match that made sense. It was methodical with the violent moves that were used, but I would much rather watch matches like this one than watch a high-paced ladder match with four tag teams just flying around without any real reason other than to draw a "holy sh!t" chant from the fans. This match between Piper and Valentine is a solid blueprint for drawing fans in emotionally with a story that makes sense. I loved how the commentators kept talking about Piper's ear injury before and during the match, and then emphasizing that it was making it hard for him to keep his equilibrium throughout the match because of it. I think the way the commentators were selling the match would have made it easy for someone who didn't know who the characters were to really get into the match and care about who won. I don't think the same can be said about the ladder match we saw on the first day, where telling a story seemed to take a backseat to wowing the crowd with amazing (and very dangerous) moves.