Welcome brothers and sisters to another hard-hitting edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! Before looking at Wrestlemania 19, it's time for more WCW. WCW Slamboree 1998 to be exact, the main event pits The Outsiders vs The Giant & Sting for the tag team titles while Bret Hart battles Randy Savage with Rowdy Roddy Piper as the referee. On the undercard, Saturn has a rematch against Goldberg and DDP battles Raven continuing their feud from last month. It looks to be good but you never know with WCW and I am sure there will be some nonsense between The NWO going on so let's dive head first into WCW's Slamboree 1998!
Apparently, there is controversy as the word flashes up several times, buildings are being destroyed and it looks like it's Sting's fault. Damn you Sting, stop screwing everything up for everyone else, I am not sure of the storylines going into this pay per view but I am hoping WCW will not let me down and explain what is going on for this show. Ok, we are in the beginnings of The NWO Wolfpac vs The NWO Black & White and Eric Bischoff challenged Vince Mcmahon to a match at Slamboree. I have no idea why Bischoff thought this would be a good idea, more publicity for the competition is it not?
(WCW Television Championship Match) Chris Benoit vs Fit Finlay (C)
Well, this is different as I was expecting Booker T to come to the ring but we have Fit Finlay with blonde, short hair as opposed to his awful mullet. Lock-up with Benoit pushing back Finlay, Finlay shoves Benoit and is chopped by The Rabid Wolverine. Lock-up, side headlock by Finlay, top wristlock by Benoit. Test of strength with Finlay pushing down Benoit, Benoit takes down Finlay for a roll-up, both men trade pins before Benoit drop toeholds Finlay and Finlay counters The Crossface for a hammerlock. Huge uppercut by Finlay, snapmare and a shoulder block by Finlay. Benoit answers back with a hiptoss, we reset as the fans rally behind Benoit. Kick by Benoit, chops by Benoit. Irish whip by Benoit, tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Benoit. Benoit pulls Finlay to the middle of the ring. Finlay catches Benoit's leg but Benoit shakes off Finlay but Finlay is back on top with a huge lariat.
Scoop slam on the floor by Finlay, axe handle off the apron by Finlay. Finlay applies a camel clutch like manœuvre, Benoit slides out and drops Finlay with an electric chair drop. Finlay is up first, backslide for two. Benoit fires up with chops, eye poke by Finlay. Reverse chinlock by Finlay, elbows by Finlay to keep down Benoit. Kick to the spine by Finlay, Finlay rams Benoit off the ring apron. Finaly rams Benoit's back off the ring apron. Benoit blocks a chair shot and wallops Finlay with the chair. Benoit looks for a suicide dive and Finlay uses the chair to block the dive, Benoit is smashed in the face with the chair. Scoop slam by Finlay for two, Finlay poses for the fans.
Elbow and kicks to the lower back of Benoit, Irish whip and lariat from Finlay. Reverse chinlock by Finlay, Finlay misses a clothesline in the corner and Benoit German suplexes Finlay twice but Finlay counters the third by running Benoit into the top rope throat first. Finlay looks for a lariat, Benoit counters for a Crossface. Benoit nails a snap suplex and goes to the top for a Diving Headbutt. Benoit locks eyes with Booker T on the ramp, Benoit is distracted and eats a massive baseball slide from Finlay to the back of the head. Small package by Benoit for two, Tombstone Pieldriver by Finlay and Finlay retains the championship.
Very good match, it's hard-hitting with a tonee of psychology thrown in for good measure. It was a long match but it never seemed dull for me, I was all in for this match. Good story-telling with Benoit being distracted by Booker T, Booker T was distracted by Benoit and that's how Booker lost the championship. An excellent kick-off match to Slamboree and I look forward to the continuation of the feud between Benoit and Booker T.
Winner: Fit Finlay over Chris Benoit via Tombstone Piledriver!
Lex Luger vs Bryan Adams W/ Vincent
Bryan Adams attacked Rick Steiner with a baseball bat and Luger wants revenge for Rick Steiner. Bryan Adams joined The NWO by truning on Bret Hart in February and it looks like this will be his first pay per view match (The Poor Bastard). Luger pummels Adams to the floor and bangs Adams' head together with Vincent's head. Luger continues hammering Adams on the floor, Adams pokes Luger's eyes but Luger shakes it off to work on the arm of Adams. Powerslam by Luger, Luger calls for The Rack. Vincent distracts Luger and Adams nails a piledriver. Adams kicks Luger in the ribs multiple times, backbreaker by Adams for two.
Huge leg drops by Adams for two, Irish whip and Luger ducks, both men clothesline one another with Adams on his feet. Luger catches Adams with a boot, Vincent is knocked off the apron. Adams misses a clothesline and Luger applies The Torture Rack for the win.
Luger is good in short busts, this was a good use of Luger. The match was nothing memorable and similar to the type of thing you would see week in week out on Nitro and Thunder but I do not want to see any long Luger matches.
Winner: Lex Luger over Bryan Adams via Torture Rack!
Saturn has left The Flock, sick of Raven being all about himself. Saturn looks to capture gold tonight against Goldberg.
Cruiserweight Battle Royal (Winner faces Chris Jericho directly after the battle royal)
Super Calo, Chavo Guerrero, Ciclope, Damian, El Dandy, El Grillo, Juventud Guerrera, Marty Jannetty, Billy Kidman, Evan Karagias, Lenny Lane, Psychosis, Silver King, Johnny Swinger, Villano IV all will be competing for a chance to face Jericho after this match. Elimination occurs through pin-fall and over the top rope. A lot of punching and kicking going on here, never knew Marty Jannetty was in WCW. Evan Karagias is thrown out first, better things are ahead kid. I love watching Nick Patrick spin around in circles looking for pins although every elimination thus far has been by over the top rope. Lenny Lane posed throughout the match before being shoved over the top rope. The last five are Kidman, Psychosis, Juventud, Chavo and Ciclope.
Kidman lowbridges Chavo as Chavo goes flying over the top rope, Psychosis throws himself over the top rope in a ridiculous spot and Juventud hurricanranas Kidman out, Ciclope and Juventud are the only ones left in the match. Juventud shakes Ciclope's hand and jumps over the top rope. What is this about? Ciclope takes his mask off and it's Dean Malenko after being asbent for months after a loss against Jericho.
The battle royal was trash but that pay-off was glorious. Jericho talked shit for months about Malenko and there was never any response so for Malenko to return under the mask and see the sheer panic on Jericho's face. It was perfect sopa-opera cheese but my god, do I love it.
Winner: Ciclope over Everyone Else via Survival!
(WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match) Chris Jericho (C) vs Dean Malenko
Malenko stomps the shit out of Jericho, right hands and a back body drop. Dropkick, Jericho blocks a suplex but Malenko slides out of the suplex. Right hands by Malenko, calf kick to the back of the head. Jericho stomps and chops Malenko, Malenko pummels Jericho. Jericho stunguns Malenko hard, running senton by Jericho. Stalling suplex and cocky pin for two, scoop slam by Jericho. Lionsault by Jericho for two, reverse chinlock by Jericho. Malenko eats a double underhook backbreaker, Jericho looks for The Liontamer and Malenko sweeps the ankle. Jericho rolls to the floor and is on the top, spinning back elbow by Jericho for two.
Jericho slaps Malenko in the corner, Jericho and Malenko battles out with Malenko winning the war. Jericho looks for a top rope hurricanrana, Malenko counters for his gutbuster, Texas Cloverleaf by Malenko. Jericho has to tap and Malenko takes his place at the top of the crusierweight mountain.
A little too much back and forth for my taste, I think Malenko should have wiped the floor with Jericho but that's just me nit-picking. That pay-off had been coming for months and it was perfect, Jericho had been on cloud nine, collecting trophies from the wrestler he had beaten but Jericho would meet his match one day and Malenko came back and humbled Jericho. It was great story-telling, a good match and a great pay-off after Jericho's run.
Winner: Dean Malenko over Chris Jericho via Texas Cloverleaf!
Vinnie Mac Cam
There is a limo outside and it could be Vince Mcmahon? Doug Dellinger is checking out whether it is Vince or not, this is a bunch of garbage.
(Bowery Cage Match) Raven vs DDP
It looks similar to a Hell in a Cell and The War Games Cage but can the match be that good? Raven and DDP had been having problems throughout early 1998, Raven won the United States Championship from DDP, dropping it to Goldberg the next night on Nitro. Raven comes to the ring with riot-squad troops to protect Raven. Match begins with DDP smacking Raven with rights and lefts, DDP looks for one of the trash cans attached to the cage wall but Raven shoves DDP into the can. DDP fights off Raven briefly but Raven shoves down DDP a second time. DDP is hurled into the cage twice, Raven starts pulling out all sorts of weapons to smash DDP in the face with. DDP nails Raven with rights and lefts and a massive discuss clothesline.
DDP has a bull-rope, Raven is choked with rope. Raven meets the steel cage back first, DDP looks to hang Raven from the cage, very graphic looking from WCW. Did I mention the match is won by a ten-count? Well, Raven is up at nine and DDP smashes Raven in the head with a VCR (Video Player for you young ones). Raven kicks off DDP and DDP hits a trash can in the corner, Raven cracks DDP with the trash can. Raven dishes out more punishment with a metal tray, low blow by Raven. Raven looks for the drop toehold into the chair, DDP blocks with elbows before Raven grabs a sleeper and DDP backs into a trash can and the referee. Raven re-applies a sleeper but DDP counters with a jawbreaker and drop toeholds Raven into the chair.
Here comes The Flock, the riot squad have been taken down, Van Hammer was kicked out of The Flock and Hammer smashes the members of The Flock so they cannot interfere in the match. DDP hammers Raven in the corner, The Riot Squad are in the ring, it's Kidman and Horace. Kidman nails Horace with a stop sign as DDP dodges, Diamond Cutter to Horace and Kidman. Raven nails DDP with a fire extinguisher and The Even Flow DDT. DDP survives the ten-count, Raven low blows DDP and Raven drops DDP with The Diamond Cutter. DDP is up at nine, Raven misses a chair shot and DDP nails The Diamond Cutter. Both men are down but DDP answers the count at nine. After the match, a riot squad member handcuffs all members of The Flock to the cage and wallops Raven with a chair shot to the head.
Was not feeling this match, Raven and DDP can be both good workers but this was too similar to an ECW style match with a tonne of weapons and shots littered throughout the match. It just did not click, the violence was there but there was no intensity or urgency to the match. I did not feel the struggle or the hatred between the two men. It felt like a hardcore match just for the sake of a hardcore match as opposed to a big blow-off for the two men.
Winner: DDP over Raven via Diamond Cutter!
Ultimo Dragon vs Eddie Guerrero W/ Chavo Guerrero
Chavo faced Dragon at the last pay per view with Dragon walking away with the victory, Dragon faces Eddie tonight with Dragon battling for Chavo's freedom as Eddie has treated Chavo as a slave for the past several months. Eddie takes down Dragon with an arm drag, Dragon answers with his own arm drag. Eddie takes the back, snapmare by Dragon and Eddie is on the floor. Eddie slides back into the ring, cross armbreaker by Dragon. Eddie and Dragon continue to mat wrestle, Dragon and Eddie take turns monkey flipping one another, Eddie blocks Dragon's rush for a dropkick. Stomps and a foot choke by Eddie, chop by Eddie. Uppercut by Eddie, Dragon is whipped into the corner and nails a headscissors out of the corner, a monkey flip, a legsweep and a spinning sole butt that leads to Eddie powdering to the floor.
Stiff kicks to the spine by Dragon, fans cheer for a fan being ejected from the arena. Mua Lock by Dragon, Eddie scrambles to the ropes. Eddie pokes the eyes, snapmare and Eddie steps on Dragon's face. Huge lariat by Eddie, stiff kick to the spine. Suplex and two for Eddie, reverse chinlock by Eddie. Dragon is thrown to the floor, Eddie using camera cable to choke Dragon. Eddie slaps Chavo hard in the face, Dragon has Eddie on the top rope and Dragon nails a massive kick to the head. Eddie tumbles to the floor and Dragon nails an Asai Moonsault. Argentine backbreaker by Dragon for two, right hands by Dragon. Moonsault by Dragon for two, Dragon looks for his top rope hurricanrana. Eddie pushes off Dragon and nails a tornado DDT.
Eddie misses a Frog Splash, La Magistral by Dragon for two. Springboard Moonsault into The Dragon Sleeper, Eddie uses the ropes to flip into his own Dragon Sleeper. Eddie uses the ropes and Chavo knocks off Eddie's feet. Dragon nails Chavo by accident with a spinning heel kick, brainbuster and a Frog Splash by Eddie who wins the match. Chavo takes his frustration out on Dragon for failing him in the match.
It was ok from Eddie and Ultimo Dragon, I have seen much better from these two from their days in Japan. They run through their usual offence but it just does not resonate with the fans, it is as if the fans soured on Dragon and were only there for the conflict between Chavo and Eddie. Good stuff from the two but the fans were not big into this match.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero over Ultimo Dragon via Frog Splash!
(WCW United States Championship Match) Goldberg (C) vs Saturn
A rematch from last month, Saturn wants to battle Goldberg on his own. No Flock, No Raven, Saturn is his own man. Saturn tries taking the back and Goldberg shoves off Saturn. Lock-up, Saturn attacks Goldberg with his knees and right hands before Goldberg nails a giant clothesline and a military press into a slam. Gorilla press slam with a clothesline by Godberg, Saturn rolls to the floor. Kicks in the corner by Saturn, Irish whip to the other corner and Goldberg stops Saturn with a kick. Saturn slaps Goldberg, Goldberg throws Saturn into the corner. Goldberg tees off on the floor woth right hands to Saturn's head. Goldberg nails the ringpost with a right hand, Saturn nails a running dropkick off the apron.
Top rope spinning heel kick by Saturn for two, running spinning heel kick and a sleeper by Saturn. Goldberg breaks the sleeper, belly to belly suplex. Swinging neckbreaker by Saturn, another reverse chinlock from Saturn. Suplex by Goldberg, Goldberg misses a corner clothesline. Exploder suplex by Saturn, Saturn has a chair. Saturn has a chair, Saturn runs up the chair and nails a dropkick. Saturn tries it again but Goldberg nails a Spear as Saturn leaps off the chair, Jackhammer and it's all over.
Entertaining match, fan of Saturn's work. One of the best people to be in the ring with Goldberg at this point in Goldberg's career. WCW had captured lightening in a bottle with Goldberg, they had their answer to Stone Cold Steve Austin. It is great to see the rise of Goldberg and look at the star grow right before our eyes.
Winner: Goldberg over Saturn via Jackhammer!
Eric Bischoff calls out Vince Mcmahon
Can you see the cracks starting to show? I have no idea why Bischoff would call out Mcmahon, they love to talk about it when they make fun of WCW for falling off the rails in The Monday Night Wars. Bischoff is declared the winner because Vince Mcmahon is not in the building. Well done Bischoff, I am sure that did wonders for your ego and pushed the buyrate through the roof.
Bret Hart vs Randy Savage W/ Miss Elizabeth (Roddy Piper = Special Guest Referee)
So, at Spring Stampede Savage defeated Sting thanks to Kevin Nash who screwed over Hogan. Savage would drop the championship back to Hogan the next night as Bret Hart joined The NWO Black & White. Savage faces Bret Hart hoping for revenge and Piper is the special referee. Why Bret would join The NWO after being at war with Hennig and Hogan, I have no idea.
Savage rakes the eyes, Hart rakes the eyes back and stomps Savage in the corner, shots to the ribs by Hart. Savage boots Hart in the ribs, eye rake from Savage. Clothesline by Savage, right hands and lefts from Savage. Foot choke by Savage, elbow across the throat by Savage. Hart stomps Savage, Hart suplexes Savage into the ring from the apron. Low blow from Hart, Hart misses Savage by inches with the steel steps. Savage hurls Hart into the steel steps, Hart bundles Savage into the crowd. Double axe handle into the crowd by Hart, Savage drags Hart back to ringside. In the ring, Hart goes for the leg. Hart drops elbows on Savage's leg.
Hart drops his weight on Savage's leg, more kicks to the leg by Hart. Hart tries ripping Savage's leg out of place, Russian legsweep by Hart. Piledriver by Hart, cover and a two. DDT by Hart, cover and Savage kicks out at two. More gut shots by Hart, kicks to the injured leg. Backbreaker by Hart, Savage dodges a middle rope elbow from Hart. Snap suplex, cover and a two for Savage. Savage nails his Elbow Drop but Savage clutches his knee in pain, two count for Savage. Savage tries picking up Hart, Hart floors Savage and applies The Sharhpshooter. Here comes Miss Elizabeth to ringside, Savage applies The Sharpshooter on Hart. Hart reaches the ropes, Elizabeth and Piper are in one another's face. Hart low blows Savage and decks Piper, Savage has the brass knuckles. Hart is begging for mercy, Hogan smashes the knees of Savage. Sharpshooter by Hart and Hart wins the match.
Despite Hart's heel turn making no sense, Hart as a heel was great in this match. Low blows, spitting on Savage after the match, begging for mercy, sarcastically clapping his own moves and fighting with the fans. Savage seems to be in no condition to work whatsoever, the match is a lot of Hart just hammering Savage. Finish was fine, it works to continue the feud between The Wolpac and The NWO Black & White. I will call the match good only for Bret Hart's performance.
Winner: Bret Hart over Randy Savage via Sharpshooter!
(WCW Tag Team Championship Match) The Outsiders (C) vs Sting & The Giant
Ok, there were problems in The NWO, it began with Savage and Hogan and it trickled down to Nash and Hogan. They were on the same page until Nash was smashed with a baseball bat by Hogan at Spring Stampede. The group split into The NWO Wolfpac & The NWO Black and White. Nash leads The Wolfpac while Hogan leads The Black & White. Scott Hall has been kept off of TV so Hall's allegiance is unknown but as he teams with his buddy Nash, it's clear that Hall will be in The Wolfpac. So, Nash is a face in his battle with Hogan but Sting lost the world championship thanks to Nash. Sting is out for revenge against Nash, The Giant was a babyface in his pursuit of Nash for breaking his neck but now, Giant has joined The NWO Black & White to take down Kevin Nash. Overall, we have babyfaces and heels teaming together and it's confusing and a true masterclass in how convoluted and idiotic WCW booking got in 1998.
Sting & Hall start, Hall throw his toothpick and Sting answers with suck it. Shoulder thrusts by Hall, Sting shakes off Hall. Right hands by Hall, Chokeslam by Hall. Sting is up, facebuster by Sting. Inverted atomic drop and two Stinger splashes by Sting. Nash saves Hall from The Scorpion Deathlock. Sting knocks down Hall and Giant headbutts Nash. Tag to The Giant, tag to Nash. Boot and right hands by Nash, Nash looks for the powerbomb but Giant shakes off Nash. Knees in the corner and a foot choke by Nash, corner clothesline by Nash. Giant answers with his own and a big boot, huge elbow by The Giant. Giant crushes Nash in the corner with his huge ass.
Tag to Sting, kicks by Sting. Nash Irish whips Sting and Hall nails a cheap shot, huge boot by Nash. Tag to Hall, fallaway slam for two. Discuss right hand by Hall, tag to Nash who nails snake eyes. Tag to Hall, stomps by Hall. Sting tries firing up but Hall pokes the eyes, tag to Nash. Leg across the back by Nash, knees in the corner and elbows by Nash. Foot choke by Nash, cheap shot from the apron by Hall. Abdominal stretch by Hall, Nash squeezes Hall's hand for leverage. Sting hiptosses Hall but misses an elbow, tag to Nash by Hall. Sidewalk slam for two by Nash, bearhug by Nash. Sting rallies and smacks Nash, biting the head of Nash and tagging The Giant.
Clotheslines by Giant, right hands in the corner. Scoop slam by Giant, headbutt to the groin. Leg drop by Giant, two for Giant. Giant is climbing to the top rope, Giant misses a giant splash. Dusty Rhodes places a championship in the ring, Dusty Rhodes has the referee. Nash calls for The Jacknife Powerbomb and Hall clocks Nash with the championship belt. Giant covers for the win as Sting looks on in shock. Scott Hall is in The NWO Black & White.
I think Sting's face says it all for this match. What is going on in WCW? The match was just bad. The angle, the turn that nobody wanted to see, the awkward who is a babyface and who is a heel thing going on in the match, it was just a pure mess and how we got to this point I have no idea. So, I will end on that because I am so confused as to what the hell was going on in WCW at the time.
Winners: Sting & The Giant over Hall & Nash via Championship Shot to the Head!
WCW's Slamboree of 1998 should be the go to show for everyone who points out WCW's faults during this time. You have some great booking with Malenko vs Jericho, a highlight for Malenko and what should have been the office taking note of Jericho's talents. You have Benoit vs Finlay which was a great way to kick off the show and then you are hit with the motherload of NWO stuff that just stinks the joint out.
Bret Hart joining the group despite being attacked by the group and fighting members of the group night after night, Savage as a wounded babyface with a messed up knee that allows him to do nothing. Why is he still on tv? Let him heal his injuries! Bischoff in his inifinite arrogance challenging Vince Mcmahon to a fight on pay per view, Hogan not working the pay per view despite being champion (I am confident when I say this has happened at least 5 times now).
Finally, the heel and babyface dynalics being so difficult to follow in the main event, Giant is in The NWO because he hates Nash for nearly breaking his neck, that would make Nash heel but Nash is fighting Hogan and leading The Wolfpac so Nash is a babyface but he is standing across from Sting who is meant to be the top babyface of WCW but that soured quickly. Plain and simple: Watch this for Malenko and Jericho, nothing more.