Thursday 9 March 2017

WCW Spring Stampede 1998 Review

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Welcome one and all to another blistering edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! It’s WCW’s Spring Stampede 1998, WCW and I are not seeing an eye to eye, it teases me but never ever pleases me you know what I mean? They dangle that great, enjoyable pay per view in front of me and then destroy my hopes and dreams with NWO, over-booked and nonsensical garbage. Will tonight be any different? Well, we have Sting vs Randy Savage, Hogan & Nash vs The Giant & Piper, Raven vs DDP and many, many more. The card is stacked similar to Uncensored but will this card deliver? Let’s find out!

Opening Promo

Dissension in The NWO, Savage wants control and Hogan wants control. Hogan fears losing control while Kevin Nash is having problems with Hogan too. Simple stuff but I like it, hopefully the booking does not kill the angle.

Goldberg vs Saturn W/ Kidman (Number One Contender’s Match for United States Championship)

Saturn attacks from the beginning, Goldberg out-powers Saturn with a huge pumphabdle suplex, heel hook by Goldberg. Kidman interferes and is military pressed onto Saturn, Saturn kicks and sweeps the legs of Goldberg, springboard leg drop by Saturn. Middle rope elbow, two count for Saturn. Chops and kicks by Saturn, back elbow. Saturn tries a suplex but Goldberg smashes Saturn. Military press into a mat slam by Goldberg, Saturn hotshots Goldberg, trips Goldberg and nails a slingshot splash. Exploder suplex and thrustkick by Saturn, dropkick in the steps by Saturn. Saturn crushes Goldberg’s arm against the steel steps, apron frankensteiner by Saturn.

Saturn nails a top spinning heel kick, one count for Saturn. Fujiwara armbar by Saturn, hammerlock slam and cross armbreaker by Saturn. Goldberg fights his way out, Saturn drop toeholds Goldberg and grabs a front chancery, Goldberg shakes off Saturn and scores with a sidewalk slam. Dropkick by Saturn, Goldberg reverses an Irish whip and nails a thrustkick. Short-arm clothesline, Spear. Saturn low blows Goldberg while Kidman has the referee, Saturn has Goldberg on the top rope. Goldberg military press slams Saturn from the middle rope, Goldberg wipes out all members of The Flock. Saturn has Goldberg in The Rings of Saturn, Goldberg fights out of the hold into a Jackhammer. Goodnight and God Bless!

This was a lot of fun, Goldberg was so over in such a short amount of time, it is incredible. Saturn bumps around for Goldberg, incorporates some psychology and works the longest match of Goldberg’s career by that point, props to Saturn for that and Goldberg was so freakishly strong and people loved watching him throw around wrestlers. Overall, a fun opening match by all accounts.

Winner: Goldberg over Saturn via Jackhammer!

Chavo Guerrero W/ Eddie Guerrero vs Ultimo Dragon

The Ultimo Dragon returns to WCW pay per view, Chavo is Eddie’s protégé as Chavo must do everything that Eddie says, Chavo is free from Eddie’s control if he can defeat The Ultimo Dragon. Lock-up, Dragon and Chavo mat wrestle with Chavo winning the first battle by grabbing the leg, Dragon grabs a side headlock and nails a shoulder block. Dragon sweeps the legs of Chavo, Chavo eats a mule kick from Dragon, Dragon rush while Eddie cannot watch Chavo in the ring. Dragon snapmares Chavo, kick to the spine and a stump-puller. Chavo trips up Dragon and tries for an Indian Deathlock, Muta Lock by Chavo. Dragon reaches the ropes, Dragon comes back into the match before Chavo nails two headscissors takedowns and a dropkick.

Reverse chinlock by Chavo, scoop slam and an elbow. Chavo has Dragon in a headscissors hold, Dragon escapes and applies a camel clutch. Romero Special from Dragon, standing switches and Dragon drop toeholds Chavo, La Magistral but Chavo rolls out and nails a clothesline. Hurricanrana by Dragon for two, Chavo rolls through for two. Irish whip, Chavo is on the top rope, Dragon looks for the superplex, Chavo knocks off Dragon but Dragon recovers to crotch Chavo. Dragon and Chavo battle on the top rope, Dragon is on the apron. Dragon suplexes Chavo to the floor, Asai Moonsault by Dragon. Eddie screams in Chavo’s face.

Chavo has Dragon with a tope con hilo, Chavo has Dragon in the ring. Irish whip, Dragon and Chavo knock one another down. Slugfest, enzuigiri by Dragon. Dragon is up top, Chavo counters the crossbody with a dropkick. Dragon is holding his groin, the referee backs away Chavo. Eddie wants Chavo to take advantage, Eddie slaps Chavo twice. Dropkick by Chavo, Dragon counters a suplex with a cradle for two, uppercut by Chavo and a nasty brainbuster. Dragon counters the running tornado DDT for The Dragon Sleeper, Chavo taps out.

That was solid from both men, nothing spectacular or super interesting to get the fans hyped, Dragon’s momentum had decreased a lot since his last appearance while Chavo was not that developed in terms of character. The fans were into Eddie though and they reacted when Chavo did not want to cheat so the story has the fans’ attention. It is a shame that the match in the ring cannot match the enthusiasm for the storyline.

Winner: Ultimo Dragon over Chavo Guerrero via Dragon Sleeper!

(WCW Television Championship Match) Booker T © vs Chris Benoit

Lock-up, clean break. Side headlock by Booker, shoulder block and Benoit is on the floor. Benoit kicks Booker in the ribs, chops and a drop toehold by Benoit. Benoit smashes the left leg of Booker, Booker counters with a spinning heel kick. Benoit powders for a second time, lock-up and side headlock by Booker. Booker clotheslines Benoit for two, side shuffle kick by Booker for two. Benoit pushes Booker to the corner, tonnes of stomps by Benoit. Benoit walks into a backbreaker, two count for the champion. Booker grabs the arm, Benoit fights back and suplexes Booker onto the top rope, Benoit punches Booker off the apron and into the guard rail. Right hands and chops by Benoit, snap suplex. Two for Benoit, reverse chinlock by the challenger.

Benoit misses a dropkick but drop toeholds Booker, back suplex by Benoit. Diving Headbutt by Benoit, cover and a two. Booker blocks the suplex for a suplex of his own, back elbow by Benoit for two. Snap suplex for two, backbreaker and another two for Benoit. Irish whip, German suplex 3x by Benoit. Irish whip into the corner, Benoit prepares for the back superplex. Beautiful back superplex, Benoit covers and Booker kicks out at two and a half, Irish whip and Booker reverses for his spinebuster. Flying forearm by Booker, flapjack and a Spinaroonie. Scissors Kick misses and Benoit pulls the referee in the way, Crippler Crossface by Benoit and Booker makes it to the ropes, looks like Booker tapped. Harlem sidekick by Booker, Booker pins Benoit but it was down to sheer luck!

That was a good match, quality of match is increasing as the night continues, Benoit works a hard-hitting and stiff style that the WCW fans just eat up, they react to everything the man does, they really do respect Benoit for his work in the ring. Booker is turning into a special babyface with a lot of fire, the tools are not all together just yet but Booker is becoming a good babyface, Benoit makes Booker tap which keeps Benoit strong and Booker looks like he just survived his match with Benoit, there will be a rematch and I look forward to seeing it between these two. Also, The Harlem Sidekick is not a great finish I would prefer a Scissors Kick.

Winner: Booker T over Chris Benoit via Harlem Sidekick!

Curt Hennig W/ Rick Rude vs British Bulldog W/ Jim Neidhart

Rude and Neidhart will be handcuffed to one another, I think Neidhart is one of the best unintentionally, funny wrestling personalities that has ever existed. The first two minutes are of Rude disagreeing to being handcuffed to Neidhart, Bulldog is hammering away on Perfect. Bulldog works the leg of Hennig with the kneebrace. Eye poke by Hennig and hundreds of chops but Bulldog goes for the leg. Shoulder thrusts by Bulldog, Hennig fights back with knees. Bulldog uppercuts his way into control, headbutt by Bulldog. More leg work by Bulldog, Hennig tries crawling to Rude, Neidhart pulls back Rude. Hennig battles back with elbows, Bulldog works the knee and smashes Hennig into every turnbuckle pad in one corner.

Bulldog steps through for the sharpshooter, Neidhart is choking out a policeman and Rude escapes the handcuffs and handcuffs Neidhart to the ringpost. Hennig sends Bulldog into the metal part of the turnbuckle and that’s it, Rude and Hennig beat the piss out of the Bulldog as its revealed Vincent is the policeman. Rude has a baton and Rude chokes the life out of Bulldog, Vincent attacks Neidhart.

Well, that was crap. Crowd could not care about these two men, it sums up Hennig’s career in WCW perfectly. Match was weird too, you would swear Bulldog was the heel as he worked the kneebraced leg of Hennig and dominated the match, finish was super lame too. Bulldog throws himself onto the turnbuckle, the bump is laughable and it’s just bad. It’s the hour mark and I the pay per view has disappointed me.

Winner: Curt Hennig over British Bulldog via Turnbuckle Smash!

(WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match) Chris Jericho © vs Prince Iaukea

A wild Prince Iaukea appears, I am certain it has been at least 9 months since I have last seen Iaukea on pay per view, Iaukea was bad then and I hope the poor boy has improved since the last time I have seen him. Jericho makes fun of Malenko before the match, this is building to something or at least I hope there is a pay-off coming.

Lock-up, Iaukea slaps Jericho. Top wristlock from Jericho, clothesline from Iaukea. Side headlock takedown, Jericho walks into a clothesline and another side headlock takedown. Shoulder block by Jericho, dropkick by Iaukea. Side headlock, Jericho skins the cat before Iaukea dropkicks Jericho to the outside, somersault off the apron by Iaukea. Jericho drop toeholds Iaukea onto the middle rope, delayed suplex by Jericho for two. Jericho kicks Iaukea on the mat, snapmare into a chinlock. Scoop slam and strut by Jericho, Jericho dives into the boot of Iaukea, right hands by Iaukea. Samoan drop by Iaukea, springboard somersault for two. Iaukea looks for a victory roll, Jericho counters for The Liontamer.

Iaukea makes it to the ropes, Jericho tries a sunset flip from the middle rope, Iaukea counters for two. Iaukea is crotched on the top rope, both men fall to the floor. Both men slap one another on their knees, Jericho counters a German suplex for a roll through into The Liontamer, Iaukea counters for a roll-up, two and a half. Iaukea counters a DDT for a Northern lights suplex, Jericho grabs the ropes at two. Jericho has Iaukea on the top rope, Iaukea knocks off Jericho. Iaukea looks for a sunset flip but Jericho rolls through and The Liontamer works this time as Iaukea taps out.

It was ok, not as good as the previous championship matches that Jericho has had in recent months. Iaukea was fine, nothing bad on his part, it just was not a good match in terms of psychology or heat. Crowd was lifeless throughout and nobody is into Iaukea.

Winner: Chris Jericho over Prince Iaukea via Liontamer!

Buff Bagwell & Scott Steiner vs Lex Luger & Rick Steiner

Bagwell has a cast on his wrist claiming to be “injured”. JJ. Dillon takes one look at Bagwell and asks for a doctor, Bagwell snaps and screws himself over and it looks like we are going to have match, Scott has nowhere to run from Rick. Bagwell jumps Rick, Luger clotheslines Scott on the floor. Bagwell stomps all over Rick and steps on the head. Powerslam by Rick, huge lariat and Scott jumps Rick from behind, right hands and a knee across the throat by Bagwell. Here’s Scott, Scott chokes Rick with the rope. Irish whip and a clothesline by Scott, more rope choking. Tag to Bagwell, scoop slam by Bagwell. Tag to Scott, Scott stomps Rick and rakes the eyes. Scoop slam and an elbow by Scott, two count for Scott.

Snapmare into a chinlock by Bagwell, right hands by Bagwell. Reverse chinlock by Scott, tag to Bagwell. Bagwell walks into a huge slam, Scott tries dragging Rick away. Rick tags Luger, Luger clotheslines Scott out of the ring. Flying forearm by Luger, Scott saves Bagwell from The Torture Rack. Rick and Scott leave the arena, Scott escapes Rick. Bagwell is shoved off the top rope by Rick and Luger Racks Bagwell for the win.

That was a quick match, not much of a match. Heat was put on Rick instantly, a little bit of selling and then a hot tag to Luger, the match was over by that point. I do appreciate the effort they are putting into Rick vs Scott, when that match comes it should be something special or at least I hope so with all the emphasis placed on saving it for a later date.

Winners: Luger & Rick Steiner over Scott Steiner & Buff Bagwell via Torture Rack!

Psychosis vs La Parka

Not too sure about the backstory here, La Parka has attacked his partners in the past. Both men are heels so this should be fun and by that I mean, this is going to be a load of bollocks. Parka chops and kicks Psychosis to begin, more strutting from La Parka. Side headlock and chest slap by Psychosis, Psychosis nails a headscissors. La Parka elevates Psychosis onto the top rope, Psychosis keeps his balance and nails a hurricanrana, tope suicida by Psychosis. Psychosis misses a baseball slide, La Parka kicks Psychosis on the apron. Clothesline in the ring by La Parka, two for La Parka. Slingshot hurricanrana by La Parka, split-legged moonsault by La Parka. Snap suplex, two count for La Parka.

Psychosis elevates La Parka onto the top turnbuckle, La Parka kicks Psychosis to the floor. Psychosis catches the leg of La Parka, springboard hurricanrana for two. Dropkick by Psychosis, twisting corkscrew moonsault by Psychosis. Psychosis misses a splash, La Parka wants to beat Psychosis, Alabama slam for two. Psychosis counters a powerbomb for a hurricanrana, La Parka taunts some more. Psychosis has La Parka in the ropes, Guillotine Leg Drop by Psychosis for the win.

Again, another match is just there. No heat or reaction from the fans, both men are heels so the fans do not know who they should cheer. What they do is ok but there is no rhyme or reason to it, it’s just here and I cannot think of a lot to say because I cannot remember a thing that happened in this match.

Winner: Psychosis over La Parka via Guillotine Leg Drop!

(Tag Team Bat on a Pole Match) Kevin Nash & Hulk Hogan vs Roddy Piper & The Giant

A wild Roddy Piper appears, Piper was tied to a cage the last time we saw him against Hogan, this might be WCW’s longest rivalry at this point, they had been feuding on and off since Halloween Havoc 1996 (Only Sting vs Flair is a rival at this point!). Anyways, The Giant has been chasing Nash for months with no payback for Giant whatsoever, the bat is involved in this match because Nash would batter Giant with bats at last month’s Uncensored. Interestingly, Hogan and Nash have separate entrances, furthering the tension between the two in the minds of the viewers. Piper immediately goes for the bat, Hogan is in pursuit and Hogan punches Piper away from the bat.

Piper is in the tree of woe, Nash is smashing the back of Piper. Hogan smashes Piper with punches and Piper fires up with his own punches. Eye poke floors Hogan, cheap shot to Nash. Piper rips at Hogan’s ear, giant ear clap by Piper. Hogan whips Piper with the belt, choking Piper too. Hogan climbs towards the bat, The Giant is legal and Hogan is whipped with his own belt. Giant spanks Hogan for good measure, Piper is whipping Nash and the babyfaces are owning the ring. Cover and two for Piper, Hogan low blows Piper. Tag to Nash, Nash picks up Piper and tells Piper to tag Giant. Nash pie-faces Giant, Giant knees Nash in the corner, corner clothesline and a huge chest slap. Boot by Nash, right hands by Nash. Knees and elbows by Nash in the corner (Vintage Nash!).

Clothesline by Nash but Giant is back up, Nash and Giant floor one another with a big boot. Piper and Hogan are legal, slugfest with Piper winning the war. Clothesline by Piper, Hogan pushes Piper to the corner. Piper has Hogan in the corner, ten punches from Piper. Eye poke by Piper, clothesline by Piper. In comes Nash, low blow by Piper. Giant dropkicks Nash to the floor, Piper has Hogan in The Sleeper, Hogan has the ropes. Piper climbs with the help of The Giant. Piper has the bat, Nash drags The Giant off the top rope. Hogan throws the bat to the floor, Hogan and Nash double team Piper and The Giant.

Here is The Disciple, Hogan has a bat and wham, to the back of The Giant. Hogan aims for Piper’s bad hip but Hogan nails Nash by mistake, Piper knocks Hogan out of the ring and Nash has been nailed in the back. Hogan is begging for mercy, The Disciple takes one bat from Piper and hands the other to Hogan. Hogan cracks Piper and we have our winners but more dissension as Nash is not a happy man and wants to kill Hogan. Nash goes to Powerbomb Hogan and Hogan smacks Nash in the back.

It was entertaining if nothing else, the ringwork was meh but I am used to that from Hogan in WCW. Giant never gets his pay-off and revenge on Nash I presume, that sucks considering they put so much time into The Giant gaining revenge, the match is secondary to Hogan attacking Nash. Looks like Nash & Hogan are going to go to war. What will happen?

Winners: Nash & Hogan over Piper & The Giant via Bat to the Back!

(WCW United States Championship Match) DDP © vs Raven (Raven’s Rules Match)

Raven stole the championship from DDP and parades around as the champion. Raven’s Rules mean this is going to be a hardcore style match, Sickboy jumps the crowd and grabs DDP, Raven misses DDP with the belt and nails Sickboy. DDP takes control, rights and lefts, back elbows and a back suplex. Raven is knocked to the floor, DDP planchas onto Raven & Sickboy. DDP climbs to the apron and Raven destroys DDP with a knee, shoulder thrust by Raven. Short-arm clothesline, Raven tries for The Even Flow DDT but DDP pushes off Raven. Swinging neckbreaker for two, Raven slides out of The Diamond Cutter. Raven and DDP brawl towards the stage, DDP hurls Raven off a stagecoach while DDP dives onto Raven and a lot of hay.

Raven is thrown to a railing and smacked with trash cans, DDP suplexes Raven through a table. Raven kicks off DDP, Raven puts DDP onto a table and nails a splash. Raven whips DDP with a cowbell, Raven has a trash can and nails DDP in the back. Raven chokes DDP with the rope, Sickboy has the kitchen sink. Raven wallops DDP with the kitchen sink, two count for Raven. DDP fires up, drop toehold into the kitchen sink, Kidman tries to save Raven with a splash but nails Raven by mistake. Sickboy nails DDP with a crutch, two count for that. Small package by DDP, two for the champion. Here is Van Hammer, Hammer nails Raven with a flying clothesline by accident, kitchen sink to the back of Hammer. Two count for DDP, Raven is still alive.

Low blow by Raven, here is Reece. Throat toss Bomb by Reece, cover and DDP kicks out. Stop sign is thrown to Raven, DDP smacks the sign into Raven’s face. DDP wipes out half The Flock with the sign, Diamond Cutter on Kidman. Horace Boulder Hogan smacks DDP with the sign and Raven nails The Even Flow DDT for the win.

That was another alright match, a lot of weapon shots with no real moves in between, The Flock are fun in the way they are booked to come in like a swarm and always seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, I do not see why Horace was necessary, I think Raven nailing The Even Flow after Kidman taking The Diamond Cutter. I understand what they were going for with DDP looking awesome in defeat by battling the odds but it just did not come together, does not matter though as Raven would drop the title the next night to Goldberg.

Winner: Raven over DDP via Even Flow DDT!

(WCW World Championship Match) Sting © vs Randy Savage W/ Miss Elizabeth (No Disqualifications Match)

Ok, in the build up to this match, it’s like Savage is the mega babyface. The man is injured but fighting against doctor orders and Savage is preferred to Hogan who is despised by everyone. Then, we have my man Sting, The Hero if WCW an absolute afterthought in the grand scheme of things even though the man’s title reign was built up for a year and a half and now, his moment has come and gone.

Savage attacks Sting, right hands by Savage and a foot across the throat. Right hands by Savage, eye rakes and more right hands. Sting blocks a right hand, Savage meets the guard rail. Savage walks away from his world championship match? Weird move, Sting sends Savage into stage props, Sting smacks Savage with a bale of hay. More punching, more guard rails and punching. Sting misses a Stinger Splash on the guard rail, Sting meets the ringpost. Right hands by Savage, clothesline by Savage. Sting blocks a piledriver, Savage misses an elbow. Savage covers for two, Sting throws Savage to the floor. Sting suplexes Savage on the floor. Elizabeth has to help Savage into the ring, tell me the man is not the babyface in this match, it’s ridiculous.

Low blow by Savage, Sting is crotched on the top rope, cover and a two for the challenger. Sting blocks the double axe handle with a right, Sting is clotheslined into the referee, piledriver by Savage. Sting no-sells it, Elizabeth smacks Sting with the chair. Sting Stinger Splashes Elizabeth, Savage smacks Sting with the chair. Here comes Hogan, Hogan shoves Savage off the top rope. Sting reverses the suplex for A Scorpion Death Drop, here’s Nash and Nash Jacknife Powerbombs Sting, Savage is put on top of Sting and Savage wins the WCW World Championship thanks to Nash.

That was also garbage, must be the theme of the night. To be fair, Savage’s knee was destroyed he could not do a thing so the match consisted of punching. Typical NWO shenanigans at the end of the match but with a twist that Nash screws over Hogan so The NWO is going to come to blows and what a shit-show that turns out to be but for now, things were interesting. Finally, there is Sting, the momentum was gone and now he has lost his championship, taking a backseat to Hogan just like Bret Hart. I will say it again, this company screwed up long before Russo came along, that much was clear by Starrcade 1997.

Winner: Randy Savage over Sting via Jacknife Powerbomb by Kevin Nash!

WCW’s Spring Stampede of 1998 is a pay per view you should not bother with, the only moment of any significance featured on this pay per view is Nash being struck down by Hogan signifying the beginning of the war between The NWO Black & White and The NWO WolfPac. WCW pay per view have a pattern, good undercard, weak main events. It’s a stereotype about the company for a reason because it’s very true. Spring Stampede is an exception because this pay per view does not have just terrible main events but it takes a nose dive after match three. Everything after Benoit vs Booker T is just there, it does not evoke emotion or heat. It’s silly, it’s dull and it’s boring. To call these matches good enough for pay per view is laughable, it’s like a bad episode of Nitro. Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!

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