WCW Spring Stampede 1998

WCW Spring Stampede 1998WCW Spring Stampede 1998

From March 29, 1998

Video Package - Excellent. It showcased Nash, Hogan and Savage's power struggle in WCW and it was done well and with good production values.

Announcers with breaking news - Excellent. Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan announce that tonight's main event for the WCW World Championship will be No DQ. They also took the time to build the picture of the night and talked up the card.

Perry Saturn w/Kidman vs Goldberg - 3.75 / 5

Goldberg is SUPER over. He's now 73-0 and only 7 months into his career. The shocking part of this, is that it was Goldberg's longest match thus far in his career. Saturn got in plenty of offense and the announcers sold Saturn as a legit threat to Goldberg.

The Flock attempted to interfere on Saturn's behalf but Goldberg fought them off. Saturn then got Goldberg into the rings of Saturn. Goldberg subsequently became the first person to get out of the move by turning it into a god damn Jackhammer. This moment was awesome. Goldberg got the pin to go 74-0. We're then told he'll be facing the United States Champion tomorrow on Nitro for the title.

Chavo Guerrero Jr. w/Eddie Guerrero vs Ultimo Dragon - 4 / 5

The announcers tell us that Chavo needs to win to stop being Eddie's bitch. Naturally, Eddie played the great heel uncle throughout without distracting from the match and the announcers did a great job of selling the Eddie / Chavo relationship and making it relevant to the match that was happening right in front of us. Chavo ultimately refused to use Eddie's "cheat to win" tactics, this annoys Eddie who gets onto the apron and slaps Chavo. This leads Chavo into the Dragon Sleeper where he taps out.
Post match: Chavo gets berated by Eddie but says that he refuses to use Eddie's tactics.

DDP Promo - Okay. He's talking to the .com guys saying that he's not worried if he has to face Goldberg tomorrow.

WCW Television Championship Match
Chris Benoit vs Booker T (C) - 3.5 / 5

The announcers did an amazing job of putting over the title as being something a lot of guys want and then put over the guys in the ring.
It was exactly the match you'd expect from these two, both guys got plenty of offense in and look good coming out of the match.
My only problem with this match is the really poor execution of the ref bump and the finish. So Booker T is about to his scissor kick, but the referee is so obviously too close to the action and predicatably Benoit pulls him in to get scissor kicked instead. While the referee is down, Benoit gets the crossface and Booker T hits the mat once (the announcers then argue about whether or not it was a tap out) but it was all elementary as the ref was out. Booker T then hits the Harlem Side kick for the win.
This would have been a 4. But that finish was terrible.

British Bulldog w/Jim Neidhart vs Curt Hennig w/Rick Rude - To quote our friend BRM... DUD!

The announcers tell us that he'll see handcuffs tonight because Rude will be handcuffed to Neidhart throughout the match to prevent any outside interference . Surely just banning the both of them would have worked better?

Cuffing them then takes forever as Rude doesn't want to be handcuffed. The match finally starts and Bulldog works over Hennig's knee. Rude repeatedly tries to get involved and Neidhart just pulls him away. I assume there's no reason why Neidhart doesn't just choke out or knock out Rude to prevent this behavior? But all of this stuff distracted from the actual match itself between two absolute greats.
The stupidest is yet to come! TYPICAL WCW ALERT The worst execution of this finish possible then occurred. A police officer came close to Neidhart and gave Rude something, Neidhart then chokes the cop while allowing Rude to outstretch is arm and remove his cuffs and cuff Neidhart to the ring post. The cop turns out to be NWO stooge Vincent.

Anyway this sets up Hennig beating Bulldog, this is then followed by Hennig, Rude & Vincent attacking Bulldog. Technically though, Hennig actually won clean, but it was so messy with all the other stuff going on, it didn't feel that way.

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Prince Iaukea vs Chris Jericho (C) -3.5 / 5

Jericho comes out with a microphone and cuts a promo on Dean Malenko keeping that feud alive.
What followed was a good solid cruiserweight match for the time it got with some good near falls and Jericho won clean with the Liontamer.

Raven promo - Good. He's talking to the .com guys, he hypes the match with DDP.

Buff Bagwell & Scott Steiner promo - AWFUL! Bagwell is wearing a cast, Heenan announces "I smell NWO!" and mocks the cast. Bagwell gets on the mic and says because he's obviously injured, the match is cancelled.

JJ Dillon rushes out w/Gene Okerlund and JJ wants clarification on the situation, luckily, JJ Dillon says he has a doctor on hand who can verify the injury. During the examination Buff loses his cool and grabs Dillon with his bad hand. The doc then says he's good to go.. so we get...

Buff Bagwell & Scott Steiner vs Lex Luger & Rick Steiner - 1.5 / 5

Typical babyface in peril match. Rick Steiner finally gets the tag and Luger comes in with great heat, which lasts for all of about 10 second, there's then 2 on 1 on Luger for a few seconds until Rick chases Scott Steiner to the back. Rick then returns without his brother and Luger wins with the Torture Rack.

La Parka vs Psychosis - 1.25 / 5

Obviously a gap filler match, it was a short semi-decent back and forth match.
Psychosis wins with the guillotine leg drop after La Parka does a really botchy job of getting himself tangled in the ropes to the point where he sort of suspends himself clearly waiting for the leg drop.

Bat (on a pole) Match
Kevin Nash & Hulk Hogan vs Roddy Piper & The Giant - 2.5 / 5

Nash and Hogan come out separately despite the same music surely to emphasis the divide that exists. Apparently this is normal tag rules with just a bat on a pole. At one point, The Giant literally put Hogan over his knee and spanked him. Other than this, the match went in the right direction, with Hogan and Nash playing reluctant partners and the arena went insane when Nash & The Giant finally faced off, it was built perfectly and then there was some good big man action until they fucking big booted each other. It looked hokey, it looked shit and I found myself shaking my head.

Anyway, Piper & The Giant got the bat and OVERBOOKING ALERT Hogan grabbed it and threw it away, this clearly was leading to some bullshit finish and I was right. The Disciple comes down to the ring with another bat and hands it to Hogan. Hogan then hits Nash by accident, Piper takes it and goes to hit Hogan, but the Disciple grabs the bat and throws the other bat to Hogan, Hogan then hits Piper and pins him for the win.

Post-Match - Hogan and Nash argue, but Hogan convinces Nash to jackknife The Giant, as Nash sets this up, Hogan hits him with the bat. If you think it was confusing to read, try watching it. It's just overbooked unnecessarily. It would have been simpler to have Hogan and Nash win clean with the bat, have them look like they've gotten on the same page. Nash goes to set the powerbomb up and then Hogan clubs him with the bat. No Disciple, no second bat, no bullshit.

WCW United States Championship Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs Raven - AWFUL!

The Flock have been in the crowd all night, so I imagine they'll somehow be involved... oh wait, The Flock get involve basically straight away and continue to get involve continuously, but the ref hasn't called any DQ's... why not!? The ref even watches a blatant low blow and flinches, but does nothing! Raven wins after an unidentified man hits DDP with a stop sign allowing Raven to hit the Evenflow DDT onto a kitchen sink!

This match was overbooked and stupid. We're then told about "Raven's rules" and apparently this match was competed under them.. when was this announced? What are Raven's Rules? F*ck. It's stupid.

Michael Buffer announces main event - EXCELLENT. FIVE STARS. I fucking forgot just how much I loved Michael Buffer, him being there and his announcing style gave the match a main event feel before it even started. Just him alone got me pumped up.

NO DQ WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Randy Savage (C) w/ Elizabeth vs Sting - 2 / 5

Macho Man attacked Sting the moment he stepped through the ropes and is only selling his injuries half the time. Started off as solid back and forth action and it felt like a proper World Championship Match... that is of course until the ref takes a bump. Elizabeth then enters the ring and hits Sting with a chair, this does nothing. Sting eventually ends up splashing Elizabeth in the corner allowing Savage the advantage. Hogan then appears and pushes Savage off the top rope. Then Hogan disappears and now it's Kevin Nash interfering... he jackknifes Sting and drags Savage over to cover him and the ref makes the 3-count.
Once again, it's overbooked bullshit... BUT my biggest problem is actually with the fact that the match is NO DQ... so the Ref didn't need to get bumped. So why bother bumping him?

Anyway, the show ends when Hogan comes out shouting "That's my belt" alongside the Disciple who's acting is POOR. But all this bullshit took a huge shit and what was starting to be an enjoyable main event.

Final Thoughts
Some parts of this show (the lower card) were really enjoyable, some of the matches were good fun. However, there was so much overbooking in places it did not need to be and even when the finish was clean, they messed it up by being an unecessary distraction. There is just too many cooks around this broth and the show is messy.

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