September 13, 1998
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
WARGAMES! Well in name only at least as whatever they have tonight
certainly isn’t the same idea that gave us the best team gimmick
match of all time. Tonight there are three teams of three men each
but only one individual can win, making the team concept completely
pointless. The winner faces Goldberg, who isn’t on the card tonight,
for the title at Halloween Havoc. Let’s get to it.
opening video just shows all nine people in the main event.
ring setup is different than any other show as there are two rings
right next to each other. The matches will alternate between rings
announcers talk about the main event as a LOUD We Want Flair chant
starts up. They go over the rules of the main event before going to
the back where Ernest Miller is being restrained. There was a
lottery earlier and it will be Bret Hart vs. DDP to start. Another
new rule this year: the match can end at any time instead of waiting
for everyone to get in.
talks even more but Jericho interrupts and announces he’ll be in a
champion vs. champion match tonight against Goldberg. The fans are
Boy Smith/Jim Neidhart vs. Alex Wright/Disco Inferno
and Davey get things going with Smith taking him into the corner and
hitting some forearms to the head. A hiptoss and gorilla press slam
send Wright into the corner to bring in Disco. He gets to face
Neidhart as the match slow down a bit. Some shoulder blocks put
Disco down and Anvil swivels his hips a bit. Disco fires back with
some stomps to the chest and a running knee lift, only to have
Neidhart drive him into the corner for the tag off to Bulldog.
comes in as well and stomps a German mudhole in the corner. Bulldog
cartwheels out of a monkey flip but Alex pops up and hits a spinwheel
kick to take over again. Back to Disco who hits a nice shot to the
jaw but Smith sidesteps him to send Disco outside. Jim gets in some
stomps on the floor and whips Inferno hard into the barricade. Disco
is thrown inside for a chinlock before fighting up and stepping on
Smith’s foot. He runs into Davey to knock him down (no move or
anything. Disco just collided with him) but Davey picks him up and
throws him at the ropes in what I think was supposed to be a hot
gets another tag and slams Disco onto the mat as Heenan picks Piper
to win WarGames. Jim bites Disco’s forehead as this boring match
continues so the fans chant for Flair again. Smith comes back in to
launch Neidhart in for a slingshot shoulder block but I think he
leaves it short (Disco tried to move so it wasn’t clear which
happened) and it’s back to Alex.
comes in and gets backdropped, which I believe is the move that broke
his back as he landed on Warrior’s trapdoor because WCW thought
Ultimate Warrior should have magical powers. The match degenerates
into a comedy match with the referee having to drop to the mat to
avoid a charging Bulldog before the injured Davey Boy gets Disco up
for the powerslam and the pin.
D. This could have been on any
given episode of Saturday Night but instead it’s opening a pay per
view. Keep that in mind when you remember that guys like Eddie
Guerrero and the world champion couldn’t get on the card tonight.
This was pretty much it for Neidhart and Smith would be gone about a
month later after the back injury got infected and put him in the
hospital for six months.
is with Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell with Scott saying he’s injured
and showing the Band-Aid to prove it. Steiner’s doctor has written
him a note saying he can’t wrestle tonight but JJ Dillon just happens
to be walking by and says the match is on anyway. Again, why bother
making up these stories and having them resolved in the same segment?
The match has been building for seven months now. Just have them
Title/WCW World Title: Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg
get the long entrance from the back, complete with the debut of
RALPHUS as the Jericho Personal Security. Jericho finds the lunch
room, the door to the parking lot (“Not falling for that again!”)
and finally the arena. The pyro are just little puffs of smoke to
anger Jericho even more but the fans love him. Of course it’s not
the real Goldberg though as we get the all time favorite: the little
impersonator. At least this guy is taller than the top rope. The
fans are REALLY not pleased and can you blame them? We’re thirty
minutes into this show and we’ve had the opening match and this.
Jericho no sells the spear and wins with the Liontamer.
Steiner is at the internet location and isn’t happy that he has to
fight his brother. He knows his brother better than anyone does and
he’ll teach him a lesson. As generic as this was, it’s the second
best thing on the show tonight.
see the entire segment with Ernest Miller interrupting the Armstrongs
on Thunder, leading to Norman Smiley making a save.
Smiley vs. Ernest Miller
gives Smiley five seconds to get out of the ring before he takes him
apart but Norman chops him to the floor. Smiley follows him outside
but gets whipped into the barricade before we head back inside for a
variety of kicks. A double chop to the throat puts Norman down again
and Miller mixes up his offense with some knees to the chest. More
choking ensues against the ropes before he throws Smiley down with a
judo move. Off to a lame armbar before Norman comes back to no
reaction from the bored crowd. A delayed suplex gets two on Miller
but he breaks up a superplex attempt and hits two Feliners for the
D. To clarify: WCW would rather
push a one dimensional martial arts guy over an international
submission/amateur style wrestler with years of experience wrestling
all over the world. Smiley had a lot of tools but never got to
showcase what he could do. But hey, at least we get to see ERNEST
recap Rick vs. Scott Steiner. Scott turned on his brother back in
February and has avoided the match over and over again before they
FINALLY go at it tonight.
Steiner vs. Scott Steiner
stalls on the floor for a few minutes before coming back inside for a
slugout with Rick getting the better of it. A right hand from Scott
has no effect and he bails to the floor. Rick chases him into the
crowd and drags him back
into the ring but Scott hits him low to escape a belly to belly
more stalling Rick blocks a butterfly suplex and hits a DDT before
going up for the bulldog. Buff Bagwell interferes but gets rammed
into the buckle, knocking him out cold and dropping him to the mat.
Rick’s bad shoulder is sent into the post but he comes right back
with right hands. The referee is with Bagwell and the match is
stopped due to his injury, further ticking off the crowd.
D-. This was getting better but
of course we have a false finish because waiting seven months for a
full match just isn’t long enough. I can’t blame the crowd for
getting even angrier after sitting through this as they were getting
their first interesting match of the night but it didn’t even break
is awake and talking to Scott as the crowd shouts what they think of
this nonsense. Trainers come out to check on Bagwell as the
announcers talk about how serious this is. A stretcher is brought
out as the show grinds to another halt. We go all the way to the
back to see Bagwell loaded into a stretcher with Rick saying someone
needs to call Buff’s mom. The ambulance doors are closed, Rick is
distraught, and of course Scott and Buff come back out and beat him
down. Nearly ten minutes were spent on this after the match ended.
Title: Silver King vs. Juventud Guerrera
is a rematch after Silver King got disqualified on Thunder. Juvy is
defending of course. The announcers spend the opening part of the
match talking about how they’re not going to talk about Bagwell.
Juvy takes him down with an armbar to start but Silver flips out of
it and sends the champion to the mat. The announcers mention the
match they had on Thunder, referring to it as “recently on WCW TV”.
They can’t even get the details of a match from three days ago?
comes back with a quick hurricarana and a springboard into a
headscissors for two. Another springboard move is caught by a
dropkick from Silver King before he loads Juvy on his shoulder and
spins him, tossing him into the buckle. A shoulder breaker gets two
on the champion and a dropkick knocks him outside. Silver King hits
a nice springboard plancha to take Juvy out again as the fans chant
in and Juvy tries a quick sunset flip but overshoots it and crashes.
Thankfully Silver King doesn’t walk over to him so Juvy can get the
near fall. Instead Juvy gets up and hits a quick springboard
hurricanrana for two and a missile dropkick gets the same. King
misses a charge into the corner and an inversted Frankensteiner is
good for two. Cool looking move, but of course it’s not enough for
the pin because why have a big, new move get a victory? The Juvy
Driver and 450 retain Guerrera’s title.
C. This was good almost due to
how bad everything else has been. Silver King wasn’t the best choice
for a challenger but Juvy is cleaning out the division before someone
steps up to beat him. The Frankensteiner was a nice move but it
doesn’t make up for the first hour being a waste of time.
is doing an interview on WCW.com when Scott Hall comes up and throws
a drink in his face.
recap Saturn vs. Raven. Lodi had won Saturn’s servitude due to
interference and Saturn has
been forced to comply due to his honor code as a former Army Ranger.
Saturn believed in honor so much that he allowed his fingers to be
broken instead of dishonorably breaking Riggs’ fingers. Tonight if
Raven wins then Saturn is Raven’s servant forever but if Saturn wins,
the Flock disbands.
is handcuffed to the ring to make it as far as possible. It’s also
Raven’s Rules. Raven chills
in the corner to start before getting in a cheap shot and sending
Saturn across the ring and down to the mat. A running knee lift has
Saturn in even more trouble but he comes back with some high kicks in
the corner and a spinning springboard forearm for two. Saturn gets
the same off a top rope splash and another kick sends Raven into the
barricade. Lodi goes over to help but both guys are taken out by a
nice suicide dive to wake up the crowd a little bit.
interferes a bit to give Raven control and get a two count off a pair
of middle rope elbows. Saturn comes back with something resembling a
powerbomb for two, only to be taken down by a quick clothesline.
There’s a sleeper to Saturn but he comes out of it with a jawbreaker
to put both guys down. Raven is up first with some rolling Russian
legsweeps for two but Saturn hits him low to get a break.
get our first chair brought in for the drop toehold from Raven and
the Flock brings in a table. Kidman is on the other side of the ring
and comes in to turn on Raven with a dropkick before sprinting to the
back with the Flock chasing after him. Saturn’s Death Valley Driver
gets a VERY close two before he snaps off three straight suplexes.
Raven is out on his feet so Saturn slams him to the mat and gets two
off a spinning springboard legdrop.
like a Juvy Driver gets two more for Saturn so he puts on the Rings
of Saturn but Lodi makes the save. The referee gets bumped and
Kanyon gets the key to the handcuffs out of his pocket to set himself
free. He gives Saturn a Flatliner but Raven can only get two.
Saturn drives Lodi through
the table with the Death Valley Driver but walks into the EvenFlow.
He kicks out again and the fans are WAY into this now. Another Death
Valley Driver is enough to split up the Flock.
B. This was the only way to end
the feud and it worked very well. As is almost always the case, the
backstory makes the match much better as you have Saturn rising above
everyone else and surviving everything Raven throws at him. Kidman
turning makes sense as he had already been changing his look in the
previous months, which is always a good addition to a feud.
Duggan’s cancerous tumor was successfully removed and it was the size
of a football.
look at the end of the cage match from Monday with Arn Anderson
coming out to save Dean and blow the roof off the place. That’s the
problem with tonight being the double cage match: the Malenko vs.
Hennig cage match would have made more sense on PPV but they had to
do the whole thing backwards.
Malenko vs. Curt Hennig
goes right for Curt to start but Hennig bails to the floor. The fans
want Flair but get Dean ramming Hennig’s leg into the barricade
instead. Rude tries to interfere but gets stared down, allowing
Malenko to wrap Curt’s leg around the post. Back in and Dean stays
on the leg, leaving Curt unable to slam Dean. Tony declares this a
Horsemen style attack as Curt gets in a shot to the ribs to slow Dean
down and take over. He can’t keep up the attack due to the knee
though and Dean goes right back to it with a knee crusher.
bails to the floor where Rude tries to help him to the back but Dean
will have none of that. Back in and Dean cannonballs down on the
knee before putting on a leg bar. Off to a different kind of leg
lock as the fans are just waiting for Anderson and Flair to run in.
Back up and Hennig forearms him down but the knee gives out on the
HennigPlex attempt. Instead Dean HennigPlexes Curt but Rude comes in
for the DQ.
D+. GAH this
was irritating. Is it going
to kill Curt Hennig to have him job to Malenko on PPV? Apparently
so, because we couldn’t possibly let a cruiserweight like Malenko get
a clean pin over a big star, even if that big star hasn’t meant much
of anything in months. This was a very annoying ending.
gets beaten down but Anderson runs out for the save. Hennig and Rude
take him down with ease and stomp on his bad arm as no one runs out
to help. The NWO stands tall because that’s how WCW works.
Hall vs. Konnan
does the survey and the NWO chant is barely audible. Feeling out
process to start until Hall throws the toothpick in Konnan’s face.
Scott cranks on Konnan’s arm and slaps him in the back of the head
for a bit so Konnan just punches him in the face. The fans go nuts
for Konnan all of a sudden before
he takes Hall down with a shoulder block. Hall does the changing
hands on a test of strength bit until Konnan punches him again.
Scott tries to run but gets caught in the between the rings and is
stomped down to the floor between the gap.
ensues on the floor as the crowd dies again. Back inside and Hall
cranks on both arms and putting a knee between Konnan’s shoulders.
Konnan spins his arms around to reverse the hold but doesn’t move his
hands. In other words, the only thing keeping Hall in this hold is
him grabbing Konnan’s wrists. He finally kicks Konnan low to escape
and for a two count. The fallaway slam gets the same and we hit the
abdominal stretch. Hall even has a drink while he has the hold
counters into one of his own but Hall hiptosses him down, only to
miss three straight elbow drops. Scott is rammed into the buckles a
few times but he comes right back with a clothesline. A belly to
back superplex drops Konnan again but he stops for a drink instead of
covering. Konnan kicks the cup into his face and hits the X Factor
to set up the Tequila Sunrise for the win.
C-. Not a bad match for the
most part but it doesn’t mean anything. This was the same kind of
match that you would see in the Alliance era in WWF: not terrible but
doesn’t change anything for anyone. I’ll give them credit for
pushing Konnan though as this was as close to a clean win as you’re
going to get in an NWO match.
Team WCW vs. Team NWO Wolfpack vs. Team NWO Hollywood
Diamond Dallas Page, Warrior, Roddy Piper
Kevin Nash, Sting, Lex Luger
Hollywood Hogan, Bret Hart, Stevie Ray
are different rules this year. We’re going to start with Hart vs.
Page for five minutes and every two minutes someone else will be
added. The match can end at anytime and for the first time ever, by
pinfall. The first person to get a fall faces Goldberg next month at
Halloween Havoc. It’s a double cage so the ring is completely
surrounded, including a top. There’s no wall or barricade between
the two rings so people can change rings at will.
further annoy me, Sting vs. Goldberg is announced for tomorrow night.
That could have headlined Starrcade. This first period is five
minutes. Page cranks on the arm to start and gets two off a shoulder
block. An early Diamons Cutter attempt misses and Page is sent face
first into the buckle. Hart DDTs him down and rams Page into another
buckle. We have two minutes left in the match as the trade right
hands in the corner.
backbreaker keeps Page in trouble but he grabs the arm and drives it
down into the mat to get a breather. Page comes back with his discus
lariat to put both guys down as Stevie Ray comes in third. All
remaining periods are just two minutes. Ray chokes on Page and slams
him but opts to choke instead of cover. A clothesline keeps Page in
trouble as Sting is in fourth. Stevie meets him coming in and we
have action in both rings for the first time tonight.
is sent to the other ring so Sting dives over two sets of ropes with
a clothesline (called the Stinger Splash by Tenay) as all four are in
the same ring. They’re already slowing down with Sting the only one
on his feet. Ray gets caught between the ropes and cage for a splash
from Sting as Hart piledrives Page. A second splash from Sting hits
the cage as Piper is in fifth. Piper bites various people and pokes
a lot of eyes because this is WAR. He nails Page because the team
concept means nothing. You might even be able to pin your team
members but it’s not specified.
is stomped between the rings and Bret punches Page from one ring to
the other. Luger strolls to the ring at number six and goes after
Stevie while the other four guys are in the first ring. Lex jumps
Hart to end whatever bond they made on Thunder before moving over to
Piper. Roddy’s sleeper doesn’t last long on Luger and it’s Nash
(with pyro) in seventh. Big Kev cleans house as Hogan comes out a
minute and twenty seconds early.
Racks Bret but Hogan is knocking everyone out with Stevie’s slap
jack. Stevie and Hogan are the only people left standing as the
match stops cold. Hogan’s time ends despite him being in the ring
for a minute already. The match has completely died with Hogan
dropping leg after leg on Nash. There’s the Warrior smoke and
Warrior appears in the ring. Hogan jumps him from behind and lays
him out but more smoke fills the ring.
clears out and only Warrior’s coat is left. Warrior runs down the
aisle as Hogan panics. Stevie takes Warrior down with relative ease
as Disciple pulls Hogan out of the cage. Everyone else is still out
cold by the way. Warrior comes back on Ray and walks around the ring
looking at Hogan before kicking the cage wall apart and chasing Hogan
to the back. In the ring, DDP pops up and hits a quick Diamond
Cutter on Ray for the win.
Agoobwa. This match was so
stupid that it’s beneath any letter grade. I’m not even sure where
to start. First off, this isn’t WarGames. This is more like a
regular match dressing up like WarGames for Halloween. There
was never any drama or intrigue and the match never felt important at
all. It was about fifteen minutes of lackluster punching and kicking
before Hogan and Stevie Ray knocked everyone else out with a weapon
so they wouldn’t have to fill in all that time with action.
top of that, this wasn’t even violent. Other than Sting splashing
Ray against the cage, no one was rammed into the steel until Warrior
sent Stevie into it. The biggest flaw here is there was no hatred or
personal animosity between these guys. They were just all assigned
to teams and might have had some matches that ended in DQ’s a few
weeks earlier. That doesn’t make for a match that is supposed to be
the biggest, most violent fight of the year.
very similar to the modern day Hell in a Cell matches. With so
little time to build up to them, there’s no reason to care about what
happens out there. Look back to let’s say 1992 with Sting’s Squadron
against the Dangerous Alliance. There were probably five individual
feuds in there and they had been built up for months. Or even look
at 1995 with Hogan’s team against the Dungeon of Doom. The match
sucked but at least there was a reason for them to be fighting other
than “we need members of each organization.” This wasn’t
WarGames. It was a multiple man match which happened to be in the
celebrates in the crowd to end the show.
Rating: F-. If there was a
rating lower than this, the show would get that. This was dreadful
throughout with Raven vs. Saturn being the only match worth checking
out and even that’s a stretch. They took all of the good potential
that WCW had been building up for months and wasted it in one night.
No Guerrero, no Goldberg (he couldn’t even show up and beat on
Jericho?), no Flair, and Anderson gets beaten down because we need to
keep Curt Hennig looking strong. This ranks up there with the worst
shows of all time and I can easily see why it was named the worst
show of the year for 1998.
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