Assorted April PPV Countdown: WCW Spring Stampede 98

The Netcop Rant for WCW/nWo Spring Stampede 1998.   (2012 Scott Sez:  This is an original rant from 1998, which I don’t think I’ve even read since the show first aired.  So it’ll be an adventure for everyone!) Live from Denver, Colorado.   Your hosts are some guy, another guy, and his dog Spot.   Opening match:  Saturn v. Goldberg.  Lodi is at ringside again!  Yeah! Odd choice for an opener, but whatever.  (I dunno, seems logical to me, having Goldberg do the quick destruction to open the show and jack up the crowd.)  Saturn actually weathers the first minute of offense and survives.  Wow.  Goldberg even takes some bumps outside the ring.  Fans are so into Goldberg it’s frightening. Saturn actually gets the majority of the offense in, as most of Goldberg’s stuff is quick, high-impact moves which have no long-term effect (ie that powerslam looks cool, but it’s no more devastating than a regular slam, dig?).  Saturn fucks up an Asai moonsault, badly. Goldberg is sucking wind five minutes in, likely due to the altitude.  (Probably also due to him rarely ever going a minute in his matches to that point.)  Goldberg comeback, spear, but Saturn blocks the Jackhammer by hitting him in the nads.  ‘Bout time someone thought of that.  Flock runs in, Goldberg fights them off, but gets caught in the Rings.  He powers out, however (with much help from Saturn) and improvises a Jackhammer for the win.  Not bad, all things considered.  ***   (Saturn would have to be a Greek god come to life in order to carry Bill Goldberg to a *** match, so I’m thinking that was high.)  Chavo Guerrero v. Ultimo Dragon.  Just your basic lucha match, with lots of the usual flipping and flopping but no real offense.  (I’m not a fan of the lucha style, why do you ask?) Eddy is entertaining outside as he freaks out, though.  Couple of glaring resthold spots ruin it in the middle.  They mess up an another nice suicide dive.  Dragon gets it in the groin accidentally (this is becoming a theme tonight…) but Chavo is a Nice Person so he won’t capitalize.  Just ask Barry Windham what *that* got him at Starrcade 87. (It got him PINNED, that’s what!)  It gets Chavo the same thing, as Dragon comes back with the dragon sleeper for the win.  ***  (That’s actually not the same thing.)  Eddy reems out Chavo afterwards.  Poor guy.   WCW TV title:  Booker T v. Chris Benoit.  Really slow match compared to their Nitro ones.  Must be the altitude again.  Benoit controls most of the match before a double-KO situation allows a Booker comeback. Spinebuster, pancake, Axe Kick, but the ref gets bumped.  Benoit comes back with the Crossface, but the ref is out.  Oh, f---, I don’t like the looks of this. (Ah, the days when Benoit was the internet’s version of Daniel Bryan instead of OJ Simpson.)  Benoit goes over to revive him, Axe Kick, see ya.  GOD DAMMIT MOTHER F------ S---!  **  I hope you burn in hell, Eric Bischoff, you lowlife motherfucker.  (Of course, Benoit is probably the one burning in hell right now.)  The match wasn’t even that great, only going about 12 minutes.   (Ah, the days when I used to get worried about Benoit winning the TV title, a belt so prestigious that Jim Duggan went on to win it by fishing it out of a garbage can.)  British Bulldog v. Curt Hennig.  Now I’m pissed off.  Rick Rude is handcuffed to Jim Neidhart here.  Horrible, terrible, awful, atrocious piece of s--- match. (But tell us what you really thought about it.)  Vincent comes out dressed as a policeman and unlocks the cuffs (He was probably working as a security guard at the mall to make up some extra cash), and Rude nails Bulldog, Hennig gets the pin.  DUD, maybe bordering on negative stars for the overbooking.  (Given these two had maybe one good vertabrae between them, I’m thinking negative stars is a pretty safe bet.  And now of course both participants and Rude are gone.)  The nWo wipes the mat with Smith and Neidhart…uh, here’s someone getting SCREWED in a gross INJUSTICE…shouldn’t someone be coming out to save them?  No? Oh, well…   (Bret Hart was contractually unable to associate with Bulldog & Neidhart, lest the WWF legal machine sue for intellectual property theft.)  Prince Wanalaya v. Chris Jericho.  Jericho dedicates the match to Dean Malenko.  I wish it was Malenko that was wrestling because the Prince starts it out with an extended side headlock and it goes downhill from there.  Very slow, stalling match.  They keep teasing a Prince upset as he blocks the Liontamer twice and hits some near fall situations.  Dear god this match sucks.  The Prince is not anywhere near Jericho’s level and Jericho looks to be dogging it to begin with.  (Jericho wasn’t exactly motivated for most of the year.)  Finally, I’mokaya-Yourokaya is forced to tap out to the third Liontamer.  Thank god.  Now I never want to hear from this putz again.  1/2*  Jericho steals the Hawaiian towel thingie for his trophy.   BUFF~! & Scott Steiner v. Lex Luger & Rick Steiner.  Buff comes out with a cast on his arm, and says he can’t wrestle, so JJ Dillon brings out a doctor to check it himself and they proceed to do this little angle right there.  Do we have *that* much extra time to waste on this show?  Couldn’t this have been filled with, say, wrestling?  Of course, Buff is fine, and the match goes on, unfortunately.  Chinlock, punch, kick, you get the picture.  Luger cleans house, then a big fight erupts and Scott runs for the hills from Rick.  The Rack is academic as Buff submits.  DUD.  Why do they keep making Buff into the fall guy if they want to push him?   (Maybe he should call up Dolph Ziggler and ask him the same question.)  Mean Gene hypes the fact that a certain individual is in the dressing room, which might lead one to believe that another certain individual in the nWo might be coming back soon.  Dusty Rhodes in the lockerroom is “too hot for TV?”   Special Added Bonus Time-Wasting Match:  La Parka v. Psychosis.  Under normal circumstances I’d be delighted to see this.  But it sucks. Badly.  (So does this review.)  Spot, rest, spot.  La Parka picks up Psychosis one too many times and he ends up getting the legdrop and jobbing again.  This was so bad it was embarassing at times.  1/4*   And now the announcers are wasting time by making some ridiculous analogy about a dog that uses up five more minutes.  (I remember that!  It truly was a ridiculous tangent that went nowhere.)  Was Booker-Benoit supposed to go really long or something?  Am I missing something here?   Baseball bat match:  Kevin Nash & Hulk Hogan v. Giant & Roddy Piper. Piper starts out for his side, thus sending this one down the crapper right away.  Crowd is hot for this one, poor souls.  Giant actually puts Hogan over his knee and SPANKS him at one point.  And he SELLS it!  I kid you not.  (Perhaps if Hogan had done that with his own kids more often, Nick would have turned out better.  Of course, now he puts his daughter over his knee and rubs suntan lotion on her ass.)  The match was that embarrassing.  There’s exactly two wrestling moves in this fiasco:  A Giant dropkick and Piper’s sleeper. Piper gets the bat, but Hogan knocks it out of his hands.  The Disciple comes down to ringside with a different bat (was something wrong with the first one?) and lots of dumb bat shots ensue.  Then for some reason Disciple switches the first bat for the second one again, Hogan nails Piper with it, and the nWo wins.  -**  Hogan hits Nash with the bat and leaves him laying afterwards.  I’m sure we’ll hear about this on Nitro for the next six months.   (I guess this was the birth of the Wolfpac faction of the nWo.  Although now when you hear “wolfpack” it’s hard not to picture Nash, Sting and Konnan singing about how they’re the three best friends that anyone could have…)  US Title match:  DDP v. Raven.  This is almost exactly like the three-way match from Uncensored, except without Benoit to keep it rooted within reality.  It starts out good enough, but then suddenly they end up by the entranceway with all the breakaway props you could ask for. Then it’s the usual WCW garbage match, with no blood or intensity as Raven and DDP trade goofy spots, throwing each other into tables and balsa wood barriers and jumping into bales of hay.  I’m surprised they didn’t use the huge cow that was set up, it was just begging to be used. Back in the ring, and Sick Boy brings a kitchen sink in.  Ah, Kevin Sullivan is booking tonight, I see.  (Thank you, I’m here until Thursday, try the veal.)  Then the Flock interferes one by one, every one f------ it up while introducing new objects.  DDP keeps kicking out, of course, until yet another new Flock member (Mortis? Horace Boulder?  Horshu?) manages to connect with a Stop sign and Raven DDT’s DDP on the kitchen sink for the pin and the US title.  I’m thoroughly sick of WCW’s attempts to be “hardcore”.  **   (Raven would only get 24 hours with the title, too.)  WCW World title:  Sting v. Randy Savage.  Again, they start out good enough, but then it degenerates into another mindless brawl.  Back out to the OK Corral for more foreign objects, including a stupid spot where Sting hits Savage with a bale of hay.  A BALE OF HAY???  Tony:  “That can be very abrasive.”  (We quoted that one incessantly for YEARS.)  Quick, someone get this man a moisturizing cream, stat!  Back to the ring for more weak brawling, and of course the ref gets bumped.  Liz comes in and nails Sting with a chair, which he shrugs off (rightly so).  But Savage pulls her in the way of a Stinger splash and she gets splashed by mistake.  Savage hits Sting with the chair himself, and goes for the elbow, but now Hulk Hogan runs in and pushes him off.  Good lord, can this get any more overdone?  Sting with the slopdrop, but now Kevin Nash interjects himself, powerbombing Sting and putting Savage on top.  I’d say barring anything else, we’re going to have a new champion.  And that’s just what happens, as Randy Savage wins his 5th World title.  Good for him, he deserves it.  BUT, why put it on him if he’s out with knee problems for months?  I smell Hogan’s ninth title reign starting tomorrow night…  *1/2   (I also provide lottery numbers.)  Hogan and Booty Disciple protest from the entranceway as we’re outta time.  At 8:40?   The Bottom Line:  This nWo hyper-booking has gotta stop.  I don’t need four or five people running in on the main event, especially when I’ve already seen them earlier in the card.  It completely ruined the World title match by putting the focus on Hogan and Nash’s issue rather than on Sting and Savage.  They were almost incidental.  (How about that?  Amazing how that works.)  Everyone else seemed to have it in neutral, with the exception of Goldberg.  He tried damn hard tonight, I’ll give him that.  (Probably because he knew he was getting the US title on Nitro.)  Nothing else on the card did anything for me, however.  I wasn’t interested in the storylines coming in, and they didn’t win me over going out.  The Jericho match advanced nothing, the Hennig match advanced nothing, Sting-Savage was a clusterfuck, the bat match was crap, DDP-Raven was just mutual masturbation and we all know it, and there was a couple of meaningless subpar cruiserweight matches stuck on there with no fanfare.  All in all, a card to make one say “so what?”   Wait for Nitro, I guess.  Same as it ever was.   Thumbs down. (This show sounds kind of interesting to me, actually.  Kind of wish I had saved the tape so I could check it out again someday with some perspective.)