Assorted April PPV Countdown: WCW Spring Stampede 1999

(2012 Scott sez:  It’s another 2-in-1 set, although this a rarity where both versions are pretty good.  The second one was written in 2009 so I won’t have anything to add to it.  But first up, the version written live after the show…)  The Netcop Rant for Spring Stampede 1999   Live from Tacoma, Washington   Your hosts are the Usual Idiots.   Opening match:  Blitzkrieg v. Juventud Guerrera.  Blitz has Al Snow’s old Avatar costume tonight.  Awesome opener, with the boys trading mat stuff and Juvy getting the first highspot with the tope con hilo.  Blitz retaliates with his own tope, but Juvy dropkicks him in mid-air, and he takes a nasty fall to the floor.  Juvy goes for the Driver, but they go into a complex reversal sequence that ends with Juvy hitting an inverted DDT for two.  Juvy takes Blitz to the top and tries an inverted suplex off the top, but they f--- it up.  Blitz goes for the sky twister, but Juvy moves.  Then Juvy gets the MOTHERFUCKING KICKASS FINISHER TO END ALL FINISHERS, a Juvy Driver off the TOP ROPE!  Wow.  Wow.  Wow. ****1/4   (I think I enjoyed that one.)  Hardcore Hak v. Bam Bam Bigelow.  They both bring plunder to the ring, and we get right into the garbage wrestling as Hak puts Bigelow on the table in the aisle and dives off the stagecoach, putting Bigelow through the table.  Pretty impressive spot.  We head to the ring and they hit each other with weapons.  And, uh, yeah, that’s about it.  Good for what it was, but that’s about it.  ***1/2   (I’m pretty sure “good for what it was” doesn’t warrant ***1/2) Scotty Riggs v. Mikey Whipwreck. Hey, Scotty has a gimmick!  He’s the Narcissist II.  This is your pretty standard 1st hour Thunder match. Mikey is doing some nice bumping, however.  Scotty is SO Val Venis/Rick Martel/Rick Rude here, doing hip gyrations and being Mr. Arrogant. Crowd responds with a spontaneous “boring” chant.  Loud one too.  The FLYING FOREARM OF DOOM from Riggs finishes it.  Yawn.  **   (He should have stuck with being a pirate.)  Gonnad v. Disco Inferno.  Disco has the Urban Cowboy look today.  Huge heel heat for Disco as he uses a modified version of the rolling clothesline and the crotch shake. Funny stuff.  Standard 1st hour Nitro match follows.  Rest, stall, dance, you know the routine.  Gonnad hits Disco’s own Chartbuster on him for the pin.  Bleh.  *1/2   Okay, the two matches I had budgeting to suck have sucked, so we’re within budget.   Cruiserweight title match:  Rey Mysterio Jr. v. Billy Kidman.  Great gymnastic sequence to start.  Rey takes the BUMP WITH CHEESE AND BACON, getting backdropped to the floor and landing right on his side.  Kidman hits a pescado for good measure.  Kidman drops him on his throat and legdrops him over the railing.  Rey smacks his head on the stairs on a flying headscissors on the floor.  He gets in the ring and hits another couple of highspots to work the kinks out.  I dunno, they just seem to be going through the motions here, doing an exhibition of spots.  Kidman hits a shooting star press off the apron, mis-called by Tenay and corrected by Tony.  Pretty boring resting sequence.  Kidman hits a Pedigree but Rey pops up.  Rey gets his killer bulldog for two.  Kidman does his finishing sequence, but Rey pops up before the SSP and hits the top rope rana for the anticlimactic pin.  The Nitro match was WAY better and the crowd response here showed it.  **1/2   The Vanilla Midgets v. Raven & Saturn.  The Flock pulls out a ton of cool double-teams on Benoit to start.  Raven gets triple-teamed by the Horsemen outside the ring and the Midgets work over Raven.  Arn is jawing with the fans the whole time.  Guess which team Charles Robinson favors.  Fans completely turn on the Horsemen, booing them mercilessly. Well, I’ll take heel heat over no heat.  Saturn gets the hot tag and decks Anderson, which is a good sign for his healing.  Malenko is just being a motherfucker here.  Saturn goes for the DVD, but Benoit gets a german suplex, but a pier-six breaks out.  Malenko gets the Cloverleaf on Saturn, but he escapes and hits the DVD.  Benoit makes the save. Wild stuff.  Saturn gets caught in the corner and double-teamed.  Crowd is chanting “Horsemen suck” at various intervals.  Malenko is being a mega-jerk, something he’s very good at.  Raven gets the hot tag (big pop) and cleans house.  Big babyface reaction for the DROP TOEHOLD OF DOOM.  Saturn goes for the tabledive on Malenko, but misses and goes through the table.  Back in the ring, Raven gets the Evenflow on Malenko, and Arn casually walks into the ring (despite mild protests from Charles Robinson) and places a chair on top of Raven.  Chris hits the swan dive onto the chair, sacrificing himself and doing a major bladejob for fun, and Malenko rolls on top for the pin.  Wow, great match.  ****1/2   (Every time I see Benoit doing that stuff now, I cringe a little more.)  US title tournament finals:  Scott Steiner v. Booker T.  Scott walks around the ring drawing cheap heat before we start.  If Ahmed Johnson and Scott Steiner were in the same jail cell, who would be the bitch? (Would you bet against Steiner?) Man, Scott should go to Memphis, he’d be huge there.  (He can teach math there!)  Pretty good match for Scott with an overbooked ending.  Ref gets bumped and Booker goes through his ending sequence.  Scott deliberately KOs the ref again, and hits the top rope rana.  It gets two.  Then, in a Randy Savage Memphis moment, he pulls an international object out of his tights and nails Booker with it during a suplex, and gets the pin and the US title.  All the ref bumps weren’t really necessary, but the match was good enough. ***   Kevin Nash v. Goldberg.  All I ask is that Nash jobs.  Nash actually dominates for most of the match, then the ref gets bumped.  Lex Luger nails Goldie with the chair, but when Nash goes for the powerbomb Goldberg counters with the Steve Richards testicular claw, then hits a vicious spear on Nash and Jackhammers him for the pin.  Good for you Nash, take one for the company.  That’s all I wanted.  **1/2   Four corners match, WCW World title match:  Ric Flair v. Hulk Hogan v. Sting v. DDP.  Hoochie mama, check out Gorgeous George.  Sting and DDP start, with Sting destroying DDP and Flair making the save.  Flair and Hogan do a sequence next, with the WEIGHTLIFTING BELT OF DEATH making an appearance.  Sting and DDP fight outside the ring meanwhile.  Hulk does his thing and gets the legdrop, but Sting saves Flair.  Now Flair runs through his offense on Hogan.  Flair gets the figure-four while Sting and DDP fight outside again.  DDP makes the save.  Now it’s the DDP and Hogan show, with Sting and Flair fighting outside the ring.  DDP gets the ringpost figure-four (you wish, buddy) and Sting makes the save. Hogan gets helped back to the dressing room because he hurt his knee. Awwwww, poor baby.  Eric the Grey makes an appearance for some reason. Now we get a Sting-Flair sequence that goes nowhere, then a Sting-DDP sequence.  This is pretty disjointed.  Now Sting and Flair do their bit, and we of course work in the triple sleeper spot.  Sting hulks up and gets the deathlock on Flair, but DDP makes the save.  Sting is looking good here.  Flair gives Sting two blatant ballshots and slaps on the figure-four.  Savage drags them to the center of the ring…and drops the big elbow on Flair!  Eh?  DDP hits the Diamond Cutter…AND GETS THE PIN??????  What the holy flying f--- was that?  WCW World champion DDP? What are they thinking?  WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?!?  (And what were they thinking the other two times, while we’re at it?)  Can’t really rate it, it was too weird.   The Bottom Line:  What a weird-ass ending to an otherwise great show. There’s absolutely no way DDP’s title reign lasts beyond tomorrow night.  (It did.  I forget how the sequence went from there, but it ended up gong DDP, Sting, DDP, and then something-something Nash, Savage, Hogan again.  This was largely where I gave up on WCW and stopped paying attention to who was champion.  Because once you’ve put the belt on DDP, you might as well pack it in anyway.  Nothing against DDP, who’s a great guy and always works hard, but he was just never World champion level.)  Oh well, dumb booking aside, this was still easily the best show of the year so far.  See what a little forethought can do?   Thumbs way up. The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW Spring Stampede 99 – Live from Tacoma, WA – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby and Mike. Juventud Guerrera v. Blitzkrieg Winner of this gets a title shot on Nitro. Blitz was an odd story of someone who came in, got over, and then got out of the business without getting screwed over or injured. They trade hammerlocks to start and Juvy takes him down with a cradle for two. Blitz tries to work the leg, but Juvy reverses into another cradle for two. Blitz with a headlock and they do an acrobatic sequence off that, which leads to a backbreaker from Blitz for two. Another try is reversed into a headscissors by Juvy, but Blitz hits him with a handspring elbow in the corner and slugs away. Juvy rams him into the turnbuckles to break it up and springboards in with a dropkick that gets crazy hangtime. Blitz bails and Juvy follows with the tope con hilo. Back in, Juvy with a brainbuster for two and he hooks him in the bow-and-arrow, but Blitz falls on top for two. Blitz with a spinkick series and he dropkicks Juvy into the corner and out, but Juvy walks away from the highspot attempt and then counters a second one with a dropkick. Nice bit of sneaky ring vet from Juventud there. Back in, Blitz reverses a tilt-a-whirl to put Juvy on the floor again, and this time Blitz flattens him with a springboard moonsault. Back in, they reverse DDT attempts until Juvy gets an inverted DDT for two. To the top, where Blitz almost pulls off an amazing inverted DDT reversal in mid-air, but still gets most of it. Sky Twister misses, but the Drunk Driver is reversed to a small package for two. Back to the top and Blitz gets a victory roll from the top for two. Back up, but this time Juvy spikes him with the Drunk Driver to finish at 11:10. This was just all crazy offense with both guys letting it hang out. **** Hak v. Bam Bam Bigelow Sandman was such a bizarre signing for WCW and he never really fit in. They brawl immediately at the entranceway and Hak puts Bigelow through a table with a somersault off the wagon. Sure, why not? Bigelow barely even sells it and pounds on Hak in response, dragging him back to ringside while Chastity throws the crap into the ring. I don’t remember her at all. Tony actually calls it “gimmicks” which is a bit too fourth wall for me in the pre-Russo era. Into the ring, Hak hits Bigelow with a trash can, and Tony points out that trash cans have give and don’t really do much damage, despite the impressive sound it makes. Secrets of Pro Wrestling Revealed…by Tony Schiavone! Bigelow beats on him with a broom and they do the world’s worst suplex reversal spot. Hak brings a ladder into the ring and does some damage with that, then tosses a table and a railing into the ring. Tony notes that he likes a man who brings his own safety railing into the match. Tony can be pretty funny, actually. Hak tries to climb the ladder, but Bigelow yanks him through the conveniently placed table outside, and then back in he whips Hak into the ladder. Hak puts Bigelow onto his railing and tries the legdrop off the top, but misses and gets nothing but railing. Chastity brings the fire extinguisher in, but Bam Bam sprays her right back, which allows Hak to hit the White Russian legsweep onto the railing. They head up and Bigelow finishes with Greetings from Asbury Park off the top, through the table, at 11:15. The usual trainwreck “Hardcore” match, entertaining while it lasts but immediately forgotten. *** Scotty Riggs v. Mikey Whipwreck Riggs controls with armdrags while telling us how attractive he is, apparently hoping for the same career path as Buff Bagwell. I liked the pirate gimmick better. Mikey slugs away in the corner and puts him down with a clothesline, sending Riggs to the floor for some hammy selling. Mikey sends him back in and hits a guillotine legdrop, and Riggs bails again. Mikey follows with a rana to the floor, but misses another legdrop and gets swatted into the railing. Back in, Riggs stops to showboat and gets two. Riggs chokes him out as the crowd completely turns on the match (for good reason, it’s awful) and Riggs gets two. Mikey with a missile dropkick for two, and a legsweep for two. Criss-cross and Riggs finishes with a flying forearm at 7:00. I’m shocked that this didn’t propel Riggs into World title contention. DUD Konnan v. Disco Inferno Konnan calls Disco a “straight up strawberry” so I guess he’s too hip for me to understand. Disco lays him out with a clothesline, probably for the strawberry line, but Konnan bulldogs him into the seated dropkick. Disco catches him with an elbow out of the corner and chokes away, but Konnan comes back with a flying armdrag. Disco hits the chinlock and gets a neckbreaker for two, and goes back to the chinlock. Elbow gets two and we’re back to the chinlock, but Konnan fights out and gets tossed. Back in, more chinlockery, but Disco misses another elbow and Konnan comes back. Cradle DDT gets two. Disco with a neckbreaker for two. He blocks the carpet muncher, but Konnan hits him with a stunner and gets the pin at 9:15. Disco was developing an interesting star quality around this time thanks to his totally unwarranted relationship with the Wolfpac, but he only had so much to offer. ** WCW Cruiserweight title: Rey Mysterio v. Billy Kidman Wait, it’s some guy without a mask claiming to be Rey Mysterio! What kind of shenanigans is this? Rey and Kidman were tag champs at this point in yet another thing I don’t remember at all. They do an acrobatic sequence to start and end up on the floor, where Kidman slingshots off the railing for a legdrop. Back in, that gets two. Rey puts him on the floor with a headscissors, follows with a moonsault off the apron, and then gets another headscissors off the railing. Back in, a springboard senton gets two. Lionsault gets two. Rey tries another headscissors, but Kidman blocks with a running powerbomb and gets two. Backbreaker into a backdrop suplex gets two and the crowd is shockingly dead for all this. BK Bomb gets two. He tosses Rey and follows with a shooting star press off the apron, and the crowd won’t even pop for that. Back in, Kidman goes up and gets dropkicked coming down, and Rey gets two. Top rope bulldog gets two. Leg lariat sets up a powerbomb, but Kidman backdrops out. Powerslam gets two as this just gets worse by the minute and I don’t even know why. Kidman finally just goes to the chinlock as everyone just looks frustrated, but Rey clotheslines him out. The announcers are speculating that a head shot suffered by Rey earlier might be affecting things, so even they’re picking up on the crossed wires here. Back in, Rey goes up and they collide on the way down, which gives Kidman two. And we’re back to the chinlock. Rey charges and hits the post, but counters a powerbomb with a faceplant for two. Kidman hits a Pedigree (which gets the only big pop of the match thus far) and goes up with a sunset flip for two. Blind charge hits boot and Rey gets the top rope bulldog for two. Kidman with his own bulldog for two. And now finally they’re clicking as they trade reversals and Rey gets a guillotine legdrop and a standing moonsault for two. Rey tries a powerbomb, but you can’t powerbomb Kidman and he goes up. Shooting Star is blocked by a shot to the nuts and Rey brings him down with a rana for the pin at 15:30. They fought through the suck and kept pushing until they got it over, but there was a lot of suck to fight through. ***1/4 Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko v. Raven & Saturn There is some gigantic buzz from the crowd here. Saturn takes Benoit down to start and whips him into Malenko on the floor, and back in Raven gets a rebound clothesline for two. Front suplex into a flying Saturn splash gets two. Saturn drop toehold into a Raven elbow follows, but Benoit dropkicks Raven to the floor so that AA can lays the boots on him. Back in, the Horsemen get a double spinebuster on Raven and Malenko adds a suplex for two. Raven with a small package, but Benoit is distracting the ref and he breaks it up with a backdrop suplex on Raven for two. The cool thing here is that Horsemen are supposed to be faces, but the crowd went for Raven instead so they instantly adjust and turn into total assholes. Dean pounds away in the corner and adds a corner clothesline, and Benoit hits his own from the apron, but Raven blocks a charge with a boot. Hot tag to Saturn and he cleans house and slugs away on Benoit in the corner, but Dean clobbers him from behind. He puts Saturn on top, but Raven catches him from behind and they hit a Doomsday Device. Awesome sequence sees Benoit breaking it up with a german suplex, then Raven DDT’ing Benoit, and Malenko putting Saturn into the Cloverleaf. Saturn makes the ropes and comes back with the Death Valley Driver, but Benoit breaks it up with the diving headbutt to give Malenko two. Benoit chops Saturn down as he’s weirdo-in-peril, and a backbreaker gets two. Horsemen double-team in the corner and Dean drops a knee for two. Sleeper and he gets the hooks in, but Raven breaks it up so Benoit boots Raven out of the ring again and covers Saturn for two. Northern lights suplex gets two. Saturn bails and Dean stomps away on the floor, and back in Saturn evades a charge and gets a sunset flip on Benoit for two. Dean takes him down with a chinlock, but Saturn fights up for the hot tag to Raven. He clotheslines Malenko out and retrieves a chair for the DROP TOEHOLD OF DOOM, but Saturn misses a splash outside and puts himself through a table. In the ring, Malenko hits Raven with the chair, but Raven DDTs him in turn. Arn sneaks in and puts the chair on Raven’s head, allowing Benoit to hit the diving headbutt onto the chair and put Malenko on top for the pin at 14:15. Classic tag action here with tons of crazy 80s-style double-teams and cheating from the Horsemen. ****1/4 US title tournament final: Scott Steiner v. Booker T Booker was TV champ at this point, which kind of gives away the finish even if it wasn’t already blindingly obvious. Steiner does the mega-stall to start, threatening random ringside fans with whatever acts of violence come to mind, and we finally get contact 3:00 in. Steiner wrestles Booker to the mat, but Booker puts him on the floor with an armdrag. Back in, Booker with the sidekick and he tosses Steiner again and follows with a clothesline off the apron, and they brawl on the floor. Back in, Booker blocks a charge with a boot and slugs away on the mat, then follows with a corner clothesline. He pounds on Steiner in the corner, but gets dropped on the top rope as a result and hits the floor. Back in, Steiner pounds him in the corner and a backbreaker gets two. He stops to choke the ref down and goes low on Booker pretty blatantly as this just grinds to a halt. Steiner with a bearhug, but Booker comes back with a DDT and the ref is bumped. Booker with the axe kick and flapjack, but there’s no ref. And the ref recovers, only to get bumped again. Booker goes up and Steiner brings him down with the rana off the top for two. Steiner gets an international object and blocks a suplex attempt by hitting Booker with it, and that finally gives him the US title at 15:55. Steiner was awful even at this point, but they were gonna push him until he got over or the company died as a result, whichever came first. *1/2 Goldberg v. Kevin Nash Nash pounds him with knees in the corner to start and the Nash Choke, then a low blow thanks to some distraction by Elizabeth. Short clothesline gets two. Sideslam gets two. More choking from Nash, but the big boot misses and Goldberg puts him down with a shoulderblock. Suplex and Goldberg slugs Nash down, but the spear hits the ref by mistake. Lex Luger pops in with a chairshot on Goldberg and Nash tries to finish, but Goldberg uses the Testicular Claw to block. Spear and Jackhammer ends it quickly at 7:41. That’s about the cleanest job you’ll ever see Nash do. *1/2 WCW World title: Ric Flair v. Hulk Hogan v. Sting v. DDP Randy Savage is the special ref here to really add to the star power and make the inclusion of DDP all the more puzzling at the time. Unless they were gonna…nah, that’d be silly. Big slugfest to start and Hogan & Flair hit the floor while Sting quickly gets DDP in the Scorpion Deathlock, but he makes the ropes. DDP grabs a headlock and gets a neckbreaker for two, but Sting clotheslines him and then adds another one off the top. Stinger splash gets two. Everyone heads back in and Sting slams Flair off the top, then brawls out with DDP. Flair chops away on Hulk in the corner, but Hulk fires back with the belt and backdrops him. Hulk with the corner clothesline for the Flair Flop, and he no-sells the chops. Big boot and legdrop get two. Flair clips him while Sting & DDP brawl outside again, and gets the figure-four. DDP comes back in to break it up and he clotheslines Flair out, and everyone brawls outside again. DDP uses a ringpost figure-four on Hogan, and Hulk gets escorted out by the trainers. So back in the ring, Sting pounds away on Flair in the corner as they do an abbreviated version of their usual thing, leading to DDP clotheslining Sting for two. Elbow gets two. Flair heads back in, so DDP clotheslines him for two as well. Sting comes back with a Stinger splash and bulldogs DDP to escape a Diamond Cutter, but DDP gets a tombstone for two. Sting comes back with a superplex on Flair for two. Flair with a backdrop suplex for two. This thing is really dragging at this point. Flair with a sleeper, which sets up DDP for a sleeper of his own, a spot that always gets a big pop but which I hate nonetheless. DDP and Flair double-team Sting, but he fights back with a double clothesline on them and slugs them down. Stinger splash and Scorpion deathlock for Flair, but DDP breaks it up. Sting hits him with the Deathdrop for two, but Flair saves and abuses Sting’s groinal area. Figure-four follows, but Sting makes the ropes. Savage at this point decides to take matters into his own hands and drops the big elbow on Flair to break it up. DDP is the last man standing, and it’s Diamond Cutter for Flair and we have one of the most unlikely World champions ever at 17:26. That one turned out to be a horrible decision. This was really quite dull and disjointed a lot of the time and featured too much “two guys fight out and the other two guys fight in the ring” stuff to live up the pedigree that it’s somehow acquired over the years. **3/4 The Pulse Disappointing main event aside, this was a hell of a show for most of the way and is well worth seeking out, even though it’s probably never going to air on WWE’s TV system ever again. Strongly recommended.