The Only Review of WCW’s Spring Stampede 1994 That You’ll Ever Need

Wait a minute, you mean to tell me that every other match I’ve ever seen was being held in an ordinary ring?! Then I gotta see this show!

One of the last shows before the Hogan Era started. Slamboree would follow this, which would be followed by Clash of the Champions where Flair unified the WCW World Heavyweight Title and the WCW International Championship, so that Hogan could have THEE title, and not just one of the big ones. If you guys would like me to follow up this PPV with the rest of the lineage that leads to Bash at the Beach, let me know and it shall be.
 


Johnny B. Badd vs. Diamond
Dallas Page

You know, I used to be amazed when I saw DDP in
1997 and realized he landed Kimberly. However, I’m even MORE amazed when I see
1994 DDP. He was at least 40 lbs. heavier, with even worse hair. Despite being
more lithe, and quicker, Johnny really has to earn his momentum, as DDP keeps
him in his control with suplexs,
gut-buster, and a few submissions. Once he turns the tide, he makes the best of
it with a dive to the outside, where DDP stands, then throws him back in for an
off the top rope sunset flip that earns him the pin. Not a bad opener, but
nothing too spectacular, as they really didn’t get much time, and it was all
DDP. They’d go on to have better matches as their chemistry kept developing. Of
course, as DDP was to lose the Diamond Doll to Badd, he jumped ship and instead
she became the Booty Babe to Ed Leslie’s Booty Man.
Johnny B. Badd nails DDP with a sunset flip for
the pin at 5:55 | *1/2 An acceptable opener, nothing great. 


Brian Pillman vs. Steven Regal [C] – WCW TV
Championship

I always dug the TV Championship, as it made so
much more sense to me than US or Intercontinental. Brian rushes Regal to ensure
his control of the beginning of the match, which Pillman holds onto until
Regal’s experience and innovation gets the best of him. Steve hits Pillman with
some stiff European uppercuts, along with some brutal submissions and a few
suplexes and flips that come right out of nowhere. Pillman really looks
over-matched here, being stretched and beaten while the 15-minute time-limit is
counted down in 5 minute intervals over the PA. The match goes the full 15
minutes. I was really looking forward to this match, as Regal was God-like at
this point. However, Pillman was completely off his game tonight. There were
numerous botches, and the only real offense he got off were the occasional
chops here and there. Regal though, he was awesome. 
The match goes to a 15 minute limit draw | ** A
decent match, something you’d find on TV


Nasty Boys [C] vs. Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne –
WCW Tag-Team Championship – Chicago Street Fight

You know what I miss? The air-brush t-shirts.
Those were a staple of the 90s, and now they’re gone, last seen with The New
Age Outlaws. This match is on Foley’s first WWE DVD set, and it’s one of the
greatest brawls in history. The amazing thing about it is you literally have to
have two great matches going on at the same time, since the cameras will cut
back and forth. Maxx and Knobbs eventually work over to a fake merch stand,
which is awesome and I wish they still did. Maxx goes to grab a Nasty Boys
t-shirt, causing Tony to exclaim “I don’t even think that shirt fits
him!”. Everything from lead pipes to pool cues, and even tables are used
as hand-held weapons. Two great back to back moments come when Mick is probably
the first wrestler to ever suplex a table onto another guy, and then takes a
RUNNING snow-shovel shot to the head. He’s later thrown off of the entrance
ramp, and bashed with a snow shovel again, giving The Nasty Boys the win. A
hell of a match, without a second of down time or boredom. One of the most
innovative matches in history, that’s almost ludicrous in how entertaining it
is. Fantastic. An absolute must see. 
Saggs smashes Mick with a snow shovel for the pin
at 8:54 | ****3/4 One of the greatest tag-team matches of all time. Absolutely
take the time to see it. 


The Great Muta vs. Steve Austin [C] – WCW US
Championship

Muta uses his quickness and experience to hold the
momentum at the beginning. Steve gets a few flashes of offense before Muta
reminds him once again of who he’s in the ring with. Steve finally gets a lead
when he knees Muta in the back of the head, sending him outside. Back in,
there’s an extended Abdominal Stretch spot, but outside of that, Steve’s
offense is limited to knees and some suplexes. Muta eventually regains control
with his kicks, and after a top rope huricarana, he’s on the verge of a win but
tosses Steve over the top rope, drawing the DQ. Seriously, does Muta EVER have
a match that doesn’t end in an odd fashion? Honestly, the match just didn’t
work. It was a lot less exciting than I was expecting, with very little
innovation or anything interesting. They just didn’t click. Crowd was loving
them some Muta however. 
Muta throws Steve over the top rope, drawing the
DQ at 16:20 | * Not worth it. Very disappointing. 


Sting vs. Rick Rude [C] – WCW International
Champion

Man, I love Rick’s theme from WCW. Sting controls
the beginning of the match, with my favorite moment coming in the form of Sting
holding Rude in a front face-lock, and giving him a wedgie. Of course, referee Pee
Wee Anderson gives Sting the finger-wag and admonishes him for such antics.
Holy shit, this may be one of the most boring matches I’ve ever seen.
Literally, 95 percent of Sting’s offense was a face-lock, then once Rick is in
control he spends 95 percent of his offense on a chin-lock. Once they go for
offense beyond rest-holds, it’s slip up after slip up, numerous botches, and
the only highlight being Rick doing a full flip on a back-drop. Rude is
obviously supposed to go for a Rude Awakening, and then get hit by a chair
swung by Harley Race who’s just shown up. However, Harley is late for his cue,
so Rick starts working Sting and waiting. Finally, Rick sets up the LONGEST
Rude Awakening in history, as Harley enters to deliver one of his patented
Absolute Fakest Most Bullshit Chair Shots Ever, which Rude sells like he just
took a Ryu Dragon Uppercut up the urethra. At this point, Sting grabs the win and
the BS title. Easily one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen, but worth
tracking down for the sheer spectacle of it all. It’s a match you’d see if Ed
Wood were an agent. It’s very bad, but so bad it’s good. 
Sting pins Rude after he’s lightly brushed with a
chair at 12:50 | DUD Atrocious in quality standards, but worth watching for a
laugh.

Dustin Rhodes vs. Bunkhouse Buck w/ Col. Parker –
Bunkhouse Match

Well, Dustin is pretty stupid to enter in a Bunkhouse
Match with a guy named Bunkhouse Buck. You wouldn’t catch me in a steel cage
match against Steel Cage Steve, as clearly it’s his specialty. The match starts
off with a bang as Dustin literally runs down the ramp and leaps over the top
rope, clotheslining Buck down before stomping the hell out of him. Bunkhouse
turns it to his favor, eventually breaking a stick over Dustin’s back, then
splitting him open with it. In a great moment by Heenan, Dustin throws powder
in Bunk’s eyes, and even Heenan sells it! Man, it gets no better than The
Brain. Dustin has Bunkhouse at one point, but stops to assault The Colonel, who
I feel is vastly underrated in the manager game. Soon, Parker slips Buck some
knux, and he knocks out Dustin for the pin. It went a little longer than it
needed to, but it was a hell of a brawl. I expected a lot less, and was
entertained the whole time. It’s a bloody mess, great stuff. 
Bunckhouse Buck knocks out Dustin for the pin
at 14:11 | ***3/4 Good stuff that’s worth searching out


The Boss vs. Vader

Anyone care to tell me how on Earth WCW was
allowed to use the Bossman like this? I mean, it’s the exact gimmick, and I’ve
seen WWE get after people for less. Bossman owns Vader at first, beating the
hell out of him with clotheslines, splashes and drops on the guardrail. Vader’s
left eye has been busted open, and he takes this out on Bossman with a flurry
of punches and other favored Vader offense. He tries to put Bossman away with a
Vader Bomb, but that’s a no go, however, a Moonsault sure as shit does. I’m
surprised Boss wasn’t turned into a major babyface after this, because they
made him look like a million bucks out there against Vader, looking like the
only person other than Sting and Cactus that could stand toe-to-toe with
Frankie’s father. 
Vader hits a moonsault & pins the Bossman
at 9:02 | ***1/4 Probably not a match you’d want to seek out, but within the
context of the show it’s another great under-card bout. 


Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair [C] – WCW World
Heavyweight Championship

The match starts off with some great mat
wrestling, with some typical fantastic stuff that you’re used to from Flair and
Steamboat. Rick soon gets the momentum on his side and controls Flair with a
series of headlocks, and here, here is the brilliance of these two. Because
Randy Orton does this and it’s death, but these two make it as exciting as a
War Games. They battle to the outside where Ricky misses a splash on the guard
rail, and just ends up hanging there, reminding me of when Homer falls backwards
on the fire hydrant and said “This is even more painful than it looks.”
Back in, Steamboat beats the hell out of Flair with punches and chops, earning
us our first Flair Flop of the evening. Soon Steamboat puts Flair in the
Figure-4, and we get my all-time favorite segment for that submission, as Flair
looks like he’s never been in more pain, and Steamboat is trying his damnedest
to make him submit, incredible stuff. They do the same finish from The Clash,
where Steamboat does the Double Chicken-Wing, and it’s turned into bridge-pin,
however both their shoulders stayed down. Since it’s a draw, Flair is the
winner. An incredible match, really. It is perfect Flair and Steamboat, with no
wasted movement, and never once does your attention waver. Great stuff. 
Double-Pin happens, with the win going to Flair at
32:19 | ****1/2 A classic. Definitely hunt it down if you haven’t seen it. I know it’s
available on Ric Flair: The Definitive Collection


Showcase Showdown:

Spring Stampede 1994 is one of the best PPVs I’ve
ever seen. You get two classics, two great mid-card matches, one hilariously
bad-match, and only one disappointment. It’s definitely a show you can watch
top to bottom no problem. It’s definitely as high a note as WCW could go out on
before they entered the Hogan era, which is something they never got out from
underneath.

Much praise to my editor, Steven Ferrari. He and I met when my mom and I had recently moved to California from New Jersey. He was the handy-man at our apartment complex, as well as a karate master. He taught me some stuff so I could defend myself against The Cobra Kai. 
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WCW In 2000 – Recently updated with the July 31st Nitro, which features both a Viagra on a Poll match, and a Straight Jacket Match!
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