Welcome back to the TJRwrestling retro reviews where we are breaking down every WCW Pay-Per-View during the “Monday Night War” era. We are coming of Spring Stampede, which has its fair share of ups and downs. WCW’s undercard continues to deliver quality matches, while the main events have been lackluster. We are in the thick of it in 1998 and WCW is at its absolute peak even with some hot and cold booking. Sting’s championship run ended up being a lot worse than anyone could have been expecting and they finally took the belt off of him last month after he was pinned by “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Savage’s reign was also short-lived and he lost the title the next night on Nitro to, you guessed it, Hulk Hogan. On this show, there is a double main event with Savage taking on Bret Hart with Roddy Piper as the guest referee, and a Tag Team Title match with Sting and The Giant taking on The Outsiders. Recently on Nitro, Nash has broken away from NWO Hollywood and has formed the NWO Wolfpac, and has recruited some heavy hitters in WCW, as well as the NWO. You can check out our thoughts on all the WCW shows we have covered here. How will this show shape up? Let’s find out!
May 17th, 1998
The Centrum in Worcester, Massachusetts
They open the show with a package highlighting the main event matchups for the night. Standard WCW fare at this point.
We are greeted as they come into the arena by the announce team of Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Mike Tenay. They build up the card a little bit and they mention that on Nitro The Giant joined the NWO, and if he and Sting win the tag team titles, Sting would have a choice to make. They speculate what Sting might do before mentioning a challenge thrown out to Vince McMahon from Eric Bischoff to show up at Slamboree. Obviously, he doesn’t, but this was a big talking point leading up to this event. They show a package recapping that and then go to security outside waiting for McMahon in case he shows. It’s time for the first match of the night.
WCW Television Title Match
Fit Finley (c) vs. Chris Benoit
Finley beat Booker T. to capture the title on Nitro a few weeks prior and Benoit beat Booker to get his shot at the title.
The bell sounds and both men circle each other before locking up. Benoit pushes Finley into the ropes and hits a stiff chop to the chest. Finley comes back with a headlock and gets Benoit down to one knee. Benoit gets to his feet and tries to fight out, but Finley does a good job keeping him grounded. Benoit finally escapes and gets a roll-up for a one. They exchange moves before Finley grabs the arm and keeps Benoit down on the mat. Finley hits an uppercut before pulling Benoit back to his feet and hits a shoulder block. He sends Benoit into the ropes but is taken down with a hip toss. Benoit jumps back to his feet and we have a stalemate in the middle of the ring. Benoit gets a kick to the midsection and hits some chops to the chest that has Finley reeling. He sends Finley into the ropes and hits a backbreaker. Finley tries to escape in the ropes, but Benoit pulls him back and slams him down. He takes Finley over with a leg whip but soon finds himself on the outside of the ring after a stiff lariat from Finley. Finley stalks him on the outside and kicks him in the back of the head and hits a scoop slam on the floor. Finley hits a clothesline and rolls Benoit back in the ring. He stomps down on Benoit in the ring and puts him in a chin lock. The crowd starts to get behind Benoit and he picks Finley up and drops him with the Electric Chair Drop.
Finley is the first one up and gets a backslide for a two count. He works Benoit into the corner, but he fights out and hits Finley with some chops to the chest. Finley stops the flurry with a thumb to the eye and starts to keep Benoit grounded with another chin lock. Finley lets up and hits some big elbows to the shoulder and kicks Benoit right in the back. He drags Benoit to the apron and slams him headfirst on it. He hits an elbow and drives Benoit back-first into the apron. He grabs a chair, but Benoit kicks him and hits him with the chair instead. Benoit slides in the ring and comes out with a Suicide Dive, but Finley is waiting for him and hits him in the head with a chair on the way out. Crazy ass shot. Finley gets him back in the ring and continues to stomp away on him. He slams Benoit down to the mat and covers for a two count. Finley drives some elbows into the back and stomps away. He gets Benoit back to his feet and takes him down with another clothesline. Benoit moves out of the way of another move and hits Finley with Two German Suplexes before Finley fights out and drops him across the ropes. Benoit gets the Crippler Crossface, but Finley gets to the ropes. He hits a snap suplex and starts to climb up top. Booker T. makes his way down to the ring and Benoit jumps off the ropes to confront him. They exchange some words before Finley hits Benoit with a dropkick to the back of the head. Finley rolls Benoit back in the ring, but Benoit rolls him up for a two-count. Finley gets back to his feet, drills Benoit with The Tombstone Piledriver, and picks up the win after 14:52.
Winner and STILL WCW Television Champion: Fit Finley
Match Rating: 3.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a solid, hard-hitting battle. Both of these guys were known for laying their shit in and this was no exception. Everything they hit looked tough, and Benoit worked from underneath for most of the match. Booker T. getting involved in the finish isn’t surprising since he was in the thick of the title hunt, but I don’t think the distraction took away from the match. Hot way to start the show.
The internet guys are backstage and are joined by Chris Jericho. Lee Marshall asks him who he wants to face for the Cruiserweight Title, and Jericho says it’s a conspiracy anyway so it doesn’t matter. He tells Marshall he will retain his title at all costs.
Brian Adams (w/ Vincent) vs Lex Luger
Luger starts the action off quickly with some shots to the head and sends Adams to the outside of the ring. He knocks Vincent out and starts to pound Adams against the guardrail and slams his head into the steps. He sends him into the ring post and hits him from behind with some smashes. Adams gets a shot to the midsection, but Luger continues to wear him out against the post. They slide back in the ring and Luger takes him down with a Powerslam. Vincent gets on the apron which allows Adams to hit him from behind. Adams hits Luger with a Piledriver and kicks Luger in the stomach. Adams chokes him with his boot and that sends Luger back to the outside. Adams continues to stay on offense and works Luger around the ring. Adams rolls Luger back in the ring and drops him with a backbreaker. Adams hits multiple leg drops and covers Luger for a two-count. He sends him into the ropes, but both men hit clotheslines and take each other out. Luger kicks Adams as they get back up and he knocks Vincent off the apron. Adams charges in and he ducks under to get Adams in the Torture Rack to pick up the win after 5:05.
Winner: Lex Luger
Match Rating: DUD
Collective Thoughts: This was short and uneventful. The story they were pushing was Luger avenging Rick Steiner, who was injured by the NWO last Monday on Nitro. There wasn’t much to this at all and was just these two guys hitting power moves and Luger picking up a quick win.
They go backstage where Saturn is ready to say what’s on his mind. He says that tonight there will be no gauntlet match because he will beat Goldberg himself and that he has trusted Raven too much. He says “What about Saturn” and right now he starts looking out for himself.
Cruiserweight Battle Royal
Super Calo vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Damien vs. Ciclope vs. El Dandy vs. El Grio vs. Juventud Guerrera vs. Marty Jannetty vs. Kidman vs. Evan Karagias vs. Lenny Lane vs. Psychosis vs. Silver King vs. Johnny Swinger vs. Villano IV
The winner of this match will go on to face Chris Jericho later on for the WCW Cruiserweight Title. You are eliminated by going over the top rope or being pinned.
Jericho comes out and makes fun of David Penzer before pulling out a piece of paper to introduce everyone himself. He says one of these guys will get a shot at him although they will be losers either way. Notable insults included giving Johnny Swinger and Villano IV a “0/10” chance of winning.
The bell sounds and all of the guys are going at it at the same time. Lenny Lane is working on Guerrera in the corner before being beaten up by Jannetty. Kidman is worked into the corner with a few of the guys and is being kept grounded. Evan Karagias is the first one eliminated by going over the top rope. Jannetty is getting a lot of offense in at this point and is working in the corner as Johnny Swinger is eliminated. Psychosis comes off the rope with a Leg Drop and continues to work on Silver King. Super Calo is dropkicked out of the ring and is eliminated as Lenny Lane dropkicks Silver King out of the ring. Psychosis and Gurrera are fighting on the top rope and continue to try to eliminate one another. Kidman starts to fire up a little bit and works on Lenny Lane in the corner. El Giro is eliminated as Lenny Lane is thrown off the top rope to the middle of the ring. Jannetty gets eliminated and is soon followed by Villano IV. Kidman sends Guerrera into the corner where Lane is standing and it eliminates him from the match. Damien goes up top and is kicked off by Guerrera and is now eliminated. Kidman works on Ciclope in the corner as El Dandy is thrown over the top. Guerrera hits Kidman with a back body drop, but gets eliminated as he charges in. The final four are Guerrera, Psychosis, Kidman, and Ciclope. Ciclope moves out of the way of a Psychosis dropkick that sends him to the outside. On the other side of the ring, Guerrera eliminated Kidman and it is down to Cislope and Gurrera. They have a standoff in the ring and they shake hands as Guerrera eliminates himself from the match. Ciclope unmasks himself and it is revealed to be Dean Malenko! The match went 8:27.
Winner: Dean Malenko
Match Rating: 1.75/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: It was short and to the point, but fun nonetheless. The Cruiserweight division really held itself well on the undercard, so having all of this talent here was cool. Obviously, the final four being who they were should tell you who the stars of the division were. Ciclope revealing himself to be Dean Malenko was a great twist and one a lot of people still remember. He was off TV for a short time before this and got a good pop for his return.
After the match, Jericho hits the ring and Malenko starts beating on him immediately.
WCW Cruiserweight Title Match
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Dean Malenko
Malenko has Jericho rocking in the corner. He stomps away on him and continues to lay him out. He sends Jericho into the ropes and slams him down and follows that up with a dropkick. He tries a suplex, but Jericho fights out before Malenko starts pounding on him again. He hits a dropkick that sends Jericho to the outside. Guerrera is outside cheering Malenko on as he comes out with a splash on Jericho. He sends him into the guardrail before rolling him back in the ring. Malenko comes in after him, but Jericho gets up and stomps down on him as he does. He hits some chops before Malenko grabs his hand and gets him in the corner. He sends Jericho in and tries to hit move, but Jericho blocks it and sends Malenko down on the ropes. He charges in and hits a senton as he tries to catch his bearings. Jericho says it’s a conspiracy against him as the fans chant “Jericho Sucks”. Jericho hits a delayed suplex and does his foot on the chest cover. He slams Malenko down to the mat and hits a Lionsault for a two count. Jericho slows down the pace with a chin lock and hits a Double Underhook backbreaker. He goes for the Liontamer, but Malenko fights out and grabs the leg of Jericho. Jericho slides to the outside and comes back in on the top rope and hits a flying elbow. He covers Malenko for a two-count. He slaps Malenko in the corner and gets a kick to the face. Malenko starts to fight back and hits some shots to the head of Jericho. They go back and forth before Jericho hits another slap across the face. He puts Malenko on the top rope and climbs up with him, but Malenko picks him up for the Avalanche Gutbuster. It was an ugly landing. Malenko gets Jericho in the Texas Cloverleaf and Jericho taps out after 7:02.
Winner and NEW WCW Crusierweight Champion: Dean Malenko
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was another short match, but they were going at such a fast rate that they got a lot of stuff in. That Malenko Gutbuster is a thing of beauty, although, he had an ugly landing with this one. Jericho and Malenko had been going at it for months at this point and this was the culmination of that. It was great storytelling and even with the match being shorter, it still delivered where it needed to.
They go to a “Vinny Mac” cam as a white limousine is pulling up to the arena. Doug Dillinger goes up to the car and starts to look in to see who in it. Tony Schiavone says that if Jim Ross comes out and carries his bags you know it’s Vince McMahon. What a line. They go back to the ring where they have lowered a cage for the next match.
Bowery Death Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Raven
This is a steel cage match with a roof on it. It’s like Hell in a Cell, but the size of a normal cage. The match is Last Man Standing rules where it goes on until someone can’t continue. These guys have been waging war over the last little bit and this is being billed as the war to settle the score.
Page gets the first shots in and starts driving Raven’s head into the turnbuckle. He stomps on him, but he turns away, and Raven charges in and sends him into one of the garbage cans on the corner. He tries to slam Page against the cage, but he catches himself and hits Raven with an elbow to the head. He tries and gets the other garbage can, but Raven hits him with a low blow. Raven throws him into the cage before sending him back into the garbage can. Raven unhooks the weapons inside of the ring and pours out the contents. He picks up a bull rope and tries to hit Page with it, but he ducks the attack and hits a clothesline. Page grabs the rope and starts to choke Raven with it. He sends him into the cage and continues to choke him with the rope. He sends Raven all over the ring and crashing into the sides of the cage. He ties the rope around Raven’s neck and starts to hang him from the ceiling of the cage. Raven kicks Page and fights of the situation. Page goes to the corner as the referee starts his count. He gets up to eight before Raven gets to his feet and Page wipes him out with a shot to the head with a… VCR. Page tries to capitalize, but Raven kicks him into the garbage can. Both men are down on the mat and Raven is the first one up. He grabs the garbage can and smashes Page with it. Raven grabs a cookie sheet and wallops Page with it. Raven gets a low blow and continues to pound on him with the cookie sheet. Raven grabs a chair and sets it up in the middle of the ring. He sends Page into the ropes, but Page comes back with a shot to the head. Raven comes back and locks in a Sleeper Hold, but Page smashes both him and the referee against into the corner. Page hits a jawbreaker and drops Raven down face-first on the chair. There are three men down at this point as The Flock makes their way down to the ring. Scotty Riggs has bolt cutters and they all jump in the ring. Van Hammer comes out from under the ring and takes out the rest of them with a stop sign. He was recently thrown out of the group. Hammer handcuffs Ron Reis to the guardrail as Page and Raven are duking it out in the corner. Members of the team that came down to the ring with Raven bring a stop sign in the ring and it is revealed to be Kidman and Horace Hogan. Page hits Kidman with a Diamond Cutter from the roof of the cage and throws Hogan into the side of the cage. Raven grabs the fire extinguisher and puts Page down with the Even Flow DDT. Raven stomps on Page as he comes back to his feet and he hits Page with a Diamond Cutter. Page gets up at nine, and Raven hits him with a chair, but he ducks and hits Raven with a Diamond Cutter. Both men try and get to their feet and Page does at ten while Raven is still down on the mat. The match went 14:35.
Winner: Diamond Dallas Page
Match Rating: 2.75/5 Stars
Collective Thought: The match was fun, but got a little clunky in the middle of it. These two have has bad blood for a while now and so this was an appropriate blow-off. I like how the weapons were already in the ring and how back and forth the match was as a whole. The flock getting involved in the middle took some spotlight from the guys in the ring, but I can see why they did it. Overall, this wasn’t either man’s best match but was solid for what it was.
After the match, a group of “swat” team members starts handcuffing members of The Flock to the side of the cage. They go in the ring to attack Raven and handcuff him, Kidman, and Hogan to the side of the cage as well. He grabs a chair, but throws it down, and takes his helmet off. It’s Mortis, and he takes his mask off before absolutely destroying Raven with a chair to the head before getting out of the ring and heading to the back.
The Vinnie Mac cam is back and it’s showing the ticket takers looking at pictures of Vince McMahon in case he decides to show. They look through some more camera angles before shooting to Saturn at the internet desk. Saturn said he took Goldberg to the limit at Spring Stampede and now he is going to beat him.
They go back to the ring, but can’t get cleaned up from the last match quick enough so the announcers have to kill time while they get it figured out. They talk about the main events coming up tonight and wonder what side Sting will end up on. It’s finally time for the next match.
Ultimo Dragon vs. Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chavo Guerrero)
The stipulation leading to this match is that Chavo will be free of Eddie if The Dragon can pick up the win.
Guerrero grabs the arms and works Dragon down to the mat to start things off. Dragon flips out and both men have a standoff. Guerrero starts working on the arm again, but Dragon finds a way out and sends Guerrero flying across the ring. They exchange some athletic stretching before Guerrero hits a dropkick as Dragon gets up to his feet. He kicks Dragon in the head and hits a chop to the chest and some uppercuts. He sends Dragon to the other side, but gets taken down with a leg whip. Dragon keeps him grounded with a kick to the head and Guerrero slides to the outside. Chavo and Eddie share some glances as Guerrero gets back in the ring. Dragon kicks him in the chest and then in the back. He starts to work on the leg of Guerrero with a single-leg crab and bridges back for leverage. Guerrero gets back to his feet and gets a thumb to the eyes that knocks Dragon down to the mat. He hits a clothesline as he comes off the ropes and hits a stiff kick to the shoulder. He hits a suplex and starts to control the pace with a chin lock. He picks Dragon up and throws him to the outside and comes out right after him. Guerrero throws him into the guardrail and grabs a TV cable to start choking him with. Eddie slaps Chavo across the face before rolling Dragon back in the ring. He picks him up on the top and Guerrero is up after him. Dragon pushes him off and crotches him on the top rope. He kicks Guerrero and he falls to the outside. Dragon follows him out with an Asai Moonsault.
Dragon rolls him back in the ring and hits a windmill backbreaker. Dragon covers him for a two count. He starts pounding on Guerrero and hits a Moonsault off the top for a two-count. Dragon sets him up on the top and comes up after him to try and hit a Frankensteiner. Guerrero pushes him off and then hits a Tornado DDT, which is Chavo’s finished. Guerrero goes for a Frog Splash, but Dragon rolls out of the way and rolls him up for two. Dragon hits the ropes and does a Moonsault off the second rope and catches Guerrero in the Dragon Sleeper. Guerrero reverses and gets one of his own on and puts his feet on the ropes. Chavo shoves his feet off and they have a standoff on the apron. Eddie continues to hit Chavo and Dragon comes in with a Spinning Wheel Kick, but Eddie moves and he hits Chavo. He suplexes Dragon and climbs up top to hit the Frog Splash and pick up the win after 11:09.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero
Match Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a fun match between two guys that constantly delivered. Guerrero was so smooth in the ring and everything he did seems effortless. Ultimo Dragon was always fun to watch as well and these two complimented each other well. Eddie and Chavo’s underlying story added to the drama a bit, and overall, I was a fan of this match.
After the match, Chavo pushes Eddie away, but soon starts beating Dragon up. He pounds on him in the corner as Eddie stands by and watches. Eddie finally pulls him off and slaps him in the face. Eddie dares Chavo to hit him, but he can’t come around to do it.
They go backstage to show a locker room with “Vince McMahon” on the door.
WCW United States Title Match
Goldberg (c) vs. Saturn
These two had a match last month at Spring Stampede that was better than most matches Goldberg was having at the time. It went longer than 2 minutes, so right there it feels a little bit different. Raven won the US Title at that same show and then faced Goldberg the next night on Nitro in a very entertaining match, which saw Goldberg win the title from Raven. I think I covered everything there. This is the start of Goldberg’s absolute peak in wrestling.
They lock up to start the party and exchange some arm holds before Goldberg takes him over with a hip toss. Saturn gets some knees to the midsection and sends Goldberg into the ropes, but is taken down with a clothesline. He presses Saturn over his head and slams him down to the mat. I always loved that move. He picks him up again and just lets him fall this time. Goldberg runs him over with a clothesline and Saturn rolls out of the ring to regroup, Goldberg stalks him back into the ring, but Saturn gets the upper hand with an elbow as he comes in. He sends Goldberg into the corner, but Goldberg kicks him in the head as he comes in. Saturn slaps him in the face and that just pisses Goldberg off. He stomps on Saturn in the corner and Saturn has to slide to the outside once again. Goldberg is out after him and takes him down with a shot to the head. He tries to line up a shot against the post, but Saturn moves out of the way. He hits Goldberg with a dropkick and rolls him back in the ring. He hits a couple of Spinning Heel Kicks, but Goldberg is too much and slams him into the corner. Saturn puts him in a Sleeper Hold, but Goldberg powers out and hits a suplex. Saturn kicks him in the midsection and hits a Swinging Neckbreaker. He gets Goldberg in a chin lock before Goldberg gets to his feet and fights out. Goldberg sends him into the corner and charges in, but Saturn hits a suplex on him. Saturn goes to the outside and grabs a chair and sets it up for a dropkick off of it. He sits on the chair and comes in again only to be met with a Spear this time. Goldberg quickly picks him up and hits The Jackhammer to pick up the win after 7:01.
Winner and STILL WCW United States Champion: Goldberg
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was another competitive match between these two. It seems like Saturn was able to take Goldberg a little longer than other matches he had, but on PPV, you almost have to do that. Goldberg is a dominant champion at this point and will go on to continue to smash everyone they put in front of him. Surprisingly solid match for what it was.
There is a video package highlighting Raven and The Flock as he talks about the upcoming Pay-Per-View, The Great American Bash.
Eric Bischoff comes down to the ring to “confront” Vince McMahon like he is in the building. Michael Buffer does the introductions for both men. He introduces McMahon, but obviously, no one is coming down to the ring. Buffer says it again with no one coming down to the ring. Bischoff is asking the referee where he is. Bischoff asks if this is a sanctioned event or not. He asks the referee what to do and he says he will ring the bell and count McMahon out of the match. The bell rings and everyone in the building starts counting to ten. They get to ten and declare Bischoff the winner by count-out. He celebrates in the ring as the commentators speculate on what might have happened.
Collective Thoughts: This was actually a smart play by Bischoff. There is an old story going around that Hogan told Bischoff “you better hope he doesn’t show up because Vince would kick your ass”. I agree with Hogan, if that’s true, wholeheartedly. Obviously, McMahon was going to stay as far away from this as possible. It did build a little bit on intrigue as to what might happen though. Turns out it was nothing but a “win” in the column for Bischoff.
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (“Rowdy” Roddy Piper is the special referee)
Savage won the title last month at Spring Stampede, but lost it to Hogan the next night on Nitro to Hogan. At least this should be a better match than most other WCW main event matches have been.
Hart jumps out of the ring as Savage taunts him from the inside. Piper starts counting Hart out, but Savage tries to lunge out after him he stops the count. Piper jumps to the outside and rolls Hart back in the ring. Both men lock up with Savage getting an elbow to the top of the head. Hart fights back with some shots to Savage and works him into the corner. He stomps away on Savage and starts choking him in the corner. Piper pulls him off and has a standoff with Hart, which allows Savage to get a kick in and start to get some offense in. He kicks Hart low and starts choking him, but Hart gets to the ropes. He sends Hart into the ropes and takes him down with a clothesline. Hart goes to the corner with Savage in hot pursuit and he hits some shots to the head of Hart in the corner. He pulls Hart out of the ring and hits an elbow across the throat. He continues working on Hart in the ropes and chokes him with his boot. Hart gets back to his feet and kicks Savage low before hitting a headbutt. Hart tries to pull Savage away from the ropes but instead picks him up for a suplex. Hart hits a headbutt to the groin which forces Savage to roll to the outside. Hart comes out after him and throws him into the post before taking him down with a clothesline. He picks up the steel steps and goes to hit Savage, but he rolls out of the way. Savage gets back to his feet and hits Hart before sending him flying into the stairs and guardrail. Hart fights back and soon they are fighting into the crowd. Piper follows them out and they are deep into the people. Savage knocks Hart down with a punch and slams him into a wall in front of a group of fans. He works Hart back towards the ring and throws him back over the railing. He hits Hart with a double-ax to the back and hits a Scoop Slam on the floor.
Savage pulls him up and rolls Hart back in the ring. He follows Hart in, but Hart kicks the bad knee of Savage. He is still recovering from a legit torn ACL. Hart continues kicking the knee as Tony Schiavone says that Scott Hall has arrived at the building. Back in the ring, Hart continues working on the bad wheel of Savage. He brings Savage to the middle of the ring and hits a knee breaker. He pulls Savage back up and hits a Russian Leg Sweep. Savage tries to fight back, but Hart just pounds on him to stop the flurry. Hart picks him up and spikes him with a Piledriver before covering him for a two count. Hart hits a DDT and Piper starts to check on Savage in the ring. Hart hits a backbreaker and continues to stay on offense. Hart climbs up to the second rope and comes off with an elbow drop but no one is home. Savage gets back to his feet and hits him with a suplex. Savage hobbles to the rope and climbs up top and hits The Savage Elbow Drop, but hits his knee on the way down. He covers Hart but he kicks out. Great close call there. Hart kicks the knee again and gets Savage into the Sharpshooter which causes Elizabeth to run down to the ring. Savage reverses the hold, but Hart gets to the ropes. Elizabeth and Piper exchange words as Savage and Hart continue going at it. Savage has something on his hand that he got from Hart, and Hart begs him not to use it. Piper is hit from behind by Hart. Hogan comes down to the ring and wraps Savage’s knee around the ring post. Hart pulls him to the center and puts Savage in The Sharpshooter and Piper check on him to see if he gives up and also asks if he hit him from behind. Savage taps out and Hart picks up the win after 16:38.
Winner: Bret Hart
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Classic work by everyone involved. Piper did a good job keeping order throughout the thing and was lenient with the rules as they went outside, but it was appropriate. Savage has recently joined Nash’s incarnation of the NWO (Wolfpac) and you could tell they were trying to get the group over as babyfaces. Hart joined the original NWO (Hollywood) and worked this match as a total heel. It wasn’t strange seeing him in that position because that’s how he was in his final couple of months in the WWF. Hart was on offense for a lot of this and Savage did a great job selling the knee. It wasn’t an all-time classic but told an effective story. Also, how surprising that Hogan is getting involved in Savage affairs again.
After the match, Piper picks up whatever Savage had and leaves the ring with it. Hart mocks the crowd on the way out and spits in the face of Savage. Savage continues to sell the knee as Elizabeth looks on from ringside.
WCW Tag Team Title Match
The Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) (w/Dusty Rhodes) (c) vs. The Giant and Sting
The Giant is a member of NWO Hollywood once again, which would put him and Sting in an awkward position if they win. Scott Hall has been MIA from television periodically due to personal issues he was going through and they just played it up in the storylines. Hall, Nash, and Rhodes are all decked out in red and black.
Hall and Sting are starting the match for their teams. Hall throws the toothpick into his face and they lock up. Hall grabs the arm and starts to stretch him, but Sting fights out with an elbow to the head. Hall gets some shots in and sends Sting into and ropes and hits a chokeslam. He mocks The Giant which allows Sting to regroup and hit a facebuster. He drops Hall with two Atomic Drops and hits him with multiple Stinger Splashes in the corner. Sting goes for The Scorpian Death Lock, but Nash comes in to break it up. That sends The Giant in and The Outsiders escape to the outside. They talk with Rhodes at ringside as Sting looks on from the ring. Hall gets back in and Sting tags The Giant into the match. Hall mocks The Giant before walking to his corner to make a tag to Nash. These two have had some recent history dating back to the beginning of the year. Nash ducks under a clothesline and tries a Jackknife, but The Giant fights out. He works The Giant into the corner and chokes him with his boot. He throws The Giant into the other corner and comes in with a clothesline. He tries it again only this time The Giant gets a clothesline in after a reversal. He hits Nash with an elbow drop and starts to hit him in the corner. He sits on the neck of Nash and starts pulling his hair. He tags Sting back into the ring and he knocks Hall off the apron. He turns around and Nash lays him out with a boot to the face. Hall tags back in the match and sends Sting into the ropes. Sting goes for a crossbody, but Hall catches him and hits a Fallaway Slam.
Hall hits Sting with a shot to the face and it knocks him down to the mat. Hall makes a tag and Nash drops Sting with some Snake Eyes. Hall clotheslines him from the apron before tagging back into the match. Hall stomps on Sting to keep him grounded and away from his corner. Sting comes back with some blows, but Nash tags back in and they keep him isolated before he can make a tag. He hits some high knees to Sting in the corner and chokes him with the boot this time. Hall tags back in and takes Sting down and gets a two-count. He puts Sting in the abdominal stretch. Hall and Nash keep them near their corner and work together to keep Sting grounded. Sting fights out and attempts an elbow, but Hall rolls out of the way. He makes a tag to Nash, who comes in and hits a Sidewalk Slam for another near fall. He sends Sting into the ropes and Sting tries to make a tag, but Nash catches him in a bear hug. Sting starts fading away, but soon is firing up. He fights out of the hold by biting Nash on the face. He jumps on Nash and makes a tag to The Giant who crushes Nash from behind. He pounds on Nash in the corner and hits a scoop slam in the middle of the ring. The Giant grabs the legs and drops a headbutt for a low blow. The Giant hits a Legdrop and gets a near fall. The Giant climbs out of the ring and starts to climb to the top. He comes off with a splash, but Nash rolls out of the way. Nash goes to hit a Jackknife, but Hall hits him from behind with the title belt. The Giant covers him and picks up the win after 14:46.
Winner(s) and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: Sting and The Giant
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: A rare WCW show where I thought both marquee matches delivered. The crowd was on fire for this match and was firmly behind The Wolfpac. Hall and Nash worked great as a team as always, and Hall looked to have no ring rust from the long layover. Sting did a good job working from underneath and took the punishment well. The hot tag was solid and The Giant hit The Outsiders with everything. Hall turned on Nash to end the match and that was the shocking conclusion since they have been together since joining the company. It felt like a real betrayal. Overall, it was a solid way to end the show. Now, the question going into Nitro will be, what will Sting end up doing? Also, it came out that Nash suffered a legit concussion from the belt shot that Hall gave to him.
After the match, Hall, Rhodes, and The Giant all embrace in the ring and leave Nash laying. Sting is standing shocked in the corner as the referee hands him his belt. Hall drapes a Wolfpac shirt on Nash’s head as Sting doesn’t know what to do. The show goes off the air with The Giant begging Sting to join NWO Hollywood.
Overall Show Rating: 7 out of 10
I thought this was a solid show from top to bottom. Normally, WCW would under-deliver for their main events, but I thought they both produced here. They had some quality undercard matches as well and the show didn’t stall much. Having a cage match right in the middle of the show is a little bit odd, and would have preferred it to start the show, but that is nitpicking. The big storylines coming out of the show were Malenko making a return and winning The Cruiserweight Title, Bischoff calling out McMahon and McMahon no showing, and obviously the turn of Scott Hall. As far as the McMahon thing goes, he was never going to show up on the show. It was good marketing by Bischoff though because it got the company good publicity. Hall turning his back on Nash was shocking since they had been together since the start. The crowd was also into everything they were doing and that helped it out a lot. All in all, it was solid.
What did you think of WCW Slamboree 1998? Loved it? Hated it? You haven’t watched it yet? Either way, keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on Twitter, and let me know your thoughts. Take care of yourselves and each other. I will be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.