Welcome back to the TJRwrestling reviews where we are breaking down every WCW Pay-Per-View during the “Monday Night War” era. We are coming off of Uncensored 1998, which was solid throughout but suffered from terrible main event matches. I have been openly critical of Hogan being at the top of some of these shows, which was a great example of it. The show also has Sting defeating Scott Hall to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Title in another underwhelming match. Read my complete thoughts on that show and every WCW show we have covered here. Around this time in 1998, the WWF is starting to make a strong comeback and is coming off of Wrestlemania 14, which crowned Steve Austin as the new face of wrestling. WCW still has a stranglehold on the ratings, but it’ll be interesting to see if the main event scene improves in the coming months. New guys like Goldberg are breaking out and WCW is still on top of the wrestling mountain at this point, though. Let’s see how they take on the 4th show of 1998!
This was the actual poster for the event.
Here’s the logo.
WCW Spring Stampede
April 19th, 1998
Denver Coliseum in Denver, Colorado
A package is shown at the top of the show, outlining the cracks in the NWO over the last couple of months.
We are welcomed into the arena by the usual suspects at the commentary booth in Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Mike Tenay. Tony mentions the show sold out in 3 hours, which makes me miss wrestling the way it used to be. They talk about the upcoming matches on the night highlighting the Savage vs. Sting World Title main event, which will now be No DQ. They talk about some of the other big matches for the evening before going down to the ring for the night’s opening match.
Saturn (w/Kidman) vs. Goldberg
They are starting to mention Goldberg’s undefeated streak, which at this point has reached “73-0”.
Saturn starts things off with a flurry, but Goldberg quickly takes him down with a couple of suplexes. He starts to work on the leg of Saturn, but he gets to the ropes. Goldberg grabs Kidman from ringside and tosses him to the outside of the ring. Saturn gets some shoulders to the gut coming back in before hitting a dropkick and a splash off the second rope. He comes off with an elbow and gets a two-count. He throws Goldberg into the corner and gets a clothesline in. He goes for a suplex, but Goldberg overpowers him and slams him down. He picks Saturn up and slams him down to the mat again. Saturn lures him into the ropes and drops Goldberg throat-first on them. He hits Goldberg with a sidekick, but he stays on his feet. He sends Goldberg to the outside and dropkicks him into the stars at ringside. Saturn keeps him grounded on the floor before rolling back in the ring to break the count. He rolls Goldberg back in the ring and climbs up top and comes off with a dropkick for a one-count. He works Goldberg down to the mat with an armbar and tries to keep him grounded. Goldberg makes his way back to his feet, but Saturn takes him down again. Goldberg breaks the hold by slamming Saturn into the corner and gets some shoulders to the midsection. Saturn charges out of the corner, but Goldberg takes him down again. He hits Saturn with a sidekick and shoves him down to the mat. Goldberg lines him up and hits him with a Spear as he gets back up. He goes for The Jackhammer, but Saturn gets a low blow in as Kidman distracts the referee. He perches Goldberg on the top and comes up after him. Goldberg presses him over his head and throws him down to the mat. That causes the rest of The Flock to hit the ring, but Goldberg takes them all out. Saturn gets the knee from behind and puts Goldberg in the Rings of Saturn. Goldberg muscles out and picks Saturn up in a Fireman’s Carry which he turns in a makeshift Jackhammer to pick up the win after 8:42.
Match Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This match was solid for an 8-minute Goldberg match. As we came to learn a little bit later, Goldberg was probably better suited to just squash people over and over, but this wasn’t offensively bad. It wasn’t a technical marvel either. They gave Saturn a lot of offense, which tended not to happen too much in Goldberg matches. They had some nice back and forth, but we all know who was winning this match. Still, Saturn kept it competitive and Goldberg looked like a million bucks taking on everyone in The Flock, as well as Saturn. Solid start to the show.
Chavo Guerrero (w/Eddie Guerrero) vs. Ultimo Dragon
Last month, Chavo came out to the ring with Eddie, and this month it is switched. These two have been feuding with each other over the last month or so, and they are building to the ultimate blow-off match between the two.
Dragon grabs a waist lock to start off the match, but Chavo quickly reverses into one of his own. Chavo starts to work on the legs and stretches Dragon out on the mat. Dragon gets back to his feet and takes Chavo down with a dropkick and chops him in the corner. The two quickly exchange blows before Dragon hits a kick that sends Chavo to the outside. He climbs back in the ring and the two men lock up with Dragon taking him down and hitting a kick to the small of the back. Both men take turns working on the legs of the other until Guerrero finally gets him in an Indian Deathlock. Dragon gets to the ropes to break the hold. Guerrero hits a head scissors takeover and a dropkick to work Dragon into the corner. Guerrero hits a leg drop and covers for a two-count and continues to keep Dragon down on the mat. Dragon fights out and gets Guerrero in the Surfboard Stretch. Dragon sends Guerrero into the ropes, but he gets kicked in the head. They both tease suplexes before Dragon rolls him up for two. Guerrero gets to his feet and takes Dragon down with a big clothesline. He sends Dragon into the ropes, but Dragon hits a Hurricanrana for a two count. He gets Guerrero in the corner and throws him to the other side, but is met with an elbow. Guerrero climbs up top, but Dragon kicks the rope and he crotches himself on the turnbuckle. Dragon pounds on him on the top, but Guerrero fights out. Both men attempt a suplex, with Dragon getting the upper hand and sending him to the outside. Dragon comes off the second rope with an Asai Moonsault as Eddie is berating his cousin at ringside. Guerrero gets some shots in before kicking Dragon on the floor and coming back outside with a splash from the top rope. Guerrero sends Dragon into the ropes back in the ring and they take each other out with a double clothesline. They both get back to their feet and exchange chops before Dragon hits an Enziguri to the back of the head. He climbs up top and comes off, but Guerrero catches him with a dropkick. Guerrero tries to capitalize, but the referee keeps him from doing so. That makes Eddie livid at ringside and he gets on the apron to argue with Chavo. He slaps Chavo in the face, but Guerrero hits Dragon with a dropkick as he gets back to his feet. He hits an uppercut and a Brainbuster. Guerrero goes for a Tornado DDT instead of going for the cover and Dragon catches him with a Dragon Sleeper. Guerrero has no choice but to tap out and the match is over after 11:49.
Winner: Ultimo Dragon
Match Rating: 4/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a great match. There was a lot of back and forth action and high flying all over the place. I was always a big fan of The Ultimo Dragon and he was just so smooth in the ring. Chavo held himself well here, and this was one of his first big-time matches on PPV. There were some good false finishes and some spectacular moves that they hit on each other. Chavo losing makes sense because it just builds the tension for him and Eddie that much more.
Diamond Dallas Page is backstage with the internet folks at WCW and he is gearing up for his match later on tonight against Raven for the WCW United States Title.
WCW Television Title Match
Booker T. (c) vs. Chris Benoit
Benoit immediately gets in Booker’s face as he gets in the ring. Both men lock up as the bell sounds with Benoit working him into the corner quickly. Booker pushes him away and grabs a headlock before Benoit shoots him into the ropes. Booker hits a shoulder block that sends Benoit to the mat and he rolls out of the ring to regroup. As he comes back in, he kicks Booker in the midsection and kicks his legs out from under him. He lifts Booker’s leg up and drives the knee into the mat. He goes for it again, but Booker gets up and hits a Harlem Sidekick that sends Benoit to the outside again. Benoit slides back in and goes for a clothesline, but Booker ducks, and takes Benoit out with one of his own. He hits another sidekick and covers Benoit for a two-count. He works on the arm of Benoit, but he raises to his feet, gets Booker into the corner, and hits some shots to the chest. Benoit charges in, but Booker catches him and hits a Sidewalk Slam. Benoit makes his way back to his feet and both men change blows until Benoit grabs the advantage and drapes Booker on the top rope. Benoit continues to stay on the offensive and hits some vicious chops in the corner. Benoit pulls him out to hit a snap suplex and gets a near fall.
Benoit takes Booker down with a drop toe hold and a belly-to-back suplex. Benoit climbs to the top rope and comes off with The Diving Headbutt and hits every inch of it. He covers Booker, but he gets a foot on the ropes. Benoit tries another suplex, but Booker reverses it into one of his own. Booker pulls himself up on the ropes, but Benoit takes him down quickly after getting up with a back elbow. Benoit hits another suplex and covers for another two-count. Benoit hits a backbreaker as Tony Schiavone lets us know that these two are over the 10-minute mark most matches are held to. Benoit grabs Booker and hits the three German Suplexes and Booker is down. He sends Booker into the corner and puts him on the top turnbuckle. He comes up with him and hits a belly-to-back suplex off the top rope! What a spot that was. Benoit slowly crawls over and gets the arm draped, but Booker kicks out at two. Booker gets up and reverses an Irish Whip and hits Benoit with a Spinebuster. Booker gets back to his feet and hits Benoit with a forearm to the head. Booker hits Flapjack and does the Spinarooni to get back to his feet. He goes to hit Benoit with an Axe Kick, but he kicks the referee by accident. Booker checks on him which gives Benoit the opening to lock on The Crippler Crossface. Booker looks like he taps out, but the referee is out. Benoit pulls the ref up, but Booker hits a Harlem Sidekick to pick up the win after 14:11.
Winner and STILL WCW Television Champion: Booker T.
Match Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a great match with a finish that puts Booker’s title reign in question. He was clearly tapping out, but they did it in a way to protect both men. This was back and forth with some hard-hitting action. Both of these guys are notorious for being a little stiff in the ring, and this match was no different. Booker was starting to rise to the top of this game at this point and you could tell WCW saw a lot in him. This would lead to some great TV Title matches between these two in the coming months.
The British Bulldog (w/ Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) vs. Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude)
These two have been going at it the past several weeks with handcuffs coming into play multiple times. That is the big selling point for this match with both men having seconds come out to the ring with them. Rude and Neidhart are handcuffed to each other before the match begins.
Bulldog starts the match off quickly by grabbing Hennig by the hair and bringing him into the ring. He hits some shots to the head and stomps on Hennig as he falls to the mat. Hennig tries to get out of the ring to regroup, but Bulldog comes out right behind him. He throws Hennig back in the ring and continues to stomp away on him. He gets Hennig into the corner and hits some shoulders to the gut, but Hennig fights out. He works over Bulldog with some shots to the head, but it’s short-lived, and Bulldog is back on the offensive. He stomps on the leg of Hennig as Rude tries to get in the ring but is pulled out by Neidhart. Hennig gets an elbow to the midsection as he gets back up and starts getting some offense in. He favors the knee, though, which opens a window for Bulldog to take advantage. He slams Hennig’s head into the turnbuckle and continues to keep him grounded. Bulldog goes to put Hennig in The Sharpshooter as Rude and Neidhart are fighting with the cop that handcuffed them on the outside. Rude escapes and handcuffs Neidhart to the ring post. Hennig throws Bulldog into the post and covers him to pick up the win after 4:48.
Winner: Curt Hennig
Match Rating: DUD
Collective Thoughts: It seemed like the guys on the outside had more camera time than the match on the inside. Rude and Neidhart were going at each other throughout the whole thing, and they were so focused on that, they actually missed the spot that helps Hennig pick up the win. There just wasn’t a lot of time for this match and it suffered from it.
After the match, Vincent and Rude jump in the ring, and the three of them triple-team Bulldog in the ring. Vincent gives Rude a nightstick and he chokes Bulldog with it. Vincent attacks Neidhart on the outside before Rude comes over to finish the job.
WCW Cruiserweight Title Match
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Prince Iaukea
Jericho comes to the ring with a microphone in hand. He starts to cut a promo to start the match and says that he wants the crowd to love him. Jericho says he loves coming to Denver because there are thousands of his fans every time. He said he is dedicating this match to the missing Dean Malenko. He says that while Malenko is sitting on his couch, he can watch Jericho and live through him. Great heel stuff here.
The bell sounds and both men lock up in the middle of the ring. Iaukea gets a slap to the face and gets a headlock on Jericho. He starts to work on the arm as Jericho gets out and Iaukea takes him down with a clothesline. Jericho gets back to his feet and gets some elbows to the midsection, but he is soon taken down with an elbow to the head. Jericho gets back to his feet and sends Iaukea into the ropes and takes him down with a shoulder block. He sends him into the ropes again, but this time, he is taken down with an Iaukea dropkick. He sends Jericho to the outside of the ring after a dropkick to the head and he comes out after him with a somersault splash. He starts pounding on Jericho before rolling him back in the ring before taking him down to the mat again. Jericho fights out and sends Iaukea throat-first into the middle rope. He stomps on the head and starts to gain some momentum. He kicks Iaukea in the chest and snaps him over with a suplex. He overs Iaukea with a foot on the chest, but obviously, Iaukea gets a shoulder up. Jericho snaps him over and starts to wear him down with a chin lock. Jericho hits a chop to the chest followed by a scoop slam. Jericho climbs to the top and takes forever before coming off and getting a face full of the foot from Iaukea. He takes Jericho down with a clothesline and a suplex. Iaukea goes to the apron and comes in with a splash for a near fall. He goes to roll Jericho up, but he gets caught, and Jericho puts him in The Liontamer. Iaukea makes it to the ropes, but Jericho thinks he won. They start to battle again with Iaukea getting a roll-up for a very close two count. He takes Jericho down and climbs up top, but Jericho is up right after him. Iaukea tosses Jericho from the top to the floor and falls out after him. That looked gnarly. They slowly roll back in the ring and exchange blows in the ring. Iaukea tries another roll-up, but Jericho fights him off. Jericho comes off the ropes and goes for a DDT, but Iaukea hits a Nothern Lights Suplex for another near fall. Iaukea goes up top and hits a splash, but Jericho rolls through and puts him in The Liontamer. Iaukea has no choice but to tap out and the match is over after 9:55.
Winner and STILL WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho
Match Rating: 3.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: There was very good stuff from both men in this match. Jericho plays a heel so well and having someone like Prince Iaukea is a good way to have a good match. Jericho was on offense for some of the bout, but he did well coming from underneath. The Cruiserweight division was so underrated and this match was just another great chapter in the story.
After the match, Jericho puts on Iaukea’s garb as the ultimate salt in the wound
Raven is backstage with The United States Championship belt, which belongs to Diamond Dallas Page. He said that tonight, he will win the title for real.
Scott Steiner & Bull Bagwell vs. Lex Luger & Rick Steiner (w/Ted DiBiase)
Bagwell and Steiner come out to the ring with Bagwell’s hand all bandaged up. Bagwell grabs a mic and says that the match tonight is canceled. He said his lawyer has advised him not to wrestle and he is going to go with what he says. Scott grabs the mic and says he was ready to fight his brother tonight, but they are forfeiting. That brings Gene and JJ Dillon down to the ring. Dillon says that Bagwell is right, but he says they still have to wrestle. He says he is going to have a doctor look at Bagwell and if he sees fit, the match will go on as scheduled. The doctor gets in the ring and takes the cast off of Bagwell. He grabs Dillon with his bad hand and that causes Dillon to make the match official.
Rick storms the ring, but Scott jumps out. Bagwell attacks Rick in the ring as Luger and Scott fight on the outside. Bagwell sends Rick into the ropes but is caught with a Powerslam. Scott takes Rick out from behind and keeps him grounded. Bagwell and Scott start to double-team Rick before Scott tags into the match and its brother vs. brother. Scott hits an elbow to the head before dragging him over to the ropes. He chokes him a little bit before tagging Bagwell back in the match. He slams Rick down to the mat and continues to keep him isolated from his corner. Scott tags back in the match and gets a kick to the chest as Bagwell is holding Rick from behind. Scott slams his brother down and drops an elbow for a two-count. Bagwell is back in the match and stomps on the leg of Rick. Bagwell stays on offense with some shots to the head and tags Scott back in the match. They exchange tags while keeping Rick in their corner. Bagwell gets some kicks to the face, but Rick hits a suplex as he charges in. Luger tries to come in but the referee stops him. Rick finally crawls over and makes the tag to a fresh Luger. He signals for the Torture Rack, but Scott hits him from behind as he goes to pick Bagwell up. Rick clotheslines Bagwell from behind and chases Scott away from the ring. Bagwell and Luger are left in the ring, but Luger gets him in The Torture Rack. Bagwell gives up and the match is over after 4:45.
Winner(s): Lex Luger and Rick Steiner
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a storyline match more than a competitive one. This was one of the first times the Steiners were in opposite corners and it felt different just because of that. Bagwell and Scott did a good job keeping Rick isolated, but after he made the tag to Luger, it was all over from there.
Gene Okerlund is back and plugs the hotline which he claims he has some juicy info if you call in.
La Parka vs. Psychosis
These two were tag team partners for the last couple of weeks, but have since been at odds.
The bell sounds and La Parka starts dancing around before hitting Psychosis with some chops to the chest. Psychosis fights back with some of his own before slamming La Parka into the turnbuckle. He hits a Hurricanrana before climbing up top and hitting one again. That sends La Parka to the outside and Psychosis is out right behind him with a splash. La Parka slides back in the ring and hits another chop to the chest and takes Psychosis down with a clothesline. He sends Psychosis to the outside and comes out with a Split-Legged Moonsault and it wipes both men out. He rolls Psychosis back in the ring and gets a near fall. He hits a snap suplex and sends Psychosis into the corner. He comes charging in, but Psychosis drops him on the turnbuckle. They have a battle back and forth before La Parka hits a kick that sends Psychosis out to the apron. Psychosis pulls La Parka down on the turnbuckle and hits a Frankensteiner for a two count. La Parka rolls out of the ring, but Psychosis comes right out with another splash. They get back in the ring and Psychosis comes off the top with a splash, but he rolls out of the way. La Parka gets an Alabama Slam and covers him, but pulls him up after two. La Parka goes for a Powerbomb, but Psychosis counters into another Hurricanrana. La Parka gets stuck in the ropes and Psychosis comes off the ropes with a Guillotine Legdrop and picks up the win after 6:59.
Match Rating: 2.75/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This match was a fun spot fest. It wasn’t advertised for the show, so it was thrown together, and it showed at times. Both men were great workers, but with limited time, it seems a little rushed at times. Psychosis picking up the win was good for him, but this match didn’t do anything to blow me away.
The announcers are shown and start talking about the rest of the matches left on the night. They mention the main event being No DQ, and now that it is, they speculate if Sting will survive. They also mention the Bat on a Pole match that is coming up next.
Kevin Nash & “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant & “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
This match is essentially a pole match where a team can climb up to grab the bat and then can use it in the match. Hogan & Nash have been at odds over the last couple of weeks and we starting to see some cracks in the NWO armor.
Piper starts climbing to get the bat right away, but Hogan comes right up after him. They grapple a little bit on the top before Hogan gets some shots into the head. Piper gets stuck on the ropes and Hogan starts stomping away on him. He tags in Nash who comes in and starts to manhandle Piper and throws him into the corner. Hogan tags back in and starts wearing Piper out, but Piper starts to fire up. He blocks a show from Hogan and starts hitting some of his own. Hogan walks over to their corner and is sent down with a headbutt from The Giant. Piper and Hogan continue going at it and they hit some more headbutts on Hogan. Hogan recovers and takes his belt off as both men get up and he hits Piper out with it. He starts to choke him with the belt before letting up and starting to climb up the top. Piper makes a tag to The Giant and he grabs the belt and starts pummeling Hogan with it. He starts slapping Hogan on the ass before Nash comes in, but he is quickly taken out with the belt as well. Hogan and Nash slide to the outside as the fans are getting behind Piper and The Giant. Hogan gets back in the ring, but Piper takes him down and gets a two-count. He tries to keep on the offensive, but Hogan hits him with a low blow. Nash gets a tag back in and he starts mouthing off to The Giant. Piper walks over and makes the tag and the two big men have a stand-off.
Nash pushes him and The Giant comes back with a high knee. He sends Nash into the corner and charges in with a clothesline. He hits Nash with a chop to the chest and sends him to the other side. He comes in again, but Nash gets a boot-up. He starts to pound on The Giant and gets him in the corner with some high knees. Nash chokes him with his boot in the corner and Hogan gets some stuff in behind the referee’s back. Nash takes The Giant down with a clothesline, but he gets right back up. Nash charges in and both men get big boots to the face and both of them hit the mat. Both men slowly crawl to their corners and both of them make the tags. Piper and Hogan start going at it with Piper getting an advantage. He hits Hogan with an uppercut and sends him into the ropes and takes him down with a clothesline. Hogan fights back and works Piper into their corner and they get an advantage with some double-teams. Piper fights back and gets Hogan out of the corner and starts working on him in another one. He kicks Hogan in the head and takes him down with a clothesline. He hits Nash with a low blow and that brings The Giant into the fold. All four men are in now and The Giant hits Nash with a dropkick that sends him out of the ring. Piper gets Hogan in The Sleeper Hold, but Hogan gets to the ropes. They start climbing up and The Giant boosts Piper up to grab the bat in the corner. Nash pulls The Giant down and Hogan throws the bat to the outside. Nash and Hogan start work on Piper, and The Giant is out on the other side. The Disciple comes out to the ring and brings The NWO their own bat. Hogan hits The Giant in the head with it and goes to hit Piper, but he moves and Hogan hits Nash. Piper takes both men out with the bat and is alone with Hogan. The Disciple gets on the apron and throws Hogan another bat and he hits Piper with it to pick up the win after
Winner: Hulk Hogan & Kevin Nash
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: The match as a whole was fine, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. Nash and The Giant have been going at it for months so both of them being involved here makes sense. The crowd was into Piper and The Giant and it seemed like they were on the verge of winning on a few occasions. Obviously, Hogan hitting Nash causes a bigger rift between the two, and the top of The NWO is looking as shaky as ever.
After the match, Nash has come words with Hogan for hitting him with the bat. He tells Nash to Jackknife The Giant, but he hits Nash from behind with the bat. The Giant comes to and chases Hogan out of the ring and breaks the bat over his knee.
They have a commercial for Slamboree 1998, which will be the next time they are on Pay-Per-View.
WCW United States Title Match
Diamond Dallas Page (c) vs. Raven
Raven has the title in his possession even though Page is the actual champion. The winner of this match will face Goldberg on Nitro for the title.
Sick Boy gets in the ring and hits Page from behind, but is quickly taken out. Page starts to hit Raven in the head and sends him to the corners of the ring. He hits Raven with a suplex and sends Raven crashing to the floor with an elbow. He takes both Raven and Sick Boy out and sends Sick Boy into the guardrail. Raven takes advantage of the distraction and gets a high knee to the ribs of Page. He hits an elbow and takes him down with a clothesline. He goes for The Even Flow DDT, but Page fights out and puts him down with a swinging neck breaker. Page goes for The Diamond Cutter, but Raven fights out and goes to the floor. Page comes out after him and both men do battle up the aisleway. Raven climbs up to the top of one of the props at the entrance, but Page pulls him off. Page climbs up himself and comes off with a splash on Raven. He throws him into a fence before hitting him with a trash can lid. He hits Raven with the rest of the can before sending him hard into some fencing by the entrance. He suplexes Raven onto a table and almost takes out the internet guys. Raven kicks Page and Page flys into the internet stuff they have set up. He hits Page with a pan to the head and Raven sets him up on a table and comes off with a splash of his own. Raven hits Page with a bell to the head and goes to grab a garbage can. Raven hits Page with it before he starts choking him with a bull rope. They slowly start to work back to the ring with Raven rolling Page back in. Sick Boy grabs a kitchen sink and throws it into the ring. Raven wipes Page out with it and covers him for a two count. Raven starts to choke him with the rope again as the crowd starts to get behind Page. Page fires up and gets to his feet and hits some elbows. He sends Raven into the ropes and Page hits a drop toe hold and it sends Raven into the sink that was in the ring. Page covers Raven, but Kidman comes off the rope and takes Raven out by accident. Sick Boy hits Page with a crutch from behind and Raven covers him, but Page gets the shoulder up. Page rolls him up, but Raven gets back up quickly and continues to hammer on Page. Van Hammer comes in the ring and comes off the top, but he also takes Raven out inadvertently. Page hits Raven with the sink from behind but can’t pick up the win. Raven hits a low blow and that brings Reece into the ring. He hits Page with a chokeslam and Raven covers him, but can’t get it done. Lodi throws in a stop sign, but Page grabs it and starts taking everyone out. Kidman comes in from behind and gets hit with a Diamond Cutter. A mystery man (Horace Hogan) comes in from behind to hit Page with the stop sign which allows Raven to hit The Even Flow DDT and becomes the new champion after 11:52.
Winner and NEW WCW United States Champion: Raven
Match Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This match was overbooked with all the run-ins, but it was still a great match. All of The Flock came in at different times to hit Page, but he fought them all off. This is the definition of looking strong in defeat. There were weapons and wild stuff the whole time, but the numbers game became too much for Page. Horace debuting here as a member of The Flock was fine, although, at that point, it seemed a bit excessive. Raven and Goldberg were one of the more memorable matches in Nitro history, and this was the precursor to that. I thought this match was awesome either way.
No Disqualification Match for The WCW World Heavyweight Title
Sting (c) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth)
Savage has been at odds with the rest of The NWO and is coming into this match injured due to an attack at the last Nitro.
Savage starts attacking Sting as soon as he comes through the ropes. Savage sends him to the outside and slams him against the guardrail. He rolls Sting in the ring and the bell sounds. He chokes Sting with his boot and works him into the corner. He gets some shots to the head but is selling the bad arm. Sting fights back and takes Savage down with some shots to the head before sending him out to the floor. He slams him into the guardrail which causes Savage to start working his way to the back. Sting chases him out and sends Savage crashing to the stuff near the entrance. He throws Savage into the fencing and starts choking him with some camera cable. He sends Savage crashing to the floor and grabs a bail of hay and crushed Savage with it. They start to fight back to the ring with Sting sending Savage into the railing again. He comes in with a Stinger Splash, but Savage slides out of the way. He sends Sting into the post in the corner and covers him back in the ring for a two. Savage hits a clothesline before going for another cover. He goes to powerbomb Sting, but Sting counters and sends him down to the mat. Savage comes back and starts choking Sting on the ropes. Savage tries to capitalize, but Sting sends him flying to the outside of the ring. He suplexes Savage on the floor and starts to stomp down on the groin of Savage. Savage rolls back in the ring, but he quickly stomped on and choked by the boot of Sting. He works Savage into the corner, but Savage hits a low blow and drops Sting down on the ropes. Savage covers Sting for another near fall. Savage comes off the top with a double-ax, but Sting hits him in the midsection. Sting goes for a Stinger Splash, but he takes the referee out instead. Savage hits a Piledriver, but Sting no-sells it and gets right back to his feet. Elizabeth hits him with a chair from behind and he puts her into the corner with Savage. He goes for a Stinger Splash, but Savage moves, and Sting wipes Elizabeth. Savage climbs up top and wants to go for the Flying Elbow, but Hogan comes down to the ring and shoves him off. Sting hits a Scorpian Death Drop, but Nash comes into the ring and attacks Sting. He hits Sting with Jackknife Powerbomb and drapes Savage over onto Sting. The referee wakes up and he counts to three to crown a new champion.
Winner and NEW WCW Heavyweight Champion: “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Having back-to-back No DQ matches was a so-so idea. Having Page and Raven battle up the ramp followed by Sting and Savage doing the same kind of took away from it a bit. Still, I thought this was a better match than we have gotten in the main event over the last couple of events. Sting’s reign at the top was just one big blunder after another and I am sure he wasn’t terribly upset about getting out of this mess. Ever since Starrcade, the title always seemed in flux with no one really standing tall as champion. The story in the finish of this one was Hogan trying to cost Savage the match, while Nash comes in to help him win the title. Classic storytelling not just for this match, but for that feud as well. I just can’t get over how poorly booked Sting’s reign was here.
Post-match, Nash gets back in the ring to hand Savage the title. He picks up the referee and tells him to award Savage with the title. Nash stands over both men as the show goes off the air.
Overall Show Rating: 7.75 out of 10.
I liked this show a whole hell of a lot more than some other outings they have had so far this year. There were solid matches throughout the whole card, including two above-average ones early, as well as Page vs. Raven. I thought some of the matches were solid, but there were a few that were duds. I felt like there were a couple of matches on this show that felt rushed and didn’t get a lot of time to shine. My biggest takeaway from this show was the absolute dropping of the ball with Sting’s title reign. You had the botched finished at the end of Starrcade and the matches he had afterward felt like overbooked messes. I did think this main event was a little more solid than some of the other ones, but still, WCW’s strong suit was not having classic matches at the top. With all of that being said, this was the best show WCW produced in 1998 thus far.
As a final note, it’s worth noting that Savage tore his ACL when Hogan shoved him off the top rope during the main event. Who won the title from Savage the next night on Nitro? Hulk Hogan, of course, thanks to an assist from Bret Hart. That means it was back to Hogan as champion…again.
What did you think of Spring Stampede 1998? Loved it? Hated it? Wished WWE kept the name? 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.