Spring Stampede 1999
Date: April 11, 1999
Location: Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Washington
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This is a show that hasn't had the chance to build up that well as they made the two main events on Monday. The midcard stuff is decent enough but there's some stuff in the main event that makes me shake my head. There are some matches on this show that pique my interest though which is more than I can say about most WCW shows. Let's get to it.
We open with a generic video of the main event. That doesn't really fire me up for the show.
The set has a simple entrance but the usual props on the side, such as wagons and hay. I miss that kind of themed stuff.
The announcers intro the show and don't have much to say.
Juventud Guerrera vs. Blitzkrieg
The ring is now sponsored by Little Cesars. The winner gets a Cruiserweight Title shot tomorrow night. We actually get a handshake to start as the announcers continue their recent bickering over which pair is better. Juvy cranks on the arm before taking Blitzkrieg down into a sunset flip for two. They stay on the mat for a bit and Blitzkrieg complains of a mask pull. That goes nowhere so he grabs a headlock instead. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two on Juvy and Blitzkrieg follows up with a handspring elbow in the corner. The spots are actually hitting for a change.
Guerrera is able to send Blitzkrieg face first into the buckle ten straight times as we're waiting on the dives to begin. Juvy goes first with a springboard missile dropkick and Blitzkrieg bails to the floor. He stands there way too long though, allowing Juvy to nail a huge dive over the top to take him down again. Back in and Juvy puts on a surfboard but Blitzkrieg rolls to the side to break it up.
A running dropkick in the corner sends Juvy outside but he walks away before Blitzkrieg can use the big dive. Instead Blitzkrieg goes around the ring and tries again, only to dive into a dropkick for a nice counter. Back in and Juvy tries a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker of his own but Blitzkrieg rolls out, sending Juvy back to the floor. Blitzkrieg hits a springboard spinning moonsault to take Guerrera down again.
Juvy tries the Juvy Driver but Blitzkrieg flips out and they trade reverse DDT attempts until Juvy takes him down for two. To continue the joke that is Schiavone's commentary career, after the reverse DDT gets two, Tony says, and I quote, “frustration is setting in for Juvy. He hasn't tried the Juvy Driver yet. If Blitzkrieg can counter that, frustration will really set in.” This is TEN SECONDS after Tony called Blitzkrieg countering the Juvy Driver. TEN SECONDS!
Anyway Juvy gets slammed off the top but avoids a Phoenix Splash. Juvy still can't hit the Driver and Blitzkrieg tries something like a top rope victory roll for two. Blitzkrieg tries the same thing again but Juvy counters into a super Juvy Driver for the pin and the title shot. That was a great looking finish.
Rating: B. If this was the Blitzkrieg that I had seen in his WCW run, I would totally understand the love this guy gets. This was an excellent match with both guys nailing everything and having almost no down time in between. Granted I'd assume having Juventud Guerrera for an opponent instead of Super Calo helped him a lot. Great match.
Video on Hak vs. Bam Bam Bigelow. Let's get this over with.
Hardcore Hak vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow brings out a cart full of weapons and drives it into Hak's ribs to start as the announcers oggle Chastity. They're already fighting by the set and Hak has a table hidden under the stagecoach. He goes up top on the stagecoach for a swanton through Bigelow through the table for a very good opening spot. Bigelow is up first and nails Hak in the head with part of the board and they head to the ring. Luckily for them, Chastity has a bunch of weapons waiting for them.
Bigelow nails Hak with a crutch followed by something made of metal. Hak bridges a table between the ring and the barricade but takes his sweet time, allowing Bigelow to nail him in the head with a trashcan. There's a broom to the back but Bigelow can't suplex him. Unfortunately Hak can't suplex Bigelow either and his knee buckles. Thankfully he's ok enough to bring in a ladder as the ring is way too full of weapons.
Something resembling a dropkick sends the ladder into Bigelow. Another swanton onto the ladder onto Bigelow has both guys in trouble as the announcers aren't sure what to make of this stuff. Here's yet another table and a piece of barricade to go with it as Bigelow is still down in the corner. There's also some barbed wire wrapped around another corner. Chastity resets the table between the ring and barricade and Hak goes up, only so Bigelow can throw him throug the table. That was one of the most telegraphed spots I've ever seen.
Bigelow sets up a barricade in one corner and a ladder in the other. Hak is sent into the ladder but pops back up, only to crotch himself on the barricade. Bigelow is about to drop the barricade on Hak but has to spray Chastity with a fire extinguisher. The White Russian legsweep has almost no effect on Bigelow, likely because it's a Russian legsweep. Bigelow takes him up for what was supposed to be a Greetings From Asbury Park (looked more like a Death Valley Driver) through the table for the pin. Isn't that basically the same finisher from the opener?
Rating: C+. The match was more entertaining for the amount of stuff they used and only one really badly telegraphed spot, but I still don't care to see any more of this. I really don't need to see ECW in WCW but that's what they're obsessed with at this point. The announcers buried the whole thing and I can't say I blame them. It was fairly entertaining though.
Scotty Riggs vs. Mikey Whipwreck
I have no idea why this match is happening and I'll spare you the long list of people that should be on this show more than these two. Riggs is now a narcissist who carries a mirror. Slow start with Scotty offering an armdrag and stopping to talk to the camera. Mikey speeds things up a bit with left hands in the corner and a dropkick. They head outside with Riggs being sent into the barricade before going back inside so Mikey can headscissors him back to the floor.
Back in and Mikey gets knocked off the apron and into the barricade in a painful looking spot. Riggs nails a top rope ax handle but stops for some Rude hip swiveling. We hit the chinlock from Riggs as the fans want Goldberg. Mikey scores with a middle rope dropkick and a hurricanrana for two. They run the ropes and Scotty hits a running forearm for the pin.
Rating: D-. This could have been on any given Thunder and I have no idea why they decided to air it here. Yeah it's filler but there weren't two more interesting guys to put out there instead of these guys? Nothing match here and Riggs is still his boring self despite a new gimmick. One thing I'll give this show so far: the first three matches have all been a different style so there's a nice variety.
Quick video on Disco vs. Konnan. Disco mocked Konnan's annoying music video and there's a match as a result.
Disco Inferno vs. Konnan
Konnan calls him a strawberry (whatever that means) and gets stomped down for his efforts. The fans are all over Disco as he stomps Konnan down and starts to dance even more. Konnan comes back with a dropkick and a bunch of right hands of his own. A Sin Cara style armdrag out of the corner has Disco in trouble but he comes back with a running elbow to the face. We hit the chinlock on Konnan for a few moments, followed by a middle rope elbow for two. This has been one sided so far.
Back to the chinlock for a bit before Konnan hiptosses him down, only to miss a charge and fall out to the floor. Disco is sent into the post but kicks the rope as they come back in. For some reason this stuns Konnan and a shaky elbow gets two. We get another chinlock as the announcers are stunned at Disco's offense. Disco goes up but misses an elbow drop, allowing Konnan to hit the 187 for two. A swinging neckbreaker gets two for Inferno but Konnan uses Disco's own Last Dance for the pin.
Rating: C. Not a bad little match here but Konnan hit about three moves all match. Disco continues to be a guy that can work hard when given the chance and that's what we got here. I like Konnan using a Stunner far more than the Tequila Sunrise which is just a fancy half crab. This was better than I was expecting.
Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Kidman
Mysterio is defending and they're the Tag Team Champions. Rey grabs a test of strength grip and they flip around for a few two counts each. A headscissors puts Kidman down but Kidman comes back with one of his own in a nice sequence. Kidman backdrops the champion out to the floor and hits a bit dive to take him down again. There's a legdrop on the floor for two back inside as the fans are oddly quiet for this one.
A chinlock doesn't get Kidman anywhere so they head to the floor with Rey countering a moonsault and headscissoring Kidman into the barricade. Back inside and Rey hits the springboard seated senton (not a Thesz Press Tony!) followed by a Lionsault for two each. Kidman comes back with something like a standing Boss Man Slam for two. The BK Bomb gets the same and Rey is dropkicked to the floor.
There's the Shooting Star off the apron but they head back inside where Rey dropkicks Kidman out of the air. The fans are still not all that interested. A top rope bulldog (the move that won Rey the title) wakes them up a bit and gets another near fall on Kidman. Rey charges into a powerslam and it's back to the chinlock. Back up and Rey clotheslines him to the floor, setting up a big flip dive to take him down again.
They get back in and we hit another chinlock for a bit before Kidman's powerbomb is countered into a hurricanrana for two. Now it's Rey holding a chinlock as the fans are clearly bored. Kidman fights up again and hits a sitout Pedigree followed by a sunset bomb for two. Another top rope bulldog gets something resembling a reaction and a two count to go with it. Kidman comes back with Stratusfaction for two but Rey hits a standing moonsault for a two count so fast I thought we had a crooked referee. Kidman counters a powerbomb into a faceplant but Rey crotches him into a top rope hurricanrana to retain.
Rating: C+. This was good but the match had to follow their first match as well as tonight's opener. They were trying to top what they did a few weeks back and the match collapsed under the weight. It also needed to be about five minutes shorter as the chinlocks really stopped things cold. The match was entertaining but I can see why the fans weren't that impressed.
We look at Saturn reuniting with Raven and beating the Horsemen a few weeks back. Raven and Saturn then cost the Horsemen the Tag Team Titles, making this match non-title.
Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Raven/Saturn
Raven and Saturn bring a table with them. Benoit and Saturn get things going and they stall for over a minute. Saturn is sent out to the floor where he sends the Horsemen into each other to take over. It's off to Raven for a clothesline for two followed by a suplex to set up a top rope splash from Saturn. Benoit sends Raven out to the floor for a double stomping from Malenko and Anderson.
Back in and a double spinebuster lets the Horsemen make a wish with Raven's legs. Dean nails a dropkick and it's back to Benoit who is immediately caught in a small package. Referee Charles Robinson is busy doing anything else to count the pin so Benoit is able to beat Raven down again for two. Raven finally gets a boot up in the corner and the hot tag brings in Saturn. The Horsemen's house is cleaned and a Doomsday Device with Saturn hitting a cross body for two.
Benoit saves Dean from a Death Valley Driver and puts Saturn in the rolling Germans but Raven makes the save. Dean breaks up the Even Flow and puts Saturn in the Cloverleaf. Saturn makes a rope and plants Dean with the DVD, only to have Benoit break it up with a Swan Dive to give Dean two. AWESOME sequence. Dean suplexes Saturn again and the fans are all over him for showing the Horsemen sign. There's a sleeper on Saturn but Raven makes a quick save.
Benoit sends Saturn into the corner but Dean has to break up a sunset flip. Back to Dean for a chinlock to slow things down until Saturn suplexes his way out. Raven gets the hot tag and cleans house, including clotheslining Dean to the floor. Someone throws a chair inside and there's the drop toehold for Benoit. Meanwhile, Saturn misses a dive through the table to knock himself silly. Dean nails Raven in the face with the chair but Raven shrugs it off and plants Malenko with the Even Flow. Raven covers but Anderson puts the chair on Raven's head for the Swan Dive from Benoit to knock Raven silly and give Malenko the pin.
Rating: B+. That might be a bit high but I was loving this one. This is exactly what a good tag match is supposed to be: two teams that work great together and some sequences that make you believe it's over but you're so happy that you get more. The ending sequence had the fans totally into it and the whole match was great. This was actually better than the opener.
We recap the US Title tournament that wraps up tonight.
US Title: Booker T. vs. Scott Steiner
This is a rematch from Uncensored where Booker beat Steiner for the TV Title. Steiner stalls by insulting fans at ringside before the match. After about three minutes of walking around and yelling, Scott is ready to go. Booker takes him to the mat with a nice amateur move but Steiner is far more talented on the mat. A dropkick and armdrag send Steiner to the floor but he comes back in with some hard elbows to the face in the corner.
Booker nails him with a hard forearm and a hook kick to the jaw before throwing Booker back to the floor. Steiner charges into a boot in the corner and Booker hammers away at the nutjob's head. Steiner counters some more right hands in the corner by crotching Booker on the top and momentum quickly changes. Booker is sent ribs first into the barricade and Scott drops an elbow on the ribs back inside.
Now it's Scott's turn to hammer away in the corner and the fans chant steroids. A backbreaker gets two for Scott and the chants are getting on his nerves. Scott gets in the referee's face before putting a bearhug on Mr. T. Booker starts powering out so Steiner suplexes him down. Back up and Booker scores with a DDT followed by some side kicks before Steiner pulls the referee in front of a Booker clothesline. The fans are all looking at the entrance for the run-in as Booker hits the ax kick for no count.
The referee is back up so Steiner nails him from behind. Booker's 110th Street Slam looks to set up the missile dropkick but Scott crotches him to break it up. Scott's top rope hurricanrana is only good for two so he pulls out a foreign object and knocks Booker out on a suplex attempt. Another referee helps out the original referee and Steiner wins the title.
Rating: C. This was better than I was expecting with Booker looking like a warrior out there. He's so ready to move up the card and thankfully he's still the TV Champion out of all this. Actually it's better that he hasn't moved up the card as WCW would manage to screw him up so badly it would ruin him.
Mysterio has a chat on WCW.com.
We recap Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash. Simple story: Goldberg is almost unbeatable but Nash is the only man to beat him. Nash challenged him on Nitro.
Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash
Luger and Liz are with Big Kev. Nash does his catchphrase after the bell for some reason. Goldberg takes him into the corner but gets kneed in the ribs for his efforts. There's the boot choke and Liz gets on the apron so Kevin can kick him low. All Nash so far. The side slam gets two but Nash misses the big boot and Goldberg shoulders him down.
A single underhook suplex sends Nash flying before he misses another big boot. Goldberg nails a superkick but Nash leapfrogs over the referee (not a bad one either!) and the spear hits the referee. Luger nails Goldberg with his cast and Nash loads up the Jackknife. Goldberg uses a testicular claw (Tony: “JACK THIS!”) to escape before kicking Luger in the face. The spear and Jackhammer end Nash.
Rating: D+. Nothing special here but Goldberg is always a guaranteed way to wake up the crowd. The retribution angle works well here and the match was better because they kept things moving here instead of the slow main event style they worked at Starrcade. Having Goldberg beat both Nash and Luger was a nice touch and maybe his biggest win since losing the title.
A very quick video says who is in the main event and nothing more. There isn't much of a story here anyway. Hogan won a match to earn a shot but Page and Sting just decided they were in the match as well.
WCW World Title: Sting vs. Ric Flair vs. Hollywood Hogan vs. Diamond Dallas Page
One fall to a finish. Flair is defending and Randy Savage is referee for no apparent reason. If nothing else we get to look at Gorgeous George. The four quickly pair off with Hogan and Flair falling out to the floor. Sting is already trying the Scorpion on Page as Hogan chops away on Ric. They fight up the aisle as Page gets two off a swinging neckbreaker to Sting. Sting comes back with a top rope clothesline followed by the Stinger Splash but Flair makes the save.
The pairs trade spots with Sting and Page fighting to the floor. Hogan backdrops Flair as Sting drives Page into the barricade. Hogan starts putting the weightlifting belt back on but has to no sell some Flair chops. He Hulks Up as Sting puts Page in the Scorpion in the ring. Hogan drops the leg on Flair, forcing Sting to let go of the hold to make a save. Flair hits Hogan in the knee and cannonballs down on it as the other two guys are back on the floor.
The Figure Four goes on Hogan and Sting splashes Page against the barricade. For some reason Sting doesn't make a save so Hogan has to turn it over. Page finally comes in for the save before clotheslining Flair to the floor. We get the figure four around the post to Hogan and Hollywood taps but he's in the ropes. Sting breaks up the hold and the trainer comes out to take Hogan out. Even Bischoff comes out to check on him. I've heard conflicting reports on whether the injury was legit or not but Hogan wouldn't wrestle for three months.
So we're down to a three way now with Page perfectly fine to let Sting and Flair beat each other up. He finally breaks it up and sends Flair to the floor before stomping on Sting. Savage hasn't been a factor yet. Flair gets back in and walks into a discus lariat for two. Sting hits the splash in the corner on Page, followed by the running faceplant. Ric is sent to the floor again but comes back in to break up a cover after Page tombstones Sting.
Sting superplexes the champ down but knocks himself silly at the same time. We get the triple sleeper because someone has been watching ECW tapes. Sting breaks it up with a double jawbreaker but gets double teamed against the ropes. He just stares at both guys and takes them down with a clothesline. The fans get WAY into Sting all of a sudden...and then quiet right back down.
Sting puts Flair in the Scorpion but Page makes a quick save. Page tries a suplex on Sting but gets reversed into the Death Drop for a delayed two. Flair knees Sting low and puts on the Figure Four with Page down. Savage pulls them to the middle of the ring and drops the elbow (called the Sky Elbow by Tony) on Ric. Page pops up, stomps Sting and Diamond Cuts Flair for the pin and the title.
Rating: C-. The match was a mess with the injury and everything but Page winning the title kind of works for me. I've seen people call it one of the stupidest decisions WCW ever made, but it's not like WCW was flying on high before they gave him the belt. The match really didn't need Savage as he and Flair had about a thousand built in stories due to past issues. Hogan leaving was odd and there's always a chance he was pulling something.
Overall Rating: B+. This was one of the best shows WCW has put on in years. Even the main event wasn't bad! There are two really good matches on here which make the show more than worth checking out and the only bad match is about seven minutes long. Things are about to implode for WCW and this might have been the last really good, bordering on great, show that they had left.
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