WCW Spring Stampede ‘97

Live from Tupelo, MS

Airdate: April 6, 1997

Attendance: 8,356 (7,428 paid)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes

Does DDP truly belong in the main event? How will the World tag team titles match work? Read on!

Match 1: Rey Mysterio, Jr. versus Ultimo Dragon (w/o Sonny Onoo)


Rating: ****1/2

Summary: Spectacular opener that showcased more counter-wrestling than expected. Bravo, gentlemen!

Backstage, Marshall tries again to interview Nash, but Scott Steiner interrupts everything. When Nash requests Nick Patrick for referee and spits on him, Scott nails a member of WCW Security. To control him, Doug Dillinger maces Scott. Tupelo’s finest then handcuff him.

Match 2 for the WCW Women’s title: Akira Hokuto (w Sonny Onoo) versus Madusa


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Awful women’s match, but I appreciated Madusa’s high-flying efforts.

Match 3 for the WCW World TV title: Prince Iaukea (champion) versus Lord Steven Regal


Rating: *

Summary: Why on God’s green Earth would WCW keep the title on this jabroni? Regal tried his best here but didn’t have much in return.

After the match, Regal attacks Iaukea and hooks him in the Regal stretch. Upon arguing with referee Mark Curtis, Regal WALLOPS Iaukea with the belt.

At the entrance, “Mean” Gene Okerlund shills the hotline while hyping a “new clique.” Unfortunately, due to WCW politics, that “clique” would not surface. He then interviews “Nature Boy” Ric Flair who states his return date is May 1. As he touts each member of the Horsemen, Flair mentions Arn’s surgery details and promises his return.

When Okerlund brings up Piper, Flair announces that Carolina Panther linebacker Kevin Greene is eligible to wrestle for WCW. Next, Flair asserts that Greene will wrestle WITH him on 5/18 at Slamboree. As Flair discusses the nWo, he’s ready to take them on at Slamboree. He then adds a “no pencil” challenge to Bischoff. For those unaware, that means he wants to shoot-fight him.

Match 4: Jeff Jarrett & Steve “Mongo” McMichael (w/ Debra) versus Public Enemy


Rating: ***

Summary: Public Enemy stole a victory using the Horsemen’s weapon against them. Using both the tag formula as well as the brawling style of Public Enemy enhanced this match greatly.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund again shills the hotline then interviews Harlem Heat with Sister Sherri. Booker T cuts an intense promo and accidentally calls Hogan “nigga.” While that may work in hip-hop, Booker, it doesn’t translate well in WCW. Rightfully, he’s embarrassed by his gaffe.

Match 5 for the WCW US title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus the “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman)


Rating: **

Summary: Convoluted finish to a ten-minute match stretched to eighteen. These guys have so much more in them that they didn’t utilize.

After the match, Sullivan and Hart try to convince a reluctant Guerrero to take the US belt as they drag him backstage. Malenko then wakes up Benoit and tells him that “he (Guerrero) was not supposed to be here.”

Match 6 for the WCW World tag team titles: Kevin Nash (champion w/ Syxx & Ted DiBiase) versus the “Dog-faced Gremlin” Rick Steiner


Rating: *

Summary: Practically a SQUASH for Nash, but is there truly dissension within the nWo?

After the match, Patrick leaves the ring in disgust.

Back in the locker room, Okerlund interviews Luger and Giant.

Match 7 for the #1 contender spot for the WCW World title (four-corner): The “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Giant versus Booker T versus Stevie Ray (w/ Sister Sherri)


Rating: **1/2

Summary: Noble gesture on the Giant’s part. Lots of high-impact but not a lot of wrestling made this match mediocre.

Promo airs for Slamboree LIVE on PPV on 5/18. Order NOW!

Backstage, Savage and Elizabeth walk down the hall. Savage wants to invite a lot of women to the after-party, and Elizabeth doesn’t mind. He then shouts “Slim Jims for everybody!” Woohoo!

After Savage and Elizabeth make their entrance, Okerlund interviews DDP with Kimberly in the locker room. Kimberly gives a truly great promo on behalf of her husband.

Match 8 (no-DQ): Diamond Dallas Page (w/ Kimberly) versus “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth)


Rating: ****

Summary: Awesome story as DDP overcame a main event threat in Savage and beat him. In addition, Savage MADE DDP with this match.

After the match, Nash comes to the ring and gets in Patrick’s face. Abruptly, the nWo hits the ring. While the Tupelo faithful chants “We want Sting,” Nash jackknife-powerbombs Patrick. Upon dispatching DDP from the ring, Savage grabs Kimberly by the hair. Bischoff stops Savage from hitting her and gets into a shoving match with him. As Savage nails Bischoff, the rest of the nWo enters the ring to separate them.

Conclusion: With a somewhat historical main event and a great opener, this show is a hard one to pass up. If anything, check out the fear in Booker T’s face during his promo. Also, with the dissension within the nWo, the following Nitro ought to be intriguing.

Stay tuned for WCW Monday Nitro 4-7-97!

Buyrate: 0.58

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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