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WCW Spring Stampede 1998

Live from Denver, CO

Airdate: April 19, 1998

Attendance: 7,428 (sold out)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and the “Iron” Mike Tenay

Will Sting retain the World title? Can DDP do the same? Who will win the bat match? How will Booker T fare against Benoit with no time limit? What else could happen? Let’s crack the code and see what’s inside!

BREAKING NEWS: According to Tenay, Savage’s CAST is OFF, and the World title match will be no-DQ.

Match 1: Goldberg versus Saturn (w/ Kidman)


Rating: ***½

Summary: Although Saturn carried him, Goldberg looked sharp and clever for the most part. Goldberg is 74-0.

Match 2: Ultimo Dragon versus Chavo Guerrero, Jr. (w/ Eddie Guerrero)


Rating: ***

Summary: This could have been rated higher, but the Denver faithful only cared about Eddie.

Afterward, Eddie questions Chavo about not cheating to win.

At the wcwwrestling.com table, “Stagger” Lee Marshall interviews DDP. This would not be the last we see of Lee.

Match 3 for the World TV title (no time limit): Booker T (champion) versus the “Crippler” Chris Benoit


Rating: ****

Summary: A title change! My kingdom for a title change! I understand the lack thereof makes Booker T stronger, but with a PPV, a sudden title change could tell a different story.

Match 4: Curt Hennig (w/ “Ravishing” Rick Rude) versus the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart)


Rating: DUD

Summary: What in the blue hell was THAT? This could have been eons better than it could have been.

After the match, the officer was identified as Vincent, so the fix was on from the beginning. Rude and Hennig double-team Smith, and Rude chokes Smith and Neidhart with a nightstick to a chorus of boos.

Next, Jericho dedicates his match to Dean Malenko in such a gracious manner.

Match 5 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho (champion) versus Prince Iaukea


Rating: **½

Summary: No one west of the Mississippi and south of the Canadian border was awake during this match because NO ONE expected Iaukea to win. Pure bathroom break match.

After the match, Jericho wears Iaukea’s wrap like a locker room towel.

Back at the wcwwrestling.com table, Raven quotes Shakespeare. Perhaps he’s a ham rather than a Hamlet.

Match 6: Big Poppa Pump & Buff Bagwell versus the “Total” Package Lex Luger & the “Dog-Faced Gremlin” Rick Steiner (w/ Ted DiBiase)


Rating: **

Summary: Crowd was hot for Luger, and the tag formula kept the match flow in place. Otherwise, it wasn’t worth more than a fluffernutter.

At the entrance, Okerlund shills the hotline and subtly hints that Scott Hall may be returning.

Match 7: La Parka versus Psicosis


Rating: *

Summary: None of the acrobatics of lucha libre could rob the Denver faithful of either their nap or their Coors. I guess this match answers why they don’t fight one another from my Thunder reflection. Perhaps they should have flip-flopped this match with Goldberg/Saturn.

Match 8 (bat on a pole): “Hollywood” Hogan & “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash versus “Rowdy” Roddy Piper & Giant


Rating: **

Summary: No wrestling to speak of, but the Denver faithful ate up all the bat shenanigans as if they were at Coors Field.

After the match, Nash objects to Hogan’s whacking him with the bat. Hogan encourages Nash to powerbomb Giant yet BELTS him when his back is turned. Devious! Giant intimidates Hogan from the ring and breaks the bat in half over his knee. Giant assists Piper while Nash is OUT COLD.

Promo airs for Slamboree ’98 LIVE on PPV on May 17. Order NOW!

Match 9 for the WCW US title: Diamond Dallas Page (champion) versus Raven


Rating: ***

Summary: Very ECW-flavored match with tons of weaponry and interference. DDP didn’t stand a chance.

Match 10 for the WCW World title (no-DQ): Sting (champion) versus “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth)


Rating: *

Summary: Typical WCW main event brawl, yet Savage is now World champion.

After the match, Savage holds his right knee in severe pain, and Nash pulls Robinson to his feet. Groggy, Robinson awards Savage the belt. While Nash assists Savage to his feet, Hogan and Disciple emerge through the entrance. Hogan protests with “That’s my belt. Nash can’t do that!”

Conclusion: Like a whimper, Sting’s title reign has ended. WCW did a piss-poor job of placing him on a pedestal during his reign and concentrated on Hogan versus Savage or Hogan versus Nash. With Savage being so injured, how long could he remain champion?

As for the rest of the show, the bat match was better than I expected. Raven attained the US title belt for real, but for how long? Booker T bested Benoit in a great match, Dragon-Chavo was damn good, and Saturn made Goldberg look like a million bucks.

Since Sting is still wrestling occasionally here in 2021, don’t feel too bad for him. His days aren’t numbered. WCW needs a strong program on top throughout 1998 to make sure theirs aren’t either.

Buyrate: 0.72

Stay tuned for WCW Monday Nitro 04-20-98!

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

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