wrestling / Video Reviews

Ring Crew Reviews: WCW Halloween Havoc 1998

August 16, 2011 | Posted by Jack Bramma
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Ring Crew Reviews: WCW Halloween Havoc 1998  

• Worth noting: this is a clipped version that does not include Meng vs. Wrath, Alex Wright vs. Fit Finlay, and Saturn vs. Lodi. I’m genuinely disappointed as I’m a fan of a few of those guys but all of their matches were under 5 minutes and I couldn’t find them.

Relevant Storylines: Scott Steiner really doesn’t want to fight Rick Steiner. Buff Bagwell has turned over a new leaf for about half an hour. Disco Inferno might be pulling double duty. Raven woke up at 11 AM and didn’t know who his opponent was but Tony Schiavone says that WCW does things on the fly. Hogan wants revenge on Warrior for beating him 8 years ago, forcing him to wrestle in the midcard as champ, and stealing Brutus Beefcake away from him. Only two of those are true. DDP gets his shot against Goldberg.

Scheduled Card:
1. WCW World Television Championship: Raven vs. Chris Jericho (c).
2. Number 1 Contender’s Match for WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Disco Inferno vs. Juventud Guerrera.
3. WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Number 1 Contender vs. Kidman (c).
4. No DQ Match: Scott Steiner vs. Rick Steiner.
5. Scott Hall vs. Kevin Nash.
6. WCW United States Heavyweight Championship: Sting vs. Bret Hart (c).
7. Hollywood Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior.
8. WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Goldberg (c).

• It’s been a LONG time since I watched this so it should be quite the breath of fresh or rank air. The video package for this is ALL about Hogan-Warrior II and just a little about Goldberg-DDP. There’s no dramatic voiceover guy. This just reinforces that WWF had better video packages and that today’s WWE production department is light years ahead of where both were a decade ago.

• Tenay, Schiavone and Brain are on commentary tonight. Brain says Hogan attacking Horace makes him “the lowest form of human life.” Brain puts on a mask that covers just his eyes and says trick or treat to Schiavone who pulls the mask back to rebound back into Brain’s face, 3 Stooges Style. I know Brain hated it here and Schiavone is the “greatest announcer in the history of this great sport” but I liked this commentary team a lot. Give me them over Cole and Lawler everyday of the week.

• THEGORGEOUSNITROGIRLS are up next for a couple of minutes of nothing.

• Mean Gene has Rick Steiner next for an interview. When the hell do the matches start? That oddity aside, I was also a fan of Mean Gene’s journalistic approach to interviews and I liked that he did them in the ring and in front of the entrance. Just always felt a bit more realistic to me. Oh shit, Rick’s set up against Scott and this is the feud that seemed to go on for years due to Scott faking heart attacks and injuries and retirements and etc. Before Rick can say anything, Buff interrupts and says he’s sick and tired of Big Poppa Pump. Buff says he wants to be in Rick’s corner and the fans boo the suggestion. Mean Gene says he doesn’t know if the Executive Committee can allow this without X number of days notice. Rick says he doesn’t know if he can trust Buff and then trusts him anyway just because Buff barks for him. So much for the Executive Committee.

WCW World Television Championship: Raven vs. Chris Jericho (c). Just for the record, I’m a HUGE mark for the WCW ring canvas that had the logos printed on them. Jericho wins the entrance music battle because Pearl Jam “Evenflow” ripoff > Nirvana “Come As You Are” ripoff. Jericho is wearing the obscenely awesome WCW Monday Night Jericho tee which is my second favorite wrestling shirt ever behind Macho’s purple shirt with the shades. Raven gets the stick and cuts the typical “What about me?” stuff. He says he’s been on a losing streak and he didn’t know about this match ahead of time so he’s taking a walk. Tony: “He has to do this on the fly. I mean that’s the rule of thumb around here.” That explains a whole lot. Jericho gets the stick and says the Jericholics came to see him wrestle because Jericho = Rock ‘n roll. Jericho runs down the Flock and then calls Raven a loser. Raven’s not taking that standing up (since he of course normally takes that stuff sitting down in the corner) so he runs to the ring.

• Raven gets jumped by Jericho who then pulls off his coat. Jericho whips him with the coat and then hits a clothesline and Raven bumps like hell. Jericho with the C’MONBABY pin for 1. Raven comes back with a Cactus clothesline and they tumble to the floor. Raven sets up the stairs and gives Jericho a gordbuster on them that sounded brutal. Raven runs up the stairs and hits a dropkick off them. I miss this Raven. Back in, Raven goes to a knee and taunts. Jericho comes back and flapjacks Raven into the ropes and then hits his springboard dropkick and sends Raven to the floor. Jericho goes for a splash off the apron but Raven moves an Jericho eats it HEADFIRST ON THE GUARDRAIL! DAMMMMMMMMN! That looked painful as hell. Raven sends him into the stairs but then gets sent into the guardrail himself. Back in, Raven cuts him off with a thumb to the eye and starts choking with his shirt. Raven bites him in the nose and then gets a sleeper. Brain and Schiavone start talking about Raven losing submission matches because he was a masochist who refused to tap because he loved the pain. I remember that angle and kinda liked it. Jericho gets a senton and tries to take the turnbuckle off the top. The ref didn’t even notice, so he clearly sucks or that was just a horribly laid out spot. Raven avoids a whip into the turnbuckle and gets a powerbomb. Raven then slingshot Jericho back into the exposed turnbuckle and gets a clothesline for 2. Crowd popped big for that stuff. Raven showing agility ducks a kick and gets a belly to belly suplex for 2. They tease a wheelbarrow spot but Jericho rolls through and goes for the Liontamer. The ref STILL hasn’t done anything about the turnbuckle. Jericho sinks it in but Raven gets the ropes. Jericho says he’s won and now he’s pissed. Jericho starts smacking him around. Out of nowhere, Raven counters a whip with the Evenflow DDT but Jericho kicks out at 2. Crowd and I both thought that was it. Jericho gets a school boy for 2. Jericho with a low blow RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REF! C’mon with that. Jericho with a bridged German for 2. Kanyon comes out but Jericho gets sent into him and knocks him off the apron. Jericho counters another Evenflow attempt with the Liontamer and Raven taps at 7:51. That was a thoroughly enjoyable match that got the crowd really into the show after nearly 15 minutes of fluff, but I have to detract some for the lazy cheating that the ref could totally see but ignored anyway. ***1/2

• Next up, it’s just what PPV customers want. More promos. This time it’s Hogan and Bischoff. Hogan says he won’t be long-winded. He won’t give the Gettysburg Address (which is only a couple hundred words which makes it a terrible analogy but who cares). Hogan says he took his own blood and crucified Horace on TV to show the world what it takes to make an nWo-ite. Look, I love heel Hogan and his messianic complex and deliriously evil promos and this was a pretty good one, but this was completely unnecessary. We already got all the bullet points from Brain at the top of the show.

Number 1 Contender’s Match for WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Disco Inferno vs. Juventud Guerrera. Disco with an elbow early and works over Juvy in the corner. Disco with a sideslam for 2. Juvy baseball slides under and comes back with chops. Juvy steals his disco taunt and gets a flying headscissors and a clothesline. Juvy tries a horribly contrived springboard into a Rocker Droper but botches it. Of course, they do it again. Juvy kips up and hits more chops. Disco gets the elbow up in the corner but gets monkey flipped over the top by Juvy. Juvy does the anti-Newtonian headscissors to the floor but lands right on his damn head and that looked awful. I’m surprised he didn’t break his damn neck. Back in, Disco gets an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline. Disco taunts and heads up top for the second rope elbow for 2. Brain points out flaws in Disco’s strategy. Disco goes to the chinlock as Schiavone marvels over the concept of “weight distribution.” Brain says that Disco inferno needs to a take a year off to get better and lose some weight. OUCH! Brain shooting on Disco. Juvy with a roll up for 2. Juvy catches a boot and hits a roundhouse. Juvy gets to the apron and hits a Stun Gun on Disco. Juvy with a springboard but Disco rolls to the floor. Disco is a little too impressed with his own defense and that allows Juvy to hit a plancha to the floor on him. Back in, they trade suplex counters until Juvy hits a standing rana. Juvy calls for the JuvyDriver but Disco slides out. Disco goes for the reverse suplex but Juvy slides out so Disco flapjacks him on the ropes. Disco with a neckbreaker but he’s too out of it to cover. Delayed cover gets 2. Juvy tries a sunset flip but Disco puts the brakes and tries the Macarena but gets rolled up for 2. Disco goes to the Big Swing(!) but he’s too dizzy to cover and lands on Juvy’s stones. Love that. Charles Robinson: “ARE YOU OKAY?” Schiavone: “OF COURSE HE’S NOT OK!” Disco covers but Juvy gets his feet on the ropes. Disco with a suplex and goes up top. Juvy kips up and crotches him. Juvy hits the top rope Frankensteiner and a spinwheel kick off the top for 2. Juvy hits a bulldog out of the wheelbarrow for 2. Juvy tries a Victory Roll but Disco counters and hits the spike piledriver to win it at 9:39. After some sloppy crap early, they got their shit together for a solid second half and some spots I haven’t seen in a while. **1/2

• We get more Nitro Girls are Schiavone salivates over them. The Nitro Girls are indisputably hot, but again it’s just another way of spending money that doesn’t increase buyrates or anything.

• Next up, Big Poppa Pump! YES! This is a quality way to spend 90 seconds. He botches Vegas’s nickname calling it “The City that Never Sleeps” but that’s NYC. Steiner says he’s been going “3 days and 30 nights with one freak on my right, one freak on my left, and one freak in the box so this is a night off.” Scott calls Buff a “snuffling” crybaby. He stutters and stumbles his way through running down Buff and Rick. Scott says they should tag up because he’ll tag up with Giant and they’ll go at it for the tag belts. WHAT? Steiner isn’t even one of the champs. JJ Dillon comes out and questions the logic of that and Scott being no friend of logic shuts him up. Dillon says if Rick and Buff win the match THEN Rick gets Scott one on one. That Executive Committee works quick. Scott agrees and says no way will that PUNK pin the largest back in the world to the mat.


WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Disco Inferno vs. Kidman (c). Having the number 1 contender’s match AND the title shot in the same night and it’s not a swerve is quite the booking WTF. Disco gets a hiptoss but whiffs on an elbow and eats a dropkick. Disco begs off. Kidman gets a headlock and gets sent off and runs into a bodyslam. Kidman comes back with a drop toe hold and goes to the arm. Disco switches and tries taking him down by the hair but Kidman keeps kipping up. Disco sends him off and telegraphs a backdrop and Kidman takes HIM down by the hair. Good callback already. Kidman fights off a backdrop and gets a floatover headscissors back in and stomps away on Disco. Disco sends him off the rings and gets an ugly drop toe hold that Kidman eats kinda on the bottom rope. Disco gets a neckbreaker for 2. Disco with a hard whip that Kidman takes with the Bret Hart bump. Disco: “KIDMAN, TURN DOWN THE MUSIC! YES, MOM! You little punk!” That’s some… yeah… that’s… some shitty trash talking. Kidman goes for a charge but Disco lowers the bridge and dumps him. Schiavone butchers trying to explain how well-conditioned WCW’s wrestlers are compared to the competition but the thought is appreciated. Kidman weakly sends Disco into the apron and then hits a tornado bulldog off the apron. Kidman tries a splash but Disco rolls out of the way. Disco covers for 2 off the miss. Disco goes to the chinlock. DISCO SUCKS chant. Kidman rams him into the turnbuckle and gets a nice clothesline. Kidman gets a head of steam but Disco comes back with a flapjack. Disco taunts to boos. Disco boots away in the corner to MASSIVE BOOS. Wow and they were mostly quiet for him in the match against Juvy but Disco has dialed up the shady heel behavior and evil mannerisms. Disco with a back suplex for 2. Disco: “SHOW ME SOMETHING YOU PUNK, YOU PIPSQUEEKE!” Disco with a Stun Gun just to be a dick and then hits a body slam. Disco heads up top and gyrates to boos. He tries an elbow but comes up dry. Kidman gets the Low Down for 2. Kidman eats elbow but comes back with a powerslam for 2. Kidman whiffs on a dropkick after Disco hooks the top rope. Disco goes for the Spike Piledriver and HITS IT! He’s too out of it and delayed cover gets 2. Disco is pissed. Disco tries a vertical suplex but Kidman slides out. Kidman goes for the tornado bulldog again but Disco counters to a back suplex midmove. NICE! Disco with a gordbuster for 2. Disco wants the Macarena piledriver but Kidman counters to the facebuster and hits the SPP to win it at 10:54. Wow, Disco stepped up his game for that one after the lackluster match against Juvy. Why not have Kidman do an injury spot with a bum leg and then put over Disco after targeting the leg for a good 10 minutes because the crowd was really hating him here and he put on a good performance. ***

WCW World Tag Team Championship: Rick Steiner and Buff Bagwell vs. Scott Steiner and The Giant (c). Buff’s in street clothes for this. Buff throws his coat at Scotty and tells him to go to hell. Schiavone calls Giant one of the most dominant wrestlers ever. Oh hell! Tony and Tenay start mentioning the Bridge of Chucky debacle and I forgot that was this PPV. Giant starts with Rick and hits some CLUBBINGBLOWS. Giant with a headbutt and the overhand chop. Scotty and Buff tease coming in to fight as Giant hits a couple of atomic drops and a back suplex. Scotty in and pounds down Rick as Buff gets the face in peril clap going. Scotty with more boots and shitcans Rick so Giant can work him over. Buff shoves the Giant and then backs off. Back in, Steiner goes to the BLATANTCHOKE and more right hands. Scotty: HUH!? Scott poses but Rick comes back with an inverted atomic drop and a flurry of right hands in the corner. Scotty tries an inverted atomic drop but Rick no sells and hits a clothesline. Rather than go for the cover, Rick tags in Buff who of course turns on him and clotheslines him down. Boy, didn’t see that one coming AT ALL. Buff abandons Rick and Steiner poses with a sign from the crowd for a minute saying that Big Poppa Pump rules the wrestling world. Scott with a punt low blow (HUH!?) and Charles Robinson is left to look like an idiot for this just watching. Scott piefaces the ref and then chokes Rick. The crowd wants Goldberg but he’s not coming. Scott with more choking in the corner. Giant in and he barks to mock Rick and even jumps on him using the ropes as assistance. Giant chops him to the floor so Scott can sen him into the guardrail. Giant with a Russian legsweep(!) to break out the moveset. He covers but pulls up Rick a couple times. Tony speculates about whether Judy Bagwell is involved in this. Idiot. Rick fights back with right hands but Scott gives him another BLATANTLOWBLOW. Tony: “The Executive Committee has to look at that move.” Giant goes up the top rope and actually tries a fucking MISSILE DROPKICK! Rick moves and Scott is destroyed. Rick comes back with clotheslines and hits the bulldog off the top to win the tag titles by himself at 8:26. Crowd pops HUGE for that even if the match was shit and all angle to set up Scott-Rick. For the record, Rick would go on to pick Kenny Kaos from High Voltage as his tag partner in what was genuinely a nice Nitro moment even if that sounds like LOL WTF. *1/2

No DQ Match: Scott Steiner vs. Rick Steiner. Tony says this match is No-DQ. Scott tries taking a walk with the Giant but Rick sends him into the guardrail and then boots away Giant. Rick sends him HEADFIRST into the ringsteps. Scott wants a timeout and the crowd is BATSHIT for this stuff. Rick potatoes him big time and then hits a clothesline and the crowd loves it. Scott tries a charge in the corner but eats a boot. Rick gutwrenches him up and then rams him into the turnbuckle. Scotty turns the tide with a like the 75th low blow of the match and a gargoyle suplex. Scott with more blatant choking. He tries a leapfrog but Rick catches him in a powerslam. Rick with a belly to belly suplex as someone in a Bill Clinton mask knocks out a few security guards. Here’s Stevie Ray and gives the slapjack to the ex-president played by Buff Bagwell. He waffles Rick and then lays out Charles Robinson and the bell mysteriously rings for the no contest at 3:35. Fuck you. The match continues as Scott tries to pin Rick and Buff counts but only for 2. Scott hits the top rope Frankensteiner and covers and Buff counts with the ref’s hand for another 2. Buff shitcans Charles Robinson to the crowd’s bewilderment. They send him off but Rick plows through them with a double clothesline. Buff hits him with the flapjack again but Rick goes old school and no sells and hotshots Buff into the ropes. Rick hits the top rope bulldog and covers for the 3 to REALLY end it at 5:04. A Dusty finish in a No DQ match? How the hell do you rate this monstrosity? It sucked ass but was perversely entertaining. There is absolutely NO LOGIC WHATSOEVER tying this thing together, but I’ll grant them this: the crowd definitely wanted to see Rick kick Scott’s ass and they got that. Scott is the man on promos but man did he stink it up tonight with nothing but low blows and chokes. *

Scott Hall vs. Kevin Nash. This gets a video package and was set up by Hall waffling Nash with the belt in a tag title match and they dropped them. The reasoning was basically that Hall needed money and it’s a business so he joined nWo-Hollywood and all that stuff. This is also when they were writing Scott Hall’s alcoholism issues into his storylines. Always a good choice. Stay classy, WCW.

• Hall carries a drink with him to the ring and then douses Nash with it to get started. Hall hits the crotch chop because using your competitor’s hand gestures is always a good idea and boots him to the floor. Hall sends him into the ringpost and the guardrail. Hall steals the mic and waffles Nash with it for the great sound effect. Nash blades and it’s barely even noticeable as a fan makes fun of him for it. Hall chokes him with a camera cord. Of course, this isn’t no-DQ but refs have been forced to look like idiots all night. Hall with more right hands and taunts in the ring to boos. He with ANOTHER crotch chop and gets the mic while Nash is attended to on the floor. HEY YO! Hall asks him how the world looks through foggy eyes and then tells him to take his sorry ass to the back. Nash, never one to lay down unless it’s for Hogan in front of 50,000 people, decides he wants to fight back. Hall hits more right hands and then stumbles around pretending to be drunk, mocking himself(?) I guess? Hall hits a body slam. Wolfpac chants from the crowd. Nash shoves his way out of a Razor’s Edge. Hall keeps going for right hands in the corner. Nash is punch drunk and is basically letting Hall kick his ass and not putting up a fight within the context of the match. Hall hits a running clothesline and some paintbrushes. Nash decides he’s done with that storyline and will now fight back. He comes back with some whips and a side slam. They slug it out from their knees. Hall tries some rights but Nash gets a hip check and his own rights. Nash wants the Jackknife but Hall rolls to the floor. Nash challenges his manhood and tells him to bring it on. They LOCK UP and Nash throws him across the ring. Hall tries some shoulder surges and more paintbrushes but eats a clothesline from Nash. This is weak but the crowd hasn’t completely abandoned them. They are getting by on sheer starpower. Nash hits some forearms to the lowerback and gets a facesmash. Nash with a Bossman attack as Brain howls on commentary. Schiavone notes the lack of pinfalls as Brain says it isn’t about that to these two. Well, hell, it’d be different if this was a street fight. MAYBE, you could say that about the first few minutes but this isn’t even intense. Nash hits a couple more Bossman attacks and Hall sells death. The ref asks him if he wants to quit. Nash hits more hip checks in the corner. Tenay: “This has been one for the ages just based on sheer brutality!” I know these guys are just doing their job but C’MON. Nash hits the Director’s Cut elbow and more knees in the corner as he mocks Hall’s alcoholism which would storyline sense if HE was the heel, but I thought he felt sorry for him? Whatever. Nash hits more right hands and asks Hall if he’s had enough. Hall has not and tries to fight back. Nash with a big boot and drops the straps. Nash pretends to take another drink and hits the Jackknife. The crowd wants one more. Nash: “I think I’ll have a double.” Nash hits one more and then tells him to suck it. Rather than pin him, Nash takes a walk to lose by countout at 14:20.

• This is twice in 2 matches where the bell ringing at the wrong time has killed some of the match’s story. If the bell hadn’t rung at the beginning for Hall’s beatdown, they could have played it as prior to the match and thus not liable for DQ. If you ignore that, you’ve got a solid story to the match and one that again the crowd wanted to see and pop for. But Schiavone and crew are trying to put over how conflicted Nash is about beating up his best friend who’s an alcoholic and who he feels sorry for, all the while Nash’s proclivity for winking at the camera and quasi-shooting is rearing its head because he can’t turn down an easy pop. And that’s the thing, he’s crapping on his own story to get over with the crowd and that makes the finish make NO SENSE. If he had been disgusted with Hall making him whoop his ass and seemed pissed at himself for actually doing it that’s be one thing, but he’s in there cracking jokes and mugging for the camera and then segues in a finish that completely switches beats to dramatic. **

• The Nitro Girls dance some more with colored wigs on.

WCW United States Heavyweight Championship: Sting vs. Bret Hart (c). Tenay plays this as Sharpshooter vs. Scorpion Deathlock which is actual an awesome story within a story for this match but I’m sure that was too logical for WCW to do. Sting’s in the Wolpac and has a goatee. Bret Hart’s music sounds like Abyss’s bizarro clown music from TNA. Sting scares away Bret with the bat early. Bret plays mind games making Sting wait and the ref holds off Sting from giving chase. Bret finally gets in the ring and then goes back to the floor again and mouths off to a fat chick. I see we’re combining the Larry Zbyszko school of heat with the Ric Flair method. Bret tries to take a walk and a fan throws popcorn at him and Sting sends him into the guardrail. Sting brings him in and mounts in the corner with rights and hits a clothesline coming out. Bret begs off and Sting sends him into the turnbuckle. Sting WOOs in his face to show he can ape Flair as well. Sting with an inverted atomic drop for 2. Bret comes back with rights and headbutts and grinds Sting’s eye on the top rope. Bret hits a DDT for 2. Bret bites him and hits an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline. BRET HART SUCKS says the crowd. Bret uses the awesome headbutt low blow and drops a leg for 2. Bret headbutts the lower back. Bret drops an elbow for 2 and goes to the chinlock. Sting elbows out but runs into a knee and then Bret chokes him on the ropes. Bret hits the running bulldog and chokes away more with the boot. Sting cuts off with a small package for 2 and Bret hits a Russian legsweep to come back. Bret tries a dropkick but Sting catches him in the double leg and hooks in the Scorpion Deathlock to a big pop. Bret gets the ropes and Sting teases not releases the hold but then does reluctantly. WOO! Sting pulls him back to the middle and goes to the GnP. Sting gets a shoulderblock and Bret tries a leap frog but goes down in a heap on a bum leg. The crowd doesn’t believe it and neither does Sting. The ref backs him up and Bret was of course faking and gets the loaded knucks from his trunks. Sting runs over him with a clothesline and Sting gets a hold of the loaded knucks but the ref pulls him off and tears away the knucks. Bret gets a low blow behind the ref’s back. Awesome cheating from Bret. Bret gives him another low blow boot and hits the backbreaker. Bret hits the second rope elbow for 2. Bret shitcans him and sends him into the guardrail. Why did Bret suddenly morph into ’98 Shane Douglas just when it was getting good? Bret hotshots him and tries to win by countout to boos. Sting tries to get back in the ring and Bret elbows him across the neck a couple of times but he can’t see who did it. The ref pulls him away and Sting instinctively elbows back but hits the ref instead for a bump. I actually like that spot. Bret hilariously drops a leg on the ref for good measure to a pop. Sting hits a clothesline on Bret. He tries another but Bret gets the boot up. Bret heads up top but Sting crotches him and hits the top rope superplex and they land on the damn ref’s legs. Sting hits the Stinger Splash but he overshoots it and hits the ringpost. Bret gets the bat and hits Sting across the back five times and then gives him a gutshot. I’m digging Evil Genius Bret. He hits the second rope elbow with the bat and then picks up the ref to help recover him. Bret locks in the Sharpshooter and the ref drops the arm thee times and Sting’s out at 15:07. Screw the overbooking, I don’t even care. It’s just nice to get back to some workrate after the n.W.o. Misfits punched their way through the middle hour. Evil Genius Bret is terrific with the best highlights of the heel tactics playbook including stalling, threatening to take a walk, faking an injury, loaded knucks, ref bumps, using the bat, low blow behind the ref’s back and then reviving the ref at just the right moment to secure the victory. Don’t be surprised if you hate this though, even if I loved it. ***1/2

• For those of you completists, here’s how Bret describes the match in its entirety in his book: “I worked Halloween Havoc with Sting in Las Vegas, retaining the U.S. title by beating him senseless with a baseball bat that was actually made of foam.” Obviously, not everyone was a fan.

• Post-match, Sting does a stretcher job that takes almost 10 minutes. Schiavone: “This is a black eye on professional wrestling.”

Hollywood Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior. Warrior’s remix isn’t half bad but obviously doesn’t have the same effect. The announcers sell this as a match a decade in the making. Warrior turned Disciple Zodiac Beefcake and got him to join the OWN: One Warrior Nation. Warrior’s theatrics included Black Scorpion-like optical illusions that fed on Hogan’s paranoia. I actually didn’t mind the build at all even if it sounds insane. Warrior’s graffiti trenchcoat and gear are pretty cool.

• Hogan mouths off to start and Warrior takes him down with a right. Hogan complains to the ref about that closed fist but he doesn’t care. Hogan of course gets the advantage early off a lock up. Hogan gets some CLUBBINGBLOWS and torques the arm. Warrior refuses and gets a shoulderblock and Hogan takes a breather. Hogan says he’ll break Warrior and Warrior wants the test of strength. The crowd doesn’t react to the spot at all and Hogan refuses the test of strength and instead drives Warrior into the corner by OVERPOWERING him. Hogan pokes him in the eye and hits several rights and Warrior then sells an invisible right hand. Why would Hogan refuse a test of strength if he was just going to win the power battle anyway? In the corner, Hogan hooks in the knuckle lock and then drags Warrior into the middle for the test of strength that he just refused. I guess this makes some sense because he got in a cheap shot to get the advantage first. Hogan shouts WHO’S THE MAN!? This goes on way too long and Warrior looks to win before Hogan boots him back down. Hogan laughs maniacally thinking about all the money he’s making over this. Mild “Boring” chant breaks out and dies because they can’t be bothered to care. Hogan AGAIN refuses to put over Warrior on the test of strength and instead goes back to the arm. After a criss cross, Hogan hits a bodyslam and poses. Warrior no sells and hits his own slam and clotheslines Hogan the rest of the way over the top as he was already helping himself out to completely telegraph the spot. Hogan tries pulling Warrior out but Warrior is on the other side of the ring not knowing what the hell is going on. Hogan waves him over so Warrior comes outside the ring and then Hogan lets him works him over into the guardrail. That might be the most obvious spot call on camera that I’ve ever seen other than some of Lou Albano’s blade jobs. Hogan gouges his eye to come back. Back in, Warrior tries to trip him up and their timing is awful as Hogan clumsily runs over him and THEN changes direction to hit the ref bump. Hogan then drops a knee on the ref JUST LIKE BRET HART IN THE LAST MATCH. This shit’s trash. Hogan with some rights on Warrior and Hogan calls out the n.W.o. which is completely unnecessary given that Hogan has had the upper hand in basically every exchange. Here comes Giant who couldn’t beat Rick Steiner with 2 guys’ help earlier. Giant goes for a side kick but Warrior moves and Hogan eats it. The B-Team is out and Warrior disposes of Stevie Ray. Warrior covers but no ref. Hogan hits a back suplex on Warrior and covers. Delayed count gets 2. Hogan rams some knees in his back and karate chops him in the throat! Hogan takes off the weight belt and starts whipping Warrior an then chokes him with it. Those of you wondering what the difference between this pathetic display and Bret Hart’s cheating in the last match is that Bret and Sting had it choreographed well enough so the ref couldn’t see it. Cheating doesn’t make a match bad but not even trying to hide it means you suck and you make everyone else look bad especially the match. Hogan chokes some more and Nick Patrick chokes him to pull him away and gives him a STERN warning and of course Hogan whips Warrior again. Hogan gouges an eye and does his go to spot of continually dropping elbows and missing except on the third one Warrior rolls under and Hogan has to jump over him cluelessly. Fuck, even Goldberg got that spot right in the title switch back in July. Warrior whiffs on a splash and it’s double KO spot. Warrior tries to block a right hand but botches it so they do it again and Warrior does it right on second try. How the hell do you botch blocking a right hand? Warrior takes the belt and starts whipping Hogan. He wraps it around the fist and hits Hogan in the head with it. Warrior argues with Nick Patrick who chastises him for using the belt. Hogan gets some flash paper and tries to throw a fireball but botches it and, per Hogan’s word, burns off his own mustache and eyebrows as it goes up in his face. Warrior now calls more spots on camera due to the botch. He hits a double ax handle off the top and another from the other corner and Hogan BLADES on a goddamn double ax handle. Hogan low blows him right in front of the ref and hits an ugly clothesline and hits the Atomic Leg Drop of Doom. HORACE HOGAN HAS COME OUT! Hogan goes for another leg drop but Warrior moves. Warrior Warriors up and hits a series of clotheslines. Bischoff distracts the ref as Horace slides in and hits Warrior with the chair. What? Another swerve? This blows ass. Bischoff lets the ref go and Hogan covers for the 3 at 14:20.

• And that my friends ends one of the worst matches of all time. This match proves a lot of things but first and foremost, Pat Patterson is a genius and never let it be doubted. Hogan is such a lazy heel during this period and this match that it’s pathetic. He coasts so much on personality and promos (even if they are good) that it’s sickening. Of course, Warrior had no idea what he was doing either and at several moments just openly stood around having no clue what to do next. And Nick Patrick was another in the line of sacrificial refs left to look incompetent because of unmotivated horseshit by the workers. I’m not going the negative full monty because I can imagine a worse match than this, I just hope I never see it. -****.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Goldberg (c). You can deny it if you want but DDP was over big time during this period and could have easily had a run with the belt if the powers that be wanted it that way. Instead, they waited 6 months and turned him heel but that’s another story for another review. DDP also had that Macho-esque anal retentive quality about working things out meticulously beforehand that made his matches much better. DDP got this shot by winning Wargames after Hogan took everyone out with the flapjack and then Warrior took him out and DDP was the first one to recover and get a fluke pin. Goldberg gets the security entrance through the bowels of the Vegas arena. His record is 154-0 apparently.

• They go face to face and talk some smack. Goldberg wins the power match up a few times and DDP decides to rethink that strategy. DDP suckers back into the lock up but THEN gets an arm drag and Goldberg is pissed at being outsmarted. Goldberg tries to plow through him and they LOCK UP! They stay on it and fall through the ropes. The ref breaks them up. GOLDBERG chant from the crowd as the intensity and crowd heet is amazing. Goldberg avoids a trip with a fucking backflip but then DDP gets a sweep. Goldberg is pissed and goes back to the right hands. Goldberg with a fireman’s carry takeover and goes to the armbar but DDP gets the ropes. DDP comes back with a jawbreaker and some shoulder surges. DDP goes for the Diamond Cutter and Goldberg throws him out of the ring and DDP sells it like hell. Goldberg goes to the hammerlock but DDP rolls through and counters with a drop toe hold to his own. DDP grabs a headlock and Goldberg shoves him off. DDP tries a shoulderblock but Goldberg stands stiff and DDP bumps out of the ring. DDP is bumping all over the place for Goldberg. He comes back with a Stun Gun and a swinging neckbreaker. DDP sends him chest first into the turnbuckle and hits a Russian legsweep for 2. DDP goes to the front facelock. Goldberg gets to his feet and powers DDP down with a Roll The Dice. Goldberg avoids a right and takes him down with a T-Bone suplex. Goldberg hits a side slam for 2. Goldberg goes back to the arm and DDP rolls through and gets the ropes even though Goldberg stays on the hold. This is some shockingly good matwork. DDP counters a side slam with a flying headscissors but Goldberg no sells and superkicks him back into the corner. Goldberg goes for the Spear but DDP leap frogs(!) and Goldberg hits the ringpost. YES! I think that was the first time anyone had ever leapfrogged and avoided the Spear and even if it seems natural it’s such an awesome spot here. DDP hits a clothesline off the top for 2. Goldberg tries a hiptoss with the bad arm but DDP counters with a DDT. DDP wants the Diamond Cutter but Goldberg hits the Spear. Goldberg’s shoulder is hurt and he can’t cover. PSYCHOLOGY FTW! Double KO spot. Crowd is really into it. Goldberg tries the Jackhammer but can’t get him up with the bad arm. AWESOME! Goldberg Hulks up and tries again but DDP slides out and this the DIAMOND CUTTER to a HUGE pop! THEY’RE STANDING IN LAS VEGAS! DDP is too out of it to cover. Delayed cover gets 2. DDP tries a Jackhammer but Goldberg counters to his own and gets the 3 to retain at 10:29. Easily one of Goldberg’s best matches ever along with ones against Sting, Chris Jericho, and maybe The Rock. Excellent psychology with DDP bumping all over the place for Goldberg’s strength and power and subsequently using his aggression against him by suckering him into going for the Spear and hitting ringpost but ultimately not having enough to get the job done. This match has a sad coda to it that the PPV was running over live so they cut the feed and millions of viewers missed this match. WCW reaired the match in its entirety on Nitro the next night which I’m sure cost them a ton of money but was a classy move. ***3/4

The 411: So right off the bat, I can't include any sort of assessment or rating of the 3 matches I didn't see. That being said, you've got a standard WCW show for the time. Most non-main event guys bring their working boots even though they get little to no character time or TV time and the nWo despite ruling the universe and having several interviews lay a giant turd in their matches. There's enough good here to make this worth your time, but just barely.
Final Score:  6.0   [ Average ]  legend

article topics

Jack Bramma

Comments are closed.