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Sharpshooter Review: Spring Stampede 1994

July 29, 2010 | Posted by 411Mania Staff
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Sharpshooter Review: Spring Stampede 1994  

Current Champions:

WCW World Champion: Ric Flair (12/27/1993)
WCW International World Champion: Rick Rude (3/24/1994)
WCW U.S. Champion: Steve Austin (12/27/1993)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Nasty Boys(10/24/1993)
WCW World Television Champion: Lord Steven Regal (9/19/1993)

Announcers: Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan.

Johnny B. Badd vs. Diamond Dallas Page (w/The Diamond Doll)

The scheduled match was HHH vs. Tom Zenk, but for some reason, they changed it to this instead. HHH and Tom Zenk could’ve stolen the damn show! All kidding aside, DDP looks different here; He somewhat looks like Kevin Nash’s bastard child. Badd works on DDP’s arm in the early stages, but DDP thumbs Badd in the eye. THUMB TO THE EYE! DDP beats Johhny B. Badd down, kicks him, and then panders to the crowd. DDP hits a gutbuster. Heenan says, “You know what DDP calls that move.” Tony: Gutbuster? Hennan: I am not telling! Oh yeah, back to the match – Badd delivers a backsuplex. DDP counters an irish-whip, but Badd takes DDP down with head scissors. Badd punches DDP with a left, knocking DDP to the outside, then delivers a springboard-crossbody onto DDP. Badd throws DDP into the ring, then goes up to the top and executes a Flying Sunset Flip for the win. (5:55) They managed to pack some okay-ish stuff in a short amount of time, but nobody thought DDP had any chance of winning.* ½

WCW World Television Championship: Lord Steven Regal © (w/Sir William) vs. Brian Pillman – Fifteen Minute Time Limit.

At this time, there was some gossip going around saying Pillman was perhaps going to WWF, but he ended up resigning a two-year deal with WCW, although Pillman didn’t end up doing much until he later turned heel and joined the new 4-horsemen a year later. Heenan says that Regal’s robe was giving to him by Prince Charles, but Tony calls him out on his bluff. Pillman goes right after Regal, and whips Regal into the turnbuckle. Regal rebounds off the turnbuckle, then tries to take Pillman down with a leg dive, but Pillman counters him in the process. Pillman throws several rights to Regal’s face. They trade some sunset pins. Regal takes a page out of Flair’s book, begging for mercy on his knees, but Pillman doesn’t fall for it. Regal goes outside to take a breather, but Pillman comes outside and starts attacking Regal’s arm. Regal goes back and tries to catch Pillman on the ring apron, but Pillman catches Regal’s left hand and pulls it down onto the ring ropes. Regal begs off, then rakes Pillman’s eyes. Regal goes to work on Pillman’s arm. Regal puts in a sidehead lock, but Pillman whips him into the ropes. Pillman lies down across the mat, but Regal jumps over him. Pillman tries to Thez Press him, but Regal dumps him. Regal then methodically works on Pillman. Regal picks Pillman up, but Pillman uses the turnbuckle to give him some momentum to small package Regal. ONE-TWO-THR-NO! Regal backs himself into the turnbuckle, and Pillman chases him. Regal takes Pillman down and puts in an STF. Nifty little reversal. Regal picks up Pillman, then nails a European uppercut. He goes for another one, but Pillman reverses into a crucifix pin. ONE-TWO-THR-NO! Heenan reminds us that there is a Bunkhouse match later on. I bet everyone jumped out of his or her seat for that announcement. Regal drills the Regal roll. ONE-TWO-THR-NO. Regal works on Pillman with one submission hold after another. FIVE MINUTES REMANING. Regal still deliberates the pace, though, but he makes a mistake by taking the match to a standing position. Pillman starts to fight back, but hits a head butt that hurts him more than Regal. Pillman hits a desperate dropkick. Both men are now down. Regal uses the turnbuckle to help him get up. Pillman goes for a monkey flip, but Regal counters and slams Pillman down to the mat. Regal goes for a head butt while Pillman is on the ground but misses. Regal gets up before Pillman, though. Most wrestlers do not have that small psychology: Pillman took a bigger bump. Regal only took a little bump. Sure Regal’s bump was after, but Pillman’s bump was more effective on his body.Anyways, Regal comes to the top, but Pillman dropkicks him. 30 SECONDS FRIGGEN REMAINING! Pillman runs on fumes, trying to win the match, but Regal crossbodies Pillman to the outside. Pillman nails Regal’s manager, who was trying to interfere. 15 SECONDS EFFING REMANING! Pillman suplexes Regal back in with one second remaining. Pillman goes for a pin, but the referee tells him the time has expired (15:00). Before the announcers can even talk about the match or Regal can celebrate, the next match is already starting. Aha! Now I know where TNA learned to book their shows. I do not know if they were trying to do a “photo” finish and botched it, or if they were trying to make the match look as ‘believable’ looking as possible, but either way, the finish was came off heatless. Regal’s unhurried, witty, deliberatenessm 70s-like style was very entertaining to watch, though. The match was very good up until the finish. I have to give props to WCW for actually timing a match accurately. First time for everything, I guess. ** ½

WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Nasty Boys © vs. Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne – Chicago Street Fight

Early in 1994, Maxx Payne turned face and aligned himself with Cactus. At Starrcade 1993, Payne and Cactus defeated Tex Slazenger and Shanghai Pierce, then defeated the Nasty Boys at January 27, 1994 Clash via dq (The Nasty Boys hit Payne with his own guitar.) Now Cactus and Payne are looking for some revenge. Maxx Payne and Cactus Jack are attacked, by the Nasty Boys, right on the bat. In the ring, Cactus clotheslines Knobbs over the top. All four men start brawling on the outside. Cactus drills Sags with a chair. Maxx Payne drops some elbows on Sags. Sags nails Foley with a pipe. Payne and Knobs brawl up the entrance. Sag takes Cactus out with a clothesline. The cameras go to a split-screen. Cactus drills Sags with an unprotected chair shot, then Payne picks up Knobs and SLAMS HIM THROUGH A TABLE! Payne shoves a tee shirt down Knobs mouth. Tony says no one has tried a pinfall attempt yet. Hennan says that is in a wrestling match; this is not a wrestling match. Right after they say that, Payne goes for a cover, which silences both of them. Tony found someone special; both him and Heenan can shut the fuck up for a moment and enjoy comfortable silence. Sag grabs a table. Tony reminds us not to try this at home. Cactus delivers a swinging neckbreaker on the entrance ramp, but Knobs hits Foley with a SHOVEL OUT OF NOWHERE! Payne takes the shovel from Knobs and starts beating him like a government mule! Knob goes low on Payne, then SAGS PILEDRIVES FOLEY THROUGH A TABLE! Sag covers Foley. ONE-TWO-THREE! (8:08). The crowd loved every second, and so did I. Hateful, sadistic, intense, and most importantly—historical. This distinguished Foley as more than just a mid carder that feuded with Vader; it also set the tempo for Heyman’s identical formula tag matches in ECW. The match might be short, but who cares? It is still awesome. ****

WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion: Stunning Steve © (w/Col. Robert Parker) vs. Great Muta.

This is Muta’s first WCW match in over a year, and the crowd surprisingly gives Muta a decent pop. Heenan says Muta in Japan is as popular as Sting in the US. They test each other out for a while, then Austin throws some of his trademark right hands. Muta takes Steve over a headlock. Steve tries to belly to-back suplex, but Muta takes him back down with the headlock. Steve nails a belly to-back suplex. Muta recovers and takes Steve down with another side-headlock, but Austin reverses with a head-scissor. Muta escapes the head-scissor, and Austin goes outside. Back in, Steve gets a two off a roll up. Muta takes Steve down with a hamerlock. Back to their feet, Parker trips Muta. Austin takes the advantage and goes to work on Muta. Later on, Muta tries to hurt Parker, but Austin mugs Muta from behind. Back in, Steve goes on the attack. Austin comes off the ropes with a knee for two, then puts in an abdominal stretch. Muta eventually hip tosses out of it, then goes for a dropkick, but Austin holds on to the ropes. Austin goes up to the second rope and delivers a forearm. One-Two-No. One-Two-No. Austin tries again. One-Two-Thr-No. Muta spin kicks Steve followed by a backdrop. Muta delivers a suplex then a dropkick. Muta comes off top, but Austin moves out of the way. Back on their feet, Muta hits the stun gun, then he calls for the super ‘rana and nails it. Parker gets on the ring apron, but Muta kicks him off. Steve runs after Muta, but Muta backbody drops Austin over the top causing a DQ (16:20). After the match, Muta delivers a springboard crossbody onto Austin and Parker. Too many restholds and feeling out processes for my likings. The last flurry of sequences saved this match from being a total borefest. Good oldschool finish, though. * ½

WCW International World Champion: Rick Rude vs. Sting

Rick Rude was dodging Sting. Sting had a trick up his sleeve to get a title match. Sting used a blonde-hair woman to pretend she wanted an autograph from Rick Rude. Rude signed it carelessly because he was mesmerized by the women. Instead of signing an autograph, he ended up signing a contract saying, “Sting would get a shot at the International World Championship.” Only in wrestling. Only in wrestling. Rude gets on the mic to cut his “fat, out of shape” promo, but Race cuts Rude off. Race says Vader wants the winner. Race tries to cheap shot Sting, but Sting blocks the punch and delivers a few of his own, sending Race over the top-rope. Back in, Rude gets belly-to-bellied suplex. Sting rakes Rude’s back, then puts in a guillotine. Rude tries to fight out, but Sting scoop slams him. Sting springs off the ropes and delivers three elbow drops. Sting puts in another guillotine, but Rude battles to his feet and tries to punch and stomp out. Rude then gets Sting up and crotches him on the ropes, then clotheslines Sting over the top, but does not DQ’ed for some reason. To the outside, Rude slams Sting’s head on the entranceway. Back in, Rude goes to work on Sting’s back with elbows. Rude delivers a belly-to-back suplex. ONE-TWO-NO. Rude puts in a camel clutch. MAKE HIM HUMBLE RUDE. MAKE STING HUMBLE! Rude breaks the hold to do a little dancing. What a vile bastard! Rude puts in the camel clutch again, but Sting puts Rude on his shoulders. Rude rolls through, but Sting reverses into a pin of his own. ONE-TWO-NO. Rude sends Sting off the ropes and applies the sleeper hold. Rude breaks the sleeper hold and allows Sting to get back on his feet. Rude throws right hands to Sting’s jaw. Sting is starting to smile. OH NO, STING TELLS HIM TO THROW A PUNCH. Sting NO-SELLS THE PUNCH! Sting delivers two atomic drops. Sting backbody drops Rude, who lands awkwardly. Rude sandwiches the ref in the turnbuckle, but Sting doesn’t care, and then nails the Stinger Splash on both. Sting puts in the Deathlock, but the ref is still out. Here comes Race with Vader. Sting fights both them off, but Rude chop blocks Sting. The referee was watching the entire thing happen, then was like “oh, yeah, I’m still knocked out.” Rude holds in the Rude Awaking and has a long convo with Sting. Rude lets go and hits an elbow. Rude SLOWLY goes for a Rude Awaking. Race *finally* comes in the ring and goes to hit Sting with a chair, but Sting moves out of the way and throws Race out. Sting pins Rude. The referee has a full recovery. ONE-TWO-THREE! (12:50). One, if not the most, contrived, screwed up, and overly choreographed finishes to a match ever. Rude’s heat segments were a bit long and seemingly directionless at times, but Sting’s comeback was very charismatic. Rude ended up getting hurt, making this his last match in America. ** ¼

Dustin Rhodes vs. Bunkhouse Buck (w/Col. Robert Parker) – Bunkhouse Match.

This is the start of their nearly yearlong feud. If you do not know, a Bunkhouse match is simply a match with no rules. Dustin jumps over the top onto Buck. Dustin nails a suplex for two. Dustin backbody drops Buck. Dustin drills a right, which sends Buck to the outside. To the outside, Dustin hits an atomic elbow. Dustin tosses Buck back into the ring. Dustin goes for a crossbody but misses. Dustin falls to the outside. Parker chokes Dustin out with his handkerchief. Buck DRILLS Dustin with a 2×2. Back in the ring, Buck scoop slams Dustin. Buck goes to work on Dustin’s bleeding head. His name is Buck and he came to fuck people up. Dustin throws powder in Buck’s eyes. Dustin tries to fight back, but Buck takes his belt off and whips him like a government mule. Heenan says his daddy should’ve done it years ago. Buck uses his cowboy boots to his advantage. Buck goes for another boot, but Dustin moves. Bucks gets trapped up on top of the turnbuckle, then Dustin punts Buck like a football and then nails an atomic elbow. Dustin takes his cowboy boot off. He goes to the top and uses it to smash Buck’s face. Dustin starts whipping Buck with a belt in his back. Dustin drills ten elbow drops in the corner. Dustin nails the clothesline followed by DDT. ONE-TWO-THR-NO. Parker is on the apron. Dustin suplexes Parker into the ring, but then Buck rolls up Dustin. ONE-TWO-THR-NO. Dustin tries to attack Buck, but the referee won’t let him (although it is no-dq). Buck then takes out the brass knuckles and DRILLS Dustin in the face. ONE-TWO-DONE (14:11). You can see the finish a mile away, but still a good brawl. Dustin played a great face-in-peril in the heat segments. He was at his apex in the ring around this time. ***

In the back, Jessie Ventura tries to get a word with Rude. Rude is flipping out. Rude says he did not need any help. Vader overhears Rude. Vader and Rude try to go at it, but the wrestlers break it up.

Vader (w/Harley Race) vs. The Boss

Story goes like this: The Boss cost Vader the WCW title at Superbrawl and now Vader wants revenge. Outside, Vader short-arm clotheslines Boss. Vader throws Boss in the ring. Vader flies over the ropes, but Boss puts his knees up. To the outside, Boss whips Vader over the guardrail. Back in, Boss delivers a splash with Vader in the turnbuckle. Boss scoops slams Vader, but Vader fights back with left and rights. Boss kicks him in the mid-section, but Vader sends Boss over the top. Race kicks Boss while he is down, and Vader takes Bossman back in the ring the hard way. Vader hits a Vader splash, then tools on Bossman with left and rights. Bossman comes back with a clothesline. Vader’s eye is busted open. Vader hits a clothesline, then goes up top, but Boss slams him off. Boss DDTS VADER OFF THE TOP ROPE. ONE-TWO-THR-NO. Bossman goes up top and delivers a crossbody for just one. Boss goes up again, but Vader bodyslams him! Vader drags him to the corner, then goes for the Vader splash from the ropes. ONE-TWO-THR-NO! Vader goes up again. The crowd gets on their feet. Vader DELIVERS THE MOONSAULT. ONE-TWO-THREE (8:08). After the match, Race goes to handcuff Boss, but Boss takes out his nightstick and attacks Race and Vader. Bockwinkel goes in the ring, and tells Boss to stop. Stiff and back-and-forth. Vader could almost have a good match with anybody. ***

Bockwinkel is in the back. He says he is stripping Boss of everything, even his name!

World Heavy Championship: Ric Flair © vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.

At Superbrawl IV, Flair contemplated whether it be a good decision to drop the belt back to Vader. After thinking it over for a while, Flair ended booking himself over Vader to set up his feud with Steamboat. Flair and Steamboat were both babyface, but Steamboat karate chopped Flair by accident before this match. Flair hooks on a face headlock, but Steamboat pushes Flair into the ropes. Tony says Steamboat has never been booed, but that is a bit wrong. Steamboat was never a heel, but he was booed against Flair at Chi-town Rumble and Wrestlewar. Steamboat SLAPS Flair followed by another! They start feeling one another out. They tie up, then Steamboat sends Flair into the ropes. Steamboat Military presses Flair, then hits two head scissors followed by a dropkick. Both men go chop for chop. Steamboat knocks Flair down. Flair is PISSED, and goes outside to the ring apron. Steamboat puts a headlock in and uses the ropes to take Flair down. Steamboat tightly applies the side headlock, but Flair sends Steamboat off the ropes. Flair lies down, but Steamboat jumps on Flair’s back and puts in the headlock. Flair sends him off again, but Steamboat hits a shoulder tackle for two. Steamboat reapplies the headlock. Flair regroups, but Steamboat counters again with a dropkick then puts in another side headlock. Steamboat is just too damn quick! Steamboat delivers two shoulder blocks. Flair tries to throw Steamboat over, but Steamboat skins the cat. Steamboat delivers a lighting quick headlock take over, but Flair rolls Steamboat over for two. Flair tries to atomic drop Steamboat, but Steamboat does not let go. Flair hits him in the midsection, forcing Steamboat to let go of the hold. Flair drives his shoulder in Steamboat’s mid-section, but Steamboat comes back with a shoulder tackle. Steamboat goes for a dropkick, but Flair holds on to the ropes. Flair pushes Steamboat in the corner, then nails a chop followed by a punch to the nose. Flair snapmares Steamboat, then delivers a knee drop. Flair nails Steamboat with a chop, then snapmares him back down. Flair delivers another knee for two. Steamboat then wins a chop duel, and Flair begs off. Steamboat whips Flair, but he ducks a clothesline. Flair crossbodies Steamboat over the top. Flair tries a Pile Driver outside, but Steamboat back drops out. Steamboat goes for a splash but crashes into the guardrail. Back in, Steamboat is able to superplex Flair. ONE-TWO-THR-NO! Steamboat sends Flair into the turnbuckle, but Flair flips over and tries to run the apron, but Steamboat clotheslines him off! Back in, Flair begs off yet again. Steamboat starts to mock him. Steamboat goes up top on the turnbuckle and delivers punches. ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, AND TEN! Steamboat delivers several chops, but Flair throws Steamboat out by his trunks. Steamboat comes right back in, though. Steamboat PUTS IN THE FIGURE-FOUR! WILL HE TAP? WAIT, ONE-TWO-NO! Another cover. ONE-TWO-THR-NO! Flair needs to make it to the ropes. Will he? He is close, but he cannot get there. Flair tries again, but STILL cannot get there. Flair finger pokes Steamboat right in the eye, then Steamboat goes to the outside. Flair tries to suplex Steamboat, but Steamboat reverses in a cover. ONE-TWO-NO! Flair is now on top of Steamboat, but Steamboat bridges up and puts in the crucifix pin. ONE-TWO-NO! Flair backs off into the turnbuckle. Flair reverses and delivers some chops, but Steamboat fights back with harder backhand chops, then nails a backhand chop that knocks Flair to the outside. Back in, Steamboat sends Flair into the turnbuckle. Flair flips over but falls to the outside. Steamboat comes outside and delivers a Judo Chop from the apron. Flair gets his foot up, though. Steamboat goes up to top and hits the Crossbody. ONE-TWO-THRE-NO! Flair gets back on the offense and goes up himself. Flair is too groggy, though, so Steamboat tosses Flair off the top. Steamboat goes up but misses the splash. Steamboat hurt his knee, so Flair goes after it. Flair puts in the Figure Four, but Steamboat blocks it with his hand. Flair is able to fight Steamboat and apply the Figure Four. Will Steamboat tap? Is he going to tap? Cover—ONE-TWO-THR-NO! Steamboat tries to hit Flair, but Flair just bitch slaps him. Steamboat is trying…to…fight…his…way to the ropes. Steamboat makes it! Flair takes Steamboat down. He tries putting in the Figure Four, but Steamboat reverses in an inside cradle. ONE-TWO-THR-NO! Steamboat puts Flair on the top and nails Flair with punches. Steamboat nails a SUPERPLEX. Both men are down. ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT. Steamboat covers Flair. ONE-TWO-NO! Steamboat puts the double chicken wing and rolls Flair on his back. ONE-TWO-THREE! NEW CHAMPION! NEW CHAMPION! Wait a tick. The referees are talking about it. Both shoulders were down; therefore, Flair retains the title! (30:03). Flair wanted to have a great title match and steal the show, so he used his long time friend, Ricky Steamboat to do just that. Great psychology surrounding Steamboat’s headlock in the early going, and once they shifted in forth gear, it was all awesome back-and-forth action from there. Great build of anticipation by both men down the stretch. These two just could not have a bad match even if they tried. This ended sending up their rematch two weeks later. **** ¼

The 411:  After a disastrous year with Dusty Rhodes booking the shows, WCW made a change. They gave the book to Ric Flair due to his great efforts at Starrcade 1993 and also because wrestlers wanted him to be the booker. Flair turned the product around—giving the fans good quality wrestling, which was a huge alternative compared to Dusty’s impractical “shades-of-grey” booking throughout 1993. Some fans think of early '94 as them just doing "stuff" until Hogan debuted, but that couldn't be farther from the truth, because early 94 was on par with the early-to-mid quality of WCW 1992. The fun ended once Hogan came in and he and Bischoff took over the book, and then also fired some of WCW's great workers to make room for Hogan's buddies.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend

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