WCW Slamboree 1998 Review

WCW Slamboree 1998 Review
Date: May 17, 1998
Attendance: 11,592
Location: The Centrum

It’s May and WWF is not quite in control but they are slowly opening the margain on their opposition. Looking at the card it seems very promising but that basically sums up WCW’s story, they fail to deliver time and time again. In the last month we’ve had Macho Man’s reign as World Champion last a whole one day with Hogan once again champion, The Giant join with Hollywood Hogan and is once again Black and White, Curt Henning and Konnan are now in the Wolfpac and Fit Finlay was the one to take the TV Title from Booker T (Absolutely fucking ridiculous decision). It’s fair to say I’ll be pretty pissed if Benoit can’t overcome Finlay later on in the night. We also have Eric Bischoff vs Vince McMahon so it’ll be pretty interesting what happens there.

It’s the three amigo’s in Tony, Brain and Mike. And we begin with a recap of Eazy E’s challenge being handed out to the boss of the WWF, Vincent McMahon. If he decides to show up, he will be escorted to his own dressing room to prepare for his match.

TV Title: Chris Benoit vs Fit Finlay (c)

Don’t be confused people, this was in a time where Finlay could actually wrestle and had a moveset where they were later stripped in the E (tombstone piledriver for one). Fair to say crowd is very hot for Benoit. There is something seriously wrong with WCW’s booking committee if Fit is able to defend the championship.

A pushing duel to begin which is followed by a quick succession of pin attempt’s that net a couple of close two counts before Finlay begins work on the arm. Benoit bounces back with an arm drag and a tiltawhirl backbreaker but is quickly laid out with a responding clothesline. Things are now on the outside and Fit hits a pretty hard scoop slam on the mat. Things are finally back in the ring and FF has the Wolverine in some sort of rear chin lock before a fall back slam has things back on level terms. Finlay quickly goes back to the mat to slow Benoit down. Benoit’s tights have a black patch right near the crotch which makes it look as if he’s shit himself. Anyways, thing head to the outside where a steel chair is now involved as Finlay has it stolen before wearing a shot on the back. THE MATCH GOES ON! So this is basically now a No DQ match as Benoit makes his way back into the ring and goes for a dive through the ropes but is greeted with the chair to the face! OOPS! Finlay with the Irish whip to the corner but misses, and gets a couple of german suplexes on before Finlay finds a unique way out. Chris is then still able to go for the Cripple Crossface but Finlay is quick to the ropes. A snap suplex and signals to the crowd that the Headbutt is coming but Booker T makes his way out, taking Benoit’s attention totally away from the match and he receives a sliding dropkick to the back of the head for his troubles. Benoit is made to be out as Finlay has to force him back into the ring but a quick roll up attempt gains only a two! Finlay first too his feet and is able to slam the tombstone piledriver for the 1-2-3. AH, you just gotta shake your head.

Rating: *** - Thought this was rather good given the result is the exact opposite of what everyone wanted. I’m tempted to just go on Wikipedia and check when Benoit won his first title to save me from disappointment every time I do these reviews. Booker simply walked out in his suit but that was enough to ruin any chance Benoit had for the win. Like what?

Brian Adams with Vincent vs Lex Luger

Do WCW seriously expect me to give two shits with what I’m about to see? Shoulder breaker, powerslam, signals for the rack but Vincent makes his way up on the apron. Luger cops the worst stiff shot to the back I have ever seen in professional wrestling before running into a piledriver. And here it begins, the part of every Luger match where he gets owned for a bit before whacking the torture rack out of nowhere. And there it is, ducks a clothesline and gets the win. Whatever.

Rating: FAIL – Has there been a bigger fall from grace than Lex Luger’s? 7 months ago he was a world champion and now he is plodding along in the 2nd match of the night. WCW HAD FINALLY WOKEN UP PEOPLE!

Saturn cuts a promo backstage saying he has relied on Raven to guide his career but its now all “What about me? What about Saturn” and there is nothing Raven can do about it. I know they won’t allow the Flock to blossom but WCW had a good thing here and totally let it slip.

15-Man Cruiserweight Battle Royale

The winner of this will go on to face Jericho for the Cruiserweight title later in the night. And we have Jericho introducing all the competitors and IT IS GOD DAMN HILARIOUS! “He is the ugliest man in our sport today, he is Quasi Juice Guerrero!”  and “Silver King - if he wins 12 more matches, he’ll be upgraded to Golden King”. Pure gold!

We have some serious plodders in this match people so I’ll just try and fetch their names once they are eliminated. As you might expect, its little spit fires everywhere to start this one and we’re about a minute in when Evan Karagias is eliminated. Some Joe named Johnny Swinger is then thrown out as Jericho is on screen drinking a cupper while watching the proceedings. Juvi with a dropkick and my boy Super Calo is eliminated. Damn! Bronze King is gone. El Grio is gone. Seriously, he was perhaps the biggest plodder out of the lot! Jannety gone! Villiano IV gone. Lenny Lane gone. Damien gone. El Dande gone! Chavo is out! Psicosis is gone. Kidman is gone. And we are left with the final two and it is Ciclope to go against Quasi Juice. Ciclope? Where the hell he come from?

Anyways we have a stare down in the middle of the ring and Juvi just eliminates himself which then leads to Ciclope unmasking and REVEALING DEAN FUCKIGN MALENKO! HELL TO THE YES WCW! And we are straight into the title defense.

Cruiserweight Title: Dean Malenko vs Chris Jericho (c)

Jericho’s face is absolutely priceless and he panics and goes straight for a clothesline but runs straight into a rampant Dean Malenko. THE CROWD HAS ABSOLUTELY POPPED! Missile dropkick and Malenko is all over Jericho and he tosses him to the outside. Wastes no time and jumps out after him dishing out a bit more punishment as Juvi is cheering him on. Back in the ring and Jericho is able to respond with a move on the top rope as “Jericho sucks” chants go around the stadium. Jericho goes for a pump handle slam but Malenko slides down the back but still cops a back breaker for his troubles. Goes for his signature Liontamer but Malenko reverses it into an ankle lock but is too close to the ropes. Chris heads up top and hits a massive spinning elbow but gets maybe the closest two count I have ever seen. Drama! Malenko is thrown into the corner and things go up top, Dean gets hold of Jericho in the fireman’s carry and plants him with a MASSIVE stomach breaker. Puts on the Texas Cloverleaf as Jericho tries to reach the ropes but is dragged back into the middle of the ring and WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION! The man of 1,000 holds looks to the sky while holding the belt. Sweet moment!

Rating: ***** - I’ll rate the gauntlet and match together but fuck me, this was awesome. Absolutely everything about it. From the surprise of Dean Malenko being revealed from Ciclope’s costume to the match itself, it was probably the hottest moment since Hulk Hogan’s turn. Jericho also has to take credit as this storyline was built almost perfectly with him beating Malenko clean a few months prior, Jericho insulting not just him but his entire family, and finishing it with the major surprise. WCW absolutely nailed it on this occasion.

We get Vinnie Mac Cam while the cage is being lowered. How would things go down if he actually made an appearance? Would we get a proper fist fight of some sort? Interesting stuff.

Steel Cage Match: Raven vs DDP

First person to not get up after the 10 count is the loser in this one. Sort of a Last Man Standing match but inside the confines of the steel cage.

Raven makes his way down with his security forces and this one is finally underway with DDP tossing some saliva his way before going head first into the trash can in the corner. It makes me happy that there are still weapons in this cage as I think I saw a VCR lying around! Only with Raven. DDP hits his spinning clothesline and then utilizes the bull rope by tossing Raven into the cage on both sides. Raven is up just before it hits 10 and cops a VCR shot to the face! HA! Raven bounces back just before the 10 once again by sending DDP back into the garbage cans in the other corner. There is seriously weapons everywhere in the ring. Raven sets up the chair in the middle of the ring and goes for his signature drop toe hold on the chair but has to settle with a sleeper hold as DDP was about to reverse it. The count begins but DDP springs into action and backs away to the corner, only to sandwich the ref into the garbage cans. WCW ON CUE WITH THE BUMPS!

The Flock make their way to the ring and take out the security. Have their own set of bolt cutters and begin entering the cage before Van Hammer pops out from under the ring to wipe them out with a stop sign. Rhys is handcuffed to the guard rail as security escort him to the back. I see what’s going to happen here. Raven and DDP continue to brawl before the remaining security members enter the ring to reveal themselves as Kidman and Horace Boulder. Horace holds DDP while Kidman goes up top with the stop sign but DDP moves. Seriously, in the history of wrestling, has that ever been pulled off? DDP Diamond cutters both of them before getting smashed by a fire extinguisher and even flow DDT. Gets to 9 but Page is up and fights back instantly before copping a low blow and DIAMOND CUTTER BY RAVEN! Page again is up before the 10 count and Raven attempts a chair shot but then walks into another Diamond Cutter as both men are down. DDP is up at 9 once again but Raven is out for the count and we a winner, Diamond Dallas Page. After the match, a different security member enters and handcuffs the remaining members of the Flock and begins pounding on Raven. Double cuffs Raven to the cage and takes his helmet off to reveal Mortis, which then reveals Kanyon. Finally, he’s back! An unprotected chair shot to Raven and we’re ready to move on!

Rating: *** - What is the point of the flock even being around if they continue to lose matches, even when they have the numbers advantage over their opponents? Flock had the ability to be something huge but with every challenge, they get pushed further and further under the rug. It seems Kanyon will be feuding now with the Flock which will ultimately lead to another loss so what do you do? The match itself was OK, but this feud is continually clusterfucked when it’s unnecessary and not needed. DDP is wrongfully criticised in my opinion of his ring skills but the guy can go. They have proved it before so why couldn’t they have allowed it to happen again? Also, why must every WCW cage match have outside interference? I thought the whole point of the cage match was to restrict it to 1 v 1. End rant.

Ultimo Dragon vs Eddie Guerrero

 Lots of mat stuff to begin this one with both competitors showing their versatility and acrobatics before Dragon has his kicks reversed for the first time in WCW history. This is a proud moment for myself. If he does his head stand on the ropes and that is reversed, then I'm going to mark out!

Things go to the outside as Dragon is whipped into the rails a few times as Chavo cheers on Ultimo to the disgust of Eddie. Receives a few slaps for good measure before Guerrero takes Dragon back to the ring but is met with an Asai moonsault. Back in the ring and another moonsault from the top nets only a two count before taking Eddie back to the top but cops a Chavo Guerrero Tornado DDT. Goes up for the Five Star but Dragon moves and cradles his for another near fall. Dragon goes for a spring board moonsault but instead it’s the dragon sleeper but Eddie makes it to the ropes. Uses the ropes to flip over and apply his own dragon sleeper with his feet on the ropes but they are thrown off by Chavo who is on the apron. Eddie confronts him which allow Dragon to bounce off the ropes but only connects with a stationary Chavo which sends him flying. Eddie hits the brain buster and the Frogsplash for the 1-2-3. Chavo enters the ring and lashes out by attacking the Dragon which had Eddie dragging him away. Eddie then teases him to hit him but is greeted with a kiss. NAW, nice touch!

Rating:  **¾ Ultimo is just stale at that point in time but Eddie is absolute money. His reversals and the finale were quite good but it was just too slow at the start to gather any REAL momentum for the crowd at the end. Dragon needs to get off TV for three months to bring something fresh to his character while Eddie should springboard into something bigger and better.

U.S. Title: Saturn vs Goldberg (c)

Goldberg literally monsters over Saturn in the ring and Saturn is no small man. “Da Man” hit a massive gorilla press slam and then a gorilla press drop so be all over him early. Saturn heads to the outside and uses his experience to gain the upper hand on the outside. The thing with Goldberg matches now is they have to fill a certain amount of time and it seems they are trying more to fill that quota than actually put on a decent match.

Saturn is actually getting a decent amount of offence in this one and puts on a spinning neck breaker which is then followed by a rear chin lock. Saturn hits a t-bone suplex and heads straight to the outside to grab a steel chair. Sets it up in the middle of the ring and springboards into the corner. Gets cocky and goes for another but nuh uh, spear and jackhammer for the win.

Rating: *¾ Just the usual Goldberg match-up but a good filler to keep the crowd slightly entertained.

Eric Bischoff vs Vince McMahon

Vince McMahon fails to come out which leads to Eric Bischoff to get on the mic and to count out the owner of the WWF. Crowd makes the count and that’s it.

Rating N/A – Could you actually imagine if Vince showed up? Anyone who has read Eric’s book would know that Vince was actually considering making an appearance but had something to do with his daughter and couldn’t make it. Why he would even consider something like that is completely beyond me. WWF are in firm control of proceedings and this would only gather unneeded publicity for the opposition. I'm not going to lie though, I’d have loved to see it!
Bret Hart vs Macho Man Randy Savage with special guest referee Roddy Piper

So it’s the somewhat heel Bret Hart coming to the ring after helping Hollywood win back the title the night after Spring Stampede and already the cowardly tactics are out. Piper has had enough and decides to bring the shanadigans to an end by tossing Bret back into the ring himself. Some usual Bret Hart brawling before things go to the outside where the steel steps come into play but Bret misses a would-be fatal shot. They’re now in the crowd and Hart is in firm control as he the brawl continues. Things are finally back in the ring and Bret is working on the Macho Man bung knee for a rather long time before the famous side Russian leg sweep. Follows it up with a piledriver but Piper counts a very slow two count. Backbreaker and goes for a very slow elbow drop from the second rope but misses. Savage bounces right back and hits his signatures elbow drop but lands awkwardly on the hurt knee. Finally get the pin on but the Hitman kicks out at two! Out of nowhere the Sharpshooter is on as Liz begins to make her way to the ring. Footage goes back to the ring and suddenly Savage has the sharpshooter on but gets to the ropes. Liz enters the ring and distracts Piper but hart has none of it and pops Piper in the head with a somewhat foreign object wrapped around his hand. Savage recovers and picks up the foreign object, wrapping it around his hand but Hogan, no joke, bobbed up like a ghost and hits him in the knee. Sharpshooter and this one is over. Piper calls for the bell and finds the object wrapped around Savages hand but might to wait til Nitro comes for the fallout.

Rating: **½ I actually enjoyed this and Bret Hart, not known as being the best heel, got something out of this crowd that no other heel had throughout the night. It definitely added to the intrigue of the match and was technically pretty good. Hogan just had to get his fat head involved but it could have been a lot worse. It actually could have been better also but it’s a pass from myself.

Tag Team Title: The Outsiders with Dusty Rhodes vs Sting and The Giant.

Here I was beginning to think the Tag Team titles were extinct but hey, HERE THEY ARE! I seriously think in the last year the titles have been defended twice which is really phenomenal in itself. Anyway it’s Survey Time and I actually think the nWo legitimately won for once. Wolfpac for the win!

Giant makes his way to the ring to the nWo Black and White music without Sting. We all know Sting is anti-any NWO so it’ll be interesting to see exactly what happens in this. Anyways it’s another review which means another guarantee on the Giant and Kevin Nash scenario. NASH WILL NOT BE PINNED, LET ALONE BY THE GIANT.

Hall and Sting start things off and its a few shoulder blocks from Hall before Sting bounces back from a chokeslam with a bulldog and a couple of stinger splashes. Goes for the Deathlock but Nash enters the ring and is cleaned up by first Sting and then the Giant which forces the Wolfpac to have a discussion with Dusty. Back in the ring and Giant is tagged in which leads to Nash being tagged in and the two big boys are going at it. It’s very weird as if it’s Sting up against the Wolfpac, he gets cheered but when the Outsiders up with Giant, they’re cheered. Sting is in but walks directly into a big boot which allows to be tagged in and apply the fall away slam. Sting is being hammered from pillar to post and Giant is eager for the hot tag! Giant is finally tagged in as Sting fights back from the bear hug and powerslams Nash very quickly before slowing things down. Goes for the Hollywood legdrop and hits it but it fetches only a two count. Oh my goodness, Giant heads to the top rope but misses a high rope risk! That would have hurt. Nash signals for the powerbomb while Dusty Rhodes distracts the ref and HALL HITS NASH WITH THE TITLE! Giant and Sting are NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS! They put the title belt on Sting’s shoulder and the show ends with them pleading he ‘make the right choice’.

Rating: ** - Well where the hell did that come from? I watched it a second time as I thought I remembered Hall getting hit by Giant but I was totally wrong which means it was pretty well worked and came from nowhere. I guess that leaves Hall in the Black and White along with Dusty Rhodes and will be interesting to see the fallout. I was a bit puzzled though with the pairing but I guess they had no choice. Giant went nWo the Nitro before Slamboree and the match was put together two weeks prior to that. If Sting joins the nWo though, I think I'm done with wrestling in general. I wouldn’t be able to stomach the sheer stupidity and nonsense that came with it.

PPV Rating: *½
I didn’t really like this much at all. The Cruiserweight period of the show stopped this from being a complete fail and lately the shows have been one match shows which is very disappointing. There is so much potential there with the roster they have to work with but I’ll say it again, it’s like they are on repeat every month. It’s turn after turn after turn and after a while, the shock and unexpectedness evaporate. And on top of that, I keep turning off my DVD player wondering how Benoit still hasn’t got a title to his name. Thumbs down!

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