WCW Superbrawl VIII 1998 Review

WCW Superbrawl VIII 1998 Review
Date: February 22, 1998
Attendance: 12,620
Location: Cow Palace

Sting vs Hollywood Hogan: Part II headlines this PPV and it’s surely impossible to fuck this one up again. Was an interesting month for WCW as at the time, WWF/E was chomping at its ankles and was bringing the margin in the ratings closer and closer. So once again, people have to pay for a HH & Sting World Title match. WCW milkin’ it? Surely not!

Your commentators are Mike, Brain and Tony.

Television Title Match: Rick Martel (c) vs Booker T

This is a somewhat different TV Title bout as the winner of this match will go on to defend the title later on in the night against Saturn. Booker T makes his way out to some of the best entrance music there is.  The Flock is seated nearby scouting the proceedings for later in the night as Booker T nails Martel with a spinning heel kick before applying a rear wrist lock. Martel is up and god damn Booker gets some serious air when he performs a leap frog. Smacks him with the  normal fly kick and the crowd is really buzzing early. Lots of back and forth action with quick counter moves by both men. Rick ‘I have no charisma’ Martel whacks on a massive powerslam before applying a chin lock. Booker fights back but only runs into a huge spinebuster and the Quebec Crab (Liontamer for those playing at home) but the T is too close to the ropes. Booker T scissor kick and puts Martel with some sort of slingshot manoeuvre. Goes up top for what should be the Harlem Hangover but instead goes for a press. This ones over when Martel heads to the top and attempts a top rope move but jumps straight into a Harlem Sidekick for the 1-2-3. (10:23) Saturn enters the ring and instantly puts Booker in the Rings of Saturn. Bell rings.

Rating: *** - Good stuff in this one and I enjoyed it. Astonishingly, Martel was booked to win both matches on the night but landed awkwardly (must have missed it as I saw nothing) and did a medial ligament when near the ropes. Credit to Martel for pushing through and working out a finish with Booker. The next match will be a whole lot more interesting now as nothing is planned, winner or loser as Perry came straight from the crowd.

Television Title Match: Booker T (c) vs Saturn

No time to catch our breath as we are into it straight away with a couple of quick roll ups by Saturn before things head to the floor. Perry starts working on Bookers arm near the ring post and I must say, Saturn looks like quite the ladies man with a full head of hair. Things go back into the ring for a short period before a cross body to the floor, followed by a 2nd rope springboard splash which has Booker in a bad way. Back body drop from the top has both men down and Saturn is denied a pin fall chance as Booker’s fat head is under the rope. Was going to come in handy one day ay sucker? Saturn somehow screws up a top rope attempt and T leaps off the top with a hard kick which again has both men down. Please, for the love of god WCW, never bring Stevie Ray back and leave Booker in the single’s division. The suplex machine applies a overhead suplex before both men rebound of the ropes at some serious pace and collide midair. A scissor kick followed by a missed Harlem hangover from the top allows Saturn to get back on top with bridge suplex. German suplex followed by an attempted back body drop is reversed and turns around into a Harlem sidekick for the win. (14:23)

Rating: *** ½ - I liked it more than the opening bout but back to back matches isn’t the way it should have gone. Martel’s injury could have been a blessing in disguise as it just seemed to get old pretty quickly with the hot crowd and they definitely quietened down seeing Booker in back to back matches. Credit to all three though as they worked their way through and got Superbrawl off to a solid start.

La Parka vs Disco Inferno

Perhaps my favourite wrestler going at this point in time re-watching all the WCW PPV’s. Doesn’t have the best in ring skills nor does he have to. Crowd love his wildish ways and can put on some entertainment in the ring. Let’s not forget the dancing, sweet party moves!

I guess you could say its a battle of the dance moves but I know who I prefer to see. La Parka gets first moves on the dance floor with a plancha cross body to Disco on the floor. Gives a little ‘suck this’ to a spectator on the floor which was slightly inappropriate. Back in the ring and a rear choke hold is applied on Disco which then results in a dropkick to the sternum in the corner. Things start to heat up when Disco is pounding on La Parka in the corner and retaliates to the referee by poking him In the eyes. La Parka immediately heads outside to grab the chair and sits it up in the middle of the ring.  Disco recovers to throw La Parka off the top onto the chair. Chartbuster and this one is over! (11:41)

Rating: **½ - Nothing special here but it does have its own way of being slightly entertaining. For in ring work, it wasn’t special at all. This should maybe stay on Nitro as the crowd and myself just couldn’t get into the wrestling side of things.

JJ Dillon is out with Mene Gene again and the future of Nick Patrick will be told. If they allow Nick Patrick to officiate the main event again, I'm going to fucking lose it. Well he is reinstated but won’t be refereeing the Hogan and Sting bout. THERE IS A GOD!

Brad Armstrong vs Goldberg

I love Goldberg but this will be shit and I don’t expect this to last more than 5 minutes. Didn’t Goldberg beat Brad on Nitro like a month ago? Well, the man mountain is definitely making inroads in WCW at that point of time and is around the 20-0 mark.

Goldberg literally towers over this guy and Armstrong isn’t all that small. Military front powerslam and Goldberg is really turning up the heat. No signs of the Armstrong curse thats for sure. Armstrong actually gets a move in with a side Russian leg sweep but has ZERO effect. A massive move of some sort which looked absolutely freakish before the spear and jackhammer for the easy win. (2:23)

Rating: **– I know people are going to wonder why I gave it such a rating for a rather crappy match buts its exactly what every show needs. An upcoming star who the crowd loves to cheer for no matter what and Goldberg gets exactly that reaction. Far too often, PPV’s start red hot then there is this massive down period til the main event.  Crowd is still up and the rest of the card starts to mean a little more with the fans enthusiasm behind it.

Cruiserweight Title vs Mask: Chris Jericho (c) vs Juventud Guerrera

I like this idea and I'm really digging Jericho’s first actual heel run as the cowardly and sheepish heel. Masks mean alot to the history and heritage of the lucha libre’s so this will be interesting.

Jericho refusing to take the belt off as things get underway. Juvi quickly changes that and kicks him directly in the stomach which allows referee James to get hold of the title.  Jericho is flying head scissored out of the ring and purposely tries to get himself counted out. Quite a smart tactic, should see more of it. Jericho sets up the steps on the outside and tries to launch onto to Juvi but is planted on the guard rail. OUCH! A couple of quick roll up attempts by Juvi results in the tables being turned by Jericho. Takes Juvi to the top and counters once again into a back body drop. Goes up top but is missile drop kicked off the top to the floor and we get some AIR JUVIII! Where’s the juice on the tights my brother? Didn’t really apply though as he was almost anorexic. Anyways, a Juvi Driver and he heads up top for the 450 and BANG! 1-2-3. But no, Jericho’s hand was on the rope so the match is restarted. Tell me, everyone who gets 450 splashed is always that close to the rope. And just now wrestlers are realizing to grab it? Jessuusssss. Jericho attacks from behind and goes for the knee as Jericho is now the outright favourite to win this. Jericho goes for a powerbomb which is revered into a DDT for two! Fantastic back and forth action before Jericho is able to reverse a hurricanrana and apply the Liontamer for the submission victory. Jericho grabs a mic and thanks the Jericho-holics as the unmasking begins. Quite a good looking young man and for people who don’t know, something like this would send shockwaves through the family. I fight over the TV remote but thats just me. (13:29)

Rating: **** ¼ - Great stuff here as both men were really on song throughout. Ill say it again, heel Jericho is way beyond that of face Jericho ... at least at that time. Not many botches at all from Juvi tonight which was a pleasant surprise and Jericho was his crafty self. Hopefully there two are able to go at it again, maybe Guerrera seeking revenge for the unmasking in the future.

Mongo McMichael vs British Bulldog

Well folks, this is for the ‘who-gives-a-rats-clacker cup’. A special trophy that gets awarded by myself to the winner of the most unanticipated bout of the night. Seriously though, who could possibly give a flying fuck about what we are about to see here? Mongo will be his usual shitty self whole Davey Boy has no fan following what so ever anymore.

Well Davey boys is powerslammed early on before applying the sharpshooter for a small amount of time as Mongo gets to the ropes. Heads to the outside and the ring post and steel steps are utilized by both competitors. Mongo’s arm is in some strife as he performs his shitty gridiron charges. Goes for the tombstone piledriver but can’t lift him. Bulldog puts on an arm bar for the submission win, despite not tapping or giving up. (6:10)

Rating: * - This was the epitome of shit and boring combined. Had ZERO chemistry in the ring as is the case with most of Mongo’s matches. Dean Malenko vs Davey would have been so much more appealing. What is WCW’s fascination with that piece of shit McMichael?

US Title Match: DDP (c) vs Chris Benoit

NOW WE’RE TALKIN’ WCW! Benoit getting a title shot ON PPV? NOOOO! Oh wait, YESSSSSSS! DDP recently gifted a title shot to Benoit out of respect as he is one of the hardest workers and has never had a title shot, in his words. Well he has been in a TV Title and Cruiserweight fixture so good work on the history.

DDP starts things off with a massive stomach breaker before a test of strength between the two in the middle of the ring. Benoit goes for the Crossface and DDP goes for the Diamond Cutter as both are out of it in no time. Some hard hard slaps on one another as this turns into a brawl. Quality! A couple of roll up attempts and then a hard German Suplex on Benoit gets only two! Benoit applying the pressure with a different version of the sleeper hold before DDP fights out by throwing Benoit to the floor. Heads up top and superplex is the go as both men are down. DDP up first and smacks him with a diving clothesline from the top for only two. Out of nowhere the crossface is attempted again but same result as before. Up again and three successive german suplexes gets 2 and nine tenths. WOW. Diamond Dallas with a DDT but that again fetches only two. Out of nowhere, the diamond cutter puts Benoit’s lights out in another title fixture. (15:46)

Rating: **** Again great stuff from these two. I seriously don’t think Benoit could put on a bad match if he tried. The man is all class and worked beautifully with DDP as they are two of the hardest workers in the business at that point in time. Benoit will have his time soon obviously but he really could have done with a title to some extent in hindsight.

No DQ match: Macho Man Randy Savage vs Lex Luger

You all have maybe picked up on it by now but I fucking hate, despise and dread the thought of a Lex Luger match. It is one of the blandest forms of a wrestling technique I have ever seen. When he is done in wrestling, he should plaster his forearms and hand them on the walls as he built a massively overrated career out of them.

Well Lex initially comes out to some of the Steiners music (cheers WCW) and has his ribs taped due to the recent attacks on Nitro. Things are spent on the outside for the majority of time as they head into the crowd to take in the serenity. Back in the ring and Luger applies the torture rack but Liz makes her way in and break the submission. nWo storm the ring and Luger beats them off but so does Savage but the bell rings... HUH?!? Anyways Luger applies the torture rack again but everyone is so fucking confused because the bell is going nuts. Hogan tells the nWo to leave him at Luger’s mercy. And your winner is ..... NO ONE FUCKING KNOWS! (7:26)

Rating:  ZERO STARS - WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT? All I can do is laugh at this plain and utter stupidity. So a No Disqualification match is finished with Luger winning by DQ? WHAT THE FUCK! Are we still on or what? This is probably, no joke, the WORST match I have ever seen with the Randy Savage and Hogan cage match that we will review later on in life. I hope, no, I pray I never have to see Luger in the final few matches of a PPV ever again.

Tag Team Title: The Outsiders vs Steiner Brothers (c) w/ Ted Dibiase

Well WCW have been hinting at a Scott Steiner heel turn for some time and this could well be it. Survey time and like usual, it’s another for the good guys. The nWo part got a MASSIVE pop from the crowd.

It’s Rick and Hall who start things off as there is definitely some tension in the air between the Brothers. 11 punches in the head in the corner before a huge overhead plants Hall on the back of his head. Nash comes in and goes for the clothesline but is cleaned out of the ring. Scott comes in and they do their dog barking shanadigans before Scott turns on Rick. Nails him in the back of the head with a couple of axe handles before a typical Steiner slam. Rejoices with The Outsiders and I guess we have our official 2nd signing in two PPV’s. Who will be left?

Rick kicks out of the this but I don’t think he’ll last forever. Shoes a little bit of resistance before an Outsiders edge picks up the 1-2-3 and we have a new champions. Scott hands the titles to the Outsiders and that’ll be it. (4:16)

Rating: ** - Have The Outsiders won the titles cleanly ever in their stint in WCW? It’s a fucking farce that they have been WCW Tag Team Champions four times and they have never won it properly. This one has Scott Steiner joining the nWo, the group he has had a massive war with over the last year. WHY IS THIS NEEDED? He plays a better heel in every sense but I can’t see why joining the nWo is the only avenue to getting there. Oh well.

World Heavyweight Title: Hollywood Hogan vs Sting

Things get under way very quickly as Hogan is utilizing his personal belt very early on, dishing out some major whippings. A couple of clean strike before some choking on the mat has Hogan in complete control. Things go outside to where the Sting is being owned on the rails. Hogan is sounding more and more like Satan every minute that goes by. How I know Satan’s voice? I have weird dreams.

Sting fights back in the corner and goes for Hogan’s belt to dish out some of his own treatment. Hollywood cowardly makes his way out of the ring but Stinger is right on his heels as he begins choking him with the belt. Goes for a stinger splash but lands flat on the rail. Back in the ring, and an irish whip and STINGER SPLASH. Goes for the deathlock but Hogan is far too close to the ropes. Back on their feet and Sing goes for another stinger splash but HH pulls the referee in and he is nailed. Of all the fucking people they had to involve in this, Nick Patrick begins to make his way into the ring. Hogan leg drop and its ONLY 2! Patrick seems as if he is going by the rules as he pulls Hogan out of a head smashing session.

Hogan continues the assault but the Stinger rises as the hits have no effect whatsoever. A couple more stinger splashes before he goes for the Death Drop but Hogan connects with Nick Patrick on the way down. NWO storm the god damn fucking ring again but while Sting fights them off, Savage comes from behind the action and knocks Hogan out with a can of spray paint. Sting getst he 1-2-3 and Sting is the official World Champion. (16:32) JJ Dillon comes out to award the belt to Sting and that wraps up the show.

Rating:  ** - Wasn’t as fucked up as Starrcade but why does this have to be so overbooked? We once again have two ref bumps, people coming down the ramp from nowhere and title matches which fail to end clean of PPV. This actually wasn’t a complete fuck up this time and will probably get Hogan out of the World Title picture for the time being which I'm all for but come on, try and make your world champion look good for fuck sake.

PPV Rating: ***½
Again, it’s the same story month after month. Terrible finishes to matches and horrible booking makes this one a tough one to judge. Why they don’t just tell Hogan and Sting to go out and have a 10-12 minute match with a clean ending makes me wonder if they want this company to succeed. There has to be ref bumps and Nick Patrick involved all the freaking time.

MOTN was Jericho and Juvi but DDP and Benoit were very close. The TV Title fixtures were also good but once again, Luger let it down.  The mid card guys just continue to keep this program ahead in the ratings but it’s not long before Stone Cold and Co. take control. People want main event stars, and WCW is failing to capitalize on its talent in the mid card and using it where it matters.

Thumbs up.

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