WCW World War III 1998 Review

WCW World War III 1998 Review
Date: November 22, 1998
Attendance: 17,670
Location: The Palace of Auburn Hills

It’s another World War 3 event, the WWE’s Royal Rumble for those playing at home, but as WCW was more focused on going one up with its nearest competitor, its throws in a 3 ring gimmick PPV which can have its ups and downs. Bam Bam Bigelow has made his arrival in the big leagues and has gone straight after the World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg while everything else has been rather pointless (see: Hollywood Hogan pretending to be a candidate for the President of the US).

We begin with the vision of a limo arriving that contains Goldberg. He ain’t on the card so I'm preparing for some shit to go down!

It’s Tony ‘I extend my words to sound excited’ Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan.

The crew cut to Meneeee WOOO Gene, who wants to give his opinion of the Battle Royal. Its all rather dull so he is cut off with Glacier’s music.

Glacier vs Wrath

I don’t know why but I actually enjoyed Wrath. Very believable as a big man that doesn’t take any shit; my type of big man.

Glacier starts it off with a quick kick to the abdomen then a dropkick that barely even connects. Glacier plays to the crowd and turns around in to the CHOP OF DOOM! So he packs his dacks and heads to the outside but Wrath goes right after him and slingshots him over the rail as they begin to brawl in the crowd. Back in the ring and Wrath is just completely dominating this one which numerous strikes and a bit of choking with the cable. Back in the rind and Glacier hits Wrath with a kick that barely scraped him and goes for the Ice Pick. Oh dear! Wrath blocks it and nails the pump handle slam for the 1-2-3.(8:22)

Rating: *¼ – Really basic big man stuff and a prolonged Wrath squash. This was basically used to build him up for the Battle Royal later on in the night but it was a real crowd killer. Next please!

Bret Hart cuts a promo on DDP. Next!

Stevie Ray vs Konnan

Oh yes. The shitter half of Harlem Heat on PPV. That’s going to put asses in the seats hey Schiavone? And if it could get any worse, Konnan will be his opponent. Fuck!

Stevie Ray nails some punches (slow the vision down and he is nowhere near Konnan’s face) but that sparks the bald headed fuck into action with a couple of double legged kicks. Ray then hits a very stiff clothesline and looks extremely surprised when the referee only counts a two. Has anyone ever won a match with a standard clothesline Stevie? So anyways, Ray applies some rear choke holds that really have no place in mainstream wrestling before the grand finale takes place. Ray whips Konnan into the ropes where Vincent is standing on the apron but REVERSAL and Vincent waffles his own man over the head with the slapjack. Konnan goes to work with some tame punches before pushing away Billy Silverman and its a DQ win for Stevie. (6:22) Booker is out after the match trying to win back over his brother. I suspect I have seen that before.

Rating: ¼ - Wow that was fucking terrible and incredibly boring. Not sure what this does for either man, anyone sitting at home or for the entire company that is allowing these two tub of lards to go through the curtain.

Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller and Sonny Onoo vs Kaz Hayashi and Saturn

Jesus, we are on track for some more personal worsts for this company. The start to this PPV has been absolutely terrible and I don’t think its going to improve any time soon. Saturn my brother, please save this.

Well Miller is already starting his five count before the wooden spoon comes out but Kaz tags in Saturn and goes to town early before the Pussy skirts it to the outside of the ring. Kaz is now tagged in but is powerslammed by the Cat who thinks it a perfect time to bring in the 5’7 monster from the east, Sonny Onoo. Some embarrassing stuff as Onoo dishes out some kicks that Kaz no sells and then the offer of money is out. Heenan: “I’ll be right back”.

Well Cat floors Saturn, tags in Onoo who doesn’t want a bar of it and Saturn has a field day. Applies the STF but as Miller tries to break it up, hits his own man and a double team dropkick sees Hayashi become the legal man. Onoo laying into Kaz with some kicks in the corner before Miller delays his sport with the kick and makes it all look incredibly poor. Anyways my pain is cured with a sloppy ending. Saturn prepares to launch Onoo in a suplex of some sort, Miller nails him with a kick to the jaw and the referee turns around for the 1-2-3 (8:04)

Rating:  Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket - I'm incorporating a new Cornette head ranking system now for all matches that I believe are in need of a negative rating and here is one. I don’t know whats worse, the fact that Onoo ended up getting the pin, that they won the match or Perry Saturn being the one to look absolutely stupid in all this. Probably one of the shittiest things WCW has dished up in 1998 and trust me, they have dished up some giant turds.

Cruiserweight Title: Kidman vs Juventud Guerrera (c)

Juvi makes his way out wearing an LWO t-shirt and Mene Gene is now with Eddie Guerrero on the ramp. The only thing I liked about this whole thing is the LWO music. I'm so sick of the letter L, N, W, O and all the shitty one lines that come with them. Anyways the match itself should be good.

Some excellent back and forth action to begin things before Juvi hits the Fame–Ass–er and a flying head scissors as he appreciates all his adoring fans. Charges at Kidman but picks him up with a massive spine buster, followed by a Guillotine leg drop for the closest of near falls. Juvi is first up with many strikes and goes up top only to launch into a standing dropkick from Kidman. Nice! Another nice spot see’s Guerrera hurricanrana Kidman all the way to the floor. This is already a breath of fresh air on this PPV. Juvi now tosses Kidman into Ring #3 and a double springboard sees him plant Kidman straight in the nuts with a dropkick. He has to have balls of steel after getting up from that. Anyways back they go to Ring #2 and Guerrera moves up top for his patented 450 but Kidman gives him some pain through the groin area and head scissors him into Ring #1, before launching himself with a cross body for a very close 2 count! Well Juventud is back and plants him with a frankensteiner that gains another near fall. A cool sequence of reversals see Guerrera plant him with the Juvi Driver for another two count! Juvi makes the fatal mistake of trying to powerbomb Kidman (seriously, when does that ever work?) before bulldogging him and bringing out the catapult German Suplex. Its Shooting Starpress time but Juvi is back on his feet and sits Kidman down on the top rope. Rey is out and holds the tights of Kidman as Juvi’s frankensteiner attempt see’s him crash to the apron. SHOOTING STARPRESS AND WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION! (15:27) The win see’s a group of Mexicans follow Eddy Guerrero out, Rey tosses the shirt away and they go scampering to the back.

Rating: ****¼ - Great match. I don’t know what the hell WCW is paying these luchadores but give them whatever the hell they want. They’ll probably be the only pair to actually utilize all three rings in this PPV and boy did they do it well. It wasn’t the perfect match (A three count which was declared a near fall and the botched hurricanrana from the apron) but this was still a fast paced gem and they got 15 minutes....Can’t complain with that.

Scott Steiner w/ Buff Bagwell and the Crazy Ref vs Rick Steiner

Backstage vision is shown with Rick getting the absolute shit beat out of him before security breaks it up. Or do they? Giant is able to sneak away with the victim and take him to the ring where I think this match has started.

Rick straight away is back to his best with numerous left arm strikes before the crazy nWo referee gets involved but he is floored instantly. And HELLO, IT’S HALLOWEEN HAVOC ALL OVER AGAIN. LOW BLOW FROM SCOTT STEINER. Honestly how many shots to the groin can one man take? Well they beat on Steiner for a little bit before Goldberg makes his expected appearance and absolutely DRILLS the fuck out of Scott Steiner with a spear. I definitely wouldn’t mind a title defense, Goldberg vs Scott Steiner. Has potential.

Goldberg continues to clean up as he and Rick conclude things by appreciating each other in the ring.

Rating: ** - Pretty good stuff for a match that never even started but couldn’t they have done this on Nitro and built up a Steiner vs Goldberg main event? Instead we got our usual Goldberg pop for the night and it took 30 seconds for it to be all over.

Scott Hall vs Kevin Nash

Scott makes his way to the ring with the entire nWo black and white behind him. The music wraps up and Eazy E makes his way down to the ring with a mic in hand. He says “Its survey time and survey says GET HIM!” So the entire black and white army begins beating on hall but Kevin Nash makes his way out and clears house with Hall. Chants for ‘Outsiders’ go up and Hall present the Wolfpac symbol but Nash dogs him and leaves the ring.

Rating N/A – This is the third advertised match on PPV that has been thrown out or ended in a DQ and although most of it has been pretty entertaining, is totally unacceptable. People paying for this can’t be all that pleased with 15 minutes of genuine wrestling at almost the half way mark.

TV Title: Bobby Duncum Jr. vs Chris Jericho w/ Ralphus

I dunno where the fuck Bobby Duncum came from or what he has done to deserve to a title shot but he must be able to do something right.

Well lots of holds and submission techniques being used early. Definitely looks like an olden style wrestler does Duncum and I'm expecting plenty of power slam, lariats and general wrestling that have been outdated for the last 10 years. Anyways crowd is well and truly dead with all the slow paced ‘action’ (it’s seriously poor booking to put Jericho against an opponent like this). Well the pace begins to lift very briefly but a lariat and double armed chokeslam ends all momentum these two were building. Big pop for the Liontamer but Duncum fights out of it and set him up for the middle rope elbow drop but can only pick up a two count. Raphus begins grabbing on Bobby and which is met with the hand clamp of death and Jericho wallops him with the TV Title to pick up the 1-2-3 (12:52)

Rating: *½ – Not much enjoyment in this one and another dirty finish on this PPV which takes it to the grand tally of four. This is the outcome when you put a little guy vs a big douchebag and expect them to put on a great match in 13 minutes. If they wanted someone to play the face role perfectly then throw Chris Benoit in there.

60 Man Battle Royal: Winner will face Goldberg at Starrcade

So this isn’t the main event even though the entire PPV is centred around this match.

So the 60 man battle royal is under way and La Parka is in this so its already a winner. Why the fuck do the referees need to be in the ring for? Look at them trying to avoid all confrontations! Kevin Nash is cleaning up early and has already eliminated five individuals while in Ring #2, La Parka and Silver King have eliminated Tokyo Magnum. King wants a high five but my boy just walks off and goes to work on another opponent.

Kevin Nash eliminates La Parka. FUCK YOU KEVIN! Well its Nash and Van Hammer are the final two in Ring #3 and a big boot sends Van Hammer flying. So Nash books himself to have a breather 3 minutes into the match. Life is easy ay Kev?

Chavo is then clearly eliminated but just makes his way back into the ring without anyone even noticing. That is exactly the way I would go about things. The last seven competitors in Ring #1 go after the Giant but he fights them all off and sends them flying. That was pretty cool. Scott Steiner meanwhile in Ring #2 cant keep his low blow out of a  good spirited battle royale but I guess its payback for the dick shot Juvi dished out in the Cruiserweight title match.

And we’re down to the final 20. Actually make that 18 as Saturn and Ernest Miller don’t even make it into ring #2. And its quickly down to 13 as Giant clears out all the Cruiserweights and we are down to the serious stuff. Giant goes directly after Nash (If there is a god, he will get something from Kev and let him eliminate him).

And hold the phone, BAM BAM BIGELOW is entering the ring and all competitors begin laying into him, to put over that he is not even affiliated with WCW. Goldberg is out and in the midst of all the security and officials, they begin brawling on the outside and it goes all the way to the back. That was pretty cool also. Meanwhile in the ring we are down to 6: Nash, Giant, Malenko, Hall, Luger and Benoit. All men turn to the Giant and try to remove the big man. He shrugs them off but they again go after and the GIANT IS ELIMINATED. Malenko and Benoit are eliminated in the blink of an eye. Luger tries to pick Hall up for the rack and Nash eliminates them both despite the finishing being a bit rusty. Nash vs Golberg at Starrcade. (22:05)

Rating: *** - This was actually a pretty entertaining and well worked 60 man battle royal. They quickly made it into a two ring battle royal by making Nash clear out a ring very quickly (made it easier to follow in the comfort of a living room), Goldberg and Bam Bam added some mid match spice to the contest, Giant and Nash going at for a brief period and the Giant getting eliminated was easily the pop of the night. It wasn’t your usual man comes in, gets thrown out sort of things although I’d have LOVED Benoit to go on to beat Goldberg.

US Title: Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart vs DDP (c)

DDP goes directly after Bret Hart with a cross body to the outside and the two clash with their knuckles for the majority of this clash. Lots of mat work and brief sequences of action but DDP all of a sudden snaps and goes for the diamond cutter but Hart is quick to scatter to the outside, where he is able to utilize the steel steps. Fun Fact: DDP has now main evented in the last 5 WCW PPV’s. It’s quite an achievement for someone who would never be seen as a top guy while Eric Bischoff was in charge.

Anyways DDP nails a massive tombstone piledriver for a near fall but the crowd is completely out of it after the 60 Man Battle Royal. You really have to feel for these two in the ring as they actually are trying hard to work the crowd over. Well the foreign object makes its way out of Harts tights but the ref is all over it. DDP sense an opportunity and locks in a very poor version of the sharpshooter but Bret is far too close to the ropes. The Hitman is now working on the leg for a prolonged period of time before DDP bounces back throws the steel chair into the ring. We get out first ref pump for the night as the nWo ref makes his way into the ring but he is floored in no time. Hart nails him with a foreign object and puts on the sharpshooter as nWo ref signals for the bell. Billy Silverman enters the ring and says hell no! Page recovers in no time and nails the Diamond Cutter for the 1-2-3 (18:04)

Rating: ** - Crowd was completely dead but they tried hard throughout the whole thing while against the tide. I have no idea why this was given 20 minutes and the whole attempted screw job ending just doesn’t go down well with me. And for the love of god, can somebody please shoot that pissant nWo referee please? Hart for babyface soon please!

PPV Rating: **¼
This PPV was pretty much a flop for the word go. We had two matches’ not even take place, two finished with screw job endings and we saw Perry Saturn job to Sonny Onoo. Booket T and Scott Norton didn’t even take place so this is definitely a forgettable PPV. Kidman and Juvi was easily the match of the night (Kidman was seriously the best in-ring wrestler in WCW at that time, shame he had the charisma of a camel) and I pretty much enjoyed the battle royal. This had nothing on Halloween Havoc though and it seems this company likes to take several steps backwards after taking a step forward.

Thumbs down!

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