WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 – Review

So as someone who blogs about wrestling for fun, the one thing I NEED in a show I’m writing about is… stuff to write about. So for that I need really really good shows, or really really BAD shows. Yes I’m a glutton for punishment, yes I get a strange joy from watching terrible Pro-wrestling… So where’s the best place for that? None other than World Championship Wrestling. Yes, they are worse than TNA ever were because WCW had the tools and the money and the performers to be GREAT… and they turned very very terrible. Unforgivable stuff. So I thought about where to start, maybe I’d just look up terrible WCW shows, but from my decent knowledge of the demise of WCW via books and shows I’ve watched, combined with some personal hatred… I cannot think of anything that could possible disgust me more than this show… What do I know about this show? Well, I know one match on this show.. I know that it was a rematch of one of the most iconic WrestleMania matches of all time… but that was in 1990… Eight years later… well, things turned out a little differently…

So without taking up anymore time, please… well I won’t say enjoy as that may not be possible for me watching this show let alone you reading about it… but here is my review of WCW’s 1998 Halloween Havoc PPV. Good luck everyone!!!


We start off with the wackiest of wacky Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs Ultimate Warrior video hype packages, that then led onto the rest of the card and hyped those matches too. We had a dramatic classical music score as well before the WCW/nWo Halloween Havoc logo appeared. I’m a minute and 2 seconds in and I can already tell the next three hours is going to be something else. The show is being broadcast from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which lead commentator Tony Schiavone informs us is the ‘entertainment capital of the world’ (bare that in mind). The stage for this show features a huge inflatable Gargoyle holding the pumpkin with the ppv logo on… it was very 90s looking lets just say that (there is also tombstones with names of several famous dead celebrities at the side, which was… odd…) … I’ve already been triggered by the fact that they’ve already called Hogan vs Warrior ‘the biggest return match in pro wrestling history’, they forgetting Hogan and Andre had a rematch??? … The commentary team tonight by the way lead by Schiavone also sees Mike Tenay and the legendary Bobby Heenan, so if nothing else is at least the announcing will be good… supposedly… they plug the upcoming card, with Heenan calling Hogan ‘the lowest piece of scum on the earth’ for attacking his dead brother’s son, they say this a few times in fact, so in case you hadn’t noticed Hogan is a BAD guy in the autumn of 98… a funny moment came as Tenay and Tony were talking up the Goldberg vs DDP title match when Heenan decided to put on a gold, zoro-like mask, and they say ‘BOO, TRICK OR TREAT’ to a less than impressed Schiavone, before the music played for our opening match of the night.

The nitro girls do a dance routine in the ring. Google that… they also run down the card for the show as Hogan vs Warrior, Bret Hart defending the US title against Sting, SCOTT HALL VS KEVIN NASH (A mat-wrestling CLASSIC I’m sure…), Goldberg vs DDP for the world title, and Rick Steiner vs Scott Steiner, and then they say these matches have also been announced (so this is where WWE got the idea of only announcing half your PPV card then, good one……….): Raven vs Chris Jericho for the Television title, Meng (better known to some as Haku in WWE and more recently New Japan as he is in fact the dad of both Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa of the Bullet Club) taking on Wrath… Disco Inferno vs Juventud Guerrera with the winner facing Billy Kidman for the Cruiserweight title later on the card.

We then cut to the legendary Mean Gean Okerlund, he says this is going to be, in his view, one of the greatest Pay Per Views in World Championship Wrestling history… we’ll see about that… he talks to Rick Steiner, who gets booed at first despite I think being a babyface… of all the people you could’ve had that are on this card come out and do an interview they chose RICK STEINER…. fuck sake… Rick was wearing this ridiculous head guard thing and basically said he’ll teach his brother a lesson… Buff Bagwell then comes out (who Gene informs us has been aligned with Rick’s brother). Bagwell explains that he’s had a change of heart and he’s sick of Big Poppa Pump, he says the nWo don’t work one on one, so he wants to be in Rick’s corner and watch his back tonight. The crowd don’t like this it seems. Rick says he doesn’t know if he can trust him, Buff says he can look in his eyes and see a guy ready to watch his back. Eventually they go back and forth and Buff appears to be on Rick’s side. and then Gene sends us to the ring announcer as Raven’s music plays…

I have paused the show at 8 minutes and 18 seconds and they are only just playing the music of one of the participants of the opening contest… this is a PAY PER VIEW…

WCW Television Championship: Raven vs Chris Jericho (C) 

To give you some context by the way, Jericho is about just under a year from his WWF debut, so given what we know now he was already here thinking of the other side. Raven cut a promo explaining his losing streak recently has been down to circumstances beyond his control, he says he has 6 words for us “what about me? what about Raven?”…  he says he wasn’t told ahead of time he was wrestling tonight and that he doesn’t feel like it, he then drops the mic and walks out the ring… Schiavone then says a great line “he has to do things on the fly, that’s how things work around here”, which given the history of WCW could well be a shoot. Jericho gets the mic and cuts a babyface promo hyping himself and says he really wanted to wrestle such an icon like Raven, leader of the biggest gang of morons and idiots in professional wrestling, and that he could whip his butt in about two minutes because “you don’t have what it takes anymore YOU LOSER”, before Raven makes his way back to the ring for the match. Honestly they could not be doing a worse job in my eyes of hyping up Raven as the challenger for the TV title here… so lets see… 12 Minutes and 52 seconds on the clock by the way before the first match of the show begins… christ…

Jericho battered him to start off with and tried to pin him whilst posing and flexing. Raven eventually clotheslined Jericho to the outside, and followed with a front suplex onto steel steps, then a dropkick using the steps to give himself a boost. Back in the ring Raven posed as the boos came down, Jericho got back into it not long after dropping him onto the ropes and then hit a springboard dropkick to send Raven to the outside, before missing and crashing into the guardrail after Raven moved out the way. Raven smashed Jericho’s head into the steps, Jericho launched him into the railings, back in the ring Raven choked Jericho with his shirt, bit him, got him in a sleeper hold after an irish whip, Jericho hit a belly to back suplex, a senton, then unbuckled the turnbuckle pad, but of course he himself got launched into it after a powerbomb and a catapult, before a big clothesline from Raven got a nearfall. Jericho soon tried a spin kick but got caught with a  belly to belly for a nearfall. After this Jericho counted into the attempt at the Liontamer, which her got but as Raven reached for the ropes he had to break the hold. Jericho was not happy, and soon after got hit with his finish the evenflow (essentially a ddt), but Raven only got a nearfall. Jericho then caught Raven with a roll up for a nearfall. The a weird spot where they had their back to the camera, something happened that the crowd gasped at, and then they hit a german which Jericho got a 2 count from. Then as Jericho hit the ropes Chris Kanyon was there and got sent flying off the apron, then Jericho tried the Liontamer again after getting out of the evenflow attempt, and Raven tapped out almost right away. What a fucking GEEK Raven looked here. Crowd were happy Jericho won and the match was fine for the 8 minutes or so it went, but wow Raven just get back to ECW already man, the money really aint worth it pal…

** 

Oh the joys… out comes Hollywood Hogan… with a short haired Eric Bischoff. They were both in peak asshole, cocks mode… Hogan said he had beat everyone in wrestling, simply because I love this man so much (speaking to Eric, good god…), Bischoff then spoke into the mic (which Hogan didn’t) and hyped up Hogan as he flexed those pythons of his… He then said he felt him and Hollywood were walking on a cloud, and continued to verbally kiss the arse of Hulk Hogan, Hogan said all the Hollywood nWo-ites and Vegas worshipped the ground he walked on, and spoke about how he battered Horace (his nephew) last week on Nitro (they showed footage of the nWo beatdown as Hogan spoke). God I couldn’t wait for this asshole to shut up, ZZZZzzzz… he calls Warrior an ‘idiot bozzo’ (which is kind to him imo), and says he’s gonna get beat up real real bad.

Meng vs Wrath 

Meng is famously one of the legit toughest and scariest guys in wrestling history, Wrath is maybe more well known as Adam Bomb, or Kronik. Two big tough dudes. Should be… well lets see… This was a very basic, big man match. Crowd was absolutely DEAD for most of it, even heard a boring chant at one point. Meng tried his Tongan death grip finish at one point but Wrath got out of it. He later, after trying a few times in the match got his finish, the ‘meltdown’ which ewas a variation of a powerslam for the win. Crowd did cheer for the finish. But this isn’t one I’m going to remember much about to be honest.

*

Mere seconds after the finish of that match we go right to footage of cruiserweight champion Billy Kidman, who it looks like is doing some form of chat with a guy for WCW.com… he says he has an advantage tonight despite not knowing who his opponent will be as they will have already had a match tonight before theirs, and that he doesn’t really prefer either in terms of who he faces.

Disco Inferno vs Juventud Guerrera – winner faces Billy Kidman for the Cruiserweight title later tonight 

I really really hope Guerrera wins this.

He didn’t… fuck sake… story of this one was Disco would do the more power based and techincal stuffn and acted as the heel whilst doing his dancing in between the moves, and Juve was the high flying Lucha guy. I mean, it was fine, but it’s another I wont be rushing back to watch. Disco won with a jumping Piledriver to get the title shot against Kidman. You’ll note I’ve not written much about what happened here, that’s because I really didn’t care and on this card I don’t think you do either… right?

**

We got another routine from the Nitro Girls. Google it again…

Scott Steiner comes out with a mic, oh god… so he’s here to tell us that big poppa pump is in town and hes ready to pound… “so this goes to all you freaks out there, big poppa pump is your hook up, holla if you hear me”. He then says as for that snivelling, crying little mommas boy, marcus buff bagwell, come out and say he wants to have his brother’s back, and says that he and his brother are losers, and suggests they tag up and he tags with The Giant for their match tonight. The Giant (Big Show) then comes out and says they’ll wrestle them for the world tag team titles. Giant then says there is a dog with no bark and a pretty boy with no guts so he and big poppa pump are gonna have some food tonight. JJ Dillon (who was essentially the authority figure representing the WCW office at the time) then interrupts them and says he wanted to be sure he heard that they said bagwell and rick have no chance so they’re willing to put the titles on the line. After Steiner reiterates this Dillon says that if they’re so sure they’ll win, if they do somehow lose he will have no problem to agree to face his brother one on one tonight for 15 minutes after the tag match is done so we somehow get that match ‘weve all been dying to see’. Scott basically agrees to this and so its set, and Dillon makes it official. So we know were this is going right? Well it is WCW so who the fuck knows…

Fit Finlay vs Alex Wright 

Alex Wright is a british-german guy. Story is Fit Finlay once wrestled his dad and broke his leg. I did not need another fucking mid card match I don’t care about… they really are making us wait for these big matches on this show aren’t they? More boring chants from the crowd a few minutes in. It is to be fair, they’re doing basic moves and wrestling holds and strikes. None of it bad, all of it done well, but it’s not setting the world alight. Finlay is really punishing Wright with his aggressive style. This crowd is beyond dead for this match. Finish came out of nowhere really, Finlay took most the match which naturally meant he lost… he got launched into the steel ring post, and then Alex Wright hit a reverse neckbreaker  for the win. This was apparently meant to be Wright vs Davey Boy Smith, but this was changed day of the show…

*1/4

Another backstage sit down interview thing for WCW.com, this time with ‘The Real Deal’ The Cat… he said he was undefeated and this and that and put himself over, as the guy he was talking to tried to explain there was already a guy called The Real Deal and the greatest in WCW, … I really didn’t care for this and the fact I’m not too aware of this guy and his exploits tells me his quest didn’t quite go to plan…

Lodi vs Saturn 

Out comes Lodi (later known as Lash LeRoux), he is announced as being from “anywhere in the world but Las Vegas, Nevada). I’m so over this fucking unannounced match bullshit. Just makes this PAY PER VIEW come across as such low rent when you don’t announce the undercard matches before the big show… just makes the undercard stuff seem even less important for me… (PerrySaturn had what was described on commentary as a “combination of tough guy-army ranger look” and apparently the beret he was wearing was a representation of the dedication of his time spent with the army rangers. Lodi was wearing these boots and what looked like PVC shorts. He looked stupid. Lodi did all he could to stall ahead of the match starting really, Saturn overpowered him for most of the match early, as Lodi ran back to get his signs he had carried to the ring. They said stuff like ‘Lodi hasn’t slept’ and shite attempted comedy like that… Lodi tried to run away best he could “Lodi likes Texas” was the next sign… Saturn battered Lodi some more… irish whipping him hard into the corner, Lodi brought his signs and tried to leave, but Saturn slapped him back to the ring. Lodi got some brief offence in before getting hit with a series of suplexes. Everything Saturn did looked technically really good and he won with a DVD. Complete squash, rightfully so, but I didn’t need this on this show that has so far been 1 hour and 8 minutes of basically FUCK ALL of significance. Eddie Guerrero was meant to be facing Saturn but he missed his flight and arrived late, so Lodi saying he had little advanced warning of this match it was actually a shoot.

3/4* (0.75) 

hang on… so as the announcers are talking to camera about the rest of the show, Mike Tenay casually mentions that The Giant is taking the place of Scott Hall to defend the tag titles with Scott Steiner… but Hall is on the card to face Nash? So who actually are the tag champions? Is it Hall and Steiner? Is it The Giant and Steiner? Is it just the nWo? What the fuck is this? We were shown a recap of what happened on Nitro where Bagwell (then of the nWo) swung a chair at Scott Steiner to save Rick from a beatdown, and then took off his nWo shirt to align with Rick Steiner.

Another Nitro girls dance. Google it.

Disco Inferno vs Billy Kidman (C) for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship 

I feel like Billy Kidman was really underrated, and was underutilised in his time in WWE. And if you haven’t noticed I’m not much into Disco Inferno and am baffled that in 2020 he is still going. He even faced Tessa Blanchard relatively recently over in Impact wrestling. Kidman did some high flying stuff, but wasn’t afraid to get physical at times as well. Nothing Disco did move wise was bad, but… I just don’t care about him. Neither did this crowd by the sound of it. He mocked Kidman as he used hard strikes and more power based moves, as Kidman played a decent babyface in selling it. Kidman used the steps for a boost as he his a bulldog on Disco on the outside. He rolled him in the ring and tried a splash from the top, but Disco moved out the way and tried a pin for a 2. He then got a rest hold in…. and the boring chants came… Kidman hit a big clothesline which got the crowd somewhat into it… but Disco slammed Kidman down not long after, then did more of his dancing as Mike Tenay pointed out his problem all along being this lack of focus he was showing… Disco beat on Kidman some more, crowd really got on Disco’s back now, he then hit a belly to back for a nearfall. Disco did some trash talk, Kidman did fight back but a rake to his eyes soon cut that off.  Disco hit a scoop slam, points to top, danced and then tried the double axe handle off the top but misses, Kidman hit a short powerbomb for a nearfall, and Disco should’ve got the win after he hit a Piledriver, but he took to long and was too cocky in his attempt at a pin which meant Kidman kicked out at two. Disco tries for a suplex, but Kidman tried to turn hit a bulldog off the top but Disco turned that into a belly to back suplex, this got Disco another nearfall. Later Disco did the Macarena (no joke he did the dance), and tried a powerslam but Kidman caught him with a facebuster. He then dragged Disco to the corner as Kidman went to the top rope and hit a Shooting Star Press to get the win. The crowd came alive somewhat for the finish. This was actually an alright match to be fair and both guys did a good job, and through their solid work got the crowd involved towards the end. So credit where it’s due. Kidman retains.

**3/4

Team nWo (representing the black and white of nWo Hollywood) (Scott Steiner & The Giant) (C) vs Rick Steiner & Buff Bagwell for the WCW world tag team championship

They billed The Giant at 7 foot 4 and weighing 552 pounds… I CANNOT BE ARSED AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Rick Steiner’s nickname was “The Dogfaced Gremlin”… WHAT…!? … When Rick and Bagwell got in the ring, The Giant and Steiner were on the outside and the babyface challengers taunted them with Rick on Buff’s back with Buff on all fours on the ring floor, and they both… barked at them… like dogs… The Giant was actually smoking a cigarette, cause… you know… badass cool shit… fuck sake… The Giant is coming through the ring floor helping Vince out less than four months after this show… figures… the match hasn’t even started and I already can’t be arsed. I’m just gonna watch it and I’ll see you all on the other side…

The heels got the heat on Rick, Rick got back on attack and the crowd loved it as he hit strikes, an atomic drop from Scott had no affect and Rick right back on the attack. Rick Steiner even looked to have his brother beat but Bagwell asked for the tag instead… Rick did so and they looked to double team Scott… but then Buff kicked Rick in the gut and then danced about and joined up with his nWo pals again. Scott then held up a sign that read “Buff is Tough” as Bagwell gleefully jogged to the back. So… it’s two on one now? For the TAG team titles? OK… Scott Steiner posed as The Giant even got a kick in. Scott his a blatant low blow kick, and yes Charles Robinson the ref just stood and watched as Scott laughed… Steiner got the heat on Rick as the crowd I couldn’t make out if they were chanting for Goldberg or just Bullshit? Either way they didn’t sound overjoyed… Scott tagged in The Giant, he took his time beating on Rick… if they just end up winning this and there’s no comeback or anything… I swear to god… Giant lifted Rick up from the pin a few times… Scott was tagged back in… the crowd is DYING… Rick tried to mount a comeback with some strikes to his brother, but Scott hit a low blow… now after he did this Tony Schiavone said that WCW officials really need to look at that manoeuvre… so you’re telling me a LOW BLOW WAS NOT AN ILLEGAL MOVE?! OH FUCK OFFFFFFF!!!!!!! The Giant then tagged in and WENT TO THE TOP ROPE a Scott held his brother as the target… and of course Rick moved and Scott got hit with a missile drop kick, Rick went to work on The Giant before going to the top and hitting some form of crossbody from the top and then he PINNED THE GIANT!!! Crowd went nuts for this to be fair, the loudest they’d been all night by far… so… your new WCW World Tag Team championS… let me say that again your World TAG TEAM championS is Rick Steiner… right… and so oh the joys now we have Rick vs Scott too… yay…

**

Scott is outside the ring moaning the refs count was too fast, as the ref is telling him to get back here for his match against his brother. The Giant is still down by the way barely coming round… he then goes to Scott on the outside saying he was sorry as Scott ushers them both to the back as the bell rings, presumably to begin Rick vs Scott??? … Rick chases after them dragging Scott to the ring , and somehow takes out The Giant as well… Rick goes out after Scott and rolls him into the ring… so I guess Rick vs Scott is underway right…

Rick Steiner vs Scott Steiner 

Scott begs for mercy as Rick goes on the attack. Crowd are really into it to be fair. Rick launches Scott upside down into the corner, Scott hit another low blow and then a suplex to absolutely KILL the crowd again. Scott beat on Rick some more, as the commentators then wondered if this match was no DQ as the originally scheduled bout between the two was supposed to be? They even suggested that all WCW matches should be as people just ignore the rules anyway (my GOD…)… Rick caught Scott in mid air and threw him down, then hit a belly to belly for a nearfall… as this was happening we cut to a shot ringside of a guy in a dress up mask assaulting security guards… the guy was in a suit and was handed a microphone by Stevie Ray of the nWo before he made his way into the ring… well it looked like a mic but it was a slapjack (whatever one of those is), the guy then beat Rick Steiner with it and then took down the ref as well, he then unmasked to reveal himself as BUFF BAGWELL… the bell was then rung multiple times as Buff put Scott over Rick and then basically lifted the refs arms up to simulate him counting the three… but Rick actually kicked out… so the bell was rung for I’m presuming the DQ… and when Rick kicked out of the piss take pin they just acted as if all was normal… Scott then hit Rick with a top rope Frankensteiner, they tried the pin thing again but again Rick kicked out (so we all just gonna pretend the bell didn’t ring… is the match over? what the fuck is going on here???) … Buff then gives up on his game with the ref and launches him to the outside. Rick then took down both Scott and Buff… suddenly another ref came flying in and counted the three… so Rick Steiner won??? What the fuck is happening jesus christ… so was the bell being rung after Bagwell came in a mistake? What the actual fuck is this???????? Crowd went mad for Rick winning… and Rick was given his tag belts…

I mean, good on them giving Rick the big moments here and he was made to look really really strong… but logically and rule wise this was such a clusterfuck. Maybe I’m taking it too seriously but NONE of this made sense to me and epitomised this bs company at times. I HATED this.

*  

They played a video running through the creation of the nWo and all they achieved, focusing on Hall and Nash in particular, and then explaining how at Slambouree Hall turned on Nash. Nash said that Hall has had a lot go on and wasn’t in the right frame of mind, but Hall seemed to be fine with it. They made reference to Hall going through some personal stuff and losing a lot of money, it seems basically like Hall rejected Nash’s offer to reconcile and turned on him again. Hall cut a promo saying it was all about the benjamins to him (aint that the truth looking at his career choices in the past) and that Nash was an embarrassment to him. Nash was shown to be really cut up by this, so Nash is the babyface here if you’re trying to keep up. Nash said he was willing to beat some sense into Hall, but also said in a promo that Hall had hit his final nerve, and so he was gonna say the two words that would hit Hall’s nerves… “It’s last call”… and that point, in what was actually a decent video package hyping the match and the personal story, I was out… I can’t be doing with that kinda stuff I’m sorry… why do you need to bring that up when there’s so many other routes you can take storyline wise for fuck sake?

Scott Hall (of nWo Hollywood, the black and white with the classic nWo theme music) vs Kevin Nash (of nWo Wolfpac, the red and black with an absolute BANGER of a theme song, legit one of the best ever) 

Hall came out with ‘a little refreshment’ in his hand as Mike Tenay called it… it was a clear fluid in a plastic cup… so I’ll let you decide what it was or what it was supposed to look like… fuck sake… and then commentary decided to explain how they do not condone Scott Hall’s behaviour and how they and WCW wanted to try and do all they could to help Scott Hall turn his life around…  I really want to get into this match but this stuff and using it as a storyline is making me really hate it already. Nash got into the ring as Scott stumbled about and Nash was already trying to tell the ref what he thought of all this… if this plays into this match and Hall does this act I’m seriously going to struggle reviewing it cause I fucking hate storylines like this. Why of ALL the things do you need to make being an addict into a storyline? And even more so why do it involving someone who was an addict at that time? Really is it needed??? Come on guys, book better shit that that will you?! Hall launched the drink at Nash’s face and then beat on him, Hall threw Nash all round the ringside area and even hit him with the ringside mic and chocked him the camera wire from one of the cameras. Nash appeared to be busted too as he was losing consciousness as Hall was choking him out with this camera wire… Hall continued beating on Nash and then got a mic… he basically mocked Nash and said he should go back to the locker room because he was done listening to him. It looked like Nash was about to be told to go to the back for treatment but he rolled himself into the ring, but Hall hit a series of punches to Nash that he sold big time after each shot, Hall then did more of his stumbling gimmick as the crowd kept chanting “wolf-pac”, Hall hit a scoop slam and gestured for the “outsider Edge” as it was known in WCW, but Nash pushed him away, Hall got some more shots in on Nash but was pushed away again, he went again in on him in the corner and hit more punches, same again…, Nash now called for Hall to hit him some more and stopped fighting back, Hall was toying with him now, Nash then started launching Hall into each corner and then hit a sideslam, they exchanged punches, crowd was dead…, Nash tried the powerbomb but Hall quickly rolled out the ring, they locked up after this… god this is getting boring quickly and is really losing it’s heat… really basic offence from both after this, just a variety of strikes as Nash now was in control, he beat on Hall for a while more… but GOD it was dragging now this one… Nash kept making drink based references as he beat on Hall… he beat on Hall for so long it was silly… really slowly as well, Nash FINALLY hit the jackknife powerbomb, then took his time to gesture to the crowd for one more… “I think I’ll have a double” he said… oh fuck off will you… he then took all the time in the world and hit another as Hall (bleeding from the mouth I think) screamed in pain… Nash stood over him and did the crotch chop to Hall, then Nash just walked out the ring and to the BACK?!?! The announcers put over how Nash had already proven his point by beating Hall’s ass, and then with Hall flat out Nash just walked to the back and the ref counted him out. Scott Hall was buried for the final few minutes of this match… and then Nash just walked to the back and took the count out loss.

If this shit doesn’t matter to these guys why the fuck should I care about it? Fuck off.

1/4*(0.25) and they’re very lucky to get that from me because I just had to endure that boring ass match that was supposed to be the big showdown of a really personal feud, only for one guy to just walk out and not even get the win, seemingly not caring about it? Fuck RIGHT off! 

More Nitro Girls…

Bret Hart (C) vs Sting for the WCW United States Championship 

Sting was wolfpac at this point, so red and black paint for him. Bret Hart… BRET HART played chicken shit heel at the start?!?! Sting eventually got tired of waiting and chased after him, eventually bringing him into the ring to begin the beatdown. Sting continued to take the start of the match, until Hart got back into it, although it was all basic offence and striking early on with. ‘Bret Hart sucks’ chanted the crowd as he beat on Sting, eventually Sting was able to turn it round and took advantage of a missed dropkick to get the Scorpion Deathlock… but Bret got to the ropes. Bret’s knee seemed to give way after a leapfrog, but neither the crowd not Sting bought it and Sting carried on stomping away… but the ref did relent and make Sting back off, as he did so and the ref’s back was turned Bret reached into his trunks and pulled something out, quoted as being “an illegal object”. Not long after Sting knocked Bret down and retrieved the object, looking like some form of black knuckle duster, and as he himself tried to punch Hart with it, the referee pulled his arm back and stopped him. This then led to Bret giving Sting a low blow (because it’s not an illegal manoeuvre in the WCW rule book remember…)… Bret then showed hollow concern for Sting, before stomping on him, hitting a backbreaker, and then hitting an elbow from the top for a nearfall. Considering this is BRET HART vs STING, I am A. underwhelmed and B. shocked at but not blaming the crowd for the lack of investment in what has been a… methodical… match so far… Bret took the beating to the outside again… I’m so god damn bored watching this match… Bret could be seen saying “fuck you” to the crowd as he then went to hitting back shots to Sting, but as Sting was on the apron with his back turned he hit an elbow to whoever was behind him, only it was not Hart but the ref… for good measure Bret then gave the ref a chop block, which just seemed unnecessary to me… Sting began his comeback after and rained down kicks and strikes to Hart, Hart hit Sting and they went back and forth for a little after, Sting hit a superplex off the top that saw both men, and the ref, still down… Sting hit the stinger splash to the corner but he overshot it and hit his head on the ring post, Bret then used Sting’s bat to attack him and hit multiple shots, then came off the top using the bat as a weapon to drive it into Sting’s throat. Hart then got rid of the bat and tried to revive the ref, before applying the Sharpshooter to Sting who was already out and the ref lifted Sting’s limp arm up three times to end the match. Hart wins and retains the US title. I could not be more underwhelmed if I tried. Boring as shit and given it’s kind of a dream match between the icon of WCW and a man just under a year since he left WWF, this was so disappointing. The ref called for help from the back to see to Sting who was still out in a heap long after the bell was sounded. They had a stretcher come out and Sting was loaded onto it, eventually being driven away in an ambulance. Sting wouldn’t be seen again in WCW until March of the next year so this was done for a reason at least, it wasn’t just shit and boring for no reason which given WCW’s record was something…

**

Hollywood Hogan vs Warrior 

After both guys made their way out. Hogan went to the outside and as Warrior was posing Hogan could be heard saying “this guy is out of his mind, I don’t wanna do that, I could kill this guy”… Hogan took his time getting in the ring as Warrior paced around and posed to the crowd again. After Hogan got the ref to pat Warrior down, Warrior hit Hogan as the bell was rung. They starred and gestured off and paced around the ring for about 20 seconds before locking up and Hogan beat on Warrior. They exchanged arm drags, Warrior took Hogan down and to the outside with a shoulder block, Hogan took all the time he could getting back in the ring, more pacing and stare and pose offs, Hogan pushed Warrior into the corner and hit him with strikes, before holding him in the corner and stomping away, Warrior was on his knees in the battle of strength as Hogan was kicking away at Warrior as both guys had their fingers embraced as they battled, Warrior eventually made his way to his feet before Hogan kicked him down again. This,,, battle… went on for multiple minutes surely… they exchanged arm drags again before a sequence where they both kriss-crossed one another in running the ropes, why this was needed I don’t know… before Hogan met him in the middle and hit him with a scoop slam… but of course the move that put down ANDRE THE GIANT… the Warrior just got right back up and posed behind Hogan’s back… before hitting a slam of his own, Warrior hyped up the crowd before clotheslining Hogan over the ropes to the outside. Warrior went after Hogan but Hogan raked the eyes in the middle of their… I don’t wanna call it a brawl to be honest… Mike Tenay remarked that a fine wrestling match had turned into a fight… this was not a fine wrestling match FYI… They went back and forth on the outside before getting back in the ring, Hogan ran into the ref and then kneed him on the floor for good measure… ok then… Hogan hit punches to Warrior and then signalled for the other nWo members to come down… out came The Giant… he went to kick Warrior but he moved and The Giant hit Hogan instead… Warrior clotheslined The Giant to the outside as Warrior then batted away attempted interference by both Stevie Ray and then Vincent of the nWo… Warrior went on to Hogan to cover him but the ref was still down and out… Warrior tried to revive him but Hogan hit him from behind with a suplex and got a nearfall… Hogan took control again with knees to Warrior’s back… Hogan took off his workout belt and whipped Warrior with it… and then choked him with it, the ref pulled at Hogan’s hair to get him to stop or risk a DQ (YES the ref pulled Hogan away by his HAIR…), Hogan put the belt back on and then gauged at Warrior’s eyes, he powerslammed Warrior down again and missed the elbow twice as Warrior kept rolling out the way, Warrior was back on his feet but he too missed a drop as Hogan moved this time… GOD this is boring… big punches by Hogan, but one punch downed Hogan… Warrior took off Hogan’s belt and whipped him with it, he then punched him with it before listening to the ref and throwing it down… as the ref was talking to Warrior, Hogan could be seen unwrapping something, turns out it was a lighter… it appeared the lighter then went off as a small flame could be seen… it was played off as an attempted fireball by commentary as Warrior kicked away all the evidence to the outside… I don’t know what the fuck happened there or if that was planned or what… Hogan was bleeding from the head at this point and I could see blood droplets appear when Hogan was in the corner as well, so I’m guessing that was also when Hogan bladed… Warrior went to the top rope and hit the double axe handle, Hogan hit a low blow, then took Warrior down, then hit the big leg drop, then missed it a second time as Horace Hogan appeared at ringside with a chair (less than a week after Hogan’s attack on his nephew on Nitro… I could see Bischoff at the top of the entrance way as well)… Warrior did his pump up stuff… and took Hogan down a few times as Eric was now ringside, he then distracted the ref as Horace Hogan got in the ring and hit WARRIOR with the chair… the ref then turned back and saw Hogan with the cover and counted the three. WHAT?! … Horis then got back in the ring as did Eric and they all celebrated together, and Hulk told his nephew ‘you passed the test’… Horace then poured lighter fluid all over a downed Warrior… officials tried to stop it as Hogan had a lighter in his hand… the officials I think got the lighter back as soon after the heels left the ring and celebrated… Warrior just lay beaten in the ring… and barely got to his feet… This was HORSESHIT.

So… it turns out WCW claim they tried to make this storyline work, but Warrior has sinces said he was only brought in by them to get Hogan his win back over him… Warrior made his final WCW appearance a couple of weeks later and retired from wrestling this same year. He signed for them in May 1998 and was gone again by the November. SOME would say a fitting end to a deplorable human beings career…

With regards to the fireball spot, Hogan had flash paper, but he threw it and nothing happened, and everyone in the crowd knew right away it had botched. The paper lit for a few seconds which made it more obvious they fucked it, and after this the idea was the ring announcer was meant to put his jacket on Warrior and then he’d mount a COMEBACK?! What a terrible idea that sounds.

DUD

Michael Buffer did the ring announcing for the main event.

Diamond Dallas Page vs Goldberg (C) for the WCW Championship

Page got a decent pop as he came out and went through the crowd. He had gained this title shot apparently by winning the previous War Games match. The highlight here was the big Goldberg entrance. Security guards, the full walk backstage to the arena area, Goldberg chants, awesome stuff. We are two months away from the end of his legendary undefeated streak. Goldberg overpowered DDP each time he tried him early on, but Page did get an armdrag takedown in before Goldberg pushed him and both men went to the outside brawling through the ring ropes… and they were separated and told by the ref to get back into the ring, the crowd chanted heavy for Goldberg, they went back and forth and Goldberg just randomly pulled out a front flip and got back to his feet as DDP and he pushed one another back and forth, Goldberg striked away at DDP, and Goldberg then got a cross-armbreaker in on DDP… not one I expected to see from Goldberg to be honest… DDP eventually getting his feet to the ropes to break the hold, DDP hit a jawbreaker to gain control and went for the Diamond Cutter but Goldberg just pushed him to the outside of the ring… as if it was nothing… DDP looking visibly annoyed got back in the ring as the stalemate continued… Page got the better of the chain wrestling as a drop toe hold led him to have a hold of Goldberg’s arm behind his back, before he had a side headlock until Goldberg just shoulder blocked him out of the ring to overpower him again. DDP though used the ropes to jack Goldberg’s jaw and hit a spinning neckbreaker after and followed up by striking away at the champion before an irish whip into the corner and then a russian leg sweep got him a nearfall. DDP then had a hold of Goldberg’s neck with a front facelock… but of course Goldberg got back to his feet and kneed the challenger in the chest before a spinning neckbreaker sent them down. Bobby Heenan said after this that Goldberg amazes him… I get they’re trying to hype their very limited champion monster, but come on… Goldberg hit a hard strike after and dodged a shot from DDP before hitting him in the side, and hitting a big suplex after that. He hit a sideslam for a nearfall, and then went back to work on DDP’s arm and even rolled through with another armbar… but DDP got the ropes again. DDP got Goldberg down with a reversal of a sideslam, only for Goldberg to get right back up before DDP and kick him into the corner with the sidekick to the body (not to the head unlike poor Bret Hart had to endure some months later…), he ran at DDP in the corner for the Spear but DDP moved to the outside and Goldberg went into the post. Goldberg tried to shake it off after as both men came to, DDP got to the top and hit a flying clothesline but only got a nearfall. DDP stomped at Goldberg, but was then sent against the ropes and Goldberg slammed DDP down after with one arm. DDP got up first though and motioned to the crowd for the Diamond Cutter, but was caught with a big Spear as he turned around. Goldberg sold his shoulder from the previous post spot as DDP was down also… Goldberg eventually getting to his feet, and trying with one arm at full strength to get the Jackhammer, which he couldn’t at first, he tried again but DDP countered into the Diamond Cutter, and the crowd went ape shit thinking the streak was over and DDP was winning the title… DDP eventually crawled over for the cover bu Goldberg kicked out… Page tried a suplex after but Goldberg countered into the Jackhammer for the win. For a Goldberg match, this was fine to be fair. 155-0 apparently… By far this had the most heat of anything on the show. Commentary did their absolute best to sell this as a huge deal Goldberg showed the respect to DDP after, and DDP returned it.

**3/4 


Now, I watched this show in full on the WWE network, but in the US in 1998 some (apparently 25% of the systems, which may have been a low estimate) tv companies shut down the show early, so people who purchased the PPV didn’t see the end of the main event. This led to WCW putting the full world title match on Nitro the next night. The show went around 3 hours, 20 minutes but was only slotted for 2 hours 50… hence the early shut off by some PPV providers… it was only a late call by WCW to go longer and it appears some PPV companies didn’t really get the memo of the importance of the show going longer to fit everything in… This screw up by WCW cost them around $2 million.

This was a terrible show and a chore to get through. In many ways it epitomised WCW in that they had a fine enough undercard and underutilised talent, all the star power you could ask for, but really underwhelming big matches and lousy pay offs. Deplorable.

Josh. 

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