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The 7 - Guest Columns - WCW Spring Stampede 1997
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#1 Posted on 26.3.05 1851.55
Reposted on: 26.3.12 1858.04
I have seen this show so many times itís ridiculous...and yet, my copy is still picture perfect. I got this for a whopping $10 Canadian ages ago, in mint condition from some online video store thatís since long closed down, and promptly wound up dubbing it about a zillion times in 2001 since itís so rare. Havenít seen it in ages, but Iím glad to see the tape held up!

We head LIVE to Tupelo, Mississippi where the fireworks are a blaziní! Weíre two weeks removed from Wrestlemania 13, and to give you an idea how rough things were in WWF headquarters, this show drew a 0.58 while Mania did 0.77. WAAAAYYY too close considering youíre looking at the biggest show of their year vs. approximately the 7th biggest show of WCWís year. Oh yes, it was a good time to be in World Championship Wrestling.

Our hosts, as always, are TONY SCHIAVONE, DUSTY RHODES, and BOBBY HEENAN. Now, you wouldnít know this is the 7th biggest show of the year listening to Tony of course, because in his mind this is THE BIGGEST SHOW IN THE HISTORY OF BIG SHOWS! 3 big main events tonight, and later weíll probably see some of them. Also, Scott Hall is MIA and has been for 3 weeks, and if he doesnít show up tonight, Kevin Nash has to defend his tag-team titles alone.


No titles or anything, this is just for the hell of it. It might drive you completely insane knowing that WCW, with a roster of about 3000 people, could send these two out for 20 minutes to kill time on a pay-per-view and have a great match, while in todayís WWE, with a roster of about 10 on Smackdown!, they canít find room for either one most of the time. MIKE TENAY joins the announce table, because heís the Cruiserweight geek. Tenay notes this is the 3rd pay-per-view meeting between these two in WCW. Dragon works a half crab, but Rey escapes and gets slammed. Rey comes back with a camel clutch deathlock, but then releases the legs and goes to a straight camel clutch. Dragon gets out, gives Rey a crucifix and gets 2. Dragon gets in a series of stiff kicks on Rey, and follows with a dropkick. A bodyslam gets 2. Dragon works an interesting crucifix style submission before turning things over to the armbar. They roll around the mat, with Dragon getting a series of 2 counts, hanging on to the armbar. Dragon uses the ropes for leverage, the referee sees it and tells him to break. Dragon says ďfineĒ, puts Rey in an airplane spin, and finishes with a torture rack bomb! From there, powerbomb, hanging on, then giving Rey an alley oop into the ropes! This is AWESOME! Dragon applies a sleeper, holds on, and as Rey falls he turns it into a rear naked choke. The hold is released, and Dragon stands, picks up Rey, and hits a running Liger bomb!!! Thatís followed by a tombstone piledriver, and Dragon gets 2 before picking Rey up!!! What a dick! Dragon goes back to the sleeper hold once again, and Tenay speculates without having Sonny Onoo around, Dragon has no focus and is doing whatever he pleases. Rey escapes, and shakes Dragon off with a spinning heel kick. Dragon isnít selling though, and knocks Rey down before getting in his stiff kicks again. Dragon nails a front suplex, and puts on a bridged headlock deathlock. The crowd tries to will Rey back to life, but Dragon simply releases and catches Rey in the surfboard before bridging back for 2. They head out where Rey whips Dragon into the guardrail. Rey slithers back in, and Dragonís right behind him. Dragon goes back to the sleeper hold, taking Rey down once again, but Rey escapes and finally puts one on of his own! Dragon tries to backdrop out, but Rey lands on his feet and dropkicks Dragon to the floor. Dragon skulks around on the floor, and Rey nails him with a tope con hilo!!!! And now WCW wants to interrupt the awesomeness, because everytime they remind me why I loved them, they remind me why I hated them...

LEE MARSHALL is trying to get a statement from Kevin Nash, but SYXX answers the locker room door and tells Lee to piss off.

Back to the ring, Rey hits Dragon with a drop toe hold and follows with a springboard legdrop for 2! Dragon tries to hit a flying bodypress, but misses. Rey heads up, but Dragon sees him, and dropkicks Rey to the outside, causing Rey to hit his head on the guardrail. A baseball slide dropkick from Dragon sends Rey back to the guardrail again, and a slingshot plancha takes him down. Back in, Rey tries a Lionsault, but Dragon blocks that with a dropkick. Next, Dragon hits the giant swing, but after throwing Rey he falls down from dizziness getting a laugh from the crowd. They both get up, and whiff on dual spinning heel kicks! Rey gets up first, hits a rana and gets 2. Dragon reverses the pin and gets 2 himself. Dragon hits a running enzuirgiri for 2. To the corner, Dragon clotheslines Rey and sets him on the top rope. The super rana is good, but Rey gets his foot on the ropes at 2!!! Dragon goes for his tiger suplex, but Rey blocks with a rollup for 2! Dragon rolls back for 2! Rey hits a rana out of nowhere hear, hooks the feet hard, and scores the pinfall at 14:58!!!!! ****1/2 Absolutely incredible opener from WCW, as they were prone to doing when the Cruiserweight division was at its peak.

LEE MARSHALL tries again to get an interview with Kevin Nash, but once again only SYXX answers. THE STEINER BROTHERS try to ambush the room, and a nude KEVIN NASH finally comes to the door. He spits on Scott Steiner, and when Steiner attacks, DOUG DILLENGER and HIS CREW jump on Scott. They handcuff and mace him for some reason. There are about a million jokes just WAITING there, but Iíll pass and just let you envision the nude Kevin Nash instead.

MADUSA vs. AKIRA HOKUTO (with Sonny Onoo0 (for the WCW womenís title)

Crowd chants ďUSAĒ, causing poor Hokutoís ears to bleed. She fights that with a series of hair pull swings. Madusa comes back with punches, but gets taken down with a clothesline. Hokuto chokes Madusa on the mat. Up top she goes, and puts Madusa in a choke that resembles something of a noose since she dangles off the mat. Back down, Hokuto paintbrushes Madusaís face with her boot, and then hits a bodyslam for 1. Madusa comes back with hair pull takedowns and rips off her shirt. This reveals her Giant Breasts, which donít make up for her Horse Face. Madusa hits a rana, but Hokuto no sells and chokes her out in the ropes. To the ankle lock, which Hokuto works with added BITING! While the refís back is turned, Onoo chokes out Madusa in the ropes. She fights back, and packages Hokuto for 2. She hits a couple of dropkicks, and hits her finisher the German suplex...for 2!!! Onoo distracts on the apron, and Madusa goes for the kill. However, LUNA VACHON hits the ring and kicks Madusa, allowing Hokuto to score the pin at 5:15 and retain her title. ** Not bad actually. Madusa did okay for herself when facing wrestlers who could carry her to a decent match.

LORD STEVEN REGAL vs. PRINCE IAUKEA (for the WCW world television title)

Yes, you read right, at one time Prince Iaukea was the television champion of WCW. For those not familiar with this sick joke, basically on the other channel, Vince McMahon tried to shake things up. Right out of the gate, starting at Survivor Series 1996, he decided to push a VERY green wrestler named Rocky Maivia. By February 1997, he scored a major upset over Intercontinental champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and went on to defend that belt despite being nowhere NEAR ready for it. WCW decided this was such a brilliant move that they countered and did THE EXACT SAME THING with Prince Iaukea. Young, unknown Samoan wrestler. Figure a slightly smaller version of Sonny Siaki running around, posing as the WCW television champion. Luckily, WCW crowds werenít nearly as unruly as the WWF, thus we didnít get any ďDIE PRINCE DIEĒ chants on our channel. Tony actually reminds me of the fact that Iaukea has an official win over Randy Savage. No, Iím NOT MAKING THIS UP. Regal gets into it with the fans before the match, and challenges a particularly large, unattractive woman to come fight. I love it! Tony lets us know that Scott Steiner has been arrested. Iaukea works a headlock. Regal comes back with a wristlock, but itís reversed by the Prince. Iaukea drops an elbow on the back of Regal, then takes him down with a side headlock takeover. Regal comes back with an uppercut and stomps on Iaukea. Regal tries to dump him outside, but Prince comes flying back in with a slingshot crossbody for 2. Regal tries to convince the referee that Iaukea decked him with a closed fist, and orders the fans to shut up. Iaukea gets into a test of strength with Regal, and somehow wins that getting 2. Regal escapes, and pokes the Prince in the eyes. He tells the referee it was an open handed palm shot, and that heís innocent of all actions. Regal hammers away at the back of Iaukea, and applies a full nelson. Prince escapes, goes for a sunset flip, but gets belted with a stiff left. Regal continues to lay in the shots. In the corner, he starts working in knee shots. The Prince goes for a springboard crossbody, but Regal casually sidesteps (and I mean CASUALLY, waving to the crowd), and Iaukea crashes hard. That just serves to fire him up though, because he backdrops Regal and hits some karate chops. Regal charges, but gets caught in a small package, and is beaten at 9:16! *1/4 Regalís so above crap like the Prince, itís sickening. Regal, for kicks, locks Iaukea in a Regal Stretch after the match, and refuses to let go. And just to make it clear heís about a zillion times cooler than Iaukea, he decks him with the TV title belt in the back of the head before leaving the ring.

MEAN GENE makes his first appearance of the night, and it MUST be the Shank Of The Evening, because RIC FLAIR is welcomed to the show. Flair says as per the doctor, heíll be back from injury as of May 1st, and ready to go. He also promises that Arn Anderson will be back soon, having just undergone surgery to fix his hand problem. I only wish that had been true... Turning to other matters, Kevin Greene was released from the Panthers to wrestle in WCW, and Ric wants him there on May 18th to wrestle with the Horsemen. And finally, Flair promises when they go to Charlotte on the 18th, heís going to work the nWo out all night long if they come to play. He adds that heíd love to take on Bischoff just one time, even with one hand tied behind his back, so long as Bischoff doesnít have a pencil in his. Ouch.


Tony figures this is a ďwork out the kinksĒ match for the Horsemen before the big tag match at Slamboree with the nWo. Rock and Mongo start. Rocco works a headlock, and kills some serious time. Boot to the midsection, and Rock pounds away in the corner. Mongo comes back with the three point stance on both members of PE, and struts with Jarrett. Jarrett in with Grunge, and he takes down Johnny with a hairpull. Apparently weíve reverted back to the womenís match. Abdominal stretch is applied, and Jarrett uses leverage from Mongo to help. Grunge manages to hiptoss his way out, and takes down Jarrett with a shoulderblock. An atomic drop causes Jarrett to fall into Mongo, and both guys are down. Jarrett takes off up the aisle, pissed off. However, before getting counted out he thinks better of it and comes back to the ring. Mongo tags in against Rock again, and puts on the rear chinlock. A side slam is followed by a cover, but the referee is busy with Johnny Grunge, and doesnít see it until itís about a 13 count, and Mongo gets 2. He goes to the tilt-a-whirl, while Jarrett and Grunge start brawling on the floor. Mongo and Rocco do the same thing and fight towards the stage coach. Grunge threatens to put Debra through a table, so Jarrett saves with a chairshot. Mongo whips Rocco into a couple of the cows on the stage. Grunge tries to put Jarrett through the table, but misses the splash and hits it himself! Back in, Jarrett gets 2. Everyone winds up back in the ring. Debra trips Rock and slips the Haliburton into the ring. A double nogginí knocker from Mongo is blocked, and then send him to the floor with a double clothesline. Jarrett heads in and slams everyone, followed by dropkicks! Rocco grabs the Haliburton while Mongo clotheslines Grunge. Rock nails Jarrett with the Haliburton after he puts Grunge in the figure four, and with Johnny in control of the move now, Jarrett gets pinned at 10:48. 1/2* What a totally disjointed mess of a match.

To the back, where MEAN GENE is checking out SISTA SHERRIís goods, while HARLEM HEAT is nearby. He asks Sherri about the possibility of Harlem Heat facing eachother in the 4-corners match with Luger and Giant. Sherri says theyíre prepared, and it will not hurt them. Booker promises itís non-stop from here on out, and ďHulk Hogan, weíre cominí for you nigga!Ē Booker seems to realize what he said as soon as he said it, and Sherri nearly dies from laughing. Stevie tries to keep the segment together, but itís just not happening, and it comes to a crash as we cut back to the arena...

CHRIS BENOIT (with Woman) vs. DEAN MALENKO (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)

Malenko drives Benoit back to the corner, and forces a break. They trade take downs and mat wrestling before Malenko is dumped. Heís quickly back in, and they stare eachother down. To the mat, Malenko grabs hold of Benoitís ankle, and pulls away. Benoit turns, but winds up in a half crab. He tries to get something on Malenko, escapes, and hits a shoulderblock takedown. Malenko rolls out to the floor for a breather. Back in, he works a wristlock. A scoop slam drops Benoit. Heenan on Scott Steiner: ďIím sure thatís not the first time a Steinerís been in a wagon.Ē Tony: ďUmmmm...Iím not so sure Brain.Ē The uncomfortable silence there was fantastic! Benoit comes back with a snapmare and applies a chinlock. He locks in a surfboard, but Malenko reverses and delivers a backdrop suplex! A small package gets 2. Benoit comes back with a series of chops. Malenko takes him down, and chokes Benoit in the corner. Malenko hits the drop toe hold, and applies a crossface on the master of them. Move to the camel clutch. Benoit escapes, but is caught in a short arm scissors. Benoit actually powers out of the hold USING ONE ARM, and falls back with an electric chair!!! He follows with a backdrop suplex for 2! Short arm clothesline gets 2. Benoit slaps on an abdominal stretch, and Malenko nearly falls. Itís released though when Malenko wonít go down, and Benoit kicks at him. Neckbreaker gets 2. A snap suplex gets 2. Iím sorry that Iím adding so little here, but this match is slow moving and boring as sin. No joke, I donít get it at all. Benoit chops in the corner, and throws a reverse suplex!!! JACQUELINE storms down to the ring now, and beats the holy hell out of Woman! Benoit ignores that stuff, while JIMMY HART gets involved. Benoit meanwhile hits Malenko with the swandive headbutt...for 2!!! Jimmy tries to run off with the US title, but EDDIE GUERRERO gets in his path and tells him to put it down. Malenko hits Benoit with a suplex that sends him from the ring to the outside!!! They brawl on the floor, and here comes ARN ANDERSON! He decks Malenko from behind and rolls him in. KEVIN SULLIVAN comes down with a stick, and waffles Benoit in the back of the head! The referee has had quite enough of the run-ins and ends it at 17:56. **1/4 Hart and Sullivan grab Guerrero, and force him to put on the US title and leave with it. He looks QUITE confused. In the ring, Malenko tries to wake up Benoit. Benoit comes to, and says ďhe wasnít supposed to be here.Ē This VERY strange story was supposed to lead to a stable of young wrestlers taking on a stable of older guys who didnít want to give up their spots - and see Benoit, Malenko, Guerrero, and possibly others (Steven Regal, Chris Jericho) get pushed into uppercard spots. It never came, and the angle was dropped about 6 weeks later.

KEVIN NASH (with Ted DiBiase, Syxx, and Nick Patrick) vs. RICK STEINER (for the WCW world tag-team titles)

Tony immediately starts declaring how wonderful it is that the tag-team titles are being defended in a one-on-one match. Steiner attacks Nash right off the bell, but is knocked down. A corner clothesline nails Rick, and Nash gives us his VERY SLOW corner elbows. Steiner bounces back with clothesline, and follows with a belly to belly! A powerslam gets 2, albeit a slow 2. Steiner charges, but Syxx pulls down the ropes and Rick crashes to the outside. Nick Patrick chats it up with Nash, pretending he didnít see anything. Syxx works over Steiner before Nash rolls him back in. A side slam gets 2. Nash chokes out Steiner in the ropes, and DiBiase gets in some shots. The running bossman straddle connects, and thatís followed with a big boot. The powerbomb follows...but Steiner is actually booked to kick out of it! The best part? The fans really canít give a shit that somebody actually kicked out of the move! He goes for a second one, but Steiner hits a low blow. Steiner heads up, hits the bulldog, gets about 50, but Patrick calls 2 and then says Nash kicked out. Steiner starts clotheslining everyone around, but Nash turns the tide with a clothesline of his own. Syxx rips apart the turnbuckle, DiBiase helps, and Patrick talks them through it. Nash hits 2 consecutive snake eyes to the buckle, but now DiBiase actually says itís enough. Nash: ďYouíre with us! Iíll tell you when itís enough!!!Ē Nash hits ANOTHER snake eyes on the exposed bolt, and DiBiaseís had enough and walks to the back. Nash shrugs and does a fourth. Powerbomb is academic, and thatíll do it at 10:26. -* Patrick hesitated in making the count, apparently also upset with Nashís viciousness. Syxx congratulates Nash on a job well done.

MEAN GENE grabs a word with LEX LUGER and THE GIANT. The Giant tells us that Lugerís a great friend of his, and knows that if Lex is capable of beating him in the ring, heís earned the title shot. Giant promises to tear heads off Harlem Heat. Luger just wants to bring the title back to WCW.

BOOKER T vs. STEVIE RAY (with Sista Sherri) vs. LEX LUGER vs. THE GIANT (for a WCW world heavyweight title shot)

Luger and Booker start. Booker elbows Luger in the face, but misses a spin kick and winds up gorilla pressed. Booker comes back by sending Luger face first to the buckle, and pounds away. Luger comes rushing out of the corner with a clotheline, but Booker pokes him in the eye and tags in Stevie. Luger clotheslines Stevie for 2, and tags in Giant. Sherri works over a gameplan with Stevie, and I note that the wrestlers are seemingly trading corners from which theyíre making the tags. That is REALLY sloppy, and probably a good argument for tag-ropes. Giant clotheslines Stevie to the outside, and gorilla presses Booker. For some reason, Harlem Heat gets into a match with each other on the floor, and Luger and Giant square off. Luger goes for a slam, but Giant is WAY too heavy and lands on top for 2. They both tag out to Harlem Heat, and the fans go nuts to see them fight. Seriously, why doesnít one of them just tag out? They trade some basic wrestling holds, but then decide theyíre not in the mood to fight, and Booker tags in Luger. They brawl a little, and turn it to Booker and Giant. Giant tosses Booker around like a rag doll, but misses an elbow drop. Stevie comes in without a tag and stomps all over Giant. He hits a bicycle kick, and then Booker comes in with the Harlem sidekick...but it doesnít take Giant down. Booker hits a snapmare, but Stevie misses the followup legdrop. Giant connects with a big boot, and looks to Luger. Luger drops an elbow onto Stevie repeatedly, and gets 2. Booker in, and he gets hit with a belly to back suplex. Luger calls for The Rack, but Stevie snap suplexes him over and Booker gets 2. Booker drops a knee for 2. Tony actually points out at this point that Luger and Giant will likely receive future title shots whether they win this or not, but for Stevie Ray and Booker T this MAY be their only chance to vie for that title. That almost gives Tony credibility! Booker hits a Harlem sidekick for 2. Stevie heads in and works a chinlock, but Luger fights out and hits a backdrop suplex. Booker comes in and stops any chance of Luger tagging out, then nails the axe kick for 2. Stevie hits a side slam, and Booker goes up for a big splash...but misses!!! Luger sees his chance to tag out, and does so. Giant hits a headbutt on Stevie, and powerslams him! A couple of mule kicks send Booker to the floor, and Giant calls for the chokeslam. However, he reconsiders and tells Luger to rack Stevie. Giant keeps Booker from getting back in, and Stevie submits to Luger at 18:23. 3/4* Yes, they gave these slugs nearly 20 minutes. Luger gives Giant a big hug, and Dusty screams about the step into manhood Giant took tonight.

RANDY SAVAGE is rambling incoherently at ELIZABETH backstage. Savage: ďIím going to have a party and invite about 14 to 22 women, do you have any problem with that?Ē Liz: ďNo.Ē Savage: ďNOT A PROBLEM! I love it! Weíll have a special party, Slim Jims for everyone! DDP goes down!Ē

Meanwhile, DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE meets up with MEAN GENE. He says tonight heís going to take care of what really matters. KIMBERLY says this is the most important match in DDPís life, and promises that Pageís rage will even the score.

RANDY SAVAGE (with Elizabeth) vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (with Kimberly) (in a no disqualification match)

Just to get an idea how huge the idea of Page in a main event was, heíd basically spent most of 1994-96 struggling in the midcard, usually wrestling for the TV Title. However, when the nWo took over, they offered Page a spot and he turned them down. He was the first to stand up to them in that fashion, and the fans were hooked on DDP immediately, so it was now or never. Savage grabs the mic and says this isnít Pageís big day, but actually his last day. Page charges at Savage, but Randy bails. DDP follows and slams Savage face first to the guardrail. Back in, Page drills Savage with a knee, and hits a super atomic drop! The Diamond Cutter is blocked by Savage with the top rope, and Page crashes. He rolls out to the safety of the floor, but Savage follows and clotheslines DDP into the crowd. Savage pulls Page all the way to the staging area and sends him through a door. Page in turn grabs a garbage can and slams it repeatedly over the head of Savage. Page sends Savage back to ringside, so Savage grabs Kimberly and uses her as a shield. Kim winds up being pancaked between the two men, and Savage takes over. Page is sent face first to the guardrail, and Savage then hits a double sledge off the top rope!!! Savage whips Page into the ringsteps a couple of times, just because he can. Back in, he tries a pin with his feet on the ropes for 2. Outside, Savage chases off MICHAEL BUFFER and steals his chair. Thatís promptly used to beat Page over the back. Savage grows bored with that, and goes to get DAVE PENZER. Penzer is slapped around by Savage, and then has his chair stolen as well. However, Page is ready. He tosses Bufferís chair at Savage, and when Randy catches it, DDP kicks it back in his face! Page stealing trademark moves from other feds? Never happen... DDP beats on Savage in the corner, but Savage comes back with a clothesline for 2. Page hits his discus lariat, and both men are down. Savage hits a trio of scoop slams on Page, and then goes to throw Penzer around on the outside again. Hah! Violence against Penzer is great stuff. Savage suddenly goes back to 1986, grabs the ring bell, and goes up! However, Kimberly knows whatís coming, and makes sure she steals it away! Savage figures ďwhateverĒ, and dives at Page anyway...but DDP gets a boot to the face to block it! Page signals for the Diamond Cutter, but Savage low blows him for 2! Savage isnít happy with the counts, and starts slapping around the referee, before delivering a sitdown spike piledriver!!!! He rips the belt off the ref and starts whipping him over and over, then dumps him to the floor. Savage heads up again, cracks Page with the big elbow ref. NICK PATRICK rushes down to the ring. KEVIN NASH grins on the apron. However, out of nowhere, Page connects with a Diamond Cutter!!!! Patrick isnít sure what to do, but Page covers...and Patrick makes a reluctant 3 at 15:31!!!! *** ERIC BISCHOFF, SYXX, TED DIBIASE, VINCENT, BUFF BAGWELL, and SCOTT NORTON head down to the ring, but Nash is already in there with a death grip on Patrickís throat. The fans LOUDLY chant ďWE WANT STING!!!Ē Nash gives Patrick a jackknife powerbomb, and Savage grabs a hold of Kimberly. Bischoff tries to talk sense into Savage, so Savage shoves Bischoff around and Kim escapes. Savage decks Bischoff, and the entire nWo jump on eachother, trying to break it up while fighting amongst themselves. TURMOIL WITHIN THE NWO! Tony announces the New World Order is in shambles, but naturally it was ignored as soon as The Very Next Night.

Totally hit and miss show. Ultimo and Rey just tore the building up in the opener, DDP got made into a main eventer by scoring a relatively untainted win over Randy Savage, but EVERYTHING in between is almost unwatchable. Iíll just go on the premise that when Benoit and Malenko arenít feeling it, youíre probably better off just taking a pass.
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