Spring Stampede 1999 – Such A Breath Of Air And A Great Tag Match

Spring Stampede 1999
Date: April 11, 1999
Location: Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Washington
Attendance: 17,690
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

This is the final part of the WCW stretch thank goodness. These past two shows have just killed me as they’ve been completely awful. This show HAS to be better than those. I mean the law of averages has to catch up with WCW eventually right? The main event tonight is a fatal fourway for the title with Hogan vs. Nash for Flair’s title. Oh and Goldberg vs. Nash. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is just a clip reel of the four guys in the main event.

The set is an old style one almost like Nitro but with a Spring Stampede logo and set to it. I like it.

Blitzkrieg vs. Juventud Guerrera

I’ve heard a ton of great things about Blitzkrieg but I don’t remember him that well. Apparently he’s one of the more insane high fliers ever. I’ve heard his music before somewhere but I can’t place it. The winner faces the Cruiserweight Champion tomorrow night. They shake hands pre match and the crowd is hot. They go to the mat quickly and Juvy might have pulled his mask a bit. Well if you wear one it might get pulled you lunkhead.

They speed things up and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two for Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg pounds away in the corner but Juvy comes back with a springboard dropkick to take over. Blitzkrieg goes outside so Juvy hits a great dive to the floor. Brainbuster gets two. Here’s a surfboard which always amazes me. Blitzkrieg speeds things up and hits a spin kick. A dropkick puts Juvy outside and Blitzkrieg sets for a dive but Juvy sees it coming and dropkicks him out of the air.

Back in and Juvy is sent out again. HUGE spinning moonsault by Blitzkrieg kills him and they go back in. Things speed up and they bust out some slick counters. A move we would call Yang Time misses for Blitzkrieg and the Juvy Driver is countered as well. Blitzkrieg tries what I guess you would call a spinning hurricanrana into a victory roll driver out of the corner for two. They go up again and Juvy counters the same move into a Juvy Driver off the middle rope for the pin.

Rating: B. Again, the old school WCW formula works: a big fast paced match to open the show with two guys just going insane out there. Blitzkrieg would only be around a few months and never really had a big match with Mysterio that I remember, which is a shame because it would have been awesome. Good stuff and better than most of the usual stuff from this division.

After a quick recap of Hak vs. Bigelow, here’s your generic hardcore match for the night.

Hak vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Hak comes out carrying a table and wrapped in barbed wire. He is, not the table. The brawl begins on the floor and they go to the wagon. Hak has hidden a table under there. Well of course he has. He hits a HUGE swanton off the wagon through the table. Chastity, Hak’s chick, gets the gimmicks (Tony’s term for weapons) out and Bigelow shrugs the dive off.

Back to ringside and they hit each other with various metal objects. Tony flat out says that trashcans don’t hurt that badly. What’s with him tonight? Bigelow whacks Hak with said painless can then a kendo stick shot. There’s a plastic salad bowl to the head. They botch what I think was a suplex and Bigelow falls on Hak’s knees. Out to the floor and here comes a ladder.

Hak dropkicks it into Bigelow and then hits another Swanton onto the ladder onto Bigelow. Now he busts out a piece of a barricade and the table falls to the floor. The ladder is up in the ring and the table is like a bridge between the ring and barricade. Hak climbs up for no apparent reason and goes crashing down through it. Back in the ring there’s a barricade in one corner and a ladder in the other.

Hak gets crotched on the barricade which Bigelow picks up. He stands there with it forever because Chastity is late with the extinguisher. The distraction lets the White Russian Leg Sweep put Bam Bam down. And then he hits what’s supposed to be the Greetings From Asbury Park (single shoulder sitout Tombstone) off the middle rope through the table but it was more like a powerslam. Either way it ends things.

Rating: D+. Not bad but this was just another hardcore match in WCW. Neither guy was worth anything other than this but it filled in a little over ten minutes. The ending bump was pretty solid but the match was nothing memorable at all, which is the major problem with this division as a whole. In WWF, they were bad but they were funny. These just aren’t that good.

Mikey Whipwreck vs. Scotty Riggs

Riggs is a narcissist style character here. I have no idea why this match is happening but that’s WCW for you. Riggs dances around like Rick Rude and tries to show Mikey up. There’s been practically no contact in the first minute. Mikey slaps him in the face and it’s the Cody Rhodes idea where he’s freaked because his face was touched. Riggs is knocked to the floor and this is nothing to see.

Mikey puts his throat over the bottom rope and hits a slingshot legdrop. A rana off the apron drives the top of Riggs’ head into the floor. Get this over with already. Another attempt at the legdrop misses and Mikey goes into the railing. Dropkick takes him down and I put on a Jimmy Stewart movie from the 30s. A quick chinlock gets a big BORING chant. Mikey hits a middle rope dropkick for two. And then Riggs hits a forearm for the pin.

Rating: F. If Scotty Riggs getting a featured match on PPV in 1999 wasn’t enough, the match was terribly boring. The problem here was that no one had any reason to care about these guys and Riggs was in a nothing gimmick that we had seen a million times before. I mean how many times have you seen a character that is obsessed with his looks and talks about how pretty he is?

We recap Disco Inferno vs. Konnan. Konnan had a music video which Disco made a parody of. There’s your match.

Konnan vs. Disco Inferno

Oh and Disco is in the Wolfpack here….kind of. Konnan makes what I presume are gay jokes about Disco’s looks to start. Disco imitates Konnan and hits his rolling lariat. He goes up but Konnan shakes his crotch at him so Disco hops down. Ok then. Konnan takes over and hits his seated dropkick. Konnan has a big bandage on his head which I missed before. They’re both in camo pants. K-Dawg climbs the corner with a running armdrag. Not bad.

Off to the chinlock section of the match. Can we vote to get that removed? It happens in almost every match and it’s really dull. Disco hits a middle rope elbow for two. Konnan gets sent to the floor and this has been almost all Disco. I think he finally realizes he’s fighting Disco Inferno and comes back with the 187 (fisherman’s DDT) for two. Disco gets the same off a neckbreaker. After a bunch of clotheslines miss, Konnan hits Disco’s own finisher the Last Dance (Stunner) for the pin.

Rating: C-. Oddly enough this was better because of Disco. Had he had a workable gimmick and maybe a name change, he could have been a decent midcard guy. The problem is he’s most famous for the idiotic character and he never could escape it. Still though, he wasn’t half bad here.

We recap Kidman vs. Mysterio for the Cruiserweight Title. Rey took the title from Kidman, and they’re also tag team champions. This is the rematch.

Cruiserweight Title: Billy Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

Winner gets Juvy tomorrow night. They do some nice flips to start without much damage being done. Rey gets a headscissors and has a small advantage. Kidman hits one of his own and the first two minutes or so are a stalemate. Rey gets backdropped to the floor and there’s a dive which gets very little reaction. Kidman takes over and Rey goes into the barricade. That’s a surprising amount of violence from two face champions that are smaller guys.

Now Rey sends him back to the floor. Kidman shows off some impressive strength and catches the Asai Moonsault attempt. Rey goes into the steps and both guys are getting mad. Lionsault gets two for the champ. Another rana attempt is countered into a running powerbomb. The crowd is pretty silent for this and to their credit it’s a pretty slow match so far. BK Bomb gets two. They go to the floor and Kidman hits a Shooting Star off the apron.

Back in the World’s Strongest Slam puts Rey down but Kidman jumps into a dropkick. The fans sound like they’re at a golf tournament that doesn’t have Tiger Woods in it. They both go to the top and Rey hits a top rope bulldog for two. I really don’t understand this crowd. The match isn’t a classic or anything but they’re hitting some BIG spots in this. Kidman hits the chinlock and the fans don’t react at all.

After a quick trip to the floor, Rey takes over again. He dives into a clothesline though which is a nice little nod to earlier in the match. The crowd again does not care. Heenan talks about Rey’s fatigue pants and how there are a bunch of pockets in them. “Wouldn’t it be fun to load those up with illegal objects?” Tony and Mike of course use that to talk about Hak and Bigelow, because they don’t get the idea of a heel commentator. Bobby might as well be running with an anchor.

Rey gets a facejam for two. He looks like he’s about to cry. Mysterio gets taken down into position for a Shooting Star but he’s playing possum. Kidman counters his whatever into a sunset bomb off the top for two. AND THE CROWD STILL DOESN’T CARE. Rey counters a wheelbarrow suplex off the top into a sitout bulldog for two. That’s what he won the title with in the first place. A top rope Fameasser and standing moonsault get two for Rey. Kidman blocks a powerbomb and tries another shooting star but Rey breaks it up again. There’s a top rope rana into a rollup for the pin for Rey.

Rating: B-. I really want to understand the issues with the crowd here. This wasn’t a classic or anything but it was really a pretty good match. The near falls until the end were really hot and the crowd just sat there. I don’t know if they were burned out by a weak stretch of matches or what but I was really confused by it.

We recap Raven/Saturn vs. Malenko/Benoit. The Horsemen were tag champs and were fighting Raven 2-1 for some reason. Saturn came in to help and got a submission but it didn’t count for some reason. Raven and Saturn cost the Horsemen the titles so this is a grudge match. See how easy it can be to set up a non-title feud?

Raven/Perry Saturn vs. Dean Malenko/Chris Benoit

Anderson is with the Horsemen here. Raven and Saturn bring out a table. Oh and if you don’t believe WCW went on talent raids in ECW, I present you with this match. Saturn is in a leather skirt because of some big thing with Jericho. The fans are all over the Horsemen already. Dean stalls to start and MAN the fans are on him. Oh ok he’s stalling on the apron so much because Benoit is starting.

The Canadian sends him to the floor and Saturn sends the Horsemen into each other. Off to Raven as Benoit gets beaten down. Benoit dropkicks Raven to the floor so Anderson/Malenko can double team him. Something like a double spinebuster puts Raven down and they work on his legs/hamstrings. The crowd pops more for a Raven kickout than anything in the previous match.

Lil Naitch is refereeing so he just happens to miss Raven’s small package on Benoit. Clothesline gets two for Benoit and Robinson seems to be counting faster than usual. He stops Saturn from coming in and gets great heat. Saturn comes in and cleans house but Malenko takes him down with a right hand. A modified Doomsday Device by the non-Horsemen gets two as Benoit grabs Rolling Germans on Raven.

Malenko hooks the Cloverleaf on Saturn but he makes the rope. Great drama so far in this. Death Valley Driver hits Malenko but Benoit comes in PERFECTLY to break it up with a Swan Dive which also gets two for Malenko. Things settle down again and Benoit works on Saturn’s leg. Malenko comes in with a sleeper and body scissors. Raven breaks it up and things break down a little again.

After a northern lights suplex we go to the floor where Dean kicks Saturn in the ribs a few times. Back inside and he comes in legally for a change. Chinlock goes on now but I can live with this one as they’re probably getting tired. Raven finally comes in and is on fire. He had a tendency to not be in the ring that often but when he was he was incredibly energetic.

Someone throws in a chair and Raven hits the drop toehold onto it with Benoit’s head going in. Anderson pulls Dean off a table on the floor so Saturn goes through instead. Even Flow takes Dean down but Anderson interferes, allowing the chair to be put on Raven’s head so Benoit can hit a Swan Dive to the chair to Raven’s head and Malenko gets the pin. Great match.

Rating: B+. That’s probably high but I was really getting into this one. The ending is good too as the Horsemen cheat to win and the heat on them was great. Excellent match as they gave four very talented guys time and a story and you got a very good match out of it. If WCW could get that that was the idea of exciting wrestling, they might still be in business today.

We recap the US Title match. Hall had been US Champion but got legit hurt so we had to have a new champion. A tournament started and after some Jericho shenanigans, he didn’t make the finals. Instead it’ll be Booker, the TV Champion, against Scott Steiner. Stevie Ray might be in his brother’s corner here but it’s not entirely clear.

US Title: Scott Steiner vs. Booker T

Scott gets in an argument with a fan as the fan’s girlfriend keeps rubbing his chest. Funnier than it sounds. This goes on for a good while as Steiner keeps yelling at fans. Steiner finally gets in the ring and then goes to the ropes to avoid fighting. Back to the floor and now Steiner jumps into the crowd. Steiner finally comes in and taker Booker down with ease.

Booker speeds things up and hits AJ Styles’ drop down into a dropkick to send Scott to the floor. Steiner pounds him down some more and this is looking like it’s not going to be particularly interesting. A clothesline off the apron puts Scott down again as this has been back and forth. Steiner tastes the steel but manages to crotch Booker out of the corner. Out to the floor for some chair shots and we head back inside.

Now we get the push-ups. He shoves the referee and this is going nowhere. There’s a Steroids chant. Belly to belly gets two. Now Steiner just openly chokes the referee and kicks Booker low which isn’t a DQ due to the referee being scared. Steiner has to stop to pose because we need a break or something. Off to a bearhug which is probably the last thing this match needs.

Booker starts to escape but gets caught in a belly to belly drop on the head. It was supposed to be a suplex but it just wasn’t. A DDT puts Scott down and HE ACTUALLY SELLS IT!!! Take a lesson Rick. Booker comes back with some strikes and he goes up top. And there goes the referee. The fans immediately look at the entrance ramp, which shows how jaded they are.

Booker makes his real comeback and hits the axe kick but there’s no referee. Down goes the referee for a second time and Booker gets crotched. Steiner busts out the “Frankensteiner” for two. He pulls out a foreign object and clocks Booker with it for the title. The fans are NOT pleased with that ending.

Rating: D+. I’ve seen worse but the middle part of this was just dreadful. Scott was at least selling here but it wasn’t anything great. This would be the beginning of the mega push that the Steiners got this summer for absolutely no apparent reason other than they were old which is how you get pushed in this company. Still though, not much although Booker would get a lot better push in about a year. Also in a little trivia for you: Scott would win the US Title in a tournament final the next year at Spring Stampede as well.

Recap of Nash vs. Goldberg, although they’re just clips with no actual talking to them.

Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg

Apparently this is the rematch from Starrcade or something. Liz and Luger are here with Nash. Nash says something on the mic but the mic doesn’t seem to work because I didn’t hear a thing. He drives Goldberg to the corner and pounds away knees in the corner. The fans are looking at something to the right of the ring and Nash continues to go as slowly as he can while still being considered alive.

The fans almost immediately chant for Sting as Nash gets a two count. He hits the side slam for another two as this has been completely one sided. The running hip attack to the back of Goldberg while he’s in the 619 position keeps the bald one down. Goldberg snaps off a shoulder block though and something like a hooking superkick to load up the spear. NASH JUMPS OVER GOLDBERG!!! The spear hits the referee so Luger pops Goldberg with the chair. Goldberg blocks the powerbomb with a handful of balls. Spear and Jackhammer end this.

Rating: D+. What in the world was the point of this? Goldberg hit like 5 moves and dominated so he’s back to the point where he used to be, minus the title that is. Still though, was there a point to having this be like seven minutes long? It wasn’t horrible, but I’m sitting here asking if that’s it. Also, was there a point to Luger and Liz being out there? I don’t see it if there was.

Video on the main event. Flair turned heel to win the title last month off Hogan and Page and Sting are there so there can be four guys in it. Savage is guest referee for no apparent reason.

WCW World Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sting vs. Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan

No Michael Buffer for the intros. No tags here and it’s one fall to a finish. This is one of the final matches under the People’s Champion era for Page. Flair is champion and comes out first for some reason. He and Sting pair off as Page fights Hogan. Those two never had a big PPV title match that I remember. Sting almost gets the Deathlock on Page inside a minute but DDP makes the rope.

Hogan and Flair fight up the ramp as Page tries a Diamond Cutter. Everyone back in now and it’s getting hard to call all of this. Sting slams Flair off the top which makes things feel right. Hogan takes the weight belt off and whips at the champ as STING ACTUALLY HITS THE STINGER SPLASH AGAINST THE RAILING!!! I’ve been watching him over twenty years and I’ve never seen him hit that.

The weight belt goes back on as it’s just Hogan vs. Flair in the ring at the moment. Hulk no sells the chops and hits the boot and leg. Sting hooked the Scorpion just before that and has to let it go to break up the pin. Flair gets in a shot at Hogan’s knee, because that’s gone so well before right? The Figure Four goes on and Sting misses his second attempt at a splash.

Hogan turns the hold over and Page has to break it up. Page knocks Flair to the floor and we get the Figure Four around the post on Hogan. The trainer runs out to check on Hogan and he has to leave. Even Bischoff comes out to check on him. So it’s a triple threat now and they’re all in the ring. Sting beats up Flair while Page just chills. Flair, after eleven years, still doesn’t get that chops don’t work on Sting. Flair Flip in the corner and he gets clotheslined to the floor.

Page works on Sting’s ribs but Flair is back in now. Discus lariat gets two. Savage is counting slow and hasn’t meant a thing yet. Stinger Splash hits Page and he slams DDP’s face into the mat. Page tombstones Sting for two as Flair breaks it up. Sting superplexes Flair for two. Page puts a sleeper on Flair who has a sleeper on Sting. Sting hits a jawbreaker on both and they’re all up at 9.

Sting gets double teamed and THAT STILL DOESN’T WORK ON HIM. He hits a double clothesline and beats them both down. Splashes for both guys but Page breaks up the Deathlock on Flair. Death Drop takes Page down but Sting can’t cover. Flair puts the Figure Four on Sting and Sting makes the ropes. Flair won’t break it so Savage drags them to the middle of the ring and drops the elbow (Sky Elbow according to Tony) to break it up. A Diamond Cutter to Flair gives Page his first world title.

Rating: C-. Not the worst match ever but I really don’t get what Savage was needed in there for other than a single move. A lot of this dragged really badly but they at least did something. It may not have been interesting but they were doing something. Page turned heel soon after this and it bombed HORRIBLY because people had gotten behind him for being the scrappy underdog that kept pushing until he reached the top. As in like Hardy whose heel turn also bombed. Funny how that works isn’t it?

Overall Rating: C+. WOW this was so much better than the previous two shows. I mean man this was a breath of fresh air and a lot of that is because they had some relatively clean endings. You couple that with longer matches and only one match that had no business being on PPV (arguably) and you get a decent show. It’s nothing great but it’s certainly better than the two that follow this one.

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  1. Adam Doling says:

    Great review again, KB! I remember this being a really good show at the time, which was odd because WCW was really starting to suck. The red hot crowd certainly helped things, and I can still remember the awesome tag team match with the Horseman and Saturn/Raven.

    This show is sad, though, because it showed that WCW could still have turned things around. Goldberg was still massively over and there was a lot of great talent there. You are right, though… the DDP heel turn killed his character until he turned face again later in the year.

    Pretty amazing, though, to look at this time period in WCW with how it ended up just a few months later when Russo and Ferrara showed up. Although I liked them at the time, things went from bad to worse pretty quickly.

  2. abba says:

    Pretty decent show in my opinion, with the first half being much better than the last half. My major takeaways:

    -The main event a co-main were not good at all. Goldberg/Nash was a complete waste of time (fast forward to the finish and you got everything you need) and the Fourway Match seemed pretty bad for such talented guys in the ring (Flair/DDP/Sting were all still decent at the time and Hogan could at the least tell a decent story in the ring).

    -I forgot how Kidman matches were, so when Rey kept putting him in the position to do a powerbomb, I kept thinking “WTF is Rey doing? Powerbomb? Piledriver? Has Rey ever hit a move from this position ever?” I then remembered that this spot was always purely for Kidman’s counter (I think Kidman vs. Hornswoggle would feature Horny trying to powerbomb Kidman).

    -Although a pretty bad match, Steiner could get MASSIVE heat from a crowd. I think just walking to the ring he personally looked at and insulted 20+ crowd members.