SuperBrawl 1998 Redo: A Tale Of Two WCW’s

SuperBrawl 1998
Date: February 22, 1998
Location: Cow Palace, San Francisco, California
Attendance: 12,620
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

It’s very interesting to go back and watch the TV leading up to these shows before looking at them again. I think a lot of people incorrectly remember post Starrcade 1997 WCW as this huge disaster that made no sense and was a complete mess but these last few months have been very strong. The PPV has been well built and has the potential to be very entertaining. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is told like a legend, with the narrator talking about how an evil came over WCW but now the savior has come and is wearing white paint on his face.

The announcers talk about the show and how big Sting vs. Hogan is.

TV Title: Booker T vs. Rick Martel

Martel turned heel and won the title on Monday. The winner of this gets Saturn in another title match later tonight. Booker isn’t interested in a handshake but has to duck a Martel cheap shot. A clothesline sends Martel to the floor and another puts him down in the floor. Booker gets two off a back elbow as the Flock is here. Off to an armbar followed by a spinwheel kick and a knee drop for two. All Booker so far.

It’s back to the armbar followed by a superkick for a delayed two count for Booker. Now for the important part of the match: Booker hiptosses Martel out of the corner, sending Martel’s leg into the rope. Martel immediately backdrops Booker to the floor but can barely stand up. Rick knocks him off the apron to buy himself some more time before sending Booker back first into the apron.

Martel misses a charge Booker comes back with a side slam in the ring followed by a forearm to the face. Booker runs into a boot and Rick powerslams him down for two. We hit the chinlock followed by a spinebuster and the Quebec Crab. Martel’s knee seems to be ok now. A spinning cross body out of the corner gets two for Martel but he ducks his head and gets caught with the ax kick. Booker misses a cross body out of the corner but catches Martel coming off the top with the Harlem side kick for the pin and the title.

Rating: C+. This was the good match that you would expect from these two at this point. The match is enhanced by the knee injury that Martel suffered during the match. It was initially hurt during the hiptoss into the ropes but the ending made it even worse, to the point where Martel was scheduled to win the match but couldn’t continue. This was pretty much it for his in ring career as he would return for one match in July but injure himself all over again, ending his career for good.

Saturn immediately hits the ring and the second title match is on.

TV Title: Perry Saturn vs. Booker T

Saturn is involved in this because he beat Martel on Nitro before Martel won the title later in the night. He was the original challenger for the title from weeks earlier but Booker wanted his rematch tonight, giving us the three man solution. Saturn charges in and puts the Rings of Saturn on Booker before the bell rings. A small package gets two on Booker right after the bell and Saturn walks around a bit. Remember they didn’t plan this match out so we’re getting a very rare completely impromptu match.

Booker gets a quick sunset flip out of the corner for two but Saturn kicks him to the floor. Saturn drops him onto the barricade but Booker reverses a whip to send him into the steels instead. Booker can’t follow up and gets stomped in the corner, only to catch a counter a clothesline into a slam to put both guys down. We head back to the floor for a plancha from Saturn followed by a Vader Bomb from the apron to stay on Booker’s ribs.

Back in and Booker comes back with a flying forearm but he misses a running boot in the corner to change momentum again. Saturn hits a belly to back superplex but can’t follow up, allowing Booker to get up top for the missile dropkick. A spin kick puts Saturn down but he comes right back with a t-bone suplex. Saturn connects with a standing Lionsault to put both guys down yet again. It’s clear that they’re trying to fill in as much time as they can by having both guys lay around.

Booker slips while trying a top rope cross body and it’s off to a chinlock from the challenger. Tenay tells us that Martel has a torn MCL and may be out a long time as both guys hit cross bodies. Booker kicks him down again but misses the Harlem Hangover so Saturn can get two off a German suplex. Another suplex attempt is countered into the Harlem sidekick for the pin to retain the title.

Rating: C+. This was pretty solid stuff all things considered. Given how much time most guys get to work out a match in advance, it’s very impressive that the match was as good as it was. Booker comes out of this looking like a star and ready to step up to the next level while Saturn looked like a guy who got beaten by a Hail Mary instead of being soundly defeated.

La Parka vs. Disco Inferno

No transition between the matches at all which is so different than what you would see today. This is a good example of a match where it helps to see the build on TV as the announcers make it sound like they’re battling over who is a better dancer. La Parka throws the chair at him before the bell and takes Disco down with a powerslam. Disco hits a powerslam of his own and a clothesline in the corner for two. A spinwheel kick puts Disco on the floor for a corkscrew plancha as the announcers talk about the main event.

A clothesline on the floor puts Disco down but La Parka goes in to dance instead of following up. They head back inside where Disco avoids a top rope splash and takes it right back to the floor to whip La Parka into the barricade. Back in and some hard kicks get two for La Parka and we hit the chinlock. Disco finally fights up and avoids a charge in the corner for two but La Parka comes back with a kick to the face (which clearly missed by a few inches) to take over again.

Disco is catapulted to the floor and taken out by a suicide dive. La Parka charges into some boots in the corner before missing a charge into the post. Disco gets two each off a lariat and a swinging neckbreaker switching off to stomps in the corner. The referee takes a shot in the eye so La Parka hits Inferno low and brings in a chair. Disco is say in the chair in the middle of the ring but he gets up in time to send La Parka face first into the chair. Why that isn’t a DQ is beyond me but the Chartbuster ends La Parka a second later.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t bad but it was WAY too long at eleven and a half minutes. La Parka was a two idea character with the chair and the dancing but it was nice to see him get a chance to show what he could do in the ring. Disco’s improbable push continues but I don’t think he’s likely to get higher up on the card than this.

JJ brings out Nick Patrick and reinstates him. Patrick celebrates and brags but JJ says he won’t be refereeing the main event tonight.

Brad Armstrong vs. Goldberg

Goldberg easily takes him down with some submission holds followed by a gorilla press powerslam. Armstrong’s Russian legsweep is no sold and Goldberg throws him down with a pumphandle throw. The spear and Jackhammer end Armstrong quick.

Cruiserweight Title: Juventud Guerrera vs. Chris Jericho

This is Jericho’s title vs. Juvy’s mask. Jericho won’t take his belt off. Heenan: “It’s his binky.” He backs Juvy against the ropes with it on and the referee seems ok with it. Juvy slides between the ropes and hits a spin kick into the belt which hurts Jericho far worse. He finally takes the belt off and we’re ready to go. They hit the mat for a bit until Jericho takes over with a knee to the chest. Juvy is backdropped to the apron but comes back in with a springboard spinwheel kick.

A springboard hurricanrana takes Jericho out to the floor and the referee starts counting. Jericho gets caught raising his head up to make sure no one is looking before staying on the ground. Juvy sees through the goldbricking and splashes him from the ring. Back in and Juvy flips out of a German suplex but gets dropped chest first onto the buckle. Jericho throws him to the floor and tries to use the steps as a launchpad, only to be sent face first into the barricade.

Guerrera’s springboard is caught in a tombstone for two as Jericho is getting frustrated. The arrogant cover gets two and Jericho is getting frustrated. A delayed vertical suplex and a senton get two and Jericho hooks a backbreaker submission. Jericho gets two off a clothesline and the frustrations continue. Juvy’s top rope hurricanrana is countered into an electric chair but Jericho spends too much time posing and gets dropkicked to the floor. Air Juvy (love that move) takes Chris down again and the 450 hits back inside for the pin despite Jericho grabbing the ropes.

The referee waves it off and Jericho uses the opening to chop block Juvy’s leg. Guerrera grabs a DDT out of nowhere for two and a springboard hurricanrana gets the same. Jericho takes him down with a reverse suplex but can’t hit the Lionsault. The Liontamer is countered into a cradle for two but another hurricanrana attempt is countered into the Liontamer for the submission.

Rating: B-. This was another good win for Jericho but Juvy did a great job at flying all over the place and making the match exciting. Jericho was on a roll at this point and was such a horrible person that you can’t help but cheer against him. It’s a good match but we’re still waiting on the big showdowns with Malenko and Mysterio.

Jericho rips Juvy apart during the unmasking and tells him to put it back on. For the life of me I don’t get WCW’s thinking about this. Why would you want to give away such a lucrative merchandise opportunity like the mask? Jericho takes the mask for his trophy case in a gimmick someone should bring back.

Steve McMichael vs. British Bulldog

It’s a power brawl to start until Mongo hits a quick tilt-a-whirl slam of all things. A legdrop misses and Bulldog goes starts in on the leg. He hooks a not terrible Sharpshooter but McMichael makes the rope. Mongo comes back with his assortment of stomps before heading to the floor for more lame offense. Just to complete the horribleness, Mongo misses a forearm to the post and legitimately breaks his arm. Bulldog works on the arm and after a failed tombstone attempt from Mongo, an armbar is good for the submission.

Rating: F. Mongo was just horrible. When the best part of a match is the thud of an arm hitting a post, you know you’ve got a problem. Bulldog’s heart clearly wasn’t in this run but it was a paycheck so you can’t blame him for taking the job. Thankfully Mongo wouldn’t be around much more after this.

Mongo says he didn’t quit and shoves the referee.

US Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chris Benoit

Benoit is challenging in a rematch here after the Flock cost him his first title shot. Page starts with his driving shoulders but Benoit cartwheels out of the wristlock. A quick armdrag takes Page down and the champion isn’t sure what to do. Page comes back with a gutbuster but Benoit drapes him bad ribs first over the ropes. A quick Crossface attempt doesn’t work (nor is it acknowledged by the announcers) and they try a test of strength. Benoit is taken down but counters into a quick pinfall reversal sequence for a few near falls.

The Diamond Cutter attempt is escaped and Benoit takes a breather on the floor. Back in and it’s time to fight with Benoit hitting a hard right hand to the face. Another pinfall reversal sequence ends with a wheelbarrow suplex from Page for two but Benoit comes back with a dropkick to the knee. We hit the chinlock but Page fights up with a jawbreaker, only for Benoit to kick him in the bad ribs to take over again.

A snap suplex gets two and it’s back to a chinlock with an arm trap. Benoit switches to a sleeper but Page backdrops him to the apron and crotches him on the top to escape. Page superplexes him down but neither guy can follow up. A discus lariat gets two for the champion and a top rope clothesline gets the same. Benoit hooks a quick Crossface but Page is in the rope. Page counters a German suplex into a belly to belly for two but Benoit is like boy I do the suplexes around here and rolls some Germans for a near fall. A jumping DDT gets two on Chris but a backslide is countered into the Diamond Cutter to retain the title.

Rating: B+. Great match here and one of Page’s best ever. This is a rare occasion where both guys came out looking great because Benoit got caught, not defeated. Both guys were working hard out there and it became a chess match of who could get their big move first. Very good match here and both guys looked great.

Video on the Giant and his injury at Nash’s hands.

Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger

This is No DQ and a rematch from last month when Luger won. Luger comes out (to the opening notes of the Steiners’ music) with heavily taped ribs and no wrist tape. Savage tries to get in his cheap shot but Luger is ready for him. He can’t press slam him though because of the bad ribs. The fans think Luger sucks and let him know very loudly. Savage backdrops him to the floor and kicks at the ribs a few times. Back in an ax handle to the ribs gets two and Savage throws him back to the floor. This is really dull stuff.

Savage drops a cameraman on the floor as we head into the crowd for a chair shot tot he back. They get back to ringside with Savage sending Luger into various hard objects. They get back in and Luger no sells a suplex to start his comeback. He loads up the Rack but Liz makes the save, only to have the NWO goons make the save. The bell rings like it’s a DQ but Hogan calls off the dogs. Luger puts Savage in a quick Rack for a submission, even though the bell was ringing before Luger even touched him. Hogan says he doesn’t care that Savage lost.

Rating: F. There’s no other way to describe this other than a failure. It was seven and a half minutes of very dull “action” followed by a completely botched ending. The comeback was idiotic as Luger just got up and was fine. There was no big kickout or anything to scare the crowd like in a normal comeback. Luger just popped up and went on offense before the ending. Horrible match.

Tag Titles: Outsiders vs. Steiner Brothers

The Brothers are defending in match #847 of this feud. The NWO easily wins the survey tonight. Hall starts against Rick with the latter firing off Steiner Lines and right hands. An overhead belly to belly puts him down and Nash is knocked to the floor as well. Scott Steiner comes in for the signature pose….and turns on his brother, FINALLY joining the NWO. Dusty sends DiBiase into the post but Hall only gets two on Rick. Rick fights out of the Outsiders’ corner and doesn’t seem to know what his brother did. The Outsider’s Edge his a few seconds later to change the titles.

Rating: N/A. This was an angle instead of a match. It had been a full six days since someone joined the NWO so you can’t blame them for needing a turn here. This had been building for a long time but it still felt shocking, especially given how early in the match it was. It was probably for the best too as the Steiners were long past their expiration date as a team.

WCW World Title: Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan

No build to this or anything as Buffer starts his intro when the replay ends. This is Hogan vs. Sting III with both guys having won a match. The title is vacant due to the screwy nature of those matches so this is the big blowoff to the feud. Sting charges to the ring and is immediately knocked down by Hogan’s weightlifting belt. Hollywood punches him down and chokes a lot before Sting is tied up in his own coat. All Hogan for the first two minutes and we head to the floor.

Hogan pounds him against the barricade and they head into the aisle for more chops from Hollywood. Sting is sent into the post and barricade before we head back inside for a knuckle lock from Hogan. We’re over four minutes into this and Sting has had absolutely no offense. Sting powers up but Hogan kicks him in the gut to put him back down. I’m still not counting that as offense. Hogan gets two off a corner clothesline and drops some elbows but Sting pops up and fires off right hands. That’s his first offense and it comes after six minutes of Hogan dominance.

Sting fires off right hands in the corner and whips Hogan with the weightlifting belt. Hogan tries to leave but Sting sends him into the crowd for a few moments. Back at ringside and Sting misses the Splash against the barricade to stop his momentum cold. Hogan gets in a chair shot to the chest and heads back in to punch Sting even more. The shots are no sold though and Sting hits a quick Stinger Splash but Hogan is too close to the ropes for the Deathlock.

Sting tries another Stinger Splash but hits the referee in the process. For some reason this knocks Sting out too so Hogan drops the leg. Nick Patrick comes in to count a regular two count and Hogan is livid. Patrick pulls Hogan off Sting when he punches too much and the announcers immediately sing Patrick’s praises. A belly to back suplex gets about five near falls for Hogan so he wins another test of strength to keep his ego alive and well. We head outside again and Sting sends Hogan face first into the barricade.

Back inside and Hogan hits Sting low to stop him AGAIN. Sting starts Hulking Up and hits two Stinger Splashes followed by the Death Drop, but Hogan kicks Patrick on the way down. END THIS THING ALREADY! NWO goons come in but Savage slides in and hits Hogan with a can of spraypaint, giving Sting the pin and the title. You know because we can’t have the new world champion get the pin off his finisher or something stupid like that.

Rating: D-. The only reason it doesn’t fail is because it’s just slightly better than the Starrcade disaster. Hogan dominated the match and was on offense for about fourteen minutes out of sixteen and a half. Sting looks like a joke and the focus is on Savage vs. Hogan instead of the new champion, which would haunt the company for months to come. Absolutely horrible match here but somehow it was better than the previous two.

Sting spraypaints Hogan and the belt, two months and far too much wackiness after he should have.

Overall Rating: C+. This is a hard one to grade as the main events all suck but the rest of the card is pretty awesome stuff. You can really see the difference between the two parts of the card and the hope that so many fans had for this company is easy to understand. Sting FINALLY winning the title is a good thing but it’s two months too late at this point. The first two hours of this show are worth seeing but be ready to watch something else once Savage vs. Luger starts.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my book on the History of Starrcade from Amazon for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D2UKOG0

9 comments

  1. Heyo says:

    Why did Bischoff unmask Guerrera? From what I read…get ready…he thought that masked luchadors like Guerrera and later Mysterio were “unmarketable” with the masks on.

    I’m dead serious.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    He said the same thing about Steve Austin.

    Heyo Reply:

    It’s funny how he was able to engineer the NWO, probably one of the best ideas in wrestling, and yet he messed up on epic levels.

    He even went out and said that Chris Jericho couldn’t headline shows as recently as 2010. Let that sink in.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    The NWO idea came from Japan. He’s said so in interviews before.

    Heyo Reply:

    Heard that before, I believe…and that really begs the question. Would you say Bischoff ever had a great idea of his own?

    Civil Defence Reply:

    Realistically, Chris Jericho wasn’t a great headliner. He was more of an ‘upper-midcard’ kind of guy

    ted Reply:

    I don’t agree with that. Jericho was capable of headline and did so on shows successfully. There is a difference between being a headliner and being the focus of the show.

  2. klunderbunker says:

    I’m sure there’s something in there but nothing springs to mind.

  3. Heyo says:

    @ Civil Defense:

    Oh sure, I agree with that. But here’s the difference: Jericho was a world champion at WWE a few times. I don’t care if the World title was secondary to the WWE title, it’s SOMETHING better than just giving him the TV/Crusierweight title a few times and not even try to give him a main event spot, which is what WCW did.