WCW SPRING STAMPEDE 1994
Lucky me. A friend of mine visits and forgets his copy of Spring Stampede 1994 behind. I couldn't pass up the chance to recap this before returning it, so here ya go.
The show is LIVE from Chicago, Illinois.
Mean Gene Okerlund welcomes us to Spring Stampede! He introduces us to Aaron Neville who's singing the national anthem tonight. He proceeds to take forever singing, which is really just 1:28.
Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are tonight's announcers. A small weasel chant manages to break out, which Tony attempts to ignore.
JOHNNY B. BADD vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (with Diamond Doll)
Johnny shoots his glitter into the crowd, to a pop. Johnny's not as fruity as he would get down the line. And DEAR GOD is that Page? He's carrying about 30 - 40 extra pounds here than you're used to today, at LEAST!
Johnny gets a quick rollup for two, and shoots Page out to the floor. Page gets in and takes control, with a duckunder takeover getting a two count. Schiavone accuses Bobby of taking payola from DDP in order to put him over on air. Bobby wasn't aware that gifts were considered payola. You know - I've actually HEARD that line before from a college music director I used to work with. Johnny works a hammerlock, but Page elbows out. Despite his size, Page is bumping like crazy and working hard. A couple of DDT style roll throughs get two counts from Page. Johnny manages to hit a jawbreaker coming out of a reverse vertical suplex attempt from Page, and connects with a dropkick for two. Very sweet sequence. Page comes back with a belly to back suplex. Page poses and jaws at the crowd, to a pretty decent heel response. Waistlock into a gutbuster floors Badd. Heenan swears up and down it's called a stomachbuster, which leads to a funny exchange between the announcers arguing whether or not the stomach and gut are the same thing. Johnny works his way out of a rear chinlock, and follows it with a belly to back suplex. DDP gets up first anyway, but Johnny gets a quick fist to the midsection. An atomic drop / clothesline combo drop Page. Johnny lands a quick headscissors takeover, and DDP rolls to the floor. That backfires when Johnny flies over the top with a plancha. DDP heads in, and a top rope sunset flip is enough to finish him off.
The hard work of both guys did not go unnoticed as the crowd was really hot for that one.
Mean Gene stands with Jesse Ventura. They have a steak dinner bet on this matchup - but don't reveal who's betting for whom. Jesse talks about the street fight, asking "where else would you have a street fight than Chicago?" to suck up to the locals.
"FLYIN'" BRIAN PILLMAN vs. LORD STEVEN REGAL (with Sir William) (for the WCW World Television Title)
Buffer says this match has a fifteen minute time limit, which sounds awfully suspicious.
Pillman hammers away early with a series of punches and chops. Regal gets to the corner and begs off. Pillman drops to his knees, and slaps the taste of out Regal's mouth. Faces with an attitude - I love it! Regal rolls out to talk strategy with Sir William on the floor. Pillman follows and whips Regal into the guard railing a few times. Regal retreats back to the ring. Pillman drags Regal's arm around the ringpost, and yanks it several times, much to the crowd's delight. Pillman chases off Sir William, and Regal quickly takes over by pulling the hair and nailing a headbutt. Regal works over Pillman's arm with a series of armbars. Pillman tries to escape, and gets caught with a Northern Lights suplex! That scores a two count. Regal sets up a powerbomb - and shows Pillman off to the crowd. He takes too long though, and Pillman rolls through into a cradle for two. Regal escapes and puts on an STF. Regal gets up, misses a European uppercut, which Pillman capitalizes on and tries a backslide, but Regal powers out and slaps on a crossbow mid ring. Pillman rolls over but is caught in a rear chinlock. Nowhere to go Brian! Waistlock powerbomb is countered into a hurricanrana for two. Regal comes back with a fireman's carry roll which gets a really close two. A small USA chant breaks out. Regal works another variation of the crossbow, but is unable to hook the far leg. Pillman tries to get anything going, but is caught in a half crab. We take a look at Sir William checking his watch (with 5 minutes left). Fans continue to chant USA, but Pillman isn't getting loose of those submission moves. Regal lets Pillman get to his feet, but hammers him back to the mat again. Regal gets too cocky though, and is caught with a dropkick. Pillman tries another dropkick, and gets caught by both legs, but he throws Regal away. Regal gets up first - but is hit by an enzuigiri. A minute and a half left. Pillman tries a monkey flip, but gets tossed to the middle of the ring. Regal drops a knee, and heads up top. He leaps - but is caught with a dropkick. Pillman is feeling it. Back body drop! Pillman leaps at Regal, but is pulled over the top and with 15 seconds left, the crowd lets out a loud groan. Sir William swings with his cane as we start the 10 second countdown. He pulls Regal in, but time expires.
The match is announced as a draw, and Regal beats it towards the back as fast as he can go.
THE NASTY BOYS vs. CACTUS JACK and MAXX PAYNE (in a Chicago Street Fight for the WCW World Tag-Team Titles)
For those unsure of the rules, this is a Falls Count Anywhere, Hardcore Match.
Everyone gets to fighting on the ramp. This was back when the ramp went straight to the ring, instead of dipping off. I think Nitro went back to that for awhile in 2000 if memory serves me right. Cactus beats on Brian Knobbs with a pool cue in the ring. Stiff Cactus Clothesline drops Knobbs to the floor, while Foley sits on the apron. Jerry Sags meanwhile bashes a chair over Payne. Sags rushes over to Cactus and beats on him with the pool cue, but Cactus comes back with a chairshot. Knobbs is whipped towards the ramp, and can't resist taking a big ol' mouthful. Payne drops an elbow on Sags. On the ramp, Knobbs is able to charge and clothesline Cactus back into the ring. Sags bashes Cactus over the head with the pool cue in the ring. Big headbutt from Payne sends Knobbs to the floor. In the ring, Foley takes a huge bump over the top to the floor. A table is smashed by Knobbs over the head of Payne, while Cactus bites Sags. A couple of chairshots are delivered to Cactus, but he shrugs it off to come back with some more of his own. Payne and Knobbs trade punches in the concession area. Knobbs is picked up and tossed HARD through a table with all sorts of merchandise on it. Tony: "I'm not sure that t-shirt even fits him!" Payne goes for a cover and gets two. Knobbs grabs a piece of the table and beats the hell out of Payne. Cactus is whipped by Sags over the safety rail and bumps hard to the other side. Payne is sent through a wall. Knobbs hits Foley in the face with the legs of a table, and continues to beat him over the head for awhile. Tony begs us not to try this at home, while Sags heads back to the ring with the table. Payne and Knobbs roll around in the concessions. A swinging neckbreaker is delivered from Foley on Sags on the ramp. He then picks up the table and smashes it over Sags! Cactus sets up the table, but is whacked with a shovel over the head by Brian Knobbs! Payne gets the shoves and beats on Knobbs, while Sags tries to piledrive Cactus through the table. Watch Foley's knees buckle...CRASH! The table breaks under their weight. Sags' solution? Simply toss Cactus from the ramp to the floor. And when I mean toss, I mean Cactus literally falls as fast as an elephant would off the stage RIGHT on his back and you can hear the THUD as he hits the ground. Knobbs throws the shovel right at Cactus, then Sags BASHES him right in the face! Forget it, he's dead! Read it again - Cactus took a shovel going full force TO THE FACE! Nasty's retain, thank you very much.
You have NO IDEA how brutal this is unless you've seen it. That last shot from the shovel is absolutely nasty and I have no idea how Cactus walked out of there. Just for the hell of it, one of the Nasty's throws a table in the face of Payne.
THE GREAT MUTA vs. "STUNNING" STEVE AUSTIN (with Colonel Parker) (for the WCW United States Heavyweight Title)
Buffer introduces Muta as "THE GREAT MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-TAH!". "Not-quite-evil" Nick Patrick is the referee for this contest. They run around in circles for the first 30 seconds before finally locking up. They grapple midring and exchange headlocks. Tony wants someone to go check the locker room to see if Cactus Jack is still alive. Listen to the compassion, as he forgets about it 15 seconds later. Austin gets caught an abdominal stretch, but manages to escape before any serious damage is done. A quick roll up from Muta out of nowhere gets a two. Muta decides to slow this match down (ha!) with a side headlock on the mat. Austin manages to fight to his feet after a minute or so, and gets a belly to back suplex for two. Another suplex attempt is blocked, and reversed into a vertical suplex by Muta. Muta drops an elbow and goes back to the headlock. And it certainly is a headlock alright. In fact, it's so exciting, we have the time to take a long 15 second look at the size of crowd. Austin tries to fight back, but is taken down with a shoulderblock and dropkick. A side headlock takeover grounds Austin again, but before the threat of another headlock is put in place, Austin rolls over, gets a headscissors on Muta and holds tight. Muta escapes, so Austin rolls out to the floor to chat it up with Parker for awhile. The crowd is dying here. Austin with a go-behind, and gets a school boy for two. Muta comes out of a front facelock, and works a hammerlock on the mat. So we're back to the mat again, yay! The champ is getting next to no offence here - and HE'S THE HEEL! Muta runs into the ropes, but gets caught by Colonel Parker, and as he turns, Austin knees Muta to the outside. Parker chokes Muta with his hanky, and then Austin comes out to send Muta into the guardrail. Muta crawls back into the ring, and Austin works him over...with an abdominal stretch. Austin cheats by holding the top rope behind the back of Nick Patrick. Patrick is suspicious and misses it the first two times, before finally catching Austin on the third attempt. Funny how it always seems to work out that way. After two minutes in the stretch, Muta is able to muster the strength to take Austin over. Muta tries a dropkick, but Austin hangs onto the ropes, and he catches nothing but air. From the middle rope - Austin leaps with his double axehandle, and attempts a series of quick covers. Austin chokes Muta in the ropes, and Parker gets involved too when Austin distracts the ref. Muta blocks Austin's attempt to slam his head into the turnbuckle, and does it to Austin. Muta connects with a spinning heel kick, then drops Austin with a hard back body drop. Snap suplex, dropkick, and Muta heads to the top for the moonsault. Austin gets to his feet, so Muta changes his gameplan, and misses a dropkick. Austin tries the Hollywood Vine (or at least that's what Tony dubbed it) which is an inside toe hold, but couldn't hook it properally. Austin charges, but Muta hits HIM with the Stun Gun! The crowd wakes up for that. Muta pulls out a rana, and a handspring elbow that the crowd eats up, then Austin is dumped to the floor. And of course to put the icing on a bad match, comes a bad finish. The over the top rope DQ rule - Muta is disqualified. In order to keep the fans from feeling completely ripped off I guess, Muta hits a plancha on both Austin and Parker.
Austin holds the title up proudly, and brags all the way to the back.
STING vs. RICK RUDE (for the WCW International World Heavyweight Title)
The International World Title is the NWA World Title, except it's not because the NWA doesn't recognize it. Don't ask, we'll just pretend it means something. WCW sure liked to.
Rude asks for all the fat, out of sh...but Harley Race interrupts. He's here on behalf of Vader. Whomever the winner is, Vader wants a piece. Sting, the good sportsman he is, beats up Harley Race. Rude, the even better sportsman, tries to beat up Sting. The bell rings and the match begins.
Sting clotheslines Rude over the top rope 2 seconds in. The match does NOT end in a disqualification. What the hell is the point of the rule then if it isn't going to be enforced in EVERY matchup? It makes the finish of the last one look even weaker. Sting rolls Rude back in, and beats on him for awhile. A belly to back suplex gets 1. Nick Bockwinkle watches on from ringside. Sting hits a couple of really nice looking elbow drops, following a scoop slam. Rude hangs onto Randy Anderson's leg for dear life. Anderson kicks him away. Sting gives Rude a wedgie, and the referee warns him. I don't think I've seen warnings for wedgies before. Rude gets away from Sting's headlock, but placing him groin first on the ropes. Sting is in pain, so Rude helpfully clotheslines him to the floor to spare him any further damage. Once again, he's not disqualified. Even Tony questions that call. Back in the ring, Rude punches the back of Sting, hits a belly to back, and gets a two count. Rude gets a rear chinlock (Steiner Recliner), in the middle of the ring. And he hangs on for the next several minutes. With the crowd support, Sting stands with Rude on his shoulders, and they roll to the mat to trade pinning attempts. They get to their feet, and Rude slaps on a sleeper hold. Sting escapes the hold, no sells some punches, and we know what's coming. He hulks up, catches Rude with a bunch of atomic drops, drops him with a series of clothesline, and damn near breaks Rude's leg (legit) with a botched backdrop. Stinger Splash in the corner on both the referee and Rude. Scorpion Deathlock - but the referee is out. Harley Race and Vader make their presence felt, but get dumped. Rude takes advantage and clips Sting's knee. Bockwinkle warns Vader at ringside. He doesn't suspend him, he doesn't fine him, he warns him for running in. Of course, warnings do nothing, so Harley gets back in the ring, and accidently clobbers Rude. Sting covers, 1, 2, 3! We have a new International World Heavyweight Champion.
For some reason, Sting's back is bloodied. I didn't catch how that happened - but it must have come after the match.
BUNKHOUSE BUCK (with Colonel Parker) vs. "THE NATURAL" DUSTIN RHODES
I swear to god, the WCW must have paired these two up on PPV more than any other two stars in its history. Every single show I have from 1994 - 1995 seems to have these two facing off.
Dustin rushes the ring and beats the hell out of Buck to start. A suplex from the apron back into the ring gets a quick two count for Dustin. A punch sends Buck out to the floor, where Colonel Parker tries to get him on track. Dustin has other plans though, and drops Buck with a Bionic Elbow. Buck gets rolled in. Dustin cheats with an eyepoke, and continues to hammer away with punches. Buck ducks a crossbody, and Dustin falls under the bottom rope to the floor. Buck grabs a big stick that Tony calls a "1 by 2". According to Tony, when competitors like this are going at it, this is all within the confines of the rules. Ummm, I don't remember being TOLD about these rules before the match started! Sensing this logic, Nick Bockwinkle tells Tony these guys agreed to these rules. Typical WCW. Buck uses his "hard soled boots" to stomp on Dustin. Dustin is bleeding like mad at this point, from the shot with the stick I imagine. Dustin reaches into his pocket and pulls out a piece of paper. He throws the paper...and powder emerges! Buck is blinded temporarily, but manages to take off his belt and whip the hell out of Dustin. Buck kicks Dustin in the groin, while Parker whoops it up. Buck charge the corner, but Dustin moves and he's caught on the top rope. Dustin kicks him - then connects with a Bionic Elbow to a big pop! Dustin takes off his belt, wraps it around his fist, and levels Buck. Parker is losing it on the outside. Buck is now bleeding as well. Dustin takes off his boot, climbs to the top, and drops it down on the face of Buck. Dustin pulls off Buck's shirt and whips him with the belt. The fans are really getting into this. Dustin charges, and delivers a hard clothesline over the top. I guess there's no DQ in this match either. Buck digs into his pocket and loads up his glove. Dustin ducks the punch, and hits an atomic drop. He clibs the turnbuckle, hits 9 elbows, flip flop and fly, and hits #10! Buck is whipped across the ring, and hit with the Bulldog! 1, the Colonel is on the apron. Dustin goes over and suplexes him into the ring. Dustin whips the Colonel, but Buck is on his feet. Colonel is sent to the outside, Dustin is rolled up, but JUST escapes at 2. Dustin punches Buck about a dozen times, covers, but Buck is out at 1. Parker hands something off to Buck, which he turns and nails Dustin with for the easy 3 count. This was an early hardcore match, and a pretty darn good one.
Jesse Ventura stands backstage with Rick Rude. Rude is PISSED. He gets in Vader's face, which leads to Regal and the Nastys trying to hold him back from attacking. Awesome little segment.
THE BOSS vs. VADER (with Harley Race)
The Boss is of course The Big Bossman. He's dressed just like Bossman, carrying nightstick and everything.
Boss and Vader start fighting in the aisle, and The Boss winds up being held by Harley. Vader dives at Vader, but Boss ducks and he nails Harley! Bobby asks why WCW even has a ring if no one ever fights in it. True to form, the bell rings and they're immediately back out and fighting on the ramp. Vader scoops and slams Boss back into the ring. Vader runs down the ramp, DIVES over the top tope, and connects with a splash! Jeeeee-sus! Boss got his knees up though - so he takes control. He clotheslines Vader over the top to the floor - once again not resulting in a DQ. Vader is whipped into the guardrail, and takes a manly bump over it and into the fans! Randy Anderson asks Boss to get in the ring - which he does. Vader meanwhile talks with Harley. He slowly makes his way back to the ring. Boss continues his assault with a scoop slam on Vader which is really impressive looking. Vader stands and throws some punches - before backdropping The Boss to the outside. Vader's got a cut opened over his eye. Bobby notes that he and Tony are probably the only guys in the building not to bleed tonight. Vader hits a splash when Boss re-enters the ring, leading to a two count. They trade punches, and Boss gets a belly to back suplex. He follows that up with a clothesline, while Harley Race plays Rocky's manager by shouting "NO PAIN!". Vader gets to his feet, hits a clothesline, and sets for a Vaderbomb. Boss gets up though, catches Vader and slams him to the mat. He sets Vader in the other corner, and hits a DDT from the top. That gets a two. Boss climbs to the top and leaps at Vader. Vader's arm is on the bottom rope right away so no real count can happen. Vader catches Boss coming off the top again with a powerslam. Boss is dragged to the corner, and Vader heads up for the Vaderbomb. The Boss actually kicks out! So Vader goes up again - hitting the moonsault this time. Goodnight!
Harley tries to handcuff Boss, but Boss wakes up and beats the hell out of Harley Race with the nightstick. Vader and Nick Bockwinkle try to stop him. Boss goes to the back with Bockwinkle without causing any further problems.
Bockwinkle says he sympathizes with Boss - but he has to take away his nightstick and handcuffs. Bockwinkle says he's no longer The Boss. He did the wrong thing tonight. This was WCW's answer to the lawsuit.
RICKY STEAMBOAT vs. RIC FLAIR (for the WCW World Heavyweight Title)
Flair goes for a series of quick takedowns, but Steamboat escapes. They trade holds on the mat before fighting to the corner - and Steamboat bitchslaps Flair! Steamboat gorilla presses Flair, and hits the flying headscissors twice. An axehandle gets a two count for Steamboat, so Flair heads out to the floor for safety. Flair gets in, sets Steamboat in the corner and chops the hell out of him. Steamboat's response? Chop right back! Flair stalls while Steamboat rages - Flair's thinking Steamboat might attack the referee causing a DQ. Back in, Steamboat grabs Flair, runs up the ropes, and gets a snapmare, hanging on for a two count on the mat. Steamboat is fired off the ropes, Flair ducks, Steamboat drops and puts on a headlock. Flair shoves him off, and is met with a shoulderblock into a cover for 2. Flair tries to get away, but is met with a flying headscissors for two. Flair escapes a headlock, and sends Steamboat over the top - and figures he's got a DQ. He doesn't catch Steamboat skinning the cat, and coming back in. Flair gets schoolboyed, which is good for two. Flair rolls back out of a headlock, for a two count. Steamboat rolls back into the headlock position. Flair tries to atomic drop his way out - but Steamboat bridges his legs and it does nothing. Flair gets out, charges, but is caught with a drop toe hold and put back in the headlock. Flair gets to the corner for a break, and drives his shoulder into the midsection of Steamboat. Steamboat reverses a whip - and catches Flair with a backdrop. Steamboat tries a dropkick, but Flair moves. Flair chops and punches Steamboat from corner to corner. A snapmare followed by a kneedrop has Steamboat reeling. Flair then goes for 7 consecutive covers, all of which get two. He gets up, hits a back elbow, and covers 3 more times. Steamboat gets to his feet, and they exchange chops, leading to Flair on his ass. Flair tries a crossbody, but Steamboat hangs on, and both guys fall out to the floor. Nick Patrick says the match continues. Flair tries a piledriver on the floor, but Steamboat backdrops him. He charges Flair, Flair ducks, and Steamboat lands on the guardrail. Flair drags Steamboat in, and goes to the top. He's caught, and hit with a superplex! That gets 2. Whip - and we get a Flair flip. Steamboat chops Flair on the apron to the floor. He then leaps from the top rope with an elbow to the floor. Flair gets in and begs for mercy. Steamboat makes the "I want the belt" motion with his hands. 10 punch count along, followed by 6 chops, and Flair flops! Steamboat covers, 1, 2, Flair's foot is on the rope. Flair throws Steamboat through the ropes - but Steamboat is immediately on the apron. He tries a sunset flip, but Flair hangs on and escapes. Flair tries to drop a knee, but is caught and gets the figure four slapped on! Flair is SCREAMING in pain, and before making the ropes is pulled back to the centre of the ring! He makes a second attempt, and again is pulled back. Flair pulls Steamboat over, and pokes him in the eyes!!! Flair tries to suplex Steamboat back into the ring, but falls and Steamboat is on top. That gets two. Steamboat backslides Flair, and THAT gets two! A quick rollup gets two. Flair again begs for mercy. Steamboat chops the hell out of Flair. Flair goes outside. Steamboat tries to suplex Flair into the ring, but Flair pulls him outside. So Steamboat calmly dumps him back into the ring with a clothesline. Flair goes back to the floor, but Steamboat is not letting him get away. He drops an elbow, but Flair moves and gets back in. Steamboat heads to the apron, chops down Flair, and comes off the top with the crossbody. It only scores two, and Steamboat can't believe it! Flair heads to the top, but is caught (surprise, surprise) and tossed! Steamboat tries a splash across the ring - but it's no good! Flair tries a figure four, and Steamboat attemps to block with all his might. Steamboat Flair kicks Steamboat and locks it on! Flair squeezes, and slaps Steamboat around with his free hand. Steamboat crawls and crawls, and gets to the ropes. Just 10 minutes ago, everyone was behind Steamboat. Now Flair's the man. Flair tries a figure four again, but gets packaged. That's a two! Steamboat gets another backslide, and that's also a two. Steamboat sets Flair up top, hammers with punches, then hits the superplex! Steamboat drapes an arm over Flair at the 8 count, and scores 2! The referee slips, and falls through the ropes. Meanwhile, Steamboat has rolled up Flair, and by the time the ref scoots back in he can only get a two. Steamboat picks Flair up in the double chicken wing. This is the move that won Steamboat the World Title 5 years earlier. They fall back to the mat, and the referee counts. 1, 2, 3!
Steamboat celebrates! But wait, BOTH men's shoulders were down. Steamboat can't win the title if his shoulders were down too - so Flair retains, leading to a VERY mixed reaction. Steamboat SNAPS and yells at anyone who's willing to listen. And the show goes off the air.
Total Matches: 8
Unbelievable show with an awesome main event to finish it all off. If you haven't ever seen what WCW was like before Hulk Hogan was around, this is just prior to his arrival and an excellent look at a company in the midst of turning itself around. I've seen a lot of copies of this show around and about, so don't hesitate to pick it up!