Hopefully I won’t give anything away with my review of this card. 1998 was a time where I was all gothed up and going to college. I was busy watching WWE at the time. This show took place at the height of WCW vs NWO vs 4 Horsemen vs Wolfpack. It was headlined by a War Games with 3 teams and the winner would get a title shot against Goldberg. This is the first old PPV I’ve watched in years. Well the first PPV in general that I’ve watched in years. The crowd was hot, the matches were awesome. This is a gem of a PPV. Everyone was over no matter what their height or wrestling skills. The heels did heel things and it really made me think WCW knew what they were doing. The heels all had managers to interfere. The heels all cheated or said things douchebaggery. The commentators actually put over the talent and didn’t bicker. One thing though… they need to point out what championship belt their guys are holding. I had to think about things…
ALEX WRIGHT / DISCO INFERNO vs JIM NEIDHART / BRITTISH BULLDOG (BROTHER IN LAWS)
– The opening contest lasted 15 minutes between 4 guys that probably shouldn’t have gone 15 minutes. This was a good opener. Very solid. I couldn’t tell who were the heels really. Maybe they both were.
TV Champion CHRIS JERICHO vs GOLDBERG (PARODY)
– Jericho kicked off the show by challenging Goldberg. So he had his match with Goldberg. Believe it or not Goldberg got a comeback and Jericho was pissed. Spots like that are for all of the fans who come to laugh at Jericho. Its his role.
EARNIST MILLER vs NORMAN SMILEY
– Quick match, pretty forgettable, but Earnist Miller started it out by saying he doesn’t want to hurt another brother so he’s gonna turn around wait 5 seconds and Norman better be gone. Wow what a heel move. WWE and TNA could benefit from little stuff like this.
SCOTT STIENER w/ BUFF BAGWELL vs RICK STIENER
– A match months if not years in the making… this was a hot crowd and it helped everything in the match. It was a brawl that ended up with Buff Bagwell getting injured… really injured, stretcher and an ambulance injured.
Cruiserweight Championship JUVENTUD GUERRERA vs SILVERKING
– Simply said this match was thrown out there cold and it was awesome. I’ve never been a fan of Silver King, but this guy can do anything. Another shocker was the commentators really put over both guys.
RAVEN w/ FLOCK (who will get Saturn as a slave) vs SATURN (who will disband the flock)
– This match had everything… literally. People like to say Jeff Jarrett matches are overbooked (or TNA main events in general), this had swerves, half a dozen run ins, near falls, Kanyon cuffed to ringside. This match was awesome and highly entertaining! They started out with no crazy run ins then when it came to the near falls it was overbooked, but it was fantastic. Good job from both guys and it used everyone very wisely and at the end Saturn was a god among men.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan had kidney cancer removed.
CURT HENNING w/ RICK RUDE vs DEAN MALENKO
– You know its funny people always called Dean a vanilla midget and he’s not the tallest guy… but wow WCW booked this Malenko to have the crowd behind him. Kicking ass all over the place (usually against blonde heels). The fans were whipped into a frenzy and popping for leg locks and leg beatings. How did the WWF fail to get Dean Malenko over? Curt Henning did an amazing job selling, probably the best I’ve seen in years. Rick Rude had to carry him virtually. The only thing strange about this match was the fact this was a normal match, but they had built to it by having a steel cage match on Nitro.
Tag Champion, SCOTT HALL w/ VINCENT vs KONNAN
– Scott Hall was wobbly… Maybe he was drunk. Maybe he was pretending to be drunk… Since Vincent gave him a dark beer… I’ll assume this was his on air alcoholic gimmick. This match told a great story. A short face Konan who got the crowd solidly behind him against a giant cheating Scott Hall. He really used his height to his advantage, cheated, and used Vincent’s interference. Believe it or not the rope cheating spots were unlike every other match on the show. There was also an unforgettable stomping spot and the alcoholic was even put into the Tequila Sunrise. You could tell Konnan was the face… because he didn’t have anyone out with him. No one chanted boring… Maybe because they weren’t in the northeast and maybe because it was WWE who taught their fans to chant boring…
FALL BRAWL MAIN EVENT >> WCW: DDP / WARRIOR / PIPPER vs NWO: STEVIE RAY / HULK HOGAN / LUGER vs WOLFPACK: US Champion, BRET HART / STING / NASH
– Bruce Buffer’s brother got his money to announce the participants. The pinfall or submission could occur at anytime and the winner would get a title shot against Goldberg. This was a brilliant idea on WCW’s part. Having the pin or submission take place at any time draws a lot more interest.
– This match suffered from fundamental flaws of the War Games… The cage is silver and needs to be black so people can see in it. It needed camera holes. It needed to be taller, because no one can powerbomb or dive off the top rope with this dwarfish cage. Oh then to top it off when the Warrior came in they engulfed the ring with smoke not once but twice… preventing anyone from seeing anything. The main story here was Hogan fears Warrior. Another flaw in the War Games logic is the fact that when one man wins a match… no one really knows or can see he won except he’s the one that leaves the cage. With something like Royal Rumble… the winner is the last man standing. Its the final visual of how a match ends and who beats his chest above all the rest that sticks in your mind.
– Wow WWE and TNA could learn from this show. Simple stories in the matches, long and diverse matches and everyone was over. It was a good time in wrestling… even if it was right before the beginning of the end.