It’s time to 1999 WCW Spring Stampede with a big main event featuring Ric Flair defending the WCW World Title in a four-way match involving Hollywood Hogan, DDP and Sting! 1999 Spring Stampede comes to us from the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington, and drew nearly 17,700 people.
1999 Spring Stampede opened hot with Juventud Guerrera—The Juice—taking on a young SoCal high-flyer in Blitzkrieg! This guy was always one of my favorite cruiserweights of the late WCW era. We had three years of luchadors and national flyers doing cool stuff on TV, and then we saw one of the new servants doing even cooler robberies!
It was an interesting time because after a while you could see this new wave on the indy tapes and TNA’s weekly PPVs with WWE started hiring a couple in the mid 2000s. So that match was really cool to see and very exciting. It might have elicited the same reaction had it been shorter, but I’m glad Juvi and Blitzkrieg got 11 minutes and made the most of it.
Bam Bam took on Hak—The Sandman—in a hardcore match that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a fun hardcore match with sloppy spots – then again, it wouldn’t be The Sandman if it didn’t appear raw or sloppy. I think it could have been a bit shorter and still be a fun gun fight.
Rey Jr defends his WCW Cruiserweight title against Kidman. Come on people. Kidman became Rey Mysterio’s Psicosis in WCW — they gelled against each other so well. Plus, there’s a stake here in the title, so their base of a good game has grown.
These two also had plenty of room to groove with 15 minutes and change, but it felt like a quick 10 minutes. It was a quick match that stood out a bit more where it was on the card, but it was also on a better than usual card for WCW.
After this match, there was a strong tag team fight between Chris Benoit’s team and Dean Malenko taking on Raven and Saturn. First of all, we know Benoit and Malenko are a great team. They should have just… remained an uppercard/main event tag team. Of course you have the Outsiders genre there? You sort of peeked into the new World Order-WCW factions thing in early 1999.
However, the team of Benoit & Malenko – and Hennig & Windham – were just constants in the tag team division and they were consistent in their work. This match was no different as they really took it against Raven and Saturn, who are a strong team!
Booker T’s matchup against Scott Steiner for the vacant TV title was pretty good. Again, 1999 Steiner looks good at the start of the year. Another match that went a bit long but the action was back and forth and Booker looked impressive against Steiner.
That was the thing with Scott Steiner, yeah he degraded in the ring in 1997-98 but he still looked like an impressive figure. If you didn’t know where he was in the card back then, you’d think Scott was in the main event before the card was promoted.
The main event saw WCW President – I forget if Ric Flair was still President – and World Champion Flair defended his title in a four-way match with Sting, Hollywood Hogan and DDP. I will say it was a fun and entertaining fight! It’s been a while since WCW had a really fun main event on PPV.
Now Hogan is waiving the game early. I wish he had stayed because there’s that moment in ’90s Hogan matches where he becomes Hardcore Hogan and he brawls outside of the ring. I always wanted Hardcore Hogan to be a thing.
That aside, Flair, DDP and Sting really went for it. Flair wanted to keep his belt, Sting was motivated to win back the world title, and DDP was just hungry for the belt. He worked hard as hell, he had held every belt we could win except for the tag team titles – he was the MVP, Most Valuable Page.
DDP really came into this one with fire in him. Then you had some Page-related interference from Savage which I thought added to the game. This thing really kicks off later in the sequel. Big win for DDP!
Mikey Whipwreck taking on Scotty Riggs was a good game. It wasn’t good enough to be in “The Best,” but it was a solid, basic game. It could have been Saturday night, around the world, Where Pro and it would have been a great game. Part of what hurt the game was that it was a game between two people that the fans didn’t care about or hadn’t invested in.
Konnan vs Disco Inferno didn’t work and it didn’t work for over 9 minutes. Watching it, you wouldn’t know it was a 9 minute game unless you timed it or something, but you got the feeling it was a bit long. The match just wasn’t as entertaining as you’d expect when you had two very entertaining wrestlers.
Kevin Nash and Goldberg had Something between them because they do well against each other. If you strip out the extra toppings like interference etc that make a Nash match in WCW/nWo, these two make for entertaining matches.
Mind you, I wouldn’t say it was one of the “best” of 1999 Spring Stampede but that didn’t slow the show down. This is also the advantage of a good card position for this game. It was in the right place where it didn’t detract from the show or water down the main event.
WCW Spring Stampede 1999 Verdict: Silver Medal (6.25/10)
It was a good WCW show, but it could be “pretty good” considering 1998. However, these spring shows are sometimes impressive. You might end up with a show where it’s like “There were lemons in there but the bangers banged hard and everything else was fine.”
Yes, a long reflection, but it helps sum up an event that was good but you wanted more. I give Match of the Show to Rey Jr against Kidman for the Cruiserweight Title but this Juvi vs Blitzkrieg match is a joy to behold.
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