Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Thursday, 16 August 2018

PPV REVIEW: WCW Uncensored 1998

WCW Uncensored 1998 - PPV REVIEW
March 15, 1998
Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, Alabama

For wrestling fans growing up in the late 1980s, there was no hotter feud, no story better laid out than the union -and later separation- of Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage. 

After Savage triumphed in a never-ending tournament at Wrestlemania 4 to become our new World Wrestling Champion, he and former champion Hogan would form an alliance known as The Mega Powers.

As two of the biggest stars on the planet, it seemed that nothing could get in the duo's way. Nothing, of course, besides the champion's own ego and rampant jealously.

Convinced Hogan was out to steal his woman, Miss Elizabeth, Savage turned on Hogan, and at Wrestlemania 5, The Mega Powers finally exploded.

To this day, it remains one of wrestling's best-loved stories, so it's little wonder that, years later, World Championship Wrestling would look to recapture that same magic by pitting Hogan and Savage in a long-awaited rematch.

That rematch was tonight, but with both men past their prime,  not to mention WCW's reputation for making some rather questionable booking decisions, would The Mega Powers explode once again, or go out on a whimper?

Let's get down to Mobile, Alabama to find out.

The Mega Powers Explode Again

Our show tonight began with an edgy looking intro that highlighted the main event rivalry between Hollywood Hulk Hogan and his nWo teammate, Macho Man Randy Savage.

The World Heavyweight title match, pitting champion Sting against Scott Hall, was also featured, but mainly as an afterthought.

From there, Tony Schiavone, Iron Mike Tenay and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan told us that tonight's main event would be a cage match. Brain also implied that Scott Hall beating Sting for the world title later might cause some tension between him and nWo leader, Hogan.

With that, it was onto our opening match.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW World TV Champion Booker T vs. Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chavo Guerrero)

WCW Uncensored 1998 - Booker T defended the TV title against Eddie Guerrero
A few days earlier, on WCW Thunder, Eddie Guerrero had faced his nephew, Chavo Guerrero Jr. with the stipulation that, if Chavo won, Eddie would have to renounce his evil ways and go back to being a respectful guy, but if Eddie won, Chavo would basically have to be his Virgil.

Chavo lost, and so came out here to watch his uncle challenge Booker T for the TV title in a tremendous opening contest.

Though it lacked the drama and intensity that many of WCW's PPV openers had displayed in the past, Eddie vs. Booker was great fun and set a perfect tone for the rest of the show.

After a good effort, Booker pinned Guerrero to retain the title he'd won just a month earlier at Superbrawl VIII.
Your Winner and Still WCW TV Champion: Booker T

Afterwards, Eddie lambasted his nephew for not helping him out then kicked his ass to boot.

Special Challenge Match
Konnan vs. Juventud Guerrera

WCW Uncensored 1998 - Juventud Guerrera faced Konnan
By 'Special Challenge Match,' WCW basically meant 'Match.'

The story here was that Konnan felt Juventud Guerrera had let the luchadores down by losing his mask to Chris Jericho at Superbrawl VIII, but Juvi thought Konnan had abandoned the luchadores anyway by joining forces with the nWo.

Thus we had ourselves a match, and a pretty decent one at that.

Yes, a lot of Konnan's offence, which was supposed to be 'unique' and 'innovative' just looked sloppy and terrible, but the effort was there and for what it was, this one turned out to be fine.

Setting the WCW precedent of 'lose your mask, get a push,' Juvi rolled up K-Dog for the big win.
Your Winner: Juventud Guerrera

Not that he looked like a winner for very long - Konnan quickly recovered, splattered his rival with a cradle DDT, then hurled him out of the ring.

Dillon Makes the Powerbomb Legal

WCW Uncensored 1998 - Mean Gene interviews JJ Dillon
After Kevin Nash dropped The Giant on his head like a sack of crap at Souled Out 1998, the powerbomb had been banned, but apparently, The Giant had asked for it to be allowed just for tonight.

Out in the entrance way, J.J. Dillon told Mean Gene Okerlund that, because this was Uncensored, he and the WCW Executive Committee had acquiesced to Giant's request, and the move would be allowed later.

World Championship Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Dean Malenko 

This was during the time that Chris Jericho was doing his famous 'Man of 1,004 Holds' gimmick in his heated rivalry with Dean Malenko.

Whilst we didn't get to see anywhere near that many holds today, we did get to see a very good Cruiserweight match with lots to enjoy.

WCW Uncensored 1998 - Chris Jericho defends the Cruiserweight title against Dean Malenko
Following a long battle, Jericho locked on the Lion Tamer to win the match.
Your Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho

Post-match, a really angry Gene Okerlund proved why they call him 'Mean Gene' when he came to the ring and yelled at Malenko for a good few minutes, even straight out calling him a loser.

'Where does Dean Malenko go from here?' asked Okerlund.

'Home,' replied The Ice Man.

I swear down, Gene could be a real asshole sometimes.

Raven is Ready for DDP and Krispin Wah

Out in the back, Raven spoke to Mark Madden and Lee Marshall for and told them that he was going to beat Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Benoit when they met for the US title later on in the show.

Scott Steiner vs. Lex Luger

WCW Uncensored 1998 - PPV Review - Scott Steiner faced Lex Luger
At Superbrawl VIII, Scott Steiner had turned his back on brother Rick Steiner in order to join the nWo and set up his transformation into Big Poppa Pump.

That meant a meeting between the Steiner Brothers was sure to be a big thing, but instead of booking that, they put the younger Steiner, now with bleached blonde hair and goatee, in a match with Lex Luger instead.

As matches go, this one wasn't bad, but it was easily the worst thing on the card up to this point.

After some rather nondescript action, Scott Norton and Rick Steiner both ran in, and Luger pulled a three-count from the resulting confusion.
Your Winner: Lex Luger

Afterwards, the two Scotts attacked but got beat up by the one Total Package and the one Dog Faced Gremlin.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship Triple Jeopardy Match
WCW United States Champion Diamond Dallas Page vs. Raven vs. Chris Benoit

What a match, seriously.

WCW Uncensored 1998 - PPV Review - Diamond Dallas Page
A three-way, no holds barred, falls count anywhere match for the ages, this one combined ECWesque hardcore brawling, hard-hitting wrestling, and some unique spots including a three-way collar-and-elbow tie-up and the biggest three-way German suplex you've ever seen.

A truly awesome match that only got better and better as it went on, this one ended when DDP hit the Diamond Cutter on Raven from the top rope to win the match.
Your Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Diamond Dallas Page

Post-match, Hammer dragged Raven from the ring whilst Chris Benoit showed his respect for the champ by helping him up.

Whilst the ring crew cleaned up following that wild brawl, the announcers took the time to hype our remaining upcoming matches.

Kevin Nash vs. The Giant

WCW Uncensored 1998 - Big Sexy Kevin Nash vs. The Giant
The Giant came to the ring wearing a neck brace, still selling Nash's Crapknife Powerbotch from Souled Out.

Yet rather than be scared of the huge, pissed off monster out for revenge, or even taking him seriously, Kevin Nash decided to goof around for a while until Giant clobbered him with a decapitating clothesline.

From there, the match was actually pretty good from a storytelling standpoint, with Big Sexy working over the injured neck of his opponent but The Giant using pure rage to fight back.

Just when it looked like he might have a big win, however, Brian Adams hit the ring and attacked him.

Vincent, Konnan, and Scott Norton then ran in for NWO Beatdown #5012, but a pissed off Giant beat them all up and sent them packing.
Your Winner via Disqualification: The Giant

Up next, we got a hotly anticipated King of the Ring 1993 rematch.

Curt Hennig (w/ Rick Rude) vs. Bret 'The Hitman' Hart

WCW Uncensored 1998 - Curt Hennig consults Rick Rude before facing Bret 'The Hitman' Hart
Unfortunately, Curt Hennig vs. Bret Hart in 1998 didn't quite live up to the match they'd had five years earlier, nor did it stand up to their memorable passing-of-the-torch classic at Summerslam 1991, though that was partly due to the story they were trying to tell.

That story was that Bret had to overcome not only a talented wrestler in the former Mr Perfect, but also the aggressive Rick Rude, who ran interference throughout.

Still, this was a decent outing that ended when Hart reversed a roll-up and slapped on the Sharpshooter.
Your Winner: Bret 'The Hitman' Hart

Afterwards, Rude destroyed Hart, even breaking him with the Rude Awakening, then he and Curt celebrated.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sting vs. Scott Hall (w/ Dusty Rhodes)

WCW Uncensored 1998 - Scott Hall challenged Sting for the WCW title
Scott Hall had earned his title shot by winning World War 3 1997, then aligned himself with Dusty Rhodes when The American Dream helped him in his rivalry with Larry Zybysko.

Tonight, he got that shot against reigning champion Sting in a match which had none of the big-time, main event feel you'd expect from a PPV world title match.

That's to take nothing away from the competitors. Both did their best to deliver an entertaining contest, but WCW had focussed the entire show on Hogan/Savage and made this seem like an afterthought, so it came off more like a mid-card Nitro bout than a top-level title match.

Anyway, Sting got the win after reversing the Outsiders Edge into a Scorpion Death Drop for the three count.
Your Winner and Still WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Sting

As the cage was put into place for our main event, we got a promo for next month's Spring Stampede, which compared Bill Goldberg to a baby cow and showed us some guy riding a rodeo bull.

Cage Match
Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Macho Man Randy Savage

WCW Uncensored 1998 - Miss Elizabeth leads Randy Savage into battle against Hulk Hogan
And so, in our big Wrestlemania 5 rematch, we got nWo vs. nWo for the first time in a big-time cage match.

This wasn't on par with that Mega Powers explosion, but it was one of Hogan's better pay per view main events in a long while.

Still, that's not actually saying much as long stretches of this nearly out yours truly to sleep (and not in the way Roddy Piper had put Hogan to sleep in his last cage match at Halloween Havoc 1997).

As if that wasn't bad enough, the ending was confusing and disappointing.

Savage climbed the cage ready to drop the Elbow, but The Disciple appeared and pulled Hogan out of harms way.

Savage climbed down for a showdown with Hogan and Booty Disciple Barber Man, but then Sting, who had been in something of a loosely-formed alliance with Savage in recent weeks, descended from the rafters.

Why he had to do that when he'd just walked down the aisle earlier in the show is beyond me.

Anyway, we then got a standoff, but Savage clotheslined Sting and stormed off, claiming that even though he had never liked Hogan, he was still nWo 4 life.
No Contest

That was dumb and a poor ending to a poor match.

If it wasn't for the main event, WCW Uncensored 1998 would get almost universal praise from an in-ring standpoint.

Not every match was a five star gem, but almost everything before Hogan vs. Savage ranged from decent to solid, whilst the three-way US title bout is a must see.

You know, I used to be sceptical when people would say that WCW pay per views had great undercards with terrible main events, but the more I watch, the more I see just how true that is.

Here's to Spring Stampede.

1998 events reviewed so far
  1. WWF - Royal Rumble 1998 
  2. WCW - Souled Out 1998
  3. WWF - In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas 
  4. WCW - Superbrawl 1998
More WCW Uncensored reviews 
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Thursday, 9 August 2018

PPV REVIEW: WCW Superbrawl VIII (1998)

WCW SuperBrawl VIII (1998) review - Event poster
February 22, 1998
Cow Palace, San Francisco, California.

Throughout 1997, WCW had set the wrestling world on fire and claimed their throne as the undisputed kings of the industry with a year-long build-up to Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Sting. 

Billed as The Match of the Century, the battle -which took place at Starrcade 1997- had been so brilliantly promoted that there was seemingly no way it could fail.

Yet fail it did, at least creatively.

Whilst the show had been a rousing financial success for World Championship Wrestling, the awkward and confusing finish to Hogan vs. Sting, coupled with poor matches and bizarre booking decisions on the undercard made Starrcade 97 a creative disaster the likes of which they would never truly recover from.

Not that they wouldn't try.

Tonight, as WCW presented us with Hogan vs. Sting II, the company would try to correct course and convince us that yes - they still deserved their place at the head of the wrestling mountain.

Here's what happened when WCW went into damage-repair mode at Superbrawl VIII.

The Battle Continues 

WCW SuperBrawl VIII (1998) - Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan
Our intro tonight recapped the story of Hogan and Sting's rivalry, and how the whole thing was more about the bigger picture - the epic war between World Championship Wrestling and the New World Order.

That took us to our commentators for the evening, Tony Schiavone, Iron Mike Tenay, and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan, who all told us just how vital tonight's main event, one of five title matches on the show, actually was.

Speaking of title matches, we had one coming up next.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW World Television Champion Rick Martel vs. Booker T

WCW SuperBrawl VIII (1998) - Booker T beat Rick Martel for the TV title
This was originally supposed to be Booker T defending the TV title against Saturn, but after Rick Martel had gotten the better of Booker on Nitro, we'd had a little switch around.

Instead, the two would meet one-on-one in a rematch of their earlier meeting at Souled Out 1998, with the winner then going on to face Saturn later on in the show.

Though not on par with some of the all-out classics that WCW had used to kick off their show in the past, it's probably not very fair to go comparing this one to anything else.

Instead, let's  just let it be what it was, which is a very solid opener.

After a good battle, Booker T reclaimed his title.
Your Winner and New WCW Television Champion: Booker  T

Immediately afterwards, Saturn rushed the ring and it looked like our second TV title match was going to happen immediately.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW World Television Champion Booker T vs. Saturn  

WCW SuperBrawl VIII (1998) - Booker T defended the TV title against Saturn and Rick Martel in two matches
Wearing street clothes and sporting more hair than I ever remember him having, Saturn beat Booker black and blue.

The resulting match didn't really have any heat but was perfectly fine until it began to drag on and on.

Seriously, this one felt like it went on forever and actually became a chore to watch at times.

After a long, long fight in which he mostly got his ass kicked, Booker T hit his Big Kick Thing that I've forgotten the name of to retain the title.
Your Winner and Still WCW TV Champion: Booker T

Backstage, Chris Jericho spoke to Mark Madden and Jeff Katz about his Cruiserweight Championship  Title vs. Mask match later on in the show.

La Parka vs. Disco Inferno 

WCW SuperBrawl VIII (1998) - La Parka vs. Disco Inferno
As Disco Inferno made his way to the ring, Tony Schiavone commented on how ridiculous it was that, with a full-scale WCW/NWO war going on, Disco and La Parka would be feuding over dance moves.

Alas, they were, but I'm not saying that was a bad thing.

Whatever reason they used to get in the ring together, Disco Inferno vs. La Parka was actually far more entertaining than you'd expect.

A good, see-saw battle with plenty to enjoy, this one ended with La Parka bringing a chair into the ring but getting thrown off the top rope onto it.

A Chart Buster later and this one was over.
Your Winner: Disco Inferno 

WCW SuperBrawl VIII (1998) - Mean Gene Okerlund with JJ Dillon and Nick Patrick
Out in the entrance way, we got the obligatory 'Mean Gene Okerlund interviews JJ Dillon' segment.

This time, Dillon told us that Nick Patrick had been reinstated following his suspension in the wake of Montreal II at Starrcade 97.

To be fair, he should never have been suspended in the first place given that any idiot could watch that show and realise that Patrick never actually delivered the fast count he was so accused of.

Anyway, Nick, who has to be my favourite referee ever, came out and was thrilled about being reinstated, even going so far as to thank his friends, fans, and loved ones for their support.

He was, however, less thrilled to learn that he wouldn't be the referee for Hogan vs. Sting II later on in the show, a piece of news which upset him so much he started ranting about his missed back pay.

Patrick was golden here, with far more natural charisma than even some of the men he refereed for over the years.

WCW SuperBrawl VIII (1998) - Bill Goldberg squashed Brad Armstrong

Brad Armstrong vs. Bill Goldberg

Bill came. Bill saw. Bill conquered.

This was your typical Bill Goldberg Super Squash Special, albeit with the added bonus that Brad Armstrong was reasonably entertaining in his few minutes as cannon fodder.
Your Winner: Bill Goldberg 

Moving on...

World Championship Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship Mask vs. Title Match
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera 

At his heelish best, Chris Jericho was the ultimate brat here, even refusing to take the title belt off and trying to wrestle whilst wearing it until Juventud Guerrera kicked him in the midsection and the belt winded him.

After that, we got a fantastic Cruiserweight match that proved to be the best thing on the show so far.

For what it's worth, this was the second Cruiserweight title vs. Mask bout in the last six months, with the first one being Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. at Halloween Havoc 1997.

This match may not have been as good as that all-time classic but it was still great in its own right.

At one point, it looked to have ended with a win for Juvi when he did get the three count but Jericho had his hand on the rope.

Afterwards a few more minutes of exhilarating action, Jericho slapped on the Lion Tamer and Juvi lost both the match and his mask.
Your Winner and Still Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho 

Afterwards, Juvi teased the big reveal that, under his mask, he was actually a handsome pretty boy.

All the while, Jericho acted like a complete prick, goading both Juvi and the crowd and proving why he was one of the most entertaining acts of the late 1990s.

Steve 'Mongo' McMichael vs. The British Bulldog

WCW SuperBrawl VIII (1998) - British Bulldog beat Steve 'Mongo' McMichael
In 1993, The British Bulldog had enjoyed a brief run as one of WCW's biggest main event stars.

Five years later and he was back in the company, this time as a mid-card act that would struggle to find anything meaningful to do for the duration of his run.

At least he had something of a feud going on here with Steve 'Mongo' McMichael, as the two had a rivalry which led us to a mediocre match.

After several minutes of so-so action which saw Mongo hurt his arm, Davey Boy slapped on an armbar and won the match.
Your Winner: The British Bulldog

Afterwards, an irate Mongo McMichael shoved the referee over and stormed off backstage, complaining that he never actually gave up.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chris Benoit

WCW SuperBrawl VIII (1998) - Chris Benoit challenged DDP for the US title
Making his first US title defence since beating Curt Hennig for the title on Nitro, Diamond Dallas Page put the belt on the line in a very good face vs. face match.

After a truly tremendous effort from both champ and challenger, a dramatic finish saw Page get the three count to retain.
Your Winner and Still WCW US Champion: Diamond Dallas Page

Heading back to the announcers, Tony Schiavone told us that despite earlier promising us that The Giant would be here, problems with his flight meant that he wouldn't.

He also told us that, after Kevin Nash had dropped Giant on his head like a sack of shit at Souled Out 1998, The Jackknife Powerbomb had been banned.

A brief video then showed us that happening at Souled about just in case we'd missed it.

No Disqualification Match
Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. Lex Luger 

WCW SuperBrawl VIII (1998) - Randy Savage met Lex Luger in a No DQ match
I don't want to say that WCW were running out of ideas at this point, but Lex Luger came out doing the bandaged-ribs gimmick that Diamond Dallas Page had only just finished doing.

Of course, the bandages -required after Luger had been beaten up by the nWo - were a natural target for Macho Man Randy Savage, who lay into his opponent despite the announcers suggesting that the two may have called a truce because they'd been spotted 'having a conversation' backstage.

Tonight, there was no truce - just a passable though immediately forgettable no DQ match in which nothing interesting happened until the finish.

Luger got Savage up for
 the torture rack, but Miss Elizabeth interfered to save her man, at which point the nWo B-Team (Scott Norton, Buff Bagwell, Virgil, and Brian Adams) all ran in.

Both Luger and Savage then sent the nWo packing, at which point Hogan came down and told his men to leave Savage because he wasn't family and that he (Hogan) was glad Savage had been beaten.

Because he had been beaten by Luger's torture rack, but we were too focussed on Hogan to notice.
Your Winner: Lex Luger

Time for one more match before our main event.

World Championship Wrestling Unified World Tag Team Championship
World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner w/ Ted Dibiase) vs. The Outsiders (Scott Hall & Kevin Nash w/ Dusty Rhodes)

The 'unified' here was a bit of a stretch here as the titles being unified were the real WCW tag titles held by The Steiners and the fake ones The Outsiders had introduced after they lost the real ones.

It didn't really matter anyway, because about a minute into the match Scott Steiner turned on Rick Steiner and joined the nWo.

Ladies and gentlemen, Big Poppa Pump was born.

A minute later, Hall hit the Outsiders Edge, and this one was over.
Your Winners and New WCW Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders

Afterwards, Steiner handed The Outsiders their titles and celebrated becoming the newest member of the New World Order.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
Match for the Vacant Title
Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Sting

WCW SuperBrawl VIII (1998) - Sting beat Hulk Hogan for the vacant WCW title
It was once The Match of the Century, now it was The Rematch to Make Up For How Horrible the Match of the Century Had Been.

As Hogan matches go, this one was on the more entertaining end of the scale, but still, don't expect Malenko/Guerrero flashes of technical Wrestling brilliance.

What you did get was a weird match that was basically all Hogan. Until the finish happened, Sting was just a body that was there in the same way that Brad Armstrong had been for Bill Goldberg earlier.

At one point, Charles Robinson got squashed by Sting, prompting Nick Patrick to run in and shock Hulk by refusing to make a fast count.

Hogan continued to dominate anyway and cut off every bit of offence Sting made.

Eventually, Sting made the big no-sell comeback and hit Hogan with the Scorpion Death Drop, but Hogan kicked Nick on the way down.

An NWO run in ensured but Sting cleaned house and made the pin anyway.

A three count later and we had a new, undisputed  World Heavyweight Champion.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Sting 

Afterwards, Sting took a can of spray paint left by Savage in the NWO run-in and sprayed WCW on Hogan's body.
Ladies and gentlemen, that's the finish we should have got at Starrcade.

Had the company done that in the first place, things might have worked out very differently for them, but only time would tell whether the damage-repair job carried out tonight had been enough.

As for the rest of the card, there was a lot to enjoy, particularly Page/Benoit and the Mask vs. Title bout, though this wasn't a bad show overall and is certainly worth a casual viewing.

More SuperBrawl Reviews

1998 events reviewed so far
  1. WWF - Royal Rumble 1998 
  2. WCW - Souled Out 1998
  3. WWF - In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas 
Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

PPV REVIEW: WWF - In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - Event poster
February 15th, 1998,
Compaq Center, Houston, Texas

Back in the day, the 20th instalment of the In Your House franchise was always called No Way Out until somebody pointed out that those initials spelt NWO, and that the NWO was, of course, the reason why WCW were kicking the World Wrestling Federation's ass every which way but west. 

Not wishing to promote the competition, the WWF braintrust quickly scrambled for a name change.

The  event became No Way Out of Texas, and was the last major stop on the road to Wrestlemania 14.

Here's what went down as the company began shaping the storylines that would deliver our marquee matches for the biggest event of the year.

The Renegades Are in Charge 

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
Our show tonight began with the usual video package, this one telling us that whilst the road to glory often meant  making sacrifices and generally being a good guy fighting for what's right, renegades like Stone Cold Steve Austin, the New Age Outlaws, Cactus Jack, and Chainsaw Charlie had managed to make it to the top by being defiant, crazy, and a bunch of badasses.

Tonight, we'd see all those men, and more, at No Way Out of Texas.

That took us to the opening pyro, shots of a truly rabid crowd, and a welcome from Jim Ross.

Ross informed us that Shawn Michaels wouldn't be competing in tonight's big eight Man main event (he was recuperating from the injury he suffered when he landed awkwardly on the casket in a match with The Undertaker at Royal Rumble 98) and that because that match was likely to be so intense, it had also been turned into an anything-goes, no holds barred affair.

JR's broadcast colleague, Jerry 'The King' Lawler added that D-Generation-X would have a hard time finding any replacement on the same level of HBK (and man, would they ever!), and with that, it was onto our opening match.

Marvellous Marc Mero & The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust (w/ Luna Vachon) vs. The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher)

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - Goldust and Luna Vachon
The ever-stunning Sable had accompanied Marc Mero to the ring but, playing up the heel gimmick in which he was supposedly jealous of his wife's popularity, Mero had sent her to the back, claiming that there was only room for one beautiful woman at ringside, and Luna Vachon was it.

Meanwhile, Luna's man The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust was supposed to be imitating Marilyn Manson, but actually bore an uncanny resemblance to Manson's on-again-off-again bassist, Twiggy Ramirez.

Together, Mero and MansonDust teamed up to take on Mosh and Thrasher in a match which, fun though it was, existed solely to serve as a backdrop to the rivalry between Sable and Luna.

After an enjoyable opener which saw Thrasher get busted open (Attitude Era = Blood), Sable returned to the ring to resume the argument she'd been having with Luna before the match (and on that week's episode of Raw).

This distracted Mero and MansonDust, who had actually been getting on quite well in some kind of Odd Couple double act.

The distraction allowed the Headbangers to do the old-switcharoo and win the match, not that anybody cared, or even noticed.
Your Winners: The Headbangers 

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - Sable challenges Luna to a fight
They didn't notice because all eyes were firmly on Sable, and just Sable, not even Luna who she was mad at, just Sable.

We got ample shots of the irate beauty yelling at someone off camera, as if having the two in the same shot would somehow diminish Sable's sex appeal (which is dumb anyway, Luna was weirdly hot in her time).

Eventually, she got her hands on Vachon, only for a gaggle of officials to break it up.

Finally, Mero got in Sable's face, but she shoved him flat on his ass and sent him packing to end a fun first 20 minutes of the show.

Owen Hart Answers A Different Question 

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - Owen Hart threatened to bust HHH's leg
Backstage, Michael Cole asked European Champion Owen Hart how he was going to co-exist with Stone Cold Steve Austin after the two had endured a bitter rivalry the previous year, complete with Owen breaking Austin's neck at Summerslam 1997 and then losing the Intercontinental Championship to him at Survivor Series 1997.

Owen responded by answering a different question entirely and telling Cole that he didn't give a damn who D-Generation-X picked as their partner tonight.

Finally getting to the question at hand, Hart tole Austin that as long as they stayed out of each other's way, they'd be fine.

To finish, he then turned his attention back to Hunter Hearst Helmsley, telling the DX member that when the two met in the ring, he was going to 'bust [his] legs,' which I suppose is a step up from kicking his leg out of his leg.

Sunny is Here 

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - Sunny was the guest ring announcer
Looking pretty in pink, the ever-delightful Sunny came down to the ring to provide guest commentary for our next match.

I care not what you say, nobody was hotter than Sunny back in the day.

World Wrestling Federation Light Heavyweight Championship
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku vs. Pantera 

With nary a Cowboy From Hell in sight, Pantera wore his best dollar store leggings and cheap zebra print leotard to challenge Taka Michinoku for the Light Heavyweight Championship.

Despite almost nobody in the entire audience caring, both champ and challenger did their best to entertain, though sadly all their efforts were overshadowed by guest commentator Brian Christopher. 

At first stopping by to claim that Michinoku had cheated when he beat him for the title at In Your House 19: D-Generation-X, Christopher was obnoxious in a way that I'm sure wasn't part of his heel persona, and was so distracting that it was hard o pay attention to what was going on in the ring.

Then he started breaking out the casual racism, making random references to tacos when talking about Mexican Pantera (who was actually supposed to be his ally), and then -I kid you not- calling Taka 'slant-eyed.'

The match went on with hardly anyone paying attention until Taka hit the Michinoku Driver to retain the title.
Your Winner and Still WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Taka Michinoku

Post-match, Brian wanted to attack the champ, but when his daddy tried to stop him, Taka flew off the top rope to the outside and levelled them both.

The Lawler boys then tried to attack, but Michinoku ran off thro. CNN know

Cactus & Funk Are Ready For a Fight

Out in the back, Cactus Jack and Terry Funk were talking to Kevin Kelly for America Online.

In a fumbling non-promo, the two repeated each other's claims that they didn't care who the eighth man was going to be in the main event, they were going to beat up everybody anyway.

Right on.

The Quebecers (Jacques Rougeau & Pierre Laffite) vs. The Godwins (Henry & Phineas Godwin)

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - The Godwins beat The Quebecers in a horrible match
Having recently returned to the World Wrestling Federation The Quebecers looked far worse than the last time they'd appeared together on a WWF PPV, which was several years ago at Wrestlemania 10.

They even looked worse than the last time they'd appeared on a WCW PPV, a little more recently at World War 3 1996, when they were known as The Amazing French Canadians.

Sadly, there was nothing amazing about them in this match.

Sure, they could still pull off some nice looking moves, but their contest with The Godwins, born of a recent rivalry played out on Shotgun Saturday Night, just sucked the life out of the arena.

After a whole bunch of blandness, Henry Godwin clotheslined Pierre from the outside and Phineas got the win.
Your Winners: The Godwins

Afterwards, The Godwins hit The Quebecers over their heads with buckets for good measure.

The New Age Outlaws Aren't Getting Any Respect

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - The New Age Outlaws interviewed by Doc Hendrix
The running story throughout tonight's show was the mystery of who would be replacing Shawn Michaels in tonight's big eight-man main event.

Would it be somebody returning like Sycho Sid? A brand new superstar?

Nobody knew, and that was part of the excitement.

Next, Doc Hendrix tried to solve that mystery once and for all by asking The New Age Outlaws who the mystery man was.

To Doc's dismay, and the Outlaws' frustration, they didn't know either, and had actually assumed that Hendrix had called them out to tell them who the eighth man was.

Pissed off that they'd been left out of the decision-making process, the tag team Champions went off to get some respect, presumably from Triple H.

I know what you're thinking...

I'm not a real athlete, I'm just a wrestler...

Remember those PSAs? I do, my friend and I used to quote it to each other all the time.

Anyway, we got one next, so that was a fun trip down memory lane.

National Wrestling Alliance North American Championship
NWA North American Champion Jeff Jarrett (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Bradshaw

Jeff Jarrett had originally come to the ring not only with Jim Cornette (making his first PPV appearance as a manager since Survivor Series 96) but also fellow NWA stablemates Barry Windham and The Rock 'n' Roll Express.

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - Jeff Jarrett defended the NWA North American title against Bradshaw
The referee had ordered those three backstage, leaving us with a reasonably good one-on-one match.

Like a lot of undercard matches in the history of pro wrestling, this one wasn't going to set the world on fire, but it was decent outing that was probably the best match Bradshaw had been involved in since he joined the WWF.

In the end, Jarrett waffled the challenger with Cornette's tennis racket to lose the match but keep the title.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Bradshaw (Jeff Jarrett retains the title)

Post-match, Bradshaw took out Jarrett and The Rock and Roll Roll Express with the tennis racket, but Barry Windham tripped him up and the numbers game got too much for Bradshaw.

That's when long-time NWA mainstays The Legion of Doom ran in to make the save and bring this fun part of the show to a close.

Triple H Makes it a Handicap Match

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - Michael Cole interviews Triple H (w/ Chyna)
Proving that he could indeed take the reigns as head of DX in the absence of Shawn Michaels, Hunter Hearst Helmsley cut a compelling promo in which he claimed that, because nobody was capable of filling Shawn Michaels' shoes, he wasn't picking a partner and had decided that tonight's main event would be a handicap match.

Michael Cole then informed Hunter that WWF officials were probably going to put someone in the match anyway, which was a good way to defer the blame for the eventual pick away from HHH.

The Rock Over Shadows Farooq

Backstage, Doc Hendrix interviewed The Nation of Domination about their upcoming 'War of Attrition' with Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson, and the Disciples of Apocalypse.

Whilst Nation leader Farooq took the microphone to yell at Doc, The Rock gurned and posed for the camera and was genuinely hilarious.

If for nothing else, this show is worth tracking down for this segment - Rock was hysterical.

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - The Rock poses during a Nation of Domination interviewWar of Attrition
The Nation of Domination (Farooq, D'Lo Brown, Mark Henry, Kama Mustafa, and WWF Intercontinental Champion The Rock) vs. Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson, Chainz, Skull, and 8-Ball

When they called it a 'War of Attrition' that didn't mean there was any kind of special stipulation going on; it was just a way to sell a big ass tag match in the same way that WCW used to sell matches by calling them 'Super Special Grudge Match' or the like.

Still, as matches go, this was at least an exciting one, with exactly the right combination of star power, heated rivalries, and solid action.

After an explosive contest that proved to be a surprise highlight of the evening, Shamrock slapped Rocky in the ankle lock to win the match.
Your Winners: Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson, and the DOA

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - The Rock yells at Farooq after their match
Afterwards, Rock yelled at Farooq and Farooq took out his frustrations by hitting D'Lo Brown. D'Lo then wanted to get at Farooq but the whole thing was diffused by Kama and Henry - clearly interesting times were ahead for The Nation of Domination.

Austin is a Babyface 

Out in the back, Michael Cole interviewed Stone Cold Steve Austin who, like all three of his teammates, claimed he didn't care if there was an eighth man.

He then cut the closest thing he'd come to a proper babyface promo so far when he said that even though it was 'fun to whip someone's ass anywhere in the world,' it was even better in his home state of Texas.

That took us back to Ross and Lawler, who claimed to have one of Steve Austin's kindergarten report cards.

Even though it was clearly just a blank piece of card, the two claimed that it said Austin didn't play well with others, even as a child.

Next, we got a special video package looking at the rivalry between Vader and Kane.

That match was next.

Vader vs. Kane (w/ Paul Bearer)

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - Kane vs. Undertaker
After making his debut by attacking brother The Undertaker at Badd Blood: In Your House 18, Kane had been on the warpath, destroying everyone in his path and even locking The Undertaker in a casket which he set on fire at the 1998 Royal Rumble,

With The Dead Man presumed gone, Kane had next turned his attention to Paul Bearer's former charge, Vader.

The match was mostly dull with flashes of excitement, especially at the finish.

Kane popped up from a Vader moonsault, got blasted with a fire extinguisher and powerbombed, but popped up again and landed a big tombstone piledriver for the win.
Your Winner: Kane

In the aftermath, Kane pulled a wrench from under the ring and smashed Vader in the face with it.

The attack was so bad that Vader had to be wheeled out on a stretcher.

After quickly telling us about Wrestlemania 14, Jim Ross told us that Vader's face had been caved in.

He and Lawler also confirmed Michael Cole's earlier suggestion that the WWF would indeed select a partner for Team DX

Non-Sanctioned, Anything Goes Eight-Man Tag Team Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin, Cactus Jack, Chainsaw Charlie, and WWF European Champion Owen Hart vs. Triple H, Savio Vega, and WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws (Bad Ass Billy Gunn and Road Dogg Jesse James) w/ Chyna

WWE / WWF In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas - Eight Man main event (the mystery man was Savio Vega)
And so after all the hype, all the mystery and suspense, the mystery eighth man was revealed to be Savio Vega.

I remember at the time what an enormous feeling of disappointment we all felt with what has to be the most underwhelming selection of a replacement, and you cave still tell what a let down it was watching it even years later.

You know what I don't get?

How come the World Wrestling Federation were able to decide that this was an unsanctioned match - meaning they had nothing to do with it, yet could still force an eighth man in there and have one of their referees officiate it?

Explain that to me, oh Mighty Lords of Kayfabe.

Anyway, with the bad guys all in the ring, Owen Hart came down followed by Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack, all three of whom littered the ring with weapons before Austin blew the roof off the place with his entrance.

With that, the match was on.

Things started with a wild, weapon-filled brawl that was out of control in the worst sense of the word.

Sure it had some fun spots, but trying to watch eight men have four different fights at once gets to be confusing.

Thankfully, things did 'settle down' into your standard tag match (albeit one filled with weapons and barbed wire) and turned out to be a hugely enjoyable main event.

The heels dominated proceedings, with Owen Hart constantly trying to come to his teammate's rescue and Austin launching a trash can at Billy Gunn in a truly beautiful spot. Then, after getting wrapped up in barbed wire, Cactus Jack made the tag to Stone Cold, who cleaned house and stunned Road Dogg to win the match.
Your Winners: Steve Austin, Cactus Jack, Chainsaw Charlie, and Owen Hart

Afterwards, Chyna confronted Austin and goaded him into giving her a Stone Cold Stunner to send the crowd home even happier than they already were.

And so the Road to Wrestlemania turned it io a gear with what proved to be a hot main event which capped off a truly mixed bag of a show.
Next stop, Wrestlemania 14.

Apart from that big eight-man match, there was nothing here that really stood out as being anything remarkable, but enough reasonably entertaining stuff (the opening tag match and the Nation/Team Shamrock stuff) that stopped it from being a one match show.

1998 events reviewed so far
  1. WWF - Royal Rumble 1998 
  2. WCW - Souled Out 1998
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Thursday, 26 July 2018

PPV REVIEW: WCW Souled Out 1998

WCW Souled Out 1998 - Event poster
January 24, 1998
Hara Arena, Trotwood, Ohio

In January 1997, World Championship Wrestling looked to capitalise on the runaway success of their New World Order angle by experimenting with a brand new concept: 

An entire nWo Pay Per View.

As you'll read in my WCW/NWO Souled Out '97 review, the event may have been a novel idea, but in reality turned out to be an absolute disaster.

In 1998 then, the company decided to do away with everything but the name as they launched their first PPV offering of the new year.

Here's what went down at Souled Out 1998.

Eric Bischoff is Building an Empire 

WCW Souled Out 1998 - Eric Bischoff featured in the opening video
Our show tonight began with a reminder that Kevin Nash had been forced to put up a $1.5 million dollar bond to guarantee he'd show up at tonight's event for a match with The Giant, with the added clause that The Giant couldn't touch Nash in the meantime.

This was edited in between clips of Eric Bischoff stood rubbing his hands together and making vague statements about building an empire which didn't seem to make much sense.

From there, we went to the classic announce team of Tony Schiavone, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan, and The American Dream Dusty Rhodes, who told us that not only was Nash definitely here, but that we'd also get a dream match between 13-time World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair and Bret 'The Hitman' Hart.

From there, it was on with show.

Eight Man Lucha Libre Match
Juventud Guerrera, Super Calo, Lizmark Jr., and Chaco Guerrero Jr., vs. La Parka, Silver King, Psicosis, and El Dandy 

WCW Souled Out 1998 - Super Calo, Lizmark Jr., Chavo Guerrero and Juventud Guerrera won an 8 man lucha mach
Throughout 1997 -and even a bit before- the likes of Chris Jericho, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Rey Mysterio Jr. had done a great job in making the company's Cruiserweight mean something important by forgoing the spot-orientated lucha style in favour of something that really mattered.

The result was a series of incredible pro wrestling matches such as Eddie vs. Rey at Halloween Havoc 1997 - matches that meant something, matches that had drama and emotion on top of just a bunch of cool flippy-spots.

But hey, sometimes a bunch of cool flippy-spots could be fun too, and tonight's opening contest proved that.

Ok, so there was nothing here that was groundbreaking, or that even mattered outside the confines of the match itself, but it was great fun and included some terrific spots, including Silver King hitting a suicide dive onto nobody and splatting himself to death.

After almost everyone else threw themselves to the outside with a bunch of dives, Chavo Guerrero and Psicosis were left in the ring.

Chavo hit a tornado DDT from the top rope, and this fun little match was over.
Your Winners: Chavo Guerrero Jr., Juventud Guerrera, Super Calo, and Lizmark Jr. 

Afterwards, the batshit crazy La Parka went batshit crazy and took out everybody -including his own teammates- with a chair.

Mean Gene Okerlund then shilled the hotline for a bit and then it was on to our next contest.

Anything Goes Match
Raven vs. Chris Benoit 

WCW Souled Out 1998 - Chris Benoit beat Raven
Raven came to the ring with The Flock but, unlike at Starrcade 1997, when he had Saturn substitute for him, officials had ordered that Raven had to compete and The Flock were banned from ringside.

Raven, proving that he was enough before emo was cool, took to the microphone to claim that he didn't care about being alone because he had no friends in school.

He then went to war with Chris Benoit in a solid effort that brought a whole new level of brutality to WCW.

Though both men would have better matches with other people, they worked well together to deliver a good, no-holds-barred match which ended when Raven passed out in the Crippler crossface.
Your Winner: Chris Benoit 

Afterwards, The Flock attacked Benoit but Dean Malenko made the save as the announcers wondered aloud why he'd come to Benoit's aid.

The two shared a nod of mutual respect, and then it was on to our next match.

World Championship Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Chris Jericho 

WCW Souled Out 1998 - Chris Jericho beat Rey Mysterio for the Cruiserweight title
Lion Heat Chris Jericho was still in the early stages of the heel persona that made him one of the most entertaining things about WCW in the late 90a, but already he was infinitely more enjoyable than he'd been in his cheesy-babyface days.

Here, he challenged Rey Mysterio Jr. for the Cruiserweight Championship in what would be the first of many incredible matches the two would have over the years.

After a very good effort, Jericho slapped on the Lion Tamer to win his third Cruiserweight title.
Your Winner and New WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho 

Afterwards, Jericho was so upset that the crowd were booing him that he took it out on Mysterio and destroyed the now-ex champion's knee using the ring steps before sauntering backstage muttering that he was sorry.

An Update on the Vacant World Heavyweight Championship 

WCW Souled Out 1998 - JJ Dillon and Rowdy Roddy Piper announced Hogan vs. Sting II for Superbrawl
After the shenanigans that went down at the end of Hogan vs. Sting at Starrcade 1997, J.J. Dillon had declared the World Heavyweight Championship vacant.

Tonight, Dillon, standing in the ring with Mean Gene, asked the man who had originally booked Hollywood Hogan vs. Sting, Rowdy Roddy Piper, to come to the ring.

Piper, who hadn't been seen since he beat Hogan at Halloween Havoc 97, announced that it was up to him to decide what happened to the title.

Piper called out Sting, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, and Scott Hall, then announced that even though Hall had earned a championship match at Superbrawl as a result of winning World War 3 1997, Hall's title shot had been postponed and instead, the Superbrawl main event would be a rematch of Hogan vs. Sting for the vacant title.

Hogan urged Hall to help him beat up Sting, but instead the Outsider merely walked off, disgusted.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW World TV Champion Booker T vs. Rick Martel 

WCW Souled Out 1998 - Rick Martel challenged Booker T for the TV title
The last time we saw Rick Martel on a PPV, it was at 1995 Royal Rumble, when he made a cameo in the Rumble match.

The last time we saw him in a singles match on PPV, it was at the 1992 Survivor Series in a match with Tatanka.

Here, he proved that he hadn't missed a step in his years away by challenging Booker T - making his first singles championship match on PPV- in another good outing.

After a very enjoyable bout, Booker retained the title thanks to the Harlem Hangover.
Your Winner and Still TV Champion: Booker T 

Afterwards, Martel gave Booker his title belt and the two shook hands. Perry Saturn then ran out and attacked Martel, prompting Booker to come back for the save.

Scott Hall (w/ Louis Spicolli) vs. Larry Zybysko (w/ Dusty Rhodes)

WCW Souled Out 1998 - Dusty Rhodes turned heel and joined the NWO
As an announcer, Living Legend Larry Zybysko had been more than a little vocal about his hatred of the New World Order, leading to an eventual war of words with nWo founder, Scott Hall.

Things had escalated Fall Brawl 1997, when Zybysko had counted the fall in Hall's match with Lex Luger, and then even further at Starrcade, when Larry beat Eric Bischoff for control of Nitro and Hall got involved.

Tonight, the two would finally meet in a 'hotly anticipated' one-on-one match that saw Hall seconded by his lackey, Louis Spicolli, and Zybysko getting a big pop for revealing that Dusty Rhodes would be his corner man.

The match itself was better than it should have been given that one of the participants had been retired for a few years, but took an awkward turn when the fans decided to blow the roof off with a loud 'Larry Sucks!' chant.

I'm the end, Zybysko 'played possum' and lured Hall into a submission hold.

Louis Spicolli ran in and hit Larry, and this one was over.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Larry Zybysko 

Afterwards, Dusty came in and once again got the biggest pop of the night for destroying Spicolli with a series of bionic elbows, but then also hit Larry with an elbow.

That was the cue to reveal that he was actually part of the New World Order, and that he'd, I don't know, been faking it with Spicolli because the two embraced just as much as Dusty and Hall did.

The fans were upset, but not as upset as Tony Schiavone, who was so heartbroken at his friend's betrayal that he refused to speak for a few minutes, leaving Bobby Heenan to hold the fort by himself.

Six Man Tag Team Match
Team nWo - Konnan, Buff Bagwell, and Scott Norton (w/ Vincent) vs. Ray Traylor and The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner w/ Ted Dibiase) 

WCW Souled Out 1998 - Rick Steiner face mauls Buff Bagwell
There were two stories here that took centre stage above all the action.

One was the dissension between Rick and Scott Steiner, with the latter becoming a roid-raging glory hog in recent weeks, and this being ignored by his teammates, and the other being Schiavone's disbelief over Dusty Rhodes' betrayal.

Tony was so messed up that he got Mike Tenay to come out and pick up the slack.

When he did speak, Tony told us that the reason the crowds were so quiet was because they were also in shock about the American Dream joining the nWo, and not because the match was boring, which it was.

After brother Rick played babyface in peril for about a thousand years, Scott got the tag and took out Scott Norton for the win.
Your Winners: Ray Traylor and The Steiners 

Afterwards, Scotty seemed to want to get into a posedown with Buff Bagwell, but Buff merely gave him a knowing look and walked off, smiling.

Kevin Nash (w/ Eric Bischoff & Hollywood Hogan) vs. The Giant 

I'm sure that this match has its fans, but I'm also sure I'm not one of them.

After a dull and sloppy effort, Eric Bischoff tried to get involved in the action and got chokeslammed for his trouble.

The distraction allowed Kevin Nash to throw steaming hot coffee in his opponent's face, and then pick him up and drop him like a sack of shit in a poor imitation of a jackknife powerbomb for the win.
Your Winner: Kevin Nash 

After medical staff bandaged The Giant's eyes and helped him to the back, we got a weird commercial for Superbrawl VIII featuring Diamond Dallas Page in a tattoo parlour and some goofy dude in a suit getting the world title belt tattooed on his forearm.

Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Bret 'The Hitman' Hart

WCW Souled Out 1998 - Bret Hart beat Ric Fair in his debut WCW match
Wrestling in his first PPV match since Survivor Series 1997 and his first WCW match ever, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart went one-on-one with the man he beat to capture his first WWF Championship back in 1992, Nature Boy Ric Flair.

Despite the lack of an on-screen rivalry, the match was billed an as a battle to see which of the two top stars really was 'the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.'

What they ultimately proved, was that both men were capable of great matches, even though this one was perhaps not quite as good as it could have been.

Don't get me wrong, it was still a highly enjoyable effort, and by far the best match on the show, but there were still moments when it seemed to lack a little something.

The end came with a solid win for The Hitman courtesy of The Sharpshooter.
Your Winner: Bret 'The Hitman' Hart

Moving quickly on, it was down to our main event of the evening.

Macho Man Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. Lex Luger

WCW Souled Out 1998 - Randy Savage faced Lex Luger in the main event
Well, I say it's the main event, and so did Michael Buffer, but Macho Man Randy Savage and Lex Luger felt like an afterthought, especially since the announcers hadn't mentioned it, not once, not even briefly, all evening.

Honestly, I had no idea this match was happening until it happened, and when it did, it was better than expected.

Ok, so the crowd were pretty dead, and if anything this one felt like a Nitro main vent rather than a PPV outing, but it was still pretty fun.

Most of that fun came from Miss Elizabeth running interference on behalf of her man, and Luger having to keep her at bay whilst still fighting off Savage.

In the end, Scott Hall came down with a chair to, I assume, help Savage, but Hogan came down and stopped Hall from getting involved.

Luger then sent Savage hurtling into Hall, who fell off the apron.

A torture rack later and this one was over.
Your Winner: Lex Luger

Except it wasn't really.

Hogan and the nWo (minus Hall) attacked Luger, then Sting came down to clean house as Souled Out came to an end.

So, was Souled Out any better when it wasn't an nWo-only PPV?

In short, yes, yes it was.

OK, so Souled Out 1998 wasn't the greatest show of all time, but it was a good start to the year for World Championship Wrestling and did contain some genuinely enjoyable matches.

The opening luchadore outing plus Jericho/Mysterio and Hart/Flair are all worth your time, whilst the stuff in between didn't suck so hard as to take the shine off those matches.

Not must-see viewing by any stretch, but a decent show overall.

1998 events reviewed so far
  1. WWF Royal Rumble 1998 
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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.