WCW/nWo: SuperBrawl VIII

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WCW/nWo: SuperBrawl VIII
February 22, 1998
San Francisco, CA
The Cow Palace

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Vacant (1/8/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Diamond Dallas Page (12/28/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers (2/9/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Rick Martel (2/16/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho (1/24/1998)

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Bobby Heenan.

  • WCW World Television Championship: Rick Martel (c) vs. Booker T

Booker is so hot right now. Martel has taken us all back to 1993 at the latest with his heel persona. We see that Saturn is sitting in the front row with the rest of Raven and his Flock members. He faces the winner of this match immediately after this one ends. They work off an armbar to start with Booker hitting some moves on Martel whenever he escapes. Just under five minutes in, you’ll see Martel take the hiptoss into the corner that tears his MCL. Booker takes a bump out to the floor and into the guardrail to turn the tide. Martel starts pounding on the back clearly looking ahead to the Quebec Crab. Back inside, Booker hits the Side Slam and SPINAROONIES up to drop Martel with a forearm smash. Martel catches Booker with a powerslam and goes for the neck with a chinlock. Booker fights out, but charges into a Spinebuster to lead into the QUEBEC CRAB. Luckily, he’s right there to grab the ropes. Nice crossbody block out of the corner from Martel, but Booker rolls through for 1-2-NO! Booker comes back starting with a Jumping Forearm, the Axe Kick, and the 110th Street Slam. He heads up top, but completely misses a flying body press. Martel tries coming off the second rope, but Booker leaps up in the air and wipes him out with a Harlem Side Kick for the win. (10:34) Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new WCW World TV Champion. Great finish there. As hard as Martel worked, you’d never know he tore his MCL halfway into the match. At least Martel goes out on a high note. ***

  • WCW World Television Championship: Booker T (c) vs. Saturn

Since all signs led to Rick Martel and Saturn facing each other considering Saturn threw Martel through a glass door several weeks back and the finish in the last match had to be changed, this match is completely improvised. Saturn jumps Booker right after the pinfall and applies the RINGS OF SATURN. When Booker manages to grab the bottom rope, Saturn starts trying for the quick pinfall and doesn’t get it. We go to the floor for some ringside violence. Saturn tries to weaken an arm a bit to make his submission easier. Booker winds up reversing a whip into the guardrail, but Saturn is right back on him. He levels Booker with a pescado and pump splashes him on the floor. Back inside, Booker keeps hitting him with desperate moves, but one really nails Saturn as Booker shoves off a superplex and delivers a missile dropkick. Saturn fires back with his signature suplexes. He takes down Booker with a quebrada, but can’t cover him. Booker tries a crossbody out of the corner, but gets slam dunked when he loses his footing. A chinlock by Saturn sets up a nasty double knockdown. Saturn charges into the 110th Street Slam – setting up the Axe Kick and the Side Slam. He tries the Harlem Hangover, but misses. Saturn tries putting Booker away with more suplexes, but Booker flips out of a back suplex and hits him with the Harlem Side Kick for the win. (14:25) Talk about a night to put over Booker. While the match is improvised, the story is simply just Booker taking everything Saturn had to offer and still coming out on top. Not to the level of the first match, but nothing to just outright ignore either. **½

  • Disco Inferno vs. La Parka

Well, I guess they felt they had to do something with La Parka after the reactions he was getting at Souled Out. Not sure Disco is the right opponent. WCW must have thought that because they both dance, it must equal out to a match people want to see. La Parka mocks Disco quite a bit in this match. I feel like this would gotten over more on the east coast for some reason. There’s some noticeable “boring” chants during this one. La Parka hits Disco with a corkscrew pescado and continues his attack with ringside violence. When Disco avoids a splash in the ring, he takes La Parka back outside for his receipt. Some chinlock work here by La Parka. He dumps out Disco again for a tope suicida. That gets two. Disco mounts his comeback, but the ref gets smacked in the face by mistake. La Parka knocks down Disco and sits his chair in the ring. They have an awkward exchange in the corner until La Parka gets thrown off the top rope onto the chair. CHARTBUSTER! Cover, 1-2-3. (11:42) The people love that Chartbuster. Disco must really be getting over! **

Gene Okerlund is out here to speak with JJ Dillon regarding ref Nick Patrick. The WCW executive committee have voted to reinstate him as a referee with no restrictions. So they just changed their minds just like that? Patrick’s reaction is quite hilarious though. He jumps up and down, hugs JJ, and kisses Gene. HE WON’T LET YOU DOWN, JJ! Patrick still thinks he’s going to referee tonight’s main event, but Dillon immediately squashes his dream and tells him there’s another referee that has been chosen. Patrick complains that he’s still the senior official and should ref the main events. He then wonders about his back pay and goes after JJ Dillon. Meltzer says the original plan was for Johnnie Cochran to come in and demand JJ Dillon change his tune and reinstate Patrick. When that fell through, Robert Shapiro was their second choice who then decided he didn’t want to “sully his good name” by being involved with something like wrestling. When they couldn’t Cochran for whatever reason, this left WCW to essentially end the whole deal and do what they did here.

  • Bill Goldberg vs. Brad Armstrong

This is treated as a special unadvertised match. Heenan does a fine job making Goldberg appear as important as he possibly can. He even makes the big compliment that goes completely ignored by Tony and Mike that Goldberg makes him consider coming out of retirement to manage him. To me, Armstrong is a great opponent for Goldberg as he understands the psychology of wrestling a monster and knows how to sell for him. He had a great squash with Goldberg on Nitro a few weeks back and this was no different. Goldberg shows off with a press powerslam. Armstrong kicks at the knee and tries his best with the RUSSIAN LEGSWEEP. Goldberg NO-SELLS and throws Armstrong away with a pumphandle fallaway slam. The SPEAR and the JACKHAMMER is enough for the win. (2:25) Man, Armstrong is good. ½*

  • Title vs. Mask – WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Juventud Guerrera

So Jericho is on this kick where he wears the Cruiserweight title everywhere now. He’s still wearing it after the bell sounds. Just to show him how dumb that is, Juvi hits him in the belt with a jumping back kick. If you watch closely, Juventud actually just kicks him in the chest. Off comes the belt. Honestly, I don’t think the crowd gives one crap about Juventud. After a short time on the mat, Guerrera nails Jericho with a springboard spin kick and then gives him a springboard headscissors off the apron. Juvi heads back into the ring while Jericho plays ‘possum on the floor trying to lose by countout so that he still keeps the belt. Juvi sees what’s happening here and drops an elbow on Jericho for trying such a thing. Back in, Guerrera flips out of a German, but runs into a hotshot. Jericho delivers his Springboard Dropkick to the apron. On the floor, Jericho props Juvi up against the guardrail and uses the steps for Air Jericho, but he takes too much time setting it all up that he gets caught and dropped on the railing! That was nasty looking. Back inside, Juventud springboards into a tombstone piledriver! Slow cover gets two. Jericho shows a little frustration and kicks Juvi around. Stalling suplex connects to set up the running senton splash for two. Jericho grabs a backbreaker submission. He releases the hold to convince the ref that Juvi gave up, which doesn’t work and a temper tantrum ensues. Maybe the sound is just bad, but there’s still no real response to anything in this match. You’d think the crowd had been here for two days and this was during Jericho’s hottest period in WCW. We’re in SAN FRANCISCO for crying out loud! You guys love watching men roll around on top of each other for long periods of time. And when I say that, I’m talking about professional wrestling. Nothing else. Juvi shoves Jericho off the top, but flies down and gets caught for an Electric Chair Drop! Well that was impressive. Guerrera’s back up and dropkicks Jericho off the top down to the floor. Jericho sells the knee and starts to walk up the aisle way when Air Juvi occurs all upon Jericho! Back in the ring, Juvi delivers the Juvi Driver and hits the 450 SPLASH! Cover, 1-2-NO! Jericho grabbed the bottom rope. The bell rings prematurely, so Juvi thinks he’s won. Big mistake. Jericho runs up behind him with a chopblock. Lots of nearfall rollups occur – leading to Jericho stopping Juvi for the LIONTAMER. So much for that “Never Surrender” attitude, because Juvi gives it up and unmasks while Jericho calls him Quasi-Juice and every other combination of words he can make up beginning with Quasi. (13:30) So Juventud becomes the first of three masked luchadores to unmask while in WCW. Not a bad match even with some of the botches. That’s pretty much par for the course with Juventud though. The crowd could not have cared less about this though. ***¼

  • Davey Boy Smith vs. Steve McMichael

Lots of kicking and punching in this one. In fact, there’s so much punching that Mongo punches the ringpost (intending to hit Bulldog, of course) and breaks his wrist. Davey Boy makes matters worse by slamming Mongo’s hand on the steps a bunch thereafter. Inside the ring, McMichael tries to come back with football tackles, but Bulldog decides to grab a Fujiwara armbar. Mongo never submits, but the ref calls for the bell anyway since he really can’t continue. (6:10) After the match, McMichael grabs ref Scott Dickinson and throws him down screaming that he never gave up. Mongo will be gone for a while and won’t return until June just in time to get people interested in reforming the Four Horsemen for one last run. ¾*

I thought they should have gone with the more interesting Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart versus Brian Adams and Curt Hennig match. This way Mongo doesn’t break his wrist and you can do an angle to build to Bret versus Hennig at UnCeNSoReD, which we can already see coming anyways.

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chris Benoit

They shake hands to start. Let’s see if they’re still shaking hands by the end of this one. They feel each other out to start with wristlocks and headlocks. DDP fires the first shot on Benoit running him chest first in the corner and giving him a big gutbuster. Benoit returns the favor by hanging DDP out to dry. He tries the Crippler Crossface early, but DDP is near the ropes and bails out. Back in, a test of strength sets up a rollup sequence. DDP buries a knee in Benoit and runs him into the corner again setting up a back suplex. He wants the Diamond Cutter, but Benoit slips away and escapes to the floor. Back inside, they go nose-to-nose clearly ALL JACKED UP. They start wailing on each other. Benoit gets a cheapshot nailing DDP when the ref gets between them. DDP stops a rollup sequence with a wheelbarrow suplex. Benoit dropkicks the knee to slow down DDP. He grabs a cobra clutch looking hold. DDP fights up and drops down for a jawbreaker. They exchange strikes in the corner, but it’s Benoit who takes control and delivers a snap suplex for two. Back to the cobra clutch. DDP finds a way out, but Benoit is right back on him with a sleeperhold. DDP elbows Benoit and flips him over the top rope down to the floor. Benoit gets crotched for a superplex. Both men are down! They get up at six. DDP wins a slugfest and lands his discus clothesline. He calls for the Diamond Cutter and gets dumped on the floor. DDP catches himself and delivers a flying clothesline for two. Benoit reverses a suplex into the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE. DDP gets his feet on the ropes. Benoit is vicious with the chops, but DDP turns things around and gives him the Belly to Belly Suplex for two. Rolling Germans on DDP gets 1-2-NO! Looks like DDP almost forgot to roll over there. Back up again, DDP counters a hiptoss into a DDT. Time for the Diamond Cutter. Benoit sees it coming and tries to take DDP over with a backslide, but DDP flips Benoit over and as Benoit lands on his feet, DDP drops him with the DIAMOND CUTTER for the win. (15:51) This one feels a little overrated to me. I don’t think at this time Benoit is the right opponent for DDP. It’s a good match, but something just doesn’t click like you would think it should with these two. ***

Apparently, Tony tells us that the Giant was supposed to be here tonight. Unfortunately, he had some airplane issues and couldn’t get here in time. He’ll be on Nitro tomorrow night though!

  • No-DQ Match: Lex Luger vs. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth)

Luger still has his ribs taped from the nWo attack on Thunder. Savage was knocked completely unconscious and left for dead in the ring with a Sting mask on by the nWo, but you’d never know it by looking at him. Luger goes for a press slam early and his ribbies prevent him from completing the move. This is one of those lazy Luger matches where he takes abuse for the entire match only to get a surge of adrenaline near the end showing no signs of wear and tear. He powerslams Savage and goes for the TORTURE RACK, but Elizabeth runs inside and claws him in the face to break up the hold. Next thing we know, Luger and Savage are fighting off the nWo B-Team. Apparently, the moron timekeeper rings the bell forgetting that it’s no-DQ. David Penzer – WAS THAT YOU? As Luger hoists up Savage for the TORTURE RACK, we see Hollywood Hogan calling off the troops as Luger beats Savage again. (7:26) Typical Luger/Savage affair. Nothing special and ultimately forgettable. ½*

  • WCW World Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (w/Ted DiBiase) vs. The Outsiders (w/Dusty Rhodes)

These two teams had been trading the belts back and forth for the past five months, but lately Scott Steiner has been acting a little distant. What’s going to happen to the Steiner Brothers? We’re about to find out. Rick starts the match punching the crap out of Scott Hall. A big overhead suplex from Rick brings Nash in and he gets clotheslined to the floor. Scott comes in and does the spot where Rick gets on all fours and Scott stands over him. They do this a little longer than usual when Scott nods to Hall and Nash and lowers the boom on his brother. WHAT. The crowd gives the heel turn a HUGE positive reaction from San Francisco. He sends the nWo sign over to Hall and gives Rick a butterfly slam. DiBiase gets nailed off the apron as Dusty comes over and posts him. Scott retreats to the apron while Hall covers Rick for 1-2-NO! He kicks out and tries to fight out of the corner, but Nash nails him in the back from the apron. OUTSIDER’S EDGE fails the first time, but Hall gets it on the second try for the 1-2-3. (4:17) Scott Steiner is now nWo 4-LIFE! More of an angle than an actual match. Quite well done though, but the Steiner brothers feud that followed made ZERO sense. A main event run for Scott Steiner that some considered was due to him for five years finally came nearly three years later towards the end of the year 2000 – when it was far too late. ¾*

  • WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan

Is it strange that Sting is essentially just wearing a long black wrestling singlet? I mean, yeah, he’s got the face paint, but his attire is absolutely nothing special for the self-proclaimed biggest rematch in wrestling history. The referee is Charles Robinson, by the way. Hogan pounds and chokes Sting telling the camera that he’s the man and that Sting ain’t nothing. We go to the floor for more punching from Hogan. He atomic drops Sting for some reason and throws him into the guardrail. Back inside, they play around with a test of strength which looks silly considering how small Sting looks these days. Hogan corner clotheslines him for two. He slams Sting and hits a series of elbows drops, but Sting NO-SELLS and starts firing away on Hogan in the corner. He takes off the weightlifting belt and starts whipping Hogan. They go up the aisle and back around ringside for more guardrail violence. Of course, Sting tries his Stinger Splash up against the guardrail and misses. Hogan smacks a chair across Sting’s back. Back inside the ring, Sting reverses a corner whip and hits the Stinger Splash to set up the SCORPION DEATHLOCK, but Hogan is in the ropes. Another Stinger Splash, but Hogan pulls the ref in the way. Hogan then runs down Sting with a clothesline and LEGDROPS him. Here comes ref Nick Patrick to replace Robinson. Cover, 1-2-NO! Patrick seems on the level here standing up to Hogan when he complains about the count. When Hogan disregards the five count while he’s punching on Sting, Patrick pulls Hogan off Sting by the hair he has left. Sting just refuses to be pinned by Hogan. Not to mention Patrick continues to call this right down the middle. Back to the floor, Sting comes back on Hogan bouncing his face off the guardrail. Inside the ring, Hogan goes low and pounds on Sting some more. Sting starts absorbing those blows and flexes those biceps just like the old days. Stinger Splash! How about one more! He hits the SCORPION DEATHDROP, but Hogan kicks Patrick on the way down. Sting manages to fight off the nWo B-Team. Meanwhile, Randy Savage runs down and smashes a can of spray paint over Hogan’s head. As Savage disappears, Sting turns around and covers Hogan. Patrick slides over and counts the pinfall. (16:35) Huge pop for Sting. He spray paints “WCW” up and down Hogan. JJ Dillon comes out and presents the WCW world title to the new champ. Thus ends the Sting versus Hogan feud – at least for now. **

Final Thoughts: This felt like a show done in front of a crowd who became wrestling fans in 1997 when they first heard about the nWo. Interestingly enough, only two matches (or three if you include Savage) involved the nWo, so they mostly only popped for finishes or for Booker T when the show first started. I was really looking forward to this show, but I was actually a little disappointed. This is a very hot period for WCW and I think it would have been much more fun had it happened on in the southeast instead of a town like San Francisco. Other than San Fran being a major metropolis, why would you go there for a PPV? It doesn’t make much sense to me. I will still give SuperBrawl VIII a thumbs up, but I think that’s being pretty generous.

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Posted on March 29, 2016, in WCW and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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