January 24, 1998 from the Hara Arena (Dayton, Ohio)
1. Juventud Guerrera, Super Calo, Lizmarck Jr. & Chavo Guerrero Jr. (tornado DDT Psicosis – pin) over Chavo Silver King, El Dandy, Psicosis & La Parka.
THE MATCH: The following contest is fought under traditional Mexican luchador rules. The opening half featured confrontations between Psicosis and Super Calo, Lizmarck and Silver King, Chavo and El Dandy, and finally Juventud and La Parka. Yeah, La Parka hits the La Parka strut. Well, several close pinfalls attempts occur after Calo’s super ankle scissors takedown on El Dandy and Juventud with his patented 450 on Silver King. The ending sequence permits Chavo and Psicosis to battle one on one in the middle of the ring. On the floor, Silver King missed a slingshot plancha on Calo. Calo follows up with a plancha as well as El Dandy. Juventud then uses Lizmarck to launch into Air Juvy mode on Dandy. Say isn’t that Dandy? If that wasn’t enough, the chairman of WCW landed a beautiful Asai corkscrew moonsault on Calo and Juventud. Lizmarck follows up with an Asai moonsault on La Parka. Finally, in the ring Chavo nails the top turnbuckle tornado DDT on Psicosis for the clean victory.
POSTMATCH: La Parka nails all four technicos with the chair. If that wasn’t enough, La Parka nails Silver King and El Dandy to the crowd’s delight.
2. Chris Benoit (crossface crippler – submission) over Raven in an anything goes no-DQ match.
PREMATCH: It’s Raven’s Coo Coo Nest sans Perry Saturn. Kidman sports a “Flock equals Ratings” sign. Riggs has the “Shut up” poster while Billy Idol, eh, I mean, Lodi displays “Benoit, it is over.” With the Flock in mid ring, Raven slumps in the corner. Dave Penzer informs the Flock has been banned from ringside and Raven is ordered to wrestle. Raven adds his commentary, “You know, I fear Benoit and I know after this match, I will quoteth the Raven, nevermore.” JUST KIDDING! This is what he actually said. “Once again society has tried to make me conform to its rules. They’ve left me all alone, but I’ve been left alone before. For weeks alone as a child, I had no friends at school. Benoit, I don’t fear your pain. I’ll feast on it. Quote the Raven, nevermore.”
THE MATCH: Cue the Benoit porno, yes folks, this was a song in a porno movie! Benoit barely makes it down the runway before Raven executes a baseball slide kick. Raven whips Benoit into the guardrail following up by tossing Benoit headfirst into the steps. Raven smashes Benoit’s head on the guardrail. In the ring, Raven executes two consecutive snapmares, but on the third, Benoit lands a baseball slide kick for two. Raven whips Benoit into the ropes for the big knee. The next time, Benoit counters with a rollup. An infuriated Raven tosses Benoit like a beanbag to the floor. Raven grabs himself a seat and nails Benoit. Raven places Benoit face up on the apron and lands a forearm. Back in the ring, Raven continues his dominance. Raven executes a snapmare on the chair. Raven follows up with a brutal bulldog on the chair. OUCH! Raven goes for the cover. One, Benoit places is in the ropes. One-two-two and a half, Benoit kicks out. Raven sits the chair in mid ring. Raven plots to Benoit as he once did to Riggs, but Benoit has other ideas. Benoit reverses an Irish whip, drops the drop toe hold and causes Raven to crash on the sitting chair. Both men struggle to their feet with Benoit starting off with several chops. Benoit has come to life. Benoit grabs the chair after a clothesline. Benoit executes a snap suplex on the chair. Benoit rips off Raven’s T-shirt. Looks like Benoit wants to bust that chest open. Benoit lands a baseball slide kick and tosses Raven into the steps. Raven reenters the ring and quickly exits out and up the aisle. Benoit decides Raven has not has enough. On the ramp, Benoit executes another snap suplex. Benoit kicks Raven down the ramp a la Sullivan/Benoit at Great American Bash 96. Benoit tosses Raven into the ring. Benoit executes another snap suplex on the chair. Benoit just stands over Raven. Benoit places the chair on Raven’s face a la Flair and proceeds to stomp it. With the chair still on Raven’s face, Benoit mounts the top rope. Benoit lands the swan dive headbud with the chair on Raven’s face! Oops, I forgot this is Dayton, not Toledo. The referee counts to eight before Benoit scores a two-count. Benoit wishes to deliver more punishment, but the man from the dark side reverses a belly to belly suplex into brutal DDT.. Both men are still hurt. Benoit scores a two count. A huge “Benoit” chant ensues. Finally, Raven is ready to deliver the death below, AKA, the coup de gras. But no, the Crippler has other ideas. Benoit reverses the DDT into the crossface crippler. Raven smiles! Raven is not giving up. Raven enjoys the pain. Finally, one-two-three, Raven is out cold! Benoit wins! Benoit wins! Benoit wins!
POSTMATCH: Raven’s Flock attacks, but Dean Malenko is there to make the save! Both men clean house. Afterwards, Benoit and Malenko have a short stare down. Malenko walks out in a weird ending.
3. Chris Jericho (lion tamer Boston crab – submission) over Rey Misterio to win WCW Cruiserweight Title.
THE MATCH: “Luchador wrestling equals bathroom break.” I’d personally wouldn’t mind La Parka smashing the ignorant fan with his chair. Jericho sports a Misterio T-shirt. Japanese psychology, eh? Both men have a nose to nose stare down. Misterio begins with a head scissors takedown to the floor. Misterio decided to go flying early on, but decides those frequent flier miles take their toll, especially when the opponent is waiting for you to make a mistake, but Misterio hurts his knee any way. Jericho finally gains control with a stun gun. To the floor, Jericho executes a double under hook backbreaker. Man, Jericho should have just executed a tigerbomb. Jericho proceeds to use the steps as a catapult to attack Misterio. Back in the ring, Jericho toys with Misterio. Well, bad news Jericho, Misterio executes a DDT. Jericho no-sells. Moments later to the floor, Misterio lands an ill-advised somersault plancha. Misterio appears to limp. Back in the ring, Jericho regains control with a drop gourdbuster after causing Misterio to trip off the top rope. Finally, Misterio went for the coup de gras. Misterio attempts a super hurricanrana, but Jericho is waiting. Jericho catches Misterio and slaps on the Lion Tamer for a quick submission victory.
POSTMATCH: Jericho then grabs the mike and decided it’s time to give the crowd a reason to boo. Up until this point, Jericho was booed. Jericho removes Misterio’s knee pad and stomps on it. Jericho then tosses Misterio to the floor. Misterio is reeling in pain at this point. Jericho places Misterio bad knee on the steps. Jericho then carries a huge tool box and drops on the good knee. LOL! Jericho just destroyed Misterio and he receives no heat!
TITLE SITUATION ANNOUNCEMENT: JJ Dillon announces he consulted with Roddy Piper. Piper enters to the bagpipes to make a final decision. Piper first calls out Sting and then Hogan. Scott and Eric Bischoff accompany Hogan. Piper says Hall deserves a title shot, but the only problem is… there is no champion. Piper fakes handing the WCW World Title to Hogan. Finally, Piper announces Sting and Hogan will settle their differences at Superbrawl 8. A disgusted Hall walks off in disbelief. Hogan and Bischoff appear to be mad as Sting does the crotch shot motion five times.
4. Booker T (Harlem hangover somersault legdrop – pin) over Rick Martel to retain WCW World TV Title.
THE MATCH: Booker T receives a huge pyro and there’s AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! The Wicked Sting of the East. Oh my, Gosh! That is one ugly fake Sting! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Oh, I’m still here, I haven’t turned to stone. WHEW! The opening minutes find Booker T wrestling the traditional face wrestling and applying an armbar. Booker T worked over the arm of Martel and gained the first major blow with a clothesline. Booker T misses the elbow, but spins back up to deliver his patented Harlem sidekick. Booker T then executes a sidekick. Booker T continues to work over the arm of Martel. Martel reverse whips Booker into the ropes. OOPS! Traditional face vs. face boo boo, Booker accidentally crotches Martel while trying to leapfrog, but have no fear this is no replay of Steve Williams/Barry Windham from Starrcades past. The crowd is still quiet until Martel executes a spinebuster. A huge “Martel sux” chant ensues. Martel attempts to finish Booker, but Booker T scores a two count with a rollup. Martel applies his patented abdominal stretch. Oh, geesh, why should I “Fear the flock?” Back to the match, Booker T hiptosses his way out. Man, Tony Schiavone can’t call a wrestling match, can he? Finally, Martel applies the Boston crab. I have a funny feeling Booker will win now. Booker T is very close to the ropes and struggles to extend his arm about a foot. Well, Martel had his chance, Booker T dominates. Booker executes his trademark scissors kick, side salto and Harlem hangover for a huge upset.
POSTMATCH: Martel grabs the belt and appears he is going to nail Booker with it. (Come on Martel, let’s bring back that heel status.) However, both me raise each other’s hand in victory in a nice show of sportsmanship. As Booker T leaves, Saturn attacks Martel with a neckbreaker. Before Saturn can inflict any more damage, Booker T makes the save.
5. Larry Zbyszko (Spicolli interference – DQ) over Scott Hall.
THE MATCH: Hall poses as Louis Spicolli accompanies him. I like Spicolli playing the flunky roll. Zbyszko enters to the Nitro intro and signals to Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes is sporting a goatee (heel turn?). Is this Zbyszko preparing to give Hall the final humiliation? Hall appears pissed. Notice, I said appears to be pissed. Well, after the traditional toothpick flick, both men lock up. After trading armbars and arm ringers, a shoving match ensues. Zbyszko slaps Hall in response. Hall hiptosses twice out of Zbyszko’s abdominal stretch. On the apron, Spicolli nails Zbyszko. Rhodes becomes extremely angry and chases off Spicolli momentarily. Meanwhile, Hall stomps into Zbyszko. Hall slaps around Zbyszko. A huge “Larry” chant ensues as Hall continues to pummel Zbyszko and apply an armbar/leglock hold. Some NWO fans chant “Larry sux.” In response, WCW fans chant “Hall sux.” Hall executes his patented inverted slam. Hall signals for the Outsider Edge. Hall prepares to deliver the edge, but Zbyszko backdrops Hall to break the hold. Zbyszko stomps a mudhole into Hall. Each time Zbyszko pounds on Hall in the corner, the referee breaks it up. However, the ref takes a bump after taking an accidental kidney kick. Hall clotheslines Zbyszko. Spicolli attempts in vein to wake the ref, but it was to no avail. With Hall going to check in the ref, Zbyszko gets up. But the all knowing Zbyszko decides to play possum instead. Zbyszko rolls up Hall when Spicolli enters. Dusty intercepts Spicolli and delivers several copyrighted bionic elbow smashes. Rhodes does the crotch signal. And now the fun begins. Zbyszko holds Hall. Rhodes winds his elbow and… nails Zbyszko! Hall turns his back and oh my goodness, Dusty is unbuttoning his shirt. There is something black underneath. It’s, it’s, it’s a NWO T-SHIRT! DUSTY TURNS NWO! DUSTY TURNS NWO! DUSTY TURNS NWO! Rhodes is NWO. Tony Schiavone shuts up! The announcers are in total disbelief. I can’t believe Schiavone is speechless! And now all three proceed to drop the real Elbow Drop of Doom on Zbyszko. Dusty yells, “That’s tradition WCW, bite this!” WOW! Zbyszko is finally helped out by the referee.
6. Steiners & Ray Traylor (Scott screwdriver drop piledriver Konnan – pin) over Konnan, Buff Bagwell & Scott Norton.
THE MATCH: Interesting sign, “Buff Never Works Out.” The announcers have really shut up and Mike Tenay soon joins the broadcast team. In the early going Rick and Scott argue about who will start first. Well, Rick wins the argument here. You won’t see Scott for a long time. Rick and Buff begin a flex down. Rick gains control very early. Traylor tags in and sneaks in several trademark bolo uppercuts. The match features two segments with NWO B-team domination. Traylor is worked on for several minutes and then Rick meets a similar fate, While Rick is worked over, Scott stands beside Traylor to attempt a tag. Finally, Rick gives the hot tag to Traylor and Scott! Both men are legal! Scott cleans house. On the outside, manager Ted Dibiase nails Vince. (Oh, how much I love to type a statement like that.) Scott destroys everyone and wins easily with the Steiner screwdriver. Afterwards, Scott is basically hypnotized by Buff. The both Flex at each other. Traylor questions if Scott is a team player or not.
7. Kevin Nash (powerbomb – pin) over Giant.
THE MATCH: There is another unusual chant, “Giant sux!” Nash opens with a traditional headlock. Giant, not to be outdone breaks free with a back suplex. Giant forces Nash into the corner and delivers three squashes in the corner. Nash retreats after a foot choke by Giant. Nash takes over upon returning with a splash. Giant reverses a turnbuckle whip and clotheslines Nash. Giant follows up with a hiptoss. Nash reverse whips Giant into the ropes. Nash leapfrogs the Giant! Nash proceeds to clothesline Giant to the floor. This is great for big man match. Nash attempts a tope! But the Giant catches Nash and pounds Nash’s chest into the post. Giant tosses Nash back in the ring. However, Bischoff distracts the referee so Hogan can nail Nash with a chair. Giant finally enters in at the eight count and only after Nash could have won by countout. Thank goodness for avoiding a bad finish. Nash splashes Giant on the ropes three times, but Giant no-sells. Giant clotheslines a charging Nash. Both men big boot each other. The referee makes the count. Nash covers Giant, 1-2-no 2 1/2. Nash back Giant in the corner to deliver his trademark knees and elbows. Nash lands several clotheslines. Giant fights back with several clotheslines and a big foot. Nash struggles to his feet as Giant signals for what else, the chokeslam! But Bischoff mounts the apron and receives a chokeslam for his efforts. With Hogan continuing to distract the referee, Nash decided to douse Giant with hot coffee in his eyes. Please, not the Ric Flair blinding Giant with scolding hot coffee angle again. Nash then signals for the end, yes the powerbomb. Nash executes a powerbomb. Giant takes a nasty bump. Nash is in awe. Finally, Nash covers for the victory. Afterwards, all the referees check no the Giant. Giant’s eyes are wrapped.
SUPERBRAWL PROMO: Henry Holmes, DDP and several other wrestlers are in a tattoo parlor. What?
8. Bret Hart (sharpshooter – submission) over Ric Flair.
THE MATCH: Well, it’s 9:08 with two matches to go: Bret/Flair and Savage/Luger (UGH!) Wonder why this is not the main event. This is the match most have been waiting for and it appears it may be a classic. Well, things begin with Bret handing his shades to one lucky ringside fan. Bret begins the action with several headlocks and slams. Hart executes a drop toe hold and quickly slaps on the figure four. Knowing it is to early in the match to lose, Flair easily makes it to the ropes. Hart suplexes Flair from the apron and back into the ring. Hart slaps in a headlock, but Flair fights out. Hart continues his early offensive flurry with an armbar. Flair makes it to the ropes to force another break. Flair feels embarrassed and proceeds to shove Bret. Bret takes offense and slaps Flair in return. Flair retreats. Back in the ring, Hart turnbuckle whips Flair. hart backdrops and slams Flair. Bret then slaps on another headlock. Flair backs Hart into the corner and gives Bret the good old fashioned Bobby Heenan Greco-Roman thumb to the eyes. Flair pounds on Hart. Hart applies a sleeper and is forced to release with a Flair back suplex. Flair then mule kicks Bret in the family jewel while NWO punching bag referee Billy Silverman check on the time. Flair scores a two count with a kneedrop. Flair then slaps on a chinlock while using the ropes for leverage. Knowing Bret would not submit, Flair pounds on Bret in the corner. Bret fires back to gain the advantage. Bret eludes Flair and executes a spinning neckbreaker. Hart follows up with a bulldog for a two count. Hart begins to work over Flair’s knee. Hart tries to ram Flair’s knee on the post. No, sir, no way. Flair kicks of Bret to the guardrail. In the ring, Flair scores a two count after an elbow. Flair works over that knee like Richard Simmons at a dieting contest. Hart struggles as Flair grabs his leg, but Hart has flashbacks to brother Owen and delivers a back brain kick. Flair manages to his feet first, Flair attempts to slap on the figure four, but Bret manages a two count on a rollup counter. Hart scores another two count with a backslide. A frustrated Flair chop blocks Hart. Flair then slaps on the figure four. Bret never gives up. Bret struggles, struggles and struggles. Bret manages to turn over and reverse the figure four. The crowd responds with a huge pop. This is definitely an anti-Flair crowd. After a famous Flair toss, Hart follows up with a Russian leg sweep. In the corner, Flair manages a few chops, but Bret Hart no-sells each and every one. Flair begs for mercy. Hart pounds on Flair in the corner. Hart no-sells an inverted atomic drop. Flair’s in trouble now. Hart executes a superplex! Finally, Flair is in deep trouble. Hart locks on the sharpshooter (Scorpion death lock) and Flair submits cleanly.
9. Lex Luger (torture rack backbreaker – submission) over Randy Savage.
THE MATCH: Third match of a triple mane event, please Michael Buffer, this is Nitro fodder. Well, as I called it in preview, this is your what else? A typical Luger rematch. Savage attics before the bell with Liz interfering on several instances. (I won’t bother to mention the Liz/Hogan repeat angle.) The action spreads to the crowd with Luger smashing Savage’s head on the arena railing. With both men in the ring, Hall walks down with chair with Hogan behind him. Hogan tries to stop Hall to no avail. Finally, Luger racks Savage for the submission victory.
POSTMATCH: The NWO locker room empties as Luger takes another beating. Sting makes the save. It then boils down to Luger/Nash and Sting/Hollywood. Both Luger & Sting slaps on their finishers and the NWO retreats.