In this edition of a Better VHS Experience, I will be reviewing one hell of a WCW pay per view. This event was held on May 17, 1998, and it was held at The Centrum in Worcester, Mass. The show got 11,592 into the building, and they were raucous for sure. The matches here were well booked, and set up. In fact, this may have been the best WCW pay per view from 1998.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to see these shows on VHS tape instead of the WWE Network. There’s a LOT of censorship when you see them on the network, but hey, that’s just my 2 cents as to why I talk about this stuff on this site. This is my take on going back and watching this instant classic.
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WWE Slamboree 1998 Results
Fit Finlay defeated Chris Benoit
What an opener. Fit Finlay put the boots to Benoit, and this match was stiff. Both guys were hitting each other with some serious lumber in the ring, but it was Finlay with a serious tombstone piledriver on Benoit for the win. This was a hard hitting television title match, and definitely a good starting point.
Lex Luger defeated Brian Adams
This wasn’t very good. Lex Luger is great in high profile matches, but this wasn’t necessarily grand.
Ciclope won the Cruiserweight Battle Royal
This was awesome. Chris Jericho announced each participant, and it was a lot of great lucha guys. The match was great, and then left 2 major wrestlers in the ring. Ciclope and Juvi, and after a stare down, Juvi jumped out of the ring eliminating himself, only to reveal that under the Ciclope mask was none other than Dean Malenko! This absolutely blew up the crowd, and things went insane. This was exciting, and beyond what you may think. I was even screaming, it was great
Dean Malenko defeated Chris Jericho for the Cruiserweight Title
This was a scientific match, and it got the crowd moving. Jericho played a great heel here, and his in ring work is so much better with smaller guys. The two went back and forth across moves you don’t see anyone do in WWE, and it was amazing. The crowd was eating out of their hands, and when the dust settled, Dean Malenko won this grudge match. Great overall wrestling here, and perhaps one of the finest performances between the two.
Diamond Dallas Page Defeated Raven in an Asylum Match, I Mean a Bowery Death Match
Raven’s rules made this one so cool. DDP fought Raven inside a steel cage with weapons inside and it was awesome. This was my favorite match of the night, and Raven really put on a show against DDP. He also bumped like crazy for Page. Through the mid-point of the match, however, the FLOCK got involved, only to get beat up by Kanyon! Kanyon ripped his mask off from being Mortis, and then chained the flock to the cage, and hit Raven with a chair shot heard round the world. But overall, this match was insane, lots of hard hits, lots of back and forth, and even Raven doing the Diamond Cutter at one point. This was an instant classic for me.
Eddie Guerrero defeated Ultimo Dragon
Another instant classic, Guerrero and Dragon put on a showcase of pro-wrestling the likes you don’t see in WWE a lot. Guerrero is so underrated here, and Dragon was misused in WWE. The two put on a showcase of amazing moments, and in the end Guerrero took the win. Excellent match.
Goldberg defeated Saturn in the WCW United States Championship match
Goldberg ran through Saturn. Don’t get this wrong though, the match was only 7 minutes long, but Saturn put the boots to Goldberg and he looked as though he was going down until Goldberg caught Saturn in mid-air and drove him to the mat. Then things went nuts. The crowd was so into Goldberg it’s insane.
Bret Hart defeated Randy Savage (Piper was special referee)
If you read WIKIPEDIA they are wrong. While the match ending was reversed, Savage lost this one in an instant classic from Hart. Hart and Savage put on a classic psychological match with Hart targeting Savage’s injured leg. The injured leg would come into play at the end when Savage would get locked into the sharpshooter. Savage even reversed the Sharpshooter at one point and it was to no avail. The ending was a bit much, with Piper going down after Hart hit him, then Hogan showing up to mess up Savage’s leg, and Hart getting the win after all the shenanigans.
Sting and The Giant defeated The Outsiders for the WCW Tag Team Championships
This was a match that had some big hits, big moves. Lots of back and forth, and a classic match with two teams that were quite good overall. The Giant joined the NWO, so this was an odd one. Whatever the case was, this was a good 15-minute match that could’ve been better, but hey, I’m not going to complain too much. The shocker here was that Scott Hall turned on Kevin Nash. This of course would lead to the formation of the NWO red and black which was HUGE in the second half of 1998.
Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
Slamboree 1998 is one of the best WCW pay per views in my opinion. The matches were fun, and the stories that were told were classic in my opinion. Of course, there were a few lulls, but overall, there’s a lot to explore here. The cruiserweight battle royal and Raven vs DDP were absolutely great. This is a follow up to the Spring Stampede match that Raven beat DDP in, and it was amazing. Great stuff. This is well worth tracking down on VHS.