WCW House Show 5/1/1998
Written by: Bob Colling
World Championship Wrestling House Show
From: Greenville, SC
The event happens outside at a baseball stadium. Interestingly, the wrestlers are brought to the ring in a golf cart due to the wrestlers coming from the outfield area.
Opening Contest: Yuji Nagata vs. Ernest Miller: Early on, Miller knocks Yuji to the floor following a kick to the face. Miller continues his control with a clothesline and Nagata goes to the floor again to regroup. Yuji drops Miller throat first across the top rope to gain control. Yuji hits an overhead suplex but Miller kicks out at two on the cover. Ernest fights back until he runs into a savant kick in the corner and Nagata works over the arm of Miller. Yuji gets a near fall after another overhead suplex. Miller hits a neck breaker and delivers a kick before hitting a running clothesline. Miller plants Nagata with a spinning Death Valley Driver slam and connects with a spinning kick to the chest for the win. (*1/2. A rather quick match but I thought Miller demonstrated some good energy and the action was awful.)
Second Contest: Bobby Eaton vs. The Barbarian: Eaton works over Barbarian with a few strikes and backdrops the big man over the top to the floor. Barbarian stalls on the floor and grabs a chair, which gets the crowd pumped up. Barbarian enters with the chair but isn’t able to use it. Eaton decides to grab the chair and teases to use it on Barbarian, but is also prevented from using it by the referee. Barbarian gets the early advantage with several strikes in the corner. Eaton nearly gets a three count following a sunset flip but can’t keep Barbarian down long enough. Eaton hits his trademark swinging neck breaker two times for a near fall. Bobby heads to the top rope looking for a knee drop but misses. Barbarian delivers the Kick of Fear and wins. (DUD. Yeah, that was basically just a squash for Barbarian, for whatever reason.)
Third Contest: Billy Kidman & Sick Boy vs. High Voltage: Rage and Sick Boy kick off the match. Rage takes Boy down to the mat and gets the better of him with some mat wrestling based offense. Kaos tags in and maintains control on Sick Boy. High Voltage continues to make quick tags and work over Sick Boy. Kidman kicks Rage from the apron and that allows Boy to deliver a spinning elbow strike. Rage catches Kidman and tosses him onto Sick Boy. Rage press slams Kaos onto Sick Boy for a near fall as well. Kaos sends both Sick Boy and Kidman over the stop with a clothesline and they stagger on the infield grass. Kidman dropkicks Kaos to get the advantage. Kaos slams Kidman to gain the upper hand. Rage enters and keeps a basic control on Kidman with a chin lock before hitting a slam and Kaos nearly wins after a slingshot leg drop from the apron. Kaos chases Kidman on the outside until Sick Boy nails him with a clothesline. Kaos is sent chest first into the ring apron, as well. Kaos decks Kidman with a clothesline but is met with a clothesline from Sick Boy on the apron. Kaos fights out of the corner after being double teamed but can’t make the tag out. Kidman goes for the Shooting Star Press on Kaos but misses the move. Rage gets the hot tag and cleans house on the heels. Rage hits an overhead belly to belly suplex on both heels. Kidman is sent to the floor and High Voltage hits a side slam/leg drop combo but Kidman makes the save on the cover. Sick Boy plants Rage with a Pedigree while Kidman and Kaos brawled on the floor and get the three count. (*1/4. A very basic match put on by these four guys was High Voltage and Sick Boy came across as Power Plant guys, even though Rage had some success in Japan. It felt like it went on forever and I lost interest five minutes in, really.)
Fourth Contest: Perry Saturn vs. Fit Finlay: Fit takes Saturn down to the canvas with a leg trip and focuses on the left knee of Saturn. Saturn delivers a kick to the midsection and works over Finlay with a few stomps in the corner. Fit cuts him off and controls Saturn with control of the elbow. Saturn gets dropped throat first across the top rope but soon comes back with several stomps on the canvas. Saturn clotheslines Finlay and gets a near fall. Saturn continues his offense with a series of strikes to keep Fit on the canvas, but Finlay cuts him off with an atomic drop. Finlay keeps the advantage with a headlock for a few moments and the pace of the bout has slowed down greatly. Saturn yanks Fit away from the ropes as a slam and gets a two count on a cover attempt. Finlay misses a shoulder ram in the corner and hits the middle turnbuckle. Saturn plants Fit with the Death Valley Driver right in the middle of the ring for the win. (*. A really boring match as Finlay decided to go with rest holds for seemingly most of his offense. These two would realistically have a better match had they put forth the effort.)
Fifth Contest: WCW Television Champion Chris Benoit vs. Booker T: Early on, they wrestle on the mat with Booker getting the better of the exchange. Booker drops Benoit to the canvas with a back suplex and Benoit bails to the outside to recover. Benoit avoids a leaping side kick and Booker lands across the top rope. Benoit stomps away on Booker in the corner. Benoit kicks Booker in the corner to retain control of the bout and follows up with a back suplex. Benoit comes off the top and hits a diving head butt! Benoit is slow not he cover and Booker is able to kick out just before three. Booker comes off the ropes to deliver a leaping forearm strike and a spine buster. Booker flapjacks Benoit and plays to the crowd before missing a spin kick, but hits it on a second attempt and gets the win and title! (**. Surprisingly this one was very quick and not anywhere near what you’d see on television from these two in ’98. The fans popped for the finish and it’s always neat to see a title change at a house show.)
Sixth Contest: Raven vs. Diamond Dallas Page in a Raven’s Rules match: DDP has gotten the biggest reception thus far, and it’s not even close. Page starts the match ramming Raven head first into the corner ten times and the fans are eating it all up. Raven is sent chest first into the corner and they head to the floor, but they come back to the ring where Raven drops Page throat first across the top rope. Raven continues his attack in the ring with strikes in the corner. DDP hammers away on Raven in the corner but runs into a big boot. Raven sends DDP to the floor and they head over towards the golf carts, where Raven sends Page into one of them but Page counters later and sends Raven into the dugout wall. They are back in the ring where Raven crotches Page on the top and both men are down. Page locks in a sleeper hold and Raven is fading until he breaks the hold with a jaw breaker.
Page tries to fight back with right hands but is stopped by a DDT which only gets Raven a near fall. Page sends Raven into the corner and comes off the ropes to hit the Diamond Cutter for the win. (**1/4. The crowd energy was off the charts and the guys put on a decent match. Kind of odd that they didn’t use any weapons or anything in a hardcore match. That probably would have helped the match even more. An average match is the best match on the show so far.)
Main Event: WCW World Tag Team Champion Kevin Nash vs. The Giant: Giant misses an overhand strike and Nash delivers several forearm strikes in the corner before choking his rival with his boot. Nash clotheslines Giant in the opposite corner but Giant comes back with one of his own and a side kick. Giant misses an elbow drop after coming off the ropes. Giant uses his backside to ram into Nash in the corner. Giant stands on Nash but misses a splash in the corner. Nash jumps on Giant’s back a few times as he is across the middle rope. Nash attempts a jackknife but is rammed into the corner. Nash recovers quickly and has a sleeper hold locked in. Giant begins to second wind and knocks Big Sexy down with a few head butt and a clothesline. Giant signals for the choke slam but Nash avoids it with a low blow and the referee calls for the bell for a cheap finish. After the match, Nash plants the referee with a jackknife. Nash leaves and heads back in a golf cart. (*. A cheap finish to end the show, though the action was probably better than what most would expect. It couldn’t have been much more than five minutes worth of action. Even on house shows WCW failed at giving clean finishes for the fans.)
Nothing stands out here on the show as Raven/Page had the best match when the action was average at best. The crowd was excited for the show but the action just wasn’t there as it seemed like most of the guys mailed it in and didn’t want to put forth high quality action. A bad house show this time around.
Thanks for reading.