THE SPECIALISTS Nostalgia Review: WCW SuperBrawl 8; Sting vs. Hogan, Rick Martel vs. Booker T, Steiners vs. Hall/Nash, Luger vs. Savage
Feb 25, 2008 - 12:30:45 PM
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Brian Hoops, PW Torch.com Nostalgia Specialist
This week's look at wrestling nostalgia takes us back to the WCW February PPV, Superbrawl VIII. Superbrawl VIII was held on February 22, 1998 at the famous Cow Palace in San Francisco, California. WCW was riding a wave of popularity at the time, having just had the highest grossing PPV in company history at StarrCade 1997 and TV ratings were through the roof. However, poor booking decisions combined with backstage politicking, inflated egos and out of control spending practices had signaled the beginning of the end for WCW; although at the time, WCW management failed to acknowledge what was happening. The main event of SuperBrawl 8 was a rematch for the WCW World Heavyweight Title between Hulk Hogan and Sting. The buy rate for Superbrawl was 1.1, the highest rating for a Superbrawl PPV in history, but down from the Starrcade PPV that drew a 1.9. The show drew a sellout crowd of 12,620 fans paying $310,974.
The announce team for the show is Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan.
Dark match saw the Ultimo Dragon pin Shiryu.
1. Booker T defeated Rick Martel for the WCW World TV Title in 10:23. The winner of this match was then supposed to face Perry Saturn for the title later in the show. Martel was a former AWA World Heavyweight champion in the mid 80's and later had a successful heel run as "The Model" in the WWF. Booker T was just starting to come into his own as a singles wrestler, having won his first TV Title on December 29, 1997 but then losing the title to Martel on February 16. They had a great match that ended when Booker caught Martel coming off the turnbuckle with a Harlem Sidekick and covered him for the win. Martel blew his knee out early in the match.The crowd popped big for the title change.
2. Booker T defeated Perry Saturn to retain the WCW World TV Title in 14:23. Immediately after the match, Saturn hit the ring and attacked Booker T, putting him in the Rings of Saturn. Saturn controlled most of the early part of the match, allowing Booker time to sell and get a rest from the previous match. Booker was either really good at selling how tired he was, or else he was completely exhausted by the finish. Booker slipped out of a suplex and landed the Harlem Sidekick on Saturn for the finish. It was good, but as good as the Martel-Booker T opening match.
3. Disco Inferno defeated La Parka in 11:41 following a Chart Buster. They were given a lot of time in their match and told a good story. La Parka took control mid way through the match since he was doing the job in the match and his offense looked good while Disco did a decent job of selling as the babyface in peril. La Parka brought his customary chair into the ring, only Disco reversed and sent La Parka face first into the chair and then Disco hit the Chart Buster.
JJ Dillion then was interviewed by Gene Okerlund and Dillion reinstated suspended referee Nick Patrick.
4. Bill Goldberg defeated Brad Armstrong in 2:23. Goldberg was starting to build his popularity and the match with Armstrong was basically a squash. The only offense Armstrong received was a Side Russian legsweep that Goldberg no sold. Goldberg hit the spear and the jackhammer for the pin.
5. Chris Jericho defeated Juventud Guerrera in a WCW Cruiserweight Title vs. Mask match to retain the Cruiserweight title in 13:29. Eric Bischoff was determined to get the masks off of Mexican wrestlers, having already taken off the mask of Rey Mysterio Jr. Jericho was on his third WCW Cruiserweight Title run and had last won the belt on January 24, 1998 from Rey Mysterio Jr, who had won the belt from Guerrera earlier in January. Jericho wrestled the first few minutes of the match with the belt on. Since Jericho was well-schooled in Mexican style matches, they wrestled very well together. They did one false finish spot where Juvi hit the 450 splash on Jericho and instead of kicking out, Jericho grabbed the ropes. The referee counted three and the bell rang, but the ref immediately signaled that the match should continue. They teased the Liontamer twice but Juvi was able to reverse it. Finish came when Juvi went for a hurricarana; but Jericho turned it into the Liontamer and Juvi tapped out in an excellent match.
6. Davey Boy Smith defeated Steve McMichael in 6:10. It would have been hard to follow such a great match anyway, so they put Davey Boy Smith against Steve McMichael on next. Match was mostly punching and kicking and was possibly the worst match on the card. McMichael hurt his wrist during the match and the Bulldog locked on an armbar to gain the submission victory. McMichael attacked the referee after the match, claiming he never submitted.
7. Dallas Page defeated Chris Benoit to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight Title after page hit Benoit with the Diamond Cutter in 15:46. Page won the U.S. title from Curt Hennig at StarrCade 1997 and was on his first U.S. title reign. Match was very good as they worked well together. Finish came when after each man traded several believable near falls, Page hit the Diamond Cutter for the clean win.
8. Lex Luger defeated Randy Savage by submission when Savage submitted to the torture rack in 7:26. Luger came out with his ribs heavily tapped, selling an injury at the hands of Savage. Luger went for a Gorilla Press Slam early in the match, but sold the ribs. Savage worked over Luger's ribs for most of the match, until Luger put the rack on Savage. Miss Elizabeth raked Luger eyes, then the NWO hit the ring and Luger and Savage both fought the NWO off. Luger then put the rack back on Savage and Savage submitted. A nothing match.
9. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash with Dusty Rhodes defeated the Steiner Brothers with Ted DiBiase in 4:16 to become new World Tag Team Titles. Rick Steiner and Scott Hall started the match and neither, Nash or Scott Steiner officially tagged in. After Rick cleared the ring of Hall and Nash, Scott turned on Rick and DiBiase and joined the NWO. Hall gave Rick an Outsiders Edge to get the pinfall victory. Crowd was solidly behind the Outsiders and the Scott Steiner heel turn. This would be the last Steiner Brothers title reign as WCW World Tag Team Champions.
10. In the main event, Sting defeated Hollywood Hogan for the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Title in 16:32. Due to the controversy surrounding the StarrCade 1997 main event where Sting and Hulk wrestled for the title, WCW commissioner J.J. Dillion declared the title vacant on January 8, 1998 and ordered Sting and Hogan wrestle at the SuperBrawl PPV to determine the world champion. Hogan got the early offense to build up to Sting's big babyface comeback. Sting locked in the Scorpion Death Lock, but Hogan reached the ropes. Sting went for a Stinger Splash, but Hogan pulled the referee in front of him to absorb the blow. Hogan hit is legdrop but Sting kicked out. After Hogan used a rear chin lock and a low blow, Sting regained the upper hand and hit Hogan with two Stinger Splashes and the Scorpion Death Drop. Hogan kicked the ref and then the NWO hit the ring. While Sting was fending off the NWO, Randy Savage knocked Hogan out with a spray can and Sting covered him for the win. It was a decent main event and had a satisfying ending.
Summary: This was a good PPV and worthwhile to go back and watch from a nostalgia standpoint. The main event was decent and the Scott Steiner heel turn was done well. The best match was the Jericho-Guerrera match with Martel-Booker T and Page-Benoit also being very good matches. The lack of impact interviews holds the rating down on this PPV. An interview with Booker T or Sting after they won their titles would have been a nice touch and a way to add importance to the titles.
I hoped you enjoyed this week’s look back at wrestling nostalgia. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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