Those who scoff and claim professional wrestlers aren’t REAL athletes have had their grinning traps shut in the last couple of months. Not once but twice. On the heels of Shawn Michaels’ WrestleMania 14 performance whilst suffering from a back injury, WCW’s Randy “Macho Man” Savage fought through the agonizing pain of a torn ACL knee ligament to compete in the main event of Spring Stampede ’98. At the risk of permanent injury, Savage (real name Randy Poffo) flawlessly carried his part of the show never displaying the pain he felt until the bell had rung and the World Title bout against Sting had ended.

Savage began his third stint as WCW World Champion not giving a second glance to the treasured golden belt draped across his body. He lay on the mat clutching his knee in both hands as a concerned Kevin Nash knelt beside him.

American TV Guide columnist Phil Mushnick claims there aren’t any role models in professional wrestling? I beg to differ, Phil the shrill.

The internal grumblings in the New World Order gang escalated into a civil war tonight at the The Coliseum in Denver, Colorado. Savage’s win and Hollywood Hogan’s betrayal of tag team partner Kevin Nash in their Bat Match versus The Giant and Roddy Piper sets the stage for a War Games match with the nWo splinter group The Wolf Pac opposing Hogan’s faithful nWo forces.

Openly challenging Hogan’s leadership, Kevin Nash lended Macho a hand in his title victory Jack Knife Power Bombing Sting after interference by Hogan.

In the dying moments of the title match with the ref a victim of a miscalculated Stinger Splash, Miss Elizabeth ran into the ring and labeled Sting with a steel chair across the back. Macho used Liz as a human shield blocking another Stinger Splash then smacked Sting with the chair again. Positioning Sting’s neck over the chair, Macho climbed to the top rope readying his finishing move: the Flying Elbow Drop. Sensing Savage’s impending triumph, Hogan ran out pushing him off the top rope. Shaking the cob webs out of his head, Sting Death Dropped Savage on the chair.

Sting covered Macho Man. The ref still snoozed. Enter Kevin Nash maliciously Power Bombing Sting down on the canvass. Nash placed Savage over The Dark Warrior and awoke the ref who then slapped the three count. Outraged, Hogan and The Disciple (Ed Leslie formerly Brutus Beefcake, The Booty Man..etc..etc..) stepped through the curtain taking in the scene.

“That’s MY belt! You’ll have hell to pay,” shouted Hollywood Hogan pointing at Nash.

The Savage assist was Nash’s slap in the face to Hogan. During their Bat Match, Hogan swung a baseball bat at Roddy Piper as Nash held him. Piper ducked and the bat struck Nash in the abdomen. Hogan feigned an apology at the conclusion of the bout encouraging Nash to Power Bomb The Giant. Nash complied lifting The Giant up but Hollywood swung the bat drilling Nash in the shoulder. Hogan left Nash in the middle of the ring. Scott Norton and Vincent aided Nash to the dressing room.

The next WCW pay-per-view is Slamboree on May 17th.

WCW Spring Stampede ’98 Results

: It is announced that Savage will remove his cast in order to compete in the now No DQ title match.

Saturn vs Bill Goldberg

: Unbelievable pops for Goldberg throughout.
: At a mere 43 seconds in, Kidman interferes. Goldberg launches Kidman on top of Saturn outside the ring.
: Goldberg takes Saturn’s bumps effectively but his energy level seems to dwindle as the bout goes on. Saturn positions Goldberg’s arm behind the steel steps slamming them on it.
: Kidman lands a “low blow” to stop The Jackhammer. Goldberg press slams Saturn from the second rope and stands up out of the Rings Of Saturn.

Winner: At 8 minutes and 10 seconds, Bill Goldberg.

Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs The Ultimo Dragon

: Why has WCW made a jobber / undercarder out of the talented Dragon?
: If Chavo wins…Eddie has to get off his case. If Chavo loses…Eddie is twice as nasty towards him.
: Chavo hits with a drop kick to The Dragon’s groin. Chavo lets him recover which ticks off Eddie.
: Chavo has The Dragon beat. He attempts a Corkscrew DDT. The Dragon reverses it into a Dragon Sleeper. Chavo goes nighty-night.
: Eddie screams at Chavo…”What do I have to do?”.
: Chavo replies…”I won’t cheat to win”.

Winner: The Ultimo Dragon at 11 minutes and 48 seconds.

Chris Benoit (challenger) vs Booker T. (champion) (Television Title Match)

: Unlike the usual 10 minute TV time limit…tonight there is no time limit.
: Another candidate for Match Of The Year as Booker T. and Benoit exhibit unyielding energy.
: Benoit pulls the referee into Booker’s Axe Kick knocking him out. Benoit applies The Crippler Crossface. Does Booker tap out or was he reaching for the ropes? There’s no ref to acknowledge the submission in any case.
: Booker lands a Harlem Side Kick over the head of the ref and gets the 1-2-3.

Winner: At 14 minutes and 10 seconds…and still Television Champion…Booker T.

The British Bulldog vs Curt Hennig

: As per the stipulation, Rick Rude is handcuffed to Jim Niedhart.
: Dressed as a cop, Vincent frees Rude. Rude handcuffs Niedhart to the steel post.
: Hennig and Rude wail on The Bulldog and Niedhart with Vincent’s nightstick.
: Bret Hart is nowhere to be seen. I thought his mission was to save people being “screwed”?

Winner: Curt Hennig at 4 minutes and 39 seconds.

Prince Iaukea (challenger) vs Chris Jericho (champion) (Cruiserweight Title Match)

: In a kind gesture, Jericho dedicates the match to Dean Malenko.
: I think the crowd chanted “Jericho Sucks”. Naaw. They couldn’t have. Must have been the static on my television set.
: In a brilliant move (one of his world famous 2004 astounding wrestling maneuvers), Jericho escapes Prince Nakamacki’s Northern Lights Suplex by grabbing the bottom rope.
: Jericho applies the Lion Tamer. Prince Nakamacki wimps out, taps out and checks out.
: Jericho takes Nakamacki’s traditional island garment as a trophy. Nakamacki fumbles through the phone book for the nearest Jenny Craig location.

Winner: …and still Cruiserweight Champion…Chris Jericho at 9 minutes and 42 seconds.

Scott Steiner / Buff Bagwell vs Lex Luger and Rick Steiner

: Bagwell enters the ring wearing a hastily wrapped cast saying he can’t wrestle under J.J. Dillon’s rules. Dillon and a doctor come out. The doc checks the flimsy cast. Bagwell grabs J.J. with his “bad hand” blowing the charade.
: Luger is hot tagged in at 4:50 racking Bagwell as Rick chases Scott to the dressing room. Rick returns but Scott doesn’t.

Winners: At 5 minutes and 53 seconds, Lex Luger and Rick Steiner.

La Parka vs Psychosis

: Bonus match not announced previously.

Winner: Psychosis at 7 minutes even.

Kevin Nash / Hollywood Hogan vs The Giant / Roddy Piper (Bat Match)

: The bat is suspended on a pole taped to a ring post.
: Piper goes for the bat right away. Hogan pulls Piper down.
: Piper yanks out some of Hogan’s hair. Hogan whips Piper with his weightlifting belt. Piper does the same to Hogan.
: Hollywood climbs for the bat but The Giant grabs him by the shorts exposing his behind. The Giant puts Hogan (his pants back up) over his knee and spanks him.
: The Giant drop kicks Nash out of the ring. Piper has the bat. Hogan pulls it out of his hands and drops it to the floor. Hogan hits The Giant over the head with a bat thrown to him by The Disciple.
: Hogan swings at Roddy Piper held by Nash. Piper ducks and the bat hits Nash in the stomach.
: As The Disciple and Piper have a tug of war over the bat, The Disciple throws Hollywood another one. Hogan brains Piper and gets the pinfall.
: Hogan offers an apology encouraging Nash to Power Bomb The Giant. Nash complies. He lifts The Giant up but Hollywood punks Nash in the shoulder with the bat.
: Hogan leaves. Scott Norton and Vincent help Nash to his feet.

Winners: Hollywood Hogan and Kevin Nash at 13 minutes and 22 seconds. .

Raven (challenger) vs Diamond Dallas Page (champion) (U.S. Title Raven Rules Match)

: Winner must defend the strap against Goldberg on Nitro tonight.
: Sick Boy grabs DDP as Raven attempts to crown him with the belt. DDP ducks and Sick Boy is hit.
: DDP delivers an axe handle from atop a stage coach prop. Raven is thrown through wooden fences, hit with a trash can and suplexed on the WCW Internet site table.
: Raven puts DDP on a table landing an axe handle off the first tier of balcony seats.
: Raven chokes DDP with a bull rope dragging him back to the ring.
: Raven hits DDP with a kitchen sink. Hammer misses a clothesline and hits Raven. DDP drop toe holds Raven into the kitchen sink.
: DDP uses a stop sign to waffle The Flock. A new Flock member dressed as a WCW crew member takes the sign and clobbers DDP.
: Raven Evenflow DDTs Page for the win.

Winner: …and new U.S. Champion…Raven at 11 minutes and 51 seconds .

Macho Man (challenger) vs Sting (champion) (WCW World Title Match)

Winner: ..and new WCW World Champion…Macho Man Randy Savage at 10 minutes and 29 seconds .

Total event time: 2 hours and 39 minutes.