This Week In 90’s Wrestling: April 5th – April 11th


After weeks of hype as Jim Cornette’s mystery team, the Heavenly Bodies — Stan Lane and Tom Pritchard — finally made their debut in Smoky Mountain Wrestling, where they would reign as the company’s top heels for the next two years.

Just nine days after an incredible supercard, All Japan Women returned for seconds with Dreamslam II in Osaka. The in-ring highlight of the show was an interpromotional tag team match where Manami Toyota and Toshiyo Yamada faced Mayumi Ozaki and Dynamite Kansai in the second ***** match of their series, the first happening at November’s Dream Rush show. The match earned Match of the Year honors among Wrestling Observer Newsletter subscribers.

All Japan Pro Wrestling continued the Championship Carnival with a card in Osaka, where Kenta Kobashi faced Jun Akiyama in a ***1/4 match. Also on the show, Akira Taue upset Stan Hansen, who sold a storyline rib injury, in a *** match while Mitsuharu Misawa and Toshiaki Kawada had a ***3/4 30-minute draw.

WCW aired Spring Stampede live on pay-per-view from Tacoma, WA, in front of 17,690 fans. The show is generally regarded as WCW’s last pay-per-view hurrah from an in-ring point of view, as the show was loaded with good matches. Juventud Guerrera faced Blitzkrieg in a ***3/4 opener which saw Juventud debut a Michinoku Driver from the top rope while Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko faced Raven and Perry Saturn in an excellent ***1/2 match aided greatly by the ringside antics of Arn Anderson. In the main event, Ric Flair defended the WCW World Title in a four-corners match against Hulk Hogan, Diamond Dallas Page and Sting, with Randy Savage as the referee. Both Sting and Savage returned to WCW television after a long absence just six days earlier. Hogan was also about to take a sabbatical to get knee surgery and was written out of storylines during the match with an injury from DDP. Many were skeptical not so much of the legitimacy of Hogan’s injury but of the timing of his surgery, as business was free-falling as he was anchoring the ship. The show did approximately 225,000 buys, which was considered a disappointment at the time. Despite the quality of the show, it was not hyped particularly well, as WCW was caught in a booking tailspin from which they would never recover. You can watch it on the WWE Network.