12. Spring Stampede 1999
The quality of WCW had begun to dip mightily throughout 1998 and into early 1999 (which is like saying that the air quality in a sewage-strewn town began to dwindle a tad). Spring Stampede 1999 was an oasis in the barren wasteland that was the promotion at the time, as maximum efforts and surprisingly-great performances made this the best pay per view of the year – for either of the Big Two.
Whether it’s Juventud Guerrera and Blitzkrieg’s jaw-dropping stunt show, Bam Bam Bigelow and Hak (The Sandman) smashing each other with plunder, or Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko’s well-worked tag team match with Raven and Saturn, the show plays to the strengths of its roster, instead of letting complacency reign. The Kevin Nash/Goldberg match was brief, but it’s definitely one of the better Nash showings of his WCW run.
11. Halloween Havoc 1997
This particular Havoc achieved in the sense of having a greater impact in wrestling culture. Sure, the Hulk Hogan/Roddy Piper cage match was garbage, but it was the crux of a classic Jim Cornette tangent on Raw. While “Age in the Cage” was only good for cheap laughs and unintentional comedy, other parts of the card succeeded in the positive column.
It must be said that perhaps no major American company has had a junior-heavyweight battle on the level of Eddy Guerrero and Rey Misterio Jr’s title-vs-mask match, a flawless masterpiece if there ever was one. Contrasting that was the “Las Vegas Death Match” between Diamond Dallas Page and Randy Savage, in what is most likely Savage’s last great match ever. Throw in some nifty international flavour earlier on (Yuji Nagata vs. Ultimo Dragon, Chris Jericho vs. Gedo), and you see why this show gets mentioned even 20 years later.