Road Wild 1997

This is from even earlier than usual so please excuse the lower quality of it.
Road
Wild 1997
Date: August 9, 1997
Location: Sturgis
Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis, South Dakota
Attendance: 6,500
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Back to the motorcycle
place and to the shock of everyone, Hogan ISN’T champion! He lost
the title to Luger on Monday just before this match. That’s always
been surprising because you would think they would just have Sting
break the year and a half reign. Instead they went with this which
is questionable but it was a bit of a breather at least. There isn’t
much else to talk about here so let’s get to it.

Harlem Heat vs.
Vicious and Delicious
That’s Norton and
Bagwell. Buff and Booker get us going here. Booker hooks the arm
but Bagwell dropkicks him into the corner and it’s off to Norton.
Ray comes in for a power vs. power brawl and Norton gets slammed.
Back to Booker for a suplex which gets two but a spin kick is
countered into a kind of powerbomb. Buff cleans house for some
reason but Booker knocks him to the outside.
Booker hooks a chinlock
which is a heel move but since they’re against the NWO, wouldn’t that
make them faces? Bagwell fights up and hits a clothesline to set up
the tag to Norton. Stevie breaks up the tag as I can’t get over the
heel/face dynamic being so backwards here. Cue Jackie to really make
this match great. Harlem Heat had been promising a surprise before
this and I guess it’s her.
Bagwell comes back from
the beating with a powerbomb of all things and it’s off to Norton off
a hot (?) tag. Vincent’s interference fails so Ray beats him up.
Norton hits Booker with the shoulderbreaker but Jackie interferes
enough to let Booker side kick Norton down for the pin. What an odd
match.
Rating: D.
I’m not sure what the idea here was but it really didn’t work all
that well. First of all, the heel/face dynamic was completely
backwards here, as the NWO team wrestled as faces. Harlem Heat
wrestled as heels and had Bagwell in trouble most of the time, plus
Norton got a hot tag and the Heat had a manager interfere. Oh and
Jackie sucks but you already know that. I don’t know what was going
on here but it didn’t work.
DiBiase talks about how
awesome his team of Steiners are.
Konnan vs. Rey
Mysterio Jr.
This is a Mexican Death
Match, which I think means knockout or submission only. Konnan is
NWO also. Apparently it’s a Mexican Grudge Death Match and it’s No
DQ. That’s the only rule apparently. Rey has a bad leg coming in.
He speeds things up to start and hits a springboard missile dropkick
to take over. That’s quite a leg injury. Konnan drops him on the
buckle and hits a clothesline to the back of Rey’s head to take him
down.
Konnan hooks a leg lock
and Rey screams a lot. Mysterio gets sent to the floor and tries to
jump over Konnan to come back in, but he hurts his knee again. A
chopblock puts Rey down again and it’s time to crank on the leg. The
leg work continues for awhile as there’s not much to say. Konnan
puts on leg hold #19 and goes after Rey’s mask. A powerbomb puts Rey
down so he can get a better attempt at it.
Konnan gets the mask
off but can’t get it completely off, so Rey gets in a weak shot to
the ribs and puts the mask back on. Rey’s offense is pretty bad due
to the injured leg and his double springboard moonsault misses badly.
Konnan kicks the knee out again and this needs to end soon. There’s
a modified Stump Puller (he puts Rey’s legs in figure four position
but sits Rey up and sits on the neck, pulling back on Mysterio’s
legs) but it keeps going as Konnan gets bored. Mysterio comes back
with a quick rollup for two. Rey goes up but gets caught in a cradle
DDT and the Tequila Sunrise for the tap.
Rating: D+.
So why was this no DQ again? It was never mentioned or used at all.
The leg work was ok enough and the match wasn’t all that bad, but for
a DEATH match, there wasn’t anything deadly about it at all. If this
were a regular match it would have been ok enough, but don’t add the
gimmick names if there’s nothing special about them.
Mean Gene has gotten a
tattoo. My goodness.
Dean Malenko/Jeff
Jarrett vs. Steve McMichael/Chris Benoit
This is an elimination
tag for no apparent reason. The Horsemen feud is STILL going on and
mainly is between Jarrett and McMichael, neither of whom got over
because of it. Jarrett and Benoit start and Jarrett wants little to
do with that so it’s time for Dean. Benoit runs him over and Dean
slows things down. That doesn’t last long as Benoit starts running
again, but misses an enziguri. Dean misses an elbow and it’s a
standoff.
They fight over a
victory roll and Dean gets two off a small package. Benoit tags in
Mongo who charges into a drop toehold. Dean hits the ropes but gets
kicked in the back for the Horsemen to take over. They keep
alternating on him for a few minutes with Mongo using a variety of
side slams, which are some of the only moves he was decent at.
Jarrett runs from Mongo as Mongo tries a tackle at Dean. Malenko
jumps over him and makes the tag to Jarrett, who is terrified.
Jeff, the US Champion,
comes in and pulls Mongo on top of himself and intentionally gets
pinned. THE US CHAMPION PEOPLE! So now it’s a handicap match so
Dean goes crazy to start, grabbing some fast rollups. Benoit
reverses a tombstone and hits the Swan Dive but it’s back to Mongo
for more beating. Tombstone finally ends this.
Rating: C-.
Everything without Jarrett in there was fine. When Mongo is better
than you in a match, you need to get out. Thankfully Jarrett would
jump to the WWF in about two months. This country music entrance
that he had and all the stuff with Miss Debra didn’t work AT ALL, so
they pushed it for the better part of a year. It just dragged
everything down and no one ever cared. Jeff didn’t get interesting
until he became a jerk with short hair in 1998. Then he was
bearable.
Cruiserweight Title:
Chris Jericho vs. Alex Wright
Wright is champion.
Feeling out process to start with Wright running to the ropes. The
fans chant gay slurs at him as the feeling out continues. Jericho
charges at Wright which gets him nowhere. Some chops and right hands
put Wright down on the floor and we stall some more. Back in Wright
grabs a headlock which is quickly broken and Jericho hits a spinwheel
kick to send Wright back to the floor.
As Alex comes back in,
Jericho crotches him and hits the springboard dropkick to send him to
the floor for a third time. Jericho finally gets bored and dives out
to the floor to take Wright down. Wright sends him into the steps to
take over and adds a suplex on the outside. Coming back in, Jericho
LAUNCHES him off the top with a slam which gets two. Off to a
headlock by the challenger. He goes to the arm instead as things
slow down.
Wright comes back and
counters a leapfrog with another spinwheel kick. The champ dances
again as Dusty says a win here could drive a stake into the heart of
the NWO. Ok then. Alex takes forever to set up a moonsault and
Jericho rolls away. Lionsault hits Wright’s back but he adds a
senton backsplash before getting two. Jericho’s double powerbomb
gets a delayed two. Wright grabs a suplex for two and Jericho
counters the German suplex into a cradle for the same. Wright
reverses a rollup into one of his own with tights for the pin.
Rating: C-.
It was slow paced for the most part but it was ok. The ending however
sucked and it keeps up with the running theme of the night: not a
horrible match but it’s nothing that you would ever want to see
again. It’s also not great but it could have been far worse. That
makes it the worst kind of match: just ok and mostly boring.
Syxx vs. Ric Flair
After a lot of stalling
and taunting, we get an armdrag and it’s time for more stalling.
Syxx controls a bit but misses a charge to send himself to the floor.
Flair slows it down and Syxx does some of his usual stuff. Flair
chops him down but Syxx comes back with a spin kick to the back of
the head to take him down. Bronco Buster hits and it’s off to a
chinlock. This is a really boring match so far.
Guillotine legdrop gets
two. Back to the chinlock as this match needs to end already. We go
to a wide shot of the crowd because the director is getting bored of
the match too. Flair starts his comeback with his strikes but Syxx
hits an enziguri to take him down. A flip dive misses and it’s time
to go for the knee. Figure Four goes on but Syxx is in the ropes.
Buzzkiller (Crossface chickenwing) is broken up so here’s another
Bronco Buster. Flair puts his foot into Syxx’s crotch, rolls him up
and uses the feet on the ropes for the pin.
Rating: D.
Whatever man. This went nowhere at all and was full of rest holds
that didn’t do anything to excite the crowd. Syxx was so boring
around this time as he knew he didn’t have to do anything because he
was friends with the big shots. Also great to see Flair wasted on a
midcard match instead of putting over some young guy. Very boring
match.
Diamond Dallas Page
vs. Curt Hennig
This is a grudge match
for some reason. We get a very quick brawl on the floor before they
head back in for the bell. It’s a slugout to begin and Page spins
Hennig around BY HIS HAIR. Hennig gets to do his slide into the post
balls first spot. Page goes up but Curt falls onto the ropes to
crotch him. There’s the necksnap and Hennig puts on a spinning
toehold.
A quick sleeper is
broken up by Page and he hooks a spinning sunset flip for two.
Hennig clotheslines him down for two. A kickout lands on the referee
so Hennig takes off the buckle pad. Page gets rammed into it but
there’s no cover. Perfectplex gets two. Page starts his comeback
and loads up the Pancake, but Hennig’s foot hits the referee. Cue
Flair who comes off the top but walks into the Diamond Cutter.
Another Perfectplex gets the pin. Page can kick his feet but can’t
lift a free shoulder?
Rating: C.
This was just ok and it’s pretty easily the best match of the night.
Page and Hennig had good chemistry but there wasn’t much to do here.
Flair coming in didn’t help anything at all but he was recruiting
Hennig into the Horsemen which eventually resulted in what else?
Hennig joining the NWO. Not a bad match but this show is pretty much
beyond saving at this point.
Call the Hotline!
Promo from the NWO.
It’s one of their pretaped deals.
According to Tony, the
next three matches are the biggest in WCW history.
The Giant vs. Randy
Savage
Nothing special to the
match, but it’s the third biggest match in company history at worst.
That would include being ahead of Luger winning the title on Monday I
guess. Savage is NWO and Giant is one of WCW’s main soldiers against
him. Savage stalls like the true Memphis man that he is. He gets in
and tries to slam Giant which fails of course. Giant works him over
with his usual power stuff until Savage heads to the floor.
That goes badly for him
as well with Giant picking up the human shield known as Liz and
moving her to the other side. Back in Savage takes out the knee and
gets Giant down. He wraps the knee around the post and stomps on the
knee some more. Double ax gets two but the second attempt is
countered into a chokeslam for the pin.
Rating: D+.
This was just a step above a squash but that’s ok for the most part.
Giant would move on to feuding with Nash soon after this in one of
the stupidest and most pathetic displays I can remember in a long
time. Anyway, the match was short enough to keep from getting boring
which is more than I can say for the rest of the show.
Tag Titles:
Outsiders vs. Steiner Brothers
So here it is. After
seven months of screwjobs, cheating finishes, no matches and
everything else, the Outsiders have to face the Steiners for the
titles. There is no reason for anything but new champions (the
Outsiders are defending) here, so you should know what’s coming
already. The Steiners come out on motorcycles, so let’s look at the
fireworks instead! Scott and Scott get us going. For the sake of
sanity during this match, Scott Hall will only be called Hall and
Scott Steiner will only be called Scott.
Hall punches him down
but Scott comes back with a butterfly suplex and everything breaks
down. The Steiners clear the ring and they do their pose. Off to
Rick vs. Nash with the giant trying Snake Eyes, only to get reversed
into a suplex to put him down. Off to Scott but Hall’s distraction
allows Nash to kick his head off and take over. Nash does the
running crotch attack to the ropes and Scott is in trouble.
Off to Hall who hits
his fallaway slam for two. Abdominal stretch goes on and the
Outsiders cheat of course. Hall knocks Scott off the apron and it’s
more dominance by the champions. Back to Nash for some chinlockery.
Now for a change of pace, Hall comes in to give us the exact same
thing. Scott picks Hall up and drops him down with an electric
chair. Nash breaks up the tag again and Scott’s beating continues.
Big boot gets two.
Nash does the leg choke in the corner but another big boot (this one
with the left leg for some reason) misses. Scott can’t make the tag
as Hall comes in with an elbow to the back. Outsider Edge is escaped
and Scott hits a belly to belly to put both guys down. Hot tag to
Rick and house is cleaned. Here comes the Steiner Bulldog to Hall
and Nash pulls the referee out for the DQ. Yes, that’s the real
ending.
Rating: D.
Screw it. Seriously SCREW THIS COMPANY. There is ZERO reason at all
to do this other than for the sake of screwing over the fans and the
Steiners and keeping the belts on the Outsiders because they want
them. The Steiners would win the titles in a few months (on Nitro of
course) and no one cared because THEY SHOULD HAVE WON HERE. There is
no reason for the titles to not change here that isn’t a service job
for the NWO. Just freaking stupid and a big part of why the company
was starting to reach trouble.
WCW World Title: Lex
Luger vs. Hulk Hogan
It’s strange seeing the
title on Luger for the first time. He never wore that belt back in
the day despite chasing Flair for it for about four years. Feeling
out process to start with both guys trading power moves. Luger runs
him over so Hogan grabs the arm. Now Luger grabs Hogan’s arm. A few
arm drags send Hogan to the floor and we take a breather on the
floor. Back in the ring Hogan sends him into the corner and takes
some control.
A slam and elbow drop
get two. Off to a chinlock about six minutes into this. That’s a
bit early no? Luger blocks a ram into the buckles and gives Hogan
ten for his effort. Out to the floor and Hogan chokes away with a
cord. We head back in and Hogan chokes in there instead. Off to a
bearhug which evolves into the test of strength, which ends with a
low blow to Lex.
Hogan is basically out
of offense now so he just smacks Luger around with really basic slaps
to various parts of the head. Big boot gets two. Luger no sells a
suplex and makes his comeback but Luger takes him right back down.
The legdrop misses and Lex fires off his clotheslines. Cue the NWO
and despite three of them getting in the ring and a fourth getting on
the apron, that isn’t a DQ. Cue Sting (the announcers are sure that
it’s the real one, even though he’s black) who hits Luger with the
bat and the legdrop gives Hogan the title back.
Rating: F+.
Whatever here man. It’s a bad ending to a bad show. Hogan clearly
had no business being out there for 16 minutes because he didn’t have
anything to use after the end of his five move offense. The title
change on Monday meant nothing and the ending here is stupid due to
the announcers not noticing the incredible tan that Sting has gotten
I guess.
It’s Dennis Rodman of
course. The last eight minutes or so are the announcers freaking out
and Hogan celebrating. Oh and they spraypaint the belt in the back
and initiate Rodman into the NWO.
Overall Rating: F.
You know until the end of this, I would have been ok with just saying
that this was boring but not all that bad. Then they had the two
IDIOT endings like they did which was more of the same. It was clear
by this point that the NWO was about to cripple the company. Based
on this it’s no surprise that the WWF would be starting to draw
closer.
It wouldn’t happen for
about 8 months, but once the WWF took over again, they wouldn’t let
go (mostly) because WCW was that stupid. This is a great example of
it, although the tag match is much worse than the main event from a
booking perspective. The main event’s booking makes sense due to
Sting in December, but the wrestling was just awful. Terrible show.

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