WCW Road Wild 1999 Review

Hi Scott

I hope you and the family are doing well

I must be honest and say that I kind of wanted The Cav's to win the series,
as I liked the story of LeBron coming home and carrying an average team to
the title, but I enjoyed your goading in the recent Nitro thread 😉

LeBron's a bad Kopite anyway

My search to try and find a review style that works has led me to trying
this one out

I think this works a bit better than the previous style I used for New
Years Revolution 2005

Could I please ask you to post this to the blog so I can get some feedback
from the Doomers?

They really helped me out last time and I tried to take some of their
feedback on board and put it into practice

Not much of a show this one of course, but then WCW wasn't much of a
company by this point either. The writing was probably already on the wall

The first bit is me complaining about how rubbish WCW was at releasing
Videos in the UK (WCW being run ineptly

​​

in a commercial way? Perish the
thought!) but the rest I think is alright

Take care anyway mate

Mikey

http://thisandthatmikey.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/this-and-that-wcw-road-wild-1999-review.html

​God I hated the buildup to that show so much.  Nash loses the title and THEN puts his career on the line against Hogan, who's already won the title back?  Just so bad.  ​

Road Wild 1999

Road Wild
1999

Date: August 14,
1999
Location: Sturgis, South Dakota
Attendance:
5,500
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Back
to Eric Bischoff’s big idea so he could ride motorcycles around the
Black Hills. The main event here is Kevin Nash vs. Hulk Hogan in a
title/career vs. career match, which still doesn’t sound fair to
Hogan. After sitting through the disaster that was Thunder though, I
really don’t care about what is fair in WCW. Let’s get to it.

The
opening recap of course focuses on Nash vs. Hogan. In case the five
or six videos on Thunder weren’t enough for you of course. Actually,
the more I think about it, one of these guys leaving means we might
get someone new in the main event. FREAKING SWEET MAN!
Tony
talks about this history of Road Wild. As in the show that debuted
back in 1996 (1997 if you consider Hog Wild its own show). Just
printing his quotes are better than almost any jokes I could come up
with.
Here’s
the first show of any WCW employees: Tenay in a jean jacket and
sunglasses, Tony in a darker jean jacket, sunglasses and a backwards
hat, and Heenan (looking
mostly normal) in a black
shirt and hat. My goodness this stuff never gets easier to sit
through. They hype up the
main event and other big
options to eat up time.
We
recap the Dead Pool vs. the yet to be named Filthy Animals which I
don’t think has an actual story. They just started fighting one day
and led up to this match. Tony says the fighting took place on the
WCW Network. Good grief you mean they thought of it first???
Dead
Pool vs. Eddie Guerrero/Rey Mysterio Jr./Kidman
I
do like the road design for the entrance ramp and
the whole atmosphere is always really cool.
It’s Vampiro and the Insane
Clown Posse (Violent J. and Shaggy 2 Dope) with Raven in their corner
here. It’s a big brawl to
start with the Clowns thankfully being knocked to the floor so
Vampiro can handle the wrestling. Kidman
hits an early Sky High, followed by a slingshot hilo from Eddie.
They head outside for a few seconds and we see that the ring is up on
a mini platform like in previous years.
Vampiro
nails a nice spinwheel kick to drop Eddie as Tony points out that the
Clowns aren’t really wrestlers. Granted I question how much they’re
actually singers or musicians either but that’s a discussion for
another time. We now get to the real point of the match as Tenay
says Vampiro might be touring with the Clowns in the future. J.
comes in to imitate whatever moves he saw watching wrestling as a
kid, including a clothesline and a jawbreaker.
Tenay
brings up the fans that have been stuck in the airport for all
eternity, stalking wrestling personalities and asking them about
whatever main event is coming up. Vampiro
comes back in but Eddie climbs the ropes into a hurricanrana, only to
have J. make the save. A
Rock Bottom gets two on Eddie and the Clowns hit a double suplex.
Amazingly enough, one of the most talented wrestlers of all time
doesn’t have much of a problem beating up a clown named after
a Scooby Doo character. He
drops Shaggy with a superplex and the hot tag brings in Mysterio.
Raven
actually does something (when was the last time he even had a match?)
by tripping Mysterio to the floor so Vampiro can hit the Nail in the
Coffin on the floor. J. comes back in and I keep getting distracted
by the steak sandwich stand opposite the hard camera. Things
slow back down again as Tenay brags about the Clowns being able to
hit legdrops in the wrestling ring they’ve set up in their backyards.
The moral of the story: don’t backyard wrestle unless you can get
WCW mainstream coverage.
Shaggy
powerslams Rey (Tony: “Great execution. As good as you’ll get!”
The British Bulldog is rolling over in his grave.) and drops him with
a clothesline for no cover. Rey raises a boot in the corner and hits
a split legged moonsault, allowing the hot tag to Kidman. Everything
breaks down and Kidman is left alone with Shaggy. Apparently he’s
more of a Yogi Bear fan as he drops the Shooting Star for the pin to
thankfully get us to a match full of actual wrestlers.
Rating: D+.
The thing is, the match isn’t even all that bad. The problem here
though is how many notches Mysterio, Guerrero and Kidman have to
crank it down so the Clowns aren’t overwhelmed. Those three are some
of the best wrestlers WCW ever had but they’re stuck in the opening
match against some musicians because WCW would rather make a quick
splash off having the Clowns in a boring match than put on a product
that could actually compete against WWF, which Mysterio, Guerrero and
Kidman tearing the house down for these twelve minutes could have
been a big part of.
The
Clowns aren’t even horrible in the ring, but they’re very, very
limited. They can do basic stuff like clotheslines and suplexes, but
so can every single wrestler on the roster. Instead of Mysterio
defending the title (which he hasn’t done on a major show since May
from what I can find) or Eddie actually wrapping up that stolen
wallet story, we’re stuck watching these guys do stuff they taught
themselves so they can have a thrill. That’s what we get for our
$30?
We
recap Harlem Heat vs. the Triad for the Tag Team Titles. Booker was
getting beaten up by the Triad but Stevie came out to help him. He
wanted to reform the team, but Booker said take off the NWO colors.
Stevie said okey dokey and that’s about all it took.
Tag
Team Titles: Jersey Triad vs. Harlem Heat
The
Triad is defending but it’s only Kanyon and Bigelow at ringside
because Flair can’t let them have all three members around anymore.
Kanyon says most of the
bikers here likely don’t have cable, so he explains the usual
question, only to be drowned out by the engines revving.
Booker is in black and
white after making a big deal out of Stevie not wearing the black and
white. I smell a secret alliance and feel the need to tune into
Nitro to find out more.
The
champs jump them to start but are quickly knocked to the floor. Only
WCW would put Bam Bam Bigelow, a former biker covered in tattoos, in
front of a biker rally as a heel. Tony
isn’t sure if Harlem Heat will have continuity after only wrestling a
few matches in the last year. You mean like Bigelow and Kanyon?
Stevie tries to get the
crowd going but Kanyon sends him into the corner and drives in some
shoulders to the ribs. Ray
pops back up and throws both champions out to the floor and things
slow down again. Heenan: “I remember one time I picked up the
Beast From the East. Her name was Monica.”
Back
in and Booker comes in to stomp Kanyon in the corner but gets dropped
to the mat and choked. Tony and Bobby actually agree that Charles
Robinson was a fair referee most of the time. Tenay: “…..what?”
This commentary is extra golden tonight. Back
to Stevie who tells the fans to rev their engines, which for some
reason keeps Bigelow from going after Stevie when his back is turned.
Shoulder blocks have no
effect on either guy so Ray runs him over with a clothesline.
Kanyon
gets in a knee from the apron and comes in to mock the bikers a bit.
Heenan turns into a manager and starts coaching Kanyon on how to
choke. It’s back to Bigelow for a corner splash and a chinlock so he
can whisper some sweet spots into Ray’s ear. Back
to Kanyon who tries to put Stevie down so Bigelow can go up top, only
to have Kanyon catapult him into Bam Bam for a breather. The
hot tag brings in Booker to fire off his kicks but Bigelow low
bridges him to the floor. Oddly the fans have gone far more silent
since Booker came in.
Kanyon
nails his middle rope Fameasser for two as we’ve slowed down again.
He loads up the same move
but this time Booker powerbombs him for a nice counter. I love when
wrestlers learn during the match. Stevie comes in again to hammer
away but Page runs out, only to get knocked down by Bigelow, setting
up Booker’s missile dropkick for the pin and the titles.
Rating: C+.
It’s a very good sign that Benoit and Booker T. have picked up a
title each in the last five days. Going back to Harlem Heat was a
step backwards, but I’m very glad to see the
younger guys getting something out of all this. The match was pretty
good too with a basic tag team formula that has worked for years and
will continue working for years to come. It also keeps up the idea
that once the villains lose their backer and have to fight fair, the
good guys win. In other words, Wrestling 101 works even in WCW.
We
recap the Revolution vs. the Rednecks. For some reason this is
treated as more about Hennig vs. Saturn than anything else. There
isn’t much of a story here other than they needed something for these
teams to do and threw them into this match. Oh and CHAD BROCK!!!
Revolution
vs. West Texas Rednecks
It’s
Douglas/Malenko/Saturn vs. Hennig/Windham/Duncum with the rednecks
billed as the villains as WCW still doesn’t get their audience (nor
do they get their money but at least Bischoff got to ride a
motorcycle!). Saturn says
they don’t care about the cowboys or Chad Brock (heresy!) so just
pick who gets beaten up first. It’s a brawl to start again with the
Revolution cleaning house. We
settle down to Malenko vs. Barry Windham, who can’t make the t-shirt
over trunks look work.
Dean
takes over to start and brings in Saturn for a back elbow as Tenay
goes into Professor mode, talking about how the Rednecks all have
fathers who wrestled. That’s
the kind of guy wrestling needs again (and not Matt “let me beat
you over the head with my knowledge and names of moves that no one
uses” Striker) and I’m sure there’s someone out there. Douglas
comes in with a nice powerslam on Duncum as the Revolution keeps the
wrestling strong. Heenan
tells a story about having an 115 degree temperature but coming back
just two years later. Wrestling could use a commentator like him
too, but I don’t think one exists.
Saturn
suplexes Windham down and hammers away but Kendall nails Saturn from
the floor to change control. Good old fashioned cheating never hurt
anyone. Well Saturn maybe
but that’s beside the point. Off
to Hennig for the necksnap as a truck drives along the road behind
the ring. You can’t say this show looks the same as the rest of
them. Hennig lets Saturn
tag and house is cleaned for a bit before it’s off to Douglas.
The
Rednecks come in to break up a Pittsburgh Plunge attempt and “whoever
it was” (Tenay’s words) trips him to the floor and Shane gets
beaten down on the floor. Things
settle down to Windham suplexing Douglas for two. The Rednecks get
us into a regular tag team formula with Kendall getting in his shots
from the floor. Since we’re getting into a good wrestling match,
it’s time to talk about Savage vs. Rodman. Duncum suplexes Douglas
for two and we hit the chinlock.
Back
to Windham for a DDT and the slowest two count I’ve seen in years.
If a heel was getting counted, the announcers would suggest the
referee was crooked. Shane
stops Duncum with a boot in the corner and Saturn gets the hot tag.
Everything breaks down and Dean puts Hennig in the Cloverleaf, only
to have Kendall break it up with the cowbell. Saturn nails Duncum
with the Death Valley Driver for the pin.
Rating: C.
Well at least the right team won. They actually had me thinking that
the Rednecks were going to win there just to tick the fans off even
more. The Revolution finally has some momentum, but unfortunately
it’s momentum against midcard acts instead of against the main event
guys. I guess that boxing match against Piper was the extent of the
youth movement’s main event push, because we need room for the main
events we’re getting.
Speaking
of what we’re getting, this was the third straight match that could
have been on any given Nitro but instead they’re all on this show.
The Tag Team Title change meant something, but so far nothing has
happened to really give the fans a real thrill. Nothing so far has
felt like a big moment and we’re about an hour into the show. That’s
not a good sign given what’s coming.
We
recap Bagwell vs. Cat. Miller said he could dance like no one else,
Bagwell dressed up in black face and stole Cat’s shoes, Miller beat
him up a few times, let’s have a match.
Buff
Bagwell vs. The Cat
Speaking
of matches that have no business on pay per view. Tenay
says Bagwell is one big match away from winning championship gold.
If you throw in a far better offense I can’t say I disagree, but he’s
stuck in this mess of a feud. Sonny
is in a biker vest with no shirt underneath for a disturbing look.
They still can’t start the
match because both guys have to try to talk with Cat cutting off
Bagwell every time and the bikers cutting Cat off. Bagwell:
“Cat, you’re not a crowd favorite if you know what I mean.”
Unless he’s being completely literal, no I don’t know what you mean.
We
finally get going with Cat hiptossing Bagwell and dancing a bit. The
idea works so well that he does it again but with a slam this time.
We’re two minutes into the match now as a PUSSY CAT chant starts up.
Buff comes back with a
hiptoss and slams of his own, sending Cat to the floor so Buff can
dance. Back in again and
Miller spends almost a minute teasing a handshake as this match is
dying in front of our eyes. He
finally gets in a cheap shot on Bagwell and chokes in the corner,
only to take two dropkick. Of course, it’s time to dance!
Cat
hits him low (what took them so long?) and superkicks Bagwell down
but the referee yells at Miller, allowing Sonny to get in some lame
choking. They repeat the
same sequence before Miller slaps on a chinlock. Bagwell
reverses a suplex into one of his own and both guys are down. Back
up and a cross body gets two on Cat so Sonny gets on the apron. To
complete the disaster, Cat is rammed into Sonny’s briefcase and one
of the worst rollups I’ve seen in years (I’ve had to say that too
often in this review) gives Bagwell the pin.
Rating: F-.
Where do I even start? How about Buff can’t even beat ERNEST MILLER
with his finisher??? Last time he beat Piper with a pin in a boxing
match and now he beats Miller with a rollup without the shoulder even
being on the mat. The match was horrible as it was borderline comedy
with all the dancing and repeated spots, mainly focused on choking.
This was a disaster and something that should have been buried on
Thunder instead of something that was supposed to make me care about
Bagwell. How does beating up a goofy dancer who can’t do anything
but choke and kick make Buff look like a star? Awful mess.
Miller
and Onoo lay Bagwell out post match while Buff’s music is playing.
They REALLY had to do this?
We
recap Benoit vs. Page. This is part of the Revolution vs.
Triad/establishment feud with Benoit wanting to prove that he could
hang with a former World Champion like Page. Benoit finally got his
chance to win a singles title by beating David Flair for the US Title
in a fair fight and now Page wants to beat him to regain his
confidence.
US
T….
Oh
I’m sorry I had the wrong notes. That’s the feud that should have
happened. Instead Page made a bunch of Your Mama jokes about Benoit
to tick him off, then Benoit won the US Title and this was made a No
DQ title match at the last second.
US
Title: Chris Benoit vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Benoit
is defending and this is No DQ. Before
the match, Page says Benoit loves his mother, just like anyone else
can for $2.99 a minute. Tony
says this is the scene of one of Page’s best matches: last year when
he teamed with Jay Leno. First the Miller match and now those
memories brought up? They
slug it out to start and Benoit punches out of a helicopter bomb,
knocking Page out to the floor.
Back
in (and thankfully away from a shirtless guy that makes Ralphus look
trim) with Page getting two off a suplex.
We’re already in a reverse chinlock as Page starts in on the ribs.
A fireman’s carry into a faceplant drops Benoit for a delayed two and
Page drives knees into the ribs. We hear Page’s career history,
which really is quite the story. Page plants him with an Anderson
spinebuster for two but stops to yell at the referee.
Things
slow down as Page walks around the ring before a side slam gets two.
I can live with him walking around like that because, unlike Miller,
Page has actually shown us more than entry level offense and it fits
his character to be a cocky jerk. That’s
the kind of stuff that separates guys from nothing like Cat to stars
like Page.
Benoit gets a breather off a jawbreaker and goes up, only to get
caught in the Tree of Woe.
Page
takes the referee’s belt away and tries to whip Benoit but Little
Naitch actually stands up to him. Granted it doesn’t work as Page
wraps the belt around Benoit’s throat (Heenan: “WALK THAT DOG!”)
before doing the same with Benoit over his shoulder. Very cool yet
disturbing visual actually. Benoit escapes and starts rolling the
Germans for two but Kanyon breaks up the Swan Dive.
The
Revolution is shown watching on the monitors as Benoit throws Page
into Kanyon for two. Page suplexes him down and Bigelow adds a top
rope headbutt for another near fall as Benoit just won’t quit. He
knocks all three members together for a pair
of
falling low blows
(ala Sting), setting up the Swan Dive to Page to retain the title, no
thanks to the Revolution.
Rating: B-.
I’d be stunned if this isn’t match of the night. I really liked the
story here with Page being all cocky and underestimating Benoit
because he had the Triad in his back pocket, only to have Benoit
fight all three of them off and win in the end. That
being said, it’s really nothing great as it’s far more about the
story than the wrestling. It would have been nice to have Benoit win
the title here, but I wouldn’t want to live in a world without that
David Flair title reign. I
mean, it did SO much to make you hate Ric more right?
Breathe
in people. It’s big match time.
A
motorcycle is given away. I didn’t hear this advertised on any WCW
show leading up to this.
We
recap Sid vs. Sting but unfortunately we don’t get any Halloween
Havoc 1989 clips. Basically Sid is calling himself the Millennium
Man and wants to lead WCW into the future. Sting is his first target
as he’s being built up for Goldberg.
Sid
Vicious vs. Sting
The
announcers claim that Sid has been in WCW a little over a month (it’s
been two months) and he’s undefeated (if you don’t count tag matches
or disqualifications of
course). Apparently Sting
has given up all of the power that he won from Flair. That clears up
some questions, but did they have to wait two weeks to explain it?
Sid stalls on the floor to
start but gets kicked into the corner for a pair of Stinger Splashes.

He
knocks Sid to the floor and that’s enough action to start as Sid
takes a seat on the edge of the platform. Sting sends him into the
crowd and they walk around ringside for a bit. When did Sting stop
wrestling and become a full time brawler? 1997? Back
in and Sting misses a Splash in the corner so it’s time for the wide
world of choking. A
backbreaker gets two on Sting as the crowd has died again. Off
to another chinlock as Tony thinks the temperatures lowering could
mean the matches go long. Global warming never sounded better.
They
head back to the floor with Sid dropping him throat first across the
barricade and we hit that chinlock again because Sid needs air. Back
up and Sting drops him with a shoulder, setting up the falling low
blow (third time in two matches). Sting goes to run the ropes but
Sid trips him from his back. Yes, somehow Sid has invented a way to
wrestle while laying down. You knew someone was going to do it
someday. Snake Eyes puts
Sting down again but Sid goes up, only to get taken down with a
superplex. Not that it
matters as the Stinger Splash is caught by a chokeslam for the
completely clean pin.
Rating: D.
The resting here was ridiculous as Sid was sitting/laying down at
every given chance he had in a match that didn’t even last eleven
minutes. This is the kind of thing that people look at in WCW and
shake their heads as they wonder why they’re still watching. I mean,
am I supposed to just wait for Sid to have another major match where
he can be even lazier? I can get behind the idea of building up Sid
as a monster, but could he put some effort into his matches? He
doesn’t even use a lot of power moves as most of his offense revolves
around choking. You can’t throw a powerslam in there?
Quick
recap of Rick Steiner vs. Goldberg. Rick and Scott had destroyed
Goldberg earlier in the year so Goldberg could go make a movie.
Goldberg came back and started brawling with Steiner without a
mention of the beatdown, but he did manage to say the TV Title wasn’t
worth fighting for. How do you respond to that?
Goldberg
vs. Rick Steiner
Non-title.
It’s a brawl to start of
course and Goldberg just nails him with a clothesline. Steiner tries
something like a cross body to no effect and the superkick drops him.
They’re clearly not going long here and that’s the best idea
possible. Rick bails to the
floor ala Sid before coming back in with a low blow. At least he
bothered to shove the referee. Rick
takes Goldberg’s knee brace off and beats him with it in whatever
ways he can (which to be fair isn’t a long list).
I’ll
give Tony this: he FINALLY points out that a knee brace Goldberg wore
into the ring isn’t a foreign object and shouldn’t be considered
cheating. I believe that’s the only time I’ve heard a commentator
say that and it’s accurate. A
belly to belly gets two for Rick and another brace shot to the head
has him in trouble. Goldberg gets up and press slams Steiner into a
powerslam, setting up the spear and Jackhammer. He really did just
pop up from that offense and win with his signature moves.
Rating: D+.
Believe it or not this wasn’t the worst thing they could have done.
Ignoring the TV Champion losing in less than six minutes, Goldberg
not selling, the knee brace shots having almost no effect and
Goldberg’s comeback lasting all of three moves, this was the best
possible option they had. Goldberg was supposed to destroy Steiner
here and that’s basically what he did, setting him up for a bigger
feud down the line. They really need to get the TV Title off of
Steiner now though as it’s dying every single day he holds it.
We
recap Arliss (the character, not the actor. Well depending on who
you ask that is but I’m not getting into that mess again) bringing
Rodman back to face Savage. This was before Rodman became a real
face by kidnapping Gorgeous George, potentially raping her, attacking
from behind and running from a fight. This story was such a mess and
I really don’t want to know the logic behind it as I fear it might
destroy my mind.
Dennis
Rodman vs. Randy Savage
Hardcore
for obvious reasons. Now
this should be interesting as this match is very fondly remembered
but I’m very curious as to how well it holds up. It
should also be noted that Savage promised to bring a very bad man
here to guard George. That man would also be revealed as the Hummer
driver, even though this was ignored on Nitro this past week. Savage
comes out alone because he doesn’t want George around Rodman. To be
fair I don’t want to be around Rodman either. Rodman
wants to know where she is but Savage says Rodman is his tonight.
More swearing ensues and I have no idea what they’re talking about.
They’re
on the floor about six seconds in with Savage going into the
barricade a few times. Back in and the announcers are already
praising Rodman as hard as they can. What took them so long? An
elbow to the jaw puts Savage down and Tony says that’s enough to show
that he’s a fine competitor. He follows it up with a Russian
legsweep for another really slow two and even knows how to argue with
a referee. He gets tired of
dealing with Billy Silverman and lays him out before slowly walking
around the ring.
Savage
gets in his first offense after about three minutes by raking
Rodman’s face. Heenan: “REBOUND THIS!” Mickie
Jay comes out to referee as Savage hits his third choke of the match.
He punches out a
photographer to steal his camera and uses it to nail Rodman for two.
The near fall earns Jay a right hand of his own and Scott Dickinson
comes in to give us three referees knocked out.
Rodman
gets back up to throw Savage outside but
Savage tosses him over the barricade. The fans throw Rodman back as
Savage walks around looking for weapons (or a real opponent). We’re
on referee #4 now as they walk backstage. Rodman kind of armdrags
Savage down but gets thrown into some trash. Here’s the big spot of
the match: Rodman gets thrown into a portable toilet, which is then
shoved over. The door opens and the waste comes out, only to have
Rodman pop back up. Seriously, THAT is what people say made this
match entertaining.
Back
to ringside with Savage being thrown into the lighting structure
before Dennis “hits” a middle rope “clothesline”,
accidentally knocking the referee down. Gorgeous George comes out to
the reaction of the match and hits Rodman low. She also gives Savage
a chain to knock Rodman out for the pin to end this mess. Yes,
Savage needed George and a chain to beat a basketball player.
Rating: D.
It was messy (literally), it wasn’t really entertaining, Rodman nor
Savage have any business in a ring at this point…..but
I didn’t completely hate this. Maybe
it’s low expectations or Rodman having a better presence than he did
in the horrible tag match in 1998, but this could have been about a
million times worse. Yeah the toilet spot was stupid and a lot of
the moves didn’t hit, but this is like the Clown match earlier: it’s
not fair to expect a good match out of someone who isn’t a good
wrestler. The praise this match got is overkill, but this could have
been WAY worse.
We
recap Hogan vs. Nash, which seems to be the real match they wanted to
get to instead of Goldberg vs. Hogan or Goldberg vs. Nash. The
idea here is they’re arguing over who was the real force behind the
NWO and it’s Nash’s career vs. Hogan’s career and title to try and
add in some drama. Hogan turned face earlier in the week to get rid
of any possible drama for this match.
WCW
World Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Kevin Nash
The
fans and announcers are entirely behind Hogan. Nash
shoves him into the corner a few times to start and the engines rev
again. He grabs a headlock
(Hogan: “OH MY GOD!”) and we’re already stuck in first gear.
Another shove sends Nash to the floor and the stalling begins. Back
in and we hit the test of strength with Nash getting the better of
it. Tony continues his bizarre commentary by saying Nash is two
inches taller than Hogan. If you drop Nash down to 6’11, that puts
Hogan at 6’9. That’s a stretch even for WCW.
Nash
starts going after the back but takes too long on the framed elbow.
There’s nothing here that wouldn’t be seen on a Nitro main event so
far. Hulk hammers away in
the corner but gets raked in the eyes. Nash uses the boot choke as
we’re only in signature mode here. They
head outside for nothing of note before Nash slowly walks around the
ring. He calls for the
Jackknife but keeps hammering away, including the framed elbow. The
big boot and Jackknife plant Hogan and it’s Hulk Up time. You know
the rest and Nash is sent on vacation. Uh I mean retired. Yeah
retired. For like, ever.
Rating: D.
So after all that time (the full five days) of buildup for the career
vs. career stipulation and the huge Nash heel turn (three weeks ago I
believe) after Hogan’s long title reign (less than a month at this
point), they did the paint by numbers Hogan match and expected us to
be amazed. This was the
Hogan formula from the 80s taking place four months from the year
2000, which tells you almost all you need to know about WCW.
The
worst part is Hogan vs. Nash could have drawn a fairly decent crowd
if promoted the right way. It’s a big main event that we hadn’t seen
yet but it’s thrown onto maybe the lowest level PPV of the year on a
Saturday instead of the usual Sunday. They set this match up to fail
and I really don’t get the thinking there. Granted that could be
said about almost everything around this time.
Overall Rating: D.
This really isn’t the worst
show ever, as the first half (save for the Bagwell vs. Cat mess) is
totally watchable. Mostly boring but watchable. You
have some decent action and a title change plus a good Benoit vs.
Page match. Unfortunately, that all led to the second half of the
show and that’s where this show gets its reputation.
The
main event guys hit new levels of lazy and sluggish here with Sid
somehow coming up with offense from his back. I mean, he can’t even
sit up to trip Sting? The main event had as much heat as an igloo on
Christmas Eve, Sting vs. Sid was just there to set up something for
the future, Goldberg vs. Steiner was a Thunder main event and Rodman
vs. Savage was just a celebrity appearance. Maybe
Nash leaving for awhile will open up a main event slot, but the
thoughts of who they might put in there terrifies me.
You
know what this needed to be? A Clash of the Champions. Cut out the
opener, Miller vs. Bagwell and make Sid/Savage vs. Rodman/Sting (Tell
me you wouldn’t pay to see Sting and Rodman try to have a
conversation) a tag match. That’s not a bad two hour show and it
would certainly make fans feel better than paying for this mess.
This show didn’t need to be a three hour pay per view as the matches
and feuds just aren’t there for one. They need to mix things up soon
though because this product is killing them.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

TNA One Night Only: Joker’s Wild II

Joker’s
Wild II
Date:
May 9, 2014
Location:
National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, England
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

I don’t usually put these up but this one was actually entertaining.  These
things are back again with another random tag partners competition.
It’s the same format as the first in the series: take four random
wrestlers and put them in a tag match, then have the winners go into
a gauntlet battle royal. The winner gets a check for $100,000. I
wouldn’t mind if they used money as a motivating factor in wrestling
more often. Let’s get to it.

As
usual, we open with a package of clips from the show we’re about to
see.
Jeremy
Borash and Christy Hemme explain the concept for the night. They
also do the drawing for the first match, which they’ll be doing
before every tag match tonight.
Gunner/Chris
Sabin vs. British Invasion
It’s
Magnus/Doug Williams, which should tell you a thing or two about how
this show is going to go. This is one of Sabin’s final appearances
as he’s gone from the company by the time this show airs. Doug and
Sabin get things going with the Englishman taking him down by the
arm. The announcers are already in their own little world as
Williams hangs onto the arm even though a monkey flip. Sabin is sent
to the floor for a chase and eats a European uppercut back inside.
Off
to Gunner for some nice applause and one off a shoulder block. The
tag brings in Magnus to a mixed reaction and the showdown with
Gunner. Well it would be a showdown if this were on regular TNA TV
and Magnus were still World Champion but there’s only so much for me
to work with on this show. A headlock takes Gunner down to the mat
but he fights back with a fall away slam for two.
Back
to Sabin who gets caught in a double neckbreaker for two. The
announcers are talking about tag team wrestling for a change.
Granted it’s about Taz’s career but at least they’re getting closer
than they were earlier when they talked about wrestling polar bears.
A sunset flip from Douglas gets two on Gunner but it’s quickly back
to Sabin. Chris chokes Douglas with a rope from his wrist to get
some cheating in there but the fans cheer Douglas back to his feet.
Gunner
comes in again but charges into a boot in the corner, allowing
Williams to come off the middle rope with a European uppercut. Taz’s
line during that sequence: “Calculus 202. That was my thing.”
He’s talking about math, not the uppercut in case you’re looking for
a double meaning or a metaphor there. Everything breaks down and
Gunner puts Magnus in the Gun Rack but Sabin tags himself in and gets
two on Magnus. Sabin accidentally hits his partner, setting up the
snapmare into the top rope elbow from Magnus for the pin to advance.
Rating:
C. This was your typical One
Night Only match: the wrestling wasn’t bad but the lack of a strong
story hurts it. It’s not bad or anything and there was a basic story
of having an experienced team against a makeshift team but this was
much more for the live crowd than the PPV audience.
The
British Invasion both say they’ll win the gauntlet for the money
later tonight. Magnus
emphasizes that the reunion was indeed for one night only but there
are no hard feelings.
Bad
Influence says they’ll both carry their partners and then win the
gauntlet. The Bro Mans come in and promise they’ll win but Bad
Influence says the Bro Mans might not be together tonight. Robbie
seems a little more aware of what’s going on tonight. This
turns into a discussion of hair gel.
Robbie
E./Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe/Bad Bones
By
the powers, what a coincidence. And right after they were talking
too! Bad Bones is the German wrestler that Joe beat up in like 90
seconds a few weeks back. He looks like a lot like A-Train if he was
about six inches shorter and not covered with hair. Joe starts with
Daniels as the announcers debate leader boards vs. a list of winners.
Daniels doesn’t break clean in the corner but his forearms to the
back have almost no effect at all. Joe runs him over and hammers
away in the corner to set up the Facewash.
Daniels
bails to the floor for a meeting with Robbie as the fans quiet down.
Back in and E is tagged in before Joe tags him in the jaw with right
hands. Off to Bones for a nice high collar suplex and two. Some
running forearms and a running knee to the chest ala Daniel Bryan
drop Daniels with ease. E tries to help his partner but Bones double
clotheslines them down as well. Robbie trips Bones up from the floor
and comes in legally to hammer away in the corner.
We
hit the chinlock and the fans are already cheering for Bones. E
misses a charge in the corner though and the hot tag brings in Joe to
face Daniels. The big boot and backsplash get two on Christopher and
it’s off to a cross armbreaker. Robbie makes the save but gets
speared down by Bones. Joe Muscle Busts Daniels for the pin to
advance.
Rating:
C. I have a feeling we’ll be
seeing that rating a lot tonight. There’s only so much to do in a
quick match like this with a basic story of power vs. speed with four
guys that have a limited history together. Not a bad match or
anything but it was just ten minutes of four guys doing moves to each
other with Joe and Bones not really breaking a sweat.
Gunner
says the loss wasn’t his fault.
British
Invasion says the same thing they said after their match.
Samuel
Shaw says he only trusts himself.
We
do another draw and there are about twenty fewer pieces of paper in
the tumbler.
Rockstar
Spud/Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson/Austin Aries
This
has potential. Spud says
he’ll be team captain no matter who his partner is and then Bully is
announced for a funny moment. Ray
and Spud stare each other down. That goes badly for Spud so he gets
a chair to stand on. He talks about being chief of staff…..before
quickly agreeing that Ray is captain tonight. The fans chant for
Aries but switch to WE WANT SPUD. They get what they ask for but the
tag hurts Spud’s hand.
Aries
easily takes him down so Bully gives him a huge pep talk and starts a
SPUD chant. The Rockstar gets in Aries’ face and slaps him, only to
be dropped by a left hand. Ray offers another tag but Spud is scared
of the pain so it’s another pep talk. This time Aries takes him down
with a clothesline and it’s off to Anderson to take over in the
corner. All four get in and
Spud starts to dance. Ray walks to the corner and facepalms,
allowing Aries and Anderson to double team Spud.
Bully
realizes he’s doing this on his own and Spud gets knocked down again.
Ray yells at him and gets elbowed in the back of the head by Aries,
knocking him face first into….uh….a certain place on Spud. This
just makes Ray even angrier so he breaks out of a Mic Check and kicks
Anderson in the face. Spud does Ray’s pose so Ray pulls him to the
corner by the ear and hits a big elbow drop for two on Anderson. Ray
to Hebner: “You know what? You count too slow!”
He
yells at Hebner in the corner but Earl gets right in Ray’s face to
take him into the other corner. Now it’s back to Spud. Taz:
“WHY???” Spud drops the same elbow for two and gets in Hebner’s
face so Earl slams him down to give Aries a two count. Anderson hits
the neckbreaker on the now legal Bully and it’s off to Aries who
dropkicks Ray to the floor. A
dropkick from the top to the floor and a regular missile dropkick get
two for Aries but Ray slams him down and tells Spud to go up top.
Ray:
“WHAT’S UP???” Spud: “I’M UP!” The headbutt connects but
Ray knocks Spud down when he slaps him in the chest before GET THE
TABLES. Spud falls down trying to pull the table out and Ray is
disgusted. “GET THE TABLE IN ALREADY!” Anderson comes over and
puts his arm around Ray as Spud is still dealing with the table.
Aries
is about to go up for What’s Up but Hebner won’t let him. Spud tries
a sneak attack on Anderson but is thrown into Ray’s crotch for his
efforts. Ray: “YOU SOB!”
The fans rightfully think this is awesome and there’s the running
corner dropkick from Aries. He loads up the brainbuster but Spud
rolls Aries up and pulls the trunks halfway off for the pin. The
look of shock on Ray’s face is priceless.
Rating:
A+. This was the funniest match
I’ve seen in years and maybe even ever. They kept the joke going the
entire time and had a WAY more entertaining match than they would
have had if they played it straight. This is something WWE needs to
learn from. Rather than just having a guy be designated as a comedy
guy and having him do strange things while the commentators tell you
it’s funny, this was four guys who can be funny BEING FUNNY.
Instead
of just doing the same bits over and over again (like Young stripping
or the Cobra), they did different stuff that we hadn’t seen before
and had a very funny match as a result. Comedy can be done, but let
these funny people come up with it themselves rather than having them
perform something a writer came up with. If they were good enough
actors/performers to do what a writer came up with, they would be in
Hollywood making way more money.
This
was a blast and a good lesson in how to do comedy wrestling. The
tagline One Night Only applies here too: if they did this every week
on TV it would stop being anywhere
near as funny in like the
third week. Do it every now and then instead of the same bits every
week and it’ll work far better.
The
following two matches are listed in different orders on various
sites. This is the order they aired in on the version I have and I
don’t think it makes any real difference.
Wolves
vs. Beer Money
Eh
sometimes it’s better to screw believability and
just let two awesome teams have a match. Roode
vs. Richards to get things going with a nice technical wrestling
sequence. Bobby gets the better of it and cranks on a headlock but
Edwards gets a blind tag and dropkicks Roode in the side of the head
for two. Off to Storm who gets dropkicked down, allowing the Wolves
to take over on the arm. Storm
hadn’t turned heel when this
was taped so the fans are
way into him.
Back
to Roode who gets headbutted into the corner and then forearmed in
the face by Richards. Storm
gets caught in the same corner and kicked down, giving us the gay sex
position spot. Back up and Storm kicks the heck out of Richards from
the apron and Beer Money takes over. A
double back elbow gets two on Davey and we hit a chinlock with
Storm’s knee in his back. In one of the few amusing bits of
commentary all night, Tenay asks Taz about his time teaming with
Raven. Taz: “What about Raven?” They
also get into a discussion of how Taz is always commentating with
guys named Mike.
Roode
comes back in for a chinlock of his own but Davey easily fights up.
We get one of the stupidest spots I’ve ever seen as Richards throws
Roode to Storm, who catches Bobby in a front facelock for no apparent
reason. Then Davey kicks Storm in the face, causing Storm to DDT
Roode. Spots like that where they might as well draw you a picture
that says “YEAH, WE PLANNED THIS BEFOREHAND” drive me crazy.
Davey
finally makes the hot tag to Edwards who cleans house with chops in
the corner. The reverse tornado DDT from Storm is countered into the
over the shoulder Stunner for two. An enziguri into a German from
Davey gets two on Storm with Roode making the save. Everything
breaks down and Davey takes the Backstabber from James and a
spinebuster from Bobby. Beer
Money hits the double suplex and SHOUT THEIR NAMES. Edwards fights
out of DWI though and Richards comes back in with a missile dropkick.
Beer Money is sent to the floor for a double dive, followed by the
top rope double stomp to Storm for the pin.
Rating:
B. That’s probably a stretch.
The match was good but it certainly wasn’t as great as you would
expect from these teams. It
made me think of the Hart Foundation vs. the Brainbusters back in
1989. It sounds amazing on paper but when you see it live it’s just
a good but not really memorable match. Also
it would have been a better choice to put Roode and Storm in the
battle royal as they’re far more likely to win than either of the
Wolves.
They
shake hands post match.
Spud
celebrates his win in the back and says he was the team captain. Ray
comes in and Spud immediately shakes his hand and asks how the
captain is doing. Ray: “YOUR HEAD WAS IN MY NUTS FOR HALF OF THE
MATCH! IF YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN…..I’LL GIVE YOU A BIG OLD KISS
BECAUSE WE WON!” Ray kisses Spud on the cheek and gives him a huge
hug.
Aries
says he’s speechless.
Kazarian/Curry
Man vs. Eric Young/Ethan Carter III
For
those of you that don’t remember, Curry Man is a masked man in red
and yellow with a plate of curry on his head, based on an ad for
curry in India. He’s usually played by Christopher Daniels and I
believe he is here as well, even though you can see some hair
sticking out of the back of the mask. It’s
a brawl to start with Young and Curry Man being left alone in the
ring. Curry and Young hug each other before slugging it out. They
hug again then trade about six standing switches before hugging a
third time.
Kaz
gets sick of it and suggests a mid match change: Young and Curry Man
team against Kaz and Carter. Apparently it’s going to be allowed but
Eric and Curry Man stay on the apron. Carter rolls up Kaz for two
but Eric makes the save, despite that not even being his original
partner. The referee makes them go back to the original partners and
more confusion ensues.
Carter
finally chokes Curry Man to take over and a slam gets two. Young
comes in to save Curry Man and gets yelled at by Ethan. “YOU’RE MY
PARTNER!” Eric: “I KNOW IT SUCKS!” A clothesline puts Curry
Man down for two and we hit the chinlock. Back up and it’s a double
clothesline to put both guys down. Tags bring in Eric and Kaz and we
get a crisscross. Young takes over with a flying forearm and a belly
to belly as everything breaks down. Carter
and Curry Man fight to the floor as Young rolls up Kaz for the pin.
Rating:
C-. Not really even a match but
it was one of the more bearable Eric Young comedy affairs that I can
remember seeing. At least this time the story made sense and it
wasn’t the same annoying Young stuff over and over again. It’s also
a nice take on the random pairings idea which makes this easier to
sit through.
Carter
lays out Eric postmatch.
The
Wolves are more excited about beating Beer Money than going to the
gauntlet.
Abyss/Samuel
Shaw vs. Zema Ion/Jesse Godderz
Godderz
poses for Shaw to start but Abyss tags himself in to scare Jesse to
death. Ion comes in and shouts BOOM a lot, much to Abyss’
annoyances. A cross body has no effect whatsoever and Abyss slams
him down with one arm. About
twenty chops from Ion have
about the same effect and
Abyss runs him over with a clothesline.
Off
to Shaw who the fans call creepy. Back to Jesse who elbows Shaw in
the face but gets slammed down with ease. Abyss tags himself back in
to a nice reaction and cleans house on Godderz. Samuel turns his
back on Abyss but gets dragged back into the ring. Godderz and Ion
take over with some double teaming and a jawbreaker staggers Shaw.
He takes time to go stare at Christy though, allowing Ion to hit a
flip dive for two.
Zema
misses a middle rope moonsault and it’s back to Abyss for some house
cleaning. Jesse actually
stops him with a clothesline but Shaw is busy going after Christy.
He gets her in the corner and the referee just lets this happen, only
to have Abyss make the save. Christy bails so Shaw hammers on his
partner. That goes as well as you would expect but the Bro Mans
actually knock Abyss to the floor. Shaw grabs the standing choke on
Godderz for the submission a few seconds later.
Rating:
D+. Nothing much to see here
but at least they didn’t go for a third comedy match out of six.
Shaw and Christy have a limited shelf life and hopefully it’s done
after the latest gimmick match between Shaw and Anderson. Jesse and
Ion were just there to bounce off Abyss and there’s nothing wrong
with that.
Ethan
Carter III takes credit for the win. Spud and Magnus (on the phone)
come up and say that Dixie is proud. Magnus implies that they should
let him win the gauntlet but
after he leaves, Carter suggests that he should win. Spud thinks he
might be the winner.
Lei’D
Tapa/Gail Kim/Alpha Female vs. Velvet Sky/Madison Rayne/ODB
Just
a filler here in an elimination match. Tapa
imitates Velvet’s entrance to a ton of booing but Velvet calms the
people down by doing it again. Sky charges at Tapa but is lifted in
the air for a choke. Off to Gail for a clothesline but she gets
caught by Madison’s mat humper. Gail spanks Tapa for some reason and
yells at her for not having her back. The announcers talk about
having spotted dick at lunch today and the match just keeps going.
Alpha
comes in for a slam and some forearms to Madison’s chest. She misses
a bad looking splash though and it’s back to Velvet who finally
knocks Alpha down. Madison and Gail fight to the floor as Velvet
bulldogs Alpha down. Chris Sabin comes out to distract the referee
though and gets in an argument with Velvet. Sky
low bridges him to the floor, kicks Alpha in the head and hits In Yo
Face for the elimination.
Gail
rolls Velvet up for a fast pin but the referee is with Sabin and
misses Madison spearing Gail down. Tapa
runs Madison over for an easy pin and we’re down to Gail/Tapa vs.
ODB. The numbers game quickly catch up to her but Gail wants to get
the glory. Tapa gets tired
of it and shoves Gail into a rollup to get us down to one on one.
Gail nails Tapa and ODB hits the Bam for the final pin.
Rating:
D. There was no reason at all
for this to be elimination rules. There were a few too many things
going on here but they still could have wrapped the whole thing up in
a single fall. It also doesn’t help that all of these stories have
already been wrapped up two months before this show aired.
Gauntlet
Battle Royal
Basically
it’s a Royal Rumble with two minute intervals and the winner getting
$100,000. We start with Davey vs. Eddie because that’s how random
draws work. Feeling out
process to start until the start slugging it out with strikes. Davey
gets the better of it with his kicks until Samuel Shaw is in at #3.
The Wolves actually keep
fighting until Shawn breaks it up and chokes Edwards in the corner.
Edwards
comes back with some chops and the Wolves start double teaming.
Davey sends Shaw into a running knee to the face but
here’s Rockstar Spud at #4. His strategy: kick Shaw low and wrap
himself around the ropes for dear life. The
Wolves lock eyes onto Spud before splitting up and stomping on both
Spud and Shaw. Spud tries to eliminate Shaw by himself as the Wolves
just chuckle from the corner. Shaw comes back with a crotch claw and
here’s Douglas Williams at #5.
Spud
keeps switching ropes to hold onto as we get into the standard battle
royal formula of people pairing off and brawling against the ropes
without trying to eliminate each other. The
Wolves drop Douglas with a double back elbow as Spud is running out
of places to hide. Abyss is
in at #6 as these times are very suspect. He
clotheslines everyone in sight, which doesn’t include Spud who has
disappeared. Abyss easily tosses out Edwards and Davey suffers the
same fate about fifteen seconds later. There goes Williams and we’re
down to Abyss and Shaw on their feet. There’s a Black Hole Slam to
set up the elimination as Spud tries to sneak up on Abyss. The
monster chokes him up against the ropes as Bully Ray is in at #7.
Spud
tries to interfere again but gets thrown over. He hangs on and skins
the cat though, only to fall down when trying a double clothesline.
Ray and Abyss have the real fight with Abyss nailing the chokeslam.
Ray is right back up though as Spud shakes the ropes like the
Warrior. A cross body has no effect either but here’s Eric Young at
#8 to distract from Spud’s ineptness.
Eric
hammers away on everyone in sight but Ray fights back. The Bully
scares Spud to the floor but under the bottom rope so everyone is
still in. Ray yells at Spud for not helping him get rid of Eric and
here’s Ethan Carter III at #9. Eric goes right for him but Spud gets
in a few shots from behind to give Ethan control. Spud tries to jump
Bully again and gets shouted down into the corner. The
five guys in the ring don’t do much else until Bad Bones comes in at
#10.
Bones
slugs away at everyone in sight which fits his brawling style. Again
this goes nowhere until Samoa Joe is in at #11. Much like everyone
else, Joe hammers away on everyone in sight upon entering the ring.
A nice suplex puts Carter down before Joe settles in on Bad Bones.
That doesn’t last long as Joe easily backdrops Bones out and it’s off
to Joe vs. Bully. Spud
actually eliminates Bully on his own but Joe wacks Spud in the head
to put him on the mat.
Magnus
comes out to give us a final grouping of Magnus, Joe, Spud, Abyss,
Carter and Young. Joe and
Magnus immediately go at it with Joe getting the early advantage but
getting low bridged out to the floor to get us down to five. Abyss
gets gang eliminated but Spud charges at Young and flies over the
ropes to the floor. Eric dropkicks both Carter and Magnus down as
things speed up. He gets both of them up for something resembling a
double Death Valley Driver but gets crotched on the top and punched
out by Magnus. Carter uses the distraction to eliminate Magnus for
the win.
Rating:
D+. This was almost every
battle royal that they’ve ever had on this series. At the end of the
day there’s only so much you can do with a show like this as battle
royals only have so many stories available. Spud was funny and him
eliminating Ray put a good cap on their events, but this show exists
in a vacuum so it’s not like this is going to mean anything long
term.
Carter
gets the money to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
B-. This was one of the
more entertaining One Night Onlys but it wasn’t great throughout.
The Ray/Spud tag match was one of the most entertaining matches I’ve
seen in years and the Beer Money vs. Wolves match was a very solid
match in its own right. The one thing that sticks out to me more
than anything though is how different this was from Impact.
Matches
had time to play out, there were no swerves or heel authority figures
dominating things, and no randomly thrown in gimmicks. It was VERY
nice for a change and a good example of what TNA is capable of when
they stop taking themselves so freaking seriously. Compare this to
Sacrifice where a total of nothing happened and the show was horribly
boring.
Also,
the fact that this was $15 for the HD version is a big factor. For
$15, this was a very solid way to spend two and a half hours watching
wrestling, especially if you need a break from the WWE Network. The
whole series of shows is far better than anything else you get from
TNA and are actually worth checking out if you have nothing better to
do.
ResultsBritish
Invasion b. Gunner/Chris Sabin – Top rope elbow to Sabin
Samoa
Joe/Bad Bones b. Robbie E./Christopher Daniels – Muscle Buster to
Daniels
Rockstar
Spud/Bully Ray b. Mr. Anderson/Austin Aries – Rollup to Aries
Wolves
b. Beer Money – Top rope double stomp to Storm
Eric
Young/Ethan Carter III b. Curry Man/Kazarian – Rollup to Kazarian
Abyss/Samuel
Shaw b. Jesse Godderz/Zema Ion – Standing choke to Godderz
ODB/Velvet
Sky/Madison Rayne b. Alpha Female/Gail Kim/Lei’D Tapa – Bam to Tapa
Ethan
Carter III won a battle royal last eliminating Magnus
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

A wild idea…RAW IS BRYAN

So, there was an incident a couple of years ago on ESPN here in the US when, aware of how much criticism they were getting for a ridiculous amount of coverage of Tim Tebow (now-former NFL quarterback), they deliberately devoted an entire hour of Sportscenter to Tebow. Every story for an entire hour (except one breaking story), all on one guy.
Having D-Bry wrestle twice to start Raw tonight got me thinking…could they have him wrestle an entire Raw? Maybe after he wins the title, the Authority makes him wrestle one match after another for an entire show in a desperate attempt to unseat him. Or, if he doesn't win the title, they make him wrestle an entire show to get another shot. Flair used to work Broadways…figure with a big long show-opening promo, commercials between matches, etc., Bryan would be in the ring two hours. Could he do it? And what would the reaction be like?
The blog would be like "I wish there was more Daniel Bryan on this show.  They should stop burying him!"

Road Wild 1998

Road
Wild 1998
Date:
August 8, 1998
Location:
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis, South Dakota
Attendance:
8,500
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenany, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
summer of celebrities continues with one of the worst ideas I can
imagine: Jay Leno as a professional wrestler. I still don’t get who
this is supposed to attract. Fans of the Tonight Show don’t seem
like the kind of people that are going to drop $30 to see something
they know is going to be a goofy comedy bit and wrestling fans aren’t
going to buy it because it’s Jay Leno as a wrestler. On top of that
there’s one match that has been pushed at all here and it’s a battle
royal. Why they can’t just do NWO vs. NWO and Goldberg vs. Giant is
beyond me but I’d bet politics were involved. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video is a collection of Tonight Show clips which still do
nothing to change the fact that it’s Eric Bischoff and Jay Leno in
the main event.
I’ll
give Road Wild this much: no show comes close to having such a unique
atmosphere.
The
announcers don’t look as ridiculous this year. Tenay in a jean
jacket is still ridiculous looking though.
Gene
is sitting on a motorcycle to start and brags about 200,000 bikers
being here in Sturgis. Not at the show mind you but I’m sure that’s
what will be claimed.
The
ring and mats are up on a platform instead of level ground.
Meng
vs. Barbarian
This
is going to be a long show. The fight starts at the bell with both
guys pounding on each other and screaming a lot. They fight over a
sumo lockup before trading some chops in the corner. Meng takes over
with a hard clothesline even though it didn’t knock Barbarian down.
Barbarian comes right back with a belly to belly superplex but Meng
pops up and piledrives him.
Meng
misses a middle rope splash, no sells it, and goes up top again.
Barbarian catches him in a belly to belly superplex as Tenay talks
about 350,000 people being at the biker rally this week. A powerslam
puts Barbarian down but he gets right back up for some chopping.
Meng staggers him with some headbutts but gets pulled to the floor.
Barbarian sends him into the steps and heads back inside, only to
have Meng put on the Tongan Death Grip for the pin.
Rating:
D. It sucked as a match but
this wasn’t the worst idea for an opening match. A crowd of bikers
is going to respond to two monsters beating each other up for five
minutes and they seemed interested here. It doesn’t do much for the
wrestling fans, but this show was never for them in the first place.
Meng
won’t let go of the hold so Jimmy Hart comes in for the save. That
goes as well as you would expect so here’s Hugh Morrus for the second
save. Meng gets triple teamed, including a top rope splash from
Hart, so Jim Duggan makes the final save, drawing a big pop from the
bikers that might have watched a few wrestling matches ten years ago.
Tenay’s
estimates are now up to 360,000.
Disco
Inferno/Alex Wright vs. Public Enemy
Tokyo
Magnum is here with the dancers. Wright rolls away from Rocco to
start before hiptossing him down and dancing. They fight over a
wristlock until Alex dropkicks him down and tags in Disco. He’s not
quite ready to fight yet though and drops to the floor for a three
way high five with the other dancers. Back in and Disco takes Grunge
down with a clothesline before bringing Wright back in for a missile
dropkick. Alex stops for some dancing and turns around into a Rocco
clothesline.
A
double flapjack puts Inferno down and Tokyo throws in a trashcan out
of nowhere. Grunge gets cracked over the back as the referee is cool
with all of this. Rocco brings in a ladder and that’s too much for
the dancers who go for a walk. Tokyo doesn’t want to leave but his
partners come back with a table. Disco grabs a mic and says let’s
make this a street fight. Tony states the obvious: “Haven’t we
already made it one already?”
The
referee is fine with that so Public Enemy goes to the back to find a
toilet seat and a kitchen sink. Grunge pounds on Disco on the floor
as Tony hypes up a cookie sheet. Wright suplexes Rocco through a
trashcan but Grunge blasts Alex with the sheet for the save. Rocco
loads up the flip dive through the table but Disco makes a save to
prevent Wright’s demise. The kitchen sink is brought in and nearly
broken over Grunge’s back. The fans want to see the table but they
get Tokyo Magnum thrown inside instead.
Public
Enemy throws the dancers into each other and give them stereo atomic
drops, only to have Wright come back with a leg lariat to Grunge.
Tokyo hits Magnum by mistake as Grunge blasts Disco in the face with
the ladder. Alex walks away as Rocco see-saws a ladder into Disco’s
hair. Now Tokyo walks away, leaving Public Enemy to set up three
tables on top of each other next to the platform. Grunge climbs a
ladder to put Disco on the top table, allowing Rocco to climb the
scaffolding for a huge elbow drop. Grunge has to throw Disco back
inside, avoid a top rope splash from a returning Magnum, and get the
pin.
Rating:
D+. The match was fun and the
spot at the end was good (though also odd looking with a delay before
each table broke) but it took over fifteen minutes to get there. The
wrestling stuff at the beginning was a waste of time and they should
have just gone to the street fight stuff from the beginning. Not
horrid though.
Dean
Malenko says he’ll be a fair referee.
Raven
vs. Kanyon vs. Saturn
Under
Raven’s Rules, meaning hardcore. Raven’s music is so awesome that it
doesn’t belong on a show like this. The question coming into this is
whether Kanyon is under Raven’s control or not. Raven stands on the
apron and tells Kanyon to get Saturn, only to have Perry take over
with some kicks. Raven comes in with a chair to Saturn’s back and
sends Kanyon into the post before Saturn falls to the floor as well.
Saturn
and Kanyon get in a fight on the floor as Heenan tries to figure out
the story of the match as only he can. Raven sits in the corner
while the other two fight in the ring but they finally realize what’s
going on. Kanyon dropkicks Raven low and Saturn belly to back
suplexes Raven into a Kanyon neckbreaker. Kanyon throws Raven into
Saturn and hits rolling Russian legsweeps on Raven for two in a nice
move. Saturn breaks up the cover with a guillotine legdrop on Raven
for two and the Moss Covered Three Handled Family Credenza gets the
same on Raven.
Kanyon
gets in another fight with Saturn so Raven blasts them both in the
head with a chair, only to be sent to the floor. Saturn follows him
out so Kanyon dives on both guys, giving us our first breather in
awhile. They get off the platform where Kanyon whips Raven HARD into
the barricade. Raven comes back with a suplex to put Kanyon down on
the ramp (designed like a road) but Saturn clotheslines Raven down
for two. Kanyon piledrives Saturn on the stage for two more before
Raven dropkicks Kanyon down the stage.
They
fight back to the ring where both guys drop down to avoid a charging
Raven before Saturn catches him with a t-bone suplex. Saturn puts
Raven in a sleeper but Kanyon puts one on Saturn as well before a
jawbreaker puts everyone down. We get a Tower of Doom with Kanyon
superplexing Saturn and Raven putting Kanyon in an electric chair.
Raven
tries a double DDT on both guys but only puts Saturn down. Kanyon
and Raven head outside with Raven getting suplexed onto the floor.
Kanyon misses a splash off the scaffolding but Saturn catches Raven
in the Death Valley Driver. Lodi makes the save but Horace comes in
to lay out Saturn. Horace picks up the stop sign but gets blinded by
Lodi’s powder. He caves Raven’s head in and a Death Valley Driver to
Raven gives Saturn the pin.
Rating:
C. This was a mess but it was
supposed to be. I’m still not sure where they go with this story now
but it would seem to still be Raven vs. Saturn. Kanyon was just
there to keep spots going and he did a good job, but that doesn’t
mean he helped the story or really changed anything.
Psychosis
vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Bonus
match and the winner gets a Cruiserweight Title shot at a date to be
determined. Since that’s not important, the announcers talk about
Leno being nervous. Psychosis takes him to the mat with a headlock
followed by an armbar. Rey tries to get up but gets taken back down
by the wrist. The crowd is dead for this which shouldn’t shock
anyone. Back up again and Rey can’t hook a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker
so Psychosis clotheslines him down for two.
A
sitout front suplex gets two for Psychosis and he whips Rey from
corner to corner. Rey’s arms are wrapped around the ropes in the
corner as this somehow gets even slower. It’s not terrible mind you
but it’s the completely wrong style for these two to be working.
Psychosis suplexes Rey down and goes up top, only to do the most
obvious “I’m going up here to jump into his raised boots because
I’m jumping straight down instead of doing ANY kind of move at all”
spot I can remember in a long time.
Rey
FINALLY realizes that he’s the king of cruiserweights and cartwheels
at Psychosis before jumping onto his shoulders for a spinning
hurricanrana. Believe it or not, the crowd actually responds to the
high spot. After nothing of note on the floor, Rey hits a big cross
body for two but has his hurricanrana countered into a sitout
powerbomb. That’s enough of the big spots though and it’s nerve hold
time. Rey fights up onto Psychosis’ shoulders but gets dropped back
into a suplex for two.
They
head outside again where Psychosis….does nothing. Back inside with
Psychosis putting on a half crab before going up top for a super
Frankensteiner for two. Psychosis goes up again but turns his back
to Rey, only to get dropkicked out to the floor. Rey follows him out
with a nice dive before throwing him back inside for a springboard
sunset flip for a close two.
Mysterio
hits something like a Fameasser with both legs across Psychosis’ back
followed by a slingshot moonsault for two. Psychosis comes back with
something resembling a Fameasser of his own for two but Rey avoids a
charge and West Coast Pops his way to the #1 contendership.
Rating:
D+. This felt like a car that
was low on gas. You could get it going for a few moments, but
eventually it would sputter and die. These two are capable of having
some awesome matches but instead they were happy with just laying
around and doing nothing most of the time. Rey was trying but
Psychosis looked horrible.
TV
Title: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Stevie Ray
Before
the match Chavo shows off another hand made and stamped document
saying that he’s the TV Champion, so Stevie needs to come out here
and give him his belt. Chavo tries to do the handshake bit again but
Stevie runs away because he doesn’t want to win a match by submission
for some reason. Instead Stevie just punches him in the head and
blocks a sunset flip with a choke. Chavo bails to the floor as the
announcers call this a version of the rope-a-dope. Guerrero tries to
sneak in but gets caught in the Slap Jack (lifting Pedigree) for the
quick pin. This was a nothing squash.
Eddie
saves Chavo from a further beating post match.
Jericho
promises to keep the title and warns Malenko to be good tonight.
Rick
Steiner vs. Scott Steiner
Rick
is in jeans and a t-shirt…and here’s JJ to say hang on a second.
Apparently Scott is too injured to wrestle and here he is on a
stretcher with his arm and leg in casts, a neck brace, and on an
oxygen tube. Rick’s chair shot to Scott was so bad that even Buff’s
neck is reinjured. The match is rescheduled for Fall Brawl, and the
fans are LIVID. If Scott doesn’t fight at Fall Brawl, he’s suspended
for life. Scott jumps up but runs away from a charging Rick to end
this stupid bait and switch.
Brian
Adams vs. Steve McMichael
Another
bonus match which is about as welcome as 847 angry yellowjackets
pouring buckets of boiling tar on your back and injecting you with
needles filled with herpes while a blind monk with a bad case of the
shakes checks you for a hernia. They shove each other around to
start before not having a test of strength. We get the ugliest
mistimed sequence this side of Tough Enough as Adams misses a
clothesline and they just kind of run into each other and McMichael
putting on a front facelock.
Adams
slams him down and drops a pair of legs for two. We hit the nerve
hold for a LONG time before Adams hits a backbreaker and bends Mongo
over his knee. Mongo avoids a middle rope knee drop and comes back
with a belly to back suplex. A few three point shoulders take Adams
down but he shrugs them off and loads up a piledriver, only to have
the referee kicked in the face. Vincent tries to bring in a chair
but cracks Adams by mistake, setting up the tombstone for the pin.
Rating:
E. As in ebola, which sounds a
lot better than sitting through this match ever again. On to
ANYTHING else please.
The
Nitro Girls are around Gene on the motorcycle.
Cruiserweight
Title: Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera
Dean
Malenko is refereeing and Jericho is defending. Jericho comes to the
ring in a purple kimona because that’s the kind of guy he is. As
always, he wants us to want him but opts to tease the bikers instead.
I wonder if there are any Aces and 8’s in the crowd. Jericho takes
him into the corner to start and Malenko tears him away as he’s
supposed to do. Juvy takes out Jericho’s legs and chops away but
Jericho elbows him in the face to take over again.
Juvy
is sent to the floor and Jericho loads something up but Dean pulls
him to the mat by the hair. Well at least according to Tenay, as the
camera was on Juvy the entire time. Back in and Juvy slams Jericho
onto the mat and a missile dropkick sends the champion outside.
Guerrera chops him off the platform and into the barricade before
going inside for a HUGE placha over the platform and into Jericho
into the barricade.
Back
in and Juvy gets two off a springboard cross body but Jericho catches
another cross body attempt into something resembling a Juvy Driver
for two. Dean’s count was noticeably slow and the count off a
delayed vertical suplex is even slower. Juvy rolls out to the floor
while Jericho yells at some fans before getting hit with a backsplash
for two. We hit the chinlock on Guerrera before Chris stomps away
and talks trash.
The
Lionsault hits knees and Juvy comes back with chops and a
hurricanrana. A top rope spinwheel kicks gets the
same……slow……two……count from Dean but Jericho counters a
running hurricanrana into a powerbomb. Jericho kicks him out to the
apron instead of covering and kicks Juvy onto the floor. Back in and
a clothesline gets two on Guerrera as the crowd is trying to care
about this.
A
Jericho powerbomb is countered into a DDT to wake the fans up a bit
and the Juvy Driver gets a two count. Jericho is dazed but still
manages to crotch Guerrera on the top and superplex him back down.
Juvy rolls over for two but has another hurricanrana countered into
the Liontamer. He’s right in front of the ropes though and Jericho
is getting frustrated.
Juvy
pounds away in the corner and Dean seems to have been poked in the
eye. A belt shot lays out the challenger but Dean’s slow count means
it’s only for two. Jericho is all ticked off and goes to the middle
rope. He kicks Dean in the chest and that makes Malenko snap. Well
snap as much as he’s capable of. Dean launches a charging Juvy into
a middle rope Frankensteiner for the pin and the title.
Rating:
B-. The match was good but it’s
running with the anchor of this entire show. Maybe the heat of the
day has something to do with it but these matches have all been
incredibly sluggish. Juvy was trying here and Jericho was his usual
great self but they could only get so far. Again though, why didn’t
they just have Dean take the title himself?
Battle
Royal
Goldberg,
Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, The Giant, Scott Norton, Sting, Lex Luger,
Kevin Nash, Konnan
You
can be eliminated either over the top or by pin/submission. Hall
interrupts the ridiculously long entrances with the survey to keep
this show going even longer. The NWO factions brawl while Goldberg
hides in the corner. That lasts about fifteen seconds before
Goldberg goes after Giant, which should have been a regular match
tonight in the first place. Again that doesn’t last long and the
match breaks down into a regular battle royal.
Hall
loads up the Outsiders’ Edge on Goldberg but gets backdropped out.
Nash eliminates himself (you can’t make up jokes like this) and goes
after Hall as Goldberg spears Hennig down. Things get slow again
with no one trying for an elimination. Goldberg finally pounds on
Giant but gets headbutted back against the ropes. The fans chant for
Goldberg as Giant takes him down with a Russian legsweep. Norton
breaks up a Scorpion attempt on Hennig to keep the crowd bored.
Goldberg
spears Konnan and throws him out before getting kicked in the corner
by Giant. The NWO keeps fighting and Goldberg goes right back to the
corner to wait for the next victim. It’s a short wait this time as
he spears and eliminates Hennig before clotheslining Sting and Norton
to the floor as well. We’re down to Luger, Giant and Goldberg but
there’s a spear to Luger so Giant can dump him. A chokeslam puts
Goldberg down but he does the Undertaker sit up and it’s a spear and
Jackhammer for the win.
Rating:
F. Holy sweet goodness how did
WCW survive this long? There were eight eliminations in this match
and Goldberg had six of them. The other two were a self elimination
and someone Goldberg knocked out cold. There were, conservatively,
five PPV title matches in there and Goldberg beat them all in less
than eight minutes. You could have easily had someone throw Goldberg
out and set them up as the challenger but instead let’s just have him
destroy EVERYONE (except Nash of course because Nash losing would
just be silly) and leave you with no challengers. But hey, a bunch
of bikers cheered right?
Jay
Leno/Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eric Bischoff/Hollywood Hogan
Thank
goodness they don’t have another video package to set this up. The
one good thing about this: Liz ROCKING some jeans and chaps. Leno is
apparently here to defend his title as King of Late Night. Kevin
Eubanks is at ringside. Leno throws water at Hogan and Bischoff on
the floor to show how serious he is. Hogan and Page start (thank
goodness) and we get the usual non-action headlined by a wristlock.
Page
drives in the shoulders and hits a big right hand, knocking Hogan
into a left hand from Leno. Hogan is sent to the floor and the
ripped Kevin Eubanks sends him into the post. Leno leads a chant
against Hogan and is at least into the match. Bischoff comes in and
Jay tries to go after him but gets held back. Page shrugs off some
kicks to the chest and it’s off to Leno. Bischoff runs away to Hogan
and Jay stays in. He points at his chin and makes fun of Hogan’s
baldness which is about what you would expect. Leno avoids a pair of
right hands and tags in Page.
Hogan
clotheslines Page down and it’s back to the driving shoulders. Leno
comes back in to grab the wrist and in one of the most painful things
I can remember seeing as a wrestling fan, Hogan sells it. He
wouldn’t sell for Sting at Starrcade but he’s selling for Jay Leno.
Hogan shoves him into the corner and drives in a knee but Leno grabs
the wrist again. A double clothesline puts Hogan down and Leno gets
two before nearly collapsing into a tag to Page. Ok to be fair to
Leno, he did his job and was actually trying. Points for that.
The
wrestlers head to the floor and Eubanks steals a chair from Hogan to
keep Page in control. Back in and Bischoff gets in a kick to the
back of Page’s head to change momentum. Bischoff gets in his shots
to make himself feel important before Hogan gets in a shot with a
foreign object to give Eric a two count. There’s the big boot but
Page gets up before the legdrop and takes Hogan down with the discus
lariat.
Leno
gets the hot tag and we get the showdown with Bischoff…..who drops
Leno with a poke to the eye. Jay comes back with a low blow and some
right hands before sending Bischoff into some buckles. Leno is
totally gassed and everything breaks down. Hogan hits Bischoff by
mistake and Eubanks hits a very good looking Diamond Cutter on
Bischoff to give Leno the pin.
Rating:
D. Of course that’s on an
adjusted scale. This match wasn’t horrible but it was incredibly
stupid. Again I’d like to reiterate that Leno did his job to the
best of his ability. He did his comedy stuff, took a few shots from
Hogan and got the pin on Bischoff. He was bad, but you knew that was
going to happen as soon as this was announced. As for the booking,
there were a bunch of other ideas they could have gone with here and
this was probably the worst possible outcome.
You
could have gone with the Battle of the Billionaires idea with Leno
backing Page against Hogan in a singles match and done the showdown
with Bischoff that way. You could have swapped in Goldberg for Page
and done Goldberg vs. Hogan II with the same Leno vs. Bischoff
outside stuff. Do that and put Page in the battle royal to get
Goldberg’s next challenger. You could have done any of those things
and gotten a better result, but it wouldn’t be WCW if they had gone
that way.
Hogan
and Bischoff get in more cheap shots until Goldberg comes in for the
save. The good guys pose to end the wrestling part of the show.
The
announcers talk and we get a video on Fall Brawl.
Gene
interviews some fans as Travis Tritt gets ready.
The
announcers wrap things up as the concert starts to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
F. There’s no other way
to put it: this show sucked. The ONLY good match is the
Cruiserweight Title match and maybe you could argue the triple
threat, which was done on Nitro just a few weeks earlier. WCW is in
a creative tailspin here and it’s not looking any better. Depending
on your tastes, things are about to get either a lot more fun or a
lot worse as the product is going to go from dull to awful in a
hurry.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Detailed Smackdown spoilers with my videos of the wild dark stuff


Hey Scott


Long time fan who sometimes lurks in the comments section as FlipNite.

Two dark segments really made tonight's SmackDown taping in Boston

Overly detailed report complete with videos here:


Wow, sounds like the Fandango thing might become something now.  Good for him.

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.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

Hog/Road Wild

Scott,
Any reason WCW changed the PPV name from Hog Wild to Road Wild?  Road Wild has always sounded so stupid.

Yeah, WCW's legal department thought there could be trademark issues with the "Hog" portion due to Harley Davidson's claim on the term, so they changed it for the 97 show.  I guess that they thought people might be confused into thinking Harley was sponsoring the show or something?   

August Leftovers: WCW Road Wild 1999

The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW Road Wild 99 – This is a somewhat historic rant, if only because it marks the only remaining WCW PPV that I’ve never done before. No real reason for never doing it before – I was just pretty drunk during the original airing and never got into the mood to do a formal rant afterwards.  (With the main event we got, can you blame me?)  – Note to Andy: It was the same music because it’s public domain and anyone can use it without paying royalties. – Live from Sturgis, SD – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby & Mike. – Opening match: Vampiro & The Insane Clown Posse v. Kidman, Rey Mysterio & Eddy Guerrero. This was the payoff match for the endless undercard feud between the ICP & the luchadors that was supposed to lead to Shaggy 2 Dope winning the Cruiserweight title at one point. (Because OF COURSE IT FUCKING WAS.  The ICP are at least decent enough workers within their own little genre, but JESUS FUCK, WCW.)  Kidman hammers on Vampiro to start and gets a Rydien Bomb, and Eddy springboards in with a senton, and Rey springboards in with a legdrop. Vamp gets tossed, and back in Eddy hits him with a leg lariat and monkey- flip, but Vamp comes back with a spinkick and chops away. Eddy ends up on the floor and gets beaten down by the ICP, and he’s YOUR Vanilla Midget In Peril. Violent J gets a clothesline and pounds away, and Shaggy suplexes him. Why do the announcers always cite people talking “at the airport” about the main event as though that’s the universal signal of fan acceptance? Is there some giant water cooler at every airport in the country where wrestling fans gather just to talk about the latest Kevin Nash main event? (Remember, this was a stupid cliché even back in 99, and Kevin Nash is STILL talking about the mythical airports today!)  Eddy gets his springboard armdrag, but the ICP cuts off the tag and keep him in the corner. Vamp chokeslams him for two. Small note: Outdoor shows make for terrible ring-lighting, which is why only WCW was dumb enough to do them on PPV. ICP gets a double-suplex, but when Shaggy goes up, Eddy makes the comeback and crotches him to set up a superplex. Hot tag Rey, and he hits J with a quebrada for two. Raven pulls him out of the ring on the 619 (or least the move would become the 619), and Vampiro gets a Michinoku Driver on the floor to turn the tide again, and Rey gets to play punching bag for a while. Back in, Violent J gets a sideslam for two. He stomps away and drops an elbow for two. Kneecrusher and Vampiro comes in for a release powerbomb and goes after the knee. Shaggy powerslams him for two. Shaggy gets a lariat, but doesn’t go for the pin and opts to charge into the corner instead. That’s some pretty counterproductive strategy. Hot tag Kidman and it’s BONZO GONZO as the heels bail, leaving Shaggy alone with the faces. Vamp hits his own man, and Kidman finishes Shaggy with the SSP at 12:20. This was solid but wasn’t anything more than the absolute minimum formula needed. *** – WCW World tag title: Bam Bam Bigelow & Kanyon v. Harlem Heat. This was during the Jersey Triad angle that went on for months and saw Benoit do the job like 300 times to DDP. Here’s WCW logic: Book a couple of big black guys as babyfaces at a BIKER RALLY in South Dakota. Talk about fundamentally misunderstanding your audience. Big brawl to start and Kanyon gets dumped by Stevie, and Bigelow is double-teamed out of the ring as a result. Back in, Kanyon hammers on Stevie in the corner, but gets press-slammed and bails. Back in, Booker works the arm but gets elbowdropped and choked. Kanyon overpowers him, but Booker sidekicks him for two. Next up, the Bigelow-Stevie Ray showdown that could have sold out this PPV ALONE! Stalling begins that war, just like all the great ones. Heck, everyone remembers learning in school about Hitler pointing to a kid in the front row of a rally and yelling “Shut up, fat boy!” before launching his blitzkriegs. (Maybe if the kid was Jewish.)  Stevie gets caught in the corner and Kanyon innovates offense by dropping like 10 elbows in a row and doing more choking. The Triad gets a series of corner clotheslines, and Bigelow hits the chinlock. That gets two. Kanyon uses the ropes for two. Stevie fights back, but misses an elbow. Stevie slingshots Kanyon into Bigelow to come back, hot tag Booker. Forearm for Kanyon! Spinkick for Kanyon gets two! Bigelow stops the axe kick by pulling down the top rope while Tenay analyzes the difference between doing the move in a singles match and a tag match. It astounds me that Tenay can make something so fundamentally stupid sound like someone actually put thought into it. Back in, Kanyon rides Booker down with a legdrop for two. Booker tags Stevie again, however, and he hammers away on the heels. DDP runs in to direct traffic, but heel miscommunication results in a missile dropkick that ends it at 13:08 to give the Heat their 8th tag title. Their epic reign would last for a week, at which point they lost it to the awesome duo of the Windham brothers, possibly in order to finance Barry’s buffet-crawls. *1/2 – Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko & Shane Douglas v. Curt Hennig, Barry Windham and Bobby Duncam Jr.. Speaking of the West Texas Rednecks, booking a bunch of racist cowboys as heels at a biker rally…more brilliance. You couldn’t come up with more efficient ways to lose millions of dollars than this company did. (You could then book the heel cowboys against babyface black rappers in the deep South…oh wait, they did that one too.)  Saturn, Douglas, Malenko and Benoit were “The Revolution”, and the idea was that they were the young guns looking for their shot at the top to overthrow the old main eventers. They were of course immediately buried in their first appearance and were the first ones to leave the promotion in 2000 when given the chance. I love shoot comments that aren’t meant to be shoot comments. Malenko and Barry start, and Dean hammers away and gets a corner clothesline. Saturn works a headlock on Windham as Heenan calls Bobby Duncam Jr an established star and maintains a straight face somehow. He would be dead from drug-related causes soon after. (Man, how many times in my life am I going to have to type that sentence?  We’re already at four dead people on this show.)  Bobby hits Shane with a big boot, but gets powerslammed. Saturn fires away with kicks in the corner, but gets stomped down by Duncam. Windham comes back in, but gets suplexed (barely – it was like suplexing Shamu the Whale for poor Saturn at this point) until a cheapshot turns the tide. Hennig necksnaps Saturn and Duncam works him over for two. Saturn gets a quick german suplex and brings Dean in for a dropkick (called a suplex by Tony), and the Revolution does some double-teaming in the corner. Shane’s fisherman’s buster is cut off by the heels, and he gets pounded outside. He crotches Hennig on the post, however, but gets slammed trying to come into the ring via the top rope. Barry suplexes him for two. Clothesline gets two. Duncam gets a shoulderbreaker for two. Suplex gets two. Bobby hits the chinlock, and Windham DDTs him for two. Collision puts both guys down, but Bobby Duncam comes back in for a charge that misses. Hot tag Saturn, not that anyone cares, but Windham clubs him down. Malenko gets the Cloverleaf on Hennig, but Kendall nails him with the cowbell. Saturn hits Duncam with the Death Valley Driver for the pin at 10:55. Well there’s 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. ** – The Cat v. Buff Bagwell. In a strange way, I almost miss Ernest Miller, especially once he found his niche as a babyface while WCW was disintegrating. (I’m thinking this was written before he came back in WWE and I realized that I didn’t miss him after all.)  We get the world’s longest stallfest to start, and Miller gets a hiptoss and celebrates. Well, he’s already one up on Bagwell in terms of skill. The crowd chants “Pussycat”, which is one of the wittier dirty chants I’ve heard. Bagwell comes back with his dizzying array of bodyslam variations and dance moves, and Cat bails. Stalling out the yin-yang follows, and Miller chokes away in the corner. Bagwell comes back with two dropkicks, and Miller goes low to stop that rally. Superkick, more stalling. Sense a pattern? Sonny Onoo chokes out Bagwell, and Buff can’t even be bothered to sell. Miller does his own choking and kicks him down again. More stalling follows, and more choking. We hit the chinlock, but Buff gets a suplex. Onoo tries using the briefcase to turn the tide, but Miller runs into it and Buff gets the pin at 7:22. Oh yeah, this sucked. DUD (Was Bagwell a babyface at this point?)  – US title match: Chris Benoit v. DDP. This is no-DQ, and Benoit hammers away to start and baseball slides a retreating Page. Page sends him into the railing a couple of times and they head back in. Page gets a belly-to-belly for two. Page goes to a rear chinlock and faceplants him out of a fireman’s carry for two. Gutbuster and choking follows. Benoit cradles for two, but Page reverses to his own cradle for two, and a lariat puts Benoit down again. Spinebuster gets two. They fight over a pinfall, which Benoit turns into a sunset flip for two. Page lays him out again with a lariat for two. Page slowly pounds away and gets a sideslam for two. Benoit reverses a slam into a jawbreaker, but goes up too soon and gets crotched by DDP. Page hangs him in the Tree of Woe and then steals the ref’s belt for some whipping action. When Benoit escapes, Page opts for choking with the belt instead. That gets two. Page gives him a Hangman with the belt, but Benoit flips out of it and whips Page back with the belt. German suplex gets two. Another one gets two. He won’t let go, and gets a third one for two. To the top, but Kanyon runs out and pushes him into a Rock Bottom that gets two. Benoit whips DDP into Kanyon for two. Page clotheslines him again for two. Bigelow now runs in and hits Benoit with a flying splash for two. Page whips Bigelow at Benoit, but it misses and Bigelow ends up headbutting Page low. Flying headbutt finishes Page at 12:14. The idea was to show that Benoit could beat the Triad by himself and stand on his own as champion, but Sid squashed him a month later to win the title. ***  (To give Benoit the rub, you see.)  – Sid v. Sting. Speaking of Sid, WCW was once again gamely trying to make him into a monster heel by having him go over everyone in the promotion on his “Millennium Man” tour. The end result of this was months of WCW World champion Sid Vicious in 2000 before Russo & Bischoff sent him packing in April. Sting overpowers Sid and sends him out of the ring with a Stinger splash, and they brawl out. That goes nowhere, so we head back in, where Sting misses another splash attempt and Sid kicks him down. Tenay notes the Sid not only can beat you with the chokeslam, but with the powerbomb as well. Wow, what a repertoire. Because it’s not like those aren’t basically the same move anyway. Sid continues to demonstrate his vast knowledge of technical wrestling by choking on the ropes. Backbreaker gets two. We hit the chinlock, as Sting was probably looking to be saved by Jesus from wrestling this shitty match for much longer. For some it’s alcohol, for others it’s Sid Vicious. Clothesline and Sid stalls. We hit the chinlock. Sid goes up and gets slammed off, but Sting’s splash hits knee and Sid gets two. Sting makes the comeback with a superplex and a pair of Stinger splashes, but a third one misses and the chokeslam finishes at 10:39. Usual yawner from Sid. *1/2  (But at least his kid is a pretty awesome Big Brother player.)  – Rick Steiner v. Goldberg. Speaking of dumb mistakes, this was during the period when, in order to promote the doomed “Mayhem” album, they replaced Goldberg’s trademark theme music with Megadeth’s flop “Crush ‘Em”. Slugfest to start, and Goldberg gets a clothesline and they collide. You know, given a bit of forethought, they could have played up on the real- life tough-guy reps of both guys and built this NJPW-like into a “shoot fight”, rather than a midcard squash for Goldberg. Goldberg’s Bret-Killer Kick sends Steiner bailing (sadly not with a career-ending concussion), but Rick goes low to come back. Steiner uses the knee brace as a weapon and chokes him out with it. An elbowdrop keeps up the frantic pace, but Goldberg comes back with the snap powerslam, spear and Jackhammer at 5:39. Waste of PPV time. 1/2* – Randy Savage v. Dennis Rodman. This is a hardcore match in order to disguise the obvious limitations of both guys. After some trash-talking, they fight out right away and Savage meets the steel pole. Back in, Rodman gets an elbow and a short-arm clothesline while Tenay & Tony shove each other aside in order to declare Rodman the next superstar of wrestling. Legsweep gets two, which Tony marvels at. WOW! A RUSSIAN LEGSWEEP! And he’s not even Russian! The ref gets in Rodman’s face and gets wiped out as a result. Another ref joins us as Savage goes to the eyes to come back and chokes away. Savage drops him on the top rope in a bad spot, and beats up Ross Forman in order to work a camera into the match. That gets two. Another ref bites the dust as a result of issues with the count, as does a third ref. They head outside while the innocent victims of Savage stand around holding their heads in an awesome show of selling prowess. The way Ross Forman was holding his head like that really made the match for me. They head up the rampway, where Rodman gets a hiptoss that sends Savage down the ramp and into the garbage. Savage tosses some poor guy out of a Porta- Potty, and Rodman takes his place. Talk about your cruel and unusual. Back to ringside, Savage hits that steel pole again and they head back into the ring. Rodman goes up and wipes out the referee in a horrible spot, as Gorgeous George joins us and gives Savage a chain. She goes low on Rodman, and Savage gets the pin at 11:30. Amazingly, people at the time praised this match due to the toilet spot and because Rodman did a couple of clotheslines. Time has not been kind to it, trust me. 1/2* – WCW World title, career v. career: Hulk Hogan v. Kevin Nash. To this day I don’t get the booking for this feud – Nash loses the title as a babyface to Savage, Hogan wins it the next night as heel, turns face, and then faces Nash for the title. Why not just keep the belt on Nash, turn him heel, and have him lose the title to Hogan so that Hulk’s big return to the yellow and red underwear means something? Nash wins Hogan’s trademark LOCKUP OF DOOM spot to start, but Hogan comes back and triumphs. ****1/2! Oh, sorry, just thought I was one of the people over-rating Hogan-Rock there for a second. (Aha, so this was written in 2002.)  Nash works a gruelling headlock, somehow surviving the shine from Hogan’s bald head, but Hogan suplexes out of it and Nash bails. I hear that Nash is going to join the Tony Hawk extreme sports scene with his own videogame: Kevin Nash’s Pro Drinker. Okay, I stole that one from an e-mail forward, but it’s still funny. They do the test of strength as Bobby calls them the biggest draws in this sport in front of an unpaid crowd of like 5000 people and a buyrate of 0.5. Wow, zero dollars, that’s quite a draw. (In fact WCW was losing millions of dollars at that point, so Nash was ACTUALLY drawing NEGATIVE money.)  Nash does his usual stuff and Hogan fights back with punches. Nash gets his own punches and Hogan is down again. Sideslam gets two. “Nothing in a hurry about Nash” notes Tony. Yup. He gets his running chokes and pounds away in the corner. Big boot and Poochiebomb get two, and you can guess the rest from there. Hogan retains at 12:15 with the usual. 1/4* Nash’s retirement lasted like 3 months. The Bottom Line: This show got mediocre-positive reviews at the time because of the terrible run the company was on under Nash’s booking regime, but years later it just looks like the usual WCW crap, especially given the power changeover just a couple of months later that killed any goodwill they had been building up. There’s a good Benoit match, but that’s like saying that the sun coming up is notable. As much as I enjoy Nash doing the job to put over new talent like that Hogan youngster, the rest is just throwaway crap. Recommendation to avoid.

August Leftovers: WCW Road Wild 1998

The Netcop Rant for WCW/nWo Road Wild 98 (Another one written “live” for the show, but you’ll note that I’m getting better at this as we move from 97 to 98.)  Live from Sturgis, South Dakota Your hosts are Tony, Mike and Bobby. Opening match: Meng v. Barbarian. AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH! Actually, it’s not too terrible or anything. Barbarian pulls a couple of nice suplexes on Meng, but really everyone is moving faster than normal. But it goes on waaaaay too long. But Barbarian turns around at the wrong time and gets hits with the TONGAN DEATH GRIP! Yeah, whatever. * Hugh Morrus and Barbarian double-team Meng until Jim Duggan makes the save. Good thing he was there in his wrestling tights just in case he was needed for an emergency save like that.  (This was just on Vintage Collection a few weeks ago for some reason, part of the “good friends better enemies” theme.  It sucked.) Disco Inferno & Alex Wright v. The Public Enemy . Luckily we’re all getting near a good blood alcohol level going at this point.  (Thumbs up for booze!)  HSB takes note of Wright’s “package” but no one else notices. Some crappy wrestling and suddenly a trash can gets brought in and Rocco Rock runs back to get a ladder and suddenly the announcers declare it an “anything goes street fight”. HSB continues his analysis of Wright’s assets. So now Disco goes back to get some stuff and then TPE goes and gets a kitchen sink and toilet seat and a typical weak WCW garbage match breaks out. No blood, cookie sheets as weapons, you know the routine. Tokyo Magnum gets involved too, of course.  (That guy should have stuck around.  Great name, funny guy, great worker.)  Alex Wright gets hit by Tokyo by accident and walks. Tokyo follows. Disco is alone with Public Enemy and they set up a table spot which literally takes 10 minutes and involves putting Disco through three tables. Would have been nicer had Disco not had to lie around for 10 minutes. Tokyo runs in and tries to break up the pin but misses and the pin is academic. *1/2 Raven v. Saturn v. Kanyon. Lodi does his Bob Dylan impression. (I’m assuming that was something to do with him having signs related to “Subterranean Homesick Blues”.)  Kanyon and Saturn do TOTAL ELIMINATION! Whoa! Saturn and Kanyon do some nice spots and then break up the pin on Raven when the other goes for it. Crowd is pretty dead. They fight onto the rampway (which is painted to look like asphalt) and Tony acts like it really is asphalt. (Well Tony wasn’t paid to give a shit at this point.)  They do some more weak brawling spots. They work in the triple sleeper spot, of course. Raven and Kanyon brawl outside and Kanyon climbs the scaffolding but misses the splash. Lodi and Boulder get involved and in the chaos Saturn hits the DVD on Raven for the win. Had the spots but not much else. ** Psicosis v. Rey Mysterio Jr. Winner gets a title shot. Okay, this could be good. The alcohol is also kicking in at this point so I’m not really in a clear state of mind. 🙂 (Oh great, drunk smilies.)  Really slow start. This is the equivalent of Meng-Barbarian for these guys with lots of stalling and playing to the crowd. HSB stages a match between my STOMP Steve Austin figure and Megatron (Beast Wars version) to stave off boredom. Austin whoops Megatron’s ass. (STOMP was a pretty cool concept for the wrestling figures, reimagining them as secret agents armed with high tech weaponry and stuff.  I’m pretty sure I had Austin and Pillman.  I don’t recall owning Megatron, so it must have been Zen’s.)  This match is SO FUCKING BORING. Finally Rey makes a comeback and hits a couple of nice highspots. New move: Corkscrew Rockerdropper. Rey with the springboard rana and drives Psicosis’ head right into the mat. Ugly. Rey gets the win. *1/2 (This was probably better than that, but I was also probably pretty intoxicated.)  TV title match: Stevie Ray v. Chavo Guerrero Jr. (WCW in a nutshell:  Booker T gets injured, so Stevie Ray declares himself to be TV champion in his place and initially it’s a fairly big angle that seems to be leading to Booker returning for revenge.  Never happens.  Stevie just defends it for a while, loses it to Chris Jericho, and the whole thing is never mentioned again.)  White bikers raising the roof is a scary sight. (Maybe they’re indicating that Stevie is getting hung from the scaffolding?)  Chavo is nuts, we get it. Chavo runs around the ring for a few minutes, then gets caught with a Slapjack about two minutes in for the pin. (What kind of a stupid weapon name was “slapjack” anyway?)  DUD. Stevie tries to beat him up more and Eddy makes the save. What a fucking waste. Rick Steiner v. Scott Steiner. No, JJ is out to let Rick know that the match won’t take place because Scott is injured. Buff wheels Scott out on a gurney with a few casts and an oxygen mask. JJ announces a hidden clause in the contract that states they will have to wrestle at Fall Brawl. Crowd chants “bullshit”. So do we. Bryan Adams v. Steve McMichael. If Juvy-Jericho isn’t **** at least, then this is the single worst PPV ever. (C’mon, that’s just the vodka talking.)  This was so bad it was getting into comedy match territory, including the worst ref bump in history. Mongo with the shitty piledriver for the pin. -**** This rating was based on HSB picking a number between 1 and 5 and adding a negative. Cruiserweight title match: Chris Jericho v. Juvy Guerrera. This the make-or-break match for this show: If this is less than ****, this makes worst PPV ever. Jericho is in samurai dress, which may or may not be a good sign. Jericho seriously pisses off the bikers by making reference to Honda. Juvy with some pretty decent spots in the early going. Ladies and gentlemen, this ain’t ****. Lots of resting and stalling. Jericho misses the Lionsault and Juvy mounts the comeback. Jericho with a double-powerbomb. That was cool. More stalling. Juvy driver for two. Jericho crotches Juvy on the 450 attempt. Superplex for two. Rana into Liontamer but Juvy’s in the ropes. Jericho and Malenko argue. Juvy goes after Jericho but pokes Deano in the eyes by mistake. Jericho nails him with the belt for two. Jericho ends up on the top rope and kicks Malenko in the head, so Malenko alley-oops Juvy to the top rope for the frankensteiner and the pin. Malenko decks Jericho after the match, which will probably be the overturning decision. *** Let the bullshit begin! nWo battle royale: HSB says hi to Memery. So does the rest of the CMA.  (Hi Mem, if you’re reading this!) They’re all drunker than Scott Hall anyway. Participants for the nWo Hollywood: Scott “Last Call” Hall, The Giant, Curt Hennig, Scott Norton. Scott takes a little survey. Participants for the Wolfpac: Kevin Nash, Sting, Lex Luger and Gonnad. Participants for Goldberg: Goldberg. Scott Hall gets dumped by Goldberg and Nash puts himself out to follow and beat him up. More kicking and punching follows in the ring as the crowd chants for Goldberg. Goldberg spears and dumps Konnan. Hennig almost eliminates Goldberg. Wouldn’t Hennig make a good corporate champion? Goldberg dumps Hennig, then Norton and Sting, then Luger. But Giant chokeslams him and he does a zombie situp. Spear, jackhammer, pin. So Goldberg just got put over every major contender in WCW in ONE FUCKING MATCH???? *1/2 Oh god please end this show now. I’ve had four hard lemonades and I’m still far too sober to be watching this bullshit. I start working on a fifth as we head to the alleged main event. (Man, I used to be kind of a lightweight.  I don’t even drink anymore and it still takes more than that to get me buzzed now.)  Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff v. DDP & Jay Leno. (This feud was just made of win.  You had DDP debuting the Hulk “Scum” Hogan putdown, Eric Bischoff doing a talk show on Nitro, Jay Leno wrestling under the TNA theory of ANY celebrity pub being good pub…so awesome.)  We have roughly 15 minutes of airtime left so hopefully this won’t be too painful. Oh, who am I kidding? Team Leno uses the Tonight Show music. I can’t believe they’re actually going through with this. Bischoff has those, ahem, cool pants and boots like he had at Starrcade 97. DDP and Hogan start. Hogan bails and gets beat up by Kevin Eubanks. Yeah, right. I need more to drink. Hogan does his cheap heel moves (back scratch, choke, etc). DDP actually sells Eric’s shitty kicks. Leno in. Bischoff runs in fear and tags Hogan. Now Hogan is the “legendary” Hollywood Hogan. Leno makes fun of Hogan’s hairline. DDP back in. DDP works on the arm and Leno in with a full armdrag and twist. Double clothesline. DDP plays Ricky Morton. Hogan pops DDP with an international object and Bischoff gets a two count. Then, finally, the hot tag to Leno and it’s the exciting Leno-Bischoff confrontation. Leno with a lowblow and a pair of weak rights. Leno is trying, I’ll give him that. Chaos ensues and Eubanks hits a Diamond Cutter on Bischoff, and Leno gets the pin. Well, it was better than last month’s show. 3/4* An nWo beatdown ensues until Goldberg makes the save. The Jew World Order celebrates to end the show. The Bottom Line: I’m not one to throw around lines like “The Worst PPV ever” but I think this was it. Nothing redeeming whatsoever. Maybe the CW title was watchable, but the rest was total shit. Hey, fuck you WCW.  (Sadly, Fall Brawl 98 was EVEN WORSE.) 

August Leftovers: Road Wild 97

The Netcop Rant for WCW Road Wild 1997. (This was of course written at the time of the show, so don’t expect much here quality-wise.)  How *does* WCW manage to do it?  They have a perfectly respectable, albeit boring, PPV going, then in the span of two matches they fuck it up and flush the whole mess down the toilet. Amazing. They don’t pay Bischoff enough for his talents.   (But he apparently got some good side-benefits at the strip clubs.)  The story of the show is basically bad for a good chunk of the show, then it gets good for two matches, then it goes down the crapper again. Easy thumbs down just for the poor match quality alone. On with the rant… Opening match: Buffy The Vampire Slayer (That one would have worked better if Bagwell was feuding with Vampiro) and Flapjack Norton v. Harlem Heat. (The Buffy joke was still pretty obscure at that point, as it wasn’t exactly a runaway hit back then.  Although I only started watching last year on Netflix, and now I’m doing the Angel-Buffy alternating thing at the start of season 4.  Season 3 was pretty much one of the best seasons of TV I think I’ve ever seen and “The Zeppo” might be one of the best single episodes ever.)  I think Harlem Heat has just about hit the wall of usefulness to the WCW regime at this point, and it’s showing here.  (Indeed, because by the end of the year they would be broken up and Booker pushed as a single.)  The Heat promises a surprise, which everyone and their brother knows is Jackie, and who should come out to interfere for them but the ugly woman in the ugly flesh. (Meow.  Seriously though, Jackie was a terrible fit for the Heat, and only there because she was black.)  Everyone just phones this one in, a trend picked up by the rest of the card. Harlem Heat wins, of course. **1/2 K-Dog v. Rey Mysterio Jr. Oh, yay, my day just wouldn’t be complete without having to endure a Konnan match. (My god 97 Scott was angry about this show.)  This is a “Mexican grudge death match” whatever that means. What is this “Arriba La Raza” shit, anyway?  (Eddie kind of appropriated that one for himself later on.)  Shut the hell up, Chuck.  Just about the most boring “death match” I’ve ever seen, as Chucky works over the leg again and again and again and again. This is not Rey’s type of match. He valiantly tries to inject two or three highspots into it, but Chuck’s having none of that. “No workrate in *my* matches!” I can hear him saying now. I’M SICK OF EVERY GUY IN WCW PUTTING THIS WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT OVER! (Price of doing business, compadre.)  Most pointless bit in a pointless match: K-Dog tries to unmask Rey. Borrrrrrrrinnnnnnng. Charles “I’m a Piece of Shit but I have all the Mexican guys by the cajones” Ashinoff (I had a weird running joke thing going way back then where I posited that Konnan wasn’t actually Mexican but rather a white guy from New Jersey.)  wins via tap-out (fuck! I hate the tap-out) to the Tequila Sunrise. (What’s wrong with the tap out?  I guess any sort of change from the traditional tropes of wrestling was an issue.)  * for the few moves pulled out by Rey.  (I’m betting it was at least a little better than that.)  Steve MacMichael/Chris Benoit v. Jeff Jarrett/Dean Malenko. I’m busy chatting with CanSen and Brother Zen during this one, so I’m not really paying attention to the lack of action leading up to the first elimination. I sort of tune in when Jarrett purposely eliminates himself, thus furthering this excruciating angle, but that interest is killed as Dean gets squashed by the Horsemen 2-on-1. What-fucking-ever. Just turn Malenko already and have Jarrett dragged by his balls through the parking lot and GET IT OVER WITH. I’m sick of seeing this idiot get pushed week after week in this stupid angle THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT while he’s wearing the US title that he doesn’t deserve. He’s not over, he’s not talented, and NO ONE CARES. They’re not going to care. Just give it up already, WCW, and fire the stiff.  AAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH, I’m going insane here. ** (JJ did in fact quit soon after dropping the title to Mongo in September.)  Alright, next match. Alex Wright v. Chris Jericho. I DON’T CARE!!!!  I DON’T FUCKING CARE!!!!  I feel like screaming that every time I see the cruiserweight title defended these days. This is an okay match, I guess, but so what? Who cares? Who cares if Alex wins? Who cares if Jericho wins? What difference does it make if either guy walks out with the title? None. That’s why this particular title is now meaningless. It’s a time-filling jobber title. Syxx has now succeeded in ruining an entire division of wrestlers. Congratulations. Wright wins, but it doesn’t matter because all the talented guys are jobbing to K-dog. **1/2  (I’m starting to feel like I should track this show down and do a non-psychotic version of the rant.)  Suxx v. Ric Flair. And speaking of the evil one…remind again why this idiot is getting pushed into matches with Flair?  Kevin who? Scott who? Ugh, fuck I hate politics. Continuing the ongoing trend, both guys dial this one in 1-800-Collect. This is a pretty bad match even by Flair’s recently lowered standards. Suxx gets his idiotic rider move in at one point. Restholds galore. BOOOOOORRRRRRINNNNNNG. The one good spot of the match comes at the end: Suxx tries his gay move (by that I meant self-indulgent and a waste of time, much like this rant), but Flair gives him the ol’ “knacker-whacker” to block it and pins him with feet on the ropes. I’m happier about the match ending than anything… ** The show so far: 5 matches, nothing over **1/2 and I’m going insane watching the least talented guys get the biggest push. But it does get brighter for two matches… Curt Hennig v. DDP. (Weren’t they just teaming up for Hennig’s debut at the PPV before this?  So he turned on DDP, turned babyface again and joined the Horsemen, and then turned heel on THEM to join the nWo all within the span of two months?!) Hennig has the lamest music in wrestling now.  (That would soon change!)  Get thee an orchestra, Curt.  There was a time in the AWA when I thought these two guys were the same person, seriously. (Well I was 14 at the time, what did I know?)  Kim’s lookin’ good. Curt’s lookin’ fat. Best match of the night, easily. Hennig controls the match most of the way through with the usual moves. You know the routine. Those motorcycles are really fucking annoying.  Ref bump gives Hennig the opportunity to expose a turnbuckle, knocking out DDP. He hits the Move-Formerly-Known-As-The-Perfectplex but DDP kicks out.  Ref bump again, and Flair runs in, KO’s DDP, Hennig gets the win. Booking makes no sense, but the match was very watchable so I’ll forgive DDP jobbing yet again and the non-sensical Horsemen angle.  ***1/2 The Giant v. Randy Savage. Not really much to say here.  Paul Wight remains one of the most watchable guys in wrestling.  Giant controls the beginning, Savage turns the tide, but gets caught in the chokeslam.  SEE YA!  Fun match, but nothing overly notable, which is not always a bad thing.  *** (Giant v. Savage in 1997 doesn’t exactly sound like a *** match.)  Rant: Up until this point, there was a good lack of screwjob endings and outside interference, Flair be damned. Then came the tag title match… The Outsiders v. Rick & Scott Steiner. Speaking of teams outliving their usefulness, it’s time to job the Outsiders out and let Kevin spread his singles wings. (Shit, I’m the one who gave them that idea.)  Scott plays Ricky Morton here and takes MASSIVE abuse for like 15 minutes without a tag.  Kick, punch, clothesline, nothing notable here. Nash looks way old with blond hair. Now the Outsiders are doing the “suck my dick!” routine patented by Suxx.  (I’m referring to the crotch chop there, by the way, back before it had a formal name.)  Okay, so Scott has wrestled the entire match, give or take, and gotten the beating of his life by the Outsiders.  FINALLY, he makes the hot tag. Rick comes in, does one or two quick moves, then the Steiners hit the bulldog off the top on Hall. 1, 2, Nash pulls out Nick Patrick for the DQ.  This is, by far, perhaps the biggest bullshit screwjob ending I’ve seen in months.  (Sounds like every match on RAW we see now.)  This not only defies the storyline for the past 6 months, but it defies the storyline of the match itself. Ladies and gentlemen, this is now officially a WCW Dead End Angle ™. Everything has built to the Steiners winning the tag belts, and they’ve been screwed out of them in the blowoff match that they needed 6 months to earn. (Yeah, but they’d get their rematch and win the titles…from Hall and Syxx.)  This is just complete and utter bullshit and just the kind of crap I’d expect from the nWo masturbatory booking brigade.  Fuck you, WCW.  (Man, I’m just going all Jesse Baker on them!)  Next match. And finally… Lex Luger v. Hulk Hogan for the WCW World title. Luger finally gets to wear the 10 pounds of gold he should have been wearing 9 years ago, and it looks a little out of place on him.  Not a good omen.  Lex the Bouncing Babyface irks me for some reason.  Although back in 1988, I was Luger Mark #1.  Hogan is in full cowardly heel mode here.  Crappy match. Hogan dishes out 99% of the offense, which consists of about 4 moves. Kick, punch, choke, whatever.  Hogan yaks more than the announcers. Luger takes nonstop punishment for 20 minutes, then Hogan misses the legdrop and Luger revives.  The entire nWo comes out, including Sting (the real one? who knows.) (Yeah, the real Sting.  Moron.)  and 5 of them storm the ring. Luger takes care of all of them, but gets whacked in the back by Sting’s bat coming off the ropes, legdrop, new champion, fuck you WCW.  1/2* After the end, the nWo re-annoints the belt with their buddy Rodman.  I hope Hogan dies.  Seriously.  I’m just beyond being sick of this nWo crap.  (Two more years of it to come!)  I’m tired of these cheap cop-out endings and 5-on-1 attacks with no DQ. (Lots more years of that to come too!)  Why does Nick Patrick DQ the Outsiders for pulling him out of the ring but Randy Anderson doesn’t DQ Hogan for having the entire Roman Legion storm the ring when he’s in trouble? Fuck it, I don’t care.  I’m sure Nitro will win with a 10.0 over RAW tomorrow, it doesn’t matter. (Not for much longer.)  I’ll keep watching the WWF and hoping Hogan’s plane blows up tomorrow so I never have to watch him book himself over everyone else who deserves the title more than him again.  What a shitty PPV. As always, I remain the net.cop. (Until someone threatens a lawsuit and Sean Shannon caves in.) 

August Leftovers: Hog Wild 96

The SK Retro Rant for WCW Hog Wild 96. – Lots of requests recently for this one. Dunno why. I guess with the diminishing number of shows I haven’t done yet the law of averages says that this one had to come up sometime.  (It was a fairly unique and important show, I guess.  But man, I HAAAAAAAAAAATED the 97 and 98 versions.)  – Quick Oscar thoughts: Steve Martin was really funny and charming, but the actual awards were so predictable and subpar that I was able to sit there and pick the major ones with a 95% accuracy rate, even while flipping over to “Goodfellas” on Bravo at the same time. (For me, Goodfellas is one of those movies where I’m compelled it watch it in full if I even flip over to 20 seconds of it on another channel.  This also holds true for “The Shawshank Redemption” or “Dances With Wolves.”) Ooo, Julia wins Best Actress, what a shock. Gladiator wins Best Picture despite Traffic being RIGHT THERE, but when the Academy gets an epic in it’s sights, you might as well settle in for the sweep. I don’t know that I’d agree with it winning the big award or even Russell Crowe winning Best Actor despite having nothing but clichés and grunts to spew for 3 hours, but I certainly liked the movie, so I can’t really complain all that much. (Yeah, with 12 years of perspective we can now safely say that the Academy was absolutely balls-out insane to give that movie Best Picture.  Traffic was a stone cold classic.)  I’m totally heartened to see Del Toro take Best Supporting at least and Steven Soderburgh upset Ang Lee for Best Director, so the night wasn’t a total writeoff. Still, let’s hope for a better crop of movies this year so that we don’t get The Mummy Returns winning Best Picture in March 2002, okay? – Live from Sturgis, NC. – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby & Dusty. – Just for the sake of those curious, I’m including matches I felt like watching from the two-hour WCW Saturday Night / pre-game show that preceded this show on TBS.  (That’s the advantage of having an obsessive collector as a roommate.  You get EVERYTHING on the tapes whether you need it or not.)  – I start by fast-forwarding through Enos & Slater v. The Public Enema. – Konnan v. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. Konnan controls with an armbar takedown and works a wristlock. Chavo comes back with a headscissor takedown and Konnan bails to the dirt. The ring is on a platform, which is in turn on plain old dirt. The distance from ring to dirt is pretty big, and the space on the platform where the mats are is pretty small. Ah, WCW, the smartest promotion no longer alive. Chavo gets a vicious deathlock variation and works the knee. Konnan roughs him up and dropkicks him in the corner. DDT gets two. Chavo gets a lariat and dropkick, and Konnan hides in the ropes. He comes out and cheapshots Chavo from behind, then the rolling clothesline and Splash Mountain finish at 4:24. *1/4 – We skip over Nasty Boys v. High Voltage, for obvious reasons.  (HIGH VOLTAGE!!!!) – Alex Wright v. Bobby Eaton. Wright wins with a bodypress before I even finish writing the participants, at 0:35. Eep. DUD – We skip over the Dungeon of Doom squashing some jobbers. – Squire Dave Taylor v. Mr. JL. JL gets a dropkick and armdrag to start, and Taylor bails. Back in, Taylor gets some forearms and dodges a blind charge. Standing neckbreaker and Taylor pounds away. JL gets a bulldog and goes up with a bodypress for two. Fallaway slam from Taylor finishes at 2:39. Just a squash. ½* – DDP v. Renegade. Dimaond Cutter, goodbye at 0:52. DUD  (My how the bloom was off the rose on Renegade at that point.  And what’s up with DDP going from winning the Battlebowl thingie to working the pre-show?)  – Arn Anderson v. Hugh Morrus. No Laughing Matter misses, DDT doesn’t, goodbye at 0:35. DUD PPV Begins: – Opening match, Cruiserweight title: Rey Mysterio Jr. v. Ultimo Dragon. Wristlock sequence to start, won by Rey. Dragon gets a rollup for two, but Rey works the leg. Dragon gets a leg lariat and they fight over a german suplex and go to a gymnastic exhibition. Dragon with the kick combo and a dropkick. The handspring elbow sets up a running powerbomb, but he stalls and won’t cover. He goes into a figure-four for god-knows-what reason. Spinning backbreaker and again he won’t cover. They screw up a bow-and-arrow spot, with Rey slipping free unintentionally, and Rey comes back with a springboard dropkick, baseball slide to put him out, and springboard plancha from the top rope to the dirt. To give you an idea of how suicidal that was, consider that standing on the ground, the wrestlers were generally eye-level with the bottom rope thanks to the raised platform. And there’s no mats down there. (And WWE wonders why he’s so easily injured these days and has two surgically repaired knees.)  Back in, Rey gets a rana from the top, but gets dropkicked while trying another. Rey bails and Dragon follows with a pescado. Back in, Dragon gets a german suplex for two. Quebrada, no cover. Moonsault gets two. Powerbomb reversed to a rana by Rey, and they go up. Dragon blocks a rana, but can’t block a second one, and Rey gets the pin at 11:38. Too spotty and just all over the map. Still good, though. *** – Scott Norton v. Juice Train. Train was dumb enough to lip off to Giant in the pre-game show and got his arm beat up as a result. Norton works on it for a bit, Ice Train comes back with a powerslam, but Norton applies an armbar for the submission at 5:05. Standard power stuff here. ¾* – Bull Nakano v. Madusa. Winner gets to smash up the loser’s motorcycle. Nakano attacks with nunchuks and biels her by the hair a few times, for two. Slam gets two, but Madusa comes back with her flying hair slam things. Nakano hooks a Sharpshooter, then a DDT gets two. We hit the chinlock. Madusa kicks at the legs and gets a rana for two. Leg lariat, but Nakano hits her own clothesline for two. Madusa’s GERMAN SUPLEX OF DOOM gets two. Nakano hits a backdrop suplex for two. Another one gets the pin, but Madusa LIFTS HER SHOULDER and wins at 5:53. Gosh, what an original and totally enthralling ending. ½* (One of my least favorite finishes of all time!)  Madusa’s surgically enhanced funbags were seriously messing with her workrate by then. They had a way better match at Summerslam 94. Madusa does a job of smashing up the bike with a sledgehammer that would make HHH hang his head in shame. – Dean Malenko v. Chris Benoit. Mmmmm…Liz in leather. Deano Machino has been paid off by the Dungeon of Dumb at this point, with the goal being to take Benoit out. (Maybe, and stick with me here, it was a REALLY long-term plan whereby he’d frame him 11 years later and…you know, it’s probably best not to finish this digression.)  Benoit takes him down and pounds him, Dean responds in kind. Chris gets some CANADIAN VIOLENCE, and a kneelift. Dean elbows back and pounds him in the corner. Suplex gets two. Standing neckbreaker and elbow gets two, and we hit the chinlock. Benoit pounds him and lays the badmouth on him, then chokes him out. Legdrop gets one. More Canadian Violence, and a back elbow gets two. Dean bridges out and they go into a mind-blowingly awesome pinfall reversal sequence that totally goes over the redneck biker crowd’s head. It ends with Dean getting a short-arm scissor. Chris rolls him over and powers out. Elbowdrop gets two. Snap suplex gets two. Benoit goes into an abdominal stretch, then hits the chinlock. Both go for a bodypress and collide in mid-air. Benoit misses a blind charge, but Dean walks into a snap suplex to set up Benoit’s diving headbutt for two. Tombstone attempt is reversed by Dean for two. He keeps covering for two. Cloverleaf attempt is reversed for two by Benoit. Both guys hit the floor, and Benoit gets the worst of it. Back in, Dean goes up and gets crotched. Benoit superplex gets two. Dean gets a vicious release german suplex, where you can almost see Benoit floating in slow motion before hitting the mat square on his neck. (And then you wonder why he needed spinal fusion surgery?!)  Now THAT’S wrestling. Crowd doesn’t care, but fuck ‘em if they can’t appreciate art. Benoit comes back with a small package for two. Short clothesline gets two, and Dean responds in kind for two. Overhead belly to belly gets two for Dean, and Chris comes back with a Northern Lights suplex for two. Bridging german suplex gets two for Benoit. He goes into a Liontamer, but Dean makes the ropes and bails. Benoit follows with a pescado, and gets a bridging rollup back in for two. Dean gets a forward rollup for two. Backslide battle is won by Malenko, for two. Rollup gets two. Benoit takes him down for two. Powerbomb gets two. Benoit goes up but gets superplexed for two. Oklahoma roll gets two for Dean. Powerbomb gets two for Dean as the time limit expires at 20:00. So we go another 5:00, and the crowd BOOS. Hey, FUCKWADS, it’s Benoit v. Malenko, so sit on your bikes and LIKE IT.(I would of course phrase that more diplomatically were I in attendance.)  Benoit gets a backdrop suplex for two. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two. Benoit uses a Cloverleaf, but Malenko makes the ropes. Enzuigiri puts Benoit down and they collide in the corner. Benoit stomps on the knee and hooks a kneebar. He destroys the knee and goes back to the kneebar with 30 seconds left. Dean gets a rollup as time expires. Another overtime prompts a bigger round of boos from the idiot rednecks. (Today they’d probably be watching “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” on their iPhones instead of paying attention to the match.) Any other city in America or Canada and the crowd would going batshit for this, and these morons are booing because they want to see Hulk Hogan. And WCW actually came back here THREE MORE YEARS after this. Dean gets a legwhip, but Benoit hits a dragon suplex for two. Rollup gets two. Dropkick misses and Dean gets his own Cloverleaf. Benoit goes for the ropes, but Dean stops him with an STF. Woman runs interference, however, and Benoit gets a rollup for the pin at 28:10. God-awful ending to a fabulous match. ****1/2 And a hearty “fuck you” to the ignorant crowd.  (There’s a really interesting case to be made for the match and whether it can be considered a failure because the crowd reaction to it was so bad, even if the technical aspect was awesome.)  – WCW World tag title match: Harlem Heat v. The Steiner Brothers. Speaking of the crowd’s intellectual deficiency, racial harmony is set back 50 years here as they immediately boo Harlem Heat out of the building for being black and hurl various insults at them. (If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s insensitivity to others.)  God bless South Dakota, y’all should be so proud. Mega-stall to start, literally lasting 4 minutes. Scott gets a butterfly powerbomb on Booker T, and the Heat retreats. Back in, Booker misses the sidekick and gets press-slammed. Heat regroups again. Stevie Ray gives it a go and gets the upper hand. Scott t-bones him and Rick comes in to kick away and hit the chinlock. Blind charge hits boot, but Rick no-sells and gets a Steinerline for two. Scott comes in and headbutts Stevie low, and Booker sideslams him in retaliation. Blind charge hits Scott’s boot, however, and he gets the belly-to-belly for two. Rick suplexes him for two. Cheapshot from the apron and Rick is YOUR dogface-in-peril. He catches Booker with a slam, and briefly tags in Scott, but he comes back in and gets dumped. Back in, Stevie goes to the chinlock. As does Booker. Stevie gets a backbreaker and a suplex gets two. He utilizies the dreaded VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DOOM, but Booker misses an elbow, hot tag Scott. Overhead belly-to-belly gets two on Booker, but Robert Parker tosses powder at them and hits Booker by mistake. Sherri tosses more powder and hits Scott, however, and Parker breaks the cane over his head for the Booker pin at 17:53. Just a WEE bit screwy on the ending there. Match was the usual snoozefest from these two. ** Crowd was REALLY pissed at the finish.  (“Hey, let’s do a show in front of 5000 hardcore redneck and possibly skinhead bikers and then put the black guys over!  WE’LL MAKE MILLIONS!”)  – US title match: Ric Flair v. Eddy Guerrero. Eddy grabs a headlock and shoves Flair around, prompting an argument with the ref. Flair bails for a while and consults with the dev’lish wom’n (© Dusty Rhodes) and stalls. Back in, Eddy works another headlock, but gets dropped on his shoulder with a suplex. They exchange chops and Flair runs again. Back in, Eddy goes back to the headlock. Slugfest, won by Guerrero. Flair goes to the eyes and unloads with a chop. Some cheapshots put him down, and Flair lays in the chops. Eddy comes back and Flair does the Flair Flip and gets dropkicked out. Back in, backdrop and Eddy dumps him. Back in again, Eddy’s chops lead to the Flair Flop. Eddy is getting a pretty exceptional amount of offense in here. Flair goes low, but Eddy gets a crossbody for two. He goes up for a sunset flip, but Flair fights him off and escapes. Eddy goes to a figure-four, but Flair makes the ropes. A rana gets two. Tornado DDT gets two. Blind charge misses and Flair goes up, and of course gets slammed for two. Sunset flip gets two. Eddy goes to the eyes, and hits the Frog splash. He hurts his knee, however, and can’t cover. Uh oh…and indeed Flair hooks the figure-four dead centre and gets the pin at 14:16. Rather odd to see Guerrero completely dominate the match like that, but it worked well. ***1/4  (Even more odd to see Eddy selling a knee injury without it being a clever ruse on his part.)  – The Outsiders v. Sting & Lex Luger. (This was something of a dream match that fizzled out in reality.)  The Outsiders play rock-paper-scissors for first man in, and Hall wins to start. He works on Luger’s arm, then stalls. Luger comes back with a kneelift and slam, and more stalling follows. Nash wants Sting, NOW. More stalling results. Nash blocks a slam, but Sting beats on him and finishes the move. Nash hits Snake Eyes, however, and Hall nails him to take over. Standard Outsider stuff as Sting is YOUR Christian-in-peril. Fun fact: Everyone in this match is now unemployed. (No longer true of course.)  Hall’s fallaway slam gets two. Running clothesline and Nash comes in with the LEGLIFT OF DEATH. Sting fights back but gets avalanched. Sting falls on Nash’s crotch, however, and…Hall cuts off the hot tag. Nash gets the big boot and Hall wants the Outsider Edge. Sting escapes, hot tag Luger. Stinger splash for Nash and they fight outside, and Luger racks Hall. Nick Patrick gets bumped, however, and “accidentally” falls onto Luger’s knee, giving Hall the pin at 14:37 of boredom. This began the epic Evil Nick Patrick storyline. ¾* – WCW World title match: The Giant v. Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Hogan stalls to start. No, really, I’m as shocked as you. He slugs away, gets nowhere, and runs. Apparently the crowd is a few months behind the storyline, because Hogan is a HUGE babyface here. Back in, and he runs again. Back in, he runs again. Back in, and a lengthy discussion about hair-pulling follows. Hogan keeps begging off, until a test of strength that feels like it takes two years to complete, which is won by the Giant, of course. Giant goes to a wristlock, but Hogan takes him down and gets his own. And THAT takes forever. This is like watching Jerry Lawler in the late stages of his career. Giant gets some headbutts, Hogan runs. Giant follows and posts him, and back in he gets a big boot and backbreaker for two. Big elbow misses, but he hulks up (in an act he would resurrect 4 years later for the Showster). Big foot! Scott Hall comes in and it’s AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH THECHOKESLAM! Same for Kevin Nash! Hogan nails him with the belt, however, to win it at 14:55. This was supposed to be one of those “Sgt. Slaughter beating Ultimate Warrior groan of disappointment” moments, but it got the biggest babyface pop of the night. Match was about as painfully horrible as you’d expect. -*** Hogan’s lapdog Ed Leslie brings out a birthday cake to suck up to the nWo, but Hogan turns on him (before bringing him back two years later as the Disciple, oddly enough) and does the famous spraypaint job on the title belt, end of show. – By the way, the 1996 Best Actor award should have gone to Paul Wight for laying there and playing dead while Hogan and the nWo enacted their little soap opera for 10 minutes after the match. Never mind that he’d be legally braindead with that kind of injury in real life, you have to admire the conviction required to lay motionless without bursting into tears of laughter every time Hogan tried to give a serious heel interview. The Bottom Line: Well, I don’t think anyone could argue that they shouldn’t have put the title on Hogan, I just wish they had a better transitional champion than the Giant. The whole thing would have worked out better in the long run if Sting had been the guy to pass the belt along, but hindsight is 20/20 and all that. Some good stuff in the undercard from the vanilla midgets and a historic main event make this one an easy choice, but dear god that crowd is a mass of stupidity that nearly kills the show at points. Recommended show.  (Yup, a very enjoyable outing despite their best efforts to fuck it up.)