Friday, March 5, 2010

WCW Road Wild: August 8, 1998

WCW Road Wild 98 took me about five hours to watch, for various reasons. Some of which were beyond my control, others were because I felt like doing something else for a few minutes. But by golly, I did watch the whole show, and it was quite a show indeed. WCW Road Wild was held in Sturgis, South Dakota during the world famous Sturgis Bike Rally. Admission was free, and many fans could just ride in on their Harleys and sit on their bikes the whole show. The whole thing was an excuse for Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan to ride their motorcycles and attend the bike rally. Seriously, they held a wrestling card, charging nothing for tickets, just so they could be big shots at a motorcycle rally, yet people still wonder why WCW could fail. Maybe because of bonehead decisions like this. To their credit, it was a pay-per-view event, so it wasn't a total loss, I guess. Anyway, Road Wild 98 featured the one and only wrestling match of Jay Leno, who team with Diamond Dallas Page against Hogan and Bischoff in the main event. At least Leno is a much bigger name than future WCW Champion David Arquette, so that's something. On with the show.

Meng vs. Barbarian (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Our hosts for the evening are Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, and Bobby Heenan. Schiavone tries to look cool in a leather jacket, but fails. Tenay is wearing a denim jacket over a denim shirt. He couldn't have look more like a sex offender if he tried. Heenan is probably drunk. Our first match is between the Barbarian and Meng, in a battle to determine who is the best face of fear. Barbarian comes out with Jimmy Hart. This match had a lot of headbutts and chops. Barbarian did a swank belly-to-belly suplex off the top rope. Meng gets out at two, Meng hits a powerslam, but only gets a two. Jimmy Hart keeps climbing on the ring apron, and nobody ever reacts to it. Finish comes after Barbarian calls for a kick of fear, but Meng instead gets the Tongan Death Grip for the pin. Jimmy Hart and Hugh Morrus come in to beat on Meng. Hart dives off the top onto Meng with the worst body splash in the year of 1998, and Morrus grazes Meng with a moonsault. Jim Duggan (huh?) comes in for the save, and chases off everyone with his wood. Meng doesn't even thank Duggan for his assistance, the jerk. Best match of the night, and by that I mean it was the best match of the night so far.

Disco Inferno and Alex Wright (w/ Magnum Tokyo) vs. Public Enemy

Disco gets a few cheers, which is surprising because he's wrestling in front of a bunch of macho bikers. The crowd doesn't care for Wright, however. The announcers claim that Public Enemy will be fan favorites, because hey, who doesn't like a couple of fat white guys pretending to be black more than bikers. I am proven wrong, as TPE gets a nice reaction. The teams start out wrestling, and Disco and Alex dance a lot. At one point Wright hit a missile dropkick on Grunge for a two count, and the crowd couldn't care less. For some reason, Tokyo gets a trash can and Wright nails Rocco Rock in the back. Surely that's a disqualification, right? Nope, referee Mark Curtis changes it to an impromptu street fight.  The result is what one would think a hardcore match involving Disco Inferno and Alex Wright would be, dumb. I think this match set a record for most times somebody got hit in the back with a trash can. At one point, Wright walks off because Magnum accidentally hit him, then Magnum leaves, leaving Disco alone. Public Enemy sets up three tables on top of each other outside the ring, and pulls Disco up a ladder so they can set on the stack. Rocco climbs up a lighting rig, and drops an elbow on Disco through the three tables. Grunge has the drag him back in for the count. He covers Disco, but Magnum tries to break up the cover with a top rope splash, Grunge moves, Tokyo splashes Disco, and then Grunge gets the three count. Why they added that in the match, I don't know. This match was 15 minutes long and felt like an hour.

Match 3: Raven vs. Saturn vs. Kanyon (Raven's Rules, Falls Count Anywhere in Sturgis)

This match is to determine the superior single named wrestler whose name in with an n. Actually, Saturn hates Raven, Kanyon hates Saturn but supposedly is in cahoots with Raven. Raven tells Kanyon to get Saturn, but changes his mind a minute later and posts Kanyon. The first couple of minutes mainly consist of Kanyon and Saturn wrestling while Raven sits in the corner. Well, the other two wrestlers eventually have enough of this, so Kanyon dropkicks Raven in his junk. The two then team up on Raven. I mark out for the Total Elimination (finisher of Saturn's ECW Tag Team, The Eliminators), but nobody else seems to care. Raven kicks out at two just to further frustrate me. I don't care if the match is over 10 years old, I'm still angry about it. Eventually they go to the outside. There's some piledrivers and suplexes on the stage, but it seems as if everyone's just going through the motions. Heenan wishes an 18-wheeler with no breaks would come down the ramp. I guess Heenan's not a fan of any of these guys. They get back to the inside, Saturn gets a sleeper hold on Raven, Kanyon puts Saturn in the sleeper as well, but Raven counters with a jawbreaker, sending everyone down. They also do a stack superplex spot as well, but nobody seems to give a crap. Heenan says he wishes he was in the match so he could "give up and end it". Kanyon and Raven fight on the outside, Kanyon suplexes Raven, climbs up another lighting rig for a splash, but Lodi moves Raven out of the way. Raven comes back in, only for Saturn to hit a Death Valley Driver on him. Lodi comes in to break the three count, but Saturn disposes of him. Horace Boulder comes in with a stop sign, but puts the sign down to club Saturn. Wait, Horace has the sign, and Lodi has some cocaine (it's just powder, but considering what happens next, it would make more sense if it were cocaine). Horace goes to hit Saturn with the sign while Lodi tries to throw cocaine in Saturn's eyes, Saturn ducks, Horace stops, than the cocaine hits him and kicks in, so he hits Lodi about 10 seconds after Saturn moved. Horace tries again to stop Saturn, but hits Raven instead. Saturn then dumps Horace on his neck with a german suplex, before hitting another DVD on Raven for the three count. On paper, this match looked like it could have been good, but in reality, it was average at best. I still didn't hate it as much as Bobby Heenan did.

Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psychosis (Winner gets a match for the Cruiserweight Title)

Nobody bothered to clean the cocaine out of the ring. These two have had a ton of great matches together. This wasn't really one of them. I don't know if it was the heat outside or the fact that Rey's just coming off of knee surgery or something else, but this match was about as slow-paced as Meng vs. Barbarian. Just not what you would hope for from two guys who you know can do so much better. There were a couple of cool moves towards the end, including an electric chair drop with a bridge from Psychosis, and a sweet springboard hilo from Rey. The end came with Misterio doing a springboard hurracanrana and dropping poor Psychosis right on his noggin for the three count. That looked like it hurt. Match was decent, but as I said before, these two have had much better matches than this.

Stevie Ray vs. Chavo Guerrero (WCW TV Title Match even though Booker T is TV Champion)

This match is for a title that neither man holds, as Stevie's brother Booker T is officially Television Champion, but Stevie has been defending it on his behalf, much to the bewilderment of the three idiots in the booth.  Chavo comes out with a leather vest and leather hat. I would call this his Chavo Guerrero Hard Gay look. Stevie comes out with a leather hat as well. Chavo tries to shake hands, but Stevie Ray doesn't want to. The match is just three minutes of Chavo running around dodging Stevie Ray. That is, until Stevie finally catches him and hits him with the "Slapjack" which is kind of like a pedigree, only Stevie lifts his opponent off the ground before driving him into the mat. Stevie gets the three count, promises more pain for Chavo, but Eddie Guerrero comes out to stop him. Stevie walks away. Chavo doesn't trust Eddy, though. Lee Marshall talks to Chris Jericho, and Jericho says some mumbo jumbo about he's going to whoop Juvi later on tonight, even though Deano Machino Malenko is the special guest referee.

Rick Steiner vs. Scott Steiner was scheduled, but Scott was hurt. Scott was pushed out in a hospital bed with an IV hooked up by Buff Bagwell. J.J. Dillon comes out and says that the match will take place at Fall Brawl, which doesn't please the live crowd any because they won't be there. Dillon says if Scott doesn't wrestle at Fall Brawl, he will be barred from wrestling, which causes Steiner to rise out of his bed. Whoopee.

Bryan Adams (w/ Vincent) vs. Steve "Mongo" McMichael

I've been trying to think of a match I'd rather not see, with the roster WCW had at the time. The only match I could think of is McMichael vs. Van Hammer, but even that might be more entertaining than this atrocity. I'm convinced this match was the result of a bet amongst the WCW Booking Committee to see who could book the worst possible match. I can't believe WCW charged people to see Mongo wrestle Bryan Adams. This match was as bad as you would expect. My favorite part was when they managed to mess up an entire sequence of moves. Adams screwed up a missed clothesline by punching Mongo in the gut, Mongo tries to shoulder block him but ends up short, and the whole mess ends with Mongo giving Adams a shoot DDT.  Another high point in the match is when Adams leg drops McMichael, walks around Mongo in a circle, and without any other better ideas, legdrops Mongo again. Schiavone tries to claim that Bryan Adams can wrestle, which I guess is technically true, but he sure as hell isn't any good at it. At the finish the ref is somehow kicked by Mongo while Adams is attempting a piledriver, Vincent gets on the apron with a chair. Adams holds Mongo, but Mongo ducks and Vincent gently taps Adams with the chair. Mongo hits the Mongo Spike on Adams (tombstone piledriver, in case anyone has forgotten) and gets the victory. This match sucked hard. It was so bad I nearly cried.

Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera (WCW Cruiserweight Title Match, Special Ref: Dean Malenko)

This was during the Jericho-Malenko feud where each man was getting huge reactions but neither man could get past the mid-card because WCW couldn't recognize a good thing if it punched them in the face. Anyway, Jericho manages to get some reaction out of the bikers saying that he drove his Honda motorcycle to Sturgis and that he doesn't want to wrestle in front of a bunch of weekend warriors. It's funny because it's true, but everyone revs up their bike, probably causing the poor bastards behind them to breathe in the exhaust fumes. Bunch of jerks. This match is better than the last match, which wasn't hard, as these two actually hit three moves without messing something up. Actually this was the best match of the night, even if Jericho was stalling big-time after about five minutes. Still, there were a lot of things to like about this match, including Jericho's gorilla press into a tombstone, and a brutal looking double powerbomb on Juvi that made Juventud bounce off the mat. Juvi comes back with a DDT, and then hits a Juvi Driver that nearly puts Jericho on his head, but luckily he adjusted at the last second. Jericho kicks out, and then counters a huracanrana with the Liontamer, but Juvi gets to the ropes. Jericho thinks he has the match won, and demands Malenko to raise his hand, but Deano won't do it. They wrestle into the corner, Juvi beats on Jericho, but Malenko pulls him away. Juvi inadvertently pokes him in the eyes, giving Jericho an opening to hit Guerrera with the Title Belt. Jericho gets Malenko's attention by slapping him, getting the ire of the referee. He eventually counts the pin, but Guerrera kicked out.  They end up in another corner, Jericho perched on the top rope. Dean pulls off Juvi, and for some reason Jericho kicks Malenko off. This allows Juvi to charge at Malenko, who hurls Juvi into the air onto Jericho to hit a huracanrana off the top rope. Guerrera covers, and gets the three count. Afterwards Jericho argues with Malenko, but he gets decked for his efforts. That was a good match right there, not a classic, but a lot better than most of this dreck.

Nine-Man Battle Royal: The Giant, Curt Hennig, Scott Norton, Scott Hall, (nWo Hollywood) Kevin Nash, Sting, Konnan, Lex Luger, (nwo Wolfpac), Goldberg (WCW)

Pinfalls and Top-Rope Eliminations both count in this battle royal. For reasons beyond my understanding, the crew at WCW decided to most of their big draws in the same match. It would have been a lot better for everyone if they just had Goldberg wrestle the Giant, and maybe put a tag match with say, Hall and Hennig vs. Nash and Sting in place of Mongo-Adams. As it is it's just a match that does nothing for a lot of these guys and isn't very good to boot. The focus was on Goldberg, as the announcers made a big deal about how Goldberg's never been in a battle royal, so his undefeated streak might end tonight. Also, Hall and Nash were in the middle of a feud that eventually would go nowhere, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Goldberg eliminates Hall with a backdrop, and Nash decides to eliminate himself to go after Hall. Smooth move there, Kevin. Everybody punches everybody for a while, until Goldberg spears and eliminates Konnan. To the shock of the crowd, Hennig nearly eliminated Goldberg, but Bill fights out of it and dumps Hennig. Goldberg goes over and dumps both Sting and Norton over the top. So Sting, only one of their top three draws, at the least, gets treated as if he's just another faceless henchman. That's smart. Luger gets speared by Goldberg and the Giant eliminates him, leaving Goldberg and The Giant alone. The Giant chokeslams Goldberg, but Goldberg sits up like the Undertaker or something. He then spears the big man, and even puts The Giant in the Jackhammer, which nearly causes Schiavone to orgasm on air. Goldberg wins, eliminating six guys and looking unstoppable in the process, much to the delight of the bikers in the crowd. Match was what it was, neither all that good or all that bad.

Diamond Dallas Page and Jay Leno (w/ Kevin Eubanks) vs. Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff (w/ The Disciple and Miss Elizabeth)

As far as matches involving celebrities goes, this wasn't the worst. It was far from the best, but it wasn't the worst. At the very least, it was better than Mongo v. Adams and Public Enemy v. Wright and Disco. Kevin Eubanks came out in a sleeveless shirt, and had some guns on him, I tell you what. The match was mostly Hogan vs. Page, they'd hit a few spots and go on from there. The announcers kept pimping Bischoff's karate background, but he looked so goofy with his kicks that I have a hard time believing he ever took a class, much less is some sort of karate master. Leno got in a few times, kept pointing to his chin (he must have pointed to it 30 times during the match) and did an arm twist on Hogan and hit Bischoff with a couple of punches that looked like crap. At the end, Bischoff holds Leno as Hogan tries to wallop Leno, but Leno ducks (I swear, they used that same spot, or at least a variation of it, in every single match on the show. It gets kind of old seeing the same spot for the 8th or 9th time). Anyway, Page clotheslines Hogan over the top rope. Eubanks comes in, hits Bischoff with a Diamond Cutter that actually looked halfway decent. Leno covers Bischoff and gets the three count. After the match, Hogan and Bischoff attack the faces, but Goldberg comes in and delivers a double spear to Hogan and Bischoff to make the save. Goldberg, DDP, Leno, and Eubanks stand tall in the ring, and that's the end of the show.

Well, that was an adventure. To my surprise, Jay Leno did not wrestle in the worst match in the show. Leno would go back to his day job, leaving WCW with a 1-0 record. Unlike Mongo and Bryan Adams, Leno was also able to hit all of his moves cleanly, even if some of them looked a little rough. This was not that great of a wrestling show. The only match I would recommend seeing is Jericho vs. Juvi, which was good, but not great. Overall, I'd give the whole show about a 2.4 out of 10. Thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts, than let me know via e-mail at To end this post, here is a video of Jericho vs. Juvi, just in case you want to see it.

Juventud Guerrera vs. Chris Jericho-Cruiserweight title
Uploaded by Stinger1981. - More professional, college and classic sports videos.

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