WCW Road Wild 1998 Review

WCW Road Wild 1998 Review
Date: August 8, 1998
Attendance: 8,500 (8400 were there just to fill space)
Location: Sturgis

Two words, Eric Bischoff. These PPV’s were always the worst to watch. No atmosphere, no big moment excitement and very little interest shown by the people who actually attend these events. Now don’t get me wrong, Bischoff is a smart man. But one day, he realised that his work schedule wasn’t allowing him to indulge in his favourite hobby – motorbikes. So what does he do? He took his work with him! Some say smart, I say stupid but if these Sturgis rally PPV’s were a success, then I just shouldn’t be writing.

It’s the Jay Leno event now. We have gone from basketball stars wrestling to talk show celebrities when WCW had one of the great rosters.  Future stars, bright prospects all overlooked for these pop personalities that would have zero idea what to do in the squared circle. I do feel for them and can’t believe WCW personnel failed to see money in them.

It’s the three jabroni’s in Tony, Brain and Mike.

Barbarian (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs Meng

Talk about a potential five star opening. Could they have thrown two bigger stiffs in the ring?

Barbarian is away early with an overhead belly to belly suplex but Meng no sells and plants him head first with a jumping piledriver that gains the attention of Jimmy Hart. Meng moves up top and goes for a diving headbutt but eats the mat. But Mengy boy refuses to be denied and heads to the top once again but an overhead belly to belly from the top floors both men. That was actually pretty cool.

They begin trading blows with some really tame headbutts and they are genuinely moving at a snails pace. After a minute of barbarian trying to get Meng out the ring, he slams his head into the stairs and then throws him straight back into the ring. Tongan Death Grip or whatever that stupid fucking move is and this one’s over. (4:48) Hugh Morris is out after the match and together with Barbarian begin a beat down on Meng. No laughing matter before Hacksaw Jim Duggan comes out to make the save. HELL YES! “OOHHHHHHH”.

Rating: *and a half – This was a really a poor choice to put this on PPV, let alone open one. This 5 minute match felt more like a 10 minute bout as they just refused to get out of walking pace. Glad it’s over though and pray, pray to the almighty Jesus, that there isn’t more crap like this in store.

The Dancing Fools (Disco Inferno and Alex Wright w/ Tokyo Magnum) vs Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge and Rocko Rock)

Disco! One of the most underrated workers in the business he was. This should be somewhat entertaining despite the lack of talent in the ring. Tony keeps going on about one of the more anticipated tag team matches in history is still to come. Is he forgetting what happened last fucking month?

Alex Wright will start things off with Rocco as he begins with a couple of swift arm drags as Disco is tagged in for a near fall. Grunge now in and begins beating down on Disco but Wright hits a pretty high top rope missile dropkick. Nice air time! Tokyo Magnum throws some trash cans into the ring and Alex Wright lays into him with some pretty hard shots! HAHA hilarious!

Rocco Rock disappears and comes back out with a ladder as the rules have been changed mid match-up into a street fight. That’s awesome. Disco and Alex begin heading to the back but return with their own table and we are set up for what should be a quite brutal last 5 to 6 minutes. We now have pans and cans being thrown around everywhere before Grunge nails the Disco Inferno with a letterbox of all things. HAHA! Back in the ring, Alex nails a snap suplex on Rocco on the trash can but Grunge makes the save and begins to put Wright on the table outside the ring. Rocco begins his movements but is leg dragged by Disco and he fights off both men with a pan. THE KITCHEN SINK IS IN and Alex takes full control with this unique weapon.

Tokyo Magnum wants to get involved but nails his own man, which results in Wright smashing the daylights out of him. Both men ditch the contest which leaves Disco to the Public Enemies mercy as they begin to arrange some furniture (a triple decker table stack if you don’t mind). They put Disco on the top and Rocco Rock nails him with an elbow drop through three tables. Rolls him back in and another Tokyo fuck up sees the Public Enemy walk away with the easy win. (15:27)

Rating: ** - Some pretty fun stuff in this but it went far too long and the arranging of the tables really killed the moment. Disco and Wright just don’t work as a team despite the while dancing gimmick and I hope Disco gets a push as a singles star soon. Public Enemy will probably just go back to Saturday Nights with the odd Nitro appearance, which means if they really wanted the Dancing Fools over, then the result would have been different. Expect a Disco and Wright feud to follow.

Raven’s Rules: Raven vs Saturn vs Kanyon

This should be a little wild. Kanyon is announced as being from parts unknown and we get some classic Bobby Heenan “I actually know where parts unknown is, 3.5 miles south from here”.

Raven gives the orders for Kanyon to attack like a dog and is met with an affirmative but he cops a neckbreaker for his troubles. Raven senses the opportunity and makes his way in with a steel chair to dish out a couple of shots before tossing the chair to Kanyon. Saturn bounces back and nails the chair into his face which leads to Kanyon and Raven to begin brawling on the outside. Back in the ring and Kanyon and Saturn turn all their attention to Raven and begin a beatdown. We have dropkicks to the balls, double team manoeuvres and then a nice set of Russian legs sweeps to go with a guillotine leg drop but shit ends up hitting the fan with a broken up pin. The double team ends but Raven senses an opportunity and biffs both of them with the steel chair.

All three competitors are now on the outside and begin brawling on the ramp, which gives Raven a chance to snap suplex Kanyon on the asphalt. Kanyon is back though and hits a fall away piledriver that then gives him the chance to go after Raven. Gets a couple of shots in but Saturn launches from the stage and connects with a double clothesline. All three are finally heading back to the ring and a triple sleeper hold followed by a triple jaw breaker has the men on the mat. Raven is up and goes for a double even flow DDT but can only get one (Saturn) for the first near fall of the night can you believe. Kanyon is knocked out which leave Saturn to nail the Death Valley Driver on Raven but Lodi makes his way in, followed by Horace Boulder, to break up the pin. It’s all to no avail, Boulder lays out Lodi with the stop sign which allows Saturn to plant him with a t-bone suplex. Death Valley Driver again on Raven and this one is over. (12:27)

Rating - **½ – This wasn’t bad but it was just all over the place. These three should be putting on a classic together but it was a bit of a letdown and too much of a clusterfuck towards the end. I’d have just liked them to put on an in-ring clinic rather than the shot, shot, shot, weapon, weapon, weapon, oh hello – some interference?

Psychosis vs Rey Misterio Jr

Hell yes.

Slow start to begin with numerous holds and submissions being applied before Psychosis lands a pretty strong clothesline for two. He then gets Rey up and plants him with some sort of pancake suplex but again it’s a near fall. Psychosis is all over him, using an assortment of different moves but loses the advantage when he goes up top and misses a high risk manoeuvre. A Rey Misterio cross body but again it’s a very close two count.

Psychosis goes straight back to turning the intensity down with some more holds but you sense it’s a matter of time before he fights back but no, Psychosis lands a bridge from a back to belly for a very close fall again. Things are far too slow at the moment for my liking. QUICKEN IT UP BOYS!

Psychosis moves to the top and is ready to nail him with maybe a moonsault (?) but Rey drop kicks him to the floor which is then followed by a high risk move to the floor. That’s better. Back in the ring and a split legged moonsault gains another near fall before Psychosis cleans him up with a somewhat different version of a powerbomb. Doesn’t matter, Rey goes up top and nails him with a botched springboard hurricanrana for the 1-2-3. (13:38)

Rating: *¾ – Wow this was really really poor. I don’t know what was said before the event but everyone is heading out there with a slow mind set and it really is affecting the quality of matches. A cruiserweight match should have really sparked this dull event up a bit but I’d have much rathered one of their Nitro outings after this. Could’ve and should’ve been a whole lot better.

TV Title: Chavo Guerrero Jr vs Stevie Ray (c – well supposedly he is champion)

Chavo is out with his pony stick named Pepe and wants his TV Title back.  Trying to gain another handshake but after the last time they meant, I’m not sure Stevie is going to comply.

Anyways Chavo gets a brief amount of offence in but scatters to the outside as Stevie Ray starts fuming up. Chases after him to no avail but outsmarts him by meeting him in the ring. Slapjack and this one is all but over. (2:28) Eddie Guerrero makes his way in after the match to stop Stevie Ray from continuing the beat down and Ray approves and leaves with no trouble breaking out.

Rating: ¾ – Nothing match. A squash and continues the story line of Booker being the actual champion but Ray forging papers that say he is given permission to defend the titles and, periodically, be the champion.

Wow this has been one of the poorer starts to a WCW PPV in a long long time. I have to say, I don’t have much faith in their upper card being able to bring this back from the brink of Worst PPV of all time.

Rick Steiner vs Scott Steiner

We have some more farcical booking as Scott Steiner is wheeled out on a stretcher with a shit load of strapping, stating he is not in a state to wrestle. Jo Jo Dillon is out and says the contract had a clause that the match would go forth no matter what. Rick goes after Scott but he runs off and I think that’s it?

Rating: N/A – Oh boy.

Mongo McMichael vs Brian Adams (w/ Vincent)

Holy shit, matches like this aren’t helping the cause.

“This is how a good guy does it” – The words of the wise Mongo McMichael. Shut the fuck up you piece of shit. Anyways, both men stare each other down for what seems like a freaking eternity which is followed by some stiff shots. An irish whip and they both don’t do anything. They just run into each other which leads to Mongo taking him down in a way I’d drop my little sister. WOW that was terrible. In fact this whole match is terrible and contains perhaps the worst ref bump in the history of wrestling! It’s so bad, it’s funny.

Vincent hits the apron and nails his own man with a steel chair, tombstone piledriver and that end perhaps the worst match in wrestling history. New lows WCW, new lows.

Rating: Candidate for worst match of the century – I don’t necessarily blame these two dumb fucks in the ring for putting this shit on, but I blame the WCW committee for even putting this on TV, let alone a PPV. There were some of the worst botches I have ever seen and the ref bump was just fucking stupid. In fact, if that happened in a real sport, the referee would get the arse for putting himself in a dumb position.

Cruiserweight Title: Juventud Guerrera vs Chris Jericho (c) with Dean Malenko the Guest Referee

Alright, I think this match is in the way of WCW from putting on the worst PPV of all time. If this is poor, then I think Road Wild 1998 will go down as being even worse than Souled Out 1997. Hey, at least with Souled Out 1997, a failed concept, THEY DIDN’T DO IT AGAIN THE NEXT FUCKING YEAR!

Well Jericho is out wearing what looks like to be Prince Iaukea’s dressing gown but I could be wrong. Jericho is on top early and dishes out some stiff chops which then leads him to sending Juventud to the outside. Malenko has none of it and pulls him back from the ropes by the hair and there is friction! Guerrera back and Jericho performs a balancing act on the platform outside the ring and is sent into the rail. AIR JUVI all the way to the 2nd level of the floor. Now we’re talking!

Back in the ring and some pretty good back and forth action with Guerrera nailing a springboard cross body, attempting the same move again but this time is caught and nailed with a gorilla press slam. Pinfall and its a very slow count by Malenko. A back senton splash by Jericho and again there is speculation Malenko’s count is a little on the slow side. Jericho attempts a lionsault from the middle rope but Juvi fights back and gets the knees up which is followed up by a hurricanrana. A high risk somersault kick connects but again it’s a close nearfall. Jericho is up quickly where he gets behind Juvi and attempts a german suplex but like a cat, Guerrera lands on his feet. Runs at him and goes for a head scissor takes down but is powerbombed multiple times for another near fall by Jericho. The lionheart whips Juvi into the ropes and attempts a powerbomb but BOOM, Guerrera out of nowhere with a DDT for 1-2-Out at two! Is quick to put on the Juvi driver but again it’s a near fall. Where has this been all night?

Anyways, Jericho gets the Liontamer on but Juvi makes it to the ropes at the very last moment. Jericho believes he has the win but doesn’t get the arm raised. Goes right after Juvi but is dumped into the corner where stiff shots are the order of the day. Juvi pushes Malenko away, catching a finger in his eye, and Jericho waffles him with the belt. Malenko hesitantly goes down for the count but Juvi is out at two. Jericho goes to the top but is reduced to a sit down on the top rope. Malenko pulls Juvi off of him, turns around and cops a kick to the throat. Poor option Jericho. Juvi runs at him, gets some air from Malenko and nails him with the top rope frankensteiner for the 1-2-3! (16:37) We have a NEW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION!

Rating: ***½ – Much better stuff and was worked at an intensity which no others have tonight. It’s quite amazing how a slightly quicker course of action will lead to a more intense reaction from the fair weather audience how much smoother this seemed to move. I’ve enjoyed this angle a heap, one of the rare highlights for WCW in 1998, and would not mind seeing JJ Dillon hand back the title to Jericho on Nitro due to Malenko’s involvement to keep it going a little longer.

Non-title Battle Royal: nWo Black and White (Scott Hall, Giant, Curt Henning and Flash Norton) vs nWo Wolfpac (Kevin Nash, Konnan, Lex Luger and Sting) vs Goldberg

It’s the nWo factions going straight after each other early before Goldberg heads straight after the Giant to nail him with some stiff shots in that beer gut. Scott Hall aims to eliminate Goldberg with the Outsiders edge but is flipped over the top to be the first one eliminated. Nash eliminates himself and goes straight after Hall as they brawl to the back.

And after two minutes of absolutely nothing happening, Goldberg pounces with a spear on Konnan and eliminates him immediately. Straight after, Henning goes to work on eliminating the strongest man in professional wrestling as the lights start to brighten. Honestly, what would happen if it rained half way through an event like this?

Well another spear and Henning is thrown out before Norton and Sting are thrown over at the same time. Leave us with the Giant, Luger and Goldberg. Not for long though as Luger is speared and thrown out by the Giant. Giant gets Goldberg in his mits and chokeslam! Goldberg no sells it and is straight up with the spear and a 554 lbs jackhammer for the 1-2-3.(7:48)

Rating: * - This was just a Goldberg squash, except it was a squash of 8 men at once. Was incredibly boring and would have no impact with regards to storylines. nWo black and white still hates the Wolfpac and Hall is still feuding with Nash.

And it’s time for our monthly serving of shit on toast

Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff w/ Elizabeth and the Disciple vs DDP and Jay Leno w/ Kevin Eubanks

Wow, Jay doesn’t look half bad in a wrestling ring. Either does Eubanks for that matter. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?

Anyways Hogan and DDP lock up and trade blows (and some pretty hard open hand slaps) before walking into a lethal Leno right hand. DDP nails a spinning neckbreaker and sends Hogan to the outside where Eubanks starts delivering a beat down on Hogan. Yeah that’s believable! Bischoff in and DDP actually sells some of his kicks before Bischoff gets kicked straight in the face. LENO TAGGED IN!

Not for long though, Bischoff tags Hogan in and we now have Leno vs Hogan. This should be good. *rolls eyes*. Leno begins bagging his haircut and even had the nerve to pat his chin. Shows a bit of quickness and DDP is tagged back in immediately but runs straight into a clothesline. Bounces back and applies a dragon arm lock while tagging in Leno. LENO TAGGED IN! Applies a arm lock of his own before receiving a knee to the guts. Hogan goes for another shot but Leno gets away and gets the tag.

DDP goes straight after Hogan on the outside and Eubanks manages to steal the chair from Hogan before he uses it. Page gets a few shots in but runs straight into a mean clothesline that sees Bischoff in. The referee sees Disciple on the apron and goes to confront him which sees Hogan nail Page with a foreign object (WAKE UP REF!) but DDP is out at two. Hogan big boot and wastes a whole heap of time which allows DDP to get in a clothesline as both men are down. And here it is:

Leno bounces back with the meanest of low blows before dishing out a couple of stiff shots and then taking full advantage of the turnbuckles. HELL YEH! Hogan in but NO DEAL, Hogan is clotheslined to the outside as the referee tries to split up the madness on the outside. EUBANKS IN AND DIAMOND CUTTER. Leno pins and gets the win! (14:38) nWo are pissed and the usual post match beat down takes place before Goldberg comes out (with the belt on) and nails anyone and everyone and that’s a wrap.

Rating: ** - This actually wasn’t half bad and I have to give credit to Leno, he was really having a decent crack out there. The real beauty of this was they refused to let it run for close to 30 minutes like the previous month and trust me, this was much better than last month’s shit.

PPV Rating: ½
A solid cruiserweight bout and a mildly entertaining main event couldn’t save this from being one of the worst PPV’s WCW have produced. It was incredibly slow, little to no atmosphere and the most fun I had with this was during the main event and thats saying something. The one off appearances wouldn’t stop with the Warrior due to meet with Hogan in a 10 year rematch at HH98 and you’d really think WCW were out of ideas against the manic WWF. Thumbs way down for this one.

1 comment:

  1. Meng Vs Barbarian *
    Public Enemy Vs Dancing Fools *3/4
    Raven Vs Kanyon Vs Saturn **1/4
    Psichosis Vs Rey Mysterio Jr. *
    Chavo Guerrero Vs Stevie Ray DUD
    Rick Steiner Vs Scott Steiner DUD
    Mongo McMicael Vs Brian Adams 4 cornette heads
    Juvented Guerrera Vs Chris Jericho ***1/4
    nWo Black/White Vs nWo Wolfpac Black/Red Vs Goldberg *
    Jay Leno & DDP Vs Hogan & Bicshoff *
    Rating: 1/4*