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Random Network Reviews: WCW Hog Wild 1996

January 19, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: WCW Hog Wild 1996  

WCW Hog Wild
8/10/1996 – Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota – Attendance: 5,000

I’m just going to get this out the way. I expect this to be bad. Like really bad. Yes, this was right after the formation of the nWo so that was still fresh in our minds but shows in Sturgis are usually bad and part of it is because the crowd is bad. The fans don’t really even care for wrestling, it’s free and they just rev their motorcycles non-stop. This is the only Hog Wild Pay-Per-View ever as it was changed to Road Wild the following year. Last note, I believe that this is a 16 match card. Yes, 16. Eight of them aired on WCW Saturday Night because this was a Saturday night Pay-Per-View. I have to review sixteen WCW matches, someone help me.

The intro video package talks about how great Sturgis is and shows some WCW guys riding around on motorcycles. This had to stem from Eric Bischoff’s obsession with motorcycles. Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan and Dusty Rhodes are on commentary and Schiavone is showing off his arm tattoo. Also, it looks like the WWE Network only shows the eight matches that aired on Pay-Per-View for this show and not the eight that aired on TBS’ Saturday Night program. I’m happy about that.

WCW Cruiserweight Championship
Rey Mysterio Jr. (c) vs. The Ultimo Dragon w/ Sonny Ono

Mike Tenay joins the commentary booth simply because the existing team has NO CLUE how to call a match like this. They even basically admit it. The crowd surprisingly react to an early exchange between the two. Heenan brings up the fact that Rey isn’t 100% because he got thrown into a trailer like a dart by Kevin Nash recently. The fans chant “USA” at Ultimo Dragon which is dumb when both competitors are foreign. We get an impressive array of athleticism as they try to one up each other but the crowd is silent. Dragon kicks Rey all over and ends the flurry with a dropkick. He hits a running powerbomb but doesn’t go for the cover and instead applies a figure four variation. Mysterio escapes and takes a breather outside but once he comes in, Dragon locks on a torture rack/airplane spin and drops down with it. He goes for the surfboard but Rey gets out and hits a springboard dropkick. A baseball slides follows and then a plancha that the camera misses. Now, the ring is on a pedestal and Dragon was on the floor so this was a bigger plancha than you’d normally see. Back inside, he leaps off the top into a hurricanrana but Dragon fights back with a big dropkick. He hits a baseball slide variation, skins the cat back in and nails a plancha back out. When they get inside, Dragon hits a bridging German for two and an Asai moonsault. He decides not to cover and connects with a top rope moonsault but Rey kicks out! He counters Dragon’s running powerbomb and hits a top rope hurricanrana to keep the gold.

Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio Jr. in 11:35
Good opener despite the crowd not being very big on it. They did their best to overcome the fans and I thought it was good. ***3/4

Mean “BAH GAWD” Gene discusses the WCW Hotline while wearing a dumb hat and sleeveless jean jacket. 1-900-909-9900! Tony Schiavone tries to discuss how cool Sturgis is but actually calls the people there odd. Good going.

The Ice Train vs. Scott Norton
The epic breakup and rivalry of the decorated tag team known as Fire and Ice comes to a head tonight! Ice Train has his shoulder HEAVILY taped. Seriously, it’s more tape than I’ve ever seen for an injury. Norton wisely targets that and things spill to the outside. Norton rams Train’s shoulder into the post and they go right back inside. Train powers up for a slam but it obviously pains him greatly. Norton targets the shoulder some more until Train chops him a few times. Norton shrugs that off and goes back to the shoulder. Train busts out a powerslam as Norton comes off the ropes but Norton hits a single arm DDT and applies an ARMBAR forcing Train to submit.

Winner: Scott Norton in 5:05
Rather boring but the focus on the shoulder made a lot of sense and I appreciate that. *1/2

A clip is shown of a Ric Flair interview where he discusses how upset he is that Arn Anderson was injured at the hands of the nWo. Mind you, Double A wrestled on the Saturday Night portion of this show before the Pay-Per-View aired. So yea. More shots of Sturgis are shown before we get a plug of the WCW Hog Wild merchandise. $89.95 for a jean jacket that says Hog Wild on the back. Who would spend $90 on this?

Battle of the Bikes
Bull Nakano w/ Sonny Ono vs. Madusa

First of all, I saw this in 1994 in the WWF. Second, what the hell is a “Battle of the Bikes”? This is what Madusa left the WWF for. Nakano attacks before the match begins with a nunchuck. Seriously, Dusty Rhodes says “nunchuck” like five times and it’s hilarious each time. More “USA” chants though it makes more sense now since Madusa is in stars and stripes. Madusa bridges out of a pin nicely and gets a big pop for some clotheslines. Nakano ends up putting Madusa in the Scorpion Cross lock, which is awesome, and it’s so cool that Paige does this 18 years later. She doesn’t do it well though as it’s only for like three seconds. Madusa ends up hitting a hurricanrana, which gets another pop and a spinning heel kick. She goes for another but eats a big clothesline. Madusa hits a German for two but then Nakano hits one and Madusa gets counted down for three it seems. The referee doesn’t call for the bell but Ono grabs a sledgehammer and starts to destroy Madusa’s motorcycle.

Winner: Bull Nakano in 5:25
I guess Bull won. They tried and the crowd was actually into it. **

Oh, the official raised Madusa’s hand after the match. So she won somehow? Classic WCW.

Chris Benoit w/ Miss Elizabeth and Woman vs. Dean Malenko
Miss Elizabeth’s WCW run featured some of her hottest looks. Heenan seriously states that the current Four Horsemen, which includes Mongo, is the best Horsemen ever. I’m done with WCW commentary. The early portions here have a feeling out process highlighted by a Malenko stalling suplex. Benoit viciously attacks Dean’s neck for a bit before lighting his chest up with some chops. They trade near falls and Benoit impressively bridges up before more quick near falls and Malenko bridges out. They do some very solid wrestling holds but the crowd is not feeling it. Benoit always had one of the best snap suplexes in wrestling and he uses it here. Heenan continues to make fun of the people that you’d find at Sturgis. Malenko connects with a tombstone as The Undertaker gets furious watching this. Who am I kidding? He’s not watching. He hits a cross body on Benoit that sends both men to the mat outside. After about an eight count, they get in and Benoit hits a big superplex. Malenko fires back with an absolutely gorgeous release German suplex for two. Shortly after, Benoit hits a German of his own for two as the announcers informs us that there’s five minutes remaining in the time limit. He locks on the LionTamer basically before he gets a near fall with a very impressive roll up. Malenko gets a near fall with another roll up and I’ve seen like ten of those in the past few minutes. A powerbomb from Benoit couldn’t put him away either as one minute remains. Benoit goes up top but Malenko meets him and hits a release second rope suplex but again Benoit kicks out. Time expires so they decide to do a five minute overtime and the crowd doesn’t seem too excited for it. Benoit gets yet another close call with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER in the corner and both guys are down. Benoit applies a figure four type move as the five minute extension also runs out of time! This crowd boos another five minutes because they don’t care about wrestling. Heenan tries to play off the boos but we know what’s going on. Malenko with a dragon screw but Benoit comes back with a nice dragon suplex. Benoit misses a dropkick so Malenko locks on the Texas Cloverleaf! Woman intervenes to distract Malenko which allows Benoit to win with a rollup.

Winner: Chris Benoit in 26:55
I can’t believe there was a time where WCW would allow Benoit and Malenko to go to double overtime and get nearly thirty minutes. However, the cheap finish hurt it as it’s classic WCW.****

WCW World Tag Team Championship
Harlem Heat (c) w/ Sherri and Colonel Parker vs. The Steiner Brothers

The STEINERLINE song is just absolute trash. While I was never a big fan of either team, they’re both amongst the best of the 90’s and Scott and Booker went on to become top players for WCW. For some reason, the fans decide to rev up their bikes and be very loud, which upsets Harlem Heat. Scott and Booker start and Scott nearly immediately plants him with a tiger suplex before he tosses Stevie Ray, causing the Champions to regroup. Back inside, Scott ducks an axe kick and hits a gorilla press slam. The crowd is totally into the Steiners more than anyone else on the card so far. Stevie Ray tries his hand but fails and once Scott tags in Rick, I lose some interest. Rick hits a suplex despite Booker’s attempt to block it. So it looks like it’s time for Rick to become the face in peril as Stevie Ray applies a dreaded rest hold. It starts as a nerve hold but turns into a headlock. Scott gets the hot tag and hits some dropkicks before putting on an STF. I’ve never seen him do that. Heenan won’t shut up about how into the show the crowd is, which besides this match, is untrue. While another rest hold is applied, Schiavone continues the lying by calling WCW the worldwide leader in pay-per-views. SPINAROONIE! Shortly after, with Stevie and Rick outside, Parker tries to throw powder in the eyes of Scott but misses and hits Booker. ITS OKAY because he hits Scott with his cane and the champions retain.

Winners and Still WCW World Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat in 17:53
Decent tag team match but could’ve been better. Both teams disappointed me. **1/2

The fans throw garbage because they hated Harlem Heat once they saw them and I can only assume it’s because their black. I could be wrong though. We get a recap of the Sturgis rally so far. It’s lame.

WCW United States Championship
Ric Flair (c) w/ Miss Elizabeth and Woman vs. Eddie Guerrero

Two of the greatest of all time? I’m all for this. Bobby Heenan says that Guerrero has no chance because he’s not in Flair’s league. As the bell rings, Flair tells a girl in the front row that after this, it will be him and her. Flair and Eddie get into a shoving match and every Eddie push sends Ric to the mat. He gets mad and shoves the referee instead. The same thing happens when slap each other, causing Flair to take a breather outside. Eddie applies a headlock in the ring but Flair counters it into multiple near falls. He slams Eddie down by the hair, but Eddie pops right back up. It gets extremely dark for a moment as Flair chops Eddie down. Flair takes his signature bump in the corner and Eddie dropkicks him off the apron. Eddie has looked like a million bucks so far. Flair begs Eddie to stop, because he’s Flair and that’s what he does but Eddie chops him until he walks out and falls. Being the dirtiest player in the game, Flair pokes Eddie in the eyes and hits a low blow. WOO! He blocks a sunset flip but ends up taking a drop toe hold. Eddie has the balls to apply a Figure Four which surprised me. Flair gets out but because Eddie is in control, he struts a bit. Flair goes up top, which never works, and gets slammed to the mat for a near fall. As Eddie tries to bring Flair down for a pin, Flair ends up mooning the crowd with his white ass. Eddie pokes Flair in the eyes because HE LIES, HE CHEATS, HE STEALS. He actually hits the Frog Splash but hurts his knee and can’t make the cover. The Nature Boy is like a shark smelling blood as he instantly applies the Figure Four with extra leverage from Woman. Eddie’s shoulders get pinned to the mat for three.

Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Ric Flair in 14:14
Very good match. Flair let Eddie get in all of the offense and a rookie mistake of the high risk move ended up costing him. ***3/4

We got to Mean “BAH GAWD” Gene who is with the WCW Champion, The Giant and his manager Jimmy Hart. They talk about how The Giant was a huge Hogan fan who will avenge all Hulkamaniacs tonight. Wasn’t he the one that came with the Dungeon of Doom to destroy Hogan?

Lex Luger and Sting vs. The Outsiders
This match stemmed from the infamous six man tag at Bash at the Beach where the nWo formed officially. Because the Outsiders are cool, they decided that Hall will start with a game of rock, paper, scissors. Hall holds serve early on until Luger hits a hip toss and scoop slam. I feel like Luger has the most basic moveset in wrestling. Like, he learned the basics and was just like “I’m good” and stopped there. Big Sexy gets the tag as Luger does about a hundred titty flexes. Nash wants Sting, who obliges. Sting fails to slam Nash so he decides to just fire away with punches and gets the slam after a thumb to the eyes. Despite this, the heels end up working over Sting in the corner for a while. Hall hits a fallaway slam and gets a near fall. The Outsiders are not only beating on Sting, but they’re slapping him around and trying to humiliate him. It’s actually rather boring to be honest. Sting finally makes the hot tag to Luger who hits a clothesline with THAT DAMN LOADED FOREARM! He fires away on Hall in the corner while Sting hits Nash with the Stinger Splash. Luger tries the Torture Rack and Nick Patrick gets hit. Hall ends up covering Luger and Patrick gives a bit of a fast count.

Winner: The Outsiders in 14:36
Kind of boring. It followed the tag formula like you’d expect, but something about it just didn’t click. All four guys seemed to be going through the motions. *3/4

WCW World Heavyweight Championship
The Giant (c) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan

Bobby Heenan says that he always knew Hogan was scum, which is pretty accurate since he hated him during their WWF run kayfabe wise. The bell rings and Hogan is stalling by walking around the ring and up the aisle. I feel like a good majority of this match will be stalling. He gets in the ring and can’t overpower the Giant so he stalls some more. We get a VERY long test of strength, with both guys getting the advantage at different times until Giant wins. Hogan ends up working the arm in another boring sequence. I swear this is a never ending wristlock. Giant finally fights out and knocks Hogan outside. They fight outside but it’s not much better and when get get inside Giant whips Hogan into opposite corners and he hits so soft you wouldn’t believe it. Hogan ends up with the upper hand but the Giant hulks up on him! We’re talking big boot and everything. He signals for the Chokeslam but here comes Scott Hall. He climbs to the top like an idiot and gets slammed down before eating a Chokeslam. Nash is out but also gets stopped by Giant. Hogan lays out the Giant with the World Title and wins it.

Winner and New WCW World Heavyweight Champion: “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan in 14:56
Whoever laid this match out isn’t very good at his job. This was boring and did the Giant no favors. Worst match of the show. *

Nobody from WCW shows up to assist as two guys brings out a cake and the Booty Man, also known as Brutus Beefcake is with them. He has an nWo shirt and the Booty Man is a stupid name. The announcers sell Booty Man’s betrayal like this is the end of WCW because he’s gone. Hogan cuts a promo and says Booty Man without cracking a smile so that’s the best acting he’s ever done. The cake is for Hogan’s birthday and Booty Man congratulates him. Mind you, the dominant Giant character is laid out from ONE SINGLE BELT SHOT still. I’ve seen mid carders get up from that quicker. Hogan says that he loves the Booty Man, which still makes me laugh, but he’s not nWo, so they beat him up. If Giant is still down from the belt shot then Booty Man might be dead after he gets one too. In an iconic moment, Hogan spray paints nWo on the title. They exit to close the show and yes, The Giant is STILL KNOCKED OUT.

The final score: review Good
The 411
I always split WCW into two time frames. Before and after the nWo and this show was a precursor of things to come. Most Pay-Per-Views after the nWo featured a good undercard and a poor main event scene. Here you had three really good to great matches in Mysterio/Dragon, Benoit/Malenko and Flair/Guerrero. There was some crap like the WCW Title match but this was still actually an enjoyable show and I did not expect that.