WCW: Road Wild 1997

rw_97

WCW: Road Wild
August 9, 1997
Sturgis, SD
Sturgis Rally & Race

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Lex Luger (8/4/1997)
WCW U.S. Champion: Jeff Jarrett (6/9/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (10/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Ultimo Dragon (7/22/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Alex Wright (7/28/1997)

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Dusty Rhodes. Tony says there’s 20,000 people watching on from the bike rally, but all sources say 6,500. CLOSE, though.

  • Harlem Heat vs. Vicious & Delicious (w/Vincent)

Much like the Steiners on Nitro, Harlem Heat say they have a *big* surprise tonight. The very much improved Bagwell gets the better of Booker to start. Norton gets kicked in the face though and in comes Stevie Ray. Norton delivers a side slam, but Booker buries a knee into Norton from the apron and Stevie Ray kicks him down. Tag to Booker, he gives Norton a suplex and follows up with the flying forearm. Booker tries a Harlem Sidekick and Norton plants him with a powerbomb. Bagwell acts like he got a hot tag, but Stevie Ray pulls the top rope down on him to send Bagwell crashing to the floor. Back inside, Stevie Ray tags in and grabs an all important chinlock, because this match is just TOO exciting. Weird how they are playing the nWo has the faces in peril here. Ax Kick to Bagwell gets two. Our esteemed commentators discuss how the nWo are in damage control since Luger won the WCW world title from Hogan. Bagwell escapes a chinlock and turns Booker inside out with a clothesline. Tag to Stevie Ray, he continues to work over Bagwell as Jacqueline makes her way to the ring. For some reason, Tony wonders if she is the big surprise Harlem Heat was talking about. Umm, yes? Bagwell flips out of a powerbomb from Booker and lands one of his own. Hot tag to Norton. I guess the heels are working like babyfaces because the bikers wouldn’t cheer black guys? Norton is rabid, but the match breaks down. While Stevie Ray and Bagwell head to the floor, Norton gives Booker the SHOULDERBREAKER. Jacqueline chokes on Norton from the apron while Booker delivers a couple of kicks to take him down. Booker covers Norton while Jacqueline holds down his feet to give Harlem Heat the win. (10:20) They had to cheat to win, but Tony is fine with that because it’s DUBYA SEE DUBYA getting the “DUBYA” here. Match was a little weird, and only served to debut Jacqueline as the new “Sherri”. *½

Ted DiBiase and the Steiner Brothers meet with some WCWwrestling.com nerd who apparently is transcribing everything that DiBiase is saying. Can you believe that someone would actually transcribe what is happening on a wrestling show? What a LOSER. Wait…

  • Mexican Death Match: Konnan vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

Mike Tenay joins us for commentary because without him, any match without white or black guys are SUPER hard to call. While this is labeled as a match with a stipulation, I couldn’t tell you how the rules are different from a standard match because none of the commentators tell us anything. NOT EVEN SUPER SMART TENAY. Mysterio is all headscissors to start, but Konnan quickly goes to the obvious strategy of working the bad knee. For a good 6-8 minutes, that’s what this match is all about. Konnan unmasks Rey at one point, but Mysterio keeps his face covered until he can put the mask back on. There were definitely rumors circling around that Eric Bischoff wanted not just Juventud Guerrera to permanently unmask, but Rey Mysterio as well. They both refused at first, but we all know how that ended up. Rey delivers a few hope spots, but can never get a lengthy string of offense to turn the tide. During one of his flurries, Rey flies off the top only to be caught and spiked with the 1-8-7. TEQUILA SUNRISE is enough to get Mysterio to tap out. (10:56) Some refs and a trainer have to help Mysterio out of the ring. Certainly not the way you want to see Rey Mysterio booked. Luckily for us, with Terry Taylor as the new head booker, he at least books Rey back into the Cruiserweight title scene pretty soon after this for a great feud with Eddie Guerrero. **

While Gene Okerlund shills the WCW Hotline, he shows us his new tattoo on his left butt cheek. Nah, I’m just kidding. It’s on his right butt cheek.

  • Elimination Match: Steve McMichael & Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko & Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra)

Right from the start, the commentators discuss how it doesn’t appear like Jarrett and Malenko are a “cohesive unit”. Benoit gets his hands on Jarrett for a very short time as he breaks away and struts before tagging in Malenko. Benoit and Malenko do some “I know you better than you know you” stuff for a while. It’s cool to watch, but pointless to transcribe. Mongo tags in and hits Malenko with power moves. “Jarrett sucks” chants start up. He is doing nothing to help his partner while he’s getting obliterated. As Mongo football tackles Malenko’s knee, he rolls towards Jarrett and sneaks a tag. We want to see a knock-down, drag-out fight. Instead, Jarrett blocks the first punch, drops Mongo with a jawbreaker, and holds Mongo on top of him to get the weird three-count at 7:10. Well, that’s different. I guess hitting Mongo with the US title belt to get DQ’ed made too MUCH sense. They had to think outside the box for that finish and it was a stupid idea. Anyways, Jarrett essentially throws Malenko to the wolves. MONGO SPIKE ends Malenko about two minutes later. (9:38) Not only did Jeff Jarrett avoid a real meaningful confrontation with his biggest adversary in such a ridiculous fashion, but he also managed to create ANOTHER enemy in Dean Malenko. Just terrible booking here. I liked the Benoit-Malenko exchanges, but they have certainly had better elsewhere. *½

  • WCW Cruiserweight Champion Alex Wright vs. Chris Jericho

Oh, boy. This one HAS to be good. Otherwise, this is quickly becoming the worst PPV of the year. Crowd is clearly on Jericho’s side because these bikers hate “the gays”. Apparently they aren’t familiar with the Village People. While Wright isn’t gay as far as I know, he’s definitely European wearing neon green tights, which I guess is close enough for these people. This is another Mike Tenay match, by the way. Slow start to this thing as Wright tries to milk the hate he’s getting. Jericho gets slapped in the chest, but you don’t slap a man. Wright bails out to escape a LIVID Jericho. Back inside, Wright controls with a headlock and plays the old-timey hair-pulling heel games when Jericho nearly reverses out. Still works though. Jericho breaks loose and lands a spinning heel kick. They fight over on the apron where Wright gets crotched on the top rope to set up the springboard dropkick from Jericho. Wright tumbles off the stage and down to the ground near the angry homophobic bikers. As Wright makes it back onto the stage, Jericho flies with a springboard plancha. Kind of silly though since Wright sees it coming and just stands there and takes it. Jericho takes advantage of the count to give Wright a slam, but winds up getting whipped into the steps. Back inside, Jericho slams Wright off the top rope and then works on the arm for a while. ASK HIM! Now it gets a little sloppy in some places. Wright has trouble timing a spinning heel kick when Jericho goes for a leapfrog. Wright hits the Flying Stomp to the sternum and decides to dance with his back to Jericho. He misses a flying moonsault though, allowing Jericho to come back with a PLETHORA of corner clotheslines. Lionsault to the back! That gets two. Jericho delivers a double powerbomb, but is slow to cover for 1-2-NO! Wright crotches Jericho up top for a superplex for two. He goes for the BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX, but Jericho counters to a rollup for 1-2-NO! During a cross-corner whip, Jericho avoids contact and floats over Wright for the O’Connor roll, but Wright rolls through and grabs a handful of tights for the 1-2-3. (13:04) WCW probably got the reaction from the bikers they wanted, but the match seemed a little lost in places. They were all over the map with the psychology and just started trading big moves. Not a bad match, just not a good one. Wright is too big to be a cruiserweight in the first place, and I think Terry Taylor agrees because Jericho wins the rematch on next week’s Saturday Night. **½

  • Ric Flair vs. Syxx

It’s the Figure Four against the Buzz Killer. Syxx shows off his karate skills and then hits Flair with a shoulderblock before giving him the crotch chop. They trade chops in the corner and Syxx goes flying over the top rope crashing down on the floor. Back in, Syxx flips all around Flair and gets chopped at every turn. Syxx catches Flair with a spinning heel kick and follows up with the Bronco Buster. Flair finds solace in the corner from a chinlock, but Syxx punishes him with more kicks. Guillotine Legdrop by Syxx gets two. Back to the chinlock. Flair Flip works this time as he shoulder butts Syxx through the ropes and chops him down. Shinbreaker connects, but Syxx stops Flair with an enziguri. He comes off the top again, but Flair moves at the last second. FIGURE-FOUR! Syxx is in the ropes immediately. Flair goes for a back suplex, but Syxx flips out and tries for the BUZZ KILLER. Flair backs Syxx into the corner, but then he weirdly just falls down into the corner. Syxx wants the Bronco Buster again, but Flair blocks using his foot straight into Syxx’s balls. Crowd pops for that one as Flair scoops him up and uses the ropes for leverage to get the win. (11:07) That’s two wins against the nWo and neither one have been clean. Who’s the heel here exactly? Anyways, this is not one of Flair’s better matches even for 1997. He just looked like time had passed him by in this one. *

  • Diamond Dallas Page vs. Curt Hennig

Hennig comes out to the most generic rock music you’ve ever heard come out of the 1990s. Just to recap why this is happening, DDP brought Curt Hennig into WCW as his mystery partner at Bash at the Beach to only have Hennig turn on him in the same match. Since then, Hennig has been a free agent and Ric Flair has been trying to court him for the Four Horsemen ever since. Why you would book a guy to turn on you when you first team up together, I have no idea. Lot of punches and chops traded to start. Hennig gets spun around by his hair and thrown balls first into the ringpost. Page all but rips Hennig’s singlet off here. Hennig finds his towel and chokes DDP for a bit. Hennig neck snap connects, and now he goes after DDP’s leg. I can only assume the crowd is getting bored as they rev up their bikes. Ref gets bumped and Hennig unties a turnbuckle pad to smash DDP’s face on the exposed buckle. With DDP lifeless, the win with the HENNIGPLEX looks academic, but Page kicks out at two! Page avoids a second buckle smash and gives one to Hennig instead for the big Hennig flip sell. Pancake Slam to Hennig, but AGAIN the ref gets bumped. This is just ridiculous. Here comes Ric Flair to help out Hennig, but he eats a DIAMOND CUTTER. Another HENNIGPLEX to DDP and the ref wakes up just in time to count the 1-2-3. (9:43) This looks really good on paper, but they just do not mesh well together. *½

  • The Giant vs. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth)

No real reason for this to be happening other than to give these two something to do. Understandably, Savage does not want to get into the ring with this monster. He pearl harbors Giant and tries to *slam* him, but that ends badly. Giant beats on Savage until he bails. Savage puts Liz in between him and the Giant, so Giant picks up Liz and drops her gingerly beside him. Back inside the ring, Savage clips Giant and posts the knee. He kicks and stomps at the knee to try and keep him down, but Giant gets to his feet. While Giant’s staggering, Savage flies off the top with a flying body press for 1-2-NO! He tries a Flying Double Ax Handle, but flies down into a CHOKESLAM to give Giant the win. (6:07) Our esteemed commentators feel this is some huge victory for WCW. ¾*

  • WCW World Tag Team Champions The Outsiders vs. Rick & Scott Steiner (w/Ted DiBiase)

What could have been a reason for some to buy this PPV, the Steiners brought out Ted DiBiase as their manager this past week on Nitro for some reason. The two Scotts start us off. Hall throws the toothpick and slaps Scott around in an armbar.     Scott makes him pay with a clothesline and throws Hall around. Nash comes into the ring and the Steiners clean house. Back inside, Nash takes on Rick. Nash gets the first blows in, but Rick slips away from the Snake Eyes and throws Nash away. Tag to Scott, Hall catches him from the apron so that Nash can nail him with a Big Boot. Now is where Scott Steiner becomes *your* face in peril. Fallaway Slam gets two. Nash hits a Side Slam for another nearfall. He then corners Scott for the elbows and the boot choke. The Outsiders cheat with an abdominal stretch. Scott escapes, but can’t reach his brother. At one point, Nash knocks Rick to the floor and beats the crap out of him on the floor while Hall comes in and stomps Scott. Scott gets so close to reaching his brother several times, but Hall and Nash always manage to cut off the tag. Hall hits the flying bulldog on Scott and goes for the Outsider’s Edge. Meanwhile, Nash and DiBiase are arguing with each other. With the ref concerned with all that, Rick jumps in the ring and knocks Hall away with the Steinerline. Belly to Belly Suplex from Scott to Hall! Hall tries to hold Scott back, but he can’t quite do it this time. HOT TAG TO RICK! Steinerlines everywhere. Scott clotheslines Nash to the floor so they can give Hall the STEINER BULLDOG in peace. Scott covers for 1-2-WHAT. Nash pulls ref Nick Patrick, who then calls for the bell and disqualifies the Outsiders. (15:29) So ever since they had their last real WCW world tag titles shot six months ago and then working towards getting back on top and then bringing in a manager in Ted DiBiase, everything about this story should have led to a title change. But NOPE. While the Steiners were originally supposed to win back the straps here, Hall and Nash argued with Bischoff convinced that there had been too many titles changing hands lately for them to lose the tag titles and that if they lost the straps, this would hurt their drawing power. Decent tag match, but I got to take some points off for the CHEAP finish. **

  • WCW World Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger vs. Hollywood Hogan

Michael Buffer is working a black leather biker’s beret with a white tuxedo. Only in WCW! Heenan flips out how weird it is to see Hollywood Hogan play air guitar without the world title. It does look pretty odd! Schiavone calls the Luger world title win the most-watched world title victory ever. Headlocks and shoulderblocks to start. Lex works on the arm until Hogan bails out. He comes back inside and buries a knee into Luger to take control with standard Hogan heel offense. Crowd chants “Hogan sucks” for a while. Luger fires back with turnbuckle smashes, but they head to the floor where he gets his face slammed off the steps. Back inside, Hollywood chokes and trash talks Lex in the corner. Now Hulk works the back with a bearhug. Once he’s had enough of that, Hogan grabs a double knucklelock and keeps Luger on his knees. Luger powers his way up to his feet, but then Hogan sneaks in a low blow. Back suplex by Hogan gets two. Hulk hits the Big Boot, but not the Legdrop, which we can assume is why he only gets a nearfall. Luger NO-SELLS a vertical suplex and scares Hogan with a double bicep pose. HERE COMES LUGER. He drills Hogan with a running clothesline. As Hulk cowers into the corner, he takes a moment to poke Lex in the eye. Quick rollup by Hogan gets two. Hulk slams Luger, blows a snot rocket at the crowd, and then goes the LEGDROP. Oh, but he misses. Luger fires away with the Bionic Forearm, but here comes the nWo. Not sure why they would be so blatant in their interference because that would just DQ Hogan, but whatever. Just like on Nitro, Luger fights them all off. Hey look, it’s STING. Everything is just fine now, right? Luger has all the support he needs. Oh wait, why is Sting whacking Luger with a baseball bat? With Lex knocked out, Hogan delivers the LEGDROP to regain the WCW world title. (16:16) While this crazy Sting finish has been done before, the person dressed like Sting actually looks somewhat like Sting. Definitely more so than when Nash did this back at Bash at the Beach with the long flowing hair. If you were Lex Luger and you were in a fight not really having a ton of time to make sure it’s the real Sting, you might think it was him. Just saying. *½

Backstage, Hogan celebrates with the rest of the nWo as Dennis Rodman “reanoints” the world title with the spray paint.

Final Thoughts: Not exactly a PPV anyone that I know of ever talks about. Nothing from this show has ever been on a WWE DVD, and you know why that’s the case? Because it’s TERRIBLE. For the last two years, WCW PPVs have had the most consistently great PPV undercards. You would never know it here though. Bad booking and all the enthusiasm of a house show. Thumbs down for Road Wild 1997.

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Posted on February 26, 2014, in WCW and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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