Monday, March 3, 2014

WCW Hog Wild 1996 Review

WCW rides into Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, but the n.W.o. takes control!

This show is available on the WWE Network. The poster was made & released before Hogan formed the n.W.o. with Scott Hall & Kevin Nash.

Hog Wild (later known as Road Wild) was a PPV that WCW put on at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Apparently Eric Bischoff has a thing for bikes & bikers so he felt it necessary to do this PPV every year. An interesting note, despite this being a major PPV, every year it was run, the live crowd in Sturgis paid no admission and were let in absolutely free, which is completely ludicrous.

WCW Hog Wild 1996
Sturgis, South Dakota 8/10/96

Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiovane, & Dusty Rhodes are decked out in biker gear, and it's not the prettiest thing to see, I'll just leave it at that.

1.) WCW Cruiserweight Title - Rey Misterio Jr. vs. The Ultimate Dragon (with Sonny Onoo): ****

Much like the last PPV, Misterio is opening the show, but this time he's entering the show as and is defending the Cruiserweight Title against Ultimate Dragon. Not as awesome as last night's opener, but still a really great match. The ring is elevated on a platform in such a way that it's sorta like a step pyramid. This allowed Mysterio at one point to hit a massive dive to the outside, which was pretty sweet. Again, great opener.

2.) Scott Norton vs. Ice Train: ½*

Apparently these two were formerly a tag team that recently broke up, and are now having a match. The match sucked. No reason to talk about it any further.

3.) Battle of the Bikes Match - Bull Nakano (with Sonny Onoo) vs. Madusa: **

So the gimmick here is that both girls come out on motorcycles (Bull's Japanese Made, Madusa's American Made) and the winner get to smash the losers bike. Madusa is mainly known for debuting on WCW Nitro and dumping the WWF Women's Title in the trash on live television. I've heard a little bit about Bull but haven't seen any matches. This was pretty decent for a women's match. The math ended in a wonky way and I guess Madusa won? Couldn't tell. She got to smash Bull's bike....and I don't really care.

4.) Chris Benoit (with Miss Elizabeth & Woman) vs. Dean Malenko: ****½

Much like how in the last review I mentioned that Psychosis & Rey Misterio Jr. brought the Lucha Libre style to the US, guys like Benoit & Malenko brought new breed of hard hitting technical wrestling that, along with the Lucha Libre, helped make WCW's undercard so great. This particular match was Benoit vs. Malenko and simply put, it was awesome! Really great technical contest. The only things that really hurt it were the two overtime periods (since when did we get those in regular matches?) and the dead crowd who in no way shape or form deserved to see a match of this caliber. Benoit wins with some help from his girls on the outside.

5.) WCW World Tag Team Titles - Harlet Heat (with Sherri & Col. Robert Parker) vs. The Steiner Brothers: ***

So weird seeing Scott Steiner before he turned into a Genetic Freak (literally). Pretty solid match here. There was some good back & forth action and the crowd was definitely into it. The interference at the end with the powder & the cane hurt the match a bit, but it was still good overall.

6.) WCW United States Title - Ric Flair (with Miss Elizabeth & Woman) vs. Eddie Guerrero: ***½

Now this is a match that I was really looking forward to seeing. Nothing outstanding from these two, but a really well wrestled match for sure. There is no way you can't like Ric Flair & Eddie Guerrero and they definitely put on a really good contest here. Flair retains the US Title.

7.) The Outsiders (Kevin Nash & Scott Hall) vs. Lex Lugar & Sting: **½

A bit of an extension from the Main Event of the last PPV. A decent tag team match. Nothing really spectacular, but solid enough. The only major note is that the referee, Nick Patrick seemed to "accidentally" cost Sting & Luger the match, which would later on lead to him being revealed as the n.W.o.'s referee.

8.) WCW World Title - The Giant (with Jimmy Hart) vs. “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan: *1/2

So yeah....this match was crap. The only real thing it had going for it was that the crowd was really into it, though they were cheering for Hogan, who's supposed to be the heel. Scott Hall & Kevin Nash interfered and both got chokeslammed for their troubles, but this led to Hogan hitting The Giant with the World Title and becoming the new champion.

As the n.W.o. celebrated post match, The Booty Man (Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake) came out with a birthday cake for Hogan, since it was Hogan's birthday. He's wearing an n.W.o. shirt and it looks like he's going to become the newest member, but after a short speech, the n.W.o. beats down Booty Man and tosses him out of the ring. The trio then spray paint "n.W.o.", in black, on the WCW World Title Belt.

I should note that The Giant laid in the ring, motionless, for all of the post match stuff, which must have been a good ten minutes. It was featured on Botchamania.

Overall: 7.5/10

Match quality wise, I'd say it was a little better than Bash At The Beach. Their were a lot of really good matches and fewer crappy matches. Once again, the real wrestlers (like Misterio, Benoit, Malenko, Flair, Guerrero) stole the show while the n.W.o. got most of the attention. A good show on the whole, and it ended with a cool moment as the World Title became property of the n.W.o. via the spray paint.

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