WCW Road Wild 1998 8/8/1998
Written by: Arnold Furious
Having garnered some interest in the product by having Karl Malone and Dennis Rodman wrestle at Bash at the Beach WCW looked to capitalise by bringing in another celebrity for Road Wild. They were clearly thinking that the interest generated by Malone & Rodman, which popped a 1.50 buyrate and the second largest number of PPV buys in the companies history (600,000), could be replicated by bringing in another of Hulk Hogan’s famous friends. His choice of opponent this time out wasn’t a sportsman or athlete though. It was chat show host Jay Leno. Yes, that Jay Leno. A 48 year old television personality with absolutely no history of competing in anything remotely athletic. While I’m sure this sounded like a brilliant idea when it was brought up putting it into practice showed that it wasn’t. WCW’s buyrate sank back to where it was before and the gimmicked main event didn’t really add any buys. Basically Leno’s audience didn’t translate to people that would buy wrestling PPV’s unless they already did. Road Wild itself never did any money because it was just a show in front of the bikers at Sturgis (zero gate). It has been suggested that Eric Bischoff only wanted to do a PPV at Sturgis because he liked motorbikes and wanted to go. Same with Hulk Hogan. So WCW had four years of PPV at Sturgis in front of people who weren’t particularly into wrestling and cheered the heel Hulk Hogan like the second coming of the messiah. I generally hate Road Wild. So let’s get this over with.
We’re in Sturgis, South Dakota. Hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan. That’s a hell of a jacket Tony, it makes you look like a homosexual. They talk about the nWo Hollywood faction having issues with the Tonight Show. Hogan is generally after main events having lost the title. The idea behind that being he can say he was the draw if the show does well and if it doesn’t he can say its because he’s not the champion. Not that Hogan was a politician at all.
Barbarian w/Jimmy Hart v Meng
Oh for fuck’s sake. Meng is over because the dumbshit bikers seem to like his hair or something (and before I get email, no I don’t have anything against bikers in general. In fact I have a few friends in biker gangs but that doesn’t mean I want them making up the entire crowd of a wrestling show). There is a great deal of clubbering and terrible wrestling in this. Barbarian takes over with a belly to belly overhead suplex. Meng with a piledriver. He stops off to shout at Jimmy Hart. Diving headbutt misses. They go up top very gingerly for Barbarian to do his belly to belly off the top. Meng with a powerslam for 2. This is just spot work held together with shitty brawling. They no sell some shitty headbutts. Jimmy Hart runs some distraction. God, this is boring. Tongan Deathgrip (what a fucking weak ass move that is) finishes at 4.47. “Ow, ow, he’s slightly pinching my chin”. DUD. Awful choice for an opening. Almost no wrestling at all and what was on display looked bloody terrible.
POST MATCH Jimmy jumps in there to wail on Meng who completely ignores him. Hugh Morrus fucks up the timing on his run in so Meng sort of falls over at Jimmy’s feet. I was wondering why Jimmy Hart had elbow pads on and he hits a shitty axe handle off the top. Meng fights off all three guys but Morrus moonsaults him. Jim Duggan runs out to make the save. The post match antics went on almost as long as the bad match that preceded them. None of this was good. I would guess it set up a tag match on Nitro or something but since when was that important?
Boogie Nights w/Magnum Tokyo v Public Enemy
Now who the fuck thought THIS match would be a good idea? The crowd pretty much ignore Alex Wright because he’s foreign. WCW has changed Magnum Tokyo’s name to Tokyo Magnum for reasons probably best not explored. The obvious suggestion would be that Tony probably got it wrong the first time he came out in the company and they just stuck with it. He’s one of Ultimo Dragon’s students and therefore worked with Toryumon before this WCW run. The idea here is he wants to be in the “Dancing Fools” team but the others don’t really care for him. So he comes out and dances behind them to Alex Wright’s music and he does Alex Wright better than Alex Wright does. He’s currently working in Dragon Gate. You probably heard of the faction Do Fixer during the “MOTY” candidates listings or his appearance in Ring of Honor. That’s the stable he’s in. I didn’t even remember his WCW run because it’s brief. Crowd really dig Public Enemy. I don’t. I hate them. Always have done. They carry tables out here. “They don’t even have bikes in Germany do they?” – Disco to Alex. Wright does a few armdrags to utterly no reaction. Tony says something about the fans booing but maybe that’s tinnitus or something because I can’t hear it. Tony makes a crack about how these fans “like wrestling”. Sure they do. That’s why the biggest reactions are for Grunge clubbering away at Disco. I’m sure bikers can relate to a fat guy beating up a guy who dresses funny. When Wright breaks out the missile dropkick for 2 the crowd just sit on their hands. PE double flapjack Disco though. Wright gets handed a trashcan by Magnum, which he uses to bash Grunge with repeatedly. Erm, isn’t that a DQ? I make the match time 4.23 and we move on. No? Shit. Ref? Wright dances a bit. Rocco goes for a ladder. Is this a no DQ match or something? Tony even wonders that himself. Someone get a fucking clue and let us know what’s going on? Tenay says this is now a street fight and “they” have changed it in the middle of the match. Changed what? Who are “they”? What the fuck is going on? The heels bail for a table of their own to help set up the finish. Disco gets a mic and says they should make this a street fight. Oops. Announcers got a little ahead of themselves there. What the fuck is the heel doing demanding the street fight though? Isn’t he supposed to be a pussy? Isn’t a street fight a Public Enemy kind of match? PE bail for more crap and a bunch of garbage stuff follows. If this is now a “no DQ” match up then why isn’t Magnum Tokyo jumping in there and making it 3 on 2? More garbage shots follow. Wright is laid out on a table and Rocko wants a reaction from the bikers but Disco trips him up. Disco with garbage shots. Wright has the kitchen sink and uses it. This is the same garbage shit that PE did in ECW. I hated it then and I hate it even more now. As we creep past the 10 minute mark I wonder why WCW would feel the urge to book a match this long or even start it as a regular match. Not that they’re using any of the stuff that’s out there. Magnum FINALLY gets in there and sells…something. Then he leaves again. Wow, this is embarrassing. This is the kind of match that non wrestling fans point and laugh at. They run some more horribly convoluted stuff. What are you motherfuckers doing to my sport? Magnum in for some elbows but he accidentally clocks Wright who promptly no sells it and pounds Magnum down. He stays down holding his neck forever. Wright walks off. What the fuck is going on? They run a brutally awful ladder spot where Disco is in totally the wrong place. You don’t have to Joey Mercury the spot but at least be close to the fucking ladder. Not cowering 3 feet away. Magnum walks off too. What? Who booked this shit? PE spend three WHOLE minutes setting up tables so they can put Disco through them and finish the match. Why did Alex Wright leave? Why book a match with this much useless shit in it? Why let it go so long? Why make wrestling look this bad? Disco spends minutes selling a weak ladder shot and TWO of his buddies walked out in the same match to fuck him over. Rocco uses the lighting rig to elbow drop Disco through three tables and Grunge pins him only for Magnum to look like a complete dingus by elbow dropping Disco (why not save him from the tables? It’s not like PE set them up quickly or anything) and Grunge gets the pin at 15.26. -**. Truly an embarrassment to wrestling of epic proportions. In any other year it’d have no problems winning WMOTY hands down but with this being WCW it isn’t even guaranteed to be the worst match on this show.
Perry Saturn v Chris Kanyon v Raven w/Lodi
Pinfalls “count anywhere in Sturgis city limits”. So don’t stray too far from the ring. Lodi has a series of signs saying “Strugis is for losers and their fat”. Losers store fat in Strugis? Not the most gramatically correct sign from Lodi there. “We hate Harleys” reveals the next sign. Oh, “biker girls are fat and ugly”. Cheap, cheap heat. This would be under Raven’s Rules, which is a change of pace after the impromptu street fight…*slow clapping*. Not that they were wholesale stealing from ECW or anything. Heenan says he found Parts Unknown the other day. Kanyon has moved there from Queens, I guess. Raven sends Kanyon after Saturn and stands at the side watching. He waits for Saturn to leave himself open then chair shots him. He tries to get Kanyon to use the chair but he won’t. Raven looks a bit drunk. His stuff tends to be slightly sloppier when he’s messed up. But then he was the whole time he was in WCW so it’s hard to say. Raven takes a breather in the corner while the other two slug at each other. They notice and Kanyon dropkicks Raven in the balls. Back suplex/neckbreaker from Saturn/Kanyon. They argue over the pin and then break out TOTAL ELIMINATION! No one notices of course because the Eliminators were ECW. Kanyon breaks out the rolling Russian legsweeps. Saturn adds the leg jam for 2. Kanyon broke that but was way late. Golden Gate Swing gets 2 for Kanyon. Saturn kicks his bridge out and they brawl until Raven lays them both out with the chair. Saturn holds Raven in place for Kanyon to wipe them both out with a pescado. The brawl goes up the aisle and up the ramp. Raven suplexes Kanyon on the ramp. Onto the stage where Saturn starts throwing MMA style knees for 2. Saturn was years ahead with his style. Kanyon piledrives him for 2. Raven made that save. Raven dropkicks him down the ramp. They brawl down the ramp for Saturn to dive onto them off the stage. Back into the ring Saturn hits the Exploder for 2. Kanyon’s timing is way off on breaking these pins up. They go to a triple sleeper and Raven jawbreakers out laying out both guys. Referee misses a blatant pin, perhaps just to annoy me. Speaking of annoying – revving your engine makes you look like a twat. They run a stack superplex spot. They’re sure loving the triple threat playbook here. Raven hooks both guys and DDT’s Saturn but Kanyon has the ropes and he breaks up the fall. Outside where Kanyon hits a suplex. He climbs the lighting rig and misses with a splash off it. Lodi saved Raven there. Saturn with a Death Valley Driver on Raven and Lodi has to jump in there and save. Saturn suplexes him and out comes Horace. He has a stop sign and they do a horrible miscue spot that gets totally fucked up and Lodi takes it. Horace’s timing is so brutal in there. Basically he was supposed to miss and nail Lodi so he misses and stops. Then realises he fucks up and turns all the way around and nails Lodi anyway. So it looked like he turned, but he didn’t. He just sucks. Saturn hits a German suplex on Horace and then another DVD on Raven for the pin at 12.26. Overbooked much? **. I’ll give them points for effort but it was a very forgettable match. The standard three way match with the standard problems those bouts are beset with. At least WCW is into positive ratings. Only the third match! The replays make Horace look even MORE incompetent. The sign shot on Lodi was fucking terrible. One of the worst botches I’ve ever had the misfortune to see.
Psicosis v Rey Mysterio Jr
Winner gets a shot at the Cruiserweight title. Psicosis and Rey had a great match in 1996 at Bash at the Beach. Two years on and they seem to have forgotten everything from that bout. Rey has been out injured for six months and is only a few matches back so that explains his timing issues. Psicosis on the other hand hasn’t had a decent match since that ’96 match with Rey. Psicosis decides to make this simple with chinlocks and armbars. Which they can’t screw up but it doesn’t make for an interesting bout. Rey hits a dropkick and Psicosis bails. Rey stands around doing nothing. Psicosis does nothing. Oh, those fast paced WCW Cruiserweight bouts, it’s hard to keep up with the action! Rey manages his first flip into a sunset flip for 2. They do a few clothesline ducks. Those suck. Psicosis hits one for 2. Psicosis stands around doing nothing again. Gourdbuster (Tony has no idea what to call that) gets 2. Psicosis stands around some more. Its like watching a really bad Rob Van Dam match. Minus the flashy moves. Farewell and Psicosis stands around some more. He’s REALLY pushing it now. Psicosis comes off the top but eats boots. What move was he attempting there? He just jumped into the boot and then stood around some more. It must be catching because Rey stops off to play to the crowd before hitting a rana (“Legsweep” – Tony. What the fuck are you on?) Rey goes up and Psicosis helpfully jumps into position for a high crossbody. Psicosis decides to vary his timewasting by arguing with the referee. Psicosis eats up some time with a nerve hold. What is he Samoan or something? Electric Chair with bridge gets 2. Half crab from Psicosis. He just looks lazy on this show. He gives up on the crab for some reason. Psychology, what psychology? Psicosis with a super rana for 2. Psicosis goes to the knee that Rey missed six months with. Psicosis up top slowly so Rey dropkicks him off to the floor. Rey hangs around selling a bit before hitting the springboard hilo to the floor. Back inside the springboard sunset flip gets 2. Psicois stands around a bit and Rey hits him with a whirl Rocker Dropper for 2. Crowd is bored. They should have been bored earlier when nothing was happening. Psicosis walks into his bouncing off the ropes spot that I hate and Rey finishes with the West Coast Pop at 13.35. *. Absolute suck. I don’t know what Psicosis was on here but he was horrible.
TV title – Stevie Ray (c) v Chavo Guerrero Jr w/Pepe
Stevie Ray isn’t the TV champion but Booker is injured so Stevie is defending the title for him. Booker isn’t around to confirm this. Hey, this is WCW where tag titles are defended in singles matches so no one else is questioning it. Chavo is full on nuts now having a stick horse called Pepe that he talks to. Chavo gets on the mic to say he’s the TV champ because he has a contract that he typed up saying so. It’s official because he stamped it. Nutball. Chavo demands the belt and Pepe confirms that Chavo is the champion. Chavo demands a ceremonial handshake. Stevie remembering the last PPV where Chavo quit on the handshake sells his reluctance to shake hands so Chavo loses control over his hand Idle Hands style. He clubs away but Stevie scares him by staring. Chavo decides to run. Stevie follows and gets booted a bit but he no sells that. Choke lift but Chavo goes to the eyes. Stevie continues to no sell. Chavo runs again. Stevie gets blown up chasing him. Stevie nails him the Slapjack for the pin at 2.38. The move the Slapjack as opposed to the foreign object. The Slapjack move was actually just the Pedigree, which isn’t over because it’s Stevie Ray and he can’t do it right. DUD.
POST MATCH Stevie calls the crowd “suckahs” and says he’s not finished with this “punk”. Eddy Guerrero runs in to stop Stevie kicking his nephew’s ass. That’s my job! Stevie leaves. Chavo doesn’t trust Eddy.
BACKSTAGE Chris Jericho is asked about tonight’s match. Jericho says he always gives 100% but it’s a conspiracy. He says he’s watching Malenko and won’t get cheated tonight. He reminds us he beat Juvi already and took his mask.
Rick Steiner v Scott Steiner
This would be the long awaited singles match that followed the February heel turn. Yeah, they can’t hold off on Hogan-Goldberg but they can make everyone wait for a midcard brother v brother match. JJ Dillon is out here to call the match off though. Scott isn’t cleared because of a concussion or something. Just to totally oversell it they bring Scott out on a stretcher with casts on his arm and leg and an oxygen mask. Buff himself has a neck brace on and he’s selling the neck. Oh, Scott has a drip too. JJ books the match for Fall Brawl instead. JJ says that Scott will be “barred for life” from wrestling if he doesn’t turn up at Fall Brawl. Rick goes after him and the heels cheese it.
Brian Adams w/Vincent v Steve McMichael
Remember what I said about the tag match not even being the worst on the card? Yep. While Adams looks like a star he doesn’t wrestle like one. Mongo is in no position to carry anyone. Mongo makes Horseman hand gestures. Mongo backs Adams up and gives him a clean break. “That’s how a good guy does it” – Mongo. Yeah, whatever. Adams gives him a clean break just to fuck with his mind. This man is a MASTER of ring psychology. Adams fucks up a clothesline and then Mongo fucks up a shoulderblock then they both manage to totally fuck up a DDT. Brilliant. Adams bails out to talk to Vincent who for the only time in his career looks like the most competent guy out there. Mongo brings the shitty brawling and they do a missed big boot spot that sucks. Leg drop gets 2 for Adams. NERVEHOLD! FEEL THE WORKRATE! It’s tangible. Adams holds onto that for a while. Tony puts Adams over saying “he can wrestle”. Well, he is a fucking WRESTLER. You’d hope he could. Vincent gets involved with even shittier strikes. Forget what I said about “most competent”. Adams takes it SLLOOOOOOOWLY back inside. Mongo talks and then gets hit with a backbreaker. Way to expose the business guys. Adams misses a kneedrop. Can’t this just end now? Now it’s Adams turn to run into a sideslam. Three Point Stance from Mongo, twice. Duggan will be thrilled no doubt. They fuck up something else that looked like a claw or something then tag on an unbelieveably contrived ref bump. Then Vincent hits Adams with one of the tamest chair shots ever. Mongo calls for the finish and Adams just stands there letting him hit the Tombstone and the ref counts 3 at 6.32. -***1/2. Just terrible. I’ve seen better matches between two guys with no ring experience. First training session. This is embarrassing. Just watching them fuck up one thing after another. Adams looked like he didn’t even care, which would become a trend. I can’t honestly believe they could put two matches as offensive as this and the tag garbage match on the same night. It’s not even the booking that’s entirely to blame. The wrestlers aren’t helping.
Cruiserweight title – Chris Jericho (c) v Juventud Guerrera
Jericho has gone and pissed off everyone here meaning that the referee is Dean Malenko who hates him, his opponent hates him and the fans hate him. Brain questions Malenko’s refereeing experience only for Tenay to bitchslap him down by telling him about Malenko’s early career as a ref and the fact that he reffed on Thunder LAST WEEK. Tenay was embarrassing the other commentators by this point. No wonder he has a job and the others don’t. Jericho brings the heat by pointing out he drives a Japanese motorcycle and calls the crowd “weekend warriors”. Crowd drowns him out with revving. Jericho points out he’s a true biker and the crowd aren’t. HEEEL! Juvi starts fast and hits a dropkick but Jericho back kicks him down. Jericho jaws with Malenko who lays him out. HEY! That’s not very impartial Mr Referee! Jericho stays in charge anyhow. More distraction allows a Juvi missile dropkick. Outside and Juvi chops Jericho off the platform. PLAAAAAAAANCHAAAAAAA all the way to the floor. Whoa. Back inside and Juvi connects with a slingshot legdrop for 2. Slingshot crossbody gets 2. He looks for a crossbody off the top but gets caught – GORILLA PRESS TOMBSTONE! AWESOME. Some Indy wrestler needs to steal that! That gets 2. Vertical suplex with a cocky cover gets 2. Jericho appeals to the crowd to stop making so much noise. Running senton gets 2. Juvi blocks a suplex into one of his own but he’s still up against it after taking such a beating. Lionsault gets knees however and that gives Juvi an opening. Headscissors from him and then a top rope spinning heel kick for 2. Juvi looks for a rana but Jericho blocks it – DOUBLE POWERBOMB! Jericho opts for a springboard shoulderblock opposed to covering and then taunts the fans some more. Back inside for a clothesline. That gets 2 and Jericho argues the count with Malenko. Flip up DDT from Juvi for 2. JUVI DRIVER! That gets 2. Juvi climbs but gets crotched and Jericho slaps him about ahead of a SUPERPLEX! Jericho stays down on that though so Juvi covers for 2. Jericho recovers as Juvi goes for a rana – LIONTAMER! Juvi gets into the ropes to survive. Jericho thinks he’s won and gets in Malenko’s face claiming Juvi gave up. Juvi accidentally belts Malenko and speaking of belts, Jericho uses the cruiser belt on Juvi. Malenko misses it selling an eye poke, Jericho slaps him but only gets a 2 count. Jericho BRINGS THE KNEES! Jericho kicks Malenko off again so he assists Juvi in a FLIP UP SUPER RANA, which finishes at 16.23. ***1/2. Great match. A little too slow to get a higher rating but so much fun and they busted out some great stuff like the press Tombstone, which was different. Way to save the show guys! Yeah, Chris Jericho – the guy who can even have great matches with a great gimmick and get everyone into it. The sure fire main event star for the next five years and guess what WCW does to him? That’s right – de-push and fail to renew the contract of. He ends up going straight into the WWF and becoming a huge star overnight and eventually becoming world champion and headlining Wrestlemania. Jericho got the crowd into this match by being SUCH a dick heel. It didn’t matter who he was wrestling. Malenko brought the awesome referee selling. Believeable referee selling is SO hard to do.
nWo Invitational Battle Royal
Out here is the Giant, Scott Hall, Scott Norton, Curt Hennig, (all nWo Hollywood) Konnan, Lex Luger, Kevin Nash, and Sting (all Wolfpac). In the middle of all of this is Goldberg who is the only guy not affiliated with the nWo. Its pinfall or over the top rope. The Wolfpac’s gay entrance makes me hate them even more. Hall & Nash take promo time. Goldberg is 129-0 at this point. I know I complained about lack of big guys taking their shots at Goldberg but look at all these guys out here. The problem is they’ve got Goldberg super over but he’s still not on last and since winning the title hasn’t had a meaningful defence. Now he’s in a meaningless battle royal. Goldberg is at 4 on 1 odds against two factions. Goldberg lets everyone else fight as the nWo pairs off against each other. Goldberg wants Giant and goes after him to a huge pop. I mean MASSIVE for first contact in a battle royal. Then he goes back to doing nothing. He picks Hall off with a few shots. Nash misses Hall with a big boot and he barely scrapes Goldberg with it instead. Hall goes for the Edge, which results in Goldberg backdropping him out at 1.25. Nash climbs over the top to go after Hall at 1.31 but why not just go through the ropes? Or would that not be cool enough? Whatever. Spear for Hennig. Goldberg seems to change his mind about dumping Hennig out and opts for clubbing instead. Konnan has no one to work with so he just lies around. Works for me. Giant steps on Sting. Goldberg hauls him off and wails away. Giant headbutts him off and Goldberg is SELLING. Russian legsweep from Giant. Sting with the Scorpion Deathlock on Hennig but Norton breaks it up. Konnan gets booted by Giant and then speared. Konnan is out at 4.56. Hennig tries to get Goldberg out and gets his feet off the mat but nothing further. Giant chops away at Goldberg to back him up. Hennig helps him and there’s active double teaming now. Luger, Sting and Norton are doing nothing meanwhile. I don’t think Luger has done a thing in here. It’s one of his laziest outings, ever. Which is saying something. Spear for Hennig. Out he goes at 6.42. Goldberg has now eliminated three. Make that five as Sting and Norton get shoved over while fighting at 6.50. Goldberg, Luger and Giant left. Luger takes a spear. Giant picks Luger up and tosses him at 7.09 leaving it one on one. Goldberg is still celebrating the spear when Giant grabs and chokeslams him. Goldberg with the zombie sit up. Spear. JACKHAMMER! Impressive. Pin is a foregone conclusion at 7.57. Goldberg wins. *1/2. It was ok. Should have booked Goldberg v Giant at Bash at the Beach. It’s not like they have anything for Giant to do and he only has a few months left on his contract.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff w/Miss Elizabeth/The Disciple v Diamond Dallas Page/Jay Leno w/Kevin Eubanks
Eubanks would be Leno’s band leader. Seeing Leno in the ring is pretty surreal. Leno throws water on Hogan while he tries to cut a promo to the ringside camera. Oh, the Hulkster is pissed off now! DDP starts, obviously. Hogan is the heel of choice for him. As with Bash at the Beach we start with the stalling. Not as ridiculous as last month though because they’re not gunning for “45 minutes”. Thank Christ. It’s still pretty hefty stalling for two wrestlers in a main event. But then Hogan was pretty badly beaten up by this point. Leno cheap shots Hogan with a slap and DDP hits a swinging neckbreaker. Tony is already pimping Eubanks as he’s clearly built. He posts Hogan and throws him back in for DDP to pin for 2. Hogan goes over to the Disciple to warn him to keep Eubanks out of this one. Yeah, God forbid a wrestler get over when we can put Kevin Eubanks over. Yanno, a guy who’ll never wrestle in the company let alone be a main event star. DDP gets double teamed causing Leno to jump into the ring where the referee ejects him. DDP boots Bischoff in the face and here comes Leno. Bischoff cowers away and Hogan is in. Leno shows Hogan his chin. Yeah, like he’d miss that thing. Stalling. Leno dodges Hogan a few times. Oh, stalling. Leno points out he has hair. Hogan is all “oh yeah brother, well I slammed Andre the Giant over my head dude”. Well, he doesn’t say that but he’s thinking it. Leno tags out without contact. DDP is in with “shoulder drives”. I hate Tony Schiavone. He just became such a parody of an announcer. Leno is in again and he arm rings Hogan to the mat. Hogan grabs the aforementioned hair to back Leno up. Hey, Jay looks like a better wrestler than Hogan. How about that? Back to the arm and DDP is able to tag. DDP thinks he’s good for more and they attempt a double clothesline. Oh, that wasn’t too good. Leno pins Hogan for 2. Heh. Hogan bails for a chair and goes to bash DDP but Eubanks grabs it. Is Kevin Eubanks main eventing Fall Brawl or something? DDP lays Bischoff out for a big reaction but Hogan jumps him. Bischoff comes in to kick away but DDP recovers while he taunts. Hogan jumps in there with some sort of International Object. DDP is punked out and pinned by Bischoff…for 2. Hogan tries to goad Leno in. Jay has seen a few tag matches it would seem. Big boot for DDP. Hogan listens to the crowd. BOOO! DDP crawls over to the corner, Hogan cuts him off so Page clotheslines him. Eubanks gets the crowd chanting “DDP”. Leno gets the tag as does Bischoff. Leno is all “I’m gonna kick your ass”. Bischoff begs off then pokes Leno in the eye. Leno comes back with the nut shot. Bischoff takes a few punches. They don’t look great but Leno is making some effort. Leno looks gassed after the 10 count buckle. Hogan is in and Bischoff holds him but that leads to the miscue. Page is in to take out Hogan. Eubanks jumps into the ring and hits the Diamond Cutter on Bischoff. Leno cradles Bischoff and gets the duke at 14.31. ½*. Not a bad effort from Jay Leno. It was weird seeing him in there. He looked more competent than Dennis Rodman the month before. Obviously the match wasn’t very good but that goes without saying.
POST MATCH the babyfaces celebrate but that pisses off Hogan again. He leads his troops in there to beat down the faces. Hogan selects Leno for a personal beating. But Bill Goldberg has seen enough. He runs out here and spears Hogan and Bischoff in one. They run off and the faces celebrate properly.
Final Thoughts: WCW’s big idea to push for buyrates worked once. This second time out wasn’t so good, money wise. The Leno appearance was actually more entertaining than the basketball players but didn’t pop the same buyrate. I think they missed the point of their direction. Goldberg was world champion but the focus remained on Hogan who the crowd had grown tired of seeing. The undercard had some real horrors on it as well. Two matches sunk well into negative stars for their severe lack of professionalism. When you consider the WWF at the same time was building new characters and creating their own stars (Summerslam that followed this had Triple H-Rock’s big breakout ladder match) WCW looks even worse by comparison. Jericho-Juvi is good but WCW would soon wreck Jericho. Everything else is bad. Four matches are real shockers. That poor level of professionalism just isn’t acceptable. If I’d have been in charge there would have been heads rolling over this. Keep in mind this being Road Wild this show had no money taken at the gate. Another of those bright WCW decisions. Yeah, charging fans to watch your show is pretty straightforward. Most people understand this. Everyone but WCW really. Keeping in mind this is on the back of a Nitro where they showed the entire PPV main event from Bash at the Beach for free. Just to make that huge PPV number shrink in future as fans were outraged they paid to see a match that was then given away. This show is one long string of bad matches and bad booking. Only Jericho’s match is worth watching and its shocking that Jay Leno’s match isn’t the worst on the card by a long shot. Avoid.