Road Wild – 1998: This Show Made Me Mad

Road Wild 1998
Date: August 8, 1998
Location: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis, South Dakota
Attendance: 8,500
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

So we’re back to Sturgis again and we’re a month removed from Karl Malone and Dennis Rodman in the main event of a PPV. You know that means that we’re in for a real mat war tonight right? I mean they wouldn’t……oh screw the joke. It’s Hogan/Eric Bischoff vs. DDP/Jay Leno. In the words of some book I read once, yes, THAT Jay Leno. This is going to be a mess. Let’s get to it.

The opening is about motorcycles. And Leno.

Again I do have to give them this: the scenery is gorgeous.

The announcers talk about the main event and an NWO battle royal which has Goldberg in it. Oh I’ll have a few things to say about that one I think.

Gene is on a motorcycle and says nothing of note. Oh he’s plugging a motorcycle manufacturer that sponsors the show. Ok then.

Meng vs. Barbarian

Why they split is beyond me but this could be either half decent or dreadful. I’m leaning towards the former actually. This is a total brawl of course and they even throw in some sumo stuff. Meng controls some of it but walks into a belly to belly overhead suplex to put him down. Powerbomb by Barbarian is countered and Meng hits a piledriver.

Barbarian pops up but misses a headbutt. Meng goes up but Barbarian hits a belly to belly superplex to get two. Meng comes back with a powerslam and Jimmy Hart gets on the apron to do nothing of note. They slug it out and Barbarian takes over for a bit. Never mind as the Tongan Death Grip goes on for the pin.

Rating: C-. It wasn’t that bad actually. This was a power brawl and they beat each other up pretty well for about five minutes. Putting them in front of a crowd of bikers who want to see older names (just wait for Hogan’s pop later) fight made this an even better idea. This was far more entertaining than good.

Hugh Morrus comes in to save Jimmy from a beatdown but Jim Duggan comes in to save Meng. There’s something from Nitro involved here but just saying the word Nitro is all we get as far as a detailed explanation.

Public Enemy vs. Dancing Fools

The Dancing Fools are Alex Wright/Disco Inferno and they have some dancing Japanese guy named Tokyo Magnum. After Disco stalls for a bit we start with Rocco vs. Wright. Rock controls on the arm of Wright and the match is already really boring. Wright comes back with a dropkick and dances a bit. Off to Disco who dances as well. Tony thinks the fans would rather see wrestling than dancing. The ovations for WWE for the dance contests would disagree.

Off to Grunge and Disco hits a clothesline and brings Alex back in. Back to Rocco and the Dancers keep control. Grunge gets in a shot and the Public Enemy double teams a bit to a very modest reaction. Magnum hands in a trashcan which goes upside Grunge’s body and doesn’t draw a DQ for no apparent reason. Rock runs to the back and brings in a ladder. Tenay says this is now a street fight and hey, it’s WCW so that’s ok I guess.

The Fools try to leave and come back with a table. This is ridiculous. Disco grabs a mic and asks if they want to make this a street fight. Sure why not. Is this a house show? Public Enemy goes to the back and comes back with a kitchen sink, a toilet seat and some other stuff. This is making my head hurt. Public Enemy takes over because IT’S REALLY STUPID TO CHALLENGE THEM TO A STREET FIGHT.

A mailbox is brought in and goes upside Disco’s head. Wright suplexes Rock onto the trashcan so Grunge hits him with a cookie sheet. They set to put Wright through a table but Disco makes the save. The bikers rev their engines as the Fools take over. They keep hammering on each other and Magnum gets in. Heenan: “Why not?” My thoughts exactly. The Public Enemy hit stereo atomic drops but Wright kicks Grunge down.

Magnum accidentally hits Wright so Grunge hits Disco with the ladder. Wright and Tokyo walk out so Disco is alone. The Enemy sets up three tables as the “match” stops dead. Disco is dragged up the ladder and put on top. Rock climbs the structure around the ring and drives him through all three, throws Disco in the ring, lets Tokyo come off the top with a splash that hits Disco by mistake and this is FINALLY over.

Rating: N. As in nothing, which is what I’ve got. This went FIFTEEN MINUTES, therefore being the second longest match of the night. They made it a street fight for no apparent reason and the ending was a mess. I have no idea what was going on here, which I know I say a lot but in this case I really don’t. Who decided that THIS was a good idea?

Dean Malenko is a guest referee later and says he’ll be fair in the Cruiserweight Title match later.

Raven vs. Saturn vs. Chris Kanyon

This is under Raven’s Rules, which means hardcore. You know, after we just had a street fight. Tony says this is about Kanyon who has been missing lately but Raven says that Kanyon has been thinking about joining the Flock and making this a handicap match. Raven tells Kanyon to get him and Saturn jumps Kanyon. Raven brings in a chair and pops Saturn with it but Kanyon is quickly knocked to the floor.

Kanyon gets rammed into the post by Bird Boy but Kanyon pops back up and beats on Saturn. Heenan tries to explain who is on whose side here and I feel the need for a flow chart. Saturn and Kanyon finally figure out what’s going on and beat on Raven, including hitting Total Elimination. Kanyon legsweeps him and Saturn hits a guillotine legdrop but Kanyon breaks it up.

While Kanyon and Saturn fight, Raven comes in with a chair shot to both guys. We’re in standard triple threat territory here. Saturn and Raven go to the floor and Kanyon dives on them. They fight into the aisle which looks like a road. Saturn knocks Kanyon down and beats on Raven on what would usually be the stage. Kanyon piledrives him up there for two as Raven saves.

Raven dropkicks Kanyon and Kanyon falls down the ramp. Saturn dives off the stage to double clothesline them both and no one cares. Back to the ring and everyone is down. Heenan says he wishes he was in this match so he can give up. Saturn hooks a sleeper on Raven and Kanyon puts one on Saturn for the triple sleeper spot. Kanyon is in control now and loads up Saturn for a superplex, resulting in a Tower of Doom. What Raven exactly added to that I’m not sure but who cares?

Raven tries to double DDT the guys but only gets Saturn. Kanyon climbs the structure like Rocco did but the splash misses. Oh Lodi pulled Raven away. This match is going WAY too long again. Death Valley Driver by Saturn (finisher) puts Raven down but Lodi saves. Horace comes out with his stop sign but accidentally hits Rave, allowing the second DVD to get the pin for Saturn.

Rating: D+. This was another brawl and far better than the previous one, but that doesn’t really take a lot to accomplish. That being said, it’s still something we saw just a few minutes earlier and the relationship between the three is no clearer than it was when this started, making this whole match, say it with me, TOTALLY POINTLESS.

Psicosis vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

For the #1 contendership for the Cruiserweight Title. Psicosis takes him to the mat with a chinlock which is a strange thing to see opening the match. Now off to an armbar and then a wristlock. This match goes REALLY slowly as Rey takes a falcon’s arrow. No one cares about this match either, but that could be because they’re bikers instead of wrestling fans, but who cares about that?

In a cool move, Psicosis puts rey in the corner with Rey’s chest facing the buckle. He wraps Rey’s around around the ropes and pulls them back. Naturally it lasts about 2 seconds but whatever. We’re almost five minutes into this and Rey has had zero offense. Suplex puts Rey down but Psicosis does the really annoying jump into the feet thing to give Rey some control. Rey flies around and hits a rana to send Psicosis to the floor.

Back in Rey hits a nice top rope cross body for two. This crowd is driving me crazy. I mean they’re SILENT. GEE, MAYBE THIS WAS A REALLY STUPID IDEA, but how else could Eric Bischoff get to ride his big boy bike and then pay Leno a ton of money while not even getting a gate back to offset some of the costs? Off to a nerve hold as Tony talks about the effects of it. When has he ever been in a nerve hold?

An electric chair drop into a bridge gets two for Psicosis. Rey gets sent to the floor now because Heaven forbid this match gets interesting or some crazy stuff like that. Great. A FREAKING HALF CRAB. YOU GUYS ARE CRUISERWEIGHTS!!! ACT LIKE IT! Psicosis lets go of the hold after about two seconds like a video game as the fans shout boring. Yeah and they’re right. A top rope rana puts Rey down for two. Psicosis goes up for something and is dropkicked to the floor.

Rey FINALLY hits a nice springboard somersault plancha to the floor. Springboard sunset flip gets two. Rey hits a pretty cool leverage assisted Fameasser. He hits the ropes again and Psicosis counters into a flapjack position but slams Mysterio down, almost like a spinebuster. Just to tick me off even more (and believe me, this show is doing a GREAT job of that), Tony says it was like a jackknife powerbomb. I hate Eric Bischoff. I hate that he made good announcers into idiots that couldn’t have an intelligent bone in their bodies because it might make someone actually think in this company. West Coast Pop FINALLY ends this.

Rating: D. It’s not a failure because of some cool moves by Rey, but this was SO boring. Psicosis kept standing around after almost every move he did, almost half of the match was a Psicosis squash, and the knee work did nothing at all. This was terribly boring with neither guy caring at all. To be fair to them though, would you be?

We’re seventy minutes into this show and I hate it. I absolutely cannot stand this show. The matches SUCK, the fans don’t care (BECAUSE THEY AREN’T WRESTLING FANS), Public freaking Enemy gets FIFTEEN MINUTES because they got ripped off from ECW and Eric has to shove more of that down our throats because he’s too freaking stupid to come up with anything on his own (notice Total Elimination and the triple sleeper spot in the threeway, both ECW standards), the wrestlers don’t care because the fans don’t care, AND JAY FREAKING LENO IS IN THE MAIN EVENT because him liking motorcycles makes this a good idea. This company deserved to die.

ON WITH THE SHOW!!!

TV Title: Chavo Guerrero vs. Stevie Ray

Stevie is defending because Booker is hurt I think and Chavo is nuts. Chavo says he’s TV Champion because he wrote up a contract saying so. This sounds stupid but my goodness this is a breath of air and it’s not even funny. Oh apparently Booker hasn’t approved Stevie to be champion. Ok then. Eh screw it we’ll call this a title match anyway.

The stick horse Chavo has says he’s the champion. Chavo desperately wants a handshake but Ray runs away from it. They go to the floor and nothing happens. Chavo runs on the floor again and Stevie chases him. This goes on for a minute and a half. Slapjack (elevated Pedigree) ends this quick. Jericho would win the TV Title two days later (this was on a Saturday) on Nitro. Why did this match exist?

Stevie goes after Chavo some more but Eddie makes the save.

Jericho gives his usual funny promo about a conspiracy against him and how Malenko is in on it.

Rick Steiner vs. Scott Steiner

This is a big grudge match that has been building for months. This HAS TO be good. And here’s JJ Dillon to say there’s no match. Buff Bagwell wheels out Scott on a stretcher taking oxygen and in a bunch of bandages. The fans LOUDLY boo this out of the non-building. Bagwell says Scott is injured and can’t wrestle. Dillon guarantees it’ll happen at Fall Brawl. OH SCREW YOU. SCREW YOU WCW. This show has SUCKED for the last eighty minutes and now they pull a freaking bait and switch. This is ridiculous.

Rick comes after him and just because WCW wants to FURTHER tick off its fans, Scott gets up and runs away.

Brian Adams vs. Steve McMichael

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD WHY????? Who booked this nonsense? Who in the world freaking thought BRIAN ADAMS needed to be on a PPV against Steve McMichael? Mongo wants to reform the Horsemen or something but Anderson wants nothing to do with it. This is something that should be a dark match on Thunder, not in the middle of a horrible PPV. Adams is NWO if that means anything to you.

And on top of all that, the match is HORRIBLE. Irish whip, Mongo botches a punch from Adams, Mongo botches a shoulder block, Mongo grabs him around the head and SLOWLY pulls him down which was supposed to be a DDT. Adams goes to the floor for advice from Vincent. Back in he catches a boot in the corner and kind of powerbombs Mongo. When Brian Adams (Crush for those of you who can’t place his name) is the much more polished guy in a match, you can tell something is wrong.

Adams puts on a nerve hold and the fans are somehow more silent. Usually tonight we’ve had random shouts and such like that, but this is even more quiet as they’re not even doing that. Out to the floor and Mongo goes into the steps. After a backbreaker, Mongo comes back with a kind of belly to back suplex. Mongo takes out the knees but they botch something else, making it look like a claw hold from Adams but Mongo falls down like a clothesline. And now there’s a ref bump. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Vincent accidentally hits Adams with a chair and the tombstone gives Mongo the win.

Rating: N. As in nothing, which is what I have left at this point. Why in the world was this on PPV? Is this what WCW thought was going to be able to fight off Summerslam later in the month which had Rock vs. HHH in a ladder match? Tony has the nerve to call this an upset. Mongo may suck but he used to be a Horseman and US Champion. HOW IS THAT AN UPSET??? Why am I trying to figure out freaking Tony Schiavone at this point?

Gene talks to some team of girls from the motorcycle sponsor.

Cruiserweight Title: Juventud Guerrera vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho is defending and has been finding ways out of losing the title for months, including going to the Library of Congress to find a rulebook from the NWA to get out a defense. Malenko is the referee here and Jericho thinks he’s in on a conspiracy against him. Juvy is unmasked by this point. Oh ok Dean might be in on a conspiracy because he can’t face Jericho for the title again so Jericho think Dean is trying to screw him out of the title so he can get a shot. See? You see how easy that was? WHY DON’T THEY DO THAT MORE OFTEN???

Juvy hits a dropkick for a quick advantage but Jericho kicks him down. Jericho knocks him to the floor and yells at Dean, who throws him into the corner as a result. Juvy comes back in with a missile dropkick to send Jericho to the floor. Guerrera rams him into apron face first but misses a plancha over the top and off the platform that the ring is on. Back in Juvy hits a slingshot legdrop for two. I think he caught Jericho a bit on the plancha to explain why he’s not dead.

A jawbreaker gives Jericho control but Juvy immediately comes back with a springboard crossbody for two. Dean is calling it fair so far. Juvy goes up for a cross body off the top but gets caught in a powerslam/piledriver combo. I think that was what they were going for off the springboard version but it didn’t come off quite right. It looked ok though. Suplex gets two. Dean is counting a little slow for Jericho’s covers. It’s not horrible but it should be faster.

Juvy heads to the floor as the match stalls a bit more. There’s been a lot of that but this has been BY FAR the best match of the night so far. Back in a backsplash gets two for Chris. Off to a chinlock which only lasts for a few seconds. Guerrera reverses a suplex into one of his own but Jericho knocks him down immediately. Lionsault gets knees but Juvy comes back again with a headscissors and cross body. I know this sounds like a big back and forth fast paced match, but it’s going very slowly. It’s still good but it’s not really working all that well.

Jericho hits the double powerbomb but walks around instead of going for the Liontamer. Heenan said he should go for the Liontamer so you know it’s a good idea. Out to the floor again and Jericho is in control. Back inside Jericho gets a clothesline for two. Dean hasn’t meant much at all here. Chris chops him and does his own WOO in a funny bit. Juvy hits a DDT to counter a powerbomb out of nowhere for two.

Juvy Driver gets two and Guerrera isn’t sure what to do. They’re trying to kick it into high gear here but it’s really not coming yet. Juvy loads up the 450 but gets crotched. A superplex puts the challenger down but Chris can’t cover. Juvy actually gets the cover for two. That’s not something you often see. Juvy tries a rana but gets caught in the Liontamer but Juvy gets the ropes before the hold was fully on.

Jericho yells at Malenko which allows Juvy to pounds Chris in the corner. Dean takes a finger in the eye and Jericho hits Juvy in the head with the title for a VERY close two. Dean was going to count three but there was a kickout. Jericho goes up top but Juvy smacks him enough to slow him down. Chris kicks Dean in the chest for no apparent reason, so Dean launches a charging Juvy into the air so Juvy can hit a hurricanrana off the top for the pin and the title.

Rating: B-. Good match and BY FAR the best match of the night, but it’s nothing classic. If there was EVER a time that called for two guys capable of putting on a showstealing classic, this was it. Instead though, it was more walking around and not doing anything more than a decent match. That being said, I’d rather watch these two for seventeen minutes than anything else on the show for more than 8 seconds.

Battle Royal

Scott Hall, The Giant, Curt Hennig, Scott Norton, Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, Sting, Konna, Goldberg

Now THIS is where the main event booking gets illogical and where anyone paying attention would be able to figure out the smart move. This is Black and White (first four names listed), Wolfpack (next four names listed) and Goldberg. Now Goldberg is world champion at this point but doesn’t have an opponent to face for the most part. Giant (he and Hall are tag champions) has been “making it personal” with Goldberg lately. Now, common sense would say that Goldberg gets eliminated here and either the guy that eliminates him or the winner is his next feud.

However, that might mess with Goldberg’s winning streak. Ok, no problem. Common sense would say that he’s in the main event with Leno against Hogan/Bischoff. Goldberg won the title from Hogan about a month before this, so there’s a story put in already. Since this is WCW where logic and common sense are bad words, that’s NOT what they did. Hall does the survey, the fans like Goldberg. Entrances and survey take almost ten minutes. For absolutely no apparent reason, you can win by over the top elimination or pinfall. Not submission, just pinfall.

Goldberg stays in the corner to start as the Outsiders fight. Giant and Goldberg go at it to a big reaction. Total PPV matches those two had against each other: zero. Everyone else stands around and “brawls” on the ropes. Nash hits him with a big boot but Hall’s Outsider’s Edge is countered by Goldberg to put him out. Nash jumps out on his own because HEAVEN FORBID someone beneath him like THE FREAKING WORLD CHAMPION gets to put Nash out.

Goldberg spears Hennig and Tony Schiavone calls it the Goldberg Spike. There are four words you need to remember for Goldberg: jackhammer, streak, Goldberg and SPEAR. Do you see the word spike in there? No? Then why did Tony say it? That would be because TONY SCHIAVONE IS A FRICKIN MORON! Goldie hides in the corner but gets in a fight with Giant which goes nowhere. Tenay says that this Goldberg is in this match so that he can get his hands on Giant. PPV title match? What’s that?

Basically unless Goldberg is doing something, this match is really boring and no one cares. Sting puts Hennig in the Scorpion but it doesn’t mean anything because he’s not….ok apparently you can be put out by submission. Sure why in the world not? Spear puts Konnan out. Hennig has Goldberg off the mat but can’t put him out.

Giant suplexes Goldberg but Goldberg pops up, spears Hennig and tosses him. And Norton. Sting too. Might as well eliminate Luger too. Giant threw the last one out so we’re down to two. Chokeslam plants Goldberg so Goldberg channels his inner Taker and sits up. It was an Undertaker situp which made me chuckle. Spear and Jackhammer end this.

Rating: F. So not only was it boring, not only was it stupid booking because Goldberg dominated everyone and pinned Giant with ease, but Tony tries to claim that makes Goldberg 136-0, after he came in 129-0, because he eliminated six people. THEY CAN’T EVEN GET COUNTING RIGHT!!!

We recap the main event feud, involving Hogan and Bischoff “taking over” the Tonight Show.

Oh and the ring announcer changed halfway through the show for no apparent reason.

Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff vs. Jay Leno/Diamond Dallas Page

This is going to be awful isn’t it? I mean, at least with Rodman and Malone last month, they were ATHLETES. Bischoff gets to be in the main event in front of bikers though so he’s TOUGH. They come out to the theme of the Tonight Show and have Kevin Eubanks with them. This can’t end well. I mean it CAN’T.

The ring announcer says Page is 6’0 after him being billed as 6’5 forever. To Jay’s credit, he’s getting in the ring. Just to be clear, I have no issue with Leno in this. He’s a celebrity and is getting a check for this and looks like he’s having fun so I can’t say much there. Now WCW on the other hand, I have no issue complaining about. Leno throws water on Bischoff to make the NWO bail.

Did I mention there are twenty minutes left in this show? Leno has been training for ten whole days for this. Page and Hogan start things off. Eubanks is kind of ripped. This whole feud is about Eric having his own talk show on Nitro. Stalling to start until Page works on the arm of Hulk. Page punches him into the corner and Leno gets in a left hand. Hogan is knocked to the floor and Eubanks rams him into the post…..AND DOES IT PRETTY FREAKING WELL! That actually looked good.

Page gets caught in the corner and Leno charges in to save him. It doesn’t go anywhere but he’s got energy. Bischoff comes in and the tag is made to Leno. Bischoff runs so we actually get Leno vs. Hogan. Leno points at his chin which is kind of funny. He makes bald jokes and no contact has been made yet. Leno ducks a punch and tags in Page. Jay manages to start a DDP chant. Like I said, the guy is trying.

Page works on the arm and tags in Jay for a wristlock. To the announcers’ credit, unlike last month they’re reasonable here and say that Jay is doing well but they don’t blow it out of proportion. Hogan gets him into the corner and whispers to him before kneeing him in the ribs. Leno tags out but Page tags him back in. Jay’s face is priceless. They hit a double clothesline and Leno gets two on Hogan. He avoids a shot and runs over to tag out, looking like he needs oxygen, a box of Twinkies and a jacuzzi.

Out to the floor and I think Hogan punches a chair that Kevin was holding. Page no sells an Eric kick and I think we’ll have the wrestlers in there for the vast majority of the match. Scratch that of course as Bischoff comes in. He fires off some kicks and Tony praises him so he gets to eat this month. Disciple throws in a foreign object for Hogan to clock Page with so Eric can get two.

This has to be about over. I mean, it has to be. Hogan hits the big boot but Page moves before the legdrop. Discus lariat takes Hogan down and it’s time for Leno vs. Bischoff. Eric pokes him in the eye but Leno hits him low. He “punches” Eric a few times and rams him into the corner ten times (the bikers mess up the count but Leno gets it right) and is spent. Hogan comes in and accidentally hits Eric as everything breaks down. Eubanks comes in and hits a decent Diamond Cutter on Bischoff so Leno can get the pin.

Rating: D. Ok this is a different kind of match to grade. On one hand, this was a HORRIBLE match and as a match on its own, it’s one of the worst main events ever. On the other hand, if you didn’t expect that coming in, you’re an idiot. Leno tried and when he was in there, he was playing to the crowd and was moving around. I can’t fault him a bit for what he did because it was fine. The wrestlers did nothing and Eric continues to have no business in a ring. Horrible match, but you knew what you were paying for when you bought this show.

Post match the NWO beats down the winners until Goldberg makes the save (while wearing the belt. I don’t know if it’s that this has been one of the worst shows ever or if it’s that this is being written at 3:30am, but that cracked me up) to end the show.

Overall Rating: Failure. I usually would just put F, but I want to make it clear what I mean here. This was perhaps the absolute worst wrestling show I have ever sat through. It took me three days to watch it all because I couldn’t sit through it at once. The BEST match on the show is a so-so Cruiserweight Title match that would be one of the worst you’ll remember between those two.

As for the rest of it, no. There is no way that a company could look at its fans and call this an acceptable wrestling show. From STUPID stuff like making matches street fights on the fly to three ways that flat out steal spots from ECW, to Adams vs. McMichael to not having Rick vs. Scott to wasting PPV matches for months on end to make Goldberg look strong to the SECOND STRAIGHT MONTH of celebrity main events, this was one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen and I never want to think of it again. Stay FAR away from this unless you worship Jay Leno.

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3 comments

  1. Wayne says:

    Good review here. MOST of WCW’s PPVs in 1998 were horrible and this was definitely one of them.

    Sully Reply:

    WCW ppvs from 98 on were in general horrible.

    Wayne Reply:

    You’re right about that. To be fair, Souled Out, Superbrawl, and a SMALL extent Uncensored were decent, but everything else, a complete thumbs down.