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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bad(ish) PPV Summer Road Wild 1998

Given that Summerslam will see actor Steven Amell step into the ring to wrestle, we feel the basic need to review Road Wild 1998 must not be ignored. Before Amell, there have been celebrities that wrestled. Some good (Mr. T at the first two WrestleManias), some bad (David Arquette tried to not become WCW World Heavyweight Champion), and just plain brutal (One of those Jersey Shore goofs is undefeated at WrestleMania). But where does Jay Leno fit in? We will find out.

We get an intro that looks like this event is sponsored by Saw. It tells us Diamond Dallas Page and Leno team up to take on Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, a team that is 2-0 at killing promotions. Tony Schivone welcomes everyone to the “Arena”, as we see Tony looks like a fat 1950’s gng member/doo wop singer. Mike Tenay wears a nice Canadian Tuxedo as Bobby “The Brain” Heenan looks like Whitey Bulger as they also discuss the battle royal later.

Mean Gene Okerlund tells us there are 200,000 bikers at Sturgis, guess that means there are more fans there that there will be in Dallas next year. Take that WrestleMania 32.We also hear that American Ironhorse made his bike.

Meng vs. The Barbarian (With Jimmy Hart)/ Tony tells us Meng has been dangerous lately. Well the man did once no-sell a Taser. Both men start brawling as Barbarian throws Meng around. Meng reacts to a chop by using a flurry of palm strikes before Barbarian uses a belly-to-back suplex. When Meng fights back, Tony brilliantly tells us theres more than meets the eye about these men. Jimmy Jack Funk might have a problem with that. Jimmy tries getting Meng’s attention, buying Barbarian time to roll out of the way of a splash. When Meng tries again, Barbarian again sends him over with a superplex. Barbarian then chokes Meng when a pin attempt gets two. Again Jimmy distracts Meng, leading to both Meng and Barbarian chopping each other. After Barbarian goes outside, he brings Meng with him, and smashes him against the steps. Despite a hard assault, Meng uses a Tongan death grip to gets the pin. Jimmy and Hugh Morriss then assault Meng before Jimmy splashes him. Leading to a brief moment when he remembers he’s Haku. Morris does his moonsault before Hacksaw Jim Duggan hits Morris harder than a lawsuit from an NXT rookie to help Meng fend off everyone else. As for who would win in a shoot between Haku and Barbarian, remember that Perry Saturn says that out of all the actual tough guys in WCW, Barbarian is the only one Haku wouldn’t kill.

We see shots of Sturgis before we see Public Enemy, the first Paul Heyman creations in ECW, take on Disco Inferno and Alex Wright, who really should’ve ridden down on a BMW. Flyboy Rocco Rock starts against Wright. After a quick feeling out, Wright uses a dragon twist that is reversed by Rocco. Wright manages to use agility to get out and tag is Disco. Rocco goes after him, but eats turnbuckle while Disco rolls him up to get two. After Johnny Grunge tags in, he briefly out-powers Disco before Disco tags in Wright. Wright uses his speed to again dodge the running assault. Rocco then helps to keep Wright down while teaming up on Disco. Tokyo Magnum brings in a trash can for his allies to use. This leads to Rocco bringing in a ladder. Disco and Wright go to the back, leaving Tokyo alone, wondering what’s going on. We find they listened to Bubba Ray Dudley, and got the table. Disco says if they want to make this an official street fight, Public Eney, and referee Brian Curtis, agree. This leads to both teams brawling with trashcans while Brain says this reminds him of a Waffle House. Johnny waffles Wright with a trashcan lid. Wright is sent outside as Johnny holds him on the table. Rocco goes to splash him, but Disco uses a trashcan lid to get the advantage. Wright uses a kitchen sink on Johnny inside the ring as Rocco hits Disco with a mailbox. Rocco then uses a trashcan lid to wallop Wright before bringing Tokyo inside. Rocco then hits Disco in the ankle with a trashcan lid before bringing him back in. Wright and Tokyo Pearl Harbor Johnny before Johnny rolls out of the way of Tokyo’s assault. Rocco takes Disco down with a ladder. After the problem inside the ring, both Wright and Tokyo leave the ring. Leaving Public Enemy to set up three tables in a stack ringside. Johnny sets up Disco on the top table while Rocco splashes through. When Johnny gets Disco inside to get the pin, Tokyo goes to splash, but Johnny allows him to splash Disco. Afterwards, Johnny gets the pin. An overbooked, but fun brawl.

Lee Marshall is talking to Dean Malenko about refereeing WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera. Dean basically says he will be neutral.

Raven (With Lodi) vs. Saturn vs. Kanyon in a Raven’s rules triangle match. Dubbing over Raven’s music leaves only Dave Penzer speaking. Saturn starts by brutalizing Kanyon. Raven uses a chair on Saturn, and gives it to Kanyon. Saturn battles out, and brawls with Kanyon outside. Raven keeps attacking Saturn, and leaving them to fight inside. Kanyon then dropkicks Raven, and they team up to attack Raven. Kanyon runs Raven into Saturn before putting Raven into #LegsweepCityBitch When Saturn and Kanyon turn to fight each other, Raven uses a chair on both of them. The action spills outside, leading to Saturn and Raven brawling up the ramp. Kanyon attacks both men, but then is dashed aside. Saturn tries to pin Raven, but gets two. Kanyon then gives Saturn a piledriver to also get two. Raven and Kanyon brawl off the stage before Saturn flies at both men. After another brief brawl, Kanyon brings  it back into the ring. Saturn uses a suplex to try to win, but Kanyon stops it. With all three spent, Raven tries a pin, but Kanyon stops it. Kanyon tries to superplex Satur n, but Raven tower of powers both men. He then tries a double evennflow, but Kanyon escapes, and brings Raven outside. Kanyon goes to splash Raven, but Lodi rolls him out of the way. Saturn Death Valley Drivers Raven, and tries to pin before botched interference by Lodi and Horace Hogan. Saturn uses a second Death Valley Driver to win. A bit too much outside, and the overbooking was too much.

A shot of the audience, and the trees nearby. Rey Mysterio Jr vs. Psychosis in a #1 Contenders match. We see Rey is wearing a kneebrace. Hope he has no further problems. Both men tie-up before breaking. Psychosis gets Rey down and crossface’s Rey. Rey gets out, but Psychosis starts working on the arm. Rey gets out, and sends Psychosis outside. Psychosis returns, and again attacks the arm. Rey gets out, but Psychosis rolls out of the way of Rey’s offense. Psychosis piledrives Rey to get two. Psychosis then assaults Rey in the corner before whipping him across the buckles several times. Psychosis uses a straitjacket- style move to further weaken Rey’s arms. Psychosis then flapjacks Rey before going for a splash. Rey gets his legs up, and starts bashing Psychosis into the buckle. Rey stays on Psychosis, causing Psychosis to roll out of the ring. Once the action returns to the ring, Rey crossbodies Psychosis to get two. Psychosis is able to battle out, and work on Rey’s trap muscles, then electric chairs Rey only to get two. Rey rolls out of the ring, but Psychosis follows him outside and dropkicks him. Once getting Rey inside, Psychosis half-Boston crabs Rey briefly before setting him up for a Frankensteiner. After a bodyslam, Psychosis tries to go up top, but a surge sends Rey to dropkick him outside. Rey then springboards outside on top of Psychosis. Rey throws him in, and gives him a sunset flip, only to get two. Rey thenmoonsaults Psychosis, but Psychosis gets a new surge himself. Rey battles back, and springboard hurricaranas Psychosis to get the win. Great match that needed no weapons to wow fans.

Another shot of the rally shows a big crowd with a gate of $0. We make more than that.

WCW Television Champion Stevie Ray vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. The cameraman goes to pet Pepe. Chavo does not believe the match should take place, as he is technically TV Champion because of the contract Chavo notarized himself. In reality, Stevie is TV Champion because Booker T is injured. Seeing a guy in an SS shirt raise the roof for Stevie is quite a shot. After Stevie refuses to honor that, Chavo wants a handshake. Ring of Honor is years away dude. Chavo then dropkicks Stevie to no avail. Chavo runs like he’s Shemp Howard, but is caught in the ring by Stevie. Stevie two-handed chokes Chavo until Chavo pokes him in the eye. Again, we have Chavo running, but this time, Stevie does not pursue. Stevie uses his slapjack, a lifting pedigree, to win. After the match, Stevie goes to hit him again, until Eddie Guerrero stops him. Chavo doesn’t trust Eddie.

Marshall is back. This time, interviewing Jericho. Jericho says Malenko won’t cheat him out of a win.

Scott Steiner vs. Rick Steiner is said by WCW President J.J. Dillion will not happen. Buff Bagwell brings Scott out of a stretcher saying Rick hurt Scott while the fans say the injury is “Bulls---“. Dillion announces the match will take place at Fall Brawl. Bagwell asks for sympy for and injured Scott, who is easier to understand with the oxygen mask. Dillion angers Scott back to life when he tells him if he doesn’t wrestle, he will be fired.

Brian Adams (With Vincent) vs. Steve “Never mind that s---, here comes Mongo” McMichael. Mongo wants to re-form the Four Horsemen. The two men lock horns before Mongo breaks at the ropes. Mongo says that’s how a good guy does it. Jeez, kayfabe it a little bit. Adams goes for a knucklelock, but kicks Mongo, and sends him off the ropes. Mongo battles back, and DDTs Adams. After asking Virg… Vincent for tips, Brah-Man returns to the ring, and uses power to bring Mongo down, and uses a legdrop to get two. Adams uses a nerve hold on Mongo, then throws him outside. Vincent sends Mongo into the steps before he Mongos up. Adams brings him back inside, and targets the back. Mongo rolls out of the way of an attempted kneedrop, and uses tackles before Adams again goes with power. An attempted piledriver leads to a ref bump, and botched interference by Vincent. Mongo gets Adams in the tombstone to win. A good match if this was a celebrity match, but Mongo is full-time “Baybay”.

Gene interviews women modeling the bike they’re trying to sell against Harley Davidson. We don’t want to know what Gene means by have some fun tonight.

Back to action, Malenko walks down to referee the match between Juventud and Jericho. Jericho seems to use his WWF theme a year before it will be produced. This is like Fred Ward being his own grandfather. Jericho trolls big when he tells everyone he wants them to want him, and that he rode in on a Honda, and accuses the bikers of being weekend riders. Guess he’s secretly trolling Bischoff. The match begins with both men locking-up briefly. Malenko starts getting in Jericho’s face when he keeps going to the corner. Juventud dropkicks Jericho, and gets a few hits in before Jericho battles out of it. Jericho sends Juventud outside, leading to Malenko grabbing Jericho’s hair, and giving Juventud time to get back in. Juventud sends Jericho to the outside, and planchas onto Jericho. Juventudgets him back into the ring, and legdrops off the rope to get two. Jericho reverses Juventud’s momentum briefly, but Juventud manages to get a quick attempt at a win. Juventud uses a Juvie driver to get only two due to Malenko slowing down his count. Again Malenko is slow to bring his hand down. Juventud goes outside to get his breath, but is kicked entering the ring. Jericho backsplashes, but again, Malenko is slow to three. Jericho locks a sleeper in, but Juventud gets out. Jericho stays on him until Juventud reverses a suplex. This leads to several kicks by Jericho. When Jericho attempts a lionsault, Juventud gets his legs up. After a splash by Juventud, we see that Malenko is slow with both men. Jericho double powerbombs Juventud, and kicks him to the apron. When Juventud goes outside, Jericho flies after him. Once it returns to the ring, Jericho goes for a pin, but Malenko’s slow speed angers Jericho. Juventud uses a DDT to try to pin. He then goes for a Juvie driver to get two. Juventud tries to go off the top, but Jericho stops him, and superplexes him off to the ring floor. Malenko begins counting normally when Juventud tries for a pin. Jericho gets the liontamer, but Juventud makes it to the rope. This leads to a quick brawl. When Malenko is accidentally hit, Jericho uses this to hit Juventud with the belt. This only gets two. Jericho kicks Malenko, who then springboards Juventud for a Frankensteiner off the top to win. After the match, Malenko punches Jericho to give Malenko a bit of revenge. Another great match on a show that only has two so far.

We see shots of the street, bikers riding around to be a deal for Bischoff.

A pin or over the top battle royal between the nWo, the Wolfpac, and WCW World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg. This is basically several RAW guys and a SmackDown guy. For the nWo, they are: WCW World Tag Team Champions Scott Hall and The Giant, Curt Hennig, and Scott Norton. Hall asks if anyone is here to see the nWo, mixed. He asks if they’re there for the Wolfpac. Cheers. He asks if there here to see Goldberg, big cheers. Guess we know who Hall will tase. For the Wolfpac: Kevin Nash, Sting, Lex Luger, Konnan. Nash says the Wolfpac is in the house, and Konnan also praises the group. For WCW: Goldberg, who is 129-0 going into this match. Everyone brawls to start. Hall and Nash start fighting as Goldberg and Giant fight. Nash gets Hall cornered as “Goldberg” chants fill everything. When Hall gets to Goldberg and tries to hit the Outsider’s edge, he’s sent out. Nash goes after him to attack, eliminating himself, and brawling to the back with Hall. Konnan goes after Hennig as we see Giant and Sting, two men who will wrestle at the same WrestleMania over a decade later, brawl. Goldberg cuts in and tries to defeat Giant, but Giant legsweeps him. Norton and Luger fight as Goldberg turns his attention to Norton, who then breaks up a Scorpion deathlock. Goldberg next eliminates Konnan, and tries to do the same with Hennig. Giant then helps Henning when he attacks Goldberg. Giant back suplexes Goldberg before attacking Sting. Norton and Luger brawl some more as Goldberg spears, and eliminates, Hennig, Sting and Norton are eliminated by Goldberg, and he then spears Luger. Giant eliminates Luger. Giant chokeslams Goldberg, but Goldberg Jason spots, spears, jackhammers, and pins Giant. Tony tries to say Goldberg is now 137-0. Not sure that’s how these wins work.

A final shot of the area before we get to the main event. Michael Buffer introduces the wrestlers in this match. Hogan and Bischoff are accompanied by Miss Elizabeth and The Disciple. One’s dressed like a biker in a sitcom, one’s bressed like a woman not wanting to look like a biker chick. Buffer says Hogan is the most recognized face in wrestling. WWE knows that all too well in 2015. DDP and Leno are accompanied by Tonight Show band Leader Kevin Eubanks. Interesting fact: Leno was trained by Kanyon. Leno throws water on the nWo, and some bikers. After staring a hole through each other, Hogan and DDP start. They lock-up several times before Hogan flexes. Don’t worry DDP, you’ll find a way to get in great shape AND help many. DDP slaps Hogan, and Leno slaps Hogan. When Hogan goes outside, Eubanks even gets a shot in. Hogan returns to the ring, and tells Disciple something about Eubanks. We can guess what. Hogan then chokes DDP in the corner before tagging in Bischoff. Leno tries to get in, but is stopped. DDP gets a quick move in on Bischoff before tagging in Leno. Bischoff scurries to Hogan and tags him in. Leno dodges Hogan, swats Bischoff, and mocks Hogan for being bald. No lawsuit here. Leno tags in DDP, who blitzes Hogan before getting poked in the eye. Hogan works DDP’s arm, and tags in Leno. Leno twists Hogan’s arm. Not great to see, but DDP set him up. Hogan gets out, and knees Leno in the corner. Hogan goes to run at Leno, but he rolls out of the way and tags in DDP. They team up on Hogan briefly before Hogan goes outside. Eubanks uses a chair outside. Once the action returns to the ring, DDP takes Bischoff out, but Hogan then attacks. Hogan clotheslines DDP in the corner. Once Bischoff tags in, he kicks DDP and uses the martial arts Ernest “The Cat” Miller. DDP fights back, but is hit with tape-wrapped metal by Hogan. DDP kicks out. Hogan tags in, and uses the weapon some more. Hogan uses a big boot, but stalls too long. DDP goes to tag in Leno, but Hogan tries to stop him. DDP uses a desperation clothesline, and both Leno and Bischoff tag in. After Bischoff pulls the hair of Leno, Leno low-blows him and bashes his head in the corner. Hogan distracts Leno long enough for Bischoff to grab him. Leno gets out, causing Hogan to accidentally hit Bischoff. After his, only Bischoff is in the ring. Eubanks sneaks in and diamond cutters him to help his team get the win. Afterwards, Hogan, Bischoff, and Disciple assault the faces, but Goldberg, wearing the WCW Championship, spears both Hogan and Bischoff. This was not a great celebrity match, but it’s not like he won the WCW Championship.

In all, the event dragged. The only truly great matches were the cruiserweight matches. Sadly, too many of those men were held down until they either stayed in WCW until it closed, or defected to the WWF and got to get a good bit higher up. As for the big main event, Celebrities only really work when they look like they are in good enough shape to handle their opponent. That being said, this was an instance where one wrestler was worn down a good bit, and the other is a non-wrestler. So as far as this match, it’s in the middle. Well that was the penultimate review. Join us next week when finally, we put one last bad PPV under the microscope. Until then, have a good weekend.

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