Sunday 27 November 2016

WCW Hog Wild 1996 Review

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Good evening pencil-necked geeks and parasites to another edition of the only wrestling review series that punches you right in the breadbasket: Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! What a night Survivor Series was and by that, I mean Survivor Series seems to always be full of controversy when it goes to Canada eh? Ok enough of the terrible jokes, you are not here for poor entertainment and if you are, thanks but Monday Night Raw has got you covered for that. Anyways, I am here as always to provide my expert analysis on the sport of professional wrestling and tonight shall be no different as I review WCW’s Hog Wild 1996! If you remember from my last review, The New World Order had been formed before our very eyes as Hulk Hogan turned on all those who had ever cheered him to join the villainous duo of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Hogan has his sights on the world title held by The Giant while The Outsiders will do battle with Sting and Lex Luger. Other big matches include Bull Nakano vs Madusa and Ric Flair battling Eddie Guerrero. So, let us waste no more time and dive head first into Hog Wild 1996!

Opening Promo

Eric Bischoff is a big fan of motorcycles and this is the reason for Hog Wild, a pay per view which takes place from Sturgis which is a big motorcycling event, Tony Schiavone cuts a promo over the event and is sporting a mullet and a denim jacket. I am interested into how the crowd is going to react to the matches because this does not look like a wrestling crowd.

(WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match) Ultimo Dragon W/ Sonny Onoo vs Rey Mysterio Jr.

Mike Tenay is here to call all the moves while Bobby Heenan makes corny jokes, a good combination don’t you agree? Lock up and Dragon takes the arm, Rey flips out and brings Dragon down to the mat. Rey takes the back, Indian Deathlock by Mysterio. Dragon rolls out but Rey goes back to the leg, sleeper by Dragon. Spinning heel kick by Dragon, both men practice their moonsaults and flipping sequences without the crowd popping because they don’t know what is going on, they are not conditioned to react like wrestling fans.

 Dragon decides to kick the seven shades of shit out of Mysterio’s ass, huge dropkick by Dragon. Handspring elbow in the corner by Dragon, Dragon motions for a Liger Bomb. Beautiful move but Dragon decides to taunt, Figur Four by Dragon. Mysterio reaches the ropes but the damage is done, Argentine backbreaker by Dragon. Surfboard stretch by Dragon, Rey flips over for a cover but it is a two count. Dragon chops and kicks Mysterio in the corner, Mysterio dodges the handspring, springboard moonsault and a baseball slide. Rey nails a springboard plancha, Rey throws Dragon back into the ring.

 Diving hurricanrana from the top rope, shoulder block from the apron by Rey but Dragon sees the springboard coming and Dragon wipes out Rey with a dropkick and a plancha. German suplex with a bridge by Dragon, two count for challenger. Springboard moonsault by Dragon and a scoop slam, Dragon nails a moonsault for a two count. Mysterio counters the running Ligerbomb with a hurricanrana, Rey props Dragon on the top rope. 

Super hurricanrana is blocked the first time but Rey lands the hurricanrana the second time for the win! Cruiserweights are the best openers, match began slow with the crowd not reacting to the two wrestlers but once Dragon and Mysterio starting flipping all over the place, the audience came alive and the two men kept the audience’s attention until the very end. Good showing for Dragon on his pay per view debut while Rey looked like a good  underdog who overcame the odds against the bigger man.

Winner: Mysterio over Dragon via Super Hurricanrana!

Scott Norton vs Ice Train

Two former partners go head to head, Norton was never treated as a big deal in WCW while in New Japan, Norton was the top gaijin (foreign wrestler) who even won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. I do not have much information on Ice Train apart from being Norton’s partner before their split. They lock up and Norton chops Train’s chest before Train battles back. Norton beats up Train’s taped arm, Norton has the control. 

Chops and headbutt all around between these two behemoths, Norton hurls Train to the floor and Norton rams Train’s arm into the ringpost. Norton is brutalizing Train while Train is doing his best to sell his injured arm. Train fires up and scoop slams Norton but the arm pain is too much. Norton regains control and chops up Train’s chest, Norton drives his knee into the shoulder of Ice Train. Train does not give in, he continues to take the abuse with shows no signs of ending.

 More clubbing blows reign down on Ice Train but wait, Train reaches way down and chops Norton. No, I am mistaken Norton is killing Train once more with his knee in Train’s arm. Train nails a powerslam out of nowehere, two count and a series of clotheslines by Train. Norton goes low, single arm DDT and a fujiwara armbar. 

Train gives up to the armbar and Norton refuses to break the hold and stomps all over Train. That was short and a squash, Norton tore apart Ice Train, the future would not be kind to Ice Train and I can see why after this performance.

Winner: Scott Norton over Ice Train via Fujiwara Armbar!

Bull Nakano W/ Sonny Onoo vs Madusa (Battle of the Bikes Match)

Onoo comes to the ring riding a Kamikaze while Madusa rides a pink Harley to the ring. Nakano attacks Madusa from behind and smacks Madusa with nunchucks. Massive hair-pull from Nakano, make it double trouble for Madusa. Nakano slams Madusa into the mat and places her foot across her chest. Short arm clothesline, scoop slam and Madusa bridges out of a cover. 

Pair of neckbreakers takes down Nakano for a two count, Nakano twists Madusa into the Scorpion hold that Paige would use in WWE. Rope assisted DDT by Nakano, two count for Nakano. Sleeper hold by Nakano, Madusa kicks and kicks but Nakano is too strong for the time being, hurricanrana by Madusa for a two count. Spinning leg kick, Nakano dodges the kick the second time and drills Madusa with a clothesline. 

Madusa suckers Nakano in for a German suplex, Nakano returns the favour with a back suplex. Two counts for both women, sunset flip by Madusa. Nakano kicks out at two, Nakano nails a back suplex. Now, I get all sorts of confused as Madusa kicks out by having her shoulder up before the three but the referee counts the pinfall. 

Confused, Onoo grabs a sledgehammer and per the pre-match stipulation, Onoo goes after Madusa’s motorcycle but hold on a second as Madusa is the winner for getting her shoulder up and Madusa takes the hammer and smashes up Onoo’s motorcycle. Erm, that was short and the ending messed up the hard work the women put in, these are two great workers but this was not one of their nights.

Winner: Madusa over Nakano via German Suplex!

Dean Malenko vs Chris Benoit W/ Miss Elizabeth & Woman

Oh, this could be good and that might be the understatement of the year. The two men talk trash with one another before Benoit takes down Malenko, Malenko rolls over Benoit but Benoit fires back on Malenko. Series of knees by Malenko, series of knees by Benoit. Knee to the ribs by Benoit floors Malenko, Malenko is rammed into the turnbuckle.

 Malenko counters Benoit in the corner and Malenko drops Benoit with a vertical suplex. Cover and a two count, neckbreaker by Malenko. Elbow to the chest and it is a two count for Malenko, sleeper hold by Malenko. Benoit kicks Malenko in the ribs and goes to work on The Iceman. Benoit uses the ropes to choke Malenko, leg drop by Benoit. Cover and Malenko puts his feet on the ropes, hard chop by Benoit. Back elbow by Benoit and it is a two count, Benoit and Malenko chain wrestle into a series of pin which they make look effortless. Backslide is blocked for Benoit, roll by Malenko and now Malenko bridges out with a backslide.

 Two count for Malenko, hiptoss into a short-arm scissors. Benoit rolls through to have Malenko’s shoulders on the mat, Benoit powers up Malenko and slams The Iceman to the canvas. Snap suplex by Benoit for a two count, abdominal stretch by Benoit. Malenko tries fighting back but Benoit locks in the sleeper. Both men trade forearms, crossbody collision in the middle of the ring. Malenko dodges Benoit in the corner but Benoit halts Malenko with a snap suplex, diving headbutt by Benoit for a two count! Benoit attempts a tombstone, Malenko slides out for a tombstone of his own. Two count for Malenko, Malenko nails Benoit with a boot.

 Benoit counters a Texas Cloverleaf attempt into an inside cradle, Malenko powers out and nails Benoit with a series of forearms. Malenko knocks himself and Benoit to the floor with a clothesline over the top rope. Malenko rolls Benoit into the ring, Benoit crotches Malenko on the top rope. Superplex by Benoit, scoop slam by Benoit. Malenko blocks a German suplex and nails a German suplex of his own. Small package by Benoit for a two count, short-arm clothesline by Benoit for another two count. 

Malenko nails a clothesline, belly to belly overhead suplex. Benoit kicks out at two, Benoit out of nowhere, scores with a Northern lights suplex. German suplex with a bridge for two by Benoit. Scoop slam by Benoit into a high angle Boston Crab. Big elbow by Benoit, plancha to the floor with both men showing the effects of their battle. Pin attempt by Benoit, two count for Benoit. Malenko rolls through a German suplex for a victory roll.

 Backslide does not work for Malenko, Benoit is back on his feet. Another pin attempt by Malenko, two count. Benoit tries to force down Malenko’s shoulders but Malenko will not be put down. Powerbomb by Benoit and it is a two count, scoop slam by Benoit. Malenko plays possum and crotches Benoit, superplex by Malenko. Powerbomb by Malenko but we have a draw as the time limit has expired.

However, we have five minute over-time period, back suplex by Benoit. Two count for Benoit, tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Benoit. Texas Cloverleaf by Benoit on Malenko, Malenko is dragged to the middle of the ring. Malenko fights to the ropes and drills Benoit with an enzuigiri. Benoit shoves Malenko into the turnbuckle but Malenko smacks into Benoit and both men are down. Benoit goes for the softened-up leg of Malenko, leg grapevine by Benoit. Benoit straddles the leg of Malenko with Malenko surviving until the end of the overtime.

Another overtime period begins and the fans are going bored of the event, big back body drop by Benoit. Malenko stops Benoit with a dragon screw. Malenko misses a short-arm clothesline, Benoit nails the German suplex for two. Irish whip by Benoit, Malenko holds onto the ropes while Benoit smacks his head off the mat and Malenko locks in The Texas Cloverleaf, Malenko transitions into an STF. Woman saves Benoit which distracts Malenko long enough for Benoit to secure the win with a roll-up.

 I think thirty minutes was a bit too long for these two, it was all technical, there were great reversals and transitions but two overtimes hurt the overall match. Another thing that bugs me is I am not sure who comes off as the face in this match. Malenko is a hired gun for The Dungeon of Doom to take out Benoit while Benoit as part of The Four Horsemen has the heel manager in Woman and rolled up Malenko by using the ropes.

Winner: Chris Benoit over Malenko via roll up!

(WCW Tag Team Championship Match) Harlem Heat © W/ Sister Sherri/Col. Robert Parker vs The Steiner Brothers

Another match that could be good, Harlem Heat antagonize the fans before starting the match. Scott attacks Booker T, huge tiger bomb by Scott and Scott snap suplexes Stevie Ray. Harlem Heat powder with The Steiner Brothers controlling the ring. Shoulder block by Scott, Booker blocks the hiptoss, Scott dodges the axe kick and drops Booker with a military press slam. Scott uses the trusty ten punches in the corner and a huge hiptoss takes down Booker T. Booker tags in Stevie Ray and Scott faces off with Stevie Ray.

 Lock up and rake to the eyes by Stevie, scoop slam by Ray. Elbow to the back of the head, Scott dodges the big boot. Exploder suplex by Scott and in comes Rick Steiner. Rick snapmares and applies a sleeper on Stevie Ray, Stevie blocks the corner clothesline with a boot. Leaping clothesline by Rick brings a two count, tag to Scott. Scott drops his head into the groin of Stevie Ray. Stevie rakes the eyes to allow Booker into the match. Sidewalk slam by Booker, Scott drills Booker with a belly to belly suplex. Two count for Scott Steiner, Rick clubs the back of Booker T. Huge suplex by Rick Steiner.

Booker T Irish whips Rick and Stevie Ray drills Rick in the back, Stevie goes to work on Rick. Clothesline and a two count for Stevie Ray, Ray applies a reverse chinlock to wear down The Dog-faced Gremlin. Stevie knees Rick in the ribs and tags Booker T. Rick catches Booker for a big powerslam. Tag to Scott who locks in an STF. Stevie Ray breaks the submission, and Scott makes a quick tag to Rick. Rick uses a camel clutch on Booker, Booker Irish whips Rick and Ray lowbridges Rick to get the heat on Rick for a second time.

 Sherri rakes the back of Rick while Booker handles Scott. Rick dodges an axe kick from Booker but Stevie prevents the tag to Scott. Stevie grabs a reverse chinlock, Rick fires up but Stevie turns off the lights with a giant axe kick. Tag to Booker T, Booker T stomps Rick and looks for the three count but only gets a two count. Crowd wills on Rick Steiner but Booker cuts off Rick with a Harlem sidekick. Backbreaker by Stevie Ray, Booker T receives the tag and misses an elbow from the second rope.

 Hot tag to Scott, overhead belly to belly on Booker T, Rick takes down Stevie. Parker is on the apron, powder is in both Booker and Scott’s eyes before Parker nails Scott with a cane and Booker makes the cover. The match I would compare this to would be The Hardys vs MNM from ECW’s December to Dismember. The match went on for way too long as they restarted the match over midway through as the heat was put on Rick not once but twice and the screwy finish which was seconds into Scott’s hot tag was disappointing. That’s been the second match I have had high hopes for and they have been dashed.

Winners: Harlem Heat over The Steiner Brothers via Shenanigans!

(WCW United States Championship Match) Ric Flair © vs Eddie Guerrero

After vanquishing Konnan to claim The United States Heavyweight Championship, Eddie Guerrero is the first challenger on pay per view for Flair’s gold. Flair slaps Guerrero to begin this match, lock-up with a clean break from Eddie Guerrero. Lock up and a side headlock by Eddie, Eddie shoves over Flair. Flair powders to recover, shoulder block by Flair.

 Eddie floats out of a back suplex but lands heavy on his knee. Eddie seems to have tweaked his knee, chops by Eddie in the corner. Eddie grabs a side headlock and does not let go with Flair trying to roll over Eddie. Flair and Eddie begin brawling with Eddie gaining control, Irish whip and a back body drop. Flair pokes Eddie in the eyes and chops the challenger. Right hands by Flair and chops in the corner. More chops by Flair in the corner, Eddie turns the tide on Flair with right hands and chops. 

Flair trademark flip and a massive dropkick. Back body drop by Eddie, and Flair is clotheslined to the floor. Flair begs for mercy but Eddie is not falling for it this time. More eye pokes by Flair, huge low blow by Flair as Woman distracts the referee. Crossbody by Eddie and the challenger gains a two count. Eddie climbs high, diving sunset flip.

Flair does not go down but Eddie counters Flair’s punch, drop toe hold by Eddie and Eddie applies The Figure Four. Headscissors by Eddie for a two count, Flair chops Eddie and Eddie returns the favour. Tornado DDT by Eddie for a two count, Flair begs for mercy and Eddie responds with a strut. Eddie misses a corner splash, Eddie tosses Flair off the top rope for a two count. Eddie tries for a sunset flip and yanks down Flair’s trunks.

 Cover and it is a two count for Eddie, Eddie pokes the eyes and grabs a side headlock. Eddie lands The Frog Splash but Eddie clutches the knee. Flair drills Eddie with a clothesline and Flair applies The Figure Four. Flair uses the ropes for leverage and Woman for extra pressure. Eddie’s shoulders are counted down and Flair retains the championship.

 I was not feeling this match due to its similarity to the match with Konnan. The exact spots move for move almost with the Konnan match, only positive of this match was with the story told, Eddie did look like a tough babyface who could one day topple The Nature Boy.

Winner: Ric Flair over Eddie Guerrero via Figure Four pin!

The Outsiders vs Lex Luger & Sting

Hall and Nash battle the team of Sting and Lex Luger, Hall and Nash came off looking like stars against Sting and Savage last month as Sting sold his ass off for these two and sell the story that these two need to be stopped and are a force to be reckoned with. Luger was taking out accidently by Sting at last month’s pay per view so let’s see what happens when Luger gets his hands on The NWO. 

Luger begins the match with Hall, strong lock up with Luger outpowering Hall. Hall grabs the arm and elevates Luger to the mat. Hall mocks Luger’s pose, Hall continues working the arm with Luger being humiliated by Scott Hall. Luger hiptosses Hall and scores with a high knee. Huge scoop slam by Luger and Hall tags in the big man Kevin Nash. Nash tells Luger to step aside and spits at Sting, Sting wipes out the spit and reaches for the tag from Luger.

 Sting spits back at Nash, Nash drills Sting with a forearm, Sting takes it and smashes Nash back with a huge right. Sting looked for the scoop slam but Nash was too big for Sting, Sting continues punching Nash but Nash is still on his feet. Eye poke by Sting and Sting scores with a scoop slam. Cheap shot to Hall and corner stomps to Nash. Nash catches Sting on his shoulders, snake eyes and an apron clothesline from Hall. 

Hall roughs up Sting in the corner before Big Sexy grabs Sting by the hair and begins kneeing and elbowing Sting. Sting is clubbed across the back by the monster Nash, quick tag to Hall who picks apart Sting. Sting finds himself eating a fallaway slam courtesy of Scott Hall, stomps to the back of the head by Scott Hall.

Scott Hall drills Sting with a corner clothesline, Sting flops to the canvas. Nasty kicks to the head by Hall before Nash becomes the legal man. Nash chokes Sting with his foot in the corner while Hall takes a cheap shot from the apron. Luger is dying to get into the match to help Sting, Sting fires up on Nash.

 Right hands and kicks to the mid-section by the heart and soul of WCW, Nash grabs a front chancery and cuts the ring in half for Sting. Nash nails a huge knee and Sting drops to his knees once more. Sting manages to nail a shoulder block and both men fall to the canvas. Hall gets the tag and Sting cannot make it to the corner to tag Luger. Right hands by Scott Hall floor Sting, cover and it is a two count. Hall and Nash combine to plant Sting with a huge boot, tag to Scott Hall. Sting blocks The Outsider’s Edge and back body drops Hall. 

Tag to Luger, Luger runs wild with clotheslines on both Outsiders. Stinger Splash on Nash, Sting and Nash are on the floor while Luger hammers Hall in the ring. Sting has the Scorpion Deathlock on Nash, Luger signals for The Torture Rack. Hall’s leg hits the referee in the face and referee Nick Patrick chop blocks Luger? Fast count by Nick Patrick and Hall has pinned Luger.

 Once again, The Outsiders were out over strong by Sting who sold with every piece of might that he had to establish Hall and Nash as a big threat to WCW. Luger was fine in his role, hot tag was good with a lot of fire from Luger and the finish was cheap but understandable. It was a good idea to have The Outsiders go over in the first match against WCW main-event stars since Bash at The Beach ended in a no-contest.

Winners: The Outsiders over Luger & Sting via Crooked Referee Nick Patrick!

(WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Hulk Hogan vs The Giant W/ Jimmy Hart

The champion The Giant takes on the former hero of the people Hulk Hogan. Hogan turned on the world when he joined Nash and Hall at last month’s Bash at The Beach. It was a boom for wrestling and WCW and here we are one month later with Hogan going up against a very green Big Show for the championship. This match could be ugly ladies and gentlemen but let’s hope that I am wrong. The red and yellow of Hulk Hogan have been replaced with the black and white brother. Giant’s music is as generic and lame as possible.

 Hogan stalls on the floor knowing he wants no part of The Giant. Hogan begins walking out of the arena, Giant does not allow the referee to count out Hogan. Hogan slowly makes his way into the ring, Hogan pummels The Giant who no-sells all of Hogan’s offence. Hogan bails and rethinks his game-plan for battling the champion. Hogan grabs a side headlock and Show shoulder blocks Hogan to the mat. Hogan is on the outside frustrated.

Hogan grabs a side headlock and The Giant back suplexes Hogan who powders to the floor again. Hogan tells The Giant to bring it and The Giant tries to grab Hogan but Hogan holds onto the ropes. After five minutes, we have a lock-up. The Giant overpowers Hogan despite Hogan’s best efforts. Hogan pulls down Giant by using his hair and we have a hammerlock.

 We are at least 10 minutes into this match and this is all that has happened. The Giant final breaks free of the hold but Hogan pulls Giant to the mat again with a hair-pull. Headbutt by The Giant, Hogan is on the floor! Hogan drags out The Giant and Hogan pummels The Giant on the floor, wham and The Giant meets the ringpost. The Giant blocks Hogan’s attempts to break up Giant’s head and hurls The Hulkster into the ring. Back breaker by The Giant and there is a cover for a two count.

 Huge scoop slam by The Giant but The Giant misses the elbow, Hogan is on his feet. Right hands by Hogan on The Giant but The Giant is the man who is hulking up in this match. Big boot by The Giant and The Giant is signalling for The Chokeslam.

Nash runs down to help The Giant, Hall eats a Chokeslam. Nash had a weapon but Show Chokeslams Nash but Hogan has the world championship and Hogan pins The Giant. That was garbage, The Giant was nowhere near ready for a main event match yet WCW has put the world title on The Giant in his first match which was booking themselves into the corner.

 The Giant had been protected in quick matches and tag matches but this was a joke. First ten minutes were Hogan on the outside stalling and the next five minutes were Hogan holding Giant in a hammerlock. It was slow, hard to watch and the icing on the cake was The Giant hulking up and nailing terrible offence on the NWO before being laid out with a belt shot to the face. 

Also, The Giant is dead after the world championship shot, Giant lays there for more than 5 minutes like a complete jabron. The Bootyman Brutus has a NWO shirt on and Hogan celebrates with cake. Hogan turns on The Bootyman who thought he was joining The New World Order. Hogan spraypaints the world championship with The NWO Logo.

My what an event this was, I can’t see too many positives in this show to be honest. There were several matches that I was looking forward to on this show and with what I saw, all of those matches were disappointing. Malenko and Benoit went too long with a dumb finish while Steiners vs Harlem Heat was so long that they even reset the whole match at one point in time. Guerrero vs Flair was a carbon copy of Konnan vs Flair, Konnan and Guerrero suffered from not being their charismatic personalities by which we know them by today.

 Nakano vs Madusa had a confusing finish where the announcers had no clue who had won while Ice Train vs Norton was a squash. The bright spots on the card were Dragon vs Mysterio and The Outsiders battling Luger & Sting, these were two matches that were fun to watch for different reasons. Mysterio vs Dragon was exciting and demanded your attention while The Outsiders vs Sting & Luger was great for the dominating display by The Outsiders who looked like a massive threat and Sting’s selling which made the babyfaces so sympathetic.

 Finally, that main event was an abortion of a match, the stalling and the green as goose shit Giant were not a good combination for the main-event scene. So The NWO continued to gain momentum albeit the poor main event match that was Hogan vs The Giant.

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