Sunday 12 February 2017

WCW Road Wild 1997 Review

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Welcome lovers and losers to another heart-wrenching edition of the only wrestling review series on the internet that Bayley would not hug: Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! It’s WCW time and we are stuck in 1997! It’s Road Wild, the event where WCW perform in front of non-wrestling motorcycle enthusiasts because Eric Bischoff loves himself some motrocycles. The card is stacked for this pay per view as we have The Giant vs Savage, DDP vs Curt Hennig, The Outsiders vs The Steiner Brothers and Hulk Hogan vs Lex Luger. Start your engines for this is WCW’s 1997 Road Wild.

Opening Promo

The biggest thing about this pay per view is that Lex Luger is champion, remember that fatal four way Luger won months ago? Well, it was relevant as Luger would defeat Hogan on Nitro for the championship. Can Hogan recapture the gold? Why did someone beat Hogan before Sting? Is Luger really the top babyface? So many questions, only some answers.

Scott Norton & Buff Bagwell W/ Vincent vs Harlem Heat

Buff Bagwell returns to the pay per view, have not seen the man in months while the last team we saw Harlem Heat, these two were coming off as heels battling Luger and The Giant. Guess Booker and Stevie Ray has swapped over again, they have got ridden of Sherri.

Booker and Buff to start, lock-up and knee from Booker. Buff eats two elbows from Booker but nails two hiptosses and a dropkick, dropkick to Stevie Ray and a clothesline to Booker. Tag to Norton, shoulders from Norton, Norton misses a corner splash, Booker tags Stevie Ray. Norton reverses an Irish whip and sidewalk slams Stevie Ray. Booker nails a cheap shot to Norton from the apron, Stevie Ray nails a scoop slam and tags Booker. Booker suplexes Norton, flying forearm and Buff makes the save. Booker gets caught off a spinkick, Norton drives Booker to the mat. Tag to Buff, Buff knocks down Stevie Ray and Booker before Booker Irish whips Buff and Stevie Ray lowbridges Buff.

Tag to Stevie Ray, shoulder block by Stevie Ray. Two count for Stevie Ray, reverse chinlock by Stevie Ray. Scissors Kick by Booker, cover and a two count for Booker. Reverse chinlock by Booker, Buff battles back but eats clubbing blows until Buff explodes out of the corner with a clothesline. Stevie Ray gets the tag, Stevie Ray puts the boots to Buff. Here comes Jacqueline, Buff nails Booker with a crossbody, Booker springs up with a right hand to Buff. Another chinlock, Buff slides out of a powerbomb and powerbombs Booker. Tag to Norton, clothesline to Harlem Heat.

Shoulder block from Norton, Stevie Ray slams Buff. Vincent distracts Stevie Ray, Norton nails Booker with a Shoulderbreaker but Jacqueline attacks Norton with a sleeper. Thrustkick from Booker and a Harlem sidekick to Norton, Booker pins Norton as Jacqueline holds down Norton’s foot.

Standard tag match but what was the psychology of this match, Norton and Buff who are the evil invaders of The NWO work as the babyfaces of the match? Buff sells and we build to a Norton hot tag? Who am I supposed to be cheering in this match? I guess they wished for Harlem Heat to win but keep the two as heels? Well, do not put them in there with The NWO then!

Winners: Harlem Heat over Buff & Norton via Harlem Sidekick!

Konnan vs Rey Mysterio

With the dissolution of The Dungeon of Doom as Kevin Sullivan had to retire, Konnan would join The NWO. That’s all I have in terms of backstory for this match, Mysterio is Mexican as is Konnan so let’s put them together. A little narrative going into the match is Mysterio’s leg may be injured so let’s see if that affects the match.

Konnan charges in, drop toehold by Mysterio. Springboard dropkick by Mysterio, knee to the head. Headscissors by Mysterio, Konnan elevates Mysterio onto the top turnbuckle, clothesline by Konnan. Rolling lariat by Konnan and a variation of the figure four by Konnan. Konnan slaps and wrenches the leg of Mysterio, Mysterio powders and scores with a beautiful slingshot hurricanrana but Mysterio holds his knee and Konnan chop blocks the knee. Mysterio kicks off Konnan but Mysterio is in real trouble. Clothesline by Mysterio creates an opening.

Mysterio cannot stand so Konnan goes back to attacking the leg. Heel hook from Konnan, Konnan is trying to unmask Mysterio. Powerbomb by Konnan who continues ripping at the mask, Mysterio’s mask is torn off but Mysterio is able to recover and keep control of his mask. Dropkick and leg drop by Mysterio, Mysterio clutches his leg in pain. Springboard split-legged moonsault goes awry for Mysterio, Mysterio is limping heavily. Dropkick to the knee by Konnan, stump puller by Konnan.

Mysterio rolls to the apron, Konnan taunts and poses for the fans, Konnan is licking his chops wanting to destroy Mysterio. Belly to belly suplex by Konnan, Mysterio fights back for a victory roll, two count for Mysterio. Dropkick to Konnan’s knee, another dropkick by Mysterio. Mysterio is climbing to the top rope slowly, Konnan catches Mysterio for his cradle DDT and Konnan locks in The Tequila Sunrise for the tapout.

Decent match with a good story, Mysterio tweaks the leg and Konnan goes after the leg over and over. Mysterio fights through the pain but guts cannot overcome the strategy of Konnan and Konnan walks away with the win due to repeated attacks to Rey Mysterio’s leg. I do not think Mysterio shoved a lot of his usual fire and awesome comebacks in this match but I can let that pass for the narrative being told and Konnan’s sick cradle DDT and finish playing into the story told during the match.

Winner: Konnan over Mysterio via Cradle DDT!

Malenko & Jeff Jarrett W/ Debra McMichael vs Chris Benoit & Mongo

Jarrett stole Mongo’s woman and Malenko was not doing much in terms of titles, this is an elimination tag team match which means we could see two on one in this match which I hope it comes down to Mongo vs Jarrett and Malenko because Mongo is a god among men.

Benoit and Jarrett start, Jarrett hiptosses Benoit and tags Malenko. Shoulder block by Benoit, some lovely wrestling transitions from Benoit and Malenko, Malenko blocks a suplex, standing switches until Malenko has a small package, two count for Malenko. Benoit tags Mongo, drop toehold by Malenko. Benoit cheap shots Malenko, tilt-a-whirl sideslam by Mongo. Mongo tags Benoit, chop and right hand from Benoit. Knee to the ribs by Benoit and a tag to Mongo, scoop slam by Mongo. Tag to Benoit and Benoit stomps all over Malenko. Elbow to the face, cover and a two for Benoit.

Benoit puts the boots to Malenko in the corner, tag to Mongo. Sidewalk slam by Mongo, tag to Benoit. Snap suplex by Benoit, tag to Mongo and a running powerslam. Three point stance but Malenko rolls out of the way and tags Jarrett. Jawbreaker by Jarrett and Jarrett throws Mongo on top of himself and Mongo eliminates Jarrett as Jarrett did not want to fight Mongo.

Jeff Jarrett has been eliminated by Mongo!

Malenko is eating boots from Benoit and Mongo, backslide by Malenko for a two count. Benoit clotheslines Malenko, Malenko fires back with a back suplex. Malenko is going for The Texas Cloverleaf, Benoit made it to the ropes. Tombstone piledriver by Benoit, Benoit nails a Diving Headbutt. Tag to Mongo, stomps by Mongo. Mongo Spike and The Four Horseman beat Malenko.

Are you telling me that there might be a chance of Jarrett battling Mongo for the title again? Please no, I love Mongo but I do not want to see that. It was alright, more of an exhibition and it borders on squash from Benoit and Mongo, Malenko sold well while his was in the ring and had sympathy going  for him but this match could have been left off the card as you are missing nothing.

Winners: Benoit & Mongo over Malenko via Mongo Spike!

(WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match) Chris Jericho vs Alex Wright ©

Jericho had lost the championship since the last pay per view, that’s disappointing considering Jericho beating Syxx seemed like a big deal as Syxx had terrorized the cruiserweights for months with his NWO buddies. Nonetheless, Wright is your champion and this could be the first time I have seen him on pay per view during my time covering WCW pay per views.

Lock-up, hammerlock by Jericho and Wright reverses and runs to the ropes once Jericho takes control. Lock-up and Wright takes down Jericho with a snapmare. Wright chops Jericho and runs away for the second time. Arm drag and chops from Jericho, Wright powders to the floor. Wright and Jericho trade holds before Wright pulls down Jericho by the hair. Side headlock from Wright, elbow to the head of Jericho. Spinning heel kick from Jericho and Wright is on the apron.

Eye poke by Wright, Jericho crotches Wright on the top rope. Springboard dropkick and Wright is on the floor, springboard plancha by Jericho. Scoop slam on the floor, Wright suplexes Jericho on the floor. Chops by the champion, Wright is on the top rope and Jericho hurls Wright off the top rope. Jericho grabs a hold on the arm, forearm shots by Jericho. Spinning heel kick by Wright off an Irish whip, stomps to the head by Alex Wright. Wright is on the top rope, knee to the sternum by the champion. Dancing from Wright, elbows to the face. Back suplex by Wright, Wright misses a moonsault.

Shoulder block by Jericho, corner clotheslines and Wright flops to the mat. Lionsault and senton by Jericho, cover and a two count. Powerbomb by Jericho, cover and a two count for the challenger. Jericho is on the top rope, Wright crotches Jericho. Superplex, cover and a two for the champion. Jericho counters a German suplex for a victory roll, two count for Jericho. Jericho tries an O’Connor roll and Wright reverses with a hold on the tights for the win.

Solid match, Jericho is not your best babyface at the moment, Jericho is progressing but still feels a tad bland in personality, the heel turn will be a welcome change from goody two-shoes Jericho. Wright impressed me with his heel persona, the stalling and hair-pulling was subtle but a lot of fun. I do not think neither character was strong enough to carry the match which maes the match come off as a flat.

Winner: Wright over Jericho via O’Connor roll!

Ric Flair vs Syxx

Last month, Flair was a heel battling Piper but now it looks like The Nature Boy has turned a corner or WCW loves heel vs heel matches. Anyways, Flair and Syxx face-off. Lock-up and a side headlock from Syxx, shoulder block. Flair shoulder blocks Syxx, lures Syxx in and Syxx goes tumbling to the floor. Syxx takes a moment to rethink his strategy, lock-up and top wristlock by Flair. Chop by Flair, Flair tells Syxx to suck it which draws a response from the crowd. Side headlock from Syxx, shoulder block by Syxx but a chop from Flair.

Flair eye pokes Syxx, Irish whip by Flair. Syxx ducks and nails a huge spinning heel kick, chops by Syxx. Kicks to the ribs and a spinning sole butt floors Flair. Foot choke in the corner and a bronco buster from Syxx. Reverse chinlock by Syxx, Syxx kicks Flair in the corner. Scoop slam by Syxx, Syxx flies and nails a beautiful guillotine leg drop for two. Flair kicks Syxx out of an Irish whip before Syxx regains control with a spinning heel kick. Cover and a two count for Syxx. Flair flip, shoulder block from the apron and chops from Flair.

Shin breaker by Flair but Syxx counters with an enzuigiri, Syxx is on the top rope but Flair dodges the senton. Figure Four by Flair, Syxx reaches the ropes. Right hands in the corner by Flair, Irish whip. Syxx drops out of a suplex for The Buzzkiller, Syxx tries for a bronco buster but Flair kicks Syxx in the balls and uses the ropes for the pin.

Average match, nothing of note in this match. The usual Flair bumps, the usual Flair match and a finish that is funny. I mean he defeated Syxx by dick kick, pure quality right there!

Winner: Flair over Syxx via roll-up!

Diamond Dallas Page W/ Kimberley Page vs Curt Hennig

Hennig had been brought into WCW for last month’s pay per view in an awful tag match that made me not want to see Hennig in WCW. Regardless of my feelings, DDP and Hennig are having a match as Hennig abandoned DDP in that tag match, it is a nice break from DDP vs Savage but why does my gut tell me that I will never get a conclusion to that feud. I hope I am wrong and we get back to DDP vs Savage. Kimberley looks amazing as she usually always does.

Hennig will not allow DDP into the ring, DDP drags out Hennig. Fistfight on the floor, lock-up and a knee by DDP. Hennig pulls down DDP by the hair, knees and chops by Hennig. DDP fires back with elbows and chops, Hennig fires back too. DDP flings Hennig across the ring and DDP pulls Hennig groin first into the steel steps. Left jabs by DDP and a right floors Hennig. DDP is on the top rope and Hennig crotches DDP. Hennig chokes DDP with his towel, DDP is choked before Hennig nails a big right hand. Knee lift and chops from DDP, snapmare and neckbreaker by Hennig.

Choke in the corner by Hennig, DDP flings in Hennig. Hennig reverses an Irish whip for a back elbow, knees to the head by DDP.

Hennig zeroes in on the left leg of DDP, spinning toehold by Hennig. DDP kicks off Hennig but Hennig slaps on a sleeper, DDP counters for a jawbreaker. Clothesline is countered for a backslide, Hennig clotheslines DDP down. Discuss clothesline by DDP, cover and a two count. DDP squashes the referee when Henig kicks out, Hennig exposes the top turnbuckle. DDP is rammed off the top turnbuckle, Hennig nails a Hennig Plex and DDP kicks out at two. DDP blocks the exposed turnbuckle, Hennig bounces off the turnbuckle. Rights and lefts from DDP, DDP tries for a piledriver and the referee eats a boot.

Ric Flair is on the top rope, Diamond Cutter on Ric Flair. Hennig nails a second Hennig Plex, the referee revives all of a sudden and Hennig picks up the win. Another solid match but on the disappointing side, DDP did not get to show that fire that has helped him build up so much momentum at the time, Hennig was better than he was in the tag match. DDP kicking out of The Hennig Plex was a waste if The Master of The Diamond Cutter was not going to win the match. Anyways, seems it was more about the angle involving Hennig as a free agent.

Winner: Hennig over DDP via Hennig Plex!

Macho Man Randy Savage W/ Miss Elizabeth vs The Giant

Whoever thought it was smart for The Giant to have no music is a moron, Savage is arguably the most entertaining wrestler in the company at the time, his heel turn has allowed Savage to show a particularly nasty side of himself and I am loving it. Savage stalls on the floor until Giant turns his back, Savage tries slamming Giant but it does pay off for Savage. Giant falls on Savage and kicks the bejesus out of the Macho Man.

Savage is rocked, Giant rips off Savage’s shirt and hammers Savage’s ribs. Savage powders to the floor, Savage uses Elizabeth as a distraction. Giant moves Elizabeth and Giant presses Savage into the ring from the floor. Headbutt by Giant, Savage dodges a boot and a clothesline to clip Giant with a chop block, Savage goes after the leg of Giant. Giant cannot stand as Savage continues to keep The Giant down, eye rake by Savage. More kicks to the leg, clotheslines by Savage and Giant is on his feet. Savage is on the top rope, crossbody for a two count. Savage is on the top rope, Giant catches Savage. Chokeslam and Giant beats Savage.

The most basic match on the face of this Earth, I cannot say much about this match. It was not bad because it was so basic, a few kicks some stalling and boom, Chokeslam and Savage has been destroyed by The Giant. Thankfully, not very long but not much of a match.

Winner: Giant over Savage via Chokeslam!

(WCW Tag Team Championship Match) The Outsiders © vs The Steiner Brothers W/ Ted Dibiase

I am honestly sick of seeing The Steiners chasing for the belts, they have beaten Harlem Heat and every other team in the division, let them have the championships already. Biggest note going into this match is Ted Dibiase had defected from The NWO after Nash’s beatdown of Rick Steiner in a tag team championship match. Hall and Scott to start, Scott shoves Hall, toothpick to the face and a slap from Scott.

Right hands from Scott, shoulder thrusts to Scott. Underhook slam by Hall and slaps to the head by Hall. Clothesline from Scott, T-bone suplex and a tiger bomb by Scott. Nash wipes out Scott but Rick makes the save, The Outsiders are on the floor and The Steiners pose in the ring. Rick in with Hall, Hall spits on Rick and tags in Nash. Nash knocks down Rick with elbows, corner clothesline by Nash. Back suplex by Rick out of a corner, tag to Scott. Double axe handle by Scott, ten punches in the corner by Scott. Hall nails a cheap shot from an Irish whip, Scott decks Hall but Nash big boots Scott. Nash tags Hall, Hall stomps all over Scott.

Chokeslam by Hall, Nash is legal. Nash chokes Scott with his boot, Hall nails Scott while the referee is with Rick. Nash nails a sidewalk slam and elbows/knees Scott in the corner. Foot choke by Nash, Hall switches with Nash and stomps all over Scott. Abdominal stretch by Hall, Hall uses Nash’s hand for leverage. Scott is at the mercy of Nash, more knees from Nash. Snake eyes by Nash, Nash assaults Rick and pummels Rick on the floor. Hall stomps a mudhole in Scott in the ring, Nash tags Hall.

Scott battles out of the corner but Hall drop toeholds Scott and tags Nash. Nash has a chinlock on Scott, Hall is in the ring and applies a camel clutch. Scott counters with an electric chair drop. Tag to Nash, Nash mocks Scott and delivers a short-arm clothesline. Two count for Nash, Nash misses a corner splash and Scott could make the tag. Hall cuts off Scott making the tag, Scott is in a lot of pain, right hands by Hall. Hall nails a second rope bulldog, Hall insults Rick and calls for the end of the match. Dibiase distracts Nash and the referee, Rick clotheslines Hall and Scott suplexes Hall.

Hall grabs the foot of Scott, Scott makes the tag and Rick begins clotheslining and slamming everything, Scott clotheslines Nash to the floor. Scott lifts Hall and Rick nails his top rope bulldog, cover and Nash pulls out the referee. Nick Patrick disqualifies The Outsiders and The Steiners celebrate with the championships because The Steiners did not know the finish of the match.

A good tag team match, they got me invested in the match with that long heat segment on Scott, they build it up until you wanted to see Rick murder Hall & Nash. Scott did sell well, I did not expect Scott to put on that good of a performance while Hall & Nash held their own as dickheads taunting Rick and Scott. However, they hold off on the title change and if these two are battling at the next pay per view, I will rip out my hair. The Steiners have won so many number one contendership matches, I do not want to see Steiners vs Harlem Heat or Steiners vs The Outsiders, give me something new because I am suffering. Good tag match, the match of the night but I am begging for something new.

Winners: The Steiner Brothers over Hall & Nash via DQ!

(WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Hulk Hogan vs Lex Luger ©

To be fair, Luger had been on fire for a number of months in WCW, the reactions and the momentums was building and WCW decided to pay it off by having Luger win the championship, it was a feel good moment for WCW and different to the screwy finishes that we were accustomed to when watching Hogan and The NWO in action.

Side headlock by Luger, shoulder block and a pose, Hogan pushes Luger to the corner and chops the champion. Side headlock by Hogan, shoulder block by Luger and more posing. Lock-up, Hogan wrenches the arm with elbows and grabs a hold. Drop toehold by Hogan, Luger battles and wrenches the arm of Hogan. Arm drags from Luger, Hogan powders. Hogan comes back in and clubs down Luger, Luger hits the turnbuckle hard. Back rake and right hands from Hogan, scoop slam and an elbow drop by Hogan. Hogan chokes the life out of Luger.

Luger blocks hitting the turnbuckle, Luger rams Hogan into the turnbuckle. Hogan powders and lures out Luger, Hogan chokes Luger with a camera cable. Inverted atomic drop, stomps in the corner. Foot choke by Hogan, bearhug in the middle of the ring. More stomping by Hogan, right hand to the throat. Luger fights out of a test of strength, Hogan low blows Luger in front of the referee, no DQ? Why? Alright, I shall allow it, stomp to the gut by Hogan. Big boot by Hogan and Luger kicks out at two, scoop slam by Hogan but Luger hulks up.

Luger clotheslines Hogan as Hogan cowers in the corner, eye poke by Hogan. Small package for two, Hogan is frustrated. Scoop slam, Luger dodges The Leg Drop and Hogan is holding his ass. Clothesline by Luger, make it two. Here comes The NWO, Luger clotheslines everyone. Luger punches Hogan, scoop slam, Nash gets rocked by Luger. Sting is here and Sting nails Luger in the back, Hogan nails The Leg Drop and Hogan is champion.

So many thoughts but I shall condense them down for all of you readers. This was shite as I am sure you could tell, Hogan and Luger meander around the ring doing absolutely fuck all for almost 15 minutes. The highlights of this match are Luger’s screams as Hogan takes it to them. Apart from that, it is trash. “Sting” comes out with his mask falling off but it is supposed to be his facepaint, the announcers believe that is it the real Sting, I have no idea why they cannot see that it is a mask and clearly a fake. Luger and Hogan stumble around doing the bare minimum and it’s a sluggish main event, terrible end to the show.

WCW’S Road Wild 1997 was comparable with the likes of The UK pay per views that the WWF/WWE would produce like Insurrextion and Rebellion. A stacked card but not a single match really delivering apart from the tag team title match and Konnan vs Mysterio. Everything else was a disappointment in terms of quality, Hennig was not delivering, Savage was squashed and most other matches did not come together, lacked personality or had heels facing heels. Overall, a bad show. That’s all from me, thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!

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