Tuesday, August 14, 2018

WCW Road Wild '99

"You're my bitch and everyone out here can fight for sloppy seconds."

When you have a line like that coming from the madness of the Macho Man Randy Savage in a match with Dennis Rodman where a portapotty comes into play, you're on to something.

So, this is the Road Wild PPV, which would eminate from Sturgis at a biker rally of sorts. So what you have is this setting where you have a bunch of bikers watching this WCW wrestling show headlined by a literal cartoon character as played by Father Time himself. Much like the Bash At The Beach at an actual beach, there was no money made from live attendance and the crowd didn't seem to be into the show all that much. So, from some business standpoint, this was a stupid idea... but because Eric Bischoff likes bikes, WCW held an annual event in Sturgis for FOUR YEARS.

I'll give them this much credit; as bad as it might've been for business, at the very least, WCW holding a live Pay-Per-View broadcast from a biker rally made for a very distinct and unique atmosphere. And you remember that sort of shit. Please point to the last time you saw a unique WWE arena set-up at a pay-per-view event that is NOT a Wrestlemania or Overseas show.

Billy Kidman, Eddie Guerrero, and a 12-year-old pretending to be Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Vampiro and the Insane Clown Posse in a six-man tag-team match when Kidman pinned one of the ICP with a Shooting Star Press. Look, if you want names, you can look that shit up yourself. I'm not good with clowns. For what it is... eh, I wasn't too bothered by this one. Wasn't really into it since ICP does nothing for me and I'm not wild about the whole Filthy thing... but it's not terrible, at least.

Harlem Heat defeated WCW Tag-Team Champions Chris Kanyon and Bam Bam Bigelow to win the titles. This would be Heat's eighth reign as tag champs and they would lose the titles a week later to the Windham brothers. Again, this was alright for what it was. I do recall being a bit surprised that they'd put Harlem Heat back together, especially considering Booker T was already on his way to being a noteworthy singles guy while Stevie Ray... well, I guess suckas need something to do or something.

The Revolution (Dean Douglas, Shane Saturn, and Perry Malenko) defeated the West Texas Rednecks (Curt Hennig, Barry and Bobby Duncan Jr.) in a six-man tag-team match that went ten minutes too long. For those who wondering, the Revolution are young guys who are looking for opportunities yet never get them (allegedly) while the West Texas Rednecks are rap-hating cowboys who had a rather catchy tune called Rap Is Crap. Beyond that, there is no reason for these guys to be fighting each other than the Rednecks were the only old guys available for the young guys to fight... or something.

Buff Bagwell defeated Ernest "The Cat" Miller in a shitty match. Next.

WCW United States champion Chris Benoit defeated Diamond Dallas Page to retain the title despite interference from DDP's buddies, Kanyon and Bigelow. Hey, what do you know? An actual good match with two really talented fellows. Genuinely entertained by this one.

Sid Vicious defeated Sting in a slow and plodding match that was precisely what the doctor ordered for somebody enjoying themselves. Fuck me.

Goldberg defeated WCW World Television Champion Rick Steiner in a non-title match. If you wanted a match with two big guys beating the ever loving piss out of each other, then this is your match. Two sour points in the match; there's a point where Steiner takes off Goldberg's knee brace and uses it as a weapon to try and open Goldberg up, but it never happens and it just looks like the dumbest thing in the world. Another sour point; this is on the WWE Network, which means they replaced Goldberg's old theme with his shitty WWE theme. There was a time in mid-1999 when Goldberg was coming out to "Crush 'Em," which was a Megadeth song for some movie. If that was the case, why not replace the theme with his old WCW theme instead? Other than that, it was two big guys beating the shit out of each other and it was fun.

Macho Man Randy Savage defeated Dennis Rodman in another shitty match... and as much as people like to call that a pun, I'm being quite literal. Look, it can't be helped; Rodman wasn't a wrestler and Randy Savage's best days were clearly behind him at this point. There were ref bumps, there was scary bumps, and then Savage dumps Rodman into a porta-potty and tips it over; supposedly covering Rodman in raw sewage.

One problem: the potty lands on some boxes and doesn't quite hit the horizontal, so Rodman comes out a bit smelly, but still way on the clean and dry side. Why people thought this made the match good is beyond me, but fortunately the match ended with Gorgeous George (young blond lady) handing over a chain to Savage, who uses it to whack Rodman and score the pin.

WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan defeated Kevin Nash in a Loser Leaves Town (For A Couple Weeks) match to retain the title. If you've seen every Hulk Hogan match since the dawn of time, then you know how this plays out... except Hogan is moving at the speed of light (inside joke) and Nash is moving like he doesn't care... well, at least he got paid.

And this is how we end this whole nWo thing... this thing that started back in 1996 with Hall and Nash invading WCW, Hulk Hogan becoming the third man and reinventing himself from the ground up, the nWo running roughshod for a couple years before falling apart, the thing that made World Championship Wrestling the hottest thing on the planet... and how does it end?

With Hulk Hogan back in the old red-and-yellow get-up doing the usual formulaic Hulk Hogan match... and the sad thing is that even if the ending sucked, at least it ended... except not really, because then we had Vince Russo come along and bring back the nWo because the guy didn't have any original ideas and all he did was repeat what worked before.

Any way you slice it, it was a Hulk Hogan match in slow motion. It's not a good match in a wrestling scene. Not even a good Hulk Hogan match. I debate whether this match or the Rodman match was worse and it's a close call.

Road Wild had a nice set-up, but an apathetic crowd was given no reason to care and considering the matches on paper, you could hardly blame them. This would be the last Road Wild PPV that WCW would produce, as Bischoff would soon be ix-nayed from his duties and replaced with Bill Busch. Oh well.

So yeah... not a good show.

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