Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?

Hog Wild
Date: August 10, 1996
Location: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis, South Dakota
Attendance: 5,000
Commentators: Dusty Rhodes, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

This is one of the more unique shows that you’ll see as we are outside in front of a bunch of bikers. I’m sure they will be a completely acceptable crowd with no problems or distractions whatsoever. We’re also just into the NWO era and Hollywood Hogan is getting the World Title shot against the Giant. Let’s get to it.

Of note: there were EIGHT Saturday Night matches before the pay per view went on the air, so the bikers might be a little bit sick of wrestling already.

We open with a look at the Sturgis Rally, with no matches mentioned whatsoever.

Tony, Dusty and Bobby…..are dressed in biker gear with more jokes available than I can possibly fathom.

Cruiserweight Title: Ultimate Dragon vs. Rey Mysterio

Dragon (it says Ultimate everywhere else so that’s what we’ll go with) is challenging and has Sonny Onoo with him. Tony asks Bobby where his tattoo and dew rag are and I begin to have nightmares. Thankfully Mike Tenay joins commentary to tell us that this is the first ever meeting. Dragon takes him down by the arm to start but gets pulled into a leglock. Back up and Dragon gets in a shot of his own for a breather into a standoff.

A spinwheel kick drops Rey, sending Dusty into one of his funny rants about move names. Neither can hit a headscissors and we have another standoff. A spinning kick to the chest drops Rey again and there’s the handspring elbow in the corner. The running Liger Bomb doesn’t even get a cover as Dragon grabs a Figure Four of all things instead. With that broken up, Dragon hits his spinning torture rack dropped down into a backbreaker, followed by the surfboard.

Heenan makes jokes about Cesar Romero and Desi Arnaz as Rey gets out and hits a springboard dropkick out to the floor. There’s a baseball slide to knock Dragon off the platform into the dirt, with Rey hitting a HUGE springboard dive (with the camera mostly missing it) to take him down again.

Back in and a springboard hurricanrana keeps the crowd popped but another springboard is dropkicked out of the air. Rey is knocked outside so Dragon hits a slingshot dive to take him down again. They head back inside with Dragon hitting a moonsault for two but Rey catches him on top with a super hurricanrana to retain at 11:36.

Rating: B-. It’s a good opener and both of them would go on to be able to do some far better stuff, but this wasn’t exactly the blowaway match I was expecting. They did their high flying stuff but Rey didn’t really go nuts and Dragon was more about striking and grappling than high flying. What they did worked well enough though, including managing to impress a non-wrestling crowd.

Gene Okerlund, also looking like a….well what WCW thinks a biker looks like, shills the Hotline.

We talk about the rally some more.

Ice Train vs. Scott Norton

They used to be partners as Fire & Ice but then split up. I like Ice Train but is there a reason his name sounds like a Mad Lib? Train also has a bad shoulder coming in to give Norton a target. Norton powers him into the corner to start and chops at the bandaged shoulder, showing that he is at least moderately intelligent. The slugout goes to Norton, who cuts him down with another shot to the shoulder. A rake to the eyes and some more shots to the face send Train outside, where the shoulder is sent into the post.

Back in and Train manages a slam with the good arm. Since it’s just a slam though, Norton chops him down again and cranks on the arm. Train gets up and actually drops Norton with some chops but Norton does it a good bit better. The armbar goes on and Norton drops a leg on the arm to make it even worse. Back up and Norton charges into a powerslam for two but he’s fine enough to hit a clothesline. A Fujiwara armbar makes Train give it up at 5:07.

Rating: D. The match made sense but it wasn’t quite the most thrilling thing in the world. Train had a bad shoulder so Norton went after it over and over. That should be an easy way to go, but you can only get so far with a bunch of chops. Not a very good match, though who was expecting much out of the battle of Fire and Ice?

We get a video from Ric Flair, talking about how serious the NWO is now that they took out Arn Anderson. That is Flair’s best friend, and WCW is his other best friend. The NWO is in trouble now because the Horsemen are involved. That should have been the easiest idea in all of WCW and they managed to screw it up.

Hey look: bikers!

You can get Hog Wild merch!

Madusa vs. Bull Nakano

This is Bike vs. Bike, with the winner getting to destroy the loser’s motorcycle. Wouldn’t that make either winner a heel for this crowd? Nakano’s manager Sonny Onoo and Madusa ride in on the motorcycles, leaving Nakano to just look scary. Nakano jumps her fast with a nunchuck and Dusty LOSES IT over the attack.

Madusa gets bent around the middle rope and a double ax handle to the back puts her down. The USA chants start up and Madusa grabs a chair takedown. Nakano is right back with what would become Paige’s Scorpion Crosslock, followed by a hard slam. We hit the chinlock as commentary talks about how strong Nakano is.

Back up and Madusa snaps off a hurricanrana for two and a spinwheel kick to the face gets the same. Another kick misses and Nakano blasts her with a clothesline for two of her own. Madusa’s bridging German suplex gets two more and Nakano hits something similar for the same. A not great looking sunset flip gives Madusa the next near(ish) fall but Nakano grabs the belly to back suplex, with only Madusa getting her shoulder up for the pin at 4:57.

Rating: C. They were bringing the power game here and it was miles ahead of anything else women were doing in America at this point. The problem was the sloppiness in some points (including the ending), but given the atmosphere they were working in, there was only so much you could expect. Still though, rather hard hitting match as you would have expected.

Post match Sonny Onoo grabs the sledgehammer to go after Madusa’s bike. This goes as well as you would expect it to, as Madusa takes it away and destroys Nakano’s bike instead.

The Steiners are chatting on CompuServe. I don’t think Rick Steiner knows what he is doing.

Commentary thinks we’re going to Gene Okerlund. We’re not going to Gene Okerlund.

Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko

Jimmy Hart tries to come out with Dean Malenko, who isn’t interested. Benoit on the other hand has Woman and Elizabeth with him. They jaw with each other a bit to start until Malenko takes him down and hammers away. Benoit kicks him in the ribs to take over but Malenko gets in some boots of his own. A suplex gets two and we hit an early chinlock as Heenan goes into some weird analogy about birds. Benoit fights up and chokes on the rope as Tony has to bring commentary back to the match from their NWO discussion.

A back elbow gives Benoit a few near falls and they go to the pinfall reversal sequence. Malenko wins the battle over a backslide for two as Woman screams a lot. The short armscissors has Benoit down but he muscles Malenko up and drops him down for the break. There’s the snap suplex for two as the fans do not exactly seem thrilled. An abdominal stretch goes on but Malenko grabs the foot to escapes and flips him over.

Commentary talks about how we are coming up on a new millennium and these two could be the future. Eh kind of with one of them. Back up and they hit stereo crossbodies for a double knockdown to get a breather. Malenko goes up but gets knocked out of the air, setting up another snap suplex. The Swan Dive gives Benoit a delayed two and it’s time to fight over a Tombstone until Malenko plants him for a few near falls.

Benoit charges into a boot in the corner but is fine enough to counter a Texas Cloverleaf attempt into a small package for two. They fall out to the floor in a double heap with Malenko blocking a posting by hitting one of his own and it’s time to go back inside. Benoit catches him on top with a heck of a superplex and they’re both down again. Malenko hits a release German suplex for two more as the fans (or more like people who happen to be here) just do not care.

A hard clothesline gives Malenko two as Heenan tries to figure out how many holds Malenko knows (Chris Jericho can be seen in the background taking notes). Benoit slams him down and grabs the Liontamer (Chris Jericho can be seen in the background furiously taking notes) but Malenko makes the rope. A victory roll gives Malenko two and another backslide gets another two. Benoit runs him over for two more but Malenko catches him on top for a superplex. There’s a powerbomb to Benoit but time expires at 20:00.

Actually hang on as we’re going to get a five minute overtime, which the bikers DO NOT like. Benoit jumps Malenko at the start of overtime and grabs the Cloverleaf in the middle of the ring. After over a minute, Benoit lets it go, which seems rather unlike him. Malenko’s leg is done so Benoit kicks away and cranks on said leg on the mat. Some Ric Flair Cannonballs onto the leg set up another hold but Malenko reverses into a cradle as overtime expires.

We get ANOTHER five minute overtime and the bikers boo this out the non-existent building. Malenko snaps off a dragon screw legwhip but Benoit is back up with the dragon suplex for two. Benoit misses a dropkick and gets Cloverleafed, with Malenko switching it into an STF. Woman tries to help Benoit make the rope so Malenko goes after her, allowing Benoit to grab a rollup for the pin at 28:13. The replay shows him grabbing the rope for a bonus, because he is in fact a Horseman.

Rating: B+. You can go a few different ways with the thinking here. On the one hand, it’s a great match with two guys going at it for the better part of half an hour in a pretty bad spot. On the other hands, the fans didn’t care and the wrestlers failed to get over. There might be something to the latter, but consider the situation these guys were in.

These bikers didn’t pay to see a wrestling show. They’re here to see Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage and people from the WWF ten years ago. Benoit and Malenko are small guys they’ve never seen before and don’t care about having a pretty long match. You’re supposed to make the fans happy, but I’m not sure if these people qualify as fans as much as they are just people watching the matches because they’re there. This match was great though so I’ll go with the “these bikers are pinheads” and move on.

Tag Team Titles: Steiner Brothers vs. Harlem Heat

Harlem Heat, with Sheri and Colonel Parker, is defending and the fans do not seem thrilled with them. Everyone stalls for a good bit to start as commentary talks about the NWO. Scott and Booker officially start, with the latter being honked at a lot. The bikers go so nuts that Booker bails to the floor before coming back in to shove Scott for the first contact nearly two and a half minutes in.

Scott isn’t having that and hits a butterfly powerbomb, followed by a quick suplex so the Steiners can clear the ring in a hurry. Back in and Scott shoulders Booker down and a gorilla press makes it worse. The ten right hands in the corner rock Booker and he bails to the floor for another breather. This time it’s Stevie coming in to hammer on Scott, which actually works this time.

Scott runs Stevie over with ease, allowing the tag to Rick for a chinlock. Stevie gets up so Rick Steiner Lines him back down as this is totally one sided so far. A rake to the eyes into a side slam drops Scott as Sherri is shouting about having a nervous breakdown. That is only going to get worse as Scott hits a spinning belly to belly for two more. Rick comes back in for a suplex of his own and a “SHUT UP B****” to Sherri. Stevie gets in a cheap shot from the apron to finally slow the Steiners down for a bit.

A clothesline sets up a chinlock but Rick pops up for his weird powerslam. That’s enough to bring Scott back in for an STF of all things before Rick comes back in for his own chinlock. Stevie fights up though and Booker low bridges him down to the floor to really put Rick in trouble for a change. Back in and Booker’s side kick only crotches him on top but Stevie makes the fast save. Stevie comes in to strike and choke away, followed by a big boot to put Rick down again.

It starts getting dark so the lights come on, meaning more engine revving as Booker grabs a chinlock. Rick fights up so it’s a Spinarooni into a side kick for no cover, with Dusty kind of complaining without actually saying anything negative (as Dusty tended to do). Booker misses a middle rope knee though and Rick makes the easy tag to Scott. Everything breaks down and Parker throws powder in Booker’s face by mistake. Since she seems to know Parker is a moron, Sherri is right there to throw it in Scott’s eyes as well. A cane shot to the head is enough to finish Scott at 17:53.

Rating: C. This was a longer match and that was both a good and a bad thing. The Steiners were both getting a bit slower at this point, with Scott being so muscular he looked like a cartoon. That does not make for better long form matches, though a major title match should get the extra time. It also didn’t help that the Steiners dominated for so long, but I could watch the Steiners throw people around for hours at a time, making it a rather enjoyable domination. In other words, I’m all over the place on this one and we’ll go with right in the middle.

Heenan sounds a bit, ahem, out of it on the replays. Wouldn’t surprise me actually.

Here’s a look at wrestlers on motorcycles.

Here’s a look at the rally.

US Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Ric Flair

Flair, with Woman and Elizabeth, is defending. They fight over a lockup into the corner until Eddie knocks him outside in a hurry. Back in and Eddie grabs a headlock but Flair belly to back suplexes him down with a weird landing, possibly hanging up Eddie’s arm. Eddie comes back in and gets dropped again, only to nip right back up. Flair’s poke to the eye and chop put Eddie down again as the sun is starting to set.

Back up and some rapid fire shots rock Flair in the corner and Eddie rains down some right hands. Flair gets tossed outside and a running clothesline puts him on the floor again. Back in and Woman offers a distraction so Flair can get in a low blow, allowing Heenan to make a chili joke. Eddie’s sunset flip doesn’t work so he grabs a Figure Four to put Flair in some trouble. That’s broken up so Eddie runs up the ropes into a hurricanrana for two more.

Flair goes up and comes crashing back down to give Eddie another near fall. The second sunset flip attempt (thanks to Flair’s trunks coming down and a kick from the referee) is good for two so Eddie goes up top. The frog splash connects but Eddie bangs up his knee, meaning it’s time for the regular Flair selection. Flair grabs the Figure Four and, thanks to Woman grabbing Flair’s hands, Eddie is pinned at 14:29.

Rating: B. Like this wasn’t going to be good. Eddie was nowhere near the star he would become but you could see the abilities in the ring. You could see that Flair was giving him a lot here too in an effort to get over though, which was always one of Flair’s greatest strengths. This was one of the best things on the show so far, and it was nice to see both of them doing their thing so well.

Jimmy Hart (looking weird without glasses) and Giant are ready for Hollywood Hogan tonight. Hogan told the fans to stick it, but Giant is going to stick his hand around Hogan’s neck for a chokeslam. Giant has gotten miles better at promos in the last year.

Outsiders vs. Sting/Lex Luger

For reasons I still don’t quite get, Sting and Luger were champs until June but lost them to Harlem Heat, who traded the titles with the Steiners and Public Enemy (winning the titles three times in just over three months) instead of just having the Outsiders take the titles from Sting and Luger here. If nothing else, it would have given them a heck of a visual to end the show and the Outsiders winning the titles was inevitable anyway.

Anyway Hall (thanks to a game of Rock Paper Scissors) and Luger start things off with Hall working on a top wristlock. That’s broken up with straight power so Hall mocks Luger a bit, as only he can. Nash comes in and, after a bit of a tease, Luger brings Sting in as well. An exchange of shots to the face has Nash rocked a bit but Sting can’t slam him. More rights and lefts stagger Nash though and a poke to the eyes allows the slam.

Since it’s just a slam, Nash is right back up with Snake Eyes to take over and Hall comes back in for the corner clothesline. Heenan continues to sound bombed as he says he doesn’t care who wins here. Hall and Nash start taking turns beating on Sting, with Hall getting in the quality taunting that he does so well. A heck of a clothesline in the corner drops Sting and Nash comes in for the boot choke. Sting starts fighting back with that unique style of striking of his but it isn’t enough to get over for the tag. Instead it’s a collision to put Nash down, allowing Sting to fall down for the low blow.

Hall cuts off the tag, earning a COME ON HALL from Heenan. Tony: “WHAT???” Even Heenan doesn’t seem to get that one, which shouldn’t be that surprising. Sting backdrops his way out of the Outsider’s Edge attempt and the hot tag brings in Luger. Everything breaks down and Sting gets the Scorpion on Nash on the floor. The torture rack attempt knocks down referee Nick Patrick, who staggers right into Luger’s knee. A fast count gives Hall the pin at 14:34.

Rating: C-. The match was a bit dull but what hurts it more than anything else is the lack of stakes. I know it’s a big match for the Outsiders to get the pin over two of the biggest names in WCW, but how much better would this have been if the Outsiders had won the Tag Team Titles here? The match wasn’t exactly bad, though it could have been a lot more all things considered.

Heenan didn’t think the count was fast, as he still isn’t all there (throw in the slurred speech and I don’t think there is much doubt about what is going on).

WCW World Title: The Giant vs. Hollywood Hogan

Giant, with Jimmy Hart is defending, but first we need a long introduction about how amazing the bikers are, because motorcycles are cool or something. Hogan, the biggest heel in the world at the moment, gets the biggest face pop of the night. And they actually came here THREE MORE TIMES because Bischoff really, really loves motorcycles. It’s also fun to see Hogan still doing a lot of his face stuff as he doesn’t have the heel version entirely figured out yet.

Hogan hits the stall button to start and Heenan is loving the fact that he gets to rip on Hogan and have everyone admit that he’s right after all these years. Back in and Hogan hammers away in the corner to no effect so it’s time for more stalling on the floor. Hogan gets inside again and this time gets tossed right back to the floor as they’re firmly in first gear. A headlock is countered into a belly to back suplex to put Hogan on the floor again as it feels like we’ve been here before.

Giant wins a test of strength until Hogan fires off some kicks to the ribs, again earning a huge cheer from the bikers. The comeback is on and Giant gets him down to his knees as we are seven minutes into this thing. A top wristlock drives Hogan down but he grabs the hair to set up an armbar. The double arm crank goes on as it’s bizarre to see Hogan using all of these holds. Giant fights up so Hogan pulls him down by the hair. Back up again and three headbutts put Hogan on the floor.

That’s fine with Hogan, who pulls Giant outside and hammers away but Giant kicks him down back inside. A backbreaker gives Giant two but the big elbow misses. Hogan gets in some right hands…..and Giant Hulks Up, complete with shaking and the finger point. Giant hits a big boot and loads up the chokeslam but has to deal with the invading Outsiders. That’s enough for Hogan to get in a belt shot for the pin and the title at 14:53 in one of the most obvious results you’ll ever see (and that is not a bad thing).

Rating: D. Not only was the crowd all over the place (but the WCW guys got to ride motorcycles so it’s cool) but the match was a lot of Hogan stalling and very slow motion moves. Giant Hulking Up was a nice touch but that was about the only positive here. There was zero doubt about who was winning here and you absolutely had to put the title on Hogan, but it wasn’t an easy path to get there.

Post match the celebration is on, with Booty Man coming out in an NWO shirt with a birthday cake for Hogan (whose birthday was the next day but close enough). We hear about their 22 year friendship and Hogan says they have been like blood. Hogan talks about how he is going to beat Ric Flair at Clash of the Champions, mainly because Flair keeps mixing business with personal.

The NWO doesn’t do that though…..so “get him boys”. The beatdown is on and Hogan asks what he’ll do to Flair if he’ll do that to his brother. With that out of the way, we get the NWO spray painted on the title, which wound up being a pretty big deal. Of note: Giant laid there for about seven plus minutes while the NWO did their thing. Screw the legdrop, as that’s the most amazing belt shot ever.

Commentary is upset and scared of what is coming.

Roll credits, over a shot of a motorcycle of course.

Overall Rating: C+. The atmosphere was certainly unique, even if you discount the annoyance that was the bikers doing their own thing all night. The wrestling itself was pretty good for the most part and the two main event matches did enough of what they were supposed to. It’s not a great show but the post match event deal with the spray paint was certainly a big deal. Thrown in Heenan being bombed live on pay per view and there are worse options out there for a nearly three hour show. Oh and bikers, because motorcycles are the coolest things EVER. Eh Bischoff can explain it better than I can.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.

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