August 31, 2009
Matt Peddycord

Dean Malenko vs. Chris Benoit (w/Woman & Miss Elizabeth) (WCW Hog Wild, Sturgis SD, 8/11/96)
So apparently, Jimmy Hart was going to try and get Malenko a cruiserweight title rematch after he lost to Mysterio the night after Bash at the Beach if he took out Benoit in this match, who was the Dungeon of Doom’s sworn enemy at the time. The ref is Nick Patrick, by the way – right before he turns evil. Great back and forth match to start. Lots of grounding and pounding. They go from roughhousing to a nice bridge sequence into a pair of backslides. Malenko grabs a short-arm scissors, which Benoit powers out of and slams Malenko down. Great stuff. Snap suplex from Benoit gets two. Benoit hits the chinlock while Heenan makes fun of bikers. Malenko breaks free and they both try crossbody blocks. Malenko tries a flying double-ax handle, but Benoit BLOCKS and gives him another snap suplex. That leads to a SWANDIVE HEADBUTT for 1-2-NO! Benoit wants a tombstone, but Dean reverses into one of his own for 1-2-NO! Malenko continues to pull Benoit down for the pin, but he just can’t keep his shoulders on the mat for a three. He attempts the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF, but Benoit counters into a small package for two. They tumble out to the floor Flair-style where Benoit eats the ringpost. Back in, Benoit crotches Malenko up top and gives him a Superplex for 1-2-NO! Malenko counters out of a waistlock and turns it around on Benoit for a BEAUTIFUL German suplex for 1-2-NO! Benoit comes back with a short-arm clothesline. He tries another, but Malenko ducks and clotheslines Benoit down for two. Release Northern Lights suplex for two. Benoit gets a bridging Northern Lights suplex for two. See what I mean about back and forth? Bridging German suplex gets another two for Benoit. Ring announcer Dave Penzer says there’s five minutes left in the time limit. Benoit goes to work on the back now with an elevated full crab. Ouch. Benoit then knocks Malenko to the floor and follows him out with a pescado. This is where Heenan makes the “sea of heads” comment, referring to the crowd there in Sturgis. Back in, Benoit rolls Malenko up for 1-2-NO! Malenko gets a wheelbarrow rollup for 1-2-NO! They fight over a backslide and Malenko wins for 1-2-NO! They trade some more near-falls before Benoit hits a powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Only a minute left! Malenko stops Benoit up on top and hits a superplex, but Malenko has to crawl over to Benoit to cover for 1-2-NO! Another rollup gets two for Malenko. Malenko hits a bridging powerbomb for 1-2-NO! The 20-minute time limit has expired. (19:53 real time) Ref Nick Patrick says there must be a winner, so a five-minute overtime period has been put in effect. And the crowd is furious. Benoit REALLY goes to work on the back now with a back suplex and a nifty tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 1-2-NO! Benoit now applies the Texas Cloverleaf! That doesn’t finish him off, so Benoit releases the hold. Malenko comes back with an enziguri and then they bump heads. Benoit decides to go after the leg and twists on the ankle in a legbar, but Malenko just won’t give it up. The time limit expires again as Benoit kicks out of a small package. (25:43 real time) Another five-minute overtime period is called and I think we’re one step away from having a riot on our hands. Malenko sells the injured leg, but still manages to catch Benoit in mid-kick and dragon whip him over. Benoit delivers a DRAGON SUPLEX, but Malenko kicks out at two. He whiffs on a dropkick and then Malenko applies the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! When Benoit starts to crawl to the ropes, Malenko maneuvers around into an STF. So that’s who Samoa Joe got that from! Elizabeth distracts the ref while Woman puts her claws in Malenko’s eyes to break the hold. Meanwhile, Benoit sneaks a rollup and gets a 1-2-3! (28:10) Just a phenomenal match wasted on a biker crowd. I don’t think the pop after the finish was for Benoit as much as it was that the match was over. Regardless, WCW probably should not have booked a near 30-minute WRESTLING match in the first place for this type of crowd, but I’m glad they did. ****

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