September 26, 2009
Matt Peddycord

WCW Hog Wild
August 10, 1996
Sturgis, SD
Sturgis Bike Rally

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: The Giant (4/29/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Ric Flair (7/7/1996)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat (7/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Lex Luger (3/6/1996)
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (7/8/1996)

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and an increasingly inebriated Bobby Heenan.

WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio vs. Ultimo Dragon (w/Sonny Oono)
This is the PPV debut for Ultimo “Ultimate” Dragon. Naturally, Mike Tenay joins these three for commentary in this match. He does a GREAT job of introducing Ultimo Dragon by saying that he wasn’t good enough for Inoki’s New Japan Dojo, went to Mexico for a while, and then New Japan came begging him to come back to his motherland. By the way, Rey is wearing his awesome Spiderman-style trunks and mask here. We see some nice back and forth mat work to start. The pace picks up with a spinning heel kick from Dragon, then they try and show each other up by landing on their feet off quebradas. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve come to a stalemate. Dragon unleashes his infamous kick combo to take Mysterio off his feet. Handspring Elbow connects, followed by the RUNNING LIGERBOMB. Rey makes the ropes after the figure-four and heads to the floor. Tenay mentions that Dragon recently defeated Jushin Liger in only two minutes, forty seconds in New Japan’s J Crown junior heavyweight tournament. Later on in the tournament, he also defeated the first WCW cruiserweight champ Shinjiro Ohtani. Back in, Dragon applies La Reinara, which is a spinning torture rack, ending with Dragon dropping to his knees. Dragon misses the Handspring Elbow and takes a springboard dropkick to the floor. Rey baseball slides Dragon off the stage down into the dirt as he springboard planchas from inside the ring out on top of Dragon! Incredible. Back inside, Rey catches Dragon with a flying headscissors. Rey tries another springboard, but Dragon blocks with a dropkick. Dragon fake dives, then dropkicks Rey down, and levels him with a pescado. Excellent stuff here. In the ring, Dragon flips out of a backdrop and delivers a bridging German suplex for 1-2-NO! Quebrada hits, but there’s no cover. Mutasault gets 1-2-NO! He goes for another RUNNING LIGERBOMB, but Rey counters with a rana. Dragon blocks the hurracanrana from the top, but can’t block the Springboard Hurracanrana for 1-2-3. (11:36) Good intro to the Ultimate Dragon, but they didn’t quite kick it up to eleven like they will in later matches. These two had an awesome three series on PPV – here at Hog Wild ‘96, at World War III ‘96, and at Spring Stampede ‘97. You should check out all of those matches. ***½

Scott Norton vs. Ice Train
So Norton wanted Ice Train at 100 percent, but then Ice Train goes and gets in the Giant’s face on Saturday Night. What a dummy. Now his shoulder is all hurt. Onto the match, Ice Train can hardly defend himself as Norton goes right after the shoulder. Train gets a desperation powerslam, but Norton stops him with an armbreaker DDT and applies a Fujiwara armbar for the submission. (5:06) So much for that. ½*

They air what you could have seen for free about an hour earlier of Ric Flair’s one-on-one interview. He didn’t really care what the nWo was doing because it didn’t concern the Four Horsemen – that is until they attacked Arn Anderson.

Madusa vs. Bull Nakano (w/Sonny Oono)
Winner gets to beat up the loser’s motorcycle with a sledgehammer. Oono rides out on a ridiculous looking Honda that is way too big for him, Madusa strolls out on a pink Harley. Nakano attacks early with NUN CHUCKS. I’m not kidding. Madusa pulls out a MATRIX MOVE three years before the movie came out and mounts a comeback. Three clothesline takedowns earn her a nearfall. Nakano stops all that with a surfboard deathlock. DDT off the ropes gets two. Madusa escapes a chinlock and catches Bull with a hurracanrana for 1-2-NO! Nakano drills Madusa with a clothesline, but she comes back with a BRIDGING GERMAN SUPLEX for 1-2-NO! Alright, back to Nakano. She delivers a bridging back suplex for two. She goes for another one, but Madusa lifts her shoulder up at two, counting the three on Nakano. (5:00) Wow, 1986 called. It wants its cheap finish back. Nothing like their SummerSlam match. Madusa does one terrible job of bashing a Honda bike. *½

Chris Benoit (w/Woman & Elizabeth) vs. Dean Malenko
So apparently, Jimmy Hart is going to try and get Malenko a cruiserweight title rematch with Mysterio if he takes Benoit out in this match since he’s a sworn enemy of the Dungeon of Doom. 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. ****

WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri & Col. Robert Parker) vs. Rick & Scott Steiner
So who do YOU think a crowd full of bikers are going to cheer? Lots of stalling from the Heat to start. Boy is Bobby Heenan DRUNK. I thought he was drunk at Superbrawl V, but this is ridiculous. He talks about how much he loves Dusty, this match, the crowd, and can’t seem to make one hilarious insult for the whole twenty minutes. Hardly even a complete sentence sometimes. It’s unseemly. The Steiners end the stalling momentarily and cleans house on the Heat with a butterfly slam on Booker and a Steinerline on Stevie Ray. As usual with Harlem Heat matches, it’s only good when Booker T is in the ring. This is no different. Booker misses a hook kick and takes a press slam from Scott. In comes Stevie Ray. He goes to the eyes and stomps Scott around, but then takes an overhead suplex. Tag to Rick, Steinerline gets two. Sherri is having a nervous breakdown out on the floor. I’m sure it couldn’t possibly be because of all the mood elevators she’s taking and not because her boys are getting whooped. Booker T tags in and Side Slams Scott. He comes back with a Spinning Belly-to-Belly Suplex for two. Back to Rick, he blocks and counters with a suplex of his own for two. Stevie Ray nails Rick from the apron to help his team take control. Stevie Ray clamps on a chinlock and then tags his brother in, who leapfrogs into a powerslam. Tag to Scott, the Steiners do an illegal switch while holding onto Booker in a chinlock. This time Booker reverses a whip and Stevie Ray pulls the top rope down to send Rick flying out to the floor. Back in, Booker misses a big Jumping Heel Kick and crotches himself on the top rope. Stevie Ray tags in and grabs the chinlock again. Rick fights out into a Bicycle Kick from Stevie Ray. Tag to Booker, he reapplies the chinlock. Rick escapes out of it again and avoids an elbow drop, but Booker SPINAROONIES up and blasts Rick with the Jumping Heel Kick. Stevie Ray executes a rib breaker and a suplex for two. Booker misses a flying fist drop (I guess?) and Rick makes the HOT TAG TO SCOTT! Rick and Stevie Ray fight to the floor while Sherri and Parker have some trouble throwing powder in Scott’s face. Once he’s blinded, he gets cracked over the head with Parker’s cane for the 1-2-3. (17:53) Anybody else feel like Harlem Heat matches are all the same? **¼

WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair (w/Woman & Elizabeth) vs. Eddie Guerrero
Can Eddie beat Flair? That’s the question. Eddie’s all fired up to start and gets in a shoving match with Flair. Of course Flair always loses that and winds up getting shoved around by the referee. Flair retreats out to his ladies while Eddie stays in the ring hardly able to contain himself. Back in, they have a hard time getting it together as Flair tries to come out of a headlock with a back suplex, but Eddie was supposed to land on top of Flair and instead lands awkwardly on his shoulder on the mat. Eddie rolls out to regroup. Back in again, Eddie chops Flair back to send him begging off to the floor. In the ring, they work a headlock. Eddie will not back down from Flair. That proves to be a mistake as Flair pokes him in the eyes to take over with chops. Eddie gets that Latin blood boiling and fires back on Flair. He whips him into the corner for the Flair Flip and dropkicks him off the apron. Flair goes back in, Flair goes back out with a clothesline. Back in again, Eddie fires away leading to the Flair Flop. In order to slow down Eddie, Flair kicks him right in the yams. Flair’s control is short-lived, as Eddie comes back with a crossbody and a flying sunset flip. Flair tries to punch out, but misses and hits the canvas. Eddie applies the Figure-Four and Flair reaches the ropes for the break. Eddie clasps a hand and walks up the ropes for a hurracanrana. That gets two. Tornado DDT connects for another two. Flair gets slammed off the top for a two-count. Eddie sunset flips from the apron and winds up pulling Flair’s tights half way down to moon the crowd. That gets another two count. Eddie finally goes to the eyes on Flair and then heads up top for a FROG SPLASH! He hits his knee on the mat though. Flair wants a back suplex, but Guerrero flips out and O’Connor rolls him up for two. Flair pops back up with a clothesline and applies the FIGURE-FOUR on Guerrero. With a little leverage help from Woman, Flair gets the three-count on Eddie while he’s still in the hold. (14:16) A few blown segments, but they did a good job of working Eddie’s offense into some of the silly Flair spots. ***

Scott Hall & Kevin Nash vs. Sting & Lex Luger
The Outsiders do the “rock-paper-scissors” bit just like back in the days of the Kliq. Hall works over the shoulder to start and mocks Lex. That gets Luger a little riled up as he comes back with a hiptoss and a knee lift. Big slam signals some posing. Tag to Nash, he wants Sting. He can’t slam, but he can after a thumb to the eye. Sting tries a float over in the corner, but Nash catches him for the Snake Eyes. Nash unloads with knees and elbows in the corner. You know the drill. Tag to Hall, he delivers the Fallaway Slam for two. Back over to Nash, we see some corner boot choking. Oops, they blow a missed corner charge spot. Double KO, Sting falls head first into Nash’s balls. Hall cuts off the tag and punches Sting around. Back in comes Nash, he levels Sting with the Big Boot. Now Nash wants to see the OUTSIDER’S EDGE, but Sting backdrops out and HOT TAGS LUGER! He goes clothesline crazy on the Outsiders. Sting and Nash go to the floor where Sting keeps him at bay with the SCORPION DEATHLOCK. Meanwhile in the ring, ref Nick Patrick gets knocked around when Luger tries the TORTURE RACK and falls right into the back of Luger’s knee. Umm, didn’t work, so he tries a second time and Luger collapses. Nick Patrick fast counts with Hall on top for the 1-2-3. (14:37) Too slow to be anything other than a standard formula tag. Nevertheless, thus starts the slippery slope of Nick Patrick becoming the evil referee in the nWo’s back pocket. **

WCW World Heavyweight Champion The Giant (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Hollywood Hogan
When he came out on Nitro a few weeks back, he just wore his old black clothes that he wore when he was becoming Hogan from the dark side. Here he debuts the nWo Hollywood look. Loads of stalling from Hogan in this one. Once they do hook up, they play around with a test of strength. This crowd is still pro-Hogan and anti-big stinking wart-infested Giant. Hogan yanks Giant down by his hair during an overhead wristlock segment. Giant returns the favor to end all that and headbutts Hogan to the floor. Hollywood pulls him out and back rakes him around the ring. Back inside, Giant delivers a backbreaker, but misses an elbow drop. Giant HULKS UP and hits Hogan with the Big Boot. He wants a CHOKESLAM, but here comes Hall & Nash. Both are unsuccessful and receive CHOKESLAMS. Meanwhile, Hogan heads to the floor and grabs the world title. BAM! Giant goes down. Cover, 1-2-3. (14:57) Huge babyface pop for Hogan. As the nWo celebrate, the Booty Man heads down to ringside wearing an nWo shirt. He’s bringing out a birthday cake for Hogan! Oh my, there’s a wrapped gift stuck down in the cake! What could *that* be? Booty Man congratulates his best friend for being the first ever nWo world champion. Hogan embraces his friend, but then says he never mixes business with friendship and orders Hall and Nash to beat up the Booty Man. Hogan takes the world title and bashes him in the face with it. See ya later, Booty Man. Apparently it took him close to two years to grow a hobo beard to become the Disciple thanks to all those years of roids. Anyways, Hogan rips open the gift wrap to reveal…a can of black spray paint! He takes off the lid and proceeds to spray paint the letters “nWo” on the WCW world title belt. While very historic, this was actually the worst of their three PPV matches so far. However, the post-match stuff was rather classic if you’re a fan of the nWo. ½*

Final Thoughts: A few gems from the undercard make this another WCW show to watch from 1996. Of course anything involved the nWo wasn't there workrate-wise, but that’s not always what is important. The dominance of the nWo is the real story as nobody stands in their way and now they have a shady WCW referee on their side. What can really stop them? This was quite the historic show, so let’s go with another thumbs up for Hog Wild 1996.

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