Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Since Nitro has spent the last month being outdoors, let’s have a PPV outdoors! In addition, let’s have it at the largest motorcycle rally in the world in Sturgis, South Dakota which is approximately 300 miles NNW of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Since there isn’t a venue big enough to charge admission, this is a free show for the biker crowd who, for the most part, are NOT wrestling fans. Therefore, reactions to certain wrestlers will not be the same as they would be elsewhere. Rev up your engine and let’s get HOG WILD!
Match 1 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Rey Mysterio, Jr. (champion) versus Ultimo Dragon (w/ Sonny Onoo)
“Iron” Mike Tenay joined the broadcast team for this match.
After some mat wrestling, Dragon hooked a cradle for 2.
As the fans chanted “USA,” a fans volleyed a blow-up doll across from the hard camera. I’m sure the brass at Turner were none too pleased with that.
Anyway, a spinning heel kick by Dragon put Mysterio down on the mat.
Next, a series of kicks by Dragon knocked Mysterio down again.
After a dropkick, Dragon gave Mysterio a cross-corner whip followed by a handspring back elbow. Wow!
Dragon then delivered a running powerbomb and followed with a figure-four leg lock.
Do we have a new champion?
No, because Mysterio hooked the bottom rope.
According to Tenay, Jushin “Thunder” Liger was diagnosed with a brain tumor. On behalf of WCW, Tenay wished him well on a speedy recovery. Further research noted that the tumor was benign, and Liger returned to the ring later in 1996.
Meanwhile, Dragon delivered a spinning over-the-shoulder backbreaker, but he didn’t make the cover.
Next, he hooked a bow-and-arrow, but Mysterio escaped and got a 2 count.
After a cross-corner whip by Dragon, he attempted handspring back elbow #2 but missed.
Mysterio came back with a springboard dropkick sending Dragon between the ropes to the platform.
Afterward, a baseball slide by Mysterio sent Dragon off the platform into the dirt.
Following that, a springboard plancha by Mysterio resulted in both men down in the dirt.
After tossing Dragon back into the ring, Mysterio mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a flying headscissors.
He then tried another springboard move, but Dragon countered with a dropkick as Mysterio was in mid-air. Impressive!
With Mysterio outside the ring, Dragon skinned the cat back into the ring then delivered a plancha.
Back in the ring, Dragon gave Mysterio a German suplex with a bridge for 2.
After an Asai moonsault by Dragon, he mounted the top turnbuckle and delivered a standard moonsault. Will he win the title there?
Dragon then attempted running powerbomb #2, but Mysterio countered with a huracanrana.
A subsequent superhuracanrana by Mysterio was blocked, but attempt #2 succeeded.
Summary: Great match with tons of spots. With a little more drama and some psychology, this could have reached the maximum rating.
“Mean” Gene Okerlund shills the hotline with some potential nWo news.
Match 2: Scott “Flash” Norton versus Ice Train (w/o Teddy Long)
Ice Train made his entrance with his left shoulder bandaged. According to Meltzer, earlier in the show, Ice Train confronted Giant who hurt him REAL BAD.
Not surprisingly, Norton worked on Ice Train’s left shoulder.
After tossing Ice Train outside the ring, Norton rammed him shoulder-first into the ring post.
According to Tony, due to receiving a chokeslam on Nitro last Monday, Long was unable to be in Sturgis with Ice Train.
Meanwhile, in the ring, Ice Train slammed Norton but couldn’t follow up due to his hurt shoulder.
While continuing to work on the shoulder, Norton delivered a leg drop to it.
Out of nowhere, a fluke powerslam by Ice Train got 2.
After a pair of clotheslines by Ice Train, Norton came back with a single-arm DDT.
A subsequent arm bar by Norton led to Ice Train’s submission.
Summary: Let’s take two power wrestlers, add an injury angle, and see how poor a match they can have. Next!
We revisit the interview from WCW Saturday Night of Flair. As you would expect, he spoke very highly of Arn Anderson.
Get your official WCW Hog Wild t-shirt for $21.95 and denim jacket for $89.95. Holy rip-off, Batman!
Match 3 (motorcycle destruction): Madusa versus Bull Nakano (w/ Sonny Onoo)
Nakano began the match by nailing Madusa in the midsection with nunchucks.
After giving Madusa a pair of hair mares, Nakano followed with a face plant.
As an arrogant cover by Nakano only got 1, the Sturgis faithful chanted “USA!”
Upon delivering a clothesline and slam, Nakano only got 1 because Madusa bridged out of the pin attempt then pulled Nakano down by the hair.
Clothesline and modified press only got 2 for Madusa.
Next, Nakano hooked a Scorpion cross lock.
After a slingshot DDT by Nakano only got 2, Nakano held a reverse chin lock. In the meantime, the Sturgis crowd chanted “Harley” in favor of Madusa.
As Nakano missed a clothesline, Madusa gave her a huracanrana for 2.
Following that Madusa delivered a leg lariat but missed a second one.
Nakano immediately came back with a clothesline but only got 2.
Shortly after, a German suplex by Madusa almost got 3.
Following that, a belly-to-belly suplex by Nakano earned a pair of 2 counts.
Afterward, a sunset flip by Madusa got 2.
Belly-to-belly suplex #2 by Nakano got the pin?
Madusa’s shoulder came off the mat. Did she just get screwed?
Summary: Sketchy finish to a decent women’s match.
After the match, Onoo takes the sledgehammer and nails Madusa’s Harley. If he wants to incite a riot with this crowd, that’s a good way to do it. Regardless, referee Randy Eller raises Madusa’s hand so Madusa smashes Nakano’s Honda. After removing a piece of fiberglass and taking a couple more shots, Madusa pushes the Honda over appeasing the bikers.
Log on to Compuserve and type “go convention” to chat with the Steiners as Rick is having too much fun with a laptop.
Match 4: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit (w/ Woman & Elizabeth) versus Dean Malenko
Former ECW tag team champions collide here.
Hart came out with Malenko and exchanged a title shot for taking Benoit out. Could Malenko face Giant tomorrow night on Nitro? Stay tuned!
While Woman wore red, white, and blue, Elizabeth wore a leather dress. Yummy!
After Malenko gave Benoit some knees to the midsection in the corner, he delivered a delayed vertical suplex for 2.
Next, a hangman’s neckbreaker and an elbow drop by Malenko got another 2.
Afterward, a leg drop by Benoit only got 1 because Malenko put his foot on the bottom rope.
A subsequent back elbow by Benoit got a series of 2 counts.
Following that, a pinfall reversal sequence led to a somersault rollup for 2 by Benoit.
Malenko then hooked a backslide for 2 as Woman shrieked.
To counter a short-arm scissors, Benoit hit Splash Mountain.
He followed with an elbow drop for 2 then a snap suplex for another 2.
He then hooked an abdominal stretch, but Malenko countered with an arm drag.
After a leap frog by Malenko, both competitors went for a cross body block resulting in a mid-air collision.
Upon receiving a cross-corner whip by Benoit, Malenko evaded him by floating over the top turnbuckle.
Speaking of which, Malenko mounted said top turnbuckle, attempted a double axe handle, but was blocked.
Benoit then delivered snap suplex #2 then mounted the top turnbuckle.
However, a diving head butt by Benoit only got 2.
Benoit then tried a tombstone but Malenko reversed it and got a series of 2 counts.
After a cross-corner whip by Malenko was reversed, Benoit ate boot on his follow-through.
Malenko then tried to hook the Texas Cloverleaf, but Benoit countered with an inside cradle for 2.
Another cross body block by Malenko sent both men over the top rope to the platform.
Benoit then tried to ram Malenko face-first into the ring post, but Malenko blocked it and rammed him instead.
After tossing Benoit back in, Malenko mounted the top turnbuckle again but got caught.
Benoit joined him up there and delivered a top rope superplex.
Shortly after, a slam by Benoit got 2.
On the other hand, a German release suplex by Malenko got 2.
Going back the other way, an Inside cradle #2 by Benoit got 2.
Following that, a short-arm clothesline by Benoit got another 2.
Malenko then ducked short-arm clothesline #2 and delivered a standard clothesline for 2.
He followed with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex and got another 2.
Benoit came back with a Northern Lights suplex and got 2.
He then delivered a German suplex with a bridge and got another 2.
Five minutes remained in the match.
After a slam, Benoit hooked the LionTamer.
After a back elbow by Benoit, Malenko rolled out of the ring.
Benoit then caught him with a plancha.
Upon tossing Malenko back in, Benoit hooked a bridged rollup but only got 2.
Malenko then countered another German suplex with a victory roll for 2.
Backslide #2 by Malenko got another 2.
After Malenko got a rollup for 2, Benoit planted him with a powerbomb. Did he get the pin?
With one minute remaining, Benoit slammed Malenko then mounted the top turnbuckle.
Malenko caught him then gave him a superplex that got 1,2, NO!
Thirty seconds remained as Malenko hooked an Oklahoma roll for 2.
As ring announcer David Penzer counted the time down, Malenko gave Benoit a powerbomb.
However, time ran out prior to the count of 3.
According to referee Nick Patrick, there must be a winner, so there will be a five-minute overtime period.
As Benoit gave Malenko a belly-to-back suplex, the crowd groaned about the overtime. Remember, these aren’t wrestling fans. These are bikers who got a free 5-hour wrestling show in the middle of their motorcycle celebration.
Nonetheless, Benoit only got 2.
Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Benoit got another 2.
Benoit then hooked a Texas Cloverleaf. When Malenko tried to grab the bottom rope, Benoit brought him back to the middle of the ring. Clever!
With three minutes remaining, Malenko delivered an enziguri.
Both men were down after colliding heads.
Shortly after, Benoit hooked a leg bar submission hold, but Malenko won’t quit.
Instead, Malenko countered a slam attempt with an inside cradle, but time ran out again.
Once again, Patrick called for a five-minute overtime period as the Sturgis faithful got restless.
After a back drop by Benoit, Malenko came back with a dragon screw leg whip.
Benoit then ducked a clothesline and hooked a dragon suplex for 2.
Upon evading a dropkick by Benoit, Malenko hooked the Texas Cloverleaf.
When Woman tried to assist Benoit toward the ropes, Malenko converted to an STF.
As Elizabeth distracted Patrick, Woman grabbed Malenko by the arm.
Using the distraction, Benoit rolled him up, hooked the bottom rope, and got the pin. Whew!
Summary: These two told a tremendous story showing a lot of heart that only some chicanery could resolve. If they had wrestled in Chicago or Detroit, this match would have been rated higher. Unfortunately, this was the WRONG crowd for this style of match.
Match 5 for the WCW World tag team titles: Harlem Heat (champions w/ Sister Sherri & Colonel Parker) versus the Steiners
Wow! What a contrast in crowd reaction from just minutes ago.
To begin the match, Scott countered a back drop attempt by Booker T with a butterfly bomb.
Stevie Ray came in but received a vertical suplex from Scott.
As Booker T sought higher ground outside the ring, Rick came in and leveled Stevie Ray with a Steinerline.
After ducking a Harlem sidekick from Booker T, Scott gave him a gorilla press slam to a roaring ovation.
Following that, Scott gave Booker T the ten-punch count-along.
Upon receiving a hip toss from Scott, Booker T exited the ring again.
Stevie Ray tagged in and slammed Scott.
After Stevie Ray missed a Mafia kick, Scott delivered a T-bone suplex.
Rick tagged in, gave Stevie a cross-corner whip, but ate boot on his follow-through.
Once Stevie Ray missed a clothesline, Rick destroyed him with a Steinerline for 2.
Booker T tagged back in and gave Scott a sidewalk slam.
He followed up with a cross-corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
Scott then delivered a belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
Rick tagged in, blocked a vertical suplex from Booker T, and then gave him one of his own for 2.
While Scott distracted referee Randy Anderson, Stevie Ray nailed Rick as he came off the ropes.
Stevie Ray tagged in and delivered an elbow drop to Rick for 2.
Booker T tagged back in and tried a leap frog, but Rick caught and powerslammed him for 2.
Ominously, a fan on the opposite side of the hard camera held up a Confederate bandana.
Scott tagged in and gave Booker T a dropkick.
He then hooked Booker T in an STF, but Stevie Ray made the save before Booker T could submit.
After Rick tagged in, Booker T reversed an Irish whip, and Stevie Ray low-bridged him down to the platform.
As Scott distracted Anderson again, Stevie Ray gave Rick a Mafia kick outside the ring.
He then rammed Rick headfirst into the ring post.
Booker T distracted Anderson so that Sherri could rake her nails on Rick’s back.
Back in the ring, Booker T missed a leg lariat and crotched himself on the top rope. OUCH!
Rick then nailed him sending him down to the platform.
Next, he ducked a clothesline but ate a big boot from Stevie Ray.
After a slam by Booker T, he missed an elbow drop.
However, he recovered with a spinaroonie and a Harlem sidekick.
Afterward, Stevie Ray tagged in and gave Rick a backbreaker.
Stevie Ray then gave Rick a vertical suplex for almost 3.
After a slam by Stevie Ray, Booker T tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, but missed a knee drop.
Hot tag Scott.
Upon giving each member of Harlem Heat a Steinerline, Scott gave Booker T an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for only 2 thanks to a leg drop save by Stevie Ray.
All four men were in the ring.
While Anderson was occupied with Rick and Stevie Ray on the platform, Parker tried to toss powder in Scott’s eyes but hit Booker T instead. Sherri followed with powder in Scott’s eyes.
To add insult to injury, Parker WALLOPED Scott with his cane breaking it in half.
Harlem Heat retained.
Summary: The negative reaction to the heel team was almost TOO hot if you know what I mean. On a positive note, both teams did a good job here as you can definitely see the singles potential for both Booker T and Scott in this match.
After the match, a PISSED OFF crowd tosses garbage at Harlem Heat. COME ON. I’ve met bikers, and they are absolutely color-blind. I get the feeling these bikers aren’t. Meanwhile, Scott lays on the mat OUT COLD like he finished partying with Tony Montana.
As the helicopter pans Sturgis, Tony acknowledges a raceway, but Rhodes corrects him by stating that’s the track at the local high school. HA! Tony probably needs the remnants of the powder left on Scott Steiner’s face at this moment. We then get a video of the WCW wrestlers beginning their motorcycle journey from the Mall of America in Minneapolis to Sturgis.
Mongo with Pepe is shown as well as Big Bubba Rogers. In addition, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff signs an autograph for a fan while Madusa sits behind an older woman on her motorcycle. Both Steiners and Sting are shown riding down the highway. A-ha! The biker crowd loves the Steiners because they’re one of them. Even DDP is smoking his cigar while riding.
Match 6 for the WCW US title: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (champion w/ Woman & Elizabeth) versus Eddie Guerrero
As Woman and Elizabeth escorted Flair to the ring, Rhodes confused gams with hams. He must be hungry.
After a leap frog by Eddie, they botch a second try. Flair tried to counter a side head lock with a belly-to-back suplex, and both men landed wrong. C’mon, guys, get on the same page!
As a result, Eddie exited the ring to regroup as both men look hurt.
Back in the ring, Flair lost a toe-to-toe battle with Eddie and exited the ring to regroup.
Upon Flair’s return, Eddie gave him a cross-corner whip followed by a back drop.
As the ring lights went out, Flair gave Eddie a poke in the eye.
Eddie came back with the ten-punch count-along and some chops.
Afterward, a cross-corner whip by Eddie resulted in a Flair flip. Flair landed on the apron, so Eddie dropkicked him to the platform.
Back in the ring, Eddie gave Flair another back drop followed by a clothesline that hit Flair awkwardly.
A second clothesline by Eddie sent Flair over the top rope to the platform.
When Flair returned to the ring, he received a series of chops resulting in a Flair flop.
As both Woman and Elizabeth distracted referee Randy Eller, Flair kicked a FIELD GOAL on Eddie. YEE-OUCH!
After ducking a chop, Eddie delivered a cross body block for 2.
A subsequent clothesline got another 2.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a sunset flip, and escaped a Flair punch.
Next, he hooked a figure-four leg lock. Will Flair submit to his own finishing hold?
Nope, he made it to the ropes breaking the hold.
Eddie followed up by walking up the ropes and giving Flair a huracanrana.
Do we have a new champion?
Eddie then mounted the second turnbuckle and gave Flair a tornado DDT for almost 3.
Shortly after, Eddie gave Flair a cross-corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
After giving Eddie a snap mare, Flair mounted the top turnbuckle.
Of course (sing it with me), ♬...he came down the haaaaaaaaaaaaaaard waaaaaaaay…♬
In desperation, Flair tossed Eddie outside the ring to catch his breath.
From the apron, Eddie gave Flair sunset flip #2, and the moon suddenly appeared.
Flair tried to escape, but after Eller kicked his arm, Eddie got 2.
After a brief side head lock, Eddie mounted the top turnbuckle, hit the frog splash, and got the pin.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Oh, wait, Eddie hurt his knee on the frog splash. My bad.
Flair recovered, ran over Eddie with a clothesline, and hooked a Woman-assisted figure-four leg lock.
1-2-3. Eddie passed out from the pain.
Summary: Good match with some early miscommunication that brought it down just a bit.
Okerlund interviews Giant with Jimmy Hart. Giant cuts a passionate promo against Hogan after Okerlund mentions how much Giant admired Hogan prior to the heel turn.
Match 7: Sting & the “Total Package” Lex Luger versus the Outsiders
Having seen how poor he looked at BatB, Nash hit the gym and appeared more svelte here.
In addition to his ring jacket, Sting wore a bandana to the ring.
Hall began the match with a fireman’s carry takeover of Luger.
Luger then blocked a Hall hip toss then delivered one of his own followed by a knee lift.
After Luger slammed Hall, Nash tagged in.
He then requested that Sting tag in.
Upon ducking a clothesline, Sting attempted to slam Nash but got nailed in the back instead.
While tricking Nash with an eye poke, Sting slammed him.
After getting reversed on a cross-corner whip, Sting floated over only to get caught and receive Snake Eyes.
Hall followed with a clothesline from the apron as Luger distracted referee Nick Patrick.
While Luger continued to distract Patrick, Hall gave Sting a discus punch.
As Dusty rattled off some plumbing terminology, Nash gave Sting a pair of knees to the midsection in the corner.
Following that, he gave Sting a pair of framed elbows.
Next, Nash hit Sting with a short-arm clothesline then tagged in Hall.
When Sting attempted a cross body block, Hall caught him and delivered a fallaway slam. With his feet on the ropes, he only got 2.
Afterward, a cross-corner whip by Hall preceded a clothesline in the corner.
Nash tagged in and gave Sting a standing boot choke in the corner.
While Nash occupied Patrick’s attention, Hall gave Sting another clothesline from the apron.
After Nash missed a clothesline, both men collided, and Sting fell face-first into SOUTH Dakota. I guess Mrs. Nash will have to read a book tonight, ‘cuz her husband will have an OUT OF ORDER sign placed upon him after that shot.
Hall then tagged in, nailed Sting a few times, but only got 2.
Nash tagged back in and gave Sting the big boot.
After Hall came back in, he set Sting up for the Outsider Edge but got backdropped instead.
Hot tag Luger.
After a brief Luger flurry against the Outsiders, Sting gave Nash the Stinger splash.
While Sting applied the Scorpion death lock to Nash outside the ring, Luger gave Hall a powerslam within it.
As Luger tried to put Hall in the Torture Rack, Hall’s leg nailed Patrick in the eye. Patrick fell hitting Luger in the leg causing Luger to collapse.
1-2-3. Outsiders win.
Summary: Intriguing finish, but what does it mean?
Match 8 for the WCW World title: The Giant (champion w/ Jimmy Hart) versus Hollywood Hogan
To prove that most of the fans in attendance are NOT wrestling fans, they chanted “Hogan.”
Meanwhile, a very drunk Heenan described his managing of Andre against Hogan and sounded TERRIBLE.
After failing to budge Giant with a shoulder block, Hogan left the ring to regroup.
Upon Hogan’s return, Giant countered a side head lock with a belly-to-back suplex.
After a L-O-N-G test of strength won by Giant, he then applied a top wrist lock.
Of course, Hogan cheated to regain the advantage.
After getting fed up with Hogan’s antics, Giant pulled Hogan’s hair to escape.
He then gave Hogan a series of head butts sending him over the top rope to the platform again.
When Giant got too close to the ropes, Hogan dragged him to the platform.
He then rammed Giant headfirst into the ring post.
Upon blocking attempt #2, Giant rammed Hogan into the ring post.
Back in the ring, Giant gave Hogan a cross-corner whip then a kick to the midsection.
Another cross-corner whip by Giant had the same result.
Afterward, a backbreaker off the ropes by Giant only got 2 due to Hogan’s foot on the bottom rope.
Continuing his attack, Giant slammed Hogan then missed an elbow drop.
According to Tony, Giant was “hulking up” as he pantomimed Hogan.
After an Irish whip, Giant nailed Hogan with the big boot. Cue the leg drop!
On the other hand, Giant signaled for the chokeslam and lowered the strap.
Suddenly, Hall came to the ring, mounted the top turnbuckle, but got caught by Giant.
Nash also came to the ring and grabbed the megaphone from Hart.
As Hogan exited the ring, Giant gave Hall a chokeslam.
While referee Randy Anderson checked on Hall for some odd reason, Giant kicked the megaphone away from the incoming Nash.
After Giant chokeslammed Nash, Hogan re-entered the ring and WALLOPED Giant with the belt.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Summary: While not a good match whatsoever, the leader of the nWo just won the World title cementing this match as historical. On the downside, Hogan’s heel act in the ring needs some work.
After the match, Hall and Nash celebrate the victory with Hogan as the Giant is OUT COLD. In the meantime, while wearing an nWo t-shirt, the Booty Man brings out a birthday cake for Hogan. Upon entering the ring, Booty Man congratulates Hogan on his victory and his birthday. After hugging and kissing Booty Man, Hogan runs down Flair then whispers to Nash. As Nash holds the Booty Man, Hogan nails him with the belt. Along with the cake, a can of spray paint is included. Hogan then sprays “NWO” on the belt. Can someone please check the Giant for a concussion? He’s still OUT COLD.
Conclusion: It was a foregone conclusion that Hogan would win the belt here because if he didn’t, then then the nWo invasion is null and void. With that being said, the outdoor atmosphere combined with a couple of good matches, a unique crowd, and an historic main event make this show a must-see for wrestling fans.