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Chris Benoit vs Dean Malenko (WCW Hog Wild 08/10/96)

WCW Road Wild August 10 1996 Chris Benoit Dean Malenko Sturgis SD 4*

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#1 Loss

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 04:36 PM

Talk about it here.



#2 Loss

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:20 PM

What a bunch of winners these fans are, which is obvious even before the backlash starts. Doing a wrestling show at Sturgis seems like an okay idea on the surface -- you'd think a bunch of drunken bikers would make for a great, heated atmosphere, and it would if they were wrestling fans at all. Benoit and Malenko deliver a match that in any real arena in the country would have gotten ridiculous heat and would be remembered as one of the best matches ever, which is evident if you look at every other WCW match where they did the extend-the-time-limit gimmick. This isn't a perfect match. They throw bombs around like they're nothing, and despite the nice exchanges, moves aren't really sold very much in the long-term, and they may do a little too much. But the match was actually well-booked enough to surpass any of that, and the positives of the match outweigh that stuff, live audience be damned. Doing a PPV in front of this crowd and not drawing a gate because Bischoff was a motorcycle enthusiast -- and coming back three more times despite them crapping on wrestling and being generally non-responsive unless the wrestlers were black -- really made WCW look bush league.

#3 Childs

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 05:47 PM

This was an incredibly tone-deaf match layout given the crowd. I mean two five-minute overtimes? Really? I don't know that you can blame the workers. They also had the pay-per-view audience to consider and might not have been allowed to call an audible. But it made for an unpleasant spectacle overall.

#4 Ditch

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 03:55 PM

I know someone who was front row and said that as best he could tell, the people liked the action but just wanted Benoit to win and were annoyed that it didn't happen. I don't agree with that at all, maybe the front rows had better/more informed fans but it's obvious from the start that the crowd didn't care for the action.

#5 El-P

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 04:36 PM

I blame the workers for doing a NJ Korakuen Hall match before this audience. Neither of them had any will to try to involve the crowd, they worked like they were in a vacuum.

#6 Resident Evil

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 06:51 PM

If you listen to the crowd before teh boos, you will notice there are some cheers before they get overwhelmed which I found interesting. The match itself I loved being a workrate fan. It's a very interesting match to look at and think about structure wise. It is also one of the most insane muscular/cardio physcial tests I have ever seen in wrestling. Benoit at this point was one of the most conditioned guys of all time in wrestling. Malenko has to be given props to him too because he worked his butt off.

#7 El-P

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 04:40 AM

It's the kind of match I would ave gone ga-ga over 12 years ago. Rewatching it a few years back, I thought it was actively boring. Just like the famous Dean vs Eddie matches from ECW rather bored me when I rewatched them last year. I was more interested by the Sandman's matches to be honest.

#8 Johnny Sorrow

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:02 AM

I remember watching this on PPV and even though I liked both guys I was with the crowd. For fuck's sake, end this. (And I rewatched the Harlem Heat match again recently and I still haven't heard any "racist" chants.)

#9 Tim Evans

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 11:00 PM

I liked the match and Heenan was pretty good calling it. I can see why the crowd would shit on it though. The two overtimes were ridiculous and they started repeating moves towards the end.

#10 jackwebb

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:01 PM

I came to make similar complaints about the crowd for this but thought it would probably already be covered. I was disappointed that Mysterio vs Ultimo Dragon wasn't included. The match was the perfect example of how great Mysterio is since he managed to completely win over the crowd by match end. I thought in that match the odd crowd actually ended up being an asset.

#11 El-P

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 03:55 PM

I'd rather stare at Liz and Woman in mini-shorts doing nothing for 30 minutes. This is just a bombfest with zero dynamic (your turn/my turn for 30 minutes) and no effort to involve a dead crowd. Yeah, worked in a vaacum. Ultimo vs Rey craps on this match so hard it's not funny. And the timekeeper announcing that only 5 minutes were left as a total giveaway made it even more annoying. It's telling that Woman interfering got the most heat. I don't blame the crowd. Most overrated match of the year.



#12 Matt D

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 04:03 PM

I kind of wish Regal had been at one of the four Road/Hog Wild cards to see what he would have done in front of this crowd.



#13 Zenjo

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 09:51 PM

An infamous match with the biker crowd. I don't know if the version on the set was the original PPV as it sounds like the heat machine was brought into action here. Never has it been more gratefully received. It's only during the OT period I could hear the fans displeasure. Well I say fans in the loosest terms. Having a Nitro here would've been preferable to a PPV, as all the matches could be kept to 5m or less. I think an ECW show would work well in front of this audience also.

 

Initially it went to a 20m draw, which is where they should've left it. Commendable workrate, good intensity and a wide variety of moves utilised. The structure and psychology were very Japanese. Exhaustion selling was also strong. Unfortunately they decided to have 5m overtime, not once but twice. Why have a time limit if you're going to do that? The 1st period was submission based, which they should've done earlier on in the bout, if at all. Then after that a screwjob finish. Ugh. Despite the booking I still enjoyed the match. Both were skilled competitors who worked well together. They connected with me, and that's all I'm really bothered about.



#14 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 02:11 PM

Chris Benoit w/Woman & Miss Elizabeth vs Dean Malenko – WCW Hog Wild 1996

 

At least Miss Elizabeth & Woman were on the hard camera, so that gives it a leg up on modern WWE and 2000s indy wrestling. Seriously, we need more female valets to add a bit of color and glamour to the product. Trotting out Dolph Ziggler and Bad News Brown for a heatless spotfest would be so much better with some extracurricular pieces at ringside. This is not just me being a shallow dude, the most heat in this match was because Woman interfered and that’s because it was something of consequence. I am being a little harsh because Benoit and Malenko are just of the greatest at execution so a 30 minute spotfest by them is better than run of the mill spotfest of the 21st century, but it is still not great and it is not the fault of Sturgis Bikers that they did not “get” this match because there was nothing to get.

 

First the match layout is totally disconnected from the angle. The angle being presented is that Malenko was hired to take Benoit out by Kevin Sullivan & The Dungeon of Doom. Given the fact it was a blood feud, I don’t think Malenko proving he is the better wrestler and earning Benoit’s respect through an intricate and very cool rollup/bridge sequence was what The Taskmaster had in mind. The match layout is a classic layout with two great wrestlers trying to pin each other in a scientific and classy manner. Then they are just like fuck that layout and fuck the angle. We are going for bombs. It was just suplexes, headbutts and slams galore. At least, Dusty was hilarious trying to pronounce “Millennium”.   The one thing they have going for them is that they are at least making the effort to show they are concerned about winning by going for covers often and trying to put their opponent away. However, there is not much long-term selling and they are just hitting moves willy-nilly. Thus we go to the first draw. In the first overtime, at least, Benoit cheats a little by clocking Malenko from behind while he discussing the rules with the ref. Benoit applies a Texas Cloverleaf and just lets go. This is my least favorite thing in all of wrestling. Such an eyeball-roll inducing spot. Benoit goes after leg with some holds, but none as convincing as the Cloverleaf he had on! Again, we get a draw and now the crowd is getting hot. They are pissed that this match is dragging on forever. The last fall was actually the most interesting. Benoit hits his finish at the time, the Dragon Suplex, which Malenko kicks out. Now Malenko applies the Cloverleaf and as Benoit makes it to the ropes, Malenko switches to an STF, which is genius. Woman rakes Malenko’s eyes and Benoit rolls up. What a totally out of context finish to just a really weird match. It was entertaining watching this from an offensive exhibition. From an offense point of view, this was and still is state of the art blowing pretty much everything out of the water in terms of crispness and damage level. The lack of a hook or any consequence to the moves really hurt this. ***1/2 



#15 PeteF3

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Posted 16 March 2015 - 07:08 PM

Why does there "have to be" a winner, anyway? Anyway, yeah, these two wrestle in a vacuum as they're wont to do, and they don't even respond to the time calls well. The crowd seemed generally polite until the announcement of the overtime period, even though nothing much of consequence was happening. Now, I wouldn't call this a "spotfest" necessarily, because these two are so fundamentally sound that the transitions all work. But nothing is sold long-term and there's no real story going on, at least until Benoit targets Malenko's knee in the first OT. Heenan was also actively annoying me, playing the "he got him!" gag way past the point of staleness and declaring that Malenko would "never give up" in the Texas cloverleaf. All this for a super-cheap finish, too. Underwhelming stuff.



#16 soup23

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 05:13 AM

Fuck this crowd. A great contrast to the Koshinaka vs. Muto match earlier that had a great crowd but I thought was just spots being repeated. This had a lot of bombs but I thought enough selling, reversals, and payback spots to improve the match greatly. The crowd was mostly mundane until the overtime when they really get angry but I enjoyed every minute of this and really think it deserves better. In some ways, I commend Benoit and Malenko for not refusing to conform and still doing their stuff in front of this crowd. **** 



#17 drew wardlaw

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 10:35 PM

First of all, as Malenko's music plays, the camera pans over the crowd and there is a man with huge SS bolts on his t-shirt.

 

Anyway, this is my favorite WCW match of all time, and my 2nd favorite wrestling match period. All of the objectively negative things about the match are what make it special to me. At the time, my parents wouldn't order me any of the ppvs because they thought wrestling was stupid and we were too poor, so I had to watch them scrambled and listen to the audio. So hearing the match being called was especially surreal because I didn't understand why the 3rd or 4th match was lasting so long and why there were overtimes. As for the match, two of the best wrestlers in the world, outside in what must have been pretty gnarly heat and humidity, surrounded by a few hundred scumraid biker trash who are uninterested at best, angry and actively booing the match just for existing.  I think the hitman Malenko narrative actually does work because Jimmy Hart hired him to beat Benoit, and Malenko goes for several pinning attempts early in the match and Benoit wants to escape with a win, so they just going off on each other and most of the suplexes and high spots are followed by pinning attempts.  Although Tony comments on how he thinks Hart maybe wants Malenko to "eliminate" Benoit, so that kind of ruins it. Oh well.  The selling, or lack of, doesn't offend me because there wasn't really extensive limb work that was ignored and they are visibly beat and struggling between moves during the later stages.

 

But the more important kind of meta narrative is that no one cares about these two men.  The announce team doesn't know what's going on and are joking throughout the match. The crowd is bored and mad. Nick Patrick doesn't even care because he's on the NWO's payroll at this point!  It's entirely inappropriate in almost every way. There's no reason for the match to go into overtime.  There's no stakes at all.  There's a crummy finish.  There's really no reason for them to be working as hard as they are.  But it doesn't matter because they just out and have the match that they want to have despite everyone else. It comes off really hateful towards the crowd and the event as a whole.  It's kind of beautiful when you think about it.  Like, in the midst of utterly stupid conditions  two people are able to express their art so effectively. 



#18 tim

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:30 PM

This was a good match that I felt got less good as it went on, and by the time it ended I was happy it was over. The landscape is a really cool backdrop for the match though.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WCW, Road Wild, August 10, 1996, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Sturgis SD, 4*

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