Remember when long-time comedian and host of the Tonight Show, Jay Leno had a professional wrestling match on PPV? Well it happened in 1998 as WCW hosted a Road Wild PPV event in August of that year. Jay Leno would team with Diamond Dallas Page to take on the team of Hollywood Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff. The Wrestle Report Card fan Stephen319 requested a report card of this event. If you would like a report card of any event on the The WWE Network feel free to make a suggestion. Let us see how good this PPV was because it would obviously get the attention of many Jay Leno fans who wouldn’t normally watch wrestling.
Match 1: Meng pinned The Barbarian with The Tongan Death Grip in 4:48
Grade: 1.0 stars (D-). The Faces of Fear explode. Honestly, the reason the announcers gave for this match was that Meng targeted The Barbarian when he returned but never mentioned why. The match itself was not exciting just two big guys brawling for five minutes. This was an odd choice for an opener. After the match, Barbarian, Jimmy Hart, and Hugh Morrus attacked Meng until Hacksaw Jim Duggan made the save for some unknown reason. Both men would stay in WCW until 2000. Meng infamously resigned with the WWF in 2001 and made his return at the Royal Rumble while still the WCW Hardcore Champion
Match 2: The Public Enemy defeated The Dancing Fools after Johnny Grunge pinned Disco Inferno after splashing him through three tables in 15:27
Grade: 0.5 stars, (F). Why did this match have to be 15 minutes it seemed a lot longer. This match started innocently enough as a traditional Tag Team Match until Disco Inferno and Alex Wright attacked Johnny Grunge with a Trash Can. The announcers did not know what was going on. At first, they questioned why there was not a DQ, and then announced that is now a No DQ Street Fight. This was before Disco Inferno actually made the challenge to make it a Street Fight. A laughable case of WCW Miscommunication. The street fight portion was every stereo typical hardcore match of the genre as nothing stood out with the exception of the over complicated table spot on the floor that ended the match.
Match 3: Saturn defeated Raven and Kanyon in a Triangle Match by pinning Raven after a DVD in 12:26
Grade: 1.25 stars, (D). Raven tried to influence Kanyon to help him against his former ally Saturn. This was your typical Triple Threat Match and it lacked creativity despite them brawling up to the stage and concert set. Raven’s minions Horace and Lodi tried to interfere but that backfired. Saturn would once again defeat Raven at the next PPV Fall Brawl to free the flock which allowed Billy Kidman to be a standout in the Cruiserweight Division for years to come.
Match 4: Rey Mysterio pinned Psychosis with a Roll Up in 13:38
Grade: 2 stars, (C-). This was a #1 Contender Match for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship that would be decided later in the show. These two men had hundreds of matches together throughout their Hall Of Fame careers, and this might be one of the weaker matches. Psychosis tried to ground Rey Mysterio and started to get frustrated when he could not get the win allowing Mysterio to take advantage and steal the win. While Psychosis looked better then usual here, he still lost.
Match 5: WCW World TV Champion Stevie Ray pinned Chavo Guerrero Jr with The Slap Jack in 2:38
Grade: 0.25 stars, (F). So I guess Ray is only the self proclaimed Champion as he took possession of the belt after Booker T. was injured by Bret Hart at the last PPV Bash At The Beach. Chavo was in his crazy gimmick here, a preview of his Lt. Loco character he played in 2000. Therefore, Chavo tried to get Ray to chase him until Ray caught him and hit his finisher for the win. This match was pointless.
Match 6: Steve McMichael pinned Brian Adams with a “Spike Piledriver” in 6:32
Grade: 0 stars, (F). There was nothing good about this match at all. Mongo was sloppy and still green like an avocado. Why would WCW let him use a Tombstone which they called a “Spike Piledriver”. It was a shot at Undertaker and Kane that anyone could use the Tombstone but I hope Mongo didn’t hurt anyone in the process.
Match 7: Juventudd Guerrera pinned WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho with an assisted Hurricarana to win the title in 16:24
Grade: 3 stars, (B-). Chris Jericho was an amazing cocky heel here and Juventud was a good face in peril. This was a really good match with a little bit of a clunky ending as special guest referee Dean Malenko got involved in the end, but at least it was in a unique way.
Match 8: WCW World Champion Goldberg won the nWo Invitational Battle Royal by pinning The Giant with a Jackhammer in 7:58
Grade: 0.75 stars (F). This was a nine-man battle royal. Four men from nWo Hollywood, Giant. Scott Norton, Curt Henning, and Scott Hall. Four men from nWo Wolfpack, Sting Lex Luger Konnan, and Kevin Nash. Goldberg was the odd man here. So this was a pinfall, submission, or over the top rope Battle Royal. The only interesting part besides Goldberg going through everybody was that Kevin Nash eliminated himself to continue his feud with Scott Hall that started the previous May. Nash would win the 60 Man World War 3 Battle Royal in November and become the first man to beat Goldberg at Starrcade that year
Match 9: Diamond Dallas Page and Jay Leno defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff when Leno pinned Bischoff after Kevin Eubanks gave him a Diamond Cutter in 14:31
Grade: 0 stars, (F). One of the worst matches in wrestling history. While bringing in Jay Leno got WCW some main stream attention what we saw in the ring was offensive. Leno had no business in the ring, and technically Bischoff’s shoulders were not even on the mat in the final pinfall. This was a complete embarrassment.
Overall Show Grade: 0.97 (F). Wow! This show as terrible. I can see why it has the reputation of being one of the worst PPV’s of all-time. I might try to find a worse one, but it will be hard. WCW was still good in 1998, but shows like this demonstrated the flaws that would eventually lead to its demise. With undoubtedly non-WCW fans watching out of curiosity to see Jay Leno wrestle, WCW should have put together a blow away under card to retain their new viewers. The only two exciting matches on this card were Jericho vs. Guerrera and Mysterio vs. Psychosis and even those matches were below their standards. WCW struck out big time here, and it would be the first of many before their eventual demise in 2001.