Rev your engines for WCW Road Wild

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August 10, 2012

Chris Jericho competed at Road Wild in 1997 and 1998 and remembered how difficult it was just to get to the event. (PHOTOS | VIDEO PLAYLIST)

“It was really hard to access Sturgis just because it is so far from Rapid City [a major city in South Dakota],” Jericho explained. “The place was packed and finding a place to stay was tough, but it was great for Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan because they would ship their bikes up there and ride around Sturgis.”

Jericho also reminisced about the spectators sitting on their choppers during the event. However, in true fashion, the former WCW Cruiserweight Champion did his best to get under the skin of the mostly Harley Davidson–riding crowd.

“I wore a kimono to the ring and talked to the audience about riding into Sturgis on my Kawasaki,” Jericho remembered with a laugh. “The engines starting revving, boos came pouring in and everyone watching wanted to rip my head off.”

Although Y2J fondly recalled his 1998 Cruiserweight Title defense against Juventud Guerrera with Dean Malenko as the special referee, a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert the night before is the lead singer of Fozzy’s favorite memory of the famed rally.

“There were about 15 to 20,000 people in this huge campground and the band were huge WCW fans,” Jericho explained. “I remember myself, Dean Malenko, Chavo Guerrero and Eddie Guerrero watching this amazing concert from in-between the stage and the fan barricade. As weird as Sturgis was from a wrestling standpoint, there were some really great memories to be had.”

Kidman, Malenko and Jericho each vividly remembered the audience and the environment at Sturgis, praising the novelty of the event, but remain baffled that Road Wild offered free admission each year.

“The novelty of Road Wild was great,” Kidman told WWE Classics. “But to do it for free every year just didn’t make sense from a business standpoint once that novelty was gone, it’s not something WWE should ever try to replicate.”

“It was different but not something that needs to be done again,” Malenko said, sharing Kidman’s sentiments.

“It was a unique idea initially,” Jericho explained. “Financially it wasn’t that great of an idea, but it was a really different vibe that you’ll never see again. The outdoor parking lot, the bikers revving their engines — it was a strong spectacle. After doing it a handful of times, that was it. It’s done.”

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