Uncensored 1997

Uncensored
1997
Date:
March 16, 1997
Location:
North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, South Carolina
Attendance:
9,285
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This
show is known for two reasons: the main event and what happens after
the main event. This show is kind of a mixed bag as far as
continuations of old stuff and new stuff being added. The card looks
interesting at least, including one of the most tricked out main
events you’ll ever find which will take a few paragraphs to recap
alone before we even get to the twenty minutes it runs. Let’s get
to it.

The
opening video runs down the card which more or less says that there
are all gimmick matches tonight.
Dennis
Rodman is here tonight and we run down the stipulations for the main
event tonight which is one of the most complicated matches you’ll
ever see. Ok might as well get it out of the way now.
I’ll
spare the rules for later but the stipulations are that if Team WCW
(Giant, Luger, Steiners) wins, the NWO lost all of its titles and all
of the NWO couldn’t wrestle for three years. That’s just
comical. If Team Piper (Piper, Benoit, Mongo and Jarrett, with the
Horsemen replacing two real fighters and John Tenta in a HUGE mess of
an angle) wins Piper gets Hogan in a cage eventually and if Team NWO
(Hogan, Hall, Nash, Savage) wins they get a title shot they get to
pick whenever they say so.
NOW
we get to the show.
US
Title: Dean Malenko vs. Eddie Guerrero
This
is due to Eddie costing Dean the Cruiserweight Title last month.
Think this one will be awesome? Fast paced stuff to start as Dean
hits a shoulder to send Eddie to the floor. Dean stomps a mudhole
(Dusty’s word) into Eddie and adds a suplex so he can yell at Eddie
a bit. Dean is all ticked off here and it’s kind of awesome. This
is no DQ apparently. Eddie gets all aggressive too and is loudly
booed, I guess making him the heel here.
Dean
locks on a half crab as we cut to the back to see the NWO standing
over an unconscious Rick Steiner. At least we didn’t miss anything
as Dean has the hold on still. He shifts it back into almost a half
Liontamer as we confirm it was Rick. Dean throws him over the top
which isn’t a DQ here as we change the rules again. Despite Eddie
being the default heel here, Dean grabs the belt for a shot with it
and is booed as well.
Rock
Bottom out of nowhere takes Dean down as does a dropkick to the knee.
Eddie works over the knee with a shot from the top and a hilo down
onto it. We hit the leg lock as Eddie controls some more. STF now
as Rick is taken out on a stretcher and into an ambulance. The NWO
stands behind him and pretends to care in a nice jerk moment. Out to
the floor as Dean is in real trouble.
Figure
Four goes on and Eddie actually grabs the ropes. I guess this is
around the time he turned heel. Dean tries to speed things up a bit
and fails completely. Hilo misses but a baseball slide sends Dean
into the railing. Eddie tries a HUGE dive but gets sent into the
railing chest first.
They
chop it out and Eddie gets a backbreaker and powerbomb for two each.
They speed it up and do some technical stuff so Dean kicks him low
for two. Nice guy that Dean. Powerslam by Dean for two and he hits
Eddie with a Frog Splash but pulls Eddie up in a rather stupid move.
More technical and speed stuff results in a German to Eddie for two.
Tornado
DDT puts Dean down as this is a very back and forth match. Eddie
tries to pay Dean back with the Texas Cloverleaf and there it is.
Here comes Syxx with his camera because one NWO instance during the
match wasn’t enough I guess. He tries to steal the belt so Eddie
goes after him. Dean gets the camera, the camera goes upside Eddie’s
head and Dean is US Champion.
Rating:
B+. Great match until the ending which makes the whole thing
about Syxx instead of the great match which is another example of
what was wrong with WCW: there was no payoff to the 20 minutes of
wrestling because the NWO becomes the focus of things again. Oh
well. Eddie vs. Dean for twenty minutes is hard to complain about
and this was no exception as far as great matches go.
Piper
rants about the main event and saying he shouldn’t have to do that
to get a cage match with Hogan. Apparently Rodman wanted to try on
the kilt with Piper still in it. Piper is either insane or coked out
of his mind. You figure out which. The Horsemen pop up and they all
say they’re awesome while Piper makes gay jokes about Rodman.
Psychosis
vs. Ultimo Dragon
Dragon
is awesome and heel here while Psychosis is still masked and no
slouch in his own right. Just a random match here with no feud that
I can think of or title mentioned at all. The graphic of course says
Ultimate Dragon because WCW doesn’t have much intelligence. Tenay
sits in on commentary for this thank goodness. STF by Dragon doesn’t
last long as this is all technical stuff of course.
Ton
of technical stuff (standard with Crusierweights) results in a
standoff as we hear that they’ve never fought before. Tenay is so
much better as an expert it’s unreal. Dragon fires off his kicks
and it’s off to a leg lock. That lasts a few seconds and Psychosis
gets a dropkick for two. There’s Dragon’s headstand in the
corner which is always cool to see.
Enziguri
sets up a camel clutch by Dragon to slow things down a bit. That
gets reversed into one by the psycho dude. Guillotine leg drop
mostly hits but I guess that wasn’t his finisher yet I guess so
Dragon kicks out at two. We get some weird references to Dusty
training in Mexico which sounds like an inside joke of some sort. No
gimmick to this match I don’t think.
We
hear the story about Dragon being the last protégé of Bruce Lee,
which would mean he was a protégé before he turned seven years old.
I know he’s good but that’s a stretch even for WCW. Belly to
back puts both guys down. Something like a Whisper in the Wind sends
Dragon to the floor so Psychosis can hit a bit dive over the top to
the floor. Dragon hits a Tajiri elbow on the floor and his namesake
Asai moonsault to kill Psychosis again.
Sonny
adds in a kick on the floor and Dragon hits a Lionsault for two.
Pinfall reversal sequence gets two for Psychosis and La Magistrol
gets two for Dragon. Let’s talk about the NWO a bit as it’s
super rana time. We get what was either a goardbuster or a botched
superplex off the top depending on who you think was in control.
Psychosis gets a top rope rana for two and Dragon gets a Liger Bomb
for no cover. Tornado DDT (kind of) sets up a tiger suplex to give
Dragon the pin.
Rating:
C+. Not bad here but the pacing was all off. There really wasn’t
a buildup to an ending or a segment where they had anything set up
for psychology. Not a bad match or anything but at the same time
just kind of there. The lack of story or title aspect hurt it a lot
as well. The last two or three minutes were rather awkward also as
this needed to be about three minutes shorter.
Here’s
DDP who is the hottest thing in wrestling at this point so of course
he isn’t on the card. His feud with Savage was just starting which
is the one that more or less made him a legit guy in the ring and not
just with the fans. Gene asks if Page is going to be subbing for
Rick, but that would make far too much sense in WCW so we’re not
going to do that. Instead Page challenges Savage again.
Savage
and Liz pop up near the announce booth and Savage says he respects
Page because his wife is in Playboy. Always thought it was
Penthouse. I don’t think it had been revealed that Kimberly was
Page’s wife yet so this was pretty shocking stuff. The good stuff
is spraypainted of course and here’s Kimberly, also covered in
paint. Savage jumps Page and there’s some paint for him as well.
They would feud for nearly a year over this.
Glacier
vs. Mortis
Martial
arts match here. Mortis is more commonly known as Kanyon and has
James Vanderberg (Mitchell) with him. It’s Mortis’ debut.
Mortis, the guy in skull-based attire, shouts with a New York accent,
completely destroying his mystique quickly. Glacier yells about
getting kicked in the ear as this is a wrestling match rather than a
martial arts match.
Glacier
kicks Mortis. A lot. Vanderberg pulls Glacier off of him which
isn’t a DQ somehow. Mortis uses his legit innovative offense such
as a Fameasser for two. A second attempt is countered into a
powerbomb and both guys are down. Vanderberg shouts to Mortis to
REMEMBER TAIPEI which was never explained of course. More kicks by
Glacier and both guys are down.
Mortis
gets crotched on the top and a superplex gets two. Northern lights
suplex with a cradle gets two for Mortis as this referee is
annoyingly slow by comparison to the guys in the ring. Mortis pulls
the referee in front of Glacier’s superkick finisher and gets one
of his own for two. Vanderberg gets on the apron and the distraction
totally fails, allowing Glacier to hit the aforementioned kick for
the pin.
Rating:
C. This was definitely the best match they had in their seemingly
never ending series. Pretty decent match here as they moved rather
quickly in there. The overacting and the lack of anything definitive
as far as the story went got really old eventually. Not terrible
though and the pacing was good.
Post
match Wrath debuts and beats up Glacier.
We
see the video of the Outsiders running the Steiners off the road and
wrecking their car. You know, because attempted vehicular homicide
airing on national television is all cool right?
Buff
Bagwell vs. Scotty Riggs
Strap
match of the four corner variety here. Bagwell says he doesn’t
care if he loses this match on the way to the ring. Fine example of
the stuff that’s wrong with WCW right there. Riggs whips him a few
times but Bagwell hits the floor as the strap isn’t hooked up yet.
Bagwell gets crotched and whipped a lot. Riggs slides between Buff’s
legs and the balls are abused again. Somehow that all took nearly
five minutes.
Bagwell
takes over and mugs/talks to the camera a lot. He literally stops
for about 15 seconds to talk at times. Dude, get on with the boring
match already! This is one of those terrible matches where nothing
at all of note is going on as Buff is clearly going to win and no one
cares in the slightest. Buff again says he doesn’t care who wins
this.
Dusty
says this is brutal. Yeah it is but I don’t think it’s in the
same way that Dusty means. Bagwell makes him do the American Males
Clap and it’s as stupid as it sounds. They keep talking about a
bag of cement as some kind of a joke which isn’t funny in the
slightest. This is killing the crowd too. The referee shoves
Bagwell down in a comedy spot that isn’t funny. Blockbuster
doesn’t work so Riggs whips Bagwell a bit. Powerbomb puts Buff
down as does a missile dropkick. Riggs gets three buckles and that
more or less ends his offense. Bagwell hangs him and the four
corners end this.
Rating:
F+. First of all, this was terribly, and I do mean terribly
boring. Second, what in the world was the point in this being a
strap match? There was no way that Riggs was winning this and
everyone knew it. The solution? Give them thirteen minutes to prove
that Bagwell was going to win. Weak match and that’s putting it
very mildly.
The
NWO looks at the Playboy and guarantee victory. Rodman is talked
about incessantly.
Public
Enemy vs. Harlem Heat
This
is for the #1 contender spot which meant nothing because it’s not
like the Outsiders ever wrestled. Oh and this is Texas Tornado
rules. In essence this is a street fight and the weapons are in as
soon as the bell rings. This is one of those brawls where they’re
going to beat on each other for a good while until they get tired and
then it drags for awhile until we get to the ending.
The
white guys beat up Stevie until Booker makes the save. Booker
actually gets two on Grunge. Extension cord comes in and Rock
accidently hits Grunge. Various comedy weapons are brought in and
this is going nowhere for the most part. Dusty laughs a lot at stuff
that really isn’t funny. The guy enjoyed his work to be sure.
There’s
a toilet seat in there which is the main focus of the “comedy”
here. The announcers don’t pay a bit of attention here as you
would expect. Sherri helps a bit and Dusty loses whatever he had
left. More weapon shots and choking follow as it occurs to me that
Sherri and Public Enemy are all dead. That’s a rather saddening
thought. Dusty freaks over a pizza pan being brought in.
Grunge
gets crotched as we hit the slow down period. We get a shot of
Sherri hitting Rock so we shift to a camera view where we can’t see
anything but the ring because I guess a woman hitting a man hurts the
southern mentality or whatever. There was a low blow in there
somewhere and Dusty cracks up over it.
There’s
a purse brought in with some form of electronics in it. Rocket
Launcher gets two on Grunge. Sherri gets rammed into the railing and
Booker goes through a table. Here are Mongo and Jarrett for no
apparent reason. Ah apparently Heat is replacing them. Briefcase to
Grunge sets up the Harlem Hangover to end this after FAR too long.
Rating:
D+. This was your standard wild brawl that wasn’t really wild
and wasn’t anything resembling good but it’s not terrible for a
toss your brain out and let them destroy each other fight. It
definitely got far too tedious more than once but these can be
entertaining if they don’t go too long. This went too long but was
still kind of entertaining so points for that I suppose.
Gene
talks to Team WCW and explains the rules again, this time saying that
the NWO would have full power, not just having the right to challenge
for a title. Scott says he has more incentive now, Giant says it’s
time for spring cleaning and that his team is awesome. Lex plays up
the whole social clash/honor etc which Austin vs. Hart were doing far
better at the time.
TV
Title: Prince Iaukea vs. Rey Mysterio
This
is a rematch from last month. Rey takes over to start and hits a
front flip off a springboard for two. This is an extended fifteen
minute time limit instead of the usual ten. The same move as he hit
off the springboard hits over the top and it’s all Rey so far. The
announcers talk about how Rey and Dean are moving up the ladder and
it’s so funny to think that’s going to mean anything in the long
run.
Prince
hits a springboard dive and based on the crowd you would have thought
that he ran his hand through his hair. Back in the ring Rey gets a
middle rope bulldog for two. The fans flat out do not care.
Quebrada (Mike said it, not me) gets two for Rey. Sunset flip off
the middle rope gets the same. Rey tries to get the crowd into it
and it doesn’t work in the slightest.
A
senton (backsplash, not bomb) misses and Prince takes over with his,
ahem, REALLY FREAKING BORING offense. The problem with him is rather
obvious quickly: there is absolutely nothing unique about him in the
slightest. He’s Samoan, average size, average weight, no special
moves or anything at all like that. And yet somehow he’s TV
Champion. Iaukea can’t get a springboard cross body as Rey
counters with a dropkick. The Prince accidently low blows Rey as
things somehow get even slower.
They
both try dropkicks and are both down again. Rey gets a headscissors
for the first interesting move in far too long. Whisper in the Wind
takes Prince down and the clock runs out after about 12 minutes. Rey
wants to keep going, Prince says you’re on and here we go. No
mention of how long this is as Heenan isn’t sure either. Rey gets
a springboard enziguri and drops the dime for two. West Coast Pop is
set up but Prince rolls through into a sunset flip to retain. So
uh….the point to the extra time was what exactly?
Rating:
D. Rey was great at this point but he wasn’t a miracle worker.
Whoever thought Prince was worth anything was pretty freaking stupid
to say the least. He would FINALLY lose the title about a month
later to Regal and then would go away for a good while until coming
back as the Artist and win the Cruiserweight Title when no one cared
again.
Ad
for the NEW show, Spring Stampede. By new they mean not since 1994
when they had the first one. Horsemen are featured in a cowboy thing
which is kind of a cool idea.
Team
WCW vs. Team NWO vs. Team Piper
WCW:
Giant, Lex Luger, Scott Steiner
NWO:
Hall, Nash, Hogan, Savage
Piper:
Piper, McMichael, Jarrett, Benoit
This
is kind of like a cross between WarGames and a battle royal. You
have three guys start and go five minutes. Then after two minutes we
get another man from each team (Team WCW will miss an entry due to
Rick going on and they weren’t smart enough to have Page fill in).
It’s elimination style, which means we don’t have to deal with 11
guys in the ring at once. You can put someone out via pin,
submission, knockout and over the top.
If
Team WCW wins, the NWO is stripped of all titles and can’t wrestle
for 3 years. If Team Piper wins, Piper gets Hogan in a cage at a
time to be announced. If Team NWO wins, they more or less have carte
blanche (Previously they would have gotten a title shot anywhere
anytime, kind of like Money in the Bank). They change that back to
the MITB thing but it would ultimately be the free reign thing.
Benoit,
Hall and Giant start us off. They’re not at ringside which is kind
of stupid as you would be able to jump them as they come out in
theory no? Benoit jumps Hall before Giant gets there. Not that we
can see that as we need to see Giant’s very slow walk to the ring
instead. Giant gets in very slowly which is rather smart before
taking them both down with a clothesline.
Benoit
tries to chop away and it doesn’t work at all. It’s almost hard
to believe that Benoit would be world champion before Hall.
Basically this is Giant and two other guys in there as he keeps
dominating the entire time. Elbow drop on Hall so Benoit tries to
jump Giant. No real attempts to throw anyone out but since you can
win by pinfall that’s ok.
Sleeper
doesn’t work for Hall and Giant gets a huge chokeslam to Benoit for
only two. Hall saves, I guess out of fear of fighting Giant one on
one. Giant busts out the claw of all things but a corner splash
misses and Giant is gone first! That leaves two guys for Team WCW.
The clock runs out on the first period and it’s Jarrett, Randy
Savage and Luger. That puts five guys in the ring at the moment if
you’re keeping score.
It’s
more or less a battle royal at this point as Luger can’t gorilla
press Savage out. Jeff avoids a Razor’s Edge and here come Mongo,
Nash and Scott Steiner. No real effort to put anyone out right now
as everyone is really just beating on each other. Belly to belly
puts Nash down as we only have Hogan and Piper left. Nash gets a big
boot and clothesline to Jarrett and he’s out. Jeff that is. Mongo
gets backdropped out so Team Piper has just Benoit and Piper left.
Here
are Hogan and Piper so everyone is out there now. Nash gets a big
boot to Steiner to knock him out so Luger is all that’s left for
WCW, Piper and Benoit for Piper and all of the NWO is left. Wait
where’s Hogan? What a shock he’s going to come out last isn’t
he? Oh there he is with Dennis Rodman. Piper is on the floor but
not out. Scratch that as he’s back now. Seven people in at the
moment.
Hogan,
Piper and Savage are on the floor with Hogan kind of chilling and
Piper choking Savage. The Outsiders beat up Benoit and everyone is
finally in there at the same time. Hogan throws Piper through the
ropes and they brawl on the floor a bit. After Savage jumps them in
the aisle everyone goes back to the ring. In a HORRIBLY stupid
looking moment, Piper is sent into the ropes but Rodman pulls it down
to put him out. This would have looked passable if Piper didn’t
JUMP OVER THE ROPE BEFORE IT WAS PULLED DOWN. And people wonder why
they went out of business.
They
keep brawling on the floor anyway and Savage helps as it’s the
Outsider Edge for Benoit. The tag champs toss him out and Team Piper
is gone. Luger is the only one left for WCW and he’s against
technically five guys counting Rodman. The NWO literally stands
around for a minute and a half posing before Nash sets him up for a
powerbomb.
Luger
escapes and racks Savage, clotheslines Nash and racks Hall to
eliminate all three in under thirty seconds. And never mind as when
he goes to rack Hogan, Savage gets the spraypaint from Rodman and
pops Luger in the face with it so Hogan can get the winning pin. The
NWO won a big match. I’m shocked too.
Rating:
B-. The match was actually pretty good as it didn’t really get
stupid and for a big multi-man tag, this actually worked. I fail to
see why Rick wasn’t out there but still, pretty good stuff. The
ending was obvious but it doesn’t ever drag, the stuff they did
made perfect sense the entire time and it was kind of interesting.
Shockingly good main event.
Now
it’s time for the REAL reason to watch this show as the NWO gets
out of the ring and STING comes down from the ceiling. Up to this
point it was unclear as to which side he was on. Sting drills the
NWO with the bat and the place ERUPTS. Scorpion Death Drops all
around and it’s only Hogan left. Hogan gets all fired up and Sting
points the bat at him. Hogan says he’ll kill him if he puts the
bat down so Sting drops it.
Here
comes Hogan and he actually gets in the ring. Sting turns his back
to him so he can actually get a free shot which Sting completely no
sells. Hogan gets drilled and put out with the Scorpion as the fans
lose their freaking minds to end the show.
Overall
Rating: C+. Definitely not the worst show ever and
by far and away the best Uncensored of all time at this point. The
ending is totally awesome as we shift from the Piper vs. Hogan stuff
to Hogan vs. Sting which would be the primary feud the entire year.
You can really see that the non-NWO stuff isn’t given much thought
at all and it’s far more on the wrestlers to do things themselves,
which is fine but interesting to see. Anyway, better show than
expected but it does drag at times.

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