Uncensored 1997 – Sting vs. Hogan Begins

Uncensored 1997
Date: March 16, 1997
Location: North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, South Carolina
Attendance: 9,285
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Heenan

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 accidentally 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 accidentally 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.

4 comments

  1. See this what got me into wrestling, the Sting-Hogan feud. I always wanted to see what mind games Sting would pull off the next week, like the Sting army. It wasn’t until I was flipping channels and saw some bald guy flipping people off that I got into WWE.
    On another wavelength, one of the things I always like imagining was what if WWE had gotten Sting for him vs. Taker and had them both using mind games? Their personas seemed to mesh really well.

  2. Grant McLellan says:

    “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”

    Two things that bother me about this statement. First is I hate it when someone says “that would make too much sense” in a cynical manner. And second is it me or would putting DDP in the main event match at this point be jumping the gun on him a bit. I mean his WCW career turned out okay regardless if given a megapush at the time or not

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yeah it would have been jumping the gun. At Spring Stampede he would beat Savage and get his first major win. After that he would feel like a more legit guy, but at this point he was in way over his head just challenging Savage.

  3. John says:

    Watching these again reminds me how bloody bored Hogan made me. I wasn’t even a hater. I just found him boring. I always enjoyed Hall and Macho on the mic and even Nash was ok, but Hogan just gave me the shits.

    The other thing which is so stupid about this era is that you never had your best wrestlers wrestling on their main show. They looked rusty every PPV. Hall, Nash, Syxx, Macho, Sting were all good to great wrestlers who could put on a good match, and yet they never had a serious match on nitro etc for over a year.