Uncensored 1999: FLAIR BEATS HOGAN!!!
Date: March 14, 1999
Location: Freedom Hall, Louisville, Kentucky
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Another Uncensored here in the form of the 1999 version. The main event is Hogan vs. Flair in a first blood steel cage match that you can win by pin for the title and control of the company. Other than that this is more or less the standard WCW card from this era as you can see how far the company has fallen in a single year. Also this show is in Kentucky and the only reason I heard about it was my family was in Louisville a few days before the show. They never advertised in Lexington, which is only about an hour and ten minutes away. I’d try to tap into the extra 300,000 fans but that’s just me. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is one of those weird ones that looks like a prison and then the visuals of Flair and Hogan are all weird looking. It’s kind of hard to describe.
The cage will have barbed wire around the top apparently. Also Tony flat out says that hit’s a first blood cage match. Flair’s career and job as leader of the company is on the line.
Video on Nash vs. Rey which resulted in Rey losing his mask earlier. Nash also offered him a spot in the NWO and it got turned down.
Cruiserweight Title: Mikey Whipwreck vs. Billy Kidman
This is Whipwreck (a heel here) making his debut and he’s getting a title show. Well of course he is. Louisville wasn’t an ECW town so I doubt many people know who Mikey is. Kidman tries to speed things up to start but Mikey grabs a front facelock which doesn’t last long. Whipwreck is left handed. Since there’s no story here I need things to fill in space like that. SWEET dropkick by Kidman.
After being outside for just a few seconds Kidman comes back in and hits a cross body for two. Mikey sends him to the floor again and gets a wheelbarrow slam into the railing. Indian Deathlock goes on back in the ring to hurt the leg so now let’s work on the neck. Kidman reverses an Irish Whip and takes him down with a clothesline so he can stomp a mudhole.
Fameasser by Kidman is countered into a powerbomb for two. Off to a reverse front facelock (kind of like a weak Dragon Sleeper) which doesn’t last long. Mikey goes to the floor again and Kidman gets a huge dive onto him but it looked like Whipwreck was down already so the landing looked pretty bad. Back in and Mikey hits a slingshot move for two. Slingshot suplex is countered into a DDT by the champ to set up the Shooting Star.
Mikey sends him to the floor though but a big dive misses and Whipwreck crashes into the railing. FREAKING OW MAN! Kidman is backdropped into the crowd as this has been pretty back and forth here. Back inside now and a leg sweep gets two on Kidman. A splash misses in the corner and lets Mikey get two. After some waiting around, Kidman gets a Low Down for two.
Whipwreck goes up and avoids a superplex. Nice top rope clothesline gets two. Sitout Pedigree by Kidman gets two as this is needing to end pretty soon. Top rope belly to back gets two for Mikey. Powerbomb is countered by Kidman and that always awesome Shooting Star is enough for Kidman to retain.
Rating: B-. Good match here but 15 minutes was probably too long. Cut this down by about three minutes and it’s a lot better. Mikey is a weird kind of cruiserweight as he wrestles like a small heavyweight rather than a cruiserweight and it makes for some odd matches at times. Not bad for sure but probably just too long.
We get a video on the cage being built for later.
Stevie Ray vs. Vincent
This is a street fight for control of NWO Black and White, because when you think leadership of a heel team, you think Vincent. Since it’s a street fight, Stevie gets checked for weapons. Do you really expect for there to be a good match here? Out to the floor with Vincent in control. Did he ever win a match in WCW? They go into the stands and fight over like 50 empty seats.
Gee WCW, I’m sure you made the right decision to waste all those seats in an arena that you have a huge crowd. Clearly no one would have wanted those seats. Vincent backdrops him to ringside as I can’t believe I’m seeing Vincent in a match on PPV. Middle rope forearm gets two for Vincent. Stevie wakes up and we get the most ridiculous collision spot ever, as Stevie leans forward and Vincent doesn’t move for the spot to him. Horace comes out and hands Stevie a slapjack but Stevie hits a move called the Slapjack (elevated Pedigree) for the pin.
Rating: F. Vincent was in a gimmick match on a PPV in 1999 with Horace Hogan involved in it as well. Do I need to explain to you why this was a failure? The match sucked too and it sucked hard. I mean like Pat Patterson trying to make up with Vince hard.
Kevin Nash vs. Rey Mysterio
Yes you read this right. Mysterio is in a giant killer thing, including a pin over Nash. Oh and Rey has no mask anymore. Luger is out with Nash here, as is Liz. Rey runs right into a boot in the first move of the match. Nash tosses him around a bit but gets caught in a sitout bulldog as the fans are WAY into this. Rey sends him to the floor and uses what we would call the 619 (it’s just a tease move in WCW and never makes any actual contact).
Nash dodges a dive and sends Rey into the railing to take over. Back inside now and Nash is dominant. In a funny spot he sets up the framing elbow in the corner but has to put Rey on the middle rope to be able to hit it. Biggest atomic drop ever puts Rey down again. Low blow by Rey is all cool with the referee and a dropkick gets two. Moonsault press is caught and Luger trips Rey, allowing another big boot to set up the super jackknife to end this. It was almost a Border Toss the way he did it.
Rating: D+. This is a different kind of match. On paper it’s more or less a squash but here that’s the right idea. The idea was that Rey had hit the lucky streak of a lifetime and finally got caught here. In other words, Nash winning here was exactly what should have happened. There comes a point where a guy as small as Rey beating a guy as big as Nash in a regular match (as in not off a quick fluke) is unrealistic and hurts the story. This is one of those times. No issue here, and ironically enough the time of the match was 6:19.
Raven talks about violence causing violence.
Hak (Sandman) says he’s ready for his hardcore triple threat.
Bigelow says he’s awesome. Yeah these guys left their spots as being top stars in ECW to do ECW style matches in the low midcard of WCW. Makes sense.
Jerry Flynn vs. Ernest Miller/Sonny Onoo
Note that this is Flynn and not the far more talented and interesting Lynn. Flynn is a dull as vanilla ice cream in a white room with a single window where you can watch grass growing. It’s karate stuff here again because that’s all these three know how to do. They have to tag here. Basic story here: Onoo (allegedly one of the best fighters in the world) is terrified of Flynn so Miller (another world champion remember) has to do everything. You know, because Flynn is so awesome that two champion martial artists can’t handle him.
This is one of those matches where there is absolutely nothing to talk about. This match didn’t belong on Thunder and yet it’s getting seven minutes on a PPV. Miller is in the match the entire time and hits the Feliner (Trouble in Paradise) to put Flynn down. Now it’s off to Sonny and as soon as Flynn gets up it’s off to Sonny again. Flynn beats on Miller on the floor and then the tag finally hits. One kick from Flynn pins Onoo. Whatever man.
Rating: F-. Jerry Flynn has less purpose on this show than Vincent did. Let that sink in for a bit. Totally worthless match and no point whatsoever on being on this show. Also, STOP HAVING KARATE GUYS FIGHT EACH OTHER. The point is to have them fight other styles so it doesn’t get boring. Weak match and totally pointless. Give me ANYTHING else.
Benoit and Malenko are ready to win the tag titles from Windham and Hennig tonight. It’s a lumberjack strap match.
Hak vs. Raven vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Hardcore match of course but that isn’t an official word yet. Hak has what used to be Mongo’s music. Even Raven has a theme now and he has his “sister” Chastity with him. Big brawl to start with Bigelow running everyone over. Chastity leaves for a bit and comes back with a dumpster full of weapons. This is going to be another one of those matches where there isn’t much to say.
Raven is controlling at the moment with various shots from metal objects. Sandman screams and overacts a lot. There’s a mailbox and an ironing board. Drop toehold sends Hak into a pile of stuff. They’re pretty much just throwing stuff at each other here. Bigelow is the only one standing. Trashcan shot to the head puts Hak down but Raven hits a low blow on Bammer to take over again.
Hak breaks an ironing board over Raven and everything stops again. Apparently he has a patented left hand. So does every other left handed person on the planet or anyone that hits somebody with a left hand own him a quarter or something? Bigelow hits Sandman with a box fan and the fans loudly boo. There’s an oar to Bigelow’s crotch. Raven does his pose and gets a big reaction.
Raven hits a WEAK chair shot to Bigelow who pops up from it as he should have. These spots are happening with about 30 seconds between them. Hak pops up after a cookie sheet shot and jumps on Bigelow with a sleeper. Raven jumps on Hak and they all fall down again. Heineken-Rana (yes that’s the real name) from Hak takes Raven down and it’s table time.
An ECW chant starts up and is immediately muted. I mean it just gets quiet almost instantly. Bigelow can’t splash Raven through a table so he powerbombs him instead. THE TABLE DOESN”T MOVE. Bigelow has to splash him instead and somehow Hak is still alive. He brings in the cane and here’s Chastity. There’s another table and make it a third. Bigelow goes most of the way through one of them and Raven DDTs Hak.
Naturally he doesn’t cover as Chastity has slipped him some tape and he’s taping Hak’s arms behind his back. We get the just not needed Rock/Foley series of unprotected chair shots to the head until Bigelow hits Greetings From Asbury Park (over the shoulder Piledriver) to kill Raven. Chastity hides in the dumpster and Bigelow threatens to jump in it. She comes up with a fire extinguisher and Bigelow falls through the table. And then she turns on Raven and Hak pins him to end this.
Rating: D. This was a pretty intense hardcore match but it was FIFTEEN MINUTES LONG. Seriously, who in the world thought that was a good idea? These matches are already repetitive and having guys out there that are spent a few minutes in, how good are you expecting this to be? The spots were solid but it just went way too long here and that’s why it’s rated so low.
We get a brief break to clean the ring as the announcers talk.
Tag Titles: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Curt Hennig/Barry Windham
This is a lumberjack strap match, meaning the lumberjacks have them. None of them are stars or anything and Hennig/Windham are the champions. One of the lumberjacks is Kendall Windham, as in Barry’s brother. Hennig and Benoit start us off. Arn Anderson comes down to ringside before we really get going. Chris Adams leaves and Arn takes his place, for some reason having his own leather strap in his jacket. I won’t ask.
The champs try to run and they get thrown back in by the lumberjacks. We finally get going and the starters trade slaps with Benoit destroying him. Out to the floor again and Hennig runs like a guy being chased by a mob with leather straps who want to beat him down. Off to Windham and he gets chopped too. Windham is sent outside and the lumberjacks start it up again.
Sweet mercy those are awesome chops. Malenko comes in and doesn’t miss a step from Benoit as the champions haven’t had a bit of offense yet. Back off to the Canadian who keeps dominating. Windham finally gets a boot up in the corner to set up a DDT and a tag to Hennig. Off to a chinlock as Hennig pretty audibly calls spots. Barry comes in again and a clothesline gets two.
Benoit hits a German and it’s the medium heat tag to Malenko. Benoit hadn’t been down enough yet for a hot tag so it’s close enough. Everything breaks down and Malenko hits a Hennigplex for two on Curt with a fast count. Cloverleaf goes on Curt and he taps but Windham makes the save before the referee sees it. Sleeper goes on Dean by Curt and then he dumps Dean.
Anderson comes over to save him from the beating and asks what’s wrong with you guys. That coming from Arn is just awesome. Dean tries to get something going against Windham but a hard elbow and a belly to back suplex stops that. Dean hammered away during the suplex though so both guys are down. Double tag brings in Benoit and Hennig with the Crippler in command. He steals Windham’s belt and we hit the floor where everything explodes. Hennig nails Anderson so Anderson pulls out a tire iron to blast Curt with. The most ridiculous Swan Dive ever (in a good way) ends Hennig a moment later.
Rating: B-. Pretty standard formula match here but it was good. The lumberjacks might have been a bit much but it was nothing too bad. That headbutt was insane as Hennig was beyond the logo on the mat and it made actual contact (with the arm but give him a break). Pretty good match here and nice to see Benoit getting a title after not having one for a very long time.
Chris Jericho vs. Perry Saturn
This is a dog collar match. Saturn had been in a dress recently and has promised to top that here. And now he’s in a dress made of chains. He also has some special contacts in which make his eyes yellow. The eyes have makeup on them and he’s wearing black lipstick. They’re chained around the neck. I have a feeling this won’t be Piper vs. Valentine. Jericho accepts the challenge for the match (which even Tony says “well we know that”) and then tells Ralphus to put the collar on. Even he says no to that and Jericho throws him out.
Jericho charges before he’s even attached and that goes badly for him. Saturn collars him on his own which is creepy. Jericho tries to run and that doesn’t work of course. Perry beats on him a lot as this is pretty dull so far. There’s some choking and Saturn uses the chain in a lot of regular moves. He pulls Jericho off the apron, throat first into the railing. Literally all Saturn so far.
Jericho finally gets a ball shot with the chain and chokes him over the ropes a bit. He tries to powerbom Saturn back into the ring but gets caught in a rana instead. Chris brags some but takes too much time, allowing Saturn to pull him off the top. All Perry now with him throwing Jericho around a lot.
We go to the corner for ten punches and Saturn puts the dress over Jericho’s head. He gets caught in a Liontamer attempt though and is in trouble. In a pretty smart counter, Saturn wraps the chain around Jericho’s neck even more before he turns it so that while the hold is on, Jericho gets choked at the same time and he can’t hold onto it. Nicely done. Death Valley Driver out of nowhere gets two for Perry. Super rana attempt is countered into a powerbomb/spinebuster off the middle rope by Jericho.
Jericho unchains himself from Saturn, completely defeating the purpose of the match, and attaches it to his own neck so it’s wrapped around his chest. Lionsault misses so Jericho goes up again. A top rope splash misses due to Jericho tucking the chain into his tights for some reason and another Death Valley Driver ends Jericho.
Rating: D+. The match was really just a match that had a chain involved other than a few spots. The ending completely defeated the purpose though, which doesn’t really surprise me in WCW, especially in 1999. They just weren’t too bright around this time. Also the Saturn is psycho thing didn’t really mean all that much. Just kind of there, which isn’t good for a gimmick based around violence, of which there wasn’t much at all.
TV Title: Scott Steiner vs. Booker T
Steiner is champion and has Bagwell with him. Steiner stalls a lot before the match and threatens the referee a lot. They get in each others faces and Steiner hits the floor again, shouting CROSS THE LINE at some fans. If someone says wrestling matters I’ll die of laughter. We finally get going and kind of grapple a bit until Booker snaps off an armdrag to tick off Steiner.
They actually speed things up a bit and slug it out. Spin kick misses and Scott hits the floor. Booker is being a lot more aggressive here and I kind of like it. Steiner stalls a ton and they’re really not in full gear yet. He fights up and hits a rotating cross body off the top for two as Buff pulls him out. Steiner throws him into the crowd for a bit and that doesn’t go anywhere.
Steiner drops the elbow but doesn’t have the pushups thing yet. Back inside after some Bagwell choking, Steiner hits a Warrior gorilla press slam drop and is in full control. That gets two with just a knee on Booker’s chest. Spinning belly to belly gets two and we hit the weak rear chinlock. I mean at least flex your arms Scott.
After that gets broken up a forearm smash puts Steiner down. Spinwheel kick puts Scott down and there’s the axe kick. Flapjack sets up the Spinarooni for a nice pop. Harlem side kick looks to put the referee down but we actually don’t get a ref bump. Bagwell interferes again because that’s all he’s good for, crotching Booker on the top. Middle rope suplex and Buff brings in a chair. The chair hits Steiner in the head and the referee is all cool with it. Booker gets a cover and the pin for the title.
Rating: C+. Not bad here but it dragged a bit, namely due to Steiner not being able to crank a neck properly or Buff being useful in the slightest. I liked the earlier parts of this a lot better as Booker was slugging it out with Steiner and it was working. These two had some decent chemistry and this worked pretty well.
Video on the cage being made with the barbed wire and all that jazz.
WCW World Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair
Lot of stips here. Hogan is champion and the heel coming in. Flair is president of WCW and it’s job/career vs. title. There’s no door to the cage and there’s barbed wire on the top. Remember that this is first blood. During Flair’s entrance he wants the mic from Buffer. Flair tells the referee not to stop the match unless a good deal of blood and to use his discretion. Keep that in mind: Flair, the President of the company, is saying that it ends with FIRST BLOOD, albeit a lot of blood. Tony calls it first blood also. Ok, that’s all cool. That gimmick has been done a bunch of times and it’s fine. Nothing weird here.
The cage is lowered. This is like a regular cage but there’s barbed wire on the top and no top. Tony talks about how are they going to escape, meaning they’re already altering the rules. The fans loudly chant for Hogan as they start slowly. BIG chop by Flair but here comes Hogan with a backdrop. Despite Hogan being the heel and Flair being the face here, they’re wrestling the opposite styles.
They trade chops in the corner and Hogan takes over while Flair begs off. Hogan throws on the Figure Four and Bobby thinks he’s in command. What great perception! Flair eats cage and Hogan pounds away plus bites. Flair tries to climb over the top as toilet paper comes into the ring. There go his trunks of course because we have to see that every show right? Flair is busted and it’s kind of bad, but the referee says keep going. Fits with what we were told in the beginning of the match.
Hogan pulls some barbed wire down because it’s apparently held on with gum and tape. He rips it across Flair’s head and then whips him with the belt. Flair’s hair is turning red now as Hogan rams him into the cage ten times. They’ve totally done a double turn mid match. Big boot sets up the leg drop and covers but as Mike says, “that’s insignificant due to the rules of the match.” The referee doesn’t count either so Hogan complains about how Flair is bleeding and says he should win. Hulk complains about the lack of a count as the rules are breaking down very fast.
Flair gets something around his hand and decks Hogan with it to take over again. Hogan eats cage and is busted. Here come David Flair who is at odds with his dad along with his unnamed girlfriend who we know as Torrie Wilson. David cheers on Hogan as the fans chant Hogan. Hulk Hulks Up and is a total face. There’s a leg drop and a cover for one. Oh I give up.
Ric comes back and hits a suplex but Hogan pops up. Flair goes into the cage again and let’s do it one more time. Hogan picks him up like a battering ram into the cage and down goes the referee. Flair gets a low blow and here’s Arn Anderson. He decks David and slips the tire iron to Flair. Flair blasts Hogan with it and puts the Figure Four on Hogan who is out and the referee counts a pin to give Flair the title. The fans go silent and then boo Flair.
Rating: C. Not horrible here but it would get a lot worse in the future. The double turn probably was a good idea as things had been going badly for awhile. Flair FINALLY beating Hogan is nice to see, even though it stops meaning anything at all at this point. The ending aside, this wasn’t bad and as usual, Flair and Hogan know how to work a crowd pretty well.
Thunder was in Lexington on Thursday. I think I was at that show.
Overall Rating: C-. Well this wasn’t horrible. There’s nothing here that makes you wonder what drugs they’re on which is a big step up for WCW around this time. It’s certainly not a great show but I think you can watch it and say that it’s ok enough to get by. The problem though was that the company was in a total downward spiral at this point and Austin vs. Rock was two weeks away. That’s kind of hard to fight. Not awful, but nothing really worth seeing here.