WCW/nWo: UnCeNSoReD 1998

unc_98

WCW/nWo: UnCeNSoReD
March 15, 1998
Mobile, AL
Mobile Civic Center

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Sting (2/22/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Diamond Dallas Page (12/28/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (2/22/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Booker T (2/22/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho (1/24/1998)

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Mike Tenay.

  • WCW World Television Championship: Booker T (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero (w/Chavo Guerrero Jr.)

Chavo lost a match to his uncle Eddie on Thunder and now he has to follow Eddie around and do whatever he tells him to do. I don’t think Eddie wanted him to sit in a chair and pout about it at ringside though. That doesn’t seem like the plan Eddie had in mind for his loser nephew. Anywho, Eddie gets bumped around for five minutes and bails a few times. Schiavone and Tenay talk about how Eddie wants to become the greatest TV champ of all-time as Tony mentions Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard as great TV champions of the past. It looked like Booker was going to make short work of Guerrero, but then Eddie dropkicks the knee Booker uses to plant himself when he tries the SCISSORS KICK. Kind of brilliant, really. Eddie goes to work on the knee – mocking Booker and tells Chavo to pay attention. Back inside, Guerrero bends the left leg back while cheating using the ropes for leverage. Heenan explains that using the ropes doesn’t make the hold more painful, it just doesn’t allow Booker any extra room to push out of the hold. I can admire that psychology. When Eddie gets caught using the ropes, he breaks the hold and hilos the knee. To take it a step further as Booker rolls out, Eddie delivers a guided missile attack headbutt from the top rope onto the knee. It may have been a flub, but Eddie is so good that sometimes it’s hard to tell. Back inside, Booker comes back with a flapjack and SPINAROONIES up to land the SCISSORS KICK. The 110th Street Slam connects. He goes up top for the Missile Dropkick, but Eddie ducks and Booker lands on his feet. Probably should have sold the knee there, pal. Eddie charges Booker and gets launched into the corner. Booker tries the Harlem Side Kick, but Guerrero ducks and Booker crotches himself on the ropes. Guerrero wants a superplex, but Booker shoves him off. Although Eddie lands on his feet, Booker comes off the top with the MISSILE DROPKICK for the win. (11:09) Chavo tries to hide how happy he is that Eddie lost. Eddie takes his frustration out on Chavo as he beats him up and leaves him behind in the aisle. Apparently, Eddie was supposed to win the TV title here tonight possibly leading to Chavo getting the TV title at some point, but the plans got changed at the last minute. **½

  • Konnan vs. Juventud Guerrera

Konnan feels embarrassed that a guy he brought into WCW has now lost his mask and must fight for “la raza” to make Juventud pay. Let’s see how that turns out for him. Konnan shows that he is superior over Guerrera to start with lariats and the like. They go to the floor where the steps get involved. Konnan moves them so that Juventud can knock him out with Air Juvi. Back in, a springboard dropkick gets two. Konnan takes over though and starts stretching Juventud in all sorts of ways. He tries a Spider German Suplex, but Juventud lands on his feet and starts kicking Konnan while he’s in the tree of woe. Konnan delivers a wheelbarrow suplex, but Juventud fires back with You Can’t Powerbomb Kidman. That puts Konnan in position for the 450 SPLASH, but Konnan moves and Juventud lands on his feet. Konnan grabs him and hits the 187. Lazy cover, 1-2-NO! A variation Samoan drop on Juventud gets two as well, but then Guerrera hooks the arms and rolls Konnan back for the crucifix three-count. (10:23) A little long and slow for me. Konnan shouldn’t be in the ring for ten minutes. He gives Juventud another 187 DDT after the bell and throws him out to the floor. I’m assuming the point was to get both guys over with Guerrera getting the pin and Konnan getting his heat right back, but the ending cancels out what they had done so now everything is exactly as it was before the match took place as far as I’m concerned. Juventud should have got out of there like a bat out of hell instead of sticking around celebrating like a doofus. *½

Gene Okerlund talks with the Chairman of the Board JJ Dillon. The Giant asks for the powerbomb to be made legal – just for tonight. Dillon grants him the request because hey, it’s UNCENSORED. It’s not like Giant is asking to have his match with Kevin Nash in the back of an eighteen wheeler.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Dean Malenko

Jericho has “1004” on his tights mocking Malenko – the man of 1000 holds. Malenko, however, outwrestles Jericho to begin things. Jericho hits an enziguri and Malenko rolls to the apron. He tries the springboard dropkick, but Malenko ducks and Jericho crashes to the floor. Jericho wants to walk out on this match, but realizes Malenko won’t let him lose via countout and comes back to the ring. Malenko pounds on Jericho, but leapfrogs into a spinebuster. Jericho prances around like a lion to confuse Tenay. A nice vertical suplex gets two. Jericho brushes his boot across Malenko’s face and then locks in a chinlock. Snap suplex sets up the Lionsault, but only gets two. Jericho’s personality is at a peak here. Maybe it’s that Malenko is so dry by comparison. Anyways, Malenko fights out of a backbreaker hold and gets FIRED UP headbutting Jericho before drilling him with a back suplex for two. Jericho jumps right up and hits a running senton back splash for two. He pins Malenko up in the corner and gives him a running dropkick. They exchange attempts at a suplex which ends with Jericho delivering a reverse suplex. It could be Liontamer time, but Malenko grabs the ropes. Malenko gets a few quick nearfalls. They fight up to the top rope where Malenko falls on top of Jericho out of a back superplex attempt for 1-2-NO! Jericho finds the Liontamer again, but Malenko puts his hands high on Jericho’s shins to prevent the hold from being applied. Well, that’s awesome. Malenko manages to find the ropes by the time Jericho manages a way to turn him over. Up in the corner again, Malenko counters Jericho’s attempt at the Super Frankensteiner and brings Jericho down with the Super Gutbuster! Cover, 1-2-NO! As Jericho comes off the ropes, Malenko tries the jumping calf kick only for Jericho to catch the leg. With Malenko landing on his stomach, all Jericho has to do is hook the other leg and pull back for the LIONTAMER, which he does. Malenko nearly makes the ropes, but Jericho drags him back to the center of the ring and kneels down in the hold. With nowhere to go, Malenko taps out. (14:43) Fun match with Jericho really getting a chance to show off his personality and a nice finish as well. ***½

Gene Okerlund comes down to the ring to meet with Malenko. Okerlund points out how this was a match Malenko should have won. Dang, Gene. Kick a man while he’s down, why don’t you? He points out that Malenko hasn’t won a match on the last four WCW PPVs. While he did lose at Starrcade, he didn’t even appear on the Souled Out and Superbrawl VIII PPVs in order to win or lose. Nevertheless, Gene wants to know why Dean is now a bonafied LOSER. Where does Malenko go from here? Malenko finally answers that he’s going “home” and walks out with his head hanging low.

  • Lex Luger vs. Scott Steiner

Steiner attacks at the bell and hits the Spinning Belly to Belly Suplex. They go to the floor for some guardrail violence. When Steiner tries to suplex Lex back inside, Luger brings Steiner out to the floor for a big bump. Now with Luger on fire, he sends Steiner over the guardrail into the front row. In the ring, Luger powerslams Steiner and calls for the Torture Rack, but Steiner low blows him. He locks in the STEINER RECLINER with half of Luger’s body outside the ring. Ref Nick Patrick doesn’t seem to mind – more out of incompetence than nWo favoritism. Steiner goes out and grabs a chair. Cue Rick Steiner. While Scott Norton nails Rick from behind, Luger hits Scott Steiner from behind with the Bionic Forearm for the cheap win. (3:56) After the bell, Rick and Scott have a staredown. Scott threatens his brother with the chair, but Rick flips him out to the floor before any damage can occur. They had a real opportunity to put Steiner over and they blew it. With all the politics being played right now in WCW, it’s no wonder. Besides, I think they can hold off on pushing Steiner for a while. ¾*

  • [Triple Jeopardy Match] WCW U.S. Championship: Diamond Dallas Page (c) vs. Chris Benoit vs. Raven

We get a triple tie-up to start that takes all three of them to the floor where DDP gets dumped into the steps. Benoit abuses Raven in the ring until DDP breaks up the party. Both Benoit and Raven end up back on the floor as DDP wipes them out with a pescado. Back inside, DDP and Benoit take turns doing moves to Raven to try to score the pinfall only for the other man to break the count. Poor Raven though. DDP and Benoit punch each other to the floor and Raven answers with a plancha of his own. It’s less of a plancha and more that he just runs and throws himself over the top rope. Apparently, this is also falls count anywhere as we see Raven try pinning Benoit and then DDP. They brawl up the aisle way. Raven finds a trash can, but fails to nail anybody. DDP puts Raven in the can as he and Benoit break a pair of crutches over him. DDP thinks he’s going to pin Raven and gets a crutch jabbed in his kidneys. Benoit abuses DDP’s short ribs and kidneys some more with the trash can and then gives DDP a snap suplex on the ramp. Raven has an idea as he and Benoit join forces to throw DDP through the UnCeNSoReD set – filled with hot lights and pyro – not once but TWICE. Umm, Benoit found a KITCHEN SINK and jabs Raven in the gut. Not even kidding. They brawl over to the announce table area and Raven suplexes a table into Benoit. He finds a velvet rope and chokes on Benoit. Raven leans that table against the rampway, but gets thrown through it. Benoit ties the velvet rope around Raven’s neck and brings him back to the ring only to walk into a low blow. Raven brings a chair in the ring for the drop toehold, but Benoit reverses.

We see DDP is CRAWLING towards the ring now. The chair gets wedged in the corner as Raven takes a wild corner bump. Benoit catches Raven in a sleeperhold as DDP finally makes it back inside the ring. He grabs Benoit in a sleeperhold and Raven drops to his backside giving everyone a jawbreaker but him. Everybody is down! Benoit and Raven stagger up at the nine-count and the match continues. He grabs Raven for the Rolling Germans and DDP helps out with the third German Suplex for a TRIPLE GERMAN SUPLEX. Awesome. Another ten-count ensues. They get up at the count of eight. Both Benoit and Raven deck DDP. Raven orders Benoit to hold up DDP as Lodi hands Raven his sign that reads “Use My Sign”. Raven hits DDP over the head with the sign and then peels away the paper to reveal a stop sign. HA! Now a table is set up in the ring. Raven puts DDP on the table and seems to think Benoit in his back pocket now. Instead, Benoit decks Raven with the stop sign and looks to superplex Raven onto DDP and through the table! While Benoit is ten-count punching Raven, DDP gets up and knocks Benoit to the floor. DDP hooks Raven and then delivers the DIAMOND CUTTER ONTO THE TABLE! It doesn’t break unfortunately, but you can imagine how awesome it would have been had it broken. DDP turns Raven over and covers him for the pinfall to retain the title. (17:14) This triple-threat had it all: creative spots, intense brawling, just the right amount of weapons, and great storytelling. In a year that’s not known for having great matches despite being popular, I think this is a top five of the year at least for WCW. On another note, the rumor was that Benoit was actually slotted to win the U.S. title here pinning Raven, but of course the plans were changed at the last minute. ****

  • The Giant vs. Kevin Nash

Speaking of politics, KEVIN NASH. By the way, the powerbomb is legal – for tonight only. The Giant still has his neck in a collar. Naturally, he’s wrestling this match “against doctor’s orders”. He told Tony that he wanted everybody to know he now weighs 487. Riiiiiight. Nash spends some time mocking the Giant to start. Out on the floor though, Giant gets posted as Nash starts working the neck. The boot choke, the sleeperhold, and the Bossman straddle all do further damage to the Giant’s neck. He turns Giant around on the ropes and charges towards him only to run into a boot in the mid-section. It could have been the balls though. Anyways, Giant makes his comeback and slams Nash before calling for the Chokeslam. Instead, he sets up Nash for the POWERBOMB only for Brian Adams to come out and hit Giant over the back with a ball bat for the DQ. (6:36) Giant breaks the bat over his knee as he fights off the nWo b-team. Nash finds a different bat and breaks *that* one over Giant’s shoulder, but Giant NO-SELLS and scares the nWo away. So after all that, still no powerbomb and Nash still hasn’t been pinned. To get out of this many jobs, the man must have a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Shawn Michaels. ¾*

  • Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude)

Slow old school start to this one as Bret and Hennig work off a headlock. Bret finds the SHARPSHOOTER early, but Rude sneaks in and wallops Bret to break up the hold. In typical WCW fashion, the ref didn’t see a thing. Hennig goes for the leg and wraps it around the post. When Hennig backs the ref away, Rude twists the leg around the ringpost as well. It really goes unmentioned how good of a manager Rude was at this point. Hennig hair tosses Bret across the ring and applies a figure-four. WOO! Rude helps out with added leverage. Hennig grabs the bottom rope as well and has to release the hold when he gets caught. More leg work from Hennig. He decides to climb to the top rope for some reason and gets punched down. Bret returns the favor hair tossing Hennig across the ring and splits the up rights with the ringpost. Atomic drop and running clothesline, the Russian Legsweep, and the running bulldog all score nearfalls. The backbreaker and the flying elbow drop gets two. Hennig reverses a whip into the corner and Bret takes the chest-first bump. The HENNIGPLEX gets 1-2-NO! They trade nearfalls off an O’Connor roll knocking Rude off the apron. Hennig tries a sunset flip, but Bret rolls through and applies the SHARPSHOOTER for the tapout. (13:52) Rude attacks Bret right after Hennig taps. He beats up Bret while Hennig grabs a chair. Oh man, the RUDE AWAKENING! Hennig whacks Bret with the chair while he’s down and leaves him lying there. That’s it? Anyways, the match felt Bret versus Perfect greatest hits with a lot of the same spots and storytelling we’ve seen years ago. The crowd didn’t seem to dig it though and that could be for any number of reasons. **½

  • WCW World Championship: Sting (c) vs. Scott Hall (w/Dusty Rhodes)

So Hall “earned this world title shot” by “winning the World War 3 battle royal” back in NOVEMBER and was supposed to get that title shot at SuperBrawl VIII last month. They teased splitting up the nWo back in January with Hall having an issue over Hollywood Hogan getting another rematch for the world title at SuperBrawl and with Kevin Nash not getting along with Randy Savage, but that didn’t work for Hogan just yet brother and the whole thing was dropped. But here we are. Scott Hall getting a semi-main event world title shot in a match that he’s definitely most certainly without a shadow of a doubt going to win. Yep. Oh, I almost forgot Dusty Rhodes is in the nWo now. Sting short-arm clotheslines away the shoulder butts by Hall. He wants a test of strength and pokes Sting in the eye. They trade hiptoss attempts and Hall chokeslams Sting out of that exchange. When Hall is busy mocking the Giant instead of capitalizing, Sting pops up and hits a face slam. He punches on Hall and dropkicks him out to Dusty. Back inside, Sting gets tripped up by Dusty and Hall decks Sting. Fallaway Slam gets two. Sting and Hall collide and Sting falls head first into Hall’s testicles. While Hall grabs hold of ref Mark Curtis, Dusty comes in the ring and drops an elbow on Sting. Rick Rude was one thing, but 300 pound DUSTY RHODES is another. Hall slow covers Sting and gets 1-2-NO! He slugs Sting until he starts NO-SELLING. The Stinger Splash connects, but Sting has to let off the Scorpion Deathlock to go over and nail Dusty. Meanwhile, Sting whips Hall into the ref. While Sting checks on Mark Curtis, Rhodes slides in some taped knucks to Hall and he decks Sting. He collapses with an arm on Sting for 1-2-NO! Time for the OUTSIDERS EDGE, but Sting escapes and hits the SCORPION DEATHDROP for the win. (8:30) Hall worked hard here and did a good job. It doesn’t seem to matter though as he’s not even booked on the next PPV. *½

  • Cage Match: Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Hollywood Hogan

Just lazy back and forth brawling here. Lots of punching. Lots of choking. Nobody wants to take a bump into the steel. Hogan whips Savage with his weightlifting belt, but misses the LEGDROP. Savage returns the favor and “runs Hogan in the cage a few times” to bust him open for a nearfall. He hits Hogan with a running elbow that misses by a mile. Savage charges Hogan and takes a nasty backdrop bump into the cage. Hogan gives him some more lashes and back suplexes Savage for two. A battering ram into the cage busts open Savage. Hogan then rakes Savage’s face over the cage LIKE A CHEESE GRATER. They brawl outside of the cage for some reason. Back in, Savage makes a comeback and delivers a double sledge from the top of the cage! Cover, 1-2-NO! As he threatens Hogan with a MACHO ELBOW, the Disciple runs down and attacks the gatekeeper referee. Disciple gets inside the cage and destroys the official ref as well. Disciple stands in Savage’s way and dares him to leap down on him, but Savage thinks better of it and gets down. Next thing we know because he’s one of the dumbest babyfaces ever, the world champ STING slowly descends from the rafters down into the cage to even the score. Oh, but Sting gets blindsided by Savage! To add an exclamation point on things, he even drops Sting with a PILEDRIVER. Tony wonders if this was the nWo’s plan all along. That would be some amazing NASA-level planning if so. Well, his question is answered as Savage spits at Hogan and walks out of the cage. I think we’re throwing this match out by this point. (16:04) Savage tells Hogan that he never liked him and never will as he walks out with Elizabeth by his side. Hogan points the finger at him from inside the cage. Like it or not, Hogan feels Savage is still nWo because it’s 4-LIFE. I didn’t realize this nWo thing was a cult! ¾*

Final Thoughts: Well now we have more questions than answers at the end of a PPV because we’re reliving the MONDAY NIGHT WAR. The crowd got hot in certain spots, but for some reason the feuds supposed to be settled here didn’t get the heat that I felt they deserved. It was also missing a great lucha libre match because Konnan in WCW never really delivered that in my opinion. I’m sure that had some to do with the fact that WCW no longer wanted the luchadores taking bookings down in Mexico on their days off and so relations between them and WCW couldn’t have been great. The upper card matches that you expected to suck didn’t surprise me. There was definitely some odd booking on this show like with Juventud Guerrera, legalizing the powerbomb and then not delivering, and Bret Hart being laid out at the end of his match. However, the DDP v. Benoit v. Raven stuff is awesome. Chris Jericho’s performance against Dean Malenko is worth checking out. And with that, I’ll give UnCeNSoReD 1998 with a solid “thumbs in the middle”.

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