DATE: March 14, 1999
VENUE: Freedom Hall (Louisville, KY)
COMMENTATORS: Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, & “The Professor” Mike Tenay
All sorts of things are on the line at Uncensored as Ric Flair fights to become WCW World Champion and PRESIDENT FOR LIFE, challenging Hollywood Hogan in a First Blood Cage Match topped with BOB WIRE. Also on the show Rey Mysterio Jr. looks for revenge against Kevin Nash, Mikey Whipwreck makes his improbable WCW debut, Perry Saturn finally embraces the real him, and a bunch of other sh*t thrown against the wall because it’s Uncensored.
- WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: Hollywood Hogan
- WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: Scott Hall
- WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner
- WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION: Kidman
- WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Curt Hennig & Barry Windham
- Kidman [c] vs. Mikey Whipwreck for the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (***3/4)
- HARLEM STREET FIGHT: Stevie Ray vs. Vincent (*3/4)
- Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Kevin Nash (*1/2)
- HANDICAP MATCH: Jerry Flynn vs. Ernest Miller & Sonny Onoo (*1/2)
- Raven vs. Hak vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (***)
- LUMBERJACK (WITH STRAPS) MATCH: Curt Hennig & Barry Windham [c] vs. Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko for the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/4)
- DOG COLLAR MATCH: Perry Saturn vs. Chris Jericho (**)
- Scott Steiner [c] vs. Booker T for the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (*3/4)
- FIRST BLOOD CAGE MATCH: Hollywood Hogan [c] vs. Ric Flair for the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (*1/2)
-OPENING VIDEO: Montage of Hogan/Flair footage as a special BARBED WIRE CAGE is built.
-Schiavone welcomes the home audience as the pyro meets the ballyhoo, mentioning that tonight’s barbed wire cage main event is also now a First Blood match (I did not go to WCW.com before watching this so that’s news to me). A First Blood match sounds like Flair’s worst nightmare, that dude bleeds if you look at him wrong.
–”Mean” Gene Okerlund reminds everyone that the matches tonight are UNSANCTIONED but if you want any further scoops you’ll need to call the WCW Hotline. Okerlund tries to take it to David Penzer for the first match but instead Schiavone takes it to a video package highlighting the feud between the now maskless Rey Mysterio Jr. and Kevin Nash.
Kidman [c] vs. Mikey Whipwreck for the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Whipwreck is one of ECW’s most successful homegrown talents, starting off as a job guy who took a beating and finding his way into becoming a triple crown champion. With nothing left to prove Whipwreck has now come to the major stage of WCW, hoping to replicate his success, and tonight is his big debut. He’s so new so they haven’t given him a theme song yet.
Whipwreck escapes a hammerlock with a series of right hands, Kidman escapes a tilt-a-whirl slam and Whipwreck slows him down with a front chancery. Kidman whips him off, Whipwreck comes flying back with headscissors and the two reset. Kidman ducks a clothesline and sends Whipwreck to the floor with a dropkick, Kidman follows him out and throws him into the guardrail. Back into the ring Kidman connects with a flying crossbody for the 1…2…Whipwreck kicks out. Whipwreck ducks a clothesline and knocks himself and Kidman out to the floor, landing on his feet so he can continue the offense, sending him into the guardrail. Whipwreck hangs Kidman across the bottom rope and connects with a slingshot legdrop, Kidman finds it in him to drop him with a clothesline. The angry champ stomps a mudhole into Whipwreck, riling up the crowd. Whipwreck blocks a hip toss and connects with a powerbomb for the 1…2…Kidman kicks out, Whipwreck transitions into a chinlock as the crowd chants Kidman’s name. Kidman feeds off the energy, sending Whipwreck to the floor with a clothesline and following up with a springboard splash, which ends up hurting both men. Whipwreck rakes the eyes and hangs Kidman across the middle rope, coming back in with a slingshot splash for the 1…2…foot on the rope. Whipwreck goes for a slingshot suplex, Kidman counters into a DDT and gets him in position but Whipwreck shoves him off the buckles and to the floor. Whipwreck tries to follow up with a splash of his own but Kidman dodges and he hits nothing but guardrail. Teeth are overrated anyway. Kidman charges, Whipwreck backdrops him into the crowd but misses a senton and he hits nothing but Freedom Hall floor. Kidman brings Whipwreck back ringside, Whipwreck sends him into the steps with a drop toehold, then rolls him back in for the 1…2…Kidman kicks out.
Kidman connects with a corner lariat, Whipwreck dodges the follow-up corner splash and quickly covers for the 1…2…not yet. Whipwreck gets distracted by the jeering crowd, Kidman rolls him up for the 1…2…Whipwreck kicks out and quickly takes him back down with a clothesline. Whipwreck with a snap suplex into a floatover lateral press for the 1…2…Kidman kicks out. Kidman escapes a slam attempt and connects with a sit-out spinebuster for the 1…2…Whipwreck kicks out. Whipwreck blocks a superplex and throws Kidman back to the canvas, following up with a flying clothesline for the 1…2…KIDMAN KICKS OUT. Kidman flips out of a slam attempt and connects with a sit-out Pedigree for the 1…2…Whipwreck gets the shoulder up! Whipwreck puts Kidman on the buckles and connects with an inside out back suplex for the 1…2…KIDMAN KICKS OUT AGAIN. A frustrated Whipwreck goes for a standing powerbomb, forgetting he’s facing Kidman, and Kidman counters with a faceslam followed by the Shooting Star Press for the 1…2…3.
Kidman [c] defeated Mikey Whipwreck via pinfall to retain the WCW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (15:01)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: WCW signing Mikey Whipwreck and debuting him a championship match on PPV is something I would have never expected to see, but I’ll be damned if Whipwreck didn’t make the most of it. This was an excellent back and forth match, Whipwreck’s prodigious selling ability on full display as well as his innovative offense. I didn’t watch a ton of ECW during Whipwreck’s heyday, only reading about him in the Apter Mags during his big run in the mid-90s, so this was my first exposure to him as a wrestler as a kid and I f*cking loved it. Tremendous way to debut and a great way to kick off the show. Goddamn shame that this is all WCW ended up coming up with for Whipwreck though. (***3/4)
HARLEM STREET FIGHT FOR CONTROL OF THE NWO BLACK & WHITE
Stevie Ray vs. Vincent
The nWo Black & White, aka the B-team not cool enough to be the Wolfpac, are in the midst of a power struggle at the moment with both Ray and Vincent vying to be the leader. Wolfpac leader Hollywood Hogan, the former head of the Black & White, has added fuel to the fire by talking to each man separately and proclaiming them the leader, and now they’re going to settle things in a Harlem Street Fight. I’ll be honest I think Hogan f*cking with the Black & White for his own personal amusement is pretty funny. Dumbass ref Scott Dickinson checks Ray for weapons before the bell even though it’s a STREET FIGHT.
Vincent fights dirty to start, Ray puts a stop to it with a big boot followed by a choke throw. Vincent sends Ray to the floor and tosses him into the guardrail. Ray reverses a whip and sends Vincent into the steel, following up with a right so hard it sends Vincent into the front row. The fight moves to the stands as Ray continues clubbing Vincent. Ray throws Vincent into a taped up section of chairs and connects with a mule kick. Schiavone makes sure to let everyone know that area is blocked off on purpose because of the cameras, lest anyone think they couldn’t sell tickets. Action moves back to ringside, with Vincent backdropping Ray back over the guardrail and choking him with his boot. Ray catches Vincent off the buckles with a boot and lays into him with a series of jabs and a clothesline in the corner. Ray sends Vincent into the corner with an inverted atomic drop, the back of Vincent’s head hits Ray and both men go down, with Vincent “accidentally” hitting him in the groin. Horace Hogan introduces a slap jack, telling the camera that HE’S the leader. Vincent tries to use the slap jack, Ray knocks it out of his hand and hits his own move The Slap Jack for the 1…2…3.
Stevie Ray defeated Vincent via pinfall (6:30)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Look overall I won’t say this match is great, but I ended up liking a lot more of it than I expected. Vincent especially ruled here, wearing the time-honored Street Fight gear of blue jeans with kneepads, and fighting more than wrestling with back rakes and cheap shots galore. He knew the match he was in, while Stevie Ray showed up in his regular ring gear. They tried to keep it exciting by going into the crowd and that was alright but this was on the more tame side. Plus it’s hard to care who runs the nWo Black & White, they are obviously the runts of the organization. Horace Hogan coming out and trying to influence things then proclaiming himself the leader was dumb too. ANYWAY to conclude this match ain’t great for a lot of reasons but I found it weirdly entertaining for the most part, mostly thanks to Vincent. (*3/4)
-WCW.com interviews Chris Jericho, who says it’s not even possible to make Saturn look as stupid as he already has. Jericho says he’s never been in a Dog Collar match before but isn’t worried. How hard can it be?
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash [w/ “The Total Package” Lex Luger & Miss Elizabeth]
The nWo Wolfpac cost Mysterio his mask last month at SuperBrawl IX, but since then Mysterio has been on a “Giant Killer” run with wins over Bam Bam Bigelow, Scott Norton, and…Nash himself! According to a video package aired earlier in the show Nash offered Mysterio a spot in the Wolfpac but got turned down so Nash attacked him and now we’re getting this big return bout. Can Mysterio do it again? Let’s find out!
Nash overpowers Mysterio to start, dropping him with a big boot and throwing him around the ring. Mysterio fights back, connecting with a bulldog followed by a springboard guillotine legdrop and a spinning heel kick that sends him flying to the floor. That is the biggest bump I’ve ever seen Kevin Nash take, goddamn. Mysterio goes for a baseball slide, Nash sidesteps and throws him into the guardrail, then drops him across the apron. Nash clubs Mysterio, sending him off the buckles and back to the floor with a measured elbow. Nash immediately follows him out and chokes Mysterio with his shin. Nash goozles Mysterio up into an inverted atomic drop that damn near splits him in half and the crowd LOVES it which is probably not what you want. Mysterio lands on his feet off a tilt-a-whirl and connects with a low-blow followed by a running dropkick for the 1…2…Nash powers out and bails to the corner, Mysterio rides him with a Bronco Buster. Mysterio gets caught mid-moonsault but escapes, Nash almost collides with the ref and Luger trips Mysterio from behind, leading into another boot. Nash pulls the straps down and WRECKS Mysterio with a Jackknife Powerbomb for the 1…2…3.
Kevin Nash defeated Rey Mysterio Jr. via pinfall (6:17)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: WCW got Mysterio to relinquish his mask, his most marketable identity, gave him a few week run as a “Giant Killer”, then fed him to Nash in barely over six minutes. Amazing. Mysterio was fun here and took one of the best Jackknives I’ve ever seen but oof that dude got done dirty. They gave him an out with Luger tripping him up but I doubt that ever leads to Mysterio beating Luger or anything, it’s just the nWo Wolfpac using their numbers game to bully everyone less cool than them. Not great, Bob. (*1/2)
“Lightning Foot” Jerry Flynn vs. Ernest “The Cat” Miller & Sonny Onoo
Flynn, Miller, & Onoo like doing karate sh*t and now they will do said karate sh*t against each other. I don’t know what the feud is here to be honest, but I’m sure it’s martial arts-related (and also hair-related as they took Flynn’s prized ponytail on TV this past week). Jerry Flynn getting sort of a push, 1999 WCW is wild. Peacock/Network dubbing Miller’s WCW theme sucks so bad, especially when the commentators mention his excitement at getting his James Brown music back. That ain’t no James Brown, sirs.
Flynn attacks Miller right at the bell with a series of kicks and a chop that sends the Cat crashing to the canvas. Onoo proves to be a good accidental distraction, allowing Miller to attack him from behind. Miller tries to get Onoo to tag in but he’s too scared, Flynn catches Miller with a belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count. Flynn continues the assault, sweeping the legs and raining down left hands in a full mount. Miller bails to the floor, Flynn flattens him (and sorta Onoo) with a splash. NUMBERS GAME does its thing, Onoo getting in cheapshots as Miller goes on the offensive. Miller tosses Flynn out to the floor, Onoo lays in with his MARTIAL ARTS KICKS (which are legit, he’s apparently a former World Champion of some kind). Miller drops Flynn with a superkick and boasts to the crowd as Schiavone laments for the nice man he used to be. Flynn appears to be knocked out so Miller forces Onoo to finally enter the match. Onoo kicks at him to make sure he’s still out and covers for the 1…2…Flynn kicks out and Onoo desperately lunges for a tag to Miller, who drops Flynn once more with another kick. Miller whips Flynn into the guardrail and tries to use a chair, but referee Mickey Jay prevents it (UNSANCTIONED HUH), Flynn responds with a lunging clothesline, Onoo shooed away from interfering. Flynn rolls Miller back in, Miller tries to tag out again but Onoo continues to refuse, Flynn rolls Miller up for the 1…2…not yet. Flynn reverses an Irish whip, sending Miller into Onoo who falls into the ring. THIS COUNTS AS A TAG and Flynn covers for the 1…2…3. HEH?
Jerry Flynn defeated Ernest Miller & Sonny Onoo via pinfall (7:06)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: They did not have enough here to go seven minutes but they certainly did it anyway! Goofy finish but kinda funny I guess, and all three are legitimate martial artists so it was cool to see him throw some kicks and stuff I guess. I’m staying positive because Jerry Flynn getting PPV money is amazing. (*1/2)
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raven [w/ Chastity] vs. “Hardcore” Hak vs. “The Beast from the East” Bam Bam Bigelow
WCW got sick of the WWF getting all the hype for their Hardcore division and have launched one of their own, and they’ve done it with three of the biggest names in ECW history. Spent all that time in the bingo hall just to do it again a few years later, but at least they’re making WAY more money presumably. Sandman got WCW paydays, that’s so awesome. Poor Bigelow though, he came into WCW with a ready-made feud with Goldberg, it got shoved to the side, then lost to him last month at SuperBrawl IX.
Raven and Bigelow go after Hak as soon as the bell rings, Raven tries to double cross Bigelow and eats a belly-to-back suplex. Chastity brings a laundry bin full of various objects, which Raven is happy to fill the ring with. Hak hits Bigelow with a trash can, Raven takes the can and uses it on him, Hak falling on ANOTHER trash can. Raven rings the bell of both his opponents with the trash can lids, Hak tries to set up an ironing board and Bigelow breaks AN OAR over his back. Raven grabs a mailbox (?!?) and cracks both men in the skull, then sends Hak into the pile of objects with a drop toehold. They wasted NO TIME. Raven and Bigelow duel with trash cans, Hak attacks Raven from behind with the ironing board, Bigelow bends a cookie sheet over his skull. Raven low-blows Bigelow and throws Hak face-first into the ironing board, bending it in half and earning an “ECW” chant. We’re not even four minutes into the match, goddamn. Raven stacks the dented cans in a corner but gets sent into them courtesy of Bigelow. Bigelow finds a box fan (?!?) and smashes it over Hak’s head, but Hak fights through and chokes Bigelow with a broom. Bigelow drills Raven into a chair laying in the ring, then grabs a cookie sheet and hits both men. Hak immediately pops to his feet and jumps on Bigelow’s back, Bigelow squashes him in the corner so Raven tries but Bigelow sandwiches him in the other corner. Both Hak and Raven jump on his back and Bigelow finally falls down, more accidentally than anything it looks like.
Hak connects with a FRANKENSTEINER on Raven and brings out the first table of the match. Honestly I’m surprised it took ‘em this long. Hak almost gets splashed through the table but he escapes…right into the arms of Raven who puts him into Bigelow’s arms for a POWERBOMB THROUGH…OH F*CK ON THE TABLE. Bigelow isn’t satisfied and makes a leaping splash to finally break the table. Aw yeah. Bigelow splashes Raven in the corner, Hak goes after his leg with a Singapore Cane. Chastity runs in and gets in front of her “brother” Raven, Raven yanks her away and Hak bounces the Cane off his skull. Chastity starts messing with some duct tape, Bigelow introduces a fire extinguisher and TWO MORE TABLES. Hak sets one up in a corner and catches Bigelow on the way in with a Singapore Cane to the back of the head. Bigelow gets sent through the corner table (sorta, the table more bends than breaks). Raven plants Hak with an Evenflow DDT. Chastity gives Raven the duct tape and he tapes Hak’s hands behind his back. Raven full force cracks Hak repeatedly in the skull with a chair, denting the steel, Bigelow surprises Raven with the Greetings from Asbury Park but doesn’t go for the pin. Bigelow sets up the third table and shoves Chastity into the laundry basket. Bigelow climbs the buckles, Chastity sprays him with ANOTHER fire extinguisher and Raven puts him through the table. Raven goes to finish off Hak, but Chastity surprises him with the original fire extinguisher and drops a headbutt right to the family jewels for good measure, allowing Hak to cover for the 1…2…3.
Hak defeated Raven & Bam Bam Bigelow via pinfall (14:30)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: These three former ECW guys went out and mimicked what they knew their WCW bosses thought ECW matches were like. There was absolutely no soul to this one, just people hitting people with random objects for the hell of it and for the pop. I absolutely do not blame them for going half-speed. That being said, I forgot how much I missed goofy bullsh*t like this. The Hardcore divisions of WWF and WCW don’t get a lot of hype nowadays but they really did add something for me as a fan growing up. I enjoyed the chaos of it, and I continue to enjoy it now despite myself. Also loved the commentators not knowing what to make of what they were seeing and just going along with the ride, laughing and wincing through it. Definitely not high art or high effort, but The Sandman got a goddamn PPV win and this was my kind of stupid. (***)
Hak (barely) walks out, Chastity hanging on his arm.
-Schiavone, Tenay, & Heenan stall for time as the WCW ring crew clears out the chaos from the previous match. Heenan turns his back to the camera, and his broadcast partners, sick of their bullsh*t. I do not blame him.
–David Penzer announces the Lumberjacks for the next match: Norman Smiley, “Gentleman” Chris Adams, Hugh Morrus, Prince Iaukea, Kenny Kaos, Bobby Duncum Jr., The Barbarian, Kendall Windham, & Meng. Each lumberjack has a leather belt because this is also a sorta STRAP MATCH.
LUMBERJACK (WITH STRAPS) MATCH
Curt Hennig & Barry Windham [c] vs. “The Crippler” Chris Benoit & “The Iceman” Dean Malenko for the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Hennig & Windham beat Benoit & Malenko for the vacant Tag Team Championship the previous month at SuperBrawl IX thanks to Windham choking Malenko out with a belt. Since then the teams have been WHipping each other at various points and their feud has grown so chaotic that it can only be settled in a ring surrounded by lumberjacks…WITH STRAPS OF THEIR OWN. WHIPPIN’.
Bell rings and Hennig winks at Kendall Windham to hint at collusion; the Horsemen get some backup in the form of Arn Anderson who replaces Chris Adams as one of the lumberjacks. Windham & Hennig stupidly decide to try and just run for it, but get whipped until they re-enter the squared circle. SHOCKED AT THIS TURN OF EVENTS. Hennig and Benoit trade slaps, Hennig tries to bail but quickly rolls back in to avoid the straps. Windham tags in and Benoit lights him up with chops. Windham tries to bail but gets a WHHHHHIPPIN’ and quickly rolls back in. Malenko tags in and connects with a one-foot dropkick. Malenko dodges an inverted atomic drop and drops Windham with a right hand, Benoit tags in and Windham catches him charging with a boot, following up with a DDT. Hennig tags in and puts the boots to The Crippler, tossing him to the floor so the heels (led by Kendall Windham) can get their shots in. Benoit and Hennig trade chops, Windham grabs him from behind and Hennig gets a free shot. Benoit gets sent back to the floor, more WHHHHHIPPIN’ and a mean mug from Meng to the camera. Even when he’s not in a match he’s f*cking frightening. Benoit breaks a headlock with a belly-to-back suplex, Windham tags in and drills Benoit with a lariat for the 1…2…Benoit kicks out. Benoit catches Windham with a clothesline, Hennig quickly tags in but gets dropped on the back of his head with a German suplex. Malenko gets the tag and soon enough all four men start brawling. Malenko escapes a Hennig Plex and connects with a version of his own for the 1…2…Hennig kicks out and Windham comes in AFTER to break it. Ha. Malenko locks in the Texas Cloverleaf, Windham sends Benoit to the floor and clobbers Deano to break the hold.
Hennig chops Malenko in the back and sends him to the floor for all of the WHHHHHIPPIN’, Anderson trying to put a stop to things as he gets rolled back in. Windham connects with a wonderful vertical suplex, floating over into the lateral press for the 1…2…Malenko kicks out and Windham makes him pay for it with a series of rights. Hennig tags in and locks in a sleeperhold in the center of the ring, powering him to the canvas instead of waiting for him to fall on his own accord which Heenan loves (and Schiavone/Tenay ignore because the commentary vibes are F*CKING AWFUL). Anderson cheers Malenko on to get to the rope but he doesn’t need to as Hennig gets bored and brings him back to the corner for a pair of knife-edged chops. Windham tags back in and connects with another lariat for the 1…2…Malenko kicks out. Windham catches a float-over attempt, Malenko escapes and connects with a series of rights but Windham fights through and follows through on the backdrop suplex. Hennig gets the tag but SO DOES BENOIT. Double noggin knocker pops the crowd, all four men brawl in the ring once again. Malenko connects with a back suplex on Hennig, Benoit & Windham start fighting on the floor and the lumberjacks join in, even fighting each other! Hennig decks Anderson with a belt-wrapped right hand, Anderson comes back in with a TIRE IRON and cracks Hennig in the back of the head behind the ref’s back. Windham tries a Superplex, Malenko pulls him to the floor and connects with a series of belt shots, Benoit comes off the top with a Flying Headbutt on Hennig for the 1…2…3.
Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko defeated Curt Hennig & Barry Windham [c] via pinfall to win the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (15:59)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Big ol’ mess of an ending but Anderson responding to a cheap shot with a f*cking TIRE IRON ruled and is the type of escalation I would totally bring to a fight in real life. Feels weird not to be in love with this one given the immeasurable talent of all four men but like last month it just felt like it dragged for most of it. I do appreciate a lumberjack match though, probably more than I should. (**1/4)
DOG COLLAR MATCH
Perry Saturn vs. Chris Jericho [w/ Ralphus]
Jericho beat Saturn at Souled Out thanks to the help of crooked ref Scott Dickinson, forcing Saturn to start wearing a dress. Saturn could have had the stipulation reversed had he beat Jericho last month at SuperBrawl IX, but he decided to walk out instead while exclaiming “LIFE’S A DRAG”. This month Saturn has now fully embraced the dress, turning the look into a goth/industrial thing that Tenay makes sure everyone gets by mentioning it like five hundred times as he makes his entrance. Okay it was only twice but just let me live my life, jerk.
The always-courageous Jericho shows a surprising yellow streak at the start, attempting to get Ralphus to take his place. Ralphus, however, finally decides to stand up for himself and refuses, angering his employer who slaps him and kicks him out of the ringside area…but not before getting his mouthguard. WCW f*cked up SO BAD doing nothing with this man, it’s obscene. Commentary takes turns making fun of Saturn’s goth look as Jericho continues stalling; Jericho finally charges and Saturn hits him with a T-bone suplex, finally getting the collar around his neck and getting the match started for real. Jericho tries to leave, Saturn pulls him back in and Jericho hugs referee Charles Robinson out of fear. Saturn pulls Jericho in and connects with a clothesline, Jericho backs away and a tug of war breaks out as they jockey for position. Jericho sends Saturn into the corner, Saturn hops the ropes and yanks him head-first into the buckles. Saturn continues the onslaught, dropping Jericho on the top rope then YANKING him off the ropes and into the guardrail. NICE. Jericho turns the tide, sliding under Saturn’s legs and tugging the chain to force Saturn to self-low blow, and following up with a springboard shoulderblock on the apron. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a springboard shoulder before. Jericho brings Saturn into the ring with a power bomb but the chain yanks him back in as well and both men are briefly dazed. Saturn surprises Jericho with an inside cradle for the 1…2…Jericho kicks out and cracks Saturn in the skull with the chain. Jericho climbs the middle buckle to play to the crowd and it costs him as Saturn yanks him off and launches into a comeback, throwing Jericho around by the chain. Jericho connects with a spinebuster and goes for the Lion Tamer; Saturn tries to block it by wrapping the chain around his neck but Jericho locks it in anyway…but he’s forced to break it after almost passing out due to loss of oxygen. They didn’t get all of that spot but I really like the idea behind it.
Saturn yanks Jericho into a Death Valley Driver on the chain and covers for the 1…2…JERICHO KICKS OUT. Saturn tries an avalanche Frankensteiner, Jericho blocks and counters with a super spinebuster for the 1…2…SATURN KICKS OUT. Jericho unhooks Saturn from the chain and wraps it around his body for a moonsault but he…actually kind of hits him but wasn’t supposed to. Whoops. Jericho slams Saturn but misses a Superfly Splash, Saturn connects with a second Death Valley Driver for the 1…2…3.
Perry Saturn defeated Chris Jericho via pinfall (11:51)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: Honestly I liked their Souled Out and SuperBrawl matches better. This feud did not feel like it had escalated to a Dog Collar Match so the stipulation felt tacked on; didn’t help that it didn’t feel particularly hard-hitting either, especially the chain which looked flimsy. Half-hearted attempt at the kind of stipulation match that can rule in the right context. I did enjoy Jericho’s pre-match antics though as well as some of the ideas behind their spots, but the execution was rough. Saturn finally gets the win and ends the feud a completely different-looking man that he was going in, and Jericho concludes his run on WCW PPV. Thankfully he’d have a much better go at his next company, albeit a few years later than it should’ve been. (**)
–Mikey Whipwreck gets interviewed at the WCW.com booth. He’s pretty confident for a guy who didn’t win his match.
“Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner [w/ Buff Bagwell] vs. Booker T for the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Lots of talk about Steiner’s violent temper during his entrance, which he expresses by throwing a fan’s belt replica against the apron for…reasons. Hmm, sounds like WCW is leaning into a certain facet of Steiner’s workout routine. Booker T spent 1998 elevating the stature of the Television Championship, having classic matches with Chris Benoit and other competitors, now he’s looking to get his belt back.
Steiner stalls in the opening minutes, taking his time entering the ring and jaw jacking with a member of the ringside audience. Steiner tries to back Booker in the corner, Booker reverses and Steiner yells at the ref to get him back. Booker connects with an armdrag, Steiner complains of a hair pull. Steiner gets some momentum after a pair of shoulder tackles, Booker responds with a dropkick and the Big Bad Booty Daddy scurries back to the floor to get some advice from Bagwell. Steiner bullies the ref into checking Booker’s gloves, giving him an opening for a cheapshot. Booker gets the better of him again, connecting with a standing side kick followed by a stiff clothesline for the 1…2…Steiner kicks out and once again bails to the floor. Booker follows Steiner back in and stuns him with another inverted atomic drop and a flying crossbody for the 1…2…BAGWELL PULLS BOOKER OFF. Booker throws Bagwell into the guardrail, Steiner attacks Booker from behind and uses a chair on him after the fight moves to the first couple of rows. Back in the ring Steiner drops an elbow and distracts the ref so Bagwell can get some more cheapshots in. Steiner drops Booker on his face with a military press and flexes his VERY NATURAL-LOOKING MUSCLES before covering with one knee for the 1…2…Booker kicks out. Steiner connects with a belly-to-belly suplex for the 1…2…Booker kicks out and Steiner gets in the ref’s face for a “slow count” before settling into a chinlock, knee to the spine.
Booker fights back but misses a Harlem Sidekick, sending himself out to the floor so Bagwell can once again interfere. Steiner throws Booker across the ring with a release belly-to-belly suplex, Booker ducks a clothesline and comes off the ropes with a forearm. Booker connects with the Ax Kick and a flapjack. Booker ALMOST hits the ref with the Harlem Sidekick but he clears his head, moves the ref out of the way, and connects with the Harlem Sidekick on Steiner. Booker climbs the buckles, Bagwell trips him up and Steiner brings him back to the canvas with a superplex. Despite being in control Steiner calls Bagwell into the ring with a chair; Bagwell swings but HITS STEINER IN THE SKULL INSTEAD, Booker kicks the chair into Bagwell’s face and covers Steiner for the 1…2…3!
Booker T defeated Scott Steiner [c] via pinfall to win the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (13:31)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: As much as I wanted to like this one it just dragged and dragged until it limped to the end with its unnecessary finish. I liked the story in the beginning, of Steiner’s usual tactics not working on Booker and causing the champ to get flustered, but then it slowed down to a glacial pace and did not earn the time it was given. Could’ve done this in like eight minutes and been better for it. Still I’m glad Booker T got the championship back, and it’s kinda cool seeing these two battle a year before they were main eventing PPVs. (*3/4)
-VIDEO: The barbed wire-topped cage is shown being built special for the main event, complete with ZZZZAAAAP sound effects and fifty jump cuts a second. Did Kevin Dunn secretly direct this or something?
–Michael Buffer is here for in-ring introductions and to lay down the stakes: if Flair wins tonight he will become WCW World Champion and WCW President FOR LIFE; if Hogan wins, Flair will be banned from WCW for the rest of his life.
FIRST BLOOD STEEL CAGE MATCH
Hollywood Hogan [c] vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair for the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Flair is the current WCW President, leading the company in the war against the New World Order; his own son David Flair betrayed him and cost him his match last month at SuperBrawl, joining the nWo thanks to a ridiculously gorgeous new girlfriend (I get it). As Buffer stated if Flair wins he becomes President for life, which seems like a heel thing for him to want but hey what do I know. Flair even tells referee Charles Robinson to end the match at his own discretion in regards to the First Blood rules which is also suspect. Hmmmmm.
As the cage lowers, complete with its own theme and light show (LOVE IT), Schiavone talks up Robinson and how he’s always wanted to referee a Ric Flair match. HMMMMMM. Hogan throws Flair to the canvas repeatedly as they lock up, Heenan admitting there’s not much to discuss anymore when it comes to these two. Said the quiet part loud. Flair pokes Hogan in the eye and lights him up with chops, Hogan reverses a corner whip and connects with a back bodydrop into a series of knockdowns. Flair bails to the corner, Hogan pulls him out and plants him with a slam followed by a series of elbowdrops and a choke. Flair and Hogan trade chops, Hogan connects with a corner clothesline and we get a FLAIR FLOP as the crowd is mixed as to how to react. Hogan adds insult to injury and locks in the Figure Four but he can’t win the match according to Schiavone since this is First Blood rules. Hogan throws Flair into the cage and connects with some count along rights and a bite that busts him open. Hogan sends Flair into the cage again, Flair climbs the ropes to find an exit but Hogan meets him up and sends him crotch-first onto the top rope after a series of rights. Hogan pulls down a piece of the BOB WIRE that’s wrapped around the top of the cage and introduces it to Flair’s face, busting him open even further. Hogan continues the onslaught, whipping him with his weight belt and throwing him once again into the cage. The cut on Flair’s head is WAY MORE than incidental at this point but Robinson refuses to call it and Hogan continues laying into him. Hogan connects with the Big Boot followed by the Big Legdrop and covers…but this is a First Blood match or whatever so Robinson won’t make the count. Hogan tells Robinson to call it, pointing at Flair’s bloody head. Robinson still refuses, Hogan backs him into the corner but cooler heads prevail and Flair decks him with some sort of foreign object.
Flair throws a dazed Hogan into the cage and pummels the wound as David Flair makes his way out with Torrie Wilson (still unnamed I guess). David cheers Hogan on, Flair kicks at the cage and tells him to get out of here. Hogan is now bleeding buckets as well but Robinson still doesn’t call it, Flair covers and Robinson COUNTS the 1…2…Hogan kicks out and HULKS UP. Hogan with rights, Big Boot, Big Legdrop but once again Robinson beefs the count. Tenay reminds us it’s a First Blood match (even though he counted Flair’s pinfall attempt). Flair muscles Hogan up into a vertical suplex, Hogan pops RIGHT BACK UP and Flair falls to his knees in fear. Hogan sends Flair into the cage, Flair sends Hogan into Robinson. Hogan tries to wake Robinson up, Flair catches him with a low blow. Arn Anderson runs out and attacks David Flair (to a LOUD POP), then hands a tire iron to Ric Flair who levels Hogan with it. Flair gives the tire iron back to Anderson and puts on the Figure Four as Robinson QUICK COUNTS 1,2,3!
Ric Flair defeated Hollywood Hogan [c] via pinfall to win the WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (14:18)
- JON’S THOUGHTS: The subtlety hammer was out in full force before this match even began, so the match ending with heel Flair as the dictatorial World Champion did not surprise me. What DID surprise me was how nonsensical this whole thing was, to the point of the commentators being confused at the rules of the match. Overall I get what they were going for, Robinson being a crooked ref giving it to Flair, but ending a First Blood match with a pinfall seems…weird. Chaotic for no reason, why not just have Robinson call it once Hogan was bleeding? Ref’s discretion and everything. Credit to Hogan and Flair, they did make the double turn work, but it seems ill-advised in the first place. Just a weird dynamic and mess. Not a fan. (*1/2)
David Flair checks on Hogan as the Four Horsemen theme suddenly starts playing to end the show, as the Horsemen are now the top faction in WCW after tonight.
Not great, Bob. Kidman/Whipwreck and the triangle Hardcore match were pretty good but the rest of the show as real…iffy to say the least. Mysterio/Nash was a glorified squash, most of the stipulations were unnecessary and added nothing to their match, and the main event was needlessly convoluted leading to a double turn that was executed well but in the service of…I don’t know, really. Did Hogan and Flair wanna be face and heel again, respectively? I don’t know what the thinking was behind that. 1999 WCW is fascinatingly bad and I can’t look away.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Kidman vs. Mikey Whipwreck
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Chris Jericho’s pre-match antics before the Dog Collar match. Man I’m gonna miss seeing him on WCW shows.