WCW Uncensored 1996

WCW Uncensored 1996

“Everything you’ve wanted to see…plus the stuff you haven’t thought of yet!”

Tupelo, MS – Tupelo Coliseum

Commentators: Tony Schiavone, “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Tony, Dusty and Bobby discuss the Doomsday Cage Main Event and the possibility that Hulk-A-Mania could end on this very night. Yeah … as if!

WCW United States Heavyweight Championship:
Eddie Guerrero vs. Konnan (c)
Result/Analysis: Konnan via pinfall (18:28) following a low blow off a leap frog by Guerrero. The match was ahead of its time as the American audience was hardly conditioned to the Lucha Libre/Mexican style of professional wrestling. There’s a good portion of the match that’s mat wrestling, too, and that was rare to see in the mid-1990’s. Guerrero, naturally, carries Konnan to a higher level and he had more stamina to work a 20-minute bout. It’s a match of this ilk, with no flash or theatrics to it, where you realize that even in 1996, long before he achieved super-stardom, Guerrero was one of the best pure wrestlers in the business. Konnan had the immense pull and notoriety with many of the Mexican wrestlers so his sustained push, if for nothing else, brought in many a talent to WCW who jumpstarted the Cruiserweight division. For that, he gets the credit for paving the way. On a PPV that’s historically remembered for Hulk Hogan’s booking running itself amok, this terrific match feels out of place. There’s plenty of innovative moves and counter holds/pins. It all felt new.
Rating: ***1/2

“Mean” Gene Okerlund has Colonel Robert Parker with him, and “Dirty” Dick Slater, he’s there, too. The Stud Stable was no more as Bunkhouse Buck had abandoned Slater during a recent match versus The American Males several weeks before this event. Anyway, Parker is up against his once “fried pie” Madusa in a “Man vs. Woman” Match. The Colonel says he’s fighting on behalf of all men. Parker says, “I’m the rooster and I’m gonna prove it.” Well, OK then. I’ll be on the edge of my seat!

“Grudge” Match:
“Lord” Steven Regal (accompanied by Jeeves) vs. Fit Finlay “The Belfast Bruiser”
Result/Analysis: The Belfast Bruiser via DQ (17:21) due to the outside interference of The Blue Bloods. I’m telling you, if you like hard-hitting, incredibly stiff, impactful wrestling with a sense of realism to it, do yourself a favor and go on a search for this match. The sheer brutality from bell-to-bell is world-class and second-to-none in the scripted genre that is professional wrestling. The match could have gone on for another 20 minutes and I’d have been engaged with every nuance and uppercut. The finish sucks, however, with no decisive winner. Still, this is a hidden gem in an era of wrestling that was constantly re-inventing itself. Regal winds up a bloody mess at the end and it wouldn’t shock me if that was a result of the beating Finlay dished out. Well-known wrestling author Scott Keith summed it up perfectly, “It wasn’t GREAT as a wrestling match or anything, but as a total war of attrition, it was amazing, something out of a UFC almost.” Plus, Dusty invents new terminology with “plunder” being my most favorite. He’d use it throughout the night.
Rating: ***1/4

Jimmy Hart and The Giant are with Okerlund. Hart says Loch Ness will find out tonight why he’s the greatest wrestling manager in the world and why no one puts their hands on him and gets away with it. “Mean” Gene breaks the news the match is a #1 Contender Match for the World Heavyweight Title tomorrow night on Monday Nitro. Well, that settles it. The Giant says he can give us rhymes or riddles but he’ll smoke Loch Ness in the ring like bacon on a griddle. LOL! As for Ric Flair, The Giant promises to tear him from limb to limb and win the belt.

Tony, Dusty and Bobby pontificate over what has transpired so far. Heenan explains how if he were Colonel Parker, how he’d approach the upcoming match, man versus woman, with Madusa. The Brain suggests handing over the credit cards to Madusa so she can go on a spending spree. LOL.

Loch Ness is with Okerlund. He calls Hart a weasel-faced manager who promised him he’d get a shot at Hogan inside the Doomsday Cage but instead used his power of attorney to remove him from the match. As payback, Loch Ness says he’ll drop his 700 pounds on The Giant and he won’t get up. Okerlund wants to introduce Loch Ness to his neighbor down in Florida, who’s a dentist. Ha!

“Man vs. Woman” Match:
Col. Robert Parker vs. Madusa
Result/Analysis: Parker via pinfall (3:47) with assistance of “Dirty” Dick Slater. You’d have thought the WCW bookers could have gone all “Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs” here but that would be too logical so the cheap way out of Parker winning won out. This being on the card at all was the mockery but they actually “wrestle” despite the sham of it all. Ideally, Madusa needed to win and make Parker her “bitch,” especially since she returned to WCW in the fall of 1995 as the reigning WWF Ladies Champion and had thrown their title belt in a trash can on Nitro, but alas, she jobs to a manager who was two-timing her with Sister Sherri. The Jerry Springer Show is where this tryst needed to culminate. And why, oh why, wasn’t Sherri involved? Terrible.
Rating: 1/4*

Lee Marshall interviews The Road Warriors. L.O.D. promises to remove the medulla oblongata (brain stem) from both Booker T and Sting during the Chicago Street Fight and they’ll each have to wear depends for the rest of their lives. Well then! On a side note, a diagram of the Doomsday Cage is on a blackboard behind Marshall with what appears to be mapped out plans for the match. OMG. I have never seen such amateurish/out-in-the-open booking. Only in WCW. Did they forget the blackboard was in the room prior to the interview? If not, flip it over! So embarrasing.

Tony, Dusty and Bobby discuss Diamond Dallas Page versus The Booty Man as they obviously stall to kill time. DDP, they say, has sold all of his prized possessions at pawn shops near and far just to have one last crack at a match so he can win back Kimberly plus the money he’s lost / blown. Heenan says DDP only needs to mess up The Booty Man’s face and Kimberly will turn away. That’s an obvious reference to Brutus Beefcake’s 1991 parasailing accident. The Brain held nothing back.

The SlamBoree promo airs. It’s “The Lethal Lottery” in May. Those shows were innovative.

Special Stipulations Match:
* If DDP loses, he’ll quit wrestling. ** If DDP wins, he’ll earn back his money AND Kimberly. **
Diamond Dallas Page vs. The Booty Man
Result/Analysis: The Booty Man via pinfall (16:02) following a running high knee. Woof! Where do I start, even though I’d rather just spare you all? The Booty Man replaced Johnny B. Badd because Badd, aka Marc Mero, got himself legit fired over this angle involving Kimberly and losing her services to The Booty Man down the road. The Booty Man is, of course, Brutus Beefcake / Ed Leslie and the real-life BFF of Hogan. His storyline was that he was a planted spy working on behalf of Hogan inside The Dungeon of Doom as “Zodiac.” I swear they made that up on the fly or Hogan did to suit his booking fancies. DDP had worked many a match with Badd, countless PPV bouts, and this would have been the culmination to their long-standing feud had Mero not said no mas to WCW. Tony buries Badd which follows up on Eric Bischoff doing so on Nitro as they really were disgusted by his insubordination. Anyway, Page and Booty were oil and water and everyone knows those two don’t mix. The match is atrocious and has no redeeming value. Kimberly comes out dressed in cheerleader attire which matches the tights Booty is wearing. Much of the focus is on her because DDP works a chinlock for five minutes after he stalls and acts like a drunken sailor for the first half of the match to garner a crowd response since working with Booty provided none on its own. Booty winning wasn’t something in doubt. Beefcake hadn’t been “over” since 1990 but somehow he survived in the business with gimmick upon gimmick. The Booty Man / Booty Girl brainstorm that became a reality should have ended Beefcake’s career. It would not. DDP loses the match so he “quits wrestling” and leaves (for a while) as flat broke. Page made himself into a World Champion out of going through these awful feuds and did so by busting his ass in the ring and not by kissing ass or shaking it like Beefcake. I have the thought that Booty Man would have teamed with Hogan and Randy Savage in the Main Event if not for Badd exiting WCW.
Rating: DUD

Jimmy Hart and Luger are with Okerlund. A “teary-eyed” Hart leaves Luger with a custom-made manager’s jacket saying he’s a man of his word and tonight will be the last time he will escort him to the ring. Luger has mixed emotions, but they’re about stepping inside The Doomsday Cage and what that match will represent while also sitting back and watching Sting, his tag-team partner and one-half of the World Tag-Team Champions, compete in the Chicago Street Fight without him there fighting along side. LOL. See it was Hart, who used his POA, to wriggle Luger free of the Chicago Street Fight and into the Doomsday Cage as part of “The Alliance To End Hulk-A-Mania.”

“Giant vs. Giant” #1 Contender Match:
* The winner will face “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair for the World Heavyweight Championship. *
Loch Ness vs. The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart)
Result/Analysis: The Giant via pinfall (2:35) following a leg drop. Heenan refers to The Giant as the son of Andre, though not by name. Why WCW persisted in this untruth I don’t know. Almost nothing happens. Thankfully the match ends before you can journey to the bathroom and back. The Giant is the number one contender and gets Flair on Nitro. He says into the camera following the win the leg drop was for Hogan and he’s coming for Flair. As for Loch Ness, he was a goner but it’s because he was diagnosed with cancer. He would pass away in November of 1998.
Rating: DUD

Speaking of strange bedfellows, Lee Marshall brings in Sting and Booker T., he still of Harlem Heat, mind you. Booker speaks a lot gibberish toward The Road Warriors as he says the Chicago Street Fight will turn into a Harlem Street Fight. Suckas! Sting is a little over-hyped and he fires Booker up for “the match of their lives.” If I remember, this failed miserably to meet expectations. Let’s see.

Anything Goes, Falls Count Anywhere “Chicago Street Fight”:
The Road Warriors [Animal & Hawk] vs. Booker T. & Sting [World Tag-Team Champion]
Result/Analysis: Booker T. & Sting via pinfall (29:39) when Booker pins Hawk following assistance from Stevie Ray. This was “Survival of the Fittest” but save for Booker T., the other three blow up within the first 10 minutes and 2/3 of the match still remained. While by no means a parody to the movie, let me just paraphrase off its title at least and call this “Extremely Long & Incredibly Colorless.” It’s fought at THE MOST galatial and plodding pace imaginable and there seems to be no real plan of attack. It’s endless brawling on repeat. If you’re the least bit fatigued, you could need to rewind from falling asleep only don’t do that as you won’t miss anything! You’d like to point to a moment and look back and say remember that Chicago Street Fight in 1996 when … only you’d never come up with anything but describe it as lackluster and never-ending. Now that I’ve summed up 30 minutes of my life gone by, the takeaway is Harlem Heat earning a title match versus Sting and Luger. Booker was ready for his singles career but that got delayed. Also, weren’t The Road Warriors supposedly unbeatable in a Chicago Street Fight? Maybe being in Tupelo makes the loss not count? Truth be told, Luger, while integrated into the match in an odd circumstance as he primmed and posed in front of a mirror as Booker and Animal fought backstage, should have been Sting’s partner. Then again, no way the match lasts 30 minutes, and it played to Luger’s schtick having him being finagled out. How exactly Sting accepts him back as his partner, I can’t recall.
Rating: **

Tony, Dusty and Bobby set the stage for Doomsday. Bobby compares the three-tiered cage structure to that of Alcatraz with the concrete walls being stripped away so we can see the felons tearing each other apart. Nice. Will Hulk-A-Mania cease to exist after tonight? Here’s Michael Buffer as we’re about to find out. For The Mega-Powers to win, they must conquer the entire Alliance.

Doomsday Cage Match:
The Alliance To End Hulk-A-Mania [“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair (w/ Woman & Elizabeth), “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson, “The Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan, “The Total Package” Lex Luger (w/ Jimmy Hart), Meng, The Barbarian, Z-Gangsta & The Ultimate Solution]
vs. The Mega-Powers [Randy “Macho Man” Savage & Hulk Hogan]
Result/Analysis: The Mega-Powers via pinfall (25:21) when Savage pins Flair after Luger misfires on Savage and hits Flair with a loaded glove. The match is WIDELY considered to be THE WORST PPV Main Event in pro wrestling history. If you’ve watched it once, or in my case, twice, now 25 years apart, there isn’t a counter argument to refute that belief. The rules were never explained only that The Mega-Powers had to maneuveur through all tiers of the cages. The way to win the match for either side never got communicated. If anyone was eliminated, who knew? Watching, you’d have written off Anderson and Flair after the first minutes with The Mega-Powers escaping that cage tier, but alas, they’re involved at the end of the match. Only Meng and The Barbarian, The Faces of Fear, randomly disappear, but the other six were involved at intermittent stages. Z-Gangsta (Zeus) and The Ultimate Solution (Jeep Swenson) are announced by Michael Buffer, but they only appear for their in-ring segment at the bottom of the cage structure for the final three minutes of the match. What you have here is Savage surviving a sustained beating and Hogan discarding all eight guys as if they were each chopped liver. If you want to know what the low point of Hogan’s career was, it bottomed out on this night 25 years ago. Punch, Punch, Kick, Kick, Eye Rake, No Sell, Throw Powder, Use a Steel Chair, Use a Frying Pan (I’m not making this up) and nearly cause Kevin Sullivan to fall off the scaffolding 45 feet high to his would-be death. It’s a COLOSSAL and total CLUSTERF*** that only seeing is believing. Yet, I recommend you don’t watch the match and simply take my word for it. Save yourself. This match should be permanently erased from existence. What’s noteworthy is this was Hogan’s last match as a babyface for four years before his heel turn at Bash at the Beach and the formation of the nWo. The heel turn revived Hogan’s career and added another decade to it.
Rating: -*****!!!!!

The Verdict: From his WCW debut in 1994 through this PPV “American Made” babyface Hogan was front and center in EVERYTHING! Ted Turner and creative made sure Hogan was The Main Event and given carte blanche over his character. It had all run itself amok and reached a crescendo at this wretched event. While The Alliance To End Hulk-A-Mania was a total abject failure, the WCW fan base made sure their voices would be heard. It took months of lukewarm reactions and boos before a new direction was sought. Hogan disappeared. Soon enough, WCW was gift-wrapped Scott Hall and Kevin Nash from the WWF and the product soared to unthinkable heights merely with a New World Order. For Uncensored 1996 do yourself a favor and censor yourself from ever watching it. The first two matches are worth a peak and then pretend the show ends. Flair defends the World Heavyweight Title versus The Giant on Monday Nitro. Change is afoot.

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