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WCW Uncensored 1995
by Scrooge McSuck
- Halloween Havok rolls on with what might be the scariest broadcast in the history of professional wrestling... Uncensored, 1995. Okay, so maybe this match has nothing to do with Halloween, but it's my recap and I can make the rules. By 1995, the WCW and WWF were both expanding the amount of PPV's to the lineup. The WWF went light, filling the "Non-Big 5" months with shorter, less expensive titles called In Your House. WCW on the other hand, added more full-length (3 hours), full-priced ($27-30, depending on Hogan involvment) shows, mostly with a gimmick. World War 3, for example, was built entirely around a 60-Man Battle Royale, where the winner was declared new WCW Champion after fallout from Halloween Havoc left the belt vacated. The other notable debut to the lineup... Uncensored.
Uncensored. Oh boy. One of the few times I vividly remember my reation as a 10-year old child, and it pretty much matching with the views and opinions I hold today. The idea behind Uncensored was, honestly, not a bad one. Sure, claiming stuff was "non-sanctioned" is a bit stupid, but littering the show with gimmick matches was something unheard of from either company at that point. The lineup didn't look too bad, either. I mean it didn't look like a "for all times" great card, but it was definitely not weak. It featured pretty much every big name, and trimmed out practically the entire list of undercard acts. To end the introduction, there's a reason absolutely NO ONE remembers WWF or WCW fondly from 1995, and we're going to see a great big example over the course of the next 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- Originally broadcasted on Pay-Per-View (yes, we paid $25 for this crap) on March 19th, 1995, from the Tupelo Coliseum in Tupelo, Mississippi. Well, most of it. We'll explain that one later. Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are calling the action, with Mike Tenay joining in from time to time. Heenan was still kind of giving a shit, as was Schiavone. It wasn't until around 1997 both had completely given up on trying anymore, but Tenay was a trooper most of the way. There originally was an incredibly lame "disclaimer" about the show being too violent for sanction, but we'll just get to the action.
King of the Road Match: Dustin Rhodes vs. The Blacktop Bully:
And we tank it within 5-minutes of the PPV broadcast. Dustin had been feuding with Col. Robert Parker's "Stud Stable" since the Summer of '94, and the Bully was his next challenge. For those who care, the Bully is Barry Darsow, formerly Smash and Repo Man in WWF. The idea is that the two are fighting in the back of a MOVING 18-wheeler, and the winner would be the first man to blare a horn positioned at the lead of the truck, while they start in the very back. The match was also taped well in advance, in a completely different state (reports say Atlanta, GA, but that's always a grain of salt). Trying to call the match, in any way, shape or form, would be a waste of time. They're advertising 55 mph speeds, but I would say it's about 20-25 at a regular basis. I mean, really, trying to do ANYTHING in a moving vehicle isn't easy, but why gimmick a speed when ANY speed over 10 would be acceptable? Dustin must've been thinking Big Dust, choosing to blade to somehow add to the matches nothing. Blacktop Bully wound up doing a blade job, too. Problem: WCW had an absolute zero-tolerance on blood, and both men were terminated for it. Thanks to the match being taped well in advance, creative editing (and by creative, I mean retarded) tries it's best to hide the blood. Some of the obvious edits include random changes of sunlight and overcast weather, and the re-and-disappearing of Rhodes' shirt. Bobby Heenan knows somethings crap when he recycles Lord Alfred Hayes' "camera work" comments when there's absolutely nothing to talk about. After a good 10-minutes (there's no bell, and they actually started the "match" already in progress.), the Blacktop Bully low blows Rhodes and blares the horn to end this mess. I can't rate this as a match, but it wasn't entertaining, and it cost two people their spot for trying to add to it. Stupid way to open the show.
Martial Arts Match: "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Meng (w/ Col. Robert Parker):
Special Referee: Sonny Ono
Wait, they followed up that turd with a MARTIAL ARTS MATCH, featuring JIM DUGGAN? Wow... was WCW's creative team trying to put themselves out of business? I don't know the whole deal, but I do recall at SuperBrawl V, Meng beat down Duggan following a match with Bunkhouse Buck. Nice of them to take Meng (formerly Haku) out of a pretty cool "silent, badass" character, and make him a typical "martial arts" expert samoan/tongan/whatever. Six years later, and he's still pissed about losing his title of King? Get over it, man. Ono would go on to be a steady midcard heel manager, but at this point he's really just "some Japanese guy" to referee a "Martial Arts" match. Racial insensitivity, thy name is WCW. We're over TWENTY MINUTES into the PPV, and we finally get the start of a real match for the live audience, and it's this. A Martial Arts Match between Jim Duggan and Meng. Duggan comes out dressed for a Street Fight... someone get mixed messages, or something? If you like stalling, this is YOUR match. Complete trash. Things take (Not quite literally) forever to get started, thanks to Duggan being a total jerk to Ono over not following the tradition of "martial arts." Is Duggan wearing a dirty sock around his head for a bandana? Is Meng the babyface for following instructions, and Duggan a heel for being an asshole the whole time? Every time he's given instructions, he looks clueless, and does his "Ho" scream. Clueless yutz. The match finally starts, and it sucks the whole time. Meng punches and kicks (MARTIAL ARTS!), then settles into a Togan death grip. Duggan makes his big comeback, but Ono "acccidentally on purpose" holds Duggan in place for Meng to hit the reverse crescent kick, and that's enough for the three count to end this stinker at... I dunno, 143 years. It couldn't possibly get any worse than this.
Boxer vs. Wrestler Match: Johnny B. Badd (w/ Rock Finnigan) vs. Arn Anderson (TV Champion) (w/ Col. Robert Parker):
Non-Title Match, for the sake of not jobbing titles in dumb gimmick matches. Arn defeated Badd for the T.V. Title back at the start of 1995, and has somehow retained the gold in all rematches, thanks to lame finishes and time limit draws. I don't know the logic here... Badd can't win the title in rematches, so he's going to use Boxing to beat him in a Non-Title situation? Makes sense... Arn doesn't exactly have the greatest look, but he's still one of my all-time favorite heels. We're scheduled for 10 rounds, 3 minutes each. Badd uses Boxing techniques and can win by 10-count knockdown, while Anderson can win by pinfall or submission. You know what would've been nice? Badd vs. Piper in a boxing match, considering their backgrounds. Yes, that sounds reasonable for a show this bad(d). Badd controls Round 1, peppering Arn with body blows. Logical problem: Arn has had ZERO trouble wrestling Badd over the past three months. Why can't he just fucking tackle him, now? Anderson takes control in Round 2, working the midsection, but Badd fights back and knocks Arn down in an obvious bump, rather than convincing landing blow knockdown. Arn with a DDT to Badd following the bell, but it's UNCENSORED, so there's no Disqualification. Arn attacks before the bell, screaming "No Disqualification!", and throws Badd over the top rope. Anderson maintains control the entire round. Badd's cornerman cuts his glove off, because cheating wins. Badd cornerman bops Arn with the spit bucket, and Badd KO's him with the barehand. It's a KO at about 20-seconds into Round 4. Winner, Johnny B. Badd. Pros: Badd's boxing abilities look legit, unlike the majority of gimmicked matches like this, the few and far between, and once Arn got the offensive control, it was his typical formula of awesome. The cons: Who gives a shit about boxing? Not just wrestling fans, but anyone. Boxing was a dying sport at the time, and it would only get worse.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Avalanche:
Finally, a non-gimmicked match, other than the No Disqualification stipulations for all matches on the card. Of all the WWF cast-offs (Avalanche used to be Earthquake, of course) that joined WCW around this time, only Randy Savage could be considered a big move for WCW, considering the WWF actually acknowledged his leaving on television without insult or parody (that would be 1996). Savage attacks before the bell with punches and kicks. Whip to the corner, Savage avoids a charge, and continues with more of the same. Savage unwisely goes for some shoulder tackles, with no effect. A bitch slap, on the other hand, does. Avalanche misses a charge and goes over the top. Savage to the top rope, and a body press to the floor takes the big man down. Schiavone reminds us anything goes. Savage goes for a slam, but Avalanche is too fat, and lands on top for two. Avalanche with an elbow, followed by a leg drop, for two. Belly-to-belly suplex, and he's already sucking wind... then throws a DROPKICK for a two count. Heenan: Avalanche is moving slow. No shit? Scoop slam, but an elbow drop misses.
Avalanche tosses Savage to the floor and introduces him to the ring post. Things continue to drag, with Savage going by his formula of "take a shit kicking the entire time before making the big finish comeback." I forgot how bad this match was. I guess there's a good reason I blocked out half of this PPV... the other half was memorably bad, but the other half was just bad. Savage to the top rope, and a double axehandle puts Avalanche down for a one count. Savage with clotheslines, barely staggering him. Criss-cross, and a sunset flip is countered with a butt drop. Avalanche with a splash for two. Powerslam, and it's time for the big drop. Avlanache hits the ropes, but Savage rolls away before the Vertical Splash could completely crush him. Savage makes the comeback, and follows Avalanche to the floor with an axehandle smash. Suddenly, someone jumps the rail and attacks Savage. Is that Don Adams from Jimmy The Kid? Yes, the "woman" turns out to be RIC FLAIR, in drag. At least he's not hiding who he is, like when he was the Black Scorpion. Schiavone again reminds us this will keep going. Avalanche with the Vertical Splash, then suddenly Hulk Hogan runs down to clear the ring. Randy Savage is declared the winner at 11:48... by Disqualification. IN A NO DISQUALIFICATION MATCH. Despite excessive reminders THIS IS NO DISQUALIFICATION!!!
Sting vs. Big Bubba Rogers:
Sting and the Guardian Angel were kind of paling around, but the Angel got tired of being a nice guy finishing last, so he reverted back to his Big Bubba Rogers persona, the gimmick he started his career with. Of course, as a WWF fan, I only knew him as Boss Man, so I thought it was just a lame gimmick attempt to call him "Big B----". Again, No Disqualification, as if that matters anymore after the last match. Rogers with a shove, so sting bites his finger and stomps the hand. Sting with rights, puts on Bubba's hat to mock him, and sends the big man to the floor with a dropkick. Sting leg drops the hat, and Bubba SELLS IT. That takes dedication. Bubba charges, and gets taken over with a back drop. Schiavone and Heenan with obvious mocking of the "It's Uncensored" excuse. Sting with a slam, followed by a jumping elbow drop. Sting sends Bubba to the corner, and sends him back to the floor with more clubberin' rights. Sting wanders to the ropes, only to get tripped up. Bubba tries using the post to his advantage, but it backfires on him. Sting dicks around with him some more, and comes off the ropes with a splash. Sting with slapping to toy with Bubba. Whip to the corner, Bubba slides out of the ring, and a chase ends with Sting taking it in the balls on a criss-cross sequence. Sting sells the knee, but head-meets-balls was obvious.
Bubba goes to work on the left knee with a spinning toe hold. Schiavone reminds us it was that knee that Sting blew out back in the early months of 1990. Way to grasp for straws, but it's an effort, at least. Sting offers a comeback, but Bubba goes back to the leg, taking Sting off his feet, and back to a step-over toehold. Bubba with his signature splash across the back, followed by a right uppercut. Sting counters a piledriver with a back drop, but the knee is still hurting him pretty bad, allowing Bubba to remain on offense. Heenan with a few bum leg jokes to pass the time, because while it's technically fine, this has been pretty boring. Bubba screams at the camera "it's Uncensored, anything goes!" Unless Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan run in. Schiavone says the crowd is stomping and clapping, but Heenan replies "they don't know how to respond", which is code for "dead." Bubba to the top rope, and he falls off. Sting to the top rope, and he's more successful, coming off with a sledge. Sting with a slam, but he falls into the ropes, Bubba goes for the uppercut again, but Sting ducks it, and slaps on a sleeper hold. Bubba breaks with a jaw breaker. Sting with a release German suplex... where did they pull that one out of? Sting with a snapmare, followed by a splash from the top rope. That only gets two. Sting elbows Bubba into the ropes, and as he falls down, lands right into Sting's knee. Sting goes for a slam, but Bubba lands on top and hooks the leg for three at 13:45. Yes, Sting did a CLEAN JOB to Big Bubba Rogers. Match was fine, and definitely picked up pace the last few minutes.
Texas Tornado Match: The Nasty Boys vs. Harlem Heat (Tag Champions) (w/ Sista' Sherri):
(Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs vs. Booker T & Stevie Ray)
No, Kerry Von Erich isn't involved... and I'm pretty sure the guy has been passed on for about two years at this point. Texas Tornado is just fancy talk for "everyone fights without having to make tags." Sherri is repackaged YET AGAIN, this time with Harlem Heat. And she was looking pretty good, too. Harlem Heat jump the Nasties from the crowd. These two teams wrestled countless times towards the end of 1994 through the Summer of 1995, and amazingly all of their matches sucked. This is one of the only times they were allowed to work a brawl style, the only style the Nasties could work. After a few minutes, the action wanders off up the aisle, to the (or a) concession stand. Schiavone: Watch out for the cold drinks! Cotton candy gets used as a weapon. Sherri gets involved and allegedly has a boob slip (off camera, of course). Too bad barely anyone can see what's happening, and the lighting is terrible. Knobbs slips in a puddle of drinks, to which Heenan replies "SAFE!" and calls him a replacement player. Remember the MLB Strike? No one wants to, but it did cancel a World Series. MUSTARD HAS BEEN THROWN! MUSTARD! MUSTARD! MUSTARD! After more senseless brawling and Knobbs repeatedly falling on his ass, the bell rings at 8:41, because Knobbs pinned Booker T off camera. Way to fucking go, WCW. Things went from OK when they were brawling in and around the ring, to just a complete joke when lemonade, cotton candy, and mustard became the offense of choice. Aparently this was an homage to some other famous Tepulo concession brawl, but the lack of interesting food weapons hurt it. Where's the giant bag of popcorn!?
Strap Match: Hulk Hogan (WCW Champion) (w/ THE RENEGADE!) vs. Vader (w/ Ric Flair):
Non-Title Match, but Michael Buffer is on hand to do introductions. For those who forgot, the Renegade is WCW's horrible attempt at creating their own Ultimate Warrior. In fact, he was introduced as the ULTIMATE Surprise, so it started out as a lame bait and switch, then just became lame, as some jobber was told to immate the Ultimate Warrior to the best of his abilities... as a Warrior impersonator, he sucked. Didn't help he was 5'6" standing on his tippy-toes, while the REAL Warrior was a good 6'4", if not taller. Ric Flair is still wearing some makeup from his transvestite run-in earlier in the show. Winner of the match is the man to drag HIS OPPONENT to all four corners in succession. Renegade shows up after introductions and a long stall job of Vader and Flair cornering Hogan. Come on, FLAIR is taller than him. I'm sorry, but height matters when you're supposed to be an indestructable monster, and you're looking UP at Ric Flair, you lose that appeal fast. Hogan rips off Vader's mask (good lord, he's a mad man!) and chokes him with the strap. In-between bad brawling and strap use, the Renegade keeps chasing Flair around like a cat chasing a laser light. Jimmy Hart finally shows up, looking like he was almost eaten by a large animal. Things drag on and on for over 15-minutes, and suddenly THE BLACK SCORPION returns, allowing Flair to lay out Hogan with a ste---- WOODEN chair?1 Oh my God, what is this, 1978? Flair prevents Vader from touching the fourth turnbuckle, and we all know what happens now... Vader goes for a splash, but has to do a somersault flip to sell Hogan rolling away, except Hogan took too long, and thus makes Vader look like a dumbass instead. Flair breaks another prop chair over Hogan, but he no-sells, Hulk's Up, TIES THE STRAP TO FLAIR, AND TOUCHES ALL FOUR CORNERS THAT WAY FOR THE VICTORY AT TOO LONG TO TELL. What in the holy fuck is wrong with the booking decisions on this show? Oh, by the way, Arn Anderson is revealed as the masked man, because Randy Savage somehow outsmarted him. Whatever.
Final Thoughts: This has to be the worst PPV that WCW has ever put on. I know I've gone into great detail about how bad the Great American Bash '91 was, but everything, EVERYTHING, on this show was an insult to the intelligence of wrestling fans. Let us look at it point by point: The opener was taped, edited to hell, and made absolutely no sense structurally. The "martial arts" match was a joke and had a babyface acting like a prick because he doesn't know how to respect other cultures. Boxer vs. Wrestler handicapped a possibly 4-star match into another joke with a cheap finish. A No DQ PPV included a match ending in DQ, with Ric Flair in drag. Two teams that should've had a good brawl ended up fighting in puddles of pink lemonade and mustard. The Main Event had someone job that wasn't even a legal participant, a cheap-knockoff of a famous WWF character, and an absolute car-wreck of a match that went nearly 20-minutes. When Sting vs. Big Bubba, a match I would generously call **1/2, is the ONLY highlight on the show, you know you just witnessed the worst PPV money could buy.
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