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Guest TSMAdmin

Mark's Marks: WCW Uncensored 1999

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Guest TSMAdmin

Hey everyone, I figured that it was about time that I actually got off my duff again and do some actual writing for the site again. Quite frankly I could end up making up a whole bunch of excuses and all for my lack of character, but I think we’re better off just realizing that Mark G. Goodhart is just one hell of a lazy bum. I could have written a book by now if I actually finished something that I started every once in a while. But man, Cartoon Network just draws me in every afternoon way too much. I’m weak.

But you don’t care about me, and I can’t say I really blame you so let’s get to the meat of the matter.


WCW Uncensored 1999


Yes folks, there is no end to the suffering that I am willing to undertake for your pleasure. If no one noticed or remembers, the late nineties in WCW were basically the years where everything in the company went to complete and total hell. With the Goldberg gravy train no longer running, WCW turned to something unique in the field of wrestling booking. They had a unique vision that would revolutionize the industry for all time. They simply

decided to have the product make absolutely no sense what so ever. I happen to have something like six tapes of the era and from month to month you can clearly see that there was no one with a wit of intellect editing any of the storylines. It was like the moment someone had an idea, any idea; the entire scope of the product would change alongside it and create a long-term vision of morass. Heel and face turns flashed fast and furious to the point where the show might as well have changed names every month since everything kept shifting just that fast. Just trying to keep track of what version of the nWo was in power at what time was nearly impossible. Suffice to say, WCW was in a deep, deep hole. So, I have to say that there is no better

time to dig them up and kick them in the collective corporate face. If for no other reason that it goes to show everyone just how far WWE still has to fall before they totally bottom out.


WCW Cruiserweight Title: Billy Kidman © vs. Mikey Whipwreck


Now some people might consider that whole Medusa and Oklahoma thing to be the low point of WCW’s cruiserweight division and they would be right on track. But for me, this would be the low point of the division as far as when WCW wasn’t booking it as a joke if you all get my meaning. Basically every match of the time period centered on just one question, who would hit his top rope move first? Everything leading up to that question being answered is almost coincidental considering the match booking of the times. Someone could plaster Kidman for twenty minutes and it wouldn’t matter if Billy hit the shooting star press at the end. So everyone was basically trained for that by now so the impact of the other spots sort of got diminished unless the most over people in the division were involved with each other.

Another issue with this contest is that it was Mikey Whipwreck’s debut for the company, which wouldn’t be so bad if he was going to win the match or something. But since he lost and most people expected it to happen considering the complete lack of fanfare, Mikey was immediately buried with no heat whatsoever. Which is why most people simply forget that Whipwreck ever worked for WCW. It sure as heck didn’t help that as far as I am aware, Whipwreck never won a single match while employed with WCW. Anyway, enough talking around the match for the moment, let’s get on to the actual contest.


Now one might have gotten a good match out of this pairing if they actually allowed for a role for Whipwreck beyond the stereotypical cruiserweight and would have put him in a more ECW style position. Which is to say, allow Mikey to gain an advantage through brawling and the use of the ringside area. And it even looked like the match might have been going in that direction as Mikey hits a wheelbarrow hotshot on the guardrail and uses a springboard guillotine, but Kidman placed his comebacks too close together to actually get that feel off. Instead you’re left with the impression that Whipwreck is just another cruiserweight as Kidman pushes us towards a more commonplace contest. Not to say Whipwreck stinks at actual wrestling as he hits a well-executed top rope lariat, but it pales against what WCW crowds expected from its Cruiserweight contenders. And if was any doubt as the lack of thought in this match, Kidman of course counters a powerbomb with a face buster in the most clichéd manner possible and follows up with his shooting star press for the expected three count in fifteen minutes flat.

Match Rating: **


Harlem Street Fight for the leadership of nWo, Black and White: Stevie Ray vs. Vincent


For those have you that have blocked it from your memory, the finger poke of doom that caused Kevin Nash to hand the belt over to Hulk Hogan led to the reformation of the nWo as a central unit after the months of Black and Red against Black and White. Well, a sort of reformation anyway as anyone that was remotely over took to being in the red and all the hangers on (namely Stevie, Vincent, Scott Norton, Brian Adams and Horace Hogan) got stuck in the white section. This match was supposed to show everyone who the best of the worst was. Who you are supposed to be actually routing for is completely undiagnosed by WCW, which proved to be a problem for most of the midcard at the time.


So since the fans have no one to cheer for and neither guy is any good, we end up with a whole bunch of really lazy brawling that eventually goes into the crowd. Eventually both guys end up in a section of the arena that has been closed off due to the needs of the camera crews and we have a glimmer of hope. Considering there is a section of space there that is completely covered with a multitude of chairs laying flat across the floor, you would think anyone could come up with something interesting to do there. But Vince and Stevie Ray just aren’t up to even that miniscule task and they eventually go back inside the ring and do just about the worst double knock out spot the world has ever seen as Ray atomic drops Vincent into a corner and then runs into the back of his head about ten seconds later for no good reason. Horace Hogan then does a completely pointless run in to toss Ray’s blackjack (Rodney Mack should start using one by the way) into the ring to no one in particular. Vincent ends up getting the weapon but gets cut off and hit with a sloppier pedigree than even Triple H could throw before getting pinned at 6:28.


I just need to mention that if anyone’s tights ever fully reflected the state of a company before, it would have to be Stevie Ray’s. Completely hideous with a slipshod design that looked like it was made by a fourteen-year old just sort of encapsulates the entire organization don’t you think?

Match Rating: DUD


Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Kevin Nash w/ Elizabeth and Lex Luger


Built off the entire giant killer angle that seems oh so familiar to what we’ve just seen with Rey and The Big Show, this is your typical “big man beats up little man” contest. Generally, these things should be built around the prospect that the giant deals out punishment with heavy blows when he can slow down the pace while the smaller guy hits flurry after flurry whenever he gets to the ropes. Basically, one shot from the big man should equate to three from the smaller combatant. The problem with this match is that Rey never really gets a chance to get the multiple attacks flowing so he can pick up some near falls. The whole match is basically five minutes of Nash dominating with the other minute being devoted to a few moves from Rey. There is some neat things there as Nash uses a double choke lift into a reverse atomic drop and uses a snake eyes drop to the apron to stem the tide of a brief Mysterio come back. But when Luger interferes by tripping Rey and leading to a monstrous powerbomb at 6:10, we never get the impression that Nash actually needed the help.


The pace of the thing with Nash on offense is also slow, but that’s actually understandable considering his character should not have been trying to get into a running battle with Mysterio. But instances where Nash sets up the framed elbow in the corner, and then decides that Rey is too short, places Rey on the top rope, frames the elbow again, and finally hits it really does make Mysterio look incredibly bad.

Match Rating: *


‘Lightning Foot’ Jerry Flynn vs. The Cat & Sonny Onoo


Yeah it’s the old ‘manager is in handicapped match to run away and do cheap shots’ paradigm that I think is safe to say we have all seen before. Onoo does a particularly good version of the running away part of the show as he doesn’t even want to get in the ring to face Flynn even when Cat has him in position. But it all falls apart when the end of the match comes at 7:03 when Flynn finally gets a hold of Onoo and literally just pins the guy. I think it should be added to the constitution that a manager involved in a

match should have to at least take one good shot from somebody. But The Cat just sort of casually runs into Sonny and Flynn makes the pin without any other sort of interaction between the two.


Not that the interaction between Flynn and The Cat is anything special either as they are both too focused on their striking skills and nothing else. And while a good kick to the face can be fun, there has to be something else to draw the story together or you’re just watching WMAC Masters. And I know Ying Yang Man, and Jerry Flynn is no Ying Yang Man. Oh and that Flynn has all the personality of my desk, he’s not over in the slightest and no one rallies behind him even though it was clear he was the

face going against The Cat who at least knew he was supposed to get booed. I don’t think WCW ever figured out what the heck to do with their poor man’s version of Steve Blackman. And tell me that ‘poor man’s Steve Blackman’

just doesn’t sound completely wrong on every level.

Match Rating: ½*


Hardcore Match: Raven w/ Chastity vs. Hak vs. Bam Bam Bigelow


Hak is better known as The Sandman, but without the entrance and beer he just doesn’t have the same appeal. Chastity did some pornography or something and supposed to be Raven’s sister who first showed up during a bunch of promos where Raven went ‘home’ that (surprise) didn’t really go anywhere. This is to decide once and for all just who is the most hardcore! Which would work a lot better if Brian Knobs didn’t beat all of these men months later, or if this was the last hardcore match WCW ever had, or if it was actually hardcore in any way in the slightest. But instead you get your standard Big Two version of hardcore where guys hit each other over the head

with stuff. Uncensored brought out the mailbox, a rowing oar, and fan to the proceedings but the participants just didn’t have the fire necessary to actually make any of it work with the fans other than making a big clang sound.

Although psychology is just about always a dirty word in hardcore matches, this mess of a match adds in the joys of no transitions and no selling as well. It’s one thing to super powerbomb someone through a table but its quite another to have the guy that did to pop up literally five seconds later to hit someone from behind. It’s one thing to desperately poke someone in the eyes to get control of a match, it’s another when the only way you move to offense is when you punch a guy back.I have always found Hardcore matches in the Big Two to be rather counter intuitive anyway, since they toss out certain conventions that are in place for other matches. It works in ECW for Spike Dudley to kick out of a chair shot since the same thing is going to happen in the main event as well. But in WCW and WWE, a chair shot in the main event is almost always a match ender whereas Hak can evidentially take four in the head in rapid succession and win a match. Which is just what he does in 14:29 when Chastity turns on Raven for no reason and sprays him with a fire extinguisher.

Match Rating: ½*


Lumberjack with straps match for the WCW Tag Team Titles: Curt Hennig and Barry Windham © vs. Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko


This actually has a nice little story built into the contest beyond that of team one wants the straps and team two had them but, shock of shocks, WCW never touched on it. What you had here was basically the battle between the

old Four Horsemen philosophy and the new members of the faction that would either have to learn how to do the same or use their own styles to overcome the past. With Windham as a hallmark of the group before basically becoming

the anti-Horseman during the early nineties and Hennig basically being a carbon copy of the style, it’s clear that the parallel could easily be made. This is also somewhat showed as Hennig breaks out a few Ric Flair hallmarks by chopping away in the corner and dropping his weight down on Benoit’s leg as it’s draped over the corner.


Oddly enough in this contest though it is the older team that ends up carrying the action as Barry pulled himself together after a number of really crappy years to bring back his more interesting maneuvers such as the lariat and float over vertical suplex. While at the same time, Hennig did a great job of carrying the personality portion of the match by jawing with Arn Anderson (one of the lumberjacks and still loyal to the original Horsemen) while having Malenko trapped in a sleeper hold. The odd thing in this contest is really that Benoit and Malenko really don’t do anything of particular note. Sure they are their usual excellent selves, but nothing truly stands out from their performances and nothing really resonates when they rally including when Dean hits Curt with his own fisherman’s suplex. Clearly, we’re given the impression that the old overcomes the new especially when Anderson interferes at the end of the contest to knock Curt out with a tire iron to the back of the head allowing a Benoit head BUTT and

pin at 15:57. Regardless that Malenko and Benoit came out on top, you’re still left with the impression that the new school is still inferior to the veterans.

Match Rating: **½


Dog Collar Match: Perry Saturn vs. Chris Jericho


Much like every Chris Jericho feud in WCW, this one is about trying to embarrass his opponent as much as possible until fans were frothing to see him get some comeuppance. But unlike the other people that Jericho worked this strategy with such as Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio, Perry Saturn actually accepts the humiliation and uses it as a weapon against the man who put him in that position. Losing in a match where he would be forced to wear a dress for a while, Saturn comes out for this contest like what most mainstream audiences would accept as a gothic in order to place Jericho on the defensive. It was a nice idea by WCW bookers at the time, but the problem becomes that Saturn really was not a very good actor as far as

living the gimmick was concerned and basically wrestled the same no matter how he looked. Jericho also didn’t do anything that made the story work as he played with his usual cowardly stalls for a while without helping Perry

get the new gimmick over as intimidating or unusual.Instead we just play off the notion that Saturn somehow is more comfortable using a dog chain for some reason as he uses it with far greater effectiveness than Jericho. And while the escape from the lion tamer Boston crab is well done, nothing else is exceptionally memorable. Jericho eventually gets the advantage with a powerbomb from the apron to the ring, but when he wraps the chain around his body to miss both a moonsault and then immediately after a top rope body splash you end up getting the feeling that the finish was blown when Saturn gets the pin after a Death Valley driver at 11:48.

Match Rating: *


For the WCW TV Title: Scott Steiner © w/ Buff Bagwell vs. Booker T


This match like the last was a display about how a different reaction to a person’s normal plan of attack leads to good results. At this point, Steiner was developing his persona as a great intimidating presence that would steam roll anything that showed the least bit of fear. But Booker reacts brilliantly to the tension by not being intimidated and almost calmly driving Scott out of the ring a number of times by using his quickness and

strikes suck as the dropkick and side kick. The smaller WCW rings especially help Booker T look quick as a cat as he leapfrogs over Steiner and immediately has to act on the turn as Scott will be rebounding a moment later. Later on after Bagwell stops a Booker attempt from the top rope, Steiner uses his power to slow the pace down effectively with a gorilla press drop.


But it is clear that if Booker manages to run the ropes, that the advantage will once again swing in his direction and so it does as Booker comes back with his usual offense. But the ending of the encounter certainly leaves quite a bit to the imagination as Bagwell comes into the ring in full view of the referee and mistakenly hits Scott with a steel chair at 13:33. Not that I have a problem with the lack of a disqualification considering the adversarial storyline Steiner had with the officials, but the interference was just out of left field. Just after Scott hits a superplex is not a good time to be hopping into the ring since Steiner has just gotten back into command. A double knock out spot or a transition to Booker would have actually provided a reason for Buff to get in the ring.

Match Rating: ** ½


Barbed Wire First Blood Cage Match for WCW World Title with Ric Flair’s career on the line: ‘Hollywood’ Hulk Hogan © vs. ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair


This is every late 90’s Flair match combined with every Hulk Hogan match ever. The formulas are just too damn ingrained anymore in their heads for these guys to do anything different. Toss in the atrocious booking and terrible execution and it just destroys any hope of having a good time in this match. First of all they have a first blood stipulation that they make completely clear with the announcers and the crowd. This is so when Flair blades in his usual fashion off of a bite of all things, we are supposed to figure out that something is very wrong with the officiating (done by Charles Robinson who would go on to be a Flair lackey off of this event). But the problem is that no one in the actual ring reacts to the blood.


Hogan doesn’t point it out to the official, Robinson doesn’t go in to check the cut to declare it incidental, and Flair doesn’t show any emotion over what would be the end of his career if the referee wasn’t in his pocket. So what happens to the crowd is that they get immediately confused and bewildered, especially considering that Flair came into the match as a face.


The booking only gets more wretched from there as David Flair comes out to cheer Hogan on before he gets blindsided by Anderson. Now with a group that has about fifteen members at this point, you would think the nWo would play a bigger part but they’re no where to be seen while their boss is getting screwed. But evidently they are all busy playing Madden ’98 to actually do anything as Arn passes Flair a tire iron to put Hogan down at 14:21. The finish only adds to the confusion of the booking since Anderson just did the same thing as a face in the Tag Team Title match it doesn’t help the fans understand that Flair is now your villain. This was a massive fumble of bad wrestling and terrible story construction.

Match Rating: DUD


And there you have it. WCW at the bottom of the barrel as not one match even got to three stars worth of goodness and a number of deep storylines that were completely botched due to missed opportunities. Not that storylines mattered in WCW by this point, since it would all be reset a number of times anyway. If I were to grade this tape on the new and improved EBAY™ Ratings System of ‘how much would I pay’ for the show, I would have to put it down around the one-dollar point. You would literally be missing absolutely nothing if you never saw this tape and only a complete

WCW maniac who wants every pay per view would want anything to do with it.


Drop me an e-mail … I’m cool and stuff.

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