Written By: Matt Peddycord
March 16, 1997
North Charleston, SC
North Charleston Coliseum
The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/10/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Eddie Guerrero (12/29/1996)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (10/27/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Prince Iaukea (2/17/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Syxx (2/23/1997)
WCW Women’s Champion: Akira Hokuto (12/29/1996)
It should be noted that on the live show PPV intro, they advertise Prince Iaukea defending his newly won CRUISERWEIGHT title against Rey Mysterio. Does WCW even watch their own show?
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Dusty Rhodes.
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko – No DQ Match
I did a review of this match a year ago when it was released on the Rise & Fall of WCW DVD. Since I’ve been doing the weekly Nitros from this time period and I have more fresh on what was going on, I’ll go ahead and make a fresh recap for this match. For those who care, recently fired referee Randy Anderson has been reinstated to officiate this match. Guerrero and Malenko get REAL aggressive with each other to start. Eddie pounds Malenko in the face while he’s got him in a headlock. Then once that’s over, Malenko stomps a mudhole in Eddie in the corner. Nice suplex by Dean and now he slaps Eddie around on the mat. Eddie goes to the eyes to stop Malenko and then stomps his own mudhole in Malenko. Eddie corner charges and gets launched face down on the top turnbuckle, which staggers him into a back suplex.
Malenko grabs a half crab as we go backstage to see Rick Steiner is down and out on the concrete with the Outsiders and Syxx hanging around wondering what the heck happened to the poor guy!
Back to the match, Dean tosses Eddie over the top rope and uses the US title to smash over Eddie’s back. Guerrero ducks a clothesline and delivers a desperate sambo suplex to stun Malenko so he can now slap Dean around. Guerrero dropkicks the knee and now it’s time to take Malenko to school. WOOOOOO! He does some cool stuff to the knee like dropping a flying double ax handle on it and giving the knee a Hilo from the apron.
While Eddie has an STF slapped on, we go to the split-screen as we watch Rick Steiner being put on a stretcher while the Outsiders and Syxx appear to be pretty concerned. So Rick Steiner is out of the main event which puts WCW at an unfair disadvantage.
Back to the match, Guerrero takes Malenko to the floor for some guardrail action. As Malenko tries walking up the steps, Eddie dropkicks the knee into the ringpost! Back inside, Guerrero grabs a figure-four and blatantly uses the ropes as he shouts that he’s going to break Malenko’s leg. I mean, it’s NO-DQ. He can do what he wants. Malenko thumbs Eddie in the eye to break the hold. Guerrero starts unloading with European uppercuts and hits the jumping hip attack to set up Dean for the Hilo. Malenko moves and rolls out to the floor, but here comes Eddie with a baseball slide to send Malenko into the guardrail. Time for a dive from Eddie, but Malenko moves and Guerrero eats the guardrail. Malenko lifts Eddie up off his shoulders and drops him shoulder-first on the guardrail again. Back inside, Malenko grinds Eddie down into the Fujiwara armbar. Eddie goes low and catches Dean with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Guerrero delivers a powerbomb with a bridge for 1-2-NO! Eddie avoids a tilt-a-whirl, but takes a low blow from Malenko. As Malenko decks him, Eddie catches Dean in the nuts as well. Whoops. Inside cradle gets two. Malenko catches Eddie with a powerslam and heads up top for the FROG SPLASH! I love the huge smile on his face after he does it. Cover, 1-2-NO! Malenko lifts him up off the mat! Eddie counters a powerbomb with a headscissors takedown, but runs into another powerslam. They trade nearfalls, but then Malenko blocks a wheelbarrow move and powers Guerrero back into a release German suplex. BEAUTIFUL! Eddie blocks a corner charge and hits the Tornado DDT! Guerrero wants the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF and even though Malenko tries to fight it off, Eddie turns the hold over! Here comes the nWo title thief Syxx. He’s got his camcorder with him too, which was his thing back then. As he once again steals the US title, Eddie lets up on the hold and grabs Syxx. Syxx tries to knock Eddie out with the camcorder, but he misses and the camcorder lands in the ring. Hey, it’s no-DQ. Dean picks up the camcorder and bashes Eddie over the head with it. Done. Cover, 1-2-3. We’ve got a new US champ. (19:14) Any other year besides the great 1997, this would be a high MOTYC. These two always knew how to put on a great match thanks to the amazing chemistry they had together. Regardless of the angle with Syxx that had pretty much been forgotten since Superbrawl, anyone would agree this needed a clean finish. Seeing these two get this much time in front of a PPV audience would be one of the high points in the history of WCW. ****¼
Gene Okerlund grabs Roddy Piper for a word in the back. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson said they would be here, but where are they? Who are these Horsemen? What are they supposed to mean to him? Can I even trust these guys? Piper is so confused about this crew. Jeff Jarrett, Steve McMichael, Debra, and Chris Benoit stop by to convince Piper that they are on his side.
Ultimo Dragon (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Psychosis
Mike Tenay joins the commentary table for this match. Lots of feeling-out lucha stuff to start. Dragon hits his Kick Combo and works the leg, but Psychosis fights up and hits a dropkick. Dragon does his handstand on the top turnbuckle and tries walking the middle ropes to kick at Psychosis, but he’s not where he needs to be. They trade off on the camel clutch. Psychosis hits the GUILLOTINE LEG DROP for 1-2-NO! He may have broken Dragon’s nose with that one. Good thing he’s wearing red tonight. Dragon comes back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and then grabs a sleeper. Psychosis tries for a sleeper of his own, but Dragon counters with a back suplex. Flying spin wheel kick sends Dragon to the floor so that Psychosis can fly with a plancha! Psychosis follows with a slingshot legdrop out to the floor, which was less impressive than the plancha. With Dragon laid out on the apron, Psychosis runs at Dragon and gets launched. He does get enough air to fall onto the turnbuckle, but instead bounces his head off the top rope and falls to the floor. Some guardrail action stuns Psychosis so that Dragon can deliver the ASAI MOONSAULT! Just for fun, Sonny Oono gets in a few kicks on Psychosis. Back inside, Dragon hits a Moonsault for 1-2-NO! Psychosis tries a powerbomb, but Dragon counters with a rana countered into a rollup by Psychosis for 1-2-NO! Nice. La Magistral cradle from Dragon gets two. Dragon wants the top rope rana, but Psychosis elbows him back and wants a superplex. Neither man will go, so they both go back down to the mat – hard. Psychosis stops Dragon up top and delivers a hurracanrana for 1-2-NO! Dragon blocks a second rana this time and gives Psychosis the RUNNING LIGERBOMB! Now the DRAGON HURRACANRANA (which was botched into a DDT of sorts)! How about the TIGER SUPLEX for the 1-2-3! (12:46) Except for a few botches, some pretty good stuff here. Pretty much a longer version of the standard of what you see on Nitro. ***¼
And for you workrate snobs out there, you might as well stop the tape right here.
Gene Okerlund brings out Diamond Dallas Page. Put him in the main event! He’s here to make Randy Savage pay attention to him. No commitments, DDP just wants to bang you. Looks like DDP could get his wish tonight. Randy Savage and Elizabeth appear! Apparently Savage had DDP all wrong. Savage now thinks DDP is so cool! He had no idea that DDP’s wife Kimberly Page is in Playboy! They show off her spread with nWo letters covering her TNA. Out comes Kimberly with her dress covered in black spray paint. Once again, DDP is distracted by the sight of his wife looking all assaulted and over comes Savage to knock him out again. Page gets his back sprayed and when Savage threatens to give DDP a piledriver, Kimberly jumps on her husband to try and get Savage and Liz to stop. While she’s covering DDP, Savage grabs her by the hair all rough like as Liz opens up a can of spray paint on Kimberly. Gene is so disgusted that no one is coming over here to help. Liz wants Kimberly to know that everyone in the nWo loves her. Being the authority on all things love, Gene Okerlund does not agree.
Glacier vs. Mortis (w/James Vandenberg) – Martial Arts Match
WHO’S BETTA THAN MORTIS? This is the first match for this Mortal Kombat hybrid character. We all know him better as the late great Kanyon. Not sure what constitutes a martial arts match. Apparently, neither does our esteemed commentators. Having watched all the Nitros up to this point, this feud was NEVER mentioned on the program, so I have no idea what is going on. We haven’t even seen Glacier on Nitro in five weeks. They trade kicks and such to start. To the floor, Glacier kicks Mortis off the apron into the guardrail. He follows up with a pescado and then gives Mortis a suplex on the floor. Vandenberg pulls Glacier off a cover, which makes Glacier so furious that he runs after him. Once he reaches Vandenberg, Mortis drills him with a baseball slide. Mortis climbs the steps with Glacier on his shoulders and drops him onto the apron. Back in, Mortis slingshots himself into the ring and clotheslines Glacier down. Rocker Dropper by Mortis gets two. He tries another, but Glacier lifts him up and powerbombs Mortis down. Glacier makes his comeback, but Mortis cuts him off with a kick to the face. That gets two. Glacier crotches Mortis up top and delivers a superplex for 1-2-NO! Flying chop fails as Mortis catches Glacier for a Northern Lights suplex for two. The flying chop fails again, but he runs over and crossbody blocks Mortis out of the corner for two. Here comes the CRYONIC KICK, but Mortis pulls the ref in the way. Lucky for him, Glacier puts on the brakes. Glacier yanks the ref out of the way and turns around into a superkick from Mortis for 1-2-NO! Now Vandenberg is on the apron. He holds Glacier for a kick, but Glacier moves and Mortis stops himself. This time he turns back around into the CRYONIC KICK for the 1-2-3. (9:04) Afterwards, Vandenberg distracts while Mortis cleans Glacier’s clock with his weird Harley Quinn doll head on a stick. Here comes the man formerly known as Adam Bomb – it’s WRATH! No one knows his name though. He comes out and gives Glacier a uranage. The blood has clearly ran cold, folks. Not a bad match, but I’m always a sucker for Kanyon. **
Buff Bagwell vs. Scotty Riggs – Strap Match
THE AMERICAN MALES EXPLODE! It’s pretty sad when the only reason you’re a heel so far is that you’re out to beat up Scotty Riggs. Bagwell uses the strap to choke Riggs to start. He delivers a slam and heads up top, but Riggs yanks on the strap and crotches Bagwell for a superplex. They head to the floor where Bagwell starts walking and then gets pulled into the ringpost. Back inside, they take turns choking each other again. Bagwell takes the strap up into the area where his testicles should be. Riggs goes for the win and fails. Ten-count corner punch, but Bagwell drops Riggs on the top rope. Bagwell starts whipping in between poses. He goes for the win, but doesn’t wrap up the feet and the match continues. Bagwell treats Riggs like a puppet doing the American Males overhead hand clapping. He takes a low blow for it. DUR IT’S UNCENSORED! Bagwell goes for a pin like an idiot and shoves the ref back when he won’t count. With much anger and disgust, Randy Anderson stands up for himself and makes Bagwell beg off down into the corner. Now see, THAT’S a spot done right even if I’m sure it was done on accident. Considering he was fired by Eric Bischoff, the man certainly has reason to be PISSED OFF at the new World order. Riggs ducks the BUFF BLOCKBUSTER and starts his comeback. Powerbomb and a Missile Dropkick become Riggs weapons of choice. He taps three corners, but can’t reach the fourth. Bagwell backdrops Riggs over the top and hangs him by the throat with the strap! Well, sort of. Once Riggs is completely unconscious, it’s academic as Bagwell taps all four corners for the win. (12:28) Now Scotty Riggs can go back to being a jobber until he gets himself an eye patch. ARRRR! **
We watch Team nWo as they are just hanging out backstage being themselves and making fun of everyone else.
Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri) vs. Public Enemy – Texas Tornado Match
Here are Harlem Heat in yet another brawl at this perennial PPV. We see trash can lids and toilet seats going over each other’s heads when they’re not punching or kicking each other. Hey, IT’S UNCENSORED! The ECW style works best with the smaller crowds as it doesn’t translate well in a bigger arena. Skip ahead about ten minutes, Harlem Heat deliver a Rocket Launcher (!!) on Rocco Rock for two. The crowd pops for the DRIVE BY on Stevie Ray through the table. Out comes Jeff Jarrett and Steve McMichael who were originally scheduled to face Public Enemy and got moved into the main event. While Jarrett distracts the ref for whatever reason during a no-DQ match, Mongo WALLOPS Rocco with the briefcase. Booker delivers the HARLEM HANGOVER and gets the win. (13:18) Completely forgettable brawl that went way longer than it should have. *½
Gene Okerlund gets a statement from the remaining Team WCW. Scott Steiner thinks his brother will be back in time for the match. Everybody better get out of his way because he is on a MISSION tonight to take out Hall and Nash. Giant says he’s going to start dishing out chokeslams left and right. All the talking is over with, Lex Luger is ready to do some damage on the nWo.
WCW World Television Champion Prince Iaukea vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Iaukea is racking up the wins, but still nobody cares about this guy. Again, another TV champ put in a place he didn’t belong and it’s not even his fault. Some flips to start. Iaukea tries a springboard splash and hits knees. Rey hotshots Iaukea and delivers a springboard body block of his own. Splash Mountain by Iaukea is countered into a rana for two. A tilt-a-whirl headscissors sends Iaukea to the floor as Mysterio wipes him out with a somersault plancha. Back in, Iaukea hangs Rey out to dry and then picks him up off the top rope only to bounce him off the top rope into a powerbomb. Back to the floor, Iaukea springboards out onto Rey. After some guardrail action, Rey hits Iaukea with a springboard split-legged moonsault for two. Some awkwardness ensues. Rey headscissors Iaukea on the mat and then delivers a Quebrada for two. Sunset flip powerbomb gets another nearfall. Rey crashes and burns to allow Iaukea to take over. Blah blah blah. They both wind up going for dropkicks and scissor each other like a couple of lesbians. Rey makes a comeback, but we have reached the 15-minute time limit. (11:57) Boy, time sure flies in WCW. Mysterio wants more time and Iaukea GIVES IT TO HIM. Rey continues his comeback and hits a springboard legdrop. He tries the SPRINGBOARD HURRACANRANA, but Iaukea rolls through for the 1-2-3. (13:40) And Iaukea continues his winning ways. Seriously, why are they trying to get him over by having him BEAT a guy that everyone likes and wants to see win?! Some cool moves here and there, but overall a boring match. IMO, their Superbrawl match was better. *½
Spring Stampede promo airs with the Four Horsemen actually riding horses. They do realize that the Four Horsemen thing is just a concept, right? It’s not meant to be taken literally.
Team nWo (Hollywood Hogan, Randy Savage, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash) (w/Dennis Rodman) vs. Team WCW (Lex Luger, The Giant & Scott Steiner) vs. Team Piper (Roddy Piper, Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael & Jeff Jarrett) – Elimination Match
Remember during Wargames matches where the rules were explained to a point that even a casual fan could follow the rules? We don’t receive that kind of courtesy here. Here are the rules as I understand them from Miguel Tampón. One member of each team starts for the first five minutes and then someone from each team enters in two minute intervals until all three teams have entered the match. Last man standing wins for their team and you can be eliminated by pinfall, submission, or being tossed over the top rope at any point in the match. If Team nWo wins, they can take a title match at anytime they want. If Team WCW wins, everyone in the new World order are banned from each and every WCW event for the next 36 months. If Team Piper wins, Roddy gets a cage match with Hollywood Hogan.
Nothing like seeing Chris Benoit come out to bag pipes. He starts with Scott Hall and the Giant. Giant takes his time getting to the ring while Hall and Benoit have a decent exchange. Once Giant gets going though, he’s completely dominant for the first five minutes until he misses a corner charge on Hall and tumbles over the top rope to be eliminated at 5:00. Jeff Jarrett, Randy Savage, and Lex Luger come in next for their respective teams. Being the only man from his team, Luger starts press slamming people to pick up some momentum for himself. Here comes Steve McMichael, Kevin Nash, and the third and final member of team WCW: Scott Steiner. He destroys team nWo with some signature suplexes. Benoit saves Jarrett from an OUTSIDER’S EDGE, but Nash big boots and clotheslines Jarrett out anyway to eliminate him at 9:20. Like a dummy, Mongo tries a piledriver on Hall up against the ropes, but Hall knows better than most that you should backdrop someone when you are in that position. McMichael is gone at 9:50. As Roddy Piper makes his way to the ring, Nash boots Steiner as he’s crotched on the top rope to send him to the showers at 10:17. Umm, where’s Hogan? There he is. He comes to the ring with Dennis Rodman complete with a can of spray paint. They take their sweet time getting down to ringside. Meanwhile, Piper takes Savage (who cost him the WCW world title back at Superbrawl) to the floor to choke him down with a chain. The remaining men are Benoit, Hall, Nash, Luger, Savage, Piper, and Hogan. Think about THAT lineup for a second and see who’s the odd man out. Hollywood finally enters the match and chokes Piper from behind with his t-shirt. Hogan tosses Piper through the ropes, which is not how you get rid of Piper. He pulls Hogan out to the floor for their monthly PPV ringside brawl. Savage tries to save Hogan, but he does little to help. Back inside, Hogan shoots Piper off into the ropes to escape a headlock and Rodman pulls the top rope down to eliminate Piper at 14:55. The police prevent Piper from getting at Rodman. Somehow, Hogan still gets his hands on Piper and beats him around ringside some more. Savage joins Hogan in that little confrontation. Back in the ring, Hall gives Benoit the OUTSIDER’S EDGE and then he and Nash toss him out to eliminate Benoit at 16:32. So now Team Piper is completely eliminated. That leaves Lex Luger against the entire Team nWo. Cue the SUPERMAN COMEBACK from Luger. Clotheslines are everywhere. TORTURE RACK to Savage! He gives up immediately at 18:27. Nash takes a clothesline over the top rope at 18:35. TORTURE RACK on Hall! He submits as well at 18:48. That leaves just Luger and Hogan. As Luger puts Hogan up in the TORTURE RACK, Kevin Nash grabs the ref while Randy Savage runs in and breaks up the hold by bashing Luger in the face with Rodman’s can of spray paint. They both collapse and Hogan covers Luger for the 1-2-3 to win the whole dang match. (19:25) THAT DARN RODMAN! While my next comment doesn’t mean this was a good match, this was easily the best UnCeNSoReD main event to date. All it had to beat was not have Ric Flair dress up in drag and be pinned in a strap match or be a Doomsday cage match. *½
As the nWo celebrates another victory to close out another PPV, Sting lowers from the ceiling and dares the nWo to come get some. Scott Hall attacks first and gets beaten with the ball bat. Sting takes Kevin Nash out at the knees. Randy Savage leaps in, but takes a swing right in the gut. They all get SCORPION DEATHDROPS one after the other to boot. Once they are all taken care of, Sting points at Hollywood Hogan as Dennis Rodman gets the man warmed up. Sting lays the ball bat down, so now Hogan decides its safe to meet him in the ring. Sting blocks a punch and fires back on Hogan. SCORPION DEATHDROP to Hogan! Oops, we are outta time! We gotta go, fans.
Final Thoughts: For fans of Sting and those who thought that the Randy Savage heel turn was putting WCW at way too much of a disadvantage especially since it appeared Sting was part of the nWo on the past two Nitros, their questions of where Sting’s loyalty lied was answered. That final segment worked so well that they started incorporating the exact same scenario almost weekly on Nitro. As for the PPV as a whole, there’s a little bit of something for everyone here, putting the PPV in a strong ‘thumbs in the middle’ category. While nothing incredibly bad like the other two UnCeNSoReD shows, there’s not too much awesome outside of the Malenko-Guerrero classic.