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[1997-03-16-WCW-Uncensored] Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage & Scott Hall & Kevin Nash vs Lex Luger & The Giant & Scott Steiner vs Roddy Piper & Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael & Jeff Jarrett

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We start right when Hogan and Rodman make their way out in this awfully busy main event. Hogan is busy doing photo-ops for a few minutes before bothering to work the match. They were smart about how they worked Rodman into key spots, and there is a ton of press at ringside. The match ultimately ends up as Lex Luger against the entire NWO. After Hall, Nash and Savage make sure they get their photo-ops in, they also go back to working the match. So shameless, but I can't really blame them too much considering this was the biggest mainstream exposure WCW had ever had to this point. Luger goes on a huge one-man comeback and wipes out everyone except Hogan at the end, which is cool booking, but everything happens too quickly to be believable. Hogan ends up pinning Luger after Savage runs back in and hits Luger in the face with the spray can while he has Hogan in the rack. Hogan probably earned a big pay day here for not doing all that much.

 

The post-match is what's legendary, both for the image of Rodman spraypainting and slapping Luger, which was all over cable news and the Entertainment Tonight-type shows, and for Sting finally making his allegiances clear once and for all, which pops the crowd like crazy. Incredible angle that shows the value of patience.

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I didn't remember Sting getting physical with the NWO this early in the year. It's amazing they ended up being so patient with Hogan-Sting. I'll be interested to see how that plays as we go along. I guess Luger being set up as the temporary hero of WCW was the other takeaway. Overall, another intriguing chapter in the NWO storyline.

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Craziest reaction I've ever been a part of live at any event. Building was literally shaking when Sting came down and my non fan brother was jumping up and down in the aisles literally hugging strangers.

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I remember this angle so vividly. It'd been 6 months since the Sting angle started at Fall Brawl and given how things were hotshotted back then, you thought the longest they could hold out on the Hogan match was Starrcade, the '96 version. That they kept things on a low flame for so long until popping it here and still saving the match for December was really something special.

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Where were they?

Charleston, SC.

 

This was an awesome segment that paid off nearly 7 months of storylines.

 

A JCP/WCW guy taking out 4 WWF guys in the heart of Crockett Country made it all the sweeter.

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Will be interesting to watch this PPV as a whole when we get there because the big highs of the show coupled with a very good Malenko vs. Guerrero match make it seem memorable.

 

I'm always amazed that Rodman was around this time and getting semi physical while he was playing. Sure he didn't do much here except paintbrush Luger but the night before he beat my beloved Hawks. This main event feels big time and Luger was crazy over wiping out the NWO. Then you get the iconic Sting moment which was a great ending to a PPV.

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Rodman escorts Hogan to the ring. Hollywood takes his time getting involved in match. Crowd chanting for Sting. Over the top rope elimination is in effect. Rodman helps eliminate Piper but he barely pulled down top rope. Benoit still out there. Hall struggles to hit the Outsider Edge. Luger is all alone. Lex kicked some ass before NWO did their cheating. Wait, what caused NWO to go after Sting? As far as yearbook, he was still showing up in ring with them. Anyways, Sting clearly shows were his allegiance is as he takes down rest of NWO.

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Wait, what caused NWO to go after Sting? As far as yearbook, he was still showing up in ring with them.

 

Yep, on the previous Nitro Sting was given his nWo colors and he didn't budge, so there was nothing clear enough to make Scott Hall jump on Sting.

 

The psychology as all over the place during the match, with Team WCW and Team Piper fighting among each other without even trying to gang up on the nWo once, which made them look kinda stupid. Luger making three guys submit in like 30 seconds was too much, although the pop it got was amazing. The Rodman stuff and the Sting angle at the end was MONEY though.

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Wait, what caused NWO to go after Sting? As far as yearbook, he was still showing up in ring with them.

 

Yep, on the previous Nitro Sting was given his nWo colors and he didn't budge, so there was nothing clear enough to make Scott Hall jump on Sting.

 

The psychology as all over the place during the match, with Team WCW and Team Piper fighting among each other without even trying to gang up on the nWo once, which made them look kinda stupid. Luger making three guys submit in like 30 seconds was too much, although the pop it got was amazing. The Rodman stuff and the Sting angle at the end was MONEY though.

 

 

 

From a kayfabe point of view. I can see Flair and Arn telling Benoit, Jarrett and Mongo that everyone in the match were the enemy, and to take them out. As The Horsemen were an island onto themselves.

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Just watched this match in its entirety for the first time last night. What an amazing clusterfuck! It takes Buffer about 5 minutes to explain the rules.This has to be one of the most convoluted gimmick matches in history, an overbooked mix of War Games and the Royal Rumble with three teams and multiple stipulations that would make Vince Russo proud. Anyway, fun stuff once Rodman gets involved and all the wrestlers have entered the match. Super memorable finish and surely one of the greatest peaks of the NWO angle and WCW as a whole

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"ALL HELL HAS BROKEN LOOSE HERE AT UNCENSORED, AND HELL BROUGHT WITH HIM A BASEBALL BAT."

 

Match is a total mess, even from just the relatively short clip here, and Luger's comeback gets a tremendous reaction but is kinda rushed. On the other hand, how believable would it be for Lex to come back against 4 guys for minutes on end? Rodman is used really well, helping to eliminate Piper and then handing Savage the spray can to use on Luger to set up the ending. He then slaps around Luger afterward and spraypaints him, but of course the real story out of this is the post-match. Yeah, I don't get why they didn't just have Sting stand with the NWO like he'd done on previous Nitros and then start taking them out, but you can't ignore that nuclear fucking pop. The entire team eats a Scorpion Death Drop apiece as Schiavone is practically coming out of his pants. One of the high points of a Monday Night Wars-era show having you foaming at the mouth for more when it's over.

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I'm really surprised this match doesn't please people. Sure, its a bit of a clusterfuck - but considering WCW's track record of convoluted multi-mans (i'm thinking Doomsday Cage, BattleBowls, World War 3, basically anything besides the 3-4 good WarGames matches) - this match is easily one of the best they ever produced.

 

Here's some of the pros:

* The first "5 minute" round is really fun as Giant destroys everyone, including Hall taking some good, motivated bumps.

 

* The Giant's elimination makes absolute sense and raises the suspense as Team WCW is now down 2 members before the match has truly even begun.

 

* Nearly everyone gets their signature offense in, which is not always the case in a Rumble, for example. Only Mongo and Scott Steiner don't get any real chance to shine.

 

* Piper and Savage brawling and Piper eventually going after Rodman. I don't recall, but was the plan for Rodman to wrestle Piper ala Mr. T/Piper? Piper's promos at the time were still good enough to sell terrible matches (his series with Hogan), so I think it would've worked just fine.

 

* Benoit looks tough as hell, surviving the match the longest before finally eating a Razor's Edge before getting tossed out.

 

* The nWo taking a breather and huddling to figure out how to eliminate Luger makes sense to me. They had the match won, but as cocky, arrogant heels, they shouldn't be in any rush to finish off Luger, who essentially plays possum. He back body drops Nash and puts Savage in the rack and it makes sense that Savage would submit quickly - I mean, he doesn't want to risk injury when, even if he submits, they're up 3-on-1. Then Luger knocks Nash over the top (the best way to get rid of a big man) before locking Hall in the rack as well. Hall, having been the first entrant in his team, is the most tired guy in the ring and Hogan The Coward isn't going to make the save. In the end, Luger has Hogan right where he wants him, but the nWo doesn't follow rules and has to cheat to win. Cue garbage getting tossed in by the crowd.

 

* The post-match. Not only is it a great moment storyline-wise, but the actual production of it is really good - Sting not making his entrance until the show is seemingly over and the nWo is making their way out of the building. Iconic moment as Sting points the bat at Hulk and the two come to blows for the first time and just after he hits him with the reverse DDT, Schiavone tells us we're out of time. Great way to sell watching Nitro the next night.

 

As for the rest of the show, I think UnCensored 97' is underrated, especially for fans, like myself, who often seek something nostalgic and fun to watch. Mortis/Glacier overachieves. Guerrero/Malenko is a good opener. Between every match there's a purposeful segment or cool/funny video (Steiners getting run off the road, the Spring Stampede commercial, and the absolutely awesome DDP/Savage segment where Savage unveils Kimberly's Playboy spread). Very few shows tend to "fly by" when I watch them, but this one absolutely did, the only matches that lag are Dragon/Psychosis (which is still a pretty good watch) and Harlem Heat/Public Enemy (which is still probably one of the most watchable matches these teams had in WCW). Recommended for sure.

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I'm really surprised this match doesn't please people.

 

In the end, Luger has Hogan right where he wants him, but the nWo doesn't follow rules and has to cheat to win. Cue garbage getting tossed in by the crowd.

You might've answered yourself there. Yeah, Sting finally making physical contact with the NWO afterwards was a big deal; but the match itself was the same old "NWO is Lucy with the football to WCW's Charlie Brown" as always.

 

An extra level of annoyance was how Benoit's great performance here, getting totally over with the crowd as a tough guy who can hang with all the biggest heavyweights, was absolutely thrown in the garbage afterwards. A week later, he's jobbing to Hugh Morrus. He spends the whole summer in meaningless matches with no angles and doesn't even get another storyline to call his own until months later, and that was just a rerun of his on-again-off-again feud with Double J. There's not many clearer examples of "even if we give you the ball and you run with it, we're probably not gonna give you the ball again anyway, because we're a bunch of dicks" type of moments where WCW's Dreaded Glass Ceiling is so palpably present.

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awesome ending angle. match sucked, but i was still entertained -- and with the whole show in general. finally getting into the meaty part of 97 with mania up next.

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