Thursday, 19 December 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Uncensored 2000

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Event poster
March 19, 2000
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida

World Championship Wrestling's Uncensored PPV series had a history of giving us some questionable (read: terrible) creative decisions over the years.

Whether it was the infamous Doomsday cage match at Uncensored 1996 or the time Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan bled like stuck pigs in their First Blood steel cage match at Uncensored 1999 only for the match to eventually end in a pinfall.

So it comes as a bit of a relief to know that tonight, at Uncensored 2000, we would be seeing the last ever installment of the show.

However, something tells me that this wouldn't be the last time we'd see some questionable decision making on the part of the WCW brain trust.

Here's what went down when Uncensored 2000 came live from Miami, Florida.





Everyone Arrives in Miami

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Sid Vicious and Hulk Hogan talk backstage
Tonight's opening video package wasn't one of WCW's worst. It was simple, short, and basically told us about tonight's three big marquee matches:

* Sting vs. Lex Luger for the last time ever
* Sid vs. Jeff Jarrett for the WCW heavyweight championship
* And Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair in the infamous yapapi Indian strap match
From there, we cut backstage where 'Team Package' (Luger, Flair and Miss Elizabeth) were shown entering the arena, all geared up about tonight's show.

Elsewhere, Wrestlemania 8 opponents Hulk Hogan and Sid Vicious were seen talking about how they had each other's backs tonight, while Jeff Jarrett was shown entering the arena with The Harris Brothers.

Ron or Don asked Double J about his mystery 'insurance policy' which, sure enough, led us to a shot of an ominous black limousine pulling up outside of the arena.

Out in the arena, pyro exploded, the fans roared, and Tony Schiavone welcomed us to the 2000 edition of WCW Uncensored before sending it to the ring for our opening contest.

World Championship Wrestling World Cruiserweight Championship
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion The Artist (w/ Paisley) vs. Psicosis (w/ Juventud Guerrera)

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Psicosis faced The Artist
Before both men could lock up, an unfamiliar theme played and 'Hard Knocks' Chris Candido made his WCW debut.

Heading straight to the commentary booth (where somebody had to show him how a headset worked), Candido addressed the recent rumours about him coming to the company before spending the majority of tonight's cruiserweight title match putting himself over.

He was joined in the Chris Candido fan club by announcers Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden and Iron Mike Tenay. Together, all four men ignored most of what went on in the ring and instead talked about how Candido had been through a tough life and how, having done so, he was more than capable of kicking ass in World Championship Wrestling.

Look:

I've always been a fan of Chris Candido and I'm glad that the company decided to try and get him over right from the start, but this was completely distracting and made it hard to follow what was going on in the ring.

For the most part, it looked like The Artist and Psicosis had a pretty decent match, but it was hard to tell with all the focus being on Candido.

Towards the finish, Psicosis looked to have the match won but was confronted by Paisley.

Psicosis' second, Juventud Guerrera looked to stop Paisley being a factor in the match by giving her a big snog, to which the future Mrs Booker T responded by literally raping Juvi.

I'm not joking. She gave him a slap with Juvi over-sold by staggering around and falling to the floor. Paisley then jumped on him, ripped his shirt off, and was busy unbuckling his jeans when the camera cut away to the ring.

There, Psicosis still looked to be in control, but Paisley got done with her raping and distracted him so that The Artist could leap off the top with a flying DDT and win the match.
Your Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: The Artist

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Bam Bam Bigelow
Out in the back, Mean Gene Okerlund interviewed Bam Bam Bigelow about his upcoming match with The Wall. Bam Bam had been revealed as The Wall's mentor and the man responsible for bringing the big guy to WCW, despite the fact that Wall had originally debuted with Berlyn.

Apparently, however, The Wall had been going around deliberately injuring people, which is not what Bigelow had taught him. As a result, a somber-toned Bam Bam promised to teach his student one more lesson tonight.

XS (Lane & Rave) vs. The Screamin' Demons (Norman Smiley & The Demon)

I don't think "The Screamin' Demons" was the official team name of Norman Smiley and The Demon, but Mike Tenay said it a few times and it sounded so much fun it just had to be included here.

The two had formed an unlikely alliance as of late and had been watching each other's backs in a feud against Lane and Rave of XS.

If those last names don't sound familiar to you, maybe these will:

Lenny Lane and Lodi. The two had dropped their homosexual gimmick following a number of complaints. They'd then had a short run as 'Standards and Practices', a Right to Censor style gimmick that also involved Stacy 'Ms. Hancock' Keibler.

Prior to the bell, Hancock came down to the commentary booth but was nowhere near as distracting as Candido had been earlier.

Not that it made much difference.

It was always a joy to watch Norman Smiley in the ring, particularly as he dressed up like The Demon tonight, Gene Simmons makeup and all. Yet even he couldn't save this from being a sloppy mess of a match.

After a short outing, Smiley slapped on the Norman Conquest and won the match for his team.
Your Winners: The Screamin' Demons

Post-match, XS tried storming off with Ms Hancock but got beat up by Demon and Smiley. The face-painted duo then brought Ms Hancock back to the ring where she did 'the big wiggle' on Smiley to the delight of the live audience.

Kidman has Booker's Back

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Booker T confronts Billy Kidman and Torrie Wilson backstage
The theme of tonight's show seemed to be people having one another's backs. So, out in the backstage area, a fired up Booker T told Billy Kidman that if he was going to have his back tonight, he should have it, if not, to basically go away.

I don't know how these two came to be paired up, nor do I really care to find out.

Meanwhile, David Flair and Crowbar were seen sporting neckbraces after taking a beating at the hands of The Wall on Thunder. David made Daffney promise that she wouldn't "go out there" when The Wall was in the ring. The Scream Queen promised, but then, after Flair and Crowbar left, giggled her head off and revealed that she'd had her fingers crossed the whole time.

Leaving your writer confused since we were told The Wall would be facing Bam Bam Bigelow, cameras cut back to the arena for that match.

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. The Wall

WCW Uncensored 2000 - The Wall destroyed Bam Bam Bigelow and Kanyon
Wasting no time in laying waste to one another, The Wall and Bam Bam looked to be developing a pretty solid Battle of the Giants. Yet before it could really hit its stride, this one was over.

The two brawled towards the stage where a random table with some computer monitors had been set up. Predictably, The Wall put Bammer through said table with a chokeslam. The referee called for the bell, awarding the match to Bigelow via disqualification though if we were playing by that logic, surely he should have counted both men out?
Your Winner via Disqualification: Bam Bam Bigelow

Post-match, Bigelow did the stretcher job while David Flair and Crowbar came out for a brawl with The Wall. The dominant Wall took out David Flair then battled Crowbar up to the top of a large structure and chokeslammed his rival off it.

Crowbar went sailing through the air and crashing through the stage with force while The Wall -who was being hyped as a sick and sadistic machine- laughed on wickedly.

It was, to be fair, a pretty awesome spot. More's the point, it made The Wall look completely indestructible, dominant and, more importantly, popular with the live crowd. All in all, it was the kind of spot that made you convinced we had WCW's next main event player on our hands.

Wonder why that never happened.

Selling the devastating impact of the fall, Crowbar was wheeled into an ambulance while various WCW wrestlers such as Booker T and Lash LeRoux looked on, concerned.

Mean Gene interviews Brian Knobs

Out in the back, Brian Knobs yelled to Mean Gene about how Crowbar and Bam Bam Bigelow were two of the gutsiest performers he'd ever seen. In his typical "angry, shouty 80s promo" style, Knobbs dedicated his upcoming Hardcore title match to The Wall's latest victims.

World Championship Wrestling World Hardcore Championship Gauntlet Match
WCW World Hardcore Champions Three Count (Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, Evan Karagious) vs. Brian Knobs

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Brian Knobs talks to Mean Gene Okerlund
All three members of Three Count had piled on top of Brian Knobs in a recent hardcore title match on Nitro, thus beating the Nasty Boy for the title and becoming co-holders.

Tonight, Knobs would have to pin all three men to regain the gold.
Somewhat predictably, he did so with gusto in a match which seemed to lack the usual energy and entertainment value of WCW's hardcore matches. Typically, these kind of bouts were formulaic yet fun. This one was merely formulaic with none of the fun.

After a so-so match, Knobs put away remaining Three Count member Shannon Moore to reclaim his title.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Hardcore Champion: Brian Knobs

Backstage, Mean Gene stood by with Harlem Heat 2000. By now, the team was a four-man crew consisting of Stevie Ray, Big T (Ahmed Johnson), J. Biggs (Clarence Mason) and Kash (4x4 of the No Limit Soldiers), the latter of whom had joined them at last month's Superbrawl 2000.

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Harlem Heat 2000 talk to Mean Gene Okerlund
Stevie and Big T cut a really horrible promo in which they basically promised to beat up Booker and Billy Kidman.

The bad promos continued with Vampiro. After a brief shot of the mysterious limo that had arrived earlier, he was seen in the back, hanging out by a ladder and surrounded by eerie lighting. The effect was cool, but the way Vampiro mumbled his way through a promo where he said things like "I think about bad things and I don't want to do bad things" was certainly not cool.

He sounded like a timid child trying to give a presentation in front of his class. It was awful.

Booker & Billy Kidman (w/ Torrie Wilson) vs. Harlem Heat 2000 (Stevie Ray & Big T w/ J. Biggs and Kash)

Surprisingly, this match wasn't as bad as it could have been.

I mean, it certainly wasn't great, but for saying two of the combatants were Stevie Ray and Fat Ahmed Johnson, it could have been a lot worse.

Harlem Heat 2000 held the advantage for the majority of the bout before Kidman caught Big T with a sunset flip. Booker kicked T in the face, Kidman got the three count and this one was over.
Your Winners: Booker and Billy Kidman

It's sad that this was the match of the night so far.

Meanwhile, as Finlay made his way out, Mike Tenay told us that Bigelow and Crowbar had received concussions and serious injuries at the hands of The Wall. The announcers would not let that spot go all night.

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Fit Finlay vs. Vampiro

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Fit Finlay faced Vampiro in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
I've seen other reviewers crap all over this match, but this fan at least thought it was a lot of fun. After a little bit of back-and-forth action in the ring, Vampiro and Finlay took the match out through the crowd and into the concourse. There, they almost messed up by setting off for the women's bathroom before realising that was a bad no no and heading to the mens' room instead.

A brief mens' room brawl ensued before the fight went back out into the concourse were the weird red lighting and rabid fans gave the whole thing a unique aesthetic more akin to a real brawl. After knocking the hell out of each other, Vampiro took down Finlay and got the three count.

I change my mind. That was the best match on the show so far.
Your Winner: Vampiro

Out in the back, Mean Gene interviewed WCW tag team champions The Mamalukes and their manager, The Disco Inferno.

Though fairly generic, this was actually pretty entertaining stuff from the champions. Far more entertaining, in fact, than anything they'd do in the ring tonight.

World Championship Wrestling World Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Mamalukes (Big Vito & Johnny The Bull w/ Disco Inferno) vs. The Harris Brothers (Ron & Don Harris)

WCW Uncensored 2000 - The Mamalukes faced The Harris Brothers
Back in my teenage years, I was actually a pretty big fan of The Mamalukes. I thought they were the best team WCW had at the time and that Disco Inferno was far better suited as a manager than he ever was as a wrestler.

Fast forward 19 years, and I still mostly enjoy watching Johnny The Bull and Big Vito, though even my fan bias can't stop me from talking about how tedious this match was.

It wasn't outright horrible as some people have claimed, but I'll certainly agree with others that there was nothing enjoyable about it.

In fact, it was so dull that I admittedly stopped looking and played with my phone.

After a bit, The Harris brothers won the titles. Nobody cared.
Your Winners and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: The Harris Brothers

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Team Package running wild
After another shot of the mysterious limousine, Fit Finlay cut an intense backstage promo in which he claimed that Vampiro had finally earned his respect, effectively settling their feud once and for all.

Out in the back, Mean Gene interviewed Luger and Flair. With Elizabeth looking on, the two promised to destroy their upcoming opponents, Hogan and Sting. Though both men had very different promo styles (Luger the calm, cocky heel, Flair the raving maniac), this came across very well.

Then, after a video package which recalled the rivalry between Terry Funk and Dustin Rhodes, we went back to Okerlund for an interview with The Natural.

Rhodes claimed that this was Funk's retirement match (lol) and in a snarling, intense promo, promised to end the Funker for good.

Texas Bullrope Match
Dustin Rhodes vs. Terry Funk

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Terry Funk called Dustin Rhodes a chicken
There was a time that reviewing shows for Retro Pro Wrestling was a fairly simple process:

1) Watch the match
2) Write down whether or not it was any good
3) Move on.

Yet by the year 2000, World Championship Wrestling were producing such horribly convoluted shows that writing about them has become a frustrating chore that involves explaining exactly what went on.

So here's this one in a nutshell:

Terry Funk came down with a chicken, made the super original joke about Dustin's daddy being fat, then claimed to have found Dustin's baby brother. Rather than a young Cody Rhodes, however, a guy in a cheap looking chicken costume came to the ring, immediately killing off any genuine heat this match might have had.

The match itself was supposed to be a Texas Bull Rope match in which both men were tied together by a long bullrope, but the two wrestled for about five minutes, strapped themselves together for about two minutes, then took it off again.

The chicken then returned, so Dustin beat the crap out of it. It looked awful, so bad in fact that the crowd were stone dead.

Meanwhile, back in the ring, Funk took it upon himself to change the match to an I Quit match and beat up Billy Silverman when the referee declared that the match had to win by pinfall. Dustin did indeed say 'I Quit' after getting smashed in the head with a cowbell a bunch of times.

Funk then argued with the referee that the match should be over, but instead got blindsided by Rhodes and piledriven into oblivious.

You know, once upon a time Terry Funk vs. Dustin Rhodes could have been entertaining had they taken it seriously, but this was both ridiculous and terrible.
Your Winner: Dustin Rhodes

Afterwards, we were supposed to have the wild, post-match brawl that kept the fans all fired up, yet as Funk and Rhodes laid into each other, there was not one person in the arena who seemed to give a damn.

Sting faces Luger one last time

WCW Uncensored 2000 - WCW Champion Sid Vicious talks to Mean Gene Okerlund
Out in the back, WCW Champion Sid Vicious gave a short and sweet promo in which he told Mean Gene Okerlund that he was ready for the challenge of Jeff Jarrett.

This was followed by a brief look at the rivalry between Sting and Lex Luger. The two had already been feuding for a while when Luger broke Sting's arm back at Starrcade 1999. The Total Package had then gone on a bone-breaking spree, breaking the arms of many WCW wrestlers and even officials.

Though WCW did a lot of dumb stuff back in the year 2000, you have to give them credit for this story as they sold it pretty well. Wrestlers like Finlay and Vampiro, both victims of Luger, had wrestled full matches in their cast and even Doug Dillinger was seen sporting his when helping Bam Bam Bigelow onto the stretcher earlier.

It was subtle, but it was one of the best things WCW did at that time.

Tonight, Sting and Luger would face each other one last time in a Lumberjack match, with all of Luger's victims as lumberjacks.

Lumberjack Match
The Total Package Lex Luger (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Sting

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Lex Luger backs off from Sting
Stings lumberjacks were: Doug Dillinger, Jimmy Hart, Vampiro, Fit Finlay, Brian Knobs and Curt Hennig, all of whom wore casts after getting their arms broken by The Total Package.

First, Luger tried to gain favour with them by offering an insincere apology then introduced his own lumberjacks: Stevie Ray, Big T, Kash, Hugh Morrus and The Harris Brothers.

The match got underway and was fairly typical of what we'd seen in the past from these two men; not too bad, but nothing that fans would ever be clamouring to see again.

If they'd just kept it at that, even a decent effort between Sting and Luger would have been good enough to save Uncensored 2000 from being a total suckfest. But alas, this was WCW, so they had to overbook the heck out of it.

At one point, Tank Abbot randomly came down and attacked Doug Dillinger. This led to a brawl between the lumberjacks which, in turn, led to every lumberjack except Vampiro fighting their way backstage.

Elizabeth then whacked Sting with a baseball bat, but Vampiro took it off her and -as Jimmy Hart returned to forcefully escort Liz backstage, Vamp whacked Luger. At some point Ric Flair got involved too because hey, you can never have too many run-ins, right?

Anyway, Vampiro hitting Luger with the bat was the cue for Sting to hit Luger with the Scorpion Death Drop and end this thing.
Your Winner: Sting

Post-match, Sting embraced Vampiro and the two celebrated. They'd be feuding before long which this writer is fine with. Say what you want about his ring work, the crowd loved Vampiro back then, so it made sense to put him a high profile feud with The Stinger.

The World Title Match is Next

Out in the back, we were teased with a shot of the mystery limousine being opened. Before we could see who was inside it, however, we cut to a shot of Jeff Jarrett walking through the backstage area with a bevvy of beauties in tow. As he did so, the announcers acted super surprised at a "change in  Lformat" which put the world title fight next and Hogan vs. Flair in our main event.

For change in format read: Hogan had to main event.

Back in his dressing room, Sid was all surprised at being told his match was next and scooted off in a bit of a panic.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sid Vicious vs.  WCW United States Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Sid faced Jeff Jarrett for the WCW title
Again, if they'd just let these two wrestle a straight forward pro wrestling match it would have been OK. It wouldn't have been great but it would have at least been watchable.

Instead, what we got here was even more overbooked crap.

Sid and Jarrett wrestled decently, but an unnecessary run in from the Harris Brothers didn't help things, nor did inconsistent officiating. Referee Nick Patrick had no problem with the interference, but heaven forbid the challenger use a closed fist.

In the end, Jarrett laid out the referee then took out Sid with his guitar before calling on his personal official, Slick Johnson to come and make the cover. However, Hulk Hogan ran to the ring, battered Johnson, battered Jarrett, then draped Sid on top of him. Patrick made the three count and this one was over.
Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: Jeff Jarrett

Immediately afterwards, Scott Steiner made his WCW return by taking out Hogan. Before anyone could take this moment in, however, Ric Flair ran out, immediately hooked him and Hogan up to the strap, and got on with our main event.


Yapapi Indian Strap Match
Hulk Hogan (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Ric Flair

Ah yes, the infamous Yapapi strap match, famously derided by Wrestlecrap and laughed about ever since.

Despite the made-up name, this was your basic touch-all-four-corners strap match. Remember that, it'll be important in a minute.

WCW Uncensored 2000 - Ric Flair faced Hulk Hogan in a Yapapi strap match
The match itself was about as good as Flair and Hogan were capable of having in the year 2000 which is to say that it wasn't very good at all.

The two basically whacked each other with the strap and made each other bleed because that was all they could do. Even two run-ins from Lex Luger couldn't make this exciting.

At one point, Flair made a cover on Hogan. Mark Madden clearly reminded us that this was a strap match and said: "you can't pin in a strap match!"

"No," said Schiavone, "but you can always kick out!"

Hogan regained the advantage and nailed three corners, but then we got our second Lex Luger run in. Hogan took him out with a boot, leg dropped Flair and pinned him for the three count.

To his credit, Hogan did at least remember to touch the fourth corner.
Your Winner: Hulk Hogan

Yes, this was just like Uncensored 1999 all over again. Hogan and Flair had main evented that show too, and had also ended their match with a pinfall despite not being able to.





My goodness, I know I find myself saying this a lot lately, but WCW shows are getting harder and harder to sit through. Though there were a few entertaining moments, there wasn't one single "good" match on this card.

Watching it was hard and depressing, so to cheer myself up, I watched this.

I hope it makes you feel better in just the same way that it made me feel better.





For other 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
More WCW Uncensored reviews:
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