The Best And Worst Of WCW/nWo Uncensored 1998

WWE Network

Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Uncensored: Macho Man Randy Savage and Diamond Dallas Page got into a long feud over how embarrassed DDP is that his wife is hot, Prince Iaukea pinned Rey Mysterio Jr. clean somehow, and Rowdy Roddy Piper recruited the worst wrestlers you’ve ever seen to be his “Family” just to replace them at the last second with the Four Horsemen.

Click here to watch Uncensored ’98 on WWE Network. You can catch up with all the previous episodes of WCW Monday Nitro on the Best and Worst of Nitro tag page.

Remember, if you want us to keep writing 20-year-old WCW jokes, be sure to click those share buttons, recommend the column to friends and drop down into our comments section to let us know what you thought of the show (or our jokes). “Sting is the dumbest person in wrestling history” jokes don’t write themselves.

And now, the vintage Best and Worst of WCW Uncensored ’98, originally aired on March 13, 1998.

Best: Chavo Guerrero Learns A Valuable Lesson About Trusting A Guerrero

WWE Network

On Nitro, Chavo Guerrero Jr. had a Cruiserweight Championship match against his uncle Eddie’s good friend Chris Jericho. Eddie charged out to the ring before the match to yell at Chavo for getting a title opportunity before him, even though he’s had several, then decided to stay at ringside to support him. When Chavo was doing well, Eddie would scream at him for not doing well enough. When Chavo lost, Eddie got in the ring and beat him down. EDDIE GUERRERO IS A VERY GOOD UNCLE.

To continue this, Eddie brings Chavo to the ring with him for a Television Championship match against Booker T and makes him sit in a chair and watch it. When Eddie loses, because Booker T is like 10-foot tall and full of muscles, Chavo smirks. Slightly. It’s so subtle that the announcers spend a minute arguing about whether or not he’d smiled at all. So Eddie puffs up his chest and starts shoving Chavito for possibly smiling about him losing, and Chavo, to his credit, pushes him back. Eddie’s like, “hey man, it’s all good, let’s walk to the back now and YOU SHOULD GO FIRST.” Chavo, because he might’ve been Sting in a past life, is like, “sounds good, let me just turn my back to you” and gets punched in the back of the goddamn head. Because Eddie Guerrero.

WWE Network

Remember this for the next several months of Chavo Guerrero losing his mind, because shit, can you blame him?

Best: Konnan Shows Us Why You Shouldn’t Professionally Wrestle In Khaki JNCOs

WWE Network

First of all, good look, K-Dogg.

Second of all, match two is a HOTLY CONTESTED rematch from Fall Brawl 1996, between Juventud Guerrera, a man who “never surrenders,” and Konnan, a man who would surrender if you told him he had to go up a flight of steps.

This is a continuation of Juventud’s Little Big Man story about how even though he’s unmasked, he’s moving forward with his career, and how even if you’re Scott Norton-sized and trying to penetrate him via bearhug, he’s not going to quit. This is a surprisingly watchable match built around Juvy bumping his ass off for Konnan’s slow, gentle clotheslining and waist-high dropkicks, building to a “rope-a-dope” finish where Juvy kinda-sorta knocks Konnan out with a surprise roll-up because he’s sucking more wind than the Spruce Goose.

Don’t worry though, K-Dogg gets his heat back seconds after the pin by Rampaiging Juvy to death and throwing him out of the ring, Dirty Dancing style. WCW: Where You Aren’t Allowed To Be Happy, Not Even For A Minute.

Best: Chris Jericho Joins The Ministry Of Silly Walks

WWE Network

WCW Chris Jericho is the best wrestling character of all time for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that he’s the first person I ever saw reference things I liked (as a dorky teen watching pro wrestling) on a wrestling show. You’d get references to movies or sports sometimes, sure, but Jericho would stop in the middle of a pay-per-view Cruiserweight Championship match with Dean Malenko to reference Monty Python. He’d drop promo references to Loverboy or Eddy Grant’s ‘Electric Avenue,’ or he’d use an entire ring entrance to do a This Is Spinal Tap bit. He felt like an episode of The Simpsons as a pro wrestler, PLUS all the stuff that was good about pro wrestling. I know I think everything that happens is the BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED, but without hyperbole, nobody ever brought me as much moment-to-moment joy in my nearly 40 years of watching this shit than WCW Chris Jericho.

Or “Best There Is At What He Does” Chris Jericho. Or “Festival of Friendship” Chris Jericho. Or dressing like a skeleton to shill his cruise on an indie pay-per-view Chris Jericho. Really any time he wasn’t begging us to cheer him.

Worst: Smark-Ass Mean Gene

WWE Network

I’d critically critique the Jericho/Malenko match here, but Mean Gene Okerlund already did it for me. He jumps in the ring when the match is over to interview Malenko (after pausing long enough near Jericho to think he wanted to talk to him, then continuing to walk in a funny bit) and instead of, you know, “interviewing” him, he goes full UPROXX Best and Worst and starts shitting on him for none of his stories making sense.

This is maybe the meanest Mean Gene ever is to someone. He’s like YOU’RE 0-4 AT WCW MEGA EVENTS — WCW’s really into calling things “mega” in early 1998 — and starts listing them off. You lost at Starrcade! You lost at Souled Out! You lost at SuperBrawl! And he lost here tonight, prompting Gene to call Dean a “bonafide loser.” Damn, Gene, tell us what you really feel.

When Gene asks him where Dean Malenko goes from here, Malenko (instead of saying “probably losing at Spring Stampede, kiss my ass” like he should’ve) responds with, “home.” He bails, presumably quitting the company, and we finally, formally begin the true blossoming of Chris Jericho as a character and one of the best undercard stories WCW ever pulled off. A heel winning a match is one thing, but a heel not accepting the win and continuing to poke at a face and poke at a face and poke at a face until that face fires up and destroys them in a fit of glorious comeuppance? That’s the best.

Worst: White Thunder Is Crashing

WWE Network

The worst match of the night, if we refuse to call whatever Hollywood Hogan does at the end of the night a “match,” goes to Scott Steiner in a loss to Lex Luger, who I’d briefly forgotten was a wrestler here. It’s only about three minutes long, and ends quickly when Rick Steiner shows up in an excellent backwards cap/long-sleeve shirt/gym shorts combination to distract his brother, allowing Luger to hit the dreaded Loaded Steel Forearm to the back of the head for the win.

Looking back, it’s so strange to see Steiner during this White Thunder era where he’s got the look figured out, but is still just “Scotty” Steiner in Scott Steiner cosplay. On the March 23rd Nitro he’s decided to become “Superstar” Scott Steiner, which is a little better, and decides to airbrush funny phrases on his singlet. One of those is “Big Poppa Pump,” and by 1999 he’s added the “hootchies,” lost whatever was remaining of his functional mind, and become the absurd caricature of a human being we know and love.

Best: Diamond Dallas Page, The Guy Who Invented ‘The People’s Champion’ Nickname For Wrestling And The Basic Stone Cold Steve Austin Persona, Invents The Shane McMahon Stage Spot

WWE Network

DDP should get more love for coming up with pretty much everything that worked in wrestling from 1995 until like 2005.

This is a triple threat, falls count anywhere, RaVeNz RuLeZ match between Page, Raven (obviously), and Chris Benoit for the United States Championship. It’s probably the best and most fun match of the night, but your opinion of it’s going to rely on how comfortable you are seeing Chris Benoit getting “hung” during matches. Not my favorite!

There’s also the same bit of someone holding up a “USE MY SIGN” sign only to reveal it’s two pieces of posterboard covering a “steel” stop sign, and someone getting hit with the kitchen sink during a hardcore match. All it needed was someone getting a bowling ball bowled into their crotch and you’d have bingo.

The match ends with a spot I loved as a kid, but plays somewhere between “desperate and awesome” and “LOL” today. Benoit tries to superplex Raven through a table, but Page knocks Benoit down, takes his place, and Diamond Cutters him off the ropes. I would say “through” the table, but that’s not really what happens. But man I bet this hurt.

WWE Network

Even though the table didn’t break, there’s always something I’ve loved about this visual. Maybe it’s Raven ending up doing a headstand on a partially destroyed piece of furniture to sell a Diamond Cutter, or maybe it’s the way Page’s body just kinda floats up and floats down and slides to the mat. A table not breaking reads too much like a “botch” these days — thanks, Maffew! — but as a kid I always bought it as “hurting even more.” Maybe the visual isn’t as good and the sound isn’t there, but I bet Raven’s upper thighs were bruised for like a month.

Worst: The Middle Of The Card Is Done, So The WCW Pay-Per-View Gives Up

You know the drill.

WWE Network

Early in the show, J.J. Dillon shows up with an announcement from the Executive Committee saying they’ve agreed to make the powerbomb legal for the upcoming Giant vs. Kevin Nash match at The Giant’s request, presumably because he wants to Ganso Bomb him to Wrestling Hell for what happened back at Souled Out.

It turns out that exciting announcement is just so the announcers don’t spend too much time yelling THE GIANT WAS ABOUT TO GET HIMSELF DISQUALIFIED, THE RUN-IN ACTUALLY SAVED HIM when Brian Adams shows up and stops the match’s only powerbomb attempt with a (jumping) bat attack. I want to make it clear: Adams isn’t jumping off the ropes in that picture, he jumps into the air from a standing position (despite being like three inches shorter than The Giant) to hit a dramatic LEAPING bat strike. The bat’s supposed to break, but doesn’t, so Giant has to goozle Adams around until Nash gets up, hits him again, and breaks it for real.

After that, Nash goes to powerbomb Giant again, but stops when Giant kinda looks at his own hands and starts roaring. Note: given the Giant’s automotive history in WCW, this could be where Big Sexy originally contracted monster truck madness.

Worst: The Least Perfect Chair Shot In History

WWE Network

If one “nWo vs. WCW match ends when a member of the nWo runs in” finish doesn’t do it for you, you’ll be happy to know that three out of four of the remaining matches end that way, and the fourth tried to end that way like three times.

Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig ends with Rick Rude running in and attacking Bret. Rude’s supposed to attack him after Hennig taps out to the Sharpshooter, so he slides in and has to like, awkwardly creep behind the referee for a few seconds waiting for his cue. That leads to a 2-on-1 attack on Hart, who is shit out of luck because the guy who’s supposed to be watching his back, Ric Flair, isn’t coming back until December because of contract problems. So they beat him down, and Hennig finishes the job with … okay, you know how The Rock hit Ken Shamrock with the most gruesome chair shot ever on Raw this same week? Imagine that, now imagine the exact opposite.

Hennig has a padded chair, first of all, which is hilarious. Second of all, he double-clutches trying not to hit Bret too hard and gets into his own head, so he does that really terrible thing where a guy hits the mat near his opponent’s head and pretends it made contact. That might even be fine, because you don’t actually want to kill a guy, but he gets SO in his head about it that he DROPS THE CHAIR HALFWAY DOWN. Tony Schiavone’s like, “actually Bret Hart got lucky because Hennig just kinda dropped the chair on his head without any force, but the referee’s calling for the bell.”

Here it is in slow motion:

WWE Network

Worst: We Hope You Didn’t Care About Scott Hall

WWE Network

To recap:

  • Scott Hall won a title shot in November, did not get it until March
  • despite Hall being one of the best talkers in the nWo, they decided to pair him up with recently turned Dusty Rhodes
  • because Hall suddenly had a manager, the gigantic, multiple-time former champion couldn’t win any of his matches and needed an aging non-wrestler to help him cheat to beat even people like Lenny Lane
  • Hall’s title shot finally happens on this show, in the semi-main event because Hogan and Savage had to pretend to have a more important match afterward
  • the only times Hall’s ever in control, against the guy Hogan beat relentlessly several times, is when his manager interferes on his behalf
  • the referee gets bumped after like three interferences, and even THAT doesn’t go Hall’s way, as Sting’s able to recover, counter Hall’s finisher into his own, and pin him
  • the post-match confrontation is between Sting and Dusty Rhodes

The real highlight is that ref bump, which sees Mark Curtis get bumped into from behind and slapped in the chest, causing him to get knocked out so badly he ROLLS HIS EYES BACK INTO HIS HEAD AND DRAMATICALLY COLLAPSES. Look at it, it’s wonderful. Mark Curtis is the Michael Jordan of referees.

Worst: IT’S A TRAP

WWE Network

It wouldn’t be WCW Uncensored without Hulk Hogan doing something impossibly contrived and stupid. This is supposed to be a steel cage match between him and Macho Man for control of the New World Order, and assumedly possession of the Harvard Lampoon Real Man of the Year 1998 award, but like all Hogan cage matches, it features him casually leaving the cage and fighting outside of it. Brother loved doing that more than he loved jet skis.

And hey, you know how Sting managed to fight off a bunch of nWo interference ONE MATCH AGO and win? Don’t worry, not only does Hogan overshadow him in match placement, he makes sure Sting’s involved in his match, too, so he can make him look as ignorant as possible.

So over the past few weeks, a mysterious bearded motorcycle man not named Brutus Beefcake has been showing up to help Hogan escape basic wrestling situations. Here, Savage climbs to the top of the cage to finish Hogan off, and this guy runs in and stands between them. Everyone’s like, “YEAH, SAVAGE IS GONNA DIVE OFF THE CAGE ONTO BURNT-SIENNA SANTA BEEFCAKE,” so Savage teases it, then … hops down from the cage so they can do a staredown. It looks like it’s going to be 2-on-1, but Savage’s very good friend Sting — who is not at all concerned with helping out one side of a “which one of us is MOST in charge of the group that hates Sting” contest — rappels from the ceiling (where he went after winning his match, I guess?) to have his back. A minute-long staredown ensues, and …

WWE Network

There you have it, folks. Macho Man turns on Sting. Not to be confused with all the other times Macho Man turned on Sting.

WWE Network

Macho Man still tells Hogan he doesn’t like him, but leaves the cage for some reason and walks to the back. Hogan starts yelling YOU WORK FOR ME, YOU WORK FOR ME, YOU’RE IN THE NWO, and it seems like there’s still an argument about the “pecking order” of the group, even though neither of them seemed interested in finishing the pay-per-view main event cage match they’d spent a month setting up to decide which of them is the leader of the nWo. I guess the need to make Sting look like garbage overpowered anything else.

Don’t worry, though, WCW fans: Sting gets his revenge a month later at Spring Stampede, where Macho Man pins him for the championship!