The Two Count

By Joe Flynn

It happened in Louisville, Kentucky. It happened at Freedom Hall. It happened during Uncensored. "What...?" you may ask. "What happened...?" Many people would answer the debut of Mikey Whipwreck, former ECW star, now on the fast track to obscurity here in the WCW. Some may say that the answer is Saturn getting a new look, new music and a huge push all in the same night. Most would answer Ric Flair got the gold around his waist for the 14th time...whooo! Whatever. Sure. They would all be right. But they have also all missed the point. Because despite what will be said in the upcoming months, it was during Uncensored, March 14th, at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky that the NWO was destroyed.....................................The event started out normally enough. "Mean" Gene came out and warned us all how Uncensored was unsanctioned by the WCW, so, anything could happen. Weak. Lame. First of all, the WCW logo was displayed all over the place, hardly the mark of an "unsanctioned" event. Secondly, four of the five WCW title belts were on the line, three of which later changed hands. Title holdings hardly change during "unsanctioned" events. Maybe I am nitpicking, but I thought Gene's spiel was worse than his usual garbage. The whole "unsanctioned" aspect may have been creative and scary during the first Uncensored, but it's past now. Let it go. Only the dumbest marks would buy it........................First up was Kidman, defending the title from Mikey Whipwreck. Whipwreck can clearly wrestle. However, he would have been HUGE in ECW. His star doesn't shine as bright here, when compared to the antics of Kidman, Mysterio, Psychosis, Juvi and others. This is just another case of the WCW buying up as much "name recognition" as possible. Kidman gets kicked about, but ends up winning the match via Shooting Star Press. I like Kidman, and I think he makes an awesome belt holder. He defends it often, he has charisma and he has great moves. Sadly, Rey Mysterio unmasked as of late and was promised a huge push. Kidman loses the belt he just defended the next night on Nitro. A mistake. But, what else is new...............................The second match belonged on Thunder. No, I'm sorry, that would be insulting to Thunder. It actually belonged on WCW Saturday night. No, that's a low blow too. The next match was clearly designed with a house show in mind. Stevie Ray and "The Name is Vince" Vincent battling in a Harlem Street Fight for control of the NWO black and white. What a joke. All this match does is help further my theory that the NWO is being dismantled, slowly but surely, by the WCW. Basically, Horace Hogan ran in during the fight, throwing a "slapjack" into the ring, and then as Horace is running away, he states, "I don't care who wins, I run the black and white!" Sure you do. Vincent grabs the slapjack and goes to hit Stevie Ray, but Stevie strikes him and performs the Slap Jack on Vincent, ending the match, prompting Tony "Still in Announcing School" Schiavone to utter "He hit him with a slap jack...not the slap jack, but a slap jack!" How did he get his job? Back to my theory. The NWO black and white is now in a terrible state of turmoil. Stevie Ray and Vincent are now openly feuding. The next night on Nitro, Stevie Ray confronts Horace, and ends up slapping him. They then have a match. Everyone in the black and white now knows Hollywood lied to them about who is in charge. It is clear to me that the black and white is only steps away from being disolved. Which would NOT be a problem...except the Wolfpac is only steps away from being disolved as well (more on that later). The black and white could have been a solid force if Norton were put in charge, Vince was tossed out (and out of the whole organization, if you could), and the members were Stevie Ray, Horace and Adams. Recruit a few more bruisers (ala Wrath) and there you go...a successful outfit. However, I am not writing for the WCW.......................Kevin Nash beat up Rey Mysterio, Jr in the third match. However, Rey knows he is getting the Cruiserweight belt from Kidman tomorrow at Nitro, so, what does he care? In fact, Tony and Tenay even said something about "now that Rey's attack on the giants is over" or something to that effect. Hence, Rey is back into cruiserweight fights, complete with the belt. What a joke. I feel for Kidman.........................There was a fourth match. It was Jerry Flynn fighting the Cat and Sonny Onoo. Do you care? I didn't think so. For consistency's sake, let me just say Flynn won. Best thing about this match was the Cat's new hat.....................Bam Bam fights Hak, Hak fights Raven and Chastity, Chastity fights Raven. Raven loses. Bam Bam is knocked out. Hak wins the match and the girl. For a match that WCW billed as the most extreme hard-core match ever, this couldn't disappoint me more. What kind of mark thinks a cookie sheet is a street-fight weapon? Are there a lot of cookie sheets in a rumble? Are most chefs hard core? Am I to believe the Keebler elves are extreme? A cookie sheet? Why? Why? What's the point..............................The Horsemen (Benoit and Malenko) get their just deserts in a complete reversal from the last PPV. In other words, they finally win the tag belts from Hennig and Cowboy Bob. Arn Anderson made a "guest" appearance as one of the lumberjacks, and he whined ringside about "tradition" and "fair play"...interesting concept when compared to his later role in the Flair/Hogan fight...........................Saturn comes out in a leather dress with chains, eyes clad in heavy mascara, a cheap Marilyn Manson rip-off tune playing. Oh, did I mention he got a new set of yellow-green contacts? What a joke. Saturn was kind enough to keep his two lame statements that the fans know and love, "Life's a drag!" and "What are you looking at?". Yeah...those just kill. Jericho had to be on the receiving end of this mess, and despite how talented Chris is, he couldn't make this match interesting. Saturn wins win the Death Valley Driver. The only good strike in this match is when Jericho hit Ralphus and sent him away. Maybe Chris has a new angle coming up. I sincerely hope Jericho remains in the WCW, he is a terrific and under-used star.............................Booker T beats Scott Steiner thanks to a screw-job ending, which further speaks of the NWO decline. In a work that is as old as time itself, Buff missed hitting Booker T with a chair, clocking Steiner instead. This, of course, caused Steiner to lose. The next night on Nitro, Steiner confronted Buff about the mistake. Despite Bagwell's apology, Steiner made fun of his neck injury and then proceded to beat Buff with a chair. According to Tony Schiavone, Buff took off his NWO hat during the break and threw it away on the way back to the dressing room. Why? I mean, does the WCW see fit to break up any pairing that works well together? Harlem Heat...broken up. Hall and Nask...broken up. And now Buff and Steiner, broken up. These two were simply hysterical together, and now Buff is out of the NWO? Just doesn't make sense. Unless, of course, you want the NWO to fall apart. Hmmmmmm?.........................Flair gets to make his descent back into heel-dom, Hogan begins what I am certain is a face turn. The title match was good, possibly the best main eventer a WCW PPV has had to offer in a while. Flair accomodates us once again by bleeding profusely. However, Flair ends up winning...again, a screwball "ref is on the take" ending. Arn Anderson comes out and beats a ringside David Flair, joining Ric in the world of bad guys. Arn slips Ric "the infamous tire iron" (again, credit Tony Schiavone, not me, for that bit of verbal wit). To make matters worse, David Flair gets serious air-time the next night on Nitro, looking dejected over his father's new attitude. David even turns down the new seductress (Mrs. Robinson) brought in, claiming that he is in love for the first time in his life with Samantha/Torrie/the mystery girl. David Flair as a good guy? David Flair yelling to Hollywood Hogan to "hulk up!" during the title match? Ric as a bad guy? Hogan slowly going face? Yeah. Wow. Big surprise. I wouldn't care, but this so spells the end for the NWO. Hogan will eventually leave it and will have to feud with them in order to complete his face turn. No big deal, if Buff wasn't out, the black and white wasn't about to disolve, etc., etc. It is clear to this reporter that the WCW has killed the NWO, only the gravestone is needed at this point. Oh well, I take solace in the fact that the angle will soon be resurrected at some point....................All in all, Uncensored wasn't bad, but it wasn't nearly as entertaining as Super Brawl. There were far too many matches (three in fact) that did NOT belong in a PPV event. Other matches were just reversals of what happened on the last PPV. Other matches were just turned around on the next night's Nitro. But none of this makes a difference. Uncensored could have been super. It could have been earth shattering. No matter how good, was it worth the break up of the NWO? No. Remember, it all started in Kentucky.

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