Looking back on WCW, it’s easy to pinpoint how many crazy matches and moments that the company has gone through. Among all of the chaos were some highlights and brief moments of brilliance. While the WWE was busy pushing the limits and boundaries with their Attitude Era, WCW and its parent company chose to keep things as family-friendly as possible. Sure, there was a curse word here or there, but WCW rarely featured the scandalous and Jerry Springer stylized action that the WWE was promoting on a weekly basis. This meant that when WCW would push the limits, it would be in a crazy way that had fans talking for weeks after it occurred.
The following R-Rated WCW moments are violent, scandalous, and feature some of the company’s top stars like Ric Flair, Sting, Hulk Hogan, and Cactus Jack. These stars would push limits to create the "R-Rated" moments that would sometimes be a hit or fall flat to the audience. Some of the content still entertains today, while other selections are gross and really unnecessary. Thanks to the WWE Network and online media, you can relive a lot of these moments and see what made them so shocking when they first occurred on live programming.
15 Tank Abbott Pulls Out a Knife
Tank Abbott was a strange addition to the WCW roster. While Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn transitioned nicely from the UFC to the WWE, Tank Abbott wrestled in WCW like he had no training or true knowledge of the business. This became even more apparent during his match at the Super Brawl 2000 PPV. After punching and fighting a man named “Big Al” (who?!), Abbott decided to take things one step further. When the match ended, Abbott grabbed his jacket and proceeded to pull out a knife from his pocket. A large hunting knife.
He dropped to a knee and creepily waved the knife over Big Al’s head, lifted up his head and then proceeded to place the tip of the knife right into the neck of Big Al. This looked more like a serial killer than a professional wrestler. The cameras quickly cut away and the panicked announcers proclaimed that Tank was simply trying to cut Big Al’s beard despite the fact that Big Al had no facial hair. The moment drew terrible reactions and was all too real for the time and place.
14 1992 War Games
The War Games match was a crazy five-on-five dual-ring cage battle that created many memorable moments for WCW. One of the most brutal was in 1992 when Sting’s Squadron took on The Dangerous Alliance. The brawl was intense as wrestlers were slammed into the cage relentlessly and the whole match turned into a giant blood bath. Steve Austin bled nearly as much, if not more than his bloody battle with Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 which really tells you how bad it was.
It was hard to tell who was bleeding and who wasn’t, the match took violence to another level. The barbaric encounter match is available on the WWE Network, but it certainly doesn’t fit into WWE’s current PG era. By the time the battle ended, both rings were stained with blood from a majority of the combatants.
13 Rhodes Meets The Road Warriors
Dusty Rhodes loved to push the limits in WCW. As weekly episodes aired on TBS, the wrestlers were told that no blood was to be shown on television. This was ignored for one of the most violent moments ever seen on WCW television.
While feuding with The Road Warriors, Dusty Rhodes was brutally attacked by the legendary tag team. The shoulder spikes that the team wore to the ring became utilized as a gruesome weapon. The duo tore off one of the spikes and proceeded to viciously stab and dig into Rhodes’ eye. The scene is still hard to watch today and left Rhodes bloody all over the ring.
The incident may have created a shocking moment, but it led to Rhodes' firing from the company. Shortly after, "The American Dream” would debut in the WWE before later returning to his WCW roots.
12 Chucky Appears on WCW Nitro
Celebrity cameos and appearances are common in professional wrestling, but the addition of the killer doll Chucky was just odd. In an effort to promote his newest movie, the Chucky character appeared on the large Nitro screen to confront Rick Steiner in the weeks leading up to Halloween Havoc. The R-Rated horror movie doll didn’t drop any F-bombs, but he did make some sexual jokes and threaten violent deaths to both Mean Gene and Steiner. It was confusing to see and a strange promotional segment for the show. For children watching at home, the interview may have come off as both scary and eye-opening.
Surprisingly, Vince Russo did not book the doll to make a run-in and win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Those plans would be saved for other celebrities down the line.
11 Ric Flair Strips Down
While serving as WCW President in 1999, Ric Flair became obsessed with his power in the company. This lead to a struggle between Flair and commissioner Roddy Piper. On the April 19th, 1999 episode of Nitro, Flair took things a little too far to keep his position in the company. For seemingly no reason, Flair started freaking out in the ring and began stripping out of his clothes. He threatened to go fully nude as he strutted around the ring in his boxers and even fought off Kevin Nash.
Arn Anderson mentioned Flair getting nude, but thankfully the segment got cut off before things got too far. Still, seeing a man strip down in the ring proved to be a little too risque for family audiences and was just the beginning of the end for WCW.
10 Sid’s Broken Leg
Sid Vicious had a storied career in both WCW and WWE, but one of his most memorable moments is a gruesome injury that would change his career forever and become one of the most graphic scenes in WCW and pro wrestling history. During the Sin PPV in 2000, Sid was involved in a four corners match for the World Heavyweight Championship. In an attempt to win, Sid climbed up to the second rope. Something happened on his leap down as too much pressure was applied to his left leg. The leg snapped instantly as Sid fell to the mat. The leg literally dangled in the air and the bone pushed through the skin.
The original clip is hard enough to watch as it is and WCW edited the segment for replays and future releases. It is one of the more gruesome injuries ever witnessed at a WCW event and perhaps in all of pro wrestling.
9 1987 War Games
War Games is an unforgiving battle and the 1987 bout really set the standard for future matches. Wrestling legends like Ric Flair, The Road Warriors, Tully Blanchard, and Lex Luger all participated in in this event that fans would talk about for years to come. Blood flowed within just minutes into the match. Ric Flair sported his trademark crimson red hair and each wrestler beat on each other without any holding back whatsoever.
In a move that felt very familiar, the Road Warriors once again used their sharpened spikes to gain the advantage and eventually the victory. Their victim this time was J.J. Dillon. He had a spike literally stabbed right into his forehead. It was a fitting ending to a violent match that made some ECW content look tame in comparison.
8 Meet “The Dog”
The world of pro-wrestling has had many canine-inspired wrestlers like The British Bulldog and Rick Steiner, but WCW's "The Dog" took things a little too literally. Portrayed by wrestler Al Green, The Dog would be walked around on a leash and perform tasks that are usually left to four-legged animals. There were many moments when the goofy comedy got pushed too far and reached inappropriate territory.
One example of this is when WCW cameras captured The Dog drinking from a public toilet. The nasty scene was unnecessary, especially for such a dumb character and pointless storyline. It featured close-ups of him lapping up the dirty water causing a gag reflex for many sensitive viewers. The character was quickly abandoned and not used much, but the memory of these scenes live on forever in the "dark side" of the WCW library.
7 Magnum TA vs. Tully Blanchard
Many people wouldn't even qualify the 1985 “I Quit” contest between Magnum TA and Tully Blanchard as an actual match. These two opponents expressed their hatred for each other in an R-Rated brawl that would never be seen in today's world of wrestling.
Stuck inside an unforgiving cage, these two did not perform choreographed punches or smooth wrestling moves. Instead, they tore each other limb for limb and made many fans uncomfortable as they took hardcore to a new level. Hair pulling, biting, and cheap tactics became an intense part of the match as each wrestler begged the other to quit.
After several minutes of heavy bleeding with back and forth action, the ending added even more to the violence. A wood chair was inserted into the ring and the shard was pulled off. Once Magnum TA got control of the wooden piece, he slashed at Blanchard until he quit ending the violent encounter and creating an R-Rated piece of wrestling history.
6 The Juicer’s Chants
Seeing the popularity of Bettlejuice, WCW decided to rip the ghostly character off and premiere their own inspired wrestler by the name of The Juicer. Portrayed by Art Barr, The Juicer started gaining fandom until stories began circulating about Barr's troubled past. Barr was convicted of sexual assault in years prior and news outlets started picking up on the story. As the story spread, fans turned on him in the worst way possible.
During live events and television taping, large sections of the audience would start chanting “Rapist!” every time that The Juicer appeared. This isn't exactly the most family-friendly crowd chant for television. As the chants grew and protests got louder, Barr was released from his contract and The Juicer would disappear from WCW programming faster than you could say "Beetlejuice" three times.
5 Drunk Scott Hall
Scott Hall has had personal demons follow him for a lot of his career. Drug and alcohol problems led to several issues, including suspensions and poor performances. Wrestling storylines often mix with reality, but this instance was taken a little too far. After returning from a stint in rehab during 1998, Eric Bischoff decided to make the Scott Hall character a drunk.
Hall stammered down to the ring, slurred words, and appeared heavily under the influence. Live on air, fans had to witness these uncomfortable moments and watch as Hall puked all over Bischoff. The cameras didn't cut away from the shot as the puke spewed all over in a gross fashion. The segment was in poor taste and the storyline was quickly dropped as Hall appeared normal just a few weeks later.
4 Ric Flair in the Mental Hospital
As if Ric Flair stripping in a WCW ring wasn't crazy enough, just weeks later, WCW featured him at a mental hospital. The insensitive scenes were too much for broadcast television. They openly mocked mental issues and once again fans had to witness The Nature Boy strut around in his underwear. Things got taken even further as Flair groped at nurses, made moves on them, and made a mockery of mental health as a whole.
The craziest part of it all was the fact that WCW used several angles to depict this story throughout the show. There were various scenes played during the whole episode of Nitro. Just when you thought it was over, WCW would cut back to another scene. The attempts at comedy once again pushed the limits too far and was highly inappropriate.
3 Chicago Street Fight: The Nasty Boys vs. Cactus Jack and Maxx Payne
Another hardcore battle that pushed the R-rated limits. In the WWE, the worse thing that The Nasty Boys ever did was stick the face of an opponent into their armpits. In this WCW brawl, limits went out the window. As Cactus Jack, Mick Foley took self-sacrifice to a new level as he pummeled opponents, risked his body, and used every weapon he could find.
The violent encounter included multiple tables, chairs, pool cues, shovels, and even the WCW catering. Multiple camera shots showed the dual-action as each wrestler gave it their all. After being thrown on the cement and slammed with a shovel numerous times, Mick Foley was pinned and suffered the loss. A few months later, Foley would find a new tag team partner and face off against The Nasty Boys again, in a violent rematch that would duplicate this "R Rated" battle.
2 Hogan vs. Flair Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match
This encounter between Hogan and Flair was one of the most brutal and violent brawls. With the company on the line, Flair and Hogan competed in the main event of WCW's Uncensored 1999 PPV. Trapped inside a barbed wire steel cage, Hogan and Flair bloodied each other in a matter of minutes. The violence included brutal cage slams, biting, and some mat brawling.
As if the violence wasn't enough, Flair also made "crotch gestures" towards David Flair and Torrie Wilson. As he climbed the cage, Hogan also pulled down on Flair's trunk to reveal his backside to the whole live crowd. It may not have been the best match between the two wrestling legends, but it was definitely the most "R-Rated" one.
1 Halloween Havoc 1999
Halloween is naturally a great holiday for some R-Rated horrors and WCW tried to represent that theme at their Halloween Havoc event in 1999. The PPV would feature two extremely bloody matches that helped make the whole show one of its most violent affairs. The first instance of blood came in a singles match where Goldberg took on Sid Vicious. Minutes into the match, Goldberg busted open Sid's head and made him pour blood all over the ring. The blood was so bad that the referee stopped the match and awarded the victory to Goldberg.
Minutes later, DDP would take on Ric Flair in a strap match. That strap got put to good use as both men bled heavily and a crowbar was even involved. The match featured way more blood than Sid's, but the refs allowed it to continue. DDP ended up defeating Flair, leaving a ring mat full of blood stains while Flair exited the match out on a stretcher.
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