Thunder – January 14, 1999

ThunderDate:
January 14,
1999
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Attendance:
8,597
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan 
Reviewed by Tommy Hall 
It’s
the go home show for Souled Out and we actually have some matches set
for the show now. The main story coming out of Nitro is Giant being
beaten down and thrown out of the NWO and the company as well. Other
than that there’s Flair torturing Bischoff in comedy bits that are
lacking comedy. Let’s get to it.

The
announcers talk about recent events as is their custom.
Bam
Bam Bigelow vs. Scott Putski
The
monster hammers away to start but misses a charge to give Putski a
brief opening. It lasts all of three seconds as he whips Bigelow in
and gets taken down by a nice spinwheel kick. Well nice for a guy
Bigelow’s size. A hard
elbow puts Putski down but Bigelow misses the top rope elbow and gets
punched in the jaw. Again it only lasts for a few seconds though as
Bam Bam catches him in a powerslam.
We
hit the chinlock on Putski as the announcers have barely acknowledged
anything outside of Goldberg vs. Hall. You could at least talk about
Wrath vs. Bigelow as the commentary was clearly done with knowledge
of what happened/was going to happen on Monday. Putski’s
next comeback is stopped when he runs into Bigelow’s boot, followed
by some elbows and headbutts.
A
choke has Putski in trouble and we hit another chinlock. Back up and
Bigelow runs into a boot as Putski is getting WAY too much offense.
Some clotheslines put Bam Bam down but he comes right back with
Greetings From Asbury Park (over the shoulder tombstone) for the long
delayed pin.
Rating:
D+. The match wasn’t terrible
but six minutes is way too long for Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Scott Putski.
Bigelow looked bored out there for the most part, even though he hit
some of his bigger spots. To be fair though, who expected an effort
in a match like this? Putski’s pirate style garb continues to be
bizarre.
Norman
Smiley vs. Prince Iaukea
Oh
good grief we have to see this AGAIN? Feeling
out process to start with Iauke running Norman over with a shoulder
for two. An armbar doesn’t
last long on the Prince but this time he gets shouldered down. The
spinning slam sets up the Big Wiggle and a chinlock as we take a
break. Back with Smiley
dropkicking him out to the floor and it’s Wiggle time again.
Prince
comes back in with a cross body for two but gets clotheslined down.
Say it with me: Big Wiggle time again. Norman nails a European
uppercut and puts on a headscissors on the mat. Prince quickly
fights up and hits his second cross body for two more. They head
outside with Iaukea ramming him into various metal objects but Norman
nailing some chops back inside. Norman
hammers away a bit more but takes too long on another spinning slam,
allowing Iaukea to slip out. Iaukea fires back but gets caught in
the Conquest for the submission.
Rating:
D. This got TEN MINUTES.
Smiley is incredibly charismatic but he needs more than just the Big
Wiggle and that spinning slam. On top of that, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL
THINGS GOOD AND HOLY GET PRINCE IAUKEA OFF THE SHOW ALREADY! The guy
is just not interesting at all and can do nothing special in the ring
whatsoever. Why we’ve had to sit through this match three or four
times in less than six weeks is beyond me.
Jimmy
Hart says he’s great and that the Faces of Fear are back together as
the First Family and will win the Tag Team Title tournament. This
was far more interesting than either match tonight and I almost dozed
off during this segment.
Recap
of Bischoff being forced to set up the ring, leading him to leave a
wrench behind for Nash to knock Giant out with. Because there would
never be a wrench near a wrestling ring unless Eric Bischoff was
there.
Jericho
comes out to talk about how amazing he is and allows the crowd to
applaud him. He thinks Saturn will retire on Sunday because he
doesn’t have the legs to wear a dress.
Chris
Jericho vs. Van Hammer
Van
Hammer’s early power stuff has almost no effect so Jericho dropkicks
him down and does the long steps. A clothesline from Hammer allows
him to do the long steps, but that’s not cool with our Canadian hero.
Not that his anger matters though as Hammer easily counters a monkey
flip by putting Jericho on the top rope.
Jericho
comes back with a spinwheel kick and a suplex as Saturn is standing
on the ramp. We hit the chinlock on Hammer for a bit before Jericho
misses a dropkick. Hammer pounds away (you might say he even
hammers) before crotching Jericho on the top. A superkick and cobra
clutch slam get two for Hammer but he misses an enziguri and has his
lions tamed into kittens for the submission.
Rating:
C-. Match of the night so far
by about a mile. It’s amazing what you can do when you have someone
with as much charisma as Jericho had out there, especially after
seeing Scott Putski and Prince Iaukea earlier in the night. Van
Hammer wasn’t anything special but he was fine in a role like this.
We
see Goldberg’s sitdown sound bytes from Nitro.
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Faces of Fear vs. Mike Enos/Bobby
Duncum Jr.
Barbarian
hammers on Enos in the corner to start before missing a charge and
getting kicked in the ribs for awhile. Off
to Meng vs. Duncum with Bobby’s offense having no effect at all.
Meng rams his own head into the turnbuckle and hits an atomic drop
before bringing Barbarian back in. Duncum
gets beaten down by both monsters as this is already dragging. Meng
ducks his head but Bobby can’t slam him, instead getting suplexed
down.
Back
to Barbarian who fights off a sunset flip until Enos shoves him down
for two. Barbarian comes right back with a backbreaker and we hit
the chinlock. Duncum escapes with a jawbreaker but Meng breaks up a
tag attempt. A piledriver gets one on Duncum….and here’s the NWO
for the no contest.
Rating:
D-. So the Faces of Fear are
back together and somehow less interesting than they were before.
Jimmy Hart’s career as a manager nosedived after the NWO showed up
and it’s rather pathetic to see him toiling down here. Also, Duncum
goes from a few TV Title matches to this in less than two months.
Such is life in wrestling.
Hogan
talks about how Nash is the real giant and no one is going to mess
with them. Nash says there will no tournament.
This
Week In WCW Motorsports.
Wrath
vs. El Dandy
Dandy’s
offense has almost no effect to start and a big side slam puts him
down. They head outside with Wrath easily hammering away and sending
Dandy into the barricade. Back in and Wrath chokes a lot before
hitting the Rock Bottom (now called the Death Penalty) and the
Meltdown for….no pin as Bigelow runs in for the DQ.
Rating:
D. Just let Bigelow beat him
like you know he’ll do on Sunday because Bigelow is an older guy and
Wrath’s push was stopped dead by Nash last month. There wasn’t
anything to this and I don’t see why they didn’t just have Bigelow
come in after the match and let Wrath get the pin. Not that it
matters anyway.
Wrath
clotheslines Bigelow to the floor.
Konnan
has a new t-shirt with the NWO logo on it.
Five
minute recap of the NWO’s actions on Monday.
Disco
Inferno vs. Super Calo
Disco
if extra aggressive tonight and stomps Calo to the mat to start. He
rams Calo into the barricade and hooks a front facelock as Heenan
takes a phone call. Scott Hall comes out with the taser and walks
around the ring. Calo hits a bad looking spinwheel kick and a better
looking middle rope dropkick for two. Not that it matters as Hall
zaps him into the Chartbuster for the pin.
Rating:
D. Egads this show feels like
it’s about 19 hours long. Disco as the new lackey isn’t interesting
and feels more like an idea to amuse the writers more than anything
else. It’s like they took the Louie Spicolli idea and put Disco into
the exact same angle about a year later. Calo continues to be
worthless.
Hall
says Nash and Hogan want to talk to Disco in the back right now.
Disco leaves and Hall talks about Goldberg winning 174 wrestling
matches, but now it’s a gimmick match (his words). Hall says go rent
some of his ladder matches and
explains the rules of their match on Sunday.
Chris
Benoit/Steve McMichael vs. Barry Windham/Curt Hennig
Chris
and Curt get things going as the announcers talk about the Flairs’
match on Sunday. Neither guy can take over on the other so they
circle each other for a bit. Some chops have Hennig in trouble and
it’s off to Mongo (wrestling in a shirt for some reason) for some
knees to the ribs. Curt outsmarts Mongo with relative ease and
brings in Windham to hammer away. Barry hits a belly to back suplex
before it’s back to Curt to stomp away.
The
heels take over on McMichael and we take a break. Back with Windham
getting two on Mongo off a lariat before putting on a reverse
chinlock. Hennig comes back in but a double clothesline puts both
guys down. Benoit gets the hot tag to clean house and a suplex gets
two on Barry. There’s the Crossface on Windham but Hennig hits the
referee with a chair for the DQ.
Rating:
D+. It’s so clear that most of
these people just don’t care at all and it’s getting harder and
harder to watch. Benoit was trying and Hennig was kind of trying,
but the other two were just out there because a schedule said they
were supposed to be. Thankfully Mongo would be gone soon after this.
Ric
Flair tries to come in for the save and gets beaten down. David
tries to come cover his dad but gets attacked as well. Hennig picks
up the chair and we’re done.
Overall
Rating:
F. What a depressing
show. I’m not sure what the main event is on Sunday, though the
Flair match is getting more time than the ladder match. Other than
that this was a lot of boring to horrible matches with a quick cameo
from the NWO. Things should pick up a bit after Sunday but it can’t
get much less interesting at this point.
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