Thunder – January 21, 1999

Thunder
Date:
January 21, 1999
Location:
Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
on the way towards SuperBrawl and the latest Hogan vs. Flair
showdown. Nitro saw a few stories being set up for the pay per view
with the second biggest one being Luger/Nash vs. Konnan/Mysterio.
The Wolfpack has decided they want Mysterio’s mask to prove how big
and tough they are. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of the David Flair story up to this point,
including him knocking Bischoff out to shave his head on Monday.
The
announcers show us clips from Souled Out with David Flair getting a
beatdown.
Stevie
Ray and the NWO B Team nearly get into an argument over being
worthless. The Red and Black have sent them a note saying their
private jet is stuck in Tampa due to bad weather. Horace and Brian
Adams say they flew coach out of Tampa and never heard about a
private jet.
Jerry
Flynn vs. Disco Inferno
A
clothesline puts Flynn down to start but he comes back with a series
of kicks in the corner. More kicks have Disco in trouble but he
snaps Jerry’s throat across the top rope. The dancing middle rope
elbow and a swinging neckbreaker set up a chinlock. Tony wants to
know where Hall is, despite the letter covering that in the previous
segment. Jerry’s cross armbreaker is quickly broken and it’s time
for more dancing. A spinning kick to the head puts Disco down again
and a belly to belly gets two. Flynn misses another spinkick though
and it’s the Chartbuster for the pin. The fans are into Disco a
little bit.
Rating:
D. It’s a Jerry Flynn match so
I don’t know what else you would expect. Disco is starting to get
over again with his goofy antics despite cheating to win all the
time. That actually makes sense though, as it’s hard to boo a comedy
character, even if he’s doing something heelish.
Back
to the B Team locker room where Horace and Norton are playing with
walkie talkies. That’s the whole segment.
After
a break and the B Team is still arguing. Vincent calls Hogan but
only gets voicemail. That’s a step above Orndorff in 1986 at least.
Vincent tries Nash but an argument ensues with Stevie over who leads
the team.
A
limo has arrived so Horace goes to greet them. The Horsemen are
inside instead and beat Horace down while Flair walks into the
building. Mongo beats him up with what appears to be a vacuum.
Flair
is in the ring for a chat with Gene. First up, Ric starts the
tournament for the Tag Team Titles, even though they should be two
weeks in. The finals are at SuperBrawl. Now the jacket comes off so
it’s time to get serious. Flair rants about Hollywood keeping great
talent in his shadow for twenty years. When Flair was in Kansas
wrestling Rufus Jones in Kansas, Hogan was wrestling fourth on the
card in Madison Square Garden. While Flair was with Harley Race and
Ricky Steamboat, Hogan was in Hollywood making movies.
He
brings up Hogan beating up David and promises to prove that he’s the
real world champion next month. Guys like Jericho and Chavo Guerrero
grew up wanting to be like Flair. That’s why it’s Flair’s reputation
against Hogan’s fame. Flair may only have power for ninety days
(even though it’s been nearly a month already) but at SuperBrawl,
he’ll get what’s his.
This
promo was the usual passionate speech from Flair, but it shows part
of the problem with the feud and a lot of what Flair talked about in
general. As a fan, why should I care about Flair having a match in
Kansas twenty years ago against a guy that I’ve only heard of either
in his promos or from a tape that’s ten years old if I’m under twenty
years old? Odds are I’ve never seen the matches other than maybe
some of his stuff with Steamboat.
I’m
sure there are some fans at the time who had seen a bunch of those
matches and care for them, but it’s not exactly the best way to get
the masses to care. Granted that might be because Flair led with
Rufus Jones instead of Steamboat or Race, who far more people would
care about.
Instead,
Flair is the grandfather that says rambles on and on about how much
better things were back in his day while his grandkids roll their
eyes and tune him out. He may be right, but the way he talks doesn’t
help anything and makes me feel like he’s talking down to me more
than making a good point about Hogan. What he said about his own
career makes sense, but it doesn’t make Hogan look bad because he was
in New York for a lot of his career.
Thankfully
the feud is much more about Hogan beating up Flair’s son because
that’s a much better reason to hate Hogan. The rest works in theory
but it’s mainly giving me flashbacks to all the fun matches that
Hogan had and putting Eye of the Tiger in my head, which isn’t going
to make me boo Hogan.
The
B Team is in the back and Horace’s knee is in bad shape. He’s also
lost his shirt and Vincent is more concerned about getting him a new
one.
We
look at Jericho making sure Saturn wears a dress at all times he’s in
the arena.
Al
Green vs. Perry Saturn
The
dress is red this week. Saturn: “Life’s a drag.” They lock up
to start but Saturn trips up on the dress and falls to the mat. An
elbow drop gets two for Al and that’s about the extent of his
offense. Saturn comes back with a superkick and a throw before
stomping away in the corner. A guillotine legdrop sets up the Death
Valley Driver to complete the glorified squash.
We
see some old clips of Raven at home and getting annoyed at his
family.
Glacier
vs. Kenny Kaos
Kaos
gets kicked in the ribs to start but takes Glacier down into an ankle
lock. A rope is quickly grabbed and Glacier comes back with more
kicks and punches in the corner. Kaos knocks him out of the air and
hits a clothesline to stagger the ice dude. A springboard
clothesline is enough to give Kaos the pin.
Rating:
D. I’m still trying to get my
head around Kaos being half of the World Tag Team Champions. It’s
just such a random choice and doesn’t seem to have served much of a
purpose. He still comes off like a jobber and isn’t any more
interesting than he was when he got the belt. The feud with Rage
seems to be forgotten as well.
Back
to the B Team for a big surprise: Vincent reveals
a Red and Black shirt
after the rest of the group goes to find the Horsemen.
This is supposed to be a big deal.
Here’s
the B Team in the ring because we’re supposed to care about them due
to the shirts they’re wearing. Horace, despite having a bad knee
earlier, walks to the ring fine but is holding his ribs. Vincent
comes out last and gets a mic. Oh dear this could be bad. Vincent
says that Horace and Adams will be in the tournament. Tonight, it’s
Norton/Stevie/Vincent vs. the Horsemen if they have the guts. The
other members aren’t cool with this for some reason.
Booker
T. vs. Norman Smiley
Smiley
goes to the ropes for an early break but is quickly sent to the
floor. Back in and Norman
takes over with some shots to the face but walks into Booker’s flying
forearm. The Horsemen have accepted the NWO’s challenge. Norman
kicks him down again and loads up the Big Wiggle but isn’t ready to
dance yet. The spinning slam gets a mini dance and we hit the
chinlock.
They
head outside with Norman chopping away before taking it back inside
for a belly to back suplex. Smiley stays down too until he backflips
to his feet for the Big Wiggle. He slaps Booker in the face but
walks into a powerslam. The Harlem Side Kick and 110th
Street Slam get two for Booker and Norman rolls to the floor again.
Norman is sent into the barricade and then back inside for the ax
kick. Booker goes up for the missile dropkick but Norman rolls
outside and takes the countout.
Rating:
C. The match was ok but the
ending brings it down. However, the important thing to this match is
how we arrived here. Both guys have been on hot streaks and then
they were put against each other in a match that wasn’t easy to
predict. That’s old school booking and can set up some interesting
matches. Unfortunately it’s nothing that’s done very often anymore.
We
look at Scott Steiner harassing the Nitro Girls.
This
Week in WCW Motorsports! Again, the car didn’t do badly but didn’t
win.
After
a break, here’s the EXACT SAME SCOTT STEINER CLIP.
World
Tag Team Title Tournament First Round: Brian Adams/Horace vs. Chavo
Guerrero Jr./Kidman
Horace,
now totally fine, stomps away on Kidman in the corner to start before
bealing him across the ring. Kidman comes back with right hands in
the corner and a dropkick before it’s off to Chavo, who is almost
immediately low bridged down to the floor. Adams throws him up over
the top rope and back inside. Chavo’s cross body is caught in mid
air but Kidman dropkicks Guerrero’s back to put Adams down.
The
small guys do some nice double teaming to get two more on Adams but
Kidman walks into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to change control again.
We take a break and come
back with Kidman walking the corner to bulldog Horace and make the
tag to Chavo. Some dropkicks stagger the NWO members but Horace
kicks him in the face to take over again. Another
tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two on Guerrero and it’s back to
Horace.
Kidman
and Vincent get in a fight on the floor as the announcers mention
that this is a double elimination tournament. That’s quite the
information to leave out for most of a match. Then again I can’t
imagine the tournament has been mapped out at all at this point.
Kidman gets the hot tag and everything breaks down, allowing Vincent
to hit Kidman with the slap jack to give Adams the pin.
Rating:
C-. Good match messed up by
another bad finish. The NWO B Team isn’t exactly something that
makes me care as even their teammates treat them like they’re
nothing. It doesn’t help that neither of these teams have any real
chance to win the titles. You have to have filler like this, but it
would be nice to have it be anyone but the Black and White.
MORE
B Team stuff with Vincent congratulating the winners but getting
yelled at for stealing the slap jack. Then they yell at him for the
shirt he’s wearing.
La
Parka vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Rey
dropkicks La Parka down to start and avoids a charge in the corner to
keep things going. La Parka backdrops him to the apron and stops to
dance but is still able to catch Rey in mid air. He puts Rey on the
top rope but gets caught by a hurricanrana, followed by a second one
from the top to the floor.
Back
in and La Parka slams him face first down for two and a kick to the
chest gets the same. La Parka goes up but dives into Rey’s boots.
He misses a charge into the post as well but is still able to crotch
Rey on top. Mysterio gets
launched face first into the buckle and La Parka goes up again. This
time he’s the one getting crotched and Rey hits something like La
Mistica for the pin.
Rating:
C. This
was better and had a surprising finish as Rey usually uses a
huricanrana or some kind of rollup. La Parka didn’t look bad either,
which is the case for almost all of the luchadores: if you give them
time to show off in the ring, they can give you a pretty good match.
It helps that he was in there against Mysterio of course.
Here’s
an upset DDP with something to say. He isn’t cool with what Scott
Steiner did to his wife on Monday. Page is used to men hitting on
Kimberly but he didn’t like the things he was seeing. Kimberly wants
to handle Steiner herself, but Page isn’t letting that happen. If
Steiner wants a freak, Page will be his hook up.
The
B Team is STILL arguing because Stevie is on the phone. The
rest of the team goes to the ring for their match and Vincent tries
to drink raw eggs ala Rocky. He spits it out but finds
a hidden security camera. The Red and Black is shown watching from
what looks like a limo. Hogan says they know what time it is. So
if they were never at the building, who put in the camera?
Ric
Flair/Chris Benoit/Steve McMichael vs. Vince/Stevie Ray/Scott
Norton
It’s
now Vince, despite being Vincent all night long. Steve
and Stevie get things going for a power match but it’s quickly off to
Vince. Mongo sticks out his chin so Vince can have a free shot, and
that’s exactly what he does, taking over with kicks to the ribs.
Vince gets taken into the corner for chops by Benoit and a big one
takes him down. Norton
comes in and gets chopped as well before it’s back to Mongo.
McMichael gets powerslammed down but Vince misses a middle rope
elbow. The hot tag brings in Flair who goes after the leg and
everything breaks down. The Horsemen clean house and the Figure Four
makes Vince give up.
Rating:
D+. This was almost a squash
with nothing at all happening. Thankfully Mongo would be gone soon
as he’s somehow regressing despite barely having any skill at all in
the first place. The guy just wasn’t that good and it showed really
badly over the years. At least this was short.
Benoit
crossfaces Vince to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+. This is a hard one
to grade as there’s good enough wrestling and some passable stories,
but the stakes are so low with the B Team being the focus of
everything. Other than
that, the wrestling was watchable but it’s really hard to care when
you know this is going to mean nothing in the long run.
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