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Thunder – January 28, 1999

Thunder
Date:
January 28, 1999
Location: Market Square Arena, Indianapolis,
Indiana
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’ll
wrap up a packed month with a taped Thunder. Last week’s live show
was bad enough so we could somehow set a new low this week. The only
good sign is that we’re coming off a solid Nitro so maybe the
momentum will help. However, there’s one important question: will
anyone else doubt El Dandy? Let’s get to it.

The
announcers do their usual intro and focus on Flair vs. Hogan. Heenan
says the match is at Super Bowl.
Psychosis
vs. Hugh Morrus
I
like the red, white and green trim on Psychosis’ outfit. Morrus
shoves him down to start as Tenay says he understands there’s another
match in the tag team tournament tonight. That’s why he’s the
Professor: he understands it after Tony has told us three times in
the first five minutes of the show. A
running clothesline and corner splash have Psychosis in trouble but
he comes out of the corner with an ankle scissors to send Hugh
outside.
Morrus
makes the mistake of standing in front of the ropes with a
cruiserweight in the ring and gets leveled by a suicide dive. Back
in and a missile dropkick gets two but Morrus takes him down into a
chinlock. Tony talks about
how WCW has finally risen up to fight the NWO. Hasn’t that happened
about a dozen times in the last two and a half years? Psychosis
fights up and sends Morrus outside for another plancha, only to be
caught and sent into the steps. Now
it’s Morrus trying a dive of his own and it’s actually not half bad.
It totally misses Psychosis but it looked pretty good.
Back
in and a suplex sets up a chinlock on the luchador as Heenan wants to
know what Flair’s secretary looks like. Hugh takes Psychosis’ head
off with a running clothesline for two and it’s back to the chinlock.
Tony mentions the
celebrities celebrating with Goldberg which was an actually good
moment. Morrus misses a top rope splash and gets hit with something
like a Whisper in the Wind, only to miss a moonsault. Hugh nails No
Laughing Matter for the pin.
Rating:
D+. This was fine for the most
part but went on too long. That being said, it was a fairly
competitive match and way easier to sit through than some of the
usual nonsense that fills in Thunder. It also pushed the First
Family stable a bit and they’re certainly in need of some traction at
this point.
We
look back at the Black and White meetings from last week and Horace
being attacked, only to forget what part of him was hurt and then
wrestle fine later.
Chris
Jericho vs. Silver King
Jericho
is kind enough to remind us that he’s our role model and that we
should follow his example. A
headlock doesn’t get Jericho anywhere and Silver King takes him down
with a clothesline. Back in and Jericho sends him into the bottom
buckle and we take a break. We come back with Silver
King running into a boot but quickly countering a slingshot into a
catapult, sending Jericho out to the floor.
A
big plancha takes Jericho down again and they head inside where
Jericho comes back with a reverse suplex. Jericho
gets two off a belly to back suplex and the Arrogant Cover. Back to
the floor so Jericho can choke with a camera cable but Silver King
chokes with the rope he brings to the ring. Why none of this is a DQ
is beyond me.
It
doesn’t have much effect though as a weak spinebuster (called a
powerbomb by Tony) looks to set up the Liontamer. King quickly makes
the ropes and comes back with a helicopter slam followed by a DDT for
two. Jericho plants him
with a slightly better spinebuster (Tony calls it a powerbomb again)
to set up the Liontamer for the win.
Rating:
C-. These matches are actually
getting some time tonight and it’s nice to see. Silver King was
capable of having a decent match with the right opponent and Jericho
knows the lucha style very well. I could easily sit through two
hours of this a week, which isn’t something you often
think when watching Thunder.
We
recap the Flairs vs. Hogan/Bischoff.
Super
Calo vs. Fit Finlay
Finlay
quickly takes him down for an elbow to the head but Calo spins up to
frustrate the Irishman. The
announcers talk about Bischoff vs. Flair and mention using a 2×4 to
break up the “Four Figure.” Good grief Tony you’ve been doing
this for fifteen years. Learn some basic moves already. Calo
tries to speed things up but gets caught in the rolling fireman’s
carry to send Calo rolling to the floor.
Back
in and a hard slam gets two for Fit and it’s off to a reverse
chinlock. Finlay loads up a
chair to the back but referee Charles Robinson takes it away. We hit
a half crab on Calo before Finlay kicks him in the back for good
measure. Back to the floor so Finlay can drop Calo face first on the
apron as the squash
continues. They head inside again where Calo tries to slug it out
which goes as well as you would expect it to. Calo
escapes an over the shoulder backbreaker and hits a quick spinwheel
kick. A top rope splash gets two on Finlay but Calo crotches himself
on the top, setting up the tombstone for the pin.
Rating:
D. Unlike the first two
matches, this was really dull stuff with Finlay dominating about 95%
of the match and Calo looking like a goof in the end. Calo never was
all that great in the ring and was definitely on the lower level of
the cruiserweight roster. Finlay is solid in the ring but not the
most interesting character.
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Wrath/Van Hammer vs. Bobby Duncum
Jr./Mike Enos
And
there are no Wrath/Van Hammer. We go to the back where Hammer is out
cold and Disco standing over him. There’s a replacement team on hand
though.
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Outsiders vs. Bobby Duncum
Jr./Mike Enos
I’m
assuming this is still a tournament match. Enos/Duncum
jump the Outsiders as the announcers say they’re standing up for WCW.
Enos hammers on Hall to get things started and a powerslam gets two
on Scott. Hall finally
trips Bobby up and makes the tag off to Nash for the side slam. The
big boot and Jackknife end Duncum quick.
Disco
Inferno vs. Hector Garza
They
trade armdrags to start until Disco takes over with a clothesline.
Garza gets backdropped to
the apron but comes back with a roll through and a dropkick to send
Disco to the apron as well. Hector loads up a dive but slips,
allowing Disco to move before Garza can dive. We take a break and
come back with This Week In WCW Motrosports, followed by Disco
stomping away in the corner. Off
to the chinlock as the fans think this is boring. Garza
sends him to the floor and hits a nice moonsault off the middle rope
to put both guys down. Back
in and Garza misses a corkscrew dive, setting up the Chartbuster for
the pin.
Rating:
D+. Some nice dives by Garza
and Disco’s roll continues so I can’t complain all that much. Yeah
Disco is stupid but he’s a guilty pleasure. There’s something about
his stupid antics that make me chuckle when I watch him and it’s nice
to see ANYONE get a push above their usual spot.
Clips
of the NWO factions having issues again plus Bischoff selling
merchandise, setting up the
brawl to end the show.
Kaz
Hayashi vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow
takes him into the corner to start before launching Hayashi across
the ring. A big headbutt
does the same but Hayashi escapes a gorilla press slam and jumps on
Bam Bam’s back. That goes
as well as it ever has in wrestling and Bigelow easily slams him
down. Bigelow lifts him up for a suplex and walks around with Kaz in
the air for a few moments. A running splash has Kaz in even more
trouble and his chops have no effect. Bigelow
misses a top rope headbutt and gets caught by a top rope cross body
for one. A victory roll gets two but Bigelow runs him over with a
clothesline. Greetings From Asbury Park is good for a pin.
Rating:
D+. This was a squash but not
the worst I’ve ever seen. Kaz was a nice punching bag for Bigelow
and sold the big power moves very well. Bigelow continues to be an
upper midcard guy despite not really having a story other than
wanting to fight Goldberg. I’m sure the match will happen soon
enough.
Konnan/Rey
Mysterio Jr. vs. Outsiders
Main
event time with about twenty minutes to go in the show, so
of course we have a commercial and catchphrases before the match.
Rey and Hall get things
going with Mysterio hitting a quick dropkick and spinwheel kick to
frustrate Scott. Some right hands have Hall in trouble and a
springboard Fameasser gets two. Off
to Nash vs. Konnan with the big man driving in knees in the corner
before the framed elbow drops Konnan.
Some
forearms have Nash in trouble and Konnan fires off more right hands
in the corner. Hall gets dropped as well and sends
Disco in as a replacement. Somehow this is allowed as well but
Konnan quickly drops Disco. The Outsiders won’t stick their hands
out for a tag at first, but Hall quickly tags in to face Rey as we
take a break. Back with Hall nailing Rey and tagging Nash back in
for Snake Eyes.

The
slow tags begin and the fall away slam drops Mysterio and it’s
quickly back to Nash. A big
side slam plants Rey and Hall’s belly to back superplex does the
same. Nash LAUNCHES Rey
across the ring and the Outsiders keep slowly picking the bones.
Rey’s sunset flip to Nash
goes as well as you would expect but Kevin makes the mistake of
launching him right to Konnan for the hot tag. Konnan cleans house
and puts Hall in the Tequila Sunrise, only to have Disco make the
save. The referee doesn’t see that but he does see Luger and Steiner
come in for the DQ.
Rating:
C-. Slow match but Mysterio got
to look good. Again, I like the idea of seeing some people getting
pushed, even though there’s a thick glass ceiling waiting on him very
soon. For the life of me I’ll never get Bischoff’s theory that Rey
couldn’t get over with the mask, but what would I know about stuff
like common sense?
The
NWO including Hogan comes in to destroy Mysterio while forcing Konnan
to watch. The masked man gets the spray paint and Hogan talks trash
about Flair to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C. This was one of the
easier Thunders to sit through in a long time, even though most of
the stuff wasn’t all that great. The matches were mostly energetic
though and the star power helped a lot. I can live with weaker
matches if they contain people I care about, and the lack of Vincent
helped a lot.
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