Thunder – February 4, 1999

Thunder
Date:
February 4, 1999
Location:
Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Attendance:
10,319
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
SuperBrawl is
rapidly approaching and unfortunately WCW’s hot streak seems to have
taken a hit. Nitro was a strangely booked show with stuff happening
that didn’t make a ton of sense, particularly Goldberg wanting to go
after Bigelow instead of Luger despite Luger talking about Goldberg,
even though Luger is in a feud with Rey Mysterio Jr. Sadly, this is
probably the peak for WCW’s remaining time. Let’s get to it.

We open with
a video of Hogan and Hell’s Angel Chuck Zito (never named on camera
on Monday that I heard) stalking David Flair to beat him down.
Tony and
company promise us two tag team tournament matches.
Arn Anderson
is on the phone, presumably with Ric Flair, and it sounds like David
wasn’t attacked.
The Black and
White is waiting for Vincent and joke about him wanting to be World
Champion. Adams: “That would kill the business.”
Chris
Jericho vs. Scotty Riggs
Riggs’ eye is
fine. They circle each other to start and Riggs nails a nice
dropkick to take over. Back in and Jericho misses a dropkick,
allowing Riggs to catapult him to the floor for a big plancha.
Jericho shrugs it off though and hits a quick hot shot to take over.
Riggs falls to the floor and gets nailed by a springboard shoulder as
we take a break. Back with Jericho sending Riggs into the buckle and
getting two off the backsplash.
Riggs is sent
to the floor again but manages to dropkick a chair back into
Jericho’s face. Back in and a top rope cross body gets two for
Scotty but Jericho dropkicks him back down. A backbreaker has Riggs
in more trouble and Jericho gets all cocky. He runs into a boot in
the corner though and Riggs follows it up with a clothesline. Both
guys try cross bodies and wind up down on the mat in a heap. An
enziguri drops Jericho and he has to tell Scotty to cover him. Riggs
gets the same off a running knee lift but Jericho sidesteps a
dropkick and hooks the Liontamer for the submission.
Rating:
C-. This was fine for the most
part. Long but fine. Riggs is still having the same issues he’s
always had: he’s not a very well rounded guy in the ring and he has
nothing that makes him stand out. Generic looking wrestlers
can overcome their lack of a gimmick if they’re great in the ring
(Jerry Lynn for instance) but Riggs
is far from Jerry Lynn.
We
see the same Luger/Liz video from Nitro.
Video
from Nitro on how the mask vs. hair match was set up for SuperBrawl.
I’ve liked the build to this
feud so far and it’s made Rey look like a big deal.
Disorderly
Conduct vs. Rey Mysterio Jr./Konnan
The
jobbers are Mean Mike and Tough Tom. The
Tough one catches Mysterio in a hot shot to start but gets sent to
the floor with a dropkick. Rey follows him out with a flip dive to
take out Tom and Mike. Back in and a springboard sunset flip gets
two on Tom before it’s off to Konnan for some hard stomping in the
corner. A spinning bulldog sets up the seated dropkick and it’s back
to Rey.
Tom
finally gets in some more offense with a full nelson slam and a
clothesline gets two. Mike comes in with a top rope ax handle for
two but Mysterio rolls over and makes the hot tag to Konnan.
Everything breaks down and Konnan hits the X Factor to set up the
Tequila Sunrise on Mike as Rey hurricanranas Tom for the pin.
Rating: C.
A nice match and logical booking as we build to a well set up match.
What more can you possibly ask for? Mysterio and Konnan work well
together and Konnan is good at getting the hot tag to clean house.
They would have been a good entrant in the tournament to make a deep
run if it wasn’t for the Luger/Nash match.
The
Black and White see Vince arrive three hours late in a limo provided
by Hogan. Ray isn’t cool with this.
Video
on Hogan vs. Flair.
Stevie
Ray hypes up Adams and Horace for their match later tonight when
Vince comes in. Apparently Hogan has put him in charge of hyping up
the champs but Stevie is tired of Vince’s talk and leaves. Adams
lightly shoves Vince and leaves.
Norman
Smiley vs. Disciple
I
had forgotten Disciple was around. A
quick wristlock doesn’t get Norman anywhere and we hit the chinlock
less than a minute in. Back
up and Disciple kicks Norman in the face but gets rolled up when
posing. An armbar has Disciple in trouble and Norman teases the Big
Wiggle. Back to the armbar
as this is a total clinic so far from Smiley.
He’s
still not ready to Wiggle though so he stomps on Disciple’s foot.
Norman gets two off a butterfly suplex but Disciple holds the ropes
to avoid a dropkick. Disciple’s
suplex is easily blocked and Norman hits a textbook suplex of his
own. NOW we get the Wiggle and the Norman’s Conquest gets the
submission.
Rating: C.
This was incredibly entertaining in a way I didn’t expect.
Disciple was completely dismantled here with Norman looking like a
master out there. It was a chain wrestling clinic with Norman
looking like he could have beaten anyone. That’s not something you
often see in WCW and it’s a shame Norman’s push is about to die. How
do I know that? Because WCW of course.
Disco
Inferno is looking for Vince. Adams says you can find him down
there.
Tag
Team Title Tournament: Horace
Hogan/Brian Adams vs. Faces
of Fear
I’ve
given up on the rounds as the double elimination has thrown me off.
Neither team has lost so
far. Horace and Barbarian
get things going with Barbarian nailing a shoulder block. Everything
quickly breaks down and the
Faces of Fear take over. Things settle down and Horace stomps away
on Barbarian before bringing Adams in. Brian hammers away but
makes the mistake of trying a double noggin knocker, allowing
Barbarian to nail a clothesline.
Meng
comes in legally for the first time and Tony clarifies that last
week’s Outsiders match was NOT a tournament match, even though
Windham and Hennig implied that the Outsiders were in the tournament.
So either a match between two tournament teams wasn’t a tournament
match, or someone has no idea what’s going on. Given
that Nash is in a totally different story, I’d assume it’s
Hennig/Windham who have no idea what’s going on. We
take a break and come back with Barbarian getting two on Horace
off a side slam.
Horace
gets chopped in the corner and Barbarian rakes his back. Back to
Meng who slams Horace down but misses a legdrop. Adams comes in and
is easily taken down before it’s back to Barbarian. The
boring chants start up as Adams comes back with an atomic drop.
Horace comes back in and kicks at the leg before dropping an elbow
for two. Brian gets the same result off the same move before a
piledriver gets two more.
A
fall away slam gets two for Horace but Barbarian sends him out to the
floor. They have a dull sequence of Horace trying to get back in but
he falls down a few times. Hart gets in some cheap shots but Vince
runs out with the slap jack to knock him cold. Back in and Barbarian
powerbombs Horace for two and the Kick of Fear gets the same. The
referee is busy with Meng and Adams, allowing Vince to hit Barbarian
with the slap jack. Horace drops a middle rope elbow for the pin.
Rating: D.
This wasn’t so much bad as much as it was incredibly dull. The match
ran an absurd SIXTEEN MINUTES and the fans stopped caring after about
two. I like the idea of longer matches, but there are guys that can
do this kind of stuff far easier than the Faces of Fear and the B
Team. It’s not terrible but it should have been about four minutes
long.
This
Week in WCW Motorsports: the pit crew stays in shape!
Stevie
Ray can’t find his slap jack.
The
announcers talk about Bret Hart defending the US Title against Scott
Hall at SuperBrawl. This
leads into clips of Benoit vs. Hall from Nitro.
We
see Goldberg calling out Bigelow from Nitro. That’s kind of a step
backwards for Goldberg. You would think he would go after another
member of the NWO. Like Luger, but that would make too much sense.
Bam
Bam Bigelow vs. Jerry Flynn
Bigelow
shoves him into the corner to start and we actually get a clean
break. Flynn grabs a cross armbreaker but Bigelow is into the ropes
before he feels the power of mullet. After Flynn chokes some more,
Bigelow realizes he’s facing Jerry Flynn and takes over with kicks in
the corner. A running
splash crushes Flynn but he stops another with a boot. Jerry misses
a bicycle kick though and Greetings From Asbury Park connects for the
pin.
Rating:
F+. The piledriver looked good
but it’s Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Jerry Flynn. I think that speaks for
itself.
Stevie
is choking Vince for stealing his slap jack but the Black and White
drags him off.
We
see Scott Steiner causing Kimberly to fall before Nitro and
Page wanting to fight Steiner.
Glacier
vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Page
is all ticked off and runs Glacier over with a clothesline. A hard
forearm sends Glacier to the floor but Page pulls him back in to
hammer away even more. Glacier gets crotched against the post and
there’s the discus lariat. Tony tries to write off the bored crowd
as being in awe of Page’s aggression. Glacier gets in a single shot
and goes up, only to get caught in a Diamond Cutter from the middle
rope for the pin.
Rating: D.
Total squash here but it did what it was supposed to do. It amazes
me how much stock WCW put into Glacier and now he’s doing jobs on the
B show less than two years later. Page needs to do something of note
soon as he’s been in the same place on the card for the last few
months here.
Tag
Team Title Tournament: Barry Windham/Curt Hennig vs. Mike Enos/Bobby
Duncum Jr.
This
is the main event people.
Let that sink in for a minute. Hennig starts with Enos and it’s Curt
slamming him down before tagging in Windham. Barry is actually taken
down in a wristlock but comes back with one of his own. Bobby
and Windham slug it out until Duncum takes over and hits a Vader Bomb
into an elbow.
We
take a break and come back with Enos powerslamming Curt for two.
Hennig quickly fights back
and starts in on the knee before giving it back to Windham who can’t
hook the figure four. Instead he sends Enos out to the floor so
Hennig can…throw him inside. Back in and it’s off to Curt for
some chops but Enos nails a hard clothesline.
Bobby
comes in off the tag and runs Hennig over with a shoulder and middle
rope clothesline. A bulldog gets two on Hennig and a horrible
looking Skull Crushing Finale gets the same. Enos tries to come in
for no apparent reason, allowing Windham to nail Bobby in the back of
the head so Curt can get the pin.
Rating: D.
The match was watchable but the fact that this was the main event
showed how little this show mattered. This is another annoyance
about a double elimination format: we have to sit through matches
like these because the teams have to wrestle at least twice each.
Enos and Duncum just aren’t interesting as
a team and it’s a waste of
someone who looks and works like Duncum.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
The show had its moment and
they were few and far between. The tag tournament is starting to
come into form as we’re seeing some teams for the second time, but
that doesn’t mean they’re teams I want to look at. Having
Thunder as the wrestling show is a good idea, but it would be nice if
I cared about more of the wrestlers. Windham/Hennig vs. Duncum/Enos
is a Saturday Night match at best, not the main event of a show.
Good idea on the structure here but horrid execution.
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