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Thunder – February 11, 1999

Thunder
Date:
February 11, 1999
Location:
Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Attendance:
10,319
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The slow
build towards SuperBrawl continues with another taped Thunder.
Things are starting to get messy as well with a lot of the stories
losing some of the sense they’ve been making. Odds are tonight will
focus on the tag team tournament which should see some teams being
eliminated soon. Let’s get to it.

We open with
the Blonde in the pool hall video from Nitro.
The
announcers welcome us to the show and do their usual.
Tag Team
Title Tournament: Mike Enos/Bobby Duncum Jr. vs. Faces of Fear
The losers
are eliminated. Meng and Enos get things going and they actually do
some technical stuff at first. Mike takes him into the corner but
offers a clean break so they can stare at each other. Meng does the
same and this has the makings of a long match. They trade shots to
the ribs until Meng nails him with a clothesline. Enos takes him
down with an armdrag and it’s off to Duncum who gets wristlocked.
Barbarian comes in as this match isn’t exactly thrilling the fans.
Bobby hits a bad dropkick to send Barbarian to the floor.
We take a
break and come back with Meng getting choked in the corner to keep
Enos in control. A piledriver has almost no effect on Meng and it’s
off to Barbarian who gets powerslammed for two. Meng comes back in
with a piledriver of his own for two on Bobby. A double diving
headbutt gets the same before Barbarian drops an elbow on Duncum’s
back. We hit the chinlock before Meng comes in to choke.
The match
just keeps going as Meng bites Bobby’s nose. Barbarian’s side slam
gets two and Meng, I’m assuming out of boredom, dances before kicking
Duncum in the head. A powerslam gets another near fall on
Bobby….and Barbarian turns on Meng with some kicks to the head to
give Duncum the pin.
Rating:
D-. This tournament is
officially the work of the devil. There is no other possible
explanation for making me watch these teams fight three times in a
month, including this which went nearly fifteen minutes. I have no
idea who thinks Mike Enos and Bobby Duncum Jr. should be given this
much TV time but they should be dragged out into the street and shot.
A happy Jimmy
Hart leaves with Barbarian.
We see Kanyon
going to Raven’s house from Monday. Why do I have a feeling we’re
going to see every single clip from this story?
Video on
Goldberg vs. Bigelow.
Clip from
Nitro of Scott Steiner throwing Kimberly out of the car.
Video on the
hair vs. mask match.
Raven and
Kanyon get money out of the bank.
Super Calo
vs. Lash Leroux
Calo quickly
takes him down but Lash comes back with a clothesline. A backdrop
puts Leroux on the floor and a dropkick puts him down. Calo hits a
flip dive that the camera misses and gets two back inside. Lash
nails a springboard cross body and drops Calo with a clothesline.
They slug it out until Calo puts on a modified abdominal stretch.
That goes nowhere either so Leroux suplexes him for two. An atomic
drop gets the same for Super and he sends Lash into the buckle a few
times. Calo gets two off a missile dropkick but gets caught in a
fireman’s carry into a Michinoku Driver for the pin.
Rating: D.
Oh my goodness this show is horrible. This was a dull match as
neither guy is really very good in the ring and no one cares about
either of them. Lash’s finisher looked good and the match wasn’t
even six minutes long so it wasn’t so much torture as much as it was
really uninteresting.
The
Blonde is in the limo. Again, it’s the exact same clip from Nitro.
Again, why am I complaining about having to look at her?
Video
on the tournament, also from Nitro.
Glacier
comes up to Sonny Onoo and the Cat. He has an offer for Sonny: he’ll
sell Miller his entrance.
Tag
Team Title Tournament: Dave Taylor/Fit Finlay vs. Chavo
Guerrero Jr./Kidman
This
has to be more interesting than the first one. I mean, it HAS TO BE.
Kidman and Chavo come in
with one loss and face elimination if they lose again. Chavo
and Finlay get things going until they finally lock up after a minute
of circling. Finlay hammers
away with uppercuts before putting on a cravate. Chavo comes back
with a clothesline and tags in Kidman for a double back elbow.
We
take a break and come back with Chavo dropkicking Finlay down and
making a tag to Kidman. A high cross body gets two on Finlay but he
drops Kidman throat first across the top rope to take over again.
The rolling fireman’s carry
gets two as the announcers talk about Piper winning the US Title on
Monday. Back up and Kidman
misses a charge over the top and is holding his ankle. Finlay’s chop
hits the post but it really doesn’t change anything.
They
head inside again with Finlay putting on an STF. Finlay lets go and
poses so Kidman can crawl to the corner but Chavo is chasing Taylor
on the floor. Taylor comes
in and cranks on the arm instead of going after the leg injury.
Finlay misses a charge into
the post and Chavo comes in without a tag. The referee throws him
out, allowing Taylor to crotch Kidman on the top. Finlay brings in a
chair but Chavo dropkicks him in the back, sending the chair into
Kidman’s head. A tombstone from Finlay is enough for the pin and
the elimination.
Rating:
D+. Why does WCW think
eliminating all the teams that might be interesting is a good idea?
Most of these teams have been thrown together and we’re getting more
of a team like Mike Enos and Bobby Duncum Jr. instead of what could
be a good cruiserweight team? This
tournament has been a disaster so far and only seems to be getting
worse.
Glacier
tries to sell Miller and Onoo his armor but they’re not interested.
Kaz Hayashi pops up and buys it (in subtitles) for $25,000.
The
Blonde goes into her hotel room.
This
Week in WCW Motorsports.
Raven
and Kanyon buy clothes.
Disco
Inferno vs. Chris Adams
Disco
gets in a chop then hides in the corner. Some
armdrags put Disco down in the corner but he bails to the floor to
avoid the superkick. Disco
gets posted but manages to whip Adams into the barricade. Back in
and the dancing elbow drop gets two and it’s off to the chinlock.
Apparently the directors are
as bored as I am because we cut to the back where Hayashi is putting
on the rest of his armor. Miller buys the helmet and blue eye for
himself and gets a complimentary bottle of saline. For some reason I
remember this from when it fired aired.
Back
to the match with Adams getting two off a sunset flip. Disco
gets caught in a backslide for two as Tony sounds bored out of his
mind. Adams fights back
with a belly to back suplex and they head to the floor. That goes
nowhere so Adams comes back in with a powerbomb but has to stop the
superkick because the referee is in the way. The Chartbuster ends
this.
Rating: D.
The match wasn’t even that bad. The problem here is there’s no
reason to want to watch Disco Inferno beating up a jobber for eight
minutes. Even the director
seemed to get bored and go to something else. It’s so clear that
there’s nothing important happening on these shows but WCW had to air
them anyway. Nitro getting cut back to two hours might help things,
if I can survive getting there.
The
Blonde goes into her hotel room with whoever is holding the camera.
Kidman
says it was just miscommunication with Chavo. A
frustrated Chavo comes up and rants before laying Kidman out with a
clothesline.
Another
video on Goldberg vs. Bigelow.
We
see Raven and Kanyon get back home where Raven’s mom says WCW called
and wants him back at work.
Here’s
most of Piper vs. Hart from Nitro to fill in time.
We
see Hogan telling all of the Black and White members other than
Norton to be the leader, again from Nitro.
Tag
Team Title Tournament: Kaz Hayashi/Van Hammer vs. Chris Benoit/Dean
Malenko
Hayashi
has the armor on. It doesn’t seem to mean anything but he does have
it on. I don’t think Hammer
and Kaz have competed yet, unless Kaz is replacing Wrath who was to
be Hammer’s partner before the NWO attacked them a few weeks back.
Hammer takes Benoit into the
corner to start before they head to the mat for a surprisingly nice
technical sequence. A dragon screw leg whip takes Hammer down and
it’s off to Benoit vs. Hayashi.
Dean
takes him down into something resembling an STF but Kaz makes the
ropes. An armdrag brings
Kaz off the top as the announcers talk about screwdrivers. We take a
break and come back with Benoit getting the tag to face Hammer.
Chavo vs. Kidman is announced for SuperBrawl. Kaz
armdrags out of a powerbomb but Benoit avoids a dropkick. Hammer
comes back in and works on the leg as the match slows down a lot.
An
enziguri drops Van Hammer and it’s back to Dean with the leg lariat
for two. Kaz gets in a knee
to the back to slow Malenko down and Hammer throws him to the floor.
A baseball slide drops Dean as the announcers have pretty much given
up on paying attention to the match. Back in and Dean rolls over to
tag Benoit who sends Hammer outside as well.
Another
baseball slide has Hammer in trouble and a short powerbomb from
Malenko gets two on Kaz. The Horsemen elbow Hayashi down and
Benoit’s backbreaker gets two. Malenko superplexes Kaz down for no
cover and everything breaks down. A nice powerbomb/clothesline
combination crushes Kaz and the Crossface gets the submission.
Rating:
D+. Again, the match wasn’t bad
but it needed to be shorter. That’s the problem with running matches
that are longer: they only work if the match is good in the first
place. Benoit and Malenko are good, but when you put them against a
team like Kaz Hayashi and Van Hammer, it feels like an extended
waiting period before one of them gets a submission. You need some
suspension of disbelief and these aren’t the opponents to provide
that.
Overall
Rating:
D-. This
is a hard one to give such a low grade to as the wrestling really
wasn’t horrible for the most part. However, it was just so
uninteresting and dull that I stopped caring about half an hour in.
The tournament is thankfully wrapping up so we could get some
interesting matches, but this stuff was a chore to survive.
The
other interesting thing about this show was all the stuff they aired
from Nitro, including most of a whole match. There were only five
new matches on this show and they had to air that much filler. It’s
clear that Thunder really doesn’t need to exist every week, but
that’s the danger of going five hours every week when the company is
already repeating stories. Really
uninteresting show this week but there effort
from the guys. They just needed better material to work with.
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