Thunder – March 4, 1999

Thunder
Date: March 4, 1999
Location: Lawrence Joel
Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Attendance: 4,198
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re coming off a good
Nitro (I’m as shocked as you are) and have ten days before
Uncensored. The main stories seem to be a bunch of rematches from
SuperBrawl, which isn’t the worst idea as the matches weren’t bad but
the decisions were all wrong. Hopefully things are a bit better this
time, though granted that would only make the show horrible. Let’s
get to it.

We open with a clip
from Nitro where Arn Anderson yelled at David Flair and the Blonde.
Ric
and Arn are in the back and Arn doesn’t know what to do about David.
Ric recaps the story with his son and says it leads to the rematch
with Hogan at Uncensored. He isn’t changing a thing because David
has to grow up on his own. Arn blames the Blonde and says Ric would
have done the same thing when he was nineteen years old. Ric says
when he was David’s age, he wasn’t stealing money out of his dad’s
pocket or stabbing him with a stun gun.
Anderson hopes that
this is just a game face because Ric isn’t this cold. Flair brings
up the latest NWO parody and says he’ll be World Champion again.
He’ll love David forever, but if David wants to run around with the
NWO, he isn’t going to worry about it. Arn says if that was his son,
there’s no way he could be out there in front of a crowd. Flair says
he’s doing this to prove he’s still the man and that Hogan and the
NWO haven’t changed anything. This was a lengthy chat but it helps
clarify a few things.
The announcers do their
welcome and recap.
We
go back to Nitro to see Flair announce the cage match. This video
takes us up to fifteen minutes into the show.
Video of Monday’s main
event.
Rick Steiner vs.
Hugh Morrus
Rick quickly sends him
to the floor and bites the ropes. Back in and Morrus pounds away but
gets caught in a powerslam. Jimmy Hart gets in a few cheap shots
from the floor but it has almost no effect as Morrus is still in
trouble. Another assist from Jimmy lets Morrus hit some running
splashes in the corner but he takes too long going up for No Laughing
Matter, allowing Rick to catch him in an electric chair. The Steiner
Bulldog is good for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was nothing and it’s not a good sign for the rest of the show.
I just waited twenty four minutes to get to a three and a half minute
Rick Steiner squash. Why does this make me think that the next hour
and a half is going to be a REALLY long sit? The match wasn’t long
enough to be horrible but it was just a squash.
There was a commercial
for Monday Nitro. In the video we saw Wrath, Randy Savage (where has
he been since the night after Starrcade? He showed up there and
hasn’t been seen since) and Syxx. As in the guy that showed up on
Raw after Wrestlemania LAST YEAR. This is worse than the Steiner
Brothers being in the Nitro intro seven months after they split up.
Here
are Benoit and Malenko with something to say. Benoit congratulates
the new Tag Team Champions and says they have no problem with losing
to a better team. They do however have a problem with losing the way
they lost. There will be vengeance Horsemen style. Malenko talks
about Benoit’s Swan Dive off the top of the cage and pulls off his
belt. He promises that Windham and Hennig will not leave Louisville
with the Tag Team Titles. The rematch is going to be a lumberjack
strap match.
Back
from a break and we get an ad for Saturday Night. These air every
week but two of the matches advertised are Juventud Guerrera vs. Rey
Mysterio Jr. and Barbarian vs. Meng. Remember those before you read
the next match on this show.
Al Greene vs. Sonny
Onoo/Ernest Miller
Yes,
REALLY. I know Meng vs. Barbarian would be a mess, but it would be a
fun mess. On the other hand, this is the preferred method of torture
in 19 countries. Announced for Uncensored, Sonny Onoo/Ernest Miller
vs. Jerry Flynn. My jaw is hanging open after hearing that. I
mean……wow I’ve got nothing. Miller does the whole warning thing
to Greene but Al jumps him from behind.
What
appeared to be a botched gorilla press sets up a headlock on Miller
but he sends Greene to the floor. Sonny offers a distraction so
Miller can take over as Tony talks about stipulations for the World
Title match that you can only find out about at WCW.com. Back in and
Miller drops Al with a superkick before tagging in Sonny. Greene is
out cold and Sonny gets an easy pin.
Rating:
D-.
It could have been Mysterio vs. Guerrera but instead it’s being used
to set up a Jerry Flynn match on pay per view. That’s all I need to
say.
Gene
brings out Perry Saturn, now in a dog collar with chains around his
neck, for a chat. Saturn refers to himself as the Bald Bombshell
because chicks dig a guy in a dress. Saturn says if Jericho has a
chain fetish, let’s have a dog collar match at Uncensored. Jericho
comes out and says he wants to keep this company rated G (there are
SO many jokes) and get rid of all the R Rated freaks. If he has to
tie a collar around his neck to get rid of Saturn, that’s what he’ll
do. Saturn promises to wear an outfit so freaky that it’s going to
shock Marilyn Manson.
Prince
Iaukea vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Iaukea
scores with some early kicks but his cross body has no effect at all.
Bigelow sends him to the floor and hits some slow motion forearms to
the back. Inside again and we hit the chinlock as Tony talks about
March being perfect for Uncensored because it’s such an unpredictable
month. Right. Anyway, more choking gets Bigelow two and we hit an
armbar to kill more time. Iaukea’s offense of course has no effect
and Greetings From Asbury Park finally ends this.
Rating:
D.
This was long and dull with the announcers ignoring almost everything
in the whole match. Bigelow getting a push is fine but could we find
someone more interesting than dryer lint for him to fight? I’m glad
he’s moving down into the midcard scene where he belongs though as
the top level push didn’t have much staying power.
This Week in WCW
Motorsports.
Vince/Horace vs.
Curt Hennig/Barry Windham
This
match sounds interesting at this point. Let that sink in for a
minute. Non-title of course as a title match might be too
interesting. Horace grabs a headlock on Hennig to start but Curt
nails him with a clothesline. Stevie Ray comes out to brawl with
Vince, leaving Horace alone two on one. Cue the Horsemen to attack
the champions and it’s a fast DQ.
The
champions bail before too much happens.
Here’s
Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who hasn’t been seen in months since announcing
that he has cancer. Duggan thanks God for letting him get back here
and of course some fans boo. He thanks the fans and WCW for
supporting him throughout this whole ordeal. Duggan says he’s proud
to be part of World Championship Wrestling and thanks the doctor for
removing his kidney to prevent the cancer from spreading. He tells
us that if something looks or feels wrong, get to the doctor and get
it checked out because early detection saves lives.
Duggan isn’t sure if
he’s coming back to the ring, but he promises that he won’t be making
any obscene gestures of saying any foul words. All he needs are his
board and the American flag. If he gets a second chance, the last
twenty years will be nothing compared to what he’ll do in the next
few years. He says to remember that we are one nation under God and
leads a USA chant before leaving. This was a very cool moment and
brought a smile to my face. I got to meet Duggan at Axxess earlier
this year and he couldn’t have been a nicer guy so it’s cool to hear
stuff like this.
Cruiserweight Title:
Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Kidman
Kidman
is defending. Feeling out process to start and Chavo actually gives
him a clean break. Chavo is sent to the floor and taken down with a
big dive, followed by a slingshot legdrop back inside. Kidman misses
a charge into the corner and a springboard bulldog drops the
champion.
Back up and Kidman
sends him into the buckle and nails a clothesline. The announcers
talk about Mysterio becoming a legend for his victories over Nash and
Bigelow, earning him a rematch with Nash at Uncensored. A Gory Bomb
gets two for Chavo and we hit a chinlock on the champion. Back up
and Kidman misses a charge, sending him out to the floor.
Guerrero sends him into
the barricade and then back inside for another chinlock. Kidman
sends him to the floor before bringing him back inside for two off a
high cross body. Chavo avoids a charge in the corner and gets the
pin but Kidman’s feet are on the ropes. Guerrero goes up top but
gets powerbombed down, setting up the Shooting Star to retain
Kidman’s title.
Rating:
C+.
This was nowhere near as good as the Psychosis match on Monday but it
was still far better than everything I’ve sat through on this show.
Kidman is becoming an ace at this point and is one of the most
consistently entertaining guys on the roster. Chavo is very good in
his own right and has gotten far better after losing Pepe.
We get a sitdown
interview from Hogan with Hollywood talking about everyone hating
him, even his family. He did the Hulk Hogan thing for the money,
unlike Flair who is out there because he loves wrestling and wants to
be cheered one more time. That makes him worse than Hogan could ever
be because Hogan has a grip on reality.
Hogan
loves that David Flair gave up everything his father did for him for
a good looking woman. Ric Flair is the rottenest human being on this
planet and all he wants is control of this business. Flair can have
one more chance, but Hogan wants Flair to quit if he loses. He goes
on and on about how much he hates Flair and how much it’s driven him
as this somehow takes over six minutes.
Buff
Bagwell vs. Booker T.
Before
the match, Buff says he’d rather be paralyzed again than be in
Winston-Salem. Feeling out process to start with Bagwell taking him
down with an armdrag before dancing around a bit. Booker comes back
with a slam and quick vertical suplex to send Buff out to the floor.
Back in and Buff hammers away before nailing a dropkick. Mr. T.
grabs an armbar before kicking Bagwell in the face. Buff sends him
outside and poses a lot. A chinlock goes nowhere and Booker comes
back with his usual stuff. The referee gets kicked down and Scott
Steiner comes in with a chair to Booker’s back, setting up Buff’s
Blockbuster for the pin.
Rating:
D-.
If you want to know what it means when the wrestlers phone in a
match, this is a perfect example. Neither guy had any energy or
emotion out there, which is usually something you can depend on from
Booker. Speaking of Booker, did we REALLY need to have Buff Bagwell
pin him, cheating or not? The guy is getting a US Title shot in nine
days (against Scott Hall, who hasn’t been seen in awhile) and he
loses to Buff Bagwell? Really?
Overall
Rating:
F.
The best part of this show was a tie between the Duggan promo and a
pretty good Chavo vs. Kidman match. Everything else was a waste of
time a textbook example of why Thunder didn’t need to exist. It
feels like nothing has happened on the show in months and this was as
dull as it’s gotten yet. This was absolutely awful and makes me want
to watch Uncensored even less than I did before.
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