Thunder – May 20, 1999

Thunder
Date: May 20, 1999
Location: Kansas
Coliseum, Wichita, Kansas
Commentators: Larry
Zbyszko, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
After a week off for
the NBA Playoffs, we’re back for a show taped before the latest
Nitro, meaning we’re not likely to get any storyline developments
here. The main story is the start of Savage vs. Nash for the title
and the ongoing drama around who is in charge. One question to tie
the stories together: if Bischoff didn’t have the power to overturn
the ending of Piper vs. Flair, why did he have the power to restart
Page vs. Nash? Let’s get to it.

We
open with Gene bringing out Buff Bagwell for a chat. After some
sucking up to the Kansas crowd, Buff says Scott turning on him wasn’t
a surprise but Rick was. There’s no loyalty in the NWO, though I’m
not sure there’s even an NWO anymore. Buff randomly challenges Randy
Savage for a fight later on so that’s likely the main event.
Clips from the main
events at Slamboree.
Clips of the Steiners
teaming up again at Slamboree.
Clips of Booker T.
calling out Scott and getting beaten down off camera from Nitro.
TV Title: Rick
Steiner vs. Scott Putski
Rick
is defending in case you weren’t paying attention and comes out in a
Red and Black shirt. He hammers on Putski to start and drops an
elbow before already putting on a chinlock. Seriously. Steiner
drops some forearms to the head as Tenay incorrectly says Steiner won
the TV Title at Starrcade 1989.
More pummeling ensues
as Rick puts him upside down stomach first into the top turnbuckle
for two. Choking and some face rubs into the mat set up elbow drops
for two, which just seems to tick Steiner off. Putski’s comeback
goes as badly as you would expect and he gets dropped by a knee. The
Steiner Bulldog and a weird looking arm lock retain the title.
Rating:
D-.
Of all the things WCW did badly over this year, putting Rick Steiner
in this spot for so long might be the worst. He wasn’t over, he
hadn’t meant anything without his brother in about nine years, and
his matches looked to be bordering on dangerous rather than just
stuff. Look at the roster that could use the TV Title and see how
stupid it is to keep it on Rick Steiner this long.
Flair and the Horsemen
convince Barry Horowitz to lay down for David Flair tonight.
Juventud Guerrera
vs. Kidman
The
fans are behind Kidman here even though Guerrera slaps hands on the
way to the ring. We immediately get the focus off the match as Tenay
tells us that Hogan will be back on Monday. Must be time to panic
about the ratings. They lock up to start and Juvy heads to the
corner to dance a bit. Juvy gets shoved down again and walks into a
dropkick as they’re taking their time to start. Kidman’s German
suplex is escaped with a backflip and Juvy kicks him in the face to
block a backdrop.
We
finally start getting some high flying in with Juvy going up but
getting crotched, sending him down to the floor. Kidman nails him
with a plancha and we take a break. Back with Kidman slamming him
down and putting on a chinlock for a bit before Juvy nails a bulldog
and talks a lot of trash. Some right hands in the corner stagger
Kidman but he powerbombs Juvy down to escape. Not that it matters as
Kidman misses something like a Stinger Splash and falls out to the
floor. The announcers’ response? To talk more about Hart vs. Nash
on the Tonight Show.
Back
in and Kidman counters a powerbomb in the sequence that won’t die but
can’t follow up. Juvy heads up top and dives onto Kidman’s raised
boots. They trade suplex counters until Juvy headscissors Kidman out
to the floor for another plancha. Back in and Kidman dropkicks him
out of the air for two two.
Juvy
knocks him off the top but gets crotched and superplexed for his
efforts as this is finally hitting a higher gear. In a nice bit of
poetic justice, Kidman’s powerbomb is countered into a sunset flip
for two and a missile dropkick gets the same. The BK Bomb gets the
same before Juvy loads up the Juvy Driver, only to get rolled up for
a quick pin.
Rating:
C-.
The problem here is that we’ve seen these guys blow the roof off the
place so many times that there’s almost no way they can top it. It
wasn’t a bad match but it’s been done so many times that it’s hard to
care. Still though, not bad and I have a feeling it’s going to be
the best thing on the show.
Cruiserweight Title:
Rey Mysteiro Jr. vs. Kaz Hayashi
Mysterio
is defending of course. Kaz takes him into the corner to start and
slaps him in the face to tick the champion off a bit. A hard elbow
to the head puts Rey down and Kaz slaps him a little more. Hayashi
rakes the eyes and hooks a bulldog but misses a charge into the
corner. The champ takes him down with a headscissors, only to get
dropped throat first onto the top rope.
With
Mysterio down, we get an OH YEAH as Savage and the girls come out for
some reason. He welcomes us to the house of madness and says
Mysterio is a fine wrestler. Buff may be the stuff but Rey is the
man, despite being caught in a reverse chinlock at the moment.
Savage keeps praising Mysterio and brings up Rey beating Kevin Nash
before offering Rey a spot on Team Madness.
As
he says this, Rey’s hurricanrana attempt is countered into a
powerbomb. Savage: “HE’S FANTASTIC!” Miss Madness 1999 (called
Mona here) says Mysterio is their man and we take a break. Back with
Mysterio getting a pin off a top rope hurricanrana. It’s the only
move we saw after the break.
Rating:
D+.
I was tempted to not rate this as a big chunk of the match was spent
looking at Savage and the girls. Apparently just taking over Nitro
and boring me to death there wasn’t enough for Savage as he’s now
taking over title matches. Hayashi was dominating Rey for the most
part here as the champ only hit a few moves of his own. What we saw
wasn’t bad but there wasn’t much to see.
Post
match Savage offers Rey the spot on the team again and says all four
members have already voted yes. Mysterio says he’s honored but has
other plans for himself. Savage: “OUCH!” He offers again and
gets the same response so Savage nails him in the back of the head.
Rey actually fights back with a springboard missile dropkick but the
girls get in a few shots, setitng up a piledriver from Savage.
Kidman comes out for a save and has the same luck. Now Konnan tries
Savage but gets hit low, allowing Savage to slam him down and drop
the big elbow.
This Week In WCW
Motorsports.
We see clips of the
almost show saving Tag Team Title match from Monday.
Tag Team Titles:
Raven/Saturn vs. Horace/Vince
Raven
and Horace brawl before the bell but Saturn breaks it up with a
superkick. Saturn cranks on Vince’s arm as we get the opening bell,
followed by an easy suplex for two. Raven comes in for the mock
Total Elimination and a front suplex into a swan dive from Saturn.
Off to Horace as Kanyon has replaced Raven on the apron. I guess
we’ve got a Freebird Rule now. Anyway Horace misses a charge and
gets forearmed in the jaw. Kanyon comes in for a swinging
neckbreaker and it’s already back to Saturn. Well they’re faster
than the Freebirds at least.
A
double sidekick puts Horace down again but Vince earns his pay with a
shot from the apron. Saturn gets beaten for a few moments as Raven
switches back with Kanyon. Horace gets in a few shots such as a
clothesline and elbow drop followed by a backrake. And yet he still
puts in more effort than his uncle. Vince comes back in with a top
rope ax handle and a wide variety of fists before it’s back to Horace
for another clothesline.
Saturn
is sent outside for some cheap shots as this just keeps going. Back
in and Horace puts on a sleeper but Saturn reverses into one of his
own. Horace breaks it up and the double tag brings in Raven and
Vince. There’s the drop toehold onto the chair followed by some heel
miscommunication, setting up the Death Valley Driver to pin Vincent.
Rating:
D.
You know, I can live with bad matches and stupid segments, but these
matches that are just borderline ok and go on for what seems like
ever are almost impossible to take. We know it’s going to be a
squash with the champs barely breaking a sweat, so why in the world
do I have to sit through eight minutes of Horace and Vince boring
everyone to tears? At least get someone out there who could have a
decent match.
Clips
of the Hart vs. Nash Tonight Show stuff. Owen’s accident derailed
whatever plans they had for this.
We see part of Parker
vs. Flair from Monday.
David Flair vs.
Barry Horowitz
After
a handshake, Barry pats himself on the back and we’re ready to go.
He takes David down and we’ve got Horsemen. Some very basic offense
has David reeling but the Horsemen get on the apron to remind Barry
of the deal. Horowitz chokes in the corner but misses a knee drop,
allowing David to hook the Figure Four for the win. So wait, did
Barry miss on purpose or did David just avoid a move and capitalize
for the win? The same thing happened in the Parker match: he was
supposed to be throwing the match but didn’t show any signs of doing
so. Again, WCW can’t even keep its own stories straight.
Another
side note: Charles Robinson was fine here but the announcers talked
about Savage injuring him on Nitro. Since this was taped in advance,
Robinson was in perfect health, making WCW look confused again.
Clips of Savage
challenging Nash from Nitro.
Main event fireworks.
Curt Hennig vs.
Disco Inferno
Hennig
takes him into the corner to start and runs him over with a shoulder
followed by a dropkick. Back to the corner for some chops from Curt
but Disco hiptosses him down. Curt hammers away again and here come
Savage and the girls because it’s been thirty minutes since we saw
them. Disco goes after him for no apparent reason and the match is
thrown out.
The
girls help take Disco down and peel back the mats so Savage can rub
his face in the concrete. Buff comes out for the save and it’s main
event time.
Buff Bagwell vs.
Randy Savage
Bagwell
hammers away to start and actually does pretty well, nailing ten
right hands in the corner, an elbow to the jaw and a dropkick for
two. He kicks Savage in the face and puts on a chinlock but gets
sent to the floor to stop him cold. Back in and Bagwell gets two
more off a small package but gets nailed by an ax handle. They trade
elbows until Madusa slaps Buff from the apron (referee? What
referee?), which is enough of a distraction for Savage to send him
outside. Savage chokes on the barricade and with a chair, finally
drawing a DQ.
Rating:
D.
For DEAR GOODNESS ENOUGH RANDY SAVAGE! The match was just there for
Savage to beat up someone else on his path of boring to the World
Title match at Great American Bash. Buff was trying but his push was
crippled by the loss to Steiner at the pay per view. There’s just
nothing there now.
Savage
nails Buff in the neck with a chair until security comes out to end
the show.
Rating:
F.
In the span of two hours, Randy Savage beat up the greatest
cruiserweight of all time, one of the biggest starts in Mexican
wrestling history, a multiple time Cruiserweight Champion, a former
TV Champion and a former multiple time Tag Team Champion. So we’re
setting up Nash vs. Savage, which they have to know is going to be a
disaster, by having Savage destroy half of the roster? I agree it
makes him look strong, but you can’t space it out a little bit?
The
best match on this show was an underwhelming Kidman vs. Guerrera
match and that’s nowhere near enough to bring this up. This was one
of the worst yet and that covers a lot of ground. WCW is floundering
right now and I really don’t see anything being able to turn it
around, at least not for a few months.
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