Thunder – August 26, 1999

Thunder
Date:
August 26, 1999
Location: Municipal
Coliseum, Lubbock, Texas
Attendance: 6,928
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
date might ring a bell for you because Smackdown is making its debut
(other than the pilot) at the same time this show aired. WCW feigned
interest in this show by booking two big matches: Harlem Heat vs.
Brian Knobbs/Hugh Morrus and Chris Benoit/Perry Saturn vs. Sid
Vicious/Rick Steiner. In other words, yes, WCW thought Rick Steiner
and Sid Vicious were real draws. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
Public Enemy vs. Sid
Vicious
Yes,
Sid is doing a double shot tonight. Rocco bails into the corner to
start, leaving Grunge to go after Sid on his own. A big boot drops
Johnny and clotheslines drop both he and his partner. Sid takes his
time chopping and choking both guys before ramming their heads
together. This show needs Heenan to make the joke about how that
wouldn’t hurt Public Enemy. Sid isn’t phased by a double clothesline
and a double chokeslam ends this quick.
Same
Coach Buzz Stern clip from last week.
West Texas Rednecks
vs. Filthy Animals
Six
man tag with Konnan and Hennig on the floor. The Rednecks don’t have
the title belts here because this is taped in advance and WCW just
needed to have this match here to mess up continuity. Rey and
Kendall get things going with Windham raking the eyes and snapmaring
Mysterio down.
Back
up and Rey turns on the speed, sliding under the ropes and hitting a
nice springboard Thesz press. He hammers away in the corner but
Kendall catches him in an atomic drop and tags in Barry. I still
can’t get over that Barry Windham is in his second title reign in
1999. Kidman comes in as well for some dropkicks until Barry sends
him to the floor instead of, you know, wrestling him. Eddie
distracts the referee by mistake and the Rednecks triple team Kidman.

Barry
slams Kidman him a few times and it’s off to Duncum for a
clothesline, a shoulder breaker, and another clothesline. I’m
starting to see why he never went anywhere. Off to Kendall for a big
boot before it’s back to Barry, who walks into a Bodog as we take a
break. Back with Barry taking Eddie down with a jawbreaker, setting
up a belly to back superplex from Kendall. Duncum throws Eddie to
the floor for a beating as this match is somehow dragging about seven
minutes in.
Barry
hits the superplex that used to have Ric Flair in major trouble but
only gets two here. Back up and Eddie grabs a quick headscissors,
allowing the hot tag to Mysterio. Rey speeds things up with a sunset
flip and Kidman adds a cross body to put Duncum down for two. Not a
bad spot actually. Everything breaks down and Hennig pulls Rey
outside, only to eat a baseball slide from Kidman. Eddie kicks Barry
low, setting up the springboard hurricanrana from Mysterio for the
pin.
Rating:
D+.
The ending was better, but the Rednecks are the least interesting
group of heels I’ve seen in years. They’re working the old southern
style which can work well against high fliers, but the Windhams and
Duncum are just not very good. Kendall and Duncum never went
anywhere and Barry hasn’t been worth watching in at least eight
years. Boring match here that could have been a lot better with more
talented heels.
The
Rednecks beat on the Animals until Harlem Heat makes the save.
Call the Hotline!
In
case two matches weren’t enough, here are Sid and Steiner for a chat.
The now 74-0 Sid says he and Steiner are the pioneers of WCW.
Indeed they were about ten years ago. They’ve been hearing a bunch
of midgets talking about starting a revolution. The two of them are
going to enforce their policies, and the first one is to not let the
revolution get started. They’ve already taken out Hogan, Sting and
Goldberg so the Revolution should be no problem.
Berlyn
is still coming.
Cat vs. Prince
Iaukea
Miller
is in a cowboy hat and says he’s the sheriff around here. Oh geez
there’s a bad comedy sketch in there somewhere. Cue Prince, but
Miller wants the singer. After some Purple Rain references, Miller
says he can beat Iaukea in less than three minutes. The Prince
starts fast and knocks Miller to the floor, where Cat threatens to
walk out.
With
Prince’s back turn, Miller tries to dive back in but lands at
Prince’s feet in a funny bit. Normally that would be a problem but
Iaukea is so horrible on offense that Cat kicks him down twice and
drops the dancing elbow. The sequence works so well that he tries it
again but the elbow misses this time. A dropkick and Samoan drop are
good for two but Onoo puts Miller’s foot on the ropes. Prince, ever
the nitwit, yells at Sonny and gets kicked with the ruby slipper for
the pin at 2:59.
Harlem
Heat vs. Hugh Morrus/Brian Knobbs
This
was supposed to be for the titles but Harlem Heat lost them on
Monday, so the entrances are edited out and everyone is in the ring
for a big brawl to start. Things settle down to Brian clubberin on
Booker until Booker realizes that he actually has talent and kicks
Knobbs in the face. It’s off to Stevie vs. Morrus with Ray getting
stomped down in the corner. Stevie elbows everyone in sight and tags
out to Booker before he has to actually do something.
Booker
won’t stand for that though as he fires off a few kicks before
handing it back off to Stevie. A cheap shot from Knobbs lets the
villains take over and Booker dealing with Jerry Flynn makes it even
worse. Knobbs splashes Stevie in the corner and it’s off to Morrus
for a chinlock. After two and a half arm drops, Stevie fights up but
charges into a knee in the corner. Brian comes in for a double
shoulder block but charges into a boot in the corner. There’s still
no tag though as Morrus comes in and decks Booker like a good
partner.
More
double teaming ensues with Hugh tripping Stevie so Knobbs can drop an
elbow. We hit a chinlock before more double teaming goes badly for
the First Family as Knobbs misses a charge. Booker comes in off the
hot tag and cleans house with a bunch of kicks as everything breaks
down. With the referee losing track of everything, Flynn low bridges
Booker to the floor, just as Stevie sends Knobbs outside. Flynn
kicks Morrus by mistake, setting up Booker’s missile dropkick for the
pin.
Rating:
D-.
I know I said the Rednecks were dull in the ring but they’re Lou
Thesz and Kurt Angle compared to Morrus and Knobbs. The match was
dull with everyone waiting on Booker to get the hot tag. I don’t
know what Booker is supposed to get out of pinning Hugh Morrus, but I
guess since he’s associated with Jimmy Hart and Brian Knobbs it makes
him the second coming of Jerry Sags? I’m not sure if that’s an
insult to Morrus or not.
This
Week in WCW Motorsports.
More Coach Sawyer, this
time with him making his students lift weights.
Disorderly Conduct
vs. Dean Malenko/Shane Douglas
Another
freaking tag match. Shane gets taken down by Mean Mike’s wristlock
to start but nips up and takes Mike into the corner. Much like
Stevie, Shane wants his partner to do most of the actual wrestling,
though he does help with a double suplex. Malenko stomps on Mike in
the corner before drop toeholding him down, setting up a Douglas
elbow. Di….did the Revolution just lift a spot from Knobbs and
Morrus???
Tom
gets in a cheap shot from the apron and a double hot shot puts Shane
down. Disorderly Conduct basically does the same things the First
Family did in the previous match because seeing it once just wasn’t
enough. A front facelock doesn’t go anywhere so Tom heads up, only
to get pulled down into an atomic drop and the belly to belly suplex.
Malenko comes in and cleans house, setting up a quick leg lariat and
the Cloverleaf makes Tom tap.
Rating:
D.
Well at least it was shorter than the previous match. This show is
bordering on a disaster with all the lame tag matches and nothing
interesting happening. Shane and Dean are a decent tag team, but I’d
like to see them do something of note. I mean, we can’t have them
fight the cowboys and win the titles of course because that might be
good for them, but there has to be something out there.
Insane
Clown Posse video.
Clip of Saturn vs.
Steiner from last week.
DDP
comes out and says he wants to beat up Goldberg, Hogan and Sting to
get the title back. This took three minutes.
Diamond
Dallas Page vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Haven’t
seen Chavo in awhile. Page makes a Free Willy joke about Chavo’s
mom, but Chavo says Page’s mom freed Free Willy. So Page’s mom is a
10 year old boy? It must make sense to Page as he lunges at Chavo in
the corner and catches him with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Chavo gets sent
to the floor and into then over the barricade. Page changes his mind
and throws Chavo back inside and we take a break. We couldn’t take a
break in the tag matches?
Back
with Chavo trying to speed things up but walking into a spinebuster.
A wicked spinning Rock Bottom gets two as Page picks him up off the
mat. Page chokes a lot and nails Chavo with a right hand to block a
sunset flip. The fireman’s carry into a Diamond Cutter ends this
massacre.
Rating:
C-.
Yeah that’s high but Chavo took some good bumps and I’m a fan of the
TKO. I’m assuming they’re building Page up for a match at Fall
Brawl, even though he’s been a tag guy for months now. This wasn’t
anything interesting but I’ll take an extended squash over another
dull midcard tag match.
Sid
Vicious/Rick Steiner vs. Chris Benoit/Perry Saturn
Sid
threatens to leave if the crowd isn’t completely quiet. Right. The
brawl starts on the floor until Benoit takes Sid up to the apron.
Steiner breaks up Chris’ suplex attempt to give the old guys control,
only to have Benoit counter a clothesline into the Crossface on Sid.
You know Sid isn’t going to tap out so Steiner makes the save and
we’re already in the chinlock.
Back
up and for once, the good guys actually cheat from the apron with
Saturn kicking Rick in the back of the head before coming in off the
tag. I can’t quite say it’s a hot tag this early in the match. Sid
tries to save his dog faced buddy, only allowing Benoit and Saturn to
destroy Steiner even more. Benoit grabs an armbar but Sid copies
Saturn and nails Chris from the apron. Steiner does his face grab
and we take a break.
Back
with the villains taking turns choking until Sid puts on a camel
clutch. Steiner comes back in and takes Benoit down with a nice
amateur move (I’m as shocked as you are) before putting on an ankle
lock. He sends Benoit outside for a beating from Sid before the big
man puts on a chinlock. Chris fights to his feet and makes his
comeback by actually slamming Sid.
Benoit
runs to the top for the Swan Dive but Sid rolls away to put both guys
down. It’s a double tag to Saturn and Steiner with Perry taking over
and hitting his nice springboard clothesline on Sid. Steiner gets
tired of not beating people up though and decks Saturn, only to get
caught in the Crossface. Sid powerbombs Saturn at the same time
though and kicks the referee in the head. Charles Robinson runs in
and counts the pin on Saturn.
Rating:
C-.
The comeback was good but WHY ARE SID AND RICK STEINER BEATING THE
REVOLUTION??? We sat through Sid beating former World Tag Team
Champions on his own and then he and Steiner team up to beat the US
Champion and Saturn? While HHH is defending the WWF World Title
against the Rock no less. I keep looking at these matches and
wondering how they can validate these decisions and I can’t fathom
that they just keep going with it.
Sid powerbombs Benoit
to make sure you know he’s better than the US Champion too. Malenko
and Douglas run out and for some reason Sid doesn’t get to destroy
them as well.
Overall
Rating:
S.
For shaking my head, which I was actually doing after watching this
show. Sid Vicious had two wins and a promo in the span of two hours
and for what? To build him up to get beaten by Goldberg in the
second biggest match on a pay per view? That’s why we’re sitting
through this Sid mega push? WCW is willing to crush its
Cruiserweight division and probably the midcard for the sake of
building up an opponent for Goldberg. I’ve heard of cutting off your
nose to spite your face, but this is ridiculous.
Speaking of Goldberg,
where was he tonight? Or Hogan or Sting for that matter? They
certainly weren’t here, because why would WCW need the three most
popular guys in the company on a night when the WWF, who has beaten
them eight months in a row now, is debuting its version of Thunder
with a World Title match in the main event?
To put this in
perspective, when Smackdown moved back to Thursday nights and wanted
to put on something special, Daniel Bryan opened and closed the show.
When WCW was putting out its big guns to draw a good rating (which
you could tell was happening since they had matches announced in
advance), not only did they screw one of them up by having the
defending champions lose the belts early (because they clearly
couldn’t have lost them here), they put Sid on to open and close the
show. Therefore, WCW in 1999 views Sid Vicious as their Daniel
Bryan. I never thought I would say that, but it seems to be the
case.

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