Thunder – September 23, 1999

Thunder
Date:
September 23, 1999
Location:
Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
Attendance:
3,782
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
coming off a very welcome week break from this show due to a
hurricane last week. This past Monday’s show was more of the same
from WCW as the company made sure the young and hard working guys
were stuck on the other side of the show from the main event stars,
who had to be there to draw the audience. Let’s get to it.

After
the usual opening from the announcers, we look at Chavo putting
Psychosis in a hair vs. mask match against Kidman on Monday.
Lodi
vs. Kidman
After
a hug with his brother/I don’t really want to know what else, Lodi
fires off some knees into the ribs. A drop toehold puts Kidman down
and Lodi gets in a quick spank for some alleged comedy. That earns
Lodi a dropkick in the face and a clothesline to the floor, setting
up a big dive onto both blonds. Lenny offers a distraction and Lodi
takes over with a legdrop and a suplex for two. A bulldog gets the
same after a failed Kidman comeback attempt and we hit the chinlock.

That
goes nowhere so Kidman is sent outside for a brawl with the champ.
Lodi actually dives onto both of them to take over again (was he ever
out of control? Well maybe back in the Flock days). Back in and
Kidman hits his Bodog and does the usual to escape a powerbomb. Lodi
is no Lenny it seems. Lenny offers yet another distraction to break
up the Shooting Star, drawing out Eddie Guerrero to take care of him.
This brings out Chavo to talk trash and then leave. Ok then. Lenny
gets on the apron but Kidman whips Lodi into him, setting up the BK
Bomb for the pin.
Rating:
D+. Not much to this one but
that’s almost always the case with the Lodi matches. That being
said, it’s very refreshing to actually get to the end of a match
instead of just seeing Sid come down to do the same thing every
single week and often times in the same show. Lenny is getting up a
pretty big set of challengers to go after the belt and I’m getting
into his title reign.
Harlem
Heat is shown walking in the back but
they turn a corner and brawling noises are heard. Sid and Steiner
walk around the same corner from the other way.
We
see Sid and Goldberg yelling at each other from Nitro.
Tenay
(not Gene for some reason) calls out Harlem Heat but only gets
Booker. Apparently Stevie is on his way to the hospital as Sid and
Steiner gave Stevie a bump
on the head. That’s quite
the speedy ambulance. Anyway,
Booker wants Sid tonight to prove that this winning streak is a
fraud.
Brandi
Alexander vs. Mona
A
lot of posing delays the start of the match as Tenay tells us to go
on the World Wide Web for more information on the WCW Mayhem video
game. Mona gets taken down
in a test of strenght about a minute after the bell. They
roll into a quick pinfall reversal sequence until Mona gets caught in
a wristlock.
A
dropkick puts Brandi on the floor but she pulls the blonde outside
for a clothesline. Back in
and Brandi stomps away before posing some more. She
gets two off a gutwrench suplex but Mona backflips into a
headscissors followed by some forearms to the jaw. Not
that it matters as Brandi counters a monkey flip and puts her feet on
the ropes for the pin. Uh….upset?
Rating:
C-. The match was acceptable
but these stand alone matches can only get them so far. At the end
of the day, what am I supposed to think of this match? Mona beat her
two months ago and now Brandi evens things up. There’s no title to
fight over and no one else for them to face, so there’s nothing here
but a decent match and a pretty Mona. Did
Mona ever even face Madusa?
The
split second the pin goes down, they go to an ad for Hogan and Sting
videos. That was one of the fastest cuts I’ve ever seen.
Mayhem
ad.
We
see Karagias pinning Blitzkrieg to earn his title shot tonight.
Chavo
Guerrero Jr. vs. Saturn
Headlock
from Saturn to start followed by a hammerlock as they hit the mat for
a wrestling sequence. Back
up and a big clothesline drops Guerrero and it’s off to an armbar.
Chavo tries to get underneath Saturn, earning him a good stomping.
Sometimes that’s all you need to do. Back
up again and a German suplex sends Chavo flying and he rolls out to
the floor for a breather. Chavo
gets back in but quickly flips over to the apron. He can’t ram
Saturn into the buckle though and gets suplexed from the apron back
inside. Other than a few quickly broken holds, it’s all Saturn so
far.
Chavo
finally jumps over a charge in the corner and dropkicks the knee
before a clothesline puts Saturn on the floor. A
nice plancha gets two back inside and we hit the chinlock. Saturn
doesn’t like to rest though and gets up for a big t-bone suplex,
followed by a forearm and another suplex. He loads up a superplex
(logical next step) but Eddie runs out to swing at him.
Unfortunately he misses Saturn and knocks Chavo to the mat. Somehow
the referee doesn’t see Eddie coming in and dropkicking Saturn,
allowing Chavo to collapse head first onto Saturn’s crotch for the
pin.
Rating:
C. Can Saturn please get a big
win, or even a win in general? This wasn’t much to see but Saturn’s
suplexes looked good. They’re setting up something interesting with
the Animals vs. the Revolution, even though they both should be
moving up the ladder a bit. The same idea worked with the Nation vs.
DX in 1998 and stealing an idea only a year old isn’t bad for WCW.
Would Eddie and Benoit be HHH and Rock in that analogy?
Here
are Sid, Steiner and Charles Robinson with something to say. Sid
talks about a restraining order against Goldberg and the US Title
match at Halloween Havoc is off if there’s contact. Booker and
Goldberg are stupid for meeting kids and doing all that other hero
stuff before saying tonight, it’s 100-0. Robinson even has the next
sign ready. So Robinson is some freaky Ric Flair and Lodi
crossbreed?
Coach
Buzz Stern is going to bring Luther Biggs to Thunder. Just get it
over with so this can mean nothing.
We
recap Sting vs. Benoit and the fallout with Sting attacking Hogan’s
knee later in the night. They’re really pushing that six man tag so
points for trying to build to a big match.
This
Week In WCW Motorsports.
Prince
Iaukea vs. Van Hammer
You
know, I was just starting to think this show wasn’t half bad. That’s
what I get for even thinking for a second that this show isn’t a
horrible abomination. I need to stay more vigilant. The Prince
jumps him from behind and actually gets two off a rollup. Hammer
slams him down but gets small packaged for another near fall,
followed by a headbutt. At least Iaukea is being more aggressive.
He’s still horrible to watch but he’s aggressive. Hammer tries an
Irish whip but gets poked in the eye for his efforts.
Yet
another rollup gets two as dear goodness there’s an actual story to
this thing. Hammer gets tired of this match and kicks Prince in the
face before hanging him in a Tree of Woe and choking him from the
floor. When you’re ripping off Rick Steiner moves, it’s time to hang
it up buddy. A few slams set up a few chinlocks on Iaukea but he
finally fights up and kicks Hammer low. I know I said just make it
legal already and it seems like they actually have. Prince hits a
Samoan drop but walks into a spinebuster, setting up the cobra clutch
slam for the pin.
Rating:
D. Well
it was a bit better than a squash but that doesn’t mean it’s an
interesting or even good match. I did like the idea of Iaukea just
going for fast wins because he can’t go toe to toe with someone
Hammer’s size, but at the end of the day it’s still Hammer and Iaukea
getting five minutes on live television. There’s no way this can be
considered a good thing.
Hammer
says he wants a US Title shot on Nitro. I can’t decide if Sid vs.
Hammer on live TV is worse than Hammer vs. Prince on live TV and for
some reason I’m going to get to find out. I
hate my life.
Revolution
video.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Rick Steiner
Rick
runs his mouth about Booker to start and still wants people to bite
him. Eddie can’t take
Steiner down either from behind or by the leg and I have a bad
feeling about where this is going. He
gets behind Steiner again but this time Rick switches over and throws
Eddie down with a German suplex.
Steiner
hammers away in the corner and starts ripping at Eddie’s face. A
chinlock goes nowhere so Eddie is dumped to the floor. He manages to
reverse a whip for the closest thing to offense he’s had so far.
Naturally that’s all Rick is
going to give him and it’s time for choking with a cord. Back
in and Steiner slaps him before shrugging off right hands to the
face. A spinebuster plants
Eddie for two but he gets back up with a hurricanrana. Cue Sid to
chokeslam Eddie off the top for the DQ.
Rating:
D+. Is there an emergency
button for Steiner to push when he’s actually having to sell? Have
we ever even been given a reason why Sid and Steiner got together?
Given that we’re still waiting on a reason for Nash to join up with
Hogan and surrender the title when he had gotten away with everything
(my goodness that sounds like forever ago), I wouldn’t hold my
breath. This match showed
that not even Eddie Guerrero can save Rick Steiner, which is all you
need to know.
Kidman
makes the save and gets powerbombed. If Lenny hadn’t done it
recently, that would drive me a lot crazier.
CALL
THE HOTLINE! SEE HOW ELSE WE’RE GOING TO SCREW THIS UP!
Cruiserweight
Title: Evan Karagias vs. Lenny Lane
Karagias
is challenging after beating Blitzkrieg on Nitro. Lodi’s
sign: “Lenny is hard to beat.” Lenny
takes Evan down to start and cranks on a hammerlock (popular move
tonight) but has to run away from some right hands as we take a very
early break. Back with the
champ holding a chinlock until Evan fights up and gets sent to the
apron. A springboard cross body gets two on the champ but he sends
Evan into the buckle to put him down again. Lenny’s rather
suggestive cover gets two before he drops Evan with a gorilla press.

That’s
about it for the offense though as a double clothesline puts both
guys down. Evan makes his
comeback but gets caught up top. The champ’s superplex attempt is
quickly countered with a sitout superbomb for no cover. That might
be a good thing as it would make Evan look pretty lame to not be able
to pin Lenny after a spot that big. He
heads up top again but Lodi finally does something by tripping him to
the mat to give Lenny a two count. Back
up and Evan dropkicks the brothers together for two. Lodi gets back
up so Lenny catapults Evan into him, setting up the Skull Crushing
Finale to retain.
Rating:
C. You know, Lenny isn’t that
bad in the ring. Yeah he’s a Chris Jericho look-a-like and has a
gimmick that had to be toned WAY down, but his matches are far from
horrible. The division is
starting to round back into some form (albeit not quite its previous
glory but that’s not fair to ask) and beating Lane might be a big
deal when it happens.
We
see Hammer’s challenge for the US Champion from earlier tonight.
US
Title: Sid Vicious vs. Booker T.
Booker
is challenging but comes out alone while Sid has Steiner in his
corner. Nick Patrick comes out and won’t let Charles Robinson
referee the match. If Robinson is this corrupt, how does he still
have a job? Granted I could say that about so many people in WCW
that this really shouldn’t surprise me. Robinson stays at ringside
as Booker hammers on Sid but charges into an elbow in the corner,
knocking him out to the floor. Booker kicks him into the crowd and
is getting in more offense than anyone has on Sid in weeks. By that
I mean a few shots of course because Sid is a STAR.
They
fight into the crowd and it’s the walking around the arena style.
Back to ringside with Sid in control and dropping Booker across the
barricade. The fans chant for Goldberg but he’s too important to
appear on this show. Steiner gets in some cheap shots but Booker
comes back with some kicks to the champ. Sid of course no sells but
is nice enough to stay down for two off a missile dropkick, only to
have Steiner pull Patrick to the floor. Robinson comes in, along
with Steiner, as Sid chokeslams Booker, setting up a double powerbomb
to retain the title.
Rating:
D. Grumble grumble, star power,
grumble grumble, Sid and Steiner are old. This
was actually a bit better than most Sid matches as Booker was able to
carry things far better than most of his opponents. However, Booker
was never a real threat and the three villains made sure of it. Sid
popping up after the ax kick really doesn’t surprise me but it still
gets annoying in a hurry.
Sid
yells for Goldberg to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+. This show was a bit
better than usual, but it’s still nothing I’d want to see. The
stories have thankfully calmed down after all those months of horrid,
but that still doesn’t help the mostly below average wrestling.
We’re just waiting on the guys to start tearing the house down but
there’s always something holding them back. Once they finally just
start letting these stories go somewhere, WCW could potentially get
hot again. That’s one of
the things that makes their downfall so frustrating: there are ways
around some of the problems (not all of them of course) but they just
kept wasting the potential.
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