Thunder – October 7, 1999

Thunder
Date: October 7, 1999
Location: UTC Arena,
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Attendance: 2,411
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Back to this disaster
again as it’s we’re still getting close to Halloween Havoc and the
question this week is what can Goldberg do to Sid’s car now.
Actually the question would be why is this the best they can come up
with. Russo and Ferrara aren’t in charge at this point, so this
might actually be the last taped event (save for Saturday Night with
its insane schedule but who cares about that show at this point?)
before they took over. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
Dean Malenko vs.
Blitzkrieg
Blitzkrieg has new
attire. This could be interesting, especially if Malenko stretches
him for doing too many ridiculous flips. Malenko easily takes him
down to start and they trade some hammerlocks. Dean slaps on a front
chancery followed by a quickly broken surfboard. Total wrestling
clinic from Malenko so far. Back up again and Blitzkrieg tries to
jump over Dean and gets dropped face first onto the mat for his
efforts.
Dean stomps away in the
corner but Blitzkrieg gets up and does an unnecessary backflip out of
the corner, followed by a more necessary running dropkick in the same
corner. A moonsault sets up a chinlock on Dean but he pops back up
and drives a knee into the masked ribs. Well the ribs of the masked
man. No one would put a mask on the ribs, though I have seen a claw
onto the ribs.
Dean scores with a
suplex for some two counts before cranking on the knee like you would
expect from a submission specialist. Can you really call him that
when he only uses one hold 95% of the time? He stomps away at the
leg before hitting a nice gutbuster for two. Blitzkrieg doesn’t sell
the leg so Malenko suplexes him over the top and out to the floor as
the announcers talk about the Outsiders on Nitro.
Blitzkrieg sends him
into the barricade and hits a big twisting dive over the top for a
nice looking crash. Back in and the masked man slips, which is about
as good as we’re going to get for selling. Malenko plants him with a
top rope belly to back superplex, followed by a quick pinfall
reversal sequence. A wicked tiger bomb sets up the Cloverleaf to
give Malenko the win.
Rating:
C.
There’s something so fun about a technician like Malenko throwing
around a high flier like Blitzkrieg, especially when it seems like
Dean is annoyed at a lot of the no selling of the leg. I mean, the
guy can’t even limp a bit before he does the dives? Not a bad match
here, but it’s nice to see Dean win whenever he’s not losing to
people who don’t deserve the push they’re getting.
We run down the card
for Halloween Havoc. That show is going to hurt.
Quick look at Disco
Inferno winning the Cruiserweight Title again on Monday.
Cruiserweight Title:
Disco Inferno vs. Evan Karagias
Disco’s entrance is
edited out because he wasn’t Cruiserweight Champion when this was
taped. The champ cranks on the arm to start but Evan trips him up
and works on the arm as well. A pair of dropkicks send Disco to the
floor before he comes back in for another armbar. We could have had
Psychosis doing some nice dives or Malenko using 37 varieties of an
armbar, but instead we get Disco who uses a total of one kind.
Disco’s backdrop is
countered with a simple shove to the mat because this match can’t get
past second gear. Evan rains down right hands in the corner but gets
sent out to the floor. More whips into various steel objects get two
for the champ. Now we get to the interesting stretch of the match as
Disco suplexes Evan, then suplexes him again, then can’t hit the
third attempt.
A double clothesline
puts both guys down before Evan gets up with some right hands and a
slam. Evan goes to the apron for a springboard cross body for two
more, followed by a powerslam for the same. His attempt at a
headscissors is countered though and Disco hits the Last Dance to
retain.
Rating:
D+.
The match isn’t bad from a technical standpoint but my goodness Disco
isn’t going to work in this spot. Yeah he can have some acceptable
matches, but after watching Malenko earlier tonight, it’s really hard
to sit through Inferno defending the title against someone like Evan
Karagias.
Just to show how dense
WCW is, they show Disco’s entrance after the match, showing that he
doesn’t have the belt and completely defeating the purpose of not
showing it in the first place.
Bret Hart is proud of
his match with Benoit on Monday.
Clip of Brad Armstrong
telling Berlyn to speak English in America. This is making me long
for the days of Jim Duggan vs. Boris Zhukov.
Brad Armstrong vs.
Chris Adams
England is evil now?
This would have been a very fun back in say….1987. The fans chant
USA as Adams takes him up against the ropes for a cheap shot. They
do it again but Armstrong ducks a second cheap shot. Score one for
the United States school system. An armdrag sends Adams to the floor
before he comes back in to trade wristlocks. Is there a ban on
working ANYTHING other than the arm, or did Blitzkrieg’s no selling
scare everyone off?
Adams throws him to the
floor and stomps away outside. Back in and Adams hits a top rope
clothesline, followed by a variety of suplexes. He misses a top rope
knee drop but avoids a charge and hits the superkick for two. Brad
avoids a charge of his own and hits the Russian (some American hero)
legsweep for the pin.
Rating:
D.
They expect to put Berlyn vs. Brad Armstrong on pay per view and have
people pay for it? That’s really the best lower card match they can
find? You know who won’t be on the card at Halloween Havoc? Dean
Malenko. Dump Berlyn and let Armstrong have a match against Dean if
nothing else. No it won’t be the interesting build in the world, but
at least the match will be entertaining. Armstrong is still decent
in the ring but my goodness they’re not giving him much to work with
at the pay per view. Adams is way past his prime here at 44 years
old but he still has a decent superkick.
TV Title: Chris
Benoit vs. Brian Knobbs
Benoit is defending
because Heaven help us if Knobbs ever got a singles title. Brian
talks trash on the floor as Jimmy Hart has to tell him to get in the
ring. This is like that angle where Bobby Heenan had to give Terry
Taylor specific instructions on everything to make him win but
without the angle part. He finally gets in and they shove each other
a bit before Benoit just fires off right hands, likely at frustration
for having to fight someone like Knobbs, and dropkicks him out to the
floor.
After about 45 seconds
of stalling and not even a single count from the referee, we actually
continue the match. Back in and Benoit blocks a charge by raising
his boots but runs into a powerslam. Some right hands send Brian
back to the floor but he blocks a baseball slide and throws Benoit
into the steps. They head into the crowd as referee Nick Patrick
argues with Jimmy Hart.
This show seems to be
in a ventriloquist convention as the fans sound like they’re going
nuts but they appear to just be sitting there. Amazing how Smackdown
and Thunder crowds always go that way. They fight up towards the
chairs (minus the fans in them) and we take a break. Back with
nothing having changed and no reason to believe the referee has even
started counting. If you want to have a hardcore match then have a
hardcore match. Just say that’s what it is so the fans don’t get
confused by the referee’s lack of actions.
They go back to
ringside with Benoit being sent into the steps twice in a row.
Knobbs chokes a lot and throws a chair at Benoit but the champ wins a
slugout and takes it back inside for a nice change of pace. The Swan
Dive misses though and Brian covers for two before using his usual
lame offense. Knobbs elbows out of a German suplex attempt but
Benoit goes into Wolverine mode and hits back to back Germans. Since
WE MUST PROTECT BRIAN KNOBBS, Jimmy Hart breaks it up at two and we
have a ref bump. Hart accidentally nails his man with the megaphone
though, allowing Benoit to hit the Swan Dive to retain.
Rating:
D+.
Benoit is great, but there’s a firm limit to what he’s capable of
doing and we found it with this match. Who in the world can carry
Brian Knobbs to a ten minute match without the use of weapons for a
crutch? This is another case where there had to be someone else
capable of having a better match. Even Hugh Morrus would have been
miles ahead of Knobbs here, but Morrus isn’t friends with the right
people. Who was going to stick around with this show to see Brian
Knobbs get a title shot?
Lash Leroux vs.
Silver King
King grabs him to start
but gets taken down in an armbar. Some right hands and a clothesline
have King in trouble but he sees Lash duck his head and takes him
down with a tornado DDT for two. In a bad looking botch, Silver King
moonsaults onto Lash’s head for another near fall. Thankfully Lash
doesn’t seem to badly messed up but that looked scary.
Lash comes back with a
headscissors but his hurricanrana is countered into a good looking
superbomb. We hit the chinlock but King throws in some gnawing at
the head to keep it interesting. Lash fights to his feet and goes up
top, only to dive into a right hand to the ribs. After an
unnecessary trip to the floor, Lash escapes a powerbomb attempt and
hits Whiplash for the fast pin.
Rating:
C-.
Not bad here but this was the lower end of the cruiserweight
division. Leroux wasn’t bad but he needed to do something besides
just be a Cajun. There wasn’t anything to this one other than Silver
King’s powerbomb and biting at Lash’s head. Why didn’t Silver King
win here again?
Bret still really liked
that match on Monday.
Death of Lex Luger
video.
Maestro vs. Dale
Torborg
Torborg is…..the love
child of Sting and Knuckleball Schwartz. Baseball jersey with MVP
written on the chest, baseball pants with pinstripes, and red and
black facepaint and gloves. There’s no other way to describe him.
Maestro armdrags him down a few times before cranking on the arm.
That’s not exactly how you want someone who looks like Torborg to
have their first match in a new gimmick. Torborg kicks him in the
back and drives in some elbows for good measure, only to get caught
in a belly to back suplex.
Something like Steve
Austin’s flip off elbow gets two for Maestro but a Rock Bottom gives
Torborg the quick pin. What an odd match and I’m assuming Maestro is
a good guy after the way he was going out there. Just bizarre though
as both guys were making their in ring debut (at least in these
characters as Torborg had a match on Nitro earlier in the year) and
Maestro went from a grand entrance to easily losing a match.
Road report. These
aren’t as good without Lee Marshall, and that’s REALLY not saying
much.
Rey Mysterio
Jr./Kidman vs. Disorderly Conduct
Disorderly Conduct
cheat to start (well that certainly is disorderly) and get dropkicked
to the floor where the Animals hit stereo dives to take them down.
We settle down to Kidman beating up Mike in the ring. Tom comes in
and gets the same treatment, meaning Kidman is running out of tricks.
He gets a bit more complicated though by headscissorsing Mike and
headlocking Tom at the same time.
Rey comes in with a
Lionsault for two on Mike before it’s off to Tom who can’t powerbomb
Mysterio. Does being Kidman’s partner mean you get to share his
powers? Tom finally hits a kind of reverse powerbomb on Mysterio to
take over with a lot of stomping keeping him in trouble. An
Earthquake style powerslam plants Rey and we take a break. Back with
Tom tilt-a-whirl slamming Mysterio for two as the themed jobbers keep
up the double teaming. A top rope ax handle to the head gets two for
Tom.
Mike distracts the
referee so Rey’s small package only gets two so it’s back to the
double teaming, including an ax handle to help Mike’s neckbreaker.
Off to the chinlockery portion of the match with Tom hooking two of
them in a row. That’s quite the feat. Back to Mike for a slam but
he misses a top rope elbow. The hot tag brings in Kidman for a BK
Bomb to Tom as everything breaks down. Kidman puts Tom up top and
launches Rey into the super hurricanrana (that always looks cool) for
the pin with Kidman baseball sliding Mike just in case.
Rating:
C.
Take two power heels and put them against two high flying good guys
and you’re almost always guaranteed to have a passable match. This
is a formula as old as professional wrestling itself and it will
still work to this day. Power vs. speed is one of the most basic
matchups you can see and Kidman and Mysterio were as good of a
combination as there was at this point.
From Monday, Bret Hart
talks about how special that match with Benoit was. You can see how
important this really is to him and it’s always good to see Hart a
happy man.
US Title: Stevie Ray
vs. Sid Vicious
It’s about time Sid
defended that thing. Believe it or not, this actually has a story
behind it as Sid and Steiner attacked Stevie a few weeks back so
Stevie wants revenge. That’s better continuity than WCW has shown in
months. Ray jumps him on the apron and clotheslines Sid out to the
floor.
A few whips send the
champ into the barricade and Stevie slams him down on the floor. I
don’t know what’s gotten into Sid recently but this is the second
match in a row where he’s actually sold something. Therefore, here’s
Rick Steiner to hammer Stevie from behind as referee Charles Robinson
stops to tie his shoes. Back in and Sid only gets two off Steiner’s
attack so he beats on Stevie to relieve that tension.
Ray comes back with
right hands but Steiner trips him up one more time and a legdrop to
the back of the head gets two for Sid. We hit the worst chinlock
ever (a record Sid breaks twice a week) as Sid LAYS DOWN while barely
cranking on Stevie’s neck. Stevie fights up but eats a forearm from
Steiner. Somehow he’s able to backdrop his way out of the powerbomb,
but the referee stops to tie his shoe for the second time. The
Steiner Bulldog and a double powerbomb is enough to make Sid 128-0,
after he was 120-0 on Nitro.
Rating:
D+.
Maybe it’s the wrestling version of Stockholm Syndrome, but these Sid
disasters are starting to turn into something resembling tolerable.
No they’re not good matches or anything really resembling such, but
they’re at least they get in and get out without making things too
stupid. They have an idea now, even though it doesn’t seem likely to
go anywhere.
Overall
Rating:
D.
This is a tricky show to grade as the wrestling wasn’t the worst in
the world, but the lack of star power REALLY hurt things. I can
tolerate low name guys if the matches are really good, but that just
wasn’t the case here. You need someone to invest in and Brad
Armstrong just doesn’t fill that role for fighting a German who is
more annoying than bad.
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