Thunder – November 4, 1999

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Thunder
Date:
November 4, 1999
Location: Cox Arena,
San Diego, California
Attendance: 5,091
Commentators:
Larry Zbyszko, Scott Hudson
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s a taped show in
the Russo Era, which is the kind of thing nightmares are made of.
I’m not sure anyone wants to see what’s going on with this show but
at least it’s only two hours instead of three and there are no
tournament matches in sight. Maybe it’ll even make sense! Ok I got
ahead of myself there. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
Evan Karagias vs.
Juventud Guerrera
This
is the third shot at this match after having Bret and Sid interrupt
the previous attempts. The fans aren’t pleased with Juvy so he fires
off kicks at Evan, only to charge into a boot and a powerslam for
two. Well we’re already closing in on the first match’s time. Juvy
escapes a suplex but fails on a rollup attempt, setting up a double
clothesline to put both guys down.
Back up and Evan chops
away, only to duck his head and get caught by a DDT. Juvy again
stops to pose for the crowd and walks into a gorilla press hot shot.
Evan misses a Lionsault but is still able to crotch Juvy on the top.
They slug it out until Norman Smiley of all people comes out to
interrupt, meaning the match doesn’t end again.
Rating:
C-.
This could potentially be a running joke. Granted the joke would
have a shelf life of about a month but there’s potential there.
Unfortunately I don’t think that’s the plan and they just don’t care
about the match and are using it as a backdrop for people to come out
here and break the script for whatever they have to talk about. As
usual, Russo has so much to do that he can’t fit it all into five
hours of TV a week.
Norman
asks Juvy (in Spanish) for a minute. Now, everyone knows that Norman
is hardcore to the bone and is here to bring the Big Wiggle to the
division. When you think of hardcore, you think of one man: NORman.
Both cruiserweights beat him up but he eventually collapses, causing
them to dropkick each other. With both guys down, IT’S WIGGLE TIME!
Norman is WAY too talented for this but he’s hilarious in the role.
Shane
Douglas thinks the Revolution should allow new members if someone
good is available. Saturn says even NFL teams screw up in their
first draft picks sometimes.
Sid,
in red pants and a hat that covers about 25% of his hair, is told
that there’s a change in booking tonight. His match: teaming with
Saturn to face Rick Steiner and Chris Benoit. Oh that wacky Russo.
Sid isn’t happy but he’ll do it.
Booker T. vs. Kaz
Hayashi
Booker
easily sends him into the corner to start but lets him out with a
clean break. That Booker is a nice guy. A powerslam drops Hayashi
but Booker poses too long (common problem tonight) and misses an
elbow, allowing Kaz to fire off some low dropkicks. Why do I have a
feeling that’s the extent of his offense in this match?
T.
heads outside where Kaz teases a dive to make Booker duck, only to
hit the slingshot dive on the real attempt. Sensing his brother
being in trouble, Stevie comes over and pounds on Kaz and of course
the referee is all fine with this. Back in and Booker nails a Rock
Bottom, followed by the 110th
Street Slam and the missile dropkick for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
This was supposed to be a squash but it wound up being Harlem Heat
having to team up to beat Kaz Hayashi. Booker really shouldn’t be
having issues like these against someone as low level as this. It’s
almost like they have no idea how to book someone in the midcard.
Also, this is going to be the closest thing we have to a clean finish
all night isn’t it?
The
Filthy Animals steal Doug Dillinger’s wallet with Torrie offering a
distraction. Again, we’re supposed to cheer for these guys right?
Rick
Seiner says he and Sid will be the last men standing in the tag match
tonight. Ok then.
Eddie Guerrero vs.
Coach Buzz Stern
That’s
Glacier if you’ve tried to block this from your memory. Coach
actually takes over with a shoulder block and backbreaker to start as
student Luther Biggs takes notes. That makes sense, as does the
Animals taking his notebook. Hoodlums. Eddie nails a headscissors
that sends Stern over to yell at the Animals, who promptly destroy
him for about 30 seconds. Of course this doesn’t matter because WCW
referees are worthless, including allowing Kidman to hit the BK Bomb
to set up the frog splash for the pin. Comedy match.
Biggs
gets beaten down as well and the Animals steal Stern’s shirt.
The challengers for the
Tag Team Titles don’t seem to get along but are ready to win the
belts. Their names: Berlyn and Curly Bill. This really shouldn’t
surprise you.
Rick Steiner warns
Benoit that it’s going to be a long night. I reiterate: ok then.
Tournament recap.
The Revolution want to
know why Sid is teaming with Saturn, but Sid just says he isn’t
happy. Were they running really short tonight?
Gene interviews La
Parka of all people, with La Parka speaking Spanish about making it
big in the United States and facing Buff Bagwell. That’s pretty
basic stuff, but the captioning is a huge rant about La Parka wearing
his costume as a tribute to He-Man villain Skeletor because he has
every episode on tape at his house and will defeat Bagwell tonight BY
THE POWER OF GREYSKULL! I know I rip on Russo a lot (and with good
reason), but this was hilarious.
Buff Bagwell vs. La
Parka
After
a quick recap of what these two have been through so far, we see that
Buff isn’t that into the match again. La Parka does his dance but
throws in the Hogan hand to the ear to keep himself the most over
unimportant luchador on the roster. An armdrag puts Buff down and
they take more time to play to the crowd. After a lot of strutting
from both men, La Parka slams him down a few times.
Buff
tries to get the fans to cheer for La Parka, but the masked man gets
ticked off. He tells Buff to come after him so Bagwell stomps away
in the corner before kneeling in the middle of the ring so La Parka
can kick him like he did on Nitro a few weeks back. This time though
Buff ducks and stomps away, setting up the Blockbuster for the pin.
Rating:
D.
La Parka is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine, but this Buff
storyline is killing whatever interest anyone else can dig up. It’s
all this “haha we’re so smart that we’re going to expose the
business to make the sheep keep watching”, even though the shows
are getting almost unwatchable at times. But hey, people are
talking! They’re laughing and calling this show a disaster and it’s
killing any future potential, but they’re talking!
Kidman is too
preoccupied with Torrie being back to worry about defending the
titles tonight. Usually that line would make me roll my eyes, but
it’s Berlyn and Curly Bill. Come on.
Tag Team Titles:
Konnan/Kidman vs. Berlyn/Curly Bill
Guess
who’s defending. The intros take forever as all of the Animals have
to jabber on like all those young 90s kids talked. I’ll give them
this on their entrances: going from rap to opera to country is quite
the variety. Berlyn fires off a bunch of strikes at Kidman to start
but Kidman ducks under some clotheslines and gets two off a cross
body. A powerslam puts Kidman down but Berlyn is dumb enough to try
a powerbomb.
Kidman
has been practicing though as he punches down instead of breaking it
up with the usual faceplant. Off to Konnan for his finishing
sequence but he whips Berlyn into the ropes instead of going for the
Tequila Sunrise, earning him a clothesline. Off to Bill who CLEANS
HOUSE (!) but quickly wants the tag. That’s not good with Berlyn,
who knocks him out with the loaded glove, setting up the Tequila
Sunrise.
Rating:
D-.
So the Neo Nazi punched out the black cowboy so the Spanish speaker
and his fellow thieves can retain their titles. Which part of that
makes you scratch your head? That’s a serious question actually as
I’m really curious to see which one of them is the most bizarre.
This is another stupid idea that just gets thrown out there for
surprise value.
The Animals stomp Bill
because they’re good guys like that.
Gene brings out Lash
Leroux, who says he doesn’t trust Disco as far as he can throw his
granddaddy’s mule. Disco has his Cajunweight title and Lash is
coming for it.
After
a break, Gene brings out Van Hammer, who is the rumored newest member
of the Revolution. “For the Revolution, I’ll be a revelation.”
No you won’t be. You suck too much.
Silver
King vs. Lash Leroux
Feeling
out process to start until Leroux gets taken down with a drop
toehold. A standing Harlem Hangover gets two for King before Lash
rolls under a spinwheel kick to send King down. It’s time for the
dance into the splits into a clothesline before they head outside
where King whips him hard into the steps. Back in and Leroux comes
right back with a high cross body, only to get kicked HARD in the
head to put him down again.
King
goes to the ropes for something like a springboard Whisper in the
Wind splash for two. They head outside one more time and now it’s
King being sent into the barricade. Back in again and Lash gets
taken down by another drop toehold but he avoids something like a
Lionsault. A quick dropkick sets up the Whiplash for the pin.
Rating:
C-.
When did Silver King get this good at high flying? He was busting
out some pretty insane stuff out there despite looking like a little
butter ball. Lash isn’t bad but he really doesn’t have a character
outside of being Cajun, and you can only rely on that accent for so
long.
Benoit says Malenko is
his prey now and he’ll fight Sid and Steiner by himself if he has to.
Dean Malenko vs. Van
Hammer
Hudson
says three fourths of the Revolution is here. I’d assume he means
Benoit is the missing link because WCW announcers are stupid. Hammer
says he should be in the Revolution and says they can do this the
easy way or the hard way. Dean decks him for general purposes and
goes after the knee. Hammer limps around but actually catches Dean
in a powerslam. He can’t follow up though because of his knee and
Dean nails him with a flying clothesline.
Since you need help
with Van Hammer, Saturn gets in a knee shot of his own. Back up and
Dean misses a charge, setting up a quick Flashback for two. We hit
the cobra clutch but of course there’s a ref bump (that should be the
center square on Russo Bingo so far), allowing the rest of the team
to crotch Hammer on the post. The Cloverleaf makes Hammer tap.
Rating:
D.
Gah they can’t just let a match go simply can they? At some point
the fans are going to catch on to all the ref bumps (by at some point
I mean by the second one) and stop caring. Then again one of the big
stories right now is THIS IS ALL FAKE AND I HATE THE BOOKING so I
don’t think insulting their intelligence is all that big of a
priority.
Video
showing how much the Powers That Be have been screwing with lower
midcard guys and Madusa. This doesn’t make the whole thing any
better.
Battle
Royal
Steve Regal, Dave
Taylor, Chris Adams, Jerry Flynn, Prince Iaukea, Scotty Riggs, El
Dandy, Chavo Guerrero
E
freaking gads man. Apparently this is an Opportunity Knocks battle
royal and the seven non-winners are on the bubble for roster spots
and the winner gets a golden opportunity on Nitro. Why do I have a
feeling that’s code for getting squashed by Goldberg or getting
nothing because WCW won’t remember it?
Oh
and just because we need one, Hudson says this isn’t a good time “to
go up north.” This is from November 1999. The WWF had been a
national promotion for what……at least twelve years now? And yes
I get that it’s their headquarters but it’s another stupid insider
line that most fans won’t get and another reason why WCW is stupid.
It’s
a huge brawl to start with El Dandy being thrown out just after the
bell. The Brits get in a fight (it’s expensive living in England)
and Chavo takes advantage by knocking out Adams. Regal responds by
kicking him low before Riggs, Flynn and Iaukea are all out in a
hurry, leaving us with Regal, Taylor and Guerrero. The Brits get
together but Taylor clotheslines Regal by mistake but gets eliminated
anyway. A quick catapult sends Regal out to give Chavo the win as
the announcers say there are seven roster spots open.
Rating:
F.
I don’t often do this, but I’m going to give a spoiler for this
coming Nitro: Chavo wins nothing. He goes into the Powers That Be’s
office and asks for his opportunity. Russo says that the opportunity
for Chavo is selling Amway and throws him out. I knew something like
that was going to happen as soon as this match started not because I
read a spoiler, but because that’s how WCW works these days. Total
waste of time and a nothing match.
Rick
and Sid talk about doing the finger poke ending. That’s referenced
and used WAY too often.
Sid Vicious/Perry
Saturn vs. Chris Benoit/Rick Steiner
Let’s
get this over with. Asya and Saturn come out, with Saturn saying
that’s one fourth of the team. If Asya counts as a member, it’s one
half. If Asya doesn’t count as a member, it’s one third. Again, WCW
announcers are all stupid. It’s in their contracts. Here’s the
opening of the match: Rick drops down for a cover but small packages
Sid for two (just like Hall did on Monday). Sid responds by
powerbombing him (hopefully ending their friendship) and leaving,
meaning it’s Saturn vs. Benoit. Somehow this match might now suck!
They
slug it out in the corner with Benoit getting the better of it with
chops and a back elbow to stop a running Saturn. A backbreaker gets
two on Saturn but he pops back up with a t-bone suplex. Benoit has
to raise his knees to block a Lionsault and Rick gets on the apron
for a tag.
Thankfully
Benoit is a wrestling fan and doesn’t let him in….and Steiner
blasts him with a clothesline because WE NEED RICK STEINER IN OUR
LIVES! Steiner suplexes Saturn too, just so we know he’s way better
than both guys, and leaves. The Crossface doesn’t work so Benoit
rolls some Germans instead. The Swan Dive misses but Malenko comes
in for the DQ anyway.
Rating:
C.
This was one of the biggest messes I’ve seen in a good while but it
was mostly Benoit vs. Saturn for four minutes so I can’t complain.
Yet again we have more overbooking because Russo is so sure we need
it, meaning we get nonsense like Sid getting a paycheck for 45
seconds of “work” and Rick Steiner laying out everyone because
he’s Rick Steiner and therefore has to be dominant. Oh geez we’re
getting Sid vs. Steiner now aren’t we?
The Filthy Animals run
in to attack everyone to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
This was actually a pretty watchable show when they let the wrestlers
wrestle. They kept things moving for the most part which is the best
thing they could do on a show like this. It’s kind of nice to have
something almost completely unrelated from the title tournament
stuff, but it’s kind of terrifying that this was their second best
batch of ideas.
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