Thunder – November 11, 1999

Thunder
Date: November 11, 1999
Location:
Allen County War Memorial, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Attendance: 3,283
Commentators: Scott
Hudson, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re closing in on
Mayhem and I’m losing my will to fight. Thankfully this is a live
show meaning it’s only going to be mostly horrible instead of the
scum of the earth that it can be when it’s taped. One of the few
good things about Russo TV is the matches are short so the horrors
don’t go on as long. Let’s get to it.

One
more note: of those 3,283 in attendance, 1,771 were paid. The WWF
ran a house show at the same venue about seven months earlier and
drew over 7,700 paid. The building’s capacity for a basketball game
at the time: 10,240.
Opening sequence.
Lash Leroux vs. Evan
Karagias
Disco
comes out for commentary, which will be a running theme tonight. For
Nitro: Evan vs. referee Johnny Boone, who is working this match.
Why? Actually I was hoping you knew. Feeling out process with Evan
taking Lash down for a headlock but Leroux uses the ropes for a
break. Evan starts arguing with Boone, so here’s Madusa because the
opening match on Thunder needs this many storylines. They start some
basic wrestling to fill in time before the next story and Lash is
clotheslined to the floor.
Cue the story as Disco
hits on Madusa. That thankfully goes nowhere and Evan hammers on
Lash, only to have Leroux flip out of a belly to back suplex and grab
a Russian legsweep for two. Another suplex puts Evan down as Disco
says he’s going to seal the deal with Madusa. Evan fights back with
some chops and wins a slugout before getting two off a Thesz press.
Instead of following up though, he goes after Disco for hitting on
Madusa, who slaps Disco as she sees Evan. As he heads back inside,
Leroux nails Whiplash for the pin.
Rating:
D.
This ran 4:34 and managed to fit all that nonsense in there. How in
the world do they think this is the best course of action for the
opening match? I have no idea who I was supposed to cheer for out
there or what I’m supposed to focus on, but I’m pretty sure it’s not
the wrestling.
Disco
laughs at Evan and says he’ll bet $25,000 that he can beat Karagias
at Mayhem. Madusa helps Evan up, whispers in his ear and kisses him.
Evan accepts and Disco is given another Whiplash.
Gene
asks Berlyn why he stopped dancing, earning him a hand over his mouth
and a threat. Were we really not supposed to realize that was Wright
until now?
Sid is looking for Rick
Steiner.
Berlyn vs. Curly
Bill
My
goodness. Of all the things in WCW, THIS is the thing that gets a
blowoff??? Curly is announced from South Pittsburgh, Texas. Berlyn
hammers him in the corner as you would expect but Curly slips out of
an attempt at a slam. Cue one of the Misfits to tell Berlyn to come
out back for a fight, but the Bodyguard goes instead. Not that it
matters as Vampiro comes in to jump Berlyn for the DQ. See, this is
one of those things where a simple tweak would have been fine. Why
not have Berlyn get a quick pin on Bill and THEN do the angle? Would
that have really hurt anything?
Post match, Curly
covers Berlyn and counts his own three, so the Bodyguard comes in and
throws him out. Thanks for wasting that extra bit of time guys.
Gene
talks to La Parka and Silver King. La Parka speaks English here, on
orders from the Powers That Be. His English is actually fine, making
me wonder why in the world he’s never used it before. The guy was
over, he was fine in the ring and apparently he could talk so
wh……oh right it’s WCW. Or that wasn’t La Parka under the mask,
which is always a possibility.
Chavo tries to sell
Amway products to a Villano. OH COME ON. They’re making a throwaway
line into an angle?
Rick Steiner rants
about Sid dumping him for the Outsiders so Sid nails him. Security
breaks it up and I guess that’s our next HUGE match.
La Parka/Silver King
vs. Lizmark Jr./Villano V
Before
the match, La Parka talks about learning promos but still getting
stuck in these lame matches. His lips don’t move so maybe I don’t
have to be so annoyed at WCW for not pushing him. Well not really as
he was good enough to be pushed harder but at least the talking
wasn’t as big of a deal. It sounded like Ed Ferrara this time.
Everyone jumps La Parka for what he said and he starts with Lizmark.
A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker puts La Parka down and Lizmark taunts King
into the ring for a beatdown on the skeleton guy. King gets back at
him with a knee to the spine and it’s off to King and Villano.
King slams Villano down
and does a dance (he’s no Big Wiggler) before tagging La Parka back
in. Villano avoids a dropkick and Lizmark throws La Parka to the
floor for a suicide dive. With his partner in trouble, King busts
out the yet to be named 619 to taunt Lizmark before sidestepping a
charging Villano. Now it’s King diving on everyone before what
appeared to be an edit sends La Parka back to the ring. As in he was
on the floor and a split second later he was on the mat. Lizmark
misses a top rope backsplash and gets caught by La Parka’s corkscrew
dive for the pin.
Rating:
C-.
Totally standard lucha tag with nothing interesting and the clipping
being more distracting than anything else. So much for the show
being live too. One might think they’re going somewhere with the La
Parka stuff, but if he never gets near the title scene, none of it is
going to mean much.
Post match La Parka
chairs Lizmark and Villano.
Berlyn
and the Bodyguard beat up Curly Bill in the back. This thing is
continuing???
Hennig
says he isn’t losing and going anywhere.
Chavo
sells a childless Kaz Hayashi a bunch of diapers. I think this
speaks for itself.
Recap
of Nitro.
Booker says he and the
woman from Nitro go back a long way. More on this later I’m
assuming, but we might have to see Chavo selling stuff again.
Sid
stares at Rick Steiner on a monitor. Steiner doesn’t seem to know
that there’s a camera on him.
Disco
is on the phone and says he’ll have their money. Maybe he can get
some additional money if he gets rid of Hennig.
TV Title: Rick
Steiner vs. Booker T.
Steiner
is defending and hammers Booker down in the corner to start. Back up
and Booker ducks a Steinerline and hits the flying forearm and a side
kick. They have to get all their stuff in though as this match isn’t
likely to break five minutes. Steiner comes back with two straight
belly to belly suplexes (check those off the list too) and clubbing
forearms before we hit the chinlock. Booker quickly fights up with
his series of kicks but Steiner shoves the referee in front of the
missile dropkick. Cue Sid to shove Steiner off the top and plant him
with a powerbomb to give Booker the pin!
Rating:
D+.
And never mind as this happens.
Other referee Johnny
Boone comes out and we’ve got a Dusty Finish. Sid powerbombs both
referees and brawls with Steiner. The match was nothing special and
your standard angle disguised as a wrestling match.
Curt Hennig vs. Dean
Malenko
Douglas
is on commentary and Hennig is fired if he gets pinned. I believe
this is the third week where we still have no explanation for why
that’s the stipulation. They do some of that wrestling nonsense to
start with Dean grabbing an armbar before opting to hammer away in
the corner. You can see his soul dying with every punch. Curt gets
two each off a sunset flip, backslide and rollup as he tries to keep
his job.
Malenko bails to the
floor before heading back inside, only to get punched in the face to
send him back outside. Back in again and Dean grabs a quick belly to
back before putting on a chinlock. Curt comes back with his usual
but Dean hits a very unusual (for him anyway) low blow but gets small
packaged to counter the Cloverleaf. Back up and Malenko misses a
charge in the corner, only to have Asya distract the referee so Shane
can hit Hennig with the cast.
This brings out Disco
Inferno as Malenko covers off a suplex. Disco shoves Malenko off and
covers Hennig but Curt gets up and hits Inferno. Dean suplexes
Hennig again for two but Benoit runs out for the Swan Dive on Malenko
as Disco keeps everyone else at bay, giving Hennig the pin.
Rating:
C-.
It’s kind of interesting that you have easily the best wrestling
match of the night going on when they have a nonsensical run-in
followed by a more sensible run-in to end the whole thing. As many
people have said before: Russo did not know how a wrestling match was
supposed to go so he watered it down into something he did understand
and the wrestling fans suffered as a result. It’s so sad to see Dean
clearly just there because he has to be and doing things he doesn’t
want to do. You can see how miserable he is out there and I
completely understand him leaving soon.
Rick Steiner and Sid
fight.
Maestro
is ready for his match with Brian Knobbs tonight and promises to go
heavy metal if necessary. Well he’s already below Van Hammer so it
can’t hurt.
Knobbs and Hart aren’t
happy with Norman Smiley. I am as he’s one of the funniest things on
the shows lately.
Maestro vs. Brian
Knobbs
Hardcore.
Smiley comes out for commentary with a violin case to distract
Knobbs but it doesn’t work so well (imagine, mind games not working
on Knobbs) as Brian nails Maestro with a trashcan a few times. It’s
cookie sheet time but a chair shot doesn’t work as well as Maestro
scores with a dropkick. Maestro gets in some basic weapons shots but
Jimmy Hart grabs his leg, allowing Brian to take over again.
Smiley yells at Hart to
scare him off and the guys in the ring trade more basic weapons
shots. There’s not much to say here other than “Knobbs hits
Maestro, Maestro hits Knobbs, Knobbs and Maestro are hitting each
other.” They head outside where Smiley goes after Jimmy to
distract Knobbs, allowing Norman to hit Brian with a pipe. Maestro
rolls Knobbs up for the pin.
Rating:
D-.
I just sat through five minutes of Maestro to set up a Norman Smiley
vs. Brian Knobbs match. This is what I’ve come to in my life. It’s
also proof that there’s more to this kind of stuff than just hitting
people with weapons. People remember Road Dogg, Al Snow and Crash
doing the same weak spots because they did them with some charisma
and other creative spots to go with it. Also it helped when they did
things outside the ring area but that could go horribly for WCW.
Anyway, match was as bad as you would expect it to be.
We look at Malenko
beating Mysterio on Nitro.
Tag Team Titles:
Kidman/Konnan vs. Barbarian/Jerry Flynn
I’m
assuming this is a title match with Kidman and Konnan defending in
case you’re really new at this. Torrie is in a backless green top
and even Barbarian seems to notice her. After far too many
catchphrases and unintelligible gibberish from the Animals, Flynn
goes outside to hit on Torrie and gets slapped in the face. She’s
not into mullets I guess. Eddie goes after Flynn and gets both
himself and Torrie ejected. There goes the interest in the match.
As this is going on, Konnan and Kidman double team Barbarian with
Kidman getting two off a middle rope Thesz press.
Barbarian shoves him
out of the corner though and it’s off to Flynn for a spinwheel kick.
Yes Jerry Flynn is throwing kicks people. I’m stunned too. A belly
to belly gets two on Kidman before it’s off to Barbarian for a
headbutt and a powerbomb, putting him on the same list as Lodi and
Sid. Now there are three names you’ll probably never see together
again. Barbarian misses a top rope headbutt but catches Kidman on
top with a huge belly to belly superplex. Cool move actually.
Everything breaks down and Kidman hits a high cross body to pin
Barbarian.
Rating:
C.
This was WAY better than I was expecting but that might be due to it
being so simple. The Animals were never in any danger but you have
two guys get in some decent looking offense on them and it’s a nice
little match. I still stand by my theory that Barbarian is very
underrated. The guy kept getting steady work for over ten years and
had some good looking power moves. He was a great role player and
nothing more but he was good at what he did.
Luger says he meant to
mace Goldberg on Monday and promises to make it up to Sting. The
fact that these two are in a feud in 1999 tells you almost everything
you need to know about where this company is heading.
Video on the Nitro
Girls civil war. They really think we remember which of these are
which?
The Revolution says
they’re not done. Saturn starts talking about the Beatles so Malenko
asks him who writes his promos. In an actually funny reply, Saturn
pulls out a notebook and says “I do! I’ve got a hundred of them!”
That one caught me by surprise. Well done.
Total Package vs.
Kaz Hayashi
During
the entrances, Norman Smiley vs. Jimmy Hart is announced for Nitro.
Yes, that’s a match they want to advertise in advance. Luger comes
out with a knee brace and street clothes on, saying he’s wrestled
over 3,000 matches in thirteen years and won’t be able to compete on
this knee. Kaz is annoyed that Luger mispronounces his name and
calls him a chicken so the fight is on. A suplex, choking and a
clothesline set up the Rack to end this in less than a minute and a
half. Total squash.
Luger
holds his knee post match. There’s nothing wrong with a good old
fake injury.
Sid Vicious vs.
Perry Saturn
Sid
shoves him down to start and nails a clothesline as Shane Douglas
jumps in on commentary again. Saturn’s cross body is countered into
a backbreaker as we seem to already be in squash mode. Malenko
offers a distraction but gets stared down, only to have Saturn dive
on his stable mate by mistake. So Sid is so insane that he makes the
other wrestlers make mistakes?
After being dropped on
the barricade, Saturn grabs a quick t-bone suplex back inside,
followed by a springboard leg for two. A springboard forearm
staggers Sid again but he kicks Saturn in the face to take over.
Saturn kicks him low to break up the chokeslam, only to jump into it
a second later. Powerbomb is good for the pin.
Rating:
D-.
Oh sweet mother of goodness they’re turning Sid face aren’t they? I
know it’s been hinted at all night but he’s wrestling this match as
the good guy. Just…..no people. I know he’s insane and the crowd
likes him but I can’t just forget all the matches he messed up,
ruining Benoit’s push and EVERYTHING ELSE he’s done in the last few
months to accept him as a face now.
I rant and rave about a
lot of things WCW does but this actually bugs me. Sid needs to do
WAY more than fight Rick Steiner (after turning on Steiner like a
heel would. So yes, Rick Steiner should be the face in this feud and
good night does that sound wrong to say) to be forgiven for what he’s
done in the last few months but this is the new WCW I guess.
Sid teases powerbombs
on Malenko and Asya but has to fight off an invading Rick Steiner to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D.
Somehow this was one of the better shows of the Russo run so far.
It’s another meaningless show with no connection to most of the main
stories, but now we get a SID face push. I can tolerate these shows
a lot more easily than Nitro as it’s shorter and less insane, but it
doesn’t mean they’re fun to watch.
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