Thunder – December 16, 1999

Thunder
Date: December 16, 1999
Location:
Mobile Civic Center, Mobile, Alabama
Attendance: 3,889
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Scott Hudson, Juventud Guerrera
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the final show
before Starrcade and the big question is how can WCW screw this up
even further. In theory we’re getting big stars again tonight, but
as we saw last week, that means nothing if the longest match is like
four minutes and nothing comes from it. Also, how many big names
lose heading into the biggest show of the year? Let’s get to it.

Here
are Sid and Benoit to open the show, apparently having forgotten Sid
destroying Benoit at Fall Brawl three months ago. Sid talks about
the war with the Outsiders and guarantees that it’s a war they can’t
win. There are no escapes or retreats, but plenty of surrenders.
Actually there won’t be because you made sure it was a powerbomb
match so neither guy has to job.
Benoit talks about
Hall’s history in ladder matches, while making sure to name drop the
WWF as many times as he can. This Sunday, Benoit becomes the new
king of the ladder. A challenge is made for a tag match tonight but
here are Hennig/Creative Control/La Parka/Shane. Curt says the
Outsiders are busy fighting Goldberg/Hart in a House of Pain match
tonight, so Benoit and Sid can fight each other or be suspended for
six months without pay. Who gave Hennig authority?
Juventud Guerrera comes
out for commentary and does two Rock lines before the segment is
over. I get the idea here but it’s just not that funny.
Sting
jumps Diamond Dallas Page for the attack on Monday. Page looks for
Sting after a break.
Vampiro vs. Buff
Bagwell
For
the first time, we hear about Vampiro getting five minutes with
Oklahoma if he beats Dr. Death on Sunday. A bad shoulder puts
Vampiro down and here’s Oklahoma to watch. Vampiro strikes away in
the corner but gets slammed down off the top. Buff counters a
hurricanrana with a powerbomb but let’s look at singer Aaron Neville
in the crowd along with the less than 2000 people who paid to get in.
A superkick puts Buff on the floor but Vampiro has to glare at
Oklahoma, which brings in Jerry Only and Williams for a standoff. As
they fight, Oklahoma gets in a barbecue bottle shot, setting up the
Blockbuster for the pin.
Rating:
D.
This was another waste of time with the match just being there as a
backdrop for the Oklahoma/Williams/Misfits nonsense. But at least we
got to see the barbecue spot, and that’s funny because it’s something
Jim Ross done and Jim Ross being himself is funny in some way I
guess. Right?
Vampiro
gets covered in barbecue sauce to continue the unfunny joke.
Prince
Iaukea and Paisley don’t have much to say. Literally, Prince’s new
thing is he doesn’t talk.
The Artist Form of
Prince Iaukea vs. Evan Karagias
Non-title
and Evan now has Spice with him. Well that’s an upgrade. Juvy says
this will be the jabroni match of the week. Jot that down: a
champion is a jabroni. Prince points at Evan so Evan twists the
finger back. Some right hands set up a springboard cross body for
two on Prince but Iaukea dropkicks him out to the floor. Cue Madusa
to fight with Spice because this show can’t have a five minute match
without someone coming to the ring. Paisley gets beaten up as well
as Evan hits a missile dropkick on Prince. He tries to break up the
girls though and Iaukea grabs a rollup for the pin, three days before
a title defense.
Madusa
slaps Evan post match so he leaves with Spice.
Page and Sting go at it
in the back when another Sting comes up to go after the original
Sting. It’s clearly Luger, but in case it wasn’t obvious enough,
Page shouts LUGER as the fake Sting leaves.
Jim Duggan/Midnight
vs. Asya/Perry Saturn
Shane
sits in on commentary. The guys start things off with Duggan
cranking on the arm and putting on a chinlock maybe 45 seconds into
the match. Back up and Duggan starts a clubberin before
clotheslining Saturn into the corner. It’s off to the girls with
Midnight dropkicking her down so it’s off to Saturn for MAN ON WOMAN
VIOLENCE! Where would we be without that?
Saturn
hammers away in the corner and scores with a suplex as Harlem Heat
comes down. The girls collide and it’s back to the guys with Duggan
coming in for his old 80s offense. Everything breaks down and
Midnight is sent to the floor, but Stevie throws her right back in.
Shane comes in and clotheslines Saturn by mistake so Dean brings in
the 2×4, only to have Duggan take it away and nail Saturn for the
pin.
Rating:
C-.
Somehow, that’s 7:20 worth of wrestling but even worse, it’s probably
as good as this show is going to have. The amount of time helped it
a bit, but the problem this company has isn’t the lack of good
wrestling but the lack of wrestling period. It’s very telling that
I’m so starved for actual wrestling on these shows that a thirty
second run from Duggan, who was a total brawler for most of his
career, was one of the best parts of either Thunder or Nitro this
week.
The
Revolution beats down Duggan but Aaron Neville and Booker T. make the
save. Was Neville really necessary there? WWF had Mike Tyson the
year before this, but WCW has some country singer in his late 50s at
this point.
David Flair screams at
Gene Okerlund for no logical reason.
Sting swings his ball
bat and looks for Luger.
Hardcore Title:
Norman Smiley vs. David Flair
Norman,
in Alabama football gear, uses a trashcan to block an early crowbar
shot. They trade trashcan shots, followed by Norman’s spinning slam.
David breaks up the spanking dance with a trashcan lid to the head
but Meng comes out and destroys David’s teddy bear, sending Norman
running away for…….wait for it…….a countout in a Hardcore
Title match. Since that’s against the rules, doesn’t that mean that
this match is still going on over fifteen years later?
Smiley runs from the
arena.
Sting
wants Luger out here right now because he knows it was him under that
mask. Cue Luger, still dressed as Sting, for a beating from the real
version. Juvy thinks it’s Ric Flair (Black Scorpion reference?) as
Luger blocks the third Stinger Splash by raising a boot. Liz pulls
the bat away from Luger, allowing Sting to Rack him (there’s a
rarity). That knocks Liz down though, allowing Luger to get in some
cheap shots with the bat on Sting before running away.
Post break, Sting
doesn’t want medical help.
Luger drives away.
Bye.
The Wall vs. Steve
Williams
Oklahoma
jumps in on commentary because what else is he going to do? Wall’s
shoulder block is stopped by the powers of AMERICA before Williams
hammers away with right hands and a slam. Williams charges into a
boot and let’s cut to Chavo Guerrero selling stuff in the crowd. The
fans chant for Chavo as Berlyn chases Oklahoma off and nails Williams
with some foreign object for the DQ.
Rating:
D.
So not only are we seeing Ferrara as the Jim Ross impersonator, but
now we have to sit through Steve Williams getting matches on TV?
He’s fun to watch for a power guy, but you would think there are
other people who could perform the role just as well. Like, the Wall
for example?
Wall and Berlyn argue.
Nitro recap.
Buzzkill has fans sign
a petition. He doesn’t actually say for what, but hopefully it’s his
release so he can go be Brad Armstrong in the indies.
Curt Hennig vs.
Dustin Rhodes
Before
the match, Dustin calls Jeff Jarrett slap happy and promises to be
his daddy Sunday night. Hennig jumps him to start but Dustin slams
him right back down. This brings Shane inside but he gets caught in
the corner for Shattered Dreams. Curt hammers away again and there
go the lights. JUST LET THEM WRESTLE! Some guy dressed like Seven
flies to the ring with a guitar and nails Dustin for the DQ. My
goodness. You have Curt Hennig and Dustin Rhodes and think they need
a screwy finish? Those two could wrestle a passable match in their
sleep but they get two and a half minutes and a run-in? Really?
Jarrett (like it was
going to be anyone else) and Hennig destroy Dustin post match.
After
a break and some ads, Jeff Jarrett calls the Rhodes Family a bunch of
slapnuts.
Chris
Benoit/Sid Vicious vs. Creative Control/Curt Hennig/Shane/La Parka
Sid
wants the Powers That Be to come out here and fight like men. The
twins go after Benoit to start as Sid mauls the other three. Benoit
comes back on the twins as Sid beats Hennig up on the floor. The
twins get beaten up by Benoit’s ladder but Gerald saves Patrick from
the Crossface. Curt gets back in and nails Benoit with the ladder
and that’s a DQ. Nice two minute seven man handicap match.
Sid and Benoit get
beaten down. What this has to do with or makes me want to see Sid
vs. Nash and Benoit vs. Hall is beyond me. But at least the heels
get to look strong and heels are cool right?
Piper is going to be
the gatekeeper for the cage match tonight. Oh yay.
Kanyon vs. Diamond
Dallas Page
Why
this isn’t on Starrcade instead of Page vs. David Flair is another of
life’s great mysteries. Guerrera calls Kanyon Shampoo instead of
Champagne. The Champagne character works fine as Kanyon being in a
movie and letting it go to his head makes sense, especially when you
consider how minimal his contribution was (he was a stunt man)
compared to all of the wrestlers who starred in the movie and don’t
act all stuck up. Now of course that wasn’t intentional in this
company, but it’s a nice touch. Anyway, Page comes out to talk trash
of his own but gets gum spat in his face to get things going.
Biggs
does commentary as Page hits a neckbreaker but can’t hit an early
Diamond Cutter. A Rock Bottom gets two for Page until Kanyon comes
back with a lot of choking. Kanyon loads up a tilt-a-whirl but Page
busts out a headscissors of all things to take Kanyon down. That’s a
new one for him. The announcers babble on about green cards as
Kanyon stomps away in the corner. Page comes back with a clothesline
and some punches but Biggs gets up on the apron, only to hit his
client by mistake. There’s the Diamond Cutter but David Flair comes
in with the crowbar to knock Page silly and give Kanyon the win.
Rating:
D+.
Not a horrible match but the run-in continues to screw with whatever
good stuff this show could have going for it. At least Kanyon has a
new character which works well enough for him, but what has happened
to Diamond Dallas Page recently? The guy has gone from World
Champion to just there in about eight months.
Bam Bam Bigelow runs in
but gets laid out by a champagne bottle.
Piper beats up Creative
Control with a pipe.
Bret walks to the ring
until the director yells CUT.
Nash can’t find Hall.
Uh oh.
Starrcade ad.
A medic runs into the
Outsiders’ locker room, apparently due to an attack on Scott Hall.
Tag Team Titles:
Outsiders vs. Goldberg/Bret Hart
The
Outsiders are defending and this is a House of Pain match, which
means a cage with a roof on it but you win by handcuffing your
opponents to the cage. In other words, it’s a way to keep people
from having to job. Roddy Piper is gatekeeper but Creative Control
and Jeff Jarrett beats him down during the entrances. Nash and Hart
fight in the ring as Goldberg runs out and attacks Jarrett and the
twins as Piper shrugs off a beating, including a series of lead pipe
shots, to clean house.
Goldberg rips the cage
door off so he and Piper (now with the lead pipe) can come in. Jeff
follows them in with guitars for Goldberg and Piper but Goldberg
shrugs it off and spears Jeff down. Nash gets the pipe and hits
Goldberg, allowing Jeff (fine ten seconds after the spear) to help
chain Goldberg and Hart to the cage, presumably retaining the titles.
Piper gets chained as well and Nash and Jarrett attack with the pipe
before leaving. Goldberg rips the handcuffs from the cage to end the
show.
No
match of course but WOW. Nash just beat the main event of Starrcade
in less than three minutes. Piper no sold pipe shots, Goldberg no
sold a guitar shot, Jarrett no sold a spear, and then Goldberg no
sold a beating with a pipe and ripped the handcuffs off. The World
Title match wasn’t mentioned throughout this mess and basically the
entire thing was a way to blow off a meaningless TV angle instead of
focusing on the main event of Starrcade. Finally, well done on
bringing that cage in. I’m so glad WCW spent the money to have it
shipped over for a five minute appearance.
Overall
Rating:
F-.
We are three days before Starrcade. Think about that as you look at
the card and you’ll understand why this is a failure. Vince Russo
has turned this company into a show where I’m looking forward to
Janitor Jim Duggan appearances because I might get thirty seconds of
brawling disguised as wrestling. That’s what I’ve sunk to after all
these messes over the last few months and now I get to see the
Granddaddy of Them All dragged through the mud. It can’t……it
can’t…….it’s going to get worse isn’t it?
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