Thunder – January 19, 2000

Thunder
Date: January 19, 2000
Location: Roberts
Memorial Stadium, Evansville, Indiana
Attendance: 2,726
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The big story at the
moment is how a huge chunk of the midcard and the World Champion are
all gone due to Kevin Sullivan being part of the new booking
committee. In addition to the talent leaving due to Sullivan, it
also means that the show has gone from going 200 miles per hour to
about 20 miles per year as the show has slowed way down and gotten a
good deal more boring. Let’s get to it.

There’s a closed door
meeting taking place.
The NWO arrives.
Tag Team Titles:
David Flair/Crowbar vs. Mamalukes
The
mafia guys are challenging and Disco sits in on commentary. Vito and
David get things going with Young Naitch getting knocked into the
corner with ease. I know Crowbar is crazy but how did he consent to
letting Flair start? David comes back with some shoulders to the
ribs in the corner, only to get nailed in the throat for his efforts.
Crowbar dives over the top to take the Mamalukes down and gets two
off a cross body.
That goes nowhere as
Vito comes back with a delayed suplex, but only after he jogs around
the ring while holding Crowbar in the air. Off to Johnny who eats a
double clothesline but comes right back with a spinning kick to the
head. Everything breaks down and Crowbar powerslams Vito down and
drops a top rope splash for two with Johnny making a save. A
Lionsault (minus the running start) gets the same as this is
basically a handicap match. David gets the crowbar but the Mamalukes
kick Crowbar into him (and the bar), setting up the spinning Impaler
DDT from Vito for the pin and the titles.
Rating:
D.
I like the result but not the method they used to get there. It’s
very nice to see the titles go to a team that could actually work
some decent matches, but the match that got them there was pretty
much a mess. David just doesn’t have what it takes to be on this
level and it was showing every time they were in the ring. At least
the Mamalukes, as mediocre as they are, can work well enough.
Nash
talks to the cops.
Page and Kimberly
arrive.
The Mamalukes want
Disco to take someone out.
Curt Hennig vs. Jim
Duggan
Really?
As I fathom the fact that these two are fighting in 2000, I took
some time to see how many times these guys have fought. Believe it
or not, they only have a few house show matches in the WWF and two
Thunder matches. You would think these guys would have been a
logical pairing at some point. Hennig answers something like an open
challenge but doesn’t have on wrestling gear, so Duggan calls him a
chicken.
Curt
McFly charges to the ring and gets slammed down but he snaps Jim’s
throat over the top rope. Some choking and a dropkick follow but
Duggan just slugs away to come back. Ten punches in the corner are
broken up by an eye poke but Hennig throws Duggan into the referee.
You know I hadn’t realized how few ref bumps there had been since
Russo was gone. Hennig brings in the 2×4 but Duggan hits the referee
by mistake, sending Hennig running away as Duggan’s music plays.
Huh?
It’s
3 Count time!!! They do a letterboxed performance and now they even
have a super fan in the form of Karate Norman Smiley. Evan, so
overwhelmed by the music, charges at him but Norman feels the power
and clotheslines him down. All three members are taken out and
Norman is so fired up that he issues an open challenge. Cue Tank
Abbott because we need to see him every week. Norman fails at using
Dave Penzer as a human shield and goes down in one punch. I’m so
glad the fans got excited over Smiley until he got knocked cold by
Abbott because we haven’t covered that yet.
Lash
Leroux vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Psychosis
Sometime
tonight we should be getting a statement on Oklahoma and the
Cruiserweight Title. Chavo goes after Psychosis to start with some
chops as Lash just chills by the ropes. Psychosis escapes a
tilt-a-whirl backbreaker before joining Chavo for a double
clothesline. That’s about it for the working together as Chavo sends
Psychosis into the corner and slams him down, followed by a dropkick
to put Lash on the floor. Psychosis and Chavo slug it out but Lash
gets back up and dives onto both guys to finally do something in the
match.
Back
up and Psychosis nails Chavo by mistake, followed by a backbreaker
from Leroux. Psychosis is sent outside with Lash following him for a
whip into the barricade. This time it’s Chavo hitting the big dive
to the floor and everyone is down. Back in again and Lash misses a
dive, allowing Chavo to throw Psychosis to the floor. Whiplash is
countered and Chavo nails the tornado DDT, only to have Psychosis
comes back in with the guillotine legdrop to knock Chavo silly for
the pin.
Rating:
B-.
Much like on Nitro, this was an old school fun cruiserweight match
between three guys who should be fighting over the title instead of
having Oklahoma hold it as a comedy bit. It’s cool to see Psychosis
win as well as he’s an underrated talent, but the same could be said
for Chavo. Either way, at least we got an entertaining match.
The Artist still won’t
sing.
The Artist Formerly
Known As Prince Iaukea vs. Kidman
Kidman
has his solo theme back instead of the Filthy Animals’ song. Prince
shoves him into the corner to start but gets reversed and beaten up.
Paisley earns her paycheck by tripping Kidman so Artist can slam him
down and snap a wishbone. This brings out Torrie for her big return
as Kidman starts his comeback, only to springboard into a powerslam.
Back
up and Kidman gets two off a rollup, only to have his comeback
punched down. Another slam sets up something off the top rope but
Prince slips going up and almost falls down. I know it happens with
everyone, but given that it’s Prince Iaukea I blame his lack of
talent. Prince tries a springboard but Torrie pulls him down,
allowing Kidman to hit the BK Bomb for the pin.
Rating:
D+.
Pull the plug on Iaukea already. He doesn’t have it and this new
character isn’t masking the fact that he isn’t that good. Yeah he
can do basic stuff well enough but anything more than simple offense
is a chore for him. You have an army of talented cruiserweights on
your roster and this is the best you can do? Kidman was his usual
self here so there isn’t much to say about him.
Terry
Taylor is escorted to the ring. I wonder if he got an extension can
can still have tailor made suits now that it’s 2000.
Here’s Taylor as the
executive representative (at least it’s someone who knows how to
talk) to address the World Title situation. This coming Monday
(because it has to be Monday and not at your next pay per view),
there will be a match to determine the Undisputed World Heavyweight
Champion. Commissioner Kevin Nash is going to get to pick one
participant and the executive committee gets to pick the other. The
committee’s pick: Sid Vicious.
This
brings out Nash to rip on Taylor a bit and says he’s been reading the
commissioner’s handbook, which says he gets to make the matches. The
fans chant for Goldberg and again Nash threatens to fire him. As
lame as his matches are, at least Nash knows how to antagonize a
crowd. This Monday, Sid can have his title shot…..if he beats Jeff
Jarrett. As for Nash’s pick, of course it’s himself. It wasn’t
specified but I’m assuming Jeff doesn’t get the title shot if he
beats Sid.
I’ll
give them points for adding in a crowd favorite in Sid and Nash makes
sense as the villain, but they couldn’t throw in a curveball here?
You have a chance to make a brand new star to distract the fans from
the fact that you just lost four young guys and you go with the safe
route of Sid? I get the thinking behind it, but this would be a
prime chance to pull the trigger on someone. They don’t even have to
win the title, but give the fans something to get excited over.
Like, at SuperBrawl, not the show five days away.
Nash makes tonight’s
main event: Booker T./Big T. vs. Sid/Total Package. Ha that’s good.
Now what’s the real main event?
Berlyn vs. The Wall
Time
for the blowoff! Berlyn goes after him during the entrances but
Wall, the giant monster, grabs a wristlock. Can we get someone to
explain the idea of psychology to these people? Berlyn comes back
with a nip up and dropkick and the fans already think this is boring.
Wall throws him to the floor and drops an elbow to the back but
posts himself, allowing Berlyn to dive off the top to take him down.
The
second attempt (this time from the apron) doesn’t work as well and
Wall throws him inside again. Get this match over with already.
Back in and Berlyn tries to flip over Wall but doesn’t get all the
way, making the match look even worse. Wall drapes him over the top
rope and nails a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but the chokeslam is broken
up by a rake of the eyes. Berlyn hits the ropes, eats a big boot
and……gets pinned?
Rating:
D.
So they established these guys as a team in September and have the
horrible blowoff on a show no one is going to watch in January?
That’s the best thi…..yeah this actually is the best they can do at
this point. Terrible match here as there’s no interest in either
guy. They’ve managed to destroy so many members of the roster that
there’s no reason to get interested in almost anyone.
This Week In WCW
Motorsports. Yes this is still a thing.
Here’s Cruiserweight
Champion Oklahoma as he continues to get to book himself into a spot
for the sake of his own laughter. He brags about promising to bounce
Madusa’s silicone censored back to the kitchen and that’s exactly
what he did. After that win, Oklahoma has decided to vacate the
title because there’s nothing left for him to accomplish. This
brings out Madusa to call Oklahoma a coward before saying she wants
to start a women’s division. Oklahoma starts his rebuttal but here’s
Sherri Martel of all people to attack Madusa.
So wait. We’ll get to
the match in a minute but I need a second here. Not only did
Oklahoma set himself up to beat Madusa for the title, vacate it due
to weighing 260lbs and cover her with barbecue sauce because making
fun of Jim Ross is just oh so funny, but now Madusa is just being
moved on to a new feud? In other words, the heel booker gets away
with everything with his only comeuppance being the barbecue sauce
after he won the title? Well of course it is.
Madusa vs. Sherri
Martel
Miss
Hancock comes out and sits on the announcers’ table for some fan
service. Sherri chokes a lot, Madusa comes back with clotheslines,
Sherri goes up and slips, Madusa suplexes her down for the pin. The
match lasted a minute.
Nash
tells the NWO girls to massage him.
Fit Finlay vs. Jerry
Flynn
Not
hardcore surprisingly enough. Jerry chops him down to start and
pulls Finlay away from the ropes because Fit is trying to hide for
some reason. Finlay comes back with an uppercut and let’s look at
Buzzkill in the crowd because that’s still going on. Fit knocks him
down a few times and drops a middle rope knee and they head outside
with Finlay hitting an uppercut.
A
chair to the throat puts Jerry in even more trouble but here’s Brian
Knobbs with a kendo stick. Brian gets in some stick shots on Flynn
but Jerry comes back with some kicks to Finlay. Knobbs goes to the
apron with the stick but Finlay is sent into it instead, giving Flynn
the fluke rollup pin.
Rating:
F.
It was slow, it was boring, it had Brian Knobbs and Jerry Flynn is
getting a pin on television over someone like Fit Finlay. Flynn is
similar to Tank Abbott: here’s there for one reason and for some
reason the company insists on pushing him, albeit slowly, no matter
how boring he continues to be. Another bad match tonight.
Kanyon vs. Diamond
Dallas Page
The
Triad fallout continues. Kanyon says he’s beaten Page over and over
again now so there’s nothing left to prove. This brings out
Kimberly, who is offered a spot in Kanyon’s entourage. Kimberly
offers to think about it if the other girls leave. This brings Page
through the crowd to get in some cheap shots to start things off. A
suplex drops Kanyon and Page knocks him off the apron, setting up a
Page dive to the floor.
Back
in and Kanyon grabs a swinging neckbreaker (way too popular a move in
WCW these days), followed by elbows and a chinlock. Page fights up
and they head outside again with Kanyon hitting a quick Fameasser
onto the steps. A high cross body from Kanyon is rolled through for
two for Page. They slug it out with Page taking over, only to walk
into a pumphandle slam for two. Cue J. Biggs with the briefcase but
Page knocks him off the apron. Kanyon dives into a powerbomb,
setting up the Diamond Cutter for the pin.
Rating:
C.
Not bad here but you could see Page having the whole thing mapped
out. Kanyon continues to be entertaining in almost everything he
does and should be doing something better than just fighting Page and
Bigelow all the time. The same is true of Page. He could be
fighting for the US Title (along with a few other people) but he’s
just kind of here, going from match to match and never advancing.
Luger
and Big T. talk backstage.
The NWO watches from
their locker room.
Total
Package/Sid Vicious vs. Booker T./Big T.
Oh
this could be bad. Mr. T.’s offspring get in an argument to start
and the fans chant for Ahmed. Eventually it’s Big T. vs. Sid to
start and T. wants a test of strength. Sid asks the audience if they
want to see it, complete with the hand to the ear, but Big backs
down. It’s off to Booker as we’ve somehow eaten up two minutes of
the match with no contact yet. Booker and Sid lock up, let go, and
it’s off to Luger.
Amazingly
enough it’s Luger with the first real contact of the match as he runs
Booker over with a shoulder, only to have Booker knock him out to the
floor. Nash is here to watch as Luger chokes Booker in the corner.
We take a break and come back with Sid holding Booker in a chinlock.
It’s off to Luger who eats the running forearm, only to have Big T.
slapjack him from the apron. Now, down 2-1, Big T. comes in and gets
chokeslammed, leaving Luger to Rack the unconscious Booker for the
submission.
Rating:
D-.
So to clarify, not only is Big T. fat and out of shape, but he’s very
stupid. Let’s just get to the stupid angle that’s coming with Harlem
Heat so we can get Booker out of this and on to ANYTHING else because
yet another Harlem Heat storyline can only go so far and we passed
that about a month ago.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
This is an interesting look at how the new regime is going to go.
First and foremost, the matches are getting more time. Several of
these had 4-5 minutes, which is enough time to get the point across.
I’d still like to cut out a match or two and extend the matches they
already have, but at least they’re letting the wrestlers tell a story
and not have to fly through five plot points while trying to fit in
some moves in between.
However,
there’s another side to the new bosses. WCW is so desperate for a
new star but they’re hanging on to the old guard as tight as they
can. It should be all hands on deck to make someone into a star but
instead we’re getting Sid and Luger in the main events with Booker T.
doing the job to advance the Harlem Heat feud.
Since
they announced the title match for Monday, I’ve been trying to figure
out who they could have put in that spot instead of Sid and there
really aren’t a lot of options. Assuming he’s healthy, there’s
always Sting, but is that really where you want to go again,
especially with Hogan out there somewhere? There’s Vampiro, but my
goodness that would be a jump. Kidman is a US Title level guy at
best. That really just leaves Booker T., who is last seen out cold
and being put in the Torture Rack because Luger and Sid are a team
for no apparent reason.
So
we’re waiting to see if Sid is the guy that can carry the promotion?
I’m assuming we’ll get Sting and Hogan back soon enough, meaning it
really is going to become even more of a good old boys network around
here. I know the idea is to find someone steady, but that should be
done while also building for the future, which WCW has never managed
to do. Everyone young has been ground down to nothing for the sake
of pushing old acts for a quick score. Above all else, that might be
the biggest thing that lead to their downfall. It’s really hard to
care when the quality is going down and the champions get older every
week.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
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