Thunder – February 16, 2000

Thunder
Date: February 16, 2000
Location: First Union Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 5,586
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay

It’s the go home show for SuperBrawl and the old guys abound. The big stories here are Hogan vs. Luger and Flair vs. Funk, one of which I can’t imagine appearing tonight because he’s worked the last two shows in a row. Other than that we get to find out if Prince Iaukea or Psychosis gets to fight Lash Leroux for the Cruiserweight Title. I continue to beg WCW to hire some fresh talent before too late sounds like great days gone by. Let’s get to it.

There’s a new opening sequence, which is a bit better looking than the previous one. This at least has more wrestling clips included.

Here’s executive representative Terry Taylor to open things up. Jeff Jarrett has been hitting too many people with guitars lately and Sid got into a fight with Hall in a hotel (meaning Hall got drunk/high on a flight, so he’s gone for a bit). Sid has volunteered to leave the building for the night as a result, which scares me to think about what could be headlining this show. Cue Jarrett to complain about people screwing with him and promises to take care of Sid and Hall on Sunday. Taylor takes a guitar and spray paint, which is going to get Jarrett over as the huge heel everyone knows he’s capable of being right?

Card rundown.

Cruiserweight Title Tournament Semi-Finals: The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea vs. Kaz Hayashi

Kaz is substituting for an injured Psychosis and the winner gets Lash Leroux on Sunday. Prince punches away in the middle and in the corner to start as Miss Hancock is here to watch. The punches go nowhere so Kaz hits a clothesline and punches of his own. A spinwheel kick drops Prince again but it’s time for the girls to get into it. That earns Hancock an ejection, allowing us to completely focus on this boring match. Prince avoids a backdrop and slaps Kaz in the face, followed by a dragon screw leg whip. The cool middle rope DDT sends Prince to the finals after a boring match.

Nash isn’t happy with Jarrett attacking Taylor.

Norman Smiley vs. The Wall

Smiley is rocking the Flyers gear this week. Wall no sells some clotheslines and kicks Norman square in the jaw, putting him out to the floor. That would be a better finisher than yet another person using a chokeslam. Norman whips him into the barricade but Wall shrugs it off again and plants him with a backbreaker. He may be a comedy guy but Norman can sell this power offense very well. Wall misses a sitdown splash and Norman comes back with his usual, only to dive off the middle rope into the chokeslam for the pin.

Rating: D. Bad result aside, it was always entertaining to see Norman out there doing his thing. What isn’t entertaining though is to see the same waste of a talent like Smiley for the sake of pushing some monster like Wall. However, at least Wall is someone young (33 here) getting a push. It’s better than the norm around here.

Norman gets chokeslammed through a table and EMTs come out to check on him.

Tank Abbott vs. Van Hammer

Tank wins with the usual in 45 seconds. Are they trying to recreate Goldberg?

Kidman yells at Vampiro backstage.

DDP book plug.

Nash hits on his nurses.

Here are Luger and Liz with something to say. Luger has turned the two of them into stars when he broke Hogan’s arm on Monday (not when he won the World Title or anything). He doesn’t need to brag about his incredible body because he has a new partner in Ric Flair. This brings out Ric, who shouts down fat boys and insults the Philadelphia fans by saying he and Luger are real athletes unlike Eric Lindros.

After some bragging about hurting Funk, here are Terry and Dustin Rhodes to say this is hardcore country. Ah yes, it had been a few weeks since they had used ECW to get their boring shows over. Funk says Dustin is better than his daddy and a challenge for a tag match is thrown down. Even the promos to set up the main events are boring.

The Mamalukes want to hurt David and Crowbar on Sunday. They’re Italians you see.

Harris Brothers vs. Kidman/Vampiro

Vampiro has new music but the Twins are a little bit country and jump him to start. A quick kick to the face staggers Ron and the hot tag brings in Kidman to dive onto both of them. Vampiro isn’t paying attention when Kidman tags him in though as these two guys, who spent weeks fighting, amazingly can’t get along.

Ron side slams Vampiro to take over before it’s off to Don for a Rock Bottom and powerslam. A chinlock goes nowhere so Vampiro comes back with a spinwheel kick and makes the tag. Kidman cleans house and hits his Bodog as Vampiro walks out, only to come back and take a chair that was aimed at Kidman, giving Don the pin.

Rating: D+. Can we just have Vampiro and Kidman fight again so we can get this over with? Maybe one of them can move up the ladder a bit as a result, but I’d assume they’ll be thrown into another meaningless midcard feud because they’re talented enough to put some worry into the people on top, who are guaranteed their spots because they’re the top stars.

Big Vito vs. Crowbar

Street fight. In the back, the Mamalukes jump Crowbar and lock David and Daffney in their locker room. Who would give those two a locker room? Couldn’t you put them in a storage closet and let them have fun there instead? Vito backdrops Crowbar onto a car but Crowbar does the same off a suplex and drops a leg for two. Daffney has escaped the room and is throwing what appear to be vegetables at the guys. Vito stomps away, throws Crowbar into a car and drops an elbow (just a regular elbow) for the pin. So much for that going anywhere.

Nash continues to hit on the nurses.

This Week In WCW Motorsports.

Mark Johnson vs. Mickie Jay

Yes they’re referees and yes, this is getting time instead of any of those young wrestlers who might benefit from a TV match. Mark, the evil crooked one, jumps Mickie from behind and wraps his leg around the post. Back in and more knee work sets up a middle rope elbow but Mark only hits mat. Cue the Harris Brothers to distract the referee, allowing the other to kick Mickie down for the pin. If this is the best use of their TV time, cancel Thunder already.

Fit Finlay vs. Brian Knobbs

This is a cast match before both guys have broken arms and Jimmy Hart, with a broken arm of his own, is guest referee. They’re quickly on the floor with Knobbs being sent arm first into the steps before the brawl goes into the crowd. Since you can’t see anything they quickly come back with Brian being sent into various metal objects. The Regal Roll gets two but Jimmy hurts his arm slapping the mat on the count. Finlay gets in a quick cast shot for the pin with Jimmy using the good arm to count. Another meaningless match with a #1 contender losing.

Jarrett is ticked off. As always.

We recap Hogan’s arm being broken.

In a pre-taped promo, Hogan talks about transforming into Hollywood and wanting to break Liz in half. I’ll let that one speak for itself, but my goodness drop the Hollywood character.

Dustin Rhodes/Terry Funk vs. Ric Flair/Total Package

Funk and Flair get things going with Terry taking him down for some left hands to the head. Everything quickly breaks down and Luger has to save Flair from a piledriver through the table. Back in again and Flair hits Terry low to take over. That’s fine with Terry who slams Ric off the top and loads up the spinning toe hold, only to have Luger make another save.

The heels finally start cutting the ring off and take over as I try to fathom who thought letting Terry Funk work the majority of the match was the right idea. Terry and Lex clothesline each other and Dustin comes in off the hot tag. Everything breaks down again and Liz hits Dustin with the ball bat, allowing Flair to Figure Four him for the pin.

Rating: F. This was the best idea they possibly had? Flair and Luger are a decent enough team as an upper midcard heel act, but Funk is killing it. I know he’s a legend and all that, but it’s getting embarrassing to watch his slow motion punches and expecting the fans to think they’re impressive.

Funk saves Dustin from more beatings.

Nash bans the Twins from SuperBrawl and gets guitared to end the show.

Overall Rating: F. Unless I’m forgetting something, which is possible as the levels of boredom on this show might have melted my brain, the only thing on here that is going to matter on Sunday is Prince beating Hayashi to go to the finals of the Cruiserweight Title tournament. This show means nothing and their match selection and booking of the card made it even worse.

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