Thunder – July 7, 2001

Thunder
Date: February 14, 2001
Location: Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay

This show is the equivalent of going to the gas station and buying your significant other transmission fluid for Valentine’s Day. It’s also the final show before SuperBrawl and believe it or not there’s something advertised for this week. Tonight we’ll be seeing Hugh Morrus/Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr./The Wall as two feuds are combined into one. Let’s get to it.

Nitro montage opens things up.

We see an exclusive clip of Kevin Nash being loaded into an ambulance after Nitro went off the air.

Opening sequence.

Commissioner Lance Storm is here in a suit and tells Mike Awesome he’ll be wrestling tonight. Scott Steiner comes in and demands a match so he can hurt someone.

Jamie Noble/Evan Karagias vs. Air Paris/AJ Styles

Well this is a bit more interesting. The winners are in the #1 contenders match on Sunday. AJ drives Noble into the corner to start as Tenay talks about how great he’s heard Styles is. Believe it or not, Tenay points out that his finisher, the Shooting Styles Press is in fact named after himself. AJ dropkicks Jamie into the corner as everything breaks down and the newcomers clear the ring.

In a somewhat dangerous move, AJ backdrops Paris over the top onto both guys with Paris slightly banging up his knee. Back in and it’s Evan vs. Paris with the rookie grabbing a sitout spinebuster. Styles comes in and gets a cheap shot on Noble but gets decked from behind to change control.

Something like a Trash Compactor gets two on AJ before Jamie grabs a surfboard. Noble can’t get a tombstone as AJ grabs a pop up powerbomb for the hot tag off to Paris so everything can break down. Evan hits a great looking springboard plancha to take Styles out, setting up a Doomsday Device on Paris.

Jamie and Evan actually get in a fight over who can cover though, despite both of them moving on if they win. The delay lets Styles get back in but he takes a 450. Paris makes a save and the fans (along with me) are surprised that wasn’t the finish. AJ busts out his Shooting Styles Press to the floor (meaning it’s not actually a press) but takes out his partner by mistake. Back in and a powerbomb/missile dropkick combo puts Styles away.

Rating: B. Now that’s how you debut a team. Above all else, Styles and Paris were allowed to control for a long time which helped the match seem like a bigger win for Noble and Karagias. It’s also clear that AJ was the better prospect of the team as Paris was more of your run of the mill indy guy who happened to get a shot on TV.

Storm gives Mike Sanders Kwee Wee for later tonight.

Sean O’Haire tells Mark Jindrak to look into his eyes and fear what he sees.

We run down the SuperBrawl card.

Sean O’Haire vs. Mark Jindrak

At least it’s not Stasiak. Jindrak gets annoyed when Sean shoves him around so O’Haire punches him in the face. A running knee makes things even worse and then Sean just drops him out of a suplex. Apparently bored with beating Mark up this badly, Sean just kicks him out to the floor. To keep things going, O’Haire hits the Seanton Bomb from the apron for a nice variation on the move. He takes too long setting up the real one though and Jindrak kicks the rope to break it up.

A super hurricanrana takes Sean down for two as the fans are starting to get into this. Mark sends him to the ropes and….they presumably botch the heck out of something as we go to a shot of the crowd. Sean gets in a DDT to send Mark outside as Stasiak comes out to watch. No man, leave them alone and let them be entertaining for a change. Back in and O’Haire kicks him down to set up the Seanton Bomb for the quick pin.

Rating: C+. This was a total one man show from O’Haire as Jindrak, an athletic freak in his own right, just wasn’t keeping up with him. Sean should have been a big deal and probably put into singles action in a hurry (picture him as the super face to take down the monster Steiner down the line) but instead he’s stuck dealing with the rest of the Thrillers who are just beneath him. Like Stasiak for instance.

Jeff Jarrett and Rick Steiner want a match tonight and Storm smiles.

Kwee Wee vs. Mike Sanders

Kwee Wee jumps on him for some right hands as we’re in Angry Alan mode. A way too early piledriver attempt is countered with a backdrop but Sanders punches the mat by mistake. Instead they head outside with Kwee Wee hurricanranaing him down. A sunset flip off the apron….does nothing because it’s on the floor so Kwee Wee throws him back inside but gets caught in a suplex for two. Kwee Wee gets in a suplex of his own and sends Sanders into the corner for some right hands. A Regal Roll gets two but Sanders grabs a rollup and the tights for the pin.

Rating: D. And so much for Kwee Wee. To be fair they had to have him lose here before he started getting too popular against their will and that just couldn’t happen. Sanders had almost no offense here and Kwee Wee did all the work but which one is getting the push? Sanders of course, mainly because he wasn’t given a dead end gimmick by WCW’s amazing braintrust.

Bryan Clark is taken out of the building as he can’t wrestle tonight. Brian Adams rants until Totally Buff beats him down. Konnan comes in for the save.

Mike Awesome promises to break the Cat’s bones so he can’t land on his feet.

Mike Awesome vs. The Cat

Awesome starts fast by throwing Cat into the corner and just mauling him with forearms. Cat’s comeback is easily shoved away as there’s no answer for the power so far. A sleeper of all things slows Cat down until he comes back with…..a wristlock? That earns him a low blow for general stupidity and they head outside. Cat tries choking him with a cable but for once the referee actually does his job and breaks it up. How convenient. Mike misses a charge but Cat kicks the post by mistake, again likely due to general stupidity. Back in and a chop block sets up the Awesome Splash for the pin.

Rating: D. Miller is just not very good in the ring and it’s getting clearer every time he’s out there. Now that he’s not the Commissioner (which I’m sure he never will be again ever) there’s no hiding his uselessness and it was clear that Awesome had to tone it down again so Cat wouldn’t get squashed. Well not as squashed that is.

Diamond Dallas Page and Dustin Rhodes are ready for Rick Steiner and Jeff Jarrett tonight. Now that’s a main event worth calling your friends about. They might watch it otherwise.

Chavo Guerrero Jr./The Wall vs. Rey Mysterio Jr./Hugh Morrus

Combining two feuds into one though Morrus doesn’t like either opponent in the first place. Rey and the monster start things off and for some reason, Rey tries a sunset flip. Maybe he’s been watching Cat matches to try something that stupid. It goes as badly as you would expect so Morrus comes in with a drop toehold so Rey can add a legdrop. Morrus powerslams Wall before handing it back off to Rey, who charges into a tilt-a-whirl slam. That’s better than you would expect to see from Wall.

Chavo comes in and gets caught in a quick Bronco Buster but comes back with a Gorybuster (wrong Tony) for two. Wall chokes a lot and it’s back to Chavo for a chinlock. That goes as far as a chinlock is going to go and Rey gets a breather off a hurricanrana. The hot tag brings in Morrus as everything breaks down with Rey splashing Chavo from Hugh’s shoulders. A clothesline looks to set up No Laughing Matter but Chavo makes the save, leaving Rey to springboard into a chokeslam for the pin.

Rating: C. Believe it or not the Wall was one of the best parts of this as he played the power role really well. Sometimes you just need a big guy around to throw a smaller person around the ring and that was where Wall excelled. Chavo vs. Rey should be good if Mysterio is ready to go while Wall vs. Morrus…..will likely me want to go make a sandwich.

Wall and Chavo beat the losers down post match.

Totally Buff make fun of Latinos before Buff faces Konnan.

Video on Nash vs. Scott Steiner.

Konnan vs. Buff Bagwell

After some Konnan rambling in what barely resembled English and Buff’s dancing, we’re ready to go. Buff chokes a lot and yells at the ref a bit before walking into a DDT for two. Back up and Buff forearms him a bit, meaning it’s time for more dancing. It’s almost like his entire offense is one move and pose. How very Justin Credible of him. A Buff chinlock slows things down even further and here’s Lex Luger for some nefarious reason. Konnan makes his comeback with his usual stuff but Luger sneaks in with the forearm to break up the Tequila Sunrise. Buff grabs a Blockbuster for the pin.

Rating: D+. Actually not horrible here with Buff working on the neck to set up the neckbreaker but you can only go so far when Buff’s offense is almost the same as it was when he debuted ten years ago. There’s something to be said for getting on the crowd’s nerves with posing etc. but that’s more than half of what Buff does in a match. It’s ok to actually wrestle every now and then.

Brian Adams was trying to limp out for the save but couldn’t get there in time.

Scott Steiner destroys catering because he wants Nash. Like he’d ever work back to back Thunders.

Diamond Dallas Page/Dustin Rhodes vs. Rick Steiner/Jeff Jarrett

So just last week’s match with Rhodes swapped in for Nash. That might actually be a downgrade for once. Jarrett says this is the world’s largest inbred family reunion and tonight is Page’s last stop. It’s a brawl to start (of course) with all four heading out to the floor. We settle down to Dustin missing a charge at Jarrett and getting beaten down by Steiner.

Page gets the tag and comes in with a top rope clothesline and neckbreaker for two. It’s back to Dustin but Jeff knees him in the back so Steiner can get in a belly to belly suplex. The double teaming continues until we get the sleeper/belly to back sequence with Jarrett. Page comes in and cleans house with the clotheslines until Steiner decks him from behind, setting up the Steiner Bulldog. A bonus Stroke is enough to put Page away.

Rating: D+. They were smart to keep this one short but the match worked well enough with three good workers and Rick Steiner there to fill in a fourth spot. It’s also a good idea to combine two feuds into one match as if nothing else you don’t have to hear Mike and Tony talk about these feuds twice. I still don’t know what WCW saw in this version of Dustin but I’m sure it’s something about being a cowboy.

Post match Scott Steiner comes in with a pipe to go after Page’s knee but everyone else comes out for a brawl with security breaking it up until Scott breaks a guard’s leg to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This show was actually one of their stronger entries with a really strong first half hour and bad matches going short enough that they didn’t drag the whole thing down. I’m sure the fact that Nash and Flair weren’t on the show had nothing to do with it of course. It’s not that they’re playing their roles well (especially Nash actually) but the story isn’t interesting when it leads to Nash getting ANOTHER title shot on Sunday. Anyway better show than usual this week though that’s not exactly saying much.

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