Thunder – July 14, 1999

Thunder
Date:
July 14, 1999
Location:
Jefferson County Civic Center, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators:
Larry Zbyszko, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Oh
joy. It’s a taped Thunder coming off a PPV. The good thing is we’re
coming off the least boring show WCW had in awhile, though on the
other hand it led us to ANOTHER Hogan title reign that only people
with the last name Hogan actually wanted to see. That being said,
I’ll take bad over dull, and anything that gets me away from Randy
Savage in the main event is a good thing. Let’s get to it.

This
is a Wednesday show.
Vampiro
vs. Van Hammer
Hammer
throws him around to start but gets armdragged down to space things
out a bit. A full nelson doesn’t get Hammer anywhere but some kicks
to the chest knock him out to the floor. Vampiro hits a nice dive
but Hammer easily sends him into the barricade to take over. Back in
and Hammer pounds away before kicking Vampiro square in the jaw. A
big slam sends Vampiro off the top but walks around instead of
covering.
Vampiro
comes back with some strikes and a snapmare, followed by a kick to
the back. This is going nowhere for the most part. Van takes him
down again and stomps away because he really doesn’t have that strong
of an offense. A chokeslam of all things puts Hammer down for two
but Vampiro misses a top rope splash. That’s FINALLY enough to make
the announcers stop talking about Hogan returning on Monday. Hammer
slugs away in the corner and we hit the chinlock. Back up and
Vampiro nails him low, only to walk into the cobra clutch slam for
two. They slug it out again and Vampiro grabs a rollup for a fast
pin.
Rating:
D+. This goes back to the
problem for Thunder: the wrestling is just ok, but there’s no reason
to care about these guys. Yeah Vampiro is popular with the fans, but
why should I care about him? He has one off matches that don’t go
anywhere and has no story to speak of. On the other hand you have
the worthless hunk of flesh known as Van Hammer, who isn’t going to
make things any better.
Speaking
of Van Hammer, he destroys Vampiro after the match. Really? THIS
warrants a continuation?
Sick
Boy vs. Rick Fuller
Oh
come on now. Sick Boy now has blond hair and actually looks like a
bigger Dolph Ziggler if he had a brown beard. Fuller drops him with
a shoulder as Tenay says this is a proving ground match. A bad
looking legdrop gets two on Boy and a bad looking sunset flip gets
the same on Fuller.
We
keep the dull going with Fuller’s generic power offense in the corner
before he hammers Sick Boy down in the middle of the ring. Sick Boy
scores with a lariat but gets choked on the middle rope. Another
sunset flip attempt is blocked so Fuller puts him on the top
and….very gently takes him back down. Sick Boy gets two off a
spinwheel kick but Fuller puts him back on the top and hits a kind of
powerbomb for the pin.
Rating:
F. What a disaster. Again,
it’s not even that the match was horrible, but they just had nothing
going on here and I had no reason to care. The match is just SO dull
and uninteresting that there’s nothing to keep my attention. If
the idea here was to have Fuller look like a killer, it’s failed as
much as….well almost anything else WCW tried around this point.
Steve
Regal/Fit Finlay/Dave Taylor vs. No Limit Soldiers
This
would be Chase Tatum, Swoll and B.A. Chase and Finlay slug it out to
start and Chase is already about 847 times better than Swoll. The
fact that he’s only a bit above average should tell you all you need
to know. They trade some
good forearms with Chase
getting the better of it, only to miss a charge into the corner. Off
to Taylor for some very quick shots before Regal comes in to get in
some offense of his own.
Regal
misses an elbow though and the hot tag brings in Swoll to clean
house. We go to a commercial with the good news that Swoll hasn’t
maimed anyone yet. Back and
thank goodness it’s Regal vs. B.A. Regal
works on the arm and drops some knees, only to have B.A. make a nice
comeback with dropkicks and armdrags. The
Europeans take him into the corner though and it’s European uppercuts
a go-go with all three getting in a few.
Finlay
misses a charge into the corner but Regal comes in to prevent B.A.
from making the hot tag. Then for a change of pace, Taylor comes in
to prevent B.A. from making the hot tag. It’s back to Finlay for the
chinlock before it’s off to Taylor for yet another chinlock. Regal
comes in for some brief hammering before it’s back to Dave, who
misses the third tag of the match and finally allows the hot tag to
Swoll. Thankfully it doesn’t last long with Swoll running everyone
over and hitting his palm strike to the chest (called a Heart Punch
by Tenay, who apparently doesn’t get the concept of a PUNCH) to pin
Taylor.
Rating:
D. The worst part about this is
the majority of the guys out here are really talented and deserve
much better than this. Chase wasn’t anything special but he was fine
for what he was doing. Then however you have Swoll, who is basically
the Erik Watts of his day. Also, it’s so depressing that guys like
Regal, Taylor and Finlay, who could teach anyone a thing or twenty
about wrestling, have to job for this guy because his uncle is
famous.
West
Texas Rednecks video.
We
see the whole Sting/Flair argument from Nitro, plus most of Sting vs.
David.
US
Title: Bobby Eaton vs. David Flair
What
is this, a theme show? Ric
and Asya will be running interference. David actually takes Bobby
down with a headlock before Bobby does the same to him, albeit much
faster. A hiptoss drops Eaton and he looks somewhere between shocked
and frustrated. Ric tries
to give Eaton a wad of cash, only to have Eaton take the money and
suplex David down. Asya comes in to block the Alabama Jam before
taking his place. Eaton climbs down and yells at Ric, earning a low
blow from Asya. The Figure Four retains the title.
Rating:
F. I’m sure you get the idea.
Recap
of Vampiro vs. Konnan, Miller and Bagwell’s non-match, Kidman vs.
Regal and Stevie Ray saving Booker. Even Smackdown isn’t this bad.
Kidman
vs. Mikey Whipwreck
This
HAS to be better. Kidman scores with some headscissors and a
dropkick to start, sending Mikey out to the floor for a breather.
Kidman spends too much time
walking around and not paying attention, allowing Mikey to pull him
out to the floor. He drops Kidman across the barricade as Tenay
prattles on about Hogan vs. Nash. Back in and Mikey works on the
ribs and legs with all the usual submission attempts that won’t work.

Kidman
fights back with a quick powerbomb but can’t follow up. Instead it’s
Mikey getting two off a slam, followed by a slingshot legdrop. Back
up and he tries a suplex, only to have Kidman shove him out to the
floor. A big plancha takes Mikey out again, followed by a high cross
body for two back inside. Mikey nails a nice springboard
clothesline, but makes the eternally stupid mistake of trying to
powerbomb Kidman. The faceplant sets up the Shooting Star for the
pin.
Rating:
C-. At this point I think I’d
have given anything a better rating. Mikey continues to be about as
obvious of a cheap shot signing as you can imagine as there’s just no
reason for him to be in WCW. His work is average and most of the
fans don’t care about him, but at least he’s not working for ECW
right?
Video
on Hogan vs. Savage.
Rap
Is Crap.
Tag
Team Titles: Jersey Triad vs. Curt Hennig/Barry Windham
Heel
vs. heel here, but maybe they’re hoping the rednecks will be over as
faces in the south? Kanyon
starts out on the floor as Bigelow easily hammers Curt down. It’s
off to Windham for a Starrcade 1988 rematch, with Barry doing just as
badly as Hennig did. Page comes in which goes a bit better for
Windham. A shoulder and lariat put Page down and it’s back to
Hennig, who only stays in for a few seconds.
Off
to Kanyon who eats a suplex from Windham before it’s quickly back to
Hennig. Now, to really make
this stupid, Kendall Windham and Bobby Duncum Jr. jump up on the
apron as Barry drops to the floor. Curt tags out to Kendall and
drops to the floor, meaning it’s now Kendall/Bobby vs. the Triad.
So
to recap, we have two heel teams both using an upgraded version of
the Freebird Rule, but the team of heels that might actually get some
face sympathy in this town is now cheating even more, guaranteeing
that the bigger heel team is going to be less heelish here, somehow
making them the faces. I
didn’t believe it was possible but this company is somehow coming up
with new ways to screw stuff up.
Anyway
we take a break and come back with Kanyon coming in to face Duncum
with Barry on the apron. Bobby drops Kanyon with a right hand but
Hennig interferes for no apparent reason, allowing for a double tag
to Barry and Bigelow. The others start interfering, allowing Page to
hit Barry low to really take over. The other three guys are fighting
on the floor, leaving Kanyon to miss a moonsault on Barry. Hennig
comes in off the hot tag but everyone gets in for the double DQ.
Rating:
D. For DUMB. This match was
one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen in wrestling and I can’t
believe I actually watched it. WCW managed to screw up one of the
basic core ideas of wrestling (good vs. bad) and couldn’t even have
champions win clean in doing so. I can’t believe it but this company
is somehow getting worse.
Overall
Rating:
G. This show is behind
a failure. This was one of the worst shows that I’ve ever had to sit
through, with Kidman vs. Whipwreck having the ONLY thing that was
watchable. However, when you have Rick Fuller vs. Sick Boy, a David
Flair match with Ric Flair stuffing money down Bobby Eaton’s tights
like he was a stripper to whatever the heck that main event was to SO
MANY FREAKING RECAPS, something
like Kidman vs. Whipwreck is pretty quickly forgotten. This was a
disaster and made me change my standard line from “it can’t
possibly get any worse” to “dear goodness please don’t let it get
worse.”
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