Thunder – December 23, 1999

December 23, 1999
Wicomico Civic Center, Salisbury, Maryland
Attendance: 4,000
Commentators: Tony
Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Scott Hudson
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Monday, this company replaced wrestling with some weird shoot style
which involves whatever Russo and Ferrara feeling like throwing out
there being presented as the new reality. The big story was the
reformation of the NWO because…..normally I would complain here but
it was probably the most logical thing all night. I have no idea
what I’m about to watch but let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of
Monday’s main story. The two minute version doesn’t make it any
better than the three hour edition.
Tenay promises to prove
that Thunder is special again.
the NWO to open things up and Tony is RIGHT THERE to tell us how
strong the NWO really is. Bret brags about all the gold and says
they couldn’t make this any more black and white. This has been in
the works for over a month and the stupid wrestling fans never saw it
coming. We see some clips of the Outsiders helping Bret out over the
last few months with Bret conveniently never seeing a thing.
This is the one and
only one thing I can give Russo some slack on: the big conspiracy
stories don’t hold up if you know what to look for, so tying all this
together probably did work a lot better when this show was airing
live. Basically the NWO lead Goldberg and Benoit along so the four
of them wound up with all the belts and it was a big swerve all
along. It still doesn’t make up for Monday’s debacle or the holes in
the logic, but at least it’s there. On the screwjob at Starrcade,
Bret: “That was better than Shawn Michaels!”
Nash rips on the fans
for only cheering the Outsiders because they wanted to be hip.
They’re a bunch of $5 an hour workers who have no idea what it takes
to be this great. They’ve never needed the people but they don’t
mind taking the money. Hall says a bunch of stuff that has to be
censored but Jeff cleans it up by declaring this crowd the first
annual slapnuts convention. Again he declares himself the chosen
one, which makes me wonder why he isn’t the World Champion.
Jeff: “No one saw it
coming!” Hall: “I didn’t know where we were half the time.”
This NWO is only going to be the elite, because once you’ve had the
black, you never go back. That line is SO out of place from Jarrett.
Cue Goldberg, who is quickly told he sucks. He’s going to rip the
NWO’s hearts out and it’s not going to be who’s next but who’s left.
announcers eat up time by running down the card. Tenay is lead
announcer and Tony is playing second fiddle. That’s quite odd to
Token footage of Leia
Meow stretching.
Two helmeted bikers
Benoit says he prefers
life’s hard decisions because they require sacrifice. He modeled
himself after Bret for living his life the way he believed it should
be lived. That ended Monday, so tonight he’s taking Bret’s heart.
PG-13 vs. Varsity
and Rotundo here but first, a rap from PG-13. Leia is forced to
exercise before the match and I’m sure you get the idea here. PG-13
gets beaten down to start and Steiner runs over JC Ice. Sullivan
says the Varsity Club is too smart to get conned like Goldberg. A
combination of clotheslines and Steiner Lines knock PG-13 into
oblivion but the referee throws it out. Tenay says it’s a double DQ,
even though PG-13 literally had no offense.
D. is put in the Tree of Woe for a low blow from Meow. Who in the
world thought these teams needed to be brought in?
David Flair beats up a
fast food worker for not getting his order right.
Russo is yelling at
Hennig in his office, which has been put back together but still has
the damage from Piper. So they dragged the broken walls to the arena
and set them back up? Hennig didn’t seem to know what was going on
in the big scheme but here are the bikers to interrupt. It’s the
Harris Twins who turn over Russo’s table and yell at him for screwing
with their lives.
are the Filthy Animals and Jim Duggan with something to say. Eddie
says the Animals are a lot of things but above all else, they’re
Americans. The Revolution left them by the roadside but they’re back
to knock the Revolution down. Kidman and Konnan say the same thing
as Eddie, albeit in very, very different methods of speaking. Rey
promises to beat the Revolution like the dogs they are.
Duggan of course says
HO and USA. He wants to make the Revolution his personal HO so
here’s the Revolution with Dean ranting about the flag of the
Revelation (yes the Revelation because Dean doesn’t even care what
stable he’s in). Saturn starts talking about Fred Flintstone never
realizing that the rack of ribs is too big for his car, making him by
far the most entertaining thing in this story. Shane wants to break
Duggan’s neck and complains about Americans. The fans are the ones
that suck off the government programs and Duggan’s comeback is just
him being an idiot. Apparently there’s a match tonight.
Russo sends Hennig and
Jarrett after Creative Control.
Tank Abbott vs. La
right hand puts La Parka down and Tank hammers away in the corner.
La Parka hits him with the chair and gets knocked out cold for a no
Tank knocks Doug
Dillinger out too.
Norman Smiley hides
from Goldberg. Why is Goldberg having issues finding the NWO? Why
didn’t he just wait for them to come through the curtain earlier?
Artist still has issues recording his music but still won’t speak.
Paisley gets on the producer for questioning the lyrics.
Hardcore Title: Fit
Finlay vs. Norman Smiley
is defending but Finlay knocks him into the weapons cart to get
things going. They fight into the crowd and into the back as we hit
the hardcore requirement from the WWF. Knobbs shows up and helps
beat Norman up in the concession stand. They lower a metal door and
try to crush Norman but Meng makes the save. Norman is thrown on top
of Finlay for the pin.
gives Norman the Death Grip post “match”.
Jeff Jarrett finds a
Goldberg chokes Jarrett
against a wall and says he’s coming for the NWO when they least
expect it.
Control comes out to say they’re no longer Creative Control. Now
they’re Ron and Don Harris because I guess that’s supposed to make us
care about them. They and their country accents are coming for the
Powers That Be. Side note: if they’re the Powers That Be, why do we
never hear another voice?
Ron Harris/Don
Harris vs. Curt Hennig/Jeff Jarrett
there’s no Jarrett, so the heel is now in a handicap match. Hennig
tries to fight back as Tony tries to keep the Twins straight. The
Twins throw Hennig around and a side slam gives we’ll say Ron the
pin. Total squash in less than two minutes.
The NWO comes out gives
the Harris the NWO treatment, complete with spray paint.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs.
comes out to do commentary for reasons of storyline development and
immediately starts a BRING BACK JUVY chant. Well it’s a one man
chant but you get the idea. Maestro goes right at Bigelow to start
but gets thrown away when trying a bulldog. Symphony comes in to
prevent the diving headbutt so Bigelow dives at her anyway, sending
Symphony running away. The distraction lets Kanyon hit Bigelow with
a champagne bucket to give Maestro the pin.
Diamond Dallas Page
says there’s nothing between Buff Bagwell and his wife. He’s booked
against the Wall but won’t fight him until he gets a match with
Recap of Madusa and
is in the ring and YES! IT! IS! TIME! Evan says it’s time for a
comeback and introduces us to his friends Shannon Moore and Shane
Helms. Their collective names: 3 Count. They may not be N’Sync or
the Backstreet Boys but they’ll charm the pants off everyone’s
girlfriend. Now hit the music. We get a music video for the yet to
be named single, spliced together with the guys singing the song (I
Can’t Get You Out Of My Heart). The tasteless fans hate the song and
here’s a now serious Chavo Guerrero to clean house with dropkicks.
I know they’re not the
best remembered team but I loved these guys and thought they were a
great idea. Boy bands were huge back then so why not go with a
gimmick based on them? It’s certainly better than Evan being the
schnook who keeps getting beaten up by women every other week.
Flair shows up at a gas station and runs into a guy named Crowbar.
The Misfits show up and beat the two of them down for no adequately
explored reason.
Duggan vs. Revolution
here with Shane on commentary. Konnan hammers on Malenko to start
and Kidman comes in with a slingshot legdrop. Off to Saturn who eats
a Bodog and a high cross body for two. Asya gets knocked off the
apron as well but Saturn suplexes Kidman in half.
Back to Malenko for two
off a suplex, followed by Saturn’s top rope elbow for the same.
Duggan gets the hot tag and cleans house with his variety of right
hands and slams. He goes to hit Asya but takes a low blow from
Saturn. Shane wants Duggan to denounce America and everything breaks
down. The hobbling Rey distracts Dean and Saturn, setting up a
sloppy double sunset flip to give the Animals the pin.
Boring match but somehow this was the first one tonight to break
three minutes. Duggan (why is he still the janitor?) doesn’t fit in
this story and there’s no reason for the Animals vs. the Revolution
to keep going other than they have nothing else to do. At least they
gave this match something close to time.
The Revolution gets in
some crutches shots to make themselves feel better.
Kevin Nash vs. The
Hall’s turn to be on commentary. Nash takes him into the corner for
some knees to the ribs to start but Wall comes back with right hands
to the head. A clothesline and big boot put Nash down and it’s Hall
coming in with the pipe for the DQ.
gets spray painted and beaten up even more.
Post break, Wall gets
off a stretcher.
As Nash gets in the
shower, Hall finds Goldberg in his room. Back to the shower, where
Nash doesn’t seem to notice the camera, and Goldberg is there too.
Is he multiplying or something? We see both Outsiders out cold. Is
it possible to like, SLOW DOWN on having him go through the NWO?
WCW World Title:
Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit
is challenging of course and erupts on Hart in the corner to get
things going. They fight over to the announcers’ table with the
champ getting control. Back inside with Bret dropping a leg and an
elbow, followed by a DDT for two. Benoit fights back with a kick to
the ribs and elbow to the jaw for two of his own. The champ nails a
low blow as the fans are just silent. Benoit reverses him into the
corner and grabs the Crossface, drawing in Jarrett for the DQ.
Just a punch and kick match until the finish with no one believing
that Benoit was going over here. That silence for Bret tells you
everything you need to know though: this storyline is just a
disaster. Monday was too much for the fans to take and there’s no
reason to care. They weren’t even booing, but rather just sitting
there in silence. That’s a bad sign after your big angle of the
Cue Goldberg to spear
Jarrett and chase Bret to the back. Bret gets away in a car but
Goldberg sees the Powers That Be’s limo. One right hand through the
window and see you in June Goldberg. By the way, for those of you
that have never seen it, that injury is what Nash said killed the
Fingerpoke of Doom fallout story with Goldberg rising up through the
ranks to get Hogan. You read that right.
You know the amazing thing about this show? That Bret vs. Benoit
match took place after the show was supposed to end. Why is that
amazing? That match (the longest of the night at 4:54) took us to
our grand total of less than 21 minutes of wrestling. In other
words, in the two hours Thunder was scheduled to be on the air, the
total time spent on wrestling (and that’s including Norman vs. Finlay
in the back) was 15:41. If you add in the World Title match, the
total time was 20:35. It took overtime to break 20 minutes of
wrestling on a two hour show. That is unacceptable.
onto the good. This show wasn’t the abomination that we saw on
Monday. It was a disaster and one of the worst wrestling shows I’ve
ever seen with almost no action, mostly worthless matches and a story
that ran in two hours instead of two to six months, but it was NOT
this past Monday. They reigned things way back in tonight and it
made the show tolerable, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s good.
I think I can live with it like this, but there are far more changes
needed here than WCW has time for.
show isn’t airing next week due to a college football game so that’s
it for Thunder in 1999.
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