Thunder – May 10, 2000

Date: May 10, 2000
Location: Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield, Illinois
Attendance: 4,129
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay

Believe it or not, WCW had a good show earlier in the week to lead into this one. Above all else they slowed things down a bit and are finally acting like something resembling a wrestling company. We’re coming up on Great American Bash and it’s not really clear what the main event is going to be. Ric Flair was scheduled to be challenging Jeff Jarrett for the World Title but that might have been changed to Ric vs. his son David instead. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Cruiserweight Title: Crowbar vs. Chris Candido

No Russo and Bischoff to start? I could get used to this. I’m sure I won’t need to but I could do it. Candido is defending and talks about how awesome Tammy is before we get going. They start fighting right at the bell and Crowbar tries something resembling a headscissors. Candido pops back up and grabs a DDT for two. It doesn’t have a ton of effect as Crowbar has a thick skull so he pops up with a Death Valley Driver and a slingshot legdrop for two of his own.

Tammy offers a distraction but Candido gets thrown to the floor anyway for a dive from Crowbar. Back in and Candido suplexes him over the top and onto the ramp as this is more wrestling than you usually get on these shows. Like I said, they’re toning it down a bit lately and things are working a lot better. Back in and Crowbar gets crotched on top but Daffney breaks up the top rope headbutt. The Frankenscreamer triggers a catfight but Candido hits Crowbar low and the headbutt retains the title.

Rating: C+. More unnecessary shenanigans messing up what was a good match to start the show. Crowbar is an underrated guy and it’s nice to see him getting to do something other than the hardcore nonsense that he was best known for. Candido continues to be so smooth in the ring but it’s a shame that they’re trying to put so much focus on Tammy when she’s miles beyond the Sunny years.

Terry Funk won’t give Bischoff the Hardcore Title so it’s time for some heat. Why is Terry Funk being Hardcore Champion one of the top stories in this company? This is typical WCW. Yeah Funk is hardcore and yeah he’s a legend, but this is a story that could be used to make someone into a big deal. How about Crowbar? Let him have the title and make him into a big deal. No instead we need someone who was World Champion over twenty years ago for a nostalgia run that no one outside of Texas was really dying to see. I know Funk is awesome, but he doesn’t need this.

David Flair, Crowbar, Daffney and Vince Russo were in New York. Daffney is told to go do something while the three of them see a movie. The implication is that it’s porn, which raises several questions about Russo in general as it was his idea.

Hardcore Title: Harlem Heat vs. Terry Funk

Funk is defending though I think Big T.’s gut weighs more than Terry on its own. Terry comes out carrying chickens because we’re still referencing that stupid Dustin Rhodes story. Thankfully they don’t spend too long selling the chickens and some double teaming, including a snazzy run down the ramp and diving clothesline from T., puts Funk in trouble. Cash’s involvement doesn’t help much and T. hits Stevie with a trashcan lid by mistake. We finally get the Harlem Heat collapse, allowing Terry to hit Cash with a chair to retain. Does it matter that Cash wasn’t officially in the match?

Rating: D. Well at least we got rid of Harlem Heat and on top of that we get to add another win for Funk. They kept this one short and limited it to some basic weapons shots which is probably best all around. The Hardcore Title idea was long past its expiration date in both companies at this point and I’m hoping they tone this thing down soon.

Tenay is interviewing Vampiro and asks him why he’s in character. Oh for the love of all things good and made of Gordon Solie’s tricep meat. Vampiro talks about his love of music inspiring him to wear makeup and get tattoos while Sting is treated like a king. He has “Steve’s” vulture (when did he take that?) and brings up Ozzy Osborne biting the head off a dove. Cue Sting to hit Vampiro with the bird’s cage (“For your first cage match!”) and call him Ian, which makes Vampiro laugh.

Shawn Stasiak vs. Lash Leroux

I love alliteration. Before the match, Lash says he wants to be known as Corporal Cajun. Hennig comes out for commentary which will likely not explain his actions on Monday. A rollup gets two for Cajun but he gets slammed face first out of the corner to put him down. Stasiak gets two off a tilt-a-whirl powerbomb and they head outside with Cajun being rammed into various objects.

Shawn gets two off a top rope clothesline and you can feel the lack of charisma from him. Stasiak is fine with the technical stuff but he has no presence and is really just a guy in good shape doing moves. Even Cajun, who was really nothing beyond average, has far better ring presence and charisma than Stasiak. Shawn is totally adequate in the ring but he’s nothing more than that. Anyway Cajun comes back with a missile dropkick and they fall out to the floor again. This time Hennig drops Cajun on the announcers’ table though, setting up Stasiak’s PerfectPlex for the pin.

Rating: D+. The action was a bit better here and I guess they’re going with “if you can’t beat him, help him win matches against wrestlers he should have no trouble beating himself” for Hennig. I know Stasiak isn’t the most interesting guy in the world but at least they’re putting a young guy over a veteran. Hennig is over for the rest of his career so a single loss isn’t going to hurt him. Thankfully he’s one of the guys smart enough to realize this and put Stasiak over.

The rest of the Misfits chase Hennig off.

Russo makes Liz vs. Rhonda Singh tonight and if Liz wins she gets to be with Luger. These segments are just ways for Russo to be around the woman he had a big crush on back in the day aren’t they?

Back in New York, because we need two Russo sections, Vince messes with Daffney thinking a replica Statue of Liberty is the real one.

Rhonda Sing vs. Elizabeth

The fat jokes start during the entrances. Liz hides in the corner to start and Sing crushes her with a splash. Luger comes in to break up another splash, allowing Liz to kick Sing in the chest. Luger Racks Sing…..and that’s a submission. Tony: “He is the strongest man in the world!” Oh screw you Schiavone and Russo/Bischoff for feeding him that line.

Post match Chuck Palumbo comes out with a ball bat (that’s WAY too common a weapon) to knock out Luger and kidnap Liz again.

This match was embarrassing. They brought these two out here so Russo could make fat jokes about Sing and drool over Liz in wrestling gear (a black t-shirt and camouflage skirt) while getting some of his precious violence against women in there. As usual, it’s all about Russo having the mentality of a 12 year old at 39 years old. The fat jokes aren’t funny and these segments get more and more disgusting every time.

Here are Russo/Daffney/David because we haven’t seen enough of them tonight. Russo asks for a moment of silence for Ric Flair. Oh please like Russo could ever let that mouth of his have a rest. Ric walked out of wrestling on Monday night after Russo broke him. What people don’t know is how horrible of a father Ric has been for the last twenty one years. David whines about his dad never being there for him on the first day of school and when he went to the prom. He wanted his dad at the prom? I mean, I know Ric has been in drag before but this is ridiculous.

David isn’t done yet as he calls out Uncle Arn for a talk. Anderson comes out and asks if “I’m mad” is really the best excuse David can come up with. Russo is just trying to control David to get to Ric and David is letting it happen. Arn teamed with Ric for fifteen years and was compared to him every day. Ric was so upset over having to miss big days in his son’s life but he would be out there wrestling with 105 degree fevers because the people like you and you and you paid to see him. All David has ever had to worry about was what college he was going to and picking out what car his dad would buy him the day he graduates.

Russo chimes in (oh please. Grace us with your wisdom) and makes Arn vs. David for tonight. Arn doesn’t seem worried. “I might not be the Enforcer anymore but David isn’t the Nature Boy. Let’s do it.” As usual, Anderson is one of the greatest talkers of all time and sums up the whole story in as simple of a manner as anyone ever could with the perfect emotion.

Bischoff and company are talking to Chuck Palumbo.

Hogan arrives. I bet he isn’t even fined for being so late.

Bischoff gives Funk one more Hardcore Title match tonight. This is airing two days after the WWF did the exact same story with Chris Jericho and the Intercontinental Title.

Hardcore Title: Chuck Palumbo vs. Terry Funk

Time for Funk to beat another rookie they’re trying to build up. Palumbo is challenging and of course does Luger’s entrance. Chuck starts fast and hits Funk in the head with a chair. It’s already table time and Funk goes through the wood in the corner. Since Funk’s character is that he’s indestructible, he pops right back up and takes it to the floor for some brawling. Well at least they’re doing something they should do in a hardcore match.

It goes into the crowd and then into the back with Funk taking over. Some trashcans to the head don’t do much good for either guy so Chuck tries to slam him onto a spinning fan and therefore kill him. This brings in Luger who throws Palumbo up against a dumpster, giving Funk the pin to retain. That would be Palumbo’s debut as anyone important and he’s 0-1.

Rating: D+. So not only are they blatantly ripping off WWF’s idea but they’re also having Funk beat three guys in one night, including Palumbo who could go somewhere for them. This could have been a backstage segment and accomplished the same thing, but then we might not have gotten Bischoff on screen again.

The security beats up Luger post match and Palumbo slams him into a door. Funk has wondered off somewhere, probably trying to find a John Wayne movie.

Kevin Nash arrives, but the more interesting thing is Norman Smiley and Ralphus holding up a “Will Wrestle For Food” sign. Got an act the fans are getting interested in? Well make sure they don’t get to go in the ring!

Kidman vs. Horace Hogan

If Horace loses, he’s fired. Hulk is also banned from ringside but Bischoff and the Filthy Animals are here with Kidman. Horace powers him around to start and hits a quick Rock Bottom. Kidman gets up and hits Charles Robinson but Bischoff makes it No DQ. That allows Horace to hit Kidman with a chair but a Bischoff distraction lets Kidman score with a dropkick. Bischoff makes it falls count anywhere and I’m having flashbacks to Over the Edge 1998.

Horace boots Kidman in the face so let’s make it a handicap match, even though it could have been already given that it’s No DQ. The Animals come in and beat the heck out of Horace with Kidman adding a Macho Man (you remember him. The guy that came back last week like it was a big deal and will never be seen again with no explanation) elbow. The Animals go to the floor but Horace gets up and plants Kidman with a Death Valley Driver for the pin. Not so fast of course because it’s now a Texas Death Match so Kidman has a ten count to get up.

Kidman gets up at nine and Bischoff hits Horace in the back with a chair and makes it an I Quit match. Eric is feeling nice though and offers Horace a spot on the team, earning him some spit in his eye. This brings in the Animals for a dog pile pin on Horace to end this No DQ, falls count anywhere, handicap, Texas death, I quit match which Kidman won via a pinfall.

Rating: F. For Foley, who did this way better. That’s the major difference. When Russo did this for Austin vs. Foley, not only was it a 20+ minute match, but they were capable of having a great match no matter what the rules were. This was Kidman vs. Horace in a match that didn’t even last six and a half minutes. Russo of course didn’t get the difference.

After the match, Hulk comes in to destroy everyone, including no selling Bischoff’s chair shot. He chases Bischoff to the back until Nash comes out to take care of the Filthy Animals. This brings out Russo to list off some of Nash’s stupid gimmicks over the years and there’s a blood bath for Big Kev.

Post break, Russo and Bischoff get in a limo but Hogan and Nash show up to destroy the car with ball bats.

Arn Anderson vs. David Flair

This is going to be interesting. Anderson gets behind David with ease and shoves him into the corner. A takedown puts Flair down even more easily so David tries to cheat with choking and punches. This goes as well as a scrawny kid punching Arn Anderson is going to go so David rakes the eyes. Crowbar tries to run in and eats a great spinebuster. Now it’s Daffney coming in and hitting Arn low, allowing David to bust another Statue of Liberty (again: the real money in wrestling is mass producing breakaway weapons) over Arn’s head. The referee gets tossed and the match is thrown out.

The bloody Arn is put in the Figure Four as Crowbar counts a pin.

Now it’s off to New York where David, Crowbar and Daffney are in a toy store. Is there a point coming to these segments anytime soon?

Here’s Rick Steiner with something to say. After a clip of him turning on his brother on Monday (it’s still not clear if Scott is a face or a heel), Rick says that Goldberg is old news. He brings out the man who might not be the prettiest in the world but he can knock Goldberg out with one punch. Tank comes out with the Goldberg parody entrance, complete with Russo and Bischoff security and sparklers. So he’s kind of parodying Gillberg? Rick talks about attacking Scott last night (HIRE AN EDITOR ALREADY! OR GIVE THE WRESTLERS A CALENDAR!) because Scott turned on him two years ago to join the NWO.

Tank says he’s going to run Goldberg over but here’s Kronik to interrupt for some reason. The brawl is on and here are Bagwell and Douglas to try to get their title belts back. Scott Steiner runs out to go after Rick but Rick bails, leaving Scott and Kronik to beat up security. We cut to the back to see the Goldberg truck crushing Tank and Rick’s car. Didn’t he do that to Sid’s car over and over? Maybe these people should start coming in cabs.

David proposes to Daffney. Sure why not.

Sting vs. Mike Awesome

Ambulance match and Awesome is now billed as the Career Killer. Never let it be said that WCW isn’t as classy as they could be. Mike takes over to start and hits a running splash in the corner but stops to get a table. Heenan is trying to put Awesome over as an unstoppable monster but it’s kind of hard to make it work when one of the first images of him in the company was losing to Scott Steiner in his second match.

The table winds up on the ramp and but Sting backdrops a charging Awesome through it to take over. They fight over to and then on top of the ambulance. Awesome can’t powerbomb him onto the roof so Sting hooks the Death Drop to knock Mike out on top. Cue Vampiro to jump Sting and throw him inside to give the unconscious Awesome the win.

Rating: D-. I don’t know. I don’t know if this was any good because how much can you tell about a gimmick match when the majority of it is over in three minutes and the last bit is Sting getting down and then attacked by someone interfering? There was no difference between this and a regular match with Vampiro coming in to lay Sting out to give Awesome the pin. That alone tells me that there’s no need for a gimmick attached, but Russo never understood that concept.

Overall Rating: D. And it’s right back where it was a week ago. This was another big mess with WAY too much going on and a bunch of ideas that are thrown out there with no build and no reason to care about almost anything. Above all else there is WAY too much Russo as he’s involved with Hogan, Nash, Luger and Flair among others. Not even Vince McMahon on his best day can be that spread out and expect it to work long term. Bad show here, but that’s going to be the norm due to how stupid so much of the writing really is.

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