Thunder – May 24, 2000

Date: May 27, 2000
Location: Wendler Arena, Saginaw, Michigan
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

So Jarrett is World Champion again after losing the title for a full week. The biggest change seems to be Nash moving in to the World Title scene, which is one of the least interesting things they could do, which is why we’re likely to see it happen. This company has to hit a wall soon enough but I don’t want to imagine what has to happen to reach that point. Let’s get to it.

Recap of Nitro’s latest title change.

Steiner and Nash arrive.

Opening sequence.

Cruiserweight Title: Daffney vs. Chris Candido vs. The Artist

Daffney is defending, likely because she’s associated with Russo on screen and that makes her important. Before the match, Candido talks about how great it is to be part of the first couple of sports entertainment. Tammy gets to strip a bit as this is already getting boring. Again before the match, let’s get some words from the champ. She’s in a black wedding dress because she wanted David to propose to her but she’ll take the ring in the arena instead.

We finally start the match with Daffney getting away from the guys, setting up a three way champion/managers showdown. Cue Miss Hancock as Candido powerslams Artist for two. A Samoan drop puts Candido down and Daffney gets a near fall on each. Cue Crowbar to fight Artist, which is rather stupid as it leaves Daffney alone against Candido. As this is going on, Tammy pays Hancock for her clipboard but hits Candido by mistake, giving Daffney the pin, because Tammy swinging a half inch thick clipboard is enough to knock a professional wrestler unconscious after he’s been wrestling for two minutes.

Russo whines to Bischoff about all of his problems. Does he do anything besides book bad wrestling shows and complain about how much his life sucks?

Norman Smiley are trying to sell shirts when Shane Douglas comes up to give them a Hardcore Title shot. Why did he do that? Because the show’s script said he should.

Kimberly tells Elizabeth to put lotion on her back. You can add “puts his female talent in life versions of his erotica” to the list of things Russo does.

Hardcore Title: Shane Douglas vs. Norman Smiley/Ralphus

So Shane is officially Hardcore Champion after the New Blood beat Terry Funk down in a non match on Monday. We’re ready to go after Shane rips on Flair because he thinks people outside of Philadelphia actually care about that feud. Ralphus is in a gorilla suit (and I’m SURE it’s him and not someone else in a wacky surprise) which he wasn’t wearing and didn’t seem to have five minutes ago.

Naturally there’s something else to get to before another comedy title match as Bischoff says Douglas can’t give these two a title shot. Douglas takes Norman’s trashcan away and hammers on him to start. Ralphus’ cookie sheet shot has no effect so Shane beats on Norman with a trashcan lid, sending Ralphus out to the floor. Norman comes back with the spinning slam but the spanking dance is broken up by a low blow.

A neckbreaker and suplex get two on Smiley but Ralphus hits Douglas with a trashcan lid for no effect. Ralphus runs again but stops to pick at himself. Back in the ring and Norman collapses as Ralphus comes back. Some trashcan lid shots get two on Douglas and it’s table time. The chain to Norman’s head sets up a slam through the table but Ralphus grabs the chain and knocks Douglas out with a left hand for the pin and the title.

Rating: F. So to recap, Funk brought a gorilla suit (yes of course that’s where it’s going) on the off change that Douglas would get all cocky and offer Norman and Ralphus a title shot. We’ll of course ignore Funk not attacking Douglas in the multiple chances he had during the match but then again this isn’t the most complicated plan in the world.

Of course it’s Funk in the gorilla suit, meaning he’s the new champion.

Bischoff tells Cat to “Jackie Chan” Funk. At least go with Bruce Lee man.

Russo is talking to some old woman.

Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner are wearing goggles. Why? Not explained, but it makes for a funny random visual I guess.

After a recap of Russo vs. Flair, here are Russo, David, Daffney and the woman Russo was talking to. Russo says it’s time for another expose tonight, starring Reid’s sixth grade teacher Mrs. Snodgrass, who is every stereotypical old teacher you’ve ever seen. Apparently Reid was a hellion (her word) who would make rude noises. After more stories of Reid being a normal twelve year old, David grabs the mic and says he wants to fight Reid at the Great American Bash. For the love of all things good and holy, PLEASE let that match happen. It could be glorious.

That’s enough of the Flair story though as Nash comes out to advance another Russo story. He wants to kill Russo but so does this man: Scott Steiner. Nash and Steiner destroy security to get at Russo, who tells them to hit Snodgrass. This goes as well as you would expect so Nash and Steiner choke Russo down and demand a World Title match tonight. Russo makes a three way dance.

Jarrett yells at Russo, who can barely talk (HALLELUJAH).

Bischoff tells Douglas to deal with Funk tonight.

Filthy Animals vs. Misfits in Action

Elimination match because there’s no place for something like this on pay per view. Everyone brawls to start and Hammer (Stash. I’m not going to remember to change them to their new names most of the time so we’ll stick with the more familiar ones) throws Juvy at Konnan in a nice power display. All four Misfits splash Disco in the corner and he staggers over to Major Gunns for a kick low.

We settle down to Juvy vs. Chavo with Guerrera snapping off some chops. Guerrero is sent to the ramp but dives back in to take Juvy down and tag in Lash. Rey comes in for some rope running, followed by a side slam from Leroux. The dancing punches are good for two and it’s off to Juvy, only to have Disco sneak in and help on a double powerbomb to eliminate Lash. It’s Hammer coming in to throw Disco around with a spinebuster getting two.

Juvy tries to come in off the top but gets slammed down, setting up a horrible cobra clutch slam (you would think Juvy could jump better than that) for a one count. This brings Disco in with a kendo stick to clean house, allowing Rey to come in off the top with a seated senton to eliminate Hammer. Disco comes in and takes Chavo down with a swinging neckbreaker, only to have Chavo pop up and hook the tornado DDT for the elimination.

It’s off to Juvy whose headscissors is countered into a reverse powerbomb (always liked that move) for two. Rection’s moonsault is enough to pin Juvy and we’re down to Rection/Chavo vs. Konnan (hasn’t been in yet)/Mysterio. Cue Shawn Stasiak for no apparent reason but Booker debuts his fatigues look to clean house. A spinebuster plants Rey and the Misfits win just because.

Rating: C-. This could have been better but a WCW match getting nine minutes and only having two people interfere is a rare treat these days. I still don’t know why this wasn’t on pay per view but I’d assume it was so they could have three other matches in its place. It’s also nice to see that Russo has gotten in his standard stable wars within a bigger stable war, even though no one is really getting a rub out of this.

Bischoff tries to break up an argument between Kidman, Horace and Torrie.

Elizabeth shoves Kimberly and runs away. Don’t worry. She’ll be kidnapped again by the end of the show.

Russo is talking to Rick Steiner and Tank Abbott.

Shane can’t find Funk.

The Wall vs. Chuck Palumbo

Tables match. Wall suplexes him to start and lifts him up in the corner for some choking. Palumbo escapes an attempt at a slam through a table and elbows out of a chokeslam. The exercise bar knocks Wall off the apron and through the table. This was NOTHING. Like even by WCW standards, this was a waste of time.

Wall chases Palumbo to the back because a metal rod to the face through the table isn’t worth selling.

Kimberly is ordered to find Elizabeth. Why is Elizabeth such an important character on this show? She doesn’t wrestle, she barely talks, she hasn’t meant anything important in years at this point, yet she’s getting more air time than a lot of the champions in this company. Elizabeth is cool but you would think she was one of the stars of the show at this point.

Here are Bischoff (doing his airplane bit), Torrie, Kidman and Horace for a chat. Bischoff gets to the point and says that the music dies at the Great American Bash. Hogan’s music that is. Horace blames Hulk for ruining his career and it’s open challenge time.

Horace Hogan/Kidman vs. Kronik

Non-title and Bischoff is doing commentary because what else is he going to do? Clark chops away at Kidman to start and kicks him in the face. As Bischoff rambles about Hulk, Kidman comes back with a dropkick, only to get choked up against the ropes. Kidman comes out of the corner with a Bodog and it’s off to Adams for some more power. A sleeper is easily countered as Adams flips Kidman onto the mat, only to have Kidman come back with a hurricanrana.

Horace flips Kidman off when he comes for a tag so Bischoff gets up, only to be shoved back down. Horace gets a chair as Kronik gives Kidman High Times. Clark loads up Kidman for a chair but Horace turns (?) on him to lay Kronik out with a chair, giving Kidman the pin. The announcers have no idea if this was a title match or not.

Rating: D. Another bad match but Kronik is still a fun enough act. Kidman and Horace’s issues aren’t interesting together but most of that is due to Horace being as generic of a big man as I can remember in a very long time. I like the idea of pushing someone new, but there comes a point where it’s not going to happen. Put someone else in there and let it be over already.

Shane yells at Norman and Ralphus about letting Funk take Ralphus’ place. Norman says Funk paid double what Shane did but he’s already left the building. Shane punches Smiley and takes Ralphus to help him find Funk. So Norman and Ralphus, two guys with no money, wouldn’t accept a title shot without being paid for it? That’s how worthless the title is?

Shane brings Ralphus to the ring and beats him down until Wall, who is facing Shane at the Great American Bash in a tables match, comes out for a brawl. As Norman tends to Ralphus, Shane dives off the apron and gets chokeslammed through the announcers’ table.

Booker T. is with the Misfits and says he’s now to be known as G.I. Bro. I’m assuming this would be the idea that Booker was talking about on Monday when he said “tune in next week”. So now they can’t even wait a week for the GENIUS idea of G.I. Bro, which Booker had used years earlier.

Kimberly has security looking for Elizabeth.

G.I. Bro vs. Shawn Stasiak

Stasiak stomps the new guy down in the corner to start and chokes him on the ropes. They head outside with Bro hitting an ax handle off the apron, followed by a some right hands back inside, only to have Stasiak hot shot him. Back to the floor as Stasiak continues to search for anything resembling a good offense. Bro is sent into various objects before they head back inside and exchange clotheslines for two each. A powerbomb gets the same for Stasiak but he tries to bring in a chair, allowing Bro to hit his series of kicks, followed by the Book End for the pin.

Rating: D+. So it’s just Booker T. in fatigues. I’ve heard worse ideas, like having Stasiak get in this much offense when you’re trying to get over a new character or having Terry Funk win the Hardcore Title back two days after he kind of lost it or having Vince Russo as the centerpiece of your show.

Post match Stasiak hits him with a chair and beats Booker down, likely setting up a rematch at the pay per view. Or tonight in case Russo can’t wait to blow that hot feud off as well.

Mike Tenay is with Sting, who doesn’t think anything of Vampiro. Ten years ago he was just like Vampiro (no he wasn’t) but now that he’s grown up, he still has the fire in his eyes. Tenay asks about the inferno match and Sting calls the idea stupid. He’ll take the challenge though because that’s what he does. The lights go out and come back on to reveal the set on fire. You really didn’t need to turn the lights back on for that guys.

Kimberly is in the back for a talk but Elizabeth attacks her from behind and drags her away. This can’t end well.

Here’s Diamond Dallas Page with some biting commentary: Bischoff sucks. Well that’s one way of putting it. He talks about working hard to get where he is today and how Bischoff has turned his wife against him and Awesome injuring Kanyon (he’s way too calm about that). He keeps going on about all the things Bischoff has done to him when Liz brings Kimberly out by the hair.

Oh yeah this is going exactly where you expect it to: Page spanks Kimberly, giving Russo more fuel for his personal pleasure later on. As this is going on, Palumbo kidnaps Liz and I roll my eyes. That has to be the sixth or seventh time it’s happened and we’re still supposed to care? Anyway Mike Awesome pops up on screen in Kanyon’s hospital room, looking rather menacing. Oh well enough of that because we need to see people walking to the ring.

WCW World Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Kevin Nash vs. Scott Steiner

Jarrett is defending and has Russo with him for commentary of course. As Steiner comes out, we’re told that Palumbo kidnapped Elizabeth AGAIN, meaning Russo has her again. I’m so sick of this story. Despite Russo’s voice being sore from the choke, he has to talk even more, this time making himself guest referee for the match so it will be an even playing field. They’re going to change the title on some wacky occurrence aren’t they?

Nash immediately chases Russo into the crowd (how manly of Russo to run with a sore throat), leaving Steiner to beat Jarrett up. The champ is tied into the Tree of Woe and Nash comes back to choke him. Russo and his security are on the ramp so Steiner goes after them as well. Russo’s bat is taken away from him but Rick Steiner and Tank Abbott show up on the stage with Scott’s freaks.

Scott goes after them, leaving Russo to go after Nash who promptly hits him in the face. Jarrett hits Nash in the back with a bat to break up the Jackknife to the boss. Back up and Nash hits the referee (Billy Silverman, who has been refereeing the match despite what Russo said) by mistake. Jeff misses a belt shot so Nash hits him in the face with the title. Russo pulls the referee out of the ring at two and hits him with a guitar.

Jeff blasts Nash with a chair and Russo counts two but since we haven’t had something going on for all of six seconds, here’s Steiner to run through Russo’s security, clearing a path for referee Mickie Jay. Steiner chases Russo off and Nash powerbombs Jarrett for the pin and the title.

Rating: F. To quote Gorilla Monsoon: “WILL YOU STOP???” Look at all the insanity in this match and then consider that it didn’t even run five minutes. Normally I would talk about how you should just have a three way if you want to have a three way, but such common sense is lost on someone like Russo. Horrible “match” of course because they couldn’t go fifteen seconds without something else happening.

The announcers treat this like the biggest title change in years. I could buy that if this wasn’t the sixteenth title change since the beginning of the year. That’s sixteen title changes (including vacancies) in less than five months. Let’s put this in some perspective.

Counting backwards from today (October 17, 2015), you would have to go back to Summerslam 2011 to see the WWE Championship change hands sixteen times.

Starting with the inception of the title (February 1991), the WCW World Title didn’t change hands sixteen times until November 1995.

Finally, starting at Barely Legal 1997, the ECW World Title changed hands exactly sixteen times until their final pay per view in January 2001.

So we have four years, four and a half years, just under four years, or less than five months in WCW 2000.

Overall Rating: D-. It’s the same old troubles as always as Russo can’t stop putting everything he can think of into one show. You had two title changes tonight plus the Tag Team Champions losing a match and maybe the titles (this would be the second time in a month where it’s not clear if we have new champions or not).

There’s so much stuff going on here that I’m desensitized to everything they’re doing. How can I feel the impact of Nash winning the title if I’m still reacting to Flair winning it just nine days earlier? There’s so much going on and no time to take it in, but Russo keeps making things faster and faster. The pay per view still doesn’t have an announced main event and the show is in eleven days. We’re in the dark days of Russo here as he has full control and is showing why that’s a horrible idea. I don’t want to imagine where it’s going to go from here.

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