Thunder – November 8, 2000

Date: November 8, 2000
Location: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 7,000
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Stevie Ray

Sorry for this being late as I got a bit busy in Dallas over the weekend.  We’re still rolling towards Mayhem and things are starting to get a bit better. The shows still aren’t great but they’re coherent and you can see where they want to go for the most part. I’ll take that over Russo’s insanity as now I kind of want to see where things are going instead of waiting on the next big surprise. Let’s get to it.

Booker goes to see Mike Sanders and asks for a match with Shawn Stasiak tonight. Instead he’ll get to defend the title against Mike Awesome, which earns Sanders a quick threat.

Opening sequence.

Evan Karagias vs. Jamie Noble

Apparently Evan is a spoiled celebrity now. The fans don’t appreciate a pair of cruiserweights slugging it out so Jamie sends him to the floor and dives off the apron to take Evan down. Back in and Jamie drops a leg to set up what looks like a moonsault, only to get crotched for his efforts. That means it’s time for some posing before Evan almost drops him on his head in a gorilla press. I know Evan is trying to act strong but that doesn’t mean he can throw people around.

Thankfully Jamie rolls into a sunset flip, only to get powerbombed for two. A World’s Strongest Slam looks to set up a superplex but Jamie shoves him down and drops a top rope legdrop for a near fall of his own. Jamie fights back with chops and a good looking dropkick before missing a charge to the outside. Cue 3 Count to beat down Evan, giving Jamie the easy pin. As usual, WCW referee prove themselves to be such brilliant minds.

Rating: D+. Evan wasn’t the best worker in the world to start and now they’re having him do stuff he isn’t exactly ready to do yet. Jamie is talented enough to do a lot in WCW, though of course I can’t imagine they’ll actually go anywhere with him other than just having the same matches over and over. Splitting the two teams into three was a nice short term concept but as usual it didn’t have anywhere to go.

Jamie runs 3 Count off. Music hater.

The Boogie Knights don’t like Konnan but Gene doesn’t like Disco’s hat.

Hardcore Title: Reno vs. Crowbar

Reno is defending. Thankfully Crowbar drops his 70s clothes on the way to the ring since he barely interacts with Awesome anymore. Reno starts with some kendo stick shots before opting for trashcan shots to the head. He’s nothing if not versatile. Crowbar comes back like it’s nothing (because it pretty much was) and splashes a chair onto the champ, meaning it’s time for a ladder. To be fair the match is like a minute and a half old so the next step much be a ladder. A splash and a moonsault onto the ladder onto Reno don’t even get two so it’s time for more chopping.

The ladder is set up in the corner but Reno’s suplex is left a good bit short and Crowbar barely makes contact. You had to see something like this coming eventually. Roll the Dice is broken up so Reno settles for a t-bone suplex, only to get dropkicked out to the floor so Crowbar can drop a ladder onto him for a painful crash. Crowbar puts him on a chair on the floor for a clothesline off the apron and they fight up the aisle with Reno suplexing him near the entrance. A quick trip to the back goes nowhere so here’s Vito to kick Reno off the stage, setting up Crowbar’s splash for the pin and the title.

Rating: C-. Good enough for a hardcore match here and it’s nice to see Crowbar finally getting some recognition for how talented he really is. Unfortunately the division barely exists and there’s no reason to believe that this is going to lead anywhere for Crowbar. There were some good spots here too and that’s as much as you’re going to get in a match like this.

Mike Awesome and the Misfits celebrate with the new champion.

Konnan vs. Disco Inferno

Kidman is on commentary as Konnan jumps Disco at the bell. An armbar doesn’t get Konnan anywhere and it’s Disco stomping away in the corner. Disco and the referee (Scott Armstrong, oh he of the hitch in the count) get in an argument over choking, which means we get another discussion of Road Dogg. Konnan makes a quick comeback but the Animals ave to take out Wright. The distraction lets Konnan get in a quick X Factor for the pin.

Mike Awesome doesn’t think much of Booker and/or Scott Steiner.

Now we get a sitdown interview at what looks like a restaurant (minus food of course) with Mark Madden talking to the Cat, with Ms. Jones who seems to be there to give us something to look at. They manage to stay civil for all of two seconds before Cat calls him greasy. I would say just like the food but again this is a restaurant without actual food.

Cat keeps going with something about wanting to be anti-establishment and how much he wants to hurt Madden. He’s also not a fan of Ric Flair being around forever and then gets into a stupid discussion of Battledome. Yes that’s still a thing and they’re really still doing it for reasons that I’ll never understand. Oh and he’ll fight Shane Douglas anytime. The thing just kind of ends after A LOT of yelling at Madden with Cat really just going insane instead of really sounding coherent or having a point, aside from maybe Battledome.

Steiner goes into Sanders’ office and asks if he can get anger management courses to avoid losing his title shot. That’s rather out of character for him so he grabs Mike by the throat and threatens to kill him if this doesn’t work. That’s more like it.

Mayhem ad.

Here’s David Flair to accuse Rey Mysterio of being the father. Why in the world is this still a thing, especially since Stacy hasn’t been on TV in weeks? Rey says he isn’t the father but he’ll be David’s daddy tonight. Uh, isn’t David’s daddy already a character on the show?

Rey Mysterio vs. David Flair

Rey starts fast with a springboard splash for two but David, in street clothes, takes it outside for a chop against the barricade. The commentary focuses on Battledome of course as Tygress knocks David out with a hard forearm, setting up back to back Bronco Busters on David. A springboard legdrop to the back of the head puts David away with ease.

Shawn Stasiak vs. Kevin Nash

Not so fast of course because Stasiak brings out Kronik for some backup. Sanders advises Kronik to head to the back because this isn’t worth losing their pay over. They do indeed leave….and the Thrillers turn on Nash for the big beatdown. So Nash is a face? Again? And forget the whole Stasiak face turn I guess? Booker comes in for the save for no real logical reason.

Nash is checked out by the trainers.

Scott Steiner video.

Luger and Bigelow seem to be in cahoots for the main event tonight. Thanks for clearing that up for us WCW.

Lance Storm vs. Meng

Storm isn’t happy with Meng’s job against Sgt. AWALL last week, which made it even more clear that if you want something done right, hire a Canadian. Kwee Wee and Paisley come out with Meng to continue one of the most confusing pairings in a long time. Naturally the two of them sit down on commentary because that’s how you get in bonus material on a wrestling show.

Meng shoves him around to start as Paisley says Angry Alan (the alter ego that comes out when Kwee Wee gets mad) a mini-Meng. Storm gets knocked to the floor and you can see the glitter on him from his match against Kwee Wee on Nitro. Back in and Storm’s clothesline has no effect but Skipper gets in a cheap shot so Lance can take over. A Samoan drop plants Storm but it’s time for Meng to go after the other Canadians for a double countout.

Rating: D. Nothing match here but at least the right guy won while they kept Meng looking strong. Paisley got on my nerves by arguing with Stevie during the entire match but it makes sense that she would be annoyed at being called a yak for weeks. Meng and Kwee Wee have potential as a goofy team and I’ve heard worse ideas. It was a bad match but the right result so at least they’re getting something right.

WCW World Title: Booker T. vs. Mike Awesome

Booker is defending of course. Awesome is all fired up to start and gets in Booker’s face, finally showing some fire instead of his Saturday Night Fever influences. A headlock doesn’t get Mike anywhere as Booker gets in a dropkick for an early advantage. Awesome clotheslines him out to the floor and sends Booker into the barricade before hitting Booker in the back. Maybe he learned that by watching Booker do it to Nash on Monday.

The beating continues for far too long on the floor before some stomps get two on the champ. The fans finally get the table they’ve been requesting all match and of course the announcers act like this is perfectly normal. Stevie on Booker: “I know this guy like a book. Do you know why?” Tony: “Because he’s your brother?” At least he didn’t say “because his name is Book.”

The running Awesome Bomb through a table doesn’t work so Awesome throws him through the table for two instead. You could hear the fans gasp at that kickout. Mike misses the Awesome Splash and gets caught in the sidewalk slam for two. The ax kick gets an even closer two but the Bookend retains the title.

Rating: B-. Best match they’ve had in weeks here and oddly enough the match that got more time than anything else. It’s so funny how that works. Awesome being more serious would only be a good thing for him as he’s more than talented enough to make it on his own without a gimmick. Anyway this was a fun match and I had a good time with it, completely unnecessary table spot aside.

We go to the back to Lanita Ericson, who looks like Pamela Paulshock crossed with the bad version of Madusa. She’s interviewing future MMA fighter/wrestler Bob Sapp, who has signed with WCW. Sapp was an NFL offensive lineman and decided to make a career change to wrestling. That should be a cakewalk but then he was taken down by a little guy named Sarge on his first day at the Power Plant.

Sapp plugs his upcoming boxing match/toughman contest with Refrigerator William Perry and I have no idea how this is supposed to make me want to keep watching. This new woman is HORRIBLE as well as she sounds like someone trying to get picked up at a bar. Terrible all around here and thankfully Sapp never wrestled for WCW.

Goldberg vs. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lex Luger

Actually hang on a minute as Kronik comes out before Goldberg and beat up the referee. Stevie: “This is all making sense now.” Tenay: “EXPLAIN IT THEN!”

After a break we see the Boogie Knights paying Kronik off. Dang Stevie was right. It did make sense earlier, assuming you paid attention.

Mayhem ad.

Let’s try this again.

Goldberg vs. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lex Luger

Goldberg fights them both off because this is one of those handicap matches called a triple threat in an attempt to make it more interesting. The villains are sent outside for a bit where they get things together, allowing them to take over inside. A beating on the floor keeps Goldberg in trouble but he easily powers out of Luger’s elbow drops. That’s enough for Luger as he walks out, leaving Goldberg to Jackhammer Bigelow for the pin.

Rating: D. The match has come and gone and I’m still not sure what it changed to make this a three way instead of just having the handicap match that it should have been. Goldberg winning was of course the obvious ending and it makes sense to have Bigelow take the pin but Goldberg vs. Luger is their big idea? That’s the best they’ve got? No wonder they are where they are right now.

Overall Rating: D+. Mayhem needs to get here already so we can wrap up some of these stories and get on to some fresh stuff. The midcard stuff has a few interesting ideas in there but they need to polish a lot of this show instead of just running it like they’ve been doing. The shows are passable enough but they need a few big changes to really make them good.

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