Thunder – November 15, 2000

Date: November 15, 2000
Location: Evening News Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Stevie Ray

We’re still in England and we’re still creeping towards Mayhem where the inevitable Scott Steiner title reign is coming. Things are right back down in the depths where they were a few weeks ago and now the nice run they were on is over. Hopefully the stories make sense tonight. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Monday, which isn’t the best idea in the world.

Scott Steiner is angry on arrival and beats up a security guard.

Big Vito vs. Reno

We actually get a bit of the history leading up to this, which is basically I hit you and you hit me. They slug it out on the floor with Reno taking over, including a dropkick to the ribs for the first real advantage. Vito comes back with a clothesline and the good looking Mafia kick, followed by the equally good looking top rope elbow. There’s something about that move that makes it hard to screw up. Since this is starting to be entertaining, here are Jindrak and O’Haire with the former offering a distraction and the latter offering a superkick to Vito’s jaw. Roll of the Dice gives Reno the easy pin.

Rating: D+. Not enough time to go anywhere of course here and they didn’t need to have interference in a match like this. It also doesn’t help that Vito continues to lose no matter who he’s in there against. Reno doesn’t seem to be going anywhere but at least he got a win here, even if it’s over someone who should get better treatment.

Post match Reno challenges Vito for the Hardcore Title at Mayhem.

Here’s Ric Flair with something to say. He wants an answer on what Mike Sanders is going to do about the Cruiserweight Title (which was brought up on Monday) and also we’re getting a Hardcore Title match between Bam Bam Bigelow and champion Crowbar. As for Mayhem, it’s going to be the final match between General Rection and Lance Storm. Amen to that one.

Lance Storm puts the Canadian sticker back on the US Title and wants Booker T. for the World Title tonight.

Hardcore Title: Crowbar vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

Crowbar is defending and stands in the ring while Bigelow pulls out the tables. Just get straight to it I guess. Crowbar goes outside and sends Bigelow through one such table leaning up against the apron, followed by some trashcan lids to the head back inside. Well to be fair, trashcans and tables go together.

Bigelow sends him into a table but it doesn’t break. See, British furniture is quality. A splash misses Crowbar and puts Bigelow through the table, allowing Crowbar to send him outside for a chair shot to the back. Crowbar dropkicks a chair into Bigelow’s face but he comes back with a BIG chair shot of his own, or at least a very loud one. Bigelow puts Crowbar under the table for what appears to be a headbutt, only to have Mike Awesome come out and shove him off, giving Crowbar the pin to retain.

Rating: D+. This was more entertaining than most of the hardcore matches and that chair shot had a lot to do with it. Crowbar continues to be the most entertaining guy in this division though unfortunately it means he’s still here being wasted instead of doing something interesting. Fun enough match here though and that’s all you can ask for in these things.

Booker is tired of being disrespected and would love to fight Storm tonight.

Bigelow jumps Awesome in the back.

The Misfits are devastated by the loss of Major Gunns and contemplate splitting up. Realizing that means unemployment, Rection says they should stick together and they’ll keep going for now.

Kwee Wee vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kidman vs. Corporal Cajun vs. Lieutenant Loco vs. Elix Skipper

Elimination rules for the #1 contendership. Loco suplexes Skipper down to start and it’s already time for the women to get into it because that’s what they’re for in WCW. Cue AWALL to yell at Gunns so the women are thrown out, which is probably best for everyone. Cajun and Loco start double teaming Skipper….until the referee does his job by disqualifying them for being in the ring at the same time.

We get a rare break in a match and come back with Kidman baseball sliding Kwee Wee in the corner so Mysterio can hit the Bronco Buster. Skipper comes back in with a dropkick, allowing Kwee Wee to faceplant Kidman for a quick elimination. Kwee Wee holds Mysterio so Skipper can add a top rope spinwheel kick to eliminate Rey, getting us down to one on one. Before Kwee Wee can get anywhere, here’s Jim Duggan to help Skipper, only to have Meng come out and nail Skipper to give Kwee Wee the pin and the title shot.

Rating: C. They could have cut this down to three or four people and it would have been a much better match but any time I get to see Meng and Kwee Wee together, my world is just a little bit brighter. Kwee Wee vs. Sanders doesn’t do much for me but the division is such a death trap right now that it doesn’t make much of a difference.

The Boogie Knights aren’t worried about facing Konnan and a mystery partner tonight.

Ric Flair has a mystery opponent for Sanders tonight.

This week’s interview is with Buff Bagwell, who is frustrated over his lack of a chance around here. He’s been around for a long time but for some reason he’s never been given the ball. For some reason he’s never been given the chance like Luger, Sting and Jarrett. Somehow he’s never had a singles title, which actually surprises me even to this day. You would think he might get a token US Title run in there somewhere. Buff wants Jarrett at Mayhem.

Mike Sanders is on the phone with Jeff (presumably Jarrett) and thinks Buff has no respect for the veterans. So he doesn’t respect himself?

WCW World Title: Booker T. vs. Lance Storm

Booker is defending of course and I still don’t understand why the champ is always on in the middle of the show. Before the match, Storm demands respect before he brings dignity back to the WCW World Title. They trade arm holds to start before Booker kicks him down for a standoff. Storm gets in a shot of his own and they head outside with Storm sending him into the barricade to take over.

Back in and Storm hits that great looking superkick, followed by a springboard missile dropkick for two. The Bookend is countered into a neckbreaker for two and that annoying horn in the crowd keeps honking. Booker comes back with the ax kick but gets thrown into the Mapleleaf on the bad knee. I know he’s not tapping but point here for actually setting up some drama here. Booker gets out to the floor for the break for a bit, only to have Storm counter a suplex into a DDT for two back inside. Storm follows Booker to the top and shoves him down, only to dive into the Bookend to retain the title.

Rating: B. I had a great time with this one and both guys looked awesome. It’s amazing what happens when you let two talented wrestlers have some time to work a good match. Storm continues to be one of the shining stars of WCW and I almost always enjoy whatever he’s doing out there. Good stuff.

Team Canada runs in after the match but Booker quickly dispatches them, including a Bookend to Gunns. Stevie loses his mind with laughter.

The Boogie Knights are in the back, talking about whether Konnan will find a partner. Disco has an idea but he’ll need money. Gee I wonder what that means.

Cruiserweight Title: Mike Sanders vs. ???

There’s no opponent yet but here’s Ric Flair to say he has good news and bad news. First of all, this is going to be a non-title match. The bad news is it’s a non-title match because the opponent is almost 100lbs over the cruiserweight limit.

Mike Sanders vs. Kevin Nash

Nash starts with a very slow motion right hand, which Tony describes as high gear. Sanders gets thrown across the ring again and a side slam gets two as we see security holding the Thrillers back. Nash kicks him in the head and takes the straps down but here are the Thrillers for the DQ.

Rating: D. This was an angle instead of a match and another example of how bad things are if you’re a cruiserweight in 2000 WCW. Nash was squashing Sanders for about three minutes before the Thrillers came in, showing how valuable the Cruiserweight Title really is. At least Sanders didn’t get…..yeah I can’t finish that. This was a horrible way to treat a champion and proof that they need to keep the bigger guys FAR away from the top cruiserweights unless they change a whole lot first. Also well done on making back to back champions look bad.

The Thrillers beat Nash down.

Post break Nash is having his knee looked at.

The Cat/Konnan vs. Boogie Knights

Cat is of course a surprise partner. Wright grabs a wristlock to start before it’s off to Konnan, who somehow is the workhorse of his team. Some cheating has Konnan in trouble and Disco gets in a few good stomps. I still feel sorry for him having such a goofy gimmick because he really good work well in the ring. Back up and Cat tags himself in for a variety of kicks, followed by that dancing elbow to Disco.

It’s off to Wright for a quick double clothesline, though to be fair Cat had been wrestling for a good 45 seconds straight. Konnan comes in and blocks the Chartbuster but the referee gets bumped. Cue Kronik to chokeslam Konnan because the referee seems to be dead, allowing Disco to get the cheap pin.

Rating: D. What else are you expecting in a match like this? The Knights are underrated workers but Miller is one of the worst in the company at the moment. Konnan continues to be fine while still looking horribly lazy most of the time. At least he gets a reaction though and that’s what matters most.

Plug for Goldberg’s book.

Lex Luger is annoyed at not being in Goldberg’s book, which he can’t put down. He was there when Goldberg’s career began and he’s going to be there when the career ends.

Goldberg vs. Buff Bagwell

Goldberg starts fast with a gorilla press drop but Buff grabs the double arm DDT. That means it’s time for posing but Goldberg is on his feet first. The spear and the Jackhammer make Goldberg 19-0 in a hurry.

Goldberg helps him up post match.

Booker leaves.

Lethal Lottery Finals: Scott Steiner vs. Sting

Winner gets a title shot the night after Mayhem. Steiner hammers on him to start but gets backdropped to the floor where Sting hits him with a ball bat. They go to the announcers’ table (Sting: “Hey Stevie.”) with Steiner going face first into the wood. Back in and Steiner counters the Stinger Splash with a belly to belly. There are the pushups and a slam for two, followed by another belly to belly. Steiner is ticked off at the near fall so he cranks on both arms at once instead. We get the choking in the Tree of Woe but more pushups allow Sting to make his comeback, including a quick Death Drop for the pin out of nowhere.

Rating: D. So the solution to building up Sting is to have him get pinned clean in the middle of the ring. Sting winning is the only thing that makes sense here though because they built up this idea of getting a title shot the night after Mayhem. As usual they stop thinking with because they’d rather do a gimmick than set up something that makes long term sense.

Post match Steiner beats Sting down with the pipe and puts him in a straitjacket. A huge beatdown ends the show and puts Sting on the shelf until the final Nitro.

Overall Rating: D+. It much be a WCW law that the shows have to get weaker as they go. They would have been much better off closing with Booker vs. Storm for the World Title instead of setting up a #1 contender in the main event but they’re the “draws” I guess so therefore they must go on last. You would think the British shows would be better but somehow WCW manages to screw that up as well.

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