Thunder – January 10, 2001

Date: January 10, 2001
Location: X-Cel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota
Attendance: 4,500
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Stevie Ray, Tony Schiavone

It’s the final show before Sin and things aren’t looking all that interesting. The four way for the World Title has the potential to be an absolute disaster as Sid/Steiner/Jarrett don’t have the best chemistry in the world and it’s just asking for trouble whenever WCW brings in a surprise. The rest of the show isn’t looking great either so let’s get to it.

Ric Flair welcomes us to the show and talks about everything that’s going on over the WCW version of the World Title. Tonight it’s going to be Steiner defending the title against Sid because the Starrcade main event can be given away less than a month later on Thunder. The Mystery Man is in the room off camera and Flair promises to have him go after Steiner if things get out of hand. Enjoy the show. I’m sure I won’t but it’s a nice idea.

Opening sequence.

The announcers talk for a long time about the upcoming show.

Shane Douglas buys the Natural Born Thrillers’ services for the night.

Big Vito/Kwee Wee vs. Chuck Palumbo/Sean O’Haire

Johnny the Bull is with Vito and Kwee Wee. The announcers spend most of the match talking about how good Paisley looks (a fair point) as Palumbo drives Vito into the corner to start. A Japanese armdrag puts Chuck down before Kwee Wee comes in for two off a back elbow. Stevie thinks Kwee Wee looks like a Dragon Ball Z reject as Vito comes in to work on Palumbo. Tony tries to dub these Thrillers as the Power Plant Connection.

Sean gets two off a clothesline and we hit the choking. We get an Angry Alan appearance but Stevie is too busy asking the referee’s name. Sean and Vito clothesline each other and it’s off to Kwee Wee for some house cleaning. A DDT plants Palumbo for two with O’Haire making the save. Cue Reno to beat on Johnny and Vito, leaving Kwee Wee to take a Jungle Kick and the Seanton Bomb for the pin.

Rating: D+. I like most of the people in this match but it ran too long to get to the obvious ending with the Thrillers going over before their title match on Sunday. That’s the right call, though there might be something better than beating a random pairing before their title shot. And yeah I know it’s going to be a “random” pairing of the Thrillers but they’re not really hiding that it’s Palumbo/O’Haire.

Shane Douglas wants General Rection to find some partners for a six man tag again himself and the Thrillers.

The Misfits are watching and apparently Cajun and AWALL can’t wrestle tonight because of something about a blood test.

Lance Storm/Elix Skipper vs. Rey Mysterio/Billy Kidman

Jim Duggan is on commentary. Mysterio and Skipper get things going as Stevie asks Duggan if he’s going to call the Penalty Box match down the line. Kidman comes in for something like a sitout H Bomb but Storm gets in a cheap shot from the apron to take over. Duggan says he’d be willing to put the women in the box on Sunday and Stevie is THRILLED.

Kidman gets crotched on top again and it’s time for some Canadian double teaming. A top rope ax handle to the back keeps Kidman in trouble as the announcers talk about Sunday’s match like it’s a hockey game. Kidman’s comeback is quickly broken up as Duggan rants about how boring it was to talk to Team Canada. Skipper gets two off a dragon suplex but makes the mistake of trying a powerbomb on Kidman. For some reason Stevie thinks it’s called the Space Jam and even Tony groans at how stupid that sounded.

The tag brings in Mysterio to bulldog Storm and get two off his springboard splash. Everything breaks down (Duggan: “NO TAGS! PENALTY BOX! PENALTY BOX! PENALTY BOX!”) and Kidman suplexes Skipper for two. The women get into it as the Bronco Buster is broken up by a raised boot. Awesome’s attempted powerbomb on the floor is broken up by Konnan (because Kidman needs help against powerbombs) but Rey springboards into the Maple Leaf for the submission.

Rating: C+. Annoying commentary aside, this was quite the fun match. It’s a case of having four talented wrestlers and letting them take their time to set up a good performance. The Penalty Box match is going to be a mess but you have to expect that in a gimmick match on pay per view with Duggan involved.

The Misfits try to get their blood test but the Thrillers knock them out with ether. This feels like a WAY too complicated story that they’re setting up.

Post break Cajun and AWALL are ruled out of tonight’s six man tag. Rection yells at them as they vomit.

Shane and the Thrillers are very happy. Notice the bottle with a big ETHER label on it.

Kronik wants to hurt Totally Buff for the attack on Monday.

We run down the Sin card.

Morrus rants about how he’s ready for whatever odds but he happens to have partners in the Insiders. Nash spanks Gene for reasons I don’t want to know.

Steiner jumps Sid in the back.

Shane Douglas/Mark Jindrak/Shawn Stasiak vs. Insiders/General Rection

The good guys storm the ring and it’s a brawl to start with the villains being cleared out of the ring. Page clotheslines Jindrak a few times to start as Tenay brings up an interesting point: Page is going to be thrown off by mystery opponents because he can’t do his extensive planning. Lines like that make me miss good commentary because it actually tells you something instead of having the announcers sound stupid. Stasiak comes in and wants Nash, who is perfectly happy to kick Stasiak in the face. Rection adds a top rope elbow before it’s off to Shane for a bunch of kicks to the ribs.

Shane is right back out so Shawn gets his chance to beat on Rection in the corner. The Thrillers take turns stomping on Rection as Stevie yells about Shane not going in to beat on Rection when he has the chance. Shane comes in and Stevie isn’t happy with that either because there’s no pleasing him. The reverse Hennig neck snap sets up a front chancery as everything breaks down. Cue the Thrillers to go after the Insiders which somehow doesn’t warrant a DQ. In the melee, Shane gets powerslammed for the pin.

Rating: D+. So Stevie is never happy, the referee doesn’t call that a DQ and Shane gets pinned four days before his title shot. The Insiders continue to wrestle some of the better matches on the show but it’s mostly due to them working at such a slow pace that it’s harder for them to screw something up. Not a good match and it really didn’t set up much for Sunday, which has to be expected.

The Thrillers are ready for Sunday. Stasiak and Gene almost get in a fight and Gene threatens to have his guys from New Jersey break Shawn’s legs. Wait, MEAN GENE HAS MAFIA CONNECTIONS??? Why is this the least surprising thing I’ve ever heard?

Don Harris vs. Meng

Meng has the Hardcore Title with him and both Twins jump him at the bell, which of course isn’t a DQ. Meng fights back against Don and splashes him for two. They fight to the floor with Don taking over before going back inside to drop Meng with a clothesline. Some clubberin puts Harris down but it’s time for some twin magic, only to have Meng suplex Ron for the pin.

Kwee Wee comes out for the save from the post match beatdown, earning himself an H Bomb. Meng Death Grips both of them and beats up Jamie Noble, who comes out for no apparent reason.

Glacier vignette, with Norman Smiley saying he hopes Glacier got his fan letters.

Here’s the Cat with something to say. He promises to whip Sanders on Sunday but here’s Sanders for a “bombshell.” Apparently Miss Jones was hired to be the Commissioner’s assistant and since Sanders is still the Commissioner, she’ll be coming with him. So yes, they’re doing another damsel in distress/woman being held against her will story.

Ric Flair is on the phone with someone named Bill. Tenay thinks it’s Clinton.

Kronik vs. Totally Buff

It’s a brawl to start with Clark side slamming Buff for two to start. We hit a chinlock on Bagwell for a bit before Luger comes in to take half of a double clothesline. Buff hits Adams low to break up a full nelson slam but we cut to the back to see Goldberg arrive. Back in the arena it’s Luger and Adams clotheslining each other to set up a double tag. Clark cleans house as I guess Kronik is the face team here. Everything breaks down with Buff taking over until Goldberg comes out to almost no reaction. The spear misses Buff and hits Adams by mistake for the DQ.

Rating: F. This was a way to wait around for Goldberg to come out and that’s really not interesting. Totally Buff looked as worthless as any team I’ve ever seen out there as they were clearly not trying and just collecting a check before they could run away from Goldberg at the end. This story is so uninteresting and it’s killing Goldberg’s momentum.

WCW World Title: Sid Vicious vs. Scott Steiner

Steiner is defending but first of all Sid has to cut a rambling promo about how he’s going to win on Sunday like he did at Starrcade. Scott slowly pounds him down in the corner to start but Sid carefully walks him to the middle of the ring for a backdrop. A legdrop sends Scott rolling out to the floor where Midajah hits Sid with the pipe.

Back in and Steiner kicks Sid in the chest as the announcers debate Stevie’s height. Off to a chinlock with no torque from Steiner. Sid pretty easily gets up and kicks Scott in the face before sending him outside again. That goes nowhere so Sid chokeslams him for two back inside, only to have the Mystery Man jump the barricade and come in to break up the powerbomb for the DQ.

Rating: D-. This is WCW’s main event scene in a nutshell: two older guys who are both CRAZY fighting a slow paced and boring match that people don’t seem all that interested in because we’re waiting on some mystery man to come in for the finish. It’s another bad match and Sunday is looking worse and worse every day.

Sid fights them both off and unmasks the Mystery Man as Jeff Jarrett. The real Mystery Man comes out to stand next to Ric (with Tony calling him a mystery partner over and over) to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. It started off well with the long wrestling matches and limited talking but as usual we had the star power dragging everything down as only WCW can do. They’re getting back to being a combination of insultingly bad as well as dull and that’s a really scary place to be. Oh and then I get a three hour show in a few days. Great indeed.

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