Thunder – June 28, 2000

Date: June 28, 2000
Location: Pershing Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska
Attendance: 3,439
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

We’re in such a weird place with WCW at the moment as they’re not very good at the moment but it’s SO much better than the Russo and Bischoff era. Russo and Bischoff seem to have destructed inside of the first two and a half months with Russo going home and Bischoff disappearing. This has given me such a good laugh as the fans somehow have more patience than they do for this nonsense. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – June 21, 2000

Date: June 21, 2000
Location: Breeden Fieldhouse, Bozeman, Montana
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay

We’re coming off the first not horrible show in a long time and hopefully Russo is still gone tonight. Bash at the Beach is coming up and normally you could figure out what’s coming but given how this is WCW in 2000, we might not have even come close to knowing what’s coming yet. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – June 14, 2000

Date: June 14, 2000
Location: Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Mark Madden

Welcome to your second weekly installment of Russo Theater featuring the Eric Bischoff Players. The big story at the moment is the departures of a lot of big names as Page, Sting and Flair are all gone, leaving us with Hogan/Nash/Steiner to fight off the forces of evil because we’re just lucky like that. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – June 7, 2000

Date: June 7, 2000
Location: Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tennessee
Attendance: 3,088
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

It’s the final show before the Great American Bash and this week’s Nitro was one of the biggest disasters I’ve ever seen. WCW has decided to make the old and new talent look horrible, aside from Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner, because they’re the future I guess. It can always get worse though so let’s get to it.

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Thunder – May 31, 2000

Date: May 31, 2000
Location: Idaho Center, Boise, Idaho
Attendance: 5,438
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

This is the third straight TV show where we’re coming in with a new World Champion, which isn’t even counting the mid-show title change from this past Monday. Maybe tonight we can start slowing things down a bit for a change. If we’re lucky, we might even get in some more Vince Russo stories! Let’s get to it.

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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.

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Thunder – May 17, 2000

Date: May 17, 2000
Location: Cajundome, Lafayette, Louisiana
Attendance: 3,066
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

So Ric Flair is the new World Champion and now it’s all about trying to find out how Russo can screw up having one of the most popular stars and best wrestlers in the company on top. Granted I’m sure some of it will involve Russo beating Flair up to affirm his manliness for the week because he seems to forget it every other show. Let’s get to it.

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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.

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Thunder – May 3, 2000

Date: May 3, 2000
Location: Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 3,979
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

It’s the go home show for Slamboree and David Arquette is still World Champion. They’ve done a horrible job of setting up the triple cage match as the gimmick has barely been mentioned outside of a video on it early in the buildup. Instead it’s all about David Arquette, who wouldn’t prove to be the strongest draw. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – April 26, 2000

Date: April 26, 2000
Location: War Memorial, Syracuse, New York
Attendance: 1,269
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

Before we get to perhaps the most humiliating moment in wrestling history, I need to know how you only get 1,200 people to a TV taping in 2000. Less than two weeks earlier, ECW drew 1,700 at the house show where Taz returned and won the World Title. The company is on the brink of a free fall and tonight it goes over the edge. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – April 12, 2000

Date: April 12, 2000
Location: World Arena, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Attendance: 3,118
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

Now this is the interesting show for me as Monday was all about setting up this new world. This show is the first time where we get to see how things are going to work under the Russo and Bischoff regime. I thought Monday’s show was a disaster so maybe things can pick up tonight. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – March 29, 2000

Date: March 29, 2000
Location: Astro Arena, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 5,727
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

This show is pretty much worthless given what’s coming in a few weeks. Therefore, it’s just another week of meaningless Thunder so at least it’s a regular show. The promotion is so dull at this point that there’s only so much they can do to make this last night before the reboot interesting. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – March 22, 2000

Date: March 22, 2000
Location: TD Waterhouse Center, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 2,443
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

Now stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Hulk Hogan’s buddy (and by buddy I mean someone he’s talked to twice) has turned on him and laid him out to end a show. Other than that we’ve still got Sting vs. Team Package because those three are joined at the hip for all eternity, doomed to wrestle each other forever, much like those fans stuck in the airport asking commentators and Kevin Nash about the goings on in WCW. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – March 15, 2000

Date: March 15, 2000
Location: Patriot Center, Fairfax, Virginia
Attendance: 5,891
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

It’s the go home show for Uncensored and it can’t come soon enough. Things have picked up a bit but there’s only so much you can do with the material they’re being given. The main event scene is crowded with the double feud of Sting vs. Luger and Flair vs. Hogan, leaving Jarrett vs. Sid over the World Title at third on the card. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – March 1, 2000

Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Fargodome, Fargo, North Dakota
Attendance: 5,368
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

We’re getting closer to Uncensored, meaning it’s time for more matches that people don’t want to see and characters old enough to be our parents. The big story continues to be Sid vs. Jarrett, with a co-main event of WCW vs. the fans in a battle to make us accept Jarrett as anything but the career midcarder that he is. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – February 23, 2000

Date: February 23, 2000
Location: Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada
Attendance: 3,777
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

After Monday it’s very clear that this is the old guys/NWO (assuming you still think of them as the NWO) show. The wrestling has taken a backseat to “let’s see how simple a feud the old guys can put together” and it’s really not working too well. There have been a few glimmers of light with some young guys getting some upgrades lately and hopefully they continue tonight. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – February 16, 2000

Date: February 16, 2000
Location: First Union Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 5,586
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay

It’s the go home show for SuperBrawl and the old guys abound. The big stories here are Hogan vs. Luger and Flair vs. Funk, one of which I can’t imagine appearing tonight because he’s worked the last two shows in a row. Other than that we get to find out if Prince Iaukea or Psychosis gets to fight Lash Leroux for the Cruiserweight Title. I continue to beg WCW to hire some fresh talent before too late sounds like great days gone by. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – February 9, 2000

Date: February 9, 2000
Location: Myriad
Convention Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 7,124
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The NWO has never had
problems like this before! I mean they’re fighting amongst
themselves and beating each other up! Other than that, the question
here is which veteran is going to rip the company apart tonight and
then get a big match instead of getting suspended or fired like they
should. Let’s get to it.

Jarrett, the Twins and
Hall arrive separately.
Cruiserweight Title
Tournament Semi-Finals: Lash Leroux vs. Shannon Moore
cuts off the performance this week, making him twice as annoying.
Granted that’s not saying much as he isn’t very annoying in the first
place. 3 Count gets involved early and pulls Lash to the floor,
allowing Shannon to hit a moonsault for two back inside. Lash blocks
a spinwheel kick and sends Shannon into the corner, where he counters
a bodyscissors and drops Moore chest first onto the buckle. A
dropkick gets two on Shannon and he gets planted with something like
an AA. Evan offers a distraction so the other bandmates can come in,
only to be taken down by a double clothesline. Lash rolls Shannon up
for a fast pin.
Norman Smiley breaks up
the post match beatdown and promises to beat all of them up at
Time to run down the
the NWO, meaning just Jarrett and the Twins, with something to say.
Jeff wants quiet from the fans before he starts beating up their
heroes. Fans have been asking why Jeff did what he did on Monday
when he attacked Hall. Who are these fans? I want them flogged.
Hall was trying to take Jarrett’s title shot, even though he would
get the title match anyway at SuperBrawl. Jarrett makes Sid/Funk vs.
the Twins tonight just to screw with the champ. Tenay: “What’s
wrong with that?”
Cue Hall, who reads HEY
YO off a piece of paper. He doesn’t remember choosing Jarrett as the
boss because Jeff doesn’t remember the time up north. Jeff has been
invited into the clique down here and now he thinks he’s running the
show. He’s just the acting commissioner until Nash comes back, so
here’s Nash…..on the screen. Nash tells the women to stop with the
massage for now because he has to yell at Jarrett.
Jeff can’t be left
alone for five minutes and as a result, he’s no longer commissioner
in any capacity. Back in Amazing Fantasy #15 in Spider-Man’s first
appearance, it was said that with great power comes great
responsibility. Jarrett did something bad to someone Nash cares
about, so Jeff has to be punished.
The first idea was to
cover him in barbecue sauce and put him in a cell with Meng, but then
he had a better idea: leave him on a deserted island with Zbyszko so
Larry can tell him about the time when he was on top of the
territory. Hall: “NO KEV NOT THAT!” Nash can be a funny guy
when he feels like it. Instead, how about Hall vs. Jarrett tonight
with the title shot on the line. The survey says the fans approve
(or maybe they just want to go home) and that’s that. So to be
clear, this week the Outsiders are faces.
Jarrett is livid after
a break.
Title: Demon vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Demon does his entrance
from the coffin and gets hit with a crutch for the pin in three
seconds. This is part of the “let’s bury Demon because we agreed
to a deal with Kiss and then realized it was stupid but we have to
fulfill our obligations” period.
Funk and Sid are ready
for the Twins tonight.
Crowbar listens to Kiss
because he’s crazy.
Booker vs. Stevie
would ask why not wait for SuperBrawl, but I guess you have to do
this match while Booker is still out on bail for that attempted
murder thing. Booker doesn’t want to fight his brother, but a Biggs
distraction lets Stevie get in some cheap shots. A few kicks put
Stevie down and Booker beats up Biggs, followed by a chair to Stevie.
Booker leaves and there was no match.
on the phone, isn’t cool with Jarrett spending $57,000 on guitars
last week so he makes Luger vs. Finlay for tonight.
wants Hogan but will settle for Funk at SuperBrawl. They really are
just doing the greatest hits catalog aren’t they?
Kidman vs. Crowbar
This could be good.
Crowbar charges into the ring and Kidman pounds him down like a
villain, or someone with a reason to be mad at Crowbar, would do.
Back up and Crowbar intentionally throws dropkicks that miss for some
taunting but Kidman just punches him in the face. They head outside
with Kidman being whipped into the barricade, setting up a splash off
the barricade. Well at least they’re keeping it moving so far.
in and Crowbar gets dropkicked out of the air, setting up the Bodog
for two. The BK Bomb gets the same but Crowbar counters a
headscissors into a kind of reverse Batista Bomb. I’ve always
thought a reverse powerbomb would be a good finisher for someone.
Kidman is in trouble but Torrie easily distracts the referee,
allowing Crowbar to grab the crowbar. Crowbar takes a crowbar though
and Kidman hits a quick hurricanrana for the pin.
These two are rapidly becoming some of my favorite people on the
show. Crowbar may not be the most technically sound guy in the world
but he’s playing his character so well that it’s hard not to like
him. Kidman is probably the most polished worker on the roster right
now (or at least the most polished who is actually trying) and it’s
really showing.
Crowbar whips himself
into the steps. That’s quite the dedication.
The NWO sends their
women away.
Sid Vicious/Terry
Funk vs. Harris Brothers
comes out first because the title has no value these days. Jarrett,
of course wearing the US Title which he has shown no signs of
defending yet, is on commentary. Ron and Sid start with Ron taunting
Funk, drawing him in for a Twins’ double team. Just like last week,
Sid fights them off with ease because they’re the Harris Twins,
allowing Funk to come in and cover Don for two. A DDT gets the same
and it’s off to Ron for a chinlock.
Funk fights back with a
shoulder as we hit slapnuts #5 from Jeff. The hot tag (more like
mild and party cloudy) brings in Sid for a chokeslam and cobra clutch
slam to Ron. Don takes a piledriver on the exposed concrete but Sid
gets hit low to keep the match going. Funk puts Don on a table at
ringside as Sid chases…..I guess Ron to the back, allowing Jarrett
to guitar Funk through the table to give Don the pin.
I guess this is the match that got the extra time after Knobbs vs.
Demon. That being said, I’d love to hear the validation from the
creative team as to how this is the best use for the World
Heavyweight Champion who has spent weeks battling the forces of evil
to finally win the belt. Lame tag match but at least Jarrett gets
one up on the champ, by beating his tag partner who first retired
seventeen years ago.
Flair wants to team up
with Luger so Luger can break Funk’s arm on Monday while Luger deals
with Hogan. The youngest person in this story: Lex Luger at 41.
Total Package vs.
Fit Finlay
Before the match, Luger
(can we please go back to that being his official name?) talks about
beating up Hogan and Funk with help from Flair, who is referred to as
a protege. Thankfully Finlay comes out so I don’t have to feel the
explosion of the space time continuum from that statement. Finlay
works on the arm to start, stomps away in the corner and then gets
hit in the leg by a ball bat shot from Liz for the fast DQ.
Luger Pillmanizes
Finlay’s arm and Brian Knobbs comes out to get in a shot of his own.
On Finlay of course, because he doesn’t seem to remember Luger
breaking his arm so recently.
This Week in WCW
2XS (Lenny and Lodi,
now known as Idol) isn’t worried about Miss Hancock leaving them
because they don’t need a stupid gimmick. They’ll take the titles
Tag Team Titles: 2XS
vs. Mamalukes
Italians are defending but get jumped in the aisle, which is becoming
a very common trend in WCW. Tenay ignores talking about the match to
plug DDP’s new book as Vito gets stomped down before he can even take
the belt off. Cue Hancock for some gratuitous leg shots and a rare
removal of the hair bun. My goodness that woman is beautiful. She
hands some papers to the announcers and leaves which they can’t seem
to understand. Idol DDTs Johnny but Disco breaks up the pin. Disco
and Idol ram heads and Vito’s implant DDT is enough to retain. The
match was a backdrop for Hancock’s paper delivery.
Crowbar hits Disco with
a lead pipe and steals the belts.
Ernest Miller won’t say
where James Brown is.
calls out Ric Flair for a chat. Ric says it’s just like old times
because he’s still the greatest wrestler, athlete and lover in the
world. He isn’t pleased with ESPN for not naming him one of the
greatest athletes of the century but would rather talk about what’s
in the WCW Magazine he’s holding. It’s a list of the all time great
WCW stars and Flair is #2, after Hulk Hogan. Flair beats up the
magazine (makes sense for him) but here’s Dustin Rhodes. Dustin
didn’t think much of Ric letting his son get beaten up on Monday when
all David wanted to do was impress his dad. David is more grown up
than Ric and those are fighting words.
Dustin Rhodes vs.
Ric Flair
back six years and this could be interesting. Rhodes takes over to
start by stomping Flair into the corner and suplexing him down but a
clothesline takes out the referee about twenty seconds in. A low
blow puts Dustin down but he avoids a knee drop and puts Flair in the
Figure Four. That earns him a Rolex to the face, giving Ric the pin.
Funk makes the save but Lex Luger hits the ring to take out Dustin
and rack Funk.
Scott Hall vs. Jeff
gets the World Title shot at SuperBrawl. Scott gets in some shots to
start but Jeff sends him outside for a beating from the Harris Twins.
Ron’s clothesline gives Jeff two and we hit the sleeper/sleeper
reversal sequence. Hall comes back with right hands and the fall
away slam as the fans are WAY into Scott. Just like Monday, the
referee makes sure to get right in the way of a flailing body, this
time with Jeff’s legs as he’s taken up for the Outsider’s Edge. No
count of course, allowing Jeff to pop up and hit the Stroke for three
off second referee Mark Johnson.
so fast though as the first referee gets up and says restart it so
Hall punches various people until a mic shot puts him down for two.
Jarrett misses a belt shot and takes one to the face, but this time
Johnson pulls Mickie Jay to the floor. Cue Sid and GOOD GRIEF JUST
LET THERE BE A PIN. Hall Edges Johnson and Sid powerbombs Jarrett as
the match is finally thrown out.
It’s Jeff Jarrett and Scott Hall. These two fought each other so
many times over the years that they probably know how to have at
least an average match through muscle memory, but we had run ins, ref
bumps, refs fighting and weapons in a six and a half minute match.
This is another case of “just let them wrestle”. It would make
everyone’s lives so much easier, which is why it’s never going to
This may not be the worst show ever, but it’s one of the laziest.
However, they do seem to be making some headway with some of the
stories. Luger and Flair as the new big bad is fine, even though I
can’t imagine Hogan and Funk as partners taking them down. The NWO
stuff is just killing this show though with the Twins as some of the
least interesting lackeys I’ve ever seen. There’s some watchable
stuff in there and if they would just find a better option for the
main event and upper midcard, this would be a far more watchable
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Thunder – February 2, 2000

Date: February 2, 2000
Location: Broome County
Arena, Binghamton, New York
Attendance: 2,323
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Scott Hudson, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The big story tonight
is going to be the return of Hulk Hogan, who was casually announced
to be coming back on Monday during a Shane Helms vs. Norman Smiley
match. I’m not sure how much good Hogan can do to save this mess of
a show, but at least he’ll do boring stuff with some extra charisma.
Let’s get to it.

We open with the
standard recap of Nitro.
Here’s the NWO,
complete with Scott Hall, to open things up. Hall can’t quite get
HEY YO out so let’s look at the girls talking about what a sexy beast
Scott Steiner really is. That brings us to still acting Commissioner
Jeff Jarrett, who says that it’s still his job to make Sid miserable.
Therefore, tonight we’re getting Sid in Triple Threat Theater. You
cannot be serious. Like, tell me you didn’t just say that.
Somehow this is true,
and here’s the lineup: a submission match vs. Mike Rotunda, a
hardcore match vs. Rick Steiner and Caged Heat (could they at least
try to hide their cries of PLEASE WATCH OUR SHOW) against the Harris
Twins. Jeff repeats that he takes bribes, making me think this is
the result of a bet to see how horrible of a show they can possibly
put together.
The announcers run down
the card, which will have nine matches total. Three of these will
feature Sid Vicious. How much longer before this company goes out of
A limo arrives.
The NWO buys off
referee Slick Johnson.
Norman Smiley vs.
The Demon
a line I think I’ll be repeating a lot tonight, let’s get this over
with. Norman is in the Demon attire here but Demon comes out of his
coffin to start fast. Demon rips his gear off Norman, revealing
smiley face trunks. This earns Norman a suplex and a punch to the
face, followed by a lot of growling from Demon. A clothesline in the
corner staggers Norman, but he quickly goes behind Demon and hooks
the Conquest for the win.
Demon, ever the
salesman, shrugs off the submission and chases Norman to the back.
Lenny Lane and Lodi are
now to be called Lane and Idol and are collectively known as To
Excess. Yeah sure why not. As long as they drop the incest.
Sid Vicious vs. Mike
match because WCW thought making Kevin Sullivan booker was so
important that we don’t have the Radicalz anymore. There is however
one cool moment in this entire thing: an elderly woman is holding up
a sign that says “90 year old woman needs a hug” and Sid hugs
her. I know he’s annoying and being shoved down my throat but that
genuinely gave me a bit of a smile.
tries a go behind to start and gets elbowed in the face. Just like
at Syracuse back in ’81. Sid pounds away in the corner but misses a
running knee, allowing Mike to take him down and slap on a Figure
Four. That goes nowhere so Mike tries an STF but Sid quickly makes
the ropes. Back up and Sid hits a chokeslam but Mike but Mike hits
him low. Well in theory at least as the camera cut away, because all
of Ferrara and Russo’s schtick was fine but a low blow? That’s too
far. Sid escapes a fireman’s carry and slaps on what is supposed to
be a Crossface for the win.
doesn’t have much to say but would like to face Kidman again.
We finally get brackets
for the Cruiserweight Title tournament. These are updated after the
first three matches.
The Artist Formerly
Known As Prince Iaukea
Lash Leroux
Shannon Moore/Shane
Cruiserweight Title
Tournament First Round: Shane Helms vs. Shannon Moore
out process to start with Shane getting in the first big move with a
suplex. Shane bails to the floor for no apparent reason other than
to let Shannon dive onto him. That’s what a good bandmate should do.
Sometimes you need a guy you can trust to dive on you. I hear
that’s how Hall and Oates got together. Back in and Shane scores
with another suplex for two but walks into a crossbody for the same.
told that Madusa is in the building, freaking out Evan Karagias who
is in on commentary. That’s one thing I certainly don’t miss about
Russo’s time: not every match needs guest commentary. He LOVED that
idea. Shane counters a sunset flip and slams Shannon down again,
only to miss a corkscrew moonsault. Shannon’s big offense here? A
snapmare for two. Oh come on man. You need a role model. Like Matt
Hardy. Back up and Shane kicks him in the ribs but his neckbreaker
is countered into a backslide of all things to send Shannon to the
A snapmare and a backslide? REALLY? We went from Mysterio,
Guerrera, Malenko, Jericho and others tearing the house down to a
snapmare and a backslide? The match was watchable enough but man,
could we get more than one or two high spots in a match? Not a
horrible match given their lack of experience on this stage and
having about three and a half minutes.
hug it out post match.
Madusa tells the NWO
she wants a match tonight.
Hogan was in the limo.
Again, you would expect this to be treated as a bigger deal.
Hogan for the big return speech for a big ovation. It’s definitely
Hulk instead of Hollywood here, which is definitely the right move at
this point. Hogan talks about having a chat with Goldberg and Sting
about all the pre-taped scenes and the writers (oh geez) and now he’s
here to get something off his chest. He’s tired of a bunch of young
nobodies trying to act like they mean something. Ric Flair has been
talking about taking the business back and for once Hogan agrees with
brings him to Luger, presumably one of the young guys, who
immediately comes out with Liz. Luger thinks Hogan is a coward, just
like Sting who never comes out when Luger calls for him. We see a
clearly fake Sting (complete with a wig) coming to the ring but Hogan
jumps Luger before that can go anywhere. Liz gets an atomic drop
(with Hogan barely dropping her) and Hogan ducks a bat shot to send
Luger running. So that’s the co-main event at SuperBrawl I’m
Quick recap here: all
the rookies suck, and all the veterans are awesome, except for that
horrible Luger. This is the savior’s big return speech, where he
rips the youth apart and basically says everything since he’s been
gone has been a waste of time. Also, not a word about what happened
at Halloween Havoc, meaning we’re never going to get an explanation.
Kidman and Torrie have
the KidCam.
Jeff Jarrett talks to
Oklahoma about a women’s division. We’re really doing this again?
Kidman vs. Vampiro
vs. The Wall
The small guys go after
Wall to start with a spinwheel kick and double clothesline putting
him on the floor so we can have a talented (though worthless
according to Hogan) pairing. Vampiro suplexes him down but Wall
comes back in and blasts Vampiro in the back, followed by a gorilla
press drop to Kidman. The double teaming continues but Wall shrugs
off a cross body.
Instead, Torrie
distracts the crooked referee (at least he has good taste), allowing
Kidman to blast Wall with a chair. Those are completely no sold
(concrete over steel I guess) so Kidman throws the chair at Vampiro
and is immediately knocked to the floor. A chokeslam from Wall ends
Vampiro to finish a fairly packed yet quick match. So after Vampiro
and Kidman have two good matches, Wall gets the push. Raise your
hand if you’re surprised.
Sid is ready for
Lane and Idol want a
Tag Team Title shot but the Mamalukes aren’t interested.
Sid Vicious vs. Rick
match, and I can’t believe it but they actually bring up Sid
powerbombing Steiner through the stage a few months back. Who would
have guessed they could work a tape machine, let alone remember that?
Steiner tries to get smart and is almost immediately clotheslined
out to the floor. They fight into the crowd with Rick chucking a
chair towards ringside, nearly wiping out a fan or two in the
process. Maybe he can get fired! I’m willing to have a few fans
suffer to get rid of Rick Steiner.
Rick can’t entirely
suplex Sid onto a table but drops him on it anyway. Close enough I
guess. We hit the front facelock on the outside after a devastating
two minutes of not wrestling. A whip into the barricade and chair to
the back…..seemingly fire Sid up as he comes back with a chair of
his own and they head towards the entrance. Sid ducks for a backdrop
but someone blasts Steiner with a bat, allowing Sid to get an easy
So let’s get this straight: Sid won the title twice last week in
three matches in two days and now he’s having three matches in one
night after winning the title? Who writes these contracts? Hogan
only had to wrestle at three Starrcades out of the six he was around
for but Sid can wrestle seven times in four shows?
This Week In WCW
Hogan leaves.
Diamond Dallas Page
vs. The Machine
Now here’s an
interesting case. Throughout the night there have been vignettes for
the Machine, who is apparently coming. Machine was a masked man
named Emory Hale (also spelled Hail at times) who floated around WCW
for years because he had a great look and could conceivably be turned
into a good monster. The problem was that even after years of
training, he was one of the absolute worst workers in history. I
distinctly remember watching this match for one very infamous spot
and I’m curious to see if it’s as bad as I remember it.
gets a big, overblown entrance with a silhouette entrance with Hudson
wanting to know why the Machine is here. It’s not really that
surprising. Everything else in WCW is stuck in 1986 so why not bring
back the Machines? Machine shoves him into the corner a few times
but Page grabs some armdrags to put him down. There’s the discus
lariat followed by a Cactus Clothesline as Page is in full control.
This has been acceptable so far and Machine keeps the level up with a
low blow and snake eyes before jumping up and down to stomp Page on
the mat.
A Russian legsweep with
little snap gets two and a World’s Strongest Slam plants Page again.
Now here’s the big moment. Machine goes up top, in the corner on the
far left from the camera. That’s important as Page shakes the rope
to crotch him, but for some reason he shakes the rope facing the
entrance, meaning a rope that Machine wasn’t touching. This must
have thrown Machine off as he jumps halfway across the ring to crotch
himself on the ropes instead of just, you know, dropping down. Page
hits two more clotheslines (his fourth of the match) followed by the
floatover Diamond Cutter for the pin.
You know, bizarre spot aside, this wasn’t the worst match I’ve ever
seen. The problem here is they built Machine up as someone important
but Page beat him clean in four minutes. Page was getting back to
the style that worked so well for him so maybe putting him nearer the
top of the card could work. He’s old but at least he hasn’t been
near the top of the card for fifteen years or so and is relatively
Anderson says the Funk vs. Flair feud got him into wrestling. Wait
what? I’m not the best NWA historian in the world, but is there
another major Flair vs. Funk feud other than the one in 1989? I’m
sure they had matches before (I can find two World Title matches
between them in the early 80s and a tag match in 1985), but unless
I’ve never heard of it, they never did anything major other than
their famous matches. Anyway, Anderson respects both guys but he’s
wanting WCW to stand up to the NWO and wants the two of them to lead
the charge.
Villano IV vs. Tank
Meng is watching from
the back as the Villanos try twin magic and are both knocked out in
about a minute.
The Harris Boys talk
about being NWO and show why you never hear them speak.
Funk asks Anderson
whose side he’s on but Arn won’t answer.
Mamalukes vs. David
and Crowbar starts with the Bull. Disco is on commentary again and
asks a good question: why are these teams always paired together? As
the match we’ve seen a few times already continues, we see Daffney go
up to Ms. Hancock for watching the match, but let’s cut away from
that and see Crowbar hitting a slingshot splash for two. That’s not
the worst idea in the world.
comes back with a gorilla press drop and brings in Vito before it’s
off to David, who is brought in by Crowbar throwing him over the
ropes. Makes sense. David dances over to Vito and gets kicked in
the face for his efforts. Vito comes off as a Saturday Night Fever
enthusiast, which is possibly why I’ve always kind of liked him.
Vito drops a middle rope elbow for two and it’s back to Johnny. The
hiptoss into the powerbomb is enough to set up the tag back to Vito
as the beating continues.
goes back to the middle rope for a knee drop but David rolls away.
Granted he rolled towards the corner and hit Vito’s knee because the
idea of left and right is too complicated for him but at least he
tried. Crowbar comes in off the hot tag and everything breaks down
with Vito hitting the Impaler on David but Daffney offers a
distraction. In the melee, David hits Vito with the crowbar to give
Crowbar the fluke pin. Longest match of the night here at about
Disco brought up a good point: why are these teams always fighting?
Is there no one else that you can put in there against the champions
instead of Flair and Crowbar? You have a roster this big and they
don’t have a combination to put together against the Italians? The
match was watchable as long as Crowbar was in there and Vito was his
usual self.
Sid Vicious vs.
Harris Twins
is inside Caged Heat because that’s how WCW thinks it gets ratings.
They start fighting in the aisle and the Twins knock the World Champ
onto a table. That goes nowhere so they try this cage thing with the
Twins stomping away in the corner. A bunch of elbow drops have Sid
in even more trouble and they clubber him down to keep the advantage.
There is zero reason for this to be in a cage so far.
hit the chinlock less than three minutes in and my goodness just
close this company now. It’s early 2000 and I’m watching one of the
Harris Twins chinlock World Champion Sid Vicious inside Hell in a
Cell on a Wednesday in front of 2,300 people in Sid’s third match of
the night. Sid fights back, throws we’ll say Ron over the ropes and
powerbombs Don for the pin, wrapping this up in less than four
minutes, giving him a total in ring time of about ten and a half
minutes for three gimmick matches.
If you need an explanation, you fail as a wrestling fan.
Post match the NWO
raises the cage and comes in to destroy Sid as the cage….doesn’t
lower back, again defeating the purpose of the cage being there in
the first place. Steiner puts him in the Recliner and Sid gets spray
painted as Jarrett promises to make Sid miserable to end the show.
There was some good stuff going on with this show but my goodness
HIRE SOME NEW PEOPLE. WCW still had money at this point and there
had to be someone out there they could snatch up. I know the main
event is Valhalla and no one new is cracking into it, but get someone
new to fill out the midcard. It’s a bad show but the main event
stories are doing most of the damage. Oh and Hogan saying the young
guys are worthless. That was bad too.
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Thunder – January 26, 2000

Date: January 26, 2000
Location: MGM Grand
Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 6,323
Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We have a new World
Champion in Sid Vicious but something tells me we’re in for some
shenanigans. In other news tonight, Terry Funk has promised to bring
in reinforcements against Kevin Nash. I’m sure this has nothing to
do with Arn Anderson talking to some guy named Champ who needed to be
told to put on his pants. Let’s get to it.

In case you were
wondering, of the 6,323 in attendance, 2,510 were paid.
Quick recap of Nitro’s
World Title situation.
Gene calls out Sid for
a chat to start. Sid must be on top of the world and talks about
standing up for WCW on Monday. Well no one did for almost all of the
NWO civil war (including Schiavone) so better late than never I
guess. The NWO tried to block the powerbomb and he was still able to
win anyway because it wasn’t meant for the NWO to win every single
match. That kind of thinking would get you fired back in 1997.
Cue Nash and the NWO
with the boss saying this is one of the things he hates about being
commissioner. As commissioner, he has to abide by the stipulations
and the one from Monday was that Sid had to beat Ron Harris. He
shows us a clip of Sid using the powerbomb, which hadn’t been banned
at that point in the show, and pinning the wrong Harris brother. Now
we get to the stupid part: the clip continues to show Sid being
counted out of the ring because the match against Ron never actually
ended because Sid didn’t pin him. Therefore, Sid didn’t win.
So on Monday, the
referee counted Sid out and had the decision announced, and THE SAME
some things have to be done differently in wrestling and you have to
suspend some disbelief, but this goes into “there is no way someone
could possibly be this stupid” territory. Anyway, since Sid didn’t
win on Monday, the World Champion is…..Kevin Nash.
However, tonight Sid
will have a chance to get the title back inside Caged Heat against
Ron Harris and Nash himself. However, the powerbomb is still banned
and Sid has to pin Nash. Why Nash would do that isn’t clear, but
then again this is two title changes, Hell in a Cell and another
World Title match in two days so I really shouldn’t be surprised.
Gene reminds Maestro
that he has never performed here at the MGM Grand. Maestro is
offended and Symphony actually says “how rude”. Ok then.
The NWO has slot
machines delivered to their locker room.
Maestro vs. Norman
Maestro comes out with
his usual piano…..and Norman brings out a team of Las Vegas
showgirls. The girls dance to the ring with Norman, who of course is
wearing a white tuxedo and top hat because he’s awesome like that,
and do the spanking dance. Maestro jumps him from behind because
he’s a cultural swine. Smiley gets in a chair shot and it’s already
time for a ladder, which fits so well here for some reason.
The whip is reversed
though and Maestro sends Norman face first into the ladder and it’s
time to go backstage. I’m going on a limb and assuming this is
hardcore. Just thinking out loud of course. Norman is whipped into
a bunch of things and then through a table as they find a
sarcophagus. Well of course they do. Inside is…..the Kiss Demon,
because demons live in coffins right? Norman is terrified and passes
out so the Maestro covers him for the pin. It’s not long enough to
rate, but that may have been the most insane match I’ve seen this
year and it didn’t even run two minutes. That says a lot.
The NWO gambles a lot.
Liz and Luger have
Sting memorabilia
Cruiserweight Title
Tournament First Round: The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea
vs. Kid Romeo
Just like on Nitro,
Romeo starts fast and hits a quick Thesz press and sends Prince over
the corner and out to the floor for a meeting with Paisley. They
slug it out on the floor as Standards and Practices, in street
clothes this week, are here with Ms. Hancock, who certainly isn’t in
street clothes. Well maybe on certain streets but not the most
common ones.
Back inside and they
slug it out as Hancock sits on the announcers’ table. Romeo hits a
spinwheel kick followed by an enziguri and a missile dropkick for two
with Paisley offering a distraction. Romeo goes after her and gets
nailed in the back, setting up a reverse suplex to send Prince to the
second round. Can we see a bracket to this thing?
Jeff Jarrett hits on 18
and gets a 3 for 21.
Terry Funk vs. Kiss
Yes, this is a thing
that is happening. They slug it out to start (did you expect
anything less?) and Funk takes over with some very lame headbutts.
Some boot choking in the corner leads to Funk being thrown outside
but he whips Demon into the barricade, because Terry Funk is the
second biggest face in this company after Sid Vicious. Back in and
Funk gets annoyed that his neckbreaker only gets two, so he takes a
swing at the yellow bellied varmint Nick Patrick. Again, your hero
in this match.
A low blow and
butterfly suplex get two for Demon, because when you think of a
demon, you think of butterflies and suplexes. Funk ducks a right
hand and busts out the Tumbleweed, which you may know as Kiwi Roll.
Basically it’s a rolling sunset flip with Funk literally rolling him
around in a circle before stopping for the pin.
Terry Funk, the second biggest face in this company, just had a match
with the Kiss Demon. I want to hate this idea, but at least he’s
interacting with the younger guys. For some reason I can’t imagine
Nash actually knowing that the Demon wrestles for this company or
that he’s a character that actually exists. Points to Funk for that
at least. And I do mean least.
Kidman vs. Vampiro
Rematch from Nitro
where Kidman won a good match. Vampiro starts fast with a headlock
and shoulder, followed by a pair of suplexes. This would seem to be
your fast paced wrestling match of the night. I’m as shocked as you
are that Kidman is in this role yet again. Kidman’s right hands in
the corner don’t work that well and Vampiro sends him outside and
then into the barricade. So Vampiro is a face but acting heelish
here. Got it.
Back in and Vampiro’s
top rope spinwheel kick (a face move) gets two, followed by Kidman’s
hurricanrana for the same. More kicks from Vampiro look to set up an
electric chair but Kidman victory rolls him for not a victory. YOU
CAN’T POWERBOMB KIDMAN but he can bulldog you, only to have Vampiro
crotch him on top for a super Nail in the Coffin for the pin.
This has been another show where Kidman has the match of the night
and I’m sure it’s going to continue to get him nowhere. Well other
than with Torrie but that’s a different story. He’s still fun to
watch but you can add him to the list of people in WCW whose talents
are being wasted while we get more Sid vs. Nash.
Some cops investigate
gambling allegations against the NWO and there’s a Wayne Newton look
a like. This goes nowhere.
Total Package vs.
Buff Bagwell
My levels of apathy
towards Bagwell continue to reach new bounds. Buff takes over with a
slam to start and we’re already on the posing. I’m surprised they
even bothered with a move to start. Luger knees him in the ribs but
eats right hands in the corner, only to come back with an atomic
Two Lex clotheslines
lead to more posing and it’s time to choke a lot. An elbow gets two
and an elbow gets two and then Luger charges into an elbow. I’ve
heard of someone being all elbows but a match being one? A low blow
stops Buff’s comeback but Buff is up first and does his usual generic
offense. The Blockbuster connects but Liz comes in with the ball bat
for the DQ.
Good grief fire both of them. Luger somehow has even less of an
offense than when he wasn’t trying and Bagwell is getting even less
entertaining than he already was. I guess it’s time for Luger to
start breaking everyone’s arm in an attempt to make him an
interesting killer but for some reason I don’t see it working. These
two fought WAY too many times over the years.
Post match Luger gets
in more bat shots and goes to Pillmanize the arm but referees make
the save.
3 Count had an
autograph signing at the Nitro Grill when the Mamalukes came up and
started a fight. Music haters.
3 Count vs.
Mamalukes/Disco Inferno
We start with a
performance but the band has to dropkick the Mamalukes off the apron.
Some big dives take the Italians out again and Shane covers Vito for
two to start. Shane hammers away in the corner but gets powerbombed
out and kicked in the face for his efforts. Off to Johnny for
several lifts on a military press, followed by Disco coming in to
stomp away in the corner.
The middle rope elbow
misses though and it’s off to Evan. I’m not sure what to think about
four dancers being in the same match. Fandango must have been
watching this show. Evan speeds things up and cleans the bottom half
of the house before it’s off to Shannon as everything breaks down.
The double hiptoss into a powerbomb plants Moore though, setting up
the Last Dance from Disco for the pin.
Nothing to see here and it’s nice to see the champions get another
win, even if it’s at the expense of 3 Count. Yes they’re stupid but
they were so goofily entertaining that I can’t help but like them.
Disco is starting to find his groove as the manager/occasional
partner too, which is good for him as he deserves a little something.
Post match Vito sings
some Sinatra as the other two dance. This brings out David Flair,
Crowbar and Daffney to clean house, allowing Crowbar to play air
guitar as the others……dance?
Funk and Anderson are
looking for Sid. I really hope this isn’t revenge for London back in
This Week in WCW
Nash gives the roster a
pep talk. Quote: “Let’s go out there and put the old guys over!”
Booker T. vs. Jerry
has to be able to win this right? Like, he has to. Jerry jumps him
from behind to start and knocks Booker over the barricade. Please
don’t make Booker a hardcore guy. Jerry fires off a bunch of kicks
inside but misses another one in the corner. Booker hits his
signature kicks and the forearm, followed by the 110th
Street Slam (whipping spinebuster) for the quick pin. Thank
Anderson and Funk have
a meeting with Sid.
Ernest Miller reminds
us that he’s here and talks about loving Vegas to get the fans on his
side….but then says he hates the people here. After some old
school calling out a fat boy fan, it’s time to dance. Disco, 3
Count, Ernest Miller. The money in this company is a dance team
Kimberly says she’s
still friends with Buff even though she counted him down last week.
Nash has a meeting with
the Harris Brothers in the back.
Finlay and Knobbs hug
for some reason, allowing Knobbs to steal a wrench from Finlay’s
pocket. You would think Finlay would notice it missing.
Bam Bam Bigelow vs.
Fit Finlay
Winner gets a shot at
Knobbs for the Hardcore Title, which shows Knobbs to be a coward by
stealing the wrench. My goodness why does the Hardcore Title have a
better story than the US Title? Finlay grabs a headlock to start but
his shoulder block has no effect. Back up and Bigelow splashes him
in the corner as we see Knobbs watching from the back. Finlay gets
tired of selling and rolls outside to set up a table.
An attempt at a suplex
over the ropes and through the table is easily countered, allowing
Bigelow to go up, only to miss the headbutt. It should be wrench
times but Knobbs is a thief (maybe he can get a job in the criminal
field once the wrestling thing stops working for him), Bigelow hits
Greetings From Asbury Park (pretend Finlay’s head hit the mat) for
the pin.
The cage is lowered.
WCW World Title: Sid
Vicious vs. Ron Harris vs. Kevin Nash
Inside Caged Heat,
meaning the Cell and anyone can win but Sid must beat Nash. Also the
powerbomb is banned. Nash is defending and Ron is in a suit. We
again see the clip from Nitro which no one bothered to reference
because WCW announcers are off having ham sandwiches and finger
painting during commercials. The cage is chained shut as Harris and
Nash double team Sid like you would expect them to do.
They head to the floor
with Sid being knocked around the ring and Nash driving him into the
cage wall. It works so well that Nash does it again twice in a row
as this is total domination, as you would expect. For no apparent
reason, Nash and Harris go inside for a few seconds before coming
back outside to choke with a TV cable. They go inside again and, as
in every triple threat ever, the two in control argue over who gets
to cover.
Sid fights back for a
bit until Nash gets in a shot to the ribs to take over. They head
outside again with Sid going into the cage for I think the fifth
time. We get some blood from the arm but Sid finally blocks a ram
into the steel and takes over again. Harris is thrown inside for a
chokeslam (with Ron landing on his arm) and Sid pulls Nash down into
a Crossface of all things for the win and his second World Title in
three days and the seventh World Title change in nine days.
I don’t know if that’s meant as a knock on Benoit or just WCW trying
to be cute, but I can’t help but shake the idea that Nash would have
never tapped to Benoit in a million years. This was just a step
ahead of Kidman vs. the Wall inside the Cell, though it still ranks
as probably the second worst Cell match of all time. There was no
need for this to be in the cage, especially not two days after the
first match. Also, odds on the submission not counting because Nash
said Sid had to pin him?
Ric Flair of all people
comes out to applaud Sid, which is called a passing of the torch.
This company has gone from slow as molasses one week to WOULD YOU
PLEASE SLOW DOWN the next week. Things are going way too fast in the
World Title scene and it’s getting harder and harder to keep up
and/or care at this point. Flair is a welcome sight as you know
he’ll be at least solid if not very good. There’s good stuff on the
show but the gap between the main event and midcard isn’t going
anywhere. Welcome back to 1998.
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