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/12 January 2000

WCW Thunder by mdb




CRZ, from now on I want my report listed on the Slash main page as "The Best Damn THUNDER! Report Anywhere" because that's just what it is.

Zen question: If a second rate wrestling show changed day and time and no one was watching, would it make a sound? We find out tonight!

Zen question: What is the sound of one fan clapping? By the end of the year, WCW may just have the answer!

Zen question: Isn't there a special word for these zen questions? Xref the simpsons episode where Lisa trains Bart for putt-putt. Were they simply called paradoxes?

We are caught somewhere in time at the Civic Center in Erie, PA!

Show opens with Nitro highlights. Or more accurately, Nitro mid to low lights. The Old Age Outlaws debut, more old WWF superstars come to WCW, Terry Funk with a flaming branding iron... Go read CRZ's report if you haven't already. If you have read it, go ahead and read it again!

Clip from earlier today: Slapnuts Jarrett, Big Sexy Nash, and Poppa Pump Steiner arrive at the arena seperate from World champ and Canadian hero Bret Hart.

Match One: Vampiro (w/ incredible underpush) vs. one half of the tagteam champions of the world, Crowbar (w/ annoying theme music, David Flair w/crowbar and Daffney Duck w/ tag title belt and metal pole) If Vampiro was in the WWF, the bookers would hear the pops he gets and run with it, giving him at least a co-IC reign with Chyna Warrior Princess or a manager with big (fake) tits. In WCW we're left with a new cause: Where we once lamented WCW's attempt to hold Benoit down, now we can move on to wondering at the stupidity of WCW keeping Vampiro down (not that Benoit is being used anywhere near his full potential). Vampiro wrestling David Flair at the PPV. Come on. Just imagine a series of 10-20 minute matches against Steve Regal over the TV title. Imagine Vampiro and a healthy Fit over the Hardcore title. Damn, I wish Vamp would get to ECW to take on Tajiri. That would just f'n rule the f'n world.

Vampiro sneak attacks the Badlanders. Throws Storm into the safety rail then into the ring . Going for a uranage on David when Storm hits a nasty sunset plancha from the ring to the floor on the two. Storm tosses Vamp into the ring and does a slingshot splash back into the ring. He hits the Bossman middlerope splash. Vamp catches him though and comes back with a sweet uranage (take a look Rock) for the two. Big leg drop, series of kicks. Storm hits the release german suplex. Bodyslam. Slingshot flip gullitone legdrop on Vamp. Vamp hits a DDT out of nowhere. To the middle rope but David hits him with the crowbar. Storm goes for the top rope something but Vamp hits him with a super sitdown powerbomb. 1, 2, 3. Vamp wins! Vamp wins! (2:58.41) Badlanders beat down Vamp, Arn comes out to talk to David. Crowbar is going to attack double A but Arn takes him out with a kick and a punch. David walks out on Arn. People boo David's decision. I didn't know they cared. Man, I could for another dozen or so Vamp vs. Storm matches, but only if they were proper matches, not >3 minute Crash segments.

Your announcers are three of a kind: Scott Hudson, Mike Tenay and Tony Schiavone. They provide a run down of the show complete with appropriate clips from the last week. You'd almost believe some thought has gone into the production of this show!

Cut to Bret in the back walking with bat in hand and title belt across the shoulder. Announcers are trying to hype that Funk's plan has caused dissention in the new New World Order. Break.

SKeith in his Thunder! preamble mocked Russo and Starrcade's pitiful buyrate. If Skeith is reading this (and if you're not Scott Keith, email him and tell him he should be reading this - See how it's done Netcop!) I'll tell you what Russo would say about the buyrate: They sacrificed Starrcade to set up the nWo return. They had a babyface vs. babyface match headlining the card and weren't expecting any good numbers. The excuse for Souled Out will be that Goldberg's injury messed up their plans. Then we'll get the return of Hogan at which point it won't matter who wins what in the ratings because the losers will be wrestling fans.

We're back and out comes Bret for an interview. Bret's wearing a Hitman shirt instead of an nWo shirt. He's going to form the Canada World Order, the pink and black attack! Bret asks the crowd to boo him, says he's starting to make himself sick, that he's let his fans down. He deserves the fan's disgust. He's disgusted with it. Funk has got him thinking. The nWo is a bunch of thugs. The pink and black attack is back. The new new World order can stick it where the sun doesn't shine. This brings out nWo2K. Nash says Bret's the same as he was in New York. Bret could be a god with the nWo. Hard work doesn't pay. Come back. Bret: Nash you're a piece of ____. I'll take you all out. Nash: We'll give you a chance to go home, Bret. Bret: I'm not going anywhere. You are finished, Kevin Nash. Come and get me! Nash: Tonight your career will be finished and if we feel like it, maybe your life. nWo music plays and we break.

CRZ (rightly imo) blasted this week's Nitro for doing nothing to entertain or to adequately hype the PPV. But if you look at the ratings, they were up fot the final head to head QHs. You might say it was the abscense of MNF, that it was hard for them to get any lower, that Neilsen misplaced a decimal, whatever, I wonder about the average wrestling fan. Almost every internet/smart wrestling fan will bash the Rock/Mankind This is Your Life segment, but it's the highest QH rating in these Monday night wars. Russo should (and most likely will) burn in hell for trashing the TV belt and having Medusa vs. Oklahoma as a cruiser title match, but who's to say it doesn't gain more of an audience than Eddy v. Rey for 20 minutes would? I mean, I never watch Friends because I find the show incrediably unfunny but millions (and millions) of Americans watch and love it. What do the critics know? Everyone was blasting the original new World order at the time when they were posting huge numbers, doubling Raw. Maybe Russo is right and all this crap will get WCW back on top.

We're back with Bret watching the door. He's upset that he can't watch Smackdown! at the show anymore. The Old Age Outlaws watch Bret watching the monitor since nothing better is on TV. The fans watch the Old Age Outlaws watch Bret watching the monitor. Good thing you came to the show instead of watching it on TV!

Highlights from Nitro of the Fit v. Knobbs match with Norman & Meng handshake finish. This leads to-

Match Two: Hardcore Champ Norman Smiley (w/ winter coat, shorts and title belt) vs. Brian Knobbs in an All Outdoor Hardcore Title Match. Match starts with someone forcing Norman out the door of the arena for the match. Was that Russo? Lots of typical hit me with this hit you with that action. Snow, trash can, TV set, side of a building, slam thru a table, Hardcore Wiggler Norman screaming all the time. Norman has the advantage for a bit. Pallette, trash can, bag of cans. Punches. After a bit more, Norman takes a softcore run-over-by-a-car bump and falls over dead. Basically, he just touched the hood of a parked car. Knobbs hits the rebounding Smiley with a plastic snow shovel and makes the cover. One, two-whooo, three! Brian Knobbs is the new Hardcore champ! (2:58.27) Don't ask me why that rates an exclamation point; I guess I'm old school enough to think title changes still mean something. Tony claims Knobbs "earned this one." Well, if you call pinning a guy after he gets 'run-over' by a car and you've hit him with a shovel, sure. Who Drove the White Caddy? It's the angle that will return WCW to the top!

nnWo are - STALKING! Break.

I GET AN EMAIL! Thor Jensen writes:
I quote:

"Storm vs. Kidman could have been a good match preRusso." [ed. note, that's me from last week's report.]

It was on WCWSN a couple months ago, back when that show was on the bizarre rookie workers hotstreak. Highlight was Storm basically lawndarting Kidman over the ringpost to the floor. Sigh. I miss wrestling.


Now that you mention it, I think I remember that match. I remember it because they did this really cool spot in that match where Storm tried to powerbomb Kidman, but Kidman reversed it into a faceslam, right? But I kid the kidster. Can you just imagine if WCW's midcard was still going like it did pre99 with the WWF giving workers a real chance and ECW's TNN show delivering the goods from time to time?

Wow. Two Thunder! reports this Y2K and two emails. We're on a roll, baby! No stopping us now!

We're back with more nnWo stalking. They jump Bret in his dressing room. Should have locked the door!

The Revolution is out. At Souled Out they will have a match that no one really cares about. Replay of Saturn's supersplash on Rey with normal and bird's eye view perspectives. Shane Douglas on the mic to run down the Animals. Anyone mind if I don't transcribe? Didn't think so. I'll say this, with all his talk of attacking from within as well as without and the warning to watch where they lay their heads at night, Torrie Wilson would have to be the Revolution's partner to make the interview mean anything. Douglas also brings up the Duggan angle. Anyone think this angle will have a resolution and not just get dropped and forgotten? Didn't think so. Malenko says 'What's a war without victims' and some other stuff about flags going up and Animals going down. Saturn goes on about wheels spinning in his goofy fashion and then cuts into Asya, 'What are you shaking your head about, bitch?' Shane starts running down Asya as well. 'Know your role and play it, bitch.' Hey, that reminds me. Where's the Juice? I thought Juvy had the steal Maivia's gimmick gimmick. I suppose this whole thing was a plot point (Torrie as revolution's partner and Asya being the Animal's mystery partner). WRESTLE, DAMMIT!

Cut to nnWo dragging out a limp Bret Hart. 'It's either for life or your life.' Break.

Hey, an ad for a Sting T-shirt. Remember Sting? Man, he did nothing really for a year and he was the most over guy in pro wrestling. Somehow I'm not sure this Luger angle will do quit the same. Here's hoping he comes back as the bleach blond fun lovin' Stinger.

We're back and the Old Age Outlaws continue to watch the monitors. Orndorff thinks perhaps they maybe should help Bret. Well he's old enough to be a member! Opps, shouldn't have said that, should I? Funk says he deserves what he gets. Arn agrees.

Gene Gene works Wednesdays! Interview with Tank Abbot. Flynn interrupts the interview which is a shame because Tank is just magic on the mic. The two get arrestted after a brief scuffle. These two will have a shoot fight at this Sunday's PPV. Order now!

Match Three: I Refuse to Acknowledge the Claim of Title Medusa (in black evening gown w/Spice) vs. Oklahoma (in black evening gown w/ cowboy hat and cruiser weight title belt) in a non-title Evening Gown match. Miss Hancock comes out. She is quite a dancer. Quite a baby as well. I wonder if she has a laptop computer that knows how long it will take Wrestler X to defeat Wrestler Z. Word is she's the reason we haven't seen the Varsity Club lately. That or the fact there's not a chance in hell they'd get over in any way. But I must admit I miss Come On I Wanna Leia Meow already. I don't care what David Spade says, if he liked Leia on a trampoline better the first time he saw it on The Man Show, he's nuts. In protest to the current treatment of the cruiser title, I refuse to call this match.

Outside, nnWo torches Bret's pink and black tights. Break.

Ratings for this show should be interesting. I'm expecting a drop as most people will need to learn a new habit of watching on Wednesday night, but the real interesting bit will be a few months from now. Will people tune in just to see Thunder! Or has the ratings remained as high as they've been lately because they were getting channel surfers from Smackdown!

Back with Gene interviewing Medusa. Medusa runs down Oklahoma. "Listen up Oklahoma... you BBQ sauce drinking low life redneck etc" There's an awkward silence at one point in the interview where I guess it was supposed to end or Gene was supposed to say something or Medusa lost her train of thought (insert joke). Medusa fills the silence with 'What, that ain't enough?' Awkward silence again as we cut from the interview. I'd love to get some mic battles in a Medusa vs. Tank Abbott feud. Hey CRZ, is it too early to start nominating for Year End RSPW Awards Worst Interview?

Match Four: One A.M. no make that Two A.M. vs. well - Stevie Ray takes out Booker in the back to prevent the scheduled three way match making it-

Match Four: Two A.M. vs. Stevie Ray in a one on one match. Stevie with the early advantage. Punch. Choke. Stomps. Back elbow. Clothesline. Kick. Pin. Pull-up. Powerslam. Pin. Pull-up. Booker T is out (1:45.86) making it -

Match Four: Two A.M. vs. Stevie Ray vs. Booker T. After a brief scuffle between Booker T and Stevie, Stevie goes outside the ring and takes a mic. He gets counted out while telling Booker basically 'I'm talking a walk, now you've got to fight Mydnyte.' Since there must be a winner to the match, Stevie's CO (at 2:35.63, announced at 2:49.53) makes it-

Match Four: Two A.M. vs. Booker T. No real flow to action as everytime Booker hits a move he does nothing but show remorse. Skip to the end - Booker goes to the ropes, Stevie pulls down the top rope so Booker takes a spill. Stevie blackjacks Booker and rolls him back into the ring telling Mydnyte something along the lines of 'Well pin him.' (Just imagine Stevie vs. Medusa vs. Tank in a three-way debate with Warrior as moderator.) Mydnyte decides to have none of Stevie's schemes and pins herself with the unconcious Booker. (5:18.80) That's one smart broad! Stevie blackjacks Mydnyte for foiling his ingeniuos plan. There will be a match involving these people in some fashion at Souled Out. I'm not sure who will be doing what. I'm not sure WCW is sure either. Order the PPV and find out! Please, WCW needs the business!

Nash threatens to cut Bret's hair. Bret could use a trim. Break.

Who's that guy hawking Slim Jims? He looks kind of familiar.

Jerry Flynn in the jail cell. He wants a phone call. I wonder if he has Clarence Mason's number. The cops come in and it turns out the local cops only have one cell so they put Tank Abott in the cell with Flynn. They go to fighting and the cops have to seperate them. No Mountie jokes from me.

Gene interviews Champagne Kanyon. Kanyon says he will break the $1000 dollar bottle of champagne over Bigelow's -no offense Gene- bald head. After the match CCK is going to hop a jet back to LA because Erie ain't Hollywood.

Cut to the nnWO assualting an unseen Bret. Cut to Larry Z telling Funk, 'If we can bring him over to our side it will weaken the nnWo.' Funk: ' Check it out if you want. I don't care if they shave him bald.' Z:'Ok, I will.' and as he stands we break.

Anyone think this whole thing is a swerve? Naw, couldn't be.

Larry and Mr. 1derful in the hallways considering the plan of finding and helping Hart.

Match Five: CCK (w/ Biggs and two beauties) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow in a Champagne on a Pole match. Clips of the Bigelow/Kanyon feud over the last few weeks. Bam Bam storms the ring. Kanyon with the punches and kicks. I miss the Who's better than Kanyon? Kanyon has a chance to do a pumphandle slam but plays to the crowd allowing Bam Bam to get the advantage. Bigelow goes for the bottle but it's Kanyon with a sitdown powerbomb off the top rope on him. Kanyon goes for the bottle after a pair of elbow drops. Bigelow hits the ropes to crotch Kanyon followed by a back drop suplex and diving headbutt. Russian legsweep off the middle rope by Kanyon on 3B. Standing 9 count as both get back to their feet. Punches by CCK. Bam Bam hits a samoan drop. One woman distracts the ref as the other distracts the Beast. Bam Bam takes a kiss (or more accurately smells her cleavage), Kanyon blindsides him with the faux title belt (Hey Russo you f'n moron, why not give Kanyon the TV title and have him rename it the Hollywood belt? Same difference). Two count only. Stomp, stomp. Kanyon goes for the bottle. He's got it! Off the top rope for the smash but Bam Bam punches Kanyon who does a standing flip onto his back for the sell. Bam Bam takes the bottle, tosses it, goes to the top rope, hits a swandive nuttbutt. Greetings from Ashbury Park. 1, 2, 3. (4:45.51) A rather clean finish. I'm impressed. Give the match another 5-10 minutes and maybe I'd really be digging it.

Post-match Luger comes out as the fake Sting to hit Bam Bam with a bat (does that make him nnWo?) Why does he attack Bam Bam? I'll tell you why, it's because- It doesn't matter why Luger attacks Bam Bam! (Where's Juvy?) As Luger goes for the deathlock the lights go out and Sting's theme (Selloutica's Seek & Destroy) plays. There's a crow on the turnbuckle. Remember that Clash of the Champions where Sting confronted the nWo with a big scary bird? Anyway, Luger is scarred off. Bam Bam gets back to his feet only to have Kanyon smash the champagne bottle over his head and hit the Flatliner. (Now called the 'That's a wrap.' That's even worse than Curtain Call. At least they didn't make Kanyon a comedian and call the move the One-liner.)

Somewhere in the arena, Z and 1derful find Bret's (not really) cut hair. Break.

I SEND EMAIL! Rick Scaia recently wrote among other things in a recent Online Onslaught: "if it were me, I'd have Stevie Ray and Booker T. make their peace so that they could get on with the business of bolstering WCW's extraordinarily weak tag division." I emailed him to ask why he'd keep Booker attached to the human anchor Stevie Ray. I say fire Stevie Ray and let Booker return to his promising singles career. Everyone thinks WCW needs a new babyface, well right there is Booker T. Maybe Scaia will answer in his next Rick Says column. That's over at that other wrestling website. I'd be much more interested in knowing that than where's Outback Jack these days.

We're back with a Page/Buff angle recap. How can we be so sure this whole thing isn't actually a shoot? Gene interviews Kimberly. I know you're all cursing the fact that CRZ is doing Smackdown! and I'm too lazy to attempt transcribing this interview. I feel bad. I hope I don't get fired. (But mdb, I never HIRED you! Why would I fire you? - CRZ)

Cut to the nnWo locker room. Steiner oppresses Bret, Jarrett says he's off to take care of another Canadian goof (I hope he's talking about Lindros.)

Interview with Benoit and Sid. Benoit: 'Jarrett you've got four days left. Tonight is going to be a small preview of the pain I'm going to put you through. I'll put the guitar where the sun don't shine.' Hey, why doesn't Chris help his Canadian brother, mentor, hero? Bret renounced the nnWo at the start of the show. Sid's interview was kinda coherent tonight, whispered for dramatic effect. 'What happened in the cage at Nitro was just an omen. I'll be the next WCW champ.'

Main Event: Kevin Nash and Slapnuts Jarrett (w/ silver guitar and US title belt) vs. Y2Sid and Chris Benoit Jeff has the mic. 'It's slapnuts country! Benoit, at Nitro it took you and a whole damn army to take me down. At Souled Out it's going to be three times I beat your ass.' He starts something about Bret after this match but losses track and Sid's music starts to cover. Sid and Benoit in the ring. Punches traded to start the match. Benoit clotheslines Jeff out of the ring. Benoit and Nash brawl outside as Sid takes over on Jeff in the ring. 10 count punch by Sid. Clothesline, big foot. Nash saves Jeff from the chokeslam. They trade opponents. Benoit throws Jeff into the steel outside the ring. Chops. Jeff returns with chairshots. In the ring Nash hits the big boot on Sid. Benoit in to fight Nash but Jarrett hits Chris from behind and they double team the Crippler. Hey, we're back to a normal tag match for some reason. Jeff works over Chris as Sid leads the crowd in a clap. Suplex on Benoit. Sleeper get reversed into a sleeper by Benoit but Jeff drops for the jawbreaker counter. Standing eight count. Jeff misses a dropkick. Benoit catapults Jeff to the turnbuckle. Chops, clothesline, backbody drop, crossface! Nash with the save. Sid and Nash trade punches now as Jeff and Benoit continue. I'm sure I missed a bunch throughout this match. Tony makes the call of the show, "This has been a different night...' Sid going for a powerbomb but Jeff stops it. The heels toss Sid into the ropes, Sid with the double clothesline on the heels. Outside Nash clocks Sid with the US title belt. Jeff tries the same on Benoit but gets backbody dropped. Swandive headbutt attempt is thrwarted as Nash shoves Benoit who lands onto the US title belt. Jeff pins Benoit. (6:37.77) I guess this this points to Benoit winning the US title at Souled Out. I've always said Jarrett's best use is putting others over.

Cut to the back, Poppa Pump takes a nap. Having no blankets, he has tried to use a table for a substitute. Isn't that cute? Or maybe that's just an alternative treatment for his bad back? Break.

I must say this has been about the best Russo show yet. I mean, the genuis has this man vs. woman fixation that I wished he'd trade for a fixation on good wrestling matches. The only real fault from the standpoint of building to the PPV is that the Sid vs. Bret main event issue was almost totally obscured. That and the fact that there is virtually no interest in any of the matches on the PPV so building to those matches was rather useless. Oh well, if we could get the cruiser belt on a real cruiser and the TV title back on a good worker, this show would almost be watchable.

We're back with Bret going to his car outside. He stops. 'I ain't going out like this! I ain't going out like this'! (I ain't going owwwt!) Bret goes back in and grabs a metal pole. Bret limps to the ring (w/ metal pole and black eye) On the mic: 'Let's finish this right here!' Cue nWo music. Out come Nash and Jarrett (w/ ballbats) It's two on one standoff. Cut to Funk (w/ flaming branding iron) in the back with Arn. They make their way to the ring to fall for the swerve. Here comes Funk. Hey, there's only one cross there! Funk in the ring runs out Nash and Jarrett. Funk and Arn and Bret in the ring and the heels stand out side to listen to Funk talk about whatever. Somewhere in this Arn throws a bucket of water on Bret. Bret cries out, 'My black eye makeup is melting, melting, what a world what a world.' So Funk and Arn were smart enough to see through the swerve but they get punked anyway by the nWo. The other two Outlaws come out, Sid and Benoit come out. More stuff happens that you'd just have to had seen to appreciate. Especially since I'm not going to play by play it. A bunch of punches and weak brawling pretty much.

Zen answer: If a second rate wrestling show changes day and time, even if it is special again, the sound it makes is a whimper as the show closes with Funk and Nash laying on the mat playing near dead, fighting over possesion of the Single Cross branding iron.

Th-th-th-that's all folks. Time for me to exit, Terminator X it.

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