WCW Thunder by mdb
With luck starting next week I'll be getting these in
Thursday night. Oh well, it's only Thunder! btw, USA Today has a front
page story on the WWF football league if you can get someone to transcribe
or OCr it.
First of all, who's Chris Jones and what's he ever done for /slash?
Tonight on a very special Thunder! Hogan makes his return! By God, Thunder! really is special!
Caveat empor: My life is even worse than it was last week so this won't be the best Thunder! report anywhere by a long shot. (But it'll still be better than the Netcop's!)
Welcome to World Championship Wasteland Thunder!
I confess: I read the taping results on the Torch. I knew what was coming, what to expect. The return of Hogan. Three Sid matches. Almost no chance of a match that would be better than a ** spotfest. But here I am anyway. That's dedication baby!
Let me start by giving WCW some free advice. Well, the simplest free advice I can give is to hire me and I could actually do the stuff instead of talking about what needs to be done. Anyway, my bit of free advice to WCW this week is to be consistent with the talent. Do whatever it takes to keep people on screen. I realize it's tough with bookers and releases and injuries and everything, but a better effort must be made to keep people on the screen. Off the top of my head Chavo, Hacksaw, Perfect, Dustin Rhodes, Kanyon, Bret Hart, and Goldberg were involved in some level of push/angle two months ago but are MIA over the last two weeks or more. (That's not too mention others that I'm grateful for such as Medusa. [Which isn't to imply that I miss some of those others I list.]) Remember how the WWF had Austin going around in the months after Owen injured him? He got more and more over even though he was injured. What does WCW do for their former world champ Bret? Nothing. Goldberg? He debuts the Goldberg-truck-o-saurus at some motor show (though I admit he was probably in front of more people at that show than he'd be at a WCW show). Do something, anything, to keep these guys in view, in people's minds. Sting was the most over wrestling in pro wrestling in 97 and he wrestled what, two matches that year? Pick 25 people that are the A-list and make sure they appear in some important way on every Nitro and every Thunder! (Of course, the catch is that you also need to pick the right 25 people and you have to give them something worthwhile to do.) The recent stuff with Luger and the spooky Sting mindtricks is a good example of keeping a wrestler's heat going despite the absence. Mark Henry's affair with Mae Young is another. Mind you, neither of these are good in of themselves, but it's the right idea.
Show opens with clips from Nitro. Read CRZ's report if you haven't already.
The new new World order comes out to talk. Scott Hall with the mic. Hey yo? Hey no. He declines to speak. Steiner talks about his freaks. Jarrett talks about Sid and how he'll have three matches tonight.
Outside is a white limo. Who's inside?! More importantly, who's driving the white limo? And who drove the white Caddy that ran over Smiley? Who drove the car that hit Austin? Who drove the white hummer? Who drove miss Daisy?
We're back with the nnWo in the Commish's office. Jarrett asks a ref (the bald one, CRZ's better with the ref names) (That's Mark "Slick" Johnson - CRZ) if he can be bought. Ref: 'Hell ya.' Jarrett's found his ref for the Superbrawl world title match against Sid. I wonder what Bumpmaster Charles Robinson thinks of this?
Exhibits A & B: The Demon and Norman Smiley. Smiley has been on the screen consistently over the last few weeks and is one of the more over people left in the company. The Demon debuted, told Vampiro he'd fight him another time, disappeared for months, came back to scare Smiley to death and then job to Funk. Any surprise the Demon is not over?
Match One: The Demon Norman Smiley vs. The Demon Dale Torborg (or if you are E.C. Ostermeyer, Bryan "Cuts Like A Knife" Adams [the irony with Bryan Adams in the role was delicious]) in a battle over gimmick infringement. I wonder what Gene Simmons thinks of all this? (My guess is he doesn't even know it's going on because he's watching the WWF.) They show clips from Nitro of Smiley's shocking transformation and The Demon being upset. I thought it would have been better to have the Demon come out in the gear Smiley was wearing originally. Smiley comes out in the stolen attire. No reason to get excited the thief he kindly spoke. Demon comes out in basic Demon attire sans cape and shoulder pads. Demon dominates the match, ripping of the clothes from Smiley (those are your garments Torborg!) and rubbing the face paint off of Smiley. Who's Torborg to argue with the will of the Magic Casket? Smiley was chosen! He is the Chosen One! Oh wait, that gives me an idea. He's even got a guitar and the black and white motif! In lieu of doing play by play for this match, I'm going to write a humorous Jeff Jarrett as KISS member parody! Wait. Maybe I'll just skip it and get on with the report. Smiley is stripped down to his underwear, black trunks with a yellow smiley face on the back. Or rather, a yellow frowny face. Screamin' Norman Frowny? Anyway (I know the suspense is killing ya) after about three minutes of this Norman slaps on the Norman conquest as his first offensive move and the Demon taps out quick. Norman runs, Dale chases. End of segment, but if we're lucky, not the end of the feud!
Cut to Lodi and Leni in the stairway. They complain about their gimmicks and such. Lodi's got a name change, it's Idol now. And Leni is Lane now. 'What are we going to do tonight?' 'Go to the club and do it too excess.' 'Hey, too excess. That should be our team name.' 'Ok, but what will we wear on Monday.' 'We'll worry about that later.' 2Xcess debuts new outfits this Monday! Can you smell the ratings?!?
Cut to Sid walkin' and talkin' to himself. Break.
We're back with limo watch. The timid cameraman is afraid to like tap the window and ask who's inside or something. maybe it's like those nature programs where the people have the prime directive to only watch even when the cute baby rabbit bunnies get gobbled up by the mangy coyote.
Exhibits C & D: Sid and Mike Rotunda - Sid has been on the majority of WCW shows over the last three months and Lord help us fans have actually been chanting Sid lately. Mike Rotunda comes and goes in this gimmick and that gimmick and no one cares about him any more.
Match Two: The future of WCW Sid vs. Captain Mike Rotunda in a submissions only match - Rotunda is a member of nWo's Varsity team. (<-pun!) Story of the match is the technician Rotunda has the early advantage, trying the figure four and STF. Announcers do not quite get across that Sid is too big and strong for the holds. Sid hits some moves and the Siddler crossface for the submission win.
Gene interviews Vampiro in a dark corner in the back. Vamp: 'Everyone wants to know what's the deal with Vampiro? Maybe you'll find out tonight. Maybe not. I meant it when I said I respect Kidman. That doesn't mean I have to like him.'
Exhibit E, F & G: Three Count. Kaptain Evan Korageous was a nobody when he won the cruiser title. But they gave him the Medusa angle and followed up on it with the heat gimmick of the boy band and now Three Count can get heat. If they continue to show up every week and can find someone good to feud with (ala Hardyz/Christian & Edge/Dudleys) then something might become of them. I read Shannon and Shane often wrestled the Hardyz on the indy circuit so cut them some slack before assuming they are Hardy wannabes because the Hardyz showed up first. I wouldn't be surprised if the Hardyz took as much from them as they might be taking from the Hardyz.
Match Three: Shane Helms vs. Shannon Moore in the mystery bracket cruiserwieght title tournament match. This match probably deserves play by play. Better luck next time. Shannon Moore wins with a backslide after the trade of a few spots. Evan was color announcer for the match: 'Three count is like Santa Claus giving gifts to all the girls.' Tenay: 'I wish you were like Santa Claus that you only came once a year. R.E.M.!'
Medusa visits Jarrett. She's tired of sitting on a couch (Hey that got her a title shot last time) and wants to wrestle. Jarrett says she's on the hideous side of good looking and will have someone look into it. Go away!
Limo watch season finale: Yellow and Red Hogan exits the limo. He's up next! Wow!
We're back. Hogan makes his entrance to that awful old theme music he had. Man I miss Voodoo Chile. Hogan talks about young guys who think they are superstars. He talks about the writers and sports entertainment business and how it sickens him. He's upset Lex Luger is trying to hide behind the sports entertainment. Out comes Luger to confront Hogan. Lex says some things. Crowd chants Hogan. *sigh* Sting, ominously backlit, appears in the entrance way pointing his bat. Luger is scared, the Sting figure pulls off a wig, Luger turns around and Hogan does his routine on Lex and then does the world's worst atomic drop ever on Liz. Luger and Liz run, Hogan plays to the crowd.
In the back shots of Kidman and Torrie take turns shooting each other on the Kid Cam as they walk, Vamp walks, the Wall walks.
Exhibit H, I, & J: The Wall, Vampiro, and Kidman - The Wall debuts with Berlyn and Miss Uta von Translator. For two weeks they got good heat with Berlyn only speaking German. Then the translator disappeared and Berlyn started talking English. Less heat. Then he and the Wall disappeared, feuded, disappeared, made up, feuded, disappeared, basically wasted time. Berlyn never had a chance to have anyone care about him, the Wall's situation is hardly better. Kidman was part of the Flock, a bunch of people who never got over because they never did anything. They sat in the crowd for 6 months, jobbed a couple of times and disappeared. Saturn and Kidman broke free and Kidman especially got over as cruiser champ when he was wrestling every week. Then he lost the belt, disappeared, didn't wrestle, people forgot about him. Keep him on TV every week now and give him say a feud with Jarrett over the US title and you might have something. Vampiro has "it." The only way WCW managed to keep him unover was the half year they kept him completely off TV. Job him to Oklahoma, feud him with David Flair for no reason, have him watching matches while the bass player for the Misfits wrestles, it hasn't stopped him. If they'd just give him something worthwhile to do. Defending the TV title would be perfect.
Match Four: The Wall vs. Vampiro vs. Kidman in a one of these is not like the other three way match. Kidman and Vamp double team wall to start. Wall to the outside and Vamp turns on Kidman. Kidman in with a chair, two shots on the Wall don't take him out. Vamp asks for the chair. He gets it and with a dropkick we get a Kidman-daminator on Vamp. Wall tosses Kidman out of the ring, he and Vamp go to the top turnbuckle and the Wall ends up with the advantage and hits a super chokeslam for the win. I'll tell you why the Wall goes over, if he doesn't then he's nothing but a big jobber. They are trying to give him wins to build him and let Vamp and Kidman get over on their talent. The flaw is that winning a match is only effective for people with charisma (ala Goldberg, Kurt Angle) The Wall can pin everyone in the company and people just aren't going to care. He needs to talk, he needs to feud, he needs to fight with reason.
Sid walks and talks. Break.
We're back with an interview of the tag champs. They are not the Mamalukes but the Pizzanos if I caught that right. The word 'fakunooks' was also used. 'Why do we have to wrestle Dave Flair and Crowbar again?' Idol and Lane, 2Xcess, interrupt. 'Wrestle us Mamapukes.' 'You got to beat someone first. We're hungry.'
Exhibit K:Rick Steiner - Rick Steiner was well enough over up until his recent heel turn. I don't even remember what the turn was about but I remember him looking real goofy with the biker look. He never really feuded with anyone except maybe that whole Sting fiasco with the attack dogs and everything. He disappeared, came back, disappeared, and has had absolutely no direction for months now. WCW needs to resolve the issue with his brother Scott and whether Rick is nWo or not.
Match Five: The Future of WCW Sid vs. Rick Steiner in a hardcore match - Rick Steiner is a member of the nWo's Varsit- oh wait, I've done that joke already. Well, I'll do it again! This is WCW were unoriginality is a virtue! Rick Steiner is a member of the nWo's Varsity Team! Ha! Highlights are shown of Sid powerbombing Rick through a Nitro stage. Announcers mention they used to be partners. I'd actually forgotten all of that stuff. Good for the announcers. You can imagine what this match was like. Finish comes in the back when an arm wielding a silver bat comes through a curtain and knocks out Steiner. Then a second swing knocks out Sid. It looked like something out of a Stooges flick. Have I mentioned that Tank Abbott would be a great evil Curly Stooge? Terry Funk would be a great evil Larry Stooge. Unconscious Sid falls on unconscious Rick for the pin.
In the back Page and Kim walk. Things are so much happier since Buff disappeared.
Hogan gets in the limo while talking on a cell phone.
Tank Abbott shadowboxes. Break.
We're back with an all too short promo of the Funk/Flair wars. Gene interviews Anderson on where his allegences lie. Anderson says he's with WCW. Flair is a lifelong friend but Funk has helped him against the nWo. Both men should put aside their differences and unite against the common enemy, the Judean People's Front, er, I mean the nWo. Ironic moment of interview, Anderson talks about the people who helped him be proud to be a wrestler, Flair, Funk, Harley Race, Hulk Hogan! And not people with birds on their shoulders etc. What's Double A got against Koko . Ware and Frankie B. Ware?
Match Six: 2DP vs. The Machine in a worthless throwaway match. Say welcome to the machine. Who is he? I don't know. Don't much care. Machine hits some power moves, Page hits a diamond cutter and gets the win. Next.
Funk confronts Anderson in the back. 'Flair don't care about you, I was there for you Arn, are you on my side or not.' Arn: 'Didn't you hear me earlier?'
Exhibit L:Tank Abbott comes out most every week to knock out some jobber in a minute or so. It shouldn't work but it does. Hey, here comes Tank, watch him knock so and so out! If they could get a good feud for him (Flynn and Meng's not going to cut it) they might have a solid midcarder in Tank though I'm not sure that's a good thing. Keep the guy in on TV regularly and people just might get familiar with him.
Match Seven: Tank Abbott vs. Dos Villianos in a Goldbergesque squash mach. Tank roughs one up, they make the switch, Tank punches the other out, in full view of the ref the other comes in and gets knocked out. Ref counts to 10, Tank walks off.
In the back, the Mamalukes walk. And so do the Badlanders. Break.
Match Eight: Marmadukes vs. Badlanders in a non-title match. Miss Hancock comes out for no real reason I can tell. Skip to the end Dave hits one of the 'lukes with the golden crowbar and Crowbar gets the pin for the team. Buy Superbrawl to see the rematch!
Main Event: Harris twins vs. The Future of WCW Sid in a handicap match. This was supposed to be caged heat but it's actually a regular cage match. Sid comes out with a limp because last time we saw him he'd gotten hit in the head with a bat. Harris twins double team from behind. Into the cage. Here's where play by play would go if I cared. Sid wins the match, hall raises the cage and Jarrett comes in for the guitar shot and spray paint job. What fun eh?
Well, what a Sid-riffic show. Real nice to have Steiner and the Harris twins and the Wall and Luger and especially the Orange Ego Hogan on Thunder! to make it special. If only Nash had shown up! It actually wasn't a bad show. Mostly clean finishes, a logic to the events that transpired. Only problem is I care almost nothing about anyone on this show. *sigh* I miss Benoit, Malenko, Saturn, and Guerrero.