WCW Thunder by mdb
RUSSO'S REIGN OF TERROR - DAY 23
Getting the faith back in the viewers is the first order of business and that will take four or five months. - Vince Russo in a recent interview as reported by PWTorch
Anyone interested in just the show results (*snicker*) can skip on down to "THE SHOW STARTS HERE."
I've got a few things to get off my chest first. Open letter to "New York Tough" Vince Russo: You stupid f*ck. We KNOW it's all a work. That doesn't mean we're going to pucker up every time you bend over and spread your cheeks. If you had a shred of sense you'd realize it's exactly BECAUSE you can put the title on whoever you want that people get so critical about who you choose to be champ. It blows my mind that you don't get that. (Sadly, that WCW would give 6 figures and total control to someone who can't grasp that basic fundamental doesn't surprise me at all.)
And by the way, calling it "entertainment" doesn't automatically make it entertaining. Okay, sport? But don't worry. I'm not going to go into a full rant about the issue. You have the trump card. You have the book and it's plain to all that the WCW title, WCW as a whole in fact, is unimportant. It's not worth caring about. You've as much as said so yourself. So be it. Just remember, TV shows DO get canceled and wrestling promotions DO go out of business. Ok. Enough of that. I'd like to thank everyone who wrote me last week. For the record, 95% of the email I received last week commended me for not bothering to report anything that happened on last week's show. (Don't think I wasn't tempted to try it again!) For anyone wondering why I'm back this week, well it's my goal to at least last longer than Russo which from the look of things, might not be so hard. Before I get to this week's Thunder, I'd like to take a second to talk about a world title that does mean something. The WWF title is back around the waist of The Rock as of last Sunday. But the WWF really isn't set right now to have a face champion, 3H is practically the only heel wrestler in the company and we don't want to run that match again the next three PPVs do we? So who do they go with for the next PPV, Judgment Day (May 21st)? Let's hope from the onset that it won't be a McMahon. Austin made his return to the WWF, but he's months away from wrestling and Rock vs. Austin is probably going to be saved for Wrestlemania next year anyway. Who else is over enough to challenge Rocky this month? A Jericho heel turn? I don't think it could be done well enough this quickly and I doubt sure Vince would try a face vs. face.
How about Benoit vs. Rock, thinking Maivia's popularity, a strong undercard, and maybe some stips to the match would be enough given the WWF's recent hot streak? I'd be all for it. Benoit in a WWF PPV main event would give Maivia the best workrate match of his career. Watch Smackdown on UPN Thursday night (or read the spoilers) and think about it. Benoit knew months ago that the WCW belt wasn't worth the gold it was molded with, will he get a shot at the WWF belt? Let's hope so. And is 3H going to turn face against the McMahons? Wouldn't that be wild if the WWF's #1 heel is a good guy this time next month? What's that? Thunder? Well, if you insist...
THE SHOW STARTS HERE
Caught somewhere on tape (Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee May 2, '00) Worthless Celebrity Wrestling proudly presents Thunder. ("Proudly" because they just don't know any better.) From now on, all of WCW's champs are quote-unquote celebrities.
It's Day 7 (or 8 depending) of the WCW world title hostage crisis. Yes, David Arquette is still your WCW "world champ." Too bad they couldn't at least get David Spade. He'd be better than Arquette. Hell, Chris Farley would be a better champ than Arquette and he's been DEAD for two years.
Show opens with highlights of Nitro. Then the Thunder intro, CRZ should be happy now as Oklahoma is gone. Tony welcomes us to the show talking about the war between New Blood and the Millionaire's Club. Replace those names with WCW and nWo or nWo and Wolfpack and you've got the basic idea.
Cut to scenes from a garage of the Millionaire's Club (Page, Flair, Hogan, Sting) with special allies Kanyon, Horace, Hennig, Kronic and Hugh Morrus of the Misfits in Action (M.I.A., get it? Well, er, no I don't really get it either, other than it's a common acronym with different words. Russo logic, better not to ask. I could go on a long riff on exactly what is MIA from WCW these days but why rehash the obvious?). They're waiting for Bischoff and Russo. Cut to the announcers talking about unimportant things going on in WCW, then back to the garage. Horace is the lookout man. He sees the limo of Bischoff and Russo drive up. They rush the limo. Millionaires pull out Bischoff and Russo and attack. See, if only Goldberg had thought of that all those months ago. -break-
Back from commercial, Russo chews out the New Blood who are sitting in the waiting room doing nothing. They all wear "New Blood" t-shirts. Get the hint? Buy the shirt! Russo hits some stuff with his bat and yells. He leads the Blood to the ring. Russo's faux Iron Man theme plays as the Blood heads to the ring. Jarrett, Awesome, Liz escorted by two security guys. Liz looks incredible. Miller, Buff, Douglas, Vampiro, Stasiak, Eric with Kimberley, Kim looks even more incredible than Liz. Wall, Stasiak, hey there's Cruiser champ Jason "Hard Knox" Hervey with Tammy! Tammy looks, well, did I mention Liz and Kim look incredible?
Russo calls out the Club. They come out to Hogan's American Made. Same guys listed in the limo attack above. Russo challenges them to New York Rules matches. No refs, matches made at random (oh, it's a shoot!), wrestlers do their own counts. Flair accepts on behalf of the Club and they run to the ring for the 10 second battle royal melee. Hey, cameraman wearing a "The Night the World Changed" t-shirt! -break-
New WCW credit card features Buff Bagwell. Twenty bucks says CRZ mocks the nWo card.
We're back from commercials with a replay of the melee. There goes Kim bouncing away. Where's the slo-mo?
MATCH ONE (aka It's Only Just Begun) - Jeff Jarrett vs. Kanyon - Jeff comes to the ring with Kimberly. First blurred sign of the night I believe. Tony Schiavone, the stupid git, completely ignores what Jeff says pre-match (Kanyon I hand picked you for this match) to wonder about whether it really was luck of the draw that led to this particular match with DDP's friend. If Tony isn't going to pay attention and he's getting paid, why the hell should I bother with this? Kim says some bad things about Page and the fans. Kanyon comes out. The two trade some moves in and out of the ring. Kanyon's so cool.
RUN-IN OF THE MATCH - DDP (3:25)
POST RUN-IN - It's funny, the match goes on for 3.5 minutes and Kanyon is in control, Jeff's on the mat off camera, we cut to a shot of a fan at ringside, we cut back to the ring and Kanyon has turned into Dallas Page (remember when Kanyon was Anyone anywhere any time?), Self High Five plays for five seconds, ending abruptly, Page delivers a Diamond Cutter on Jarrett. I won't make any jokes or complaints about WCW's post production crew. I'll stay positive and say Kanyon is a superstar waiting to happen. Given WCW's record of pushing people who deserve it, I'm not holding my breath, but if they'd just give Kanyon the ball... I'd have loved to have seen Jeff and Kanyon go for 8 or 9.
In the waiting room Russo tells the Wall he's up next. -break-
MATCH TWO - The Wall vs. Lex Luger - Highlight package of the Wall putting people through tables, highlight package (no pun intended) of the Luger/Liz angle from Nitro. I don't get it, is Liz like an indentured servant or something? Does she owe WCW seven years for bringing her over from the Old World or something? Russo comes out (with Liz in tow) to do commentary. Flair comes out to counter.
As the Wall and the Package kill time in the ring, Russo and Flair on announcer headsets, yell at each other in lieu of having play by play for the match. Russo calls Flair a "Loose Cannon." It's like I just heard millions of people crying out as if in terror and then - wait a minute, millions of people aren't watching this, I guess it's just the start of a really bad headache. The match? Well, punch, kick, stomp, clothesline. What do you expect from Luger and Wall? Skip to the end, Russo hits Flair with a bat, Luger racks the Wall leading to
RUN-IN OF THE MATCH - Vince Russo (3:34)
POST RUN-IN - As Luger falls from the batshot he drops the Wall through a table (it was a table match so there were tables set up around ringside). Luger's music plays and the bell rings. Luger looks goofy without the long hair. Maybe him and Page and Jarrett all want to be like Metallica or something. Russo in the ring on the mic challenges Ric, Ric accepts but Russo hides behind Liz. Liz does the trick knee bit to low blow Vince (making it the closest a woman's ever been to his crotch), Flair goes for the figure four but out comes tag champs Corey "Buff" Feldman and Corey "Franchise" Haim to beat up Flair. Kronic comes out to attack the tag champs (play their music!) and as Flair recovers Kidman's music plays. Kidman drew Flair's name so that match is next. -break-
MATCH THREE - Ric Flair vs. Kidman - Remember when Kidman and Konnan and Eddy and Rey buried Flair? Remember when Eddy stole Flair's watch? Russo did! We've had this match before haven't we? It's not a bad matchup. Kidman dominates. Misses a splash of the top rope and Flair does some chops and such.
RUN-IN OF THE MATCH - Rey Misterio & Konnan (3:32)
POST RUN-IN - Konnan and Rey stomp Flair. Wolfpack theme plays. Kidman escapes but Rey and Konnan have forgotten how to go between the ring ropes. No really. They end up being beat up by Nash. Powerbomb on K-Dawg. Kidman's at the stage walking away when through the curtains Hogan appears (play his music!) to beat up Billy. Sorry, that's not Hogan it's Terry Bollea! Thanks Tony. Kidman thrown into the ring. Kidman beat up. More music. Oh, it's Awesome's theme. Nash and Hogan beat him up immediately. Powerbomb on Awesome. Flair, who's been laying on the canvas all this time (what did he have another heart attack?), gets to finally stand and hug Hogan and Nash. Then he leaves the ring as Hogan and Nash hang around a little and the Wolfpack theme plays.
In the back Vampiro talks about facing Page. -break-
MATCH FOUR - Page vs. Vampiro -
RUN-IN OF THE MATCH - Sting (-0:33)
POST RUN-IN - Sting beats up Vamp, covers him in "blood," throws him into the ring where Page awaits. Crack WCW camera crew almost misses the Diamond Cutter on Vampiro to show us Sting walking to the back. Oh, it's now a "sports entertainment" ring, not a wrestling ring in case you haven't figured that out yet. -break-
I can't believe I'm missing the Avs/Wings game to do this. The price you pay for your obsessions...
Back from commercial, the New Blood room is in disarray. Vampiro, Satan bless him, is smiling about being covered in blood. Russo takes umbrage with that. All the other Bloods are not so happy. Russo yells and wants Bischoff to do something. Eric tells everyone to calm down. Elsewhere the Millionaires are all happy.
MATCH FIVE - Awesome vs. Sting - Awesome sells the back from the powerbomb in the last segment on his way to the ring and during his interview. Awesome mentions back doors which gives me a good topic to discuss as Sting and Mike trade moves to kill time waiting for the run-in. (When Awesome jobbed to Taz, Styles talked about Mike leaving through the back door.) ECW on TNN just can't get over the hump. They're stuck around a 1.0 rating and it's really too bad. If you don't already, set your VCRs to record the show. It's got plenty of faults and a thin talent roster, but it's most often better than anything WCW puts out. I'd really like to see the WWF go to whatever other channel and let Heyman take the USA slot. Then I'd like to see what kind of QH rating Tajiri (who's quickly become one of my five favorite wrestlers) and Super Crazy can score against Russo's WCW. That'd just make my year.
RUN-IN OF THE MATCH - Chavo, Lash, Van Hammer (1:19)
POST RUN-IN - Sting vs. Awesome could be a decent match if given the time. This being Russo's WCW, they're not given any. The Misfits who'd been fired on Nitro were sitting at ringside. Awesome attacked them, Misfits fought back. How radical! Chavo proves he has Guerrero blood in him by jumping over the rail and ATTACKING AWESOME'S HURT BACK. You go Chavo! Don't let the bastards drag you down. When Sting was on offense he totally ignored that Awesome was selling a tender back. It's not as bad as Scotty "What do you mean by 'sell'?" 2 Hotty hopping around on the leg that had been worked over the entire match by Malenko last Sunday on WWF's PPV Backlash, but still.
Sting puts Awesome in the Scorpion deathlock and the HIGHLIGHT OF THE SHOW occurs as Awesome "taps out." Awesome "tapped" like he was petting the head of a new born puppy. The camera angle didn't show Awesome's face but you could just imagine him going, 'Yeah Sting, you got me. Woo-hoo, ouch it really hurts. I'm in so much pain please let go.' That was second only to the guy (Tatum Chase?) who took his arm out of the Steiner Recliner to tap out for a few seconds and then put his arm back into the Recliner. -break-
WCW Advanced Auto Parts presents Motor Sports stuff. The Goldberg trunk wins a race, begging the question, who's Goldberg? Rikki Rachtman isn't here, which *is* a good thing, but I must admit I have new found respect for the guy after I say about 30 seconds of him on some MTV VJ profile show.
In the New Blood room Russo tells Scott Steiner it's up to him now. Steiner gets huffy saying he'll go out and win not for them but for himself. Russo says they'll all watch his back.
MATCH SIX - US champ Big Poppa Pump Miles O'Keefe vs. Hogan - Tony said Raw! Tony said Raw! (Well, "Raw human emotion" was the exact phrase) Someone help me out. Which of the Big Bad Booty Daddy's Babes is the one in blue tonight? She's the best girl in pro wrestling today, no question. And she just did the throat slash! Oh, I'm in love! On a less glorious subject, Schiavone talks about how 'the WCW announcers always talk about the importance of the titles' which comes close to putting an end to my report for the night. He goes on to talk about how the belts are secondary now. Well, yeah I guess so.
Scott in the ring, he talks trash. You know, this should be like a PPV main event or something, not a throwaway on Thunder. Que sara sara. Is Scott still upset about the whole nWo 4 life thing? He also talks about his freaks. I wonder if Vampiro is one of his freaks? Replay of Hogan's bloodbath from Nitro. How come Bollea doesn't have to walk around like a zombie all day without taking a bath before Thunder? That'd have been good sports entertainment, seeing Hogan try to act like a zombie. (Insert your own punchline here.)
RUN-IN OF THE MATCH - Hugh Morrus (0:50)
POST RUN-IN - Ok, so Scott Steiner's going to feud with Hugh Morrus now? Great. Russo, you're a genius! Morrus and Hogan doubleteam Steiner. Steiner calls for reinforcements, no one comes out to help him. Steiner leaves. Hogan says he'll step aside and let Steiner fight Morrus one on one. See, critics have Hogan all wrong. Look at him giving Morrus all the props.
In the back Bischoff is on the phone telling someone to come to the arena. Steiner comes in and complains no one helped him. Bischoff says he has it covered. Steiner says he trusts no one (insert X-File ref) and storms out. -break-
We're back and outside the arena a limo pulls up.
MATCH SEVEN - Corey "Buff" Feldman and Corey "Franchise" Haim vs. Kronic -
RUN-IN OF THE MATCH - Ummm, where's the run-in? I want a run-in! Russo's slipping! He's getting lazy! There was no run-in for this match! Well if there's no run-in, I guess the segment isn't really important. But I tell you what, here's play by play:
Kronic rush the ring. Douglas kicks Adams as he comes through the ropes, Adams retaliates with a headbutt and punches. At the same time Buff and Clarke trade blows. Buff tossed, Adams throws Douglas to the corner. Clarke chops Shane, double whip, double back elbow sends Shane to the mat. Elbow drop by Clarke, leg drop by Adams. Adams holds Shane, Clarke back to the ropes but Buff pulls the top rope and Clarke spills outside. Battle outside sees Clarke take advantage with chops. In the ring Shane has Adams face down on the mat, Shane hits a reverse version of those flip-over necksnaps that Hennig always does. Anyone got a name for that? (besides Tony who says "What a move") Shane stomps. Elbow to the throat. Clarke still dominating Buff on the floor. In the ring Adams takes over, kind of an inverted (LeRoux's) Whiplash there. (Fireman carry into a falcon arrowish slam) Clarke in the ring to side slam Buff followed by kicks to the midsection. Outside the ring Shane hits Adams with a tag belt. In the ring Buff blockbuster on Clarke. Douglas in the ring to make the count, slow two count. Stupid Douglas trying to be fair about things. Adams stops the count. Buff and Shane doubleteam Adams, Adams hits a double clothesline. Clarke in, Buff out, H-Bomb er High Time I mean. Clarke counts the three. So are they new tag team champs? Not that it really matters since the belts are worthless. Still, better be ready just in case, how's WCW tag champs Glen "Crush" Danzig and Peter "Wrath" Steele?
WINNERS OF THE MATCH - Kronic (4:04 Adams pins Douglas)
In the New Blood room Eric does his Knute Frickin Rockne speech. 'I made them I can break them. It's a war but it's out war!' -break-
Outside the arena the limo still waits. I imagine the doorhandle is stuck and sorta like Roger Rabbit in handcuffs, whoever's inside can't get out until it's dramatic enough.
New Blood comes to the ring led by Bischoff and his theme. New Blood with weapons. Wall with a plumber's wrench, Kidman with a lead pipe, Miller with a red slipper, Awesome with a ball-peen hammer, Stasiak with a crowbar, Candido with a tire iron, Tammy with a crack vile (ok, that one's for Scott Keith who had the good sense to quit this show she actually had a metal pole.) Remember that scene in Airplane! with the hysterical woman?
MAIN EVENT (aka It's Almost Over) - New Blood vs. Millionaire & Friends 22 Man Battle Royal - Eric makes the challenge. Thus Spake Zarathustra plays and here comes Flair and the other 10 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Ric says it's on if the winner gets a title shot at the Great American Bash. (Why wait that long?) Eric agrees. Tony with the call "Just when you think you can forget about the [world] title..." If only we could, Tony, if only we could. Match is on. Everyone punches and stomps everyone else.
Ernest Miller, to retaliate for Miss Kitty stealing his name is now carrying a scarf like Ivory. Konnan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Disco, Mamalukes, Harris Brothers, enter the battle. Booker T's music plays as Harlem Heat and Norman Smiley (Vince Russo's a racist) come out. Fans chanting for Goldberg. Yeah, right. Horace is eliminated. Now here's Tank Abbott to join. Flair hits Douglas with a lead pipe in the stomach which Tony says is between the shoulder blades. Technically I guess he's right.
Kanyon is eliminated. Hennig gone. Oh man this is sooo exciting I can't even type all the action I'm so busy watching it all. Ok, I admit it, I'm watching the hockey game on ESPN while all the WCW wrestlers basicly stand in the ring. Damn, both the teams I root for are losing. GOAL BY COLORADO! Here's hoping for overtime. Everyone in the sports entertainment ring are punching and stomping and choking. At the 4:20 mark of the match Kronic leaves the ring. (Actually it was about 7 or 8 minutes in, Russo isn't that clever.) -break-
We're back with more standing around. Luger and Buff done. Sting and Vampiro done. Morrus and Steiner done. Konnan done. Mamalukes are gone. Van Hammer and Stevie Rey out. Asya and Medusa are in. Dumb blondes, they should have waited until there was only two people left. Mona in. Oh man all the action! Sensory overload! THIS IS THE GREATEST BATTLE ROYAL EVER! Why yes, I am being sarcastic! Tenay with the call "At Slamboree a triple cage like you never saw before." Since it's the cage from Ready to Rumble, that's right, I haven't ever seen it before. (Don't email me to quibble about them showing clips of the cage in the promo spots so I therefore have seen the cage, I'm making jokes here.) Since I'm not getting the PPV, I won't see it this time either. I won't even get into the previous disastrous that triple cage matches have been.
Back to the battle royal. Why are all these people fighting over a shot at the world title? It's just a prop. It's not something you compete for. It's not something you work for or achieve. It's something the bookers give to you on a whim. The wrestlers would be as well to buy the $25 foam and plastic belt from the WCW merchandise stand. Oh boy, Stars & Stripes plays. It's Ultimo Duggan! Ulti-MOOOOOOOO! Fans chant Pu-ro-re-su! Pu-ro-re-su! Ultimo Duggan's out to tell Douglas he renounces the United States and its crappy American style booking and wrestling. This is so cool! Ok, actually he's there to eliminate Bam Bam, Miller, Smiley, and Abbott. Still wearing the janitor outfit, still with the 2x4, not with the TV title. Regal retired for nothing! (Yes I know he's not retired. I'm joking here. I'm joking here.) Then Duggan leaves himself. Lovely.
Where's Hardcore Champ Chevy Chase Funk? Anyway, let's go outside the arena to see the limo door open. A pair of boots comes out and walks to the arena. As the announcers ask in vain for the cameraman to show us who it is, we just keep watching the feet walking. I know! It's John Travolta! Wednesday Night Fever! No, it's actually Macho Man. Don't get fooled into thinking it was exciting. Savage looks to be in great shape though, a steady diet of Slim Jims will do that for you. Maybe he's here to tell us who he's passing the torch to? Macho tosses Stasiak, Wall, Awesome, Candido. Then Macho leaves.
Page eliminates Jarrett with a clothesline, going over the top rope himself in the process. In the ring we're down to four. Douglas and Flair fight and Hogan and Kidman fight. Here comes Bret Hart with a chair. Bret into the ring, he swings the chair and-
We cut to black. Who did Bret hit with the chair? Tune into Nitro to find out!
Just kidding, it was Hogan of course. Hogan doesn't go out over the top rope but I guess he's still gone. Kidman gets dumped to the feet of Hogan. Flair has Douglas in the figure four. Out comes Russo. He pretty much intentionally whacks Douglas in the leg with a bat. It's suppose to be an accidental thing going for Flair, but really... Ric hits Douglas with a bat sending him over the top rope.
WINNER OF THE BATTLE ROYAL - Ric Flair (~19:35 shown)
Two theories, Russo knows he's in trouble and is going back to the reliable Ric Flair to bail out WCW yet again or Russo convinces Ric to job to Douglas at Slamboree in exchange for a title at GAB.
POST-MATCH - Hogan tries to suplex Kidman through a table but Eric hits him with a bat leading to Hogan going through the table. Somewhere off camera Jarrett sends Page 'through' a stage that was rigged up, spoilers said people goofed. Arquette was there I think but he (thankfully) gets completely edited out (as far as I noticed) along with the blown spots. Meanwhile Hogan and Savage shake hands. No comment on that.
THE SHOW ENDS HERE
mdb - See you next Wednesday!