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Thunder - July 14, 1999

Thunder
Date: July 14, 1999
Location: Jefferson County Civic Center, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Larry Zbyszko, Mike Tenay

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Oh joy. It's a taped Thunder coming off a PPV. The good thing is we're coming off the least boring show WCW had in awhile, though on the other hand it led us to ANOTHER Hogan title reign that only people with the last name Hogan actually wanted to see. That being said, I'll take bad over dull, and anything that gets me away from Randy Savage in the main event is a good thing. Let's get to it.


This is a Wednesday show.

Vampiro vs. Van Hammer

Hammer throws him around to start but gets armdragged down to space things out a bit. A full nelson doesn't get Hammer anywhere but some kicks to the chest knock him out to the floor. Vampiro hits a nice dive but Hammer easily sends him into the barricade to take over. Back in and Hammer pounds away before kicking Vampiro square in the jaw. A big slam sends Vampiro off the top but walks around instead of covering.

Vampiro comes back with some strikes and a snapmare, followed by a kick to the back. This is going nowhere for the most part. Van takes him down again and stomps away because he really doesn't have that strong of an offense. A chokeslam of all things puts Hammer down for two but Vampiro misses a top rope splash. That's FINALLY enough to make the announcers stop talking about Hogan returning on Monday. Hammer slugs away in the corner and we hit the chinlock. Back up and Vampiro nails him low, only to walk into the cobra clutch slam for two. They slug it out again and Vampiro grabs a rollup for a fast pin.

Rating: D+. This goes back to the problem for Thunder: the wrestling is just ok, but there's no reason to care about these guys. Yeah Vampiro is popular with the fans, but why should I care about him? He has one off matches that don't go anywhere and has no story to speak of. On the other hand you have the worthless hunk of flesh known as Van Hammer, who isn't going to make things any better.

Speaking of Van Hammer, he destroys Vampiro after the match. Really? THIS warrants a continuation?

Sick Boy vs. Rick Fuller

Oh come on now. Sick Boy now has blond hair and actually looks like a bigger Dolph Ziggler if he had a brown beard. Fuller drops him with a shoulder as Tenay says this is a proving ground match. A bad looking legdrop gets two on Boy and a bad looking sunset flip gets the same on Fuller.

We keep the dull going with Fuller's generic power offense in the corner before he hammers Sick Boy down in the middle of the ring. Sick Boy scores with a lariat but gets choked on the middle rope. Another sunset flip attempt is blocked so Fuller puts him on the top and....very gently takes him back down. Sick Boy gets two off a spinwheel kick but Fuller puts him back on the top and hits a kind of powerbomb for the pin.

Rating: F. What a disaster. Again, it's not even that the match was horrible, but they just had nothing going on here and I had no reason to care. The match is just SO dull and uninteresting that there's nothing to keep my attention. If the idea here was to have Fuller look like a killer, it's failed as much as....well almost anything else WCW tried around this point.

Steve Regal/Fit Finlay/Dave Taylor vs. No Limit Soldiers

This would be Chase Tatum, Swoll and B.A. Chase and Finlay slug it out to start and Chase is already about 847 times better than Swoll. The fact that he's only a bit above average should tell you all you need to know. They trade some good forearms with Chase getting the better of it, only to miss a charge into the corner. Off to Taylor for some very quick shots before Regal comes in to get in some offense of his own.

Regal misses an elbow though and the hot tag brings in Swoll to clean house. We go to a commercial with the good news that Swoll hasn't maimed anyone yet. Back and thank goodness it's Regal vs. B.A. Regal works on the arm and drops some knees, only to have B.A. make a nice comeback with dropkicks and armdrags. The Europeans take him into the corner though and it's European uppercuts a go-go with all three getting in a few.

Finlay misses a charge into the corner but Regal comes in to prevent B.A. from making the hot tag. Then for a change of pace, Taylor comes in to prevent B.A. from making the hot tag. It's back to Finlay for the chinlock before it's off to Taylor for yet another chinlock. Regal comes in for some brief hammering before it's back to Dave, who misses the third tag of the match and finally allows the hot tag to Swoll. Thankfully it doesn't last long with Swoll running everyone over and hitting his palm strike to the chest (called a Heart Punch by Tenay, who apparently doesn't get the concept of a PUNCH) to pin Taylor.

Rating: D. The worst part about this is the majority of the guys out here are really talented and deserve much better than this. Chase wasn't anything special but he was fine for what he was doing. Then however you have Swoll, who is basically the Erik Watts of his day. Also, it's so depressing that guys like Regal, Taylor and Finlay, who could teach anyone a thing or twenty about wrestling, have to job for this guy because his uncle is famous.

West Texas Rednecks video.

We see the whole Sting/Flair argument from Nitro, plus most of Sting vs. David.

US Title: Bobby Eaton vs. David Flair

What is this, a theme show? Ric and Asya will be running interference. David actually takes Bobby down with a headlock before Bobby does the same to him, albeit much faster. A hiptoss drops Eaton and he looks somewhere between shocked and frustrated. Ric tries to give Eaton a wad of cash, only to have Eaton take the money and suplex David down. Asya comes in to block the Alabama Jam before taking his place. Eaton climbs down and yells at Ric, earning a low blow from Asya. The Figure Four retains the title.

Rating: F. I'm sure you get the idea.

Recap of Vampiro vs. Konnan, Miller and Bagwell's non-match, Kidman vs. Regal and Stevie Ray saving Booker. Even Smackdown isn't this bad.

Kidman vs. Mikey Whipwreck

This HAS to be better. Kidman scores with some headscissors and a dropkick to start, sending Mikey out to the floor for a breather. Kidman spends too much time walking around and not paying attention, allowing Mikey to pull him out to the floor. He drops Kidman across the barricade as Tenay prattles on about Hogan vs. Nash. Back in and Mikey works on the ribs and legs with all the usual submission attempts that won't work.

Kidman fights back with a quick powerbomb but can't follow up. Instead it's Mikey getting two off a slam, followed by a slingshot legdrop. Back up and he tries a suplex, only to have Kidman shove him out to the floor. A big plancha takes Mikey out again, followed by a high cross body for two back inside. Mikey nails a nice springboard clothesline, but makes the eternally stupid mistake of trying to powerbomb Kidman. The faceplant sets up the Shooting Star for the pin.

Rating: C-. At this point I think I'd have given anything a better rating. Mikey continues to be about as obvious of a cheap shot signing as you can imagine as there's just no reason for him to be in WCW. His work is average and most of the fans don't care about him, but at least he's not working for ECW right?

Video on Hogan vs. Savage.

Rap Is Crap.

Tag Team Titles: Jersey Triad vs. Curt Hennig/Barry Windham

Heel vs. heel here, but maybe they're hoping the rednecks will be over as faces in the south? Kanyon starts out on the floor as Bigelow easily hammers Curt down. It's off to Windham for a Starrcade 1988 rematch, with Barry doing just as badly as Hennig did. Page comes in which goes a bit better for Windham. A shoulder and lariat put Page down and it's back to Hennig, who only stays in for a few seconds.

Off to Kanyon who eats a suplex from Windham before it's quickly back to Hennig. Now, to really make this stupid, Kendall Windham and Bobby Duncum Jr. jump up on the apron as Barry drops to the floor. Curt tags out to Kendall and drops to the floor, meaning it's now Kendall/Bobby vs. the Triad.

So to recap, we have two heel teams both using an upgraded version of the Freebird Rule, but the team of heels that might actually get some face sympathy in this town is now cheating even more, guaranteeing that the bigger heel team is going to be less heelish here, somehow making them the faces. I didn't believe it was possible but this company is somehow coming up with new ways to screw stuff up.

Anyway we take a break and come back with Kanyon coming in to face Duncum with Barry on the apron. Bobby drops Kanyon with a right hand but Hennig interferes for no apparent reason, allowing for a double tag to Barry and Bigelow. The others start interfering, allowing Page to hit Barry low to really take over. The other three guys are fighting on the floor, leaving Kanyon to miss a moonsault on Barry. Hennig comes in off the hot tag but everyone gets in for the double DQ.

Rating: D. For DUMB. This match was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen in wrestling and I can't believe I actually watched it. WCW managed to screw up one of the basic core ideas of wrestling (good vs. bad) and couldn't even have champions win clean in doing so. I can't believe it but this company is somehow getting worse.

Overall Rating: G. This show is behind a failure. This was one of the worst shows that I've ever had to sit through, with Kidman vs. Whipwreck having the ONLY thing that was watchable. However, when you have Rick Fuller vs. Sick Boy, a David Flair match with Ric Flair stuffing money down Bobby Eaton's tights like he was a stripper to whatever the heck that main event was to SO MANY FREAKING RECAPS, something like Kidman vs. Whipwreck is pretty quickly forgotten. This was a disaster and made me change my standard line from “it can't possibly get any worse” to “dear goodness please don't let it get worse.”


Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Comments

  1. I rarely watched Thunder. Was it EVER decent?

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  2. kbwrestlingreviewsDecember 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Not usually but you would occasionally get a good match. They're getting fewer and further between though.

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  3. For about the first month. Then it became the B-show for a few months. Then they started taping every other week and it became total shit. Then it became important again under Russo since everything on TV had to be important and impossible to follow. And then it became shit again near the end.

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  4. Biff Kensington IIIDecember 6, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Watching Florida State fall to #4 despite being unbeaten is like winning $20 on a scratch off ticket, then parlaying that into a $500 scratch off ticket. Just makes me feel like victory.

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  5. The Love-Matic Grampa!December 6, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Remember Orton's neon blue jobber trunks with his name in bright yellow on the back? When he switched to the normal black ones, you knew he was on his way.

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  6. They're both big girls, too. And the whole second generation thing will help them not look at ring ropes in fear like 90% of the other divas do. I'm not sure why it's bugging me so much lately--but the women refuse to run in the ring.

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  7. She kind of seems like an idiot...

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  8. Biff Kensington IIIDecember 6, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    I hate Gwen Stefani with an abject passion. Like, I would be hard pressed to even piss on her if she were on fire, it's that damn strong.

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  9. Considering what I know about your wife I take this as an endorsement.

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  10. Biff Kensington IIIDecember 6, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    She gave me some egg nog and a Kit Kat bar today. #Improvement

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  11. In fairness... running the ropes hurts more than the basic bumps do... of course they knew what they signed up for.

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  12. She's got kind of a young and dumb thing going, but I think she makes it work.

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  13. I get the impression she is just acting dumb... which is more annoying than her actually being dumb.

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  14. Biff Kensington IIIDecember 6, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    They've got some actual talent working its way up the ranks. Natalya and Paige (and A.J. to an extent) can put on an entertaining match given enough time, Emma has potential, and then Charlotte is probably going to surpass them all. Sara Del Rey is doing some good things for them.

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  15. Emma does the same thing. And I love them both for it.

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  16. Biff Kensington IIIDecember 6, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    I remember a vaguely similar discussion when they changed Bryan Danielson to Daniel Bryan; a lot of people kept going Danielson for months, until finally everyone just agreed to use Bryan and be done with it. Six or seven months of repetition will ultimately move people to Itami and Balor, which is okay I guess because there are some cool nicknames for both.

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  17. Rusev (pre-lana) put him on the barricade, and he jumped approx. 184 feet back on the ring apron.

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  18. Biff Kensington IIIDecember 6, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    She has a weird chin, it makes me stare at it.

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  19. Hogan going back to yellow & red felt so forced and hollow. At a time when WCW desperately needed to get some fresh talent up the card, they went back to Hulkamania and an ill-advised Sting heel turn.

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  20. But it makes you sound cool and edgy and smart if you use the former names!

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  21. Biff Kensington IIIDecember 6, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    This is me not giving a fuck.

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  22. Biff Kensington IIIDecember 6, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    CM Punk does martial arts though! GTS will become next grorious finisher in the UFC.

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  23. I think he could be a good commentator I guess, but how much room is there for more commentators? Goldberg's alright and Rogan's the best commentator in sports so there doesn't really seem to be a need.

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  24. Goldberg is awful. In my mind, he's worse than Michael Cole. And he's got just as bad an arsenal of cliches.

    Goldberg is easily my least favorite commentator going.

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  25. I was thinking about this recently, and it occurred to me that maybe part of the problem is that they're working in rings that aren't designed for them. I can't confirm it but I would imagine that women's promotions like Shimmer and the ones in Japan have rings where the ropes are slightly lower and closer together than a men's ring would be, so that when they run the ropes in them the top rope it hits them in the back like it's supposed to instead of in the neck or the back of the head like they do when the divas use the WWE ring.

    This of course is pure conjecture, and likely complete bullshit, but it's a theory.

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  26. I don't like anyone that wrestles barefoot. Why would you, it hurts? I mean, they allow you to wear whatever you want, I'd be in construction boots or something to maximize impact

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  27. Soon as they hit the main roster.

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  28. She has a nice tummy.

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  29. Tear their hamstrings more like it.

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  30. RG3 might stay, Gruden might go

    http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2014/12/6/7345955/jay-gruden-fired-robert-griffin-iii-washington



    The Skins are the gift that keeps giving.

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  31. Macho King WrestleMania 7... greatest of all time


    Ted Dibiase's alternate white outfit also rocked

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  32. There might be something to it. You are supposed to have the top rope right below your should blades and I was never able to do it because I am short... and I am sure this was a smaller ring than WWE uses. If you watch Mysterio he often bounces off the second rope for example.

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  33. Wait... are the Slammys the go-home show for the PPV, or is there one more RAW to go?

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  34. It's the go home show.

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  35. Jesus, Mary & Joseph...

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  36. Wow this Bama/Mizzouri game is insane. Mizzouri has had like 5 plays this whole game and they've all been QB running for his life and heaving it 40 yards to #88 and it's worked everytime.

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  37. I understand all of this. I just think that them slowing down or refusing to run at all looks awful. Find some type of method to adjust to the situation or just avoid it altogether.

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  38. and Savage at Rumble 90 wore bright orange swede boots for the only time... bad ass

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  39. Really builds excitement for...what's the main event?

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  40. Biff Kensington IIIDecember 6, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    Get fucked, Maty Mauk. Your name is stupid, just like your team.

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  41. Biff Kensington IIIDecember 6, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    My co-worker loves to give me grief about the Panthers. Payback is a bitch.

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  42. Are the women's matches stil laid out by Finlay? He was always one of the ones (along with guys like Regal & Benoit) who would boast about working long house show matches where they never even touched the ropes. They could easily get a mat-based style like that over if they wanted to (and you can still come OFF the top rope if they insist on using it).

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  43. Greg Valentie's blue rube and matte blue/white boots was sharp

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  44. I was thinking "hmm, easy night for the writers: they just gotta book around the fan votes." Then I remembered the PPV. So they have to write an awards show *and* hype a PPV. Guess they still have SmackDown for the final hard sell.

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  45. and Terry Taylor wearing his Red Rooster jacket after jumping to WCW with a patch sewed over the name on the back was pretty sad to

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  46. Any time Triple H had a big match, usually a WrestleMania main event, and when he would wear colorful boots. The purple and white ones come to mind.

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  47. Tazz looked really small and, frankly, silly in the singlet once he was in a WWE ring, matched against WWE-sized guys and filmed outside of the claustrophobic ECW environment. The 'garbage man' gear was actually an improvement.

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  48. Disagree. Randy Savage is about the only person on the planet who could be dressed in a neon green-and-pink cowboy outfit and still look like a badass.

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  49. that I agree. I love your example because I just have no use for either team. But yeah, it needs to be a short stay for top guys. Just long enough to get a little buzz and learn what they need to know. Let the rest of NXT be for guys trying out gimmicks or truly developing.

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  50. Or it could be what people are used to.

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  51. No, one person likes to project his past time on me in a desperate attempt to "put me in my place." It doesn't work and he ends up talking about sexually assaulting children for days on end because of some strange obsession.

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  52. I think it actually called into sharper relief just how tiny he actually was.


    Despite how terribly he was used, Tazz's jump to WWE was still, probably, very wise - given that he was pretty much done as an in-ring performer about 18 months later, and it probably made him pretty wealthy.

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  53. I think that was in spite of his garb. Second he dumped it, greatness happened for him.

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  54. Surprised at the lack of a nomination for Bryan vs Bray at RR.

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  55. That Punk in UFC thing sounds like a troll of some kind. In the Cabana interview he seemed to be basically laughing at the idea. As he ought to be.

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  56. It's all talk to drum up some UFC publicity.
    Punk is a 36 year old dude who has never been in actual fight shape in his life and has two wrecked knees on top of who-knows-how-many other injuries that could never fully heal. He's too smart to try to make MMA a career at this point in his life.

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  57. Triple H's bike shorts.

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  58. HBO fight night. Some dude against another dude.

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  59. I don't have the network but someone said they started uploading the shows. I googled it and found some still shots of her appearance. She has to be the first black one to ever make a mainstream television appearance

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  60. besides kicking people in the nuts a few times in fights (since I didn't start them and actually tried to discuss rather than fight I feel it was okay to do that. one kick, other guy goes down, I get the hell away) I once put someone out with sleeperhold. and from todays perspective, I am very glad that moron-me didn't seriously hurt the other guy (the sleeper is so dangerous and I really had no clue what I was doing).

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  61. If he was beat the fuck up in WWE, he's not going into MMA. This rumor is pretty dumb

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  62. Jericho: no. The Miz: neither better nor worse.

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  63. I think his current face paint actually looks great.

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  64. Christian's tights always bothered me. I think he looks great in street clothes but kind of weird in his wrestling attire (I guess it's his legs).

    for example, him in his WWE return (the one with the underwhelming commentary):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Lc2OXP8yqc

    the match later on that show:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDAStPdDVOY

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  65. Only exception I can think of: Dolph Ziggler. Worst fucking name in history, and still pretty over.

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  66. Damian 666 had awful gear for a luchadore. Just shitty facepaint and regular clothes. Super Calo was awful too, especially the Sunglasses/Mask thing.

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  67. You are probably right.. I can't think of another. Back in those days there were only a few Black porn actresses and I doubt any of them would be on Letterman or Carson.

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  68. Then that's fine. It's pretty much what you're used to.


    I'll probably end up using "Steen" for close to a year by force of habit, because I've been watching him since about 2006 or 2007.


    I didn't have any problems with referring to Pac as Neville or Devitt as Balor because I've only seen a handful of both of their matches.


    Danielson took almost as long, and I still see myself referring to Cesaro as Castagnoli every now and then.

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  69. Good for you. My friend works handling server-end stuff for Turner. It's RIDICULOUS around there during basketball season.

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  70. Love that show -- until the Professor and Wade go away.

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  71. I've been watching some "Top X Moves of Kevin Steen" videos to see if there's something he can use.


    Maybe the moonsault or sidewinder suplex. WWE won't let him use much else.

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  72. Maybe it is...... would someone go and correct it, please?

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  73. I was going to go back like a year and upvote a random post of yours, but then I realize that Disqus sucks, and there's only so much work I'll do for a stupid joke.

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  74. Big Show's sumo outfit when he wrestled Akebono.

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  75. I.R.S. is a good call, for kayfabe, with the tie choking... which totally happened and the great spot where he would try to crawl away, allowing his opponent to stomp on it and Bobby Heenan to then comment, "He stepped on his tongue!" or some such. So it was actually kind of great!

    Wouldn't the tactical vest worn by Boss man or any Shield member actually serve as some kind of protection or armor? D-Lo had the chest protector in a similar vein. Garvin and Valentine had a whole feud over shin guards.

    Psicosis and Jushin Liger were always fiddling with their over-sized masks. All the usual drawbacks of a mask plus it doesn't stay in place making it even worse.

    My wife walked in during a re-watch of SS 1990 and wondered what was up with all the tassels!

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