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Thunder - August 5, 1999

ThunderDate: August 5, 1999
Location: Lacrosse Center, Lacrosse, Wisconsin
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It's the go home show for Road Wild and the big story is Hulk Hogan returning to the red and yellow for the first time in over three years and pretty much guaranteeing victory on Saturday. Chris Benoit has also won the US Title and finally broken through at least some of the glass ceiling he's been hammering away at for years now. Let's get to it.

We see a package on last year's Road Wild, set to what sounds like Wrath's old music. Given that this is WCW, I'm shocked they didn't bring in some C list musician to perform a special song live.

Opening sequence.

Rick Steiner vs. Spyder

Apparently Spyder would go on to become NWA North American Heavyweight Champion and may have been Eddie Guerrero's bodyguard from the LWO days. Steiner's big insult for Goldberg this week: he's a bald headed dirtbag. He also insulted your title but that's not important enough to mention here. Rick hammers away in the corner to start before ripping at Spyder's face. We're in regular Steiner territory here. A big release German suplex sends Spyder flying and Rick tosses him outside for good measure. He's sent into every steel object on the floor, setting up the Steiner Bulldog and that stupid arm hold for the win.

Rating: D-. Rick Steiner is a horrible wrestler. His offense isn't good, he can't talk, his finisher is stupid and for some reason he's being rewarded for these performances. If I'm someone like Booker T. or Perry Saturn, why am I even bothering at this point? At least there's some hope with Benoit, but I have very little confidence in WCW to push two young guys at a time.

Video on Goldberg vs. Steiner. Has Rick beating Goldberg down months ago been brought up at all during this feud, or are we just supposed to remember it?

Jimmy Hart and Brian Knobbs are excited for the career match. Uh....good for you guys.

Video on Nash vs. Hogan with both careers on the line. That's not really fair to Hogan as he's putting up two things against Nash's one.

We see Hogan going back to the red and yellow from Nitro. This show is another big commercial isn't it?

Video on Page vs. Benoit for Chris' first title defense. The match is No DQ, likely so we can have a lot of interference so Page won't have to work too hard, even though he's more than capable of doing so.

Video on Sting vs. Sid Vicious, which was a big match ten years ago and still is now because they're still spring chickens in this company's eyes.

We see Sid promising to destroy everyone to become the Millennium Man.

Sid Vicious vs. Disorderly Conduct

I waited twenty minutes to get to this match? I'm not even going to bother suggesting that this is going to be a big surprise or anything because Sid squashes are actually entertaining in some weird way. He attacks Mean Mike and Tough Tom on the floor before throwing Tom inside for a kind of spinebuster. Mike is kicked off the apron and Sid settles down by just punching (with that weird overhand punch with the big follow through of his) and slapping Tom in the face. The cobra clutch slam to Tom and powerbomb to Mike are enough for the fast pin. Total squash, but I'm not feeling the cobra clutch slam. It just doesn't fit Sid.

Sid chokeslams Tom like he should have done during the match. He wants Goldberg, but instead of a match that could be fun in a car crash sense, we have to sit through a Goldberg vs. Steiner match that's going to be more painful than an actual car crash. Yay us.

Booker T. can't believe that Hogan or Nash will be gone after Saturday. Somehow this is the most interesting moment of the night.

Video on the Dead Pool vs. the yet to be named Filthy Animals, complete with clips from their brawls on Monday.

Benoit does the same thing Booker, Hart and Knobbs did earlier.

Here's the same video that opened the show. This is such a waste of my time, even when I'm fast forwarding through the packages.

Harlem Heat is ready to take the Triad to 110th Street.

Here's the full Booker T. vs. Kanyon match from Nitro because this show is just a big recap with some squash matches anymore.


This Week In WCW Motorsports. For goodness sake come on already.

The West Texas Rednecks vs. the Revolution has been added to Saturday, even though it was fairly obvious.

Hey, you know what would be good right now? Wasting my time with more clips from Nitro, especially if it was a waste of time in the first place. It's Hennig confronting Chad Brock because.....I really don't care enough to come up with a reason at this point.

Barry Windham/Bobby Duncum Jr. vs. Shane Douglas/Dean Malenko

Somehow, we're halfway through this show. Look back at what we've seen so far and tell me how we could be halfway through this show. The Rednecks come out to I Hate Rap, probably so the fans don't realize that Good Old Boys is Jeff Jarrett's old music with lyrics. Windham starts with Malenko but gets stomped into the corner and armdragged a few times. Very Steamboat-esque there.

Malenko makes a rare mental mistake and gets kicked in the face. It's off to Douglas vs. Duncum with the Revolution staying in for a double elbow to the jaw. What revolutionary cheating. Duncum misses a boot and gets taken down, only to have Shane get caught in the wrong corner as we take a break. Back with Hennig saving Duncum from the Cloverleaf, allowing Windham to suplex Dean in a variety of ways. Not quite 1004 ways but it was up there. A low blow puts Malenko down again and it's back to Duncum.

Bobby nails a nice shoulder breaker and wraps his legs around Malenko's head while tagging in Barry. A hard double clothesline puts Malenko down and it's back to Duncum, who quickly misses a charge in the corner. Shane comes in off the hot tag to clean house with a double noggin knocker and a Thesz Press of all things for two on Bobby. The Rednecks try to interfere but Douglas grabs the Pittsburgh Plunge on Duncum for the pin.

Rating: C-. Match of the night here by about a thousand miles. Douglas looked better here than he has in the rest of his matches since his return, but just like the first praise for the match, that's not really covering much ground. This was just a way to set up the six man on Saturday, which is fine in theory but I'm not the biggest fan of having most of the people in a match in another match two days earlier. I'll make an exception on this show though as a watchable tag match is the best thing I've seen in nearly an hour and a half.

Post match the Rednecks destroy the Revolution, including Saturn attempting to make a save. Perry gets hog tied for his efforts.

Page is intrigued by the career match too.

Berlyn is still coming.

LONG video on Nash vs. Hogan in case the first five or six mentions tonight didn't get your attention.

Video on Rodman vs. Savage. It's 1999 and Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan and Rick Steiner are in the three biggest matches on the PPV card. That tells you almost everything you need to know about WCW at this point.

Clips from Nitro and the Tonight Show for Savage vs. Rodman.

Randy Savage vs. Evan Karagias

Savage, wearing what he considers street clothes (they're very shiny), asks if we want to know who was driving the Hummer. “The baddest person on the planet, the bodyguard for Gorgeous George and the insurance policy? Well don't worry about it because I'm going to take care of it.” Evan says he doesn't like the way Savage has been treating the girls, especially Mona. They don't deserve to be treated like that, especially by a legend like Savage.

Macho thinks Evan has a lot of guts but promises a Miss Madness 2000 contest, which Mona can enter to get her job back. Savage wants to give Evan props but kicks him in the ribs like everyone expected him to. That's as close as anyone is going to get to a rub from Savage right now. They quickly head outside with Evan being rammed into the barricade and throw back inside. Mona comes out to cheer for Evan, who avoids a charge into the corner.

Karagias scores with a dropkick and some right hands to send Savage to the floor but he grabs Mona for a shield. She gets away though and Evan hits a nice dive to take Savage out. That's about it for Evan though as Savage posts him and drops the big elbow. He picks Evan up at two and goes up again, drawing in Mona to try and protect Evan. Savage dives anyway so Mona has to dive out of the way. Macho yells at Mona so referee Johnny Boone jumps on his back, earning himself a piledriver for the DQ.

Rating: D. That's about the extent of a rub that you're going to get from Randy Savage at this point....and it could have been much worse. Evan got in some solid offense and had Savage sweating for a bit, which is a lot more than most guys at his level would get. No it wasn't really competitive or anything, but when you watch guys like Steiner destroying people, Savage looks like the most generous guy in the world by comparison. Savage's talk before the match wasn't bad either and Karagias looks better coming out than he did going in.

Savage drops a third elbow and counts his own pin.

We close out the show with the six man from Monday in its entirety and two more Road Wild ads.

Overall Rating: I. For infomercial, because that's all this show was. This was a big ad for Road Wild, which has one of the most obvious main events I've seen in years. You could trim this show down and it would serve as a perfect pre-show on Saturday. This was a big waste of my time and took away what little interest I had in watching the show on Saturday. Let me put this in perspective for you: the best thing about this show was the tag match. The second best thing about this show? How well Karagias looked coming out of a squash. Just think about that one for a minute and you'll see what I put up with on these shows.

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  1. Kinda sad that the last Nitro was probably the high point for Beniot in WCW and he goes from here to jobbing to Sid and Rick Steiner and eventually leaving all WCW together within 6 months.

  2. How pointless was Thunder by this point? So pointless that I mostly quit watching nearly a year earlier.

  3. I went to this taping of Thunder -- the August 5 and August 12, 1999 episodes. I really want to watch these episodes again. Anybody know how to find them out there???


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