Thunder – February 18, 1999: Well…..It Is Better

Thunder
Date: February 18, 1999
Location: E Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 9,159
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

This show has to be better than Nitro. I really do not thing it’s possible for a show to be worse than the one that I watched on Monday. It completely missed on everything it was trying to do and made everyone in WCW seem very stupid. Last week’s Thunder wasn’t much better, meaning tonight has to be better. It’s also the go home show for SuperBrawl. Let’s get to it.

We open with clips from Hogan vs. Piper on Monday.

The announcers preview the show for us and don’t have anything interesting to say.

There’s a cage over the ring and the announcers have no idea why it’s there.

Goldberg is going to be on the Tonight Show on Friday and will be making a huge challenge.

Booker T. and Stevie Ray are in the back with Booker trying to talk Stevie out of the Black and White. Disco Inferno shows up and says Harlem Heat reforming would open up a spot for him in the Black and White. Booker says get out of here and Disco thinks it’s a “brother” thing. Mr. T. doesn’t take kindly to this.

The Blonde, wearing a cut off top and white shorts, is in the hotel room when the cameraman comes in. He hands her a taser and she says his meeting with Scott must have gone well. The Blonde takes the taser and says she’s very experienced with it. They sit down on the bed and she asks if he wants to play while holding up the stun gun.

We see the start of Kanyon and Raven’s shopping trip for the third time in two weeks.

Here’s Disco to the Wolfpack music with something to say. He introduces us to one of his childhood heroes. The man is a legend, an icon and the United States Champion, the Rowdy Scot. It’s Scott Hall in a kilt over jeans. Hall officially names Disco a member of the Wolfpack and announces Disco vs. Booker T. for Sunday. Disco says Booker has been in WCW for six years and is still on the first rung of the ladder of success. On Sunday, Booker can only hope to contain him. Hall says Piper is shining up the US Title for a big star who unlike Piper is all man. He rips off the kilt and that’s that.

Raven and Kanyon take money out of the bank. Is there any reason for us to see these segments again?

Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Lash Leroux

They start fast with Chavo running Lash down with a shoulder but gets caught in an armbar. We cut to the back to see a limousine arriving but Rey Mysterio is waiting to greet it. Lex and Liz are in the limo and as they get out, Rey slams the door on Luger’s hand and shouts THUG LIFE. Not quite as good as Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes and it makes Mysterio look like a criminal. I’m assuming Luger is injured and has to be taken out of the tag match at SuperBrawl.

Back to the arena with Chavo hitting a baseball slide to send Leroux into the barricade. Chavo nails a belly to back suplex in the ring and we hit the chinlock followed by an armbar. Leroux fights up and drops into the splits before nailing a clothesline. A northern lights suplex gets two on Guerrero but he crotches Lash on the top. Leroux gets tied up on the top rope and choked by Chavo’s boot, earning a DQ.

Rating: D+. This would have been better had we gotten to see the whole match, but at least we get to see Kanyon and Raven’s Excellent Adventure again. Leroux isn’t much to see in the ring but a Cajun guy is at least something we haven’t seen before. Chavo getting to be more aggressive as a serious heel is something nice to see as well.

Post match Chavo keeps hammering away until Kidman comes in for the save. Chavo beats him up too and hits a tornado DDT off the apron.

Kanyon and Raven go to Versace.

Clips from Nitro of Flair being attacked in the field, being saved by the truck driver and being taken to the arena.

Scott Steiner shows up and is told Page isn’t expected here tonight.

Kanyon and Raven get home and Raven’s mom tells him they want him back at work. These are all out of the way in the first 45 minutes or so, meaning there’s hopefully something new later.

Video on Bigelow vs. Goldberg.

Adams and Horace are in the back and say they’ll go to SuperBrawl because of their size and power. Basic promo but it got the message across.

Juventud Guerrera vs. Chris Jericho

Before the match, Jericho talks about Saturn wearing a dress. He has a surprise for us, sporting some of the latest Chris Jericho Collection. Here’s Ralphus in a pink dress and actually looking more human than usual. We take a break about thirty seconds into the match and come back with Jericho nailing a clothesline before sending Juvy throat first onto the middle rope.

Chris tells Ralphus to kiss Guerrera but Juvy knocks him down out of fear of a bad infection. Back in and Juvy gets two off a hurricanrana and DDT but Jericho nails a spinebuster out of the corner. Guerrera flips out of a German suplex attempt but Jericho counters another hurricanrana into the Liontamer for the submission. Not enough to rate and did we really need a commercial in a six minute match?

We’re an hour into this show and we’ve seen about six minutes of wrestling.

Video on Page vs. Steiner.

This Week In WCW Motorsports! They’re still not very good.

Back with Buff Bagwell in the ring. He’s been cleared to wrestle, but tonight he’s introducing Scott Steiner. Scott runs his mouth about Page and calls him white trash but accepts the challenge for Sunday. However he wants a stipulation: if he beats Page, Steiner gets Kimberly for thirty days. Scott gets a warm-up match tonight.

Scott Steiner vs. Bobby Blaze

It’s exactly what you expect: forearms to the back, a gorilla press, a belly to belly and the Recliner.

Steiner beats on him even more after the match.

Rey Mysterio Jr./Konnan vs. Silver King/Hector Garza

Mysterio hammers away on Silver King to start but Garza gets in a cheap shot from the apron. Hector’s standing moonsault gets two and it’s back to Silver King for a front facelock. Rey easily fights out and makes the hot tag. Konnan cleans house with the rolling lariats before everything breaks down. A Bronco Buster crushes Silver King and Konnan’s X-Factor and sets up a hurricanrana to give Rey the pin on King. Another short match.

The Horsemen say they’ll win tonight and bring meaning back to the titles.

Video recapping the US Title situation leading up to SuperBrawl.

Jerry Flynn vs. Booker T.

Feeling out process to start with with Flynn taking him into the corner, only to get caught with a running clothesline to send him out to the floor. Back in and a legsweep takes Booker down and Jerry kicks away in the corner. Disco tries to interfere but Jerry kicks him down off the apron. Booker slams Flynn down and nails the whip spinebuster. Disco low bridges Booker to the floor and hits the Chartbuster before sending Booker back in inside for a spinkick, giving Jerry the pin.

Rating: D. This was angle advancement instead of a match and thankfully it wasn’t a clean win for Jerry. Booker deserves better than a match with Disco Inferno but a young and talented guy getting a significant push in WCW isn’t something you can expect in WCW. At least it’s a match with a story though.

Gene brings out Ric Flair for the hard sell for Sunday. Ric is in sunglasses due to the attack on Monday. Flair has something he wants Hogan to hear. He survived Monday night and neither Hogan nor the NWO is cool. Hogan has a bunch of celebrity friends and he was given a belt to call himself the World Champion. He goes on about earning his championships and how he’ll prove what it means to be a champion in Oakland. There goes the jacket and Flair lists off all of the legends that a lot of the fans have never heard of. This is the same promo Flair has done every time he’s talked in this feud.

The Blonde, wrapped in a sheet, and the cameraman are ordering room service. He hands her tickets to SuperBrawl. She’s ready to go shopping.

The cage has been lowered.

Tag Team Title Tournament: Horace/Brian Adams vs. Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko

Pinfall or submission only, no escape. The winners go to SuperBrawl to face Hennig/Windham. Flair has put this in a cage to prevent the NWO from interfering. Malenko takes Horace into the corner to start but a hard elbow to the jaw puts Dean down. It’s off to Benoit vs. Adams with Chris taking him down into an armbar. An enziguri puts Adams on the mat again but Benoit charges into the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Back to Horace for an elbow to Chris’ jaw and it’s quickly back to Adams who gets caught in a backslide for another two.

Benoit’s chop has little effect on Horace and everything breaks down for a few seconds, only to have Malenko put back on the apron. Chris finally sends Horace into the cage and makes the hot tag to Malenko. Dean quickly takes Adams down and goes for the Cloverleaf, only to have Horace make a save. Everything breaks down for real now and the Horsemen catapult Brian into the cage. The Crossface has Horace in trouble but Adams makes the save.

A big boot gets two on Dean with Benoit making a save of his own. The Horsemen send Benoit face first into the cage as Vince is unlocking the cage door. Malenko is sent into the cage as well and Benoit is sent through the door. Horace and Adams pound on Malenko with a chair but Benoit easily fights off Vince. He climbs the outside of the cage and kicks Horace down as Malenko kicks the chair into Adams’ face. Benoit hits the swan dive off the top onto Adams to go to SuperBrawl.

Rating: C+. This was fine and they actually got me thinking that the Horsemen might lose for a little while. It wasn’t a masterpiece or anything but at least it got some time and had a big spot at the end. The cage only existed for the big spot at the end and really wasn’t necessary but after the boring matches I’ve had to put through, this was a solid match.

Overall Rating: D+. This was far more boring than it was bad, but that’s a nice change of pace after the last two shows I’ve had to go through. It doesn’t do much for SuperBrawl and the Kanyon/Raven videos are the biggest waste of time I can think of in years. It was nothing worth watching, but I’ll take this over the horrible Nitro any day.

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