Thunder – February 25, 1999: The Dark Ages Continue

Thunder
Date: February 25, 1999
Location: E Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 9,159 Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

Things are looking up a bit after Monday’s show, though the NWO was up to their old tricks again with a not very funny parody instead of the big Flair interview that was promoted all night long. This is another taped show which usually means nothing good for the fans. Monday focused more on the wrestling for the most part though so maybe this show has a chance. Let’s get to it.

Tony, clearly from a studio and not in the arena, welcomes us to the show and sends us to a video on Page vs. Steiner.

Hak vs. Damien

Hak (what a funny yet mostly accurate jab at ECW) comes to the ring wrapped in barbed wire. Before the match, Hak says that all of his matches will be Hakfests, meaning no rules. Who or what gives him this authority isn’t clear. Damien hammers away to start but he cuts himself on the barbed wire. A dropkick drives Hak into the wire but he takes it off a few seconds later. They head outside with Damien nailing a baseball slide followed by a dive against the barricade.

Back in and Hak drapes Damien over the top rope for something resembling a top rope legdrop to the back. Tony says the FCC is coming after the NWO for hijacking the satellite feed on Monday, because WCW thinks fans want to hear about FCC fines and regulations instead of wrestling matches to get revenge. Not that the fans have any reason to care about this war any longer after SuperBrawl but WCW never was one to think things through like that.

Hak does the same legdrop over the back to the barricade (RVD’s spot minus the spin) before taking it inside for the Tommy Dreamer Tree of Woe dropkick into the chair. Damien comes back with some Singapore cane shots but gets caught in the White Russian legsweep (legsweep with the cane across Damien’s throat) for the pin.

Rating: D. Oh this is going to be a long year. I wasn’t much of an ECW fan at this point and I didn’t care for the hardcore stuff. It was one thing when Raven did it as Raven was about a thousand times better in the ring than Sandman could ever hope to be. The fact that they’ve put Sandman in black dress pants and a black shirt with no music doesn’t help his case.

Stills of Flair vs. Hogan. We still haven’t seen the announcers and I doubt we will.

Psychosis vs. Hector Garza

They start slow until Psychosis drops him with a shoulder. Garza elbows him in the face and moonsaults over Psychosis, only to get clotheslined down. Hector is sent to the floor and taken down with a baseball slide followed by a dropkick. Back in and Psychosis dives off the top and into a powerslam but Hector misses a charge in the corner. A missile dropkick gets two for Psychosis but Hector comes back with what looked like a clothesline to the side of the head.

Psychosis avoids a running dropkick in the corner, setting up a top rope spinwheel kick (not a flying body attack Tony) for two more. Garza gets crotched on the top rope and dropped by another spinwheel kick. Back up and Hector loads up a powerbomb but just drops Psychosis face first onto the mat. Garza goes up but gets crotched again, giving Psychosis a top rope hurricarnana and the guillotine legdrop is enough to pin Hector.

Rating: C-. Not much to see here as Garza wasn’t the most interesting luchador when he wasn’t doing his big dives. Psychosis is a guy that never got much attention in WCW as he was overshadowed by guys like Mysterio/Guerrera/Kidman. That’s a shame too as he was a very talented guy in his own right.

Stills of Windham and Hennig winning the Tag Team Titles.

Ernest Miller vs. ???

Miller still doesn’t like Glacier’s music. He insults some fans and issues another open challenge.

Ernest Miller vs. Stevie Ray

There’s a break before the match. Tony: “Fans we’ll brb!” Much like hearing people say the word hashtag out loud today, this really should be left on a computer. Ray easily shoves him down and hammers away with right hands. A low blow (ignored by the referee) gives Miller a breather and he knocks Stevie down with kicks to the head. Stevie comes back with a slam but the referee is bumped when he tries another slam. Sonny Onoo gets in and gets laid out as well. Vince comes out and intentionally hits Stevie with a slapjack, giving Miller the pin.

Rating: D. This was another angle instead of a match but it’s good to keep these Black and White things short. Having this as a heel vs. heel match made the fans even more uninterested though. Miller with the Glacier music isn’t interesting but hopefully it doesn’t last all that long.

We look at the Horsemen attacking Windham and Hennig on Nitro.

We see Booker’s promo and match from Monday with a clean win over Bret.

Villano V/El Dandy vs. Raven/Kanyon

Raven’s sister is here with them. Before the match, he talks about the jobbers claiming to be hardcore and Hak stealing the Raven’s Rules idea. What about Raven? He’ll stomp Hak and Bigelow like narcs at a biker rally. As for this match, remember that Raven and Kanyon injured Villano IV’s brother.

Dandy gets double teamed in the corner to start but the makeshift team nails Kanyon with a double dropkick. Off to Raven vs. Villano as Tenay talks about Villano V hopefully returning later this year? Heenan: “How do you know which one you were talking to? It might have been VII!” Tony: “HE’S RIGHT!” Raven runs into a boot in the corner as everything breaks down. Villano hot shots Kanyon but Raven nails him with a chair. The drop toehold sends Villano face first into the chair, followed by the Even Flow for the pin. For some reason the referee has to count it twice.

Rating: D. Nothing to the match but it was nice to see Raven back. Unfortunately it sounds like he’s going to have a feud with the hardcore guys now as the “let’s be like ECW” run continues. It’s a shame too as exploring Raven’s mental issues could be a very interesting path for his character.

Raven puts Dandy through a table post match.

This Week In WCW Motorsports! Monster trucks!

Stills of Goldberg vs. Bigelow.

Blitzkreig vs. Juventud Guerrera

Feeling out process to start with Juvy sending him to the floor. That goes nowhere so Blitzkreig comes back in and gets chopped. Now it’s Juvy being sent to the floor for a big flip dive but Juvy takes him back inside for a chinlock. A Stunner over the top rope sets up a springboard from Juvy but Blitzkreig rolls away and Juvy lands on his feet. Blitzkreig dropkicks him out to the floor but brings Guerrera back in for more chops.

Juvy crotches Blitzkreig on the top, setting up a springboard hurricanrana for two. We take a break and come back with Juvy taking Blitzkreig’s head off with a clothesline. Back to the chinlock for a bit before Juvy puts Blitzkrieg on the top for another dropkick, sending Blitzkreig out to the floor.

Juvy throws him back in for a springboard guillotine legdrop but hurts himself in the process. The delayed cover only gets two and a release German suplex gets the same for Guerrera. Blitzkrieg comes back with a spinning victory roll for two and a backbreaker for two more. A Lionsault hits knees but the 450 misses. Instead it’s the Juvy Driver for the pin.

Rating: C. This wasn’t a bad match but Blitzkrieg still isn’t doing it for me. Maybe it’s all the stuff I’ve heard about him over the years but he’s not on the same level as guys like Mysterio or Guerrero. He’s not bad or anything, but I don’t care to see most of his matches and he’s looked out of his league for the most part.

Stills of Rey losing his mask.

Konnan music video.

Here’s the full Mysterio vs. Nash match from Monday. Granted it’s only like three minutes long.

Bret Hart vs. Disco Inferno

Before the match, Disco wants to sing the Canadian national anthem. Tony: “Oh, because of his opponent.” The song is about drinking beer and playing hockey because Canadians have nothing better to do. Not bad. Disco immediately bails to the floor then does it again. Bret turns his back but it’s a trap, allowing him to hammer away on Inferno. They’re quickly back on the floor with Disco in big trouble. The beating heads back inside and Bret rakes Disco’s eyes across the top rope and we take a break.

Back with Bret getting two off a DDT before sending Disco out to the floor. Bret hammers away before taking it back inside for a Russian legsweep. Disco comes back with some choking and a clothesline before stomping Bret down in the corner. Tony hypes up Ric Flair making a huge announcement on Monday. Maybe we’ll even see it this time. Bret starts going after the leg and puts on a Figure Four. Disco hangs on for a good while and finally makes it to the ropes. That’s fine with Bret as it’s the backbreaker, elbow and Sharpshooter for the win.

Rating: D+. How often do you see Bret hit his finishing sequence and get the submission with no resistance? This was just a long Bret squash and it’s nice to see him in back to back featured matches. The loss on Monday was a good thing all around and now he gets to win something else to get some of his (limited) heat back. Nothing wrong with that and Disco losing to Bret Hart isn’t going to hurt his push.

Overall Rating: D. This show tried but it was stuck with low level talent and a lot of replays from SuperBrawl and Nitro. However, they were at least putting in some effort instead of just throwing guys out there to fill in two hours. Unfortunately the matches weren’t very good and you could tell this was taped in advance due to never seeing the announcers. It’s a bad time for WCW and things aren’t looking up.

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