Thunder – March 11, 1999: Disco AGAIN.

Thunder
Date: March 11, 1999
Location: Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Attendance: 4,198
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

It’s the final show before Uncensored and I’m getting drained very quickly. Given that this is a taped show, it somehow might be even worse than the Nitro we just came off of. The end of Monday’s show saw Goldberg and Flair get beaten down by the NWO, much like everyone else in this company over the last few years. Let’s get to it.

We open with a clip from Booker vs. Steiner from Nitro. That’s an odd way to get things going.

The announcers talk about Hogan vs. Flair, still telling us to go to their website to find out the big stipulation. Inside the barbed wire cage that is.

Dave Taylor vs. Raven

Before the match we get some complaints about Raven about Sunday’s triangle match. They almost immediately head outside with Raven in control and the technical wrestler Taylor having no idea what to do in this situation. They head back inside for a gordbuster to Taylor followed by ten right hands to the face to put him down again. Taylor sends him into the buckle and pounds on him for a bit before grabbing a chinlock. Raven fights up but gets caught in a sleeper. A pair of snapmares puts Raven down and Dave nails some European uppercuts. He loads up a backslide but Raven counters into the Even Flow for the pin.

Rating: D. Nothing to see here, even though they had something with Taylor being completely out of his comfort zone. I’m also not sure how this makes me want to see a three way hardcore brawl. The match was too short to mean much either, making it a regular Thunder match.

Building the cage video.

Konnan t-shirt ad.

Here’s the WHOLE Anderson/Ric Flair video from last week’s Thunder and this past Monday’s Nitro.

Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Disorderly Conduct

Benoit vs. Mean Mike gets things going with Chris destroying him as you would expect. A running clothesline sets up Mike being draped over the top rope. Tom gets knocked off the apron before coming in and getting nailed in the jaw. Benoit nails a snap suplex on MIke and brings in Malenko for a running clothesline and a beating in the corner. The Cloverleaf doesn’t last long as Dean has to knock Tom off the apron. The Swan Dive to Mike gets the pin.

Rating: D+. Total squash which is more entertaining than the previous boring match. Malenko and Benoit almost have to win the Tag Titles on Sunday to make the last few weeks mean anything. It would also help keep me from falling asleep when Windham and Hennig are out there.

Benoit and Malenko want Hennig and Windham RIGHT NOW but as the champions come out, Disorderly Conduct jumps the Horsemen. This goes badly for the jobbers and they get caught in submission holds as the champions watch from the ramp.

Clips of Hennig/Windham winning the titles.

Clips of the Horsemen attacking Hennig/Windham last week.

Hogan interview from last week.

Kidman vs. Chris Jericho on Saturday Night. Again, someone tell me why this isn’t on Thuder or Nitro.

Barbarian vs. Hak

If they let this be a hardcore brawl, it could actually be entertaining. Hak keeps things obvious by wearing a Sandman (comics) shirt. To make sure this isn’t all that great, Hak takes over with an armbar and drives Barbarian down to the mat. Back up and Barbarian gets in a cheap shot and rakes the eyes before ripping Hak’s shirt off. Barbarian pulls on Hak’s nose and sends him out to the floor.

A whip sends Hak into the barricade but Barbarian misses a charge, allowing Hak to hit a legdrop against the barricade. Back in and a powerbomb gets two on Hak, drawing Jimmy Hart up to the apron for no apparent reason. Barbarian grabs the Singapore cane but Hak takes it away and nails a White Russian legsweep (legsweep with the cane over Barbarian’s throat) for the pin.

Rating: D+. Well, it was better than the Raven match. It helps that they pushed this as more of a brawl than a wrestling match and put Hak in there with a guy that can wrestle his style. For some reason I still like Barbarian and don’t mind seeing him in spots like this. The guy is a one note character but he’s good at the character.

Package on Nash vs. Mysterio from Monday.

Also from Monday, Nash and Hogan watch Flair’s promo from the previous Monday.

This Week in WCW Motorsports. Somehow this is more interesting than a lot of what I’ve seen tonight.

Scott Steiner/Buff Bagwell vs. Booker T./Rey Mysterio Jr.

This could be good. We take a break about thirty seconds in and come back to hear Scott Steiner vs. Booker T. for the TV Title announced for Sunday. So Hall is out with no explanation and Steiner’s logical opponent, Goldberg, is nowhere on the card. Such is life in WCW. Bagwell works over Rey and elbows him down before getting in a shoving match with the referee. Rey tries a springboard but slips and turns it into a double leg dive.

Buff and Scott double team Booker in the corner as Tony hypes up Stevie Ray vs. Vincent in a Harlem Street Fight for control of the Black and White on Sunday. So Hollywood telling Norton he was in charge a few weeks back means nothing? Heenan wants to know why there’s a Harlem street fight in Louisville. Tony: “Don’t try to make too much sense out of these things.” Preach it brother.

Booker hammers on Bagwell but takes a finger to the eye to slow him down. A forearm puts Buff down and Booker cranks on an armbar. Back to Rey who dropkicks Bagwell in the back but Buff nails him with a right hand. Steiner presses Rey over his head for a few reps before dropping him on his face. He puts the little guy in the Tree of Woe but Booker makes a quick save. Mysterio is sent outside and whipped into the steps as the referee is with Booker.

Steiner throws him back inside as Buff is somehow legal. The fans get distracted by something in the crowd as Bagwell gets two. Back to Steiner who hammers away in the corner before a backbreaker is good for another near fall. There’s the spinning belly to belly but Scott pulls him up at two. Buff misses an elbow drop and the hot tag brings in Booker to clean house. Everything breaks down and Booker sends Steiner into the barricade. Rey’s springboard sunset flip is countered but Booker hits a missile dropkick and Rey’s top rope splash gets the pin on Bagwell.

Rating: C+. I liked this one more than I expected to and I’m afraid it was out of boredom. This was a decent back and forth match with a nice makeshift face team getting beaten down until the hot finish. That’s far better of a match than I’ve been sitting through lately so this was a nice treat, even though it was nothing all that great.

Steiner hits the referee with a chair post match.

The three guys in the hardcore match on Sunday all say they’re the toughest.

Videos from the first hour of Nitro with the Hogan/Nash/Torrie/Denise stuff. Still waiting on this to go anywhere.

Disco Inferno vs. Ric Flair

The dancer gets two straight main events. They quickly hit the mat and Flair is more than capable of getting the better of Disco. Back up and Disco cranks on a wristlock but is taken into the corner for a clean break. A hard chop puts Disco down but he comes back with a neckbreaker and puts Flair in a Figure Four as we go to a break. Back with Flair getting slammed off the top rope and Disco staying on the leg.

We hit the Figure Four again before Disco changes it to a messy leg lock. Off to a sleeper but Ric fights out with a belly to back suplex. Back up and Disco sends him out to the floor before taking him back inside for two. Flair comes back with a suplex for two of his own and lets out a WOO. The knee drop has Disco in trouble and Flair sends him out to the floor via the old “how much time left” trick. Back in again and Flair hammers Inferno down before the Figure Four gets the win.

Rating: D+. Kind of a drop from Goldberg on Monday. This was watchable and the fact that the ending was obvious the entire time didn’t really hurt it all that much. Disco is trying but he’s destined to be little more than a jobber to the stars. The thing is, as much of a joke as he was, he stayed around forever in WCW because he had some talent.

One last video on the cage ends the show.

Overall Rating: D. As bad as this was, it was MILES better than Nitro due to having a decent tag match and a good enough main event. On the other hand though, these repeating videos REALLY needs to stop. I saw it last week, then I saw it on Monday. Why in the world do I need to see it a THIRD time? It’s not like these things are thirty seconds long. These are over five minutes apiece and are eating up a lot of possible ring or important promo time. Most of them didn’t make me want to see Uncensored. It made me want to find something new to watch instead of the same videos over and over again.

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