Thunder – April 7, 1999: The Horsemen Of Old

Thunder
Date: April 7, 1999
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko

This is a Wednesday show for no apparent reason and we now only have a two man booth. It’s also the go home show for Spring Stampede and we have a main event as of the last fifteen seconds of Nitro. This is also a taped show, meaning we’re probably in for a very dull show. Let’s get to it.

The intro now has the new logo.

Cruiserweight Title: Evan Karagias vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

Rey is defending of course. Evan punches him down to start and nails something like a bulldog for two. Back up and Karagias misses a dropkick, allowing Rey to drop a dime on the back of his head. A powerslam and springboard cross body get two each for Evan and we hit the chinlock. They head outside with Rey being whipped into the barricade before it’s back inside for chinlock the sequel.

We take a break and come back with Evan still holding the chinlock. Evan stomps away even more as the announcers talk about the major matches for Sunday. Rey finally starts a comeback and ties Evan in the ropes for a top rope legdrop and two. The springboard hurricanrana is countered into a powerbomb but Evan gets crotched on the top and hurricanranaed down for the pin.

Rating: C-. Karagias didn’t mean anything yet so this was fine for a TV title defense. Mysterio was on a roll at this point and a match with a great opponent like Kidman should make for a great PPV match. Karagias wasn’t much besides a pretty boy in good shape so it would take a ridiculous gimmick to draw any interest.

We see Goldberg knocking himself out by spearing Bret.

We get the announcement of Sunday’s main event from Nitro.

Video on Nash vs. Goldberg.

Wrath vs. Damien

Tenay tries to build Wrath up as a title contender and it’s just sad at this point. Damien gets shoved down a few times before trying a headlock, only to get shoved away again. Wrath ducks a shoulder to send Damien to the floor before whipping him into the barricade. Back in and Damien’s dropkicks have no effect and he runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.

Wrath throws the little guy around and sends him chest first into the corner ala Bret Hart. Damien tries a rollup but gets knocked back to the floor and onto the barricade again for his efforts. Back in and a springboard sunset flip gets two for Damien. A cross body gets the same but Damien dives into the Death Penalty, followed by the Meltdown for the pin.

Rating: D+. When Damien hits the better spots of a match, you can tell your career is in trouble. Wrath was on such a roll and it’s a shame that this is the best he can do anymore. The match was your usual power man vs. luchador match but neither guy is the best option for that style of a match.

Here’s Konnan with something to say. He runs down Disco a bit before Sunday so here are Juventud Guerrera and Disco as La Cucaracha. Remember that one off match from a few weeks back on Nitro that was never mentioned again? Well it’s being brought up here. Juvy is going to translate for La Cucaracha and oh dear this is going to be painful. Konnan sees that it’s Disco but Juvy says Cucaracha is from Cancun. Cucaracha says something about bring from Brooklyn and the brawl is on with Konnan quickly clearing the ring. This was worthless.

Video on Konnan vs. Disco.

Video from Nitro of Nash challenging Goldberg.

Hardcore Hak vs. Mikey Whipwreck

This is Mikey’s second WCW match to date. They stall a lot to start until Mikey takes him down by the arm. We actually get some technical stuff with Hak grabbing a headlock on the mat until Mikey has to get to the ropes. That’s enough of that as Hak sends him out to the floor where Chastity can rake his eyes. Mikey comes back with a Russian legsweep to send Hak into the barricade. Back inside and Mikey hits a top rope clothesline for two and we take a break.

We come back with Mikey down on the floor and being whipped into the barricade. Hak misses a slingshot legdrop back inside so Mikey hits a slingshot Fameasser across the bottom rope for two. Whipwreck puts him in the Tree of Woe and baseball slides a chair into his face. With Hak stunned, Mikey goes to the middle rope but misses a spinning dive. Hak drapes him across the top rope and hits a top rope Fameasser of his own. A slingshot legdrop onto a chair onto Mikey’s face has Hak limping as hs calls for a Singapore cane. Mikey intercepts it and hammers away, only to get caught in the White Russian legsweep for the pin.

Rating: E. For ECW, because that’s all this was. It was an ECW style match with ECW wrestlers who even had a history back in ECW. I didn’t want to watch ECW back in 1999, I don’t want to watch ECW now, and I certainly don’t want to watch ECW in WCW. At least ECW had Joey Styles to get on my nerves by thinking he was a radio announcer and calling EVERY SINGLE MOVE in the match because he thought we didn’t know what an Irish whip was without being told.

Bigelow runs out post match and beats up Hak.

This Week In WCW Motorsports.

Scott Steiner video.

Super Calo vs. Blitzkrieg

A quick dropkick puts Blitzkrieg down and Calo dances a bit. He stops long enough to missile dropkick Blitzkrieg to the floor where Calo hits a dropkick through the ropes. Calo dives out to the floor to take Blitzkrieg out again before throwing him back inside. Back in and Calo cranks on the arm but gets rolled up for two.

Blitzkrieg comes back with a dropkick of his own to send Calo out to the floor, followed by a BIG flip dive with Blitzkrieg landing on his feet. A standing moonsault gets two for Blitzkrieg but he gets dropkicked into the corner. Calo cranks on a chinlock to get a breather before missing a charge into the post. He gets back up but gets crotched on top, allowing Blitzkrieg to almost entirely miss a Phoenix Splash (his arm grazed Calo’s chest) for the pin.

Rating: D+. I’m still waiting on Blitzkrieg to blow my mind and I get the feeling I’m going to be waiting forever. The flip dive while landing on his feet was cool but it’s nothing I haven’t seen done before. On the other hand though, the splash at the end was just laughable and it was clear that the camera did as much as it could to hide it. Either that or they thought there was something to looking at the bottom of Calo’s boots.

Video on Benoit/Malenko vs. Raven/Saturn.

Chris Benoit vs. Raven

This should be good. Benoit rips off Raven’s leather jacket to start and then takes Raven’s head off with a clothesline. He bends Raven over his knee in a backbreaker before sending Raven outside for some cheap shots from Anderson. Back in and Benoit charges into two boots in the corner to give Raven an opening. Raven hits what we would call Three Amigos for two but has to escape a Crossface attempt.

We take a break and come back with Raven driving Benoit back first into the buckle. Chris takes him down by the leg and cannonballs down on it in true Flair style. Raven leverages him out to the floor and throws in a chair to make this more comfortable. He can’t hit a bulldog though and gets slammed head first onto the chair. Benoit goes up for the Swan Dive but only hits the chair to put both guys down. They both get up but Anderson comes in for the DQ, because a chair doesn’t mean anything anymore.

Rating: C+. This was the usual good brawl between these two, even if the ending really doesn’t make sense. The tag match on Sunday should be good, though the Horsemen costing Raven and Saturn the titles on Monday doesn’t hold up. Hopefully they’re given some time to make things work.

Post match Saturn comes in to go after Anderson but Malenko saves his mentor. The Horsemen dominate and given Raven and Saturn a DDT and DVD respectfully. Anderson says this is on the fans’ hands.

Video on the four way from Monday.

TV Title: Chris Jericho vs. Booker T.

Booker is defending. Before the match Jericho says Richmond, West Virginia is one of his favorite towns. A fan holds up a Booker T. Hug Me sign and gets her wish in a nice moment. Booker takes him into the corner to start before grabbing a headlock. Jericho fires off some quick elbows to escape and we’re already at a stalemate. The Canadian elbows out of an armbar and nails a shoulder. Booker comes back with a side kick and we’re right back into the armbar.

The announcers mention Steiner vs. Booker for the first time tonight as Booker clotheslines Jericho to the floor. Chris tries to walk out but gets whipped into the barricade for his efforts. They head back in, only to have Jericho get backdropped out to the floor. This time it’s Booker being sent into the barricade though for his first real advantage. A top rope elbow sets up the Arrogant Cover for two. Jericho drops a backsplash and we hit the chinlock.

Back up and Jericho sends him into the corner but gets rolled up for two. Jericho nails a spinwheel kick of his own but stops to pose instead of covering. He goes up but dives into a boot, allowing Booker to hit the ax kick and 110th Street Slam for two. The referee gets bumped, allowing Scott Steiner to come out and hit Booker with a chair. This brings out Stevie Ray to slap jack Jericho for some reason, giving Booker the pin.

Rating: C. Ok so this was Jericho’s final WCW match. It wasn’t bad and I liked it better than Monday’s but it’s still a shell of what Jericho used to be. I really hope Booker doesn’t get swallowed up in the NWO nonsense as he’s one of the few people that has been able to stay fresh by avoiding the whole thing.

Overall Rating: C. This was a nice surprise as the taped Thunders are usually the bane of my existence. The wrestling was good enough and they did enough to promote Spring Stampede. There were still far too many videos and recaps but at least there was enough stuff here to keep me entertained for a few hours.

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