Thunder – June 17, 1999: The Texas Civil War

Thunder
Date: June 17, 1999
Location: Onecenter, Syracuse, New York
Commentators: Larry Zbyezko, Mike Tenay

Oh goodie it’s a taped show from before the pay per view. Thankfully they’ve done a better job of having the commentary actually be up to date with the most recent shows. The problem with that is the most recent shows have been terrible so it doesn’t make things any better. Let’s get to it.

Opening video.

Texas Hangmen vs. Curt Hennig/Bobby Duncum Jr.

They’re masked men who carry bullropes. I’ve never been to Texas but when I go there, I better see about 18 million bullropes and bullrope matches in the street or my heart will be broken. Hennig and we’ll say #1 get things going with a technical sequence. Neither guy gets anywhere with hammerlocks so #1 drops him with a shoulder and chops away. Curt comes back with chops and brings in Bobby so #1 can get double teamed for a bit.

Off to #2 as the Hangmen get some double teaming of their own as Hennig is held back by the referee. Bobby nails #2 with a clothesline and makes the tag off to Hennig as house is cleaned. The necksnap sets up choking with the Hangmen’s bullrope and it’s back to Duncum for a powerslam. Hennig comes back in with a knee lift followed by the HennigPlex to pin #1.

Rating: D+. So was this the Texas civil war? Either way, the Hangmen were the old school masked jobbers who looked intimidating but didn’t do anything in the ring. The good thing is you can take any two guys on the roster and give them the gimmick for the night and save the cost of bringing people in. Knowing WCW, they brought in a dozen guys to see who fit the costumes best and paid them all handsomely.

Post match Duncum hogties #1 until Konnan and Mysterio come out to beat up the cowboys. The unmasked cowboys that is.

Video on Flair and Piper because Roddy is still featured for reasons I don’t understand.

Scotty Riggs vs. Disco Inferno

Before we can get going, Riggs has referee Johnny Boone hold the mirror for a few moments. Disco’s headlock doesn’t get him anywhere so he shoulders Riggs down. Scotty comes back with a dropkick (still nice) and some hip swivels. They feel each other out some more until Disco armdrags him down and stomps away in the corner. The middle rope ax handle connects and Riggs crawls over to check the mirror.

Riggs is goldbricking though and uses the distraction to send Disco into the buckle and take over. He throws Disco outside, only to have Inferno come back in with a sunset flip for two. A clothesline and elbow get two on Disco but it’s mirror time again. Now it’s Disco rolling Riggs up for two but getting punched into a chinlock. Disco fights up and tries the Last Dance, only to get sent into the buckle. They crisscross and try cross bodies at the same time with Riggs landing on top for two. Riggs goes up but dives into a punch to the ribs, setting up the Last Dance for the pin.

Rating: D. Scotty Riggs’ employment continues to astound me. Yeah he has a great dropkick but is that really enough to warrant him having a job for this long? What’s even worse is that he somehow got a job in ECW and a PPV match against Rob Van Dam after this run. Dull match but at least Disco won clean.

Clips from the Master P. press conference.

Clips from Konnan/Mysterio vs. La Parka/Psychosis from Nitro.

Evan Karagias vs. Prince Iaukea

Feeling out process to start until Iaukea looks at the ground. Evan looks down as well and gets nailed in the face because he isn’t that bright. Prince gets clotheslined in the corner but he jumps up in the corner to avoid a charge. It looked good, but it would have been better if Evan actually charged. Instead Evan dropkicks him in the back and slides out to the apron for a springboard clothesline as we take a break.

Back with Iaukea snapmaring Evan down for a kick to the back for two. Evan tries a sunset flip but Prince grabs the referee to stay up. Prince kicks him down and puts on a surfboard for a bit as the fans just do not care here. They head back outside with Karagias being sent into various objects. Back in and Iaukea puts on a chinlock to kill time. Evan fights up and flips out of a belly to back suplex before planting him with a powerslam for two. Prince tries a fireman’s carry but gets rolled up for the pin.

Rating: D. Much like Riggs, I have no idea why Iaukea continues to have a job. How can a wrestling company watch his matches and think that he’s the best option for this spot? The match was long and dull with neither guy doing anything special and just killing time until they got to the finish. At least someone new is getting a win for a change.

This Week In WCW Motorsports.

La Parka/Silver King vs. Brian Knobbs/Hugh Morrus

The luchadores are thrown out to the floor until it’s Silver and Knobbs in the ring. Brian nails a running clothesline in the corner and it’s quickly off to Morrus. Hugh destroys everyone in sight with a forearm to La Parka and a release gorilla press slam to Silver King. He misses a top rope elbow though and the skeleton man comes in off the tag. A missile dropkick puts Hugh down again and King comes back in for some kicks of his own. He nails a middle rope moonsault and goes outside to get a chair, allowing La Parka to dropkick Morrus into the steel.

Back in for some double teaming but La Parka clotheslines the wrong guy, allowing for the hot tag to Knobbs. Brian takes over with some clotheslines and a legdrop but gets kicked in the head to put him right back down. It’s off to King vs. Morrus but Brian sneaks in a chair shot of his own. A gutwrench suplex sets up No Laughing Matter on Silver and we’re done.

Rating: C. I don’t know what’s gotten into La Parka and Silver King lately but I wish it got into more people. The match wasn’t great or anything but it was a minor miracle given who was in there. Knobbs and Morrus aren’t interesting though and I keep rolling my eyes when they get wins as a team.

The main event pyro goes off with well over half an hour to go in the show. Awesome main event?

Booker T. vs. Barbarian

No not quite. This is Booker’s first match in about a month after an injury. Booker grabs a hold but gets nailed by a shoulder. To mix things up a bit, Booker grabs a hold but gets nailed by a back elbow. With holds not really working, Booker nails the flying forearm to put Barbarian outside. Back in and we grab an armbar because Booker is overly confident in his submission skills. Barbarian kicks him down (I’m as shocked as you are) but eats a superkick, sending him outside next to Jimmy.

Back in and Booker hammers away, only to walk into an overhead belly to belly. They head outside together and Booker takes a chair shot as we go to a break. We come back with Barbarian using his standard heel offense (kick, strike, choke, distract the referee so Hart can choke, etc), capped off by an atomic drop. It’s chinlock time but Booker elbows up, only to get choked right back down.

Back to the chinlock for a bit until Booker elbows up again (he needs to get over this repetitive stuff) and starts his finishing sequence. The forearm and side slam set up the sidekick but Jimmy grabs Booker’s foot. The Kick of Fear sends Booker outside but Barbarian takes too much time, allowing Booker to hook a rollup out of the corner for the pin.

Rating: C-. Nothing to see here for the most part as it was just a way to make Booker look good. Barbarian continues to be a guy that you can depend on for a decent match like this and he had that same match for the better part of ever. There has to be something to someone who can stay employed without changing anything in that many years.

Stills of Savage vs. Nash. Haven’t I suffered enough from that match yet?

We see Nash accepting Sid’s challenge on Nitro.

Bash at the Beach ad.

And now, here’s the ENTIRE eight man tag from Nitro to close things out. Here it is, just so this isn’t the shortest Thunder review ever.

Ric Flair/Roddy Piper/Kanyon/Diamond Dallas Page vs. Saturn/Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko/Buff Bagwell

That’s quite the tag match. The old guys run away to start until we get down to Flair vs. Benoit. We get the required chop off until Benoit backdrops him into the heel corner. Off to Page who has to be saved from a Crossface attempt. Piper comes in and gets his wish to face Bagwell, only to get punched out to the floor a few seconds later. An atomic drop to Piper sends us to a break.

Back with Benoit escaping a belly to back suplex and rolling up Flair for two. We get the pinfall reversal sequence with Benoit coming out on the bad end of it. Flair tries the Figure Four but gets rolled up again, only to have Benoit nail him with an enziguri and put him in the Figure Four instead. Everyone comes in and the good guys put on Figure Fours in a cool spot (Malenko screwed up at first). Bigelow makes the save with a legdrop though and it’s off to Kanyon to work on Chris. A middle rope Fameasser drops Benoit and Kanyon brings in Page as the heels have him in trouble.

Flair comes back in for chops before it’s back to Kanyon, who sends Benoit into the discus lariat from Page. Piper gets the tag for his lame punches before it’s back to Page for a stomping. We get the required missed tag to Saturn, allowing the Jersey boys to suplex Benoit down. Page goes up for the middle rope jump that is clearly designed to jump into a raised boot and nothing else, allowing for the hot tag to Bagwell. Everything breaks down until it’s only Malenko and Flair left in the ring. Ric knocks him out to the floor but turns around and takes the Blockbuster for the surprise pin.

Rating: C+. Not bad here with the young guys FINALLY getting a big win. However, this brings up the important question: how can Flair possibly come back from this devastating loss to a fluke move from a former champion that has been rising up the card for years? I mean, clearly such a loss completely cripples Flair’s career and ends any potential he’s ever going to have right?

Overall Rating: D-. I know the eight man wasn’t bad, but the fact that it was the second time I’ve seen the match inside of a week is ridiculous. It’s very rare that a match is important or good enough to air it again on the next TV show and the eight man isn’t at that level. Other than that there’s nothing worth seeing here and the show was far more dull than anything else. Not being able to fill nearly half an hour of a show is pitiful though.

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