Thunder – June 24, 1999: Why I Kept Watching

Thunder
Date: June 24, 1999
Location: Cajundome, Lafayette, Louisiana
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko

Bash at the Beach seems miles away at this point as I don’t think anything has been announced save for the main event tag match. Other than that I’m sure we’ll get something in the old vs. new story, presumably with Bagwell getting a big match and in theory a major win over an older guy. Yeah I don’t see it happening either. Let’s get to it.

The announcers do their opening stuff and Tenay plugs the PPV.

Here’s the birthday party and subsequent caking between the rappers and the cowboys from Monday.

Speaking of the cowboys, here they are to perform Rap Is Crap live. I think we’ve hit our high point.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Psychosis

The fans are entirely behind Eddie here. Eddie mocks taking the LWO shirt off to Psychosis before running into a clothesline. A hurricanrana out of the corner drops Eddie again and Psychosis crotches him on the top for good measure. Psychosis kicks Guerrero to the floor and follows him out with a big dive. The announcers are already ignoring this to talk about the Hummer driver.

Back in and Eddie hurricanranas Psychosis down and it’s already back to the floor. Psychosis goes into the steps and gets crushed between the steps and post for a dropkick. The slingshot hilo has Psychosis in even more trouble and Eddie hooks an abdominal stretch as we take a break. Back with Guerrero holding a leg lock but being thrown into the air for a big crash a few seconds later.

That’s fine with Eddie as he goes right back to the leg to take over. He bridges back on the leg in a painful looking hold before taking it back outside, only to be sent into the barricade. They head inside again with Eddie nailing a nice leg lariat. Eddie dives into an atomic drop and gets kicked off the apron and to the floor. A slingshot moonsault drops Guerrero again and it’s back into the ring. Eddie’s tornado DDT is countered and a top rope hurricanrana gets two. Psychosis misses a high cross body though and the Frog Splash is enough for the pin.

Rating: B. This is the kind of stuff that made WCW fans stick around as long as they did. Yeah there’s a bunch of nonsense going on and the old guys won’t just go away and let the younger generation take over, but every so often you get a ten to fifteen minute match like this that just takes off and entertains the heck out of you. Really good stuff here and more proof that Eddie was awesome.

Ric Flair and company convince Evan Karagias to lay down for David tonight to make David 6-0, because he’s going to break Goldberg’s record.

Clip from Monday of Nash and Sting chasing off Savage and Sid, followed by Nash implying Sting was driving the Hummer.

Clip from Monday of Luger saving Sting from Sid’s powerbomb to end the show. Again, where did Nash go to?

Actually he’s right here with something to say. He talks about being an Outsider a few years ago and here he is the World Champion and still an outsider. WCW doesn’t want him to have the title and they’re throwing everyone they can at him. First he beat Savage so Randy brought in Sid. Now those two have brought in Sting, who Nash will tag with even though he doesn’t trust him. This actually hasn’t bad.

Fit Finlay/Dave Taylor vs. Chris Benoit/Perry Saturn

For some reason Benoit and Saturn come out to Malenko’s music. Benoit and Taylor get things going with Taylor backing him into the corner but stopping to stare at the Canadian. Taylor takes him down to the mat with a test of strength but Benoit bridges off the mat. Dave can’t even break the bridge by jumping onto Benoit in an always cool looking display of strength.

Benoit comes back with some dropkicks to send Taylor outside and it’s off to Finlay and Saturn. The t-bone suplex doesn’t quite work for Saturn as he falls backwards while throwing Finlay but everything breaks down to send the Europeans out to the floor. Saturn keeps up the mistakes by superkicking Finlay in the ribs to knock him into a German suplex. Fit easily sends Benoit into the corner though as we take a break.

Back with Finlay putting Benoit in a half crab before Taylor comes in to grab the other leg for good measure. A belly to back gets two for Finlay and it’s back to Dave as the fans chant for Benoit. The heels take turns on Benoit with Finlay talking his usual trash. An Earthquake splash keeps Benoit in trouble but Saturn chases an interfering Taylor away.

Benoit slips off Finlay’s shoulders and nails Taylor, allowing for the hot tag to Saturn. Perry slips out of a tilt-a-whirl slam and messes up the landing again. What is with him tonight? Finlay plants him with the rolling fireman’s carry but Saturn pops up with the Death Valley Driver on Taylor. Not that it matters as Benoit hits the Swan Dive on Dave for the pin.

Rating: C+. Another good match here as the wrestling is on fire tonight. Taylor was an underused guy who was great at making others look great. Finlay was his usual self here and that’s exactly the kind of guys you want in there with a tag team like Benoit and Saturn when they’re in the middle of a solid push. What was with all of Saturn’s botches though? He never does that.

Steve Regal returns to give the losers a pep talk.

Clip of the ending to the old vs. new tag match from Monday.

Here are Flair and Asya for a chat with Gene. Flair has some business to take care of by making Benoit/Saturn vs. Page/Kanyon for the Tag Team Titles at Bash at the Beach. As for tonight, we’re going to stomp out some problems so it’s Bagwell/Malenko vs. Savage/Sid. That leaves him with Nash, but he’s saving a surprise for Monday in Chicago. Flair keeps shouting TURN ON THE POWER to end this.

Curt Hennig vs. Lenny Lane

Lane quickly tries to run but Duncum throws him back in. Lenny actually scores with a slam and mocks the whole cowboy thing. As you would expect, Hennig pops up and throws Lenny into the corner for some hard chops. We get the old standards from Hennig including the neck snap and dropkick before a big chop drops Lane again. Hennig stomps on the ribs….and the match is stopped? Ah Lodi threw in the towel to save his buddy. Total squash.

Lodi gets a Hennigplex for his efforts.

Here are Savage, Sid and the chicks with something to say. Randy insists that none of the girls were driving the Hummer, which should be obvious given that they were outside the limo when it was crushed. Savage thinks it might have been Hall or even Sting. Sid babbles about huting Nash and Sting and that’s about it.

Evan Karagias vs. David Flair

Now remember, Evan is supposed to be tanking. They trade armbars on the mat to start until Evan scores with an armdrag. A quick suplex drops David again but Anderson tells him to start throwing it. Evan responds by powerslamming David, only to have Ric get up on the apron for a distraction. Now Asya offers a distraction so Anderson can slip David the taser to knock Evan out. The Figure Four makes David I think 6-0.

Hugh Morrus vs. Van Hammer

Hardcore match. Morrus hammers away with trashcan lids to start before using the trashcan itself. A big slam onto the can has Hammer in even more trouble so Hugh goes up, only to slip off and run into a lid shot from Hammer, drawing a Flair Flop. Hammer puts on his jacket, nails a lariat, and puts the jacket on the turnbuckle. We get a ladder set up in the corner but Hugh sends Hammer into it for a big crash.

A trashcan shot to the head busts Hammer open so it’s time for a wide angle. Hugh and Hart set up a table on the floor so Morrus can load up No Laughing Matter….but Flair comes out and stops the match. He says there will be no more hardcore matches (SWEET) and gets in an argument with Morrus, allowing Hammer to put him through the table and walk off.

Rating: D. Uh…yeah. Between Morrus literally running into a shot from a trashcan lid to the ending, I’m not sure what they were going for with something like this. These guys are both wandering around with nothing to do and now they’re taking away the only thing they have going on. At least it’s nothing that needs to be sticking around so it’s hard to complain.

Randy Savage/Sid Vicious vs. Buff Bagwell/Dean Malenko

I don’t see this ending well. Savage and Bagwell get things going with Buff already posing. We keep up the stalling even longer until they lock up against the ropes. Time for more posing though as we’re somehow almost two minutes into the match. A dropkick puts Randy down and it’s off to Malenko. We get an actually nice amateur sequence but it’s off to Sid to put Malenko in trouble. Malenko slides through the ropes and brings in Buff for some double teaming but Savage knees Buff in the back. A chokeslam plants Bagwell and a legdrop gets two. The fans want Goldberg but get Savage instead.

Randy suckers Dean in so the villains can double team. Sid hammers away in the corner but Madusa’s interference goes bad with Savage nailing her by mistake. The hot tag brings in Dean with a cross body getting two on Savage. Everything breaks down and Miss Madness sunset flips Dean for no apparent reason. Dean puts her in the Cloverleaf so Savage can nail him from behind. Sid plants Dean with a powerbomb and Savage nails Nick Patrick for the DQ.

Rating: D+. The match had its moments but you were just waiting for the old guys to destroy the younger generation. I know you don’t want Sid or Savage to take a fall here but did the have to destroy these two? Of course they did because this is WCW with two guys that could move up the card.

Post match Savage and Sid destroy Mickie Jay for coming out to try and keep things in line. Savage says the powerbomb is for Nash and rants a lot to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. The first two matches were really solid but things went downhill in a hurry after that. As usual, the wrestlers can carry the show but the “stories” drag it down a cliff. That being said, the opening matches made this one of the best episodes in a good while, but I gave up hope for this company a long time ago.

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