Thunder – July 22, 1999: It’s A Wrestling Show

Date: July 22, 1999
Location: Mark of the Quad, Moline, Illinois
Attendance: 6,754
Commentators: Larry Zbyszko, Mike Tenay

Thankfully (I think?) we’re back to a live show this week as we’re getting closer to Road Wild. The main story coming out of Monday is Kevin Nash turning on Hogan for no apparent reason other than the script suggests that we need a heel vs. face title match. Other than that we have Sting in control of the company now, which I barely remember whatsoever. Let’s get to it.

The announcers do their usual intro/hype.

Van Hammer vs. Kaz Hayashi

The Glacier gear is gone. Kaz’s headlock goes as well as you would expect it to and Hammer hits a nice looking gorilla press. Now Kaz tries to slug it out to similar results so he finally dropkicks the knee twice in a row for one, but the kickout sends him flying through the ropes. Hammer runs him over with a Vader clothesline before throwing him right back to the floor. Back in again and Kaz goes after the knee to take the big man down. An elbow drop gets two but Hammer trips his legs to get a breather.

A big old beal sends Hayashi flying and we hit a chinlock. That goes nowhere so Hammer suplexes him down for two but Kaz comes back with every strike he can throw. Kaz actually tries a powerbomb which works as badly as you would expect. Hammer comes back with Snake Eyes and a big boot for two more as frustration is setting in. Back up and Kaz hits a quick bulldog and missile dropkick, only to miss a quick backsplash. A spinebuster and the cobra clutch slam are enough to end Kaz after longer than you would expect.

Rating: C. WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT??? Kaz and Hammer just had a good match that I was actually liking. Granted it’s completely in spite of whatever WCW was trying to do with it as no one is watching this show and it’s in the opening match slot. This was actually entertaining and I had a good time watching it. It had to happen at some point.

Lenny and Lodi are upset about something they have to do later.

The announcers talk about the issues between Savage’s girls.

Brandi Alexander vs. Miss Madness

Alexander is officially “off the independent scene”. Madness is wrestling in a short version of the dress she wears to the ring as a valet. The fans are entirely behind Madness here as she takes Brandi down by the arm. Some dropkicks send Alexander out to the floor and claims a pull of the tights. Back in and Brandi hammers away before throwing Madness across the ring by the hair in a good looking spot. It looks so good that she does it again with Tenay spending way too much time talking about Madness’ long blonde hair.

A hard shot to the face keeps Brandi in control before a clothesline gets two. The fans aren’t pleased with Brandi choking on the ropes but they don’t mind a Boston crab nearly as much. That goes nowhere so Brandi goes up, only to get slammed off the top. A side slam gets two for Madness and a bad looking headscissors sends Brandi down again. Larry: “You gotta get vicious! Pretend there’s a sale!” Madness grabs a suplex but bridges up like a northern lights for the pin.

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t bad and was a few light years ahead of what the WWF was doing with its girls at the moment, but it still wasn’t all that great. Miss Madness would get much better as Molly Holly whereas Alexander hasn’t done anything that I can find outside of this and two more matches with Miss Madness later in the year.

A Goldberg video to Crush Em brings out Curt Hennit, who says the Rednecks are much more popular than Goldberg. He’s willing to prove that tonight but thinks we should wait until Monday.

Curt Hennig vs. Chase Tatum

The muscular Chase shoves Curt off to start and knocks him to the corner with a hard shoulder. The Rednecks offer a distraction and Hennig gets in a cheap shot from behind to take over. There’s the Hennig Necksnap and Curt rips at Chase’s eyes for good measure. Curt nails his knee lift and puts on a sleeper but Chase powers out of it again.

Hennig cranks on the leg on the mat as the other Rednecks offer some assistance. Back up and a kind of pumphandle powerslam gets two on Curt but he sends Chase to the floor for a big beatdown. Swoll comes in with the heart “punch” but hits Chase by mistake, setting up the HennigPlex for the pin.

Rating: D. It takes a lot to make Curt Hennig look bad but that’s exactly what Chase just did. Tatum wasn’t anything of note and a generic power guy who probably got this job based on his look. With some more training and experience, he might have fit in with the Natural Born Thrillers in a year or so.

Sid comes up to Lenny and Lodi and wishes the luck in their match tonight. The brothers ask Jimmy Hart for help but he just suggests having a doctor at ringside.

We get a clip of Booker T. saving his brother from the Triad on Monday.

Eddie Guerrero/Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psychosis/Juventud Guerrera

Rey and Juvy get things going but Guerrera quickly tags out. Mysterio tries to deck him as he leaves so Juvy gyrates a lot on the apron. Juvy comes back in without Psychosis doing anything and they trade wristlocks. It’s quickly off to Psychosis again who misses a charge and hits the post to give the good people an early advantage. Eddie comes in and takes Juvy down to the floor before backdropping Rey into a moonsault for an awesome spot. Back in and Eddie throws Guerrera outside again, only to have to bail out of a dive.

We take a break and come back with Rey in Psychosis’ abdominal stretch. That boring hold is upgraded by Psychosis loading him up for an Outsider’s Edge and Juvy coming in with a guillotine legdrop for two. Back to Psychosis who charges into Rey’s boots, allowing Eddie to come in and clean house. Everything breaks down and Rey nails Eddie by mistake, only to have Eddie throw him at Juvy for a headscissors. They’re not done yet though as Rey puts Psychosis on top and throws a charging Rey up for a super hurricanrana and the pin.

Rating: C+. Total spotfest here and there’s nothing wrong with that. Guerrero was basically just a guy there to throw Rey around for the high spots though, which is kind of a waste as the team got together because of Eddie having issues with the other luchadors. Still though, entertaining stuff with some great high spots.

We see Lex Luger, Savage and Gorgeous George on Arliss this coming Sunday.

Here are Savage, Miss Madness and Gorgeous George with something to say. Savage asks for our votes in the 2000 election but quickly moves on to Rodman, ripping on him for wearing women’s closing and hitting him with a purse. Miss Madness is fired for trying to upstage him, meaning Savage rips off her sash. She gets down on her knees and begs for her job but Savage fires her anyway. Savage hasn’t forgotten about Nash either.

TV Title: Rick Steiner vs. Sick Boy

Rick is defending if that’s not clear. Before the match we get the usual catchphrases from the champ and he wants a piece of Goldberg. They circle around each other for a bit until Rick nails a hard Steiner Line. A release German suplex sends Sick Boy flying and Rick rips at his face on the mat. The Steiner Bulldog ends this quick.

We recap the Nash vs. Hogan stuff from Monday.

Nash calls in to the show and challenges Hogan to a tag match this Monday with partners of their choice. Kevin’s partner is a buddy of his that he’s known for nine years. Of course they’re hinting at Hall and I’d be stunned if it was actually him. Nash brings up his history with Hogan and says he only let him into the NWO so he could keep an eye on Hulk, because Hulk has a history of being a backstabbing jerk.

Video of Sting beating Flair with Bischoff counting the fall.

Sid Vicious vs. Lenny/Lodi

A chokeslam plants Lodi in ten seconds and Lenny takes a boot to the face. Sid hits a cobra clutch slam on Lenny, which is another way for Sid to do a chokeslam. Powerbombs for both guys set up a double pin. So the gay brothers are getting beaten up by a monster for no apparent reason. I’m sure this will be well received.

Dean Malenko vs. Ric Flair

They start faster than you would expect with Dean getting dropped by a shoulder, only to have him take Flair down with a quick drop toehold. An early Cloverleaf attempt doesn’t work so Dean hammers Ric out to the floor for a breather. Back in and Dean hammers away in the corner but gets suckered into a thumb to the eye. Ric snapmares him down, only to miss the knee drop. Dean channels his inner Flair and slaps on the Figure Four, only to crawl over to the ropes for a break.

Back up and Dean is sent to the floor as we take a break. We come back with Malenko in full control and sending Ric into the corner for a Flair Flip. Dean works him over on the floor until Asya offers a distraction, allowing Ric to take over with a cheap shot. A Figure Four attempt is countered into a small package but Asya has the referee. Flair counters everything Dean throws at him, including a belly to back suplex to break up a headlock.

Another Figure Four attempt is blocked and Malenko comes back with the leg lariat. Flair tries to bail but runs into Benoit and Saturn. This brings out Bigelow and Kanyon for a brawl but Dean puts on the Cloverleaf. Page comes in from behind to break it up but gets shoved into Asya, only to have Flair grab a rollup for the pin.

Rating: C+. This was fine due to the talent level in there and I liked the idea they were going for with Flair being more experienced and polished than Malenko, allowing him to counter everything Dean threw at him. The ending was overbooked but at least Dean didn’t lose entirely clean.

Overall Rating: C. At this point, Thunder can only really be judged on what happens in the ring. In this case, the wrestling was watchable enough to get through two hours but there’s almost no reason to care about anything. Considering that the matches are almost never referenced on Nitro and nothing here mattered, it basically boils down to whether or not you liked the wrestling. It was decent enough this week so we’ll go right in the middle.

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1 comment

  1. Gillberg!!! says:

    Decent card, with Flair/Malenko and the Luchadore tag match. Now if we could only lose the homophobia angle, the woman-beating angle, and the endless promos for the annual Road Wild junk match. (Hey, at least Jay Leno isn’t wrestling this year, right? See there’s an upside. Stupidest PPV ever, in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of bikers who don’t give two craps about wrestling as the audience, and never making any money, all just so Eric Bischoff can think he’s cool because he rides a Harley. Throw in the junk matches at the top of the card and it’s the most pointless crap this company does…which is saying something.)

    For those of you counting at home, it is now 3 Nitros, 3 Thunders, 1 PPV, and two Sick Boy matches since Goldberg announced “I’m back!”…without actually showing up. JFC.