Thunder – August 19, 1999: The Things That Matters

Thunder
Date: August 19, 1999
Location: Municipal Coliseum, Lubbock, Texas
Attendance: 6,928
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko

Despite it being 1999, we’re somehow watching Sid Vicious Championship Wrestling. This past week on Nitro was all about Sid running in and ruining as many matches as he could before losing the main event by DQ. Somehow this means he’s still undefeated before we get to his showdown with Goldberg to end this streak once and for all. Other than that, we’re building up to Sting vs. Hogan on Nitro on just seven days notice, as opposed to their big match which had fifteen months. Sign of the times indeed. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the new streak (my apologies to RD Evans) which now stands at 61-0.

Silver King vs. Psychosis

Just have him come out right now. King dives at Psychosis and grabs a quick DDT to put Psychosis down. He tries the same thing again but gets caught in the corner, allowing Psychosis to knock him down for a legdrop. The announcers talking about Sid really doesn’t give me much hope for this match’s future. King gets sent out to the floor for a suicide dive but he doesn’t seem to notice all that much. Back in and King plants him with a tilt-a-whirl slam before stopping to dance. Psychosis avoids a moonsault and yeah here’s Sid for the DQ.

Rating: D+. Why do I even bother watching these matches if they just exist for the one main event idea WCW has going on right now? Psychosis and Silver King are just out there wasting time until Sid comes out to do his thing. The match didn’t have time to go anywhere but Silver King wasn’t the best choice to carry a match.

Sid gets on the mic and says this is all because of Goldberg because he wants to be mentioned along with Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan. He’s going to “shake all over” when he reaches Goldberg’s mark. We’re not done with him tonight are we?

CALL THE HOTLINE!

Al Greene vs. Shane Douglas

So now the Revolution gets to rise up above jobbers who somehow once got a World Title shot. Feeling out process to start as they trade arm holds until Greene charges into boots in the corner. Douglas suplexes him down and slaps on a quickly broken chinlock. They head outside for a bit with Greene going into the barricade. I’m sure Shane is so glad he stopped being ECW World Champion to do matches like this one. Back in and we hit another chinlock as I guess Shane is spent after three minutes of work. Greene fights up but eats a clothesline, setting up the Pittsburgh Plunge for the pin.

Rating: D. I’ve never been a fan of Douglas and this really didn’t change my opinion. I really don’t know why I’m supposed to be cheering for him in the first place. He popped up and decided he was part of the Revolution and now he’s on Benoit, Saturn and Malenko’s level? It doesn’t help that he really isn’t on their level in the ring and is just there as a talker.

The West Texas Rednecks will have a new video on Nitro.

Here’s Rick Steiner for a chat. Gene says all of the Revolution wants a shot at the TV Title, but Steiner instead threatens to beat up the Revolution’s mothers. No one can out smart him (well heels are supposed to lie) so tonight there’s an open challenge for any member of the Revolution. Steiner is going to kill one of them isn’t he?

Video on Coach Buzz Stern, which is Glacier in a stupid high school coach gimmick. He’s really tough you see.

Steven Regal/David Taylor/Chris Adams vs. Dave Burkhead/Bobby Blaze/Adrian Byrd

Regal takes Burkhead (I’ve never heard of him either) down to start before bringing Taylor in for a European uppercut and a tag off to Adams. The Brits are moving fast tonight, likely so Sid doesn’t come in and powerbomb them all. Adams and Regal cheat like all evil Englishmen before Chris enziguris Burkhead to the floor. Riveting stuff so far. Regal peppers him with more uppercuts and allows Dave to tag off to Blaze. We get the old spot of Blaze trying a sunset flip and Regal grabbing his partner, only to have Robinson kick the arms apart to give Bobby two.

Taylor beats up Byrd for a bit and the Brits start fast tagging again. Byrd gets choked on the mat by Regal’s knee as Taylor comes in for even more uppercuts. No wonder that move became so common. Blaze tries to come in like the jobber schnook that he is, allowing Byrd to be dragged back to the corner. The sequence is so good that they do it again on the floor…..as Rick Steiner and Sid come out to destroy the jobbers.

Rating: C-. I was kidding when I said they were hurrying before Sid came out! So far, the only thing on this show not related to Sid or Steiner has been the Al Greene match, or about five minutes of the entire show. How can they sit through the meetings setting up this show and think this is the best course of action? I know it’s just a six man squash, but did they really need to do this again? You know Sid isn’t done tonight either.

Sid powerbombs everyone and has Robinson count pins, TWICE. Apparently they represent Goldberg, Hogan and Sting as Sid wants to stand beside Steiner. This is one of the main stories in WCW right now people. Over in WWF we were seeing the rise of HHH to the top of the company, but WCW is offering Sid and Steiner destroying the world.

Berlyn is coming. Sid will powerbomb him too.

Here’s the Revolution with something to say. Douglas takes charge and asks the fans if they’re ready to see a change in WCW. The people in the back are shaking in their boots over these guys and it’s time to take this company back. Saturn promises to beat Steiner tonight and he won’t even have to bite him to get there.

Cruiserweight Title: Lenny Lane vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

Rematch from Monday when Sid interfered. Before the match, Mysterio tells Lenny to tell his boyfriend to ride the Hershey highway all the way back to the funny farm. I’m stunned that didn’t get the gimmick shelved. A series of standing switches starts things off and of course Lenny starts liking it.

Rey hurricanranas him into the ropes and a big suicide dive puts Lenny into the barricade. Back in and the West Coast Pop is dropkicked out of the air, followed by a faceplant for two. Lenny hits a shoulder breaker into a powerslam for two more as Rey is in trouble. Lane is similar to Disco: talented in the ring but no one can see past the gimmick to see how good he is. Lenny prances around the ring and gets sunset flipped for two, only to whip Rey chest first into the buckle.

We go very old school with an airplane spin but Lane is dizzy too. So he’s not only an over the top stereotype but he’s also stupid. Lane goes up top but gets staggered and falls backwards into an atomic drop. He sells it harder than Honky Tonk Man ever dreamed of and backs into referee Johnny Boone in the corner, freaking Boone out because homophobia is funny you see.

Lodi comes in right next to the referee because being homophobic also seems to make you blind. The champ easily dispatches Lodi but stops to pose on the ropes. A guillotine legdrop sends Lenny to the floor and Lodi gets drop toeholded into Lenny’s crotch. Back in and Lenny gets two off a Skull Crushing Finale. He sends Rey into Lodi so they bang heads, allowing Lenny to roll Rey up for the pin and the title.

Rating: B-. The worst part of this is that it was a good match. Lane was a good worker but he’s stuck in this horrible and offensive gimmick and that’s all people are going to remember. I’m so glad Rey finally lost the title because he never defends the thing and the rest of the division is just stuck fighting each other for no prize. Good match, but the spot with the referee was horrible.

The Filthy Animals come out to say “sorry bro. We should have been here to help you but we were too busy trying to understand Konnan’s catchphrases.”

Fall Brawl is coming.

Tag Team Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Scott Norton/Horace

Heat is defending of course. Norton shoves Booker around and gets kicked in the face for his efforts. Arm holds go nowhere so it’s off to Stevie for a slam on Horace as we take a break. Back with Booker sending Horace into Norton’s boot and nailing him with the ax kick, only to have Norton keep him from the corner. The slow pace continues as Norton beats Booker down with whatever combination of clotheslines and chops he can come up with. Horace comes back in and breaks up a sunset flip with a rake to the face before tagging back out. This man is getting a paycheck for this work people.

The challengers slowly hammer away on Booker as this is starting to drag. Booker rolls out of Norton’s powerbomb attempt and gets ax handled down to keep him in trouble. Never the brightest guys in the world, Norton and Horace try a double clothesline and get forearmed in the head, allowing for the hot tag to Stevie. Ray cleans house and everything breaks down with Horace planting Stevie with a side slam and splash, but Nick Patrick is with the other two. Everyone gets back in and Stevie whips Horace into Booker’s missile dropkick for the pin.

Rating: D. This was really dull by the end as you knew Horace and Norton weren’t taking the belts and they didn’t have the most thrilling offense. Hopefully they’re done with this Harlem Heat vs. the NWO nonsense soon as it’s a waste of whatever Harlem Heat can do. The match could have been worse, but it was just such dull stuff.

Berlyn is still coming. Nothing has changed in the last hour.

Here’s the First Family with something to say. Hart wants them to win the Tag Team Titles and Flynn actually says the First Family needs no introduction. That would be because no one wants to see them introduced but that’s another story. Barbarian rambles about something that I can’t comprehend a single word of and Knobbs/Morrus issue a challenge for the titles next week.

TV Title: Saturn vs. Rick Steiner

Steiner is defending because WCW lived in a random and chaotic universe. Rick actually does something worthwhile by telling security to throw out a fan that tossed a drink at him. Pesky twerp. The champ drives him to the ropes and hammers away to start and nails a big Steiner Line. It’s already time for the choking because the right hands and the Steiner Line are about all he’s got to start.

Saturn ducks another Steiner Line and kicks him to the floor for some swearing from the champ. Back in and Rick drives him into the corner and chokes even more because Steiner doesn’t know how to do anything else. They head outside with Steiner whipping him into the barricade and steps as we take a break. We really have to come back to this destruction for the sake of pushing Rick Steiner?

Back with Steiner in control because he’s not going to sell like these young schmucks. He rakes Saturn’s eyes and DDTs him before putting on something like a surfboard. Saturn fights up with a neckbreaker and kick to the face, followed by some right hands to the face. Not that it matters as Sid comes out to shove Saturn into a belly to belly for the DQ.

Rating: D. This was a Steiner squash with a thirty second comeback before Sid came out for the DQ. I’ve ranted enough about WCW sacrificing the rest of the entire roster for the sake of pushing Sid and Steiner for whatever reason, so let’s complain about the young guys getting beaten up by Steiner. Does WCW really think that Steiner is the future of this company instead of someone like Saturn? I know Saturn isn’t the second coming of Steve Austin but he’s probably going to be more valuable than Rick “I can’t do anything more than choke and clothesline” Steiner. At least he is in a logical mindset, which isn’t where WCW shines.

Benoit comes out for the save and issues a challenge for next week before the old guys charge and get dispatched. Sid promises to pin both guys twice next week to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. The weird thing here was they actually treated Thunder like something that mattered. We have two matches set up for next week and a title changed hands. When does that EVER happen on Nitro, let alone Thunder? Unfortunately the good things here were dragged down by Sid interfering in literally half the matches. If you get that down to one match at most and keep having things actually matter on this show (and I don’t mean a PPV main event match every week. The stuff they had here was fine), it feels SO much more important and therefore easier to sit through. Just get rid of Sid though. Please.

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1 comment

  1. Gillberg!!! says:

    I just don’t know how beating up random C-listers is supposed to make Sid more credible against A-list opponents. Silver King and Psychosis are not Hogan and Sting, and everybody knows it.

    Lenny Lane won the title? Oh, burn. Go put your mask back on Rey, I’d want to hide my face too.

    Ironically, the company probably could have gotten away with Adams and Horace winning the tag belts in the tournament back in March. They’d won enough matches to reach the semis; a couple of upsets wouldn’t have seemed weird and would have given them some credibility as champs. Now you have the dregs of the NWO getting shots they have no business getting.

    At least nobody mentioned KISS.