Thunder – September 23, 1999: Why Do These People Have Jobs?

Thunder
Date: September 23, 1999
Location: Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
Attendance: 3,782
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko

We’re coming off a very welcome week break from this show due to a hurricane last week. This past Monday’s show was more of the same from WCW as the company made sure the young and hard working guys were stuck on the other side of the show from the main event stars, who had to be there to draw the audience. Let’s get to it.

After the usual opening from the announcers, we look at Chavo putting Psychosis in a hair vs. mask match against Kidman on Monday.

Lodi vs. Kidman

After a hug with his brother/I don’t really want to know what else, Lodi fires off some knees into the ribs. A drop toehold puts Kidman down and Lodi gets in a quick spank for some alleged comedy. That earns Lodi a dropkick in the face and a clothesline to the floor, setting up a big dive onto both blonds. Lenny offers a distraction and Lodi takes over with a legdrop and a suplex for two. A bulldog gets the same after a failed Kidman comeback attempt and we hit the chinlock.

That goes nowhere so Kidman is sent outside for a brawl with the champ. Lodi actually dives onto both of them to take over again (was he ever out of control? Well maybe back in the Flock days). Back in and Kidman hits his Bodog and does the usual to escape a powerbomb. Lodi is no Lenny it seems. Lenny offers yet another distraction to break up the Shooting Star, drawing out Eddie Guerrero to take care of him. This brings out Chavo to talk trash and then leave. Ok then. Lenny gets on the apron but Kidman whips Lodi into him, setting up the BK Bomb for the pin.

Rating: D+. Not much to this one but that’s almost always the case with the Lodi matches. That being said, it’s very refreshing to actually get to the end of a match instead of just seeing Sid come down to do the same thing every single week and often times in the same show. Lenny is getting up a pretty big set of challengers to go after the belt and I’m getting into his title reign.

Harlem Heat is shown walking in the back but they turn a corner and brawling noises are heard. Sid and Steiner walk around the same corner from the other way.

We see Sid and Goldberg yelling at each other from Nitro.

Tenay (not Gene for some reason) calls out Harlem Heat but only gets Booker. Apparently Stevie is on his way to the hospital as Sid and Steiner gave Stevie a bump on the head. That’s quite the speedy ambulance. Anyway, Booker wants Sid tonight to prove that this winning streak is a fraud.

Brandi Alexander vs. Mona

A lot of posing delays the start of the match as Tenay tells us to go on the World Wide Web for more information on the WCW Mayhem video game. Mona gets taken down in a test of strenght about a minute after the bell. They roll into a quick pinfall reversal sequence until Mona gets caught in a wristlock.

A dropkick puts Brandi on the floor but she pulls the blonde outside for a clothesline. Back in and Brandi stomps away before posing some more. She gets two off a gutwrench suplex but Mona backflips into a headscissors followed by some forearms to the jaw. Not that it matters as Brandi counters a monkey flip and puts her feet on the ropes for the pin. Uh….upset?

Rating: C-. The match was acceptable but these stand alone matches can only get them so far. At the end of the day, what am I supposed to think of this match? Mona beat her two months ago and now Brandi evens things up. There’s no title to fight over and no one else for them to face, so there’s nothing here but a decent match and a pretty Mona. Did Mona ever even face Madusa?

The split second the pin goes down, they go to an ad for Hogan and Sting videos. That was one of the fastest cuts I’ve ever seen.

Mayhem ad.

We see Karagias pinning Blitzkrieg to earn his title shot tonight.

Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Saturn

Headlock from Saturn to start followed by a hammerlock as they hit the mat for a wrestling sequence. Back up and a big clothesline drops Guerrero and it’s off to an armbar. Chavo tries to get underneath Saturn, earning him a good stomping. Sometimes that’s all you need to do. Back up again and a German suplex sends Chavo flying and he rolls out to the floor for a breather. Chavo gets back in but quickly flips over to the apron. He can’t ram Saturn into the buckle though and gets suplexed from the apron back inside. Other than a few quickly broken holds, it’s all Saturn so far.

Chavo finally jumps over a charge in the corner and dropkicks the knee before a clothesline puts Saturn on the floor. A nice plancha gets two back inside and we hit the chinlock. Saturn doesn’t like to rest though and gets up for a big t-bone suplex, followed by a forearm and another suplex. He loads up a superplex (logical next step) but Eddie runs out to swing at him. Unfortunately he misses Saturn and knocks Chavo to the mat. Somehow the referee doesn’t see Eddie coming in and dropkicking Saturn, allowing Chavo to collapse head first onto Saturn’s crotch for the pin.

Rating: C. Can Saturn please get a big win, or even a win in general? This wasn’t much to see but Saturn’s suplexes looked good. They’re setting up something interesting with the Animals vs. the Revolution, even though they both should be moving up the ladder a bit. The same idea worked with the Nation vs. DX in 1998 and stealing an idea only a year old isn’t bad for WCW. Would Eddie and Benoit be HHH and Rock in that analogy?

Here are Sid, Steiner and Charles Robinson with something to say. Sid talks about a restraining order against Goldberg and the US Title match at Halloween Havoc is off if there’s contact. Booker and Goldberg are stupid for meeting kids and doing all that other hero stuff before saying tonight, it’s 100-0. Robinson even has the next sign ready. So Robinson is some freaky Ric Flair and Lodi crossbreed?

Coach Buzz Stern is going to bring Luther Biggs to Thunder. Just get it over with so this can mean nothing.

We recap Sting vs. Benoit and the fallout with Sting attacking Hogan’s knee later in the night. They’re really pushing that six man tag so points for trying to build to a big match.

This Week In WCW Motorsports.

Prince Iaukea vs. Van Hammer

You know, I was just starting to think this show wasn’t half bad. That’s what I get for even thinking for a second that this show isn’t a horrible abomination. I need to stay more vigilant. The Prince jumps him from behind and actually gets two off a rollup. Hammer slams him down but gets small packaged for another near fall, followed by a headbutt. At least Iaukea is being more aggressive. He’s still horrible to watch but he’s aggressive. Hammer tries an Irish whip but gets poked in the eye for his efforts.

Yet another rollup gets two as dear goodness there’s an actual story to this thing. Hammer gets tired of this match and kicks Prince in the face before hanging him in a Tree of Woe and choking him from the floor. When you’re ripping off Rick Steiner moves, it’s time to hang it up buddy. A few slams set up a few chinlocks on Iaukea but he finally fights up and kicks Hammer low. I know I said just make it legal already and it seems like they actually have. Prince hits a Samoan drop but walks into a spinebuster, setting up the cobra clutch slam for the pin.

Rating: D. Well it was a bit better than a squash but that doesn’t mean it’s an interesting or even good match. I did like the idea of Iaukea just going for fast wins because he can’t go toe to toe with someone Hammer’s size, but at the end of the day it’s still Hammer and Iaukea getting five minutes on live television. There’s no way this can be considered a good thing.

Hammer says he wants a US Title shot on Nitro. I can’t decide if Sid vs. Hammer on live TV is worse than Hammer vs. Prince on live TV and for some reason I’m going to get to find out. I hate my life.

Revolution video.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rick Steiner

Rick runs his mouth about Booker to start and still wants people to bite him. Eddie can’t take Steiner down either from behind or by the leg and I have a bad feeling about where this is going. He gets behind Steiner again but this time Rick switches over and throws Eddie down with a German suplex.

Steiner hammers away in the corner and starts ripping at Eddie’s face. A chinlock goes nowhere so Eddie is dumped to the floor. He manages to reverse a whip for the closest thing to offense he’s had so far. Naturally that’s all Rick is going to give him and it’s time for choking with a cord. Back in and Steiner slaps him before shrugging off right hands to the face. A spinebuster plants Eddie for two but he gets back up with a hurricanrana. Cue Sid to chokeslam Eddie off the top for the DQ.

Rating: D+. Is there an emergency button for Steiner to push when he’s actually having to sell? Have we ever even been given a reason why Sid and Steiner got together? Given that we’re still waiting on a reason for Nash to join up with Hogan and surrender the title when he had gotten away with everything (my goodness that sounds like forever ago), I wouldn’t hold my breath. This match showed that not even Eddie Guerrero can save Rick Steiner, which is all you need to know.

Kidman makes the save and gets powerbombed. If Lenny hadn’t done it recently, that would drive me a lot crazier.

CALL THE HOTLINE! SEE HOW ELSE WE’RE GOING TO SCREW THIS UP!

Cruiserweight Title: Evan Karagias vs. Lenny Lane

Karagias is challenging after beating Blitzkrieg on Nitro. Lodi’s sign: “Lenny is hard to beat.” Lenny takes Evan down to start and cranks on a hammerlock (popular move tonight) but has to run away from some right hands as we take a very early break. Back with the champ holding a chinlock until Evan fights up and gets sent to the apron. A springboard cross body gets two on the champ but he sends Evan into the buckle to put him down again. Lenny’s rather suggestive cover gets two before he drops Evan with a gorilla press.

That’s about it for the offense though as a double clothesline puts both guys down. Evan makes his comeback but gets caught up top. The champ’s superplex attempt is quickly countered with a sitout superbomb for no cover. That might be a good thing as it would make Evan look pretty lame to not be able to pin Lenny after a spot that big. He heads up top again but Lodi finally does something by tripping him to the mat to give Lenny a two count. Back up and Evan dropkicks the brothers together for two. Lodi gets back up so Lenny catapults Evan into him, setting up the Skull Crushing Finale to retain.

Rating: C. You know, Lenny isn’t that bad in the ring. Yeah he’s a Chris Jericho look-a-like and has a gimmick that had to be toned WAY down, but his matches are far from horrible. The division is starting to round back into some form (albeit not quite its previous glory but that’s not fair to ask) and beating Lane might be a big deal when it happens.

We see Hammer’s challenge for the US Champion from earlier tonight.

US Title: Sid Vicious vs. Booker T.

Booker is challenging but comes out alone while Sid has Steiner in his corner. Nick Patrick comes out and won’t let Charles Robinson referee the match. If Robinson is this corrupt, how does he still have a job? Granted I could say that about so many people in WCW that this really shouldn’t surprise me. Robinson stays at ringside as Booker hammers on Sid but charges into an elbow in the corner, knocking him out to the floor. Booker kicks him into the crowd and is getting in more offense than anyone has on Sid in weeks. By that I mean a few shots of course because Sid is a STAR.

They fight into the crowd and it’s the walking around the arena style. Back to ringside with Sid in control and dropping Booker across the barricade. The fans chant for Goldberg but he’s too important to appear on this show. Steiner gets in some cheap shots but Booker comes back with some kicks to the champ. Sid of course no sells but is nice enough to stay down for two off a missile dropkick, only to have Steiner pull Patrick to the floor. Robinson comes in, along with Steiner, as Sid chokeslams Booker, setting up a double powerbomb to retain the title.

Rating: D. Grumble grumble, star power, grumble grumble, Sid and Steiner are old. This was actually a bit better than most Sid matches as Booker was able to carry things far better than most of his opponents. However, Booker was never a real threat and the three villains made sure of it. Sid popping up after the ax kick really doesn’t surprise me but it still gets annoying in a hurry.

Sid yells for Goldberg to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This show was a bit better than usual, but it’s still nothing I’d want to see. The stories have thankfully calmed down after all those months of horrid, but that still doesn’t help the mostly below average wrestling. We’re just waiting on the guys to start tearing the house down but there’s always something holding them back. Once they finally just start letting these stories go somewhere, WCW could potentially get hot again. That’s one of the things that makes their downfall so frustrating: there are ways around some of the problems (not all of them of course) but they just kept wasting the potential.

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