Thunder – March 1, 2000: One Rung At A Time

Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Fargodome, Fargo, North Dakota
Attendance: 5,368
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

We’re getting closer to Uncensored, meaning it’s time for more matches that people don’t want to see and characters old enough to be our parents. The big story continues to be Sid vs. Jarrett, with a co-main event of WCW vs. the fans in a battle to make us accept Jarrett as anything but the career midcarder that he is. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Nitro, which actually wasn’t a total disaster.

Sid asks Terry Taylor if everything is ready, which it is. I have a feeling I don’t want to know what he’s talking about.

Opening sequence.

Cruiserweight Title: The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Iaukea vs. Chavo Guerrero

Chavo is challenging. Tenay starts off by talking about Mysterio and Guerrera wanting to challenge for the title, meaning there’s no one active worth fighting the Prince. Nice job Mike. They slug it out to start with Chavo getting whipped into the ropes, only to float over into a DDT ala the Maivia Hurricane.

A spinebuster gets two on the champ and he gets sent outside, setting up a big plancha from Chavo, who looks more comfortable out there than he has in a long time. Back in and Chavo dropkicks him into the corner, setting up the tornado DDT, only to draw Paisley up to the apron. Since Chavo isn’t all that bright, the distraction lets Prince hit him with the belt, only to get caught for the quick DQ. Too short to rate but it wasn’t bad, which is the standard case for Chavo.

Sid has gotten his wish: a six man tag where he teams with Booker/Kidman (WOOT!) to face Jarrett/Harris Twins (TOOW!).

Luger thinks Vampiro is stupid and Flair is going to take out Bagwell. I’m digging these Flair vs. midcarders matchers.

Chavo says he went broke selling Amway products and is back to become Cruiserweight Champion. He steals Gene’s watch to keep up the family tradition.

Dustin Rhodes vs. Terry Funk

You would think this would be on Nitro, which is why it’s airing on Thunder. Because WCW you see. Before the match, Dustin stops to say that the fans make him sick and he doesn’t care about us anymore. We see a clip of Rhodes jumping Funk at an autograph signing earlier in the day. It’s clearly staged because there’s no way WCW had that many fans.

Back in the arena and Funk jumps Rhodes from behind with a chair. They fight to the floor with Dustin backdropping his way out of a piledriver and DDTing Funk on the concrete. Back in and some chair shots don’t knock Funk out as I don’t think this was a match despite the bell ringing. Security finally breaks it up.

The Harris Twins aren’t impressed by the Mamalukes giving them a pair of cement shoes and plan to give them an H Bomb. Jarrett says they’re ready for the six man tag tonight but first they need to eliminate some of their women through some contests.

Booker, Kidman and Sid talk strategy until the director shouts “clear.” THUNDER IS TAPED!!! How can they possibly make a mistake like that on a taped show? I know they only have one day to turn it around now, but Smackdown airs a day later in Canada and you don’t see mistakes like that. How in the world is that even possible???

3 Count vs. Brian Knobbs/Fit Finlay/The Dog

Dog is Al Greene, who is different than Big Al. Let’s keep this quick: weapons, brawling, no selling, 3 Count runs, press slam through a table to pin Evan.

La Parka now has a blue and white costume on and a new voiceover guy, who seems to be a fan of Konnan. From here on out, it’s one chair shot for La Parka and one for all his homies.

The NWO girls have a spelling bee. The only word spelled properly: rat.

La Parka vs. The Demon

Demon pounds away to start but gets crotched on top because Demon is a glorified comedy character minus any form of comedy. It’s already chair time but La Parka takes so much time setting up what looked like a huricanrana that Demon slaps him down off the top to break it up. Demon drops a dancing elbow and slaps on a full nelson, only to get kicked low. A corkscrew splash from La Parka is good for the pin to keep Demon as a loser.

Rating: D. I like La Parka and he was definitely getting more and more popular because he was a lot better than a good amount of the talent on the roster. Couple that with him getting over with a chair and there was no way he was ever going anywhere. Demon continues to be another dark spot in WCW but there are so many now that it’s rare to see a bright spot.

Nick Patrick preps Mark Johnson for his match against Mickie Jay. Who goes to NICK PATRICK for wrestling advice?

The spelling bee winner beats Gene in arm wrestling.

Sting says he’ll fight Luger for the last time at Uncensored.

Luger says what you see him do to Vampiro tonight is just a preview of what Sting will get. This is such a basic feud and works fine, but the fact that it’s about Lex Luger vs. Sting in 2000 kills anything it could get going.

Buff Bagwell hits on Miss Hancock. He does have good taste.

Total Package vs. Vampiro

They slap/chop it out to start as Tenay talks about Vampiro reminding him of Sting. Aside from the charisma, power and abilities, I’d say he’s almost right. Vampiro takes over with some strikes of his own, capped off by ducking a clothesline and superkicking Luger into the corner. The Sting comparisons show some merit as Luger backs off, only to sucker Vampiro in and drive him into the buckle.

Luger starts in on the back and hits a press slam followed by a powerslam. The Rack is countered as Vampiro slips down and kicks him in the face, followed by a hair pull bulldog. Cue Flair for a distraction, allowing Liz to hit Vampiro with the bat so Luger can Rack him for the win.

Rating: D+. Vampiro loses to a big name after performing far better in the match. Who saw that coming? It’s nice to see these guys getting to rub elbows with stars like Luger and Flair and at least it took cheating to beat him. Things are looking ever so slightly up and I can accept Vampiro losing, but can we get ANYONE but Luger in there? The guy doesn’t have it anymore and it shows badly.

Vampiro gets his arm broken post match.

Post break (and post replay of what we just saw), Vampiro won’t let the medics tend to him so Finlay attacks him.

Mickie Jay vs. Mark Johnson

Johnson hits him with a roll of quarters from Nick Patrick for the pin in about five seconds.

The same NWO chick wins the swimsuit competition. Thankfully Gene’s dirty old man gimmick is gone.

Crowbar vs. Wall

It’s a fast start as Crowbar knocks him off the apron and hits a flip dive. Wall gets sent into the barricade but shrugs off all the offense back inside. A big boot drops Crowbar and Wall chokeslams him for good measure. They head outside with Crowbar staggering him with a dropkick and blasting Wall with a chair. A top rope splash to the floor crushes Wall again but he’s still able to easily block a suplex back into the ring. They fight to the apron again where Crowbar charges at him, only to get caught and chokeslammed through the announcers’ table for the DQ.

Rating: D+. Most of that is for the big spot at the end which really did look awesome. Crowbar is good for a violent, hardcore character and Wall is fine as an unstoppable force who will one day be stopped by some young up and comer. Well, at least that’s what would happen in a good wrestling company, so there’s no chance it happens here.

Crowbar gets stretchered out.

Video on Hogan vs. Luger. Isn’t it Sting vs. Luger now?

Sid/Kidman/Booker say they’re going to win.

The first three NWO girls are tied for last and the worst looking one is eliminated. The three jump the winner of the contests and attack her with makeup, meaning the fourth one is eliminated. This was somehow a bigger waste of time than it sounds.

Buff Bagwell vs. Ric Flair

After some posing to start, Buff headlocks him down and grabs the leg, setting up a Dusty Rhodes level figure four, sending Flair to the ropes for the break. Buff punches, backdrops, punches and punches some more until we get the Flair Flop. A backslide gets one for Buff and it’s time for more punching. The referee actually warns him about the punching, which lets Flair hit two straight low blows.

Flair starts chopping away until Buff gets tired of selling and fires off some right hands. See, now that is like something Sting would do, not be some lame supernatural inspired character. There’s another backdrop and a lame clothesline from Bagwell, followed by a superplex to put both guys down. Cue Liz and Luger to distract the referee (because no referee has ever watched wrestling) from counting the pin off a Blockbuster. A ball bat shot from Luger gives Flair the pin.

Rating: D-. Good night Bagwell was lazy. The entire match was punches, backdrops and a Blockbuster with a pretty lame superplex thrown in. Flair was doing his usual stuff but you can only get so far with a lame opponent and not much time. It’s a bad match and the ending was obvious, but at least they’re going somewhere with Luger and Flair.

Hennig comes out to save Buff from a post match beatdown.

We get another clip of the Crowbar chokeslam, which really did look good.

Bagwell picks up the eliminated NWO girl. Good grief could they make him look like any more of a loser?

Jeff Jarrett/Harris Twins vs. Sid Vicious/Kidman/Booker

The NWO girls are sent to the back before the match. Booker and Jarrett get things going with a nice, basic sequence of shoulders and hiptosses until Booker slams Jeff into the corner for a tag to Ron. Before we get on with the match, I want to talk about that sequence for a bit. It was so simple but it was one of the more enjoyable things on the show. No it wasn’t much, but it was two guys who know how to wrestle doing their jobs. There weren’t any punches, interference or cheating, but rather two guys doing what they do best. Why is that so hard for WCW to do?

Anyway it’s off to Ron who eats a forearm from Booker and a bunch of dropkicks from Kidman, sending him over to the corner to tag Don. Kidman doesn’t do so well here as his Fameasser is countered and Don takes his head off with a clothesline. Off to Jarrett for some choking on the ropes but he misses the running crotch attack and staggers into Sid’s corner, but the referee would rather not be bored to sleep so Sid can’t do anything.

Speaking of sleep, we get Jeff’s countered sleeper spot before Kidman avoids a charge into the corner. Kidman tags both partners at once (because why not) and everything breaks down. Booker runs interference as Sid chokeslams and powerbombs Jeff. No cover of course as the Twins pull the referee to the floor, which isn’t a DQ because WCW. Kidman missile dropkicks Booker by mistake, giving Jarrett the pin.

Rating: C-. I liked this one better than I thought I would but they didn’t give it enough time to go anywhere. The big story here though was of course the two younger guys getting a shot in the main event. It’s not a major step forward but at least they’re being given a chance. Those two are by far the most qualified to move up the ladder and it’s nice to see them getting a foot up the rungs.

Kidman and Booker both take H Bombs and Sid gets guitared to end the show.

Overall Rating: D-. This show was a mess with a bunch of bad matches and really lame stories with little advancement. That’s the big thing: nothing happened here as we continue towards Jarrett vs. Sid in a match no one wants to see in the first place. I know they’re setting up Sting vs. Luger, but, just like the other match, no one wants to see that either. Just a bad show with nothing going on in a bad promotion with nothing going on.

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  1. Mdh1985 says:

    Posted this on Scott’s page but thought I would here, too. I’m a big fan by the way!

    I was at this Thunder- less than a year before they were in the same building when Sting beat DDP for the title in the first hour, the place was packed with 12,000 or so. We had the same seats for both shows but at this one Dave Penzer goes “hey you folks up in the upper deck- do you want to be on TV?!?! Well move on down!” There may have been 5,000 people there but that seems dubious. Point is- how the mighty had fallen

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Much appreciated.

    It’s very sad that things got this bad. The Starrcade attendances in the MCI Center show the same story. They went from roughly 18,000 in 1997 to less than 7,000 in 2000.

  2. Wirehead says:

    You didn’t mention the “best” part of the Flair/Bagwell match; Ric had the friggin HELP BUFF put the figure four on him.

    What a lazy, useless sod he was.