Thunder – March 15, 2000: Encouraging And Depressing

Thunder
Date: March 15, 2000
Location: Patriot Center, Fairfax, Virginia
Attendance: 5,891
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

It’s the go home show for Uncensored and it can’t come soon enough. Things have picked up a bit but there’s only so much you can do with the material they’re being given. The main event scene is crowded with the double feud of Sting vs. Luger and Flair vs. Hogan, leaving Jarrett vs. Sid over the World Title at third on the card. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

La Parka/Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Silver King/El Dandy

La Parka’s dubbed voice confirms that he is in fact in the hizzouse tonight. Chavo takes Dandy down to start and backdrops him to the floor, meaning it’s off the partners. La Parka quickly takes over because he’s just more awesome than everyone else in the ring, meaning it’s time for the strut. A Dandy distraction lets King get in a clothesline but El’s backsplash hits his partner by mistake.

Back up and Dandy tries to hold La Parka for a dropkick but these two still don’t work that well together. La Parka hits a nice corkscrew dive onto Dandy on the floor, leaving Chavo to dropkick King to the floor. Things settle down a bit with La Parka moonsaulting onto Dandy for two more, only to have the heels finally start working together to take La Parka down.

A DDT gets two for King but he lets Chavo in, only to take him down just as easily as he took out La Parka. When did Silver King get good? A slingshot elbow gets two on Chavo and everything breaks down again. La Parka pulls Dandy out of the corner and onto his shoulders for a high cross body from Chavo, who follows with the tornado DDT to put El away.

Rating: C. I’ve seen worse, because amazingly enough, four guys who have experience and that whole talent thing are able to put on a better match than Prince Iaukea has ever been able to do. That’s why this division is so dead right now. Iaukea isn’t an interesting wrestler, but he’s champion because he has an over the top gimmick. What WCW doesn’t get is there has to be some substance under the flashiness and Iaukea just did not have that.

Post break and Don’t Try This At Home (from Brian Knobbs, who is the safest wrestler ever), Miss Hancock offers to manage Silver King/El Dandy with the chance of moving up to groin excitement if they meet certain contractual obligations.

Here’s Team Package for the final push promo for Sunday. Luger starts things off by saying Team Package is in the house. True, but are they in the hizzouse? Also points off for using your own voice. Luger rips on Sting for being a coward and not showing up tonight before it’s off to Flair to mention everyone whose arm has been broken recently. I could watch Flair put his foot in his mouth and have it get his buddies in trouble all day.

Hulkamania is dead of course but here’s Jimmy Hart to disagree. Jimmy accuses Ric of turning his back on Anderson and David to be Luger’s lackey (true, which still makes no sense) and reminds Flair that Hogan is the one on Larry King’s show and Entertainment Tonight because Hogan is the bigger star.

Luger yells at Jimmy and tells him to get out of here, but Hart suddenly has guts and hits Flair with Hogan’s weightlifting belt. This earns him a Torture Rack and a whipping but points for trying. Of course negative points for this being a feud about Hogan and Luger being big stars and everyone being in awe of them instead of putting over someone young, but Jimmy had some guts out there.

The cruiserweights are fighting over the title in the back when Charles Robinson comes in and says tonight it’s Psychosis vs. Kaz Hayashi. No mention of it being a title match or a #1 contenders match or anything but I guess that’s what we’re supposed to infer. Then again since this is WCW, it might be a loser gets a raise match.

Hogan checks on Hart and wants Luger and Flair out there tonight.

Kaz Hayashi vs. Psychosis

They don’t waste time around here. Apparently the winner of this gets a title shot on Sunday. Well that’s better than nothing. Psychosis takes over with some basics to start but Kaz takes his head off with a spinwheel kick. Psychosis’ head that is. Taking your own head off with a kick would be rather stupid. Psychosis gets sent to the floor for a flip dive which gets two back inside. A clothesline drops Kaz and he charges into an elbow in the corner to keep himself in trouble. Psychosis grabs a nice top rope hurricanrana, flips out of I think a backdrop and rolls Kaz up for a very quick pin.

They shake hands post match but Iaukea runs out and lays both guys out, including hitting the middle rope DDT on Psychosis. Some challenger.

Jeff Jarrett calls Gene slap nuts. That’s better than the dirty old man gimmick.

Team Package vs. Hogan in a handicap match later.

Bam Bam Bigelow has words we can’t hear with……Oklahoma? He’s still around?

Tank Abbott vs. Buzzkill

You get the idea by now. Buzzkill is out in 23 seconds.

Back from a break and Wall is beating up David Flair and Crowbar. He drags David to the concession area (save it for Tupelo people) and then and then to the balcony, but Bam Bam Bigelow runs up to stop Wall from the whole killing David thing. Bigelow and Wall fight into the lobby and Wall is sent through a table. Sounds like we need a (re?)match on Sunday.

Kidman wishes Booker luck against Jarrett and kisses Torrie.

Wall is taken away by cops. I knew that whole attempted murder thing would get him in trouble eventually.

US Title: Booker vs. Jeff Jarrett

Jarrett is defending but has to eject the girls before Booker comes out. Feeling out process to start with Booker going for some quick rollups. A big clothesline puts the champ down but he avoids another clothesline, sending Booker straight into the ropes and out to the floor. Jeff hits something like a Stunner over the barricade and he shouts something censored. See, tonight it’s censored tonight but Sunday is UNCENSORED!!!

Now stop me if you’ve heard this one before, though I doubt you ever have, but Jarrett puts on a sleeper for two arm drops but Booker fights up and hooks a sleeper of his own, only to be quickly counters. Jeff jumps into a Rock Bottom for two but the ax kick barely keeps him down. Cue the Harris Twins who quickly distract the referee, allowing Jarrett to sneak in a belt shot. Booker manages to kick out to give the fans some hope and hits a side kick, only to have the Twins come in. They’re fought off for a bit but an H Bomb plants Booker, setting up the Stroke to retain Jeff’s title.

Rating: C+. Good match, and of course they kept the title on Jarrett because it’s going to take dynamite to get that belt off him. Or a company reset, whichever comes first. Booker continues to be better than the rest of the roster by just wrestling matches instead of being lazy and goofy, which makes him a rare breed in WCW.

Sid saves Booker from the spray paint.

Dustin Rhodes says he’s going to cut Terry Funk up with the bullrope. As for Kidman tonight, he’s never heard the word the American Dream. Yes word, not words. So much for the Texas educational system.

Booker blames Kidman for the loss because Kidman didn’t have his back. True actually.

Vampiro vs. Hugh Morrus

Vampiro starts with the kicks and chops but makes the mistake of trying a headlock, allowing Hugh to suplex him down. Now it’s Morrus with the chops in the corner before biting Vampiro’s head. They head outside with Vampiro, who can forget about his main event spots I guess, being sent into a chair. An apron elbow crushes Vampiro again but Hugh takes too much time yelling at fans, allowing Vampiro to come back with a kick to knock Morrus back inside.

It’s time to go up top, but Vampiro dives into a powerbomb because we can’t let him look good for too long. No Laughing Matter connects but Morrus doesn’t cover. It’s table time but Vampiro gets off and throws Morrus off the top and through the table…..for two. It should be a DQ, but instead it’s two. Not that it matters as Vampiro plants Morrus with the Nail in the Coffin for the pin. Well that was anticlimactic.

Rating: C-. This was turning into a good brawl before they just let it end. I’m also not a fan of someone just not going for what should be an easy win for the sake of bringing in something to continue the match. There’s no logical reason for Morrus to bring in a table after he had Vampiro pinned, but it’s the only way to get to the ending they had planned. It’s illogical and takes away what they had going.

Kidman doesn’t like Booker’s tone.

This Week in WCW Motorsports.

Demon/Norman Smiley vs. Brian Knobbs/The Dog

This week Norman’s attire is in a KISS shirt. Demon and Dog fight inside while Knobbs chokes Norman on the barricade. There’s no word on if this is a hardcore match but I’ll go on a limb and say it is, because Heaven forbid we see Knobbs in a wrestling match. Dog gets clotheslined to the floor but comes back in with a spinebuster for a near fall.

Smiley comes in, screams at the Dog, and walks into the Pit Stop, followed by a slam from Dog. This of course leads to barking because HE’S A DOG. The brawling continues until Knobbs runs into Demon’s boot in the corner. Demon heads up top but here’s Lana for a distraction, because this match was just begging for more people. Knobbs superplexes Demon down and picks him back up for a middle rope powerslam from Dog (the Dog Pound) for the pin.

Rating: D. As has been the case with so many wrestlers, namely Demon and Dog, I’ll quote the age old classic Angels in the Outfield: “There’s a thing called talent. They don’t haven it.” That’s one of those things you just can’t get around. A good gimmick can cover a lot of flaws, but these guys have some of the worst gimmicks I’ve ever seen and very limited talent on top of that. How could they possibly work?

Long video on Uncensored.

Team Package loves the idea of having Hogan 2-1 tonight.

Kidman vs. Dustin Rhodes

Rhodes slugs him up against the ropes but Kidman comes back for two off a quick cross body. After a quick trip to the floor for a breather, Dustin comes back in and stomps Kidman down, only to eat a dropkick and Bodog out of the corner. For some reason Rhodes tries to go up but gets caught with ease. Kidman loads up a belly to back suplex but Dustin grabs the cowbell to knock him silly, setting up the bulldog for the pin.

Booker comes out to check on him but that’s Torrie’s job.

Total Package/Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan

All three get their own entrances. Hogan charges to the ring like the moron he often is and gets beaten down, only to come back with a double noggin knocker as we flash back to 1986. After the usual array of clotheslines, one of which sends Luger to the floor, Hogan whips Flair into the corner and outside as well as we’re still in the part where Hogan actually tries.

Hulk follows them outside for a whipping with the belt before it’s back inside for REALLY bad looking punches to Flair. Seriously Hulk, they’re PUNCHES. You’ve thrown thousands of them in your career. If there’s one thing you should be able to do, it’s throw a freaking punch. Luger gets knocked to the floor again (bad night for him so far) and Flair tries chops because he’s not that bright.

To follow up on this theory, he goes up top and I’ll let you fill in the blanks for yourself. Hogan uses the belt again (I would complain about the lack of disqualifications around here, but it’s such a trend in WCW that it’s not even worth bringing up again), Flair finally hits Hogan low to take over. Everyone heads outside for more chops (which actually work this time) and some chair shots to Hogan’s back.

There’s another low blow and some stomping, followed by Flair whipping Hogan with the belt. A double clothesline drops Hogan and that’s all it takes for him to Hulk Up. Well at least they didn’t wait long this time. Hogan cleans house and blocks a chair shot from Liz before whipping both guys with the belt. Flair runs off and Hogan pursues to a double countout.

Rating: D+. Well, they did keep it moving. The one thing you can always count on from Hogan is to keep things moving and that’s what he did here. Now of course you have to ignore the lack of the referee doing anything, the lame punches and the bad brawling, but at least they didn’t let things get boring.

Overall Rating: C-. This was WAY better than what they’ve been doing recently as it was downright watchable. The wrestling ranged from good to just average bad instead of awful and they plugged Uncensored (yes it looks horrible on paper but they did a good job of building it). That’s really the best you can expect from Thunder these days: some decent wrestling and storyline support. It’s very much like a weak version of a modern day Smackdown, which is both encouraging and depressing in a way.

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