Thunder – July 12, 2000: How To Book A Bad Show Version II

Thunder
Date: July 12, 2000
Location: North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, South Carolina
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone

It still feels weird to say that Booker T. is the World Champion but it’s a nice feeling to have. For once things feel fresh and with the addition of the newcomers in the tag division, there’s an actual youth movement going on around here. Now unfortunately there’s no reason to think this is going to last but at least we can enjoy it while it’s around. Let’s get to it.

On a side note, at some point around this time, Ed Ferrara took over Thunder’s booking. Therefore, Russo isn’t to blame in case this is awful, though Ferrara was Russo’s right hand man.

Opening sequence.

We open with the usual clips from Nitro.

Smooth gives Kanyon advice about something we aren’t privy to.

Apparently Scott Steiner beat up and injured Mike Tenay so it’s a two man booth tonight.

Here are Tank Abbott and 3 Count to say they’re going to dance and the Dragons aren’t going to do anything. That’s an official warning and you know what’s coming. Tank heads outside to dance and here are the Dragons for a surprise attack. Muta jumps Tank and we’ve got a match.

3 Count/Tank Abbott vs. Jung Dragons/Great Muta

Yang tries to pound on Tank but gets thrown across the ring. A wheelbarrow slam into a double facebuster has Yang in even more trouble but Muta makes a save and cleans house. Tank uses the circle to block the mist and the big right hand knocks Yang silly to give Evan the fast pin. So they bring Muta in for a two minute match where his team loses?

Kanyon gives Cat a copy of his book in an attempt to get Jarrett tonight. That’s fine with Cat as Jarrett’s original opponent, Buff Bagwell, is late. Cat gives him the match in exchange for an autograph.

The Perfect Event attacks the Misfits in the back. For reasons unclear, they hand Major Gunns their exercise bar and she hits Palumbo low. Stasiak laughs, so Gunns kicks him low for good measure. So they’re bad wrestlers and stupid?

Stevie Ray is joining commentary. This could be good.

The Demon vs. Major Stash

Stevie thinks Vampiro and Demon are bizarre and doesn’t get why they’re together. In other words, Stevie either doesn’t watch or doesn’t understand the stories either. Stash starts with a big boot but charges into a boot in the corner. You would think he would have learned something like that. Demon gets thrown off the middle rope but comes back with a wristlock. Yeah a wristlock from a guy named DEMON. Stash avoids a clothesline and hits a quick ax handle, only to walk into the Love Gun for another quick pin.

Post match Sting (right) appears and points the bat at Vampiro and Demon.

Kidman asks Lance Storm about being serious. Storm says he’s always serious and walks off. After Kidman leaves, Kanyon takes out a cameraman with a Kanyon Cutter.

David Flair tells Hancock that he’ll do anything for her. Hancock knows that already.

Kidman/Lance Storm vs. Mark Jindrak/Sean O’Haire

The Canadian national anthem plays so Kidman reads the paper and dances behind him. Lance finally catches on but doesn’t seem to mind as he and Kidman try stereo baseball slides to the floor. That goes as badly as Kidman’s dancing as Jindrak and O’Haire press them over the top and back inside. Kidman tags himself in for a Bodog to Jindrak so it’s off to Sean for some right hands. Everything breaks down and O’Haire superkicks Storm, leaving Jindrak to plant Kidman with a tilt-a-whirl slam. The Seanton Bomb gives Sean the pin, making me wonder why they got pinned by Morrus and Leroux a few weeks back.

Storm nails Kidman post match, I’m assuming to cement his heel turn.

Vampiro promises to rip off Sting’s ski mask. I’d like to see who is actually under there.

Vito talks about how awesome he is.

Hancock tells David to go win her some gold so he attacks Vito and it’s time for a title match.

Hardcore Title: Big Vito vs. David Flair

Vito is defending of course and David is in a suit minus the jacket. He pounds Vito into the arena with whatever he can find as this is one sided so far. Vito remembers that he’s fighting David Flair and takes over with right hands, only to get suplexed into the ring for no cover. Cue Hancock (with blue trim instead of white this time) as Vito comes back again with a suplex and top rope elbow. He stops to kiss Hancock though (perk of being a champion), followed by the safety cone to the crotch. The impaler DDT through the table retains Vito’s title.

Rating: D. I’m assuming these are supposed to be serious matches, which continues to prove that the people running WCW don’t understand how wrestling works. They’re certainly not funny matches but there’s nothing setting them aside that makes them entertaining. That black hole of charisma Steve Blackman is Hardcore Champion in the WWF right now and he’s a dozen times more interesting than this. Vito isn’t bad or anything but there’s nowhere to go with this division.

Jarrett tells Cat that if he’s not fighting his scheduled opponent, he’s not wrestling. Cat says oh yes you are.

Perfect Event was posing in the ring earlier today (as in before the fans were here) when Kanyon attacked another production guy. It’s still funny, but is this going anywhere anytime soon?

Perfect Event vs. General Rection/Corporal Cajun

Palumbo and Rection get things going with the General scoring off some splashes in the corner. Cajun comes in and gets beaten down due to reasons of not being very good. Things slow down with Stasiak doing one of his only moves (a slam) before stopping to pose. Palumbo’s top rope shoulder drops Cajun for two again as Stevie is being the voice of reason against all of Perfect Event’s stalling. A gorilla press doesn’t work though and the hot tag brings in Rection to clean most of the house until the Jungle Kick slows him down again.

Stasiak gets two off a sitout powerbomb and the fans are actually getting into this. It could be due to it being the longest match of the night, even though we’re not five minutes in yet. Cajun comes in for his dancing punches and a clothesline for two. Whiplash gets two more and everything breaks down. Rection hits his moonsault but Stasiak nails the referee with the exercise bar. He throws it off to Cajun though and the referee sees him holding it for the DQ. Yeah he said Rection had the match won but Cajun broke up the pin for no apparent reason. Egads this company is stupid at times.

Rating: D. The match wasn’t bad until the ridiculous ending. Rection and Cajun aren’t the best tag team in the world but then again this isn’t the best tag division in the world either. Palumbo is the most interesting out of all these people and he’s just ok at best. The ending hurts this even more though as it comes off again like someone doesn’t know how wrestling works.

Here’s Booker T. with something to say. Booker talks about how great Jeff Jarrett is in the ring but he fails as a man. This title can be defended anywhere anytime and he’ll take on anyone that wants to come after it. As for Scott Steiner, save the drama for your mama. This brings out Rick Steiner to congratulate Booker but it’s a ruse (does it could if everyone knows it’s coming?) and Rick beats him down. Cue Stevie to get up from the table for the save but Rick beats him down, grabs the title and puts it on. Good night what a horrifying visual. Mike Awesome runs out and makes the save before handing the title back to Booker.

Daffney asks Crowbar if she looks fat in her gear. Crowbar says she’s pretty and clearly has a thing for her.

Shane Douglas assures Torrie that she won’t have to do anything in the mixed tag.

Cat tells Kidman that if he doesn’t interfere in the upcoming match, he can have Lance Storm later tonight.

Torrie Wilson/Shane Douglas vs. Crowbar/Daffney

Before the match, Shane says Torrie isn’t a wrestler and has no business in this match. Torrie apologizes to everyone in the back but she LOVES being franchised. Crowbar quickly dropkicks Shane to the floor, leaving Daffney to go after Torrie. We get the catfight for all of ten seconds before it’s back to the guys. That goes nowhere so it’s back to Torrie who gets caught by Crowbar. Back to Daffney for some lame hair drags (read as Torrie rolls while Daffney touches her hair) and a jawbreaker to Shane.

Crowbar comes back in to beat on Shane even more, including a nice bite to the head. Shane avoids a moonsault and grabs a powerbomb, but just stops as he’s got Crowbar in the air. It looked closer to a jackknife but Shane stopped moving instead of letting him go. In other words, it looked awful. Shane loads up another and Crowbar lands on his feet (there’s your answer), only to walk into the Franchiser (landing on his feet instead of his knees) for the pin.

Rating: D-. Instead of a match, this was much more like a series of quick segments cobbled together. As usual, the women have little business being in a ring and it shows even worse each time. Daffney is a great character but not very good in the ring here and certainly not good enough to carry Torrie. Shane……I still don’t get it. Not at the actual wrestling at least.

Daffney takes a Franchiser (and takes it better) after the match.

Cat gives Awesome Rick Steiner tonight, even though Booker wanted the match.

Here’s a sitdown interview with Scott Steiner. He doesn’t want to talk about Bash at the Beach but Tenay keeps at it until Steiner says Nash isn’t his friend. What Scott did felt right at the time and he doesn’t care about Scott Hall’s family or the fans out there. Steiner goes on a rant about Booker getting the title and then about Tenay calling the Frankensteiner the hurricanrana. Scott doesn’t like Goldberg either and would have beaten him up if Goldberg was smart enough to get into the University of Michigan.

Tenay says Steiner has a lot of hatred bottled up and asks if it dates back to his childhood. That’s enough for Steiner and he chokes Tenay out. Tenay deserved that as he was flat out badgering Steiner here and trying to sound all tough. Then you bring up the guy’s childhood? You earned that beating.

The Dragons try to go after Cat again but this time he ducks and lets them hit each other. Kaz gets put in a fireman’s carry and spun around so he hits his partners. Funny but just like the Kanyon Cutters: is this going anywhere or is it another joke for Russo and Ferrara’s amusement?

Lance Storm vs. Kidman

Kidman jumps him in the aisle but gets caught in the corner with some dropkicks. Heenan: “You know a lot of people are talking about this Lance Storm.” Stevie: “I haven’t heard them.” Storm loads up a chair in the corner but gets small packaged for two instead. A hurricanrana staggers Storm but he backdrops Kidman out to the floor. Storm’s northern lights suplex gets two and a superplex gets the same. Kidman tries a rollup but gets kicked into the chair for his efforts. Like most of the schnooks in this company, Storm tries a powerbomb and eats a faceplant for the pin out of nowhere.

Rating: C-. The match was fine but really uninteresting as you had two guys doing moves to each other and then one guy won. Certainly not bad or anything but I never cared about what happened. Then again I’ll take not caring over wanting to jump off a bridge any day on this show.

On a side note, one of the people that could actually powerbomb Kidman was La Parka. I know he’s been gone for awhile, but that powerbomb got me thinking about the people who aren’t around at this point. You can really see the cost cutting coming into play as a lot of names who had been around for a long time have just disappeared.

Buff Bagwell and his mom Judy finally arrive. Buff leaves her in the car (dude come on) and here’s Kanyon to volunteer to show her around. You can see a look in his eye.

Back from a break and Judy is in a neck brace and being taken away in an ambulance. Oh I would have loved to see her take that move.

Rick Steiner vs. Mike Awesome

Awesome elbows him off the middle rope to start and there’s a BIG section of empty seats opposite the camera. As in like twenty of them. That’s just horrible. After a quick trip to the floor, Rick kicks him low (which the referee could clearly see) and shouts a lot. Steiner loads him onto his shoulder and rams him into the buckle, followed by a German suplex for two. Mike grabs an Alabama Slam for two and the camera reveals even more empty seats in the corner. A belly to belly superplex gets two for Rick and he yells at the referee a lot, allowing Mike to grab a rollup for the pin.

Rating: D. Awesome was trying and Rick looked better than he had in a long time but he’s still a horrible excuse for a wrestler who can barely do anything without looking like he has no idea what he’s doing. I’m hoping Rick isn’t in for a full time return here as I was just getting over watching him help screw this company up last year.

Rick stays on him post match until Booker makes the save.

Positively Kanyon vs. Jeff Jarrett

Booker is on commentary and this is now the #1 contenders match all over again. Jeff gets an early two off a backslide and Kanyon gets the same off a small package. Kanyon is annoyed at the pace of the count (a very common complaint tonight) and has to settle for a top rope Fameasser. Jeff bails to the floor so Kanyon points at Booker, allowing Jarrett to get in a suplex on the outside. Both guys are whipped into a variety of metal objects with Kanyon getting the better of it.

The sitout Alabama slam gets two but the swinging book misses, allowing Jeff to DDT him onto the book (Heenan: “I’ve seen the book kill a lot of guys.”) for two. The referee won’t let Jeff use the guitar and a book shot gets two with Jeff going to the ropes for the break. Now it’s Jeff’s turn to go after Stevie and Booker, triggering a brawl. Bagwell comes out to attack Kanyon but security pulls him away, allowing the Stroke to put Kanyon away and send him to New Blood Rising (again).

Rating: C. As usual when you let talented guys have a match, it usually winds up being entertaining stuff. This was one of the better matches of the night (again due to having some time) and the ending made enough sense, but it’s still nothing that I’ve going to remember in a few minutes, which is another one of the major problems with this era.

Jeff and Booker yell at each other a lot to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. This was a weird one with a lot of the Russo tropes coming out but at a much slower pace. That leaves you with a very odd show that isn’t really interesting but feels more like a collection of bad matches. I’d put this above the Russo shows due to more coherence…..and that’s about the end of its positives. Neither guy knows what they’re doing and it gets more and more clear every time I watch one of their shows. I’ll take Ferrara over Russo for now, but Terry Taylor and Kevin Sullivan are sounding a lot better every single day.

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