Thunder – October 4, 2000: The Effects Are Weakening

Thunder
Date: October 4, 2000
Location: Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, California
Attendance: 2,666
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Stevie Ray, Tony Schiavone

It’s the last stateside show for two weeks before they’re off to Australia to see if Russo’s brilliance can alienate another culture. Now that being said, Russo’s influence is certainly waning as his injuries are threatening to keep him off television, as well as away from the office to keep his stories going. Granted I’m not sure how strong the creative will be based on whoever WCW gets to run the sinking ship. Let’s get to it.

This show is dedicated to Klondike Bill, a longtime production boss for WCW who passed away.

Shane Douglas tried to get on Mike Sanders’ good side earlier and since they’re both heels (and kind of dumb), it worked.

Here’s Jeff Jarrett to open things up. He immediately gets to the point by insulting Sting, who apparently has lost his heart for the business and is a ghost of his former self. Sting may have been the man in WCW for the last 40 years but now it’s Jeff’s world. They’ll be fighting at Halloween Havoc….and here’s Beetlejuice. Yeah Beetlejuice, the small guy from the Howard Stern Show who has now been part of the swimsuit contest and changing the WCW World Title. That’s the logical progression you see.

Beetlejuice threatens to smoke Jarrett, who throws some mock punches. We cut to the back to see Booker getting knocked out by Steiner, followed by Sting running out for a fight with Jarrett. As they’re fighting, a fake Sting comes out of the crowd to lay out Sting with a pipe. That would be….Shane Douglas, who is taken away as Jarrett beats up Beetlejuice.

Booker is being taken away in an ambulance. No wonder WCW went out of business. Those ambulance bills probably cost more than Hogan.

Steiner keeps breaking stuff with the pipe.

Halloween Havoc video.

Sgt. AWOL vs. Jim Duggan

If this is the point you’ve reached in your feud, it might be time to pull the plug. Before the match, Duggan complains about the American flag having too many stars because there’s no unity. You can tell Duggan doesn’t want to be cutting this promo so AWOL (who sounds A LOT like Shane Douglas) interrupts him to get things going. It’s a brawl on the floor to start (dang I’m getting tired of having to write that on these shows) with Duggan getting the better of it and sending AWOL face first into the post.

They get back inside to keep slugging it out with AWOL taking over this time as the announcers talk about hockey. It’s time for the table but AWOL slams him into the announcers’ table instead. Back in and Duggan fights out of a chokeslam through the table, allowing Reno to sneak in with a kendo stick shot to give Duggan two. Back up and AWOL punches a chair into Reno’s face, allowing Duggan to slam AWOL through the table for the pin.

Rating: D-. This is where the relaxed rules get on my nerves. You can almost guarantee that whatever the main event tonight is going to be will have the same thing but I just watched it earlier in the show with two big lumbering power guys in a nothing match. Given where ECW was at this point, do you really want to be copying their business model?

Midajah is talking to Mike Sanders.

Sting is dedicated to WCW. That’s an understatement.

Here’s Mike Sanders for a chat. The Thrillers had a great night on Monday and won a bunch of titles with Sanders himself winning the Cruiserweight Titles on his own. It was all due to Russo of course, who is a complete genius. We see Luger sitting in the crowd again, which makes me wonder what the point was in having him do a match last week if he was just going to do the same thing he started the angle doing with no real explanation.

Sanders talks about Goldberg’s match at Halloween Havoc but doesn’t actually say who he’s fighting. Kronik comes out and teases High Times on Mike but lets him down gently. Sanders says these are two monsters to Goldberg’s one, which the announcers think means Goldberg vs. Kronik at the pay per view. Oh man you mean no Goldberg vs. Hard Work Bobby Walker? No buys.

Elix Skipper thinks he should get a rematch for the Cruiserweight Title.

Jung Dragons vs. Scott Steiner

Gah don’t they have some local jobbers to bring in instead? Like a young Samoa Joe or something? Stevie wants to kill Steiner for what he did to Booker. Yang’s martial arts and rapid fire punches have no effect to start as Scott clotheslines him down. A gorilla press sends Yang outside and a double team goes just as badly. All three get suplexed and something like a super Angle Slam makes things even worse. Leia Meow chokes Midajah as Scott Recliners Jamie and Kaz for the submission to complete the total squash.

Konnan is brought into Sanders’ office because he has immigration issues, meaning he’s not allowed to work tonight. Actually he isn’t allowed to leave this office because he’s a flight risk. Konnan says he’s an American citizen and can produce the paperwork he needs. That’s not good enough because he needs to have them on him at all times. Well that would be a very different story today.

Juvy and Rey love this best of five series and send Tygress off to get Konnan’s papers. Well at least he does carry them. She goes off right before Shane Douglas comes in to lay them out with a pipe and rant about Sting. That’s almost guaranteed to be the main event tonight.

After a break, Konnan checks on his downed buddies.

Mike Awesome talks to Crowbar about being a chick magnet. Crowbar is of course dressed like a pimp.

Video on Goldberg.

Stevie Ray is tired of all this Lex Luger stuff so he goes up to him for a little Suckas Gots To Know. Luger talks about watching all these no-names wrestle in his company, which brings him to General Rection. Last week Rection was just a prop and he’ll never be able to touch Luger. Cue Rection for a brawl which goes nowhere.

Kronik says they’re up for sale to the highest bidder. Ah yes the APA ripoff era.

Cruiserweight Title: Mike Sanders vs. Lance Storm

Storm is challenging. We get the full on Canadian national anthem, complete with the flag superimposed over Storm’s face, as this show continues to drag. Sanders charges to the ring and it’s on in a hurry. A dropkick puts Mike down early on but he comes back with a nice pumphandle suplex. Some suplexes get two for Storm but Reno pulls Sanders out to the floor for a save.

They fight to the apron with Storm DDTing Sanders as the Canadians and Thrillers fight on the floor. Storm takes Sanders back inside and puts on the Maple Leaf but Gunns rings the bell early for a distraction. Thankfully the camera was already on her and waiting for the plot device, making sure that nothing seemed realistic whatsoever. Storm yells at her but Rection comes out to throw Storm back inside for a rollup to retain Sanders’ title.

Rating: D+. So the Canadians are faces now? They’re certainly acting like faces who have been screwed out of titles and wrestle like good guys, but at the same time they’re holding Major Gunns, a face in theory, hostage. I know the theory is that everyone has shades of gray and not everyone is a clear face or heel but it’s really not making me interested. Instead it’s making me wonder what their motivation is because it doesn’t make sense from week to week.

It’s time for the sitdown interview with MIA. Rection gets annoyed at Tenay for not getting their names right before going on a rant about how there’s nothing good in sports entertainment. They’re only here because they love wrestling and do everything together, including sleep together. They all agree that they do everything together, which includes fighting Team Canada.

Apparently the Duggans and the Rections are friends and the General’s kids are asking why Uncle Jim did these things. There’s a lame comedy sketch to be made of Jim Duggan and General Rection having a barbecue together. They’ll be ready for Halloween Havoc. Tenay wasn’t a jerk here which is a very nice change of pace and hopefully a sign of things to come.

Tag Team Titles: Sean O’Haire/Mark Jindrak vs. Mike Awesome/Crowbar

Awesome and Crowbar are challenging with Crowbar declaring themselves two wild and crazy guys ala the Saturday Night Live sketch. Mike has to show him how to say it properly and they’re getting worse and worse with these ripoffs every week. Jindrak side slams Crowbar to start and brings in O’Haire who eats a nice dropkick. Awesome comes in to slap the champ in the face. So he’s a fat chick loving 70s guy who slaps people. This would be roughly six months after he debuted as a killer. The powers of Vince Russo everyone.

Mike remembers that he’s Mike Awesome and kicks O’Haire in the face before throwing him down with a German Suplex. Crowbar comes back in with a springboard splash before it’s back to Mark off a blind tag. The champs take over with some clotheslines and a double shoulderblock. They may not have the most in depth offenses but at least they look good doing the basics. Crowbar grabs a quick suplex but goes up top instead of tagging, allowing Jindrak to hit a hurricanrana, followed by a Seanton Bomb.

Everything breaks down and Awesome actually gets a tag (nice rules following for a change, though I guess the tagging isn’t included on the list of relaxed rules) and hits the Awesome Bomb and Awesome Splash for two on Mark. That’s enough wrestling though so here’s a table but Crowbar breaks up the double powerbomb with a double low blow to save his partner. Crowbar grabs a reverse DDT, only to get thrown through the table to retain the titles.

Rating: C+. There’s your match of the night as they made the thing work by just working hard out there. It’s always annoying to see someone like Russo come in and ruin everything by putting in so many stupid ideas that the wrestlers get bogged down. This however was more about four guys working to make the match work and it was entertaining stuff. Oh and a table just because.

Buff Bagwell arrives.

Clip of David Flair tormenting Buff on Monday before taking a Blockbuster.

Halloween Havoc video.

Here’s Buff to address the Stacy issues. Apparently Stacy, with her high Midi-chlorian count, got herself pregnant, because Buff always wears his stuff when he goes “there”. This brings out David Flair and a “doctor” (read as he’s wearing a white coat and has a stethoscope) to do a DNA test on Buff. Apparently the guy wants to give Buff a little prick, as in a blood sample, but the audio is censored anyway. Buff says he’s afraid of needles and then punches both guys out before leaving, telling David to figure this out. I think he just tried to Buff and you punched him in the face. That’s quite the mixed message.

Shane Douglas vs. Sting

You know, this actually sounds intriguing. I mean, not exactly in 2000 but a few years back this could have been something. Before the match, Shane talks about having a date with greatness and a job to do. Also, Torrie isn’t sure why this place smells so bad but thinks that everyone hates her because they’ll never be her. After a promise of something special for Shane back at the hotel, we’re ready to go. During Sting’s entrance, Tony starts hyping up the double Nitro/Thunder tapings, which should be some glorious disasters.

Sting sends Shane into the barricade to start as the announcers break the news of Booker vs. Steiner for the title at Halloween Havoc. The fight heads into the crowd to make sure we don’t need to see any real wrestling early on. They head back to ringside with Sting hitting Douglas in the back with a chair but Torrie offers a distraction to change things around.

We hit an abdominal stretch as the announcers talk about Torrie turning into a much more dangerous person on the outside. So she’s gone from a hot blonde there as eye candy to a hot blonde there as eye candy who trips people. That’s not quite a HHH and company level of Evolution. It’s more like that David Duchovny movie from 2001. Remember that? That’s how much Torrie has evolved.

Shane crotches Sting against the post and loads up a table in the corner as the announcers actually cover the relaxed rules over the last six months. My goodness this has been a long six months. Sting sends him through the table for a counter but Shane pulls out a chain to block the Stinger Splash. Konnan comes out to kidnap the highly evolved Torrie as Sting shrugs off FOUR CHAIN SHOTS TO THE HEAD. Instead it’s Jeff Jarrett coming in to knock Sting out with the guitar, setting up the Franchiser for the pin.

Rating: D. To recap: a breakaway guitar and a really bad looking jawbreaker knocked Sting cold but four punches to the head with a chain wrapped around the fist of a professional athlete who wanted to hurt Sting as badly as he could didn’t even knock him off his feet. I kind of liked Tony talking about the relaxed rules to make sure people knew what was going on. You know, the four new viewers WCW might have drawn that night in case they were too drunk to change the channel.

Overall Rating: D. You can kind of feel Russo’s influence waning a bit here. First and foremost, there were five matches on this show. Not eight, not ten, but five. Of those five, only one wasn’t long enough to rate and that was a squash. On top of that, a lot of the stories felt less complicated. Case in point: the stories were about the wrestlers, not the writer who is injecting himself into things because he feels like it. The show is still bad, but if you take away a lot of the insanity and the really stupid stuff, the wrestling will seem a lot better and can start to carry the show for a change.

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2 comments

  1. John says:

    Pretty sure Russo is gone completely before the end of this month?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yeah more or les.