Thunder – October 18, 2000: The WCW Rumble

Thunder
Date: October 18, 2000
Location: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia
Commentators: Stevie Ray, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

We’ll wrap up the Australian tour with one of wrestling’s best traditions: a battle royal for a future title shot. In this case it’s all for the #1 contendership with the title shot coming on the Nitro after Halloween Havoc. These overseas shows have been hit or miss so it should be interesting to see how this one goes. Let’s get to it.

We see Sam Greco working out like any martial arts wrestler (in theory) does. He’ll be interviewed later.

Rey Mysterio vs. Mike Sanders

Before the match, Sanders praises Nash and the Thrillers but makes sure not to swear in the process. I can get behind that theory. This is going to be a non-title match so here’s Cat to make it No DQ as well. You know, because Rey Mysterio can get so violent and this will in no way allow interference by any of Sanders’ cronies.

Cat sits in on commentary as Mysterio takes over to start, which is made even better when Sanders lays on the middle rope for a legdrop. As in he walked over there and got into position for the move with no provocation so Rey could drop a leg on him. A top rope splash gives Rey two and now let’s look at the announcers cracking each other up. Rey bulldogs him down as this is pretty much the last thing you want to do to a champion. Then again O’Haire and Jindrak have been treated like goons for weeks and still have the belts so maybe Sanders is on to something here.

The Bronco Buster connects but Rey gets crotched on the top. Shouldn’t that have a similar impact? Sanders yells at Cat for some reason, allowing Rey to come back with a guillotine legdrop for two. A victory roll a few seconds later is enough to put Sanders away. No idea why this needed to be No DQ.

Rating: D+. Some of Rey’s high spots were good but this did more harm than good. Why WCW feels the need to have their young champions lose over and over is beyond me but that’s what we’re going to be seeing for the time being because Heaven forbid someone actually get over around here.

Shane Douglas promises to win the battle royal tonight. I wouldn’t bet on that one chum.

Video on Kronik vs. Goldberg.

Kronik jumps Goldberg from behind, possibly taking him out of the battle royal later. Smart move if nothing else.

Shane Douglas vs. Big Vito

Vito sucks up to the fans and wants to get his hands on Reno. You might try Nevada instead of Australia then. They circle each other to start until Vito gives him an atomic drop for a comedic sell job. Another atomic drop takes us to the floor and Shane gets backdropped outside for good measure. Vito hits a quick suplex and drops a headbutt for one, followed by his always good looking top rope elbow for double that. That means it’s chain time but a shot to Vito’s head only sets up the Pittsburgh Plunge for two. Not that it matters as the Franchiser ends Vito a few seconds later.

Rating: D. This was what you would expect: take someone who was hot a few years back and put them over someone you’ve been pushing lately because of whatever reason they have at the moment. Oh and make sure that the guy challenging for the Hardcore Title soon after this loses as soon as weapons get involved.

Goldberg beats up Ron Harris for no apparent reason.

Mike Awesome and Crowbar are ready for the battle royal tonight.

Boogie Knights vs. Harris Twins

This could be….well it’s going to be something for sure. After the Knights do some catchphrases, only Don comes out for some reason. The actual team takes over with a nice missile dropkick but Wright charges into a Rock Bottom. Cue Ron for a sidewalk slam on Disco….and an elbow to the Duck. Disco gets dropped face first onto the mat to send him outside where he finds ANOTHER Duck. A Duck shot to Ron sets up a high cross body to give Disco the pin.

Rating: D. I’m not sure what the point of this one was but it really didn’t work. I get the Goldberg stuff earlier in the night but the Boogie Knights vs. one of the Harris Twins really isn’t the way to get the crowd into a show. The Knights are actually a decent team though and that’s all they need to be since they aren’t likely to get near the titles anytime soon.

Team Canada promises to end General Rection’s career at Halloween Havoc. An argument breaks out over who deserves the World Title shot.

Video on Steiner vs. Booker T.

Scott Steiner invites Pamela Paulshock to join him later tonight. At least he has good taste.

Elix Skipper comes out to run his mouth about how awesome he is until someone sneaks up on him.

Goldberg vs. Elix Skipper

A gorilla press into a World’s Strongest Slam sets up the two moves and we’re done in a little over a minutes.

Post match Goldberg says that’s 11-0 and he’s coming for Kronik. As usual I’ll remind you: other than YOU’RE NEXT, Goldberg shouldn’t be talking.

As he’s done for weeks now, Jeff Jarrett says Sting is soft.

Jeff Jarrett/Scott Steiner vs. Kidman/Konnan

Steiner throws Kidman around like the cruiserweight jobber he is now and we’re already on the signature stuff. The gorilla press sets up the push-ups, followed by a quick stomping in the corner. Kidman gets in a quick dropkick before Konnan comes in with the rolling clothesline. It’s off to Kidman vs. Jarrett with the Sky High planting Jeff for two, only to have Torrie come out and kidnap Tygress. The top rope Angle Slam sets up the Recliner to put Kidman away in a hurry.

Rating: D. So much for Kidman meaning much around here anymore. Why bother keeping him strong when you can have Steiner and Jarrett beat up the Filthy Animals for fun? This was your usual squashing of two midcarders who could go somewhere in WCW but instead they get beaten down for the sake of Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner, the latter of whom is already #1 contender.

Goldberg is still here.

Ric Flair arrives.

Booker and Sting want the Tag Team Titles. For reasons that aren’t clear, Booker is in the battle royal tonight.

It’s time for the interview with Sam Greco who is officially part of WCW. He’s ready to be aggressive in the ring and is already friends with Goldberg. Tony asks about being a martial artist like the Cat but Greco would rather focus on wrestling in the ring. Greco talks about being a Rocky movie with a Goldberg intensity. We wrap it up with Greco saying he’ll be bringing intensity to the table three or four times. From what I can find, Greco only wrestled three times with all three matches in Japan and the first being in November 2002.

The Thrillers sing a little Backstreet Boys. Sanders is told to make sure the team keeps the titles tonight.

Video on Jarrett vs. Sting.

Tag Team Titles: Booker T./Sting vs. Mark Jindrak/Sean O’Haire

Booker and Sting are challenging. Sting and O’Haire get things going with the champions taking over early on until Jindrak comes in to send Sting outside. In a ridiculous power display, the champs throw Sting over the top and back inside. For some reason Madden asks if the Funk Brothers are up and coming contenders. Sting elbows them both out of the corner and the hot tag brings in Booker to clean house. The ax and side kicks get two on Sean and it’s a double finisher, only to have Mike Sanders come in and jump the referee for the DQ. After the champions were knocked out in less than three minutes of course.

Sting and Booker pose as Tony says the fans deserved a better match than that. Well yeah.

This Week in WCW Motorsports was very bad as the car didn’t qualify for the race.

Kronik vs. Perfect Event

Clark doesn’t waste any time and dives off the apron to take Palumbo out, leaving Stasiak alone for a bit. The power guys beat on him like he’s the weak link of the Thrillers, which is the way the announcers are presenting him for whatever reason. I mean, ignore the team that loses all the time when you can make fun of Stasiak right? The full nelson slam causes Stasiak to kick Palumbo in the face, setting up High Times for the pin on Chuck.

Post match here’s Goldberg but he gets chaired down, followed by High Times.

Here’s Ric Flair to be interviewed by Mark Madden. Ric talks about the fans being amazing in the best country in the world because the women here are amazing. However, he’s here to bring his son home. Cue David in a white coat and Ric gets right to the point: they can have all the women they want for the next thirty days if he’ll come home. David says no so Ric leaves, causing Madden to yell at David, basically erasing all the times that he ripped on Ric months ago. With Mark yelling, David tries to give him a blood test.

Halloween Havoc video.

Countdown to Armageddon

This is basically a Royal Rumble allegedly with two minute intervals. Mike Sanders and the Cat start things off and yeah they’re not even trying to hide the fake randomness. They slug it out to start with Cat getting in an elbow and a kick because what else was he going to hit? Shawn Stasiak is in at #3 and it’s time for the run of the mill team beating on a single guy.

Chuck Palumbo is in at #4 and the intervals are more like thirty to forty seconds. The three on one beatdown continues until it’s Disco Inferno in at #5. Disco is smart enough to hang back while everyone beats on Cat until Alex Wright comes in at #6 because RANDOM. It’s rather amusing to hear Tony try to push this as a random draw which WWE was nice enough to drop years ago. Crowbar, minus the 70s stuff, is in at #7. Naturally this turns into a debate about whether or not it’s bad to work at a service station.

Ron Harris is in at #8 as these intervals are getting shorter and shorter. Don Harris is in at #9 as the ring is way too full. Jim Duggan is in at #10 as there’s barely time to write out who is entering before Penzer starts the next countdown. Duggan slugs away for a bit and it’s Lieutenant Loco in at #11. Kevin Nash is in at #12 and we take a break to come back with Nash just getting in the ring to get rid of Duggan, Loco, Sanders and Cat in just a few seconds. The Boogie Knights get rid of Crowbar but get dumped by Nash as David Flair is in at #13.

Perfect Event gets rid of the Harris Twins but get in a fight, allowing Stasiak to hit a horrible right hand to get rid of Palumbo. Stasiak jumps out to avoid facing Nash, who dumps David a few seconds later. Corporal Cajun is in at #14 and eliminated fifteen seconds later, leaving Nash alone. Kwee Wee is in at #15 and is eliminated even faster than Cajun. At least we don’t have to sit around in the meantime.

Rey Mysterio is in at #16 and actually puts Nash down with a springboard missile dropkick. Mysterio escapes a Jackknife and here’s Booker T., as in the World Champion in a match for the #1 contendership, in at #17. That goes nowhere so here’s Mike Awesome at #18. Sting is in at #19 as we’re getting some interesting names in there but the short intervals are making it really hard to care. Everyone goes after Nash, which Madden says is like an old kung fu movie. Nash gets dumped as Jeff Jarrett comes in at #20, though Scott Steiner comes in as well. We’ll call that #21.

Sting Cactus Clotheslines Jeff out for the double elimination (with Steiner leaving as well) and it’s Kidman in at #22. Awesome dumps Booker off camera (oh come on), leaving us with Awesome, Kidman and Mysterio. Lance Storm is in at #23 and nothing happens until Big Vito is in at #24. Sean O’Haire is in at #25 as the announcers can’t remember what number we’re on.

Mark Jindrak is in at #26 as they aren’t even hiding the random stuff here. Konnan is in at #27 as the mindless brawling continues. Kronik, as in both members, come in at #28 and Adams gets rid of Kidman in a hurry. Rey and Konnan go out as well, followed by Storm and Vito. The intervals have stopped and Adams hits the ugliest piledriver I’ve ever seen to thankfully not cripple Awesome.

That’s not enough to get rid of him though so here’s Goldberg, apparently not an entrant because he can’t get a title shot (but the WORLD CHAMPION can). Jindrak and O’Haire are put out and Clark quickly follows. Adams tries to bring in a chair but gets speared, setting up a double clothesline from Awesome and Goldberg to give Mike the win, thereby confusing the fans since Goldberg is still in the ring as Awesome is announced as the winner.

Rating: C. Some really questionable moments aside, this was actually pretty enjoyable. I kind of liked the hyper intervals as it kept the match from dragging because people like Jindrak, Loco and Kwee Wee certainly aren’t getting a title shot so why pretend they will? Awesome winning is a nice surprise, even though the 70s music playing to end the show really made it feel silly. It’s good to see someone fresh in the main event instead of having the same five or six guys get title shot after title shot. This was as good as it was going to be and they managed to avoid most of the stupid battle royal tropes so call it a nice surprise.

Overall Rating: D+. The big main event helped but the rest of the show still had so many of the same problems that regularly plague WCW. As is so often the case, the World Title is the only thing that matters, assuming you have any reason to care about it after all the damage it’s taken over the last year. Not a terrible show but still bad enough to fit the WCW mold to a tee.

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