Thunder – February 21, 2001: It’s So Easy

Thunder
Date: February 21, 2001
Location: Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

It’s hard to believe we’ve got less than a month to go. The last pay per view is called Greed because the wrestling universe is funny that was. Earlier this week we found out that Diamond Dallas Page was the next challenger for Scott Steiner, mainly because there’s pretty much no one left to do it. Let’s get to it.

We open with Kwee Wee issuing an open challenge. Brace yourselves.

Kwee Wee vs. Kaz Hayashi

Kaz is ready to go here and kicks Kwee Wee to the floor for a big flip dive. Back in and it’s Angry Alan time as Kwee Wee punches Kaz down and suplexes him into the corner. The aggression gets toned down a bit with a vertical suplex. Kwee Wee tries a German suplex to complete the trifecta but gets kicked in the chest instead. They head outside with Kwee Wee missing a dive and getting caught in a hurricanrana to send him into the steps. Back in and Kwee Wee gets crotched on the top, setting up a slinghot DDT for the upset (I think?) win.

Rating: C+. This was better than I was expecting and a very nice way to open the show. I’m very happy to see one of the cruiserweights finally get a win over anyone other than the same five people and it’s not like Kwee Wee has any chance to go anywhere after losing to Mike Sanders.

Post match Kaz gets planted by a piledriver to keep things even.

The Boogie Knights agree to team up one more time to face AJ Styles and Air Paris for an easy win. I think I know where this is going.

Here’s Hugh Morrus with something to say. He wants to get his hands on Rick Steiner for what happened to Lash Leroux on Monday (At least that squash wasn’t completely pointless) but it’s Scott coming out instead. The distraction lets Rick sneak in but a bunch of low level guys run out to chase the Steiners off. You know, like they would ever run away from anyone other than a main eventer.

The Magnificent Seven is here with Flair making some matches for later. Apparently Kanyon hangs out with them now but isn’t exactly magnificent.

Shawn Stasiak and Mark Jindrak jump Big Vito.

Air Paris/AJ Styles vs. Boogie Knights

Paris and Wright get things going with Alex knocking him down into the corner. An atomic drop/spinwheel kick combo puts Paris down so it’s off to Styles, who is beaten down just as quickly. That means it’s time for some Alex dancing and a tag to Disco, whose mere presence sends AJ over for a tag off to Paris. This goes badly too as the Knights are too much for the power of Air.

A missile dropkick Doomsday Device drops Paris again but he’s able to punch Disco in the ribs and make the hot tag off to AJ. Styles gets two off a tornado DDT as everything breaks down. AJ takes both of them down with a big flip dive to the floor and Paris does the same to Wright. Back in and AJ hits a high cross body for the pin on Disco and the big upset.

Rating: C. You can tell the good guys are still young and in need of ring time but they’re also exciting enough to warrant a spot in the upcoming Cruiserweight Tag Team Title tournament. Neither is really setting the world on fire yet but beating a known team, even one as inept as the Knights, will help them a lot.

Kid Romeo is still coming.

Shawn Stasiak vs. Big Vito

Despite the earlier attack, Stasiak comes out to issue a challenge here. Vito goes right after him to start and easily takes over, likely because he’s facing Shawn Stasiak. The suplex and flying elbow get a quick near fall for Big but Shawn pops back up for some lame brawling. Vito kicks him in the head (always works), only to have Shawn grab a neckbreaker for the quick pin.

Crowbar really doesn’t like what Jeff Jarrett did to disrespect Dusty Rhodes on Monday. Revenge is promised tonight. After the Terry Funk feud, this really does feel like something Crowbar would do.

Video on Hugh Morrus.

The Cat/Diamond Dallas Page vs. Kanyon/Buff Bagwell

Kanyon brags about Kanyon Cutting Page and Miss Jones because he’s that awesome of a heel. Cat runs out with a chair to clear the ring before introducing Page like he’s a surprise, even though Page was already announced as being in this match. Page and Kanyon get things going though Page pauses to hit Bagwell in the face first. Cat comes in to get two off Page’s clothesline before Bagwell easily pounds him down in the corner because Cat just isn’t that good.

It’s back to Page who has some better luck due to being Diamond Dallas Page but the double arm DDT gets two for Bagwell. Some simple double teaming gets two more and Kanyon’s slingshot elbow gets the same. Page gets in a discus lariat to put Kanyon down, allowing the hot tag off to Kanyon. Everything breaks down with Page sending Kanyon outside and into the crowd, leaving Cat to hit the Feliner for the pin on Bagwell.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Crowbar

Feeling out process to start before a sitout hiptoss of all things gets two on Jeff. A Lionsault (not the Asai Moonsault Tony) gets the same but Jeff does the sleeper reversal sequence to send Crowbar over the top with a belly to back suplex. Crowbar comes up holding his knee because that happens to every opponent of someone who uses a Figure Four. Some shots to the knee don’t do much good as Crowbar gets in some right hands in the corner, followed by a northern lights suplex for two. Not that it matters as Jeff kicks him in the knee again and grabs the Stroke for the pin.

Rating: C. This would be Crowbar’s last match and it was nice to get to see him have a decent one on his way out. It’s also kind of a shame that he’s stuck in this role while Dustin Rhodes and Jeff Jarrett get a feud and a pay per view payday out of this because they’re both veterans who aren’t going to draw anything but why let that get in their way?

Jeff loads up Shattered Dreams but Dustin Rhodes comes out for the save.

Ric tells Rick and Animal to take out Hugh Morrus to keep Scott free tonight.

Long Shane Douglas video, basically saying he hates Flair because Flair wouldn’t mentor him as a rookie. That’s a fine reason for a face turn, especially considering their real life issues, but Shane Douglas, especially this Shane Douglas, is as natural of a heel as you’ll find in WCW.

Sean O’Haire is banned from ringside for the next match. To make things worse, Buff Bagwell gives him a cheap shot.

Lex Luger vs. Chuck Palumbo

Before the match, Luger goes on a rant about how Palumbo wanted to be him and how rich he is because of his amazing abilities. A GOLDBERG chant cuts him off but Luger gets back to the point: he and Bagwell are winning the titles. Palumbo runs him over with a clothesline to start but Luger takes it to the floor to beat him down. Some forearms to the back set up the powerslam but Palumbo small packages him for the quick pin as Luger goes to pick him up for the Rack.

Rating: D-. This was barely long enough to rate and Luger was his usual self. At least Palumbo won but it would have been nice to see him get in more than two or three bits of offense throughout. This is much more acceptable as long as Luger or Buff lay down for the finisher at Greed and it’s not some screwy finish where the young guys get a fluke win.

O’Haire can’t wait to hurt Luger and Bagwell. As I had to ask about Goldberg: why is he slumming it with those two? Is this really supposed to be a rub? I know Luger has a great resume but can anyone honestly believe a win over him means something at this point?

Morrus locks Animal and Rick Steiner in a locker room before the main event. Smart big man.

Hugh Morrus vs. Scott Steiner

Non-title. Steiner beats him into the corner to start and calls fans white trash while firing off chops. A powerbomb out of the corner drops Morrus and the slow beating continues. Steiner is nice enough to send him outside and then right back in, only to stop to tell a fan that their mother sucks. Those should be fighting words but Steiner is too busy yelling at a referee.

Morrus gets in a whip into the steps for a breather and a powerslam gets two. This is already far more competitive than the previous match. No Laughing Matter is broken up by an electric chair though and Scott gets in the spinning belly to belly for two. Morrus drops him again but we cut to Rick and Animal breaking out of the locker room. Scott doesn’t really need the help though as he belly to belly superplexes Hugh into the Recliner (an even worse version than usual) for the knockout.

Rating: C-. Morrus is another guy that I feel a bit sorry for. He was clearly working hard and had a strong enough connection with the crowd to possibly be an upper midcard guy but he’s pretty much peaked with back to back pun names. Just let him be called Bill Demott and wrestle his fast paced big man style and he would have been fine. But no, instead let’s have him laugh a lot, adding a grand total of nothing to his character.

Post match Steiner loads up the pipe but stops to tell Page to come out here. That’s exactly what he gets and a brawl wraps up the show with Rick helping his brother out.

Overall Rating: C. This was a really easy show to sit through as the angles were advanced and there wasn’t a lot of time spent on talking. I think that’s been one of the major things holding back Nitro lately: they talk almost as much as a modern WWE show and it gets really tiring sitting there waiting on the rushed matches to start up. This wasn’t anything great but WCW being an easy two hours is a nice improvement for them.

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