Thunder – October 11, 2000: I Don’t Want To Jump Off A Cliff
Location: Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Stevie Ray
We’re still down in Australia for a show that was taped right after Nitro. Monday’s show was an improvement but it’s hard to say how well that’s going to carry over because this company has the consistency of a broken roller coaster. Halloween Havoc is in a few weeks and most of the card is already set though so let’s get to it.
Scott Steiner and Jeff Jarrett yell at Shawn Stasiak, telling him to tell Sanders that Steiner wants Booker tonight. Of all the people you could tell this to, you pick Shawn Stasiak?
Shane Douglas/Lance Storm vs. Konnan/General Rection
Fallout from the Down Underwear match on Monday. Before the match, Douglas and Torrie rip on the Australians for being wannabe Americans. O Canada is interrupted by the Misfits theme, which is quite the downgrade. The good guys rush the ring and clean house before we get going. Douglas and Konnan slug it out in the corner to start but Storm sneaks in with a blind tag, setting up a springboard cross body to drop Konnan in a nice move.
The heels take turns on Konnan with Shane nailing a nice basement dropkick. You would have thought Storm would use that spot. Gunns offers a quick trip though and a double clothesline puts Storm and Konnan down. We get a good looking catfight as Rection comes in off the hot tag. Rection’s top rope elbow gets two on Storm with Shane using a reverse Hennig necksnap for the save. Cue Kidman for a Kid Crusher to Shane, setting up No Laughing Matter for the pin.
Rating: C. Storyline advancement, Kidman, a three way catfight and some good looking stuff from Storm and Douglas. What more can you ask for from a short tag match between two midcard storylines? If I didn’t know any better, I’d think WCW was actually being booked somewhat well.
Mike Sanders is singing Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport (obviously an Outback Jack fan) when Stasiak comes in to explain Steiner’s demands. Booker gets a non-title match tonight (not necessarily against Steiner) and a quick argument breaks out over a stuffed kangaroo.
Here’s the Cat to talk to Australian martial arts champion Sam Greco. Sam admits that most people don’t know who he is but he’ll fight anyone that WCW puts in front of him. Cue the Thrillers, with Sanders saying Cat can’t hire anyone. Cat: “I hired your mom last night.” Sanders is annoyed so Cat gives him Stevie Ray tonight, which forces him to make Cat vs. Kevin Nash. We’re still not done yet though as Cat changes the match to Sanders vs. Sting. Greco kicks Sanders down and that’s supposed to be his big introduction. Tank Abbott he is not.
Jindrak and O’Haire don’t have much to say to Sanders.
Tag Team Titles: Sean O’Haire/Mark Jindrak vs. Lieutenant Loco/Corporal Cajun
Jindrak and O’Haire are defending and start beating up the much smaller guys in a hurry. Loco is thrown across the ring and clotheslined down. The Misfits come right back with DDT’s, only to have Sean plant Loco with a tilt-a-whirl slam. The hurricanrana into the Seanton gets two with Chavo making the save, setting up a Frog splash for two on Sean. Leroux grabs a hurricanrana of his own for the very quick pin on Jindrak for the titles in a big surprise.
Rating: C. They kept this one moving fast in the smartest move of the night as Chavo and Leroux are only so interesting even when they’re at their highest speed. O’Haire and Jindrak are a good, young team and it’s really no surprise that they lose in a nothing match like this to a low level team.
Not so fast though as Sanders comes out and says the rematch is RIGHT NOW.
Tag Team Titles: Lieutenant Loco/Corporal Cajun vs. Sean O’Haire/Mark Jindrak
A quick double rollup gets two on the new champs and Sean superkicks Chavo. Lash dives back in with a high cross body for two, followed by a botched sunset flip for the same. All four stay in the ring and we get an awkward sequence where Sean brings in a belt but watches Jindrak get sunset flipped again for two more before hitting Lash in the head to turn a hurricanrana into a powerbomb. That’s still not it though as Chavo makes the save but gets knocked out, setting up the Seanton for the pin to give the Thrillers the titles back. Too short to rate but as usual the title change doesn’t mean much.
AWOL comes out to fight the champs.
Elix Skipper brags about being an Olympian and wants Kidman later tonight.
Kronik vs. Booker T.
Non-title. Before the match Booker doe some good sucking up to the fans. Well what else is a face champion supposed to do? The beatdown is on in a hurry with Kronik beating Booker down like he’s any given jobber. It’ snot like titles mean anything anyway right? The full nelson slam looks to set up High Times but here’s Goldberg through the crowd to spear Clark. Adams almost gets a full nelson slam on Goldberg but eats a superkick from Booker as the match is thrown out. Well that was pointless.
Chuck Palumbo is on the phone with someone who might be his mom and asks for advice against Goldberg.
Johnny the Bull tells an arriving Nash that Sanders is having problems but Nash doesn’t seem worried.
Kidman vs. Elix Skipper
This could be fun and Duggan is with Skipper. Kidman pounds away to start and dives onto Duggan with a nice plancha. Back in and Kidman misses a quick splash, allowing Skipper to stomp away. We get some CANADA SUCKS chants as Skipper misses a top rope elbow (drawing a Macho Man reference from Madden).
The Bodog gets two for Kidman and a quick BK Bomb gets the same. Kidman gets crotched and Skipper rope walks into a hurricanrana for a cool looking yet mostly screwed up spot. Not that it matters as Duggan gets in a board shot, setting up the Play of the Week (Wasn’t it Play of the Day last time?) for the pin.
Rating: C-. I was expecting more here but they’re doing a good job of building Skipper up as a player in the division. This makes him 1-1 against Mysterio and Kidman which is a lot better than a lot of people do. Just like so many cares before him though, it’s likely that he winds up doing nothing because the Cruiserweight Title is stuck in an angle instead of a feud but at least he isn’t being wasted.
Palumbo confirms that he was indeed talking to his mom but lets it slip that she told him to run. WHY ARE YOU TREATING THE THRILLERS LIKE WORTHLESS COWARDS??? WCW spent all this time and effort to bring these guys up (years after they should have) and it’s another excuse to waste them while making the old guys look strong. Yeah they’ve gotten the midcard titles that almost everyone has won over the years and haven’t done anything for anyone but since it’s WCW they do the same things over and over and over again and then wonder why it doesn’t go anywhere.
It’s time for an Australian Lava Lamp Lounge because this gimmick WILL get over no matter how dead it is. At least the set is a bit more festive this week with the Australian décor. Tonight’s guests are Kwee Wee (not Kiwi Mike, though it would be easier to type) and Paisley and Mike gets right to hitting on her. Kwee Wee talks about training with the Thrillers and yells at Mike for the Paisley stuff, only to have the Thrillers and Harris Brothers come out for the weekly attack. Another week with the same stuff because WCW wants to make Mike Awesome look as stupid and worthless as possible.
Sanders tells Nash about his match with Sting tonight. So Nash wasn’t watching the show either?
Goldberg vs. Chuck Palumbo
After the long entrance, Palumbo (looking very serious in yellow) tries a cheap shot with as much success as you would expect. Stasiak gets in a shot from the apron but Goldberg no sells a top rope shoulder. A spear drops both guys and Goldberg Jackhammers both of them for back to back pins, making the new streak 7-0. To be fair they had to do something to make this new one get higher in a hurry and this is as good as they can get.
Halloween Havoc video.
Sting vs. Mike Sanders
Non-title of course. Jarrett comes out dressed as Surfer Sting (again to Metallica) and points the bat at Sanders. Jeff talks about having no heart anymore and lays down, drawing out the real Sting to clean house. A Stinger Splash misses though and Sanders gets in a few bat shots followed by a dancing DiBiase falling punch. We hit a cobra clutch of all things until Sting makes the obvious comeback with three Stinger Splashes and a Death Drop for the easy pin. Good thing those baseball bat shots didn’t have too much effect.
Post break Sanders yells at the Thrillers, even though he should be yelling at Jarrett for bailing so early. Then again, heels aren’t supposed to make sense.
Harris Twins vs. Mike Awesome/Crowbar
Awesome gets beaten down by the Twins to start as the referee continues to not care about doing his job. Crowbar dropkicks both Twins out to the floor and the thrown together 70s team (the fact that Crowbar was one of the roster’s hidden gems for so long and gets this as a reward sums up a lot of WCW’s problems) getting the better of it early on.
Crowbar tries to speed things up a bit too much though until he charges into a Rock Bottom as everything breaks down. A nice wheelbarrow suplex (always liked that move) drops Ron but it’s already table time. I’m not sure if I’d rather have a table involved or watch the Harris Brothers try to have a regular match. The table is set in the corner but Awesome counters a powerbomb with a backdrop to drive Ron through for the pin.
Rating: C-. The action was faster paced here but the important thing is the Twins losing. I know it isn’t going to mean anything long term but at least a team of two talented guys who work hard got a win over one of the least interesting acts in the company. Maybe that’s just dumb luck or maybe it’s Russo being gone. Either way, at least it was the right call.
Rey Mysterio vs. Scott Steiner
We get a few rhymes from Steiner about how awesome he is with the ladies. For some reason Stevie says that watching BET at night doesn’t mean you’re going to win. Tony: “Tygress, you got it girl.” Steiner knees Rey in the ribs to start and we’re already in squash mode. If it’s good enough for the Jung Dragons, squashing Rey isn’t much of a stretch of course. I mean, all cruiserweights are the same right?
Rey tries to speed things up but gets his head taken off by a clothesline. Steiner throws him over the top but Rey hangs on, allowing him to drop a springboard legdrop to break up the pushups. A hurricanrana staggers Steiner again….and he throws Rey down with a suplex to take over again. Something like an Angle Slam from the middle rope sets up the Recliner to end this squash.
Rating: D. I get the idea here but there has to be someone besides Mysterio that you could put into this spot. Normally this should have been Lash Leroux but for some reason we already saw him twice tonight. You can’t find anyone else other than the most successful cruiserweight the company has ever had to take this beating? No one at all? With the roster WCW had they didn’t have three schnooks to put out there and get squashed in a handicap match?
Kevin Nash vs. The Cat
Oh wait as here’s Mike Sanders because we haven’t seen him enough. Stevie: “When is he going to defend that belt?” Tony announcers Nitro and Thunder in England next month but Stevie doesn’t want to go. Did he turn heel and I missed it? Sanders sits in on commentary in a holdover Russo trope but pops up to the apron for an early distraction. You know, because Kevin Nash needs help against The Cat.
Nash does his usual slow offense in the corner while throwing in some trash talk. Now it’s Nash offering a test of strength but getting kicked in the ribs for a surprise knockdown. I’m stunned Nash actually bumped for that. Another karate shot stuns Nash but he kicks Cat in the face. There go the straps but Sanders comes in with a chair to knock Cat out for absolutely no apparent reason.
Booker comes out to save Cat from a powerbomb through the chair. This brings out Steiner which brings out Sting which brings out Jarrett. The heels dominate until Goldberg comes out, only to have Kronik run in and give Goldberg High Times to end the show. One note here: for the last few weeks they’ve had a Halloween Havoc countdown come on screen a few times a show. It’s a good idea to keep fans thinking about this but also letting them know that they’re running out of time to order the show. I wish more companies would do this today as it can’t take more than a few buttons to get it on screen.
Overall Rating: D+. Again, better show here as the problems that have been plaguing the shows are still there but they’re toned way down. They need to cut out the dueling authority figures nonsense and stop with the quick title changes but the show doesn’t feel as chaotic. It doesn’t make me want to throw the remote at the screen anymore and is now just more of a show with a lot of problems instead of a show flying off a cliff. That’s something, right?
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I remember seeing Mike Awesome in ECW and telling all my friends he is the man to look out for. I knew WCW or WWF would pick him up and I was expecting big things. He went to WCW and debuted and starting putting Goldberg, Hogan, Nash through tables so I obviously though he was going to be the top heel.
WCW’s creative department tricked me again. After a while I saw Mike Awesome coming out as that 70s guy, fat chick thriller etc If I could ever be a ‘fly on the wall’ it would had been in the creative meetings of WCW during this period.
Then when he went to WWF as part of the Invasion angle, I hoped Vince may see something in him but he was washed under the ring with other talents.
WWE’s supported ECW One Night Stand had Mike Awesome again being like his former self that made me think he was awesome (pun intended) with even guys like JBL being impressed (kayfabe or not) but it was too late then.