Thunder – November 29, 2000: They Quit
Location: Metro Center, Moline, Illinois
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden
We’re now in the post Stevie Ray era so I’m really not sure how well we’re going to be able to survive. It’s just such a sad world anymore and they might have to just close the promotion to let us heal. We’re rapidly approaching Starrcade and the main event is going to be Sid vs. Scott Steiner because we live in a random and chaotic universe. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Nitro’s highlights, which included Sid Vicious in a turtleneck.
Here’s Ric Flair to get things going. Ric praises the idea of Steiner defending the title against Sid at Starrcade but tonight it’s Buff Bagwell getting a shot. Based off what exactly? Anyway he brings out Sid, who says he defended that champion night after night (yes defended the champion). Sid has been watching from home and has seen Booker T. and General Rection take over in his place. Steiner is in the wrong place at the wrong time, which Sid somehow tries to tie into the Wright Brothers.
Shane Douglas wants the US Title so he can move on to the World Title. Torrie tells Pamela to not hate her because she’s beautiful. Pamela isn’t sure what to think of this and I’m much more on Torrie’s side here. Pamela is the hot blonde but Torrie is just on another level.
Lance Storm/Elix Skipper vs. Jung Dragons
Storm still has taped up ribs and seems to blame Duggan for the loss to Yang on Monday. The Dragons and Madden take turns oogling Leia Meow as Skipper rolls Yang up for two to start. Yang climbs the corner into an armdrag before it’s off to Kaz for an enziguri. The Canadians regroup on the floor so the Dragons do some impressions to entertain the crowd.
Back in and Storm kicks Kaz in the back of the head to take over, allowing Skipper to walk the ropes into a hurricanrana. Kaz flips out of a powerbomb though and kicks a seated Elix in the head for the tag off to Yang. House is cleaned until a low blow gives Skipper a near fall as everything breaks down. Storm crotches Kaz on top so Skipper can hit a good looking butterfly superplex. The women have the required catfight as the Cat comes out to take care of Duggan. A top rope backsplash/legdrop is enough to put Skipper away.
Rating: C. Fun match but the announcers still act like the idea of the Dragons beating anyone other than Noble and Karagias or 3 Count is unthinkable. The match was fine for a high flying fight though which is something often overlooked about Team Canada: as much as people remember Storm’s promos and catchphrases, both he and Skipper could go very well in the ring.
Storm yells at Duggan.
General Rection would love to fight Shane and AWALL wants Bam Bam Bigelow again.
Lex Luger vs. Norman Smiley
They bring Smiley back for this? Madden: “Luger has the body fat of a paperclip.” Tony: “A paperclip has body fat?” Norman gets in a dropkick to frustrate Luger early on, followed by a cross body for two. They head outside with Luger sending him into the barricade and gets two off a belly to back suplex. Norman comes back with the spinning slam and the spanking dance, only to have Luger forearm him low. The forearm sets up the torture rack to end Norman.
Rating: D. Again: they brought Norman back for this? That’s what Smiley gets for being talented and popular I guess, because somehow doing the opposite got Luger a two match feud with Goldberg of all people. As usual, WCW has no idea which people to push (not to say that Smiley should get a big push of course) as Luger has no business being there and it’s been obvious since the day he returned.
Post match Luger keeps Norman in the hold until Goldberg makes the save.
Bigelow calls AWALL a freak and wants to hurt him in a tables match.
Crowbar is getting a massage when one of the Nitro Girls delivers him a present: a golden pipe wrench. Ok then.
Reno and Marie are with Pamela, who asks if they’re dating. Apparently they’re actually brother and sister, which makes Pamela realize that Reno and Vito are BROTHERS. Somehow this was never mentioned before, though it shouldn’t be that hard for either of them to figure out.
Kronik seems to have a new client.
Jeff Jarrett has the Harris Brothers to fight the Filthy Animals.
Hardcore Title: Crowbar vs. David Flair
Crowbar is defending and has that wrench in his belt. The regular belt, not the title belt. They fight over a trashcan to start and David actually gets the better of it early on. Therefore, it’s time to hit the champ in the face with a mop. Crowbar comes back with the wrench but the mop is right there for the save because they’re the exact same thing.
It’s time for a paint tray with Crowbar beating David out to the floor and putting a chair on top of him for a Vader Bomb. Flair comes back with a chair shot of his own but the Figure Four is broken up by with a cookie sheet. Just picture Dusty and Ric doing that and see if you don’t chuckle or cry at least a little bit. Crowbar pops up and hits him with the wrench for the pin to retain.
Rating: D-. I’m still waiting on a point to this division other than giving the overly talented Crowbar something worthless to do. David is still insane and therefore not very interesting as you can only see that sort of thing so often, especially when the running joke seems to be that he’s not very good but tries so hard. Naturally since it’s professional wrestling, that sort of effort is to be mocked instead of rewarded or nurtured.
Post match Stacy Keibler and the trainer check on David, who wants to know about the wrench.
US Title: General Rection vs. Shane Douglas
Shane, with Torrie, is challenging and they get in their standard pre-match stuff about how much better they are than all of us. Douglas is smart enough to go after the knee to start and gets in a few shots to slow the champion down early. We’re already in the figure four so I can’t imagine this is going to go long. Rection gets the rope and starts his comeback, only to have Torrie come in and jump on his back. Somehow not noticing that it’s a smaller, lighter person or the long blonde hair, Rection drives her back first into the buckle. That’s too much around here and the match is stopped, likely setting up a rematch at Starrcade.
Ever the gentleman, Lieutenant Loco tries to get her out of the ring so the fight can continue but basically everyone glares him off.
Post break, Loco yells at Rection for not following up and a split is teased.
Filthy Animals vs. Jeff Jarrett/Harris Twins
Great, the Band is back together. It’s a huge brawl to start with Konnan staying on the floor instead of helping his smaller partners. We settle down to Konnan coming in to work on Ron’s wrist as we hear about Torrie getting crushed again. Rey bulldogs Ron down as Tygress goes on about player hating.
Don comes in to help on a double spinebuster and a swinging Boss Man Slam gets two. Naturally this warrants a talk about paying the Harris Twins in sandwiches because WCW. Konnan isn’t paying attention to a tag attempt from Rey so Jarrett knocks him off the apron. The referee tells the guys that they have three minutes as Kidman comes in to clean house. Everything breaks down and Jarrett guitars Kidman for the pin.
Rating: D+. That sounds like the mating call of a rubber match at Starrcade, likely with the guitar legal for a change. I really don’t think I need to make fun of this one all that much when the story revolves around the Harris Brothers being willing to fight for sandwiches. Even David Flair is more respected than this. Oh and somehow the referee doesn’t notice the pieces of the guitar around the ring.
Buff is ready for his title shot tonight.
Daffney returns to say she and Ozzy broke up so now she wants to be with Crowbar. He’s not so keen on the idea though and turns her down, even though it seems to make him very sad.
This week’s sitdown interview is with Stevie Ray because WCW actually thinks people care. We get right to the point as Stevie says no one has a brother in the business like he does. As usual I think I get the point but since Stevie is only a commentator, he isn’t the best at getting his point across. Stevie made his debut here back in 1993 and is one of the most successful tag team wrestlers of all time. Now he thinks he might start a drag racing team (which I believe he actually did) and thanks the fans for their support over the years.
Glacier is still coming back.
Sgt. AWALL vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Tables match and it’s Bigelow pounding away to start. A powerbomb is countered with a backdrop to send Bigelow outside but instead of trying to put him through the table, it’s time to brawl around ringside. Back in and a German suplex through the table……doesn’t count because both of them went through at the same time. Well of course they did. They head outside again so Mike Awesome can sneak in and blast Bigelow with a chair, allowing AWALL to put him through the table.
Rating: F. Are they even ripping ECW off at this point? I mean, last year with Sandman and Raven was one thing but this is even less interesting than that was. I’m also not sure why none of these guys ever bother going after the Hardcore Title. It’s not like what they’re doing here is really all that much better than getting a belt out of it.
Awesome wants Bam Bam Bigelow at Starrcade. Somehow that’s a big deal for Awesome.
WCW World Title: Buff Bagwell vs. Scott Steiner
Steiner is defending of course. Steiner gives Buff a chance to leave before the beating begins but Buff dropkicks him to the floor and sends him into the barricade. Back in and Buff’s right hands don’t get him anywhere as Scott ties him in the Tree of Woe for some choking. The elbow into the pushups gives us a signature spot as Madden does a bad Billy Graham impression.
The belly to belly gets two and it’s time to grab the referee by the shirt. Buff misses a dropkick to stop a comeback bid because he’s Buff Bagwell and this is a big match. A DDT puts Steiner down but Scott pops back up with ease. Cue Sid on the screen for a distraction though, allowing the Blockbuster to hit for two. Buff has to catch a diving Midajah though and a quick Recliner retains the title.
Rating: D. I actually like Buff as the one off challenger here even though he had no chance of winning because he’s Buff Bagwell and never actually won a big singles match in WCW. The Sid thing was a waste of time but then again so is Sid in the main event in the first place. Bad match but perfect for a Thunder main event.
Sid comes out to jaw with Steiner to end the show.
Overall Rating: D-. They’ve just given up. You can clearly see that there’s no real effort being put into the writing (though the wrestling is tolerable at times) or storytelling and that’s caused them to hit a very hard wall. The younger guys are putting in an effort as they so often do but there’s only so much you can do when it’s Lex Luger, Scott Steiner with the horrible chinlock, Sid and the Insiders as some of the top names in the promotion.
This place really is just about the old guys and the worst part is that’s how they’re being presented: the older, cagey generation who is still around and hogging all the spots. There’s almost nothing here worth watching and it’s going to make the next few months much more sad than hard to sit through.
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Was this how Torrie was written off WCW?
I really liked Stevie Ray as a commentator (albeit for non important shows like Thunder) because he seemed invested in whatever happened and reacted as we would expect a real person to react (it didn’t always make for smooth TV, but I liked it)–he would get impatient and angry at stuff that was taking too long or was dull. He mangled his words a bit and I feel like he wasn’t really told what was happening at times, so his reactions aren’t always good, but I’d take him over most other commentators. Booker T kind of gets this vibe but usually resorts to lame jokes.
What website do you use to watch old wrestling shows?
It varies but usually Youtube and Dailymotion.