Thunder – February 7, 2001: Yul Brynner Would Be Disappointed

Date: February 7, 2001
Location: Bankcorpsouth Center, Tupelo, Mississippi
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay

Amazingly enough, we’re coming in off a surprise heel turn this past Monday as Rick Steiner joined up with Flair’s group to reunited with his brother yet again. They really aren’t even hiding the fact that this is another NWO clone and I really don’t think anyone minds at this point. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Scott Steiner’s rough night, which means he wrestled about ten minutes over three matches.

Shane Helms vs. Kaz Hayashi

This is a qualifying match for a six man elimination #1 contenders match at SuperBrawl. Kaz flips out of a wristlock to start and runs over Shane with a shoulder. Shane flips up and it’s an early standoff. Kaz gets smart and kicks at the leg but his springboard DDT is countered into a northern lights suplex over the top. Helms hits a big cross body to the floor but bangs up his knee in the process.

Back in and Kaz moonsaults over and before headscissoring Shane right back to the floor. Kaz gets in a dive of his own but can’t hit a top rope hurricanrana. A good looking superkick puts Kaz down and a running neckbreaker does it again. Shane wants the Vertebreaker but here’s Chavo Guerrero for a distraction, allowing Kaz to grab a German suplex for the upset.

Rating: C+. This was a nice surprise and I can dig the idea of Chavo being worried about facing Helms again in the future and taking him out here. Kaz winning is a bit odd but there’s not much of a chance of him adse corner before breaking up an enziguri with another right hand. Smiley jumps over him in the corner and does a bit of dancing but stops to look for Glacier. A clothesline sets up the Seanton Bomb for the easy pin.

Post match Mark Jindrak comes in as a distraction so Shawn Stasiak can come in for the beatdown. Something is edited out as O’Haire came back in from the apron and kicks both guys down. The beatdown is on again until Palumbo makes the save.

Flair gives Sanders Konnan tonight.

Team Canada comes out with Storm picking Elix Skipper to face Cat.

The Cat vs. Elix Skipper

Cat superkicks him to start but Skipper pops up and starts hitting on Miss Jones. At least he has good taste. Skipper takes him to the floor for a whip into the barricade. Back in and Cat starts firing off the kicks, followed by a running ax handle and the Feliner for the quick pin.

Rating: D. Nothing to see here as usual as being the Commissioner (which may have been on the line here but it wasn’t clear) doesn’t mean a ton aside from just opposing Flair. Skipper should be in the Cruiserweight Title hunt and Cat should be doing almost anything other than being a regular wrestler but at least he has a personality.

Post match Storm offers a distraction so Mike Awesome can take Cat out.

Totally Buff is ready for Kronik. They should be after facing them so many times.

Chavo Guerrero asks Wall to take out Rey Mysterio tonight. Hugh Morrus is heard laughing.

Kwee Wee asks a few jobbers (one of whom is Chris Harris) to fight him later tonight. One of them doesn’t take kindly to this and seems game later.

Flair tells Scott Steiner to worry about Nash and ignore everything else.

Lex Luger vs. Brian Adams

Adams sends him head first into the announcers’ table to start and drops him onto the barricade for good measure. They get inside for the first time with Adams raking his boots across the eyes, followed by some choking in the corner. Luger pulls him outside and sends Adams head first into the steps before a whip sends him into “the rail of pain.” Back in and we hit the posing, followed by a backbreaker for two.

Lex stays on the bad back with a suplex and even more posing. Now we go old school with a bearhug until Adams powers out and hits a backbreaker of his own. Cue Buff Bagwell but Adams drops him with a single right hand. The full nelson slam puts Luger away clean in a bit of a surprise.

Rating: D-. It’s rarely a good sign when the best thing you can say about a match is that it had a clean ending. Adams winning with a simple full nelson slam was a surprise but at least the interference didn’t mean anything. Also it’s nice to see Luger putting people over instead of fighting Goldberg on three straight pay per views as it seems he’s FINALLY learning his place.

Bryan Clark runs in for the post match save.

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. The Wall

Wall has Chavo with him. As usual the announcers act like Rey is going to die because they’ve never watched Mysterio vs. a bigger guy. Rey goes after the knee to start but springboards into a one armed gorilla press. A sleeper has a bit more success on the big man until he drives Rey back first into the corner. Wall throws him outside so Chavo can get in some cheap shots.

Rey’s knee goes into the steps and Wall chokes him while standing on the announcers’ table. A hard whip sends Rey chest first into the buckle as the announcers think the match should be stopped. Wall misses a top rope legdrop and Rey hits the springboard seated senton with Chavo making the save. That earns him a big flip dive but here’s Hugh Morrus to electric chair Wall off the top and hit No Laughing Matter to give Rey the pin.

Rating: D. So to clarify, the greatest cruiserweight of all time has to get beaten down for five minutes and then saved by Hugh Morrus to set up a match between Morrus and Wall at SuperBrawl. Naturally they had no choice but to put these feuds together and have Mysterio look like a goon whose career was saved. At least he won though and that helps a lot. It was a rough way to get there but the right guy won and that helps a lot.

Mysterio and Morrus clean house post match.

Here’s Kwee Wee for his usual “I’m all man” speech. Tony: “Is it just me or is his hair crooked?” And that’s your latest reason why Kwee Wee is going nowhere. Kwee Wee calls out a fan and it’s time for a fight.

Kwee Wee vs. ???

A few right hands give Kwee Wee a pin.

Here’s the guy Kwee Wee called out earlier tonight with a missile dropkick and we have another match.

Kwee Wee vs. Johnny Dodson

Kwee Wee beats him down with ease and ends Dodson with a piledriver in just over a minute. It would be nice for this to go somewhere but I doubt Kwee Wee is considered important enough to get such attention.

Konnan vs. Mike Sanders

For some reason I can’t picture the Mississippi crowd being that into Konnan’s odd way of speaking. Tony: “Word.” Konnan gets two off a rollup to start but Sanders rolls into a crucifix for two of his own. The mat work goes to Konnan as he grabs something like a standing figure four but sitting on the leg instead of pulling back on it.

The announcers talk about the new owners doing something about Flair as Sanders drops a knee on Konnan’s chest. A clothesline puts Konnan down for no cover because Sanders is busy yelling at the crowd. Sanders puts on a cobra clutch for a bit before Konnan comes back with the rolling lariat. The X Factor sets up the Tequila Sunrise for the clean submission.

Rating: D+. Sanders is someone who looks like he has potential but doesn’t seem like he’s going anywhere. Konnan is actually not the worst worker in the world as his normal stuff is entertaining enough though it’s hard to get into whatever nonsense he says before the match. It’s also amazing how much better he is when he’s just being himself and not pulling “pranks” with the Filthy Animals.

Don Harris says he now has a manager’s license. Normally I would ask how bad the commission that issues licenses must be but it seems that they’re avoiding Harris Brothers matches so they’re smarter than I am.

Jeff Jarrett/Rick Steiner vs. Insiders

The Insiders clean house to start and thankfully they’re not wasting the “big” match of the Insiders vs. the Steiners on a nothing show like this. Page and Jarrett get things going with Jeff taking a hard clothesline (with authority according to Tenay) before getting crotched against the post. Rick comes in and blasts Page in the face because he’s Rick Steiner and therefore gets to beat up anyone he wants.

It’s time for the heels to take turns beating on Page before Steiner slaps on a chinlock about two minutes in. That’s never a good sign which is why it’s standard Rick Steiner procedure. Jeff puts on a sleeper because he’s a master of the hold according to Tony. Don’t you have to win a match with it to be a master?

Page escapes with the belly to back (a master wouldn’t allow that) but Rick comes in with a belly to belly to prevent the hot tag. Page finally punches Jarrett down and it’s Nash coming in for a bunch of right hands and boots. The Jackknife puts Steiner away and for once that’s a bad ending as you don’t want a new champion losing when Jarrett is right there.

Rating: D+. This was fine, albeit the same boring main event you would expect on Thunder. Page is always going to be solid and Jeff can be his normally dull self but the other two are clearly just there because they’re paid to be and aren’t going to put in any effort above the minimum. The clean ending was nice for a change, though it should have been Jarrett.

Scott Steiner, Totally Buff and Kronik come out for the standoff to end the show.

Overall Rating: D-. Just a bunch of bad wrestling and more of the same boring stable vs. stable feud that has been dominating the company for weeks now. It’s not the worst story or anything but it’s so repetitive at this point because WCW has done it so many times in the last few years. So many of the stories are stuck in limbo and it’s getting rough to sit through every single week. At least Rick Steiner lost though and that’s always a good thing.

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