WCW Thunder: 1/3/2001
I sat down to watch Thunder on Wednesday, despite Loree telling me that I was watching a little too much wrestling for not being on the road again yet. I told her that I needed to focus up since I’d been out of the game for a few months, to make sure that the transition can be as seamless as possible. Johnny has been more or less running things while I’ve been away, so let’s see how he was doing.
Originally Posted by WCW Thunder, Taped 12/22/2000
Thunder Rating: C+
- We open in the parking lot with Lance Storm, Elix Skipper, and Major Gunns. I wonder if having Tylene out in the freezing air was just to see if we could get a shot of pokey nipples? Mike Awesome shows up, and he looks like a whole new man without that damn mullet anymore. He shows them his 70’s bus is now repainted to be a Team Canada bus, which I am assuming will be destroyed either later tonight or is planned for demolition on Monday. (D+)
- Inside the barely-halfway-full Mid-South Coliseum, Ric is out in the ring after the opening plays, where Flair talks about the two main events for Sin next Sunday. There’s the whole mess with the mystery man in the triple threat main event, and the bigger mess that has “The Sarge” in a major match on a pay-per-view. Scott Steiner is “suspended” Jeff Jarrett comes out to talk, so Flair books him to face Sid in tonight’s main event, and if Sid wins he gets added to the triple threat match in place of Jarrett. Sid joins us to chase Jeff away, and someone gives him a microphone. He doesn’t say anything embarrassing, just a generic “I’ll beat you and then get the belt back” type promo. (B)
- After a break, Flair is talking to Mike Sanders about where The Insiders are tonight. He says he doesn’t know, but once Ric is gone and Sanders goes into the Thrillers’ locker room, we hear Shawn Stasiak talking on a phone and he reveals that Mike screwed up their travel plans. He tells Perfect Event, Jindrak, and O’Haire to go talk about the Insiders tonight, and tells Reno that he was going to book him against Johnny the Bull but instead he’s putting him against “The Cat” Ernest Miller tonight, since he’s already beaten Cat. (B-, C)
- “Mean” Gene is back with Crowbar and Daffney, who talks about how he grew up idolizing Terry Funk and how much it hurts him to beat up his idol, but he’ll rip the Hardcore Torch away from Funk. He has a chair match against Meng tonight because he didn’t like seeing Terry get beaten up by Meng. (C-)
- It’s been twenty minutes and now we are finally getting a cruiserweight match. The crowd already don’t care enough, which is why I always tried to put them closer to the top of the show than this. “Sugar” Shane Helms defeats Jamie Knoble in a pretty solid match. Maybe we can rebuild the cruiser division pretty easily, we just have to feature these kinds of guys a lot more and a lot smarter. Russo did some pretty big damage to them, but good matches can wash that away some. After the match, Evan Karagias attacks Helms, Shannon Moore comes out but gets attacked by Evan and Knoble, Helms rallies back to take down Evan and Knoble, and then Chavo Guerrero Jr. hits Shane with the title to end the segment standing over all of them. (D, D-)
- A quick recap goes back to 12/20 when Konnan locked Elix Skipper in the Tequila Sunrise. This leads into Skipper running into Konnan backstage, bumping him and then running away to lead him right to Awesome, who lays Konnan out. Both Awesome and Team Canada really needed this shot in the arm. (D, C-)
- Back to “Mean” Gene, who’s with The Cat and Ms. Jones. He just talks about his match with Reno and how he wants another shot at Mike Sanders. Miller is pretty funny here though, polishing Gene’s head and picking at Gene’s age. (D+)
- Backstage, Jarrett finds the Harris Brothers laid out. No help from them tonight. (C-)
- It feels like it’s been another half an hour and we get another match. Corporal Cajun and Sgt. A-Wall against Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire. Simple match, O’Haire wins it with the Seanton Bomb on Lash. After the match comes the heel beatdown, Hugh comes out to help, but Chavo comes out to help which causes a confusion, and Shane Douglas runs out to attacks Morrus. (D+, C-)
- Gene talks to Shane after that, and he talks about having a Chain on a Pole match at Sin for the US title. Wait... did WE hire Russo back? (C-)
- Elix Skipper is outside in the Team Canada bus, singing his theme music. Cute. Jim Duggan rushes into the bus and attacks him, which is not so cute. (C)
- The Filthy Animals are backstage talking about Team Canada. (D+)
- The Mamalukes are backstage talking when they run into The Cat, and they talk about Reno. (D)
- “Mean” Gene is joined by Totally Buff. Bagwell meets “The Sarge” tonight, they talk about beating him up at Sin. (C+)
- A montage video for Bruce? What? Who greenlighted this? (D-)
- Team Canada are shown backstage tending to Skipper, and they announce Awesome against Duggan for tonight. (D+)
- Back to the Filthy Animals, who want revenge on Team Canada for them beating up Konnan earlier. (D+)
- The Thrillers are celebrating their victory earlier when Flair comes in. He tells Reno that he must be alone against The Cat tonight and tells Jindrak to be ready, he has a match tonight. (C)
- More of “Mean” Gene! This is some crack induced time filler, none of these segments are going much longer than a minute or two. Russo? Is that you? Okerlund is with Sid, who blathers about Jarrett. I take a drink, because this show is only half over. I can’t wait to get back into the driver’s seat. (C)
- Chair on a Pole match?! What?! Where is Russo? Meng beats Crowbar in the match. (D)
- Ric Flair is shown backstage talking to and shaking hands with Totally Buff. Huh? (B-)
- Mark Jindrak is out for his match, and he’s against Goldberg. Goldberg runs through him to move up to 34-0 in his new Streak. He takes a microphone to run down Totally Buff, saying that they’re next. (C-, B)
- More of “Mean” Gene makes me realize we need more people to hold microphones. Jeff Jarrett talks about Sid and staying in the match against Scott Steiner and the mystery man. (C)
- Kronik are shown backstage talking to Totally Buff. (B-)
- Reno takes on The Cat in a fairly ugly match. Cat wins, we move on. (D)
- Mike Awesome against Jim Duggan lasts slightly less time than Cat and Reno until Awesome hits the Frog Splash and wins. Team Canada attack afterwards until the Filthy Animals make the save. They graffitied the bus (there’s our bus destruction, I called it) and run through catchphrases at the Canadians. “Mean” Gene catches up to Team Canada backstage where they make a challenge to the Filthy Animals for Sin. That should definitely be a solid match. (D, D+, D)
- Laurinaitis really backloaded the matches on this show. We head right back to the ring for The Sarge against Buff Bagwell. But before that starts, we see Kronik fighting with Goldberg backstage and loading him into a box, which they send out of the arena on a forklift. Luger hits the ring and Sarge ends up winning by DQ. They Pillmanize his arm, and I hope I can find a way to spin this match into something better next week. (B-, D, C-)
- As the Natural Born Thrillers are leaving the arena, The Insiders appear from inside their limo and beat them up. So happy to see Kev, in his twilight years, letting the young guys get over on him like always. Yes, that was a little bit of sarcasm. I love Kevin, but we have to do something. (C)
- In the main event, Sid defeats Jarrett by DQ when the mystery man runs down to attack Sid. He unmasks, and it was Scott Steiner. That was an alright little ending, now let’s see what I can do on Nitro to right this. (C-)
Worldwide Rating: C-
I’m sure there have been worse shows that WCW have put out, some of them even under my watch. The thing is, at this point expectations are so low that this actually comes off like it’s a decent showing. The edges need ironed out again, and hopefully on Monday I will be getting that taken care of.
They taped a match for Worldwide at the show too, Shane Douglas beating Norman Smiley (C-). I always felt Worldwide was worth keeping around as a recap and exclusive matches type show, so next week I plan on making it a little more worthwhile again.
I didn’t catch SmackDown on Thursday, but I looked up what happened on the show. They started a feud between Jericho and Benoit – just goes back to what I said about the two of them spinning their wheels. Sure enough, Steve Austin attacked Regal to put him out, and then Vince put Austin in the triple threat main event. They booked their first match for the Rumble, Edge and Christian against the Dudleys for the Tag titles. Angle defeated Rock by DQ when Rocky went crazy on some refs. Vince and his family drama took up some time on the show, around him announcing himself as the “troubleshooting referee” for the main event. He counted the three to put Austin through, so now it’s Steve Austin getting a title shot at Kurt Angle on Raw. Seems like something you’d hold for pay-per-view, but I’m not a billionaire genius, so what would I know. But it does look like something we need to do some serious building toward to try and pull some ratings in Nitro’s direction, so it’s time to buckle down.
I have a big meeting to attend on Monday to inform some people that the boss is back.
Originally Posted by Author
We are nearly through week one, which will be time for Eric to move in and take control. However, there is one more show to deal with: Guilty as Charged 2001. I wrote it up in this style (only without Eric, because I can't figure he would have watched it) so I will post it within the next few days. I'm still kinda figuring out how I want to write everything, I am definitely doing more pictures when I get to the meat of the game so it won't be this same wall of text in the future. Let me know what you think so far! I know there isn't a lot to go on given at this point I haven't changed anything, but I'm always interested in seeing what people think of where it is or where it could be heading.