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  1. Thunder Interlude – show number sixty-nine – 01 July 1999 "The WCW Gang is much better when they're taped, not live" Tenay lets us know that we’re getting TV title and Cruiserweight title defenses on Thunder tonight to open the show… Recap: Manly man Kevin Nash overcomes about ten guys and gets the ladies, one willingly, one not so much… We come back to the arena, where Diamond Dallas Page hypes himself up and insults the crowd before facing Saturn in a singles match…Page stalls to start…Saturn chases him around the ring, and I think Kanyon is supposed to clothesline him in ambush, but Saturn trips right into him and knocks him down…DDP still jumps Saturn as he re-enters the ring, so it’s fine…Page tries a rebound back suplex, but Saturn flips out of it and lands an overhead belly-to-belly…Saturn sticks Page with a dropkick and sends him to the floor…Obligatory ringside brawl… Back in the ring, Saturn throws chops and punches…Page reverses an Irish whip as Kanyon gets up on the apron, but Saturn hits a dropkick on Kanyon and follows him to the floor to punch him…That distraction allows Page to spring over the top rope with a crossbody that scores…Page bashes Kanyon around at ringside, then distracts the ref so that Kanyon can jump Saturn…Page lands a tilt-a-whirl slam, but is casual about following up…Page lands stomps and chokes, with Kanyon taking pot shots from outside the ring as we go to a break… I didn’t see a clip from Universal Soldier: The Return set to a Megadeth song while going to break, but the original viewers did…Page continues his casual assault on Saturn…Page lands a lariat and celebrates…Page locks on an abdominal stretch and gets leverage from Kanyon…Kanyon sneaks up by ducking beneath the apron and plays this spot really sneakily in a heightened way that makes it entertaining…Billy Silverman is a slowpoke, but he finally does catch the cheating….He kicks away Kanyon’s hand and Saturn hits an armdrag and starts a comeback… Saturn wins a punch-up, then lands a superkick...A Saturn inverted atomic drop and springboard cross body block gets two…Saturn’s roll-up attempt gets two, but Page catches him with a boot to the solar plexus and a sit-out powerbomb for two…Page looks for the Diamond Cutter, but Saturn shoves him away and right into the ref…Kanyon wraps his title belt around the top buckle…This spot is a bit contrived, honestly…Saturn comes over and tries ten punches in the corner and Kanton drops him onto the belt…I get it, he wanted to be creative, but unbuckling the turnbuckle makes more sense than wrapping the belt around the buckle…Not a big deal, but it briefly takes me out of the match… Page covers and Silverman counts to 2.7-ish. Kanyon get in the ring and gets blocked by Silverman, which allows Chris Benoit to run in and land a flying headbutt to DDP…Benoit puts Saturn on top…Kanyon yanks Silverman out of the ring at the two-count, drawing a DQ…Benoit hits Kanyon with a suicide dive to a pop…Bam Bam Bigelow runs out to give the Triad the man advantage…Page lands a Diamond Cutter on Saturn…The Triad stomps out Benoit…They do a cool spot where they whip one another into Benoit…They end the carnage by landing a tower Diamond Cutter on Benoit and hitting a Flatliner on Saturn…I’m not a fan of all the screwy finish stuff typically, but I enjoyed it here, and I liked this match quite a bit… No offense to Megadeth fans, but Tenay promises a performance from them on Nitro, and I am hoping that it’s cut out…Megadeth is the overly litigious band, right? [Editor's note: Metallica, not Megadeth, duh]...If so, it likely will be excised from the recording…Metal music does not typically agree with me…Bret Hart will also be there, and he will probably make me sad when he speaks… Brad Armstrong and Swoll (w/the NLS) take on Disorderly Conduct…Konnan hits the Catchphrase Roulette…Did I just hear Rey Misterio Jr. call out his “jigga” Scott Hall?...The captioner wrote it as [INDISTINCT]…Misterio is such a cornball…Also, last they interacted, Scott Hall helped beat him in a Luchas de Apuestas in storyline…They should still be beefing…He also shouts out his kid/not actually his kid/his kid again Dominick…Swoll is obviously only comfortable with the very basics, but he does have a great look…I’m one of those guys who sort of ended up where Jim Ross has always been…Give me more washout football players in pro wrestling…Armstrong handles the bulk of the match… Armstrong plays FIP for a bit…Brad spits a piece of gum out of his mouth while taking a jawbreaker and commentary sells it as a tooth…It’s the little things that elevate a nothing TV match to something surprisingly enjoyable…Let me give credit to Disorderly Conduct as well…They hit some nice offense in their control segment…BA gets a hot tag and Swoll hits some body slams…Swoll and Armstrong combine on a corner splash-and-uppercut combo for three…Swoll shouldn’t be on TV yet, but that match was the best possible match involving both him and Disorderly Conduct…I enjoyed it, actually… It's nice to see La Parka on Thunder…Aw yeah, and he’s wrestling Eddy Guerrero…We’re into July now, so I think Eddy and the rest of the Radicalz are only around for six more months of television…La Parka and Eddy have a conversation, likely about the lWo…Park offers his hand, but Eddy slaps him, so Parka throws hands…Eddy turns it around and hits Parka with punches in the corner and a European uppercut…This is a fun, pacey opening with lots of nice counters…I wish they’d pushed Parka better…This is a good U.S. Championship feud in a better-run company… Eddy tosses Parka across the ring mat and Parka slides to the mats outside the ring…Eddy follows with a slingshot cross body block…The match slows a bit while they have an obligatory ringside brawl, but it’s okay…Eddy tries a tope con hilo to get back in the ring…Parka dodges, then dances, and turns around into a lariat and eats that tope con hilo from Eddy for dessert… After we break for commercials and a WCW Monday Nitro promo video, Eddy gets reversed on an Irish whip into the corner and stumbles out into an enziguri that scores a two count for Parka…Parka lands a running lariat, then locks on a chinlock that is interesting because he yanks at Eddy’s hair and lips and gouges his eye…Eddy works out of it with chops and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker… They spill back outside where Parka grabs his chair and uses it to poke Eddy in the gut…Parka smashes Eddy’s head into the chair, then lands a kick…I guess this is legal since it’s outside the ring…WCW semi-consistently takes that tack with weapon use outside the ring…Park puts Eddy back in the ring and puts on a Camel Clutch, yanking at Eddy’s hair and lips again…Parka chokes Eddy against the ropes, and then puts Eddy’s ponytail in his mouth, bites down, and yanks back…Huh…Parka’s work in these chokes and headlocks is very cool… Parka tries a corkscrew dive from the top and misses…Eddy, in trouble for so long, decides to end this one ASAP…He hits a spinning back elbow to Parka, then quickly goes up and lands a Frog Splash for three…I really liked this match!... Pre-taped blipmo: Randy Savage keeps blowing up George’s phone like a lunatic…Nash calls him back and is getting a massage from some lady…Nash agrees to make an exchange of some sort with Savage…He tells Savage to meet him at some street corner…Savage is like WHERE THE HELL AM I EVEN GOING IN THIS CITY…I DON'T ACTUALLY LIVE HERE, YOU KNOW...Nash groaning in pleasure while getting a massage is unpleasant television, just FYI… Promo: WTR song stuff. MUTE. Thunder when it focuses on main TV angles in promos and skits is typically quite bad…Otherwise, it’s pretty good… The WTRs work an eight-man tag against Silver King, Villano V, El Dandy, and Damien 666…The luchadores are all good workers, so it’s much easier watching them work total bums like Duncum and Kendall Windham than it is the B-Teamers…Their bumping ability alone elevates a match from DUD to watchable…This match is just that: watchable…That’s good stuff when you have dudes in here like Kendall Windham struggling to hit a backslide…It’s tough when your three of your four down-home cowboy brawlers throw worse punches than El Dandy, though…Kendall Windham hits Damien with a bulldog for three… Randy Savage is at a pay phone in some alleyway somewhere…Nash calls him on his cell phone rather than a pay phone, which is kinda funny…He made him rush out to find a specific pay phone for no reason…Nash says that he wants to meet elsewhere in town and gives Savage directions…Savage freaks out…It’s hilarious…TWO BLOCKS LEFT?! KWIK PIK? WHERE’S THE KWIK PIK?!?!...Savage freaking out is always funny… Rey Misterio Jr. (w/NLS) indeed defends his Cruiserweight Championship against Blitzkrieg…Konnan and, oh no, Brad Armstrong take the mic before the match…Armstrong cribs his doofus brother on the other channel and sounds like a complete asshole…Rey and Blitz have an opening exchange that ends with a Blitz armdrag…Good stuff here on another exchange that ends with Blitz getting two on a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker…Lots of quick reversals here, but Rey ends up sending Blitz to the floor with a headscissors and then following up with a baseball slide…OOOH, after Rey ends up shot to the apron and hooking Blitz for a rana, Blitz turns it into a powerbomb on the floor…Blitz follows up with an Asai moonsault… Back in the ring, Blitz hits his standing moonsault combo for two…Blitz tries a short headlock and some chops, then lands a dropkick for two…Blitz goes back to the chinlock, then tries to go standing again…He runs into a Rey tilt-a-whirl, but clotheslines himself out of trouble when they run again…Blitz shoots Rey hard into the buckles…He’s a bit too comfortable, taunting the crowd and giving Rey time to recover…Still, he lands a vertical suplex for two…Blitz goes to the air on a springboard kneedrop attempt, but Rey rolls away and makes a comeback…A jumping splash in the corner scores, but Blitz lands a clothesline on a rope run… Blitz hits forearms and chokes in the corner…Blitz attempts to hit a powerbomb near the ropes and gets reversed into an awkward rana that spills them to the floor…Blitz is a good athlete, but you can tell he’s young…He’s not great when in heel control…Back in the ring, Blitz tries to hit a crossbody, but gets dropkicked out of the air…Rey lands a split-legged moonsault for two…Blitz blocks a whip out of the corner, but in a neat set-up for the Bronco Buster, he tries a somersault splash on Rey in the corner and whiffs, then falls into Bronco Buster position…Rey lands a top-rope rana right after the Bronco Buster for three…It dragged a bit when Blitz was in control, but there was fun stuff around that segment, and it was good enough that I’d suggest it to anyone looking for an enjoyable television match that runs eight-ish minutes… Randy Savage is standing outside a building that has an ad for classic ‘90s movie The Wood on it, if you forgot what time period we’re in…A limo pulls up and Nash gets out…Savage has been fantastic in this run of segments because he’s just babbling like a lunatic, total stream of consciousness…YOU’VE HAD ME RUNNING AROUND HERE LIKE AN IDIOT, he exclaims, and I just enjoy everything about his delivery and what he’s doing…He made these segments not just tolerable, but actually pretty fun…Nash is like, I know you want George back because she’s great in the sack, and I know she’s great in the sack because we banged, basically, and Savage is like YO, I’LL KILL YOU… Sid is in the background…Wait, when did Savage steal Nash’s belt?...That's the other part of the exchange...I forgot this happened, I guess…Savage is like GIVE IT TO HIM, so Sid swings with the belt and misses…Savage rushes Nash, but is repelled…Sting, or a guy in Sting facepaint, clobbers Nash…Sid ransacks the limo looking for George…Sid is hilarious, too…Not seeing her in the backseat, this is what he says and does: SHE’S NOT IN HERE, SHE’S IN THE TRUNK *runs to the driver’s window, knocks on it* OPEN THE TRUNK, STUPID…This right here is why Sid and Savage have so much promise as a pairing…They are entertaining as fuck when they’re saying shit off the top of their domes…Sid finds a person with a hood on them in the trunk and carries them back to a Hummer…Sting/"Sting" drives away in one Hummer while Savage drives away in the other… So, WCW…Who filmed all those segments?...A roving cameraman or what?...Maybe Tex in the Cowboy Hat filmed both these and the Ric Flair beatdown in an exurban Tampa field...But seriously, those segments were so dumb, yet fun because of Savage and Sid that I would genuinely recommend them for viewing…They’re going on the Dumb (But Entertaining) Moments list… Rick Steiner defends the TV title against Buff Bagwell in the Thunder main event…Larry Z. is smart enough not to assume that we saw Sting in those vignettes…Rick Steiner yells on the house mic before the match…He insists on saying his stupid-ass catchphrases…This match stinks because, I mean, look at the competitors…They have a pose-off before Rick jumps Buff during one pose…Obligatory ringside brawl…Steiner does some boring control before Buff explodes with a dropkick counter…Bagwell tries a standing frog splash, but eats Steiner’s knees… There’s a commercial break…We come back to Steiner choking Buff with a chain outside the ring…Back in the ring, he locks on a leveraged chinlock, using the ropes…This guy sucks, man…He’s awful as a singles wrestler…Chinocks and chokes, chokes and chinlocks…At least this match is short…That’s the saving grace for this thing…Buff makes another comeback that sticks a bit better…Not that much better…Steiner lands a kick to the gut and a Oklahoma Stampede…Buff shoves Rick away and Rick grabs the ref…David Flair runs down and tazes Buff…Steiner disengages from the ref and covers for three…Putrid… OK, so let’s see who Sid and Savage actually brought out of Nash's limo…Ew, it’s Torrie…She says, in an annoying voice, HEY, LEMME TELL YA SOMETHIN’, BIG SEXY IS A LOT SMARTER THAN YOU THINK HE IS…She stinks…But I liked the vignettes other than her or Nash…Though why is Torrie now so enamored with Nash when she was taunting him two months ago?...She's suddenly willing to put herself in Savage and Sid's hands to make Nash happy?...It makes no sense... Lots of good wrestling on this show, main event aside, and the main storylines (WTR/NLS, Nash/Savage feud) didn’t hurt the show like last week…The Saturn and Benoit/Triad storyline is unremarkable, but watchable, and it mostly produces fun matches…IMO, the consistently best show on WCW television is taped Thunder…WOOOOO…
  2. I used to kill dudes with Vader in the FPW GBA games that I played an awful lot of, so good pull there.
  3. People who have played sports games know that some video game athletes are on another level: Bo Jackson or QB Eagles in Tecmo Super Bowl, Michael Vick in Madden 05, Steph Curry in NBA 2K14, etc. What is the wrestling game equivalent? My answer is Goldberg in WCW/nWo Revenge. He's the only guy who got that faux-MMA combo move, and it just KILLS opponents. He is a fucking BEAST in that game and so hard to reverse or block because of all the options he has out of the standing combos. He also has submissions that are good at positioning the opponent so they can't get to the ropes, especially that rear naked choke in his moveset.
  4. I rarely do speed-run challenges. The daily speed run challenges from Rayman Legends are a rare example of challenges that grab me. But yeah, this game is surprisingly addictive the way Rayman Legends is. Also, playing little blips and blurts of Super Mario Bros. 3 has reinforced my belief that it's still one of the two or three best games that Nintendo has ever made. I might play through it with no warping on my 3DS here and there over the next few weeks.
  5. I think the whole marriage angle, after GLAAD had been marks about thinking the WWE would actually go all the way with that angle (at the time, I think they'd do it now because they understand that their audience is different), it looks worse in hindsight to me, but I suspect that you're right; I'd have to go back and watch early-aughts WWE to see, but no, I refuse. I'll watch 1999 WCW, but 2003-04 WWE, never again. I remember having my own head canon where Booker went to Regal and Finlay because he knew from his time in WCW that a) they were monarchists who would have loved to support an example of royalty to further their beliefs and b) they were still pretty tight because of their wars in WCW, so they had respect for one another. JBL was a very good color commentator for what seemed like the blink of an eye there before he ended up stinking at it like everyone else the WWE eventually overproduces in that position.
  6. Show #195 – 28 June 1999 “The one with the main event that lets you know what a masculine and virile man elite main eventer Kevin Nash just happens to be” We recap all the major feuds going into this Nitro. They all stink. Bummer. I think it’s weird that Nash and Sting are having discord, but none of it is centered around the fact that Sting went out injured and Nash rejoined Hogan while Sting was gone. Am I wrong that it would be a much better basis for an “I don’t trust you” deal around the white Hummer accident than “Sting popped out of a totally different Hummer the next week to attack Rick Steiner, so he must have done it?” I forgot that Ric Flair is buddies with the guy who was handed taxpayer money to build the United Center. They get out of a limo with David Flair, who is now bleached blonde, as Papa Flair rants about his doofus son becoming the world champ later tonight. The taxpayer leech is pretty funny, though, as he chimes in and says that when David wins the title, he’ll build a bigger statue for him than the Michael Jordan statue they’re standing in front of as they deliver their delusional promo. It’s really funny, actually, as Flair yells THEY’RE NOT GONNA SAY “I WANNA BE LIKE MIKE,” THEY’RE GONNA SAY “I WANNA BE LIKE DAVE,” and then these two dudes chant BE LIKE DAVE over and over. Hilarious! The Nitro Girls are in the ring. Forgive me for being salacious, but Sharmell has a cute new haircut and is in the ring with Kimberly and Chae, and I enjoyed this little dance routine very much, is what I’m saying. Well, those two segments were great, so at least we’ll have them even if this show slides into the abyss, quality-wise. Tony S. promises us David Flair vs. Kevin Nash and a video for “Rap Is Cr*p,” so it’s probably the abyss. He also reads ad copy for sponsor Milky Way, whose new tagline is peak “edgy ‘90s”: Milky Way – Milk It! Man, 1999 was a dumb year. Lord Steven Regal and Fit Finlay come to the ring, Dave Taylor as their third. Taylor waves the Union Jack, so I guess that confirms Finlay as a Protestant loyalist. Or maybe he just ignores politics as best he can and feels no particular way about the DUP’s political rivalry with Sinn Fein. Who can say? We’re here for wrestling, not sociopolitical discussion, even if sometimes wrestling insists on adding that stuff into the show. They face the makeshift tag team of Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn. As the match opens, Tony S. reminds us that both Benoit and Saturn had some good-to-great matches with Booker T. last year over the TV title. Happier times! I am maybe higher on the first half of 1998 WCW than most people; I thought it was just barely a step down from 1997 for the company. I also have a firm belief that Bash at the Beach 1998 is the third-best WCW PPV ever, so there’s that in 1998’s favor, too. It’s funny, but three of the four best WCW PPVs in my opinion all had the word “Beach” in them (Beach Blast ’92, BatB ’96, BatB ’98). Maybe WCW should have only done PPVs on the Gulf Coast and they’d still be in business. There’s lots of circling and grappling between Finlay and Benoit to start; Benoit powers out of an arm wringer with chops and elbows. Benoit works a really good side headlock with Finlay right before we go into a break where he leverages his body weight to keep Finlay from working back to his feet. It’s the little things like that which take a headlock from boring to interesting. Alas, Finlay is able to get back to his feet and hit a short lariat off a rope run as we head to commercial. Saturn’s the one getting his ass kicked by the heelish British royalists when we come back. This was a suboptimal commercial break. We finally see Regal enter the ring; his offense is still excellent. After hitting some strikes, Saturn catches Regal coming out of the corner and hits an overhead belly-to-belly. He’s too out to get a hot tag, though, and Finlay tags in and reasserts control. Finlay ends up locking on a sleeper, but Saturn reverses it. Regal comes in, which draws Benoit. Randy Anderson turns back toward Benoit, and Regal takes the flagpole from Taylor at ringside and hammers Saturn with it. Finlay covers after a few seconds, but only gets two. That leads right into the hot tag; Benoit dominates, then snap suplexes Regal and lands a flying headbutt. Finlay runs back into the ring, but Benoit meets him and hooks him in the Crippler Crossface. Regal breaks it up, then trips an onrushing Saturn and locks on a Regal Stretch. Benoit breaks that up with a boot, and the match totally breaks down. Heenan and Tony S. note that Benoit and Regal are still the legal men, which means that Randy Anderson is going to get reprimanded in the kayfabe weekly referee’s meeting, because he spots Saturn drilling Regal with a DVD and counts it for three. In his defense, it was mayhem in there. Good match for what we saw, but the break made it feel incomplete. Ric Flair and Roddy Piper sit in their backstage office and talk about their plans. They’re all excited about it, but Van Hammer interrupts them. He’s on a tiny winning streak, so he asks for a title shot. Piper gives him a shot at Steiner. Unfortunately, he gives Hammer a shot at Rick, not Scott, as Scott hasn’t wrestled in a few weeks. Aw, poop. Gene Okerlund is in the ring to review Randy Savage shoot collapsing little Charles Robinson’s lung with a Savage Elbow before introducing Ric Flair and Roddy Piper for their weekly in-ring gabfest. At least Flair is actually pretty fun on the mic as a paranoid veteran. Backing up for a second: That Hammer/Rick Steiner match is apparently for BatB and not for later tonight, according to Tony S. BatB seems like a terrible card so far. Flair insults the local sports teams, then actually is the one to introduce Piper. Piper names a bunch of people, and I can’t be bothered to list them all. He does answer an apparent challenge from Howard Stern and makes barely any sense while insulting him. He says Stern is “hung like a pimple,” which is the only coherent insult in the bunch. Piper hypes a title match between a “young man with morals” and Kevin Nash under lumberjack rules for later tonight. The catch is that the live crowd doesn’t know who that young man is, I think. Flair says that “the political structure of this company will never allow me to be world champion again.” Um, you’re the in-story WCW President, Flair. What the fuck are you talking about? Why doesn’t anything make any logical sense on these shows? Anyway, Flair proclaims that David Flair will be champ in his stead. Flair wants to make up with Randy Savage and bury a near eight-year-long feud across two companies. Team Madness comes to the ring to respond. Flair says that everyone in the ring hates Kevin Nash, so maybe they can come together for one night to ruin his life. Flair pitches that Team Madness be lumberjacks for this match. One fan audibly says HELL NO, which cracks me up. Flair offers to reinstate the Savage Elbow, which Savage has been regularly dropping despite the ban, if Savage agrees. Charles Robinson freaks out at this and does the best mic work in the promo so far when he jumps in, lifts up his shirt, and shows his scar from surgery while yelling about having a chest tube running through his body for two weeks. Okerlund says GET HIM OUTTA HERE, HE HAD A PUNCTURED LUNG, WE KNOW THAT, the compassionate old bastard. Savage has decided that it’s more important to sink Kevin Nash than it is to have any standing beef with Flair. He asks Sid for his opinion – what a good partnership they have! Sid agrees by saying LET THE WILD RUMPUS START! No, wait, he yelled LET THE BANDITS RUN FREE. Flair reinstates the Savage Elbow, yells I WANNA BE LIKE DAVE a bunch of times, and then stops yelling so he can get his blood pressure down. Blipmo: Lenny Lane paints his nails and worries about being dragged out of the closet, but Lodi reassures him. Lenny figures that WCW is pretty open-minded. WCW? In 1999?!?! Hype video: Sting, Nash, Sid, and Savage headline Bash at the Beach this year. Woof. Lodi (w/Lenny Lane) faces Eddy Guerrero. Eddy is still working at a high level, but something’s off. He probably needed to take more time to come back because he doesn’t quite move like he did before. Of course, when you get injured like he did, you probably don’t move like you did before as a matter of course. The ref takes an early bump so that Eddy can fight off Lodi and Lenny. Eddy drills Lodi with a brainbuster, so Lenny comes in and covers Lodi to save him – in a 69 position of course, since gay dudes always do everything suggestively according to '90s wrestling logic – and Eddy drops a Frog Splash on both guys before covering Lodi for three. On the list of “regressive effeminate/gay men gimmicks” in pro wrestling, some are more watchable than others. This one is way more Billy and Chuck than it is Goldust, Adrian Street, or Gorgeous George. It’s not even as watchable as Adorable Adrian Adonis. It stinks as entertainment besides all of its other obvious flaws, is what I’m saying. Ric and Roddy plan out the list of lumberjacks for later tonight. They think they need three more guys. Piper actually is funny on purpose! He thinks hard – “We need some strength” – and comes up with Bam Bam Bigelow as a name. He thinks again – “We need some smarts” – and comes up with the wily DDP. And then he says, “And you know what, that new kid, he’s dumb enough to do it” and Flair responds, “Yeah, Kanyon!” That was actually a well-set-up joke from Roddy Piper in 1999 that didn’t rely on racism or sexism to land. Huh, now I’ve seen it all. Hak (w/Chastity) comes to the ring. Chastity has been watching the replays and knows that Tony S. is smitten with her and with alt-girls in general, apparently, because she blows him a kiss. Heenan asks who that kiss was for, and Tony quickly asserts that it was for him. Funny. Hak calls out Ric Flair because Ric banned hardcore matches. Ric doesn’t show up, but Bam Bam Bigelow does. Bigelow thinks that the crowd doesn’t like him because he’s from Jersey. You’re in Chicago, dude, not New York. Bigelow did get new attire. He’s got a black shirt that says GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK on the back and then black tights, no flames. He looks like the type of guy who would be a hardcore champion in a modern company, sort of dumpy, but obviously has been in a brawl or two. It’s an improvement over the outdated flame suit even if it isn’t that good on its own. Bam Bam attacks, beats up Hak, and chases Chastity off with a kendo stick in his hand. This match is a zero, but Chastity is entertaining. First, she basically did her own version of a chicken dance when Flair didn’t answer Hak's call, which cracked me up. Then, she put up her dukes and danced a bit when Bam Bam looked at her in the middle of beating down Hak. She’s pretty funny. Bam Bam finally misses a top rope dive, but Hak misses his own dive fifteen seconds later. Hak does end up countering Bam Bam with a jumping DDT. The other Triad members run down, and though he whacks them with a kendo stick and then uses it to hit a White Russian Leg Sweep on Bammer, DDP sneaks in and hits him with a Diamond Cutter while Kanyon has the ref distracted; Bam Bam covers for three. Kevin Nash comes to the ring to gab. His call-and-response catchphrase is still extremely over. He’s basically like, See, I knew the deck was stacked against me just because I’m a WCW outsider. He proclaims to have no backup since Scott Hall’s at home injured. Nash proposes that if David Flair wins, Flair gets the belt, but if Nash wins, he gets Torrie for 72 hours. How come when Scott Steiner says it, it’s bad, but when Kevin Nash says it, it’s good? Ah, the mysteries of pro wrestling. Why would dopey Dave agree to this? Anyway, babyface Kevin Nash is dreadful on the stick more often than not. The B-Teamers wander out. The WTR wanders out after them. This bums me out. The nWo is such an important brand to Bischoff that the last remaining group of nWo guys who come out to “Rockhouse” are going to do the job to these bums in the WTR. This sucks, man. It’s a sub-mediocre eight-man tag. I was forced to sit through Kendall Windham versus Virgil and Horace Hogan versus Bobby Duncum Jr. Yuck. Kendall and Duncum land a double-bulldog on Virgil for the win. These Nitros are just so long. It’s one thing to be bad, but it’s another thing to overstay your welcome while being bad. Tony S. has been hyping an Ernest Miller/Disco Inferno dance contest all night, and that’s next. Obviously, the Cat wins this one. It’s barely a contest at all. Tony S. and Heenan discuss who will judge the contest, but I guess the fans are going to do it because the Cat threatens to kick everyone’s asses just like he kicked Jerry Flynn’s ass if they don’t vote for him. The Cat dances. See, he obviously wins already. Disco laughs in the corner, but deep down, it’s nervous laughter. I know it. Disco dances next, and it’s clearly worse. Tony S.: “He’s not really dancing, he’s just moving his hips.” The Cat jumps Disco while Disco dances as commentary talks about Disco being a worse dancer, but the clear winner based on crowd reaction because Miller threatened them all. I guess this dance competition is now a wrestling match; Disco makes a comeback and lands his dancing second-rope elbow for two. The Cat takes control again with an eye rake and a kick. He lands his dancing chop. One thing I miss about the late ‘90s and pro wrestling is all the ridiculous secondary signature moves with dancing and posing and dumb shit that lead into, like, a chop or an elbowdrop. Miller dumps Disco outside, where Sonny Onoo works him over for a bit before Disco ends up in the ring and catching a beatdown from the Cat again. The Cat stomps. The Cat poses. The Cat stomps. He lands a kick to the chest, but takes his time to celebrate and only gets two on the cover. Miller whiffs on a corner splash soon after, and Disco makes another comeback and tries a Chartbuster. Miller pushes Disco away, but whiffs a kick and gets caught in a Chartbuster. Disco covers, but Onoo comes in; Onoo’s kick misses Disco and hits the Cat, but it pulls Disco away from Miller. Disco chases Onoo from the ring, then stomps Miller in the corner. Nick Patrick has to step in on a ref break, which allows Onoo to slip the ruby slipper to the Cat. The Cat puts it on and lands a Feliner, then covers for only two before Jerry Flynn runs in and breaks up the cover, then kicks Miller out of the ring. Flynn lays down a challenge on Nitro next week for a kickboxing match with Miller, I think is what he wants, and then says something naughty about Miller as he leaves. Did we need more of Ernest Miller vs. Jerry Flynn, really? Why we’re seeing the same show opener we saw a hundred or so minutes ago, I don’t know, but we are. It was funny and all, but no one is suddenly switching over from RAW to see this show, so I'm not sure it was necessary. Why are Buff Bagwell and Dean Malenko a semi-regular tag team now? Ric Flair rants over at commentary about Arn Anderson being the special ref for tonight’s main event. I can’t imagine that Nash can win with the deck stacked against him. I mean, you’d need a booker who really over-estimates Nash’s viability as lead babyface to stack the deck against him like this and then put him over anyway. Buff and Malenko face DDP and Kanyon (w/Bam Bam Bigelow) in a tag match. Page was having these great main events as a cowardly, yet canny heel, and they just yanked the belt off of him and have him working random tag matches now. What a bummer. This match starts off decent. Page and Malenko work at pace to start, and Malenko gets a couple of flash pinfalls for two. Bagwell and Kanyon go at it next, and they work a pretty solid sequence that Buff wins with a back body drop, a clothesline, and a neckbreaker. Buff dances, then tags out to Malenko, who loses control of the match in a pretty creative spot where Malenko tries another flash pin with a sunset flip, but Kanyon reaches out and tags page before going over; Kanyon doesn’t fall all the way backward and grabs Malenko’s neck, holding him in place for a DDP double-sledge. Then, the match loses me as Bam Bam tags in. YOU RUINED THE FREEBIRD RULE, YOU IDIOTS. Malenko is FIP, basically. 1999 heel DDP is a fantastic wrestler, though. He’s the best worker in this ring by a wide margin. This match runs through a better-placed break than was in the opening tag. Malenko eventually manages to score a headscissors on a Page tilt-a-whirl side slam attempt and makes the hot tag. Buff is a house afire as he destroys everyone; Malenko ends up clearing page out with a crossbody, but Bam Bam trips Buff as he goes up for a Blockbuster. Kanyon covers, but only gets two. The Triad works over Buff for a while. We get basically the same FIP segment we just saw with lots of triple-teaming, but with Buff in the FIP role. IT’s all fine, I suppose. The crowd is very into Buff finding a way to save himself. DDP and Kanyon try a less-impressive version of the PowerPlex, but Buff dodges Kanyon’s splash. Buff tries to get a tag, but Page grabs him before he can. Buff endures a front facelock for awhile, but is able to get a tag out of a Kanyon sunset flip attempt. About thirty seconds later, the ref gets crushed. Buff hits Kanyon with a Blockbuster and Malenko locks Kanyon in the Texas Cloverleaf even though he should see Bam Bam walking onto the apron toward him. Bam Bam breaks it up, helps DDP hit a Tower Diamond Cutter, and put Kanyon on top of Malenko for three. This was okay television, but I am not into the “Jersey Triad one-man advantage” stuff that they’re trying to get over in these tag matches. There’s some time-wasting WTR singing nonsense that I muted. Scott Putski has abandoned his pirate look and is now just a boring dude with an equally boring look. Sid (w/Team Madness) kills him. Tony S. says that WCW has a new tagline: WCW – It’s Out There! I don’t remember that tagline. I guess they abandoned WCW – Shut Up and Wrestle already. This company is run by idiots. Putski begs off as the ladies of Team Madness get on the apron as a sort of silent threat. Madusa touches Putski a couple times because Putski doesn't get that he's supposed to turn to her the first time she does it, and Sid jumps him from behind. This segment took a whole lot of time to deliver a decent squash. Sid took forever to get to the ring, and then there was all the opening stalling. The crowd chants for GOLDBERG again because he is way over and a lot of WCW fans miss the hell out of him. Chokeslam, powerbomb, Macho talks about Sid being the best big man in the sport, Sid yells for a bit, Savage lands a Savage Elbow on Putski and yeah, this was an oddly long segment. David Flair (w/Torrie Wilson and Ric Flair) is out first, followed by referee Arn and the lumberjacks. Team Madness passes by commentary and talks; you can barely hear Sid. Kevin Nash is back out here with only about six minutes to go in the show. Obviously, all the lumberjacks run in and attack him while Arn Anderson wipes his suddenly irritated, unable to see anything eyes. They barely even beat Nash down before they get David back in the ring to lock Nash in a Figure Four. Nash breaks it and punches David in his doofy face. He beats David up for a couple of minutes and everyone just lets him, I guess. Why wouldn’t they all jump in again? They finally do when Arn tries to punch Nash, but Nash fights off like five guys. David tries to use the taser, but hahahaha he walks over and pretty much hands it to Nash so that Nash can tase a bunch of people. Nash abducts Gorgeous George and holds everyone back by brandishing the taser, and I guess Torrie Wilson is turned on by all this and joins Nash as well. That’s our Nash; the ladies love him! Even the ones he abducts, eventually. Sting is randomly sitting in a black Hummer in the back, where he watches Nash dump George into a limo and leave with her and Torrie. I was going to ease up on this show, which was bad, but not quite as bad as normal, and then Kevin Nash booked that dumbass main event. I hated it deeply; this main event angle is almost as bad as the WTR/NLS stuff to me, which is saying something considering how much I hate the latter. -10 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
  7. It's not like that, to my surprise. NES Remix had all the weird remixed levels and cross-over stuff like putting Link into a Super Mario Bros. level. This is just chunks of the games straight up, no remixing at all, and you do different tasks as fast as you can. The first SMB task is "get a Super Mushroom," and you just do that as quickly as possible and compete against other people online also doing it as quickly as possible. It's purely a game for speedrunners.
  8. The Nintendo World Championship: NES Edition game is just a bunch of speedrunning challenges across a handful of NES games, and yet it's oddly compelling. It's best played in short bursts though. The game asks you to pick your favorite NES game at the start, and I had a brief psychological struggle before choosing Tecmo Super Bowl over Super Mario Bros. 3.
  9. I agree, but I wouldn't say "solely," if only because the only thing Bischoff loves more than Hogan is the narrative that he birthed that era of wrestling from a creative perspective all by himself. Bischoff talks all the time about how over time, the cruisers grew upset about being put in a box away from the main event, to your point.
  10. The Good Housekeeping match against Chyna is at No Mercy '99, and then he's in WCW right after that.
  11. Now now, we can't be bringing logic into the storyline motivations of any of these wrestlers. This is WCW, dammit! I am in the process of writing about the next Nitro, and Regal is in the first match. No singlet for him or his moobs. For some reason, as I read what your vet tech said, I imagined that she looks like '90s Lisa Loeb. Am I close? And I am glad that your cat is on the mend. I hope you gave him some catnip so he could space out and maybe ease some of the pain. Seriously, if they wanted to say it was a hidden camera, they could have done that. They could have made the segment look the same as the end of the B-Teamer segments from Thunder a few months ago when they were revealed to be captured on a hidden camera. Consistency is all I ask for. Not to ignore your point about Morrus bashing himself to get over, but at some point, I'm going to have to write stuff like Hugh G. Rection and Major Gunns multiple times in these reviews. I've been posting reviews to this thread for over three years, but I still don't think I'm prepared.
  12. Thunder Interlude – show number sixty-eight – 24 June 1999 "The WCW Gang gets real Nitro-y with it, proceeds to stink out the building" It’s instructive of at least some of Thunder’s current struggles that, in the Thunder opening, six of the nine guys featured on it have been out or making spotty television appearances because of either injury or bereavement (The Hitman, Scott Steiner, Scott Hall, Hulk, Lex Luger, Goldberg)…The booking is very, very bad, but the spate of injuries is doing no favors either… Recap: Silkk the Shocker has an on-air birthday party that is crashed by Curt Hennig…Hennig and the WTR run in on the tag title match later…I just noticed that Kendall Windham is now part of the WTR on the run-in…Yuck… Woof, now the WTR performs “Rap is Cr*p” at the top of the ramp…You know what, I praised Thunder entirely too much…The WTR tests my promise to not just fast-forward through any of these segments…We are in reverse WOOO territory off the jump…I repeat, we are in reverse WOOO territory…Just please get these bums off my television ASAP…Hennig does say one funny thing, though…As he leaves, he tosses in an, “Oh, and I didn’t lip synch that, either”…Heh heh… Psicosis starts the hard task of digging this Thunder episode out of unwatchability…Eddy Guerrero is his dance partner, so said task should be easier…Psicosis reels off some offense to start…Eddy’s supposed to be a sneering heel, but he’s getting huge pops and EDDY chants for his offense…Eddy locks on an abdominal stretch to take us into a commercial break… He’s transitioned to a knee bar when we come back…Psicosis gets back to a base and hits some punches…Eddy trips him and goes back to the knee…He dumps Psicosis outside…It’s an obligatory ringside brawl…Eddy regains control after losing it and tries a double axe from the top back in the ring…Psicosis blocks it and ends up hitting a wheel kick to knock Eddy back to the floor…In a nice spot, Eddy walks over and tries to yank his leg, but Psicosis just gets off the ground before he can and lands a split-legged moonsault…That’s a neat, logical way to get in position for that bump instead of just wandering over to take it… Psicosis continues his assault back in the ring…Eddy tries to counter a top-rope Frankensteiner with a tornado DDT, but Psicosis just tosses him across the ring, then lands the top-rope Frankensteiner on the other side of the ring…Psicosis counters a flying crossbody from the top with a flapjack…Eddy quickly goes up and lands a Frog Splash while Psicosis is dazed from the landing…That match started fast, got a bit slow, and then got progressively more enjoyable after the break…Good stuff…I really liked the sequences from the wheel kick on… Ric Flair calls Evan Karagias into his office…He’d like his dopey son David to break Goldberg’s winning streak…Ric talks Karagias up (Asya thinks your body is great, you’re a soap opera star)…Karagias isn’t into the idea of taking a dive, so Flair rants about holding all the young guys back except for his dopey son…Ric says that if Karagias doesn’t agree, Arn and Asya will give him the business…Karagias is reluctant to agree, so Ric just shakes his hand like they have a deal anyway… Recap: Team Madness had a spark, but now Nash and Sting and Luger and Sid are involved, and I like Sid, but I’m not sure I like this feud… Kevin Nash comes out in street clothes for a little talky-talk…Nash talks about how it’s been about three years since he and Hall came down south…He claims that he’s still being treated like an outsider and that WCW doesn’t want him to be the champ…Uh, okay, where is that coming from?...Is he teasing a heel turn due to paranoia based on that comment and on accusing Sting of being the Hummer driver because he popped out of a different Hummer on a different show?...Yep, he accuses Sting of being on Team Madness's side, which draws boos after he’s been getting cheered this whole time…He thinks WCW wants Sting to win the gold off him and has given him Team Madness as backup…I know Sting turns heel at some point this year, right?...Or in 2000?...YUCK if they turn him at BatB… Fit Finlay and Dave Taylor team up to face Chris Benoit and Saturn…Saturn’s been wearing traditional trunks for men lately…I guess it’s good for Saturn that Chris Jericho isn’t around to enforce the match stips from earlier in the year anymore…Then again, I think he made his point that he’ll wear what he wants to wear…Tenay says that WCW is going to fuck up even something as good as the Freebird Rule by letting the Jersey Triad enact said rule DURING MATCHES…That’s how you take a cool idea and make it incredibly dumb right there…Why wouldn’t an opposing tag team just go get another guy and declare themselves a trio?...Or get two guys and declare themselves a quartet?... This match makes for solid television…Benoit drills Taylor with a couple dropkicks, so Taylor decides to tag out…Benoit lets Saturn into the ring in response…Finlay tries a nerve hold and an eye gouge, which is low impact…Saturn lands an overhead release belly-to-belly…Much higher impact…Finlay finally takes over on Benoit going into a commercial break…Benoit continues to be FIP after the break…Saturn draws the ref, and Taylor and Finlay team up on a Boston Crab… Benoit and Saturn are a solid tag team, but I miss Raven, and I loved Raven and Saturn as a team…As for this match, the heel control segment is fine, if a bit overlong…Benoit wriggles out of a Finlay backbreaker attempt and gets a hot tag to Saturn…Saturn’s balance is off tonight, as he struggles with a tilt-a-whirl…He almost fell over on the overhead belly-to-belly earlier… Saturn and Taylor end up fighting it out…Saturn ends up ducking a punch and landing a DVD…Finlay breaks it up, but Saturn takes care of him…Benoit lands a flying headbutt that puts paid to Taylor…What the heck?...Lord Steven Regal came back to WCW?...He’s here to make peace between Finlay and Taylor after they start arguing…I knew he left the WWF for a few months in 1999, but I thought he came right back in late 1999/early 2000…I had no clue that he came back to WCW at all…Whoa… Recap: Flair and Piper fight some young guys…Relatively young guys…Malenko is nearly forty in 1999… Ric Flair and Asya enter the ring for an interview with Gene Okerlund…Flair insults Louisiana and Louisianans...Flair books Malenko and Bagwell against Sid and Savage for later tonight…He also promises a surprise for Kevin Nash on Nitro…He rants about turning the power on…Maybe he wants the lights to come up?...I don’t know, but we don’t find out the surprise…I suppose that would defeat the purpose of calling it a surprise, though... Lenny Lane comes to the ring twirling his hair…Yeah, every gay dude I know is constantly twirling their hair…Even the ones with short or no hair, somehow…Sorry, I just hate this fucking gimmick…Lane faces Curt Hennig…It’s a shitty gimmick EXPLOSION…The WTR surround the ring and make life miserable for Lane…Lodi throws in the towel to save Lane from a beating after three or four minutes…Hennig hits Lodi with a PerfectPlex when Lodi checks on Lane…This is what happens to Thunder when all the angles from Nitro are highlighted on Thursdays… Randy Savage and Sid (w/Team Madness) make their way to the ring…Savage declares that the main event tag later tonight will be a tune-up for the (in my household) heatless main event tag at BatB…Savage asserts that Team Madness is the most popular group in all of wrestling…He tosses out some names for the driver of the Hummer to make Nash more paranoid…He name drops Scott Hall and Sting specifically…Now Sid talks…He yells about the pain that they will inflict on Buff Bagwell and Dean Malenko…This all feels like yammering for the sake of yammering… Evan Karagias hits the ring to lay down for that doofus David Flair…So, get this…GET THIS…Tenay says that the camera in the backstage segment that set up this match was “eavesdropping”…Wait, hold on, Flair and Arn both saw the camera, acknowledged it even, when they were talking to Malenko backstage a couple weeks ago…And that was after months of inconsistency about the camera and when it was clearly there or hidden from sight or just ignored entirely…How in the hell could a cameraperson sneak into an office and get a perfect shot right in front of all the people in the room without being seen?...WCW is so fucking stupid…They still haven’t figured out how to portray the audience seeing things it theoretically shouldn’t see…When in doubt, just do what the WWF does and portray that we’re seeing a backstage angle because we need to see it, and viewers shouldn’t even think about the logic of how a camera got there… Oh, there’s a bad match in this segment…You knew that…Arn signals that Karagias should take a dive…Karagias hits a powerslam instead…Flair has to distract the ref so that Asya can distract Karagias…Arn slips David a taser...David uses it and wins with a Figure Four…DUD… Hugh Morrus (w/Jimmy Hart) is here, and yeah, that’s what I get for praising Thunder as a solid show in the Viceland thread…I’m an idiot and I asked for a Thunder like this one…Morrus works a hardcore match against Van Hammer…The MISFITS IN ACTION PRE-EXPLODE…Weapon shot, weapon shot, weapon shot… Morrus is busted open after a shot from a can lid… There’s a ladder and then another trash can, and then after that, a table…Hart jumps in and helps set up spots…This match fuckin’ SUCKS…Ric Flair randomly interrupts this garbage and declares that he's canceling hardcore matches in WCW forever…Oh, so he’s turning babyface now?...Morrus yells back at Ric, and this is so shitty…Van Hammer mows down Hart and Morrus with the table when they turn around…Flair wanders away half-yelling NO MORE HARDCORE while Van Hammer hits a front suplex on Morrus through the table and then randomly leaves…I guess this is a no contest… HOLY FUCK, stop showing up at Thunder, Nash…Stick to showing up and booking Nitro into oblivion instead…I like Nash…I counted myself as a Nash fan before this watch…But this booking stint is so bad that it defies belief…I’m re-thinking my Nash fandom… Savage and Sid are back out with Team Madness…They face Buff Bagwell and Dean Malenko…I do get a kick out of the staid Malenko standing there next to a dancing goofball like Buff…Buff and Savage stall a lot…Malenko tags in and does a little chain wrestling before hitting a back elbow and tagging Sid in to throw kicks and punches…Buff gets back in the ring, but eats a chokeslam from Sid…I’ll say this for Sid: He has a nice legdrop… Buff is FIP, but hot tags Malenko when Madusa tries to get involved and Buff dodges a Savage charge…Savage hits Madusa instead, and Buff gets the tag…Malenko gets two on a diving crossbody…Sid and Buff spill to the floor, and Sid wins that exchange…Mona hits Malenko with a sunset flip, but Malenko rolls through and locks her in a Texas Cloverleaf…Sid and Savage attack Malenko…Sid lands a powerbomb on Malenko…Savage attacks Nick Patrick…Mickey Jay runs out and calls for a DQ, so Savage and Sid hit him with a spike piledriver…Macho gets a mic and promises Nash and Sting that they’re in for more of the same when they meet on PPV…Macho demands that Sid powerbomb Jay…He gets his wish… Let's have ourselves a song: I like solid wrestling/It makes a real good show/I like exciting matches/And story beats that flow/I typically like Thunder/Except when it’s like Nitro/IIIIIIII HATED THIS CRAP…OWWWWWWWW, that show fucking hurt my love of pro wrestling…
  13. I think the Steiners had better matches with the Quebecers and the Headshrinkers than the Harts. There are a lot of good WWE tag matches in the company's history, but if you ask me to name great tag matches, suddenly I freeze up a bit.
  14. Heyman --> Russo and Ferrara ---> Vince seems plausible.
  15. The Action Zone Clique tag is maybe my favorite WWF tag match of all time. That or the American Alpha/Revival tag I saw at an NXT house show.
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