Parts Unknown #111: Thunder

I'm writing this at 6:24 AM, but I'm cheating.  The records will show that I wrote it last night.  See what I did there?  I pulled back the curtain.  I'm revealing all of the secrets of the blogging business!  Okay, so I'm a little enervated, but if you're going to discuss Thunder (a b-show in every sense of the word), you need to be in a dusky, rachitic headspace.  I've only reviewed one other episode of this irresolute expo.  It took its toll on my sanity, as well as my marriage (???).  Today's Thunder aired on December 23, 1999.  I need to set the scene.

Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara had just left WWF as principal writers.  They enjoyed a three-month stint with WCW and actually managed to improve the ratings of both Nitro and Thunder.  Bear in mind, Eric Bischoff was out of the picture.  This episode, in particular, has Russo's fingerprints all over it.  The matches are laconic, the promos are laced with profanity and the storylines allude to real-life drama.  For instance, the Montreal Screwjob is brought up here and there.  Hey, say what you will about this strain of wrestling, but for an ephemeral breathing of time, "crash TV" worked.

Let's dig in!  I'm bypassing the pro/con format, as Thunder is neither good nor bad.  It is...yeah.

~ The NWO has reformed, and they are lead to the ring by the recently-turned Bret Hart.  Most of The Hitman's run in WCW was depressing to watch, but this angle seemed to have enkindled his character.  Our main event pits him against Chris Benoit.  It's a solid match, but wrestling is not a priority tonight.  There are eight matches on the card.  Two of them are decent.  None of them pass the six-minute mark.  Normally, that would piss me off, but they're launching an epic battle.  The players and their motives need to be established.

~ A random tag team match?  I can hardly contain my glee!  We have PG-13 (apparently, this is their WCW debut) versus The fucking Varsity Club.  Yes, that Varsity Club.  Why not?  Rick Steiner and Mike Rotunda beat the ever-loving ecto-jizz out of their malnourished opponents.  It's hilarious.  Afterward, their Hawaiian cheerleader shakes her shithouse because that's what women in sports entertainment did in the late 90's.  The more things change...

~ The Filthy Animals coadjute with "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan to take on The Revolution.  Don't care.  Seriously, I couldn't care less.  We get USA chants and Perry Saturn waxing nonsensical.  Kill me.

~ Creative Control wants to be known as The Harris Brothers.  They squash Curt Hennig.  Poor Mr. Perfect.

~ Tank Abbott fucking destroys La Parka.  Christ, did the bell even ring?  I understand the crux of "crash TV," but when each match ends before it starts, it dilutes the impact of a monster like Tank.  By the way, I demand to see some incarnation of La Parka on Raw.  That would kick ass.

~ The Maestro squares off against Bam Bam Bigelow.  For whatever reason, post-Mortis Chris Kanyon is at ringside.  God, this whole segment is awful.

~ No way.  Could it be?  Yes!  It's...it's...the birth of 3 Count!  Is that Shannon Moore or the chick from Hanson?  I kid, but I always thought this was a commendable idea for a heel stable, even if it didn't exactly prosper.  Aside from a few sweet matches with The Jung Dragons, 3 Count contributed jack to the industry.  I mean, it did give us The Hurricane, but c'mon, Kane has had better oddball tag team partners.  I know it.  You know it.  Don't argue with me.

~ Goddamn, Daffney was hot in WCW.  I wonder if David Flair hit it.  He does have Space Mountain DNA!

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