Tony G. sends the following arena report:
Thunder Taping, August 15 (for broadcast Aug. 16)
Riverside Coliseum, Kamloops, B.C.
Report by Tony
For those who don't know, Kamloops is a city of about 80,000 in the southern interior of British Columbia. The Riverside Coliseum is a junior hockey barn that seats somewhere around 7,500, I'd estimate. It's about 3/4 full, which is better than WCW's managed lately elsewhere. Scary, that.
This is my first Big Three show, so forgive me my occasional marking out, and my apologies for the lack of detail in some of these matches; I was a little too busy screaming to take notes.
I started with third row, but the kid in front of me asked if I wanted to trade for his second-row spot so he could sit with his buddy next to me. I agonized for about half a second. That put me *right* at the corner of the ring area.
Penzer came out and did the "Show your signs" bit. There's a sucker born every minute, and one of them just lost his sign over the other side of the arena. Shmuck. My signs: "Lance Storm: Canadian Hero" and "Richard Is A Jobber". (White lettering, orange poster board.) My favorite sign of the night: "Mike Awesome Stole My Fat Chick." Penzer liked that one too. The party zone was apparent early when a group of gents in the second deck who had obviously sampled the fine public houses in downtown Kamloops extensively started a variety of chants including "Penzer Sucks" and "We Want Austin". Wrong show, boys; more about them later. A nice "US Sucks" chant came up before the match started, too.
We started with some Worldwide tapings. Short results:
Crowbar over some jobber (I couldn't get the guy's name, sorry) with his niftycool finisher, which name I forget.
Vampiro over some other jobber (ditto) with the Nail in the Coffin.
Six-man Tag: Jindrack, O'Hare and Stasiak (w/Palumbo) over Jung Dragons via Sean-ton Bomb.
Harris Brothers over some jobbers with the H-Bomb.
Aaaand, after the announce team of Tenay and Schiavone are joined by Stevie Ray, who gets a great greeting from the crowd, on to Thunder. We see some stuff from Nitro, then watch Team Canada arrive (complete with 'Secret Service' and 'Police' escort). Cat meets them with his fine new hoochie and tells them they're in action against MIA tonight.
Match 1: Kronic over most of Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling in a "Two-Minute Warning" match.
Kronic come out and inform us that WCW has flown in four guys to take them on tonight, and say they'll take them out in less than two minutes. Out comes four guys from the Vancouver-based ECCW - markout moment #1 for me. The big guy in the black shirt is Juggernaut, former ECCW heavyweight champ, the guy in the pink tights is 'Gorgeous' Michelle Starr, a former NWA Canadian Heavyweight champion. No idea who the other two are. No matter; High Time on Juggernaut and they pin all four in under two minutes. Harris Brothers cut a promo on Kronic from their bikes outside Kamloops somewhere.
David Flair wanders out and calls out Stacy, aka Miss Hancock, aka BABE!!! He goes down on one knee and starts asking her to marry him, but he's cut off by MIA's music and they come down and pin Hancock in the corner while General Rection beats living hell out of poor Corky. They leave him lying, and Stacy takes the ring and heads off with him still out. Nice.
Daphne and Crowbar promo on the big screen, then the Filthy Animals (with 'Above Average' Mike Sanders) wander out.
Match 2: Filthy Animals (Mysterio & Guerrerra) over Jindrack & O'Hare (DQ).
This was a pretty good match with some nice spots, which I didn't catch other than a stunning double-hiptoss sending Juvy clear across the ring. Slowed down a little later, ending when Sanders turns on the Animals, Palumbo and Stasiak run out, and Rey takes a Sean-ton Bomb along the way before it breaks down.
We see Gene, in a Kamloops Blazers outfit, chatting with Norman Smiley backstage preparing for his *sigh* match with Mark Madden.
Match 3: The Great Muta over Demon
And the crowd goes mild. Muta gets a couple cheers (he's pals with Vampiro, after all, who got a massive pop for his Worldwide match), and Demon gets... Anyhow. Match was slow, overall, until Vampiro saunters out (huge pop) and passes Muta a kendo stick, which he imparts with much force unto the Demon's codpiece. He then makes fun of Demon for a while, which I thought was cool. Demon got some more offense in, but Muta gives him the green mist. Muta won with something, but the crowd was all too busy watching a chick with the aforementioned party dudes up in the second deck flashing her puppies. Probably for the best. Vampiro cuts a promo on Sting.
Match 4: Team Canada (Storm, Skipper, Ouellet) over Misfits in Action (Rection, Cajun, Loco)
If you see an arena roof lying around somewhere, return it to Kamloops, 'cause theirs blew off when Lance Storm et al walked in. A nice match that involved chairs and stuff, and ended when Rection got crotched while heading for the No Laughing Matter and Storm locked on the Canadian Maple Leaf.
The Cat comes out and says he's tired of Storm and his Canadian thing, and challenges him to a match in which he'll put up his commissionership if Storm wins. Then we stop for two minutes or so while the production crew talks it over. Cat goes all heel for the crowd, including "Sit your fat ass down, lady, you take up too many seats already." "U.S. Sucks!" chant starts again. No offense, folks south of the 49th. Don't invade us, we have attack moose. Verdict's in - they redo the challenge, this time with Storm suggesting the stip that if he wins, he gets the commissioner's job. So...
Match 5: Cat over Lance Storm (DQ)
Cat actually had it won with the Feliner, but Ouellet runs out and clocks him with the Canadian flag for the DQ. Cat then issues a challenge for Monday night.
Shoot me now. The Match of the Millennium is up next.
Match 6: "Mean" Gene Okerlund over "Chubby" Mark Madden
Madden waddles out in a Steelers jersey and cuts a promo running Gene down. Gene comes out to a ridiculously big pop, probably for the Blazers jersey. He challenges Madden to a posedown and gets him to take off the Steelers jersey, then tries to get him to take off his T-shirt. The crowd asks politely that he not, so Gene just slugs him in the mouth. They punch, they kick, they muck about. Smiley comes out for moral support for Gene, followed by Ouellet, who's followed by Big Vito. (?!) Madden takes control with a headbutt then goes to the second rope, but Pamela Whatshername (sorry, I'm a little behind on Nitro these days) comes out in what used to be a Blazers outfit but looks MUCH nicer and hits him in the equipment. Gene gets the pin, and he and Paula celebrate with Norman and Vito.
Oh, dear. We saw a promo early in the show where Tank Abbott told 3 Count to get their butts back to the States to re-edit their latest tune, which Tank said sucked (his lead vocal was great, the backup bit). That drew a cheer. 3 Count came out to dance and sing. The crowd cried. They did their whole song, then cued it up *again*. I prayed to the Buddha for a shotgun. Buddha being a little picky about heavy weapons, I got Norman Smiley instead. Nice compromise. Norman climbs into the ring to a MASSIVE pop and dances for a while, then kicks 3 Count's asses and invites in some *real* dancers, the Nitro Girls. Lots of fun.
Match 7: Big Vito over Carl Ouellet
A grudge match set up earlier. Frankly, this show has started to really slow down by this point and I'm losing interest rapidly. The chick in the second deck is more interesting, and she's flat as mama's flapjacks. Nice spots in this match: Ouellet with a nifty top-rope splash and a diving headbutt from Vito. Vito wins it with the Implant, but Reno runs out to discuss life with him. It turns into a run-in-o-rama with Kidman, the Filthy Animals, Perfect Event, Jindrack and O'Hare and Team Canada all jumping into the mess. Mike Awesome runs in and cleans house, leaving he, the Animals, Vito and Kidman. Rey-Rey plays heel for the crowd for a while before leaving.
In the back, we see Rick Steiner, who was set up into a match with Kevin Nash earlier, talking to Big Poppa Pump on his cellphone, when suddenly Goldberg comes in and practices his Carlos Delgado home-run swing on Ricky's expanded gut, then picks up the phone and talks smack to Scott.
We come back to see Steiner being scraped into an ambulance, leaving Nash to come out with the mic. He tells the crowd that he respects Booker T, but that he's the number-one contender and he's going to be the next world champion. Booker T comes out to a great pop, and says he respects Nash as well and that the match at Fall Brawl will be "One for the people." He raises Nash's hand and they circle to the applause of the crowd, then Nash takes his head off with a clothesline. Booker eats a big boot, then a powerbomb. Crowd is totally confused as Nash takes the belt and stands over Booker's broken body, but livens up when Booker gets up and takes vengeance on Nash's ass with a Harlem Sidekick and an axe kick. Nash bails, and that's all she wrote, folks.
Well, overall, that was a pretty good show, though the crowd was virtually dead all night. My favorite match was probably the Animals v. Jindrack/O'Hare, lamest was Muta v. Demon. Biggest pop of the night was for Team Canada, of course, followed closely by Vampiro and Mean Gene, oddly enough. It was worth the money.
(Side note: after the show, I went to a local Wendy's to grab a bite; while I'm in the drive-thru, a large dude with a dyed-blonde mohawk, T-shirt and desert cammies comes from behind my car and climbs into the Jeep in front of me. Looked like Sgt. A-Wall to me. Thought that was kind of cool.)
Anyhow, that's it for me, all. Thanks for reading.