Steve sends the following arena report
I'm a student in England and went to the show...
I won't pretend it was a fantastic event. To be honest, the house show last time around in Manchester was a better event. I'm not sure how much plot they're going to work into the show, but there wasn't much evidence of any.
The crowd was completely dead. Perhaps this lame announcer's attempting to 'prep' the crowd wasn't working? Perhaps the Worldwide matches were too lame. There were as is typical in England, too many really young kids with really old parents so nobody got into any heat for the heels. So, other than a few face pops Nash, Goldberg etc, there wasn't any noise. Strangely, Charles Robinson got a way bigger crowd response than Buff....
I won't give match details as I'm sure there will be an excellent report as usual...
Lance Storm vs Booker. This match was lame. The ending was at least via pinfall. Surely though they can do more with Booker than 'spinerooney' or whatever. It's all just a bit too lame, and when he hits the Rock Bottom for the win, you wonder what WCW have been trying to prove this year....
Why was Steiner fighting Sting when they were partners on Nitro? I guess the show explains all (or confuses all with lame angles more likely). Good to see a good baseball bat beatdown at the end, all the kids in the arena went home smiling after that....
Kris K. from Redditch, England sends the following arena report
First things first: Thunder is not shown here in Britain, so I will probably never see what it looked like on TV. If anyone would be so generous as to send me a copy of it, drop me a line by way of e-mail (I will pay postage).
We (myself and fellow fan Jordan McHale) arrived at the arena at 5:00 pm. There were only about 30 people in the line at the gates, which was a little surprising when you consider the gates opened only one hour later (That’s bad weather for you).
Once inside the arena, WCW had done a much better job than at the March house show. The merchandise was much more current and wide ranging than back then. The new JJ shirt, Vampiro masks, Goldberg and Kronic shirts, foam guitars and so on were all available.
The event programme cost £7 (about $11) and contained profiles of all the big stars. In fact from the stars featured only three or four were absent from the event itself.
We had third row floor seats, on the side that the cameras are placed, which meant our signs had little chance of making TV:(
By bell time the arena was about half full, not bad for an arena that holds around 21,000. I bet WCW would love attendances like this in the US.
Worldwide matches saw A-Wall and Norman Smiley get wins over two supposedly English jobbers. One was billed as being from Leeds, the other Bristol. I follow British wrestling fairly closely, and had no clue who they were (Perhaps they were from the Power Plant???)
In matches shown on Thunder:
Crowbar’s facial expressions were priceless. They had the fans around us laughing lots. He was certainly popular with the fans. Bam Bam appears to have put on a lot of weight however.
The six-man cruiserweight match was very messy. The DQ for the MIA was cheap, Kidman was virtually non-existent but we got to see the MIGHTY MONSTER MENG!!! If this match had been given more time it could have been a whole lot better.
Storm vs. Booker T was a solid outing, and Booker was over HUGE, contrary to what you may read on some American web postings. The funniest thing here was when Storm was doing his anthem thing. We were waving our Union Jack (British) flag frantically at him, and Major Gunns cast a piercing glance at us!
We Brits must be great fans of domestic violence because the cheer when Booker gave Major Gunns the Bookend was amazing.
Nash against Sanders was probably our most memorable match of the night. When Sanders came into the ring before the match he caught a glance of our NATURAL BORN CRANBERRIES sign, and got into a shouting match with us. He kept saying to me “I am not a cranberry” it was funny stuff! Stasiak and the other cranberries also gave us some shit following the post match beating!
Nash predictably got a monster pop. I just shouted obscenities at him throughout the match such as ‘Big Lazy’, other more knowledgeable fans chipped in with ‘Master Blaster’ which brought a smile to or faces.
Flair’s appearance before that match was well received, it is just a shame we didn’t see more of him. It did appear that he was trying to set some sort of record for the most number of "Whoos" in a minute however. I bet it seems really silly on the broadcast!
Sanders for obvious reasons impressed me, and I think he has what it takes to become a well-established, top line heel in the near future.
Before the Boogie Knights vs. Konnan/Cat match it sounded as if Konnan during his mic work called the Knights ‘Batty Boys’ which is really funny over here because it is a term that questions their sexuality. Was it bleeped out? I bet it wasn’t!
Konnan did look legitimately hurt after Kronic gave him the High Times (perhaps revenge for his comments about them in the past?) Ed Ferrara and Terry Taylor coming out to help him wasn’t a good sign, and the Nitro Girls were also sent out, somewhat unscheduled, to keep us entertained was he was attended to.
The pop when Goldberg’s music hit was a little disappointing, but more comedy was evident. Doug Dillenger in the English ‘Bobbies’ (Cop) Helmet was really funny. It looked as if they had bought it from a local Toys R Us. It was so poorly fitting it was unbelievable!
The main event saw us get the chance to use our second sign: BIG POPPA ‘ROIDS. The man himself cast a few stares towards us, scaring me :)
The match itself was finished in a terrible way. Sting deathdropped BPP, and looked to have got a three count, when the ref said only two. Sting looked confused and pinned him again for the three count. I don’t know if this was edited out on TV, but why Sting didn’t deathdrop him again to ‘finish him off’ is beyond me.
The event ended with sting getting clubbed by Steiner and put into a straitjacket. No run ins, no nothing.
Also during the night got acknowledgement by way of a thumbs up from referees Charles Robinson and Mark Johnson. They will forever be WCW Legends to us.
We didn’t see/hear too much backstage stuff (A typical complaint from fans in the US), but this didn’t detract from the night too much at all. Overall it was a typical Eddie Ferrara booked affair, but still a great show for us British wrestling-starved fans to see.
Fat Eddie Ferrara is however a man I now dislike. After the event I saw him in the arena parking lot, and asked him to wave at us. He just breezed past. What an asshole.
At the end Penzer was also non-committal about whether they would return to the UK again. I hope they do.
Some funny signs:
VINCE RUSSO BOOKED TUA VS LEWIS
GIVE KEVIN NASH HIS P45 (A document given to people here in Britain like the pink slip)
BID 4 WCW @ EBAY.COM
STASIAK TAPED ME
THE GOOD: Our tickets, the sheer number of stars present, Mike Sanders
THE BAD: Security who told us to stop waving our signs, otherwise we would be thrown out (This was after Penzer had told us to hold them up!!!) and Stevie Ray’s shirt
THE UGLY: Jim Duggan...who cares? Major Gunns (Jordan’s classic quote: She looks a bit rough around the edges), and the finish to the main event.