Back with some more nightmare matches, kicking it off with one of the most unique cries of pain ever heard in a wrestling ring, although we’ve all been there, right fellas?
Shelly Martinez vs. Rebel
I feel like the uploader took a little bit too much editorial control with the adjective he’s used for Rebel, there. Shelly dedicates the match to her deceased grandmother beforehand… Oh, you’re gonna regret that! I was definitely out of the wrestling bubble by this period, but I believe Rebel was a part of some carnival group led by Mike Knox of all people. Shelly’s outfit is just about keeping the pepperoni slices covered. The crowd is so small and so quiet that you can almost hear cars passing outside and I wouldn’t fart with confidence in there. Rebel does some slut splits, getting the good stuff out of the way early. The quietness makes you realise, just like the empty arena WWE shows during Covid, how bad some wrestlers are at shit talking. Shelly gets an armbar and Rebel screams about it on the break like she’s possessed by Pazuzu and getting splashed with holy water. Shitty bow and arrow. Brian Hebner splits them up in the corner, then Rebel tries a kick and gets pulled out into the splits. Rebel gets an eye poke that would have Roddy Piper rolling over in his grave, although I don’t think he was dead at this point but he might’ve just rolled anyway to make up for it. Rebel gets the worst abdominal stretch ever, with love handles pinch, and Gorilla Monsoon would DEFINITELY be complaining about the execution here, specifically that everyone should be executed for this crime against wrestling. People like Mike Rotunda worked too hard putting on snorefests involving that move for it to be spoiled here.
Much like Hulk Hogan’s rear special in WCW/NWO Revenge, it’s rolled into a guillotine move, with Shelly’s legs split and the emphatic cry of “MY V*G! MY V*G!”. Oh, grandma! It didn’t even look that bad, but Shelly confirms “MY V*G HURTS!”. Rebel misses a handspring elbow to prompt Shelly’s comeback, as rough as an unshaved v*g. Shelly kinda jumps on her and pulls her down, then gets a DDT like we all did when we were a kid, not having the other person cooperating and jumping to pull them down. Rebel to the outside, and Shelly gears up for a Bret Hart tope, but instead just stops and flops over the second rope to be hit in the back, without being hit, as if to say “I’m going to get myself stuck and there’s nothing you can do to stop me!”. Rebel kinda rolls her in and kinda gets what generously would be called an Oklahoma roll, although it’s so far away from it that it may as well be called the Yokohama roll. She’s underneath Shelly, for a start. Hebner ends it to be a good sport, counting the three like he’s got to get back to the locker room for a piss like it’s going to run down his leg in seconds.
How bad was it? Really bad. Shelly didn’t even sell the v*g. Selling and psychology, woman! Even worse for no nipple slips… Wait a minute, at least there wasn’t a nipple slip! Made you long for the halcyon days of Ariel and Kevin Thorne against Kelly Kelly and Mike Knox.
Sharmell vs. Jenna Morasca
Let’s go for the other TNA howler. WWE Hall of Famer in this match, I should add. The muzak version of Booker T’s “Yes, yes, yes! No, no, no!” music already has this off to a bad start. Jenna is a reality TV star, although her Wikipedia entry lists her as a professional wrestler, the unmitigated gall of it! She slinks into the ring and shows off her taint as Don West has a fit of the giggles over who gets the gig to film that shot and how. She’s trying the stripper moves. but the pink and black trainers are killing it. Sharmell gets the early advantage and rams her head off the mat. Slow motion Irish whip into just about an elbow. Earl Hebner looks as red in the face as the ring ropes are. Sojo Bolt and Awesome Kong are out at ringside as trainers to get some of this stink on them too. Kong does not look amused. Sharmell’s dress starts shedding all over the mat as they run the ropes in a snaking direction rather than a straight line. Jawbreaker from Jenna, because Terry Taylor probably does deserve shame for being involved in a company that would book this. About half a dozen people start clapping to warm things up, prompting a famous comeback from Jenna where she slaps like her arms are pinned to her side and she’s only got movement from the elbows down. Those claps are quickly replaced by jeers. Hebner gets caught in the roll around on the mat. Sharmell loses an extension and Sojo comes up to complain, taking a Shawn Michaels bump into the railing without the turn, with Kong barely catching her and looking like her neck could have gotten Million Dollar Baby’ed. Kong cracks a smile by stealing the extension and then getting an Undertaker neck finger jab to knock out Sharmell. Jenna does her bump and grind routine before straddling her for the pinfall victory. I’m kinda surprised she didn’t sit on her face to put the popped cherry on top of the cake. Jenna then turns on Kong after the match and gets splashed for her trouble, the only good move delivered in the last ten minutes.
How bad was it? As bad as a wrestler’s untrained wife facing an untrained reality TV star. Makes you long for a “dream match” of Stevie Ray against Jonathan from The Amazing Race.
Rhonda Sing vs. Elizabeth
From Thunder in 2000, as I search for another match with another embarrassing moment for poor Liz. I believe Rhonda was brought in as a favour to Bret Hart. Sing despite comments to the contrary was not a terrible worker and was pretty enthusiastic, but had terrible crowd work and a high voice that didn’t exactly shout (more like squeal) monster heel. Liz is in this match due to Vince Russo shenanigans and is playing it nervous, but looks like she’s aged twenty years since WrestleMania VI. For some reason she’s got an ongoing urban camouflage look in this match and a previous match. Rhonda grabs her the t-shirt and shoves her, although it looks more like she’s grabbing her by the tits. Liz gets a kick with about the force of when you brush mud off the sole of your boot, which Sing sells accordingly. Rhonda runs her ass into Elizabeth and holds her in the corner with it while cackling like a dubbed Japanese movie. Lex Luger (or the Total Package, in an ill-advised repackaging) comes out to stick up for his girlfriend, which leads to Sing ducking a clothesline when she charges at him but getting caught in the rack to disqualify Liz. Lex JUST about got her up there for that.
How bad was it? Bad, but this era of Thunder has been followed by so much worse stuff that it’s probably worth revisiting because it’ll look like 1989 NWA by comparison now.
Team Package vs. Hulk Hogan
From a month or two prior on Thunder, with Ric Flair allowing himself to be demeaned so far to be Lex Luger’s underling and playing it like it was better than being the Horsemen. Somehow or another this led to the yapapi strap match. Lex was definitely in great shape at this point, but his entrance workout gear made him look like someone who’d just walked in off the street. Plus, it’s Lex getting another push in 2000, past his wrestling prime with the likes of the Rock and Stone Cold on the other channel. Hulk is back in red and yellow, wearing tights instead of trunks. Flair’s going for a weird blue trunks and knee pads with red boots look. Because it’s Hulk he gets to beat up both former world champions without taking any damage. Flair flips to the floor, while Lex takes a low-impact tumble outside. Hulk’s belt is off for some whipping, followed by his traditional weak chair shots. The heels are getting nothing, with Flair’s chops and punches no-sold while Lex lingers on the floor. Bless Flair as the workhorse, but he’s taking all the beating around Lex’s cameo appearances.
Finally, a shot to the balls sends Hulk out (“OH, GOD!”). Flair chokes him out on the table in front of Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan then sends him into a chair shot from Luger. Mule kick to Hulk back in, the only stuff that’s working, surprisingly. It’s a good job they weren’t giving Terry Bollea all those low blows given the acknowledged size difference between the two. Hulk then decides a double clothesline is about as much as he needs to take and pops up from that, then making a comeback that could generously be described as a series of clotheslines, although it’s more gently brushing into them. Elizabeth slides in with a chair but gets caught. Flair runs off and Hulk’s music plays, which would make you assume it’s a count out win for him, but BOTH guys were out there. Hulk runs back in as the show ends.
How bad was it? Pretty diabolical, with former stars still being pushed like they were the stars they were a decade ago. Even worse that this is NOT the match that features Liz getting atomic dropped and no-selling it to protect her modesty, so here’s a clip of that.
That time Miss Elizabeth no sold an atomic drop from Hogan because she didn’t wear any underwear. Episode of Thunder in 2000. from SquaredCircle
The Fabulous Moolah vs. Ivory
From No Mercy in 1999, as Moolah makes a comeback with Mae Young tagging along and being willing to do a LOT more to earn her Golden Girls crust. I do love the “Whoa, baby!” music. The Fink is on ring announcement duty not long before he was replaced by the infinitely inferior Lilian “Big Bush” Garcia (courtesy of X-Pac). The King gets a funny line by saying they go Trick or Treating as is. Ivory was almost forty herself, but due to a big gap of time between the first and last time she was on TV looked fantastic. What doesn’t look fantastic is the dropkick she throws at Moolah’s butt for the first pinfall attempt. Moolah comes back with hair pulls as Mae lurks on the apron far too early for her spots. Ivory runs into a knee in the corner in as much as she was running, Moolah raised her knee, then Ivory fell backwards. Moolah teases going to the second rope for a Superfly splash, but settles on the first and misses, although manages to still dig her knees into Ivory’s ribs on the way down. Ivory tries to set up for the rope-assisted pin, as Mae finally gets to break it up, so Ivory punches her off the apron for a big (for her!) bump to Jerry’s amusement. Shock is replaced by scoffing as Moolah takes her own slow bump to the outside too. Mae’s back up, so Ivory dropkicks her off again followed by a suicidal tope to Moolah, insofar as it looked like Ivory was trying to commit suicide and just landed in the area of Moolah. Ivory gets another dive off the padded railing, similarly missed. Going back in, Ivory tries to hit Moolah with the belt, but Mae intercepts it and Moolah SLOOOOWLY rolls her up for the pin and her final novelty women’s championship run, which lasted about a week if that. A guy in the crowd is good enough to hold his head in his hands in shock. The Fink tries to give it so much gravitas that he announces the title change twice. Bit of tension teased as Mae wants to hold the belt too and Moolah snatches it back from her. That’s shockingly subtle for this shit show.
How bad was it? Terrible, with an immobile Moolah pushed out for one last shot. They hadn’t fully realised yet that Young was the indestructible bump machine, which while not promising a good match would at least be a not as bad one.
Melting it down: Like last week, if something makes you smile is it bad? Something to be said for the so bad it’s good genre.
Back next week with something else either awful or awfully good!