WCW: Thunder (01.22.98)

thunder98

WCW: Thunder
January 22, 1998
Huntsville, AL
Von Braun Civic Center

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Vacant (1/8/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Diamond Dallas Page (12/28/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders (1/12/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Booker T (12/29/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (1/15/1998)

The rock wall is still up for the entrance. I think this is the last episode though.

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Lee Marshall.

Tony announces that a decision will be made on the world title at Souled Out. Roddy Piper will be there. Sting will be there. Hollywood Hogan will be there. Scott Hall will be there too. Well, yeah. He’s got a match, Tony. Why wouldn’t an nWo guy show up to wrestle on a PPV? Sheesh. Tony says Roddy Piper has been busy being on “Walker, Texas Ranger” since Halloween Havoc. That episode will air on January 31 on CBS.

  • Scott Steiner (w/Ted DiBiase) vs. Konnan (w/Vincent)

Scott Steiner is wearing a shiny Chris Jericho vest to the ring. Konnan works this like a glorified squash bumping and selling all over the place for Steiner. Before you know it, Buff Bagwell and Scott Norton appear to attack him for the DQ. (2:36) Rick Steiner and Ray Traylor try and make the save, but Scott fights off Konnan, Buff, and Vincent all by himself. Scott comes over and moves Rick to the side so he can toss out Norton as well. Scott pays no attention to his partners after that. Instead, he’s busy having a posedown with Buff. Alright, fellas. Tony announces these six will get together at Souled Out. ¾*

Kevin Nash interrupts the show and heads to the ring in his street clothes. Is he wearing a fanny pack? OF COURSE HE IS. Within the next hour, Nash says he will be $1.5 million richer. He guarantees that tonight the Giant is gonna snap. The Giant wants him worse than a lap dance after twenty years at sea. He also thinks Giant has had too much coffee lately. Kevin Nash tries to make sure everybody knows that he doesn’t have a fear of the Giant. Two kinds of torture: physical (which Giant will receive Saturday) and psychological (which he’s received quite a bit the last several weeks by the guy who is just – too – sweet). BABY – NASH IS A RICH, RICH MAN.

  • Silver King & La Parka vs. Super Calo & Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Time for Mexican tag team action! Mike Tenay joins us for extra special commentary. After some wristlocks are exchanged between Chavo and Silver King, Chavo snaps off a tilt-a-whirl headscissors on the man. La Parka distracts him allowing Silver King to superkick Chavo in the face. Calo and La Parka take center stage as La Parka does his tripping bit with Calo. They trade powerslams as Raven comes down to sit in the front row without his Flock members. The rudos do a double team move as La Parka double stomps Calo while he’s being held in place on the apron by Silver King. Back inside, Silver King delivers the Helicopter Spin for two. Powerbomb to Calo gets two as well. Chavo gets dumped out by La Parka. Calo catches STEREO KICK from the rudos and ducks their enziguri kicks as they slap shins together. Slow crawl to Chavo gets the tag. Some rudos miscommunication sends La Parka to the floor for a tope suicida from Chavo. Meanwhile in the ring, Calo gives Silver King the Satellite Headscissors off the top rope for the win. (4:40) Fun little match there. After the bell, Juventud Guerrera and Lizmark Jr. come down to save Calo and Chavo. Meanwhile, Psychosis and El Dandy help the other rudos for a big eight-man lucha showcase to set up the opener for Souled Out. AWESOME. **½

Meanwhile in the back, what starts as an interview with Nick Patrick turns into a Flock mugging on Rick Martel. Saturn runs him into a glass door!

BOSTON BRAWL – PAY TO LISTEN – JANUARY 31 – $7.95 – WCWwrestling.com!

  • Dean Malenko vs. Marty Jannetty

Some wristlocks and hammerlocks traded to start. Malenko takes Jannetty to the mat and goes to the leg. Jannetty has to crossface Malenko on the teeth to escape. They go back to the mat though where Malenko outshines Jannetty. He moves away from a heel hook and catapults Malenko to the top turnbuckle. Malenko is just tall enough for that move. Flying back elbow on Malenko gets two. He weakens the leg and tries a jackknife over for 1-2-NO! Smart move there. Jannetty pulls back on the arms and even though Malenko escapes, he can’t follow up as Jannetty is there to block a backdrop and smash Malenko’s face onto the mat. Jannetty is just one step ahead of Malenko on every exchange it seems, but he can’t get the pinfall. Time for the SHOWSTOPPER (Rocker Dropper), but Malenko will not go for that and counters things around into the butterfly powerbomb to lead to the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF for the tapout. (7:21) Good to see Jannetty get that much offense on Malenko, but to see him go down that quickly to essentially two moves is pretty disheartening. **

We finally get some graphics to tell us what will happen on Saturday Night this week! Rey Mysterio meets Juventud Guerrera (no mention of the Cruiserweight title), Glacier and the Cat take on Wrath and Mortis, and Scott Norton battles Rick Steiner! DON’T MISS IT! 6:05 EASTERN TIME! PRE-GAME SHOW FOR SOULED OUT!

  • Bill Goldberg vs. Kendall Windham

Goldberg is still undefeated. Who knew! Kendall Windham – the weaker of the two brothers. He’s got a bald head and goatee look to him now. Goldberg NO-SELLS Kendall’s punches and SPEARS him down. JACKHAMMER! Cover, 1-2-3. (1:23) Easy as 1-2-3.

FLAIR versus HART – WHO IS THE BEST? WCW/nWo SOULED OUT – January 24!

Scott Hall heads to the ring to do a little survey. Huntsville is not exactly pro-nWo, but Hall gives it to the good guys anyway. After he slaps the Giant around and Nash gets the $1.5 million from him, on Saturday he’s finally going to shut Larry Z’s big mouth. Louie Spicolli comes out holding Larry Zbyszko’s golf clubs. Will Larry come out and save his clubs? Spicolli starts breaking the two-iron, then the four-iron. Well, here comes Zbyszko. He compares these two to Abbott and Costello. Hall sarcastically lets that insult bounce off him. He asks Louie if he thinks Zbyszko can beat him. Louie says he doesn’t even think Zbyszko can beat *him*. Oh boy. Zbyszko takes off his jacket and heads into the ring. Louie charges Larry Z and gets put in the guillotine choke making him tap out in no time flat. Hall dives on them for an elbow drop, but both guys roll out of the way. Zbyszko grabs his jacket and then tells Hall that he knows the nWo suck up Louie Spicolli will be at his side at Souled Out and he’s not going to walk alone to the ring either. WHO COULD IT BE?

Clips of Roddy Piper on Walker, Texas Ranger are shown.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero

Rey has quite a week here. First Eddie, and Juventud and Jericho on Saturday. Mike Tenay joins us again. Several tries at a headscissors, but Rey only connects once here. Eddie slides to the floor and ducks the fake dive attempt, but trips up Rey and Hilos the knee brace. Heenan can’t believe Rey would wear that knee brace to a match with Eddie Guerrero. He hits one back suplex, but then Rey keeps countering what Eddie is throwing at him with several nearfalls. Eddie just goes for the jugular with the Brainbuster to set up the Frog Splash, but Rey is there to stop him with a superplex. Back to the floor, Mysterio delivers the somersault plancha and jars his knee. As Rey gets back in the ring to beat the count, Chris Jericho appears wearing a Rey Mysterio t-shirt and clips the bad knee for the DQ. (3:19) Eddie seems mad at first, but then he and Jericho stomp the life out of Mysterio and toss him to the floor. Now he confronts Jericho all mad, but then he sees Chris Benoit is in the ring and suddenly he’s willing to let the whole thing go. He leaves while Jericho discovers that Benoit is in the ring, which is bad news for Jericho. Meanwhile, Dean Malenko is beating up Eddie Guerrero in the aisleway for some reason. Even a short angle match for Mysterio and Guerrero is better than some full fledge matches. **¼

  • Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

Dean Malenko and ref Mickey Jay carry Mysterio to the back. They better hang around for Jericho as well. This is the second of an eight-week period where we get one really good match per week on Thunder. Benoit is super violent to start – chopping and throwing Jericho around. As Jericho gets on his bicycle, we go to commercial. When we come back, Benoit is hitting Jericho with the tope suicida. Back inside, Jericho nails Benoit with a spinning heel kick. Benoit blocks the Liontamer and chops Jericho down. Jericho bails again trying to get one–up on Benoit, but he fails. Benoit catches a kick and dragon screw leg whips him down. He begs off and yanks Benoit into the corner before clotheslining him. Jericho starts to worry about the admiration of the fans as he hits the Lionsault to no response. They look over at Raven who looks drugged out of his mind. Tony explains that Raven bought a ticket to be here tonight. Top rope superplex on Benoit gets two. Benoit escapes a chinlock with a back suplex. He flips out of a suplex and hits a German suplex on Jericho. Jericho runs into Benoit for a hotshot and whips him corner to corner. While Jericho is stuck in the tree of woe, Benoit runs at him with a dropkick. Jericho avoids another German suplex, but Benoit ducks the spinning heel kick. Just as he’s starting to apply the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE, Jericho gives up not wanting to take the hold this close to Souled Out. (7:38 shown) Hey, he knew he got got. Good showcase from both guys here. Afterwards, Benoit holds the ropes open for Raven. When Benoit walks away, Raven jumps the rail and attacks Benoit as we go to commercial. ***

Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff come out to the ring. They are convinced that the world title is coming back to him at Souled Out. They were going to give him back the belt tonight, but they are still polishing and putting his nameplate back on it. Good things come to those who wait, ya know? Tony couldn’t keep track of how many lies were told during that segment.

  • Rick Martel vs. Perry Saturn

Since Martel has been getting involved in the Flock’s business, Saturn put him through a glass door earlier in the show. Martel is late making his entrance, but here he comes sprinting to the ring. He is a HOUSE OF FIRE here until Lodi and Kidman are shown at ringside. They aren’t supposed to be here! Saturn crotches Martel on the top rope and hits an overhead suplex for two. Martel misses a corner charge as Saturn works over the shoulder. That continues for a few minutes. Commercials! When we return, Saturn is desperately trying to get the quick pin on Martel. After one of the sunset flips, Martel rolls through and locks in the QUEBEC CRAB for the tapout. (6:40 shown) Kidman tries a flying body press on Martel, but he stands up and lets Kidman crash on Saturn. So yeah, Martel earns that TV title shot with this win, I suppose. *½

More clips shown of Roddy Piper on Walker, Texas Ranger. Being a fan of They Live, I feel like Roddy should have been a part of at least one of the Expendables.

  • The Giant vs. Scott Hall

Hall does what he does best – take bumps for the babyface. He takes headbutts and bearhugs, but keeps getting back up. Hollywood Hogan and Kevin Nash head down to distract the Giant. Hall nails Giant as the ropes hold up the big man. Nash walks over and wallops Giant in the face with some kind of foreign object. The match continues with both Hogan and Hall punching on the Giant in the ring. Giant DOUBLE GOOZLES those two. Randy Savage appears up on the top rope, but Lex Luger is here to knock him down. Giant headbutts both men. Meanwhile, Luger grabs Savage and puts him in the TORTURE RACK out on the floor. Nash comes over and lets Savage know he could break it up, but he won’t. Giant gives Hall the CHOKESLAM and covers him, but Nash stops the pin for the DQ. (4:04) Nash keeps antagonizing the Giant until he overheats and tears the ring down. Yes, you read that right – he pulls one of the ringposts out of the floor and the ring collapses. Scott Hall stands up in the ring and sells the moment beautifully falling all over the place. ½*

So yeah, no $1.5 million for Nash tonight. If they knew they were going to get a new Thunder set anyway, why not just have Giant rip the whole set apart – thus making the justification for the new set?

TOTAL BELL-TO-BELL TIME: 37:41.

souledout98

SNICKERS presents WCW/nWo Souled Out LIVE ON PPV on January 24 from Dayton, Ohio.

DOUBLE MAIN EVENT – Lex Luger vs. Randy Savage
DOUBLE MAIN EVENT – Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair

WCW World Television Title: Booker T (c) vs. Rick Martel
WCW Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Chris Jericho
Larry Zbyszko vs. Scott Hall
The Giant vs. Kevin Nash
Raven’s Rules: Chris Benoit vs. Raven
The Steiners & Ray Traylor vs. Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton & Konnan
Juventud Guerrera, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Lizmark Jr., & Super Calo vs. La Parka, Silver King, Psychosis, & El Dandy

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