WCW: Thunder (01.29.98)

thunder98

WCW: Thunder
January 29, 1998
Memphis, TN
Mid-South Coliseum

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: Chris Jericho (1/24/1998)

There’s a *new* Thunder intro. It looks like the show should now be calling “WCW Hurricane” because that is what appears to be taking place here. Oh! They also have a new set that we will all come to know and possibly love for years to come.

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

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sick Boy

The Flock are in the front row without Raven. This is more than a squash for DDP as Sick Boy tries working the leg a little bit. He shows off his springboard dropkick, but he’s not really ready to string a match together just yet. DDP launches Sick Boy into the air and catches him on the way down with a DIAMOND CUTTER for the win. (4:44) Kind of an odd camera angle for the finish, but that’s live TV sometimes. Lodi and Kidman are chomping at the bit to get at DDP afterwards. Riggs slaps Lodi back down and tells him to hold up a “Riggs Rules” sign. ¾*

Mike Tenay joins JJ Dillon to get a reaction for Kevin Nash’s deliberate infraction of the rules when he gave Ray Traylor the Jackknife Powerbomb an hour or two after the move had been made illegal. Dillon announces a $50000 fine for Nash. Even “Hollywood” must keep a budget and if enough of these fines are levied, maybe they will get the message that WCW means business.

  • Meng (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Jim Duggan

This is the first I’ve seen of Duggan since World War 3. He has been absent from Nitro since March of 1997! How many times have these two met in WCW? Lots of clubbering in this one as you might imagine. Jimmy gets the 2×4 and tosses it to Duggan by mistake. Duggan breaks the 2×4 over Meng’s back, but that hardly phases the guy as he just gets madder and madder. Duggan clobbers Hart and turns around into the TONGAN DEATH GRIP. He tries to punch Meng and get out of the hold, but he uses all his energy and goes down to the mat for the three-count. (4:49) Love me some Meng. ¾*

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it – IF YOU WILL! 6:05PM eastern time! TBS! Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Eddie Guerrero, Steve McMichael, and many more stars will be in action. Plus, Goldberg meets Meng in the main event for his biggest challenge to date! Scott Hudson and Mike Tenay have taken over the commentary. It’s still the MUTHASHIP!

  • Raven’s Rules: Raven vs. Marty Jannetty

This takes me back to their fun match on the last RAW of 1993. Totally different circumstances these days. Jannetty starts off hot punching Raven around and taking him to the floor. He lands the baseball slide as well. Such a Jannetty thing to do. Out on the floor though, Raven runs Marty into the ringpost for a big bump. Next up, Raven drop toeholds Jannetty face first on the chair. Jannetty makes a comeback though, delivers the ten-count corner punch, superkicks Raven down and lands the FLYING FIST DROP for 1-2-NO! He could be going for the Rocker Dropper, but Raven shoves Jannetty back into the corner. Jannetty picks up the chair, but Raven dropkicks the chair in his face. Oh boy. EVENFLOW DDT ends Marty for the win. (4:15) Well they ended this one a bit too early I would say. *½

‘The Killer’ Jerry Lee Lewis is in attendance here in Memphis! He’s sitting behind Raven and his Flock. Bobby Heenan makes some jokes!

  • Bill Goldberg vs. Yuji Nagata (w/Sonny Oono)

Marshall makes a point that Goldberg has yet to meet a judo expert, so this could be interesting to see if Goldberg will lose. It doesn’t seem to matter because Goldberg no-sells, does his usual four moves, and wins with the JACKHAMMER at 1:34.

They take us back to Nitro with the Savage-Hogan Summit where Savage ostensibly parts ways with the nWo.

Scott Hall wearing a Syxx t-shirt comes out for the survey. Seems like the nWo won this week. One more for the good guys. Hall makes some threatening remarks towards Roddy Piper and JJ Dillon for “destroying his dream” of becoming winning of a world title. Next up, he introduces the latest member of the nWo: Dusty Rhodes. Perhaps we can get an explanation for this heel turn. He explains that when he came back to WCW in 1991, corporate America had destroyed the wrestling tradition that he helped build. He became a yes man to the suits and was forced to carry Tony Schiavone on color commentary, but he can do it no longer. The nWo is what makes the world go around here in WCW and they are the reason everybody is making a good living and that’s where he wants to be. As for Larry Zbyszko, there will be no comeback. He calls out to the “internet marks” telling them there will be no comeback. Last but not least concerning the Jackknife Powerbomb, the Giant maybe shouldn’t even be in the ring if he can’t defend himself. It’s really that simple. He calls out to Syxx that he’s just “too sweet”. It’s like they are trying to woo him lately to keep Waltman from heading back to the WWF.

  • Scott Hall (w/Dusty Rhodes) vs. Disco Inferno

Looks like it’s going to be a total squash here, but of course Hall likes to do things differently. He takes a CHARTBUSTER from Disco and Dusty pulls Hall out to the floor to prevent the upset. Dusty talks him back on track and Hall finishes the rest of the match with the usual. Fallaway Slam sets up the OUTSIDER’S EDGE for the win at 3:00.

Mike Tenay hears from ref Nick Patrick. He’s trying to plead his case as to why he’s still suspended from being a part of the referee crew. He counted the pinfall at Starrcade – BY HIS CADENCE. Nevertheless, he believes his lawyers will be successful at breaking the suspension. Patrick says he wants to referee the Superbrawl rematch as well. He’s not 4 life, he’s 4 REAL.

  • WCW World Television Champion Booker T vs. Perry Saturn

Rematch from Nitro here. Lodi jumps the rail and holds up his signs. They trade slams and suplexes to start. Saturn delivers a pescado on Booker, but ends up in the front row in the lap of the Flock to take us into commercial. When we return, Booker hits his signature kicks on the man. The Flock starts coming at Booker T, but he’s able to knock them all off the apron. A concussed Rick Martel comes down to help. Booker crashes Saturn into Martel though and gets the O’Connor roll on Saturn for the three-count. (3:11 shown) Martel isn’t cool with that though. WHATCHA GONNA DO ABOUT IT? You got a concussion, bro. ¾*

Back to more Nitro footage. We see the ending of the show when Sting attacked Randy Savage and put him in the Scorpion Deathlock while Hollywood Hogan and Scott Hall just stood there and watched.

  • Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko vs. Chris Jericho & Eddie Guerrero

Guaranteed to be your match of the night no matter how short or long it is. Memphis lets us know that Eddie sucks to start, but it’s Malenko and Jericho to begin things. Malenko runs Jericho down with a shoulderblock. Jericho corners Malenko though and tags in Eddie. Guerrero flips out of a suplex, but charges into a powerslam for two. They switch and Benoit runs down Jericho with a shoulderblock as well. Jericho fires back with a stalling suplex, but Benoit comes right back at him with chops. German suplex by Jericho leads to the Lionsault. Delayed cover gets two. Tag to Eddie, Jericho saves him from the Crippler Crossface as the match breaks down. Malenko launches Guerrero into a Northern Lights Suplex by Benoit. Time for the Texas Cloverleaf, but Jericho makes the save. With all these saves, it’s starting to feel like a NOAH tag. Jericho lands a missile dropkick on Malenko, but can’t lock in the Liontamer either. Benoit and Malenko look for a double superplex, but Eddie saves the day. Benoit takes Eddie to the floor and chops him around. Meanwhile, Malenko manages the superplex on Jericho. Benoit hurries over and connects with the SWANDIVE HEADBUTT on Jericho! Eddie leaps from the top, but takes Malenko’s boots in the chest. CRIPPLER CROSSFACE to Jericho! He taps out. (6:39) Eddie should have taken the fall there and not your *new* cruiserweight champ. They packed a ton of action in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, it gave the match that robotic feel. If they had 15-20 minutes to work with and milk and let things flow a little better, there’s no reason this amount of talent couldn’t have had a classic together. Still the match of the night. **¾

Mike Tenay grabs a word with Chris Benoit. He considers the chapter with Raven closed for now. Tenay asks him about his lack of title shots. Benoit isn’t associated with the right people around here and that’s what is holding him back. He will continue to tear through his opponents and inflict pain until somebody takes notice. The US champ DDP interrupts and puts Benoit over as a main eventer despite what promoters think. He sees the same drive in Benoit that he has in himself. DDP asks the people if they want to see he and Benoit get it on. I guess he wants to BANG Benoit now? The crowd seems down for it. DDP makes the match for next Thursday over the belt. SEE WHAT I MEAN? The show continues its streak of awesomeness – at least for one match a week.

  • WCW World Tag Team Champions Kevin Nash & Konnan vs. Rick & Scott Steiner (w/Ted DiBiase)

Yes, Konnan is subbing for Scott Hall tonight. Both Nash and Konnan wearing Syxx t-shirts. They have one of the old tag belts and one of the new ones. Rick starts off strong pummeling and stretching Konnan. Nash comes in and takes a double clothesline from the Steiners to show how “together” they are now. After the nWo regroup, Rick is stuck in the nWo corner for a bit. Scott is mouthing off to the ref and to Ted DiBiase. Right before Rick is about to make his hot tag to Scott, Buff Bagwell comes down and pulls Scott down from the apron for a posedown routine. Nevertheless, Rick powerslams Konnan and looks like he might be regaining the tag titles by himself when Nash slides into the ring and nails Rick with one of the tag belts for the weak DQ. (4:52) While ref Charles Robinson is admonishing Nash for what he did, Nash gives him a JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB (sort of). WCW security and Memphis police head down to the ring to cuff and stuff Nash. Konnan asks Nash what he wants him to do. Nash tells him to “call Hollywood”. On his way out of the building, he keeps referencing the JFK assassination – joking around calling himself Lee Harvey Oswald. Nash – “I’M A PATSY!” Lol what? *½

TOTAL BELL-TO-BELL TIME: 33:04 shown.

13270 - logo nwo superbrawl wcw

WCW/nWo Superbrawl VIII LIVE ON PPV premieres February 22 from the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA.
MAIN EVENT for the vacant WCW world title:
Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan

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