WCW: Thunder (06.04.98)

WCW: Thunder
June 4, 1998
Peoria, IL
Peoria Civic Center

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (4/20/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bill Goldberg (4/20/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Giant & Sting (5/17/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Fit Finley (5/4/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (5/17/1998)

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall, and Bobby Heenan. Mike Tenay replaces Lee Marshall for the second hour.

They replay the finishes of the previous four matches between Chris Benoit and Booker as part of their best of seven series. Now here is match #5!

  • Best of 7 Series: Match 5 – Booker T (1) vs. Chris Benoit (3)

Booker T’s back is against the wall here in a must-win situation. The problem with having Benoit win so much here in the beginning makes him look like a huge choker in the end. After some opening hammerlocks, Booker lands a vertical suplex and a Harlem Side Kick for two. He then slams Benoit and delivers the Axe Kick for 1-2-NO! Benoit fires back with the Rolling Germans and a snap suplex. He throws Booker into the corner and then gives him a back suplex. These guys are just trading bombs here. SWANDIVE HEADBUTT connects! Benoit is slow to cover and only gets two. Hey look, Stevie Ray is out here. Benoit finds the Crippler Crossface, but Booker is in the ropes. Stevie Ray tells Booker to shake it off and “do it like in the hood, baby”. Lee Marshall shows off his incredible whiteness by repeating him. Anyways, that wills Booker to catch Benoit with a spinning heel kick. He continues with a 110th Street Slam and the Flapjack to go into the SPINAROONIE. He spins though into a clothesline that flips him inside out. Benoit then tosses Booker to the apron and turns around to yell at Stevie Ray for some reason. As Benoit turns his attention back to Booker, he takes a MISSILE DROPKICK to the chops. Booker covers him for the win. (6:24) They just let it all hang out here. Good match! ***

The Giant comes out with both WCW world tag belts and makes Brian Adams his new partner since Sting is now part of the nWo Wolfpac. Umm, can he do that? Apparently, no one in the back tells him what to do. Out comes Adams and he of course accepts his spot as Giant’s new championship companion. He gives us the old 1980s promo saying he and the Giant aren’t afraid of anyone and will take on all challengers. Now that Giant is done with Sting, he challenges Lex Luger and whoever he wants as his partner to a title match for tonight. Don’t sing it, Lex. Just bring it.

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it – IF YOU WILL! 6:05PM eastern time on TBS! Two hours! Public Enemy, the Giant, a lucha libre six man, WCW World TV champ Fit Finley, and much more! It’s the MUTHASHIP! Take it to the PAY WINDAH, baby!

  • Reese (w/the Flock) vs. Van Hammer

Neither guy comes out to any music. Reese pushes Hammer around, so Hammer makes fun of his T-Rex arms. Reese makes him pay by pulling on Hammer’s arm and then drops him from a back suplex position. Big vertical suplex gets two. Hammer jawbreakers Reese and tries a slam. What an idiot. He does manage to knock Reese on his backside after a bunch of clotheslines. While he’s celebrating, Horace hops up on the apron and bops Hammer with a stop sign. That’s his thing. As Hammer goes down to his knees, Reese walks over and gives him the TREE SLAM for the three-count. (3:07) The Flock then puts the boots to Hammer until Juventud Guerrera makes the save. Yes, little Juventud Guerrera. The only one he can’t handle is Reese, but Hammer tackles him and heads to the floor to safety. ¾*

MFGWLM HYPE: Alex Wright, “Over the Top” (1987) starring Sylvester Stallone.

  • Eddie Guerrero vs. Alex Wright

Eddie gets on the mic before the match and says his nephew Chavo Guerrero has the night off because he’s been acting too crazy lately. He doesn’t know if it’s too much caffeine, too much stress, or constipation – but he needs to calm down. Nevertheless, Eddie has set up Chavo with an appointment with ring announcer David Penzer’s shrink dad. He thinks Chavo needs to take 1-2 months for his health. It’s not too long before Chavo shows up and gets in the ring. Eddie ducks a charge, but Wright flips Chavo out to the floor. Apparently that’s enough reason for ref Nick Patrick to DQ Eddie. (1:06) Crazy talking Chavo stalks Eddie up the aisle. Alex Wright doesn’t care about any of this and dances to his music. He’s still digging it after all these years.

Tony Schiavone brings out Lex Luger from the nWo Wolfpac to the ring. He tells us that since he was successful for bringing in Sting, Kevin Nash has made him the head of recruiting for the crew. Luger then accepts Giant’s challenge and his partner is someone the nWo Wolfpac is considering to add to their group: Diamond Dallas Page. After tonight, two things will happen: Luger and DDP will be the new tag champs and DDP will be offered an nWo Wolfpac t-shirt. Have you seen the NFL Shop commercials where for example Jason Witten from the Dallas Cowboys will talk about how hard he had to work to get a Cowboys jersey and then some putz kid walks up saying all he had to do was buy his from the NFL Shop website? Someone better at Photoshop than me needs to make a meme like that for the nWo Wolfpac for realz.

  • WCW World Television Championship: Fit Finley (c) vs. Psychosis

People seem to be bored with Finley’s style at this point. Maybe because he works so tight it doesn’t translate well for a live audience. Either way, he works on the upper body of Psychosis and even threatens him with a chair just to ratchet up the violence a little bit. The pump splash hits knees so Psychosis can get in some offense. He hits a headscissors out of the corner, but Finley basically no sells. He avoids a corner charge and pushes Psychosis off into the ringpost to set up the Finley Roll. That leads to the TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER for the win. (4:04) Glorified squash to put over the TV champ.

Let Us Take You Back: Nitro, 6/1/98. They replay the politicking from both sides of the nWo trying to recruit Sting. Once that’s over, they replay Sting joining the nWo B&W – but not really. He was just joking around. He’s actually totes nWo Wolfpac.

  • Saturn vs. Glacier

Saturn appears behind Glacier during his pre-match Mortal Kombat stuff. He doesn’t touch Glacier until his siren music hits and destroys him with a release German suplex for 1-2-NO! We go to the floor where Saturn hits a pescado. He then dropkicks Glacier from the apron. Back inside, Glacier goes low on Saturn and trips him up. Lodi jumps up on the apron only to be grabbed by Glacier. With the ref in between them, Saturn nails Glacier who then knocks out Mark Curtis. Of course, he goes down like a ton of bricks. Saturn hits the dreaded STANDING SIDE KICK! He calls for another ref because it’s time for the Death Valley Driver. Well, out comes another ref. He sort of looks like Nick Patrick, but it’s KANYON. He pulls Glacier off Saturn’s shoulders and busts Saturn with the FLATLINER. He pulls out a Mortis mask and drops it on Saturn. He walks out revealing a t-shirt that reads: “ANYTIME – ANYWHERE – AS ANYONE”. Once Kanyon is gone, everybody wakes up in the ring. Glacier lands the CRYONIC KICK and ref Mark Curtis counts three. (4:24) So now this issue between Glacier and Saturn has nothing to do with the superkick and everything to do with Raven and Kanyon’s issues that has intertwined with Saturn. It doesn’t appear that Glacier fits into any of this and should be out of the picture very soon – meaning there was no point to any of this feud.

Curt Hennig heels it up despite being a member of the nWo Wolfpac and tells the world that because his knee is too banged up, he won’t be able to beat Bill Goldberg for the US title at the Great American Bash. In his place, he feels his nWo Wolfpac brother Konnan is a suitable replacement opponent. Hmm, I had no idea you could just choose your replacement for a title match when you got hurt. If Hennig was conceivably the #1 contender and I don’t really see how he could be, wouldn’t the WCW executive committee give the title match instead to the next suitable contender? Is Konnan really this top-tier? Do titles even mean anything anymore? I’m bumming myself out here.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Dean Malenko (c) vs. Silver King

Malenko controls this match from the get-go until Chris Jericho grabs a mic from Dave Penzer and walks into the ring. No bell is sounded to end the match, but let’s say 1:30. Jericho has an NWA rulebook from 1934 in his hands that he says he found at the Library of Congress and finds a precedent known as the “Ed the Strangler Lewis loophole” that says a champion has the first right of refusal of any challenger. Since Jericho never agreed to allow Malenko to be in the battle royal at Slamboree, Malenko therefore is no longer the cruiserweight champ. Jericho tells JJ Dillon to get his butt out here, but no JJ Dillon. He then demands from Malenko to do the right thing and return the belt to him. When Malenko stands there looking at his cruiserweight belt, Jericho brings up his dead dad to shame him into returning the belt. When that doesn’t work, Jericho throws a tantrum until Malenko finally gives him a shot in the face with the belt. As Malenko walks out with his belt, Jericho says now Malenko has really done it. He says he will go to the highest authority to get this decision overturned. Who is the highest authority? Ted Turner? Vince McMahon? GOD?

MFGWLM HYPE: The Barbarian and Jimmy Hart, “Over the Top” (1987) starring Sylvester Stallone.

  • Raven’s Rules: Raven vs. Disco Inferno

Raven gets super aggressive with this disco dancing fool to start. Disco resorts to using his wrist tape to calm Raven down. His swinging neckbreaker gets two. Raven catches him telegraphing a backdrop and sends Disco to the floor for some ringside violence. Back in, a chair gets involved as Disco takes a ride into the corner smashing his back on the chair. Disco stops a hiptoss though and instead smashes Raven’s face on the chair. He fails to capitalize though as Raven gives him the drop toehold on the chair anyways. EVENFLOW DDT! The dance is over. (2:58) Raven calls out Kanyon for a fight. No matter how much he yells, no Kanyon. *½

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Championship: Bill Goldberg (c) (94-0) vs. The Barbarian & Hugh Morrus (w/Jimmy Hart)

He’s beaten both these guys 1-on-1, but now he’s got Barb and Morrus in a handicap match. As he takes them out one by one, Jimmy Hart gets up on the top turnbuckle only to be thrown at Barbarian and Morrus for what Tenay calls a TRIPLE SPEAR! With both men out, Barbarian gets the JACKHAMMER and then so does Morrus for the win. (1:17) No probs for the Jew man. I enjoy hearing Bobby Heenan enjoying this guy.

  • WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Giant & Brian Adams (c) vs. Diamond Dallas Page & Lex Luger

None of our esteemed commentators have seen Diamond Dallas Page all day. Nevertheless, he shows up to team up with Lex. He doesn’t really acknowledge Luger in a “we’re cool with each other and I’m joining the nWo Wolfpac tonight” sort of way though. Luger is wearing dark jeans now, which is a fancy wardrobe change for him considering he’s basically worn only black tights since he’s returned to WCW back in 1995. Adams is really here just to bump for the good guys. Luger eventually telegraphs a backdrop and gets stuffed with a piledriver. I HATE THE BRIAN ADAMS PILEDRIVER. It not only looks dangerous, but it doesn’t even look pretty. Here comes the Giant to wrestle like a giant. He does hit a nice Russian legsweep though. Luger continues to play Wolfpac in peril. Adams grabs a bearhug and the crowd gets behind Lex. As he starts to punch his way out, Adams goes to the eyes and delivers a backbreaker. Back to the Giant, he comes off the ropes to miss an elbow drop. HOT TAG TO DDP! Giant grabs DDP by the hair from the apron to slow him down. The crowd starts throwing trash in the ring. Here comes Sting to ringside wearing red and black face paint now, but still wearing the black tights with the white scorpions. He smacks Giant on the butt to get his attention. Meanwhile, DDP drops Adams with the DIAMOND CUTTER and covers him for the win and the tag titles! (6:32) DDP and Luger celebrate big time. That is one thing you can’t deny about babyface Luger. The man knows how to celebrate a title win. Look at him in 1988 when he and Windham beat Arn and Tully for the NWA tag belts at the first Clash and look at him here in 1998. It’s excellent. Match was ehh. Brian Adams is just awful and tries even less here than he did during his last run in the WWF. ¾*

When we return from commercial, JJ Dillon is on the phone and confirms what I said earlier. The Giant can’t just choose his own partner, which means this title match never officially happened. Since the WCW executive committee will never get Sting and the Giant to co-exist as a team, the titles will be held up until the Great American Bash where Sting and the Giant can battle it out for the titles. Whoever wins will get both belts and will then be able to choose who their new partner will be. Hmm, seems logical.

Until next time, so long for now.

Castrol Syntec presents WCW/nWo: The Great American Bash
Sunday, June 14, 1998 from the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, MD @ 7PM EST
MAIN EVENT: Hollywood Hogan & Bret Hart vs. Randy Savage & Roddy Piper
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Championship: Bill Goldberg (c) vs. Konnan
WCW World Tag Team Championship: Sting vs. The Giant
WCW World Television Championship: Fit Finley (c) vs. Chris Benoit/Booker T

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