WCW: Thunder (07.02.98)

WCW: Thunder
July 2, 1998
Columbus, GA
Columbus 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: Sting & Kevin Nash (6/15/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Booker T (6/14/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho (6/15/1998)

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall, and Bobby Heenan. Lee mentions Diamond Dallas Page recently appeared on the Daily Show on Comedy Central.

The cruiserweight champ Chris Jericho comes out carrying the “Conspiracy Victim” sign and tries sucking up to Columbus despite having to ask David Penzer what the name of this town is. He’s getting BOOED out of the building. Classic Jericho. He’s their role model, their hero, and their paragon of virtue. Jericho says he was going to be the main event, but felt his fans deserved to see him *first* and changed the front office’s mind about that decision. He feels the people don’t want to see Jericho face Dean Malenko again. I believe the crowd is chanting for “Goldberg”. Jericho claims to have flown in a man to face him who deserves to be the number one contender to his title: REY MYSTERIO JR.

  • Chris Jericho vs. Fake Rey Mysterio

His music plays, but it’s not Rey Mysterio. He’s even shorter than Rey and pudgy. This crowd is all over Jericho, too. Jericho feigns injury (it’s like a work within a work!) and boots this mini luchadore down. Once Jericho has him beat with a running senton, he flips over and pulls the fake Rey on top of him for the “upset win”. (2:01) The sarcasm is off the charts here. Afterwards, Jericho claims that since “Rey Mysterio” beat him, then Rey Mysterio is now the #1 contender to his belt now and will get a shot at his title at Bash at the Beach instead of Dean Malenko. If Jericho thinks Rey Mysterio isn’t ready to come back, then he has nobody to face him at the PPV. But then Tony says Dean Malenko will still face Jericho at the PPV, so whatevs. N/R

Out comes the Giant. Boy, somebody has seen “Men in Black”. Giant has come out to speak for Hollywood Hogan. The man wouldn’t be caught dead in podunk Columbus. He talks smack about Goldberg and Kevin Greene. Talk turns quickly to the nWo Wolfpac as Giant challenges Lex Luger.

  • Stevie Ray vs. Doc Dean

In no time, Stevie Ray totally overpowers British wrestler Doc Dean and pins him after the SLAPJACK. (1:57) Chavo Guerrero Jr. comes out with his horse Pepe. He tells Stevie Ray they are experiencing the same type of family problems. When he won’t shut up, Stevie Ray pushes him around and heads to the back. N/R

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it – IF YOU WILL! 6:05PM eastern time on TBS! Only one hour this week! No mention of what will be on the show. It’s the MUTHASHIP! Take it to the PAY WINDAH, baby!

  • Public Enemy vs. Davey Boy Smith & Jim Neidhart

Before the match, Disco Inferno and Alex Wright come out to dance for the people. They think Columbus wants to see them dance, but they don’t. Public Enemy wants a dance contest. When Disco and Wright get mad, PE chases them off. Davey Boy cleans house to start with clotheslines. Neidhart gets cornered on the wrong side of town though. Once Davey Boy gets the “hot tag” and the match breaks down, Alex Wright and Disco Inferno get involved and run the table into Davey Boy’s RUNNING POWERSLAM on Rocco Rock for the double DQ. (3:46) Wait, why would that knock out the British Bulldog? Maybe cut you up, but knock you silly? Come on. ½*

We now go over to Tony Schiavone in the aisleway as he interviews JJ Dillon who flew in on the Turner helicopter *ALL THE WAY* from the CNN Tower in Atlanta to tell us that Hollywood Hogan will defend the WCW world title this coming Monday night on Nitro against who WCW feels is the undisputed number one contender: GOLDBERG! Columbus loses their freaking minds with that announcement.

Promo by Raven. He pleads his case for why he should be considered a humanitarian for the opportunities he has created for the Flock.

  • Saturn vs. Kidman (w/Lodi)

Saturn is all over Kidman to start. Kidman fires back with a slingshot headscissors from the apron, but then Saturn throws him clear over the top rope to the floor. Lodi causes some distraction allowing Kidman to block a tope suicida with a chair. Flying body press gets two. Saturn escapes a chinlock, but YOU CAN’T POWERBOMB KIDMAN! He delivers a slingshot legdrop for two. Kidman can’t keep Saturn down, but finds the BK Bomb. Saturn crotches him up top and delivers the Head and Arm Superplex. The Belly to Belly Suplex connects. Saturn kicks Lodi off the apron, but Kidman grabs him for the slingshot bulldog for 1-2-NO! Kidman then charges at Saturn and gets hoisted up for the DEATH VALLEY DRIVER for the three-count. (7:16) Afterwards, Saturn goes over to the camera and challenges Raven for the Bash at the Beach. Good match! **½

They take us back to last week when Mike Tenay eavesdropped on a conversation between Arn Anderson and Chris Benoit about bringing back the Four Horsemen. Tenay replaces Lee Marshall for the second hour of the show.

They air an interview with Steve McMichael where he compares the Chicago Bears’ desire to win championships to the Four Horsemen with Mike Ditka putting Mongo over.

They show the Giant giving Lex Luger the chokeslam from last week. So Nitro storylines carry over onto Thunder, but Thunder storylines pretty much stay on Thunder?

  • Brian Adams (w/Vincent) vs. Bobby Blaze

Another aggressive heel squash so that the commentators can discuss the Bash at the Beach main event. Adams wins with a Backbreaker Drop in 2:05.

Raven comes out to the ring and takes a seat in the corner. He accepts Saturn’s challenge for the Bash at the Beach, but reminds Saturn of a fight they had in the sixth grade where Saturn walked away with a bloody nose and a black eye. It may be twenty years later, but the outcome will be the same. He claims that even though Saturn is egotistical and self-centered user, Raven never thought Saturn would turn on him. He gives Kanyon his word that he will leave him alone until Raven is finished with Saturn, but then Kanyon will feel his pain. Quote the Raven, nevermore. The
“humanitarian of the year”, folks!

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

Finley BUM RUSHES THE SHOW on Booker and beats the crap out of him. He even takes Booker to the floor for some guardrail violence. Back inside, Finley continues to control Booker until Booker comes back with a series of kicks. The Jumping Forearm levels Finley for two. Awesome sell there. Side Slam gets two, but then Finley yanks Booker into the corner. He bounces Booker’s chest off the apron and elbows him in the face. In the ring, Finley runs into the Sidewalk Slam. He hits the back suplex and SPINAROONIES up, but misses the Harlem Side Kick and takes a clothesline out to the floor. Booker always took that bump so well. As Finley grabs Booker on the apron, Booker snaps his neck on the top rope and connects with the MISSILE DROPKICK for the win. (5:16) Another solid, quick match here. **½

Afterwards, Tony Schiavone meets Booker T in the aisle. Booker says he’s coming to the Bash at the Beach to show Bret Hart he’s not the best there is, was, or ever will be. He knows Bret Hart is running on lazy legs around here and plans to run Bret all the way back to Canada. Booker says he is one bad brotha – NOW CAN YOU DIG IT? Fiery promo from Booker. Stevie Ray comes out to tell Booker to stop making challenges to people and just take care of business. Booker lets Stevie Ray know that the TV belt means a lot to him and he’s going to be a fighting champion. He wants to know where Stevie Ray’s head is at. When they start to really argue, Booker ends the interview and begins to walk off.

After the break, Chavo Guerrero Jr. comes back out and sets a box trap in the ring like Elmer Fudd might do to catch that “wascally wabbit”. Shhh, Chavo is hunting Eddies. Instead of a carrot for bait, Chavo sets out a burrito. The box even says “Acme Eddy Trap”. Good grief, this is bad. Eddie Guerrero reluctantly comes down to the ring and makes the trap fall. When Chavo goes to check under the box, Eddie jumps him from behind and violently attacks him on the floor. He even peels back the ringside mats and gives Chavo a BRAINBUSTER on the concrete! Eddie has finally snapped. With Chavo completely knocked out, Eddie drags Chavo into the ring and sits him up in the corner to smack him with the burrito. For some reason, there’s a pair of scissors in the ring, which Eddie grabs and cuts out a chunk of Chavo’s hair. Doug Dellinger finally comes out and runs off Eddie while Chavo gets some medical attention.

  • Konnan vs. Kanyon

Kind of a strange matchup since they have no real connection to each other. Isn’t Kanyon supposed to be a hero right now? Isn’t Konnan supposed to be a hero right now? Members of the Flock surround the ring. Konnan takes a few of Kanyon’s innovative moves, but none of them look very good. Imagine that. There’s the Rolling Lariat. While Konnan fights off the Flock, Raven sneaks in and drops Kanyon with the EVENFLOW DDT. Even though Kanyon is knocked out, Konnan applies the TEQUILA SUNRISE and wins via TKO. (4:40) When the Flock put the boots to Kanyon, Konnan decides to help out. As the numbers game wins out, Lex Luger runs down to save the day and helps Konnan clean house. NOW BRING OUT THE GIANT! ¾*

  • Lex Luger vs. The Giant

Luger punches the Giant back until Giant drills him with a clothesline. After the Giant does some Giant guy stuff, Lex delivers a jawbreaker and hits a bunch of clotheslines. This crowd is HOT. The Bionic Forearm leads to the TORTURE RACK, but the nWo Hollywood B-Team come out and attack Lex for the DQ. (2:27) Konnan tries to save the day, but that won’t happen. The Flock return and start fighting with the nWo B&W boys for some reason. Shouldn’t they be attacking Luger and Konnan? Anyways, they don’t stand a chance either and Giant goes back to brawling with Luger. The show just ends with more and more brawling. TEN DAYS UNTIL THE BASH AT THE BEACH! ¼*

The GEORGIA DOME NITRO is next! Until then, so long for now.

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