WCW: Thunder (07.16.98)

WCW: Thunder
July 16, 1998
Oakland, CA
Oakland Coliseum

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Bill Goldberg (7/6/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Vacant (7/6/1998)
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 (7/13/1998)

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall, and Bobby Heenan. This is a three-hour episode of Thunder for some reason.

They immediately address the latest developments between Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. It looked like they had mended their relationship on Nitro, but then Hall immediately turned on Nash again. After Nitro, Mike Tenay sat down with a very serious Kevin Nash for an interview. Nash talks about how Hall is going through some problems in his life that he can’t even talk to us about. He and Hall used to make money together and now it seems Scott Hall is about Scott Hall these days. He thinks Hollywood Hogan is also just using Hall to get to Nash because he knows they are family. Nash knows Hall’s head isn’t screwed on right these days and says he may just have to beat some sense into him to bring Hall back around to reality. This might be the best interview Kevin Nash ever did. He wasn’t trying to be cool. He wasn’t trying to be a character. It seemed like you were hearing from the real Kevin Nash and I think that’s what people will identify with more as opposed to the 40 year-old man character coming out to the ring spitting fly catchphrases and wearing FUBU clothes.

  • Konnan vs. El Dandy

Konnan does his pre-match bit on his way to the ring. Dandy is allowed a few things, but of course Konnan is going over and hits the 187 before tapping him out to the TEQUILA SUNRISE. (2:52) Oakland is all about some Konnan. ½*

  • Ultimo Dragon vs. Lizmark Jr.

After some prelim stuff, Dragon trips up Lizmark and chops him in the corner. He does the headstand and kicks Lizmark away. There’s the Kick Combo. Powerslam by Lizmark turns the tide. He wears Dragon down with an ab stretch on the mat. Lizmark delivers a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He looks for a powerbomb, but Dragon counters with a headscissors only for Lizmark to keep rolling through for 1-2-NO! Lizmark catches Dragon trying a crossbody out of the corner and hits a fallaway slam with a bridge for two. He wants a quebrada, but Dragon dropkicks him in mid-air. Lizmark tries a suplex of sorts, but Dragon rolls off his back and applies the DRAGON SLEEPER for the win. (4:12) Good little match. It’s not every day you get to see Lizmark Jr. do stuff. **

Bobby Heenan shows us the baseball he used for the “first pitch” thrown at the day’s Oakland A’s game. Of course because it’s WCW, there’s no footage shown. The A’s would go on to defeat the Kansas City Royals with a score of 5 to 3.

They take us back to last week when Curt Hennig weaseled his way out of a match with Diamond Dallas Page, which segues into an interview in the ring with Diamond Dallas Page. He comes out and bashes Hollywood Hogan. Looks like he’s going to get that match with Curt Hennig tonight.

  • Public Enemy vs. Alex Wright & Disco Inferno (w/Tokyo Magnum)

Tokyo Magnum comes out and joins the Dancing Fools because he too is a dancing fool. The PE wear some Oakland Raiders t-shirts to suck up to the crowd. Wright underestimates Grunge to start. When Grunge comes at him, Wright pokes him in the eye. Tag to Disco, he gets a double-team elbows from the PE. Rocco plays face in peril for a bit. Once Grunge gets the hot tag, the match breaks down. Grunge and Rocco deliver STEREO ATOMIC DROPS. Wright gets wiped out with a double-hotshot. Rocco then heads over and flips back over the top rope and headscissors Disco down in a pretty awesome spot. Here comes the table. Tokyo comes in and takes Wright off the table and turns it over so that Grunge gives the table the pump splash for the DQ. (4:53) Heenan is pretty disappointed he didn’t see a broken table. ¾*

Tony Schiavone brings out Dean Malenko for a word about Chris Jericho. Bash at the Beach was the last straw for him when Rey Mysterio had beaten Jericho for the WCW Cruiserweight title. When Malenko gets his hands on Jericho, it’ll be the last time he’ll have to deal with him. Tony asks him about why Arn Anderson was interfering with Jericho so that Malenko could grab him back at the Bash at the Beach PPV. He wants to talk to Arn man-to-man tonight.

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it – IF YOU WILL! 6:05PM eastern time on TBS! No card mentioned. It’s the MUTHASHIP though! Take it to the PAY WINDAH, baby!

  • Jim Duggan vs. Roadblock

I’m digging Roadblock’s theme music, but this match sucks. Loads of clubbering, Tony. Loads of “boring” chants as well. Duggan hits the Three Point Stance and the OLD GLORY knee drop for the win. (4:45) Yep, that time is not a typo. ½*

Bret Hart comes out wearing a Hollywood Hogan t-shirt (I REALLY WANT THAT SHIRT, BTW) demanding respect in the WCW. He says he’s put Chris Benoit, Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, and now Booker T on the shelf and he’ll continue to do the same with anybody else who gets in the ring with him. Wow, did somebody just throw an egg at him? That’s heel heat!

  • Saturn vs. Kanyon

Kanyon just has no heat or reaction. Considering the hate Raven gets, you’d think he would. However, his character sort of came out of nowhere and I don’t think people understand why he’s in the mix. The feud that makes sense is Saturn against Raven, but Saturn doesn’t really (or anyone else in the Flock for that matter) have the personality to get the feud over. Kanyon does a lot of cool moves to Saturn, but nobody cares. It just goes to show that characters draw and not moves. For example, the crowd chants “We Want Flair” during this match. They try to get Kanyon over as he controls probably 75% of the match and Saturn goes over with the DEATH VALLEY DRIVER. (5:53) They only pop for the finish. *½

  • Eddie Guerrero vs. Psychosis

While Eddie and Psychosis go through some prelim stuff, the crowd chants for “Chavo” and Eddie rolls out to the floor to react. Back in, Guerrero takes it out on Psychosis with uppercuts. They end up on the floor though with Psychosis showing off with a crazy dive from the top. Back in, Eddie shuts Psychosis down with a shoulderbreaker and locks in a hammerlock. He comes back with a corkscrew moonsault and heads up top again for the finish when Chavo Guerrero Jr. rides Pepe down to ringside wearing a Zorro mask. Instead of focusing on Eddie, Psychosis leaps down onto Chavo and the crowd boos him! Eddie flies onto Psychosis and rolls him into the ring. Psychosis delivers a flying headscissors and plants Eddie with a sitout front suplex. He heads up again to finish him off, but Chavo comes over (misses hitting Psychosis with Pepe) and shoves Psychosis down to the mat. From the opposite corner, Eddie flies on him with the FROG SPLASH for the win. (6:17) WHY IS HE HELPING EDDIE NOW? Oh, because he’s “nuts”. Tony calls this a “bizarre turn of events”. **½

For those who missed it earlier, they replay the Kevin Nash interview.

Scott Hall comes out to the ring to respond to Kevin Nash. He calls Nash a 6’10” goof that he’s been carrying his whole career. Life is all about the Benjamins and when Hall lost some cash, Hogan helped him out with the dough he lost and not Nash. Hall wants to be called “Medium Sexy – the Nash Killer”. If Nash wants to give him some tough love, all Kev needs to do is look for the guy who is as handsome as ten movie stars. By the way, the nWo is just too sweet, ya’ll. He’s still wearing red and black gear.

  • Scott Norton (w/Vincent) vs. Ciclope

We’ve reached the buzz cut era of Scott Norton. Why was this even booked? Norton destroys Ciclope with a POWERBOMB in :39.

This Week in WCW Motorsports! Fuhfuhwid.

Mike Tenay replaces Lee Marshall on commentary.

Next up, Tony Schiavone brings out Stevie Ray for a word. He’s carrying the WCW world TV belt with him. Tony wants Stevie Ray to remind us all why he’s got the belt now that Booker T is out with a knee injury. Stevie Ray makes himself seem as wonderful as possible claiming Booker T made him “power of attorney” over the TV title. Tony says no one has been able to get a hold of Booker T to prove any of what Stevie Ray is saying. Stevie Ray shows Tony some proof of a written statement, but Tony doesn’t think this would stand up as far as WCW is concerned. He was also given a long list of challengers he should be defending the TV title against and brings out his first challenge. It’s DAMIEN! OH SNAP! LOOK OUT, WORLD!

  • Stevie Ray vs. Damien

Total squasheroo while our esteemed commentators talk about how much of a liar Stevie Ray is. He beats Damien with the SLAPJACK in 2:33.

Curt Hennig and Rick Rude come out to the ring with Scott Hall and Vincent to talk about DDP. Rude calls DDP just a “fart in the wind”. Hennig thinks DDP stands for “Dirtball Dallas Punk”. Crowd skips over DDP and starts calling for Goldberg. While Hennig tells a story about his parakeet taking a dump on DDP’s picture in the paper, Konnan interrupts because they turned on him a while back. That was like two months ago! What WCW fan would remember such things? Hall looks like he has no idea what Konnan is saying. Konnan says if Hall is just doing this wrestling gig for money, he’s a mark. WHAT? When Hennig leans through the ropes calling Konnan a “Mexican hairless”, Konnan slaps the gum out of his mouth. There’s four of them and one of Konnan. For some reason, they stay in the ring while Konnan dares them to come get some. Hmm.

  • Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera

Now we’re talking. After some wristlockage that comes to a stalemate, Rey pops off a satellite headscissors. He tries a springboard, but Juventud stops him in mid-air with a dropkick. Guerrera takes over and slows the action down. Not sure if he hurt his leg doing that kick or what. Mysterio finds another tilt-a-whirl headscissors, but Juvi fires back with a springboard dropkick for two. Rey delivers a flying headscissors, but Juventud catches a quebrada and stuffs Rey with a JUVI DRIVER! Cover, 1-2-NO! Mysterio stops the 450 Splash though and as he gets ready to come off the top rope, BRET HART runs down and whacks them both with a steel chair to render this match a no-contest. (7:24) When he meant he was going to take out everybody, he really meant everybody. After punishing Guerrera with the SHARPSHOOTER, he puts Rey in the RINGPOST FIGURE-FOUR for the lulz to tear that knee up real good. I LOVED THIS. Anyways, you’ve seen better from Rey and Juventud. I just don’t think Rey was 100% ready to come back at the Bash at the Beach PPV. **½

  • The Barbarian & Hugh Morrus (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Marty Jannetty & Chris Adams

Jannetty and Adams actually get more offense than you would think against Morrus. Once Jimmy Hart hops up on the apron and Jannetty goes after him, the match breaks down. Barbarian gets in the ring and takes care of Adams. He nails the KICK OF FEAR on Jannetty to set up the NO LAUGHING MATTER moonsault from Morrus for the W. (2:48) After the bell, MENG appears and beats up both Morrus and Barb. When he leaves Morrus in the corner, Meng *SWATS AWAY THE KICK OF FEAR* — and gives Barbarian the TONGAN DEATH GRIP. Jimmy Hart quickly becomes an annoyance and gets chased away to end the segment. ¾*

Back in the ring, Tony Schiavone is standing by with Dean Malenko who wants to talk to Arn Anderson before this night is through. Out comes Arn Anderson – and Steve McMichael. Mongo feels he has a stake in this conversation. Crowd wants Flair. Dean thanks Arn for bringing him into WCW three years ago and speaks on behalf of Chris Benoit that he and Mongo want Arn to bring back the FOUR HORSEMEN. When Dean flashes the sign, Arn is drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Arn Anderson lets Dean Malenko know that you don’t join the Four Horsemen – you are CHOSEN. He lets Malenko know what it means to Arn to be part of the Four Horsemen. The fact is Arn has the FIRE and INTENSITY more than ever, but he doesn’t have the tools anymore. He takes off his shirt and shows Malenko the scar running up and down his neck. He asks Malenko that if he has any humanity left in his body to just let it be and walks out. Crowd still wants Flair. GREAT promo, but I don’t have to tell you that.

  • Diamond Dallas Page & Konnan vs. Scott Hall & Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude & Vincent)

This goes from being a DDP versus Hennig match to a tag team match real quick. Uhh, DDP gives Konnan the nWo Wolfpac sign for some reason. This whole nWo Wolfpac and WCW thing doesn’t even make sense anymore. DDP is wearing his fancy purple “Bash at the Beach” tights tonight. He and Hennig do that thing where you tie-up with a guy and go all the way out to the floor with it. Back in, Page hits a swinging neckbreaker and tries the Diamond Cutter. Hall throws the toothpick at Konnan and takes him down to the mat to slap him around. Konnan clotheslines him back and slaps him back. He hits the X-Factor on Hall. Konnan and DDP plays ping pong with Hall’s face while Hennig comes in to help out. DDP sneaks in and gives Hall some strange jawbreakers to make him loopy. WHAT IS DDP DOING? Hall escapes a chinlock from Konnan and delivers the Fallaway Slam, but Konnan of course takes it like a sack of bricks. They continue to wear down Konnan to set up the HOT TAG TO DDP. He runs wild until Hall clubs him from behind. DDP NO-SELLS, but sells the clothesline from Hennig. Commercials. When we come back, DDP is still getting the beatdown. He takes the Fallaway Slam (which looks much better) for two. The ab stretch and some cheating ensues. DDP and Hall trade sleeperholds. Hot tag to Konnan, he hits the Rolling Lariat on Hennig. Meanwhile, DDP is dropping DIAMOND CUTTERS on Vincent and Hall. Hennig finds the HENNIGPLEX for Konnan and that’s all she wrote. (12:09 shown) This went on forever. I know Konnan is over with this crowd, but he suuuucks and had no business in this match. *½

With the 1998 Goodwill Games airing on TBS for the next several weeks, we will be without Thunder until August 5. Thanks, Ted Turner! Until next time, so long for now.

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