WCW: Thunder (09.17.98)

WCW: Thunder
September 17, 1998
Lexington, KY
Rupp Arena

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Bill Goldberg (7/6/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bret Hart (8/13/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Giant & Scott Hall (7/20/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Chris Jericho (8/10/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (9/14/1998)

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

  • Wrath vs. Bobby Eaton

Bobby Eaton makes sure to shake Dave Penzer’s hand during his entrance. Wrath comes in and just straight up abuses Eaton. He’s hilariously aggressive. Wrath lands a bicycle kick on Eaton and takes him to the floor for a nasty crash into the ringpost. Back in, a flying clothesline and a jumping shoulderblock sets up the MELTDOWN in 2:42. N/R

We get a video package of Ric Flair appearances over the years.

  • Mike Enos vs. Lenny Lane

You really can’t deny Lane’s charisma. He slaps Enos across the face and then gets launched into the corner for a wild bump. Enos follows up with a press slam and delivers a couple elbow drops to send Lane running. Enos gives chase, but Lane gets back in the ring and snaps Mike’s neck on the top rope. Lenny then flies to the outside with a somersault plancha (!!). Back in, Lane delivers a running bulldog for two. Enos catches a leapfrog and powerslam Lane to take back control. Reverse neckbreaker gets two. Lane eats a hotshot, but gets his foot on the bottom rope to prevent the pinfall. Enos punishes Lane with a neck vice and them stomps the crap out of Lane in the corner. When the ref forces Enos back, Lane shoots on him with a schoolboy for two. He catches Lane running again and delivers an Inverted Helicopter Slam for the win. (4:39) I like both of these guys, but I want to see Lane succeed. ¾*

Elsewhere, Gene Okerlund speaks with Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell. They did some pretty distasteful things at the end of the STEINER BROTHERS EXPLODE match at Fall Brawl. Scott isn’t concerned about his rematch with his brother Rick at Halloween Havoc because he proved he’s the faster, better, smarter Steiner brother at Fall Brawl. Scott continues to talk about how big his arm is. Apparently, Buff won’t be allowed at ringside during the Halloween Havoc match. Buff doesn’t think that will stand. The point is, according to Scott, he’ll beat his brother Rick at Halloween Havoc, and that’s the bottom line, because Big Poppa Pump said so.

They take us back to Fall Brawl where Chris Jericho tried to convince everybody he had a match with the REAL Bill Goldberg. One of the only highlights of the show.

We get another look at some Ric Flair moments.

THIS WEEK IN WCW MOTORSPORTS. I wonder when this ends.

  • Vincent vs. Steve Armstrong

Who told Vincent he could wrestle somewhere other than Saturday Night? He’s wearing a “stocking cap” that gets pulled over his eyes, which is pretty hilarious. That pisses off Vincent who then fights back and throws Armstrong over the top rope to the floor. He gives Armstrong a clothesline off the apron and sends Armstrong into the steps. Back in, a double sledge connects. Vincent pulls on the arm and delivers a Japanese armdrag. He puts Armstrong on the middle rope for the Bossman straddle. An armbreaker DDT then leads to a Fujiwara armbar for the tapout in 2:36. N/R

We hear the Chucky laugh on the PA system.

DINNER & A MOVIE THIS WEEKEND: “Look Who’s Talking Too” (1990) starring John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, and Bruce Willis. All we’ll be eating is popcorn since there’s no meal explained.

A bunch of marks tell a WCW cameraman how much they love Ric Flair. One guy called him a “good role model”. I would have loved to hear his explanation on that one.

Let Us Take You Back: Nitro, 9/14/98. Ernest Miller attacks Van Hammer and starts going into his Muhammad Ali routine before he’s arrested by Greenville’s Finest.

THUNDER RINGSIDE RELEASE: This week, it’s “Rush Hour”. We hear classic Chris Tucker lines, “Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?” and “Don’t you ever touch a black man’s radio, boy!”

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it – IF YOU WILL! 6:05PM eastern time on TBS! Stevie Ray meets Jim Neidhart in the main event. Plus, you’ll get to see Ric Flair’s big return again from Nitro! Also, what did Roddy Piper say to Bret Hart last week? If you missed Nitro, check out this week’s Saturday Night! It’s the MUTHASHIP! Take it to the PAY WINDAH, baby!

  • Ernest Miller vs. Rick Fuller

Miller says he’s a three-time world karate champion and can kill a man in three seconds. He turns his back to Fuller to give him a chance to leave, but Fuller is looking for a fight. Miller jumps him at the bell and chokes him out with his jacket. A TV cable gets wrapped around Fuller’s neck. A chair comes out, but that’s where ref Charles Robinson draws the line. Fuller reverses a whip into the guardrail and bearhugs him before backing Miller into the ringpost. Miller goes to the eyes and runs Fuller into the steps. Back in, Fuller fights back and delivers a HEART SLAP. Yeah, a slap to the heart. Fuller comes off the middle rope, but misses. The FELINER connects for the win. (3:03) Nobody cares and he’s not getting the right kind of heat. ¾*

More Ric Flair highlights because in case you haven’t heard – HE’S BACK.

  • Curt Hennig vs. Norman Smiley

Mike Tenay replaces Lee Marshall for the rest of the show, so it must be 9PM EST. Curt Hennig is still wearing his nWo workout shorts. What happened to his singlets? Smiley staying one step ahead of Hennig to start. Hennig regroups and goes for the leg to take Smiley to school. Before you know it, the HENNIGPLEX ends Smiley in 3:54. *

Yes, more Ric Flair highlights.

  • Kevin Nash & Konnan vs. Stevie Ray & Scott Hall (w/Vincent)

Of course, we’re getting “Drunk” Scott Hall. Stevie Ray starts the match for him against Konnan. After Konnan shakes the baggy part of his jeans, Stevie Ray pounds him down. Konnan comes right back with the Rolling Lariat and low dropkick. Stevie Ray runs him down and slams him to put the boots to him. Tag to Hall, Konnan trips him up to avoid an abdominal stretch. Hall slows things down for a minute, but Konnan puts him on the mat to pull back on the chin. Stevie Ray catches Konnan coming off the ropes, allowing Hall to kick Konnan in the face. Konnan tries to dizzy up Hall with a couple quick nearfalls. One big punch puts Hall down and he takes a drink from Vincent. Konnan then avoids the Outsider’s Edge and delivers the K-Factor. Hall falls back through the ropes and gets his toes hooked on the top rope to prevent himself from falling. Stevie Ray joins Vincent and Hall on the floor and says he doesn’t want to work with a guy in Scott Hall’s condition. Their conversation continues until they get counted out. (7:36) Are they trying to kill towns this week? First Louisville, next Winston-Salem. ½*

They show the ending of last year’s Fall Brawl Wargames where Curt Hennig slammed the cage door on Ric Flair’s head. Why?

After the break, they run the whole Ric Flair return segment from Nitro. They cut out the awesome final line where he calls Eric Bischoff a “no good son of a bitch” though.

  • Arm Wrestling Contest: Arn Anderson (w/Dean Malenko) vs. Eric Bischoff (w/Buff Bagwell)

Heenan reminds us Arn Anderson’s left arm is the arm with nerve damage. If Arn wins though, Ric Flair can wrestle again in WCW. Of course, Bischoff stalls and refuses to lock up. He then decides Buff will be the one to arm wrestle Arn. Now Bischoff is saying he never specifically said that it would be *him* that would be the one to arm wrestle Arn. Bagwell makes fun of Arn saying after that bad neck injuries, some people come back and others don’t. Oh boy. Dean Malenko – who also had a bad neck injury – wants to step in and smack Bagwell around. Buff continues to make fun of Arn’s nerve-damaged arm. Because he’s a man, Arn decides to lock up with Bagwell. Knowing he’s about to lose, Arn warns Bischoff that the next time he sees him, he’ll have a tire iron in his hand. Immediately, Buff puts Arn’s hand down for the win. Just real distasteful.

This was “kill the town” bad, folks. Next up, more Monday Nitro.

Until then, so long for now.


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