WCW: Thunder (11.19.98)

WCW: Thunder
November 19, 1998
Fort Wayne, IN
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Bill Goldberg (7/6/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Diamond Dallas Page (10/26/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Rick Steiner & ??? (10/26/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Chris Jericho (8/10/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Juventud Guerrera (11/16/1998)

EDITOR NOTE: Sorry for the delay. I know you were all waiting on bated breath for me to finish this recap because it was such a GREAT time in WCW. This was a case where I started the show, got half-way through writing it up, didn’t click the Save button for some reason, and my computer decided to restart for updates in the middle of the night. A busy two weeks past and I’m finally getting this one done. FUN STUFF.

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall, and Larry Zbyszko. Bobby Heenan wasn’t part of this episode of Thunder due to the passing of his mother-in-law. To make him not appear human or as a guy with a family, they mention he’s in Auburn Hills gearing up for the PPV.

They take us back to Monday Nitro to show Diamond Dallas Page making his return to run wild on Bret Hart and challenge him to a rematch over his WCW U.S. title at World War 3.

  • Booker T vs. Norman Smiley

Schiavone namedrops former wrestler turned referee Brady Boone. Pretty eerie considering his untimely death in just under a month. Smiley actually dominates to start going from corner to corner and hits that big swirly slam he does. Booker finally gets out of a chinlock and hits the Jumping Forearm Smash. He unloads on Smiley with his signature kicks. The Spinaroonie leads to the Harlem Side Kick. Smiley gets pulled into the 110th Street Slam for the win. (3:30) Not a bad glorified squash for Booker, but these two don’t really seem to click to me. ¾*

They replay Diamond Dallas Page dropping straight BARS on Bret Hart to hype their WW3 match.

After the Thunder intro plays, we go back to Monday Nitro where Scott Steiner hands off a man in drag that’s supposed to be his own mother for Buff Bagwell to beat up and pin. Rick Steiner, apparently thinking that was actually his mother, saves the day. He ends up getting beat up by Scott Norton while Scott Steiner and Buff join in on the fun. Never forget the ref with the whistle. Other than that, this was pitiful.

  • Scott Hall (w/Stevie Ray, Vincent, Scott Norton, and Horace Hogan) vs. Disco Inferno

What a FITTING time to watch some Scott Hall. He’s got quite the entourage with him to beat up Disco. Hall throws the toothpick in Disco’s face and gets slapped. He won’t stand for that and slaps Disco back. Hall messes with the hair which pisses off Disco. He comes back with a swinging neckbreaker and a jumping lariat. Disco takes Hall from corner to corner and tries the ten-count corner punch. Hall reverses a cross corner whip and follows in with a clothesline. He gives Disco a crotch chop and delivers the discus rights. Disco ends up ducking the right, but eats the left. Fallaway Slam is next and gets followed by the OUTSIDER’S EDGE for the win. (2:36) Hall’s nWo entourage surround him like he’s just won a major victory here. *

They take us back to Nitro 11/9/98 where Rick Steiner chased off Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell as they attacked Chris Adams.

Back to the show, Tony Schiavone (since Gene doesn’t work Thursdays) brings out the WCW TV champ Chris Jericho for a talk. No Ralphus. Tony wants to know why Jericho ran away from Bobby Duncum Jr. He just doesn’t like cowboys because his trainer Stu Hart wanted him to be “Cowboy” Chris Jericho from Casper Wyoming. HOW LAME IS THAT. He’s hated cowboys ever since. When Jericho starts badmouthing the Duncum family, out comes BOBBY DUNCUM JR. to hogtie Jericho. As Duncum walks off, Jericho yells to Schiavone to un-tie him, but Tony says he was never a boy scout.

From earlier today, we catch Kaz Hayashi asking Scott Hall about Miller. Naturally, Hall thinks he’s talking about Miller Lite, but that’s for after the matches. Hall says you get in big trouble if you drink before the matches.

WCW SATURDAY NIGHT! Yep, it’s still on the air – each week at 6:05PM EST. This week, you’ll see the *new* WCW cruiserweight champion Juventud Guerrera, Scott Steiner (with the nWo whistling ref), and Chris Jericho will be defending the WCW TV title (against an unnamed opponent – turns out to be Kendall Windham). Rey Mysterio Jr. battles Billy Kidman! In the main event, Diamond Dallas Page faces Stevie Ray!

They take us back to Nitro to see Chris Jericho walking out on his WCW TV title match with Bobby Duncum Jr.

  • Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Kidman

Kidman gets on the mic and tells Mysterio he wants to wrestle the old Rey Mysterio – not the one who joined with the Lazy Wrestling Organization. Eddie Guerrero appears and defends Rey Mysterio by telling Kidman not to fill Rey’s head with “stuff”. Guerrero tells Kidman that Mysterio doesn’t have to prove anything to him. Since Rey doesn’t want Eddie speaking for him, Rey reminds us he beat Juventud Guerrera for the #1 contenders match for the WCW cruiserweight title last week on Thunder. Since Juventud beat Kidman for the WCW cruiserweight title this past week on Nitro (see where the logic goes out the window there?), Rey will get a shot at the CW title if he beats Kidman tonight. Eddie doesn’t like Rey thinking about only what’s good for Rey and starts to panic, because in Eddie’s mind it’s all about the LWO. The rest of the LWO boys swarm the ring to muscle Rey. I don’t know, Eddie, this sounds like some “commie gobbledygook” to me. Since Rey isn’t thinking clearly, Eddie decides to take Rey’s match. As the LWO boys force Mysterio back to the locker room, we go to commercial. We catch Rey ripping off the LWO t-shirt on his way out.

  • Kidman vs. Eddie Guerrero

If Rey was slated to face Kidman at World War 3 over the CW title, then why have Kidman defend the CW title first against the guy who LOST to Rey in the first place? I don’t understand. Eddie BUM RUSHES THE SHOW on Kidman to start. Kidman finds a monkey flip and lands a slingshot legdrop to send Guerrero running. Once Kidman turns his back, Eddie sneaks in only for Kidman to turn around at just the right moment. Eddie hits his knees and begs for a handshake. CLASSIC EDDIE. Kidman pulls Eddie into a clothesline leaving Guerrero to retreat to a corner and use ref Charles Robinson as a shield. Fort Wayne thinks Eddie sucks. Kidman stomps a mudhole and walks it dry on Guerrero. Sleeperhold time, but Guerrero breaks loose with a jawbreaker. Kidman rolls to the apron and shoots back in with the shoelace headscissors. Back to the sleeperhold. Eddie elbows out only to take a headscissors from Kidman. The chest-first corner bump from Eddie sets up the running clothesline by Kidman. Guerrero finds a uranage slam to slow down Kidman. It doesn’t slow him down for long as Kidman stops Eddie up top for a superplex. That gets two. Next up, YOU CAN’T POWERBOMB KIDMAN! He heads to the top rope for the Shooting Star Press when Kidman sees Spyder (yet unnamed) trying to keep Rey Mysterio Jr. from heading to ringside. Instead of concentrating on Eddie, naturally Kidman flies onto Spyder and Mysterio. Back inside, Guerrero catches Kidman, but gets whipped into a BK Bomb for two. The finish seems messed up here. Spyder is on the apron and Rey is trying to bring him down. Eddie ends up pushing Kidman into Spyder and Rey as he rolls up Kidman (with his feet on the ropes) for the cheap win. (5:38) Afterwards, Eddie wrangles Rey and Spyder to get them back to the locker room. **½

They take us back to Monday Nitro when Juventud Guerrera upset Billy Kidman to regain the CW title. Tony reminds us that – despite just losing to another CW wrestler – Kidman gets his return match on Sunday at World War 3.

More videos building World War 3. They replay the Hall versus Nash video package.

  • Scott Norton (w/Vincent, Horace Hogan, Scott Hall, and Stevie Ray) vs. Scott Putski

Putski fights off Vincent to start but then he’s run down by Norton. He throws Putski out to Vincent for a second chance. Of course, he blows it. Horace and Stevie Ray have to stomp Putski’s ass. Back in, Norton suplexes Putski like this is a commercial for New Japan. A series of short-arm clotheslines destroy Putski. The POWERBOMB ends Putski in 1:48. ½*

They replay the brief standoff between Scott Hall and Kevin Nash from Nitro.

After the break, we see parts of the “Hollywood Hogan 4 Prez” segment of the week. Scott Hall slugs Bischoff and then gets knocked down by Hogan until Kevin Nash makes the save for the brief standoff they JUST showed.

Earlier today, Kaz Hayashi asks Disco Inferno to be his partner. Disco doesn’t need a “dancing partner” that’s a guy. SATURN walks by and corrects Disco for being a goof. When Disco asks Saturn why doesn’t he team up with Hayashi himself, Saturn considers it. WE’LL SEE.

  • Ernest Miller (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Super Sensei

After Miller does his weekly spiel, Oono lets him know he’s got a warm-up opponent tonight – the SUPER SENSEI! It’s some hillbilly in a white gi and eye makeup who watched a ton of Bruce Lee. No, not Glacier. Before the match happens, Kaz Hayashi is seen chasing Sonny Oono in and out of the ring. Hayashi eventually runs into Miller and gets kicked in the head. As Miller and Oono stomp him, SATURN shows up and cleans house. He then announces Hayashi has found a tag partner for World War 3. YIKES. No match.

We get a video package showing the history of the World War 3 PPV. Why does the video quality of the 1997 PPV look so strange?

  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Alex Wright

Wright threatens to leave if the people don’t give him respect. Meanwhile, his opponent getting cheered and he’s talking to a stick horse while Wright is worried about getting respect from the humanoids. Back and forth chops to start. Chavo headscissors out of the corner and follows up with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Wright goes begging to the corner. As Chavo whips him into the ropes and drops down, Alex kicks him in the face. NICE. This turns the tide as Wright keeps Chavo down. Chavo tries to come back with a tornado bulldog, but Wright shoves him off. We go to the floor where Wright backs Chavo into the ring apron and then slams him. Back in, we get some dancing. Chavo snaps Wright’s neck on the top rope and delivers a springboard body block for two. We go from corner to corner as Wright hits a slingshot body press for another two-count. Wright delivers a vertical suplex for two. He hits a follow-up back suplex and comes off the top rope only to land face-first on Chavo’s boot. HERE COMES CHAVO! He delivers a running elbow smash in the corner and the springboard bulldog. Chavo delivers a backdrop and runs down Wright with a clothesline for two. Wright goes to the eyes, but Chavo counters a back suplex with a body press for two. Now it’s Wright delivering the lariat for two. BACK AND FORTH! Chavo fights off the Reverse Neckbreaker, but Wright escapes a vertical suplex and rolls up Chavo with a bridge for the three-count. (7:38) After the bell, Wright keeps Chavo down with a clothesline and slaps Pepe around. Chavo fights back and rescues Pepe, but the WCW director would rather look at Indiana people dance than look at what’s happening in the ring. Five months ago, there would be HEAT for these two. **

  • Kanyon vs. Prince Iaukea

Raven is conspicuous by his absence. WCW fans still don’t know how to respond to Kanyon’s question. IDIOTS! Kanyon meets Iaukea in the aisle for a fight. Iaukea starts off fired up. For some reason, Tony dares to mention that Iaukea has a shot at winning WW3. Kanyon delivers a sitout pancake slam for two. He uses the middle rope to suplex Iaukea back in the ring from the apron. Cobra Clutch Slam by Kanyon gets two. That was pretty sweet. Iaukea mounts a comeback and hits an Olympic Slam for 1-2-NO! Kanyon winds up countering a vertical suplex and hits the FLATLINER for the win. (4:18) Interesting how they tried to push Iaukea here on commentary, but Kanyon’s “innovating offense” won’t fair him well in a battle royal. I don’t know. *½

MFGWLM HYPE: “Braddock: Missing in Action III” (1988) starring (who else but) Chuck Norris.

  • Wrath vs. Saturn

Larry Z actually makes sense of Saturn teaming up with Kaz Hayashi – just like we saw with the Flock, he’s the big guy who stands up for the little guy. Wrath overpowers Saturn to start. Saturn uses the stick and move approach as he connects with a springboard forearm smash that takes Wrath down. Saturn continues with a flurry of offense to send Wrath to the floor. He follows Wrath and delivers a pescado. Back in, Saturn is there to slug him as he comes in between the ropes. Wrath pulls Saturn into a clothesline to slow him down. He grabs Saturn for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Wrath punishes Saturn in the corner, but Saturn avoids a corner charge only to be whipped back into the corner. He staggers back into a back suplex. Wrath lands a flying clothesline for 1-2-NO! He chokes Saturn in the ropes, but then Saturn avoids another corner charge and hoists Wrath over with a T-bone suplex for two. Here comes Ernest Miller and Sonny Oono down to ringside. Saturn lands a flying body press for 1-2-NO! While Oono is on the apron, Miller kicks Saturn in the head. SATURN IS OUT ON HIS FEET. Wrath hits the MELTDOWN and gets the win. (6:07) The Meltdown body count continues. Kaz Hayashi comes out to check on his new partner. *½

We get some footage of Bam Bam Bigelow’s return to WCW on Monday Nitro when he challenged Bill Goldberg. They show Goldberg forcing Eric Bischoff to make the match with Bigelow and then we see bits of the ensuing brawl that occurred at the end of Nitro. NOTHING WAS SETTLED.

  • Bret Hart vs. Konnan

Tenay’s choice to win WW3 is Bret Hart. Does he realize Bret isn’t in the battle royal? Konnan is here for revenge against Bret and beats him up all around ringside. STEVIE RAY shoots down to ringside and he’s late to whack Konnan with the slap jack during a sunset flip pin attempt. Konnan sells it like death as Bret puts him in the SHARPSHOOTER for the decision. (3:20) Bret looks to Pillmanize the leg, but it now looks like Diamond Dallas Page is late. He runs down and stands in between Bret on the middle rope and Konnan down on the mat. They start slugging each other as the show ends. ½*

WORLD WAR 3 IS NEXT! Until then, so long for now.


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