WCW: Thunder (12.17.98)

WCW: Thunder
December 17, 1998
Charlotte, NC
Independence Arena

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Bill Goldberg (7/6/1998)
WCW U.S. Champion: Bret Hart (11/30/1998)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Rick Steiner & Kenny Kaos (10/26/1998)
WCW World Television Champion: Konnan (11/30/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (11/22/1998)

RIP BRADY BOONE – 1958-1998.

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall, and Bobby Heenan. If I’m not mistaken because he does not renew his contract into 1999, this is the last episode of Thunder with Lee Marshall.

Naturally, Ric Flair’s heart attack is the first topic of discussion for our esteemed commentators. Ric’s wife Beth will be coming to the arena with her sons David and Reid. Heenan wishes Ric the best and says he’s the best thing to ever happen to this sport.

They take us back to Monday Nitro when Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell tried to convince Lex Luger to join the nWo B&W. Tonight’s main event will be Lex Luger against Scott Hall.

  • WCW World Television Championship: Konnan (c) vs. Kenny Kaos

Wow, I’m SHOCKED. Kaos carries his half of the WCW world tag belts with him to the ring. As soon as the bell rings, SCOTT STEINER and BUFF BAGWELL appear. Steiner is wearing a Kerry Collins jersey, which would heel him in Charlotte in 1998. Collins led the Panthers to four straight losses and basically quit the team. Anyways, Heenan and Marshall immediately look to leave the booth. Tony is in the middle of everything and can’t leave. Steiner is mad about tonight’s main event concerning Luger versus Hall. Tonight, Luger will beat Hall with his help. You can trust Steiner and Bagwell, Lex! Match is whatever. The K-FACTOR leads to the TEQUILA SUNRISE for the win. (2:52) Kenny’s former HIGH VOLTAGE partner named RAGE shows up. They start yelling at each other as they discuss the future of High Voltage. Who cares? Crowd wants Flair. ½*

A limo arrives outside the Independence Arena. Beth, Reid, and David Flair head inside the building.

Get your nWo Wolfpac “Red Wolf” t-shirt for only $20 bucks.

They replay Ric Flair heart attack angle from Monday Nitro and Eric Bischoff’s response later in the show.

  • Fit Finley vs. Mike Enos

This is the first we’ve seen from Finley in over a month now as he’s been away in New Japan working in a tag team with Jerry Flynn. If the results are any indication, Finley and Flynn were not a very successful tag team. Finley wears down Enos and delivers a sit down splash for two. He applies a chinlock and decides to head out to the floor for some brief ringside violence. Back in, Finley grabs a sleeperhold only to be thrown away by Enos. He gives Finley a fisherman’s neckbreaker drop. That was pretty wild. Finley misses a corner charge and runs his shoulder into the post. Enos sits him on the top turnbuckle and gives him a SUPER POWERSLAM. Awesome. Why doesn’t he pin him? To get out of more of these power moves, Finley cradles him up in a small package for the three-count. (3:53) Enos is MAD. He takes Finley up the aisle for some guardrail action. WHERE HAS THIS ENOS BEEN? *½

We get a response from Eric Bischoff who still seems to be sincerely sad over Ric Flair.

Scott Hall heads down to the ring. Hey yo. He talks about Lex Luger – the total package, phenomenal athlete, and a man Hall respects. As for Scott Hall, he’s got no friends, no ring music, no family – all he’s got is wrestling. If something goes wrong, Hall is usually in the thick of it. He’s got nothing to lose, nowhere to go, and all he wants is what he’s got coming to him – the world and everything in it. If he has to go through Lex to get it, that’s okay with him.

  • Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Prince Iaukea

The winner of this is supposed to get a CW title shot. The LWO head down during Prince Iaukea’s entrance and Eddie Guerrero threatens him to make the right decision and walk away from this match. BE SMART, PAL. Iaukea doesn’t want any trouble and heads back to the locker room. Eddie Guerrero sends Juventud Guerrera to take on Rey Mysterio Jr.

  • Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera

This is the third time these two have wrestled on Thunder in two months. Rey has won the first two matches – first by pinfall and the second by DQ. They also wrestled against each other on the second episode of Thunder (back on January 15, 1998) where Rey beat Juventud to win his third CW title and here they are again on the last Thunder episode of 1998 fighting over a CW title shot. Juvi charges and gets walloped by Rey to start. Guerrera chops back, but then Rey sends him to the floor with a satellite headscissors. Back in, loads of counters culminate in a sitout slam by Juvi. Rey starts to move again, but Guerrera drops him with a tilt-a-whirl sideslam. The Tour of the Islands, if you will. They trade nearfalls until Juventud drops Rey face-first on the top turnbuckle. Out comes Eddie Guerrero to ringside as we go to commercial. When we come back, Mysterio fights out of a chinlock and gives Juventud a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a Jumping K-Factor. Juventud finds himself on the apron and wipes out Rey with a springboard flying body press for two. Mysterio misses a corner charge and gets his neck snapped on the top rope. Juventud comes off the top, but Mysterio catches him on the way down with a dropkick in the bread basket. Guerrera blocks a hurracanrana with a sitout powerbomb. He drags him to a corner hoping for the 450 Splash, but Rey pops up and crotches Guerrera. While the ref checks on Juventud, Eddie Guerrero comes off the top rope with a FROG SPLASH to Rey’s back. Juventud covers and gets the three-count. Prince Iaukea runs down and explains to ref Charles Robinson what happened and the ref IMMEDIATELY reverses the decision to award the match to Mysterio. (9:23) Members of the LWO run down and attack Iaukea one-by-one. Once the numbers get to be too great, Iaukea and Mysterio head for the locker room while the LWO react accordingly. Match was good, but nothing too special. **½

In the back, Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell find Lex Luger to talk things over. Konnan shows up and tells Steiner and Buff to get lost. As they leave, Steiner tells Lex not to trust Scott Hall. After Konnan leaves, there’s a loud boom right outside the door. Lex goes to find Konnan down and out while Scott Hall is standing around. Hey, you can always find Scott Hall whenever there’s trouble!

WCW BRUISE CRUISE – May 17-21. RESERVE YOUR CABIN NOW!

Diamond Dallas Page and his wife Kimberly work with “Toys for Tots” and read books to kids.

  • Disco Inferno vs. Shiima Nobunaga

Another CIMA sighting. He takes a break from Ultimo Dragon’s Toryumon Mexico to wrestle in WCW. Disco wears an nWo Wolfpac “Red Wolf” t-shirt that you can get for just $20 bucks. Disco overpowers CIMA and throws him out so he can do a Wolfpac dance. CIMA snaps his neck on the top rope and hits a springboard senton splash. Disco catches CIMA with a back elbow and slams him for a flying elbow for two. CIMA fires back with a spinning heel kick and hits a double knee strike in the corner. He delivers the Iconoclasm to Disco for 1-2-NO! Disco avoids the Mad Splash and lands the CHARTBUSTER for the win. (4:22) Fun little match there. *

WCW Saturday Night! Watch it – IF YOU WILL! 6:05PM eastern time on TBS! Wrath and Chavo Guerrero Jr. (w/ Pepe!) will be in action in separate bouts, Chris Jericho and Ralphus meets Booker T, and Chris Benoit will team up with fellow Four Horsemen member Dean Malenko against members of the new World order in the feature bout. It’s the MUTHASHIP! Take it to the PAY WINDAH, baby!

No MFGWLM hype this week. We are in the “15 Days of 007” on TBS. Tonight, they will be playing “Live and Let Die” (1973) which is the first Bond film to star Roger Moore.

  • Norman Smiley vs. Jerry Flynn

We’ve crossed over to the second hour of Thunder, so Mike Tenay replaces Lee Marshall for the rest of the night. Flynn lays in some kicks, but Smiley ducks one and gives Flynn that cool slam of his. Big Wiggle time. Flynn gets out of a headlock with a back suplex. He tries a sunset flip and Smiley wants to dance instead of wrestle. Flynn delivers some more kicks and when Smiley tries to return the favor, Flynn applies an ANKLELOCK on him. Smiley quickly gets to the ropes and dropkicks Flynn out to the floor. Oh wait, more Big Wiggle dancing. Flynn kicks low and gives Smiley a spinning back chop. A spinning back kick catches Smiley. There’s a Jack Brisco rollup from Smiley for two. Smiley gets caught up top and still manages to rake the eyes. He comes down on Flynn’s shoulder and applies the CROSSFACE CHICKENWING for the submission. (3:45) Sheesh, that felt like a LONG match. ¾*

We hear more from Eric Bischoff who only hopes for forgiveness.

  • Chris Jericho (w/Ralphus) vs. Saturn

Interesting that this match is happening *now* with both guys having matches for Starrcade with different people knowing the feud they are about to get into after Starrcade. Lots of wristlockage to start. Crowd starts chanting that “Jericho sucks” and Jericho loses his mind. Jericho flips out of a hiptoss and clotheslines Saturn down. As he does his big lion walk around the ring, Saturn jumps up and drills Jericho with a superkick. Springboard leg drop by Saturn gets two. Jericho gets out of a chinlock and slams Saturn down for a stomp to the back of the head. He boot chokes Saturn in the corner, but then runs into a boot. Saturn flips out of a vertical suplex and hits a swinging neckbreaker. He follows up with an atomic drop that sends Jericho into the corner for a series of kicks. Saturn ducks a spinning heel kick and pulls in Jericho for a head and arm suplex for two. Saturn flies off the top, but Jericho pulls ref Charles Robinson into a flying clothesline. Jericho tries the Liontamer, but Saturn counters to the RINGS OF SATURN. Hey look, ERNEST MILLER appears and gets thrown away. Jericho goes after Saturn, but Saturn gives him a release belly to belly suplex. While he picks up Jericho to his feet, Miller hits the Roundhouse Kick to knock out Saturn. Jericho jumps on Saturn and locks in the LIONTAMER. Saturn’s arm drops once, twice, and three times as ref Charles Robinson calls for the bell. (5:02) Lots going on here, but a fun match nonetheless. **½

Eric Bischoff admits Ric Flair didn’t get the respect he deserved and he hopes to get to look his family in their eyes to say what he knows he needs to say.

Starrcade ad airs.

Get your WCW/nWo Superstar Series VHS tapes – in stores now! Head to WCW.com to try and win a trip to Washington DC for Starrcade!

Tony Schiavone gives a little background on what Charlotte means to him and how much Ric Flair means to Charlotte. He thinks it would be appropriate for the crowd to stand up and welcome Ric Flair’s family to the Independence Arena. Here they come and they head to the front row.

Get your copy of WCW/nWo Revenge for N64 for only $70 bucks.

They show a video package highlighting the Bret Hart versus DDP feud – and how the Giant keeps getting involved to care of DDP. Giant giving DDP a chokeslam off the Nitro set gives Tony the creeps.

Two more Starrcade ads air back to back.

  • Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall

Before they lock up, DISCO INFERNO shows up and heads to the announce table. Lex shoves Hall down out of a tie-up and flexes those muscles. Hey look, it’s SCOTT STEINER and BUFF BAGWELL coming down to ringside – being Luger’s biggest cheerleaders. Hall pokes Lex in the eye and whips him from corner to corner with a clothesline. They pull on each others arms, but Hall’s trick knee acts up into Luger’s balls. That gets two. Lex comes back with the clotheslines and the Bionic Forearm. While Lex is getting pumped for the Torture Rack, Steiner and Bagwell jump in the ring and attack Scott Hall for the DQ. (4:01) Lex doesn’t really do anything about it until KONNAN runs down and lets Luger know what happened to him. That’s when Luger, Konnan, and Hall clean house on the nWo B&W boys. Scott Norton, Brian Adams, and Vincent come down to help out, but they are no help whatsoever. Typical Luger stuff. ¾*

Bobby’s copy telling the synopsis of “Live and Let Die” is hilarious.

Tony Schiavone is back out in the ring to welcome David and Reid Flair into the ring. Before anything can be said, Eric Bischoff comes out. Tony starts to talk to the kids when Bischoff tells everybody how bad he feels about what happened to Ric. He apologizes to Beth, Reid, and David for what happened. Bischoff said he heard that David wants to be a wrestler and break into the business. He wants David to know that Ric has left some very big boots to fill, but Eric knows David will do a great job because he’s a Flair. Lastly, Bischoff wants to apologize for KICKING DAVID FLAIR’S ASS. Bischoff pounds David down to the mat. Reid grabs Bischoff by the leg, but BRIAN ADAMS and BARRY WINDHAM appear. Adams grabs Reid while Windham gives David a vintage back suplex. Meanwhile, Doug Dellinger is holding Beth Flair back. With David Flair out, Bischoff repeatedly slaps him across the face. Apparently, Dellinger lets Beth get near the ring as she tries to pull her step son David out to the floor. Bischoff spies Beth and he tries to put his hands on her. She tries shoving him back, but he forces himself on her for a smooch as we close out the show. There’s not as much heat for this (not even in Charlotte!) as there would have been ten years ago because nobody believes anything is real anymore, so realistic angles just don’t get very much heat.

The go-home Nitro to set up Starrcade is next! Until then, so long for now.

WCW/nWo PRESENTS STARRCADE
LIVE ON PPV from the MCI Center in Washington, DC on Sunday, December 27!
MAIN EVENT: WCW World Championship: Goldberg (c) vs. Kevin Nash
WCW World TV Championship: Konnan (c) vs. Chris Jericho
WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Billy Kidman (c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera
Ric Flair vs. Eric Bischoff
Diamond Dallas Page vs. The Giant
Perry Saturn vs. Ernest Miller

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