WCW: Thunder (01.07.99)

WCW: Thunder
January 7, 1999
Richmond, VA
Richmond Coliseum

The current WCW champs are as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (1/4/1999)
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: Scott Steiner (12/28/1998)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (11/22/1998)

The show starts with a FIVE MINUTE video package of Ric Flair beating the crap out of Eric Bischoff at Starrcade and then Bischoff (and Curt Hennig) cheating to win. The piece continues showing Flair submitting Bischoff the next night on Nitro to become the President of WCW for ninety days. We’re reminded Randy Savage is back (and he’s got a blonde with him!) and how Savage helped Ric Flair win. They show some of the January 4 Nitro where Flair tells Bischoff he’s working for Tony Schiavone over at the announce table. Bischoff did not want to participate. Okay, and now we cut to the Thunder intro.

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Bobby Heenan. Crowd still wants “Goldberg”. Tenay was “ill” over what the new World order did to the WCW world title, but it’s Heenan who manages to get over the fact of how terrible it was. They replay the “Finger Poke of DOOM” from Nitro for everyone on TBS to see. Goldberg runs in hoping to salvage the end of the show, but of course he’s destroyed by the new nWo. They even show us what happened after Nitro with members of the Atlanta Falcons standing by Goldberg to challenge the nWo. Naturally, the nWo doesn’t bother.

Wow, Gene Okerlund is working tonight. He brings out the WCW President Ric Flair to the ring. Okerlund wants to know what Flair intends to do about what happened on Nitro. Flair starts out talking about the Richmond Coliseum and tradition. He mentions how he and Harley Race wrestled in that building in 1981 – two men walked in, one man walked out to be the world heavyweight champion. Flair recognizes he’s walked behind Hollywood Hogan his whole career. He knows Kevin Nash thinks the “old man” can’t go anymore. The bottom line is, ten years from now, Nash will actually have to look his son in the eye (ugh, that’s a little icky), and tell him he laid down for Hollywood Hogan. Flair lays down on the mat and orders Gene to count his shoulders. WHAT. All the same, Flair admits it’s his fault what happened because he OK’d Nash defending the WCW world title against Hogan. He’s also very upset with Lex Luger for turning his back. Flair thinks Lex has no leadership skills or guts. Anybody can run down the aisle and deceive 40,000 people and then turn their back on reality. WHAT. In fact, Flair thinks Luger sucks, pal. Flair brings up Eric Bischoff. In a few hours, Flair will be in Atlanta, and orders Bischoff to be in his office tomorrow night at 8AM, because Flair and the WCW brass are going to figure out what to do about Hogan and Nash in time for Nitro. Flair wraps it up naming NWA world champions – and he won’t allow the nWo to kill what made them greats.

From last week on Nitro, we catch Chris Jericho sucking up to ref Scott Dickinson who has had his problems with Perry Saturn as of late.

  • Perry Saturn vs. The Cat (w/Sonny Oono)

Here we go with a Starrcade rematch. Miller threatens Saturn with kicks and pounds him in a corner, but naturally Saturn comes right back. As Saturn turns away, Miller kicks him back a few times. Cat stops a sunset flip, but Saturn rolls him up anyway for two. Another kick drills Saturn. Saturn grabs Miller with a head and arm suplex for two. Sonny gets clubbed off the apron. Saturn throws away Cat with a T-bone suplex and a falcon arrow. Hey wait, CHRIS JERICHO (in a Calgary Flames hockey jersey) shows up to pull ref Mickey Jay out to the floor. While they argue, ref Scott Dickinson runs in and fast-counts Saturn off camera. (3:04) SATURN WAS ROBBED! While Miller and Oono are out, Saturn takes his frustrations out on a chair. Tony and Bobby refer to Dickinson as Tenay’s friend. HA! ½*

In the back, we catch up with the very confused nWo Black and White crew: the Giant, Curt Hennig, Brian Adams, Vincent, Horace Hogan, and Scott Norton. A limo pulls up with the nWo Red and Black crew inside. Giant wants to know what’s going on and checks with Hollywood Hogan (wearing a flannel shirt over his nWo Red & Black t-shirt, JNCOs, a Harley Davidson toboggan, and white sunglasses). It doesn’t look like a promising new relationship, but Hollywood Hogan tells the nWo B&W crew to watch their backs and they’ll reach out to them in about five minutes. Scott Hall is still walking around with his shock stick. Heenan is very confused as to what’s going on.

Schiavone takes us back to Nitro when Lex Luger deceived Goldberg which led to the whole beatdown.

  • WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Billy Kidman (c) vs. Psychosis

Wristlocks and hammerlocks to start. Kidman snapmares away from a hammerlock and dropkicks Psychosis to the floor for a pescado. Commercials! When we come back, both Kidman and Psychosis are laid out on the floor. Psychosis is holding one of his hip bones. Back in the ring, Kidman lands the hard corner whip and clothesline on Psychosis. The BK Bomb gets two. Next up, YOU CAN’T POWERBOMB KIDMAN! He heads up top for the Shooting Star Press, but JUVENTUD GUERRERA runs in and wants a fight. As they exchange blows, ref Charles Robinson calls for the bell. (4:20 shown, man) Juvi and Psychosis wind up taking control, but here comes REY MYSTERIO JR. for the save. Because they think they are the only people who matter, the nWo Red & Black crew head down to the ring. Nash JACKKNIFE POWERBOMBS Psychosis. Juventud clears out. Scott Steiner slugs Kidman. Nash lets Rey Mysterio leave without getting his ass thrown like a lawn dart. The nWo continue to assault Psychosis. Hall uses the taser on Psychosis and Buff rips off the LWO t-shirt. Oh man. **

Nash gets on the stick and does his usual Wolfpac spiel. He makes fun of Psychosis and Konnan for that matter – who is absent. Nash turns to Hogan to point out the “Match of the Century” we saw on Nitro and hands him the mic. Hogan mentions Flair can’t handle the fact that Nash was the toughest challenge of his career. They set a whole new standard for wrestling! Hollywood says the nWo Red and Black will take everything back that was theirs anyway. Hogan calls Goldberg a “coward” and mentions the nWo Black and White will be the nWo Wolfpac’s backup. Out comes the nWo B&W crew. Giant is tired of waiting and wants to know what’s happening. Hogan has love for the rest of the nWo B&W crew, but he thinks there’s a problem with the Giant. Hollywood then begins to blame the Giant for Ric Flair becoming WCW President – and feels it’s time to “trim the fat”. There’s also only room for one giant in the nWo – and Kevin Nash is the giant in the nWo. Giant thinks he’s the only giant in wrestling – period. IT’S RIGHT IN THE NAME, HULK. DUH. Hogan has the idea of Kevin Nash against the Giant on Nitro. Winner gets to be the ”giant” in the nWo. Hollywood gets everybody to head back to the locker room to sort this whole thing out.

Get your copy of WCW/nWo Thunder on PlayStation! It’s not the best WCW game, but it is the most recent.

We check in to see what’s happening with Raven and Kanyon. They are still at Raven’s mom’s house. His mom wants Raven to finish the “treatment”, but Raven isn’t interested. We see Raven’s sister Chas (or Chastity) for the first time. She and her mom do not seem to be on the same page as Raven walks out. Kanyon is just chilling on the couch and seems into Chas (also a little icky).

  • Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Jerry Flynn

Bigelow pounds Flynn in the corner, but Flynn reverses a corner whip and delivers a big spinning heel kick. Bam Bam goes to the eyes and delivers the GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK to end things in 0:26. Naturally when you think of Bam Bam Bigelow, Tony is left wondering where Konnan was during the nWo segment. WHAT.

Gene Okerlund brings Barry Windham and Curt Hennig out to the aisle for a conversation. They believe Ric is leading his son to the slaughter. Don’t forget it was Hennig who “slammed the door” on the Four Horsemen back at Fall Brawl 1997. Hennig and Windham are looking forward to their night off at Souled Out. Gene thinks they have another thing coming, but of course Windham and Hennig think otherwise.

WCW/nWo Bruise Cruise 1999 – May 17-21! You know you want to go on this cruise – there will be a live Nitro Girls PPV taping there!

Backstage, Gene Okerlund intercepts Juventud Guerrera who is on his way out of the building trying to avoid the nWo Red & Black, we assume. Juventud is CLEARLY speaking English saying he needs to leave, but Gene for some reason tells him Juvi doesn’t need to speak to him in “Mexican”. Yes, “Mexican”. Guerrera confesses that the nWo Wolfpac got to Eddie Guerrero. WHAT. Juvi is concerned he’s next and finally escapes Gene’s clutches.

According to Meltzer, WCW did a deal (which was taped, but didn’t air) where they had La Parka on the ground and drew chalk lines around him.

  • Disco Inferno vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Is that a “Disco Inferno” t-shirt? Because if it is, I want one. There’s a neck brace on Pepe since Norman Smiley did a number on him on Nitro. Headlocks and wristlocks to start. Chavo flips out of a hiptoss and goes wild on Disco to send him out to the floor. He then slides Pepe’s stick down the back of his tights and lets Pepe ride for a change. That’s a sentence I never thought I would ever write. Disco shoulder butts his way back in and lands a swinging neckbreaker. He goes after Pepe, but decides to stay after Chavo. He hits an inverted atomic drop and comes off the middle rope for a double sledge, but Chavo catches him on the way down with an inverted atomic drop of his own. That triggers a comeback for Chavo. Tony then goes on a random tirade about how Eric Bischoff hated tag team wrestling and that there’s a tournament getting started to crown new WCW world tag team champions thanks to Ric Flair – starting tonight! Hey look, NORMAN SMILEY is at ringside. He grabs Pepe, pulls the neck brace off, and basically gives Pepe’s head the BIG WIGGLE. Chavo sees what’s happening and elbows Norman off the apron. As he grabs Pepe, Disco comes over and hits the CHARTBUSTER for the win. (3:25) Where do they go with Disco now? He beat Chavo. Now what? ½*

  • First Round – WCW World Tag Team Titles Tournament: Dave Taylor & Fit Finlay vs. Super Calo & Lizmark Jr.

We get the RETURN of Dave Taylor here. He’s no longer playing up the nobility angle he was doing with Steven Regal as part of the Blue Bloods tag team. He’s just a British guy in a blue wrestling singlet. This feels – thrown together at the last moment. Calo and Finlay start us off – and typically I’d be interested in this match because it’s nice to see the luchadores against non-luchadores. Finlay surprises Calo with an inverted atomic drop. Calo gets whipped into a corner and walks up the ropes to come back around and armdrag Finlay, but the spot gets blown. In comes Taylor with European uppercuts. Calo avoids a corner charge and tags Lizmark as he goes DROPKICK CRAZY. Nobody seems to care. Lizmark starts to dance and gets blasted by Taylor. Tag to Finlay, he full body slams Lizmark in a corner and walks on him to get to the second rope. As he delivers his pump splash, Lizmark brings up the knees. He hotshots Finlay and delivers a quebrada for two. The Finlay Roll knocks the wind out of Lizmark as Taylor gets a tag. More uppercuts. He avoids a crossbody out of the corner and then delivers a butterfly suplex into a floatover and covers Lizmark for the win. (3:13) Taylor and Finlay advance! Who will they face next? No idea. There’s no graphic or explanation to show us anything or to know what else to expect out of this tournament, which is a *BIG* part of why this already feels thrown together at the last minute. This could have been a much more fun match. Although they did give Calo and Lizmark a little bit here. Apparently, we’ll find out more on WCW Saturday Night. *½

Afterwards, both nWo factions head out to the ring to feast on all four guys. Tony says this reminds him of the old days. The crowd wants Goldberg, but they won’t get him. Scott Hall gets on the mic and responds to the tag team tournament new that’s getting started due to Ric Flair’s love of tradition. Well, as Bischoff once said, “Tradition Bites”. The real reason there’s no more tag team wrestling is because nobody could beat Hall and Nash. BUT WAIT, you turned on Kevin Nash at Slamboree and cost each other the tag belts – nevermind. Hall declares this tag team tournament is never going to happen. If you don’t like it, you can suck his dick. Okay, let’s move on. Regardless, Tony tells us to keep watching on Saturday Night to see more of the WCW world tag team titles tournament.

Since I won’t be recapping it, I’ll tell ya now: in what’s described as two first round matches: Dave Taylor and Fit Finlay defeat Disorderly Conduct. Why does Taylor and Finlay have to be in two first round matches? Isn’t the match we just saw a first round match? Anyways, Kenny Kaos (the guy who we thought was one half of the tag team champions with Rick Steiner, but then it became Judy Bagwell and not Kenny Kaos for one night) and Bobby Freaking Eaton defeated LWO’s La Parka and Silver King. Who can keep track of any of this anymore?

  • Booker T vs. La Parka

La Parka ain’t SCARED of the nWo. He gets a little too pumped doing his dancing though as Booker blasts him with a jumping forearm and pitches him to the floor. La Parka baits Booker out to the floor and then runs back in the ring so he can be the first man in to catch Booker. He chops and clotheslines Booker in the corner. Booker comes back with a clothesline, but La Parka catches Booker with an enziguri. Booker shows off the kicks of his own – culminating with the AX KICK. That gets two. The 110th Street Slam gives La Parka a goose egg on his head. La Parka actually manages to recover and clothesline Booker to the floor for some ringside violence. He brings the chair in the ring, but Booker drills him with the Harlem Side Kick into the chair for the win. (4:26) Nice little JTTS match to keep heating up Booker. *½

We head back over to Raven’s mother’s house as everybody is out by the pool. Sandman makes his WCW debut on this show as “James” which is his real first name. Raven’s mom and his grandmother are shown sitting by the pool and they seem happy to see him, but Chas ignores him and Kanyon who is cleaning the pool doesn’t seem to get along with James. Kanyon gets hit on the back and he does a huge somersault in the pool. It was a little over kill. Apparently, James is also Raven’s brother. He goes to smooch Chas on the cheek and she seems disgusted by the thought. Nobody is supposed to mess with Raven right now. He’s having one of those days. James starts talking to his grandmother about his legit kids Kelly and Tyler and how big they are now. Raven comes over and starts complaining that James is here before going back inside the house. Chas even starts chiming in on the problem. James leaves to go talk with Raven.

They show the finish of Konnan beating Jericho for the TV title about six weeks ago on Nitro, which might be confusing for people who don’t know he’s not the TV champ anymore. During Jericho’s entrance, we cut to the backstage area where La Parka is laid out on the concrete with a “chalk line” around him. Of course, the nWo is tagged on the concrete as well to show who did it – if it wasn’t already obvious.

  • Konnan vs. Chris Jericho (w/Ralphus)

Another Starrcade rematch. Konnan is still wearing his nWo t-shirt that they just started selling last week. Jericho interrupts Konnan’s pre-match spiel so they don’t have to figure out what to say now since he’s essentially been dumped by the nWo Wolfpac. Scott Dickinson is *your* referee for this match, which I’m sure will matter at some point during this match. Konnan comes back on Jericho as they brawl in the aisle. Ralphus is shown staring at the ceiling when this is going on. Back inside, Jericho launches Konnan throat-first on the top rope. He puts the boots to Konnan, but Konnan comes right back with a hurricane bulldog. The Rolling Clothesline wipes out Jericho. The spinebuster out of the corner gets two. Jericho sends Konnan into ref Scott Dickinson. Now what. Some foreign object wipes out Konnan. PERRY SATURN shows up, pulls Dickinson out, and sends him running for his life. As Jericho gets distracted, he turns around into the K-FACTOR as Konnan gets the three count by Saturn. (5:02) Whatever. Jericho throws a temper tantrum on the floor slamming a chair against the ring apron. *

MFGWLM HYPE: “The Big Brawl” (1980) starring Jackie Chan in his Hollywood debut!

  • Chris Benoit vs. Barry Windham

Imagine 1988 Windham against 1999 Benoit – and that’s a MATCH. However, this is the only 1-on-1 meeting between these two. Benoit chops Windham out to the floor, but Windham actually chops back. In the ring, Benoit headbutts and knees and chops. There’s a dragon screw leg whip, but Windham’s trick knee acts up and he gives Benoit a DDT. There’s a suplex into a floatover for two. They fight over the next suplex and it looks like Benoit drops him on his head. Whoops. Windham goes to the eyes and lands a gutwrench suplex. They briefly go to the floor for guardrail action. Back in, Benoit takes Windham’s head off with a clothesline. He hits a backbreaker for two. Windham goes back to the eyes. He lifts up Benoit for a slam and wipes out ref Billy Silverman. Benoit delivers a German suplex and calls for the Swandive Headbutt, but CURT HENNIG runs down and slides into the ring only to find himself in the CRIPPLER CROSSFACE. Windham stomps Benoit in the face. Hennig rolls out and Windham covers Benoit for the three-count. (5:11) Really? A stomp to the head? STEVE McMICHAEL runs out and starts clubbing Windham. He fights off Hennig as well. Benoit and McMichael stand tall to end the show. **

Even if you wanted to go down this ridiculous path of making David Flair into a wrestler, wouldn’t Ric Flair and Chris Benoit (w/David Flair at ringside) against Curt Hennig and Barry Windham (w/Eric Bischoff at ringside) be a better match for Souled Out? Seems so simple.

Until next time, so long for now.

WCW / nWo PRESENTS: SOULED OUT
LIVE on January 17 from the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia! ONLY ON PPV!
MAIN EVENT: Ric & David Flair vs. Curt Hennig & Barry Windham

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