Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Thunder 2/5/98
Thunder has been surprisingly good the first month and with the Benoit/DDP title match it should be good again.
They recap the Steiner flap.
Match 1: La Parka v. Hugh Morrus
Morrus gets a solid pop. Parka does not and he gets hammered but he fires back and then struts around getting a clothesline for his troubles. Morrus whip him into the corner and runs into two boots and Parka runs at him and is powerslammed and nearly pinned. Parka grabs the rope so he cannot be whipped, so he is chopped down instead. Morrus whips him into the corner and crashes into him. He tries again but Parka stops and spinkicks him. Parka goes up and runs into a back elbow. Morrus slowly goes up top and hits his finisher and gets the win.
Wow the fans were hot, but why did La Parka get squashed by this guy?
Parka is not happy with that and belts him with the chair. La Parka stands on the chair and struts around.
A video package of Goldberg.
Match 2: Jim Powers v. Bill Goldberg
Goldberg comes out to a pop and immediately tosses Powers. Powers is up and gets his legs tied up by Goldberg’s patented take down. Powers is up and chops him and hits him too but Goldberg no sells and spears him and finishes him with the Jackhammer and the fans erupt.
Match 3: Kidman v. Juventud Guerrera
Juve ducks and takes him down with a headscissors. Now Kidman has him and Juve tries to escape as he has him in a scissors but is front powerbombed or faceplanted or something that looked kind of cool. Now they go back and forth, Kidman floats behind on the suplex attempt and then Kidman tries to suplex him to the floor but Juve lands on the apron. Kidman is tossed to the floor. Juve is Frankensteins him from the apron to the floor and they both crash into Lodi. Kidman is rolled back in and Juve misses the springboard guillotine legdrop. Juve is whipped into the corner and Kidman misses the running splash. Kidman is placed up top and just killed with a hurracarana off the top. Juve gets a near fall, and Kidman floats over and plants him getting two. Juve clearly powerbombs him and the announcers claim it is a running piledriver. Lodi is on the apron and he gets kicked off with a springboard kick. Kidman is up and he drives him into the mat and finishes him off with the Shooting Star Press.
Fast paced and really good.
Tenay is waiting for DDP and he reminds DDP and us for the umpteenth time that he called him out last week. DDP tells us that Benoit is jacked for tonight and all the boys in the back know how good he is when he is jacked up. DDP is hoping he is jacked tonight and he knows that the fans want to see the match and tonight we will see who the best is.
Match 4: Silver King and Villano IV and V v. Super Calo and Lizmark Jr. and Chavo Guerrero Jr.
A Villano and Lizmark start off and they exchange holds and counter out of move until Lizmark back body drops him. Lizmark hits him with a springboard kick. He goes after him and is met by punches from Villano’s partners. Calo flies in and crashes into the other Villano but gets spun around with a clothesline. Calo fights back with consecutive armdrags, and Villano is knocked to the floor. Now Chavo and King are in and Chavo just unloads on him with hurracaranas and dropkicks and he gets a one count as a Villano makes a save. Chavo is drilled with a DDT and then choked out on the bottom rope and the other Villano guillotine legdrops him. King is in and he superkicks Calo and now he is triple teamed and slammed down. King dropkicks him and Calo falls to the floor. Lizmark comes in and hits a Villano with a spinning backbreaker and he falls to the floor and then dives out on him. Now they are all going at it. King misses Chavo with a kick and nails him with a tornado DDT, and the ref is distracted and Psychosis runs down and super guillotine legdrops Chavo and rolls King on top of him for the win.
Not bad and Chavo actually has a feud!
Recap of Savage and nWo issues.
Dusty kicks Lee Marshall out of the broadcast table and sits with Tony and Heenan and yells over and over about telling the truth. I swear he called the other two unbiased…..when he meant the other. He did say hi to Heenan.
Match 5: Buff Bagwell and Konnan v. the Steiners
Buff attacks both from behind as they come down and now Konnan joins in but the Steiners grab them and nail both with belly to belly suplexes and they retreat to the floor. It seems that the Steiners are back on the same page. Rick will start off against Konnan. Konnan backs off and tags in Buff. Nope it is Konnan and he is kicked and punched. Rick ducks a clothesline after a whip and slams Konnan, drops the elbow and Buff breaks up the pin attempt. Now Rick is getting hammered and DDT’d and Scotty runs in and now Rick is getting tossed around, out to the floor now where Konnan hammers him and then rolls him back into the ring. Buff bodyslams but the splash attempt hits all knees. Scotty gets the hot tag and clotheslines both and then spikes Konnan and all Hell has broken loose and they go for their finisher despite the bell ringing. Hall is shoved Rick into the back of Scotty and Scotty is whining about it as Rick and DiBiase try to calm him down.
More Steiner angle advancement in the epically long heel turn.
Match 6: Marty Jannetty v. Raven
Raven sits on the stage, slowly gets to his feet and then takes his time heading to the ring. Marty meets him out on the floor and assaults him; he pounds the head over and over and Lodi runs into the aisle and is superkicked, and Raven gets a boot to the face too. Marty has Raven by the hair and taunts him, and rolls him back into the ring and whips him into the ropes, connecting with a back elbow and tries three times for the pin and cannot get it. Raven reverses a whip, Marty ducks but turns right into a big lariat. Marty is tossed out to the floor, and Schiavone is stunned that his tongue is pierced! I do not remember if that was common in the late 90s. Raven leaps off the apron and hits him, tosses some chairs into the ring and then bulldogs him on the seat of the chair. Raven puts him in an STF and then lets it go as he screams for Benoit. Marty rolls him up for two and Raven hits him, and tries to snap him over but Marty just falls. Raven places the chair on him and goes up to the middle rope and leaps back and Marty holds up the chair and down goes Raven. Raven is up first though and he goes back up as the fans get behind Jannetty, Raven is crotched and then dropkicked right off the top and he crashes to the floor. Marty goes out after Raven and flings him into the steel steps. He rolls him back into the ring, and goes up top and rams him with a forearm, and he goes for his finisher but Raven rolls out and DDT’s him and it is over.
Another solid match.
Match 6: Disco Inferno v. Saturn
They go back and forth until Saturn takes him down and grabs the ropes. Disco rolls to the floor and he heads over and jaws with the Flock. Saturn attacks him on the apron but once back in the ring, Disco takes him down with an armdrag and now a shoulderblock. Saturn tries to take him down but is blocked and they counter holds until Disco is suplexed back.
Saturn is hammering him in the corner with kicks and punches. Saturn chops him and tries to whip him in the corner but Disco puts on the brakes and chops him, but Saturn returns the favor and hangs him on the top ropes and then kicks him in the chest with frontkicks. Disco fights back with an atomic drop and a swinging neckbreaker getting a two count. Saturn walks into an elbow but Disco walks right into a belly to belly getting a two count. Saturn turns a suplex into a front slam and Saturn goes up and misses the guillotine legdrop and Disco strikes with the Chartbuster and both are laid out. Disco finally makes the cover and Kidman runs down and places Saturn’s foot on the rope, and Saturn is up and kicks him square in the head and gets a near fall. Now Disco drops him for a near fall, he snaps him over but misses from the top rope. Disco is placed on top and falls on top of Saturn and he gets a near fall. Kidman shoves Saturn on top of Disco and this allows him to put on the Rings after a minute and it is all over.
Good stuff….thankfully the right person went over.
He holds it in and Booker runs out and Saturn tries to hit him but gets the Harlem kick instead.
Tenay is at the top of the ramp and brings out Nick Patrick who believes he is getting his second chance. He asks the fans that they have been able to review the tape and they know the truth and the fans boo. Nick claims they have brainwashed by the announcers and that he will be back on Nitro in full gear. Tenay wonders on what grounds and Nick responds that he was never tried and JJ Dillon knows he has no leg to stand on.
They have been having wrestlers hype up Blues Brothers which is on next, and Raven calls TBS Corporate and goes off on a rant and warns Benoit to boot!
Match 7: Scott Hall v. Jim Neidhart
Out comes Hall with Spicolli and it is survey time. Tonight the crowd is clearly on the side of WCW tonight. Hall admits that he is not the smartest guy around and he whines once more that he does not get the shot at SuperBrawl. Piper and WCW may rip you off, the Outsiders are the People’s Champion, and people think that the Steiners are so tough then they can have a shot at the belts on Nitro. Hall asks if Spicolli is serious about taking his committments and he responds in the affirmative and Hall tells him he has a tough one in Neidhart.
Neidhart comes out and unloads on him; he clotheslines him to the floor. Hall encourages him to get back into the ring and Jim helps him by slingshotting him back into the ring, and he clocks Hall to boot. Anvil uses his thumb again on the nerve and Hall comes in and nails him causing the DQ. Hall pounds on him and here comes Davey Boy and he powerslams Spicolli and then Mongo runs down and he has some knucks but he gets knocked to the floor and there is some jawing.
Some sort of angle advancement here….but where is Bret Hart?
Match 8: Chris Benoit v. DDP (c) for WCW US Title
Jesus two minutes gone or more for introductions and entrances. The two stare each other down from across the ring and…..
The bell has sounded twice yet the staredown continues and now they slowly walks towards one another and finally lock up and go in circles and both tumble to the floor. They get back in the ring and exchange chops and DDP strikes with a spinning side slam and Benoit goes to the corner in order to take five. They lock up again and the ring is filled with fog due to the pyro. Both men exchange snapmares and DDP hoists him up and back down with a gutbuster. DDP goes for a slam but is dropped down and put in the Crossface! However, DDP is right by the ropes and now they circle one another warily. DDP takes him down and now they exchange holds and blocks and now DDP gets two after a belly to belly. He goes for the Cutter but Benoit dives away. Now they are head to head and jawing and slugging at each other. Benoit takes charge with kidney shots and follows up with a back suplex. He takes an hour to make the cover and obviously gets only two. Benoit grabs him and slams him down and stomps on his back and neck. DDP is wallowing in the corner and each time he tries to get to his feet Benoit kicks him back down. DDP gets a surge of energy and fires back but misses in the corner after the whip. Benoit hits back, and DDP grabs him and nails him with a spinning DDT and both are down….Tony claims he saw someone run around ringside. DDP calls for the Cutter and here comes Lodi and he gets the DC and Sick Boy strikes with a missile dropkick. Raven DDT’s Benoit. Kidman goes for a splash from the top but misses everyone! Now DDP Diamond Cuts everyone. Lodi gets it off the ropes and Kidman who was up on his shoulders. Benoit is up and they glare at each other but the match has been thrown out. The fans are not happy and DDP talks down Benoit who looks unhappy, I almost used an inappropriate murder adjective but figured I would not.
Final Thoughts: The hyped main event was decent but not great. If anything it better lead to something, and hopefully it does lead to a PPV match. Overall there was plenty of wrestling and they relaxed a bit off of the main storylines. There was some but it was mostly midcard matches and minor angle advancement, which is fine as long as they are good matches and the show remains entertaining. It is nice to see Raven and Jericho and Goldberg and Benoit get some quality air time and it could lead to something bigger in the future. Oh and why is Martel in line for the TV title when Davey Boy would be a far better candidate though his feud with Mongo is actually no too bad so far.