Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Thunder 3/12/98
The Giant comes out wearing a really swell leather vest a couple of sizes too small. He has the mic and wants to know where Nash is at. He has not seen him around lately, and maybe that is because it is now an even playing field. He is willing to take on every member of the nWo by himself and if they succeed he will be slim pickens for Nash but if they do not then there will be Hell to pay. Out comes Liz and Macho. Savage wants to know if he is hearing this correctly, and Savage likes the fact that Giant will clear a path towards Nash and that leaves Hogan all alone in the cage at Uncensored. After he beats him then it is time to get the belt. Here comes Sting, Sting calls it his title. Savage responds that you never know with the right place, right time and right man and you never know when the Madness gets out of control. Sting agrees that this is the right place and time and he is the man, so the match is on and Macho likes it as Giant looks sagely down at both.
Match 1: Brad Armstrong v. Raven
Raven tries to persuade Armstrong that perhaps discretion is the better part of valor. He understands his hurt and then goes over his history that since the early 80s Brad’s career has descended into mediocrity and he is fully aware of the Curse. The sins of the father are visited upon the son, his father was a great man but that the bookers were jealous of him and so they took it out on Brad. Vader like, he wants him to give in to his hate and anger. Brad looks sad and then gets demolished by the Evenflow and it is over.
**Angle advancement and shows Raven needs to get a bigger push.
Schiavone calls out Jericho. He comes out in Juve’s mask and declares that Malenko has a shot at the PPV. He then gets up fired up and he has been running and pumping iron so he is willing to give Dean a shot tonight. He also collects trophies such as the mask and belt and reminds us what happened to Rey. He is also the man of a 1004 holds and will never, ever lose that belt.
Match 2: Kendall Windham v. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Duggan gets the crowd going in a USA chant. They lock up and exchange blows, Windham misses and gets an atomic drop and then pulled down. Windham rolls to the floor but pulls Duggan to the floor only to be thrust into the ring post and now the railing. Windham is rolled back into the ring, and Windham pounds on him and boots him in the mug. Windham staggers around the ring no selling and now they exchange more blows but gets his eyes raked. Windham bodyslams him and puts him in a rear chinlock. Duggan gets to his feet and gets caught with a knee after the whip. Duggan is chopped in the corner and sent into the other one but runs into a clothesline and now two more. Duggan bodyslams him and sets up the three point and connects and the knee drop finishes him off.
* This will go nowhere. Future of Thunder? I love how Schiavone talks about Duggan’s winning streak and he lost last week and then talked about how we had not seen his finisher in some time…..Jesus Tony.
Match 3: Scott Steiner v. Johnny Grunge
Grunge comes down with a table and Scotty wants to shake hands and Grunge asks the crowd. Don’t do it dumbass; he did it and gets plowed. Scotty runs him over and mugs for the crowd. Grunge is sent into the ropes but blocks the hiptoss and he connects with one but then is shoved into the corner and tossed over with a belly to back. Scotty kisses his bicep, hangs him upside down and pulls back on the head. Scotty drops the elbow onto the back a couple of times and yells at him to get up, bearhug time. Grunge bites him to get free, knocks him down but then runs into a clothesline. More flexing from Steiner, and he works him over in the corner but then after the whip into the other one he runs into a back elbow. He strikes with a swinging neckbreaker, randomly checks the table and wastes time and now Scotty attacks him as he gets on the apron but Grunge bashes his head into the turnbuckle ten times but as he gets in Scotty pulls up on the rope and crotches him and the knocks him off the apron with a forearm and into the table and sells it like he is dead. Steiner rolls the dead weight back into the ring and it is Recliner time.
** Okay, just a brawl and they gave Grunge some offense…the table spot was rather weak.
Schiavone calls out Eddie Guerrero, and Tony reminds us of his accolades and how he can win a third title. Eddie brushes that off saying he is going to win and then turns to different and more important matters and that is Chavo disgracing the family name. He is tired of it and Chavo comes out and wants to know if he has something to say (um, he already did) and Eddie has tried to beat him up and help him out and is tired of it. It is time to settle it in the ring, and if Eddie wins he has to listen to everything he has to say and allow him to help him get higher on the ladder. Chavo accepts on one condition and that is when Chavo wins Eddie has to start honoring the Guerrero name and Eddie acts all non-chalant and is willing. Chavo shoves him aside and wants a piece of him now and Eddie tries to beg off but the match is on.
Match 4: Chavo Guerrero v. Eddie Guerrero
Chavo clotheslines him and Eddie fights back with some chops only to be back body dropped. Eddie comes back with some uppercuts, snaps him over and tosses him over. But Chavo hangs on and pulls himself back in and scissors him over. Eddie heads to the floor and Chavo suicide dives out on top of him. He goes up top after Eddie is rolled back in. Chavo is crotched and fights him off and then kills him with a tornado DDT. But Eddie nuts him and after the brainbuster it is Frog Splash time and Eddie gets the win.
**1/2 For the short time it was great but should have been twice as long.
EB and Hall come down and they point at Hogan as he comes out. Bischoff calls himself the luckiest man in the world and salivates over Hulk’s biceps. He states there is dumb, dumber and mega dumb and the Giant is mega dumb. Hogan is gleeful that the Giant challenged the entire nWo and they are fighting over who gets what. Now it is Hall’s turn who looks a little worse for wear, and after a Hey Yo, he states that the Giant is far dumber than he looks. Sting has his hands full with him and Savage has to get in a cage with a man and tonight he will be watching tonight. The Outsiders do not want to make trouble tonight. Hogan feels like it is on vacation and after they pick off the Giant then at the PPV Hall will be the new nWo champ and Hogan will get rid of Savage once and for all.
Match 5: Konnan v. Lizmark Jr.
Konnan goes behind, attempts a snap mare and Lizmark lands on his feet. They continue to exchange holds and finally Konnan assaults him with fists and knees. Lizmark jumps up top and kicks Konnan off and then missile kicks him. Lizmark is launched into the corner, and Konnan gets the near fall after German suplex into a pin. Lizmark gets a near fall but is finished with the Cradle DDT and Tequila Sunrise. Konnan starts to untie the mask and Juve breaks it up with a springboard missile kick. Konnan comes in from behind and hammers Juve; Juve climbs up top and is crotched and then given a type of muscle buster off and then tossed across the ring.
** Angle advancement.
Schiavone welcomes, reluctantly, Hennig and Rude. Rude’s original idea was to collect a hefty bounty for some chumps up in Connecticut but now he wants to beat him up for the fun of it. Curt is going to eliminate him but admits that Bret is a good wrestler, however there is a difference between good and great. And he Rude along with Norton have never lost a fight. Rude reiterates that it is over Bret on Sunday and he bets they can make him sweat.
Match 6: Saturn v. Disco Inferno
Saturn has enough of the dancing and pummels him. He is pulled back by the ref and then pummels him some more with some kicks and then knocks him to the floor. Disco fights him off and then decleats Lodi. Saturn blindsides him, rolls him back into the ring and chops him, then kicks him in the skull. Disco gets him over with a sunset flip getting two but he misses the elbow drop. Saturn tosses him via a pump handle toss (repititious I know) and then utterly dismantles him with a front type brainbuster and goes up top but jumps onto a boot and Disco rolls him up for two. After some give and take Disco uses the ropes to roll him up and uses the ropes and gets two. Disco clotheslines him, gets another two count but Saturn catches him with a standing sidekick and now Saturn gets two. Disco grabs him and nails him with a spinebuster, after the swinging neckbreaker he gets yet another near fall. Saturn grabs him and tosses him over into a belly to belly and finishes him with the Rings.
**1/2 Nice win for Saturn but will it go anywhere….probably not.
Here comes Hogan with the nWo in tow. I believe they are going to try and pick apart the Giant.
Match 7: nWo v. the Giant
Nash is not there but the Giant walk gamely to the ring despite the odds. As to why they are acting like this is a tag match is beyond me. Hall tosses his toothpick and gets a huge headbutt in response and then a gorilla slam. Giant points at Hennig and Curt tries to bob and weave and gets tossed for is trouble and Konnan runs in and gets slugged and Hogan is hit and now more come in and they all come in one at a time and get dismantled. Konnan is powerbombed and the nWo departs in a hurry. Hogan demands he be arrested and Dillinger has the chains.
** I like how they set it up but the execution is off with them only coming into the ring one at a time….Why not just beat his ass, since when do the nWo follow the rules?
Giant is led up and a giggling Nash has coffee and tosses at him and the Giant breaks the plastic chain and chases him off.
Match 9: Dean Malenko v. Chris Jericho (c) for WCW Cruiserweight Title
Jericho attacks him before the bell, actually before he gets to the ring and runs him into the steel rail. He rolls him into the ring, runs him pillar to post where he sandwiches him twice. He covers him by flexing and using one boot after a vertical suplex and only gets two. Oh, and he is wearing Juve’s mask, now Jericho misses in the corner and Dean pops him a few times and gets a near fall after a rolling kick. He back suplexes him and turns him into the Cloverleaf…..and we have a new champ.
** Shit I hate this. Hotshotting the title on Thunder prior to a PPV. Shit I am stupid……I mean to be fair I was watching the NCAA Tourney too, and I could delete what I wrote and pretend I am smart but it was actually Lenny Lane in the mask! Jericho runs down with the belt and hits Dean with it and nails Lenny too. He puts Malenko in the Liontamer….
Holy fucking shit, I usually fast forward the Uncensored ad but seeing as I was typing I did not and it is just fucking awful. It is indescribable how horrifying it is. They are making rhymes with wrestling moves and have people holding signs and speaking in a fast, squeaky language…..I just got dumber.
Match 10: Scott Norton v. Lex Luger
Heenan does not think Luger can get Norton up in the Rack; he did a few months ago. Oh well, Heenan is probably sober.
Norton hammers him as he gets in the ring, runs him over in the corner and the chucks him to the floor. Norton chops him in the chest, runs him into the railing and then the side of the ring. He rolls him back into the ring and Luger is nailed with a flying shoulder block and he gets a two count. Norton goes off the middle buckle and connects with a flying clothesline. Luger makes his comeback with clotheslines and forearms. He calls for the Rack and Scott Steiner runs down and he and Norton hammer Lex. But Rick makes the save an Scotty runs to the floor where he runs into a forearm and is rolled back into the ring. Norton saves him and all four brawl with the faces standing tall as Scotty rolls to the floor to escape the Rack.
** Sets up Sunday.
Match 11: Randy Savage v. Sting (c) for WCW Title
Sting enters the ring and is kicked and then punched by Savage. Savage sledges the back and keeps working it over. Sting fires back and blocks a blow and then staggers Savage with some kicks and punches into the other corner. Savage turns it back around and boxes him in the corner, chokes him out and sends him back into the corner with a big right. Sting hits him right back, gives him an inverted atomic drop and then tosses him into the ropes. Already it is Deathlock time and Hall runs in and boots Sting in the head and Hogan comes down and they get cleared out by both Sting and Savage. Now the rest of the nWo saunters down and the brawl is on. Again the nWo is sent to the floor so they call out more help. Sting calls down the rappel rope and Macho is hooked up and so is Sting and Sting rushes to hook him and they head to the ceiling.
** Look I am all for angle advancement. It did do that but Savage would have had to have tapped. WCW is trying to raise questions about whose side Savage is on etc. Their match was just okay and probably precludes a future bout between the two. But overall it was not too long and I guess that is fine as it is Thunder and it teases the PPV.
*** Not bad. It did the job and just set up the PPV. Now that WCW is on five hours a week they have been able to build the PPV’s right by focusing on just about every feud. The main issue with the show was the short matches but the show flowed fine.