Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Thunder 3/19/98
Recap of Nitro and Sting and Savage will face off at the next PPV.
Jericho comes down and he loves Terre Haute, and talks about his Jerichoholics and how Rey’s knee is along with making fun of Juve. He takes being a role model really seriously. What he did to Rey etc. will never, ever happen again.
Match 1: Chris Jericho (c) v. Super Calo for WCW Cruiserweight Title
Calo shoves him in the corner but is punched and knocked down. They tussle back and forth and Calo clotheslines him coming out of the corner gets two and the axe handles to the back send him to the floor, but Jericho counters right back after he gets back in the ring and kicks and punches Calo. He vertically suplexes him and does the arrogant cover, where he flexes with one foot on him. Calo is bodyslammed and Jericho slingshots on top of him for a two count. Calo tries to kick Jericho back but is jump kicked and put in a reverse chinlock; Jericho is pulling back on the neck, the ref breaks it and Jericho pushes him. Jericho is flipped out to the floor and Calo dives through the ropes and runs into Jericho. Back in the ring, Calo rolls through and gets a two count. Calo leaps back off the ropes and dropkicks Jericho getting a near fall. But Jericho ducks a move and it is Liontamer time and Calo taps.
*** Solid match. I was slow in the beginning getting in the groove (typing) but it was fairly action packed.
Match 2: El Dandy v. Kendall Windham
This match came on during the break. Not much going on, Dandy is getting chopped in the corner. Raven is at ringside and has the US belt he stole it from DDP after blindsiding him on MTV last night. Dandy fights back but is bulldogged and it is over.
Schiavone calls out Hennig and Rude. Later tonight Curt will go one on one against Rick Steiner. Curt mentions that Hogan sent him on a mission to destroy Bret Hart and he is not around tonight and will probably stay in Canada. Rude calls him a boil on the bootie of humanity and a 240 pound pimple and Indiana is a big ball of pus like Bret ready to be lanced. Curt continues that for the last 15 years these two have ruled wrestling, and they have never lost a fight. Rude asks Curt if he would like a Halls but he does not because they are too sweet….WTF?
Match 3: La Parka v. Saturn
Saturn struts around the ring, Saturn watches and then clotheslines him and just slides him to the floor. He suplexes him back into the ring and gets two. He drops down and goes after the arm and wrist and Parka crawls and grabs the rope. Saturn pummels him in the corner, picks him up and dumps him over his back getting two. Parka stops the whip attempt and turns it into a short armed clothesline and gets two. Parka fucks up the leapfrog and Saturn’s head is twisted. Parka hesitates and Saturn gives him a stiff elbow and now Parka comes back with an enzuguri and Saturn falls to the floor. Lodi tries to help him and Parka leaps on top of both men. Back in the ring he catches him with a corkscrew from the top getting two. Parka goes out and grabs the chair and Saturn dropkicks him and Parka’s head grazes it and then after the belly to belly the Rings finish him off.
**1/2 Short but fast paced.
DDP is talking to MTV about his match with Raven coming up. Raven pops up on a TV screen and is all upset and wants to know what about him. He should have won the title and gets some static and is upset and wonders of Matthew McWannabe or the Foo Fighters get static or DDP. He is mocked by the guests and DDP. He will get revenge and then blindsides DDP with a stop sign and gives him the Evenflow through the table and takes the belt as the MTV guys act baffled and scared.
Match 4: Ray Traylor v. Barry Darsow
Ray pushes him into the corner, and it takes the ref awhile to get them to separate, and Barry uses that to knee him in the gut a few times, takes him down and has him in a side headlock. Ray escapes and drops him with the big boot. Ray jumps on the back a couple of times, and slides under the ropes where he uppercuts him. Darsow makes a comeback, sledges the back a couple of times, sends him sternum first into the corner and then has the arm wrapped around the post. Now he softens it around the rope, the arm is getting softened up that is. Darsow gets two after a back suplex. He bends back on the wrist but Ray gets to the ropes but keeps after the arm and elbow. He drives his shoulder into him, but Ray hits him in the head and then spikes him. But misses the elbow drop, and Darsow goes back onto the offensive but is led into the post and then finished off.
* Rather dull. Ray is going nowhere, so kind of pointless.
Match 5: Yuji Nagata v. Prince Iaukea
Prince has the arm and takes him down but is put in a headscissors, Prince breaks that and both get to their feet. They go back and forth, down goes Iaukea, Nagata off the whip puts on the brakes. Prince is on the apron and flips onto him. Yuji though comes back with some kicks, and has the arm and yanks it over his shoulder, takes him down and puts him in a cross armbreaker. Prince is up, dropkicks him but is nailed with dual chop to the throat. Yuji gets two and goes after the arm again and Prince punches free, but is shoved back and straddled. Yuji pounds him and has the arm locked up again. Prince is up and forearms free but gets his eyes gouged. Prince is sent into the ropes and given a belly to back. He is dropkicked and Sonny runs distraction and Sonny accidentally kicks Nagata and a bridge suplex finishes him.
Show parts of the Giant/Nash match from the PPV.
Match 6: Brian Adams v. Marty Jannetty
Marty is promptly assaulted, knocked to the floor and then press slammed back into the ring. Adams misses in the corner but catches a leaping Jannetty and bearhugs him. He back drops Jannetty, whips him into the ropes misses the boot and catches him again and tosses him over his back with ease. Marty kicks him in the gut but eats a headbutt and a whip into the corner sends him tumbling to the mat. He is given a backbreaker but Adams misses the running knee drop but he picks him up anyway, Jannetty ducks under and gives him an inverted atomic drop and gets two after a missile dropkick. He leaps on his back and puts him in a sleeper. Adams escapes and crushes him with a powerslam getting the win.
* Poor Marty, should have been better and I am sure Adams is going nowhere.
Match 7: Psychosis v. Eddie Guerrero
Eddie has the arm, takes him down, picks him up and tries to shoot him off but is snapped over. Psychosis flies at him and is given a spinning backbreaker. Eddie goes for a back suplex and Psychosis lands on his feet and takes down Eddie getting two. Eddie snaps him over in retaliation and stomps on him and listens to the fans chant that he sucks, and this allow Psychosis to nail him and strike with a guillotine legdrop. He baseball slides him to the floor and then goes up top and nails him with a corkscrew plancha. Back in the ring he gets two after a slingshot elbow. Eddie makes a comeback, muffs the powerbomb, and so he is slammed. Psychosis goes up top and misses the corkscrew plancha. Eddie goes up top and Psychosis meets him there but is shoved off and he positions himself so the Frogsplash lands square on the back and it is over.
**1/2 Short but again fast paced and hopefully Eddie gets another title shot down the line.
Match 8: Raven v. Brad Armstrong
The Flock intercepts Brad and Reese tosses him. Hammer is involved too as Raven sits in the corner with the belt on his lap. Raven has the mic and talks about Brad’s offer of salvation and how he did not take him up on that. DDP gets no offer, and he can never forgive DDP and he discusses the MTV segment. Raven took all that away from him and he should not have had too as it should have been Raven, and what about Raven. He continues and grabs Armstrong and gives him the Evenflow and shouts that Page is never more as he pins him.
*** For angle advancement purposes.
Video package of the long lost Bret Hart.
Match 9: Scott Norton v. Chris Benoit
Benoit goes after him with some chops, sends him reeling but Norton powers him into the corner and then clotheslines him. He now chops away on Benoit. Benoit stomps him and gives him some chops but one sends Benoit down. Norton headbutts him and clubs the back with his forearm. Norton back elbows him, and slowly picks him apart, walks back over and stomps away. Benoit is up, kicked into the corner and then pounded some more and is sent down after a lariat. Benoit is whipped into the ropes powerslammed and nearly pinned. Benoit is sent into the corner and put in a fireman’s carry and dropped down and nearly pinned again. Norton is slackjawed arguing with the ref. Benoit is sent into the corner and he moves and Norton crashes into the corner and is German suplexed and then nailed with the diving headbutt. He has him in the Crossface forever but Norton will not tap. Vincent gets on the apron and of course Benoit breaks the hold and this allows Norton to finish him off with the shoulderbreaker.
** Um, a guy getting a push against Norton who has not done much but be an enforcer and now that Benoit is done with his feud with Page they are now jobbing him out again. They made the Crossface look weak and shows that WCW refuses to put “small” guys over the big guys. Clearly Norton will never rise above the midcard but they are sure intent of keeping Benoit there.
Match 10: Jobber v. Goldberg
It is Wayne Bloom. I was busy typing. He puts Goldberg in a full nelson and Goldberg reverses it and spikes him. Goldberg knees him and pump handle slams him. Bloom fires off a series of shots that do not budge him and Goldberg spears him and the Jackhammer finishes him.
Crowd loves it. Saturn takes off his coat and wants a piece and the crowd is rabid…..
Match 11: Curt Hennig v. Rick Steiner
Here we go! They lock and Rick sent into the ropes but he runs over Curt. They lock up again, and Curt pushes him into the corner, only to be hiptossed. Curt heads to the floor but is pulled back in by his hair. Curt chops him, whips him into the ropes and leapfrogs right into a powerslam. He is clotheslined and Rick goes up top and Rick pulls the leg and the match is thrown out. They pound Rick and Ted tries to help him but he is taken out. Rick makes a comeback with a belly to back. But the rest of nWo runs out “B” team and they assault Rick as Ted is being choked out on the floor. Ray Traylor runs down and he helps briefly but is overwhelmed. Now the fans erupt and it is GOLDBERG. Be spears both Adams and Curt and then Norton! He then just leaves the ring! Holy shit the fans lost it. Rick and Ray now clear the rest out.
* For the match and another for the aftermath. Main event was way too short.
**1/2 Now it was going to be a two star but the appearance of Goldberg changed that. I wonder if it was a test run to see how the crowd reacted and well they certainly responded loudly. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come because they just elevated him to the next level. Now I fear this is what the show will become, random lowercard matches with some midcard thrown in for good measure and they will mean nothing for Nitro or the PPV’s. As long as they have some quality wrestling but I fear that will not be the case as tonight was subpar. The jobbing of Benoit is particularly baffling but I must remember this is WCW where making sense is often foreign and the nWo cannot lose….cleanly. This takes me out of the moment from enjoying the show and they have a chance to elevate someone to the next level. Not that a win against Norton would do that but it would solidify Benoit as Norton will not be on a PPV anytime soon. The fans were into it and would have erupted and it would not have hurt Norton one whit…oh well.