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Smelly watches every Nitro-era Nitro, Thunder, Clash, and PPV while sitting and sometimes maybe standing


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i find it fun to look at records when Smelly calls them out (particularly for TV title shots), so let's take a deep dive for the last few weeks:

On 11/18/2023 at 8:05 PM, SirSmUgly said:

Thunder Interlude – show number seventeen – 21 May 1998

  • Fit Finlay is defending the TV title against Neidhart, who I guess has been racking up the wins on SN, Pro, and Worldwide…

  • Hoo boy, where to start? Since returning to WCW after the Montreal Screwjob, Neidhart has a 7-5-4 record. In singles, he is 4-3. at least it's a winning record i guess. thankfully, i have no memory of a Hennig/Neidhart feud.  
    • Worldwide 5/9 vs Buddy Lee Parker (W)
    • Saturday Night 5/2 vs Curt Hennig (L)
    • Saturday Night 4/11 vs Curt Hennig (DQ W)
    • Nitro 4/6 Neidhart & Bulldog vs Hennig & Crush (L)
    • Nitro 3/30 vs Curt Hennig (DQ W)
    • Thunder 3/26 Neidhart & Bulldog vs Hennig & Crush (Double DQ)
    • Nitro 3/16 Neidhart & Bulldog vs Destruction Crew (W)
    • Saturday Night 3/14 Neidhart & Bulldog vs Hennig & Crush (L)
    • Thunder 3/5 vs Curt Hennig (L)
    • Saturday Night 2/28 Neidhart & Bulldog vs Public Enemy (W)
    • Nitro 2/19 Neidhart & Bulldog vs Hennig & Crush (Double Count Out)
    • Saturday Night 2/14 Neidhart & Bulldog vs Dave Taylor & Doc Dean (W)
    • Thunder 2/12 vs Mongo McMichael (Double Count Out)
    • Nitro 2/2 vs Scott Hall (L)
    • Nitro 1/26 vs Wayne Bloom (W)
    • Nitro 1/12 vs Ric Flair (No Contest)


On 11/19/2023 at 9:22 PM, SirSmUgly said:

Show #143 – 25 May 1998

they even got Mike Enos out of mothballs for it! Or maybe Enos has been the king of Worldwide lately; I say this because he’s got a TV title shot against Fit Finlay

  • oh, Mike Enos. thought this would be uglier than it was. Record of 5-6 overall, 1-1 in singles. definitely TV Title worthy. 
    • Worldwide 5/23 Destruction Crew vs Public Enemy (L)
    • Worldwide 4/25 Destruction Crew vs High Voltage (L)
    • Thunder 4/22 vs Goldberg (L)
    • Nitro 3/30 Destruction Crew vs High Voltage (W)
    • Nitro 3/16 Destruction Crew vs Neidhart & Bulldog (L)
    • Saturday Night 3/14 Destruction Crew vs Raven & Saturn (L)
    • Worldwide 3/7 Destruction Crew vs Inner Aggression (Bill Payne & Butch Long) (W)
    • Saturday Night 2/21 Destruction Crew vs Benoit & Malenko (L)
    • Thunder 2/19 Destruction Crew vs Outsiders (DQ W)
    • Nitro 2/16 vs Barry Horowitz (W)
    • Saturday Night 1/31 Destruction Crew vs Disorderly Conduct (W)


20 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

Show #145– 08 June 1998

  • We are not far from the Great American Bash, and I for one am excited about this show (and about my shadow mini project of watching 1998’s WWF Big Five PPV competitors to their sister WCW shows: In this case, the ‘98 King of the Ring).

  • Scott Putski is making a random “second-gen wrestler has a Nitro match” appearance, which is one of the things that I love about this show... Eddy [...] fires a dropkick Putski’s knee. 
  • Hey, Norman EFFIN’ Smiley! Let’s give him more to do. He’s getting a TV title shot against Finlay for some reason, likely his 32-match winning streak on Pro that I will assume he’s on right now. 
  • 1.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
  • King of the Ring '98? nah man, i'd skip that one. i don't think anything memorable is going to happen there. 
  • the only thing i ever remember about Scott Putski is him blowing his knee out vs. Brian Christopher, so Eddy's dropkick to the knee seals the deal for me.
  • well, Smiley has a 2 match winning streak on Pro anyway. You know, his record in WCW is actually pretty poor up until this point. 5-6. spoiler alert, he won't get his first win on Nitro or Thunder until September. but maybe that will kick off a streak?  
    • Pro 6/7 vs Mike Tolbert (W)
    • Pro 5/24 vs Robbie Brookside (W)
    • Worldwide 5/23 vs British Bulldog (L)
    • Nitro 4/6 vs Konnan (L)
    • Nitro 2/9 vs Konnan (L)
    • Worldwide 1/17 vs Manny Fernandez [not that one] (W)
    • Saturday Night 1/3 vs Konnan (L)
    • Pro 12/28/97 vs Johnny Swinger (result unknown. i've seen this written on match lists, but is not on the episode of the show i have seen)
    • Saturday Night 11/29 Smiley & Chris Adams vs. Regal & Dave Taylor (W)
    • Worldwide 11/22  vs Dean Malenko (L)
    • Saturday Night 11/22 vs Dave Taylor (L)
    • Saturday Night 11/15  vs Lenny Lane (W)
  • well hot damn. you have a much more positive view of 1998 WCW than i did on my rewatch, so seeing a score this low makes me understand how truly bad this had to be.
Edited by twiztor
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On 12/3/2023 at 11:53 PM, SirSmUgly said:

The challenge of scoring this thing is that I know that shows booked by Vince Russo are still to come. How low can I go when I know that Russo shows are probably going to take me even lower than that? I thought about this, and I don’t think that I can let that truth cause me to artificially inflate a pre-Russo Nitro score. Hell, I have negative numbers to work with. The bottom is endless. Anyway, Jericho's promo tacks a full .25 splash onto this score for being so good. 1.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes

Also, the square root of negative one doesn't exist, so you can always use imaginary numbers for the really bad shit.

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18 hours ago, twiztor said:

i find it fun to look at records when Smelly calls them out (particularly for TV title shots)

You are a sick person, and I love you for it. 

  • Hoo boy, where to start? Since returning to WCW after the Montreal Screwjob, Neidhart has a 7-5-4 record. In singles, he is 4-3. at least it's a winning record i guess. thankfully, i have no memory of a Hennig/Neidhart feud.  

4-3 is okay, I guess. I can squint and get there with him. Hennig fell entirely off a cliff in every way after the calendar turned to 1998. At the very least, the various tags they have with one another that include Bulldog and Crush or whomever aren't psyche-scarring matches or anything like that.

  • oh, Mike Enos. thought this would be uglier than it was. Record of 5-6 overall, 1-1 in singles. definitely TV Title worthy. 

1-1 is TV Title worthy? Man, how far has the TV Title fallen in your eyes? I like Enos, but overall losing record and 1-1 in singles is like an 18-15 major conference team that goes .500 in conference getting into the NCAA tournament when a 25-4 mid-major - like Juventud Guerrera, say - should logically be getting a shot instead. 

    • Pro 6/7 vs Mike Tolbert (W)
    • Pro 5/24 vs Robbie Brookside (W)
    • Worldwide 5/23 vs British Bulldog (L)
    • Nitro 4/6 vs Konnan (L)
    • Nitro 2/9 vs Konnan (L)
    • Worldwide 1/17 vs Manny Fernandez [not that one] (W)
    • Saturday Night 1/3 vs Konnan (L)
    • Pro 12/28/97 vs Johnny Swinger (result unknown. i've seen this written on match lists, but is not on the episode of the show i have seen)
    • Saturday Night 11/29 Smiley & Chris Adams vs. Regal & Dave Taylor (W)
    • Worldwide 11/22  vs Dean Malenko (L)
    • Saturday Night 11/22 vs Dave Taylor (L)
    • Saturday Night 11/15  vs Lenny Lane (W)

That Norman Smiley match list is exactly what I love about 1998 WCW. Robbie Brookside, Chris Adams, Manny Fernandez [but not that one], a person named Mike Tolbert who I would have guessed was an NFL fullback and not a WCW wrestler based on the name had you asked me. I LOVE IT. 


well hot damn. you have a much more positive view of 1998 WCW than i did on my rewatch, so seeing a score this low makes me understand how truly bad this had to be.

1998 WCW was a slog post-Starrcade until they finally got the Wolfpac going, but there was absolutely a run of fun shows where the main event angle was hot and there is a bunch of good midcard stuff with Saturn, Raven, Booker, Benoit, Jericho, and Juvi. That seems to be ending now, unfortunately! But man, it was a fun two or three weeks while it lasted. 



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22 hours ago, twiztor said:

oh, Mike Enos. thought this would be uglier than it was. Record of 5-6 overall, 1-1 in singles. definitely TV Title worthy. 

4 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

1-1 is TV Title worthy? Man, how far has the TV Title fallen in your eyes? I like Enos, but overall losing record and 1-1 in singles is like an 18-15 major conference team that goes .500 in conference getting into the NCAA tournament when a 25-4 mid-major - like Juventud Guerrera, say - should logically be getting a shot instead. 

green = sarcasm

sorry, that was from a different, long dead forum. But i feel like it just works, you know? so it sometimes will still pop up in my posts.

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Thunder Interlude – show number twenty – 11 June 1998

"The WCW Gang’s really getting dragged down by Eric Bischoff, who is an awful on-screen heel”

  • I think the previous Nitro established that the Hogan-to-suckiness ratio is direct…Let’s hope for less (no?) Hogan on this Thunder (editor's note: I forgot to also ask for less [no?] Bischoff on this show)...Thunder has been surprisingly solid since its inception…I hope it stays that way at least into the latter part of 1998…


  • Well, we start with the nWo Hollywood cadre, minus Hogan, and including a bunch of skeezers who Tony S. refers to as a "bevy of beauties," so let's just go with that…Tony is super-down about that WCW PR announcement that he has to announce will be postponed…I assure you that no one cares, Tony…


  • We get a recap of the end of Nitro, more of the desk talking, and then Eric Bischoff cutting in with a mic from his place sitting with nWo Hollywood near the ramp…This really, really, really sucks, man…Bisch and the Giant cut a below-average promo…Anyway, Giant decides that if he wins the match against Sting at GAB, he’ll choose Ed FUCKING Leslie as his co-champ for the tag gold…The Giant challenges Lex Luger to a tag match against he and Disciple…He allows Lex to choose any partner…Bisch alludes to the PR notice, which is just about Rodman wrestling a match again…The stink of that last Nitro has attached itself to the start of this Thunder…


  • Scotty Riggs wrestles Dean Malenko in the first match of the night…Lee Marshall shows a complete lack of understanding about how the First Amendment works…We get a little cagey feeling-out work to start that Malenko basically controls…Marshall claims that that they call Malenko the “Iceman” because he’s so “stone cold”…That just reminds me that I could be watching better wrestling…Well, maybe not at the time, Smackdown doesn’t exist yet, but the general point remains…Riggs takes over after sledging Malenko in the back as Malenko tries a leapover…Riggs is very dull in control…This is way too competitive considering Riggs’s somnambulant approach to offense…Malenko finally knocks Riggs off the top rope and wraps on the Texas Cloverleaf for the win…


  • There’s a Goldberg hype video, but I’m over the streak and am more interested in seeing Goldberg have some reasonable feud partners…He hasn’t been in a feud since the Mongo one, I don’t think…


  • Chris Jericho comes out at the end of the video and plants seeds for a future feud that will never happen by crapping on Goldberg…Jericho calls out the ("fat, old, balding") J.J. Dillon for one final bitchfest…I like Jericho and all, but I have had enough talking for the past two shows…This wasn’t good enough on his part to make me change my mind…


  • They’re letting Billy Kidman wrestle on one of the big two WCW shows again…Kidman’s not the greatest wrestler or anything, but he’s basically always good for a solid match…Especially considering that tonight, Juvi is his opponent…We get a long shot of the nWo leaving their little banquet table instead of the start of this match…After some early exchanges, Juvi flips Kidman to the floor, but whiffs on a dive after Lodi helps Kidman move out of the way…Kidman drapes Juvi over the rail outside after Juvi tries to fight out of a powerbomb…Kidman hits a running SSP from the apron to Juvi on the floor…They pick it up going into the finish…Juvi flips out of a gourdbuster and gets two off a series of punches and a lariat…Kidman hits a nice wheelbarrow suplex to block a Juvi rollup attempt…The finishing run is very good after that slower middle of the match when everyone re-entered the ring…These fellas just have wonderful chemistry…Kidman gets a series of two counts off power moves…Juvi flips out of two suplex attempts and nails a Juvi Driver after the second flip out…Juvi hits a picture-perfect 450 for three…Wow, a good wrestling match!...Perish the thought, WCW...


  • Tony S. interviews Lex Luger…Luger tries to cut a Wolfpac-style promo and only mostly fails at it…Review of last week’s tag match with Luger and Tony S. talking over it…Luger accepts Giant’s tag match challenge from earlier tonight, confident he and his partner this week can get a win…It’ll be Luger and Savage against Giant and Disciple later tonight…


  • *sigh* Eric Bischoff and Bret Hart come out, with Bisch doing a lot of unnecessary talking…Bret offers Chris Benoit a spot in the nWo since I guess Bret is now the nWo Hollywood recruiter…The Hitman reminds Benoit of how the Dungeon made him into a Napoleon-complexed little spouse and child murderer the Crippler…Man, this is what they’re doing with Bret…Sorry for complaining about this yet again, but mannnnnnnnnnn


  • Well, Chris Benoit’s coming out here next to try and win a crucial match seven that will send the winner to GAB as the number one contender to the TV title…That’s kayfabe a hell of a thing to lay on him before he wrestles Booker T….Book comes out with Stevie Ray, but he sends Stevie to the back and goes to the ring to face his future alone…Benoit finally is the one to start hot and get a couple of early covers…Book dodges a basement dropkick and hits a roundhouse that sends Benoit to the floor…Benoit is desperate to take out Booker’s wheels, and catches Book with a dragon screw leg whip that helps create that opening…


  • We get a break, and when we come back, Book is selling the leg injury by being unable to run when Irish whipped…I remember how this match ends, and it’s disappointing…I don’t like that they’ve injected a dumb nWo angle into this series, which has been very good…Book gets a flash pin or two while in survival mode, but not much else in the way of offense…Benoit slowly works over Book, can’t get a pinfall, and goes for a submission on a cool series of Indian Deathlock submissions…Benoit has a chinlock while bent back in the move, and sees Booker reaching for the ropes, so he then hooks Book’s arms instead to keep him from breaking the hold…


  • There’s another commercial break…Book is back to his feet somehow when we come back…He reels off a side kick, but can’t get up and immediately capitalize on it…He’s eventually able to hit a flapjack and Spinaroonie up, but he whiffs on an axe kick and gets triple German suplexed for two…These fellas worked this crowd into this match because they were quiet at the start and are loud now…Benoit hits a flying headbutt that only gets a 2.9…Benoit can’t believe that didn’t end it…He stomps a mudhole in Booker…ref Nick Patrick backs Benoit off, which is when Bret Hart runs to the ring and hits Book in the back of the head with a chair…Benoit is mildly irritated that the Hitman did that shit…It hurt his pride enough that he goes ahead and tells the ref that Bret hit Booker with a chair…Booker is the winner by DQ, but I am guessing that Book don’t want it like that either…Man, the Hitman is bad at recruiting…He whiffed on Sting…He whiffed on Benoit…


  • J.J. Dillon is pressed…He’s out here with Dean Malenko and Tony S. for an interview…He has something to say about the end of that last match, but first, Malenko cuts a boring promo…He agrees to give up the gold to get Jericho back in the ring man-to-man…Dillon takes the belt and whispers something in Malenko’s ear…Chris Jericho comes out to collect his prize…He ain’t gonna get it, though…He’s got to wrestle Dean Malenko at GAB for the gold…Jericho freaks out…Jericho’s dad comes out, and he doesn’t like all this punk-ass wuss shit from his son…He apparently played hockey with a guy named Timmy Horton…I assume that’s not the same guy as from the doughnut company…Jericho’s pops is old school, and by that, I mean that he runs down his son’s accomplishments and self-worth to try and provoke a sense of traditional manhood in him…


  • Konnan and Scott Putski have a match next…Putski tries really hard…He and Konnan have what I call a Konnan Special…It’s a random TV match that is not good by the strictest definition of the word, but which is interesting…Putski gets some momentum after an match full of random moves that I mostly enjoyed…However, he dives right into a boot…Konnan follows up with a 1-8-7 and a Tequila Sunrise…This match worked decently enough because the desk talked about Konnan having an unorthodox style with sufficient submission skill to cause Goldberg matchup issues…Konnan busted out some of that submission stuff to enhance the point…


  • Saturn gets a return match against Glacier…Glacier is in the ring ahead of time to meet Saturn with a kick…Apparently, there was a third match between the two somewhere in there I missed or forgot…Tenay tells us that this is the rubber match…Raven and his riot squad make their way down…Saturn takes a beating, but turns it around and locks on an STF…He throws a few kicks of his own…We get anther back-and-forth match until Lodi gets on the apron…Glacier Cryonic Kicks Lodi to the floor…Saturn gives his own Cryonic Kick to Glacier’s sack after Glacier turns back around…One DVD later, and Saturn doesn’t even get to enjoy his victory before Raven jumps in the ring to bitch about Kanyon…Raven is irritated at Kanyon always jumping him…He’s irritated at the riot squad for not protecting him…He fires the squad, and as he and Saturn beat up three of them, the fourth one unmasks…It’s Kanyon…He attacks Raven and then runs away before the Flock can do anything about it…


  • J.J. Dillon comes back down and calls out Booker T., Stevie Ray following behind Book…Booker gives Benoit respect and calls for an eighth match in this best-of-seven series…Stevie Ray is disgusted…He’s thinking about repossessing Booker’s T…Darsow’s probably somewhere in the back, I bet he can help with that…


  • We got through a few segments that were actually enjoyable, but here’s Eric FUCKING Bischoff again, this time with Liz, to cut a shitty promo…Eric Bischoff is the SECOND fuckhead tonight (Heenan being the first) to make a Niagara Falls -> Viagra Falls wordplay thing that is fuckin’ stupid, shut the fuck up…Liz complains about Savage in the same charisma-less Southern lady cadence as Linda McMahon…I hate it, fuck off…And now you have me telling Liz to go away, WCW…Thanks, Bischoff…


  • I said “Shut the fuck up, Hogan” out loud during this recap of the Savage/Piper/Hogan garbage from the previous Monday…It came out like a reflex…This Liz shit is boring…Stick her with Luger and have them be a heel power couple already…


  • Thankfully, there’s not much time for this main event…Disciple wearing a black vest and doing Stunners has me wishing that I was watching RAW instead…The match starts about two minutes before the video ends…Giant whiffs on a lariat and hits Disciple…Savage kicks Giant in the junk before Bischoff comes out here with Liz and baits Savage over to the nWo banquet table…Luger’s left alone, where he gets Disciple in the Torture Rack before being jumped by Giant…Meanwhile, Hogan and Hart jump Savage…Nash comes out for the save, and Giant runs down to attack Nash…The crowd is hot for this, but I honestly don’t give a fuck…


  • Remember when I said that I was sort of into the main event scene?...The caveat was that Hogan and Bischoff weren’t on screen all that often…They’re back and the main event scene sucks…There was decent stuff in the middle of this, two good matches in Juvi/Kidman and Benoit/Booker in particular…I give it a WOOO, but if Hollywood (both Hogan and that version of the nWo) are going to be all up in the videos, I’m not sure how much longer it’ll be before I’m inverting these scores into a scream of psychic pain…


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Great American Bash 1998 notes:

  • I’m coming into this show unsure of how I feel about it. The last three weeks of regular WCW shows have been a whiplash between excellent and awful. I think when it comes to it, I feel like I usually feel about WCW PPVs: Looking forward to the undercard, dreading the main event.


  • We’re in Baltimore (of course), which has been scientifically determined to the best city full of wrestling fans in the United States.


  • I appreciate that this stupid company gives these fans a hot opener because they deserve it. Oops, no, we start with Gene Okerlund recounting all the Wolfpac/Hollywood storyline stuff and the tag team championships angle. Did we need to cut from the desk so that Gene could explain to the crowd an angle everyone watching this knows about? The fans try clapping to get themselves hyped while we cut back to the desk so that they can talk. They chant for Goldberg. Bless them. We get more recap (this time of Booker/Benoit, featuring guest star/match interloper Bret Hart).


  • Finally, fucking finally, Chris Benoit’s music hits seven minutes after this video started. Benoit/Booker in match eight of their best-of-seven series will determine the winner of the series and send the winner into a match for the TV title later on in the night against Fit Finlay. Benoit comes to the ring to play Golden State Warriors to Booker’s Cleveland Cavs. Seriously, I could watch these fellas wrestle one another all day. They trade snap hip tosses during the feeling out process, have an “explosive hip toss” standoff, if you can have one in pro wrestling, and basically work early to avoid making a mistake, kayfabe strategy-wise.


  • Booker controls with power early, so Benoit goes back to the knee that he worked over in their seventh match of the series last Thunder with a dragon screw to get some control of his own. Now Benoit grows into the match, hitting chops and impactful suplexes to try and get a three count. Booker turns around on a back suplex attempt and lands on Benoit for two, which leads Benoit to slow things down with a chinlock. Not for long, though, as Booker fights to his feet just to get chopped down again by a Benoit elbow.


  • Benoit hits a gourdbuster that hangs Book on the ropes and then knocks him the rest of the way onto the floor. In a nice touch, Benoit just chills and lets the ref count to try and get a count out win and get out of town. Benoit goes back to the chinlock when Booker beats the count before transitioning into a surfboard. Booker fights back up, and before Benoit can cut him off on a rope run, Booker hits Benoit with a powerslam. Book takes way too long to get to the top, as he’s selling the knee, and Benoit steps to the side on a huge crossbody attempt.


  • Benoit goes for the Crippler Crossface, but Booker has started to quickly recognize that move by this point in the series and immediately goes for the ropes. Benoit goes to the chinlock one more time before Booker gets to his feet again and finds an enziguri. I get the idea of Booker having to fight back up from being ground down multiple times, but I know Benoit’s got more interesting options to control than chinlocks with every time.


  • Booker goes into his 5MoD and hits a spinebuster, pancake, and Spinaroonie, but he gets caught on the top rope and superplexed.


  • There’s a standing eight count before Benoit covers for two. Benoit’s back up first with the rolling Germans, but he only hits two before Booker back elbows out of it; they do a couple of standing switches before Benoit hits a full nelson suplex with a bridge that gets 2.9. Benoit chops the crap out of Booker, stops short when Booker tries a leapover to chop him again, and goes up for the flying headbutt. He drops it, but sells a head injury that may be kayfabe, may be shoot, and only gets two once he finally covers.


  • Benoit picks Booker up, gets small packaged for two, then tries a whip to the corner. Booker reverses it, hits a glancing Houston Side Kick to Benoit from the back, clocks him with another one from the front, and then goes up for the missile dropkick that finally gets three when he hits it. Good match, definitely, but the fourth match was the best one. I have some quibbles about the way this match was laid out, particularly the lack of creativity Benoit showed on the mat and the knee injury being worked into the match inconsistently even though that’s enough of a part of the story that even the dingbats on commentary were talking about it throughout. Those are minor quibbles, though.


  • Chavo is convinced that Uncle Eddy only wants the best for him, or at least that’s what he tells Lee Marshall and also the whole internet in their obligatory “join us on the internet to chat” segment.


  • Saturn faces off with Kanyon, who comes out in the Mortis get-up. No, sorry, that’s a dude pulling a fake Undertaker, and Kanyon jumps Saturn in the ring. He gets a quick two on a rollup, then another two count on a nice swinging neckbreaker. Kanyon runs through some nice offense, like hitting an electric chair drop when he catches Saturn trying to float over his charge. At this point, a couple of Flock members with the least authority, the total dregs of the group, run down to interfere and are summarily dispatched. This at least lets Saturn get some space to recover and then take over with strikes and a splash. It’s not long before he misses badly on a corner charge and posts himself.


  • Kanyon hits a Rocker Dropper from the second rope and almost gets three, and that’s when the ol’ Flock dregs grab Kanyon and beat on him while Lodi distracts the ref. Saturn dives onto everyone and Nick Patrick banishes the Flock members from ringside. Saturn controls again because of the distraction, however. He hits a rope-elevated vertical suplex to bring Kanyon back into the ring and finds a drop-toehold and an ankle lock with a grapevine when Kanyon tries to pick up the pace again on a rope run.


  • There are lots of MOVEZ~ in this match, but it’s cool. I actually love MOVEZ~, but not really flippy moves so much. I’m more of a “suplex/throws and submission MOVEZ~” guy, which this match has. Like, here, Kanyon wraps on a reverse chinlock with a bridge. I love it. Now, that’s how you chinlock. Saturn crotches Kanyon on the ropes and then knocks him to the floor with a diving clothesline, then grabs a chair. This is usually his downfall in these matches lately, I feel like, but he starts out okay by using it to hit a springboard dropkick. Then, he uses it to springboard onto the ropes for a moonsault that gets two. He looks ascendant, but a Kanyon side Russian stops his momentum, and when he tries to pick it up against by slingshotting himself over the top rope, Kanyon catches him and hits him with a Northern Lights with a bridge for two.


  • Look, they hit each other with some more nice moves, and there’s another aesthetically-pleasing swinging neckbreaker in there, so Saturn can lock on a boring, regular-ass chinlock if he wants because he’s earned it, dammit. He barely takes a rest anyway because they end up fighting over this chinlock, which has turned into a headlock, until Kanyon back suplexes his way out and then hits a Hotshot on Saturn. It’s too bad that no one cares about Kanyon and that the crowd is silent because they really should be hot for this very tightly-contested wrestling match. The problem is that Kanyon is so corny and the “can hit you from anywhere because I am good at disguises” gimmick is not landing.


  • We get some more pinfall attempts -  I’m not even going to try and list them all here – and some of the elements of this Baltimore crowd start a BO-RING chant, and I ask you, when even Baltimore crowds are being somewhat shit, what does that tell us about the state of pro wrestling in the U.S. in 1998? Saturn blocks a Flatliner and hits a half-nelson suplex for two, then calls for the end of this contest. He goes for a DVD; Kanyon hooks the top rope to get out of it, but Saturn drops Kanyon with a superkick. Saturn hoists Kanyon up in the corner and goes for a big move, but they crotch one another while throwing blows and fall from the ropes to the floor.


  • Oh no…there’s a multiple Mortises spot now with two Mortises punching each other in the ring while Kanyon and Saturn try to recover. OK, I’m fine with Baltimore shitting on this. Saturn’s up first, but he’s very distracted by the Mortis garbage, and it delays his dive onto Kanyon; Kanyon turns that into a Flatliner and gets three. Then, we get a reveal: Raven Mortis grabs Kanyon and spikes him with an Evenflow DDT outside the ring. Raven then grabs the mic and shits on Saturn for losing the match. Raven gets real personal with said shitting, which pisses Saturn off. Raven challenges Saturn to a fight, but the Flock dregs run in and beats Saturn down before that can happen – no, wait, Saturn fights off Lodi, Kidman, and Riggs, I think, as Raven escapes the ring. The crowd actually pops for that because they think Saturn is cool, and he is! But boy, no one gives a fuck about Kanyon.


  • Dean Malenko and Chris Jericho have a rematch for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. Jericho’s rocking Jerry Lawler’s Memphis-era beard, but he’s added a mustache to it to freshen it up for the ‘90s. The crowd thinks that Jericho sucks, but I think he’s a well-rounded performer, though he’s not as athletic as he likes to think. Jericho actually uses Malenko’s rage against him as Malenko rushes in and gets kicked early. However, Malenko dumps Jericho with a German suplex and goes right at him. Malenko stomps a mudhole, but a boot to the mush from Jericho on a corner charge switches things up. Jericho goes for a Walls after a little offense (and a little taunting), but Malenko escapes.


  • Malenko hits a vertical suplex for two and goes to a chinlock. Eventually, they’re standing again, and Jericho gets control by dodging a baseball slide and following up with a pescado. Jericho is very into showing up Malenko during this control segment, with lots of preening and taunting and a cocky pin attempt off a vertical suplex. Jericho then sinks in a sleeper; Malenko finds an escape with a few elbows and hooks on a sleeper of his own, but Jericho is quickly out of that with a counter back suplex.


  • This match isn’t doing it for me, and I don’t know why. It’s not bad, mind you, but it should be better. I think the fault lies with Malenko, who wrestled with a lot more heated anger at his opponent in that Syxx match way back at Superbrawl VII in 1997. Malenko’s really wrestling not too far from his typical mechanical intensity of normal, and I feel like in that Syxx match, he definitely exuded anger about his opponent crapping on his dead father in a way that isn’t evident here.


  • So anyway, Malenko’s been in control for awhile, but when he tries his super gutbuster, Jericho counters it with a top-rope Frankensteiner. We get a standing ten count, and Jericho finds a way to scootch over for a cover at nine, but he only gets two. Jericho follows up with a powerbomb that gets countered into a pinall attempt for two, but Jericho rolls under Malenko on the kickout and wraps on the Walls of Jericho. Malenko crawls over and gets the ropes. Jericho remonstrates with the ref before heading back over to throw strikes at Malenko. He catches Malenko on a leapover and flapjacks him into Walls of Jericho position, but Malenko rolls through and locks on the Texas Cloverleaf. I’m thinking that Jericho is probably fucked, and so are the fans, but no, Jericho gets the ropes.


  • Back to standing, we get more counters before Jericho hits a backbreaker. But then, Jericho makes a classic heel mistake – he slaps Malenko and yells YOU’RE NOTHING, JUST LIKE YOUR DEAD FATHER. Malenko goes into a RAGE and, actually, maybe this worked out pretty well for Jericho because Malenko beats him for a bit before taking Penzer’s chair and whacking him over the back with it. Jericho is your winner by DQ, which I assume has earned him his shiny gold belt back. I mean, Malenko’s going to throttle him, but he’s got his belt back! Malenko takes him backstage, beating him all the way, and then takes him right out of the building and into the parking lot, where Malenko tosses Jericho into a mailbox before Jericho fucking crosses the street against the light to get away, as in he actually halts oncoming traffic and then runs off, LOL. OK, that spot was pretty amazing, actually. Jericho is a nut. Penzer lets the crowd know that Chris Jericho is the winner of the match, but he says nothing about the gold. I guess the angle continues?


  • Eddy speaks softly into the camera, sitting next to Lee Marshall and a typist on a very thick laptop. Well, he speaks softly until he starts sobbing like a scared man about crazy Chavo trying to fight him. Did I mention that Eddy is the best?


  • I consider myself a Juventud Guerrera fan, and so I’m excited when his music starts, but we have a Juvi Guerrera video package to watch first, Leathers, you bum, and so the music stops and we see the package. Juvi walks around a lot while music plays. OK. Then, Juvi’s music starts again and we actually get the JOOOOOOCY ONE out here to wrestle Reese (w/Lodi). Juvi starts out trying to punch Reese, which probably isn’t the best move, but he shows a lot of moxie coming back with more punches every time Reese tosses him away. So there’s that! Anyway, Reese just slowly tries to twist Juvi into a pretzel. He shoots Juvi into the ropes and grabs Juvi when Juvi tries to slide between his legs, but Juvi kicks him in the sack. It works for, like, a few seconds, but Reese punches Juvi in the face, and it stops working.


  • Reese hits a stalling vertical suplex and tries to get a ten count because he’s a real cocky dude, but Juvi uses Charles Robinson to pull himself up at nine. Reese, irritated, goes outside and grabs a chair while Lodi distracts the ref, but Robinson sees the chair and pulls it away. Juvi tries a diving rana, and though Reese catches him, Van Hammer has run out and he clocks Reese with a chair; Juvi falls on top and gets three. Well, that’s not exactly a never-say-die style of win, but okay, I guess. See, Vinnie Jr. would have had, say, Rey Misterio Jr. just win that shit cleanly instead of doing all this extra garbage to protect Reese, who won’t even be on WCW TV anymore by next month. I am excited for a potential Juvi Guerrera/Van Hammer tag team, though! I doubt such a team is a thing for any length of time, but yeah, I’m into the possibility!


  • Well, this show hasn’t been bad, but the undercard has just been okay, which is a shame because the build to most of these matches has been very good. Next up, we’ve got the Chavo/Eddy family feud. Eddy tries to beg off as soon as he gets in the ring, so Chavo slaps him, which gets Eddy to reconsider his position. They have a heated brawl while Heenan makes tired quips rooted in stereotypes about Mexican people, and Heenan can fuck off to Whereversville at this point because he is a massive negative on commentary, always trying to get his shitty jokes in.


  • Meanwhile, there’s actually a pretty great match going on here where both dudes are going full tilt, Eddy scrapes a bunch of skin off his bicep taking a bump over the corner and into the ringpost, and Chavo’s getting some vengeance for all the abuse he’s taken. Chavo is more interested in punching Eddy than going for covers – understandable! – but Eddy catches Chavo coming back into the ring after Chavo chases down an escaping Eddy and gets a little room to control the match for once.


  • That doesn’t last all that long, actually, as Chavo monkeyflips Eddy on a rope run and then bashes Eddy’s head into the buckles. He also hits a gorgeous moonsault for two. Eddy is pretty desperate at this point, so when he’s able to duck down as Chavo charges him, he takes advantage of that by tossing Chavo shoulder-first into the ring stairs. Eddy has his longest period of control ever and, after hitting a brainbuster, is feeling pretty, pretty, PRET-TAY good about himself. Then, he tries a total Jericho move and slaps Chavo in the face, which, wouldn’t you know, wakes Chavo up!


  • Chavo chokes Eddy and should be DQ’d for holding the choke for a five count, but Mickey Jay just forcibly breaks the hold. Eddy takes the opportunity to run away, Chavo chasing him, and Eddy ends up hiding behind Mickey Jay, which distracts Chavo enough for Eddy to chop block Chavo’s knee. Eddy locks on a Figure Four after that in a sequence of moves reminiscent of Ric Flair. Eddy gets to standing and transitions into a Gory Special; Chavo escapes, but Eddy catches him with a dropkick. Eddy goes into a Camel Clutch next, hits an airplane spin, and controls well until he takes an unnecessary risk and charges Chavo, who backdrops him outside and follows up with a beautiful twisting Tsukahara.


  • The bored crowd chants WE WANT FLAIR, and really, this match currently feels somewhat aimless, but it’s still solid overall and deserves the crowd's attention. Boy, this Baltimore crowd has STUNK. It’s wild that the crowds in random Midwestern towns have been superior to the crowd in traditional WCW cities, at least lately. So, yeah, Chavo hits a springboard dropkick, but gets knocked off the top rope by Eddy. Eddy follows up with a Frog Splash, but Chavo moves. Both men are up at five, and Chavo tries for a tornado DDT, but Eddy tosses him off and outside. The issue here is that Eddy thinks he’s clear of danger, but Chavo is right back up and in, and he springboards off the second rope into a gnarly-looking tornado DDT that garners him a hard-earned win. Solid match, but again, it didn’t quite hit the notes that I was looking for. I think it needed to be shorter, maybe? Chavo was fiery throughout, and I liked the idea behind Eddy slowing down Chavo’s pace with submissions, but it just felt like it needed some editing.


  • Well, the downside of a solid enough, but slightly disappointing undercard in 1998 WCW is that it's likely only go downhill from there (editor's note: Sting/Giant really proved the maxim that the main event is the worst part of 1998 WCW PPVs wrong)! Roddy Piper and Randy Savage versus Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan is next if this recap of the Savage/Piper feud is any indication, and sweet fuck, I think after that, we get Piper/Savage one on one. Wait, no – I forgot, Booker and Finlay have to wrestle first. I don’t think 1998 Finlay is exactly going to light it up unless he and Regal are piledriving each other on the hoods of 1983 Toyotas, so I have no hope for this.


  • Kayfabe-wise, Book should have no problems with Finlay. He beat Rick Martel and Saturn back-to-back for the TV Title earlier in 1998, at Superbrawl VIII. This time around, he actually got some rest after beating Benoit. This crowd is pretty checked out, and so am I. Booker hits some explosive offense early, but I’m almost dreading Finlay’s control segment because, again, this isn’t 2006 or something. Finlay goes to knee bars and half Boston Crabs and actually, that’s pretty good mat work. I apologize, Finlay.


  • Finlay hits some nice apron-based offense to work the knee. This is pretty good as a match, too, but I saw Booker laying around a lot in the first match selling knee injuries, and his selling is good and all, but I want to see him do explosive offensive moves, dammit. I can’t hate on the knee work, though. It is solid. It’s just not what I want to see. This show is weird. The crowd is weird, too. They’re singing NA NA NA NA, NA NA NA NA, HEY HEY HEY, GOOD BYEEEEE. What a strange atmosphere.


  • I bet Baltimore’s WCW fans, and also myself, will all be bummed when the calendar ticks over to 1999 and every match is two minutes long. We’ll dream of matches with eight minutes of Finlay doing varied knee attacks then, won’t we? Booker finally makes a little comeback, but eats a lariat after hitting a Spinaroonie. Finlay tries a Tombstone, but they fuck up the reversal of said Tombstone and the spot sort of falls apart. Booker dodges a Finlay corner charge and then drops Finlay with a piledriver of his own for three. That was a solid match, but man, Booker had very little offensive control in either match, a bummer for a guy whose best quality is explosive offense. Stevie Ray comes down to celebrate with Book. 


  • I also failed to recall the Konnan/Goldberg match that was booked for this card. Huh. Konnan is seconded and, uh, thirded, by Rick Rude and Curt Hennig. Goldberg is announced as “from Parts Unknown,” but the man played for the Falcons! We know he lives in Atlanta! They told us this in a video package a long time ago! Someone in the crowd has a Cow and Chicken-themed Goldberg sign at this WCW show, which is the most “1990s Turner Networks” thing ever, maybe.


  • Konnan predictably loses a lockup. He bails out of the ring. He gets back in the ring, where they sorta fuck up an ankle lock spot. Konnan tries a forearm flurry, then gets boots up on a Goldberg charge…and that’s about it for him. Goldberg recovers immediately, spears Konnan, points at Hennig and Rude, and drops Konnan with a Jackhammer for three. Well, the crowd was both into it and maintained their interest because it was short, so this was unabashedly the biggest success on the card so far.


  • Post-match, Hennig and Rude jump Konnan, which means that hopefully, the former two guys are out of the Wolfpac because they absolutely do not belong. Yeah, there it is, Hennig pulls off his Wolfpac shirt and has on an nWo Hollywood shirt underneath. Nash and Luger run them off. Hey, give Bischoff credit for quickly realizing that these dudes need to be in the group with the other corny, over-the-hill guys…and the Hitman.


  • Ah, now we’re onto the dregs of the show. I have to admit that I forgot about Giant/Sting, which is the main event and should be no worse than pretty good. It’s really just this tag team match that I don’t want to see. I mean, I’m into the Hitman actually wrestling a friggin’ match, so that’s a good aspect to all this.


  • Piper starts with a stupid spot where he calls time and then uses it as a distraction to rush Hogan, but Hogan is barely even paying attention to Piper or his ruse. That’s Hogan’s fault that the spot was stupid, in fairness. And I’m trying to find the roses that are growing in concrete – when Savage tries to tag Piper and they accidentally miss, Savage gets agitated at his reluctant partner and goes TAG, TAG ME and tags again more emphatically. See, that’s good character work. That’s why Savage is one of the G.O.A.T.s.


  • Hogan and Hart work Piper over. I’m still incredibly bummed about heel Hitman. There is no joy in anything he’s doing right now. This Piper FIP segment is perfectly acceptable. They kinda went right into this FIP segment, actually. It’s fine with me because this match shouldn’t go very long at all. The ref misses a couple of Piper/Savage tags in there. There is a neat spot where Savage, in a rage, gets a chair and then slides it onto Piper’s abdomen just as the Hitman drops a headbutt. OK, that’s a neat way to transition into the hot tag. Savage hits his offense and then, after the Hitman grabs him, ducks a charging Hogan, who lariats Bret instead.


  • Savage sells a knee injury when he tries to go up top to drop the Savage Elbow – oh yeah, his knee is injured, remember? That injury that Savage was working pretty much went ignored for a few weeks' worth of shows until they needed it riiiiiiiight now. The Disciple is out here getting involved, and that stinks, and back in the ring, the Hitman wraps the Sharpshooter on Savage for the submission victory. That finish was very muddled, but the match was inoffensive in general. Savage was out there trying very hard, and he was easily the best thing about this match.


  • Gene Okerlund charges into the ring to interview Roddy Piper, who shakes him off, which is the best move Piper’s made in awhile. Piper tries to help Savage up, so of course, Savage wallops him and goes up for a Savage Elbow, which he drops successfully. He also lands on his injured knee successfully, which hurts him, and the delayed cover allows Piper to kick out at two. Savage is pissed off, so he clocks Charles Robinson. That gives time Piper to hit a ball shot and an eye poke before locking on the Figure Four. Mickey Jay runs down just in time for Savage to submit. Wait, did the most over guy who also had the best performance in the tag match lose twice in a row? Oh WCW, never change.


  • So, finally we get to Giant/Sting, but I’m just really burned out by this show for whatever reason. I bet this match is pretty good, though! Giant’s smoking a cig and chilling. I forgot about this weird “Giant smokes cigs and doesn’t give a fuck” gimmick he worked for awhile. He’s what, about seven months out from exiting the company? As I recall, he smoked cigs IRL at the time, and so they had him do it as part of his character too for whatever reason, but the whole thing works on a meta level because I assume that after WCW botched his face run in 1997, he’s cigged up and out of fucks to give until Vinnie Mac calls him to Stamford for a meeting.


  • The opening has cool spots, though, and so the match itself is pretty cool early on. Giant’s working hard, whiffing splashes spectacularly and doing awesome-looking press slams and generally doing the “big dominant Giant” thing well. I hope we get Giant/Goldberg at some point before Giant leaves. I can’t recall a Giant/Goldberg match, actually. I bet one happened, but I wouldn’t put it past WCW not to book that.


  • Giant goes to the bear hug, which is the worst move in his arsenal because he doesn’t work it very well. Sting bites his way out of the hold, then dropkicks Giant in the knee. Giant stumbles up into two Stinger Splashes and then a big Sting body slam. Sting OWWWWWs and then turns Giant in the Scorpion Deathlock, but Giant powers out. Sting’s just like, Eh, fuck it and hits a Scorpion Death Drop instead, but that only gets two. Giant gets back to his feet and gets the goozle, but Sting kicks Giant’s injured knee on the way up, breaks the hold, and then hits another Scorpion Death Drop…that only gets another two count. I’ve actually really enjoyed this! They’re just unloading, is what it is. Very action-packed.


  • So, Sting gets whipped into the corner, but gets boots up on a Giant charge, and then goes up and hooks Giant’s neck for an elevated Scorpion Death Drop that does get three. That was easily my favorite thing on the show, just a total bomb-throwing session. It could have stood to be a couple more minutes of bombs, actually, but I really liked it.


  • I'm exiting this show still unsure of how I feel about it. It was perfectly sufficient from an in-ring standpoint, but at the same time, it was something of a disappointment. Truth is, though, there wasn’t a match worse than adequate on the whole thing and everyone tried really hard. I need to parse my feelings about this show further, and luckily, I’ll have the next couple weeks of Christmas break to think about it and formulate a more cogent analysis before my next WCW show review post-Boxing Day!
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8 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

We’re in Baltimore (of course)

It's funny; the new Great Muta who is gonna be a joshi wrestler's backstory is that she's his daughter from when he slept with some gal after a WCW PPV in Balmore. They showed an ID and her birthplace was listed as somewhere in Maryland 😄

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7 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

It's funny; the new Great Muta who is gonna be a joshi wrestler's backstory is that she's his daughter from when he slept with some gal after a WCW PPV in Balmore. They showed an ID and her birthplace was listed as somewhere in Maryland 😄

Uh, did they do a DNA test? Does she have naturally-occuring green mist glands like her father? 

We need Maury Povich for this one. 

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I always tell myself that I should watch more joshi, and then I don't watch more joshi, and then someone else says something to remind me that I really should watch more joshi. Usually, it's Sparkleface or Gordi, so thanks for standing in for them here. I am going to track that skit down. 


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  • 3 weeks later...

Show #145 – 15 June 1998

"The one with the June 1998 cell match that no one remembers and that no one should remember because it was shit”

  • I took my holiday break on another continent, and unlike Hulu, Peacock was very good at recognizing every friggin’ VPN I used, so there was sadly no NITROOOOOOOing in a coffee shop or pub or anything for me until after I returned.


  • However, I did comb back through old posts to start a master list for matches, angles, and promos that might be worth watching. I am through early 1997 with the list, and I’m going to try to have it updated to my current point in the watch by the new year. If anyone is interested in seeing a list of WCW matches, angles, and promos to watch that is curated by a lone sicko like me, I’ll post it here in a few days. I will then make continuous updates and post it again at the end of every WCW calendar year of shows until I run out of shows to review.


  • Speaking of NITROOOOOOOOO, this one starts with Public Enemy marching out in Islanders jerseys (this show is deep in WWF territory at the Nassau Coliseum) and beating Hugh Morrus and Barbarian with plundah. Nitro really loves a good trash tag to start a show hot, which this does. Barbarian dumps Rocco Rock into a dumpster head-first, then tosses Johnny Grunge into the stairs outside, where Jimmy Hart waffles Grunge with a roasting pan.  After that, Morrus and Barb hit Rocco with the Faces of Fear’s backdrop-into-a-powerbomb move, with the added bonus of the powerbomb being done into a trash can. There are some fun little spots, is what I’m saying. It slows down a bit in there, but that’s fine. Jimmy Hart finally gets suplexed after one too many lid shot attempts; Hart is then used to push Rocco over onto Barb and Morrus and through a table, where Nick Patrick counts three because why not. Hugh Morrus’s best role is in these garbage matches, I think.


  • Who will Sting choose as his tag champ after his win over the Giant at GAB ’98? That’s the big angle of the night.


  • Oh yeah, that’s the big angle of the night except for that other big angle of the night, which is whether or not DDP is going to finally accept that invitation to join the Wolfpac.


  • We are over ten minutes in before the title intro hits, and after that, we’re greeted with a Gene Okerlund interview of Randy Savage. I am reminded that Randy Savage jobbed twice in a row last night, but this crowd doesn’t even care about that. Savage is feeling great because this WWF-area crowd absolutely loves him. He’s not feeling great about Diamond Dallas Page being in the Wolfpac though. Savage cuts a terrible promo in which he challenges DDP to a cell match with the caveat that if Page wins, then he can go ahead and be in the Wolfpac. I think it’s just going to be a cage match, no cell, though, since Savage is the only person who mentioned putting a cover over the top of the cage. It’s WCW, who the fuck knows? We’ll find out when we get there.


  • Chris Benoit still can’t win any gold (on television, at least), but he can get a measure of satisfaction by defeating former TV champ Fit Finlay, I guess. Benoit being booked as a guy who gets close, but just can’t seal the deal is pretty compelling in its way, though I’m not entirely sure that WCW’s booking committee is actually intending to book Benoit in this way for any fruitful reason. This crowd is really anti-Finlay, like I’m not sure that any of Finlay’s recent work has earned a huge FINLAY SUCKS chant, but okay. Finlay’s okay while on top, but everyone’s here to see Benoit hit his offense. A Benoit tilt-a-whirl backbreaker starts a run of offense that the crowd is into. It’s impossible to deny Benoit’s physical charisma, which has infected this crowd. Finlay gets back on top and locks on his second chinlock, but Benoit lifts himself out of it as we go to break.


  • Back after the break, Finlay’s doing some boilerplate heel Finlay offense, but not for long! Benoit fires back up and hits a few knife-edged chops before Finlay goes to the eyes. Finlay gets a little control, but whiffs on a corner charge and eats two rolling Germans. Benoit hits a clothesline and a snap suplex, then goes up for the flying headbutt, but he whiffs on that last move. The crowd smelled blood, too. A few very smart Long Islanders hit a U-S-A chant while Finlay hits a second-rope splash, but to the credit of everyone else, they don’t pick up on it. There are a ton of counters in the next couple minutes, and Benoit gets the final one: Finlay prepares to flip Benoit up into position for a Tombstone, but Benoit grabs his arm and transitions into the Crippler Crossface to get a tap-out and the win. This was all fine, I suppose.


  • Gene Okerlund interviews Chris Benoit post-match, which is a shame because Benoit stinks at talking. Benoit calls Booker T. out, and Book (w/ fantastic floral-pattern tie and Stevie Ray) answers the call-out. Benoit just wants to give Book his props, and Book returns them. This disgusts Stevie Ray. Like man, he is grossed out by all this love. Stevie does not appreciate Benoit’s offer to back up Book if Booker ever needs it. Anyway, Benoit is out here sowing dissension like a thirsty asshole, basically like, Hey, you really should upgrade your tag partner, Booker, just, you know, if you’re interested, you can find me in the back. Stevie attacks; Book tries to break that up, when MONGO MCMICHAEL runs down to back Benoit up. Booker calms everything down for long enough to escort a heated Stevie Ray out while Benoit declares that he might just be getting the Four Horsemen back together. The crowd chants for Ric Flair in response. That segment was full of stuff, and all of it was entertaining.


  • Ew, too much Gene Okerlund tonight. He’s still hanging around the ring to talk to Diamond Dallas Page. DDP is like 1-3 against Randy Savage in big matches, and I mean, Randy Savage barely knows how to win a big match by 1997. Page agrees to the cage match, but is more interested in feuding with Hollywood Hogan and Dennis Rodman. He cuts a goofy promo, which is par for the course for him, and then teases Karl Malone as his future tag partner against those two nWo Hollywood guys. I’m interested to see that tag match, actually. I think WCW did really well with getting fun matches out of Kevin Greene and Dennis Rodman and generally are solid at coaxing the best out of non-wrestling athletes.


  • Oh man, ENOUGH with Okerlund cutting interviews in the ring. You do not have to cater to New York WWF fans by having Okerlund out here for thirty minutes straight. Roddy Piper is next up to cut a mediocre-to-bad interview. Piper yells GOD BLESS FRANK SINATRA about five seconds into this promo, by the way, in case you were wondering how it was going. He keeps stopping for cheers and applause and not getting it, but pretending that he is getting it – no need to ask the crowd to give you a chance to speak when they’re sitting there listening patiently. Anyway, Piper approves the cage match between Savage and DDP – he’s still the commissioner, remember – but also makes himself special guest ref for that match because no ref wants the job or whatever.


  • It's nWo Japan! Masahiro Chono and Tenzan come to the ring sporting the IWGP World Tag Championships, I think. They’re maybe defending them against High Voltage? I don’t know. Whatever, get Robbie Rage out here, that guy entertains me. In fact, High Voltage hitting offense is the fun part of this match. Rage hits a nice overhead release belly-to-belly in his quest to become Scott Steiner. There’s a commercial break after this spot, at which point we come back to Rage in control and taking it to Tenzan with a drop toehold into a chinlock. The crowd doesn’t want chinlocks or Robbie Rage control segments, though. They want Flair, whom they chant for during this part of the match. I don’t know, there’s not much to say about this whole affair. Chono and Tenzan beat up Kaos for about fifteen years and then High Voltage hit a couple decent double-team moves after that before whiffing on a third and losing to a flying headbutt…no, it only gets two. Chono’s mafia kick finally gets three on Kaos. What a mediocre, boring showing for the champs!


  • This show has been pretty awful, I think! I’m not inspired by Konnan, Kevin Nash, and Lex Luger heading to the ring next. I don’t really want to hear talking, even if with Nash and Konnan involved, this talking will be better than the average. Anyway, Konnan gets a bunch of fucking Long Islanders to chant ARRIBA LA RAZA, which I think proves something about how good he is at the art of working an American pro wrestling crowd. They introduce Sting, who sadly looks like a real asshole in his Wolfpac getup. WCW has too many dudes who are badly out of place in 1998 floating around their main event. Sting: “K-Dogg, now this is for real, comes from some of the toughest barrios in Cali.” You see what I mean? Anyway, Sting teases choosing his tag partner, but he’ll actually only reveal his partner later tonight when they defend the gold against Harlem Heat.


  • Kanyon rushes the ring to attack his opponent Sick Boy. Sick Boy pretty much stinks, but Kanyon is good for at least a couple of fun offensive moves. Ooh, like that hanging neckbreaker! That was a fun offensive move. Lodi gets involved, which allows Sick Boy to get control for awhile. He actually gets two off a decent springboard dropkick that he didn’t slip off the ropes while hitting or anything. This match is basically a MOVEZ exhibition, and so it’s perfectly enjoyable for what it is. Kanyon wins by killing an Irish whip and transitioning into a Flatliner for three.


  • So, do I credit WCW’s Booking Committee for the long burn of Curt Hennig and Rick Rude pretending to be Wolfpac so that they could shit on Konnan, therefore justifying why two lame cornballs were booked as part of that stable? Or do I discredit WCW’s Booking Committee for thinking that anyone gives a fuck about Rude and Hennig doing some dumb double-agent shit as part of nWo Hollywood? I lean toward the latter. I take my time to consider my answer, though, as it helps me ignore Rick Rude’s shitty promo on Goldberg and the Wolfpac. Now Hennig is talking, unfortunately, though he notes that he legit turns on basically every partner or stable that courts him. Rick Rude comes to a full realization of the implications of Hennig’s WCW run after Hennig promises never to swerve him, and boy, if they weren’t acting like they were in a fucking Looney Tunes short as they eyeballed one another suspiciously, that might have been pretty good.


  • Gene Okerlund’s out here with J.J. Dillon. Dillon’s holding the WCW Cruiserweight Championship, and oh yeah, is Jericho the champ or what? It seems that he is since he won by DQ when the title was vacant, as Dillon notes. Jericho walks out with a smarmy look on his face. That’s his usual look, actually. It’s resting Jericho face, that smarmy face. Dillon tells Jericho that his first title defense will be against Dean Malenko and Jericho is like LOL, no, Dean sucks and his dad sucks too, which is the point at which Malenko jumps Jericho and beats him around the backstage area. Jericho finally runs away when Doug Dellinger (w/underpaid goons) cuts Malenko off. Jericho didn’t even get his belt back. Rough night for him.


  • Chris Adams wrestles the Giant (w/cigs). This smoking Giant shit is dumb. I know he actually smoked in real life, but this is still dumb. Adams wants to fight, but Giant just wants to finish his cig, man, those things are expensive. Adams tries to engage, so Giant chokeslams him and gets a quick three so that he can go back to sucking down his cancer sticks. I don’t want to see one of those shitty PSAs about how smoking takes over your life and makes you miss important events ever again. If the Giant can have a full wrestling career and kill a pack or six, so can you.


  • I also wonder: Which wrestler is going to embrace the “vapes during matches” gimmick that I know will be happening in the next couple of years if it hasn’t already happened?


  • Bummer, it’s “Rockhouse.” And it’s the worst possible result of “Rockhouse” playing: Bischoff and the Hogans (Hulk and Dizzy) make their way to the ring. This Nitro fucking SUCKS, man, it SUCKS. What a shitty show. Hennig earlier, and now Hulk Hogan, have settled on a new nickname for Nash: “Big Slimy.” Cliff’s Notes: Hogan is the best, Nash and Nash's Kliq buddies are jealous of him, DDP is going to catch hands from Hogan and Rodman if he keeps yapping. There, great, you don’t ever have to watch this. The best thing about it was how short it was.


  • The WCW Tag Team Championship match is next. Sting shows up by himself initially before announcing Kevin Nash as his tag partner and co-champ. Meanwhile, Harlem Heat look like they’re about two seconds away from one of them tossing the other one of them through a barber shop window. There is entirely too much talking before this match starts. Now Nash is talking for a bit and crapping on Curt Hennig, like who cares about Hennig? You should be above addressing 1998 Curt Hennig, Nash.


  • A guy in a Scream mask raises the roof while Harlem Heat enters. Yeah, it was the ‘90s. Stevie is feeling somewhat inadequate since little bro has done so well during his absence, so he tries to big-time Book, but Book is mostly fine with it. After Booker and Sting tangle, Stevie tags in to show Booker how it’s done and after a little clubbering, he promptly gets his ass beat, hahaha. To be fair to Stevie, he does get a slam of Nash in there.


  • There’s a break, and back from break, Book tags in and misses a dropkick on Sting, who tags out to Nash. Well, that had no discernible flow. I am interested in Booker/Nash, but the rest of this is whatever. Nash rolls Booker for a bit with elbows, a big boot, and a side slam that gets two. Sting tags back in and hits a big elbow and a second-rope splash for two. Basically, Sting and Nash keep Booker as the FIP for awhile. Booker gets a flash two-count off a rollup in between selling stints. Book also dodges a Stinger Splash and gets a hot tag, at which point Stevie gets in, beats up Sting, returns a crotch chop to Nash that Nash earlier gave to him, and spits on Nash. All that is great and everything, but, uh, it sure gives Sting a lot of time to recover! Which he does, and he comes up behind Stevie Ray and hooks him for a Scorpion Death Drop that gets three. That was perfectly mediocre.


  • There have been a lot of recaps, including another play of that shitty nWo video with Hulk Hogan shooting a crappy movie and showing Scott Steiner around/harassing the talent on the set. I guess at least Scotty is here live tonight, though he’s doing a goofy talk-show-style interview with Eric Bischoff. Scotty tries to get some heat by unfavorably comparing New York to Los Angeles, and boy it barely works. Actually, I’m loath to say that it works. Then these two bastards mispronounce the word “thespian” to get an Ellen DeGeneres reference/"joke" in. Man, FUCK THIS. Shut the fuck up, Scotty, and wow, when I’m not interested in Scott Steiner talking, something went horribly wrong.


  • Diamond Dallas Page and Randy Savage are in the cage for the main event. They had a long series that I didn’t find to be particularly memorable the year before, but maybe Page can work his way back to .500 against Savage with a win tonight! He’s got to be the only guy in the upper midcard who struggles to beat Randy Savage.


  • Hey, it is a cell and not a regular open-top cage! Page climbs up there and comes down from there before the match, but much more safely than Mankind would do a couple weeks after this show. The cell is so poorly constructed that it comes apart the first time someone takes a header into it. So yeah, this is a well below-average cell match, is what it is. A few Long Islanders start an EC-Dub chant, but come on, fellas, come on. I don’t get the point of making this a cell match at all other than to try and undercut the semi-main of the coming WWF PPV, which, uh, that was never going to be possible, in hindsight. Also, Roddy Piper is awful at counting pinfalls.


  • So, there’s a commercial break, and afterward, Savage eventually hits a Savage Elbow, but he sells his busted knee and only gets two on the cover, though his complaints about Piper’s count are warranted. Savage and Piper get up in each other’s faces, which ends with Savage piledriving Piper. Savage goes back over to Page, who hops out of Savage’s clutches and hits a Diamond Cutter. Page goes to work on Savage, and when Piper gets back up and tries to break the punchfest in the corner, Page hits him. Piper beats up Page, which does a whole lot for Page, and then he beats up Savage to boot. I cannot express to you how much I hate this. Piper just destroys these dudes until the cage raises and the one guy who can withstand Roddy’s fury rushes out to beat him down – that’s right, Hulk FUCKING Hogan. Fuck off.


  • Anyway, the whole nWo Hollywood runs in before the cage gets lowered again and they beat up all three dudes while the Wolfpac runs down trying to get in…which they sure could if they just squeezed in through the big open spots on either side of the thing. Nash wanders around and finally finds the cage control to raise the cage as the show ends.


  • This show was complete ass after Mongo left my screen, and I genuinely hated it. Fire Bischoff. 1 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
Edited by SirSmUgly
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14 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

I did comb back through old posts to start a master list for matches, angles, and promos that might be worth watching. I am through early 1997 with the list, and I’m going to try to have it updated to my current point in the watch by the new year. If anyone is interested in seeing a list of WCW matches, angles, and promos to watch that is curated by a lone sicko like me, I’ll post it here in a few days. I will then make continuous updates and post it again at the end of every WCW calendar year of shows until I run out of shows to review.

call it schadenfreude, if you will (and you probably should), but i would be just as morbidly curious as the outright worst segments. just the downright, irredeemable, most absolute dogshit moments. 
not because i'd watch them, mind you, but they're the ones that i tried hardest to put out of my mind.

14 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

Show #146 – 15 June 1998

"The one with the June 1998 cell match that no one remembers and that no one should remember because it was shit”

This show was complete ass after Mongo left my screen, and I genuinely hated it. Fire Bischoff. 1 out of 5 Stinger Splashes

speaking of which, i have zero recollection of a Savage-Page Cell match even happening. and i enjoyed their feud! and gimmick matches! this is 100% something that if it had ANY sort of positive ANYTHING, i would view AT THE VERY LEAST as a guilty pleasure. And despite the fact that i would have watched it live, AND revisited it 5-6 years ago, don't even remember that it happened. 

i often point to GAB '98 as the end of my WCW fandom. I had already been on the WWF Attitude train for 8-9 months but kept up on WCW. After that show, i realized that WCW just wasn't offering anything that i cared about. Maybe it had something to do with Savage's injury and eating two losses in one night. Maybe it was the megapush of Goldberg. Maybe it was the incessant talking segments by both Hogan and Bischoff. But it really was the end. I DO remember tuning in to this Nitro to see if DDP would join the Wolfpac, and i have memories of how that angle played out. i even kind of remember the closing segment with nWo Hollywood closing the cage around the ring and beating up DDP. But the Cell Match itself, and even Savage's involvement here is just a blank space. TBF, i had probably written him out of my mind due to it being obvious he would lose due to injury. I guess props to him for putting over guys on his way to surgery. 

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The guy Savage actually put over at GAB/the post-GAB Nitro was Piper, twice in two nights, and not DDP, which is about as bad a bit of booking as Vince Russo might ever conceive of. 

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Thunder Interlude – show number twenty-one – 18 June 1998

"The WCW Gang’s in a pretty bad rut at this point”

  • Tony S. starts this show by informing us (among other things) that Randy Savage is injured, and let’s all take a second to be bummed out that Savage is rapidly heading toward complete immobility...


  • Lex Luger and Konnan come to the ring to gab a bit…Konnan just spouts an array of catchphrases and lets Luger do most of the work…Luger is pretty much aimless in a talk about real superstars in this business or some such crap…I mean, he goes on FOREVER taking weak shots at nWo Hollywood…Was this fucking necessary?...That’s rhetorical…


  • Tony S. talks about a sketch on Leno’s Tonight Show, beat by beat, because I guess they can’t just show it to us…The long and short of it is that Hogan/Rodman vs. DDP/Malone is your main event for Bash at the Beach…


  • Thirteen minutes in, Mike Enos comes out for a wrestling match, which is a nice thing to have on a wrestling show…He’s Mongo McMichael’s opponent on Mongo’s return to televised action…The ref is black, but he’s not Teddy Long, huh, I don’t remember this fellow at all…Enos jumps Mongo at the bell and goes after Mongo’s kayfabe still-healing hand…Mongo ignores all that shit, clobbers Enos with the hand, and goes for a Mongo Spike that Enos blocks with a knee to the gut…Enos gets a two count in there, but Mongo makes another comeback and drills the Mongo Spike for three…I’m glad to see Mongo back, at least…


  • Raven and his Flock wander out to the ring…Raven grabs a mic, tells Reese to go get prepared to win himself the U.S. Championship tonight (unlikely), and then recounts every nice thing he’s ever done for Saturn as a way to make demands of their broken friendship because he’s a real dickhead…Anyway, friendship over, because Raven is not forgiving Saturn for their post-match scrum after Kanyon beat Saturn at GAB…


  • Saturn comes out to respond, basically to say that he agrees that their friendship is over…Did he really need to show up and say that in person at this very moment?...He obviously, immediately gets jumped, and Kanyon runs down for the (unasked for) save...


  • Brad Armstrong versus Fit Finlay does just enough to be considered acceptable TV wrestling…Finlay does some stalling and jawing at the crowd, but it’s not particularly engaging…Finlay wins with a Tombstone…


  • Disco Inferno harasses the desk on his way to the ring for a match…He wants commentary to announce him as the NEW ICON…I mean, if he can get a win over the Giant (w/Vincent, cigarette), sure, crown him…Disco grabs a mic and tells Giant that smoking will stunt his growth (ha!)…Giant blows smoke in Disco’s face and then hits a sweet lariat after Disco charges him…One big boot and chokeslam later, we should probably shelve all that NEW ICON talk…


  • Tony S. interviews Dean Malenko…Malenko cuts a very Malenko-type promo about being a champion toward Chris Jericho…He promises to beat Jericho soundly at some point in the near future…Heck, he wants someone, anyone, to take the Cruiserweight title off Jericho at this point…That was boring…


  • “Rockhouse” is playing again, and since Hall isn’t on TV right now and the Giant already wrestled, my expectations are in the gutter…Yeah, it’s Masahiro Chono and Tenzan, so I was right to place my expectations at about that level…They may or may not be putting the IWGP Tag Championships up against British Bulldog and Jim Neidhart…I actually enjoyed the opening offensive flurry from Bulldog and the Anvil…The rest of this is okay, too…Bulldog hits Tenzan with a nice running powerslam, so Chono clobbers Bulldog with the belt to save their titles by DQ loss…Bulldog and Anvil were trying really hard tonight and made the match a decent one…


  • Tony S. standing in the aisle while “Rockhouse” plays yet again is a real bummer…Rick Rude walks down for an interview…He talks up Curt Hennig (and Brad Rheingans) and talks down Konnan and Goldberg…It’s inoffensive, which is top-level for Rick Rude in 1998…


  • Alex Wright dances to the ring…Konnan is his opponent in a candidate for my “Charming Uniquity” match list…It doesn’t nearly reach that point, but it’s just fine…Wright really takes it to Konnan early…Konnan gets knees up on a splash attempt and finally gets some offense in…Rick Rude comes back out to shit-talk Konnan…Wright gets control off the distraction…They go back and forth for a bit before Konnan blocks a gutwrench suplex attempt and rolls through the move for a flash three-count…I will say that I appreciate Konnan twisting his shoulder off the mat at two to avoid a double-pinfall…


  • This show might just score underwater because of a lot of stuff that I’m not really talking about here, mostly promo packages, of which there are too many…we get a long one recounting Rodman/Hogan vs. DDP, for example, that just drags and drags and that has way too much of Hogan yammering on…


  • Eddy Guerrero doesn’t want the camera all up in his face…He’s bummed about getting worked by Chavo Jr. at GAB, I guess…Guerrero/Benoit is a matchup with a surprising amount of inconsistency in quality when it comes to WCW…This is one of their better WCW TV bouts…Eddy is too tired to even complain that much about the EDDY SUCKS chants…He just half-heartedly waves the fans off…After a series of exchanges, Eddy hits a basement dropkick on Benoit’s knee…Eddy locks on a cool legbar…Benoit reverses with a rolling German (x2)…Eddy dodges the diving headbutt, and Benoit dodges the Frog Splash immediately afterward…Eddy drops behind Benoit on a suplex attempt and goes for a sleeper…Benoit sidesteps out of that, grabs the arm, and locks on the Crippler Crossface for a submission victory…


  • Post-match, Chavo comes out and grabs a mic…he gives a cliché-ridden pep talk…Chavo says that every dog has his day, except for the dogs that get hit by trucks when they’re crossing the road…HAHAHAHAHAHA…Eddy is too tired to even deal with this…He leaves the ring sadly while Chavo inquires about what Eddy’s problem is…Wow, I’m shocked that Eddy and Chavo really brightened up this crappy show…Just shocked, who would have guessed?...


  • We’re in Philly, so of course Public Enemy’s getting some burn tonight…Riggs and Sick Boy are their opponents…There are a bunch of plundah attacks the likes which you’ve definitely seen before a million times…Eventually, finally, Sick Boy gets splashed through a stack of tables and pinned for three…


  • Goldberg and Reese make up the main event…Reese getting a shot at the U.S. Championship would have made more sense except that Reese just lost to Juventud Guerrera…I guess Van Hammer getting involved in that match sort of protects Reese, though…Reese is on his way out of the company…This is his penultimate match on WCW TV…He hits a stalling vertical suplex that Goldberg no-sells…Spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT to rapturous applause…


  • This show was barely good enough to get a WOO…Los Guerreros are the big reason for that…








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Show #146 – 22 June 1998

"The one with too much Okerlund and way too much Hogan, but just the right amount of Mean Kevin Greene

  • The desk is excited about this Dennis Rodman/Karl Malone thing, and they go on about it for awhile. Oh yeah, DDP still hasn’t had a chance to respond to the invitation to join the Wolfpac. I wonder if that gets forgotten about or eventually paid off.


  • Page comes to the ring to dish with Gene Okerlund. He cuts a mediocre promo on Hogan and Rodman because, let’s be honest, he is consistently a mediocre promo (at least as a babyface). He hits his catchphrase and everyone loves it though, and really, isn’t that enough in this era of promos?


  • Kimberly is jumping around in the ring as part of a dance routine. Now I remember why I liked this program! And yes, I realize that she is a full person with hopes and dreams, not just an item to be gazed at, etc., etc., but before you criticize me, you should really have seen her jump around! You’d understand, I know you would.


  • Lynn Denton – that’s how they spelled it instead of Len Denton, and yes, I know that he spells it that way SHOOT and the spelling "Len" is KAYFABE, to use insider terms about this like some sort of wrestling fan dork – comes to the ring to grapple with Disco Inferno. This match is perfectly cromulent, a decent back-and-forth bout worked at a good pace. Disco gets a solid pop for ducking a lariat attempt, booting Denton in the gut, and drilling him with a piledriver that gets three. That was a decent opener, with the bonus that it doesn’t feel like it took thirty minutes of talking and promos to get to.


  • Gene Okerlund is back in the ring to talk to Mean Kevin Greene, who I genuinely missed. That guy gets it. He probably is my favorite one of these part-time pro wrestling athletes from another sport. I’ve said it before, but I would love to have seen the output of this guy going full-time and traveling the territories in the '80s. Though Greene is at time of airing a Carolina Panther (again), he spends like three minutes shouting out the Jags and Mark Brunell and the 12th Man in Jacksonville. Some dopey Seahawk fans who think Seattle invented the concept of the 12th Man would be irrationally heated if they heard that.


  • I digress. Okerlund talks to Greene about his football prospects and his health (Greene says he’s “very healthy” even though he ended up dying before sixty just like you’d figure a lot of pro football players to do). Greene’s promo seems aimless, but he comes around to praising former football player and roommate when they were Los Angeles Rams, Bill Goldberg, and that brings down Hennig and Rude. Now, if Rude could wrestle, I would be interested in Greene/Goldberg against Hennig/Rude. Hennig challenges Greene to a fight, but that just allows the Giant to run in and jump Greene. An nWo Hollywood beatdown commences. I do appreciate that Greene gets up and yells FAT BOOOOOOOY WHERE YA GOIN’ before chasing after them. I don’t think this segment was particularly compelling, but I was genuinely excited to see Greene around these parts again.


  • During the break, there was a big pull-apart between Greene and nWo Hollywood in the back, with the Horsemen trying to restrain Greene. I guess Greene is fine with Mongo? Maybe they talked it out. I would love to be in on that conversation. It probably wasn’t even a conversation; they probably just butted heads a few times while yelling incoherently, then went for a couple of beers together to bury the hatchet.


  • Tokyo Magnum/Yuji Nagata is match two of the night. Magnum’s dancing is hilarious to me. I mean, he keeps dancing his way right into Nagata strikes. Nagata works a bunch of golds while Tony S. yammers on about Greene and then about Stevie Ray stomping around backstage and looking to fight Chris Benoit. So, I guess Greene/Giant (hahahaha) and Benoit/Bret Hart are on for tonight. Meanwhile in the ring, Magnum makes a comeback and gets two off a top-rope Frankensteiner, but shortly after, he runs the ropes and backflips himself into position for a Nagata wheel kick. Only a minute later, Nagata completes the victory with the Figure Four Nagata Lock, and we immediately cut away to see Stevie Ray beating down Chris Benoit in the back. I guess Stevie wants to prove that Booker’s not the only guy in the family who can beat Chris Benoit or whatever.


  • Raven cuts a promo where he walks through an industrial area and there’s some sort of video overlaid in the background. Craig Leathers needs to learn that he isn’t an artist and that he should aim low, where his standards naturally are. Oh yeah, the promo! It’s just Raven saying Raven-style gibberish.


  • Public Enemy comes out here, still in WCW though we’re at the end of June, 1998. I actually enjoy PE in the right situation, but at this point, they are doing their typical weapon shot/table bump thing every time they show up, and that’s boring. They’re wrestling Sick Boy and Horace Hogan tonight. This match is a thing that exists. Tony S. and Larry Z. talk about Larry’s golf game for a bit during this match, to give you an idea of how much this match is barely here, existing. PE is decent in control, but Horace and Sick Boy are basically sleeping pills in pro wrestler form. Man, there hasn’t been enough Psicosis on these shows lately, or Juvi after his PPV win for that matter. I’ll say it again: WCW consistently starting shows with fast-paced Cruiserweight action to get the crowd hot is a myth. Anyway, this match goes way too long and has an awkward spot at the end with a STOP sign attack that eventually leads to another weird looking STOP sign attack – man, Horace cannot fucking hit the right guy with that thing – and a Rocco Rock flying shoulderblock that gets three on Horace.


  • Too much Okerlund, man, too much Okerlund: He interviews Bret Hart about Hart’s beef with Chris Benoit after Benoit refused Bret’s help/invitation to nWo Hollywood. Bret heels for awhile, and it’s okay. Bret pulls a Raven and reminds Benoit of all the nice stuff that Hart’s family had done for him so that he can shit on Benoit for not returning the love. Bret doesn’t like the fans because they’ve ruined wrestling by cheering for heels like a bunch of dicks, etc., etc. Why is Bret a heel? Fire Bischoff.


  • Goldberg rolls out to defend his United States Championship against Rick Fuller because Goldberg’s booking is very bad. Fire Bischoff. I want to see Goldberg hit a kick combo like what he had in WCW/nWo Revenge. Man, what a great game. Goldberg does roll through into a legbar, but no kick combo. He has to work to spear Rick Fuller, as Fuller doesn’t seem to understand the concept of a clean back bump off a spear, and a follow-up Jackhammer gets three. I mean, Goldberg is cool and all, but, again, his booking: woof. The idea of running his record up makes sense, but in reality, if he almost never wrestles anyone who is a threat, who really cares about the record?


  • We get lots of interviews/flash promos with geek fans about this Hogan/Rodman vs. DDP/Malone deal. They’re a reminder of how hard it is to actually cut a decent promo, if you needed one!


  • The Wolfpac theme hits to a pop: Nash, Sting, and Konnan stroll out. They cut a wandering promo. Catchphrases are hit. Nash makes a South Park reference. Sting acts like a complete doofus. Oh no, Sting interviews a doll for a second. I’m humiliated for him. The whole thing just takes up time. I guess they made a challenge to anyone who wants a shot at their tag belts in there somewhere, so maybe that will turn out to be meaningful.


  • Alex Wright dances out to face Eddy Guerrero. Eddy’s still going through some things; this time, he doesn’t even get to the ring before Chavo Jr. sneaks up behind him. Eddy wards Chavo off, but Eddy's shook pretty much immediately, and the match hasn’t even started yet. Wright taunts Eddy’s fragile mental state, which is rude, but fair when it comes to the world of professional wrestling. Wright dominates early, then dances, as is his way. Eddy is irritated, of course, and makes a comeback with a back elbow, chops, and a face twist. Basically, these fellas have a back-and-forth contest. Wright’s got to take that top-rope diving knee off his menu of moves because it looks terrible when he hits it. He misses this one, though, and eats a brainbuster in response…which is when Chavo Jr. comes back out with a mic and harasses Eddy. Eddy is focused on Chavo, which gives Wright time to sneak up behind Eddy and hit him with a neckbreaker for three. The match was mid, but Chavo and Eddy have a great act going, and that’s the real story here. Chavo tells a story about learning about winning or losing by explaining a Monopoly game he played last night in detail (and explaining how to spell his name properly) as Eddy backs away slowly. Bless these fellas; they are always a bright spot on these shows.


  • Konnan is back out because the bookers insist on one Konnan match every Nitro, but you know, sometimes Konnan gets weird with it. He’s wrestling Scotty Riggs tonight, which could be something strange and oddly fun, I don’t know. On a side note, Lodi is out here with a sign again, and I haven’t seen this dude hold up one funny or clever sign this whole time he's been in the company. He sucks at his gimmick. This match isn’t good, but there’s stuff in it that’s okay, like Riggs slingshotting himself over the top rope onto Konnan. Konnan moves at what can only be described as quarter-speed through this match that is longer than it needs to be, probably because Konnan insists on moving at quarter-speed. Is Konnan one of the worst athletes to make it to a top level of the professional wrestling business of all time? He’s got to be on the shortlist, right? So, yeah, Konnan sidesteps a Riggs dive and locks on the Tequila Sunrise to mercifully end this match.


  • WCW insists on playing the Planet Hollywood press conference with Hogan and Rodman et al. to hype this tag match that I’m interested in, but not to the proportion that it’s being promoted here. Malone enjoys cutting wrestling promos. He’s okay at it for a non-professional. Hogan is solid at press conferences and he does some boilerplate heeling here. Rodman mostly sucks at this, of course. We don’t hear from Page, and that’s probably for the best!


  • Stevie Ray comes to the ring, and I think, man, I can’t wait until they get this guy on commentary. He was delightful. Now that’s one area where he excels over Booker T. Stevie’s opponent is Mongo McMichael. This is probably going to be pretty bad, but I enjoy both these fellas, so I’ll allow it. Your mileage may vary, but these dudes do some decent clubbering, and I enjoy it. Hey, big dudes clubbering one another always makes me happy. I just want to hear someone’s forearm smack against some other guy’s back sometimes. They do a terrible spot that I think was supposed to be an armbreaker, but everyone forgot what the spot was, so eventually Mongo turned it into a sleeper. For whatever reason, we get a commercial break in the middle of this match that doesn't need to be long enough to go on both sides of a commercial break.


  • We come back to a chinlock, ew. They eventually stop that nonsense and wander around outside brawling. Stevie launches Mongo into the stairs, then tries a chair attack when they’re back in the ring. Benoit comes out and takes the chair away from Stevie, then goes to attack, but Booker comes out and takes the chair away from Benoit. Stevie wants Booker to swing for the fences, but Book is confused as to why Stevie needed the chair since he was winning. They argue while the crowd chants WE WANT FLAIR. Awkward!


  • Welp, here’s nWo Hollywood. They cut a promo. Bischoff is bad at talking. He really should be fired ASAP. Hogan is bad at talking, too, since this isn’t a press conference. I gotta put up with this guy until Bash at the Beach 2000? Fuck. They diss Savage, Page, and Malone. It’s fucking BORING. They didn’t even let Scott Steiner talk.


  • I should be more excited for this Chris Benoit/Bret Hart match, shouldn’t I? I feel like I should. I think this show being bad has just run my enthusiasm down a bit. Benoit gets leverage early by going at Bret’s arm, then beats Bret’s power advantage with his speed advantage to keep control. Bret has to work to get back to his feet, then traps Benoit in the corner and lands a few punches before burying Benoit with a DDT. Bret stays on top for awhile, stuffing or surviving the occasional Benoit outburst of strikes. The Hitman lands an inverted atomic drop and a lariat, but whiffs on a second-rope elbowdrop. Benoit goes back to chops and strikes, so Bret resorts to a Hotshot to get some space.


  • The fight spills to ringside, where Bret targets Benoit’s back, wrapping him around the post. Back in the ring, Bret hits a piledriver that only gets two. There’s a commercial break at this point in what is an okay, but not great match. Back from break, Bret’s got a cover after some move, but he only gets two again. Apparently, he’s been running through the 5MoD and only getting two counts; next, he hits the side Russian leg sweep for two. Benoit hops Bret on a rope run and tries for the Germans, but Bret ducks out and gets a roll-up for two. Bret jaws at the ref, then swings at Benoit and misses; Benoit hits two rolling Germans, and after a couple of standing switches, hits a full nelson suplex as his third and final rolling suplex.


  • Both men are down as the crowd chants for Benoit, who gets back up first. Benoit drops Bret with a snap suplex and goes up for the flying headbutt, but Bret moves out of the way. Bret gets up and drops a headbutt into Benoit’s abdomen, but he goes up top and quickly gets caught by Benoit, who wins a superplex that gets two. Benoit follows up with a short-arm clothesline for another two count. Bret has to rake the eyes to get control, but Benoit slides out of Bret’s follow-up suplex attempt and locks the Crippler Crossface on; Bret gets to the ropes. That’s when Stevie Ray runs out to grab Benoit’s attention. Bret pulls some knux out of his kneepad, puts them on, and wallops Benoit in the back of the head while Benoit is distracted. The follow-up cover only gets two, but a Sharpshooter just a few seconds later gets a KO victory for Bret. That match felt like an appetizer for a better match with stronger opening structure on PPV. It ended up being pretty good, but they certainly have a better match in them. It was easily the best wrestling match on this show, two wrestlers working at a high level, basically on par with Kimberly jumping around earlier in the night. Yeah, yeah, I’m settling down.


  • They flew Michael Buffer down here right quick to announce this Kevin Greene/Giant match that just got made two hours ago. Sweet deal for him. The Giant strolls down smoking a cig. Greene runs in and hits a shoulderblock, tries another one, and gets clotheslined out of the air. Giant follows up with an elbowdrop. The Giant is very confident and casual about this whole thing, which allows Greene to forearm him in the junk. Greene throws a bunch of punches at Giant in the corner, which is when Hennig and Rude run down and cause a DQ. Man, I was kinda enjoying this, I have to be honest with you. This run-in came too early.


  • So now the rest of the Hollywood B-Team is out here, too. After about twenty years, Goldberg comes down for the save. He spears Vincent, spears Crush and Disciple, and runs the rest of the pack off. It occurs to me that we’re getting pretty close to Goldberg’s WCW World Championship run. His first run? I honestly don’t remember how many times he won that belt. Anyway, it would be a good idea to put the belt on him as long as you book him right. Which Bischoff won't do, and he really should be fired before he has a chance to screw that whole deal up. Greene challenges Hennig and Giant to a match against him and Goldberg at Bash at the Beach, and I am WAY into that. Let’s make it happen. WCW pipes in very loud Goldberg chants, and it sort of ruins my hype in this moment, but not in a significant way.


  • A lot of this show was turgid, but there were some bright spots like Benoit, Bret, Eddie, Chavo, Greene, Giant, don’t say Kimberly, don't say Kimberly, you’re really going overboard with mentioning her dancing, don't be a huge creep. 2.75 out of 5 Stinger Splashes
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Thunder Interlude – show number twenty-two – 25 June 1998

"The WCW Gang wrestles their way out of a rut (tonight, at least)”

  • WCW’s need to pipe in GOLDBERG chants all the time is baffling and strange…Why would you make your rising star look less over than he actually is by piping chants while the crowd clearly isn’t chanting?...Oh, uh, yeah, often before a Nitro, I might say LET’S NITROOOOOOO…This is Thunder, though…Hmm…How do I introduce it...Let's try this: Uh, let’s Thunder?!?!...That seems appropriate…


  • Oh joy, it’s “Rockhouse!”…The Giant (w/Vincent, Joe Camel, and a mic) chills out in the aisle…The Giant’s still mad at Sting…Meh…They work really well together, but the Giant’s run in this company is clearly over…The big man is treading water…The Giant cuts a promo that vacillates back and forth between “okay” and “outright bad” on both Sting and Nash…He wants a shot at the tag titles even though Nash isn’t in the building tonight…


  • Next up is an opener involving Public Enemy…This is not the way to get me hyped for some hot pro wrestling action on a WCW show in 1998…Raven and Sick Boy are their opponents…Speaking of directionless, let’s talk about Raven…I’m not saying that you’d want to make him world champ, but his post-DDP feud booking has been aimless and shitty…This Kanyon thing is not catching on with the crowd and wasn’t a great idea even before it debuted to zero heat…PE dominates until Raven manages to break a Johnny Grunge sleeper hold…I doze through the heel control segment…Lodi gets crunched after the hot tag when Raven uses him as a decoy…Saturn runs in, hits Raven with a trash can lid, and then nails a GORGEOUS splash from the top that drives Raven through a table…in the ring, Public Enemy has no issues with picking off Sick Boy with a Drive By (basically picture it as the Amazing French Canadiens’s assisted cannonball finisher) for the win…The match was nothing, but Saturn is pretty freakin’ great!...


  • Eddy Guerrero still looks pretty shook as he comes to the ring…Let’s see if he can lug Hugh Morrus (w/national treasure Jimmy Hart) through something solid…Probably, because Morrus is fine if he’s got someone better than him to work with…Morrus leverages his power advantage early…It helps that Eddy’s off his game and willing to try and match power…Finally, Eddy uses his greater speed to slide under Morrus on a rope run and nail a basement dropkick to the knee….Eddy works that knee throughout the match…The desk insists on pronouncing Morrus’s name as “humorous,” all one word…It’s annoying…Eddy is shaken by a small CHAVO chant in the crowd…Morrus gets to standing and wins a press slam, but sells the knee as he slowly goes up and misses a flying elbow…Eddy hits a suplex and goes up for a Frog Splash…Jimmy Hart grabs and chair and goes to whack Eddy…Chavo runs out to cut Jimmy Hart off…He references Hart’s career as a hitmaker in the Gentrys…Then he wallops Hart with a right…Everyone is distracted by Chavo’s nonsense, which leads to Morrus catching a diving Eddy in a powerslam and hitting a No Laughing Matter for three…Chavo apologizes to Eddy for not being more helpful, but Eddy prefers to run away…


  • Sting and Konnan are such an odd couple…They hit the ring to respond to the Giant…People love this giant dork Sting…Sting agrees to defend the belts against the Giant and his partner…Sting’s partner for the night will be Lex Luger


  • Mike Tenay attempts to interview Chris Benoit and Arn Anderson…Arn asks Tenay to leave so he and Benoit can talk privately…Then the camera snoops in to hear their talk anyway…Wow, is Craig Leathers the biggest heel on the show?...Arn notices the camera still on and focused on them and gets pissed…He’s absolutely right to feel that way...


  • What the fuck is a Sumo Fuji?...So, this dude is more widely known as Don Fujii…I don’t know him, and I don’t expect him to have a breakout match against his opponent Stevie Ray…Stevie promises to show Booker how to “knock a sucka out” tonight…Stevie ponderously clubbers his way to a victory…Ooh, he hits a Slapjack for the win!...OK, I really enjoyed the Slapjack…


  • Chris Jericho comes to the ring, rocking his gold and thrilled to be champ again…He even has the energy to rip up some chump’s I’M A JERICHOHOLIC sign…Another fan does the “use one hand to work an imaginary crank that lifts the middle finger of my other hand” deal to him…Jericho gets a mic and bigs himself up before his match…He also craps on Malenko and promises not to defend the title against him…J.J. Dillon comes to the ring to retort…Dillon talks some legal mumbo-jumbo…The point is that the WCW Executive Committee has changed the rule that Jericho has any say in who he defends the title against…What makes this work is that Dillon really sells contempt for Jericho’s constant insults and rulebook-hounding ways…


  • Ultimo Dragon comes to the ring to try and win the gold off Jericho before Malenko even gets another shot at it…They start with a series of quick rope-running exchanges…There’s an early break, and Jericho’s in control when we come back…Jericho gets lackadaisical and Dragon catches him with a dropkick to the solar plexus on an Asai moonsault attempt…Dragon locks on the Dragon Sleeper, but Jericho escapes…Jericho misses the corner dropkick to the outside and eats a springboard moonsault on the mats…They get back in the ring and trade rollups before Jericho gets 2.9 off a Dragon Suplex…Dragon tries to roll through an Electric Chair, but gets stuffed and put in the Walls…Dragon reaches the ropes…Dragon makes a comeback as the crowd chants that JERICHO SUCKS…Jericho catches a rushing Dragon in a floatover powerslam, but only gets 2.9 again…Jericho taunts Malenko by yelling THIS IS FOR YOUR DEAD DADDY before he tries to suplex Dragon…Dragon flips behind Jericho and locks on the Dragon Sleeper again, but Malenko runs in and attacks Jericho for a DQ…There was a fun sprint there, but the commercial break and the finish both hurt it as a match (though the finish was necessary for the angle and was fine in and of itself)…


  • Oh no, more “Rockhouse”…Eric Bischoff wants to jabber with/at the crowd now…My eyes glaze over until Bisch introduces Scott Steiner…Boy, we've had absolutely nothing of Scott Steiner killing jobbers lately…Bisch interviews Scotty again, and it was bad enough the first time that Scotty lost a bit of overness in this house…Basically, they shit on Rick Steiner in the most boring way possible…Bischoff is so bad at this that he somehow makes 'roid monkey Scotty Steiner unenjoyable on the mic…Fire Bischoff…And put Scotty in the Wolfpac where he’d be perfect…


  • DDP calls in to the commentary desk to cut a promo of his own…Though this is better than the typical Nitro, I think that there are too many promos on this show…Jericho and Dillon were great, but the rest of the talking tonight has been underwhelming, to say the least…Page wants everyone to know that he and Karl Malone will be at the upcoming Nitro…They’re bringing a truckful of chairs, too…It’s wild how much better WWF was at talking than WCW in an era where talking was particularly important…Vince Russo is a crank, sure, but even if he were competent, he came into a company that was definitely a wrestling-first company, talent-wise...Russo has a talking-first mentality and vision for the weekly shows…It was always going to be a disaster even if Russo understood pro wrestling booking on a rudimentary level, is what I think...


  • Aw yeah, it’s Barbarian!...Aw shit, it’s Hacksaw Jim Duggan!...You know from reading these that I think Barbarian is a very good pro wrestler, but I don’t think he’s quite good enough to carry Duggan to something decent…his old partner Meng’s done it before, but I think Meng is a clear level above Barb as a talent…Barb tries, though, and gets something that’s watchable out of Duggan…That’s not nothing…This crowd in Florida (of course) absolutely fucking LOVES Duggan, though…Humorous Hugh Morrus comes out and tosses Duggan’s 2x4 to Barb…Duggan gets the drop on Barb as Barb scrambles for the board and hits a lariat and the Old Glory kneedrop for the win…


  • That roving cameraperson next snoops on Chris Jericho telling Ultimo Dragon that Dragon should make his case to Dillon and the matchmaking committee for a Cruiserweight title rematch at the upcoming PPV…I mean, is it snooping if Jericho actually wants that message out in the world?...Maybe I should rephrase…Anyway, Malenko chases Jericho off…


  • Disco Inferno gets his boogie on…Oh hey, it’s the debut of the Boogie Knights, as Alex Wright comes to the ring to tag with Disco…former (and maybe future?) Horsemen Chris Benoit and Mongo McMichael oppose them…Wright loves stomping mudholes and then dancing…Benoit does not appreciate human joy or expressions of such, so he is moved to chop the crap out of everyone who dances or even thinks about dancing…We get a commercial break after that spot…Benoit lays in some very mean chops on Disco, then covers for two as the crowd chants WE WANT FLAIR…Now Mongo is in and hitting a cool tilt-a-whirl slam on Disco…


  • I mean, these fellas beat the fuck out of Disco…Benoit almost gets a Crippler Crossface on Disco, but Wright jumps in and stomps away…Disco and Wright coordinate their way into Wright hitting a suplex and getting control…Wright and Benoit have a very intense strike-fest in the corner…Benoit plays FIP…Disco’s back in and gets two on a fistdrop…Benoit tries to fight back, but Disco and Wright do a great job of keeping him isolated…Wright gets two on a slingshot splash…Benoit catches Disco in a desperation backslide for two after Disco tags in, but Disco’s back on top of him with strikes…Lots of quick tags between Disco and Wright…Disco takes forever to dance and badly whiffs on a second-rope elbowdrop…Benoit gets the hot tag…Mongo’s a fun hot tag…The match breaks down…Mongo and Disco are isolated in the ring…Mongo hits Disco with a spinebuster, then tags Benoit, who lands a flying headbutt and locks in a Crossface for the win…That was the best match on WCW television in awhile, including the previous PPV…It was an excellent competitive TV tag with pace and intensity…If Mongo and Benoit were sent back to 1994 WCW, they would be a much lionized tag team who’d held the titles in a memorable reign or two…


  • The tag team match for the titles is our main event tonight…The Giant’s dumb ass is still sticking with Crush as his tag partner…I mean, I guess Crush hooked up with Wrath and did some damage, so maybe in hindsight, it’s a reasonable choice…But man…Michael Buffer declares that Crush calls himself the “mack daddy of the nWo”…Uh, what?!...We’re already in the overrun by the time that Sting and Luger make it to the ring…The Giant’s lighter is out of fluid, and that puts him in a rage because he can’t get a quick pre-match smoke in…All four men go at it, culminating in a spot where Sting and Luger back bodydrop Giant to the floor…Sting and Giant have excellent chemistry together as usual…I’d go so far as to argue that Sting is the Giant’s/Big Show’s best opponent…The Giant hits, then misses, in a couple of elbowdrop attempts on Sting…Hot tag to Luger…Luger hits Crush with the metal forearm, then racks him for the win…Hennig and Rude come out and ambush Sting…Konnan runs in for the save and immediately botches it….nWo Hollywood destroys the out-manned Wolfpac…A Hogan/Rodman vs DDP/Malone promo plays to take us out…


  • Wow, you put a bunch of solid wrestlers on this show, put them in positions to succeed in their roles, let them have some good matches, and limit the promo time from “damn near more talking than wrestling” to “bearable,” and look what happens!...I give it a WOOOOO


Edited by SirSmUgly
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Show #147 – 29 June 1998

"The one with the least exciting 18-wheeler trip in history”

  • GET TO DA CHOPPA! But for real, we get a chopper shot of an 18-wheeler riding down the road. There’s a Blacktop Bully/Dustin Rhodes match bunch of chairs inside. That’s according to DDP from last Thunder.


  • Larry Z. struggles to make sentences at the desk. I’m baffled that commentary keeps bringing up a Tonight Show appearance with Hogan, but not showing clips of it.


  • Gene Okerlund introduces the inimitable Kevin Greene for an interview. Greene is very much not aware of Curt Hennig’s name, and he wasn’t last week, and I can’t tell if he’s working or shooting. Either way, it’s hilarious. Greene hypes Goldberg and their Bash at the Beach tag match against Giant and Hennig.


  • Nitro gets the in-ring action started with a hot cruiserweight match. No, wait, it’s Horace Hogan (w/ Lodi). A totally heatless Kanyon comes down to face him. Kanyon decides to hit a few unique moves in lieu of any pacey cruiserweight action and gets two on a swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker and then two on a facebuster that he hits with his legs. I joked about this being the opening match, but both guys are trying; now Horace lariats Kanyon to ringside and then hits a clean suicide dive. Kanyon takes a beal into a stop sign that bends it, and you know what, I picked the wrong opening match to make fun of for not being a fast-paced and action-packed match. These fellas just decided to unload on each other for five minutes, and it’s fun as hell. Horace gets two on a superplex, but Kanyon blocks his hip toss and turns it into a neckbreaker, then starts a comeback that culminates in Kanyon fighting off Lodi’s interference and hitting a Flatliner for three.


  • A couple Flock flunkies run in post-match, but Kanyon fights them off and hits Kidman with a neckbreaker out of a Burning Hammer position on top of it all. Finally, though, the numbers game catches up to Kanyon, and Raven comes out to tell Kanyon that he’s only one man against a big ol’ group, and that’s a real math problem that Raven doesn’t think Kanyon will figure out. Then, Raven hits Kanyon with an Evenflow. That was all very good and got me excited for more pro wrestling. I apologize for pre-judging you, Nitro opener.


  • Lots of talking about Malone and Page, lots of video of a moving truck, some of nWo Hollywood standing around cracking dumb jokes and holding crowbars in the back, and too much fan input about the BatB main event. Well, that’s one way to come down from a hot opener.


  • Now Okerlund interviews Stevie Ray. This show is really fucking with me, isn’t it? It had a strangely hot opener that involved Horace fucking Hogan somehow, and then it followed up with a bunch of doo doo. Stevie Ray can be fun on the mic, but this isn’t a great promo. Basically, Stevie Ray demands a tag match against Mongo and Benoit and basically says Booker’s going to agree to it because of the close familial ties he has with Stevie. Stevie seems convinced of victory, and I sure hope he’s not disappointed with Booker if it doesn’t happen.


  • A masked dude called Little Dragon comes out. This is the modern-day Dragon Kid, but I don’t watch Dragon’s Gate, so I know nothing about him. Well, he’s probably the next guy to take advantage of Eddy Guerrero being a head case. Eddy is really shook, and he gets heated at a guy in the front row with an EDDIE STINKS AT MONOPOLY sign. That is a solid sign, sir. Eddy checks around (and under) the ring for Chavo before the match.


  • Little Dragon’s in control early. He’s a solid worker from what he shows here. Dragon hits a handspring back elbow, Muta-style, but he runs the ropes and eats a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. That allows Eddy to take control of the match, though he’s somewhat distracted by a small CHAVO chant. The desk makes it clear that Little Dragon’s a rookie and doesn’t have a ton of experience, which actually does enhance this match, as it’s clear that Eddy is far better than Dragon and would have won this in a walk if he wasn’t so distracted by Chavo. Speaking of Chavo, that lunatic “rides” out on Pepe (Chavo, on the mic: “You’ll have to excuse me, I’m a little ho[a]rse”), which distracts Eddy, which leads to Little Dragon rolling Eddy up from behind for three after Eddy rips Pepe away from Chavo. Eddy beats Dragon with Pepe and then chases Chavo to the back after Chavo reclaims Pepe. Welp, I see that Eddy finally snapped! I really dig this angle.


  • Chris Jericho patronizingly promises Ultimo Dragon a title shot on Thunder if Dragon beats Malenko tonight. Jericho keeps calling Dragon “little buckaroo,” and I’m hoping Dragon has enough English to recognize that as an insult and punch Jericho in the throat, but no dice.


  • Sumo Fuji and Judo Suwa come to the ring to give the Giant (w/Rude and Hennig) a light workout in a handicap match. Wade Boggs is in the front row, and he and Hennig shake hands. Larry Z. is disgusted with Boggs, but be fair to the guy: Boggs had a front row seat for Hennig being the perfect baseball player a few years ago. It’s just respect from one baseball HoF’er to a guy who would have made a perfect baseball HOF’er if that skit was any hint. It took me more time to write about Boggs than it did for the Giant to double-chokeslam these jobbers for three. The nWo members clear the ring so they can talk. Hennig doesn’t like anyone, including non-wrestling athletes who are in wrestling, but he gives Boggs a pass. Kevin Greene comes into the aisle to face off with the fellas in the ring, and he hits the ring with Goldberg following behind. Greene clears the ring and Goldberg joins him to a huge pop. I have to give (fire) Bischoff credit – he has me interested in a match that involves Curt Hennig in 1998.


  • Well, look, I praise Eric Bischoff and he immediately walks out here with Hulk Hogan so they can gab mindlessly for a few minutes. This is what I get for complementing Bischoff. I honestly just blocked out most of this. Hogan talked about Tampa and trucks and did goofy ‘80s heeling for what felt like fifteen minutes, or maybe fifteen years.


  • Sting and Luger come to the ring to face British Bulldog and Jim Neidhart, the latter of whom are heeling tonight. Bulldog and Neidhart definitely tried hard the last time they were on TV, but if this goes over five minutes, it’s going to be a mess. Luger wins an early exchange with Neidhart before Bulldog and Sting tag in. Boy, there is a lot of standing around in this match, let me tell you. The pace is damn near non-existent. Now there are poses and crotch chops and Tampa is super excited about this for reasons that I can’t even begin to understand. Honestly, the screaming is a bit high-pitched, and I did see a woman in the crowd holding a sign that propositioned Sting on his way out (she was up for getting, ahem, “stung” anytime).


  • Finally, Neidhart gets some rudimentary offense in on Luger. Luger plays FIP for like forty-five seconds before he and Neidhart hit a weak double-clothesline on one another. Sting gets the hot tag hits triple inverted atomic drops and a Stinger Splash, and then hops out of a desperation powerslam attempt by Bulldog to hit the Scorpion Death Drop for three. That was all very bad, but hey, Tampa was entertained.


  • Reese is doing jobs on his way out of the territory. Next job up: Saturn. Reese does some decent power stuff, including a press slam while down on one knee, though I’m not sure about that last move. Wouldn’t it hurt Saturn less if he’s landing from a lower height? Reese gets in too much offense for a guy on his way out of the territory, actually. Saturn finally hits a number of strikes to unsettle Reese, then hits a missile dropkick, superkicks Lodi off the apron, and drops Reese with a Death Valley Driver (no video review) for three. Riggs and Horace Hogan run in post-match. Riggs gets worked over, but Horace is smart enough simply to distract Saturn for long enough that Sick Boy and Kidman can back-jump Saturn. Raven comes out on the mic and blames Saturn for being friendless, poor, and beaten by his father as a child. GODDAM, that’s cold. Raven says that all he ever did in their friendship was give, and all Saturn did was take, so Saturn should take this (*hits Evenflow*). That promo ruled, actually.


  • There is now lots of recap of the Greene/Goldberg/Giant/Hennig/Rude feud, which maybe would have been better placed before the Giant handicap match? They could move the match down here considering that there was already a lot of recap and talking earlier in the show when the match originally happened.


  • Hey, it’s Vampiro! Vampiro is one of my favorite wrestlers who absolutely sucks. There’s something compelling about him even though he’s pretty bad. Even his bad commentary on Lucha Underground, in which he sounded like someone’s drunken uncle awkwardly commenting on the TV show everyone’s watching while waiting on Thanksgiving dinner, was kinda fun. So yeah, Vampiro’s wrestling Brad Armstrong. They do some stuff to showcase Vampiro, like Vampiro landing on his feet out of an Armstrong monkey flip attempt and then doing a flip bump on a follow-up Armstrong lariat. If they have plans for Vampiro, Armstrong should probably take slightly less of this very short and entirely adequate match, which Vampiro wins with the Nail in the Coffin.


  • One thing that I think WCW has struggled with is pacing their shows, especially once they started to add more video packages to the layout. This show has been one of a run of them to struggle with that. Vinnie Jr. just had better instincts for handling this sort of thing.


  • Tokyo Magnum and Shiiba Nobunaga come to the ring to tag against the Boogie Knights. Tokyo Magnum tries to horn in on Disco and Wright’s dancing, and they are very offended by this. So, these teams have a decent, pacey tag match. The Knights (who have not been named as such yet) dominate. They have a couple of nice double team moves, like an inverted atomic drop/wheel kick combo. There’s potential in this team, definitely. So, the match goes back and forth, and though Nobunaga gets two on a springboard senton, that’s as close as Magnum and Nobunaga get to victory. Disco and Wright hit a neckbreaker combo on Nobunaga for the win, then argue over whose music should play so they can dance to their victory. Leathers, that genius in the truck, switches back and forth between them like a complete ass.


  • Ultimo Dragon faces off with Dean Malenko next. Dragon is, quite fairly, irritated at Malenko blowing up his spot on the previous Thunder. They do some quick exchanges while working the arm, then run the ropes and have a standoff with a whiffed double dropkick, which is one of my least favorite spots in wrestling. There’s some slick, but cursory mat work after that. Back to standing, these fellas do a whole bunch of counters that are pleasing to watch. There’s nothing there that makes this feel like a real competition, which harms it, but this is certainly an entertaining collection of spots. Malenko breaks a Dragon Sleeper with a knee to the face, then they trade pinfalls. This is an extremely pacey match. These fellas are so impressively conditioned. Malenko blocks a top rope move and hits the super gutbuster, but when he goes for the Texas Cloverleaf, Chris Jericho comes out and declares that some cops in the back want to arrest Malenko for illegally imitating a wrestler, then is like LOL UR DAD IS DEAD STUPID, and Malenko chases him to the back. Dragon wins by countout. I have to be honest, I was mostly interested in, and waiting patiently for, the fuck finish. Great moves exhibition, though!


  • Harlem Heat hasn’t exploded yet, but uh, it’s on its way! Stevie and Booker face off with Benoit and Mongo. Booker and Benoit start this ma—no, Stevie wants in. Book dutifully makes the tag and watches as Benoit puts in work on Stevie. Stevie does get in a clothesline and a clubberin’ of his own, though. Book gets back in and controls Benoit for a bit, getting two off a back elbow before getting dragon screw leg whipped to the mat. Mongo gets in and works Booker’s leg. Mongo has a little control, but eats boot on a corner charge and is immediately clubbered by Stevie after the latter tags in. This crowd is eerily quiet and has been since that Sting and Luger match, actually.


  • Mongo is FIP for a bit and takes a hilarious front bump off a flying forearm in the midst of all the selling. Book gets two off a spinebuster, and the match breaks down when Benoit comes in for the save. Bret Hart runs down holding a chair and, while the ref is distracted with the whole brouhaha between Stevie and Benoit, clobbers Booker as Book runs the ropes. Mongo gets an easy three count off the interference.


  • Meanwhile, Malenko has found Jericho in the back and beats the tar out of him until Ultimo Dragon comes into the vicinity, at which point Malenko beats up Dragon while Jericho escapes. Malenko takes off in pursuit because heels keep insulting his dead father for whatever reason, and it really grinds his gears.


  • So, Eric Bischoff does a shitty Tonight Show-esque interview of Scotty Steiner, and I know Bisch got in trouble for telling an exact replica of a joke that Jay Leno told in one of his his Tonight Show monologues at some point around this time. Look, I doubt the issue was that Bischoff told a cheesy Jay Leno joke on TNT. I mean, it’s cable. Any cable channel worth its salt shouldn’t have its S&P sweating over a fucking Leno joke that was originally told on broadcast television. I think the truth is that Turner execs saw this shit, then saw the sliding ratings, and were like, Yo, we gotta reel this guy in. Anyawy, this segment is complete ass. It’s staggering how Bischoff is making Scotty friggin’ Steiner come off like a cornball.


  • Gene Okerlund’s in the aisle to interview an irritated Booker T., who deflects Gene’s questions about harmony in Harlem Heat to challenge Bret Hart to a fight. Booker issues a challenge to Bret, which Stevie is all pissy about for some reason. Oh, wait, Stevie’s irritated that Booker didn’t just jump Bret in the back instead of coming out here issuing challenges like some kind of sissy. Some kind of chivalrous sissy. Bret comes out and mocks the transposition of the “k” and “s” sounds that many AAVE speakers such as Booker often do when pronouncing the word “ask,” and that’s kinda racist, Hitman, maybe you really did spray paint the Nation of Domination’s locker room in racial slurs after all. Then he agrees to meet Booker at Bash at the Beach. Meanwhile, Stevie’s crying and moaning, mostly because he is coming to the realization that Booker has outgrown him and their tag team and soon, poor ol' Stevie's gonna be B-teaming it in nWo Hollywood with Vincent and Crush.


  • Hogan and Bisch consider the whole "18-wheeler that's on its way to the arena" thing and whether or not it bodes poorly for nWo Hollywood, and to this, I respond thusly: Who gives a shit?


  • Buffer’s out here to ring announce Glacier/Goldberg. How does Glacier rate a Buffer entrance, exactly? This is nonsense. Buffer even says that Glacier's famous for the Cryonic Kick. Someone get Saturn out here to explain some shit about that kick to Buffer right now. Goldberg storms out and puts the business to Glacier. I wrote that sentence before Goldberg even showed up on screen, but you know what’s about to happen. The crowd was at least awake for this squash match. Tampa only really cares about the tippy-top stars, I think.


  • What we’ve been building to this whole night, which is nWo Hollywood facing down DDP and Karl Malone, is actually our main event, and let me tell you, I am checked out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to the match at BatB and all, but this build has a bunch of guys talking who can’t talk, and it’s rough. Hogan cuts a terrible heel promo – shocking, I know – while we get intercut into this terrible heel promo some video of a trailer truck driving.


  • So yeah, this truck finally pulls into the parking lot while Hogan and Bischoff cut yet another crappy promo. nWo Hollywood members are waiting outside, but they scatter when the truck pulls up, and Page and Malone jump out of the truck holding chairs and march through the back. This is some crappy television, folks! I’d really love to just switch to RAW. Finally, fucking finally, Page and Malone get down here and get Hogan to stop talking so that he can do some cartoonish selling of fear. Hogan uses Bischoff as a decoy, but fails to escape the ring because of Malone’s tenacious perimeter defensive skills.


  • Malone and Hogan lock up, and Malone wins a body slam and a pair of Jim Neidhart-level clotheslines that send Hogan packing. Karl Malone looks pretty much overjoyed to be here, and there’s not even an impressionable 13-year-old girl in the ring! Page grabs a mic and is like LOL HOGAN IS GAY FOR RODMAN *fake laughter* MAYBE GAY RODMAN WILL COME TO HOTLANTA NEXT WEEK TO FIGHT US and I’m thinking, wait, Atlanta, is Goldberg gonna become world champ on the next Nitro? Page and Malone cut a promo in tandem that is GODDAM VILE, so I keep thinking about Goldberg being WCW World Champ and killing fools, even if most of those fools are jobbers.


  • There was some bad stuff on this show, mostly Hogan-and-Bischoff related, but it did a much better job of showcasing midcard talent than the last few Nitros and was ultimately a fun enough watch even though it dragged in a few spots. 3 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
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Thunder Interlude – show number twenty-three – 2 July 1998

"The WCW Gang puts on a hell of a Thunder”

  • Was Hogan/Rodman vs. Page/Malone the match of the summer, as this pre-Thunder promo says it was?…I guess Mankind/Undertaker in the Cell happened a couple weeks too early for summer, or that would be the true answer…


  • Heenan showed up to this gig dressed like he’s catching a flight to Cabo San Lucas after it’s over…He claims the 18-wheeler had 88 wheels and then starts making beach metaphors, so maybe he’s already in Cabo in his mind…


  • Here’s Chris Jericho, who is being paranoid about politics with his CONSPIRACY VICTIM sign…I assume he’s shooting, not working…Jericho grabs a mic and does the “get the name of the town we’re in wrong even after asking someone where we are” deal…The crowd does not like this fella…Jericho bloviates about what a great guy he is for awhile and then pretends that Malenko is running from him and not the reverse…Wow, some dudes just live in an alternate reality where they deny the truth, huh?…Jericho calls out the “internet geeks and sheet readers” for the five-star classic he’s about to put on with a man returning from a knee injury, Rey Misterio Jr….


  • It’s a little person wrestler dressed up as Rey…Is the “it’s a little person wrestler” the most obvious reveal when a heel introduces his face opponent?...Jericho fakes that he’s struggling to beat this impostor while the crowd chants that JERICHO SUCKS…Jericho kills this guy, but pulls the impostor Misterio on top of him for three and then tries to shunt impostor Misterio to the front of the line for a title shot at Bash at the Beach on the basis of this thrown match result…I mean, look, this is some good heeling, man, it’s so good…Jericho talks about how tough the match was for him while Charles Robinson checks on the completely out cold impostor Misterio...Jericho then stomps said impostor and belt whips him on the way out for good measure…Great performance, especially because I want to see this guy Jericho get murked by someone, anyone at this point (but preferably not Malenko, TBH)…


  • The Giant comes to the ring…Giant has sunglasses on and poses like Rikishi while his ringpost pyro goes off…I’d love to be watching Too Cool and Rikishi right now, but I guess this is good, too…Oh wait, Giant says that he's here to be a mouthpiece for Hollywood Hogan, so nevermind…Giant calls out Goldberg and Kevin Greene…He also isn’t a fan of the Wolfpac…Giant calls out Lex Luger specifically…You’d expect him to call out Kevin Nash, but Nash hasn’t been around for awhile, and I don’t remember what the deal with this extended absence is…


  • The Giant leaves and Doc Dean, the Pro Wrestling IRON superstar, comes to the ring to get squashed by Stevie Ray. Stevie tells the studio audience that they better call somebody…He says this because he might knock a sucka out rather than because oh, you didn’t know…This is a fairly fun clubbering-and-power-moves squash, actually…I’m not super interested in the Harlem Heat break-up, though, because boy is that going to mire Book in a bunch of crappy feuds and shunt him briefly into M.I.A.…We get a Slapjack for three, and boy, I love the Slapjack…Chavo Jr. rides out on Pepe as Stevie talks shit into the camera post-match…Chavo Jr., in what is a very funny plot development, notes that after months of Eddy and Chavo trying to show each other the right way to win while the other guy doesn't ever listen, he can understand why Stevie is so frustrated with Booker doing the same thing to Stevie…Chavo apologizes to Grandma Guerrero for Eddy’s current losing streak and then tries to apologize to Stevie’s grandma for Booker being a jerk…That’s the point where Stevie shoves Chavo down and walks away as Chavo protests…I vaguely remember a Chavo/Stevie match that happens before Chavo/Eddy on the same show and ends up being a farce rather than the grueling match that Eddy expects…I’m excited to see how we get there…


  • Here comes Disco Inferno…This has been a pretty good show so far…Ah, he’s going to join up with Alex Wright again…Tony S. is mad that they’re interrupting a Public Enemy vs. Neidhart and Bulldog match to dance…That is an ABSURD thing to be mad at…We should be thanking these fellas for stopping that nonsense from happening…They heel on the mic, assuming that everyone wants to see them dance…However, Public Enemy’s music hits, and we are saved from having to watch Neidhart and Bulldog tag against these two…Actually, this is just a dance contest, not even a tag match…PE’s dancing is offensively bad even in comparison to Disco and Wright…The Boogie Knights shove PE and bail out of the ring…


  • Aw, we come back from a break and are finally subjected to the original match we were supposed to see…This isn’t what you'd call a good match, but I should have given both teams more credit…If they try, they’re entirely watchable, and they try tonight…Wright and Disco run back out, jump Johnny Grunge, grab the table PE brought to the ring, get in the ring, and hold it up so that Bulldog crashes through it while hitting a running powerslam on Rocco Rock…That was a fantastic visual…Yeah, the Boogie Knights make things better…I guess this is a no contest, but does it matter?...Great match-ending spot…


  • Tony S. interviews Jojo Dillon…Dillon talks about riding a chartered helicopter here to make an AMAZING announcement…Oh, yeah, the announcement he’s making is that Goldberg is getting a WCW World Championship shot against Hulk Hogan on the Georgia Dome Nitro…OK, that’s a pretty big deal…tonight's crowd in Columbus, GA seems very hyped about this…Even knowing how badly it all ends for Goldberg in WCW from this point on, I’m hyped about this…


  • Raven cuts another promo on pre-tape…He stands near a highway and talks about what a nice, helpful guy he is while Craig Leathers tries to live out his creative dreams by casting some video on the background of a billboard that says “Happiness is Helping Others”…I shouldn’t drag these fellas too much for trying something visually different…


  • Billy Kidman is in the ring to face Saturn…Saturn rolls Kidman early, and even Kidman’s dirty tricks don’t help him very much…Saturn belly-to-belly suplexes Kidman over his head and to the floor, then tries to hit a suicide dive until he’s distracted by Lodi…Saturn chases Lodi, who grabs a chair, and while chasing the chair-wielding Lodi around the ring, he clotheslines Kidman without stopping for a beat…In a neat spot, though, Lodi drops the chair next to Kidman while scrambling away from Saturn, and Kidman picks it up so that when Saturn finally stops chasing Lodi and tries to complete that suicide dive he was planning to do earlier, Kidman cracks a diving Saturn in the head with the chair…I don’t love chair shots to the head, but that was an intricate, clever spot…


  • Kidman takes over and keeps control by hitting a facebuster out of a powerbomb attempt, as is his way…Kidman can’t get a submission and unloads with stomps and chokes in response…Kidman misses a corner charge, but drops Saturn with a sit-out slam and tries for the SSP…Saturn catches Kidman going up top and crotches him, then hits a super capture suplex…Man, that table sliced up Bulldog something fierce in the last match because there’s quite a bit of blood in the area where that spot happened…Saturn launches Kidman with another release belly-to-belly, this time in the ring…Lodi runs another distraction, which allows Kidman to hit a springboard bulldog for 2.9…Saturn leg sweeps Kidman and gets two off that, and when Kidman eye pokes his way out of the pinfall attempt, Saturn recovers by scooping a charging Kidman into a DVD (no VR) position…Saturn hits it and wins this extremely entertaining match…I kinda get why people were into Kidman so much…He consistently has really fun matches…Of course, the quality of his competition is typically guys on the level of Saturn or Juventud Guerrera…I don’t think Kidman is bad or even average, but I think the love he got was more of a product of how good the guys were who he tended to face than of his own natural talent…


  • Tony S. next promises us a Small Soldiers preview, but they cut it out of the broadcast…BOOOOOO…I wanted to hear that Bone Thugs version of “War”…


  • These sleazy bums at WCW re-run the snooping camera footage from last week of Arn and Benoit having a heartfelt conversation even after Arn politely asked Tenay to let them have that convo in private…Now we get video of Mongo explaining why he fit in with the Horsemen…Basically, he argues that the Horsemen are the wrestling equivalent of the ’85 Bears, so he was already used to that level of success, money, and fame…It’s a really good promo, actually…I mean, Ditka’s dumb ass is intercut into this very good promo, but I can live with it…


  • Bobby Blaze, the Smoky Mountain Wrestling superstar, is on his way to the ring to face Crush…This is an alright squash match…Crush has a couple fun moves in his arsenal, like the overhead release belly-to-belly that he hits…I also dig his tilt-a-whirl backbreaker…He’d be better off using that as his finish than the regular backbreaker he hits to finish this match…


  • Raven wanders out to the ring, looking troubled…He slumps in the corner and accepts Saturn’s challenge for a match at BatB…He notes that the last time they fought, it was in sixth grade and Raven won…I mean, that’s kind of a long time ago, my man…Raven stands up to address Kanyon…He tells Kanyon that he will be focusing on Saturn for now and leaving Kanyon alone, but when the business with Saturn ends, Kanyon will be feeling Raven’s pain…


  • Fit Finlay faces WCW TV Champion Booker T. in a return bout for the gold…Finlay jumps Booker from behind while Booker poses…Finlay controls with European uppercuts and lariats…Finlay goes to the floor as Book struggles to get on track…Finlay hangs Book up on the guardrail…Back in the ring, Finlay gets two on a backslide…Finally, Book gets his first offensive move in by flipping over a charging Finlay and getting a school boy for two…Finlay immediately goes back on offense…Book hits a few kicks to knock Finlay down…Book gets two off a flying forearm…After some back and forth, Book hits a spinebuster and a back suplex…He Spinaroonies up, but whiffs on an axe kick and gets clotheslined to the floor…Finlay’s looking for a Tombstone, but Booker hangs Finlay over the top rope while getting back in the ring…Book follows up with a missile dropkick for three…That match was pretty fun…I’m really looking forward to Bret/Booker at BatB…


  • Post-match, Booker cuts a promo on the Hitman…This is a pretty fun promo in which he declares that Bret’s running on “lazy legs”…Aw, here comes Stevie Ray to kill the vibes…Stevie is like Just jump this dude Bret instead of trying to beat him in a match…Booker is finally tired of Stevie's whining…Book notes that he’s won the TV title four separate times…Wait, does that include the off-TV title changes with Benoit?...Book wants Stevie to fuck off somewhere else instead of being here complaining about Booker’s pride in winning and defending the TV title, which is fair…They take their argument off-camera…


  • Here comes Chavo’s crazy ass again…He’s carrying a cardboard box and declaring that he’s hunting Eddys in an Elmer Fudd voice…Oh, this box is part of a Looney Tunes-style trap that Chavo sets up…The bait is a fucking burrito…It is a sad-looking burrito, too, a sub-Baja Fresh level burrito…The crowd gets a kick out of this, and so do I…LOL, it says ACME EDDY TRAP on the side of the box…Fucking DUMB…Chavo hides behind the box and holds a plastic bow-and-arrow toy, strung up with an arrow that has a suction cup on it….This dumb ruse does get Eddy to come down to the ring….Eddy tugs the string to make Chavo think Eddy went for the burrito…A couple guys in the front row yell HE’S NOT IN THE BOX, DON’T FALL FOR IT…Chavo falls for it…Eddy jumps Chavo as Chavo checks the box (Chavo, once he sees Eddy’s not trapped: “Hmmph, maybe I need a bigger box”)…Eddy drops Chavo on the concrete with a brainbuster that is really more like a vertical suplex because Eddy doesn’t want Chavo to die…Eddy whips Chavo with the burrito…He grabs a pair of scissors that Chavo brought out to cut the rope…Eddy looks like he’s going to stab Chavo, but instead just uses the scissors to cut Chavo’s hair…Doug Dellinger’s worthless ass finally comes out to cut Eddy off…I loved this segment so much…


  • Kanyon seems like he’s slightly more over than normal tonight…His opponent is the way more over than him Konnan…This is a match that could get real weird with it…I can’t wait to see how these guys mesh (or don’t mesh)…Even their arm wringers to start are overelaborate and (on Konnan’s part) awkward…Yeah, this is a fun little match…Konnan does a weird spot where he does a slingshot, but away from the corner…Kanyon instead takes a face-first bump right  into the mat, and Konnan holds onto Kanyon's legs and transitions into an ankle lock…Kanyon hits a cradle swinging neckbreaker for two as the Flock comes out to check out the proceedings…Kanyon hits a pancake out of a TKO position for two…Konnan scores a sit-out facebuster to kill Kanyon’s momentum, but he only gets two on a delayed cover…Konnan tries a rollup with a bridge after hopping over a Kanyon corner charge, but it only gets two…They trade roll-ups for two counts…I think they might have fucked up a headscissors, but Kanyon just turns it into a side slam for two and it comes off decently…


  • These fellas just want to hit every weird pinning combination they can think of in their five minutes of work…The Flock hits the ring and, as Konnan fights them off, Raven jumps in and breaks his promise to ignore Kanyon for the time being by hitting Kanyon with an Evenflow…Konnan turns back around and sees Kanyon laid out…It’s a simple thing to wrap on the Tequila Sunrise for the win…Konnan leaves as the Flock jumps Kanyon, but he decides to come back to help Kanyon…The numbers game gets to Konnan, so Lex Luger runs out for the save…You may think I’m weird for wanting to see this, but I say that the bookers should give Konnan and Kanyon another match, but about five minutes longer than this one…I definitely think the whole thing hit “charming uniquity” status…


  • Luger grabs a mic and responds to the Giant’s challenge from earlier…He is more than happy to fight the Giant right now…Unfortunately, we only have like four minutes left in this broadcast…We’re in the overrun as Luger crotches Giant when Giant’s getting into the ring…I genuinely think the Luger/Giant match at Starrcade ’96 is Giant’s best career match, with the Mayweather Jr. match being second, particularly as an example of an experienced vet getting an amazing spectacle out of an athlete who isn’t a pro wrestler…This is good for what we get, but obviously, it's too short to be substantive…Giant clubbers the crap out of Luger in entertaining fashion…Luger escapes said clubbering with a jawbreaker…It takes two lariats and a metal elbow to knock Giant down…Luger’s ready to rack Giant, but Crush and Virgil run in and jump Luger before that can happen…Konnan comes out for the save…The Flock runs in, which is both unexpected and cool…Giant just tosses Kidman into the ether, and it rules…Saturn jumps Raven in the aisle while Giant and Luger go at it in the center of the ring…


  • This Thunder was fun as fuck…What a great show…The matches were fun, the talking was good, and the ending was hot and embodied the sort of Attitude Era chaos that I love…I’m giving this a WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…If you want to watch a random WCW show from this era and have a good time, I definitely recommend this one…
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I just assumed that Mongo was naturally ebullient. But yeah, it could be that he just really liked doing cocaine.

And I would assume that Scott Hall would know exactly who had cocaine on them at all times, so if he said it, I'm assuming he knew something. 

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Show #148 – 6 July 1998

"The one with GOOOOOLDBERG, GOOOOOOLDBERG hitting the pinnacle of his career (let’s not talk too much about what comes after)”

  • You know, we’re getting to the point where I can’t track the lineage of most of WCW’s titles. I have no memory who is winning the TV Title after Booker loses it again, I don’t know anything about the Tag Titles or Cruiserweight Title lineage at this point (the latter, I can pick back up on at the very end of WCW’s life), and I have only a vague clue what happens to the U.S. Championship after Goldberg gives it up. And he’s giving it up soon because he’s winning the WCW World Championship tonight (though come to think of it, after Nash hands it right back to Hogan in the Fingerpoke of Doom incident, I sort of lose track of the lineage of that title for awhile, too).


  • I like that the outcome of the World Championship match tonight was even a bit unsure at the time because it’s totally believable that Hogan would be in a rush to give Goldberg his first loss.


  • The downside of tonight’s big match involving Hulk Hogan is that Hogan is in the building. On that note, we start with Hogan, Bisch, Disciple, and Liz coming out to ruin the quarter-hour. Eh, you know the deal. This segment sucks. Hogan promotes both the Goldberg match tonight and the tag match at BatB, and his promo is both very bad and very long. I should note that in promoting the match, Hogan argues that he will decline the match because Goldberg is a “nobody” who has only “beaten jabronies,” and that he has a very good point because this company booked Goldberg like poop once he won the U.S. Championship.


  • I guess now Goldberg’s got to beat some nWo flunky before Hogan agrees to meet Goldberg, which I don’t recall at all. OK, sure, whatever. I guess the WCW Championship Committee has no power to make Hogan defend his belt in thirty days even though Dillon was all like HOGAN IS LEGALLY OBLIGATED on Thunder. I suppose that Hogan can throw random roadblocks in front of Goldberg and it’s perfectly fine. At least Goldberg is the type of character who would believably enjoy killing both Hogan and Hogan’s flunky in the same night like it was just a little bit of light work.


  • Man, now we have an ad with Hogan shilling his HOLLYWOOD RULES t-shirt. I’m looking for that old EWR pop-up about overusing a worker to show on my screen already.


  • Now we’re talking to some stock car driver or contest winner or both, I don’t know, from Pangburn, Arkansas. These Confederacy states have the best small town names. This town has about five hundred people living in it as of the 2020 Census.


  • Dean Malenko comes to the ring to have an actual wrestling match after only sixteen minutes. This hot cruiserweight match to start the show sixteen minutes in involves Malenko wrestling against Booker T. for the TV title. I just warn anyone reading this, I’m very stuck on snarking about the lack of hot cruiserweight matches to start these shows. Actually, Malenko/Booker is probably going to be just fine. Booker wins a shoulderblock early to establish his power advantage. They work the mat for a bit as Booker turns a Malenko arm wringer into a hammerlock, and the hammerlock into a pinfall attempt for two.


  • Actually, the opening of this thing (on retrospect, the “opening” is the bulk of this match, as it turns out to be pretty short) is very fun. So, Booker sidesteps a Malenko attempt at a floatover, and his “c’mon man, you’re really trying this shit” face is hilarious. They have a bunch of standing switches that end in a Booker back suplex. Book tries to finish it with a missile dropkick, but whiffs. Malenko immediately tries a Texas Cloverleaf, but Book grabs Malenko and turns it into a small package for two. Malenko’s back up early and hits a leg lariat, but when he leaps up top on a rope run, his double axehandle attempt is caught and turned into a spinebuster. Book goes through his 5MoD, Spinaroonies up, but whiffs on a Harlem Side Kick. Malenko crossbodies Booker and takes them both over the top, and this is so good, but now Jericho shows up and challenges Malenko. Malenko is distracted as he gets back in the ring, and Booker catches him with an axe kick as Malenko finally sticks his head through the ropes for three. That was very fun, but it would have been nice if it had been a bit longer. I would like to see those two mix it up in a longer PPV match.


  • Karl Malone cuts what would be considered an okay promo for a professional and a pretty good promo for a non-professional in which he insinuates that Dennis Rodman is a coward, but there will be nowhere to run at BatB!


  • Kanyon/Raven is our next match, and it should also be pretty good! Kanyon jumps Raven in the aisle and is all over him early, including a quick two-count off a swinging neckbreaker and an early sleeper attempt. Both fellas trade sleeper attempts, actually, but Kanyon back suplexes Raven to the floor to escape Raven’s sleeper. Kanyon sends Raven careening into the guardrail and then puts a chair in the ring, promising further such fuckery. In fact, Kanyon hits the pancake out of a fireman’s carry in such a way that Raven lands face-first on the chair. That gets two for Kanyon, who puts the chair on Raven’s face and goes up top. Outside, Lodi HILARIOUSLY sneaks up on Kanyon like he’s Sylvester creeping up on Tweety Bird’s cage in a Looney Tunes short and shoves Kanyon off the top and to the mat. Raven takes over, but Saturn is tired of all this shit and runs down. He attacks Raven, overhead suplexes Lodi onto the chair (which is in the seated position), DVDs Kanyon for the fuck of it, and then sets up a table outside. Saturn puts Raven on the table and hits a gross splash that does not break the table, but warps it. Saturn gets back in the ring and the camera misses what move Kanyon hits him with next, so let’s assume that it was a Flatliner. Again, the match was cut short to do angle stuff, and what we got was good, but I would love a PPV-length version of this match as soon as possible, please.


  • Hey, it’s Buff Bagwell! And I think also his mom Judy! Judy wheels him into the arena. I already know that they’re going to turn Buff heel again even though that’s the dumbest fucking thing possible for a guy everyone loves for being a homegrown WCW star who is coming back from a life-threatening injury. But you know what, fuck it, I enjoy Buff Bagwell and his persistent underachieving, so I’m just glad he’s on the show again.


  • I have no need to re-watch last week’s main event angle, but WCW is going to spend a lot of time showing it to me again anyway.


  • DDP and Karl Malone come to the ring here in Atlanta to cut another promo that won’t be very good, this time with Gene Okerlund holding the mic. Page keeps calling it HOTLANTA. That is very on-brand for this guy. Page puts over Goldberg’s chances to win the gold tonight. Malone promises to “whip [Rodman] like Madonna should have whipped [Rodman],” which I think has troubling implications if you think about it for too long, so I choose to just appreciate that Malone did a pretty good job of threatening Rodman here. Anyway, these fellas leave through the crowd shortly after that.


  • We get a re-run of that sit-down Mongo interview from Thunder. From what I can tell, at the time, the very online fans were betting on a new Horsemen managed by Arn and with some combination of Mongo, Booker, and Benoit in the group along with a fourth member who people guessed would be anyone from Kevin Greene to Goldberg. In retrospect, the predictions along those lines seem like they should have been seen about as likely as Yokozuna joining the Hart Foundation.


  • Scott Putski comes to the ring, and oh man, you should see how this guy is dressed. Holy shit. He’s dressed like a pirate fucked an Anne Rice vampire and birthed him, but as their son, he renounced their evil treasure-looting, blood-sucking ways and instead found religion. I’m so enthralled by the Son of Ivan’s clothing choices that I’m barely paying attention to Scotty Riggs’s entrance. Or this match, for that matter, which is perfectly cromulent. I just want to book Scott Putski to be Vampiro’s weird, scene-stealing henchman. Anyway, yeah, this is a short, decent match that is easy to watch and get some enjoyment from. Riggs starts to dominate by hitting a Hotshot that Putski can’t punch his way out of. He easily handles Putski inside the ring and then outside of it, using the guardrail as a weapon liberally. Back in the ring, they crash into each other on a double crossbody. Riggs is back up first, but loses a punch-fest with Putski. Putski hits the Polish Hammer, but then he celebrates instead of covering and gets caught with a jawbreaker. Riggs looks like he’s on his way to victory, but he follows up on his advantage by running himself right into what Mike Tenay calls a Putski Bomb, which is a sitout slam that in fact is an appropriate finisher in that it successfully finishes this match.


  • Goldberg headbutts a locker in the back. It rules.


  • nWo Hollywood groups around a limo and cheers as it pulls up and Scott Hall steps out. I guess Hall’s the guy doing the job to Goldberg before Hogan does the job to Goldberg. I will say that at least they’re having Goldberg kill actual threats tonight. That’s an improvement on Goldberg’s booking! A short-lived improvement!


  • Chris Jericho comes to the ring, blowing kisses and disregarding the signs of front-row fans. Jericho declares that “the hot, spicy, sassy young Latino” who beat him last week, Rey Misterio Jr.’s impostor, is the rightful contender for his title at BatB. J.J. Dillon comes out and immediately nixes the whole “even tinier Rey” deal and declares that Ultimo Dragon gets a shot tonight and Malenko gets the shot at BatB. Malenko storms down, but Dillon notes that if either man touches the other before BatB, they’re out of the title match. Jericho immediately starts insulting Dean and also Dean’s family while Dillon openly tells Dean to chill. Dillon notes that the Malenko/Jericho match at BatB is no disqualification, so Jericho is only riling Malenko up. Jericho briefly looks contrite and notes that Dillon has made a good point before immediately insinuating that either Dean or his brother Joe is a bastard in the literal sense of the word. That immediately gets Dean Malenko to jump Jericho. I mean, look, that’s a quality heel move. I can’t hate him for working Dillon’s stupid ass rulings like that. Doug Dellinger and the Keystone Kops come in to grab a furious Malenko while Jericho celebrates driving his title reign right through another large loophole that the WCW Championship Committee just can’t seem to stop gifting him.


  • Hmmm, so Malenko’s not getting a title shot at BatB, but he still has beef with Jericho and has stated that he wants somebody, anybody, to beat Jericho for the gold. And here comes Ultimo Dragon! I have a guess about how this match will end. Let’s see if I’m right. We get a classic power vs. speed approach to this match in which Jericho wins a shoulder block early, but not much else until he dodges a Dragon springboard splash attempt and puts Dragon down with lariats and a dropkick. Jericho leverages his power, gets one off a vertical suplex and a wimpy pin, but gets away from the power game and loses control by missing a dropkick. Then, Malenko shows back up and beats down Jericho, which isn’t what I thought would happen; I was certain Malenko would time his interference more carefully and cost Jericho the gold. Malenko rips Jericho’s hair out while beating the shit out of him, which is an amazing visual. Dellinger and the Kops eventually restore order.


  • Johnny Swinger looks like a real dork, like a real huge dork, man, and they let him have a mic so that he can sound like a real huge dork, too. He asks us if we know who he is and is apparently is convinced that he’s the “hottest young commodity” in pro wrestling today. I doubt he’s beating Chavo Jr. (w/scissors, hard hat) tonight, though. Eh, well, maybe Eddy is in control enough to acutely time his likely interference in this match, unlike ol’ Dean Malenko (Ed. note: No Eddy to be seen tonight). Charles Robinson refuses to let Chavo wrestle with the hard hat on, so eventually Chavo takes it off and hides the spot that Eddy cut in his hair. He tries to wrestle with only one hand, which allows Swinger to hit some basic moves and yell DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM. Finally, after Chavo gets a one-handed roll-up for two, he decides to use both hands and very easily wins this match with a springboard tornado DDT about thirty seconds after that decision, LOL. Chavo Jr. grabs the mic and the scissors, declares that Johnny Swinger has split ends, and then cuts some of Swinger’s hair. He then challenges Eddy to make their BatB match hair vs. hair. Sure, why not!


  • Goldberg shadowboxes in the locker room. It rules.


  • I’m into this weird angle where Tokyo Magnum wants to be a member of the Boogie Knights’s dance party. Disco comes out followed by Alex Wright, who is followed by Tokyo Magnum. Magnum tries to dance with Disco and Wright, who are confused and annoyed as heck about it. Public Enemy comes to the ring in yellow Braves jerseys. If you’re going to pander, don’t pander in ugly unis, come on now. And the Braves are in the NL East with the Phillies, too! PE shouldn’t be allowed to go back home after this.


  • PE set up two tables outside the ring before the match starts. They rule the roost early and Johnny Grunge does Alex Wright’s dance while barely moving his hips, which is hilarious. PE continues to dominate until Tokyo Magnum runs a distraction and Disco and Wright can score clotheslines on both members of PE. Wright gets two off his over-the-corner splash. Disco tags in and immediately misses a second-rope elbow because he dances for a good fifteen seconds before dropping it. A Grunge swinging neckbreaker on Disco leads to a hot tag. The Knights double-dropkick Rocco, but are double-bulldogged by Grunge from behind. PE sets Alex Wright up on the table, but Magnum pulls Wright off. Wright thanks Magnum by putting him on the table in his place. The Knights take off as PE hit an assisted cannonball on Magnum that drives him through two tables stacked on top of one another. PE celebrates until Wright and Disco run back in with trash cans and use them to destroy PE. I’m already at the point where I’m ready to say that WCW badly dropped the ball on the Boogie Knights.


  • Judy Bagwell wheels out Buff to a huge pop. Gene Okerlund conducts the interview. Buff declares that he loves Atlanta to another huge pop. He basically cuts a lovey-dovey face promo, and I’m here for it, and I definitely won’t be disappointed by an ill-timed heel turn shortly after he’s able to wrestle again. Bonus: This is a really good, genuine-feeling face promo! Why would they book him like they did after he came back?! Fuck, man. Fuck. Buff swears that the injury has changed his perspective on life. He decides to part ways with Scott Steiner and focus on his own path. *sigh* Then he puts over his mom hugely! I don’t want to boo this man. *sigh*


  • We are already in hour number three. This has been a really good show outside of the opening with Hogan and Bischoff. Can I suggest that putting this World title change on TV isn’t that bad? Yes, Goldberg/Hogan is PPV worthy, but Goldberg has so many title contenders he can do big PPV business with whom he’s not yet worked (Sting, Luger, Nash, Page, Flair when Flair gets back, etc.) and a rematch with Hogan would do big PPV numbers, too. The issue isn’t giving this match away for a one-week ratings win, especially because I think Bischoff has actually used this show to showcase all the other stars he has really well! The issue is the follow up, as it usually is.


  • We get Goldberg/Scott Hall at the top of the hour before we get the big title change, though. I don’t know why they insist on pumping in at least some of these chants because the Georgia Dome is already absolutely hot for Goldberg anyway! Goldberg comes out looking like a complete boss. I guess this is also a U.S. Championship match, too, based on Billy Silverman holding the title up. Hall tries to big-time Goldberg and gets shoved down to a huge roar. Hall tries to work the arm and shoulder and gets taken down to another big roar. They fuck up an Irish Whip reversal and Hall hits the ropes completely out of control. They probably are working, but they look and act like they’re genuinely irritated at one another, which adds to the proceedings. Goldberg reverses a powerslam attempt and hits one of his own. Hall tries everything he can and finally hits a clothesline when Goldberg misses a corner charge, then gets one off a back suplex. Hall throws a bunch of strikes, but Goldberg eats them for a light snack, hits a judo toss, and follows up with two arm drags.


  • Hall wisely bails out and waves to the back for a little help. He gets Vincent, Disciple, and maybe Crush to come down? I don’t know. I can’t completely tell who the last guy is because Karl Malone and DDP mow them all down with chairs pretty quickly. Back in the ring, Hall is able to hang Goldberg on the ropes while Goldberg tries to bring him back in; then, Hall hits a lariat. He goes for the Razor’s Edge, but Goldberg backdrops him to get out of it and then it’s spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT. That was the height of “charming uniquity” matches. I cannot make any rational case to you that it was better than decent, but it was entirely compelling in a way most wrestling matches can only dream of being.


  • I’m glad to see Psicosis back on Nitro! This show has missed him as a worker even considering the deep bench that WCW has. And then on top of that, Juventud Guerrera comes to the ring as his opponent! Truly, I have been blessed. Immediately, both guys whiff on corner charges because why not? In what is actually a fast-paced cruiserweight matchup that I won’t even try to keep up with completely, Juvi controls with headscissors, then hits a wild dive that he’s slightly out of control on.


  • So, usually I hate catapults, but Juvi tries a springboard sunset flip and Psicosis catches him and catapults him clean over to the floor. Then, Psicosis’s crazy ass launches himself and hits what might be a senton splash or what might be a legdrop on the outside. The crowd is burned out from the last match, which is too bad because this is a fun collection of spots. This is the best possible version of flippy dudes working a spotfest. Anyway, Psicosis runs into a Juvi Driver; Juvi goes up for the 450 and hits it for three. Unfortunately for him, the Flock hasn’t forgotten how much they hate his ass, and they run in and jump him after the match. Whither art thou, Van Hammer? Not in the arena, I guess, as the beatdown goes on.


  • I can even forgive this Hacksaw Jim Duggan appearance, I’ve enjoyed this Nitro so much. Bonus: The Giant (no longer smoking as of last Thunder) is going to murderize him. Duggan jumps Giant as Giant steps into the ring and unloads with punches, but the Giant hits a big boot on a rope run and takes over. Giant tries an ass attack three times, but on the third time, he dances and whiffs. Duggan is an idiot and tries a body slam, but Giant blocks it and hits one of his own. Giant wastes time and whiffs on an elbowdrop, and Duggan manages to hit the lariat out of the three-point stance. He goes for the Old Glory kneedrop, and in an ugly looking spot, the Giant holds his fist up and Duggan, who is supposed to crash his head into it on the knee drop, misses it almost entirely. The fist ineffectually grazes Duggan’s shoulder, but what the heck, this match was okay, and besides that, it’s over pretty quickly after Giant follows up with a chokeslam. Then Giant gets a mic and calls out Kevin Greene. Greene responds immediately by coming to the ring and hocking a massive loogy at Giant. That understandably gets Giant to charge, but Greene ducks it, lariats Giant to the floor, and then grabs Duggan’s 2x4 and bashes it on the mat while yelling C’MON like a madman. Like a glorious football jock madman.


  • Jim Neidhart comes to the ring to do the job for Diamond Dallas Page (w/Karl Malone) in a quick little table-setter for the main event. Neidhart jumps Page at the start and mauls him a little bit, which no one wants to see, dammit. What we want to see is Page hit some sweet offense leading up to a Diamond Cutter. Page gets control with a bunch of strikes of his own, but Neidhart forearms Page in the jewels and takes back over. Neidhart locks on a full nelson, so Page gets revenge by swinging a leg backward and busting Neidhart in the berries before hitting a Diamond Cutter for three. Perfectly acceptable time-filler of a match, with the bonus that it included a Diamond Cutter.


  • I was sure that 21 minutes before the show, the main event would start, but I realize that we haven’t seen the Wolfpac on TV yet. Hey, it’s Kevin Nash actually showing up with the Wolfpac this week! This is the first time all four of these fellas have been together in the same arena in a while. Nash somehow pulls off the bandana look. Sting does not pull off yelling about being ROWDY ROWDY AND BOUT IT BOUT IT because he is a complete fucking goof, bless him. Sting has amazing aura when he’s entirely silent, and it falls apart completely the second he vocalizes his thoughts. They do some cursory mic work before Kidman and Sick Boy come out. I guess that we’re getting a tag match here, and I guess that Sting and Luger are working this match tonight. They absolutely destroy the Flock members in about 45 seconds or so, finishing up with a Torture Rack/Scorpion Death Drop stereo move. I’m not sure there was even one legal tag in this whole thing. The crowd was excited about the whole dang segment, though!


  • Goldberg rolls back out to the ring, this time to add to his collection of title belts. This is the first time we’ve had shots of security escorting Goldberg to the ring, actually. Hogan comes out. Someone fires a drink at his head. A direct hit! Anyway, this is interesting because this match definitely feels like a Hogan match and not a Goldberg one. That’s not bad, necessarily, but Goldberg working the headlock to start feels novel. Hogan tries to match power with Goldberg, but can’t really hold his own as much as he thinks he can. I do credit this match for feeling like a passing of the torch. It's pretty clear in the subtext of this match that Goldberg is ’85 Hogan, and ’98 Hogan doesn’t know how to deal with that.


  • Hogan, like Hall, has to use misdirection by feinting and going in with a boot rather than a fist. Hogan goes to the weight belt and whips Goldberg, who is merely annoyed with the impact. Goldberg takes the belt away before tossing it aside. Man, Goldberg doesn’t need a silly belt to defeat you puny mortals! Goldberg works a full nelson, so Hogan pulls a "DDP from fifteen minutes ago" and back-kicks Goldberg in the nuts. Hogan follows up with a legdrop and a choke as he continues to be perfectly fine with Charles Robinson DQ’ing him at any point. Hogan tries a couple of elbowdrops, but Goldberg rolls away from both of them, then gets up and scores a lariat. Hogan goes to the floor.


  • Hogan takes his time getting back in the ring, recovers his weight belt - which seems like a good plan - and finally gets in the ring at eight. Hogan manages to back Goldberg into the corner and land a few knees; he then sends Goldberg outside and bashes him into the rail before hitting three chairshots to Goldberg’s back and arm. Back in the ring, Hogan hits a body slam and drops the big leg. He hits a second big leg. Curt Hennig comes down to prematurely celebrate, but close behind are Karl Malone and Page. We sort of miss Hogan hitting a third legdrop and Goldberg just kicking out of all of that shit like it was Johnny Swinger hitting him with a clothesline and yelling DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM. I don’t think we needed all the shots of Malone and DDP, or of Malone hitting Hennig with a Diamond Cutter. That diverts everyone’s attention from Goldberg gobbling up three legdrops and hitting a spear and Jackhammer for the win and the gold. I mean, the moment still rules, but we could have done without all that other shit. Still, it’s hard to complain because Goldberg drilling the Jackhammer and then getting three as the Georgia Dome explodes is amazing! I loved it, very few notes.


  • What a Nitro. This shit ruled. Even if it wasn’t perfect, it deserves a perfect score for making me realize just how deeply and sorely that I miss WCW. 5 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
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How different was the Johnny Swinger of then from the Johnny Swinger of now? What he's doing (done? haven't seen him in awhile) in Impact/TNA seems like something they'd love to do in WCW, given their prediliction for guys like Disco, Alex Wright, the Cat, etc. Plus it's a shooty gimmick which surely would tickle their funny bone.

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Thunder Interlude – show number twenty-four – 9 July 1998

"The WCW Gang is on a hot streak of shows heading into Bash at the Beach 1998”

  • Every time WCW gets a couple of good shows together, they seem to blow it on keeping the streak alive…I’m hoping that we at least get an good Thunder and a strong PPV to get the streak of high quality major shows to four…


  • The major champs in WWF and WCW right now are Steve Austin and Goldberg…Yeah, now it really feels like the late ‘90s…


  • We get a slow start to the show…First, lots of Goldberg winning the World Championship recap…Second, J.J. Dillon announcing that Hennig will face Goldberg one-on-one for the WCW World Championship…Aw, man, I wanted that tag match…Now it’s Kevin Greene/Giant and Goldberg/Hennig in two separate matches at BatB…Finally, Dillon notes that he’ll have an announcement about the now-vacant WCW United States Championship (as Goldberg had returned it to the committee that morning) later on…


  • Tony S. announces the stuff Dillon said in the video to the in-arena crowd when we get back from break…Next, Tony S. introduces Curt Hennig for an interview…We’re in Birmingham, Alabama, so the crowd sensibly boos “Rockhouse”…Hennig’s supposed to be wrestling DDP tonight, but he’s trying to duck out of it so that he can focus on the Goldberg match…They’ve built to this Goldberg match with Hennig for two months (!!!) and they had something going with the tag match, but now we’re just back to the Goldberg/Hennig singles match that I didn’t want to see very much in the first place…Hennig gabs about lawyers and being released from the DDP match tonight and all sorts of nonsense…He damn near brain farts his way into pulling a “Genesis of McGillicutty” at the end of this thing…Like father, like son…


  • Aw, I’m so happy to see this doofus Tokyo Magnum…He and Shiiba Nobunaga tag up against Public Enemy…PE clears the ring, but Magnum just dances on the outside…PE continues to dominate…After they hit Nobunaga with a double pancake, Rocco whiffs on a springboard moonsault and Nobunaga follows up with a springboard senton splash…Nobunaga goes up, but gets crotched…PE takes control once more and hits the assisted cannonball on Nobunaga through two tables…That’s not a DQ somehow…Mickey Jay is glad to count the three after they roll Nobunaga back in the ring and pin him…This was inoffensive, and the “assisted cannonball through tables” spot is always fun…


  • Oops, the Boogie Knights jump PE after the match is over…Magnum tries to get in on the beatdown and the dancing, so the Knights toss him to the floor, hahaha…


  • Ernest Miller wrestles Villano IV in a match that is also inoffensive…The Villanos do a switcharoo and it almost works…There’s a two count off a small package…Miller gets fired up and destroys both Villanos and somehow gets the crowd fired up too…See, they should do something more with this guy, he’s clearly charismatic…Miller lands a Feliner for the win…I give Lee Marshall credit for making me laugh for once…Heenan: “Where are [Villanos] III, II, and I?”…Marshall, deadpan: “Well, they’re at home in Juarez”…It was the deadpan, honest, and helpful nature of the response that got me…


  • Tony S. introduces Eddy Guerrero…He wants to see what Eddy has to say about Chavo Jr.’s hair-vs.-hair challenge…Eddy uncharacteristically congratulates Goldberg on winning the big strap…Goldberg probably took that to heart and figured that he might as well return the kindness in about five years…Eddy says that he needs to take initiative like Goldberg did…He cuts a promo in which he looks deranged while accepting Chavo’s challenge…He starts yelling about winning at BatB and shaving Chavo bald because “nobody likes bald people”…I don’t know, it’s worked out for me as a look…Then again, I am black…However, I’ve seen bald Chavo Jr. before, I think he can pull it off…


  • Too many interviews so far…Now Tony S. is in the ring to talk to DDP…OK, everyone needs to congratulate Goldberg on being champ, I get it…Page: “I’m proud of you Goldberg, and that’s a shoot, you know that”…Vince Russo probably heard that line while watching what the competition was doing in real time and got a tingly weenie when he heard Page utter the word “shoot”…I hope you’re as grossed out by that visual as I intended…Wait, hold on, Page says Malone’s been in the gym “jacking up” twice a day…I mean, it didn’t sound like he said the word “up” the first time I played this…I think what all this proves is that DDP shouldn’t be allowed a microphone unless he’s a heel…I love the idea that Hogan’s going to have “the worst week of his life,” though…That’s a good jump off for an angle where Hogan thinks that he might be losing it…However, I’m going to assume that Hogan won’t be losing twice in one week…Page promises that Hennig will feel the bang later tonight…


  • Judo Suwa faces off with Juventud Guerrera next…Fast start with Suwa winning a flying forearm…Suwa follows up with chops in the corner…He runs himself into double boots and then takes Guerrera chops after that…A Guerrera headscissors sends Suwa to the floor…Juvi hits a plancha to the floor…This crowd pops for fired up babyfaces hitting moves…Good wrestling crowd here…Suwa jumps Juvi after Juvi dumps him back in the ring…That’s one of my least favorite transitions…Suwa gets two off a springboard splash…Suwa backdrops Juvi, but Juvi lands on his feet and hits a springboard dropkick…There’s some more back and forth with a lot of reversals and switches…Juvi drops Suwa with a Juvi Driver, then another (since the first looked like a Tombstone) for three…The Flock made their way down during the end of this match and are now beating Juvi down post-match…Kidman drops an SSP…I’ll say it again: I’m bummed that we’re not getting that Juvi/Van Hammer tag team they teased before GAB…


  • Tony S. interviews Mongo McMichael…McMichael, like Benoit, is boosting for a Four Horsemen reformation…Mongo gets the truck to play some video of Arn Anderson cutting an intense promo back at Fall Brawl '95 in which Arn notes that sometimes, you gotta shake the people you love (sometimes metaphorically, sometimes literally) when they are on the wrong path in life…Mongo, you see, is likewise trying to shake Arn out of his doldrums so that he can reform the Horsemen…Mongo cuts a really good promo in which he says that he thought the fire inside him burned out when he retired from football, but with wrestling, he found it burning again…He tells Arn that the same can happen to him if he comes back and pilots a new Horsemen group…I’ve said that I’m on the re-assessment bandwagon w/r/t Mongo before, and at this point, I am certain that Mongo is a very good promo and a consistently fun, if awkward worker…He’s genuinely good at this pro wrestling stuff…


  • We get lots of promo stuff for BatB before Stevie Ray walks to the ring solo…Stevie grabs Penzer’s mic before the match…Stevie promises that he’s not changing a damn thing for anyone, especially Booker…He promises to beat up Konnan, who also claims (a claim Stevie appears to be dubious about) from the streets…Stevie says that he’s got soul and he’s superbad…More people should steal catchphrases from James Brown, actually…Konnan has a mic to respond as he comes to the ring…He speaks on this…He also gets a bunch of people from Alabama to yell ARRIBA LA RAZA, and I say this sort of thing all the time, but it never gets any less amazing to me…Stevie is irritated with this shit and goes into super clubberin’ mode…Stevie tries to show Booker how it’s done, which is with soupbones and the occasional big boot…Stevie takes a lot of time to drop an elbow and whiffs it…Konnan makes a comeback with a rolling clothesline and a sit-out facebuster to huge cheers from the crowd…Konnan gets two off that last move, then dropkicks Stevie outside…They brawl outside the ring…Stevie hits a big boot, shoves the cameraman out of the way, and then wallops Konnan with a chair to draw a DQ…He follows Konnan back in the ring with the chair…Booker comes out to try and calm Stevie down….Book: “Deal with this sucka the right way, man”…Let Booker grow, let him spread his wings, Stevie…Be glad for this man, damn…Crab-in-a-barrel ass dude…


  • There’s some *extremely compelling* footage of Hennig on the phone with Rick Rude trying to get a document faxed so he can duck the DDP match tonight…Why not go the old school route and walk out or get yourself immediately DQ’d so that you can run away, scot-free?...This was the opposite of *extremely compelling*, by the way...


  • Raven is tagging up with Horace HoganSaturn and Kanyon are their opponents…Those latter two guys hit their finishers on one another back on Nitro…I don’t foresee high-level, quality communication between them in this match…This thing breaks down immediately…Kanyon knocks Horace down and then runs after Raven outside…Horace cuts off Kanyon’s beatdown on Raven with a suicide dive…Kanyon’s now FIP…Raven side Russian leg sweeps Kanyon back into the guardrail…It only gets two…Horace tags in and hits a huge top-rope splash for two…Horace is solid in this role working tags and doing the occasional dive or splash…Kanyon pancakes Horace out of a fireman’s carry to spark a hot tag…Saturn suplexes and superkicks everyone…Saturn drops a Frankensteiner on Horace…Everyone goes after international objects…Horace grabs a chair and tries to go up top while Saturn sets up a table outside…Kanyon grabs Horace and hits an Electric Chair drop…This whole deal is wild and supremely entertaining…Saturn goes up to splash Raven through the table…Lodi throws powder in Saturn’s eyes to blind him…Horace replaces Raven on the table with Kanyon…Saturn drops a blinded flying elbow on Kanyon, thinking that it’s still Raven on the table…This flying elbow is GODDAM GNARLY, holy fuck…The table doesn’t break…Put some sawdust on that thing…Horace rolls Kanyon back in for an easy three count...That was so much fun…


  • Rick Fuller’s here…I wonder if he’s being upgraded from “United States Championship contender” to “World Championship contender”…But no, he faces Mongo rather than Goldberg (again)…Mongo hits two tackles and then signals for the Mongo Spike while yelling I’M ABOUT TO FINISH THIS BUM RIGHT NOW…That rules, but Fuller blocks his Spike attempt with a knee strike…Fuller is doing just enough to survive here…He hits a roundhouse kick and then indicates that the Four Horsemen are cooked with a hand signal…Choke, legdrop, choke, cover for Fuller (the last one gets two)…Fuller hits a back suplex and tries to finish things with a top-rope move of some sort that Mongo cuts off…Mongo immediately hits the Mongo Spike for three…What’s the word of the day for some of the matches on this show?...IN-OF-FEN-SIVE *clap* *clap* *clapclapclap*…


  • Long Jericho/Malenko recap…The funny thing is Heenan saying, “And you know, they don’t look alike" about the Malenko brothers, followed by a long, disbelieving pause from Tony S….Heenan tries to backtrack, but the desk is disgusted, haha…Here comes Chris Jericho, speaking of the devil…He cuts a pre-match promo in which he pretends to be sad about not facing Dean Malenko at BatB…Aw, Malenko’s “unprovoked, unexcusable, violent attack on [Jericho]” apparently robbed everyone of a match that both the fans and Jericho desperately wanted…Oh, I see, what I predicted would happen to Jericho on Nitro probably happens tonight…Jericho is facing Dragon for the Cruiserweight Championship again tonight…Jericho wants Dillon to tell him who he’ll wrestle at BatB, but Dillon is unresponsive…Jericho says he’ll be at BatB no matter what…I bet he will…


  • Jericho and Dragon get out here, and while Jericho wins the first rope running spot with a shoulder block, the next two end with Dragon winning a back elbow and a back kick…Dragon dives onto Jericho outside the ring and dominates early…Back in the ring, Jericho gets a snap suplex and then drops Dragon neck-first onto the top rope…Jericho sits Dragon up on the second rope and hits a running dropkick on him…Jericho works an over-the-knee backbreaker…Jericho tells Penzer to ring the bell because Dragon gave up…Spoiler alert: Dragon did not give up…Back to standing, Jericho tries to run with Dragon again and eats a series of back kicks…Dragon tries a handspring elbow, but Jericho catches him and bridges over in a back suplex for two…Jericho goes up top, but Dragon cuts him off…Tony S. genuinely accidentally calls Jericho “the Cruiserweight Chump”, corrects himself, and then corrects himself again as he realizes that he actually would make a crack like that in character…Hahahahaha…


  • Meanwhile, Dragon hits a top-rope facebuster, then gets 2.9 off a La Magistral…Jericho takes back over and gets two on a backbreaker…Dragon runs the ropes and backflips into a Dragon Sleeper, but Jericho’s in the ropes…Great finishing run here where Jericho blocks a Dragon headstand in the corner by holding onto the legs, but Dragon rolls through a subsequent Walls attempt for 2.9…Dragon gets another two off a rana…They are countering and countering and countering…And to my surprise, Jericho blocks another rana attempt and locks in a Lion Tamer that coaxes a tap…FANTASTIC television match...No Dean Malenko anywhere to be seen, to my shock, and now I’m curious as to where this angle is going even more than I was before…Ooh, wait, is it Rey Misterio Jr., but the real one this time, who will meet Jericho at BatB?!...Please please please please please…


  • It's Mean Kevin Greene out here next to cut a promo on the Giant…I have full faith that Giant is going to get something good out of Greene, but as I've probably typed way too much in this review, I still would much prefer the tag match…I guess a bonus is that now we’re not getting Giant and Goldberg meeting one another for the first time, so that’s another big match that’s on the table for a Goldberg World Championship reign…Greene congratulates Goldberg…He tells Giant not to eat too much before the matcjh like some sort of slob because Greene’s bringing it at BatB, pretty much…


  • It’s main event time…Thankfully, there are fewer than four minutes left in the video and Hennig (w/Vincent) is at the top of the ramp…Security runs up to Hennig and delivers a letter…Hennig opens it and looks thrilled…Hennig gets on the apron and gives Penzer the letter to read…It’s just Hennig’s lawyers being like YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS, RAH RAH HENNIG, BEAT GOLDBERG AT BatB…Vincent and Hennig tangle with DDP anyway, and Vincent gets Diamond Cuttered while Hennig escapes the ring…Goldberg’s music hits and the new WCW World Champion, uh, doesn’t appear at all before the video cuts out…Great timing, WCW…I blame Craig Leathers, completely and unequivocally…


  • The Raven/Horace vs. Saturn/Kanyon tag, the Dragon/Jericho match, and Mongo’s promo were well worth the price of admission…Everything else on top of that was perfectly cromulent…I rate this as another good Thunder, so that’s three awesome shows in a row for WCW…Can they make it four at Bash at the Beach ’98?...Anyway, WOOOOOO for this show…
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