Thunder – March 5, 1998

Thunder
Date:
March 5, 1998
Location: Columbus Civic Center, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Lee Marshall
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
WCW
is in an interesting little groove right now as they’re not taking
their shows seriously at all other than the main event and it’s
making things much easier to get through. We’re ten days from
Uncensored and the show is shaping up pretty well which means the TV
has been good lately. Tonight’s main event is Page defending the US
Title against Raven, assuming we don’t get more NWO drama instead.
Let’s get to it.

We
open with a video of Randy Savage receiving the Harvard Lampoon’s Man
of the Year award. It’s used as a promo for Hogan vs. Savage.
Here’s
a lot of the NWO led by Hogan and Bischoff to get us going. Bischoff
talks about how Savage doesn’t deserve the award because he isn’t a
real man. A real man wouldn’t walk in Hollywood Hogan’s shadows all
these years and Savage is the second most delusional man in the
world. Hogan talks about having the NWO watching his back and taking
care of Savage and Sting on Monday. Savage winning Man of the Year
is a joke and if you want to know how much of a man Hollywood is,
just look at Liz’s skinny legs. Uh….sure.
Anyway
Hogan is going to need another opponent after the beating he gave
Savage on Monday and if Savage is here tonight Hogan will beat him up
again tonight. Brian Adams says everyone knows Hollywood is the real
icon and Savage is scared of him. It would be an honor for Adams to
take Hogan’s place against Savage tonight if he actually shows up.
Hollywood is all cool with that and that’s that.
Bill
Goldberg vs. Vincent
Heenan
has assigned Tenay to find out how many matches Goldberg has won in a
row. The spear and Jackhammer end this before I can finish typing
that sentence.
We
look at This Week in WCW Motorsports. I’ll leave you to figure out
how pointless this is.
Prince
Iaukea vs. Eddie Guerrero
Feeling
out process to start with Prince snapmaring Eddie down, causing
Guerrero to complain of a hair pull. Eddie tries to drop down but
gets a headbutt in the back to send him to the floor. A dive over
the top rope takes Eddie out but back inside, Prince has to put his
springboard on hold because Eddie pulls the referee in his path.
Eddie goes after the knee to take over and puts on a spinning toe
hold. Iaukea rolls him up for a quick two and gets the same off a
superkick. He loads up another springboard but Eddie dropkicks his
leg out and the frog splash is good for the pin.
Rating:
C. This was by far the most
entertaining Prince Iaukea match I can remember seeing. Based on his
track record though, I’m going to give Eddie about 97% of the credit
for the match succeeding. This was an easy win for Guerrero to set
up Guerrero’s title shot at the PPV and little more.
Juventud
Guerrera vs. El Dandy
Dandy
throws him down by the hair to start and fires off some kicks to the
chest. The Flock arrives late as always. A pair of headscissors
puts Dandy down and Juvy pounds away in the corner. Dandy is sent to
the floor for a BIG Air Juvy dive to fire up the crowd. Guerrera
can’t suplex him back in though and gets caught by a belly to back
for two. Juvy comes right back with a quick DDT and counters what
looked like a powerbomb attempt into a rollup. They speed things up
a bit with some near falls each but Dandy goes up top, only to get
slammed face first onto the mat. The 450 finishes this a few seconds
later.
Rating:
D+. Not bad here but Dandy
never was anything more than a Bret Hart punchline. Juvy is gearing
up for his showdown against Konnan which should be entertaining if
they wrestle the kind of match they’re capable of having. The Air
Juvy dive looked great here but there wasn’t much else to talk about.
Post
match Konnan comes out to ramble on in broken Spanish and says Juvy
has lost his identity. Juvy says he never surrenders, other than
when he surrendered away his mask.
Here’s
Randy Savage with something to say. He wants Hogan and Adams out
here right now and gets his wish plus a bonus Easy E. Savage says
the rest of the NWO wants to stab Hogan in the back the first chance
they get. The NWO’s main goal is to get rid of Hogan because he’s
like a horse with a broken leg. At Uncensored, Savage is going to
send Hogan to the glue factory. Brian Adams is betting his career on
Hulk Hogan, so Savage will raise the bet: after Savage takes care of
Brian he wants Hogan TONIGHT. Hogan says Savage should be a comedian
and he’ll be in Adams’ corner tonight.
Video
on Steiner vs. Luger for Uncensored.
Chase
Tatum vs. Scott Steiner
Chase
is well built but you know what’s coming here: suplex, forearms to
the back, whip into the steps, more pounding in the corner, butterfly
powerbomb and the Recliner for the submission. Total squash.
Video
on Nash vs. Giant including Giant’s powerbomb from Monday.
Curt
Hennig vs. Jim Neidhart
You
can see the dilemma of Neidhart at this point: he’s being used to put
over the Bret vs. Hennig feud but that legal stipulation kept
Neidhart and Bret from associating on TV. Hennig stalls on the apron
to start, gets shoved into the corner, and stalls yet again. Back in
and Neidhart runs him over before putting on a headlock.
Lee
Marshall buries the Hart vs. Hennig feud, saying they sound like a
couple of three year olds fighting on a playground. Curt bails to
the floor for a chat with Rude before Neidhart pounds him down and
puts on a chinlock. With Curt distracting the referee, Rude pulls
out a 2×4 from under the ring and knocks Neidhart silly with it,
setting up the HennigPlex for the pin.
Rating:
F. So we have Marshall burying
the feud, a stupid ending, and about a minute of “action” in a
three and a half minute match. This was a disaster in just a few
short minutes which is quite impressive. I’m guessing Curt was,
ahem, under the weather for this one as he barely did anything at
all.
Bulldog
runs out for the save.
Raven
comes to the ring to talk about labyrinths and corridors. He helped
DDP back in the day but Page never thanked him. Raven spent three
years in Barbed Wire City and was so scarred he no longer feels the
pain. Tonight is Page’s Waterloo and when Raven wins the title, he
isn’t defending it at Uncensored. The challengers will have to wait
until his pain is gone.
Jericho
talks about being loved by the fans and how they should put him on a
pedestal for everything he’s done for them. He’s nailing this
character to perfection.
Cruiserweight
Title: Chris Jericho vs. Ciclope
Before
the match, Jericho tells us all to Wang Chung tonight. Also he’s
been counting and knows 1004 holds, meaning he’s better than Malenko.
More on that in a few days. Jericho takes him into the corner to
start and grabs the arm but Ciclope trips his leg. A kick to the
ribs sets up a brainbuster from Ciclope and Jericho is sent to the
floor. Ciclope tries a dive but Jericho casually sidesteps him and
stomps away. Back in and Jericho counters a quick victory roll into
the Liontamer for the submission. Not much to see here.
Jericho
won’t let go of the hold until Malenko comes out for the save and
puts Chris in the Cloverleaf.
Scott
Norton vs. Renegade
I’ve
sat through El Dandy and Prince Iaukea tonight and this is my reward.
Norton shoves him into the corner and hits a LONG string of knees
and forearms. As in he goes on for well over a minute doing nothing
more than those two moves. Presumably out of boredom, here’s Giant
to lay out both guys. Norton gets a Jackknife and Renegade is
chokeslammed to the amusement of the crowd.
Giant
is handcuffed but the cuffs don’t fit. Instead Doug Dillinger puts
chains around Giant’s wrists.
US
Title: Raven vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Raven
insists on No DQ, which I thought was always the case for him. Page
wants no referee, which is a great way to guarantee you keep the
belt. He knocks Raven to the floor and hits a big plancha before
sending Raven into the barricade. Raven comes back with a whip of
his own and they head up to the stage. Benoit comes out and jumps
both guys to make it a threeway fight. They fight in the aisle and
then inside the ring with Benoit missing the Swan Dive on Raven. The
7’2 Reese debuts to distract Page and the Flock comes in for the
double beatdown. Both guys get DDTs onto a piece of guardrail to end
this non-match.
Randy
Savage vs. Brian Adams
Hogan
comes out with Adams so we’re guaranteed a run-in palooza to end the
show. Before the match, Savage says it’s true that Liz managed the
both of them, but Liz says Savage is clearly the real man between the
two of them. Adams has to hold Hogan back but Savage says if Hogan
wants to know who the real man is, ask Hogan’s wife. It’s a big
brawl to start with Savage having to fight both guys.
Lee
Marshall continues his brilliant commentary with this gem: “We’re
going to find out who is the kahuna and who is the kahu-not.”
Savage whips Hogan with the belt and gets in a shot on Adams as well.
They head back in and Liz gets in a cheap shot on Adams. Savage
saves her from Hogan but Disciple comes in for the DQ. This was a
match?
The
NWO destroys Savage and Sting makes the save to end the show (no belt
of course).
Overall
Rating:
D. This didn’t do it
for me. The matches were all either really short, really bad or not
matches at all. Savage had some good lines, but the focus being
entirely on Hogan vs. Savage and the NWO split is getting really
tiresome. The world title was mentioned in a single throwaway line
which led to another Hogan discussion. Also, did WCW really think we
would care about Brian Adams this much? This was a bad show and one
of the worst in the series so far.
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