Thunder – June 18, 1998

Thunder
Date:
June 18, 1998
Location:
Corestates Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This
is a taped show, but I’ll put the over/under of times the announcers
say it’s live at 17. We’re still in the middle of the NWO civil war
with Randy Savage now out for a long time with a knee injury due to
the Black and White’s attack on Nitro. We’re heading towards Bash at
the Beach but it’s still too early to start making matches, meaning
tonight is again a sequel of Nitro. Let’s get to it.

We
open with Konnan and Luger heading to the ring with something to say.
The mat is really dark again and it’s not working. Luger talks
about how there are some guys that you can dress up a certain way and
turn them into a star in wrestling. These would be people like
Vincent, Brian Adams, and any other of Hogan’s goons. The problem is
people like Hogan are stars because the fans made them a star, which
brings up a Goldberg reference. You can see the seeds being planted.

The
Wolfpack was formed while Hogan was making another movie and now he’s
trying to break them apart, but the fans have decided that the
Wolfpack is where the power lies. I think this was supposed to be
Luger laying down the gauntlet, but I think we’ve covered that
already.
Karl
Malone has officially been signed and the tag match is on for Bash at
the Beach. We’ll see press conference clips on Nitro.
Macho
Man has a broken leg due to Bischoff’s kick and will be out
indefinitely. We get a clip of the attack, including Nash raising
the cage for the save.
Steve
McMichael vs. Mike Enos
This
is the kind of match where I want to know what they think is the
target audience. I mean, what’s the production idea for this? Who
thought these two guys needed to have a match? Enos pulls Mongo into
the ring to start and pounds away on his right arm which kept Mongo
out for months.
McMichael
bails to the floor but Enos slams the arm into the barricade and
steps to keep the pressure on. Mongo comes back in the ring with a
shot to the head with the right arm and shows no sign of pain. Is it
any wonder why he never worked? A three point shoulder puts Mike
down but he blocks the tombstone. Enos slaps him in the face so
McMichael Mongos Up and hits the tombstone for the pin.
Rating:
D. When Mike Enos is the good
part of your match, you know the match is in trouble. McMichael just
didn’t get wrestling for the most part and was never anything good in
the ring. You would think after all those years with Benoit, Flair
and Anderson he would have picked up SOMETHING but it just never
happened.
Post
match Mongo gives the sign of the Horsemen.
Here’s
the Flock with something to say. Raven calls Saturn a tumor that
plagued the Flock but Raven has successfully removed it. Tonight,
Reese is going to win the US Title. Back to Saturn, who was his
friend when he was a kid? Who gave him money when he needed it? Who
forced the Flock to join Saturn at ringside? The answer to all those
is Raven, but now Saturn has let him down. All Saturn had to do was
beat Kanyon but he couldn’t even do that, and then Saturn went after
Raven, making him despise Saturn.
This
brings out Saturn who says Raven let Saturn down, so now Saturn is on
his own. The Flock jumps Saturn but he still gets in a good shot to
Raven’s jaw. Raven heads to the floor but Kanyon comes in to send
Raven back inside. Saturn and Kanyon clear the ring before staring
each other down. No more violence occurs though.
Goldbeg
video.
Fit
Finlay vs. Brad Armstrong
Again,
just why? The fans start booing this before any contact is even
made. Finlay takes him down with a headlock and cranks on Candyman’s
head for a bit before switching to the ever popular nerve hold.
Armstrong fights up and hits a powerslam and belly to back suplex for
two each before we hit the armbar.
Finlay
fights up and yells at the fans before we hit a chinlock and another
nerve hold. Riveting stuff here. A slam sets up a Vader Bomb for
two on Brad but he counters a second into something resembling an
electric chair drop. Not that it matters though as Armstrong goes up
but dives into Finlay’s arms for the tombstone and the pin.
Rating:
D-. These are talented guys but
we have to sit through this boring mess for whatever reason. I’m
assuming we’re supposed to buy Finlay as a contender for the TV Title
still but beating Brad Armstrong doesn’t really prove much. Nothing
to see here, which I think is the subtitle for Thunder.
This
week in WCW Motorsports is still a thing for some reason.
Giant
vs. Disco Inferno
Disco
goes up to the announcers’ booth to dance a bit before the match.
Heenan: “Hand me that iron pipe over there.” Giant lights up
another cigarette on the way to the ring so Disco lectures him on
healthy habits. The instructions continue until a HARD clothesline
puts Disco down. A massive chokeslam ends Disco a few seconds later
with the cigarette still in Giant’s mouth.
Dean
Malenko says he’ll do whatever it takes to get the Cruiserweight
Title off of Jericho and onto the waist of someone who deserves it.
IWGP
Tag Titles: Tenzan/Masahiro Chono vs. British Bulldog/Jim Neidhart
The
champions jump the brothers in law to start and throw Neidhart out to
the floor. Smith gets double teamed but comes back with a nice
double clothesline to put the champions down. Things settle down
with Chono going after Neidhart’s knee to get us going. Some hard
kicks to the knee and a quick leg lock take the Anvil down and it’s
off to Tenzan for some solid right hands to the head. So much for
the technical stuff.
Chono
comes back in and goes after Davey, allowing the champions to double
team Neidhart a bit. Jim comes back with a hard forearm to Chono and
makes the hot tag to bulldog. House is cleaned and the powerslam
puts Tenzan down, but Chono hits Davey with the belt for the DQ.
Rating:
D+. Somehow this quick, nothing
match is probably the best thing we’ve seen so far tonight. The
titles being on the line made this a bit better than Monday’s match,
but it doesn’t make the fans care about the Japanese guys at all.
Granted no one cared about Neidhart and Bulldog at this point either,
so it’s not Chono and Tenzan’s fault.
Jim
and Davey clear out the NWO guys.
Rick
Rude says Goldberg better be ready for Hennig at the PPV. Hennig is
up in Minnesota training hard with Brad Rheingans to take the title.
Nothing special from Rude, but a Goldberg chant starts up and stops
almost immediately in a bad production error.
Konnan
vs. Alex Wright
Wright
jumps Konnan and whips him with a leather jacket. A top rope knee
drop gets no cover and Alex drops some elbows to the back. There’s a
backbreaker and Wright still won’t cover. Instead his slingshot
splash hits knees and Konnan clotheslines him down again. There’s
the basement dropkick but here’s Rude for a distraction. He talks
about hunting for a bit which allows Alex to jump Konnan from behind
and get a rollup for two. Konnan comes back with an X Factor and a
rollup similar to Kofi Kingston’s SOS for the pin.
Rating:
D+. Well Rude certainly wasted
his time here. This match was nothing special either but at least
Wright moved around pretty well. It’s the same problem every match
on this show has had though: there’s no heat to any of the matches
and as a result the matches feel like nothing we need to see at all.
Video
on Hogan and Rodman.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit
This
has to be good right? Eddie is depressed after losing to Chavo on
Sunday. Benoit stomps him down in the corner to start and gets a
quick two off a snap suplex. Eddie whips him across the ring and
scores with a dropkick to the back of the head before suplexing
Benoit down for two. Nice and crisp so far. A headscissors off the
ropes gets two for Eddie and he goes after the Canadian’s knee to
keep him down. Benoit will have none of that though and hits a pair
of rolling Germans but the Swan Dive only hits canvas. Eddie’s frog
splash hits the same, allowing Benoit to snap on the Crossface for
the tap out.
Rating:
C. Of course this didn’t even
get four minutes. Why should it when we needed to see that rising
star in MIKE ENOS??? This was by far the best thing on the show so
far because the guys were actually working, but what can you do with
just three and a half minutes out there?
Post
match Chavo comes out and says Eddie is still his favorite wrestler,
sending Eddie walking away in disgust.
Public
Enemy vs. Riggs/Sick Boy
This
is a Philadelphia street fight to appease the ECW fans. Public Enemy
brings two tables (stacked on top of each other) and a wheelbarrow
full of plunder. The Flock members jump Public Enemy from behind and
the weapon shots begin. A cup of some liquid goes upside Rocco’s
head as he and Sick Boy bail to the floor. Rock is wheelbarrowed
into the crowd as the ECW chant begins. I’m shocked it took this
long.
Back
inside Grunge wraps a toilet seat around Riggs’ head before blasting
him in the head with a trashcan lid. Everyone is back inside now and
the fans start a Let’s Go Flyers chant. Rocco is lifted up and
dropped onto a trashcan for two as Grunge takes the toilet seat off
Riggs’ neck to blast him in the head. Riggs gets rolled into the
barricade and Sick Boy takes a plunger to the face. Grunge has a
trashcan dropkicked into his chest but he blasts Sick Boy in the head
with the can to take him down. Sick Boy is laid out on the top table
so Rocco can be flipped onto him, through both tables. The pin back
inside is academic.
Rating:
C+. The match was your usual
ECW style junk, but at the same time this is the only match all night
that was actually fun. Public Enemy was definitely a niche act but
they played their roles perfectly. Also, the more I see of Sick Boy
the more I like him. It’s a shame he never got more of a chance.
US
Title: Goldberg vs. Reese
We
hear about Goldberg fighting in the Georgia Dome on July 6. Indeed
he would. Even the Philly fans go nuts for Goldberg, with Hogan
saying only Hogan has ever gotten these reactions. Reese jumps
Goldberg to start and Horace adds a shot with a stop sign. That
earns him a forearm to the face, knocking him off the apron and
nearly knocking the sign into the crowd. A suplex by Reese is no
sold and it’s the spear into the Jackhammer to make him 101-0.
End
of show. Seriously.
Overall
Rating:
D. This is one of those
shows that just does not need to exist. Nothing happened tonight and
none of the matches were anything that needed to be seen at all.
This is the worst kind of show you can have: it wasn’t even bad but
rather very dull. There’s almost no effort here and it shows very,
very badly. Horrid show that didn’t need to air at all.
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