Thunder – August 13, 1998

Thunder
Date:
August 13, 1998
Location:
Fargodome, Fargo, North Dakota
Attendance:
9,721
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
coming off the Nitro that should have been Road Wild with the biggest
stories being a new US Champion and Goldberg thinking Nash hit him in
the back with a chair. I have a problem believing WCW is capable of
planning a feud that far in advance so we’ll chalk it up to whatever
random idea they’re throwing at us which will likely end up
benefiting Hogan. Let’s get to it.

The
announcers run down the card for a bit until Scott Hall interrupts.
We get the survey with the Wolfpack winning before we go to a break
less than five minutes into the broadcast.
Konnan
vs. Scott Hall
We
start with the stalling and a toothpick throw until Konnan slaps him
in the face. Hall drives his shoulder into Konnan over and over
before they trade paintbrush slaps to the back of the head. This
match already has more energy than almost any match on Thunder in
weeks. Hall fakes him out on a test of strength and pops Konnan in
the jaw to take over. The fallaway slam gets two and Hall fires off
some chops in the corner. This has been one sided so far.
There’s
the abdominal stretch with Hall grabbing the ropes like a villain
should. Hall finally gets caught and Konnan comes back with the
X-Factor but Hall doesn’t even go down. Konnan rams him into the
buckle but Scott kicks him low. That doesn’t have much of an effect
as Konnan gets two off a small package, only to get caught in the
Outsider’s Edge for the pin.
Rating:
D+. This was just a step above
a squash which is surprising with two bigger names. It’s also
strange to see a match ending by pinfall instead of the constant
run-ins and inconclusive finishes. While it wasn’t a good match, it
was nice to have something definitive for a change around here.
The
announcers hype up War Games and wonder how Goldberg will be
involved.
Horace
vs. Raven
Raven
says insubordination will not be tolerated and Horace costing him the
triangle match on Saturday was the last straw. He jumps Horace to
start and pounds him down in the corner before grabbing the stop
sign. Lodi shows a spine and takes it away from him, allowing Horace
to kick it into Raven’s face for two. A slam onto the sign and a
middle rope splash get two for Horace but he misses a charge into the
sign in the corner. Raven throws him to the floor and hits the
Russian legsweep into the barricade.
Lodi
and Raven head back inside with Raven slapping Lodi in the face.
Riggs, Kidman and Sick Boy run in for the beatdown as the bell rings,
even though this is Raven’s Rules. Saturn runs in to get the three
goons off of Horace but the big man jumps Saturn, setting up a four
on one beatdown. Kanyon comes in for the real save and a good pop.
I’m assuming the match was thrown out.
Rating:
C-. The more I see of guys like
Saturn, Horace and especially Kanyon the more impressed I am. The
match was too short and had too strange of an ending (Raven’s Rules
meaning no DQ remember) to be worth anything but I’m interested in
where the story is going so there’s something good there.
Saturn
goes after Kanyon for no apparent reason before suplexing Horace
down.
Stevie
Ray doesn’t want to talk about the TV Title but challenges the Giant
to a match next week. That’s quite the step up.
TV
Title: Chris Jericho vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Jericho
is defending of course. Pepe is taped together after being broken in
half on Nitro. Feeling out process to start with Jericho taking
Chavo up against the ropes and grabbing the wrist, only to be
armdragged down. They trade leapfrogs until Chavo bites Jericho to
send him outside. We take a break and come back with a shot of Pepe
in the corner as Jericho gets two off the Lionsault.
A
suplex sets up the arrogant cover for another two before we hit a
surfboard hold on Chavo. Back up and Jericho gets his third straight
near fall off a spinwheel kick. Chavo comes back with a running
clothesline and a forearm in the corner. A bulldog gets a close two
and a rollup gets an even closer one but Jericho goes after Pepe.
Chavo freaks out and gets an even thicker Pepe (Tony: “That looks
like a Clydesdale!”) to blast Jericho for the DQ.
Rating:
C-. This was more about Chavo’s
insanity and most of the match felt like it was just killing time
until we got to the ending. It’s a good sign for Chavo that his
character is working against people other than Eddie. Jericho is his
usual good self and his glee in breaking Pepe was very amusing.
After
some stills from Hart vs. Luger from Monday, Bret says he’s the best
there is, was and ever will be even though the fans are all against
him. The only reason Luger beat him was because he caught Bret off
guard.
Dancing
Fools vs. Public Enemy
Tokyo
Magnum is with Disco and Alex. Rocco cranks on Alex’s arm to start
as the announcers debate whether the match on Saturday was a street
fight or a Sturgis street fight. Rock gets sent to the floor and
sent into the barricade with a baseball slide. Back in and Rocco
blocks a middle rope ax handle, only to be suplexed down again.
Wright
of course stops to dance, allowing Rocco to get his knees up to stop
a splash. Off to Disco vs. Grunge but Johnny quickly brings Rocco
back in for a double flapjack. Everything breaks down and Rocco is
thrown into Disco. A table is brought in but Tokyo Magnum takes the
bullet for Alex, allowing Wright to pin Grunge off a neckbreaker.
Rating:
D+. This is becoming one of
those matches that I do not need to see ever again. We’ve pretty
much gotten the same story every single times these four have gone at
it and there’s no reason to see them tell that story one more time.
The matches aren’t horrible but they’re rapidly losing the limited
interest I had in them.
Post
match Meng runs in to destroy the dancers. Barbarian comes out to
make the save but Meng shrugs him off and death grips Barbarian down.
Public Enemy gets taken down as well.
Here’s
Big Kev to spout catchphrases and invite Goldberg to join the
Wolfpack whenever he feels like it.
Kevin
Nash vs. Curt Hennig
Nash
takes him into the corner for the heavy knees and a hiptoss across
the ring. Hennig twists around in the air as is his custom. There’s
the choke with the boot but Hennig avoids a charge, sending Nash’s
leg into the ropes. Curt goes after the weakened leg but Nash gets
right back up and hits Snake Eyes, thankfully using the ropes to
support the injured leg. Nash looks for the Jackknife but Rude comes
in to deck the referee for the DQ.
Rating:
D+. Not enough time to go
anywhere but much like Konnan vs. Hall, it was nice to see Nash have
a singles match for a change. Also I was relieved by him holding the
ropes on the Snake Eyes. I love little things like that which are
unfortunately rare anymore as it helps to keep the fans in the match.
The ending was expected because Heaven forbid a veteran job or
anything like that, but not terrible while it lasted.
Rude
squares off with Nash so Hall can come in for the beatdown. The fans
want Goldberg but get Luger for the save instead.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Stevie Ray
Stevie
shoves Eddie away and stands in the middle of the ring for a bit.
Eddie literally jumps at Stevie and spins around while Stevie stands
still. An armdrag and dropkick to the ribs put Ray down but Stevie
just kicks him in the face to take over. Scott Hall and the Giant
are watching from the stage.
The
camera keeps cutting back to them but thankfully we can see the match
on the video screen. Stevie gorilla press drops Eddie down and
bicycle kicks him off the apron. Eddie comes back with something I
can’t make out because the camera is focusing on the NWO guys but
Stevie breaks up a belly to belly attempt. Eddie goes up top but
dives into a big boot. The Slapjack is enough to pin Eddie
completely clean.
Rating:
N/A. I can’t rate a match when
I missed long portions due to putting the camera on Hall and Giant
every few seconds. On top of that, Stevie Ray just beat Eddie
Guerrero clean in about four minutes. This is the Eddie Guerrero
that had possibly the best match in WCW history less than a year
before. Is it any wonder that he wanted out?
US
Title: Lex Luger vs. Bret Hart
Luger
won the title on Monday and this is the rematch. He shoves Bret
around a few times before grabbing a headlock. Bret hiptosses him
down and drops an elbow for two, only to have Luger take him into the
corner and stomp away. Bret comes back with some stomps of his own
before hitting the headbutt to the abdomen. Luger is catapulted
throat first into the middle rope for two as Bret doesn’t seem
interested in being out there.
The
middle rope elbow only hits mat and Luger makes his comeback with the
clotheslines and forearm. Luger clotheslines him to the floor
instead of Racking him though, allowing Bret to get a chair. Another
clothesline drops Hart and now it’s Luger with the chair. The
referee tries to take it away and gets knocked down, allowing Bret to
DDT Luger on the chair for two. Not that it matters though as Bret
puts on the Sharpshooter and Luger passes out to change the title
back.
Rating:
D-. They clearly didn’t care
and the ending was nothing interesting. Nitro’s match is basically
erased and Bret has another meaningless title reign. Again, this is
more and more like the Alliance every day: these title changes don’t
make a difference and just prolong an already uninteresting feud.
Overall
Rating:
C-. This is an
interesting show as it erases almost everything that happened on
Nitro, but Nitro was so horribly dull that taking it all away is a
good thing. Yeah Goldberg doesn’t resolve anything with Nash, but
there’s nothing to resolve in the first place. In theory Goldberg
should be fine after spearing Nash and Big Kev doesn’t seem mad at
Goldberg at all. The wrestling was kept quick for the most part
tonight and only the main event was bad. This show benefits from all
the other shows around it being so uninteresting that even a mediocre
show like this comes out looking great.

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