Thunder – September 10, 1998

Thunder
Date:
September 10, 1998
Location:
Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
Attendance:
10,620
Commentators:
Bobby Heenan, Lee Marshall, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This
is an interesting show for me as I was in the audience that night. I
barely remember anything at all of the show but I know they taped two
weeks worth of shows and there was an arm wrestling match at some
point in here. If I remember correctly I was sitting opposite the
cameras. I also vaguely remember Hogan making an appearance but I’m
not sure. Let’s get to it.

The
announcers promise that tonight is going to be an excellent show.
I’m sure.
Here
are Hogan, Bischoff and company to open things up. Bischoff says the
most beautiful people in the world are right here in the ring with
him. Hogan says his fans know he rules the wrestling world and know
he’ll get the world title back very soon. All the plans are in place
for WarGames with Roddy Piper and DDP concerned with each other and
Warrior not having the guts to face Hollywood on his own. As for
Bret Hart, Hogan has Stevie Ray watching his back (Jack) and he isn’t
worried about the Wolfpack either.
Before
the first match we cut to the back and see Jericho saying he’s the
champion of all those with televisions. Since they’re a TV company,
he’s the highest ranking champion in all of WCW. He has a cameraman
following him around for tonight only.
Cruiserweight
Title: Juventud Guerrera vs. Silver King
Silver
King is challenging. They get in a shoving match to start until
Silver King takes him into the corner. Juvy avoids a splash but is
whipped into the corner, only to flip out of a belly to back suplex.
Silver King throws him into the ropes and throws Juvy into the air
for a dropkick to the ribs. He misses a Lionsault minus the running
start and we get a chase on the floor, leading to Juvy picking up a
chair, only to have Silver King dropkick it into his face. The bell
rings once as Silver King hits an Eye of the Storm for two. The bell
rings again and it’s finally announced as a DQ. Odd ending.
Juvy
is laid out with a belt shot post match.
JJ
Dillon makes Konnan vs. Scott Hall for Fall Brawl because Bischoff
isn’t making Hall get into the ring enough.
TV
Title: Chris Jericho vs. Wrath
We
go to the back with Jericho walking to the ring, flanked by Jericho
Personal Security Guard and the Jericoholic Ninja. Jericho is all
fired up but walks into a broom closet and a wall. This is so
strange for me as I walked through those same halls when I was
graduating high school and college. He walks outside as Wrath is
getting angry in the ring. Jericho is locked out so Wrath goes up
the entrance and kicks the door to outside open so he can chase
Jericho through the parking lot. The match is a countout.
We
go to a clip from WCW Saturday Night with Jim Duggan talking about
how important his career has been over the last 20 years, but he was
recently diagnosed with cancer. Duggan is scheduled for surgery
later this week and says we should all hug our children closer
because you never know when you might not see them anymore. He
thanks us all for our support and tries not to cry.
Kanyon
vs. Nick Dinsmore
Dinsmore
is more famous as Eugene. Kanyon says that he’s too good to face a
rookie like Dinsmore so Lodi can order Saturn to fight him in his
place. Saturn comes out with a Lodi Rulz sign before swapping it out
for a Lodi Is Not Here sign. Kanyon panics and eats a clothesline
before Saturn takes his hand over to the buckle and breaks his thumb.
Saturn goes for another finger, shouting that Kanyon has nine more
to go. Raven comes out and sends the Flock after Saturn who easily
dispatches them. Saturn says that on Sunday, he’s saving the Flock
and his own career. More awesome.
Curt
Hennig vs. Steve McMichael
Luger
vs. Bulldog was scheduled for later but due to the attack it’s now a
tag with Luger needing to find a partner against Bulldog and
Neidhart. Mongo kicks away in the corner to start and follows up
with a big running clothesline. A WE WANT FLAIR chant starts up as
Mongo hits the buckle while trying a running knee. Hennig wraps the
knee around the post before kicking at the leg back inside. Curt
charges but walks into a belly to back suplex as Mongo makes a low
speed comeback. Stevie Ray comes in and slips Hennig a slap jack
which is good for the DQ.
Rating:
D. Nothing of note here but
thankfully these two wouldn’t fight each other anymore. I like that
they’re following up on the NWO vs. Horsemen idea, though I was
hoping they wouldn’t have waited as many months as they did in
between. At least Mongo didn’t pop right back up after the knee
work.
Post
match Bagwell comes out with a chair to crush Mongo’s throat but Dean
Malenko makes the save. The NWO is about to swarm him when Arn
Anderson makes the save with a 2×4 to a big pop. I remember the fans
going absolutely nuts for that and it was a great moment live.
After
a break Mongo is being taken out on a stretcher and Arn is with Tony
in the ring. Arn says Dean shouldn’t have asked for this because
he’s about to get it. If it were up to Anderson, Dean Malenko would
be a Horseman. This brings out Eric Bischoff who says the Horsemen
are dead because of Anderson’s neck and the book he recently wrote.
Back
when Bischoff took over the company, the Horsemen put 1,200 people in
a 15,000 seat arena before Bischoff made WCW the #1 wrestling company
in the world. Bischoff says to forget about Flair but Anderson grabs
him by the throat before Eric can go on. Malenko pulls him off and
Bischoff has an offer: If Anderson wants the Horsemen back, he’ll arm
wrestle Bischoff next week. Another great segment in this story.
Lodi
shows up at the announcers’ desk covered in moss and seaweed,
complete with a fish in his hand. He says Saturn threw him in a
river (there isn’t one near Lexington) but Tony cuts him off and says
go ask Kanyon about his fingers.
Lex
Luger vs. British Bulldog/Jim Neidhart
Luger
goes it alone to start and cleans house before starting with
Neidhart. A nice running elbow and slam put the Anvil down before
it’s off to Bulldog for some right hands in the corner. There’s an
atomic drop but Neidhart gets in a cheap shot from the apron. Cue
Bret Hart in wrestling gear to make it 3-1 with Neidhart getting that
evil grin on his face. Instead Bret goes after Bulldog and then
Neidhart before getting on the apron for a tag. Luger isn’t sure
what to do but he tags Luger in for a face pop to work over Anvil.
Everything breaks down and the Torture Rack ends Neidhart.
Rating:
D+. This was more of an angle
than a match as a good chunk of it was spent with Bret looking at
Neidhart and Bulldog. I don’t buy Bret turning face as this is WCW
where face turns are measured in seconds, but I’m interested in where
it’s going if nothing else. The fans were into the idea as well so
it was a successto start at least.
We
look at JJ ordering Hall vs. Konnan from earlier.
Konnan
vs. Disco Inferno
After
Konnan does his stuff, Disco takes the mic and says he and Wright are
ready to join the Wolfpack tonight. Konnan tells them to go to a
prison and toss salads so Disco jumps him to get things going. The
dancers double team Konnan for a few moments before he fights back,
hits his signature stuff on Disco and wins with the Tequila Sunrise
in about a minute.
The
Armstrong Brothers were being interviewed for WCW International
Television (no show mentioned, just International Television) when
Ernest Miller interrupts. He kicks both guys in the face but Norman
Smiley interrupts. This was filmed at the same doors Jericho got
locked out of earlier.
Here’s
Roddy Piper with something to say. Piper talks about being a wildcat
from birth and isn’t sure about WarGames. He isn’t crazy about being
in the ring with the Wolfpack but loves the idea of being in there
with Hogan. This brings him to Team WCW with its captain Diamond
Dallas Page. Piper isn’t one to listen to a captain but he turns
around when Page yells at him from the crowd. Page says he earned
the captain’s spot and Piper volunteered to be on the team. Warrior
is here to mess with Hogan’s head, but Page has no problem making
Warrior or Piper feel the BANG inside the cage.
WCW
World Title: Rick Fuller vs. Goldberg
Goldberg
slugs him down to start but Fuller comes back with a few kicks. Not
that they matter as the spear crushes Fuller but here are Disciple
and Hogan for the DQ. Goldberg fights them both off and spears
Disciple before Jackhammering Fuller…for the pin? Wait the referee
didn’t see that? Disciple shoved Goldberg into the referee WHILE THE
REFEREE WAS WITH FULLER. But we’re supposed to buy that he didn’t
see that? That’s a stretch even for WCW.
Kevin
Nash vs. Stevie Ray
After
some catchphrases, Nash shoves Ray into the corner but gets his eyes
raked to give Ray a breather. Some big right hands don’t get Stevie
anywhere as Nash clotheslines him and does the usual stuff in the
corner, only to run into an elbow in the corner. A superkick puts
Nash down and we get to the slow, power offense from Stevie. Nash
fights out of a chinlock and kicks Stevie in the face to set up the
Jackknife, drawing in Vincent for the DQ.
Rating:
D. Another match there to
advance stories and set up Sunday which is fine. Stevie isn’t bad in
the ring but he’s nothing the NWO didn’t have a ton of already. Nash
was his usual lumbering self here but the fans were into him for the
most part. Also it’s good that they kept this short instead of
letting this drag down into oblivion.
Post
match Nash stays on Stevie until Scott Hall returns to knock out Nash
with the slap jack. The Black and White comes out to praise Hall as
Nash keeps trying to get back up. Remember earlier when Mongo took
the same shot and was taken out on a stretcher? Neither do I.
Anyway, the NWO goes to the back and sees Warrior spraypaint on the
wall to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-. This was good for a
Thunder with some decent angle advancement and promos, even though
the wrestling didn’t do much for me. The Horsemen, Flock and Jericho
stuff continues to own the show and I dread what’s coming after Fall
Brawl, but this is still an entertaining promotion at this point.
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