Thunder – September 17, 1998

September 17, 1998
Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Lee Marshall, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
was the second taping of the night and the interesting thing is how
many people left. I’m not sure if the second taping wasn’t clear or
what but probably half of the audience left before the second episode
started. The main story coming into tonight is the return of Flair,
whose in ring career rides on Arn Anderson beating Eric Bischoff in
an arm wrestling match. Let’s get to it.

announcers talk about the arm wrestling match tonight and of course
don’t say a word about Flair returning as it hasn’t happened yet.
vs. Bobby Eaton
think you can figure this one out. Wrath pounds away in the corner
and hits a hard running clothesline as the announcers now talk about
Nitro, meaning the commentary was done later. So do the commentators
just leave during the second taping? Wrath kicks him to the floor
and rams Eaton’s back into the post before taking it back inside. A
top rope fist and a shoulder block set up the Meltdown to complete
the squash as expected.
announcers talk about Hogan vs. Warrior at Halloween Havoc and how
amazing it will be. Man it must be hard to keep a straight face at
Enos vs. Lenny Lane
slaps him to start and is LAUNCHED across the ring for his efforts.
A nice gorilla press and some elbows have Enos in control but Lane
dropkicks him down to the floor. Lane dives down onto Mike to try
and wake the crowd up before getting two off a bulldog. Enos
powerslams him to counter a leap frog as the announcers talk about
ANYTHING but this match. A neckbreaker and stun gun get two for Enos
and he finally ends Lane with a spinning fireman’s carry slam (think
an airplane spin with Lane facing up).
D+. There were some nice spots
in there but who in the world thought this match needed to happen? I
still want to know what the thinking process is to have this match.
Is is just picking two names out of a hat full of names that haven’t
been on TV in awhile? I can understand why most of the fans left at
this point.
and Scott Steiner come to the ring with Gene yelling at the two of
them for what they did at Fall Brawl. Both guys laugh at Okerlund
and Buff brags about the size of his arms. They fight again at
Halloween Havoc and Buff will be barred from ringside. Buff has
another idea.
look at Jericho bringing out the fake Goldberg and beating him at
Fall Brawl.
get some classic Flair clips with him beating up some jobbers. This
is the most entertaining part of ths show.
vs. Steve Armstrong
they’re not even trying now. Steve starts with a quick dropkick and
some right hands before running into a boot in the corner. Vincent
goes after the arm over and over again and finally makes Armstrong
tap to a Fujiwara Armbar.
match we get the evil laughter again. This is going to be a mess
whenever it happens. I don’t know what’s coming, but it’s going to
be a disaster.
Fuller vs. Ernest Miller
doesn’t mention being arrested on Monday, making the segment all the
less interesting. He offers Fuller three seconds to leave but Rick
doesn’t move. Miller knocks him to the floor and chokes with a
camera cable but can’t get in a chair shot. Back in and Fuller slugs
him down before showing off the power with a big slam. Miller avoids
a cross body and the Feliner is good for the pin.
D-. This show is testing my
sanity very severely. Fuller’s potential is being wasted for the
sake of a guy who talks about how great he is at karate. The match
was barely long enough to rate and the brawling on the floor went
nowhere at all. Miller continues to be a waste of space that isn’t
doing anything interesting.
Flair clips, including him talking in the 80s and returning in 1993.
Hennig vs. Norman Smiley
out process to start as they trade standing switches. Smiley takes
over and outwrestles Curt to start as the fans chant Magic, which is
half of Norman’s nickname of Black Magic. I remember standing in
front of those guys and not getting the reference at all. Norman
takes him down to the mat but Curt grabs his leg to take over. He
stomps on the leg and Crunches it before taking Smiley into the
corner for some kicks the bad leg. Smiley fights back with some
right hands but ducks his
head on an Irish whip attempt, setting up the PerfectPlex for the
D+. Match of the night here
which should tell you everything you need to know about this episode.
Smiley at least got in some offense to start which is more than I
was expecting. I feel like I’m watching an episode of Superstars
from mid 1988 with all these worthless matches.
and Stevie Ray come out for the main event and the survey with the
NWO dominating the response.
Nash vs. Stevie Ray/Scott Hall
and Konnan get things going as Hall can’t stand still on the apron.
Big Kev talks trash from the apron which only seems to fire Ray up as
he pounds away on Konnan in the corner. Hall still can’t stand
still. Konnan comes back with a clothesline and the low dropkick but
walks into another big right hand. The announcers ignore the match
to talk about Hogan vs. Warrior, even mentioning that they’ve met
to Hall who is easily taken down by a drop toehold. It’s not that
big of an accomplishment as he was almost down when he came through
the ropes. No mention on Hall improving at all since the mess on
Monday. Off to Stevie but Hall doesn’t leave the ring, further
ticking off the sober Black and White member.
stays in for some reason as the announcers talk about Disciple being
kidnapped. Apparently he got time off for good behavior though as he
worked a dark match before this taping. Again, you have a stable
with like ten members and you send Disciple out a jobber. That’s
poor thinking at least and incompetence at worst.
back to the angle disguised as a match. Konnan trips Hall down again
and puts on a camel clutch which only seems to make Hall look ill. A
few rollups get two each on Scott and it’s time for a drink. Konnan
isn’t sure what to think but apparently the booze makes Hall a better
wrestler as he takes over. We even get an Outsider’s Edge attempt
but Konnan easily backdrops him down and rubs Scott’s face in the
mat. Hall falls through the ropes and can’t stand up, which is too
much for Stevie who walks out. Hall never makes it back in and it’s
a countout.
F. Like I said, this was an
angle disguised as a match. I’m not a fan of the story here when
it’s this based on real life either. This wasn’t even a match as it
was about two minutes of Stevie vs. Konnan then the Scott Hall Show.
Also, nice to see Nash earning his paycheck out there tonight. He
never even tagged in.
look back at Flair returning on Monday. My goodness that was
time for the arm wrestling between Bischoff and Anderson. Bagwell
and Malenko are here as seconds. Anderson gets his right arm ready
(naturally left handed) but Bischoff says make it left handed.
Remember that Anderson had surgery a year or so prior to this and his
arm isn’t what it used to be. Bischoff of course is up to his old
tricks and swaps out for Buff because Bischoff was never specified.
Buff says it’s fair because they both had neck injuries. Anderson
threatens Bischoff and gets beaten in a second to end the show.
F-. Three days. It
took them three days after the best moment Nitro has ever had to make
sure the NWO went over the Horsemen by outsmarting them. You want to
get excited about something in this company? Well it better not be
the Horsemen because we don’t care how many times the WE WANT FLAIR
chants come up. This is the NWO company and screw you if you think
anyone is going to get one up on them.
let’s look at this card. Who is the most entertaining guy on this
show? Wrath? Miller maybe? I guess it’s Konnan but the fact that
those two guys are as close to second and third as they are tells you
everything you need to know about this show. Tonight took everything
that was good on Monday and just wasted it on a boring episode.
this was taped in advance and they didn’t know how good Nitro was
going to be, but how could anyone look at this card and think it
would be an entertaining two hours? What here makes me want to watch
the next show? This was as bad as Thunder has been, and that covers
A LOT of ground.

Remember to check out my website at and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at: