Thunder – September 24, 1998

Thunder
Date:
September 24, 1998
Location:
Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
Attendance:
8,858
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
main story tonight is the Horsemen being back in Horsemen country
despite Bischoff ordering them not to show up. Other than that the
big deal from Monday is Warrior turning Disciple to his side which is
big because it involves Hogan and the lack of the story making sense
is just a detail. Let’s get to it.

The
announcers welcome us to the show and run down the highlights
tonight, including Goldberg vs. Kanyon. Bischoff is in Japan
tonight. Heenan thinks a WE WANT FLAIR chant is for Goldberg. What
exactly is in that cup?
Rick
Steiner vs. Hugh Morrus
Morrus
has hacked off most of his hair since we last saw him. Steiner
quickly slams him down and decks Jimmy Hart for fun. A clothesline
puts Hugh on the floor and Hart gets chased because that’s what he’s
around for. Morrus gets in a few shots from behind to take over and
scores a slam of his own, only to miss a Macho Elbow. Rick goes
straight up and the bulldog is good for the fast pin.
LONG
recap of the Hogan vs. Warrior nonsense from Nitro. Nonsense is the
right word for it. The story was about a man talking about a
revolution and kidnapping and brainwashing a former barber now known
as a disciple through the use of magic smoke that sometimes puts
everyone to sleep but sometimes doesn’t and babbling incoherently.
Ernest
Miller vs. Nick Dinsmore
Miller
holds up three fingers and Marshall points out that it’s not the sign
of the Horsemen. He does the five seconds deal for Dinsmore but Nick
fires off forearms and gets two off a northern lights suplex. Miller
comes back with a variety of kicks and stomps before the superkick
and Feliner are good for the pin.
Psychosis
vs. Saturn
Feeling
out process to start with Saturn trying to take it to the mat but
Psychosis fighting him off with a dropkick and some chops. A cross
armbreaker from Saturn doesn’t last long and Psychosis drops him with
a clothesline, only to walk into a superkick a few seconds later.
Cue Lodi with a “Saturn Ruined My Life” sign, triggering a
discussion about Saturn’s honor. Marshall says the fans in Norfolk
must understand what that means due to Saturn being a former Army
ranger. I’d hope no one in the arena heard that as Norfolk is a Navy
town.
Saturn
goes after Lodi and the distraction lets Psychosis hit a nice dive to
the floor followed by a missile dropkick back inside for two. A
regular dropkick works as well but Saturn comes back by dropping him
ribs first on the ropes. Psychosis comes right back and clips the
knee before sending Saturn outside again. He tries the guillotine
legdrop to the floor but Saturn gets out of the way and throws him
back inside. Saturn goes up and hits a frog splash for what didn’t
seem to be the planned pin but ends the match anyway. Psychosis
appeared to kick out but the referee counted the pin and Saturn
looked confused.
Rating:
C-. Saturn is in a weird place
right now as he doesn’t have much to do after the Flock broke up but
he’s on fire with the crowd. The smart thing would be to send him
after a midcard title and I have no idea why he isn’t going after
Jericho. Saturn vs. Bret would be a very interesting match but it
would mean putting someone new near the top of the card and that’s
just not going to happen in WCW. To be fair though, that would be
quite a jump for anyone to make.
Tony
brings out Alex Wright for an interview but Alex only speaks German.
Schiavone doesn’t understand him so Alex throws out “the pig of a
man” and insults the crowd. Europeans are far better than
Americans but Alex puts all of them to shame. He lists off the other
European wrestlers on the roster and rips them apart, particularly
focusing on British Bulldog, who is old and lazy after living with
Americans for so long.
Video
on the Horsemen.
Finlay
vs. Barbarian
The
bell rings and Scott Hall stumbles out of the entrance and heads over
to the announce table. The camera stays on him so there’s no match
to talk about right now. We switch back to the ring to see the guys
pounding on each other with forearms as Hall rants about Nash not
being his boss and being mean when he drinks.
Barbarian
slams him down and puts on a chinlock as Hall vomits on the
announcers’ desk. Back in the ring Finlay comes back with some knees
to the ribs but walks into a spinebuster followed by a gutbuster for
two. Barbarian takes way too much time walking around though and
charges into a boot, setting up the tombstone for the pin.
Rating:
D-. As you could probably tell,
the match was just there for background noise while Hall did his
thing. They’re making his issues seem very real which is what
bothers me the most about the story. At least we didn’t have to see
what he was doing for the most part. The match was bad even for a
power brawling match.
Video
on Goldberg vs. Page.
Page
comes out for a chat about Halloween Havoc. There’s no hatred
between he and Goldberg but there is the World Title. Page has been
chasing his dream for years and now he has to beat a phenom to
achieve that dream. Goldberg may be the odds on favorite and Page
wouldn’t want it any other way. Goldberg may be unbeatable, but
maybe he’ll feel the BANG. Very simple but it got the point across.
Raven
vs. Villano V
Raven
says he’s going to hurt Villano (pronounced Villain-O) just like he
hurt his brother on Monday. V tries to get in some early offense but
Raven shrugs it off and hits a knee lift to put him down. An early
attempt to get a chair is stopped
by Villano but his bulldog
and atomic drop are shrugged off. Raven
sets up the chair, hits the drop toehold and the Evenflow is good for
the pin.
Even
more Hogan vs. Warrior stuff.
Disco
Inferno vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Chavo
hammers away to start and sends Disco to the floor before playing
with Pepe. Disco fires back with his usual stuff including a running
knee and a neckbreaker. The announcers ignore the match to talk
about Scott Norton winning the IWGP Championship as Chavo hooks a
chinlodk. Inferno comes back with a hot shot and we take a break.
Back
with Disco coming off the top but only hitting mat. Chavo comes back
with a nice springboard bulldog for two but takes too much time
playing with Pepe, allowing Disco to come back with a slam. Chavo
dropkicks him in the back and gets two off a rollup, only to have
Disco score a quick piledriver for the pin. Apparently this was for
the #1 contendership to the Cruiserweight Title, which the announcers
forgot to mention until now.
Rating:
C-. The ending was really
abrupt but it was good enough while it lasted. Both guys got to get
in the air and jump around which actually works for Disco. Chavo’s
Pepe thing is getting a bit repetitive but at least he isn’t acting
as crazy as he was before. Knowing WCW, he’ll be even more insane on
Nitro.
Post
match Juventud Guerrera comes out with a piece of paper, followed by
Nick Patrick with a scale. It
seems that Disco was over the Cruiserweight limit of 230lbs. He has
to weigh in again right now and comes in at 231, meaning he’s
ineligible, making Chavo the winner by DQ and the #1 contender.
Disco blasts Guerrera out of
frustration and is the only one standing tall (in boots, which
probably weigh more than two pounds). In
other words: heavyweights are better than cruiserweights but Chavo is
the best loser we can find to challenge Juvy.
Norman
Smiley vs. Alex Wright
Norman
gets in Alex’s face over what was said earlier. Alex gets on one
knee and begs for mercy with an offer of a handshake, only to take a
swing. Norman will have none of that and clotheslines him, followed
by a nice swinging slam. Wright bails to the floor before coming in
to crank on the arm, drawing a USA chant.
The
fans chant boring so Alex monkey flips Smiley down and nips up into a
nice dropkick to calm them down. A backbreaker gets two on Norman
and Wright sends him outside. They chop it out for a bit until
Wright throws him back in for a stomping. Alex misses a charge and
Norman comes back with right hands and an elbow drop for two, only to
get caught in a neckbreaker for the pin.
Rating:
D+. Pretty dull and slow match
here but Norman was smooth in the ring and fun to watch. Alex
fighting against the rest of the European wrestlers on the roster is
at least something for him to do for awhile that isn’t dancing with
Disco Inferno. The match was better than some of the drek we’ve seen
on this show lately at least.
Here’s
Stevie Ray for a talk. The people here can scream for the Horsemen
all night long, but Eric Bischoff has called him up and said to keep
the Horsemen out of the building tonight. Stevie is officially the
NWO enforcer and the Horsemen won’t be here tonight. Flair and the
Horsemen are in the back and Doug Dillinger lets them walk past.
They come through the entrance and Stevie steps to the side, still
talking trash as he leaves. Stevie goes through a curtain and is
knocked down to the floor. Arn Anderson walks through the curtain
with a tire iron, bringing a smile to the fans’ faces.
Anderson
gets in the ring and says unless there are 15,000 people missing a
thumb, this is a Horsemen town. The Horsemen don’t care what
Bischoff has to say and last Thursday was his lone free day. They’re
a thinking man’s organization and they pick their spots after
calculating. Despite what Bischoff thinks, this company belongs to
the Horsemen.
Malenko
says he hasn’t had the chance to thank Anderson for his faith in him.
Anderson put his faith in another man by the name in Curt Hennig but
unlike him, Dean is a real Horseman. Benoit says Eric needs to
change the first half of his last name. As for Liz, the invitation
to ride Space Mountain comes with an invitation to all the other E
rides. Just let Benoit be the strong and silent one from now on.
Mongo threatens to beat up Bischoff’s entire family.
Flair
calls Schiavone Antonio and says it’s his turn to talk in Norfolk.
The Horsemen are reunited and it feels so good. Flair hasn’t saved
his money over the years and Norfolk is one reason why. The Horsemen
are going to play while Bischoff is away and own Norfolk all night
long. Liz is back at their hotel, and tonight Malenko is going to
get to prove that he’s the man of 1000 positions. “I mean holds!”
Video
on the Diamond Cutter.
WCW
World Title: Kanyon vs. Goldberg
Raven
sits in on commentary and asks what about him during the long
entrance. Kanyon does his
catchphrase and Goldberg spears him down before the bell. The
Jackhammer is the only move of the match.
Overall
Rating:
D+. This wasn’t a good
show but it was miles better than the mess we had to sit through last
week. Tonight took the
focus away from Hogan and his nonsense and put it on everything else,
which is what we’ve been needing for a long time now. The
wrestling was tolerable tonight and at least some of the bigger names
were on the card. I can live with a night of squashes if the winners
are guys I actually care about. Far better show this week but it
still wasn’t great.
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