Thunder – October 22, 1998

Thunder
Date:
October 22, 1998
Location:
Tingley Coliseum, Albuqurque, New Mexico
Commentators:
Lee Marshall, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the very last show before Halloween Havoc and we’re actually coming
off a good show on Monday with every major PPV match getting some
focus. Nothing has been announced for tonight but that’s usually the
case coming into Thunder. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of videos on the
two main events though. Let’s get to it.

The
announcers talk about Hogan attacking Horace on Monday and call it a
horrible act.
We
look at Goldberg and Page nearly brawling after Goldberg cost Page a
match against Jericho.
Super
Calo vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Calo
takes over with some kicks to the ribs to start and gets two off a
shoulder block. A missile dropkick gets the same and Calo hooks a
seated abdominal stretch to slow things down. Back up and Calo
throws Rey to the apron before sending him to the floor for a big
dive. Totally one sided so far. Back in and Rey climbs corner to
hit a nice headscissors followed by the yet to be named 619 back
inside. Calo gets caught in the ropes and the top rope legdrop to
the back of his head gets two. Super gets to his feet and goes up,
only to get crotched and taken down with a hurricanrana for the pin.
Rating:
C-. Nice fast paced match to
start things off here but there wasn’t much to it. It’s nice to see
Mysterio back and mostly healthy though as no one could keep up with
him when he was at even 85-90%. Calo looked better than usual here,
but that doesn’t really say much as he isn’t one of the better
luchadores.
Post
match Eddie and the LWO comes out to offer Rey a spot but he throws
the shirt back at Eddie and leaves. Chavo
watches with a smile on his face from the entryway.
Video
on Page vs. Goldberg.
Here’s
Page for a quick chat. Monday was nothing but intensity and it makes
him think of Goldberg as even more of a champion. The Diamond Cutter
is enough to beat him though because he’s next. On Sunday, Goldberg
will feel the BANG.
Ad
for the Mastercard.
Alex
Wright vs. Johnny Swinger
Wright
cranks on the arm to start and puts Swinger down with a fireman’s
carry takeover. Johnny comes back with an armbar of his own and a
Russian legsweep has Wright in trouble. A spinwheel kick puts
Swinger down and Alex drapes him ribs first over the top rope.
Swinger comes back with a hard shot to the chest but gets dropkicked
out of the air, setting up a neckbreaker to give Wright the pin.
Rating:
D+. Just a squash here with
Alex looking good as almost always. I’m still not sure why he never
got a huge push but the thick accent might have had something to do
with it. Or maybe that this is WCW and it’s a good day if they can
tie their shoes properly. Swinger never did anything for me but he
was fine for something like this.
We
look at the Steiners brawling on Monday.
Video
on Sting vs. Hart closing Nitro. Tony accuses Heenan of being a
snitch for the NWO. Heenan: “I am not!” Tony: “That’s true.
You’re a liar, a traitor, a coward and a snitch.”
TV
Title: Kanyon vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho
is defending and this has some serious potential. Kanyon does his
Who Better bit with Jericho putting bunny ears up behind his head.
Chris takes the mic and says the real question is Who Better Than
Jericho. Kanyon doesn’t take kindly to gimmick infringement and the
fight is quickly on. Jericho knocks him to the floor with a shoulder
and we take and early break.
Back
with Jericho getting two off the Lionsault as we see Raven for the
first time, looking on from the apron. Jericho does his long stride
and Kanyon sends him face first into the buckle to take over. The
superplex from the middle of the rope (not the corner) puts Jericho
down for two as the fans get distracted by something in the audience.
Jericho counters a suplex into a reverse suplex for two but Kanyon
comes back with a swinging neckbreaker for the same.
The
announcers talk about Raven looking distracted as Jericho scores with
a gutbuster but can’t get the Liontamer. An electric chair into a
flapjack gets two on the champion but Jericho fights out of a
superplex. Jericho tries a missile dropkick but hits the referee
(Billy Kidman according to Tony and Lee) which draws in Raven. The
Even Flow is easily countered into the Liontamer and Raven taps,
which is good enough for a submission win for Jericho.
Rating:
C+. Good while it lasted but
the match was more about Raven than anything else. It’s nice to see
Jericho get a win for a change, even if he was acting more like a
face while doing so. The Raven story is interesting as he’s lost his
edge without the Flock and could have some good stories as a result.
Clip
from the new Kurt Russell movie Soldier.
We
see Hogan beating up Horace and Warrior on Monday
Saturn
vs. Norman Smiley
A
lockup goes nowhere so Norman makes his chest dance to entertain
Saturn. Apparently Saturn is more of a song than dance man as he
throws Smiley down with a beal before dropping him with a t-bone
suplex for two. Norman picks the ankle but Saturn is quickly in the
ropes before anything can be done. A neckbreaker sends Smiley to the
floor but he comes back in with a nice sunset flip for two.
Since
this is a pretty good technical match so far, the announcers are
talking about Horace. Saturn slams him down but misses a top rope
splash, allowing Norman to take over with some uppercuts. A tiger
bomb gets two for Smiley but Saturn drills him with a superkick.
There’s a belly to belly to Norman followed by the Death Valley
Driver for the pin.
Rating:
C. The match didn’t have time
to go anywhere but it was nice while it lasted, much like the
previous match. Smiley is a very sound technical guy and could
actually keep up with Saturn on the mat. Saturn’s superkick always
looked good though and it nailed Smiley in the jaw here. Nice little
match.
Lex
Luger vs. Scotty Riggs
Feeling
out process to start until Luger remembers he’s fighting Riggs and
runs him over with some clotheslines. Riggs snaps Lex’s throat
across the top rope and chokes away a lot before scoring with a
dropkick. Luger quickly breaks out of a chinlock as the announcers
say no one anticipated seeing Hogan vs. Warrior again eight and a
half years later. A few running knees in the corner have Luger in
trouble but he comes back with a suplex. Luger comes back with all
of his usual stuff and finishes Riggs with the Rack.
Rating:
D+. Not the worst squash in the
world here as Riggs looked decent out there. That’s rather
surprising as Riggs is usually one of the least interesting wrestlers
on the roster. Luger was his usual self here, meaning he was
charismatic but used the same moves he’s done for ten years now.
We
takes yet another look at Bischoff being thrown out of the United
Center. It really wasn’t that big of a deal.
Juventud
Guerrera vs. Prince Iaukea
They
trade takedowns to star until Juvy charges into a boot in the corner.
Iaukea gets two off a snapmare and breaks up a sunset flip attempt.
We hit the early chinlock on Juvy followed by a suplex and chops in
the corner. It’s Chinlock: The Sequel followed by another suplex
attempt but Guerrera counters into a Fameasser. A top rope corkscrew
dive puts Prince down and sets up the 450. Disco runs out to break
it up but Juvy dives off with the 450 for the pin just in time.
Rating:
C. Short but fine as Disco vs.
Juvy continues to build. I’m not sure how good of a match that’s
going to be when we get there but it’s nice to see them doing
something in the cruiserweight division that doesn’t involve the
title. Prince wasn’t bad here but the bald head doesn’t make him
more interesting.
Clips
from Nitro of Bischoff being thrown out by cops and the mayor of
Minneapolis.
Konnan
vs. Scott Armstrong
After
the usual intro, Konnan hits the rolling clothesline just after the
bell. There’s the seated dropkick and Scott bails to the floor,
holding his shoulder. Back
in and Scott uses his bad arm for a test of strength and rakes
Konnan’s eyes to take over. A few basic moves later and we’re in the
chinlock. Konnan fights up with some elbows to the ribs but gets
dropped by a clothesline. A bulldog and rollup get two on Scott
before Konnan kicks him in the ribs, hits the X-Factor and hooks the
Sunrise for the win.
Rating:
D. These squashes are getting
weaker as we’re approaching the end of the show. Konnan was always
better on the mic than he was in the ring and this match proved it
for the most part. Scott was the least interesting of the Armstrong
Family but he wasn’t that bad out there.
Clips
of Bret and Sting’s rivalry.
Horsemen
video.
Kendall
Windham vs. Dean Malenko
Kendall
says he knows the Horsemen and can prove Dean doesn’t measure up.
Dean hammers away in the corner to start but runs into a big boot. A
lariat puts Dean down again but he grabs a sunset flip. Windham
punches the mat instead of Dean’s head, allowing Malenko to hit a
quick kick to the leg, setting up the Cloverleaf for the win in less
than 90 seconds.
Dean
grabs the mic and says that’s why he’s a Horseman. The rest of the
team comes out and Arn has a mic. He says it’s obvious why the
Horsemen are here and calls Bischoff a vicious coward. Bischoff has
been making fun of Arn’s physical shortcomings but he’s not even half
the man Anderson is. If Bischoff ever makes fun of his family again,
Arn will do things to Bischoff that his family should never be
allowed to see. Flair says that this is the Horsemen’s party and
names each individual member. He’ll be running this company one day
and Bischoff will be working for him.
Sting
vs. Giant
Giant
misses a charge and Sting hammers away but misses the Stinger Splash.
The big man steps on his chest and pounds on him in the corner, only
to miss a big elbow. Three straight Stinger Splashes set up a slam
but Scott Steiner runs in with a chair to the leg for the DQ before
the Deathlock.
The
NWO lays out Sting until Rick Steiner and the Wolfpack makes the save
to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. It’s still good and
a different kind of show from Nitro. This is one of the most
frustrating things about WCW. It’s clear that they can put on
entertaining shows but we get the garbage that they put on so often
anymore that it’s barely worth watching half the time. Good
show tonight with some entertaining squashes and small build to the
PPV on Sunday.
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