Thunder – November 19, 1998

Thunder
Date:
November 19, 1998
Location:
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Commentators:
Lee Marshall, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the go home show for World War 3 and we really don’t know much about
the PPV. They haven’t played up the battle royal all that much and
the events on Nitro and Thunder have dominated the discussion rather
than the show that’s three days from now. Hopefully Thunder can pick
things up a bit……yeah we’re in trouble. Let’s get to it.

We
open with Larry Zbyszko on commentary instead of Heenan. As always
we hear about all of the goings on at the moment, including Nash,
Page and Hart.
We
see Bret attacking Malenko and Benoit on Nitro.
Booker
T. vs. Norman Smiley
We
actually get a handshake to start and Booker breaks clean in the
corner. Smiley takes him into the corner and pops Booker with some
uppercuts before slapping him in the face. A slam sets up a chinlock
on Mr. T. but Booker fights up and hits his running forearm and some
kicks to the face. Smiley avoids an elbow drop and dances a bit,
only to get nailed with the Harlem Side Kick, setting up the 110th
Street Slam for the pin.
Rating:
D+. Booker continues to be a
good opening act but there’s only so much he can do in three and a
half minutes against a guy not taken very seriously by the fans. The
match wasn’t terrible and at the end of the day it’s the opening
match on a show that means nothing at all.
We
see Page challenging Bret on Monday.
Opening
sequence.
We
see Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell beating up “Mrs. Steiner” from
Nitro.
Disco
Inferno vs. Scott Hall
Hall
throws the toothpick in his face to start and shoves Disco into the
corner for a vicious hair rub. It’s actually enough to fire Disco up
though as he nails Hall with a clothesline and the swinging
neckbreaker for two. Hall comes back with a discus punch though,
setting up the fall away slam and Outsider’s Edge for the pin. Not
much here.
We
look at Scott Steiner beating up Chris Adams for no apparent reason.
World
War 3 ad.
Here’s
Jericho to make fun of Bobby Duncum Jr. before their rematch for the
TV Title on Sunday. He claims that he was going to be called Cowboy
Chris Jericho from Casper, Wyoming so now he hates cowboys. This
brings out Duncum to hogtie Jericho because that’s what cowboys do.
Kaz
Hayashi is looking for a tag partner for Sunday.
More
clips of the TV Title match from Nitro.
Kidman
vs. Rey Mysterio
Before
the match Kidman says he wants a match with the real Rey Mysterio,
not the LWO version. Eddie Guerrero comes in and says Rey is LWO by
choice but Mysterio wants to know why he didn’t get his title shot
after beating Juventud last week. Eddie says he isn’t thinking
straight so tonight it’s Guerrero vs. Kidman.
Kidman
vs. Eddie Guerrero
Eddie
stomps away in the corner to start but Kidman comes back with a quick
dropkick for two. Guerrero bails to the floor before dropping to his
knees to ask for some mercy back inside. Another dropkick sends
Eddie back to the apron and Kidman stomps away instead of buying into
the waiting any longer. Eddie uses a jawbreaker to escape a sleeper
but the second attempt works a bit better.
This
time Eddie suplexes his way to freedom but gets superplexed off the
top when he tries the frog splash. Like many a schmuck before him,
Eddie gets faceplanted out of a powerbomb. Kidman loads up the
Shooting Star but dives on the bodyguard and Rey Mysterio instead.
Larry: “WHY DID HE DO THAT???” A powerbomb gets two on Guerrero
but the bodyguard distracts Kidman, allowing Eddie to get a rollup
pin with his feet on the ropes.
Rating:
C. The match was decent enough
but at the same time it was almost all about the story instead of the
wrestling. The LWO story
isn’t the most interesting thing in the world but it’s the only way
Eddie and company are going to get anything more than random
cruiserweight matches. If nothing else it’s a nice break from all
the dull squashes we usually get on this show.
The
announcers mention that Kidman has a return clause and will get the
shot on Sunday. We see Kidman losing the title to Juvy on Nitro as a
bonus.
Clip
of a new game coming soon: Ocarina of Time.
Video
on Hall vs. Nash.
Scott
Norton vs. Scott Putski
Speaking
of dull squashes, we have this by the numbers squash. Vincent
interferes to start, Norton destroys him with various power moves
including clotheslines and headbutts, setting up the powerbomb for
the pin in less than two minutes.
We
see Hall vs. Nash from Nitro.
We
see the Hogan campaign stuff from Nitro.
Kaz
Hayashi tries to get Disco Inferno to be his partner on Sunday when
Saturn comes in and offers to do it instead.
The
Cat vs. Super Sensei
Sonny
Onoo says that Sensei is a two time World Karate Champion so this
should be an easy workout for Miller. Before the match starts, Kaz
Hayashi runs in and gets beaten down until Saturn makes the save.
Who decided this feud needed so much TV time?
We
get a quick history of World War 3.
Alex
Wright vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Before
the match we get a rant from Alex demanding respect from the crowd.
The bell rings and Wright quickly armdrags Chavo down before
hammering away in the corner. The announcers start talking about
Bigelow being a career mercenary as Chavo takes over with an armdrag
of his own and a dropkick.
Chavo’s
bulldog takeover out of the corner is shoved off and Wright stomps on
him a bit. We get outside for a slam to Guerrero and some dancing by
the German. A slingshot splash gets two for Alex and the match slows
way down. Alex goes up top but dives into a boot to the jaw,
allowing Chavo to get two off a clothesline. The neckbreaker is
countered but Wright grabs a rollup and flips forward for the pin.
Rating:
D. This was a long and very
boring match which felt like it went on forever. It was really just
two guys doing moves to each other for about seven minutes and then
one guy got the pin. That really doesn’t make for an interesting
match and the thing just kept going. Both guys are usually better
than this.
Prince
Iaukea vs. Kanyon
After
Kanyon does his usual schtick, Iaukea jumps him on the floor to get
things going. They head inside with Kanyon nailing something
resembling a reverse powerbomb before stomping away. The middle rope
suplex back inside gets two for Kanyon and a bulldog is good for the
same. Prince comes back with a sunset flip but Kanyon just plants
him with a double leg Fameasser for two. Iaukea grabs a quick Samoan
drop but has a suplex countered into the Flatliner for a fast pin.
Rating:
C-. It’s not great but at least
it had some cool looking offense from Kanyon. Iaukea continues to be
one of the least interesting wrestlers I can remember in a long time.
It’s not even that he’s bad in the ring or anything like that. He
just isn’t interesting in the slightest and it’s a chore to sit
through his matches.
Saturn
vs. Wrath
This
could be interesting. Saturn grabs an armdrag into an armbar to
start followed by a nice springboard kick to the face. Wrath heads
to the floor for a bit but Saturn is right on top of him with a nice
dive. Back in and Wrath just pounds on him before nailing a
tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Some hard right hands and stomps have
Saturn down in the corner and a belly to back suplex gets two.
A
flying forearm sends Saturn flying into the ropes and Wrath chokes
away. Back up and Wrath misses a charge into the corner and walks
into a t-bone suplex. Cue Sonny Onoo and Ernest Miller as Saturn
nails the frog splash for a close two. Sonny offers a distraction
and Miller kicks Saturn down, setting up the Meltdown for the pin.
Rating:
C+. Better match here with
Wrath getting arguably the biggest win of his career. That being
said, WHY IS SATURN IN A FEUD WITH SONNY ONOO AND KAZ HAYASHI??? He
just came off the good feud against Raven to free the Flock and now
he’s in a story involving the lowest of the low on the totem pole.
Such is WCW.
We
look at Bam Bam Bigelow debuting on Nitro.
Bret
Hart vs. Konnan
After
Konnan hits all of his catchphrases, they slug it out in the corner
with Konnan taking over. They quickly head outside with Hart being
rammed into the steps and barricade. Back in and Konnan gets beaten
down, only to have Stevie Ray get in a shot with the slapjack. A low
blow headbutt has Konnan in even more trouble and the Sharpshooter is
good for the win for Bret.
Rating:
D. Whatever man. Just end this
awful show already.
Post
match Bret goes to Pillmanize Konnan’s leg but DDP makes the save to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D-. They hyped up some
of the stuff for Sunday, but other than that there was NOTHING to
talk about here. At the end of the day, I need more than just clips
of matches on Monday to get me wanting to see a PPV and that’s about
all we got here. This is one of those shows that is absolutely
terrible and it’s clear that they didn’t try at all.
One more note: there’s no episode on November 26 so the next show is from December 3.
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