WCW Thunder – January, 8th, 1998


Greetings one, greetings all!

As you may or may not know, WWE released a huge chunk of Thunder episodes to the network. So, I figured what the hell, let’s get Str8 Gangster back on it’s feet and introduce new content. So, every week you can count on those storm clouds blowing in, cause it’s THUNDER! …..no? Did that not play? Yeah, my bad.

Right away you can they didn’t put dick into the set, be it money or effort. They have a wall that opens, and on the wall it’s a fake carving in stone that looks like….uh, I think a scorpion, and maybe a tiger with a man’s head? Sure?

We open up with our broadcast team of Heenan, Schiavone, and Lee Marshall. And they talk about how tonight we’ll see footage from the title match that took place at Starrcade, and then they go on about how great Larry Zybszko is for saving WCW and Nitro. Like I’ve always said, they made Tony to be a much, much bigger hero than Sting after Starrcade 1997.

Now they’re LEGIT spending the first 10 minutes doing Nitro recaps.

About 2 hours later we finally get to the first match.

Chris Adams vs Macho Man Randy Savage

Macho whoops on him the whole time, picking up Adams before each 3. This continues until Luger shows up outta no where to knock out Macho and get Adams the pin at 4:34.
Obviously nothing to write home about. Chris Adams is also the dude that trained Stone Cold, so, there’s your trivia for the day. *

We get a Hogan promo where he talks about how awesome he is, and that the title is rightfully his. Honestly, every Hollywood promo ever.

We get ANOTHER promo from JJ Dillion and Luger. Dillion is reversing the decision from earlier, saying Macho won by DQ. Luger comes out and is displeased. Make note of that.

Louie Spicolli vs Rick Martel

Our 2nd match in 25 minutes. If this were on TV, it’d be well over a half hour. Basic stuff here, just giving Martel stuff to do in his 2nd match on the road to his comeback.
Martel wins with the Boston Crab at 4:26 | *1/2

Chris Jericho vs Ric Flair

It’s so weird they dub out Jericho’s music. I mean, would they really have to pay rights to use Basketball Highlights #4? Jericho comes out with a new suit for ring announcer, Dave Penzer. He apologizes for how he’s been acting. I love the start to Chris’ turn, this whole thing was brilliant. OK, why the HELL is Ric Flair just randomly wrestling on Thunder? OK. I do love how Flair always wears his knee pads below his knees. I know when I have sex, I wear the condom on my hand. They have a quick little match, but it’s a lot of fun. No surprise when you have two of the Top 5 all time greatest working together. After tapping to the Figure 4, Jericho goes nuts and trashes things while crying “why!”. Glorious.
Jericho taps to the Figure 4 at 6:01 | **1/2

Meng vs The Giant

I forgot that the Giant had a period of time where he came out to no music. He gets a massive pop though. Much to my surprise, these two have a fun little TV match. Giant is cocky and dominating for a minute, but Meng rocks a comeback by taking out one of the Giant’s legs. It doesn’t last long though, as he eats a chokeslam. Far, far better than I thought this was going to be.
Meng eats a chokeslam and a pin at 3:11 | **

Steve McMichael vs Goldberg
HELL YES! The REAL rematch from Starrcade that everyone wants to see. Goldberg doesn’t even have fireworks yet. Crazy to think in 7 months he’ll be champ, and one of the most popular wrestlers in the world. Mongo tries to attack and keep up the intensity from the jump, managing to do some damage, but not for long before it’s the spear & Jackhammer. Harmless fun.
Mongo gets hit with the Jackhammer and the pin at 2:46 | **

Buff Bagwell & Konnan vs The Steiner Brothers

Buff may not have been a ring technician, but I still say he was underrated in terms of charisma and humor. His bullshit still cracks me up. Typical stuff you’ve seen a hundred times. They’re working on the Scott turn, which we see further advancements of here when Rick goes for the Bulldog off the top to finish, but Scott instead takes Konnan to the opposite corner and hits him with the Steinercurana. Nothing wrong with the match, but not ground breaking.
Scott pins Konnan after a Steinercurana at 3:02 | *1/2

For whatever reason, we have to see the match between Larry Zybszko vs Eric Bischoff. I have zero reason why.

Larry gives a promo about how’s one of the greatest ever. I mean, he legit tries to make you think so. He’s fighting Hall at Souled Out.

Scott Hall vs Ray Traylor
Get get clips from September when Ray was kicked out of the nWo. Since then he’s been getting revenge by getting his ass kicked by nWo members. In a typical “Hall does a job”, Hall kicks the crap out of Traylor for 95% of the match before losing via a fluke. In this case, Larry. He back downed Hall, Ray caught him with the Bossman Slam, there we go.
Bossman Slam with the pin at 3:28 | *1/2

Juvi vs Ultimate Dragon [C] – Crusierweight Championship

They take your average Crusier match and condense it into 4 minutes. It doesn’t make any sense. This is their debut show. It’s 3 hours, and 3 hours of nothing. It’s your DEBUT! How about at least 15 minutes for these guys, whom you know can put on a hell of a match, especially since Juvi wins the title. Naturally it’s decent stuff.
Juvi with the 450 splash for the pin and the title at 4:25 | **1/2

Bret & Flair come out to do a dueling promo for their match at Souled Out. Flair has a problem with Bret saying he’s the best, and Bret says he’ll just have to beat the man.

Scott Norton vs Lex Luger

Again, typical stuff. Under 4 minutes, nWo interference, Luger wins with the Rack.
Luger. Rack at 3:32 | *

We then get footage of the “fast” count at Starrcade 1997. This…Good Lord…only WCW could fuck up something of this magnitude. He looked so pathetic in this match. He got his ass kicked, the whole time, then he loses in a fair pin, and looks like a total pathetic heater by having Bret throw Hogan back in and restarting the match. We then get footage of Nitro the next night, and the footage once the cameras went off. There’s a ref bump, where then Nick Patrick comes out, and because of him, Sting gets hit in the back of the head by Hogan, who rolls him up with the tights and gets the three count. But then the match just starts continues with the original ref, and again, Sting gets the Deathlock again, so, ONCE AGAIN there has to be controversy. God forbid Sting just fucking win.

So, JJ, Sting, Hogan, they all come out to the ring and JJ says the title is vacant, and asks for Sting to hand it over. Well, that’s brilliant writing. This is just so embarrassing. You had well over a year to plan this, and can’t even make a half decent storyline? Why is that in pro-wrestling the “can’t fail” stories always fail? Geez. Sting finally speaks, telling JJ he has no guts, and that Hogan is a dead-man. Really? Are we suppose to believe you, Sting? You got your ass pinned by him TWICE.

DDP [C] vs Kevin Nash – United States Championship

So, after the JJ Dillion deal, they both walked to the back, only to literally turn around and walk back out. DDP literally gets about 3 moves on Nash, the rest it’s him getting pummeled, until he’s about to hit the Diamond Cutter, but Hogan interferes to draw the DQ. After that, The Giant comes down and we get a few fists thrown before the show is over. It feels like the first part of what could have been a pretty decent match had it been given 13-15 minutes or so. But I think if you added up every match on Thunder tonight, it wouldn’t be 15 minutes, so ain’t no way just one match is gonna get all that.
DDP wins by DQ at 6:02 | *1/2

Seriously? This is your debut episode? When you’re the hottest wrestling company on the planet, in the middle of your biggest run, THIS is your debut episode? There’s no wrestling until about 10 minutes after the start, no match breaks 10 minutes, none of the matches meant anything, there was a MASSIVE amount of promos and recaps, and instead of a massively impressive debut episode, we got an episode of Saturday Night with the A-listers.

~ by Caliber Winfield on April 5, 2018.

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