WCW Thunder #7
I bet you thought I’d forgotten about these huh?
February 19 1998
We’re in Birmingham, Alabama. We’re nearly up to Superbrawl so we might actually have a WCW champion soon. Hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan and Lee Marshall. This is the Superbrawl go-home show. Sting vs. Savage is tonight’s main event and I remark to myself “that won’t happen”. A glance at the results reveals I’m right. I’m far more excited to see La Parka vs. Super Calo though. Yes lads!
Video Control takes us straight outside where Chris Jericho is being interviewed but instead Luger and Savage get attacked by the nWo while the crowd are waiting to get in. Apparently the big deal is that Savage was talking to Luger or something.
Fit Finlay vs. Bill Goldberg
Poor Fit not only has his name spelled wrong but he’s on job duty for Goldberg. Man, his reactions are getting enormous at this point. A month ago he was getting nothing and now there’s a roar! Heenan is now calling him “Da Man”. Fit tries an assortment of holds but doesn’t last long. Spear. Jackhammer.
Final Rating: *3/4
Psychosis vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr
There are two lucha matches on this show. This is My WCW Thunder. They do a bunch of wacky dives for my personal amusement. Especially Psychosis deciding he’s going to tope the ring post. Chavo has a good showing but gets hit with the Guillotine Legdrop for the defeat. This was a sprint and no mistake. I enjoyed it.
Final Rating: ***
Promo Time: Hollywood Hogan
Every fucking week. Comms try to talk up how important this promo is with relation to the Sting rematch and the altercation earlier but Hogan just says a lot of nothing in a dull, rambling promo.
Scotty Riggs vs. Booker T
Book is a midcard workhorse. Riggs is a jobber. He’s even debuting a new move in this match, which he’s told Marshall about beforehand, called the 110th Street Slam. When you call a shot like that you’re basically saying the guy you’re wrestling is a nobody. Riggs gets in a surprising amount of offence with Lodi interfering. Booker does the Spinneroonie and hits all his moves but neglects to debut his new move instead finishing with the Axe Kick. What? That was bizarre. Lee Marshall sounds confused.
I wonder if Booker worked him for LOLs on live TV?
Final Rating: **1/4
Kidman vs. Juventud Guerrera
Another luchadore! You’re never quite sure which Juvi is going to turn up based on how many drugs he’s taken but when he’s on form he’s one of the best. WCW are still pretending that Kidman is good, although not as much as they’d do so in years to come. He’d become a star in the division despite being nowhere near the better wrestlers in the division. Kidman looks so ungainly here compared to the Juice. He hits some high spots with some aplomb but can’t match Juvi. Juvi Driver sets up the 450 Splash for the win. Jericho attacks after the bell to pull of Juvi’s mask but, for WCW reasons, he’s wearing another mask underneath. Which makes you wonder how he knew he was going to get attacked.
Final Rating: **3/4
The Outsiders vs. Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom
The opponents here are the Beverly Brothers. Renamed in WCW as they didn’t have rights to the names. Enos got signed back in 1996 and is considered the “good one”. Bloom got picked up at the back end of 1997 and is about ten matches away from retirement. He makes two Thunder appearances. The second one is a squash to Goldberg in a month’s time.
The Jacknife powerbomb is illegal at this point but Nash hits it anyway, as well as punching out the ref, and the Outsiders gets disqualified. The nWo are fined another $50,000 for that. The angle was over but it didn’t make any sense.
Final Rating: *
Video Control gives clips of Bryan Adams, the former Crush, joining the nWo and beating down Bret Hart on Nitro. This leads directly to Rick Rude, Curt Hennig and Bryan Adams coming out here to cut another nWo in-ring promo. This leads to Bulldog and Anvil storming down to yell at them and a brawl occurs.
Curt Henning & Bryan Adams vs. Davey Boy Smith & Jim Neidhart
His is allegedly a “match” and there is even a ref but nothing really happens. They brawl around it’s a double DQ or count out or something.
Final Rating: DUD
Promo Time: The Steiner Brothers.
This is one of those “we’re okay and cool and everything” promos that you cobble together right before one guy turns on the other. Scott stands around in the back looking as shady as possible. He doesn’t even say a word.
Video Control gives us another recap of the Savage/Luger thing. I couldn’t give a shit about the Savage/Luger angle lads. Not a single shit.
La Parka vs. Super Calo
There are thirty minutes left on Thunder. I wish this was absorbing the entire thirty. The crowd sadly don’t care about this, a clash of two of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. Despite the useless Alabama crowd Calo still manages to take a bump square on his neck.
The best thing about old episodes of Thunder? Watching Super Calo and La Parka do wacky shit to each other. pic.twitter.com/2xd2TwLc5I
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) November 20, 2018
Calo is so cool his mask has sunglasses.
Super Calo is legitimately my favourite WCW era luchadore. He didn't give a single fuck. pic.twitter.com/KmCOz7pnoI
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) November 20, 2018
Disco Inferno runs in and somehow La Parka wins. So La Parka waffles that goofy 70s bastard with a chair and then celebrates.
Final Rating: You can’t rate this art on a snowflake scale.
WCW Cruiserweight Championship
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Dean Malenko
Jericho refuses to take the belt off while he’s wrestling. Considering Jericho has a big title defence against Guerrera days from now it’s odd he’s defending the strap here. Certainly nobody buys Malenko winning. Even though he’s a three-time champ. WCW did things like this all the time. Why Malenko? The match is fine but it’s low energy and doesn’t have time to build. They almost make the crowd believe that Malenko can get the Texas Cloverleaf but Jericho gets out and wins with the Liontamer. WWE happily pipe in Jericho’s WWE music for their own personal weird reasons.
Final Rating: **1/2
Raven & Saturn vs. Diamond Dallas Page & Chris Benoit
Page vs. Benoit is on the PPV but they have mutual enemies in the Flock. This is all action from the bell with DDP & Benoit having that edgy chemistry and the Flock boys taking a hiding. Everyone in the match is really good. I know Benoit has been tainted but seeing him in the midst of these other great wrestlers makes it easier to forget that. Anyway, the match is fun as hell. Page has that star power so it’s not only fun with everyone fighting hard to make the match a success but it’s over with the fans too. Raven is all fired up and if he’d been this into WCW during his whole run he could have been something special. Admittedly most of the blame for Raven not getting anywhere lies with WCW who didn’t want him to go anywhere. The match flies by and I could go for another ten minutes of it at least. The stuff they do with a chair is magic. Saturn at one point coming after Benoit but getting the chair punched into his face. Saturn taps to the Crossface and this was legitimately great. You should see this. This was how good the undercard was and how these guys were chomping at the bit to be stars in WCW and because it never happened the company just died.
Final Rating: ****
Randy Savage vs. Sting
This turns into another Hogan promo saying you’re in the nWo “for life”. Unless you’re the Giant then you leave and re-join whenever you want. Sting decides to fight the entire nWo on his own but he’s joined by Luger and they clear the ring out. End of show.
This was a mix. Half this show was nWo shit. The actual wrestling was pretty great all said. The lucha guys, the cruisers and the guys bubbling under all did their jobs to perfection. Sadly WCW was only interested in the one thing that had won them their ratings war. The New World Order. By this point it was getting tedious and we’re not even two years in. It would get worse.