WCW Thunder #5
February 5 1998
Right, I’ve had a week off to enjoy wXw in Germany and I’m back with more terrific WCW 1998 content. Here we are with Thunder #5. DDP vs. Benoit was set up last week as tonight’s main event. Don’t get too excited about that one. Hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan and Lee Marshall.
We kick off with clips from Nitro where Rick Steiner gets all mad at Scott for not tagging him in. Despite them winning. Scott is a showboat. Rick is a dickhead for getting mad. They’re both wrong.
La Parka vs. Hugh Morrus
Oh no, is the Bill DeMott push starting? The match is La Parka strutting around and showing all the charisma in the world and Morrus running him down. We’re in Texas so the crowd is split between people who love the lucha and people who want to see the Mexican get beaten up. Morrus is mega-over for reasons I don’t understand. He makes a mess of the moonsault for the win. Total waste of La Parka. Interesting to note 20 years later La Parka is still a star and DeMott is a nobody. La Parka has the last word, blasting Hugh with a chair and dancing around the ring while the crowd chant for him.
Final Rating: *
Bill Goldberg vs. Jim Powers
Goldberg has a little music video before the match of his mangling jobbers.
Powers is just a warm body to take the spear and the Jackhammer and this is over in about a minute. Jimmy Powers was about six months away from retirement at this point, having carved out a reasonable career as a ham n’ egger in WWF for a decade. His one potential shot being the Young Stallions in the late 80s with Paul Roma.
Final Rating: SQUASH!
Kidman vs. Juventud Guerrera
Kidman has the Flock in his corner. He’s beginning to come into his own as a wrestler and benefits from wrestling guys like Juvi. That said Kidman looks in better form than Juvi here as “The Juice” is looking a little wired. He throws a bunch of fucking spots out there, I’ll give him that. Lodi distracts and Kidman is able to pick up the win with a Shooting Star Press. Kidman would end up as one of the stars of the division while Juvi’s general insanity would prevent him from becoming the level of star that Rey Jr existed on. Good match but very rushed and spotty.
Final Rating: **3/4
Diamond Dallas Page wants to improve his position via high quality competition, hence his challenge to Chris Benoit for tonight.
Villano IV, Villano V & Silver King vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr, Super Calo & Lizmark Jr
This is what I’m watching Thunder for; random lucha matches with, hopefully, WACKY DIVES GALORE! There is certainly a lot lucha stuff in this, for better or worse. Super Calo is a clear highlight.
The best part of watching WCW Thunder is seeing Super Calo kill himself for my amusement. Look at this bump!! pic.twitter.com/Nklydak8Ao
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) October 12, 2018
There’s a bunch of wacky stuff before Psicosis runs in, leg jams Chavo and throws Silver King on top for the pin. I loved every second of this nonsense.
Final Rating: ***
WCW Tag Team Championship
The Steiner Brothers (c) vs. Buff Bagwell & Konnan
Dusty Rhodes kicks Stagger Lee off comms.
This match is all about setting the table for Scotty’s heel turn. There’s a lot of talk and posing but not much action. “Nobody’s got a body like the Buffer” yells Dusty! There are run in’s and it ends in a schmoz. “They messed up a perfecting great match”. Sure. The nWo is shit at wrestling narrative continues.
Final Rating: DUD
Marty Jannetty vs. Raven
Raven has a very distinctive style. Not all of it is good because he’s still trying to figure out how to present himself as ‘extreme’ in this promotion. Ideally he should have gone to WWF but apparently Vince didn’t like him because he corrupted Shane McMahon. Raven starts his Benoit feud here; screaming Benoit’s name in the camera.
They’d end up having crazy chemistry. Jannetty isn’t on the same page. They fuck up a snapmare here. Jannetty certainly tries hard but it’s a generational clash with Marty being so used to the old school. If he could adapt a little better it would be a great little match. It isn’t though. DDT finishes.
Final Rating: **1/4
Disco Inferno vs. Saturn
This just says it all. Saturn manages a decent carry job, working with a very limited opponent. Disco’s Chartbuster is getting over, which is probably not a shock because it’s the Stonecold Stunner. Saturn does a fine job of pacing this and Disco has enough offence, basic babyface stuff, to make it worthwhile. It might be my favourite Disco match, although that’s a small list. Kidman interferes and Saturn wins with the Rings of Saturn. As I mentioned already this was a very strong match considering Disco was in it and Saturn was an excellent worker around this time.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Promo Time: Nick Patrick
He’s out here to bemoan his reputation being besmirched by the commentary team. He’ll be back as WCW’s top official as he’s never been charged with anything.
Promo Time: Scott Hall
Back to back promos segments eh? Totally professional and not bad planning at all. Hall does the survey and both WCW and the nWo get big pops. Hall challenges the Steiners to a tag title match and, as he can’t be bothered to wrestle, books Louie Spicolli vs. Jim Neidhart tight now.
Louie Spicolli vs. Jim Neidhart
Stagger Lee tries to nickname Spicolli “Flounder” because he’s been watching Animal House. This is pretty accurate. Anvil chokes Spicolli out but because it’s the nWo Hall jumps in for the DQ. Davey Boy Smith makes the save. Then Mongo attacks Bulldog.
Final Rating: NR
WCW United States Championship
Diamond Dallas Page (c) vs. Chris Benoit
This is a relatively fresh concept in 1998; Benoit actually being in a big match. Benoit looks a bit awkward at times but has the match won with the Crippler Crossface. DDP has the crowd support but Benoit dominates the match. The idea being to full establish Benoit as a player. The kind of match DDP was prepared to have because he wasn’t all about protecting his spot unlike all of the nWo guys. The Flock run in and that’s the DQ. Hey, at least it wasn’t the nWo.
Final Rating: **3/4
This is a show with a few hidden gems. The Saturn/Disco match is surprisingly good and the lucha trios match is fun. The lack of big nWo angle is a pleasant change of pace too. The hope is that Hulk Hogan forgets this show exists at all and just stops appearing.