Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, “Iron” Mike Tenay, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Who will be Nash’s partner in the co-main event? What will be the blockbuster main event? Also, what does Jericho have in store for us? Let’s find out!
Nitro Girls dance in silver and black with Fyre doing her best impression of Ultimo Dragon.
We revisit last week’s Thunder when Nash and Hogan argued about hitting Savage.
Match 1: High Voltage versus Wayne Bloom & Mike Enos
Enos reversed an Irish whip and booted Rage in the midsection.
When Rage hooked a cross arm breaker, Bloom saved his partner.
Kaos tagged in, and High Voltage double gorilla-press-slammed Enos for 2.
As Rage tagged in, he backdropped Enos.
Kaos entered the ring illegally, so referee Scott Dickinson ushered him back to his corner.
Meanwhile, Bloom mounted the top turnbuckle and laid out Rage with a double axe handle.
Bloom tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Rage.
After Bloom delivered a double underhook suplex, Enos tagged in and placed Rage atop the top turnbuckle.
He then supplied Rage with a super fallaway slam for 2.
Remarkably, the Chicago faithful began to roar, Enos gave Rage a cross corner whip, but he ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
Rage then clotheslined Enos, and tags were exchanged on both sides.
While Giant came to ringside, Kaos provided Bloom with a back elbow.
He powerbombed Bloom, but Enos blocked a suplex attempt to Bloom.
When Giant entered the ring, he chokeslammed Enos.
Dickinson called for the bell, and Enos and Bloom won by DQ at 4:00.
Summary: Four minutes of workrate and high-flying before the abrupt halt.
After the match, Giant chokeslams Bloom, Rage, and Kaos in succession. He grabs the microphone and informs Piper that he’s “mean.” Let’s just hope he doesn’t say he’s green; otherwise, he’d be a frozen vegetable.
In the ring, “Mean” Gene Okerlund interviews “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. The Chicago faithful is ELECTRIC! As Piper wears a Cubs hat, he and Giant approach the ring. Practically, the first words out of Piper’s mouth are “God bless Harry Caray.” Piper is nowhere near my favorite wrestler, but I love him just for that. Regardless, Piper talks nonsense while shilling the bat match at the PPV. He then compares Nash to the Titanic. Big with lackluster stamina? Yes, I can see the comparison.
Next, he teases Nash and Hogan about their relationship and announces a match featuring Sting and Luger versus Nash and a partner not named Hogan. He exposes Disciple as “E. Harrison Leslie,” and challenges Hogan for a match TONIGHT. Kayfabe, what’s that? WCW refuses to insult your intelligence. At least this time.
Nitro is sponsored by Valvoline.
Chicago Bulls’ senior VP Irwin Mandel was shown in attendance. For those unaware, he signed Michael Jordan’s paychecks.
Since WCW believes that its fans don’t watch Thunder, they replay the full Nash-Hogan conversation. Give us recappers a break!
Match 2: Saturn (w/ the Flock) versus Fit Finlay
Saturn unleashed some kicks in the corner, gave Finlay a cross corner whip, but ate boot on his follow-through.
As Finlay clotheslined him, he gave Saturn a beating in the corner.
Saturn rebounded with a cross corner whip and followed with a back elbow.
When Saturn reversed an Irish whip, he hooked a T-bone suplex for 2.
Finlay scored with a short-arm clothesline, gave Saturn another cross corner whip, and followed with a shoulder block.
After Finlay scored with a somersault slam, he got 2.
He charged at Saturn but came up empty.
While Saturn hooked a head-and-arm suplex, he secured a Rings of Saturn.
It took a minute, but Finlay submitted at 3:45.
Summary: TOUGH showcase match for Saturn.
After the match, Saturn calls out Goldberg.
At the entrance, Okerlund shills the hotline.
STARBURST ROAD REPORT: Scott Hudson revives the segment formerly orchestrated by Lee Marshall and identifies Tampa, FL as a hotspot for WCW this Thursday despite the lack of TV trucks.
Eric Bischoff leads Hogan and the nWo to the ring. As Hogan challenges Piper, he calls Leslie his “Disciple.” He then mentions Nash and states “I don’t trust you.”
Suddenly, Nash emerges and heads to the ring. Hogan refuses to allow Nash to have an nWo member as a partner, but Nash doesn’t mince words. He has a partner but won’t reveal who it is.
Want a PP-listen? WCW has Malice at the (Ice) Palace on Thursday.
At the entrance, Nitro Girls dance in neon while Schiavone shills the Nitro Party contest.
Prior to the next match, Jericho dedicates it to the “memory of Dean Malenko” before running him down. He’s home playing daddy, not dead.
Match 3 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho (champion) versus Marty Jannetty
Jericho unleashed a series of kicks at the onset, gave Jannetty a cross corner whip, but ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
When Jannetty clotheslined him, he followed with a fist drop.
He powerslammed Jericho and got 2.
As he gave Jericho a cross corner whip, Jannetty followed with a right hand.
Jericho reversed an Irish whip but got his face rammed into the mat.
After Jericho escaped a Rocker Dropper, he hooked a LionTamer.
Jannetty submitted, so Jericho retained at 1:22.
Summary: Showcase match for Jericho who played defense until the end.
After the match, Jericho brings some paperwork and a beverage into the ring. Upon finishing his refreshment, Jericho has a LIST of 1,004 wrestling holds from a dot-matrix printer. Even in 1998, that was old school.
As the second hour begins, Jericho continues his list much to the chagrin of the Chicago faithful.
Match 4: Prince Iaukea versus Glacier
As Iaukea made his entrance, he took the microphone from Jericho and mentioned that Boris Malenko trained him as well as his son Dean. Jericho hightailed it and screamed “I have 200 more.” Great character work!
Glacier’s music began, and Jericho could have continued his list.
When Glacier hooked a belly-to-back suplex, he celebrated on the second turnbuckle.
Iaukea intercepted and supplied him with an electric chair.
After Glacier gave Iaukea a cross corner whip, he came up empty on his follow-through.
Iaukea dropkicked him, but Glacier responded with a kick.
While Iaukea dropkicked him two more times, he followed with a Samoan drop.
Iaukea then attempted a springboard maneuver but got powerslammed.
As Glacier mounted the top turnbuckle, he leaped, but Iaukea caught him.
Iaukea then hooked a Northern Lights suplex and pinned Glacier at 2:03.
Summary: Showcase match for Iaukea who has ONE move.
Among the Chicago faithful, the Nitro Girls dance in silver.
Scott Wilson of Wapakoneta High School won this week’s Nitro Party pack. For those curious, that’s about two hours northwest of Columbus.
Match 5: Juventud Guerrera versus El Dandy
Guerrera delivered a huracanrana followed by a flying headscissors.
When Dandy scored with a clothesline, he gave Guerrera a cross corner whip.
He then blocked a float over and crotched Guerrera on the top rope.
As Guerrera countered a suplex with a rollup, he got 2.
Dandy smacked the bejeezus out of Guerrera and got 2. Guerrera must owe him money.
After he punted Guerrera, Dandy got another 2.
Guerrera escaped Dandy’s clutches and hooked a Juvi Driver.
Guerrera won in 2:56.
Summary: Showcase match for Guerrera.
Match 6: Chavo Guerrero, Jr. versus Kaz Hayashi
Unlike previous weeks, Chavo has a NEW “My favorite wrestler is Eddie Guerrero” t-shirt. Make mine an XL please.
Hayashi leapfrogged Chavo and followed with a flying headscissors.
As he uncorked a spinning heel kick, Hayashi fell victim to a belly-to-back suplex.
Chavo dropkicked him and got 2.
When Hayashi whiffed on a springboard cross body block, Chavo hooked a second belly-to-back suplex for another 2.
Hayashi then countered a rear chin lock with a jawbreaker and landed on his feet during a German suplex attempt.
After Hayashi attempted a huracanrana, Chavo botched it terribly, and both wrestlers fell down to the mat.
Hayashi mounted the top turnbuckle and launched a missile dropkick, secured a German suplex with a bridge, and got 2.
While Chavo reversed an Irish whip, he unraveled a tornado DDT.
Chavo won in 3:51.
Summary: The botch didn’t hurt the match, but the Chicago faithful hit the concession stands for Italian beef.
1-800-COLLECT sponsors the replay.
Prior to the next match, Raven holds the US title belt overhead, slumps in the corner, and cuts a promo on DDP. He extorts his colorful resume and his prior benevolence to DDP. As he continues about his days in “barbed-wire city,” he informs DDP that a ticket to WCW would have been welcomed, but none came forth. He mentions “the Snake” in reference to Jake Roberts. For those unaware, Roberts sued WCW in 1992 for backpay and could not be rehired.
Match 7: Raven (w/ the Flock) versus Buff Bagwell (w/ Scott Norton)
Bagwell hip-tossed Raven, and the Chicago faithful ate it up with a spoon.
When Raven gave Bagwell a cross corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
Bagwell clotheslined him, but DDP sprinted through the Chicago faithful.
As Raven bolted from the ring with the US belt, DDP was hot on his trail.
Referee Scott Dickinson called for the bell, and Bagwell won by countout at 1:40.
Summary: More storyline than match for the Raven/DDP feud.
After the match, DDP joins the broadcast table to cut a promo on Raven. First, he acknowledges that he and Raven “helped each other.” Second, he calls Raven “Scotty” and reveals that Raven had a privileged childhood. Third, he discusses his childhood which wasn’t pretty. Fourth, he describes hardship as “working a 9-5 job that he hates (and) go(ing) to the next job that he hates more just to make it all work.” Also, hardship is “the mom whose old man ran out on her and her 2-3 kids.” Vivid promo with a touch of breaking kayfabe.
Match 8: Disco Inferno versus Kidman (w/ the Flock)
Disco reversed an Irish whip and flapjacked Kidman.
As Disco clotheslined him, Kidman sold it with a 360° flip. Woohoo!
They each tried to hip toss the other until Disco hip-tossed Kidman over the top rope to the floor.
When he joined Kidman on the floor, Disco rammed him face-first into the apron.
From the apron, Kidman unleashed a springboard flying headscissors.
He then supplied Disco with an Acid drop for 2.
After he slammed Disco, Kidman returned to the apron and dealt him a springboard leg drop.
He gave Disco a cross corner whip resulting in a sternum-first bump.
While he clotheslined Disco, Kidman got another 2.
Disco hooked a sunset flip for 2.
As Kidman rebounded with a dropkick, he followed with a sidewalk slam.
Kidman then mounted the top turnbuckle but missed a frog splash.
When Disco scored with an inverted atomic drop, he followed with a back elbow for 2.
He then delivered a swinging neckbreaker for another 2.
After he slammed Kidman, Disco mounted the second turnbuckle but missed a double axe handle.
Kidman gave Disco a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
While Kidman uncorked a spinebuster, he got 2.
Disco then reversed another Irish whip and piledrove Kidman.
Disco won at 5:15.
Summary: Showcase match for Disco, but Kidman’s coming along.
Match 9: Curt Hennig (w/ “Ravishing” Rick Rude) versus Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
Rude joined the broadcast table for this match.
When Neidhart pulled him to the floor, he rammed Hennig back-first into the steel railing.
In the ring, he gave Hennig a HARD cross corner whip to injure the back.
He called out Rude and slammed Hennig.
As he reversed an Irish whip, Neidhart applied a bear hug.
Rude left the broadcast table, sprinted to the ring, and shoved down referee Scott Dickinson.
Afterward, Neidhart caught him in a bear hug until Hennig nailed him.
Dickinson remained OUT COLD, and Rude handcuffed Neidhart to the second rope. How dastardly!
While Hennig and Rude double-teamed Neidhart, the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith stormed the ring to save his brother-in-law.
Brian Adams also joined the fray and piledrove Smith.
When Dickinson regained consciousness, he called for the bell at 2:33.
Summary: More shenanigans between Rude/Hennig and the (WCW can’t call them) the Hart Foundation.
Following that, Adams clocks Dickinson, but Bret hits the ring to clear out the nWo. He grabs the microphone and crows about getting screwed. Again? He needs to leave Julie alone sometimes, ‘cuz he’s just bragging. Anyway, he vows to tear down the nWo “brick by brick” and warns Hogan. A Hogan-Bret match certainly would be PPV-worthy.
Match 10 for the WCW World TV title: Booker T (champion) versus the “Crippler” Chris Benoit
According to Schiavone, Iaukea will challenge Jericho for the Cruiserweight title and Hennig will face Smith at the upcoming PPV.
Booker T reversed an Irish whip and provided Benoit with a spinebuster for 2.
As he slammed Benoit, Booker T followed with a back elbow.
Benoit reversed an Irish whip that resulted in a sternum-first bump by Booker T.
When Benoit hooked a release German suplex, he snap-suplexed Booker T for 2.
Benoit delivered an elbow smash and got another 2.
After he gave Booker T a cross corner whip, Benoit ate boot on his follow-through.
Benoit hit a backbreaker for 2.
While he supplied Booker T with a belly-to-back suplex, he earned another 2.
Benoit dealt a pair of German suplexes to Booker T, and a mid-ring collision occurred.
As Booker T responded with his own belly-to-back suplex, he performed a Spinaroonie.
Booker T unleashed a Harlem side kick, mounted the top turnbuckle, but Benoit caught him.
When Benoit joined him, Booker T sent him down to the mat.
He then attempted a missile dropkick but missed.
After Benoit applied a Crippler Crossface, Booker T grabbed the bottom rope to escape.
The bell rang, and referee Nick Patrick ruled the bout a time-limit draw at 9:34.
Summary: The pieces are coming together for these two as they fight to another draw. Unfortunately, due to the lack of a finish, the Chicago faithful were NOT pleased and voiced it quite frankly.
Nitro Girls dance at the entrance in neon tops and jeans.
Match 11: Ultimo Dragon versus Psicosis
Psicosis escaped a tilt-a-whirl, clotheslined Dragon, and taunted the Flock at ringside.
When Dragon unraveled an Asai moonsault, he got 2.
Dragon then uncorked a huracanrana, but Psicosis used momentum and got 2.
As Psicosis scored with a back elbow, he gave Dragon a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
Dragon hoisted Psicosis atop the top turnbuckle and joined him.
After Psicosis sent him to the mat, he followed with a spinning heel kick.
With Dragon on the floor, Psicosis delivered a tope con hilo. Awesome!
Instantly, the Flock jumped the steel railing and attacked Psicosis.
While referee Charles Robinson called for the bell, Psicosis won by DQ at 2:14.
Summary: Fun while it lasted, but the Psicosis-Flock feud continues.
Plug #2 for the PP-listen.
After the match, Dragon assists Psicosis with fending off the Flock, and they double-dropkick Riggs.
Match 12: Goldberg versus Ray Traylor
Traylor reversed an Irish whip and supplied Goldberg with a spinebuster.
As Goldberg no-sold it, he speared Traylor.
He then hooked a Jackhammer and pinned Traylor at 2:20.
Does Chicago love Goldberg? Oh yeah, they went APESHIT.
Summary: Showcase match for Goldberg. For those unaware, this was Traylor’s last match in WCW except for a squash against Bret Hamner.
After the match, Saturn staggered over the steel railing to challenge Goldberg, but the Flock restrained him.
Nitro is sponsored by Starburst.
Match 13: WCW World champion Sting & the “Total Package” Lex Luger versus “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash & “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Elizabeth)
When Nash made his entrance, he tore his Outsiders shirt to mock Hogan.
Sting and Luger made their entrance, but Savage ambushed Sting in the aisle.
As Savage guillotined him with the steel railing, he piledrove Sting on the floor. Ghastly!
Nash tagged in, but Savage continued to punish Sting in the aisle.
After Savage slammed Sting in the aisle, he tagged in and clotheslined Luger.
Nash tagged in and got 2.
Meanwhile, Savage further pummeled Sting at ringside and made him HIT THE POLE.
Savage then guillotined Luger with the top rope, and Nash gave Luger a cross corner whip followed by a corner clothesline.
When Savage jabbed a chair into Sting’s midsection, he tagged in and provided Luger with a back elbow for 2.
Luger gave Savage a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
As Nash tagged in, Sting finally entered the ring.
All four wrestlers were in the ring, and Sting dealt Savage a series of inverted atomic drops. I’d say poor Elizabeth, but she’s so over him.
After Sting clotheslined him, he backdropped Savage over the top rope to the floor.
Luger rebounded with a clothesline to Nash, but Hogan appeared at ringside.
While Sting made Hogan HIT THE POLE, he delivered a Stinger splash to Savage against the steel railing.
Luger then applied a Torture Rack to Nash, but Disciple jumped in the ring to thwart it.
When referee Charles Robinson got distracted with Sting and Hogan, Disciple hit an Apocalypse to Luger.
He then pulled Nash atop Luger before exiting the ring.
Nash and Savage won at 6:26.
Summary: Entertaining match with great star power albeit lacking in any scientific wrestling. According to Meltzer, Sting suffered a “legit hip injury.”
After the match, Piper emerges and attacks Hogan. Disciple helps Hogan, and they all fight to the backstage area.
Match 14: “Hollywood” Hogan versus “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
The fight erupted through the entrance as Hogan spilled into the aisle.
As Piper supplied Hogan and Disciple with a double noggin knocker, he made Disciple taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Sloppy Pig at Jake Melnick’s.
Piper rammed Hogan face-first into the steps and into Disciple.
When Piper uncorked a combination of blows, Hogan flopped down to the mat.
He then rang Hogan’s bell while the Chicago faithful chanted “Hogan sucks.”
After Hogan took Piper on a trip to the SOUTH side, Piper returned the favor.
Disciple tripped Piper coming off the ropes, dragged him to the floor, and rammed him back-first into the apron. Nefarious!
While Piper hooked a sleeper, Disciple jumped into the ring to break it.
Referee Nick Patrick called for the bell, and Piper won by DQ at 5:05.
Summary: It wasn’t a match but merely a brawl.
Afterward, Disciple delivers an Apocalypse to Piper, and Hogan sends Patrick flying over the top rope to the floor. Nash jogs to ringside and garbage flies into the ring.
As Nash stands Piper up, Hogan aims for Piper but nails Nash instead. Nash shoves Hogan, but Giant approaches ringside. As Giant enters the ring, Nash, Hogan, and Disciple scatter like flies. Giant and Piper stand in the ring while Nash and Hogan jaw at one another to end the show.
Conclusion: Absolutely STACKED show as WCW felt the pressure from a successful WrestleMania. I’m genuinely surprised that they didn’t have a title change of some sort to put it over the top. Nonetheless, the co-main events, Jericho’s character work, and DDP’s promo make this a must-see.