WCW Thunder 01-15-98
Live from Lakeland, FL
Airdate: January 15, 1998
Attendance: 5,384 (3,689 paid)
Hosted by “Iron” Mike Tenay, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, & “Stagger” Lee Marshall
DDP and Luger face Nash and Savage, but will Nash and Savage get along? Speaking of Nash, will he and Giant confront each other? Also, Mysterio challenges Guerrera for the Cruiserweight title. Let the thunder rumble!
NITRO RECAP: Performance bonds! Hot-shot entertainment lawyers! Matching funds! Sounds like a business meeting at a country club, no?
In the ring, Tony Schiavone interviews Giant. In case you missed it, Giant will face Kevin Nash at Souled Out ‘98 on 1/24. Not surprisingly, Giant wants to lend a hand to Nash via the CHOKESLAM. Yet surprisingly, Lodi the nimrod walks around ringside carrying a sign that favors Nash. What do you think will happen to him?
After Giant grabs and destroys Lodi’s sign, Lodi moronically gets up on the apron. As you’d expect, Giant CHOKESLAMS him from the apron into the ring.
To stand behind their misguided friend, the Flock begins their assault on Giant. First, Sick Boy attempts a springboard move only to get caught and CHOKESLAMMED. Second, Hammer gets up on the apron, so Giant knocks him silly and makes him eat the steel railing in the process. It must have tasted like the waffle brunch burger at Smokey Bones. Third, Kidman and Riggs double-dropkick Giant to no avail leading to Riggs’ eating a CHOKESLAM. Fourth, Saturn jumps on Giant’s back only to get SQUISHED in the corner. Fifth, Kidman attempts a cross body block, but Giant catches, presses, and tosses him to Hammer in the front row.
While Giant celebrates his destruction of the Flock, Nash enters the ring with a cup of coffee. He must have eaten some fried alligator to need coffee at this hour. Regardless, Nash, wearing a Syxx t-shirt, berates Giant who refuses to touch him. When Giant refuses to touch him, Nash splashes his coffee in Giant’s face. How dastardly! A seething Giant contemplates retaliation before returning backstage.
NITRO RECAP #2: Nash lips off about Savage. Later, Savage wants to know what he said. Dillon fines Savage who FLIPS HIS LID. During the main event, Savage inadvertently screws the Steiners out of the World tag team titles.
We then see footage that happened after Nitro left the air. Savage slaps Nash in the face, and Hogan restrains Nash from going after Savage.
Match 1: The Steiners & Ray Traylor (w/ Ted DiBiase) versus Gedo, Black Cat, & Ohara
Summary: Showcase match for the Steiners and Traylor as Scott’s selfishness continues.
After the match, Scott pie-faces Jay as the seeds are firmly planted. When will they grow?
Promotional consideration paid for by: Slim Jim.
On WCW Saturday Night, Steiners face Scott “Flash” Norton and Vincent. Get your franks and beans ready for that barnburner!
Match 2: Yuji Nagata (w/ Sonny Onoo) versus Ernest “The Cat” Miller
Summary: Solid victory for Miller over a quality opponent. Nagata cost himself by being saucy.
After the match, Onoo enters the ring and lands a kick. Miller responds with a pair of kicks to send Onoo reeling to the floor.
Snickers sponsors the replay. In the meantime, Heenan, er, snickers. HA!
At the entrance, Schiavone interviews chairman of the WCW Executive Committee JJ Dillon. After he mentions a “mugging,” Dillon’s microphone cuts out. Since they don’t recognize the audio malfunction, DDP hobbles out with a crutch. Despite his “injury,” DDP plans to be in the main event. Dillon disagrees, so DDP agrees not to sue. In fact, he subtly asks for a waiver.
Louie Spicolli comes to the ring without his lucky t-shirt from last week. When Scott Hall approaches the ring, he performs his survey. Of course, the sheep of Lakeland chants “n-W-o.” He then questions Spicolli who reveals that he’ll be 27 “next month.” Cue haunting music. Nevertheless, Spicolli oozes markdom for the nWo while Larry Zbyszko heads to the ring.
Zbyszko advises Spicolli not to follow the nefariousness of Hall and the nWo. After Hall goads Zbyszko into the ring, Spicolli nails Zbyszko from behind. WE HAVE A NEW MEMBER OF THE nWo! When Spicolli holds him, Hall charges, but Zbyszko backdrops him over the top rope to the floor. Spicolli stands dumbfounded until Zbyszko scores with a spinning savate kick. That sends Spicolli down to the floor alongside Hall. The Lakeland faithful chants “Lar-ry” as the segment ends.
NITRO RECAP #3: Jericho gets planted by a Mongo tombstone and becomes two-faced. Afterward, he demolishes Mysterio to cement a heel turn.
Prior to the next match, Jericho grabs the microphone, refers to himself as a “paragon of virtue,” and lies to us again.
Match 3: Eddie Guerrero versus “Lionheart” Chris Jericho
Summary: Decent counter-wrestling by both wrestlers told a good story en route to a Jericho victory.
NITRO RECAP #4: Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart debuts but pisses off Flair.
Chavo Guerrero heads to the ring, and Disco Inferno follows. After Disco insults him, Chavo cuts a promo on him. He then disses Disco’s name along with his wardrobe before telling him to return to the “Copacabana.” Yikes! Bigotry aside, Disco scores with a Chartbuster while Goldberg heads to the ring. Disco tries to leave but eats a spear instead. Afterward, Goldberg jackhammers Disco to end the segment.
We then revisit last week’s show when the World title was held in abeyance.
Hogan and Eric Bischoff head to the ring and want the World title belt back.
Promotional consideration paid for by: Slim Jim.
Match 4 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Juventud Guerrera (champion) versus Rey Mysterio, Jr.
Summary: Awesome match with a ton of both high-flying, counter-wrestling, and psychology. Bravo, gentlemen!
NITRO RECAP #5: Elizabeth conned Luger into a Savage attack followed by her own slap.
Match 5: Diamond Dallas Page & the “Total Package” Lex Luger versus “Macho Man” Randy Savage & Kevin Nash (w/ Elizabeth & “Hollywood” Hogan)
Summary: Good story that had the Lakeland faithful on its feet, but the eventual nWo run-in soured the main event again.
After the match, Sting sprints into the ring and helps Giant and Luger clear out the nWo to finish the show on a good note.
Conclusion: Dissension within the nWo festers while Mysterio earns his third Cruiserweight title. Also, Jericho earns a shot against him by defeating Guerrero. Spicolli inserts himself between Zbyszko and Hall and earns his comeuppance. Scott Steiner’s turn progresses while Giant and Nash go face-to-face instead of toe-to-toe. Overall, it’s a fun show with an historical title change.
Stay tuned for WWF Royal Rumble ‘98!
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