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WCW Thunder 03-19-98

Live from Terre Haute, IN

Airdate: March 19, 1998

Attendance: 6,814 (6,489 paid, sold out)

Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, & Lee Marshall

Can Rick Steiner upend Hennig? Will Jericho lose the Cruiserweight title? How will Benoit fare against Norton? And what’s going on with the US title? Let’s find out!

Opening montage.

Prior to the opening match, Jericho runs down Terre Haute or as he put it “Terry Hut.” Luckily, he didn’t call it Jabba.

Match 1 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho (champion) versus Super Calo


Rating: ***

Summary: Calo gave it his all, but Jericho was that much better.

On WCW Saturday Night, DDP and Benoit square off against Saturn and Hammer. Get all this!

Match 2: El Dandy versus Kendall Windham


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Windham.

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Hennig along with Rude who states that he “got the job done” by getting rid of Bret. Rude then refers to Bret as the “Zitman.” HA!

Match 3: Saturn (w/ Lodi) versus La Parka


Rating: *½

Summary: When the announcers react to your botch, it’s time to either stop leapfrogging or work on it.

We then head to MTV Live, and DDP and Raven trade smack while Raven’s audio goes SOUTH. While Raven gives a short soliloquy on the CRTV, he attacks DDP from behind with a STOP sign. He then DDTs DDP through the US title belt and coffee table before heisting the belt.

Match 4: Ray Traylor versus Barry Darsow


Rating: **

Summary: Solid psychology from Darsow, but one fatal mistake cost him.

Since it’s March, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper will return to WCW this Monday on Nitro.

Match 5: Prince Iaukea versus Yuji Nagata (w/ Sonny Onoo)


Rating: *

Summary: Nagata’s stock is dropping fast as Iaukea chalks up another victory.

We then revisit the PPV from last Sunday when Giant won by DQ. Next, we revisit Nitro when Nash performed a cannonball. Since Hall is on hiatus, his trip to the pool is not shown.

Match 6: Brian Adams versus Marty Jannetty


Rating: ½*

Summary: Jannetty sold extremely well, but the bigger Adams stopped him in his tracks.

We then revisit Nitro when Sting rappelled from a helicopter down to the ring. Since WCW has spent a lot of money on it, they want to ensure that you’ve seen it. On an episode of Legends of Wrestling, Mick Foley takes Eric Bischoff to task for his overacting during that segment. HA!

via Gfycat

Match 7: Eddie Guerrero versus Psicosis


Rating: ***

Summary: Good match with plenty of high-flying, workrate, and psychology.

Match 8: Raven (w/ the Flock) versus Brad Armstrong


Rating: NONE

Summary: Mere backdrop for a Raven promo.

Video airs featuring Bret. At least it wasn’t six to eight minutes.

Match 9: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit versus Scott Norton (w/ Vincent)


Rating: *½

Summary: The advantage of having Vincent kept Norton from losing. It appears that Benoit’s push has stalled.

Match 10: Goldberg versus Wayne Bloom


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Goldberg who is allegedly 56-0.

After the match, Saturn jumps the railing, but Raven holds him back.

Starburst sponsors the replay.

Match 11: Curt Hennig (w/ “Ravishing” Rick Rude) versus the “Dog-Faced Gremlin” Rick Steiner (w/ Ted DiBiase)


Rating: DUD

Summary: More storyline than match as you will see.

Afterward, Rude enters the ring to stomp Rick, but DiBiase also enters to fight with him. Hennig nails DiBiase down US-150 SOUTH, and the nWo double-teams Rick. When Rude exits to further inflict pain upon DiBiase, Rick reverses an Irish whip by Hennig and hooks an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. More members of the nWo minus Scott Steiner storm the ring to assist Hennig. Are we seeing another nWo beatdown to end a WCW telecast?

Suddenly, Traylor hits the ring to aid Rick, but the nWo subdues him immediately. While Rude punishes Traylor, DiBiase and Vincent rekindle their feud from earlier in the decade. Rude then helps Vincent by choking out DiBiase.

As if an alarm went off backstage, Goldberg rushes to the ring, vaults over the top rope and spears both Hennig and Adams simultaneously. Norton tries to attack Goldberg but gets speared. As Goldberg returns backstage on his own, Traylor and Rick keep the nWo at bay to end the show.

Conclusion: Since WCW knew they couldn’t top Sting’s rappelling from a helicopter, they did the next best thing—sic Goldberg upon the now. While this episode held some competitive matches, it holds zero historical value. Check out the main event for the Goldberg save, but skip the rest.

TV Rating: 3.80

Stay tuned for WCW Monday Nitro 03-23-98!

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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