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WCW Thunder 04-16-98

Live from Fargo, ND

Airdate: April 16, 1998

Attendance: 15,362

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

With WCW having its tail between its leg for the first time since June 1996, what big bombs will they prepare on the go-home show for the PPV? What will happen in tonight’s blockbuster main event? Will Booker T and Benoit mend fences or stand firm against one another? What’s new in the saga involving Chavo and Eddie? Let’s pry open this sucker and see what happens!

Opening montage.


Bagwell’s buff and he’s got the stuff.


Match 1: Rick Steiner versus Buff Bagwell (w/ Vincent)


Rating: *

Summary: While the Fargo faithful got a chance to bark, this match had some fleas and was more angle than match.

Afterward, BPP and Bagwell double-team Rick until Lex Luger hits the ring to even the odds.

Thunder is sponsored by Valvoline.

Nash emerges and heads to the ring. While he compares Hogan to a “turd,” Nash proclaims to be the World champion. Next, he cuts a promo on Bret saying, “don’t mess with ‘Big Sexy.’” He informs Hogan to either be his partner at the PPV or die trying. He finishes by running down Giant and promotes the main event.

We revisit Bret advising Savage to leave the nWo behind.

Promotional consideration paid for by the following: Slim Jim.

We revisit 60 Seconds with Goldberg.

Match 2: Goldberg versus Barry Darsow


Rating: **

Summary: Showcase match for Goldberg who is 73-0.

THUNDERBURST SLAM OF THE NIGHT: Goldberg’s spear and Jackhammer of Darsow. Without question, Goldberg’s a SMASH hit.

Video airs featuring the feud between DDP and Raven.

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews JJ Dillon who declares that there will be a US title match on Nitro. Well, that’s not news. Nonetheless, either DDP or Raven will defend against…Goldberg. Hmmm…someone’s not happy they lost the ratings battle on Monday.

Match 3 for the WCW World TV title: Booker T (champion) versus Rick Fuller


Rating: **½

Summary: Booker T gave Fuller some offense but prevailed to the delight of the Fargo faithful.

Video airs revisiting the Hogan/Nash/Savage power struggle.

At the entrance, Schiavone announces that Luger and Rick will face BPP and Bagwell at the PPV. Before Schiavone can speak further, BPP and Bagwell object. BPP threatens not to show up. Hmmm…ask Flair about doing that.

Match 4: The “Crippler” Chris Benoit versus Scott “Flash” Norton (w/ Vincent)


Rating: **

Summary: The psychology and story were there, but the Fargo faithful wasn’t buying it.

After the match, Norton and Vincent double-team Benoit until Booker T makes the save. Despite receiving his assistance, Benoit shoves Booker T down just like Monday. For those unaware, they’ll face one another at the PPV.

We revisit Bret calling Nash and Hogan names.

On WCW Saturday Night, Barbarian faces Reese. Seriously?

In the ring, Schiavone interviews Piper and Giant. Piper rides Giant to the ring like an amusement park ride and cuts a promo on Hogan and Nash.

Match 5: Curt Hennig (w/ “Ravishing” Rick Rude) versus Super Calo


Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for Hennig.

Match 6 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho (champion) versus Chavo Guerrero, Jr. (w/ Eddie Guerrero)


Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for Jericho as Eddie purposefully cost Chavo a chance at glory.

After the match, Eddie covers his head with a towel in feigned embarrassment. Suddenly, Prince Iaukea storms the ring and WAFFLES Jericho with a scale. He follows Jericho to the floor and hammers him again with it. While Iaukea chases Jericho backstage, Eddie pulls a “McFly” on Chavo. He offers Chavo a way out if he beats Ultimo Dragon at the PPV. However, if Chavo loses, Eddie “will ride (Chavo) twice as hard.” Does Eddie think he’s in a Black Crowes video?

1-800-COLLECT sponsors the replay.

Next, “Hollywood” Hogan along with Eric Bischoff and Disciple, approaches the ring to a chorus of canned boos. Hogan cuts a promo on Nash and declares the World title “mine.” As the Fargo faithful chants “Hogan sucks,” their nemesis vows to get his belt back. Immediately, some cornball nails him with a plastic cup.

More Bret! He wants the World title, but can he get a “fair shot”?

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Dillon again. Dillon confirms the Bagwell/BPP versus Rick/Luger match at the PPV. Next, he addresses Savage’s current condition, and Savage must have a doctor’s release to compete. Speaking of Savage, he and Elizabeth emerge, and Savage, with serious bags under his eyes, proclaims that Hogan ran him over. Dillon doesn’t have concrete proof but requires the clearance and “no cast” for Savage to work the main event at the PPV. What about tonight?

Match 7: Giant (w/ “Rowdy” Roddy Piper) versus Brian Adams (w/ Vincent)


Rating: DUD

Summary: Waste of time. Why not just nix this match and add the time to the main event?

Afterward, the nWo storms the ring, but Giant fights them off with Piper’s approval.

Video airs featuring Raven.

Thunder Is sponsored by Starburst.

Match 8: Saturn (w/ Kidman) versus Silver King


Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for Saturn.

Video airs featuring DDP.

In the ring, Schiavone interviews DDP who cuts a promo on Goldberg. When he turns his attention to Raven, DDP’s not looking past him but will “get what’s mine.”

Even more Bret! He’s mad with respect of some guys but mostly Sting.

Match 9: “Macho Man” Randy Savage & “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash (w/ Elizabeth) versus Sting & Bret “Hitman” Hart


Rating: **½

Summary: Savage came THIS close to pinning the World champion, but will he have the opportunity to do the same on Sunday?

After the match, Hogan and Disciple enter the ring, and Hogan tries to rebreak Savage’s broken arm with the ring post. Nash forcibly stops Hogan, and the nWo separates them.

Conclusion: The saga between Nash and Hogan dominates the show while Savage appears to have Sting’s number. The PPV was heavily hyped with the following matches:

  1. Goldberg versus Saturn
  2. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. versus Ultimo Dragon
  3. For the World TV title, Booker T defends against Chris Benoit.
  4. Curt Hennig versus the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
  5. For the Cruiserweight title, Jericho defends against Prince Iaukea.
  6. Big Poppa Pump/ Buff Bagwell versus Rick Steiner/ Lex Luger
  7. La Parka versus Psicosis
  8. Kevin Nash and “Hollywood” Hogan versus “Rowdy” Roddy Piper & Giant (bat match)
  9. For the US title, DDP defends against Raven.
  10. For the World title, Sting defends against “Macho Man” Randy Savage.

Methinks WCW should have spent more time on Monday hyping the PPV rather than this show.

Stay tuned for WCW Spring Stampede ‘98!

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

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