Become a Patron!

WCW Thunder 05-21-98

Live from Cleveland, OH

Airdate: May 21, 1998

Attendance: 11,006 (9,301 paid, sold out)

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

What’s the deal with Jericho? For that matter, what’s new with Eddie, Raven, the World TV title, the US title, and Savage? Can WCW pull off a memorable Memorial Day weekend show? Let’s go in and find out!

Opening montage.

Schiavone stands in the ring to interview Giant. As Giant wears both belts during his entrance, he places them on each of Schiavone’s shoulders. HA! He believes that Sting “is nWo all the way with me.” Abruptly, Luger emerges to interrupt him. Unless he’s got food…never mind. Regardless, Luger disputes Giant’s claims about Sting and declares that he’s not doubting Sting ever again.

When Luger challenges him to a match TONIGHT, Giant offers him a chance to join nWo Hollywood. Luger supplies the same answer as Sting—spitting in Giant’s face. For no reason whatsoever, the lower card wrestlers storm the ring, and Giant chokeslams Evan Karagis. He double-clotheslines Damian and Ciclope, gorilla-presses Silver King, and tosses him onto Damian and Ciclope, Next, he powerbombs El Dandy, catches Villano IV, powerslams him, and accepts Luger’s challenge. What a workout!

Match 1: Ernest “The Cat” Miller versus Yuji Nagata (w/ Sonny Onoo)


Rating: *

Summary: Surprise victory for Miller as he overcame Nagata’s psychology to score the upset, but does Cleveland care?

On WCW Saturday Night, ahh…forget about it. NOTHING happens. It’s Memorial Day weekend.

We revisit the post-PPV interview from Malenko as well as Jericho’s immaturity at its peak.

Prior to the next match, Jericho grabs the microphone claiming a conspiracy citing historical examples (e.g. JFK assassination). He feigns crying and blames both the WCW brass and wrestlers. As he summons JJ Dillon, Jericho acknowledges the list of cruiserweight wrestlers from the battle royal at the PPV specifically lacking Malenko. He wants to be reinstated as Cruiserweight champion immediately.

Match 2: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho versus Super Calo


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Jericho as Calo injured himself and needed a quick ride home.

Castrol GTX sponsors the replay.

We revisit the Raven-Mortis storyline including the fan who pulled Raven out of the ring by his hair and Mortis’ mask removal at the PPV.

Raven along with his riot squad head to the ring. While Raven calls him out for his selfishness, Saturn approaches the ring. Saturn rebuts that he’s never been a member of the Flock but instead a friend to Raven. As he demands that Raven never “boss (him) around,” Raven apologizes.

Raven turns his attention to Mortis who slowly walks to the ring. When the riot squad attacks him, a “fan” in a long blond wig jumps the railing, enters the ring, and deals Raven a Flatliner. The Flock jumps to Raven’s aid, but the “fan” scampers backstage. Yes, the real Mortis was the second guy.

THIS JUST IN: According to Meltzer, the initial “Mortis” was Dale Torborg, son of longtime MLB manager Jeff Torborg. Methinks this won’t be the last time we see him in WCW.

Thunder is sponsored by Burger King.

Match 3 for the WCW World TV title: Fit Finlay (champion) versus Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart


Rating: ½*

Summary: Showcase match for Finlay who should use 10-10-321 due to his phoning it in.

At the entrance, Schiavone introduces the #1 contender to the World TV title—Booker T. Instead of Booker T, Chris Benoit emerges in street clothes. He disputes the rankings and wants to talk to whomever made the decision. As Booker T emerges all decked out, he respects Benoit but requests his interview time. Benoit acquiesces.

Or so we thought as Benoit ambushes Booker T from behind.Evil! WCW Security Director Doug Dellinger shoos Benoit away, but STEVIE RAY RETURNS! When Stevie Ray dresses his brother down, he encourages Booker T to go after Benoit. Wow! The last time I saw Stevie Ray was the 1/5 Nitro at the Georgia Dome.

We revisit Nitro when Hollywood Hogan introduces Scott Hall as a member of nWo Hollywood.

Match 4: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan versus Brian Adams (w/ Vincent)


Rating: *½

Summary: What a crock! Cleveland finally gets a match with someone they like, and WCW throws a curve ball bullshit finish onto the match.

Afterward, Adams and Vincent try to double-team Duggan, but Adams inadvertently boots Vincent from the apron down to the floor. Duggan slams Adams and hits the three-point stance clothesline. When Robinson distracts Duggan, Adams takes advantage and slams Duggan. Vincent tosses Duggan’s 2x4 to Adams. As Robinson tries to deter him, Adams wildly swings the 2x4 yet misses Robinson by a country mile. Duggan clotheslines Adams and takes his board while nWo Hollywood flees.

In case you didn’t know, WCW Monday Nitro returns to its normal timeslot next week.

Match 5: Saturn versus Hammer


Rating: *

Summary: More storyline than match as the Raven-Saturn “friendship” saga continues. BTW, Saturn has shaved all his hair off whereas he used to have a decent amount of hair beforehand.

Rick Rude emerges and refers to the Cleveland faithful as “fat, out-of-shape, Ohio idiots.” HA! Nonetheless, he introduces Curt Hennig as the “next US…champion.” Rude clarifies that his allegiance is to Hennig more than the nWo. As Hennig mentions Goldberg’s name, the “Ohio idiots” ROAR. Hennig cuts a promo on Goldberg and calls him out RIGHT NOW. After a brief moment, Hennig changes his mind and challenges Goldberg to a match at the upcoming PPV. That ignites a small GOLDBERG chant, but it doesn’t last long.

Normally, I don’t mention WCW on-sale dates, but Schiavone shills WCW Monday Nitro returning to Atlanta at the Georgia Dome on July 6. Hmmm…I wonder what happens at THAT show.

Match 6: Juventud Guerrera versus Horace (w/ Lodi)


Rating: ½*

Summary: Perhaps this is the Flock’s comeback show, but nobody cares.

Thunder is sponsored by Burger King. What? No Arby’s?

Normally, I don’t comment on the broadcast team on camera telling stories, but a fan tossed concessions over Schiavone’s shoulder onto the broadcast table to protest how AWFUL this show is.

We revisit Nitro when Piper called out Savage to reverse the decision of the PPV main event, yet Bret protested the verdict. Hogan and Bischoff had to convince Bret to wait for the PPV to beat up Piper and Savage.

Speaking of Savage, he and Elizabeth emerge to a decent ovation. He’s pumped for the upcoming PPV, still has the previous PPV in his head, and elevates the hatred for Bret and Hogan over the mutual hatred between Piper and himself. Notwithstanding, he feels that Piper’s apology from Monday was “weak” and is willing to beat a genuine apology out of him. He dismisses the ICON label in favor of Macho Madness. Yeah, get that crap outta here!

In a pre-taped interview, Abuela de Guerrero sits next to Chavito and speaks en español. Before Chavo can translate, Eddie interrupts and intentionally misquotes her. That Eddie is truly a card.

Prior to the next match, Eddie grabs the microphone and begins to talk. Chavo interrupts saying he wants the match and starts an “Ed-die” chant from the Cleveland faithful. A confused Eddie heads to the floor.

Match 7 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Eddie Chavo Guerrero, Jr. (w/ Eddie Guerrero)


Rating: *

Summary: Obviously, this was more storyline than match, but it should have been the other way around.

After the match, Eddie towel-whips and slaps Chavo. When Eddie dares Chavo to hit him, Chavo kisses and nails him. Seeing a new and improved Chavo, the Cleveland faithful rejoices. If only this had ended the show…

Match 8: Giant versus the “Total Package” Lex Luger


Rating: DUD

Summary: THIS is the main event?

After the match, Luger dispatches “Sting” over the top rope down to the floor but suffers a CHOKESLAM from Giant. With both “Sting” and Giant in the ring, Giant drapes an nWo Hollywood t-shirt over Luger. The broadcast team at first believes it’s the real Sting but smartens up quickly.

Conclusion: In case you didn’t know, ECW was holding a show the next night in Cleveland albeit at the Masonic Temple Auditorium. WCW purposefully scheduled this taping to screw with ECW. It didn’t work as the ECW show was sold out with 2,215 fans.

As far as the show goes…

No Sting, Hogan, Piper, or Goldberg = NO BUYS. Holy shit! What a HORRIBLE thing to do not only to the live Cleveland faithful but also the Thunder viewing audience.

Reminder to current wrestling promotions with TV shows. Please don’t take advantage of your paying customers. If you give them a good show, they’ll pay to see you when you schedule another show.


Stay tuned for WCW Monday Nitro 05-25-98!

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

Custom Search

web counter
web counter