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WCW Thunder 05-27-98

Live from Nashville, TN

Airdate: May 27, 1998

Attendance: 6,242

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

Can Bret convince Sting to be on his side? Or will Nash have a different opinion? Who will win the second of the best-of-seven series between Benoit and Booker T? What’s going on between Raven and Saturn? Does Jericho have something up his sleeve this week? Drop whatever you’re doing and let’s go!

Opening montage.

Bret shuffles to the ring and grabs the microphone. As he subtly refers to the Montreal screwjob, his Canadian accent sneaks into his voice. Bret mentions Sting and empathizes with his situation in WCW.

Match 1: Barbarian (w/ Jimmy Hart & Hugh Morrus) versus Jim Powers


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Barbarian. Meanwhile, Meng is returning to WCW.

Slim Jim sponsors the replay.

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews “Lionheart” Chris Jericho. Wearing a Rey Mysterio t-shirt, Jericho apologizes to JJ Dillon. He requests Dillon to join him, but Schiavone informs him that Dillon isn’t at the arena. To demonstrate his frustration, Jericho has Schiavone hold up a CONSPIRACY VICTIM sign pointing at Jericho. He insults Dillon with zeal and advises him that he’ll find “evidence” on Monday at Nitro to reinstate him as Cruiserweight champion.

We revisit Nitro when Luger saves Nash’s bacon and joins the nWo Wolfpack. Afterward, Luger and Sting defeat Giant and “Sting,” but Sting waffles about joining too.

Match 2: The “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart versus High Voltage


Rating: **½

Summary: Showcase match for the Hart in-laws, but High Voltage was game by bringing the heel schtick. Also, the tag formula was implemented, and Rage wasn’t afraid to leave his feet.

Schiavone plugs WCW Monday Nitro at the Georgia Dome on 7/6. What are they actually hyping?

nWo Wolfpack heads to the ring to their new theme music. When Luger grabs the microphone, he believes he didn’t turn his back on WCW yet mentions jumping on the party bus before it rolls away. The Nashville faithful responds with a healthy “Wolf-pack” chant, and my heart warms. Next, he wants to recruit Sting to the Wolfpack and talks directly to him about joining. He runs down Bret while singing his new group’s praises.

Match 3: Glacier versus Hammer


Rating: DUD

Summary: More storyline than match as Saturn got the better of Glacier.

After the match, Hammer grabs Saturn, but Raven inserts himself into the fray. Raven PLANTS Hammer with an Even Flow DDT while Saturn decimates Glacier with a Death Valley Driver. Raven grabs the microphone and begs Saturn for a partnership. While the communication goes back-and-forth, Saturn ultimately shakes Raven’s hand.

Suddenly, Raven signals Mortis out as a popcorn vendor. Upon grabbing the vendor, Saturn realizes it’s not Mortis. Raven summons him again, but Saturn discovers the guy isn’t Mortis either. Immediately, a guy in a construction outfit BRAINS Raven with a metal tray. Although Saturn can’t catch him, Raven is OUT COLD.

Match 4 (best-of-seven #2): The “Crippler” Chris Benoit versus Booker T


Rating: ****

Summary: Better than the Nitro match as the high-flying moves hit paydirt this time. The Nashville faithful got behind Booker T but let Benoit know they were NOT in his corner unlike Evansville. Booker T tied up the series 1-1. Bravo, gentlemen!

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Benoit who cuts a meaningful promo on Booker T.

Match 5 for the WCW World TV title: Fit Finlay (champion) versus Brad Armstrong


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Finlay, but the Nashville faithful was having NONE OF IT.

We revisit Nitro when Bret tried to manipulate Savage and Piper in an effort to split them up.

Match 6: Saturn versus Barry Darsow


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Saturn, but Darsow was prepared with the arm psychology.

Match 7 for the WCW US title: Goldberg (champion) versus Barry Horowitz


Rating: *

Summary: STRONG reaction to Goldberg from the Nashville faithful as Goldberg tacks another victim onto his winning streak.

Schiavone plugs WCW Saturday Night with match #3 of the best-of-seven between Booker T and Benoit.

nWo Hollywood emerges and heads to the ring. To a chorus of boos, Bret claims to be trustworthy. He compares himself to Sting and runs down nWo Wolfpack. Next, he believes that the black and white are “Sting’s true colors.”

nWo Wolfpack music hits, and they emerge at the entrance. As Nash maintains that Sting should be in his group, Bret continues to run them down. A brawl ensues in the aisle as the show ends.

Conclusion: Rather than have a lackluster main event, WCW chose to have no main event whatsoever but install a gang fight between nWo factions.

Obviously, the Benoit-Booker T match is a no-brainer to recommend. Also, the Raven-Saturn drama combined with Jericho’s schtick stand out as highlights.

Speaking of highlights…

BONUS MATCH (best of seven #3): The “Crippler Chris Benoit versus Booker T


Rating: **

Summary: You can tell this match was out of sequence due to the limited amount of back-and-forth countering. While there is some, it’s not enough to compare to the first two matches in the series. Benoit holds a 2-1 lead with match #4 on Nitro.

Rating: 3.21

Stay tuned for WWF Over the Edge ‘98!

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

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