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WCW Thunder 06-04-98

Live from Peoria, IL

Airdate: June 4, 1998

Attendance: 8,825 (8,559 paid, sold out)

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

Will something historic occur in the main event? Who will win in the next chapter between Benoit and Booker T? What’s going on with Saturn? Does Jericho get his title back this week? Let’s open this baby up and see what’s inside!

Opening montage.

Prior to the opening match, we revisit the previous four matches of the series. Benoit leads 3-1.

Match 1 (best-of-seven #5): The “Crippler” Chris Benoit versus Booker T


Rating: ****

Summary: Another solid match to add to their list. Booker T inches closer as the series stands at 3-2.

Giant approaches the ring wearing both World tag title belts around his waist. As he grabs the microphone, Giant dictates to Sting that “red and black are not (his) colors.” Objecting to getting slammed on Nitro, Giant selects his new partner—Brian Adams.

Speaking of Adams, he enters the ring to receive a World tag title belt. He states that he and Giant are fighting champions, and Giant calls out Luger along wiith “any partner (he) want(s).”

On WCW Saturday Night, Giant squares off against Konnan.

Match 2: Van Hammer versus Reese (w/ the Flock)


Rating: DUD

Summary: With the Flock nearby, Hammer never stood a chance.

After the match, the Flock enters the ring and attacks Hammer. Suddenly, Juventud Guerrera storms the ring and clears the Flock out of there. Before Reese can unload upon Guerrera, Hammer saves his bacon and gets him the flock out of there.

Prior to the next match, Eddie grabs the microphone and is concerned about his nephew Chavo. In fact, he states that he scheduled Chavo for an appointment with a psychiatrist.

Match 3: Eddie Guerrero versus “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright


Rating: NONE

Summary: Not really a match more than just storyline progression.

Afterward, a crazed Chavo mimics Wright for a brief moment then scares the living daylights out of Eddie causing him to flee. Chavo’s overacting is beyond comprehension as his mood swings change from one moment to the next.

In the ring, Schiavone interviews Luger who’s ecstatic that Sting has joined the Wolfpack. He’s been assigned as “head of recruitment” for the Wolfpack. Next, he accepts the Giant’s challenge for the World tag titles tonight. Who will be his partner? It “might be a surprise,” but Luger wants DDP to join him. Upon pitching the tag titles to DDP, Luger also offers a “red and black shirt.” Oh my!

We revisit the finish to the opener when Booker T earned victory #2 in the series thanks to his brother’s influence.

Match 4 for the WCW World TV title: Fit Finlay (champion) versus Psicosis


Rating: ½*

Summary: This guy’s as dull as dishwater. At least Psicosis busted out a high-flying maneuver.

“Iron” Mike Tenay joined the broadcast table.

Next, we revisit Nitro when Luger told Sting to “take the step.” Afterward, Hogan spews his jargon before we see the ending to the main event followed by Sting’s magnificent entrance and decision.

Match 5: Saturn (w/ Lodi) versus Glacier


Rating: **

Summary: More storyline than match as the Saturn/Kanyon match at the PPV gains some momentum.

Hennig hobbles out to the entrance on crutches and polls the Peoria faithful about Goldberg. It earns an expected favorable response. Next, he asks if they want to see Goldberg kick his “address from one end of this arena to the other.” An even bigger response is generated from the Peoria faithful.

Nonetheless, Hennig states that it’ll be “two more weeks” until he’s cleared to wrestle. He puts over Konnan who joins him. As Konnan substitutes for him at the PPV, he grants Hennig “the first opportunity” upon winning the US title from Goldberg. For some reason, Konnan feels cheesy as he mentions cheddar.

Match 6 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Silver King


Rating: NONE

Summary: Mere back drop for the Malenko-Jericho storyline.

Regardless, Jericho has obtained an NWA rule book from 1934. Uh, the NWA was founded in 1948. Where’d he get this cookbook? He quotes that “a champion has the first right of refusal over any challenger.” Since Jericho didn’t consent to have Malenko in the battle royal, Malenko’s “not the champion anymore.”

He calls out Dillon to make it official. When Dillon doesn’t answer, Jericho demands his belt back. He berates Malenko stooping so low to mention his father again, so Malenko, in lieu of returning the belt, CLOBBERS him with it. Complaining about his head, Jericho claims to seek “the highest authority” to get the belt returned.

Match 7: Raven versus Disco Inferno


Rating: *

Summary: Short Raven’s-rules match where Disco may have been game but quickly became fodder.

After the match, Raven calls out Kanyon even going so far as to lay down on the mat.

Prior to the next match, Schiavone mentions the untimely passing of Junkyard Dog (1952-1998). He died in a single-car accident on June 1. RIP Sylvester Ritter.

Match 8 for the WCW US title: Goldberg (champion) versus Hugh Morrus (w/ Barbarian & Jimmy Hart)


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Goldberg who’s now 95-0.

Luger makes his entrance alone…until DDP arrives.

Match 9 for the WCW World tag team titles: Giant & Brian Adams (champions) versus the “Total Package” Lex Luger & Diamond Dallas Page


Rating: **

Summary: Now THIS is what you do with star power for the main event. But will the decision stand?

After the match, JJ Dillon calls in to announce that Giant has NO authority to neither name partners nor book championship matches. Therefore, Giant will face Sting at the PPV, and the winner will be a World tag team champion and can name whomever as his partner. DDP and Luger GOT SCREWED!

Conclusion: Exciting main event bookended by a sensational opener makes this episode a solid thumbs-up from me. Let’s hope WCW doesn’t keep screwing over the paying customer in the future.

Stay tuned for WCW Monday Nitro 06-08-98!

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

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