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WCW Thunder 06-11-98

Live from Buffalo, NY

Airdate: June 11, 1998

Attendance: 15,393 (13,255 paid, sold out)

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

Giant chooses a partner and challenges someone for the main event, but who will he be? Who wins the (final?) match in the best-of-seven series? How will Guerrera fare against Kidman? Cover your ears because some serious Thunder is headed your way!

Opening montage.

As the fireworks explode, members of nWo Hollywood are seated by the entrance on a black limousine.

The broadcast team talk about DDP until Marshall gets cut off by Nitro highlights of DDP’s destruction.

Suddenly, Eric Bischoff interrupts and states that former Buffalo quarterback “Jim Kelly is here.” Giant cuts a promo on Sting and names Disciple as his new partner. While he challenges the Wolfpack to a tag match tonight, he almost refers to Disciple as “Brutus.”

Thunder is sponsored by Valvoline.

Match 1 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: Dean Malenko (champion) versus Riggs


Rating: *

Summary: Clash of styles here as Riggs appeared lost. I’ll give credit that they made numerous pin attempts to try to tell a story, but the Buffalo faithful wasn’t listening.

Video featuring Goldberg airs.

At the entrance, Chris Jericho, wearing a Rey Mysterio t-shirt, again requests “Jo-Jo Dillon” to appear to return the Cruiserweight title to him. More on this later.

Promotional consideration paid for by the following: Slim Jim

Match 2: Juventud Guerrera versus Kidman (w/ Lodi)


Rating: ****

Summary: Another spectacular match between these guys. Excellent work, gentlemen!

Cinnaburst sponsors the replay.

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Luger who, along with nWo Wolfpack, has DDP’s ailing back. We revisit last week when Luger and DDP won the match and, for a brief time, the World tag team titles. Following that, Luger cuts a promo on Giant, accepts his challenge, and chooses Savage as his partner for tonight.

Bret and Bischoff emerge, and Bret announces that he wants Benoit as part of nWo Hollywood. They take their seats on the limousine to watch Benoit. Perhaps that would explain the unorthodox behavior from Benoit following the previous encounter.

Match 3 (best of seven #7): The “Crippler” Chris Benoit versus Booker T


Rating: ***½

Summary: A great match spoiled by a bogus finish. They can’t end the series this way, can they?

After the match, Bret can’t believe that Benoit ratted him out. Bischoff tells Bret they’re done while Benoit stares them down.

Snickers sponsors the replay.

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Malenko, but JJ Dillon interrupts to stake his claim about the last match after Malenko finishes his say. Nonetheless, Malenko wants Jericho in the ring and relinquishes the Cruiserweight title in order to do it. Smiling from ear to ear, Jericho emerges to claim the title. Dillon states that Jericho must face Malenko for the VACANT Cruiserweight title at the PPV.

Upset, Jericho throws a tantrum about getting HIS belt back. Abruptly, Ted Irvine, Jericho’s father and former Buffalos Sabre, emerges and chastises his son for being a whiner. He tells Jericho to “shut up” and touts his illustrious career. “Until you beat Dean Malenko in the ring, you will never, EVER, be a true champion.” Jericho begrudgingly scampers after his father.

Match 4: Konnan versus Scott Putski


Rating: **

Summary: Showcase match for Konnan.

Jim Kelly was shown standing in the front row. If he can withstand four Super Bowl losses, he can definitely handle Thunder.

Match 5: Saturn (w/ Lodi) versus Glacier


Rating: **

Summary: Usually WCW doesn’t do too many return matches, but this one’s run its course.

After the match, Raven grabs the microphone and enters the ring. He cuts a promo on Kanyon: “Come to me, and I’ll set you free.” Upon disparaging his riot squad, Raven fires all of them. He plants one of them with an Evenflow DDT, but another riot squad member removes his helmet…and it’s KANYON. Once Raven turns around, Kanyon demolishes him with a Flatliner. The Flock storms the ring, and Kanyon hightails it to safety. Great job, Kanyon!

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Dillon who requests Booker T to join him. As Booker T emerges alongside Stevie Ray, he touts Benoit’s skills as a pro wrestler and demands another match with Benoit. Dillon sanctions match #8 at the PPV this Sunday to become the #1 contender. Angrily, Stevie Ray berates his younger brother for doing the “right thing.” While Stevie Ray’s no fool, he’s no babyface either.

Bischoff emerges with Elizabeth, and he informs Savage that Niagara Falls, and not Viagra Falls, is a mere 20 miles away. Regardless, Elizabeth cuts a promo on Savage and calls Bischoff the real “Macho Man.”

Roy Earle Lanoire GIFfrom Roy Earle GIFs

As the broadcast team talks WAY TOO MUCH, the Buffalo faithful begins a “Gold-berg” chant.

We visit Nitro when Savage and Piper cut promos on one another until Hogan picks on them like a bully. Included is the kiss shared between Elizabeth and Bischoff along with Savage’s responses to both Hogan and Piper.

Match 6: “Macho Man” Randy Savage & the “Total Package” Lex Luger versus Giant & Disciple


Rating: DUD

Summary: Merely a backdrop for the heel beatdown on Savage.

As the show ends, “Hollywood” Hogan and Bret dismantle Savage until Kevin Nash joins the fray. Giant and Nash brawl while Savage gets pummeled, and Thunder comes to a close.

Conclusion: At least THIS show had somewhat of a main event. Fortunately for the Buffalo faithful, they trotted out Goldberg for a squash and a Nash/DDP versus Hogan/Hart match where Nash and DDP won. For the rest of us, WCW baited and switched match #7 of the Benoit-Booker T series to fluff the PPV. I’ll give them kudos for continuity with Benoit’s heelish actions from Nitro possibly leading to a heel turn, but that didn’t happen either.

The Jericho-Irvine segment was good theater and set up a proper match at the PPV, so I can’t argue with that or the Kidman-Guerrera match. I’d skip this show and jump to the PPV right away.

Stay tuned for WCW Great American Bash ‘98!

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

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