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WCW Thunder 07-02-98

Live from Columbus, GA

Airdate: July 2, 1998

Attendance: 8,088 (7,399 paid)

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

What’s all the hub bub, bub? What’s Chavo up to now? Can Booker T retain the TV title against Finlay? What’s up with the Flock? Who’s ready for some exciting WCW wrestling?

Promo airs for Bash at the Beach ’98 LIVE on PPV on 7/12. Order NOW!

Opening montage.

Prior to the first match, Jericho emerges with a CONSPIRACY VICTIM sign. He enters the ring, makes referee Charles Robinson hold his sign, grabs the microphone, and intentionally bungles the town name. Only Jericho can get away with this. Next, he cuts a promo on Dean Malenko amid the “Gold-berg” chants. He promises “a ***** classic,” mentions the “internet geeks and sheet readers,” and introduces REY MYSTERIO, JR.

Match 1 (non-title): WCW Cruiserweight champion “Lionheart” Chris Jericho versus Rey Mysterio, Jr.


Rating: DUD

Summary: That’s not an upset, RSG-ites. That’s purely shenanigans.

After the “match,” Jericho declares “Mysterio” as the #1 contender and his opponent at the PPV. Before leaving the ring, Jericho whips him with the belt. Jericho’s heel schtick is top-notch.

Giant approaches the ring, cuts a promo on Goldberg and Kevin Greene, and challenges Luger to a match TONIGHT.

Match 2: Stevie Ray versus Doc Dean


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Stevie Ray who has “borrowed” HHH’s finisher for his own needs.

Following the match, Chavo rides Pepe--his wooden horse--to the ring, grabs the microphone, and discusses his similar family troubles with Stevie Ray. When he gets a bit too close for comfort, Stevie Ray pie-faces him down to the mat.

CINNABURST SLAM OF THE NIGHT: Stevie Ray obliterates Doc Dean with the Slapjack.

On WCW Saturday Night, get ready for SQUASH CITY!

The Dancing Fools emerge, and Marshall makes a Soul Train joke. As Wright speaks in German, Disco Inferno generates some heat so that the Columbus faithful can understand. When he requests his own music, Public Enemy’s entrance music plays instead.

Rocco queries the Columbus faithful about a dance party to a mild reaction. When the Dancing Fools groove, the Columbus faithful boos. As Public Enemy shuffles to the beat of their own drum, they get shoved by the Dancing Fools who scatter instantly.

Match 3: Public Enemy versus the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith &Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart


Rating: DUD

Summary: Neidhart did all of the heavy lifting in this match for his team until the screwy finish.

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: At the entrance, Schiavone interviews a fresh-off-the-helicopter JJ Dillon who has a major topic to discuss. As he states that “this is one of those days that I love my job,” he adds that you should NOT miss the upcoming Nitro at the Georgia Dome this Monday. Officially, he decries that “Hollywood” Hogan “is contractually obligated…to defend the (World title) against…the number one contender…Goldberg!”

POINT OF ORDER: In subsequent interviews, Goldberg, who’s not scheduled to appear tonight, was sitting at home and stunned to hear this.

Via green screen, Raven cuts a promo to the backdrop of a highway billboard.

Match 4: Saturn versus Kidman (w/ Lodi)


Rating: ***

Summary: Solid match that told a story with good high-flying and workrate. The Columbus faithful, who had been both overwhelmed and distracted by the Goldberg announcement, came around for the finish.

Afterward, Saturn tells Raven: “Let’s settle this at the Bash.”

Replay of the Arn Anderson/Chris Benoit segment from last week airs.

Video featuring Steve “Mongo” McMichael airs. Mike Ditka touts his work ethic in a decent interview.

We revisit last week when Giant chokeslammed Luger during an nWo Hollywood beatdown.

Match 5: Brian Adams (w/ Vincent) versus Bobby Blaze


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Adams.

Raven emerges and heads to the ring. As he lays in the corner, Raven accepts Saturn’s challenge for the PPV and cuts a promo on him. Next, he gives Kanyon a “stay of execution” until after he finishes with Saturn.

Match 6 for the WCW World TV title: Booker T (champion) versus Fit Finlay


Rating: **½

Summary: Much more entertaining than their Bash match.

1-800-COLLECT sponsors the replay.

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Booker T who cuts a promo on Bret. Stevie Ray joins him and questions his brother’s instincts. In rebuttal, Booker T mentions his World TV championships, and they argue with one another.

Tenay promotes the title versus the streak at Nitro. It’s clever that WCW chose to promote the match AFTER the WWF already taped RAW for next Monday.

Chavo emerges with a box and a microphone and coins this gem: “Be vewy, vewy quiet. I’m hunting Eddies.” HA! He sets up a trap for Eddie with the bait being…a burrito. Seriously, I’m not making this up. Next, he cues the Columbus faithful to chant “here, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie” to encourage his uncle. The box literally says ACME Eddie trap. I’m dying here. Regardless, Eddie emerges cautiously, pulls the string, and Chavo springs the trap.

Chavo, needing a “bigger box,” tips over the empty box, and Eddie nails him from behind. After Eddie tosses him over the top rope, he rams Chavo shoulder-first into the steel railing. He exposes the concrete and delivers a brainbuster to Chavo. GET OUT THE SPATULA! He props Chavo up in the corner and tosses the burrito in his face. Ultimately, Eddie grabs the scissors and cuts Chavo’s hair before leaving. Hysterical stuff.

Replay of the Dillon interview airs.

Match 7: Kanyon versus Konnan


Rating: ***

Summary: Who thought Kanyon would be the one to motivate Konnan to wrestle? Great workrate with strong flow before the screwy finish. Of course, Raven lied. He’s a heel!

Following the match, the Flock destroys Kanyon until Konnan saves. The Flock overtakes him, but Luger storms the ring to help Konnan clear the ring. Luger grabs the microphone and challenges Giant who emerges immediately.

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


Rating: *

Summary: More nWo Hollywood chicanery to mess up another main event.

Afterward, Konnan hits the ring to rescue Luger, but the nWo Hollywood trio is too much for him. Surprisingly, the Flock joins the fray, and Saturn spots Raven in the aisle. The chaos continues until…

Promo #2 for Bash at the Beach ’98 airs to end the show.

Conclusion: This episode is defined by the Goldberg announcement, but Chavo’s sports-entertainment was quality TV. Konnan versus Kanyon surprised me, and Booker dragged Finlay into the 90s. Not so surprisingly, Kidman/Saturn was a match ahead of its time. Lastly, Jericho deserved a raise for the ruse he pulled. Check this episode out for Chavo’s sake.

Stay tuned for WCW Monday Nitro 07-06-98!

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

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