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WCW Thunder 07-08-98

Live from Birmingham, AL

Airdate: July 8, 1998

Attendance: 12,945 (12,248 paid, sold out)

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

Another week and another big announcement! How will it affect the PPV? And how will it affect tonight’s main event? Will Jericho survive with his title before the PPV? What happens between Raven, Saturn, and Kanyon? Brace yourself for some wild WCW wrestling!

Opening montage.

We revisit stills of Nitro when Goldberg beat Hall en route to a World title match against Hogan. Next, he defeated Hogan to become the first undefeated World champion with his record at 108-0.

Earlier today, JJ Dillon declared that Goldberg will defend the World title against Hennig, and Kevin Greene will face Giant at the PPV. News about the US title remained pending.

Once again, we revisit stills of Nitro when Karl Malone dealt Hennig a Diamond Cutter during the main event. At the entrance, Schiavone interviews a rather tardy Hennig with Vincent in tow. Hennig adamantly refuses to wrestle DDP in the main event tonight as he’s preparing to face Goldberg on Sunday.

Match 1: Public Enemy versus Tokyo Magnum & Shiima Nobunaga


Rating: **

Summary: Showcase match for Public Enemy.

After the match, Magnum joins Public Enemy in the ring and dances with them. Public Enemy immediately pounds him with fisticuffs until the Dancing Fools storm the ring. Disco clotheslines Grunge, and the Dancing Fools put the boots to him. As Magnum joins in celebration, the Dancing Fools dispose of him over the top rope.

Promotional consideration paid for by the following: Slim Jim featuring Mr. 60-day DL himself—“Macho” Man Randy Savage.

Match 2: Ernest “The Cat” Miller versus Villano IV


Rating: *

Summary: Showcase match for Miller, but I liked the switcheroo by the Villanos.

Following the match, Villano IV returns but avoids a spin kick from Miller.

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Eddie Guerrero who puts over Goldberg for winning the World title. He details his history with Chavo and cuts a promo on him. Following that, he accepts the hair versus hair challenge and is ready to shave Chavo bald. Great promo!

Missing from the telecast is WCW Motorsports.

In the ring, Schiavone interviews DDP who touts Goldberg. He initially cuts a promo on Rodman then follows with one on “’Hollywood’ ‘scum’ Hogan.” Lastly, he runs down Hennig.

We revisit stills of Nitro when Malone dropped Hennig with a Diamond Cutter.

Match 3: Juventud Guerrera versus Judo Suwa


Rating: **

Summary: Good matchup as Suwa gave as well as he got. Unfortunately for him, Guerrera’s got a date against Kidman at the PPV.

Afterward, Kidman stands on the apron to taunt Guerrera until the Flock destroys him. Kidman powerslams Guerrera, mounts the top turnbuckle, and unloads a Seven Year Itch.

Promo airs for Bash at the Beach ’98. It will be LIVE on PPV this Sunday. Order NOW!

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Mongo who has a message for Arn Anderson. Next, Arn’s promo on “Nature Boy” Ric Flair from Fall Brawl ’95 is shown. WCW’s name-dropping Flair again. Hmmm… Regardless, Mongo heralds Arn as a leader and demands a Four Horsemen reorganization.

More promotion for the PPV airs.

Prior to the next match, Stevie Ray grabs the microphone and dedicates his match to his brother Booker T.

Match 4: Konnan versus Stevie Ray


Rating: DUD

Summary: Nothing to see here.

After the match, Stevie Ray brings a chair into the ring, but Booker T arrives to halt his brother’s rage.

Another promo for the PPV airs involving Booker T who will face Bret.

Backstage, Hennig’s on the phone with “Ravishing” Rick Rude trying to avoid facing DDP tonight.

Match 5: Raven & Horace (w/ Lodi) versus Saturn & Kanyon


Rating: ***

Summary: You can tell this match was produced by Raven. It had tons of interference, action, miscommunication by the babyfaces, and an unexpected outcome.

Yet another promo for the PPV airs featuring Raven versus Saturn.

Match 6: Steve “Mongo” McMichael versus Rick Fuller


Rating: DUD

Summary: Showcase match for Mongo, but Fuller was ready for an upset.

THUNDER BURST SLAM OF THE NIGHT: Mongo’s tombstone finishes off Fuller.

Promotional consideration paid for by the following: Slim Jim.

Next, more stills from Nitro are shown with Dean Malenko flattening Jericho. Malenko has been suspended and won’t get a title shot against Jericho at the PPV.

During Jericho’s entrance, he wears a bandage over his left eye and grabs a microphone. He’s “upset” over not wrestling at the PPV due to Malenko’s attack. Upon running down Dragon, Jericho calls out Dillon who’s not here. He threatens to dance at the PPV among other entertainment options since he believes he won’t have an opponent. HA!

Thunder is sponsored by Master Lock.

Match 7 for the WCW Cruiserweight title: “Lionheart” Chris Jericho (champion) versus Ultimo Dragon


Rating: ***½

Summary: Great timing, psychology, high-flying by Dragon, and workrate. The finish may have been a bit sloppy, but this was certainly the match of the night.

Snickers sponsors the replay.

At the entrance, Schiavone interviews Kevin Greene who congratulates Goldberg. He warns Giant not to be “partying, farting, burping, and drinking” the night before the PPV. Bartender, I’ll have what he’s having.


Rodzilla and Hogan promo.


Match 8: Diamond Dallas Page versus Curt Hennig (w/ Vincent)


Rating: NONE

Summary: Tease of a match from last year’s show with a bait/switch of Goldberg at the end.

On the other hand, the Birmingham faithful got a successful Goldberg title defense as he defeated Hall. Buy the PPV!

Conclusion: Main event bait and switch aside, the Jericho-Dragon match was worthwhile, and the PPV card has been reshuffled to include a World title match between Goldberg and Hennig. Greene’s promo for sheer hilarity and Eddie’s promo for pure passion should also be checked out.

Stay tuned for WCW Bash at the Beach ‘98!

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

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