Thunder – August 5, 1998: Stealing Nitro’s Bad Ideas

Thunder
Date: August 5, 1998
Location: Casper Events Center, Casper, Wyoming
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay

It’s the go home show for Road Wild which means we’re probably in line for about 174 Tonight Show clips in the next two hours. We might even get to hear some new matches announced for the show as I think we have three at the moment. I’m so glad Thunder came back for such a great occasion. Let’s get to it.

This is the first episode since mid-July if you’re trying to read these in order.

We open on the announcers talking about the big tag match. Also you get to see a Travis Tritt concert if you buy the show. There might even be some wrestling on the side.

Goldberg is officially in the battle royal.

We look at Sting in the white paint as he’s back to what he was in 1997.

We also look at the NWO shouting at Kimberly while Page got beaten up. That’s still a little disturbing.

Giant vs. Lizmark Jr.

The match is over before I finish writing the names via the chokeslam.

Giant thinks Goldberg is on a roll and has won the title but Giant is the real future of wrestling. He wants a piece of Goldberg at some point in the future.

Video package on Goldberg.

Here’s Luger, rocking that sweet wolf’s head shirt, with something to say. After some sucking up to the crowd, he says that Wolfpack is more than just for life; it’s forever. For the first time since probably 1993, we get a LUGER chant. We get the answer to the question that people were supposed to be asking since Monday: who attacked him in the back. The only face Luger saw before he went down was Scott Hall, so he’s not leaving until there’s an NWO battle tonight. Sting (in red and black like he was before Monday) and Konnan come out and stand beside their stablemate and it’s posing all around.

Dean Malenko comes out to referee the next match but Jericho cuts him off. He knows Dean must have sucked up to a lot of people to get the job on Sunday but Jericho knows Malenko doesn’t have the integrity to call a fair match at Road Wild. Dean better call the next match fair or else.

Juventud Guerrera vs. Psychosis

Juvy takes over early by going up top for a flying headscissors and a clothesline to drop the masked man for two. Psychosis comes back with a clothesline of his own and gets a boot up in the corner to drop Juvy. Guerrera grabs a Juvy Driver out of nowhere for a near fall as Dean hasn’t been a factor so far. Something resembling a powerbomb gets two for Psychosis but Juvy monkeyflips him out to the floor because selling isn’t allowed in most cruiserweight matches. While Dean checks on Psychosis on the floor, Jericho comes in to blast Juvy with the title belt. A guillotine legdrop forces Dean to count a reluctant pin.

Rating: C-. Some nice highspots aside, would anyone like to explain to me the logic of having your #1 contender for the Cruiserweight Title lose back to back TV matches the week before his title shot? If you want Dean to cost Jericho the title, why not just have him take the title himself?

And now…..oh good grief they’re doing NWO Nightcap on Thunder now. Let’s make this quick: Leno jokes, Eubanks jokes, Kimberly is a whore…..and here’s DDP to DIVE at Bischoff and choke him until the set is destroyed. Cops pull Page off and Giant carries Bischoff’s carcass to the back. At least they kept it under ten minutes this time and that dive was great.

Let’s take a breather here and talk about something: how are these Nightcap segments supposed to make me want to buy a show? The idea is simple of course: Bischoff makes fun of Leno, Leno should want to get revenge. That’s where the good idea (a stretch on its own) stops. How many people are going to want to pay to see that and how many people are going to think that’s the dumbest idea they’ve ever heard? They might watch it for free on the Tonight Show, but asking them to pay $30 and pay for something they know will be goofy?

Hogan isn’t here but saw what happened and is coming. With his biker buddies. Oh dear. Just oh dear. Wait if he wasn’t at the show, why was he in Casper?

Meng vs. Jim Duggan

They slug it out with Duggan throwing his big overblown right hands and Meng looking like he’s having a seizure. A kick to the chest puts Duggan down but he pops back to his feet for a double clothesline. Not that it matters as Hugh Morrus and Barbarian come in for the no contest.

Duggan cleans house with the 2×4 and Meng chases Morrus and Barbarian to the back.

Here’s the NWO Black and White (read as Hall and goons) with something to say. Hall makes jokes about the Nitro Girls before turning his attention to the Wolfpack. Luger likes to get beaten up, Konnan is a jumping bean that will get squashed like a cockroach and Sting can’t decide what color to paint his face. The challenge for tonight is accepted.

TV Title: Steve McMichael vs. Stevie Ray

Ray is defending. Mongo is all ticked off and storms the ring, only to get choked down into the corner. A jumping kick to the chest puts McMichael down but he comes back with a belly to back suplex. Mongo hits a few three point charges to put Ray down again, only to charge into an elbow in the corner. Here’s Chavo with a piece of paper saying he’s made himself the champion just like Stevie. Ray goes after him for the countout. Mongo was basically squashed here but he still doesn’t get why Arn doesn’t want the Horsemen back.

Chavo clocks Stevie with the belt and Mongo gets in some cheap shots. Ray whips Mongo into the barricade to make sure McMichael doesn’t look good at all and chases after Guerrero.

Tony brings out Rick Steiner to talk about what happened on Monday. Rick wants to beat up Scott and Buff so badly that he yells until Tony has to bring him back to reality. This time it’s personal and Rick wants to fight Scott man to man on Saturday.

Raven talks about controlling Kanyon and how this Sunday will be a handicap match against Saturn. Instead of a triple threat tonight, Saturn gets a handicap match.

Saturn vs. Riggs/Sick Boy

Saturn beats both guys up like the jobbers they are and stomps on Lodi’s broken fingers. The Flock members finally get it together and double team Saturn down. Riggs hits a nice side slam and brings in Sick Boy, only to have Saturn superkick him in the jaw. Riggs is knocked off the apron and Saturn ends Sick Boy quick with the Death Valley Driver.

Buy some motorcycle!

Disco Inferno vs. Eddie Guerrero

Tokyo is with Disco and comes out to Alex Wright’s music. Eddie gets in a cheap shot to start and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two. Disco comes right back with an early piledriver and a spinning neckbreaker for two each. A middle rope fist drop misses Eddie though and he takes Disco’s head off with an elbow to the jaw. Guerrero botches something resembling a shoulder breaker but plants Disco with a brainbuster. In a nice ending, Eddie goes up for the Frog Splash but Tokyo shoves him off, only to have Eddie land right on Disco with the splash anyway. Too short to rate but it’s another nothing match in a series tonight.

Buff Bagwell calls in and says Rick Steiner is stupid until Rick comes to the announcers’ table. Apparently that chair shot on Monday injured Scott so badly that he can’t wrestle at Road Wild. Rick offers to fight both of them anyway.

Clip from the Tonight Show.

Here are Hogan, Disciple and Bischoff for their final rant before Sunday. This show has sapped every ounce of energy I have so we’ll make this quick: Hogan knows a bunch of bikers, Kimberly was on the back of his bike coming here, he’s going to break every bone in Leno and Page’s bodies, Bischoff is going to take over the late night scene and he’s ordered the caskets for Sunday. That somehow took over five minutes. Oh and Hogan had no bikers with him, unless Disciple counts.

NWO Wolfpack vs. NWO Black and White

It’s Hall/Adams/Hennig vs. Sting/Luger/Konnan. We come back from a break and the brawl is on quickly. Everyone fights on the floor with the Wolfpack taking over. Luger and Hall finally get in the ring to get things going with Lex hitting his array of atomic drops. Off to Hennig who gets shoved into the corner over and over so all three members of the Wolfpack can get in some cheap shots.

Konnan comes in to face Adams and walks into a backbreaker for two. The Black and White triple teams Konnan for a bit, resulting in a tag off to Hennig for some knee lifts. The fans chant for the Wolfpack and Sting gets the hot tag to clean house. Everything breaks down and Konnan gets a Tequila Sunrise on Adams but Hennig makes a save. Not that it matters though as Konnan rolls Adams up for the pin a second later.

Rating: D. Just a match here to set up the battle royal on Saturday, even though it leaves out the people of interest in the battle royal. They did a decent job about making the match feel like a melee but that doesn’t mean it’s an interesting match. This was your usual throw everybody else into the main event to close out the show match.

Overall Rating: D. This company is dreadful right now with the Hogan vs. Hollywood stuff dragging everything else down. Thankfully the story isn’t going to last much longer, but it’s made the last few weeks nearly unwatchable. The PPV is a two match show at best, even though one of the matches is a battle royal to combine two feuds into one. Why that’s needed on a PPV as empty as Road Wild is beyond me but I’m sure it somehow makes Hogan a bigger star or something like that.

 

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