Thunder – October 15, 1998: What’s With All The Horses?

Thunder
Date: October 15, 1998
Location: Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall

WCW is in a bad place right now as their last two shows have been very, very boring. For some reason this show doesn’t exactly instill me with confidence as Thunder becomes less and less important every single week. We’re ten days away from Halloween Havoc which still feels like it’s about a year away given how boring these shows have been lately. Let’s get to it.

Hammer vs. Sick Boy

Sick Boy comes out to no music. They didn’t have 247 generic rock songs available? Hammer shoves him into the corner to start and tells Sick Boy not to freak out. Sick Boy takes him into the corner and slaps Hammer into the corner, earning him an elbow into the jaw. Hammer clotheslines him out to the floor and hits a nice dive for a guy his size.

Sick Boy scores with a baseball slide and drops Hammer before putting on a sleeper. The announcers talk about ANYTHING other than this boring match. Hammer counters into a sleeper of his own Sick Boy comes out with a jawbreaker. A middle rope elbow gets two for Sick Boy but Hammer throws him off the top by the hair in a painful looking move. Back up and the Flashback (Alabama Slam) is good for the pin on the sick one.

Rating: D. The match wasn’t horrible but it just wasn’t interesting at all. That’s the problem with most of the matches on Thunder anymore. I’ve seen far worse matches, but it doesn’t mean I want to sit through them at all. This was another double taping so I can’t imagine how bored the fans must be at this point.

Video on the Horsemen.

We see clips from Monday with Bischoff trying to keep the Horsemen out of the arena. By clips, I mean everything that happened, running about seven and a half minutes total. It’s becoming more and more clear that they’re just filling stuff in here.

La Parka vs. Konnan

Konnan does his usual schtick followed by the rolling clothesline and seated dropkick. At least the fans care about the people in this match. Back up and Konnan decks him with a back elbow but walks into what might have been a low blow. La Parka chops away and hits a running clothesline followed by a spinwheel kick.

He loads up another charge into the corner but runs into two boots, followed by something resembling a powerbomb from Konnan. La Parka clotheslines him down but gets rolled up for tow more. Konnan grabs a bulldog and gets in a slightly low kick of his own before the X-Factor and Tequila Sunrise get the win.

Rating: D+. Again, this was just two guys doing moves to each other for about five minutes. It’s not a terrible match or anything but there’s just no reason to care at all about this. Konnan could at least keep a crowd going well enough and La Parka is always entertaining but there’s just nothing to see here.

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Riggs vs. Finlay

Finlay hammers away to start but walks into an armdrag. With nothing else to do, Finlay rakes the one eye he can see, causing Heenan to go into as many jokes as he can. At least it’s better than hearing about Hogan vs. Warrior the entire time. Finlay grabs a quick chinlock but Riggs fights up and dropkicks him down before they choke each other against the ropes. A clothesline puts Riggs down and Finlay rams his head into the mat.

We go outside for more punishment from Finlay including a kick to the head. Back in and Finlay hammers away with whatever he can think of and rips the patch off to work over the eye. Riggs blocks a top rope splash with some raised knees and gets two off a knee drop. A top rope ax handle misses though and Finlay tombstones him down for the pin.

Rating: D. This was similar to the first match in that it wasn’t terrible but it just wasn’t interesting at all. As usual, Riggs continues to be someone who is just there and could have been any one of about a dozen guys and not changed a thing. Finlay was his usual hard hitting self but that’s not enough to carry a six minute match.

Cruiserweight Title: Kaz Hayashi vs. Kidman

Kidman is defending. Kaz grabs a headlock to start but misses a spinwheel kick. He comes back with a headscissors and we get a standoff. Kidman sends him outside and hits a nice plancha before taking him back inside for some right hands against the ropes. Kaz backdrops him out to the floor and hits a nice twisting plancha to put both guys down. Back in again and Hayashi chops him down a few times before we take a break.

We come back with Kidman getting two off a sunset flip but getting kneed in the head to put Kaz back in control. Kaz misses a moonsault and gets bulldogged off the middle rope. Kidman puts him down with a sitout powerbomb but Kaz pops up to break up the Shooting Star. He breaks it up again and hits a jawbreaker off the top in a nice spot. Hayashi gets two off a spinwheel kick Sonny Onoo comes out. Kidman dropkicks him out of the air but gets caught in a quick hurricanrana for two. A German suplex gets two on Kidman and Sonny is shaking his head. Kidman slams him down and hits the Shooting Star for the pin.

Rating: C+. It was good but nothing we haven’t seen done better by Juventud. Kaz was yet another name on the very long list of cruiserweights that could be inserted into a match with the bigger names and have a good match. Some of the spots were good here and while it wasn’t a great match, it was about ten times better than anything else tonight so far.

Sonny beats up Kaz post match until Kidman makes a save.

We get clips from Nitro with Buff and Scott having their argument.

Chucky clip. I would love to hear that being pitched to Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair.

Hogan vs. Warrior video.

Here’s Ernest Miller to challenge anyone to fight him. He talks a lot of trash until a “fan” comes into the ring and is allowed to stand behind him until Miller lays him out. Security takes the guy away.

Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Prince Iaukea

Chavo rides Pepe around to start and dances a bit before we get going. A shoulder block puts the Prince down and we get more dancing. Chavo pounds away in the corner but gets caught by chops and a dropkick. Iaukea sends him to the floor and it’s time to talk to the horse. Chavo waves Pepe at the Prince and talks to it some more before heading back inside for a test of strength.

They trade some nice counters until Chavo armdrags him down into a chinlock. To keep up the comedy, Chavo gives the Prince a wet willy to the indifference of the crowd. Iaukea reverses into a chinlock of his own, sending Chavo off to talk to Pepe. The Prince grabs the horse and Chavo begs for mercy, only to blast Prince in the back of the head.

Chavo slams Iaukea down and rides the horse around before peppering him with some European uppercuts. Prince comes back with a quick cross body for two and a victory roll for the same. Guerrero gets a knee up in the corner and goes up for the tornado DDT and the pin.

Rating: C. This was much easier to sit through as it at least had something entertaining to it. I’d much rather watch a not very funny comedy match than a boring wrestling match and it was much easier to sit through this. Chavo and the horse are getting a bit tiresome but at least it’s not Finlay vs. Riggs.

Bride of Chucky ad.

WCW Mastercard ad. 1998 was a strange time.

Video on Page vs. Goldberg. You know, a wrestling match. I know you’d rather see ads for movies and credit cards but they had to fit this in there somewhere.

Here’s Page for his weekly chat. Page is all fired up for the title match and is jacked up tonight. He’s happy just being himself instead of being undefeated with all the pressure on him. Page has two words for Goldberg: Diamond Cutter. Again, simple stuff here.

Stevie Ray vs. Dean Malenko

Here’s your main event. Dean yells at Vincent and Ray gets in a cheap shot to take over. A big boot sends Dean to the floor and Ray throws on a bearhug as we take a break about a minute in. Back with Dean getting sideslammed and put in a chinlock with a knee in his spine. Dean fights up but gets elbowed down and put right back in the hold.

Malenko fights up again and gets a quick belly to back suplex but Stevie powers him into the corner. Stevie whips him across but Dean jumps to the top for a missile dropkick of all things. He loads up the Cloverleaf but Vincent comes in for the DQ. Too much was in the commercial but this was your usual NWO main event.

Scott Norton comes in to help with the beatdown but the Horsemen run out for the save. Arn says the NWO is trespassing here in Horsemen country and if they want a war, the Horsemen are going to win. Flair says that Bischoff is just an abuse of power and the Horsemen aren’t afraid of subpoenas. Malenko survived a beating like that because he’s a member of the most elite group in wrestling. Dean says he’s ready for any member of the NWO because that’s what a Horseman does. Flair promises to take Bischoff’s job and run this company, prompting Heenan to suck up even more as the show ends.

Overall Rating: D+. It’s still not a good show and not a show that you need to see, but this was far easier to sit through than most of these shows. Just throwing a pair of watchable cruiserweight matches out there was such a breath of fresh air tonight and gave you the break from all the boring matches that you never get on Thunder. I’m not going to think about this show again five minutes after it’s over, but at least I wasn’t miserable sitting through it.

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