Today In Pro Wrestling History (Jan 8): Champion vs. Champion on The Island

Today in Pro Wrestling History: On January 8, 1998, at the Ocean Center, WCW launched the debut episode of Thunder, continuing the storyline from Starrcade. In a significant moment, Sting was stripped of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship due to the controversial finish against Hogan at Starrcade 1997.

Today In Pro Wrestling History (Jan 8): Champion vs. Champion on The Island


This episode was also notable for Sting speaking for the first time in over a year, directly confronting JJ Dillon and Hulk Hogan in a dramatic segment. While Thunder’s debut drew high ratings, it eventually became a burden for WCW, moving to a taped format and shifting from Thursday to Wednesday nights on TBS. The show aired from January 8, 1998, to March 21, 2001.

Adding to the drama, this episode of “Thunder” featured Sting breaking his silence after more than a year. He had maintained a mysterious and silent persona, adding to his allure and the intrigue surrounding his character. However, on this night, Sting chose to confront two pivotal figures in WCW: JJ Dillon, a key authority figure, and Hulk Hogan himself.

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