MARCH 26, 2003: AIRTIME #62
Matches filmed at the last Nitro taping were:
- Billy Kidman, Paul London and Bryan Danielson of Team USA gaining their first points of this year’s World Cup by defeating Doug Williams, Jody Fleisch and Jonny Storm of Team UK. Stereo SSPs from Kidman and London finished off Jody and Jonny, with Kidman’s cover on fellow legal man Storm registering at 18:20.
- Rey Mysterio and Juventud Guerrera got the host nation for the finals off the mark with victory over Guido Maritato and Tony Marinera. Sal Rinuaro botched interference which nearly got them disqualified and led to Johnny Stamboli, their more experienced point man, chewing him out before Super Crazy and Psicosis ran them off and the Juvi Driver ended Marinera at 15:44.
World Cup 2003 standings (everyone has wrestled once):
- Japan: 2pts
- Mexico: 2pts
- USA: 2pts
- Italy: 0pts
- UK: 0pts
- Canada: 0pts
MARCH 29, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #99
The 2003 World Cup is underway and we are also just one week away from a huge landmark for Saturday Nitro. Every title will be on the line in seven days, though the tag titles will also be up for grabs tonight as two members of the 3LK will challenge the New Church.
We’ll also find out who is in line for a crack at the WCW World title when four of the company’s elder statesmen battle it out for the ultimate reward for staying the course. Meanwhile, we found out that a former ECW champion, Steve Corino, had been masterminding the breakaway of the group now known as the Extreme Horsemen from the Hardcore Revolution. And judging by the end result of his first WCW appearance, a brutal war has only just begun.
Taped on March 21 in Orlando.
And we began straight away with the tag title match, with BG James and Konnan being the two men opting to cash in their prize for winning the 2000-and-Three Invitational. They bounced back from a rough middle patch during their challenge of Sinn and Slash and had the champs on the ropes, only for Tempest to run in for the disqualification at 8:01. Malice was conspicuous by his absence, and a three-on-two was thwarted by Ron Killings after the inconclusive bout.
Steve Corino leads a pre-tape alongside Simon Diamond, Swinger, CW Anderson and Mike Awesome. Corino says the idea that working for the same crappy company once upon a time makes a group of men a well-oiled machine is hilarious and pathetic. He says that, unlike the Hardcore Revolution and RVD’s massive ego, the Extreme Horsemen are a group of men who actually became friends at ECW regardless of where they worked and remained friends after the company folded – plus Mike Awesome, who’s just “a friggin’ mercenary who knows when a better deal than the Revolution or New Church lands on his doorstep”. He finishes by issuing RVD and his friends a warning: disband, or the Horsemen will disband them by force.
Singles action in the World Cup was next, as Canada sent newcomer Joe Legend into action against Italy’s Johnny Stamboli, offering a far more heavyweight WC fixture than usual. The two bulls traded blows and also took to the skies almost as impressive as some of the tournament’s best fliers on occasion. But it was Italy who emerged triumphant as the antics of the two supporting team members at ringside went their way, allowing Johnny to grab a roll-up with the tights for the win at 6:28.
Kid Kash heads out alone and says his pin over Jamie Knoble last week proved that Knoble cannot best him one-on-one with the title on the line. He calls Knoble out and demands a title match. Knoble eventually emerges, calls Kash pathetic and says the reason why Jamie was the key to success in their team was is exemplified by the fact he’s champion and Kash is just whining every week while leaving his ‘friends’ to fight their battles. He says Kash is nothing but a redneck loser and his answer is no, but flees when Kash exits the ring and makes a beeline for him.
Sean O’Haire, Mark Jindrak and Chuck Palumbo outsized and intimidated their opponents The Amazing Red and the Maximos. However, the underdogs had the crowd on their feet with several near falls on Mark and Chuck. It took Vince Russo at ringside to delay a Spanish Fly attempt on Jindrak long enough for O’Haire to come over and shove the twins flying off the top and through the announce table in a scary spot. That left Red alone to eat an F5 for the pin in 6:45. Not satisfied with the win, having been tested far too much by the plucky cruisers, a seething O’Haire powerbombs each Maximo hard on the arena floor before security escorts the heels backstage.
We get a pre-tape from Lance Storm, who says he’ll win the four-way, regain the WCW title and be World champion and World Cup holder all within a month. That’s followed by one from Kanyon, who says nobody – be it Father James Mitchell, Raven or anyone else – will deny him the WCW title in seven days and nobody – be it Jarrett, Storm or Rhodes – is better than Kanyon.
Matt Bentley then joined Sonny Siaki in getting a pinfall win over former mentor Shane Douglas. This time, everyone from Glenn Gilbertti to Siaki to their valets to Torrie Wilson were ejected from ringside when things flared up outside the ring, but the distraction led to Douglas walking right into a superkick for the fall at 4:53.
After the adverts, we see Douglas and Wilson arguing backstage about recent events, with Torrie storming off.
Dustin Rhodes says the WCW title has continued to elude him but the 100 Nitros celebrations is the perfect chance for him to realise his dream. Jeff Jarrett, meanwhile, says he was screwed against Ken Shamrock and against Sean O’Haire but the third chance will be when he finally earns the ultimate redemption as WCW champ.
Brian Kendrick and Paul London kept Team USA strong with another win in the World Cup over Japan’s Jimmy Yang and TAKA Michinoku. Sliced Bread #2 finished Yang in 10:39. That’s two wins from two for the Americans.
We see Shane Douglas about to exit the arena, looking broken and distraught. From the darkness comes Father James Mitchell, who simply tells the Franchise that if he ever needs picking up, he is there with open arms. Douglas reacts and then leaves.
Next was the first actually sanctioned fight between Hardcore Revolution and Extreme Horsemen, as Commissioner Flair put next week’s US title match on SN100 up for grabs to the winner of Jerry Lynn vs CW Anderson. Unfortunately, it seemed almost inevitable that things would escalate out of control and the other members of the two groups broke down into a mass brawl after 6:25 of an otherwise enjoyable match. This time, RVD and his men were able to force a retreat from Steve Corino’s Horsemen after Kid Kash belatedly joined the fray with a steel chair, and the HR stood tall in the ring.
We see footage from backstage after the commercials where the Revolution are high-fiving and discussing their first taste of decent revenge on the Horsemen, before Van Dam pulls Kash aside and gently but sternly tells him that they’re going to need all hands on deck to win this war. He says he understands Kash wants the cruiserweight title and he deserves it, just like RVD deserves the world title back, but if the group needs them, the group comes first. Kash says he understands.
The Rejected easily defeated Julio Dinero and Jerrelle Clark, with a Vertebreaker finishing Clark in 3:41 after the referee had to warn Moore not to come off the top and spike the move.
After the bout, Helms took the mic and says they don’t care who challenges them next week, they don’t care about these “stupid belts” and they don’t care about 100 Saturday Nitros. Whoever tries to beat them and have their career-defining moment will instead be in for career-destroying pain and suffering.
He’s cut off by Brian Kendrick, alongside Paul London on the stage, who points out that they were lucky to avoid a non-title defeat to them just after they won the belts and that they’d be happy to do SN100 a favour and get rid of their miserable, whining backsides. Moore dares them to do that right now, only for the champs to casually roll out of the ring when Paul and Brian arrive.
In Flair’s office, the Commish is hyping up next week’s show once more. He reminds us that the main event will decide the next WCW title challenger for the night of champions, and says the other title bouts are all taking shape. He says since the HR/EH war is getting in the way of his US title matchmaking, he’ll simply incorporate it and it’ll be AJ Styles vs Jerry Lynn vs CW Anderson in a three-way dance.
He then officially books London and Kendrick as The Rejected’s challengers and says the New Church aren’t getting out of 3LK’s hard-earned opportunity that easily, scheduling a rematch next week with no disqualifications. Finally, he says that since RVD and Kash are putting gang warfare first, he’ll give a young up and comer the shot at Jamie Knoble – Bryan Danielson.
In what can only be described as an upset, Jody Fleisch gave Team UK their first World Cup points with an incredible win over Mexico captain Rey Mysterio. The two exchanged aerials and counters for a breathless 11:10 before Fleisch spiked Rey with his Phoenix DDT for the clean win. In addition to the quest for the trophy, there are plenty of guys making a name for themselves in this tournament.
America’s Most Wanted hit the ring and Chris Harris says in a matter of days, they’ve been robbed of the tag titles and then bumped from top contendership altogether thanks not to their actual opponents, but Triple X. He says he gets it: Elix Skipper was injured in the ring with them and they missed two months as a team because of it. But he says accidents happen and if they wanted to fight, they should have been man enough to just come out and challenge them.
James Black takes over and says while Wildcat is the articulate and diplomatic one of the team, he is far more ‘drink beer and kick ass’ and he ran out of beer 10 minutes ago so he demands Daniels and Skipper get out here. XXX oblige, but stop at the stage, where Skipper says AMW are “idiots” and don’t get it. They didn’t just put him out for two months, they ruined their attempt to move up to heavyweight tag action before they had even started.
For eight weeks, Daniels adds, he had to wrestle back in the cruiser division while AMW ran around with the belts they would have lost to them at Genesis if it wasn’t for that injury. They say they don’t care that they cost AMW the belts because this isn’t about the titles, but about putting them out for at least two months themselves. Black offers to help them try as the babyfaces exit the ring and approach XXX on the walkway, but security is quick to this one and a pull-apart is all we get.
Finally, it was a four-way between Jeff Jarrett, Chris Kanyon, Lance Storm and Dustin Rhodes to earn a shot at Sean O’Haire next week on the 100th Saturday Nitro. The four men felt each other out with four-corners tag rules applied before things broke down late on. Raven ran down while Kanyon and Rhodes battled outside and aimed a chair at Kanyon only for Chris to evade the strike, leaving Dustin to take a hard shot to the head.
Jarrett then saw Raven himself and, with no love lost there either, left the ring and pummelled Raven through the crowd and out of sight. Storm pulled Kanyon into the ring but a superkick was caught and spun around into a Flatliner at 12:35.
After the big win, Kanyon took the mic and said next week he’ll do what nobody thought a Jersey boy with a lisp could ever do: become WCW champion. He says ending the O’Haire reign of terror will avenge what he did to DDP and end Vince Russo’s meal ticket for good. O’Haire comes out onto the stage and holds the title above his head, grinning maniacally for the staredown as the show ends.
World Cup 2003 card so far:
- WCW tag titles: Sinn & Slash or 3LK (c) vs Los Guerreros
- Quarter-final six-way singles elimination match
- Semi-final four-way tag elimination match
- Final: ?? vs ?? vs ??
World Cup 2003 standings (everyone has wrestled twice):
- USA: 4pts
- Japan: 2pts
- Mexico: 2pts
- Italy: 2pts
- UK: 2pts
- Canada: 0pts
Next time: The 100th Saturday Nitro!