APRIL 16, 2003: AIRTIME #65
Filmed at the last Nitro taping were:
- Lance Storm and Joe Legend defeating Jonny Storm and James Tighe with Lance forcing his namesake to tap out to the Maple Leaf in 10:03.
- Kid Kash calling out Jamie Knoble and warning him that he’s going to finally prove he’s the better man at the World Cup PPV. Knoble joined him in the ring and said Kash is nothing but a punk that Jamie carried, and he’ll prove it on Sunday. It ended with a pull-apart brawl.
- Jimmy Yang, TAKA and Dick Togo beating Tony Marinera, Sal Rinuaro and Johnny Stamboli when Yang spiked Rinuaro with Yang Time in 14:21.
Completed World Cup 2003 pre-finals standings:
- USA: 8pts
- Canada: 6pts
- Japan: 5pts
- Italy: 4pts
- UK: 4pts
- Mexico: 3pts
APRIL 19, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #102
It’s 24 hours until WCW heads south of the border to Mexico City and the World Cup finals take centre stage. They’ll be doing so without their World champion, who has been suspended for 30 days after his actions at SN100, but does he really have Sting, the first victim of his ‘purge’, stalking him?
Also, is Jeff Jarrett taking on more than he can handle after declaring war on O’Haire, Russo, James Mitchell, the New Church AND Team Canada? And what will happen as the hostilities between the Hardcore Revolution and the Extreme Horsemen prepare to escalate at the PPV?
Taped on April 11 in Nashville.
With the preliminary points matches in the World Cup complete, we begin with a pre-finals ceremony overseen by Ric Flair with all participants present. Flair finishes by saying that we’re having a non-tournament tag next with three of the six captains teaming against the other three – with the exception of the injured Billy Kidman, who’ll be replaced by team-mate Bryan Danielson. As this is announced, the camera picks up Kidman giving his ‘friend’ Rey Mysterio the mother of all glances.
Lance Storm, Guido Maritato and Doug Williams beat Danielson, Tajiri and Mysterio when Williams planted Danielson with the Chaos Theory in 16:13. Unsurprisingly, the three victorious captains ended up bickering with each other soon after their hands were raised, leading to Storm blasting Williams with a superkick and Guido kicking Lance low. Tajiri and Mysterio then cleared the ring of the heels, only for Tajiri to then mist Rey which left the defending champion side’s captain standing tall.
CCTV footage shows Vince Russo and James Mitchell once again meeting privately. Russo asks if James was tailed by any cameramen this time, which Mitchell says did not happen – even though their wariness of human eavesdroppers appears to have caused them to overlook security apparatus.
Mitchell then asks if Russo has begun training his monster, as per his word. Vince says O’Haire’s suspension has given him even more time to ensure he is as talented and as dangerous as the champion by the time they are finished. Russo says he has a favour to ask in return: Sean’s backup has been taken out, they believe by Sting, while Raven is now threatening to come for the title. He says the Church could benefit greatly from helping O’Haire remain champion, and suggests that Mitchell’s hand in getting Raven back in WCW could help ensure he does not pursue the belt.
Mitchell says he gave Russo Raven in return for control of Kanyon, which turned out to only be useful for as long as Kanyon feared that information. So, Raven is his plaything, not Russo’s. Maybe he’ll guide Raven to the WCW title and have the control that Vince so desperately craves. Russo threatens Mitchell and the Father tells him to relax, and that as long as Russo continues to train his beast and he and O’Haire offer some use to him, he’ll allow them to exist in his realm. Vince exits, cursing under his breath.
The 3 Live Kru defeated AJ Styles, Red and Kid Kash after Jamie Knoble ran out and laid Kash out with the cruiserweight title belt at ringside, leaving Red to fall victim to Killings’ Truth or Consequences sit-out suplex for the pin in 7:50. Killings took possession of the US title belt after getting the win until AJ re-entered the ring and snatched it back, prompting a heated face-off that BG and Konnan broke up.
Jeff Jarrett, clearly not at 100% still, is with JB. He says he knows he has a lot of enemies but that’s because this place is filled with a lot of scumbags these days. He knows he’s no saint but guys like him and Ric Flair have always been straightforward in their attempts to snatch power, not sleazy and toxic like the James Mitchells and the Vince Russos.
He reiterates his vow to put Russo out of WCW with his own hands when the chance presents itself, and threatens to cut Mitchell’s tongue out of his mouth, calling the two particularly scummy for the way they ran Kanyon out of here not just via O’Haire, but by trying to blackmail him over his personal life.
Jarrett says Kanyon told a few of the boys in the back what the secret was and he received 100% support, prompting him to walk away from Mitchell. He says guys like him, AMW and Dustin Rhodes will take out the trash, starting with the elimination match at the World Cup. And he also heard Lance Storm’s comments last week – he says he’d be happy to slap the deadpan off his face once he’s done choking at the World Cup.
Glenn Gilbertti and the entourage led Matt Bentley and Sonny Siaki to the ring, where they defeated Julio Dinero and CM Punk. The Siakilypse finished Punk at 3:57. After the bout, Gilbertti took the mic and said his boys have proven themselves to be much better without The Franchise and he says they’re now ready for some gold around their waists. He challenges The Rejected to “stop pouting and pissing” and to put the cruiser tag straps on the line against his thoroughbreds.
We get a studio analysis of the World Cup, running down the prelim standings and reiterating the premise of the matches at the PPV. They note that nobody is out of the running yet with so many points up for grabs on Sunday but that hosts Mexico in particular cannot afford to drop too many more points, especially with two of the six nations eliminated after the six-way quarter-final. They also analyse the fitness of Kidman, Psicosis and Yang, with the three finalist nations needing to send all four members into action at some point.
Christian York and Joey Matthews took on Simon Diamond and Swinger in a preview of the eight man war set for Mexico City. It ended with the expected non-finish as CW Anderson, Mike Awesome and Steve Corino jumped the faces for the DQ after 9:16. RVD and Jerry Lynn ran in for the save attempt but were outnumbered and also laid out.
Father Mitchell finds Raven down in the boiler room. He says he saw Raven’s declaration for a WCW title shot last week and wants him to know that he would be more than happy to make sure Vince Russo is not a factor when he destroys Sean O’Haire and becomes the WCW champion. Raven, his stony facials not flickering the entire time, simply tells Mitchell to “get lost”.
Mitchell says he doesn’t understand. O’Haire has no back-up, Sting hunting him down and Mitchell has the entire New Church. There’s nothing that can stop them together. Raven says it’s Mitchell who doesn’t understand… the concept of CCTV. He tells him that he is nobody’s plaything and, once again, to get lost.
Mitchell says he’ll try this one more way, reminding Raven that he got him back into WCW and that he can have him taken right back out, one way or another. Raven finally turns to actually look Mitchell in the eye, and, after a tense pause… says “get lost”. Mitchell smirks and tells Raven to take all the time he needs to think it over, since there’s no champion to dethrone for another fortnight anyway, because when he does, he will realise it makes perfect sense.
Next was a mouth-watering matchup between two homegrown WCW duos as America’s Most Wanted took on The Rejected. Of course, AMW remain haunted by their chief tormentors Triple X and it was an appearance from Skipper and Daniels that allowed Moore to roll up Harris for the in in 12:47. A furious AMW brawled through the crowd with XXX after the decision while Shane and Shannon found company on the walkway…
…Jeremy Borash stopped the cruiser tag champs and asked for a response to Sonny Siaki and Matt Bentley’s challenge earlier in the evening. Helms and Moore scowled and walked away without an answer.
From the Commissioner’s office, Ric Flair confirms that it will indeed be Jeff Jarrett, Dustin Rhodes and America’s Most Wanted in the PPV heavyweight tag bout, before announcing their opponents as Triple X and the other two members of the New Church, Tempest and Malice.
Finally, Jarrett teamed with Los Guerreros to defeat Sinn, Slash and Tempest by DQ after 13:06 when Shane Douglas appeared in street clothes and took out all three babyfaces with a chain. The New Church stood tall over their enemies while the commentators wondered if in fact James Mitchell was in fact getting more power than ever despite losing the war to the Hardcore Revolution, with the tag titles and perhaps even the next WCW champion as well as a dangerous Franchise with nothing to lose.
Next time: The 2003 World Cup of Wrestling, live from Mexico City!