MAY 7, 2003: AIRTIME #68
Cruiserweight Chase matches taped at the last Nitro included:
- Matt Bentley defeating Brian Kendrick in 10:45 when Glenn Gilbertti’s distraction led to a superkick and the pin.
- Kid Kash getting off to an impressive start in the tournament, tearing through Julio Dinero before finishing with the Money Maker in 3:32.
- Sonny Siaki defeating Paul London when Kendrick ran out to lamp Gilbertti before he could interfere a second time, only for Siaki to snatch a roll-up with both feet on the ropes amidst the chaos after 8:19.
- Jimmy Yang overcoming The Amazing Red with Yang Time in 8:36 in a compelling and fast-paced back-and-forth main event. Both men shook hands after the result.
Cruiserweight Chase standings:
- Block A: Sonny Siaki 4pts, Paul London 2pts, Kid Kash 2pts, Julio Dinero 0pts, Chris Sabin 0pts, Jerrelle Clark 0pts.
- Block B: Amazing Red 2pts, Guido Maritato 2pts, Matt Bentley 2pts, Jimmy Yang 2pts, Brian Kendrick 0pts, Frankie Kazarian 0pts.
MAY 10, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #105
After serving a 30-day suspension for his most reprehensible behaviour yet at the 100th Saturday Nitro, WCW champion Sean O’Haire returns to the show this week with tensions understandably set to be high between he and Commissioner Ric Flair, one of the men he assaulted five weeks ago.
Also with a keen interest in the champ’s movements will be Raven, the #1 contender who last week let Father James Mitchell know exactly what he thought of doing his bidding with an Evenflow DDT. And after showing up on the big screen to frighten the life out of Vince Russo, Sting will no doubt be watching O’Haire’s every move after seemingly taking out Sean and Vince’s back-up, Mark Jindrak and Chuck Palumbo.
Tonight’s main event will see another chapter added to the ongoing war between Hardcore Revolution and Extreme Horsemen, a bout that will apparently have no numerical restrictions. Whoever shows up on each side will be legal, so it could be 5-on-5, 10-on-10 or even something like 6-on-3, which unfortunately for the Revolution seems more likely at present. Even with the addition of Tajiri last week, RVD’s squad could be in some serious trouble.
Taped on May 9 in Philadelphia.
Ric Flair receives a very warm reception from the Philly mutants as he comes to the ring at the top of the show, garnering a lot of respect for his career and achievements. He says he knows the hot Philly crowds love the action so he doesn’t want to hold up the show long but he needs to speak to someone who he hasn’t been able to reach all day but knows is here in the building now. He calls out Jeff Jarrett, saying they need to talk.
JJ obliges, albeit to far less of a reception than Flair himself. The commish tells Jarrett that he knows they’re not exactly on the sort of terms where Flair can tell Jarrett what is and isn’t good for him, but he cannot help but be concerned that he has too much on his plate. Jarrett says, with all due respect, it’s none of Flair’s business.
Ric says it is now, because Slamboree is fast approaching and he’s looking to make two big grudge matches: Team Canada want more of Rhodes and AMW, while 3LK and New Church remain at each other’s throats. He knows Jeff is bang in the middle of both wars but he can only help out with one at the PPV, and he wants to give Jarrett the chance to pick which. Jarrett says he has a simple plan for 2003: beat the crap out of Team Canada and New Church until they’re no longer obstacles, put Vince Russo out of wrestling and finally redeem himself with a fifth WCW title reign, one that matters. So, why doesn’t Flair do him a favour and put him in both matches?
Flair pauses, then asks if he seriously wants to pull double duty at the PPV. Jarrett says more than anything else for that night. But if he does finally remove both thorns in his side, he wants back in the title picture that they kept him out of. Flair says that’s fair: if Jarrett’s teams go two for two at Slamboree, JJ is back in the world title mix. The two shake hands as Jarrett’s music hits up again.
Six-man action kicked off the show proper, as cruiserweight champion Jamie Knoble teamed up with cruiser tag champs The Rejected. However, the golden trio came up short at the ECW Arena against three former Extreme competitors in Super Crazy, Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera. Crazy finished off Helms with a straitjacket powerbomb in 12:57 after Knoble got sick of poor teamwork with his comrades and walked out, The lucha trio proved they were more than capable of forcing not one but two title changes at Slamboree on the heels of their emotional World Cup triumph.
Rey Mysterio is with JB backstage and after professing how proud he was to see his Mexican brothers win tonight at a venue the four of them are familiar with, he says it was made clear to him very shortly after the World Cup that redeeming his opportunity wouldn’t be happening any time soon, because the result of the final has left Lance Storm seething. He says Storm cannot handle defeat and wants to try and pick on him to cover up the fact he lost, fair and square, in the final. So if Storm thinks there always has to be circumstances if Rey is to beat him, he’s happy to prove him wrong at Slamboree.
He challenges Lance, 1-on-1 with no extra competitors in the ring and no home country advantage. However, if Storm insists on fairness, he should put his money where his mouth is: if Team Canada interfere in any manner, Storm is suspended for 90 days. He says if he really wants to prove he’s the better man, he is confident Commissioner Flair will green-light those stips.
Following Elix Skipper’s win over Chavo Guerrero last week, this time around it was Eddie Guerrero facing off against Christopher Daniels. And the former ECW TV champion was the heavy crowd favourite, even when it was the tag team champions who bent the rules to get the win this week: Chavo ran over and blindsided Skipper at ringside as Daniels prepped Angel’s Wings, providing the opening for Eddie to roll through into a cradle on his distracted foe for the pin in 8:32, making it 1-1 in both singles wins and getting a devious edge on the competition ahead of Slamboree.
Backstage, Steve Corino is once again flanked by his Extreme Horsemen. He says it’s fitting that tonight, the best things to ever come out of “this hellhole” will finally end the pathetic Hardcore Revolution and kill off ECW’s legacy for good in every sense except for their own. He says he knows that only RVD, Jerry Lynn and Tajiri will be dumb enough to show up and the 6-on-3 mauling they’ll endure will put them out of WCW for good.
Just then, Commissioner Flair shows up and says he wanted to thank Corino for reminding him of his manager’s licence recently – because as it turns out, while Eric Bischoff approved his hiring, the actual active roster, who competes in the ring and who is in which match is his jurisdiction. He says Corino has yet to apply for clearance, insurance etc to actually compete in his rings so he won’t be doing so tonight. And while he doesn’t approve of this potential handicap match, the HR insisted they wanted to go through with it so he gave it the all-clear – BUT, he is banning managers from ringside. Flair finishes by asking Corino: “and you’re a manager, right?” before walking off. Simon Diamond assures Corino that 5-on-3 is still insurmountable and tonight, the Hardcore Revolution becomes a dissolution.
In tag team action stemming from the Cruiserweight Chase bouts on AirTime, Paul London and Brian Kendrick took on Matt Bentley and Sonny Siaki who were flanked as usual by Trinity, Desire and Glenn Gilbertti. And just as London and Kendrick looked set to gain a measure of revenge for recent CC defeats, Trinity tripped up Kendrick in front of the official for the DQ in 10:17. The babyfaces nonetheless cleared the ring of GGE after the bell as Gilbertti ordered a retreat and reminded his troops that they were the ones flying high in the cruiserweight round robin.
We then get a studio update on the Cruiserweight Chase, and the matches coming up on Wednesday’s AirTime.
AJ Styles’ US title reign faced its tallest task yet as he defended against New Church monster Malice. But with Tempest ejected from ringside within a minute for making a nuisance of himself and no sign of Father James Mitchell after the attack by Raven last week, the renowned destruction machine was rather lost without direction and the impressive champion was able to stick-and-move before a springboard flying forearm set up Spiral Tap for a huge win in 7:41.
We see Styles greeted as he emerges through the curtain backstage by Flair, who commends the champ’s big title win and the fact he’s out there defending against all comers every week. He tells him that since he beat both cruiser tag champs, he can be the challenger instead of the champion next week and pick a partner to take on The Rejected for the straps. He also tells him that he can take a rest from the frequent US title defences until Slamboree, as he and Bischoff are on the verge of signing a “marquee talent” with a title match thrown in there as an incentive. AJ tells Flair to keep lining them up and he’ll knock them all down.
America’s Most Wanted defeated Team Canada rookies Eric Young and Johnny Devine with the Death Sentence in 12:05. Dustin Rhodes thwarted an inteference attempt by Bobby Roode before the finish and when Lance Storm and Joe Legend rushed out for a 5-on-3, Jeff Jarrett and then Rey Mysterio made the save.
RVD, Jerry Lynn and Tajiri are with JB. Van Dam says if being outnumbered and outgunned was enough to make them quit, there’d have never been an ECW or an ECW Arena in the first place. He says whatever happens to them, they’re going to go out there and fight. Lynn adds that if they’re going down, they’re taking a few Horsemen with them.
Ron Killings and Shane Douglas spent less than a minute inside the ring before spilling out into a brawl at ringside before the arrival of Sinn and Slash was followed by BG James and Konnan for the DQ after just 2:39. Tempest then ran down and delivered a few crowbar shots to put the disciples of the New Church in control until Jeff Jarrett played the role of cavalry a second time, grabbing the metal equaliser from the deranged one and beating New Churchers into a retreat. Jeff was up for the double duty while making saves, but can he survive two matches at Slamboree?
It was now time for the return to a WCW ring for the WCW champion, and of course an even-scarier-looking-than-usual Sean O’Haire was flanked by Vince Russo. Russo did all the talking initially, saying that Father James Mitchell got what he deserved last week and that Raven should see sense and realise that his destiny isn’t to be champion but to protect the champ, like he did at Genesis. He says Ric Flair didn’t strip O’Haire because he realises that WCW needs their homegrown star, their meal ticket, whether his actions fill them with dread or not.
This brings out Raven, who brands Russo laughable. He says his actions at Genesis were a means to an end to get in the door but the whole time that night he saw the target on O’Haire’s back and knew he’d be the man to one day get the clear shot at it. He says O’Haire likes to carry himself like a serial killer around here but that serial killers don’t need mouthpieces or goons like Jindrak and Palumbo to save them or the help of the real horrors of this world, horrors such as himself. He says if a few images of Sting are enough to startle the champ, he may as well not show up at Slamboree because what he’ll see between the ropes at the PPV will terrify him.
Russo begins to throw verbal abuse back at Raven in response, only for O’Haire to stop him, snatch the mic and warn the challenger: “Raven. In two weeks, you are my next victim.” Raven replies that no matter how much the champion tries to convince himself that he’s the first champ to be the hunter and not the hunted, in two weeks he will revert to type in brutal, agonising fashion. Quoth the Raven, nevermore…
Finally came the big match under this particular roof. The Extreme Horsemen came out first, represented by Mike Awesome, CW Anderson, Justin Credible, Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger. Next came the Hardcore Revolution, as RVD, Jerry Lynn and Tajiri came out onto the stage and looked at the task in front of them. Suddenly, they were joined on stage by Kid Kash, despite the falling out between he and Van Dam. The two nodded in understanding to each other and RVD prepared to lead the four into battle against five until Kash stopped him and waved for someone to join them – Guido Maritato!
Out of nowhere, we had five-on-five. And after a wild ten-man brawl, things finally settled into a tag bout. The Horsemen were able to isolate Tajiri for a while before he hit a handspring back elbow to both Simon and Swinger. He tagged in RVD for the big comeback which was eventually derailed by an Awesome tackle. Mike then decided to set up a table at ringside to powerbomb Van Dam through, but his Awesome Bomb attempt over the ropes was escaped by the former WCW champ before he sent himself and Mike careering through the table with a clothesline over the top rope!
Lynn was able to get a blind tag in the midst of this and set up the Cradle Piledriver on Credible before CW thwarted it. Guido ran in and tackled Anderson out of the ring before Lynn reversed a That’s Incredible attempt into a cradle for the win in 17:47. A few weeks ago they appeared to be on the brink of extinction, but the Hardcore Revolution was alive and well!
Slamboree 2003 card so far:
- WCW World title: Sean O’Haire (c) vs Raven
- WCW World tag titles: Los Guerreros (c) vs Triple X
- WCW Cruiserweight title: Jamie Knoble (c) vs Juventud Guerrera
- WCW Cruiserweight tag titles, ⅔ falls: The Rejected (c) vs Super Crazy and Psicosis
- Jeff Jarrett, Dustin Rhodes & America’s Most Wanted vs Team Canada
- Jeff Jarrett & 3 Live Kru vs The New Church
Next time: O’Haire and Raven face off in tag team action! Plus, Pick Your Poison!