JANUARY 22, 2003: AIRTIME #53
Matches filmed at the January 10 taping were:
- AJ Styles beating Brian Kendrick with the Styles Clash in 11:16
- Sonny Siaki and Matt Bentley squashing Shark Boy and Julio Dinero with Siakilypse finishing Shark Boy in 4:09 – Shane Douglas cut a post-match promo vowing to destroy Red and the Maximos for Red ‘humiliating’ The Franchise on Nitro
- Tajiri and Yang beating Super Crazy and Jamie Knoble in the main event, with the cruiser champ and the demented redneck unsurprisingly struggling to stay on the same page and Yang capitalising with a big win over the current titleholder via Yang Time in 14:20 after Knoble walked out
JANUARY 25, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #90
We are 24 hours away from the first PPV of 2003 and a Genesis is upon us. However, thanks to Vince Russo and Sean O’Haire, it’s a very dark genesis indeed. Their ‘purge’ of WCW’s biggest names has reportedly raised the ire of Commissioner Ric Flair, who has promised to deal with the situation tonight!
Number one contender Jeff Jarrett has found his own vigilante way of thwarting O’Haire, saving Kanyon last week. Will he be able to end the reign of terror this weekend?
Also, will tempers flare once more between Goldberg and Ken Shamrock? Can Booker T retain his US title twice, after challenging BOTH Chuck Palumbo and Mark Jindrak? And why is Sean Waltman helping out The Rejected?
Taped on January 24 in Atlanta, GA.
We began with the United States champ coming out and immediately calling out Palumbo and Jindrak, promising that this weekend he and Jeff Jarrett will have taken out all three of those ‘natural born punkasses’. Vince Russo leads out Mark Jindrak, but it’s a trademark ‘swerve’ from Vince as Palumbo comes in via the crowd and attacks from behind leading to…
Booker T defeating Palumbo in 10:18 with the Book End to retain the title. No sooner had he finished covering Chuck, Jindrak was in the ring and putting the boots to the champ as his own title shot began immediately.
…but a tiring Book was able to rally and catch Jindrak with a sunset flip out of the corner for a second successful title defense in 5:52. A two-on-one beatdown looked to follow the bell on Russo’s orders, but Kanyon rushed out to make the save, leaving the heels to retreat with Vince particularly frustrated.
After Booker returned to his feet, Ric Flair came out to the stage and congratulated his fighting champion for showing such great character in the last few months. He says in his day, the US champ was indeed the top contender to the World title and though Jarrett is in line tomorrow and Genesis will also decide who fights for the belt at Superbrawl, as far as he is concerned Sean O’Haire – who was conspicuous by his absence during those two matches – can just keep defending his belt as much as Booker does while he’s throwing his weight around.
He finishes by saying he’ll deal with Russo and O’Haire later, but he does need the US title defended at Genesis too. Flair promises Book that he’ll get a WCW title match no matter what, but he will find a worthy opponent for the PPV. Booker says it doesn’t matter who steps up to the plate at Genesis because he is the main man around here and will once again combine the US and WCW titles. During this, Kanyon’s subtle reactions were telling. He’d certainly like to be the man challenging for the US title at Genesis, despite falling short a few weeks ago.
We cut backstage to see Russo, now away from his charges and alone, yelling and shoving stuff over as he walks. He heads all the way outside the arena, where he is met by Father James Mitchell. It’s soon clear that this meeting was arranged, as Russo tells Mitchell that he’s sick of people ruining his perfect plans and that he needs another ‘arrangement’ like last summer.
Mitchell says he has to wonder what is in it for him. Russo replies that he can give him information that will ensure another member of his army to defeat the Hardcore Revolution, handing James a piece of paper. Mitchell laughs and says this ‘just happens’ to benefit Russo too, asking why Vince doesn’t just use it himself. Russo says he made a promise not to hold this against “him” back in 2000, but didn’t say anything about someone else using it instead.
Mitchell pockets the info and says very well, before producing a piece of paper of his own. Russo reads it and reacts, saying “this might not be a good idea”. Mitchell asks Russo if he wants to remove his obstacles or not. Russo thinks, then puts it into his jeans pocket before Mitchell finishes by saying “pleasure doing business with you”.
Rob Van Dam and CW Anderson were unlikely partners formed from a common bond as they took on Sinn and Slash in a 2vs2 taster of tomorrow’s big 5-on-5 war. Malice, Tempest and Mike Awesome inevitably got involved for the DQ after 6:46 which led to Jerry Lynn, Kid Kash, York and Matthews also joining the fray. A different arena to last week but the same carnage, as the brawl spilled out to every corner of the building before vanishing.
Mike Tenay sits down with Ken Shamrock ahead of the Genesis clash with Goldberg. Shamrock admits it drives him crazy that WCW/SEX stuff ruined their first match in November, and he absolutely has to prove he is the better man. He says he respects Goldberg’s ability and loves it when someone comes along who can make him excited to fight. He says winning this means he will get his hands on O’Haire and Russo, because he will either challenge Sean for the belt if he retains or put his title match against Jarrett up for grabs to get O’Haire in the ring one more time.
Sean Waltman and The Rejected head to the ring. Waltman says few people from Sports Entertainment Xtreme impressed him as much as Helms and Moore. He calls them killers who will destroy anyone in their path and at Genesis, they’ll scalp Juvi and Psicosis so badly they’ll want to retire and run home to Mexico.
This brings out Guerrera and Psicosis for the fight, but the numbers are too much to overcome. Waltman then heads under the ring for a bag containing trimmers, but Jason Jett of all people rushes out with a chair to stop a premature haircut. It looks like the luchadores have their own cornerman for tomorrow’s high-stakes grudge match.
Bryan Danielson, Brian Kendrick and Paul London are with Ric Flair, who heaps praise on the trio for putting their differences aside and putting in great performances each week. Kendrick says they’re here because they feel like they’re not getting enough of a chance on Nitro. Flair says he’s still coming to grips with the full-time job, but to keep working because their chance will come, even hinting that they will be perfect for a ‘six-man tag event’ he’s been considering…
Jamie Knoble defeated Jimmy Yang in a match to determine the next contender for the cruiserweight title after Genesis. Knoble rolled through a Yang Time attempt into a folded press, before adding his feet on the ropes to steal it after 9:39.
We once again check in with BG James, Konnan and Ron Killings, whose non-PC back-and-forth with each other is brought to a shuddering halt by James’ realisation that they’re still contracted to, y’know, wrestle. Killings and James rush out of the studio, saying “Flair’s gonna kill us!” while Konnan laughs at them because they’re hired and he isn’t. He then does a double take and follows them, yelling “yo guys, can you get me a job?”
Backstage, Glenn Gilbertti is pleading with Simon Diamond and Swinger to give him another chance. Simon yells at Glenn, saying he’s done nothing since SEX died, suggesting that only having Russo call the shots ever led to Gilbertti actually doing anything useful. Swinger says last PPV they were the tag champs in one of the marquee matches. Tomorrow, they’re not even on the card. Glenn gets on his knees and begs, but the two just walk off.
Super Crazy teamed with Los Guerreros to defeat Tajiri, Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman when Crazy ducked a Buzzsaw Kick and rolled up his longtime adversary for the three in 16:37. It is ‘advantage champion’ heading into tomorrow’s big singles title match, while Eddie and Chavo enjoy momentum over their fellow tag title contenders.
Mike Tenay is with Bill Goldberg in another pre-recorded interview. He says he respects Shamrock’s ability and resume, but he doesn’t respect his character because he’s only not by Vince Russo’s side right now because Russo binned him. He admits Russo can talk anyone around, including himself once upon a time, but at least he saw sense on his own. He promises to beat sense into Shamrock tomorrow, and then maybe he’ll help Ken up and show him respect after that.
Lance Storm is in the ring, and he talks about Canada showing their dominance over the USA in the flag match last week. He says it’s why Canada will win the World Cup this year in their first attempt, why he’ll soon be WCW champion once again and why he will guide Young and Devine to the tag titles after they proved their superiority over AMW in the flag match.
He’s cut off by Dustin Rhodes, who tells Storm he is boring the crowd to sleep and that this is an awful lot of talking for someone who has to cut so many corners to win. He promises to teach Lance a lesson tomorrow night but he’s then attacked from behind by Young and Devine. Just as Rhodes is able to fight both off a little, he turns around to a Storm superkick on the stage.
AMW rush out and take the fight to the Canadians until they’re blindsided in turn by Skipper and Daniels. Elix and Storm then shake hands, indicating an agreement between the two acquaintances. Finally, Devine and Young fetch a Canadian flag from the back and help Storm drape it over Rhodes.
The Amazing Red defeated Sonny Siaki by disqualification in 6:56 when Sonny was caught with Douglas’s chain, thrown in to him by the Franchise. That didn’t prevent The Triple Threat from beating down consistent thorns in their side Red and the Maximos after the decision.
Finally, Ric Flair headed to the ring and said he and the WCW champion need a little chat. He says injuries happen all the time in wrestling and he’s seen some bad dudes in his time take out rivals but Sean O’Haire’s recent actions, at the encouragement of Vince Russo, have been reprehensible.
Out comes O’Haire with Russo by his side, showing zero remorse at all. Russo rants and raves about Flair having it in for him and Ric cuts him off, noting that he’s done nothing to dispute Russo’s little manager’s licence contingency plan after losing at Starrcade. You want to manage the champ, Flair says? Do it. But if O’Haire assaults one more wrestler outside of a match, he has enough grounds to strip him of the WCW title.
This panics Vince, who clearly sees the belt as a crucial part of his quest for domination. O’Haire, on the other hand, isn’t moved. Sean then even threatens to make Flair the next victim of his purge. Russo tries to talk the champ out of it, but Sean continues to back Ric up into the corner.
Flair warns him if he lays a hand on him, he strips him tonight. O’Haire still isn’t fazed, and laughs as Flair reaches the corner, with nowhere else to go. Suddenly, Jeff Jarrett’s new music hits and that’s enough to direct Sean and Vince’s attention to the stage. Jarrett isn’t there, however – he’s in via the crowd behind them, just as Russo had Palumbo do at the top of the show! O’Haire turns around into a guitar over the skull!
Russo realises the danger and tries to flee, but this time Jeff finally grabs a hold of him. Just as it looks like JJ can dish some revenge out to Vince for the last six months, Palumbo and Jindrak rush back out to allow Russo to escape. Chuck gets O’Haire out of there while Jindrak eats some Jarrett rights, fleeing when his men are safe. Jarrett checks on Flair after the heels retreat and, in a nice moment, they put their differences behind them with a handshake as the go-home Nitro concludes.
Next time: Genesis 2003 on PPV!