FEBRUARY 26, 2003: AIRTIME #58
The following matches were filmed at the last Nitro taping:
- Matt Bentley beat Jason Cross with the superkick to advance in the Spring Breakout Grand Prix in 5:35.
- Sonny Siaki dodged Jerrelle Clark’s amazing 630 splash then capitalised with Siakilypse to also progress in 4:59.
- The Amazing Red sealed the eighth and final quarter-final slot with a win over Frankie Kazarian via Infra-Red in 8:08.
- The last-eight brackets were confirmed as: Bryan Danielson vs Sonny Siaki, Jimmy Yang vs Matt Bentley, Red vs Guido Maritato and Christopher Daniels moving on to the semi-finals with a bye.
- The Rejected retained the WCW cruiserweight tag titles in their mandatory rematch with York and Matthews when Helms pulled Moore out of the ring just before he could suffer Full Effect, before finishing York with the Vertebreaker in 11:42.
MARCH 1, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #95
After Ken Shamrock seemingly became the latest big name to be taken out by Sean O’Haire’s destructive ‘purge’ last week, there appeared to be no end to the carnage in sight, despite Commissioner Flair’s warnings. Until, that is, the show ended with the rare sight of O’Haire and his henchmen Chuck Palumbo and Mark Jindrak being the ones outnumbered and outgunned as Rob Van Dam’s ever-growing Hardcore Revolution left the evil trio laying.
The attack made clear RVD’s intention to challenge for the WCW championship that was stripped from him thanks in part to the scheming of O’Haire’s manager, Vince Russo, last summer during the war against Sports Entertainment Xtreme.
Speaking of growing ranks, Team Canada added two big hitters last weekend ahead of the 2003 World Cup, but they may have gained another enemy in the Chosen One. Also on tap for tonight, Kid Kash has challenged Jamie Knoble to settle things once and for all in a non-title street fight.
Taped on February 21 in Atlanta.
The broadcast began with tag team action to determine the challengers for The Rejected’s cruiserweight tag team titles at Spring Breakout. It was set to feature two sides who have recent non-title victories over Helms and Moore: Brian Kendrick and Paul London versus Juventud Guerrera and Psicosis. However, we were told that Psicosis still has not been cleared to wrestle after suffering a minor injury recently and, with a World Cup on home soil on the horizon, Super Crazy was approved by Ric Flair to replace him.
Crazy and Juvi beat the rookies in 15:14 of an exciting and competitive start to the show when Guerrera caught Kendrick as he went over Crazy looking to connect with Sliced Bread #2, converting it into a Juvi Driver in one fluid motion.
Though the four men showed sportsmanship and shook hands after the bout, they were soon laid out by The Rejected and their tag title belts. Bryan Danielson ran in for the save, armed with a chair this time, and Psicosis risked his recovery process to do the same from ringside. The announcers were clear that the match means Crazy, not Psicosis, is eligible for the PPV title match regardless of whether Psicosis heals in time.
A cameraman has tailed Vince Russo going to meet once more with Father James Mitchell, where Russo complains about the Hardcore Revolution and asks Mitchell to make sure the New Church take them out. Mitchell, growing tired of Russo’s neediness, tells Vince he has other things to handle such as the Kanyon situation that Russo, James claims, wasn’t the unconditional favour he told Mitchell it was, whatever that means. For one, Mitchell concludes, Russo’s just going to have to get out of his own mess.
Billy Kidman’s victory over Chavo Guerrero Jr provided clear battle lines in the growing dispute between Los Guerreros and their on-off ally Rey Mysterio in his team with Kidman. Rey prevented some traditional Guerrero cheating which enabled the Shooting Star Press to finish Chavo in 9:25. Afterwards, more shoving and arguing ensued that led to Eddie challenging them to a tag match at Spring Breakout, which was accepted.
Shane Douglas is backstage with JB and his Triple Threat. He says Glenn Gilbertti lost all his clients due to incompetence so now he’s trying to undermine his team out of jealousy over the SEX days. He warns Gilbertti that it failed because all the defeats he has caused hasn’t split the group up. Matt Bentley and Sonny Siaki behind him look far from convinced by their leader.
That losing run continued next as the Triple Threat were bested by the 3LK in their first match since winning the 2000-and-Three Invitiational. More heel miscommunication led to Siaki and Bentley walking out on the match, leaving Shane to suffer Killings’ sit-out gourdbuster for the fall in 6:56.
After the match, 3LK’s celebratory dancing and posing was cut short by a 5-on-3 ambush by the new, expanded Team Canada. Dustin Rhodes run in for the save but was also overwhelmed until the music of Jeff Jarrett hit. Bobby Roode went to meet him on the walkway but Jarrett’s guitar soon exploded over his skull. The Americans were finally able to fight the Canadians into retreat – but when they were gone, what was left was hardly a united front. Between Rhodes’ distrust of Jarrett and Jarrett’s bad blood with James, it was quite the makeshift resistance to Lance Storm’s Northern takeover.
Christopher Daniels hits the ring and says he and Elix Skipper’s heavyweight tag title plans were derailed by unholy intervention but that the Fallen Angel is a man of many paths and fate has brought him back to the cruiserweight division to win the singles title, ending the current situation where he remains the only member of Triple X in their history to not become cruiser champ. He says if you didn’t believe him after his first round win, and didn’t believe him after a bye into the semis, you’ll soon become one of the converted when he is breakout of the Spring Breakout Grand Prix and wins the title at the PPV.
Backstage, America’s Most Wanted tell JB they’re not afraid of any team and will leave Spring Breakout still the tag team champions. Suddenly, Chris Harris is nailed in the back with a crowbar by Tempest. James Black soon disarms him with a flurry of right hands but Sinn and Slash are there on the scene to beat him down before the New Church trio add further damage to Harris.
Kid Kash gained a measure of revenge over Jamie Knoble with victory in a brutal non-title street fight. Both men came dressed in jeans and casual attire and beat each other down with a variety of weapons, but it was a Money Maker onto a ‘STOP’ sign that gave Kash the win over the cruiserweight champion at the 13:09 mark.
Backstage, Mike Awesome is screaming at a cameraman while issuing his words in the form of a threat towards Malice. He brands the monster a “stupid thug” brought into WCW as a poor stand-in while he was injured. He finishes by saying if he wants to start throwing people through tables, he needs to be ready to battle the master. Mike challenges him to a match at Spring Breakout with all tables legal. He says by the end of the PPV, there will be nothing but carnage and broken bones.
We are joined in the ring by Chris Kanyon, who clutches the mic in one hand and the Mortis mask in the other. He says he was told very early in his wrestling career that you should never let your past dictate your future, and he suspects he was told this because pro wrestling is an industry that thrives on blackmail, dirty deeds and double crosses.
He reluctantly agreed to work with Father James Mitchell, a man he has known for some time, because another old acquaintance of his, Vince Russo, fed Mitchell information that for a long time Kanyon hoped would never see the light of day. But with no light, Kanyon continues, there is nothing but darkness. He says Father James can do whatever he wants and say whatever he wants, but he will no longer be burdened by secrets and regrets.
This brings out Mitchell, who says if anyone has any regrets it is him. He made a deal for information without checking under the hood, so to speak, first. As a result, he found himself doing business on a tip that only really had value for as long as it brought Kanyon to his knees. That tip, he adds, was always going to have a limited hold on Kanyon and he was foolish enough to overlook that.
Revealing the secret now would only fulfil a small degree of spite, Mitchell tells him, but he was always more into inflicting prolonged physical anguish upon his enemies. Suddenly, a switch of camera reveals that Raven has snuck into the ring behind Kanyon. He pulls his former ally around and plants him with an Evenflow.
Lastly, Rob Van Dam, Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger defeated Sean O’Haire, Chuck Palumbo and Mark Jindrak when RVD pinned Jindrak with the Five Star in 12:32. O’Haire grew frustrated when he was repeatedly unable to take control of the fight and especially when one rare opportunity to inflict damage upon Van Dam on the outside with the referee distracted was scuppered by the arrival of Jerry Lynn and CW Anderson.
The heels retreated after the decision only to be caught on the walkway by the arrival of Ric Flair, who not only confirmed that it will indeed be RVD challenging O’Haire for the WCW title at Spring Breakout, but that before then, Nitro is coming to the ECW Arena in Philadelphia!
Flair told O’Haire that he did warn him: if he were to persist with his vicious ways, the Commish would up the ante. Van Dam finished by saying the hunter has become the hunted, because for the next few weeks the odds now work ‘Extremely’ in his favour.
Spring Breakout 2003 card so far:
- WCW title: Sean O’Haire (c) vs Rob Van Dam
- WCW tag team titles: America’s Most Wanted (c) vs New Church
- WCW cruiserweight tag titles: The Rejected (c) vs Super Crazy & Juventud Guerrera
- Tables are legal: Mike Awesome vs Malice
- Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman vs Los Guerreros