It’s a big night for tag team wrestling as both duos titles are up for grabs. O’Haire and Palumbo and Kidman and Misterio could do battle in a Champions vs Champions tussle at Bash at the Beach… IF they get past Glenn Gilbertti’s newly-recruited teams tonight.
Also, WCW World champion Goldberg is in action, Booker T provides an exclusive sitdown interview about his rematch for the title at BATB, and we hear from Ric Flair for the first time since he and Sting were assaulted by the newly-formed Chosen Few.
Saturday Nitro episode 10 – July 14 2001 (taped in Atlanta along with ep.11 on July 11)
Sean O’Haire and Chuck Palumbo opened the show with their latest defence of the tag team titles against Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger as Glenn Gilbertti Enterprises attempt to win all the tag gold in one night.
Unfortunately for them, the evening begins with defeat to the seemingly-unstoppable champions in a back-and-forth opener after the Mamalukes showed up at ringside to rough up Gilbertti following his involvement in their recent match, creating an opening for the Jungle Kick and Seanton combo to Swinger at 11:53.
The Cat is standing by from his office, with updates on some of the title situations as promised following last week’s show. He says now that Booker T has confirmed his intention to take his rematch vs Goldberg, that is set for Bash at the Beach leaving DDP, Lance Storm and Scott Steiner all lobbying for the NEXT shot after that.
So, after their brawling last week, it’ll be Steiner and Storm teaming up against Page and whoever he can recruit tonight. And, at the Bash, will be a three-way dance between those competitors with the winner facing the champion at August’s pay-per-view, now known as Battlebowl.
Thats right – the old Lethal Lottery concept is returning to WCW and after BATB, random teams will compete to be in a 20-man battle royal at that PPV with intervals. The winner of Battlebowl will also receive a World title match down the line.
Now, onto the United States title, as Cat says he is sick and tired of Kanyon finding ways of keeping his belt without beating anyone. So, at BATB, RVD will get his final chance at the US belt – but it will be no DQ, no countout, and there must be a winner.
He goes on to add that since O’Haire and Palumbo are still the tag champs, their match with Rey and Kidman at BATB will be for those belts… whether the cruiser tag champs retain and keep it a ‘champions v champions’ attraction or not.
Suddenly, an irate Chris Kanyon comes into the room to complain and threaten Cat. This time, the authority figure has had enough and gets back in the champ’s face, saying if he hears him say he retired Miller once more, he’ll be stripped of the title for trying to provoke management.
Because of all his intimidation attempts and because he doesn’t trust Kanyon, Cat says he is making himself the special referee at the Bash to ensure there really is a winner and that none of Chris’s tricks work. He orders Kanyon from his office and the fuming champ eventually relents.
Semi-final number one to determine Shane Helms’ next challenger saw Jason Jett defeat Kid Romeo with the Crash Landing in 7:12. Helms provided guest commentary alongside Styles, Callis and Tenay. We are down to three – and not for long, as semi-final two is later tonight.
In a pre-tape complete with expensive, self-congratulatory production values and an epic sounding voiceover, Shawn Stasiak and Stacy Keibler declare the ‘Mecca of Manhood’ to be the new ‘Total Package’ after Shawn took out ‘that dinosaur’ Lex Luger in a segment full of nauseating extravagance.
Mike Awesome wins another squash match, this time over James Black in 2:07 with the Awesome Bomb. However, as he brings out a post-match table for more abuse, Dustin Rhodes finally makes his return and takes the fight to his rival, eventually irish whipping him through the table propped up on the ring apron. He checks on Black and poses in the ring as Awesome crawls and then staggers backstage.
Backstage, Chavo Guerrero has Shannon Moore helping him put on his wrist tape and then tells him to lace his boots. Chavo gets a text during this, and apparently his match has been moved to next week. Guerrero tells Moore to unlace them and fetch his regular clothes.
It will be Jason Jett v Elix Skipper next Saturday to decide who meets Shane Helms just 24 hours later after Skipper beat Super Crazy in semi-final two, under dubious circumstances. When Crazy was in a potential match-winning situation, Christopher Daniels ran down and hopped onto the apron, only to eat a Crazy dropkick.
This allowed Tajiri to sneak through the crowd dressed in street clothes and mist Crazy once more, setting up a Skipper cradle for the pin at 11:37. Tajiri snuck off into the night while Helms, on commentary for both semi-finals, hit the ring to ensure Skipper and Daniels, celebrating together, could not do anything else to the blinded Crazy.
Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio retained the cruiserweight tag titles against Guido Maritato and Tony Marinera, who were without Glenn Gilbertti thanks to a beating by the Mamalukes earlier in the evening. The Kid Krusher ended Marinera in 10:40 and it will indeed be champions v champions at BATB.
Backstage, Mean Gene congratulated Rey and Kidman on their win as they came through the curtain, but the three were soon joined by O’Haire and Palumbo who also congratulated them, only to say that their run stops at BATB courtesy of the “true” tag champs in WCW.
WCW World champion Goldberg received a great reaction as he made light work of Fit Finlay in a tune-up match ahead of Bash at the Beach. The Spear and Jackhammer ended it at 3:30.
Straight after seeing the champ, we moved over to WCW HQ where the challenger and ex-champ, Booker T, is this week’s sit-down interview guest – and again Sharmell is right beside him.
He is immediately asked about seemingly being quite angry and jaded about losing the title at the GAB, even though he bounced back from each of his previous title losses. He says it’s because it isn’t losing the belt that angered him. He says this company has very few athletes the fans can trust. Even Goldberg turned his back on them for a while only a year ago, he notes. T explains that he feels he is the spearhead of WCW surviving certain doom and he is the man leading their new era, only for a relic from a failed era to come back and shove him aside, just like that.
He says he respects Goldberg as a competitor but doesn’t believe he has what it takes to carry this company. At BATB, Booker claims he will right a serious wrong… no offense to Bill.
He’s asked about his relationship to Sharmell, since T has only recently divorced, but Sharmell shoots the question straight down. And when a follow-up attempt is made regarding Sharmell potentially being by his side full-time and perhaps ringside during matches, Sharmell again answers abruptly, saying she supports Booker’s career and that’s that.
T finishes up by admonishing the personal questions, saying that this is about wrestling and in eight days he returns to the top of the company.
Kanyon wins a non-title match against Norman Smiley, showing quite the mean streak before wrapping it up with the Flatliner in 4:57. He takes the mic afterwards and says everybody thinks he’s ducking Van Dam, and that a no DQ match with the corrupt Cat as referee means he will definitely lose the belt at BATB. But, Kanyon continues, RVD is nowhere near the innovator of offense that he is – and he’ll find that out with no boundaries at the Bash. And, if Cat tries to screw him out of the title, he says it will be the last thing he does.
Backstage, Chris Harris takes a seat in the main dressing area, next to James Black. The two make a bit of small talk about their rough nights in previous weeks, when Dustin Rhodes happens past to grab his things and encourages both men to keep going. The Natural admits that the early days are tough but they both have tremendous talent. The two, galvanised by the pep talk, decide that maybe they should watch each other’s backs in the future.
After Steiner and Storm arrived for the big tag match, neither man completely at ease with the other since they’ll be opponents in eight days, DDP’s entrance music hit but only long enough to get him on the stage, as he pointed behind him for the entrance of… Rob Van Dam!
Surprisingly, RVD was cradled by Storm for the three count at 12:51 after Steiner crotched him on the turnbuckles just before a five-star frog splash on Lance could be launched. A three-way brawl between Page, Storm and Steiner had to be broken up by security as RVD was helped backstage with a sore groin by the officials.
Lastly, as had been hyped all evening by the commentary team, Ric Flair came to the ring dressed as sharply as usual to address the assault by Jeff Jarrett’s new faction.
He says that he should have known that JJ wouldn’t have learned his lesson when he was taken to school at the GAB, and that if he wants to run around here playing Horsemen with his buddies that’s fine by him – but if it’s a gang war he wants, it’s a gang war he will get: Flair announces he’ll find some friends to take on the Chosen Few at BATB.
This brings out the Few, with Shane Douglas saying he likes the idea of this match… but he isn’t quite sure they accept, because they might just end Flair’s career tonight instead. As they stalk towards the ring, Flair says this proves they’re no Horsemen – because the first rule of the Horsemen is to be prepared for what you dish out to come back around – with that, Bam Bam Bigelow hops the rail and goes right after Douglas and taking him backstage, out of the equation.
Jarrett says that was a poor move, and premature, as it’s still 3-on-1… but then Sting joins Flair in the ring courtesy of a dimming and raising of the lights. And he’s got two bats, one for each of them!
Jarrett, Sanders, Jindrak and Anderson try to outnumber the legendary duo but are fought off by bat shots to the chest and back, before they decide to retreat as Sting and Flair stand tall to close the show.
Updated Bash at the Beach 2001 card:
- WCW World title rematch: Goldberg v Booker T
- WCW World tag titles, champions v champions: O’Haire & Palumbo v Kidman & Rey
- WCW US title, no DQ or countouts, Cat as guest referee: Chris Kanyon v RVD
- WCW Cruiserweight title: Shane Helms v either Jason Jett or Elix Skipper
- Ric Flair, Sting, Bam Bam Bigelow and ? vs The Chosen Few
- For a World title shot at Battlebowl: DDP vs Lance Storm vs Scott Steiner