If Fusient Bought WCW #18: The ‘Chain’ Of Command

Who else will join the field of 20 for Battlebowl? And will a WCW ring be able to contain Bam Bam Bigelow and The Franchise’s chain grudge match?

The Lethal Lottery is underway to decide participants for Battlebowl at the titular PPV coming up in a few weeks. And while the war against Jeff Jarrett’s Chosen Few has come mostly from WCW icons Sting and Ric Flair, it’ll be another veteran in Bam Bam Bigelow taking centre stage when he fights his rival Shane Douglas in a chain match.

Elsewhere tonight, the LL will bring us closer to our field of 20 for Battlebowl, while The Mamalukes look for revenge against Glenn Gilbertti’s duo Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger in a bout which will see the winners earn a WCW World tag team title match.

Saturday Nitro #13: first aired on August 4

The Cat once again opens the show to draw Lethal Lottery tag matches for the evening. Tonight’s four bouts are Super Crazy and Jason Jett vs the fortunate pairing of Elix Skipper and Low Ki; Lash Leroux and Scott Steiner vs Jimmy Yang and Christopher Daniels; the retro pairing of former tag champions Chuck Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak vs should-be allies but current rivals Ric Flair and CW Anderson; and finally in the main event Sting and Sean O’Haire vs Rob Van Dam and Rey Misterio.

Miller finishes by saying that he spoke to DDP and has granted Page the chance to call out Booker T regarding last week’s cheapshot later in the show.

Crazy and Jett were brought together by the draw but had a mutual loathing of the new alliance dubbed ‘Triple X’ which conspired to eliminate both men from the cruiserweight contenders’ tournament. And they exacted a degree of revenge by advancing to Battlebowl at the expense of chief conspirators Skipper and Ki, who came out to a ripoff of Xzibit’s ‘X’ track, with Jett pinning Ki with the Crash Landing at 9:41. Christopher Daniels stalked down to ringside during the bout but was swiftly attacked and sent running backstage by a furious Shane Helms.

Outside the arena, Mike Awesome sits in the back of an ambulance. He says he’s not happy brawling with Dustin Rhodes each week when it doesn’t end with Rhodes being loaded into an ambulance, and that it cannot end until one of them goes to the hospital. So, how about it at Battlebowl: Awesome v Rhodes in an Ambulance match?

Kaz Hayashi defeated Air Paris as the issue between the Dragons and Air Raid continued. Outside the ring, Yang ran AJ Styles into the post and then, when Leia Meow distracted the ref, helped Kaz double-team Paris for the win in 5:54. AP seemed a little upset that he was left 2-on-1, despite a groggy Styles trying to explain the deal post-match.

York and Matthews hit the ring in street clothes, and said their dream of stepping onto the big stages was spoiled in short order by ‘bitter losers’ in Knoble and Kash. They challenge the ‘hillbillies’ to come and look them in the eye and fight them right now. The heels quickly oblige and a four-man brawl has to be quelled by security.

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Scott Steiner returned to his old cruiserweight-bullying ways as he bounced Yang and Daniels around for much of he and Lash Leroux’s Lethal Lottery match. Leroux’s exchanges with his foes weren’t without merit, but ultimately Steiner levelled his own partner in frustration and Daniels decided to abandon the contest, leaving Scotty to beat Yang with the Recliner in 5:28.

In the hallways, Norman Smiley invites Johnny B Badd to hang out with Alex Wright, Crowbar and himself. Johnny asks him if he realises that their team is now effectively over, since they’ve qualified for Battlebowl and are now technically enemies in the quest for a title match? Smiley brushes that off, as well as Wright telling Badd to “run away he has the chance”, and keeps persuading Johnny to join them after the show. Badd says he’ll think about it.

In a match to decide tag team title contenders for two weeks’ time on Nitro, The Mamalukes beat Simon and Swinger, with Smiley, Wright and Crowbar preventing a run-in by the FBI and Gilbertti. Johnny The Bull and Big Vito exact a little revenge on GGE with the ‘Brooklyn Bomb’ hiptoss powerbomb double-team in 8:43.

Lance Storm is interviewed backstage by Mean Gene. He says that although he didn’t succeed in gaining the next world title shot at the last PPV, he did defeat Rob Van Dam en route, and suggests that it’s high time integrity is restored to the “Canadian” heavyweight title.

Ric Flair and CW Anderson immediately went for each other as they made their entrances in Lethal Lottery action. Their opponents, Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo, were far from on the same page unlike the Perfect Event era but capitalised on the drawing of their opponents.

Flair did manage to get some shots in on Stasiak, who joined his BATB team for selfish reasons and left him in the lurch, but was again sucker-punched by Anderson, allowing Stasiak a cheap pin over the legendary Flair in 7:07. Palumbo attacked Anderson after the bout to prevent any further damage to Flair.

Jeff Jarrett was the subject of the weekly interview, and began with insight into the Chosen Few. He says he spent not only months under Flair in the Magnificent Seven, but years watching and idolising him dating back to his false induction into the Horsemen. He says that particular episode soured him on how political Flair could be, and when he came back to WCW he openly flaunted being the ‘Chosen One’ rather than hiding his manoeuvring.

He wants to prove that a group doesn’t need Flair’s so-called greatness to be the elite – and promises to take the Chosen Few to all-new heights. If Flair wants another one-on-one match, however, fine. He finishes by putting over Mark Jindrak’s raw athleticism, Shane Douglas’s cunning, Mike Sanders’ talking and management skills and says CW Anderson will be even better than Arn.

Speaking of Douglas, it was now time for the Franchise’s grudge match against Bam Bam Bigelow, in a chain match. A bloody brawl ended when Mark Jindrak and Mike Sanders interfered and allowed Douglas to choke the big man out with the chain in 12:37.

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Backstage, CW Anderson met with the victorious Douglas as well as Jindrak, Sanders and Torrie. They’re admonished by The Cat for the cheating, but they remind the Commish that chain matches are No DQ – not only that but Miller granted them title shots, so they want the tag title shot in two weeks, not the Mamalukes.

A frustrated but checkmated Cat grants Anderson and Jindrak their wish, but reminds them that this is it for their opportunities and warns that they will have to answer to their victims down the line.

DDP hits the ring and explains how he was one of the few guys backstage who always told everyone who’d listen that Booker T would break through and become the man. When he did just that a year ago, few were happier than him even though he was sat at home wondering if he himself ever wanted to wrestle again.

Unfortunately, he has seen what has happened to Book happen to the best of them – everyone, including himself, is corrupted by power and feels the need to do whatever it takes to stay at the top when they get there. He asks Booker to come out here because, even though he’s challenging for the title at the PPV, he doesn’t think they have to be at odds like when T hit him last week with the belt.

The champ enters with Sharmell, who begins the rebuttal by browbeating Page for having the audacity to call out the champion. Booker says he and Page go way back, and will probably be very good friends when they both retire. BUT, this is now, and this is the peak of Booker T. He says Goldberg tried to sneak his way into Booker’s legacy by playing the friend card and Page won’t pull that off, either.

DDP says if Booker wants to have this attitude, fine. But he’s taking the belt to become a four-time champion at Battlebowl and if Book wants to throw cheapshots, how about throwing one now? Booker teases it, but chooses to leave to boos from the crowd.

Finally, Sting and Sean O’Haire beat Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio in a fascinating Lethal Lottery match to reach Battlebowl. This all-fan favourite encounter finished clean with Sting catching Misterio mid-moonsault and lowering him into a Scorpion Deathdrop for the three at 18:11. All four shook hands after a very entertaining and novel main event.

Battlebowl 2001 card so far:

  • WCW World title: Booker T v DDP
  • Battlebowl – Confirmed entrants: Norman Smiley, Johnny B Badd, Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger, Chavo Guerrero, Shannon Moore, Super Crazy, Jason Jett, Scott Steiner, Lash Leroux, Shawn Stasiak, Chuck Palumbo, Sean O’Haire, Sting.

WCW.com broke the story the day after Nitro aired that Van Dam suffered a minor injury in the Lethal Lottery main event. It featured quotes from Commissioner Cat, who explained that because RVD isn’t expected to miss a lot of time, he won’t be stripping him of the United States title just yet.

Coming up next: More Lethal Lottery! News on a Flair/Jarrett rematch! And more!

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