The return of the Battlebowl PPV is eight days away and not only is the card taking shape but the 20-man Battlebowl showpiece has a completed field via Lethal Lottery.
Tonight, Booker T and Diamond Dallas Page sign the contract for their heated World title showdown at the big event, while we have two tag team title matches on tap.
Also, Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett will go one-on-one once more at the PPV, this time under Bunkhouse rules and for the first time since Jarrett formed his Chosen Few army to end The Nature Boy’s career. Will they both make it to the no-holds-barred brawl at 100%?
Saturday Nitro #15: first aired on August 18; taped along with episode 16 on August 15
A video package starts the show and runs down the 20 confirmed participants in Battlebowl. It also reiterates the rules, in that two men will start with a new participant joining every 60 seconds. Over the top rope eliminations, with the final two remaining then going at it to a one-fall finish to decide a new #1 contender.
The opening contest is the cruiserweight tag title match, as Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio retained against new top contenders Chavo Guerrero and Shannon Moore. Kidman pinned Chavo after a heel collision followed by the double-team pop-up rana at 14:21. The announcers touch upon the fact that this leaves Daniels and Ki of XXX free to challenge Kidman and Rey at Battlebowl.
Guerrero berated his team-mate after the bell, furious at how things turned out… and went as far as to slap Moore down to the canvas. Though the crowd wanted Shannon to hit back, however, he took the consequences and remained subservient to Chavo.
Backstage, XXX confirm that they have been approved to get their tag title shot at the PPV, brag about finding a way past Cat’s edict that wrestlers will not create their own title matches anymore, and promise to leave Battlebowl with all the gold.
Daniels adds that he has challenged Shane Helms to a singles bout for tonight, looking for revenge after Helms attacked him ‘unprovoked’ two weeks ago. Skipper finishes by suggesting that Helms should prove he is worthy of ruling the division by running the ‘Triple X gauntlet’, starting with Daniels this week.
Helms began that gauntlet in style with a clean win over Daniels while Skipper and Ki watched from the walkway. After the Vertebreaker at 8:30, Helms and Skipper locked eyes after the bout.
Backstage, Chris Harris and James Black are talking, still a little in shock that they rolled over Jeff Jarrett and Lance Storm and reached Battlebowl. Harris warns that such a big first win could put targets on their backs. Black jokes that he doesn’t care if they’re America’s Most Wanted, because winning is such a unbeatable feeling. Harris suggests they may have found their team name.
The Full Blooded Italians beat Crowbar and Alex Wright when ‘Das Wunderkind’ again let an opportunity to punch Glenn Gilbertti’s lights out distract him from the job at hand, allowing the FBI to hit their double-team Rubik’s Cube on Crowbar for the pin in 7:19. As Wright realised what happened, Simon Diamond and Swinger ran down for the attack. Norman Smiley failed in his save attempt until Johnny B Badd assisted, much to the glee of Norman.
In a match to determine the next cruiserweight title challenger after Battlebowl, Jason Jett won a four-way elimination bout against Super Crazy, Tajiri and Kid Romeo. Crazy was the first to go after being illegally misted and pinned by Tajiri; Romeo was pinned by Jett after he and Tajiri double-teamed the babyface for several minutes via an inside cradle, and finally Jett landed the Crash Landing for the pin on Tajiri at 13:01.
Scott Steiner barged down two cameramen on his way to a quick win over Fit Finlay via Recliner at 3:10. After the bout, he vowed to become number one contender at Battlebowl and rip the hearts out of 19 other men on the way. Midajah had to calm him down and ease him backstage.
In an upset, CW Anderson and Mark Jindrak defeated Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire to end a dominant 2001 run and become the new WCW tag team champions. Of course, the feat came with the help of their Chosen Few brethren.
Mike Sanders distracted the referee after a Jungle Kick to Jindrak left him in position for a Swanton. Jeff Jarrett then ran down and was caught lining up a guitar shot on O’Haire as he climbed the buckles, but though Sean saw it coming and wiped out JJ with a flying cross body, Shane Douglas hopped the rail and blasted Palumbo through the ropes with his chain, leaving Anderson to get the pin for the titles at 8:41.
Mean Gene catches up to the heel stable in their dressing room as they celebrate the championship win. He isn’t able to ask a single question, however, as he is immediately followed by The Cat who admonishes the flagrant interference and warns Jarrett that no such behaviour will happen at Battlebowl – his bout with Flair may be Bunkhouse, anything goes… but he is banning the entire Chosen Few faction from ringside! Not only that, but he’d demonstrate such a ban in the upcoming tag match, warning Douglas and the new champs to stay inside this room for Jarrett’s match up next!
Jarrett teamed with Mike Awesome to face Dustin Rhodes and Ric Flair in a contest which descended into a double DQ after just 6:55, given the animosity between the two pairs. It should be noted that Rhodes was a very reluctant partner to Flair and refused to look the man he had opposed just months prior in the eye, even whilst tagging him.
Backstage, Norman Smiley is telling Johnny B Badd how excited he is that they’re friends. Badd warns that in eight days, they are enemies in pursuit of the same goal. Smiley is a sad panda, which forces Badd to promise to only go after him if it comes down to the two of them and that when it comes to GGE, they’re very much on the same page.
Jamie Knoble, David Kash and the Jung Dragons defeated Christian York, Joey Matthews and Air Raid when Knoble pinned Paris with a tiger driver at 8:59. The Dragons had introduced a ladder to the bout, only for Styles to dive over the ropes and onto them and the ladder. This incapacitated AJ more than it did the enemy, however, and a sneaky use of the same ladder on York and Matthews behind the ref’s back left Paris wide open for the pin.
Sting was the marquee guest of the sitdown interview this week. After much reflecting upon his storied WCW career, he admits he is relieved that the company got a second chance and points out how much the fans are benefitting from them just focusing on putting on a great show and not being at ‘war’ any more.
He says making peace with guys like Flair and Luger has brought him a lot of peace himself, but that he’s not done in the ring just yet. He mentions how many veterans who’ve been interviewed are vague about how long they have left, but the Stinger is adamant there’s plenty of ‘showtime’ left.
The Mamalukes defeated America’s Most Wanted with Big Vito’s implant DDT to Harris at 7:35, ending the newly-named AMW’s honeymoon seven days after last week. That said, their huge win on the last Nitro led to reprecussions as Lance Storm snuck in while the match broke down and the ref struggled to maintain order, blasting Black with a superkick before the finish.
Vito and Johnny The Bull chased Storm off post-match before coming back for a little mutual respect after the bout, but to the Mamalukes this was another big win on their road to finally getting a title shot, regardless of circumstances.
Finally, DDP and Booker T signed the official contract for their title match at Battlebowl. The two traded words which touched upon their previous friendship and closeness, with Page also riling the champ up by hinting that Goldberg wasn’t gone forever and would be back soon to get his vengeance on Booker. The two brawled to close the show, with DDP standing tall.
Battlebowl card so far:
- WCW World title: Booker T vs DDP
- BATTLEBOWL – Final list of participants: Tajiri, Super Crazy, Johnny B Badd, Chavo Guerrero, Lash Leroux, Shannon Moore, Scott Steiner, Norman Smiley, Sting, Jason Jett, Shane Douglas, Sean O’Haire, Johnny Swinger, Kid Romeo, Chris Harris, Simon Diamond, Chuck Palumbo, Chris Kanyon, James Black, Shawn Stasiak
- Bunkhouse brawl: Ric Flair v Jeff Jarrett
- Ambulance match: Dustin Rhodes v Mike Awesome
- WCW Cruiserweight title: Elix Skipper v Shane Helms
- WCW Cruiserweight tag team title: Kidman & Rey v Triple X
Next time: the go-home show before Battlebowl!