WCW is abuzz with news of the return of WarGames, as it appears Ric Flair and Sting will battle Jeff Jarrett’s Chosen Few one last time inside the double cage that has settled so many scores in the company’s 12-year history.
We not only should get more news on that tonight but there’s also a huge World title main event as Booker T grants Battlebowl winner Sean O’Haire the opportunity he earned at the PPV. Can the hot prospect cap a tremendous rookie year in fairytale fashion?
Saturday Nitro #18: first aired on September 8; taped on August 29
Kidman and Jason Jett had the chance to face off with Triple X the good old-fashioned way to open the show, teaming alongside another enemy of the champions’ faction in Shane Helms.
The six-man tag would go the way of the heels, however, as more cohesive teamwork (as well as some illegal teamwork) allowed Skipper to pin Helms once more with a small package reversed by Daniels in 15:27. Despite reassurance attempts from his team-mates, the increasingly frustrated Helms was inconsolable afterward.
Air Raid were watching the match from the changing room, and hyped themselves up for their upcoming challenge of Daniels and Ki for the cruiserweight tag titles, which has been confirmed for Fall Brawl. Again, Paris is seemingly trying to overcompensate with his enthusiasm and his apparent urge to come across as the ‘leader’ of the team. Either way, both are confident that the titles are leaving with them at the PPV.
America’s Most Wanted defeated the FBI with an impressive double-team Veg-O-Matic that commentary said was called the “Death Sentence” in 7:38. Simon and Swinger were beckoned down by Gilbertti at one point, but Norman Smiley’s misfit gang of Crowbar, Alex Wright and Johnny B Badd cut them off on the walkway, leading to a fair finish.
In a pre-tape, The Mamalukes are fuming that they were robbed of a proper title match at Battlebowl. They add that O’Haire and Palumbo lost their rematch – they don’t care how it went down – and so they are up next, by rights.
Bill Goldberg defeated Chris Kanyon in his first match since losing the WCW title to Booker T. Kanyon provided a stern challenge but ultimately fell to the Spear and Jackhammer in 5:50.
The Chosen Few are with Mean Gene backstage. Gene asks if it’s fair to say Jarrett is lining up his WarGames squad with the Few, and Mike Sanders says of course this group of elite athletes will be the team for WarGames – however, Cat is insisting on 5 vs 5 and Sanders says he is a manager, not a full-time wrestler anymore, so they will be welcoming a fifth competitor for the fight… enter Mike Awesome.
Jarrett says Flair can take a good look at this, his WarGames team. He’s announcing it early because there’s no strategy Ric can employ to stop them. Now, Jeff says, let’s see if Flair can even find four guys with the guts to risk their careers against his team.
York and Matthews were scheduled to team with Air Raid against Knoble, Kash, Chavo and Moore. However, just before the bell Chavo took the mic and told Shannon that he had no intention of risking yet another defeat by teaming with a ‘loser’ and so he was ‘benching’ him for this one. He then introduced his replacement… Kid Romeo.
Romeo would get the fall on Air Paris after the feuding Y&M and Knoble\Kash took each other out on the outside with a series of dives, before a miscommunication between Styles and Paris set up the Last Kiss at 7:32. Chavo and Romeo celebrated while rubbing Moore’s face in it, so to speak. When they left, Air Raid had a heated confrontation in the ring over their balls-up. These guys are the #1 contenders, but may end up falling out before Fall Brawl!
Footage plays of Shawn Stasiak and Stacy Keibler overcharging teenage boys for a photo with the stars of the Shawn and Stacy show, no doubt using the allure of being pictured with Keibler, only for Stasiak to take centre stage in the snaps at the last second.
Lance Storm made Lash Leroux tap out to the Maple Leaf in 6:46, while the announcers confirmed his US title match would finally take place at Fall Brawl. They also told the fans that next week, The Cat will begin a tournament to decide who is next in line for the US title after that.
Mean Gene is with Ric Flair and Sting, and the interviewer asks them about their side now that Jarrett has confirmed all of his quintet for WarGames. Flair says it’s a no brainer that Sting is on board, but he will name the other three in due course. Just then, DDP arrives on the scene and says, after “that jerkoff” Shane Douglas cheapshotted him last week, he wants in. Flair smiles and says sometimes, these teams just pick themselves and shakes Page’s hand, welcoming him onto the squad.
Flair and Sting then teamed with Chuck Palumbo to face Jarrett, CW Anderson and Shane Douglas in a minor sample of what to expect inside the double cage. The faces won by DQ after 11:08 when Mark Jindrak, who spent the bout ringside with Torrie, and Mike Awesome, coming in from the back, helped lay out their enemies.
DDP ran out for the save but, at 5-on-4, they still struggled… until Dustin Rhodes made his first appearance since being stuffed into the ambulance at Battlebowl and finally helped clear the ring. Rhodes checked on Sting, Palumbo and Page – but when Flair offered a handshake, Dustin walked past it and left.
A video package looks at the main event tonight as Sean O’Haire challenges Booker T for the world title. The similarities of them both being from a top tag team and breaking out are prominent. The package ends by asking if O’Haire can go all the way and claim a shocking world title like T did in 2000?
The sitdown interview has a little twist this week as it comes from the home of Rey Misterio, who confirms that his minor knee surgery was successful but that he will miss months of action as a result. He says he will be back kicking ass before you know it, and may even use the downtime to get back in touch with his roots before returning. In the meantime, he expects Kidman to do what he did whenever he and Rey weren’t teaming – tear it up as a singles competitor.
Finally, Booker T retained the WCW World title against Sean O’Haire in a match which slowly but surely reeled the crowd in and had them convinced on a few near-falls that O’Haire could actually do it.
Palumbo served as O’Haire’s second and even scooped up an interfering Sharmell and carried her backstage. However, just when Sean looked to be on the cusp, a Seanton missed and the axe kick followed for the three count after 16:21.
After the bout, Goldberg’s music hit once more but this time, he stayed on the stage where he told Booker: “September 30, Fall Brawl… it’s payback time, Book. You’re next!”
Fall Brawl 2001 card so far:
- WarGames 2001: Ric Flair, Sting, DDP and two others vs Jeff Jarrett, Shane Douglas, CW Anderson, Mark Jindrak and Mike Awesome (w/Mike Sanders and Torrie Wilson)
- WCW World title: Booker T vs Goldberg
- WCW United States title: Rob Van Dam vs Lance Storm
- WCW Cruiserweight title: Elix Skipper vs Jason Jett
- WCW Cruiserweight tag team titles: Low Ki and Daniels vs Air Raid
Up next: Who will complete Team Flair for WarGames? And a tournament for a shot at the United States title begins!