Kicking off Fall Brawl weekend with a Saturday Nitro 24 hours before the big PPV, we are set for a crazy episode on the final stop before WarGames. The two teams of five are set as well as a relaxed rules WCW title grudge match between Booker T and Goldberg. What late twists and turns can we expect before the PPV?
Saturday Nitro #21: first aired on September 29; taped along with episodes 19 and 20 on September 12
The Cat has set up two rooms backstage tonight – two ‘war rooms’, for the respective WarGames teams to strategise 24 hours before the big fight. The early clips show the heels listening completely to Jeff Jarrett. Meanwhile the faces are determined but a little less cohesive in their chatter. Dustin Rhodes and Ric Flair still aren’t totally comfortable around each other.
Match one tonight is Sean O’Haire vs Johnny The Bull in the first of two singles matches between these two sides. O’Haire wins clean with the Seanton in 5:55. Both tag partners in the respective corners refrained from getting involved, surprisingly.
Back in the dressing rooms, Glenn Gilbertti is ripping into AMW, Johnny B Badd and Norman Smiley, particularly the latter two, branding them ‘jokes’ and ‘comedy acts’ and how comedy acts make him sick. He says his organisation will run the past-their-prime jesters from the company and end the AMW hype train once and for all.
Christian York and Joey Matthews won their feud with Jamie Knoble and David Kash in a no-disqualification tornado tag, intercepting another heel attempt at using their own boots as weapons, laying both of them out and finishing with a double DDT onto a chair to Kash in 9:50.
The Cat announces from his office that he will be stopping by the two war rooms shortly to receive one nominee from each team. Those two men will compete in a singles match tonight and the winner will win the first entry into WarGames for his side. He adds that coin tosses are for gamblers and this weekend, the two sides will have to fight for the advantage.
Cat finishes by offering a tiny bit more detail on this Starrcade Series concept – he announces it will begin after Fall Brawl and that the winner will challenge for the World title at the big year-ending PPV. For now, though, that’s all he was offering.
Big Vito beat Chuck Palumbo in the second singles contest between these two sides after 5:19 after a kick from the Italian appeared to catch Palumbo low. There was certainly an argument to it being an accident, but replays show it probably hurt Chuck where it should never hurt. O’Haire stood up for his partner, which brought in Johnny The Bull and a heated shoving contest between the four closed the segment.
Air Raid are with Mean Gene, and for the first time in weeks they look to be very much on the same page. AJ Styles says their problems over the last few weeks have been the best thing that could have happened to their team – they always knew they had the talent but it’s taken six months in WCW, he explains, for them to get the mental fortitude to swim with the sharks.
Paris says he’s apologised to Styles for his recent behaviour, adding that he’s felt a lack of balance in the team but by nearly falling out and having their arguments, they’ve managed to realise how much they want the cruiserweight tag titles and how much they know they can beat Triple X if they do what they do and work together as an even team no matter what.
Chavo Guerrero came out and brought Kid Romeo with him. Chavo says he did everything he could to rescue poor Shannon Moore from his perennial life of being abandoned by everyone who gets to know him, and did so for perfectly selfless reasons, but that ingrate couldn’t handle his ”constructive critiques” and “tough love” and tomorrow, he’s going to put him out of his misery at Fall Brawl.
Tonight, however, Chavo has “the heart-throb himself” with him because he wants to prove a point – that Moore has no friends, no allies, and will regret turning on Chavo. He challenges Shannon to a tag match, with any partner he wants. Moore eventually comes out alone, and rushes the ring anyway with a renewed self-belief after leaving Guerrero. However, he’s beaten down two-on-one until Lash Leroux runs down to even the odds.
Leroux and Moore fell to Chavo and Romeo courtesy of Guerrero’s tornado DDT on Lash in 6:58. He had Romeo hold Moore after the bout so he could slap him repeatedly and tell him to his face that he’ll end him at Fall Brawl.
Things are getting heated in the Team Flair war room. Rhodes ups the stakes by making a comment about how Ric’s big plan is probably to betray the team like he always used to do to Sting and to Dustin’s dad in the past. “Did somebody mention mah name?” A voice bellows from the doorway… and in walks Dusty Rhodes himself!
Dusty apologies for interrupting, but says somebody called him and said this team needed a little guidance before WarGames. With that, Arn Anderson joins him in the room. Arn says there is now about five dozen different old rivalries in this room at the same time, but the enemy this weekend is over in the other war room.
He continues his classic Arn pep talk by saying he and Dusty never got along in the ring but right now, they know these five warriors need generals to find the path to conquering Jarrett’s army. Dusty adds that the first thing that needs to be done is for Dustin and Ric to bury the hatchet. “It’s fine, son – we’re fine. I already buried his head in that ass!”.
That lightens the mood and Rhodes and Flair finally agree to co-operate for WarGames, shaking hands. With that, The Cat knocks and joins everyone in the war room, asking for their wrestler for tonight. Flair says he will fight for the WG advantage to show his team and especially Sting and the Rhodes boys that in the new WCW, he’s a team player.
Shawn Stasiak defeated Shane Helms in a return bout requested by Helms after losing to Shawn in the US title contenders tourney. The eventual winner of the bracket finished him with a neckbreaker in 5:35 after Stacy distracted the ref from a clear visual three count from a Sugar Smack. Helms’ frustrations grew after the bout while Stasiak and Stacy cut a quick promo about being destined for the US title.
A Triple X pre-tape saw them showing off the gold, bragging about their dominance over the last few months and promising to send Jason Jett, AJ Styles and Air Paris back to obscurity after Fall Brawl.
The team of Lance Storm and Chris Kanyon beat RVD and Billy Kidman when Kanyon stole the US title from ringside, staring lovingly at his former possession, until RVD chased him around and eventually snatched it back. The ref took it away and chastised Van Dam for this, allowing Kanyon to roll back in after Kidman hit Storm with the SSP, nail a Flatliner and put Storm on top for the win in 12:44. After RVD helped Kidman up and apologised, Kidman challenged Kanyon for tomorrow’s show.
In the Chosen Few war room, everyone was incredibly relaxed. When the Cat arrived and picked up on this, Douglas commented that they have every possible scenario covered and they’re all set for war. Cat then asked for their representative for this match, and Jarrett told CW Anderson that this was his chance to prove that he is the new Enforcer and the backbone of this team.
This week’s interview is with the man who challenges for the cruiserweight title in 24 hours, Jason Jett. It tracks his career so far from the indies to ECW to a PPV debut at WCW Greed Jett admits blew his own mind. He says he’d love to be part of the cruiserweight revolution here by winning his first title and admits he’d love to dethrone Skipper of all people as his Triple X formation ruse cost Jason his shot the first time around.
The Chosen Few and Mike Awesome will have the WarGames advantage tomorrow. CW Anderson, almost exactly six years to the day Arn upset Flair in a heated contest at a Fall Brawl PPV, pinned the Nature Boy.
Even though all other WG participants were banned from ringside, Torrie Wilson was not and her low blow to Flair allowed a snap DDT to finish him off after 12:37 – eerily similar to six years ago. The two sides ended up seeping out and brawling around the arena after the contest but Flair and his men now have their work really cut out for them.
Finally, as advertised by the commentary team etc all evening, Booker T and Goldberg participated in a face-to-face before their third title contest in four months. Booker ran Goldberg down for proving he wasn’t flagship material; Goldberg simply responded that the pressure is getting to Book and that’s why he’s turned his back on everyone who cheered him on when he broke down the barriers in 2000. Booker got more aggressive and heated, and Sharmell fled the ring as the two started going at it as the go-home show concluded.
Up next: Fall Brawl 2001 and the return of the proper, old-school WarGames!