Despite entering a new year, many of WCW’s top wrestlers find themselves renewing old hostilities and with Genesis a shade over one week away, the PPV is set to finish feuds that the end of 2001 didn’t. In addition, the BO7S continues and a huge tag team main event is on tap.
JANUARY 19, 2002: SATURDAY NITRO #37
Taped along with the following AirTime on January 17 in Orlando.
With the Best of Seven Series finely poised at 2-2, this Saturday’s Nitro began with Match Five between Billy Kidman and Shane Helms. And after four see-saw encounters, this was the first which was largely controlled by one competitor as Kidman kept on top of Helms for the majority.
In one moment, however, everything changed as Billy narrowly avoided bumping the referee and as the official braced himself, Helms struck with a quick low blow before hitting the Sugar Smack to a kneeling Kidman for the three-count in 8:01.
Post-match, Helms was interviewed on the entrance way by Mean Gene and he bragged about being able to wrap things up in six at Genesis before mocking Kidman for throwing everything he had and falling behind in the series regardless.
Triple X are backstage, where they say travesties of justice have robbed them of their title belts and caused them to suffer ‘fluke defeats’ to Rey Misterio Jr but tonight they make a statement which will make everyone on the roster realise they are the dominant trio in WCW.
Mark Jindrak comes to the ring with Torrie Wilson and says his issue with Shane Douglas has to end. He rips into the Franchise for being jealous of he and Shane’s ex, and wants a one-on-one fight at Genesis.
The Mamalukes vs Simon Diamond and Swinger never happened, thanks to York and Matthews jumping Vito and JTB on the entranceway as a receipt for their brutal assault last week.
When the pair of feuding teams were hauled to the back by officials and security, Glenn Gilbertti decided to take the mic and claim both sides ran in fear from his pair of ‘problem solvers’, before issuing an open challenge for anyone to take the Mamalukes’ place.
He didn’t actually specify a tag team, and he didn’t get one – Bam Bam Bigelow walked out on his own and dared one of the duo to fight him, but he was instead subjected to a 2-on-1 attack. When Triple B looked as though he might be able to fight both off, Gilbertti struck a low blow and the three of them put the boots to him.
Backstage, DDP is having a hard time convincing Kanyon and RVD to put their past issues behind them. The trio go up against Booker T and Los Guerreros in tonight’s main event.
CW Anderson defeated Johnny B Badd in a competitive bout, finishing with an armtrap submission (London Dungeon) in 7:15 after working on Badd’s arm throughout and neutralising the big KO punch.
Shawn Stasiak made short work of enhancement talent Jorge Estrada in 2:42 before he and Stacy Keibler cut their usual self-indulgent promo – apparently back on the same page now Shawn is back to winning ways – bragging about the ‘Mecca of Manhood’ upstaging the cruiserweights on their own show.
AJ Styles, Super Crazy and Tajiri took on Air Paris, Knoble and Kash but the bout was soon interrupted by Triple X, who picked off all six participants one by one with cheapshots and double teams for a no-contest after 4:30, seemingly just to show their dominance. And indeed, Elix Skipper takes the mic afterwards and says this ‘proves’ they are WCW’s dominant trio.
This brings out Dustin Rhodes, flanked by AMW, who says that if they think cheapshotting guys in the middle of a match is something special, how about they put themselves in the middle of a match at Genesis with the three of them? Just then, the trio of champions recovers and sends XXX packing – only for Paris and his team-mates to get the last laugh with a blindside attack on their original opponents.
A lengthy video package looks at the WCW career of Goldberg – his best wins and some of his defining moments.
Sting and Sean O’Haire teamed up to face former regular tag team Lance Storm and Mike Awesome. After a hot tag to O’Haire and a big comeback sprint, Jeff Jarrett ran out and hopped onto the apron, lining up a guitar shot to Sting, only to earn a Sean superkick for his troubles. That, however, allowed Awesome to O’Connor roll O’Haire for three after 10:51 of action.
Backstage, Sting has caught up to Jarrett and starts kicking his ass down the corridors. CW Anderson tries to intervene but Ric Flair puts a stop to that. As security and The Cat finally diffuse the brawl, the Commissioner says Jarrett and Storm will fight Sting and Flair at the PPV.
Finally, RVD, DDP and Kanyon took on Booker T and Los Guerreros. A long main event saw Van Dam and Kanyon actually work on the same page, and Chavo fell to the Diamond Cutter in 19:19 as the world champ and his challenger brawled into the crowd, really emphasising the chaos that could unfold at Genesis.
JANUARY 23, 2002: AIRTIME #3
The opening video montage centers around the number three – not only is it the third AirTime, but the main event will see a huge triple trios tag match based on the events of Nitro as Triple X face Air Paris, Jamie Knoble and David Kash plus the golden trio of AJ Styles, Super Crazy and Tajiri.
The first bout of the hour sees the in-form Jung Dragons continue their roll with a win over Jorge Estrada – one of WCW’s non-contracted performers who was beaten by Shawn Stasiak on Saturday – and Sonny Siaki with Unleash The Dragon to Estrada in 5:47.
Next up, Kid Romeo gained a measure of revenge after losing to Psicosis on the AirTime debut, crotching the luchadore as he went up for the big legdrop and quickly capitalising with a Last Kiss after 8:18.
A video promotes that Rey Misterio will be back this Saturday on Nitro after the attack by Shawn Stasiak.
The FBI defeated York and Matthews thanks to a distraction from Y&M’s enemies, the Mamalukes, which led to a Kiss Of Death to York in 7:02.
Finally, Triple X won an action-packed 3v3v3 main event when Low Ki pinned AJ Styles with the Ki Krusher in 16:36. After hitting his finisher, Ki heard his team-mate and leader Elix Skipper screaming at him to make the tag and allow him the pin on the man who dethroned him. However, Ki took the pin he earned himself. The trio celebrated their win, though Elix didn’t seem pleased that he didn’t get the fall over the champ.
WCW Genesis 2002 card so far:
- WCW World title, No Disqualification: Rob Van Dam (c) vs Booker T
- WCW World Tag Team titles: Los Guerreros (c) vs DDP & Kanyon
- WCW United States title: Sean O’Haire (c) vs Mike Awesome
- WCW Cruiserweight title: AJ Styles (c) vs Air Paris
- WCW Cruiserweight tag titles: Tajiri & Super Crazy (c) vs Knoble & Kash
- Ric Flair and Sting vs Jeff Jarrett and Lance Storm
- Best of Seven Series: Billy Kidman vs Shane Helms
- Dustin Rhodes and America’s Most Wanted vs Triple X
Next time: The go-home Nitro before the first ever Genesis PPV!