APRIL 10, 2002: AIRTIME #14
The World Cup is undoubtedly dominating AirTime, so to speak, but this week we are also scheduled to hear from the cruiserweight and cruiser tag champs, perhaps to find out more about their next title defenses.
Taped on April 9 in Orlando, along with the following Nitro.
Kidman defeated Kid Romeo to continue USA’s great start to the tournament while leaving Italy on zero, slipping out of a Last Kiss attempt and twisting Romeo round into the Kid Krusher for the pin in 8:21.
Shane Helms says in a pre-tape he is furious with AJ Styles’ “unsporting behaviour” attacking him on Nitro and ruining his victory speech, and feels Styles should be stripped of his right to a rematch.
Sonny Siaki and Jorge Estrada won a three-way tag over Mark and Jay Briscoe and Bryan Danielson and Brian Kendrick, with Siaki finishing off Mark with his ‘Siakilypse’ neckbreaker after 7:08.
Knoble and Kash are being interviewed backstage about their actions on Nitro when the Jung Dragons rush the scene and brawl with the cruiser tag champs.
Finally, old rivals Super Crazy and Tajiri wrestled to a 20-minute time limit draw which gave Japan and Mexico a point apiece. Tensions nearly flared afterwards, but the two men cooled off and shook hands as the hour drew to a close.
World Cup standings:
- USA: 4pts
- Japan: 3pts
- Mexico: 1pt
- Italy: 0pts
APRIL 13, 2002: SATURDAY NITRO #49
Lance Storm has made his bed and it’s now do or die in Toronto: dethrone Rob Van Dam or never challenge for the WCW title again. The two men clash tonight in a tag team main event while a tag team war set up last week opens the broadcast. The tag tournament, meanwhile, takes a one-week hiatus but four teams are just two wins away from PPV gold.
The show started hot as Sting led Dustin Rhodes, Sean O’Haire and America’s Most Wanted to victory over Glenn Gilbertti’s troops of Chuck Palumbo, Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger and The Mamalukes in a 19:33 opener. Sting finished off Swinger with the Deathdrop while AMW brawled with the Mamalukes through the crowd and out of sight.
Backstage, Booker T and Sharmell are watching on a monitor and seemingly discussing potential team members for the elimination match at the World Cup PPV. Shane Douglas and Torrie Wilson arrive and introduce themselves, with Douglas pitching himself as a great team member having so much in common with Book (skill, titles, pedigree, taste in women). T says he’ll take it under consideration.
Mike Awesome destroyed a rookie named Biohazard in 1:38 with a series of fierce strikes and an Awesome Bomb. On Father James Mitchell’s instructions, he adds a top rope splash for good measure after the bell.
In a World Cup match, Jason Jett and Shannon Moore continued USA’s perfect start with a win over the Jung Dragons. The Crash Landing on Yang was enough for another two points after 11:26 of action.
Backstage, Mean Gene catches Sean O’Haire cooling down after the tag match win. He says it was great to avenge his beef with Palumbo and those GGE “clowns” and now he aims to go back to his primary mission: making his US title reign legendary by taking on all comers. He welcomes the next challenger whomever it may be.
Shawn Stasiak and Mark Jindrak defeated two local talents, David Young and Rick Michaels. A double press into a double gutbuster finished Michaels at 4:02. Their curious ‘bromance’ seems to be clicking with some of the fans.
Booker T and Sharmell appear to be heading off early, and the duo make passing mention of minor nagging injuries Book is resting before the big PPV match. They’re stopped dead in their tracks by the imposing figures of Awesome and Mitchell. The latter strongly advises Booker to recruit his “career killer” for the elimination challenge. T again says he’ll consider the pitch before nervously departing with his woman.
Knoble and Kash took on York and Matthews in non-title action for all of 2:30 before Skipper and Daniels rushed the ring and brawled with Y&M for the no-contest. The cruiser tag champs seemed happy to just depart relatively unscathed and let the four vent their issues. Cat personally led the break-up crew to diffuse the chaos and said over the house mic that the two teams can settle their issue at the PPV.
Cat gets backstage and fails to track down Booker, eventually being told they’d already left. Cat says that’s a shame, as now he’ll find out second hand that the captain of the opposing team at the PPV will be Sting!
Rey Mysterio finally got his toes wet in the World Cup competition and did so with a win over Kid Romeo via a springboard legdrop at 7:18, bringing Mexico level with Japan on 3pts and leaving Italy off the board for the time being.
The World Cup update recaps tonight’s results, shows us the overall standings and reveals that on AirTime, Tajiri will face Kidman while the FBI take on Psicosis and Super Crazy! They also look at Italy’s rough start and note that they’re not far from being eliminated entirely.
We then cut to live backstage footage of a defeated Romeo coming back to silence from FBI and Red… until Red bluntly asks: “when will I get a chance to compete?” leading to Romeo berating him and his “lack of team spirit”, even blaming his “attitude” for their early slump. The segment ends with a short cut-in reveal that Jushin Liger will make his World Cup debut… next Saturday night!
Eddie and Chavo Guerrero come out to talk up their tag tourney semi-final next week vs Jeff Jarrett and CW Anderson, how they didn’t need to wait until after the tournament to invoke a rematch because they’re the best team around, and how they’re worried JJ and CW will continue their recent tendencies of cheating, noting that they “hate cheaters”.
Their opponents next week soon arrive and Jarrett rather tastelessly mentions how he’s made a hobby of “beating up annoying little Mexicans” lately and how they cannot wait to continue that on their way to the tag titles next week. Suddenly, DDP and Kanyon attack JJ and CW on the stage, stemming from last week’s controversial result. Los Guerreros consider sneaking over to attack one or perhaps both sides, but stop in their tracks and bid a retreat through the crowd when Page and Kanyon spot their approach.
It’s mentioned by the commentators ahead of tonight’s main event that Rob Van Dam and Lance Storm will sign their world title match contract next week on Nitro.
And, Storm and Shane Helms faced RVD and AJ Styles in our main event. After a hot tag from AJ, RVD almost had Storm beat with a frog splash only for Helms to put his foot on the rope. Van Dam dove out with a plancha to Helms but appeared to tweak his knee a little on the way down.
The world champ tagged Styles back in and RVD was pulled off the apron by Helms, hurting his knee further in the process. AJ set up a Styles Clash on Lance only for Helms to break it up. As Styles went after the man who stole his title, it allowed Lance to blindside him and a double superkick led to the pin after 19:58.
World Cup of Wrestling card so far:
- WCW World title: Rob Van Dam (c) vs Lance Storm
- World Cup singles four-way: USA vs Mexico vs Japan vs Italy
- World Cup tag team four-way: USA vs Mexico vs Japan vs Italy
- Elimination match for World title shot: Team Sting vs Team Booker
- Christian York and Joey Matthews vs Elix Skipper and Christopher Daniels
World Cup standings:
- USA: 6pts
- Japan: 3pts
- Mexico: 3pts
- Italy: 0pts