Slamboree is the first World Championship Wrestling PPV event to be produced by the Fusient regime for a second time, with the 2001 edition coming just after a ‘Big Bang’ relaunched the company that appeared to be finished and Nitro moved to Saturday nights.
This time around, the promotion celebrates their first full year of smooth operations by acknowledging their roots. The ring and arena are designed just as they were back in the popular 1991-92 era, Gary Michael Cappetta is on one-off hosting/ring announcing duties, the legendary Ric Flair is also heavily promoting the old school vibe and even little touches such as on-screen graphics are back to how they were 10 years prior.
Nonetheless, the current WCW roster is as state-of-the-art as it gets, and the action will no doubt be exactly that as well on this ‘old school’ evening.
In the main event, WCW World champion Lance Storm gives Rob Van Dam his rematch after dethroning RVD to a hero’s reception in Toronto last month. Now back on US soil, the champ is not only back to being resented by the audience, but he enters Van Dam’s world by competing in a ladder match!
Elsewhere, a brand new match type unveiled by Stacy Keibler makes its debut as cruiserweight champion AJ Styles, Shane Helms and Billy Kidman run back their Superbrawl triangle thriller only this time, under ‘Ultimate X’ rules. Two cross-cables run parallel high above the ring, and the title belt will be looped around the very centre of those cables. Wrestlers must go arm-under-arm on the cables to reach the belt and be the champ.
We’ll also find out who will be next in line for both titles when four wrestlers who were around to see the ‘old school’ set-up when it was the current style – Sting, Dustin Rhodes, Booker T, and Shane Douglas – do battle in a number one contender’s four-way dance, while the cruiserweight division competes in a battle royal for a junior heavyweight title match.
Plus, will Jeff Jarrett and CW Anderson solicit the help of Glenn Gilbertti Enterprises for their tag team grudge match against DDP and Kanyon, despite The Chosen One’s claims that he is not in league with the faction? Can The Jung Dragons capitalise on their World Cup momentum and finally realise their dream of cruiserweight tag team gold? Will York and Matthews shock the world and upset heavyweight tag champs Los Guerreros? And what chaos will unfold in America’s Most Wanted’s no-disqualification war with The Mamalukes?
MAY 26, 2002: WCW SLAMBOREE – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Our pre-show main event saw the Amazing Red and his partners, Jose and Joel Maximo, defeat Kid Romeo and the Full Blooded Italians in 13:38. The Maximos finished off Romeo with their incredible finisher, as the duo joined their opponent up on the top rope and brought him crashing down with a stunning backflip uranage. One Red Star Press (standing shooting star) by the legal man later, Red had a measure of revenge on his former team-mates – and two serious high-fliers watching his back!
The Cat confirmed that later tonight, the Mamalukes will be kicked out of the arena after their fight with AMW so that the entire GGE faction will be unable to disrupt the rest of the show, what with the rest of the group suspended until Saturday. He did however add that the winner of AMW/Mamalukes would get a shot at the tag team titles, warning Vito and JTB that if they earn a shot it could still be taken away with any unacceptable behaviour.
Opening match, WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship: Jamie Knoble and David Kash (c) vs The Jung Dragons
The Dragons, longtime WCW performers who spent much of their career being underappreciated and underutilised, were cashing in their World Cup winning rights, which enabled every member of the winning team to select one title match at a minimum of seven days’ notice. Tajiri had tried unsuccessfully to dethroned heavyweight champ Lance Storm. Jushin Liger returned to Japan, and has just under a year to request a title shot. But tonight, it was about destiny for Jimmy Yang and Kaz Hayashi.
Having had the champs’ numbers for a while – including at the heavyweight tag team tournament last month – the Dragons started off hot but it was only a matter of time before Yang’s damaged shoulder became the focus.
After taking a battering on the arm for a while, Yang even turned Knoble’s armbar that he used for the win the night before into a backslide for a two count before dropkicking his way to a hot tag to Kaz.
Just as Hayashi had blown through both opponents, a dazed Knoble slid one of the title belts into the ring where the ref could see it, just so he could hand the other to Kash. A belt shot to Kaz got a long two as Yang somehow made the save.
The champs then went for stereo tiger drivers on the challengers only for the Dragons to reverse into a double slingshot, crashing them into each other and setting up a Kaz (Kryptonite) Krunch to Kash and a Yang inverted tombstone to Knoble for stereo covers and a three count for legal Hayashi on Kash at 17:24. The Dragons finally captured WCW gold!
Cruiserweight Open Battle Royal
There were 25 entrants battling for a shot at the cruiser champ at the Great American Bash: Tajiri, Rey Mysterio, Super Crazy, Psicosis, Juventud Guerrera, Elix Skipper, Christopher Daniels, Low Ki, Jason Jett, Shannon Moore, Jay Briscoe, Mark Briscoe, Air Paris, Kid Romeo, Guido Maritato, Tony Marinera, Amazing Red, Joel Maximo, Jose Maximo, Sonny Siaki, Jorge Estrada, Julio Dinero, Bryan Danielson, Brian Kendrick… and, as all the other 24 waited for the bell, the music of La Parka hit! The original ‘chairman’ of WCW strutted out with his chair and had the weapon taken from him by an official before he slid in to get the match started.
Mark Briscoe was first eliminated by Juvi. Danielson then eliminated Kendrick, to the surprise of the commentators who were aware of their teaming up in recent months as unsigned talent. Kendrick wasn’t happy at all. After Parka spent some time throwing others around and especially targeting his fellow luchadores, it led to Rey, Psicosis and Crazy triple-teaming the bruiser and with the help of a few others, eliminating the surprise entrant to boos! Parka grabbed his chair and went back in illegally to smack Crazy, Rey, Psicosis, Jay Briscoe and Joel Maximo with the weapon before being escorted out.
Air Paris quickly disposed of the knocked-loopy Briscoe, and Kid Romeo went straight for the attacked Maximo and dumped Joel out. This led to a Red/Jose double clothesline sending Romeo out and the FBI, in turn, eliminating Red and Jose. Tajiri sent Siaki onto the apron before Buzzsaw Kicking him out, and Skipper and Daniels double-teamed Dinero out of the match.
Jett and Moore showed great team-work to overcome pressure from the FBI and it led to Jett sending Maritato out while Shannon eliminated Marinera. As Paris attacked Moore, however, Jett evaded Juvi for a moment and went to send Paris over as he and Moore leant on the ropes… only to send Shannon out as well as Paris. Moore wasn’t pleased with this, and as Jett attempted to keep apologising he was blindsided and dumped out by XXX.
Rey Mysterio 619’d his way out of Estrada’s attempt to toss him before rana’ing Jorge to the floor and hanging on himself. Tajiri and Juvi went at it by the ropes which allowed Daniels and Skipper to continue their momentum in the match as Juvi went via Daniels and Skipper dumped Tajiri. The fans and commentators alike began to pick up on how long Danielson had lasted, and after a spectacular three-way exchange with Daniels and Ki, he was even able to low bridge Psicosis out before finally being tossed by Skipper.
Triple X kept rolling and beat on Rey and Crazy while Ki laid hurt in the corner. As the Mexicans rallied back, Rey’s running dropkick was dodged by Daniels and it sent Crazy over and out. Down to the final four, Skipper and Daniels looked towards Ki and proposed a full XXX reunion to wipe out Mysterio. Likely knowing this would have lasted until Rey was out, Ki went on the attack on Daniels as Rey blitzed Skipper but a low blow to Ki by ‘The Fallen Angel’ allowed him to go over and dump Rey as he attacked Skipper.
The trio who dominated the division in late 2001 then did battle for a title shot, but Skipper and Daniels’ double-teaming went awry and allowed Ki to send out Skipper and then his former co-tag champ Daniels to win the title shot after a total of 10:53 and prove himself once again as king of the multi-man cruiser match.
No Disqualification, for a WCW World Tag Team title match: America’s Most Wanted vs The Mamalukes
Both sides came dressed in street clothes and brawled around the crowd and ringside with trash cans, baking trays, a fire extinguisher and a stickball bat. Harris saved a pinfall on Black after the Mamalukes’ hiptoss powerbomb onto a propped up guardrail in the ring, and sent JTB off the apron and through a table set up at ringside with a superkick.
He and Vito traded weapon-based near falls until Black smashed an empty beer bottle over Vito’s bald skull and the Death Sentence onto a chair finished their beef with the Italian thugs in 12:44 and earned them one more shot at the tag titles in the process.
United States Championship: Mike Awesome (c) vs Sean O’Haire
Awesome faced O’Haire next for the United States title he stole from Sean eight days prior. Again, the druids made an appearance but this time O’Haire went on the offensive and unmasked two of them, revealing burly men wearing similar partial make-up to Awesome. The third, however, blindsided Sean with a crowbar as the ref and several colleagues removed the other two attackers and Awesome hit the top rope splash for the win in 10:20.
Mitchell then entered the ring and removed the third druid’s hood to reveal… Devon Storm, aka Crowbar. All of these men celebrated on the stage before leaving.
WCW World Tag Team Championship: Los Guerreros (c) vs Christian York and Joey Matthews
Los Guerreros successfully defended the titles against in-form duo York and Matthews, with Eddie ringing the timekeeper’s bell to cause confusion as Y&M scaled a turnbuckle together, ready to finish off Chavo. York dived off towards Eddie, who dodged and left Christian to hit the guardrail. Chavo then met Matthews up top for a superplex and Eddie scaled the adjacent turnbuckle to hit an immediate frog splash for good measure, leaving Chavo to get the three-count in 12:36.
We see a battered and bloodied Mamalukes duo escorted out of the building. Cat patiently waited outside the trainer’s room as they got stitches and ice before making sure they were gone well before tonight’s main matchups. The rest of GGE have already been banned.
Four-way dance for a WCW World title shot: Sting vs Booker T vs Dustin Rhodes vs Shane Douglas
Initially beginning with tags, the bout soon broke down and mostly featured two men brawling at ringside and in the crowd while the other two battled in the ring.
Booker set up Rhodes for the Book End, only for Douglas to drop both with low blows. He went to retrieve a chain from under the turnbuckle – because Torrie’s attempt to hand one to the Franchise led to a catfight with Sharmell which led to both ladies being sent packing – but that put him in perfect position for a pair of Stinger Splashes.
Douglas tapped to the Deathlock at the 12:09 mark before either Rhodes or Booker could recover in time to save and Sting is advancing to the Great American Bash main event, like he did a dozen years prior!
First-ever Ultimate X match for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs Shane Helms vs Billy Kidman
The Ultimate X structure, looming over Slamboree all night, was finally debuted next as cruiserweight champion Styles allowed his belt to be strapped to the centre of the X via a ref with a ladder. He and challengers Kidman and Helms recaptured the magic of their Superbrawl three-way with the extra added gravity defying bumps from the cables.
Each man was at one point double-teamed by the other two, and every time led to a betrayal, of course, with only one man able to win. A table was propped into a corner but nobody was able to put someone through it. Styles came closest to unhooking the belt but Helms brought him down with a steel chair. Kidman snatched the chair but as Helms begged off, he hit a low blow and a Vertebreaker, just like at Spring Breakout. It appears this time Kidman wasn’t extra prepared.
A wounded and tired Helms opted to get the ladder the ref used and which will also be used in the main event later tonight, but as he neared the top, The Cat came to the stage with a mic and said if he even touches the belt via that ladder, he’ll remove Helms from the match and it’ll end as AJ/Kidman. As Helms protested, the faces tipped the ladder over to send Shane through the corner table.
AJ and Kidman then did a slow climb up opposite corners and went arm-under-arm to the middle where they kicked at each other in one final shootout for the belt. It was Kidman who fell, hitting the chair on the way down, and AJ unhooked the belt and fell beside him to retain after 16:29!
Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon vs Jeff Jarrett and CW Anderson
Page and Kanyon looked forward to fighting Jarrett and CW without any GGE shenanigans, with Commissioner Cat making sure the group who had made so many attempts to assist the former Chosen Few duo in recent weeks were out of the building altogether.
The tag bout unfolded under pretty standard formula with Kanyon getting his neck worked over by JJ and CW. When Page tagged in, he ran through both heels. After Pancaking legal man Jarrett, CW brought the guitar in and missed a wild swing before eating a Diamond Cutter.
Page then Cuttered Jarrett, too, while the fans seemed distracted by a fracas among them as six men dressed head-to-toe in alien outfits were being stopped by security from hopping the rail. This caught the ref’s attention while a seventh man, wearing a mask the commentators likened to that of Mr. Wrestling I and II, entered the ring, picked up the guitar, smashed it over DDP’s skull and draped an out-cold Jarrett’s arm on top.
The ref turned around and counted three at 14:44 while this Mr. Wrestling wannabe held the leg of Kanyon at ringside and whomever was looking to cause chaos in WCW had struck again – and once again, it was to benefit Jeff Jarrett.
WCW World Championship, ladder match: Lance Storm (c) vs Rob Van Dam
Finally, the ladder was set up on the walkway for Rob Van Dam’s rematch against WCW Champion Lance Storm. The two wrestled for several minutes before RVD ran through a few of his moves to buy time to fetch the ladder. Lance was waiting in the ring, recovered, to baseball slide the ladder into Van Dam’s knee as he tried to get it into the ring and the challenger’s leg became the focus from here on out.
Unlike the Ultimate X stuntshow, these two became embroiled in a dramatic and methodical ladder match with RVD finding the odd chance to try and scale the ladder one-legged. Storm even stopped one valiant attempt with a modified Maple Leaf up on the ladder, hurting the bad leg further. Rob was able to shift his weight and turn it into a form of sunset flip powerbomb off the ladder in his biggest move of the match so far.
He slowly scaled one side before Storm recovered enough to gradually catch him up on the other. They traded blows at the top before reaching for the belt at the same time and having a hold as the ladder fell to one side.The two dangled from the belt, kicking each other in mid-air until they both fell to the mat… still holding one strap of the belt each. The entire arena was frozen in confusion. The official match time was 19:25.
The two ringside officials came in and raised a man’s hand each, thinking they had seen one of them have the belt more than the other. Storm and RVD kept their other hand clasping the belt all the while, refusing to let go. As The Cat came ringside and spoke to the officials as well as Ric Flair in the front row, Van Dam hobbled up and Storm got to his feet too, as the two absolutely refused to let go of the belt.
Cat entered the ring, snatched it from the two tired combatants and looked unsure of what to do as PPV time ran out and we went off the air.
Next time: The road to Great American Bash 2002 begins!