AUGUST 7, 2002: AIRTIME #31
The WCW vs SEX war has seeped over to AirTime, a show for which 51% owner Russo has openly declared his disdain, already. Will it happen again tonight?
Advertised for the show is a battle between former partners as AJ Styles fights Air Paris one more time, while the FBI make their first defence of the cruiser tag titles against a team who have had their number in recent months, Jose and Joel Maximo. Starting us off is the bout pitting Kendrick & Bentley against London and a mystery partner.
Taped on August 6 from Orlando, along with the following Nitro.
And though the heels presumed last week London would again recruit The Amazing Red as he did for the BATB pre-show gauntlet, London instead brought out with him an unknown masked wrestler, announced by Dave Penzer as “The American Dragon”. Brian and Bentley freaked out, yelling ‘it’s him!” over and over again but they soon had the fight brought to them.
London and his new buddy were on top for pretty much the entire short contest until Paul and Matt’s personal issue saw them fight at ringside while Kendrick used a desperation hotshot to take over on the Dragon. He was too consumed with getting the mask off, screaming “I know it’s you!” and that allowed the Dragon to counter and lock Kendrick in the familiar sight of the Cattle Mutilation submission for the tap-out at 6:39.
Post-match, Kendrick’s shoulders were seen to by a trainer while London and Bentley continued to fight at ringside. Refs eventually pried them apart before London challenged Bentley to a no-disqualification street fight to settle this, once and for all.
The Cat is backstage when K-Krush comes in, acting as if what he did to O’Haire at BATB didn’t happen. He butters up his old friend and asks about a spot in Battlebowl. Cat chews him out for costing O’Haire when he told him to wait until after the PPV for a second chance. As a result, he’s not including Krush – but he is including O’Haire, who won the event last year. Krush threatens and yells, but is dragged out of there by Shawn Stasiak and Mark Jindrak, serving once more as Cat’s personal security.
AJ Styles defeated Air Paris, who was flanked by Elix Skipper and Christopher Daniels. Halfway through, the Jung Dragons headed out to AJ’s corner to counter their presence but ultimately, nobody interfered and the Styles Clash gave the former champ the win at 12:04. Styles and the Dragons celebrated and left before XXX hit the ring and helped Paris up… only to deck him and put the boots to him. They then ripped off the SEX t-shirt he was wrestling in and left him laying. Looks like his tryout was a bust.
We see a video of Jamie Knoble and David Kash at their local honky tonk bar playing pool, before issuing a challenge to the Briscoe Brothers to meet them here any time, any place, so that they can teach them that they may come from the same culture but one team is two men and the other is two little spotty boys.
In their first title defence, the Full Blooded Italians (w/ Glenn Gilbertti) defeated the Maximos. Gilbertti attempted to get involved but The Amazing Red ran out to prevent it. The distraction was nonetheless enough to help the Italians finish off Joel with the double-team Rubix Cube at 13:53.
Air Paris has finished up with the company.
AUGUST 10, 2002: SATURDAY NITRO #66
Tonight, Los Guerreros are set to finally receive their WCW tag team title rematch against America’s Most Wanted after losing the belts at the Great American Bash. Also, DDP and Kanyon have issued a challenge to Vince Russo’s henchmen and returning WCW foils Scott Hall and Sean Waltman, while our main event is scheduled to see Sting team with Dustin Rhodes to face Shane Douglas and Chuck Palumbo of SEX as the WCW civil war rages on.
We begin with the first in-ring appearance of the former nWo members since being revealed as Russo’s masked assistants as he seized power in WCW. Hall and Waltman were on the back foot against their fired-up Jersey Shore opponents, looking to deal a blow to Russo’s regime, but the presence of Glenn Gilbertti in the SEX corner helped them turn the tide through nefarious means. Kanyon hot tagged out to Page, who cleaned house and turned a Waltman X-Factor attempt into a spectacular mid-air Diamond Cutter, only for Hall to hit a low blow while the ref got the illegal Sean out of the ring and a roll-up with the tights ensured Hall and Waltman returned with a win at 11:44.
Vince Russo’s Iron Man ripoff music hits as the 51% owner arrives on the stage, joined by a rather intimidating-looking bodyguard of sorts, wearing armoured gear and a military tactical helmet obscuring his identity. Russo says that since he came back to improve WCW, he has been subjected to verbal and physical threats and even actual violence. So, he has hired a personal enforcer to ensure he isn’t “unfairly endangered” by the thugs of WCW.
He says he has come out here to reveal some of the men he feels are worthy of fighting for the WCW title at Battlebowl. He again calls Scott Hall the greatest wrestler to never be World champion and adds that of course he should be involved, adding to the feeling that Russo seemingly wants Hall to win the belt no matter what. He also invites Sean Waltman to take part, due to – according to Russo – his track record and winning return earlier.
Finally, Russo says James Mitchell’s New Church have had “a great year” and will get several slots. Russo concludes by warning Sting not to lay his hands or his bat on him ever again, as he is the boss and Sting should focus on competing.
Booker T (w/Sharmell) defeated Mark Jindrak with the Book End in 4:27, though Jindrak appeared to hurt his leg in the short defeat. Booker and Sharmell demanded that he be entered into Battlebowl after the win.
We cut to Mean Gene backstage who reports of potential breaking news as Eddie and Chavo Guerrero are yet to arrive at the building, amid rumours that they’ve been stuck in traffic for the last hour or so. There’s no word as of yet if they really are struggling to make it here or what that means for their WCW tag title rematch tonight, but thus far nobody has seen them arrive.
Low Ki and AJ Styles teamed up rather well despite their rivalry over the cruiserweight title and defeated regular thorns in their side, Elix Skipper and Christopher Daniels. Glenn Gilbertti and Chuck Palumbo stalked their way towards ringside in the closing stages but were kept at bay by a chair-wielding Jerry Lynn while the Ki Krusher saw off Daniels in 15:08.
After the bout, Styles challenged Ki to give him his rematch at Battlebowl. As Ki was accepting, Lynn entered the ring to reveal that his ‘signing incentive’ is in fact a cruiserweight title match at the next PPV – so it will be a three-way dance!
Curt Hennig is backstage with Mean Gene. He reveals that he has been accepted into Battlebowl and plans on silencing the doubters by finally capturing the WCW title.
Malice made his in-ring debut of sorts, at least in his current incarnation. With Father James Mitchell at ringside, Malice decimated David Young before pinning him with a chokeslam in 0:46. On Mitchell’s orders, Malice added another chokeslam after the bell.
The commentary team introduce footage from last night at a bar where it appears The Briscoe Brothers answered the Knoble/Kash challenge and took a cameraman with them.
They search the place but there’s no sign of their foes, despite their claim to be there every night off. When they ask at the bar, the owner questions whether they are of age. Since they aren’t, the siblings find themselves trying to explain exactly why they’re here which gives Knoble and Kash the chance to spring out of hiding and blindside the brothers.
Jay and Mark fight back somewhat until another patron hands Kash a pool cue that he breaks over Mark. Jay knocks him flying over the bar but has a beer bottle smashed over his head by Knoble. The heels and several drinkers kick the Briscoes out of the bar, followed by the cameraman which ends the footage.
Lance Storm tapped out Shawn Stasiak with the Maple Leaf in 5:22, putting newfound comrades Storm and Booker up 2-0 against another relatively recent pairing in Stasiak and Jindrak.
Due to Stasiak’s defeat just then and Jindrak appearing to get hurt earlier in the night, Cat came out alone for the first time in a little while to announce some more Battlebowl participants. He says a battle royal for the World title requires a high standard of entrant, and with the 10 slots he is in charge of he has entered Sean O’Haire as last year’s Battlebowl winner and Jeff Jarrett, who defeated the last champion two weeks ago.
He says Jarrett is a former WCW champ and those who have made it to the top of the mountain deserve to be fighting for it. So, he enters Lance Storm, DDP, Booker T and Sting into the match. He then says he has negotiated a huge superstar to debut in the match. Before he can elaborate, he is suddenly blindsided by K-Krush and laid out in a vicious assault!
Security hauls Krush off the Commissioner and hands him over to local police to be arrested, because Cat is no longer a member of the active roster. The announcers are aghast that Cat has been attacked in such a way for the first time since effectively retiring, and by someone who Cat got hired in the first place.
We are taken backstage in the aftermath of the fracas as a deranged Krush is led out in handcuffs. Vince Russo yells at him for what he did before Stacy Keibler comes over to inform him that Los Guerreros aren’t going to make it to the arena before the end of the show. Russo’s stress levels rise before he declares that they advertised a tag title match and tells Stacy to find a replacement team ASAP.
America’s Most Wanted make their way out for their tag title defence and it appears that taking Los Guerreros’ place will be Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger. The commentators are conflicted on whether to bemoan Russo and Keibler giving an SEX team the title match or to cut them some slack under the circumstances that are beyond their control.
In an upset, Simon and Swinger claimed the titles with help from Glenn Gilbertti, Chuck Palumbo, the FBI, Shannon Moore and Shane Helms who all interfered at different spots in the match. Despite Super Crazy, Psicosis, Juventud, Tajiri, the Jung Dragons, Kidman and Rey Mysterio rushing out to neutralise the interference, Gilbertti was able to slip brass knuckles to Swinger and a shot to Black snatched them the titles at 12:52.
Ric Flair speaks from his home and implores WCW to keep fighting Vince Russo every step of the way. He says he doesn’t know how many fights he has in him but he’ll put all of them towards helping the company survive this “madman” and his attempts to run them into the ground.
Finally, Sting and Dustin Rhodes faced Chuck Palumbo and Shane Douglas in a wild main event which saw Rhodes and Douglas tumble off the top rope together and through a table set up at ringside, before SEX ran out for the DQ at 16:39 as Sting set Palumbo up for the Deathlock.
The babyfaces again ran out to even the odds but this time, Sting was left alone not to confront Russo but to find himself attacked by the New Church 4-on-1 before Malice chokeslammed the Stinger to emphasise the point. ***1/4
WCW Battlebowl 2002 card so far:
- 20-man Battlebowl for the vacant WCW title – confirmed participants: Sean O’Haire, Jeff Jarrett, Sting, Booker T, Lance Storm, Diamond Dallas Page, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, Disciples Of The New Church
- Last Man Standing, US title: Shane Douglas (c) vs Dustin Rhodes
- Cruiserweight title: Low Ki (c) vs AJ Styles vs Jerry Lynn
Next time: The field of 20 is finalised for Battlebowl, and S.E.X issue an ultimatum to Low Ki!