OCTOBER 23, 2002: AIRTIME #42
These days, appearances from members of Sports Entertainment Xtreme on AirTime are very rare, but last week Triple X and Sean Waltman issued a statement. Waltman challenges AJ Styles for the cruiserweight title at Halloween Havoc and if all goes Vince Russo’s way, he’ll have all the gold in his faction as per his plan to assume full control of the company he is already taking over at an alarming rate.
Taped on October 22, along with the following Nitro, in Nashville.
Paul London, American Dragon and The Amazing Red teamed up after their recent battles on opposite sides to take on Brian Kendrick, Jamie Knoble and David Kash to start off the hour. The competitive six-man ended when Red, still selling the nasty beating at the hands of Ken Shamrock from Saturday, fell to the Knoble Tiger Bomb in 13:07.
After the match, Knoble and Kash told Jeremy Borash ringside that they side with nobody but themselves, and they hate everyone equally for screwing them out of their cruiser tag gold but even the joint force of WCW and SEX combined won’t be able to stop them winning the gauntlet at Havoc.
In Eric Bischoff’s office, ‘Easy E’ is assuring Jerry Lynn and Low Ki that they will get individual shots at the winner of the HH title match after the PPV but that it’ll be their final opportunities. Until then, he’s confident the two will want to dish out some revenge to Triple X and he tells them he’s added a tag match to Halloween Havoc.
We see a series of pre-taped promos from the teams who’ve entered the cruiser tag gauntlet so far, including SEX representatives since they didn’t have to bother showing up to the show to talk up their chances of winning: The Jung Dragons, The Rejected, Kidman and Rey, The Maximos, Super Crazy and Psicosis and York and Matthews are featured.
It is confirmed by the commentary team that DDP and Kanyon will meet Simon and Swinger for the WCW tag titles at Halloween Havoc.
Jorge Estrada says he’s coming to Nitro again this coming Saturday, when he knows Sonny Siaki isn’t booked, and says he will have it out with his former partner once and for all. He warns Siaki to be ready to fight.
Finally, we got a little preview of the cruiser tag gauntlet with a four-way main event. Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio defeated Christian York and Joey Matthews, Super Crazy and Psicosis and the Jung Dragons when a super Rey rana/Shooting Star Press combo put away Psicosis in 24:27 of non-stop action.
OCTOBER 26, 2002: SATURDAY NITRO #77
We are 24 hours away from Halloween Havoc 2002 and 24 hours away from the return of Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal. It was announced on WCW.com that we would discover the 12 possible match stipulations tonight, and with Jarrett laying out the bully of a WCW champion one week ago it’s hard to imagine the two not clashing a day away from their big title match, either.
Sting will confront the monster Malice but can he contend with the entire New Church and win the Starrcade Series all at once? Speaking of the Series, everybody is in action tonight with no Block A or B matches at the PPV, though eight of these men will face off in a peculiar exhibition bout on Sunday.
We begin with the Series and a mouth-watering clash between Chris Kanyon (0pts) and Booker T (2pts). Still hot from losing his US title due to SEX politics last week, Kanyon began the bout a house of fire but was eventually brought to earth by the former World champ.
A hot closing sequence followed a Kanyon fightback but Chris was caught up top by Booker, who brought Kanyon crashing down with a superplex. Kanyon had enough in him to wrap his legs around Book’s as his opponent attempted to float over, however, and snared the three in 14:00 exactly! Kanyon left ringside as Sharmell and Booker struggled to get over the shock.
Jeremy Borash caught a word with Kanyon as he emerged through the curtain backstage. He says he cannot emphasise how important it was that he got on the scoreboard before the PPV and he can now focus on the reason why he isn’t two for two and doesn’t have the US title over his shoulder. He tells Simon and Swinger that the Diamond is about to get cut and he’s going to show both of them how it feels to have a title belt snatched away, one year on from when the Jersey boys got the band back together.
Vince Russo and Stacy Keibler are in the Commissioner’s office and formally introduce the Halloween Havoc wheel, 2002 edition. We get a glimpse of the 12 match stipulations and they are: steel cage, ladder, submission, last man standing, first blood, falls count anywhere, prince of darkness, coal miner’s glove on a pole, bullrope, chain, casket, spinner’s choice.
Russo says that as challenger, Jarrett will spin the wheel during the PPV and the combatants will then have two hours or less to prepare for whatever stipulation it lands on. He then offers a knowing smirk and wishes Jarrett “the best of luck”.
Scott Hall (2pts) defeated CW Anderson (0pts) to keep a perfect record so far in the Series while CW’s return from injury continues to frustrate the New Enforcer. Hall got a foot on the rope after a DDT and rolled up Anderson to counter a spinebuster attempt for a win in 6:12.
We return backstage to Jeremy Borash who has both America’s Most Wanted and Los Guerreros with him. He says the two teams have no love lost but he has received word that they will team up against four members of SEX at the PPV.
Harris says the Guerreros have done nothing but mock them and write them off in the past, but at the GAB they proved a point and they now have a common enemy. Eddie cannot help but react to being reminded of their tag title loss and taunts AMW for losing the belts so soon. The two teams argue with poor Borash in between them as we move on.
Before our next match, the announcers let us know that it will be the two men we just saw go at it, CW Anderson and Scott Hall, teaming with Dustin Rhodes and Lance Storm to face Sean O’Haire Booker T, Shane Douglas and Curt Hennig tomorrow in the special Starrcade Series block vs block tag bout.
Chuck Palumbo (0pts) stunned his former tag title partner Sean O’Haire (0pts) to get his first two points at O’Haire’s expense in the Starrcade Series. A Seanton landed on Palumbo’s knees despite Sean dominating the last few minutes and a Jungle Kick landed right between the eyes for the unexpected pinfall after 7:19.
Jorge Estrada, as promised, comes to the ring and for the umpteenth time demands Sonny Siaki one-on-one. Siaki comes out with Matt Bentley and again runs his former partner down. As it looks like the two are about to enter the ring and outnumber Jorge, the Maximos grab Bentley’s feet from the crowd and pull him down from the walkway. Siaki doesn’t realise what happened until he’s in the ring and he and Estrada go at it, with Jorge on top for the most part until Siaki bails and flees.
Diamond Dallas Page (2pts) continued his perfect start to the Starrcade Series with a win over Dustin Rhodes (0pts). A long, competitive match ended when Rhodes almost countered the Cutter with a quick headlock and a run into a bulldog attempt, only for Page to send him into the turnbuckles before hoisting him up for a Cutter off his shoulders, almost TKOish, for the pin at 13:35.
After the bout, Simon, Swinger and Glenn Gilbertti attempted to attack Page ahead of the tag title match at Havoc, but Kanyon rushed down to help before Rhodes also came to his opponent’s aid after shaking off the cobwebs. Page and Rhodes shook hands.
Ron Killings is in what he says is his old school. He claims the education system let him down, his old friend Ernest Miller, “that bum”, let him down but Vince Russo is one guy who never let him down and now, he’s the United States champion. He says he will be in Detroit for the PPV and will offer a title opportunity to anyone not yet on the card, even someone not on the roster if they have the stones.
In a battle between two men off to winning starts in the Series, Curt Hennig (2pts) defeated Shane Douglas (2pts) with a seamless Hennigplex counter to the Pittsburgh Plunge in 9:52. Like Palumbo the week before, Douglas expected Hennig to do him a favour and lay down. When he didn’t, Shane recovered from an early flurry and controlled much of the match until the finish.
Sean Waltman comes to the ring and says tomorrow is the day he returns to his rightful place on top of the cruiserweight wrestling world. He asks AJ Styles to come out, not for a fight but so that “he can teach the boy a thing or two about how the world works before he takes him to Sunday school”.
Styles does indeed join him in the ring, and Waltman says AJ has so many skills, but until he starts to work smart Sean claims he’ll come up short to guys like him.
Styles responds that even at his darkest moment, when he was so frustrated with things around here, he never once even considered becoming like Waltman, a “washed up old man who acts like he’s still 21”, who AJ claims talks his way into big matches because he doesn’t have what it takes to earn them anymore.
Waltman gets up in AJ’s face, but relents, and commends his attempt at mind games. He says he’s lacking in one area though, and that’s to make sure he always gets the last word.
With that, Triple X rush the ring but almost immediately after they arrive, so do Jerry Lynn and Low Ki as it appears they were ready for such a move. Waltman smirks, and calls off his boys, saying “we’ll handle this tomorrow”.
Lance Storm (2pts) and Sting (0pts) fought to a double-countout in the Series which gives them a point apiece. Early in their match, Father James Mitchell and the New Church took seats in the front row. Just as the tempo began to pick up in the match, Sting sent Storm to the outside and followed with a plancha. The two battled for a little while until Sting hit a Stinger Splash onto the barricade and went to take Storm back inside only for Mitchell to throw a drink at his back. Sting began striking one minion at a time only for the ref’s count to reach 10 with both men still outside after 11:21.
The brawl then spilled ringside with Storm also caught up in it, fighting off Sinn and Slash until AMW and Los Guerreros ran out one after the other to help Sting send the Church packing. Storm left on his own, fuming over the turn of events.
Backstage, Storm is holding his head with one hand and his phone with another. He tells someone that enough is enough and it’s time all these Americans and their gang mentality got a taste of their own medicine.
The Jung Dragons vs The Rejected vs Jamie Knoble and David Kash was not only a preview of the cruiser tag gauntlet set for Havoc and not only a chance for all three teams to get a piece of the other two after their recent issues, but a continuation of a multi-faceted feud that has raged on for over two years in WCW.
Unfortunately the whole affair broke down into a no-contest after 7:35 when the rest of the cruiserweight tag team gauntlet rushed the scene and a mass brawl broke out. We were also shown a clip of Gilbertti and the FBI watching this from their locker room and laughing.
Another Goldberg promo says he will be on next week’s Saturday Nitro!
Finally, Jeff Jarrett joins us and says everybody expects him to fear Ken Shamrock. Everybody expects him to fear having his title match decided by the spin of a wheel.
But the truth is, he’s chased this moment for so long, through power plays and faction warfare, through wins and losses, he’s numb to losing one of his best friends and almost all of his allies and anything else that could be thrown his way. Shamrock may be called the world’s most dangerous man, continues Jarrett, but there’s nothing more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose.
He’s interrupted by Russo, who belligerently mocks and berates Jarrett from the start, all the way up to reaching the ropes on the walkway. He says he cannot wait to watch Jarrett fail and promises to be there to put a boot into Jeff’s ribcage when it happens.
JJ invites Russo to step into the ring but appears wise to the plan as he sees Shamrock coming in via the crowd and the fight is on. Jarrett is able to counter the anklelock with an enziguri only to see Russo aiming a guitar at his skull. He blocks the swing and finally has his hands on Russo only for Shamrock to blindside him.
He lays in the grounded strikes before Vince has him hold JJ up for the guitar. However, CW Anderson rushes out and snatches the guitar off Russo, which convinces Shamrock to head to the back. CW checks on his friend as the show fades.
Starrcade Series standings after week three (everyone has fought twice):
Block A: Hall 4pts, DDP 4pts, Storm 3pts, Sting 1pt, Rhodes 0pts, CW 0pts
Block B: Hennig 4pts, Booker 2pts, Douglas 2pts, Kanyon 2pts, Palumbo 2pts, O’Haire 0pts
Next time: Halloween Havoc 2002 and the return of spin the wheel… make the deal!