JANUARY 15, 2003: AIRTIME #52
Matches filmed for this week’s AirTime at the Nitro taping on Jan 9 were:
- The Amazing Red and the Maximos beating the FBI and Johnny Stamboli in 11:33 with Spanish Fly to Marinera.
- Jimmy Yang defeating Jamie Knoble by DQ when Knoble used a chair out of desperation in 10:52.
- York and Matthews retaining the cruiserweight tag titles against Bryan Danielson and Paul London in 12:04 with Full Effect to London.
JANUARY 18, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #89
WCW in 2003 finds itself in a very hostile state. Just when many felt things would return to normal after the removal of Vince Russo as co-owner and his Sports Entertainment Xtreme army, Russo is now guiding Sean O’Haire on a ruthless spree of destruction throughout the roster, a path of carnage the WCW champion is referring to as a ‘purge’. Sting, DDP, Scott Hall and Curt Hennig have all been put out indefinitely by the borderline-demonic new champ.
Elsewhere, all-out war is occurring as RVD’s Hardcore Revolution and James Mitchell’s New Church continue their brutal tit-for-tat. Plus, The Rejected’s hatred of luchadores has led to the challenge of a hair vs hair tag match from Juventud Guerrera and Psicosis. Genesis in eight days may well bring an apocalypse!
Taped on January 10 in Orlando.
We snapped straight into the in-ring action this week, as Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman took on Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger in a battle of former tag team champions. Rey and Kidman are one of three duos challenging for the belts at Genesis while Simon and Swinger badly need a big win to begin a move back towards contention.
On this night, however, it was their once-indispensible agent Glenn Gilbertti who cost his own men the match, botching his interference and causing Swinger to eat a BK Bomb in 12:57.
During the match, commentary noted that all three challenger teams would be in tune-up action tonight, per Ric Flair, while the champs AMW side with Dustin Rhodes in a Flag match against Team Canada.
Another Vince Russo and Sean O’Haire backstage promo sees Russo tell the world that O’Haire is finally carrying out his vision to wipe out the dinosaurs of WCW so they can rebuild the company in their own image. O’Haire again warns that nobody can escape the purge… at which point he finds himself face to face with Booker T.
An intense and angry Booker dares O’Haire to try and make T a victim of his purge. He tells Sean that the last time he was US champ, there was a lunatic World champion trying to cripple the roster and Booker responded by taking his belt and sending him packing. He says he’d love to do the same to O’Haire, especially since he’s palling around with “this punk”, pointing at Russo.
Vince responds with a flurry of angered yells and threats until O’Haire calms him with a hand to the shoulder, stares down Booker and quietly but chillingly says “your time will come”. Security make sure the confrontation concludes without violence.
Kanyon is in Ric Flair’s office, pacing back and forth while the Commissioner watches the conclusion of that confrontation on his screen. Flair says he understands Kanyon’s position but Jeff Jarrett is the next in line for a title shot. Kanyon says he doesn’t care about the belt. He wants to hurt O’Haire for what he did to DDP and so many other legends. He wants him, one-on-one, tonight. Flair says fine… but be careful out there.
In what has to be regarded as a huge upset, perhaps the biggest since his WCW debut, The Amazing Red pinned Shane Douglas after countering the Pittsburgh Plunge into a small package in 5:15. Douglas had bullied his smaller adversary for much of the match, with Red getting in occasional flurries of offense. The result enraged the Triple Threat but Red had the Maximos watching his back, and the high-flying trio retreated and celebrated on the walkway.
Jeff Jarrett, in a pre-tape, says nobody knows better than he does that actions have consequences. He says every time he took a short cut, took out another wrestler or took liberties with his power he had to face the music, one way or another.
He says Sean O’Haire and Vince Russo will face the music at Genesis via his six-stringer to Russo’s head and a new WCW champion. However, if they think they can spend the meantime ending careers, he’s got bad news. He vows to stop their path of destruction once and for all, not just at Genesis but from now on, up to the PPV.
Los Guerreros kept in form for their tag title opportunity with a win over the Full Blooded Italians. Johnny Stamboli attempted to sway the match in his charges’ favour, but was taken out by a Chavo dive before Eddie got the pin on Marinera with the frog splash at the 10:41 mark as Chavo kept Maritato at bay.
AJ Styles is interviewed backstage by Jeremy Borash. Not even on the card tonight, he isn’t dressed to compete. Borash says it must feel weird to have a night off and AJ concurs, saying he spent a year as the man in the cruiserweight division and for the first time, he’s not even the top contender. He doesn’t know where to go from here, to be honest, but he will find a way back to the top no matter what.
In another singles match ahead of the big hair vs hair match at Genesis, Shane Helms faced Juventud Guerrera. Both Shannon Moore and Psicosis were banned from ringside, but Helms received a surprising assist from… Sean Waltman.
Waltman raced in as Helms had the ref occupied and blasted Juvi with a spin kick, allowing Helms to follow up with a Shining Wizard in 6:53. Psicosis ran out to make the save after the bell, but was headed off on the walkway by Moore. A three-on-two beatdown followed.
Backstage, the Hardcore Revolution conduct their own promo from their changing room. RVD says the New Church and the HR demonstrate the difference between being mindless minions and being soldiers with a common cause. At Genesis, they are going to prove why ‘Extreme’ loyalty will always conquer a blind following.
Kid Kash says he has unfinished business with Jamie Knoble, but that will have to wait until the New Church has been wiped out once and for all, challenging Tempest to a fight tonight.
Jerry Lynn says everyone in their revolution has fought each other and alongside each other. He says CW Anderson joined the fold because he feels that kinship. They’ve fought in the past but their common enemy unites them.
Anderson chimes in, warning the New Church that this is a war they cannot win. RVD wraps it up by saying whatever a wrestler’s stance, if they were ECW they are one of them, adding that Mike Awesome, for everything he did, should still be standing alongside them, not against them.
It was 3/3 for the teams in the tag title match at Genesis, as Triple X overcame the Maximos with the Powerplex to Jose in 7:35. Skipper then cut a promo in the ring, noting that they won their match quicker than the other two did before predicting his old friend Lance Storm and Team Canada will make chumps of AMW and Rhodes tonight, further proving that the belts are coming to XXX in eight days.
Another piece of footage catching up with BG James, Konnan and Ron Killings shows them goofing around during downtime from recording music.
Kid Kash won a battle for the Hardcore Revolution against the New Church with a bit of revenge on Tempest, putting him away with a brutal double underhook piledriver he calls the Money Maker in 7:27. The war kicked off again after the bell with both factions brawling all over the arena.
We see footage of Ric Flair and other WCW admin, including Arn Anderson, overseeing the contract signing for Genesis for Super Crazy to defend the cruiserweight title against Tajiri. After things are signed and handshakes are exchanged, Jamie Knoble bursts in and threatens both men only to be attacked by Jimmy Yang, still enraged over Knoble’s actions on AirTime.
Lance Storm, Eric Young and Johnny Devine were out next to meet Dustin Rhodes and America’s Most Wanted in a flag match. The ref was KOd by an errant Storm superkick, which was followed by James Black dropping Lance with one of his own. Rhodes then retrieved the American flag, only for Devine to crotch him on the top rope and Young to replace the flag. With Rhodes hurt, the Canadians overwhelmed AMW 3-on-2 and got their own flag just in time for the ref to see it and call it at 15:24.
Ric Flair comes to the ring for a big announcement: Genesis will open with the huge match between Goldberg and Ken Shamrock! He shills the PPV, urging people to purchase and tune in for the most incredible ever start to a PPV and promising that the action will only get hotter from there, running down the card.
Shamrock then makes his way out and says an earlier fight works for him – in fact, let’s make it eight days earlier. He says he wanted a piece of Goldberg last time they shared a ring and he’s sick of waiting. He calls Goldberg out – who responds with his music and pyro, only for Shamrock to run out and attack in the middle of the pyro!
The techs quickly cut the pyro short and the shower of sparks subsides to show us the two supreme fighters trading furious blows on the walkway before a swarm of security tries to break them up, needing several attempts to finally end the brawl.
It’s announced that Dustin Rhodes vs Lance Storm has been added to Genesis.
Finally, Sean O’Haire and Vince Russo came out for the non-title main event, only for Kanyon to attack the champ on the walkway as Russo ran for his life. The brawl continued for a while at ringside before the bell finally rung as they entered the ring. The official ‘match’ only lasted 2:45, however, before Russo came back with a chair and hit Kanyon in the back for the DQ.
Kanyon shrugged it off and grabbed Russo by the throat but that allowed O’Haire to blindside him and destroy him with the chair. A weakened and tired AMW and Dustin Rhodes ran out for the save, but were easily laid out from behind by Chuck Palumbo and Mark Jindrak, who kept anyone else at bay with chairs of their own at the walkway. Booker T made an attempt, but ate a couple of chairshots.
O’Haire, with Russo’s encouragement, wrapped a chair around Kanyon’s neck and it looked as though the purge was set to continue… only for a nearby cameraman to suddenly deck the champion with his heavy recording equipment. That ‘cameraman’ then reveals himself to be… Jeff Jarrett!
A horrified Russo again flees danger as Jindrak realises what’s going on and runs into the ring and eats a camera shot of his own, while Booker holds onto Palumbo’s leg. Jarrett and Booker then pinball Chuck around with punches until Jeff fetches his guitar from under the ring and smashes it over his head. Jeff and Booker check on Kanyon as the show comes to an end.
Genesis 2003 card so far:
- WCW title: Sean O’Haire (c) vs Jeff Jarrett
- WCW tag titles: AMW (c) vs Los Guerreros vs Triple X vs Kidman & Misterio
- WCW cruiserweight title: Super Crazy (c) vs Tajiri
- #1 Contenders match, there must be a winner: Goldberg vs Ken Shamrock
- Hardcore Revolution vs The New Church
- Hair vs Hair: Juventud Guerrera & Psicosis vs The Rejected
- Dustin Rhodes vs Lance Storm
Next time: the go-home show for Genesis 2003 – will things between Jarrett and O’Haire, The Rejected and the luchadores and Hardcore Revolution and The New Church get out of control, just 24 hours before the PPV?