If Fusient Bought WCW #114: Quoth The Raven

Why has Raven returned to WCW? And is it related to Kanyon’s surprising decision to help The New Church win at Genesis?

If Fusient Bought WCW: Raven

JANUARY 29, 2003: AIRTIME #54

Matches taped before the Genesis PPV went on the air were screened on this show:

Shane Douglas, Matt Bentley and Sonny Siaki defeated The Amazing Red and the Maximos with a Torrie Wilson distraction leading to a low blow and the Franchiser to Red in 12:41.

Jimmy Yang defeated Paul London with Yang Time in 8:02.

Also, a video promo advertised a special tournament called the 2000-and-Three Invitational, which will apparently see wrestlers group into trios for a single elimination tournament.

FEBRUARY 1, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #91

Genesis was a huge PPV that delivered plenty of big in-ring results. Goldberg will challenge for the WCW title once again at Superbrawl by virtue of his hard-hitting victory over Ken Shamrock. AJ Styles shocked the world by dethroning Booker T for the United States title at short notice. But nothing was more surprising than the return to WCW of Raven.

Was he the ‘information’ Father James Mitchell provided to Vince Russo last weekend? And was Kanyon’s unexpected decision to help the New Church defeat the Hardcore Revolution also related to their sinister deal?

Taped on January 30 in Atlanta.

There’s no time for light shows or the announcers welcoming us to the show, as we’re immediately joined by Jeff Jarrett. He yells for Raven to get out here several times, and says he won’t leave until he gets Raven for what he did at Genesis. Instead, he gets Commissioner Flair.

Ric says what happened at the PPV was a miscarriage of justice and there will be punishments doled out accordingly. However, he cannot give Jarrett Raven quite simply because Raven is not a contracted WCW wrestler and isn’t even allowed in the building tonight.

Jeff says he knows he and Flair are over their own differences these days, but if Ric wants to keep it that way he strongly suggests he hires Raven, meets all his terms and gets him in this building because what Jarrett is going to do to him would be considered a felony unless he signs a contract. Flair says it’s against his better judgement, but he’ll do what he can to make it happen, as long as Jarrett allows the show to go on peacefully.

Finally we hear belatedly from the announcers, who remind us it’s tentatively Goldberg vs Sean O’Haire at Superbrawl but there is the small matter of Booker T, who has been promised a WCW title match despite losing the US title to AJ Styles at Genesis.

Tonight’s main event pits Booker, Jarrett and Kanyon against O’Haire, Palumbo and Jindrak but the commentators openly question if Kanyon can be trusted after what he did at the PPV.

Our opening match is the first in a new tournament, the 2000-and-Three invitational, as sixteen teams compete in six-man tag action until one remains and all three members of the winning trio earn title opportunities.

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Dustin Rhodes and America’s Most Wanted defeated Sean Waltman, Shane Helms and Shannon Moore when Jorge Estrada once again came out looking for revenge on The Rejected. He instead ate a spin kick from Waltman which opened Sean up for a Rhodes Bulldog in 8:48.

We finally hear from Father James Mitchell since the surprising events of Genesis, where Chris Kanyon helped his New Church defeat the Hardcore Revolution. What appears to be Kanyon stands behind him, wearing the Mortis mask. Mitchell says for weeks, Rob Van Dam and his little helpers have claimed that their proud loyalty is stronger than his ruthless leadership. They learned the hard way, says James, that simply isn’t the case at Genesis.

He adds that it doesn’t matter how he ‘convinced’ Kanyon to come ‘home’ to his New Church, but the important thing is that they are now simply unstoppable. Right at the end of the promo, Kanyon ripped off the mask and stared a hole through Mitchell, until the Father barked at him to put it back on. Reluctantly, he did.

Bryan Danielson, Brian Kendrick and Paul London got their big chance to shine in the trios tournament but were defeated by Lance Storm, Eric Young and Johnny Devine thanks to some devious tactics from the Team Canada leader which allowed him to sneak in a low blow on London followed by a bridging German suplex for the fall at 7:42.

Glenn Gilbertti is on the phone to someone backstage, and he sounds desperate. The call concludes, and it doesn’t sound like it went too well. Just then, Gilbertti looks up from his seat and sees Shane Douglas, Torrie Wilson, Sonny Siaki and Matt Bentley walk past. They stop, look at their former SEX stablemate and then Douglas, who clashed with Gilbertti over who was Russo’s go-to guy in the group, laughs at Glenn and his current pitiful state. The others join in and the Triple Threat walk off.

Christian York and Joey Matthews retained the cruiserweight tag titles against the triumphant Genesis duo of Juventud Guerrera and Psicosis, eventually putting Juvi down with Full Effect in 10:58.

We cut to Flair’s office, where from his desk Ric announces that he has reached out to Raven with a fair contract under the condition he meet Jeff Jarrett one-on-one at Superbrawl. Raven demanded Raven’s Rules, and Jarrett immediately accepted.

However, though he should thank Vince Russo for mediating those negotiations so quickly, it didn’t surprise Flair just how quickly he was able to reach out to Raven because he knows Russo and O’Haire were in on his appearance at Genesis. So, O’Haire will defend the title in one week against Booker T. The winner goes on to face Goldberg at Superbrawl, and if absolutely anyone – including Russo – interferes, the title will be held up.

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There was revenge for The Amazing Red and the Maximos in the first round of the tournament as they knocked out the Triple Threat after a Spanish Fly to Bentley in 6:54 made possible by a bit of miscommunication between Bentley and Douglas.

AJ Styles tells Jeremy Borash that he still cannot believe how things came about at Genesis leading to him becoming the new United States champion. When he heard Flair panicking backstage about Kanyon’s actions and needing someone else to challenge, he just stepped straight up and though Booker was a great champion, he proved he is simply phenomenal, whatever the weight class. He says he’ll take on all comers, just like Booker T and all the great US champs before him.

Father Mitchell led Tempest, Sinn and Slash into battle for the 2000-and-Three Invitational before their opponents were introduced as the ‘Three Live Crew’ – and out came BG James, Konnan and Ron Killings!

The musical trio, who had won over a lot of WCW fans with their zany antics over the last month at the recording studio, strutted out to what sounded like their own composition and took the fight to the New Church early on. Soon, the heels’ superior experience as a unit allowed them to take over and isolate Killings until a hot tag to James.

Tempest got in a cheapshot on BG leading to a double chokeslam from Sinn and Slash, only for CW Anderson to run out and distract the ref from the apron… which allowed Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger to sneak in and drill Slash with a Problem Solver! Konnan took out Sinn and Killings held onto Tempest while James covered Slash after 9:21.

This turn of events brought out the big hitters Malice and Mike Awesome followed by a much slower Kanyon on the walkway. However, all three were jumped by Jerry Lynn, Kid Kash, York and Matthews. The seemingly-expanded Hardcore Revolution left the New Church laying while RVD’s voice came over the system:

“How does it feel, Mitch? How does it feel when new members make an instant impact at your expense?” We then see Van Dam in the crowd as Mitchell gets his own mic and says this has to end one way or the other. RVD says he was hoping he’d say that, so one more time, at Superbrawl: anything goes, 5 vs 5, Hardcore War! The HR members join RVD in leaving through the crowd.

New cruiserweight champion Tajiri defeated Super Crazy in a championship rematch with the Buzzsaw Kick in 11:37. The two shook hands after another breathtaking bout, only to be attacked by Jamie Knoble and left laying as the angry redneck held the cruiserweight title over his head.

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We are then joined by Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman, who say they came within an inch of winning the tag titles once again at Genesis. They say the closing stretch with AMW was something else, but that belt to the head Kidman took will always taint the AMW win, in their heads. This brings the tag champs to the stage, who say this is no time for excuses. Kidman says he wants no excuses, either – which is why they propose one more title match at Superbrawl. 2vs2, no other teams, no underlying injuries. Let’s see who the better team is, once and for all, says Mysterio. AMW accept and leave.

We get an injury update from Ken Shamrock, complete with stills from his big match with Goldberg from the PPV. He says he will be back before we know it, and while Shamrock was second best in the contenders match that doesn’t mean he won’t get his hands on O’Haire – and Russo – when he’s back.

After Vince Russo led his WCW champion Sean O’Haire and associates Jindrak and Palumbo to the ring, we were joined by Jeff Jarrett and Booker T on the walkway. Unsurprisingly, there was no Kanyon after Russo and Mitchell’s deal a week ago. However, the music of Goldberg hit and out he came to make it 3 vs 3!

O’Haire flat-out refused to tag into the match as Palumbo and Jindrak pinballed around courtesy of the babyface trio – however things were a little more even when Jarrett took a spill to the outside and was suddenly decked with a right hand by Raven from the crowd! The two brawled out of sight, leaving top contenders Booker and Goldberg to cope with what appeared to be three opponents.

However, O’Haire still didn’t get involved, even when Goldberg wiped out Jindrak with a Spear and the Book End finished Palumbo in 7:44. O’Haire and Russo grabbed the title belt and walked off as Booker and Goldberg stared down before celebrating together as the show faded.

Superbrawl 13 card so far:

  • WCW World title: Sean O’Haire or Booker T (c) vs Goldberg
  • WCW World tag titles: America’s Most Wanted (c) vs Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman
  • Raven’s Rules: Jeff Jarrett vs Raven
  • 2000-and-Three Invitational finals
  • Hardcore War: Hardcore Revolution vs New Church

Next time: Can Booker T regain the WCW World title? Or will Sean O’Haire add another big name to his ‘purge’?

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