FEBRUARY 5, 2003: AIRTIME #55
Matches filmed at the January 30 Nitro taping were all for the 2000-and-Three Invitational and included:
Super Crazy, Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera defeating British guest trio Doug Williams, Jonny Storm and Jody Fleisch with a Guillotine Legdrop to Storm in 9:25, during which the announcers mentioned that the Brits were lobbying to participate in the 2003 World Cup.
Johnny Stamboli and the FBI defeated Tajiri, Jimmy Yang and Jorge Estrada thanks to interference from Sean Waltman setting Jorge up for a Stamboli implant DDT in 7:40.
Rey Misterio and Los Guerreros eliminating Billy Kidman, AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn with a Rey cradle catching Kidman unawares in 15:35 just after Kidman had nailed a shooting star press on illegal man Chavo.
FEBRUARY 8, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #92
Tonight, Booker T has the chance to complete his recent redemption with his sixth WCW title reign when he challenges Sean O’Haire. The two men are 1-1 in their two previous encounters with a title or title shot on the line in 2001 and 2002, but above the story of the rubber match is the fact that O’Haire, after escaping with the title by the skin of his teeth thanks to Raven at Genesis, was eerily silent and inactive during the tag team main event last week. What is going on in the psychotic mind of the champion? And will Goldberg, who challenges the winner at Superbrawl, be in the building?
Taped on January 31 in Atlanta.
We kicked off with in-ring action as Jimmy Yang defeated Christopher Daniels. The two tag team specialists thrust into the singles scene went back and forth before Yang converted an Angel’s Wings attempt into Yang Time for the pin in 7:48.
Ric Flair from his office plugs tonight’s WCW title main event and reiterates that absolutely nobody will be permitted at ringside for the duration of the match. The winner will defend the belt against Goldberg at Superbrawl.
The final first-round match of the 2000-and-Three Invitational was an interesting one, as Kid Kash teamed with York & Matthews to face new stablemates CW Anderson, Simon Diamond and Swinger. The two Hardcore Revolution trios did not hesitate to go all-out for victory, with CW’s side working over York for a while before Kash hot tagged in and, after being saved from a Problem Solver by his team-mates, planted Diamond with the Money Maker to advance in 10:29. Though Anderson and co were none too pleased with the result, they eventually fist bumped with the victors.
The six HR members soon had other things to worry about, as they were ambushed by Tempest, Malice, Sinn, Slash and Mike Awesome. The tired six fell to the fresh and monstrous five, and by the time RVD and Jerry Lynn responded they were overwhelmed and put through tables by Awesome and Malice. A clear message was sent: if they want it taken to the extreme, that can easily be arranged.
Sean Waltman beat Jorge Estrada with a low blow behind the ref’s back and the X-Factor in 4:14, gaining a win over the man who had been a thorn in his side over the last couple of weeks.
Rey Mysterio is hanging out backstage with Los Guerreros when Billy Kidman walks in, none too pleased about the loss to Rey on AirTime when they are set to challenge for the tag team titles at Superbrawl. Mysterio apologises and says he was taking care of business, maintaining he is loyal to Kidman above all else. This doesn’t please Eddie and Chavo, who note that they want to win the tournament.
Eddie says if Rey is so tight with Kidman, maybe they should face off in 2vs2 action tonight with their title shot on the line. Kidman immediately agrees, saying now we’ll see where Rey’s loyalties lie.
In the first trios tournament quarter-final, the fully-branded 3 Live Kru defeated Johnny Stamboli and the FBI when Killings finished Stamboli with a sit-out gourdbuster in 6:56.
A pre-tape from the middle of nowhere sees Vince Russo doing all the talking, branding Booker T an ingrate for not appreciating everything Russo has done for his career, and how O’Haire is going to destroy him tonight. On two occasions, Russo takes a break for Sean to chime in, but the fuming champion just seethes in the background and forces Vince to keep talking.
Shane Douglas hit the ring with his Triple Threat and said tonight he would regain the US title and continue to make 2003 the year of the Triple Threat, despite the ‘fluke’ of the tournament. He said it shouldn’t take him long to wipe the floor with ‘cruiserweight punk’ AJ Styles…
…however the Franchise became the subject of AJ’s first successful title defence after he caught Glenn Gilbertti coming to ringside to speak to Bentley and Siaki, leaving him prone to an asai moonsault reverse DDT and a springboard 450 in 5:37. Gilbertti left after the decision, leaving a flustered Douglas to berate his proteges over what just happened.
Lance Storm is backstage with Team Canada, where he’s asked by Jeremy Borash about their quarter-final on AirTime against the luchador trio. Storm says Canada’s superiority over the US is obvious, but as it turns out the map actually places the three major North American nations like a totem pole of quality. He says the inferior Mexicans will be no match for Canada on Wednesday.
In quarter-final number two, Dustin Rhodes and AMW defeated The Amazing Red and the Maximos in a competitive bout. The cruiserweights had to play cat and mouse for much of the bout and had victory in their sights when the twins lined up Harris for the Spanish Fly only for Black and Rhodes to send the duo flying down to the arena floor before the Death Sentence finished Red in 11:34. All six men showed sportsmanship after the bout.
We see James Mitchell seemingly threatening Ric Flair in his office over the fact Flair was going to give Kanyon a US title shot at the PPV until he helped the New Church defeat the Hardcore Revolution. He says that could be legally challenged and that he owes Kanyon, who is stood emotionless behind Mitchell, a US championship match.
Flair ignores Mitchell and asks Kanyon what is compelling him to do Mitchell’s bidding. The Father immediately shoots that down, telling Flair that he speaks to Kanyon through him now and that he had better come through on his promise of the title match.
Flair says he did offer it to Kanyon first, so he can challenge AJ Styles at Superbrawl, but he finishes by warning both men that this soulless version of Kanyon will be no match for AJ. Mitchell merely laughs and walks Kanyon out.
Jamie Knoble upset Tajiri to become the NEW Cruiserweight champion in 8:51 with a roll-up with his feet on the ropes. Though a long-serving WCW cruiserweight, the embittered Knoble wasn’t fancied by many to topple the Japanese Buzzsaw, but by hook or by crook Jamie snared the title belt.
A pre-tape from Booker T features clips of his rise to the top of the company, his paranoid turning against the fans and how he vows to stop Sean O’Haire’s path of destruction.
Rey Mysterio and Kidman kept hold of their Superbrawl title shot with a win over Los Guerreros. It may put Rey out of the frying pan and into the fire as far as annoying tag partners is concerned, but a Shooting Star Plus finished Chavo in 15:02 as Mysterio used a 619 kick to prevent Eddie from stopping the count.
Raven makes his way to the ring for the first time back officially on the WCW roster. He takes the mic and says there’s nothing more pathetic than seeing a leopard try to shed their spots. He explains that Jeff Jarrett claims he has atoned for his sins and should be WCW champion, but he looks at Jarrett and sees the same devious mind who simply couldn’t keep up with his cutthroat peers.
He says he has been called upon to punish Jarrett for attempting to pull the wool over the world’s eyes and then he will ascend to the throne Jarrett wishes he could pretend is his, the WCW title. Just then, Jarrett jumps Raven in a role reversal of recent weeks and the brawl is on – a preview of their Raven’s Rules match at the PPV.
It was then time for the main event, with Sean O’Haire defending that very WCW championship against Booker T. And as the challenger made his entrance, he was chop blocked from behind on the walkway by a possessed O’Haire. The assault to the leg continued until a horde of referees separated the two. Ric Flair and agents came out to check on Booker, who insisted on continuing.
The bell officially rang and O’Haire immediately resumed the attack, sending Book outside and delivering a kneebreaker to the steel steps. Booker eventually mounted a comeback but an attempt at a Harlem Sidekick left him crumped in a heap on the canvas. Sean followed with five knee DDTs and slapped on a kneebar. Booker refused to give up but was offering no sign of fighting back and the referee called it at 6:39 of official bell-to-bell time.
O’Haire wasn’t finished there, however. As the commentators noted that his recent escape vs Jarrett had seemingly taken him to an even darker place, O’Haire fetched a chair and delivered several shots to the bad knee of Booker. He then wrapped the bad leg in the chair with vicious intentions, but with the match over the ban on intruders was over and the music of Goldberg stopped O’Haire dead in his tracks.
Bill sprinted out to prevent the assault as O’Haire hopped out of the ring and left through the crowd. Goldberg checked on his old friend but it didn’t look good at all as the show came to a close.
Superbrawl 13 card so far:
- WCW World title: Sean O’Haire (c) vs Goldberg
- WCW World tag titles: America’s Most Wanted (c) vs Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman
- United States title: AJ Styles (c) vs Chris Kanyon
- Raven’s Rules: Jeff Jarrett vs Raven
- 2000-and-Three Invitational finals
- Hardcore War: Hardcore Revolution vs New Church
Booker T was written out of storylines during the late January tapings with his contract expiring on the 31st. He chose to sign with WWE rather than extend his WCW deal.
Next time: The go-home Nitro, just 24 hours before SuperBrawl 13!