If Fusient Bought WCW #116: The Business End

The trios tournament reaches its closing stages the day before Superbrawl, while Raven makes his official WCW in-ring return.

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FEBRUARY 12, 2003: AIRTIME #56

The show featured a ‘RIP Curt Hennig’ graphic at the start of the Feb. 13 broadcast.

Matches filmed at the January 31 taping included:

Lance Storm, Eric Young and Johnny Devine defeating Super Crazy, Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera to advance to the 2000-and-Three semi-finals. An apparent injury to Psicosis’ leg made him easy prey for the Maple Leaf after 16:33.

Rey Mysterio and Los Guerreros got over their issues from Nitro to defeat Kid Kash, York and Matthews to also advance to the last four. Eddie’s Frog Splash finished Matthews in 21:15.

FEBRUARY 15, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #93

It’s Superbrawl weekend, and there is some serious bad blood set to spill at the PPV. Will the war between the Hardcore Revolution and the New Church finally be resolved under anything goes rules? Will Jeff Jarrett get revenge on Raven for costing him the WCW title? And will Sean O’Haire’s vicious ‘purge’ of the biggest names in the company be able to survive the onslaught of the one and only Goldberg?

Taped on February 13 in Nashville.

Goldberg appears extremely curious as to whether the WCW champion can get past him, as he opens the show to immediately call O’Haire out. He says O’Haire’s actions since becoming WCW champion have been pathetic, and that he is going to pay the piper in 24 hours. He then offers O’Haire the chance to avoid having to defend the title at the PPV – if he is man enough to come down to the ring right now and do what he did to so many others to Goldberg.

A long silence follows, with Bill repeating his challenge until Vince Russo comes to the stage. He says the only reason O’Haire isn’t out here right now is because he is running late to the building, otherwise he’d gladly give us what Russo has wanted for years: a WCW without Goldberg. The challenger says that’s fine by him, he’s happy to come back out later when the champ gets here. Russo looks like someone whose bluff has been called as he heads backstage.

The first 2000-and-Three Invitational semi-final brought an old feud back together as Team Canada defeated Dustin Rhodes and America’s Most Wanted. Once again, the Canadians broke the rules to get the job done as Storm jabbed the national flag into Rhodes’ throat, allowing Young to roll up him for the three in 13:03. The furious American trio sent Storm and company packing after the bell, but the damage was done: Team Canada are in the final.

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Next up was non-title triangle action as new cruiserweight champ Jamie Knoble faced recent former champs Super Crazy and Tajiri. The ruling by Commissioner Flair was that the winner would receive the next title shot at the PPV tomorrow, whereas a Knoble win would give him the night off. The champ pretty much refused to enter the ring and engage in the action, leaving Crazy and Tajiri to go at it one more time. As things heated up, however, Knoble finally entered the ring with a chair and laid waste to both men, forcing the official to throw the match out after 6:46. Further damage looked set to ensue, until his former partner Kid Kash raced out and chased Knoble off.

Live from the Commissioner’s office, Ric Flair says Knoble’s attempts to spoil his PPV planning backfired big time because now he’s not only giving Crazy AND Tajiri a shot at Superbrawl, but Kid Kash as well. It’ll be a four-way elimination match for the belt. He says he knows the Hardcore Revolution has a huge grudge match tomorrow too, but since that’s 5-on-5 and their group seems to expand each week, he’s sure they have the resources. Speaking of which, Flair concludes, he wants a cruiserweight tag title match on the show since there was none at Genesis so the winner of the following match will challenge York and Matthews.

That match was a four-way tag bout, contested to one fall given the non-title billing, pitting Jose and Joel Maximo against The Rejected against Paul London and Brian Kendrick against Matt Bentley and Sonny Siaki. Helms and Moore, who earned their comeuppance in recent months and lost their hair in the process, not only continued to look unaffected by their recent downturn but won the match and the tag title shot.

The Maximos hit Spanish Fly on London only for Kendrick to make the save and drill Joel with Sliced Bread #2. Helms hit a Shining Wizard as soon as Kendrick landed from the move and Moore kept Jose, Siaki and Bentley at bay for the three count at 8:00. Again, Glenn Gilbertti came out, this time watching from the walkway. This provoked the ringside Franchise to head over and confront Glenn over his motives, which helped distract Sonny and Matt from being more involved in the finish.

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Gilbertti is walking backstage from the previous segment when a furious Douglas catches him up. He asks what Glenn is playing at, accusing him of being jealous and of ruining the Triple Threat’s 2003. Gilbertti simply smirks and keeps walking.

All non-competitors were barred from ringside for Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn’s tag match with Tempest and Malice – barring Father James Mitchell, of course, who has a manager’s licence. When the faces were able to isolate Tempest late on it looked like they were set for a huge pre-Superbrawl win with a Cradle Piledriver followed by a Five Star Frog Splash, but RVD was caught by Malice and powerslammed before a chokeslam finished Lynn in 8:26.

A tribute video plays for the late, great Curt Hennig.

Christopher Daniels scored a big win over Billy Kidman, preventing a serious rut developing while his partner Elix Skipper remained on the sidelines with injury. The appearance of AMW on the walkway to scout one of their PPV opponents distracted Kidman enough to leave him easy prey for Last Rites in 7:10. It appeared to be some old school mind games from AMW, and it worked.

Rey Mysterio and Los Guerreros are getting ready to come through the curtain for their tournament semi-final when Kidman comes through and blows up at Rey for not having his back for what just happened. Rey says he has a semi-final to get ready for. Kidman points out they’re going for the tag titles tomorrow and to get his priorities in order before storming off. Eddie and Chavo sternly tell Rey to get his head in the game as they head out.

That semi-final saw 3 Live Kru reach the finals over Mysterio and Los Guerreros, with Rey missing a big dive before being sent into the ring for a BG James cover in 10:43. Exchanges between Rey and Konnan were played up, and the two were reluctant to cross swords too much. Los Guerreros seemed none too pleased that Rey dropped the ball.

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The celebrating 3LK were jumped by Team Canada, who retreated before retribution could come. This led to a furious Konnan challenging them to show up for the final at the PPV tomorrow, since nobody involved has any other matches.

Mike Awesome is working out backstage, alone. He’s approached by CW Anderson, Simon Diamond and Swinger. They tell Awesome they are not here to attack him, because they should be on the same side. Awesome says he’s not loyal to the Extreme way like they are. Simon says that’s only because he doesn’t know what they are all about. CW then realises they are being recorded and chases the handheld camera away.

Jeff Jarrett teamed with AJ Styles to face Kanyon and, in his in-ring return to WCW, Raven. The phrase in-ring should be used loosely as the two brawled around ringside for the most part while AJ and Kanyon provided a preview of their US title match. Raven was able to reverse an irish whip that sent Jarrett flying off the walkway, giving him the opening to pull Styles away from a Styles Clash attempt and hit an Evenflow DDT, allowing Kanyon to pin the champ in 7:35.

Finally, out came Goldberg once more. He said he has given O’Haire all night to grow a set and try to make him his next victim. Out comes Russo again, trying to make more excuses for O’Haire’s absence. This time, however, it’s a trap: the champion comes through the crowd for the sneak attack only for Goldberg to see it coming.

The brawl is on until Mark Jindrak and Chuck Palumbo run out to eat Spears, allowing O’Haire to nail Goldberg with the belt. Ric Flair comes to the stage and warns O’Haire that if he ruins tomorrow’s title match, he’ll be stripped of the title. O’Haire relents from a serious assault, but drops Goldberg with the belt to the skull one more time as he staggers back up before standing tall with Russo and his beaten down lackeys, leaving Flair to wonder what kind of monster reigns as his champion as the show ends.

Next time: SuperBrawl XIII!

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