MARCH 12, 2003: AIRTIME #60
Matches filmed at the last Nitro taping include:
- Christopher Daniels defeating Bryan Danielson with a roll-up and his feet on the ropes to advance to the Spring Breakout Grand Prix finals in 16:10.
- Jamie Knoble squashing Shark Boy in 3:01 with the Tiger Driver.
- The Amazing Red overcoming Jimmy Yang in 15:57, turning a Yang Time attempt into a ‘Yoshi Tonic’ flipping sunset flip bomb, to book his place opposite Daniels in the final.
MARCH 15, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #97
24 hours before the Spring Breakout PPV, Nitro is once again coming from the ECW Arena. Will the Hardcore Revolution taking over WCW culminate with the end of Sean O’Haire’s ‘purge’? Can five Americans with the history of Rhodes, Jarrett and 3LK really unite against a common, Canadian enemy? Who will challenge Jamie Knoble at the PPV: Christopher Daniels or Red? And can the most hardcore venue in the wrestling world handle the violence of the likes of Mike Awesome and Malice, AMW and the New Church and Raven and Kanyon?
Taped on March 7 in Philly.
In a big upset considering the names involved, Team Canada new boys Bobby Roode and Joe Legend defeated Jeff Jarrett and Dustin Rhodes. Longtime rivals Jarrett and Rhodes could not co-exist at all, and the Canadian teamwork (plus the presence of Eric Young at ringside) allowed Legend to roll up Jeff after he collided with Dustin on the apron in 7:02. Team Canada headed backstage victorious while Jarrett and Rhodes had a shoving match in the ring.
We cut to Vince Russo pleading with Ric Flair in his office, saying Sean O’Haire was ‘provoked’ by the fan he assaulted last week and that he will “lawyer up” if the company tries to hold him responsible. Flair says he doesn’t really want more legal drama sidetracking his time at WCW, but any attempt to pin the blame on the fan will be undone by simple footage of Russo’s verbal onslaught moments earlier. He says O’Haire will pay a $50,000 fine… but he won’t strip him of the title, only because RVD has been to see Flair and told him how important it is for him to beat Sean for the title after not losing it himself in the ring last summer. Russo throws a bit of a fit and storms off.
AJ Styles teamed with Bryan Danielson, Paul London and Brian Kendrick to defeat Tajiri, Kid Kash, York & Matthews when London and Kendrick debuted an incredible super Sliced Bread #2 to York, who was sat on London’s shoulders, at the 11:10 mark. After the decision, Tajiri blindsided Styles with green mist, sending a message to the United States champion.
Backstage, Juventud Guerrera is with Super Crazy and JB. Juvi says with the World Cup finals in Mexico next month, nothing would be more incredible than to go into the event as the cruiser tag champions. He says he and Psicosis taught the champs a lesson at Genesis and now, their titles are going to disappear like their hair did. Just then, Helms and Moore jump their next challengers and a pull-apart brawl ensues until security intervene.
It was now time for the final match in the Spring Breakout Grand Prix, a tournament featuring only cruiserweights who had never before held the division’s singles title. The Amazing Red was mostly overpowered and bullied by Christopher Daniels but with stick-and-move tactics and great resilience, he was able to overcome the odds and drop Daniels with a huge flying tornado DDT followed by a Red Star Press in 9:18 to bag a title shot in 24 hours. The celebration was short-lived when the champion Jamie Knoble snuck in to blindside Red with the cruiser title belt, running off before the Maximos could catch up with him.
Glenn Gilbertti is kicking back in a comfortable chair inside a luxury private changing room. Alongside him are Matt Bentley, Sonny Siaki and the females seen last week. He says he always figured Matt and Sonny were smart enough to see that Glenn provided far more leadership and results than Shane Douglas ever did, even back in their SEX days. He tells Douglas that his gloating was his downfall as it made Gilbertti determined to remind these two young bucks of what they can achieve if he made them stars instead of the Franchise’s gophers. He says that “Trinity” and “Desire” are just the beginning of the perks his boys will enjoy as the newest members of Glenn Gilbertti Enterprises.
Father James Mitchell was in the corner of Raven as he teamed with Sinn and Slash against Kanyon and America’s Most Wanted. The bout almost got out of hand more than once, but the referee remained on top of things. That said, the numbers game was difficult to manage and when AMW drilled Slash with the Death Sentence, Raven snuck in and dropped Black with the Evenflow and draped the unconscious Slash on top for the pin in 8:22.
Jarrett and Rhodes are still arguing backstage, with 3LK having little luck calming things down. Dustin tells Jarrett he flat-out doesn’t trust him, leading to BG James saying they all need to trust each other tomorrow night. This amuses JJ, who wonders aloud why he should trust James. The arguing continues until Killings shouts everyone down and says they all suck at being nice, but it’s about time they showed that to Team Canada rather than each other. He says he’s now going to show all of them what that means.
And Killings did exactly that, scoring a surprise win over Lance Storm in singles competition. Ron came out alone, unlike Storm who had Johnny Devine in his corner. But when Devine tried to cheat, he was caught in the act which kept the referee blind to Killings hitting a low blow on Storm and locking in a small package for the pin in 7:22. No saint himself, Killings turned the tables on Team Canada and perhaps gave his PPV team-mates reason to put their differences aside.
The rest of the Canadian faction ran in after the bell, but that was quickly levelled out by the arrival of James, Konnan, Rhodes and Jarrett. With Team Canada sent packing, the Americans seemed to be willing to go to war together in 24 hours.
A World Cup Update segment featured Scott Hudson running down the six teams and the format: each of the six participation nations would face their five opponents in one match each in the weeks leading up to the World Cup PPV. It can be 1vs1, 2vs2, 3vs3 or 4vs4, to be agreed upon between the two sides in advance. A win is 2pts, a draw is 1pt apiece and an unsporting defeat is -1pt. The six nations would then take their points tallies into the PPV where three matches would whittle the field from six down to four, and then from four to three. The final will be a one-fall Triangle match just like last year’s eventually became between the three nations with the highest overall points tallies.
Hudson concludes with news on the teams: Lance Storm has named Eric Young, Johnny Devine and Joe Legend as his team-mates. Rey Misterio is the only captain to retain the exact same squad as last year, recruiting Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy and Psicosis – who will be cleared after sitting out Spring Breakout. Doug Williams is bringing Jody Fleisch and Jonny Storm back for Team UK, in addition to James Tighe. Tajiri’s hopes of retaining the cup rest on himself, Jimmy Yang, Dick Togo and TAKA Michinoku. Guido Maritato’s Italy side is comprised of Tony Marinera, Johnny Stamboli and debutant Sal Rinuaro. And Billy Kidman has picked exciting young trio Bryan Danielson, Brian Kendrick and Paul London to represent Team USA with him.
Malice and Tempest’s tag match against Mike Awesome and Simon Diamond lasted all of 4:41 before the ref threw it out as a no-contest. Again, the two monsters’ rage could not be contained but this time it was a cheapshot from Father Mitchell’s cane to Awesome’s kidneys that allowed Malice to chokeslam him through a table before Swinger and Kid Kash came out to help run the heels off.
In the changing room, Kidman and Eddie Guerrero are arguing about recent events. It doesn’t take long before Chavo and Rey get involved, and it soon becomes a situation where Los Guerreros accuse Rey of abandoning them to hang out with Kidman, which prompts Billy to point out that Mysterio hasn’t exactly been super supportive of him. This turns things into a Kidman/Rey verbal, which ends when Eddie and Chavo tell them that they’re going to run through them in 24 hours and earn their title match.
Jerry Lynn and CW Anderson teamed up to defeat Mark Jindrak and Chuck Palumbo in 12:22 after a CW spinebuster to his former tag team champion partner Jindrak. The match ended up serving as a backdrop for…
… Sean O’Haire to run in and attack both Lynn and Anderson with a chair. It didn’t take long for the entire Hardcore Revolution stable to rush out and pinball O’Haire and his buddies around before they scarpered to the stage. From there, Vince Russo took a mic and ranted and raved about the group using unfair numbers and how they’ll probably try to do the same to steal the title tomorrow.
Van Dam tells Russo to shut up, and reminds him that he’s well aware of Vince’s role in his injury and subsequent loss of the title in July. RVD says the tables have turned and tomorrow, Russo’s days of amassing armies to do his bidding will be over. Russo, Chuck and Mark have to physically restrain an enraged champion from attempting to rush the ring filled with enemies as the show ends.
Next time: Spring Breakout 2003!