APRIL 9, 2003: AIRTIME #64
Matches taped prior the live Nitro were:
- Super Crazy and Psicosis going to a double count-out with Tajiri and Jimmy Yang after 10:45. A sequence of dives to the floor left Psicosis clutching his bad leg and Yang seemingly hurting his shoulder. Since both were the legal men, their injuries led to them both missing the 10 count back in as the two heavily fancied nations continued to struggle for points with a share of this important battle.
- Chris Sabin winning a four-way over Shark Boy, Frankie Kazarian and Jerrelle Clark after landing a sit-out fireman’s carry bomb on Shark Boy at the 6:33 mark.
- Team Italy (Guido Maritato, Tony Marinera, Sal Rinuaro and Johnny Stamboli) defeating Team UK (Doug Williams, Jonny Storm, Jody Fleisch and James Tighe) when Guido and Marinera hit a double-team Rubik’s Cube on Fleisch for the Maritato pin in 13:28.
World Cup 2003 standings (everyone has wrestled four times out of five):
- USA: 6pts
- Italy: 4pts
- Canada: 4pts
- UK: 4pts
- Japan: 3pts
- Mexico: 3pts
APRIL 12, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #101
With a monumental 100th Saturday Nitro on the books, we roll on with the triple-figure editions with the World Cup PPV just eight days away. But some events of the landmark show just cannot be shaken off. Did the appearance of that crow at the end of the broadcast mean what we think it means? And will Sean O’Haire even be employed long enough to find out, after what he did to Kanyon, DDP and Commissioner Flair?
Taped on April 10 in Nashville, TN.
Immediately after the opening credits, we see Jeff Jarrett being assaulted upon his arrival to the building by the New Church on the orders of Father James Mitchell. Security can only do so much to contain the beating, and only the sound of their entrance music from the arena convinces Mitchell to call them off as their match is up first…
…it was Malice, Tempest, Sinn and Slash facing Los Guerreros, BG James and Konnan in eight-man tag action. The Church looked on course for victory thanks to their monster batting cleanup, only for a wounded but enraged Jarrett to stagger his way down the walkway despite security trying to save him from further damage. The distraction, however, allowed Chavo to roll up the still-legal Slash – with Eddie holding him from outside for extra reinforcement – to get the win in 14:38 over one of the men they’ll challenge for the tag titles at the PPV. The faces left immediately and helped ensure Jarrett wasn’t targeted, or that JJ didn’t do anything brazen (stupid).
We cut backstage where Psicosis is having his leg checked over in the training room, with his Team Mexico compadres in attendance. They have already agreed in advance to a 4vs4 tonight against the USA, and the doctor says although she’d rather he rested the leg there’s nothing that serious for her to outright refuse to clear him.
Meanwhile, a brief cut to Team Japan in the changing rooms shows Tajiri expressing concern over Yang’s arm, but TAKA and Dick Togo waving the concern off and insisting they’ll be fine.
Shane Douglas was permitted to recruit a tag partner to face Matt Bentley and Sonny Siaki at the same time in tag action, but he came out alone. Literally alone, without even Torrie Wilson. He takes the mic and says it’s no surprise he has no partner, since he’s burned just about every bridge he has in this company. But he doesn’t regret that for one second, especially not for this tag match as he says he doesn’t need a partner to kick both their asses. He then drills Siaki and Bentley with the mic to go straight onto the front foot. However, that doesn’t last long in a 2-on-1 with Glenn Gilbertti, Trinity and Desire all at ringside. Siaki and Bentley overwhelm their former mentor and drop him with a Siaki superplex followed immediately by a Picture Perfect Elbow from Bentley in 4:25.
Rob Van Dam is watching this from the changing room as Jerry Lynn arrives. Lynn asks RVD if he’s considering Douglas for the group and Van Dam says no, Douglas cannot be trusted and offers nothing to the team. Besides, they have four for the war at the World Cup, says RVD: it’ll be the two of them, York and Matthews. Jerry asks what about Kid Kash, and Van Dam says he can give chase to Jamie Knoble. He pursued the WCW title last month and it’d be wrong of him to deny Kash his own championship aspirations when he has Knoble’s number.
AJ Styles defeated Johnny Stamboli in non-title action with the Styles Clash in 8:12. Stamboli was seconded by only Guido Maritato, who almost helped his man cheat to win but was then wiped out by a Styles dive. After the win, Ron Killings came out onto the stage and said he never had a rematch for the US title when he lost it, but that’s because he didn’t deserve one. Now, he says he’s found his way, found some friends and more importantly earned a title opportunity at Superbrawl. So, he’s giving AJ his minimum of a week’s notice that he’s coming for his belt at the World Cup PPV.
After the break, Guido is chewing out Tony Marinera and Sal Rinuaro backstage for not offering more backup to Stamboli, suggesting the two are partying too much for them to stand a serious chance in the World Cup. They brush their captain’s claims off, noting that they won on AirTime and are doing fine, adding that the loss to Styles was just a non-title distraction. Guido isn’t impressed by their attitude.
Lance Storm tells JB that he gets great pleasure from the fact Jeff Jarrett is getting his backside handed to him by so many different people because Jeff thinks he’s superman and can fight so many wars on so many fronts. He says the World Cup is his priority, of course, but he’s looking forward to being the one who puts the final nail in Jarrett’s coffin – a coffin that will need to be XXL to fit Jeff’s ego, he adds.
USA defeated Mexico in 4on4 action to finish their preliminary efforts with an impressive four wins from five and leave the host nation in a tough position with just one win and a draw from five. Bryan Danielson wisely targeted the leg of Psicosis to extract a submission with a brutal looking grapevine in 21:21 but another telling subplot was that Billy Kidman’s already hurt ribs seemed to really take a bad knock when Rey Mysterio hit a flying huracanrana from the apron to Kidman on the floor that sent him flying into the steps and ended his involvement in the match a couple of minutes before the finish.
Steve Corino and his Extreme Horsemen are outside the ECW Arena in Philadelphia. They rip into the place for being a dump and claim its only use was to bring the five of them together. He confirms that it will be Simon, Swinger, CW and Awesome going into war next weekend but when Diamond points out that fellow alumni Shane Douglas could be recruited, Corino flat-out says no. Besides, if they are to expand, he has a better option…
Dustin Rhodes began his Bunkhouse Brawl against Raven by running down the walkway and vaulting the ropes, dropping his foe with a clothesline. Rhodes soon busted him open with his taped fists as the dressed-in-denim babyface took the fight to the always-dressed-casually Raven in the early going before disappearing backstage for a moment to bring a cart full of plunder to the ring.
The two exchanged a variety of weapons shots and innovative offense but the result was ultimately the same as their fight the week before, as Raven prevented a Shattered Dreams kick at the last second by pulling a spray from his pocket and landing it to Rhodes’ eyes before hitting the Evenflow onto a trash can for the pin at 15:00.
After the win, Raven said nobody has been able to stop him since he returned to WCW and there’s a reason for that: destiny. He says he was always destined to become WCW champion and when bureaucracy denied him the opportunity in the 90s, fate found an alternative route that is finally near its final destination: Raven as WCW champ. He says he doesn’t care if bureaucracy brought him back to the promotion because he answers to no man and won’t stop until he is champion.
Finally, we’re joined by a bandaged-up Commissioner Flair to find out the fate of Sean O’Haire. Flair recaps the events of last week’s main event and the severity of the WCW champion’s actions but is cut off by Vince Russo before he can announce what action he will take.
Russo proceeds to beg and plead for Flair not to fire his champ or even take the title away, claiming what happened was just red mist and adding that Flair should have stayed away from the danger zone. Flair says it’s funny how his red mist has occurred on a weekly basis, sometimes without any provocation. He says he has been warned multiple times and then does something like that last week to a man who had earned a title shot, a retired legend trying to save his friend and his own boss.
That’s why he has every right to just take the title back and fire him… but he won’t. Instead, he’s suspended for 30 days and fined 100,000 dollars. Russo is slightly relieved and somewhat surprised, but Flair is quick to point out that this is only because he has been advised by a good friend that O’Haire will receive what is coming to him.
Russo cuts him off and says everybody knows he’s talking about Sting, asking Flair where he’s at. Ric says he’s not at liberty to say who he has been talking with, and does not have to tell Vince anything. Russo goes off on a rant, calling Sting a coward for hiding away from sight and taking out Palumbo and Jindrak like some sort of stealth assassin last week. Flair, with a visible smirk, says he has no idea what Russo is talking about but that he will investigate the attacks himself.
Russo loses his temper completely and accuses Flair of being corrupt and in on it all, only to be halted by the lights going out and a video coming up on the big screen where clips of Chuck and Mark laid out are shown while a distorted voice asks Russo how it feels to have the tables turned. It says the hunter has become the hunted and in 30 days, hunting season well and truly begins. The show ends on the petrified look on Vince’s face.
World Cup 2003 card so far:
- WCW tag titles: Sinn & Slash (c) vs Los Guerreros
- WCW cruiserweight title: Jamie Knoble (c) vs Kid Kash
- WCW United States title: AJ Styles (c) vs Ron Killings
- Quarter-final six-way singles elimination match
- Semi-final four-way tag elimination match
- Final: ?? vs ?? vs ??
- Hardcore Revolution vs Extreme Horsemen
- Eight-man heavyweight tag
World Cup 2003 standings (USA and Mexico have completed their preliminaries):
- USA: 8pts
- Italy: 4pts
- Canada: 4pts
- UK: 4pts
- Japan: 3pts
- Mexico: 3pts
Next time: The go-home show before the 2003 World Cup PPV!