MAY 14, 2003: AIRTIME #69
Matches filmed at the last Nitro taping for the Cruiserweight Chase were:
- Kid Kash weathered a few minutes of Jerrelle Clark offense before dodging a high risk move and hitting the Money Maker for the pin in 5:13.
- Chris Sabin overcame Julio Dinero with Cradle Shock in 6:55.
- In the biggest surprise of the tournament so far, Frankie Kazarian stunned the overconfident Matt Bentley after Paul London came out and chased Glenn Gilbertti from ringside. A missed top rope elbow was followed by an Oklahoma Roll in 6:43.
- And Guido Maritato beat Brian Kendrick with the Kiss of Death in 10:30 to a great reaction from the Philadelphia crowd.
Cruiserweight Chase standings:
- Block A: Kid Kash 4pts, Sonny Siaki 4pts, Paul London 2pts, Chris Sabin 2pts, Julio Dinero 0pts, Jerrelle Clark 0pts.
- Block B: Guido Maritato 4pts, Amazing Red 2pts, Matt Bentley 2pts, Jimmy Yang 2pts, Frankie Kazarian 2pts, Brian Kendrick 0pts.
MAY 17, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #106
The Extreme Horsemen’s vow to eliminate the Hardcore Revolution once and for all last week at the ECW Arena was scuppered by the apparent reconciliation between Rob Van Dam and Kid Kash – as well as Ric Flair banning manager Steve Corino from ringside and Guido Maritato’s decision to represent his Extreme roots against the alumni who stand against its legacy. Flair mentioned in a WCW.com interview that he’ll address the ongoing hostilities tonight with a big match announcement for Slamboree.
Speaking of big fights at the PPV, Sean O’Haire vs Raven is on and the two had their first confrontation last weekend after O’Haire’s suspension ended. Is the challenger spot on when he says the champion is finally the hunted as opposed to the hunter? And, will Lance Storm accept Rey Mysterio’s interesting challenge to put his money where his mouth is?
Taped on May 15 in Nashville.
The opening contest saw the cruiserweight tag titles up for grabs as The Rejected faced a role reversal following unsuccessful tilts at AJ Styles’ US title. Styles came out first and introduced his handpicked partner: The Amazing Red! But though the newfound duo came close to an upset, Helms and Moore escaped with their belts in 20:27 after a Helms Vertebreaker to Red. It will indeed be Shane and Shannon defending against Crazy and Psicosis at the PPV.
A video package recaps the backstory between The Rejected and the trimulative of Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis and Super Crazy. From the beginnings amidst the WCW vs SEX war where Helms and Moore targeted the luchadores as part of their vicious streak, to the hair vs hair grudge match at Genesis, to the title match at Spring Breakout. Slamboree’s match, now set in stone, will mean The Rejected have faced every two-man combination of the trio on PPV in 2003 and as it stands, the score is 1-1.
This led into the involvement of the World Cup winners in the next match, as Jamie Knoble and his next challenger for the cruiser singles title Juventud Guerrera would compete tonight against opponents selected by their PPV foe. Juvi sent out Crazy to face Knoble, but the former cruiser champ was unable to vanquish Knoble who rolled through a powerbomb attempt with a rana and pinning combination, holding the middle rope for leverage, after 9:42 of action.
Backstage, Kid Kash joins RVD, Jerry Lynn and Tajiri in their dressing room. He apologises to Van Dam for their arguments as of late, saying he resented that RVD was able to challenge for titles but apparently no-one else in the group could. RVD in turn apologises for coming across like that, saying he doesn’t want it to be that way at all but Spring Breakout and the emergence of the Extreme Horsemen has changed everything, for now.
Kash says he’s right, and while he hopes to earn another title shot on AirTime, he’ll be 100% committed to winning this war. Jerry Lynn tells Kash that’s what they hoped to hear, because tonight Ric Flair is announcing the match between the two sides for Slamboree and they need to be at full strength no matter what that match is. Kash says you got it – and not only that, but he thinks Guido is in for the long run with them.
When Kash exits, Tajiri – who didn’t look too pleased throughout the conversation – simply tells Lynn and RVD: “I don’t trust him.” Van Dam assures Tajiri that he and Kash go way back and that their problems appear to be water under the bridge.
Lynn was out next for a singles match against the Extreme Horsemen’s enforcer, CW Anderson. Only Steve Corino was ringside from the two factions, and his hopping onto the apron to eat a Lynn dropkick was enough to allow Anderson to snatch Jerry up into a devastating spinebuster for the pin in 6:39. CW and Corino got out of there having stolen another one on their arch-rivals.
Lance Storm makes his way out alongside Joe Legend, with the duo representing Team Canada in tag action shortly. First, Storm took the mic and said he accepts Rey Mysterio’s challenge, adding that he doesn’t need Team Canada to put Mysterio in his place. At Slamboree, Storm says his proteges will dismantle Rhodes Jarrett and AMW, while he will prove that Canada were robbed at the World Cup by corrupt match formats.
Storm and Legend then lost to Rhodes and Mysterio by disqualification in 9:56 when Roode, Young and Devine rushed the ring just as it appeared Rey had Lance in serious bother. AMW and Jarrett quickly evened up the fight and the babyfaces did send the Canadians scurrying for the stage, but Jarrett appeared to tweak his knee quite bad in the fracas and had to be helped up the walkway by Harris and Black.
We head to Commissioner Flair’s office where he says that he’s super excited about Slamboree. It’s shaping up to be a huge card and he can confirm that it just got even better. He says he has watched the HR and EH talk about eliminating the other and surviving this war, and aside from the Four Horsemen being plagiarised he’s been a big fan of the action and the drama. So, at Slamboree, he’s taking their battles to the logical next step in his opinion: an elimination tag match.
He also confirms that he has “all but” signed his next major acquisition and that he’ll be ready to compete in time for next weekend, so he’ll start straight at the deep end with a US title match on the PPV.
The second ‘Pick Your Poison’ match of the show saw Jamie Knoble come out onto the stage after Juventud Guerrera had already arrived in the ring. He says he’ll beat Juvi at Slamboree because the ‘hoochadors’ are so predictable and won’t do whatever it takes to win, which isn’t enough to hold titles for very long in WCW, he claims. He says as soon as Flair told him of this ‘pick your rival’s opponent’ concept that Juvi would just send one of his Mexican buddies after him. So he told Flair to have Guerrera wrestle whichever of the trio was left over.
Knoble laughs into the mic as Psicosis makes his way out. Psi gives the champ a glare as he walks past him before entering the ring and giving Juvi a shrug, which Guerrera returns, understanding their situation…
Guerrera went on to beat his good friend in a hard-fought contest, evading a Guillotine Legdrop and following up with the Juvi Driver for the duke in 8:45. Almost as soon as Juvi’s hand was raised, Knoble was back out to KO him with the title belt. He then waited for Psicosis to stagger back to one knee before drilling him, too. Super Crazy then rushed out for the save but Knoble was out of there by the time he hit the ring.
In a pre-tape, Vince Russo is with Sean O’Haire. He says Raven talks a big game about who is the hunter and who is the hunted. But he finds it hilarious how someone who burns even more bridges than Russo himself thinks he is in the driver’s seat heading into Slamboree. Russo says Raven will rue the day he thought he could be as devious as Russo and as vicious as O’Haire. The champ then chimes in, saying that Raven will pay for what he did to Jindrak and Palumbo and for trying to make it look as if Sting had come back. This prompts a nervous reaction from Russo, who tries to tell his charge that he thinks Sting really is lurking somewhere only for Sean to bark at his own manager: “Sting. Is. GONE!”
Jarrett is in the trainer’s room, where he’s told that they hope his knee isn’t too badly injured but he will need to head to the local hospital ASAP for a precautionary check. He reluctantly agrees at the encouragement of AMW, who tell him to make sure he’s cleared for the real fight at Slamboree.
After their exchanges at the World Cup PPV and last week’s huge battle at the ECW Arena, Rob Van Dam and Mike Awesome went at it one-on-one next. Again, only Steve Corino was at ringside with his manager’s licence but this time, his interference attempt failed as he ate a springboard kick from RVD.
Van Dam then prepared a Van Terminator on Awesome as he sat prone in the far corner but as the official warned him that it would be an instant DQ, Justin Credible ran down the walkway. RVD saw him coming and launched the chair at Justin’s head, only for Awesome to recover, run up the ropes and bring him down with a huge belly-to-belly superplex.
Tajiri then ran down and brawled with Credible which in turn brought out everyone else, Kid Kash and Guido Maritato included. Even Guido’s regular back-up man Johnny Stamboli rushed out and drilled Corino with a right hand when he started attacking Guido. The mass brawl enveloped the actual match and the ref threw it out after 9:22. Security piled into the ringside area to eventually calm things down.
Unfortunately the amount of security required to quell the chaos in the arena led to the commentary team receiving word of hell breaking loose backstage with nobody around to break it up. It was the five Disciples of the New Church brawling with and then overwhelming the 3 Live Kru. Shane Douglas was clearly directing traffic as Malice, Sinn, Slash and Tempest assaulted their rivals and considering that Jarrett had already headed to the hospital, it appears the entire thing was planned meticulously by The Franchise. Even without Father James Mitchell, his troops were a dangerous force thanks to Douglas deputising.
Finally, six-man main event action brought two very contrasting Slamboree world title rivalries together as Raven was forced to team with Los Guerreros against Sean O’Haire, Christopher Daniels and Elix Skipper. The heel trio at the very least had Russo holding them together, with the champ’s manager appearing to maintain a good relationship with his former SEX soldiers.
With the WCW champ and his next challenger spending most of the match on the apron, the contest flowed quite well and was almost entirely a preview of the PPV tag title showdown as a result. Raven and O’Haire did eventually both tag in at the same time after an Eddie/Elix double clothesline and after a big staredown, the two finally traded blows for the first time to a huge reaction.
They eventually knocked each other onto their respective backsides with a Raven back elbow landing at the same time as an O’Haire head kick, prompting Daniels and Chavo to tag back in. Raven and Sean continued to fight to the outside and flirted heavily with the referee’s letter of the law as they used the camera crew’s cables and the steel steps to inflict damage on one another. But as the official kept an eye on both, he missed Skipper laying out Chavo with the WCW title belt. Elix kept Eddie at bay as Daniels draped an arm over Chavo for the win in 12:18.
A swarm of officials continued to struggle keeping O’Haire and Raven apart while a furious Eddie vaulted the top rope and tackled both members of Triple X on the walkway as the show ran out of time amidst all of the wild fighting.
Slamboree 2003 card:
- WCW World title: Sean O’Haire (c) vs Raven
- WCW World tag titles: Los Guerreros (c) vs Triple X
- WCW Cruiserweight title: Jamie Knoble (c) vs Juventud Guerrera
- WCW Cruiserweight tag titles, ⅔ falls: The Rejected (c) vs Super Crazy and Psicosis
- WCW United States title: AJ Styles (c) vs ???
- Elimination match: Hardcore Revolution vs Extreme Horsemen
- Lance Storm vs Rey Misterio
- Jeff Jarrett, Dustin Rhodes & America’s Most Wanted vs Team Canada
- Jeff Jarrett & 3 Live Kru vs The New Church
Next time: The final Nitro before Slamboree 2003!