In 2002, Slamboree went ‘Old School Style’ with a complete early-1990s look and feel to the nostalgia-themed PPV, and once again the motif was confirmed as long-time wrestling hotbed St Louis would play host to a night of retro goodness, as well as some blistering title and grudge bouts.
Raven has taken no prisoners since returning to WCW at the top of the year, but despite his surly demeanour and ruthless tactics his ultimate goal has always remained the same: to become World champion. That meant it was only a matter of time before he was on collision course with the only member of the roster as dastardly, as vicious and as sinister as he: the current titleholder, Sean O’Haire. What will give when the two go at it with the big gold belt at stake?
Elsewhere, Jeff Jarrett’s issues with both Team Canada and Father James Mitchell’s Disciples of the New Church have left the stubborn veteran insisting Commissioner Ric Flair book in tag action against both tonight, meaning he’ll be on two different teams in two different matches as he attempts double duty for a double dose of revenge on the factions. Will it work, or is he doomed to fail?
Speaking of factions, the Hardcore Revolution rallied through the Extreme Horsemen’s initial attempt to wipe them out altogether, and with a few new members are ready for payback. This time the gang warfare takes place under elimination rules. Which extreme stable will survive the latest battle?
Plus, team members of World Cup winners Mexico cash in their right to a title opportunity against cruiserweight champion Jamie Knoble and cruiser tag champs The Rejected; Mexico captain Rey Mysterio looks to prove a point against Lance Storm; Los Guerreros defend the heavyweight tag straps against Triple X; United States champion AJ Styles defends against a mystery opponent and more!
MAY 25, 2003: WCW SLAMBOREE 2003 – St Louis, Missouri
Matches were taped prior to the PPV for the following Wednesday’s AirTime.
Opening match, eight-man tag: Jeff Jarrett and The 3 Live Kru vs Disciples of the New Church
We open with one of several large tag matches set for the card, as Jeff Jarrett noticeably limped out after the arrival of the BG James, Ron Killings and Konnan. Next out were their opponents – who, strangely, went with a line-up of Malice, Tempest, Sinn and Slash but no Shane Douglas. In fact the Franchise, who has appeared to be somewhat of a stand-in leader of the group in Father James Mitchell’s absence, wasn’t even in the corner of the Church.
3LK took the fight to their enemies early on, and almost forcibly made Jarrett rest on the apron unless he was absolutely necessary to even the numbers. Eventually, Malice overpowered Killings and started a heat period on ‘The Truth’. Killings escaped a Sinn/Slash double team and tagged in Jarrett who not only cleaned house but threw dropkicks at all four opponents – and pretty good ones, despite the bad wheel.
Tempest eventually attacked the leg and went for the Mindbender, but Jeff pushed him off and into a tag from Malice. Jarrett then felt a massive hand around his throat only for each 3LK member to take shots at the monster, each one gradually loosening his grip until the right hand from BG weakened him enough for Jarrett to reverse into a Stroke while his team-mates kept the rest of the Church at bay for the pin in 10:04. 3LK had their revenge on the New Church, Jarrett emerged relatively unscathed – and one more win away from world title contention.
WCW United States Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs ???
Styles came out for his US title defence against Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair’s latest WCW signing. And as he waited in the ring, hoping to avoid a repeat of the circumstances that led to him becoming champion in the first place, unfamiliar music hit before the crowd popped as they read the name D’Lo Brown emerge on the big screen video!
Out came D’Lo, looking to be in great shape and the first title match of the show was on as AJ leapt over the ropes to forearm D’Lo on the walkway, looking to get as fast a start as possible. The two went back and forth at a breakneck pace until a hard D’Lo clothesline put him in control. He used weardown moves on the champ until Styles rallied with a blitz of strikes and the two embarked on a frantic finish that led to Brown catching another attempted AJ springboard strike, converting it seamlessly into a Sky High for the pin and the title in his WCW debut at 11:27!
WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship, 2/3 falls: The Rejected (c) vs Super Crazy and Psicosis
The champs snuck in via the crowd and blindsided their opponents, which led to a Helms Vertebreaker on Crazy after just 57 seconds for the first fall. Psicosis gathered himself enough to attack Shane and Shannon after the fall and roll Crazy out of the ring so he would be recognised as legal when the ref began the second fall.
Psicosis fought off both men until the numbers caught up to him and only the ref’s eventual enforcement of tags spared the challengers from a very fast defeat in two straight falls. Psicosis escaped after being worked over for a few minutes and finally tagged in Crazy, who had recovered enough to clean house before pinning Moore with an inverted tornado DDT in 7:03.
Crazy tagged out to Psicosis and Helms brought himself back in to replace a groggy Moore and with momentum on their side the faces were completely in control. Psicosis hit a top rope rana on Helms and followed with the Guillotine Legdrop for what looked a certain deciding fall… but the referee refused to count.
We then saw that this was because Moore had blind tagged in during the rana and as Psicosis looked at the official confused, he snared him in a quick cradle to retain two falls to one in a total time of 9:56.
Elimination 10-man tag team match: Hardcore Revolution vs Extreme Horsemen
The Revolution were represented by Rob Van Dam, Jerry Lynn, Tajiri, Kid Kash and Guido Maritato while Steve Corino led out his five-man Horsemen squad of Mike Awesome, Justin Credible, Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger and CW Anderson. The two sides went at it in various combinations until recent HR addition Guido scored the first elimination, pinning Swinger with the Kiss of Death out of nowhere. Credible nipped straight in and rolled up Maritato with the tights, however, to bring us straight back to 4-on-4.
Kid Kash took the fight to CW shortly after but found himself caught in an armbar and he tapped rather quickly to put the Horsemen 4-3 up. His team-mates didn’t look too pleased, but kept fighting and Tajiri levelled matters once more with a Buzzsaw Kick to Diamond. Tajiri then met his match in Awesome, who withstood many of his kicks before overpowering the cruiserweight and pinning him with an Awesome Bomb.
RVD and Lynn once again found themselves alone against superior numbers but it wasn’t quite as daunting this time and in fact, Jerry was able to avenge his recent singles loss to Anderson when he dropped CW with the Cradle Piledriver for another fall. Awesome continued his hot streak minutes later by sending Lynn packing with a top rope splash and Van Dam was alone against Credible and Awesome.
After weathering some abuse for a bit, RVD fought back and looked set to finish off Justin until Corino slid him his Singapore cane and he drilled Van Dam for the DQ elimination. However, Awesome simply followed that with another top rope splash to pin RVD and win as the Extreme Horsemen’s sole survivor after a total of 19:29.
WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Jamie Knoble (c) vs Juventud Guerrera
Knoble retained his title despite a valiant effort from Guerrera in match five. Juvi came within an eyelash more than once and thought he had the title won after a Juvi Driver, but though the ref’s hand slapped the mat a third time, Jamie’s foot did go onto the bottom rope after two. Guerrera attempted a super Juvi Driver only for Knoble to counter into a super DDT for the pin in 12:38.
Eight-man tag: Jeff Jarrett, Dustin Rhodes and America’s Most Wanted vs Team Canada
Jarrett emerged for his second match of the evening to face Team Canada underlings Joe Legend, Bobby Roode, Johnny Devine and Eric Young. Despite giving up a world of experience to JJ and Rhodes in particular, the Canadians kept up with their opponents even while taking a lot of offense early on and eventually worked over James Black until he tagged out to Jarrett.
JJ once again fought the pain barrier and ran through his opponents before a pier-six brawl erupted, as the referee attempted to handle the chaos at ringside, Jeff evaded a Legend chopblock and then took out Joe’s own knee. As he prepared his figure-four leglock, however, Lance Storm ran in with Jarrett’s own guitar and blasted it over his head as the referee remained outside restoring order. When the official returned to the ring, Legend had draped an arm over Jarrett for the pin in 8:49 and JJ’s chance to earn another title shot was gone courtesy of the Team Canada leader.
A smirking Storm made his way back up to the stage until Rey Mysterio rushed out on the attack, forcing him to retreat back to ringside. Rey performed a corkscrew dive from the top rope onto all of Team Canada at ringside. The music of Ric Flair then played as the Commissioner led a security team out to force everybody else backstage so that Storm-Mysterio could start. Team Canada, especially, with the stipulations in place that mean Storm is gone for 90 days if the Canadians interfere. Flair chose to remain at ringside personally for the match.
Rey Mysterio vs Lance Storm
Storm and Mysterio each had a lot to prove in their exciting battle for respect stemming from the World Cup final. They traded state-of-the-art holds and counters until Storm was finally able to use his size advantage to ground the luchador. Rey fought back and hit a great nip-up rana to counter a Maple Leaf attempt for a stalemate. They then entered a wave of near-falls off big moves until an errant Storm superkick accidentally KOd the official.
Flair came over to check on his referee as the see-saw contest continued.. Until a Rey 619 attempt was thwarted by a hockey stick to the head by someone who had hopped the rail wearing a Canadian hockey shirt and with a hockey mask covering their face. With Mysterio out cold, Storm made the cover and Flair felt duty-bound to slide in and count the fall at the 16:44 mark.
Just as Ric finished his three count, he saw the masked man throw the hockey stick down as he gingerly climbed back over the railing in his gear. Flair slid out and tried to catch him but he ran off. Flair grabbed a mic and called for security at all exits to cut him off and bring him back to the ring. The cameras picked up two beefy guards doing just that and dragging the masked man back.
Flair told Storm not to go anywhere because when they revealed this to be one of his boys, he’d be gone for 90 days. The mystery man was brought to ringside where Flair ordered the guards to take the mask off, just as Rey finally started to come round. They did – and it revealed Billy Kidman.
The entire arena stopped in stunned silence barring Storm, who after an initial surprise simply laughed and fled with his victory. Next was Kidman who could only look Rey in the eyes for a moment before shaking the stunned guards’ grasp away and leaving through the crowd at the second attempt. Mysterio simply didn’t know how to react.
WCW World Tag Team Championship: Los Guerreros (c) vs Triple X
After various different in-ring interactions with each other, it was time for Los Guerreros and Triple X to finally face off, 2 vs 2, with the WCW tag titles on the line. All four men brought their technical wrestling A game as well as some of their most audacious rulebreaking to the big match but after many attempts at shenanigans involving using the title belts as weapons by both teams, Skipper drilled Chavo behind the ref’s back only for Eddie to immediately lay out Elix with the other in turn.
He went up to the top to finish with a frog splash, but Daniels – the legal man – threw one of the belts onto Elix and Eddie landed bad on it. Daniels quickly added an Angel’s Wings to the hurt ribs and one three count later those very belts had changed hands on PPV for the third consecutive time. After a match time of 18:15, Triple X were the NEW heavyweight tag team champions.
WCW World Championship: Sean O’Haire (c) vs Raven
That left only the main event: Raven challenging Sean O’Haire for the WCW title. Not even the traditional in-ring introductions were safe from these two merciless fighters as the brawl kicked off early and went all around ringside. The official attempted to give such a big match leeway but repeatedly reminded Raven that this wasn’t Raven’s Rules and the title had to be won via conventional means. Finally they arrived back in the ring where O’Haire used a low blow to take over.
The champ worked over Raven but the challenger blocked several attempts at the cobra clutch before mounting his comeback. When Vince Russo tried to distract Raven from ringside, he nailed him with a baseball slide before fetching a chair for his drop toe hold spot, which the official let go perhaps only after Sean used a low kick right in front of him. O’Haire turned an Evenflow attempt into an F5 hoist, only for Raven to slip out of that and finally connect with the DDT. He covered and the ref counted the one and the two… before he was pulled out of the ring by none other than Father James Mitchell, who decked the official with his cane.
A confused Raven looked up, realised what happened and saw red. He chased Mitchell around ringside only to be stopped cold by a chain-assisted punch from Shane Douglas. He rammed Raven’s now-bloody skull into the ringpost for good measure before throwing him into the ring. O’Haire hit the F5 and covered, and Mitchell and a recovering Russo both forced the ref back into the ring where he groggily counted three at the 11:24 mark.
Russo handed O’Haire his title belt as Mitchell and Douglas left together. Sean then grabbed the steel chair left in the ring and placed it around Raven’s neck, just as he promised he would, and told Raven we would see who the fraud is now… before the lights once again went out.
This time when they returned, there was no crow, no video, no lightning and no Raven. But there was one very real Sting, finally back in a WCW ring and stood behind the champ brandishing a bat. When O’Haire turned around he took a shot to the ribs and then one across the back, sending him flying to the walkway. As a dumbstuck champ and manager retreated backwards, the Stinger ominously pointed his bat at O’Haire, and then the belt being held by Russo.