We now know that Goldberg will fight Booker T for the third time this year in a PPV main event with the WCW title on the line. The two are 1-1 so far and there is a lot more bad blood this time.
We also know that the Chosen Few will walk into WarGames with Mike Awesome replacing Mike Sanders but Ric Flair still has two slots to fill on his side as he seeks to finally avenge Jeff Jarrett’s antagonism.
Tonight, Flair and Awesome go one-on-one. Can the team captain weaken the Few’s dangerous mercenary before the double cage blow-off? Plus, the tournament to find a new United States title challenger begins while current #1 contender Lance Storm recruits a familiar tag partner to face off with the titleholder, Rob Van Dam.
Saturday Nitro #19: first aired on September 15; taped along with episodes 20 and 21 on September 12
The action kicks off in the ring with the first of four quarter-finals towards deciding the next US title challenger, and it pits rivals Super Crazy and Tajiri against one another. However they battle to a 15-minute time limit draw and cannot be separated even after that, until Tajiri once again mists the Insane Luchador almost as soon as the bell sounds.
Backstage, O’Haire and Palumbo are with Mean Gene. O’Haire says he came so close to his first World title last week but defeat will not stop him from breaking through walls in WCW and being robbed of the tag titles won’t stop he and Chuck from dominating the tag scene.
Palumbo, however, adds that tonight he requested a singles match and had it granted by Cat, because he hasn’t forgotten about Booker costing them the titles in their rematch two weeks ago just to get to O’Haire. So, he’s fighting the champ non-title tonight in a quest for revenge. He points out how he nearly took the title from Booker one year ago and says this time, he’s going to take Booker’s pride.
The second US title quarter-final came built in with a ticket to the final, after the draw between Crazy and Tajiri. The bout between Kidman and Kanyon concluded when Kanyon missed a baseball slide to the outside and Kidman followed up with his dazzling springboard SSP to Kanyon out on the floor! The two struggled to the apron up to the ref’s count of nine, but it was Kidman who made it in at 9:20 and is now one win away from a US title shot. The commentators played up how moving back to singles could immediately pay off for Kidman.
A backstage interviewer catches up to the Cat, who’s taking care of a few things in the hallways. When asked what’s on tap for tonight, Cat reveals that Ric Flair wanted a piece of Mike Awesome for providing the key interference in Battlebowl’s Bunkhouse match and that Dustin Rhodes wants Shane Douglas for costing him the Ambulance match. Cat adds another match to the show, saying the Fall Brawl US title participants will mesh with the cruiserweight title combatants in a tag match that will see Lance Storm and Elix Skipper reprise their team for one night only against RVD and Jason Jett.
The Jung Dragons, back on the scene after a few weeks licking their wounds from the ladder match loss to Air Raid, took on Chavo and Shannon in what Guerrero told Moore pre-match was his “last chance” to prove himself worthy of Chavo’s tutelage. The at-odds duo collided when the match broke down into pier-six territory, and when Chavo smacked Shannon, Moore finally shoved Guerrero back right into a Yang roll-up for the three count at 4:19.
Chavo immediately tried to shove around and intimidate Moore for the insubordination, but the former Three Counter finally broke free of the chains and beat down his abuser, finishing with the Bottom’s Up to a great reaction.
Things weren’t so positive for another former Three Count member, as Shane Helms fell to Shawn Stasiak in the third quarter-final thanks in part to a timely distraction from Stacy Keibler and the neckbreaker at 6:38. Helms’ losing ways are showing no sign of letting up.
In this week’s sitdown interview, Mike Awesome discusses his career so far and how it has pretty much boiled down to where the money’s at. His arrival at WCW in the first place, for instance, was one of wrestling’s biggest controversies and designed to get him more cash.
He says when braindead ‘writers’ decided his fighting skills weren’t enough and that he needed to come out pretending to dig fat chicks or acting 1970s, he played ball for the extra cash he got. And now, he’s raking it in by affiliating himself with the Chosen Few.
One thing he does regardless of cash, however, is hospitalising people like Dustin Rhodes. Awesome says destroying chumps like Dustin is just a perk of the job and warns Rhodes that he should keep his nose out of his business from here on out now that he has put him in an ambulance.
Booker T defeated Chuck Palumbo in their non-title match with the Book End in 7:44, but was deterred from a post-match beatdown by Sean O’Haire’s save.
A video package shows Goldberg training for his title rematch against Booker coming up at the PPV.
An eight-man tag pitting York, Matthews and Air Raid against Knoble, Kash, Ki and Daniels descended into near disaster as Air Raid once again failed to co-operate, with Ki and Daniels gleefully observing their implosion while Kash used his boot to lay out York for the pin in-ring at 6:10.
Post match, Styles and Paris momentarily put their issues aside to deck the cruiser tag champs for their gloating and goading, but went to the back still looking nothing like challengers to the championships.
Backstage Lance Storm and Elix Skipper tell Mean Gene that for one night only, Team Canada is on the same page to take care of two thorns in their side. Skipper makes sure to point out, however, that these days he is leader of his own group rather than following Storm around. He walks off while Lance gives a disapproving scowl as only he can.
Storm and Skipper did win their match vs RVD and Jett, however, when Lance crotched Jett on the ropes leaving him prone for an impressive Skipper ropewalk huricanrana in 10:27.
Alex Wright says in a pre-tape that Glenn Gilbertti has spent 2001 trying to convince the world that he is a serious businessman when he was the one for years influencing their tag team to play for laughs. He says he resents “Disco” for all the momentum his career lost thanks to him, and now he wants to act like a big shot and take potshots at Wright as if the German was the problem with their team.
He invites Gilbertti and his entire group of goons to face himself and his friends next week, finishing by saying that the likes of Smiley and Badd may be goofy but at least they have something Gilbertti and his stooges will never have – integrity.
The fourth and final US quarter-final was a grudge match between Dustin Rhodes and Shane Douglas, following The Franchise helping Mike Awesome win the Ambulance match at Battlebowl. Dustin took pleasure exacting retribution on Douglas for much of the brawl but a ref bump gave Awesome the chance to start another 2-on-1, contradicting his claim that he was moving on from Rhodes in that pre-taped interview.
Rhodes was in serious trouble… until the return of Bam Bam Bigelow evened the odds! The ref awoke to see a four-man melee around him and called for the bell at 8:47, disqualifying both and essentially turning Billy Kidman and Shawn Stasiak into de facto finalists.
After Rhodes and Bigelow sent the heels packing, the music of Ric Flair hit the PA. Flair came out and said he has two spots to fill on his WarGames team and he cannot think of better fits than two men who want to hurt the Chosen Few and Awesome as much as he does.
Bigelow immediately accepts. However Rhodes turns him down, saying it should have been clear the last few times he’s had to share a ring with Flair, but he still doesn’t trust the man who has opposed his family for decades and who as recently as six months ago was siding with Jarrett in desecrating the Rhodes family name.
He finishes by saying he can handle his issues with Awesome and Douglas on his own before departing through the crowd, just as Awesome returns with the entire Chosen Few crew for his main event against Flair.
The Flair/Awesome fight saw Sting and DDP join BBB at ringside to counteract the presence of the Few. Things unsurprisingly descended into a no-contest at 6:34 with everyone brawling around ringside.
The heels had the advantage until Rhodes had a change of heart and evened things out. However the situation between Dustin and Flair wasn’t any better. Will Rhodes join the WarGames team or was this just him doing the right thing on the night?
Fall Brawl 2001 card so far:
- WarGames 2001: Ric Flair, Sting, DDP, Bam Bam Bigelow and ? vs Jeff Jarrett, Shane Douglas, CW Anderson, Mark Jindrak and Mike Awesome (w/Mike Sanders and Torrie Wilson)
- WCW World title: Booker T vs Goldberg
- WCW United States title: Rob Van Dam vs Lance Storm
- WCW Cruiserweight title: Elix Skipper vs Jason Jett
- WCW Cruiserweight tag team titles: Low Ki and Daniels vs Air Raid
Crowbar unfortunately picked up a serious knee injury outside of the ring and will miss as much as 7-9 months of action.
Up next: Goldberg and Sting team up to face Booker T and Jeff Jarrett in a huge tag team main event! Plus, Billy Kidman and Shawn Stasiak battle for a future US title match and Ric Flair looks for a fifth and final team member for WarGames!