FEBRUARY 13, 2002: AIRTIME #6
As advertised on WCW.com days before the show, the 3v3v3 match from three weeks ago was to be taken to another level as the cruiserweight division presented a four-corners trios match.
Each of the four teams in the current cruiserweight tag title contention predicament will be randomly drawn into a picking order to select one of the three participants in the Superbrawl three-way for the cruiserweight title as a partner, with the fourth team being allowed to recruit someone entirely of their own choosing.
Only time will tell how the latest experimental concept will pan out for the division and its top contenders.
Taped on February 13, a couple of hours prior to airing, from Orlando.
Segments showed Super Crazy and Tajiri drawing #1 and picking AJ Styles, Knoble and Kash drawing second and picking Shane Helms, the Jung Dragons getting Kidman by default at third and the FBI having a free choice at #4. They were immediately approached by Low Ki, who wanted the opportunity.
And the FBI and Ki won the bout, a 15:16 blitz of action, when Ki got the deciding fall on Kaz Hayashi with the Ki Krusher.
Backstage, the victorious Ki was confronted by Elix Skipper and Christopher Daniels. They were furious that he abandoned Triple X to go perform as part of some other trio.
He responded by pointing out that if his ‘real team’ had acted like real team-mates in recent weeks, maybe he wouldn’t have had to look elsewhere for decent competition. He walks off leaving his partners speechless.
The announcers tell us they have received word that the four cruiser tag teams will fight for the belts at Superbrawl… in a ladder match!
Shane Helms backstage says that he is supposed to be the face of the new WCW, and instead he’s nothing more than a scapegoat and a punchbag. He says he’s sick of all these multi-man matches, branding them conspiracies to keep him down, and promises to win back his cruiserweight belt at Superbrawl and force the company to only allow one-on-one matches so he can prove he is the best in the world.
Finally, Psicosis settled his dispute with Kid Romeo in their delayed two out of three falls match. Romeo made it 1-0 on seven minutes with the Last Kiss and pressed hard to make it two straight on the hurt Psicosis, but got cocky and fell to a victory roll for the tie in around ten and a half minutes before the luchadore rallied and finished the bout after 17:02 with the guillotine legdrop.
FEBRUARY 16, 2002: SATURDAY NITRO #41
The tone for this week’s Nitro is set right from the start, courtesy of our Commissioner. From his office, The Cat welcomes us to the show by announcing that we’ll see four big ‘Superbrawl preview’ contests tonight.
First, the teams of Sting and Rey Misterio as well as Jeff Jarrett and CW Anderson will be in ‘tune-up’ action against two duos Cat says bonded seven days ago: Sting/Rey vs Mark Jindrak and Shawn Stasiak plus Jeff/CW vs Goldberg and the WCW champion, Rob Van Dam!
Ric Flair and Lance Storm will also compete in separate matches, the Commissioner notes, under ‘Pick Your Poison’ stipulations. Neither man will know which athlete their rival selected until their entrance music hits.
Taped along with the previous AirTime on February 13.
The in-ring action kicks off with the arrival of Jason Jett and Shannon Moore to take on Glenn Gilbertti’s duo of Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger in tag team action. It’s a distraction from GG which lures Jett out of commission long enough to allow Swinger to sneak in and help set up the Problem Solver for Simon to get the duke in 8:53.
Backstage, GGE are only partly celebrating their win as Swinger brings up a bit of a downer of a query to his agent: what’s going on with his claims of expansion to bigger and better things?
Not only are they not growing, but they’re actually down two guys from the start. Gilbertti tells him to relax and enjoy the victory tonight. He adds that these things take time, but assures his men that he’s working on ‘two major acquisitions’ for GGE.
When his team press for more details, he notes that all he can give up for now is that one is an old enemy in need of friends, and the other is such a huge name they’d never believe him if he told them…
Lance Storm makes his entrance for the first ‘Pick Your Poison’ match, cuts his usual promo against Flair and America, and has the Canadian national anthem play.
It is cut off by Flair himself on the big screen, who introduces his selected opponent by saying that he picked not only a friend, but someone who has been a rival of his since pretty much before this guy was even born yet. With that, out comes Dustin Rhodes!
Unfortunately for Dustin and Flair, a rivalry of Rhodes’ own cost him dearly in his bout with Storm as Booker T came out via the crowd when Storm sent Dustin outside the ring, lamped Rhodes with the ring bell and then got him back in the ring while Lance had the referee distracted. The three-count was academic at 11:27 as Booker disappeared as fast as he came.
We cut to America’s Most Wanted storming into Cat’s office, demanding some revenge on Booker for his attack on them two weeks ago as well as now assaulting Rhodes for standing up for his proteges. Cat grants their wish, but tells them it will be only one of them vs T in singles action tonight, and to hurry up and decide whom.
Eddie and Chavo Guerrero cut a promo from behind a chain link fence, promising to remove the thorn in their sides that is DDP and Kanyon once and for all at Superbrawl, inside the cage.
AJ Styles and Billy Kidman, as the two men in Superbrawl’s cruiserweight title three-way who actually get along, teamed up next to face Shane Helms and an opponent of his choosing.
He picked Styles’ former partner Air Paris, and got the win over the champ when a Kidman missile dropkick aiming for Shane was dodged and Billy nailed his partner (for the night) instead, allowing Helms to follow up with the Vertebreaker at 9:09 while Paris got rid of Kidman.
Needless to say, Styles wasn’t pleased with dropping a fall as champ thanks to a partner who could easily take his belt in eight days and shoved away Kidman’s attempts at apologies post-match.
We see Jamie Knoble and David Kash backstage around some ladders. The cruiser tag champs claim they have been set up to fail in an ‘impossible’ match but promise to walk out still the champs because while the Dragons, FBI, Tajiri and Crazy will all try to do death-defying stuff with these ladders, they say they’ll simply smash the ladders over everyone’s heads until there are six unconscious bodies and two champs ready to stroll up the steps and get their belts.
Booker T (w/Sharmell) won a competitive match vs James Black of AMW where T’s superior experience and main event calibre eventually shone through, leading to a Book End at 7:49.
The cocky former champ then dared Chris Harris, seconding his partner, to try and do any better right now. The ref received a green-light through his earpiece, seemingly, and we went again…
…this time Booker lost, via countout, to Harris in 5:58. When he looked ready to put the rookie away, Dustin Rhodes came from the back and made a beeline for T. Booker saw him coming and bolted out of the arena, leaving the ref to count to 10 and raise the Wildcat’s hand!
Mean Gene is with Shane Douglas, who shoos the interviewer away and lets Torrie Wilson hold the mic. He says Johnny B Badd tried to embarrass him last week and that ‘pretty boys’ who try to get one over on the ‘top guy on campus’ to impress the girls end up bloodied and humbled. He challenges Badd to a match at Superbrawl.
Sting and Rey Misterio’s first official bout as a tag team was a successful one, as they saw off Shawn Stasiak and Mark Jindrak in their own return to teaming together. After extended heat on Rey, the luchador made the hot tag and Sting eventually put Stasiak away with the Deathlock in 8:10. They cut a promo after the match and promised to take care of Jarrett and Anderson at Superbrawl.
Sean O’Haire speaks backstage, and says it’s official: he and his former tag champion partner Chuck Palumbo will go one-on-one for the US title at Superbrawl.
He says fighting a brother is nothing new to him, going back to his days in the Natural Born Thrillers and even before that. This time, however, it’s a little more complex than that.
He says he and Chuck were closer than any combination from the NBT which is why 2001 was their year as a team. And now, for months he hasn’t heard a word from him.
If it’s a title shot Chuck wants, fine he says. But next week on Nitro, 24 hours before they battle for singles glory, Sean vows to get words from Palumbo when he confronts him face-to-face!
The end of the interview sees the cameraman catching Bam Bam Bigelow on the phone to someone not too far from O’Haire’s interview spot. He sounds as though he’s being pitched to, though it’s hard to tell from one side of the call.
Ric Flair makes his way to the ring, and his ‘Pick Your Poison’ opponent is also introduced via the big screen, as Lance Storm admits he didn’t look for someone to beat Flair, but simply to beat him down so bad that making the Nature Boy submit at Superbrawl will be a walk in the park. With that, out comes Mike Awesome!
Flair took a beating during his bout with the bigger, meaner, angrier Awesome but actually pulled off a huge win after turning an Awesome Bomb attempt into a roll-up and pulling the tights for the fall in 7:31, in true Dirtiest Player style!
Flair got out of there as soon as the bell rang and perhaps that was wise, as big Mike showed how frustrated he has become as of late by taking a chair to various objects at ringside.
DDP and Kanyon had a pre-tape of their own to counter Los Guerreros earlier, this coming from a ring that had been set up somewhere with a cage already around it. Page says the 15 foot of steel doesn’t scare them but it should scare Eddie and Chavo because the cage removes their excuses and their loopholes. Kanyon adds that at Superbrawl, we’ll see who wants those belts most.
Finally, a huge main event saw Superbrawl opponents RVD and Goldberg team to fight Jeff Jarrett and CW Anderson. The more cohesive unit overcame a hot start from the PPV main eventers and worked over Van Dam until Goldberg came in red-hot, until a Jarrett guitar shot laid out Bill for a CW cover… which only got two!
Goldberg then reversed a double team with a double clothesline and tagged RVD back in. After the champ cleaned house he set up legal man Jarrett for a frog splash only for CW to pull him off the top. Goldberg got rid of Anderson and went to spear Jarrett… only for JJ to leapdrog and leave the spear to nail Van Dam!
As CW pulled Goldberg out of the ring, Jarrett pinned RVD at the 15:26 mark! The heels celebrated and the commentators discussed how two huge matches ended with two singles champions being beaten thanks in part to their partner/future opponent as the show closed.
Superbrawl XII card:
- WCW World title: Rob Van Dam vs Goldberg
- WCW World tag titles, cage match: Los Guerreros vs DDP & Kanyon
- WCW United States title: Sean O’Haire vs Chuck Palumbo
- WCW Cruiserweight title: AJ Styles vs Billy Kidman vs Shane Helms
- WCW Cruiserweight tag titles, ladder match: Kash & Knoble (c) vs Tajiri & Super Crazy vs Full Blooded Italians vs Jung Dragons
- Submission match: Ric Flair vs Lance Storm
- Sting & Rey Misterio vs Jeff Jarrett & CW Anderson
- Dustin Rhodes vs Booker T
Next time: The final AirTime and Nitro before Superbrawl!