Two shows remain before we reach the second annual Battlebowl PPV of the new WCW era under Fusient. With Rob Van Dam taken out of action by The Disciples Of The New Church, the winner of this year’s battle royal won’t just earn a title shot, they’ll become the new WCW World champion.
AUGUST 14, 2002: AIRTIME #32
WCW cruiserweight champion Low Ki will be in action, Paul London and Matt Bentley look to settle their grudge in a no-disqualification match and Triple X have promised an announcement, all to come on tonight’s show. Will new matches be added to the Battlebowl card in just four days? Will we find out the identity of this ‘American Dragon’ newcomer? And will SEX make their presence felt?
Taped on August 13, along with the following Nitro, in Orlando.
Low Ki defeated Kid Romeo with the Ki Krusher in a semi-competitive 8:18 showcase of the new champ’s incredible run of form, which hasn’t been halted by the injury setback.
Brian Kendrick tells Jeremy Borash backstage that he knows this ‘American Dragon’ is Bryan Danielson. He says he will prove it and wants Danielson banished from wrestling for life when he does. He challenges the Dragon to meet him one-on-one at Battlebowl so he can unmask him in front of a PPV audience.
It’s announced by the commentary team that both the Jung Dragons and AMW will receive tag title rematches at the PPV after losing their belts to wrestlers in the SEX stable. They are then interrupted by Los Guerreros, who scream and shout at them about their car being “sabotaged” on Saturday. They want their tag title rematch this Saturday on Nitro, they say.
Paul London defeated Matt Bentley in their no-disqualification street fight. The two used a ladder among other things in the come-as-you-are bout, and London exacted some sweet revenge with the pin – not to mention entered a highlight reel or two with an insane Shooting Star Press from the ladder to finish his rival off after 17:10 of star-making action.
Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman announce backstage that they’ve been picked for Battlebowl as two of the hospitalised Cat’s 10 handpicked participants. They say the cruiserweights won’t be overlooked as a genre by their 51% owner when one of them has the WCW title around their waist.
Triple X head out and say they have a warning for Low Ki, and that they know he is still in the building and can hear them. They say “the boss” isn’t pleased at all that Ki rejected a return to XXX and that this time next week, every belt will be in SEX. They say that Russo himself will ask Ki very nicely to reconsider on Saturday Nitro and his answer had better improve this time. Then, all that remains is the World title at Battlebowl.
Finally, the main event pitting Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis and the Jung Dragons against Shane Helms, Shannon Moore and the FBI went to a no-contest when the hour runtime expired with the cruiserweights vs SEX war spilling into a brawl all around ringside as well as between the ropes. Triple X were cut off by Kidman and Mysterio towards the very end as well. Official match time before curfew: 7:23.
AUGUST 17, 2002: SATURDAY NITRO #67
With 24 hours to go until Battlebowl, WCW is in a worrysome state. Vince Russo’s successful powerplay has indirectly led to the world title being vacant, the commissioner being assaulted and weekly brawls between the roster, split between two differing philosophies. The title situation should be cleared up in the Battlebowl battle royal.
Almost every other title, meanwhile, sits in Russo’s Sports Entertainment Xtreme group. And he is determined to recruit the final missing piece of the puzzle tonight: the cruiserweight champion, who has already rejected SEX once.
Vince Russo opens the show from his office and apologises to the audience for the heinous attack by K-Krush on a WCW official last week. He says Krush’s actions must have consequences so he is hereby suspending Krush for… tonight. He offers an apology and well-wishes to his employee and friend, The Cat, as we move to the live studio.
DDP, Kanyon and Dustin Rhodes defeated Shane Douglas, Chuck Palumbo and the returning Johnny The Bull by count-out when Douglas regrouped his team as Rhodes hot tagged in and cleaned house, had Torrie fetch his US title and walked out on the match at the 12:20 mark.
Dustin snatched the mic and warned Shane as he walked away that he’ll be hearing the referee count to 10 again tomorrow – only this time, he won’t be walking when he counts.
Page then adds that he knows Russo will line up Battlebowl with his little buddies like Palumbo, and warns SEX that nothing will stop DDP, Kanyon or another true WCW star from becoming the next World champion.
After the events of last Friday at a bar, Jamie Knoble and David Kash will wrestle the Briscoes at Battlebowl. Latest reports suggest that the teenagers are not at 100% after being jumped by their adversaries, however.
Mean Gene is backstage with Super Crazy, Psicosis, Juventud Guerrera and Tajiri. Juvi says all four of them have been rivals at one point or another but when push comes to shove, they are more proud of their wrestling heritage than they are jaded by the need to be the best. If they have to go to war together against Vince Russo’s view of cruiserweight wrestlers, they will. And at Battlebowl, the four of them will teach Helms, Moore, Skipper and Daniels a lesson for selling out the wrestling movement that gave them a job in the first place.
Speaking of Helms and Moore, The Rejected were set for six-man action against The Amazing Red and the Maximos, but came out with just two of them. Moore has the mic and says Sports Entertainment Xtreme is taking over WCW. Despair and chaos will wipe the floor with integrity and other false values, he claims. And today their movement has grown one person bigger. Helms then introduces their partner, Matt Bentley!
Bentley would get the pin on Red after Helms prevented a Spanish Fly on Matt with stereo low blows as Moore distracted the ref, before a triple superkick finished off Red at 10:56. Post match, Helms teased a banned Vertebreaker on one of the Maximos but Crazy, Psicosis, Juvi and Tajiri rushed down to make the save and scare off their rivals.
Scott Hall and Sean Waltman give a pre-tape promo using many of the old nWo video effects. They say they are back in WCW to raise hell, make money and piss off the haters, finishing by claiming to be the originators of sports entertainment going to the ‘xtreme’.
In an eight-man Battlebowl preview of sorts, two teams of four men faced off with seven of them confirmed for the battle royal already as Jeff Jarrett, CW Anderson, Lance Storm and Booker T defeated Curt Hennig, Sean O’Haire, Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio when CW blind tagged in as Kidman had Jarrett reeling and caught a flying crossbody off the top, turning it into a huge mid-air spinebuster for the three after 16:01.
In the hallways backstage, Eddie and Chavo Guerrero are screaming at Russo. Vince pleads with them to calm down and says none of this is his fault. Los Guerreros lost the cruiser tag match and didn’t make the show last week, leaving them in a tight spot. Eddie says neither of those things takes away their rematch clause.
Russo says they will get their title match but after missing last week, he had to replace them, the titles changed hands and that rematch is set for Battlebowl. He promises them after the PPV, they are next in line. They warn Russo that he does not want to make enemies of them.
Russo walks away from the heated convo and spots CW Anderson toweling off after his win. He congratulates CW and says it’s not right that he was the only man in that match not signed for Battlebowl, especially when he went and got the win. That proves to Russo that he deserves to be in, so he’s in.
Vince just wants to ask one more thing, and “swears tah gawd, bro” that it’s not a condition for making Battlebowl, because he’s in. He asks CW to talk to Jarrett for him. He says he and Jeff used to be close and since he returned it’s been like they are merely employee and boss. He wants Jarrett and CW in SEX and he wants his friend back. Anderson says he’ll talk to him – but no promises.
America’s Most Wanted teamed with the Jung Dragons to beat Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger, Guido Maritato and Tony Marinera. The original form of GGE had Glenn Gilbertti in their corner but that wasn’t enough to stop Unleash The Dragon from finishing off Marinera in 13:44, a big win 24 hours before both tag titles are on the line.
It’s a year after Gilbertti promised these two sides would be champs and there has been a twist or two along the way, but they are now indeed all tag champions – at least for now, as they must give the former titlists their rematches at Battlebowl.
Sting tells Mean Gene backstage that he knows The New Church are in Russo’s pocket. He smells a rat with all the things happening in WCW at the moment and says Russo is behind all of it. Tonight he will wipe out one member of The New Church and promises he won’t make Battlebowl. Then, tomorrow, he’ll take out the other three including their big bad new monster and regain the WCW title.
Sting beat Tempest in a one-sided ass-kicking, hitting three Scorpion Deathdrops before finally pinning the man after 3:36 of punishment. Father James Mitchell called for the troops at the third Deathdrop and they made it to the ring after the bell, attacking Sting but only briefly as DDP and Kanyon made the save with chairs. Malice took two shots from each man to the back and arms without hardly flinching before Mitchell had to call him back and the Church retreated.
Mike Tenay attempted to sit down with WCW newcomer the American Dragon earlier today. All of Tenay’s questions about his background, who trained him, why he signed for WCW and lastly, is it true he is Bryan Danielson were all met by silence. Tenay gave up and sarcastically thanked Dragon for the interview.
Finally, out came Vince Russo with his masked enforcer and Triple X. He said that while he sat on the sidelines in 2001, he saw two hard-working guys get tryouts with WCW while another, Skipper, was going nowhere on the roster. He reached out to them all and said if they wanted to change things, they had to do it together and they had to do it by force. Thus, Triple X was born.
Now, he has made his move and has control of the company and the multi-time champions have had their disagreements, but it’s now time for the family to reunite. He says he knows Low Ki turned them down before, but now it isn’t just Skipper and Daniels asking, it’s Russo asking.
Low Ki comes out and says Russo has been very kind to him and indeed helped him make an impact here in WCW, but if he had known that his guidance and advice came with a caveat and wasn’t just out of human kindness, he would have turned it down just like he is turning down the invite again. He says Triple X, as far as he’s concerned, is done and not only did Skipper and Daniels show their true colours, but Russo has now as well.
Vince warns him not to bite the hand that feeds him and Ki says he’s done talking and goes to leave. Skipper pulls him back and starts berating Ki, calling him a “stupid, kung fu wannabe son of a…” at which point a head kick silences him!
Daniels has a punch blocked and eats a forearm at which point the enforcer stands in front of Russo. They face off but XXX recover and attack Ki, putting the boots to him until Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles run out to save the man whose title they’ll attempt to take the following evening.
This brings out a swarm of SEX followed by the WCW loyalists and even non-committal wrestlers who want the WCW title at Battlebowl get involved as the studio becomes a giant melee, previewing the PPV and summarising the chaos that has descended upon WCW as of late as the show goes off the air.