AUGUST 28, 2002: AIRTIME #34
Just days after the depth of Vince Russo’s scheming to assume full control of WCW became obvious to the world, AirTime returns following a successful attempt by the cruiserweights of the company to stand up to those who had defected to Russo’s Sports Entertainment Xtreme philosophy. A six-man main event will pit the best of the WCW’s proud tradition of cruisers against each other as the members of the amazing triple threat title match at Battlebowl must team up to face the now-reunited Mexican luchadore trio.
Taped on August 27, along with the following Nitro, in Nashville.
We begin with a taped message from the office of Russo, who once again cannot be bothered to attend an AirTime in person. He declares that this is his WCW, with 51% of the company and every title belt within his faction… but for one. He warns the entire cruiserweight division to either come around to his vision for pro wrestling or be wiped out entirely, warning that unless the cruiserweight champion brings the belt to him voluntarily, there will be dire consequences.
The Briscoe Brothers defeated Jamie Knoble and David Kash by disqualification when Kash introduced a chair as the teenage duo looked to finish off Knoble and smashed it across Mark’s back at 8:37. A shot aimed for Jay, however, was ducked and Kash nailed his own partner allowing the Briscoes to fight back and send the heels scurrying.
The Rejected tell us from a dilapidated warehouse that they and the Jung Dragons were forever destined to be rivals. Ever since they began hostilities two years ago, the fans showed respect towards Kaz and Yang even while they broke the rules, before taking a dump on Helms and Moore no matter what they did to please the audience. It’s their mission to bring the cruiserweight division in its current form down to the ground and turn it into a “glorious wasteland”, but that begins with the destruction of their “arch enemies”, the Dragons.
Brian Kendrick defeated Paul London after shoving the ref into the ropes as London prepped a shooting star press. As the crotched London slumped to the canvas, Kendrick folded over both his legs and put his own feet on the ropes for good measure to ensure the three count in 8:01.
We are shown exclusive footage of Booker T and Lance Storm arguing as they arrived backstage after their unsuccessful participation in the four-way match on Nitro. Sharmell soon joins in on the verbal exchanges on behalf of her man, and Storm declares that this short-lived partnership is over before walking off.
Prior to the main event, cruiserweight champion Jerry Lynn took the mic and told Vince Russo that on behalf of his team-mates, this belt will never succumb to his BS the way it was two years ago and to get it, he’ll have to pry it from one of their cold, dead hands because he has every intention of giving BOTH a rematch for the belt at the PPV and is happy for it to be another triangle match. As the lucha trio arrive, they then speak on the mic in Spanish before Juvi says that the same goes for them – they then shake hands with their opponents and the match is on.
Super Crazy, Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera defeated AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn and Low Ki when repeated mis-communications from the three men in the cruiserweight title picture led to Guerrera picking off Styles with the Juvi Driver after 16:36. All six men showed respect after the decision though the tension was obvious between the American contingent.
Suddenly, all six found themselves in a brawl with The Rejected, Triple X and Matt Bentley. They held their own with the 6-on-5 despite being fatigued until Sonny Siaki ran down wearing a SEX t-shirt and picked off the faces with a kendo stick.
The Amazing Red and the Maximos attempted a save but were, by that stage, overwhelmed and beaten down with the stick themselves. Tajiri, the Dragons, Rey Mysterio and Kidman then ran down but were ambushed by all four New Church members, with Malice in particular destroying the smaller wrestlers in a brawling environment. The Church and SEX stood over most of the fallen cruiserweight division as the hour came to an end.
AUGUST 31, 2002: SATURDAY NITRO #69
Vince Russo is running roughshod over WCW as 51% owner, inflicting his Sports Entertainment Xtreme faction and philosophy on the company that pulled itself up from the brink to which Russo helped plunge them.
With Ken Shamrock, the new WCW champion, revealing himself to be Russo’s personal enforcer all along and every other title but the cruiserweight singles belt in his camp – not to mention new Commissioner Stacy Keibler – WCW could be in for a very long winter as the summer nears its end.
The broadcast begins with Kanyon going one-on-one against CW Anderson in a bout we discover will determine the next challenger for Shane Douglas and his US title at Fall Brawl. After their inconclusive encounter in tag action last week, the two men went back and forth as Douglas provided guest commentary. Kanyon would counter a spinebuster attempt into a tornado DDT and get the three-count in 10:33.
It seemed like CW hurt his neck receiving the winning move and received treatment in the ring. Kanyon celebrated for just a few moments on the walkway before Douglas blindsided him with the belt. He stood over Kanyon and raised the belt above his head…
…Which prevented him from seeing Jeff Jarrett run out with a guitar, which he smashed over the skull of the Franchise! Jarrett checked on CW and helped get him gently out of the ring before setting up a chair in the centre of the squared circle and vowing over the mic that he was going nowhere until he got answers from Vince Russo.
Russo eventually came out flanked by Scott Hall and Sean Waltman. Jarrett said he should have known Vince was a dirty, lying piece of work and wants to know why he screwed him out of that contender’s match when he should already be receiving a shot after pinning RVD while he was champ.
Russo says Jarrett just doesn’t get it, as he and his men slowly approach the ring. Jeff didn’t give Vince so much as a phone call after he was forced out of WCW, claims Russo. And as soon as Russo gets back what he claims is his, Jarrett is on the scene wanting more handouts.
Jarrett cuts him off and says he earned a title shot whether Russo took 51% control or not, and that Vince is simply being a vindictive SOB against anyone who doesn’t kiss his ring. Russo says it’s funny he should say that, as he, Hall and Waltman enter the ring.
Russo says he has one final chance to kiss the ring and join SEX, which is the first thing he should have done the minute his buddy was back on the scene. Waltman pulls out a shirt and extends it to Jarrett. Russo tells him that if he falls in line and joins SEX, he “swears tah gawd, bro” that he’ll get a crack at the DDP/Shamrock winner and he will finally get to play a part in ruling WCW, something he couldn’t pull off with the Magnificent Seven or the Chosen Few.
Jarrett then adds: “or with the New Blood, right?” He mentions that Vince has been here before himself and when he failed, he damn near killed the company. Russo shouts back that he made Jarrett WCW champion. Jeff responds by saying he has four reigns viewed by the world as meaningless thanks to Vince and would rather walk through hell and get his fifth the hard way than kiss his ass.
He then throws the shirt in Hall’s face and drop toe-holds an onrushing Waltman onto the chair that remained upright behind him! Russo screams for backup over the mic as Jarrett brawls with Hall and clotheslines him out of the ring. He then backs Vince into a corner, who pleads for mercy over the mic until Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger and Glenn Gilbertti rush the ring.
JJ attempts to keep them at bay with chair shots to the gut and a right hand to Gilbertti as he mounts the apron, but is then brought to his knees by a low blow from Shane Douglas, who has recovered from the guitar shot. Hall, Waltman, Simon, Swinger, Gilbertti and Douglas lay a savage beating on Jarrett, with nobody attempting a save for quite some time with CW being helped out of the building for medical attention and Jeff not really having many other friends, given his history.
Eventually, Eddie and Chavo Guerrero came out with chairs and land shots on Simon and Swinger before Russo calls off the troops and retreats, the damage done.
In a pre-tape from earlier today, Dustin Rhodes and America’s Most Wanted say that Russo’s reign of terror didn’t destroy WCW the first time and it won’t this time. They say they are very much on the front line and will remain so until the cancer of Vince Russo is removed from the company. They challenge any three of SEX to fight tonight.
We’re joined by Kidman and Rey Mysterio who say it had been a little while since they teamed together but they’ve been brought back together by the threat Russo poses. They add their names alongside the likes of Sting, Rhodes and AMW in this resistance of sorts to Russo’s hostile takeover and say that Vince will eliminate the cruiserweights over their dead bodies. Out come Triple X, who say they would be happy to take out these two personally and the match is on.
Skipper and Daniels would beat Rey and Kidman when the New Church made their way out late on, with Mitchell distracting the ref, Tempest sneaking in and nailing Kidman with a sit-out gourdbuster and Sinn and Slash stopping Rey from preventing the three-count by Skipper at the 16:39 mark. Mitchell then instructed Malice to chokeslam Rey at ringside, but pretty much the entire babyface cruiserweight division ran the heels off.
Shane Douglas is with Simon and Swinger backstage. Before Mean Gene can ask them if they’re indeed the three men to accept AMW and Rhodes’ challenge, Douglas cuts him off and says he has breaking news from the office of Vince Russo: Gene has been fired. Torrie Wilson then slaps Gene and the three men roughly remove his jacket and bow tie and send the legend packing in disrespectful fashion. Diamond then says they’ll see Rhodes and AMW in the ring.
AMW and Rhodes vs Douglas, Simon and Swinger began with a pier-six brawl, at which point we saw Sean O’Haire and Ron Killings brawling through the crowd. When they reached ringside, security separated the two and the referee ended up allowing them to join the match, making it an eight-man tag. A low blow from Killings to O’Haire allowed him to roll his rival up to finish in 14:29, after O’Haire blew through the heels following a hot tag from Harris.
Backstage, Los Guerreros tell Jeremy Borash that they’re not good guys, and they don’t care for making friends with the wrestlers or the fans but Russo saw fit to screw them out of their rightful rematch and he made two very ill-advised enemies in the process. They warn Russo their rematch is legally binding, and they’ll get Simon and Swinger in the ring whether he likes it or not.
Lance Storm and Booker T are once again arguing backstage. Storm proposes that if they cannot work as a team to get a title shot, maybe a one-on-one match at Fall Brawl will determine a clear cut top contender. Booker and Sharmell agree.
Diamond Dallas Page beat Johnny The Bull, who pre-match referred to himself as Johnny Stamboli, with the Diamond Cutter in 7:16. Page then took the mic and told Ken Shamrock he would make him pay for taking sides with Vince Russo at Fall Brawl. However, Shamrock came out via the crowd and blindsided DDP, putting him the ankle lock to leave him laying.
Vince Russo then brought most of SEX out with him, barring Shamrock and Stamboli. He welcomes the fans to his WCW and promises there will be much more of the same. Russo admits that he has been plotting this whole thing since buying shares – scratch that, since this no-good company had the audacity to come back to life and blame Vince for their near-demise – and that working in unison with “scumbags” like Eric Bischoff and “nobodies” like The Cat was never on the agenda.
Soon, says Russo, every champion will subscribe to S.E.X. and the entire company will become what he says it should be. He adds that if AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn and Low Ki want to have their stupid little sportsmanship matches for the cruiserweight title that continues to elude the faction, he’ll let them have another triangle match at Fall Brawl. This time, however, it’s a Ladder match.
Russo says once the three destroy each other, the winner will face an SEX cruiserweight of his choosing – or maybe he’ll just strip the winner and hand it to one of his men. He also says Ric Flair was due to appear in front of the audience in his role as ambassador but that’s been cancelled because Flair has been fired.
He is interrupted by Sting, who arrives on the stage and says unfortunately for Russo, his firing of Flair has been overturned. Russo claims this cannot be true as he owns the company. Sting then informs him that The Cat suspected Russo may be doing exactly what he has done to snake control of the place and so before he went out and kicked Ron Killings’ ass in a certain firing offence, he made some rulings while in power to protect WCW.
One of those is that there will be no firings without justifiable grounds, meaning Flair and Mean Gene are still around. In fact, here comes Flair alongside the Stinger. Flair takes the mic and says Cat is the reason the Starrcade Series is coming back, he’s the reason Russo will not be able to just strip champions as he sees fit and he’s the reason why they’re gonna get revenge on S.E.X. at Fall Brawl… because WarGames is coming! Russo and his men react to the news as the show ends.
WCW Fall Brawl 2002 card so far:
- WCW World title: Ken Shamrock (c) vs Diamond Dallas Page
- WCW World tag team titles: Simon Diamond and Swinger (c) vs Los Guerreros
- WCW United States title: Shane Douglas (c) vs Kanyon
- WCW Cruiserweight title, ladder match: Jerry Lynn (c) vs AJ Styles vs Low Ki
- WarGames: Team WCW vs Team S.E.X
Next time: Team selection begins for WarGames 2002, while S.E.X continue their attempts to take over the reborn World Championship Wrestling.