JULY 30, 2003: AIRTIME #80
Matches filmed at the last Nitro taping included:
- Psicosis emerging victorious in a one-fall four-way dance against Jerrelle Clark, Frankie Kazarian and Chris Sabin with a Majistral Cradle on Kazarian in 9:17.
- Eric Young and Johnny Devine of Team Canada beating the Hot Shots of Cassidy O’Reilly and Chase Stevens with a double-team neckbreaker to Stevens in 6:30.
- The Amazing Red defeating Guido Maritato (w/ Johnny Stamboli) after Jimmy Yang ran out to fight off an interfering Stamboli and Red followed up with a springboard tornado DDT for the pin after 11:01.
AUGUST 2, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #117
We’re halfway through the qualification process for Battlebowl and this week’s final five Lethal Lottery tag team bouts throw up even more precarious pairings than the first five. Jeff Jarrett and Raven will be two of the favourites to win the battle royal – but that’s only if they can stay on the same page long enough to win, which is a tall order considering their history at the start of the year.
Meanwhile, the draw brought together the only two men to have co-hold both the heavyweight and cruiserweight tag titles. One problem: Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman now despise each other. And yet, Team Canada’s show-ending assault on Sting and Dustin Rhodes last week means ‘The Natural’ and Joe Legend won’t be buddy-buddy, either.
Speaking of the Canadians, Lance Storm gets the moment he has been waiting weeks for when he puts pen to paper in an official contract signing tonight – that’s if the WCW champion can go 30 seconds without punching his next challenger in the mouth for what he did seven days ago.
Taped on July 25 in Nashville.
We immediately kicked off with Lethal Lottery Qualifier #6, as Psicosis teamed with Guido Maritato to face Eric Young and Shark Boy. The bout featured mostly opening-match comedy stuff, with the oddball pairing of Young and Sharkie actually endearing both to the crowd. However, despite Guido and Psi not being the best of friends, their collective experience paid off and the Sicilian Slice finished Shark in 7:38. Post-match, there appeared to be an opportunity for Eric and Shark Boy to bond, but Johnny Devine, who seconded his fellow Canadian’s team, pulled his regular tag partner away. Jealous much?
Kid Kash is warming up backstage, cruiserweight title around his waist, ahead of his LL match up next. Tajiri walks up to him and the two face off. Kash backs down first and apologises to his ‘brother’ for the LL draw stopping them from being able to tear the house down in a title match tonight. Tajiri, almost knowingly, shrugs this off and says “maybe next week?” to which Kash accepts, but again doesn’t look particularly thrilled at the prospect.
Kash would go on to lose the seventh Lethal Lottery Qualifier alongside The Amazing Red to Shannon Moore and Abyss in a typical cruiserweight duos bout shifted in the winning team’s favour massively by the presence of the masked monster. Kash didn’t seem bothered about trying to make a save when Abyss crushed Red with a Black Hole Slam in 5:25, but commentary did argue that Father James Mitchell’s destructive force would have that effect on just about anyone.
We quickly cut backstage to a fracas going on, where it seems Justin Credible is provoking Jerry Lynn. The two brawl, only for Mike Awesome, Steve Corino and Simon Diamond to jump Lynn. Credible grabs a nearby Singapore Cane from a hidden location, pretty much confirming the set-up, and lays in a few shots to the back of Lynn until RVD and Super Crazy run the Horsemen off with chairs. The guerrilla warfare continues.
Next was the most intriguing match in the Lethal Lottery, as Qualifier #8 paired Dustin Rhodes with Joe E Legend against Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman. Rhodes and Legend argued after making separate entrances, unsurprising considering last week’s 5-on-2, but Rhodes backed down and gestured that they get the job done tonight, to which Legend agreed. That was better than their opponents, who actually came out together – albeit brawling wildly.
Officials tried and failed to separate the two, to the point that the referee in the ring called for the bell and promptly counted Rey and Billy out in 10 seconds flat. As soon as they were declared as progressing to Battlebowl, Rhodes took Legend down and started a righteous ass-kicking before leaving when Young and Devine ran out.
Jeremy Borash is with Jimmy Yang and Jamie Knoble. He congratulates both on reaching Battlebowl, and they argue over who was most responsible for victory last week. Borash notes that, in fact, the two were equally impressive and there was one hell of a potential tag team there. They then turn to JB and have a go at him instead, before returning to a row and shoving contest with each other. Borash gives up and walks off.
New United States champion Eddie Guerrero defended his belt against ex-champ D’Lo Brown next in the one-on-one rematch. Eddie’s recent mean streak since losing Chavo to injury was on display and he worked over the challenger in the contest’s heel role only for D’Lo to fight back into a hot closing stretch. However, when Brown hit a Sky High and went up top for a Lo Down, Glenn Gilbertti rushed out to distract which allowed Eddie to bring him down with a huracanrana from the top before his own Frog Splash saw him retain in 14:24.
Guerrero and Gilbertti shared an uneasy stare after the match before the champ left alone and Glenn smiled. Was he recruiting Eddie? Was this because of last week in Lethal Lottery? Was it both?
Next was the WCW title match contract signing for Battlebowl, overseen by Ric Flair. Lance Storm came out first and cut a promo belittling the ‘American system’ that forced him to protect his investment – himself – until the time came where he could sign his name on the dotted line and get his chance to regain the title. Out next is Sting, who indeed looks ready to fight Storm right now after the events of last week.
He immediately signs and tells Lance to go ahead and do the same. As Storm is signing, however, Sting pins his hand down on the table and then jabs the pen into it! He holds it there as his next challenger writhes in pain, saying it’d be a shame if he were to get injured just before he signed the contract, and that he will pay a hefty price for what he did last week. Just then, Storm is rescued by Bobby Roode, whom Sting cuts off with right hands. Lance quickly signs the contract with his other hand before making it a two-on-one until the 3LK rush out for the save. Out follows CW Anderson and we have our next Battlebowl qualifier…
Lethal Lottery Match #9 actually took place on the carpeted ring used for signings and other such ceremonies, due to the nature of its progression from the Sting/Storm segment. Konnan and Killings of the 3LK were shown via replay to have double-hiptossed CW through the contract table in the pre-bell melee during the adverts, but the combination of Extreme Horsemen Enforcer and Canadian Enforcer were in control soon after.
They worked over Killings until Konnan hot tagged in, only for Triple X to rush down and stick their noses in. BG James rushed out and fought with Daniels, but Skipper was nonetheless free to low blow Konnan behind the ref’s back and leave him vulnerable for a CW Spinebuster and the fall in 8:10.
Backstage, Father James Mitchell has Sinn, Slash, Tempest and Abyss in tow. He says Battlebowl is a melee; every man for himself; unpredictable carnage. He says it’s also his New Church’s cup of tea. Abyss and Tempest will ensure the WCW title makes its way to the Church, while tonight Sinn and Slash will make examples of the two “bugs” who crawled their way into their business by trying to pal up with Raven. He advises them that trying to work in league with Raven will only end in tears, and that could well be tonight, with their own tears and blood on the canvas. He finishes by suggesting Raven attack Jeff Jarrett like old times tonight, because then he won’t be in Battlebowl and he can avoid being destroyed by his pet monster Abyss yet again.
Sinn and Slash’s bout with CM Punk and Julio Dinero was next and indeed the resilient babyfaces were outmatched much of the way. And though they were able to mount a late comeback, a trip from the outside by Tempest helped Sinn and Slash seal victory with a double chokeslam to Punk in 6:27. Raven was nowhere to be found during this, or afterwards as the three Church members put extra boots to both foes for good measure.
We cut to backstage where Tajiri has been found laid out by staff. RVD, Lynn, Crazy and Kash are soon on the scene too to check on the Buzzsaw, who is in a bad way. Lynn finds a Singapore cane on the scene and loses his temper, vowing that he’s going to make Justin Credible in particular pay for this.
Finally came the 10th and last Lethal Lottery Qualifier for Battlebowl as Jeff Jarrett and Raven formed an unlikely duo against Sonny Siaki (w/Desire) and Justin Credible (w/ Steve Corino). The heels at first seemed happy to work together for a huge scalp and two spots in the PPV battle royal while Raven and Jarrett clearly still couldn’t stand each other and even made sure their tags to each other smarted.
However, Corino thought it was a good idea to hit on Desire while their charges worked over Jarrett and her subsequent slap across his face caused friction between Sonny and Justin. This enabled Jeff to crawl over for a much more orthodox tag to Raven, who accepted it properly with a keenness to get in there and tear through both opponents.
From here on out, it was the odd couple working well and the Evenflow finished Siaki in 10:54, just as Jerry Lynn rushed out with the same Singapore Cane. His subsequent blows to Credible at ringside came after the match ended and Jerry also got in a shot to Corino before he thought better of it and joined Justin in fleeing the scene.
After the bout, Raven and Jarrett faced off, but nothing came of it. JJ instead slid out of the ring and hobbled backstage. But as Raven posed in the ring, he was blindsided by Abyss who came in via the crowd! Abyss hit two huge chokeslams and a Black Hole Slam before Father James Mitchell stood over him and reminded Raven that the punishment would continue until he came crawling back to him.
Battlebowl 2003 card so far:
- Battlebowl match – all 20 confirmed participants: AJ Styles, D’Lo Brown, Jamie Knoble, Jimmy Yang, Chris Harris, Shane Helms, Mike Awesome, Tempest, Rob Van Dam, Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis, Guido Maritato, Shannon Moore, Abyss, Dustin Rhodes, Joe Legend, Bobby Roode, CW Anderson, Jeff Jarrett, Raven.
- WCW title: Sting (c) vs Lance Storm
Next time: Sting faces the entire Team Canada alongside four partners! Plus, Rey Mysterio vs. Billy Kidman in a street fight!