AUGUST 6, 2003: AIRTIME #81
Matches filmed at the last Nitro taping included:
- CM Punk and Julio Dinero won a four-way to determine new cruiserweight tag team title challengers over the Hot Shots, Brian Kendrick & Paul London and Chris Sabin & Frankie Kazarian. Dinero pinned Kazarian with a small package in 9:42. After the match, Sabin and Kazarian argued before Sabin shoved Kazarian down and left alone.
- Jimmy Yang and Jamie Knoble battling to a 20-minute time limit draw. The two had endured a double knockdown just before time expired on what was a very even, back-and-forth match. The duo bickered when they returned to their feet before Knoble stormed out.
AUGUST 9, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #118
The 20-man field has been set for Battlebowl, but outside of the battle royal and Sting vs Lance Storm for the WCW title, we’re not quite sure what else to expect at the PPV in eight days’ time. Not only that, but all that has been confirmed for tonight’s TV show is that Rey Mysterio has challenged Billy Kidman to a street fight and Hardcore Revolution members Kid Kash and Tajiri were set to battle for Kash’s cruiserweight title, while Storm apparently has a challenge of his own for Sting and “all of America”.
Taped on August 7 in North Carolina.
The show begins straight away with the Rey/Kidman street fight, as we learn through the announcers during the early stages of the brawl that Commissioner Ric Flair has banned absolutely everybody else from ringside. It’s mostly Rey delivering an ass-kicking to his former friend, but a wild dive to the outside leaves his notoriously-tender leg in a bad way and the ass kicking contest then had a one-legged man participating, in the form of the masked hero.
Kidman gets right to work on the obvious target, using the street fight rules to really go to town without repercussion. Mysterio mounts a comeback when a Kidman top rope elbow attempt meets nothing but the table he had put Rey on, but there’s only so much he can do and soon enough, Kidman is taking a chair to the leg. He then wraps a chair around the knee and slaps on a submission hold which ultimately leaves the referee feeling forced to stop the fight after 17:56.
GGE then come out to gloat after the bout, with medics and security ensuring the clearly-injured Mysterio can be tended to without further abuse from the faction. Glenn Gilbertti says he has put together the youngest, hungriest and most ruthless group in history, but he feels there’s one more hole to be filled. He says he noticed a man on the roster who’ll do whatever it takes to win, and has been lacking the warmth of family since his partner was injured. He calls out Eddie Guerrero to join GGE!
The US champ comes out to the stage where they all are, as Mysterio’s stretcher is wheeled past. Gilbertti motions at his troops and they attack the medics and security, seizing control of the stretcher. Gilbertti says he knows Eddie has hated Rey’s guts for years and that he found him unbearable during the tournament earlier this year. He tells him to deal the finishing blow to Mysterio and he’ll have a new family looking after him and his belt, just like that.
Eddie, who has certainly let his mean streak loose recently, hesitates and then gestures that he will indeed smash his title belt into Mysterio’s knee… but instead starts waffling GGE member left and right with the gold!
The numbers soon catch up to him, but out come Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis and even AJ Styles and D’Lo Brown to run them off. Kidman, however, is able to grab a chair in the melee and add a few more shots to Rey’s leg before Guerrero gives chase.
Backstage, Lance Storm and his troops are in the Team Canada dressing room. Storm says Sting has marched around WCW acting the hero for too long. He says people may get a kick out of him vanquishing dark destroyers vowing to cripple the company, but Storm is nothing like that. Lance says he is simply a superior athlete from Calgary… Alberta, Canada, and that the gold Sting carries belongs to him.
Sting needn’t panic, he continues, because he won’t destroy WCW but he will make it much better when he puts the ageing Icon out to pasture. He offers the champ a demonstration tonight, adding that Canadian athletes are superior to Americans across the board. He dares Sting to find four Americans who can stand by his side and get the better of Team Canada.
Juventud Guerrera and Psicosis were out for the second time tonight, this time to actually wrestle Guido Maritato and Johnny Stamboli. However, they were attacked by London and Kendrick during their entrance. And though the ensuing scuffle was quite even until the heels were dragged away and the World Cup winners were able to compete, it’s arguable that the extra-curricular helped lead to Guido catching Juvi with the Sicilian Slice in 7:32.
We head to Commissioner Flair’s office where Ric sits with Arn Anderson stood beside him. Flair says before he could film this announcement he had a furious Eddie Guerrero in here demanding Billy Kidman at Battlebowl, even offering to put the US title on the line. Flair doesn’t think Kidman’s actions tonight deserved a reward but he cannot deny he has been on a roll this summer, so it’s official for the PPV.
His main order of business is to publicly confirm that Tajiri could not be cleared in time for tonight, so he will be unable to challenge Kid Kash for the cruiser title. However after speaking to both men’s leader in the Hardcore Revolution, RVD, they have agreed that fellow member Super Crazy would make a very suitable replacement challenger having held the title before himself. To give both men time to prepare for a major championship match, it will take place Wednesday on AirTime in a special Championship Edition, with The Rejected also defending their record cruiser tag title reign against new #1 contenders Julio Dinero and CM Punk.
We are scheduled to see Abyss in another handicap exhibition next, but he’s attacked on the walkway by Raven. The other New Church members rush out but so do Dinero and Punk. Despite it being 4vs3, there’s a hell of a lot of fire to this trio and Raven sending Abyss flying down to the floor from the stage helps them run off the other three, though Raven then starts attacking his own cavalry! He reiterates that he doesn’t want any help as he heads backstage.
The 3 Live Kru are out next, and they deliver a very amusing barrage of trash talk to Triple X for costing two of them spots in Battlebowl. Out come the tag champs to respond, claiming they should have been in the draw and not them. BG suggests they prove at Battlebowl who is the most worthy by defending the tag straps against two of them. XXX say if it’s a fight they want at the PPV, they’ve got it – but last they checked, 3LK haven’t done anything to earn a shot, so non-title or nothing. Killings says he doesn’t care what the situation, as long as Triple X’s asses are hanging off his boot in eight days.
Jerry Lynn vs Justin Credible is arguably the biggest singles grudge of the entire HR vs EH war, and a 1vs1 match tonight unfortunately came nowhere near to resolving the never-ending conflict. Steve Corino interfered for a DQ in 10:26 when Lynn was looking for a Cradle Piledriver. Soon we were also joined by RVD, Crazy and Kash; Awesome, CW and Simon. Corino immediately fled the fight at this point and left a 4vs4 melee throughout the building, a familiar sight.
The Rejected were about to cut a promo about the challenge of CM Punk and Julio Dinero this Wednesday when Lynn and Credible brawled past, followed closely by RVD and Awesome. Helms and Moore simply walked off instead, dragging their long-suffering title belts behind them.
We then head to Jeremy Borash who is with WCW champion Sting. JB reiterates Storm’s 5vs5 challenge from earlier and wonders if anyone answered the call. Sting says it took exactly 37 seconds after the challenge was broadcast for him to get a text message saying “I’m in” from this man, as Dustin Rhodes walks into view.
Sting then pulls out his cellphone, says he can never figure these things out anyway and throws it down the hall. He says he won’t lie: finding other members of the roster who are a) American, b) even care about helping Sting and Rhodes out and c) enjoy shutting Lance Storm’s mouth the old fashioned way wasn’t a walk in the park. But Rhodes did vouch for one great American – you could even say America’s Most Wanted, as Chris Harris joins the camera shot.
JB picks up on Sting’s pause thereafter and wonders if he’s really going to go into this 5-on-3. Rhodes says they didn’t choose the rules of this game but they are not going to back down from a fight.
Sting finishes by saying they’ll be out in the ring if two other guys wanna come and play with them – just then, CW Anderson and Simon Diamond are dragged away by security. Sting sarcastically asks them if they’re volunteering. Harris asks if they really want Extreme Horsemen on their side. Sting says he was talking to the security.
Team Canada come out in unison for the main event. After a brief Storm promo mocking the fact that Sting likely couldn’t even find four comrades, we’re joined by Harris, Rhodes, Sting… and then Jeff Jarrett! The quartet rush down for a brawl against the five Canadians.
But as all nine fight on the outside with the numbers edge allowing Storm’s men to get the better of it, the music of The Amazing Red hits as the cruiserweight sensation runs down the walkway, hops through the ropes, heads across to the other side and wipes out everybody with a corkscrew springboard! Looks like we have our 10-man tag main event…
After the advert break we were shown footage of Super Crazy hurt backstage, seemingly after the HR/EH riot spilled all through the arena.
Back to the ring, where Team Canada worked over Red before he hot tagged to Rhodes. Dustin and Harris cleaned house and almost got the fall on Roode with a version of the AMW Death Sentence before Legend made the save. Jarrett tagged in and took over but was kicked low by Storm when he went to finish off the #1 contender with the Stroke. JJ too weathered the teamwork of the Canadians and finally tagged in the champ.
All hell broke loose as we were left with our Battlebowl main event as the legal men. Red came in and broke up the Maple Leaf with a headscissors takeover before turning Roode’s spinebuster attempt into a big time DDT. Sting intercepted Devine and Red helped the champ deliver a wave of Stinger Splashes to both Johnny and Eric Young before the Stinger piled them up for an impressive Infrared off the top!
As soon as Red landed, however, Storm drilled Sting with a superkick and got the pin in 24:10 as Legend dragged Red out of the ring. The WCW champion had been pinned by the man who could well take his title in eight days!
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
- WCW United States title: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs Billy Kidman
- Triple X vs 3 Live Kru
Rey Mysterio will again need a few months off with a knee injury, and was written out for the time being on Nitro.
Next time: The go-home show before Battlebowl 2003!