If Fusient Bought WCW #148: When The Mask Slips

If Fusient Bought WCW: Rob Van Dam

AUGUST 13, 2003: AIRTIME #82

Two matches were filmed at the last Nitro taping for a special ‘Championship Edition’ of AirTime:

  • (Taped before Nitro) The Rejected retained the WCW Cruiserweight tag titles against CM Punk and Julio Dinero when Tempest brought a crowbar across Punk’s back while the referee wasn’t looking, leading to Bottom’s Up from Moore in 10:33.
  • (Taped at the end of Nitro) It was announced that Super Crazy was injured from the brawl with the Extreme Horsemen and couldn’t challenge for the title, but that Ric Flair would handpick a challenger to give the fans their money’s worth. Kid Kash came out looking as confused as the rest of us, and his new opponent was announced as The Amazing Red! A topnotch title encounter followed with Kash enjoying a rare size advantage and bullying his opponent to control the middle stages before a frantic closing stretch saw Red block a brainbuster attempt and hop on Kash’s back for a flip sunset powerbomb called the Code Red that stunned the champ enough for 1-2-3 and a title change in 14:24!
  • The shocked ex-champ recovered enough from the finishing move to realise what happened and his surprise turned to anger – he then blindsided Red as he held his new title aloft! Kash put the boots to Red as the boos got louder but as he set up the Money Maker, out came Rob Van Dam. Rather than pull his brother in arms off the helpless Red and chastise Kash, however, RVD tackled KK down and beat the crap out of him! Kash finally managed to run to the back with Van Dam in hot pursuit. It seemed like the HR leader was upset about more than just the ex-champ’s conduct.

AUGUST 16, 2003: SATURDAY NITRO #119

It’s Battlebowl weekend and with 20 qualified wrestlers ready to stake a claim for a WCW title shot, current champ Sting must be feeling less confident than ever that he’ll be the man facing the battle royal winner. His next challenger Lance Storm scored a clean (albeit opportunistic) pinfall over the Icon last week and will be feeling extremely confident about his chances of becoming a two-time champ in 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Kid Kash is wasting no time invoking his rematch with The Amazing Red who shockingly dethroned the cruiserweight champ on AirTime. Even more shocking was Kash’s bitter assault after the match, not to mention Rob Van Dam going for his stablemate’s jugular moments later! Is there more than meets the eye here?

Taped on August 8 in North Carolina.

Chris Sabin and Frankie Kazarian had a lot of frustration boiling over from spending the last few months mostly teaming up together unsuccessfully in prelims and other such rookie contests. So, a singles match was booked to kick off Nitro – only for Paul London and Brian Kendrick to rush the ring and attack both after 3:00 of action.

London and Kendrick told the fallen duo that this was a valuable lesson, free of charge. The rookies will remain cannon fodder for as long as they choose to accept it. They chose to put a stop to it and join GGE, and if they’re smart, they’ll do the same.

In a dark part of the arena, Raven is sat emotionless. CM Punk and Julio Dinero approach him and apologise for getting involved last week, but tell him that without backup he will be outnumbered and outgunned at every turn by the New Church. Raven does not flicker.

They say they’re tougher than to be intimidated by the Church or even by Raven, and that they’ll keep fighting the good fight whether he wants them to or not. They say they’re not a wannabe Flock, they’re here by choice and because it’s right. More like… a Gathering.

This causes Raven to react, and the duo take a step back. They say they asked Ric Flair for a six-man match with the New Church tonight so they and Raven can get what they want – to kick their asses. They tell Raven they don’t have to be friends, they just have to share a ring while they all do what they want to do and punish the Church. Raven snorts, looks them both over and says “maybe I’ll see you there, then”. Punk and Dinero react like it’s Christmas already and scutter off.

A four-way pit Jimmy Yang against Guido Maritato against Juventud Guerrera against Jamie Knoble. Yang and Knoble once again had a weird chemistry of working well together to attack both other opponents but also wanting to destroy one another. In the end, their brawling outside allowed Guerrera to pin Guido with the Juvi Driver in 8:26 after Psicosis had come out to stop Johnny Stamboli’s interference.

Backstage, Eddie Guerrero says he has spent his entire career having people try to tell him what his motives are, what is going through his head. While he has no doubt felt like an island after Chavo got hurt, he isn’t a “bad man” or even a “good guy”. He will do what it takes to feed his family, cement his legacy and more importantly, survive from one week to another.

He says GGE have no idea what his relationship with Rey Mysterio is but if they want to try and put him out for good – especially Kidman, of all people, who rode with both Rey and Eddie for ages – he knows it’s only a matter of time before he is the next target, whether he joined their little group or not. He warns Kidman and anyone else who sticks their nose in tomorrow at Battlebowl that they do not want to make him even angrier. And tonight, AJ and D’Lo in his mind are just making up the numbers and should stay out of his way.

Eddie did indeed team with the two men he beat in Triple Jeopardy to win the US title only a month ago – AJ Styles and D’Lo Brown – to beat Billy Kidman, Sonny Siaki and Matt Bentley by DQ after 8:49 when Torrie Wilson, Traci and Trinity attacked an opponent each with eye rakes. Desire was ordered to join in by Glenn Gilbertti, but was reluctant to do so. During this, the faces fought back while Kidman retreated, and Guerrero wiped out Gilbertti with a plancha before he could continue to admonish Desire. AJ and D’Lo checked on each other while Eddie stood on the middle rope, taunting Kidman who had reached the stage.

JB has the Extreme Horsemen, with Steve Corino immediately cutting him off and bragging about how their path to championship glory begins when either Mike Awesome or CW Anderson win a shot at the WCW title. He then says Justin Credible will end Jerry Lynn once and for all in a No Holds Barred match that he’d love to say will finally destroy Hardcore Revolution, but he suspects they’re already destroying each other from within.

Borash asks him what that means, and Simon Diamond cuts in, scolding Jeremy for being “stupid” and claiming that they haven’t been pulling off as many attacks on the Revolution as “someone” would like you to think, and while JB is “dumb as a box of rocks”, it appears RVD has finally smartened up.

Commissioner Flair had ordered one XXX member to face one 3LK member tonight. If 3LK won this preview of the Battlebowl tag bout, the titles would indeed be on the line. It ended up as Elix Skipper vs Ron Killings, with Christopher Daniels being ill-advised this time in his efforts to cheat. He was outnumbered by Konnan and BG James, both just as devious as he, and in the end Konnan tripped Elix for a Killings axe kick in 5:53. We have ourselves a tag title match at the PPV!

In a pre-tape, Jerry Lynn says the Hardcore Revolution had their reasons for sticking together and hunting as a pack. He says when the Extreme Horsemen splintered off, it pissed them off – but it wasn’t until Justin Credible showed up that things got personal. He says Justin and himself hated each other from day one in ECW, and Credible did everything he could to ruin his big day, his only reign as a world champion. He says he doesn’t know how long the HR and EH will remain at odds, but guarantees that at Battlebowl either him or Justin will have to be helped out of the building.

The New Church vs “Raven’s Gathering” six-man didn’t quite go to plan. Punk and Dinero came out first, but Raven’s music played twice with no sign of him. Out came Tempest, Sinn and Slash and we had a 3-on-2. Nonetheless, the babyfaces held their own until Abyss jumped in for the DQ at 7:10. Now they were truly in a troublesome situation, but Raven’s music played a third time and he finally decided to show, wiping through the three tired Church members on the walkway and then using a chair to stun Abyss.

However, Father James Mitchell grabbed Raven’s leg as he set up the chair for a drop toe hold, and Abyss pulled him into a vicious Black Hole Slam. The Church left all three laying in the middle of the ring, and for whatever reason, Punk and Dinero slithered over to check on the man who obviously couldn’t care less about them. Either way, it may be about time Raven admits he needs backup in this war.

Backstage, Kid Kash says he was robbed of his cruiserweight title with a ton of moving goalposts, mystery opponents and then a betrayal by his so-called friend RVD. He says he doesn’t hate Red but all of the unfairness got to him when he benefitted and won the belt, and tonight he’s going to make things right by taking the title back and giving Red the pat on the head he deserves for a nice cup of coffee as champ. Then, he’ll be calling out RVD and demanding answers.

The Amazing Red proved himself no fluke, however, when he retained in his first defence against Kash. KK went to fetch the title belt at one stage, feeling desperate, but RVD ran out and snatched it away. As tempting as it seemed for Rob to punch Kash in the face, he made a point of not attacking either competitor and eventually Red hit a spinning wheel kick while Kid continued to argue with Van Dam, followed by the Red Star Press in 11:28.

Red celebrated as he went to the back, receiving an endorsement from RVD in the process. Van Dam then took a mic and stood on the walkway as Kash came to in the ring. He says he’d be happy to give Kash some answers, since he recently got the answers he was looking for.

He points out that the so-called Extreme Horsemen attacks on Tajiri and Super Crazy were very curiously timed, but even he admits he wouldn’t have put much thought into them just catching Tajiri on his own, after they actually did similar to Lynn. However, RVD says Kash just couldn’t help himself and tried to stop Crazy challenging for his title the same way he stopped Tajiri.

So on Sunday and Monday, RVD did some digging and it turns out CW and Simon weren’t actually in a fight when security dragged them out of the building – Flair ordered everyone involved to be ejected, and they were when they were found retreating. Van Dam says Kash had the chance to put Crazy out and he took it.

Kid, now on his feet, gets a mic and says this is all ludicrous and he did no such thing, adding RVD has no real evidence to attack him – other than jealousy. RVD says maybe, but then things got real interesting when Tajiri was discharged from hospital after eight days and told him that he saw who attacked him – and it was indeed Kid Kash!

Kash looks absolutely guilty now, and finally admits that he had been using the Horsemen as cover to put out title rivals until he was “screwed” by Flair and Red. He threatens RVD, calling him a joke of a leader from the start and invites him to the ring so he can kick his ass too. Van Dam says he really wants to, but he promised someone they could have first go.

As Kash looks on confused, we see Tajiri enter the ring behind him! He turns Kash around and drills him with a kick to the head! Kash’s true colours have been revealed but now he has hell to pay and no title to show for it.

Finally, an off-shoot tag from last week’s main event as Jeff Jarrett, Dustin Rhodes and Chris Harris once again teamed up to face Team Canada reps Bobby Roode, Eric Young and Johnny Devine. Wildcat survived a beatdown period and tagged Jarrett, who was denied a clear win by Joe Legend. This brought Sting down to the ring to take out Legend and Jarrett soon finished Devine with the Stroke in 10:59.

However, the true motive behind TC’s movements on this night became clear as Lance Storm blindsided Sting at ringside before helping his squad lay out the victorious trio. He then had them bring Sting into the ring where they held him for several Storm shots to the ribs with the champ’s own baseball bat. Storm held the Big Gold Belt up to the stained-paint face of the champ as the show faded to black, warning The Icon that he would reclaim this come tomorrow.

Next time: Battlebowl 2003!

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