Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #322 – 26/06/1999

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Last week on Hardcore TV Balls Mahoney assisted Rob Van Dam in defeating D-Von Dudley in the main event, but RVD was less than grateful for the interference of the Hardcore Chair Swinging Freak, which earned him a stiff chair shot in return. Will that be followed up this week?

Also on the show, Taz finally clocked Steve Corino after weeks of feuding between the two, but Corino was able to get away before Taz could fully lay a whupping on him. And Justin Credible fired the first official shot in the war between The Impact Players and The Dudley Boyz when he wore out Buh Buh Ray Dudley with his Singapore Cane.

Despite being less than a month away from Heat Wave 99 on the 18th of July, we actually haven’t had any matches announced yet. Hopefully ECW can start doing that this week so that we actually have something concrete to look forward to.

So without any further ado, let’s once again adorn our barbed wire underpants and take it to The Extreme!!!

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Six of the Best – WWF/E King of the Ring

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So we’re back again with another Six of the Best, this time looking at what was, for a while, the fifth biggest pay per view event of the WWF/E calendar in the form of King of the Ring. KOTR as an event ran from 1993 until being discontinued in 2002.

I will be looking at just the KOTR PPV’s themselves for this and not the times WWE brought back the tournament for television purposes. I also won’t be covering any of the tournaments prior to the first PPV version of the event in 1993, as I have actually never seen any of the matches from them and couldn’t even tell you if footage of the matches actually existed or not. If they do then please feel free to confirm that in the comments section.

This one was difficult in the sense that I really didn’t know whether to include one particular match and only eventually decided to go with it after watching it again. We’ll get to that when we get to it. Aside from that particular match, the rest of the list wasn’t too difficult for me to narrow down, as KOTR events tended to be a bit meh when compared to the likes of Royal Rumble, WrestleMania and Summer Slam. As a result, narrowing the list down to Six didn’t take too long as the really good matches from these events stand out quite clearly.

As always, these are just my own personal picks. This isn’t supposed to be some sort of objective list or anything. If I leave out a match that you think warrants inclusion, then please feel free to put it down in the comments section below. As with previous lists, I’ll be listing the matches in chronological order.

So without further to do, let’s take a look at Six of the Best for King of the Ring!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #321 – 19/06/1999

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Last week on ECW Hardcore TV, The Dudley Boyz jumped poor Balls Mahoney once again in the locker room, bloodying him up with a chair shot. Lance Storm talked trash about The Dudleyz on the phone saying that they were ducking him and Justin Credible, whilst Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn traded barbs in the closing segment.

Where will all of these stories head next? Let’s see if that question is answered in today’s ECW Hardcore TV!!!

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Mike Reviews: NWA-TNA Episode #1 – 19/06/2002

Seeing as TNA/Impact Wrestling has somehow managed to survive a whopping 17 years, I decided I would set the way back machine to 2002 and watch the first ever event in the company’s history, seeing as it’s up on their official YouTube page and all.

For those who weren’t around or have expunged this period of wrestling from their memory, when TNA first started out it was as a weekly pay per view product, where they’d have a 2 hour pay per view event every week costed at a quarter of what WWE charged for its normal pay per view events.

The thinking was that, seeing as wrestling fans would pay the full amount for a 3 hour WWE event every month, they’d happily pay the same for 8 whole hours of TNA a month. It would also have the bonus of TNA not needing to have a pesky television show either, which is what wrestling had always traditionally needed to be successful.

The idea was a complete bomb and the company was pretty much dead on its feet mere months into its existence, with only investment by Bob Carter’s Panda Energy company saving it from the scrapheap. This in turn led to Bob’s daughter Dixie getting her mischievous fingers into the wrestling pie (Which led to a whole host of other issues) but TNA at least survived long enough to eventually be moved onto new owners.

Of course there were plenty of other issues too, such as Jeff Jarrett getting pushed as the top star in the company due to his dad’s involvement, even though he was a supporting player at best, and the hiring of Vince Russo to work on the creative end of things.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this episode in full (Unless The Wrestling Channel put it on during its short period of existence and I just forgot about it) but it is cool that TNA has it up there for posterity. Hopefully there’s some good stuff on here.

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Six of the Best – NWA/WCW Great American Bash

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Back again with another list, this time for The Great American Bash. Just to quickly explain, I’m only covering full Pay-Per-View events that happened under the NWA or WCW umbrella, so basically the previous Bash tours prior to 1988 aren’t included, which means the great War Games matches don’t make the list. Rest assured that I like them a lot however.

Also I’m ignoring the WWE Great American Bash shows for this list and decided just to focus on the NWA/WCW ones. Apologies if you’re a big fan of JBL winning the WWE Title or Muhammad Hassan getting killed off with a powerbomb, but those events aren’t going to be considered for this list because I wanted to give WCW it’s time in the sun. Maybe I can do the WWE ones on their own one day, but to be honest outside of Umaga Vs Jeff Hardy, John Cena Vs Bobby Lashley and Chris Jericho Vs Shawn Michaels I’d be drawing a blank over what matches would actually qualify to make the cut. It certainly wouldn’t be Undertaker and Big Show in a Panjabi Prison that’s for sure. Maybe I could do Six of the Worst for the WWE Bash events? Something to ponder…

This was actually quite difficult to get this down to six matches as I whittled it down to eight and then had to make some tough choices. If you look at the matches in bold in the honourable mentions, they were the two matches that only just missed out. All eight were perfectly valid choices in my mind, so I just went with the six I personally enjoyed the most. The exclusion of the two matches that didn’t make it is no comment on their quality, but I had to have six so I cut them.

As always, these are just my own personal picks. This isn’t supposed to be some sort of objective list or anything. If I leave out a match that you think warrants inclusion, then please feel free to put it down in the comments section below. As with previous lists, I’ll be listing the matches in chronological order.

So without further to do, let’s take a look at Six of the Best for The Great American Bash!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #320 – 12/06/1999

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Last week on ECW Hardcore TV, Sabu tried to wrestle Justin Credible but a gaggle of security and referees stopped them because Sabu is still unable to wrestle in North America due to Credible stooging him out to all of the commissions. Sadly this led to Sid coming out to seemingly brawl with both men when the showed faded to black. Hopefully we won’t be seeing much of Sid following this.

In addition to the Sabu/Credible stuff, a storyline continued to build between Cyrus, Steve Corino and Taz, as all three are trying to outsmart each other in a game of cat, mouse and lion (I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide which animal is an allegory for whom).

So with that all recapped, let’s once again pull up our adult socks and get ready to take things to The Extreme!!!

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Mike Reviews: New Japan Pro Wrestling Dominion in Osaka – 09/06/2019

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This one worked out well for me due to it happening 8am UK time, so I decided to do a write up for it. The main event on this one is Kazuchika Okada defending the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Chris Jericho, but there’s also a match scheduled between Kota Ibushi and Tetsuya Naito, which is a big rematch from the MSG Show over WrestleMania weekend, and that’s even before we get to a match between Will Ospreay and Dragon Lee, which should be all kind of awesome.

So please join me as we take a journey to Osaka for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s presentation of Dominion!

The event is emanating from Osaka-Jo Hall, in Osaka, Japan

Calling the action are Kevin Kelley, Don Callis and Chris Charlton

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #319 – 05/06/1999

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Last week on ECW Hardcore TV, The Dudley Boyz heated up their rivalry with Balls Mahoney quite literally by flinging him through a flaming table in the main event. As a result of this act, Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten failed in their attempt to wrest the ECW Tag Team Titles from the half-brothers and must now do battle on the next set of tapings.

However, we’ve still got another week of the  tapings from Detroit to watch first, so let’s put on our big person pants and once again take it to The Extreme!!!

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Mike’s Mini Review: Mitsuharu Misawa Vs Toshiaki Kawada – 03 06 1994

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For those not aware, 25 years ago today a very notorious bout took place in All Japan Pro Wrestling between Mitusharu Misawa and Toshiaki Kawada. In case you don’t recognise the names, both Misawa and Kawada were the top two stars of All Japan at the time and this was a much anticipated collision between the two.

Both men had actually been tag team partners and allies in the not too distant past prior to this contest, but by the time 1994 rolled around both men had become heated rivals, both on and off screen. Thankfully it led to magic between the two and they often produced an epic chemistry together, one that helped make All Japan incredibly successful during the 90’s.

The two hadn’t met in a match for the famed All Japan Triple Crown of Titles for nearly two years, so this match had a lot of hype going into it and was the talk of the internet wrestling world following its conclusion due to how great a match it ended up being.

Seeing as today is the anniversary of the match, I thought I’d review it seeing as I haven’t watched it in a while and the milestone deserved some recognition. So without further ado, let’s say the way back machine to Budokan Hall for some Retro Wrestle action!

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Six of the Best – WWF/E Judgment Day

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For a while there I didn’t think I was going to get this one posted before the end of May, but I just about got it all put together before the month reached it’s conclusion, like Indiana Jones sliding under a closing drawbridge right before it closes whilst still having time to reach back and grab my hat…

Or maybe not…

Anyway, Judgment Day was an event held by the WWF/E in the month of May from 2000 to 2009 (There was also a show from 1998 using the name that happened in October). It tended to be an event that advanced or began storylines rather than paying them off, and ended up feeling like a “B Show” most of the time as a result.

Despite that though, it was also a show that usually had at least a couple of good matches every time out, and that meant that I struggled somewhat whittling the list down to six. There were some really good matches that I really enjoyed that I had to leave on the cutting room floor, but I’m generally happy with what eventually made the final list.

As always, these are just my own personal picks. This isn’t supposed to be some sort of objective list or anything. If I leave out a match that you think warrants inclusion, then please feel free to put it down in the comments section below. As with previous lists, I’ll be listing the matches in chronological order.

So without further to do, let’s take a look at Six of the Best for Judgment Day!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #318 – 29/05/1999

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So last week’s show was essentially just a recap of Hardcore Heaven 99, with a match between Rob Van Dam and Skull Von Krush tacked on at the end. It was as unremarkable as could be, but it wasn’t actively bad or anything.

This week we should hopefully have some more original content so that the storylines can start advancing again. So without any further ado, let’s once again take it to The Extreme!!!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #317 – 22 05 1999

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So here we are, a week removed from ECW Hardcore Heaven 99. You can read my full thoughts on that show HERE, but to give you the short version; the show had some good matches but ended on a downer due to Taz defending his ECW World Title against Buh Buh Ray Dudley. Yes, you read that right, Buh Buh Ray Dudley got a World Title shot. In 1999. Don’t look at me like that I didn’t chuffing book it!

On the Brightside, Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn had another corker for the ECW TV Title and the efforts of the likes of Super Crazy, Tajiri and Little Guido once again shone through. Lance Storm and Tommy Dreamer even had an enjoyable bout, where Lance Storm finally managed to win a match after months of being pushed as a supposed top heel!

Of course ECW then had to spoil it by booking Justin Credible, the other half of the top heel contingent, to look like an absolute chump against Sid, once again taking one step forward only to take two steps back straight after. Here’s hoping we’ve seen the last of Sid going forward, unless it involves him getting choked out by Taz in 30 seconds.

So without further ado, lets once again take a journey to The Extreme!!!

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Six of the Best – WCW Slamboree

Back once again to this feature, with us taking a look at WCW’s annual May event of Slamboree. Originally conceived as a “Legends Reunion” type show for it’s first three years, and flirting with the Battle Bowl format in 1996, Slamboree eventually became just a standard pay per view event from 1997 onwards and was often a show that was rarely treated as a big deal. The fact the 95, 97 and 98 events were all main evented by almost throw away tag matches would be a good example of that. Slamboree was really just there to bridge the gap before the two major summer events of Great American Bash and Bash at the Beach.

That’s not to say that nothing of any value happened at the events of course. Ric Flair’s brutal beatdown of Angelo Poffo at the 95 event started a blood feud with Randy Savage that actually drew good money at house shows, whereas the 98 show saw the unthinkable happen as Scott Hall turned on Kevin Nash to break up The Outsiders tag team. However, these moments were normally the exception as opposed to the rule. By the 2000 event WCW was on it’s last legs, a situation that wasn’t helped by having David Arquette competing in the main event as defending WCW World Champion.

Compiling this list was kind of tricky as Slamboree had quite a lot of middling bouts over the years that weren’t especially bad but also weren’t the sort of exciting and classic matches that immediately jumped out at me as ones I just had to include. Despite this, I eventually found six matches that I was happy with and I had to leave a few out in the end as well, which shows that there was ultimately a healthy amount of decent bouts when all was said and done.

I would just like to give a special shout out to Gorgeous George Vs Charles Robinson from the 1999 event as well, because my word is that match a hundred times more enjoyable than it had any right to be. George looked great for someone with so little experience whilst Little Naitch was making the absolute most of his 15 minutes by giving a brilliant Ric Flair impersonation, complete with all of Flair’s tradional spots. It really is absolutely mountains of fun and I can strongly recommend it as one of the best comedy/manager matches I’ve ever seen.

As always, these are just my own personal picks. This isn’t supposed to be some sort of objective list or anything. If I leave out a match that you think warrants inclusion, then please feel free to put it down in the comments section below. As with previous lists, I’ll be listing the matches in chronological order.

So without further to do, let’s take a look at Six of the Best for WCW Slamboree!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore Heaven 1999

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So after a couple of months of ECW Hardcore TV we’ve finally reached the Hardcore Heaven pay per view. The build-up for this show hasn’t been the greatest, with them essentially cramming all the hype into two weeks’ worth of television. Despite that, the card looks like it could be good with a Jerry Lynn Vs Rob Van Dam match looking to be the best one on offer.

I actually have the Laserlight Digital DVD version of the show, which I bought way back in 2001 from HMV. It thankfully has all the real music and isn’t dubbed. Sadly there’s no scheduled New Jack match though so I won’t be able to make the most of it in that regards. The DVD version cuts out all of the adverts and also chops up some of the backstage segments, but everything that needs to be here is here I think and the show comes in at just over two and half hours.

So without further ado, let’s head to the barbed wire gates to meet a baseball bat wielding Saint Peter so that we can gain access to Hardcore Heaven!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #316 – 15/05/1999

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So here we are on the go-home show for ECW Hardcore Heaven (Of which a review should be up of by tomorrow) a pay per view that suffered a bit in build due to ECW only really getting the card sorted a couple of weeks out.

It also hasn’t helped that supposed top heels Lance Storm and Justin Credible have been doing jobs to everyone and their sister in the build-up, meaning they are both roughly as heated as an icicle going into the big event.

In happier news, Jerry Lynn has been booked super strong and scored a number of clean pin fall victories thanks to his dreaded new finisher, The Cradle Piledriver. Indeed, he even scored a win over Credible in last week’s show as the two had their usual entertaining scrap.

Lynn is now ready and primed to challenge ECW TV Champ Rob Van Dam at Hardcore Heaven. RVD picked up a big win himself over Buh Buh Ray Dudley last week, so that particular match has at least been built very well and I’m suitably excited for it.

The Dudley Boyz are due to defend their ECW Tag Titles at the pay per view, but challengers have yet to be officially confirmed (Although Balls and Axl were mentioned a couple of weeks back before the line-up became somewhat more ambiguous) so maybe we’ll find out who they are supposed to be facing this week?

And there’s also the small fact of ECW Champ Taz being steaming mad at Chris Candido duping him and laying him out a couple of weeks ago in Queens, so maybe we’ll see him attempt to gain some retribution ahead of his title defence to Candido at Hardcore Heaven?

So with the stage set, let’s waste no more time and dive into another exciting week of EXTREME action!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #315 – 08/05/1999

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So last week we finally saw some matches announced for the Hardcore Heaven pay per view, along with the tandem of Lance Storm and Justin Credible suffering another defeat, this time with Storm losing to the perpetual job merchant Tommy Dreamer. It’s okay though, because they beat him up afterwards, which seems to fix everything in Paul Heyman’s world. If he was Watford manager and they lost the Cup Final to Manchester City, he’d just have Troy Deeney drop Raheem Sterling with a Burning Hammer and claim it as a victory.

Anyhoo, this week supposedly has Jerry Lynn Vs Justin Credible on it, and I think it’s almost impossible for those two not to have a good match together, so I’m suitably optimistic for this week’s show. And who knows, maybe we’ll get some more matches confirmed for Hardcore Heaven on the 16th of May?

Last week’s show ended with Rob Van Dam coming down to the ring to take on one of Buh Buh Ray or D-Von Dudley, so I’m sure tonight we’ll get the match where he inevitably pins one of them so he can “get his win back” for losing to D-Von in episode #313.

So, without further ado, let’s take it to The Extreme!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #314 – 01/05/1999

Pinch, punch, beginning of the month!

Hello You, and welcome back for some more ECW Hardcore TV action!

We are just two weeks away from Hardcore Heaven 1999 on the 16th of May 1999 and most of the card hasn’t even been announced yet, because poor forward planning is EXTREME I guess. Thus far we know its Rob Van Dam Vs Jerry Lynn for the TV Title and not much else. Maybe this week we’ll finally see the show start to take shape?

So without further ado, let’s take another journey to The Extreme, and see if Paul Heyman can start putting this pay per view together.

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #313 – 24/04/1999

Back again with some more ECW action, as we continue the build to Hardcore Heaven on the 16th of May 1999. Last week we saw Justin Credible lose to Shane Douglas in the main event, only for he and partner Lance Storm to leave “The Franchise” lying when all was said and done.

However, despite laying the faces out more than once, Storm and Credible are yet to actually win a particularly big match yet, as they always seem to fail when the chips are down only to then do a beat down to “get their head back”.

Of course, it’s kind of hard to get your heat back if you never had any real heat to begin with, and that’s certainly the issue with Storm and Credible so far in this run. Despite getting plenty of TV time, they’ve yet to really gain any traction because they keep losing matches.

It could be that we’re building for the big win for them, but that’s a totally arse backwards way of booking. Usually you’d give the heel some wins at the START of a feud to heat them up and then maybe have the face win the blow off when the heel was all good and hot. However, we seem to be getting the opposite here, with the faces winning a lot, thus cooling the heels off with the intention of them winning the blow off to heat them up again, which is just….weird.

Anyway, let’s see what ECW has in store for us as we once again take things to The Extreme!!!

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Six of the Best – WWF/E Backlash

Continuing with the April Pay Per View theme, today we look at an event that ran every year from 1999 to 2009, with a lot of the events taking place in the month of April (There were some that didn’t). WWE revived the name in 2016, but as it currently stands it doesn’t look like a Backlash event is scheduled for 2019. I’m not really sure why they decided to shelve the name as it’s a good one, but WWE is going to WWE so I usually find its best just not to think about these sorts of things.

This was actually a difficult list to put together, as there were generally some really great matches on these events historically. The huge list of honourable mentions at the bottom will no doubt highlight how stacked a shortlist this was, especially for a B Show. I’m almost certain that I will have missed off at least one match that you will think should have been included, and that’s ultimately because there were so many great matches to choose from. It sometimes felt like WWE would load Backlash up to try and retain any new fans acquired over Mania Season, which isn’t a bad idea if you think about it.

As always, these are just my own personal picks. This isn’t supposed to be some sort of objective list or anything. If I leave out a match that you think warrants inclusion, then please feel free to put it down in the comments section below. As with previous lists, I’ll be listing the matches in chronological order.

So without further to do, let’s take a look at Six of the Best for Backlash!

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