Mike Reviews – WWF No Mercy 1999 US Version (17th October 1999)

What’s Happenin’ Cool Cats!

The WWF actually ran two shows called No Mercy in 1999, with the first one being a UK only show in May 1999 that was pretty rubbish. Thankfully the American version of the show in October was much better, so let’s watch that.

The arena for this show was actually included in the Video Game of the same name that was released on the N64. I’m not sure if THQ/AKI just picked that pay per view at random to name the game after or if it was a case of “corporate synergy” where they and the WWF came together and decided to give the game and the pay per view in question the same name for tie-in purposes.

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Mike Reviews – WWF Backlash 1999 + Sunday Night HeAT (25/04/1999)

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I reviewed WCW’s April 99 offering last week, so I decided I’d take a glance at what the WWF was doing at the same time, and as an additional bonus I’ll also be watching the Sunday Night HeAT preview show prior to the pay per view portion of the event.

WrestleMania XV had been a bit of a bust for the WWF, as last minute changes to the match card destroyed a chunk of interesting storylines and most of the bouts failed to deliver. It was crash TV of the Attitude Era at its absolute worst.

Thankfully the Main Event between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin was at least a good match, and fans were suitably interested in seeing the two rematch with one another. To set that up The Rock and Shane McMahon teamed up to steal Stone Cold’s “Smoking Skull” Title belt, and then Rock upped the ante even further by flinging Austin into a river!

As for the under card, The Undertaker had been making unwanted advances to Vince McMahon’s daughter Stephanie, so Vince had enlisted the help of Ken Shamrock to try and take Undertaker down. Meanwhile, Triple H had turned on D-X to go Corporate, setting up a match with former stablemate X-Pac.

The other major match of the under card was Big Show Vs Mankind, with Mankind looking for payback on Show after the big man sent him to the hospital at Mania. Big Show had just started working as a babyface though, so they would do battle in a Boiler Room Brawl so as to ensure that Big Show wouldn’t get booed by the fans.

These top matches, combined with what looked to be a solid selection of bouts elsewhere on the card, suggested that Backlash would be one of the WWF’s better pay per view offerings of 99, but would they stick the landing?

Let’s read on and find out!

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Mike Reviews – WCW Spring Stampede 1999 (11/04/1999)

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I was a bit rough on ol’ WCW a couple of weeks back in a Stinker Review, so I thought I’d redress the balance a bit and review one of their notable good shows in the form of Spring Stampede 99. WCW actually had a relatively solid start to 99 pay per view wise, with Souled Out, SuperBrawl IX and Uncensored all featuring some good wrestling, even if some of the booking was pretty head scratching.

For instance, WCW decided to close Uncensored with Ric Flair winning the World Title and the Presidency of the company (something most of the fans would likely be cool with) but also had him go heel in the process. This was mostly down to Flair himself pushing hard for the heel turn as he felt he did his best work that way, but it was still an odd way to take the storyline, especially as Flair had been so beloved since his return in the autumn of 98 and having a babyface authority figure was a nice change of pace after yonks of having a heel one in the form of Eric Bischoff.

Thus not only did Flair go heel but so did his Horsemen cohorts of Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Arn Anderson, which certainly improved the tag division at least but also kind of felt weird too as they’d just done a big babyface quest for the belts and finally won them at Uncensored, only to now go heel. This did lead to a feud between The Horsemen and Raven/Saturn though, which led to a series of great matches and got even better once Rey Mysterio Jr and Kidman were added to the mix.

Flair’s first pay per view Title defence was to be at Spring Stampede, as he’d defend the belt in a four way against freshly face turned Hogan as well as Sting and Diamond Dallas Page. Meanwhile, the big feud on the under card was Goldberg trying to avenge his Starrcade loss to Kevin Nash, which was at least a story the fans could get their teeth into. Combined with what looked to be a solid under card from a wrestling perspective, Spring Stampede promised to be a really good show, but could WCW deliver on the night?

Let’s watch on and find out!

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Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – WCW Bash At The Beach 1999 (11/07/1999)

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Back with another reader request this time, courtesy of Sean Mooney, as we dive into the deep toxic waters of World Championship Wrestling as it sunk to its eventual doom. 1998 was when the company initially hit the iceberg but they still did great business that year and it wasn’t until 1999 reared its ugly head that it became clear just how waterlogged the company was getting.

The WWF was not only still top of the American Pro Wrestling food chain in the summer of 1999, but they’d also turned The Rock babyface to gigantic financial returns and were in the midst of preparing the likes of Triple H and Test for elevation up the card (It worked out better for one of those two obviously). They were also in the midst of finally taking the spotlight off the Stone Cold Vs Vince McMahon feud for a bit with Vince set to take a few months off TV, thus keeping things fresh atop the card.

By comparison, WCW was so stale that even most ducks wouldn’t touch it if you took it down the local pond. The New World Order storyline had long since run its course and basically didn’t even really exist anymore outside of a few low ranking guys like Vincent and Horace. The Main Event scene was being built around the usual collection of veterans, Diamond Dallas Page was terrorising the mid-card with his Jersey Triad stable and Ric Flair and Roddy Piper were trying to turn the clock back to the mid-80’s so that they could be conniving villainous heels again, when all the crowd wanted to do was cheer them.

Some efforts were being made to push the likes of Buff Bagwell, Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn, but outside of Flair and Piper none of the top guys were willing to put those guys over, and there were only so many jobs Flair could do for guys like that until it started to really lose its effectiveness. Randy Savage had returned and had actually gotten kind of over as a rebellious babyface, so WCW of course promptly turned him heel so that he could feud with Kevin Nash over the World Title, and even decided to punish the fan base even further by bringing Sid Vicious back to the promotion.

The main feuds coming into this show were DDP and The Triad/Benoit and Saturn, Piper and Flair/Bagwell, Savage/Nash and The West Texas Rednecks/Filthy Animals. There were at least some good matches going on in places, but in most cases the wrong people were going over and the face/heel alignments were all out of whack. For instance, The Rednecks were massively outnumbered and were a funny entertaining act whilst The Animals were insufferable jerks who often abused their numbers advantage, yet The Animals were the ones supposed to be the faces!

All in all the company was on its arse and things eventually got so bad that WCW decided to roll the dice on Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara in the hopes that they could turn it around, which had inevitable results.

However, with that all being said, is Bash At The Beach 1999 really that awful? Maybe in a bubble the show has enough good stuff on it that it’s actually enjoyable? I remember I actually had the VHS for this show back in the day as it was one of the few shows from 99 that WCW actually gave a proper home video release here in the UK, so I’ve probably seen it more than most. Will a tinge of nostalgia help me overcome the worse elements of the show?

There’s still time by the way to put in suggestions for what May’s Stinker Review is going to be. I’ll recap what we currently have in the hat at the end of the this review, so shout up in the comments section if you’d like to add a suggestion of your own. April’s Stinker review will be one of my choosing and I’ll announce what May’s is going to be at the end of that review.

Is this show really a stinker? Let’s watch on and find out!

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Mike Reviews – WWF St Valentine’s Day Massacre In Your House (14/02/1999)

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Last week we looked at the 14/02/99 episode of Sunday Night HeAT, which was essentially a pre-game show for this pay per view, so this week we’ll go and review the event itself seeing as we’re a day away from Valentine’s Day in real life anyway. I hope you have as enjoyable a Valentine’s Day as possible, especially if you can share it with a special someone.

This show was notable for being the first proper pay per view singles match between long-time enemies Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon. They’d met one another in the Royal Rumble, but this time it was scheduled to be one on one, with a cage being set up to ensure no one would be able to help Vince out.

Surprisingly it didn’t do as big a buy rate as expected when you consider how hot the feud was, but it was sandwiched between the Rumble and WrestleMania XV, so that might have had an effect on whether people wanted to purchase it or not.

I didn’t have satellite TV at the time, which was the only way to watch the WWF in the UK until Channel 4 started showing HeAT in 2000, so I didn’t see this show live at the time but I did eventually get the VHS and watched it quite a bit. We’ll see if that nostalgia gives the show a bit of a boost for me or not.

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Mike Reviews – WWF Sunday Night HeAT (14/02/1999)

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I thought I’d try something new over the next couple of weeks. Back in the day before the pre-show (Or whatever weird name WWE have come up with to WWEize it, because heaven forfend if everything isn’t branded to buggery and back) WWE would instead just turn the episode of Sunday Night HeAT into a preview for whatever pay per view event was due to happen that Sunday night.

HeAT started out as an important show, but the introduction of Smackdown in late 99 essentially turned it into just your standard weekend show where storylines didn’t advance and the matches didn’t really have any significance outside of rare occasions. In early 99 though HeAT would still see the top guys appearing on it, and on pay per view nights especially you usually saw everyone show up as the WWF tried to get the viewer to part with their money and purchase the event.

Thus this week we’ll look at the Sunday Night HeAT episode prior to the St. Valentine’s Massacre show and next week we’ll watch the actual show itself. How’s about that for a slice of fried gold?

Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers: Heroes of Wrestling (10/10/1999)

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I recently brought in a new feature where I’d go all Wrestle Crap and look at a show that is widely considered to be a real stinker, with the ultimate goal of deciding whether it deserves its stinky reputation or not.

We started off with TNA Victory Road 2009 and I left it open to readers to make suggestions in the comments for future shows. This request came from The Ghost of Faffner Hall, who described this particular show as the “Citizen Kane of terrible wrestling shows”

Well, with a build-up like that, how could I NOT review it?!?!

I have actually heard of this one before but have never subjected myself to it, so I hope you all enjoy my anguish. If, for some incomprehensible reason, you actually want to watch this one then you can do you by clicking HERE to view it on YouTube. You do so purely at your own risk though and I will not be held responsible for any misery it may cause you.

The show itself was an attempt by a promoter called Billy Stone to put together a legends show featuring the grapplers of yesteryear, but he had no real idea how to run a wrestling show and it led to an almost inevitable mess as a result.

Let’s all brace ourselves and watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews Every WWE Backlash Main Event – Part One (1999 to 2003)

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First things first, my condolences to the friends and family of Howard Finkel (I am writing this on the day of his sad passing). I think it’s fair to say that Howard was the greatest ring announcer in wrestling history and he will be sorely missed. If everyone in wrestling was as passionate about their job as Howard was then we’d have a much better industry that’s for sure.

Last time out we looked at the Main Events from WCW Spring Stampede over the years, so today we’re going to take a look at a WWF event that usually happened around the same time in the form of Backlash.

Backlash was usually the post-WrestleMania pay per view offering from the WWF, which often led to Mania re-matches most of the time. There have been a total of 14 Backlash events over the years, so I’ll be splitting this into three separate parts, otherwise it’ll be far too much to chew in one sitting.

There’s been some great Backlash Main Events and some that…weren’t, and there’s no better example than the offerings we have for you this time. Some of these matches are truly excellent, whilst others are a bit of slog.

Still though, I’m sure we’ll have fun regardless. Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #348 – 25/12/1999

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Before we go any further I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Hardcore Holidays!

Last week’s Hardcore TV was mostly clips from the TNN Show and the most recent pay per view event (Which this one will probably also be because it’s the holiday edition) but hopefully there’ll be some interesting and fun stuff on it.

I already got what I wanted for Christmas with Carlo Ancelotti somehow being coerced into taking the Everton job. Hopefully there isn’t some kind of a Vince Russo “you didn’t read the fine print of the contract bro” swerve and Carlo is able to bail once he sees Oumar Niasse and Cuco Martina rocking up to training on his first day.

Anyway, let’s have some turkey/ham/nut roast (depending on your location and eating habits) and watch some chuffing wrestling eh?

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #347 – 18/12/1999

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Last week Super Crazy and Super Calo went at it in a fun bit of Extreme Lucha Libre, whilst Rob Van Dam and Tracy Smothers had an enjoyable old school style main event. The big angle was Raven seemingly having a breakdown and Tommy Dreamer trying to calm him.

Did he succeed? Let’s read on to find out!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #346 – 11/12/1999

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Last week Steve Corino crashed a Limp Bizkit concert and ended up getting busted open courtesy of a Balls Mahoney chair shot. Meanwhile, Rob Van Dam defended his TV Title against the monstrous Uganda and ended up enraging his former tag partner Sabu with an inflammatory promo.

Let’s have a look to see how these stories develop in this week’s Hardcore TV!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #345 – 04/12/1999

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Last week we had a New Jack focused episode, as he stapled Spanish Angel in the eye and then put Tony DeVito through a table after jumping off a balcony. In most cases that would be a pretty definitive end to the feud, but this is ECW, where setting someone on fire is a hope spot, so I’m willing to bet that we’ll see more of that rivalry going forward.

Rob Van Dam is back on the show this week after going to a time limit draw with Sabu a couple of weeks back, so maybe we’ll see that story advance some more?

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #344 – 27/11/1999

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I hope you’re all ready for a New Jack centric episode this week, because that’s what you’re getting regardless. Last week was all about Rob Van Dam and Sabu, as they wrestled to a stalemate for the TV Title, thus leaving the door open for more chapters in the story. However, there’ll be none of that this week as we have important New Jack business to attend to!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #343 – 20/11/1999

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Last week wasn’t a bad show all told, as they did some interesting stuff to advance the Raven/Dreamer/Sandman storyline by having Dreamer save Raven from a Sandman attack but not quick enough to placate Raven, thus causing him to have a seeming mental breakdown.

So yeah, it was fun for all the family!

Let’s see where they’re going next, as we hang various weaponry from the ceiling and once again take things to The Extreme!!!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #342 – 13/11/1999

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Welcome to all the fallout from November to Remember 1999. As usual I expect this post pay per view show to be more of a recap than feature anything new, but maybe ECW will surprise me on that front?

Sadly I have now gone beyond the point that Scott Keith has reached in his ECW on TNN recaps, so I’m afraid I can’t link you up to some lovely Scott ECW goodness. However, I will share the link for his excellent review of AEW’s “Full Gear” Event, which you can read by clicking HERE, as well as Thomas Hall’s review, which you can read by clicking HERE.

I personally enjoyed the show and especially liked the Hangman Page Vs Pac match (I think Hangman’s “Cowboy S***” shirt is great, but I don’t know where I’d ever be able to get away with wearing it). I’m one of the few who didn’t really have especially strong feelings one way or the other in regards to the Lights Out main event. It’s not really my favourite genre of wrestling but there was other stuff on the show that I did really enjoy so I was content when all was said and done.

If you’d like to read my Review of ECW November to Remember 1999 then you can do so by clicking right HERE. I didn’t especially enjoy the show but it did have an excellent Mike Awesome Vs Masato Tanaka match, so that’s something to consider if you like both men.

So with all that dealt with, let’s break a glass table and cover the floor in its remains as we once again take things to The Extreme!!!

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Mike Reviews: ECW November to Remember 1999

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So here we are again with another ECW pay per view event of 1999. It’s been a tad hit and miss for ECW on pay per view this year, with Anarchy Rulz being good whilst Heat Wave and Hardcore Heaven were kind of just there and Living Dangerously was pretty bad. Hopefully tonight ECW can knock this one out of the park, especially as this show is supposed to be the biggest one they do all year.

I actually bought the live American pay per view version of this show years back from the dearly departed Extreme Central UK store in Manchester, which was a fantastic place to buy ECW/CZW/ROH tapes without having to faff about with arranging things online. The picture is a bit fuzzy but I get the real entrance music at least, so I’m counting it as a win.

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #341 – 06/11/1999

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I enjoyed last week’s episode quite a lot, as we got an excellent match between Tajiri and Jerry Lynn and a huge angle at the end of the show when The Sandman made his return to ECW. This week’s show will be the go-home one for November to Remember 1999 (Which I’ll upload tomorrow) so I expect we’ll get a heavy hype job.

As always, you can read a recap of the previous episode of ECW on TNN prior to this issue of Hardcore TV from Mr. Scott Keith by clicking right HERE!

So with all that dealt with, let’s tape up our fists and dip them in poisonous gummy bears as we once again take things to The Extreme!!!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #340 – 30/10/1999

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I enjoyed last week’s show as The Impact Players of Justin Credible and Lance Storm did an excellent job of making Danny Doring and Roadkill look good in their match before ultimately defeating them. It seems like ECW has finally found the right way to book the team (They’re heels who show a lot of ass but then eventually prevail because they’re resourceful villains) and their feud with Raven and Tommy Dreamer seems like it could have some mileage.

As always, you can read a recap of the previous episode of ECW on TNN prior to this issue of Hardcore TV from Mr. Scott Keith by clicking right HERE!

So with all that dealt with, let’s order a pizza and then hit the delivery boy with a flaming chair as we once again take things to The Extreme!!!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #339 – 23/10/2019

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I felt last week’s show felt rather flat, so hopefully this episode has a bit more bite to it, especially as we’re not too far away from November to Remember, the event that was usually ECW’s version of WrestleMania/Starrcade.

As always, you can read a recap of the previous episode of ECW on TNN prior to this issue of Hardcore TV from Mr. Scott Keith by clicking right HERE!

So with all that dealt with, let’s wrap a some mushrooms in barbed wire, sauté them gently with some potatoes dipped in broken glass and then simmer for a couple of hours in the tears of the censors as we once again take things to The Extreme!!!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #338 – 16/10/1999

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Last week’s show was pretty rubbish as we just got clips from the TNN Show and some other clips from the Anarchy Rulz pay per view as Hardcore TV continues its Velocity-cation.

Hopefully we can actually get something new this week, especially as we’re not too far away from November to Remember, the event that was usually ECW’s version of WrestleMania/Starrcade.

As always, you can read a recap of the previous episode of ECW on TNN prior to this issue of Hardcore TV from Mr. Scott Keith by clicking right HERE!

I also did a review of New Japan’s King of Pro Wrestling show from 14/10/2019, so why not give that a goosey gander?

So with all that dealt with, let’s drive down to the store and buy a shedload of baking trays as we once again take things to The Extreme!!!

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