Mike Reviews – ROH Wrath of the Racket (9th August 2003) – Part One

It’s another ROH Wednesday!

This time we’ve got ROH coming from Dayton, with the big draw being an appearance from Jim Cornette, hence the show name. Blog poster Jeff Gorman is apparently doing the ring announcing on this one too, so there’s even a BOD tie in. What more could you ask for?!

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Mike Reviews – ROH Death Before Dishonour (19th July 2003) – Part One

Back with yet another ROH Wednesday!

This was actually a pretty darn big show for ROH crowd attendance wise due to them bringing in Jeff Hardy not that far removed from him leaving WWE earlier in 2003. There are also some big matches on the card featuring the likes of Raven, CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Paul London, AJ Styles and Low Ki, so it’s a pretty stacked card.

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Mike Reviews – ROH Night Of The Grudges (14th June 2003) – Concluding Part

Let’s finish this one off. When we last left things in Part One, Justin Credible had made his ROH debut and CM Punk had once again gotten the better of Raven in their ongoing feud. Later on in this concluding part we have a match between AJ Styles and Paul London, as well as The Group taking on The Prophecy.

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Mike Reviews – ROH Do or Die (31st May 2003) – Part One

ROH Wednesdays continue for another week!

They are giving some new faces a chance this time out, hence why they’ve gone for the “Do or Die” name, as if you make the chance count then you could potentially get some further bookings down the line. The second half of the show is scheduled to feature the usual top talent as well, with a Homicide Vs Samoa Joe Main Event pencilled in.

As usual we’ll break this up into a couple parts.

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Mike Reviews – ROH Vs FWA: Frontiers of Honour (17th May 2003) – Concluding Part

Back again for another ROH Wednesday!

Last week we left things with the FWA leading the inter-promotional series with ROH by a score of 2-1. This week they will try to close the series out when Zebra Kid, Flash Barker and Jody Fleisch take on Samoa Joe, Low Ki and Christopher Daniels respectively.

We’ve also got an FWA six person hardcore brawl on the docket as well, so let’s wait no longer and conclude things on this here shindig!

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Mike Reviews – ROH Vs FWA: Frontiers of Honour (17th May 2003) – Part One

It’s time for another ROH Wednesday!

This week we’ve got a special show from 2003 where ROH takes on the FWA. The FWA (Frontier Wrestling Alliance) was the main UK based indie of the time and regularly featured the likes of Doug Williams, Jody Fleisch and Jonny Storm on its events.

ROH and FWA had friendly relations with one another, so they agreed to get together for a show where they would face off in six match series to see which company came out as the overall victors. There are also some FWA matches on the under card, featuring the official in-ring debut of Paul Burchill before he went across to America to play a pirate.

This show comes on two discs, so we’ll do disc one this week and disc two next Wednesday.

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Mike Reviews – ROH Retribution: Round Robin Challenge 2 (26th April 2003) – Concluding Part

ROH Wednesday’s Continue!

Last week we left things with Christopher Daniels and Paul London both winning a match each in the Round Robin Series with them due to meet one another later on. We’ll review that match today, along with Samoa Joe taking on Doug Williams for the ROH Title. Let’s waste no further time and see this puppy get concluded!

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Mike Reviews – ROH Retribution: Round Robin Challenge 2 (26th April 2003) – Part One

ROH Wednesday’s Continue!

Last week we concluded our review of The Epic Encounter (Check the archives if you haven’t read that one and are feeling generous to this humble scribe) and now we move on to the next show in the form of Round Robin Challenge 2.

The first Round Robin Challenge had one of the best matches in the early history of ROH with Bryan Danielson and Low Ki going at it. This time we’ve got Christopher Daniels, Paul London and The Amazing Red competing. They’ll all wrestle each other once, and the person with the best record overall will win the challenge.

We’ll split this one into two parts as per usual

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Mike Reviews – ROH Epic Encounter (12th April 2003) – Concluding Part

Hey there ya’ll!

ROH Wednesday’s continue, as we conclude The Epic Encounter show.

Last week we had CM Punk and BJ Whitmer having a cracking match, whilst Dan Maff joined Christopher Daniels’ “Prophecy” stable.

This week we’ve got ROH Champ Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson taking on Paul London, so there should be plenty of good wrestling to come.

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Mike Reviews – ROH Epic Encounter (12th April 2003) – Part One

S’up

I thought I’d stick with some classic ROH in the Wednesday slot, and once again we’ll be splitting this show up into 2 or 3 parts depending on how long it is. The big draw for this one is that Dusty Rhodes has come in to back Homicide up in the Main Event. It’s also the first show since Samoa Joe became the ROH Champ, so I think we can expect him to do something as well.

If you’d like an update on the storylines then I suggest heading into my archives and reading the two parts of ROH Night of Champions, which was the show previous to this. Heck, I’ll appreciate the page views if nothing else!

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Mike Reviews – ROH Night of Champions (22nd March 2003) – Part One

Hey ya’ll!

These ROH reviews don’t tend to do very well, but I’ve had this one hand written for a VERY long time so I thought I might as well type it up so it didn’t end up being a wasted effort.

This was actually the first ROH show I ever bought, as I’d heard about the company but had never watched a full event before. I picked this tape up from Extreme Central UK, which was a store in Manchester that sold all kinds of wrestling and MMA stuff, including old copies of the Wrestling Observer and Pro-Wrestling Torch.

The VHS tape of this show really got me hooked on the ROH product and came around at a good time for me because I was starting to get disenchanted with WWE and having a different wrestling company to watch really helped rejuvenate my wrestling fandom.

This show is Main Evented by Samoa Joe, with the likes of Low Ki, AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels on the under card, so there should be a healthy collection of fun matches.

We’ll split this up over 2-3 weeks, because the kids dig the episodic content I believe.

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Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – WWE Insurrextion 2003

Hello You!

Back with another Stinker Review, and this month it’s a reader request courtesy of AJ Haemorrhoids (who has one of the more striking names on the Blog I think we can all agree). AJ apparently attended this show live and was so bored by it that they actually almost fell asleep whilst watching it, which is almost impressive in a twisted kind of way.

For those of you that haven’t read one of these before, a Stinker Review is when I look at a show that has a reputation for being bad for whatever reason and deciding on whether it truly is as bad as people say it is. It could be the show features terrible wrestling, torrid booking, miserable production or all of the above. In some cases a show might not be that notorious but a reader may have it on their personal ship list, at which point I then have to decide whether I agree with them or not.

I have personally seen this one before but that was quite a while ago and I honestly remember very little about it outside of the Tag Title and World Title matches. It’s notable for being the last ever UK Special Pay Per View, as WWE decided to bring the Raw and Smackdown tapings to the UK in 2004, which ended up being a better deal for the fans, as now stuff could actually happen on the shows as it was an actual TV taping and not just a televised House Show.

I was pretty down on WWE in 2003, mainly because they just kept tripping up over themselves and the harsh realisation that they weren’t going to be able to usher in another boom period anytime soon slapped me hard in the face like a bucket of iced water. Creatively both the Raw and Smackdown brands were kind of on their arse going into this one, with a bloated and injury carrying Triple H stanking the joint out on the Raw side with a series of uninspiring feuds for his Raw Title, with this show taking part during his “exciting” rivalry with Kevin Nash.

Aside from Godruple H’s reign of terror, on the undercard Test had started an “enthralling” feud with Scott Steiner, whilst newbies La Resistance were going for Kane and RVD’s Tag Team Titles. Trish Stratus was feuding with Jazz over the Women’s belt and Christian had recently connived his way to winning the revived IC Title, screwing over Booker T in the process. Raw’s hierarchy had also had a bit of a shakeup, with Stone Cold Steve Austin being brought into be co-General Manager in an attempt to keep Heel Authority Figure Eric Bischoff in check.

So, has AJ been unduly scathing here or is Insurrextion 2003 really a full-on Stinker? Let’s watch on to find out!

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Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – WWE Judgment Day 2003 (18/05/2003)

Hello You!

Back with another Stinker review, which will become a monthly feature going forwards, usually on the last Saturday of every month.

For those who haven’t read one of these before, the premise is that I review a show that has a reputation for being bad and then try to answer the question of whether it truly deserves its stinky reputation or not.

Recently we had a list of potential shows and I pulled a couple out of a hat to decide what I’ll be reviewing in January and March. This show (Requested by Bones) came out for January and Bash at the Beach 1999 (Requested by Sean Mooney) came out for March. All the other requested shows remain in the hat and I’ll be doing another draw in about a month or so, so if you want to request a stinky show for review then please stick it in the comments section. I’ve got one that I chose myself for February which you’ll hopefully enjoy.

Judgment Day 2003 came about during what was a pretty sucky period for WWE. Coming out of WrestleMania XIX, Kurt Angle was injured, Rock was off back to Hollywood and Stone Cold Steve Austin had been forced to retire, meaning we were stuck with Triple H on top of the Raw brand with a lack of credible challengers (Due to him killing Rob Van Dam, Kane and Booker T’s pushes since winning his vanity belt in the autumn of 2002). Thus they did what usually happens in wrestling when a top guy doesn’t really have anyone left to work with, which was bringing one of his mates for him to work with instead. This led to Kevin Nash coming in and getting an instant push to the top of the card, leading to some thrilling angles and bouts.

Meanwhile, over on Smackdown the much loved “Smackdown Six” Era of the show had ended in February when Paul Heyman was removed as head writer, leading to a pretty notable drop in quality for the show. Once built around great matches on top and interesting characters in the mid-card such as Matt Hardy Version 1.0 and Jamie “By God” Noble, Smackdown became a showcase for Vince McMahon and his never-ending feud with Hulk Hogan. Freshly turned babyface Champion Brock Lesnar was relegated to the background whilst Vince feuded with Hogan and his new best buddy Zach Gowen.

The product was really starting to feel like the lame-duck Kevin Sullivan booked era of WCW in early 2000, even down to the likes of Roddy Piper, Scott Steiner and Goldberg coming in long after they actually could have done any good during the Invasion storyline of 2001. The fact that Judgment Day was primarily promoted around a Bikini contest between Sable and Torrie Wilson showed just how little direction WWE had when it had to bank on pushing T&A to have any hope of popping a buy rate, even with an embarrassment of riches when it came to wrestling talent (Something we’ll see as the show progresses).

Just to give you an idea of the general online reaction to this show, Scott Keith decided to bust out the Hot Poker Up The Ass system for it, which is usually a good barometer that a show is pretty stinky.

However, let’s give the show a fair shake of the stick. Who knows, maybe time will have been kind to it?

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Mike Reviews – ROH First Anniversary Show (08/02/2003)

Hello You!

I’ve actually had this one hand written for yonks, but the classic ROH reviews seemingly got little to no interest and I never bothered typing it up. However, with want of anything better to review this week and the fact that this show features the sadly departed Xavier during his brief ROH Title run, I felt it would be appropriate to finally upload it.

I should point out that this version of the show was taped off the short lived Wrestling Channel over here in the UK. They used to have a special super card event every Sunday on the channel, which was usually a show from one of the main company’s they had on their books. They showed quite a bit of early ROH on the channel when it first started, with this show being amongst the events they aired.

One downside is that they’ve had to trim the show a bit in order to make it fit the three hour window (This includes advert breaks) which means some matches have been cut and others have been edited. It’s a shame, but ROH events were all kind of treated like big super cards with loads of matches, so needs had to must when it came to cramming in as much as possible for a set slot of TV time.

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Mike Reviews NWA-TNA PPV #61 – The Super X Tournament and Wednesday Bloody Wednesday (03/09/2003)

Hello You!

I decided to do a good TNA show this week, because believe it or not they did exist. I actually saw this show originally on The Wrestling Channel here in the UK, as they’d just started showing TNA (Even though they were a few months behind) and this show had FWA regular Jonny Storm on it, so they probably thought it was one of the better episodes to lead with when it came to showing the weekly TNA pay per views.

This show has a Super X Tournament, featuring 8 X Division guys from different parts of the world going at it for a trophy. There’s also a War Games match to close things out featuring the Main Event crew.

This was back when TNA was running a weekly pay per view on Wednesdays and was holding all their events in “The Asylum” in Nashville. It’s a pretty pokey building, but they managed to get a passionate bunch of regulars who were prepared to turn up and get into the action, which at least meant these shows normally had some decent atmosphere.

I was actually quite into TNA at the time due to them doing an ECW Invasion earlier in 2003, and because I was ECW starved at the time I thought it was really cool that guys like Saturn, New Jack, Sandman etc were still doing their thing. That got my foot in the door and allowed me to see that America’s Most Wanted were tearing up the tag scene and the X Division guys were having hot matches, which led to me being into the product pretty much until the whole Hogan and Bischoff thing drove me off never to return.

If memory serves, there’s some really good matches on this one, so let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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