Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – NWA Bunkhouse Stampede (24th January 1988)

Good Day One And All!

Back with another Stinker Review this week, where I look at a show that has a reputation for being rubbish and decide whether it deserves its rap sheet or not.

This time out it’s another reader request, with Bunkhouse Stampede fighting its way out of the Stinker Hat courtesy of WChilders 49. I have watched this show before but it was quite a while ago, and I only really remember one of the matches being any good.

This is one of them there concept shows, with the idea being that guys have qualified for the Main Event by winning Battle Royals on House Show events, leading to them all going at it in a big Battle Royal bout to close the show. The extra gimmick though is that the Battle Royal itself is going to be held inside a cage, meaning you have to chuck your opponents out of the cage until you are the sole survivor.

This show is mostly remembered for being the catalyst for the first ever Royal Rumble event, as Vince McMahon threw that on TV in order to mess with the NWA and the concept got so over that it remains to this day. Would the Bunkhouse Stampede Cage Match™ enjoy the same enduring popularity? I guess you’ll have to read on to find out…

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Mike Reviews – NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling Ultra Clash 1993 (18th September 1993)

Hey there chaps and chapettes!

Today we’re looking back at the first ECW show of the Paul Heyman Era, with Ultra Clash representing the moment the pencil switched between Eddie Gilbert and Paul. Paul E was kind of cut throat in the way he got control of things, but Gilbert had no interest in working with Jim Crockett or the NWA, so ECW joining up with them was a natural stepping off point for Eddie, with this show scheduled to be his last in the promotion.

I’ve never seen this show before but it has some historical significance to it. ECW was actually still Eastern instead of Extreme at this point and was also now a member of the NWA, but that would change when 1994 rolled around. Knowing Heyman he probably already had the gears whirring in his head for that spectacular screw job.

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Mike Reviews – WWF Raw is War (22nd September 1997)

WWE ran MSG yesterday (I’m writing this ahead of time but I assume that show still went ahead) so I thought I’d go back in time to look at another occasion where they ran The Garden during a September. This episode of the show was seen as a symbolic attempt by the WWF to fight back against WCW after being on the losing end of the Monday Night War for over a year, and it featured some genuinely memorable moments that have made their way onto “Best of Raw” compilations for many years since.

The WWF was beyond the really rocky period of 1996 by this stage and were tootling along just fine business wise, but they were still out in 2nd place when it came to WCW and that just boiled Vince McMahon’s blood, so they were pushing hard to get back into the race. I’m watching this on WWE Network, so if anything is missing then it’ll likely be because they cut it out so as not to anger the folks at Peacock.

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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 – WWF In Your House 10: Mind Games (22nd September 1996)

Como Estan Beeches!

I’ve wanted to re-watch the Shawn Michaels Vs Mankind Main Event from this show for a while, so I thought I might as well review the entire show for good measure. This was a WWF pay per view from Philly and would represent the first time that the WWF and ECW worked together, so it’s kind of a historically significant show with an absolute banger in the Main Event, which was more than most of the throwaway IYH shows could boast at least.

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Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – WCW Road Wild 1998 (8th August 1998)

Howdy-Ho Neighbourinos!

Back with another Stinker review, as I tackle Road Wild 98!

For those not au fait, Stinker Reviews are where I take a look at a show that has a bad reputation and see if it deserves that reputation or not. September will be another reader review, so get your suggestions in either in the comments or to [email protected] I’ll draw a “lucky” winner out of the Stinker Hat and that’ll be September’s review.

There is an actual hat as well…

See! I don’t exaggerate about these things!!

Anyway, Road Wild was usually a pretty rubbish event each year as WCW held the show in a field in Sturgis in front of a bunch of bikers who didn’t like wrestling. Amazing how that usually led to bad shows eh? The 98 version of the show featured talk show host Jay Leno wrestling Holllywood Hogan (Couldn’t they have at least sprung for Steve Wilkos? I could at least buy that he’d have a chance in a fight).

There’s not much on the under card to get excited about either, but who knows, maybe this show might have aged well?

Well…it COULD happen!

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Mike Reviews – ECW Heat Wave 1998 (2nd August 1998)

Hey there Gang!

Back with some more ECW this week, with a special Stinker review scheduled for next week, so if you like those then keep a look out.

Heat Wave 98 is often regarded as one of the best shows ECW ever put on, with it featuring a bunch of well-built issues and some quality wrestling for good measure. Even Scott likes this one, so that’s a good barometer of how good it is!

Our big issue in the Main Event is Tommy Dreamer gunning for revenge on The Dudley Boyz after they broke the neck of his girlfriend, but we’ve also got Taz looking to avenge his defeat to Bam Bam Bigelow at Living Dangerously 1998 and the final bout in the Summer Series between Jerry Lynn and Justin Credible.

So yeah, lots of good stuff on the docket, so let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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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 – WWF SummerSlam 1989 – Feel The Heat (28th August 1989)

Howdy Ho!

I’ve always loved this particular show and we’re now in August, so it makes sense from a seasonal perspective to review a SummerSlam event, so this one got the nod. I’m watching the Silver Vision VHS version of the show, which means pretty much all of the music has survived the editors. There’s only so much rubbish dubbing of Rick Rude’s theme that you can live with you know?

Main Event on this one is Hulk Hogan teaming up with Scrappy Hogan against Randy Savage and Zeus, with Ultimate Warrior going after Rick Rude’s Intercontinental Title in the mid-card. There are also some solid matches sprinkled throughout the card, so let’s quit jabbering about it all and watch some chuffing wrestling!

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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 – WCW Monday Nitro (4th August 1997)

Greetings Friends!

Another Nitro review today, as we cover one of Lex Luger’s greatest moments.

WCW was riding high during the summer of 1997, with the New World Order storyline continuing to be a hot hand for them, with a big Hollywood Hogan Vs Sting match still on the horizon for when they decided to pull the trigger on it.

It wasn’t just Sting gunning for Hogan though, as Lex Luger had been looking for a Title shot with The Woodster for most of the summer and he was due to finally get it on a 3 hour special of Nitro (Nitro hadn’t made the permanent move to 3 hours yet).

Interestingly this show was due to take place at The Palace of Auburn Hills, which was the site of one of Luger’s most infamous “chokes”, where he had failed to win the WWF Title from Yokozuna but still celebrated like he had, thus looking like a chump in the process.

Would he be able to shed the “choker” label for one night? Let’s watch on and find out!

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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 – WWF InVasion 2001 (22/07/2001)

Good Day, You Magnificent Beasts!

Seeing as we’re nearly twenty years to the day of this bad boy happening, why don’t we review it? It wouldn’t shock me if Scott decides to review this one as well due to the anniversary and all, but I’m writing this about a month or so in advance so that means I win I guess?

Anyway, for those who were lucky enough to have missed this pretty rubbish era in WWF history, Vince McMahon finally achieved his dream of conquering American Pro-Wrestling once and for all (Or so we thought) with the deaths of both WCW and ECW in the first Quarter of 2001.

Not only did Vince win the war, but he also got to buy WCW for a comparatively paltry sum and was all geared to bring in WCW as an invading force so he could finally deliver the big WWF Vs WCW feud that wrestling fans had been fantasising about for years.

Of course the feud hit a snag right from the off, as Vince not only couldn’t find a TV channel that would be prepared to give his new wCw brand a broadcast deal, but the fans also rejected any suggestion that the wCw guys might actually be sympathetic babyfaces, infamously booing both Booker T and Buff Bagwell out of the arena when the two had a disastrous “guest match” on an episode of Raw.

As a result of this, Vince got cold feet and decided to start booking wCw as a straight up Heel faction, and then went and gave them a putty patrol by bringing ECW back from the dead and teaming them up into a mega group known as “The Alliance”.

This didn’t work either.

What also didn’t help was that the WWF teased their fans with Stone Cold Steve Austin going back to the cool babyface character he used to play, and fans got suitably jazzed for it, all for it to end up being a SWERVE, which served to just agitate their onions even more.

So yeah, this whole period was one big fat DUD and the WWF brought it to a merciful end at Survivor Series 2001.

However, the initial InVasion pay per view was a gigantic success from a buy rate perspective and had a couple of hot matches on it, so this shouldn’t be too bad of a re-watch. Indeed, the one positive thing you can say about the whole Invasion storyline was that there was some genuinely great level wrestling going on, especially at the top of the card.

This is probably the moment where I’m supposed to “re-book” the whole thing, but to be honest I’m not going to bother. Instead, I suggest you go check out Jed Shaffer’s excellent “Re-Writing The Book” over on Wrestlecrap.com, as he tackled this subject and came up with a genuinely fantastic storyline, which not only stuck within the same parameters the WWF had to bide by at the time but also ended up finding interesting roles for the likes of Dean Malenko, Raven and Mike Awesome.

Indeed, I can’t think of anyone who writes a better Raven then Shaffer does. Sometimes I think Shaffer writes the Raven character better than even Scott Levy does. The way he gets his voice down in promo segments is unreal. Of course in real life his idea probably wouldn’t have worked as it involved a lot of established WWF guys actually making the Invaders look good, which was never going to happen, but I still think that overall it’s the best stab anyone has taken at trying to make this thing work and it’s a genuine “page turner” for good measure.

I’m watching the Silver Vision “Tagged Classics” version of the show, so if what I’m seeing is different from the WWF Network cut then that’s why.

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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 – NJPW Skydiving J (17th June 1996)

Well Hello There!

I’ve been meaning to sit down and watch this one for a while. Back in 1996, New Japan decided they would combine a bunch of Junior Heavyweight Title’s into one big Super Title called the “J-Crown”.

That would come later in the year in a big tournament, but in the meantime they held this show to essentially set the stage by having the main players in the eventual J-Crown tournament compete on a big show in an effort to get all the belts established and get the fans suitably jazzed at the prospect of seeing them unified.

This is an eight match show with seven of the bouts being singles matches for the various Titles, with one additional tag team match featuring Lance Storm. I’ve been trying to get my grubby mitts on this show for years, so I’m glad I get to finally watch it.

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