Mike Reviews: WWE No Mercy 2007

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The reason for this one is that it’s a show I’ve never seen in full, owing to the fact that when it happened way back in 2007 I was in the middle of moving house and thus didn’t have the disposable income to burn on a WWE pay per view. It’s quite an interesting show however due to what happens in regards to the WWE Title. And hey, now I have WWE Network it’s never been easier to catch up on the shows I missed back in the day and we’re still in October so it kind of fits.

The original main event of the show coming in was supposed to be John Cena defending the WWE Title to Randy Orton, but Cena then suffered a severe injury in a nothing Raw match with Ken Anderson which took him out of this show and meant he’d likely have to miss WrestleMania as well.

Thus WWE had to scramble to find a way to crown a new Champion and also rescue the pay per view card that had now been left without its main event. Did they manage it? Let’s take a look and find out.

Read moreMike Reviews: WWE No Mercy 2007

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!!!

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

Mike Reviews: Ring of Honour – “Japan’s Finest” – Disc One

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Back with something else in my “to watch” pile, as we take a look at a compilation DVD that ROH put out covering some of the best matches from the company’s history that featured Japanese wrestlers.

Obviously ROH isn’t what it once was, but throughout the years the company has featured some truly excellent wrestling and one of the reasons why was because they were able to bring in wrestlers from major Japanese companies like All Japan, New Japan, NOAH and Dragon Gate to compete on their events.

The main reason I picked this one up is because it features the excellent main event from the first Supercard of Honour Show (An event I did have on DVD but sadly lost during a house move back in the day) as well as some cool sounding matches that I’d never seen before. We’ll just do Disc One today and I’ll try to get to Disc Two when I can (There’s a lot of matches on this here collection)

You actually can still buy this DVD on eBay, but golly gosh is it pricey! Still, if you like the sound of these matches then the option is there (Although it might be better possibly just to cherry pick the individual shows as that will probably set you back less in the long run)

And yes, I spell “Honour” with a “U”. I also drive on the left hand side of the road, drink copious amounts of tea and have terrible teeth. Deal with it!

Read moreMike Reviews: Ring of Honour – “Japan’s Finest” – Disc One

Mike Reviews: CHIKARA The Renaissance Dawns – 25/05/2002

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Back again with more of my Smart Mark Video On Demand “watch pile”, with a show that I bought for two reasons. Firstly it’s the inaugural CHIKARA event, so I decided to pick it up to see what CHIKARA was like back in the day. In addition, the show also features CM Punk in the main event, and I found the idea of him being part of all this very amusing, so decided to buy the show to see what sort of shenanigans he would get up to in a CHIKARA ring.

For those not au fait, CHIKARA is a company out of the Tri State area that mostly deals in family friendly Lucha Libre inspired wrestling. The best thing I could compare it to would be a comic book movie where the fight scenes are replaced by wrestling matches. As a result CHIKARA can get pretty silly sometimes, but there’s a joviality about it all that I really enjoy and I was a semi-regular viewer of the company’s major shows up until about 4 years ago or so when I fell out of touch with the product.

I’m not expecting much in the way of amazing wrestling here, but every company has to start somewhere and this show certainly has its fair share of the tropes that CHIKARA would go on to be known for.

Read moreMike Reviews: CHIKARA The Renaissance Dawns – 25/05/2002

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #337 – 09/10/1999

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Last week’s show was pretty good, with a fine Jerry Lynn Vs Super Crazy bout closing things out. Hopefully we can have some more good action this week.

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!

Whilst we’re talking about hardcore companies, why not take a look at my review of CZW Cage of Death by clicking right HERE?

So with all that dealt with, let’s stack a table on top of another table and stand precariously atop a ladder as we once again take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #337 – 09/10/1999

Mike Reviews: CZW Cage of Death – 16/10/1999

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Back once again to my Smart Mark Video On Demand haul, as I watch a show I actually remember buying this time! I think I bought this just to see what super early CZW was like, and seeing as we’re very close to this show being nearly 20 years old, I felt I’d write up a review for it as it felt timely.

For those not au fait, CZW (Combat Zone Wrestling) is a company that was first formed in 1998 by John Zandig, a man who is perhaps more known for yelling “Jeeeeeezus” on Botch-a-Mania these days rather than being a wild garbage wrestler in his own right. CZW’s main selling point over the years is that they provide high flying Junior Heavyweight styled wrestling alongside their patented brand of garbage wrestling called “Ultra Violence”, which essentially means light tubes, chairs, tables, barbed wire, weed whackers etc.

I should stress that the company has had its fair share of good wrestling over the years as well, with guys like Alex Shelley, Adam Cole (Bay-Bay), Jimmy Jacobs, Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli all being counted amongst the promotions alum. However, I’m not sure just how much good wrestling we’re going to find on a 1999 era CZW Show, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up too highly.

Anyway, let’s brace ourselves and take a journey into the world of Ultra Violence!

Read moreMike Reviews: CZW Cage of Death – 16/10/1999

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #336 – 02 10 1999

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Last week was mostly just recaps, so hopefully we get some new stuff this week.

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 rearrange our DVD collection in order of which movies are most violent and once again take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #336 – 02 10 1999

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #335 – 25/09/1999

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Well Anarchy Rulz 99 is now in the books, so this week’s episode of Hardcore TV will most likely be lots of recaps and little in the way of new content. As a result, I’ve decided to add a special section at the bottom of the review where I try to calibrate who the overall best wrestler was at this exact period in time. So read on for that if nothing else.

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

So with all that dealt with, let’s order ourselves a pizza, stick it on top of a flaming table and once again take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #335 – 25/09/1999

Mike Reviews: ECW Anarchy Rulz 1999 – 19/09/1999

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Welcome to Anarchy Rulz 99, an event that is often looked upon fondly by fans of the now departed company. Certainly this show was one of my more treasured and regularly watched wrestling VHS’ back in the day, although I’m watching it on WWE Network this time just for the ease of being able to type everything up on the laptop. I’m not sure when this one was moved over to the Network, but it features some dubbed themes for the wrestlers that I’ve never heard before, some which suit them and others which don’t.

Scott sadly didn’t go back to recap this show as part of his revisit of ECW on TNN, but he did watch it back in the day and you can read what Scott from twenty years ago thought about it by clicking HERE. This review actually caused Scott some backlash from the ECW faithful back then, which led to possibly my favourite ever rant of his in the form of Netcop Vs The Mutants From Philly. This featured perhaps one of the most brain dead and hilarious emails that Scott has ever received from a reader, so I’ll post the link for it HERE.

Maybe if we all politely pester Scott he’ll go back to look at this one or again (or at least do a 2019 Scott Sez on his previous write up)? This show actually created quite a buzz online at the time as it was not only ECW’s first Pay-Per-View since getting national TV but it was also widely regarded as a good show with a big surprise appearance that got everyone talking? What was that big surprise? Well read on and you can find out!

So without further ado, let’s all recline in our favourite broken chair and nibble away on some shards of table as we take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Anarchy Rulz 1999 – 19/09/1999

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #334 – 18/09/1999

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Here we are at the go home show for Anarchy Rulz 99. They’ve announced Taz Vs Masato Tanaka for the ECW Title in decent time ahead of the show at least, but maybe we’ll get some other matches announced as well?

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

So with all that dealt with, lets relax into our blood encrusted slippers and once again take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #334 – 18/09/1999

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #333 – 11/09/1999

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Back again with some more Hardcore TV. Once again, if you’d like to read a recap of the TNN show that preceded this one then you can read Scott Keith’s take on it by clicking right HERE (He’s a bit further ahead than I am currently)

Last week’s show was kind of miserable from an in ring perspective, but we at least got a good promo from Taz to build up his ECW Title match with Masato Tanaka at Anarchy Rulz 99 on the 19th of September. Hopefully we’ll get confirmation of some more matches for the show this week, although I imagine most of that sort of stuff will be dedicated to the TNN show now, with Hardcore TV playing more of a Sunday Night Heat/Velocity role in the ECW schedule.

Anyway, let’s drop toe hold ourselves right onto the comfiest chair in the house and get ready to take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #333 – 11/09/1999

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #332 – 04/09/1999

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Here we are with the second Hardcore TV show of the TNN Era, with the last TNN show actually being both noteworthy and rather entertaining to boot. You can read what Scott Keith thought of it by clicking right HERE!

So without further ado, let’s pour ourselves a nice refreshing glass of thumbtacks and take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #332 – 04/09/1999

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #331 – 28/08/1999

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So here we are, the first Hardcore TV following the woeful debut of ECW on TNN. You can read Scott Keith’s review of that show by clicking right HERE.

As you can see from reading that, the first TNN show ended up being more of a “Welcome to ECW” kind of episode, which not only proved to be rather dull but also angered the TNN execs, as they had made it clear that they wanted original programming from the very first episode.

Despite the shaky start, I’m sure today’s Hardcore TV will be chock full of TNN recaps and references, kind of like when the WWF wouldn’t shut up about the XFL in early 2001 on episodes of Raw and Smackdown.

Anyway, let’s waste no further time and dust off our flaming tables so we can take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #331 – 28/08/1999

Mike Reviews: Kenta Kobashi GHC Heavyweight History Part 2

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Welcome back to the second part of this retrospective where we look back at Kenta Kobashi’s epic reign as the GHC Heavyweight Champion from Pro Wrestling NOAH in the early-mid 00’s.

Last time out we saw Kobashi defeat Mitsuharu Misawa to win the GHC Title in a classic match before defending it in a barn burner against fellow BURNING stablemate Tamon Honda. We closed out last time with Kobash having a decent but not thrilling bout with Masahiro Chono on a New Japan Pro Wrestling event at the Tokyo Dome.

This time we’ll see Kobashi go back to defending the belt against people from his home promotion, but don’t be too surprised if those pesky invaders from New Japan show themselves once again…

Part 1

Read moreMike Reviews: Kenta Kobashi GHC Heavyweight History Part 2

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #330 – 21/08/1999

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Back again with some more Hardcore TV, as we continue the march onto the debut of ECW on TNN. If you haven’t yet then I strongly suggest you check out Scott Keith’s reviews of those shows. I believe he’s something like 4 shows in now and it’s not only proving popular with the Blog readers but Scott seems to be somewhat enjoying it to a certain degree as well!

Sadly Hardcore TV has now kind of slipped into cruise control and is readying itself to play second fiddle in the ECW television hierarchy. But hey, I used to enjoy WWE Velocity back in the day, so if Hardcore TV becomes mostly a recap show with the odd good match chucked in then I can live with that.

So without further ado, let’s adorn our barbed wire hoodies and take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #330 – 21/08/1999

Mike Reviews: Kenta Kobashi GHC Heavyweight History – Part One

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I thought I’d try something a bit different and actually cover some classic Pro Wrestling NOAH for a change. In the early to mid-00’s, NOAH was probably the most consistently great wrestling company in the world. It had a great Junior Heavyweight division anchored by the likes of KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, Ricky Marvin and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, talented youngsters coming through the ranks such as Takeshi Morishima, Takeshi Rkioh, Mohamed Yone and Go Shiozaki, dependable veterans in the mid-card who could be relied upon such as Tamon Honda, Takuma Sano, Daisuke Ikeda and Akitoshi Saito, and most importantly a really good main event scene featuring the likes of Mitsuharu Misawa, Jun Akiyama, Yoshihiro Takayama and Minoru Suzuki.

However, the biggest star of them all was the man who held the GHC (The equivalent to New Japan’s IWGP) Heavyweight Title for two years from 2003 to 2005, having great matches with basically everyone along the way. That man was none other than Kenta Kobashi, the inventor of The Burning Hammer, an all-round elite level worker and a guaranteed first ballot Hall of Famer. Not only was Kobashi superb in the ring, but he was also a hit at the box office and NOAH enjoyed a lot of success during his reign.

The zenith of Kobashi’s reign was likely headlining NOAH’s first ever Tokyo Dome show in 2004, but he also enjoyed a spate of sell outs at Budokan Hall and defended the belt in a number of classic bouts, dragging top level matches out of basically everyone he faced ala Ric Flair during his Title reigns during the 80’s.

Personally I’d say Kenta Kobashi is probably my favourite wrestler of all-time. Whether it was coming up with inventive suplexes, flying through the air with a moonsault or just destroying his opponent with hard knife edge chops, Kobashi could seemingly have an epic and enjoyable match with practically anyone and he almost always elevated the people he wrestled. Losing to Kenta Kobashi in an epic bout would almost always raise the defeated opponents stock, not lower it.

What I like most about Kobashi though is his selling, his facial expressions specifically. Kobashi’s facials are possibly some of the greatest of all-time, as he could convey a mixture of pain, desperation, anger and defiance like almost no one else. It’s one of the reasons why I think Kota Ibushi is so good as well actually, as he can do similar with his own expert facial expressions.

So with intro’s out of the way, I suppose I best explain what this is going to be all about. During the late 00’s G+ in Japan put together a compilation of all of the matches from Kobashi’s GHC Heavyweight Title reign. I eventually picked this up on DVD, but some kind uploaders on YouTube have uploaded the whole thing for public consumption. I won’t post the link here in case I accidentally drop them in hot water, but a quick search should be able to bring it up rather easily.

Obviously the full video is close to 9 hours long, so I won’t be doing it all in one sitting. Basically, whenever I get the time I’ll upload 2 or 3 matches when the opportunity arises. I’m not expecting this to be a particularly regular thing due to all the other commitments I have, but it will be a nice side project that I can bust out now and then when I can.

So, with the longest intro in Blog history completed, why don’t we watch some chuffing wrestling?

Read moreMike Reviews: Kenta Kobashi GHC Heavyweight History – Part One

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #329 – 14/08/1999

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With G1 Climax finally coming to a close (You can find reviews of every night of the tournament in my archives) I can focus a bit more on Hardcore TV again. Thankfully Blog Head Honcho Scott Keith has started reviewing ECW on TNN, which is awesome because not only is it cool to see him review some ECW but it also means I won’t have to add an extra show to my schedule every week.

Buy anyway, let’s knuckle down and take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #329 – 14/08/1999

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #328 – 07/08/1999

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Here we are again with another episode of ECW Hardcore TV. We’re less than a month from ECW debuting on TNN, and ECW have been so hard up for action to fill the show recently that they tacked on a 3 month old Tommy Dreamer Vs Lance Storm match last week. Hopefully we get a full show of original content this week, but you never know.

Anyway, let’s fill our boots with barbed wire and take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #328 – 07/08/1999

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #327 – 31/07/1999

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So here we are, back with another episode of Hardcore TV. Last week’s show was the traditional post Pay-Per-View one, where we got nothing but promo’s and video recaps of Heatwave 99. However, we are now roughly one month away from the debut of ECW on TNN and the date for Anarchy Rulz has already been announced, so hopefully we’ll get some original matches and angles this week to start setting those up.

I’m looking to do a double shot of 205 Live this week to get myself caught up, so look for that today or tomorrow.

So without further ado, let’s amp ourselves up with some fizzy Haribo and get ready to take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #327 – 31/07/1999

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #326 – 24/07/2019

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So here we are, back with another episode of Hardcore TV as we mop up the fallout from Heatwave 99 (Of which you can read the review of by clicking right HERE). Usually with these post-Pay Per View shows ECW mostly recaps what happened at the previous event, kind of like how NXT does it. Hopefully there’ll be something on here though with a bit more bite to it than the usual clip fests these episodes are.

Just a quick note about New Japan’s Wednesday G1 show, it won’t be up till Thursday, mainly because I’m out this Wednesday (I’m actually writing this earlier in the week). English Football’s pre-season is now in full swing and I’ll be off to watch my side Everton take on Wigan in a friendly on Wednesday, so I won’t have time for G1 until after work on Thursday. Hopefully I’ll have it up by a reasonable time on that day. Please feel free to check my archives if you want to see what I’ve thought of this year’s G1 thus far.

So, without further ado, let’s amp ourselves up with our favourite caffeine based drink of choice and take it to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #326 – 24/07/2019