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

Hello You!

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: ECW Hardcore TV #319 – 05/06/1999

Hello You!

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

Hello You!

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

Hello You!

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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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore Heaven 1999

Hello You!

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

Hello You!

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

Hello You!

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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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #312 – 17/04/1999

Last week was the first night of matches taped at Cyber Slam 1999, ECW’s annual big internet fan convention. This week is the second lot of matches, featuring a main event of Shane Douglas taking on the young upstart Justin Credible.

In addition to that, we’ve also got Jerry Lynn, Yoshihiro Tajiri and Super Crazy all in action this week, so there should be plenty of good in ring action for you all to get your dentures into.

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

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Mike Reviews: TNA Lockdown 2006

No real reason for this one, other than this pay per view was traditionally an April event and this is one of the few TNA shows I actually own on DVD. I can’t really remember why I purchased it either. Back in 2006 you could watch TNA events on The Wrestling Channel (A short-lived cable TV channel that showed wrestling and MMA) but I missed this event when it was on. TNA then started selling their DVD’s in England, with this I think being one of the first ones available, so seeing as I missed it the first time I decided to buy it.

I don’t think I’ve watched this show since I bought it and I have no idea what any of the story lines going in to it are either, so this should be an interesting journey for me. I’m not actually sure who was even booking TNA at the time of this show. I don’t think it was Russo because he came back later in the year. It may have been Dusty Rhodes if he hadn’t gone back to WWE yet, and if not him I think Scott D’Amore booked it at some stage possibly? If you know the answer then please share in the comments below.

Back in 2006 I was still sticking with the TNA product (I didn’t finally give up on it until a few years after this) and this was an interesting time for the company as they’d only recently secured a place on Spike TV and had also brought in Christian from WWE to be the top star of the company. As a big “Peep”, having Christian on their books gave TNA instant brownie points with me, and he’d won the title from Jeff Jarrett a couple of months prior to this show to thunderous cheers from the TNA audience.

Anyway, let’s set the way back machine 13 years and enjoy some Total Nonstop Action!

(I should point out that I poached all the pictures used here from the Across The Pond Wrestling review of the same show. Please consider giving their site a looksee)

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #311 – 10/04/1999

A day late and a quid short, but it’s here. I hope you all had fun over Mania weekend but now it’s time to get back to the grind as they say, with more ECW action from 1999. This would be the first week of action taped at Cyber Slam 99, an annual internet wrestling convention that was traditionally ECW’s biggest non-pay per view event of the year.

I’ve actually got the full show on DVD and it’s a real corker, so hopefully the next two weeks of TV should be action packed and exciting. So, without further ado, let’s head to the Bingo Hall in Philly and take it to The Extreme!!!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #309 – 27/03/1999

So with Living Dangerously 99 in the books, it’s time to see where ECW will go with their next pay per view event scheduled for the 16th of May 1999. Living Dangerously ended with Taz unifying the ECW and FTW Titles to become the undisputed ECW World Champion. The question is who will be the next wrestler to challenge him? Maybe we’ll get some clues on this show?

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

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Mike Reviews: ECW Living Dangerously 1999 – 21/03/1999

So here we are, after over a month of Hardcore TV episodes we finally reach Living Dangerously 99. This event was the first ever ECW show I saw, getting the VHS for Christmas in 1999 and immediately falling in love with the ECW product. I’d been an avid follower of the group in wrestling magazines up to that point, so I was jazzed to finally see what the product was actually like.

I eventually went back to the glory period of 95-97 when I finally had the chance, but Living Dangerously 99 was important when it came to getting my feet in the door so to speak when it came to the Land of the Extreme. The question is, will this event still hold up 20 years on? Well let’s take a look and see shall we?

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #308 – 20/03/1999

Here we are at the go home show for ECW Living Dangerously 1999 (Review due up tomorrow)

Will there be some final storyline advancements to heat up the issues for the pay per view? Last week’s episode wasn’t an especially good one, as a lousy Delaware crowd and some questionable match finishes soured things considerably. With one day to go, let’s see if ECW can get things back on track and deliver a go home show that makes me excited to watch the pay per view again!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #307 – 13/03/1999

So after the dreaded clip show last week, we finally have some fresh matches again. With Living Dangerously 99 just a mere 8 days away, we can probably expect ECW to crank up the hype machine and book a few more angles to get the storylines and feuds heated up in time to reach a crescendo at the pay per view event.

So without further ado, let’s take it to Extreme and enjoy some classic Hardcore action!

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Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #306 – 06/03/99

Hello You!

We’re back again with some more ECW action!

Following on from last week, the major feuds in the company right now appear to be Taz Vs Sabu, Justin Credible and Lance Storm Vs Shane Douglas and Tommy Dreamer, and Mr. Mustafa Vs New Jack.

This show is sadly going to be a dreaded “clip show” however, as they haven’t taped any original matches for TV, so it’s going to be clips, recaps and promos. Still, there’s every chance that we could still have an entertaining 48 minutes or so, and we might get some more official match announcements for Living Dangerously on the 21st of March.

So without further ado, let’s set the way back machine to 1999 and take it to the Extreme!

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Mike Reviews: NJPW 47th Anniversary Show – 06/03/2019

I’ve got a day off from work today and this was on, so I decided to watch it as I rarely get a chance to watch New Japan as it actually happens anymore and I was interested to see how the main event would turn out.

This is the Anniversary of New Japan’s first ever show on the 6th of March 1972, which saw Antonio Inoki take on Karl Gotch.

Wow, 47 years of New Japan, it’s done well to last so long, especially as thinks looked a bit dicey in the early to mid 00’s when Inoki was pushing anyone with shoot fight experience to the main event. Thankfully Inoki was eventually booted out and the company decided to put the world title on Hiroshi Tanahashi, and the rest is history.

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