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!

Read more

Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – Grand Masters of Wrestling: First Blood Volume One

Howdy Gang!

Back with another Stinker Review, where I look at a show that has gained a reputation for being bad for whatever reason and then give it it’s day in court so we can decide whether it truly is a Stinker or not.

This month we have yet another reader request, which comes to us courtesy of Chael Sonnen’s Coke Dealer, as he wanted me to take a look at Grand Masters of Wrestling. And based on the reputation this has, I might need some kind of stimulant just to get through it all.

I’d never heard of this prior to watching it for this review and I haven’t really been that successful in finding out more. As far as I can tell, Grand Masters of Wrestling was a collection of super cheap wrestling DVD’s that were pumped out in the early to mid-00’s, featuring footage from small indie events and starring the likes of The Iron Sheik.

I had a search on the old YouTube machine and managed to find this. I’m not sure if this is the particular show that C.S.C.D wanted me to review, but it’s got Grandmasters of Wrestling in the title and it looks like it will be awful, so hopefully it’ll scratch whatever demented itch he has.

If you’d like to watch along with me (And why wouldn’t you) you can do so by clicking HERE, but don’t hold me responsible for any misery it might cause you!

Read more

Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – WWF In Your House IV: Great White North

Salutations Friends!

We’re back with another Stinker Review, where I watch a show that has a reputation for being awful and try to decide whether it deserves it’s stinky rep or not. This month we’re looking at a show from the WWF in 1995 that was so bad it pretty much brought Diesel’s faltering World Title reign to a shuddering halt due to just how bad the buy rate was.

Next month’s Stinker Review will be a reader request, so if you want to put a suggestion in the hat then feel free to either list it below in the comments section or email it over to me at [email protected]

Any unsuccessful requests will remain in the hat for future draws, so it’s still worth suggesting something even if it doesn’t get picked on this occasion.

But anyway, that’s enough chatter for now, let’s wade into stinky waters with WWF In Your House IV!

Read more

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!

Read more

Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – ROH Suffocation (27/10/2006)

Hello You!

Back with another Stinker Review, as we journey to the land of ROH for the first (And likely the last unless I ever do that ROH/New Japan supercard show from MSG sometime down the line) time, with Suffocation from 2006. This is one of those shows that might be a comparative Stinker as opposed to a full on one, mainly because ROH generally put on hot shows in 2006 and this is one of the few shows from that year that got less than inspired reviews.

The first half of 2006 for ROH had been really strong, with a blood feud between Colt Cabana and Homicide as well as an inter-promotional feud with fellow Philly based indie CZW being the notable highlights. The latter feud had ended with Homicide going face and helping ROH win the climactic battle, leading to babyface authority figure Jim Cornette trying to make it up to him.

However, one of Homicide’s requests was for Cornette to start booking Low Ki again, which got a big fat no and led to Homicide and Cornette falling out, with Cornette and his heavy Adam Pearce going heel. This led to Homicide feuding with Cornette and his associates, one of which was old foe Steve Corino, along with The Briscoe Brothers.

Homicide had help from the likes of Samoa Joe, and even Colt Cabana buried the hatchet to help him at one point. Eventually along the way it was announced that if Homicide didn’t win the ROH World Title by the end of the year then he’d be gone from the company, so the race was on for him to deal with Cornette’s heavies in time to dethrone World Champ Bryan Danielson.

On the under card, Colt Cabana had begun a relationship with Jimmy Jacobs’ manager Lacey, much to Jacobs’ misery as he had the hots for her as well, enough to write a hilarious slow ballad about how much he loved her. Cabana and Jacobs were thus an uneasy tag team, with Jacobs playing nice to keep Lacey happy in the hope that he could eventually win her heart.

So, is Suffocation really a bad show or just bad by ROH 2006 standards? How much of a role does context play in one of these reviews? Maybe I won’t be able to answer that? Maybe I will? Who knows, just read the pigging review and you might find out!

Also, stay tuned for the end because I’ll be revealing which reader request was the lucky one out of the hat for May’s review.

Read more

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

Hello You!

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!

Read more

Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – ECW Wrestlepalooza 1998 (03/05/1998)

Hello You!

Back again with another Stinker review, with us taking a foray into the world of Extreme for the first time with this feature (I have reviewed one of the WWE ECW shows before, but COME ON). For those of you who haven’t read one of these before, what I do is review a show that has a reputation for being stinky in an effort to decide whether it deserves that bad rap or not.

In January we did a reader request and we’ll be doing the same for March’s review as well when we look at WCW Bash at the Beach 1999. April will be my personal choice and then May’s review will be a reader request again, so if you have a show that you want added to the potential list then mention it in the comments and I’ll make sure it’s in the hat when I do the draw. I’ll reveal which lucky show has “won” in April’s review.

Wrestlepalooza was ECW’s fifth attempt at running pay per views, and to say their PPV output prior to this had been a mixed bag would be an understatement. Barely Legal 97 had been a good solid effort, whilst Hardcore Heaven 97 had been an okayish show marred by some poor production and a pokey looking venue. November to Remember 97 had probably been the most professional looking effort but had suffered from a boring Main Event and a catastrophic mess of a match between Sabu and The Sandman. Living Dangerously 98 is a show I’ve actually reviewed before and at least featured a couple of really good matches, including one between Taz and Bam Bam Bigelow.

That event had ended with Al Snow pinning ECW World Champ Shane Douglas in a tag match, which not surprisingly led to him earning himself a Title shot for Wrestlepalooza. Bigelow had defeated Taz for the TV Title at Living Dangerously but had since lost the belt to Rob Van Dam in a fantastic match from Buffalo on Hardcore TV (Well worth hunting that one down). This had sowed further dissension between RVD and his long time tag partner/hated rival Sabu, as Sabu was miffed that RVD had won the belt when he was really just supposed to have softened Bigelow up so that Sabu could win the belt from him at a later date.

Thus Wrestlepalooza had a Semi-Main of RVD defending the TV Title against Sabu and a Main Event of Douglas defending the ECW Title against Snow. If both those matches delivered and the under-card was mostly fine, then the show would be an easy thumbs up on the slightly more generous ECW sliding-scale. Let’s see if that’s the case!

Read more

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?

Read more

Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – ECW December To Dismember (03/12/2006)

Hello You!

Obviously 2020 has been a trying year for most of us, and it’s probably led a lot of us to experiencing a very different type of holiday season than we are normally used to. I hope you’re all keeping well wherever you are and that this review can give you some kind of distraction from what’s going on in the world for a little bit at least.

This show was requested by JLAJRC, and at the bottom of the review I’ll give everyone a chance to suggest shows for the next Stinker review, which will happen on the 30th of January if all goes well, so stay tuned for that at the end.

For those who haven’t read one of my Stinker reviews, they’re basically what you’d think they are, as I review a show that has a reputation for being really bad for whatever reason and ask the immortal question of whether it’s actually a Stinker or not. It’s not too dissimilar from what the fine folk over at Wrestle Crap do, except I’m going to give the show a chance to prove it’s not awful before deciding one way or another.

ECW was WWE’s first attempt at dabbling with a third brand, which it continues today with NXT, with it lifting the ECW name from the dearly departed former company. The likes of Paul Heyman and Tommy Dreamer were involved in the rebirth of the brand, but ultimately Vince McMahon was the one calling the shots and the early days of the brand were a real hodgepodge that resulted in a product that wasn’t true to the original company whilst also not really presenting anything exciting or interesting that would really differentiate it from the other two WWE brands at the time, outside of adjusting the entrance way to give the arena a cosier feel.

December to Dismember was in a lot of ways the last stand for not just the brand in its current form but also for the existing creative crew, as they were given 3 hours of pay per view time to fill despite not having a roster that was really equipped for it and also having to deal with the fact pretty much every guy even approaching a genuine star on the brand had been shoehorned into one match, leaving the already threadbare roster even thinner.

Could ECW defy the odds and still put on a fun event? Let’s watch on and find out!

Read more

Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 (29/10/1995)

Hello You!

Back again with another Stinker Review, with today’s request coming courtesy of Adam Gray.

For those not au fait, these reviews are kind of like what the fine folk over at Wrestle Crap do, as I take a look at a show that is widely regarded to be awful and see if it truly deserves it’s stinky reputation or not. We’re going to have a short break from Stinkers after this one as I’m going to be reviewing Survivor Series and Starrcade Main Events over the coming weeks, with issue 1 of the Survivor Series reviews dropping tomorrow, but rest assured I’ve got a nice little list going made up of Stinker requests, with a special one planned for when we hit the December holiday season, so keep a look out for that.

As always, if you have any requests then please stick them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list. Once the list gets big enough we’ll pick one out of the hat and review it.

Seeing as today is Old Hallows Eve and most of you will probably be bummed that you can’t attend wacky parties or take your kids trick and/or treating, I’ve decided to do a special Halloween themed addition of the Stinker Reviews, with Halloween Havoc 95 being the event in question, as it was the first HH event to be requested.

This show is mostly known for two things, one involving Ric Flair and the other Hulk Hogan. One is more fondly regarded than the other, and I’ll leave it up to you to guess which one is which. The big draw coming into this event was that Hogan would face The Giant twice, firstly in a Monster Truck contest and then in the ring with the World Title on the line. This all came about because Giant crushed Hulkies motorbike with a Monster Truck and then gurned at him like a toddler who has taken a #2 on the carpet whilst Hogan feebly tried to get at him.

The other big story was that Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman had formed a team and had been ganging up on Ric Flair. With nowhere else to turn, Flair had gone to long-time rival Sting and requested that he tag with him. Sting had of course said no at first, but Flair was persistent and Sting finally agreed, with the caveat that if Flair betrayed him then there would be heck to pay.

So yeah, that’s our two big storylines going into the show, let’s see how the show plays out as we watch some SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKY Wrestling!!!

Read more

Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – WCW Uncensored 1996 (24/03/1996)

Hello You!

Andy PG suggested this one, describing the Main Event as “the Cage Match from Heck” (I may have cleaned that up a little bit). I have actually seen this show before, but it’s been a while since I watched it and I was intrigued to give it another look.

This is showing up on a Monday instead of the usual Saturday slot as I had a G1 review to post on Saturday and Rick had one up on Sunday, so I decided to post this up on Monday so as to not over-saturate the place with too much of my stuff and to also try and not step on Rick’s toes too much. Feel free to check mine and Rick’s archives if you want to catch yourself up on the G1 action.

For those not au fait, these reviews are essentially me trying my own hand at what the fine folk at Wrestle Crap do, where I watch a show that is widely considered to be awful in a quest to see whether it deserves it’s stinky reputation or not.

This show took part in a strange little era for WCW, as Nitro had started in the autumn of 1995 but they hadn’t yet brought Kevin Nash and Scott Hall over from the WWF to give the company the big shot in the arm it needed. As a result they were still mostly doing the same old “Hulk Hogan Vs a group of cartoonish heels” routine that had been going on in some form since the 80’s.

Wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko had started making their way into the mid-card at this point, which usually meant you were likely to have a good match or two on these shows, whilst Ric Flair and Randy Savage were going for a more realistic storyline of Flair nicking Randy’s ex-wife and then spending all her alimony to get the Macho Man all good and agitated.

As a result the company had a kind of confused feel to it, with the gimmicky Hogan stuff feeling kind of out of place when contrasted with the more serious wrestling going on elsewhere on the card. This imbalance would eventually be addressed when the New World Order showed up later in the year, as it made the Main Event scene serious again and not just a parade of wacky gimmick bouts with outlandish Saturday Morning Cartoon villains trying to take down Hulkamania.

The big angle for this show was that Kevin Sullivan and his Dungeon of Doom had teamed up with Ric Flair and his Horsemen stable in an effort to finally kill off Hulkamania once and for all, leading to a ludicrous 8 on 2 Main Event where the two groups aligned to take on Hogan and Savage in a three tier cage match. Oh yes, you might want to attach a nose peg, because it’s likely that things are going to get stinky!

Read more

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

Hello You!

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!

Read more

Mike Reviews Shows That Are Considered Stinkers – TNA Victory Road 2009 (19/07/2009)

Hello You!

Something new this week as I’m taking a bit of a break from reviewing Main Events every Saturday until September/October time. Seeing that I have a free slot this week, I’ve decided to introduce a new feature that I’ll dive into now and then when I’m feeling masochistic, where I look at shows that are widely considered to be awful to see if they really are as bad as their reputation purports them to be.

It’s not too different from what the people at Wrestle Crap do, but I’m going to at least give these shows a chance before declaring that they are stinkers. If you folks enjoy it then I might do some more down the line, but we’re just trialling it this time to see how it goes.

I’ve gone with this pay per view because I recently listened to the classic Bryan and Vinny Show where they reviewed this particular event and Bryan coined the famous “MINUS FIVE STARS! Phrase that you can still here every time you watch an episode of Botchamania (Which is a show you should totally watch over there on the YouTube machine!)

So without further ado, let’s see if this puppy is as sick as the neighbours are saying as we watch some chuffing wrestling!

Read more