Mike Reviews – SuperBrawl III (21/02/1993)

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It’s another Stinker review next week, so as is usually the case I’ve decided to watch a show I actually like this week because I sometimes deserve nice things too!

WCW was still a distant second to the WWF when this show took place, but they had a few things going for them that might have led to a concerted revival in their fortunes. Firstly, Bill Watts’ reign of terror had finally come to an end after his big mouth had written a racist cheque that Turner wasn’t prepared to cash, so they would be permitted to present a more modern product again. Secondly, Ric Flair was returning to WCW after a stint in the WWF, which would hopefully give the company a much needed shot in the arm. Thirdly, British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith had climbed aboard the WCW ship after being booted out of the WWF for a supposed drug failure, meaning that WCW could grab themselves a stronger foothold in Europe, which had become a lucrative territory for the WWF in recent years.

Of course, the new management brought with them a slew of additional issues and it took Flair stepping up and bailing the company out at Starrcade later that year for WCW to see out 1993 in one piece, which led to them bringing in Hulk Hogan to the company in 1994. However, for their first pay per view effort of 1993, WCW more than delivered.

The Main Event for this show is a strap match between Vader and Sting (Set up by Sting visiting Vader in his White Castle of Fear. No, I’m not kidding) along with The Great Muta flying in to defend the NWA Title against Barry Windham. In addition to that we’ve got The Heavenly Bodies and Rock ‘n’ Roll Express paying WCW a visit from Smokey Mountain Wrestling in one of the last deals that Watts brokered before his run came to an end.

So without further ado, let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews – WCW Souled Out 1998 (24/01/1998)

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I decided that, seeing as I’ve got a Stinker Review looming on the 30th of January, I’d review two shows I actually like this week and next week just to redress the balance in the universe. Thus this week I’m doing this show and next week I’ll be doing WWF Royal Rumble 2002, so look out for that one next Saturday!

This was a show from the tail end of WCW’s Era of dominance in the western wrestling market, as we were less than a month removed from Hollywood Hogan making poor Sting look like an absolute chump in the Main Event of the biggest show the company would ever present.

That show had ended with Sting “winning” the WCW Title, but a good old fashioned Dusty Finish™ saw the belt held up, with that situation supposedly meant to be settled on this show. Ah yes, I’m sure we can all rely on WCW to deliver on a promise can’t we?

Souled Out had originally been designed as an nWo event, where the WCW guys would show up and get battered. However, that show had been a disaster, so this year it’s just a regularly co-branded pay per view event.

The big draw for the show was the first big pay per view bout between Bret Hart and Ric Flair. The two had of course met for the WWF Title numerous times during Flair’s brief WWF stint, but those had mostly been on non-televised events and they’d never met in a pay per view setting. There was also a match scheduled between Randy Savage and Lex Luger, but COME ON, everyone was here for Hart Vs Flair, with Kevin Nash and Giant having the most hyped match on the under card.

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Mike Reviews Every WCW Starrcade Main Event – Part Three (1995 to 2000)

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We have finally reached the end of Mike Reviews Main Events, with NWA/WCW Starrcade being how I’m set to bow out. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read these ever since I started doing them earlier in the year. It’s kind of amazing that we’ve reached the end, and I have to say I’m a little bit relieved as it looked like a daunting prospect at first.

Starrcade was traditionally WCW’s biggest event of the year (Although you wouldn’t think that considering how they booked it sometimes) and in the earlier days especially it produced some of the best matches in the company’s history.

Originally held in the Carolina’s and Georgia (Two strongholds for Jim Crockett Promotions) WCW eventually took Starrcade on the road starting in 1987, with the 87 event being the catalyst for Vince McMahon to create the Survivor Series out of pure spite. The latter events in places like Nashville and Washington never really lived up to the great ones in Greensboro and Atlanta, but Starrcade still remained a focal point of the WCW promotion, even into the nWo era of the company.

This week we’ll be covering 1995 to 2000

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Mike Reviews Every WCW Starrcade Main Event – Part Two (1989 to 1994)

Hello You!

We have finally reached the end of Mike Reviews Main Events, with NWA/WCW Starrcade being how I’m set to bow out. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read these ever since I started doing them earlier in the year. It’s kind of amazing that we’ve reached the end, and I have to say I’m a little bit relieved as it looked like a daunting prospect at first.

Starrcade was traditionally WCW’s biggest event of the year (Although you wouldn’t think that considering how they booked it sometimes) and in the earlier days especially it produced some of the best matches in the company’s history.

Originally held in the Carolina’s and Georgia (Two strongholds for Jim Crockett Promotions) WCW eventually took Starrcade on the road starting in 1987, with the 87 event being the catalyst for Vince McMahon to create the Survivor Series out of pure spite. The latter events in places like Nashville and Washington never really lived up to the great ones in Greensboro and Atlanta, but Starrcade still remained a focal point of the WCW promotion, even into the nWo era of the company.

This week we’ll be covering 1989 to 1994

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Mike Reviews Every WCW Starrcade Main Event – Part One (1983 to 1988)

Hello You!

We have finally reached the end of Mike Reviews Main Events, with NWA/WCW Starrcade being how I’m set to bow out. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read these ever since I started doing them earlier in the year. It’s kind of amazing that we’ve reached the end, and I have to say I’m a little bit relieved as it looked like a daunting prospect at first.

Starrcade was traditionally WCW’s biggest event of the year (Although you wouldn’t think that considering how they booked it sometimes) and in the earlier days especially it produced some of the best matches in the company’s history.

Originally held in the Carolina’s and Georgia (Two strongholds for Jim Crockett Promotions) WCW eventually took Starrcade on the road starting in 1987, with the 87 event being the catalyst for Vince McMahon to create the Survivor Series out of pure spite. The latter events in places like Nashville and Washington never really lived up to the great ones in Greensboro and Atlanta, but Starrcade still remained a focal point of the WCW promotion, even into the nWo era of the company.

This week we’ll be covering 1983 to 1988

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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!!!

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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!

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Mike Reviews Every WCW Road Wild Main Event

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Urgh, Road Wild

I have never really enjoyed this event, even though the visual of them setting up a ring in the middle of a biker rally always looked cool. The atmosphere on the shows was inconsistent to say the least and some of the work was below standard as the wrestlers just wanted to get in and get out without drunken bikers throwing rocks at them.

I’m not overly optimistic at the thought of watching these, but who knows, maybe some of them will have gotten better with age?

Let’s tentatively watch some chuffing wrestling

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Mike Reviews Every WCW Beach Blast and Bash at the Beach Main Event

(This one has been pending for nearly a week, which was before everything kicked off on the UK wrestling scene. Obviously I stand with the victims, some of whom I actually know personally, and remain horrified by every new story that comes out)

Hello You!

We’ve got Summer Slam on the horizon and that one is probably going to take over a month to get covered, so I’m doing a bumper edition review for all of the Beach Blast and Bash at the Beach shows.

Bash at the Beach is notable for the frankly ridiculous amount of tag matches that it has in Main Event slots. Indeed, all but three of the Main Events here are tag bouts. I’d like to say that this would be a good review for fans of tag wrestling as a result, but when you see some of these tag team combinations you might choose to disagree.

For the first two years of its existence this event was called Beach Blast, which is a name I prefer actually, but they went with a new name in 1994 and it stuck for the rest of company’s lifetime.

Let’s all grab our inflatables and suntan lotion as we head to the sand and sea for some wrestling action!

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Mike Reviews Every WCW Great American Bash Main Event Part Two (1995 to 2000)

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Let’s close out Great American Bash. Sadly I don’t expect the overall match quality to be as good in this one as it was in Part One, mainly because we’re now moving into the Bischoff Era, where WCW’s trademark essentially became hot under cards with Main Events that couldn’t live up to what came before them.

The Bash actually took a break from 1992 to 1995, so there are no 93 and 94 Bash events. I’m not sure why they decided to get rid of it, especially as it had traditionally been such a big event for the company prior to it getting side-lined.

Anyway, less chatter, more chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews Every WCW Great American Bash Main Event Part One (1988 to 1992)

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Time for some more Main Event reviews, as we look at WCW’s Great American Bash Event. For simplicities sake, I’m just going to count the official pay per view events, as otherwise we’d be here for a long time due to The Bash being a big tour prior to it becoming an official pay per view. I’m also not going to cover WWE’s version of the event, because I never really enjoyed those ones and I’m not really that eager to relive them.

Anyway, there’s chuffing wrestling, so we should watch it!

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Mike Reviews Every WCW Slamboree Main Event

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More Main Events this week, as we look at one of WCW’s B shows in the form of Slamboree. Slamboree was never really an event treated with much gravitas by WCW and the show didn’t have a particular personality to it outside of its first three years. During those first three events WCW would use the show as an opportunity to induct people into its Hall of Fame and also have the odd legends bout here and there. The shows always felt a tad more laid back than other events in the WCW calendar, but the HOF and legends matches at least gave them something unique to hang their hat on. Once those legends matches were gone, Slamboree quickly became “just a show”, and it was often an event you could choose to miss during the hot period of 96 to 98.

Still, from my memory at least a couple of these matches are good, so that’s something to look forward to at least!

That’s enough chatter from me though. Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews Every WCW Spring Stampede Main Event

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Thanks to all who read my ambitious attempt to review Every WrestleMania Main Event. Seeing as crowdless shows just can’t entice me, I’ve decided to go back to the retro well to find some stuff to review. I’ll still keep my reviews of ECW Hardcore TV from 2000 ticking away, but I’ll also try to keep up these Main Event reviews every weekend as well.

Today we’re looking at the event that was traditionally WCW’s April offering (If you ignore the two years when they didn’t have it for whatever reason) in the form of Spring Stampede. I decided to pick this one as there are only five Spring Stampede Main Events, so I can easily stick them all in to one article. I’ll probably attempt this with Backlash at some stage as well, though I’ll need to break that one up into smaller bitesize chunks as there’s been quite a few more Backlash events than there has been Spring Stampede one’s.

Anyway, I hope you’re all keeping safe and this provides a bit of a distraction from the pandemic.

Right, that’s enough chatter, let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Pro – December 30, 1995 (Last Column of the Series)

There were no new bouts on WCW Prime, so we head to WCW Pro with Chris Cruise, Dusty Rhodes, and Larry Zbyszko doing commentary.  They announce that Ric Flair is the new world champion.

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What the World Was Watching: Starrcade ’95

Note the typo on the video cassette box, which says “1996” instead of “1995.”  I guess this goes in the “because WCW” category?

Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Dusty Rhodes are doing commentary and they are live from Nashville, Tennessee.  Heenan appears to have put aside his complaints about working with Dusty, which drove him from WCW Saturday Night earlier in the year.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – December 25, 1995

If you have not already, do not forget to vote for the Doomies.

Eric Bischoff, Steve McMichael, and Bobby Heenan are in the booth for this Christmas edition of Monday Nitro and they are taped from Augusta, Georgia.  This is also the go-home show for Starrcade, which takes place in two days.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – December 24, 1995

If you have not already, do not forget to vote for the Doomies.

Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan handle studio duties for the last Main Event episode of 1995 to feature new matches.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – December 23, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes in the booth and they are taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these matches took place on November 29 and 30.

Schiavone announces that Hulk Hogan has been suspended from WCW because of his actions on Monday Nitro.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Worldwide – December 23, 1995

WCW Prime for December 18 featured a couple of original bouts, with Chris Cruise and Dusty Rhodes on commentary.  They are sporting Santa hats for the show.

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What the World Was Watching: WCW Monday Nitro – December 18, 1995

Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, and Steve McMichael are in the booth and they are live from Augusta, Georgia.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, 8,100 fans attended the show, with 3,000 paying to do so.

Madusa interrupts the announce crew, holding the WWF Women’s Championship.  She says she will always be Madusa and she dumps the WWF Women’s title in the trash can.  The promo was terrible, but this was a HUGE shock at the time since Madusa had just competed at Survivor Series weeks earlier and plans called her for to face Aja Kong at the Royal Rumble.  This incident had long-term ramifications too as Vince McMahon feared Bret Hart would do the same to the WWF title if he retained at the 1997 Survivor Series, thereby leading to the Montreal Screwjob.  Also, the WWF would not restart its women’s division until 1998.  WCW would attempt to create its own women’s division with Madusa as a centerpiece, but it never worked out.

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