Mike Reviews – WWF UK Rampage 1991 (24/04/1991)

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I was digging around in DVD collection and found this show, and decided that I fancied watching it again as I hadn’t seen it in a while, hence it’s the show I’m reviewing this week. I actually have it as part of the Silver Vision Video “Tagged Classics” series, where Silver Vision (The UK distributer of WWF/E videos for many years) would pack in two shows together in one box. The good thing about these is that they usually don’t bother doing any dubbing or whatnot, so you usually get the original music and they never bothered editing out the Attitude Era “scratch” logo either back when WWE had to do that.

This event took place on the usual spring European tour that the WWF used to do, with it essentially being a televised house show that they showed on Sky Movies over here as a special. There’s nothing mind blowing on the under card from a star power perspective, but we’ve got a WrestleMania VII rematch in the Main Event as Hulk Hogan defends the WWF Title against Sgt Slaughter, which is kind of a big deal.

The WWF was pretty hot in the UK at the time and they would of course run Wembley Stadium for Summer Slam the following year, so hopefully that means the crowd is jazzed for some wrestling action. I had a look at the card on CageMatch and apparently William Regal worked a dark match opener, although it didn’t lead to him getting a deal and he ended up in WCW by 1993.

Anyway, that’s enough chatter, let’s get a brew on the go and sit down to some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews – WWF Backlash 1999 + Sunday Night HeAT (25/04/1999)

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I reviewed WCW’s April 99 offering last week, so I decided I’d take a glance at what the WWF was doing at the same time, and as an additional bonus I’ll also be watching the Sunday Night HeAT preview show prior to the pay per view portion of the event.

WrestleMania XV had been a bit of a bust for the WWF, as last minute changes to the match card destroyed a chunk of interesting storylines and most of the bouts failed to deliver. It was crash TV of the Attitude Era at its absolute worst.

Thankfully the Main Event between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin was at least a good match, and fans were suitably interested in seeing the two rematch with one another. To set that up The Rock and Shane McMahon teamed up to steal Stone Cold’s “Smoking Skull” Title belt, and then Rock upped the ante even further by flinging Austin into a river!

As for the under card, The Undertaker had been making unwanted advances to Vince McMahon’s daughter Stephanie, so Vince had enlisted the help of Ken Shamrock to try and take Undertaker down. Meanwhile, Triple H had turned on D-X to go Corporate, setting up a match with former stablemate X-Pac.

The other major match of the under card was Big Show Vs Mankind, with Mankind looking for payback on Show after the big man sent him to the hospital at Mania. Big Show had just started working as a babyface though, so they would do battle in a Boiler Room Brawl so as to ensure that Big Show wouldn’t get booed by the fans.

These top matches, combined with what looked to be a solid selection of bouts elsewhere on the card, suggested that Backlash would be one of the WWF’s better pay per view offerings of 99, but would they stick the landing?

Let’s read on and find out!

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Mike Reviews – WWF WrestleMania III (29/03/1987)

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I have a Stinker Review scheduled for next week, so I decided I would review something good and historical this week to take the edge off my impending doom, thus we’re going to watch WrestleMania III!

For those of you that aren’t familiar, this was one of the biggest events in WWF history, built around the unfathomable heel turn of long-time babyface Andre The Giant, as manager Bobby Heenan got in his ear and convinced him to challenge WWF Champ Hulk Hogan for the belt. This was of course a gigantic bout (pardon the pun) and the WWF ended up coaxing thousands of fans to part with their hard earned cash to attend the show at the enormous Pontiac Silverdome.

The actual attendance for the show is disputed, with the WWF claiming 93,000 whereas promotor of the event Zane Bresloff claimed it was closer to 78,000. Regardless of which version is correct (My personal view is that the answer likely falls somewhere in the middle) A LOT of people showed up to watch dudes pretend to fight one another, so ultimately I don’t think it really matters.

I’m watching the “Championship Edition” DVD version of the event as opposed to the one on the WWE Network, so if there are any key differences between what I’m watching and what’s on there than that’s why. The DVD comes with a host of extras and the complete run-time of the entire two disc collection is bordering on 7 hours. This version also comes with pop-up factoids and comes in a neat special black DVD case, so if you haven’t completely shunned physical media and fancy having something to stick on your shelf then this could be the way to go.

Anyway, I don’t think we need too much preamble being that this is Mania III and all, so let’s just watch some chuffing wrestling eh?

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Mike Reviews – WWF Monday Night Raw 17th March 1997

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Seeing as we’re approaching WrestleMania later in the month, I decided to go back and review the go-home show for WrestleMania 13, seeing as it features quite a famous show closing moment. Mania 13 isn’t always well regarded, but it’s got a couple of good matches buried in amongst the early 97 malaise, along with an excellent match between Bret Hart and Steve Austin. I’ve actually reviewed it before and you can read what I thought if you like by clicking right HERE.

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Mike Reviews – WWF St Valentine’s Day Massacre In Your House (14/02/1999)

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Last week we looked at the 14/02/99 episode of Sunday Night HeAT, which was essentially a pre-game show for this pay per view, so this week we’ll go and review the event itself seeing as we’re a day away from Valentine’s Day in real life anyway. I hope you have as enjoyable a Valentine’s Day as possible, especially if you can share it with a special someone.

This show was notable for being the first proper pay per view singles match between long-time enemies Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon. They’d met one another in the Royal Rumble, but this time it was scheduled to be one on one, with a cage being set up to ensure no one would be able to help Vince out.

Surprisingly it didn’t do as big a buy rate as expected when you consider how hot the feud was, but it was sandwiched between the Rumble and WrestleMania XV, so that might have had an effect on whether people wanted to purchase it or not.

I didn’t have satellite TV at the time, which was the only way to watch the WWF in the UK until Channel 4 started showing HeAT in 2000, so I didn’t see this show live at the time but I did eventually get the VHS and watched it quite a bit. We’ll see if that nostalgia gives the show a bit of a boost for me or not.

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Mike Reviews – WWF Sunday Night HeAT (14/02/1999)

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I thought I’d try something new over the next couple of weeks. Back in the day before the pre-show (Or whatever weird name WWE have come up with to WWEize it, because heaven forfend if everything isn’t branded to buggery and back) WWE would instead just turn the episode of Sunday Night HeAT into a preview for whatever pay per view event was due to happen that Sunday night.

HeAT started out as an important show, but the introduction of Smackdown in late 99 essentially turned it into just your standard weekend show where storylines didn’t advance and the matches didn’t really have any significance outside of rare occasions. In early 99 though HeAT would still see the top guys appearing on it, and on pay per view nights especially you usually saw everyone show up as the WWF tried to get the viewer to part with their money and purchase the event.

Thus this week we’ll look at the Sunday Night HeAT episode prior to the St. Valentine’s Massacre show and next week we’ll watch the actual show itself. How’s about that for a slice of fried gold?

Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews – WWF Royal Rumble 2002 (20/01/2002)

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Next week I’m doing another Stinker Review, so I decided that I’d do a show I actually like this week in the form of WWF Royal Rumble 2002.

This show actually happened during a period where I was getting progressively less into wrestling due to WCW and ECW falling by the wayside and the fact I hadn’t discovered Japanese Wrestling yet. However, the emergence of Brock Lesnar and the Smackdown Six ended up re-energising my fandom later in the year and then I discovered ROH and NOAH in early 2003, which pretty much ensured that I’d have some form of wrestling fandom going forward.

Despite being a bit down on the WWF’s product following the lame Invasion angle of 2001, I was still tuning in to Sunday Night Heat on Channel 4 due to having no access to satellite on my house. When that contract wasn’t renewed I was left without any access to wrestling on TV for the first time in 3 years, which was a bit of a pisser in all honesty. However, a friend taped this show off SKY Box Office and leant me the tape, so I watched it more out of curiosity for the guys who were scheduled to comeback in the Rumble match itself and I ended up loving the show.

To this day, this is still one of my favourite Rumble events from top to bottom, so let’s take a dip into 2002 and watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews – WWF Wrestling Tough Guys (1990)

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I decided that I fancied watching one of the Home Video releases that they’ve uploaded onto the WWE Network, and with this one being under an hour I thought it’d be a nice snappy watch.

I’m going into this completely blind without a clue of what’s actually on the tape, but noted Tough Guy Akeem is on the screen-cap on The Network, so we should at least get some Jive Soul Bro if the music dubbing God’s are feeling generous.

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Mike Reviews Every WWF/E Survivor Series Main Event – Part Three (1999 to 2004)

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Well here we are its back to Reviewing Main Events, starting with one of WWE’s traditional “Big Four” pay per view events of the year in the form of Survivor Series.

The original Survivor Series was created in 1987 as a way for WWE to mess with Jim Crockett Promotions, as they were holding Starrcade on the same day. JCP’s plan was to switch their show to a different timeslot so that fans could buy both events, but Vince McMahon then threatened to withhold WrestleMania IV from the pay per view companies if they showed JCP’s show, which led to a lot them refusing to carry Starrcade as a result.

Despite only existing as a way to mess with another company, WWE decided to keep the event going and it’s still around to this day. The early events started out with just Elimination Tag Team bouts, but as the years wore on they started adding normal match types as well, with the show eventually becoming more of a regular pay per view that had a token Survival match here or there.

This week we’ll be looking at the Main Events from 1999 to 2004

I haven’t done one of these for a while, so I’ll make it clear than I class the “Main Event” as the match that went on last. People get annoyed at that definition sometimes, but my opinion is that the match that closes the show is the most important one due to it being the lasting memory of the event, which makes it a Main Event in my book. If you disagree then fair enough, but I’m afraid that that’s how I’m going to do it.

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Mike Reviews Every WWF/E Survivor Series Main Event – Part Two (1993 to 1998)

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Well here we are its back to Reviewing Main Events, starting with one of WWE’s traditional “Big Four” pay per view events of the year in the form of Survivor Series.

The original Survivor Series was created in 1987 as a way for WWE to mess with Jim Crockett Promotions, as they were holding Starrcade on the same day. JCP’s plan was to switch their show to a different timeslot so that fans could buy both events, but Vince McMahon then threatened to withhold WrestleMania IV from the pay per view companies if they showed JCP’s show, which led to a lot them refusing to carry Starrcade as a result.

Despite only existing as a way to mess with another company, WWE decided to keep the event going and it’s still around to this day. The early events started out with just Elimination Tag Team bouts, but as the years wore on they started adding normal match types as well, with the show eventually becoming more of a regular pay per view that had a token Survival match here or there.

This week we’ll be looking at the Main Events from 1993 to 1998

I haven’t done one of these for a while, so I’ll make it clear than I class the “Main Event” as the match that went on last. People get annoyed at that definition sometimes, but my opinion is that the match that closes the show is the most important one due to it being the lasting memory of the event, which makes it a Main Event in my book. If you disagree then fair enough, but I’m afraid that that’s how I’m going to do it.

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Mike Reviews Every WWF/E Survivor Series Main Event – Part One (1987 to 1992)

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Well here we are, it’s back to Reviewing Main Events, starting with one of WWE’s traditional “Big Four” pay per view events of the year in the form of Survivor Series.

The original Survivor Series was created in 1987 as a way for WWE to mess with Jim Crockett Promotions, as they were holding Starrcade on the same day. JCP’s plan was to switch their show to a different timeslot so that fans could buy both events, but Vince McMahon then threatened to withhold WrestleMania IV from the pay per view companies if they showed JCP’s event, which led to a lot them refusing to carry Starrcade as a result.

Despite only existing as a way to mess with another company, WWE decided to keep the event going and it’s still around to this day. The early events started out with just Elimination Tag Team bouts, but as the years wore on they started adding normal match types as well, with the show eventually becoming more of a regular pay per view that had a token Survival match here or there.

This week we’ll be looking at the Main Events from 1987 to 1992

I haven’t done one of these for a while, so I’ll make it clear than I class the “Main Event” as the match that went on last. People get annoyed at that definition sometimes, but my opinion is that the match that closes the show is the most important one due to it being the lasting memory of the event, which makes it a Main Event in my book. If you disagree then fair enough, but I’m afraid that that’s how I’m going to do it.

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Mike Reviews Every WWF Summer Slam Main Event Part Three (1998 to 2002)

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We continue on with WWE’s traditional biggest event of the summer. Summer Slam was always my favourite WWE show during my younger days and I would excitedly look forward to it through the years.

I’m going to break this one up a bit into roughly something like 6 parts, so by the time we reach the end we should be in August and I’ll then leave myself some time to cover WCW Road Wild (Shudder)

Along the way we’re going to see some great matches and some…not quite as good to put it nicely. Regardless I hope we all have fun together!

This week it’s 1998 to 2002

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Mike Reviews Every WWF Summer Slam Main Event Part Two (1993 to 1997)

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We continue on with WWE’s traditional biggest event of the summer. Summer Slam was always my favourite WWE show during my younger days and I would excitedly look forward to it through the years.

I’m going to break this one up a bit into roughly something like 6 parts, so by the time we reach the end we should be in August and I’ll then leave myself some time to cover WCW Road Wild (Shudder)

Along the way we’re going to see some great matches and some…not quite as good to put it nicely. Regardless I hope we all have fun together!

This week it’s 1993 to 1997

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Mike Reviews Every WWF Summer Slam Main Event Part One (1988 to 1992)

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It’s time to move on to WWE’s traditional biggest event of the summer. Summer Slam was always my favourite WWE show during my younger days and I would excitedly look forward to it through the years.

I’m going to break this one up a bit into roughly something like 6 parts, so by the time we reach the end we should be in August and I’ll then leave myself some time to cover WCW Road Wild (Shudder)

Along the way we’re going to see some great matches and some…not quite as good to put it nicely. Regardless I hope we all have fun together!

Let’s start off with 1988 to 1992

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Mike Reviews Every WWF King of the Ring Main Event (1998 to 2002)

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Let’s finish off these King of the Ring reviews. I’m not especially looking forward to this part, mainly because I don’t have particularly fond memories of KOTR as an event during the Attitude Era. Anyone who has had to live through the fresh heck that was KOTR 1999 will know what I mean.

However, there’s at least one match on the docket today that I remember being decent, so hopefully it is and I’ve not just imagined it.

Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews Every WWF King of the Ring Main Event (1993 to 1997)

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Back to the WWF this week, as we look at an event that for nearly a decade was their regular June offering. KOTR was always the lesser of the “Big Five” pay per view events, mainly because it fell between WrestleMania and Summer Slam, which are the two biggest. By 2002 they finally decided that the KOTR Tournament winner would earn themselves a Title match at Summer Slam, which gave the tournament some much needed importance once again, but then they jacked the event in following that one, so it’s new importance lasted for all of one show.

Shunting the actual tournament to the side following the 93 event ultimately meant that people cared less about the show as a whole, as KOTR often felt like quite a missable event with throwaway matches up and down the card. That will likely come across when you see some of the Main Events. Even the bigger more well-known matches from some of the Attitude Era KOTR shows felt like they were thrown together with a napkins worth of planning to them.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me, to the chuffing wrestling that we shall now watch!

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Mike Reviews Every WWE Judgment Day Main Event Part One (1998 to 2003)

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Judgment Day was an event that the WWF/E usually held in May, although the first one was in October 1998. This is just speculation on my part, but I think it ended up as a May event due to the horrible situation that took place at Over The Edge 1999, where Owen Hart tragically fell to his death. Seeing as that name would likely remind people of Owen’s passing, the WWF probably thought they would be best served to retire the name and, seeing as No Mercy was now the regular October event, they decided to reuse Judgment Day seeing as that one was currently available.

I’m going to break this one into a couple of parts I think, just because there have been too many Judgment Day events to squeeze them all into one review. So we’ll do five this week and the final six the week after.

Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling.

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Mike Reviews Every WWE Backlash Main Event – Part One (1999 to 2003)

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First things first, my condolences to the friends and family of Howard Finkel (I am writing this on the day of his sad passing). I think it’s fair to say that Howard was the greatest ring announcer in wrestling history and he will be sorely missed. If everyone in wrestling was as passionate about their job as Howard was then we’d have a much better industry that’s for sure.

Last time out we looked at the Main Events from WCW Spring Stampede over the years, so today we’re going to take a look at a WWF event that usually happened around the same time in the form of Backlash.

Backlash was usually the post-WrestleMania pay per view offering from the WWF, which often led to Mania re-matches most of the time. There have been a total of 14 Backlash events over the years, so I’ll be splitting this into three separate parts, otherwise it’ll be far too much to chew in one sitting.

There’s been some great Backlash Main Events and some that…weren’t, and there’s no better example than the offerings we have for you this time. Some of these matches are truly excellent, whilst others are a bit of slog.

Still though, I’m sure we’ll have fun regardless. Let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

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