Mike Reviews – WWF No Mercy 1999 US Version (17th October 1999)

What’s Happenin’ Cool Cats!

The WWF actually ran two shows called No Mercy in 1999, with the first one being a UK only show in May 1999 that was pretty rubbish. Thankfully the American version of the show in October was much better, so let’s watch that.

The arena for this show was actually included in the Video Game of the same name that was released on the N64. I’m not sure if THQ/AKI just picked that pay per view at random to name the game after or if it was a case of “corporate synergy” where they and the WWF came together and decided to give the game and the pay per view in question the same name for tie-in purposes.

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Mike Reviews – WWF Raw is War (22nd September 1997)

WWE ran MSG yesterday (I’m writing this ahead of time but I assume that show still went ahead) so I thought I’d go back in time to look at another occasion where they ran The Garden during a September. This episode of the show was seen as a symbolic attempt by the WWF to fight back against WCW after being on the losing end of the Monday Night War for over a year, and it featured some genuinely memorable moments that have made their way onto “Best of Raw” compilations for many years since.

The WWF was beyond the really rocky period of 1996 by this stage and were tootling along just fine business wise, but they were still out in 2nd place when it came to WCW and that just boiled Vince McMahon’s blood, so they were pushing hard to get back into the race. I’m watching this on WWE Network, so if anything is missing then it’ll likely be because they cut it out so as not to anger the folks at Peacock.

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Mike Reviews – WWF In Your House 10: Mind Games (22nd September 1996)

Como Estan Beeches!

I’ve wanted to re-watch the Shawn Michaels Vs Mankind Main Event from this show for a while, so I thought I might as well review the entire show for good measure. This was a WWF pay per view from Philly and would represent the first time that the WWF and ECW worked together, so it’s kind of a historically significant show with an absolute banger in the Main Event, which was more than most of the throwaway IYH shows could boast at least.

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Mike Reviews – WWF SummerSlam 1989 – Feel The Heat (28th August 1989)

Howdy Ho!

I’ve always loved this particular show and we’re now in August, so it makes sense from a seasonal perspective to review a SummerSlam event, so this one got the nod. I’m watching the Silver Vision VHS version of the show, which means pretty much all of the music has survived the editors. There’s only so much rubbish dubbing of Rick Rude’s theme that you can live with you know?

Main Event on this one is Hulk Hogan teaming up with Scrappy Hogan against Randy Savage and Zeus, with Ultimate Warrior going after Rick Rude’s Intercontinental Title in the mid-card. There are also some solid matches sprinkled throughout the card, so let’s quit jabbering about it all and watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews – WWF InVasion 2001 (22/07/2001)

Good Day, You Magnificent Beasts!

Seeing as we’re nearly twenty years to the day of this bad boy happening, why don’t we review it? It wouldn’t shock me if Scott decides to review this one as well due to the anniversary and all, but I’m writing this about a month or so in advance so that means I win I guess?

Anyway, for those who were lucky enough to have missed this pretty rubbish era in WWF history, Vince McMahon finally achieved his dream of conquering American Pro-Wrestling once and for all (Or so we thought) with the deaths of both WCW and ECW in the first Quarter of 2001.

Not only did Vince win the war, but he also got to buy WCW for a comparatively paltry sum and was all geared to bring in WCW as an invading force so he could finally deliver the big WWF Vs WCW feud that wrestling fans had been fantasising about for years.

Of course the feud hit a snag right from the off, as Vince not only couldn’t find a TV channel that would be prepared to give his new wCw brand a broadcast deal, but the fans also rejected any suggestion that the wCw guys might actually be sympathetic babyfaces, infamously booing both Booker T and Buff Bagwell out of the arena when the two had a disastrous “guest match” on an episode of Raw.

As a result of this, Vince got cold feet and decided to start booking wCw as a straight up Heel faction, and then went and gave them a putty patrol by bringing ECW back from the dead and teaming them up into a mega group known as “The Alliance”.

This didn’t work either.

What also didn’t help was that the WWF teased their fans with Stone Cold Steve Austin going back to the cool babyface character he used to play, and fans got suitably jazzed for it, all for it to end up being a SWERVE, which served to just agitate their onions even more.

So yeah, this whole period was one big fat DUD and the WWF brought it to a merciful end at Survivor Series 2001.

However, the initial InVasion pay per view was a gigantic success from a buy rate perspective and had a couple of hot matches on it, so this shouldn’t be too bad of a re-watch. Indeed, the one positive thing you can say about the whole Invasion storyline was that there was some genuinely great level wrestling going on, especially at the top of the card.

This is probably the moment where I’m supposed to “re-book” the whole thing, but to be honest I’m not going to bother. Instead, I suggest you go check out Jed Shaffer’s excellent “Re-Writing The Book” over on Wrestlecrap.com, as he tackled this subject and came up with a genuinely fantastic storyline, which not only stuck within the same parameters the WWF had to bide by at the time but also ended up finding interesting roles for the likes of Dean Malenko, Raven and Mike Awesome.

Indeed, I can’t think of anyone who writes a better Raven then Shaffer does. Sometimes I think Shaffer writes the Raven character better than even Scott Levy does. The way he gets his voice down in promo segments is unreal. Of course in real life his idea probably wouldn’t have worked as it involved a lot of established WWF guys actually making the Invaders look good, which was never going to happen, but I still think that overall it’s the best stab anyone has taken at trying to make this thing work and it’s a genuine “page turner” for good measure.

I’m watching the Silver Vision “Tagged Classics” version of the show, so if what I’m seeing is different from the WWF Network cut then that’s why.

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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!

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Mike Reviews – “The Summer of 96” – Part One – WWF King of the Ring

Hello You!

Over the next three weeks all the reviews are going to have a theme, in that all of the events I will be reviewing will have all taken part in the summer of 1996. We’ll be journeying to the WWF, stopping off in WCW and then finishing our trip by paying a visit to ECW.

This week we’re starting off with the WWF and their King of the Ring event from June 1996. I went with KOTR over the other two pay per view events the WWF put on that summer because it’s probably the overall best of the three and we also get to see Stone Cold Steve Austin taking a step to becoming the biggest star in the entire industry, which should give us an interesting angle to view the show from if nothing else.

I’ll be watching the Silver Vision Tagged Classics version of the show over the WWE Network cut, mainly because I think the Silver Vision version doesn’t dub out “Don’t Go Messin’ Wit A Country Boy”, and if I’m going to suffer through a Godwinn’s match then I at least want to enjoy the only part of their act that I actually liked.

This show was originally supposed to be a real coming out party for Triple H, as he’d win the tournament and no doubt go on to get a sizeable push for the rest of the summer as a result. However, The Curtain Call incident at MSG put a stop to that, as Triple H was the only one of the four that Vince McMahon could actually punish for it, so poor Tri saw his reign as King snuffed out before it could even start. And thus, the wrestling world never heard of Triple H ever again…

Aside from the tournament itself, we’ve got a wacky storyline in the Main Event where Davey Boy Smith’s is challenging Shawn Michaels, Goldust is defending the IC Title against an enraged Ahmed Johnson and Mankind is having his first ever pay per view encounter with The Undertaker. So yeah, there’s a lot on the docket, so let’s stop chatting wham and watch some chuffing wrestling!

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Mike Reviews – WWF Judgment Day 2000

Hello You!

This week we’re looking at what I like to call a “Heels Over Show”, which is basically a show where the heels win most of the matches because it’s what the current storylines of the day call for so sufficient heat can be built for the eventual blow off. Normally you get a mixture of Heel and Face wins, but occasionally a show comes along where everything just aligns that you need to have a heavy dose of heel victories in order to keep things cooking.

Of course if your company is on a hot streak, like the WWF was in 2000, then you can have a few Heels Over Shows now and then because the fan base will have faith that the Faces will eventually rally and will thus put up with a depressing evening or two now and then in order to get the satisfaction down the road. However, if your company is cold then Heels Over Shows can sometimes be absolute poison to a fan base who is already starting to get a bit tired of things, especially if the Faces are a bunch of chumps who the fans don’t believe in. This is a trap WCW fell into and it ended up contributing to their eventual demise.

Coming in to this show, the WWF had just blown the roof off the joint at Backlash by having Rock finally dethrone Super Heel WWF Champ Triple H. It was time for Triple H to finally look at the lights after solidly dominating the top of the card for as long as he had been, but he was due his rematch and the WWF decided to up the ante by making it a 60 Minute Iron Man match.

Meanwhile, Big Show had gone babyface post WrestleMania and was doing a decent stab at being a fun loving Giant. However, former manager Shane McMahon had taken umbrage with this, setting up a match between them. The Dudley Boyz had started doing a gimmick early in the year where they had put women through tables, which had got them hugely over with the misogynistic Attitude Era crowd. However, Heel valet Tori had currently eluded them thus far, so they were looking to rectify that here.

The other big match on the under card is Chris Benoit defending his Intercontinental Title against Chris Jericho. The two had traded the belt post-Mania and this was another chapter in that feud. Aside from that we’ve got a mostly thrown together six man tag opener and an all Heel triple threat match for the European Title.

So yeah, if seeing bad guys get their day in the sun is something you like the sound of, settle in and enjoy the show!

I’m still on my physical media kick at the moment due to being a bit sour on the WWE Network, so I’m watching the official Silver Vision release of the show that was released over here in the UK back in 2000 (Main Event aside, which I’ve reviewed before and am just pasting in) so if there are any particular differences between my review and what’s up there then that’s why.

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

Hello You!

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)

Hello You!

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)

Hello You!

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

Hello You!

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)

Hello You!

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)

Hello You!

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)

Hello You!

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)

Hello You!

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)

Hello You!

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)

Hello You!

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)

Hello You!

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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