Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Thursday, 30 August 2012

PPV Review: WWE Survivor Series 2006

Wachovia Centre, Philadelphia, PA
November 26th, 2006

With the Philly crowd loud and raring to go, World Wrestling Entertainment served up another offering of its traditional Thanksgiving event, Survivor Series. Featuring a mix of classic Survivor Series elimination bouts, plus standards singles, this was an altogether mixed card.

Here's what went down:

Traditional Survivor Series Match:
WWE Legends (Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Ron Simmons & Sgt. Slaughter, accompanied by Arn Anderson) vs. The Spirit Squad (Kenny, Johnny, Nicky & Mickey, accompanied by Mitch)


You could almost hear the sigh of despair resonate throughout the arena as a pay per view in the year 2006 kicked off with ageing greats Ric Flair, Sgt. Slaughter and friends wheeling their aching frames to the ring.

Yet with five young, hungry superstars (albeit ones with a terrible gimmick) in the opposing corner, surely this one would go the right way.

Things started with Ron Simmons taking it to the spirit squad, beating on his foe before a skirmish took the fight to the outside and, in an underwhelming early turn of events, managed to get himself counted out.

He wasn't the only person to be sent packing and as the Philly crowd displayed their displeasure with a loud chant of 'Bullshit! Bullshit!' , the referee also gave ringside charges Arn Anderson and Mitch their marching orders.


It was Spirit Squad member Nicky who lit up the ring next, taking a pasting from each of the remaining legends in turn before drifting off in the grips of Slaughter's cobra clutch. Distracting the referee, Nicky's team-mates came to the rescue and, despite being practically comatose, Nicky picked up the three count over the former WWF Champion.

The young guns continued their dominance over the past-their-prime heroes, Kenny getting the better of an exchange with Dusty Rhodes to lay the playing field at 3-2 to the Spirit Squad, before Flair scored an upset over Mikey and Kenny in quick succession to leave Flair and Johnny battling it out as the sole survivors for their team.

A quick figure four later, and Flair was victorious, rounding off a boring opening contest which achieved very little for either team.

Your Winners: WWE Legends (Sole Survivor: Ric Flair)

Afterwards, the Spirit Squad took did a number on Flair and finally this most pointless of bouts was over.

United States Championship Match:
Chris Benoit (c) vs. against Chavo Guerrero

Far from the technical wrestling classic we might have expected from these two, this was instead a solid, impassioned, personal war between two men fuelled by the ongoing saga of WWE's need to exploit the death of Eddie Guerrero.

Chavo dominated the bulk of this solid, though hardly breathtaking encounter before Benoit turned the tables to retain his title thanks to the Cripper Crossface.

Your winner and still United States Champion: Chris Benoit

Following  a brief interview with Todd Grisham in which WWE Woman's Champion Lita vowed to retire after her upcoming defence against Mickey James, Cryme Tyme were shown sneaking in to, and then out of, her dressing room having stolen a box full of of the Women's champ's possessions.

WWE Women's Championship Match:
Lita (c) vs. Mickey James

The outgoing champion gave a fine performance in her farewell match, playing up her role as despised heel with a certain amount of excellence as she traded the offence back and forth with James in an an exciting, above average contest.

Eventually, James scored the pinfall to deal Lita her final loss and capture the women's gold.

Your winner and new Women's Champion: Mickey James

Following her final promo, in which she blasted the Philly crowd for their lack of respect, Cryme Tyme returned to the scene and began selling away her most private possessions including panties, vagina-infection cream and, yes, a vibrator, to the eager, if somewhat depraved crowd.

Though there was some humor to be found here ("It's big, it's wide, you can put your head in it, it's Lita's box!") it did seem rather pointless and of course begged the question as to why Lita's doting boyfriend Edge didn't bother to rush to her rescue.

Michael Cole interviews Batista

As a seething Batista remained stoic and silent, Michael Cole (remember when he had that awkward goatee?) did his best to annoy Big Dave by reminding him of all the times he'd failed to capture the World Heavyweight Title, how his match tonight against King Booker would be his last opportunity to do so, and how Booker beat him up with a sceptre at the last TV show.

Finally breaking his silence, a stern-looking Animal vowed to leave the Wachovia Centre with the title in tow.

Traditional Survivor Series Match:
Team DX (Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy & CM Punk) vs. Team Rated R.K.O (Randy Orton, Edge,  Johnny Nitro, Gregory Helms, Mike Knox)

After killing what seemed like an eternity with pre-match crowd hype (which, curiously, resulted in the largest chants being for then ECW upstart CM Punk), Team DX stood aside to allow their opponents the chance to make it to the ring, only to be completely obliterated.

Kelly Kelly, then in her ECW stripper mode did her best to distract the DX boys, though Michaels quickly took out Mike Knox with Sweet Chin Music and gained the first fall of the match in a matter of seconds, burying his foe further by pretending not to know who Knox was, or that he was even part of the match.

Things got off to a better start as Michaels, and then the Hardy Boys, took the action to a bleached-blond Johnny Nitro before the heels gained control by cutting Matt Hardy off from his corner and doing a number on him.

Busted open, Hardy eventually made the hot tag to Punk, who struck Nitro with some hard-hitting offence before elminating him from the competition with an Anaconda Vice.

It wasn't long before Punk fell victim to Rated R.K.Os offence, but a hot tag to Triple H saw The Game regain control for his side, allowing The Hardy's to take out Gregory Helms thanks to a Twist of Fate/Swanton Bomb combo.

Down to just five versus two, Edge and Orton made the wise move of grabbing their tag team title belts and making for the back,only for the Hardys to drag the cowardly heels back ringiside, where the faces each took turn to deliver their finishers to Edge.

Orton again attempted an escape but was forced back to the ring, where a swift Pedigree sealed the deal for the Team DX.

Your Winners: Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, CM Punk

A fun, entertaining bout then which didn't bury the heels as much as you might expect, giving each man the chance to gain some offence before being taken down.

Backstage, Mr. Kennedy was confronted by M.V.P, who offered his support to Kennedy in his upcoming match against The Undertaker. 

First blood match:
Mr. Kennedy vs. The Undertaker

The Undertaker has competed in many wild, chaotic and bloody brawls throughout the course of his lengthy career.

Unfortuantely, this wasn't one of them.

Mostly devoid of action or drama, the only real surprise came when Kennedy scored the win thanks to a misplaced chairshot from M.V.P, following which a bloody Undertaker finally gained revenge by beating his victor to a pulp.

Your winner: Mr. Kennedy

Backstage with Sharmell by his side, World Heavyweight Champion King Booker promised a 'bitter, bitter end' for his opponent, Batista.


Traditional Survivor Series Match:
Team Cena (WWE Champion John Cena, Kane, Bobby Lashley, Sabu and RVD) vs. Team Big Show (ECW Champion Big Show, Test, M.V.P, Finlay and Umaga)

Arguably the most enjoyable of all the traditional elimination matches on offer tonight, the action kicked off hard and fast as Cena and Umaga traded blows around the ring. The Samoan Bulldozer then got his hands on a ringside monintor, earning himself an instant disqualification by battering RVD, Sabu and Cena with the illegal object.

Back in the ring, the heels cut RVD off from his corner, dominating the action with a heavy beat-down before Kane stepped in to assist his team mate, allowing Van Dam to eliminate MVP.

Eliminations came thick and fast then, as Test took out RVD, Sabu pinned Test and Big Show got rid of Big Show. A distraction from Little Bastard (or Hornswoggle, as we now know him), was all it took for Big Show to elminate Kane, leaving Cena and Lashley to square off against Big Show and Finlay.

All four men traded the advantage, and in the resulting mele it was possible to miss Lashley eliminating Finlay, though not to witness the epic double suplex to Big Show which finally led to the ECW Champion's demise at the hands of Cena to end an entertaining, hard-hitting contest.

Your Winners: Team Cena (survivors: John Cena and Bobby Lashley)

Finally, it all came down to this, a one-on-one encounter for the World Heavyweight Title between champion King Booker and the challenger Batista. With all the emphasis on this match being Batista's last shot at Booker's gold, the outcome was something of a foregone conclusion.

Prior to the bout, Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long headed to ringside to announce that, should King Booker lose via countout or submission, he would lose the title.


World Heavyweight Championship Match:
King Booker (c) vs. Batista

What started off as a run of the mill WWE-style main event quickly turned into an above average encounter between two bonafide main eventers with near-falls, dramatic twists and enough action to keep this writer's interest.

True, the outcome of this bout was never in question, and when Batista finally did turn the tables on Booker and his wife, nailing the champ with his own title to score the win, the crowd could hardly have been less enthused.

Still, a perfectly acceptable end to a perfectly acceptable pay per view.

Your winner and new World Heavyweight Champion: Batista

In conclusion then, this was hardly the greatest pay per view of all time, but then few ever really are. The action ranged from nondescript to quite entertaining, yet failed to deliver any of the real stand-out moments that a marque event such as Survivor Series should be known for.
Indeed, writing this review some years after the event, it's hard to see Survivor Series 2006 as little more than a forgetable, middle of the road pay per view, albeit one with some level of entertainment.
====================


Thursday, 23 August 2012

PPV Review: WWE Summerslam 2006

TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA
August 20th, 2006

World Wrestling Entertainment brought the hottest party of the summer to Boston with some of the year's most compelling, intense storylines ready to come to ahead and bitter rivals looking to settle scores.

Here's what went down:

Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero

Only in professional wrestling could a man's death be so exploited for profit in such a manner as the storyline between Rey and Chavo. Only in WWE, arguably, could that man's blood relative be cast as the bad guy in said story.

Yet such moral qualms about this tale aside, it's fair to say it culminated in a fantastic opening contest at Summerslam 2006, which saw both men going back and forth with some gripping, fast-paced, high-impact action, coming to ahead when Vickie Guerrero got involved and accidently cost Mysterio the win.

A great opening contest which fans hoped would set the scene for things to come on that hot summer's night.

Your winner: Chavo Guerrero

Backstage, King Booker talked with Sharmell about his upcoming title defence against Batista. Booker was arguably the most entertaining he's ever been during this royal phase of his career, and his mannerisms here were priceless, especially when Edge and Lita arrived on the scene and the two debated over who was the real WWE Power Couple.

Extreme Rules ECW Championship Match
Big Show (c) vs. Sabu 

Far better than any match involving Big Show really had any right to be, this was a decent little WWE-style hardcore match which didn't drag or disappoint in a way it well could have done.

A determined challenger, Sabu took it to his much larger opponent with a slew of chairs and tables and nasty-looking shots, felling the champion on more than one occasion yet failing to nail the win.

Ultimately then, it was Big Show who triumphed, planting his rival with a vicious chokeslam through a table to retain the gold.

Your winner and still ECW Champion: The Big Show

Heading to the back, latest Diva Search winner Layla was initially shunned by the other girls in the lockroom. However, their completely bitchy attitude was revealed to be a rouse and welcomed her to the team by, I kid you not, taking her into the shower for a spanking. As one of those typical male types, it was somehow one of the most pointless, and  arousing, things ever witnessed on TV.


Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Orton

It was really the crowds who made this match what it was, their energy and enthusiasm higher than any match before or after it on the card.

Though fair play to Orton and Hogan for keeping those same crowds riveted with a slow, building story, focussing more on pyschology and old-school storytelling than hard, non-stop action.

Far from a classic bout, this was nonetheless a good showing from both men, with the cocky young heel Orton taking it to the aging hero throughout, before Hogan found the will and strength to drop a leg and win the contest.

Your Winner: Hulk Hogan

Returning tot he back once more, Melina played a game of reverse psychology with Mick Foley as he prepared to face Ric Flair in an I Quit match. If Foley was having doubts about beating Flair before, he went to the ring fully confident thanks to Melina.

I Quit Match:
Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley

In an age when garbage promotions and ridiculously over-the-top gimmick matches had long since reached their peak, these two veterans proved that it was possible to beat each other senseless with all manner of flesh-ripping weapons and still tell a compelling story.

Make no mistake about it, Flair and Foley beat the living hell out of each other. Barbed wire, thumb tacks and trash cans all came into play, yet rather than simply plodding from one ultra-violent spot to the next, the two legends used what they had to deliver a great match.

Melina's involvement in the bout eventually led to Foley's downfall as the Hardcore Legend uttered the three magic words to prevent The Nature Boy from laying out Melina with a barbed-wire baseball bat.

A fine match, and one well worth tracking down.

Your Winner: Ric Flair

Prior to the next contest, Vince and Shane McMahon made a deal to have Umaga involved in their upcoming tag match.

World Heavyweight Championship Match:
King Booker (c) vs. Batista

There really isn't a whole lot of good one can say about this match; boring, forgetabble, and with barely anything going on to retain the crowd's attention, this was basically a snorefest from start to finish.

Throw in the cheap, DQ ending, and what your left with is by far the worst match on the card to this point.

Your winner by disqualification: Batista (King Booker retains the title)

Looking for a little back-up of their own, D-Generation-X got under the skin of a certain 'monster' (who was hidden from view), by telling him how Umaga, and not Mystery Hidden Wrestler, was regarded as the real monster in WWE.


Triple H & Shawn Michaels vs. Vince & Shane McMahon

With hindsight, I understand why this match was almost universally panned, most fans seeing not an entertaining contest which gave the fans what they wanted, but as DX burying 90% of the active roster and remaining completely unscathed.

Not in this writer's eyes.

Yes, Michaels and Hunter had little difficulty in overcoming the Spirit Squad, William Regal, Finlay and Mr. Kennedy who all made pre-match run-ins. Yet their triumph was only temporary; throw in a cameo from the Big Show, and what we actually had was DX taking a complete beatdown throughout the bulk of this affair.

The McMahons' 'tribute' to teams such as Demolition, Hart Foundation and Legion of Doom was an entertaining spot, the highlight of their over-cocky destruction of their heated rivals. Yet when the tides turned, the good guys prevailed, and an entertaining -if not classic- match came to a head with the good guys on top.

I'm perfectly happy with that result. It was a fun match, nobody (bar the Spirit Squad) was harmed in the long-run, and, in terms of storyline at least, the right thing happened.

Your winners: Triple H & Shawn Michaels 

After one last look at the gripping feud between Edge and Cena, widely regarded as one of Cena's best to date, it was time fo the two men to settle their differences in the ring.


WWE Championship Match:
Edge (c) vs. John Cena

By far one of the best matches on the card, this was a fitting way to push the dramatic feud between two of the WWE's calibre stars to the next level.



Both men gave it everything they had, knocking the hell out of each other in a hard-fought contest, with Cena coming within a hair of regaining the gold, yet it was Edge, with a brass-knuckles-assisted shot to the back of the head, who stole victory from the jaws of defeat.

Your winner and still WWE Champion: Edge

Thursday, 16 August 2012

DVD Extras: WWE Survivor Series 2005


Having covered WWE Survivor Series 2005 last week, now is the time to go back and look at the extras on the UK DVD release of this event.

Here goes.

Maria interviews Mr. McMahon / Survivor Series moments
In a completely pointless yet still sort of humerous segment, Maria Kanellis interviewed the WWE Chairman, and asked for his favourite Summerslam moments. Correcting the ditzy diva, McMahon claimed that his favourite Survivor Series moments included Andre the Giant's victory at the inaugural event, The Rock winning the world title at the 1998 event and, of course, the 1997 event in Montreal, when McMahon screwed Bret Hart. 

McMahon then vowed to one day screw Maria, causing Kanellis to exclaim that she'd never been screwed before. This whole strange situation then took us to a fun video package looking at some of the highlights of Survivor Series' past.

Teddy Long and The Boogeyman
Back in the dressing room following his win over Eric Bischoff, Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long is congratulated on such a hard-fought victory by none other than Shane McMahon.

Long went off to find The Boogeyman and thank him for his role in the match, though it turned out an excitable Boogeyman was already close by, turning up to freak out Shane O'Mac once Teddy had left the room.

Fun stuff.

Kurt Angle and Davari on WWE.Com Instant Access
Arriving in the WWE.Com Instant Access Room for a scheduled chat with the fans, an enraged Kurt Angle instead decided to lash out following his loss to John Cena earlier on the show. As Instant Access host Josh Matthews literally cowered in the corner, Angle yelled, broke stuff and generally blew a fuse.

All the while Davari did absolutely nothing.

==========================

Thursday, 9 August 2012

PPV Review: Survivor Series 2005

Best of Seven Series Match 1:
Booker T (w/ Sharmell) vs. Chris Benoit 

Following the controversial finish to their recent bout over the United States Championship, Booker T and Chris Benoit saw the title vacated and were forced to try and replicate the thrilling Best of Seven Series they'd had back in the glory days of World Championship Wrestling.

Kicking off said series on tonight's show, both men put on a decent opening contest, working a steady pace and entertaining the enlivened crowd as they built towards a finale which saw Booker T steal the win thanks a ropes (and Sharmell) assisted pin.

Your Winner: Booker T

A whole bunch of craziness went down backstage, starting with Eric Bischoff, in training for his upcoming match against Teddy Long

Interrupted by Vince McMahon himself, Bischoff promised The Boss that he would screw John Cena out of his WWE Championship. Cue the Doctor of Thuganomics himself then, who saw off the Raw G.M before and traded some street talk with Vinnie Mac, causing McMahon to strut off having just called Cena The N Word.

Returning from his victory, Booker T had been around just long enough to hear McMahon's burst of casual racism. 'Tell me...He did not just say that!?!'  yelled the former five time WCW Champion.

WWE Women's Championship Match:
Trish Stratus (C) vs. Melina

With Mickie James in the champ's corner and MNM in that of the challenger, this 'inter-promotional' (read: Raw vs. Smackdown) battle for the women's title was always going to see some shenanigans.

And that they did, from Trish's plancha over the ropes onto Melina, Nitro and Mecury, to the WWE Tag Team Champions attempting an attack on Stratus mid-ring, there was plenty going on, though not too much that it detracted from the action in the ring.

Indeed, when both girls were left to simply wrestle, this turned into a decent, enjoyable contest which saw Trish triumph to retain the gold.

Your Winner and Still WWE Women's Champion: Trish Stratus

Turning up the intensity on tonight's proceedings, Triple H was shown in the locker room, his face ablaze with focus and determination as he prepared for his upcoming Last Man Standing Match against the Nature Boy.

Last Man Standing Match:
Triple H vs. Ric Flair

Hunter completely dominated the early portion of this brutal, bloody contest, slowing the pace right down and pummelling Flair around the ring before knocking him to the outside and stabbing at his opponent's weathered face with a screwdriver.

With both men soaked in Flair's blood, the battle became a war, the fight continuing in and outside the ring, always with The Game on top until The Dirtiest Player reversed a Pedigree event and sent HHH crashing through a table.

The action continued, each combatant taking turns to beat the other to a pulp. Yet the longer the match continued, the more it began to drag. Going at least a good five minutes longer than it needed to, and suffering greatly as a result, the bout finally saw Triple H put Flair, and everybody watching, out of our misery with a sledgehammer shot. Flair failed to answer the count of ten, and this one was finally over.

Your Winner: Triple H

Seemingly intent on keeping air of racism lingering backstage, Team Smackdown were caught in their locker room discussing their upcoming elimination match against their Raw counterparts. Whilst this was mostly fine, a few off-the-cuff comments from JBL made this writer (and clearly Bobby Lashley too) somewhat uncomfortable.

Heading to ringside, Money in the Bank winner Edge took to the microphone to announce the impending arrival of his new talk show, The Talk Show, to Raw. With Lita by his side, the Rated R Superstar then employed that most basic of heat-seeking tactics; insulting the local sports teams. A pointless interaction with one of the local baseball players followed, before finally it was back to the action.

WWE Championship Match (w/ special guest referee, Davari):
John Cena (C) vs. Kurt Angle

With the odds stacked firmly against the WWE Champion thanks to biased-referee Davari, challenger Angle took it to the Cena in what was a good main event match.

The crowd, split fifty/fifty were on the edge of their seats, swept along by a dramatic, dynamic contest which saw three referees (including Davari) take a tumble before Charles Robinson finally made the three count for Cena as he picked up the win thanks to an F.U, setting the theme for most of his feuds to come with triumph in the face of adversity.

A solid, entertaining contest that further cemented Cena's status as the guy in the WWE.

Your Winner and Still WWE Champion: John Cena

And so, what better way to top such a thrilling match than with the absolute abomination that was the battle of the GMs?

Battle of the General Managers:
Eric Bischoff vs. Teddy Long

Here's what happened in this match:

Nothing.

Or, to be more precise, nothing happened for a while, the crowds roared their disapproval, Bischoff choked Long for a while, the crowd booed some more, a frail-looking Long hit Bischoff with his shoe, then The Boogey Man debuted.

Boogey Man beat up Bischoff, Long scored the win in  a terrible, terrible segment where the only interested moment was the arrival of The Boogeyman.

Your Winner: Teddy Long

The Raw vs. Smackdown feud was set to continue next, though thankfully with a much better ensemble as the 2005 Survivor Series reached its grand finale.

Traditional Survivor Series Match:
Team Smackdown (Batista, JBL, Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton) vs. Team Raw (Shawn Michaels, Carlito, Chris Masters, Big Show and Kane)

If the previous encounter was a complete flop, then tonight's main event more than made up for it with a fantastic main event. The action was non-stop from start to finish, building through twists, turns, falls and near falls to a gripping crescendo which saw Randy Orton triumph as the sole survivor for Team Smackdown.

The match was a joy to watch, and by far one of the most enjoyable traditional elimation matches your blogger has seen for a long time.

Your Winners: Team Smackdown (sole survivor: Randy Orton)

With celebration in the air, sole survivor Orton rode high on the shoulders of his Smackdown cohorts, basking in the glow of a hard fought victory and revelling in the adulation of his peers. Yet any jubiliation was quickly quashed by the return of The Undertaker, who appeared in a burning casket before heading ringwards to confront The Legend Killer, The Phenom seeking retribution on the man who put him out of action many months earlier.

==========================


Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.