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, 18 April 2019

Top 10 Best Ever WWF In Your House Matches

WWE / WWF In Your House logo - Top 10 Best Ever In Your House matches
Next week on Retro Pro Wrestling we'll be looking at Backlash 1999, the 28th and final ever instalment of In Your House.

That means that, over the past few years, we've been through every single In Your House event ever and, you know what?

There was a lot of good stuff to enjoy on those shows.

Sure, there was a lot of crap too, but while the In Your House brand may have a certain whiff of mid-90s, New Generation era cheese about it, the 28-show series did actually produce a lot -and I mean a lot- of good matches.

So, to celebrate this milestone on the road to reviewing every WWF PPV up to Wrestlemania 30, I thought we'd take a look back at the ten best In Your House matches ever.

Before we do, a word about how I determined which matches made the list, and in which order they made it.

The following list is based on nothing more than how much I personally enjoyed the match. I'm not necessarily the technical excellence of the wrestlers, the work rate or any of that nonsense - it's all about how much fun I had watching a bunch of men pretending to fight each other.

Without further ado then, here's just ten of the best WWF In Your House matches to have taken place between 1995 and 1999.

10: WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel 

In Your House 7: Good Friends Better Enemies

As a 12 year-old kid back in 1996, I absolutely loved this match, and not just for the spot where Michaels and Diesel used Mad Dog Vachon's false leg a weapon.

This dramatic and violent (by the WWF's standards) No Holds Barred match was, in many ways, a precursor to the kind of stuff we'd later see in the Attitude Era, but of course, at the time I didn't know that.

All I knew was that this was a match unlike anything I'd seen as a WWF fan, and I absolutely loved it.

Watching it back years later, I was delighted to find that it had lost none of its appeal.

A forgotten highlight of the mid-90s, this is a match I highly recommend you check out.

9:  WWF Champion Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog 

In the first draft of this list, nine out of the ten matches included Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, or Stone Cold Steve Austin. While that does go to show what a great body of work those men created, I thought it might be good to change things up a little, so I put this match in. 

Not that the December 1995 match doesn't deserve a spot. With The British Bulldog challenging brother-in-law Bret for the title, all the attributes were there to make this one a fine follow-up to their Summerslam 1992 classic. 

In my original review, I wrote:

A hard-hitting, dramatic and utterly captivating main event match, things started off slow with some back-and-forth mat action before the two combatants gradually picked up the pace, beating the living daylights out of each other inside and outside of the ring
I stand by that. This may not have been my first choice for inclusion on the list, but it certainly belongs here.

8: Non-Sanctioned, Anything Goes Eight-Man Tag Team Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin, Cactus Jack, Chainsaw Charlie, and WWF European Champion Owen Hart vs. Triple H, Savio Vega, and WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws (Bad Ass Billy Gunn and Road Dogg Jesse James) w/ Chyna

On the road to Wrestlemania 14, Steve Austin was at war with Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Owen Hart had their issues, and The New Age Outlaws were a thorn in the side of Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie. 

All eight men were set to meet in one big, eight-man tag team match but then Shawn Michaels suffered a devastating back injury and despite being advertised for the show, was switched out at the last minute for Savio Vega.

The wrestling world groaned in unison at such a poor substitute, but even that didn't stop this from being an incredibly fun main event that got us all well and truly fired up for 'Mania.

7: Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels 

Ground Zero: In Your House 17

Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels at In Your House Ground Zero - Top 10 Best Ever In Your House matches

OK, so this wasn't the greatest Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels match ever. Heck, it isn't even the greatest Undertaker/Michaels match on this list, but it's still very, very, very good.

The whole thing came about when Michaels, in his role as special referee, cost The Undertaker the WWF title to The Hitman back at Summerslam 1997 and would eventually lead -via Badd Blood- to a casket match at Royal Rumble 1998, the same casket match that would cause Michaels the injury which kept him out of the aforementioned No Way Out match.

Its context in wrestling history aside, however, this was was a fantastic match that saw Undertaker absolutely demolish Michaels before the whole thing descended into utter carnage.

Everything about it was an absolute joy to watch from start to finish.

6: WWF European Champion D’Lo Brown vs. X-Pac w/ Chyna 

Judgement Day: In Your House 25

Originally the only match on this list not to feature Austin, Michaels or 'Taker, X-Pac vs. D'Lo Brown was a surprising highlight of the WWF's 1998 pay per view offering.

The two met multiple times that year, but I don't think they ever quite managed to make the kind of magic they made back at Judgement Day.

5: Final Four Way Match for the Vacant World Wrestling Federation Championship
Vader (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker vs. Bret 'The Hitman' Hart

A little after Shawn Michaels lost his smile, four of the WWF's biggest stars met in a brutally brilliant, brilliantly brutal four-way match to determine which one of them would win the title that poor old HBK had vacated.

The match is perhaps most memorable for Vader being busted wide open and wrestling the bulk of the match looking as though somebody had caved his face in with a hammer - this at the time when blood wasn't a common sight on WWF TV.

Still, that wasn't the only highlight. 

All four men worked their asses off to put on a compelling main event that was undoubtedly one of 1997's best. 

4: WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind 

In Your House 10: Mind Games

Shawn Michaels vs Mankind at In Your House: Mind Games - Top 10 Best Ever In Your House matches

Mick Foley famously said that this was his favourite match and, when you watch it, it's easy to see why.

Foley was in the best shape of his career here, keeping up with champion Michaels for the better part of 30 minutes.

This one had it all. Actual wrestling holds (even from Mankind), wild, crazy brawling, and yes, Foley destroying his body by crashing off the top turnbuckle into the Spanish announce table.

In fact, just reading my original review makes me want to go back and relive the excitement of it all over again.

A true classic that was just about as good as you were going to get in 1996.

3: The Hart Foundation vs. Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust, and The Legion of Doom 

In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede 

Canadian Stampede is up there among my favourite PPVs of all time, and this fantastically enjoyable match is a big part of the reason why.

Of course, the match had the novelty value that the roles were reversed here. The Hart Foundation - usually the biggest heels in the company, were beloved babyfaces in their home country of Canada, making popular faces Austin, Goldust, Shamrock and the LOD into firm heels.

But that was only part of what made this such a wonderful match.

All ten men brought their A-game on that hot, summer night in Calgary. Add to that a red-hot crowd the likes of which you rarely saw in mid-90s WWF, and you had the perfect combination for a truly memorable main event.

2: WWF Champion Steve Austin vs. The Rock 

Backlash: In Your House 28

Yes, I'm cheating a little here. I haven't yet posted the review for Backlash, but man, this return match from Wrestlemania 15 was just so good that there was no way I couldn't include it.

Austin and Rock always worked well together, but in this April 1999 bout the two really excelled.

By using Austin's Attitude Era Main Event blueprint (wild brawling, trips up and down the ilse, a blatant disregard for the rules) and adding in Rock's own unique way of delivering an entertaining match (doing his own mid-match commentary for example), the late 90s' two biggest stars put on an impeccable performance that is well worth tracking down.

1: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

Badd Blood: In Your House 18

Didn't I tell you that their outing at Ground Zero wasn't the best Undertaker/Michaels match?

Just when you thought the two couldn't top their September '97 outing, they locked up again a month later in the first ever Hell in a Cell match.

By far the most violent WWF match in history up to that point, this one didn't just pave the way for what was to come, it set a standard for Hell in a Cell matches that only Mick Foley's career-defining moment in 1998 could match.

Here's what I said about it in my original review:

Certainly, one of the best matches of the year, most likely one of the best matches of the 90s, and easily the greatest match of its type, this groundbreaking first Hell in a Cell match was gloriously violent and brilliantly entertaining from beginning to end.

I don't believe I'm exaggerating there either. This really was that good.

In fact, it wasn't just good, it was important.

What a lot of people forget about this match is that it was a number one contender's match. The winner would earn a title shot against Bret Hart at Survivor Series 1997, and we all know what happened there.

Plus there's the novelty of this being the first ever Hell in a Cell match and, oh yeah, a certain wrestler called Kane happened to debut in this match.

Combine all of these factors together, and I'm prepared to say that this wasn't just the best In Your House match from a technical standpoint, it was also the most important.

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Thursday, 11 April 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Spring Stampede 1999

WCW Spring Stampede 1999 - Event poster
April 11, 1999
Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Washington

Growing up in England in the 1990s meant that if you wanted to watch World Championship Wrestling, you were pretty much limited to a few hours of Nitro which came on after Cartoon Network finished airing every Friday night.

Though one of the company's B-shows would eventually get some TV time, Nitro was pretty much it for us. There was never any opportunity to watch Thunder, and certainly never any opportunity to watch the company's monthly Pay Per Views.

So for the most part, every WCW PPV that has been reviewed here on Retro Pro Wrestling has been reviewed from the viewpoint of someone who is seeing it for the very first time.

Tonight, however, is a little different.

At some point in the early 2000s, after WCW was already dead and TNA was just becoming a thing, your writer managed to get their hands on this show. As the only WCW event I had access to, I watched it quite a few times, meaning much of what we're about to experience together is likely going to be very familiar to me.

Still, by all accounts, I remember this being a really good show that kept me entertained for hours.

Will it still be just as fun to watch a few decades later?

Let's head to Tacoma, Washington, to find out.

Welcome to Spring Stampede

WCW Spring Stampede 1999 - Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan
After a generic video package highlighting some of the competitors on tonight's card, we panned the crowd and went straight to Tony Schiavone, Iron Mike Tenay and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan.

The trio put over tonight's main event, a four-corners match for the world title between reigning champion Ric Flair, Diamond Dallas Page, Sting and Hulk Hogan, with a returning Macho Man Randy Savage as the special guest referee.

Then, for what was probably the first time in the company's history, we went straight to the ring for our first match less than three minutes into the show. Most WCW PPVs had at least five minutes of talking before we got to the ring, so this was a nice change.

Blitzkrieg vs. Juventud Guerrera

Winner earns a cruiserweight title shot on Nitro

WCW Spring Stampede 1999 - Blitzkrieg vs. Juventud Guerrera
Here's one of the first things I remember from all those Spring Stampede 1999 viewings years ago:

A tremendous cruiserweight match between Juventud Guerrera and newcomer, Blitzkrieg.

Leaving nothing behind, both men went all out to deliver a fast-paced, high-flying match with several jaw-dropping spots expertly linked together by some fantastic action.

After a great back-and-forth battle, Guerrera landed a Juvi Driver from off the middle rope to bring this wonderful opening match to a close.
Your Winner: Juventud Guerrera

At last month's WCW Uncensored 1999, Chastity had turned her back on her brother, Raven, and aligned herself with Hak at the end of a three-way match which had also included Bam Bam Bigelow.

Tonight, she would lead Hak into battle with Bigelow once again, but first, we got a quick look back at the rivalry between these two former ECW stars.

Hardcore match
Hak (w/ Chastity) vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

WCW Spring Stampede 1999 - Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Hak
So far, Spring Stampede was two for two in the great match stakes.

OK, so this weapon-fuelled brawl had a completely different vibe to it than the earlier cruiserweight match, but it was still nonetheless a very fun outing between Bam Bam and Hak.

The two pummelled each other with crutches, with trash cans and broomsticks. They sent each other crashing through tables and they generally destroyed one another. Sandman even threw himself off the top of the stagecoach that was part of the Spring Stampede set dressing and sent both himself and his opponent crashing through a table.

Later, Bam Bam got his own back by hitting the former Sandman with a Greetings From Asbury Park off the top rope through another table. That was enough to bring this really enjoyable match to its conclusion.
Your Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow

Afterwards, Tony Schiavone urged fans not to replicate the kind of carnage they'd just seen.

"Fans, have a clue," he said. "Don't try this sort of thing in your backyard."
"Try it in your living room instead! It's more fun!" replied Bobby Heenan.

Scotty Riggs vs. Mikey Whipwreck

WCW Spring Stampede 1999 - Scotty Riggs faced Mikey Whipwreck
Scotty Riggs was now doing a Generic Narcissist gimmick where he was in love with his own appearance.

Here, he went up against Mikey Whipwreck in what we were told was an unadvertised bonus match, which basically meant the WCW booking committee needed to fill up a bit of time.

At one point, this run-of-the-mill singles match got a loud "boring" chant from the crowd which was probably a bit unfair.

Ok, so it paled in comparison to the other two matches, but as filler, it generally served its purpose and was perfectly fine for what it was.

After a few minutes, Riggs hit the ropes and bounced into Whipreck with a flying forearm for the win.
Your Winner: Scotty Riggs

Prior to the next match, we got a quick look back at the rivalry between Konnan and the Disco Inferno.

Konnan vs. Disco Inferno

WCW Spring Stampede 1999 - Konnan faced Disco Inferno
Better than you probably imagined it would be, Disco vs. Konnan was as good the two men involved could possibly make it given their individual talents.

It was a solid, by-the-numbers battle between the popular babyface (Konnan) and the cocky, arrogant heel (Disco) that kept the crowd's interest (and mine for that matter) from start to finish.

After an enjoyable outing, K-Dogg blasted Disco with Disco's own Last Dance (Stone Cold Stunner) to pick up the three count.
Your Winner: Konnan

Moving swiftly on

World Championship Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion & WCW Tag Team Champion Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. WCW Tag Team Billy Kidman

Yes, Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman were both good friends and tag team champions, but tonight, the latter was challenging the former for the cruiserweight title.

Here, the two men put on a cruiserweight masterclass, going back and forth in a long, solid match that mixed what Mike Tenay loved to call "high-risk offence" with some well-thought psychology.

Captivating from start to finish, this very good match ended when Mysterio blocked from attempting the shooting star press and rana'd him off the top rope for the fall.
Your Winner and Still Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio Jr.

Up next, we'd find out which team would challenge Rey & Billy for their tag team titles.

Raven's Rules Tag Team Match
Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko (w/ Arn Anderson) vs. Raven & Saturn

Winner earns a tag team title shot
WCW Spring Stampede 1999 - Raven & Saturn faced Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko
Another lengthy contest, this one saw both teams given plenty of time to work one of the best tag team matches of that year, if not of the past several years.

With the crowd becoming more and more in favour of the recently reunited Raven and Perry Saturn and turning on Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko (with several loud "Horsemen Suck!" chants), the match got more intense, more dramatic, and more engrossing the longer it went on.

More than just your typical "face-in-peril makes hot tag, babyface come back, finish" this had a unique flow to it that made it all the more enjoyable.

After a good, long match, Benoit hit a diving headbutt onto a steel chair that was draped over Raven. Malenko, who was pretty out of it, got his arm over Raven and three seconds later we had new number one contenders to the tag team titles.
Your Winners: Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko

Up next, we were reminded that Ric Flair had stripped Scott Hall of the US title because Hall was basically AWOL. President Flair had then set up a tournament to crown a new champion.

That tournament had seen Scott Steiner defeat Chris Jericho to earn a place in the finals, after which Jericho had used a loophole to get back in and face Booker T. Booker T had also beaten Jericho, and would now face Steiner for the US title only a month after the two men locked up for the TV title back at Uncensored.

For what it's worth, this was the first WCW PPV not to feature a Chris Jericho match since Starrcade 1997.

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship Tournament Final
Scott Steiner vs. WCW TV Champion Booker T

WCW Spring Stampede 1999 - Scott Steiner faced Booker T for the US title
Is it possible that we focus so much on how crazy and intense Scott Steiner is that we overlook the fact that, at his best, he was a very, very good heel?

Big Poppa Pump spent the early part of this match just stalking the ringside, goading the fans and getting them riled up. Though it could be seen as merely stalling, it was a very effective way of establishing Steiner as an unhinged uber-heel, making you want to see Booker T beat him up even more.

Booker did beat him up, but unfortunately couldn't do enough to keep The Genetic Freak down.

After a so-so match, the referee took a tumble and the crowd immediately turned in unison to look at the entrance way, ready for the inevitable run in.

For once, nobody came, but Steiner did manage to pull Random International Object out of his trunks which he jammed into Booker's face during a suplex attempt.

Steiner then revived the referee and made the three count.
Your Winner and NEW US Champion: Scott Steiner

That really wasn't the best match ever...but it made for a decent change of pace after some really intense action earlier on the card.

Out in the Internet Location, Rey Mysterio told Mark Madden that he and Kidman were on the same page and looking forward to defending the tag team titles.

Kevin Nash (w/ Lex Luger and Miss Elizabeth) vs. Goldberg

WCW Spring Stampede 1999 - Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg
Back at Starrcade 1998, Goldberg's streak -then one of the hottest things in pro wrestling- had come crashing to an end at the hands of Big Sexy Kevin Nash.

Tonight, four months down the line, Goldberg finally got his revenge in a short, passable match that felt more like it was there to fulfil some sort of obligation to end the story the right way than it was to -you know- actually be entertaining.

Not that it was bad, it just wasn't quite the exciting match you'd probably want from two of the biggest stars in the company.

A Jackhammer gave Goldberg his win back, and all was right with the world again.
Your Winner: Goldberg

Finally, it was main event time

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship Four-Way Match
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Hulk Hogan vs. Sting

Special Guest Referee: Macho Man Randy Savage
Here's a few interesting things for you:

This was the first WCW PPV of the Monday Night Wars that didn't feature Michael Buffer doing Super Special Introductions.

This was the first WCW PPV appearance by Macho Man Randy Savage since The Great American Bash 1998, and the first WCW appearance by Sting since Halloween Havoc 1998.

Together with reigning champion and WCW President Ric Flair, Diamond Dallas Page, and Hollywood Hogan, Sting made his return to PPV count in a very entertaining main event.

The rules here were simple:

All four men in the ring at the same time, first fall wins.

It made for a wild, chaotic brawl that made for very enjoyable viewing right up to the point that DDP slapped Hogan in a Bret Hart Figure-Four-Around-The-Posts deal.

Conflicting reports suggest that Hogan was either legitimately injured here, or that it was used as a way to write him off TV to heal a pre-existing knee injury, but either way, the nWo leader was taken out of the match and helped to the back.

For a moment, the remaining competitors -and Savage- seemed to just stare at each other as they tried to figure out how to turn the four-way into a three-way. Thankfully they managed it, and the rest of the match was just fine, though not quite as riveting as it had been prior to Hogan's injury.

Eventually, DDP hit the Diamond Cutter on Flair to become our new champion.
Your Winner and NEW WCW Champion: Diamond Dallas Page

After years of toiling within the lower-realms of the card, after years of scratching and clawing to get noticed, DDP was finally on top of the mountain and celebrated with his new title as Spring Stampede 1999 went off the air.

All in all then, this was a great night of pro wrestling. Not only was it one of the best PPVs of 1999, but it was also one of the best PPVs World Championship Wrestling had put out in a long time. 

Though some matches weren't quite on the mark for this writer, everything else -from the opening Blitzkrieg/Juvi bout to the main event was a joy to watch. 

Whether WCW could keep up this level of quality for another month, however, remained to be seen. 

Other 1999 pro wrestling reviews:
More WCW Spring Stampede Reviews: 

Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF Wrestlemania 15

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Event poster
March 28, 1999, 
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Originally, Retro Pro Wrestling began simply as a place for me to review a couple of WWE DVDs that I owned before I got rid of them. 

Then, I got it into my head that it might be a fun idea to review not only those DVDs but in fact every single WWF Pay Per View between Wrestlemania 1 and Wrestlemania 30.

As regular readers will know, it's since turned into a lot more than that. On we've been reviewing WWF shows, every WCW PPV from Bash at the Beach 1996 onwards (and a few from before that time), pro wrestling movies, games, albums and much more.

Why do I mention this now?

Because despite all those extra things we've looked at, the goal is still to review all the PPVs from the first 'Mania to the thirtieth one and that means that today, as we sit down to look at Wrestlemania 15, we're exactly halfway there.

How's that for exciting?

Ladies and gentlemen, let's celebrate hitting the half-way mark by heading to Philly for The Grandaddy of Them All: Wrestlemania 15 - The Ragin' Climax.

Welcome to Wrestlemania: The Showcase of the Immortals

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Boys II Men performing at the event
Philadelphia's own Boyz II Men kicked things off tonight with a gentle rendition of America The Beautiful. This was followed by a poignant and compelling opening video package narrated by an ageing Classie Freddie Blassie.

Blassie likened the heroes of the World Wrestling Federation to Greek gods and warriors who would stir our emotions and ensure we never, ever forgot them.

It was a particularly captivating opening video that perfectly set the scene for tonight's show, a show Blassie called The Showcase of the Immortals.

With the video over, we got the usual opening crowd shot and pyro, followed by Michael Cole and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcoming us to Wrestlemania 15.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship Three-Way Match
WWF Hardcore Champion Bad Ass Billy Gunn vs. Al Snow vs. Hardcore Holly

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: WWF Hardcore Champion Bad Bum Billy Gunn
And so we kicked things off not only with the Wrestlemania debut of Al Snow, but also the first time the WWF Hardcore Championship was defended on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

As opening matches go, this one was certainly nothing special. For the most part, it consisted of little more than Snow going around and hitting both Hardcore Holly and defending champion Bad Ass Billy Gunn with a broom handle.

Though not exactly boring, it was hardly the high level of excitement you'd expect to kick off the biggest show of the year.

Still, despite Snow's best efforts, this wasn't to be his night. At one point, he got hurled through a table by Billy Gunn and then hit with the Fame Asser onto a steel chair.

Sadly for Gunn, it wasn't to be his night either.

Making the post-FameAsser cover, Bad Ass Billy was hit with a chair by Hardcore Holly who won the hardcore title for the second time in as many PPVs.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Hardcore Champion: Hardcore Holly

Up next, we were reminded that D'Lo Brown and Test were the last two men standing in a battle royal which took place earlier on Sunday Night Heat.

That afforded them a shot at the tag team titles that was about to take place.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart (w/ Debra) vs. D'Lo Brown & Test (w/ Ivory)

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Jeff Jarrett w/ Debra
Wearing a glistening, silver bikini and coattails, Debra looked insatiable as she cheered on her men, Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart in a short but fairly entertaining contest.

D'Lo took most of the punishment for his team while on the outside, Test got caught up in an argument between Debra and Ivory.

This led to Terri Runnels and Jacqueline coming down. The two had been feuding with Ivory. Earlier, on Heat, Jacqui had pinned the former GLOW star in a brief match before Terri had stabbed her in the face with a lit cigar.

Now, the two just kind of looked at Ivory as she and Debra argued and Test just hung around. This distracted the referee long enough for Jarrett and Owen to double team D'Lo.

The referee turned around and Jarrett got the pinfall.
Your Winners and still WWF Tag Team Champions: Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart.

Post-match, D'Lo and Test took out their frustrations on each other in the laziest, most half-assed brawl imaginable.

Speaking of brawling...

Time to shoot

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Bart Gunn vs. Butterbean
At D-Generation-X: In Your House 19, Butterbean had competed in his one and only WWF contest, a worked boxing match against Marvelous Marc Mero.

Tonight, the Toughman fighter was returning to the World Wrestling Federation to take on Bart Gunn.

Gunn had recently won the ill-fated Brawl For All Contest that had put so many WWF superstars on the shelf and -apparently- derailed the main event push of Dr Death Steve Williams.

Prior to their legitimate shoot fight, we saw clips of both Gunn and Butterbean in action, with the former WWF Tag Team Champion promising to hold his own against the  IBA Super Heavyweight Champion.

We also saw those associated with Gunn predicting how long he'd manage to go with Butterbean.

Not one of them got it right.

Introducing the officials

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Gorilla Monsoon's last on-screen appearance
As the ring was being set up for this contest, we went into the crowd where we first saw Isaac Hayes, who had performed the previous night at the company's Rage Party, a sort of pre-Mania fan-get together similar to today's Axxess events.

We then saw Rodney and Pete Gas of the Mean Street Posse sitting in the crowd, although earlier, on Sunday Night Heat, we'd actually seen all five members of the Posse sat in the crowd.

Don't worry, I'd completely forgotten that the Mean Street Posse started out with five people in it as well.

Howard Finkle then introduced us to referee Vinny Pazienza, and to the outside officials. These included Mike Tyson's trainer Kevin Rooney, Chuck Wepner, who had both boxed against Muhammed Ali and wrestled Andre The Giant, and finally, Hall of Famer Gorilla Monsoon.

Looking very thin and very old, Monsoon was barely recognisable as the man who had been the WWF President only a year or two beforehand.

Sadly, this was to be his last on-screen appearance, and I won't lie that it brought a little tear to my eye to know that we'd never get to see the legendary Gorilla at his best ever again.

Brawl for All Shoot fight
Butterbean vs. Bart 'The Hammer' Gunn

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Bart Gunn faced Butterbean in a shoot fight
And so, after all that hype, after all that hoopla, after bringing out the big names to officiate, you'd expect something big here, right?

An epic brawl for the ages, right?

A long, drawn-out fight in which two legitimately tough men waged war on each other, right?


Adopting the nickname 'The Hammer' for one night only, Bart Gunn was punched about six times and then knocked out.

The bell rung, and the whole thing was over in 34 seconds.

Honestly, it took longer for the two combatants to make their way to the ring than it did for this fight to be over.

Talk about anti-climactic.
Your winner: Butterbean

Afterwards, as Butterbean was leaving the ring, a man in a chicken costume ran out.

Michael Cole told us that this was -and I quote- "The World Famous Chicken."

I question how true this was because, in this part of the world (England), this man in a chicken costume certainly isn't (or wasn't) famous.

Regardless as to how well known he may or may not have been, The World Famous Chicken tormented Vinny Pazienza and got punched out for his troubles.

Pazienza knocking out the chicken lasted about as long as the previous Butterbean/Gunn match.

Try and have a nice day

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Kevin Kelly interviews Mankind
Up next, Mankind would take on The Big Show Paul Wight to determine who would be the referee in tonight's main event between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Wight, who had debuted a month earlier at St. Valentine's Day Massacre, was part of Vince McMahon's Corporation and had a serious grudge against Stone Cold.

Earlier, on Heat, Big Show had been waiting for Austin to arrive at the building when Mankind attacked him, giving Austin the chance to saunter into the building.

Now, we were shown a clip of that before being taken backstage, where Kevin Kelly was standing by with Mankind himself.

The former WWF Champion said that he'd done everything that had been asked of him in order to get his chance to referee the main event of Wrestlemania, and was prepared to go through Big Show too.

Finally, Mankind promised to punish the man once known as The Giant and urged his opponent to try and have a nice day.

The Big Show Paul Wight vs. Mankind

No doubt this will be one of the few reviews we ever do in which we get to use Big Show's real name.

I mention this because it was more interesting than just about anything that happened in the match itself.

After some relative non-descript back-and-forth action, Paul Wight set up two chairs in the middle of the ring and chokeslammed Mankind through them, leading to the DQ.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Mankind

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Big Show threatens to choke out Vince McMahonBy losing all control and letting his anger get the better of him, Wight had, of course, given the right to referee the main event straight to his opponent.

This pissed off Vince McMahon, who had been counting on Wight being the official to help him keep the title around The Rock's waist.

Post-match, McMahon came to the ring and admonished Big Show, even going so far as to tell the former WCW star that he was nothing.

Understandably annoyed by such words, Show wrapped his fingers around McMahon's throat and threatened to chokeslam him, only to think twice about it.

McMahon then yelled at Show some more and even slapped him, prompting Mr Wight to finally knock the boss out with a big old punch.

Following several replays of this, we finally went backstage where Mr McMahon demanded a phone so that he could call the cops so that he could, and I quote, "have that big son of a bitch arrested."

All of that was more entertaining than anything that happened in the actual match.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship Four-Corners Elimination match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Road Dogg Jesse James vs. Ken Shamrock vs. Val Venis vs. Goldust (w/ Blue Meanie & Ryan Shamrock)

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Goldust w/ Blue Meanie and Ryan Shamrock
Though not a highlight of the show by any stretch, this one was at least surprisingly better than you might have expected.

Fast paced and hard hitting, all four men put up a decent amount of effort to deliver a very enjoyable contest.

After a lengthy battle, Ken Shamrock and Val Venis both got themselves counted out, prompting Shamrock to throw one of his usual tantrums and attack both Goldust and Road Dogg.

The two remaining combatants then fought on for a minute or two more, after which Goldust went to whip Road Dogg into the ropes were Ryan Shamrock would trip up the champion.

Of course, Road Dogg reversed the irish whip and tripped up her man Goldust, allowing Road Dogg to get the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winner and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Road Dogg

Post-match, Goldust berated Ryan Shamrock and sent her backstage in a flood of tears.

Bye-Bye Big Show

Outside the arena, Paul Wight was accosted by what looked like every police officer in the state of Philadelphia.

The 500-strong police force ushered Wight into the back of a car. Big Show was clearly unphased by his arrest.

Kane vs. Triple H

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Kane battled Triple H
Prior to this one getting underway, The World Famous Chicken ran back out. Kane lifted the head of the chicken costume off to reveal Pete Rose, who had taken a beating by The Big Red Machine back at Wrestlemania 14.

Going 2-0 against the legendary baseball star, Kane picked Rose up again and tombstoned him into oblivion.

Unfortunately, the Corporation member wouldn't fare as well as arch-rival, Triple H.

The two fought a long, hard-hitting contest which, though hardly spectacular, was certainly decent and for the most part enjoyable.

At one point, Chyna made her way out to the ring. Her recent association with Kane led everyone to believe that she was out there to help him win the match, but instead, she hit him over the back with a chair and reunited with Triple H.

Though not the best match on the card, this one was certainly a good effort.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Kane

Out in the back, Kevin Kelly told us that Big Show had been arrested and Mick Foley had been taken away to a medical facility, meaning neither man would get to referee the main event.

Vince McMahon then showed up and told us that he just so happened to have a referee's shirt in his bag, so he'd do the honours.

World Wrestling Federation Women's Championship
WWF Women's Champion Sable vs. Tori

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: WWF Women's Champion Sable
Sable was doing this whole thing where she was letting the success of her recent Playboy issue go to her head. She had an arrogance about her, she said things like "this is for all the women who want to be me and then men who came to see me," and she took every opportunity she could to grind her hips around.

To be fair to the women's champion, she and challenger Tori were ambitious in what they were trying to do here. If they'd been able to pull it off, it would have been a short, fun match.

Sadly, however, neither woman had the skill set required to match their ambition,  meaning this instead turned into about five minutes of sloppy-arse moves that would have been enough to fill an entire episode of Botchamania.

Towards the finish, Tori accidentally took out referee Jimmy Korderas. At this point, Nicole Bass made her WWF debut by attacking Tori.

Sable hit the Sable Bomb, and this one was -thankfully- over.
Your Winner and Still WWF Women's Champion: Sable

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Chyna temporarily reunited with DX
Backstage, Kevin Kelly caught up with the D-Generation-X, who were now once again reunited with Chyna in the fold.

Kelly asked X-Pac about his upcoming match with Shane McMahon, but Triple H answered instead, telling us all about how DX were stronger than ever.

Finally, Pac did get to tell Shane that he was about to bring the pain.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Shane McMahon (w/ Test) vs. X-Pac

Though far from a technical classic, this fast-paced match was a great deal of fun to watch.

The inexperienced McMahon proved that what he lacked in finesse and finely-tuned skills, he was more than prepared to make up for by bumping like his life depended on it and being thrown around with gusto.

Indeed, for the most part, it looked as though X-Pac would truly get the better of his rival, even with Test running interference.

Then, however, it all broke down.

Triple H and Chyna came to the ring, teasing that they were there to help Pac even the score.

Instead, Chyna distracted the official while Hunter did the unthinkable - hitting X-Pac with a pedigree.

Trips positioned Shane on top of Pac, Chyna released the referee, and three seconds later, this one was over.
Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: Shane McMahon

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: The three remaining members of DX after HHH's heel turn
Post-match, The New Age Outlaws ran down to try and help X-Pac, but they too were beaten up by HHH, Chyna and Test.

Finally, Kane came looking for revenge from earlier and chased the heels off. The remaining three members of DX regrouped by the ropes, with Road Dogg promising us that "that big-nosed son of a bitch is finished."

Ladies and gentlemen, we had just witnessed the start of the main event push for The Game.

Hell in a Cell Match
Big Boss Man vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)

The Undertaker really had a 90s of two halves. There was the first half of the decade when he had a lot of dull, boring matches with dull, boring workers, and then there was the second half, when he was finally allowed to tear it up with the likes of Bret 'The Hitman' Hart and Shawn Michaels.

Although we were well into the second half of the 1990s here, tonight's Hell in a Cell match against The Big Boss Man more closely resembled one of his earlier matches.

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: Undertaker hangs Big Boss Man
It was slow, it was dull, and nothing much happened.

In fact, the two men could have simply stood still in the middle of the ring for ten minutes and it would have been about as exciting as this.

After several minutes of absolute nothingness, The Undertaker hit the tombstone to go 8-0.
Your Winner: The Undertaker

Afterwards, Ministry of Darkness members Edge, Christian, and Gangrel descended from the rafters like something out of The Lost Boys.

They lowered a noose into the ring which 'Taker used to hang Boss Man as The Brood were pulled back up into the rafters.

It was unsettling, especially as Ray Traylor is no longer with us, and especially as the whole "descending from the ceiling" thing would have tragic consequences just two months from this show.

The Sherrif's in Town

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: WWF Commissioner confronts Mr McMahon
After a quick clip of the previous night's Wrestlemania Rage Party, Vince McMahon was introduced as the special guest referee for tonight's main event.

However, before the action could get underway, Commissioner Shawn Michaels rode into town to tell Vince that, according to the WWF rulebook, only one man could appoint a special guest referee, and that one man was The Heartbreak Kid.

Michaels then sent McMahon packing, though not before banning The Corporation from ringside and warning Vince that if any of his goons showed up, HBK would fight McMahon backstage.

World Wrestling Federation Championship No Disqualification Match
WWF Champion The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

WWE / WWF Wrestlemania 15: WWF Champion The Rock faced Stone Cold Steve Austin in the main event
I should also point out here that Jim Ross replaced Michael Cole on commentary for the main event. Jerry Lawler seemed genuinely delighted to have Ross back. It was actually very sweet.

What wasn't "sweet" was this match. It was fast paced, it was violent, and it was, to put it bluntly, nothing short of incredible.

Both champ and challenger waged an absolute war on one another in what was one of the best Wrestlemania main events in years, if not ever.

The No DQ stipulation really helped too. It gave them the freedom to really go all out in creating an epic battle for the ages, destroying each other, and three separate referees, in the process.

The original referee, Mike Chioda, got took out with a chair. His replacement, Tim White, took a rock bottom, and his replacement, Earl Hebner, got beat up by Vince McMahon.

This prompted Mankind to reappear and deck McMahon. He then referred the rest of the match, with ended with Stone Cold hitting a stunner and capturing the WWF title in the main event of Wrestlemania for the second year in a row.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin

Afterwards, Austin celebrated his big victory by clocking McMahon and having the longest celebration in history, sharing several bears with a clearly ecstatic Earl Hebner.

And so, another Wrestlemania was in the history books and Retro Pro Wrestling is officially halfway to completing the goal of reviewing every WWE PPV between Wrestlemania 1 and Wrestlemania 30. 

As we hit this half-way part, it occurs to me that while Wrestlemania 15 was often lacklustre from an in-ring standpoint, the reliance on overbooking and storytelling actually made it one of the more entertaining Manias of the past couple of years. 

Sure, only the main event was really worth watching, though the Intercontinental title match and even X-Pac/Shane were relatively enjoyable. 

All in all, a fun show from an Attitude Era/entertainment standpoint, but if you're looking for classic wrestling, maybe skip everything else and just go straight to Austin/Rock.  

Other 1999 pro wrestling reviews:
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Thursday, 21 March 2019

PPV REVIEW: TNA Slammiversary 2005

Three years after they sprang into existence and set about looking to fill the void in the pro wrestling landscape left behind by WCW's demise, TNA presented their first Slammiversary pay per view. 

Designed as a celebration of the company's short-lived past, it's exciting present, and what they were surely hoping was a prosperous future, the first Slammiversary would become the start of a TNA/Impact Wrestling tradition, one which would last for the next 16 years.

Yes, despite countless rumours that they too would eventually go the way of WCW, the company are still alive and kicking today, and to celebrate that fact, they uploaded the first Slammiversary to their YouTube in its entirety.

Does that make it worth your time?

Let's click the play button and find out together.

Remember when...

After a quick signature which told us that TNA was "the new face of pro wrestling," we got a nostalgic look back at the first ever TNA show from 2002, weirdly interspersed with clips of children running through fields and playing in parks.

We also got clips of some of the biggest stars to come through TNA over the past few years, including Randy Savage, Kevin Nash, Sting, and Raven.

We also took a look at one time Jeff Jarrett did an angle with Hulk Hogan, years before Hogan would actually join the company properly, followed by highlights of the X-Division and a welcome to the company's third anniversary.

Out in the arena, pyro exploded around the entrance as Mike Tenay welcomed us to the show.

Jeff Jarrett Has Been Arrested

Together with co-announcer Don West, Tenay told us that Jeff Jarrett had been arrested and taken out of the Impact Zone for attacking a "fan."

That meant he would be out of tonight's 'King of the Mountain' match and would be replaced by his arch-rival, Raven.

With that out of the way, it was onto our first match.

Six-Way X-Division Match
Zack Gowan vs. Delirious vs. Jerelle Clark vs. Amazing Red vs. Prime Time Elix Skipper vs. Shark Boy

This one started with the set up of two men in the ring with everyone else needing to tag in before quickly -perhaps inevitably- descending into a six-way free-for-all with bodies flying everywhere.

Though there were some entertaining spots (a nice Infrared by Amazing Red onto the outside for one), the whole thing felt very rushed. It just wasn't given enough time for anything to mean anything, so you just got one spot after another with very little rhyme or reason.

What made this worse was the commentary from Tenay and West.

I've always loved Mike Tenay's commentary and never thought I'd have reason to criticise him, but here, he and West oversold everything. At one point, we had the usual "everyone takes turns diving to the outside" spot, and the announcers sold it like we'd just seen Undertaker throw Mankind from the top of Hell in a Cell.

It kind of took you out of the moment and made you think - if they're getting this excited over some -admittedly cool- X-Division spots, how are we supposed to take them seriously if something really huge happens like a world title change?

It's as if every spot was treated as the most amazing thing ever which, in a sense, made nothing the most amazing thing ever.

Anyway, after a short and disappointing match, Shark Boy hit Delirious with a Deep Sea Drop to pick up the three count.
Your Winner: Shark Boy 

Out in the back, Abyss hung around in the dark with some big steel chains, getting himself more and angrier and eventually punching his hand through a mirror while Tenay told us that The Monster would be in tonight's main event.

Alex Shelley Confronts The Shocker

Out in the back, Shane Douglas was happy to have found gainful employment as TNA's backstage correspondent. Here, he interviewed The Shocker, who in terribly bad English, told us that he was the best cruiserweight in the world.

His opponent for tonight, Alex Shelley, strongly disputed this. Shelley arrived on the scene to interrupt the promo and tell Shocker that he wasn't the only hybrid wrestler in the company.

"I can do your lucha libre, your catch-as-catch-can, your American pro wrestling, your Japanese strong-style, even MMA" said Shelley, after which he stormed off, leaving Shocker to rant at him in Spanish.

The whole thing was cringe-worthily awful. Shocker lacked the confidence to cut a compelling promo in English, and, even though he didn't have a language barrier to deal with, Shelley wasn't much better.

Alex Shelley vs. Shocker 

Thankfully, both men were better wrestlers than they were talkers, which I suppose is all that really matters.

Given plenty of time to play with, the two put on a good match that may have been better if they'd manage to get more than four guys on the front row interested in what they were doing.

Despite the lack of crowd reaction, the two worked very well together, blending lucha libre with European submission style to create something that was enjoyable from start to finish.

Despite dominating for a bulk of the match, Shelley fell prey to a roll-up and lost the match to his Mexican opponent.
Your Winner: Shocker 

Next, Tenay took us to a look at the fifth most memorable moment in TNA's short, three-year history, as voted for by the fans on the company's website.

That moment happened to be the time AJ Styles beat Jeff Jarett to win his first NWA World Championship.

Trouble with the 3 Live Kru

Out in the back, Shane Douglas asked 3 Live Kru about their recent issues.

BG James took the mic and told Ron Killings and Konnan that despite whatever issues they might have had, he was 3 Live Kru through and through and could absolutely be trusted.

Though K-Dog and Truth were sceptical, they eventually agreed to bump fists with the former Road Dogg.

Confusingly, it was only after this promo that we were shown what the issue actually was:

The Outlaw (Billy Gunn) had come into the promotion and James' current partners suspected that his loyalties lay more with his former New Age Outlaws teammate than with them.

I know I'm nitpicking, but it would have made much more sense to tell us what the issue was before going to the promo.

The Outlaw vs.  Ron 'The Truth' Killings

Looking to settle things once and for all, Ron Killings represented his team in a fairly average match against the Outlaw which could have been better had Killings been given more time to show off his offence.

While most of us today think of R-Truth as little more than WWE's resident comedian, there were times in this match when he showed us that he's more than capable of doing some really impressive stuff between the ropes.

Not that it was any of that offence which actually won him the match. After taking a beating at the hands of his opponent, Killing's reversed Outlaw's finisher (cobra clutch slam) and got a roll-up for the win.
Your Winner: Ron Killings

Post-match, Outlaw continued to beat down on Killings until BG James ran out and took the chair from him. Outlaw offered his former partner a free shot, but James was hesitant to strike.

Eventually, Konnan ran in and saw off Outlaw, arguing with James as he and Truth left the ring.

TNA's Greatest Moment Number 4

Continuing our fan-voted look at the company's best bits, we went to January 2003 and the debut of Raven.

Team Canada are Pumped Up

Backstage, Shane Douglas interviewed Team Canada about their ongoing rivalry with Lance Hoyt and The Naturals. Bobby Roode was particularly impressive on the microphone, as was Scott D'Moore, at first.

Indeed, the whole thing was shaping up to be the best segment on the show so far (including matches) until D'Moore likened himself to Hitler and Mussolini and tried to make it sound like a good thing.

This led us to a video package highlighting Team Canada and their rivalry with The Naturals.

Again, it probably would have been better to show us all of this *before* getting the wrestlers' comments on it.

NWA World Tag Team Championship
NWA World Tag Team Champions The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas) vs. Team Canada (Eric Young & Petey Williams w/ Scott D'Moore and Alistair 'A-1' Ralphs)

By far the best match on the card so far, this one saw all four men deliver a compelling performance way beyond their relatively limited experience.

This one had it all: Exciting action in the early going leading to the drama and agony of seeing Chase Stevens isolated from his partner and outnumbered by Team Canada and, of course, a dramatic finish.

Throughout this whole tag-team title section of the show, the announcers had been speculating on a mystery mentor and "spiritual advisor" that The Naturals had mentioned.

At the culmination of this brilliant match, that mentor revealed himself to be none other than Jimmy Hart, who tossed Andy Douglas his famous mega phone to use as the match-winning weapon.
Your Winners and still NWA tag team champions: The Naturals. 

man, that was fun.

Up next, we were told that the fans had voted for that 2005's Lock Down cage match as the third greatest moment in TNA history.

Sean Waltman is Ready for the Main Event

Drug addiction isn't funny, so I'm just going to pretend that Sean Waltman had just woken up from a nap as that's about the best way to describe his dopey manner and appearance in this backstage segment.

Interviewed by Shane Douglas, Waltman sort of drowsily fumbled his way through a bland promo in which he said that despite being a good backstage politician, the real reason he was in the title match tonight was that he deserved it.

I'm a big fan of Waltman's, but he did not look good here.

Sonjay Dutt vs. Samoa Joe 

Making his TNA debut, it would have been easy for Samoa Joe to simply toss Sonjay Dutt around like a ragdoll and be done with him.

It would have made sense too. Joe was built by the announcers as a really, really big deal, so having him simply squash his opponent wouldn't have been out of place.

Instead, while The Samoan Submission Machine certainly dominated, this was more of a competitive match than an outright squash, with Dutt looking pretty impressive in his own right.

Still, the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

After a couple of minutes full of enjoyable action, Joe hit the Muscle Buster, applied a Rear Naked Choke and made Sonjay tap.
Your Winner: Samoa Joe

Cutting to the announce table, Tenay and West told us about some of TNA's upcoming PPVs, including the big Bound For Glory in October which West likened to the Super Bowl.

Quote the Raven, NWA-TNA Champion...

Somewhere in the bowels of the building, Raven cut a mesmerising promo in which he described himself as a "human cancer" and declared that he'd rather hug a suicide bomber than be in his opponents' shoes tonight.

Why? Because tonight, said Raven, he was going to fulfil his destiny of becoming the NWA Kingpin. Quote the raven...NWA-TNA Champion...Never More

Bobby Roode (w/ Scott D'More) vs. Lance Hoyt 

I'm a big fan of Bobby Roode and honestly think he could be used better in WWE, but even I have to admit that this wasn't his finest moment.

Though there was nothing particularly terrible about his short match with Lance Hoyt, there was something off about it which made it almost a chore to watch.

Towards the finish, Hoyt looked to have things under control and set up Roode for a big boot. However, the two spent so long in the set-up that it was blatantly obvious the move wouldn't pay off. Predictably, D'More grabbed Hoyt's foot, Roode attacked and got the three count.
Your Winner: Bobby Roode

Afterwards, Roode continued to attack while D'More cheered him on, yet when D'More took his shirt off and went for a top-rope moonsault, Hoyt moved out of the way and mounted a comeback, hitting D'More with a moonsault of his own.

Team Canada ran out along with some EMTs who stretchered D'More to the back while the crowd sang 'na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye."

The whole post-match stuff was more interesting than anything in the actual match.

TNA's Greatest Moments: Number 2 

The TNA debut of Jeff Hardy in 2004.

America's Most Wanted Can't Get Along

Up next, we were shown a video package which highlighted the ongoing arguments between America's Most Wanted partners Cowboy James Storm and Wildcat Chris Harris. The two had been squabbling among themselves while simultaneously feuding with 3 Live Kru who also couldn't get along because of the whole Outlaw/BG James stuff.

America's Most Wanted (Wildcat Chris Harris & Cowboy James Storm) vs. 3 Live Kru (Konnan & BG James)

Despite some early miscues, Harris and Storm were able to get on the same page as they took the fight to their more experienced opponents in a decent, though unremarkable, match.

After a fairly average back-and-forth between both teams, The Outlaw ran in and immediately got into it with Konnan. That left James at the mercy of AMW, who quickly put him away for the pin.
Your Winners: America's Most Wanted

Afterwards, BG refused to accept Konnan's apology for leaving him high and dry, and simply stormed off through the crowd.

TNA's Greatest Moment Ever

As voted for by the fans, TNA's greatest moment was shown to be the time Elix Skipper walked across the top of the cage back in 2004. Deservedly so too, that was insane.

This quick clip was followed by a look at the rivalry between X-Division Champion Christopher Daniels, Michael Shane, and Chris Sabin. The three would meet next.

X-Division Championship
TNA X-Division 'The Fallen Angel' Champion Christopher Daniels vs. Michael Shane (w/ Traci Brooks) vs. Chris Sabin (w/ Trinity) 

Fought under elimination rules, this triple threat match was every bit as good as you might expect it to be.

Though not exactly a classic for the ages, it was certainly a very, very good X-Division match.

Towards the half-way point, Shelley had the choice to either finish off Michael Shane or rescue Trinity from the evil clutches of Christopher Daniels. He chose to eliminate Shane from the competition, prompting Daniels to hit Trinity with Angels Wings.

Poor Trinity was then helped backstage and that was the last we'd see of her on tonight's show which was a shame because, well, she looked smoking hot.

Anyway, that left it down to just Sabin and Daniels, both of whom gave us a very solid effort before The Fallen Angel picked up the three count.
Your Winner and Still X-Division Champion: Christopher Daniels 

Out in the back, Shane Douglas interviewed The Alpha Male Monty Brown about his participation in the upcoming King of the Mountain match.

Weirdly charismatic, Monty called all of his opponents 'Omega males' and promised to demolish them in our main event.

Speaking of which...

NWA World Heavyweight Championship King of the Moutain Match
NWA World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles vs. Abyss vs. The Alpha Male Monty Brown vs. Raven vs. Sean Waltman 

If you've never seen a King of the Mountain match before, it's essentially a reverse-ladder match in that, instead of using the ladder to retrieve the title belt, you use it to go hang the belt up.

Oh, but in order to be eligible to hang the belt, you first have to pin somebody or make them submit, and the person you pin or submit then has to go spend two minutes in a "penalty  box."

Though it sounds like a silly idea that is way more complicated than it needs to be, this actually turned into a very fun main event.

A wild, out of control brawl in the best possible sense of the word, this one just had all five men destroying each other.

Highlights included Waltman hitting the X-Factor on Style from atop the ladder, and Styles himself hitting a top-rope Spiral Tap to Abyss, who was lying prone on a table outside of the ring.

Still, despite such big-time offence, this wasn't to be the champion's night.

Battered and bloodied, Raven eventually scaled the ladder, hung the title, and became our new champion.
Your Winner and NEW NWA Champion: Raven

Post-match, Raven basically meandered around the ringside area with his new title belt, looking genuinely moved to have won.

And so that was that. 

While TNA Slammiversary 2005 wasn't the worse show ever, it was far from the best either. 

If you're a fan of the company's X-Division style then you'll find a lot to like here. Between the X-Division title match, the tag team title match and the Shelley/Shocker outing, TNA gave us lots of quality action. 

Not that the main event was a letdown. Despite being more of a hardcore-style match (at one point, Waltman went around stapling people's balls) than a cruiserweight or technical wrestling classic, it was a fun match and the perfect way to end the show. 

For as long as TNA have this on YouTube it's worth watching, just don't expect the greatest show of all time or anything. 

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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.