Wednesday, 30 October 2013

WWE Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection DVD Review

WWE's Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection is out now on DVD and Blu Ray, available from, currently priced at £19.99 for DVD and £22.99 for Blu Ray. The three disc set, chronicles Goldberg's career in WCW between 1997 and 2001, as well as his brief stint in WWE in 2003/04, with some the former WCW & WWE World Heavyweight Champion most remembered matches compiled together for the first time, including bouts with Hulk Hogan, Diamond Dallas Page, Kevin Nash, Sting, Sid Vicious, Chris Jericho and Triple H.

Content Listing

*Disc 1*

Exploding Onto The Scene

Bill Goldberg vs. Hugh Morrus
WCW Monday Nitro, 22nd September 1997

Bill Goldberg vs. The Barbarian
WCW Monday Nitro, 29th September 1997

Bill Goldberg vs. Steve McMichael
WCW Starrcade, 28th December 1997 (6 Minutes, 34 Seconds)

WCW United States Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg vs. Raven (C)
WCW Monday Nitro, 20th April 1998 (4 Minutes, 57 Seconds)

Setting His Sights On A Bigger Prize

WCW United States Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg (C) vs. Scott Hall
WCW Monday Nitro, 6th July 1998 (5 Minutes, 55 Seconds)

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan (C)
WCW Monday Nitro, 6th July 1998 (8 Minutes, 11 Seconds)

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg (C) vs. Curt Hennig
WCW Bash at the Beach, 12th July 1998 (3 Minutes, 50 Seconds)

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg (C) vs. Sting
WCW Monday Nitro, 14th September 1998 (8 Minutes, 8 Seconds)

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg (C) vs. Diamond Dallas Page
WCW Halloween Havoc, 25th October 1998 (10 Minutes, 28 Seconds)

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg (C) vs. The Giant
WCW Monday Nitro, 23rd November 1998 (1 Minute, 35 Seconds)

The Road To Starrcade

WCW World Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Match
Goldberg (C) vs. Kevin Nash
WCW Starrcade, 27th December 1998 (11 Minutes, 20 Seconds)

*Disc 2*

The Face of WCW

Goldberg vs. Ric Flair
WCW Monday Nitro, 8th March 1999 (8 Minutes, 38 Seconds)

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Four Way Match
Goldberg vs. Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair (C) vs. Diamond Dallas Page
WCW Monday Nitro, 5th April 1999 (10 Minutes, 58 Seconds)

Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash with Lex Luger and Miss Elizabeth
WCW Spring Stampede, 11th April 1999 (7 Minutes, 44 Seconds)

Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page 
WCW Fall Brawl, 12th September 1999 (9 Minutes, 4 Seconds)

Two Matches In One Night

WCW United States Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg vs. Sid Vicious (C)
WCW Halloween Havoc, 24th October 1999 (7 Minutes, 11 Seconds)

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg vs. Sting (C)
WCW Halloween Havoc, 24th October 1999 (3 Minutes, 8 Seconds)

“I Quit” Match
Goldberg vs. Sid Vicious (5 Minutes, 30 Seconds)
WCW Mayhem, 21st November 1999

No Disqualification Match
Goldberg vs. Scott Steiner 
WCW Fall Brawl, 17th September 2000 (13 Minutes, 51 Seconds)

2-on-1 Handicap Match
Goldberg vs. Kronik
WCW Halloween Havoc, 29th October 2000 (3 Minutes, 43 Seconds)

A New Streak

No Disqualification Tag Team Match
Goldberg & Dewayne Bruce vs. Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell 
WCW Sin, 14th January 2001 (11 Minutes, 30 Seconds)

*Disc 3*

Making His Way To WWE

Goldberg vs. The Rock 
WWE Backlash, 27th April 2003 (15 Minutes)

Steel Cage Match
Goldberg vs. Christian
WWE RAW, 12th May 2003 (6 Minutes, 47 Seconds)

Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho 
WWE Badd Blood, 15th June 2003 (11 Minutes)

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match
Goldberg vs. Triple H (C) with Ric Flair vs. Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kevin Nash vs. Chris Jericho 
WWE SummerSlam, 24th August 2003 (19 Minutes, 16 Seconds)

Another Shot At The Title

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Vs. Goldberg's Career
Goldberg vs. Triple H (C)
WWE Unforgiven, 21st September 2003 (14 Minutes, 42 Seconds)

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg (C) vs. Mark Henry with Rodney Mack & Theodore Long
WWE RAW, 6th October 2003 (5 Minutes, 10 Seconds) 

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg vs. Batista 
WWE RAW, 10th November 2003 (2 Minutes, 17 Seconds)

World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg (C) vs. Triple H 
WWE Survivor Series, 16th November 2003

Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar 
WWE WrestleMania XX, 14th March 2004 (13 Minutes, 48 Seconds)

Who's Next?


Let me start this review by saying that if you are/were a fan of Goldberg, you will most likely absolute love this set no matter what I have to say about it, you'll get a heavy dose of nostalgia, alongside seeing one of the most dominant main stream wrestlers in recent memory, doing (mostly) what he did best, but I personally had a number of hang-ups with this set.

Goldberg's matches were usually pretty short (hence the large amount of matches included on this set) and extremely formulaic, so watching match after match can become tiresome quickly and it does. Whilst the first disc highlights the incredible popularity of Goldberg, mostly down to some clever booking by WCW at the time, seeing what is essentially the same match repeated with different opponents, with Goldberg's lengthy entrance present on every single match, means that this one becomes difficult to watch in a reasonable number of sittings. There are some decent matches present on Disc 1, like a Halloween Havoc encounter with Diamond Dallas Page that tells a nice story, and World Heavyweight Championship victory over Hollywood Hulk Hogan is notable for the crowd reactions and the fact it was given away on free television. The first disc finishes off with Goldberg's awfully booked World Heavyweight Championship defeat to Kevin Nash, and all the good work that had been done in protecting Goldberg was thrown out of the window.

Disc 2 picks up where Disc 1 left off, as WCW has no idea how to book Goldberg after his streak is gone. There's a complete mess of a Four Way with Hogan, Page and Ric Flair from Nitro, a disappointing rematch with Diamond Dallas Page at Fall Brawl '99, a bizarre second World Heavyweight title run after stepping in against Sting, and a tame "I Quit" bout with Sid Vicious, with neither coming close replicating the feel of Goldberg's original rise to fame, this disc at times was painful viewing. Luckily, it is surprisingly saved by a stellar No Disqualification encounter with Scott Steiner from Fall Brawl 2000, which whilst far from a technical classic has nice story to tell, and even an appearance from Vince Russo doesn't stop this from being, arguably, the best match Goldberg ever had.

Disc 3 moves onto Goldberg's 2003/04 run in WWE. These matches tend to be a lot longer than the matches on the first two discs, although this doesn't necessarily mean that the match quality is any better. The disc is bookended by two matches that are more style than substance, as Golberg takes on The Rock at Backlash 2003 and Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XX, both could have benefitted from having time shaved off, luckily the crowd saves the bout with Lesnar with some hilarious chants. Luckily, their are some half decent matches sandwiched in between these two, with bout with Chris Jericho at Badd Blood, coming in at just the right length, with Jericho proving that he probably could have a watchable match with just about anyone (except Ryback). The Elimination Chamber bout from SummerSlam is a nice change of pace, even if the booking is questionable, there is some nice action presented, with Goldberg looking like a beast throughout. His World Heavyweight title bout with Triple H is diminished by a silly gimmick that signposts the finish, while a rematch isn't much better, whilst the inclusion of matches from Raw against Mark Henry and Batista are questionable inclusions, due to their open finishes, leaving the last disc looking a little thin on the ground.

Interspersed throughout the set is some random segments that detail certain storylines leading up to big match, such as the Georgia Dome bout with Hogan. It would have been nice to see a little more of these, and little less of Goldberg's entrance which takes up a lot of time, because a lot of these bouts suffer from a lack of context which makes them even harder to get into than they originally were.

Overall, I really struggled to watch this set, as whilst there as some decent matches present, they are few and far between, with most of the bout being very similar in structure. However, there is a nice nostalgia feel about the set, with some interesting historical moments included and there isn't really anything missing from the set, as it lives up to it's name of The Ultimate Collection. If you're a fan of Goldberg, then by all means go out and get this set, you will enjoy it. If you aren't, and prefer to see a bit more variety, this might not be the set for you.

Top Three Matches from Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection

1. No Disqualification Match

Goldberg vs. Scott Steiner 

WCW Fall Brawl, 17th September 2000

2. Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho 
WWE Badd Blood, 15th June 2003

3. WWE World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match
Goldberg vs. Triple H (C) with Ric Flair vs. Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Kevin Nash vs. Chris Jericho 
WWE SummerSlam, 24th August 2003

Five Questions With... "Swiss" Tony Warner from King Bingus Wrestling

After last week's interview with "The Butcher" Scott Renwick, this week we speak to King Bingus Wrestling's "Swiss" Tony Warner.

Name: 'Swiss' Tony Warner
Age: 26
Hometown: London born and raised

Known For: IRL for being a new a dad and serial joker, IWC for starting King Bingus Wrestling as platform to start discussing wrestling with as many people who I can and learn as much as I can about the best form of entertainment in the world.

1. When did you first get into wrestling and what drew you to the sport?

Wrestling was introduced to me as a very young kid by my entire family really. They were all fans of Ol' English wrestling, not that "Fake American crap" as they would put it. I never remember when or who started me watching wrestling, but I do remember some time in 1989 or 1990 that an Uncle of mine gave me a copy of SummerSlam '88. I became obsessed with that tape and took it to anyone's house for to watch.

From then I would ask for more tapes for any occasion like birthdays, Christmas, Easter, summer holidays any time. As Sky TV took off in the UK I was able to get more up to date and more frequent with the WWE, for a couple of years through the early 90's I was watching new shows almost every week and was becoming a big fan.

By '94-95 I had kind of lost touch a little bit and was just drifting in and out, its not that I was going off it but I wasn't bugging people to tape it for me as much.

Then in early 1999 we got Sky at our house and wrestling was back in the home! The first WWE show I saw live was Royal Rumble and I saw The Rock vs Mankind in a brutal I Quit match and a huge chapter in the Austin vs McMahon story take shape.

After watching the Rumble I was back being hooked on the WWE after a few years in a bit of a twilight. 

Originally I started watching wrestling because it was something I grew up doing almost by default, but after seeing this new extreme, edgy, louder, sexier wrestling how could I not be hooked? I was a teenager and it was a little bit of everything I wanted to see all in one show and I haven't looked back since.

2. Tell us a little about King Bingus Wrestling and how it all came about?

King Bingus Wrestling came about because a handful of factors. I had been using Twitter as extension of my Facebook profile and just following friends of mine, a couple of celebs and a few funnies but never really made full use of it until WWE started promoting it so heavy. It was then I realised that I could talk with hundreds if not thousands of wrestling fans from all over the world.

After gaining a small handful of followers just by exclusively talking about wrestling I started to get wound up by the 140 character limit because sometimes it just isn't enough. More often than not I found myself rewording and rethinking my tweets to fit the limit. Around this time I started talking with Erik from Erik is a really genuine, and knowledgable fan of wrestling and just wants wrestling fandom to be more positive and wants to just help promote others with the IWC.

After talking with Erik for a couple of weeks I took inspiration from him and decided to start a blog (full site in the works) and tweeting as King Bingus Wrestling. I am slowly getting used to other social platforms such google+, tumblr and pinterest, I'm also looking forward to starting a podcast and a video show. 

My aim and goal for King Bingus is to get as many people to talk with and learn from about the whole wrestling product from all over the world. 

3. If you were to book a dream card, featuring wrestlers from any era, how would it look? 

I'd have to make it a Wrestlemania just so The Undertaker could defend the streak, as it's pretty much the most important title in WWE right now. 

I would love to see to held at Wembley or The Olympic Stadium in Stratford so I could experience Wrestlemania on home turf and actually have a chance of seeing it in the flesh.
Now considering all the names I pick here are in their prime and height of popularity or the equivalent in heel heat and have been booked so every match has a some momentum and interest going into the night.

So without further ado Wrestlemania Wembley starts with the British national anthem performed by Queen and goes onto

European Championship Fatal 4Way
(Vacant title)
Sheamus VS William Regal VS Magnus VS The British Bulldog
Regal def. Sheamus 

Tag Team Championship Match
New Age Outlaws(c) VS Bret & Owen Hart
N.A.Os def. Harts

Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Edge VS Jeff Hardy VS RVD VS AJ Styles VS Daniels VS Eddie Guerrero VS Dolph Ziggler VS Kane
Edge wins

US Championship Submission Triple Threat 
Kurt Angle VS Chris Benoit VS Daniel Bryan
Bryan wins

Intercontinental Championship Match
Ric Flair(c) vs "Macho Man" Randy Savage
Randy Savage def. Ric Flair

No DQ Match
The Rock VS Mick Foley
Foley wins and gets his Mania Moment

The Streak VS Career
The Undertaker VS John Cena 
I'm going to have to leave this one open. I think I might have to write a piece about it.

World Heavyweight Championship
Shawn Michaels(c) VS CM Punk
Michaels def. CM Punk

WWE Championship
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin(c) VS Hulk Hogan
Hogan def. Steve Austin.

Edge cashes in MITB

WWE Championship
Hulk Hogan(c) VS Edge
Edge def. Hulk Hogan

4. What are your Top Three matches of all time and why?

Wrestlemania XX
World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat
Triple H VS Shawn Michaels VS Chris Benoit

This match was just amazing from the Royal Rumble of that year. The whole Benoit build was solid and with Michaels already in the fray, things got all Wrestlemaniary. The past history between Triple H and Michaels made for some real depth to the build and gave the match that extra boost in drawing power that in all honesty, Benoit may of lacked with the younger audience.

By the time Wrestlemania actually went live the magic was buzzing all around. The milestone event was a true supercard, star studded throughout. The night was themed around a new start, a new era, "where it all begins again" and personally it really was giving that feeling. 
Everything from the video packages and promos to the feuds and the matches made for a real history making night, with returns and departures from several top stars and matches that had real meaning gave us reason to pay attention.

Come main event time I was buzzing. I wasn't suffering that all too familiar PPV-fatigue (watching live PPVs in the UK can be hugely tiresome due to the time difference). But every now and again WWE really just does it right and this was one of those nights.
So the the triple threat it self commenced and my living room really became front row of the Garden, me and my friends were all pulling for Triple H, Michaels and Benoit with the latter actually being the favourite of the majority. As the match went on with some of the best ring work I had seen in the WWE for months if not longer, we were marking out all over my living room.

One of the moments that got me bouncing was shortly after hitting a banging Sweet Chin Music and getting a near fall on Triple H, Michaels was catapulted into the ring post by Benoit and became a crimson mess in no time at all. This was followed by a Crossface on the bloodied HBK and it was looking like a tap out right there until Trips grabbed Shawn's arm and stopped the submission just in time.

This is just one example of many perfectly executed sequences from all three throughout the entire match. The whole thing swung back and forth with seamless in and outs to allow a smooth flow to the epic battle.

Being a Triple H fan and thinking I knew so much about the inner workings of the WWE that when Benoit dumped Michaels out of the ring after a SCM attempt and ended up putting Hunter in the Crossface I was sure he couldn't win. I was all too sure that Hunter was the egomaniac backstage puppeteer who wouldn't lose on a stage as grand as this one, but after a roll through counter Benoit still was clinging on.

Oh Hell was I wrong! Chris Benoit had Triple H tapping clean, in the middle of the ring, in the main event of Wrestlemania XX and in the words of good ol' J.R "finally become the Heavyweight Champion of this world!".

Not only did this match live up to its huge build and then some, but it was just a complete surprise to me. It got my friends bouncing off the walls and just left me gobsmacked and realising what I read on dirt sheets isn't always gospel.

Aside from the tragedies that now go in hand with Benoit's name this remarkable match and his crowning as top guy will always be one of my prominent memories of Chris Benoit.

Wrestlemania X-8
The Rock VS Hulk Hogan

I grew up absolutely idolising Hulk Hogan and he is one of the reasons I became such a huge fan of pro-wrestling in the first place. 

When I started getting back into wrestling full time The Rock was the new Hogan for me. They had many things in common despite the generation gap, they both had fans by the ship load and helped bring WWE into a new mainstream audience. These were two icons who some of us often talked and dreamed about squaring off.

When WWE purchased WCW we all knew the dream became a real possibility and when Mr.McMahon introduced the nWo onto WWE television it was on! The Rock and Hogan came face to face and I could have just punched myself in the neck with excitement and once the match was set I was in full kid at Christmas mode.

So here we have my childhood idol vs my teenage idol at Wrestlemania. I still feel grateful that I was able to see it, especially as I don't see this situation happening again for a long long time, if ever.

Even before the bell was rung the Canadian crowd was half past bonkers, completely nuts. Both men had every single person in the arena in their palms, the only night in recent memory that has provoked a reaction like that was the post-mania IZOD Raw.

Every single action in the ring was met with a huge reaction from the crowd and I feeling it like I was there, believe me or not I really got goosebumps and was in complete awe at what I was watching.

Royal Rumble 1999
WWE Championship I Quit Match
The Rock VS Mick Foley

This is the match that got me hooked back into wrestling. I had been without any form of satellite or cable for a long time and couldn't watch wrestling anytime I wanted. But in the new year of 1999 we got Sky TV and I was able to watch WWE again! 

The first match I was able to watch in my own room was this match and what a match it was!

I was aware that WWE was in this edgy, extreme Attitude era but never really got it until I saw this brawl. I could not believe the beating Foley was taking in the match and just was instantly amazed by The Rock, no one had ever made swinging a chair look that good before. Just as well really, because The Rock swung for Mankind's head no less than 78,000 times!

I really feel that by this being the first match I had seen in awhile and the first time I was able to watch wrestling as it was broadcast in the UK have made me the fan I am today. Now I don't mean this would be a favourite match of mine solely because of those reasons, I mean The Rock and Foley really had a now famously brutal outing that night and it was a spectacle to see. 

5. Where can our readers find your work and what have you got coming up?

I have started a blog at which has been stemmed from my twitter account 
In the last week I have been asked to provide some articles for and hope this will become a new platform to talk more journalistly about wrestling. 

King Bingus can be found on Facebook, Tumblr and Google+.


We'd like to thank Tony Warner for this fantastic interview.

Next Time: True God Immortal from Wrestling Heels Radio

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

WWE Hell in a Cell 2013 Review

Hmmmm...Hell in A Cell....probably the most derided of all the gimmick PPV's that WWE brought in way back in 2009 (Has it really been four years?) and not without good reason. Whether it was a disappointing encounter between CM Punk and The Undertaker back at the inaugural event, or the drab, confusing and thrown together match between Punk and Ryback at last years event, Hell in a Cell has, more often than not, struggled to capture the magic that made the original Hell in a Cell match some of the most fondly remembered contests in WWE history. So with a hit and miss build up, in the three weeks between the last PPV Battleground, and two successively flat PPV offerings, how would WWE handle this years edition of Hell in a Cell? Let's find out shall we.

As expected the show opens with one of WWE's fantastically produced video packages, detailing the history of the Hell in a Cell match, with nice little snippets of interviews with Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Edge, before the obligatory commentary from Jim Ross (who will surely be back in WWE at some point in the future) and then moving onto a few of the matches that will take place on the show, Alberto Del Rio defending his World Heavyweight Championship against a returning John Cena, CM Punk's Handicap Hell in a Cell match with Paul Heyman and Ryback, and Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton going at for the vacant WWE Championship inside Hell in a Cell. A quick bit of promo for the PPV's sponsor WWE 2K14 and we are ready for action.

Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match
Goldust & Cody Rhodes ©
The Usos
The Shield

This match was far and away the best of the night. There was a lot about this match to like, with strong storytelling built upon a base of solid wrestling from all six men in the match. After The Usos and Rhodes Family had gotten the crowd warmed up nicely, the bout found it's groove with The Shield working over Goldust for some, with Roman Reigns looking particularly impressive when in control of the bizarre one. But as soon as Goldust had managed to fight to a position to gain a tag, Rhodes was unable to make the tag after being taken out by Seth Rollins, with The Usos doing a great job of rallying the crowd, it looked like Goldust might make a tag to Jimmy or Jey, only for The Shield to pull both Usos off the apron in a really well timed spot. Of course, Goldust eventually got the tag to Rhodes, with Rhodes errupting out of his corner for a series of well worked near falls, including a beautiful looking diving moonsault. The match was soon breaking down with all six men involved in a series of near falls for all three teams, with the crowd red hot throughout, and ridiculous spot that saw Rhodes superplex Rollins to the outside onto the other four men, there really was a lot to like about this bout. The finish kept up the pace of the previous thirteen minutes or so, with a number of signature moves from all the competitors, before Rhodes attempted a Disaster Kick on Rollins, but got caught in a Powerbomb position, only to slip free, allowing Goldust to hit his signature uppercut and Rhodes to finish Rollins off with Cross Rhodes to pick up the pinfall victory and retain the Tag Team Championships. I'd say this win would have to see The Shield out of title contention as they lost fairly cleanly here to the Tag Team Champions, so it will be interesting to see what direction WWE is moving with that group, whilst The Usos seem in prime position to finally get that Tag Title run they've deserved for sometime, this storyline and this match in particular has helped to get them over with the majority of WWE's audience and the belts wouldn't seem out of place on Rikishi's twin sons.

Winner and STILL Tag Team Champions: GOLDUST & CODY RHODES (14 Minutes, 38 Seconds)

WWE Chief Opperating Officer Triple H and WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michael were shown sharing a joke backstage. Obviously, this was being done to fuel speculation about how Michael's might be involved in the main event later on in the evening, and to remind viewers of the relationships between the main players in that match. Personally, I'd have prefered to see the focus on Bryan and Orton, but this worked well enough.

There was an advert for the “John Cena's Fast Lane” mobile app, which I'm sure had people rushing away from the PPV they had forked out a fair amount of money on, to download and play.

There were more segments on the way, with The Miz coming out to the ring. Apparently, The Miz wasn't medically cleared to wrestle Bray Wyatt, but he wasn't there to wrestle, he was there to fight. Seriously? Is anyone buying this new Miz hard-man gimmick? The Miz doesn't look like he's had a fight in his life! Let alone with someone like Bray Wyatt! I'm supposed to care about The Miz, and quite frankly I want to see him get punched in the face everytime I see him on screen. Wyatt then appeared on screen, cutting on of his usually creepy promos, before the lights came back on to reveal the rest of The Wyatt Family, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, who beat the crap out of The Miz and made everyone happy. That wasn't the end of it though, as Kane made his return to the WWE after a ten week absence, and after an awkward scuffle with Harper where it appeared that Kane couldn't lift the big man, Kane vanquished the Wyatt Family. Luckily, Kane wasn't there to save The Miz giving Miz a vicious chokeslam to end the segment. A nice little segment and a good way of re-introducing Kane, but could have easily have happened the next night on Raw. At least we might see some direction for The Wyatt Family once again now Kane is back on the scence.

More WWE 2K14 promotion was on the way, this time looking at the Thirty Years of Wrestlemania mode. We'll have a full review of the game as soon as we get our copy, keep your eyes posted on the blog.

Mixed Tag Team Match
Fandango & Summer Rae
The Great Khali & Natalya
with Hornswoggle

Those that had bought this PPV for the talking were more than getting their money's worth tonight, as Fandango had a few words to say before this match. We were then treated to an impromtu “salsa” from Fandango and Summer Rae, before we were “saved” by The Great Khali and Natalya, with Hornswoggle in tow. I think I would have rather seen more dancing if I'm honest, as I pretty much switched off for the entire of this “bonus” match. To be fair, Natalya and Rae did do some decent stuff in the ring, and it was a good decision to give them the majority of this match up. At times this match looked like having some potential, like Natalya attempting to lock in a Sharpshooter on Fandango, but that quickly disappear when Rae “flirted” with Khali, which in terms of the match made absolutely no sense. The finish saw Natalya in control of Rae, attempting to lock in the Sharpshooter, only for some Rae to get to the ropes and steal a roll up victory over the veteran of the women's division. This match was probably better than I expected it to be, but that isn't saying a lot.

Winners: FANDANGO & SUMMER RAE (4 Minutes, 48 Seconds)

It was then up to the Hell in a Cell Kick Off panel, lead by Josh Matthews and including Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth and Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn spoke first and was a nice addition to the panel, bringing some good focus to WWE's Women's Division, talking up Summer Rae's victory in the last tag match, as well as the upcoming Diva's Championship match between AJ Lee and Brie Bella. R-Truth was up next putting over the tag title match competently. With Dolph Ziggler finishing off the panel by putting over The Miz, as well as Kane's return. Personally, I thought this was one of the better panels they've had, as it was clear each panellist was up to date with the current product and had been watching the show, which hasn't always been the case with these panels.

United States Championship Match
Dean Ambrose ©
Big E Langston

This match was made on the Kick Off show, after Langston got into an verbal altercation with Ambrose, giving Langston a replacement for his advertised Intercontinental Championship match with Curtis Axel. When this bout was announced, I was actually pretty excited, thinking that these two would be able to string to together a solid bout that would at the very least be entertaining. I ended up very disappointed by what they put on. The main problem here was that the match was just too long for what they wanted to do, it was clear to every that this simply filling time and treading water and neither Ambrose nor Langston did anything to make anyone think otherwise. Langston dominated most of the match, with Ambrose attempting to run away about five times, before eventually being successful and the match ended up in a countout victory for Langston, meaning Ambrose retained his title. This match either needed to be five minutes shorter, have a load of consectutive pin attempts or not even happen at all. After the match, Langston caught Ambrose and hit the Big Ending to keep Langston looking strong for his Intercontinental Championship bout with Curtis Axel later down the line.

Winner: BIG E LANGSTON (8 Minutes, 43 Seconds)

STILL United States Champion: DEAN AMBROSE

Handicap Hell in a Cell Match
CM Punk
Ryback & Paul Heyman

Before this match got going, Paul Heyman used a Scissor Lift to climb to the top of the cell, which might have been more effective, if the scissor lift hadn't actually managed to make Randy Orton's walk to the ring look sprightly. On his way up to the roof, Heyman cut another top notch promo, detailing himself as Satan, with all the pomposity that we've come to expect from Heyman over the last few months.

Unfortunately, the bout itself couldn't live up to Heyman's promo and the build that had gone before, with very little that made me sit up and take notice. The fact that we'd already see Punk beat Ryback at Battleground, meant that everyone knew how this one was going, and they never really deviate from that path. There were some interesting spots, like Ryback repeatedly suplexed Punk into the cage, but it was the story that strung the spots together that didn't really hold up for this one. The fact of the matter is, no one was interested in seeing Punk vs Ryback, so the match was deflated from the first bell, all anyone wanted to see was Punk get his hands on Heyman and beat him up, and it showed in the reactions from the crowd throughout the bout. With Punk making a comeback, there was way too much actual wrestling and bouncing off the ropes, when this bout needed to deliver a brutal fight, and that showed in the reaction of the crowd when they saw Punk pull out the table, it was as if he'd just pulled out a bag of thumbtacks or something. The finish saw Punk hit a low blow on Ryback, before an Elbow Drop through the table and a GTS picked up the victory for the Second City Saint. A decent finish that looked good visually, but it wasn't enough to make the rest of the bout feel worthwhile.

Winner: CM PUNK (13 Minutes, 50 Seconds)

All anyone wanted to see in this one was Punk finally get his hands on Heyman and that we did. The visual of Punk climbing the Cell with a Singapore Cane and going on to beat the hell into Heyman before nailing him with a GTS was a great way to end this rivalry. Putting Ryback in this rivalry was probably a poor choice, as it was too technical a story for the big man to pull off, especially when tasked to do so in the ring as we've seen at Battleground and now here at Hell in a Cell. Where Punk goes from here, with this storyline clearly done with, I don't really know.

An emotional video package was aired featuring Lilian Garcia, Titus O'Neil and Layla talking about how Breast Cancer has affected their lives, as WWE continues to promote Susan G. Kommen throughout Breast Cancer Awareness month. Can't really complain about this, as WWE continues it's good work in promoting worthy causes.

The lovely Renee Young (Yes, I can say lovely) had some interview time with Daniel Bryan, who cut a very basic promo outlining his match with Randy Orton later on. It was littered with cliches “I'm finally going to go one on one with Orton” before once again reminding the audience of the importance of Shawn Michaels as Special Guest Referee, they are really sign posting this one tonight! To finish up Bryan attempted to rally the crowd, by reminding them that it was this arena that originated the “YES” chant, even if it had been going around the indy scene for months. It wasn't the best promo we've seen Bryan deliver over the last few months, with Bryan looking pretty uncomfortable as he obviously just delivered his lines and the main event probably didn't need this added build up.

Tag Team Match
Los Matadores
with El Torito
The Real Americans (Cesaro/Swagger)
with Zeb Colter

This was a fun little tag team match, that was worked well by all of the competitors. Plenty of comedy with Los Matadores and El Torito, but helped out with a basis of strong wrestling and decent tag team psycology that made for an entertaining five minutes or so. I particularly enjoyed the closing stages with some good worked based around Swagger's Patriot Lock on one of Los Matadores, that saw Swagger crash into Cesaro, allowing Los Matadores to pick up a pinfall victory with a new double team finisher. It wasn't a five star classic, but for what it was and for the time it had, this was a decent tag team contest, and I'm really beginning to warm to Los Matadores.

Winners: LOS MATADORES (5 Minutes, 30 Seconds)

World Heavyweight Championship Match
Alberto Del Rio ©
John Cena

This match had a lot of potential, with an easy to follow storyline that suited both characters down to the ground. Luckily, they went for the obvious storyline, of Del Rio working Cena's injured arm, unfortunately the bout was missing one vital ingredient to really push it on. That vital ingredient is something that has been many people's main criticism of John Cena and that is his selling. There was only one time in the match where Cena really went for selling the arm, and it looked great, but for the rest of the match he simply forgot to do so, meaning that the work that Del Rio was doing working over the arm and telling the story was going to waste because Cena was forgetting that his arm should be in agony the whole time! Cena went on to break out of the Cross Armbreaker, by lifting Del Rio up into the air, which looked visually impressive but would have meant a whole lot more if Cena's arm had given way, meaning more time in the hold, only for Cena to either get to the ropes or reverse into an STF. Unfortunately, this was not to be and Cena went on to pick up the victory following an Attitude Adjustment and become the new World Heavyweight Champion. I'm glad Cena is holding the title, as it gives a lot more focus onto that belt, raising it's profile and meaning that whoever holds it after Cena will be in a much better position for holding a belt recently held by Cena. If only Cena hold sold the arm!

Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: JOHN CENA (15 minutes, 5 Seconds)

They debuted the Survivor Series promo, which features Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family. I would say expect big things from The Wyatt Family next month, but the Hell in a Cell promo featured R-Truth so you never know.

It was back to the Kick-Off panel again, as Josh Matthews asked the questions once more. There were some interested presented here, with clearly frustrated Dolph Ziggler saying he wanted to be next in line for a shot at John Cena's World Heavyweight Championship. Unfortunately, that's probably not very likely. R-Truth put over the main evented again, saying that Daniel Bryan was still his favourite to win the match. Before Kaitlyn gave more insight to WWE's women's division, talking about the Diva's Championship match between AJ Lee and Brie Bella. Kaitlyn was certainly a good addition to the panel, and it makes sense for them to have a woman as part of the panel, to give some spotlight on the women's matches, which too often get forgotten about, which is partly the reason that we see a lot of apathy towards the women in WWE from the fans.

Diva's Championship Match
AJ Lee ©
With Tamina Snuka
Brie Bella
with Nikki Bella

Whilst Brie Bella continues to be mis-cast as a face, this bout was actually alright. There was clearly a lot of thought gone into the match, with a followable story, that was basic but effective, even more so if Brie could get over as a face, that saw AJ work over Brie with some solid wrestling holds, before Brie mounted a nice comeback including a missile dropkick. The finish of the bout was strong also, with both Tamina and Nikki getting involved, as AJ ducked running knee from Brie that sent Brie into Nikki, allowing AJ to lock in the Black Widow submission hold and pick up a submission victory to retain her Diva's Championship. This bout was probably the surprise of the night for me, Brie has improved a lot in the ring recently, if only she was still working as a heel. She just isn't going to get over as a face, opposite the much more popular AJ Lee.

Winner and STILL Diva's Champion: AJ LEE (5 Minutes, 35 Seconds)

Backstage, it was time for a little more promotion for WWE 2K14, with The Prime Time Players busy playing the game. They were quickly joined by WWE Hall of Famer, Bob Backlund with Backlund being the batshit crazy guy we've come to expect, in a truly bizarre segment. It made me laugh, and didn't run for too long, so this one get's a thumbs up from me.

More ominous backstage footage of Triple H talking to Shawn Michaels is shown. STOP SIGNPOSTING IT WWE!

WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Special Guest Referee MatchDaniel BryanVersusRandy Orton(Special Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels)

There were a number of glaring problem in this match for me. Firstly, it didn't really need to be a Hell in a Cell match. There was very little interaction with the actual Cell structure, apart from a good looking spot that saw Orton moves out of the way of a Suicide Dive from Bryan, with most of the offense coming in the form of Steel Steps, meaning this could have taken place in any other environment, if they'd have played up the fact that say The Shield couldn't get into the Cell to help out Orton, then it would have been a much more effective use of the Cell, which seemed more of a hindrance to this match, than it actually helped it. Whilst it would be difficult to fault to the wrestling here, even if the logic of Orton's backbreaker on the outside was flawed, this wasn't the environment for chain wrestling and rope running, for example it would have been nice to see Bryan bring some variation to his comeback routine, with maybe some added weaponary to really sell how heated this rivalry had become and the depths that Bryan was willing to go to to win back the WWE Championship. Whilst we saw a glimpse of that later on, with Bryan throwing a hilarious amount of chairs into the ring, the pay-off was lost, when Orton's Superplex completely missed the chairs, with Michael Cole deciding to sell it anyway, when the whole arena knew that it was no way near, a case of a nice idea, but poorly executed. 

Of course, the finish here was the most intriguing part of the match and what everyone was really interested in seeing and with Triple H coming down to ringside it was time to head for that finish. In yet another case of a decent idea being poorly executed, we saw Orton going for an RKO on Bryan, with Bryan reversing sending Orton crashing into Shawn Michaels. Fair enough, if this was a regular referee, but no matter how good Michaels selling would've been here, no one was going to buy that he had been knocked out by the flimsy collision. Maybe, if they'd have had Bryan accidentally hit Michaels with the Busaiku Knee things would have been a little bit different. Of course, this was all a way of getting Triple H into the Cell, with the Hell in a Cell concept continuing to get in the way of the story they were trying to tell. With Triple H checking on Michaels, and Orton down from a Busaiku Knee, Bryan took the oppurtunity to gain an element of revenge on his boss taking down Triple H with another Busaiku Knee, I was perfectly fine with this, it made sense and was a good way of having Bryan get some revenge on his boss and the crowd loved it. With Michaels recovering to deliver a Superkick to Bryan, Orton was able to slither into the pin to win the vacant WWE Championship. For me this just wasn't worked quick enough, it should have finished pacy with each move causing the other within almost seconds, but it was dragged out and became too clear what was happening too quickly. Michaels superkick looked awful and the fact that a retired performer basically got the win here didn't sit well with me at all. If Bryan had kicked out of the Sweet Chin Music, only for Orton to hit an RKO, I would have been a lot happier with this finish.

I have very little problem with the actual result of the match, Bryan will get his chance with the title eventually, and should hopefully get a rematch sooner rather than later, whilst Orton has been revived by this storyline. It was the best they could do with the booking cul-de-sac they had given themselves, it was just horribly executed and not thought through to a high enough level.

Overall, Hell in a Cell was a very “Meh” Pay-Per-View with the Hell in a Cell concept still not working with WWE's current environment and not being helped by having to appear every year at the same time. The tag team title match stole the show, whilst the Diva's Championship was the surprise of the night, but the main feeling coming out of Hell in a Cell for me was a night of missed opportunities, with both World title matches suffering from poor errors of judgment and a dull encounter between CM Punk and Ryback. The three matches that this show were sold on, failed to deliver the goods. 

Quick Results

1. Tag Team Championship Match: Goldust & Cody Rhodes (C) def. The Shield (Reigns/Rollins) & The Usos via Pinfall 

2. Mixed Tag Team Match: Fandango & Summer Rae def. The Great Khali & Natalya via pinfall

3. United States Championship Match: Big E Langston def. Dean Ambrose (C) via Countout

4. Handicap Hell in a Cell Match: CM Punk def. Ryback & Paul Heyman via Pinfall

5. Tag Team Match: Los Matadores def. The Real Americans (Cesaro/Swagger) via Pinfall

6. World Heavyweight Championship Match: John Cena def. Alberto Del Rio (C) via Pinfall

7. Diva's Championship Match: AJ Lee (C) def. Brie Bella via Submission

8. WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Randy Orton def. Daniel Bryan via Pinfall

Saturday, 26 October 2013

WWE Legends of Mid-South Wrestling DVD Review

I've been a little bit behind on DVD's recently, but plan to blast through a couple reviews this weekend starting with this on WWE's release of Legend of Mid-South Wrestling.

WWE Legends of Mid-South Wrestling is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray, from, priced at £19.99 on DVD and £22.99 on Blu-Ray. This is the first time that WWE Home Video has delved into the archives of Mid-South Wrestling/UWF, with this set presenting a series of the promotions biggest matches, moments and storylines. Expect appearances from some of the biggest stars of the era, like Ted DiBiase, Junkyard Dog, Jim Duggan, Magnum TA and many more in action.

Content Listing

~Disc 1~

The Beginnings

Ted DiBiase

Ted DiBiase vs. Paul Orndorff 
Mid-South Wrestling, December 1981

Junkyard Dog

Six Man Tag Team Match
Andre the Giant, Dusty Rhodes & Junkyard Dog vs. Afa, Sika & Ernie Ladd 
Mid-South Wrestling, January 1982

Rat Pack – DiBiase & Borne & Duggan

North American & Mid-South Tag Team Championship No Disqualification Match
Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne 
Mid-South Wrestling, October 1982

Coal Miner’s Glove Steel Cage Tuxedo Loser Leaves Town Match
Jim Duggan vs. Ted DiBiase

Travel of the Territory

Tony Atlas Benches 500 Pounds 
Mid-South Wrestling, January 1983

Mid-South Tag Team Championship Match
Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne vs. Andre the Giant & Tony Atlas 
Mid-South Wrestling, February 1983

Magnum TA

Announcement of Magnum TA’s Manager 
Mid-South Wrestling, November 1983

Mr. Wrestling II Conducts Workouts with Magnum TA 
Mid-South Wrestling, December 1983

Tag Team Match
Magnum TA & Mr. Wrestling II vs. The Midnight Express
Mid South Wrestling, March, 1984

North American Heavyweight Championship Match 
Mr. Wrestling II vs. Magnum TA
Mid-South Wrestling, May 1984

~Disc 2~

“Hacksaw” Butch Reed

A Painted Dog 
Mid-South Wrestling, May 1984

A Tar & Feathered Dog 
Mid-South Wrestling, May 1984

Ghetto Street Fight
Junkyard Dog vs. Butch Reed

Midnight Express & Rock n Roll Express Rivalry

Mid-South Tag Team Championship No Disqualification Match
The Rock N’ Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express
Mid-South Wrestling, May 1984

Jim Ross Interviews The Rock N’ Roll Express
Mid-South Wrestling, October 1984

Jim Cornette in a Straight Jacket
The Rock N’ Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express

Shawn Michaels Learns from Ted DiBiase

Shawn Michaels vs. Ted DiBiase 
Mid-South Wrestling, December 1984

Terry Taylor’s Big Match against Ric Flair

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Ric Flair vs. Terry Taylor 
Mid-South Wrestling, June 1985

~Disc 3~

Muhammad Ali

Mid-South Television Title Match 
The Snowman vs. Jake Roberts 
Mid-South Wrestling, June 1985

Ted DiBiase Becomes a Good Guy

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Ric Flair vs. Ted DiBiase 
Mid-South Wrestling, November 1985

Mid-South Goes National

Rob Ricksteiner vs. Nick Patrick

Tag Team Match
The Bladerunners vs. John O'Reilly & Ken Massey 
Universal Wrestling Federation, March 1986

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

UWF Heavyweight Championship Match 
Terry Gordy vs. Jim Duggan 
Universal Wrestling Federation, August 1986

The Fabulous Freebirds

Lumberjack Tag Team Match
Ted DiBiase & Dr. Death Steve Williams vs. Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts 
Universal Wrestling Federation, September 1986

Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy

UWF Heavyweight Championship Match 
Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy vs. Dr. Death Steve Williams 
Universal Wrestling Federation, September 1986

One Man Gang

UWF Heavyweight Championship Match
One Man Gang vs. Big Bubba Rogers
Universal Wrestling Federation, June 1987

Steve “Dr. Death” Williams

UWF Heavyweight Championship Match
Steve Williams vs. Big Bubba Rogers
Oklahoma City, July 1987


I have to be honest and say going into this set, I knew very little about Mid-South Wrestling. I had, of course, heard of the promotion and a lot of the talent on this 3 disc set was familiar to me, but apart from that most of what this set presented was completely new to me, as I will suspect it will be to a lot of people who pick this one up. The good news is, that Legends of Mid-South Wrestling does a great job of introducing the audience to the promotions product with a host of interviewees, including Jim Ross, Bill Watts and Ted DiBiase amongst others, giving a great insight to the business at the time, as well as focusing in on individual wrestlers and storylines, which brings an extra dimension to the match that follows. 

The things that comes across strongly whilst watching this set is the quality of the booking, that seemed to around the promotion in the years focused on, with the storylines being outlined in the interviews and some footage before the bigger match(es) of the feuds are shown. This means that what sounds like an awfully over stipulated bout in Jim Duggan and Ted DiBiase's "Coal Miner's Glove Steel Cage Tuxedo Loser Leaves Town Match" turns about be a very enjoyable piece of action, with strong psychology and the hatred between the two men jumping off the screen. 

On this note, a lot of the bouts here are a lot more psychology based than they are in technical wrestling, which is absolutely fine in my opinion, with the wrestlers working to get reactions out of the crowd from little things, instead of relying too heavily on flips and tricks to get easy pops. The charismatic nature of the company's workers allows them to be able to this, with Junkyard Dog, who no one would call a great technical wrestler, being a prime example, and this set certainly put's him up there as one of the best babyface's off all time in my mind, with a lot of footage of JYD's feud with Butch Reed included here.

Most of the matches feel like they belong on this set, but the format of focusing on specific wrestlers does at time seem a little thin on the ground. Shawn Michaels' bout with Ted DiBiase, is mildly interesting after Michael's story about how DiBiase allowed him to get a few moves in, but doesn't stop the bout from being a simple squash, and is a clear example of WWE including a bout so that they could include another big name in the promotion material. Similiarly out of place squash bouts, like a young Rick Steiner (going by the name Rob Ricksteiner) taking on future referee Nick Patrick, and The Bladerunners (the future team of Ultimate Warrior and Sting) bout with John O'Reilly and Ken Massey, is another case of name value overpowering the actual content. 

At times, the footage is not of a great quality, particularly during a lengthy NWA World Heavyweight Championship bout between Ric Flair and Terry Taylor, as well as during the feud closing match between Mr. Wrestling II and Magnum T.A.. Both are enjoyable bouts in different ways, but the quality makes it difficult to completely get into what you're watching, especially when up on a large television. It would be interesting to know what kind of restoration work WWE Home Video does when putting these sets together, as it doesn't seem to be as through as a lot of other restored video I've seen around recently. 

Overall, I would recommend Legends of Mid-South Wrestling to any wrestling fan out there. The wealth of footage contained here is strong enough that no prior knowledge of the company is particularly needed to make this an enjoyable watch, and it's a great way into a promotion that hasn't had the same over-exposure that we've seen from the likes of repeated WCW and ECW releases. Grab it now, you honestly won't regret it.

Top Three Matches of Legends of Mid-South Wrestling

1. NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match

Ric Flair vs. Ted DiBiase 
Mid-South Wrestling, November 1985

2. Coal Miner’s Glove Steel Cage Tuxedo Loser Leaves Town Match
Jim Duggan vs. Ted DiBiase

3. NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Ric Flair vs. Terry Taylor 
Mid-South Wrestling, June 1985