Barbed Wire City review

Craig Wilson

(pic courtesy of

(pic courtesy of

On 4 April 2001, Extreme Championship Wrestling closed its doors for the final time. Paul Heyman’s troupe of performers had finally run out of both time and money.

Although remembered as a hardcore organisation, there was much more to the promotion than that. After all, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Christ Jericho all got their breaks there and they also showcased lucha libre stars long before WCW saw it as a good way to fill the time on a Nitro broadcast.

Success came at a cost with ECW being the first real victim of the Monday Night Wars with both WWF and WCW raiding them of their better talkers and workings leaving a rump of less talented workers that relied largely on blading, hardcore wrestling and weapons to incite a reaction from the crowd. By that point, though, it was merely a matter of time for the organisation that started out as Eastern Championship Wrestling. Continue reading

Raw Rewind: 28 April 1997

Craig Wilson

Raw Is War Logo (1998)

This #Rawrewind takes in the show from 28 April 1997 which is headlined by WWF Champion The Undertaker taking on the European champion The British Bulldog. Elsewhere, Brian Pillman explains why he jumped his former WCW tag partner on the previous week’s show whilst Owen Hart challenges Rocky Maivia for the Intercontinental title.

All the previous Raw Rewinds can be located here.

Champion Roll Call:

WWF Champion: The Undertaker
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Rocky Maivia
WWF Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog
WWF European Champion: The British Bulldog Continue reading

A long term Cena injury highlights failings of WWE

Craig Wilson

Only those that live under a rock and/or don’t check their Twitter timeline frequently will have missed the weekend’s news that John Cena injured his achiles tendon on the WWE’s European tour.

Of course, it’s far too early to speculate on whether this will rule him out of events and, if so, for how long but it does highlight a large problem for the WWE. Namely, with so much focus having been on the main event picture in recent years – and little attention paid to the second tier – it leaves no obvious choice for who would step up and fill the Cena void. Continue reading

Sunday Sermon: Best of ‘In Your House’

Craig Wilson, James Giles & Jamie Lithgow

(pic courtesy of

(pic courtesy of

Debuting in May 1995, the ‘In Your House’ PPV was held by the WWF on the months that previously had no events. As such, they were initially seen as b-shows and with a cheaper price and only 2 hours instead of 3 it’s difficult to think otherwise.

However, ‘In Your House’ has given the WWF fans many classic matches and memorable moments. Who can forget the first ever ‘Buried Alive’ match between Mankind and The Undertaker at the unsurprisingly titled ‘Buried Alive’ event or the deafening crowd reaction as the Hart Foundation faced Austin, Goldust, Shamrock and The Legion of Doom? Or a blood soaked Vince McMahon being sent through the announce table at ‘St Valentine’s Day Massacre’, the first Hell in a Cell match or the match that pitted Shawn Michaels & Diesel against The British Bulldog and Yokozuna with every WWF title on the line.

With the WWE releasing ‘The Best of In Your House’ on DVD – hosted by Todd Pettengill, this Sunday Sermon will look at the many great moments that emanated from the ‘In Your House’ events between May 1995 and April 1999, when the ‘In Your House’ part of the title was dropped. Continue reading

What wrestling taught us this week…

Jamie Lithgow

· The Undertaker doesn’t have a mobile phone.

· A Twitter account for The Deadman is still some way off.

· Ryback is the number one contender to the WWE Title. He also claimed that wrestling is “ a results orientated business.” Kind of shot yourself in the foot there big man. If it really is a results orientated business then why isn’t Mark Henry the number one contender? You know, the same Mark Henry that cleanly defeated Ryback at Wrestlemania. Continue reading

Well That Didn’t Work: The Brawl For All

Craig Wilson

The Brawl for All tournament culminated in the match between Bart Gunn and Butterbean at Wrestlemania 15 (pic courtesy of

The Brawl for All tournament culminated in a 34 second match between Bart Gunn and Butterbean at Wrestlemania 15 (pic courtesy of

Wrestling history is littered with great and iconic moments that have captured the imagination of wrestling fans around the world. However, for every Austin 3:16 King of the Ring promo there’s also the debut of the Gobbledy Gooker and for every Curt Hennig there’s a Tiger Ali Singh. In other words, there are many moments and superstars that have quickly been forgotten by wrestling fans or, in the case of the Shockmaster, remembered solely for the utter ridiculousness of it.

In a new series on the blog, titled ‘Well, That Didn’t Work’ we’ll look at some of these woeful moments from wrestling history starting today with ‘The Brawl for All’. Continue reading

On This Day in Wrestling History: Backlash: In Your House 28

Craig Wilson

(pic courtesy of

(pic courtesy of

On April 25, 1999 WWF held the last PPV under the In Your House banner; Backlash: In Your House 28. This was the first PPV after Wrestlemania 15, which saw Stone Cold Steve Austin defeat The Rock to regain the WWF Championship.

The final match at Backlash featured a rematch of that Wrestlemania main event as well as Ministry of Darkness leader The Undertaker facing Ken Shamrock, the Corporation’s Triple H against DX’s X-Pac and Mankind facing The Big Show in a Boiler Room Match. Continue reading

Superstars of Yesteryear: Hakushi

Craig Wilson

The very aesthetically unique Hakushi (pic courtesy of

The very aesthetically unique Hakushi (pic courtesy of

In the second ‘Superstars of Yesteryear’ post, following last week’s on Ludvig Borga, we look at Jinsei Shinzaki, better known to WWF fans by his ring name ‘Hakushi’.

In 1995, a mysterious Japanese performer debuted in the then WWF. As the picture to the side demonstrates, his look was completely different to anything seen before in the promotion.

The superstar was called Hakushi – meaning ‘White Messenger’ – began in traditional fashion by defeating various jobbers as he began to make more and more of a name for himself. His gimmick was very similar to the one he portrayed throughout his career in Japan, that of a Buddhist pilgim. Continue reading

Icons of Wrestling #3 – Dok Hendrix

Jamie LithgowDok Hendrix

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 255lbs
Home Town: Badstreet U.S.A.
Years Active: 1995-1999
AKA: Screaming Eagle and some guy called Michael ‘P.S.’ Hayes
Bio: The year of 1995 will go down in history as one of the most must-see in WWE history. Not only were we treated to Lawrence Taylor’s fantastic wrestling ability and Jeff Jarrett’s silky smooth singing voice, but 1995 also brought us the debut of commentator extraordinaire Dok Hendrix. Making his PPV debut alongside Vince McMahon at the inaugural In Your House, this Keith Lemon lookalike would go on to commentate on precisely one or two more PPVs. Dok was so good in the role of heel commentator that he was deployed to where the real action was; as a backstage interview type guy and commentator on Superstars. On the odd occasion Dok would even supplant the legendary Todd Petengill as host of WWE’s Free for All. Y’know, that crappy countdown show they used to broadcast just before PPVs. The pinnacle of Dok’s career in WWE came at the 1996 King of the Ring when he masterfully held the microphone allowing Steve Austin to deliver his seminal 3:16 promo. Sadly Dok’s microphone holding skills were called upon less and less after the dawn of the Attitude Era. Eventually, in a blockbuster announcement in 1999, it was revealed that the artist formally known as Dok Hendrix was in fact Fabulous Freebird and actual wrestling legend Michael ‘P.S.’ Hayes. After this announcement the Dok Hendrix character was retired to allow fans to recover from the shock of such a revelation.

You can find all the pieces from the ‘Icons of Wrestling’ series here.