To read the 1st Part of my Live Show reviews, it’s here: http://wrestlingrambles.com/2012/04/22/ttr-special-goofys-look-back-at-live-shows/
So, the first show in this post I will be talking about, is a WCW House show from the 10th March 2000, at the Birmingham NEC. WCW had previously visited England in the early 1990s, but I didn’t know about any of their tours. It was never properly advertised, where as WWF Tours would be put in the local newspapers. Anyways, this time I found out about the tour, and made sure I went to see it. Bret Hart, Jeff Jarrett, Ric Flair, Kevin Nash, Lex Luger advertised, as well as the possible chance of seeing Norman Smiley?!? I had to go!
WCW House show results were as follows: Norman Smiley beat David Flair (with Daffney), Bam Bam Bigelow defeated The Wall, Booker pinned Fit Finlay, Hacksaw Jim Duggan retained his TV Title in a Hardcore match against Brian Knobbs, The Mamalukes defeated the Harris Brothers to retain the Tag Team Titles, Dustin Rhodes beat Terry Funk, Lex Luger (with Miss Elizabeth) beat Vampiro, and Curt Hennig defeated Ric Flair.
I gotta say, I was surprised by the attendance for this. The blocks round ringside had a lot of empty seats, and the blocks at the back of the arena looked the same too. Also at times the crowd didn’t get into the action much, most of the first half, the fans were quiet.
Onto the event itself, as mentioned on here before, I marked out seeing Norman Smiley. Partly because I thought the guy was awesome, but also he was wearing the football kit of the team I support. As expected, his match with David Flair was a comedy one, seeing Mr “Smy-lay” do an airplane spin to Daffney, and her foot knocked out Flair. Brian Knobbs seemed like he didn’t want to be here. Bret Hart came out, and gave a speech. He was sorry he couldn’t wrestle, due to his injury, but wanted to thank the fans, especially for the support since Owen died. An “Owen” chant went around the arena, and he was touched by that. The Mamalukes and Harris Brothers…I genuinely can’t remember how that ended, but I have a good reason. I was too busy watching Miss Hancock (aka Stacy Keibler) walking back up the ramp. Dustin Rhodes and Terry Funk brawled to the back, with a frozen chicken. Kevin Nash appeared in a wheelchair, but to be honest, I was too busy meeting Norman Smiley who was beside the entrance, with his parents. He was pretty cool. They brought out Michael Buffer, and he made sure we were reeeeeeeeeeeeeeady to ruuuuuuuuuuumble. Except, as soon as people saw Curt Hennig and Ric Flair come down to the ring, a lot started to leave. No idea why, two legends of this business, and you leave?! MADNESS. The end was a bit of a cluster, with too many interferences, but Hennig picked up the win with the Perfect Plex. I felt pleased to have seen this company, as well as numerous legends.
Fast forward to the 13th November 2000, and back to Birmingham NEC once again, to see another WCW House Show. There seemed a lot more buzz to do with this tour, due to WCW taping over here. Sadly, it wasn’t in Birmingham, but even so, the talent advertised was good enough for me. Booker T, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett mentioned, as well as Goldberg, and the Icon, Sting. Add into that…SCREAMIN’ NORMAN SMILEY! *insert Mick Foley style thumbs up here*
Results from that night are: The Cat (with Ms Jones) beat Mike Sanders, Elix Skipper (with Major Gunns) defeated Kwee Wee (with Paisley), Mike Awesome and Norman Smiley beat Boogie Knights, General Rection won via DQ against Lance Storm, Mark Jindrak and Sean O’Haire successfully defended the Tag Titles over Kidman and Rey Mysterio Jr., Kevin Nash and Sting beat Kronik, Goldberg pinned Bam Bam Bigelow, and Booker T retained the World Heavyweight Title against Scott Steiner (with Midajah).
Again, this wasn’t full, there were still quite a lot of seats available, and I was surprised by that. I was also gutted to know that Jeff Jarrett came on the tour…but didn’t appear at this show. Goldberg was over huge with the fans, where as Bam Bam got some cheers. The Beast from the East had to get on the mic, trash the city just to get some heel heat. Booker T and Scott Steiner put on a pretty good main event, which also saw Steiner say at the end of the night “I’m never coming back to this shit ho…”…think they cut the mic too late. The Canadian stuff from Lance Storm and Elix Skipper bombed, sad considering both are talented and I was excited to see them live. Mike Sanders taunted Kevin Nash midway through, and Kronik attacked. I thought the roof was about to be blown off when Sting made the save. It was good to see Nash and Sting, even if Kronik barely seemed bothered to fight. Speaking of the roof, WCW made an error with their pyro, and it kept hitting the low-ish roof (which made the pyros sound much louder).
Bit of a gap this time, as the next show wasn’t for just under 7 years. This was well worth the wait though, as my next show happened to be a WWE Raw (and Sunday Night Heat) TV Taping at the Birmingham NIA on the 15th October 2007. 2 weeks before this, John Cena got injured. 1 week before this, Shawn Michaels returned.
So, the results from this tapings were: Sunday Night Heat – Harry Smith pinned Carlito, Mickie James beat Melina, Snitsky defeated Robbie Brookside (UK wrestler), Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Super Crazy beat World’s Greatest Tag Team. Raw – Randy Orton pinned Jeff Hardy, Santino Marella gets the win over Val Venis, Mr Kennedy won by DQ against Randy Orton, Umaga beat Andy Simmonz (UK wrestler) 3 times, Candice Michelle quickly defeated Jillian Hall, Rory McAllister beat Brian Kendrick, Hardcore Holly got the better of Cody Rhodes, Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton went to a no-contest. Dark match result saw Triple H beat Umaga in a Street Fight.
I won’t go into detail on the matches, as it was a TV show, so if you watched back in 2007, you would have seen this. Interesting notes from being in the crowd though…most people didn’t realise who Harry Smith was, until he took the mic before his match, and said “I’m dedicating my match tonight to my father, the British Bulldog”. During the Mickie/Melina match, I cheered on Mickie, causing a young kid in front of me to turn round and say “I’d sleep with her I would!”, and his younger brother to go “yeah, and me!”. I slid down my seat at that. My Dad went to get a shirt from merchandise stalls, and came back, saying “quick, need to get you out into the lobby area”. He didn’t explain to me, as we left…and bumped into Ron Simmons! He was walking round meeting the fans, and I managed to get a photo with him, as well as a “DAMN!” from him.
Randy Orton fought 3 times, as William Regal forced him to face his potential Cyber Sunday opponents. This was also the night Hornswoggle “blew up the ring”. I was amused seeing this happen, I must admit. As Raw ended, Orton and Kennedy headed backstage, and Michaels posed for the crowd. As he left….Triple H made his way out for his dark match. They even cut their old DX pose on the ramp, that was VERY cool. All in all, a top experience for me.
The following night, 16th October 2007, I went back to the Birmingham NIA for the 2nd half of WWE’s TV Tapings, to see ECW and Smackdown taped. I think my Dad was more excited then I was, as he once again got to see his favourite wrestler, The Undertaker.
2nd night of TV Tapings saw: Dark Match – Tommy Dreamer pin Carl Ouellet. ECW – CM Punk and Kane beat Big Daddy V, John Morrison and The Miz, Jesse and Festus defeated Elijah Burke and Nunzio, John Morrison and The Miz went to a no-contest thanks to Big Daddy V. Smackdown – Kane beat Great Khali by DQ, Chris Masters defeated Chuck Palumbo, Matt Hardy pinned Finlay, Drew McIntyre won against Brian Major, Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore beat Deuce and Domino, Undertaker squashed Jamie Noble and MVP vs Rey Mysterio also went to a no-contest.
Yes, the dark match featured ECW’s Tommy Dreamer against former WWF Tag Team Champion and one half of the Quebecers, Carl Ouellet. I swear I must have sat there throughout his match going “Carl Ouellet?! I swear that’s a former Quebecer??”. I wasn’t amused at seeing Big Daddy V appear not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES in the same night, and all taped in such a short space of time too. It was funny seeing Jesse and Festus, Elijah Burke’s “shocked/disgusted” reaction to them was hilarious too. Masters vs Palumbo was dull…I admit I spent my time staring at Michelle McCool’s ass. JBL also interviewed Batista, watching the “Wrestling God” work was just brilliant. Shame he got beat up by the World Heavyweight Champ! Another interesting night, and glad I got the chance to take in the TV Tapings.
The last show in this article, is my first trip to seeing a TNA House show. This was on the 21st January 2009, once again back at the Birmingham NIA. I wasn’t quite sure how this would go, or what would happen, but was looking forward to it. Tickets were cheap, I’m sure it was only £25 each for where we sat. They then put Fan Interaction tickets for £10, and considering Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash and Jeff Jarrett were on this tour, for that price, I certainly had to get tickets to the meet and greet in hopes of meeting them.
TNA House show results: Alex Shelley successfully retained the X-Division Title against Consequences Creed, Jay Lethal and Eric Young, Abyss beat Sheik Abdul Bashir, ODB and Taylor Wilde pinned The Beautiful People, Magnus defeated Matt Morgan, Team 3D won a “Birmingham Brawl” against Beer Money, Samoa Joe defeated Doug Williams, and the main event saw Jeff Jarrett and AJ Styles beat Scott Steiner and Kurt Angle.
The Fan Interaction was fun, even if poorly organised. They had way too many fans in a small conference room, and only 2 hours to do it in. It caused complaints from fans, and from one Scott Steiner who bitched “we’re supposed to be done by now”. All the roster from the show was on this meet and greet. Velvet Sky was sweet (and very beautiful!!), Matt Morgan and Kurt Angle were cool, Jeff Jarrett was awesome. Mick Foley was quiet, didn’t really say much, same for AJ Styles.
Onto the event itself. The arena was only half full, with the blocks at the back of the arena covered up. I guess this is part of the reason they’ve never returned to Birmingham since 2009. The opening fatal 4 way was such a great way to open the show, and Shelley really pulled off some big high flying moves. This was Magnus’s 2nd or 3rd TNA match, and was billed as Gladiator vs Gladiator due to them both appearing on their country’s respective game show. I felt Magnus struggled a lot, and looking back, I can tell he’s improved so much since then! Mick Foley came out after the interval for a history lesson on Birmingham…except he was talking about the place in Alabama! Joe and Williams was the match of the night, shame it didn’t get much time, while I was gutted my batteries died in my camera and I missed getting any shots of Jarrett in the main event! But all in all, my first TNA expererience was a positive one, which I have repeated every year since that day.
Here’s a slideshow of photos from the two TV Tapings, and the TNA house show. Sadly there’s no WCW photos, as the first time the photos came out way too dark, the 2nd time, we lost our camera.
Photos include: Heat/Raw TV: Harry Smith, Mr Kennedy, Londrick and Highlanders, Hornswoggle, Shawn Michaels, Triple H vs Umaga. SD/ECW TV: John Morrison, Great Khali, JBL, Undertaker vs Jamie Noble, MVP, Rey Mysterio. TNA: Me with Velvet Sky and Angelina Love, X-Division Fatal 4 Way, Abyss vs Bashir, The Beautiful People vs ODB and Taylor Wilde, Team 3D vs Beer Money, Mick Foley.
Part 3 next week will see me discuss the last UK Tour for 2 WWE legends, which TNA start went red with embarrassment due to his reaction, and the embarrassing moment I appeared on WWE.com homepage.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, hope you enjoyed it!
@GoofyVillain of @TheTopRope