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7 hours ago, jazzygeofferz said:

Heat on Channel 4 always felt more like a Raw & Smackdown recap show, but with a couple of mediocre squash matches thrown in. 

It wasn't as bad as those shows where Scott Stanford or Wilson Phillips stands in front of a monitor and talks us through the previous week's TV while shilling the upcoming PPV. 

The US version of heat from 01 onwards was Tazz and some annoying, frosted tipped MTV lad hosting in WWF New York with different wrestlers popping in every week and doing commentary on the taped matches. The C4 one never got any of that and was just the recap show really, though they used to have things like behind the scenes of the video game ad or that type of stuff which wasn't on Raw or Smackdown. Channel 4 used to show it at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon, remember arguing with my nana to let me watch it instead of her usual 'Take the High Road' or whatever when I'd be sent round to hers for dinner.

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I went to Insurrextion 2003 in Newcastle, the last UK only PPV I believe.  The 'highlight' of the show was a Highlight Reel segment with Jericho, Austin, and Bischoff, who were clearly having a blast just pissing around in what was essentially a house show.

https://www.wwe.com/videos/the-highlight-reel-with-chris-jericho-insurrextion-2003-june-7-2003

Rest of the show was total nothing, and yet I still spent £15 on the VHS just because "I was there".  Also got the t-shirt from the show at my parents home, and will occasionally still where it when I visit them at Christmas due to lack of alternatives.

Edited by bbabba
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1 hour ago, theringmaster said:

I wonder how Bulldog felt about being booked as a heel in the 90's UK shows? As they were 'non canon' and not shown in the US, he really could have come out as a face and it wouldn't have made any difference to what was going on on Raw & SD.

I guess he was going to do what he was told, whether he wanted to or not. 

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5 hours ago, theringmaster said:

I wonder how Bulldog felt about being booked as a heel in the 90's UK shows?

All one of them? Probably a case of (a) doing what he was told because he was happy to have a job, (b) being grateful to be an antagonist of DX and The Rock as it made him (briefly) a factor in the main event scene, (c) being too out of it to think much about anything, (d) not giving too much of a shit because it was only Birmingham.

I don’t count his appearance at Insurrextion 2000. Popping the crowd as a surprise to win the Hardcore title from only Crash neither counts as booked as a heel or, to be fair, the 90s.

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The characters were so strong in the Attitude Era that Bulldog's nationality alone wouldn't have been enough to flip him in his homeland. Not only was he was picking fights with The Rock, the overt Britishness of his character was also turned way down. This was the blue jeans era for him, after all. I'm sure in today's age it would have been enough to guarantee him a smart arse "He's our boy!" reaction from a smart arse crowd - where your most active fans most active participation is literally them telling you they don't really care about your booking - but that wasn't the case in 1999. 

In fact for all its counter culture, shades of grey window dressing, the product was so fucking good that fans generally did what they were told. How many contrary reactions were there in the Attitude Era, really? To Russo's credit - and I'll give him the credit for this - he was in the perfect time and place as idiot savant to have fans eating out of the palm of his hands for everything he wanted them to.  

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20 hours ago, AshC said:

That Rebellion 99 appearance for Davey did have storyline implications too, remember he chucked that bin backstage and it hit Stephanie McMahon in the head.

 

8 hours ago, CL Punk said:

...and it was after that head injury that she married Triple H.

There‚Äôs a ‚ÄúWrestling of Future Past‚ÄĚ where Steph still marries Test, the ‚ÄúMcMahon-Helmsley‚ÄĚ era/Corporation X doesn‚Äôt happen, and all the pieces being where they needed to be for Backlash 2000 to be what it was might not have been.

Well done, Bulldog lad.

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Insurrextion 2000 at Earl's Court in London was my first UK PPV, and actually first live WWF show at all.  I'd been to some "AMERICAN WRESTLING LIVE"-type shows in my local area with the likes of Giant Haystacks, Blondie Barrett, UK Undertaker and so on, even saw the real Davey Boy Smith in Scarborough back in the summer of 1994. But my parents never got us tickets to any of the WWF tours, probably because they never knew they were happening, and I never bothered hassling them to go.  They apparently did try to get me tickets to the WCW tour in 1993 as a surprise when they spotted an ad on the back of my WCW magazine, but it had sold out. That's what they told me, anyway.

I hadn't bothered watching any of the UK-only PPVs on the telly either. Not really sure why. Possibly because I didn't think my parents would pay for them; maybe because being a smarky PowerSlam reader I didn't think they were actually worthwhile.  I do distinctly remember, however, listening to the full Rebellion 1999 show on the scrambled Sky Box Office channel, which seemed to have more in the way of 'proper' angles and stuff, including Bulldog hoying a bin at Stephanie's head. Then, I spotted an advert in a travel agent's window while shopping in Middlesbrough for a fully-organised, inclusive trip to London for Insurrextion 2000 and thought I'd go for it.  The trip included coach travel down from Middlesbrough bus station to London, tickets to the PPV, an overnight stay in a posh hotel right next to Tower Bridge and free time for shopping and sightseeing in London the next day before travel home. At the time, I wasn't used to booking tickets, hotels, travel etc. so this organised tour approach made it easy.  My brother came too, and off we went.

The coach from the hotel to the arena got stuck in traffic as it drove alongside the River Thames, so we only arrived at Earl's Court about 5-10 minutes before the show was due to start. I will never, ever forget the GOOSEBUMPS as we strode to find our block as the show was about to start and hearing the "ROCKY! ROCKY!" chants echoing through the empty concourse from the packed arena above. My brother and I just looked at each other open mouthed. ELECTRIC.

I really enjoyed the show. Looking back now I can see that most of it was basic house show fare, short matches etc. But for my first ever WWF show, the buzz was about seeing all the stars live and being there in among the booming atmosphere. Mr. McMahon came out after the first match for a speech and got the "ARRRRRRRRRSEHOLE" treatment, which was great fun to be part of. There was a big Too Cool dance party after Rikishi's match too, which went down a treat.  The Kat and Terri Runnels had an arm wrestling match that descended into the usual, erm, cat fight, with plenty of whistling and, erm, cat-calling. DX's Tori got similar treatment, while Chyna received a huge "SHE'S A MAN, SHE'S A MAN, SHE'S A MAAAAAAN!" song. "Different times" indeed.  My old mate the British Bulldog came out as a surprise challenger for Crash Holly and the Hardcore Title. He'd been out for a good while injured and this was his unadvertised comeback. I remember the place ERUPTING.

A card with Benoit v Angle, Guerrero v Jericho, Hardys v E&C, a main event featuring Rock v Triple-H and all the other WWF 2000 stars sounds like it should have been an all-time classic. It definitely wasn't, but settled nicely around the "decent show, massive fun" level.  After, we had to get back to the coach to go back to the hotel. With getting to the arena just in time for the show, there being no interval, and being gripped to our seats not wanting to miss anything, I didn't get any merch from my first WWF show, which I do regret now.

 

I did the exact same "inclusive coach trip" deal from the exact same travel agent for Rebellion 2001 the following year in Manchester. My brother didn't come this time, and I ended up sitting next to a loud, annoying twat on the coach over. You know, one of "those" wrestling fans who tries to show everyone how clever they are & how much they know about what goes on. Twat. We arrived at the hotel early afternoon and I switched on Sky in the room, which had the wrestling on, only to see just about the entire PPV card for that night had been changed. Hmm.

I had a decent seat - quite high up but giving a good view and far enough away from Coach Twat. This was right in the middle of the Invasion storyline, building to Survivor Series, so every match on this show was WWF vs Alliance. It did have Edge vs. Christian in a steel cage (my first ever live steel cage match, which was cool, using the old 'bars' instead of the mesh that was standard by then), Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho (which was very good) and, incredibly, Steve Austin vs. The Rock on top. That felt SPECIAL: two absolute SUPERSTARS, with the entire crowd eating out of their hands, just putting on an absolute showcase in entertainment. There was house-show style comedy & daftness, but it absolutely worked (especially with Austin's character at time) & crowd loved it. Afterwards, they did house-show closing angle of a SINGING CONTEST (which they'd do on Raw a few months later), which was BRILLIANT. That sent everyone home incredibly happy. The coach picked us up again from outside the old Boddington brewery then crawled through the jammed streets of Manchester back to hotel. Everyone was in high spirits. Even The Twat was tolerable. The next day, we were dropped at the Trafford Centre for a few hours shopping (I remember buying Mick Foley's second book that day) before the coach took us home.

 

The organised tour thing did work well and took the hassle out of it, but I soon worked out that I could book tickets, travel and accommodation far cheaper and conveniently myself. So, in terms of the UK-exclusive PPVs I'd do that for Rebellion 2002 back in Manchester (a bit of a nothing show, a SmackDown-only roster before there were such a thing as split-brand PPVs, with Edge vs. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman in handicap main event) and Insurrextion 2003 in Newcastle (Raw, again not much of a show) before they scrapped the idea and started taping 'proper' Raw and SmackDown over here instead. In the days of the WWE Network and such, I don't know why they don't run even a small 'Network special' over here again - especially when that NXT TakeOver from Wembley Arena came over so well.  We'll see...

 

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On 3/10/2021 at 12:34 AM, bbabba said:

I went to Insurrextion 2003 in Newcastle, the last UK only PPV I believe.  The 'highlight' of the show was a Highlight Reel segment with Jericho, Austin, and Bischoff, who were clearly having a blast just pissing around in what was essentially a house show.

https://www.wwe.com/videos/the-highlight-reel-with-chris-jericho-insurrextion-2003-june-7-2003

Rest of the show was total nothing, and yet I still spent £15 on the VHS just because "I was there".  Also got the t-shirt from the show at my parents home, and will occasionally still where it when I visit them at Christmas due to lack of alternatives.

Glad it wasn't just me. I was at that show as well and to be honest I was bored. 

My highlight was Paul Heyman calling the crowd Wankers and I personally popped for the Dudleys. 

Went to a Smackdown house show a year later and enjoyed that loads more. 

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Just been reading that Tyson Fury claimed that he was supposed to have a match with McIntyre on a UK PPV last year. Didn't even know that they had plans to do another one of these shows. I assume it would've aired on the Network rather than an exclusive for BT Box Office

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