Mon, 13 December 2004
by: The Gimmick
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E.C.W! Those three little letters stand for Extreme Championship Wrestling. It was a small organization that worked out of Philadelphia Pennsylvania during most of the nineties. But as small as it was, Iâ€™m sure that in one hundred years, when pro wrestling is the planets preferred sport and apes have taken over our existence, weâ€™ll see that those three little letters will have had more of an impact, on the sport, than any of us (and our future ape overlords) will ever know. It was known as the rogue federation because of its hardcore style. But to me hardcore wrestling isnâ€™t just about getting hit in the head two hundred times in one match. Itâ€™s also about wrestling, and thatâ€™s why E.C.W was so successful. I canâ€™t be the only one to think like that because WWE have released a 2 disc DVD, entitled THE RISE AND FALL OF E.C.W.
I absolutely loved this, for a couple of reasons. Number 1: its E.C.W. which means Rove McManus is nowhere to be seen. Number 2: Unlike the Monday Night War DVD, released earlier this year, the story is all on the first disc with nothing else on it. Which means it runs for virtually 3 hours, and is so full of information, it makes Yellow Pages look like a pamphlet. As I said earlier disc 1 is the complete story of E.C.W from the people that were involved, including Tommy Dreamer, The Dudley Boyz, Rhyno, Dawn Marie, Stevie Richards and many more. And letâ€™s not forget, the mad scientist who ran the show, Paul Heyman.
The disc starts off with profiles of the superstars from the early days who helped make the company what it later became. Superstars such as; Terry Funk, The Public Enemy, Tazz, Mikey Whipwreck, Cactus Jack, Tommy Dreamer and Sabu. The disc then moves into the angle/shoot when Eastern Championship Wrestling became Extreme Championship Wrestling after breaking away from the N.W.A. Not the rap group led by Dr. Dre, the wrestling association. From there the story of Extreme Championship Wrestling begins.
The rest of the disc is simply a history lesson on E.C.W. Man, I wish I could have taken that history lesson when I was at high school. I can hear the teacher now, â€śAlright everyone, open your textbooks to chapter 12: Tables; Friend or Foe.â€ť Sorry I trailed off there. Anyway, the feature describes the angles and the inside stories that were most famous during that time. Including the famous three year feud between Tommy Dreamer and Raven, the public firing of â€śThe Human Highlight Reelâ€ť Sabu, and the transformation of The Tazmaniac into Taz. Also the emotional angle between Raven and The Sandman and the infamous crucifixion incident which followed. Watch for the ramifications of that incident involving none other than Kurt Angle. There is a ton more, but to list them all would ruin it for you all. OK, so I canâ€™t be stuffed! What do you want from me huh?
But for me the most interesting parts of the 1st disc are the incidents, told by the individuals who were there, that eventually led to the demise of E.C.W. and itâ€™s not because of what you might think, depending on who you believe. There are also 2 easter eggs on this disc, including a nine minute collection of some interviews done in the early days.
Now itâ€™s time for disc number 2! This one is just as good maybe even better. It has seven of the mast talked about matches in E.C.W. history. Matches include The Pitbulls Vs Raven & Stevie Richards for the Tag Team Titles from 1995. Rey Misterio Jr. Vs Psychosis in a 2 out of 3 falls match from the E.C.W. arena in 1995. Also from 95 is The Sandman defending his E.C.W. heavyweight title against perennial underdog Mikey Whipwreck in a Ladder Match. And everyoneâ€™s favorite S.O.B. makes an early appearance in that one. Next, and in my opinion the best match on the disc, is the battle for the TV title, as Too Cold Scorpio defends his against â€śThe Human Highlight Reelâ€ť Sabu. From 1997 itâ€™s the end of an era, as Tommy Dreamer faces his arch nemesis Raven for the last time in a â€śLoser Leaves Town Matchâ€ť. Watch all the way till the end of that one for a special appearance from a â€śRoyalâ€ť guest. Also this particular match has a special commentary from the â€śInnovator of Violenceâ€ť Tommy Dreamer. From Living Dangerously 1998 its Tazz defending his TV title against Bam Bam Bigelow and again Tazz does audio commentary for this one. And finally from Hardcore Heaven 1999 its Jerry Lynn trying to wrestle the TV title from â€śThe Whole Fâ€™n Showâ€ť Rob Van Dam in an awesome match. R.V.D. does an audio commentary on this match as well. Listen out for how much of a nimrod Michael Cole sounds on the commentaries, especially the last one. I donâ€™t know how the hell he got his job! No, on second thoughts maybe I do.
Also on the disc are 2 more easter eggs and also 3 special interviews. One from Stevie Richards, one from Tazz and one funny one about Paul Heyman the Travel Agent. Listen for Chris Jerichoâ€™s impersonation on Ron Simmons (Faarooq). Also if you are new to E.C.W. listen to commentator Joey Styles and the way he calls the matches. If heâ€™s not the best commentator from the last 10 or so years my name is Steve. All in all this is the perfect way to spend a day if you are a hardcore wrestling fan or just a wrestling fan. And if youâ€™re not into violence and good old school style wrestling, donâ€™t worry there is still netball for you on the ABC.
â€śAnd remember never trust a midget or anyone with 2 first names.â€ť
by: The Gimmick
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As Joey Styles would say â€śOH MY GOD!!!!â€ť