The Gimmick gets wrapped in barbed wire again.
Sun, 2 April 2006
by: The Gimmick
Email the Author
Here we are again ladies and gentlemen for another WWE DVD review, but this time we're going to the EXTREME! Just when you thought it was safe for you're kids to watch wrestling again, (just quietly, that hasn't been a reality for over 6 years) WWE and Shock bring us a look back at some ECW classics with this 2 disc release entitled ECW: The Most Extreme Matches (Sammy's note: Well, actually that isn't exactly what it is titled, but close enough. I went with the name Shock lists the DVD as, but even that isn't exactly what it says on the cover. Sorry to interrupt you once again there Mr. Gimmick). How extreme are they? Seriously, if you are squeamish about blood then give this a miss, because quite frankly some of the stuff on this would make Chopper Reed grimace.
Obviously you have to love ECW to really appreciate this, but any wrestling fan can see and value the dedication that these athletes have for ECW in the way they put their bodies on the line. They didn't do it for the business directly, they did it for ECW first and foremost which I think is remarkable. I doubt you would see that sort of dedication these days. Any way, this DVD set has action from start to finish but what I love about it most is that "The Mad Scientist" himself Paul E Dangerously hosts it and introduces each and every match with insight that only he would know.
Onto the matches! Now, there are 19 matches included on this set and to go through all of them would be boring. It would be like listening to chess on the radio. So, with that in mind, I thought I'd just go through my favorites on these discs - but I will list all the matches at the end of the review. The first one is a battle between two brothers. Axl & Ian Rotten took their feud to a new level in wrestling when they went head on in the first Tai Pei Death Match. The premise for this is simple: both men tape their fists, dip them in super glue and then dip them again in broken glass. The result was a bloody battle that showed the world how extreme ECW could be.
The next one was a classic 4 corners match for the ECW TV Title. In 1 corner was Shane Douglas, in the 2nd was Too Cold Scorpio, in the 3rd was Pitbull #2 and lastly, the champ: Chris Jericho. This was a classic mix of both hardcore and straight laced wrestling which was what separated ECW from anything else ever seen.
Now, who can say no to a good weapons match? Not me that's for sure. So when Tommy Dreamer battled "Prime Time" Brian Lee at Hardcore Heaven 96 everyone was left scratching their heads saying "How the hell did they survive that one?". I'd like to see the brains of the world figure that one out.
When I say Stretcher Match you probably think of the recent matches WWE has promoted on TV over the last few years, or maybe the classic Andre The Giant Vs Killer Khan match from the late 70's/early 80's. Well when I think of Stretcher Matches I think of the classic from The Doctor Is In 1996 between Rob Van Dam and Sabu. These two are the best of friends but you wouldn't know it from the way they destroyed each other in this high flying, hard hitting hardcore classic. As Joey Styles would say (and did) "OH MY GOD!!"
Ok, now that was just a taste of disc 1, now onto disc 2. We start with quite possibly the most horrific, vile and grisly match in ECW history. At Born To Be Wired 1997 the battle for the ECW Title raised the bar again for sheer violence as "The Human High Light Reel" Sabu battled the champion: Terry Funk in a Barbed Wire match. This match needs to be seen to be believed as both men tear and rip at each other with barbed wire and it almost costs one man his life. That match may be as hardcore as it gets, because ECW never promoted another Barbed Wire match again. After you see it, you'll see why.
|How this guy is still alive, let alone wrestling, I just don't know. |
In another title match, this time for the Tag Team Titles, The Dudley Boyz defended their titles against their little brother Spike and his partner Balls Mahoney in a Chicago Street Fight, Falls Count Anywhere Match. What is it about Chicago that brings out the worst in people? Anyway this is how I remember The Dudley Boyz, doing what they want and beating the crap out of people. BTW watch the end of this because it is HOT!
Spike Dudley was again in the mix of things, when he battled for the ECW Title back in 2000's Guilty As Charged show against the monster and champion Mike Awesome. Spike got beaten so hard I'll be his brothers felt it. But just like always, he managed to get his fair share of debilitating shots in as well. Another hardcore classic!
Back in 2001 at ECW's seemingly last PPV, Guilty As Charged, Tommy Dreamer took on C.W. Anderson in an "I Quit Match". A great match that has bonus audio commentary with Dreamer himself and The Coach, but the best bit is The Coach's obvious lack of knowledge as he asks the most stupid questions during the match.
The extras are ok, with some insight into the Flaming Table match and the Barbed Wire match featured on this disc. It also has a few interviews I assume conducted during the ECW One Night Stand from last year. But the best part of the extras is the complete match between The Public Enemy Vs The Ganstas from House Party 1996, which was Public Enemy's final match before heading to WCW. But the lack of extras doesn't detract from the overall excellence of the DVD. The only thing wrong with the DVD is that there wasn't more of the other ECW stalwarts like Raven, Shane Douglas, New Jack The Eliminators, The Dudley Boyz etc. But hopefully WWE will make up for that and make more volumes in the ECW series.
Wrestling is real, everything else is fake!
1. ECW World Tag Team champions The Public Enemy vs. Cactus Jack & Mikey Whipwreck (August 27, 1994 at ECW Arena)
2. The Sandman & Terry Funk vs. Cactus Jack & ECW World champion Shane Douglas (March 17, 1995, ECW Arena)
3. Axl Rotten vs. Ian Rotten - Taipei Death Match (Hardcore Heaven '95, July 7, 1995)
4. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psicosis - Mexican Death Match (November to Remember '95, November 18, 1995)
5. ECW World Television champion Chris Jericho vs. Shane Douglas vs. 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Pitbull #2 (ECW Heatwave '96)
6. Tommy Dreamer vs. Brian Lee - Weapons Match (ECW Hardcore Heaven '96)
|Now that's something I would like to try at home. |
7. Sabu vs. Rob Van Dam - Stretcher Match (The Doctor is In, August 3, 1996)
8. Terry Funk vs. Sandman vs. Stevie Richards (ECW Barely Legal)
9. ECW World champion Terry Funk vs. Sabu - No Ropes Barbed Wire Match (Born to Be Wired)
10. Beulah McGillicutty vs. Bill Alfonso (As Good as It Gets, September 1997 at ECW Arena)
11. Tazz vs. Bam Bam Bigelow - ECW Death Match (ECW Heatwave '8 PPV)
12. ECW World champion Shane Douglas vs. Tazz (Guilty As Charged '99 PPV)
13. The Dudley Boyz vs. Spike Dudley & Balls Mahoney - Chicago Street Fight
14. ECW World champion Mike Awesome vs. Spike Dudley (Guilty As Charged 2000 PPV)
15. Rhino vs. The Sandman (ECW on TNN, February 2000)
16. Super Crazy vs. Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Little Guido (ECW on TNN, March 2000)
17. Tommy Dreamer vs. CW Anderson - "I Quit" Match (ECW Guilty as Charged 2001) with Alternate commentary featuring Tommy Dreamer and Jonathan Coachman
18. Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka (ECW One Night Stand PPV)
19. Extras Section: The Public Enemy vs. The Gangstas (House Party 1996)
by: The Gimmick
Email the Author
More articles by The Gimmick
So what does the Gimmick recommend? Grab yourself a slab of beer, wrap yourself in barbed wire, set fire to your coffee table and watch this DVD, just like I did. If not, The Gimmick will come round and get EXTREME with you, and you wouldn't want that!