June 06, 2012

Poncho Man's Long Winded ECW DVD Review

So here’s something to really cut your teeth on. ECW Unreleased Vol. 1. OH MY GAWD! 7 hours of craziness. Hosted by Joey Styles. YAY!!!

Most DVD collections that WWE has put out with ECW matches in the past have been the extremely bloody or short on matches. Not to say that “The Rise and Fall Of ECW” isn’t one of the best documentaries they have done, but it’s nice to finally have a collection of matches that may or may not be brutal to relive what ECW was really about. So I’ll try to give you what I thought were highlights and might actually seem kind of random due to not really wanting to break down every match on this collection.
    We start where it all began with the match that Shane Douglas tells all the former NWA Champions to kiss his ass. The match itself is a really weird kind of boring mat wrestling match against 2 Cold Scorpio. Maybe they were trying to make a statement about old school NWA wrestling so ECW would really seem new and different in the coming months and years.
    We see the beginning of the Tommy Dreamer/Raven feud. How awesome is it that this feud went on for years based around Beulah being fat at summer camp and now being a “Penthouse Centerfold” as Stevie Richards so eloquently puts it.
    Stinko Malenko really steals disc one for me especially with his match with Eddie Guerrero. I remember seeing this match years ago and I always think about how I never really liked Eddie’s WWE style of wrestling. Not to say he didn’t have great matches with a lot of people, but his Lucha/Cruiserweight style was much more interesting to me than his more traditional stuff.
    The end of disc one is Chris Jericho vs. 2 Cold Scorpio. This match is very odd to me. It’s actually quite fantastic, but it doesn’t really have a storyline to build off of, and for some reason the crowd doesn’t seem to be all that into each successive “big move.” It almost reminded me of Punk/Jericho at Wrestlemania where it was kinda sloppy but still good. 2 Cold Scorpio was always quite good, but looking at him and listening to him was almost unbearable.
    Disc 2 brings us RVD and Sabu vs. The Eliminators. I’m pretty positive I’ve seen some waaaaay crazier Eliminators matches in my time. Total Elimination is one of my favorite tag team finishers. Speaking of dream matches, this really just makes me want to see The Eliminators vs. The Steiners. One of the great things about ECW is that the tag teams would usually win over the single stars getting together to form a tag team. Where as when WWE would put their two top guys together for some stupid storyline, they would almost always beat the actual tag title holders because of the stupid pecking order.
    Bill Alfonso rules. He had a stable that included TAZ, Sabu, and RVD. That’s waaay better than Dino Bravo, The Barbarian and The Mountie. Anyway…Taz vs. Sabu. Nuff Said.
    Every time I see a Shane Douglas match I think two things. 1. It’s a shame he had such a combative attitude and never saw his day in the sun. 2. It’s really not surprising no one ever pushed him. I can never tell if he was actually better or worse than Lex Luger. Bam Bam Bigelow is one of my top five big men of all time. He’s like this great substitute if Vader isn’t available. Their match is a little boring to me.
    Sabu & Rob Van Dam vs. Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki. Holy crap. Shinzaki was in WWE for a short time and I can’t remember his name. He had fake kanji tattoos all over him. This match is awesome. Please go watch it.
    RVD and Jerry Lynn probably had the greatest feud ever just based on in ring competition. There was no “storyline.” It was just amazing. I remember watching like what seemed like 3 hours of just their matches. It was all just fantastic. This is really the genesis to me of what ROH was about. I was disappointed that Jerry Lynn was broken when TNA did their dumb ECW PPV. Who knows if it would have been as awesome but getting close would be a great match.
    Disc 3. Shane Douglas vs. Taz is kinda pointless. They wrestle in the crowd for a long time and Sabu shows up. Then Sunny and Chris Candido. Weird run ins. Sunny was wearing like weird mom jeans.
    When I started watching ECW all the time the Impact Players were the like star heels. Lance Storm and Justin Credible. Justin Credible is the best name in wrestling. RVD and Jerry Lynn vs. the Impact Players is just kinda awesome.
    Oh Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka. Remember the WWE ECW ppv they had where they had a rematch. Joey Styles goes off about how much of a prick Mike Awesome was. Truthfully…how much of a prick can a guy be when he campaigned to have his WCW gimmick be “The Mullet Mike Awesome.” This match has always been incredible. So many tables. Tanaka just gets killed. Totally Awesome!
    By the way…the little blurbs in between matches are Joey Styles talking about stuff. Not super interesting but better than “We were so brutal and innovative and it was such a great time in our lives.” He goes off about Mike Awesome again, but includes the whole story (apparently never been told….I won’t spoil it…I knew a bunch of it).
    After Tommy Dreamer wins the title ECW kind of died. Not that the rest of the matches on this dvd or what actually happened wasn’t good, but Tommy winning kind of ended the story of ECW. Watch the DVD…I think you might know what I mean.

Anyway, that was super long winded and kind of random….but hopefully you’ll either go watch it now or loook into some of the awesome guys I just mentioned. In my head RVD is still the television champion, and WWE didn’t drop the boat on everyone. Too bad they have made tons of money off these old matches, but basically got rid of every single ECW guy in the last few years. Okay….this was too long…sorry…I’m done.


  1. Thanks for doing that, I was actually thinking about asking you to. I love those old Guerrero-Malenko matches, I have a collection of about a dozen, some shot by fans at house shows. They always killed. I've never seen an RVD-Lynn match (except in TNA) so I guess that's overdue. Bigelow and Storm are some of my favorites... and apparently I need to see the Sabu/RVD/Hayabusa/Shinzaki match. Definitely added to the playlist.

  2. Awesome man, Thanks for the review. I might actually go out and buy this ding dang dvd. Im really excited to see it. I'm not the biggest ecw in the world but i do like to watch from time to time. I watch old episodes of superstars from the late 80's before bed, current TNA when i do dishes and ECW when i get a burrito from Pepinos. So someday soon ill have to pick this and a burrito up and spend some dude time alone, without my penis being involved that it.