ECW Hardcore History DVD
ECW Hardcore History DVD
Released August 7, 2001
Your host is Joey Styles.
- Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko vs. Tag Team Champions Sabu and Tazmaniac (w/ Paul E. Dangerously and 911) (2/25/95)
This pre-match fun is brought to you by The Public Enemy: Despite Rocco being in a wheelchair, PE shows up and Grunge talks a bunch of trash to Benoit and Malenko, which starts a 2-on-1 brawl. Once Grunge gets handled, Malenko wheels Rocco down the walkway, shoving him right into a vicious clothesline from Benoit! Benoit sets Rocco back on the chair and sends him barreling into the guardrail! Grunge takes some punishment inside, but here come Sabu and Taz. The match is on. No tag rules. Malenko and Benoit take early control with stomps. Sabu hits Malenko with a springboard leg lariat for two, but he misses a charge and falls outside. Looks like the strategy is to keep Sabu on the floor while punishing Taz inside. When Sabu does make it back in, Malenko hits him with a pair of stalling brainbusters for two. Benoit holds Sabu on his shoulders while Malenko drives him into the mat from the top rope! Taz sneaks up and gives Malenko a pump handle suplex. Belly-to-belly on Benoit. Malenko slows Taz down momentarily, but Taz manages to score a reverse suplex. He catches Benoit going up top with snake eyes, then nails him with a release German suplex. Malenko puts a stop to that and grabs a reverse leg bar on Taz while Benoit adds a bunch of stomps. Taz makes it out of the hold, but he’s like way hurt, so 911 takes him to the back. Sabu is double-teamed inside and takes a scary back body drop. Wow, they are alluding to the spot that broke Sabu’s neck! Disturbing? They go for the double back body drop again, but Sabu hits them with a double dropkick, sending them both outside. Somersault plancha on Malenko! Suicide dive on Benoit! Followed up by an asai moonsault! Plancha onto both Malenko and Benoit! Triple jump tope! Sabu has to stop and catch his breath after all that. He brings Malenko inside and sets up a table flat in the corner and sets a chair on the table. He tries climbing this makeshift ladder of his, but Benoit shoves him off into an ugly landing on the chair. He takes Sabu back up onto the table and sets him up for a powerbomb (while Paul E. cracks Malenko with the phone in a last ditch effort), the powerbomb connects, 1-2-3! New champions! (10:29) Public Enemy returns (and Rocco has suddenly regained the power to walk) to challenge Benoit and Malenko, but they get quickly dominated. Sabu nails a bunch of guys with a plancha since he hadn’t met his quota for planchas. 911 ends up getting involved and he chokeslams referee John “Pee Wee” Moore. This is the type of match that’s great for TV, when you just want to pack a lot of action into a small time frame. For rewatchibility’s sake, however, you wish it was a lot longer. ***
- Cage Match: Tag Team Champions The Ganstas vs. The Eliminators (8/24/96)
The match starts outside as everyone brawls into the crowd. It’s just out of control for a while. The Eliminators take the upper hand as everyone gathers near the entranceway, and Saturn planchas off the cage! The Gangstas take back the advantage as Mustafa pummels Kronus inside. New Jack climbs over the cage, but Saturn trips him up on the way down into the ring. Saturn then leaps off the top of the cage again, this time drilling New Jack with a clothesline. A long, slow brawl ensues. SATURNBOMB on Mustafa sets up a THIRD leap off the cage for a frog splash! Despite Saturn’s heroics, the Gangstas take over again with a bunch of weapons. Everybody’s bleeding. Second rope splash by Mustafa gets two on Kronus. Saturn goes on top of the cage (fourth time) and delivers a frog splash on New Jack! He climbs the cage YET AGAIN, but this time New Jack throws a small trash can at him as he plummets to the mat. Mustafa delivers a nice standing dropkick on Saturn for two. New Jack is handed a computer keyboard from the Executioner, who’s hanging on the outside of the cage. He comes off the top rope with the keyboard, but Saturn dropkicks him in mid-air for 1-2-NO! Mustafa makes the save. Mustafa destroys the trash can over Kronus’ head, then takes over on Saturn and hits a butterfly suplex for two. New Jack continues to cut Kronus open, even as his face is soaked in blood. The Executioner climbs up to hand New Jack a guitar, but instead he breaks it over New Jack’s head! Wha? He takes off his mask and it’s Shane Douglas! This allows for another frog splash from the cage by Saturn (#6). He tries another cage dive (#7) at Mustafa, but New Jack throws the trash can at him again. The Eliminators try to set up another Saturn cage drive (#8), but this time the trash can hits him before he can take off, so he falls outside onto a table!!! That is hardcore, my friends. Inside, Kronus becomes a punching bag. Standing powerslam by Mustafa. Flying chair drop by New Jack. It’s over, 1-2-3. (15:03) This is as ragged, disjointed, nonsensical, and psychology-devoid as they come, but all those spots have gotta count for something. **3/4
- 2/3 Falls Double Dog Collar Match: The Pitbulls vs. Tag Team Champions Raven and Stevie Richards (w/ Beulah McGillicutty) (Gangsta’s Paradise – 9/16/95)
OK, here’s what you need to know going into this match: Raven, as usual, is playing the part of the manipulative cheater who has repeatedly avoided being beat cleanly by Tommy Dreamer. Raven lost to Dreamer several times in tag matches, but the finish was always something other than Dreamer pinning Raven. And according to the storylines, Dreamer has NEVER pinned Raven (although he did actually pin him on two house shows very early in the feud, but don’t mind that). Also, in a more-or-less unrelated angle, 911 has been on a rampage to chokeslam everyone he can get his hands on. He has been trying to get at Bill Alfonso (at this time a heel referee), but Fonzie has always gotten away, often with the protection of Big Dick Dudley, and he went so far as to ban the chokeslam! So, as of this event, the chokeslam is banned. Oh, yeah, an added stipulation is that if the Pitbulls lose, they must break up. You got all that?
First fall: Everyone’s in the ring except Richards, so Beulah gets on the mic to explain that he’s “injured,” that Raven will have to defend the belts by himself, and asks referee John Finnegan to make it 2/3 falls. Nobody has a problem with that, so here we go. Pitbull 2 and Raven are connected by a long chain. Raven gets pulled in for an inverted atomic drop and some stomps, then he’s sent to the floor, and Pitbull 2 pulls him from inside the ring and chokes him till he’s woozy. Meanwhile, Pitbull 1 takes off to the locker room to find Richards. He emerges with Richards already bleeding and connected to the dog collar, and beats him down in the entranceway. Pitbull 2 brings a table in the ring, but Raven fights back and delivers a PILEDRIVER THROUGH THE TABLE!!! Raven covers, 1-2-3. Raven and Richards are up 1-0 at 2:10.
Second fall: We come back from commercial break, and Pitbull 1 is all over Stevie, who’s bleeding profusely, and tosses him in the ring. Raven drives a chained fist to Pitbull 2’s face, and he and Richards hit Pitbull 1 with a double DDT. Raven covers, but it’s broken up. Pitbull 2 is also bleeding now as Raven sends him to the floor, but he yanks Raven around with the chain. Meanwhile, Richards hits Pitbull 1 with a STEVIEKICK for two. A second cover gets two, then Pitbull 1 fights back while Pitbull 2 brings another table in the ring. Raven is out, so the Pitbulls double-team Richards, and Pitbull 2 delivers a SUPERBOMB THROUGH THE TABLE! 1-2-3, it’s tied up at 4:19.
Third fall: We watch quick replays from the first two falls, then the next thing we see is Pitbull 2 getting smashed by chair shots from Raven in the crowd. Pitbull 1 brawls with a bloody Stevie Richards and takes him into the first row, where Stevie scores a chair shot. Pitbull 2 sets up a third table in the ring while Stevie gets sent to the guardrail outside. Raven shoves Pitbull 2 into John Finnegan, so here come the Dudleys (Dances With Dudley and Dudley Dudley) for our first run-in. They beat down the Pitbulls and set them up for stereo superbombs from Raven and Richards. Pitbull 1 is also bleeding now, for those keeping score. The Pitbulls no-sell and each grabs two guys for a QUADRUPLE DDT! Then, to further prove their point, they hit both Dudleys with superbombs. Pitbull 1 keeps Raven and Richards down while Pitbull 2 brings in a fourth table. Raven gets set up for a superbomb, and in a wild spot, his lower back hits the side of the table and it doesn’t break! Ouch! The ref crawls over for the count, 1-2-NO! Pitbull 2 sets up two more tables on top of each other outside the ring, but that allows Raven time to sneak in a rag covered in ether, and he shoves it in Pitbull 2’s face. He sets him on the top table outside, and tries a leg drop from the second turnbuckle, which connects but doesn’t break any tables. This whole time Pitbull 1 delivers repeated right hands to Richards across the ring. Raven lays Pitbull 2 on the bottom table and jumps from the apron, this time crashing through to the floor.
Pitbull 1 sets up the table in the ring, and the cameras miss a short comeback for Richards. He climbs up top, but Pitbull 1 pulls on the chain and crotches him on the top rope. Pitbull 1 delivers a vertical suplex through the table for 1-2-NO! Raven makes the save, having taken the dog collar off Pitbull 2, who’s still outside in a heap of table pieces. Paramedics appear with a stretcher for Pitbull 2. Beulah hops in the ring to check on Raven, and here comes Francine (referred to here as “Stevie Richards’ ex-girlfriend”). She has a quick catfight with Beulah, but Raven stops it and gives her a DDT. As Pitbull 2 gets stretchered away, Tommy Dreamer appears all of a sudden and puts Raven’s loose dog collar around his neck. He goes wild on Raven and drops a knee in his crotch. Dreamer hits the DDT, cover, 1-2-3! New champions! Dreamer pinned Raven! Dreamer pinned Raven! Wait, umm, who won the title, the Pitbulls or Dreamer and Pitbull 1? Here comes heel referee Bill Alfonso to clear things up. He explains that Dreamer’s pin doesn’t count because he is not a legal participant. Apparently, you can’t win a title by covering someone during a run-in, not even in ECW. Imagine that. He says the match is over because the Pitbulls can’t continue. Big Dick Dudley, wearing a leg cast and leaning on a crutch, moves gingerly into the ring to give Fonzie some backup. Here comes commissioner Tod Gordon to say the match is back on, and he loses a quick shoving match with Fonzie. Out of nowhere, Big Dick chokeslams Dreamer! Hey, he can’t do that, that move is banned! Fonzie announces that he’s allowing the chokeslam for one night only, then taunts Dreamer about never pinning Raven. Did he say chokeslam? Here comes 911! Fonzie tries talking his way out, but no luck, and 911 FINALLY gives Fonzie a chokeslam! The crowd is going nuts! Pitbull 2 is back. Dreamer unhooks the chain, and he and Pitbull 1 get Raven ready for a superbomb, they perch Richards on top of Raven, and Pitbull 2 superbombs them both! Cover, 1-2-3! New champions! (19:36) This was ECW storytelling at its most intense and elaborate, and for that this match often gets called ECW’s greatest match, even though the actual action amounts to a hardcore brawl. Remember that this was 1995, when matches just flat out were never this wacky, and before “hardcore” became so overexposed. It’s no doubt a great match, and it’s still a lot of fun to watch years later. A must-see. ****1/2
- Television Champion Shane Douglas (w/ Francine) vs. Pitbull 2 (w/ Pitbull 1) (8/3/96)
Pitbull 1 is wearing an elaborate neck brace, having suffered a cracked vertebrae a month prior by taking an armbreaker DDT from Douglas. He gives a heartfelt speech saying that his doctors told him never to wrestle again, but he will never leave wrestling, and he calls the fans the best fans in the world. After a long intro by Joel Gertner, Francine creates a distraction by getting in Pitbull 1’s face, allowing Shane to sneak-attack Pitbull 2. Shane stops a comeback with a low blow, but the Pitbull hits the brakes coming off the ropes and scores a vertical suplex. Hangman’s neckbreaker follows. The crowd chants “Break his neck!” Pitbull 2 responds to that by dropping Shane with an inverted tombstone! Shane gets a foot on the rope at two and a half. Pitbull grabs a neck lock, and eventually Shane pushes him off but gets planted with a DDT. They go to the floor, where Shane gets whipped hard into the guardrail. Pitbull 2 gets a pie from a guy in the crowd and nails Shane with it. Chair shot follows. The crowd is just loving this. Douglas finally comes back by crotching Pitbull on the rail and giving him a bunch of chair shots. He sends him from pillar to post, but Pitbull 2 punches his way out of a potential table spot. Pitbull fires back and takes it to the crowd, but Shane scores with a crutch and tries snapping Pitbull’s neck on the railing. Douglas’ back is filthy from laying on the floor, which kinda adds a nice touch. Back inside, Douglas gets caught coming off the top rope and he’s shoved into the corner for a pair of cross-corner whips, but Pitbull 2 falls outside after missing a spinning wheel kick. Douglas takes control with stomps inside while Pitbull 1 and Francine jaw back and forth outside. Douglas goes outside to add his two cents to the conversation, so Pitbull 2 tries a sneak plancha but misses. Douglas sends him into the ring post, busting him wide open right in front of Pitbull 1! Awesome. Inside, a vertical suplex gets only a one count. What’s this? Pitbull’s getting stronger? Running back elbow gets another one count. Pitbull 2 gets fired up and begins to no-sell, but Francine slips Shane brass knuckles, and that gets 1-2-NO! Referee John “Pee Wee” Moore is getting completely abused by Francine and Douglas here. Shane takes a chain out of his boot and decks Pitbull for 1-2-NO! Hard chair shot gets 1-2-NO! A sickening piledriver gets 1-2-NO! Pitbull 2 PITBULLS UP and comes back with a press slam for 1-2-NO! A second press slam gets another 1-2-NO! Shane rakes the eyes to avoid a third press slam, but he ends up getting beat down into the corner. Francine slips the chain to Douglas, and he drives Pitbull 2 back with repeated right hands. Pitbull wants to go for a superbomb in the corner, but Douglas scores the BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX! Pitbull gets right up, but his punch is blocked and a second BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX finishes him off, 1-2-3. (15:37) Pitbull 2 is furious at Pee Wee, so he superbombs him, then superbombs Gertner. This match has heat like you wouldn’t believe and the psychology plays on that beautifully. The broken neck angle crossed the line of kayfabe with the fans, who sided firmly with Pitbull 1 in a real-life sense. It’s not a technical classic or anything, but the intensity is through the roof. ****
- Barbed Wire vs. Singapore Cane Match: ECW Champion The Sandman (w/ Woman) vs. Cactus Jack (7/1/96)
Cactus has his fist wrapped in barbed wire and Sandman has a cane. Woman and Sandman play mind games with Cactus to start, Woman nails him with a beer can, and Sandman takes over with the cane. Sandman tosses him outside and delivers an awesome cane shot tope! It’s all Sandman here. Back inside, Cactus ducks the cane and kicks his way back into the match, then scores a DOUBLE ARM DDT. Sandman eats a few cane shots and stumbles to the floor for more of the cane. Chair shot follows. Back inside, Sandman uses the chair as a shield against a barbed wire punch, then unloads on Cactus. More caning ensues. Sandman lands a DDT on the chair, but he hurts himself in the process. Nevertheless, he stays in control with a body slam and a slingshot leg drop for two. A body slam onto the chair sets up a flying leg drop for another two. Sandman drops a vicious piledriver on the chair, but instead of trying to get a pin he wraps himself in some barbed wire that Woman brought from the back. He wraps himself in it and gives Cactus a corner splash, then a frog splash. He tries unwrapping the barbed wire but it’s not coming loose, and he ends up getting backdropped to the floor, where Cactus delivers a chair drop off the apron. Back in, Cactus pulls Sandman’s shirt and barbed wire over his head and gives him a chair-assisted leg drop! That only gets two. Sandman tries using the chair as a shield a second time, but Jack wises up and puts the boots to him. Nice piece of continuity there with Cactus recognizing the counter from earlier in the match. Sandman staggers around as Cactus gives him some wired right hands, and he falls down for 1-2-NO! As Cactus tries choking him out, Woman attacks from behind with the cane, so Cactus tosses her to the mat HARD. Desperation sets in for Sandman and he manages to knock Cactus into the corner, bumping referee Jim Mollineaux in the process. Everybody’s down. Here comes Shane Douglas to turn the ending into shambles, on his last night before jumping to WWF. He gives Mollineaux an elbow drop just to make sure he’s bumped for sure, then KOs Sandman with a piledriver. Then he simply butt-ends Cactus with the cane, which somehow lays him out as Sandman makes a cover and Mollineaux makes a snail’s pace 1-2-3. What? Was that a magical cane shot or something? (13:06) Tod Gordon comes out to give Douglas an earful. Douglas says Gordon should beg him to stay in ECW, so Tod plays along for a moment and gets on his knees, but then tells Douglas he’s fired! Douglas doesn’t appreciate that and promptly beats the hell out of him. Then here comes 911 to give Douglas a chokeslam. Not a bad match. It has more going for it than the usual weaponsfest, but seemed too slow for what it was. **3/4
- Stretcher Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Sabu (8/3/96)
The match ends when one man is laid on the stretcher and wheeled backstage. They take it slow to start and both connect with a low dropkick. They trade forearm blows into the corner, and Van Dam hits a springboard leg drop. Sabu grabs a leg lock and won’t break the hold as RVD clutches the ropes. They’re still taking it slow here. Sabu takes over, corner whip, springboard leg lariat, right into a slingshot headbutt. He goes for a back body drop, but Van Dam counters with a double underhook gordbuster. Van Dam tries a slingshot from the apron but Sabu dropkicks him to the floor, then immediately hits a slingshot somersault plancha. He bridges the ring and the guardrail with a table, but Van Dam fires back and nails a guillotine leg drop off the guardrail. He gets drilled with a chair while hopping the rail, and Sabu takes control. Inside, Van Dam takes more chair punishment and is dazed in the corner. Sabu sets the chair up and tries a triple jump hurracanrana, but Van Dam crotches him on the rope, then blasts him with a side kick to the floor! He lays him under the ropes and places a chair on his head, setting up a guillotine leg drop off the top rope spot. That forces Sabu to take the first stretcher ride of the match, making it around one corner of the ring before he snaps into it. RVD keeps the advantage with a jumping side kick and a powerbomb. Springboard knee drop follows. Sabu avoids a back drop but botches the landing, and RVD hits a leg sweep and a backflip splash. He’s caught going upstairs, Sabu tries a superplex, but Van Dam counters and drops Sabu’s neck across the top rope. Van Dam tries a suplex from the apron, but that’s countered and he gets draped over the ropes. A dropkick dazes Van Dam, and Sabu lays him backwards across the second rope with his head resting on a chair, and he delivers a reckless flying leg drop! He rolls RVD onto the table and is all ready to go for a triple jump, but RVD quickly pops up for a springboard and … he completely botches it! Sabu looks dumbfounded! Hilarious! One of the funniest botches I’ve ever seen. Sabu has to settle for a leg drop, then delivers a sweet SOMERSAULT ATOMIC ARABIAN FACEBSTER. He follows up with much less sweet ATOMIC ARABIAN FACEBUSTER. Van Dam is laid out on the stretcher, but he gets on his feet halfway down the entranceway.
Back in, a clothesline by Sabu sets up a TRIPLE JUMP MOONSAULT, then he instinctively goes for pin. He takes Van Dam up to the top turnbuckle to try again for a triple jump hurracanrana, but Van Dam leaps out at him with a clothesline. Nice. Sabu actually gets up first, he lays Van Dam on the stretcher and hits him with an asai moonsault, smashing his own shins on the guardrail! OUCH!!! Van Dam is wheeled halfway down the entranceway, but Sabu ain’t done, so he drops a leg off the rail. Sabu whips RVD to the rail, but he misses with a chair and takes the VAN DAMINATOR. Van Dam follows up with a nice moonsault off the rail. They roll back inside, and Sabu heaves a chair at Van Dam’s head. Van Dam takes a cross-corner whip and Sabu finally scores with his triple jump hurracanrana, but halfway botches it. Van Dam ends up on the table that’s bridging the ring and the rail, Sabu triple jumps at him for possibly a DDT, but Van Dam catches him with a fisherman’s suplex through the table! Hot damn. Sabu takes a short stretcher ride after that. Back inside, Van Dam puts on a pretty bad display of chair offense for a while. Sabu reverses a corner whip and sets up for a springboard leg lariat, but Van Dam beats him to the punch with a springboard leg lariat of his own! The crowd was totally not expecting that spot. Van Dam wants a fisherman’s buster, but Sabu blocks and scores one of his own. He tries a triple jump flying forearm, but Van Dam holds up the chair and they both go down. An awkward spinning wheel kick by Van Dam ends up with Sabu on the stretcher. As Sabu gets wheeled to the entranceway, he becomes a target that’s too tempting for Van Dam to refuse. He tries a somersault senton plancha, but Sabu moves out of the way and Van Dam takes a rough landing on the stretcher. Sabu outsmarted Van Dam?! That’ll do it as Van Dam takes the stretcher ride through the curtain to end the match. (24:02) An awesome display of death-defying aerial maneuvers and never-before-seen reversal/counter spots, but it’s tarnished by more than a few awkward moments. Considering that this was 1996, you could argue that a lot the stuff in this match is not only innovative but straight-up revolutionary, so my rating gets a slight boost for that. ****
- 2/3 Falls: Rey Mysterio vs. Juventud Guererra (3/9/96)
First fall: Rey slips behind Juvi and takes him down for some kind of inverted Indian Deathlock, but Juvi gets out and wrenches on a leglock. Rey makes his way out of that and puts on an Indian Deathlock while bending back for a chinlck. I don’t know of a name of that move, so please enlighten me. They tie up again and Juvi scores a release Northern Lights for two. Out of nowhere, Rey puts Juvi on the top turnbuckle for a hurracanrana that gets two. Off the ropes, Rey tries hooking a sunset flip, but Juvi rolls out and covers for two. Juvi gets the best of a test of strength, bending Rey’s wrists down, but as they teeter up Rey takes him over with a monkey flip. With their hands still locked, they go up into another teeter-totter, and Juvi counters another monkey flip with a sloppy roll-up that ends up in the ropes. Rope running ensues until Rey scores a hurracanrana for two. More rope running ends with Rey getting a flying headscissors to send Juvi to the floor. Juvi moves away from a potential tope, but Rey lands on the apron, stuns Juvi with a kick, and delivers a compact springboard moonsault a la Arabian Press. Inside, Rey gets caught going upstairs, but he rolls around into a nice sunset flip for two. Juvi gets two with a brainbuster. Off the ropes, Juvi slides under Rey’s legs, and Rey turns around into a dropkick. Juvi charges and Rey tries to dump him, but Juvi lands on the apron and connects on a springboard somersault dropkick! The dragon suplex gets 1-2-3, and Juvi leads one fall to none at 5:36.
Second fall: Rey takes sip from some guy’s beer to get fired up, then runs the ropes like a madman, resulting in a shoulderblock that puts both men down, they kip up simultaneously, and Rey delivers a sweet Frankensteiner. Delayed cover gets two. Rey chops Juvi in the corner, Juvi reverses a corner whip, and Rey avoids an elevated bronco buster. Juvi ends up on the apron, so Rey takes off from the top rope with a flying hurracanrana to the floor. Referee John Finnegan wants to give Juvi a second to recover, so Rey leaps over Finnegan for a somersault senton tope! Inside, Rey lands a powerbomb for two. Springboard moonsault gets 1-2-NO! Rey’s onslaught comes to an end when Juvi counters a whip into a short-arm clothesline. Juvi peppers him with kicks, then tries a high flying springboard crossbody, but Rey dropkicks him in mid-air. Doctorbomb by Rey gets the 1-2-3 to tie it up at 9:08.
Third fall: Juvi charges right at Rey and hits a running dropkick. He perches Rey up top and hits him with another dropkick, dumping him to the floor. That sets up a low running dropkick through the ropes. He sends Rey into the first row and pulls back the guardrail, setting up a HUGE asai moonsault. Back in, Juvi delivers a springboard spinning wheel kick for 1-2-NO! Rey turns the tide by avoiding a springboard somersault leg drop. He takes Juvi upstairs, Juvi shoves him away and leaps for a flying hurracanrana, but Rey catches him for a powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Northern Lights suplex by Rey, but he doesn’t go for the pin. He springboards into a backflip, landing on his feet as Juvi gets out of the way, boot the stomach by Juvi, who then delivers a perfect press slam into a fallaway slam, 1-2-NO! Rope running ends with Rey hitting a spinning wheel kick. Juvi rolls to the floor, and Rey baseball slides into a headscissors takedown. Rey puts Juvi in the first row and gives him a chair shot, setting up a wicked springboard somersault senton! Anyone know if this is a record for aerial moves in a match yet? They brawl through the crowd and out the front door. Philadelphia is apparently cold in March because we can see everybody’s breath. Juvi powerbombs Rey onto the hood of a car, but Rey kicks him away and delivers a flying hurracanrana off the car! They come back into the building and to ringside, where Rey throws a chair at Juvi. He positions a table outside, then chases Juvi into the ring. Rey charges and Juvi vaults him onto the top turnbuckle, then grabs his arms for SPLASH MOUNTAIN, but no! Rey turns it into a hurracanrana! The crowd explodes! 1-2-3! (16:07) After the match, Rey takes Juvi onto the table outside and delivers a sitout powerbomb! With Juvi dazed in a pile of table pieces, Rey adds one more chair shot. That’s awesome, and so is this match. It’s just a little too light on psychology and pacing to be considered perfect, but I don’t know that it gets much better than this when it comes to two flyers putting on a show. ****1/2
- Scaffold Match: Tommy Dreamer vs. Prime Time Brian Lee (10/26/96)
The ring is filled with several three-high stacks of tables to, uhh, cushion the blow when someone falls from the scaffolding. As Lee struts down the entranceway, Dreamer sneaks behind him for a trash can shot. He takes him around the bingo hall and jumps off a vending machine with another trash can shot, which Lee sells by calmly walking right by the camera and toward the entranceway. The next few minutes is just all kinds of brawling through the crowd. Dreamer’s got blood pouring down his face, and he takes a POWERSLAM ON THE FLOOR! Lee buys time to go climbing up to the scaffold, and Dreamer follows. The thing swings back and forth as Dreamer hits a low blow and a DDT. As they both try for chokeslams, Lee wraps a chord from the ceiling around Dreamer’s neck. Dreamer nearly gets thrown off, instead getting crotched on a wood support beam attached to the scaffolding! He fights back, and once the crowd starts making some noise, he nails Lee with right hands until Lee goes barreling through the tables and to the mat! It’s over. (8:49) For what it is, I have to say it’s really not bad. The concept of a scaffold match seems doomed for one-dimensionality, but they were creative with this and made it worth more than one big spot, and made the one big spot worth more. ***
Final Thoughts: A totally awesome compilation. There’s a little bit of everything, and all the matches that aren’t necessarily classics are indeed fun. While the “Best Of ECW” series features matches from all over ECW’s history, this one sticks to ‘95 and ‘96, which I think is pretty cool. The fact that there was this much variety to offer in just a two-year period shows why ECW rocked. Thumbs way up.
Posted on September 30, 2009, in ECW and tagged Beulah McGillicutty, Brian Lee, Cactus Jack, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Eliminators, Francine, Gangstas, hardcore history, John Kronus, Juventud Guerrera, mustafa, New Jack, Paul E. Dangerously, Perry Saturn, Pitbull 1, Pitbull 2, Raven, Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Shane Douglas, Stevie Richards, Tazz, The Pitbulls, The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.