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DVD Review: ECW Path of Destruction

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Guest TSMAdmin





Studio: HHG Corporation (RIP)


Distributer: Pioneer






Well, there’s been a slight slipup on the Christmas present for you guys. You see, I was REALLY chuffed with myself, because I’d captured a bunch of video clips to go with this review RVD’s insane somersault plancha into the crowd, The Pitbulls superbombing Francine through a table, and Rey Rey’s awesome 619 dummy and plancha into the crowd. There I was, all ready to link them to the review for you to click and/or download, and I’d overlooked something: each clip was between 13 and 17 meg.








So sorry, Santa fucked up this year. I’ll try and recapture the clips in a lower resolution or screen size, but hey at least you’ve got a meaty review to work through while EVERY OTHER FUCKER is off eating turkey and having a life instead of posting columns, right?




Oh, and I’ve had a little chat with Mike Johnson, and he said that he’s actually prepared and submitted a couple of other sets of ECW biographies that have yet to be used. Is it too much of a stretch to think that Pioneer are just waiting for the dust to settle on the lawsuit before firing off another volley of ECW DVDs?






Jericho VS Pitbull 2 VS Scorpio VS Douglas


Rob Van Dam VS Bam Bam Bigelow


Sabu VS The Sandman (Stairway To Hell)


Axl Rotten VS Ian Rotten (Taipei Death Match)


Tajiri VS Super Crazy VS Jerry Lynn


Eddie Guerrero VS Dean Malenko


Rey Misterio Jr. VS Psicocis














TV Title: Chris Jericho ©VS Pitbull #2 VS Too Cold Scorpio VS Shane Douglas





Jericho is your champion! Ahh, those were the days. We join as Shane ambushes Pitbull with a chair during his entrance. They were involved in a major feud at the time involving Francine and halos and all kinds of stuff. The bell sounds and it’s Scorpio and Jericho trading shots in the ring. Chris is very strawberry blond and pretty skinny compared to today. Irish whip nonsense, and they trade leapfrogs and monkey flip attempts before Y2J sorry, force of habit Jericho hits a spin kick sending Scorpio outside. Chris and Shane flip each other off as the crowd inform Francine that she’s a crack whore. Chris and Scorpio trade hammerlocks and Scorp escapes with one of those lucha rolling headlocks. Jericho hits the ropes about twenty times before getting caught with a one foot dropkick. They pop for THAT? Scorpio plants Chris with a slam and hits a tasty standing somersault legdrop (which DOESN’T get a pop) for two. Scorpio connects with a headbutt and calls a spot pretty blatantly, and sure enough Jericho turns a whip attempt into a compactor tigerbomb for two. This was during the time when Joey was calling EVERY powerbomb a tigerbomb, but he was on point this time.













Jericho gets a BOSS submission hold that confuses the fuck out of Joey, so he just calls it a Mr Salty (as in, “tied up like a pretzel”). For reference, it’s a hammerlock with an inverted octopus on the mat. Scorpio loosely reverses that with a toehold into a camel clutch. Both men back up, and Scorpio hits a standing jumping shitty-looking Sid Eudy kick (as in the one he did when he fucked his leg), then they exchange chops before Scorp hits an X-Pac heel kick. He makes the tag to Douglas, who comes in and beats on Jericho’s prone body and takes time out to nail Pitbull on the apron. Spread that love! Jericho reverses Shane’s suplex and floats over for two as the crowd ask Douglas where Pillman is. Jericho takes Shane down with a headlock and works it for while, then gets whipped and hits a shoulderblock, and follows up with a modified diamond rollup for two. Big right sends Shane back to the mat, and Chris hits a weird slingshot shindrop that gets a pop. He then introduces Shane’s face to each of the three corner turnbuckles, and gives him some HARSH chops to the traps. Shane doesn’t take too kindly to that, and they exchange about fifteen chops before Jericho gets a whip and a spinning heel kick. LIONSAULT~! only gets two. The more things change, eh? Kneelift and Jericho tags Pitbull who can’t wait to get his hands on Douglas, but Shane goes all Memphis and tags in Scorpio. The fans don’t approve. Pitbull beats on Too Cold and gets a one arm press slam, which Scorpio counters into a sunset flip, which Pitbull rolls through and gets another press slam into a jackhammer. Neat. The crowd seems to concur, as a Pitbull chant breaks out.






He's like A-Train, only better working, and less hairy.







Scorpio gets whipped and Pitbull counters a rana with a powerbomb for two. Scorpio goes low three times, none of which are sold, so he makes with a bunch of right hands for a two count. They head towards the ropes and Scorp recovers a blown rana and hits a bodyscissors sending Pitbull over the top and into the guard rail (this being early ECW when there was about a three foot clearance between the apron and the railing). Scorpio hits a really pathetic kicking thing off the apron, which he compounds by slapping his leg right in front of the camera and in front of the fans. Shit, even Test’s more discreet than that. He sets up a chair and rams Pitbull’s face into it. Back in and Scorpio hits a couple of really hokey looking ‘80s kneelifts, then makes the tag to Douglas. Shane lays in the boots and hits a cool backdrop for two, but Pitbull looks like he’s on the comeback so Shane tags Jericho back in. Y’see, Shane only comes in when the other guy is down, but he doesn’t do it quite as RUDO as Los Guerreros as of late. Jericho with a snapmere and a stiff Tajiri kick, followed by a dropkick to the back of the neck. We can all thank Triple H for making sure none of that nonsense ever permeated the WWF main event, thank you very much. Pitbull ducks a clothesline and hits an elbow, then catches a Jericho leapfrog and turns it into a powerslam for two. Now Jericho ducks a clothesline but gets caught in a reverse waistlock, so he nails a standing heel kick (think Jinsei Shinzaki) and gets a German suplex, but blows the bridge and has to go for a regular cover, which gets two. Jericho with a whip and a rana attempt, but Pitbull again counters it into a powerbomb. YOU CAN’T RANA PITBULL #2~!






One of these men is a HUGE rock star.







Scorpio gets tagged back in and tries to set up Jericho for some high risk violence, but gets crotched and Jericho hits THE JERICHO SPIKE right off the fucking top. Looks like he might have hurt his knee though. Douglas capitalises and makes the blind tag to Jericho, and goes for a cheap cover on Scorpio for two. Irish whip and Shane misses whatever, allowing Scorp to come back with a leg lariat. Big rights send Shane outside, where he eats chairs, railing, and more punches. “Why watch bad boxing pay per views?” ponders Joey. Yeah, you can watch bad ECW wrestling pay per views instead. LOL2002~! Back in and Scorpio bulldogs Shane into a chair, before setting it up across his face… and doing nothing. Oh. “Hot” tag to Pitbull and the crowd has stopped caring. Shane bails and begs off around the ring before tagging Jericho back in. People hate this Memphis shit for a REASON, Shane. Pitbull is still gunning for Shane, so Jericho schoolboys him for two. He goes for a slam, but can’t connect and Pitbull lands on top of him for a two count. Pitbull takes over with strikes and whips Jericho into the corner, and Chris vaults over what he thinks is a charging Pitbull, only he isn’t actually charging, so Chris just wipes out on the mat. Cool spot, although the crowd thought it was blown and chant “you fucked up”. Whatever. Pitbull hits a SWEET jacknife powerbomb and a New Japan cradle for two. He tags Too Cold back in, who hits a double underhook on Jericho. They head out for no apparent reason, punch each other, then come straight back in. Jericho hits a snub DDT and goes to tag in Douglas, but Shane won’t tag. That was so neat when Sid did that to Hogan. Whoa, I’ve namedropped SID FUCKING EUDY twice in one match. Three times now. D’oh!













Jericho tags Pitbull instead, who sets up Scorpio in the corner and hits a fucking swank blockbuster off the second turnbuckle, sending Scorp way across the ring. Right next to Shane’s corner, actually, and when Pitbull goes for the cover, Shane tags Scorpio’s arm and Pearl Harbors Pitbull, and after a tussle both men end up outside. Jericho joins them by hitting a springboard plancha to the outside, followed by a Superman off the top by Scorpio. Sounded better than it looked. Scorp and Jericho brawl into the crowd while Douglas crotches Pitbull on the railing. Back in and Shane bulldogs Pitbull into a chair but only gets two, and another Pitbull chant erupts. Shane is shitting himself and tries to tag out, but nobody will tag him. Hah! Pitbull takes over with rights, and then gets a press slam, but drops Shane back into his feet so that Jericho can greet him with a NAILS missile dropkick to the face. Pitbull goes for the cover but Chris pulls him off and gets a two count of his own, apparently now the legal man. Um, okay then. Elbow strike off the second buckle and a Stampede dropkick get two as Shane’s foot is on the rope. Jericho works the leg and grabs a Figure 4, much to the fans’ approval. Chris lands a chop while still holding the move, which just makes him even fucking cooler. Shane finally breaks free and makes the tag to Scorpio, but he comes in and gets brainbustered right away. Jericho goes for another Lionsault, but Scorpio is back up and dropkicks him in the back of the head MID-ROTATION. That was fucking awesome. He gets a Polish kneedrop and panders to the crowd, then hits a powerbomb that kills Jericho dead. More pandering, and Douglas is begging for the tag so he can stomp on a prone guy again, but Scorp just gives him the finger. Jericho dropkicks Scorpio in the back, sending him into Douglas and “tagging” him, but he won’t get in the ring now his opponent is back on his feet. Jericho tags him in anyway, but Douglas cheapshots him and Scorpio superkicks him, alowing Shane to get back on the apron and tag himself back out using Jericho’s limp arm. The intricacies were probably lost there, but it was neat, trust me. Scorpio puts Jericho down with a tombstone and connects with the Tumbleweed (Pheonix splash into a legdrop) for the pin, and all the black fans go nuts. Not being racist, just saying if I was being racist, I’d sign him to my promotion and give him a stupid, stereotypical gimmick like Flash Funk. Shane comes in and tries for some Pearl Harbor action, but Scorpio spots him and Douglas begs off, instead proposing a two-on-one alliance against Pitbull. They shake on it, and Scorp turns on Douglas straight away, hitting some rights and a backdrop. Shane and Pitbull each eat a dropkick, then Scorp gets an abdominal stretch on Douglas, which somehow segues into a two count. Head BUTT and a whip, but Shane catches him with the belly-to-belly and… goes up? Scorpio follows him and hits a sunset flip powerbomb from the top for two.






Time... to die.







Pitbull gets bored and rushes the ring, but eats a superkick for his troubles. Scorpio plants him with a slam, then slams Douglas on top of him and heads up to moonsault the pair of them. Neat three-way-dance psychology. He misses though, and Shane DDTs him, then somehow convinces Pitbull to work with him to eliminate Scorpio. WTF HUH? That makes no sense at all, even for ECW. Nonetheless, Shane sets him up and Pitbull release Superbombs him right across the ring for the three count. Shane blindsides him right away of course, and they head outside for some brawling. Pitbull takes over with a water bottle, then takes time out to high five one of the Hawaiian Shirt Brothers before sending a couple of chairs into the ring, which he proceeds to set up and powerbomb Shane through. He gets a table and sets it up in the corner, but a whip attempt is reversed into a Douglas belly-to-belly for a cover. Francine is on the apron distracting the ref, so Shane pulls her in and makes out with her. Good call. Pitbull tries to charge Shane, but he ducks and John Finnigan gets avalanched and takes one of the limpest ref bumps ever. Pitbull presses Shane, but it’s SWERVE TIME as Francine throws powder vaguely in the direction of Pitbull’s face and slaps him while Shane hits a low blow. Francine takes off her skirt to reveal a pair of bikini briefs with “Franchise” across the cheeks. Subtle. Gary Wolf is out and he’s MAD PISSED. Pitbull 2 hulks up and beats the shit out of Shane with lariats, and Francine makes the mistake of slapping Wolf. Pitbull 2 sets up a table and they DESTROY Francine with a Superbomb through it, drawing an insane pop way before the Dudleyz made it fashionable. But Shane is back up and takes out Wolf with a single arm DDT, then hits Pitbull 2 with the belt, but only gets two. That was back when a beltshot was still a credible false-finish, and the crowd is going nuts. Shane breaks a piece of table debris over his head, but still only gets two. He tries a pair of knucks, but they don’t work either, so he gets some chain out of his boot, and STILL only gets two. Pitbull’s in total Hulkster no-sell mode, and the fans are crazy behind him for kicking out of all the weapons shots. He whips Shane into the corner but misses a wheel kick and wipes the fuck out, taking a nasty bump to the floor. Shane gets him back in and hits the belly-to-belly for the pin and the title. Um, HELLO, FINISH? What the fuck is that, getting hit with chain and knucks don’t put him down, but a BELLY-TO-FUCKING-BELLY DOES?


*** The match was way long, but there was some good stuff in there, even if there was a lot of meandering around and everything ground to a sloppy halt whenever Scorpio was in. Decent enough though, and the good outweighed the bad.








World TV Title: Bam Bam Bigelow © VS Rob Van Dam





The story is that Bam Bam is scheduled to face Sabu for the title at the upcoming PPV, so Fonzie is using RVD to soften him up before the match so Sabu can get an easy win. Y’know, that’s a pretty classic, simple wrestling angle, which means we’re guaranteed to NEVER see it again in the WWF. Bam Bam is the hometown hero, though the fan support wouldn’t, um, support that. In fact, an RVD chant breaks out right away. Poor Bigelow. Feelout sequence to start sees both guys circle each other and Rob throwing some nothing kicks into the air for a while, until some fan tells them that they both suck and to get on with it. Can’t argue with that. Rob finally throws a kick that connects, but Bam Bam catches and takes him down for some stiff forearms to the face. Whip, and a MONSTER shoulderblock by Bigelow. EAT IT, YOU LONG HAIRED POOF! Another whip and Rob ducks a clothesline and comes back with a wheel kick that sends Bigelow to the turnbuckles, then he hits a somersault kick in the corner (just like in No Mercy!). ½* right there. He goes for a rana, but Bam Bam turns that into a powerbomb. Rob takes a LOOOONG powder as Fonzie mentions Vince McMahon, Michael Jordan, Rolexs and Cadillacs. Joey calls it “a stream of nonsense”, and it’s hard to argue. Back in and Bam Bam regains control, grabbing Rob by the ponytail and hitting some more No Mercy offence in the form of headbutts to the back of Bob’s noggin. Bigelow charges Rob in the corner but eats a boot, and then gets nailed with a ***** bodypress off the top, followed by a top rope ninja kick. Bam Bam’s down, so Rob goes for a rolling… splash? Boo! It gets two. Rob charges with another bodypress, but Bigelow ducks and RVD eats floor (high in fibre).






"Where'd they get this fucking ring?" "They probably bought it from Vince McMahon." Too funny.







Bam Bam follows and dishes out the punishment, bouncing Rob off the post and railing. Rob recovers with (what looks like) a dropkick to the knee off camera, then hits a springboard back kick off the railing. Hey, wasn’t there a big superkick here? Must’ve been clipped. Rob eats more steel before going for another springboard off the rail, but instead gets launched into the crowd, nearly killing a fan. Hey, remember when that fan picked a fight with Big Show, and Show punched him in the face and broke his jaw? Fans are fucking stupid. They brawl amongst the wooden chairs and Rob regains control, hitting a springboard rana off the rail, sending Bam Bam further into the crowd and nearly killing more fans. Rob nails Bigelow with one of the aforementioned wooden chairs, then heads into the ring for a NUTSO Superman bodypress off the top rope that clears the railing easy. Obviously not satisfied, he heads back in and up for a FUCKING NUTJOB somersault plancha that gets even deeper into the crowd, and may just be the coolest crowd spot ever. Bam Bam pulls himself to his feet, but unfortunately takes a breather across the guard rail and gets caught with a guillotine legdrop off the apron (alas, no spinning). Man, Rob’s in total highspot overdrive. He wastes time posing although not as much as usual and gets caught with a lariat, then gets powerbombed onto the table… which DOESN’T FUCKING BUDGE. Bigelow heads onto the apron and drops an elbow, which snaps the table in two and Rob’s carcass along with it. Nice recovery by Bam Bam. Rob loses cool points with me by firing a mini snot-rocket while recovering on the outside.






The Van Daminator: so cool, yet so dumb







Rob folds half of the table back into Bam Bam’s face, then volleys a chair off his back. Bigelow’s plastered eyebrow is busted again, so Rob nails it with some kicks, which obviously ticks the big fella off, as he sends Rob flying with a crazy All Japan running elbow. He follows up with a HARSH chairshot to the back and both men are ringbound. Bigelow tries to suplex Rob in off the apron, but Van Dam hits a weird guillotine reversal that pops the crowd (although I think it was more because they thought Bam Bam had actually hit a reverse suplex that sent Rob to the floor). Rob heads up and goes for a Lita rana but gets caught and powerbombed again. That settles it: YOU CAN’T RANA BAM BAM EITHER~! Bigelow heads up for the Ugly Wannabe Vadersault, which misses, and Rob hits a crazy high short-range ***** frog splash for two, but Bam Bam kicks out with authority. Van Dam off the ropes but gets planted with a Samoan flapjack for two. Bigelow hits a SICK brainbuster for another two count, and Bam Bam looks ready to kill. He lobs Rob into the corner and charges an avalanche, but Fonzie hands Rob a chair that stops flamehead in his tracks. He recovers and scoops up Van Dam for Greetings From Asbury Park (fire thunder driver), and Van Dam manages to potato Jim Molyneaux with a loose foot, setting up the Sabu run-in. He throws in a chair that actually hits Rob, but Bigeow sells it anyway cause he’s a fucking pro. Sabu comes in and they hit the ORIGINAL Whisper in the Wind, but Bam Bam catches Sabu and chucks him back at Rob. He goes for a powerbomb on Sabu, but the mad bastard pulls a spike out of his boot and jams it into Bigelow’s busted eye. Somehow he can still see metal though, as he catches a chair from Rob, who hits the Vam Daminator and gets the reverse sunset flip for the pin and the TV Title, which he’d end up keeping for the next 23 months. Wild.


*** I liked this. It started off as a total spotfest, but Bigelow carried Rob to a pretty decent straight-up match, and aside from the run-in, it was a lot of fun. Oh man, I sound like Dave Scherer.








The Sandman VS Sabu: Stairway to Hell Match





Sandman is in that transitional stage where he’d ditched the mafro and sweatpants for slickback hair and jeans, yet he still had the obscene beer gut. Sabu’s from India tonight, so I guess he’s a heel. Fonzie starts that whistle shit early as I resist the urge to eject the DVD. Jim Molyneuax talks Fullington into giving up the cane. Um, it’s a match an ECW match at that involving tables, chairs, a ladder and barbed wire, and the ref doesn’t want him to use a CANE? Both men fight over the ladder, and Sabu eventually gets it when he Mutoh dropkicks Sandman’s legs out from under him. He nails Jim with the ladder a few times in fairly unspectacular fashion, then drapes him across it while Fonzie holds a chair on his neck. Sabu heads up and hits a legdrop, sandwiching Jim between the chair and the ladder. Sounds better than it looked, and it only gets two. Sandman rolls over with the ladder on top of him, and Sabu heads up top with a chair and comes off with an Arabian facebuster onto the ladder, onto Jim, for another two count. Sandman takes a powder and gets caught with a baseball slide and sent into the crowd (nailing a fan in the nuts with his boot as he does so. THIS GUY IS A FUCKING LIABILITY). Sabu preps a chair in the ring and hits a double-jump splash into the fifth row, and the two brawl amongst the fans, knocking more innocent bystanders over. Holy shit there’s a lots of those polystyrene heads in the crowd it’s tough to imagine Al Snow being over.






Car wreck, in every sense of the word.







The two brawl towards the crow’s nest, and Sandman gets set up on a table. Sabu goes up to the gorilla position and comes off with a pretty limp legdrop that crushes Fullington and the table. When Philly fans don’t pop for a table spot (or a Sabu spot, for that matter) you know it’s bad. More shitty brawling, and they take the scenic route back to the ring, stopping to make use of guard rail along the way. More brawling at ringside and Sabu ends up back in the first row, while Jim heads into the ring to get the ladder. But instead of climbing up it to get the barbed wire, he suplexes the thing into the fucking audience wiping out Sabu and nearly killing a bunch of fans. “ECdub! ECdub!” Yeah, nearly getting killed by your favourite “wrestlers” is EXTREME~! Sandman sets up the ladder across the railings (“I need to create some sort of fulcrum!”) and they do the see-saw spot, which was pretty neat for the time. Jim grabs Sabu in a suplex position but the prick sandbags him, so Sandman just totally muscles him up and over onto a pair of tables that decide not to break. Jim tries to talk them into it by coming off the apron with a legdrop, but still they don’t break and he just ends up smacking Sabu’s head onto the floor. What a fucking tit. Hey, remember that time on Nitro when he came out smoking a fag and everyone freaked cause he might set off all the pyro? Ahh, I miss WCW. More shitty brawling at ringside, and Sandman sets up a table and the ladder side-by-side bridging the apron to the guard rail. He hotshots Sabu across them, then hits a slingshot legdrop that just destroys Sabu and, finally, the table as well. Hella spot, but Sandman just shouldn’t be allowed to put himself or others in positions where they could be seriously hurt the guy just isn’t fucking good or safe enough. Two count is all, and Jim sets up the ladder and makes for the barbed wire. He gets it, but Sabu pushes the ladder over and sends him over the top rope and through a stack of tables. Sabu gets the wire and sets up a chair for a double-jump, but Jim gets the fuck outta dodge and Sabu kills himself on the guardrail, breaking his fucking jaw. Sandman wraps the barbed wire around the top turnbuckle while Sabu rolls around in agony on the outside. He finally makes it back in, and eventually lies on the apron and calls for Fonzie to get him something for his jaw. His mouth is busted open, but somehow he manages to get back up and continue the shitty brawling, nailing Sandman with a chair and raking the barbed wire across his face, before pulling a pair of scissors out of his boot and jabbing them into Jim’s head.






This man is an idiot.







Sabu makes a nice barbed wire crown for Jim, then plants him in the tree of woe with a chair in front of his face. Can you guess what happens next? If you said “Sabu sets up another chair and jumps off it with a dropkick to Jim Fullington’s face”, you’d be right. Sandman stumbles into the barbed wire turnbuckle, and Sabu tries to Pearl Harbor him with a springboard off the chair, but Jim moves and Sabu eats barbed wire. Sandman gets his cane and NAILS Sabu with it. He tried to get his hand up, but it made pretty good contact and Sabu just drops to the fucking mat like Mike Tyson, cradling his jaw. Fonzie is up on the apron straight away, and Sabu is just screaming for crazy glue or a staple or something for his mouth. Fonzie finally comes back with a roll of tape, and literally just starts wrapping it around Sabu’s head to hold his jaw in place. That is fucking insane. Sandman pulls him to his feet before he’s done, and the roll of tape is left dangling. Whip attempt, but Sabu reverses and sends Jim into the barbed wire in the corner, then sets up a chair and connects with a double-jump moonsault. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a broken jaw before, but generally taking any kind of impact when you’ve got one is a very bad idea, and very very fucking painful. He gives Sandman some barbed wire love beads then heads to the apron for a slingshot legdrop and lands awkwardly on his wrist, probably breaking that too. He heads back up top and nails Sandman with an Arabian facebuster, but he’s hurt himself again and is just flat out on the mat. Jim gets back up and has the cane, as well as a hunk of barbed wire just sticking out of his head. He crucifies Sabu with a caneshot RIGHT ACROSS HIS FACE and they go the fuck home before one of them gets killed.






Now this really is EXTREEEEEEEME.






** Well, it was violent, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t shit. Some of it was truly, truly tough to watch, and the spots were more the “holy fucking shit that guy is really hurt XPdub! XPdub!” than “holy fucking shit what a great spot!” Sabu is a tough bastard, but watching this makes you really understand why he’s amounted to nothing.








Axl Rotten VS Ian Rotten: Taipei Death Match





When shitty tag teams EXPLODE~! In case you don’t know, a TDM involves both guys taping their fists and dipping them in glue, then in broken glass. “I call this one the STING-AH. They don’t let us use that no more.” Neat bit of booking: Bill Alfonzo is in the middle of his gimmick as the steadfast, no-nonsense referee who actually, you know, REFEREES and doesn’t stand for typical ECW bullshit like chairs and tables and illegal double teams. Which basically meant that he would go out and “officiate” matches featuring ECW guys who could only do the above, and thus piss off the entire bingo hall by not letting them. It’s a really clever bit of booking psychology that catered directly to the tastes of the ECW audience (much like Cactus Jack wearing the Bischoff shirt), and just goes to show how in touch with the fans Paul E can be. So anyway, Tod (is it one ‘d’ or two?) Gordon and the fans were tired of Fonzie’s adherence to the rules costing them their hardcore matches, so Todd rules that Fonzie has to officiate this match, because THERE ARE NO RULES FOR HIM TO ENFORCE! Can’t disqualify anyone if there are no rules, eh? Fonzie accepts, and the brothers Rotten make their way out, running their fists by the crowd to verify authenticity. And indeed, some woman in the front row with fucking MAJOR back-combed hair nods in approval. A “We want blood” chant starts up, and IT’S ON. They circle and fanny around for a bit jabbing at each other, until Ian takes a wild swing and misses, allowing Axl to clobber him on the top of his head. Ian gets back up and he’s cut… a TEENY, TINY bit. Seriously, we’re talking about picking a month old scab here, there’s just NOTHING.






When a Gangstas/Public Enemy run-in actually UPS the workrate, you're in trouble.







Fonzie gets closer to inspect, and actually has to SQUEEZE THE WOUND to get any juice to run out. When it finally does, he takes the mike and rules that, although there are no rules, he is using his referee’s prerogative to stop the match due to the piss trickle of blood getting in Ian’s eyes and impairing his vision. THE MUTANTS GO FUCKING NUTS, thinking they won’t get to see any blood or violence, but Fonzie insists that they should be happy he’s there to call such things. Fucking SUPERB booking by Paul. In the aisle, the Gangstas and Public Enemy have crashed the party and are doing the usual shitty brawling. Security and a bunch of cops come out to break everyone up, and even Toddd shows up to try and restore order (they were trying to put heat on the Gangstas/PE feud, in case anyone’s wondering what any of this has to do with Taipei or death matches). They really sell the brawl as a shoot by having New Jack refuse to back down, and eventually a couple of cops take him down with an armbar and put him in a restraining hold to carry him out back. Fonzie joins the fray to try and subdue New Jack, while the Rottens are jaw-jacking in the ring. The fans are still MIGHTY pissed, and the Hawaiian Shirt Bros. try to start a “bullshit” chant. Todddd gets on the mike and rules that since Fonzie is gone, the Taipei deathmatch MUST CONTINUE~!






If you like watching guys blade each other, this is for you.







The brawl resumes as both guys swing wildly before taking turns sitting on the mat very still while the other guy rakes some glass over their head. Jim Molyneuax leaps into the ring and gets a pretty good pop (being an extreme official and all). Punches and raking abound, and there’s plenty of blood to go around. Ian is raking the shit out of Axl’s head, but Axl hits a superkick and then takes over. More blood. Punches to the arm. Ian Rotten is bleeding like Stephanie when Aunt Flo comes to visit. Hey, there’s a guy in the crowd who looks JUST like Jerry Lawler with a fuckoff mullet. Both guys somehow end up back inside and Axl gets a weak two. Axl grinds his fist into Ian’s head some more, but Ian takes over with a low blow and then punches Axl right in the dick with some glass. More raking. More bleeding. This cannot possibly be construed as entertainment. DDT on Axl, and Ian heads out to fetch some thumb tacks, which he proceeds to spread across the mat. The Philly fans, ever observant, start chanting “Thumb tacks! Thumb tacks!” to prove how clever they are. Ian goes for a powerbomb, but Axl backdrops him into the tacks and then comes off the ropes with a big splash for the three count as Ian is absolutely pissing blood out of his head.






This man is an idiot too.






½* I know some people really get off on bloody, violent shit like this masquerading as wrestling while hiding behind the “hardcore” label, but then those people are the same morons who love “matches” involving flourescent light tubes and glass. And none of those people are writing this review anyway. There was simply no wrestling here this was two guys bleeding, nothing more, and I can see that for free, and a lot more of it, just by going to A&E or hanging around outside a club on Saturday night. Shit, I’m pretty sure with half an hour on Google you could find some real Taipei deathmatches, so I really don’t see any reason to watch this dross.








Tajiri VS Jerry Lynn VS Super Crazy





This was about the time when various combinations of Lynn/Crazy/Guido/Tajiri were fighting each other every week. It gave us some really shit hot matches, but in the end they just kind of dragged on and ran out of new stuff to do in each subsequent match. Think of the Edge & Mysterio/Benoit & Angle/Guerreros fued and you’ll get what I mean.






They really should film a wrestling match in Bullet Time.







This is elimination rules. All three guys circle each other before Lynn and Crazy lockup, allowing Tajiri to kick each of them in the leg. Lynn’s ribs are taped, should anyone care. Whip is reversed and Tajiri hits the buckle, and Super Crazy charges in but gets vaulted onto the top rope, allowing him to hit a nice reverse bodypress over Tajiri and back onto Lynn. Now Crazy charges Lynn but gets vaulted over him too, and he hits a nice missile dropkick onto Tajiri this time. Neat little sequence. Crazy and Jerry take turns coming off the ropes until Lynn gets a flying headscissors (or a “legscissors” as that eediot Michael Cole always calls it), and then catches Crazy coming back in with a tilt-a-whirl, but Crazy does the wacky lucha armdrag rollthrough thing to take over. Both man back up and BOFA (back off for applause) before giving each other some props. Tajiri breaks up the sissy love-in by blindsiding Jerry but gets whipped to the corner. Jerry charges but Tajiri catches him in the Tarantula while Crazy lays in some shots. Then he tries to nail Tajiri on the apron but gets a kick to the head for his troubles, and Tajiri pulls off a neat spot where he sunset flips over and then back out while on Crazy’s back to grab another Tarantula. Oh, if only Vince would let him WRESTLE. Crazy takes a powder while Lynn takes over with some shots and gets a whip, but Tajiri nails him with a reverse thrust kick to the face and sets him up on the top rope for some high risk offence. Lynn tosses him back to the mat, and then Supermans Crazy out on the floor. Not to be outdone, Tajiri hits a beautiful Asai moonsault off the apron onto both men. Brawling ensues, and Tajiri weakly suplexes Crazy into the crowd. They stand around awkwardly waiting for Jerry, who eventually makes his way over and hits a Christ Air over the railing for a double clothesline on both guys. Everyone brawls through the crowd back to an entrance. Tajiri and Lynn brawl on the floor as Super Crazy heads up the rigging and makes it on top of the aisleway entrance, and hits a sweet moonsault off of it onto both guys. Somewhere in North Carolina, a light bulb goes on in Jeff Hardy’s head.






"La mierda santa, eso es una manera larga hacia abajo!"







Everyone heads back to ringside as Joey and Cyrus reference the internet. Super Crazy stands alone in the ring to absorb the pop, but Tajiri has his mind set on a blindside. Crazy sidesteps and drop toeholds him, then grabs a stiff rolling surfboard that these two do so well. He suspends Tajiri using just his legs, elevating him just high enough for Jerry to come off the ropes and grab a running bulldog in a supercool spot. He actually blew the spot and made it more of a running kneesmash, but the effort is appreciated. Lynn grabs a Gory Special on Crazy and nails a tilt-a-whirl for good measure, but Tajiri Pearl Harbors him with a dropkick to the knee. THOSE DASTARDLY JAPANESE~! He nails a neat standing hurricane rana on Crazy, who gets back up, and Jerry tries for one too, but Crazy reverses with a powerbomb and heads onto the apron for his slingshot Lionsult. He goes for a pin but Tajiri inexplicably breaks it up at two. He goes for the brainbuster but Crazy escapes and hits a rotation powerbomb into a cover, but this time Jerry breaks the count. Just to show how much they appreciate all the wrestling, the fans chant “Show your tits” at some chick. Jerry connects with the cradle piledriver on Crazy and goes for the cover, but gets walloped by a Tajiri dropkick to the face. He pulls Crazy back up and hits the brainbuster for the three count, eliminating the Mexican and leaving himself and Lynn to blow off their feud. Jerry whips Tajiri, who comes back with the handspring elbow to a meaty pop. Joey and Cyrus take time out to rag on Corino’s bleached hair and the fact that Jack Victory is in a wheelchair. Charming.






Here comes the pain...







Tajiri plants a tree of woe and waters it with a nice dropkick to the face. Cyrus, having spent the whole match bitching about the WWF and getting cut then proves Vince McMahon’s business savvy with the insightful comment “…THAT’S why I’m here to tell you what it feels like: It feels terrible; it hurts.” Joey calls him on that very fact, by asking him if he’s such a talented wrestler, why isn’t he still wrestling? I love Styles. Tajiri gets whipped and tries another handspring, but Jerry catches him in a waistlock and tries a German. Tajiri lands on his feet and goes for a kick, but Jerry ducks and grabs another waistlock, and this time connects with the German for a two count. Jim Molyneuax takes a moment to chastise Victory, but HE’S JUST BEEN SITTING OUTSIDE THE RING IN HIS WHEELCHAIR. What the fuck did he do? Jerry starts selling the cracked ribs being injured after the bridge on the German suplex, then goes for tombstone. Tajiri reverses and catches Jerry in a tombstone position of his own, but modifies it into a pendulum backbreaker. You can always tell excellent wrestlers because they can bust that kind of new shit out spur of the moment, just when you think they’re going to pull of something run-of-the-mill. Bret Hart had that, and so does Kurt Angle.






I bet Tajiri can suck his own dick. Just saying.







Tajiri misses a second turnbuckle moonsault and Jerry takes over with some forearms. They arse around in the corner for a bit before Jerry hits a silky tornado DDT off the second rope for a two. Jerry is still selling the ribs. He hits a hurricane rana into a pin, but Tajiri does his fucking awesome bridgeout and nails him right in the fucking kidneys with anther thrust kick, then hits a nice German suplex for a two count. Another stiff kick to the ribs, and Tajiri goes for the brainbuster. Jerry floats over and goes for the KICK WHAM cradle piledriver, but can’t pull Tajiri up because his ribs are hurt. Neat psychology. Tajiri shows NO REMORSE BITCH and kicks the ribs again, but Jerry is fired up and no-sells. Tajiri goes for another, but Jerry catches the leg and lays him the fuck out with a forearm. He finally hooks the piledriver and nails it for the one, two, three. Corino Pearl Harbors Lynn and beats on him while Victory gets out of his chair and onto the apron. HE CAN WALK~! HALLELUJAH~! Jerry gets whipped but nails a dropkick on Victory, then comes back and hits a cradle piledriver on Corino.






Tajiri's seldom-seen superfluous third nipple.






*** Three stars is kind of misleading, actually. It deserves them, but you’ve got to remember that these same three guys, in various combinations (including the one we saw here, I think) were routinely capable of **** matches, so only scoring three can only be seen as a disappointment. Some great spots though, and ECW Tajiri is always a pleasure to watch.








Eddie Guerrero VS “The Shooter” Dean Malenko: Farewell Match, 2/3 Falls





This is both guys’ last match before heading off to WCW, and was back when Dean could REALLY kick it. Jesus Eddie looks different he has absolutely zero cut and no mullet, and is wearing some of Ed Leslie’s old Barber garb. The heat is just INSANE here as you can possibly imagine.






Like Hogan-Rock, only with TWO good wrestlers. And educated fans.







1st FALL: Handshake to start, drawing a huge pop. They feel each other out as everyone in the building chants “Please don’t go!” and I do my best not to make KWS references. The crowd is popping for every little near-grapple or hold. Eddie finally grabs a hammerlock and a snapmere into a crucifix pin attempt, but dean uses his head to maintain a bridge and doesn’t let his shoulders go down. Neat. Eddie finally gets a two and Dean rolls through but gets caught in an inverted Fujiwara armbar. Dean finally counters into an ankle lock, but Eddie comes back with a Fujiwara armbar proper. It’s probably important to note that this isn’t the lightning quick Angle-Benoit counter wrestling, but slowed down counter exchanges where they actually work each hold for a while. Dean manages to turn that into a schoolboy, but Eddie makes the ropes and both guys BOFA. Hey, there’s a “Bischoff sucks” sign! Ah, those were the days. Dean gets whipped and hiptossed, then Eddie goes up with a modified rana into a lucha armdrag. Dean whipped again and Eddie goes for another hiptoss, but Dean catches him and reverses it into a monkey flip IN MIDAIR. Eddie floats through and lands on his feet, and eventually takes Dean down and goes for a slingshot/Boston crab, but Dean counters with a modified monkey flip, then goes for a dropkick that gets swatted away. Eddie springboards off the second rope into a weird bulldog takeover and rolls through into a headlock and gets a huge pop. Really neat little sequence. Eddie grabs an armlock and does his ropewalk into a leaping armdrag, sending Malenko across the ring and drawing another pop. Eddie hits a No Mercy sambo suplex and grabs a fisherman’s suplex with a floatover for a two count. He locks in a modified triangle hold, which Dean manages to roll through into an inverted Indian deathlock for two, then works it into an inverted bow and arrow. Remember what I was saying earlier about excellent wrestlers? RIGHT HERE, BABY.






STFs = high star ratings







Another two count, and Malenko rolls him over into an STF! Fucking class. Eddie makes the ropes, and Dean backs off to let him recover as “Bischoff takes it up the as, doo-da, doo-da” half-heartedly breaks out. Roman knucklelock and it’s Dean who CHEATS TO WIN~!, going low and taking Eddie down with a snapmere, followed by some boot-to-face action. Eddie gets a legsweep and gets his I STAND ON YOUR FACE AND TWIST, BABY followed by a European uppercut and an Irish whip. He sidesteps Dean who inexplicably just dives out of the ring through the middle ropes. Odd, and Joey tries to save it by calling it as a Malenko time out. Dean back in and Eddie takes over with some shots and a belly to belly for two, then hits a nice enziguri for another two. Top rope superplex gets two as Dan calls something pretty obviously. Irish whip and Eddie nails a tilt-a-whirl, then goes for a backdrop but dean fucks up a sunset flip, barely gettign a two count. Dean goes for a backslide but Eddie rolls over and grabs a schoolboy for a… three count? Looked kinda botched. Really nice little sequence, nonetheless, and Guerrero gets the first fall. 2nd FALL: More KWS worship, and Joey fellates both guys some more. Dean whips Eddie to the corner and criss-crosses off the ropes to hit a dropkick to the ankle. Barely caught him, and Eddie comes back with a German for two. Dean tries to get to his feet and takes a time out to nail Eddie’s knee with his shoulder, then hits a nice dropkick on it taking Eddie down. He grabs that weird side leg lock that Saturn used to do and works it until Eddie grabs the ropes. He whips Guerrero to the buckle and Eddie tries to vault over, but gets caught and Alabama slammed, and Dean locks in the Texas Cloverleaf for the submission. Wow, that was a quick fall. Joey erroneously says that the Cloverleaf is the same as a Scorpion Deathlock and Sharpshooter, but it’s a completely different move. One fall a piece.






Eddie Guerrero: role model.







3rd FALL: Eddie take a powder to walk off the pain. Joey puts over that Malenko being a shortass is good because he gets more leverage on the Cloverleaf, which is at once brilliant and naïve. Eddie works a couple of shots but Dean reverses a whip attempt and CRUSHES EDDIE’S FACE in the corner with a clothesline. He follows up with a brainbuster for two, then gets his calf kick off an Irish whip that sends Eddie to the outside. Dean follows and whips him to the railing, then brings him back in for a stiff running forearm. NICE double pump tiger driver gets two for Malenko, and he goes to work on Eddie in the corner. Eddie counters with a tasty tornado DDT that gets two, and follows up with a brainbuster of his own and hits the frog splash for a two count, as Joey references Art Barr. Eddie gets whipped and reverses a body press into a hurricane rana for two, and the crowd is going nuts. Eddie heads to the top rope but Dean follows and gets him in electric chair position. Eddie turns that into a sunset flip off the top for a two count. Eddie goes for another tornado DDT, but Malenko gets a fucking awesome counter, just spinning him off the top rope like a fucking discus and onto the mat gut first. Someone in the WWF should steal that. Dean gets the fireman’s carry gutbuster and a two count off of it. Everything goes apeshit as Eddie gets whipped and turns a hiptoss into a reverse sunset flip for two, then goes for a scoop slam on Dean, but he wriggles free and gets a diamond rollup, but Eddie hooks Dean’s shoulders as well, and both men get a three count for the lame albeit understandable double pin.






SITOUT POWERBOMB BY DEAN~! Scott Keith can't say nothin'!








The crowd initially boos the weak finish, but change their mind and start the ECdubs. Eddie takes the mike, and a bunch of assholes start chanting that he sold out. Eddie takes the opposite approach to Tazz (“you need to shut your mouth and have some respect”) and tells them that they bought heir ticket, so they’ve got the right to chant whatever they want. Cool guy. Eddie thanks the fans for paying to see him wrestle, then Dean takes the mike and cuts a pretty heartfelt promo about his career and wrestling for the promotion, ending with “I’ll never forget ECW no matter where in the hell I go.” Dean and Eddie embrace, then Tommy Dreamer, the Pitbulls, Heyman and Gordon all come out to show their appreciation.


***¾ A great little match with some neat counter wrestling. I know a lot of guys (coughSCOTTKEITHsplutter) say this is overrated for what it was, but hell, I thought it was neat.








Rey Misterio, Jr. VS Psicosis






Aside from one little-seen PPV, this was the first time luchadores had been seen on US TV, and the first time most people had seen any lucha stuff period. Psicosis (I really have to stop and type that slowly, as I autopilot to typing “Psychosis”) was still masked at this point, and had this bizarre mass of backcombed ginger hair that’s pretty surreal. Lockup and Rey gets an armdrag, which Psicosis COMPLETELY oversells, jumping out of the ring and almost over the guard rail. While we were importing “Best of AAA”, he must’ve been importing “Best of Hennig”. Back in and Psicosis works a hammerlock into a spinning turtle slam (thank you Anthony), and pulls him back up again maintaining the hammerlock. Rey does the vaulting snapmere counter and sends Psicosis to the ropes, then kicks his calves out form under him sending him flying. Rey Rey (fuck you, JR) gets a springboard moonsault off the second rope that misses, but he lands on his feet, and gets the monkey flip kip-up into a bodyscissors, and back up into a lucha armdrag that sends Psicosis out. Back in and Psicosis comes off the ropes and Rey drops down, but gets caught with an elbowdrop to the kidneys. OUCH. Psicosis is drawing mad heat from the crowd, given that nobody knws who he is. He gets a nice compactor powerbomb and whips Rey, catching him with a HUGE body press that sends him flying. He grabs Rey in the Steiners’ inverted Oklahoma Stampede, and hits a springboard kneedrop off the arpon. Snake eyes on Rey, and you just KNOW he wasn’t aware of the Kevin Nash connotation. Still, henceforth whever Kevin Nash does it, it should be called as a LUCHA SNAKE EYES~!






Psicosis channels the spirit of El Grande Sexy.







Psicosis torpedos across the ring with a dropkick, then gets a modified F5 into a sidewalk slam and comes back with a LUCHA LEGDROP, BROTHER~!. He pulls Rey up by the mask and gets some chops in the corner, and tells the fans to go fuck themselves. LUCHA PROFANITY~! He whips Rey to the opposite corner and just destroys the poor little bastard with a SPLIT-LEGGED ASS SPLASH AVALANCHE. There’s a fan in the crowd who looks just like that System of A Down guy. Another whip, but this time Rey dodges the ASSVALANCHE (ass splash + avalanche = assvalanche) and hits a fucking sweet West Coast Pop (obviously not yet called) for two. The fans have never seen ANYTHING like that, and they pop like crazy. Rey Rey gets a cartwheel into a spinning electric chair rana, then follows up with a headscissors. Mad crazy. He gets backdropped over the top rope but lands on the apron where Psicosis joins him and they trade chops. A boot sends Rey down, but he monkey presses Psicosis right onto the post. Quality, and the crowd goes apeshit. Back in and Rey works some chops and then comes in with a missile Stinger splash, but Psicosis dodges and Rey eats turnbuckle. Psicosis with a standing atomic drop (he gets Rey in an inverted atomic drop position and just rams his knee into his assbone) then heads up for the flying legdrop for two.






"Mexican jumping beans" indeed.







Another compactor powerbomb gets two, and a spinning heel kick sends Rey out. Psicosis comes flying out of the ring with a suicide dive through the middle ropes, but Rey gives him a chairshot in midair and sends him crashing into the guardrail. FUCKING AWESOME SPOT, although Benoit and Jericho did it a little cleaner in their ladder match. Joey busts out the “Oh Dios mio!” in appreciation, and puts over Rey’s pro wrestling career starting at 14 when promoters had to sneak him into bar shows due to his age. Back in and Psicosis dropkicks Rey’s knees a few times, then plants him and comes of the top rope with a moonsault into a twisting senton, which Joey doesn’t know how to call. He suggests fans call his hotline to tell him, but states that Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff needn’t bother, as “What a manoeuvre!” won’t cut it. Cheeky, Joseph. Rey gets whipped, but Psicosis misses a flying kneelift and goes up and over to the floor. Rey comes off the ropes with the 619 dummy and Psicosis bails to the safety of the crowd. Unfortunately he is unfamiliar with ECW crowds, as Rey hits a springboard plancha DEEP into the fans and wipes him out. That draws a huge pop, and rightly so. Both men back in the ring and Psicosis heads up, and Rey Rey hits a botched pop-up rana for the three count. Shame they blew the spot, as it took the wind out of the crowd a little and was an anticlimactic finish to a hot match.


*** Strangely, this wasn’t an all out lucha spotfest, as you might imagine it would be. They built a nice little story, and used the spots to emphasise the story they were telling. For that reason, it still stands up today as a solid match, and isn’t hurt by there being a million better spotfests out there.













The biographies are the usual, detailed Mike Johnson fair. I recently spoke with Mike and he explained to me how his brief was to write in-depth, kayfabed bios that would appeal to and explain the history of each wrestler to non-ECW fans. That’s interesting to me as Joey’s brief in his introductions was obviously the same, to put over the matches and wrestlers to people who have never seen ECW before. The irony of all of that is that 99% of people buying these DVDs are ECW fans anyway, which kind of negates the exercise. It’s also the reason why choosing shitty matches that end with a flaming table or involve some kind of stupid spot over matches that are jam-packed with solid wrestling is ultimately a futile one: they selected the gimmick matches and spots to try and get the DVDs over with an audience that was never going to buy the discs. The people who bought these DVDs are the hardcore wrestling fans and/or hardcore ECW fans who are really more concerned with great matches. Just my two.













The promos are… odd. The Steve Austin promo is absolutely superb, on a number of levels. It’s basically his introduction to ECW, and he shoots on Eric Bischoff for firing him, and Bischoff, Dusty, Flair and Hogan for holding him down. It’s fun watching him go nuts and blasting WCW politics and lamenting the Hollywood blondes, but it’s even more chilling as the interview goes on. Essentially, he just gives the usual pro wrestler bullshit spiel about “I’m going to be the biggest star in the history of the business.” But the thing is, that’s EXACTLY what he became. And watching this ten-minute promo, listening to him say that, the man is ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that he will be the biggest star on the planet. It’s scary watching it, because you sit there and listen to him telling you how being pissed all over in WCW will motivate him to rule the wrestling industry, and you can see in his eyes that he knows that’s what he’s going to do. This is easily one of my favourite promos ever.





However, things go rapidly downhill from there. Think of all the classic ECW promos that have been cut there over the years. Think about Cactus Jack, Terry Funk, Taz, Raven, and all the hours of promos these talents have provided. So what do we get here? DICK. A 25 second Bill Alfonzo promo where Taz makes a ten second cameo, a 40 second nothing of a Stevie Richards promo, 13 seconds of the Pitbulls grunting (although Francine is in the background looking hot), a LAME 17 second Public Enema promo, and another 17 seconds of crap with Elimators screaming incoherently. What a wasted opportunity. On the other hand, the infamous Brian Pillman “SMAAAAART MAAAAAARKS!” promo is here in its entirety as an Easter Egg, which is another must-see. That notwithstanding, you just can’t help but feel they could have done so much more with this section.













A pretty nice selection of matches, with some garbage wrestling, lucha libre, spotfsts, bloodletting, and even some plain old vanilla “guys in spandex pretending to hit each other”. VERY light in the extras department, although the Pillman interview is a definite must-see.




This is probably my favourite ECW DVD, and definitely worth the pickup. ****












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