ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) innovated wrestling in the 1990's and the impact it made can still be seen today. I first became a fan of ECW in '98 at a time were wrestling as a whole was changing. At the time ECW was entering it's most succesful peiod in it's history, I got hooked after seeing a pay-per-view called Heatwave '98 and it blew me away. From there, I remained a fan till its dying day in February 2001.
This two disc DVD explores it's roots from the time Paul Heyman took over as it's head promoter and when it was called Eastern Championship Wrestling and when it was still part of the NWA. It talks about that controvertial moment were Shane Douglas took the NWA World title, threw it to the ground and declared himself the ECW World Heavyweight Champion. From there, Extreme Championship Wrestling was born. It also documents all of ECWs big stars and famous feuds and talks heavily about Paul Heyman's sheer hatred for Eric Bishoff and WCW (probably why him and Vince McMahon get along so well). It also focus' heavily on Steve Austin and Mick Foley's stints in ECW. (Can U believe Austin once had long blond hair?!) It also talks about Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Misterio, Chris Jericho and Dean Malenko's times there as well and how those 5 were tapped by WCW. (So Paul Heyman claims, strange how he doesn't say WWE tapped Taz, The Dudleys, Austin and Foley). Also it documents on all the controvertial moments in the promotions history like the comissioner Tod Gordon helping WCW getting a hold their talent, their first pay-per-view getting cancelled because a 19 year old who lied about his age got injured in a show, the time when 2 female performers kissed eachother and their TV show got thrown off the air, Raven crucifying the Sandman while Kurt Angle was in the audience (Angle had just won his Olympic Gold medal and is a stonce Christian). And probably the most controvertial moment of all, Mike Awesome signing with WCW in 2000 while he was their champion!
Disc 2 has 7 of the company's most famous matches. The one I would reccomend you watch is Rob Van Dam's match with Jerry Lynn at Hardcore Heaven '99 which to this day I believe to be greatest match ever! Another one is Tommy Dreamer Vs Raven were Jerry 'The King' Lawler appears at the ending. I'll let you discover the other 5.
Really, there's so much to see here and I would advise you to buy this immediately. All the evidence is hear to see that ECW changed wrestling. Face it, would you have seen Steve Austin down a couple beers at the end of his matches in WWE if it wasn't for ECW? If it wasn't for ECW would you have match types like TLC, First Blood, Falls Count Anywhere, Street Fight and Hell in a Cell? If it wasn't for ECW would you have WWE Divas like Torrie Wilson and Stacey Keibler rolling in the ring with each other in their underwear? OF COARSE YOU WOULDN'T! ECW changed wrestling for the good of business. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you WWE for realeasing this wonderful DVD. It's done so well in the states, WWE has decided to book a one off ECW pay-per-view in May!
The nineties was a very important time in the history of wrestling for many reasons. One of the main ones being the epic war between the major companies, WWE and WCW. Both were the big two wrestling organisations that warred for supremacy, but out there, there was another organisation that was also included in the war, making the `big two' the `big three'. Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Back in the days when WWE, WCW and ECW were all around, I loved WWE and hated WCW. I didn't pay any attention to ECW, simply because I couldn't. Having only terrestrial television at the time, to view ECW wasn't an option. The only thing that I knew was that guys like Tazz, the Dudley Boyz, Raven, Rob Van Dam and a handful of others originated from this organization, that was reputed to be very violent and totally unlike the other two companies.
With the Rise and Fall of ECW out on DVD, and hearing about its success, it was only logical to grab a copy of it myself and take a history lesson. Little did I know what a long, in-depth, compelling lesson I'd be letting myself in for.
The whole documentary is easily longer than any documentary WWE has ever produced, spanning nearly three hours, and covering all the essential things that need to be known about ECW's decade long run. Paul Heyman, the mastermind behind this revolutionary phenomenon, talks about the transformation from its original incarnation of Eastern Championship Wrestling to what it ultimately became. Highlighted in the documentary are the stars that made it a huge success, including the late great Public Enemy, Tazz, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Raven, Mikey Whipwreck, the Dudley Boyz, the Sandman, Cactus Jack and Rob Van Dam.
Many of the former ECW stars interviewed provide a very informative insight into the atmosphere of the company, views on Paul Heyman, and some of the most spectacular rivalries, matches and storylines that put ECW on top. For someone who didn't really know what ECW was about, I was shocked and amazed by the things that they did. If you thought WWE were the masters of controversy, you will quickly discover that ECW ate, drank, breathed and lived controversy, doing all sorts of things that WWE and WCW were afraid to do when sports-entertainment (at that time) was still more aimed at family audiences.
The documentary is very open about a lot of stuff, more so than WWE documentaries are known to be. For instance, no one is afraid to swear or to let the world know what they think about this and that. Vince McMahon is very respectful towards Paul Heyman and ECW for commendable and realistic reasons, whereas Eric Bischoff and Jerry `The King' Lawler do not hesitate in criticising and bad mouthing ECW. Paul Heyman, likewise, is not ashamed to let the world know how he feels about Eric Bischoff and WCW management.
Hearing about all the struggles of ECW speaks highly of the organization, in my opinion. Considering they had little to no money, they were able to survive losing a lot of talent, a frightening incident involving an underage replacement wrestler, and a battle against multi-million corporations to get on pay-per-view and national television. Incredibly loyal wrestlers and an equally loyal, cult-like fanbase allowed it to make the most of their positives and hide their negatives, resulting in an innovative and outstanding organisation that helped the wrestling business evolve for the better.
Watching this makes you think that if it hadn't been for ECW, then guys like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, the late great Eddie Guerrero, Rob Van Dam, Rey Mysterio and the Dudley Boyz may never have achieved the legendary status that they earned in WWE. It also makes you wonder why guys like Rhino, Raven, Tommy Dreamer and a handful of others were never really given the opportunity that they deserved.
But while there was a great deal of quality within ECW, there was a lot of negatives that ultimately spelt its doom, such as mismanagement, financial difficulties and obviously, the sheer reluctance to change gears and go beyond the one-dimensional ultra violence and highly-adult content. More often than not, you tend to see ECW matches with no psychology, no story being told, just a messy brawl with chaotic spot after chaotic spot, ultimately making it second-rate to WWE's product.
Still, the Rise and Fall of ECW is a virtually faultless purchase, extensively covering one of the most talked-about wrestling promotions of all time, and providing many insights into a company that contributed more to the business than the majority of people realise.
The first disc features the documentary in its entirety and the second disc features the traditional matches, ranging from a terrible ECW tag title match, an okay ladder match, an entertaining feud-ending battle between Raven and Tommy Dreamer, an awesome 2-out-of-3 encounter between Rey Mysterio and Psychosis, and a phenomenal ECW TV title match between Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn. Plus alternate commentary with some of the match participants, and a few extra interviews with Tazz, Chris Jericho and Stevie Richards.
For die-hard fans of ECW, this DVD is simply a must-have. It won't disappoint any hardcore fanatic. For those WWE fans (like me) who have never entered the world of Extreme Championship Wrestling before, I highly recommend purchase of this. In fact, it's mandatory. The Rise and Fall of ECW is expertly put together and is unquestionably a cracking presentation for all wrestling fans and historians alike.
on 12 November 2006
The Rise and Fall of ECW DVD is one of the greatest DVD sets i have ever purchased. The first of the two DVDs included gives a massive insight into ECW, from birth to death, with mini-interviews from Taz, Paul E, Tommy Dreamer, and many more. You can see the most memorable and most controversial times of the most extreme promotion on the planet. The caning of Tommy Dreamer, and the "Jesus Christ" angle, in which the Sandman was "crucified" by Raven, which also includes clips from Raven's apology. The almost four hour long first disc covers profiles of Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, Raven, Rob Van Dam, and many others, with comments from various ECW alumni on each person. The ending of disc one is very interesting, seeing the wrestlers who fought for ECW talk about bounced cheques, the loss of Taz, the Dudley Boys, Public Enemy, and Mike Awesome. Paul Heyman's comments are among the most interesting, as he explains that the only reason ECW died is because they couldn't find a new network to broadcast it. He says that with a new network, ECW may not have survived this long, but it certainly would have continued. It is definately an amazing story. The second disc features ECW's greatest matches, including all of the following;
-The Pitbulls Vs Raven/Stevie Richards - 2 out of three falls dog collar match for the ECW World Tag-Team Championships at ECW Gangsta's Paradise.
-Rey Mysterio Vs. Psicosis - 2 out of three falls match, ECW Hardcore TV.
-Mikey Whipwreck Vs The Sandman - Ladder Match for the ECW World CHampionship, ECW Hardcore TV.
-2 Cold Scorpio (Flash Funk) Vs Sabu - ECW World Television Championship, ECW Cyberslam
-Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven - ECW Wrestlepalooza (Alt. Commentary by John Coachman and Tommy Dreamer)
-Taz Vs Bam Bam Bigelow - ECW World Telivision Championship, ECW Living Dangerously. (Alt. Commentary by Taz and Michael Cole)
-Rob Van Dam Vs Jerry Lynn - World TV Championship, ECW Hardcore Heaven (Alt. Commentary by John Coachman and Rob Van Dam)
There are also small segments, in which Stevie Richards apologizes for leaving ECW, Taz seeks Paul Heyman's blessing, and Paul Heyman: Travel Agent.
All in all, a great set, and a must for any ECW fan. My only complaint is the pointless section in which Paul Heyman debuts on Raw following ECW's death, and the segment where Taz takes on Triple H. These are WWE/WWF moments, and should not be thrown at an ECW DVD. That said, this set earned a well-deserved 5 stars.
on 15 February 2005
From start to finish, this DVD is superb and I reccomend it to anybody who ever watched ECW. Actually for anyone who likes wrestling at all.
There are 43 chapters in all.
The documentary starts with an introduction of how ECW started as NWA Eastern Championsip Wrestling. It then progresses on through the colourful history of ECW. From its origins to it's stars to its feuds and its demise, this is a must have DVD. All through arious stars such as Rhyno, Spike D-Von and Bubba Dudley, Tommy Dreamer, Mick Foley, Paul Heyman, Vince Mcmahon, Chris Jericho, Taz and many more comment on ECW and their expeiriances.
The DVD also fetures seven bonus matches, 4 easter eggs and 3 bonus vignettes.
The matches are:
The Pitbulls vs. Stevie Richards and Raven - Dog Collar 2/3 falls
This was good at the time - it's a classic now, one of ECW's finest.
Rey Mysterio vs. Pscosis
A great hardcore cruiserweight match. A must see for all the fans of Lucha Libre and all the fans of Hardcore.
Mickey Whipwreck vs. The Sandman - Ladder Match
I don't know whether this was put on here for a joke. Mickey takes some great bumps but this failed to catch my attention. They should have put the night the line was crossed on instead - anyway you can't win 'em all.
2 Cold Scorpio vs. Sabu
Watch this match. Enough Said!
Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven
This match is the one with the infamous ending where Jerry Lawler invades. This has some great physical hardcore brawling in it. Has ECW written all over it!
Tazz vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
The fans are weird in this, just listen to the chants. It has fantastic intensity and feeling, plus a few highspots and the ending and the suplex off the ramp are extreme.
RVD vs. Jerry Lynn
These two had a well documented feud in ECW, but although this match was excellent, a 5 star encounter, Jerry Lynn seemed to be carried through the match. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, it was technical, hardcore, high flying and exciting.
The easter eggs are good, but the Mickey Whipwreck and the Public Enemy is hilarious. It is hippocritical and controversial but great.
Also, the other extras are fun.
This DVD is brilliant. If your were a fan of ECW, you'll love it.
WWE's purchase of the ECW library, along with WCW's, has meant that a good deal of quite brilliant DVDs spotlighting the likes of Steve Austin and Mick Foley have been produced. In 2005, four years since the company's closure, that spotlight was placed onto ECW. The result, The Rise And Fall Of ECW, is the WWE's best-selling DVD, and for good reason.
Whilst being a WWE product, there's a certain degree of bias - and of course, several key players like Shane Douglas, Tod Gordon and Joey Styles aren't interviewed - this DVD is just about as good as it could possibly be expected to be, unless by some miracle Franchise Productions and WWE decide to collaborate. Everyone WWE can think of that's willing to be interviewed is there - Dreamer, Paul Heyman, the Dudleyz including Spike, Rob Van Dam, Mick Foley - as well as a number of individuals you wouldn't expect to be as vital to the story, like Eric Bischoff (who continues his new trend of likeability here by making several excellent points) and Jerry Lawler, whose heel run in ECW in 1997 was phenomenal.
Just about all of the key ECW moments are covered, from Mass Transit to Barely Legal to The Night The Line Was Crossed to the eventual shutdown. Heyman shows himself to be somewhat in denial about the state ECW would be in come 2005 had they not shut down, and as with any 'rise and fall' the fall can be somewhat depressing. But the highs, the lows, the thrills, the spills are all part of the ECW story and it's a fascinating DVD that's better off for its warts-and-all account (although obviously, there's no mention to its 2001 revival during the botched InVasion angle).
on 4 December 2007
The biggest selling wrestling of all time may have a wwe logo on it but this is not about the wwe,this is about ecw which reigned from 1993 to 2001 before it went bankrupt,the brain behind this company was paul heyman and any wrestling fan worth a note knows that man.
Disc one serves as a documentary about the companies early days,how it found fame,how it even got pay per views and then got a spot on the channel TNN,but ultimately this killed it in the end due to lack of advertising and TNN trying to tone down the violent content of the show,oh yeah in case you didnt know ECW stands for extreme championship wrestling.
The company was built on a territory based show primarily with low production values,little in way of great lighting and pyros and glamour,instead it focused on wrestlers beating the life out of each other,the referees didnt do much bar count to three or hear a submission,the matches were bloody messes mostly and the fanatical fanbase screamed them on.
The fans were a big part of the show,they brought weapons that would be handed to the stars and they would use,one such item was a paddle from a canoe,that was funny to watch.
The documentary shows that ecw was very real to its fans,with honest confessions being the order of the day,the matches werent reallty scripted,heyman would guide the wrestlers on what they should do and that was that,no creative team was present.
Frank and detailed analysis by ex stars of the company give insight to what went on,even vince mcmahon talks about the impact of it and indeed he helped promote the first ever ecw pay per view by letting some of its stars invade monday night raw,i think he still cant believe he allowed that,jerry lawlor and eric bischoff hated the company but many enjoyed it and some were very loyal,as paychecks bounced and so forth then some left for bigger things but people like tommy dreamer stayed until the end,dreamer is one of the main sources of info here and he is very interesting.
This is probably the most interesting documentary that i have seen about wrestling,truly stunning,from the highs to the crushing lows and there was still a second dvd to watch and watch it i did.
On the second dvd 7 full matches are featured and they are just excellent featuring a host of top names,blood and high skill is very much order of the day,i wont dissect each match as i have taken up enough of your time but i will say this,this was truly class and as a double disc feast this will take some beating,world class.
on 3 September 2007
Now I was only a kid when ECW was in its prime so I really didn't see most of it. But after I saw the WWE realease this DVD I immediately went out and bought it. This is an awsome documentary of the rise and fall of a great brand of wrestling.
Disk 1: Disk one is the documentary about ECW and what it was.
Paul Heyman took a small not well known company and in a few years turned it into one of the most unbelievable shows ever seen. ECW had only a few hundred fans in the back of a bingo hall in one room, and they didn't have enough money for lights and pyro shows.
But Heyman didn't let that stop him, he stayed away from what they lacked and went on to what they did best at, guys putting other guys through tables set on fire.
This almost 3 hour documentary comes with jawdropping moments ever seen. From the Dudley boys starting riots from insulting people, to Shane Douglas throwing the NWA world title belt on the ground and saying he would rather be the ECW champion. And even to where the crowd threw hundreds of styrafoam heads into the ring with Al Snow.
The Documentary goes from all the major ECW superstars one by one. Raven, Tazz, Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, Cactus Jack, Sabu, The Dudleys, Rob Van Dam, and others. It even goes to the moments where Kurt Angle was supposed to work for ECW but changed his mind after a really religious/horrifying moment.
It also goes onto an argument between Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff where Heyman accused Bischoff of raiding their superstars to join WCW. Bischoff declared that the Superstars left to get a better deal. Heyman declared, point blank, that Bischoff was full of sh*t.
The last moments of the documentary are great, as each superstar gives their personal feelings about working at ECW and how they were saddened by the loss of it. I gave this 4 stars just for the documentary alone.
The last star was for the matches on it. Though I have to admit I wished there were at least twice as many as there were on the disk. Anyway, here are the matches.........
The PitBulls vs. Raven and Steven Richards: This was a two out of three dog collar match. It means that Raven would be linked to one of the pit bulls by the neck with a collar and chain as would steven richards be with the other pit bull.
four or five tables were broken in this one, and Raven's head clips the side of another table after the pit bull missed putting him through the table. Tommy Dreamer makes an appearance as do the dudley boys. 10/10
Rey Mysterio vs. Psicosis : A great high flying match with the crusierweights. All over the arena they fought, with moves over barriers and off of walls. A great match and the crowd was into it as always. 9/10
Sandman vs Mikey Whipwreck : This was a great ladder match. Mikey Whipwreck takes loads of punishment and so does Sandman. A brutal ladder bump when Sandman is leaning up and Mikey Whipwreck throws the ladder right into the face of the Sandman. 8/10
Sabu vs. Too Cold Scorpio: A 30 minute match where both men took crazy high flying moves. Sabu gives an insane table bump after leaping off a chair, onto the top rope, then doing a summersault in the air and crashed onto a table. Great match and the ending is surprising. 9/10
Tommy Dreamer vs Raven : This was raven's last match in ECW until he made his return to ECW in 1999. lots of brutal blows including about 3 table breaks and alot of weapons were used. They used anything that was not nailed down and a great way to showcase ECW. 9/10 Also a suprise appearance at the end of the match.
Tazz vs. Bam Bam Bigelow: From ECW's Living Dangerously PPV as Bam Bam Bigelow is in his hometown of Asbury Park, New Jersey. Some hard hitting blows were taken and this match had maybe the most surprising finish in the history of wrestling as Tazz locks in the Tazz Mission and climbs onto Bigelows back. When the move gets locked in, the suprising moment happens as Bigelow jumps back, himself and Tazz go through the ring. 10/10
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn : From Hardcore Heaven 1999 as the TV champion RVD defends his title against Jerry Lynn. Some great technical wrestling is produced in this match as Jerry Lynn acctully gets knocked out in this match. A brutal Sunset Powerbomb through a table performed by Jerry Lynn and this match is a classic. 10/10
I would definately reccomend this just for the documentary alone, it is one of the best DVD's ever made by the WWE.
on 7 February 2005
I am a huge fan of ecw and have all the tapes but when this came out i just had to have it The rise and fall of ecw is so well put togeather and covers everything from the start to the finish of the company. the extras on disc two have seven great matches and here is the list
The pit bulls vs raven and stevie richards from gansters pardise
Ray mystero vs psicosis from hardcore tv
Mikey wipwreck vs the sandman in a ladder match for the title from hardcore tv
scorpio vs sabu from cyeberslam 96
Tommy dreamer vs raven from wrestlepollozala 97
Tazz vs bam bam bigelow from liveing dangerousley 98
Rob van dam vs jerry lynn from hardcore heaven 99 thease are all 5 star matches the only thing bad about this dvd is the lack of mnatches on here i feel that they could have added more matches because there are so many more matches out there on the videos that are worth of putting on a dvd just like this but all in all a great dvd to watch and all wrestling fans if not fans of ecw just wwe and wcw have to buy this just to see just how good wrestlers like raven stevie richards mysterio tazz van dam and jerry lynn really were in closeing ECW ECW ECW ECW
on 7 January 2007
This is a great dvd featuring all of the things you would buy it for
The rise and fall of ECW: This is the main part of the dvd and is about 3 hours long. Paul heyman(ECW owner) is surprisingly honest about the way ECW went down as are the superstars involved. This is more of a documentery but is really entertaining.
Bonus matches: 7 extra matches:
pit bulls vs. Raven and stevie richards
Rey mysterio jr vs. phicosis
Mickey whipwreck vs. The sandman
2 cold scorpio vs. sabu
Tommy dreamer vs. Raven
Tazz vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry lynn
Overall I think this dvd is great and with the bonus matches it is brilliant.
Must have for Wrestling fans especially since ECW has now made a comeback!
on 17 May 2005
This is a no holds barred look at the wrestling company that changed the landscape of wrestling for good. In a near 3 Hours Documentary (Yes 3 Full Hours) Paul Heyman, Tommy Dreamer, Nunzio, Rhino, Vince Mcmahon, Mick Foley and Others talk about the 8 years Paul E run the company and push the envlope so far - Feauting the High points like Barley Legal the company first PPV, creating The BWO, making people like Raven, Tommy Dreamer, RVD, Sabu, Al Snow, Public Enemy, Micky Whipwreck and others and the fan suppor and loyalty to the ECW brand. It also talks about Low Points the death of an underage kid - 17 he was - (Which cost them the Barely Legal PPV for a while.) , The crucifixion which angered guest Kurt Angle. Going national on tv and losing Taz and the Dudleys to the WWE, and it slow painful death with fans who still care for the company. Your Laugh, Cry, wonder how the WCW Eric Bischoff got on this DVD - (I wish Bischoff would say he did nick alot of ECW stuff.) Your see the most personal shoot promo ever and Paul Heyman debut on WWE Raw. But that only half of this 2Disc set covered.
Match 1 - The ECW Tag team Titles
Raven And Stevie Richards (C) VS The Pitbulls
A bloody match featuing a Dreamer attack, A catfight and the biggest SuperPowerbomb Ever.
Rey Mysterio Jr VS Psicosis 2/3 Falls Match
A great rivalry taken to the Exterme.
Match 3 The ECW Title Match - Ladder Match
Micky Whipwreck VS The Sandman (C)
It gets this becuse of Steve Austin great Promo
A different kind of Ladder match.
Match 4 The ECW TV Title Match
Sabu VS 2 Cold Scorpio (C)
A 30 Minute Wresting Classic as 2 of the best high flyers collide watch out for SABU sick table move.
Match 5 - Feauting Alt Commentary with Dreamer and Coach
Tommy Dreamer VS Raven
The last great battle in this rivalry with Jerry Lawler coming to the ECW Arena at the end and nearly causing a riot.
Match 6 - The ECW TV Title Feauting Alt Commentary with Michael Cole and Taz
Taz (C) VS Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow in front of his home town crowd look to beat Taz - (the answer to Taz question at the end of the Alt Commentary is Dayton Ohio Heatwave 98 that was his next match with Bigelow.)
Match 7 The ECW TV Title Feauting Alt Commentary with Michael Cole and Rob Van Dam The Whole F'N Show.
Rob Van Dam VS Jerry Lynn
The Best Match on this DVD and Proof that the WWE is underusing RVD as Mr PPV and Jerry Lynn tear the house down in a epic match up.
There also piece from Stevie Richards,Chris Jerchio and Taz.
This is a DVD ever Wrestling fan should own. ECW will live forever in my Heart as a Wrestling fan and if a see an ECW wreslter at a show I will proudly chant ECW! ECW! ECW!.