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ECW Unreleased Vol. 1 DVD Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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ECW Unreleased Vol. 1 DVD Cover

ECW Unreleased Vol. 1 DVD Cover

© 2012 WWE, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Despite going out of business over a decade ago, the legacy of Extreme Championship Wrestling lives on. This 3 volume DVD set features some of the most important matches in the history of that company which are being released on WWE DVD for the first time.

Review and Recommendation

Format of the DVD: This three-disc set is hosted by Joey Styles and features matches in chronological order. Joey Styles has set the standard for the role of the host of a DVD set. His pride in the company shined through and his introductions for some of the matches really set the stage for fans that might not have known the importance of the match they are about to view. In particular, I greatly enjoyed his explanation of the championship controversy involving Mike Awesome.

Rating: While current WWE programming is TV-PG, this DVD set is TV-14 LV.

Editing Issues: The most notable edits on this set are for the theme music. Back in the day, the ECW stars used famous songs and the WWE would have had to spend a lot of money to get the rights to use all of them for this set. There were also edits for language and a wardrobe malfunction.

Packaging Issues: For some reason, the match listings for each disc is printed underneath the physical disc. In order to find out what is on each disc, you have to physically take the disc out of the package. Hopefully, this inconvenient set-up will never be done again.

Length of the DVD: The back of the box says "approx running time: 7 hours."

Match Selection: Thankfully, only matches from the original era of the company are on this set. WWE Home Video did a great job in featuring the greatest singles stars in the company as all nine of the wrestlers on my list of greatest singles stars in the history of the company are featured in singles matches on either the DVD or Blu-ray. Unfortunately, the tag team ranks weren't given the same treatment as only one of the five teams I mentioned in my list of the greatest tag teams in the history of the company are represented on this set. Hopefully, Volume 2 will feature some of those teams.

I also have to note that some of these matches are not truly "unreleased" on DVD. Prior to the WWE buying ECW, Pioneer Video released a few DVDs which included some of these matches. However, none of the ECW DVD sets made by WWE Home Video included any of the matches featured on either the DVD or Blu-ray.

Overall Recommendation: I really liked this DVD set. It featured some of the most important moments in ECW history. Whether it was Shane Douglas throwing down the NWA World Championship or the multiple heel/face turns that took place following the Sabu/Taz match at Barely Legal, WWE did a great job of including the important pre/post match activity for many of the matches. The best thing I can say about this set is that I hope that a Volume 2 will be coming out soon.

However, this set was not perfect. In addition to the horrible packaging, it was really short and part of the reason for that is because one of the matches included on the Blu-ray was a match that was an hour long.

As far as choosing between DVD and Blu-ray, despite none of these matches being recorded in HD, I would recommend spending the extra money for the Blu-ray because it includes the Triangle Match which put the company on the wrestling map.

If you were a fan of the original ECW, I highly recommend getting this set. If you've never seen ECW before and want to get a feel for what the company was about, I would suggest buying Rise and Fall of ECW first. That set is one of the greatest that WWE Home Video has ever produced.

Matches on This DVD Set

Disc One
  • Hardcore TV 8/27/94: NWA World Heavyweight Championship - Shane Douglas vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
  • Hostile City Showdown 4/15/95: Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven
  • Heat Wave 7/15/95: Dean Malenko & 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Tazz & Eddie Guerrero
  • Hardcore TV 7/28/95: ECW World Television Champion Dean Malenko vs. Eddie Guerrero
  • CyberSlam 2/17/96: Shane Douglas vs. Cactus Jack
  • The Doctor Is In 8/3/96: Chris Jericho vs. Too Cold Scorpio
Disc Two
  • CyberSlam 2/22/97: Tables & Ladder Match - ECW World Tag Team Champions The Eliminators vs. Rob Van Dam & Sabu
  • Barely Legal 4/13/97: Sabu vs. Tazz
  • November To Remember 11/30/97: ECW World Heavyweight Champion Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Shane Douglas
  • Heat Wave 8/2/98: ECW World Tag Team Champions Sabu & Rob Van Dam vs. Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki
  • Hardcore TV 8/15/98: ECW World Television Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn
Disc Three
  • Guilty as Charged 1/10/99: ECW World Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas vs. Taz
  • Heat Wave 7/18/99: Impact Players vs. Rob Van Dam & Jerry Lynn
  • November to Remember 11/7/99: ECW World Heavyweight Champion Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka
  • CyberSlam 4/22/00: ECW World Heavyweight Champion Tazz vs. Tommy Dreamer
  • CyberSlam 4/22/00: Justin Credible vs. The Winner of the Prior Match
  • Heatwave 7/16/00: ECW Television Champion Rhino vs. Sandman
  • Massacre on 34th Street 12/3/00: ECW Television Champion Rhino vs. Spike Dudley
  • Hardcore TV 12/30/00: Jerry Lynn vs. Christian York
  • Guilty as Charged 1/7/01: Yoshihiro Tajiri & Mikey Whipwreck vs. Kid Kash & Super Crazy vs. The FBI
Blu-ray Exclusive Content (Source: Silvervision)
  • The Night the Line Was Crossed 2/5/94: Tommy Dreamer vs. Jimmy Snuka
  • The Night The Line Was Crossed 2/5/94: Triangle Match - Eastern Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Terry Funk vs. Sabu vs. Shane Douglas
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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