Hardcore History Review

Well, the long wait since the Deep Impact and Barely legal DVDs is over, and the 2 new ECW DVDs have finally arrived, Hardcore History and Heatwave 98. The first of which I’m reviewing is Hardcore History. So….is it any good? Was it worth the long wait? Well read on and find out…

-match #1
Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko vs. Taz & Sabu

Before the match even started, I was expecting it to be one of the best matches I have ever seen. I mean, in one ring, there are going to be 4 of the top wrestlers in ECW at the time, and some of the best wrestlers in the whole world, and I’m sad to say that I was a little disappointed. First off, Taz was in the match for only half the time before he got taken to the locker room. Second, there wasn’t too much technical wrestling, mainly some brawling, and some nice spots, but with a match featuring Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit, more technical wrestling would’ve been better. But looking past these problems, this was actually a pretty enjoyable match for me, mainly because of the many nice spots that Sabu hit, like the moonsault to the outside which looked like it must’ve killed, and then it was great in the end when Public Enemy ran in and an all out war broke out between the 6 men. Nice match, but could’ve been better

2 ¾ stars

-match #2
The Gangstas vs. The Eliminators

If you’re coming into this match expecting any sort of wrestling at all, then skip this match. If you want to see a lot of insane spots courtesy of Perry Saturn, and a whole lot of hitting people with foreign objects, than sit down and watch the show. This match was an all out brawl, plain and simple. The whole match pretty much consists of taking peoples’ heads and throwing them into the cage, hitting people with chairs, guitars, garbage cans, etc., and jumping off of the cage. This match was ok in the beginning, but it started to drag as it went along. If you’re into hardcore, you’ll like it. If you’re into wrestling, flush this down the toilet.

2 stars

-match #3
Raven & Stevie Richards vs. The Pitbulls: Double Dog Collar Match

This match right here is known as one of the greatest matches in ECW ever, and it is very easy to see why. Some of the spots were really nice, and the booking for this match was awesome. Having the Dudleys come in to beat the Pitbulls, then the Pitbulls kicking the crap out of everyone with double ddt’s ruled, and then having Dreamer come in and kick Raven’s ass at the height of their bloody feud was just awesome. Also, the double powerbomb by Pitbull #2 looked awesome. This match had ok wrestling, but the smart booking made this match a classic

4 stars

-match #4
Shane Douglas vs. Pitbull #2

This match had a lot of emotion going into it story wise. The first meeting between Pitbull #2 and Shane Douglas since Douglas broke the neck of Pitbull #1. As I’ve said before, Douglas is an awesome heel, but I don’t really like his ring work, and the same holds true for this match. This match has it’s moments, but it’s mostly a little slow, fighting through the crowd and stuff. However, seeing Joel Gertner getting superbombed was pretty damn cool.

3 stars

-match #5
Cactus Jack vs. Sandman: Barb Wire vs. Singapore Cane Match

I like Cactus Jack and Sandman, but this match just plain sucked. I think the only reason they put this match in was to show Shane Douglas interfereing and getting fired from ECW. This match was basically punch, punch, kick, hit with barb wire or cane, hit head off of barrier, repeat. Although I was amazed that Sandman could actually jump over the ropes, this match was slow as hell, and I actually was THIS close to falling asleep during it. Avoid at all costs. Sucks worse then getting your penis bitten by a dog. (well….maybe not that worse, but you get the point!)

1 star

-match #6
Rob Van Dam vs. Sabu: Stretcher Match

This match started off slow, but it kept building and building to a kick ass match. This was pretty much a spot fest, but I’m not complaining. Some of the spots were oh-so-good, including the guillotine leg drop that almost decapitated RVD, the fisherman’s buster through a table on the outside, and a somersault senton onto the strectcher on the outside. However, a couple of big blown spots took away a couple of points, and I felt there have been better meetings between these two men. Even though I would’ve rather have wanted the I Respect You match between these 2 instead of the Stretcher Match, this was still a really good match that is sure to not disappoint.

4 stars

-match #7
Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guererra: 2 of 3 falls match

This match was just awesome, one of the best matches I’ve ever seen in ECW. These 2 men sure know how to put on a show, and this match best showed of that aspect. I couldn’t believe some of the stuff they did, such as a hurricarana from a car outside of the arena, and my personal favorite, when Misterio jr. did a somersault plancha over referee John Finnigan to hit Guererra on the outside. Also, the series of moves they did while in a lock up was amazing, doing monkey flips into bridges and kicks, and….I can’t really describe it in words, you have to see it for yourself, but to say the least it kicked ass. Awesome match that you can definitely watch over and over, and by far the best reason to get this DVD.

5 stars

-match #8
Tommy Dreamer vs. Primetime Brian Lee: High Incident Scaffold match

Although this is a pretty important match storyline wise, I though it kind of sucked. I mean, I don’t blame the wrestlers though. Scaffold matches generally tend to suck, because there is a limited amount of space to do moves, and the wrestlers are probably too scared to do any high risk moves anyways. Anyways, most of the match is spent brawling in the crowd, taking peoples’ heads and ramming them into any object, hitting them with chairs and water bottles, etc., almost like a WWF hardcore match. When they finally get to the scaffold, it’s pretty much punching until someone fell off the scaffold. Although it was awesome when Brian Lee went crashing through all those tables, that one moment of good didn’t outweigh the bad in the match.

2 ½ stars

Special Features

-Steve Austin Promo – This was a really good promo by Austin, showing how pissed off he was that he lost to Whipwreck and Sandman. Also, I find it hilarious that in all of his promos, he always makes fun of Eric Bischoff. Good stuff

-Brian Pillman Promo – This was a very odd promo where Pillman was talking to a ginat pencil and then started to beat it up….strange…

-Shane Douglas vs. Brian Pillman Promo – This was a great promo between these two men where an all out war almost happened between them. Lots of back and forth banter, and some of Pillman’s tactics, like putting his sister and nephew in front of Douglas so he won’t get punched was down right sick….good stuff.

Extreme Moments:

-Clip of J.T Smith (remember him?) messing up a body press and smashing his head on the concrete. If you look at his head, you can see the giant bubble on his head where he hit it on the concrete.

-Clip of new jack jumping from a balcony and hitting Jack Victory

-Clip of a big fat black guy (I have no clue who it is) messing up on the top rope and crashing down and breaking his ankle. Then Sandman runs in and hits everybody with a cane, including the fat guy who broke his ankle. I thought that was just hilarious.

-Easter Egg – go to wrestler bios and highlight Joey Styles, then press right, up right. You will then see a Shane Douglas promo where by accident he spray paints the camera. Some wicked funny stuff in this, including Francine’s WICKED Brooklyn accident, and seeing Dreamer, Candido, and Joey Styles in a cramped locker room waiting to cut their promos. Good stuff.

In the end, I thought this DVD was good, but that it could’ve been better. I would suggest renting it first before buying, but I would recommend buying it just for the Misterio/Guererra match. The DVD is a good combination of hardcore and technical, but this also causes a problem for those who just want to see technical, and those who just want to see hardcore. If you’re in the middle, this would be a good DVD to add to your collection.