Review: WWE The Rise and Fall of ECW (2 Disc) DVD

January 24, 2011 by Brett Mix

Brett Mix’s- “The Rise and Fall of ECW” (2 Disc) Review:

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“You can’t achieve success without the risk of failure. And I learned a long time ago, you cannot achieve success, if you fear failure. If you’re not afraid to fail, man, you have a chance to succeed. But you’re never gonna get there unless you risk it, all the way. I’ll risk failure. Sometimes, half the fun is failing. Learning from your mistakes, waking up the next morning, and saying ‘Okay. Watch out. Here I come again. A little bit smarter, licking my wounds, and really not looking forward to getting my ass kicked the way I just did yesterday.’ So now, I’m just a little more dangerous.”

Paul Heyman

 

 

 

-This DVD sparked serious interest to Vince McMahon and company about just how popular ECW was and how they were now going to act on that due to how many sets were released.

-This DVD literally outsold anyone’s expectations and was a major factor in the idea of the WWE doing a few One Night Stand’s reunion events starting in 2005. This won the best DVD award in 05 by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

 

-This DVD is the highest selling Wrestling DVD of all time only behind Wrestlemania 21. (Up until 2007)

-The DVD is best known for it’s three hour, and fast moving- “despite the length“ Documentary. It’s absolutely fantastic and covers just about everything it needed to from not only personal things, emotional moments but the careers and feuds for all those men who worked so hard for something they loved doing. That was it for them, it was everything. This set and Documentary in paticular is arguably the greatest Documentary of all time for the reason it really does have everything and this is the DVD’s main focus, story rather then the matches. (They’d release Blood-Sport later to fulfill the fans fix there and with the amazing success this DVD had they had no problem releasing that one)

Disc 1- Documentary:

 

-This DVD is rated TV-MA in America, and does not censor profanity (unless uncensored footage was not available or found at the time). The interviews given by the ECW alumni are all uncensored. On the Region 1 and Region 4 editions of the DVD before the main menu of the DVD is shown, a message appears, reading “Intended For Mature Audiences.” The DVD is a 2-disc set featuring a documentary about Extreme Championship Wrestling, as well as a bonus disc featuring 7 matches, 3 deleted scenes and easter eggs.

-Before the DVD got rolling after the World Wrestling Entertainment logo flashes across the screen (Thanks for reminding us though) we are greeted to stars like Jericho for instance who summed up ECW in one word, “FUN“. This was followed by clips and was a good opening video pre-documentary package.

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Disc 1: Chapters

Just what you’d expect here to start.
The early days of ECW are discussed as the DVD begins in the appropriate place.
Heyman states music was changing with Poison and Motley Crew and then Nirvana came in and BAM! He thought wrestling should as well and decided to take it to the extreme.

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The Public Enemy –

Paul Heyman and Taz talk about Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock, The Public Enemy.
In September of 1993, Heyman opened a show in the Bingo Hall with them as the opening act, Taz states they were a super popular team.

Taz –

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Taz talks about how he was brought into ECW.
Heyman pitched the idea of a match with him vs Sabu, and at the time Taz just wanted to compete, but the chemistry was there and Taz was an intimidating force.

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Sabu –

Sabu is discussed. Paul Heyman explains how he partly built ECW around Sabu, mainly because people could turn on TV, see Sabu, and go, “that’s different”. Not only that but he would bite you to the death, and to develop ECW`s personality, Sabu was the main key.

The Night The Line Was Crossed –


The famous Sabu vs Shane Douglas vs Terry Funk three-way dance (the first ever one-on-one-on-one match). This event marked “the return of professional wrestling to North America.”
Heyman gives Funk praise here.

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Paul Heyman vs. WCW –

 
Paul Heyman’s history in WCW is explained and how, after they fired him, he cultivated an anti-WCW attitude that he instilled into his roster. As Tommy Dreamer put it, “Joining WCW was like joining the Taliban” in Paul’s eyes.

Heyman and Bischoff didn`t get along to say the least and it`s interesting throughout this DVD to hear both there sides of the story.

Tommy Dreamer –

Tommy Dreamer’s ECW debut is discussed.

Dreamer may have been the most loyal and passionate member on the roster.

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Enter Sandman –

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The chapter isn`t actually called this, I just thought I`d be clever.
The Sandman is discussed. Heyman notes how the audience loved his entrance and antics so much, “his matches became secondary.”

Sandman was pretty essential to Wrestling in ECW and to the start of the attitude era just as much as other things in the wrestling industry like the Screwjob, the nWo, ECW as a whole and of course Steve Austin.

Sandman and Tommy Dreamer Feud –
Paul Heyman discusses how the Sandman-Tommy Dreamer feud was revolutionary at the time, mainly due to the fact that it blurred the lines of reality in wrestling. It broke kayfabe in the arena; When Tommy Dreamer and Sandman were brawling backstage babyfaces and heels were shown interacting backstage. It also, however, kept kayfabe, because after Dreamer “accidentally blinded” Sandman, Sandman stayed out of the public eye; his wife would answer their door at home and confirm that Sandman was blind for the duration of the storyline.

This is an interesting chapter.

ECW Evolution –

Tommy Dreamer discusses how wrestling was filled with gimmicks in ECW’s early days, and how ECW was different from every other company, mainly for targeting adult males, rather than children like WWE and WCW. Paul Heyman discusses how the times were changing in professional wrestling, and that ECW was the first company to try and cater to the current generation.
This is a part of the reason the fanbase was like a cult.

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Cactus Jack –

Mick Foley recounts how he was traded to ECW from WCW in a talent exchange, and was mainly brought in to wrestle Sabu. For some reason, Mick Foley claims he was brought to ECW to help further a working relationship between ECW and WCW. Tommy Dreamer, however, claims it was not nearly that friendly a trade. He claims he was brought as a result of a lawsuit settlement.
Either way Foley had credibility no matter where he went and delivered some crazy matches here (shocking I know) and the best interviews in Wrestling history.

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Mikey Whipwreck –

Paul Heyman explains that he hired Mikey Whipwreck as part of his ring crew. Then, one day, he saw Whipwreck fooling around in the ring, and hired him, but “never gave him an offensive move”, causing the fans to get behind him.

The ultimate underdog, I think the WWF wanted Barry Horrowitz to be there version of Mikey Whipwreck around this time.

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The Extreme Begins –

Paul Heyman says that he knew that he had to get out of the “old school” mentality of pro wrestling. The controversial moment where Shane Douglas threw down the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt, declared Eastern Championship Wrestling’s title to be the ECW World Heavyweight title, and spurred ECW’s departure from the NWA is discussed.
Douglas really was important in this moment.

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Philadelphia –
Paul Heyman says that Philadelphia was the perfect place for ECW, because of its famous rowdy fans that WWE and WCW could not get, but ECW managed to attract.
Lets face it, Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, 76ers, how many times have these teams been booed off the ice, field, court, stadium by there fans when performing poorly, yeah, a lot.

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The Technical Wrestlers –

 

This part explains how wrestlers like Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, 2 Cold Scorpio and Ron Simmons helped establish ECW as the home of better wrestlers than anywhere else, and that it was not just a place to hit people with chairs.
The natural blend of every type of brand was what made it great for me.

Production Value –

Long time ECW Producer/Director Ron Buffone discusses how they wanted to create a reality-based product. Paul Heyman says that there was no way to compete with the WWE and WCW production value, so they hid their negatives (ECW’s limited TV production budget, pyrotechnics etc.) and showed off the positives (wrestling and interviews).
They needed something original and did it. Which is what gained the company respect.

The Fans –

Richards and Jericho give praise to the fans for there creatvity.

Paul Heyman says that fan interaction was a main draw of the product. When they went to the arena, they knew they would be a part of the show, not just spectators to it, and appreciated that aspect.

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Raven/Tommy Dreamer –

Paul Heyman says that he has never seen somebody embrace his character the way Scott Levy embraced the Raven character, and that it inspired him to be more creative. Raven’s feud with Tommy Dreamer is discussed.
Johnny Polo owned as well…I guess.

Sabu Gets Fired –

Taz explains that even though he and Sabu were Tag Team Champions, they did not get along backstage. A clip of Paul Heyman announcing that Sabu was fired or no-showing an ECW Tag Title defense in favor of touring Japan for more money is shown.

Taz gave some of the best insight next to Heyman on this entire DVD.

Dreamer did well also.

Taz Breaks His Neck –

Taz talks about how he broke his neck during a match in 1995, and then walked into the hospital emergency room with Tommy Dreamer. Taz says that Paul Heyman paid him his minimum guarantees per his contract every week when he was off TV.

Monday Night War –

 

They show the Eddie and Malenko Classic 2 out of 3 Falls ending.

Eric Bischoff claims that despite what Paul Heyman would have you think (that ECW was the first victim of the Monday Night War by having top and irreplaceable talent leave ECW for WCW), WCW never ‘raided’ ECW. He claims Paul’s wrestlers left because they weren’t getting paid, and that the athletes knew WCW was a much larger place to showcase their talent. He does though make a fairly interesting point by asking if it was a “raid” on Vince McMahon’s part when he took top talent from the local NWA territories in the 1980s because he was starting up a national expansion, and that it was not a “raid” in Vince McMahon’s mind or in the minds of anyone currently employed at World Wrestling Entertainment. He concludes by saying that the people who left WWE and ECW to come and work for WCW were personal and moral decisions made by the wrestlers themselves, not a raid. Paul Heyman responded by saying “Eric Bischoff is full of shit and like many, never gave ECW the credit that ECW deserved.” And that stealing his ideas and his innovations and pawning them off as his own ideas was what put WCW on the map. Curiously, he “praised” Eric for doing so because he was in a ratings war against a rival company and needed the talent and ideas to compete with them. Paul then shrugs and wonders aloud as to why Eric never fessed up and said, “I stole that from ECW.” He then added with what appears to be a small smile that they sued WCW over blatant plagiarism “tons of times.” Seconds later, Vince McMahon admits that he raided ECW, and that WCW did too. He goes on, however, to state that he compensated Paul for hiring his talent, something Eric Bishoff did not do.

Lucha Libre! –

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Paul Heyman says that after WCW stole his talent, he called Konnan, who sent over Rey Misterio Jr. and Psicosis, bringing Lucha Libre to North America. WCW eventually signed them too.

Steve Austin Comes to ECW –

 

As you all know Steve Austin was fired from WCW (over the phone) and went to ECW where he delivered several anti-WCW tirades.

Austin was great here, Heyman wanted him to stay on top the whole time but of course he went for the better job.

Promos –

Ron Buffone and Paul Heyman says that the promos delivered by Steve Austin and Cactus Jack (particularly the latter’s “anti-hardcore” remarks) were “the best promos in the history of the business. Bar none.”

Cactus Jack Leaves ECW –

Cactus Jack gives his thanks to the fans before leaving ECW.
Foley really is a wonderful worker and a better person as seen here and many other places.

Taz Returns –

Taz talks about the transformation of “The Tazmaniac” to “Taz”, and his return to ECW. Paul Heyman says Taz brought a “big time atmosphere” that was missing from pro wrestling. “Taz became our Ultimate Fight Style persona.”

Sandman/Raven –

The legendary Sandman vs. Raven feud is discussed, including Raven brainwashing The Sandman’s son Tyler, and The Sandman breaking down and crying. Paul Heyman says it was the most emotional storyline ECW ever did.

The bWo –

The bWo (Blue World Order) is discussed, and how it was initially just another in a string of parodies of many aspects of pro wrestling, but almost immediately stuck.

Beulah and Dreamer –

The Beulah McGillicuty pregnancy angle is discussed, and the first ever lesbian angle in wrestling (between Beulah and Kimona Wanalaya). ECW was subsequently removed from almost every TV station they were on.

Beulah is pretty damn sexy by the way.

ECW and WWE –

Vince McMahon’s curiosity with ECW is discussed, starting at the 1995 WWE pay-per-view King of the Ring in Philadelphia, when fans started chanting “ECW” during the show when Mabel and Savio Vega were boring the piss out of everyone.

The Crucifixion –

The infamous “crucifixion” of Sandman (by Raven) is discussed. Kurt Angle explains how he was originally supposed to go to ECW, but left after the incident, threatening legal action if his image was aired on the same broadcast as the crucifixion. Paul Heyman claimed he did not know Raven was going to go that far.

The Importance of Pay-Per-View –


Tazz says that the only way to expand the company was to get on pay-per-view. Paul Heyman says that the fans were “their army.”, and e-mailed PPV stations to get ECW on PPV. The PPV networks almost didn’t put ECW on PPV, because they thought ECW was real.

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ECW Loses Their Pay-Per-View –

The Mass Transit Incident is discussed and how it got Barely Legal taken off the air.

The PPV is Back On! –


Paul Heyman negotiates with the PPV networks, while ECW’s fans bombard the same networks with e-mails and phone calls, to reinstate ECW’s first PPV to the 1996 schedule.

WWE Co-Promotion –

Vince McMahon said that an ECW co-promotion was good business for all sides. Jerry Lawler, barely hiding his contempt for ECW, even condemning them for having pride in themselves (“They actually thought that they where better than us, the WWE”) , says that ECW was full of “miniature wrestlers”.). He questions again why Vince allowed ECW to be on their programming. Vince later goes on to say he himself wasn’t quite sure what his mindset at the time was.

Barely Legal: RVD vs. Lance Storm –

Rob Van Dam vents his frustration with only being on the Pay-Per-View as a fill-in after his match.

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Barely Legal: Taz vs Sabu –

Tazz recaps his near year long feud with Sabu, saying it “made” both of them.

The Main Event at Barely Legal –

Stevie Richards says that he admitted to Terry Funk before the main event that he “didn’t know what he was doing here”. (He was in the main event.) Paul Heyman says that Terry Funk’s ECW World Heavyweight Championship win was the impossible dream coming true. Stevie Richards says that not ten seconds after the PPV went off the air, the transformer blew, and they barely got the whole broadcast on the air. Paul Heyman says that after the show was over, everyone in the company was crying, because they all had a hand in getting them there.

Raven Goes to WCW and Jerry Lawler Invades ECW –

Paul Heyman feels that Raven leaving to go to WCW was mainly a creative disappointment than a business one. Jerry Lawler’s “invasion” of ECW was shown. Tommy Dreamer says that the common reaction to Lawler being in the ECW Arena was “How dare Jerry Lawler show up at ECW”. After the show ended, Jerry Lawler bolted out of the arena for fear of his safety. Jerry Lawler admits that he honestly thought that ECW was a trash promotion and that it was “Extremely Crappy Wrestling.”

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A Locker Room Mole?

Tod Gordon’s supposed activity as a mole is discussed, where he, Bill Alfonso and Terry Taylor attempted to get several ECW wrestlers to go to WCW. It’s worth noting that on the alternate documentary Forever Hardcore, this was claimed to have been a big work. On this documentary, however, the ECW alumni refer to it as a real occurrence.

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The Superstars’ Roles –

Buh Buh Ray Dudley tells how he came to be in charge of hiring venues for ECW shows. Chris Jericho mentions how Taz’s job was to create merchandise, and Tommy Dreamer, Little Guido and D-Von Dudley would ship the T-Shirts. Dreamer would also book the shows, Tazz ran ECW’s wrestling school, the “ECW House of Hardcore”, Stevie Richards ran the fan line, and Dreamer would also collect the money from the concession.

Paul Heyman’s Creativity –

The ECW wrestlers talk about how much of an asset Paul Heyman was, and how accessible he was to his roster. Al Snow is also discussed, including the creation of his infamous mascot “Head.”

WCW and WWE Imitation –

The wrestlers’ feel that in 1998 ECW was perhaps the number two wresting organization in the world. Buh Buh Ray Dudley even felt (and to this day feels) that ECW could have perhaps taken over WCW. Eric Bischoff claims that ECW was never the number two promotion, mainly on the fact that in this time period WCW and WWE were having a back and forth struggle for number one. Vince McMahon admits that he stole several ideas from ECW, but never considered them a threat.

Taz and The FTW Title –

Taz discusses his feud with Bam Bam Bigelow and the genesis of his FTW Title.

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The Dudleyz: “The Most Hated Tag Team” –


The Dudley Boyz and Paul Heyman discuss the time period where the Dudleys would be so hated, they would insult the fans (including accusing a mother of teaching her daughter to perform oral sex, and calling fans epithets like “faggot” and “fat, bald motherfucker”), and start riots. D-Von later said that some of the fans waited in the parking lots after the shows just to say, “No security. Now what do you got?”

Financial Woes –

The beginning of ECW’s darkest days are discussed, where checks were bouncing, (Tommy Dreamer states he wasn’t paid for six months) and wrestlers were leaving. The wrestlers called Paul Heyman ECW’s greatest asset, but was also its greatest enemy.

The TNN deal and Taz Leaves-

ECW’s debut on TNN is discussed, and how excited the wrestlers were about it. Vince McMahon recalls congratulating Paul at the time, saying “now you have to change, to appeal to a mainstream audience.” Tazz’s ECW departure is discussed.

The Dudleys Leave ECW –

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Buh Buh Ray claims that Paul never owed either Dudley any money, but the Dudleys needed to know what they had to gain by staying in ECW. He told Paul “make us want to stay.” They even asked for a one dollar raise, but Paul’s mindset was “you stay here cause you want to stay here.” Feeling that Paul wasn’t prepared to make them even a token offer, they jumped to WWE.

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Disappointment with TNN/RVD-“The Whole F’n Show” –
(Main Article: ECW on TNN) Despite the fact that ECW was TNN’s highest rated program, it had nothing to do with TNN’s help. Paul Heyman relates how TNN never aired a commercial for ECW, never gave a newspaper radio ad or a press conference to promote the show. The only time that TNN aired a commercial for ECW was during the show itself. As a parody of their treatment by the network, ECW censored everything from their theme song (citing it was too “demonic”) to the word “hate”. (They preferred “intense dislike”.) ECW’s treatment by TNN was another factor in putting ECW out of business. Rob Van Dam is discussed.

Mike Awesome Controversy and Tommy Dreamer Wins The Title –

Mike Awesome leaving ECW while still ECW champion is discussed. They than go into Tazz defeating Mike Awesome for the belt, and bringing it to WWE for a while (to help gain the belt and ECW some more exposure) before losing it to Tommy Dreamer.

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The Demise of ECW –


The closure of ECW is discussed. Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff suggest that ECW went under mainly because of the one-dimensional nature of the ECW product, and that it appealed to only a small segment of a national audience, and therefore it was doomed to either go under or remain a small company. Several of the wrestlers stuck with it, but suspected they could never be paid the money they were owed. Even though attendance was high, the wrestlers knew ECW was done. Rhino admits to being in denial about ECW going out of business. Several of the wrestlers felt that their whole world came crashing down. Buh Buh Ray felt that ECW went under because of the violence level, as well as Paul’s mismanagement of the company, something many ECW alumni agree with. Paul, however feels that ECW went under because they had no (sympathetic) network television. “That’s the only reason.” He didn’t stop there, saying that if anyone says otherwise is either “dead wrong” or “doesn’t know what he is talking about.”

Paul Heyman Debuts on Raw –


Paul Heyman debuts on Raw as an announcer. Paul feels that he had to go to WWE in order to move on, and get on with his life. The wrestlers feel that Paul’s dream was to be his own boss, but did not get that opportunity. Vince McMahon feels that Paul Heyman should be commended for everything he accomplished, and that Paul’s realization that he had to move on spoke very highly of his character.

-The documentary concludes with all the wrestlers giving their thoughts about what made ECW so special, and Paul Heyman closes it out by saying: (as quoted above at top of the review) You cannot achieve success without the risk of failure. And I learned a long time ago, you cannot achieve success, if you fear failure. If you’re not afraid to fail, man, you have a chance to succeed. But you’re never gonna get there unless you risk it, all the way. I’ll risk failure. Sometimes, half the fun is failing. Learning from your mistakes, waking up the next morning, and saying ‘Okay. Watch out. Here I come again. A little bit smarter, licking my wounds, and really not looking forward to getting my ass kicked the way I just did yesterday.’ So now, I’m just a little more dangerous.

I really love that quote, it really means a lot to myself personally.

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Disc 2:

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-Steven Richards apologizes for leaving ECW. (Richards states it as the worst time of his career)
-Taz seeks Paul Heyman’s blessing on leaving for the WWF. (An emotional Taz cries when recalling the story about him leaving ECW)

-Paul Heyman: The Travel Agent (Jericho talks about Taz being in charge of merchandise, Bubba booking the shows, Dreamer and others carrying ring material to events. Jericho also states that a fan came up and said he was sorry for his brother in-law Chris Benoit passed away. Benoit had not yet died at the time of this production, nor was he a brother in-law of Chris Jericho despite there close relationship of friends.)

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Disc 2 Matches:

 

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1) Raven and Stevie Richards (c) (W/Beulah McGillicuty) vs The Pitbulls in a 2 out of 3 Falls Dog Collar Match for the ECW World Tag Team Championship -ECW Gangsta’s Paradise: Philadelphia, PA, 9/16/95

1,775 fans were on hand for this one.
Stevie Richards had broken his arm in a six-man match earlier says Beulah. At this point I was positive that I would rather stare at her then listen but this seemed important so I remembered to pay close attention.

Beulah said they should make this 2 out of 3 Falls since Raven was going to take on both men on his own, and both teams were attatched to a Dog Collar. Joey Styles points out Stevie Richards was not really hurt as he seen him earlier.

Pitbull #2 opened the bout by charging towards Raven to who he was connected to with the Dog Collar and elevated him up slamming him down hard in an atomic drop down to the ECW mat.

Raven was down and Pitbull #2 went to work on Raven by stomping him and using the top rope for leverage with ruthless stomps which looked rather forceful. Pitbull #2 choked out Raven after smacking him with the chain and hung him outside the ring. Pitbull #1 ran out to the back and Styles speculated he did this perhaps because he thought Pitbull #2 could win it on his own. Pitbull #2 smacked Raven in the head with a chair and kept working him over on the outside before rolling him back in.
Stevie Richards came back and Pitbull #1 apparently did a number number on him in the back so he was busted open before Pitbull #1 brought him to ringside. Pitbull #1 hit Richards with a chair. Inside the ring Raven stood on the table and piledrove Pitbull #2 through the table and got him after sustaining a ton of punishment.
The first fall was decided at 2:10 when Raven pinned Pitbull #2 after the piledriver through the table.

The second fall began and the brawling continued, Stevie Richards and Raven hit a double DDT to the Pitbulls. Raven was shoved towards the ropes by Pitbull #2 meanwhile Stevie gave his superkick to Pitbull #1. #1 took over on a bloodied Stevie Richards. Pitbull #1 and 2 set up a table in the middle of the ring and Pitbull #2 hit Stevie Richards with a superbomb through the table!
Great spot.
Absolute carnage!

Back and forth, very exciting and hard to keep up with, the fans chanted for ECW.

Back from the break as they show a table being the deciding factor in both two first falls.
The second fall was decided at 4:22 when Pitbull #1 pinned Steven Richards after driving him through the table.

All tied up at one.

The third and deciding fall began.

The Pitbulls would have to split up as a team if they were to lose, and if they were to win, of course they’d become the new ECW Tag Champion’s. Styles points out that Stevie Richards would have to spend some time in the hospital win OR lose after this kind of punishment from both Pitbulls.

On the outside of the ring Pitbull #1 was wearing down Richards who’s face was covered in red. Over the front row, Richards was able to swing a chair extremely hard into Pitbull #1. Richards seeing his own blood, opened him up to kick the hell out of Pitbull #1 who inflicted so much punishment on him earlier. Pitbull #2 slid under the bottom rope with Raven down on the mat on the inside. Pitbull #2 called for a third table and brought one in and remember the first two falls were decided after a table spot. Pitbull #2 set it up in the same spot the first two were, the middle of the ring.

With Stevie Richards and Pitbull #1 both on the outside, Pitbull #2 sandwhiched the referee instead of Raven by a mistake. Certain Dudleys run out and attack The Pitbulls behind the official’s back and the fans aren’t happy. Both groups of three set up in each corner, and Raven and Richards superbomb both Pitbulls from the corner hard to the mat. Pitbulls both get up and Styles mark out. Pitbull #1 and 2 give Richards and Raven a double DDT. Pitbull #1 superbombed Richards from up high. Pitbull #1 and 2 who certainly didn’t want help from Dudleys, superbombed them from the top rope. Raven and Richards are a mess and The Pitbulls are in control in the third fall and the fans on there side.

Pitbull #2 sets up another table in the middle of the ring. Pitbull #1 gives Raven to Pitbull #2 on the top and he pushed Raven off the top turnbuckle and his skull bounced off the tip of tha taboe and while Pitbull #2 went to cover Raven, the official got there too late and Raven was able to get his shoulder up!
Great action thus far.

Pitbull #1 stomped on Raven while the ECW fans chanted for the Pitbulls. Pitbull #2 called for a table yet again with Pitbull #1 slamming Richards face first into the turnbuckle, Raven grabbed a towel that stunk and put it in Pitbull #2’s face out of nothing but desperation to knock him temporarily out. Pitbull #2 was then set up on a table on the outside of the ring and Raven went up high with Pitbull #2 who was out of it laying on top. Raven dropped the leg on Pitbull #2 through the top table which didn’t really break, however Raven went up again and splashed Pitbull #2 hard through it again.
Styles says we may have just seen the end of the Pitbulls, it’s gut check time for Pitbull #1 and with Richards up top Pitbull #1 dragged him and he straddled the top rope. Pitbull #1 suplexed Richards through a table and got a two after Raven broke up the count with a chain!

The action didn’t stop and the fans ate it up!

Beulah then got in the ring (which is always a good time to me) and the paramedics came for Pitbull #2. Richards ex-girlfriend came out to attack Beulah and then Raven hit a DDT on her. Crazy stuff.

Tommy Dreamer not in wrestling gear came out and started brawling to continue there tremendous feud. Dreamer with a knee drop to Raven and then a DDT planting him to the mat. Dreamer pinned Raven and we have new tag team champion’s! Pitbulls have won the match, Pitbull #1 apparently got it at the same time.

Bill Alfonso said this will never go out in the record book, Dreamer has never pinned Raven. Alfonso wearing the ref shirt said all this and now The Commisioner, Tod Gordon came out and got in Alfonso’s face. It’s a power struggle, as both men shove each other. Big Dick Dudley chokeslammed Dreamer.
9-1-1 entered the ring after Alfonso who screamed on the mic before 9-1-1 chokeslammed Alfonso and the place absolutely popped. Pitbull #1, and Tommy Dreamer loved it as all three men celebrate and the fans roar.
EC Dub is chanted by everyone in attendance.
The match will continue according to Tod Gordon due to the confusion.
Everyone helps Pitbull #2 superbomb Raven from the top!
We have got new Champion’s!

So in the end we had new ECW Tag Team Champions when The Pitbulls won the third fall at 19:47 after Pitbull #2 drove Raven from the top with help from other stars and the fans loved it.
Absolute Chaos is a good word to describe this match just like it was for so many ECW matches. You can certainly see why they chose this match to be added onto this DVD for the length and quality throughout.

A ton of fun.

About as good this type of match gets.

*** 1/4

 

 

 

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2) Psicosis (c) vs Rey Misterio Jr in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match -ECW Hardcore TV: Philadelphia, PA, 10/17/95

 

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Both Psicosis and Rey Misterio Jr had tremendous chemistry together over time, and it`s well documented here.
This is a feud that was important, don’t let the size fool you, and we’re in for as treat is basically what Styles went over.

You’ve really got to hand it to Joey Styles for covering the most important things (and on his OWN as well) and doing a very good job consistently throughout most ECW matches.
This is going to be great!

Another 2 out of 3 falls match.

Expecting a quick match between two guys that can really bring there “A” game against each other.

Misterio charged towards Psicosis and he ducked Psicosis’s attack and jumped up top and did a moonsault landing on his feet and turned right into Psicosis who pushed Rey off the ropes and coming off the other side Rey slingshotted Psicosis for the ride and as he came off Rey shoved Psicosis down and he slid under the bottom rope on the mat to the outside floor.

Great, quick beginning as expected here!

Rey then ran off the side ropes flipped onto the apron and then a crossbody into Psicosis over the front gaurd rail. Amazing.

Rey back in the ring flew over the top rope once again over the barricade onto Psicosis.
Fans chant ECW!

This is lucha libre at its finest. Misterio looking to make a statement. Psicosis fought to get back on his feet and Rey got in the ring yet was seeming to look a little worse on his feet due to the two high risk aerial moves which could be key later for Psicosis in this fast match. Rey spots Psicosis entering and he whips him quickly to the ropes and as Psicosis comes off Rey hit a brilliant hurricanrauna from a standing position and within a couple of minutes of good action, Rey Misterio gets the first fall.

The bell rings for the second fall.

Psicosis reversed a hurricanrauna attempt from Rey after an irishwhip to the ropes, the fans think that was impressive as Rey didn`t hit his move due to the quick improvisation and-or scouting from Psicosis. Rey resorted to a spinning heel kick that caught Psicosis up high in the mouth and then leaped over the top rope onto the ring apron and pulled Psicosis by the hair back. Misterio went to the top turnbuckle and flipped Psicosis over with a hurricanrauna from the top.

Another hurricanrana from Rey from the ring area onto the floor!

Absolutely incredible!

Wow.
Rey Misterio Jr applauds with the crowd who were chanting ECW as Psicosis was on the outside.

Psicosis came back in eventually and the two went at it again full force. Psicosis first though went for a handshake to Rey as he looked at the audience to see what he should do as if he was on the Price is Right.

Rey went for the shake and it costed him as Psicosis used this dirty trick to kick Rey in the back of the head and bring him down to his knees. Psicosis on his vertical base kicks him in the head taking him face first into the canvas. Psicosis then irishwhipped Rey Misterio Jr into the corner and he flipped up as he was in pain, as Psicosis continued to taunt the crowd to get more over as a heel, generating more heat. Psicosis picked up Misterio upside down and drove him into the corner of the ring chest first, Styles screams “OH MY!“ as if he was Michael Cole but thank god he`s not.

Psicosis in control after an early dominant high risk attack by Rey Misterio Jr in the first fall. Abdomen first was Rey who was driven by Psicosis and then he charged towards Rey shortly afterwards and Psicosis drove his shoulder into the back of Rey who was swinging upside down on the turnbuckle!

Rey Misterio Jr in trouble now as Psicosis picked him up from the turnbuckle and proceeded to dominate some more by running from coast to coast and hitting a bronco like buster move and then he powerbombed Misterio hard to the mat with authority taking advantage of his small stature, but he only got a two count. Psicosis slammed Rey back first to the mat and then Psicosis locked on the Sharpshooter and leaned back as he took out the legs of Rey which is always a smart move. Rey rolled out of the ring to buy himself some time. Psicosis elevated Rey to the steel gaurd way and then dropped a chair onto Rey`s already injured legs.

Just like Joey Styles elluded to, you take away the legs of Rey Misterio Jr and you take away 99% of his offense. Psicosis then slammed Misterio hard on a wooden table on the outside of the ring and Psicosis elevated himself over the top rope off the apron and hit a sitting leg drop to Rey who was down on his back on the ECW mat. Psicosis in full control here and now had the high risk, aerial machine Rey Misterio Jr on his back, just where he would like him. Psicosis was in complete control in the second fall at this point.
Psicosis continued the onslaught when he irishwhipped Rey to the corer and then when he charged towards Rey Misterio Jr he missed as he hit shoulder first, Rey with a cartwheel and then a hurricanrauna, a moonsault press which he got caught in the air with by Psicosis and he got the three count after a tremendous offensive exchange!

Wow.

Psicosis and Rey tied at one!

This is one of the best lucha libre matches of all time, and probably a top 60-70 match ever if I`m being honest.

The third and deciding fall begins, who will get the upperhand now, Rey made quick work of Psicosis early in the first fall, but Psicosis dominated the second.

Psicosis with a baseball slide out and a powerbomb to Rey through the table which looked extremely rough to say the least.

Psicosis pressed up Rey and he tossed him into the front few rows hard.

Psicosis in the ring leaped over the top into the third row onto Rey! Amazing.

Unreal beginning to this third fall.

Psicosis has stunned this jampacked ECW arena and yours truely. This is perhaps his finest work ever, and arguably Rey`s as well but as said that is ARGUABLY due to the many classic`s Rey has had with one Eddie Guerrero.

Psicosis charged towards Rey but hit the steel post head first. Rey with an amazing springboard into a one and a half press onto Psicosis and the two kicked one at another on the outside. The fans went insane.

Joey Styles said this scientific high flying match has turned into a Lucha Libre ECW street fight! Crowd into it big time when the chair got involved. Psicosis was choked with the chair and Rey sent him face first with the steel chair on his neck into both posts. Truely amazing!

Unbelievable action as Rey hits a hurricanrana back in the ring to Psicosis from the top rope. The fans chant “Ôh My God!“ and rightfully so.
Rey covers him hoping to get the third fall but Psicosis kicks out and two and a half. Psicosis leaned back against the ropes and a reversal on the irishwhip, Psicosis ducked the hurricanrauna but Psicosis got caught with a head scissors that elevated Psicosis to the outside. Rey Misterio hit another springboard one and a half moonsault to Psicosis again, and then send him to the rail once more.
Psicosis though out of desperation was now relentless and irishwhipped Rey into the steel and planted Rey on a table before swinging a chair on his abdomen. Psicosis now from the top dropped his leg through Rey on the table with great elevation.

This match is incredible!

Fans chant ECW!

Everyone in attendance and watching this match knew they were watching history.
Psicosis had a hold of Rey crawling towards him and then he picked up Rey and hit a powerbomb on Misterio! Psicosis with a chair shot to the shoulder and face. Psicosis taunts and then hits a moonsault into a Senton from the top onto the chair on Rey!
Psicosis takes the final fall and the victory! UNBELIEVABLE.

Fans chant LUCHA, LUCHA, LUCHA.

Could of been a bit longer and if it was, it just might of been 5 stars. This was as good of a match you could of got in about the ten minutes it lasted. Unbelievable and innovative.
A great element to the match was the fact that Misterio battled back like he so often does in matches like this and major spots made this, full-throttle, intense battle all the better.

Psicosis and Rey put on a clinic in this match.
Outside the ring, inside the ring, everywhere they went it was something special. Eventually it ended when and the place erupted!

A Classic Match, in almost every way this was perfect.

Instantly one of my favourite matches on this re-watch.
That`s all that needs to be said really…

**** 1/2

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3) The Sandman (c) (W-Woman) vs Mikey Whipwreck in a Stairway to Hell Ladder Match for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship -ECW Hardcore TV: Philadelphia, PA, 10/28/95


This was not a traditional ladder match where the belt is hung above

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The Sandman walked out with Woman.Mikey Whipwreck as we all know was ECW`s ultimate underdog and Styles pointed out Mikey Whipwreck had won a TV title, and a co-holder of the tag belts but could he win the big one here tonight, was the question.
Mikey then came out.
But wait a second!

The Ladder was set up in the ring, but….that`s Steve Austin!

Steve Austin is here! Some smarks cheer as the Extreme Superstar comes into the ring wearing a bandana and climbs the ladder.

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Steve Austin: Yeah stop it. A couple of people got smart with me and called me a Hulk Hogan wannabe, I have been crapped on for four years I think I deserve a break. I did not get to climb a ladder to the top in WCW like this. What is happening right now is, I am looking down at Mikey Whipwreck and Sandman and all I see is two jabroni`s and judging from the places I`ve been about a five dollar piece of ass. (To Woman) Mikey I respect you but you`re a loser. And believe me when I tell you that when Steve Austin calls you a loser, you can damn well bet it`s the truth! This is Steve Austin talkin to you SON so you can take it to the bank. (Fans pop) Sandman keep smoking those cigs and drinking that beer, you`re really cool. You`re going to know for a fact that sooner or later Steve Austin will put you in your place! This is STEVE AUSTIN. I`m STEEEEVE AUSTIN. So in this match, it really doesen`t matter who comes out on toop, because Whoever does come out on top, you`re lookin at the next champ right here!“ (Fans POP)

Among other things he said. This is easy to find on youtube, and Austin carries Woman to the back.

The match begins.

Mikey Whipwreck hits the ladder right to the face of Sandman!

Mikey jumps to the outside where Sandman is to inflict more punishment on him.
Mikey Whipwreck then continues the beating on the ECW Champion in hopes to stay on the offense and perhaps pull off the major upset to become the NEW ECW Champion. Mikey Whipwreck on the outside rammed Sandman into the steel gaurd rail and then onto the apron while the fans chant Mikey.

Mikey with a knee to Sandman`s chest, but Sandman then dropped Mikey back first on the Ladder! Crazy. Sandman slams the ladder on Mikey Whipwreck and then the Champ almost slipped but a summersault splash onto Mikey Whipwreck on the Ladder over the top rope while the fans clap for the current ECW Champion and they`re clearly into both guys and just appreciate the work. Very respectful.

Sandman threw the Ladder to the outside landing straight on Mikey Whipwreck. Sandman stood in the middle of the ring and looked at the crowd with a grin. Sandman went to the outside throwing Mikey Whipwreck into the steel gaurdrail, and Sandman bridging the ring and gaurd rail with the ladder and slammed Mikey Whipwreck ribcage first across the Ladder. Mikey Whipwreck then got a legdrop on top of the Ladder from Sandman bouncing on top of the ladder with a leg drop.

Out of desperation Mikey Whipwreck reversed an irishwhip on the outside and sent Sandman into the steel and followed that up with multiple chairshots to Sandman wearing him down. Three shots to Sandman`s head, and Mikey Whipwreck taking it to the extreme as he then hit a FrankenMikey (Hurricanrauna) to Sandman off the apron to the floor. Sandman trying to re-group but Mikey hit lefts and rights, however Sandman back dropped him onto the first row over the barricade. Sandman in the crowd tossed Mikey Whipwreck sternum first in the crowd into the bridged ladder hitting the top. Sandman set up the ladder Vertical by the steel gaurdrail, and Mikey was on the outside.
Here comes one of the best spots of the match.

The Sandman went back into the ring and ran off the ropes and jumped over the top hitting the Ladder standing by the steel and tilted it up into Mikey Whipwreck and his head area. Fans Chant ECW while Styles screamed OH MY GOD!

Sandman in the ring missed a shot on Mikey Whipwreck and then he responded out of desperation again with constant Ladder shots! Mikey Whipwreck taking it to Sandman who had took it to him. The Champ had been split wide open and he continued the onslaught as he dropped the Ladder on Sandman. Sandman kicked out. Mikey Whipwreck then dropped the Ladder on Sandman again and then Mikey Whipwreck went to the top and hit a splash on top of the ladder to Sandman and we got a new Champion!
Joey Styles screams DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! (An overused saying but it was true)

Cactus Jack the former tag champion with Mikey Whipwreck came out and gave him a hug. Tons of ECW talent came out and lifted up the new ECW Champion Mikey Whipwreck as a bloodied Sandman walked off.

MY GOD What a war this was.

Amazing, action all the time.
Sure it was a spotfest but it was one of the funnest you will ever watch, extremely entertaining and a feel good story.

I could go higher but I wont, this was just amazing though.

***

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4) 2 Cold Scorpio (c) vs Sabu for the ECW World Television Championship in a 30 minute time limit match -ECW CyberSlam: Philadelphia, PA, 2/17/96

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2 Cold Scorpio defended the title here against Sabu.

Should be a good one here.

2 Cold Scorpio began with a kick to the head of Sabu who was crawling on the ECW Canvas.

Sabu then down on the mat was in a tough battle with a very underrated worker in 2 Cold Scorpio and he of course here was then the Television Champion so Sabu had a tough task ahead of him in this 30 minute time limit TV title bout.
2 Cold Scorpio gave Sabu a boot to the mouth and then a knee lift one of the signature moves of 2 Cold Scorpio. Sabu was well scouted by 2 Cold Scorpio and although he irishwhipped Sabu to the ropes he caught him with a spinning heel kick.
Air Sabu as he grabbed a chair, jumped on it and hit a leg to 2 Cold Scorpio in corner. Sabu clotheslined 2 Cold Scorpio outside the ring and Sabu then waited for Scorpio to get on the apron and dropkicked him off. Sabu sent him up and over into the first row. Sabu set up a chair near the ropes, and he ran off the side ropes and jumped off the chair and did a summersault over the top rope onto 2 Cold Scorpio by the barricade.
Fans chant ECW!
Sabu in control and gets back in the ring while 2 Cold Scorpio crawls back slower. Sabu points to the sky and covers 2 Cold Scorpio who crawls in the ring and gets a two. 2 Cold Scorpio scoop slammed by Sabu and then Sabu hit a slingshot knee drop, not pretty but effective to Sabu.
Sabu got reversed after a slam attempt, and 2 Cold Scorpio hit a power slam with authority hard on the ECW MAT. 2 Cold Scorpio signals for an aerial move. Sabu gets scoop slammed. 2 Cold Scorpio with a beautiful leg drop with high elevation from the top.
This is a great match here and it is very back and forth. 2 Cold Scorpio made a mistake by not going for a pinfall but grabbed a chair. Anther signature move from 2 Cold Scorpio was a knee lift to the head of Sabu. 2 Cold Scorpio set up a chair and then a pair of forearms to Sabu and then he set up a chair in the middle of the ring and 2 Cold Scorpio planted Sabu and his face into the chair!
Wow.

The two exchange a series of moves.

What an offensive exchange!

Sabu choking out 2 Cold Scorpio. A kick to the side of the head by Scorpio kicking at Sabu but it did not prevent Sabu from locking on a modified camel clutch with one arm. A move taught to him by his uncle, the original Sheik.

Sabu with the Clutch lockd in on Scorpio who did not want to give up. 2 Cold Scorpio carried all of Sabu showing great leg strength dropping Sabu. However back down on the mat Sabu hit a reverse chinlock and leg scissors to 2 Cold Scorpio. 2 Cold Scorpio came from behind and caught Sabu with a kick to the groin of Sabu who then rolled out of the ring in pain.

Awesome counter!

2 Cold Scorpio then went to the outside to follow Sabu and this has been EXTREME! 2 Cold Scorpio then hit Sabu with a pan shot to the head. 2 Cold Scorpio slammed Sabu and his head face first into the time keeper table. Sabu on the table was pulled up head first by 2 Cold Scorpio inside the ring holding him off the apron and suplexed him back into the ring. Sabu kicks out after a two count.

2 Cold Scorpio then tied up Sabi with a modified surfboard maneuver pulling back on the arms, behind him hooking the legs, something Eddie Guerrero would do and the fans applaud and appreciate. 2 Cold Scorpio got Sabu into a pinning predicament and a two count only. Sabu then got up and kicked at 2 Cold Scorpio to get out of his hold, then Sabu went out to the ring apron and hit a slingshot leg drop to Sabu and got a two. Sabu tried to get in an armbar, Scorpio trying to fight it by reaching for his wrist, and then grabbed Sabu by the hair and kicked him in the head. 2 Cold Scorpio slammed Sabu down to the mat and then a picture perfect moonsault to Sabu only he got the knees up.
Both men in pain on the canvas, Scorpio only got a two because Sabu bought himself time with the knees up. Sabu threw the chair to the face of 2 Cold Scorpio. Arabian facebuster onto the Champs face with a chair and 2 Cold Scorpio kicks out at two. Sabu then jumped off the top rope and flipped backwards with a steel chair sandwhich and got a two. Sabu hurt his own thigh so it bougth 2 Cold Scorpio time to get up and he hit Sabu in the face with a chair! 2 Cold Scorpio then threw the chair out of the way. 2 Cold Scorpio wants to up top and grabbed Sabu by the hair and set up for a tombstone piledriver but instead planted Sabu forwards on his back. Sabu is clutching at his right knee as it is clearly hurt as well as his ribs. 2 Cold Scorpio with a splash to the ribs on Sabu that should put him away but Sabu kicked out!

Wow.

UNREAL!

Fans chant ECW as Sabu lands right on the table hard on the next exchage onto missing Scorpio and this is one of the most violent matches I have ever seen, it had psychology and technical mat and chain wrestling to boot.

Styles says OH MY GOD he is dead. Joey Styles said what you just witnessed is what seperates ECW from the rest. 2 Cold Scorpio dragged a dead Sabu into the ring. The fans are giving this match a standing ovation.

SOMEHOW Sabu kicked out after 2 Cold Scorpio tried a pinning attempt. Both men barely able to stand and 2 Cold Scorpio irishwhipped Sabu but he leapfrogged Scorpio, 2 Cold Scorpio still gave him a knee to the mid-section. Sabu hit a hurricanrauna and a reverse victory roll after 2 Cold Scorpio attempted a powerbomb. Both men barely able to stand obvioussly for real, and Sabu kicked at 2 Cold Scorpio. Scorpio drove his shoulder into Sabu. 2 Cold Scorpio off the ropes got caught with a moonsault press by Sabu. Two count only and the fans are chanting for Sabu who went to the top and hit yet another moonsault and missed it, landing hard clutching at his lower back and hurting his injured knees. 2 Cold Scorpio sensing victory.
Scorpio powerbombed a dead Sabu and then went to the top for his finishing move and he dropped the flying bomb on Sabu and STILL did not pin Sabu!
Fans give this a standing ovation and no one can believe Sabu kicked out after ALL of this.

I am in awe of this Classic.

Scorpio went for the chair again and planted it on the mat, picked up Sabu by the hair and he nearly collapsed to the canvas. 2 Cold Scorpio took Sabu down face first into the mat hard and then layed a chair acrossd the face of Sabu. 2 Cold Scorpio attempted to finish the match and hit a leg drop on Sabu on the face of Sabu but he still kicked out!
I have never in my life seen someone kick out more times after so much punishment, and Styles says we are witnessing a Classic. That is even an understatement.
2 Cold Scorpio gets a chair thrown at him by Sabu and then Sabu from the top was able to hit a hurricanrauna to Sabu from the top rope and 2 Cold Scorpio kicked out!
Amazing!

Both men nearly dead and hit a double clothesline on each other.

Two minutes remaining in the match

Scorpio sitting up and grabbed the legs of Sabu and kicked him in the face. 2 Cold Scorpio from the top rope hit a summersault, the Scorpio splash and decided to wait for no apparent reason which is just plain dumb. However Scorpio kills time and you can see where this is heading. Scorpio with one minute left grabbedthe chair and drove the chair into Sabu but missed! Sabu then put the chair on 2 Cold Scorpio and slingshotted off the ropes and dropped the leg onto the chair of 2 Cold Scorpio. Sabu planted the chait on Sabu and went to the top and hit a slingshot summersault legdrop, Sabu could not cover him right away as he clutched at the left leg. 2 Cold Scorpio kicked out! Sabu could not get it done and the bell rang.
The thirty minute time limit expired and 2 Cold Scorpio remained the ECW TV Champion.

I really don’t know how I can describe this match, it wouldn’t do it justice. Watch this and love it.

The best match in either man’s career and one of the best in ECW history.

It had everything and more. Fans chant for five more minutes, but with the pace they went for the full thirty, I don’t know how that’d of been possible. I’ve never seen someone take so much punishment and continuing to kick out time and time again. (Sabu)
Violent, innovative, exciting, intelligent, and flat out entertaining.

This is ECW.

**** 1/2

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5) Raven vs Tommy Dreamer (W/Beulah McGillicuty) -ECW Wrestlepalooza: Philadelphia, PA, 6/6/97

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This match has Tommy Dreamer and Jonathan Coachman on an alternate commentary.

This classic ECW feud started over Beulah, and as said who wouldn’t fight over her?

Raven was heading to WCW after this match (although he’d later return to ECW eventually) and the fans chanted the typical “YOU SOLD OUT” and the IWC wasn’t even extremely big back then. ECW fans were just intelligent, especially regarding there own talent and a star of the magnitude of Raven. People got talking.
On commentary they put over this as Dreamer’s last chance to beat Raven or forever be known as a LOSER.

A win for Tommy Dreamer over Raven had elluded him in his career to this point in time.
This match was big and the crowd, ready.
Beulah looked amazing as always.

A member of Raven`s flock told him to leave becase it was his last match and Raven left the area and Dreamer pushed him down.
Dreamer chased Raven.

This is the first match on the set Joey Styles has a color guy with him.

Dreamer went to chase Raven to the back and the two barwled in the back as Tommy Dreamer sent Raven head first into the hard door. Raven hit with a chairshot to the back in the crowd by Tommy Dreamer.

Tommy Dreamer smacked a fans Gatorade on Dreamer, spit it out and then in his face as he took it to Raven ECW Style. Raven fought back and slammed Tommy Dreamer head first through the merchandise table.

Fans chant ECW.

Some solid action to begin this one to say the least!

Raven had Dreamer down now and grabbed him by the head and slammed him back down to the same wooden table in which he broke Tommy Dreamer`s head through moments earlier. Raven piledrived Tommy Dreamer on the concrete floor after attempting to do it on the table. A foot to the face of a now bloodied Tommy Dreamer. Jampacked building is witnessing an engaging brawl as Raven continues to throw Dreamer around. Francine and Douglas looked on as Raven set up a table. Raven went for a piledriver but Tommy Dreamer backdropped him on the table and it didn`t break. Raven was planted on the table now by Tommy Dreamer and he charged towards him and hit a splash through the table breaking it hurting his abdomen in the process.

The fans chanted `Can`t see Shi*!` just seconds before this spot yet still somehow responded to every move appropriately. Raven irishwhipped Tommy Dreamer into the steel hard. Raven went to throw him to the steel and Tommy Dreamer reversed the irish-whip and Raven hit HARDER. A great test of endurance here and Tommy elevated Raven up and dropped him groin first on the steel. Raven got sent into the steel by the ring. Dreamer landed with an elbow shot on Raven on the concrete. Dreamer grabbed a chair and smashed Raven in the head with it. Raven sent into a vending machine by Dreamer. Raven was dragged by Dreamer but he was able to grab ahold of of Tommy and got sent into the vending machine. Both men bloodied and the crowd was very vocal. Raven smacked Tommy Dreamer in the back with a chair, both these guys were paticularly good at bumping which made the back and forth shots all the more brutal looking.
Raven finally sent Tommy Dreamer into the ring and this recieved a tremendous ovation because the two had been brawling for over 9 minutes outside the ring.
Finally, over 9 minutes into the match the action is in the ring and with Tommy Dreamer was a chair thrown in by Raven.
Raven grabbed Dreamer and after an irishwhip to the ropes he hit a drop toehold to the chair on tommy`s busted open face. Raven got some Raven chants and he dropped the head into Tommy`s groin, although I`m sure he`d rather have Beulah do that. I know I would.
Raven set up Dreamer in the corner on the top of the rope and Tommy Dreamer fought off Raven with a headbutt. A low blow landed and Raven sent Dreamer with a rocket launcher across the ring into the folded chair. First pinfall attempt by Raven was unsuccessful.

Hiptoss counter into a DDT by Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer grabbed a sign and Raven grabbed it and it knocked out the ref. Dreamer ripped up the sign. Tommy Dreamer then piledrove Raven onto the sgn but no offcal just yet and after the two count, a member of the flock broke up the count. Beulah got in the ring and DDT`d Raven`s pal and then this bought Raven time to roll-up Tommy Dreamer and get a two count. Dreamer refused to lose. Raven grabbed Beulah by the hand and Tommy rolled him up and and got a two. Now there was a catfight between Beulah Raven`s girl. Beulah lowblowed Raven and Tommy hit a DDT and got a two. Raven got DDT`d again but Beulah counted the three it didn`t count. The ref was down again. Spiccoli from the back hit a DDT on Tommy Dreamer and Raven only got a two and the fans chanted for Tommy.

Tommy Dreamer hit a DDT to Louie Spiccoli and then Raven got a DDT to Dreamer which scored him a nearfall. Dreamer refused to lose in this DDTathon. Death Valley Driver from a Fireman`s Carry as Tommy Dreamer applied Louie Spiccoli`s finishing move to Raven. Raven crawled up and Dreamer set Raven up for a DDT on the sign after yelling `EC F`n W!`
Fans explode when Dreamer`s dream has come true after about 15 minutes of action.
Tommy Dreamer has beaten Raven, it`s the greatest night of his life.
An emotonal and bloodied Dreamer sits up as fans chant for ECW.
RVD kicks a chair into Tommy Dreamer`s face after the lights go out.
The lights go out once more and it`s Sabu who throws a chair into Dreamer`s face!
Once more the lights go out.
Fans see Jerry Lawler and they explode.

The King, is on the mic and taunts the ECW crowd while all mayhem breaks out inside the ring and Dreamer takes a shot from Lawler with a kendo stick where they had to rush Tommy Dreamer to the hospital and drain his testicles basically.
Entertaining and memorable.

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6) Bam Bam Bigelow vs Taz (c) for the ECW Television Championship -ECW Living Dangerously: Asbury Park, New Jersey, 3/1/98


This match has an alternate commentary from Michael Cole and Tazz.

Taz said this was his second favourite ECW match ever, and one of the most physical matches he ever took place in.

This was the famous tilt from Bam Bam`s backyard.

Taz was the favourite despite being the smaller guy, and Taz was still popular with the crowd but Bam Bam was a bigger star and had his hometown fans.

Wrestling was so great in all three big North American promotion`s in 1998. (ECW, WCW and of course the WWF)

Here we go, The Beast from the East meets the human suplex machine from the Red Hook section of Brooklyn New York.

What a big man match this is going to be.

These two have had classic battles here, and Heatwave as well as others and they are always a good time.

Bam Bam came out to a loud ovation and he was getting ready to take on Taz who came out with his TV title.

It`s showtime!

Bam Bam Bigelow right away was taken down by Taz right away as he slapped on a vicious armbar and then Bam Bam got to the rope.

Taz took over Bam Bam Bigelow with a hiplock followed by a clothesline to the ropes that sent the big Bam Bam over the rope to the floor.

Taz jumped off the apron and Bam Bam Bigelow caught Taz and drove him into the ring post and the place pops. Bam Bam Bigelow is awesome and he sent Taz head first into the apron and then into the gaurd rail, and again back into the ring apron before throwing him back in the ring. Bam Bam on the offense stomped on the World Television Champion Taz. Fans well supportive of Bam Bam in his hometown.

Awesome release of a powerbomb by Bam Bam Bigelow but Taz got the right shoulder up! Bam Bam in the corner hammered him and irishwhipped Taz to the corner with no where to go and Bam Bam charged towards him with a splash. Bam Bam waited and Taz hit a vicious clothesline. Taz had some fans as well and Taz went for a Tazplex and Bam Bam shifted his weight in mid-air and landed on top of Taz and got a two count. Bam Bam Bigelow got backdropped onto the entrance ramp from the ring.

Outside on the ramp Taz suplexed Bam Bam Bigelow off the ramp over the steel gaurdrail to the floor after a T-Bone Tazplex. The back of Taz’s head hit the steel, Bigelow’s back hit the floor.

Holy Sh*t!

Bam Bam then with Taz on the groing grabbed a steel chair and smacked it across Taz’s head.
Taz got right back up and continued to brawl with Bam Bam. Bam Bam clotheslined Taz over the steel with a vicious clothesline. Both wrestlers near the ringside area now. Bam Bam Bigelow stomped on Taz and sent him into the steel and then the ring post. Bam Bam Bigelow pushed Taz in the ring and the challenger-the beast from the east was in control. Bam Bam Bigelow plants a big DDT to Taz. Bam Bam went to the top rope and went for the moonsault but Taz kicks out.

Great pace here.

Bam Bam Bigelow in control still despite Taz kicking out and Bam Bam Bigelow stomped on him and went to the outside to grab something from underneath the ring while Taz was attempting to get to his feet. Bam Bam Bigelow brought a smashed table into the ring. Taz caught Bigelow with a kick as he had bougth himself time with Bam Bam Bigelow outside the ring but Bam Bam Bigelow was too big and kicked down Taz to avoid punishment, he did have the size advantage. Taz just kept on coming but Bam Bam Bigelow cornered him and set up the table. Bam Bam Bigelow then set up Taz for a powerbomb and Taz fought back with right hands, and Taz with a double leg and an incredible showing of strength reversed Bam Bam Bigelow’s powerbomb attempt and he planted Bam Bam face/chest first through the table! Taz still had fans here as some chanted “choke him out!” Taz got a nearfall as Bam Bam kicked out.
Great atmosphere and the back and forth action made sense.

Bam Bam Bigelow took the edge of the table to the face from Taz and there was a fist fight on the outside. Bam Bam Bigelow drove Taz face first into the ring apron and Bam Bam Bigelow hit a steel chair across the back to Taz. Taz went downstairs with desperation shots. Taz then threw Bam Bam over the gaurdrail. Taz then with more right hand and Bam Bam Bigelow returns some as this has turned into a brawl. Bam Bam Bigelow face first sent Taz into the gaurdrail.

Taz blocked a chairshot from Bam Bam and Bigelow took a shot to the face with the chair by Taz. Both big men needed a breather as they continued to brawl on opposite sides of the steel gaurdrail before Taz climbed over it and Bam Bam dropped a double axehandle. Bam Bam on a quest to become the new Champion in his hometown picked up a street sign and knocked Taz down hiting him between the eyes. Bam Bam kept hitting Taz with hard right’s and he asked for more!

Awesome!
Bam Bam Bigelow slipped on the wet floor and both guys got in the ring. Bam Bam Bigelow first to his feet and scooped up Taz for a powerslam attempt but Taz went for the choke hold and Bigelow fell through the ring!
Fans chant “Holy Shit” and “ECW!” as everyone gets to there feet.
30 seconds go by and Bam Bam Bigelow gets up first and he drags Tazz up from underneath the ring and to the canvas and he pinned him at 13:36 to become the NEW ECW TV Champion as the place pops!
Such an awesome match!

One of the best matches of 1998.

****

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7) Jerry Lynn vs Rob Van Dam (c) (W/Bill Alfonso) for the ECW Television Championship in a “No Time Limit” Match -ECW Hardcore Heaven: Poughkeepsie, New York, 5/16/99

 

This match has Michael Cole and Rob Van Dam on alternate comentary.

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The week before Owen Hart`s tragic death, ECW saw one of its greatest matches on PPV in another Classic titlt between Van Dam and Lynn who have scary good chemistry with one another.

Infact, one of my absolute favourite contests between the two is on RVD`s DVD set from Living Dangerously in 1999, a sure top 50 match ever for me. Some rank this one even better, while I don`t I can certainly feel the love it gets and I think its still a Classic and the best match on this DVD.
RVD calls himself with Cole on commentary the Whole FUCKIN Show, it looked as if Cole had never heard that words before.

Chain Wrestling to begin is always a good thing to see from a Classic, especially one that goes all over the place like this one.
The fans in ECW are not only very vocal, but very appreciative when they witness something extraordinary and this is no exception.

“Whole F’n Show” and “F you Jerry” were chanted.

Jerry Lynn had an armringer, reversed by RVD and then he rolled through. Van Dam with a single leg taketown and then a sideheadlock on the mat. Fundamental maneuvers and then a wristlock by Jerry Lynn into a hammerlock, RVD reversed it in a wristlock and then rolled him up on the mat and got a two count.
Both men jump up after a great offensive exchange and the ECW fans show there appreciation in this re-match.

Both men leapfrog each other after an exchange off the ropes, they then miss a series of leg drops and moonsaults and the crowd give it a standing ovation.
Such an awesome sequence.

RVD poses and the crowd loved it and showed him respect back.
This is an amazing beginning here.

RVD waited on Lynn to do something now.

Jerry Lynn wanted to become the “New F’n Show” just as he did at Living Dangerously.
A tie up and Van Dam got Jerry Lynn in the corner and had to back off before pointing to himself in front of the face of Jerry Lynn which aggrivated him some more. Jerry Lynn stood there more confident and determined and that’s what made these matches so awesome, both men never were intimidated. RVD got amazing respect from the crowd. Alfonso wanted Van Dam to focus on the match at hand as he talked to the crowd.

I didn’t like this Intermission so to speak, but I can understand why it was neccessary for pacing reasons. Jerry Lynn now had to give Van Dam a clean brea and then a boot to the mid-section. Jerry Lynn caught Van Dam but a slingshot and Van Dam landed on his feet. Jerry Lynn with a facelock, missed with the elbow sent RVD into the corner, he flipped over Jerry Lynn and the two men then stood there and put there fists up as this sequence was over and once again the fans give it a great ovation.

So now we’re back to the typical intermission type 30 second walk around and posing for pacing reasons and we’ve seen 3-4 awesome sequences in this match.
RVD with right hands and high kicks to Jerry Lynn and then Rob after a forearm went for a leap off the top rope but Jerry Lynn blocked the shot sent RVD to the apron and then springboarded off the top rope and dropkicked RVD to the floor and the fans show appreciation. Chris Jericho likes to do this move.
Jerry Lynn then jumped off the top rope to the outside on RVD and the fans chant ECW. Jerry Lynn inside the ring had Van Dam on the outside and he tried to get back in but RVD got dropkicked, and then had his face legdropped into the middle rope and was brought back by Lynn inside the ring upside down. Jerry Lynn chopped him in the corner of the ring and then got to the top rope and Jerry Lynn with a bulldog from the top rope in the corner of the ring right down to the canvas.

Jerry Lynn was shoved by Alfonso off the top rope, Van Dam took a chair shot to the head by Jerry Lynn, and then he blocked the kick and sent Jerry Lynn out to the floor. Fans applauded as RVD got the better of Jerry Lynn in that sequence. Van Dam stomped on Lynn’s head.
Jerry Lynn seemed to be hurt on the outside of the ring and RVD piced him up by the waist and he seemed to be lifting dead weight. Jerry Lynn was pushed into the gaurdrail over into the first row. RVD rolled back in the ring as he showed no compassion, no mercy towards Jerry Lynn. RVD stood alone in the ring and the fans chanted his initials. RVD then charged towards Jerry Lynn as he hit a flying clothesline over the steel gaurdrail, he took off like a flying jet. Fans chanted for RVD.

Jerry Lynn with a desperation dropkick to RVD sending him over the steel back into ringside area. Jerry Lynn got back in the ring but was stomped by RVD. Rob Van Dam levelled Jerry Lynn in the corner with a hard forearm shot. Jerry Lynn with a unique roll-up in the corner and got a two, Jerry Lynn ducked a clothesline went for a powerbomb, but RVD reversed it and planted Jerry Lynn on his back before he went for a rolling thunder into a spinning heel kick. Jerry Lynn avoided a Senton as he had it well scouted, amazing action.

So fact paced, it’s absolutely unbelievable.

RVD avoided a tornado DDT by Jerry Lynn and then hit a Northern Light’s Suplex and got a two count, and the fans show there appreciation.

RVD and ECW are both chanted by the crowd.

Jerry Lynn got placed up top and RVD climbed and the two exchanged shots, Jerry Lynn with an amazing sunset flip and RVD kicked out after this move from the corner. Jerry Lynn clotheslined RVD hard to the mat.

Barely any breaks now which was good, the pacing still was unebelievable and now they were just going at it full throttle for the last ten minutes. Jerry set up a table outside the ring, Jerry Lynn sent him into the steel. RVD backdropped a charging Jerry Lynn over the steel into the first row as RVD had a busted open left eye. RVD caught a chair, handed it to Alfonso who tossed it to Lynn who caught it and Jerry Lynn caught a side kick by RVD into the chair, face first hopping off the steel. What balance, what an exchange.
Incredible!

Rob Van Dam got sent into the ring post on his bad eye by Lynn. Jerry Lynn with more right hand’s to RVD. Van Dam set up on the top rope and Jerry Lynn signalled for a tornado DDT to RVD from the top through a table, but RVD backdropped Jerry Lynn outside to the floor and his body was broken. Jerry Lynn crashed onto the floor amazingly hard as Van Dam had that move well scouted.

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Unreal.

Van Dam went to the outside as the crowd chanted “Whole F’n Show” and RVD sent him again into the guardrail. RVD planted Lynn ribs first across the guardrail before he hit a corkscrew legdrop off the apron as he spinned in mid-air dropping the leg across Jerry Lynn’s back hurting his ribs as they were planted on top of the steel and the impact of the crash on his back had to take the air out of Jerry Lynn. Lynn barely got his shoulder’s up when RVD went for a cover back in the ring. RVD wanted to keep Lynn grounded so he dropkicked him into the knees. Van Dam with a flip then a dropkick to the face with a steel chair in front of him. Van Dam outside the ring apron sent Jerry Lynn face first into the turnbuckle. Jerry Lynn battled back on the top turnbuckle and RVD avoided another tornado DDT head firs tthrough a table and instead clotheslined Jerry Lynn off the apron back into the ring. Van Dam bloodied with a smile on his face gave Lynn a legdrop over the top rope and a nearfall. RVD shook his head in disbelief. RVD irishwhipped Jerry Lynn into the corner hard and then outside ont he apron Lynn fought back.
Jerry Lynn then with a sunsetflip from the top to the outside ring apron catching RVD and driving him through the table!
WOW!

Both men down now as that table that was teased for a good ten minutes was finally used and used by the guy who originally set it up, Jerry Lynn. RVD had gotten the best of Lynn to this point but this bought some momentum back for Jerry Lynn. RVD sent back into the ring and then Lynn got just a two count. Lynn irishwhipped a bloodied RVD and then Alfonso took a chair to the face as Lynn threw it at him. Lynn with an amazing suplex and just a two count. Lynn then with a belly to belly but RVD caught Jerry Lynn on the top as he kicked him in the head. RVD with right hands and then all the way up top tried a belly to belly but both men fell off and fans chanted “You F’d Up” which is unfortunate because this match had been pretty flawless to this point.

Jerry Lynn with RVD’s own Van Daminator to the chair to the face only scored him a two count. RVD sunset flipped, RVD rolled out hooked the legs, a bridge by Jerry Lynn, and then a powerbomb by Jerry Lynn and the two reverse each other’s pinning combinations and another cradle and RVD kicked out!

Amazing!

Fans show there appreciation.

Jerry Lynn up top with right hand’s to RVD and the two exchanged punches. RVD with a split legged moonsault from the top but still only a two count on Jerry Lynn as he got the right shoulder up! Unbelievable. RVD wondering what he has to do and then Jerry went for an inverted DDT but RVD reversed it by flipping him over and hitting a corkscrew leg drop, and then a five star frogsplash with amazing elevation! RVD went for the cover, Jerry Lynn reversed it but RVD kicked out! Both men reverse a waistloc, a standing switch, RVD with a leapfrog and then a Van Daminator to Jerry Lynn! RVD off the top rope went for another five star frog splash and got him this time at 26:57 to retain the TV title!

Mr. PPV showed why he was just that and the place explodes.

The Whole F’N Show had done it again.

This match was a thing of beauty, a true piece of art from almost every direction which is what made it unique and why it ranks up there with some of the very best matches I’ve ever seen.

I’ve boosted this rating up considerably although I still choosed LD 99 over this.

Probably the 3rd best match in ECW history behind Eddie-Dean 2/3 Falls and LD 99’s tilt between the two, so an awesome choice to end this DVD with!

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Classic material for certain!

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**** 3/4

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——————————————————————

Final Rating for The Rise and Fall of ECW = 9.5/10

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This DVD is judged largely on the basis of its long and well thought out documentary that basically covers all the important matters in ECW History. There`s a reason they call this the best WWE Documentary of all time, and by `They` I mean virtually every critic out there. The First Disc didn`t have any extras but it`s not like it needed any, the matches on the second disc became an afterthought. Unlike the later release of Bloodsport and other ECW DVD releases since this mega successful one where they focused on the matches this was the opposite and instead told the story from beginning to end, and it was a fast three hours. Great set for that alone, and it only helped matters by including some great contests on Disc 2. These weren`t the absolute greatest matches in ECW history right there, but it`s still a credible selection with a ton of great material. As said, Disc 1 makes it worth the purchase alone. Add in the fact Disc 2 treats you to some GEM`s, and a couple of the greatest matches of ALL time and it`s a no brainer that this Set is the 2nd highest selling Wrestling DVD of all time. If you remain as a minority who don`t yet own this DVD, do yourself a favor and pick it up. One of the greatest DVD sets you will ever find.




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11 Comments left on this article...

  1. Jay Karia says:

    I have FINALLY bought this DVD today and I can’t wait to watch it.

  2. Jay Karia says:

    I WANT THIS DVD. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO BUYING THIS DVD.

  3. Pietas says:

    I got the DVD off Amazon this July and mine is stuck on Disc 2. All it has are the first 4 matches, no extra interviews, nothing. You cannot even scroll through the chapters, you have to play all on DVD1.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have to disagree with Shaun Blackford because this review doesn’t give this review justice.. This DVD isn’t amazing.. it’s DSUIOADEGHDNIJLQO;WERHUIASDHHHHHHHH F’N INCREDIBLE!!!!!!

    I miss ECW. No other Indy promtion can even come close to what ECW was.. Yes I’m talking to you ROH.

  5. d money says:

    this is in my opinion the best documentary ever made

  6. bryan says:

    ECW towards the end was always bittersweet for me. You wanted to see them take on WCW and WWF but to do it they had to make it on network TV and you knew that meant they had to tone it down a lot losing some much of it’s charm. It was a great run for this David facing Goliath WWF and WCW and this documentary is fantastic, great review Brett.

  7. Jacob says:

    The previous comments just took the words out of my mouth.
    This DVD set was AWESOME! (as would be said by The Miz :p)

  8. Brett Mix says:

    Thanks guys, this DVD is perhaps the best one out there for sure.

  9. Rob L says:

    If your a wrestling fan and you don’t have this DVD then you might not be a fan after all, PICK THIS UP ASAP!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic review to a really great dvd!Thanks!

  11. Shaun Blackford says:

    this is a great dvd, and ur review gives it justice

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