16th Apr2015

‘ECW Unreleased: Vol. 3′ Blu-ray Review

by Chris Cummings

ecw-unreleased-3

WWE continue with their volume releases of ECW history with the third ECW Unreleased release, hosted by Joey Styles, Stevie Richards and The Blue Meanie. I recall ECW fondly in many ways, and it is fun to go back and look at some of the matches, wrestlers and storylines that made the grungy extreme promotion an underground (and eventually more than that) hit. With comments and introductions from the three hosts, this is a collection of matches and angles that will appeal, like the previous sets, to ECW fans, and people looking to discover the history of hardcore.

There are some blinders in here, I have to say. But, with wrestlers like Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Cactus “Mick Foley” Jack, Lance Storm, Chris Jericho, Terry Funk and others, it’s easy to see why there is a high level of quality in some of the matches on offer. ECW provided more than many people think they did. Yeah, there were plenty of extreme matches featuring chair-shots, broken tables, cheese graters, staple-guns and bad language, but there were also technical wrestling masterclasses, lucha-libre spot-fests, hard hitting old-school brawls and various other things. This mix of wrestling genres made ECW what it was, and is the reason that so many people look back at is so fondly some fifteen years after it closed its doors and locked up the EC-DUB arena.

With matches beginning in 1993 up to the end of the year 2000, you can see the growth of the promotion and the change in the roster that continued to evolve as WWF and WCW signed many of ECW’s workers, causing Paul Heyman to create new stars and look out of the box to bring a wrestling revolution about. The passionate fanbase, the dirty, dingy arenas, the fervent commentary from Joey Styles, and the in-ring product made ECW a one-of-a-kind promotion and these Unreleased volumes are excellent ways to look back at it all in the comfort of your own home, and with the Blu-ray releases, the content looks better than it ever has.

For me, highlights here include a 1994 match between Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio, a 1996 one-on-one encounter between Chris Jericho and Shane Douglas, a 1998 contest between Lance Storm and Chris Candido, an ECW Title match between Taz and Tajiri, and a 1995 clash between Cactus Jack and Sabu. These, among lots of others, make this set worth the price of admission and cause it to be a must-buy for ECW fans, both new and old, and an excellent introduction into one of the most controversial and exciting wrestling organisations of all time.

ECW Unreleased: Volume 3 is released on April 27th by Fremantle Media

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