ECW Unreleased Vol. 1: Is It Worth Your Hard-Earned Money?

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ECW Unreleased Vol. 1: Is It Worth Your Hard-Earned Money?
courtesy of amazon.com

Two weeks ago the WWE released another compilation dedicated to Extreme Championship Wrestling entitled ECW Unreleased Vol. 1.

While the WWE has released a few different DVD sets for the infamous promotion that had classic matches, sometimes there would be duplicate matches between sets. This DVD boasts matches that haven't yet been released by the WWE and could only be found otherwise on hard to find ECW tapes/DVDS or on the internet.

The matches themselves are really good and have transferred over to DVD very well. Yet, if you are expecting this DVD set to be the most violent and extreme matches that ECW has ever had, you may find yourself disappointed. The first disk of the set contains mostly technical matches rather than bloodbaths.

The first match of the set is the match that created Extreme Championship Wrestling with Shane Douglas vs. 2 Cold Scorpio, which ended with Douglas giving his famous promo where he threw down the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The rest of the first disc includes matches between Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho and Tazz, which showcase the incredible technical matches that helped ECW stand out.

The second disk has more high-flying matches with some gimmick matches. Guys like Sabu, Rob Van Dam, the Eliminators and Jerry Lynn, really shine in this part of the collection. While not the bloodiest of matches, they still offer a piece of the promotion that many newer fans wouldn't regularly associate with the promotion.

The third and final disc has mainly title matches that include Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka, Tazz vs. Tommy Dreamer and Tommy Dreamer vs. Justin Credible.

Will you buy this DVD?

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Another nice touch is that the set is hosted by Joey Styles, who gives a bit of history and insight to events leading up to certain matches. It's a solid break in between matches and offers much needed backstory to some of what fans are seeing.

While the matches are great and the quality is really good, the main problem with the set is the editing and censoring of certain aspects.

During the Douglas/Scorpio match, the fans' “ECW” chants were filling the arena, but none of the fans mouths were moving. This was used as cover over Scorpio, who was talking to Douglas after his promo.

It even had a new commentary from Joey Styles to make it seem like it wasn't an edit.

Some music used by wrestlers had been changed so that the WWE wouldn't have to pay to use the original songs. Also, fan chants were changed when any of the fans chanted swear words.

I'm not saying that it ruins the set since most new fans wouldn't know the difference (for the most part), but fans who watched ECW when it happened or saw it from other videos, may be upset by this.

Overall, the selection of matches are great and offer something new for the viewing audience.

I did like the idea of showing the different sides of ECW that made it a fantastic viewing opportunity for fans. Since the ECW-oriented DVDs sell in great numbers for the WWE, be sure to see follow-up volumes that are sure to be chock full of hardcore matches and wrestling insanity.

While the editing/censoring of certain aspects is a bit frustrating, the overall quality of the set, and the matches included, make this well worth the $20 price tag that you'll find in most places.

If you're a fan of ECW and wrestling in general, don't wait another minute and pick this DVD set up.

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