It’s hard to think of a wrestling fan that didn’t enjoy ECW. They offered everything a wrestling federation should, including the most interactive live experience you could ever ask for. That’s why those ECW chants still kick up during WWE events. Obviously, Vince McMahon was listening, and brought a decent sized roster back for one night of pure nostalgic bliss.
Not one to miss an opportunity, ECW One Night Stand has made it to DVD in record time. This is admittedly slapped together to grab fans who want to relive one of the best pay-per-views in year, but that’s not a complaint. This event needs preserved.
There’s not a bad match on the card, with Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka stealing the show with an over the top table and chairs brawl that rivals some of their earlier matches when ECW was fading. The Dudley Boys, Sandman, and Dreamer pulled out all of the stops for the main event, which featured barbed wire (brought in just before a cat fight), flaming tables, garbage cans, Singapore canes, cheese graters, and lots and lots of blood.
That’s focusing on what ECW did best, and that’s not the only thing on the card. Super Crazy, Tajiri, and Little Guido put on an awesome three-way elimination lightweight match. Benoit and Guerrero have bulked up since their younger days, but still show they loved their time here. The impromptu Sabu/Rhyno scuffle may have been short, yet it’s a perfect example of how much punishment these guys take, yet they don’t care as long as the crowd is behind them. Take your apprehensions about Vince setting this up and forget them. This is ECW. (***** out of *****)
Though it looks better then most of the ECW DVDs, this is a typical, bland WWE transfer. The higher production values are evident, though the compression is, as usual, too much. It’s unbearable to watch at times. Oddly, it’s probably a little better than the transfer of the Wrestlemania 21 DVD is. (***)
Nothing can match the experience of being at a live ECW show, but this 5.1 mix does try. The classic cry of the fans, regardless of what the chant may be, comes through better then you would expect. Chairs and other foreign objects don’t get any louder then they do here. You’ll likely pick up on a few things here you missed if you ordered the PPV. (****)
Since the release time was so short, the extras here are useless. The fan reactions lasts less then a minute, talking to fans before and after the show. No one had anything negative to say unsurprisingly. The ECW Funeral from Raw is showcased here in edited video form, cut down to three minutes. Five vignettes show off the wrestlers best moments, but are too short to really get a feel for any of them if you’re not familiar with the federation.
The JBL commentary might have been interesting. All the time during the event, JBL was wearing a mic, and his recorded comments are included here on a separate audio track. Sadly, the moments fans would actually want to hear like the Sandman confrontation and already infamous Blue Meanie beat down are quiet. This disc is also censored, which is absurd. Any audible words that the FCC wouldn’t want you to hear are bleeped out. Finally, Sandman’s music (Enter Sandman, Metallica) has been edited out, replaced by something generic. (*)
Admittedly, there are reasons to be disappointed. Wrestlers are missing, and most of them who are included (Roadkill for instance) are only here for a fleeting glimpse. Without the useless WWE/ECW feud angle, there could have been time for at least one other match. That would have made the night perfect. As it is, this is likely the most fun you’ll have all you watching people beat each other up, and Joey Styles screaming CAT FIGHT! simply can’t be matched.Powered by Sidelines