volumes one and two . WWE took a year off in 2014, but came back in 2015 with another collection of matches from the Philadelphia-based promotion that laid the groundwork for the Attitude Era of the WWE. Without further ado, let us dive into ECW Unreleased: Vol. 3 (trailer).
Vol. 2 saw Joey Styles return to hosting duties every few matches, but he was accompanied by special guest and ECW legend, Tommy Dreamer. For Vol. 3 the WWE Home Video studios gets invaded by the bWo (the Blue World Order, which was ECW’s satirical take on WCW’s nWo), or at least two of them anyways with Stevie Richards and Blue Meanie serving as our special guest hosts with Joey. No idea where the other primary bWo member, Nova was and why he could not be here, but we do get a reference to Nova’s WWE personality, Simon Dean, and even the bWo cameraman, 7-11, makes a very brief cameo. The bWo are a fun addition to the hosting team, and it was fun watching them do little bits with Joey such as a failed bWo spray paint job, and also provide legit insight on ECW’s past.
Vol. 3 has a whopping 28 matches (five of which are exclusive to BluRay). I went in under the pretense that WWE would be scraping the bottom of the barrel since this is their sixth ECW branded release. I thought that among the previously unreleased matches being featured here there would only be a couple of gems surrounded by a lot skip-worthy content. I could not have been more wrong.
Speaking of the Dean, if you recall from my previous ECW Unreleased entries, Vol 3 keeps up the tradition of featuring at least two singles title matches featuring Mr. Douglas, and guess what we get three of them for Vol 3! The first is a brief 1995 encounter with….Ron Simmons!? DAMN, I had no idea Simmons wrestled in ECW, and I presumed he must have had a brief pit stop there before he landed in the then-WWF in 1996. There are two far better matches on here with Shane going to war over the TV title against Chris Jericho and another against Bam Bam Bigelow. I was surprised to see Douglas keep up move-for-move with Jericho in a bout filled with many near falls, and his TV Title match against Bigelow on here is far better than their slow, plodding match for the World Title that was featured in Vol. 1.
I was surprised to see WWE dig up another Jericho match from his brief run in ECW, and they were able to unearth two additional Dean Malenko matches from his short ECW run. Here he squares off against Scorpio for the TV title in a really good match featuring a lot of great mat wrestling and high-flying. Later on in this collection, these opponents would team up and tag against Eddie Guerrero and Taz in a very good traditional tag rules match that went against the ECW norm of weapons getting involved. As a matter of fact, there are a ton of awesome tag team match ups on here. A polar opposite of the traditional rules tag match featuring Eddie & Dean was a very hardcore affair with the Public Enemy squaring off against Sabu & Taz that had tons of blood, weapons and hardcore brawling all over the arena.
Did you know Dusty Rhodes had a short run in ECW? Relive it here when he tags with Dreamer against Steve Corino & Rhino in an entertaining hardcore brawl. In the BluRay extras you can skip the Eliminators match against Terry Gordy and Steve Williams. As excited as I was to see some old school NWA representation in ECW, Gordy was just too over the hill by this point and felt several steps behind everyone else in the match. However, the BluRay exclusive featuring Tanaka & Jerry Lynn against Mike Awesome & Justin Credible makes up for it with a ton of high impact, high energy moves from Awesome and Tanaka as they steal the show in this match.
Other random matches worth mentioning is a really good bout featuring tag partners face off against each other with Chris Candido and Lance Storm keeping up with each other in another entertaining high-gear matchup. You can relive Stevie Richards’ brief run in the ECW Main Event when he won a three way dance against Sandman and Raven to face Terry Funk for the World Title. I was sad to see Kid Kash never make it too big wherever he went, but was glad to finally see a Kid Kash match on one of these collections as he went up against EZ Money in a very good up-tempo match that featured an awesome finish off the top rope. The main regular feature wraps with Steve Corino winning the World Title in ECW’s first ever Double Jeopardy match, a bout that features rules almost as complex as TNA’s reverse battle royal.
The final match in the BluRay exclusives is a near five-star encounter between Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn. I will never forget the first ECW match I ever saw was a Lynn/RVD match off the Extreme Evolution DVD back when Pioneer Video was releasing ECW matches back in 2000. Even back when the Attitude era reigned supreme, I was still blown away by the infectious charisma of RVD, the rabid fans filled with chants I never heard of before and the explosive action and near-falls that RVD and Lynn proceeded to unleash on me combined for a wrestling thrill like no other when I got my first taste of ECW action back in 2000. The match featured in Vol. 3 is not that match, but it is another classic between the two as the duo always stole the show whenever they competed.
I will end on one little aside, none of the three ECW Unreleased volumes feature any matches from WWE’s relaunched ECW that lasted from 2006-2010. It is probably for the best, but there is a small part of me that would like what the predecessor to NXT is today to get their own best of collection. That version of ECW would usually get their world title defended on the monthly WWE PPV, but they almost always had to tone down their matches to make sure they did not steal the show, and instead would usually have a far better rematch on the ECW SyFy show that aired a couple days later. They had a lot of good TV matches this way, including the infamous ‘Gulf of Mexico’ match that I would love to relive! It was also fascinating watching the promotion evolve from a re-launched ECW hardcore promotion and gradually morph into a developmental brand by its final years, and operated almost exactly like how NXT is today. If WWE can put out home video collections celebrating the best of In Your House, then please WWE release a best of ECW on SyFy collection!!!
Past Wrestling Blogs
Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2
Bobby The Brain Heenan
Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes Yes Yes
Dusty Rhodes WWE Network Specials
ECW Unreleased: Vol 1
ECW Unreleased: Vol 2
For All Mankind
Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection
Its Good to Be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story
Ladies and Gentlemen My Name is Paul Heyman
Legends of Mid South Wrestling
Macho Man: The Randy Savage Story
OMG Vol 2: Top 50 Incidents in WCW History
RoH Supercard of Honor V
RoH Supercard of Honor VI
RoH Supercard of Honor VII
RoH Supercard of Honor VIII
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
Superstar Collection: Zach Ryder
Top 50 Superstars of All Time
Tough Enough: Million Dollar Season
Warrior Week on WWE Network
Wrestlemania 3: Championship Edition
The Wrestler (2008)
Wrestling Road Diaries Too
WWE Network Original Specials First Half 2015
WWE Network Original Specials Second Half 2015