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4.4 out of 5 stars
ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) - Wrestlepalooza '97
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 28, 2006
Format: DVD
NOTE: I UPDATED THIS REVIEW IN 2013

Television Champion Shane Douglas vs. Chris Chetti - We got a classic promo from Douglas in reference to the "sweep" that happened in the Stanley Cup finals earlier in the week before agreeing to have a clean wrestling match. Chetti caught Douglas off guard with repeated dropkicks & armdrag takedowns heavily working over the arm causing Douglas to resort to tactics different than what he originally proposed in the beginning by using Francine as a distraction along with elements on the outside from the guardrail to a chair only for Chetti to adapt using the chair himself. This was a good opening match that saw Chetti as a rookie make an strong first impression.

Pitbulls vs. F.B.I. - Guido started out trying to hit & move avoiding getting caught but it didn't work long as the Pitbulls used their superior power advantage & double teaming with arm wringers & sandwich clotheslines causing the F.B.I. to resort to dirty tactics like eye pokes & Tommy Rich on the outside while taking advantage of the referee for a double team. It was a basic tag team match showcasing the styles of both teams.

Sandman & Balls Mahoney vs. Dudley Boyz - This was just a four way brawl both in & out of the ring all the way to the snack bar that saw everyone getting hit with either a chair or the singapore cane or guardrail such as Sandman's over the top dive squeezing Bubba between him & the guardrail followed by another dive with the singapore cane that not only hit Devon but his partner as well while a chairshot busted Balls open & later a 3D on a chair in what was just a non-stop brawl.

ECW Champion Terry Funk vs. Chris Candido - Before the match we got a very emotional speech from Stevie Richards who was originally scheduled to receive this title shot only to suffer a neck injury. Funk kept taking down Candido along with tossing him to the outside while delivering hard chops & punches plus a slap in the face before Candido came back throwing Funk & brawling in the front row while heavily working over his neck with multiple piledrivers & neckbreakers using both a table & chairs but Funk attempted to fought back going after Candido's neck but Chris was able to keep countering & work over Funk's neck using the frankensteiner. This was honestly a Chris Candido showcase more than anything as he told a great story of constantly working over the neck of Funk as Terry didn't do much past his brawling style of throwing punches & slaps to the point where the crowd was very vocal at the end of how they felt the match should have gone.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven - Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven - Tommy Dreamer had never scored an official victory over Raven throughout their entire feud in ECW & this was his final opportunity to do so as it was no secret (based off the "YOU SOLD OUT!" chants) that Raven was leaving to go to WCW. The fight got taken to the outside of the building back in within the opening minutes as the brawled through the crowd with Dreamer thrown off the bleachers through the merchandise table, both men thrown into guardrails, Raven hit with a legdrop takedown, and both men bleeding. They made their way back to the ring after a few minutes where the fight continued with both men trading low blows & the females at ringside going at it along weapons coming into play like a drop toe hold onto a chair & later one man launched off the top rope onto the open chair & a road sign taking out more than one person followed by a piledriver on it. While this could be debated if this was their best match from an in-ring standpoint, no denying this was the most emotional encounter they ever against each other heavily playing into the factor that it was Dreamer's last chance but stay tuned afterwords as one feud ended & another one began right away with an invasion lead by one person nobody ever expected to see in the ECW arena.
[Rise & Fall Of ECW; Top 25 Rivalries]

Taz vs. Sabu - "The Grudge REMATCH Of The Century" here as Sabu came in with his ribs taped yet still attempted his daredevil offense such as the springboard dropkick & leg lariat while Taz stayed on his game taking Sabu down followed by crossfaces & a submission stretch working on the ribs but Sabu kept fighting back going aerial with the moonsault & flip legdrop only for the "high risk" to not pay off on one move allowing Taz to execute a series of Taz-plexes & even going to the top himself for an attempted senton only for Sabu to come back including putting Taz through a table with Taz coming back catching Sabu in the Tazmission. This wasn't the high quality that their previous match was but more fast paced & aggressive at times.

Television Champion Shane Douglas vs. Taz - Douglas was watching the show from the balcony & had a few choice words for Taz which eventually lead to a challenge where Douglas would put the belt on the line where Taz had to make him tap out in under 3 minutes or else he would be suspended for 60 days without pay with Douglas heavily working over Taz's previously injured neck with moves like a neck snap, neckbreaker, and DDT while Taz attempted to apply the Tazmission. This match was too short to be of anything significant but did it's job in the end.

Tag Team Champions Eliminators vs. Dudley Boyz - Saturn had a broken leg & was scheduled for surgery causing Commissioner Todd Gordon to request them to forfeit the titles only for Kronis to fight them alone taking them down with kicks only for Big Dick to get involve allowing the Dudleys to both double & triple team Kronis causing Saturn to take matters into his own hands on more than one occasion. This wasn't much of a match past it being a handicap match but it was all about how Joey Styles stated, "Perry Saturn is from another world."

This was a fun show from beginning to end that had everything from entertaining comedy, hardcore brawling, emotional drama, and shocking surprises that nobody would have expected so this is one show I would go out of my way to get.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2002
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Here is a quick run down.
-Shane Douglas wrestles Taz's cousin Chris Chetti for the T.V. title
-Tracey Smothers and Little Guido vs. The Pitbulls
-The Dudley Boyz vs. Balls Mahoney and The Sandman
-ECW champion Terry Funk vs. Chris Candido
-Loser Leave Town match:Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven
-Sabu vs. Taz 2
-Taz vs. Shane Douglas
-Tag Title Match: Dudley's vs. The Eliminators.
Buy the video or DVD. ECW is without a question the best wrestling promotion of the 90's. Now we are just left with waterdown and reused storylines and the worst wrestling company ever, that only wishes they could be ECW, XPW. XPW just takes ECW talent and put on crappy shows.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
about a month ago i recieved ecw wrestlepalooza 97 and
let me say it was tremendous let me just run down the events
match 1
for the ecw television championship
the franchise shane douglas vs the rookie chris chetti
this was a great match it was kind of short it would have been better if it was a little longer.
match 2
the full blooded itallians vs the pitbulls
the only extremely bad match on the video thank god it was short the pitbulls returned after gary wolfe's injury impressivly.
match 3
the dudley boyz vs sandman/balls mahoney
great hardcore match need i say more gertner's promo's are tremendous
match 4
for the ecw championship
mr no gimmicks needed chris candido vs terry funk
this match had it tremendous wrestling and a very creative finish.
match 5
loser leaves town match
raven vs tommy dreamer
great match all around brutal match with a great finish.
wwe challenges team extreme this was a great storyline that put ecw in tact and gave them even more fans then they already have i mean seeing rvd well i won't go any further.
match 6
sabu vs taz
great match all around.
interview taz/shane douglas this was a great preylude to their match.
match 7 taz vs franchise for the ecw television title
now talk about a heavy stipluation douglas puts a stipluation and uses taz's creo against him.
main event
for the ecw tag team titles
the elimanators vs the dudleys
there is a fine line between stupidity and being so incredibly stupid and saturn crossed that line saturn is nuts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2002
Format: DVD
i'll just give you the run down on the matches:
shane douglas v. chris chetti - decent opener, few scientific moves, but nothing too special
pitbulls v. f.b.i. - decent tag match, not too much going on, pretty short
dudleys v. balls and sandman - this was a brawl for the most part, pretty good match, one funny spot with sandman jumping over with the cane hitting balls and devon
terry funk v. chris candido - pretty good, repetative piledrivers and neckbreakers, not much for a world title match though
tommy dreamer v. raven - this was a great brawl, probably my favorite match on the ppv, there was something like 7 ddts in this match, good stuff, and an all around great finish for a great feud
rvd, sabu, and jerry lawler segment - this was hilarious, there were more cursing in this segment to the end than two osbournes show put together, rvd and sabu just kicked everyone's butt while lawler is on the mic the whole time, awesome stuff!!!!!!
sabu v. taz - rematch from barely legal ppv, nowhere as good, but still one of the best matches on this ppv, the ending is ala piper and bret hart
taz v. shane douglas - stipulation match, if shane wins, taz can't wrestle for 60 days, if taz makes him submit in 3 min., taz gets the tv title, fairly good story put together in this match
eliminators v. dudleys - tag titles, saturn has a torn ACL, not much of a match, but still interesting and a pretty good finish
all in all, it's a good ppv worth the money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This card was memorable for a few reasons. First off, it has the "Final Battle" between Tommy Dreamer and Raven, who have been feuding for a lifetime. A very good match, which also has Jerry Lawler, Rob Van Dam, and Sabu appear following it, starting the infamous ECW-WWF interpromotional war. They destroy the entire locker room, until Taz clears the ring. That brings us to the next memorable match, Taz vs Shane Douglas for the TV Title. A great last minute match. Finally, the main event has The Eliminators defending the Tag Titles against The Dudleys. Good match, but its really memorable for Perry Saturn's elbow drop off the top rope. That's memorable because Saturn is in a leg brace, due to having a torn ACL. The rest of the card is good, but these are the main reasons to see it.
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on September 5, 2010
Format: DVD
ECW, as every educated fan knows, raised the bar for pro wrestling in this country back in the mid-90's. Fans sick of the inane garbage surrounding Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels in the WWF suddenly found themselves in Wrestling Heaven. At the same time, WCW was entering a dreadful Hulk Hogan-centered era that chased away even long time supporters of the former NWA territory. Many of those disenfranchised fans were drawn to ECW, and not just for the brutal, often gory content.
In fact, ECW to this day is often incorrectly identified as nothing but a chair swinging freak show, a batch of minor leaguers whose only chance to get over was to amp up the sex and violence in order to compensate for a perceived lack of athleticism and star power.
The truth, as usual, is far more complex than that ignorant assumption. If the table breaking, profanity, and liberal juicing were all the company had to offer, the disillusioned audiences that began spreading the ECW gospel would have quickly found themselves bored with the product, and by 1997 would have dropped the promotion en masse in order to concentrate on the much improved storylines being produced at that time by the "big 2". In fact, this too-short time span, from approximately mid-'96 until early '99 could be debated by youngsters and open minded old timers as the most exciting in the industry's history. Nay-sayers will likely point to the late-70's through the early 80's, when over a dozen territories drew robust crowds and shared top talent liberally.
Despite nay-saying from respected veterans such as Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler, and Harley Race, the truth is that ECW was far and away the most well-booked, intelligently planned and passionately performed promotion that the wrestling world had seen in quite some time. In fact, only the mildly stodgy old man in me keeps me from proclaiming, without doubt nor fear of reprisal, that ECW was the closest thing to a model franchise in this country, ever. Eh, to the moon with wishy washy political correctness: even the great Mid-South/UWF and early 80's World Class had more flaws than Paul Heyman's living vision. ECW is the greatest American wrestling promotion in history.
Alas, like most truly great events, Neil Young's axiom "It's better to burn out than to fade away" is most apt here. Or is it that our most treasured popular culture figures left us too young (ECW, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles) to go bad, leaving the beloved in question with no chance to wear out his/her/it's welcome?
Only time will tell if ECW is ever regarded with true appreciation by the current and former leaders of the business. I believe that to gain that respect that the company deserves, those with the clout to eventually define ECW must see it as intended; from, if not the very beginning, at least close to the roots until it's demise, or sharp decline due to the financial deficits that undoubtedly helped to inspire its working class storylines, characters, and passion for a higher lot in the industry. It's an amazing journey, and just as one would be doing one's self a major dis-service by turning to the few chapters of a particularly gripping and epic mystery novel, hopping aboard as late as Wrestlepalooza '97 would be like watching 'The Godfather Part II' without being enlightened to what attracted one in the first place. But...
If you don't have time to savor the full gourmet meal, Wrestlepalooza '97 is an exquisite side dish, or appetizer. The classic moment of shock that swept through the ECW Arena's audience when a certain "King" of wrestling makes his dramatic debut has lost none of it's power; on the contrary, with the benefit of knowing how everything eventually played out, the "Royal introduction" is even more dramatic now then at that time.
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Format: DVDVerified Purchase
On one hand, it's inevitable that ECW should have a bomb of a show, as they can't always have phenomenal cards. On the other hand, this show just sucked more than it didn't, and some matches had some highly questionable booking, if any at all.

Shane Douglas vs Chris Chetti
Average. Average, average, average, average, average, average, average. Shane just about dominates most of this with his brawling, while Chetti gets in only the most basic of wrestling moves on Shane. (5/10)

The Pitbulls vs The FBI (Little Guido and Tracy Smothers)
If this was supposed to be a comedy match, I wasn't laughing. And inexcusable that Little Guido is a phenomenal cruiserweight athlete, and he's teamed with what I must think is the worst wrestler in ECW since Mass Transit. Smothers is not funny. Neither was this match. (1/10)

The Dudley Boyz vs The Sandman and Balls Mahoney
So what else can you expect but a brawl from this one? And yet I wasn't entertained. Usually I enjoy matches with solid brawling in it, and yet I know Balls is a legitimate wrestler, but everyone here seemed not at all focused on wrestling so much on just the gimmick of weapons and out of ring action. Maybe 90% of the action was just (fake) punching. (3/10)

ECW Championship
Terry Funk vs Chris Candido
I trust Terry Funk to put on a great match. But... my only guess was that no one was booking this match and Funk and Candido were coming up with it on the fly. It was just purely awful. Funk looked completely over the hill, and the only moves that seemed to be attempted by any of the two on a continuous basis were piledrivers. And Stevie's "emotional" pre-match speech was greeted with a hell of a lot of jeering and booing from the crowd. I thought it was average, if boring, but wow, I didn't realize they hated Steve so much. (0/10)

Tommy Dreamer vs Raven
Consider that Raven is leaving ECW for WCW. Consider that Dreamer and Raven have been feuding for years, and during that time, Dreamer had NEVER pinned Raven ever. Ever. Consider the tremendous feud these two had, and you have an ECW classic. Nothing like an Eddie Guerrero vs Dean Malenko, but definitely the sort of bloody brawling you'd expect from ECW. Phenomenal match, with an end celebration cut short by a WWF invasion (10/10)

Jerry Lawler leads Sabu and Rob Van Dam to kill (proverbially) Tommy Dreamer, and other ECW wrestlers (even Paul Heyman) who enter the ring, until Lawler starts insulting the company and crowd and challenging ECW. Shane Douglas says screw it all, Taz comes out and answers the challenge.

Taz vs Sabu
Great match. Short, crisp, and taut. They went on in classic fashion, in what is generally called their "Barely Legal" rematch. (10/10)

Taz isn't done. While the WWF invasion appears quashed, Shane Douglas is still making an ass of himself, and Taz wants him beaten. A lot of arguing back and forth until an agreement is made: Taz makes Douglas tap out in 3 minutes or less for the ECW TV Championship, or goes 60 days without pay (and presumably wrestling) from ECW.

ECW TV Championship
Taz vs Shane Douglas
Taz makes Douglas tap out in 2:50. (5/10)

ECW Tag Team Championship
The Eliminators (Perry Saturn and John Kronus) vs The Dudley Boyz
The Dudleys are great here with their promo work. Saturn has a torn ACL, so it's a handicap match. If Saturn were in there, this would be a great match, but it was Kronus alone, and there was no great Eliminator tandem work. Oh look, Saturn attacks them anyway for a heartwarming victory from the jaws of defeat. (6/10)

From any other company, this would be a decent event. From ECW, I expected better. Sorry, but I consider this a miss, even if I give it a 3/5 in star rating.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2002
Format: DVD
I've got a couple of ECW TV shows on tape, and quite of couple of their DVDs. ECW never ceases to amaze me.In my opinion ALL of the ECW DVDs are top quality (And hope they keep on coming out with ECW DVDs)Wrestlepalooza '97 is a classic. I remember when I first watched ECW it was like 1am on the Sunshine Network. And during that period I didnt watch wrestling. But this was no WWF circus wrestling bulls&*$. This was HARDCORE wrestling, it was unique and one of a kind. As ECW got more popularity the other wrestling promotions WWF & WCW started not only copying their style, and storylines, but raided their talent roster..Each time I finish watching an ECW DVD I just want to go out and buy another one. ECW may not have gotten alot of money, but they got ALOT of wrestling fans respect, and a chance for wrestlers to make their mark in wrestling.
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on August 20, 2013
Format: DVD
It's ECW on DVD... do I need to say any more? Any fan of the original ECW will want to add this to their collection.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
tv title: Shane Douglas v. Chris Chetti
amusing promo for shane. franchise pins rookie after a belly-to-belly suplex. not bad.
pitbulls v. fbi
yawnfest. thank goodness the pitbulls win. worst match
#1 contender tag titles
dudleyz v. sandman and balls mahoney
joel with an amusing pre-match promo. a pure brawl from start to finish. dudlez win after balls gets a 3-d on a chair. good match.
world title
terry funk v. chris candido
lots of chairs used. could have been better. funk pins candido to retain the title.
tommey dreamer v. raven
another slugfest from begining to end. both get busted up. louie spicoli tries to interfere but dreamer wins after a dreamer ddt on a chair. great match. seven ddts given by both men. it's safe to say raven and tommy dreamer dispise each other.
sabu v. taz
these two hate eachother. chairs and tables used. sabu counters tazmission and pins taz 1-2-3 in the ring. sabu messed up on a springboard moonsault(lionsault) taz cllears the ring
taz/franchise promo very entertaining. both do good mike work.
sets up mext match.
tv title between the above two.
taz must make shsne submit in 3 minutes or less. if he fails he must leave ecw for 60 days. an ok match. taz spent from match w/ sabu but he makes doulas submit taz wins ecw tv title.
tag team title match
eliminators(c) v. dudleyz
shortest joel promo yet. saturn spends much time outside the ring due to injury. saturn is insane. he drops an elbow from the top rope on d-von and wins the match for his team. kronos puts up one hell of a fight against the dudleyz.
all-in-all a good tape to have. i recomend it. insane wrestling action brought to you by ec f'n w
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