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WWE: ECW Unreleased Volume 2(1994-2012)
ECW started as a small, Philadelphia-based local wrestling company, but rapidly became a sensation that built a passionate fan base and influenced both WCW and WWE permanently. Extreme Championship Wrestling was known for its intense matches, fan interaction, and introducing a number of future superstars to the general public, including Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Sandman, Taz, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, the Dudley Boyz, Rob Van Dam, Shane Douglas, and more. Now for the first time in years, ECW returns to home entertainment with The Biggest Matches in ECW History. Hosted by the longtime unmistakable voice of ECW, Joey Styles, this home video release collects some of the most amazing and over-the-top matches in ECW history, some of which have never before been released on DVD.
For more about WWE: ECW Unreleased Volume 2 and the WWE: ECW Unreleased Volume 2 Blu-ray release, see WWE: ECW Unreleased Volume 2 Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on September 21, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Joey Styles, Tommy Dreamer
» See full cast & crew
WWE: ECW Unreleased Volume 2 Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, September 21, 2013
It's been a good run of late for the ECW on Blu-ray, and all of professional wrestling, for that matter. ECW Unreleased Volume 1 brought home the gritty, hard-hitting reality of the ECW through a collection of fascinating retrospective interviews and classic matches. Now, fans are in for more with volume two, another compilation package that's pretty much exactly the same thing as volume one, except, of course, in terms of specific match and retrospective commentary content. This release brings more thrills and unforgettable matches between some of the finest men to ever step into the square circle while also painting a more complete picture of what the ECW was and why it holds a special place in the hearts of wrestling fantaics. It further compiles the story of what is, arguably, professional wrestling's finest subset, a truly hardcore, groundbreaking, limited-frills style that maintained story lines but didn't let pomp and circumstance get in the way of the action, all of which is on display in every gloriously hard-hitting match.
In ECW Unreleased Volume 2, ECW ringside announcer Joey Styles again returns to host, now joined by hardcore legend Tommy Dreamer. The two spend a good bit of time reminiscing, setting up the matches, talking up the wrestlers and their allegiances and rivalries, and delving -- largely superficially but occasionally with a little depth -- into the nitty-gritty details of ECW history. This title follows the same format as the previous ECW Blu-ray (see that review for a more detailed look at what, exactly, fans can expect in terms of basic setup and delivery) and, generally, almost all of the WWE Home Video retrospective compilations by interspersing said commentary with the extreme wrestling mayhem. In Volume 2, fans can expect to see a solid cross-section of action and wrestlers through the history of the ECW, beginning with a Tommy Dreamer-Taz matchup and finishing, chronologically, with a three-way heavyweight title match between Justin Credible, Jerry Lynn, and Steve Corino. In between is a veritable treasure trove of excitement sure to satisfy the appetite of any wrestling fan looking for a little vintage fun in a very agreeable package.
The following vintage matches and moments are included as part of the main program:
WWE: ECW Unreleased Volume 2 Blu-ray, Video Quality
ECW Unreleased Volume 2 features a mixed collection of new HD video footage of Tommy Dreamer and Joey Styles and older SD footage from ECW wrestling from the 1990s and the first months of 2000. As is always the case with these WWE Home Video retrospectives, the SD footage is presented in its original aspect ratio, flanked by WWE/ECW-inspired "black bars" and with the WWE logo in the 4x3 area and the "WWE HD" logo off to the side in the 1.78:1 frame space. The older footage looks quite good, generally, particularly with regard to the later material. It's SD, of course, so clarity, coloring, detailing, and accuracy are limited but all suffice for older material. The new footage, filling the 1.78:1 frame, offers crisp, stable details and natural colors. Light compression artifacts are occasionally visible in the background. All in all, an average WWE Blu-ray presentation.
WWE: ECW Unreleased Volume 2 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
ECW Unreleased Volume 2 pounds through sound systems with the WWE-standard Dolby Digital 5.1 audio soundtrack. As with the video, there's a clear distinction between newly recorded music and dialogue and the elements that play over the vintage video clips. The newer musical overlays -- of which there are few compared to everything else -- play with the expectedly strong definition and spacing across the front with a good, balanced surround support structure. New Styles/Dreamer dialogue plays evenly and clearly from the center. The older wrestling footage comes through with adequate clarity but limited stage presence. The oldest footage plays with a more cramped, one dimensional, center-focused sort of presence, yielding minimal spacing and clarity. As the footage progresses to the late 1990s/very early 2000s, it opens up a bit more for a fuller, clearer, better defined experience. Ringside commentary, however, almost always comes through with acceptable definition. In essence, it's the exact same listening experience as found on most retrospective WWE compilation releases.
WWE: ECW Unreleased Volume 2 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
ECW Unreleased Volume 2 contains the following features billed as "Blu-ray Exclusives" on disc two:
WWE: ECW Unreleased Volume 2 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
ECW Unreleased Volume 2 is largely the same thing as Volume 1. It follows the same format, simply swapping out the old matches for new ones and offering some new Joey Styles (and now Tommy Dreamer) commentary in between. As is quickly evident when the program starts, this is wrestling at its zenith, more about frenzied action and less about soap opera antics and excess sight and sound distractions. There will probably never be another ECW, but hopefully there will be more of it on Blu-ray in the (near) future. WWE's Blu-ray release of ECW Unreleased Volume 2 delivers standard definition matches and high definition commentary clips. The soundtrack does what's required of it. Supplements include some added matches. Very highly recommended to wrestling fans.
WWE: ECW Unreleased: Other Editions
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