Big Daddy Loco
BEST OF RAVEN
The Best of Raven in ECW Vol I is a video that I purchased off of Ebay for 10 bucks. I've always been quite the Raven mark so I figured I'd give this tape a shot. This is a Raven that a lot of newer fans may not even know. Most, probably saw him for the first time in WCW. The 'What about me?' Raven. That was a pretty good version and a fairly over one as well. Then there was the second stint, ECW Raven, which was mostly lazy Raven. Today we have annoncer/run in Hardcore Title Match Raven. This may be the only Raven that some people know and if so, it's quite a shame because these folks missed out on one of the biggest cult characters in wrestling.
This tape contains some of Raven's better matches in his first stint in ECW. I'll do my best to recap what's going on, but you must keep in mind that this is my first try at this and I am not on a CRZ or the cubsfan's level. So with that in mind let's hit the old play button and see how this thing turns out.
Tape starts with a Raven video. Offspring's "Keep em Seperated" to be exact, although I don't think that that is the exact name of the song. Shows crazy upclose far away, blurry shots of Raven in his standard wrestling gear walking around a snowy neighborhood. They flash to a Dead End sign quite often (oh the hidden meaning) and use cheesey amatur camera tricks, like the zoom in zoom out mostly.
Song ends and we see Raven talking in a stairwell.
Match one: Raven vs Tommy Dreamer
Beulah and Stevie Richards on the outside. Tommy Dreamer makes his way to ringside as Raven sits in the corner. This is the spandex wearing Dreamer. Raven gets the jump on Dreamer and outside they go right off the bat. Raven hits the steel post, Richards looks upset. ECW camera work and we can't tell what's going on. Dreamer takes Raven down the entrance way. Dreamer sporting the blue spandex with white boots, now if that isn't hardcore I don't know what is. Frying pan to the head. Dreamer with the cheese grater. Raven with a low blow. Dreamer grates his head anyway. Joey Styles with the first "OH MY GAWD" of the tape. Raven turns the tide chair to the noggin. One more time. More outside shenanigins. In the crowd we go. We see a bunch of heads, Raven is now busted open. Dreamer eating steel all around the arena and he too is busted open. Raven with a buttdrop off the apron. Dreamer turns the tide and just clobbers Raven with a chair, wrapping it around his head. To the announce postion we go. Styles freaks out. Dreamer with a bodyslam and some chair shots on the stage.
We're FINALLY in the ring. Raven is out of it, Dreamer going for the piledriver, spins Raven around and plants him. Raven twitches for the added effect. "He's Hardcore" chant. Dreamer whips Raven into the ropes drops the head, oops, he gets caught in a DDT. Two count...no. Richards is pissed. DDT #2, Raven goes for more damage, power slam, two count. Discussion outside between Beulah and Stevie. Richards grabs Beulah and kisses her. Beulah slaps him. Richards begins to choke her. Dreamer out to make the save on the damsile in distress, but it was a set up. Beulah shoots hairspray to the eyes of Dreamer. Stevenkick by Richards, DDT on the concrete by Raven. Dreamer rolled in the ring. The cover we got a three count. Raven wins. Match time 10:32. Dreamer sells the hairspray shot to the eyes. Styles can't believe what he's just seen.
Match 2: Raven vs Tommy Dreamer
Raven already in the ring. Dreamer comes out, Raven does a suicide dive and catches Dreamer napping. Dreamer has chosen the green hardcore spandex for this match. Raven takes him down the aisle and slams his head against all sorts of objects. Dreamer is busted open 32 seconds in. To the back, no camera. Back out they come, to the broadcast postion. Raven can't get the piledriver and gets back body dropped. Chair shot to Raven, suplex on the stage. They fight back to some new place in the arena and Dreamer hits Raven with the kitchen sink. Dreamer has a good blood flow going. Kitchen sink to Raven's head two more times. In the crowd we go. Stevie Richards gives Raven the sink, so Raven returns the favor to Dreamer. In the ring now. Sleeper hold by Dreamer, they fall to the floor. Dreamer grabs a plastic dinasaur from a fan. Dinasaur to the Raven's nut sack. Now a dozen eggs to the head of Raven. Raven fights the *onslaught* off. In the ring and a DDT to Dreamer. Raven does the Crucifix pose. DDT number two and a THIRD DDT to Dreamer. One, Two... NO Dreamer kicks out. They go outside again DDT to Raven on the concrete. Dreamer goes for the pin, Richards with the save. DDT to Richards, DDT to the Ref. Dreamer has come unglued. Beulah is in and gets in Dreamer's face. Panty shot pile driver by Dreamer on Beulah. The ECW crowd LOVES it. Dreamer celebrates the win with some Hogan style ear cup posing. Dreamer leaves through the crowd, E-C-DUB chant. No finish the maddness ended around 8:20 we'll say.
Match Three: Raven vs The Tazmaniac
Starts on the floor in a local gym. Probably 150 people in the crowd. Taz looks like an idiot with his barabarian suit and mop top hair style, plus he's shoeless. Lots of punching and kicking. Tazplex on Raven. To the floor more punching and kicking. Steel chairs come out. Through the crowd and on a stage we go. The Tazmaniac waffles Raven with a pitcher of beer. DDT on the stage. Slow punches and kicks. Raven rams the Tazmaniac's head repeatedly on the stage. The Tazmaniac *Taz's* up and suplex's him on the stage. Back in the ring, Taz with a clothesline that only gets a two count. Raven back in control with a piledriver, and he goes to the top. No dice, he's caught. Taz punches to the gut gonna suplex him off the top...no. Raven pushes him off and follows with a bad looking elbow drop. Raven gets up and gets smacked by Dreamer who comes out of nowhere. Raven down, the Tazmaniac covers. We got a three count at 6:01. Pretty bad match.
Match Four Raven/Richards vs The Public Enemy.
Another highschool gym match, possibly a bingo hall. Dueling promos to start. "Faggot" chat at Richards. Richards talks about what a stud he is and pisses off the Enemy and the crowd. Raven stands in the corner and looks slightly amused.
Bell rings and the crowd is all over Stevie Richards. Richards gives the mic back to the ring announcer and looks quite pleased with himself, and why not. The feeling doesn't last as Richards doesn't like the "You fuck sheep" chant and gets ready to walk out. He has some words with the locals before heading back to the ring. Rocco Rock and Richards start off... oops make that Johnny Grunge. Richards with a go behind and claims that he's got him, so Grunge reverses it and gives him a pretty good wedgie all around the ring. Public Enemy grab a mic as Richards recovers. Buttfucking is threatened.
Raven tagged in Grunge tags in Rocco. Raven and Rocco exchange go behinds. Raven gets tossed. This is your typical local Indy match at this point. Richards back in. Grunge offers a handshake. Richards accepts and gets a kick in the gut and two atomic drops for his trouble. Suplex and Rocco is tagged back in. Right hands by Rocco and the Demolition finishing maneuver is used. Grunge dances like a white man before giving Richards some chops in the corner. The crowd wants blood. Richards to the outside and gets double teamed. Hey look, Hawian Shirt Guy is in the crowd! Raven over to even out the odds. Weapons are used by the Enemy. The weapon looks like a piece of tin that makes loud noises.
Raven and Rocco in the crowd where Raven chases him and swings away with a chair. The camera man is now confused and we have nothing. Blurry shots as they brawl through the crowd and this goes on for awhile. Grunge has a guitar and waffles Richards with it. OW! That's not a Jeff Jarrett guitar either. Richards is now getting the holy hell beatin' out of him by Grunge and the guitar. Finally the guitar is in pieces and Richards is somehow able to Steviekick both members of PE. Rocco pretty much no sells it and goes back on the attack with big fat moves. Thumb to the eye by Richards. Raven has seen enough and is now in and attacking Rocco. Raven with a piledriver, Grunge breaks up the count. Raven poses for the crowd and pays for it. Rocco almost makes the hot tag but Stevie is now in again. Richards to the top after a slam, dances like a fool and misses the somersault. Tag to Raven crowd wants Rocco to make the tag, but Raven there to break it up. Raven goes to the top, boot to the face. The tag is made. Grunge is a house on fire. Slop Drop for Raven Slop Drop for Richards. Ten count punch for Raven in the corner followed by a steel chair shot by Rocco. Raven leaves but the ref is after him. Richards is getting MURDERED in the ring. Wait here's The Gangsta's crowbars to the heads of PE. Richards draped over PE. Ref turns and makes the count and we have new tag team champs at 16:57. Fun little match, but bad camera work and a lot of stalling dragged it down.
Match Five: Raven/Richards vs The Pitbulls
This match is fairly popular around the "net community". Stipulations for the match, dogcollars and if The Pitbulls lose they can no longer be a tag team. If Raven and Richards lose they lose the titles.
Everyone is in the ring except for Stevie. Beulah on the mic. She claims Richards hurt himself at another show and is unable to wrestle so Raven requests that the match be two out of three falls. Beulah is one of those hot trashy chicks that wrestling is really missing these days.
The Pitbulls agree to the stips. Raven is chained to Pitbull # 2. He charges, gets hammered and falls outta the ring where he is now being hung. Pitbull # 1 runs to the back. Styles figures that he isn't needed, but he's calling bullshit on Richards. # 2 and Raven both outside now and # 2 nails him with a chair. Back in they go. Well, here is # 1 with Richards on a dogcollar. Richards has already bladed for our pleasure and is now getting hammered. A table is now in the ring. Raven puts Pitbull # 2 on the table and then PILEDRIVES HIM THROUGH THE TABLE. The table explodes. Joey Styles with an "OH MY GAWD". Raven gets a three count and they win the first fall about three minutes in.
Raven goes after Pitbull # 1. Double DDT on # 1. They get tangled in the chains. Raven is dragged out by Pitbull # 2. Pitbull # 2 has a table now, and sets it up in the ring, while Richards gets poundd on by Pitbull # 1. # 2 sets up for a Superbomb. Pitbull # 1 gives him Richards, and # 2 THROWS him through a table. Richards is dead. Crowd goes bonkers and the second fall goes to The Pitbulls at 5:11. 'E-C DUB' chant breaks out. We get a replay of the first two falls.
Raven and # 2 in the crowd, chair shot by Raven. Richards and # 1 out brawling as well. Richards is bleeding heavily and is getting killed. Richards throws a chair at Ptibull # 1. Richards sees his own blood and freaks out, and stomps a friggin muchole in Pitbull # 1. Raven rolled in the ring now. Pitbull # 2 throws another table into the ring. The table is loaded and cocked. Lots of stalling, ref bump. Oh-oh it's the Dudleys. No, no, no not Buh Buh and D'Von. Not even Lil' Spike. It's Dudley Dudley, the purest Dudley of them all, and Dances With Dudley. Both clad in tie dye.
Raven and Dudley Dudley set up for a Superbomb on Pitbull # 2. Richards and Dances With Dudley set up for a Superbomb in the opposite corner on Pitbull # 1. There they are in stereo... Superbombs! The Pitbulls no sell the Superbombs. NOW we get double DDTs in stereo. Styles doesn't believe it. Dudley Dudley set up for a Superbomb...goodbye. Dances with Dudley...see you later, Superbomb. Carnage baby!
Pitbull # 2 sets up the tabel again. Raven gets set up for a Superbomb. Away they go and Raven's head hits the EDGE of the table off of the Superbomb. How Raven isn't dead I don't know, an absoultly brutal bump. The ref comes to ...ONE...TWO...NO. " Pitbulls" chant breaks out. Some random brawling, while Pitbull # 2 stacks two tables on the outside. Raven busts out the *ether laced hanky* and smothers Pitbull # 2 with it. Pitbull # 2 on top of both tables. Raven drops a leg off the top rope but only busts one table. So he drops an elbow off the apron onto the # 2 who through the other table. Richards to the top in the ring, but gets pulled off and straddles the top rope. Raven unstraps himself from # 2. Richards suplexed through a table, but Raven breaks the count. Beulah in the ring now and the *paramedics* are out fo Pitbull # 2. Here comes Richard's ex...catfight! Beulah and the Ex, who I don't know are brawling. Raven ends this with a DDT on that bitch. Pitbull #2 stretchered out now. But here comes Tommy Dreamer, in to replace Pitbull # 2. Dreamer attaches himself to Raven. Pounds away, nut shot, DDT. One two three! Dreamer and The Pitbulls win.
But wait there's more. Out comes *evil* referee Bill Alphonzo in his WWF blue longsleeved ref shirt. He gets in Dreamer's face and screeches that this match is NOT official. Two out of three is not in the contract, Dreamer isn't legal. Big Dick Dudley in the ring now. Alphonzo claims that this doesn't go down in the record books. Tommy Dreamer DIDN'T pin Raven, and never will pin Raven. Alphonzo is awarding the match to Raven and Richards because The Pitbulls can't continue.
Out comes ECW Commish Todd Gordon. Gordon enters the ring and has words with Alphonzo. Gordon shoes Alphonzo. Match is on declares Gordon. Big Dick Dudley Choke Slams Dreamer. Alphonzo now declares that the *banned* choke slam is now legal. The crowd goes ape shit at the sound of 911's music. 911 is now in the ring and is stalking Alphonzo. Alphonzo freaks out. Alphonzo tries to waffle outta a Choke Slam...nope not gonna happen. A HUGE Choke Slam on Alphonzo. The crowd is eating it up. Finally the Choke Slam on Alphonzo! "E-C-Dub" chant. Pitbull # 2 is back and takes Dreamer's spot. The match is still on according to Todd Gordon. Pitbull # 2 is ready to Superbomb somebody. Richards and Raven who are still dead are loaded up one on top of the other and we have a DOUBLE SUPERBOMB! Gordon makes the count...new champs at 20:34. The crowd erupts, Styles erupts, it's time to party!
Match six: Dreamer/Terry Funk vs Raven/Cactus Jack
Tape gets a little fuzzy. The fans celebrate Funk and Dreamer to the tune of "Man in the Box". Funk grabs the mic...well, he wants a piece of Cactus Jack.
Here they come to Raven's theme. Jack has on the Dungen of Doom T-shirt with Kamala, Shark and The Zodiac...HA. I think Foley mentions this match in his first book. Foley has a mic, I miss Foley.
Raven and Cactus have control of the ring. Dreamer and Funk discuss their plans. The back of Foley's shirt reads Dungeon of Doom in cheesey spray on writing with a big heart around the words. Dreamer and Funk charge the ring and take control of the ring. Dreamer slaps Jack around on the outside. Funk now takes on both men. Funk chairs Cactus, throws the chair in the ring and HITS Raven in the back of the head! Stevie Richards makes his way out for morale support. Garbage can full of goodies in the ring. Richards gets caught by Dreamer and Funk and gets sent for a ride in a shopping cart. Lots of brawling, Dreamer grabs a VCR from a fan and clobbers Raven with it. The tape is making me sick here. Raven and Cactus getting hammered. Funk attacks the ref. Raven up and back down he goes. Golf club to Raven's nuts. Raven and Cactus take control. Toilet seat to the head of Funk VCR to the head of Dreamer. Dreamer gets sent for a ride and clotheslined with an chain. Raven does the Crucifix pose, hey he has one hell of a crimson mask going. Lots more garbage brawling. Raven DDTs Dreamer. MOre brawling.
The tape starts flipping like mad now. Outside they all go. Steel for Dreamer and again. Raven and Dreamer back in and Raven spits on Dreamer. DDT on Dreamer. Jack is clobbering Funk. They go for a double clothesline with the chain again... no... it backfires. DDT for Raven. Cactus attacks Dreamer and unveils his 'Forgive me Uncle Eric' T-Shirt, with a picture of Bishoff on the front! Joey Styles has a heart attack as do the ECW faithful. Dreamer now busted open sees the shirt and freaks out and slugs away at Cactus. Dreamer pulls the picture of Bishoff over Jack's face and starts hammering away on it! Shopping cart dropped on Raven's back down on the floor. Bishoff still taking a beating in the ring. Cactus Jack recovers and puts a Double Arm DDT on Funk on a steel chair. Raven with a suicide dive on Dreamer who is on the ouside. Raven pins Funk and Cactus makes a three count...doesn't count so Jack continues to beat away on his foes. A crutch to Dreamer given by Jack. HERE'S Alphonzo and Referee Taz ...no only a two count. Taz beats away on Funk and then they both leave, huh? DDT by Dreamer, no, make that two. How about a piledriver on the chair. Raven is out to lunch. Funk with the cover and there's a three count at 17:03. Cactus still beats on Funk now Dreamer wraps barbed wire around Raven's head. Raven fighs back, nutshot to Dreamer. The barbed wire is stuck to Raven's hair, so he does a crucifix pose. Cactus and Funk brawl to the back. Raven poses some more. Cactus and Raven lose the battle but win the war.
I've decided to split this review into two parts, because the tape is longer than I thought. Hopefully I will have part two out sooner rather than later. If you made it this far thaks for reading, I hope it was worth your while. The spelling isn't the best, but hey neither is the beer I'm drinking. I accept feedback good or bad. You can email me at Eastcoast_joe@hotmail.com or find me amoungst the many wieners on CRZ's Wienerboard.