Bulldog's Bookshelf

Hardcore History

The Extremely Unauthorized Story of ECW

Scott E. Williams

Published: 2006

 

Pages: 246

 

Synopsis: The history of ECW, unauthorized to the EXTREME!!!

WCW now seemed to realize the gravity of its situation and offered Heyman the chance to put Heyman and Dreamer over in a tag match over Awesome and Eric Bischoff live on Nitro. WCW offered to allow ECW guys to lay out Awesome also live on Nitro.

 

Heyman was not interested. His counter-offer was another cash settlement, and the use of Awesome in ECW one last time. Heyman demanded that Awesome show up to drop the title in a three-minute match with Heyman having the only say as to the finish and as to the person to defeat Awesome. Having aroused a federal judge's anger by violation the original agreement, WCW was in no position to turn Heyman down.

 

As soon as the agreement was done, Heyman got on the phone and called the WWF's Bruce Pritchard.

Now that ECW has died for good, it seems as good a time as any to look back on the original lifespan of the Philadelphia-based promotion.

 

Hardcore History one of several books that have attempted to delve into ECW's history, including a WWE-released companion book to its The Rise And Fall Of ECW DVD set published a few years back.

 

I've read the books, not to mention the dueling documentaries that came out around the same time. So for me, it almost becomes almost a matter of, is this book better than what I already know?

 

Williams is no stranger to the wrestling book genre -- he helped write the recent Terry Funk and Bill Watts biographies. And he has a decent grasp of ECW's rich history, and doesn't see the need to re-educate his audience on what it was. That's actually a good thing. Chances are that if you're reading this book, you already have at least a vague notion of what ECW stood for.

 

The story is presented well, complete with new interviews with Tod Gordon, Shane Douglas and some of the other ECW principals (even "Hat Guy" gets some ink here). But when WWE's book gives me Paul Heyman, Tommy Dreamer, The Dudley Boyz and Tazz.... well, it's hard to compete with that.

 

One unique thing: Williams delves back into the ECW predecessor leagues in Philadelphia, such as Tri-State Wrestling.

 

Perhaps this is my own personal issue, because the book  flows nicely enough. But I just couldn't help thinking deja vu as I went through this. Particularly towards the end, when ECW's aftermath is spread out over several largely unnecessary chapters.

Rating:  Transitional Champion.  Granted, the "Death of WCW" folks had a larger wealth of material to draw from, but I can't help but think that their version of a time capsule was superior to this version of a time capsule. Not to say you should avoid this one, I just wouldn't make it the first book on my list.

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