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Extreme Championship Wrestling: The Best of Cactus Jack (2001)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bill Alfonso ...
Himself
Jeff Bradley ...
Dudley Dudley
Terry Brunk ...
Nancy Daus-Sullivan ...
Woman
Shane Douglas ...
...
Tommy Dreamer (as Tom Laughlin)
Anthony Durante ...
Pitbull #2
Mike Durham ...
...
...
Don Harris ...
Don Bruise
Ron Harris ...
Ron Bruise
Trisa Hayes ...
Beulah (as Beulah McGillicutty)
Brian Heffron ...
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23 October 2001 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Taz had suffered a broken neck earlier in the year when Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio had botched a spike piledriver in a match against Taz and Eddie Guerrero. As Joey Styles was doing the in-ring introductions for the Konnan-Jason match at "ECW November to Remember '95", Taz walked down to the ring in a referee shirt. He explained that ECW would not let him wrestle that night because they considered him an insurance risk. Taz asked both guys if they were ready, decked Jason and Konnan powerbombed and pinned him in about 14 seconds. Beulah McGillicutty, then a heel as Raven's storyline girlfriend, was made the special referee for the Bill Alfonso-Tod Gordon match, but Alfonso attacked her and threw her out of the match. The match, such as it was, went on without a referee, complete with Alfonso blading. Taz walked down to the ring and started to count for a Gordon pinfall attempt, stopped, beat up Tod and threw Alfonso on top and counted the pin, thus turning himself heel. Taz said he did it because none of the fans called or wrote or made any attempt to contact him after his injury and that Alfonso was the only person who seemed to care about him. He also rips on the fans for being happy to see Sabu, who had returned earlier that night after seven months in self-imposed exile in WCW, New Japan Pro Wrestling and the indies, Paul E. and whatever and whoever else comes to mind, finally saying to the fans, "I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU!" This is why, when Taz and Alfonso interfere in the Dreamer/Funk-Raven/Cactus match, Joey said, "Oh no, not these two." See more »

Connections

Features ECW Hardcore Heaven 1995 (1995) See more »

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The Man Who Brought True Hardcore Wrestling to the WWF
15 April 2002 | by See all my reviews

In the early 90's bought the WWF and WCW were borrowing ideas, characters, matches, talent and entire angles from a small independent organization based in Philladelphia called ECW. WCW realized early on how much of an impact the lightheavyweight talent was having on one of the toughest-to-please wrestling crowds in the country and quickly instituted its "Cruiserweight" division, hiring away several of ECW's most talented performers in the process to carry it. The WWF saw that ECW had been having wild success with more adult oriented storylines and decided to scrap its own more candy coated image to usher in the new era of "Attitude".

Both feds also implemented "Hardcore" divisions, in which the "rules" are tossed out and a stiffer, more violent match style is used. The problem was that most of the guys both of the "Big Two" feds had on the payroll were not willing to put their bodies on the line the way the ECW talent, who had nowhere to go but up, were willing to do.

Although neither fed's "Hardcore" division ever did more than flirt with the greatness that regularly happened in the ECW rings, the WWF did realize that they dad one Ace up their sleeve: a guy by the name of Mick Foley. He was wrestling as Mankind for the WWF at the time, and had been for the past couple years. But prior to that he had been known all over the world as the crazy, maniacal, show stealing Cactus Jack. Foley was a bit too oddly shaped to ever be a muscle bound type, and a bit too clumsy to be a technical master, but he understood better than most what it takes to make a really GOOD match, and he was willing to do anything, including putting his career on the line with insane spots every night, to make his matches the best on the card. In Japan he regularly competed in the "Barbed Wire Death Matches" and all their variations including exploding rings, thumb tacks, broken glass, and even fire. He was thought so hightly of in the Land of the Rising Sun that he was put into the "King of the Death Matches" tournament for the IWA promotion and, in a violent finale, won the tourney by defeating his idol Terry Funk in "No Rope Barbed Wire Exploding Ring Timebomb" match.

Needless to say, the man loved wrestling. And nowhere else did that fact shine thru so much as in ECW. He acheived a rare combination of being able to put on the best match of the night no matter who else was on the card, and the ability to get on the mic and cut a promo that would literally send chills down your spine.

All of the great matches are here: Cactus vs Sabu in a battle of two insane characters who both define "hardcore" in their own way.

All of the stuff Cactus did to get Mikey Whipwreck over is on here: the tag team championship, the feud with Public Enemy, the eventual breakup, and Cactus' last ECW match, a classic AGAINST Mikey.

All of the promos for every angle are here, including the classid and trend setting "Anti-Hardcore" series, which were perhaps his best ever, and almost definitely the best the sport of wrestling has ever seen (eat your heart out Rock, you've never been this good on the mic and you never will).

If you came into the sport after 1995, or have only seen Foley in his WWF career, you owe it to yourself to check this out. It will truly blow your mind.


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