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More recent wrestling fans only remember "ECW" as the watered down version that was a weekly show on the SyFy network as a part of WWE television but before that "ECW" was a entire different animal. The way the original "ECW" rose up to compete with the major payers "WWE" & "WCW" was amazing and never before seen. The way the Paul Heyman brain child rose to stardom would have been the equivalent to Ron Paul getting some electoral votes in this past election.
"ECW" truly defined "Hardcore Wrestling". Wrestling fans never saw barbed wire matches on tv, or a beer chugging, kendo stick swinging madman (Sandman) before "ECW". Whenever you were watching the original "ECW" on TV and you heard "Natural Born Killaz" by NWA blast in the sound system, fans knew they were in for some unrelenting violence!
There were so many memorable events from the "ECW" glory days, starting with "The Franchise" Shane Douglas throwing down the NWA title and proclaiming that title the "ECW" title. From that moment we witness many monumental events such as New Jack's Balcony Dive, Taz & Bam Bam Bigelow going through the ring, the build up between Sabu & Taz only to come to fruition at ECW's 1st PPV "Barely Legal", Mikey Whipwrect defeating Steve Austin, Chris Benoit earning the "Crippler" nickname after breaking the neck of Sabu, and so much more.
As a Philadelphia native, I was able to witness "ECW" from it's inception. Their weekly TV show on channel 48 (No cable needed), their tapes on sale at RF Video at the Franklin Mills Mall, and them being band from several arenas such as the Woodhaven Sports Complex, Wildwood Convention Center, and more. I am very skeptical when someone advertises something that connects them to the original "ECW" as I should be since their has been so many watered down products since they meant their demise.
That is until I met Dave Parsons. Dave is a wrestler, promoters, and all around pro wrestling guy from Virginia. He has wrestled in and promoted countless shows and on April 13th, 2014 he will release his "Kings of Hardcore" series to the general public around the WORLD exclusively on GFL.tv! To receive an in-depth look at the series I sat down with Dave and this is what he had to say:
GFL.tv: How did "Kings of Hardcore" come about?
Dave Parsons: Rob Feinstein (RF video) taped every house show that ECW ever did. Like 580 some and over 3500 matches. Rob purchased our old school DVD's for his site and I got to looking at the house show stuff and starting thinking with commentary how much better it would be. So we did an agreement and here we are.
GFL.tv: Were you always a fan of the ECW product?
Dave Parsons: I didn't like the cussing to the fans and in the interviews. But, once you get around that the idea is fine. Hardcore was always around in Pro Wrestling but was not the focus of the wrestling promotion. ECW made that there platform so they took it to another level at a time when people were looking for reality TV so hardcore was a perfect fit.
GFL.tv: Newer wrestling fans are only familiar with the watered down ECW product. What would you say to those fans who never witnessed the original ECW product?
Dave Parsons: The ECW show that was on TNT during the 90's and the WWE attempt at ECW was not the true hardcore for which it was suppose to be. If you watched there PPV's then you are seeing the true form. Regular TV made it tone down the product. So what your going to see in this 7 segment series is stuff you will never see on TV. This is the blood and guts of hardcore.
GFL.tv: What are some of your favorite matches on the 1st edition of "Kings of Hardcore"?
Dave Parsons: I like the Eddie Guerrero vs Too Cold Scorpio for the TV title, there is one segment that features only Sabu and is a salute if you will to Sabu and Hardcore. As far as favorite there are parts of all 7 that I love. Bamm Bamm Bigelow in full form was great to see again and watch him destroy RVD, Sabu and others. There is something here for all lovers of raw wrestling and hardcore. With Cactus Jack, Terry Funk, Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, the Gangsta's and others its hard not to see violence and blood.
GFL.tv: How did you go about picking the matches for the 1st edition?
Dave Parsons: It was very hard to pick 7 hours worth of footage from 3500 matches. So we decided to do each segment like a house show. Whereby we have an opener, mid level and main event. I think the fans will see that the Hardcore guys not only performed hardcore properly but they could also wrestle.
It's the hardest thing we ever had to come up with. There was no bad picks other than were to start !!! We decided that we will do this in a series of releases. We hope that with the help from GFL that we can do 15-20 different series releases. The hardcore fan is able to get the series for $2 per segment or $13.99 which is super cheap !!!
GFL.tv: Do you think another independent wrestling promotion can grow and make an impact like ECW did?
Dave Parsons: I sure hope so, but it has to be done right. TNA proved there was a big enough market for more than one big promotion but they more or less imitated WCW so I think they have run there course. They also never made very many stars of there own and added older talent that could barely walk and shoved the under card talent away. In order for a new promotion to make it they will have to have young stars that people want to see.
GFL.tv: Who were some of your favorite wrestlers in ECW?
Dave Parsons: I have always been a fan of the Funk's, and like the time period for Shane Douglas, Sabu, RVD, Bigelow, and several others. This is a loaded line up so almost every guy is someone I would like to see in the ring.
GFL.tv: What gave ECW that "IT" factor? What made it special?
Dave Parsons: There is a couple of great examples of what made ECW the "King of Hardcore" and what made it different. If you watch the salute to Sabu you will see a brawl that ends up with security guards hitting each other, must have been 40 guys in the ring, also Valets getting dress ripped off to a thong !! Where else can a fan see spiked bats, cages, kendo sticks, and everything including the kitchen sink to hit someone with!
GFL.tv: Why should fans around the world tune into "Kings of Hardcore", April 13th, 2014, on GFL.tv?
Dave Parsons: Two reasons, the more that tune in the more of these will do. #2, the best part is the great action and violence for such a little price. You will truly see what the "Kings of Hardcore" is all about.
For more information or to ORDER "Kings of Hardcore" NOW just CLICK HERE !!!