*** NECW DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens *** New England Championship Wrestling [ BEST OF 2006 ]
Description: The Massachusetts-based promotion owned and operated by Sheldon Goldberg and three other partners known as New England Championship Wrestling is by far one of the most consistent and continually growing independent wrestling organizations in the entire country. This 2-disc set picked from the wide variety of entertaining matches produced by NECW during 2006.
Disc #1 began with bitter rivals, Jason Blade and “Hurricane” John Walters, going at it in a No-DQ match. This feud spanned the last half of 2006 and spilled into 2007, eventually ending in a big “Loser Leaves NECW” match – but you’ll have to wait until “NECW: Best of 2007” to hear about that one. I’ve seen both of these guys in Ring of Honor and I’m a huge fan of John Walters. Blade comes off as a jabroni in ROH, so I was anxious to see him as a main event player in NECW. After a long heated match, the heel Walters pinned Blade while grabbing the ropes for leverage to get a cheap victory ( 7.5 / 10 ). Walters continued the assault with a post-match Gory-driver and retrieved a ladder from under the ring. Blade ducked before the ladder could connect with his face, and recovered enough to whack Walters with the ladder! Blade collapsed the ladder and laid Walters on top of it and hit a picture-perfect moonsault! Blade was rushed away from the ring, only to sprint back and get a few more shots in.
I was thrilled to see my old friends J.P. Griffin and Big Joe of The Irish Whip radio show acting as official NECW security.
Another memorable feud that went down in 2006 was between “The Exotic” Kristian Frost and “Straight Edge” Brian Fury. It was my first time seeing both of these guys but let me tell you there was a lot of talent between these two young up-and-comers. It was very face-paced action which ended suddenly with Fury rolling up Frost for the 1-2-3 ( 7 / 10 ). This big feud was also far from finished at this point.
Tag team wrestling took the stage with a team known as Sabotage (Eddie Edwards and D.C. Dillinger with Sean Gorman) facing “The Human Nightmare” Evan Siks and “Hurricane” John Walters. The ultra-heel manager Sean Gorman convinced both Siks (PWF Mayhem Champion) and Walters (NECW Heavyweight Champion) to put up their singles titles and in a shocking twist, D.C. Dillinger pinned John Walters to capture the NECW Heavyweight title ( 6.5 / 10 ). Evan Siks looks like he was tailor made to be a heel but for some reason the fans are very attracted to him.
Jason Blade took on “The Exotic” Kristian Frost in the next match. I have a newfound respect for Blade having seen him in a feature player position in NECW. It was a solid hard-fought match with the ultimate goal of scoring an important victory and climbing up the ladder of success. The finish was a roll-up out of the blue that caught the crowd off guard and kind of fell flat. There was no heat for the match but it was a nice one-on-one competition that justified putting the word “wrestling” on the marquee ( 6 / 10 ).
In 2006, the NECW promotion expanded their operations to include an all-female show called World Women’s Wrestling. The WWW focused on the eventual unification of the NECW Women’s title and the PWF Women’s title (PWF Mayhem being another local promotion that had merged with NECW in March of 2006). The first WWW show happened on March 5, 2006 and included a match between PWF Women’s champion Ariel and “The Definition of Technician” Cindy Rogers – who would have fit in nicely in the 80s style of women’s professional wrestling. “The Portuguese Princess” Ariel retained her championship by Submission over Cindy Rogers ( 7 / 10 ). There were many better matches that took place in WWW – not sure why this one was chosen to be on the Best of 2006 DVD.
I have no idea why they neglected to include either of the two big unification matches that took place in 2006. The unification match between PWF Mayhem Women’s champion Ariel and NECW Women’s champion Nikki Roxx to crown the first WWW Women’s champion was one of the coolest female matches I’ve ever seen. On the flip-side, the historic unification match between PWF Mayhem champion Evan Siks and NECW Heavyweight champion D.C. Dillinger to create the prestigious “NECW Triple Crown” was what I consider a major turning point in the life of New England Championship Wrestling. I guess you’ll have to get the “WWW: Roxx vs. Ariel” and “NECW: Birthday Bash 6” DVDs to experience those epic matches.
“The Human Nightmare” Evan Siks became the first ever holder of the NECW Triple Crown, which at this point consisted of three championship belts. One of his first title defenses took place on September 30th in Quincy, Massachusetts against Jason Blade. Midway through the match, John Walters came on the big screen and threatened Jason Blade with future violence. This kind of made no sense to me because this was the build up to the match that was featured at the beginning of this DVD. It would have made much more sense to present these matches in chronological order, wouldn’t it? Evan Siks retained his Triple Crown but had a little difficulty with a plethora of outside interference after the match ended ( 7.5 / 10 ).
World Women’s Wrestling put an exclamation point at the end of Disc #1 with a match between ultra-popular WWW champion Nikki Roxx and the Oprahtastic heel named “Jana.” Roxx, by the way, has the best ass in the wrestling business (I’m bound by personal bias to say that any time I review a Nikki Roxx wrestling match). The referee got bumped and Jana whacked Roxx with the WWW belt. Jana helped the referee up and Roxx whacked Jana with the belt and got disqualified ( 7.5 / 10 ). Really nice match, but again, I know there are many better matches in the World Women’s Wrestling vault that should have been used on this “Best of 2006” showcase.
Disc #2 began with the continuation of D.C. Dillinger’s obsession with taking the NECW Triple Crown away from “The Human Nightmare” Evan Siks. Dillinger’s manager, Sean Gorman, was forced to be hand-cuffed at ringside to Big Rick Fuller – who you might remember from his days as a glorified jobber on WCW Saturday Night. NECW head of security, The Irish Whip radio show co-host, and my good buddy “Big Joe” had the unenviable task of making sure Gorman was properly attached to Rick Fuller. Weapons used: a chair, a chain, a wooden spike, a leather belt. Tripleicious (another Sean Gorman client) interfered and Big Rick Fuller had to detach himself from Gorman to help out Evan Siks. Some other wrestlers got involved and when the dust cleared Big Rick Fuller choke-slammed D.C. Dillinger allowing a bloodied Evan Siks to successfully retain his Triple Crown against D.C. Dillinger in this brutally intense 20+ minute Quincy Street Fight ( 8.5 / 10 ).
Two young breakout stars named “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards and “Straight Edge” Brian Fury were featured in the next match. Eddie Edwards is another low-end ROH guy who doesn’t get to show everything so it’s great to see him in NECW without any limitations put on him. The crowd was solidly in Brian Fury’s corner, but I was routing for “Die Hard” despite his cheating ways. Fury literally beat the pants off of Edwards, but luckily he was wearing wrestling tights underneath. Edwards, however, had the last laugh by picking up the victory in a superb wrestling contest ( 8.5 / 10 ).
“Big Guns” Frankie Arion put his wrestling career on the line against T.J. Richter’s NECW Television championship in a match that took place on September 30, 2006. The referee got knocked out and some guy named Scott Reed came in and fake counted the 1-2-3 for Frankie Arion. Arion realized it was not a legit count and went after Reed, but this caused enough distraction for T.J. Richter to recover and finish off Arion and force him out of NECW ( 7.5 / 10 ). Frankie Arion was given a warm send-off by the local NECW fans.
The next contest was a triple threat match for the NECW Women’s title (this was before the unification a few months later) between champion Violet Flame and her challengers Nikki Roxx (who has the best…… oh I did that already) and Mercedes Martinez. I discovered Violet Flame last month on another WWW DVD and I was intrigued from the minute I saw her and couldn’t understand why I’d never heard of this 15-year veteran who was trained Killer Kowalski. Since then I’ve swapped several pleasant emails with Violet and become a big fan of her personally and professionally. Mercedes Martinez wisely realized that she could sit in the audience and let Violet and Nikki beat each other up because it was elimination rules. The fans were stunned when champion Violet Flame was eliminated first, leaving Roxx and Martinez to fight for the NECW Women’s championship. In all honesty, these two are in the top five best female wrestlers in North America right now. Nikki Roxx spent more on her penny candy than she did for the fabric she used to make her shorts (not complaining). Nikki Roxx finished off Mercedes Martinez with her trademark Barbie-crusher to capture the prestigious NECW Women’s championship ( 8 / 10 )! After the match, Primetime Amy Lee and Missy Sampson attacked Nikki Roxx until PWF Mayhem Women’s champion Ariel made the save. Ariel shocked the NECW community by turning heel and power-bombing Nikki Roxx onto a table – which failed to break even after two attempts. This, of course, set the stage for the epic Roxx/Ariel title unification match which I spoke of earlier in this review.
Last but not least, it was a “Hardcore Rules” match between the Canadian Superstars (J Busta and Dave Cole) and the Dogs of War (Matt Storm and Kyle Storm) for the NECW Tag Team championships. I’m Canadian so I have a big soft spot in my heart for the Canadian Superstars and refuse to cheer for their opponents, no matter who it is! This was literally the last match of 2006 on December 18 and it well go down in history as the night the Dogs of War dethroned the Canadian Superstars after one full year on top of the tag team division in NECW. It was one of the most chaotic hardcore matches in company history and incorporated every conceivable weapon imaginable including a fireball thrown by one manager at the other manager! The Canadians may have lost the match but they really earned their pay on the last NECW event of the 2006 calendar.
ALL THE BEST FOR A SUCCESSFUL 2007!
Rating: NECW is one of the most fan-friendly promotions I’ve seen in recent years. My only complaint is that the matches on these DVD’s were not presented in chronological order – but the perfectionist in me will get over it. This DVD should be considered the perfect introduction to the NECW product – if you’re looking for an independent promotion packed with talented wrestlers with a product that you can follow by watching matches on Internet FOR FREE and support the company by purchasing home release DVD’s then NECW is definitely the wrestling promotion for you. Do yourself a big favor and CHECK IT OUT!