Edit: Added info on content added to the Network late Friday night and Saturday morning, including Main Event, Superstars, and more Hardcore TV.
Howdy! If you're a fan of the original ECW, then this has been a very good week for you if you own WWE Network. If you can get by the dubs, you got a lot of material to watch. We'll get to that later. But first, here's what else is new to WWE Network this week.
- WWE presented Night of Champions last weekend, and if you feel like catching it again, you can here (for the pre-show, which features a six-man tag bout) and here (which features what may have been Sting's final match). If you're the type of person that doesn't mind being spoiled and wants to see what they're getting into first, you oughta read the General's review here.
The Usual Stuff
- I'm almost certain you don't want to see the go-home Smackdown before Summerslam (entitled "The Dolph Days of Summer"), but there is a pretty fun eight-man tag team match playa on the show, which you can see right here. Or you can just read Tonya Rodgers' review of the show here.
- You want to know the story of Kofi Kingston's tattoos, don't you? Yeah, you do. It's the latest Superstar Ink, which you can see here.
- Check out Corey Graves' trip to the Museum of the Weird in Austin, Texas on the latest edition of Culture Shock with Corey Graves here.
- The fallout from Summerslam is now available for viewing here, featuring Sting's first appearance since Wrestlemania 31, the unexpected return of the Dudley Boyz, and the debut of a really, really, really strong man with a really huge beard. Plus, witness the Divas Revolution die, if you're into that sorta thing. The General reviews the last good RAW of 2015 here.
- The latest episode of NXT, #298 if you're scoring at home, features the debut of Kana, known now as Asuka. Plus there's a tag title rematch from Takeover: Brooklyn, but all you really need to see is the debut of Asuka. Sean, our regular NXT reviewer, wasn't as up on the show as most others were. He was cranky. Wonder what he'll think of it once he calms down.
- A new WWE Superstars features Jack Swagger taking on Adam Rose, and R-Truth facing Heath Slater.
- The September 8 Main Event features Bo Dallas taking on Fandango, and Kevin Owens facing Dolph Ziggler.
- It's Nitro Week on WWE Network, so the original content is mostly WCW-centric, as this is the 20th anniversary of the start of the Monday Night War.
- Stuff like JBL's interview with former WCW president (and head of TNA Creative) Eric Bischoff. It's two parts, and you can see those here and here.
- What are the top ten moments in Nitro history? I'm sure you've wondered that for years, and now, you have your answer here in this half-hour special.
- The man behind Controversy Creates Cash, Eric Bischoff, counts down his ten biggest controversies (non-TNA related) here. And yes, he's as slimy as ever.
- Alundra Blayze, Ivory, and Molly Holly may not be on everybody's list of greatest WWE divas ever, but they did share a table and talked about the state of women's wrestling in the WWE in this latest edition of Table for 3, which you can see here.
New to the Vault
- Though the week was branded Nitro week, not a single episode of Nitro was added. However, the Network went ahead and added about a couple dozen episodes of Hardcore TV from 1996 and 1997, arguably ECW's prime years. For your pleasure, here's what each new to the Network episode entails.
- April 2, 1996: The Gangstas and the Eliminators are in action, plus Buh Buh Ray Dudley takes on Taz.
- April 9, 1996: The debut of Brian Lee, best known as the WWF's fake Undertaker.
- April 16, 1996: Two more debuts: D-Von Dudley and Little Guido. Plus Taz takes on Chris Jericho.
- May 7, 1996: The first ever meeting between Rob Van Dam and Sabu, plus the Dudley Boyz take on the Pitbulls.
- May 14, 1996: 2 Cold Scorpio defends the ECW World Television Championship against Shane Douglas.
- May 28, 1996: Chris Jericho takes on 2 Cold Scorpio, plus an interview with Paul E.
- June 18, 1996: Sandman takes on Stevie Richards, and Mikey Whipwreck faces Sabu.
- June 25, 1996: The Raven-Sandman feud escalates quickly when Sandman's son, Tyler Fullington is brought into the mix, with Tyler basically telling his dad he worships Raven since his pops is a drunk. Heavy stuff.
- July 2, 1996: Chris Jericho challenges Pitbull #2 for the ECW World Television Championship, plus a Raven/Tyler Fullington segment. And Tommy Dreamer and Brian Lee in a weapons match.
- July 9, 1996: Like tag team matches? There are two of them on the show, plus not even a broken top rope can stop RVD and Sabu.
- July 16, 1996: The Gangstas take on the Samoan Gangsta Party, and the tag titles are on the line as Sabu & Mikey Whipwreck challenge the Eliminators.
- July 30, 1996: Gangstas-Samoan Gangsta Party II: The Gangstaning. Plus highlights of Heatwave '96.
- August 6, 1996: Sandman takes on Stevie Richards, a four-team elimination match, and the Dudleys have a family feud.
- August 13, 1996: ECW heads to Japan, featuring a world title bout between Raven and Tommy Dreamer. Guess who wins?
- September 10, 1996: It's a Dudley Family Feud as Big Dick and Buh Buh take on D-Von and non-Dudley Axl Rotten. Plus ECW PULP FICTION! (For the newer folks, once in a while, Hardcore TV would end the show with a set of rapid-fire backstage segments set to the Pulp Fiction movie theme, "Misrilou", which I'm sure has been dubbed over.)
- September 17, 1996: Shane Douglas defends the TV title against Louie Spicolli, plus Raven, Blue Meanie, and Tyler Fullington.
- September 24, 1996: RVD and Sabu have apparently made nice, and team up to take on Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon. Plus a Taz interview.
- October 1, 1996: Stevie Richards and Blue Meanie dress as The Public Enemy and take on the Gangstas, plus they make fun of the fake Razor/fake Razor Ramon debuts on RAW. Also, that one time where Terry Gordy and Dr. Death teamed with Tommy Dreamer.
- October 22, 1996: Chris Jericho's final ECW bout as he takes on 2 Cold Scorpio, and the Eliminators take on the Gangstas. Plus ECW PULP FICTION!
- November 5, 1996: Shane Douglas defends the ECW TV title against Tommy Dreamer, and Pitbull #2 faces Douglas and Brian Lee in a handicap match.
- November 12, 1996: Highlights of ECW's version of Wrestlemania, November to Remember, including the long-awaited confrontation between Taz and Sabu.
- November 19, 1996: Buh-Buh Ray Dudley takes on half-brother D-Von, plus the Eliminators, Gangstas, and Sabu & RVD face off in a three-way dance. And the birth of the Blue World Order, the one cosplay that stuck.
- December 3, 1996: Tommy Dreamer takes on Shane Douglas, and Taz takes on Rob Van Dam. And the Blue World Order.
- December 23, 1996: Balls Mahoney debuts in a King of the Hill battle royal, crowd calls him a fat fuck. Charming crowd.
- December 31, 1996: The Gangstas defend the ECW tag titles against the Eliminators, and Mikey Whipwreck challenges Raven for the ECW world title.
- January 14, 1997: Raven wants his damn ECW world title belt back, plus go inside Taz's Dojo.
- January 28, 1997: Shane Douglas has a solution for Ravishing Rick Rude, and he is awesome. Plus Sandman takes on Raven and Brian Lee faces Pitbull #2.
- February 5, 1997: Paul Heyman opens with a huge announcement: ECW's got PPV, and it'll feature Taz vs. Sabu. Plus Raven defends the world title against "Dr. Death" Steve Williams.
- February 26, 1997: The Eliminators defend the ECW tag titles against Rob Van Dam and Sabu, plus a brawl breaks out between the Triple Threat and the Pitbulls.
- March 13, 1997: Future WWF tag team champions face off as Taz takes on Spike Dudley. Plus the Blue World Order. And ECW PULP FICTION!
- March 17, 1997: The best of Hostile City Showdown '97: two future ECW champions face off as Rob Van Dam takes on Taz. Plus the Eliminators take on the Dudleys for the tag titles, and Shane Douglas defends the TV title against Pitbull #1.
- April 8, 1997: Get ready for Barely Legal with this edition of Hardcore TV.
- April 14, 1997: Highlights and interviews from ECW's first ever PPV, Barely Legal.
- April 29, 1997: Louie Spicolli takes on Chris Chetti, RVD takes on LSD, and 2/3 of the FBI take on 2/3 of the bWo.
- May 8, 1997: The Dudleys must thwart the challenge of two teams, the Gangstas and Eliminators, with the tag titles on the line. Plus Joey Styles gets a color commentator, and the Triple Threat gets a new member.
- May 19, 1997: Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk take on Raven and Stevie Richards in a "dream tag team" match, plus Shane Douglas defends the TV title against Chris Chetti.
- May 26, 1997: The Dudleys are in action, plus a huge brawl breaks out in the main event.
- June 1, 1997: Taz and The Eliminators take on the unusual trio of Sabu, Rob Van Dam, and D-Von Dudley.
- June 10, 1997: Highlights and fallout from Wrestlepalooza '97, including the final bout between Raven and Tommy Dreamer.
- July 21, 1997: Highlights of Heatwave '97, including Rick Rude's shocking actions on Sandman and Tommy Dreamer, and Terry Funk taking on Shane Douglas for the ECW world title.
- December 21, 1997: ECW's back in Japan as Sabu takes on Sandman in the featured bout.
Eddie Mac's Pick of the Week
With Sting's future in doubt, now is as good a time to any to look back on what was a pretty remarkable career. A pretty remarkable career that probably wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Ric Flair barely surviving a 45-minute draw with the young icon at NWA: Clash of the Champions in March 1988.
Infamously, the event went head to head against the much-maligned Wrestlemania IV, and was actually watched by more people than the PPV. The two would have a rivalry that span more than two decades, including facing off on the first and last Nitro, and last meeting of all places, in a TNA ring in 2011.
If his body forces A Vigilante Named Sting to call it a career, then thanks for the memories. Granted, it looks like it ended on a B PPV that a lot fewer people watched than Summerslam, but thems the breaks of wrestling sometimes. You just never know when your career is done. Thanks, Icon, and hopefully there's a place for you on WWE programming. If not, enjoy retirement.