ECW: Best of Cactus Jack

Ten-second Rundown: Career retrospective of Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) in ECW.
Rating: No Rating but not for the kiddies.
Release Date: October 23, 2001
Running Time: approximately 210 minutes
Version: Standard Edition
Extras: None
Choice Scene: The Anti-Hardcore Promos.
Tech Specs: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Interactive Menus

If Fanboyplanet.com had a wrestling mascot, it would be Mick Foley. We've all watched the hardcore matches. We've laughed at his Al Snow jokes. We own his action figures. But the truth is that most of us had never heard the name Mick Foley until he made his WWF debut as Mankind. Cactus Jack was a character that was never seen but his matches were the stuff of legend. Pioneer Entertainment and ECW have made it possible to go back in time and see the matches that, until now, we've only read about in his biographies.

Mick Foley will never be accused of being a great wrestler. Mick knows about ten wrestling moves and rarely uses more than three in a single match. But somehow he fused his shortcomings into the persona of Cactus Jack, "hardcore wrestler." Watching a Cactus Jack match is in many ways like watching a train wreck, if the train were made out of concrete and barbed wire.

This DVD chronicles Mick's first appearance in ECW in 1994 (then known as Eastern Championship Wrestling) when he was still of the WCW tag team championships right up to his farewell match prior to debuting in the WWF. Newer fans of pro-wrestling may not know or may have never seen ECW during its heyday, but much of what is done in the WWF today (hardcore matches, table matches) has its roots in ECW.

A lot of the early matches are heavily cut either due to lack of quality or lack or entertainment. They basically establish the story of Cactus jack debuting in ECW and set the stage for his big battles later on. It's the second half of this DVD that makes it worth buying. Cactus Jack takes so much punishment at the hands of Terry Funk and Sandman that it's a miracle Mick didn't retire until 2000.

Matches include:

  • Cactus Jack vs. Sabu
  • Cactus Jack and Mikey Whipwreck vs. Public Enemy
  • Cactus Jack and Kevin Sullivan vs. Public Enemy
  • Cactus Jack vs. Sandman
  • Cactus Jack vs. DC Drake
  • Cactus Jack and Shane Douglas vs. Terry Funk and Sandman
  • Cactus Jack vs. Terry Funk
  • Cactus Jack vs. Sandman
  • Cactus Jack vs. Sandman in a barbed Wire Match
  • Cactus Jack and Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven and Richards
  • Cactus's Anti-Hardcore Promos
  • Cactus Jack and Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer
  • Cactus Jack and Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk
  • Cactus Jack and Mikey Whipwreck vs. The Eliminators
  • Cactus Jack vs. Shane Douglas
  • The Doritos promo
  • Cactus Jack vs. Mikey Whipwreck
  • Cactus's Farewell Speech

    As great as the matches are, it's the interviews and promos where Mick shows his real talent. The Anti Hardcore and Doritos promos are classics and belong in every wrestling fans collection. If you've never been exposed to ECW before then this is a great DVD to start with. Most of the wrestlers you'll see are currently wrestling in the WWF, including Tazz, Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Steven Richards and of course, Mr. ECW himself, Paul Heyman. Paul has a great moment early in the DVD where he cuts one of the greatest promos of all time. It sent chills up my spine and reminded me why I'm a proud wrestling fan.

    If the DVD has a fault, it's that there aren't any extras. Behind the Scenes, ECW history, wrestler biographies would have all been excellent additions, but were for whatever reason left out. Match commentary by Mick or even Paul Heyman would have been incredible. For 20 bucks, you pretty much get the matches, the promos and some commentary by Joey Styles.

    Overall, this is a must have for the "hardcore" wrestling or Mick Foley fan. Casual fans may not find it as entertaining but that's their loss. It's a fantastic retrospective of Mick Foley's years in ECW and a wonderful glimpse back in time to an era when a little known promotion called ECW was changing the face of professional wrestling.

    Buy it here for $19.99.

    Michael Goodson

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