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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Alan Wojcik Reviews Guest Booker/Raven DVD

Courtesy of Alan J. Wojcik:

Sunday May 19, 1996 Madison Square Garden in New York City, 2pm house show. Hunter Hearst Hemsley defeats Razor Ramon AKA Scott Hall while WWF champion "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels defeats former champion Diesel AKA Kevin Nash. What happened next will forever be known as the "curtain call" as the four real life friends held an unauthorized farewell. Hall and Nash have decided to leave for further their careers a bit down the road. A few weeks later both men arrive and are introduced to the rabid fans of the world famous ECW Arena in Philadelphia.

No this didn’t really happen but the crew over at www.KayfabeCommentaries.com asks the question what if Hall and Nash didn’t go to the former World Championship Wrestling and be part of booker Eric Bischoff’s monster New World Order gimmick that led WCW to overtake WWF in the ratings. Producer Sean Oliver isn’t doing the hypothetical arrival on his own. He enlists the man who was ECW World champion in 1996 and a brilliant mind in the business, Raven to be the booker of their arrival. The end result is a 90 minute DVD in their Guest Booker series subtitled Raven Booking Hall & Nash in ECW.

Oliver sits Raven down with a copy of the 1996 ECW roster, a wipe board, some markers and plenty of paper. Raven is told to book Hall and Nash’s arrival in June until the first ECW PPV Barely Legal in April of 1997. That is where the fun begins as Raven races through the entire program rewriting wrestling history. I have to be honest despite growing up in New York and living there until 1996 I was never an ECW fan and had to use several resources to get the lay of the land in the promotion during this time frame. The DVD requires you to suspend reality that Hall and Nash left WWF to get respect they didn’t get as Raven suggests in the feature, instead of the number one reason anyone went to WCW in 1996...Ted Turner’s humongous checkbook.

I will not give away Raven’s booking moves but he makes some interesting choices. Some people will object to the way he introduces the two men to the ECW faithful in the Arena but that is the point of the DVD to give Raven’s version of the booking not Paul Heyman or anyone else. The funniest part is when he basically kicks Oliver out of the seat in front of the dry erase board and takes over. Raven uses every single minute of time allotted to him and then enjoys a meal on camera as the credits roll. Raven should be booking somewhere in the US and being used to better the business.

The item is available through www.KayfabeCommentaries.com for $20. Also through their site you can other great DVD’s with Missy Hyatt, Honky Tonk Man, Tito Santana, Greg Valentine and more in the Guest Booker series with JJ Dillon, Gabe Sapolsky and Kevin Sullivan.