I didn't get a chance to see a live ECW show untill heatwave 2000 in LA, so I can't tell you how it was in there arena in philly. I do remember my ticket said no camcorders or photos on the stub. Not sure if that was an Arena policy or ECW. I'd guess it was like the other shows, disclaimer telling you not to do it but of course people still did.
Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures right? Whatever you can do to make fans feel involved and like they're part of something bigger. Empty promises to wrestlers, lives destroyed, cocaine in the locker room before the match, Paul Jew Heyman becoming the big dirtsheet legend, people being screwed over (in RVD's case I believe he was promised over a million dollars that Heyman never paid him).
Seems like you are talking about "FanCam" which that wasn't actually fans. That was ECW filming it and they would sell those on RF Video.
ECW house show cards were pretty much always different from night to night which created unique cards regularly but they couldn't professionally film all of them. So they just filmed them with a handheld and sold them.
Heyman had a deal with RF Video to sell ECW tapes on the RF Video site iirc. So Feinstein and Doug Gentry would film the Live Events.
Like Brock said, pretty much everything is available to buy from RF Video. He's got fancams, every Hardcore TV & every TNN show for sale. I've been collecting ECW shows for quite a few years now, including the old Hardcore TV's. I've got a ton of DVD's.
For the record, fans didn't record ECW events. The company did.
Had nothing to do with television contracts and advertisers. ECW was releasing that footage when they had the TV deal with TNN. You can go on YouTube right now and see the "fan cam" version of Sandman's return and the TV version of Sandman's return, the latter of which included footage from the "fan cam" version. As a matter of fact, they regularly showed "fan cam" footage on TV, especially when the action was in the crowd or outside the building.
They started recording it because, at the time, they didn't tape everything; only what was going to be shown on TV and released on home video. They were at the ECW Arena one night for a show that wasn't going to be taped and Gabe asked Rob why weren't they taping it. They ran it by Heyman, he liked the idea and from that point on, they taped every show going forward, some of which wasn't released until long after ECW went out of business. Haven't bought anything from RF in a while but I guarantee he's still releasing never before seen "fan cam" footage because they taped everything.