Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s there were two major wrestling organizations, WWF (now WWE) and WCW. They each had their own weekly show on major cable networks. The ratings fight of that era is legendary and if you’re interested in learning more about that check out The Monday Night War. But there was a third organization that nipped at the heels of those giants, ECW or Extreme Championship Wrestling.
ECW was by far more violent and wild with their entertainment offering. These guys would get bloody on just about every show and endure more pain than the average WWF or WCW match. The wrestlers at ECW would come up with crazy shit like lighting a table on fire and then slamming someone through it. They also broke new ground in the story department as they apparently came up with the first lesbian storyline in wrestling.
They were very good at what they did which would often result in WWF or WCW snatching their wrestlers away. Couple that with the fact that ECW was only on Philadelphia public access and it’s a miracle that this wrestling outfit was as big as it was. They eventually got Pay Per Views and a show on TNN (anyone else remember that channel?) but it all eventually ground to a halt because the owner and mad scientist behind it all, Paul Heyman, was a poor business man. It’s a real shame.
This doc is fucking fantastic and goes through in detail the history of ECW. These guys put everything they had into this organization and it shows. I felt for all the people that worked there because it seemed like they had a magical, albeit unsustainable, thing going. A whole lot of wrestlers like Mick Foley and Chris Jericho got their start at ECW and in the interviews they look back on it fondly as being one of the most fun things they were ever involved with. It seems that everyone gets to tell their side of the story including Paul Heyman, the wrestlers, Vince McMahon and even Eric Bischoff weighs in.
The only complaint I have is that the music is too loud. Whoever mixed this did a terrible job as the music is blaring over all the interviews and it’s hard to hear what people are saying a lot of the time. And I should give fair warning that it’s 2 hrs and 50 mins long. But I don’t think of that as a con. I think of it more as totally engrossing and all encompassing. You guys should see this one, you’ll like it.