Extreme Championship Wrestling was a unique, influential and revolutionary company that reshaped the pro wrestling landscape in the 1990s. While many stories have been told, books have been written, and other documentaries have been produced, none of them is as in-depth as Barbed Wire City. The documentary film, produced by Kevin Kiernan and John Philapavage, provides a detailed look back on the company many of us hold so close to our hearts.
The doc is heavy on nostalgia and you can see there is clearly a passion and love for ECW shared by the film makers, yet it doesn’t pull any punches when discussing some of the lowlights of the history of ECW. From the infamous “Mass Transit Incident” to the personal tribulations of many of ECW’s performers, almost every key moment in ECW’s short but storied history is covered in great detail. We even get a detailed telling of the poorly received Extreme Reunion show.
The only things missing are closer looks at ECW’s relationship with WWE and perhaps a more in-depth telling of how Eastern Championship Wrestling became Extreme and Shane Douglas’ denouncement of the NWA belt.
There is also no shortage of interviewees in Barbed Wire City. Kiernan and Philapavage were able to speak with many of the key players in ECW’s rise as well as the writers that covered the promotion. The film features over 60 interviews with people such as Raven, Stevie Richards, The Blue Meanie, Shane Douglas, Axl Rotten, Balls Mahoney, Sandman, New Jack, Rhino, Tod Gordon, Billy Corgan, Jason Powell, Wade Keller, Mike Johnson, Dave Meltzer and more. A wealth of footage compiled over the last 20 years is included, with many of the aforementioned interviews featured being filmed in the early 2000s.
If you were a fan of ECW, this is definitely a documentary you need to watch. Even if you’re too young to remember, it’s a worthwhile look at a company that shaped and changed the pro wrestling landscape and birthed many of the industry’s biggest stars.
For more information or to purchase, visit Barbed Wire City‘s official website.
(Image from Barbed Wire City‘s official site)