Barbed Wire City The Unauthorized Story About ECW (Extended Trailer)
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Published on Apr 18, 2013
Order the DVD, t-shirt, and official movie poster at www.barbedwirecity.com
Barbed Wire City studies the history of, and people who made, Extreme Championship Wrestling a cult sensation in the 1990s. We took an intimate look at the subculture of a subculture, and found a very human story about athletes who see themselves as entertainers, and were willing to take massive amounts of punishment for little money based on the promise of something more within their industry. This is a film about culture and human beings—who just happen to use tables and chairs and violent acts as part of their performance art. This documentary is not owned or supported by the WWE.
What Is The Documentary About: We like to call this the study of a subculture's subculture. Pro Wrestling is a world that is an odd island to most people. In the 1990s, Extreme Championship Wrestling was the bizarre underground of that subculture. We wanted to bring the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of this promotion to the mainstream, its ups and its downs, from its beginning in the early 90s all the way into 2012. We've shot 50 hours of footage and conducted over 60 interviews to give context and accuracy to this oral history. This has been a labor of love, as the project began when both filmmakers (Philapavage & Kiernan) were 19, in March of 2000.
Philapavage was a wrestling fan growing up, particularly captivated by Extreme Championship Wrestling as a teen. Kiernan, never a fan, brought a fresh perspective to the project. Much of the film was shot in 2001, before the film was put on hold the first time in 2002. Several times production of the film was resumed, but it was never completed, due to lack of funding. In January of this year the project was resurrected again with new eyes. 15 additional hours were shot, including three days at Extreme Reunion, a wrestling show in Philadelphia, where ECW alumni came together to reunite in front of roughly 2000 fans.
This film aims to take an honest, critical look at the history, legacy, and impact of ECW on the professional wrestling industry, as well as tell the stories of the men and women who helped build this small mom and pop promotion into a national force. We examine the violence and bloodshed, marketing and fan involvement, as well as the decisions of those in charge, through the company's triumphs, glory years, controversies, and demise.
It also seeks to shed light on a group of people that came together with the goal of turning their industry on its head. The sacrifices they made trying to achieve it were often physically brutal, as they were chasing the dream of trying to create something innovative in professional wrestling. They succeeded by playing an often unheralded role in the creation of the cultural phenomenon that was the wrestling boom of the late 90's, but failed to fully realize their dream of getting to the top of that swell of popular acceptance that they helped create. We want to tell their story.
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