Saturday, 15 September 2007

Hardcore History - The Extremely Unauthorized Story of ECW - Book Review

As the latest wave of ECW nostalgia prepares to sweep over us in preparation for the second One Night Stand pay-per-view, only the second book ever published about the promotion has hit the stands, as award-winning writer Scott E. Williams brings us “Hardcore History - The Extremely Unauthorized Story of ECW”.

Following on from John Lister’s 2005 “Turning the Tables” publication, Williams takes an even more in-depth look at what was both the most critically successful and financially unstable wrestling promotion of the 1990’s.

Williams begins his story not at the beginning of ECW itself, but with the company’s predecessor in Philadelphia, Joel Goodhart’s Tri-State Wrestling Alliance, a promotion that put on good shows but ultimately folded because of bad management. However, one of Goodhart’s business partners was a certain Tod Gordon, who took what he learnt from both the good and bad points of Tri-State, and formed his own company, Eastern Championship Wrestling, which, of course, went on to become Extreme Championship Wrestling.

With help from such luminaries as Shane Douglas, Terry Funk, Raven, and well-known fans such as John “Hat Guy” Bailey, Williams tells the stories of everything that happened ECW, from those early days, through to the infamous NWA World title tournament, where Shane Douglas threw down the NWA World title belt and declared himself the ECW World Champion, to much more. No stone is left unturned as employees, fans, and people who had business dealings with ECW tell what it was like dealing with Paul Heyman and his associates.

The story behind the story of ECW is certainly an interesting one, of a wrestling promotion that received a vast amount of critical acclaim, yet very rarely made a profit, of a man who is a creative genius, yet was somewhat lacking in business acumen, a lacking which ultimately led to the downfall of the most innovative and most copied wrestling promotion of the past twenty years.

Williams’ story is well researched and very well written. At a time when the history of ECW is being re-written by those who now own the trademarks, it’s good to hear the complete story, and for the crazy fans who were a part of this, they’ll definitely find this book interesting reading. And now that plans are afoot for a new ECW, which is apparently launching in September, this is a chance to find out exactly what ECW was all about.

With thanks to Sports Publishing for supplying a copy of this book. To order this book online, visit

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