The 21st century is the most extreme yet. What once was shocking now barely elicits a reaction, as the media-devouring public grows ever more desensitised to violence and graphic imagery. Maybe Steven Richards and his Right to Censor buddies had a point, but now isn’t the time to make it.
This is as true in the pro wrestling world as anywhere else. Fans are bored by spot-heavy ladder matches, hardcore wrestling draws little more than a collective ‘meh’ and ‘shoot’ style promos are more embarrassing than exciting. Everything is real, so nothing is really insane anymore.
There is a reason that ECW holds such an important place in the hearts of wrestling fans who got their pro graps education in the ‘90s. Paul-E and his boys were extreme before being extreme was a thing, a roster of hard-working mentalists who pushed the envelope every single show, doing what was previously considered taboo and doing it with blood and guts, literally and figuratively.
ECW at its most insane was ECW at its worst and best, simultaneously.
Born in the middle of Wales in the middle of the 1980's, John can't quite remember when he started watching wrestling but he has a terrible feeling that Dino Bravo was involved. Now living in Prague, John spends most of his time trying to work out how Tomohiro Ishii still stands upright. His favourite wrestler of all time is Dean Malenko, but really it is Repo Man. He is the author of 'An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery', the best book about the Slavic people that you haven't yet read. You can get that and others from www.poshlostbooks.com.