Extremely Crazy Wrestling Fans: The Documentary (2005)

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Overall Rating 34%
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Ranked #15,179
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Connections: Wrestling: ECW

Extremely Crazy Wrestling Fans pulls no punches as this DVD fully exposes wrestling fans as the most blood thirsty, insatiable and most of all, loyal fan base on the planet. These Extremely Crazy Wrestling Fans are as hardcore as the wrestlers they follow, as they live and die wrestling, everyday. Through the years there have been many great wrestlers and wrestling companies from the AWA, NWA, XPW, WCW, WWE and the ever popular defunct ECW. The concept of this DVD was to capture wrestling fans on camera as they hold nothing back talking about their experiences growing up on wrestling, talking about their favorite wrestlers and their favorite memories. --DVD
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Review by Chad
Added: January 5, 2006
ECW was a wrestling promotion based out of Philadelphia, PA back in the nineties and early 00's. I'm not going to go into too much detail about the rise and fall of this promotion here; you can click the link at the beginning of this review to read my writeup on the ECW documentary that was produced by WWE back in '04, or you can check around on various sites for all of the details that you could possibly want. This documentary attempts to show what sort of fans would attend this type of event, and to do so, the creators have interviewed various fans who were waiting to get inside Shane Douglas' Hardcore Homecoming event in Philly on June 10th, 2005. Once again, I'm not going to explain the significance of this event; clicking that link will tell you all that you need to know, and besides... if you're not a fan of pro wrestling, you're probably not reading this review right now.

The Q&A sessions with these fans include the following topics: "The Fans Stories", "Girlfriend / Wife / Family", "Favorite Wrestler", "Travel Time To Wrestling Shows", "Independent / Backyard Wrestlers", "Fans Opinions On Fans", "Alcohol", "Favorite Memories", and "Aftermath Of Extreme Wrestling Event" (aka, Hardcore Homecoming). I do believe that the title of each segment is pretty self-explanatory, so for the third time in this still-short review, I'm going to skip the explanations. These segments are intertwined with clips of various wrestlers in action (though, due to copyright issues, no ECW footage is used), and included in action are the following people: Sabu, Shane Douglas, Terry Funk, Sandman, New Jack, Balls Mahoney, Mick Foley, and Chris Candido. Only one fellow is actually involved with the documentary itself, and that would be former ECW referee and manager Bill Alfonso who gives the cameraman about five minutes of his time to explain a few things. To round out the disc, we get two bonus matches from the IWC promotion - Shane Douglas vs. Raven in a street fight and Balls Mahoney vs. New Jack in a weapons match.

In mid-December, I was contacted by John Bennett regarding this disc. He sent me a link to the trailer and a brief writeup of the contents, I was intrigued by what I saw, and so, I told him that if he'd like to send me a copy, I'd be happy to write my thoughts on the disc on this very site. Well, I'm a bit sorry to say that my thoughts weren't very high when the feature finished at around the one-hour mark. To be fair, I wasn't expecting something along the caliber of WWE's ECW production; I understand that not everyone has access to billions of dollars in funding, and I also understand that not everyone has the luxury of having access to some of the top names in the business. However, I was expecting something a bit more enlightening (or at least entertaining) than what I found here.

The problem here isn't the topics included, nor is it the clips found sprinkled throughout (which were actually the highlights of the film), and it's not even the production values found within. The problem that I had with this disc was that it sets itself up to be a documentary with genuine insight into the mindset of a wrestling fan, but the most revealing fact that I found was that Philly makes good cheesesteaks and that wrestling fans enjoy using the word "Fuck" a lot. There's a few entertaining bits to be found, but the grand majority of the content made me seriously contemplate hitting that fast-forward button on my remote thanks to the often-times inane babbling of the participants. Granted, I probably wouldn't sound very intelligent if I was drunk off my ass while waiting to get into a wrestling event, but I also wouldn't document it on DVD and attempt to sell it to the masses either.

If there's one thing that I've learned from this disc, it's that wrestling fans don't know how to talk in a normal tone of voice - everything needs to be screamed at the top of their lungs. When asked such simple questions as "Who is your favorite wrestler?", these fans feel the need to scream out random names at the top of their lungs, all the while littering their sentences with that beloved "Fuck" word. An example would be one guy who, in as loud a scream as he can muster, proclaims that "Sabuuuuuu is the motherfucking man, yeah! Woo! Fuck yeah, Born To Be Wired, fucking awesome!" I hate to be a downer, but honestly... what is the point there? There's a few fellows who are a bit more mellow in their approach to answering the presented questions, but these interviewees have their own share of problems, with the main one being a case of trying to outdo one another in their "experience" of attending shows. One will start things off with his story of getting hooked during the nineties, another will break in with his tale of going to shows in the eighties, still another will rattle on about the seventies, and it just goes back and forth in the ultimate battle of outdoing each other. Again... what is there to learn here, and once again, where is the entertainment value?

The bonus matches featured on the disc are pretty good on paper. We have Raven vs. Shane Douglas in what starts off with very good promos from both men, which led into what could have been a good match. I say "could have been a good match" because, well, I don't know. Instead of focusing on the match at hand, which - dare I say - is what the audience is looking for after selecting this option from the DVD menu, we only get to see highlights. The match gets underway, it then cuts to later on in the match, shows a bit more, cuts, shows a minute or so, cuts, and so on. I have no idea if this was a fault of the producers of this DVD or if it was simply the way that the source material was presented by these IWC folks, but I found it to be highly irritating. The second match, pitting "The Original Gangsta" New Jack vs. Balls Mahoney was much better, with only one cut to be found throughout the length of the match. If you're looking for high-flying action or mat-based technical prowess, this would be one to skip... but if you're looking for some absolutely brutal bloodshed at the hands of a fork, a sickle, and yes, even New Jack's signature guitar, you can't go wrong here.

Overall, it's an interesting concept, but I found that this disc didn't deliver on the potential. There's some bright spots to be found here and there, but you have to put up with a lot (and I do mean a lot) of pointless hooting and hollering to get to it. If this is what it means to be a wrestling fan, then I hereby revoke my wrestling fan-club membership. 3/10.
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