Backyard Wrestling. You’ve seen the commercials — teenage males punching, kicking, smacking, smashing, flopping, throwing, jumping, flying, falling, burning, cutting, and occasionally, wrestling each other. These tapes are the fuel that parents, teachers, lawyers and churches use as evidence for the eternal “kids will imitate what they see on television” debate. Are these videos as extreme as the commercials make them out to be, or is it all just a bunch of hype? Read on to find out!
The Best of Backyard Wrestling begins with a stunt gone wrong. A kid, standing in the middle of the street, prepares to get “run over” by a car, driven by one of his “friends”. For the record, this video will certainly make you reevaluate your definition of the word “friends”, because MY “friends” don’t go around trying to hurt me, even when I probably deserve it. The car accellerates a little too fast, and the kid standing in the street goes from standing to airborn to windshield to ground in about two seconds. If this sounds shocking, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
The next ten minutes of the video are a montage of what’s to come — mainly, lots of kids walking around, smacking each other with trash cans and bleeding a lot. There are shots of people jumping off roofs, breaking tables, and setting each other on fire. Video quality is what you would expect, and often worse. None of these guys are hiring film crews, this is all teenagers running around with camcorders trying their damnedest to capture the action.
During the opening footage you get to see a lot of different wrestling “rings” used in backyard wrestling. Rings, in backyard wrestling, include everything from actual wrestling/boxing rings in high school gyms, to backyards with (or without) ring ropes, trampolines, dirt, grass, or concrete. You name it, people probably get hurt on it on this video. Most of the rings have houses, trees, cars, streets, BBQ grills, lakes, streams, or other urban obstacles in the backyard. Crowds for the matches range anywhere from a dozen or so people to just the participants themselves. Occasionally, you’ll catch an observer walking or driving by, craning their head around and wondering what the hell all these kids are doing with light bulbs, tables, and fire …
The main film has some loose categories in which the film clips are divided up into. These categories include …
Light My Fire: Yes, just tons of footage of kids setting each other on fire. What kills me is the total lack of preperation these kids take. For example, in one shot, kids set a 4×8 sheet of plywood on fire, and then powerbomb a kid through the table. Of course, the flimsy wood breaks in half, and now the kid is basically engulfed in a flaming wood sandwich. He then starts freaking out, while all the other kids stand around with a “wow, we didn’t expect him to catch on fire!” look on their faces. After ripping off layers of clothes, the kid eventually rolls around enough to extinguish the flames. In clip after clip, kids set each other on fire and then act surprised to discover that (a) fire burns (b) burning hurts (c) things on fire continue to burn until you put them out (d) now is too late to think about fire extinguishers, water or blankets. Go figure.
Choose Your Weapon: You don’t think fists and boots are enough, do ya? This segment of the video has clips of kids getting pounded by golf clubs, tables, mallets, hammers, propane tanks, regular shovels, snow shovels, crutches, ladders, bicycles, guitars, cars, any type of scrap wood you can imagine, bales of hay, sheetrock, and of course, the obligatory trash cans (metal or plastic, your choice).
Groin Pains: Bob Saget and the rest of the crew at America’s Funniest Home Videos discovered this formula years ago — crotch shots are funny. Whether they’re being kicked, punched, smashed, stomped on or landed on, everyone likes to see gonad contact. There’s no shortage of these clips here. If ball-bashing is your thing, you’ll love this segment.
Have A Seat: This portion of the video contains clips of people getting hit with metal chairs. Unfortunately the kids in the video haven’t seemed to learned the exact techniques that the pro’s use, and consequently, lots of kids get hurt in this portion. Wheeeeeeee!
Three other sections include The Pain Game, a collection of clips of kids getting hurt, Cops In The Backyard, which is just one clip of some backyard wrestlers apparently getting arrested in a park, and Quick Chick Flick which has two or three random clips of some girls getting (slightly) involved in matches, and then one bikini match of a couple of girls in an inflatable pool. Forgettable.
The video also contains The Epic Battle, which is more memorable for it’s length than the actual wrestling. The match takes place in a parking lot. And on some stairs. And inside a school. And in the hallways. And in the gym. And in the locker room. And in a bathroom. And outside near a car. And on top of that same car. And on top of the car while it’s driving away. Finally, after a pile driver on top of the car’s hood, one wrestler finally pins the other.
The Best Of BackYard Wrestling on DVD not only contains the above program, but also Backyard Wrestling Babes and some Extra Features. The extra features include:
The Backyard Babes, Backyard Blunders, Sneak Preview, Forbidden Bonus Footage, Dungeon Deathmatch, Special Offer, and a special hidden area (whee). The Backyard Babes section contains short (like half a second) clips of the girls in the video (brief boobage nudity). Tylene Buck is pretty hot, but be prepared to use your pause button. The Sneak Preview contains trailers for their full length Backyard Wrestling Babes video, as well as a trailer for Backyard Wrestling II. The Special Offer is an address that you can send your name into a win a free copy of the video (you’re already watching it — why would you want it againf or free?). The hidden trash can icon is about ten seconds of a match where a guy loses his cool. That leaves us with Backyard Blunders, Forbidden Bonus Footage, and the Dungeon Deathmatch.
Backyard Blunders: This section contains three short clips which were also in the main video program. The majority of these clips contain things like tables not breaking, tables falling apart, people falling/missing their mark, a dog chasing the wrestlers in a dude’s backyard, things not breaking on cue, people falling off ladders, etc.
Forbidden Bonus Footage: This section contains three matches that were left off the video because they were too “graphic”. Match one mainly contains some kids using barbed wire. The second match contains more kids using barbed wire, but they’ve added light bulbs to the mix. Match three (which takes place in a driveway) adds chairs and trashcans to the mix. All of these get a little bloody.
Dungeon Deathmatch: This is the oddest clip of the whole video, in my opinion. Two wrestlers square off in one of their basements, and the violence is on! Busted lightbulbs and barbed wire are just the beginning. Eventually the two empty big bags of thumb tacks on the floor and suplex each other into the pile, with dozens of tacks stuck in their back and to their heads. One of their weirdest things about this match is, no one is watching. The only people present are the two wrestlers, and the cameraman.
The end of this video dedicates itself to all the “Blood, Sweat, and Chairs” poured into these video clips — and I’m guessing that plenty of all three went into the filming of this video. It’s a shame that the wrestlers basically get squat for their submissions and the company that puts this video out is getting rich off it, but hey that’s life I suppose. The president of Backyard Wrestling, Inc is probably driving a new Porsche off the sales of this video, while the wrestlers contained on this video are holding up a gold-painted hubcap with two straps hanging off it, pretending it’s “the championship belt”. I don’t know if these wrestlers will ever get the notice or reward they deserve. I don’t know if one of these guys will go on to become the next Mick Foley or the next hardcore champion, but I do know they’re working their asses off in backyards beating the hell out of each other, and this video opens a small window into that world.