Backyard wrestling

From Bywpedia

The Global Backyard Wrestling Nation logo.

Backyard wrestling (BYW), and also referred to as yarding or backyarding is a controversial underground recreation based on the usually untrained practice of professional wrestling in a typically low budget environment between predominantly 12 to 30 year old males. Some practitioners have attended wrestling school or learned wrestling abilities from those who do. For years, it has been followed by critical opposition and its popularity boosted by the boom period of professional wrestling notorious as the Monday Night Wars.

Before it was opposed, backyard wrestling was often a good-natured genre in the late 1980's to early 1990's which appealed to media for coverage. Gradually, it began showcasing the reckless basis of ultraviolent antics that incited controversy among worried parental guardians and professional personnels. The modern hardcore era lasted roughly from 1996 to 2001 and no longer features hardcore antics on a focal level.

Backyard wrestling is a loose term that can occur anywhere from a park, field to an actual backyard and has become completely reliant on sharing home-filmed events, matches and videos via public access television and the internet which were both an upgrade from distributing videos person-to-person retrospectively.

With the large alliance today known as Global Backyard Wrestling Nation, an accumulative body of federations from Australia, Europe, North America, and South America, the practice has evolved into some sort of a non-profit hobby industry.



History of backyard wrestling


By the late 1980's and early 1990's, the earliest reports on backyard wrestling were said to be referenced positively by well respected news outlets like the Minneapolis StarTibune and KSTP Eyewitness News as a friendly presentation and more notiably with NWF Kids Pro Wrestling, a promotion that went from backyard to an inside a studio and amounted to a national cable viewed local promotion in Minnesota. Several federations were aspired by the old school wrestling mentality and some of the major superstars seen on television.

Around the mid 1990's, the focus of matches rested on a reckless, uncoordinated style dubbed the "craze" showcasing risky suicidal stunts and "high spots" and "bumps" (typically falls off rooftops and ladders) and relied heavily on sharp or dangerous weaponry and other objects such as barbed wire, tables (mostly flaming), plywood, fire, glass, cheese graters, and fluorescent lamps in accordance with television shows like Jackass and professional wrestling promotions such as hardcore promotions, Extreme Championship Wrestling and Combat Zone Wrestling as well as mainstream companies, World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling during their Monday Night Wars television feud featuring edgy content. New York's 2KW and California's Modesto Championship Wrestling featured in the documentary The Backyard were also notable federations during those days that received some coverage, though, were not as violent and tried to give backyard wrestling a better name with an actual wrestling exhibition.

These activities were done for extremist supremacy and with the notion that promotions might employ the practitioners for their hardcore background while parents bystood their children portray such acts in horror. Professional wrestler, Mick Foley is the center of inspiration after his backyard wrestling exploits with friends in college, essentially a scene with Foley jumping off a roofop onto a mattress, shown on WWE television which propped his way into the company. Foley, however, discourages the practice as it being too dangerous. A few professional wrestlers have conceded to practicing backyard wrestling in their youth such as Hardy Boyz, CM Punk, New Jack, The Insane Clown Posse, "Sick" Nick Mondo, Rob Van Dam, Bryan Danielson, A.J. Styles, Tyler Black, and Ruckus.

After 2001, the practice slowly and eventually lessened in the ultraviolent area after a decline of professional wrestling popularity when companies faltered and hardcore wrestling became defamed and also heightened negative coverage and unpopular view by reforms factored in. Backyard wrestling turned slightly more organized involving gimmicks and storylines with matches "booked" and planned like pro wrestling, emphasizing a trial of athletic professional wrestling skills without proper training as factually, wrestling moves require years upon perfection to perform at a safe degree. Thus, it comes to the controversial concerns and rebuttal of many, primarily professional wrestling reforms and personalities and especially companies whose influential material cause the risk of lawsuits by parents in any event of a catastrophic accident. WWE has since issued solemn disclaimers urging against non-professional conductions. Moreover, the practice has become such an activity among teens and early adults for allowing their creative and experimental ways to flow and comes convenient for those who don't have sufficient finances to attend wrestling school. Yarders that have received pro training also try to lend some advice to help others out.

Backyard wrestling is also an ambiguous loose title defining any wrestling that occurs in an unprofessional environment such as a backyard itself, parks, fields, garages, playgrounds, vacant lots, warehouses, living rooms, barns, basements, and even school gyms inexplicably. The wrestling typically takes the surface of a constructed base or makeshift ring, a trampoline which minimizes potential injuries, or rarely a professional ring by more organized independent-like federations. The ground is also performed on which comes as physically dangerous.

Independent circuit in early 2000's

Around 2000, realization surfaced that such dangerous activities in backyard wrestling had harsh physical realities as resourceful professional wrestling information became disclosed and many chose the way of a rain of opening professional wrestling schools which offered proper training for the particularly skilled.

More of the younger independent wrestlers concede to having experience in backyard wrestling, viewing it as a hobby while performing professionally, because whereas, wrestling professionally is under strict commands by a booker or promotor, but backyarders can host their very own recreation with their friends and/or family. Futhermore, training in a backyard wrestling environment carries a heavy negative perspective in the eyes of professionals.

Backyard wrestling after 2001


Henceforth 2001, the core of brutality backyard wrestling gained abound fame from toned down vastly. Federations became more like professional wrestling in terms of "booking" and planning out wrestling matches to decide winners and worked towards a passionate trial of athletics and technical wrestling skills showing that backyarders had moved on. However, although weapons were not completely phased out except most sharp instruments, they were not the focal point of events.

Federations like United Wrestling Alliance, Championship Wrestling Association and the current web notorious In Your House Wrestling Alliance to name a very few arose helping shift the premise of backyard wrestling with a potentially talented pool of performers.

In 2006, Global Backyard Wrestling News was opened by Cam and has been the biggest community aside Backyard Wrestling Link. An alliance, a separate entity from the community known as Global Backyard Wrestling Nation, holds several federations under banner on an intercontinental level and has laid way for the organization of interfederation backyard wrestling supershows and territorial and world backyard titles. The experience of backyard wrestling has also turned being about fun, enjoyment and quality socialism and testing skill and dedication before deciding on pro careers.

Backyard Wrestling Trivia

  • Crossen and Charley "Luxury" Lane, both then backyard wrestlers, upstarted their own kids' professional league known as "Kids Quad Cities Pro Wrestling" in March 1984 which subsequently become NWF Kids Pro Wrestling and amounted to a national cable viewed promotion. Twin Cities based promoter and trainer Eddie Sharkey actually co-promoted a sold-out wrestling event that featured matches from both Pro Wrestling America (PWA) and NWF Kids Pro Wrestling at the American Legion Hall in Champlin, MN in November 1986.
  • In August 1997 the now defunct CWF a backyard promotion originating from Vallejo, California began filming the television show CWF Devastation. Devastation aired between 1997-2000 on California public access stations, and has often been cited as the inspiration for the legendary west coast backyard movement of the late 1990s. CWF Devastation was celebrated among underground wrestling communities for its original writing and innovative cinematography; as well as brutal violence and its cutting-edge wrestling style. CWF Devastation featured many notable backyard wrestlers including: The Master Kevin Blake, Nick Knightengale, Johnathan Fallen,and Butcher Knife. CWF Devastation was relaunched in 2006 under the name Vae Victis as an independent wrestling promotion based in Northern California.
  • In late 1998, the Street Wrestling Federation (SWF) was started in Manchester, Connecticut. By mid-1999, they broadcasted a weekly public access show titled SwF: Caution. In 1999 comments from the public about the harsh language used on the show temporarily forced SWF to cancel its show. SWF Caution aired for one year on local public access television until 2000.
  • 2KW, a park-action wrestling federation based in Manhattan, New York since 1999 and seen on a public access television station known as the Manhattan Neighborhood Network across the state and in Best of Backyard Wrestling Volume 1 and 2, began opposing stereotypical backyard wrestling from the craze days and was noticed by media for athletic talent over reckless violence.
  • In February 2001, Modesto Championship Wrestling (MCW), a backyard wrestling promotion originating from Modesto, California picked up where CWF Devastation left off with their public access television program MCW Extreme. MCW Extreme aired on cable one channel 2 in the greater Modesto area in 2001. The promotion then launched a spin off to MCW Extreme in the spring of 2002 called MCW Unleashed. MCW Unleashed was featured on the AT&T Broadband Public access channel. MCW's final television series "Mayhem in Modesto" aired from early 2003 until the end of MCW in November 2003. The success of MCW's various television broadcasts, landed the organization a feature in the backyard wrestling documentary film The Backyard.
  • The Sydney, Australian-based In Your House Wrestling Alliance (IYHWA) premiering in 2006 became the highest subscribed backyard wrestling channel on YouTube as a topflight and quite fanned semi-pro-like federation and holds the distinction of having over a million views for their very first uploaded video.
  • Steve and Ross Wrestling (SnR) based in Lancaster, Wisconsin once a WWE-imitating federation before going original, summed over 2,000,000 in total viewership of all their videos and were possibly the first to ever host live streamed backyard wrestling broadcasts on internet also making some profit with DVD sales.


Movies and media

Compilation videos


  • Backyard Dogs (1999)


  • The Backyard (2002)
  • Down and Dirty in the Yard: The UWA Story (2002)
  • Lock Up Your Sons (2003)
  • NWF Kids Pro Wrestling: The Untold Story (2005)
  • Keryn Hunter'd: Backyard Battler (2007)
  • XBW Blood, Sweat, and Egos (Not yet released)
  • Inside The Backyard (Not yet released)


  • MTV's True Life: I'm A Backyard Wrestler
  • The Ricki Lake Show episode entitled "Backyard Bloodbath!"

Video games

  • Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This at Home
  • Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood

External links

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