Backyard Wrestling Association- Madmen and Matskills- By John Morgan
BWA is essentially a true hard-core fed. This is old style hard-core where the matches often involve blood, and true hard-core weapons such as tacks, light tubes, barbwire and the truly sick Weed Eater! Although they are technically a backyard fed, most of the participants truly want to become indy and/or pro wrestlers, so you won't find storylines and back histories on this tape. It is made up of complete matches from various events. For me, the standouts are "2 Hard-core 4 a Gimmick" J. C., Justin Sane and Juggalo J. R., but let it be said that they all can wrestle up a storm. All the events use a real ring and are held both inside and outside. The tape quality is good to very good, but not excellent. The master tape was not used, but most everything is clear enough. The going price, when I bought it, was $10.00, although I think it was recently reduced to $5.00.

There are a total of 15 matches represented on the tape, with the most hard-core and bloody matches reserved for 2 Hard-core 4 a Gimmick and Justin Sane, which have four matches on the tape. The commentary could be more distinctive, but certainly is an added plus and doesn't distract. Camera work is generally good.

Match 1: This is an opener and is fairly short. Silent Assassin vs. Maxx Mizery is a good, uneventful match that moves quickly, but compared to what's to come, it is more like a dark match. The camera work and tape quality on this match is not up to par, as the camera is locked into one distant viewpoint throughout the match, although the Hardy Boy-like finisher is quite good.

Match 2: JC vs. Suicide. This match is a good one, the camera work is fluid and it starts out as a fast-paced match with good give and take between the two. As the match progresses, it gets a bit more hard-core with a ladder, chairs and board. Also, there is a fair amount of outside interference, which in true wrestling fashion, the referee is completely oblivious to what is going on. Both wrestlers sell well, and there are some stiff bumps taken by both.

Match 3: Man Slaughter vs. Jeremy. This is a true squash job. Jeremy maybe be a jobber, but I don't think he gets one hit in. Man Slaughter is on him like a bee on honey. Poor Jeremy must have back problems to this day.

Match 4: JC vs. Justin in a Barbwire Boards, Thumbtack Death Match. This is the kind of match that puts BWA in a league of its own. Justin and JC are terrific workers and really work well together. Both can take what looks like stiff hits and they are both about equal as far as wrestling goes...which makes a good match. Justin often looks like a pin cushion with the thumbtacks sticking all through him. It isn't long before both wrestlers are busted open and they both sell like crazy. A pair of scissors play into the mayhem. There is also a sick use of a stapler and a dollar bill connected to Justin's forehead! This is in the best XPW and ECW tradition. The match ends with JC jumping off a roof onto Justin sprawled onto a table for the win. Excellent match.

Match 5: This is a three-way dance between JC, Juggalo JR, and Suicide. Although this is not a hard-core match in the normal BWA tradition, it is filled with great action that moves quickly. JR is a great high flyer and can do fantastic moves. JC proves he doesn't need to blade to put on a great show, although it looks like he really got a deep cut over his eye in the match which resulted in some major bleeding. Suicide and JR did some great bumping on the hard floor outside the ring. The match ends with big guy Suicide jumping from a high area onto JR, smashing both JR and the table. A great and spectacular ending.

Match 6: Justin and JC in a "Fans bring the Weapons" match. This match hardly took place in the ring, as the area was littered by weapons such as road signs, tacks on a board, glass pictures and both men get objects stapled to their heads! It isn't long before both opponents are wearing crimson masks. Very little actual wrestling here, but lots of mauling, mutilation and blood.

Match 7: El Loco Gato vs. Justin Sane in a Thumbtack Death match. Good match that shows Justin doing good technical moves and some high bumps. I just wonder who that masked man is? Anyway, it is good to see that Justin knows his wrestling in a more traditional sense.

Match 8: Maxx Mizery and Justin Sane vs. JC and Mean Mitch Page in a Weed eater tag team death match. Calling this a tag team match is a misnomer, as it seems all four are going at it simultaneously. Virtually everyone is bleeding within the first 5 minutes with all kinds of weapons of destruction being used. Then comes out that weedeater, a most original weapon and I think BWA are the originators of this disgusting weapon. Quite a bit of blood is shed in this hard-core, sick match, but it is entertaining and is delightfully extreme.

Match 9: JC vs. JR. This shows what great workers these two are. It is more a traditional wrestling match than a bloody hard-core one. JR's face of pain when flipped onto the hard floor by JC is classic selling. The audience often burst into spontaneous applause after great bumps. Although interference helped JR win this, his slamming a chair into JC's face was a stiff and sensational move. God, these are great performers.

Match 10: Justin vs. JC in another hard-core match. Shopping carts, many steel chairs and metal signs figure into this match. Again, both are bleeding like stuck pigs and some of the bumps onto metal objects got to be seen to be believed! Again, both get stapled and end up looking like pieces of Swiss cheese. Unfortunately, the ending is missing on this match, although Justin mentions in his notes that he won after dumping JC onto the shopping cart!

Match 11: Again, we have Justin and JC in another Barbwire Death Match. This event was held at night outside and the ring has many lightbulbs lighted and adorning the ring. The barbwire circling the ring is almost immediately used to get things going. The nighttime event also adds to JC blowing flames in the face of Justin. This is a winner of a match.

Match 12: JR vs. Maxx Mizery. A good, solid match between these talented workers.

Segment 13: A Fox News segment on Backyard Wrestling. This is a segment highlighting the danger of Backyard wrestling. Pretty good clips with many from BWA. Pretty disturbing images here for people not familiar with what wrestling really is.

Match 14: JC, Justin and Lock Down in a three-way dance. Instead of ropes we have barbwire acting as ropes. And the fluorescent light tubes make for some spectacular spots. The ring is literally filled with broken glass and it isn't long before the blood is flowing. Then when you think you saw it all, out comes that weed eater. Justin must have seen some weeds growing on JCs back. The finale is spectacular as a table made solely of light tubes is devastated by JC and Justin.

Match 15: This is a sort of bonus match from an indy show that featured JC and Maxx Misery in different characterizations. It involved a ladder and chairs, but ironically, being a true indy match, it didn't quite have the heat of the BWA matches, although the crowd was sizable and quite enthusiastic.

In conclusion I have to say if you are into hard-core, you can't do better than BWA. Most of these guys really plan on a pro career and they know the wrestling game. They are talented and I predict at least a few of them will make it to the pros. I hope so.

John Morgan

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