Turning the Tables: The Story of Extreme Championship Wrestling

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Overview

ECW was the upstart promotion which revolutionised the wrestling industry. Turning The Tables is the first published history of the company which grew from a run-down bingo hall to become a national pay-per-view competitor... then crashed in a sea of debt.

John Lister (author of Slamthology) gives an independent, objective and informative account that reveals hidden secrets and shatters common myths. From a little-known truth about ECW's most famous feud to a blow-by-blow ...

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Overview

ECW was the upstart promotion which revolutionised the wrestling industry. Turning The Tables is the first published history of the company which grew from a run-down bingo hall to become a national pay-per-view competitor... then crashed in a sea of debt.

John Lister (author of Slamthology) gives an independent, objective and informative account that reveals hidden secrets and shatters common myths. From a little-known truth about ECW's most famous feud to a blow-by-blow account of what really happened in Revere, this book will give you the true story behind America's most controversial wrestling group.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781905363780
  • Publisher: Meadow Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 0.45 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2005

    Thoroughly fascinating!

    'Philadelphia was different.' So begins 'Turning The Tables: The Story of Extreme Championship Wrestling' by John Lister. This is the first of three books expected in the near future about the revolutionary 'little promotion that could', and that opening sentence almost sums up the whole ECW movement. Even the T-shirts invited fans to 'experience the difference', and it was a difference that changed the course of the industry throughout America and beyond. Anyone who has read Lister's previous book 'Slamthology' will know Lister's credentials for this fascinating and detailed study of the rise and fall of a company that was quite unlike any that came before or after. Having watched every tape and visited the ECW Arena on several occasions, he was close enough to truly understand the rabid reactions of the fans at the shows, yet living in Britain, and with his solid journalistic background, he is detached enough to be able to look at the story of ECW without letting his judgement be clouded by his love of the product. 'Turning The Tables' begins with a look at the genesis of the promotion, starting with a look at Philadelphia's history as a hot, if unusually hostile wrestling town, and the office out of whose ashes ECW was born, Joel Goodhart's TWA. It then gives a roughly chronological account, from the early days in the Original Sports Bar, through the creative miracles of 1995-97, and on through the PPV and TNN years, all the way to the unlikely place of death in Pine Bluff, MO, the confusions and contradictions of the bankruptcy proceedings, and this year's nostalgic resurrections. Much like the WWE-produced DVD, the book follows a path of looking primarily at Heyman's booking magic as the company grew to the point where, almost unbelievably, it debuted on PPV with Barely Legal, then seeing the creative side of the company falter as debts spiralled out of all control and the company limped towards its inevitable demise. The other ECW books that are forthcoming - one by Scott Williams and one official WWE book - will certainly trump Lister's effort for direct contributions from the people involved, but the research for 'Turning The Tables' is beyond reproach. Lister has clearly studied hours of tapes (both ECW releases and a variety of shoot interviews) and hundreds of pages of newsletters and websites to build up a detailed picture of how the ECW phenomenon grew and finally self-destructed. There are details in this book that even the most avid ECW fan probably doesn't remember, including one fact about a key ECW angle that will genuinely shock most readers, and the analysis of both the NWA double-cross and the Mass Transit incident in Revere, MA is probably the most accurate you will ever see. Both these incidents get their own chapters and, for anyone who didn't follow wrestling at the time, will provide an insight into just how controversial ECW really was. Other chapters go into great depth on some of the topics that defined ECW - 'The Night The Line Was Crossed', 'The Three Way Dance', 'Raven Vs. Dreamer', 'Barely Legal' - while one chapter, 'Ten Classic Gertner Introductions', appears to have been included simply to provide some light relief in amongst the tales of mounting debts, half-baked PPVs and an ever-decreasing talent pool. Though this book is not a history of 1990s American wrestling, Lister does regularly refer to happenings in WCW and the WWF, pointing out the ways in which ECW truly was an alternative, breaking down barriers and changing the rules of a business that was incredibly stagnant when Eastern Championship Wrestling began. It builds a compelling case that without ECW, there might never have been a late '90s boom, and constantly reminds ECW's many detractors of just how significant the company's influence was. In today's US wrestling monopoly, especially with the winners writing history, it is easy to forget just how bad things were, and how thrilling ECW was for hardco

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