Late 90s ECW crowds showcased the best Philadelphia had to offer

There’s nothing like the horrific sight of a 300-plus pound man covered in tattoos scraping a cheese grater across the forehead of an agonized Italian-wrestling stereotype named “Little Guido” to truly bring out the finest of South Philadelphia.

ECW was quite it’s own little adventure back in the mid-90s for wrestling fans who wanted a little less athleticism in their wrestlers and a WHOLE lot more blood and profanity in a show. Hosting shows at the infamous 2300 Arena on South Swanson Street where very little wasn’t allowed, ECW crowds did not give a flying fuck about much of anything as long as they could binge drink, watch wrestlers bleed profusely and yell at scantily clad managers to show their tits.

I watched a few PPVs recently (CyberSlam 96 and ECW Barely Legal) on the WWE network and was THRILLED to be able to step into a time portal and people watch when the action spilled over into the crowds.

So many mullets, so many polaroid cameras, very few teeth…let’s take a look at some of the finest fans in attendance at the two PPVs shall we?


2018 All-Philadelphia Royal Rumble

This Sunday the WWE is hosting its best pay-per-view  every year, as the ROYAL RUMBLE marches its way into our hearts.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, a “Royal Rumble” consists of 20 to 30 wrestlers entering the ring every two minutes. The entrants are eliminated when thrown over the top rope, and the final man (or woman) standing wins the event and gets to headline Wrestlemania.

This year, the Rumble is in our very own backyard, kicking off this Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center in front of 40,000 drunken, rowdy Philadelphians who yearn for the days of obese men putting each other threw tables at the old ECW arena.

What better way to honor the WWE’s best show by putting on our own knock-off event with far less athletic and well-known contestants? SOUNDS FUN TO ME!

Last year, everyone’s favorite Process Trusting nerd Sam Hinkie bribed his way back into the Rumble after eliminating himself before the event started. He teamed up with Joel Embiid to murder everyone in the ring, before betraying his star pupil to claim the vaunted Coggin Toboggan Championship belt for himself.

It was such a success that we’re hosting it again this year and opening it up to ANYONE AND EVERYONE with even a cursory relationship in Philadelphia. Are you a nobody athlete that had a cup of tea with the 87ers last season? God damnit, you’re eligible to make something of yourself. Do you stand a chance against a field of 30 hungry, grizzled veterans looking to raise their name to the rafters of the Coggin Toboggan offices? You sure don’t, but we’ll all have a good laugh at your expense as you bleed out on the ring floor.

Thirty of the most ruthless competitors have cast their lot with us to become an immortal champion for the city of Philadelphia. We’ve written a short bio for each, given each an entrance song and a trademark maneuver we feel is appropriate for their particular skillset.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2018 All-Philadelphia Royal Rumble. May god have mercy on our souls.

(If you want to get caught up on the action,  you can read the 2017 rumble here or the 2016 rumble here.)


BREAKING NEWS: Charlie Manuel declares entry into WWE Royal Rumble


Charlie Manuel, all fired up for his return to the squared circle at the 2015 Royal Rumble.

Philadelphia, PA – During a hastily called press release, former Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel declared he would be an official entrant into the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble, scheduled to be held at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, Jan. 25.

The annual event features 30 WWE wrestlers competing in an “over the top rope” competition to determine the number 1 contender for the WWE Championship, currently being held by Brock Lesnar.

Manuel, a lifelong wrestling fan, declared the event as a real “hoot” and vowed to knock some skulls during his time in the squared circle.

“My good friend Ric Flair always told me, ‘To be the man, you have to beat the man,’ and I always took that to heart,” Manuel said while he lacing up his red and blue boots.

The feisty manager hopped into a nearby ring and began squaring off with local wrestler Necro Butcher, a member of the Philadelphia wrestling promotion CZW, which was featured in the popular 2008 movie “The Wrestler.”

“Don’t you go using any of that shit extreme wrestling on me, this is a gentleman’s sport,” Manuel said, seconds before throwing salt into the grizzled wrestlers eyes and dispatching him with a picture-perfect knife-edge chop to the delighted “WOOOOOOOSSSS!” of the reporters on hand.

“Old Bob Backlund taught me this one…watch out now son!” Manuel said, ducking a chair shot from the Butcher and slapping him in Backlund’s patented cross-faced chicken wing submission maneuver.


The Necro Butcher, moments before being taught a thing or two by Good Ol’ Cholly.

Manuel then grabbed a kendo stick – otherwise known as a Singapore Cane popularized by former ECW great The Sandman – from ringside and cracked the bamboo rod over Necro Butcher’s skull, easily putting him down for the three-count pin.

“That’s how you do it, you sum’bitch. Never let your guard down against old Cholly. I’m the dirtiest player in the game,” Manuel said, standing above the unconscious wrestler. He exited the ring, but not before sending a stream of tobacco juice into Necro Butcher’s face.

Manuel then pointed at a Wrestlemania 31, indicating his desire to be in the biggest wrestling event of the year.

This will not be the first appearance of a Philadelphia Phillies representative in the annual wrestling competition. Former Phillies GM Ed Wade was entrant number 15 in the 1998 Royal Rumble, wrestling in his decades old high school singlet. He was dispatched by Cactus Jack 30 seconds into his entry, receiving a steel chair shot to the dome and tumbling out of the ring.