Backyard wrestling (BYW), also referred to as yarding or backyarding, is a controversial, underground hobby and sport involving predominantly 12-30 year old males in usually untrained practices of professional-style wrestling, typically in a low budget environment. Although not legitimized, backyard wrestling federations are often created and consumptive of time and finance to maintain like any organization. Most people that take part in the practice are those merely emulating their inspirations from modern day wrestling, though a small percentage have experience from enrolling in wrestling school or from referring to how-to guides on the web.
For years, backyard wrestling has been a subject of opposition to pro wrestling personnel. Its peak years of high popularity were from 1996-2001, during the boom period of professional wrestling notorious as The Attitude Era, a time where high risk stunts were a prevalent influence on the wrestling fan base, most notably those performed by wrestling legend Mick Foley. Back in the late 1980s to early 1990s, backyard wrestling was often a good-natured topic which appealed to media for coverage until it periodically turned reckless and ultra-violent, worrying parents and wrestling companies. In response, WWE began airing advertisements, stressing the dangers and deterring their fans from duplicating the actions seen in their ring.
Backyard wrestling is a loose term that can occur anywhere from a park, field, warehouse or an actual backyard, and it has become completely reliant on sharing camcorder-filmed events, matches, and videos via public-access television and the internet, sharing methods which came after distributing videos person-to-person retrospectively. Over the years, it has also broken into the media with several Best of Backyard Wrestling Volumes produced, two video games entitled Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This at Home and Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood, and a critically acclaimed 2002 documentary entitled The Backyard, showcasing backyard wrestling under a more mainstream light as it follows several wrestlers and federations from all over the world, detailing the different styles and portrayals of backyard wrestling. In an interview, the director Paul Hough compared The Backyard to Beyond the Mat, but with yarders.
Films and documentaries
- The Backyard
- Best of Backyard Wrestling Vol. 1-6
- Traces of Death V: Back in Action
- Backyard Dogs Film.
Media related to Backyard wrestling at Wikimedia Commons
- Stewart, Saira. "Mick Foley On Life Beyond the Mat". ABC News. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
- "Mick Foley on Backyard Wrestling". Rock13. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
- "Backyard Wrestlers Beat Each Other Bloody". ABC News. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
- "The Interview February 7 2002". Backyard Revolution. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
- "Ricki Lake: Backyard Bloodbath". Internet Movie Database. 2001-08-16. Retrieved 2012-07-21.