ECW history in South Philly

Flying chairs, thumbtacks, broken tables and blood are just some of what ECW what it was in the mid to late 90s. Now as the wrestling world turns its focus on Philadelphia for WrestleMania next month, take a look back at the promotion that entertained hundreds of fans out of an old warehouse in South Philly.

Originally known as Eastern Championship Wrestling, the Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion became a stalwart of professional wrestling, thrilling fans from what was known as ECW Arena on Swanson St. 

The 90s was the start of the “Attitude Era” in WWE it fought for attention with the Ted Turner-owned WCW promotion. As the two top companies battled for cable TV ratings on Monday nights, the far smaller ECW put together events that helped push the industry to get more extreme and violent.

The former ECW Arena in Philadelphia, circa 2010. (Wikimedia Commons)

Beyond just pushing the envelope on violence, ECW also broke the mold of what wrestling characters could be, going for a more realistic appearance than the often cartoonish approach that had been a constant for WWE.

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