Backyard wrestling is an offshoot of Professional Wrestling, with one major difference: it's often not done with professionals. Often the creation of a few overenthusiastic wrestling fans and Spot Monkeys, this sport emphasizes Kayfabe, Big Spots and Garbage Wrestling. Several notable pro wrestlers, including The Hardy Boys and Rob Van Dam, got their start in backyard wrestling, but official word from WWE and other organized promotions is to discourage the practice (due to liability reasons) and not recognize tapes of backyard wrestling as training.
No examples, please. This only defines the term.
Although all backyard wrestling is different, the practice as a whole commonly contains examples of:
- A Darker Me: A staggering number of gimmicks in backyard wrestling are pretty much just a guy in black clothes who does flashy dangerous moves.
- Ascended Fanboy: Some wrestlers have their roots in backyard wrestling. The "ascended" part comes from them "going legit" and being professionally trained afterwards.
- Affectionate Parody: Some leagues have gimmicks that parody established wrestlers and teams.
- Cerebus Syndrome: In 1980s, the big trends in pro wrestling were the cartoonish World Wrestling Federation, the technical wrestling displayed in direct defiance of the WWF and camp that poked fun at the state of the industry. Backyard antics were a lot less dangerous then, so while there was insistence on being legitimately trained before wrestling professional matches, wrestling in the backyard for fun was seen as okay. Then the 1990s brought the rise of brutal striking and submissions, as mixed martial arts were starting to take off, WCW struck gold with the New World Order, ECW brought ultra violence never before seen on national television aired outside Puerto Rico or Japan while the WWF found new "attitude". Backyard bouts became increasingly violent and the stance changed to "don't even think of wrestling in a backyard".
- Creator Backlash: The Ascended Fanboys are generally believed to regret their backyard experiences and try to discourage potential wrestlers-to-be from engaging in the practice. Many former backyard wrestlers go so far as to become trainers specifically to help stop other aspiring professional wrestlers from doing backyard stuff.
- Do Not Try This at Home: One of the main reasons these disclaimers are shown on wrestling programs.
- Mr. Fanservice: Every backyard league has the good looking pretty boy with the long hair.
- Follow the Leader: A sad amount of gimmicks and storylines are recycled from things WWE, WCW and TNA did before. They also tend to follow trends of the larger promotions. Garbage tending to die down in the yards if there have not been any major garbage matches on TV and picking back up when they are, for example
- Genre Shift: Sometimes an entire backyard fed "goes legit", such as CZW, which even had a temporary relationship with the National Wrestling Alliance.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: Generally how one gets into backyard wrestling is from watching WWE on TV or something along those lines and being inspired by the whole thing. Backyarders may or may not be interested in "going pro". Some may just want the experience of wrestling without actually choosing it as a profession or spending time and money in a wrestling school.
- No OSHA Compliance: Almost goes without saying. Only the very best, most dedicated backyarders will actually go to the trouble of making an actual ring. For wrestling. And it's almost never a very good one. Several pieces of 4x8 plywood overlaid with a tarp and taped ropes mounted to metal or wooden posts are most common. It's somewhat understandable: A real ring, with basic springs on the underframe so as not to be a solid slab, a canvas cover, foam rubber matting for protection, and metal posts and turnbuckles to give ropes the proper tension all would run close to $3,000 and require several hours to assemble and disassemble. And this only covers the lack of safety, and not the ludicrous amounts of barbed wire insanity some will add to explicitly make things ''even less' safe.
- Playing with Fire: Inferno matches are very popular in backyard wrestling.
- Rooftop Confrontation: Disturbingly persists, despite being a consistent source of injuries.
- Small Name, Big Ego: An unfortunately common event in backyard wrestling is for some backyarders to hold themselves in higher regard than even trained wrestlers, the causes for such egos are varied.
- Spear Counterpart: Both genders do both, but backyard wrestling is considered such to the more private phenomenon of "apartment wrestling", since most of its participants are female. Apartments gained national attention first, despite their more private nature, because Stanley Weston wanted the news coverage of pro wrestling to be sexier.
- Special Effects Failure: Justified since backyard leagues rarely have the money for impressive shows, even by indie standards. Most of them have only Windows Movie Maker to work with.
- Where It All Began: Falls count anywhere matches ending up in a backyard is a rare but amusing occurrence.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Just TRY and count how many backyard wrestling leagues have the letter X in their name, JUST TRY.