"Barbed Wire City" filmmaker John Philapavage on Paul Heyman, the fan and wrestler connection to ECW, the Erich Kulas incident involving New Jack
In Your Head Radio with John Philapavage
Hosts: Jack E Jones and One Inch Biceps
Recap by Vic Schiavone
Show available at IYHWrestling.com.
Concerning the fans/wrestlers connection to ECW, did you think that for a lot of the fans it was also the best time of their life, being there when ECW was really hot? "I don’t know if it was the best time of their life...They have the emotional connection but it’s like they go to a day job and they do other things. This was this amazing escape for them that they miss; I mean, that much is true. But the wrestlers who lived it; it was their life, and they’re the ones who are also getting the emotional drug off of doing something crazy and then the pop of the crowd, whereas the crowd is just supplying that.
"So for them it’s this great night out that they wanted to continue, and it’s this cultural thing where it’s a small community to a lot of people, and those friends exist. I heard a million stories of ‘my best friend, I met him at an ECW Arena show, and now it’s 2013, and we don’t even watch wrestling and we’re still best friends’. You hear that. For the wrestlers, it’s a deeper connection because it was their livelihood and really their life. It’s not like a regular day job that you go to, and then you go home, and maybe your hobbies are what you are really passionate about. It’s pretty much what these guys lived; that’s all they wanted to be."
Do you have any personal thoughts on the Eric Kulas "Mass Transit" incident? "I don’t think there are a lot of good guys in that story to be honest with you. The dad was irresponsible to bring a 17-year-old kid there. The kid was disrespectful, sure. They were foolish people. They should have been handled better; they should have been kicked out. It’s just horrible circumstances there. The kid requested to be bladed, but there are people who do that and it doesn’t end the way it did there. There was certainly some kind of malice, in teaching this kid a lesson, portion to that. Nobody really held New Jack accountable from the company...it showed a lack of institutional control from them, because that really should have never happened...Not to be cute, but there’s blood on everybody’s hands with that whole incident, and they’re very lucky they found a way to get past it."
What are his views on Paul Heyman? "I’m fine with the way we present him. I think, actually, we have the best, the most fair portrayal of him that I’ve seen...I feel like if I ever met him, I would hope he would say, ‘Hey, you showed all sides of everything and you didn’t try to stick it to me, so thank you.’...He’s charming, he’s a manipulator, he’s genuine, he’s a liar; he’s all of those things. He’s a multi-faceted individual; he’s a fascinating character. He’s also very elusive, which adds to his mystique, and I’m sure he knows that."
Other Interview Topics
-What was the goal in making the documentary?
-Based on the positive response to "Barbed Wire City", will you be doing any other wrestling documentaries in the future?
-What was the craziest thing you saw while doing this documentary?
-Which fans had the best insults at the arena: Philadelphia or New York?
For more information on the documentary, how to purchase the DVD, or attending a screening, go to http://www.barbedwirecity.com.
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