The Backyard is a terrifying but often hilarious award-winning documentary that uncovers the extremely violent and often bizarre world of backyard wrestling. Throughout the U.S. and even the U.K, Director Paul Hough discovers that unofficial backyard wrestling groups can be found in almost any town. Made up of mainly teenagers – with a few twenty somethings – these groups meet regularly like real-life fight clubs.
Armed with barbed wire wrapped baseball bats, broken glass and thumb tacks, the film shows the wrestlers justifying why they risk permanent neck and spine injuries for an audience of one to three people; what the thrill of being set on fire with only a damp towel nearby holds for them and how to enhance the spectacle of bloodshed by multiple aspirin taking.
Meet Chaos and Scar, they inhabit the violent and sometimes bizarre world of backyard wrestling where light-bulbs, fire, barbed wire, thumbtacks, mousetraps and glass are weapons of choice.
Tell me about the documentary -The Backyard?
Chaos: The Backyard is a documentary on people like me living their life and doing what they love and it’s a great movie that should be seen by everybody.
Scar: The backyard is pretty much a kick ass documentary about the inside world of backyard wrestling and what goes through our minds when we’re wrestling. It’s also very entertaining and shocking after you see some of the movie; you just wonder why we do this, so this film will give you a good idea how and why it happens.
How did you get involved with the project?
Chaos: I got an e-mail from Paul Hough, he asked to come to a show and it was from there we began discussing the project.
Scar: Well, first I heard from Ryan aka Chaos from HIW that some film maker was coming to Tucson to film HIW for an upcoming film, so I emailed the filmmaker and told him about me, so he was interested in meeting me in Tucson since I live in Phoenix. So when I got to Tucson and met him, he was very interested about getting to know more about my life and why I do backyard wrestling.
Do you think Director Paul Hough has depicted a fair representation of the sport?
Chaos: I think Paul has done more then make a fair representation of the sport. Now everybody, everywhere, knows that these Backyard Wrestlers aren’t just retards trying to copy the professionals, they are people who just love wrestling and want to do it. I, myself am now a professional wrestler.
Scar: Oh yeah, I don’t think he was bashing backyard wrestling at all, he just wanted to make a film that stayed true to the topic which was backyard wrestling. Overall I think he’s a cool guy to hang out with and an excellent filmmaker.
Who or what inspired you to become a wrestler?
Chaos: A childhood friend by the name of Jon Johnson who I still wrestle with, inspired me to become a wrestler and build a ring in my backyard
Scar: Probably Sandman from ECW or Tommy dreamer from ECW. Well I wasn’t really inspired by a lot of wrestlers I guess I would say ECW inspired me to do all this.
How did you come up with your wrestling gimmick?
Chaos: I don’t really have much of a gimmick- I’m more of a guy who just puts on a good show. I guess a lot of people say my gimmick is a no nonsense straight forward guy but then again that’s how I am in real life.
Scar: Easy, I was myself; I had scars all over my bodies so I decided to call myself Scar.
What is your favourite kind of match, and weapon of choice?
Chaos: My favourite type of match is a Thumbtack Deathmatch and my weapon of choice… I’d say it’s a tie between the Thumbtack Bat and the
Scar: Anything that involved something in the match, I never liked plain single matches, I would always love to be involved 3 way, 4 ways, tag teams, ladder matches, death matches, etc. Just about anything that would pop a crowd and I would do so well at it.
What is the worst injury you have ever sustained in the ring?
Chaos: Dislocated shoulder and a fractured ankle. Nothing too bad I’ve never broken a bone! Geeze I hope I didn’t jinks myself…….!
Scar: Well this past February of 2004, I broke my back after trying to do a 450 off a ladder but the ring was so bad and the ladder was so terrible, so shit happens. I landed right on my lower back and ended up getting 10 hour surgery. A 16 inch metal rod is in my back that’s never going to be taken out, and has pretty much ended my career. But I don’t think this metal rod will stop me, I promise myself I would get back in the ring one more time.
Why do you think Backyard Wrestling has become so popular?
Chaos: Because of people like Rick Mahr, who unfortunately is only out to make money and isn’t as passionate about the wrestling.
Scar: Because it’s just so damn fun, what’s not to like? Getting together with your friends every week or every month, away from your jobs and drama, and just having some good old fun by beating the crap out of each other but you know you don’t really mean it, you’re just having fun.
What is your advice to those wanting to try Backyard Wrestling in their own homes?
Chaos: Don’t do it or you’ll regret it if you want to become a pro wrestler.
Scar: If you want to damage your body, beat the crap out of other people, or get together with friend’s every week, then by all means who’s stopping you? You can’t like say “oh I’m not going to do that because it’s dangerous” if it’s not dangerous to you then do it, it’s your call, not mine.
Have you had the chance to play the Backyard Wrestling video game?
Chaos: Yeah and I didn’t think it was very good.
Scar: For like 3 minutes, it’s f***ing terrible.
Due to the high risk nature of the sport, would you like to continue as a Backyard Wrestler, or venture into a sports entertainment federation such as WWE or NWA: TNA?
Chaos: I believe I am a pro wrestler and I’d rather stay in the independents or go to Japan. I’m not all about the money I just wanna wrestle.
Scar: The Backyard has been praised by critics and won numerous awards. Were you surprised by how well it was received by the mainstream media?
Chaos: I knew it would do well. Paul put a lot of work into this movie and we busted our asses to make sure the mainstream media would be surprised when they saw it.
Scar: I would always stick with the backyard wrestling because if I worked for wwe, nwa, tna or whatever, they would need me full-time and my body cant put in full-time. I’d rather wrestle part time.
Thank you for your time,
Chaos: No problem and thank you for giving me the chance to answer your questions. A big shout out to HIW (High Impact Wrestling)
Scar: Oh yeah, I didn’t think it was going to be that big, but it won so many awards and I get a lot of emails from fans around the world saying how much they loved the film. So I think it’s pretty cool to be in a documentary and be heard about all around the world. I mean wouldn’t you?