Much of the inspiration for the upcoming Extreme Rules network special originated with ECW. Paul Heyman lead the creative end of the promotion out of Philadelphia in the early 90s where he famously changed the "E" in Eastern Championship Wrestling to "Extreme". The bulk of ECW’s shows were at a former warehouse secluded under a section of Interstate 95. It was pretty down and dirty in all aspects. And so was this shoot. Armed with weapons and props of this era, we produced photos that harked back to ECW themes, with a fresh spin. In ECW, there were virtually no rules so we had no rules. Mark DalPra brought everything we’d need to adjust our set or prop out the existing space as Kareem Black shot back to back talent for 4 hours. I love these raw often ugly backstage areas. Sofia Karvela pulled wardrobe inspired by the ECW talent and even had some custom pieces made like Carmella's singlet.
Today’s WWE Superstars paid tribute to ECW’s hardcore trailblazers like The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and Sabu. The gallery we put together was comprised of our original photography in addition to archival photos from WWE, PWI and George Tahinos. This feature hit 5.5 million views on the website in one day. See the FULL gallery including the ECW icons who inspired it HERE!
Photography by Kareem Black Creative Production & Direction by Christine Reilly
Wardrobe Styling by Sofia Karvela for The Wall Group Prop Styling by Mark Dalpra Hair and Makeup by Kelly Oswalt and Dee Lanee