Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) was one extreme contradiction piled on top of another. It was an incredibly influential company in the world of professional wrestling during the 1990s, yet it was never profitable. It portrayed itself as the ultimate in anti-authority rebellion, but its leadership was working covertly with the two wrestling giants, the WWF and WCW. Most of all, it blurred the line between real life and the fantasy world of professional wrestling like no other company before it, and many of those who thought they were conning others ended up being victims of the ultimate con. Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of ECW offers a frank, balanced look at the evolution of the company, starting even before its early days as a Philadelphia-area independent group called Eastern Championship Wrestling and extending past the death of Extreme Championship Wrestling in 2001. Writer Scott E. Williams has pored through records and conducted dozens of interviews with fans, company officials, business partners, and the wrestlers themselves to bring you the most balanced account possible of this bizarre company.