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The Viceland Wrestling Documentaries

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On 10/21/2021 at 10:39 PM, Curt McGirt said:

I will now present you with I believe the only Death Valley Driver review of an XPW show, courtesy @Pete

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$#$#$#$#$# XPW "GO FUNK YOURSELF" COMM TAPE (7/21/00, LA Sports Arena)
(Pogo Pete Stein)

I have taken the plunge and will now review the first XPW tape in DVDVR history.  Pray for my soul.

Show starts with Josh Lazie bringing Sabu into the ring to put some spin on the XPW boys  getting manhandled by Sal E and Roadkill the previous weekend at the ECW PPV... this leads  directly to EVIL COMMISSIONER Rob Zombie^H^H^H^H^H^Black hitting the ring.  Black chews  the scenery for a couple of minutes ("Internet marks" this, "fuck Heyman" that...) and sends his army of ECW retreads (Look!  John Kronus!) to attack Sabu.  Tool makes the save for Sabu and Lazio, which leads to Terry Funk hitting the ring to CUT A PROMO on Sabu for their match later.  Right away it should be noted that even XPW's vaunted production values don't mean jack when they have to keep the entire arena dark to disguise the fact that there's maybe 2000 fans in a 15,000 seat building.

You haven't lived until you've seen little kids try to shake hands with a wrestler whose gimmick is John Wayne Gacy's alter ego.  😉 (True story:  Gacy did some contracting work for my grandmother's drugstore across from Cabrini Green, and wouldn't you know it?  A couple of young boys who were working there wound up dead in his basement.  "WHO KNEW?")  NOSAWA controls the first couple of minutes with some dropkicks and a hot Shiryu dive to the floor, but Pogo cuts him off with a HYOOGE short-arm lariat.  Squash-a-rama ensues, ending when Pogo hits a fireman's carry into a sort of sit-down gutbuster for the pin.  Mitsunobu Kikuzawa runs in at the end to help out his buddy from Tokyo Gurentai, but Pogo puts the stop to that with a double-flapjack.  OK opener thanks to NOSAWA working for four... thankfully Pogo's shitty enough that I don't feel badly for him
being stuck in this gimmick, sorta like Wifebeater.

The lack of a working microphone in-ring kills off the stickwork until Carlito Montana can hit the ring and tell the world that "I hate niggers, but I REALLY hate wetbacks."  And so naturally, Westside has no problems with taking him on as a TAG PARTNER for the match.  "It all starts with logic."  Match proper is OK until the plunder portion starts, as Chronic is the best New Jack ever and Bigg Rott stays out of the ring for the most part.  Then IT'S BREAKIN' DOWN IN LA as Rey puts some staples in Carlito's forehead, Rott KILLS Lady Victoria DEAD with a second-rope K-Driller through a table, Chronic tosses Halloween into the stands, yadda yadda yadda.  Finisher has Westside hit Halloween with their version of the Hart Attack (ending in a spin kick instead of the clothesline- neato); the ref inexplicably fast-counts Halloween for this and gets Los Staples en La Cabeza from Rey for his troubles while they get a priest to administer last rites on Victoria.  As previously mentioned, match was fine until they got bogged down with the garbage spots.  This will become the theme of the night.

Rizzono comes to the ring wearing an NWO Wolfpack tank-top... I'd suggest calling the WCW Legal department but you'd probably be getting nothing but busy signals.  This is easily the best match so far as Kaos seems like a good worker, pulling off some good matwork as well as a sort of moonsault-into-Buff Blockbuster.  They throw in a garbage spot near the beginning as Rizzono sets up two chairs and tries to superplex Kaos into them, only for Kaos to flip over and powerbomb him through them.  It's actually a very smart spot in that Kaos immediately goes for submissions on Rizzono's back.  The match is progressing nicely as Rizzono wins a dueling chair spot with Kaos and goes for a Dragon Sleeper... then someone under the ring (who Rizzono had been conversing with pre-match) "gives up" and the ref thinks Kaos said it.  Kaos pulls the guy from under the ring and... "This match MUST continue!"  Rizzono borrows Rob Black's cane and pulls a sword from it, but Kaos steals it from him and juices him with it until Rizzono gives up for the win.  The announcing here has to be heard to be truly appreciated as Kris Kloss actually starts SCREAMING that the sword is "going right into Rizzono's brain!"  Steve Corino juices worse than this getting hit with plastic bottles, but whatever floats their boat.  Black challenges Kaos to a "Loser Leaves XPW" match against TracySmothers later on the show... would that qualify as a mercy killing?  😉 This was Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling up until the SE portion.

Webb hits the ring in a Hawaiian shirt and does his best impression of a Southern Pines gas station attendant in explaining to the crowd that Jimmy's "been in an accident" (apparently having been run over by Webb in a televised angle) and can't work the match, so therefore Webb's going on vacation early.  John Kronus hits the ring to start the match, which reveals Webb to be this bizarre mutation of Balls Mahoney and RVD... OK worker,fruity embellishments, crappy wardrobe.  Webb gets to show his stuff for all of about 45 seconds before Jimmy shows up with a shopping cart full o' plunder and the garbagy goodness commences.  Jimmy quickly establishes himself as quite the fearless maniac, hitting a sweet plancha onto Kronus and Webb and toasting himself on the guardrail in the process.  Webb and Jimmy soon take out Kronus, apparently eliminating him off-screen while two of Jimmy's fellow bums set up a table in-ring.  Jimmy tosses Webb onto the table and heads up top; Webb catches him and hits what was apparently going to be a Spider German through the table, however Jimmy never touches the table and lands HEAD-FIRST on the mat.  Owie owie fuckin' owie.  Webb replaces Jimmy on the table and splashes him through it for the merciful pin.  This was right in the middle of all garbage matches... I wouldn't mind seeing more of Webb (and even more of Jessica =P~), as he seems to be an OK worker and the gimmick's good for some laughs.  Webb also gets points from me for protecting his tender forehead and not blading here.

Oh man, the KOTDM title turns out to be a giant BOWLING TROPHY.  Where's Earl "The Pearl" Anthony when you need him?  There's a ton of gimmicks laid out here:  Barbed-wire on two sides of ropes, beds of nails in each corner, and three sides of the floor are decked out with plates filled with light bulbs, thumbtacks and the Caribbean spidernet deal from FMW.  It's actually set up very well and Supreme and Messiah do a good job of teasing spots into the plunder until Supreme pulls Messiah to the floor, and we get our first true idiot bump as Supreme gives Messiah a Rydeen Bomb FACE-FIRST into the thumbtacks.  Good lord.  Supreme follows with suplexing Messiah onto the light bulbs and now Messiah's hands and arms are so much chum.  Back into the ring they set up a spot with Messiah giving Supreme a sleeper while standing on the thumbtacks, then doing the Edge move where he drops Supreme back-first onto the tacks.  This of course means that Messiah takes the same bump face-first onto the tacks, so he's already trumped his own idiot bump from before.  Meanwhile Supreme comes up with the back of his head covered with the tacks.  Messiah then pulls the barbed-wire board into the ring, drapes it atop Supreme and hits an Asai moonsault (spiffy!), but the ref can't make the count in time because now HE has thumbtacks in his hand from hitting the mat.  Messiah tries to whip Supreme to the bed of nails but Supreme reverses it and Messiah takes the bump, only to move out of the way so Supreme charges right into it.  Larry Rivera with the line of the year:  "Why do we have to watch thees violent crap?"  ROTFLMAO!  Messiah sets up another barbed-wire board on the timekeeper's table and heads in-ring to collect Supreme, but Supreme catches Messiah off guard and gives him a Blockbuster suplex into the thumbtacks.  Rivera meanwhile asks rhetorically if Lou Thesz or Jack Brisco would ever stoop to a match like this, and the commentary keeps getting better and better.  😉 Supreme follows with a legdrop on Messiah who comes up literally spurting blood out of his head (.7 Honma); Supreme then gives him an Oklahoma Stampede onto the nails and the thumb-tacks in succession.  Supreme heads up top; Messiah meets him there and tries something, but Supreme reverses it and gives Messiah a superplex TO THE FLOOR and onto the gimmicked table.  At this point Kristi and Lizzie decide to ruin a perfectably good deathmatch with a catfight, soon joined by Rob Black and his large black companion Crack, and they provide a diversion while Messiah "forces" the ref to help him set the thumbtack tray up on two chairs.  Kristi hits a chairshot on Messiah who no-sells it, but even the Son of God is forced to sell being bitten DOWN THERE by Kristi.  Supreme grabs Messiah, hits a huge powerbomb onto the tacks and gets the pin from the ref (who looks like he took a tack in the face legit on the finish).  The Black Army runs in for a beatdown on Supreme, and you note that the Caribbean Spidernet (with flourescent lightbulbs instead of glass) hasn't come into play yet.  The reason for this is soon made clear as the Army quickly put Supreme through it and toss some chairs on him for good measure.  This was one heck of a death match, as they both seem to be good at the style and SWEET BABY JESUS did they just kill themselves the whole way.  It would've been even better in an actual lit arena where you could see everything, but I could see them working the same kind of match in a building like Korakuen Hall where everything is lit properly and a crowd like they had here would be in close and probably loud as hell for everything.  Good stuff.

I'm guessing Tracy must've been thrilled with seeing the ref (PEEEEEEEE WEEEEEEEEEE MOOOOOOOOORE) still sweeping the remains of the previous match out of the ring.  Match proper is pretty much a disappointment as Kaos is in his second match of the night while Tracy probably has no interest whatsoever in taking any more bumps on that mess of a mat than he absolutely has to, based on his sliding into the ring and sweeping away the debris himself.  Finish has Kaos hit two of his moonsault- DDT thingies on Tracy for the pin, and Tracy does the Southern-as-collard-greens tease of a breakup with Black before they kiss and make up.  I'd bring up the absurdity of Trace celebrating after losing a "loser-leaves-promotion" match... then again, consider the promotion.  😉

These two stay in the ring for all of like 20 seconds before deciding that it isn't worth sticking around in there and take it to the floor.  Sabu toasts Terry on a table, at which point they head back into the ring.  Funk deposits Sabu on the top rope and sets up a chair in the ring, heads up top and gives Sabu a piledriver onto the outer boroughs of Chair County.  You crazy old man, you.  Sabu meanwhile sells the random thumbtack in his hand worse than the actual move, then tosses Funk to the floor and hits his trademark Blown Triple-Jump Arabian Thingy.  They proceed to brawl to the back and onto the announcer's booth, none of which we can see since they keep the arena spotlights off I guess to maintain the illusion of THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF GREAT XPW FANS HERE IN THE LA SPORTS ARENA.  Things do stay lit long enough to see Funk and Sabu literally destroy the two giant Xs that support the entrance to the arena (Sabu apparently still selling the tack in his hand).  They meander back to the ring and pretty much go to the finish, which has Funk try to blow a fireball on Sabu only for Lazie to blow fire on *him* first- Sabu then torches Funk himself and gets the pin.  Really, really... ungood.  The condition of the ring probably had a lot to do with it, but the stuff outside the ring sucked a dick just as badly.

Overall, not nearly as gut-wrenchingly horrible as one might expect.  The KOTDM match was very good for the style and definitely should've been the main event if for no other reason than to avoid how badly the quality of the last two matches was hampered by the debris.   You probably want this just for that match, but there's enough talent in the group to keep things from getting too shitty on the undercard... they just have to limit the garbage for that to happen (fat chance, I know, but what the hell).


My best friend and I went through an XPW phase in 2001/02. Johnny Webb and Messiah were actually two fairly passable workers.

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When he held up the hand and showed the thumb in that clip I was like "OHHHHHHH". I guess it didn't hit me until seeing it. Also notice, he doesn't show it off at all during the interview.

The fact that he can still play video games is pretty neat. 

Edited by Curt McGirt
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  • 3 weeks later...

A little late but whose idea was the dang screwjob? I thought the WWE documentary clearly explained that it was HHH’s. Further thinking, even though that wasn’t necessary, would lead me to that conclusion also. HHH is the bigshot now and everything but back then he was just another rassler. Even if he was courting Stephanie back then that still doesn’t really mean jack. The boys had been bangin the promoter’s daughters since before HHH was being thought about. 

With all that said, Jim Cornette’s explanation sure made alot of sense. Vince Russo’s did not. What a dweeb. He’s laughing and smiling that he got to be on the doc. Nobody else was smiling lol! That basically proves Jim Cornette’s stories about Russo still dreaming of the day he’s going to be back.

I’ve about heard all I want to hear from Scott Hall also. Between this, the first episode and his trash talking Sting’s return, he seems like a bigger moron sober than drunk. 

The best part was the final scene lol!

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  • 8 months later...

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