XWF In Your Face - Disc 1
by Scrooge McSuck
- With the AWF DVD set saga finally complete (you're welcome), I figured why not tackle another DVD set from a promotion that barely made a whimper: The XWF. Originally formed in 2001, and shows taped at the end of the year, the XWF never managed to find a TV deal to broadcast their shows, so eventually (around 2004 or 2005) Jimmy Hart sold the rights for a DVD release, and yes, there actually was an info-mercial for it, too. What made it to the DVD set were three episodes that were meant for television broadcast. I'm sure all were shown on PPV (back when stuff like the WWA was hanging around too), but I never caught any of them.
- Jimmy Hart and Brian Knobbs are our hosts. According to them, with WCW closing, they wanted to have an alternative for fans, rather than competition for WWE. Jimmy Hart wanted "rasslers" from the past, present and future, and NO PRIMA DONNAS. Including Hulk Hogan. Knobbs: People laughed when they heard we were running a wrestling federation. Is this supposed to be a comedy?
- Taped in Universal Studios in Orlando, FL, we've got "Mean" Gene Okerlund acting as our in-studio host, with Tony Schiavone and Jerry "The King" Lawler calling the action. Remember, this was during the 6-month hiatus of Lawler from WWF concerning his then-wife, Stacy Carter (Miss Kitty/The Kat). WWF was sure to sign him up before any of this could make it to television. It's a shame that Schiavone flushed his integrity down the toilet during the Monday Night Wars. He used to be, at the least, tolerable, and often respectful of performers and calling matches as if everyone were important.
- Back to "Mean" Gene, in the ring to introduce us to the Chief Executive Officer... Rena. It's Rena Mero, a.k.a Sable. Can we say that thing about "no ego's" anymore? She's trying to look as trampy as possible. She rambles about nonsense, then introduces the Commissioner of the XWF... "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. He rambles about nonsense and no egos or prima-donnas. They hype names like Greg Valentine and Jimmy Snuka, because a pair of 60-year old men is what this business is all about! Way to put over young talent before we get a single match in. We're almost a third of the way into this episode, and NO WRESTLING.
- Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley cut (Seperate and incredibly brief) promos on behalf of the Demon... the Kiss Demon.
Big Vito vs. Buff Bagwell:
Nice of them to hire a prima-donna like Bagwell, the only man with enough of a vagina to have his mom call him out with "injuries" in the WWF. The Nasty Boys get an inset promo to tell us they're back. OK. Vito boots Bagwell for showing off his muscles, and quickly starts pounding away. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Vito plows through with a shoulder tackle. Criss-cross, Bagwell with a hip toss, followed by a pair of clotheslines and a dropkick. Bagwell might only be rivaled by Paul Roma for having the biggest ego problem for accomplishing anbsolutely nothing. Vito nails Bagwell out of nowhere with the "Mafia Kick" (sweet chin music), then stomps away. Whip to the ropes and Vito connects with a side suplex for two. Whip to the ropes, Bagwell with a sunset flip for a two count. Bagwell takes Vito over with a back drop, then comes off the ropes with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Bagwell to the top rope, and he gets crotched for taking too long. Vito pounds away, and takes Bagwell down with a super-plex for two. Whip to the corner, Vito eats boot on a charge, and Bagwell with the Buff-Blockbuster for three at 4:10. I've got one word for this: THUNDER!
- Hulk Hogan: No more prima-donnas!
- A bunch of guys bother Roddy Piper. He throws them all into one match. I guess they're the Cruiserweights. I don't even recognize them, I must be going crazy in my old age.
- Carlos Colon was there. A lot of fire in that youngster.
Marty Jannetty vs. Hail (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Hail is some hoss, and he's got Jimmy Hart in his corner. I don't recognize him as anyone important, but he is HUGE, so I guess thats enough to build a promotion around him. Jannetty is only three years removed from his last run in a mainstream promotion. Lockup, and Hail shoves Jannetty to the corner. Jannetty goes for a hammerlock, but Hail shoves him across the ring, again. Hail with a boot to the midsection, followed by a back breaker, then a shoulder breaker. Hail hits the ropes and drops a leg for three at 1:26. Wow, talk about being squashed. I got one word for this: CHALLENGE! Dig the planted signs about Hail.
- Dawn Marie and "Maximum Force" are In Your Face. One is Simon Diamond. The other... I dunno. I'm sorry. Johnny Swinger?
- DREZDEN! IN YOUR FACE!
Horace Hogan vs. "The British Storm" Ian Harrison:
I've got one word to explain Horace Hogan being involved in anything: Nepotism. It's too bad we didn't get the British Storm vs. Hail. Maybe bring Typhoon and Earthquake in to really drive the point home. Hogan attacks from behind, and starts to pound away. Whip to the corner, Harrison catches Hogan with a powerslam. He tosses Horace over the top rope, but it's not a Disqualification here. Who's the face and who's the heel? Harrison acts like a douche, but Hogan jumped him. Harrison brings him back in with a suplex, then mounts him for the Scott Steiner Special. Hogan offers a comeback, but he's no Hulk. Harrison damn-near botches a overhead suplex, then connects with a sit-out powerslam. He locks a head cissors on for the victory at 1:44. A HEAD SCISSORS SUBMISSION?! Wow, I've got a year for you: 1963.
- Johnny B. Badd: XWF is In Your Face! I wonder how he got the gig.
- Norman Smiley is looking to get wiggy and jiggy.
XWF Cruiserweight Championship Battle Royal:
We've got A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, Billy Fives, Kid Kash, Psychosis, Low-Ki (called Kid Quick?!), Juventud Guerrera. Check out the head of hair on Daniels. There's a lot of stuff going on, but nothing happening. Fives takes Styles over with a belly-to-belly, but ends up getting tossed by Styles. Josh Matthews, of Tough Enough, is sitting at ringside. Psychosis and some other guy get wasted. Styles gets tossed, and takes out the previously eliminated guys in the process. Low-Ki basement dropkicks Kash, then lays into him with kicks. Stop calliung him Kid Quick! Tidbit: Nintendo named it's only new Punch-Out character for the Wii, Kid Quick. There's a lot of chops going on. Daniels attacks future TNA partner Low-Ki. Ki and Kash end up hitting each other with opposite corner clotheslines from the top rope in the only cool spot so far. Daniels and Tongan Prince (WHO?) double clothesline each other. Low-Ki charges Kash, and he's gone. Kash takes out the Prince (Iaukea?). Daniels with a slam, but a springboard moonsault misses. Kash with a Tornado DDT. Daniels to the top, but Kash knocks him off to win the Cruiserweight Title at atound 4:30. Spotfest, and not a good one.
OK, problem with this match: We didn't get any introductions, announcement of the rules (people went for pinfalls, but no one ended up being pinned), or even a list of who the participants were. I had to piece it together by who I can recognize and the commentary. Poor, poor, POOR production and editing with this. Afterwards, Kash gives Josh mathews a high five.
- Random sluts are in your face.
- Alice Cooper is in your face.
The Nasty Boys vs. The Shane Twins:
(Brian Knobbs & Jerry Saggs vs. Mike & Todd Shane)
Oh, this is going to suck. This is quite a reunion for the Nasty Boys, since Saggs has been "retired" since 1997 after shooting on Scott Hall and fucking his back up in the process. The Shanes? Well, here's there two notable runs: The Johnsons in TNA, and Simon Dean's Gymini in WWE. Call them whatever you want, they sucked. Saggs goes to work on, let's say, Todd Shane, using his usual assortment of crap. He gets a Pit Stop 30-seconds in. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and the Shane with a shoulder tackle. Todd with an overhead suplex on Saggs, then a belly-to-belly on Knobbs. Mike Shane with a slam to Saggs, and a neck snap on Knobbs. Whip to the ropes, and a flapjack on Knobbs for two. Saggs and Todd go at it on the floor, while Knobbs puts the boots to Mike. Saggs takes a trip into the ring steps, and Mike lays out Knobbs with a clothesline for a semi-quick count at 2:17. Well, that was quick, but it still stank. Knobbs attacks after the bell, and the Nasties work the Shane's over... until THE ROAD WARRIORS show up to clear the ring. Nice of the Nasties to leave before the LOD are halfway down the ramp.When you think of ego's and prima-donnas... do I have to make the joke, again?
Curt Hennig (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. Vampiro:
Shortly after these tapings, Hennig made a surprise-return for the 2002 Royal Rumble, and did well enough and got such a great reaction, he earned himself a run with the WWF. It didn't go too well (there's a What Is He Thinking for the future), but it shows you can never say never. Nice of Heenan to be at ringside with Perfect, wearing his jacket from WrestleMania III. We've only a few minutes left, so don't expect this to go more than a couple of minutes. Hennig grabs a leg, and Vampiro knocks him back with a heel kick. Whip to the corner, and Vampiro pounds away. Vampiro charges in with a clothesline, knocking Hennig to the floor. Hennig hangs him up across the top rope, drives a fist to the midsection, and comes off the topes with a knee lift. To the corner for some chopping. Hennig with a snapmare, followed by the floating neck-snap. Hennig grabs a headlock, and Vampiro quickly counters with a back suplex for two. Vampiro to the top, and he connects with a spinning heel kick for another two count. Hennig digs in his pants, so Roddy Piper runs down to bust him, lays out Hennig for whatever reason, and Vampiro finishes with the Michinoku Driver at 2:21. What... the... fuck? Why did Piper do that? Match was going OK for the 2-minutes it got.
Final Thoughts: I think I have a headache from watching this episode... I know it must be hard to start a promotion and package a handful of T.V. episodes together to not only sell the product, but put on quality programming, but my God, I don't know what was accomplished, other than throwing a bunch of people out there as possible. On top of 6 matches taking place, totalling over 20 performers, we also got glimpses of another handful yet to be featured in the ring, as well as authority figures without any rhyme or reason to their being authority figures. Why did Piper intefere in the end so batantly? Maybe the next two discs will be better, but I'm going to push back watching the next episode for a day or so to get my mind together.
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