A Day With The XWF 11.13.01


Hello there! I’m Flea. You may know me better from the weekends. This special weekday appearance is made possible by the XWF, the latest and greatest promotion to come down and attempt to breath new life into a stale, one “big-time national U.S. company” Wrestling World. Three things right off the bat this gang has going for them:

Hulk Hogan – no matter what you think of the dude or what his eventual status in the company might be, his clout and connections made a lot of this possible. A TV deal WILL get done and this company WILL get national, mainstream press coverage. The list is very short of people in the wrestling business that can get something like that done.

A staff and crew that want to make the XWF work. Everyone went out of his or her way to be friendly and accommodating, within reason, and everyone genuinely appeared upbeat and happy that the product was met to a positive reaction.

A group of wrestlers that their asses to impress the crowd. NO ONE in the matches I saw appeared to be “half-assing” it. Obviously the talent level is not the same for everyone, but even the “green” workers put forth a good effort and all the wrestlers did a good job of keeping the crowds involved.

The format for this report will be a little different than most you will read. I am not doing “match by match” but will attempt to give you a look at the days happenings inside and outside the ring. With the exception being in the audience for the first two official “TV” tapings I was backstage the rest of the time and managed to speak with just about everyone (including Hogan, Widro!). I also spoke with a lot of the production crew, promotional staff and road crew to get their thoughts on the new federation. Thanks to Tom, Sherrie, Karen, Mark and everyone else for being cool, like that.

If you have some time to kill, come along and spend a Day with the XWF, Flea style. Be warned, there may be some opinions and remarks that may be construed as “markish” or “gee man, how can you “pop” for a “bunch of old farts” with “no workrate”?. Fuck you, you stupid smarks. They are the ROAD WARRIORS! Low-Ki could set himself on fire and wouldn’t get half the reaction.

Let’s get this show on the road.


Hulk Hogan – He didn’t show until the end of the night, when the “red carpet” intros and promos were given. By that time, it was late and there was probably only about 150-200 people left, but by God, they all belonged to the Hulkster. Classic “you know Mean Gene” interview, putting over the promotion and thanking the fans for their support. Posing and photo ops were available for a short period of time. I managed to ask Hogan about the extent of his involvement but he was non-committal. Oddly enough he did use the words “they” and “them” as opposed to “we” and “us” during his promo and when I spoke with him, so take that for what it’s worth.

Tony Schiavone – The much-maligned announcer will be the voice of the XWF. He seemed to be having a great time, legit busting up several times to audience responses and chants during slow periods of taping. A big deal has been made about his weight gain, but whoop-dee-doo, they are HIS arteries, not yours. I spoke with Tony for a considerable amount of time and he is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. No pretense and is very funny. I was DYING to bring up the Hyatte “hit” thing from a few years ago but held my tongue. Tony mentioned disappointment about not being included in the WWF/WCW and talked about how weird the last Nitro was. Totally up front and honest and he has high hopes for the XWF. He also enjoys having the opportuniny to work with his NEW broadcast partner

Jerry “The King” Lawler! – The only pisser about the afternoon was not being able to hear commentary, even on the monitors set up backstage. King got a HUGE reaction, played to the crowd and had a simply wunerful new piece of eye candy with him. He even got involved in an angle, beating Simon Diamond after some verbal barbs and taunts. Glad to see the guy back to work.

David Penzer and Mean Gene Okerlund handled the announcing duties. Penzer kept the crowd going through the dead spots of taping and handled all the do’s and don’ts as the crowds filed in the building. Another funny guy and didn’t back down to one heckler. Mean Gene is, well, you know, Mean Gene.(HA!) The guy literally talks ALL THE TIME. Oddly enough, he was one of the most popular people there for autograph seekers and also one of the most “over” people of the day. Gene Mean handled “on-air” segments as angles developed between the Commissioner and “CEO”

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper, the XWF commissioner. Big time response from the crowd for Hot Rod even though with the tapings it appeared he is turning heel. The guy still has moments of greatness as on the last taping of the evening he went full “heel” on Jimmy Snuka, apparently having some sort of flashback. I hope they keep him heel. If Piper is going to rant and rave like a f*cking lunatic, he does it much better ripping people to shreads than when he is the namby pamby “face” Piper we have had shoved down our thoats for the past few years.

Rena Mero is the official “CEO” of the XWF and looks better than ever. Let me elaborate: Sable is one of the most goddamn beautiful women I have ever seen, 10 times better in person than on TV / Playboy. Her role will to be handle the “money” aspect of the promotion while Piper handles the “slime”, As mentioned above, Piper does turn heel during these tapings, so many of the stories should play better on TV than they did live. I did get Rena to autograph BOTH of her Playboy magazine appearances and she and was very talkative. She’s glad to be back doing something she enjoys and blah blah blah .sorry but I totally tuned her out and melted. Words can’t do justice, folks. And I will deal with Mero in a few paragraphs.

I would be remiss to not mention that Rena’s official “security” is a few of the “No Limit Soldiers”, one of which is “4×4”, the HUMONGOUS black dude from the WCW days. Nice enough guy and all, but that the guy needs his own area code. I ran into him later in the men’s room, exchanged pleasantries and made a quick exit. Knee-jerk reaction, I know, but trust me, you would do the same.

Curt Hennig is being promoted as one of the top stars in the promotion and is another person that I am glad to see back in action. The guy still puts on a hell of a performance, but had a tough time getting the right reaction out of the crowd. For one, his “sports agent” (manager) is none other than Bobby “The Brain” Heenan”. Both of them were big time over as “faces” although their roles were supposedly that of heels, foreign objects, cheating, et al. but it wasn’t working. The Brain has more one liners than 99% of the stand up comedians in the country and went out of his way to meet and greet everyone. Curt worked several matches and looks as good as ever in the ring. Again, then angles should play out better on TV as the commentary will put Curt over as evil.

Buff Bagwell – where does one start with this guy? How about this – Buff was the most entertaining showman of ANYONE who was there. The first official TV match was against Vito and the crowd got on Buff’s ass right away. “You got fired” was the chant du jor and instead of doing the old “ah, I better cover my ears the fans are getting to me” heel move (or even worse ignoring the crowd), Buff joined right along and started singing “I got fired”! This evolved into “you suck” to which Buff stopped the match, pointed to himself and chanted “I suck” in tune and time with the crowd. Beautiful. He continued this act for the rest of the evening. For the last show of the night I was watching Buff’s tag match backstage with Norman Smiley and Prince Iukea, both of whom commented that Buff has a natural gift of drawing heat to himself. This was met with general amusement was by several people who overheard the comments, take that for what it’s worth. The fact is the guy is over and a new promotion will need someone like that.

I caught up with Vito later and bullshitted a little bit. Super nice guy who is genuinely shocked (but not disappointed) that he did not get a better opportunity with the WWF. I like Vito’s work and hope he makes the most of it in the XWF.

Speaking of old ECW people, Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger and DAWN MARIE were part of the show with match and the aforementioned angle with Jerry Lawler. I had met both Simon and DAWN MARIE many times years ago when I lived in Philly and attended ECW religiously. It was great to see both of them again and glad to see them back in action. And yes, DAWN MARIE is my favorite favorite, being totally adorable and all. Good luck to both of them.

Hail is managed by Jimmy Hart and must be in the plans to be pushed to the moon when this whole thing gets going. The staff was passing out various “Hail” signs throughout the afternoon and evening. He fought a couple “squash” matches (one against Marty Janetty {how the mighty have fallen}) and quite honestly, does not look all that impressive. His finisher is a leg drop for christsakes. Jimmy Hart ain’t changed in 20 years and shows no sign of wanting to; patented bumps and Jimmy nefariousness all around.

“British Storm” Ian Harrison is another who apparently will be a part of the big picture. This guy is built like a white 4×4 and has a “Goldberg-like” attitude in the ring. He squashed Horace Hogan and ended up in the last main event of the evening, teaming with Hennig vs. Buff and Vampiro. The guy needs work, but did get over fairly well with a crowd who didn’t know who the f*ck he was.

Vampiro – this freak is gonna be the star of the show. Insanely over with the crowd and should be the top face, Hogan notwithstanding. He looked great in his matches and did some promo work with Rena and Piper to set up some angles. Vampiro and Buff got into it at the end of their tag match, which will set up a feud down the road. Backstage, every time I ran into him we talked music, one of my favorite subjects and his as well. Outside of “good match” and “thanks” the guy didn’t say word one about wrestling. From what the tapings presented, Vampiro will be a big part of the main event plans.

The Shane Twins – as the name suggests, these guys are twins and also in the works to be part of the larger picture. They worked an angle with the Nasty Boys and ROAD WARRIORS and looked pretty solid as a team. Nice guys, but twins always make me nervous for some reason. Let’s move along.

Did I mention the ROAD WARRIORS were there? Yes, I know they are old and blah this and smark this and bullshit that but isn’t there a little bit of mark left in all of us? Judging from crowd reaction, I would say yes. And this is from people that weren’t even BORN or were playing in the sandbox when I was watching these guys! They looked good in what they did, as the angle with them helping the Shane Twins against the Nasty Boys was played up all night. And you just haven’t lived until you hear Mike Graham backstage yelling at Hawk about the esoteric ramifications of the “run-in”, using the word “f*ck” like a coke-snorting biker chick. What’s with the road agents and the bad language? Between Patterson in “Wrestling with Shadows” and now Graham, is that the only word that gets through to the wrestlers? Anyway, it’s the f*cking ROAD FUCKING WARRIORS and be the f*ck prepared to mark the f*ck out if the f*cking tv deal gets f*cking done. FUCK!

The Nasty Boys – still the same after all these years. Brian Knobbs had a big hand in the show both on screen and off. I was shocked he was actually coherent after watching him scream and yell all this time. Super nice guy who took the time to talk and sign things for people, even though time obviously was not his greatest commodity. On screen they are, as mentioned, fighting with the ROAD WARRIORS and the Shane Twins.

Kid Kash won an inaugural “Crusierweight Battle Royale (w/cheese)” against Juvy, Iukea and a bunch of King of the Nobodies. I literally couldn’t WAIT to get home and read about this match. All the smarts in the crowd were creaming their jeans over the missed spots and foot stomping going on. I’m sorry but there are reasons these guys are not on TV. Nothing against any of them and I hope they all get TV time eventually but c’mon. Kash and AJ Styles had a good match later but it definitely was not “off the charts” as described by some of the reports I have read and the battle royale (w/cheese) match was nothing to write home about. I have seen some good matches with Chris Daniels and like his work, but at this point he is nowhere CLOSE to what Rey Mysterio and Juvy were doing several years ago. Speaking of Juvy, damn did he look out of place. I also read a radio report with Kid Kash about how he said ” Austin and Rock do not know how to work” and RVD this, RVD that. Smoke another joint, you f*ck. And to take a page out of Eric’s book, please don’t bother to flame me about how great these guys are. I don’t care. I have seen my share of high-spots and what not and am just not all that impressed. That is, unless the XWF guys pick up Eddie Guererro and Rey jr. Nuff said.

I take that “Nuff said” back. Continuing the thought above, Josh from Tough Enough is part of the promotion. Now, if I was someone like Daniels, who is arguably the best of the nobodies, I would be a little pissed. Especially since the dude got “put over” Horace Hogan. See, it’s marketing folks, not all workrate. Ask Jerry Lynn.

Konann was there and the crowd went ape shit for him. Really cool guy backstage, as was Juvy. Juvy, by the way looks like someone’s kid that got lost. No word on what the deal with Konnan vs. other gainful employment is, but he was glad to be there and was in a great mood.

“Superfly” Jimmy Snuka was in attendance and worked and angle with Piper and also made and appearance with Jimmy Snuka jr. in a match against a Japanese dude named Vapor (w/Sonny Ono). In another mark-out moment of the night, both Snuka’s ascended the turnbuckles for a dual “Superfly Splash” Jimmy jr. needs A LOT of work. Sonny Onoo is entertaining as hell, keeping kayfabe alive as we speak. No further comment ..

Last but not least, Marc Mero – yes folks, the rumors are true and JOHHNY B. BADD IS BACK!!!!! When I got there that day, he was one of the first people I ran into and jeez Netcop hit the nail on the head with the fag-o-meter stuff. Mero played up the part, right up to and including the confetti rocket launcher. No TUTTI FRUTTI PUNCH OF DOOM, though. Not yet anyway. He got a great reaction from the crowd, but no mention of a relationship with Rena. Oddly enough, when we were backstage and talking, didn’t even get mad when I was drooling over Sable. Of course, I would have a hard time taking a guy in mascara and fake eyelashes seriously anyway, so I guess it was all for the best.


The staff did a great job coordinating the crowd and outside of a few people being jack-offs everyone appeared to have a good time. The first taping was a little awkward with several pauses in action, but Penzer gets credit here for keeping everyone alive. Once the pacing of the show was set, the dead time in between matches was eliminated and the crowd never had a chance to die. Especially hot was the last taping as the audience was heavy into every match.

Quick note for people going to wrestling matches. It is not even REMOTLEY cool or hip to say “what?” all the time. It worked for the crowd in Boston in a great moment of spontaneity, but that’s enough.

After the morning tapings, the place was filled for every show. There was the contingency of “park visitors” but for the most part the place was full of wrestling fans. And a group or two of smarks, but they can be forgiven.


Everyone busted their asses to put together an entertaining show not only for the fans in attendance but for hopefully (surely) a TV program. I cannot stress enough the attitude of everyone involved. No bitching or moaning and no uptight pricks. There was a feeling of anticipation with all involved that this is a product that will work and they are happy to be a part of it. Check it out when the TV program hits the air and try to ignore the negativity already rearing it’s ugly head. Not that there is a moral to this story or anything but spending a Day with the XWF reminded me that I’m a fan and it’s ok to mark out and enjoy yourself sometimes.

Again thanks to everyone there

FLEA is an Inside Pulse Original in every sense of the word, from his unique style and viewpoint. You can send any feedback to ryderfakin@yahoo.com, or just type it the comment box below. also but follow FLEA on Twitter @ryderfakin.