The SmarK Retro Repost – XPW Extreme Conception

“Ladies and Gentleman, I’ve been to Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq; and I can say without hyperbole that this is a million times worse than all of them put together”

. — Kent Brockman, “Krisis at Kamp Krusty”

The SK Rant for XPW Extreme Conception.

– Note to hopeful future reviewers: If you have a policy of “I’ll Review Anything”, remember that someday a reader might take you up on it and send you a tape to test that theory. Case in point, this show. Reader Jason Parker was nice (?) enough to send me a copy of the tape that is inexplicably still in the top 20 sports video sales charts in the US, and my feelings before seeing this tape were basically “Hell, I sat through Heroes of Wrestling and I’m still here…how bad could it be?” The Simpsons quote above sums up my feelings AFTER seeing the tape. But hey, I’m a wrestling reviewer, and I stand my assertation: I will gladly rant on anything sent to me, no matter how hideous, because better I suffer for my art than you, the reader, waste your money on something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. If you have tapes of indy shows or two-bit promotions that you want to get my opinion on, send ’em my way and I’ll give them all the treatment they deserve.

– As an intro, this is XPW (X-Treme Pro Wrestling), the promotion that defines the term “Two-Bit Mickey Mouse Operation”. Based out of L.A. and financed by porn distributor Rob Black, it’s goal in life is to basically be ECW, except without the boring wrestling stuff and with less intellectual edge to it, because god knows ECW has been getting far too cerebral for my liking as of late. Of course, since Viewer’s Choice Canada is pulling ECW from it’s PPV lineup as of the next show, that’ll no longer be a problem (whoo-hoo!…er…I mean, D’oh), but that’s another rant.

– We start with the most incredibly pretentious opening video package I’ve ever seen, as the voiceover basically says that this is the promotion that’s going to change the face of the western world forever, while hilights that look as though they were assembled on a Video Toaster roll in the background, featuring the same 5 or 6 guys over and over.

– Your host is Chris Kloss (sp?). He acts and dresses like Joey Styles with Raven’s hair, and promises tripods for the cameras and porn stars. Wow, two minutes in and already it’s a lame ECW ripoff.

– We start by meeting Jimmy the Homeless Guy, as he rummages through garbage and eats dog food. The subtlety is breathtaking. The production values look to be about on par with your average porn film, which I guess is understandable.

– Next we meet Supreme, who looks like a young Bam Bam Bigelow, as he cuts up some meat. Logically, this leads to:

– Supreme v. Jimmy the Homeless Guy. Where to begin here? First of all, the “arena” is smaller than my apartment, and looks like some sort of hastily converted warehouse. Maybe 150 fans tops are in attendance. Announcer Chris Kloss doubles as ring announcer…at the same time. That’s just sloppy production work. Supreme gets a clothesline, but Jimmy hits a fameasser and a missile dropkick. Outside for some brawling as Kloss does the most blatant Joey Styles ripoff I’ve ever heard (Sample commentary: “It’s a PUNCH! A PUNCH! THIS IS EXTREME!”), then goes into Styles’ little mannerism of suddenly lowering his voice for dramatic effect (“That madman just threw him into the shopping cart.”) Some feeble weapons shots are followed by a homeless quebrada. Jimmy bulldogs Supreme on his shopping cart and hits a somersault dive off of it. Back into the ring as Supreme takes over with a powerbomb, seemingly right onto the ring mike. Back outside, Supreme utilizes the prop barbed wire to cut Jimmy open as Kloss has an orgasm over the “blood gushing out”. We’re talking Lex Luger Bash 88 levels here, kids. As in 0.0000004 Muta. Supreme puts Jimmy on a table and splashes him through it for the pin at 6:40. I saw a couple of guys who could do a couple of moves each, plus some weapon shots. Anyone off the street could have done 90% of this match with three days’ training, and to call this “wrestling” is an insult to everyone who actually takes the time to learn the craft. 1/4*

– We meet the “West Side NGZ” in a skit featuring “Chronic” pouring some malt liquor onto his homey’s grave. The acting is so bad and the camera work so ridiculous that it becomes unintentionally hilarious, especially when he launches into a soliloquy about avenging his friend’s death like he’s a character in a comic book or something, while manifesting a lisp like The Ladies’ Man and looking like Forest Whitaker. I expect him to start reeling off shrimp recipes at any given moment, but it never happens. I’d call this a New Jack ripoff but at least Jerome Young is a legitimate street punk with a criminal record and thus credibility playing that sort of part.

– We run through some fascinating hilights of Mr. Chronic doing the one move he knows how — the spinkick — and generally trying to kill whitey. He also has a posse of some sort, and you know they’re OGs because they all wear overalls. Word, G. They issue some sort of open challenge, and the Pitbulls answer, but we never see the match, despite it being advertised on the tape cover.

– We take a total 180 and now meet “White Trash” Johnny Webb, as he fixes a car and hankers for some KFC. Wonder why Vince Russo hasn’t tapped this market yet?

– Clips of Webb losing to Phenomenal Phil (did someone steal Pat Patterson’s book of rejected name ideas or something?) as they do a decent indyish match, then suddenly break into a brawl for no adequately explored reason. Phil finishes him with a Michinoku Driver onto a chair.

– Kloss does a BAD Raven impersonation to intro the next match. This is just embarrassing.

– “White Trash” Johnny Webb v. Dynamite D. D is apparently XPW’s ripoff of Steve Corino, and his interview skills are apparently so non-existant that announcer Kloss (no virtuoso himself) has to overdub and summarize the promo that D cuts for him. That’s just sad. The gist is that the 80s rule, blah blah blah. Webb shows off a parody of Roddy Piper’s “Reality Check” shirt, but this one is “Welfare Check” Haw haw! Dig that kooky wordplay! See, Webb is on welfare, and … oh, never mind, Vince Russo probably isn’t reading anyway. Even worse, Kloss is doing a Howard Finkel impersonation to intro the match, then moves into a charicature of Vince McMahon. Considering that Vince hasn’t done commentary since 1997, I’d say that one’s gonna be lost on most of the audience for this. Webb intros his new manager…Missy Hyatt. Oh, good god, was there an escape at the old folks’ home? As much as implants and copious amounts of makeup might help SOME women, the term “aging gracefully” isn’t even in Missy’s dictionary at this point. I don’t even wanna know what possessed her to wear a see-through dress here. Webb tosses D right away and they do a pathetic wrestling sequence, staggering around in place of selling, like a couple of Power Plant trainees. The idea is that the wrestling is supposed to be token in nature because XPW isn’t about wrestling and the fans want brawling, but even then it’s SO sad to watch two guys who obviously don’t have the slightest clue how to build a match beyond what you’d see in a backyard fed try to fake a wrestling match in the name of parody, until the parody itself becames an even bigger self-parody, if you know what I mean. D gets a sleeper as Missy retrieves Webb’s garbage can. Bunch of weapons get involved as Kloss shrieks like Joey Styles with a jumper cable attached to his scrotum. I’m still unsure if this commentary style is supposed to be some sort of supremely ironic satire of Joey’s overblown patterns or if Kloss is really that bad. I’m betting on the latter. I hit you, you hit me, only about half of them make contact. Into the audience, where the camera loses them, then back to ringside. Webb gets a Michinoku driver and canes D for the pin at 6:58. If you want a primer of how NOT to organize a wrestling match, this is it. -** No, wait, sorry, I’m subtracting another 1/2* for Webb’s blantant Sandman imitation after the match, complete with cane pose, smoking, and ECW ’95 ripoff camera angles.

– Hey, let’s meet Damien Steele, who looks like Test minus about a foot of height. He’s apparently very rich and powerful, which is hammered home by the overly long skit.

– The Miss Extreme Pageant sees Damien proposition winner Christy Mist. Mist’s nemesis Jasmine St. Clair sends her secret weapon, Big Dick Dudley, after Steele. Kloss has the single most disproportionately overblown reaction to the appearance that I’ve ever heard out of an announcer, as the entrance of a former D-Team non-star in a third-rate promotion is greeted with cries of, and I’m quoting here, “HOLY FING SHT, IT’S BIG DICK DUDLEY” from Mr. Kloss. And yes, this promotion is so extreme that they bleep their own videos.

– Clips of Dudley v. Steele, as Dick goes through two tables, then chokeslams THE ENTIRE XPW ROSTER. Yes, 6 guys in a row fall to the chokeslam. Wow.

– Clips of Steele v. Kid Chaos, as Big Dick attacks again. When you’ve got Big Dick on your ass, there’s nowhere to go, I guess.

– Later, Steele introduces Nicole Bass as his new bodyguard. Wow, another reject from a better promotion! X-P-W! X-P-W!

– Steel cage match: Damien Steele v. Big Dick. Dick rams Steele into the cage a few times. Kloss says the word “solely” about 15 times during the course of this match, only managing to use it in the proper context twice. Steele blades. Another wussy bladejob, good lord. Steele comes back with a handspring eye gouge, which is the only bit of entertainment I got out of this entire tape. Dick rams him into the cage a few times. Nicole hands Steele a pair of wire clippers, which he uses to dislodge some barbed wire from the roof of the cage and choke Dick with it. Bass then tosses a table into the ring as Kloss surpasses Michael Cole on my annoyance list. Damien puts Dick on the table and hits a feeble top rope splash through it, getting no hangtime whatsoever and barely breaking the table. It gets two. Sleeper is escaped by Dick, and he chokeslams Steele. BUT WAIT! Jasmine St. Clair cuts her way through the bottom of the ring…then turns on Big Dick and maces him. Oh, the irony! The agony! We’ve been swerved! Steele hits his devastating finisher (a swinging neckbreaker — I shit you not) for the pin at 12:02. Match of the tape at a whopping 1/2*

The Bottom Line:

This is extreme? A couple of grade-school bladejobs, two or three scantily clad women, bleeped out swearing, and an occasional table being broken? I’ve seen episodes of Smackdown that are more objectionable than this nonsense. Obviously Rob Black is a pathetic, bitter little man who thinks ripping off what is a third-string promotion to begin with is a sure way to find success in the wrestling industry. I could reel off about 150 ways to improve the product after watching this atrocity, but why bother? It’s obvious that the promotion has about a month of existance left with product like this, and I doubt any of the rejects featured on this tape (including the announcer) have any kind of future in the business, so I’ll save my breath for someone who I can still help.

Don’t believe the hype. Ignore it and hopefully it’ll go away.

Strongest recommendation to avoid at all costs.