The SmarK Retro Repost – XPW “The Revolution Will Be Televised”

The SK Rant for XPW’s “The Revolution Will Be Televised”

– Ah, Rob Black and his merry band of rejects return for another bout with me, as Jason Parker sent me two more XPW tapes this week to provide me with a little light entertainment. Once again shot on what looks like a 16 mm camera, it’s obvious the success of the first video hasn’t helped the production values any.

– Your hosts are Kris Kloss and Larry Rivera, whose exaggerated latino characiture immediately cracks me up for all the wrong reasons, which is probably the intention.

– XPW “World” title history: We begin with a feud of the Big Dick Dudley-Damien Steele feud from the first tape, then move onto Steele winning the battle royale to claim the first XPW title. This segues into a feud with henchman John Kronus via the old Lex Luger-JJ Dillon route (Kronus refuses to eliminate himself and give the boss the win) and that in turn results in Dudley getting the title from Steele. Dudley is stripped of the title for unspecified reasons by evil babe Lizzy Borden and she decides to make a match between Steele’s henchmen Michael Modest and Jake Lawless (the single biggest Kevin Nash wannabe EVER), which ends up with Lawless winning the title. Lawless then sells it back to Steele, thus killing the title right out of the starting blocks. Didn’t the Fingerpoke of Doom teach anyone ANYTHING? Chris Candido then makes his XPW debut and beats Steele in a non-title match that is baited-and-switched to the fans as a title match. Oh, man, who’s booking this stuff?

– XPW title match: Damien Steele v. Chris Candido. Candido has Terry Funk tights tonight. Slugfest to start, and Steele dumps Chris and hits a pescado for two? Oh yeah, it’s a falls-count-anywhere match, which no one mentioned until two minutes in. Brawling on the floor and Steele gets a two count. You know, among the Really Bad Ideas that this promotion has, getting closeup shots of Steele’s back acne are among the worst. Yo, Damien, Scott Steiner called and he says you’re using too much steroids. Up to the stage area, where Steele gets a suplex for two. Candido whips him into the ring and brings a barbed wire ladder in. I guess that’s for those times when you’re painting the house and you REALLY don’t want to be bothered. He misses a headbutt off it, slipping in the process in a really bad looking spot. Larry Rivera saves the match with his commentary, talking about “slingchotting” into the ring and “yumping off the ladder” in a faux chicano accent. They fight over to the bar and have an epic showdown up there. Yeah, let Candido loose amidst a loaded bar, REAL SMART. Chris drops an elbow off the bar for the pin and the title at 5:17. No real build to anything and a bad finish to boot. *1/2 It also occurs to me that for all the trash-talking rhetoric about ECW that this group does, the ECW guys sure go over a lot.

– Shane Douglas makes a surprise appearance to celebrate with Candido.

– A special look at evil babe Lizzy Borden. It’s your usual “ringgirl gets all aggressive and starts dressing like a whore, thus triggering a feud with morality minded referee” story, not unlike most sitcoms today. The story then takes an O. Henry-ish twist as it’s revealed that in fact she’s married to Rob Black, which then mandates that she go Evil and start getting all power mad. You know she’s power mad because she fires people like Missy Hyatt and has her own flunky – Chastity. We end the vignettes with her forcing Kristy Mist into becoming her love slave, which is sadly glossed over.

– White Trash Johnny Webb pleads with Rob “Powers To Be” Black to reinstate the fired Hyatt, but he isn’t particularly sympathetic. Webb shows up drunk at the next show and sings a protest song.

– Next, we take a look at The Messiah, whose gimmick is that he’s the Son of God. And people say I have an ego. A run in with Johnny Webb ends with the Messiah getting crucified. Man, where’s Bob Ryder when you need him? Messiah & Webb continue their timeless “bogus Jesus Christ v. white trash icon” feud, first seen in the 50s when Lou Thesz was going through a bad period money wise, leading to

– The Messiah v. Johnny Webb. Messiah gets a belly-to-belly suplex for two, and a springboard legdrop for two. Well, he’s the second coming all right, but it’s of Sick Boy. Webb bails and of course they brawl on the floor because otherwise the 800 fans in attendance might be bored for 5 seconds. They cane each other and Messiah gets a baseball slide. Back in we go, where Messiah gets an X-Factor for two. Kloss calls it a “Cross-Factor”, and I’m in shock as he actually says something WITTY. Messiah goes upstairs and gets crotched. Webb hits a crucifix powerbomb (in an ironic moment of opportunity totally missed by the commentators) and biels him out of the corner, hitting a legdrop for two. Sideslam thing gets two, but he picks the Messiah up at two. You’d think God would come down and make the save. Webb finds some thumbtacks and dumbs them in the ring, but the vicious hand of irony strikes again and Messiah powerbombs him on them for two. Messiah goes for the Godsmack (a fireman’s carry into a stunner), but Webb reverses to a lame-looking DDT variant for the pin at 7:31. Decent match hurt by the total lack of transition between any of the moves. *1/2

– Lizzy Borden now has Kronus as her henchman (neither Chastity’s departure nor Kronus’ sudden change of allegiance are even mentioned) and she informs us that Chris Candido has signed with WCW and is holding the belt hostage. Shane Douglas tries to talk sense into his friend, and Candido in fact decides to defend the title against Homeless Jimmy and thus bury the title before he goes. I don’t really get the logic here, either. Kris and Larry promise us that we’ll see this match IN IT’S ENTIRETY later on in the tape. Make note of that statement.

– A look at Supreme, who apparently is well on his way to joining the likes of Foley, Funk and Brody in the annals of history. This week on FOX: When Hyperbole Goes Bad! At any rate, he faces the challenge of Axl Rotten, thus giving us yet another ECW reject for this tape. That’s a pretty scary ratio of losers for a 90 minute tape.

– Axl Rotten v. Supreme. Usual Axl Rotten stuff here involving a fork and brawling. Kronus turns heel (?) and helps Rotten win at 6:30, even though last time we saw him he was toadying for the evil Lizzy Borden and thus in theory should already be a heel. Axl then turns in turn on Kronus for no adequately explored reason.

– Quickie review of the King of the Death Match tournament sees Supreme beating John Kronus in the finals. Lots of blood is involved. A three-way dance with Kronus, Supreme and Rotten follows, which sees Rotten getting the win.

– We take a pointless look at Kristy Mist and her misadventures with Lizzy Borden. The point is basically to show Borden ripping off Mist’s shirt.

– The “shown in its entirety” Candido-Jimmy match turns out to be a 90-second clipjob, featuring Candido almost getting pinned after a wayward Douglas chairshot, but coming back with a Douglas assist to retain the title. Would it have KILLED them to go back and edit the voiceover segment with Kloss to change it from “shown in its entirety”? It’s bush league stuff like that which really bugs me. Douglas of course suddenly turns on Candido and lays him out, apparently turning Candido face again after he had inexplicably turned heel because of the WCW signing. Maybe Candido lent the booker some of his crack. End of show.

The Bottom Line: Bad production values, nonsensical continuity, indy sleaze, bush league wrestling, ECW rejects must be XPW.

Here’s a suggestion for the XPW folk for the next tape: Sit down and actually watch the tape before releasing it, and put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s never seen the product before. Ask yourself: Would this make sense if I’ve never seen this before? Could I watch the tape and then watch the TV show without needing a huge primer on what’s going on?

Further hint: Copy the WWF, not ECW. Their audience is about a million times bigger and their cheques don’t bounce. By using all these ECW rejects, you’re going after a subset of an audience that has been shown to be no greater than a million people at most, and no one can survive by imitating a dying promotion.

On second thought, with these guys that’s a GOOD thing.

Strong recommendation to avoid.