2006: The Year Of Rey
February 19, 2006 by Adam "The Adaman" Heap
Okay, so one day I’m going through OWW’s Promotion section, and I see Jimmy Hart’s name as a promoter. Apparently, he was the promoter of a short-lived promotion down in Orlando, called Xtreme Wrestling Federation.
And after looking at the talent he had in that company, like A.J. Styles, Curt Hennig, The Road Warriors, Carly Colon (pre-Carlito), Vampiro and Christopher Daniels, one must wonder. Did the wrestling world miss out on a diamond in the rough? The XWF only lasted a couple of months in late 2001 and early 2002, but the company, from my view, paved the way for this industry’s new superstars.
But what, exactly, did XWF had to offer?
Well, XWF showcased many top light-heavyweight performers. Before NWA-TNA came up with the X-Division, the XWF showcased cruiserweights better than any other show at that time. With the likes of Christopher Daniels, Low-Ki (who was known as Kwick Kick in XWF), Kid Kash, and A.J. Styles, XWF basically had at least one show-stealing performance every night. I remember watching footage of a match between Kid Kash and A.J. Styles. They put on a performance that was amazing! Also, this was around the time that the first Tough Enough competition took place. XWF gave Tough Enough runner-up, Josh Mathews, a chance to improve more in his wrestling technique. Believe it or not, he had a 4-star match with Kid Kash on one of XWF’s final shows.
Did they have the cruiserweights? Why, yes they did!!!
XWF also had something that, I believe, is missing in WWE - a strong tag team division. Even though there was no tag team championship, XWF had some championship-quality teams. The Road Warriors and the Nasty Boyz were the cornerstones of the division, while the Harris Twins actually looked impressive in tag team competition. Konnan and a unmasked Rey Mysterio were a crowd-pleasing tag team. XWF also had a team that currently has Simon Dean following them around on WWE Smackdown! and Velocity. That team is Gymini, formerly known as the Shane Twins
Did they have the tag teams? Why, yes they did!!!
Don’t think that XWF did not have any main-eventers! Curt Hennig was having matches at the quality of his WWF-days when he was the Intercontinental Champion. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan were superstars that would draw fans to the show. Vampiro, who is my favorite wrestler by far, looked as though he would be propelled to main-event status in XWF. Jerry “The King” Lawler brought his Memphis-style to the show. Carlos Colon and Jimmy Snuka had their sons participate in the promotion. Of course, we all know that Colon’s son would become a big name, but this is where Carlito first started being noticed. Buff Bagwell, the Barbarian, the Demon, Prince Iaukea, Juventud, Psicosis, The Wall, Simon Diamond, a newcomer known as British Storm and Marty Jannetty all made for an in-depth singles roster. But there was one guy that was getting a push. He was called Hail, and there were two things that intrigued me about him. 1) The way he was showcased. He had a small feud with Vampiro, and he had a variety of opponents. One night, he’s facing Vampiro. The next night would be Psicosis. Then Jim Duggan. He got show all of his abilities. 2) His manager was Jimmy Hart. Nuff said!
Did they have the singles talent? Why, yes they did!!!
Finally, the thing that would draw people to XWF; The Legends! I already mentioned Greg Valentine, Jimmy Snuka, Jim Duggan, and Carlos Colon but the president was THE reason to watch the show! I am talking about Hall-of Famer, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper! He was not an active wrestler, but he made the show more entertaining than it already was, and the show was more interesting with Rena Mero (a.k.a. Sable) as the C.E.O. Rena had never been more impressive on a microphone. But the best was saved for last in this article. Before I say anything, let me explain something. Even though I know a lot about the wrestling business, I’m a wrestling mark. Even though no one can stand him anymore, I’ll still root for John Cena. Now that you know what I’m about, I feel better about saying that XWF’s best show ended with a one-night only performance by Hulk Hogan. He wrestled Curt Hennig in the main event and got the win. Hennig carried him to an awesome match that was full of energy (I miss Mr. Perfect). Funny thing is, three months later, he would face The Rock in Wrestlemania X-8 and Hennig would be a jobber on Heat that same night.
Did they have On-Screen Personalities? Why, yes they did!!!
So, what didn’t they have? TV time. The life support of a non-independent wrestling promotion is television. That’s why WWE is still the titan that it is. That’s why NWA-TNA is starting to grow more as competition. And that’s why XWF is listed as extinct in OWW.com’s promotion’s section. But let’s imagine that XWF did have a TV show. Could you imagine watching Carlito, Low Ki, AJ Styles, Kid Kash, Roddy Piper, Rena Mero, Josh Mathews, Jimmy Hart, Psicosis, Greg Valentine, The Demon, Jim Duggan, Curt Hennig, Vampiro, the Nasty Boyz, and The Road Warriors all on the same card for free TV on any night?
Yep, a Diamond in the Rough, indeed.
by A.J. Johnson..
Steven P. wrote:
I really enjoyed reading your article. You were dead
on about a lot of points. I'm always interested about
the existence of now defunct wrestling promotions.
This was a good read and your efforts should be noted.
Robert Smitj wrote:
AJ, I really enjoyed your colum and i hope that you write more in the future. I dont read alot of colums on here but when i saw XWF mentioned I had to read and see what was said. I live in Ohio but I have heard of the federation and even looked it up a few times and I agree with everything you wrote and I think that if it was on TV now that WWE and TNA would have a good competitor.
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