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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Rise and Fall of XPW
June 28, 2005 by A. Maniac


WWF was on a roll, WCW struggled, and ECW continued to be more extreme than the big two. However, in 1999, the wrestling world saw the debut, of a brand new extreme promotion, Xtreme Pro Wrestling. Run and owned by Rob Black (owner of Extreme Associates, which is a porno movie company). Could this man, that had nothing to do with wrestling, really run a wrestling promotion" Probably not in many people's eyes, but XPW actually became pretty successful when compared to what people thought.

XPW was founded in the summer of 1999, but with WWF, WCW and ECW around, it was impossible to make their way into the mainstream. ECW dominated the east coast, so XPW decided to dominate the west coast, and in particular, Los Angeles, California. XPW ran monthly shows, with the likes of Go Funk Yourself, and their version of Starrcade and WrestleMania, Baptized in Blood. Baptized in Blood was their huge event. It was a one night tournament to declare the ultimate King of Deathmatches in XPW.

XPW build around a solid and small roster, of self-made wrestlers. Their biggest superstar was The Messiah, who was their version of Triple H. Other of the big wrestlers in XPW was guys like Johnny Webb, Kaos, Supreme and a solid midcard with wrestlers like Homeless Jimmy, Steve Rizzono and Dynamite D. They also had a commentary duo consisting of Kris Kloss (who most of all was a Joey Styles wannabe) and Larry Rivera. Larry Rivera was very funny as he had a horrible Mexican accent, and couldn't stand watching hardcore wrestling, which made him feel ill. But XPW was not only a garbage promotion, with lots of extreme style matches. It focused a lot on the soap opera of wrestling. So XPW had a lot of whacky characters like the Hardcore Homo Angel, Kraq, Tool, Pogo the Evil Clown and a few others. Some people found the XPW's storylines offensive, because the XPW didn't keep them at a family entertainment value. The "X" in XPW was "Xtreme" and therefore, there were no limits to what Rob Black and Co. would come up with.

Ever since XPW started up, it had a very deep hatred to the much more popular extreme promotion, ECW, on the east coast. Apparently, Rob Black and Paul Heyman had a hatred for each other that dated back to the early nineties; however, I don't know much about it. Rob Black decided to make a little mess with ECW. So when ECW opened their annual Heat Wave pay per view, in July 2000, XPW decided to mess with ECW. They did this by getting front row tickets for the show. The XPW wrestlers had T-shirts on that they had turned inside out, so nobody could see the XPW logo on it. However, when the main event between Tommy Dreamer and Justin Credible kicked off, the XPW wrestlers stood up from their seats and turned their T-shirts inside out to reveal XPW logos. This ticked off Tommy Dreamer, who addressed the XPW invaders. Security was brought to ringside and took care of XPW, who were starting to get violent and very provocative with the ECW wrestlers. The main event that night was Tommy Dreamer vs. Justin Credible. However the match that everybody wanted to see occurred on the outside when the ECW wrestlers gave the XPW wrestlers a lesson, and it evolved into a huge parking lot brawl, with ECW on the winning end, beating XPW's ass.

The XPW got a reputation of being controversial. When ECW died in early 2001, several of the ECW alumni jumped to the XPW, including New Jack, Sabu, The Sandman and others. The main storyline for most of 2001 was the story about the Black Army. The Black Army was run by Rob Black, and he was assisted by wrestlers like John Kronus, Vic Grimes, his wife, porn star Lizzy Borden, and the company's main eventer The Messiah. The Black Army was a heel faction making everybody's life hell. Especially Sabu, the XPW Heavyweight Champion. The Black Army, later the same year, defeated Sabu and his manager Josh Lazie in a "Loser Leaves XPW" match. XPW also became the home of former WCW wrestlers like Vampiro, Psicosis and Juventud Guerrera, and even the Insane Clown Posse made debut in XPW. XPW was also known for being out of control when New Jack tossed Vic Grimes off a 40 foot scaffold, almost killing the guy. Without ECW. XPW even moved to the east coast with some shows, which resulted in shows on both east and west coast. XPW was on a rise.

Then a scandal appeared for the XPW. Their biggest star, the Messiah, left the company for Combat Zone Wrestling. Apparently, Messiah had an affair with Rob Blacks wife, Lizzy Borden. Messiah jumped off the ship in a hurry before ticking off Rob Black, who became very furious about what Messiah did. One night, Messiah was attacked by two men in his own apartment. The two men cut off Messiah's thumb and kept it (probably as proof for the man who hired them). Messiah was left beaten and bloodied, and Rob Black was quickly the one suspected for the hit. The reason why Rob Black was suspected, was because Messiah a few days before reacted to CZW fans chants of "You F*cked Lizzy!", when he said "And she loved it!" This may have ticked off Rob Black, who paid two hitmen; however, the case was never really solved.

The XPW needed a new main eventer. At the third edition of Baptized in Blood, which was held at an outdoors arena this year, the "Franchise" Shane Douglas was brought in! The fans ate it up, and XPW had made a new main eventer, who took the XPW title right away from Johnny Webb. Later the same night, XPW fans saw another crazy dive as The Hardcore Home Angel was tossed off a very high scaffold to the ring, which exploded. Supreme had become King of Deathmatches once again. For the rest of 2002, Shane Douglas was their main character and feuded mostly with the likes of Terry Funk, Justin Credible and Chris Candido. The XPW finally seemed to be toning down its lame storylines and character, and began a product focused on wrestling. In late 2002, XPW made some really good shows which got good feedback from wrestling fans. However, just as XPW was on a roll, another scandal appeared.

Rob Black, as the scumbag he is, and Lizzy Borden were indicted. This happened because they had distributed illegal porn from their company Extreme Associates. With Extreme Associates out of business, the XPW was in deep trouble, because the XPW got a lot of money from Extreme Associates. What could've been a really good indy promotion, ended up dying, because of Rob Blacks decisions.

by A. Maniac ..


Thomas Daley wrote:
Thank you, for writing an article about XPW. I have been trying for a long time to find out what happened to them. They were here and then just kind of disappeared, just as I was becomming interested. I have several of their tapes, and even though (In my opinion) they were no where near as good as ECW. They did provide a hardcore fix, for the time being. Thanks again for the article.
Wesley Martinez wrote:
Unfortunately for XPW, everyone knew that they were an ECW wannabe that just replaced good, entertaining matches with as much blood as possible. Although they didn't take it to the level Combat Zone Wrestling has, XPW turned up the violence to a level that was just plain grotesque. The announcers were horrible, the "talent" had egos the size of Mount Rushmore, and Rob Black was a douchebag.
Joe L. wrote:
Since when does anybody care about XPW anyway" Bleh. I'm glad that this company is dead. Crappy wrestling, stupid storylines, ridiculous and rejected gimmicks, ripping off ECW, moronic vignettes and egos the size of Texas, the company can get bombed by terrorists and no one would care.
Cory H. wrote:
I honestly can't believe what I just read about XPW. In all honesty it was complete rip-off from ECW. ECW is what made the independents great because if a person saw ECW he or she could respect Paul Heyman, all of his talent and crew for bringing a product that was truly wonderful to watch. There is no other independent promotion that could ever match ECW. And I just want to make this clear above all else, I actually bought a couple of XPW DVDs, so I do know what I'm talking about as it deals with comparing ECW to XPW.

The only talent that XPW had was Valentina, and the Messiah. Now those are the only XPW stars that never came from a previous promotion like these well-known talent: Konnan, Vampiro, the late Chris Candido, the Franchise Shane Douglas, Raven, Mexico's Most Wanted, K.Malik Shabazz, Danny Doring, The Sandman, Syxx-Pac, Jerry Lynn, Justin Credible, even Tracy Smothers, Chris Hamrick, the late Malice, The Juice Juvi, Chris Chetti, Psicosis, the late Big Dick Dudley, Super Crazy, Vic Grimes, New Jack, Terry Funk,and Sabu. All of those talent brought with them a little of ECW. But not even all of them could help out XPW. XPW was supposed to be better than ECW, right"

Well look at the matches, for the most part they were hardcore and violent. But Rob Black forgot about one thing, the audience. He never gave them any respect like Paul Heyman. Hell what did he ever do to get the fans respect. Have Supreme- who is a piece of trash hardcore wrestler, who should actually pay his dues by taking on some real talent like Hardcore Holly, Bubba Ray Dudley, or even JBL to straight him out- cut a promo saying that the superstars like Konnan and Vampiro weren't in XPW because of XPW, they were only there for the money. Well I bet it's completely true. But it does make sense, if ECW went bankrupt wouldn't anybody find a job somewhere" And XPW had to be the bottom of the totem pole for all of the desperate ex-ECW wrestlers. But XPW just couldn't have those classic matches, and with that it loses it's intergrity to a pro-wrestling fan such as myself. There were some, not a lot, but some classic moments such as the ladder match between Chris Hamrick and Kaos with Kaos being powerbombed through another ladder. But that match was nothing compared to RVD taking on Jerry Lynn. RVD could actually wrestle 45 minute matches. And Kaos, that's too funny of a comparison because RVD makes Kaos look like "RCG" and that's a fact.

ECW had a place where people could call it there hometown wrestling promotion. Yet with XPW I'm sure many people are still wondering around to call a place there home promotion.

A disturbing thing about XPW is that XPW is what really made the ECW Arena become infamous. Just because XPW wrestled in the ECW Arena doesn't make it a promotion that could ever live up to what ECW had when it was still going.

A couple of other things that was wrong with XPW was just the horrible rip-off it had at the time as it was so bad that XPW actually had to get past ECW, WWE, Mexican and WCW wrestlers to become known. Yet I believe to this day many people who are pro-wrestling fans, like myself, still have no idea what XPW was about. Let's look at the facts according to me. I already established that Supreme should be a jobber. Kaos is as bad of wrestler as he should match skills with "Ring Crew Guy" of all people. XPW ruined all of the wrestlers from ECW and I don't need to go through that list again. But just to add on to that list of things that XPW did to ruin the pro-wrestlers from those past WELL-Known promotions was just making them job, in many stupid ways, to the wrestlers of XPW. XPW was garbage, and nothing could save them from the truth, not even having crappier T & A moments. For XPW it was making a parody of ECW but only doing a suckier job than all the other past promotions that fell in pro-wrestling history combined trying to have a comeback like ECW. XPW matches on the DVDs, and I bet in person, were not worth the money paid to see it. You can't have a wrestling promotion that's just about highspots, T & A, and EXTREMELY Crappy Angles. The time taken away from the matches that they produced in that promotion was one of the things that XPW did to ruin itself. I bet Rob Black was more concerned with shooting his pornos that shooting his promos. XPW didn't have the production "value" that other promotions had, and in a way it was like ECW. But that would have to be one of a few, meaning like 3 or 4 things that made XPW like ECW. But we all know why XPW sucked so bad and why it ultimately died because it would have died before Rob Black and Lizzie Borden got arrested anyway.

I suggest to any people who see XPW DVDs or Tapes at their Video Store to look at the price on those packages. When it says $10.00 or even less on E-bay. And you buy it, know this, you just wasted your money on garbage pro-wrestling that is nothing like ECW, no matter how hard it could try. And that's why it died.
Will Carroll wrote:
I strongly disagree with the negative comments made regarding XPW. If you read Terry Funk's autobiography he strongly puts over xpw. Terry wrote about how well their interviews were filmed. He even said something to the effect of WWE could learn a few things from how XPW filmed their interview segments. I believe Xpw had great character development. Most indy feds have mostly guys who all look the same and don't stand out much xpw however, gave time to the individual wrestlers and filmed promos that made you care about the wrestlers. That's simillar to some of the promos they usted to do in WWE. Along with that I think Supreme the king of the death match was a hardworking and nice person. I strongly support XPW, of course is was a knock off ecw that didn't live up to ecw.
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