Monday, March 26, 2018

The 15 Worst Things About XWF Episode 1

The XWF was a short-lived wrestling organization in the early 2000s. It started in November 2001 which means it actually preceded the beginnings of TNA which did not start until June of 2002. Oh, but don't worry about overlap as the XWF was out of business by February of 2002. Honestly, early TNA looks a whole lot like the XWF. It is not good, but there are some good aspects of it. And luckily, they put three of their episodes on YouTube to be broken down. They pack a lot into 45 minutes, so buckle up, and if you'd like to check out the episode, it's embedded below.

Not everything was bad, so the beginning of the list will actually be positive. We take a downward spiral into negatives fairly quickly.

15. They Had The Brain
The best thing they did was get Curt Hennig and have him, not managed, but represented by agent, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. I am extremely cynical towards this wrestling venture, but even I popped for this. Unfortunately, I'll talk about the match itself later.

14. Mean WHOOOOOOOO Gene
They also got Mean Gene Okerlund, and there is literally no way to fault them for that.

13. Hype Videos
Willie Nelson talks about how much he loves America with Hacksaw Jim Duggan for 20 seconds. It's inane and delightful. Johnny B. Badd does a ten-second promo, and it gets me so hyped. Norman Smiley does the same. They even got Gene Simmons to do one for The Demon. I don't actually see any of these guys wrestle on this episode, and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if I don't see any of them wrestle at all in these episodes, but the POSSIBILITY has me very intrigued.

12. Talent Did Exist
A bunch of cruiserweights, led by the former Prince Iaukea, come knocking on Piper's door, so he invents a Cruiserweight Title for everyone to compete for. Piper says that people can be eliminated by pinfall, submission, or over the top rope, but everyone is thrown over the top rope, so it's just a Cruiserweight Battle Royal. That is bad, but the fact that they have Psicosis, Kid Kash, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Juventud Guerrera, Low Ki (known as Quick Kick), and Prince Iaukea (known as The Tongan Prince) definitely saves it.

As I said, it's a Cruiserweight Battle Royal, so it's by far the best match on the show. The funniest part is that they pan away from the match to show Josh Matthews to hype him as the next big thing in the Cruiserweight division. Kid Kash wins the Battle Royal to become the first champion of the XWF.

11. A King On Leave
For the broadcast team, they got Tony Schiavone as their main play-by-play announcer which sounds bad, but for color, they had Jerry "The King" Lawler. Lawler quit the WWE for nine months when his wife, The Kat, got fired. This fit perfectly into that break of his. Lawler's commentary does not age well, because it's pretty horrifically offensive for today's world, but back then, you couldn't have gotten a more desired announcer.

10. A Perfectly Stupid Ending
Curt Hennig takes on Vampiro in the first episode main event. The match is fine until the end when Heenan gets a pair of brass knuckles. Before he can use them, Roddy Piper runs out and does this.

He hits Hennig, even though Hennig and Heenan never cheated. There was no proof that The Brain was going to use those brass knuckles for nefarious means; he might have just had cold knuckles. This injustice leads to Vampiro picking up the easy win.

9. Nasty Jimmy Forgot The Hammer
This was a company run by Brian Knobbs, Jimmy Hart, and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. For the DVD set, they couldn't even get Valentine to say anything which should tell you a lot about the quality of this product. But they did get Knobbs and Hart, and they focused on wrestlers from the past, present, and future. I'll let you take a guess at which one of those categories this company is sorely lacking. They also said they didn't want any prima donnas, and then immediately bragged about signing Hulk Hogan.

8. Authority Figures
Sable is the CEO, but she is just known by her first name, Rena. Sable was never great at speaking, but she did a hell of a job memorizing her lines as she actually sounds like she has a purpose in her words. But she only speaks for a minute before introducing the commissioner, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Why did they need two authority figures immediately? Because..., um, shrug emoji. Piper said he'll deal with the wrestlers, and she can deal with the money. I really hope they do some vignettes of Sable crunching the numbers.

7. Is Buff Enough?
The first match, to pop off the crowd, and set the tone for this new wrestling venture, is Big Vito vs. Buff Bagwell. I love Buff Bagwell, but this is exactly the match that you would expect.

6. Party Marty vs. Tall Hulk Hogan
The second match of the card is Marty Jannetty, who does not appear to be intoxicated, taking on some dude named Hail. He's 6'10" 340 pounds and couldn't wrestle his way out of a wet paper bag. He beats Jannetty, but the fact that a guy built like Hail never got a shot in the WWE shows how worthless he was in the ring. This is the first match that highlights the XWF's Hulk Hogan strategy. The XWF brought in every variation of Hulk Hogan to see if they could create a new Hulk Hogan. They had a fetish for giant buff dudes who were balding or completely bald and couldn't wrestle. They looked at professional wrestling, saw Hulk Hogan, loved Hulk Hogan, wanted to produce an entire organization of Hulk Hogans. Their big issue was that they forgot the most important ingredient of Hulk Hogan, and that is charisma. Despite failing to look for that, they would end up with one Hulk Hogan, but that was when they brought in Hulk Hogan.

5. Nasty Boys vs. Hulk Hogan Twins
The Nasty Boys take on The Shane Twins. You're not going to believe this, but the Shane Twins are giant buff dudes who can barely move. The Shane Twins win, but the Nasty Boys start beating on them, only to be stopped by The Road Warriors.

4. British Hulk Hogan Takes On Hulk Hogan's Nephew
Horace Hogan vs. Ian Harrison basically proved that their strategy in finding stars is finding guys who had lots of muscles and the wrestling talent would be secondary at best. British Hogan vs. Hogan Relative saw the foreigner coming out on top.

3. WXF?
This is the XWF secondary logo.
There is no human being alive who wouldn't guess that this company is called the WXF.

2. When Nasty Gets Nice
The end of this video, when they go back to director's commentary, is goddamn insane. Brian Knobbs only knows how to speak one way, and it's fast and loud. He was getting all hyped about the Nasty Boys feuding with The Road Warriors, but then he decided it was time to be serious. This is that moment.
He's still talking fast and loud, but he's combining that with some somber notes as he talks about the death of Hawk and Curt Hennig. They may have not wanted to combine all of the recap in one take, but two takes are for prima donnas.

1. Xcitement
XWF stands for Xcitement Wrestling Federation. I have nothing more to add.

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