/16 January 2000
WXO Wrestling premiered last week across much of the country. The
money men are the same folks behind the AWF "experiment" a couple years
ago, but we won't hold THAT against them - ha! Apparently, people still
see dollar signs in putting wrestling on television - I don't know WHERE
they see the money, but hey - more wrestling for us to watch, let 'em give
it another try! Unfortunately for me, MY station didn't have the space
for the show until THIS weekend. Fortunately for ALL of us, longtime
supporter E.C. Ostermeyer (E.C., of course, stands for "Everybody's
Curious...as to what my first and middle names are") provided me with a
tape of the show, so thanks to WEMT (Fox 39) in Greeneville, Tennesee
(Saturday 10PM), it's time...to welcome a fourth network to national
It's WXO WRESTLING #1, airing the week of 10.1.2K! It's rated TV-PG! It's got a guitars 'n' chant theme song! Sing it with me! "Here we go / time for the show / come one come all / to the WXO" So what does WXO stand for?
"It's a new year, a new millennium, and now - a brand new era in professional wrestling! It's WXO Wrestling - the new revolutionary force in pro wrestling! Hi fans, I'm CHRIS CRUISE, along with one of the greatest tag team wrestlers of our generation - it is SWEET STAN LANE, and Stan, we're coming at the fans on this, the premiere of WXO Wrestling from Lakeland, Florida, I know you are hopped up about it!"
"Oh, what a night it is, Chris Cruise - I'm excited! I'm BEYOND excited! But you know what? This is refreshing - we've got a brand new major promotion that's gonna have some of the old school values - and I like that! It's long, long overdue - there's a backlash in wrestling now, and we're gonna bring some top talent from all over the world right here on WXO and brother, it don't get any better than that!"
"It's the best of the new - the best of the old - and it's FINALLY gonna be professional wrestling that you're not *embarrassed* to sit and watch with your children, as we said - a new year - a new era - a new millennium in professional wrestling - it's WXO, and now let's go to the ring!"
ERIC WATTS & ZANDIG v. TOMMY ROGERS & ADAM "SCRAP IRON" PEARCE - Watts brought his cool pants with him from WCW, I knew you were wondering. Watts making short jokes at Rogers. Rogers and Watts tie up, into the corner, Watts pats his head and Rogers slaps the arm away. Lockup, to the corner again, same business. Watts gets to his knees and offers to fight him on his own level. Rogers kicks, kick, off the ropes, in the gut, off the ropes with a bulldog. Zandig in, eats a dropkick, Pearce in but Watts & Zandig have left the ring before he can do anything. "Rogers & Pearce have cleared the ring!" Well, Rogers did that on his own, but... Cruise says Pearce says he's the master of the jumping piledriver. Both men exchange. Gutshot, DDT for Zandig. Rollings senton. Legdrop. Zandig calls to the crowd - Lane says he recognises him from "Nightline." Off the ropes, reversal, hiptoss, arm drag, dropkick, Zandig tags out to a reluctant Watts. Pearce tags to Rogers. Crowd clapping rhythmically but not putting a dent in the canned noise. Rogers punching away, head to the buckle, into the opposite corner, boot up but Rogers catches it. Atomic drop, Watts bounces into a punch from Pearce and falls to the mat. Rogers drops elbow to the back and gets - 2. Arm wringer, tag, double arm wringer, double chop, nice choreography. Pearce with an arm wringer, tag, Rogers off the ropes with a double sledge to the exposed arm, and a shot for Zandig for the heck of it. Rogers in the corner with the arm wrapped around the top rope. Break. We take a look at Zandig on the outside and when we look back in the ring, Rogers has Watts on the mat with an arm bar. Tag to Pearce, into the ropes, double gutshot, double suplex. Pearce covers - but Watts is out at 2. Armbar while Rogers offers his hand to Watts - Watts tries to tag it, and Rogers pulls it away. Enough of this armbar, tag out to Rogers. Rogers with the armbar. Oh boy, armbar city! Watts powers it out, but pulls up lame following the leapfrog - or is it all a ruse? Rogers suckered in, gutshot and DDT from Watts. Watts with jumping jacks to get the story across. Cover...2. Head to the buckle. Into the opposite corner, splash misses, clothesline misses, Watts ducks a punch and Rogers DDT's him. Both men down, who will tag? Hot tag to Pearce! Zandig just comes in without a tag. Zandig runs at Pearce, who ducks - Rogers with a right while Zandig gives a punch to Watts in the corner. Pearce with a kick on Zandig and a whip into Watts. Rogers with a monkey flip on Zandig. Pearce tries the same with Watts, but Watts holds onto the ropes and Pearce hits the back of his head on the mat. Watts covers but Rogers breaks it up with a boot to the heat. Pearce covers, and Zandig drops an elbow behind the ref's back, then puts Watts on top. Ref is over - 1, 2, 3. (6:24) We spend a bit of time checking out a fan.
A silver Mercedes arrives in the back - and a mysterious guy (looking a lot like Dan Severn, although we never see his face) gets out and starts - yes! WALKING!
"I'm TED DiBIASE, the CEO - and yes, the CFO - of WXO Wrestling, and as such, I have several things that I want to accomplish in this organisation. First and foremost, I want to bring good family entertainment - wholesome entertainment - back to wrestling. You know, there was a time in wrestling as I grew up in it when character, dignity, integrity were commonplace in the world of wrestling. You see folks, my late father Mike DiBiase who wrestled as 'Iron Mike' gave his life to this business. He died in the ring at the age of 45; I was fifteen years old. I have given my body to this business - folks, there are parts of my body scattered all over this country. You know, my motto used to be 'everybody's got a price,' but truly there IS a price that's paid for the choices that you make in life and truly, the price that a wrestler pays in this business is a high one. You know, I remember the ah, the 300 travel days a year. I remember times where there were four guys in one room and six guys in a car, and I can remember nights when ah, we would travel all night for little, or sometimes no pay. You know we live in a day and age ah, where a lot of wrestlers are on guaranteed contracts, guaranteed money. Well in the WXO what you're guaranteed is the opportunity to make money, and that's one of the other goals I want to accomplish. You see, I want to see the young talent in this business, the up and coming stars, get a fair shake, a fair opportunity to make a living. You know...there was a time when you had to know somebody, being politically correct was very important. You know, the old saying goes, 'it's not WHAT you know, but WHO you know.' Well I want all of you to know one thing - there's only one person you've gotta know, and one person you've gotta impress in WXO, and you're looking at him. If you believe that you've got the talent and the ability to be a wrestler, and to go out there and earn your money - not a free cheque, there are no freebies in the WXO, then the only person that you have to impress is me...and I can promise you this - you WILL get a fair shake. You know...if you've got what it takes - if you think that you can make it here, then you will get a fair opportunity, but remember this - there's another old saying - you reap what you sow. And I want you to knwo one thing - that is the motto here. You will reap what you sow. And if you have any problems whatsoever in WXO, remember this as well - the buck stops...right here."
Chris Cruise looks less like Scott Adams with that five o'clock shadow, doesn't he?
MANIAC MANNY FERNANDEZ v. SHAWN HILL - Fernandez hails from Bellevue and really likes the colour green - his tights, hair, and face are all green. Hill (standard pretty boy in small tights) offers the hand of friendship, Fernandez tries to take a chunk out of it. Yeah, let THAT be a lesson to you - don't offer a handshake to a crazy man! Lockup, side headlock from Fernandez, wrenching it in, off the ropes to break it, shoulderblock by Fernandez. Off the ropes, leapfrog, Mexican armdrag by Hill, Frankensteiner, Fernandez decides to take a breather. Let's clap for a while - Fernandez complains about the tights pull. Classic. Coming up, Mean Mike Enos, the Bully Barry Darsow, and lotsa surprises! Fernandez prevents the lockup with a boot, there's an elbow, elbowdrop, Fernandez straddles the second rope - hey, that's not legal! Mugging for the crowd - swinging neckbreaker gets 2. Lane says he has NO idea who left the Mercedes - here's a hint, Stan, *we saw him in the opening credits*. Headlock...that was quick, elbow to the back of the head, stomp, snapmare takeover, legdrop, cover, 2. I would describe the pace as "deliberate." Elbow, into the corner, clothesline, and now he DOES get a chunk out of him - Cruise keeps saying he's kissing him - I guess biting isn't family-friendly. Taken into the ropes, Hill tries a Sunset flip, Fernandez won't go down, fist finds nothing as Hill slides away - scoop - and a slam. Hill shakes his money maker and drops an elbow. Second rope - moonsault! Kickout at 1. Off the ropes, reversed, got him up...and down across the knee. Big stomp as the Maniac walks over him. Onto the top rope - but he slips - then smiles about it. Hmmm. Off the top rope with the headbutt - 1, 2, 3. (4:01) Fernandez kisses the ref - hmm, I guess he really WAS kissing those other times. I blame the camera work. Here's a replay of the headbutt.
Backstage, Ted DiBiase talks to "the mystery man," who once again has his back to the camera.
Barry Darsow cuts a Priceline.com promo which is just as, if not more, funny that William Shatner's karaoke ads.
TED DiBIASE appears as the fog machine cranks out the smoke and the TripleMania-style christmas lights line the walkway. He's out to - to tell us what WXO stands for! No, I guess not. "Ladies and gentlemen, I am the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of WXO Wrestling. I am also the CFO (Chief FINANCIAL Officer) of WXO Wrestling, and with that in mind, know this. It is my intention to spend that money to bring to you the finest wrestling talent in the world today, and to climb to the top of the ladder and make an impact on professional wrestling like nobody's ever seen before. And I want to start that off tonight by introducing to you a man who, whether it's in the wrestling ring, boxing ring, or out on the street fighting, people are gonna know, and they know his name. He is here tonight, and without any further ado, I give to you ladies and gentlemen, Mr. DAN SEVERN." Everybody pronounces it Sev-ren, but we'll let that go this week. Severn has "The Beast" on his trunks. "Dan, you're no stranger to most fans viewing here and for the fans viewing at home. Anybody that follows professional wrestling, or boxing, or the Ultimate Fight Championships knows the name of Dan Severn, but for the benefit of those who might not know - you have been tagged with the moniker, out there in those things that you have done in the past - as the Beast. So would you mind telling these folks here and the folks at home how you got that name." "Ted, as you know, I've had a great deal of thuctheth my entire athletic career. Whether it be thtepping out onto an amateur wrestling mat, or climbing in that thteel cage for one-on-one, no holds barred action. But tonight, I thtep through the ropes of the thquared thircle. I like to think of mythelf as an impact players. I will not thettle for anything leth that to become the betht. That'th why I'm here." Backstage, we see several surprised wrestlers - Barry Darsow convinces a masked guy to go out and get him. The camera follows him out - we cut back to the ring where the interview continues. We cut back to see Darsow inviting the other folks to come out with him and watch what goes on. We are told that the guy in the mask is actually AL GREEN (Let's Stay Together). FIVE OTHER WRESTLERS are out with him. Green doesn't care about any of his belts - do you wanna get down? Feel it? "You've never FELT this kinda pain!" Then he tries a punch. Severn takes him down and clamps on an ankle lock. Green taps away while everybody watches all this. BARRY HOROWITZ comes in to break this up (I guess), and on his way in, he gives an axehandle Mike Enos, who runs into Barry Darsow. As you might imagine, Darsow turns around and gets the wrong idea. Next thing you know, these "friends" are going at it. Severn, who let go of Green when the brawl started, takes off as Horowitz checks on Green. The other three guys just kinda watch all this. Let's play the WXO theme - it's already annoying!
SCOTT NASH v. "THE BULLY" BARRY DARSOW - Nash wears some familiar looking "NASH" tights, coloured long hair and walks in over the...middle rope. Well, he IS a lot shorter than the definitive article. Lockup, arm wringer, wrapped around the top rope, Darsow pounds away. Off the ropes, right hand. Double sledge, again, 3, choked on the top rope, Darsow: "I'm gonna break his neck!" Compare this to his usual "I'm gonna break his stinkin' arm!" from WCW. Nash over the top rope to the floor. Darsow outside and walking over as the camera spies "MEAN" MIKE ENOS laying in wait with a chair. WHACK! (Sorta). The next chairshot is a *little* more convincing. Nash rolls in and the ref puts on the count...but we play the WXO theme and go to break before he gets to ten. Well, THAT'S a little annoying. We will assume it's a win for Nash (COR - we saw 1:43)
Barry Darsow still digs the PriceLine.
Cruise and Lane recap the hour, just in case you didn't join us at the top of the hour. Severn, DiBiase, Severn, Green, Darsow, Enos, Horowitz - notice how all the people highlighted in this pacakge are people you MIGHT have seen before? Isn't that clever? (Yes.)
THE HEARTBREAKERS (with Geeamore) v. THE BODIES - This is FAMILY-FRIENDLY fine lookin' women, GOD DAMN IT. Lane tells us that a shirtless physique is what it takes to win matches. Riiiiiiight. The Heartbreakers are Apollo and Adonis. The Bodies are....#1 and #2, I guess. Call me crazy, but Adonis looks a lot like Frankie Lancaster. Guess he wasn't a big enough star to keep his name? Collar and elbow, dueling arm wringers, headlock by Apollo, off the ropes, shoulderblock, off the ropes, up and over. I'm guessing Cruise doesn't know the name of this guy, anyway he does the "knee across the neck flip" and the hiptoss. To the armbar. "The Bodies are establishing dominanace very early!" Well, that ONE guy might be, Cruise. Off the ropes, armdrag, armbar. Lane talks about how great it is to see armbars again - well, not like THAT, but that's the gist. "It's all highspots these days - this is OLD SCHOOL!" Somebody tell Lane it's possible to appreciate BOTH and exclusionary commentary will only exclude. For an encore, he ALSO works in Lou Thesz' old "wristlock/wristwatch" line and fails to give credits. Tag to Body #2. Off the ropes, armdrag, armbar. I sense a pattern. Apollo knees out and tags in Adonis. Open kick, arm wringer, ready to shoot him into the ropes but it's reversed, duck, flying jalapeno! Clubberin' across the back. Bodyslam gets 1. Adonis comes back. Arm wringer, kick, shot for the man on the outside, but Adonis finds himself taken down by the man in the ring when he turns back around. Right hand, head to the buckle, tag, off the ropes, dropkick, three-quarter nelson, quick kickout, still pounding away, into the ropes is reversed, clothesline ducked, Apollo with a cheap shot in the back. Adonis with a gutshot and a suplex. Tag to Apollo. Kick, into the ropes, kick, belly-to-back suplex. Forearm, and a choke. Knee in the gut, suplex coming up - no, he drops him forward. Big bearhug. Chop, reversal by "one of the Bodies," (quick! Get that man some cue cards!) Chopping away. Into the corner, Apollo puts an elbow up. Face jam. Tag to Adonis. Open kick, off the ropes, we take a long look at Geea - yep, she appears to be a woman. Adonis' kick makes no contact - bad camera angle there - stomping on the man, blatant choke, cover - 2 count. Front face. Pounding on that mat in an attempt to bring the crowd to life - crowd is chanting something that isn't exactly family-friendly involving the valet. Standing up, tag to Apollo, kick, double shot into the ropes, double clothesline. Apollo with a shot to the man outside, bringing him in and distracting the ref, who has to get him back out. Double suplex behind the back. 1, 2, foot on the rope. Time for another bearhug. Bell clap to get out of it. Right hand by the Body, face rake by Adonis. Into the ropes, Sunset flip attempt - works! 1, 2, nope. Adonis with the front face, tag, open shot, head to the buckle. Apollo sends him into the other corner, back to the first corner, bearhug once again. Following the standard tag formula one Body pushes towards his partner, only to have Adonis distract the ref JUST when he makes the tag. As the ref and the Body argue, Adonis sneaks in and they do the doubleteam. Apollo goes out with tagging. The ref doesn't notice, so we don't even get him asking if the tag was made and the heel SWEARING he made that tag. Surprise small package for 2. Adonis into the knee. Back to the weardown. Once again the rhythmic clapping is encouraged. Off the ropes, kick by the Body, falling into the wrong corner and Apollo decks him. 1, 2, foot on the rope again. Tag. Inot the ropes, duck, duck, double clothesline by ... that guy! HOT TAG! Right, right, right, oops, Apollo comes back with a clubbing forearm. Into the corner, Adonis whips Apollo into a whip of Adonis into the corner hard with a clothesline. Coming out, Apollo hits a belly-to-belly suplex. The Body rolls out of the ring. Apollo walking over - back rake! But now the Body is firing back. In the ring, the OTHER Body is trying to get out and the ref won't let him - conveniently and unfortunately keeping his back to what's going on outside. Adonis over to help out his partner and the Heartbreakers turn the tide in their favour. Apollo goes over the barricade to grab a chair - only to have that GIANT FAN we saw earlier hold onto the chair and not let him use it. Apollo decides to take the fan BACK over the rail and wail away on him. Now both Heartbreakers are booting away on the fan - and now even the Bodies are laying into him as well. This is old school! Now we see HIS TWIN BROTHER hop over the railing and break things up - which, of course begs the question - why did these guys sit in different sections so far away from each other? Anyway, SECURITY escorts the two men off to the hoosegow - meanwhile, all four wrestlers are still brawling on the outside - the credits are up and a bell rings (DCOR? 9:39) and we're out!
So, it's like OKAY, you know? Obviously it'll take a few shows for them to find their voice, but here's a free tip: Also, it'd help if you didn't badmouth the competition - stick to your own strengths instead of bringing up the "weaknesses" of others. Even better...don't spend so much time TELLING us how great you are - SHOW us.
Still, it's not a bad way to spend an hour watching wrestling - definitely a step forward from the AWF. Still we'll see if it lasts any longer than THEY did.
For photos from tonight's show, commentary from Chris Cruise, a list of television stations where YOU can watch this show, a talent roster and much much more, check out the WXO at their website, www.wxo.com. Then write their webmaster and ask him what the heck WXO stands for - tell him CRZ sent ya! Assuming MY station (KBWB-20) comes through, I'll be back Monday with show #2!