As crazy as this sounds, I was actually looking forward to XPW Freefall. WTF?! Why you ask? I was looking forward to this show because I always look forward to hanging out with guys I only see at wrestling shows. And with the lack of shows running in SoCal lately, I was looking forward to hanging out at the Grand Olympic.
We leave Orange County around 7:35-7:40. I was thinking that we’d be late for the opening bell. God, what was I thinking? Actual wrestling did not take place till 9:10. I think the wait for this show was longer than the wait for Halloween in Hell 2. While outside, Sandman came out and posed a little bit. I was surprised that I didn’t see mobs of fans come running toward him. I still can’t believe that I thought I’d miss some wrestling action for leaving the house so late. I still can’t believe that I didn’t try one of those bacon wrapped death dogs. That shit sure did smell good.
The crowd looked like about 800, more or less.
On to the High’s and Low’s:
XPW Workhorses: I dunno if you guys were aware of this, but Psicosis and Chris Hamrick both had planes to catch either that same night or early Sunday morning. I was surprised to see Psicosis even on the card because he was gonna be wrestling Juvi the next day in Vegas for WWA. Chris Hamrick has a pretty loaded schedule too. He wrestled on Friday on the East Coast, flew out to LA for XPW on Saturday, and flew back to the East Coast for TWO shows on Sunday. Yep. Hamrick was working two more indy shows on Sunday after XPW’s Freefall. Talk about workhorses. These two guys aren’t the only guys that should receive props in this category. Kaos wrestled 3 matches back to back to back in the same night. Sure, Kaos looked winded even during his first match, but he made it through.
Tony Kozina: XPW fans are saying “who?” while general indy fans are saying “why?”. For those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about, Tony Kozina played a tiny little part in the SoCal Union run-in. Only a handful of people probably recognized him. I’m sure some of the SoCal Union didn’t have a clue who he was. Tony Kozina participated in ECWA’s Super 8 2001. The same Super 8 tourney that had Low-Ki, American Dragon, Spanky, Reckless Youth, etc. I have only seen a few Kozina matches, but Kozina gets rave reviews for his work in the ring. Last time I checked, he worked for ECCW in Canada. It was weird seeing Kozina there. I doubt XPW knew who he was. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Canada NOT in SoCal? Why the hell was Kozina part of the SoCal Union, considering he doesn’t work SoCal indies? OK OK, now I’m just nitpicking. Me so sorry. Oh yea, and Referee Steve Daulton Jr. didn’t laugh once from my vantage point during the run-in. Way to go Steve!
Gauntlet Match: At first, I was expecting two three minute matches and one ten minute match, but I was wrong. Most gauntlet matches I see usually have the guy running the gauntlet pin his opponents in a couple minutes with a quick finisher or a quick rollup. It was kinda cool to see Kaos wrestle three lengthy matches. I think if the order of the matches were switched around (Angel, NOSAWA, Hamrick), the Gauntlet match would have been a lot better. NOSAWA got the short end of the stick, by having to work with an exhausted Kaos.
Kaos vs. Angel: This was a really good match. Angel is soooooo underrated and brought down with his gimmick. One of these days, he should turn face (straight). Really sick finish with Kaos giving Angel a Dragon Bomb (that’s what Kriss Kloss called it before). Kaos had Angel in a Papa Shango type shoulder breaker position, then just dropped Angel into a driver. Very dope finish.
Kaos vs. Hamrick: This match had some really great spots. Chris Hamrick was all over the ring (and out of the ring) bumping like a madman, flipping onto concrete on his back. I’ve seen him take crazy dives to the floor before in ECW, but never have I seen it done live. He even busted out a Van Terminator. Hamrick went all out for the XPW fans. The Super Sit-Out Front Suplex Buster (I forget what Kaos calls it) looked devastating when it connected this time; as opposed to the time he hit it on Psicosis at the last show.
New Plunder: It was kinda cool to see New Jack bust out a taser out of nowhere. It reminded me of a Star Wars fight scene, only New Jack’s cool sounding weapon wasn’t a light saber. It also made me flashback to Boss Man vs. the Mountie. At the next XPW show, Grimes should have under his shirt a shockproof vest ala Roddy Piper. Maybe I just liked the sound the taser made. Yea, that’s probably it. Actually, that is it. Grimes also had some crazy pizza cutter contraption on his hand. He basically put five pizza cutters together and pretended to be Wolverine. It was kinda cool, I guess, But it’d be more useful cutting up my Totino’s Party Pizza. New Jack also had some crazy S&M barbwire whip. Wow.
Hour long wait: Who knows what the hold up was. XPW sent out Major Gunns to parade in skimpy clothing. She should have got in the ring to parade. I read somewhere that someone saw evidence of Gunns on the rag. That’s frigging nasty, and I’m glad I sat far away like Steve Yohe.
Juvi vs. Mosco: I dunno why Juvi turned, but when he did turn, nobody cared. Just one of four turns of the night, with two of the turns being random and two of them making sense. (Karagias and D’s turns were just fine and dandy). Also, why did Juvi and Mosco go to the back, only to come right back out? So they could come out to some rocking tunes? Why couldn’t they just wrestle right then and there to save time? I’ve seen Mosco work in ECW against Super Crazy and Christopher Daniels, and Mosco’s all right. But I dunno why he wrestled in such a bad match. Also, Damien 666 needs to grow out his hair again.
A Guy in a Monkey Suit vs. Steve Rizzano: I guess this was trying to play off ETV some how, but I’m sure alotta people didn’t make that connection. Even if everyone did make the connection, that match was such a waste of time. That match should have been scrapped. This match also featured another pointless Crimson run-in. Is that all Crimson is gonna do? When is he actually gonna do something different? That is a pretty horrible gimmick by the way. On the plus side, the Monkey guy had some cool shoes!
Webb vs. GQ Money: This is where I got out of my seat and walked around. I saw bits and pieces of the match. But everyone else that saw this match in it’s entirety said it was pretty craptacular. I wish I had seen it for myself. Or maybe not. Maybe GQ would have had a better match with a better opponent. GQ’s got tons of charisma and he’s great on the mic, but unfortunately, Webb brought him down big time. And for some reason, it suddenly became a Hair vs. Hair match. No clue why. Hair vs. Hair matches are usually with wrestlers with long hair to begin with. What’s the point in cutting a wrestler’s hair that’s already short to begin with?! You could say it was a dignity type thing. I guess. But it reminded me of that lame Kane vs. Vader, Mask vs. Mask match with Vader losing his mask.
Supreme vs. Sandman: The second inexplicable turn of the night with Sandman turning heel. And now Sandman’s the deathmatch champ and with the Enterprise?! What What What?! Major Gunns with Supreme?! What What What!? The cool thing about this deathmatch was the use of the elevated bed of tacks on four padded folding chairs. Raising thumbtacks two feet off the ground makes thumbtacks a lot more painful than usual. Pure genius.
Scaffold Tables: For that angled bump, the ring should have been filled with tables, not just one section of the ring. If the ring was filled with tables, maybe Grimes would have walked out of that match a lot safer than he is now. But, Grimes shouldn’t even have to work an insane match like that. Grimes can wrestle.
I wasn’t really ticked off about the Buck Naked match at all. I wasn’t expecting nudity to begin with. And even if they did get naked, who cares? It would have been for a couple seconds. I think I’ll echo everyone else by saying that you could just rent their porn to see them naked. If you guys really wanted to see nekkidness, you should either gather up your dollar bills, or get a girlfriend; a girlfriend that won’t leave you for New York City. While in line for the show, I saw these two kids talking about how they couldn’t wait for the Buck Naked match. When I was that little, I couldn’t wait to see Hogan vs. Undertaker, not naked chicks.
Overall, it was a below average show. I’ve seen XPW put on better cards. “What” chants are lame as hell. Not only is it plaguing WWF TV, but even our beloved indy cards as well. But don’t get mad at Steve Austin. After all, he didn’t make it a catchphrase, WWF fans did. The “Que” thing was a little amusing with Juvi. Too bad it didn’t catch on with the rest of the fans in attendance. I’ll probably go to the next show anyways, because it’s cool to hang out with the guys, and it’s always something to do. XPW at the GOA has the atmosphere of a “big time” show, but too bad the in-ring product doesn’t quite match that atmosphere. Hopefully, it will some day.