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XPW review
by Marty Goldstein on 2001-06-07

The operation that I saw behind the scenes at XPW was quite unlike any I've seen before.It mixed the best qualities of the wrestling and live event (concert)businesses, with little open rancor or trouble.

Firstly, both Vampiro and Major Gunns spoke of the respectful and positive atmosphere in the back, and there was really a remarkable lack of tension around the locker room. Regardless of what others may have said in the past about XPW in a negative way, it certainly seemed like a good place to work,the boys from Mexico, San Francisco, Philly, and LA were happy and easygoing, and the security was professional without being dinks.

Secondly, there was plenty of manpower and the overall production was simple but effective. The sight of New Jack diving 35ft past the XPW logo onto Vic Grimes, who was duct taped to 2 tables, was the most unbelievable risk I have seen taken live and worth seeing on tape. When they came to the back, NJ got oxygen and both got a prolonged ovation from the crew.Whatever it cost I am sure Rob Black got his monies worth by getting his logo in the shot.

Thirdly, it was the kind of place where Pogo has 2 makeup artists, Lizzie Borden and Veronica Caine, hovering over him and you just knew Steve Rizzono was muttering " Matt Borne was right, dammit."

Fourthly, this has to do with production values, but whoever came up with the idea of using flourescent bulbs in 4 pacs to use as a weapon under bright lites is an evil genius. They explode into a plume of smoke and glass flying thru the smoke and lites. It looks dramatic, painful and sick, and then it was done twice, there were a few things that look great but I am beginning to get concerned about glass and breakable weapons.

Because of the size of the LA market and the connections XPW has to the music and adult industries, many of the marketing, merchandising and pr aspects are very advanced. Those same connections also marginalize the promotion from mainstream media and audience, as in America a lot of folks avoid any and all association with the porn industry.(I will say that the TnA quotient by todays standards was top notch for looks and quite tame for actual smut factor.)

The booking has to work around the usual mix of getting guys over while keeping others strong, getting their monies worth out of imports like New Jack, positioning Vampiro, etc. Rob Black and Kevin Kleinrock work like crazy during the shows and they are still in a building and learning process.They have a bankroll so it could easily fill the ECW vacuum by next year.

Yet to come -exclusive pix !!!

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Quotes from the boys: Ed Moretti says "Okay lets see...they did twenty high spots, chairs, tables, chains, outside interference, and juice...what's the rest of the card gonna do"?
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