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XPW ONE NIGHT STAND? PLANS UNDERWAY FOR ONE NIGHT REUNION, DVD RELEASES FOR CALIFORNIA'S XPW PROMOTION

By Mike Johnson on 2007-04-06 14:50:00

There are plans to run a one night nostalgia reunion show for California-based independent promotion Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW), which shuttered operations in April 2003. The reunion show is tentatively planned for this July with Big Vision Entertainment, which holds the rights to XPW DVDs producing the show for a DVD release. There's no talent, venue or date confirmed for the event yet, but I would assume it would take place in Los Angeles at an old XPW venue.

The decision to run the XPW reunion show comes from a belief within Big Vision that there is something of an XPW nostalgia wave following many of the XPW talents appearing on MTV Wrestling Society X. The decision was made several months back, feeling they could play off the WSX buzz but never publicly disclosed so as not to distract from Wrestling Society X. Big Vision had been keeping mum on the XPW plans for fear of it looking as if the company had given up on WSX projects.

The XPW reunion show is being specifically produced for a DVD release. Big Vision has already released one XPW title "After the Fall", a collection of matches. Several of the older XPW events will be released on DVD, with new commentary and extras, the first of which will be two "Baptised in Blood" events packaged together. Big Vision is also in the process of releasing the "first season" of XPW's weekly TV on DVD as well.

I am told that Kris Kloss, who was the lead XPW announcer (and held the same position for MTV Wrestling Society X) and Big Vision's Mike Hartsfield, who holds the position of Vice President of Home Entertainment for the DVD production company (and held a similar position for XPW during its existence), are in charge of the project.

Kevin Kleinrock, who was intimately involved on all levels of XPW, is not heavily involved at this point. He'll help oversee the XPW plans alongside other Big Vision execs, but is mainly focusing his energies on continuing Wrestling Society X in some form.

XPW ran from 1999-2003, mostly out of California, although the company would late branch out into running Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in latter years. Formed by porn guru Rob Zicari (who appeared on camera as Rob Black), it was heavy on blood and shock value and played itself as something of a rebel enemy to the original Extreme Championship Wrestling, based on legitimate grudges between Zicari and then-ECW owner Paul Heyman after a fallout of some sort.

Perhaps the company's most infamous moment came during an incident at the 2000 ECW Heatwave PPV in Los Angeles where a number of XPW performers were ejected from the front row during the main event, leading to a street fight between the ECW locker room, including Heyman, and a number of XPW personalities. Although it was long assumed that one of the talents was physically involved with ECW manager Francine, she noted in a Ring of Honor shoot interview that she was never accosted during the incident.

Among the California talents that worked regularly for XPW are The Messiah, Supreme, Jasmin St. Claire, Vic Grimes, Kaos and White Trash Johnny Webb. The company would regularly use former ECW talents that left the promotion as well including Sabu, the late Big Dick Dudley, The Public Enemy, Chris Candido, Shane Douglas, and Axl Rotten. Additional talents that would later appear included Juventud Guerrera, Terry Funk, and Psicosis, among others.

The promotion ran weekly TV in Los Angeles and later Philadelphia. The XPW insurgence into the former ECW Arena sparked a hot period for Philadelphia's indy scene with a number of companies all running at once in the market, including CZW, Ring of Honor, and XPW with XPW painting themselves as the enemy coming into the market looking to take over. At one point, they even leased the ECW Arena, locking all other independent promotions from running the facility.

XPW shuttered operations in April 2003 when Zicari and wife Lizzy Borden (also an on-air performer for the company) were indicted on obscenity charges due to pornographic material produced by XPW's parent company, Extreme Associates, being sent via the United States mail service to Pittsburgh. The court case on those charges, which were dropped at one point only to return, are still pending. Zicari would later sell the XPW trademarks, library, and name to Xtreme Entertainment Group (XEG), which handled video tape releases for the company. Houston Curtis, current CEO of Big Vision, was a partner in XEG at the time, which is how that circle all comes together. There's no word if the Zicaris would be part of the planned reunion show, although given how heavily involved they were in the entire run of the company, it would make sense for that to happen.

A website, www.thexpw.com has been launched to support the nostalgia show and DVD plans.

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