REVIEW: XPW Wrestling – Killafornia (2022)

A Pay-Per-View by XPW

When I last watched the revived version of XPW, I was both pleasantly surprised that actual wrestling happened (GASP!) and disappointed that it honestly felt almost nothing like old XPW for a number of reasons. Most notably, XPW was always a train wreck full of less than stellar workers, drug use, and pornographic actresses. It was grimy, seemed shady, and as I stated in that previous review, had a terrible reputation. What we got late last year felt like a GCW show with only a small nod to the past. Internet commentators seemed to not like it for a few reasons, most notably the New York Athletic Commission stopping matches because of blood, and a baffling ending that had to be the result of somebody messing up. It’s been a few months since that show aired, and I’m not watching this first run (they actually new PPV on Fite as we speak) so it’s time to see where they are.

With this being a deathmatch show (in honor of Supreme who sadly passed away not too long ago), I seriously hope the modern idea that all deathmatches need to be fought over tiny log cabins made of light tubes and other repetitive (and insanely dangerous) nonsense that got stale the previous 600 times on GCW. I want a return to Japanese-style FMW deathmatch wrestling before CZW tried to keep topping themselves at just about every turn. We shall see.

For anyone wanting to watch this, I would recommend Fite.TV. you can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch it, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far.

The Card

  • Silas Young over Brawlin’ Bo Cooper
  • Taya Valkyrie vs. Kamille goes to a no-contest.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – First Round
    Orin Veidt over Vincent.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – First Round
    Sage Sin Supreme over Sledge.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – First Round
    Eric Ryan over Juicy Finau.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – First Round
    Shlak over Dirty Ron.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – First Round
    Pagano over Shane Mercer.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – First Round
    Necro Butcher over Hoodfoot.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – First Round
    Masada over Lucky 13.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – First Round
    Big Joe over Terex.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – Second Round
    Sage Sin Supreme over Orin Veidt.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – Second Round
    Shlak over Eric Ryan.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – Second Round
    Big Joe over Necro Butcher.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – Second Round
    Masada over Pagano.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – Semi Finals
    Shlak over Sage Sin Supreme.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – Semi Finals
    Masada over Big Joe.
  • XPW King of the Deathmatch Tournament – Finals
    Shlak over Masada.
  • Note: Shlak becomes the 8th XPW King of the Deathmatch Champion.

My Thoughts

As I’ve stated before, my methodology for this is to avoid giving arbitrary star ratings or anything resembling the typical ratings people give in wrestling reviews. I usually go through the show and pull a half-dozen or so things that I thought were significant or that I liked. You might think some of my choices are dumb and that’s okay – we all like different things!

For the fans

Unlike Rebirth, this show had cameos by Angel, Vic Grimes, Jasmin St. Claire, and Veronica Caine (just to name a few). These appearances were a treat for the fans that may have felt the previous PPV was bereft of any sort of callback to the older version of the promotion. Yeah, XPW had it’s heyday over twenty years ago, and as you can assume most wrestlers are likely retired, but having little nods to the past, both good and bad, gives it continuity.

This guy

I’m torn between this being the worst indy gimmick I’ve seen in a while or the best. This guy is like dragging a rake across a chalkboard, near weaponized cringe at times. Not only is his gimmick voice annoying as hell, but his “noise music” got the fans against him almost immediately. He’s like turbo Joel Gertner minus the catchphrases. If this was a few years ago, I would have been eagerly awaiting a glimpse of New Jack coming out to lay waste to this guy, but sadly that was not possible (RIP). If not him who could possibly serve the same purpose?

…Pogo the Clown?!

Yeah, Pogo could never really wrestle unless I missed a period of time where he did anything other than lick a shovel and look scary while doing a couple of DDTs and throwing haymakers, but there he was, the hero of the night!

The Forbidden Door comes to XPW

Taya vs Kamille was a nice treat that I wasn’t expecting. It was a solid wrestling match, and definitely a far cry from the abysmal XPW women’s matches of the past that were practically cat-fights with the risk of seeing nudity at some point. I hope if they change anything about XPW, this is the way to go.

Here, let me set aside my entire day to watch this…

SIX HOURS AND FORTY TWO MINUTES is way too much time for a show like this, I’m not sure if doing two shows a week apart was feasible, or breaking this up into recorded chunks or something, but I could barely deal with a seven hour WrestleMania, much less something with far worse wrestling. On a good note, this was exceptional value for money when it originally aired, so there is that.

Not sure how I feel about Necro Butcher in 2022

Necro Butcher is one of those guys that seemed like he would eventually die in the ring, but lucked out by appearing in the Oscar-winning film, The Wrestler and apparently winning a TON of movie through something like Draft Kings. The dude retired and appeared to start rapidly aging which led many to spread allegations of him having an advanced liver disease brought on by Hepatitis. These allegations were never confirmed and likely fake, as there were equal rumors of a terminal cancer diagnosis. Finally, in 2020, it was revealed that he actually had Hodgkin lymphoma and was confined to a wheelchair, but has since recovered. For some reason, he’s back out of retirement, and I’m not sure he should be out there getting brutalized with questionable health. Here’s hoping he stays healthy…

Conclusion

This show felt very much like an older XPW King of the Deathmatch Championship Tournament, which I’m sure was great for the fans that have been fans of that for decades. It wasn’t poisoned by constant light tube spots, and felt more old-school which Made it far more tolerable for me. It was cool to see the cameos by some of the guys I remember from by VHS collecting days, and a number of newer wrestlers that would have fit right in twenty years ago. It wasn’t a perfect show, had sound issues, and was FAR TOO LONG, but overall successful. It will be interesting to see how this gets mixed with some of the more wrestling wrestling stuff from the past show into something more akin to how a GCW show is run, or how classic XPW felt. I think the next show might be to crown their women’s champion, so that ought to be great!

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