There are two things I won’t forget about Xtreme Pro Wrestling’s Halloween In Hell III.
One, a dude putting a syringe through another dude’s cheek and shooting liquid out of it. Second, a referee pulling a skewer out of a woman’s arm with his teeth.
Going into the show I knew that the death match style and the death match attitude isn’t for everyone. Me, I love a good death match and vehemently disagree with Triple H that blood has no place in today’s wrestling world. What we might agree on though is an entire card of death matches loses its impact, loses its significance beyond the third such match on the card especially for someone like me who has been a horror movie fan my entire life, had to pour through unedited, raw news photos from real-life combat zones and crime scenes as a Canadian and international news editor for 10 years and as fan of IWA and FMW in the past. I have pretty much seen it all but last night XPW surprised even me, as noted above.
This, the second coming of the notorious promotion that closed its doors in 2003, is a mixed bag. There are some talent like Ludark Shaitan, Sage Sin Supreme and Sawyer Wreck who with a little work could probably have decent careers in AEW, Impact or WWE. They are THAT good. On the other hand, tonight’s card was filled with XPW alumni, older folks who clearly cannot ‘go’ any more and I am sorry to say, talent who need to either go back to wrestling school and attend one for the first time.
The stand-out of the night was Sawyer Wreck though. At about 10 feet tall, the colossus was not only an impressive physical specimen that reminded me of the legend that is Mad Maxine but she was exhibited some decent skill in the ring too. It is surprising to me that she is touring the indies when she could easily go to the next level with the right organization and resources supporting her evolution from a death match star to a mainstream superstar.
Another problem with XPW is that they, along with many others, are inspired by the rebellious, non-PC attitude and the rabid energy that was Extreme Championship Wrestling, don’t seem to understand the psychology behind it. Yes, they were known for their hardcore mindset and matches but they also gave pure wrestling equal billing with such talent as Super Crazy, Eddie Guerrero, Jerry Lynn, Steve Corino, Rey Misterio, Jr., 2 Cold Scorpio, Dean Malenko, Rob Van Dam and a host of other stars who were legit pro-wrestlers who just happened to swing a chair really well too.
XPW has everything you might expect from an outlaw promotion. There is tons of swearing, tons of sexual references and tons of content that would have the perpetually triggered and eternally offended PC crowd furiously pounding away on their keyboards as they did when a Hispanic-American official at Halloween In Hell turned heel by joining the MAGA stable, complete with red baseball cap and an ethnic slur towards his own people. It is far too easy and so easy for promoter and owner Rob Black to push their buttons just as Paul Heyman and his crew did back in the day. And, it worked. Check out the black hole of negativity that is Twitter to read their amusing outrage focused on a heel saying and doing heelish things but don’t stay too long there or like watching the curse video tape in Ringu (The Ring) you will be tainted for life.
There are other things I don’t understand or like about XPW. I don’t get the intermissions. There is no ring bell. They have to pause for minutes on end to clean up the ring after every death match. I don’t understand the occasional technical issues arising from the transmission from the venue not Fite TV itself. Despite those things, there is something there, especially when it comes to the sense of humour they have in their promos. XPW is something that with changes could catch on and grow into a movement like ECW did especially during this time in the USA where individualism and freedom of thought, expression is under attack and there are a lot of broad-minded, nonpartisan, rebellious, irreverent people who are fed-up with being told by so many extremist factions how to think, how to express themselves and how to live their lives. Just like in the nineties and the rise of PC culture then, there is that audience, fan base today who are just waiting for a promotion to fully tap into their state of mind and being.
Halloween in Hell was a flawed show but this version of XPW is still finding it legs. Sage Sin Supreme versus Sawyer Wreck was the best match on the card. Wreck doing what we used to do as teenagers and making a blow torch out of an aerosol can and a lighter but through a pumpkin was great. The innovative use of light tubes, styrofoam boards with knives embedded in them and split open pop cans mounted on wooden boards was crazy fun…but like the splatter film genre, it certainly isn’t for everyone even at $20 bucks a pop.
XPW returns to pay-per-view on November 12th.
Halloween In Hell III Results
Mickie Knuckles vs. Ludark Shaitan – Death Match
All the credit to big, bad bruiser Knuckles who is wearing a thong and whose butt is getting sliced up by glass and tacks. Ouch! The women drink some milky substance out of dildoes. There is a bucket of broken glass upended in the ring and a hatchet to the “lower abdomen”. Tables won’t cooperate or break. Shaitan pins Knuckles after slamming her on a table and after being dragged through broken glass.
Winner: Ludark Shaitan
Drake Younger vs. Hardbody – Singles Match
Hardbody is apparently a Canadian who like stroking light tubes and wants you to use his “proper pronouns”, so you know where this is going. Younger, you will remember is the former WWE talent and anti-vaxxer whose stands on various issues saw him get the boot. He claims to be the “greatest death match” wrestler and wants to be the champion. Ooookay. Most of the match is Younger destroying Hardbody. A sheet of glass is smashed when Hardbody gives Younger a Death Valley Driver through it.. Younger sticks a hypodermic needle through Hardbody’s cheek and fires out some liquid. Younger pins Hardbody after executing his finisher on some light tubes. Younger praises Hardbody after the match.
Winner: Drake Younger
Pagano vs. Dirty Ron McDonald – Playland Death Match
Pagano just wrestled against Cibernetico in a “hair vs. hair” match at AAA TripleMania XXX. Weird that. An errant light tube flies out of Pagano’s hands and into the audience, who don’t give two craps about that. Pagano takes the time to sit on a chair in the middle of the ring and have a beer. Dirty Ron is a twisted version of Ronald McDonald. He gets powerslammed on some tacks. He lights his elbow pad on fire before pinning Pagano with a flying elbow off the top rope.
Winner: Dirty Ron McDonald
Psicosis vs. Human Tornado vs. Brawling Bo Cooper vs. Willie Mack vs. Judge Joe Dred vs. Big E. Biggs vs. Kat Martini – XPW FITE TV Title Six Way Extreme Elimination Match
Every three minutes a new wrestler enters the fray and the rules are like WWE’s Royal Rumble. Willie Mack and Judge Joe Dred start things off. Judge needs to take a time out after being thrashed by Mack. He spends more time arguing with crowd than wrestling. Mack waits on him in the ring as the time ticks down. Human Tornado is the next addition. He and Mack take turns punishing Judge. Bo Cooper joins next. Mack mistakenly hits Tornado eliminating him from the match. Cooper just crushes everyone. Big E. Biggs is out next. Dred and Cooper get dumped quickly. Mack gives Biggs a stunner, he flies over the top rope to the floor. Kat Martini is the final entrant. The crowd is stunned. Martini demands Mack throw the match. Ludark Shaitan attacks Mack punching him in the “lower abdomen” and takes him over the top rope.
Winner: …and new XPW FITE TV Champion, Kat Martini.
Necro Butcher vs. Terex – Death Match
A very slow brawl. Jasmine St. Claire is in Butcher’s corner. Terex and Butcher stab each other in the head with a pencil and a fork. Terex splashes Butcher three times in the corner and splashes him from the top rope. The official refuses to count Terex’s attempted pin. Butcher makes Terex submit. St. Claire paints MAGNA across Terex’s back. The Hispanic-American goes on his tirade and joins the new MAGA stable.
Winner: Necro Butcher
Sage Sin Supreme vs. Sawyer Wreck – Pumpkin Patch Death Match
An awkward moment has Supreme’s hair tangled up in some barbed wire. It reminds me of Sabu’s disaster during his barbed wire match against Terry Funk at ECW’s Born to be Wired. Wreck puts a board with wooden skewers in it over Supreme and cannonballs her in a corner. One of the skewers is buried deep in Supreme’s arm. The official pulls it out with his teeth. Wreck suplexes Supreme on glass and some candy corn. Wreck does her pumpkin fireball spot. Supreme throws Wreck off the second rope onto a board of pop cans and splashes her for the win.
Winner: Sage Sin Supreme
MASADA (c) vs. Vampiro – XPW World Heavyweight Title Match
This match and the angle makes no sense. For some reason that is never explained and just described as “a situation” involving “cancel culture”, Black must strip MASADA of his title and give it to Vampiro. This brings Vampiro and Billy Graziadei from the band Biohazard down to the ring. Vampiro appreciates everything Black has done for him over the years but he doesn’t want to win the title like that. MASADA arrives on the scene. He hits Black in the head with the belt and that sparks a title match? Lots of brawls, skewers to the head, chairs and Biohazard interference. Surprisingly, MASADA pins Vampiro with a small package. Vampiro attacks Masada after the match. Officials try to separate them. Vampiro demands Black return to the ring. He claims Black tried to embarrass and use him. He demands a match at the next event. Black gives him a return title match against MASADA.
Winner: …and still XPW World Heavyweight Champion…Masada.
SHLAK (c) vs. Angel – XPW King Of The Death Matches Title Match
SHLAK is just a tank and nothing more. The title is hanging above the ring. A ladder naturally becomes involved. Veronica Caine and Crack show up to help Angel. Angel is thrown into a pane of glass. SHLAK is taped in corner. Angel uses a staple gun on him. SHLAK pushes Angel off the ladder. He falls through a table below. SHLAK retrieves the belt.
Winner: …and still XPW King Of The Death Matches, SHLAK.