Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW) was an independent professional wrestling promotion which was owned by Rob Zicari, who alongside his wife, Janet Romano, appeared on shows as the owner of the company under the name of Rob Black. The promotion focused on hardcore wrestling and had connections to the Los Angeles porn industry.
XPW was founded in the summer of 1999. It attempted to carve a local niche on the West Coast, particularly Los Angeles, California and its roots can be traced back to Verne Langdon's Slammers Wrestling Federation, which ran shows in Southern California from 1990-1996 and trained many of XPW's future wrestlers.
Many consider the existence of XPW to consist of two different versions: the original West Coast version and the All-New XPW East Coast invasion. The original West Coast version was mainly based in California where controversy and X-rated content were of huge importance. The East Coast invasion featured XPW garnering some success in cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh thanks to promotional efforts on the part of Shane Douglas.
The original XPW: West Coast Edition: 1999-2002
XPW was a hardcore wrestling promotion that featured many violent matches, reminiscent of the Japanese death matches popularized overseas. XPW also kept a huge focus on the soap opera aspect of wrestling, as the storylines involved porn stars, alternative lifestyles, profanity, and sadistic violence. The announcing duo for XPW consisted of Kris Kloss and Larry Rivera, with Kloss doing the play-by-play and Rivera taking on the role as a heel color commentator. Kris Kloss' trademark was an inhuman high pitched scream when something shocking occurred in a match. Larry Rivera would often side with Rob Black, and his trademark announcing consisted of referring to Kloss as "chico", and the occasional breakdown of Spanish announcing.
In this period, the promotion's main stars were homegrown wrestlers. Eventually, many former ECW stars passed through XPW at one point or another. From 2000 to 2002, XPW held an annual deathmatch tournament called Baptized in Blood, which was XPW's version of the legendary IWA-Japan King of the Deathmatch.
The main storyline for most of 2001 concerned the heel stable called The Black Army. The Black Army was run by Rob Black, assisted by his wife (porn star Lizzy Borden), and feuded with Sabu. XPW was in large part responsible for catapulting Sabu back into the national spotlight after he left ECW. Before coming to XPW, Sabu had wrestled in Mexico once over the course of his 20 year career. After joining XPW in March 2000, he started getting booked by Xtreme Latin American Wrestling every month. He had only made sporadic appearances in Canada during his 20 year career, but after joining XPW, he started wrestling for Stampede Wrestling and Border City Wrestling multiple times per month. Very shortly after joining XPW, he also started wrestling on a monthly basis in Japan's FMW.
Towards the end of 2001, another heel stable called the "Enterprise" emerged to feud with the Black Army. Originally consisting of former Black Army henchmen Steve Rizzono, porn star Veronica Caine and GQ Money, the stable was completed at the Damage Inc. show when Kid Kaos won the XPW television title, turned his back on his uncle, Supreme, and aligned himself with the Enterprise. After this surprise heel turn, Kid Kaos dropped the "Kid" from his name and nicknamed himself "The Rock Superstar" Kaos.
At Baptized in Blood III in 2002, Shane Douglas made his return to XPW as the mystery opponent of Johnny Webb, and won the XPW title. Following the match, the shocking revelation that Shane Douglas and Lizzy Borden were allies emerged, which would crush Rob Black to the point that Lizzy inherited the power of XPW. The organization would now base its operations in Philadelphia at the ECW Arena.
Incident at ECW Pay-Per-View
In 2000, Rob Black purchased six front row tickets for ECW's annual summer pay-per-view, HeatWave. The tickets for the show were given to a cadre of XPW talent, as their mission was to make it clear that ECW was on enemy's turf. At the beginning of the main event, the XPW contingent donned shirts emblazoned with the logo of their home company, gaining the attention of security and Tommy Dreamer. Security ejected the XPW group. A brawl in the parking lot then broke out between the XPW ring crew and the ECW locker room, but the XPW wrestlers were not involved. In the parking lot, several of the ECW wrestlers brutalized the XPW ring crew in a street fight until - according to Balls Mahoney - several of the ring crew members were left in pools of their own blood.. Initial reports claimed that Kristi Myst somehow touched Francine and that prompted the incident, but Francine herself has since gone on record as saying that she was never grabbed or in any other way touched by any of the XPW crew, and other eyewitnesses support the story that Francine never had a hand laid on her. XPW was not acknowledged on the telecast, and the XPW contingent consisted of The Messiah, Kid Kaos, Supreme, Kristi Myst, Homeless Jimmy and Kris Kloss.
The All-New XPW: East Coast Invasion
XPW debuted at the ECW Arena in June 2002 at the Hostile Takeover event, and Shane Douglas was the promotion's focal point for the rest of the year. As XPW continued to run on the East Coast, the risque storylines that made XPW infamous were quickly phased out, and a majority of XPW's west coast employees were not a part of the "All-New XPW." The relocation to the East Coast also resulted in many former ECW stars passing through XPW, whether it be on a regular basis or one-night appearances. At one point, Kris Kloss was dropped from the announcing booth and replaced with Joey Styles; this would only last for one event, as Styles only commentated on XPW's Exit Sandman event.
The End of XPW
In April 2003, Rob Black and Lizzy Borden were indicted on obscenity charges due to pornographic material produced by XPW's parent company, Extreme Associates. Federal agents in Pittsburgh had ordered the offending material, which depicted scenes of rape, urination, and murder. The stress of the trial took its toll on the owners of the company, and XPW could no longer be subsidized financially. In January 2005, the charges were dropped but on December 8, 2005 an appeals court revived the charges.
The Memory Remains
Although XPW shows no signs of ever returning again, XPW DVDs exist and are distributed by Xtreme Entertainment Group, who purchased the rights to XPW's video library from Rob Black in 2004. XPW matches have been extras on several different independent wrestling DVDs, including Forever Hardcore and the Hardcore Homecoming series. XPW has also been mentioned on various wrestling events such as the first Hardcore Homecoming in June 2005 (by Shane Douglas), by Tommy Dreamer and Paul Heyman on a June 2005 edition of "Byte This," and in a veiled reference by Heyman in a promo on a Viking Hall show on June 24, 2006 ("I don't care what losers and wannabes and porno rejects have run here").
Several XPW alumni participated in the TV tapings for the new wrestling show/promotion called Wrestling Society X, which was produced by Big Vision Entertainment (a DVD distribution company created by former XPW Vice President Kevin Kleinrock and former XPW Television announcer Kris Kloss).
In December 2006, Big Vision Entertainment released a 2-disc DVD set called After the Fall that features some of the best matches from XPW's history. The 2-disc set focuses on the debuts and "Best of..." matches of many ECW alumni who were a part of XPW, as well as matches that have gone previously unreleased and even unaired on television. Featured are matches from the likes of the Public Enemy, Shane Douglas, New Jack, Sabu, and Axl Rotten.
Cold Day in Hell (2008)
|1||Carnage defeated Robbie Phoenix, Stepfather, Exciter, Sexy Chino, RCG Leroy and Youth Suicide||Dynamite D Tribute Battle Royal|
|2||Nicky defeated the other contestants||Miss Xtreme Pageant (hosted by Joey Ryan)|
|3||Kaos defeated Vampiro||Grudge Match|
|4||GQ Money (with Bo Cooper) defeated Angel "The Hardcore Homo" (with Kraq)||Rubber match|
|5||Sandman defeated Pogo the Clown|
|6||Khan Kusion (replacing Sabu) and Homeless Jimmy defeated Raven and Johnny Webb||Tag Team War||Special guest referee was Terry Funk|
|7||Team Rev Pro (Ron Rivera, Disco Machine and Joey Ryan) (with Mr. McPhenom and CW Anderson) defeated Team XPW (Jardi Frantz, Vinnie Massaro and X-Pac)|
|8||Luke Hawx defeated Jack Evans and Scorpio Sky||Triple Threat Respect Match|
|9||The Gangstas (New Jack and Mustafa) defeated The Westside NGZ (Big Rott and Chronic)||Tag Team Match|
|10||Supreme defeated Necro Butcher||Double Hell, Barbed Wire Chairs, Barbed Wire Light Tube Tables, Light Tube Table, Thumbtacks, Beds of Mouse Traps & Light Tube|
A second XPW reunion show called Ten Year Anniversary Spectacular! took place on August 22, 2009. The show and official website implies a full return for XPW, as "The Real Deal" Damien Steel was named XPW Commissioner and an XPW World Championship tournament began. Supreme also defended the XPW King of the Deathmatch Title against "The Artist Formerly Known As The Hardcore Homo" Angel.
Matt Cross & Scorpio Sky wrestled to a time limit draw, only to have Luke Hawx come out and challenge Matt Cross to put his XPW Tag Team Titles on the line (despite his partner Josh Prohibition not being in attendance). Cross accepted, asking Sky to be his partner. However, after Scorpio agreed, Luke Hawx revealed that Sky was in fact HIS partner. Luke Hawx & Scorpio Sky defeated Matt Cross in a handicap match and walked away as the new XPW Tag Team Champions, even though there were no physical belts.
In late 2011 it was announced by the official XPW site MEXPW and through various social media that XPW will to return under a new name; MEXPW(Mexican Xtreme Pro Wrestling), following the success of a Perros del Mal show entitled "XPW vs Perros del Mal"; which featured numerous XPW alumni taking on the regular Perros del Mal roster. This new outfit intends to be run both shows in both Mexico and Southern California, and is owned XPW alumni Damien 666. According to the XPW official website, the new outfit has been founded and they are looking for extra wrestlers to make the lineup. Numerous XPW alumni, such as Kaos, Supreme, Johnny Webb and Halloween appear to be attached to the project.
- XPW World Heavyweight Championship (1999–2003, 2009)
- XPW World Tag Team Championship (2002–2003, 2009)
- XPW King of the Deathmatch Championship (2000–2002, 2008–2009)
- XPW Television Championship (2001–2003)
- XPW European Championship (2003–2005)