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COMMENT





WSX: Five-episode feast leaves many questions
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


It had to happen. After chronicling the very last episode of Nitro years ago, SLAM! Wrestling tapped me to report on what could very well be the last hurrah for a show with almost as much history, Wrestling Society X.

Okay, it doesn't quite have as much history. But MTV wants to wash its hands of WSX as quickly as possible so it can resume bringing you quality programming like Real World Denver, so it's packaged five, that's right, five episodes in one big chunk late on a Tuesday night. We're going from March 13 all the way to March 14 with Wrestling Society X, completely not live on MTV!

EPISODE 1

Musical guest Jibbs ushers in the broadcast. Announcers Kris Kloss and Bret Ernst get us up to speed on the attack on WSX champion Vampiro. A mystery man with a burnt face tried to do the same thing to Vampiro, but no one knows who he is. Will we find out before the show goes off the air for good?

Maybe. Whoever this guy is, he has a little video segment where he reveals that he has history with Vampiro from Mexico. After Vampiro rigged some explosives to burn his face, the mystery man vowed he'd get revenge. Burnt guy tells the champ that his days on Earth are numbered.

Match 1 -- Team Dragon Gate (Yoshino and Horiguchi) vs. The Filth and The Fury (M-Dogg 20 and Teddy Hart)

Hart hits arm drags and a leg sweep on Yoshino, then both men give way to their partners. Horiguchi ends up on the floor where M-Dogg introduces him to the post. M-Dogg hits an incredible move where he holds himself parallel to the floor before dropping down on Horiguchi. Back in the ring, Team Dragon Gate double teams M-Dogg until he reverses a power bomb into a hurricanrana. Yoshino kicks out and we head for a commercial. Hart hits a Shooting Star Press during the break, but the match continues. Yoshino and Hart go back and forth with near falls. Hart hits a cradle DDT; Horiguchi makes the save and connects on a reverse DDT. Hart recovers and executes a flipping tiger driver. The Filth and The Fury both come off different turnbuckles -- Hart with the Open Hart Surgery and M-Dogg with a Shooting Star Press -- and both men cover their opponents for the pinfall.

Lacey interviews Scorpio Sky, who assures us he's still Most Likely to Succeed despite his loss to Matt Sydal, who he says was lucky. Scorpio figures he'll get even by beating the guy who beat Sydal: the Prince of Parkland, Jack Evans.

Match 2 -- 6-Pac vs. Human Tornado

I'm not digging Sean Waltman wrestling in street clothes. Also, Human Tornado is one skinny dude. He gets right to work, nailing 6-Pac with a somersault plancha and chops and punches on the outside. Pac responds by crotching Tornado on the ringpost, then takes the fight back inside for his patented Bronco Buster. He tries for another but Tornado evades it, dances and hits the Jive Soul Bro -- a split kick to the crotch. Pac recovers in time for a spinning heel kick and goes up top, but Tornado crotches him. A few low blows put 6-Pac back in control, and he hits the X-Factor, or whatever he calls it here, off the top rope to get the duke.

During the break, a guy who looks like he's straight out of a Yakuza movie kidnaps Team Dragon Gate, throwing them into the back of a waiting van so he can "reprogram" them. Uh, sure.

Match 3 -- Delikado vs. "The Anarchist" Arik Cannon

Wasting no time, Delikado rushes Cannon from behind before the bell. A flying elbow and a face stomp follow, but Cannon fires back with a swinging neckbreaker and a jumping forearm. Delikado uses a flipping bulldog off the top rope to regain the momentum; Cannon rallies and hits a brainbuster. All of a sudden, a bunch of guys who look like gang members hit the ring, and the ref throws out the match even though the announcers say there's no disqualifications. A table is set up on the floor, and one of Delikado's cronies stomps Cannon through the table. The others bring in a wheelbarrow full of wet cement and dunk Cannon's head in it. They leave him with a dead fish on the chest as Wrestling Society X goes off the air.

But of course we're coming right back for...

EPISODE 2

This show's musical guest is one of my least favorite bands, Good Charlotte. I will say though, that they are pretty entertaining as they join the announcers. Very dry. Oh, and it turns out the burnt-faced guy is Ricky Banderas, in case you're keeping a WSX scorecard at home.

Match 1 -- Scorpio Sky vs. Jack Evans

Plenty of acrobatics in this one. Evans takes flight with a springboard 450 to the floor as Good Charlotte starts name-dropping old school WWE superstars. Back in the ring, Evans executes a series of kicks and a standing moonsault (off Scorpio's chest) but gets only two. Scorpio finally gets going when he reverses a move in the corner into a dragon sleeper; Evans manages to get to the ropes. The battle goes up top and Scorpio is sent down to the canvas. Evans looks for the 630, but can "only" muster up a 450 splash to get the pinfall.

Kaos and Aguilera argue about their lack of focus and too much time spent pursuing the mamacitas. They're both envious of the success of The Filth & The Fury, and they vow to defeat them next hour... er, next week, or they will go their separate ways. Now back to the ladies! Elsewhere, That '70s Team makes fun of D.I.F.H. They both look pretty lame to me.

Match 2 -- That '70s Team (Joey "Magnum" Ryan and Disco Machine) vs. D.I.F.H. (Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs)

D.I.F.H. is the emo team, so to quote Mrs. Wong from Futurama, "I have instant dislike of you!" Black gets tossed out to the floor right away, leaving Jacobs at the mercy of a double flapjack. Black returns in grand fashion with a springboard double clothesline, then uses his partner as a human weapon. Magnum shoves the ref into the ropes, grounding Jacobs, and grabs his inhaler. Because he has asthma. Yeah, that's it. A tussle in the corner ends with Magnum's shorts pulled down and introduces us to his thong, unfortunately. Disco Machine ends this foolishness with a powerslam off the top rope that pins Jacobs.

The Yakuza guy continues his reprogramming of Team Dragon Gate, but he tells them their time is near. And Jacobs tries to cheer up Black with the wussy power of emo! It doesn't work.

Out in the ring, Banderas does something I've been wanting to do since WSX debuted: he storms the ring and throws overcaffeinated ring announcer Fabien Kalen out to the concrete. After a few beeped out words, he calls out Vampiro... and here comes the champ. He doesn't get too far before he's punked from behind by 6-Pac. As Pac whips out the Bronco Buster, Youth Suicide runs in, but Banderas throws him right back out. While Vampiro and 6-Pac continue their struggle, Banderas and Youth Suicide battle until they're high above the floor. Suicide gets hurled off a catwalk down through some electrical equipment on the floor as Banderas spits up blood. That's a wrap.

But wait, there's more!

EPISODE 3

I don't know tonight's musical guest, Quietdrive, so I will reserve judgment. They are the quietest guest announcers so far, for what it's worth. Banderas assaults poor Youth Suicide again to start the show, then power bombs one of Quietdrive's roadies off the stage and through a table. The band says he'll be okay. Whew, that's a relief. Next week (no, later this hour!), Vampiro will face his (apparently) long-time rival Banderas in his first defense of the WSX title.

Match 1 -- The Cartel (Lil Cholo and Delikado) vs. Arik Cannon and a mystery partner

Cannon tells The Cartel it took four of them to administer the beating he received, so he's brought in some back-up. It turns out to be Vic Grimes, someone I've actually heard of, who's looking larger than ever. Grimes goes to work destroying Delikado until he misses a move off the top rope. Cholo tags in and hits a hurricanrana on Grimes on the floor, which looks quite unbelievable. The Cartel jumps in and does the gang attack thing. Back in the ring, the action is back and forth until a masked woman enters and attacks Cholo. The other Cartel guys pull off a double chop block on Grimes, and the big guy falls hard. Delikado nails Grimes with a high knee and has two of his teammates pile on to help pin Grimes.

Backstage, Matt Sydal and Lizzy Valentine can't wait to beat the Human Tornado. But what's up with that note Lizzy? She claims it's just fan mail, but she won't let Sydal read it.

Match 2 -- Matt Sydal (with Lizzy Valentine) vs. Human Tornado

SLAM! Wrestling Raw reporter Dale Plummer already has a platonic man-crush on the Tornado, so I hope he got home in time to see some of this. Lizzy actually attacks the self-proclaimed WSX Pimp, but he fires a dropkick at her boyfriend and shoulderblocks him out to the floor. Tornado wants to fly, but Lizzy pulls Matt out of the way and his foe flies right into the crowd. Sydal takes control with a pair of dropkicks in the corner, then a spinning heel kick, none of which can put the Tornado away. HT rallies to dropkick Sydal off the top rope, then follows with the Jive Soul Bro and a low dropkick. Sydal's standing moonsault gets a two count; Tornado connects with a one-legged enzuigiri. Valentine tries for a low blow, but the announcers say Tornado has steel balls. Funny, he must have had them installed in the hour... um, two weeks since 6-Pac beat him by using a couple of low blows to set up his finisher. I know continuity is hard when the whole season is shot in advance! Anyway, Sydal hits his pumphandle driver but can't make the tag because he sees the "fan letter" fall out of Lizzy's pocket. Tornado shrugs off a mule kick (steel balls, remember?) and executes his finisher to win the match.

Somewhere, in another movie, the brainwashing of Team Dragon Gate continues. Back in the Bunker, Sydal blames the loss on Lizzy, but she's not trying to hear it. When Matt brings up the letter, she tears it up and he storms off. As he leaves, someone moves in on Valentine... is that 6-Pac?

Match 3 -- Los Pochos Guapos (Kaos and Aguilera) vs. The Filth & The Fury

Kaos enters holding the disco ball he stole from Disco Machine in a previous episode. Teddy Hart holds his own against the much bigger Aguilera, but he eventually gets kicked out to the floor and the other two men tag in. After a series of counters and reversals, M-Dogg stomps on Kaos' back for two; he responds with an ace crusher that forces Hart to make the save. With Aguilera distracted by some females, Kaos gets dropkicked out to the floor. Los Pochos Guapos argue amongst themselves, and F&F take advantage with both men flying to the outside. Hart makes his way up to the announce table (which is high off the floor in WSX) and lands a huge moonsault down onto Aguilera and some security guards. Back in the ring, M-Dogg fires and misses with a Shooting Star Press, giving Kaos an opening to deliver a big boot aided by a shattering disco ball that puts an end to the Filth & Fury's undefeated streak.

And that's all for WSX for this week. Ha, we're rolling on. Wait a minute, what the heck is this? A preview for the next Real World/Road Rules Challenge? No! MTV, I swear I will drive up to New York right now and... okay, that only lasted about three minutes. But that was still three minutes too long. Now we're ready for...

EPISODE 4

Ah, now this is a musical guest I know: Pitbull. He seems to be a wrestling fan too. This episode features the biggest match so far, the championship grudge match between Antonio Banderas' evil brother Ricky and Vampiro. But first... a short video shows Kaos and Aguilera getting jumped by The Cartel after the last show. They hit the ring and call out their attackers, who oblige them by coming to the ring. Looks like we have ourselves a match.

Match 1 -- Los Pochos Guapos vs. The Cartel

Kaos is on fire right out the gate, scoring near falls until he gets double teamed. Delikado connects with a flying elbow and a double foot stomp off the top for two, then Cholo hits his version of the RKO for another near fall. Kaos finally turns things around with a Russian leg sweep off the second rope and gives way to Aguilera. After a back elbow off the top turnbuckle, Aguilera turns a sidewalk slam into a powerslam for two. Kaos tags back in, but he runs into a reverse hurracanrana from Cholo. Delikado uses the Pelican Bay Driver to score the pinfall, and Los Pochos Guapos get some more dead fish.

Alkatrazz and Luke Hawx (who we haven't met yet) get into it backstage with Cannon, Grimes and the masked mystery woman, who turns out to be Grimes' sister. Nice family, that one. Elsewhere, Lacey interviews Jack Evans, who claims to have the best moves in or out of the ring. Human Tornado drops in and says that while he respects what Evans does in the ring, all the Tornadhoes say HT has the best moves on the dance floor. You know what this means: dance-off! Ah yeah! Too bad it's only on the internet, because that would have been the first dancing on MTV since they did away with music videos, like, ten years ago.

Hey, there's a video montage that takes us through the feud between Banderas and Vampiro. Not quite up to WWE standards, but it's a nice try. The funny thing is, because of the situation that WSX is in, we just saw most of this stuff in the last 90 minutes. On to the main event!

Main Event -- Ricky Banderas (challenger) vs. Vampiro (champion) -- WSX Title Match

Vampiro strikes first with a double underhook release suplex and a chop to the throat. Banderas fights back and the champ takes a breather on the outside. A brawl erupts on the floor then returns to the squared circle. The champ catches Banderas coming off the top rope and chokeslams him for a two count. Commercial time.

We interrupt this title match for an update on Team Dragon Gate. Their reprogramming is over and they're coming back. Just in time for the show's cancellation! Back to the main event, already in progress.

Banderas looks like he has Vampiro in trouble on the top rope, but both men tumble to the concrete floor. The challenger gains the upper hand and power bombs his enemy through a table that conveniently has fluorescent tubes on top of it. You know, like everyone has laying around. The fight destroys the stage that the musical guests perform on, and someone is bleeding. Looks like Vampiro. Both men end up on the apron hovering over a coffin that is laced with barbed wire. Banderas finally gains the advantage, power bombing Vampiro through the top of the coffin, which is wired with explosives. The challenger pins Vampiro inside the coffin (falls count anywhere in WSX), and the ref makes the three count, giving us a new WSX Champion.

The only question is, will a 30-minute title reign go down as the shortest of all time? Because all we have left is...

EPISODE 5

The Empire Strikes Back. Or was that a different Episode 5? Just wanted to see if anyone is still with me at this point. Musical guest Styles P (your favorite rapper's favorite rapper!) joins Kris and Bret as the boys recap last episode's bloody title match.

Match 1 -- Luke Hawx and Alkatrazz vs. Arik Cannon and Vic Grimes

Cannon starts out with a swinging neckbreaker and his rolling neckbreaker on Hawx for a quick two count. Hawx mounts a bit of offense on Grimes before he gets driven face-first into the mat. Alkatrazz tags in so the two big men can square off, and Grimes hits a facebuster. In an impressive move for a man his size, Grimes walks the ropes a la Undertaker and jumps off into an armbreaker. The smaller guys tag back in and Hawx gets double teamed. Grimes and Alkatrazz fight on the outside as Hawx finally scores with a Death Valley driver. Grimes ends up going head first through a WSX light fixture, which erupts in an exaggerated display of electricity. How come everything on the set is rigged like the machine from The Prestige? Back in the ring, Hawx dropkicks Cannon off Alkatrazz's shoulders to get the duke.

Lacey catches up with an angry Kaos and Aguilera, who are looking to put an end to The Cartel's hijinks once and for all. They challenge Delikado and company to a Piranha Deathmatch on the next show. Oh no! I want to see some piranha! Curse you MTV!

Match 2 -- Scorpio Sky vs. 6-Pac

Pac is actually in his singlet for this one, and Styles P gives Waltman a little too much credit by calling him a legend. 6-Pac hits an early power bomb and legdrop which set up the Bronco Buster. A spinning heel kick earns a near fall, but Scorpio has enough and throws Pac through the ropes to the floor. He tries an aerial move but Waltman catches him with a kick to the gut. Scorpio is crotched on the post and rolled back in the ring, where 6-Pac misses what looks like a somersault senton. It looks like Waltman is done for, but he dishes out a low blow and hits the 6-Factor (so that's what he's calling it) to put Scorpio away.

Since the match ended pretty quickly, Lacey has to go find Sydal and Valentine for their interview. She asks about the rumors that there is something going on between Lizzy and 6-Pac, which causes the blonde to storm out in anger. Matt tells Lacey there was this letter...

Match 3 -- Jack Evans vs. Human Tornado

It turns out that the biggest dance off since You Got Served ended in a draw, so these two crowd favorites are settling it in the ring. Styles P questions Evans' street cred, asking where Parkland is, to which the announcers deadpan, "somewhere near Seattle." There's more dancing in the ring, including a sequence where Tornado pretends to eat and throw up Evans. The Prince of Parkland slaps him in the face and the match is on. Both men appear evenly matched in the opening minute, but Evans breaks through first by dropkicking Tornado out to the floor and hitting a high knee off the apron. Commercial sign. Evans is in trouble after the break and Styles P is impressed. Evans rallies with a reverse hurricanrana but misses a springboard corkscrew 450. Tornado locks in a dragon sleeper, which turns into a backbreaker, which turns into a rear naked choke. The ref calls for the bell, confusing the announcers who didn't see Evans tap. It's a time limit draw -- just about every match has been announced with a ten-minute limit, but this is the first one that's gone the distance. The fans chant, "Let them finish!" to no avail. Ernst calls it, "The best match in WSX history so far," which instantly becomes one of my favorite redundant quotes of all time.

We're not quite finished here. Lacey talks to Matt Classic, but he's a man of few words. She turns to Team Dragon Gate, but their promo is in Japanese, and thus, incomprehensible to me. Their abductor turned manager says they are challenging The Filth & The Fury to an exploding steel cage time bomb match for next week. Two deadly gimmick matches in one show! Oh, wait...

Questions to ponder while the fate of WSX is decided: Will Lizzy dump Sydal for 6-Pac? Will piranha feast on the flesh of The Cartel? Will Evans and the Tornado just drop their rivalry and kick back with some Tornadhoes on the mean streets of Parkland? Will I be allowed to throw Kalen into something, anything that explodes? Do not tune in next week for the answers!

Nick Tylwalk is a columnist for SLAM! Wrestling who will be recovering from the carpal tunnel syndrome he got trying to type up the WSX Marathon report for quite some time. Send your sympathies to ntylwalk7@yahoo.com.