Welcome to Retro Review, a new feature where we will watch and discuss some old(ish) wrestling from promotions or tv shows that are no longer with us.
First up is Wrestling Society X. A show that ran for a single season on MTV and featured a lot of names that were big then and up and comers who are huge stars now. Rolling Stone has a good story on how it failed but ended up influencing televised wrestling long past its final episode.
What WAS Wrestling Society X?
The show ran on MTV from January to March 2007. The premise of the show was that a secret society met in a bunker to have matches. Nearly every match was “falls count anywhere, ” and a lot of camera and special effects were used. The show also featured occasional musical guests. The bookers for the show were retired wrestler Cody Michaels and AAA and WCW Star Vampiro, who would go on to star in Lucha Underground. The talent consisted of wrestlers from the US and specifically Southern California independent scene. There were also several wrestlers from Japan who also worked for Dragon Gate.
Seth Rollins got his big start here:
Main Event: WSX Rumble
Musical Guest: Black Label Society.
The inaugural episode of WSX begins:
Match 1: Matt Sydal vs. Jack Evans. Two high flyers that are still known for their risks in and out of the ring. The intro is by the ring announcer Fabien Kaelin (currently a producer in NXT). It is the most enthusiastic ring announcing you will ever see, complete with a lot of pacing by Kalein, an old-school down from the rafter mic, and of course, PYRO!
Shockingly Evans and Sydal do a lot of questionable spots, starting with Sydal power bombing Evans out of the ring head first. Commentary does a good job of hiding their lack of wrestling knowledge, mostly by talking about Matt Sydal’s girlfriend and valet, Lizzie Valentine. Already the piped-in crowd noise and the over-editing is getting to me. Evans wins via. 630 splash after jumping off of Lizzie’s back to give Sydal a springboard DDT.
After, we get a video package showcasing a few of the tag teams featuring Rukus, Jimmy Jacobs, Nate Webb, and Seth Rollins then known has Tyler Black.
Then we get a few brief promos
First from ECW legend and drug and alcohol enthusiast Justin Credible. He does a crotch chop.
Following that New Jack threatens and shoves Chris Hamrick, whether or not he knew the camera was rolling is up for debate.
Lover of cats and weed Teddy Hart then cuts a promo wearing all pink in a very echoey hallway.
Kaos and Aguilera yell at each other and play up some ethnic stereotypes.
Now it is time for the WSX Rumble:
The WSX Rumble is a Battle Royal mixed with a ladder match. But the ring is also surrounded by live electrical wires, tables, and a steel fence rigged to blow. Suspended bove the ring is two contracts that guarantee a title match for the men who pull them down.
The match starts off with Credible and Hart when Hart walks down from the audience and throws a water bottle at Credible. Sure.
A few more wrestlers show up before 6-Pax (X-Pac) comes to ring finishing what I am sure was just a plain old cigarette. New Jack runs in and does some wrestling for a few moments before pushing Chris Hamrick through a table. Then New Jack remembers he’s New Jack and brains a ref with a guitar, sets up Hamrick on a table and does what looked like an incredibly safe
dive fall, putting Chris right through the wood. Before that two wrestlers are thrown into the “electrical wires” and the crowd couldn’t care less. Another wrestler climbs a ladder and is pushed off into the rigged to blow fence.
None of those makes any sense. There’s no building up to these moments or an explanation for why they are occurring. They just happen.
The editing makes it seem like the whole building shakes when these “explosions” happen. The producers of this show clearly had the mindset “Hey wrestling is fake right? Let’s make it look REALLY fake.”
Vampiro and Pac grab the contracts, and the episode ends.
Grade: C-. I feel like there was a lot of good wrestling that COULD have been shown, but instead, we got quick-cuts and over-edited and unbelievable messes.
Next week: Vampiro & 6-Pac square off to become the inaugural WSX champion.
Watch the full episode without my snarky commentary here:
Share your thoughts on Wrestling Society X in the comments below.