By: Christy Olson
On a special Wrestling Society X anniversary edition of X-Pac 12360 Sean Waltman reunites with his fellow WSX stars for an exclusive interview. Co-creator Kevin Kleinrock, wrestlers Scorpio Sky and Matt Sydal, commentator Kris Kloss and producer Dave Marquez reveal what went on behind the scenes of the short-lived MTV series.
Matt Sydal compares WWE to WSX: At WSX I think I was very much trying to figure it out on my own and we were creating our own style and our own thing. I can only speak for myself, I was not trying to be anything. I was not trying to be like anyone else. I was not trying to do what anyone else was doing. I was doing my own thing. I was creating content that I had in my head and I was making it in the ring and WSX was giving me an opportunity, an uninhibited opportunity, to create and manufacture my vision for wrestling for other people. When I was working for WWE I felt like I was trying to make someone else’s vision happen instead of my own. And I think that’s where I became less true to myself and I think it showed in my work.
Matt Sydal talks about the opportunity of WSX for the Roster: At WSX the message was loud and clear consistently, even as a rookie signing a contract and kind of talking about things and getting into the nitty-gritty details. I felt like I was always given a lot of respect and in fact sometimes I thought they were almost tooting my own horn too loud I thought it was almost silly. WSX was an opportunity that so many guys had been waiting for because television exposure is worth its weight in gold and we were a generation without competition in professional wrestling, outside of TNA.
Matt Sydal on his time in TNA: I was there as a very, very, very young man and I got a lot of learning experience doing some great work on Explosion and handicap matches against Abyss. I had a great experience with TNA but I didn’t have any real impetus or drive to go there…I didn’t feel like it was as big of a leap as taking a chance on WWE and that’s what I went with and I am very glad I made that choice.
Scorpio Sky remembers getting caught with his pants down: My least favorite memory I would have to say would be the final episode, and the scene was going to be Vampiro had just lost the title. And I was doing an interview backstage and he interrupts and I spout my mouth off to him and he cracks me, starts beating me up all the way to the ring. What I wanted to do is I wanted to do theRic Flair thing where I end up in my boxers and he’s beating me up. So I went out and bought these little tiny little boxer briefs that I thought would be funny and I asked Joey [Ryan] if I should stuff. I wanted to get the HBK big package so I put a sock inside of another sock. So here’s where it went wrong. We start doing the scene, he’s beating me up, rips the shirt off, shoes fly off, yada yada yada, we get to the last part, I dive in the ring, he grabs my pants rips them off and my underwear comes with it. So we are shooting for MTV, I’m in the middle of the ring in front of hundreds of people wearing three socks. So embarrassing.
Kevin Kleinrock on the Fireball myth: A lot of people still think to this day because that was the spin put on it at first that this fireball incident is what took the show off the air, but that is not what happened at all. MTV, because of the history of fire and Beavis and Butthead and kids doing dumb things with fire, MTV they decided we absolutely can’t show that. We were fine not showing it. We were like, let’s go old school wrestling and put a big X over it and not show it or big blue dot. But they were like, nope you need to make it look like it’s some sort of effect. You need to make it look like it’s something different. So in the end we had given them a bunch of choices and they chose this one that looks like some Klingon death ray, and it was. So ridiculous, and then there was a sound effect that was put on it. But what happened was this was at the time where everything is changing and they are not sure what they are going to do with that block of shows and what they are going to do with our show, so there was a week where they didn’t air the show and the message that went out there at the time was there was a spot that needed to be edited that was basically just this cover because nobody knew what was going on. Not even our executives knew what was going on with the show. But somehow that became the urban legend of that fireball spot is what was the death nail for the show and that wasn’t it at all.
Kevin Kleinrock shares his take on WSX/Lucha Undergound comparisons: When Lucha Underground started all these people were making comparisons and I believe there was a media day and somebody even asked, what do you guys think of the comparisons between Wrestling Society X and Lucha Underground? One of the executives that responded basically said Wrestling Society X wasn’t supported by the network and our show is. Great way to beat around the bush. My thing is this, one, everyone in Lucha Underground could deny that they had any knowledge or found any influence in Wrestling Society X, but I know that the company that originally created the story world of Lucha Underground, and did an amazing job creating the story world, they had a copy of Wrestling Society X because I personally gave it to them when I was talking with them and having discussions with them before Lucha Underground was even called Lucha Underground. But the way I look at it is, if anything, if nothing more, when you have a Mark Burnett and a Robert Rodriguez behind this idea it tells me we were doing something right, and if we had had the right support we could have actually made something that we had wanted to do, and built something because these guys kind of know what they are doing. And so, it would have been nice to have support when there were so many similarities between those two worlds.
Kevin Kleinrock reveals TNA initially cleared Terry Taylor to work on WSX: Terry Taylor was going to be one of the producers backstage along with Vampiro and Mark Henan slash Cody Michaels, he was there for the pilot to help write and produce and be amazing. I think what happened was at first nobody thought this was going to be a thing there was no way that Wrestling Society X was going to be this big thing, and so TNA had given him permission to go do the pilot taping. But between the time that they gave him permission and things started to build and we were actually there to do the pilot taping it became pretty well known that MTV was actually doing a wrestling pilot. This wasn’t just some rumor. And they basically called him and said, you have to come back we are not giving you permission. We are reneging our permission to be part of this. So off he went.
Kevin Kleinrock on work visas: This was a television show and not just some Indy wrestling project. Everybody who was not a US citizen had to have a work visa. There was drama with Vamp because he’s a Canadian citizen living in Mexico. Literally the day before the pilot he had been in LA for a week he had to fly back to Mexico, go to the consulate, get back on a plane, fly back to LA. He literally walked onto the set as the pilot was starting.
Kevin Kleinrock says WWE Superstar Neville was almost part of WSX: What happened with Neville, was we got him the visa, paid for it. It was a good seven-year visa or whatever it was, but he had to get to where the consulate was in another city far from where he lived, and literally the timing didn’t work out, where he was going to end up. I don’t remember if it was because it was a weekend or holiday or whatever. He was going to get the visa in his hand one day too late to make it on the plane to come out and shoot the series.
Get all that and more, on this special edition of AfterBuzz TV’s X-Pac 12360. Two words for you…DOWNLOAD IT!
Stream it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/9NXv0YuPlZw, or download the podcast version on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/x-pac-1-2-360-afterbuzz-tv/id1150124693?mt=2&i=374822005, with highlights below.