Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Forgotten TV: Wrestling Society X (2007)

In recent years, Empty-V has had more of a love-hate, mostly hate, relationship with wrestling.

The network farmed out WWE's Sunday Night Heat to step-sister network Spike TV in 2003, signaling the end of its involvement with the wrestling business. However, three years later, Empty-V was back in----sort of.

Wrestling Society X was a short-lived promotion that died only because Empty-V sat on the tapes longer than they had any right to. The pilot was shot in February 2006. Five months later, Empty-V green-lighted the series, which was taped in November. However, viewers had to wait until February 2007, one year after the pilot, before the series would air. Why is that? To this day, I still don't have a clue. The only thing I can figure is that there might've been a change in administration at Empty-V, and they wanted to get rid of WSX as soon as possible. The ratings weren't there, even with under-advertised Friday previews airing the first two weeks (the show actually aired on Tuesdays), and then it quickly went downhill. Some matches that didn't make it onto broadcast television aired instead online.

What WSX aspired to be, billed as a sort-of underground promotion, later was a success for Lucha Underground, which will return in 2016 on El Rey. Ironically, the last WSX champ, Ricky Banderas, is the current LU champ under the guise of Mil Muertes.

Let's take a look at a sample match. Three of the four guys in the ring are familiar to fans of WWE, TNA, and Ring of Honor.

"Magnum" Joey Ryan later went to TNA, but his stay was brief and uneventful. Then again, TNA is so messed up, it isn't funny. Tyler Black & Jimmy Jacobs moved to Ring of Honor, and "Doin' It For Her" morphed into Age of the Fall, leading to a couple of tag team title runs. Today, Jacobs is a writer-trainer for NXT, WWE's developmental program. Black jumped to WWE a few years earlier and adopted the ring name Seth Rollins. He's the current WWE World champ, but has been packaged poorly, perhaps on purpose because of past success in ROH, presented to audiences as a whiny, cowardly, paranoid champion with zero credibility. Blame that, of course, on Vince McMahon, who won't accept the fact that there are guys who've succeeded elsewhere before signing with his company.

The WSX roster included a who's who, including WWE alums 6-Pac (Sean "X-Pac" Waltman) and Aaron Aguilera, Vampiro (now with Lucha Underground), Jack Evans (ditto), Matt Sydal (currently with ROH after a stint in WWE), & Matt Cross (Son of Havoc in LU), who would appear during the 2011 version of Tough Enough.

Rating: B-.

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