July 31st was the 15 year anniversary of the first XPW show. It was held at the Reseda Country Club in 1999.
Kevin Kleinrock, who was the VP of XPW, sent me a photo of the first payroll sheet from that show which I posted on my Instagram. There were wrestlers on there I haven’t heard about for years like Phenomenal Phil. Some that aren’t with us anymore like Big Dick Dudley. It was definitely a trip down memory lane.
Fifteen years since we held our first show at the Reseda Country Club. Man, it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. The Reseda Country Club was a venue in the valley that people would go to to see bands, almost like the valley’s version of the Roxy. A club that held 7-800 people and had a stage and an environment that with a band up there looked really good. It was also used in the film Boogie Nights as the club where Jack Horner meets Dirk Diggler. They used to hold boxing there as well. It was a really nice venue.
The owners sold it to an organization that turned it into a church. It was a shame because it was set up nice with dressing rooms and showers and was a great place to hold events. We held our first six or seven shows there before it was sold. It was kinda sudden. One day we were told that the club had been sold and we had to find another place to run our shows.
Seeing the old payroll sheet brought back a lot of memories and made me think of all the good times. For the most part, XPW was a really good experience. I can honestly say that the wrestling period was something that I enjoyed more than anything else I had done. I have to say that I never really enjoyed any of the aspects of the adult business other than the money it made. I never enjoyed it because I felt there was nothing that provided an outlet for creativity. Nothing that was exciting and innovative. Ultimately, pornography is what it is. You’re in a business that is legal in some areas, illegal in others. You’re always in this gray area, even down to how performers are paid and whether they’re independent contractors or employees. You’re always in a situation where, depending on who’s in charge of the government, determines how good the business will be. Whatever the tone is in Washington will make or break your business. I always hated that.
I hated that no matter how good you made a movie and tried to make it look as much like a real movie as you could, the sex would bring it down to a gutter level. You could have the greatest cameras, the best lighting and locations, but the sex made it just porn. You could show it to critics, other filmmakers and no matter how good it was, it was still porn. At the end of the day, it would only be seen by places that took porn. You could make an epic film that costs thousands and be outsold by a movie shot on a couch with a guy fucking a girl in her asshole. You spend two months creating something that you are proud of and you think you’re a filmmaker and some asshole waving a camcorder around a girl’s ass covered in baby oil outsold us. It was extremely disheartening and I always hated it. No matter how great the movie was, it was still just porn. It was only judged by the other people in porn and to the outside world it was simply just smut.
I despised the adult business and the people I had to deal with. As dirty and disgusting as the professional wrestling business was, I really enjoyed it because it was something that appealed to a wider range of people. The upside was that a DVD you made could get into Best Buy or to Walmart or to Target. You could have a pay-per-view that aired after a Mike Tyson fight. You could get a television deal with MTV. These things were very exciting and they were things that could never be achieved with pornography. No matter how much you try to fool yourself, pornography was and will never have mainstream acceptability.
For people who say “What are you talking about? Porn is more mainstream that ever!” No, porn is mainstream to a fringe of mainstream. For all the people like Charlie Sheen who will hang out and party with porn stars, there are many more who won’t be in the same room with someone associated with porn. For every low level D-list celebrity who will have their picture taken with Ron Jeremy or every has been actor who will hang out with a porn chick and tell them how much they enjoy their work, by and large most of the Hollywood community won’t go near a porn person. So the fringe of mainstream accepts porn.
At the end of the day a pornographer is not gonna be rolling around at the Governor’s Ball. A pornographer is not gonna be seated at a table with the President of the United States. A pornographer is not gonna be at an A-list party hanging out with Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw. The only party a pornographer is gonna be attending is a Charlie Sheen drug fueled fuckfest.
So the acceptability in the legitimate mainstream world is not there and never will be. The business is unregulated, it is run like an outlaw society, the people who run it have an outlaw mentality, so there is no way that the porn world can ever be taken seriously. Nobody in porn has ever crossed over to mainstream and become legitimately successful. The James Deen hoopla lasted all of ten minutes. He did a shitty Lindsay Lohan movie that nobody watched and now he’s making fuck movies for Evil Angel and running around with a porn group talking about not wearing condoms. The James Deen experiment failed. Look at Ron Jeremy. He’s been around for over 30 years and is nothing more than a caricature, a cartoon. He’s a punchline to jokes. He’s nothing more than a porn buffoon and he will never be accepted by any legitimate Hollywood entity.
Hanging out with Charlie Sheen or D-list celebrities is not mainstream acceptability. When you’re hanging out with George Clooney or Brad Pitt or Sandra Bullock, that’s mainstream Hollywood. It’s kinda like the difference between being in a Porno Dan Fuck A Fan scene versus being in an Axel Braun Snow White epic or being Sara Jay blowing soccer fans versus Asa Akira writing a book. Being with Charlie Sheen versus Brad Pitt. It’s night and day.
Wrestling is something that I do miss. I miss the love of the work. Getting up and working on wrestling angles and story lines is something that I cherished, I loved and I truly miss. I miss making a TV show every week, we made 147 episodes. I miss producing the live shows. I miss every aspect of that creativity. It was a constant source of fulfillment and I miss it.
The closest thing to that feeling is what I’m doing now, what I’ve been doing for the past year and a half. It’s still not on that same wavelength, but it’s close. This program and what we do now gives me a great sense of fulfillment, much more than when we were talking about porn. But talking about porn was something that we had to do to get to where we are now. We still have a long way to go to get it out to the masses, but I think it will ultimately put me into that wavelength that I had with wrestling. We’ll see what happens.
So happy anniversary XPW. And I wish myself a happy 15 year anniversary. There is much more to come. Stay tuned.
Follow Rob Black on Twitter @RealRobBlack Email: [email protected]