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The Story of XTREME PRO WRESTLING

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http://www.geocities.com/xpw5yearslater/xp..._scan_final.jpg

 

This is the ad that was placed in a local newspaper in California a few days before the debut XPW show.

 

The old thread I made seems to have been deleted, so I'm making a new one. From now on, anything you want to say about this retrospective, any feedback, any questions, comments, whatever...and also the retrospective itself...will be posted in this thread. Unfortunately, the web site I planned on making will be delayed for a few more weeks. It will likely go up in about a month, but it's not going to be online for tomorrow, as I hoped.

 

What's so special about tomorrow, you ask? At 11 pm EST on the dot, I will post the first part of this retrospective, in order to correspond as closely as possible with the start time of the debut XPW show that will have started five years ago tomorrow (July 31, 1999) in Reseda, CA at 8 pm California time. The first part of the retrospective will focus on Rob Black's start in porn. The results of that event saw:

 

- Kris Kloss introduced the show and was interrupted by Damien Steele. Jasmin St. Claire appeared from Milwaukee via satellite and claimed to be the real "queen of extreme."

- The first match in XPW history saw Principe Ultimate defeat Rico Suave

- Phenomenal Phil pins Johnny Webb

- Zarco pins Chilango in a Lucha Match.

- Kid Kaos and Pancho Killa fought to a chaotic No Contest, but even when the decision was made, they continued brawling and the match therefore continued. Kaos eventually picked up the pinfall win.

- Cybil pins Homeless Jimmy after an insane brawl.

- Dynamite D defeated Chronic via DQ when Big Rott debuted and formed the Westside NGZ with Chronic. They proceeded to beat the shit out of Chronic, but were stopped by security before they could light him on fire.

- In probably Supreme's best wrestling match ever in XPW (save maybe for his November 99 match vs. Kaos), Kristian Blood pins Supreme after a huge chairshot. This match aired on an early edition of XPW TV and is surprisingly really good. Both guys gave it their all. Featured a balcony dive by Kristian Blood.

- Tom Byron and Ashlyn Gere host the Miss Xtreme Contest. Kristi Myst is pretty much unanimously picked as the winner, but after the contest ends, Damien Steele and his bodyguard, Basil, come out and court Kristi. Jasmin St. Claire again appears via satellite and introduces Big Dick Dudley, who decimates Damien and Basil to close out the show.

 

 

The retrospective will be posted on: DeclarationOfIndependents.net, WTFBoards.com, The Oratory Forums, TNAWrestling.net, SoCalUncensored.com Forums, WZForums.com, XtremeForums.com, The Other Arena, WrestlingClassics.com Forums, here, and a couple of other places. Until the official XPW: 5 Years Later web site goes up, DeclarationOfIndependents.net will be the official home of the retrospective. I plan on trying to do something where some exclusive stuff will be posted on DOI that won't be posted anywhere else - i.e. photos and stuff like that, maybe - but the retrospective itself will be posted at all the places mentioned above. If you're interested in having the retrospective printed on your web site or message board, feel free to drop me a PM and chances are I'll be more than happy.

 

Before I go any further, I want to send my best wishes to former-XPW superstar Vic Grimes and his family. Vic has been dealing with some health problems lately. Last Friday ( a week ago), he underwent surgery in Hayward, CA to stitch up his appendix, which had been giving him problems. Since he's such a large guy, the surgery really required that he stay in the hospital for like a week, but the doctors made the serious mistake of releasing him the next Monday, just three days later. Sometime after Monday - from the gist I got from the friend of Vic's I talked to, it happened earlier today, but I'm not 100% sure - the stitches burst and his appendix started bleeding very seriously. He was brought to the hospital again and his family and friends are awaiting word on his condition. I may have an update on him in a couple days, and I may not. Steve of SoCalUncensored.com will probably get some news hopefully. But whatever the case may be - my best wishes go out to Vic Grimes for a speedy recovery. Hang in there, man.

 

 

 

The names listed above in the official preview are all 100% confirmed to contribute. There are still MANY other names that are being contacted in order to contribute to this retrospective. I'm working on getting a hold of a very big name in the business and should the answer of whether or not he'll contribute in about two weeks, probably less. A bunch of homegrown XPW workers that aren't listed below will probably end up contributing eventually. It's just a matter of contacting them. So, again, the names listed below ARE absolutely confirmed, but are NOT the ONLY people who will be contributing. There WILL be more.

 

 

Here's the official preview:

 

 

 

 

FIVE YEARS LATER – THE STORY OF XTREME PRO WRESTLING

 

"Not only did it take my focus away, it sucked the life out of me, but you have to lose it all before you get it back again – instead of taking one of those 10-hour Tony Robbins seminars, it was a three-and-a-half-year course and it stripped us (Extreme Associates) of anger, hate, pride, everything, and it took everything from us to where we started over and that's what it did. I tried something and what echoes in my head all the time is my dad saying, 'Stick to what you know.' He preached it to me forever - I didn't listen to him, I didn't stick to what I knew, and I lost my @$$." - Rob Black, about XPW (2004 Adult Video News interview)

 

 

 

 

From mid-1999 until early 2003, Southern California's Xtreme Professional Wrestling produced some of the most enthusiastic debate the world of United States independent wrestling has witnessed in recent years. It all started with a pornography mogul named Rob Black and his business associate, Tom Byron. Along the way, superstar wrestlers such as Sabu, The Sandman, Shane Douglas, Chris Candido, and Jerry Lynn made their presences felt in XPW rings. At one point, XPW possessed a nationwide TV deal (via satellite) with America One and its home videos were distributed across the country even before those of ECW were. Although XPW eventually shut down, not even it's bankruptcy has curtailed the mutterings about it, and in many ways the promotion changed the So-Cal independent wrestling landscape forever.

 

In the next half a year, learn about the formation, the rise, and the ultimate fall of a promotion that at one point had everything going for it. You've heard the mutterings about Rob Black's association with ECW's Paul Heyman, but there’s so much more to that story than meets the eye. When it comes down to it, all the way back in 1989 was when the true roots of XPW began to take shape. Long before the XPW name was concepted by Sheldon Goldberg, what could be considered precursors of the promotion existed, including: Verne Langdon's Slammers Wrestling Federation (Slammers/SWF); Dynamite D, Kevin Kleinrock, and Patrick Hernandez' Southern California Championship Wrestling (SCCW); and Doc Marlee's United Independent Wrestling Alliance (UIWA). Before they were appearing across the United States on XPW home videos, XPW's homegrown superstars were crafting their ability on the So-Cal independent circuit.

 

Exactly one-third of the competitor's who performed on XPW's debut live event back in July 1999 credit their initial training to a man named Verne Langdon. Trained by The Fabulous Moolah and Tor Johnson many years ago, Langdon established the SLAMMERS WRESTLING GYM's UNIVERSITY OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING in Southern California in 1989 and, two years later, the Slammers Wrestling Federation. He’s responsible for overseeing the training of The Messiah, Angel, Johnny Webb, Homeless Jimmy, Dynamite D, Carlito Montana, and other XPW superstars.

 

Langdon is one of several names who've agreed to contribute both historical information and textual quotations to this retrospective. Other contributers will include:

 

- XPW homegrown superstars such as GQ Money, Carlito Montana, "White Trash" Johnny Webb, Leroy The Ring Crew Guy, Steve Rizzono, Pogo the Clown, and several others.

- Freelance veteran wrestlers Chris Hamrick and Mike Modest will talk about their time working for XPW.

- So-Cal manager JR Benson talks about what it was like to travel with the APW boys to XPW shows from 2001-2002 and his experience managing SNUFF in XPW.

- Joe LaChance – the current promoter of Connecticut Championship Wrestling – will discuss how he did promotional work for XPW during 1999.

- Plus, former-ECW superstar, current-ECW wrestler, and Philadelphia Athletic Commission executive Rockin’ Rebel speaks about dealing with XPW’s attempts to obtain a promoter’s license to run in Philly during 2002.

 

As of now, there are a number of other former-XPW wrestlers and employees in the process of being contacted and in the coming weeks and months, even though this retrospective is soon getting underway. More names will be announced as playing a role in this retrospective.

 

Very rare photos that will be featured in the retrospective include:

 

- NEVER-before-seen, pre-XPW photos (straight from the Slammers Wrestling Federation's archives) of the stars such as The Messiah, Johnny Webb, Homeless Jimmy, and Angel. Thanks to Verne Langdon for supplying these photos.

- GQ Money posing with legends such as Stu Hart, Nick Bockwinkel, Greg Valentine, and others.

- Photos from the EWF and UIWA of TOOL, “Iceman” John Black (a.k.a. Chronic), Kaos, Supreme, and other future-XPW superstars.

- Very hard-to-find pictures of the XPW appearances by Tony Jones, The Tonga Kid, Mustafa Saed, and others.

- VERY rare photographs from the NEVER-before-released, invitation-only Sabu Invitational House Show in 2001!

 

Also included:

 

- the story of Rob Black’s rise in the porno industry as the vilest and most crude director ever

- never-before known facts about the details of the ECW/Extreme Associates negotiations

- backstage stories straight from the XPW wrestlers about various XPW matches

- the full scoop on Sabu’s international XPW title defenses in Japan, Mexico, and even a never-before discussed defense in England

- information on past mainstream TV appearances of XPW superstars such as Johnny Webb, Damien Steele, Veronica Caine, Ron Jeremy, and Rob Black, both while they were with XPW and before the promotion was around

- never-before-released details about storylines and angles that were planned for XPW, but ended up never seeing the light of day

- scans of official XPW flyers

- magazine scans of various XPW-related articles

- Where are they now? – a section devoted ENTIRELY to the question of what ever single performer who worked for XPW (even now) is currently doing

- the REAL story about the ECW HeatWave 2000 fiasco, from those who were there live (included: an ULTRA-rare interview with – of all people – Homeless Jimmy about what he experienced during the incident!)

- details about what big-name wrestlers who attended XPW shows and were backstage at them, but never made in-ring appearances

- the answer to the two most widely asked questions by XPW fans: “Who was under the monkey mask at Free Fall?” and “What’s the story with Altar Boy Matthew?”

- results to very rarely-publicized XPW house shows, including one that featured a legit Shoot Fight that was sponsored by Antonio Inoki’s UFO organization and also the Sabu Invitational House Show

- XPW-related quotes from very rare interviews with Rob Black, Doc Marlee, Donovan Morgan, and even the hardcore legend himself…SABU! (along with many other wrestlers not mentioned)

- word-for-word copies of official XPW press releases, including the extremely hard-to-find one from June 1999 that announced the formation of XPW

 

Some of the below people are contributing, while others supplied contact info for wrestlers. An extra special thanks go out to them for the reasons mentioned:

 

- GQ Money: GQ provided some uniquely candid and thought-provoking commentary about his experiences in XPW, and was also more patient than ever could’ve been expected. Thanks very much for being so cooperative!

- Verne Langdon: Verne supplied access to the Slammers photos archive, commentary about working with XPW superstars years before they made it to the big-time, and was responsible for getting in touch with some of the above contributees.

- Roland Alexander: Roland supplied some contact info for some those people who are contributing to this retrospective.

- Steve Bryant: Steve runs SoCalUncensored.com and helped contact one of the contributers that are listed above, and also provided some rare info about XPW that will be featured.

 

THE GOOD

 

“XPW was my WWF. I couldn’t have gotten any higher than I did.” – Steve Rizzono

 

"I think XPW gets a lot of bad rap and has a horribly unjust bad reputation. Fact is, XPW ran for four years or so, which was four years longer than most people thought they would run...I think XPW had its own identity, and XPW walked with its head up high. A lot of companies put on shows that are just like something else. XPW took risks, and I'm glad I was a part of it." – GQ Money

 

"I'll be happy to take millions and millions of [WCW’s] dollars and then come right back here to XPW, hoist this company on my back like I did ECW, and make this f*ckin' company a God d*mn player in the sport of professional wrestling!" - Shane Douglas, minutes after making his debut in XPW (XPW My Bloody Valentine: First Annual King of the Death Match Tournament; February 26, 2000)

 

"It was fun, it was fast-paced, it was wild, it was hard work, and it was exciting. You never knew what was going to happen, and anything could happen. It was like a sitcom, or a movie, or a drama show all rolled into one...It was incredibly hard work and it took an incredibly hard working person to survive and keep a job there, but it was awesome." – GQ Money, about the atmosphere at the offices of XPW's parent company, Extreme Associates

 

"XPW is not a stepping stone! Our guys that bust their @$$ [to] do what they do. It's not like UPW or Memphis. Nobody's striving to go to WCW or the WWF…They don't want to go to tryouts. They don't do it. And the couple of them that had the chance to go to (UPW owner) Rick Bassman and have that shot...they don't want to do it. Tracy Smothers is working with us and Tracy's like, 'Kid Kaos'...the one kid who was visible on the [ECW HeatWave 2000] tape...Tracy's like, 'You're real good. I want you to come to Memphis,' and the kid's like, 'I don't want to!' They want to make it in XPW and that's it." – Rob Black (July 18, 2000 ScoopsWrestling.com interview with Al Isaacs)

 

"I've worked for twenty people in about ten different countries and about thirty states in the U.S., and God d*mnit – this crowd is the best crowd I have ever performed in front of!" – The Sandman, at XPW Halloween In Hell 2 (later renamed "Blown To Hell")

 

"Who knows why they did it, who knows what they did it for?...If that promotion succeeds, that's great. There’s one more place for wrestlers to work." – current WWE superstar Rhyno (who competed in ECW as Rhino), about the XPW-ECW HeatWave 2000 altercation (SLAM! Wrestling)

 

"I really don't know what happened with XPW and ECW, but the product itself needs a lot of work. That is why they got me to help. So, they're a long way away from being mainstream. That's for sure." – Sabu (January 2001 WrestleLine.com interview)

 

“No matter what you read or hear, deep down, he is a decent guy. A lot of his bravado has to be taken with a grain of salt. He is a showman, but deep down he is a decent f*cking guy." – Tom Byron, about his best friend, Rob Black (Byron's first RogReviews.com interview, in May 2000)

 

THE BAD

 

"I feel bad for a lot of the guys that gambled their careers with XPW for those few months. I feel bad for some of the guys that were banking on XPW to give them full-time jobs." – CZW commentator Eric Gargiulo (2003 TheDDT.com interview with Doug Graham)

 

"[XPW] came in here and I guess they decided to run us out and be the big shots." – CZW promoter John Zandig, about XPW's East Coast run (March 1, 2004 SLAM! Wrestling article, by Corey David Lacroix; stated by Zandig on the night of CZW's Fifth Anniversary Show in early 2004)

 

"I quit XPW because I knew I could do better. They wanted me to do movies and I didn't want to. Period. If I have such a hard time getting along with people, why don't I have the same problem at ECW? That whole XPW company has no clue what they're doing." – Jasmin St. Claire (December 2000 Wrestling World Magazine interview)

 

"I do feel that XPW were up to no good, as they're main goal was to kill Philly indy wrestling. I thought it was immaturity on XPW's behalf, and a smart idea when CZW, 3PW, and ROH all banned together to show that they weren't as tough as they thought they were. The fact that XPW took three wrestlers from CZW didn't help them, so it was a waste of money for them, and they did ruin three wrestling careers. That right there showed that it was a war XPW was never going to win." – CZW wrestler Nick Berk (2003 DeclarationOfIndependents.net interview)

 

"No, they spell 'unprofessional.'" – future-XPW wrestler Simon Diamond, when asked if he agreed that the letters, "X-P-W" spelled "disaster" (September 1, 2000 WrestleLine.com interview with Matt Kahn)

 

"I am glad that I never got my fingers or penis chopped off." – Mike Modest, about his experience working for XPW

 

"I never felt accepted because I was never offered coke or sex. [frowns]" – Super Dragon, about his time in XPW (May 21, 2002 interview with Nate Hiatt)

 

"CZW gives the fans what they want. XPW does what ever Rob (Black) wants to do. Rob could give a flying f*ck what the fans want. Rob is all about getting himself over. The joke I tell the boys is, ‘If you work at the (Extreme Associates) office, you get to become world champ.’ Hell, if Rob could put the belt on himself, he would. Zandig cares about the fans, and he doesn’t try to put himself over in every match. The differences between the two is that one fed cares about its fans and the other doesn’t." – The Messiah (February 21, 2002 interview with Nate Hiatt)

The CANDID

 

"We could never compete with the WWF, we could never compete with WCW, but we can compete with ECW, and we will continue to be a thorn on their side." – Rob Black (July 2000 Chairshots.com interview )

 

"All I ask, from what I've offered you over the years as 'The Franchise' – give us that opportunity. If we suck at that opportunity, then you have every right on September 1st to tell the world that we blew it, but if we come in on August 31st, give you a show that was entertaining, and if we live up to our expectations that I promised you, then please go online September 1st and tell the world that XPW wasn't so bad. They have a sh*tty reputation, but last night they put on a damn good show. That's all I am asking." – Shane Douglas' "sales pitch to the fans," as he worded it, for Hostile Takeover (August 27, 2002 shoot interview with Wrestling-News.com's Anthony DeBlasi)

 

"Directing movies was no longer a challenge. The challenge for me was creating a company that could be an entertainment conglomerate…The challenge was to own a company, instead of making a hundred and fifty thousand to make a hundred and fifty million. The challenge is to have our own wrestling company, our own TV station, go out there and do that. That’s the challenge for me. That’s excitement.” – Rob Black, speaking about what motivates him to continue operating a pro wrestling company (Black's first RogReviews.com interview, in September 2000)

 

“Back when ECW existed, we were a brash newcomer trying to attack the beloved establishment of ECW. Every major Internet writer was employed by ECW. 1Wrestling.com was owned Joey Styles and Bob Ryder, all the 1Wrestling.com people worked for ECW. We started out with this negative image after that…What it became was ‘our beloved ECW is gone, and you rat bastards are still around. That's f*cked up. So you know what? Instead of supporting you, we're just going to sh*t on you.’” – Kevin Kleinrock, about the Internet’s role in XPW’s downfall (July 2003 interview with SoCalUncensored.com’s Steve Bryant)

 

"Everything I've done is a f*cking plan. I might not know how to structure a match or set up a good four-minute deal with hot tags and stuff. That's why I call Shane (Douglas) and have him work with us. That's why. But you know what? When it comes to promoting and marketing and hype and getting the hysteria, that's what I know how to do. I'm the #1 porno company in the land. Henceforth, it doesn't matter that our ring crew got beaten up (at ECW HeatWave 2000). It doesn't matter what anybody says. The only thing that matters is an hour after the Pay-Per-View, everybody had XPW on their website. Everybody had XPW on their lips." – Rob Black (July 18, 2000 ScoopsWrestling.com interview with Al Isaacs)

 

“If nothing more – love him or hate him – Rob Black is a character. He did a lot of things that no one else really had the balls to do.” – Kevin Kleinrock (July 2003 interview with SoCalUncensored.com’s Steve Bryant)

 

ECW HEATWAVE 2000

 

"I know you guys are impressed.” – a sarcastic Rob Van Dam, to a ringside Kid Kaos, after executing a high-risk maneuver at ECW HeatWave 2000 (a few hours before the famous altercation)

 

"Come on, you son of a b*tch! You c*cks*cker!" – a paraphrased transcript (according to Rob Black's 2000 ScoopsWrestling.com interview) of Paul Heyman's words to The Messiah, after whacking the XPW wrestler in the back of the head as he was being escorted out of the building at ECW HeatWave 2000

 

"You c*cks*ckers! You come here and we'll kick your ass! F*ck Rob Black!" – a paraphrased transcript (according to Rob Black’s July 18, 2000 ScoopsWrestling.com interview with Al Isaacs) of Paul Heyman's words towards the XPW ringcrew, while they were being attacked in the parking lot of the Grand Olympic Auditorium by ECW wrestlers at ECW HeatWave 2000

 

"Your career is done/over. You're never going to work in this business." – a paraphrased transcript (according to accounts of the incident in The Messiah's late 2002 Smart Mark Video shoot interview and an official XPW press release following the HeatWave incident) of what Tommy Dreamer said toward Supreme, as the XPW wrestler was being escorted out of the building at ECW HeatWave 2000

 

"They were trying to make a name for themselves off of us, but all that came out in the end was that they made fools of themselves, and they embarrassed themselves. There was no way they were going to get any good out of it." – former-ECW and eventual XPW superstar Jerry Lynn, about the XPW-ECW HeatWave 2000 altercation (SLAM! Wrestling)

 

"I am truly saddened by the lack of professional courtesy shown by the [XPW] workers. What I mean is – we all do the same thing and for someone to be in the biz and not once acknowledge the workers in the shows is a huge insult, not only to the worker in front of you, but to the biz as a whole and not once did the XPW group at the very least acknowledge the awesome job done by all the workers in ECW. It shows that the disrespect that I thought was just Rob Black's I now see in all of the XPW group." – Doc Marlee, one day after the XPW-ECW HeatWave 2000 altercation (official statement in response to Rob Black’s July 18, 2000 ScoopsWrestling.com interview with Al Isaacs)

 

"If they (ECW) ever come back (to California), it's going to be a whole other world of f*cking sh*t. They'd better think twice about coming back to our f*cking town to do a show because if they do come back expect not five guys. Expect 25 workers and 25 ring crew guys around ringside. They'd better be sure that Chris Chetti and all their little prelim guys who went out and beat up our ring guys can handle 50 guys storming that f*cking place. That's not a promise, that's not a threat...that's a guarantee. I hope they come out again next month. And I'll be there like General Patton, leading the charge." – Rob Black (July 18, 2000 ScoopsWrestling.com interview with Al Isaacs)

 

 

AND SO MUCH MORE

 

 

 

 

 

Learn the entire story about a promotion that’s surrounded by misconceptions. From the beginnings in the porno industry of Rob Black to his friendship with ECW's Paul Heyman…from the XPW’s debut show 4 years and 20 weeks ago to the signings of stars such as Sabu, Shane Douglas, and Chris Candido…from the interpromotional agreements with FMW, Revolution Pro, and IWA Mid-South to the TV deals with America One, KJLA, and WGTW…from the creations of current indy stars like The Messiah, Kaos, and Angel to the controversies of Supreme's fire bump, Vic Grimes' 40-foot “Free Fall,” and the New Year's Revolution 2 ads…from the 2002-03 invasion of Philadelphia to XPW’s eventual folding – all of this, and so much more, will be presented in Five Years Later - The Story of Xtreme Pro Wrestling.

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PART ONE: The Story of XTREME PRO WRESTLING

 

 

 

Written by Jonathan and originally printed on Saturday, July 31, 2004

Feedback can be sent to [email protected]

 

How many entertainment industries that exist have are more controversial than professional wrestling and pornography? With storylines that have touched on every subject one could think of – from public crucifixion, necrophilia, and racism to female degradation, gay marriage, and mental retardation – pro wrestling has become no longer suitable for the entire family, as it was just a couple of decades ago. Likewise, pornography was a central concern during the Nixon administration and is recently returning to the public eye again, thanks to the revelations that some of its actors and actresses unknowingly possessed AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases during their active careers. Consequently, each business have sparked more than its fair share of mainstream disapproval in recent years.

 

Each, that is…

 

As it presently stands, most people consider pro wrestling and pornography two completely different industries. Granted, both target similar fan bases (young to middle-aged males), but these two facets of “entertainment” aren’t about to officially “combine” anytime soon. However, what about if they were to be intermixed with one another? In what manner would America’s citizens react to an atmosphere where wrestlers were to make cameos in porn productions and porn stars were to appear on wrestling cards? Furthermore, who in God's name would ever dare to engage in such a risky venture, from the perspectives of both finances and reputation?

The man’s name is Robert Zicari. As the mastermind behind the Chatsworth, CA-based Extreme Associates pornography corporation and former-companies Extreme Video and Xtreme Pro Wrestling, Zicari – better known by his porn alias of “Rob Black” – is the most controversial man in perhaps the two most controversial industries on Earth: wrestling and porn.

 

And about a year ago, all of it – the lawsuits, the Internet and dirtsheet critics, the debts, the disgruntled ex-employees, the rival conglomerates – it may have all finally caught up with him. On August 27, 2003, Zicari and his wife, former-porn actress and now director Janet Romano (known professionally as Lizzy Borden), were indicted by the federal government for selling obscene videos across state lines (specifically into Pittsburgh, PA). The incident represented the first major pornography bust in the past decade and thus, Zicari and Romano are left to fight the charges while simultaneously trying to run Extreme Associates on a daily basis.

 

Controversy, however, is nothing new to Rob Zicari. In fact, many observers of both the wrestling and porn side of things believe that controversy is what motivates him, perhaps even what he lives for. And judging by his past, this assessment may not be too far from the truth.

 

Before he became the notorious figurehead in the California porn world who is currently facing up to 50 years in jail, Rob Zicari – who hails from Sicilian ancestry – was a native New Yorker, having grown up on the streets of Rochester. He participated in the Golden Gloves Boxing league as a teenager ("I was in decent shape, but it was either go to the Catskills and get beaten up for the rest of my life, or go to college," Zicari reminisced in a 1998 Adult Video News interview.) and he even aspired to be a DEA agent for a short while. However, none of this was meant to be; Rob Zicari dropped out of college in order to enter the industry in which he'd become an icon like few others – pornography.

 

And quite frankly, this decision didn’t come to a great deal of surprise from those who knew him well. After all, the profession had surrounded Zicari for most of his adolescence. Four years before Rob was even born, his father, Dominic, had become the first person in the Western New York area to own adult entertainment bookstores. Within only a few years, Dominic operated about 40 different “peep shops” – as they were called – in the region. According to Rob in his first interview with Roger T. Pipe of RogReviews.com in September 2000, the Zicari family "never had pornography around the house," but young Rob was fully aware of his father’s vocational endeavors. In fact, Dominic Zicari often bought along his son to his porn shops for the day:

 

"I would go in through the back to the office. There was no porn around, but I would sit and roll quarters from the peep machines. That was my job. When I was done, my dad would give me a couple of rolls and I would go to the batting cages. I was like fourteen with a hundred dollars in f*cking quarters."

 

Having been raised in an atmosphere like this one, Zicari’s exposure to the more sexually explicit forms of amusement at an earlier age than most people isn’t overly surprising: “As I hit puberty, [my dad] would go downstairs and I would grab all the stuff I could. I was jerking off to DP’s and sh*t when kids were just looking at Penthouse.”

 

Dominic wasn’t the only member of the Zicari family who made a living out of promoting adult entertainment. Dominic’s younger brother (by about 10 years), Charles “Chuck” Zicari (better known as pornographer “Chuck Zane”), had worked as a shoe vendor before the brothers’ grandfather (Rob Zicari’s great grandfather) convinced them to begin working together in the early 1980s. Initially, all Dominic was willing to give to his brother was the position of manager in one of his shops, but he eventually transferred to him ownership of that entire store and – soon thereafter – the brothers partnered up in 1983 to establish their own porn company, Zane Entertainment.

 

However, it wasn’t long before Dominic lost his prominence in the adult entertainment industry during the eighties when the government got a hold of Zane Entertainment’s contentious 1986 production, “Backside to the Future.” At that time, the government was already cracking down on the content of pornography (in large part because of the famous Tracy Lords scandal of that era) and Dominic was one of several pornographers to feel the repercussions. According to his son in the September 2000 interview by Pipe, Dominic ended up being arrested about 170 times tax evasion, selling obscene materials, and other crimes during the late ‘80s.

 

After he had been incarcerated a few times (although he’d have plenty more gigs in prison in the future in the future), Dominic Zicari was convinced that the expertise he once possessed in promoting porn was long gone, so he sold the stores that he owned to Chuck for about $150,000. Shortly thereafter, Chuck (whose son, Matt, is also a prominent name in the porn industry) hired a right-hand man, Frank DeLucia, to help him run the stores that he had bought from Dominic. Upon being released from his final prison sentence, Dominic went to Chuck and seeked the money shares of Zane Entertainment that Chuck had reimbursed him for, but Chuck gave him a “that was then, this is now” attitude and refused to pay him back. Ever since learned of how Chuck gave the cold shoulder to his older brother, Rob Zicari has hated his uncle. Zicari told Luke Ford in late 1998 that “if Chuck walked in that door, I’d punch him in the mouth. He’s the biggest piece of garbage in the world because he f*cks family. That's the worst.”

 

However, physically compelling his younger brother into returning the monetary stakes of Zane Entertainment that he was owed wasn’t an option to Dominic Zicari. “It is his little brother. What is he going to do?” Rob asks Luke Ford. “My dad is very Italian [devoted to family]. He’s very loyal. You don’t beat up family.” So, what Dominic did was leave Chuck to be, and initially, it appeared that that strategy was working fine because Chuck was digging his own hole. He led Zane Entertainment filed into bankruptcy only a few years after Dominic’s ownership of the peep stores was transferred to his name. However, with the assistance of porn veterans John T. Bone and Max Hardcore (real name: Paul Little), Chuck was able to struggle his financial slumps and eventually relaunch what was basically “version 2.0” – so to say – of Zane Entertainment. The company is still an active competitor in the adult film market to this day (it’s mainly ran by Chuck’s son, Matt).

 

Rob Zicari’s first direct involvement in the porn business came when he began attending the annual Consumer Electronic Shows in Las Vegas each January. Despite being only a teenager at that point, he gained plenty of acquaintances who worked in the business, one of whom was famous porn actor and director Tom Byron (real name: Thomas Taliaferro). When he and Byron first met slightly less than a decade ago on the set of a porn movie (this was the first time that Zicari had seen one shot live, although obviously far from the last), Zicari was only about 20 years old, while Byron was in his early thirties. Byron initially resented Zicari’s excessively inquisitive demeanor, believing him to be "kind of the opposite of [his own] personality" and especially "boisterous," according to Pipe’s May 2000 interview with him. That didn’t matter to Zicari, though. His curiosity got the best of him and he became infatuated with the industry Byron was a legend in, and he’d soon follow the same path and devote all of his time to adult entertainment.

 

Around the time that they first met one another, Zicari and Byron attended the AVN Awards Show together. Byron drove Zicari to the show, but refused accompany him in and instead handed him his business card. Zicari tried to contact Byron for advice in 1988 when he began to plan the filming of his first porn movie (entitled “Tender Loins 2”). However, Byron didn’t return the young Zicari’s calls and in fact didn’t really want anything to do with him. That left Zicari to make a choice that may’ve led to him changed the course of his life forever (from his mayoral candidacy to the current trial to possibly whether XPW was ever formed) had he acted differently in any sort of way. Desperately wanting to direct his own porn film, Black was determined to go through with the task whether he had Bryon’s help or not. Without any prior full-time job or even college background, Zicari was basically broke at the time, and as a result, he used the money that his father had designated as his college funds and flew in a crew to New York shoot the movie (entitled “Tender Loins 1”):

 

“I…used my college money. Basically, it was money I wasn’t authorized to use. I basically stole the money to shoot the first movie.”

 

For the most part, Black stopped using his college savings account after “Tender Loins 1” was completed. Over the next few years, he started building near Rochester a company that – around 1993/’94 – became officially known as Extreme Video. It was during the rise of Extreme Video that “Rob Black” was born. According to his 2001 interview with PBS, Zicari wanted the name to be more than just an alias. He intended for Rob Black character to be “this demonic-like figure, this boisterous, obnoxious person. And I'm going to direct movies that are just out there."

 

And the movies directed by the newly-dubbed Rob Black were “out there.” Pornography is obviously not considered politically correct by most communities, but pornographers at this time (during the early ‘90’s) were recovering from the Nixon administration’s concentrated effort on the industry. With the knowledge of how the government had taken action against Dominic Zicari and others unlike him, most directors aimed to comply as much as possible with society’s standards of acceptability.

 

Extreme Video wasn’t one of those companies. Extreme Video refused to conform. Extreme Video was constructed as an alternative to an industry that the Rob Black believed wasn’t living up to its purpose:

 

“I sat back and I said, ‘Well, you never see movies that are edgy. You never see movies that are just entertaining. It's either just an all-sex movie or it's a plot about the pizza guy who delivers a pizza, and the girl doesn't have money, so she has sex with him for the pizza.’ I sat there and I said, ‘Let's get a representation of life, the grittier edge.’” (2001 PBS interview)

 

Despite only lasting a few years, Extreme Video’s movies served as previews of the brash attitude and outrageous content that would become a signature of Rob Black’s work in the coming years. However, not everybody was happy with what Rob Zicari had become and what he was doing. Upon learning how his son’s college money had been misallocated, Dominic Zicari was certainly no happy camper. He first learned of his son’s financial dishonesty when the filming of “Cellar Dweller” (Rob’s second movie) was completed and gave him a call:

 

“My dad said ‘When you get home, we have to have a conversation.’ I knew I was in trouble. He confronted me, ‘you stole this, you stole that’ and I was like ‘yeah, but I’m going to make all this money.’ It became a shouting match – ‘F*ck you,’ ‘No – f*ck you,’ and I just left.” (September 2000 interview with Roger T. Pipe)

 

This was 1996. Rob Black – then in his early 20s – no longer had the desire to live around the rules and limits that his father demanded he abide by. He had a vision of what he wanted to accomplish in the porn industry and he wasn’t going to get there while living in New York. So, he’s and his girlfriend, Tricia Devereaux (whom he had first met while directing her in “Cellar Dweller”) moved to California, where he’s lived ever since. It was a year and a half before he and his father returned to speaking terms with another and in that time, Rob Black’s life was about to travel down a pathway that he never nor his family ever could’ve envisioned.

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Interesting article but you haven't got to XPW at all yet, so it seems kind of pointless so far. I'll read part 2 though.

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Apon reading this, I seem to have found a huge oversight on your part Barber. You seem to have totally left out what Rob ate for breakfast on the morning of May 6th 1997! It was waffles man... it was waffles! Everyone knows that...

 

 

Seriously though, very detailed stuff there, perhaps overly detailed? But anyway I can't wait to read the rest of this.

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Guest whitemilesdavis

Great read so far, looking forward to further installments.

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The link to the flyer should work now. I re-ul'ed it.

 

The next part focuses on the rise of Extreme Associates and Rob Black meeting Lizzy Borden. Then we get into the wrestling as Verne Langdon talks about the Slammers Wrestling Federation, and details about the Rob Black/ECW discussions are told.

 

Seriously though, very detailed stuff there, perhaps overly detailed? But anyway I can't wait to read the rest of this.

 

Ya, overdetailing stuff has always been a weakness of mine. I'll try to work on that.

 

I'm hoping to have the answer of whether this big name wrestler will be contributing in the next few weeks. I'll keep you posted.

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Guest whitemilesdavis
Ya, overdetailing stuff has always been a weakness of mine. I'll try to work on that.

 

No, for God's sakes continue overdetailing. It's much easier to read a couple of unneccessary words than to be left wondering.

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Guest bort

Good read, really detailed. If you can keep the parts posted on a weekly bases that would be good rather than taking 6 months posting it like u did with the GQ thing

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Is the next part going to be released soon? Also will it be longer than the first part was in length?

It'll be about two weeks till the second part (which focuses on the rise of Extreme Associates and Rob Black meeting Lizzy Borden) is released, and it'll be about the same length as the first part. After that, the parts will be a bit more in length. I'm gonna probably split the ECW/EA discussions into two parts.

 

Both of the names being talked to right now are quite big. More info as I said in the next week.

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Part 2 - coming in less than a week. I'm still awaiting word on the status of the big name I've been talking about.

 

Also, the XPW: 5 Years Later web site will be up in a couple weeks, by the end of the month.

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Unfortunately, New Jack won't be contributing, as I had hoped, mainly because he doesn't wish to talk about XPW anymore and has gone on the record about it plenty of times. However, he did issue this earth shattering statement when a contribution was initially requested (note, this is paraphrased):

 

"Fuck that nigga ass punk Rob Black. I hope he goes ta jail an gets his dick cut off by one of ma homies an then it gets mailed ta me so I can shit on it. Not only he bounce ma checks...he still owes me munnay. If I eva see him in da street I'll run him over, then back up ova him an run that faggot nigga down again."

 

Please keep in mind that those comments were made shortly after Jack got home from the strip club and was in a drunken stupor.

 

Also, unfortunately, the next part won't be posted in less than a week, like I had planned. A lot of guys are being contacted and that takes up time. It'll be posted by early September, probably quite a bit earlier. Sorry.

 

I'll start scanning some of the rare old show flyers I have and will gradually post them on the upcoming web site.

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Guest bort

The first part was good but honestly if you havent finished the whole thing why post it, right now its like a month between parts and its hard to keep my interest like that...

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The first part was good but honestly if you havent finished the whole thing why post it, right now its like a month between parts and its hard to keep my interest like that...

 

I understand. It's gonna be a long process. You don't know how much research and stuff is involved with this. I put in calls to two wrestlers tonight. I'll probably do the same with some others tomorrow. I'm working my ass off to balance contacting people with writing the actual thing. I'll try to get the next part out ASAP. It shouldn't be long. I wanna make sure I do this stuff right before I go and print it.

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Ya. I mean, a lot of this shit has to do with controversial matters and tender issues - there's some personal stuff that it talks about (obviously Messiah, but also Damien Steele's downfall and some other stuff) and I have to get the OK from some people. Really - I can't tell you how much it means people are getting into this. I really want people to enjoy this and not just have it be some rambling thing, but at the same time I have to balance other aspects.

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Less than half a week till part 2 is released, focusing on the rise of Extreme Associates, Rob Black's moving to California, and his past relationships before meeting Lizzy. It will probably be up by the end of the weekend.

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Hope you cover the Onita saga. I've always wondered what really happened there... they built it for seemingly months... then nothing. Same with the Supreme Vs. Kaos angle that went nowhere...

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Done early, baby...

 

 

 

The History of Xtreme Pro Wrestling

 

PART 2

 

Released by IndyWrestling619 on Friday, September 3, 2004

 

Exclusive to DeclarationOfIndependents.net.

 

 

 

 

There is no place on Earth that Rob Black was meant to be more than California, and finally – in 1996 – that time arrived, as he staked a home in the Golden West. Yet there was one problem – only weeks into his residency on the West coast, Black was fired from the VCA company and found himself in the same predicament he was in before beginning the filming of his first porn movie, “Tender Loins 1”: absolutely broke. Initially, he turned to his contacts at Adult Video News and set up an interview with Mickey Blanks for a job at Sin City, but Black became too impatient to wait the four days until the interview and instead decided to give Patrick Collin’s Elegant Angel company a call. Rick Masters – who Black directed in his second production, “Cellar Dweller” – introduced the two to one another. Collins eventually gave Black a shot at Elegant Angel as a sales representative, but only after Black rejected Collins’ first offer for one movie per month at $5,000 each (they eventually settled for $10,000 a movie for the same number).

 

Although the first signs of his nonconformist lifestyle came in his Extreme Video movies a few years prior, Rob Black’s reputation as the vilest pornographer in the industry truly began to be shaped when he joined Elegant Angel. The organization presented him with a significantly more public platform to exhibit his work than he possessed while running the relatively small Extreme Video. Upon working his way up to director at Elegant Angel, Black started touching on subjects that many observers (and even other directors) considered too controversial for even the porn industry.

 

For instance, Roger T. Pipe of RogReviews.com wrote during the peak of Black’s career in the late ‘90’s, “Robert Black has picked up the ball in pushing the envelope and has proven that being on the edge is not always better.” Adult entertainment journalists Brad Williams – the moderator of RAME.net (the porn equivalent of wrestling’s RSPW newsgroup) – and Luke Ford both concur with that assessment. Williams stated several years ago on RAME that “Black is going for making sex as ‘dirty and disgusting’ as anyone can imagine,” while Luke Ford described Black several years on the British TV show, “Disinfo,” as directing “the most repellent, vile disgusting, morally troublesome work of which I’m aware.”

 

And rather than deny these claims, Rob Black embraced them, and in fact still does. During the late ’90’s, he wore a necklace that read in tiny letters, “Whoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.” Black seemed to live by that motto. On the Disinfo TV show, Black concurred with his critics, stating that his productions “are the filthiest of the filth…There's the drug dealer and we're a little above that.” He explained his philosophy for directing porn in the January 1998 issue of AVN:

 

"If I can shock someone, titillate them, arouse them, make them say, 'What is this?' I'm doing my job. Look at how many directors there are, and how many movies come out a year. And if I can be distinguished with my stuff, and have the Internet and the magazines full of my name, then I'm doing my job.”

 

Perhaps Black was doing it too well, though. Many people believe that he has crossed over the line of decency. At one point in 1997, Black – according to the May edition of that year’s AVN – was summoned to the office of Patrick Collins (his boss at Elegant Angel), who “‘politely suggested’ that he scale back on the choking and other violent acts in his productions." Similarly, the reason Black was sent packing from VCA just a few weeks after arriving in California is that he got into a heated argument with its founder, Russell (Russ) Hampshire, because he refused to tone down the violent aspects of his films.

 

And even so, this strategy seemed to work for Black. By late 1997, he was living the good life, smoking smoked three packs of Camel Wide Lights per day (he’s since quit, word has it) and driving a brand-new BMW. He and his then-fiancée, Tricia Devereaux, lived in a half-a-million-dollar home that – according to AVN – was “complete with diving pool, tennis courts and stables – in an 'exclusive, gated community' in nearby Bell Canyon.”

 

And those weren’t even Black’s greatest achievements. The most important thing of all was that he had succeeded in impressing Tom Byron, the same guy who had looked down upon him half a decade before. Byron was none too pleased upon first learning that Elegant Angel had hired Black, since he was already an employee there. However, working alongside one another on various projects on several occasions led to the two finding some common ground, and subsequently, by around late 1996, this unlikely duo had become the best of friends.

 

Byron's other company, Tom Byron Productions, entered into a business relationship with Elegant, which morphed into Extreme Associates in 1998. Elegant Angel employees such as Tiffany Mynx and Van Damage joined Black and Byron in their new Extreme Associates endeavor. According to Lukeford.com – one of the premier sources for up-to-date news on the pornography business – the rumor goes that Black launched Extreme Associates with a $90,000 loan from his father, Dominic. Black has yet to comment on that subject.

 

The years since Extreme Associates was formed is when the aura that porn enthusiasts associate with Rob Black’s name reached its peak. His fame was already on an upswing when he was working for Elegant, but by the time Extreme Associates was formed, the pinnacle of his career was in sight. Extreme – and Rob Black, specifically – gained the reputation of going far and above the content of most other companies, which sparked many critics of Black (such as Luke Ford, John T. Bone, and ex-employee Wanker Wang), but that didn’t seem to faze the Rochester native. Black remained determined to lead Extreme Associates in the right direction, according to his controversial 2001 interview for the PBS “Frontline” series (in which he mounted a challenge to the federal government that came back to haunt him a couple of years later):

 

“I like the challenge of doing something that people on the outside see as taboo. I enjoy the challenge of just making the thing as a whole work, and grow, and thrive, and go. My partner, Tom [byron] – he always says I'm a drama junkie. I thrive on the drama. And at times, I do. Aside from the money, I enjoy – that ... and just that eternal quest to keep going and make it bigger than it is.”

 

When Extreme Associates was launched, Black was going out with Nikki Strassner, his second girlfriend in just as many years. He had previously broken up with Tricia Devereaux in mid-1997, but in late ’98, Nikki and himself followed that same course. At that point, Black began dating one of his Extreme Associates contract girls, Lizzy Borden (real name: Janet Romano). Black and Borden hit things off immediately with one another. In a March 2001 interview with Roger T. Pipe, Borden describes her first encounter with her future husband:

 

“[Porn actor Mike Long a.k.a. Luciano] called me up one night to tell me he was signing a deal with Extreme Associates. I was worried because when I first got into the business, everyone told me never to work for Extreme, never work for Rob Black. We went out celebrating that night and the following Monday he called me to ask me to do a [sexual act] with him for an Extreme movie. I said, ‘Fine, as long as I don't have to meet Rob Black.’ Of course, I get there and the first person I meet is Rob. It turns out that he is just the sweetest guy and I can't understand why everyone hates him.”

 

Whereas Black seemed destined to enter porn from an early age (due in large part to his familial connections to the vocation), Borden just happened to fall into it, more or less. Borden – born on December 20, 1977 in Huntington Beach, CA – looked back on her childhood in an interview with Pipe:

 

“I was very shy and very insecure. I came from a broken family. My stepfather was an alcoholic who was very abusive towards my mother. He didn't accept me. I went through a lot of sh*t.”

 

It took awhile for Borden to develop an identity. During her late teenage years, she held a job at Disneyland, but started feeling “like I had to be a different person just to make friends. People would ask if I was a virgin and I would say, ‘Yes,’ just to fit in. I was afraid of what they would think. I just got sick of being someone other than I was.”

 

With Rob Black, his first direct involvement in the porn industry came when he met Tom Byron. As for Borden, working at a local strip club for about four months led to her meeting a woman named Jill Kelly, who introduced Borden to what she later realized was her calling in life: “I loved it because I didn't have to hide who I was.” She started doing porn under the alias of “Mia Mikels” and didn’t start going by “Lizzy Borden” (a takeoff on 19th century accused murderer Lizzie Borden) until she met Black and was given the name by him. In fact, there’s actually a promo photo Borden did while with XPW, in which she’s posing with a bloody axe in her hands.

 

Borden began her tenure at Extreme Associates as an actress in their porn flicks, but within less than a year of working for the company, she had climbed her way up to the position of director. Contrary to what perennial XPW critic Bob Magee claimed in a 2002 article on PWBTS.com, mid-1999 was the last time she actually performed a sex scene in a movie. From then on, it was all directing Extreme Associates productions for Borden.

 

Everything was going sensational for the new couple and also for Extreme Associates. In 1998, Borden and Byron moved in with Black. By this point, Borden had figured out that she was best off directing films (as opposed to acting in them), and all the while her soon-to-be husband was breaking through the upper echelon of the porn industry. Extreme Associates was emerging as a legitimate alternative in adult entertainment, much like what happened with pro wrestling’s ECW organization during the mid-and-late-‘90’s. Less than a year into its infancy, Extreme Associates won four AVN awards at the January 1999 CES festival, including the much-coveted “Male Performer of the Year” (for Tom Byron). Black and Borden (along with Byron and their other Extreme Associates colleagues) were on their way to redefining pornography, and the rest – as the saying goes – is history…

 

 

 

Feedback welcome.

 

The XPW: 5 Years Later web site will be done in a few weeks.

 

Hope you cover the Onita saga. I've always wondered what really happened there... they built it for seemingly months... then nothing. Same with the Supreme Vs. Kaos angle that went nowhere...

 

No worries about Onita. Lots of never-before-heard stuff about what they were planning to do with him after the proposed Sabu program. Also the real reason his discussions with XPW fell apart (it's not really gone into in Kleinrock's SCU interview). Plenty of stuff on Supreme and Kaos, too.

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