Looking back on.. Wrestling Society X
I grew out of wrestling after the attitude era but as I channel surfed one lazy day I found a wrestling show that got my attention, this was no modern WWE, it was Wrestling Society X.
Known as an absolutely terrible wrestling promotion that only lasted ten episodes but I saw something else, a show that brought wrestling back in a fun way for me to enjoy. So does that mean Wrestling Society X is secretly good?
What you have here was a a project that MTV wanted to experiment if they should invest in a wrestling product to fill the void left after WCW and ECW were bought by the WWF/WWE. You can see this was a pilot run to test the waters and despite it being discarded rather quickly it must’ve done something right since they tried again a few years later with Lucha Libre USA: Masked Warriors.
The concept of the show itself is what makes it so memorable for me, it’s meant to take place in this hidden place ala Fight Club so at least there goes some points for originality. Unlike the more polished WWE, this tries to go for a more humble look and it works. They also try to notch up the “hardcore wrestling” that made wrestling so popular in the late 90s. Only problem is this was the mid 00’s and this product felt like it should’ve aired in 2001 to be innovative.
The show is crazy cheesy but fun over the top since they often over do it. You have fireworks, shaky camera and post-production effects to make some stunts “explosive”. Not all of them work out great as often the suspension of disbelief can’t even understand what they’re going for since they overdo almost every “extreme” spot that they plan. You don’t get really much hardcore wrestling as you do crazy ideas which is cool. Having someone thrown on wet cement or a piranha tank is just fun. I mean literally the last match they had was about the stage having a bomb and at the end it explodes.
Since it aired on MTV they had musical guests helping with the commentary and adding absolutely nothing of value. We mostly get new faces here that by now some of them are familiar like say Cody Rodes. The only veterans that you see include Vampiro, Justin Credible and X-Pac under the name 6-pac. The gimmicks of most of their wrestlers were really bad, as in some of the worst things the WWE has done bad but there were a few rescuable gimmicks. Acting is generally bad as were the storylines but that mattered not.
Now the show was only 20 minutes or so without commercials so there wasn’t a lot of time to do things but that’s not a negative. A show like this didn’t need more time as this restriction forced the matches to be rather quick full of quick moves and quick editing. All of this makes the show flow smoothly and you never get bored since a match will not last too long and you get to see some fun spots in each one.
Some purists may not like this but it’s what makes the show work so well, it’s cheesy fun and it goes by fast before you really think too much about it. If it lasted any longer it would overstay it’s welcome. The concept of Lucha Underground seems kind of similar to what Wrestling Society X wanted to accomplish only Lucha Underground has it all polished. Here you have a bunch of ideas thrown around together and while most don’t work the fact that you’re seeing something different and taking risks gives you plenty of entertainment