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X-Pac Appreciation Thread


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Kliq Appreciation Thread Special



Part 1: X-Pac


(Smackdown 2 loading screen)


Sean Waltman has long been a favourite of mine. He was probably the first wrestler that I watched from his debut onwards. I caught the end of Hulkamania and I was watching during the Warrior's run, but I was to young to remember WrestleMania III and pivotal moments of the initial boom period. When the 123 Kid came on the scene though, it was a huge deal. X-Pac is about the same size as a Dolf Ziggler and bigger than a Chris Jericho these days. But in the land of the giants that was 1993 he was seen as somewhat of a small guy. This was a period where you had Crush, Mable, Bam Bam, Diesel, Razor Ramon, Lex Luger were around the midcard to upper card. So even though it was during the steroid trial, WWF was still filled with some monsters. He looked like a kid as well, hence the name. And with the WWF back then, if an established star wrestles a 12 year old who we've never seen before, the result isnt in question. So when The Kid landed a moonsault (a rarity in 1993 at the best of times) it was shock. Every fan who witnessed it never saw that one coming. Its a moment I'll never forget watching on All-American Wrestling on Sunday afternoon. By beating an established star, he was made. Hall made him a household name. Waltmans said plenty of times since, it must have taken some doing to convince Hall to do it, because nobody was doing jobs to small wrestlers back then. And this was back when Shawn Michaels had to ask the likes of Crush and the Barbarian how he was meant to bump them, because they werent selling his punches.


And like all good blokes, Razor didnt take offence to this at all. In fact he took a liking to the Kid (who was then dubbed the 123 Kid off the back of it). Saving him from an attack from the Money Inc squad of IRS and Ted DiBiase (the good one with the beard), an onscreen Alliance was made which would last on and off for a good 17 years. The 123 Kid was so over, they were desperate to get a figure of him on the market and he caught the tailend of the Hasbro era. A figure which I believe is pretty rare. Especially interesting is one the cover of the packaging, he has no eyebrows after someone shaved them off on a plane.


Overlapping his friendship with Razor, he found another pal in fellow highflyer Marty Jannetty. Kid and Marty were my favourite ever short team makeshift team. They fit together really well and the fans loved them. As a 9 year old, this pair was just cool as. The first time I saw them together was during the tradition Survivor Series "Just Hurry Up And Fucking Beat Them" ending when Jannetty and 123 Kid pinned IRS and Adam Bomb separately in about 10 seconds in a rush finish. The fans were throwing babies in the air with how easy this pair gelled. The had some stormers with the likes of the Headshrikers and the top tag team of the day, Jacques Rougeau and Pierre Oulette, The Quebecers. The latter, which they took the tag team titles from in another unforgettable moment for myself. I've recently been watching them as a team on Youtube, and they were just fucking class. Marty didnt last long in the promotion as always though, so the team broke up.


This didnt leave 123 Kid in limbo, though. He was a star of the era and definitely one of the top wrestlers in the world. His match with Bret Hart is still one of the best wrestling matches in Raw history, and continues to turn up of Best of Raw, Best of Bret Hart, Best of Red, White and Blue Roped Matches and all the other compilations they put out these days. On top of that, one of the best WWF Tag Team matches of all time came in 1994, when Razor and the Kid torn the arena down with Diesel and Shawn Michaels. Its my favourite tag match ever. As a matter of fact, everyone considers Waltman one of the top workers of his day. Eddie Guerrero said it in his Power Slam interview, Bret Hart said it in his book. As Shawn Michaels said "if you cant work with Kid, you cant work".


When Waltman hooked up with the backstage group The Kliq along with Nash, Hall, HHH and Michaels, they were all in agreement with Vince McMahon that the acid test for a new wrestler would be the 123 Kid, because they all felt he could have a good match with anyone. This didnt stop during the mid 90s. Upon Chris Jericho's arrival years later, X-Pac had to help him though the WWF style of wrestling. Because he was exactly what WWE wants and has always wanted out of their wrestlers. Someone who knows how to work, works the style of wrestling that the match or angle demands and does his best for that match. Its why the 123 Kid you saw in Chikara was different from the Syxx-Pac you saw in TNA and was different from the X-Pac you see on WWE TV. And your reward for being a fine worker is obviously a figure you can bend into a three kick into a spin kick variation. And let us not forget his appearance on that class WWF Raw Sega Game. He was especially good on it because you could actually do flying moves that others couldnt. And on a game, its all about WORKRATE~. Nobody wants to do psychology and boring rest holds on a Sega Game. It was all about MOVEZ!


The Kid to his credit always hung around with cool folk. Sid and Bob Holly being two examples of this. I believe it may have been written into his contract. His title reign with Bob Holly may not have been to memorable, but it still have some top matches. Their match with Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka was pretty fucking great and they tore it up with the Smoking Gunns as well. It would be the highlight of Sparky Pluggs life until 1999 when he won the Hardcore title.


Sid was less successful in filling Razor's boots. I think Sid ended up walking out soon after they got together. The 123 Kid turned on Razor when he was the special referee for a Sid vs Ramon match. A constant thorn in Ramon's side, he also cost him the WWF IC title. The feud ended with a Crybaby match between Ramon and his former friend. Of course Razor wasnt doing this job. It would have been hard to imagine Razor wearing a nappy in 1996. This match was the last thing of note Waltman did. He suffered a neck injury months before but continued to wrestle. He finally took time off around this period. He never would return to the WWF.


As soon as he got his release, he showed up on WCW Nitro, as part of the New World Order. As the sixth member (although Fake Sting was really the sixth member) he was named Syxx by Hollywood Hogan. And then later Syxx-Pac (after Tupac, yo). He was the workhorse of the nWo, which to be fair wasnt saying much. He's neck was playing him up so he wasnt as consistent as the 123 Kid of the WWF. He sparred with the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio and Juventud Guerrera, which were usually good matches. His best work by a country mile was his feud with Ric Flair. It all came from a real life situation as well. Kevin Greene's, Roddy Piper and Ric Flair were meant to wrestle the Wolfpac of Hall, Nash and Syxx. Being in one of Flair and Piper's towns and Greene's biggest market, Flair and Piper campaigned for Syxx to be taken from the match and have Hulk Hogan take his place. Which got Syxx, Hall and Nash angry and a war of words in the sheets and on the internet and the hotlines began. The match itself was fantastic though. Hall, Nash and Syxx (to prove a point) all put their working boots on and all three of them did a triple submission/pinfall job to show that Waltman was just as important as the Outsiders were.


By far the funniest and most cutting parody of a wrestler was the Horsemen parody the nWo did. Bagwell and Konnan just did as they were told, but Pac and Nash went for it. Waltman especially seemed to hit the nail on the head with his parody of Flair. Watching it back, it still tolds up. The clothes he's wearing are true to form awful. The plasters on the fingers always raise a laugh. The line about "I'm out here screeming at the top of my lungs and I dont even know why" was brilliant. Probably the best line. Apart from saying "whooo" before the other person finished his sentence.


WCW were a bit off the boil as far as merchandise went, but the second biggest selling shirt in WCW at the time was the Syxx-Ball nWo shirt. It outsold that Lex Luger and Sting shirt, as well as the nWo Hollywood Rules tee. Especially memorable was when Waltman got fired, for the next few weeks the only shirt Nash wore was this.


Although even when he debuted in the WWF, they released the WCW Nitro game, and Syxx-Pac was the character all my mates wanted to be because he was the only one who was on a show anyone watched.


In protest at being messed about by Hall and Nash, Eric Bischoff made the decision to sack Waltman via Fed-Ex while at home with a broken neck. An easy target, Bischoff thought this was a power play he needed to pull to regain control (it didnt work). Being one of the few stars in WCW who was in his mid-20s, could work the WWF style as good as anyone and had attitude by the bucket load, WWF snapped him up as soon as they heard he was free to start. So the night after WrestleMania, X-Pac strolled out in a D-Generation X shirt looking the bollocks and hugged his Kliq pal Triple H.


A new DX was born, and was christened with a blistering promo on Hogan, Bischoff and anyone else he didnt like. It blew everyone away. DX were supposed to be the big nWo style heel group, but instead the fans completely took to the hilarious New Age Outlaws, the likable X-Pac and cool Triple H. They are the real DX in my eyes, and probably to everyone who grew up around that time. Billy Gunn yelling "SUCK IT" and the Road Dogg's ring intros were massive in getting these over. And with Triple H more often that not injured throughout 1998, X-Pac was a real star of the group in the ring. His matches with Owen Hart, Jeff Jarrett, Ken Shamrock and D'Lo Brown were the most consistantly good matches during a time when mic work and charisma came miles before anything in the ring. He even dragged Gangrel to a good match.


Upon his return, the WWF got its merchandise machine hooked on the back of the former 123 Kid far better than before. He had his own t-shirt which championed the virtues of smoking cannabis. A fucking hideous mask and which was also very life-like, figures up the arse of course, in various forms.


You had to have him in the WWF games of the era as well. Bronco Busters and X-Factors alround in our house in 99/2000. These were the first WWF Games that werent shite on the PSone, so to see X-Pac looking as only he can look was a great feeling. Although, if I'm honest, Road Dogg was the one I wanted to play as.


Early 1999 saw X-Pac and Shane McMahon get into a feud over the European title. Where Shane actually beat X-Pac in every match they had after interference from either Kane, Chyna or Triple H. The match at WrestleMania XV was seen as a minor miracle at the time. Shane hadnt wrestle a full match before so X-Pac had to carry the load. And it was a great match. Possibly the match of the night (not named Rock vs Austin). The ending came when Triple H effectively ended the year long DX run and pedigreed X-Pac. But there was a saviour for X-Pac in the form of Kane. Kane seemed to be another in a massive list of makeshift partners for Waltman. But this storyline was something special. They won the tag titles a few times, but it was the relationship the pair had which got people into it. X-Pac was small and always had to fight for acceptance in the WWF. Kane was a giant who because of his local of a face and voice wasnt invited to play on the new Fifa very often. So the alliance of this pair was perfect. Power and speed, they complimented each other as well as Razor and the 123 Kid did (probably better).


As we've all done in the past, X-Pac learned his mate how to talk when Kane said his first words "SUCK IT", the crowd went ape. The reaction was brilliant. There was also a moment in their alliance, when Kane had a attack of nostalgia and thought he owed it to his brother the Undertaker to join him again. While Kane was having a think about it, Taker was secretly slapping X-Pac's bandanna off his head. When Kane found this out, Kane returned fire of the Man From the Darkside and Pac and Kane had a lovely teary eyed embrace.


In a MASSIVE mistake for X-Pac's career, he joined up with DX again, during a period where he was probably on par with Mankind as far as being over with the fans. Not only did he join up with Triple H and the Outlaws, he also turned on Kane, which nobody was ready for just yet. The new DX was all about its leader this time though. Triple H was the main man and everyone else was fighting for television time. It was doing X-Pac no favours.


DX was really just X-Pac and Road Dogg along with Tori soon after they got back together. Tori joined the group after she turned on Kane, who was really developing a dislike for people by this point. Triple H would occasional turn up with them, but it was very rare. The Road Dogg and X-Pac team had some good matches with the likes of the Dudleys and Edge and Christian, but they werent anything other than a stop gap team for people who had nothing better to do.


After a class match with Chris Jericho at No Mercy 2000, X-Pac done his neck again and was out for months. He returned with a new attitude, new look and new music ... actually he didnt. He returned looking exactly the same, with the same outfit and for some reason still had his DX music. Enough was enough and it was time for a change. This began after he had a four way dance with Jericho, Benoit and Guerrero which was so good its a surprise nobody is talking about it to this day. Justin Credible and Prince Albert formed a threesome with X-Pac called X-Factor. Completely shit on every level, two bald blokes and a man with a perm was never going to work during the boom period. The fact they have "WWF Sunday Night Heat" written behind them on the picture below sums them up. It worked so badly, Edge was allowed to rip the piss out of their ring music. Which was crap. Albert seemed to just wonder off and Justin Credible joined his Alliance pals and X-Pac went solo again.


This was the beginning of the "X-Pac Heat" period. People said at the time "its because people genuinely hate him" which is such shite. People were bored with his character, but it was a complete hatchet job. Its not X-Pac's fault they saddled him with personality free team mates and shite like Billy Kidman to work with. People point to X-Pac being the only person to be booed at the Invasion PPV, but the reason he was booed was because unlike all the other WWF wrestlers X-Pac was still working heel on TV against WWF wrestlers. Unlike Billy Kidman who was established as a face on Heat beating fellow Alliance wrestlers and also cut an interview championing the fans "X-Pac Sucks" chant. He had far better luck against Tajiri in a series of class matches. But his neck was injured again, so it was back on the shelf for X-Pac.


He returned a few months later, this time with his old New World Order running buddies, at the request of Hulk Hogan who stuck up for him when again nobody thought he could carry the spot. Hogan sold and bladed for X-Pac in a angle on Smackdown to mark his return as well. Then he restarted his feud with Kane which few wanted to relive. Shawn Michaels even returned in what was looking like a Kliq reunion onscreen. Then it all went to cock. Nash torn his quad muscle and X-Pac was found in a hospital not knowing how he got there. This was the final straw for WWE. Coming not to long after snipping off WWE writer Michael Hayes mullet on a flight over to the UK, X-Pac had enough strikes and he was finally let go.


Before the firing he did get these cool nWo figures though:


He didnt disappear, though. He was linked with ever start up promotion you could think of during the 2002 period. He had a excellent match with Sabu for 3PW and also was a regular for TNA when he showed up. And it was very rare he would show up when advertised. When he did, he would put a shift in. He was given the X Division title, making him the only person to win the X Division, WCW Cruiserweight and WWF Light Heavyweight titles. He would also be a major player on the majorly shit Wrestle Society X show on MTV.


His life started really falling apart post WWF. He became addicted to Crystal Meth, and then got his head kicked in off Chyna is possibly the strangest and most understandable case of domestic abuse in history. Then he made a porn film less erotic than both Traci's First Anal and Wigan Fatty Fuck put together. This lead to him trying to hang himself in Mexico and was cut down by the former Ryan Shamrock, who he was seeing at the time. The story how he got with Ryan Shamrock was funny. She was going out with Ken Shamrock at the time and Ken didnt mind her fucking about, but he caught X-Pac shagging her and tried to give Waltman a good kicking mid-trust.


After the hanging thing, which is never pleasant, he made a vow to get his career back on track and regain his reputation. The start of this was when he signed for TNA on the Night of the Amazing Leather Jackets in January 2010 when he hooked back up with his pals Hall and Nash.


The company didnt seem to really care about his contribution to the show and never used him much in the ring. The times he did were usually great. He had a match with Eric Young, which remains the only time Eric Young has looked like a superstar babyface. Waltman even took a piledriver for the finish, which was going above the call of duty with his history with neck injuries.


Waltman ended up leaving TNA, after they booked him in a town they knew he couldnt wrestle in because he contracted Hepatitis C and then said he no showed. Which he didnt take to kindly to. That was his last television run and might be the last time we see him in a regular role on TV. His reputation hasnt been as good in years though. In the last 12 months he has been given his own online radio show on Cowhead TV where he talks wrestling and can been seen on Scott Hall's Youtube show when he does them. X-Pac also reviews Raw on his website which is usually better than Raw itself. He recently donned the 123 Kid gimmick again for the Chikara promotion, and was given a tribute by Mike Quackenbush stating how important Waltman was to the current perception of smaller talent in the business. The Kid repaid him with a performance he hasnt given since about 2000 in a excellent match with El Generico.


Most recently he appeared at the WWE Hall of Fame onstage with his best friends HHH, Michaels and Nash in a great moment. As well as that, X-Pac is a regular down at FCW helping the current wrestlers they have in developmental. Which is again an extention of the high opinion Vince McMahon and Triple H has for his work.


Waltman was to the older fanbase probably what Rey Mysterio was to the young kids today. He was a exciting wrestler, who you thought you could grow up to be like. You might not be able to grow to be the size of Luger or Warrior, but the 123 Kid was like one of us. When he was in DX and the nWo he was one of the cool guys in the promotion who you wanted to hang out with. He was one of the best wrestlers of his generation. And its good to see the WWE still holds him in high regard.


"You dye your hair bitch ... or is that shit really black?"

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Nice one dude...Just one wee thing. Did anyone else notice that in the first pic of him hitting the moonsault on Razor, that the name KID is spelled upside down? In that shot it reads the right way, but just standing up it would be upside down. Was this deliberate because of his high flying etc? That his name would be readable from all angles?


Great post though!!

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He had a couple of cracking matches in TNA about 3 years ago, against Jerry Lynn IIRC. This was post-hanging but pre-Band I think.


He'll be back on WWE tv at some point, I have no doubt.

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That's how you do it, Dashing, you shit bastard.


I've been on and off with X-Pac over the years. The Razor Ramon upset though is one of my favourite wrestling memories ever even though I was pissed off because I was always a massive Razor fan.


I've grabbed a lot more respect for him recently with the Sean Oliver shoot, which was one of the best shoots that I've ever seen, and the In Your Head interview as well. He seems like a genuine and really decent guy who acknowledges his flaws and mistakes. I'd love to see him get another WWE shot, I think he has worked really hard to at least deserve it again.

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Waltman was the shit. His matches with D-Lo were quality, probably the best of D-Lo's career I reckon. Loved his match with Bret Hart from Raw in 94 and his match at SummerSlam in 2001 with Tajiri was good fun aswell. The match with Owen at KOTR is the shortest great match I think I've ever seen.


I was always gutted I never got that 123 Kid hasbro. Seeing the pic again it still kind of irritates me to this day.

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I hated X-Pac in 2001 like everybody else, and I thought he was a right soppy cunt in 99 with Kane and SAAAAACKKKKEEEETTTT and all that, but the rest of his stuff is gold. I'll watch absolutely anything from his original WWF run and almost definitely love it. I agree with HBK's theory also, to the extent that I can't even think of a bad match he had back then (including the ones with Douglas that the Clique allegedly hated).


Had no idea he'd brought the 1-2-3 Kid back for that indy fed either, that was brilliant to see. Add me to the list of people who think he would be just fine back in the WWE.

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Best thing about Waltman is he seems like a genuinely nice lad, he just hangs about with wrong uns. As charming as the rest of the Kliq can be, you can see they also have a 'cunty-side' to their personality.


This thread is spot on in summing up his career. Like Waltman, it doesn't mind saying when things got shit. From his 123 Kid days (who wasn't a fan of the ultimate underdog) to Syxx to DX to Pac/Kane, I was a fan (granted, as Syxx I wanted to see his head get smashed in, job done). Ian is correct typing that X-Pac's career was damaged for good when he suddenly joined the heel DX. It would have been a good decision if they weren't treated as Triple H's stooges and obviously a desperate attempt to get Triple H accepted as a main eventer. When Triple H finally started to get treated as a proper star, after months of trying, he fucked DX off. I thought Triple H was well out of order for pretty much killing a mates career to further his, I guess that's wrestling though.


The years following it were one bad decision or bad luck after another. X Factor need to be stamped as shite for life, I'm not having people say they were any good as they were Heat geeks with bad music and a bad look, everything that makes a stable rubbish.


Thankfully his TNA run, although brief, was memorable. The highlight (other than him making EY look like a star) was him losing his mind when TNA fucked up with the spray can under the ring.

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