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Wrestling Society X Creator Wanted Sami Zayn For Season Two

Posted By Caroline Walsh on 02/15/17

Wrestling Society X co-creator Kevin Kleinrock spoke with Paste Magazine for a new interview. Some highlights are below:

On where the idea for Wrestling Society X came from: “Other than pro wrestling, my biggest passion was music. It was so cool to find out that these bands that I like were fans of XPW. There was a show at the Olympic Auditorium, where Rancid, who’s my favorite band, came to hang out with Vampiro. To see them backstage and to hear that they knew what XPW was and they watched XPW was mindblowing to me. So I learned more and more that there were all these punk rock bands that loved pro wrestling. So I always kinda had this idea if, what if we could someday do this punk rock underground bunker version of pro wrestling, where we had bands that played and then we had wrestling that wasn’t WWE wrestling. It was more athletic, more exciting, more violent. That was the idea. So we originally actually pitched the idea as the ‘Rancid Wrestling Federation,’ but Rancid completely, respectfully to them, said, ‘look, we never let somebody else control something that has our name on it. We don’t feel comfortable doing it now with MTV. We know that if we put our name on it, then MTV is gonna control it and we won’t have control of the product.’ And I knew that they were potentially right at that moment, but I learned that they were certainly right and made the right decision, you know, with the way that the show ended up going in terms of creative vision. We tossed around other names, and we came up with Wrestling Society X and that’s where the show was born from. We pitched the concept and basically told MTV, look, you guys were partially responsible for putting pro wrestling on the map back in the day, what if you finally capitalized on it by launching your own league? And that was the idea.”

On the original plans for a proposed season two and some of the wrestlers they wanted to bring in: “We had tried to get the then ‘El Generico,’ Sami Zayn, in at the last minute for season one, but because this was MTV and everything had to be by the book with visas, we couldn’t pull off his visa in time. Actually, Matt Cross, who ended up teaming with Teddy Hart, was literally a ’24 hours before we shot episode two’ replacement. It was supposed to be Pac from England, now known as Neville in WWE. We had hired him, paid for a work visa, and literally there was like a one day hiccup between him being able to get to the consulate and get his visa and get on a plane to come and shoot the series. So we had to replace him at the last minute with Matt Cross. I was going to be bringing in the team of Nigel McGuinness and Fergal Devitt, now known as Finn Bálor, to be managed by Prince Nana as a tag team. A lot of the guys that had been working at the New Japan Dojo in Los Angeles with David Marquez and Bryan Danielson and there were guys that I had my eye on that we were potentially going to be working in the following season.”