7 Wrestling Promotions Which Tried To Beat WWE

6. XWF


Kevin Harrington's line-up for his inaugural XWF show read like a who's who of the industry... circa 1993.

Left to the task, Jimmy Hart assembled a roster spearheaded by who else but Hulk Hogan, supported by weathered stars such as The Nasty Boys, Greg Valentine, Marty Jannetty, Johnny B. Badd and The Road Warriors. But he also seasoned the XWF - an acronym for the brilliantly bonkers name Xcitement Wrestling Federation - with up-and-coming talent, including nailed-on future Hall of Famers The Shane Twins, Johnny Swinger, and Lex Lovett. A certain AJ Styles helped make up the numbers.

Like every money mark before him, Harrington, a self-made millionaire through his "As Seen On TV" infomercials, reckoned he could take on the newly created McMahon monopoly. He planned to replace WCW with a potpourri product featuring every available style of wrestling - the biggest attraction obviously being Hogan, who had been on sabbatical from the business since walking out of WCW a year earlier.

Despite the grammatically illogical company slogan - "No more prima donnas, no more politics... in your face!" - initial tapings were solid. The problem was that no sooner were they in the can than WWE came knocking for any of XWF's relevant talent. Commentator Jerry Lawler, fresh off his divorce from Stacey Carter, was offered a reprieve from the company he'd left in protest over his ex-wife's sacking. Curt Hennig, Sable, and most significantly, Hogan, all followed him back to Stamford.

Jimmy Hart - now running the company after Harrington had tested the water and came out burned - had nothing left to offer TV executives. An 'invasion' of Puerto Rico's WWC and exploration of a weekly PPV model never amounted to anything, and the upstart closed its doors in 2004.

Status: Defunct. Hulk Hogan's WWE return has sadly killed a comeback.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know). He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.