Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Disguise and Destruction in Nitro

I had a wild time in Nitro Saturday, as I took in my first XMCW wrestling show. It was lot of fun, seeing some of the up-and-coming area wrestling talents work their magic in front an enthusiastic crowd, but the evening ended on a shocking, perhaps even disturbing note.

But first, the show itself was a trip. This was my first time seeing most of these folks in action and I was impressed at the level of athleticism and theatrics on display. Local boys like Smokey C and Max Rock showed real star quality, while The Unholy made a tremendous fire-breathing entrance, before his three-way match with Wes Lynch and Eric Steel. I was excited to see Death Falcon, since I’d been hearing about him for some time, but he factored into one really weird turn during the evening. It was a fun show, and I’ll probably be going back, but during one of the night’s main events, something bizarre and unexpected happened.

The Kid, a miniscule, but vicious fellow, was facing Alan Lynch, the XMCW champ. However, he was not alone. He had Death Falcon in his corner. It was a particularly brutal match, with plastic tubs filled with barbwire coming into play, and Death Falcon getting in more than a few shots on the outnumbered champ. At one point, Lynch was on his back outside the ring when an elderly gentleman who had been at ringside in a wheelchair all evening rose shakily from his chair, and tried to help Lynch to his feet. It seemed like a touching, uniquely West Virginian moment, until the old guy (who looked like a Civil War Veteran) started beating on Lynch and then delivered a snap suplex. The now three-on-one beating continued back in the ring, where the “old guy” removed his disguise to reveal that he was, in fact, Danny Boyd–West Virginia filmmaker, author, and photographer.
Now, I’ve known Danny for over twenty years. And I knew about his fascination with professional wrestling. It even led him to become a professional wrestler a couple of years ago. His flirtation with professional wrestling was covered in a documentary film last year. But we all thought Danny was done with this. He left XMCW fifteen months ago. He made a hero’s exit. He left as a good guy. It was a bit of a shock to see him return to the ring–now that he’s pushing fifty–in such an underhanded way. It’s almost like the world of professional wrestling has changed him. He’s gone over to the dark side. I know Danny’s friends are worried about him. I just don’t know where this will lead. It was a strange ending to a fun evening.

Photo credit: Susan Lively


  1. Julia

    I loaned the costume department my wrestling t-shirt featuring Wildfire” Tommy Rich, for Danny Boyd to wear in his first opus “Chillers”. I had no idea he was still into the ‘sport’… nice blog! Plus, keep up with Radio Free Charleston, its worth all your efforts!

  2. Anonymous



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