We’re in Hamburg, Germany at the Markthalle. This is a final chance for wXw to get their ducks in a row ahead of the much criticized World Tag Team Festival. A competition that promised to not feature the wXw tag team champions until the final night. A move that’s not gone over well with the fans. But this is FAN, the show where wXw show support to their fanbase. Hosts are Rico Bushido and Andy Jackson.
wXw Women’s Championship
Amale (c) vs. Tenille Dashwood
wXw have a relatively fragile women’s division. They had a couple of stories revolving around Toni Storm, Killer Kelly and Melanie Grey and have stumbled onto Amale as champion because no one else is consistently available and healthy. Due to a lack of depth they’ve had to fly in the former Emma to challenge her here. Tenille has been injured a lot this year. She missed ten months and hasn’t long been back. Amale needs experienced and talented opponents to improve her in-ring. There are some pretty big spots in this; like a DDT on the apron, and the execution of it all is clunky and below par. The match is far better when they keep it simple. The roll ups and suplexes all look strong but then they do an Irish whip spot where Amale releases way too early and Tenille has to run herself backwards into the corner. Amale has some pretty major issues with trying to make her thigh slap sound good over making a move look right. This is bad pro wrestling. Tenille being rusty doesn’t help and the match alternates between fine and bad. A ducked clothesline looks awful but it’s followed by a Northern Lights suplex that looks great. It’s just that kind of match. They can hit the moves and take the bumps but the transitions are brutal. Tenille jogs into the Champion’s Maker and that finishes. This match was quite exciting considering how full of awful spots it was. These two really didn’t click.
Final Rating: *3/4
Video Control shows us Tim Thatcher firing up Veit Muller. That Battle Arts hat needs washing Timo.
Lucky Kid vs. Pete Bouncer
This is part of the RISE fallout.
Pete goes for evil heel characterization to make amends for his work and that gives Lucky something to fight against as an underdog.
Ivan Kiev runs in to help Bouncer and they form a new heel unit at Lucky’s expense. I guess Lucky Kid is officially in Schadenfreude then. Although they’re not here. RISE is dead by the way. This makes it official, which is a pity because that was a great angle that suffered from injury problems and Bones leaving.
Final Rating: NR (match never happened)
wXw Shotgun Championship
Emil Sitoci (c) vs. Avalanche
Sitoci’s nihilistic heel turn this year hasn’t grabbed me at all. He’s basically a sad piece of cannon fodder here. The fans vote this to be a Hamburg Street fight despite Avalanche campaigning for a bullrope match. Hey, it’s a street fight so anything goes. Use it anyway. The lack of rules allow them to switch between wrestling and violence and it also allows Avalanche to have his bullrope match within the street fight. Sitoci introduces Avalanche’s natural enemy; the table but Avalanche breaks it on the first spot to ruin his fun. They go through a lot of plunder, which is the staple of a street fight but a lack of space around the ring prevents it going truly epic. Avalanche finishes with the Dreisskerbomb and wins his first singles title in wXw.
I’m thrilled for Robert because I know how hard he’s worked to get to this point. A well-deserved victory.
Final Rating: ***1/4
wXw World Tag Team Championship
WALTER & Ilja Dragunov (c) vs. Aussie Open
It’s weird how signing a contract has turned wXw’s two favourite sons, the toughest men in the company, into hated, entitled douchebags. The champs try to get counted out but Karsten Beck reads them the riot act and promises to strip them of the belts if they get counted out. They switch gears and go full on into the meat of the match. Ilja and WALTER keen to boss proceedings and Aussie Open resorting to their standard formula, fighting from underneath. Dunky’s hot tag is great but Kyle gets one too. It helps the match that everyone is great in it and they have established chemistry. Kyle might be the stand out here as he gets to slam WALTER and looks amazing but everyone delivers. Ilja has reached a point in his career where he’s great in everything if he lays off the goofy shit. And he does here! It’s a great match. They lay it in snug and there’s no rest holds at all. It’s ideal for my viewing purposes.
David Starr shows up to defend Indie Wrestling. The result is a distracted Ilja getting taken apart. Fidget Spinner puts him away and Aussie Open win the belts back! This was all kinds of great. Non-stop action from four great wrestlers.
Final Rating: ****
Post Match: Starr reminds Aussie Open he’s in the Tag Festival with Eddie Kingston and they’re coming for the belts.
Then the Purge Club show up and that’s quite terrifying. Then they unmask and it’s RISE rebranded. The crowd chant “you still suck” at them. Indeed.
Valkyrie vs. Toni Storm vs. Faye Jackson vs. Holidead
This is a reminder that there is more strength to wXw’s women’s division than their appears on the surface and yet none of these are German. They’re all imported to work each other.
Rico calls Holidead “Hollerydead”. He also says they’ve got the best seat in the house for “all the girls getting it on” so what can you do. Toni is obviously the star here but it’s interesting that her best work comes against Valkyrie. There are some really blunt camera cuts in here presumably covering up issues. There are a couple that stay in there. Just minor timing issues where the person taking the move doesn’t look ready and the executor of the move has to pause and it looks very awkward. It’s better than the women’s title match from earlier and they pacing is great towards the finish. Valkyrie takes an incredible bump on Strong Zero. Faye cannonballs Holidead for the pin. The hot finish really pulled the match up.
Final Rating: ***
wXw Unified Championship
Bobby Gunns (c) vs. Veit Muller
Muller is a Hamburg lad and over as fuck.
Bobby Gunns has changed back to his old dickhead persona, which is better for him long run and comes out here wearing a Werder Bremen scarf.
Gunns has suffered from wXw’s entrance music change but the heel turn is wise as the crowd don’t have a song to chant his name to anymore. They put on an interesting match, which is driven by Veit’s style. He’s such a throwback. Gunns gives him the bulk of the match and only takes over when some heat is required. It’s probably the right match to have as the crowd are very into Veit and he’s in this environment for the first time and is clearly not winning the belt.
I’m not sure Bobby should be taking German suplexes on his neck like he does here after picking up that injury at Mania weekend. Gunns does a lot of bumping for Veit, especially towards the finish, where it’s like watching Curt Hennig running at Hulk Hogan circa 1988. Then Gunns gets an inside cradle out of nowhere to retain. This was good solid wrestling and I love Veit’s style. Gunns perhaps should have cheated just a smidge on the finish as a clean pin felt a little wrong. The crowd’s reaction to a Gunns win is hurling rubbish at the ring, which is a rarity in wrestling nowadays.
Final Rating: ***1/2
This was a decent smaller show from wXw. Avalanche winning a title and Veit being in the main event were both very cool. The wXw women’s division hasn’t been going well and yet they put on two women’s matches on this show so maybe that’s back on track. It was also very pleasing to see the tag titles return to a team who could, in theory, lose to anyone at WTTF. Something that was not true of WALTER & Ilja and the weird final day only appearance. That looks to be finished with now, which is a great relief.