It’s been a while since we’ve recapped storylines – so for those of you who have been out of the loop… here’s where we stand in several promotions!
After 16 Carat Gold, it’s like a massive reset button has been pressed on the promotion.
Having “left” the promotion after the 17th Anniversary Show, Ilja Dragunov made a triumphant return on night two of 16 Carat Gold, becoming the third man in the main event… and beating John Klinger to win the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship!
Undeterred, Klinger still left the weekend with gold – cashing in the title shot that Ivan Kiev and Da Mack won earlier in the weekend, as he ordered that he and Mack would challenge for the wXw tag titles… successfully doing so to unseat WALTER & Timothy Thatcher from RINGKAMPF. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though, as after the match, Pete Bouncer finally snapped – pulling Klinger away from his victory parade after another weekend of shabby treatment. Ivan Kiev didn’t make the leap away from RISE, so the next round of the RISE story is almost surely going to be based around a conflicted Kiev – but we’ll have to wait and see on Shotgun to find out how that plays out!
Klinger and Mack don’t have any obvious challengers for the tag team title right now, but with Monster Consulting and Jay FK among the more prominent teams currently around, don’t be too surprised if either of those guys end up challenging for the belts on wXw’s next feature event on April 14 in Dresden at True Colors. As for the world title picture, well, Absolute Andy winning 16 Carat puts him on a collision course with Dragunov – but it’s not like Andy has a clear path. If anything, the issue with Marius al-Ani was exacerbated when Andy snuck past him in the first round at Carat, while you’ve got to think that WALTER will be angling for a title match having granted Ilja the chance to begin with. WALTER does have a shot at the title in London this weekend, as he’s part of a four-way that also figures in David Starr and Travis Banks as wXw changed their originally scheduled main event for the show.
Elsewhere in wXw, at least in the stuff that they’ve tipped their hand on, rather than just planted seeds for (Tarkan Aslan, we’ve not forgotten your ominous line to Lucky Kid before 16 Carat!) – with Toni Storm having defended her women’s title against Melanie Gray, then in a four-way against Martina, Wesna and Killer Kelly, the hunt is on for her next challenger while Storm’s over in Japan for STARDOM… and Bobby Gunns faces TK Cooper in London this weekend as he defends the Shotgun title, but after that, who knows what’s next for the surprise star of 16 Carat weekend? You know who I mean. Gunns… Bobby Gunns…
Going into this weekend’s chapter show at the Electric Ballroom, there’s the potential for a surprise as Flash Morgan Webster’s cashing in his Thunderbastard title shot against Travis Banks. Considering how the PROGRESS crowd have slowly been turning against Banks lately, and how much Webster’s recent form has improved since he’s formed an unwanted (?) alliance with Vicki Haskins, don’t be too shocked if Webster comes away with a win… if not the title.
Elsewhere, with champion Toni Storm away in Japan, Jinny continues to build herself a crew capable of softening up the Australian once Jinny’s back in action again. Dubbed the “House of Couture”, Jinny’s gotten Chakara, Nina Samuels and Charlie Morgan on her side, and it’ll be Chakara in action this weekend in a four-way, against Martina, Millie McKenzie and the debuting Killer Kelly.
The tag team championships have bounced around a bit in recent weeks, with the Grizzled Young Veterans dropping the titles to Mark Haskins and Jimmy Havoc in Manchester last month, before winning them back two weeks later, albeit against a weakened Havoc. On that same show, Jack Sexsmith and David Starr challenged Haskins and Havoc to a match… and that’s led to Haskins and Havoc’s rematch becoming a three-way elimination match. Since Jack Sexsmith’s challenging for the PROGRESS World title in Manchester in May, I’d be surprised if Sexy Starr walked away with gold here, but I wouldn’t be too shocked if something was planted here for Jack’s future…
If the record books are to be believed, WALTER’s run as Atlas champion could be doomed as he faces a man he’s never beaten in PROGRESS – Rampage Brown… we also have the last first round match in the Natural PROGRESSion Series, as Danny Duggan faces Danny Jones, with the winner facing Mark Davis in the semis… Rob Lynch returns to a chapter show for the first time since last July, as his comeback from a shoulder injury sees him take on Doug Williams, whose recent form has been rather stuttery to say the last.
We’ve yet to review March’s Cockpit show, and the subsequent debut event in Southampton, but all roads are pointing towards the next York Hall show in mid-May – a month that’s already looking hectic for fans in Britain!
The scheduled main event at York Hall is a tag team title match as Zack Sabre Jr. and Minoru Suzuki put their belts on the like against Travis Banks and Chris Brookes. In the build-up, we’ve seen CCK beat Aussie Open at the Cockpit, but with Sabre and Suzuki otherwise tied up in Japan, and both halves of CCK likely to be involved in Fight Club Pro’s Dream Tag Team Invitational over Easter weekend, it’s likely we’ll not be getting any further direct build for this until May’s Cockpit show – which happens days before York Hall!
Speaking of tag teams and alliances, March’s Cockpit event saw the creation of a new pairing… even if they didn’t properly announce themselves. Adam Brooks aligned himself with fellow Australian Sean Kustom as he looks to sharpen himself ahead of an eventual match with Will Ospreay… who’s got El Phantasmo on the York Hall show first… After coming up short in Portsmouth last month, David Starr’s gotten another chance against Kurtis Chapman – but his York Hall date is an all or nothing affair, as the stipulation will see Starr receive no more chances against Chapman if he doesn’t leave Bethnal Green with the title in May.
Since we last touched on ATTACK!, there’s been a pretty big shift as the company had their “annual reset”… the Anti-Fun Police are now good!
At the end of “Failure’s Not Flattering…” in Bristol, the trio of Drew Parker, ELIJAH and Bishop beat down the Anti-Fun Police, seemingly putting the force out of business… only for them to return a month later in Cardiff, this time with Travis Banks back on side. Given how poor Nothing To Prove’s win/loss record has been in ATTACK!, I’m guessing we’ll be in for more of the same with NTP taking losses and keeping things going with sneak attacks – a formula that’s already growing a little old…
We’ve yet to review ATTACK’s latest event, “I’ve Got A Dark Match And A Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Up Lykos”, but that show saw Mike Bird turn on his long-time partner Wild Boar, having previously told the crowd that he despised wrestling for how it’s left him. Boar and Bird hadn’t teamed since the “Featuring Some Of Your Favorite Wrestlers” show in January, and had been kept apart… until now, I guess?