A change in format means that wXw’s autumn wrestling festival offers something for everyone – as we’re all heading back to Oberhausen!
Previously known as the World Tag Team League, wXw have ditched the round robin format and have opted to turn it into a straight-up, single elimination tournament, with a three-way final… now for the vacated wXw World Tag Team Championships this weekender undergoes yet more changes.
wXw’s increased the field to twelve tag teams – at least for the tournament portion – and have also thrown in another Ambition tournament as well as just about every show over the weekend will have stakes attached to it. So… what is World Tag Team Festival, and where is it? As usual for wXw’s festival weekends, the fun begins in Essen on Thursday October 3 at the wXw Wrestling Academy. Then, the World Tag Team Festival begins on Friday October 4, at Turbinenhalle 2, with all of the first round matches as 12 become six…
Saturday afternoon at 2pm, 2019’s edition Femmes Fatales takes place – that’s another single elimination tournament… then at 7.30pm, the second night of World Tag Team Festival begins, with the six semi finalists thinning out into the three finalists… and then it’s the after-party starting at 11pm. Sunday at noon, we’ve the Ambition Wildcard show, followed by the finals of World Tag Team Festival at 5pm.
With WWE running NXT UK tapings in salubrious Brentwood on the Friday and Saturday, we’ve got a very different-looking line-up to years past. So… who’s on the bill?
We’ll be keeping this up to date for new matches and any late changes to the line-up – so check this page or bookmark this link for all of our World Tag Team Festival 2019 coverage!
World Tag Team Festival Entrants
¿Schadenfreude? – with Mark Davis’ knee injury forcing Aussie Open to vacate the wXw tag titles, Kyle Fletcher’s hanging around and bringing perhaps the weirdest ¿Schadenfreude? pairing to Oberhausen for this weekender. If you’ve followed ¿Schadenfreude?’s exploits, you’ll know that Lucky Kid is a strained member of the group, so much so he’s had to go undercover as himself. But that’s not in wXw. Can ¿Schadenfreude? follow in the footsteps of Aussie Open and leave with the gold?
Timothy Thatcher and Veit Müller: on paper, this could be quite awkward. Veit just got into RINGKAMPF over 16 Carat Gold weekend, after months of trying to gain WALTER’s approval… while Thatcher walked away, sensing what WALTER was going to turn into… Thatcher’s return at Shortcut to the Top saw him win the eponymous match to earn himself a title shot. Heck, the only thing Thatcher’s not doing this weekend is Femmes Fatales and the bowling! Maybe I’m reading into things too much, but I wouldn’t be too shocked if Veit did the dirty on Timo at some point. Loyalty to the scarf and all that…
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch: on loan from WWE, both men have had experience in wXw in a former life. Lorcan, as Biff Busick, was a losing finalist in 2014’s World Triangle League, while the former Martin Stone has much more pedigree in wXw, being a former tag team champion here. While it’s not beyond the stretch of possibility to see Lorcan and Burch leaving Oberhausen with gold, I think we’re more likely to see them eliminated on the Saturday, leaving Oney with less to focus on, as he’s got that SuperFight with Tim Thatcher at Ambition.
Violence is Forever – Dominic Garrini and Kevin Ku: a late replacement due to Bandido’s injury, the former SADKAMPF make their European debuts this weekend. Their highest profile outing – to European fans at least – came in a loss to Aussie Open on the second episode of Beyond’s Uncharted Territory earlier this year, but making it to Europe isn’t too bad considering that Cagematch lists their career as a team as lasting barely a year so far. Watch out for Kevin Ku’s painted leather jacket – it looks, erm, familiar…
Work Horsemen – J.D. Drake and Anthony Henry: Perhaps best known for their run in EVOLVE (and a two-month run as tag champions in 2017), they’re currently feuding with each other in that promotion, so we well may be watching the dying days of their run as a team.
David Starr and Norman Harras: with WALTER and Ilja Dragunov not appearing as final bosses, the David Starr was looking to get some help from Eddie Kingston – bringing in their AAW team of WRSTLING (because it’s better without the E, get it?) to Germany. Except… a family emergency has meant that Eddie Kingston has had to drop out, so David Starr had to pick a replacement. His choice? Norman Harras – the man who put on a star-making performance just 24 hours earlier at the Inner Circle as a late replacement to team with Timothy Thatcher.
Anti-Fun Police – Chief Deputy Dunne and Los Federales Santos Jr: returning to Germany for the first time since Timothy Thatcher “murdered” him, the Anti-Fun Police will be looking to make sure we all have a rotten time. I can only imagine them at the after-party… and not just because of how bloody hot it gets!
The Crown – Alexander James and Jurn Simmons: throughout 2019, they’ve been flirting with the tag title picture, but have yet to have a straight-up two-on-two title shot. If they make it to the finals here, they still won’t, but that four-way format will at least mean that the champions don’t need to be beaten for a title change to occur. Perhaps the Crown’s best shot yet…
Jay-AA – Jay Skillet and Absolute Andy: with Francis Kaspin on the shelf with a herniated disc, Absolute Andy is stepping in to help mentor Jay Skillet to a second successive tag festival victory. Hopefully. Recently, Andy’s been a part of a trios act with Jay-FK, leading to mixed success in the ring but absolute gold on camera. Now… will Andy be able to pull of Francis’ style?
Pretty Bastards – Maggot and Prince Ahura: originally they missed the cut because of poor performances after getting their wXw contracts over 16 Carat Gold weekend… but on the Road to World Tag Team Festival show in Neumünster, they were selected by Leon Van Gasteren, following an attack that ruled Julian Pace out of the tournament. Now, far be it from me to accuse , but both halves of Vollgasteren getting attacked is a bit… suspicious. What’s the second half of this team’s name? Hmm….
Purge Club – Ivan Kiev & Pete Bouncer: my original draft of this preview was talking about this being the “dying embers of a group that once ran wild in wXw”, but the events of FAN put RISE to bed when Ivan Kiev also turned on Lucky Kid. So, Kiev and Bouncer stay together as the Purge Club, and will be looking to add to the European tag titles they hold in Maximum Wrestling.
Arrows of Hungary – Icarus & Dover: replacing Team Whitewolf, Dover’s back from injury as they’ll return to wXw for the first time in over six months. While their run in wXw has been patchy – at least in terms of results – they’ll be looking to right a wrong from Carat weekend, as their loss to the Pretty Bastards meant that they lost out on a contract with the promotion.
Daniel Makabe: a few weeks on from his debut in Breed Wrestling against Carlos Romo, Daniel Makabe’s slowly making inroads into Europe, having amassed quite the run of matches under his belt lately, with outings against Timothy Thatcher and Jonathan Gresham being quite attractive. It’ll be a busy weekend for Makabe, starting at Inner Circle on Thursday before doing some shows for Riptide in Brighton ahead of this tournament…
James Runyan: I’ll be honest… I know next to nothing about him. A trainee out of Santino Marella’s BattleArts school in Ontario, he’s had some brief appearances for Impact, but this is likely to be the first time the majority of people inside the Turbinenhalle will be seeing this lad.
Scotty Davis: the winner of PROGRESS’ Natural PROGRESSion Series tournament in September, Davis is arguably one of Ireland’s hottest stars right now, this’ll be Scotty’s debut in Germany, having mostly appeared in the UK and Ireland so far. It’s been a hell of a career so far too, with wins over the likes of Jushin Thunder Liger, Mark Davis and A-Kid. Allegedly has a contract with Fight Club Pro, but hasn’t been seen there in almost a year…
Damon Moser: perhaps best known for his run in PROGRESS as part of the Faceless, Moser’s been well away from chapter shows for the best part of three years now, having last been seen in an outing when James Drake broke his jaw. Since then, Moser’s become a key part in Riptide’s Money vs. Everyone group under Spike Trivet, while past experience in a similar shoot-style tournament for Breed Pro Wrestling saw him lose in a first round match to MK McKinnan back in June’s Hybreed event.
Dominic Garrini: we’ll forget about his run as part of Catch Point, which irritated the hell out of me when I was a regular EVOLVE watcher. Garrini will be in his element here as he’s in the midst of some fresh exposure as part of a new run in MLW.
Alexander Dean: it’s been over eight years since he’s been here, but this is technically Dean’s wXw return. Granted, he was under another name last time out (as Sean South, in a losing effort against the future Michael Dante)… his career’s had a recent resurgence in Ireland for the likes of Fight Factory Pro, Phoenix and the shuttered Courage Wrestling, but also gained a rather tragic milestone as he ended up being Lionheart’s final opponent before his passing earlier this year.
Rust Taylor: coming into Ambition with 15 years experience, Taylor’s recent outings have been with Bar Wrestling… but fans of a certain vintage will look fondly on his run with PWG at the start of the decade.
Kevin Lloyd: a regular on the northwest scene, the former Sexy Gent is looking to continue his journey as “Serious Kev” in what’ll be his highest profile outing to date. Recent shoot-style outings have seen him lose in the Hybreed tournament in a first round match to Danny Jones, along with a loss to Dan Evans in a no-rope grappling show from Leeds’ Tidal Wrestling.
Amale: the current wXw women’s champion, Amale has had quite the rapid ascent as the promotion’s women’s division has had a makeover. Expected to not be a part of the tournament, this matinee event should be adding another title defence to her CV.
Faye Jackson: returning after the briefest of runs earlier this year, Jackson’s also on a short trip to Germany. If the commentary at Dead End is anything to go on, she’ll be a runaway favourite of Rico Bushido…
Vivien: Replacing Saraya Knight (who dropped out on Thursday due to illness), the GHW trainee debuted for the promotion a year ago, and has been on most of their shows since. Recently teaming with Baby Allison, Vivien is in the position of coming in with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
LuFisto: in her retirement year, LuFisto’s become a semi-regular with wXw, having appeared at last year’s World Tag Team League weekender, along with this year’s Toronto show. Making the finals of last year’s Femmes Fatales, don’t be too shocked if LuFisto at least matches that this year.
Wesna: returning for this year’s tournament, Wesna went out in the first round to eventual winner Meiko Satomura in 2018. Judging by Cagematch, Wesna’s 2019 has been more focused on training than wrestling, with only 5 matches at time of writing, mostly due to GWF slowing down.
Martina: as part of last year’s card, Martina came up short against then-champion Melanie Gray, with the demons from THAT match 18 month ago well and truly put to bed. Depending on how far Martina goes in the tournament we may see “somewhat serious” Martina or the comedy Martina – both are good…
Lana Austin: another wXw debut here, Austin has appeared in Germany before for WrestlingKult, GWF and the GWP. Most recently, Lana’s dates have seen her appear briefly in PROGRESS while her feud with the former Lizzy Styles (now Lizzy Evo, for those keeping score) was the final feud for Defiant’s women’s title before their closure.
Baby Allison: a debutant in Femmes Fatales, Allison made her debut in the fall-out from 16 Carat Gold, but was largely used to help Amale get a step up as the “Witch Bitch of Wrestling” completes her third year in the game.
Sammii Jayne: the former Pro Wrestling EVE champion’s making her wXw debut with this tournament. Sammii’s only just getting back into the swing of things after missing the best part of 18 months on and off with injury – and I’d not be too shocked if she added Femmes Fatales 2019 to the Rev Pro Queen of the Ring tournament win from earlier this year.
Leyla Hirsch: on tour from America, the CZW trainee has suddenly come to the fore in recent weeks, thanks in part to a recent run with Beyond/WWR. Sporting an MMA gimmick, Hirsch had largely been away on CZW’s Dojo shows, but hopefully this run in Germany will only help.
Thursday October 3 – Inner Circle (6.30pm doors, 7pm bell)
Veit Müller & Timothy Thatcher vs. Work Horsemen (JD Drake & Anthony Henry)
Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.) vs. ¿Schadenfreude? (Kyle Fletcher & Lucky Kid)
Alexander James vs. Daniel Makabe
Friday October 4 – World Tag Team Festival: Night One (6.30pm doors, 8pm bell)
World Tag Team Festival – First Round: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Veit Müller & Timothy Thatcher
World Tag Team Festival – First Round: Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover) vs. Violence is Forever (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku)
World Tag Team Festival – First Round: The Crown (Alexander James & Jurn Simmons) vs. David Starr & Norman Harras
World Tag Team Festival – First Round: Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.) vs. Work Horsemen (J D Drake & Anthony Henry)
World Tag Team Festival – First Round: Jay-AA (Jay Skillet & Absolute Andy) vs. Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura)
World Tag Team Festival – First Round: ¿Schadenfreude? (Kyle Fletcher & Lucky Kid) vs. Purge Club (Ivan Kiev & Pete Bouncer)
Jonathan Gresham vs. Flamita
Saturday October 5 – Femmes Fatales (1.15pm doors, 2pm bell)
wXw Women’s’ Championship: Faye Jackson vs. Amale (c)
First Round: Sammii Jayne vs. Leyla Hirsch
First Round: Vivien vs. LuFisto
First Round: Lana Austin vs. Baby Allison
First Round: Martina vs. Wesna
Saturday October 5 – World Tag Team Festival: Night Two (6pm doors, 7.30pm bell)
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Timothy Thatcher vs. Bobby Gunns (c)
wXw Shotgun Championship: Alexander Dean vs. Avalanche (c)
Three x World Tag Team Festival Semi-Finals
Sunday October 6 – Ambition: Wildcard Edition (11.45am doors, 12.30pm bell)
Superfight: Oney Lorcan vs. Timothy Thatcher
Ambition First Round: Daniel Makabe vs. James Runyan
Ambition First Round: Kevin Lloyd vs. Rusty Taylor
Ambition First Round: Alexander Dean vs. Dominic Garrini
Ambition First Round: Scotty Davis vs. Damon Moser
Sunday October 6 – World Tag Team Festival: Night Three (3.30pm doors, 5pm bell)
World Tag Team Festival Tournament Finals for wXw World Tag Team Championships
Unfortunately lengthy “subject to change” notes
Marius al-Ani was set to face Mike Schwarz at one of the World Tag Team Festival shows, but al-Ani’s suspension from wXw means that’s now off the books.
WALTER & Ilja Dragunov were also slated to appear on the Sunday show, but a scheduling conflict means WALTER will miss the show. Ilja is still scheduled to appear in some capacity.
Bandido is off World Tag Team Festival after picking up an injury on a ROH show… Flamita remains booked, but will no longer be in the tournament after Violence is Forever replaced them. Saraya Knight was forced out of Femmes Fatales with illness, and was replaced by Vivien.
If you’re coming in from the UK, this is probably the last wXw weekender before Brexit, unless it’s delayed again… So, enjoy the relatively-speedy walks through the EU passport queue while you can!
If you’re staying in Oberhausen, trains from Düsseldorf Flughafen run pretty frequently: direct trains run roughly every quarter of an hour, with the journey taking around 15 minutes. Alternatively, if you’re flying into Cologne, there’s direct trains to Oberhausen too, which’ll take you about 50 minutes, with direct trains leaving fairly regularly.
If you’re going to the Inner Circle, you’ll need a train from Oberhausen to Essen-Zollverein Nord. Trains to Essen-Zollverein Nord run less frequently, leaving Oberhausen every hour – which means you’ll have to decide between leaving at 5.42pm for the Inner Circle and killing time there, or taking the 6.42pm train and risk missing the start of the show. It’s the same deal coming back too, with trains from Essen-Zollverein Nord back to Oberhausen leaving at six minutes past the top of the hours.
If you get to the venue early, you’re advised not to queue too early… and while there is a cash bar inside the venue, there’s also some stores not too far away. However, since Inner Circle this time around falls on German Unity Day (“Tag der Deutschen Einheit”), you may find that a lot of stores are closed…
Map showing Essen-Zollverein Nord & wXw Wrestling Academy – it’s a residential area…
Hopefully you’ve booked yours up by now! The more popular hotels for travelling fans seem to be the NH (which is a five-minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof), the Tryp (which is near Neue Mitte – by the CentrO), the recently-opened Holiday Inn (same area as the Tryp), or the Mercure (which is on Max-Planck-Ring, right next door to Knippis, where Oberhausen Open 3 is taking place). Since there’s so many hotels and possible AirBnBs available, we’ll leave it to you to figure out how to get around town, but the public transport in Oberhausen is fairly frequent if you’ve left it a little too late to get to a show.
BUSES & TRAMS
If you’re getting the bus or trams around Oberhausen, you’ll of course need to buy tickets for each journey. The nearest bus/tram stop to the Turbinenhalle is called Feuerwache. WHen you get off there, you’ll need to use the stairs to exit onto Mulheimstraße – then turn right and walk towards the water tower. You’ll spot the McDonalds and Turbinenhalle on the right hand side!
For those going to the Oberhausen Open after the show, unless you’re going to hail a cab, then you’ll need to get to Knippi’s Bowling Palace by foot. Leave the Turbinenhalle and walk past the McDonalds, before crossing Mulheimstraße at the traffic lights. Head into the industrial park and walk towards the Burger King, crossing through their car park, then head right and follow the ring-road (Max-Planck-Ring) around turning onto any side-streets.
A handy map of the Turbinenhalle and surrounding areas… RIP Busters…
In terms of food around the Turbinenhalle, you’re pretty limited I’m afraid. Both the McDonalds and Burger King (one on either side of Mülheimerstraße) get really busy in the run-up to door opening times. Our tip: leave a little earlier try your luck at the CentrO, which is about a 20 minute walk each way unless you take the bus (Feuerwache & Lipperfeld are nearby stations which will also get you towards the CentrO – make sure you’re taking a bus towards Neue Mitte!). You’ll have slightly more choice there, with a few decent bars and restaurants on the Promenade, including Alex, Teatro, Three Sixty and the aptly-named (for some!) Brauhaus Zeche Jacobi.
Which leads us into some other tips…
- If you’re going by bus from Oberhausen’s main train station (the Hauptbahnhof), then take either the 112, 960 or the SB90/SB91/SB92/SB98 towards Neue Mitte. Feuerwache’s the first stop after the Hauptbahnhof, so the short journey ticket (Kurzstrecke) at €1.70 will do you.
- That same Kurzstrecke ticket will also work if you’re travelling to Neue Mitte for the CentrO (Oberhausen’s main shopping centre and restaurant hub). Going from the Hauptbahnhof to the Turbinenhalle, or from the Turbinenhalle to the CentrO is walkable, but if you plan on walking from the Hauptbahnhof to the CentrO, give yourself an hour, especially if you’re prone to getting lost!
- If you’re coming in a day or two earlier (or leaving later than most people), or reckon you’ll be using a lot of buses, you may want to consider a 24- or 48-hour ticket, especially if you think you’ll be travelling around between shows. A 24-hour ticket will cost €7.10 for one person (and goes up to €20.70 for five people), while a 48-hour ticket for one person will be €13.50. You will need to validate those tickets in the machines next to the ticket machine or on the bus in order to not get fined!
- Big pro-tip for show days: before you enter the main Turbinenhalle, you’ll be asked to purchase some bons. These aren’t sweets, sadly, but little paper tickets that you then use at the bar. There’s a €6 for 6 bon minimum for every show (a venue rule, unfortunately, which seems to mostly apply to the evening shows), but bons are transferable across the weekend if your favourite doesn’t make it to Sunday… Bons can only be bought in cash, and can be exchanged at bars inside the venue for food or drink. On prior weekenders, food has only been on the evening shows, so bear that in mind…
- When you’re buying train/tram/bus tickets, please double-check that they’re suitable for the journey you’re making! All single journey tickets bought at machines are now automatically validated, but if you’ve bought a ticket that requires validation (such as the 24/47 hour tickets), stamp it… otherwise you will be liable for a fine.
- Prepare for Storm Lorenzo! Forecasts going into the event show that flights may be disrupted (those who went to 16 Carat Gold this year will remember Storm Eberhard on the Sunday night…). Check the forecasts before you pack and fly!