There’s been some changes, but wXw’s return to London this weekend is shaping up to be a nice taste of the German promotion. Here’s the latest card, and some of our picks for Saturday!
In the past few weekends, wXw’s had to contend with late notice card changes; be it Melanie Gray pulling out of the World Tag Team League evening show with injury… or last weekend’s withdrawals through illness for Bad Bones. London on Saturday is no different: Kid Lykos is still expected to be on the shelf for another few weeks after the broken wrist at GOOD in mid-September (a show that feels a lot lot longer than five and a bit weeks ago!)
Add in Alex Windsor’s knee injury, which ruled her out of another show at the Tufnell Park Dome earlier this month, which left wXw to confirm new card this past Sunday afternoon. It’s fair to say that the replacements are by no means a downgrade on what was originally advertised…
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: “Bad Bones” John Klinger (c) vs. Travis Banks
Your main event hasn’t changed, and whilst on the surface there’s little chance of Travis Banks adding the wXw belt to his PROGRESS title, this is going to be a stern test for the Kiwi Buzzsaw ahead of his participation in next year’s 16 Carat Gold tournament.
On paper, this should be an enjoyable, hard-hitting match… although the addition of Lucky Kid to the card could introduce the RISE wildcard to give Bones the edge, but depending on how much they want universes to bleed into each other, we could well see CCK back in another promotion. My pick is that this perhaps won’t be in the main event slot, and will see Bones retain via some shadowy method.
wXw World Tag Team Championship: RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) (c) vs. Massive Product (Jurn SImmons & David Starr)
With no Lykos, CCK are out… and Massive Product are in. This was the jaw-dropper of a replacement, as we’re getting the World Tag Team League rematch barely three weeks later. It may not have the same emotions behind it as in Oberhausen, but make no mistake – neither team are going to be taking this easy!
Since World Tag Team League, there’s been some dissension between Starr and Simmons… culminating in their match in Bielefeld last week. That’s up on Shotgun this week (read our review to after the show’s dropped to see what happened, and just how much they came to blows), but the big question remains: can the former singles champions pull it together and push themselves to tag title glory, or will the Massive Product implode?
Ilja Dragunov vs. Mark Haskins
With Jurn Simmons getting the tag title shot, Ilja needs a new opponent… and so he gets Mark Haskins. I get the sense that the Mark Haskins of 2016 would have gotten a lot more hype, but this will be a really good match. Tipping our hand a little, we’ve prepped an entire week’s worth of old wXw reviews next month while we’re away, and there’s a tremendous Ilja match against Zack Sabre Jr. If this is a strike-heavy match, this will blow everyone’s socks off. Have it play right into Ilja’s wheelhouse and give Mark a chance to show a different side to his game. Heck, he’s already been Hardcore Haskins, so why not Strong Style ‘Skins? This could go either way, but my hunch is that we’re going to see Ilja win on what I believe would be only his second match on British soil.
Chris Brookes vs. Lucky Kid
Out of the title shot, Chris Brookes now has a singles match against former tag team champion Lucky Kid. The Young Lion won’t be a stranger to the UK, having wrestled several dates for WCPW during their recent World Cup finale… and of course, Brookes has wXw pedigree, going all the way back to 2013. Brookes’ 2017 has been rather quieter as far as German bookings, but that’s what happens when your star shines in the UK. On paper, this could go either way, but since RISE are starting to pick up the odd losses here and there, I wouldn’t be too shocked if Brookes came out of here with the W. Regardless, the addition of Lucky Kid means one thing: we get the sweet RISE intro!
Avalanche vs. Michael Dante
Since Tommy End went to NXT and became Aleister Black, Michael Dante seems to have faded off the radar. Injuries haven’t helped, but after making a comeback earlier this year, the Dante train has again stalled – with no singles appearances for wXw since the Axel Dieter Jr. farewell show back in April.
On the flipside, you’ve got the Avalanche – the former Robert Dreissker – who is also looking for a fresh start after the events of World Tag Team League weekend. Two unsuccessful Shotgun title opportunities in Oberhausen and a brief reuniting of Cerberus summed up his World Tag Team League weekend, but with long-time friend-then-foe Ilja Dragunov now seemingly on the same page as the Avalanche, this will be a match that could well determine the lay of the land for the former AUTsider. I’d have to go with an Avalanche win here, but this match can be summed up in four words. YAY BIG LADS WRESTLING!
Marius al-Ani vs. Emil Sitoci
Out on his own after the shocking betrayal by Absolute Andy, Marius al-Ani has a point to prove… but up against Emil Sitoci, who’s always got a chip on his shoulder. It’s a rematch from last weekend in Bielefeld, where Marius picked up the win… and seeing how the live event results haven’t seen Marius on any winning streak, expect Emil to dip into his bag of sneakiness to pull out what some may call an upset here.
Toni Storm vs. Nina Samuels
The winner of this year’s Femmes Fatales tournament – and therefore the number one contender to the uncrowned wXw Women’s champion – Toni Storm returns to the UK to round off a rather hectic month. London, Oberhausen, Taipei and back to London… yet this is still a rather quiet month for the Aussie. Her opponent here is Nina Samuels – and these two have only met once before, for BEW earlier this year. Without being too unkind, there’s only one way I can see this going: and it’s not a win for Nina, unfortunately.
The final few tickets (at time of writing, we’re pretty close to sold out, with less than ten remaining) are on sale via PROGRESS’ ticketing website – http://buytickets.at/progresswrestling – it’s an all standing show, with tickets at £18 each. If you’re going, get there early to get a spot by the ring, and we’ll see you there!