wXw returned to Paris for their third joint show with APC, featuring the latest Fight For Paris tournament and two title matches.
Fight For Paris III Semi-Final: Kuro defeats Tristan Archer via disqualification in 9:02 (***¼)
Fight For Paris III Semi-Final: Norman Harras pinned Mecca and Ravage in 8:54 (***)
Ahura pinned Christianium Le Surrealiste in 11:03 (***)
Fight For Paris III Semi-Final: Thiago Montero pinned Amale in 10:07 (**½)
Fight For Paris III Semi-Final: Peter Tihanyi pinned Joseph Fenech Jr. in 11:45 (***½)
Rick Salem pinned Metehan in 15:54 to retain the APC Championship (**¾)
Shigehiro Irie pinned A-Buck & Aigle Blanc in 14:53 to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship (***)
Fight For Paris III Final: Thiago Montero defeated, Kuro, Peter Tihanyi & Norman Harras in 18:59 (**¾)
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We’re at the Studio Jenny in Nanterre, France for this show, which continues the Fight For Paris cup competition going alongside some non-tournament matches. Commentary comes from Dave Bradshaw…
Fight For Paris III Semi-Final: Kuro vs. Tristan Archer
We’ve got some overdubbing throughout the show, with the wXw guys getting their music played live. Archer takes the sunglasses Kuro had given a fan so he could poke some fun…
Kuro dropkicks Archer off the apron before the match as one fan’s phone took a spill… the pair scrap around ringside before we finally got going with Kuro booting Archer into the corner. Archer lifts Kuro onto the apron ahead of a crossbody… Archer keeps hold of him after taking a spill, then hung up Kuro on the top rope. A German suplex followed from Archer, who’s knocked into the corner with some right hands before an attempt at La Terreur was countered into an inside cradle for a near-fall. A wild lariat drops Kuro from there, as Archer then hammered away on him with elbows in the corner. Kuro’s dropped with a back breaker as a back senton keeps Archer in control, leading to a face-washing boot in the corner… and a Saito suplex out of it.
Archer goes for a Coup d’Etat, but Kuro slips out and hits a stomp instead, as Kuro then ends up missing a cannonball senton into the corner. That allowed Archer back in with a slam onto the side of the ring, while an Olympic Slam almost got last year’s Fight For Paris winner into the finals. Second time’s the charm as Archer hit La Terreur, then caught a springboard from Kuro as he bounced him into the corner. A back cracker’s next as Kuro staggered out, but it’s not enough for the win… so Archer goes for a Coup d’Etat, only to get caught with a DDT instead. Kuro manages to catch Archer with the cannonball, before doing the deal on a Falcon Arrow… not going for the pin as he instead teed up for a a diving kick… only for music to interrupt everyone.
Somehow, Dave can attribute the Fight For Paris theme to a wrestler as a baking tray’s slid into the ring… it’s those bloody Lykoses? Instead, we’re told it’s Falco who’s responsible this time, but Kuro intercepts the tray and does the Eddie Guerrero special – hitting it on the mat before tossing the tray to Archer. The referee turns around to see Archer with the dented tray, and calls for the DQ as Falco’s attempt at chicanery blew up in Archer’s face. ***¼
Fight For Paris III Semi-Final: Mecca vs. Ravage vs. Norman Harras
Ravage is big into his Pokémon, while Mecca’s apparently rethinking his association with Joseph Fenech Jr., according to the commentary.
Norman’s kept his boardroom wrestling look as we got going with Harras getting in Ravage’s face. The pair have a little shove-off, which led to Ravage’s Pokéball breaking… he repairs it and tried to catch a former sporting director. It doesn’t work, so Norman gets in Ravage’s face before redirecting his attention towards Mecca. Ravage is scribbling on his hand as Harras ends up getting tripped by him… Norman rolls outside, as Mecca tried to get a hold of Ravage instead. An O’Connor roll’s blocked before Ravage’s crossbody gets caught… he slips out to grab a cravat, before a ‘rana took Mecca outside for a dive… except Harras swats away Ravage.
Returning to the ring, Harras ground Ravage with a chinlock, then charge through him with a shoulder as a kneeling suplex almost got Norman the win. Harras kicks the ropes as Mecca tried to get back into the ring, while another clothesline dumped Ravage for a near-fall. A Finlay roll from Harras led to a charging knee to the ribs as he picked up another near-fall, before Mecca returned to help try suplex the former Shotgun champion. Instead, a double DDT dumped Harras as Mecca and Ravage turned their sights on each other briefly. Corner-to-corner splashes keep Mecca ahead, before he went for a slam on Harras, who slipped out and shoved him into Ravage. From there, Mecca’s chucked outside as Ravage took his shots on Harras, including a nice Dustin Rhodes-esque basement uppercut.
Harras is cornered, but blocks a monkey flip, only to get caught with a crossbody for a near-fall. Dusty punches from Ravage wear down Mecca, who cuts him off with a uranage as Mecca ends up missing a splash off the top. Ravage capitalises with a diving kick, only for Harras to chuck him outside and steal the pin. ***
Christianium Le Surrealiste vs. Ahura
A non-tournament match next, and somehow Ahura has a fan in France… who probably turned his back on him after his sign got ripped up.
Christianium played to the crowd early on, so Ahura thought he’d do the same. To a much different response. The pair lock-up into the ropes, breaking cleanly before Ahura looked to grapple, taking Christianium into the corner, but this time there isn’t a clean break as Ahura threw a shot. A wristlock from Ahura’s reversed as Christianium countered with a cartwheel dropkick. A hammerlock from Ahura looks to restrain Christianium, but he countered out into a toe hold, then rolled Ahura around the ring into a cradle for a near-fall. Ahura returns with a waistlock takedown and some kicks, only for Christianium to return with armdrags and dropkicks that took Ahura outside.
Ahura pulls Christianium outside with him, so he could drop Christianium onto the side of the ring with a back suplex. Rolling in and out of the ring sees Ahura break the count as he proceeded to post Christianium, then snap his fingers before rolling Christianium back inside. A springboard dropkick sees Ahura take Christianium into the ropes, following up with chops that Christianium eventually sidestepped. Elbows wear down Ahura briefly, as clotheslines from Christianium end up with him landing some rolling German suplexes to Ahura. A missed kick from Ahura allowed Christianium to hit a tombstone slam for the nearest of near-falls…
Ahura catches another clothesline, turning it into a backbreaker, before a spin kick downed Christianium for a delayed two-count… while an ankle lock and half crab after the kick-out turns into a STF, then a crossface… only for the pair to roll into near-falls on pinning attempts. The pair trade chops from there, but Christianium’s spinning enziguiri looked to find a way through before Ahura slapped him in return. Christianium returns with a superkick, but a staggering Ahura “accidentally” stands on the referee’s foot, leading to him missing an eye poke before Ahura snatched the win with a roll-up and a handful of tights. ***
Fight For Paris III Semi-Final: Amale vs. Thiago Montero
Montero’s out wearing Amale’s t-shirt as he continued to mock women’s wrestling…
Montero starts by booting Amale out of the ring, then by throwing her outside as he looked to take a count-out win early on. Beating Montero to the punch, Amale lands some right hands, only to get clotheslined from behind. The referee checks on Montero, who looked to be bloodied up by Amale early on, but we keep going as Amale lands some tiltawhirl headscissors, then a dropkick to take Montero into the corner. Amale’s kicked away by Montero, who rubbed a tissue of his blood into her in the corner. After having more blood wiped away, Montero hits a snapmare and a kick to the back for a two-count, before Amale outpaced him, catching Montero in the ropes with a kick before a wheelbarrow bulldog just about took him down for a two-count.
An inside cradle from Montero gets a two-count, as he again booted Amale down. Elbows keep Montero ahead, before Amale spat at him… only to get backhanded to the mat. Fighting back, Amale’s able to land a running neckbreaker, before she booted Montero out of the corner… only for her back suplex attempt to be elbowed away. Second time’s the charm for Amale though, as she proceeded to land a running kick into the corner, then a leaping cutter out of the corner for a near-fall. A second one’s caught and turned into a back suplex by Montero though, before another elbow strike on Amale led to an accidental low blow… and an inside cradle that nearly won it. Montero’s right back with a lariat though, then a lifting double-arm DDT called the Birdcage… and that’s enough to get the win. **½
Fight For Paris III Semi-Final: Joseph Fenech Jr. vs. Peter Tihanyi
After the crowd got confused as to what match this was, we had Fenech coming out to the over-dubbed Für Elise.
Fenech offers a handshake, which is begrudgingly accepted without any kind of cheapshot as we started with a tie-up into the corner. Fenech breaks cleanly, shaking Tihanyi’s hand once more, before Tihanyi ended up getting charged down. Tihanyi returns the favour with a shoulder tackle, before he offered a hand to pull up Fenech… who refused to let go as he took Tihanyi into the ropes with a chop.
Fenech mauls Tihanyi into the ropes from there, but couldn’t avoid a series of armdrags from the Hungarian. Tihanyi has his leg kicked away as he went for a suplex, before Fenech undid his belt and threatened to whip Tihanyi with it… instead, the ref takes care of the belt as Tihanyi’s given a low blow, then thrown into the ropes, which were then kicked into him. On the outside, Fenech spits water into Tihanyi before he cleared the crowd… and rolled Tihanyi back inside. That troll! Fenech heads up top… but just leaps down to stomp away on Tihanyi before Fenech grabbed his belt from ringside, seemingly to keep his jeans from falling down, as he threaded the belt around his waist.
An overhand chop from Tihanyi drops Fenech, as did an enziguiri, before he dropkicked away Fenech’s handspring attempt. Tihanyi’s Asai DDT lands for a two-count, but a follow-up slingshot cutter’s blocked as Fenech fought back in… blocking a swinging DDT before landing a sit-out backbreaker for a near-fall. Capture headbutts from Tihanyi looked to break him free of Fenech, but some short-arm clotheslines wear down Tihanyi ahead of that swinging DDT. Fenech hits a handspring into a lariat to shut down Tihanyi seconds later though, before the pair begin to trade shots, before a handspring kick took Tihanyi off the apron. A swift dive from Fenech wipes out Tihanyi, but a second handspring back inside is caught as Tihanyi’s rear naked choke looked for a stoppage… but Fenech rolled back to score a near-fall. We keep going by the ropes though as Tihanyi heads back outside, returning with a slingshot cutter… and that’s enough to book his spot in the final after the best match of the first round. ***½
APC Championship: Metehan vs. Rick Salem (c)
Metehan got a rare cheer from the APC crowd, who’d been staunchly against wXw guys all night…
The pair start by trading wristlocks and hammerlocks during a feeling-out process that stayed on the mat. A side headlock from Metehan’s clung onto, eventually morphing into a headlock takedown out of the corner, with Salem rolling it into a pinning attempt to pick up a one-count. Salem doesn’t break cleanly in the ropes, as Metehan came back with forearms and a trip to send the champion scurrying… while a clothesline sent him outside ahead of a slingshot plancha. Heading back inside, Metehan boots Salem away before he got caught on the top rope, getting shoved to the floor.
An apron PK greets Metehan, as Salem took over for a spell, only to get stopped with a flurry of chops as Metehan took him down. Salem’s able to suplex Metehan into the corner though, which was good for a two-count, before an Irish whip bounced Metehan into the buckles. Another whip takes Metehan to the corner, but he charges right back out with a clothesline as the comeback began in earnest, leading to a slam… only for a missed enziguiri to allow Salem back in with a full-nelson facebuster for a near-fall. A Curt Hennig-esque neck flip from Salem keeps him ahead, before Metehan pulled him in the ring post to avoid any further targeting to the neck. Continuing his comeback with chops, Metehan’s forced to block a Coup de Destin (a springboard Codebreaker), before he landed a stomp to the back of Salem. Both men beat a standing ten-count as we’re back to strikes, but it’s Metehan who pulled ahead with a back body drop, before Salem took a Tiger Driver for a near-fall.
Metehan’s hung up in the ropes as Salem looked to force a way back in, scoring with a gutwrench facebuster seconds later for a two-count as the home crowd were chanting for APC. Wait, I thought they were pro-Metehan earlier? Metehan slips out of a powerbomb, going for a roll-up in the process, before Salem caught Metehan in the corner and dropped him into the buckles. Salem adds a Mistica for another two-count as the crowd swung back to Metehan, who tried to get back into it with more strikes, leading to a lariat for a near-fall… a sliding punch is stopped by a begging Salem, who’s able to hit an enziguiri in return, only to get caught with an Eye of the Hurricane. Salem, sensing danger, pulls the referee into harm’s way, tripping him as Metehan went for a sliding punch…
That meant the ref misses a dick punch, which allows Salem to snatch the easy win with an inside cradle. I’ve had my misgivings about Metehan lately, but he looked a completely different prospect here, in spite of some clunkiness in the match itself. **¾
Ahead of the next match, A-Buck’s called to ringside… he comes out in his ring gear and reminds us he recently held his own against Chris Masters, and that led to A-Buck calling out Aigle Blanc, so he could ask to be added to the upcoming title match. Of course, Aigle said he’d agree to make the match a three-way dance, which led to Shigehiro Irie coming out and accepting the idea. Most of the crowd agreed too, except that one guy, so we get it…
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: A-Buck vs. Aigle Blanc vs. Shigehiro Irie (c)
Of course, this was Irie’s first defence of his newly-won title, with commentary noting how Irie had thrown away his advantage before the bell even went.
Irie eyeballed A-Buck to start, but the pair barge down Aigle Blanc before charging at each other with shoulder tackles and forearms. Aigle cuts them off, only to get thrown outside as the big lads went at it again. At least until Aigle returned to slap the pair of them… then set up a chain of Dragon screws on them. A step-up ‘rana off of Irie’s back takes A-Buck down, before Aigle tripped Irie into the ropes for a back senton. Irie shrugged it off and squashes Aigle with the Teddy Bear splash for a two-count, before Aigle flipped out of A-Buck’s back body drop attempt. Aigle hits the ropes, but gets swatted out of the air with an uppercut, before A-Buck press slammed Blanc into the front row.
A-Buck joins them outside, but gets caught by Irie who fought him into the front row… while Aigle looked to take care of Irie with chops. Irie just offers his chest for some more, then returned with one of his own before Aigle cleared the crowd and went up top for a moonsault… which misses as Irie hit a back senton onto Aigle in the front row. A-Buck takes control, taking Irie back inside and up to the top rope for a superplex… but Aigle’s back to spark the Tower of Doom with a sunset bomb on A-Buck. Blanc tries to capitalise, but misses a 450 splash on A-Buck, then leapt into a suplex. Irie sneaks in to lay out A-Buck with a splash off the top, but couldn’t avoid an overhead kick from Aigle as the Parade of Moves continued. Irie’s cannonball on Aigle led to a back suplex from Buck… before Aigle’s Meteora to the back of the head left A-Buck laying as well.
All three get back up to trade strikes, with Irie helping redirect Aigle’s kicks to take out A-Buck. Aigle’s Dragon suplex is shrugged off as Irie hit back with a Beast Bomber, but A-Buck breaks up the cover. A back body drop from Irie breaks up A-Buck’s powerbomb, ahead of Aigle getting piledriven onto Buck for a near-fall. A-Buck looks to pull ahead with corner-to-corner clotheslines, eventually dumping Irie with a clothesline. Irie sidesteps A-Buck as he went onto the apron… Aigle’s charge takes A-Buck to the floor ahead of a crossbody through the ropes from Irie. Aigle adds a springboard flip senton to the pair, before Aigle returned to the ring to hit a Coast to Coast on A-Buck. Irie can’t capitalise as he’s caught with a ‘rana driver through the ropes, then a 450 splash from Aigle for a near-fall.
Aigle focuses on A-Buck, landing a Twister suplex after a tombstone was blocked… before A-Buck speared away a springboard something or other. Irie breaks up the pin, knocking Aigle outside as he proceeded to cannonball A-Buck by the ropes, then land a Beast Bomber for the win. This one was a little wonky at times, with some clear communication issues, as Irie seemingly offered Aigle a singles match at some point down the line… ***
Fight For Paris III Final: Peter Tihanyi vs. Thiago Montero vs. Norman Harras vs. Kuro
We’re running under elimination rules here, with the French crowd wanting either Kuro or Tihanyi to leave with the trophy.
Harras decks Kuro with a big boot at the bell, while Montero powdered to watch from the front row. Tihanyi stays in the ring, chopping Harras into the corner before a switcheroo from Harras ended with him running into a dropkick. Montero tries to slide in, but changes his mind when he was caught by Tihanyi. A Finlay roll from Harras sends Tihanyi flying, ahead of a diving knee to the ribs. Kuro heads back in to try and snuff out Harras, scoring with a double leapfrog and a dropkick that took Harras to the outside. Kuro and Tihanyi have a go at each other, with Tihanyi evading Kuro’s leapfrog ahead of a double-dropkick stand-off, before Montero and Harras broke things up.
Harras gets a two-count from a clothesline to Kuro, with Montero slithering outside rather than break up the pin. Good, it’s just an elimination match! A chinlock from Harras followed, before Montero again slid in and out of the ring as he looked to attack from behind. Peter Tihanyi went after Montero, who made it back into the ring… only to roll right back out as Harras caught Tihanyi in the middle of it all. A double dropkick from Kuro and Tihanyi takes care of Harras for a while, before they went after Montero on the outside. Montero tries to run, but got clotheslined to the outside by Harras, who tried to bargain with everyone else… it doesn’t work as he ends up booting Tihanyi off the apron, before a Hostile Takeover attempt on Kuro was blocked. Instead, a headlock driver from Harras spikes Kuro, only for Montero to slide in and roll-up Harras for our first elimination at 7:33.
Montero tries to keep Tihanyi on the floor as he isolates Kuro… Tihanyi again tries to sneak in, but gets shoulder charged off the apron as Kuro tried to chop his way through the Portuguese native Montero. Eventually Tihanyi makes it back in as Montero gets double-teamed, but an errant kick from Tihanyi wipes out Kuro, allowing Montero to steal another elimination via a roll-up and a handful of tights at 10:16 – after some confusion over whether Tihanyi had kicked out in time. Man, there’s some really questionable refereeing calls lately outta wXw, eh? That’s gotta call for refresher courses for these “licensed” officials…
That leaves us with Kuro and Montero, as Kuro dragged his way back into the ring. The pair trade elbows, with Kuro pulling ahead as Montero looked to have bloodied his mouth again, only to knock down Kuro for a two-count seconds later. Kuro finds a way back with a dropkick, before a running kick and a cannonball trapped Montero in the corner, ahead of a Falcon arrow for a near-fall. More strikes leave both men on the proverbial jelly legs, but it’s Montero who pulled forward with chops as he then took Kuro outside and into the crowd. Kuro reverses Montero as he was looking to get tossed into the seats, following up with a running back senton into Montero into the crowd. Rushing things back inside, Kuro misses a dropkick, but lands a diving kick seconds later that almost won the match.
Montero hits an Orange Crush Bomb of all things on Kuro, but the suplex/powerbomb doesn’t get the job done. Kuro hits back with a Flashing Light brainbuster, but Montero’s up just after one, before a diving kick and a Birdcage double-arm DDT got the win. It’s a clean sweep for Montero who scored all three eliminations in the final to win the trophy. **¾
These joint shows can be hit or miss – although it was nice to see the Fight For Paris tournament won by a “sole” APC guy, rather than someone with ties to wXw. Even if Montero’s win went down like a cold bag of vomit.