You read that right. This is a match that actually happened.
Almost six years ago, Hiromu Takahashi was at the start of an excursion from New Japan that saw him land in CMLL for a while… but before then, he pottered around Europe wrestling the likes of Doug Williams, Nathan Cruz, Tyson T-Bone and Dave Mastiff. A few of those matches made tape (sadly, not the Rev Pro match with Haskins), but this one did.
Cheers to spoilex16 on Twitter for flagging up this, and a long list of other bizarre matches throughout wXw’s history that of course we’ll dip into.
This one comes from the Steffy in Oberhausen – as part of a card that featured a lot of wackiness. Like Baby Jay Skillet in the opener (who took a nasty landing early on with a belly-to-belly suplex that instantly had me thinking of Hiromu Takahashi’s injury), a tag team match featuring “Mr. Sha Samuels” and Karsten Beck, and the Forever Hooligans challenging for the wXw tag titles in the main event. Commentary’s in German, and it’s from the evergreen pairing of Sebastian Hollmichel and Christian Bischof…
John Klinger vs. Hiromu Takahashi
They keep it basic early on as Klinger and Takahashi swapped between hammerlocks and headlocks, before Hiromu looked to up the tempo.
Takahashi hits the ropes, and found success with a shoulder tackle, then again with a dropkick as Klinger was very much on the defensive. Chops trap Klinger in the corner, before he managed to catch Hiromu with a powerslam as the momentum swung in a heartbeat. Chops from Hiromu end with an eye rake as Klinger gave him a taste of his own medicine, following up with a kitchen sink knee to the gut after Hiromu had been flung into the ropes.
Bad Bones slows it down with a chinlock, then with some Danielson elbows as he looked to wear down the future IWGP junior champion. Hiromu’s back with headscissors, taking Klinger outside ahead of a flying knee off the apron, then following up with a missile dropkick back inside for a near-fall. Klinger avoids a suplex as he backs Hiromu into the corner, following in with leaping forearms and the goddamn Wrecking Ball knees that nearly snapped Takahashi in two! Somehow, Hiromu’s able to kick-out at two, but he couldn’t avoid a death valley driver as Klinger kept up the pressure.
Klinger looked for a spear, but Hiromu stops him with a knee and a Falcon arrow for a near-fall, before the pair exchange forearms on the apron. Bones puts a stop to that with a vicious powerbomb on the apron, but Hiromu breaks the count in the nick of time, then resumed the forearms. A cutter out of nowhere stops Klinger briefly, but a neckbreaker put the German back in it, as did a Decapitation kick… only for Hiromu to rebound with a clothesline to leave both men on the mat.
Taking Hiromu up top, Klinger comes in with a chop as he looked for a superplex, but things went awry as they fell back, with the suplex eventually turning into a nasty Fisherman’s buster. I’m not entirely sure that the crowd weren’t sarcastic when they chanted Klinger’s “Best in Europe” moniker at him after that…
Hiromu’s back to his feet though, going for a Fireman’s carry, then a piledriver… but Klinger switches out into a lungblower, and that’s enough for the win. Save for the weirdness at the end, this was a pretty decent match, especially considering that Hiromu was for all intents and purposes a Young Lion who should have been out of his depth here. ***
- If you’ve got a wXw NOW subscription, you can catch this match for yourself as part of the 13th Anniversary Tour final: https://www.wxwnow.com/en/events/wxw-13th-anniversary-tourfinale