With wXw returning to Hamburg for their 20th outing tonight, we look back to the main event from their first show there – and one that coincidentally would be matched up again tonight!

This wasn’t their first meeting, by the way… far from it. The wXw 8th Anniversary show in December 2008 has that honour, although an opening match that went less than two minutes before giving way to a trios match perhaps isn’t going to be anywhere near as memorable.

Big Van Walter vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Christian Jakobi is our ring announcer, while Tassilo Jung is the referee. Walter’s booed by the Hamburg crowd… and Sabre is a little surly. See, the more things change, the more they stay the same!

Zack launches into Walter from the off with kicks, but the big guy’s shoulder charges snuff those out and quickly put the Brit into the corner, ignoring a Test of Strength to just chop the heck out of Sabre. A sunset flip from Sabre would have been squashed with a sit-down splash, but Zack rolls away as the pair go tit-for-tat… and now Walter wants the Test of Strength. Sabre flips the Vs instead, as the lights flash in time to the crowd’s chanting. Either that or it’s a very coincidental power surge! We finally get the Test of Strength, with Walter restraining Zack, until a series of kicks helped Sabre force the Austrian to bridge backwards… but Walter reverses it and leaps onto Sabre’s neck bridge as even in 2012, Zack had a strong neck!

From there, the pair tee off with forearms, kicks and chops, and my word, 2012 Walter chops sounded just as loud as they do in 2018. Heck, Walter even press slammed Sabre from the ring to the floor as they brawled up towards the stage, before Walter misses a charge and sent himself into the ring post as Sabre responds with a series of topes! They remain outside the ring as Sabre’s kicks put Walter on the stage, but the Austrian’s right back in it… and he murders Sabre with a sidewalk slam right through a wooden bench!

Sucks to be the buggers who had those seats!

Walter stays on the offence, pulling Zack onto the apron… but a slap catches him off guard as Sabre tries a guillotine… only for Walter to clothesline him back into the ring instead. A bodyslam gets Walter a near-fall, as a single-leg crab followed, but Zack’s easily able to make it to the ropes.

Walter’s right back in with thunderous chops, but Sabre tries to fight back and gets dropped with a knee to the midsection, then a spinning back suplex and a tiltawhirl backbreaker as Walter was just outclassing Sabre here. Still, Zack had plenty left in him to kick out, before rushing into Walter with a flying knee and a springboard dropkick as he snuck out a near-fall from a PK – elements of ZSJ’s game that perhaps have been dropped in the intervening six years between then and now.

A full nelson from Sabre’s elbowed out of, as Walter cracks him with a lariat for another near-fall, before a powerbomb was countered into a backslide attempt… which Walter resists and instead ended up into an Octopus hold! When Walter looked to escape, Zack tries to switch it into a sunset flip, but he’s just hauled into the corner as Walter teases a superplex, only to get pushed down as Zack stomps on the arm, beginning a flurry of offence on that body part, rolling him into a cross armbreaker.

Walter tries to roll through into a pinning attempt, but instead powerbombs his way free, as a slam drops Sabre… but Zack is back as he trapped Walter on the top rope and eventually lands a top rope ‘rana! Sabre’s right back to the cross armbreaker, but Walter gets to the ropes, and quickly dumps Sabre with a German suplex. A shotgun dropkick comes next, as does a folding powerbomb, but somehow Zack kicks out at two… so we get something else massively unfamiliar in 2018: a big splash off the top rope from Walter, and that’s enough! Just over 15 minutes long, and this was an excellent contest. I’d be surprised if we see a lot of aerials from Sabre and WALTER during their 2018 match, but you never know… ****¼

If you have a subscription to wXwNOW.de – you can watch this match, and the rest of the inaugural wXw show in Hamburg via https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wxwnow/225200280