We’re going back in time – to the first episode of Shotgun on wXw NOW! Join us back in August 2016!

With new content a little light these days, we’re doing what we threatened to do when Shotgun came to an end 18 months ago… we’re filling in the gaps! For the newer fans, Shotgun was appointment viewing for wXw fans – dropping onto wXw NOW at the same time every week until it was decommissioned as part of the promotion’s changes in 2018. The early days of wXw NOW saw them produce two version of Shotgun – regular Shotgun on YouTube was mostly clips and segments, while Shotgun Plus on wXw NOW had full-length matches.

While wXw NOW’s catalogue of Shotguns start here, at episode 269, since we’ve got that many to fill back on, we’ll be digging deeper into some of the “hidden”, clip-show heavy episodes which you may have heard about online. Party Jurn, we’re on our way someday…

All of the matches on this episode come from the Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld in Cologne, taped across two events on August 13, 2016. That’s the same venue that a lot of the later episodes of Shotgun was held in.

Anyway, after a blast of “Take A Swing At The World”, we open up with Rico Bushido welcoming us to “the very first” Shotgun Plus. He talks about the start of the Shotgun Live Tour and the launch of wXw NOW, before running down today’s show, featuring Tengkwa and a Shotgun-exclusive main event: Absolute Andy vs. Emil Sitoci vs. Marty Scurll. But first, Zack Sabre Jr’s cashing in his 16 Carat Gold title shot on Jurn Simmons…

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Jurn Simmons (c)
We’ve no entrances, and it’s straight into the action as Alan Counihan’s on the call!

Sabre launches into Jurn at the bell, landing some forearms before a leg sweep and a PK almost ended things stupidly early, A cross armbar teases a submission, but Jurn rolls into the ropes to force a break. Still, Sabre keeps on the champion with kicks, but Jurn overpowers Zack and throws him into the corner as we fade into an advert for the Shotgun Livetour, which gives us a geography lesson on Germany… Back from the break, Sabre’s got Jurn in a mounted guillotine, but Simmons suplexes free as Sabre’s somehow come up bleeding from the head. He fights back with uppercuts, but Jurn overpowers him with stomps into the corner wearing down that year’s Carat winner. A tornado DDT out of the corner gets a bloodied Sabre back on top though, as did some more uppercuts before an Octopus stretch was countered with a slam for a near-fall.

Sabre tries to outrun Simmons, and has luck with a Euro clutch, but Jurn’s out at two before a PK just fired up the Dutchman, who responds with a Massive Boot for a near-fall. Jurn went for a powerbomb, but it’s countered into a guillotine, then a small package, before a flying triangle armbar gets countered as Jurn finally hits the powerbomb. One piledriver later, and Jurn secures the win. In edited form, this was pretty decent – as long as you ignore the “this was the Carat title shot” part! ***

After the match, we flash-cut to Da Mack in the ring, as the crowd chanted “next world champ” at the then-Shotgun champion. Mack congratulated Jurn, then bemoaned having to go to the US to prove himself – remember the Cruiserweight Classic? It’s build to their match at FAN 2016, which was a title vs. title match between the two champions…

We cut from there to the tag team champions: Cerberus! Adam Polak’s with Ilja Dragunov and Dirty Dragan, ranting and raving. We only see Dragan giving Polak a neck rub…

Back in the studio Rico mentions how Polak was mad at how Sebastian Hollmichel, Tassilo Jung, Bad Bones and host Verena Fischer did a photo in the style of the Cerberus pose. Except we cut away to the Sumerian Death Squad, as Tommy End tells us his days in wXw are over. Michael Dante vows that the Legion will regain the tag titles, as we fade to a clip show for the Best of Tommy End, which is on wXw NOW. Speaking of Tommy End – we’ve got a match from his farewell to wXw, a show called “The End” up now…

Tengkwa vs. Johnny Evers
This was in the later days of Tengkwa’s wXw career, while Johnny Evers remained somewhat affiliated with wXw, appearing on their Academy cards to this day.

Evers starts with a wristlock, but Tengkwa spreads the legs to get himself free before he returned the favour, wrenching Evers’ wrist. The back-and-forth ends with a Northern Lights takedown as Tengkwa keeps on the wrist, then moved to a toe hold as the pair swapped holds. Evers again gets free, as he looked to return with a side headlock, before he was shot into the ropes… Evers escapes a dropkick and damn near gives Tengkwa a shoot brainbuster as the youngster built up some steam. Elbows and clotheslines drop Tengkwa for a two-count, but Tengkwa returns with a back roll into some headscissors as he eventually found a Euro clutch for a near-fall.

From there, Evers returns with a superkick to the head, before a crucifix and a La Magistral from Tengkwa gets him more near-falls. A death valley driver from Evers turns the tide again, but Tengkwa builds back with dropkicks before he’s lifted up top for a superplex… Tengkwa pushes him down and comes in with a missile dropkick instead for a near-fall, before Tengkwa put Evers away with a spiking Tiger Driver. This was pretty good, even for Evers’ inexperience, but the crowd didn’t seem too receptive. **¾

Promo package for The End – the Tommy End farewell show…

Backstage, Tengkwa’s meeting with folks before Bobby Gunns walks in and mocks his “fake Rey Mysterio mask”. Never change, Bobby. Gunns calls Tengkwa a bum, and gets the cigarette slapped out of his mouth for it. They’ll face off at FAN…

Axel Dieter Jr. vs. Bobby Gunns
Oh hello! Junior’s in his RINGKAMPF gear here while Gunns at this point was forging a career for himself in the singles divisions. It’s very wrestling-heavy as the pair grapple into the ropes, before a Judo throw from Gunns took Axel down.

A knuckle lock from Gunns tries to force a pin, before Junior lands on his feet from a monkey flip and chopped Gunns in the throat. Bobby tries to come back with a cross armbar, but he’s rolled up as Junior found a way through, using headscissors to trap Gunns briefly. Bobby escapes, but dives into a grounded hammerlock as Axel flips over to bridge the hammerlock, before Gunns got free, riling up Junior in the process. Gunns lands a hanging armbar in the ropes, then continued to work the arm only for a release Northern Lights suplex to get Axel free. Undeterred, a backdrop driver nearly wins it for Gunns, who keeps going for Axel’s shoulder, using an arm whip and a hammerlock/armbar before another fightback from Dieter ended when he missed a diving uppercut.

Uppercuts from Gunns find their mark, as does a release Exploder, before a snap German suplex and a Shining Wizard almost got the upset. Junior fought back with a suplex of his own though, then a diving European uppercut, before a twisting Blockbuster off the top rope surprised Gunns for a near-fall. Dieter looks for the Landungsbrücke, but Gunns escaped… only to run into the ol’ Hamburger-Kreuz (Air Raid Crash), before Junior used his wrist tape to assist himself with a Landungsbrücke (a bridging, leg-trapped back suplex) for the win. Some excellent stuff here between two of wXw’s bigger names in the not-too-distant future. There’s a lot of the current-day Norman Harras that I saw in 2016 Bobby Gunns, which is promising… ***½

We flash cut to Christian Michael Jakobi with the Events Center. I forgot ol’ CMJ played Sean Mooney in the early days! He runs through the FAN card to date:

wXw Shotgun Championship vs. wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Da Mack vs. Jurn Simmons
Chris Colen vs. Bad Bones
RINGKAMPF (Timothy Thatcher & WALTER) vs. A4 (Marius al-Ani & Absolute Andy)
Tengkwa vs. Bobby Gunns (told you!)

Cue a promo for the Best of More Than Wrestling Tour DVD – featuring Donovan Dijak, ZSJ, David Starr, Tyler Bate, Will Ospreay and many more. That DVD’s also up on wXw NOW, by the way…

Absolute Andy vs. Emil Sitoci vs. Marty Scurll
We’re straight to the ring as Emil Sitoci and Marty Scurll were playing off of their tag team in 2015…

We open with a three-way lock-up, but Sitoci and Scurll ganged up on Andy, who managed to get free and take down Marty with a series of shoulder tackles. Marty escapes, and in comes Sitoci, who tries his luck, but he’s not shifting Andy, who lands more shoulder tackles and a nice back body drop! Marty flicks the Vs at Andy, then went for a sunset flip that’s blocked… so Sitoci slingshots Marty into the Absolute Andys, and there’s your turnaround! Scurll’s unhappy at getting so close to Andy, and ends up trading forearms with Sitoci, before a Just Kidding superkick caught out the Dutchman.

Sitoci tries to fight back, but Marty’s got the fingers and snaps them, but Emil’s able to suplex his way free, only to crash and burn on a split-legged moonsault. Andy’s back to clear house, hauling up Scurll for a stalling suplex before we got the ol’ “Absolute” “Andy!” knee drop. The superkick’s teed up from there, but Sitoci and Scurll use each other as human shields. Not to worry. Andy’s got two superkicks, one for each of them, before he had to break up the pin as they fell rather fortuitously. Sitoci eats a F5, before Scurll took a spinebuster and a Sharpshooter… but makes it to the ropes! Another superkick from Andy drops Marty, but Sitoci’s back up with a Snapmare Driver to Andy for a near-fall.

Emil follows that up with a gutbuster to Andy, holding him after the impact for Marty to follow in with a superkick as the pair worked in tandem again, with an elbow off the top from Sitoci landing flush. From there, the pair argue over who’ll get the pin, playing rock, paper, scissors to decide… but while Marty “won”, Andy gets up and hits him with a F5, dropping him onto Sitoci for a near-fall. Andy looks for an A-Klasse on Sitoci, but Marty makes the save with a chicken wing… only for Emil to roll him up out of nowhere for the win! A flash finish, and one that left Andy and Marty nonplussed as a cracking three-way came to an end. ***¼

“Backstage”, Marty approached Sitoci and called him out for his trickery. Emil reminds Marty that he did the same at Shortcut to the Top… which then led to Stutterin’ Scurll making Emil corpse as the challenge was thrown down for a match at FAN.

We’re back to Rico in the studio, who recaps that, before teasing an interview with Da Mack on next week’s Shotgun… along with a showing of Tommy End’s final wXw match against Ilja Dragunov.

Being the first show to air on wXw NOW, this is quite likely what a lot of people had as an entry point into wXw… and this was the format that we all knew and loved. Sure, it’d evolve in the next two years or so, but this was the template that drew a lot of fans in to wXw – and reignited fans’ passion in an episodic product in an era where indie wrestling was all about the full-length shows.