A hattrick of matches from Leipzig highlight our latest look at retro Shotgun, as World Tag Team league beckoned nearer…

Cue titles, cue Rico Bushido, who hypes up World Tag Team League… then pitched to clips from Chemnitz. First, Marius van Beethoven appears in a wet shirt to reveal that he’d set up Hakeem Waqur to attack Da Mack and set up that Shotgun title shot. Rico tells us Da Mack won… and then went to Leipzig the next night for another defence.

wXw Shotgun Championship: Da Mack (c) vs. Marius Al-Ani
Jeremy Graves is on commentary here as al-Ani starts by working Mack’s wrist, only for the Champion to get free by sweeping the leg.

Marius stays on Mack with a front facelock, but the champion hand-walks his way free, before he found himself on the deck again, courtesy of a dropkick. Mack returns the favour, following up with arm drags before a double-dropkick led to the indie stalemate. An uppercut and chops from Mack trap Marius in the corner, before he countered a Mack Magic Upside Down Crack Smash by just knocking Mack off the top rope.

The champion tries to recover, but leaps into an overhead belly-to-belly before scoring a near-fall from a roll-up. Marius clubs Mack into the corner, then clobbers him with a clothesline as the referee tried in vain to separate them. A Judo throw takes down Mack for another two-count, as the challenger looked to be a step ahead.

Another clothesline waffles Da Mack as Marius ran down the apron, before he slingshotted in with an elbow drop for a near-fall. Mack recovers with a Slingblade, then a springboard enziguiri out of the corner as he began to build up momentum with a bicycle knee to the face. A Mack Magic cutter’s blocked and turned into a German suplex from al-Ani, who then goes for a double underhook powerbomb to get another near-fall.

Corner-to-corner clotheslines from Marius get frustrated as Mack eventually caught him out with a Mack Magic Upside Down Crack Smash for a near-fall. The pair move onto forearms until a reverse Slingblade from Mack caught out al-Ani… but a rolling thunder senton lands in Marius’ knees… so Mack has to follow back with a La Mistica. Marius escapes and counters with a death valley driver for a near-fall, but al-Ani heads up top and ends up leaping into a cutter before a Fujiwara armbar from Mack forces the stoppage. A pretty good win as Marius would get plenty more shots at the title down the road… ***¼

Rico pitches some wXw NOW content, before we got a trailer for the Chemnitz event. From there, we see the finish of Simmons/Thatcher from Chemnitz, and then clips from Dresden where they’re the best of friends. There’s someone playing an instrument in the distance as Thatcher tries to put Jurn in his place… and then we head into the arena as Alpha Kevin has his surprise for Melanie Gray.
Kevin’s thrilled that Melanie won the first three-way women’s match, then proceeded with his “life changing surprise” as people in the crowd were shouting “heiraten”… sure enough, Kevin gets down on one knee and proposes, and gets his yes. Who doesn’t like a wrestling wedding? Oh yeah… don’t look ahead for spoilers!

We get extended clips of RINGKAMPF vs. Posse in Effect from Dresden, as RINGKAMPF kept their spot in the World Tag Team League Qualification Series… featuring WALTER taking a Tower of Doom, before he choked out the Granattic for the win.

Nico Schmidt pitches matches for the upcoming weekend. Ludwigshafen got Absolute Andy vs. Hakeen Waqur; WALTER, Axel Dieter Jr & Timothy Thatcher vs. John Klinger, Da Mack & Francis Kaspin… Fulda gets Marius al-Ani vs. Axel Dieter Jr… Timothy Thatcher vs. John Klinger and Leah Vaughan vs. Alpha Female.

There’s more – as they began to chip away at dates in October. Basel got Axel Dieter Jr. vs. David Starr along with A4 vs. Jurn Simmons and Drake Destroyer… Borken gets David Starr & Shane Strickland vs. WALTER & Axel Dieter Jr. (they didn’t, in the end…), Bielefeld gets Strickland vs. Axel Dieter Jr, and Stuttgart got Lio Rush vs. Tyler Bate and his flat cap. Karlsruhe had Jurn Simmons vs. David Starr… before Nico announced Chris Colen vs. Ilja Dragunov for Broken Rules XVI.

World Tag Team League Qualification Series Match #4: RINGKAMPF (Axel Dieter Jr. & WALTER) vs. Die Waschbären (Franz Engel & Laurance Roman)
The winners of this match get to the World Tag Team League, and we opened with Engel and Axel in the ring, trading barbs until Junior landed a waistlock takedown to take Franz’s back. A shoulder charge from Junior works, while Engel has some luck with a leapfrog and a dropkick, before a cross-chop to the throat took him down.

WALTER’s in next, dropping Engel with a slam before he missed the avalanche splash, leading to a crucifix pin as Franz almost nicked a win. Junior’s back to blast through Engel with an uppercut,following up with an attempt at the Hamburgerkreuz, but Engel slips out before sliding through to tag in Laurance Roman.

Roman’s crossbody finds its mark, as did some lariats, only to get cut off by a clothesline from the apron from WALTER that gets a near-fall. WALTER tags in for some chops, almost splitting Roman in two before Junior rolled up Roman for a bridging capture suplex, getting another near-fall.

Junior manages to land the Hamburgerkreuz on Roman for a near-fall, before WALTER continued the dominance with uppercuts. Roman tries to kick back, but he’s decked with a big boot before a shotgun dropkick took Roman into the corner. Laurance switches a powerbomb into a DDT as he desperately dives out to Engel, who tries his luck with forearms on WALTER ahead of a springboard forearm smash… while Roman’s crossbody took Junior to the outside. Engel adds to the pressure with an Orihara moonsault into the RINGKAMPF pair on the floor, but the Waschbären take too long to celebrate and end up getting dismantled as WALTER’s sit-down splash squashes Engel. From there, Franz gets put away with the release Landungsbrücke from Junior, and a Bully choke from WALTER as RINGKAMPF qualify for the World Tag Team League. A good outing, but in the end, RINGKAMPF were dominant in Leipzig. ***½

Dirty Dragan’s outside with John Klinger, who confronts him about intimidating Verena Fischer last week. Dragan’s accused of dealing again, and is left squirming as Klinger vowed to knock him down. The dingey scene of this confrontation added to it.

Elsewhere, Ilja Dragunov and Julian Nero is met by Dirty Dragan, who tries to set them on John Klinger. Nero doesn’t seem too impressed, as Dragan offered himself to the tag team to “lighten the load”… and so Nero tells Dragan to go through Adam Polak.

CMJ’s in the Event Center as they run down World Tag Team League – which starts a little over a week from when this Shotgun dropped. Jakobi runs through the cards for the shows: Friday got Moustache Mountain vs. RINGKAMPF, Los Gueros vs. JML, A4 vs. LDRS and Cerberus vs. Death By Elbow. Saturday gets Moustache Mountain vs. Los Gueros, JML vs. RINGKAMPF, A4 vs. Cerberus, and LDRS vs. Death By Elbow. Sunday had Los Gueros vs. RINGKAMPF, JML vs. Moustache Mountain, A4 vs. Death By Elbow and Cerberus vs. LDRS.

There’s other matches too: Friday also has Drew Galloway vs. John Klinger (at least, that was the plan), the singles debut of Pete Dunne as he challenges Da Mack for the Shotgun championship, plus Alexis Rose vs. Leah Vaughan. The Femmes Fatales draw had Alexis Rose vs. Shanna; Jinny vs. Dahlia Black; Alpha Female vs. Pollyanna; Melanie Gray vs. Leah Vaughan, plus Queen Maya vs. Laura di Matteo in non-tournament action. Dirty Dragan vs. John Klinger was also added to the Saturday card…

Back to Rico, who throws to the main event…

Absolute Andy vs. Ilja Dragunov
We start with an old-fashioned jump start as Ilja attacked Andy before the bell, but Andy instantly fought back with right hands before taking Dragunov into the corner.

The pair exchange chops until a low dropkick from Ilja took Andy down briefly, before shoulder tackles from the bigger Andy turned the tables. Dragunov gets tossed to the outside, where they brawl for a spell as Andy dominated with chops. Like always in wrestling, he tries the same tactic for too long and ends up chopping the ring post… as did Ilja, which made a satisfying CLANG.

Staying on the outside, Andy throws Ilja into the ring steps, then into the front row ahead of a running boot to the back of the head. Jeremy tells us at this point that Ilja’s only lost one singles match in wXw to this point, which is bloody impressive (although that’s a bit off, with Axel Dieter Jr., Kim Ray and Jay Skillet all having wins over him by this time).

Heading to the stage, Ilja drops Andy with a back body drop, which led to a count-out tease, but of course Andy beats the count as Ilja maintained the aggression. A seated surfboard stretch wears down Andy, as did a chinlock after a back suplex could only get Ilja a near-fall. Dragunov keeps going with a back senton for a two-count, before he hauled up Andy for another back suplex… again, getting just a two-count.

Andy tries to fight back with a superplex, but has to make do with a running dropkick to Ilja after he’d been pushed down… and then followed up with that superplex. More back-and-forth shots have both men on the ropes, but it’s Andy who edges ahead with a clothesline and a back cracker. An Absolute knee drop pancakes Ilja, as does a spinebuster, but it’s not enough.

Andy tees up for a superkick, but Ilja ducks and lifts him to the outside, then joins him with a tope. Back inside, a Final Cut elbow drop put Ilja within millimetres of the win, before a pumphandle Blue Thunder bomb got the Russian a similar result. From there, Ilja tries to put Andy away with an F5, but they go back and forth over the move, which Ilja lands for a near-fall.

A Sharpshooter gets Andy back into it, but he struggled to sit down in the hold as Julian Nero came through the crowd to help drag Ilja towards the ropes. Andy chases Nero around ringside, but ends up walking into a clothesline from Andy as the Cerberus duo were losing their minds… Ilja whiffs on a back senton coming off the middle rope… while Andy went one further, accidentally laying out the ref with a superkick.

With no ref, Dragunov’s Torpedo Moscau was for nought… except it bought some time as Cerberus looked to double-team Andy, doing so with a fireman’s carry slam as Marius al-Ani came out a little late. He’s instantly jumped, but recovers to hit a dropkick and some overhead suplexes before some rolling wheelbarrow Germans left Ilja loopy. After al-Ani dispatched of Nero, Andy caught Ilja with a superkick off the top rope… then polished off the then-tag champion with the A-Klasse. A little screwy at the end, but this was a nice bit of World Tag Team League build-up… ***½

We’ve a rushed ending as Shotgun keeps the good run going – as the build for World Tag Team League remained solid, if not a little information-dense this week!