We’re into the final few Shotguns in our look back, as wXw give us the transatlantic treatment this time around!

As always, we’re joined by Rico in the studio, as we’re just days away from the start of the We Love Wrestling tour, and of course, Back to the Roots. We’re told that if Melanie beats Alpha Female in the cage, Alpha Kevin gets five minutes in the cage with Marius van Beethoven. Aah, territory-era stipulations.

Alpha Female vs. Melanie Gray
This one came from Gotha in November 2016, and we’ve got Jeremy Graves on commentary.

We start with Gray and Alpha Female rolling around the ropes from the lock-up, until Alpha caught Gray with a knee to the gut. A forearm to the back keeps Gray down, but she out-paces Alpha Female as she rolled in with some bodyscissors on the way to an early two-count. Alpha counters with a seated surfboard stretch a la Liger, but Gray frees herself and got to the ropes, only to get caught with some clubbering forearms for a near-fall. A shoulder tackle knocks Gray back down, as Alpha Female was well and truly having her way. Shoulder charges keep Gray in the corner, as leaping clotheslines follow for another two-count, before some ground and pound and an Anaconda Vise almost led to the win… but Melanie was able to shuffle around and force the break.

Alpha keeps going with slam after slam, before Melanie finally made a comeback with some headscissors. A clothesline drops Alpha too, but Gray misses a back senton, before slipping out of a powerbomb to hit a neckbreaker. Second time was the charm for the back senton, but Alpha Female fought back with a scoop slam… only to take too long to climb to the top rope as Melanie caught her with some right hands. Marius van Beethoven gets involved, grabbing Melanie’s foot, which allows Alpha Female to hit a powerbomb off the middle rope for the win. Pretty one sided, but Melanie took her chances and would have won had Marius not gotten involved. **½

Post-match, Alpha Female wheels away on Melanie until Alpha Kevin ran out to make the save… but Marius chop blocks Kevin’s knee, as the pair double-team the Alpha Lovers once more.

Backstage, Marius van Beethoven was worried about Alpha Female’s steel cage match… because of the stipulation tied to it. NOW Marius is worried… Melanie Gray walks in to tell Marius he can’t pull a sicknote this time, and will watch as Alpha Kevin destroys him in the cage. Cue another video to build up the stipulation, going through their recent history…

Rico (and Verena Fischer) plug My Workout, so you can all see how insane Timothy Thatcher’s fitness regime is… then Rico builds up the Käfigschlacht as we see Adam Polak and Cerberus ahead of that match. Cue another video package, charting Ilja’s time in Cerberus and the slow falling out…

wXw Shotgun Championship: David Starr (c) vs. Michael Elgin
Starr was back in America for this, as he was defending the belt across the country. There’s a bunch of “Shotgun Title in the USA” matches on wXw NOW, against the likes of Sami Callihan, Jonathan Gresham and Keith Lee, for those who want to see Starr trying to become a touring world champion with this belt.

Anyway, this match comes from Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment’s “Show of the Year 3”… commentary comes from AWE’s unnamed commentator. They start with some jaw jacking before Elgin took Starr into the corner… and got met with a cheapshot out of it. Starr’s decked with a forearm in response, then a slam as we get a high-angle Fire Pro-like angle as Elgin’s slingshot splash back into the ring got just a two-count. Starr tries to come back with a side headlock, but he’s easily shoved off by Big Mike before he saw a crossbody get caught and turned into a slam.

Starr powders outside, but he avoids a tope… only to get slingshotted back into the ring for a slam. A stalling suplex followed from Elgin, but Starr again powders outside… only to get dragged back in by the hair, fighting free for long enough to catch Elgin with a Cherry Mint DDT on the apron. That turns into a count-out attempt, but Elgin gets back onto the apron, even if he is met with a springboard clothesline as Starr tried to keep the Canadian off his feet. Taking Elgin into the corner, we get a Violence Party of forearms and chops… culminating with a big forearm out of the corner from Elgin, before he ran into the Pretty Pumped for a near-fall. More stomps from Starr keep the aggression up, as did a chinlock, before some charges into the corner saw Starr get caught as he was dumped with an Exploder suplex.

Elbows keep Starr down, while a front kick knocked him into the corner again for some clotheslines as a Falcon arrow followed… but didn’t get the deal done. Clubbering clotheslines to the front and back rock Starr, who recovers to take Elgin outside with a dropkick, before finding his park with topes. Starr’s third tope gets caught as he gets slammed onto the apron instead, before getting taken back in for a rack bomb that almost led to the title change. More forearms from Elgin trap Starr on the top rope, but he’s met with a sunset bomb instead before Starr found his way through with a crucifix pin for another two-count. From there, Starr pushes on with a nasty Blackheart Buster, but he can’t quite hook Elgin for a Product Placement, and ends up taking an enziguiri to the back of the head.

A thunderous lariat from Elgin followed for just a one-count, before a Rikishi bump from another lariat almost won it for Elgin. From there, Starr sneaks onto the apron to try and get some distance, as he loses another forearm battle with Elgin, leading to a super Falcon arrow off the top, which still can’t do the deal! Another wedgie led to a buckle bomb, before Starr caught Elgin with a roll-up for a near-fall. He’s met with a diving forearm, not unlike Will Ospreay’s Hidden Blade, but rolling elbows from Starr finally weaken Elgin en route to the Product Placement… which still doesn’t get it done. A second one follows, hoisting up Big Mike, and that’s all folks! A lovely, hard-hitting match – but my only gripe is the same one I always have when title belts get defended outside of the “home” promotion: as good as the match is, it’s a lot harder to believe in a title change. ***¾

We’re in the wXw office as WALTER is looking at Photoshop as he wants to pick the best photo for his 16 Carat Gold announcement. Dennis (off screen) is very non committal about it, as was CMJ, who took a call as WALTER was left exasperated because he’d still not been announced for Carat. Seems like WALTER is no longer the favourite…

Absolute Andy vs. WALTER
We’re in Gotha city for this one, and we start in the aisle as Absolute Andy jumped WALTER – who’d been distracted by Karsten Beck for reasons we didn’t quite catch.

The pair brawl towards ringside, going back and forth as WALTER pushed ahead with chops before he dragged Andy around ringside in a headlock. Chops backfire on the Austrian, as he hits the ring post, giving Andy a chance to fight back as we’re reminded that Absolute Andy and Marius al-Ani face each other at Back to the Roots for a spot in 16 Carat Gold. They finally hit the ring to start the match, but WALTER’s quickly tossed outside, but Andy can’t build on that as he’s eyes get raked while WALTER grabbed a chair, so he could boot Andy out of it. Andy recovers, setting up a second chair as he ends up chopping WALTER into it before landing a running kick of his own.

Back in the ring, the pair trade right hands until a leaping shoulder tackle from Andy knocked WALTER down. More chips take WALTER back into the corner, before a spinebuster had the Austrian back on the deck. WALTER counters an Absolute Knee with a Gojira clutch and a German suplex, before a butterfly suplex landed for a near-fall. The pair brawl back up the aisle, and onto the stage, where Andy ate a back body drop as WALTER proceeded to return to the ring in search of a count-out. Despite falling down the stairs, Andy makes it back to the ring, but WALTER just stands on him before we went back to the right hands… which led to a clothesline from Andy. A dropkick keeps WALTER down, as does a stalling suplex, before the Absolute Knee drop left WALTER on the mat.

Rather than go for a pin, Andy sets up for a superkick, but it’s blocked as WALTER went for a powerbomb, only for Andy to counter back with a Sharpshooter, but they’re right by the ropes as WALTER was able to force a break. WALTER fights back with more chops before a slam set up for a rare trip to the top… but Andy meets him there with a dropkick, then with a ‘rana! In the end, WALTER grabs the referee to cause a distraction… then rolled up Andy with a handful of tights to snatch the win. Very un-RINGKAMPF of WALTER, but a win is a win… ***½

Post-match, WALTER approaches Francis Kaspin in someone’s office. He gives Francis some advice that was more like intimidation….

Nico’s back in the Event Center to run through the Back to the Roots card, starting with Da Mack & Hakuto vs. Chris Brookes & Travis Banks in the warm-up. Francis Kaspin takes on Emil Sitoci on the main card, Absolute Andy takes on Marius al-Ani for a spot in Carat, Alpha Female vs. Melanie Gray in a cage match – with the added stipulation for Alpha Kevin and Marius van Beethoven afterwards. We’ve also got the Käfigschlacht as Cerberus’ Julian Nero, Avalanche & Dirty Dragan take on Chris Colen, John Klinger & Ilja Dragunov. Plus the title match as former wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion takes on Axel Dieter Jr. as he tries to regain the belt he lost last month.

We’re backstage again as Da Mack, Chris Colen, John Klinger & Marius al-Ani are talking with Karsten Beck. Jurn Simmons interrupts, and seemingly wants a favour from Karsten… but Beck won’t, and throws some shade as he says whomever wins between Junior and Jurn is “the wrong guy.”

Axel Dieter Jr. is… elsewhere as CMJ has been trying to get hold of him. It seems Junior is a little conflicted, as he didn’t quite get the parade he was expecting. CMJ continued to cement his character as “the most powerful man in European wrestling,” as he gave his pet project a pep talk ahead of Back to the Roots. We get the obligatory trailer for the main event, featuring Jurn attacking Junior backstage, and that’s it for Shotgun – a solid edition that built up the big matches for Back to the Roots, and gave us some good in-ring action to boot!