We’ve got an appearance from CCK on this week’s Shotgun, as the fall-out from Back To The Roots was felt…

Rico’s on hand as ever, as we look back at Back to the Roots… a show that left more questions than answers. We get video of Francis Kaspin coming out of the “wXw Lager” (it’s not what you think) as Cerberus tried to attack him… but WALTER & Axel Dieter Jr. saved him before any shots were thrown, with WALTER telling Francis to remember what they just did for him. We get clips from the Käfigschlacht, which ended up being a handicap match after Ilja Dragunov was attacked before the match. Cerberus ended up winning the whole thing, with Avalanche getting the W for the second year in a row with the camel clutch. Post-match, Francis Kaspin wipes out Adam Polak with a chairshot, which only furthered the demise of Cerberus as the group would fracture as Polak recovered from an apparent drug overdose.

Backstage, Chris Colen asks Julian Nero what happened to Ilja Dragunov… but Nero doesn’t appreciate the question. Nero sort-of admits the attack on Ilja, as he storms off…

Next: Karsten Beck and John Klinger have a chat in the wXw academy. Klinger jokes about forming a team of baldies with Beck, before Karsten seemed to offer a rematch to Klinger – if only so he could get some retribution after having to tap out in the cage. Klinger accepts – and we get Bad Bones vs. Avalanche in London later in the month. Also on that London card: Axel Dieter Jr. vs. Marty Scurll for the title, WALTER vs. Jurn Simmons, Da Mack vs. Chris Brookes, Jinny & Alpha Female vs. Melanie Gray & Toni Storm, and while a 16 Carat Gold qualifier between Jody Fleisch vs. Pete Dunne, and A4 vs. Moustache Mountain for the tag titles was also on the cards.

Da Mack & Hakuto vs. Commonwealth Catch Kings (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks)
This came from the warm-up at Back to the Roots, with a new version of CCK taking on Da Mack & Hakuto – in what’d be one of Hakuto’s final wXw matches.

Jeremy Graves is on the call here as we start with Brookes and Mack, as Mack had to fight out of a wristlock early. A reversal takes Brookes into the ropes, before he went back to the wrist… only for Mack to sweep the leg to get himself free. A double leapfrog led Mack to a dropkick on Brookes, before a palm strike had Brookes staggering out of the corner as he tagged in the debuting Banks. A hattrick of armdrags has the Kiwi down, as did a Slingblade, but Banks backs Mack into the corner as Hakuto tagged in. The Japanese wrestler throws some clubbing forearms before a springboard lucha armdrag took Banks down for another one-count. Brookes makes a blind tag back in, and capitalises as he hoists up Banks for an elevated lungblower onto Hakuto, before a snap suplex and a knee drop kept Brookes ahead.

The wet willie follows, as do some chops, before Banks tagged back in to isolate Hakuto in their corner. A knee drop from Banks gets a two-count, but Brookes returns and gets caught with an Octopus stretch that Banks breaks up quickly. More rapid tags bring back Banks as they continue to wear down Hakuto, using double dropkicks in the corner for a near-fall. Hakuto tries to fight back out of the corner, but he’s overwhelmed and thrown back into the corner… only to break free once again as he slid through to tag in Mack, who flew in to clear house. A back body drop from Mack drops Banks, while a ‘rana has Brookes down ahead of the Mack Magic Upside Down Crack Smash for a near-fall.

Mack throws Banks to the outside as a blind tag brings Hakuto in for some double-teaming, with a reverse Slingblade helping Hakuto to a near-fall, but after Mack got hurled outside, CCK come back with a Doomsday suplex for a near-fall, before a wheelbarrow DDT gets the win. A solid debut for CCK, who dominated here. ***

Later that night, CCK appeared to attack A4 after their singles match. Remember the iconic red CCK t-shirt? That’s out in force here, as Banks and Brookes sent a message, lashing out at wXw for keeping CCK on the pre-show in favour of the “old” Andy and his “Marty Jannetty tag team partner.”

Backstage, Absolute Andy’s tucking his t-shirt into his jeans as Marius was poking fun at him. Oh my God, they’re already planting seeds for later in the year! Andy put over Marius for winning, saying that he’d “have to deal with” losing. They quickly get back on the same page as they talk about the “leek brothers” – toothpicks and Q-Tips as they described CCK – and their scheduled tag title defence in London against Moustache Mountain. Marius tells Andy not to worry because their past matches have sharpened them…

Back to Oberhausen, Emil Sitoci claims “not to speak English”, then cuts a promo. In English. Emil tells us he only “tolerates” the “smell” of the German crowd because of the competition on hand, even though he’s beaten every Dutchman in the company. Of course, that’s a cue for someone to interrupt him: Michael Dante. I mean, Jurn is otherwise engaged… Dante spears Emil (twice), and there’s our next feud.

Rico recaps the women’s cage match from Back to the Roots, and it was a brutal affair as Melanie Gray took a beating at the hands of Alpha Female, who left her beaten bloodied while Alpha Kevin had a goddamn chair smashed on his head by Marius van Beethoven. This feud must continue… and we have Thommi Giesen with the Alpha Lovers afterwards. Alpha Kevin’s still hurting at what Marius and Alpha Female did to him and Melanie Gray. This led to Melanie demanding that wXw change the rules at Dead End, and allow an intergender fight. My ears are still ringing after that.

Nico Schmidt’s back to run down upcoming events, as he tells us the intergender tag match should be confirmed next week. What is confirmed for Dead End is Avalanche vs. Bad Bones, Michael Dante vs. Emil Sitoci, and Pete Dunne vs. Ilja Dragunov. We’ve got more Carat announcements, with Mike Bailey added to the field – along with additional tour stops.

wXw Shotgun Championship: David Starr (c) vs. Sami Callihan
This one came from Rockstar Pro in the States, and was during the weird time where Sami was wearing a rubber cat head to the ring.

Commentary this time is from Jeremy Graves, as we start with Starr mocking Sami’s cat ears. Callihan goes for a takedown, but Starr blocks it as the pair looked to grab a body part on the mat. A slap irks Starr, who hit back in kind as some more grappling led to a stalemate. See-saw shoulder tackles eventually led to an advantage as Starr charged down Callihan, before a bunch of switcheroos led to Starr bonking Sami with his… ahem. Enraged, Sami swings, but gets kissed… before he punched Starr to the outside, only for another switcheroo to lead to Callihan flying out with a lowpe. Starr returns the favour, before he took the match back inside for some chops as he proceeded to get a near-fall from a roll-up. Callihan recovers with a German suplex before a running kick knocked Starr loopy on the outside, following up with some blistering chops at ringside.

A Junkyard Dog-like headbutt gets Sami a one-count back inside, as he slowed down the pace with a chinlock. Starr fights up, but gets dragged back down… and escapes again, this time throwing some chops before he’s dumped with a back elbow as we find out just how good that onboard camera mic was. Another side headlock wears down Starr, but the grip’s broken… only for Sami to go back to the hold. It’s quickly escaped, as Starr began to throw more chops and forearms, forcing his way back into the match. A sliding splash traps Sami in the corner, before Pretty Pumped lands for another near-fall.

Callihan escapes Product Placement and rolls up Starr into an up kick, before a TKO knee led to another two-count. More back-and-forth strikes eventually knock Starr onto the apron, but he suckers Sami in with a Cherry Mint DDT before a lariat left both men down. Callihan’s barrage of strikes gets cut off as Starr takes out the knee with some thrust kicks, but Starr rolls up into a sit-out powerbomb as a Stretch Muffler forced him into the ropes. Sami stays on Starr’s knees and leg, going as far as to unlace the boots… but Starr gets free and manages to trap Sami in a version of the Edgucator, but they’re right by the ropes. After the restart, they both try and kick each other’s leg out of their legs, with Sami edging ahead until he got caught with a Blackheart Buster, a rolling elbow and a Product Placement as the hattrick proved to be enough to get the win. A good match with both men swinging for the fences throughout – although my usual gripe remains about not expecting a title change… ****

Rico plugs more wXw NOW content, as we get the Back to the Roots trailer… before we got A4 backstage with Karsten Beck, looking at a diary. Wow, when Andy calls you old… apparently Karsten bought it to help with his memory after his surgery, while Andy’s relying on smart watches. It’s a battle of technology, which ends with Karsten hitting Andy with his diary. I got a kick out of that.

Andy tries to talk Karsten into letting sleeping dogs lie with Jurn Simmons, as Andy seemingly wants Jurn onside for the fight with RINGKAMPF, but Karsten walks out. Cue highlights of Jurn’s loss to Axel Dieter Jr. at Back to the Roots, courtesy of the screwy finish as Tassilo Jung issued a delayed DQ to Jurn. Marty Scurll via video issues a challenge to Axel Dieter Jr., calling him a bad hero and an even worse villain, as Marty would get his shot at the title in London. It’d be his last wXw outing (at time of writing)… as we then see Jurn Simmons walking in to the RINGKAMPF locker room to talk himself into a title shot over Carat weekend. CMJ decides to make the WALTER/Jurn match in London for the title shot… and as the two big lads stare down each other, Shotgun comes to a close.

The start of wXw’s 2017 continued to be a hot one – although with Back to the Roots, a London show, Dead End and 16 Carat Gold, you could argue that they were perhaps squeezing too much into the format. A format that had one week left on its shelf life, as Shotgun 291 would be the last of the “studio, segments and matches” layout…