This is it – the final Shotgun from wXw NOW that we’ve not previously seen! Let’s take a look…

Ironically, this was the “go home” show to wXw’s London debut – which was our first live taste of wXw. It’s safe to say it left a mark… but we’ll talk about that at the end. We open with… Dirty Dragan before the titles. He’s backstage and on the phone looking for some help, presumably demanding Robert Dreissker and Julian Nero turn up. Cue titles, and cue Rico in his Tapout sweater.

We get a recap of Marius van Beethoven attacking and choking out Melanie Gray at Back to the Roots… then Melanie’s challenge for an intergender tag match at Dead End. Thommi Giesen’s with Marius van Beethoven and Alpha Female to reply to the challenge. Marius apparently has another obligation, in Hamburg, on the same day… he’s at the opera with his dad. Thommi lets Marius make his own trap and fall into it, as the “Goldjunge” tells us his favourite opera is the Lion King. Marius didn’t like being corrected, and vowed that he won’t be fighting in Hamburg.

Next up is Emil Sitoci, who’s with Thommi, and is asked about the incident with Michael Dante. Emil mocks Dante for being like “an orphan” since Tommy End left, before suggesting Giesen tag with Dante as “new Tommy.”

Nico Schmidt is in the Event Center to plug Dead End’s card: Avalanche vs. Bad Bones, Emil Sitoci vs. Michael Dante and Pete Dunne vs. Ilja Dragunov… next week on the new look Shotgun, they draw the brackets for 16 Carat Gold, as the lights get turned out on Nico…

A4 (Absolute Andy & Marius Al-Ani) vs. Chris Colen & John Klinger
We’re in Bielefeld for this one, with Alan Counihan on the call. Live, this was for the tag titles, but wasn’t acknowledged as such as we started with al-Ani and Klinger scrapping on the mat.

Klinger strikes through with a dropkick, before Chris Colen came in and took down al-Ani with some headlocks. A drop toe hold has Marius ahead, as Absolute Andy tagged in… and proceeded to try and chop through Colen. A running pendulum backbreaker has Colen down as Alan dug up the team of the “Hot & Holy”… look that one up! Marius returns to help with a double back elbow on Colen for a near-fall, before backslides kept the early pin attempts going. Another backslide attempt is shrugged off as a double clothesline knocked both men down, as tags brought in the former Champions of Champions, with Andy and John shaking hands.

A side headlock from Klinger leads to him being shoved off as Andy went for shoulder tackles, only to get pulled into a crossface attempt that he escapes, allowing him to hit a spinebuster. The Sharpshooter follows, but Klinger gets free as tags brought in Colen and al-Ani, with Marius clearing a way through with a spinning heel kick. Klinger’s back with a dropkick, before a Hart Attack off the middle rope had A4 in trouble. Chops from Colen lead to a big back body drop as al-Ani took to the sky, before he did so again… this time intentionally as he landed a tornado DDT out of the corner to Colen.

Andy’s back in… but gets thrown outside as Klinger attacked from behind, as Colen and Klinger began to isolate al-Ani, but he gets free as Andy came in to clear house, suplexing Klinger ahead of an Absolute Knee. That looked to follow with a superkick, but instead he looked for another suplex, only for Colen to counter back with a superplex attempt. Only for Andy to punch him down before he leapt into a lungblower by Klinger for a near-fall. Marius is back with a dive across the turnbuckles to the outside as A4 looked to force a way back in, only for the tag team champions to get caught in duelling submissions. Andy’s able to make it to the ropes though, before he rebounds from a crucifix buckle bomb to take down Klinger with the F5. Except Colen was the legal man, having blind-tagged in, as a uranage followed for another near-fall.

A4 recover as they hit the old Beverley Brothers backbreaker in the ropes, before a double-team elevated cutter put Colen away. A hard-fought tag match, with A4 recording another win on the road to London… ***½

Backstage, Dirty Dragan is waiting… as he has a plate full of pills, and another with apples and oranges. He’s preparing lines of something as he looks to be having withdrawals, both of a chemical and Adam Polak-related nature. Then again, if Dragan chugs all of that 8 litre water bottle, he’ll have bigger issues…

They run through the card for the London show – with some key changes from last week. Moustache Mountain were pulled from the show and replaced with the London Riots (in the tag title match vs. A4), while Pete Dunne was also off, as that 16 Carat Gold qualifier became a regular match between Jody Fleisch and Travis Banks.

Marty Scurll and Axel Dieter Jr. appear next for a split-screen interview. Thommi Giesen moderates, as he first asks Junior for his opinions on the match… Axel refuses to speak in English, as we get Marty’s eyes looking down, almost like he’s reading the subtitles. Of course, Axel thought he was better than Scurll, because he had the belt and the backing of wXw. Scurll’s asked for his thoughts, and he instantly gives away that this really isn’t “two days before the match,” nor indeed, the same year. Marty of course, is mad at how he lost the title, before he talked Axel into losing his mind… but CMJ’s quickly on hand to calm him down.

Backstage again, Jurn Simmons approaches Karsten Beck. It’s frosty. Beck brings up 16 Carat Gold last year, where Jurn stabbed him in the back, but Simmons explains it away as “everyone looking out for themselves.” Beck mostly agrees, and offers to bury the hatchet for the good of both of them. They shake hands, and they’re back on the same page!

Jurn Simmons vs. David Starr
This one’s from Münster in November 2016, when Jurn was still champion (while Starr was not).

Starr attacks Jurn from behind at the bell, running in with forearms in the corner before he tripped Jurn and threw him to the outside for a clothesline. A tope follows, with Starr wiping out Simmons, before the pair brawled in the relative darkness of the venue. They quickly return to the ring, but not for long as they again brawl around ringside, and I can’t see! Jurn celebrates, so I guess he’s done something to knock Starr down, before the pair find the back of the venue, where Starr ends up throwing Jurn into the wall. Finally they make it back towards the ring, fighting between the ring and a wall right by it before a dropkick took Simmons into the wall again. A tope from Starr’s caught as Starr gets swung into the wall, before we finally picked up again between the ropes.

Starr tries to chop his way back through, despite taking a back elbow… but a ruinous DDT from Jurn nearly ends it right there. An Oklahoma Stampede followed for a near-fall, before Starr struck his way back in with chops and forearms in the corner. Jurn blocks a German suplex, but had to kick out of a prawn hold as Starr went for a pin instead. A sliding splash meets Jurn in the corner as the momentum built up, leading to a rolling elbow and a Blackheart Buster as Simmons was dumped for a near-fall. Lifting Jurn to the top rope, Starr punched out Simmons ahead of a superplex attempt, but Simmons slips free and then proceeded to shove Starr into the crowd. Somehow, Starr’s able to make it back in before the count of ten, and tries his luck with a roll-up, only for Jurn to kick out and finish him off with a piledriver. A decisive win for Jurn, in a match that would have connected better here had they not had the long crowd brawl… ***

WALTER’s with CMJ as they’re doing a stock take. Jakobi seems to have his mind set on WALTER vs. Junior over Carat weekend – but that means WALTER has to beat Jurn Simmons in London on Saturday.

Back in the break room, Dragan’s eaten all the fruit, drunk all the water, but the drugs are still there. Adam still hasn’t turned up, and Dragan’s told to go because the cleaner wants to finish up. He tips over the table, sending the pills onto the floor in the process… We finish off Shotgun with CMJ giving Axel Dieter Jr. some tips on how to make a pocket square. Who knew Shotgun was going to finish with some sartorial advice? Junior’s a little worried because WALTER might end up facing him at Carat, and Axel wants some team orders. Just like F1. CMJ calms him down with the dream of an all-RINGKAMPF main event at Carat, but Junior’s worried that there’s too much of the plan that’s being left to chance.

…and that’s it for Shotgun. Rico signs off the last ever Shotgun Plus with a plug for his Bushido Sound podcast, as Shotgun became a wXw NOW-exclusive property. One without a host, as they went to a “matches and segments” format for the final eighteen months or so of its run.

Of course, we’ve already reviewed the remainder of the Shotguns that was/is on wXwNOW (the English audio versions were sadly removed in May 2020) – and while older Shotguns are floating around, unfortunately, a lot of them are no longer around. Originally starting in November 2008 as the “More Than Wrestling Videocast”, the show we knew as Shotgun was literally just a clip show that was hosted on MyVideo.de – an outlet that now redirects to the German TV channel Pro7. It wasn’t until episode 24 in July 2009 that the show moved onto YouTube, again with clips, promos and cards for upcoming shows… nor was it until episode 73 at the end of May 2012 when Shotgun actually got a host, with Christian Michael Jakobi taking over the reins through many different versions of the matches, clips and segments format, until Verena Fischer took over the role in the summer of 2015, keeping it until the Shotgun format change in 2017. As long as we can find the links, we’ll periodically head back and pull something out of the archives from the days before we started following wXw – there’s some hidden gems in there (Chris Hero vs. KENTA, anyone?)…

What our lockdown lookback at Shotgun has shown us is that wXw were at the absolute peak of indies that made a point of telling stories. Looking back at these early 2017 Shotguns, we’re able to see the early seeds for a lot of the stories that played out. I mean, even in January, we were getting signs of Absolute Andy not being happy with Marius al-Ani upstaging him… while John Klinger’s bad run in big matches (and Chris Colen being on the fringes of wXw, without ever feeling like a big part) sure did play into the arrival of RISE later in the year.

Of course, while Shotgun set the wheels in motion, rarely did these kind of storylines solely rely on the program. As wXw continued to grow, the demands of producing a weekly show ended up being too onerous, which led to the show being cancelled in the autumn of 2018 following an internal shake up. That being said, a LOT of people hold a special place in their hearts for Shotgun – myself included. It was the show that kept me close with wXw, and was appointment viewing for so many weeks. At time of writing, wXw was advertising virtual tickets to help fund a “Shotgun 2020” series – to help the promotion create new content during the current pandemic. While a full time Shotgun return is unlikely to be on the cards, it’s extremely encouraging for fans of the old show that it remains as well thought of within wXw as it is out.