We’ve some familiar faces on the card as wXw and France’s APC clash for the second Fight For Paris cup.
Fight For Paris II Semi-Final: Kuro pinned Levaniel in 6:39 (**¾)
Fight For Paris II Semi-Final: Aigle Blanc and Robert Dreissker went to a double count-out in 8:56 (***)
Tristan Archer defeats Christianium Le Surrealiste by disqualification to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship in 10:17 (***¼)
Fight For Paris II Semi-Final: Maggot pinned Thiago Montero in 9:02 (**¾)
Fight For Paris II Semi-Final: Jurn Simmons pinned Rick Salem in 8:48 (***¼)
Joseph Fenech Jr. & Mecca pinned R1 & A-Buck in 9:01 (***)
Calypso pinned Baby Allison in 5:36 (**½)
Fight For Paris II Final: Tristan Archer defeats Kuro, Robert Dreissker, Jurn Simmons, Aigle Blanc & Maggot in 12:35 (***¼)
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Two and a half years on from the first Fight For Paris, wXw and APC come together again for a follow-up show… we’re coming from the Studio Jenny in Nanterre, France. Dave Bradshaw is on English commentary…
Fight For Paris II Semi-Final: Levaniel vs. Kuro
We’ve got four semi-finals on tap, with the winners going into an elimination four-way final. Of course, Levaniel addresses the crowd and fights a microphone so he can speak in French, German and English.
Kuro’s dubbed the “future of APC,” and if you saw that Brain Slam show wXw helped out in… you’ll have seen him in that opening multi-man tag. Levaniel ducks some lock-ups early, then grabbed a side headlock… he’s shoved off as we hear the snap of the ropes for the first time today. Another side headlock keeps Levaniel ahead, as Kuro tried his luck with shoulder tackles, before two leapfrogs and a dropkick had Kuro ahead. Levaniel lifts Kuro onto the apron ahead of a crossbody back in from Kuro for a near-fall, before a spinning heel kick from Levaniel earned him a two-count. An uppercut knocks Kuro into the corner, ahead of a stalling suplex for a near-fall for Levaniel. Kuro’s grounded with a chinlock as Levaniel was showing a little more aggression than usual, snapmaring Kuro ahead of a chop to the back, then a People’s-ish elbow for a two-count.
Short-arm clotheslines from Levaniel keep him on top, before Kuro broke free and hit a clothesline of his own. Back-and-forth chops follow until Kuro’s shotgun dropkick cornered Levaniel, leading to a front kick and a cannonball senton into the buckles. A discus lariat sees Levaniel recover for a near-fall, before a Galactic Facecrusher’s escaped, with Kuro countering into almost an Emerald Flowsion for the win. Brief, but this didn’t drag at all – with Kuro looking pretty impressive here. **¾
Fight For Paris II Semi-Final: Robert Dreissker vs. Aigle Blanc
Two familiar names for wXw fans here, as Dreissker’s looking to spread the motto of AMBOSS into another country. Blanc was the runner-up in the first Fight for Paris two years ago, when that was a two-night tournament.
The crowd was behind Aigle early on, as he got thrown into the corner by Dreissker from the opening lock-up. A side headlock subdues Aigle, who pushed free… only to get charged to the outside from a single shoulder tackle from Dreissker. Aigle telegraphs a charge back in and gets Biel’d back into the ring… he lands on his feet, then again from a back body drop before a Capoeira-style kick knocked Dreissker into the ropes. Aigle skins the cat after he was slingshotted over the top rope, then recovered with a gamengiri and a back senton as Dreissker was across the rope. It’s good for a two-count, as Aigle pushed on, only to have his springboard crossbody bounce off of Dreissker. A Biel chucks Aigle across the ring next, as Dreissker keeps him in the corner ahead of another Biel throw.
Dreissker invites some strikes from Aigle, so he could clothesline him in return, while a big splash led to a near-fall. A chinlock grounds Aigle from there, but he gets free and vaults over Dreissker for a springboard crossbody, following up with an enziguiri before Dreissker again lifted him to the apron. Aigle returns with a Meteora to the back of the head, only to get squashed in the corner as Dreissker set up for a Dreissker Bomb finale. Aigle’s up to prevent it though, kicking the legs before a sunset bomb took Dreissker down… going back up, Aigle went for a leap off the top, but Dreissker rolled into the corner, only to get caught with a Coast to Coast dropkick instead. Dreissker rolled outside for respite, drawing Aigle after him… Aigle’s thrown to the floor, where he ends up fighting around ringside with Dreissker.
Aigle’s thrown back in, but comes straight back out with a tope con giro. He spends too long celebrating, and gets popped up into the ring post as he charged at Dreissker… rather than get back into the ring, Dreissker’s caught with a head kick, then a crossbody into the crowd, as the match ended with a double count-out. The ring announcer quickly clarifies that since neither man lost, both advance into the finals, which is just as well as Dreissker still wanted some of Aigle after the match. ***
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Christanium le Surrealiste vs. Tristan Archer (c)
This was champion vs. champion, as Christanium is the reigning APC champion… but his belt isn’t on the line here.
Before we start, we’ve got a video message from… APC’s general manager Pete Balek, who tells us that if Archer wins here, he’ll qualify for the Fight for Paris 2 finals… and because they were upset at Christianium not defending his title tonight, every match after this will be a title defence (for Christianium.) From the opening lock-up, Archer has to defend a wristlock… which he does by going into the ropes. He does the same again to break a hammerlock, before charging down his challenger with a shoulder tackle. Christianium’s leapfrog’s caught as he’s charged into the corner for some body blows, only for Christianium to return with headscissors and a dropkick.
Christianium tees up for a charge, but he’s met with a knee through the ropes before Archer’s slingshot sunset flip was blocked… with Christianium countering with a cartwheel dropkick instead. Heading outside, Archer wanted a breather, but had to swat away Christianium before he was dived onto. Archer’s chopped and thrown into the side of the ring, recovering with a side Russian legsweep into the apron and a 619-like sweep. A back suplex dumps Christianium as Archer took his time to antagonise the crowd, eventually returning to the ring to pick up a two-count. Archer keeps going with a slam, but his back senton’s blocked with Christianium’s knees as the APC champion ended up taking one to the back after he missed an enziguiri.
A kick to the head drops Christianium for a two-count, before the pair traded strikes, leading to a Pele kick and some clotheslines from Christianium. Archer tries to counter back, but eats a DDT for a near-fall. Recovering, Archer tries for La Terreur, but Christianium blocks it… only to get cradled for a near-fall. Christianium eats a back elbow as Archer finds a way in with a uranage, then a discus lariat for a near-fall. Blocking a clothesline in the corner, Christianium adds a tombstone… but Archer kicks out at two, then hit back looking for a Coup d’Etat. There’s an escape as Christianium gets shoved towards the referee… there’s no contact, but Archer catches a kick to the midsection, then waited for referee Tassilo Jung to turn around, so he could redirect the kick into a low blow. The referee calls for the bell, and my word, that’s a fantastic staged FOUL. Top marks, Tristan! ***¼
After the match, Archer hits a low blow for good measure, before DDTing Christianium onto the wXw Unified World Wrestling title belt.
Fight For Paris II Semi-Final: Maggot vs. Thiago Montero
Maggot’s Shotgun title isn’t on the line here…
Opening with a lock-up, Maggot’s shoved into the ropes but charges Montero down as Celine tried to calm Montero down at ringside. Montero tries a side headlock, and clings onto it despite Maggot’s attempts… when Maggot got free, he charged Montero down before tripping the “Flamazing” Montero as he then walked over him. Montero drags Maggot down by the hair… but a Thesz press got the Shotgun champion back into the match ahead of a strutting kick to the head. A teardrop suplex from Maggot’s next for a near-fall, with Montero rolling outside for some… reassurance. Maggot threatens to hit a plancha, but Montero tried to use Celine as a human shield… so Maggot adjusts and hits a dropkick through the ropes instead.
Maggot clubs Montero into the front row, before they headed back inside. Celine trips Maggot, allowing Montero to hit a back suplex for a near-fall, before Maggot was taken into the corner… he boots his way free, then got tripped as Montero countered a spear. A head kick’s good for a near-fall, before Maggot nibbled Montero’s shoulder as he tried to force his way back in. Out of nowhere, Maggot counters Montero with an inside cradle for a two-count… then threw a back body drop for good measure. Maggot’s crucifix is thrown away, but a crucifix bomb at the second attempt nearly wins it. Celine grabs Maggot’s foot, which distracts him for long enough for Montero to hit a clothesline and a nice suplex/powerbomb for a near-fall…
Celine’s invited into the ring as she holds Maggot’s arms behind his back… he escaped as Montero was about to dive in with a knee strike, before Celine was thrown into a spear. From there, Maggot cuts off Montero with a cutter, and that’s your lot. **¾
Fight For Paris II Semi-Final: Jurn Simmons vs. Rick Salem
Salem’s appeared a few times on wXw shows, but up against the former three-time champion Jurn… he’s got a big test here.
Salem stares in his crystal ball before the bell… which Jurn grabs at the start of the match. I wonder if he sees the future in there too? He predicts that Salem’ll get his arse kicked, so let’s see who’s right. Salem attacks Jurn from behind as he was putting the crystal ball down, but wasn’t able to hit a springboard Codebreaker as Jurn dumped him with a swinging uranage. An elbow drop’s next from Jurn, along with shoulder charges, a right hand and a clothesline before a suplex throw chucked Salem across the ring for a two-count. Jurn’s big boot gets hung up in the ropes by Salem, whose springboard cannonball finds its mark, as did a low dropkick, before a Curt Hennig-ish neck flip kept Jurn down for a two-count.
Jurn’s caught with an enziguiri, but manages to pancake Salem away before he skinned the cat up to the top rope… and repositions, only to get crotched in the buckles. A series of basement dropkicks caught Jurn in the Tree of Woe, before a springboard something or other was pushed away by Jurn, who slugged his way back into things. Simmons’ lariat drops Salem ahead of a reversed slam, before Salem lifted Jurn to the outside to counter a piledriver. Salem tries to follow, but Jurn slides back in and caught him in a press slam instead. A regular bodyslam sets up for a standing moonsault, but Salem kicks out at two, then dove under Jurn before he raked the eyes.
Salem goes for his crystal ball, but it’s a distraction as he low blowed Jurn behind the ref’s back, following up with a springboard Codebreaker (the Shot of Destiny) for a near-fall. Jurn’s dragged to the corner as Salem went up top, but a senton missed, allowing Jurn to come in with the Massive Boot and a piledriver for the win. ***¼
Post-match, Tristan Archer came out and took the mic so he could give Salem some good news… after every disappointment, he’s finally proud of Salem, after he held his own against Jurn… and offered Salem a spot back on La Formation Archer. SIKE. Archer punts Salem in the balls, then beat him down…
A-Buck & R1 vs. Joseph Fenech Jr. & Mecca
R1 is “the pro gamer”, but he and A-Buck are attacked by their opponents in the aisle, and hey, that Fenech lad looks familiar.
Fenech’s got a traffic cone, which he jabs into A-Buck before throwing it against Buck’s back. R1 gets a dose of it too, before we start with Fenech chopping A-Buck ahead of a kick to the back, which sets up some choking. My favourite, the cheating abdominal stretch in the ropes, followed from Fenech, but he’s instantly caught before he tagged in Mecca. Mecca tries the same thing, and is instantly caught as well… Fenech is back to choke Buck in the ropes, before the cheating abdominal stretch was kicked apart by the referee. Someone’s learned from Tass, eh? A pissed-off Fenech is shoved out of the ring by the ref, before the pair squared up to each other again… it gave A-Buck time to recover and charge in with a clothesline, as both men needed a tag out.
Mecca tags in, but he raced around ringside to pull R1 off the apron… A-Buck slaps him anyway, as corner-to-corner splashes gave R1 time to get back to his feet and get that tag in. R1 takes to the ropes for a LEAPING attack over the top to the floor, before he went back after Mecca… only to have to flip out of a chokeslam and hit an enziguiri. Fenech returns to try and cheat, but eats a Pele from R1, as A-Buck tagged back in for a superkick-assisted full nelson slam that nearly won it. R1’s Quebrada adds to Mecca’s woes, with Fenech breaking up the pin, before he chucked R1 to the outside. A tag brings Fenech in legally, but both he and Mecca ate a dualling Flatliner from A-Buck, before a spear left Mecca laying.
From there, Fenech hits back with a spear of his own to A-Buck, which sent Buck outside as Fenech wipes out the entire team with a tope into a scurrying crowd. Back inside, Fenech pulls up his boots and cannonballs into A-Buck, then hit a stomp to aid Mecca’s Samoan drop for a near-fall. Mecca grabs a chair and puts it in the ring for Fenech… but Fenech swings and misses as A-Buck countered with a roll-up for a near-fall. An errant right hand from Fenech knocks Mecca off the apron as R1 returned… only to get stacked with a roll-up for the sudden pin. This was a good little tag match with an out-of-nowhere finish – I’d have liked to see this go a little longer. ***
Calypso vs. Baby Allison
Allison’s title wasn’t on the line here, while Calypso was looking to go one better than the last Fight For Paris show, where she had a tooth knocked out in her match against then-wXw Women’s champion Amale.
Calypso slides under Allison and tried to crab walk… Allison kicks it away before she returned with a Thesz press. A suplex from Calypso’s reversed by Allison for a near-fall, before things headed outside, with Calypso cartwheeling on the apron into a dropkick on Allison. The count-out’s reset so Calypso could knock Allison into the front row for some chops. Back inside, Calypso scores with the Three Amigos, finishing with a Fisherman suplex for a near-fall. A submission attempt is broken by Allison, who returned with a German suplex into the corner before the pair traded strikes.
Allison’s clotheslines and elbows have Calypso on the back foot, as did a Scorpion kick in the corner and a Northern Lights suplex out of it. It’s good for a near-fall as Allison followed with a Muta lock, but Calypso broke free with an eye rake. A stomp to the bent-over Allison followed, and that’s enough for the quick upset! **½
After the match, Calypso posed with Allison’s title – and after the show she challenged Allison for a shot at August’s Shortcut to the Top in Oberhausen.
Fight For Paris II Final: Aigle Blanc vs. Robert Dreissker vs. Kuro vs. Jurn Simmons vs. Maggot vs. Tristan Archer
We’re under elimination rules for this, as the initial four qualifiers yielded six finalists… and apparently it’s under tornado rules.
Maggot spears Aigle early… Jurn suplexes Archer into Kuro… which leaves us with Jurn and Dreissker staring each other down. It breaks down as you’d expect, with the pair trading blows before a double clothesline knocked them both down. They roll outside, as Archer and Maggot enter… while a Thesz press from Maggot looked to set up for a cutter. Archer pushes free to hit a clothesline, before he stacked up Maggot and Aigle for a double slam. Kuro heads up top for a missile dropkick to Archer, only for Dreissker to club him away. Maggot stops a suplex from Dreissker, then helped as Archer, Jurn and Dreissker hit suplexes to the other three. Jurn and Archer eat a double clothesline from Dreissker as any thoughts of an alliance drifted into the air…
On the outside, Aigle posts Dreissker, then hit a knee strike to send him back into the post, while Archer ate a Massive kick back inside. Archer’s chucked into Aigle on the outside, before Maggot dropkicked Jurn out of the ring ahead of a body press into the pile. Kuro gets involved with a somersault senton into the pile, before Aigle’s springboard senton into the pile completed the set. Aigle picked Maggot to roll back inside, but ends up taking a spear for a near-fall… Kuro tries to intervene, cracking Maggot with a knee before a ‘rana driver from Aigle through the ropes planted Maggot. Kuro’s suplexed into Maggot in the corner, before a Last of the Dragon from Aigle eliminated Maggot at 6:31.
Kuro takes a lariat as he tried to pick off Aigle… but he countered another Last of the Dragon with a Destroyer, before Aigle spiked him with a tombstone seconds later. A 450 splash followed for a near-fall, as Jurn slid in and picked off Aigle with a piledriver to eliminate the Royal Hunter at 7:30. Tristan’s in to roll-up Jurn – with Robert Dreissker adding extra pressure from above, stacking up Jurn to eliminate him at 7:43. Archer’s celebrations earn him a forearm from Dreissker, who then went after Kuro, whipping and squashing him into the corner. A fallaway slam followed, as did a Dreissker bomb, but a nonchalant cover allowed Kuro to get his foot on the rope to save himself. Archer attacks Dreissker from behind, knocking him to the outside for a tope… but Dreissker doesn’t go down as those two fight on the outside, leading to Dreissker grabbing Archer’s title belt as he smashed the champion with it, before Kuro got a taste of the belt in front of the ref for a DQ at 10:29.
Dreissker spears the referee out of anger, which leaves us without any officials. Rick Salem’s out to grab Archer’s belt as he’s looking for some revenge from earlier… but a belt shot’s aimed at Kuro – not by accident – as Tassilo Jung came out to count the elementary pin. Like the tag match earlier, this probably could have done with a few more minutes, if only to not make the eliminations feel as rushed, but a solid end to a good one-night tournament. ***¼
Post-match, Archer celebrates with the Fight For Paris trophy… raising Rick Salem’s hand as well as it looks like La Formation Archer is really back together.
As someone who doesn’t follow APC, this show did a damn good job of introducing the APC part of the card – with Dave Bradshaw in particular giving just enough colour to give you reasons to care about names you’d not have been familiar with. My only criticism was that there were only two APC guys in the final – with one of them being a “floater” given how prominent he is on their roster, but for a mixed show, this was a pretty good stand-alone outing.