We’re going back to the past, over 15 years in fact, as we begin to take a look at wXw’s 2005.

With the current world situation preventing wXw from taping new content, they’ve delved into their archives to show us some of the best matches from 2005. Of course we’re going in reverse order… starting with number 15. Andy Jackson is our host from the wXw Studios in Essen, previewing the match. He tells us that going in, Quackenbush had an injury that required surgery – and could have been his final match had things not gone well.

We cut straight to the match, from wXw’s 5th Anniversary show on December 17, 2005, coming from the now-closed MusikPalette in Essen. Complete with a nice Fire Pro-ish isometric camera angle and no commentary…

Best Two-of-Three Falls: Mike Quackenbush vs. Chris Hero
We’ve a tense start as the two men circle each other, before a Hero wristlock took Quackenbush to the mat.

Getting back up, Quackenbush uses a Corning hold in response, but that leaves him open for a cravat as the pair went hold-for-hold with each other. An armdrag takes Hero into the corner, with him then heading onto the apron so he could control the tempo. A side headlock from Quackenbush has Hero back on the deck, but it’s turned into a crucifix pin for a two-count as they keep things meticulous… with Hero trying for a cravat again as Quackenbush quickly spun out.

We reset again as Hero loses his mind at the football rattlers in the crowd, so he demands “absolute silence” from the crowd. If you’ve seen any wrestling before, you know how that went. Going back to ground, Quackenbush ties up Hero’s legs as he worked his way into a seated surfboard, then a pendulum swing as he bopped Hero’s head against the turnbuckles. Hero powders outside into the darkness, eventually returning as the crowd’s taken him out of his game. There’s a fine for Hero too because of his behaviour, and now we’re back to the action as Hero ties up Quackenbush’s legs again. Quackenbush counters into a STF, but Hero again escapes and heads into the other side of the crowd as he teases walking out.

We get entirely ironic “please come back” and “welcome back” chants for Hero, who then grabbed the mic and said he’d kick Quackenbush’s ass. In the meantime, Quack just got one of those football rattlers and made noise with it. They resume with Quackenbush rolling Hero to the mat for a chicken wing-like move, before a lucha roll up started some trading of two-counts between the pair.

The crowd at this point are into the duelling chants as Quackenbush measures up Hero for a forearm to the chest… Hero trips Quackenbush and heads into the ropes, but gets caught with armdrags as another crucifix from Quackenbush gets a two-count. A low dropkick from Hero seems to stem the tide, as he then took Quack down in a front facelock, looking to force a pin… only for Quack to get back up with a wristlock. Hero escapes with a forearm and takes Quackenbush down again, but Quackenbush counters into another crucifix, with Hero needing the ropes to force a break. He tries to chain a hold in after rebounding off the ropes, but referee Tassilo Jung demands a break… which we eventually get.

Hero keeps the aggression up as he chopped Quackenbush in the corner… but again Quackenbush returned, arm dragging his way back in before a quickfires headscissors, a tiltawhirl backbreaker and a back senton flattened Hero for a two-count. Again, Hero gets back up and slams Quackenbush to the mat, getting a two-count from a lateral press, before a chinlock was broken up as Quackenbush returned his focus ot Hero’s arm.

Until he’s stopped with a backbreaker again.

Hero goes for a knuckle lock after that, tripping Quackenbush to the mat… but the comeback sees Quack retaliate with satellite headscissors, taking Hero outside for a tope con giro. That looked to be such a small area to land in before you dealt with steps…

The spotlight moves too late to catch Hero being thrown back inside, but Hero retaliates by throwing Quack back down, following up with back roll into a back splash out of the corner for a two-count. A head claw’s next as Hero then folded Quackenbush forward, then around for a two-count… a Stinger splash followed as Hero took Quack into the corner, before he looked to tie up Quackenbush’s arms on the mat with a wacky submission attempt that made it look like he was trying to make Quackenbush disappear up himself.

Quackenbush escapes as he pushes back to try for a pin, but Hero kicks out and reapplies a scissored chinlock, before we went back to the cravat. He sure loved that hold.

Eventually breaking free, Quackenbush stomps Hero’s feet, but missed an elbow drop as he ends up charging Hero into the corner. A barrage of strikes follow ahead of a bulldog, before a back suplex from Hero gets us a near-fall. Heading up top, Hero leaps… but Quackenbush avoids him and returned with a DDT. Quackenbush goes up for a senton bomb… but it’s still only enough for a near-fall!

Quack goes back up top, but his crossbody’s caught and turned into a spin-out backpack cutter… and that’s Hero going 1-0 up at 30:27 in the match.

After a brief pause, we resume with Hero looking to snatch a quick second fall with a snapmare. Of course that wasn’t on the cards! Chops keep Quackenbush down ahead of a half crab, which is kicked away from as some cross-chops from Hero and an uppercut take Quackenbush back to the corner. Quackenbush tries to headbutt back into the match, before he countered a back body drop into a sunset flip for a two-count.

Incensed, Hero keeps going with strikes as Quackenbush could only offer up-kicks as a means of defence. Hero ties up Quackenbush again in a move I can barely begin to describe, as Quack had to try and counter with a pinning attempt to force the break… before coming close with a Victory roll, having worked his way up onto Hero’s shoulders.

A rolling elbow drops Quackenbush for a near-fall, with the ropes saving the match, before Hero looked to put Quackenbush down for good… but instead ate a series of chops before a pop-up ‘rana from Quackenbush led to the pin, tying this up at 1-1 at 37:09.

Hero tries to eschew the interval as he attacked Quackenbush from behind, then went back to the cravat neckbreaker for a two-count, before a Hangman’s Clutch on the mat looked to force the stoppage. Quackenbush gets to the rope, but can’t avoid some clubbering forearms as Hero took him into the ropes for some choking… with some extra choking following on the outside from Hero’s manager, Don Jakobi.

Hero begins to box away on Quackenbush in the ropes as things looked to be elementary, but Quackenbush almost nicks it with a Mistica into a seatbelt pin for a near-fall. Quackenbush takes a swipe at Jakobi, then caught Hero in a Black Tornado Slam that looked to get the win… but Hero got his feet onto the ropes just in time!

Quackenbush continues as he looked to roll up into a ’rana, but he’s caught with a spin-out facebuster as we continue down the home stretch, before Quack got lifted onto the top rope. Hero looks for a superplex it seemed, but gets shoved down before he press slammed Quackenbush off the top… then came back in with a Roll the Dice for another near-fall.

Hero goes to pick up Quack for another big move, eventually Rolling the Dice some more before Quackenbush countered it into a lifting reverse DDT to win! In 2021’s eyes, your mileage for this will vary – the long opening stretch and holiday camp show-style stuff perhaps went a little long, but when this really got going, this turned into something of a masterclass.

Result: Mike Quackenbush beat Chris Hero 2-1 at 44:51 (****)