The last major stop before 16 Carat Gold this weekend saw wXw hit Hamburg for Dead End – a fun show with some repercussions down the road.

The pre-show video package tells us that tonight is a Dead End for Christian Michael Jakobi if his team loses. That’s building up to tonight’s main event of David Starr & Jurn Simmons vs. the RINGKAMPF pairing of Axel Dieter JR. and WALTER.

wXw World Tag Team Championship: CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks) vs. A4 (Absolute Andy & Marius Al-Ani) (c)
Rico Bushido is alive and on commentary! After the initial jump start, we settle down with Absolute Andy and Travis Banks, the latter of which gets bumped with a series of Absolute shoulder tackles. Rico confuses Travis Banks with Chris Brookes, which… I just don’t know how you can do. They don’t even look similar!

Brookes slaps Andy to try and stop his momentum… that doesn’t go well, as CCK get atomic drops… whilst referee Tassilo Jung almost did too! That got Andy a €20 fine, which is beautifully random, but A4 still kept the momentum… at least until Banks’ roundhouse kick out of the corner prevented the leap-over onto the back of Brookes. CCK took over from there, with Brookes making a point of going after Andy’s knee, which means that after a delay, Andy gets a wet willie. They continue to wear down on Andy, who was targeted from back in the promos when Brookes mocked him for being close to retiring, as Travis Banks threw in some kicks from the apron as Brookes wore down those knees.

Banks comes in and pounds away on Andy’s lower back, but that sparks a comeback as Andy blasts CCK with back elbows and forearms, before landing a back cracker on Banks as Al-Ani finally made the tag in, dropping the Kiwi with multiple clotheslines… but then it emerged the referee didn’t see the tag, so it was all for nought. With Marius perched on the top rope, we finally got the tag and then his house clearing on Banks, before a massive death valley driver took down Brookes.

A leaping DDT sends Banks into the ropes for a two-count, before Andy (ofallpeople) takes down Brookes with a top rope ‘rana. Brookes takes an al-Ani powerbomb, before Andy goes for an F5 that was countered into a DDT as CCK kept themselves in it. CCK get bonked into each other, but they still stay on top whilst double-teaming al-Ani, with the elevated Codebreaker/back senton combo almost winning them the titles.

A4 come back and double-team Brookes with a pump kick, before Andy holds up a knee-curb stomp to yell his thing, before a wheelbarrow suplex and a spinebuster put the champions firmly on top for a heartbeat, as a rear naked choke and an Octopus stretch looks to force some tap-outs… but Andy turns the Octopus into an F5 on Banks to end that hold.

We finally get the World’s Greatest Tag Team leap over senton onto Brookes, as A4 are left to take out Banks… whose springboard roundhouse just sees him land into a superkick, as A4’s assisted Cutter is enough for them to retain – despite the despairing lunge of Brookes. Absolutely wonderful stuff here; a wild start and it kept at that speed throughout. Andy may have been a hair off the pace, but it played into the storyline brilliantly, and got this show off to a fantastic start. ****¼

Robert Dreissker vs. “Bad Bones” John Klinger
Dreissker still had his Cerberus video here, which just raises more questions over what’s going on with that group… Bones was back in action here after a snowboarding accident, and he was immediately caught with an, erm, avalanche in the corner for a near-fall in the opening seconds.

It’s all Dreissker at the start, taking Bones to the outside, dumping him on the apron, before he misses a charge and runs into the ring post. Bones capitalises by returning to the ring and landing a low-pe that staggers Dreissker, before a second finally knocks the big guy down. Bones’ right hand is heavily taped up, and he’s wincing every time he chops away at the Austrian, which may have gone from that snowboarding accident.

Dreissker nails a big crossbody to get a near-fall, before a huge elbow drop keeps him on the offence. A Samoan drop gets a near-fall after an awkward landing for Bones, as does a body splash, but that seems to spark a brief comeback,before Dreissker lands a clothesline. Another elbow and a back senton squashes the crowd, who were showing their support for Klinger. Bones gets dropped on the top rope, but he flies out with a Code Breaker off the top, as running forearms and a slingshot spear set up Bones for a superkick that earned him another near-fall. A massive suplex takes Dreissker into the turnbuckles, but the Avalanche comes back with Baron Corbin’s Deep six as Dirty Dragan headed down to the ring to suddenly cheerlead for Dreissker.

Dreissker avalanches Bones in the corner, before Dragan distracts Dreissker as he went for a Vader bomb… and that’s enough for Klinger to pull down the Austrian and roll him up for the win. A good slice of Big Lads Wrestling, with a slightly iffy finish for my tastes. **¾

After the match, Dreissker clotheslines Dragan for the distraction, then kills him with a spinning Blue Thunder Bomb. A Vader Bomb finishes him off, So… is Cerberus still a thing?

Emil Sitoci vs. Michael Dante
A simple storyline between two Dutch guys who called themselves the best from their country. All I can tell is only Dante has the stereotypical Dutch accent… and he starts by spearing Sitoci after a slap, and they immediately head to the outside.

Sitoci’s rammed into the apron, and crawls across the ring to avoid his compatriot… who just follows him and lays in with double axehandles, before Dante takes him back into the ring for a side suplex. Emil’s having to use his speed to avoid Dante, but he’s met with a shoulder tackle when he flies off the top rope, before Dante throws him into the turnbuckles for a near-fall. Sitoci spams a back-cracker to the arm as he looks to wear down Dante’s left arm, then flew off the top rope, dropping a knee to that same arm. Out of nowhere, Dante hits back with a full nelson into a facebuster, then a Last Shot (suplex into an over-the-knee neckbreaker) for a near-fall.

Dante dumps Sitoci with a German suplex out of the corner, which somehow ends with Sitoci getting the cover after the referee couldn’t count the shoulders down. Sitoci escapes a tiltawhirl backbreaker, but gets thrown onto the apron, where he hands the arm in the ropes before a springboard top rope elbow almost took the W. A wheelbarrow into a stunner sees Sitoci come closer, who then absorbs a half-nelson suplex and a spear as the pendulum swung in Dante’s direction.

Dante gets another pendulum backbreaker as he looks to finish off Sitoci with a powerbomb… but Emil rakes the eyes before dumping Dante on his head with a headlock driver, and that’s the win. Surprisingly enjoyable given the size difference, with Sitoci’s singles experience showing in the end. **¾

It’s worth noting here that wXw have gone above and beyond here with throwing in video packages before matches here. Perfect for fans who are new to the product or haven’t been keeping up. Other promotions: observe!

Intergender Street Fight: Alpha Female & Marius van Beethoven vs. Alpha Lovers (Alpha Kevin & Melanie Gray)
These pairs have had quite the feud… when I jumped on with wXw, it was Alpha Female and Marius ruining Melanie and Kevin’s wedding, and it has only escalated from there!

I like how Marius’ idea of streetfight gear is to come out in something that’d be more befitting a groomsman at a wedding. Meanwhile, Melanie Gray’s out in jean shorts and graces. Well, at least it’s not their usual gear. They’re jumped when they enter the ring, but Kevin quickly comes back with a tiltawhirl backbreaker to Marius, whilst Gray gives a Samoan drop to Alpha as all four combatants fight through the crowd.

Kevin whacks Marius with a chair to the back as they brawl on the stage, before giving him another chair as he offers up a duel. They clash chairs, which hurts Marius’ hands more, but he comes back with a low blow before decking Kevin with a chairshot. Marius does the wacky “I swing and miss with a chairshot” spot, with the chair hitting him off the ropes, before a lariat from Alpha knocking down Kevin for a near-fall.

Melanie comes in and gets knocked down with some elbows for a near-fall. She comes back with a running Meteora after avoiding a powerbomb, then ran in with her knees again into the corner for another two-count, but Alpha fires back with a Dominator as Kevin breaks up the count. Marius then gets the microphone, but we don’t get the English translation of it as Alpha Female grabs a chair and a Kendo stick.

Marius holds Kevin’s head in the chair… before he sizes up for a shot, but Kevin moves away before jumping van Beethoven with a back suplex. Unfortunately, Alpha Female was more accurate, blasting Alpha Kevin with shots, including one that seemed to hit him right in the forehead. Melanie Gray breaks it up and hits a diving elbow out of the corner, but she’s dragged out of the ring by Marius, who heads onto the stage and removes his belt.

Erm… what?

Mella gives him a low blow as he looked to belt her… and as luck would have it, the belt falls into Gray’s hands, and she uses it to whip “der Goldjünge”. They return to the ring where Marius just flings a chair at Gray, then nonchalantly strikes Kevin with that Kendo stick before van Beethoven goes for a despicable rear chinlock! Gray fights out though, and elbows free, before dropping Marius with a side suplex into the chair.

Alpha Female heads outside and piles a load of chairs into the ring, as Marius threatens to Pillmanise Kevin’s knee… but Kevin fights out of it and does the decent thing: superplexing Marius into the pile of chairs. Considering that neither of these guys are exactly marquee names, they’re really leaving it all out here!

Melanie Gray has her shot at Marius next, setting up a table for a somewhat contrived spear spot, but at least the table breaks this time for poor Marius! Payback? Well, Melanie takes a slam onto those chairs next, before Kevin gets a Japanese chairshot – one where the seat of the chair actually pops off!

Now Alpha Female tries to Pillmanise Kevin’s ankle again, but rather than her jumping off, she puts the much smaller Marius on the top rope… and he finally comes to and leaps onto the chair! That leaves Melanie one-on-two for a while, but she puts on the brakes as Marius sent her into a chair in the corner, then used said chair to give Alpha Female a Japanese chairshot.

That just leaves Marius alone with Melanie, and he ducks a series of chairshots as she looks to decapitate him, but he runs to the back as the two Alphas battle it out in the ring. Kevin hits Female, as Melanie returns to spear her, before Kevin covers Female with a series of chairs. OHMYGOD Melanie hits a senton into the pile of chairs, and the Alpha Lovers win! A satisfying match, with plenty of brutality… and a nice hanging thread at the end as Marius still doesn’t get his comeuppance. ***½

Good luck following this! Who’s next…

Bobby Gunns vs. Da Mack
Oh. A rematch of their outing in Munich, where Da Mack beat Bobby before eventually qualifying for the 16 Carat Gold.

Gunns came out with a flag supporting the Werder Bremen Bundesliga (football/soccer) team, as they were playing whilst they were wrestling (I believe…). Their outing in Munich wasn’t a set-the-world-on-fire affair, but Gunns had been needling Mack further since then, so we get this rematch. They start with some waistlock reversals that perhaps look too easy, before a leapfrog from Da Mack is caught, as both men tease dropkicks before going back to those too-easy reversals. Gunns scores an armdrag out of the corner as he works over Mack’s wrist, but Da Mack comes back with an armbar as this match stayed surprisingly grounded.

An overhead belly-to-belly suplex throws Gunns into the opposite corner, before leading in with some chops. They back and forth continues with Gunns catching Mack with an armbar in the ropes, before he’s knocked to the floor with a forearm smash. Mack counters a suplex into a small package, but after getting a near-fall Gunns pops back up and boots Mack down hard for a two-count of his own.

A Slingblade takes down Gunns, who then blocks a suplex and kicks Mack’s hand away. From there, Gunns uses an arm whip to drop Mack, before Mack counters a back superplex and lands on Gunns for a near-fall. Another Slingblade follows, as do some chops, which seems to have busted open Gunns hard-way. An enziguiri and a running knee gets a two-count, before Mack lands a ‘rana then a corkscrew senton for a near-fall.

Yeah, Gunns is bleeding, but Rico Bushido is massively overselling it. Gunns neatly counters an Ace crusher into a cross armbreaker, but Mack reaches the ropes to force a break. Mack catches Gunns up top, but he’s shoved down with ease… then rolls back up to go for another superplex, before making do with an apron death valley driver for the hell of it.

Gunns spits at Mack, but he takes a cross-legged Falcon arrow as retribution for a near-fall. Another Mack Magic stunner is blocked, before he comes back with La Mistica, which Gunns rolls through into a near-fall, only for Mack’s kick-out to take it back into the submission hold. They fight back to their feet, but Gunns lands an overhead throw, only to take another Mack Magic stunner… before shocking Mack with a roll-up for the win. Well,after the rocky start, this improved, but I’d put this on par with their Munich outing. It didn’t help that they had to follow a streetfight! **¾

Gunns looked alright here, but for someone who debuted nearly five years ago, there’s plenty of things – such as those reversals that looked too mechanical – that you’d expect to have been worked out. Then again, this is the same situation as you get in a lot of countries that don’t have much in the way of a scene – without a variety of promotions, it’s the likes of Gunns who don’t get work or the chance to refine their work.

Alexander James vs. Ilja Dragunov
James was a replacement for Pete Dunne, who’s, erm, Dunne with wXw due to the terms of his WWE UK deal and wXw being on FloSlam.

James started off on top, chopping away at Dragunov… until Ilja got his revenge by firing away with some of his own as he cornered the American. A cartwheel sees James abort a whip into the corner, before a ripcord elbow is turned into a big atomic drop, with Ilja ending with a back senton and a clothesline to the floor.

Dragunov dives to the outside with a tope, but his second dive gets caught as James lands a cutter on the apron before a slingshot into the ring turned into a neckbreaker for a near-fall. James’ offence ended when he lept off the top rope and into a boot from Dragunov, whose comeback quickly ended when he missed a back senton off the middle rope, with James hitting a European uppercut for a near-fall.

James kept on top of Ilja, whipping him into the corners, but the former Cerberus man came back with some forearms and a back suplex after a spot of rope running. A couple of clotheslines knock down James for a near-fall, but he scores one of his own with some spinning kicks and that ripcord elbow, before the pair trade blows back and forth. Another back suplex dumps James, but the American takes down Dragunov with a Dragon sleeper, before rolling up and placing him onto the top rope for the Tower of London. That wasn’t enough though, as Dragunov rebounded off the ropes after kicking out, and scored the win with a diving European uppercut. A perfectly solid match to get the crowd ready for the main event – nothing bad, but likewise, nothing spectacular either. ***

After the match, the Cerberus (dubbed) music hits as Robert Dreissker headed to the ring. He drew a proverbial line in the sand as he went head to head with his former Cerberus running buddy, before referees and ring crew hit the ring to keep them apart… but they just had a face-to-face before heading to the back.

RINGKAMPF (Axel Dieter Jr & WALTER) vs. Jurn Simmons & David Starr
So, if RINGKAMPF lost, Karsten Beck took over from Christian Michael Jakobi as the head of wXw’s championship board of directors.

This went for over half an hour, not including WALTER’s pre-match promo, which drew chants of “same old shit”. Starr and Dieter start by trading wristlocks, before they tag out, and curiously we’re going straight to Jurn vs WALTER, with the latter hitting a big dropkick to Massive Jurn, who replies in kind.

We’re back to Starr and Dieter, with the Shotgun champion lighting up the wXw World champion with chops in the corner, before reversing a suplex to take down Dieter. WALTER low bridges him to the outside, as Starr bounces of the apron with a back suplex, but Jurn Simmons has the referee distracted to prevent from any count being made. That’s where the match swung in RINGKAMPF’s favour, as WALTER tagged in and hit a leaping seated splash onto Starr for a near-fall, before Starr was forced to throw his way out of a sleeperhold. A huge back body drop takes WALTER into the corner, but Starr is unable to capitalise as Dieter ran in and knocked Jurn off the apron. We get a couple of announcements from Thomas Giesen, but these are totally ignored on commentary – my best guess is that they were public warnings, but since they weren’t acknowledged, I guess they couldn’t have been too important.

Dieter levels Starr with an Air Raid Crash for a near-fall after WALTER had knocked Jurn off the apron. Starr recovers and lands a series of clotheslines to the big Austrian, who is eventually knocked down with a DDT in the ropes, then another clothesline as we finally get to see Jurn and Dieter. Simmons blasts into the world champion with shoulder charges in the corner, before throwing Axel with ease out of the corner. An Oklahoma Stampede follows for a near-fall, before Dieter counters a powerbomb with an enziguiri, only to see his Landungsbrücke countered into an uranage by Jurn.

Simmons gets caught up top as Dieter DDTs him to the mat, before WALTER’s tagged back in to pick apart at the downed Dutchman, grabbing a sleeperhold then a German suplex as Simmons was thrown around with relative ease. Jurn came back with a sit-out gutwrench powerbomb for a two-count, but WALTER gets a discus lariat as Starr tagged himself into the match… and promptly had his head kicked right off by WALTER.

Starr came back and dropkicked Dieter off the middle rope as he took too long taunting the crowd, before Starr pulled one out of Edge’s old playbook with the Edgucator – the modified standing sharpshooter. Jurn took care of WALTER with a torture rack, which was the cue for Jakobi and Beck to hit the ring, with Beck taking CMJ down with a sleeperhold too as the babyfaces were firmly on top.

Somehow Dieter broke free and rescued the match, but he took a piledriver from Jurn as WALTER’s run-in led to him taking a German suplex, with Jakobi pulling out referee Tassilo Jung to prevent the three-count from being made. Karsten Beck was quickly on hand to shoo Jakobi into the ring as those two faced off. Jakobi begged off as Beck looked to lay him out, before Karsten blocked a low blow and instead went for a Samoan drop… but Jakobi got the low blow in as WALTER booted Beck out of the ring.

With that side-show taken care of, we’re back to the tag team match, which again boiled down to Jurn vs. Axel, with those too teeing off on each other. A slap takes down Dieter, who’s then clotheslined to the outside where Jurn joins him, teasing a powerbomb on the stage. Instead, Dieter slips out and drops Jurn with a DDT as WALTER gets to his feet and towers over Starr back in the ring. They exchange shots, with Starr ducking under some punches before knocking WALTER to the floor, then landing a dropkick to take down Jakobi.

Starr lands a pair of topes to wipe out WALTER, then Jakobi, with that latter one almost surely going to cost him down the line, before Dieter cuts off a third tope and almost stole the win with a roll-up. There’s more back and forth as Axel catches Starr in a double leg nelson, but Starr makes the ropes, before his plucky comeback ended with a powerbomb/uppercut combo from WALTER and Dieter. That got RINGKAMPF another near-fall, as they kept battering Starr, who spat back at their faces before unloading with forearms.

A crucifix bomb got Starr a near-fall on WALTER, before going back with more shots, until WALTER blasted him with a lariat. A huge powerbomb follows, and that’s enough for the win – ending over half an hour of a glorious tag team main event that’s well worth your time. These are rapidly becoming a staple in wXw, and a good way of headlining shows that are a stop-off towards the bigger cards. ****¼

Bookended by a pair of fantastic tag team matches, with a sneakily-fun intergender tag match in the middle, Dead End was a show that going in could easily have been skippable, but in the end was a show that was anything but. As a building-point to 16 Carat Gold, this served its purpose and then some!