wXw’s 25th show in Hamburg’s Markthalle was something of an intense evening, as Fan Appreciation Night paid host to das Nordderby… in a wrestling ring!

It’s another packed-out Markthalle – with Rico Bushido and Andy Jackson on the English call. We’re starting with the German audio since that went up first…

wXw Women’s Championship: Tenille Dashwood vs. Amale (c)
I’m getting a real SHINE vibe around Tenille’s theme, as her Impact/Hot Tag theme didn’t make the cut.

Rainer Ringer’s our ref, and for his sake I hope he’s wearing a cup, given Amale’s recent propensity to attack officials. Dashwood started off on offence, taking Amale down with a side headlock, forcing Amale to scurry into the ropes. She’s quickly back with a kick to the midsection as she looked to build up some offence, landing a shoulder tackle, only to get tripped as Tenille got back on top.

Tenille gives Amale a noogie, the legality of which is… questionable, to say the least, ahead of a butterfly suplex for a near-fall. Amale again powders as she threatens to walk out, but Tenille starts a brief Benny Hill chase… and gets caught with a neckbreaker in the ropes as it all backfired. A hotshot gets Amale back in as she tried to run away again, following up with a DDT onto the apron as the champion finally looked to build up some momentum.

A small package sees Dashwood sneak a two-count, but Amale continues to chip away on the Aussie, coming close with another suplex. Amale grounds Tenille with some figure four headscissors, driving the head into the mat for good measure, ahead of a cravat that was used to try and twist the challenger’s head off.

Dashwood gets free, but a clothesline drops her back to the mat, before Amale pulled Dashwood into the corner for a running boot. It’s still not enough, mind you, and Dashwood finds her second wind, taking Amale into the corner before landing some clotheslines of her own. A Tarantula stretch catches Amale in the ropes, but not for long, as the Taste of Tenille (sliding splash into the corner) followed for another two-count.

Dashwood tries to push it over the line, but Amale lands a knee strike before a Northern Lights suplex led to yet another near-fall. A roll-up almost nicks it for Tenille, as does a series of see-saw sunset flips, before Amale manages to get Tenille up to the top rope… only for her superplex to get countered into an eventual sunset bomb. Amale barely kicks out in time, and despite taking a bit of a kicking, she’s able to duck a clothesline and hit the Champion’s Maker for the win. This was a good back-and-forth outing, but a title change here was never really on the cards. ***¼

Backstage, Timothy Thatcher’s with Veit Müller, bigging him up ahead of his title match later. There’s a sly line about “that’s a lot of pressure, isn’t it” as you could get the sense that Thatcher isn’t fully on board with Veit, who got the crowd going as we fade out.

Lucky Kid vs. Pete Bouncer
While the Schadenfreude storyline with Lucky Kid has derailed slightly, he still has the issue of Pete Bouncer to contend with, as Bouncer’s been slightly more violent in his actions towards the 16 Carat Gold winner. Such as here, when he attacked Lucky during his entrance…

After ripping off Lucky’s entrance gear, Bouncer chokes Lucky with his own track jacket as they brawled around the Markthalle. Well, I say “brawled”, it was all one-sided as Bouncer battered Lucky around the venue, before Bouncer found a nightstick under the ring. Hey, I’m all for the Big Boss Man throwbacks…

Bouncer swings and misses, but ends up kicking Lucky as referees Tassilo Jung and Rainer Ringer try to disarm Bouncer. All of that gave Lucky enough time to pop up and fight back, kicking him before landing some chops by the ring post. Technically the match still hasn’t started, so Lucky’s able to grab the nightstick and stalks Bouncer with it… only for Ivan Kiev to hit the ring to defuse things.

By defuse things, I mean “superkick Luck”, as Bouncer followed up with the Self Justice double-arm DDT. Kiev wasn’t wearing any RISE branding, decked entirely in black, so I guess Lucky Kid is now fully out of RISE… and seconds later, Bouncer tells us that RISE is history. Borrowing from Mike Kilby’s video, they’ll no longer be there for us…

So really, this wasn’t a match, more of a storyline, as Lucky Kid was left alone. Presumably because the Schadenfreude guys who were there (Aussie Open) were preparing for their match later.

Street Fight for wXw Shotgun Championship: Avalanche vs. Emil Sitoci (c)
Former tag team partners gone bad, the part-time Monster Consulting have been fighting each other for the last few months. Well, when Sitoci hasn’t been ducking Avalanche. Did the job trial really go that bad?!

The stipulation for this match was decided by fans in the Markthalle, with a Falls Count Anywhere match getting booed and a Bull Rope match getting similar heckles. Aw, Tass went to the trouble of getting a cowbell too. Thommi Giesen does a great job of explaining the rules of the Bull Rope match, but in the end, it’s the Street Fight that won out as they dug up the Applause-o-Meter to decide the stipulation, despite what That Guy On Camera thought. If you see if, you’ll know…

We wait for Emil Sitoci to hit the ring before we start… but Avalanche meets him in the aisle for some clubbering. May as well ring the bell now, Rainer…

Avalanche sets up a table before they hit the ring, and now we formally start with a shoulder tackle and some elbows dropping Sitoci early on. A side Russian legsweep gives Sitoci a response, but Avalanche quickly throws him outside as we’re back to brawling on the floor. Sitoci disarms Avalanche of a Kendo stick, quickly using it himself, before scoring with a double sledge off the apron.

Front row gets an extra close view as Sitoci elbows Avalanche around the tight ringside area, but Avalanche struck back until he missed a charged and hit the ring post. Christ, that shook the entire ring. Back inside, Sitoci’s got a chair, which gets used, but a clothesline from Avalanche keeps the match in the ring before he went out and… pulled out the bull rope. Tass’ll be happy!

Avalanche wraps the bull rope around Sitoci’s wrist as we got the taster of this stipulation anyway as the rope was used for some restrained lariats for a near-fall. Sitoci tries to run, but Avalanche just pulls him into the ring as the bell clanged around, before a legdrop squished Sitoci on the edge of the ring. Superkicks got Sitoci back into it, as he proceeded to whack Avalanche with the cow bell to put him onto the table… following up with a NICE tope that knocked Avalanche off the table, but didn’t break it.

Not to worry, there’s a second table that Sitoci pulls out, this time setting it up in the corner as he’s quickly speared through it. Thankfully for Avalanche, there was no repeat of the farce that we saw at Shortcut to the Top last year with tables that wouldn’t break! From there, Avalanche heads outside for some more chairs, but it just gives Sitoci some fresh weaponry as he jabbed Avalanche with chairs ahead of a side Russian legsweep into the pile. A split-legged moonsault’s next for a near-fall, before Avalanche blocks more legsweeps as the end was nigh, when Avalanche tosses Sitoci into the pile of chairs, then lands a Dreissker bomb for the win. An entertaining, wild brawl that didn’t rely too much on plunder… and I’m absolutely stunned that this was Avalanche’s first singles title in wXw. ***¼

wXw World Tag Team Championship: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. Ilja Dragunov & WALTER (c)
Aussie Open were looking to regain the titles they lost at Shortcut to the Top so they could defend them throughout next month’s World Tag Team Festival.

There’s a nice touch as Ilja refused to do the “pound the floor” intense entrance, borrowing from the PAC playbook of being “above” that sort of thing. The champions jump Aussie Open, but there’s an instant fight back as the champions were sent outside… prompting WALTER to grab the belts and threaten a walk-out. Karsten Beck meets them on the stage threatening to strip them of their belts… and the match resumes.

“Auf die Fresse” is a familiar cry as Aussie Open put a beating to WALTER and Ilja as the bell finally rings. Poor Ilja gets stomped on in the corner as the challengers looked to keep WALTER out of the match. Davis dumps Ilja with a slam ahead of a back senton, before more stomps from Fletcher kept the former wXw unified champion on the ropes. The reviewer’s curse strikes as Ilja lands a forearm and a leaping crossbody to squash Fletcher, instantly turning the tables right there.

WALTER tags in and begins to wear down Fletcher as the champions use quick tags, keeping Kyle trapped in the corner briefly. Fletcher rolls free and tags in Davis, who goes wild with the chop/clothesline comeback before a shoulder charge misses with the big Aussie hitting nothing but the ring post.

WALTER makes sure to aggravate it by throwing Davis’ arm into the post some more, before some aggressive ground and pound from Ilja keeps Davis down. Davis adds to the swear jar as WALTER came in and focused on the arm, using a Fujiwara armbar for good measure, something that Ilja looked to repeat as he instead stomped on the bad limb.

Chops from WALTER took Davis downas Kyle Fletcher tried to storm the ring… and got hurled outside as the bully WALTER was starting to make an appearance. The Austrian laughed off Davis’ attempt at fighting back, but a clothesline finally manages to drop him as Fletcher tags in… and lands a big crossbody!

Ilja’s in too but he’s quickly taken into the corner for a running knee. A chop from WALTER looks to stop that, as the champions’ attempt at double-teaming quickly fell flat. Kyle manages to slam WALTER, which stuns commentary, as did a tope from Davis to WALTER as Fletcher almost regained the titles with a Ligerbomb.

An arm whip from Ilja gets him back in, but Kyle ducks a Konstantin-Spezial so he could try and dive on WALTER outside. That backfires as he’s just dumped onto the apron ahead of a bridging German suplex that almost got Ilja the win. A missed back senton off the top doesn’t help Ilja either, but he does manage to pull of a crucifix pin to block a double team Go 2 Sleep…

Somehow WALTER’s able to tag Ilja despite being in the wrong corner (Hamburg were not happy with that!) as he proceeded to chop up Davis’ chest. An enziguiri from Davis stops that, but he’s quickly down for a sit-down splash as WALTER stopped any chance of a fightback. Rapid-fire chops to the shoulder help Ilja back in, but his Torpedo Moscau accidentally wipes out WALTER… and the writing’s on the wall from there.

Or so you thought, as Ilja avoids an Aussie Arrow into the corner. He looks for a second Torpedo Moscau, but is stopped when David Starr of all people hit the ring.

Starr blows a kiss, then scurries out as Kyle lands a superkick, before Aussie Open powered ahead. WALTER gets lifted up for the double-team Go 2 Sleep, before Ilja took the Fidget Spinner… and Aussie Open get their titles back! This was a nice little scrap once it got going, and while some won’t be a fan of the shady finish, I did like how just Starr’s presence shook the “stars”. ***¾

After the match, Starr gets the crowd to sing the goodbye song to WALTER and Ilja, subbing “you suck” for “goodbye”. Man, das Powercrowd was loud. Starr then fights through “what?” chants as he tells Hamburg that he’s coming to World Tag Team Festival with Eddie Kingston to take the titles. Would that be for INDPNDNT WRSTLING?

Starr exits stage left before the lights go out… ahead of the appearance of two light-up masks. Some people knew who it was… it was the quick turnaround of Ivan Kiev and Pete Bouncer, as they bring the Purge Club to wXw. Kiev and Bouncer slowly make their way to the ring amid a barrage of “you still suck” chants, before they used their night stick and baseball bat to put a beating to the new champions. Chants for Schadenfreude go unanswered as the Purge Club stood tall. For now.

They reveal that Alexander Wolfe will be in Hamburg on November 29 for the Road to 19th Anniversary show – he’s going to be doing some dates for wXw around the back end of 2019.

Toni Storm vs. Faye Jackson vs. Holidead vs. Valkyrie
I’m still listening to the German commentary track, but I’m sure Rico Bushido was losing his mind for this one.

After a rush start, things settled down with Valkyrie getting beaten down by Holidead, only to come back in with a dropkick as Holidead and Storm found themselves cornered for some running forearms. Jackson stacks up Holidead and Storm in the corner for a hip attack, which made Christian Bischof break out into a bit of Kelis karaoke. Can you guess what it was? Damn right…

Valkyrie and Jackson stay behind, but Valkyrie has no luck with a German suplex, as instead Faye switched around… and found herself in a side headlock. No big deal, she pushes free before some forearms and a slam dropped Valkyrie. Toni and Holidead trip Jackson to the outside, before Storm went right back out with a low-pe as our dives broke out.

Valkyrie got too sure of herself with a through-the-ropes dropkick, leaving herself open for a clothesline and a German suplex from Storm. The Irishwoman fought back with chops though, before busting out a Superman press that nearly led to the upset. Holidead comes in with a big slap to break up Storm’s single-leg crab, before those two went at it.

Holidead’s sidewalk slam drops Storm for a near-fall as Jackson broke it up. Faye’s met with a big boot as Holidead looked for a suplex… but it’s reversed as Holidead almost took the win. A Parade of Moves broke out as all four women were in the ring, leading to Jackson powerbombing Holidead out of the corner for a near-fall. Valkyrie catches Storm on the top rope with a nice top rope ‘rana, before a four-way chop fest breaks out.

Headbutts from Storm clear the field, but Valkyrie stops a Storm Zero with a Pele kick… more Movez break out as Faye’s met with Holidead’s Samoan drop… but Holidead gets too distracted giving out a Darkness Falls (Angel’s Wings) that Jackson came back in to splash, then cannonball her in the corner for the win. This was a solid enough match, but with all four women being babyfaces (at least to the crowd), it was hard for the fans to pick someone to back. ***

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Veit Müller vs. Bobby Gunns (c)
Veit won a fan’s poll to get this spot, beating out Marius al-Ani (who wasn’t on the card – I can only assume he was meant to face Chris Brookes, who dropped out on the day). They play the video package before, going back to the days when Shotgun was filmed in Cologne to dig up Bobby’s promise of a title shot that he was eventually forced to follow up on.

Müller’s got to break Bobby’s two and a half year-plus unbeaten run in Hamburg, and my word, it’s a partisan crowd. Leaning on das Nordderby – the rivalry between Hamburg and Bremen – led to exactly the reaction wXw wanted, as wir sind alle Hamburgerjungs. At least, most of us were…

Veit has new gear, sporting the RINGKAMPF logo on the back, and he starts by offering a handshake. Gunns just slaps him, as the tone was set with the crowd even more behind Müller than they were before. Müller shoved Gunns into the corner from the opening tie-up, which just led to Gunns throwing some cheap shots as he played keepaway with his challenger.

Müller finally gets his shots in, catching Gunns with a knee and an atomic drop before clotheslining the champion to the outside. Veit follows him outside with chops, but Gunns just throws him back inside, where an attempt at a hanging armbar’s countered into a choke by Müller. Another atomic drop sends Gunns sailing to the outside, where again he’s followed out by Müller, who cracked him with some European uppercuts.

Returning to the ring, Müller keeps up with the uppercuts, before he lifted Gunns onto the apron… but that just allowed the champion to come in with some arm breakers before he hung the arm up onto the top rope. Following that, Gunns wrestled Müller down with a backslide before he stomped on the arm, following in with an attempt at the Swish armbar. Veit borrows WALTER’s “tap twice” thing before they end up in the ropes, but Gunns doesn’t let up too much.

Kicks trap Müller in the corner, before Gunns went back to torquing the arm to the mat ahead of a stomp. It’s quickly becoming one-way traffic, but Müller begins to fight back with some body blows and European uppercuts, only for Gunns to crawl underneath and stretch him with an Octopus hold. Müller escapes and uses a Dragon screw to put Gunns down, before Bobby tried to leap on him… and got caught into a press slam for good measure.

A rear naked choke looked to follow, but Gunns got to the ropes… so Müller slaps the arms away for a butterfly suplex as he began to build up a head of steam. Out of nowhere, Gunns rolls Müller back to the mat as he looked for a cross armbreaker, but Veit rolls him up for a near-fall before Gunns used an O’Connor roll to try and get back in. It backfires as Müller traps him in a rear naked choke… but again Gunns tries to go to the fingers to break his way free.

Gunns stops to celebrate and gets caught again, but Müller is caught with a jawbreaker as the champion got free, only for Veit to land a uranage out of nowhere for a near-fall. European uppercuts from Gunns just prompt Veit into throwing some cross-chops, before Gunns went back in with a German suplex… but Veit’s back up with a response, only for Gunns to keep him down with a second German suplex.

A shotgun dropkick from Gunns keeps him ahead, as he climbs up top… but his double-sledge off the top is swatted away with another European uppercut. Gunns replies in kind, before he chopped Müller in the corner, but Müller leaps onto the apron and looked to go airborne with his response, only for Gunns to hit the ropes and crotch him. A superplex brings Müller down, followed by another German suplex as Gunns looked ready to finish him off. One more German suplex with a bridge gets a near-fall as the “Veit Müller, Veit” chants grew, but Gunns just flips off Hamburg then shoved his crotch in Veit’s face.

Yeah, that’ll piss off anyone.

Veit Hulks up, knocking Gunns down with right hands and a back body drop out of the corner. A suplex keeps Gunns down, but as Müller looked for another rear naked choke, Gunns surprises him with a small package and that’s enough for the win. Massively out of nowhere, which kind of fits in with the more underhanded Gunns we’ve been seeing lately, that result had some of the crowd throwing their empty cups in the ring… but let’s be realistic, while the location was right, this wasn’t the time for Müller to be anywhere near winning the title. As for the match, well, his felt like it had some issues clicking at times. Veit will get more chances at the title, but this just wasn’t his moment. Whether he ends up getting back at Timothy Thatcher during his shot next month… we’ll have to see. ***½

After the match, Müller offers a handshake as the crowd chanted “bullshit”… and of course, Bobby refuses, flipping off Veit before heading to the back.

Helped by a massively-partisan crowd in the main event, FAN was an enjoyable, easy show to watch. The crowning of new tag team and Shotgun champions will please certain sections of the fan base, while also completely changing the picture for next month’s World Tag Team Festival. There’s one show left for VOD watchers before that big weekender – and it drops this Friday as we see the Road to World Tag Team Festival from Neumünster, where WALTER & Ilja get their rematch at the tag team titles – which should clear up what happens with them in the weekender.

Speaking of, with only Neumünster left, I get why they repackaged RISE here – with Pete Bouncer missing Shortcut to the Top, I’d imagine the first part of the story would have been played out there, but at least they managed to tell the story in front of a crowd, rather than do all of this via social media. That being said, I’m more than curious as to whether the whole Schadenfreude thing has been dropped – given we’ve had little interaction between Lucky Kid and the rest of the group on recent shows… or has the focus moved to splitting up and rebranding RISE?