wXw’s third annual Femmes Fatales show was “more than a matinee”, as the promotion brought in the most stacked line-up yet for the one-afternoon tournament.

As is tradition, the show opened with Verena Fischer introducing the field of entrants in this year’s tournament.

First Round: Meiko Satomura vs. Wesna
We’ve a tentative start to this, with both women checking kicks early on, before Wesna cornered Satomura for a chop.

There’s no instant rebuttal though, as Satomura took her time to issue a receipt, before a grounded abdominal stretch forced a near-instant rope break. Wesna keeps it on the mat with some headscissors, which led to another rope break and chops as the Croat kept the pace rather methodical. A trip and a back senton flattens Satomura, eventually getting Wesna a near-fall, prompting a fightback from Meiko, who tried to get the win with an armbar.

Meiko upped the ante there with some stiff kicks as she uncorked her cartwheel kneedrop, getting a near-fall for it, before Wesna almost nicked the win with a Northern Lights suplex. Satomura’s back with a spinning heel kick, but she goes to the well a little too often and gets caught with an Exploder as the match remained finely poised.

Wesna shrugs off a kick to the face and catches Meiko up top for a superplex, but it’s to no avail as Satomura lands a Pele kick and a death valley driver for the win. A nice, perhaps understated match to get us going – and the sight of Alan 4L losing his mind on commentary only added to this! ***½

First Round: Audrey Bride vs. Millie McKenzie
Audrey Bride’s music was not what I was expecting here. Waiting All Night by Rudimental, for those wondering.

Chris Brookes joined the English commentary alongside Alan for this one, and witnessed Millie being the crowd favourite here. Millie keeps it simple early, exchanging hammerlocks as they keep it on the mat, before Millie edged ahead with a snapmare and some kicks for a near-fall.

Bride switches it around though, taking Millie into the corner, decking her with a forearm before scoring a two-count from a legdrop. A Kevin Nash-like boot choke in the corner follows, as Bride started to lay in those stomps, before Millie fired back. A German suplex doesn’t come off, but a spear does for a near-fall, only for a DDT from Bride to nearly bring the match to an end… before Millie hit a trio of German suplexes, bridging the last one for the pin. Decent stuff, although you got the sense Oberhausen wasn’t perhaps as familiar with Audrey as they were Millie – maybe swayed by the travelling contingent? **¾

First Round: Kris Wolf vs. Killer Kelly
Oh my word, Kris Wolf is such a ball of energy – vocalising her theme music… which perhaps was her taking the eye off the ball, given that this was a return to where it all started for Killer Kelly.

Kelly was over Wolf early, taking her down with a waistlock, only for Kris to bite her way out of it eventually. Well, it is meat… Wolf struggles to escape some grounded headscissors, but she’s made to pay as Kelly boots her down with a pump kick for a near-fall. Wolf leaps over Kelly but can’t quite get a German suplex going, so she throws some kicks before eventually nailing a suplex for a near-fall.

An enziguiri sends Wolf to the outside, where she’s able to catch a PK off the apron and turn it into a sweep onto the apron – and we’re fighting around ringside. Back in the ring, Wolf grabs Tito, but referee Rainer Ringer removes it… and we end up with Kris wearing Tito instead and taking a superkick. The Shibata-ish dropkick follows for a near-fall as the crowd roared behind Kelly.

Wolf manages to springboard back in with an impressive clothesline out of the corner, but she ends up leaping off the top rope into Kelly’s feet and finally got the win with the Fisherman’s suplex. This was a good litmus test of just how far Kelly’s gone in the year since she debuted on this same show – and a sign of things to come perhaps? ***

First Round: LuFisto vs. Toni Storm
A rematch from that short-notice WWN Supershow match last year, LuFisto took Toni to the mat early as the former wXw women’s champion was kept grounded.

Storm retaliates by grounding LuFisto with a wristlock, bringing some anguished shrieks, before some misdirection led to a low dropkick from Storm. LuFisto turns it around by kicking Toni in the leg repeatedly, even when she was in the corner, before upgrading those to chops.

Toni mounted a comeback with a flurry of slaps, only for LuFisto to duck and take her down with an ankle lock, eventually forcing a rope break. Not that that mattered, as LuFisto drags Toni into the ring post, wrapping her legs around it as the Canadian looked to be in control… and there’s the writer’s curse as Toni fought back with some big forearm strikes to the head.

We’ve a Strong Zero tease, but LuFisto escapes and applies the Trailer Hitch, forcing another rope break as Toni went into the corner for respite. A hip attack wasn’t smart as Toni gets right back up and comes in with one of her own… and just as it looked like she was about to get the win, Melanie Gray heads out to distract her with the title belt, allowing LuFisto to get the win with a Burning Hammer. Toni’s not repeating this year – and that means she’s got a little further to go for her next title shot. A solid match to wrap up the first round of the tournament – with a nice storyline thread dangled in as we’re bound to get Toni vs. Melanie down the line, right? ***¼

They play the Ilja Dragunov and Bobby Gunns promos from Shotgun 372 – with the news that the World Tag Team League main event was being changed to crown an interim wXw champion after Absolute Andy pulled out with injury.

Semi-Final: Millie McKenzie vs. Meiko Satomura
Oh my… a big test for Millie here.

Satomura instantly trips McKenzie into an armbar/leg stretch combo, and it was a bit of a theme early as Meiko targeted the legs, using an Indian deathlock until Millie got to the ropes. A simple side headlock keeps Millie grounded, and when she is able to escape, it’s right by the ropes… but Satomura doesn’t reach for them, as she instead fought back up from an armbar and nails Millie with a series of mid kicks.

A handstand knee drop gets a near-fall for Satomura, before Millie nailed a snapmare and a PK… ahead of a shotgun-like dropkick for a near-fall on Meiko. Satomura’s right back in with some kicks though, before a DDT hits. Millie avoids the cartwheel knee drop and fights back, trapping Meiko in an Octopus hold, only to fall to the mat as Satomura broke it in the ropes.

Satomura’s right back with a lucha armdrag out of the corner, flowing through into a STF as McKenzie had to drag herself to the ropes… but Meiko misses a splash off the top, before catching Millie’s spear. A second spear connects, but it’s not enough for the win, nor was the Twist and Shout neckbreaker as that gets another near-fall, as Satomura fought her way back in, hauling up Millie for a death valley driver, before forcing a submission with the STF. This took a while to get into gear, but when it did, Millie looked right at home – Satomura makes it to the finals, and given what the other semi-final is, we may have a Mae Young Classic rematch on our hands. ***¼

Semi-Final: LuFisto vs. Killer Kelly
LuFisto’s opted to drop her ring jacket here after Felix Schultz needed to help her undo it for the first round match. Smart move!

LuFisto jumps Kelly before the bell, and it’s all LuFisto early as she chops Kelly in the corner, eventually picking up a one-count from it all. The crowd roars behind Kelly as LuFisto kept her in the corner, before a running pump kick knocked down the Canadian, who rolled outside for cover. A PK on the apron awaited her, before Kelly retained the upper hand back in the ring.

LuFisto pulls up to avoid a Shibata-ish dropkick, instead pulling Kelly into the turnbuckles as she turns it around, until a German suplex takes her back into the corner. That Shibata-ish dropkick follows, as does a Fisherman’s suplex… but LuFisto kicks out at two! In the end, the pair trade strikes, and after a cradle DDT… then a nasty looking sit-out powerbomb, LuFisto takes the win! That’s gone against what I expected, and it mean we have an “outsider” guaranteed to win Femmes Fatales. Kelly’s gone a long way in the last year, but there’s a lot more to do it seems! ***

After intermission, we’re back with the women’s title match – but first, VT, or maybe not…

wXw Women’s Championship: Martina vs. Melanie Gray (c)
This one had roots back at last year’s 17th Anniversary show, where Melanie Gray injured Martina ahead of the wXw women’s championship tournament final… but of course, that didn’t work out as planned for Melanie, who had a little longer to fight before she got “her title”.

Speaking of coming a long way – Melanie Gray’s in a whole ‘nother world from when I first saw her live nearly two years ago as the Disney Diva on wXw’s inaugural London show.

Martina rushes out at Melanie with a lungblower, but she rolls outside for safety… which was a bit of a misnomer, as Melanie took a suplex onto some chairs. There’s a senton onto Martina that connected with a satisfying thud, before they went back inside as Martina almost nicked the win with a roll-up. The challenger keeps up with some clotheslines, only to get caught with a swinging side slam as Gray began to target Martina’s lower back.

Chops follow as Martina was in the ropes, only for a Northern Lights suplex to quickly turn it around as Martina gets a near-fall. A headbutt from Martina helps her on her way to a near-fall, but Gray’s right back in with a Finlay roll and a back senton as the champion almost retained her title right there.

Martina switches it around with a double-springboard Seshbreaker for a near-fall – to her own disbelief – as the crowd got behind her… but she goes to the well one too often, missing a Seshbreaker off the top before a spear from Gray, then the Mella-Dram single-leg crab forced the submission. A rather straightforward win for Gray, who brushed aside Martina with relative ease here. **¾

Final: Meiko Satomura vs. LuFisto
Since they didn’t make it explicit, I’m guessing this isn’t for a shot at the wXw women’s championship down the road.

After the pair charged into each other, we head outside pretty quickly on, with Satomura uncharacteristically brawling with LuFisto around the venue. It looked like LuFisto was edging ahead, but Meiko throws her into the ring post as the brawling continued, with LuFisto being taken into the ring apron then back into the ring as her lower back was quickly targeted.

A curb stomp keeps Satomura down, before the pair ended up on the stage as Meiko refused to let LuFisto run away. LuFisto teases throwing Meiko off the stage, and vice versa, before she instead suplexed the Japanese legend as referee Felix Schultz gave these two a LOT of leeway. They wandered back into the ring as LuFisto picks up a solid two-count, before hanging Meiko in a Tree of Woe ahead of a running kick for another two-count.

The crowd’s getting heavily behind Satomura at this point, and that’s the cue for a comeback as a spinning heel kick turns it around. Satomura blocks some shots and throws some kicks of her own, knocking LuFisto down for a near-fall. There’s a quick turnaround as LuFisto’s inverted death valley driver picks up a two-count, but the Wounded Owl couldn’t keep it going, and when Meiko slipped out of a Burning Hammer, locking in a rear naked choke, the game looked to be up… but LuFisto takes her into the corner to get free.

Only to get booted in the head quickly afterwards as Satomura’s axe kick dropped her to the mat, as the death valley driver gets Satomura the Femmes Fatales tournament win! A great main event considering this was the third match of the day for both – and (subjectively) the best in the tournament took the deserved win. ***½

Femmes Fatales was a nice, compact show – with no matches going long… and perhaps suffering a little bit for it. To be fair, seeing Meiko Satomura three times in one afternoon is spoiling us a little – and I’d rather see three good Meiko matches that one long one that could go either way!

This show is scheduled to drop on wXwNOW on Tuesday – as the slate of World Tag Team League content continues!