CZW comes to play once again with wXw as the day after Drive of Champions saw a lot of unfamiliar faces… and a farewell for Tempesta.
Levaniel pinned Richard King in 8:22 (**¾)
Boom Harden pinned Danny Fray in 5:44 (**¼)
Nick Schreier pinned Massimo Pesca in 6:43 to retain the wXw Academy Championship (***)
Fast Time Moodo pinned Griffin McCoy in 10:05 (***¼)
Anil Marik & Elijah Blum pinned Vinny Talotta & Mike Walker in 8:59 (***)
JC Storm pinned Michelle Green in 5:08 (**½)
Laurance Roman pinned Michael Mistretta in 8:47 to retain the wXw Shotgun Championship (***¼)
Michael Knight pinned Isaiah Wolf in 7:40 (***)
Devlyn Macabre pinned Ruthless Lala in 4:36 (**½)
Peter Tihanyi vs. The Rotation ended in a no-contest in 1:18
The Rotation & Peter Tihanyi pinned Vinny Talotta & Mike Walker in 7:09 (***)
Norman Harras pinned Matt Quay in 7:08 (***)
Eran Ashe pinned Aeron in 4:42 (**½)
Bobby Gunns pinned Tempesta in 16:29 (***½)
We’re at the Alma Park Fight Club in Gelsenkirchen – the home of the wXw Wrestling Academy – for this latest batch of matches from June’s Fight Forever tapings. Dave Bradshaw’s on English commentary…
Levaniel vs. Richard King
King was one of the CZW crew who were training with wXw in June… it’ll be a pattern on this show!
A posedown at the start of the match didn’t win many fans for King, who proceeded to ground Levaniel with a bridging hammerlock. We’ve headlock takedowns and headscissor escapes before Levaniel returned with a bodyslam, adding an elbow drop for good measure. King’s suplexed from the apron back into the ring by Levaniel, but he recovers by pulling Levaniel into the ropes before taking him into the corners. A back elbow from King gets him a two-count, as he proceeded to stay on Levaniel… at least until the former champion scored with a spinning heel kick.
Levaniel adds a DDT to that for a two-count, before King struck back with a Chimera – a springboard cutter – almost winning in the process. A German suplex from King’s shrugged off as Levaniel returned with a discus lariat, then the Galactic Facecrusher for the win. **¾
Boom Harden vs. Danny Fray
Harden’s another of the CZW crew making his wXw debut here.
Fray pushes Harden back into the corner from the opening lock-up, before a single-handed knuckle lock was headbutted away by Boom. A side headlock from Fray keeps Harden restrained, while shoulder blocks took Harden into the corner before Boom fought back by chop blocking Fray’s knee. Harden stays on that leg, working on it in the ropes ahead of an Indian deathlock that almost pinned Fray. The hold’s fought out of by Fray, who made a comeback with a series of right hands and a spinning sidewalk slam for a near-fall, before Harden came back with a Buck Fifty – a slingshot stunner through the ropes – for the win. **½
wXw Academy Championship: Massimo Pesca vs. Nick Schreier (c)
This was Schreier’s first defence of the title he won back in May…
We open with wristlocks going back-and-forth, before Schreier found a way through with a dropkick. He boots Pesca out of the corner as a missile dropkick picks up a two-count, before Pesca caught a leapfrog and turned it into a death valley driver for a two-count of his own. An Octopus stretch from Pesca catches Schreier in the middle of the ring, but Schreier’s able to make it to the ropes… only to get thrown aside as a kick and a Mouse Trap pin almost got the win. The Italian stays on Schreier with a grounded Octopus, before Schreier broke free and scored with a pop-up dropkick.
Clotheslines from Schreier see him push ahead, as did a wheelbarrow bulldog, but Pesca’s not done yet as a snapmare driver nearly puts away Schreier. Pesca’s not able to stay on Schreier though, as the champion fought back with a backslide for a near-fall, before he found his Destino for the win. ***
Griffin McCoy vs. Fast Time Moodo
I’m old enough to remember when McCoy was Young, Dumb and Broke… now he’s a Top Guy.
After McCoy got a literal translation of “auf die Fresse” we got going with the pair trading wristlocks and escapes. Moodo’s side headlock is countered in kind as they go to ground, before McCoy slapped Moodo in the corner. Not a good idea, you’d think… McCoy takes Moodo back to the corner, but another cheapshot misses as Moodo swung in retaliation with a head kick. It’s ducked as Moodo instead went to work on McCoy’s arm, leading to a hiptoss and some headscissors before a side headlock kept the American down to a knee. Moodo’s caught with an atomic drop as McCoy fought his way back in, chopping Moodo into the corner before Moodo fought back with a chop of his own.
A back elbow from McCoy knocks Moodo down after he’d absorbed some kicks. It leads to a standing ten-count for Moodo, which he narrowly beat as he peppered McCoy with some kicks into the corner, leading to a sliding punch and a double stomp to the doubled-over McCoy. Moodo’s roundhouse nearly gets him the win, but McCoy’s eventually back with a clothesline as things remained even. A ‘rana from Moodo counters a powerbomb as he proceeded to waffle McCoy with a knee strike… then land a Made in Japan for a near-fall. McCoy’s able to return once more with a hesitation dropkick and a sitout powerbomb, but Moodo’s resolute and kicks out before he was forced to absorb some kicks from McCoy.
Firing back, Moodo returns the favour as they go back-and-forth until a leaping knee from McCoy looked to set up for a springboard kick… only for Moodo to cut him off with a Black Belt Kick for the win. This was an enjoyable back-and-forth match as McCoy caused Moodo plenty of problems – I wouldn’t be shocked if he was brought back for another tour down the line… ***¼
We’re interrupted before the next match as Robin Christopher Fohrwerk – although he doesn’t mind if you forget his surname – comes out. He’s claiming responsibility for flying in the team of Milke Walker and Vinny Talotta for the next match, as he reckons they’ll go far in wrestling.
Post Game (Mike Walker & Vinny Talotta) vs. Elijah Blum & Anil Marik
Blum and Marik were accompanied to ringside by the Rotation…
Talotta and Marik start us off, with Talotta scoring with shoulder tackles early on before a dropkick from Maik took Talotta into the corner. A Slingblade follows as Talotta scurries out to tag in Walker… who just ran into an armdrag after some pickiness over the tag was sorted out. Blum’s in next as he and Marik score with a double dropkick to Walker, before Marik came back in with a double sledge to the arm. Post Game double-team Marik in the ropes before Blum saved Marik from a double-team suplex… and hit his part of a double dropkick to take Post Game outside.
Rainer Ringer continues to enforce legal tags, but that argument allows Walker to rake the eyes as Post Game continued their double-teaming. Quick tags keep Marik isolated as Talotta and Walker keep him in their corner ahead of a nice Blockbuster from Walker for a near-fall. Marik low bridges Talotta… but Vinny’s able to pull Blum off the apron to prevent a tag out being made as Post Game maintained their upper hand. Eventually Marik’s able to break free of Post Game as he rolled through and tagged in Blum who runs wild with neckbreakers. Talotta’s wiped out with a crossbody by Blum, before Walker escaped a Parting Gift and handed Blum off for a pop-up powerbomb.
Marik takes care of Walker with a Cactus clothesline to take them both outside… Fohrwerk’s up on the apron to distract, but the Rotation’s in to stop Talotta using Fohrwerk’s stick as a weapon. Blum hits back with a shotgun dropkick from there, before Marik tagged himself in to get the win with a Codebreaker. ***
Michelle Green vs. JC Storm
Green didn’t look too impressed with Storm’s colour-changing cloud…
Green backed Storm into the corner to start, before a trip into the ropes saw Storm come back with armdrags. Green catches Storm between the ropes with a knee strike, before a neckbreaker led her to an eventual one-count. Some trash-talking allowed Storm to make a comeback as she tripped Green into the ropes, but another turnaround allows Green back in with a clothesline to the back for a two-count.
A chinlock keeps Storm down, but JC fights back, taking Green into the corners for some splashes ahead of a ripcorded reverse STO for a near-fall. Storm’s chop rings around the venue, before Green sidestepped a spear and got a two-count with a roll-up in the ropes. Storm escapes what looked like a Roll the Dice, then charged back off the ropes with a spear for the win. **½
wXw Shotgun Championship: Michael Mistretta vs. Laurance Roman (c)
We’re running with the usual 15-minute time limit here as Mistretta bagged himself a title shot…
Mistretta looked to work over Roman’s arm early on, as the early going ended saw Roman head to the ropes as he looked to force some separation. A waistlock takedown has Mistretta down, but the challenger’s able to apply a side headlock before he cut off Roman with an armdrag. Roman’s left arm remained the focus ahead of a hammerlock’d STO for a two-count, but the champion then sidesteps some running knees into the corner before he dropkicked Mistretta to the outside. Back inside, Mistretta remained on the back foot as Roman continued to control proceedings, using an Irish whip to bounce the challenger into the turnbuckles.
A back body drop flings Mistretta skyward for a two-count, before Mistretta kicked away a second back body drop… only to be met with a bicycle kick moments later as Roman stayed on him. Mistretta manages to launch a sustained comeback as he took Roman into the corner for some kicks, while a pull-up Saito suplex out of the corner dragged Roman into a near-fall. Out of nowhere, Roman snapped back with a swinging reverse STO for a near-fall, before Mistretta countered a facebuster. Uppercuts and a clothesline to the back of the head looked to make an opening as a Tim Thatcher-esque rebound belly-to-belly took Roman down ahead of an overhead armbar, but that ends as he pulled Mistretta into the ropes. From there, an enziguiri and a facebuster lands, and that’s enough for Roman to retain a match that wasn’t quite smooth sailing! ***¼
Michael Knight vs. Isaiah Wolf
This was Knight’s first match since winning the tag titles the prior night, and he’s forced to defend a wristlock early on from Wolf.
Knight grabs a side headlock as they went back-and-forth on the mat, ahead of an attempted Wolf hiptoss that ended up as a wheelbarrow bulldog from Knight. A dropkick takes Wolf outside ahead of a wild tope into the crowd, before Wolf used referee Tassilo Jung to send Knight crashing and burning back into the ring mid-springboard.
A double stomp from Wolf gets him a two-count as he continued to wear down Knight with body shots. Eventually, a springboard sunset flip gets Knight back in it, but Wolf’s right back on him with a step-up knee strike before Knight responded with a Flatliner into the buckles. Pushing on, Knight hits the springboard clothesline before Wolf stopped him in his tracks with a wacky pumphandle spin-out facebuster. I’ve no clue how else to describe it… Wolf gets a near-fall from that as he proceeded to ground Knight with a waistlock… it’s elbowed out of as Knight eventually returned with some Sliced Bread for the win. This was a nice pacy match, with Wolf looking good – but Knight’s experience was too much for him in the end. ***
They open this one up with clips from Drive of Champions fo Ruthless Lala and Devlyn Macabre not exactly being on the same page during that pre-show trios match…
Ruthless Lala vs. Devlyn Macabre
There’s some jaw-jacking at the bell as Lala and Macabre litigated the prior evening’s events… it broke down into the pair trading blows, which Lala won out on. Macabre’s thrown onto the apron, but she’s able to catch Lala with a knee through the ropes… Lala returns the favour with a forearm and a neat back senton back inside, but doesn’t go for the cover as she instead opted to wear down Macabre with a waistlock.
Lala’s backbreaker stretch keeps Macabre in trouble, but Devlyn’s able to counter back with a drop toe hold into the ropes, then some knees to the back of Lala. That’s added to with a hip attack in the corner, then a face-washing knee, before Lala stuck Macabre with a big ol’ lariat. Unable to capitalise, Lala gets back to her feet as Macabre beats her to the punch, landing a Sole Driver – think Jeff Jarrett’s Stroke – for the win. Short, but good while it lasted. **½
The Rotation vs. Peter Tihanyi
On paper, this match stood out like an odd one for a Fight Forever taping… but commentary painted this as something of a chance for Rotation to shift some ring rust.
Except things didn’t last too long – the pacey opener with leg sweeps and kip ups led to a stand-off, before Robin Christopher Fohrberg came out to interrupt with a broken mic to complain about how Rotation broke his cane earlier. It’s a cover for Post Game to attack the pair from behind, and that’s a no-contest, which leads to…
The Rotation & Peter Tihanyi vs. Post Game (Vinny Talotta & Mike Walker)
We open with Tihanyi blitzing Mike Walker with chops, but a distraction from Talotta allowed a turnaround.
A turnaround that’s quickly quelled by Tihanyi’s side headlock before Rotation came in to try his luck with a roll-up. Rotation stings Talotta with a chop, following with a springboard armdrag and a wacky ‘rana for a near-fall. Tihanyi’s back to keep beating down Talotta, before Fohrberg tried to sneak his cane into the ring. The ref’s distracted by that and misses a tag – allowing Post Game to intervene behind his back as he was remonstrating with the Rotation. More cheapshots from Post Game follow as Rotation was arguing with Tassilo Jung some more, leading to a nice double-team pop-up splash on Tihanyi for a near-fall.
Eventually Tihanyi rolls past Post Game and makes the hot tag out to Rotation, who flew in to clear the ring. He escapes an Overdrive from Walker, before returning with a satellite DDT for a near-fall. Post Game find a way back in with a knee-assisted slam on Rotation, before a blind tag brought in Talotta. Tihanyi and Rotation missed it though as they planted Walker with a double-team Asai DDT. Tihanyi argues with the referee as Talotta came in… but his crack at a cheapshot backfires spectacularly as he’s put away with a Victory Over Gravity in short order. ***
Matt Quay vs. Norman Harras
Quay looks like he’s carved out of stone, right?
Harras is forced to defend a wristlock early on, before Quay took him down with an armdrag. Norman returns the favour with a headlock takedown, but Quay escapes and goes back to the wrist as he again spun Norman down. Quay’s back in with a stalling suplex, then a leaping elbow drop for a two-count, before he chopped Harras into the corner. Lifting Quay onto the apron, Harras knocks the American down to the floor with a kick, before a back body drop back in the ring put Norman back in trouble.
Sidestepping a charge, Harras sends Quay into the corner for stomps and chops, before a Finlay roll and a charging knee to the ribs almost ended things. A snap suplex keeps Norman ahead, as a knee drop added a near-fall to proceedings, before Quay fought back with a leaping clothesline, then a Slingblade for a near-fall of his own. Quay leaps up for a springboard… but Harras evades and came back with a leaping uppercut before a sit-out powerbomb put away the American. A tidy little match, with Quay looking good – one to keep an eye on in the US indies, perhaps? ***
Aeron vs. Eran Ashe
Aeron is a newcomer to the academy, having debuted on the Turbinenhalle Academy show a few weeks back. He may as well be a lamb thrown to the slaughter here, unfortunately…
Ashe throws Aeron aside from the opening lock-up, before he bumped Aeron away from a waistlock attempt. Aeron comes in with some dropkicks as he had Ashe in the ropes, before a crossbody was easily caught and turned into a fallaway slam. Ashe almost looked offended at Aeron’s response, and proceeded to chop him back down to the mat as more clubbering followed on the newcomer. Aeron gets his feet up to block Ashe in the corner, before he tried his luck with some clotheslines and an enziguiri. Ashe remains upright after a missile dropkick, but a satellite DDT finally takes him down for a near-fall before the AMF – a modified Falcon arrow – got the win in what was an extended squishing of Aeron. **½
Tempesta vs. Bobby Gunns
This was billed as Tempesta’s final match before he relocated to Japan to wrestle… and short of just saying it, the beast’s opponent here will be showing him some brotherly love.
Opening with a handshake, Tempesta ended up getting taken into the ropes for a clean break, before he returned the favour. Except he whips Gunns across the ring ahead of a ‘rana into the corner, before he was caught with an O’Connor roll that nearly scored Bobby the win. Tempesta was trying not to get caught in the vortex surrounding Gunns’ recent tag title win as he slowed things down with a knucklelock, before he shoved off a side headlock and caught Bobby with a shoulder tackle. More of those followed as Gunns couldn’t shift him at first, before he finally began to make a habit of charging down the masked Tempesta.
A snap suplex from Tempesta has Gunns down, while a series of charging clotheslines trapped Gunns in the corners. Tempesta grabs Gunns around the throat for a Timothy Thatcher-esque slap, opting instead to throw overhand chops… only to get tricked into taking a snapmare and some kicks to the back from Gunns. More snapmare and kick combos rile up Tempesta, who squared up to Gunns… a PK from Gunns is caught and used as Tempesta hits a lariat, then an Airplane Spin, which ended with Gunns slipping in for a mounted sleeperhold. Tempesta makes it to the ropes, but Gunns sparks an exchange of German suplexes as he looked to stay ahead, before a clothesline from Tempesta left both men down.
Tempesta gets to his feet first and opts to climb up top… but the big flippy boy’s moonsault crashes and burns as Gunns then charged in for an inside cradle that drew a near-fall. Running uppercuts from Gunns keeps Tempesta in the corner, eventually leading to a superplex that brought them both down to earth with a bump. Gunns is able to get a near-fall out of that, but Tempesta’s thrust kicks earned a way back in as he hit a spinning torture rack as he ended up dumping Gunns by the ropes. A superkick cuts off Tempesta’s knee strike, as the pair end up trading blows once again, going back and forth with forearms and clotheslines until Tempesta’s lariat knocked Bobby down for a one-count.
The favour’s returned as Bobby gets a one-count before both men crumpled to the mat. A kip up from Tempesta sees him beat the standing count as sliding elbow strikes to Gunns ended with a roll-up for a near-fall… a German suplex from Tempesta, then that knee strike almost wins it, before Gunns escaped a Fireman’s carry and caught Tempesta with a shotgun dropkick. From there, a headbutt stunned Tempesta ahead of a lariat, before the Ehrenmann Driver and a PK earned Gunns the win to send Tempesta on his way. ***½
Post-match, Gunns and Tempesta hugged as the show came to a close…
Fourteen matches can be a little daunting – but enough of these were kept short enough for these to be a breezy watch – just stick on the playlists on the wXw YouTube and take it all in!