David Starr looked to make Timothy Thatcher’s reign as champion a short one as wXw returned to Hamburg.
We open with a recap from the Dresden show and all the necessary stuff that set up today’s card, including the confirmation of Bobby Gunns toughest test in Hamburg yet – as he’ll face Alexander Wolfe. Commentary from the Markthalle comes from Rico Bushido and Andy Jackson.
Avalanche & VollGasteren (Julian Pace & Leon van Gasteren) vs. Oliver Carter & Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura)
VollGasteren are still looking for revenge after the events of the last few months, and we start with some thrown water bottles as Avalanche and Oliver Carter got us going.
Slapping Avalanche early was a bad idea as Carter got clotheslined and thumped in the opening exchanges, with a big splash almost ending things in the opening minute. Tags bring in Pace and Ahura, with Pace going crackers with armdrags, before Maggot came in and met a similar fate. It’s all VollGasteren for a while, as Leon threw some forearms before landing headscissors on Maggot for good measure. Ahura blind-tags in and attacked Leon from behind, but Avalanche is brought back to club down Ahura… only for Ahura to hit back after Avalanche distracted himself with clearing the apron. Carter antagonises the good guys for a bit, as the Bastards worked to isolate Avalanche… until a back body drop helped him free as a tag’s eventually made to Julian Pace.
Julian launches into Carter with a missile dropkick and a standing Spanish Fly as VollGasteren pushed on… there’s a Go 2 Sleep from Leon and a Busaiku knee from Pace, before a superkick-assisted TKO and a nice monkey-flipped Final Lap left Ahura down! Another Final Lap on Carter’s good for a near-fall, before an errant spinning heel kick from Carter wipes out the ref. That sparks a wild six-man brawl, but things calm down as Ahura turned around into an angry Avalanche… who got poked in the eye. Not to worry, Avalanche turns the tables with a fallaway slam on Maggot, before Jay Skillet came in with a missile dropkick. That’s a new Mister Man on his t-shirt…is that Mister Accepts His Fate? Absolute Andy’s here too, as Avalanche is dragged to the stage, but Veit Müller saves Avalanche from an A-5 on the stage.
They all brawl to the back, where we see Veit and Jay brawling around Karsten Beck… he’s mad he didn’t get to see that four-way last week in Dresden, so he books it again in Oberhausen for the 19th Anniversary show. Meanwhile, Avalanche is trying to get back to wrestle the rest of the match, where Carter hits a moonsault on top of the Bastards’ FFM… and that’s enough to get the Bastards the win. A wacky blend of a brawl, a segment and a match, which is definitely different. The match itself was alright, but yet again the Bastards win the numbers game. **¾
They replay Skye Smitson’s arrival in wXw, and her beatings of Killer Kelly…
Skye Smitson vs. Killer Kelly
Skye gets her match after a few weeks… but Hamburg don’t seem to know who she is.
Kelly punts Skye early on, taking her outside… then joins her on the floor with a Cristiano apron PK. Back inside, Skye’s able to catch Kelly out, taking her into the ropes for some cheap shots, before some clubbing forearms kept Kelly on her knees. A cravat follows, as Skye dipped into Kelly’s own playbook, before stomping on Kelly’s foot ahead of a standing suplex for a near-fall.
Skye stays on top of Kelly with some palm strikes, but eventually Kelly caught some and landed some capture headbutts, then a butterfly suplex to take over. Those leave Skye in the corner, with the Shibata-ish dropkick following, before the bridging German suplex got a near-fall. Kelly tries for Vale de Morte, but has to make do with a front kick before finally landing Vale de Morte for the win. A decent but brief outing, with Skye showing a lot of aggression, but this win for Kelly may well set her up for title contention in the new year. **½
We recap the adventures of Jurn Simmons and the Rotation over the last few weeks… and how we’re getting to today’s rematch.
Alexander James & Tyler Colton vs. Jurn Simmons & The Rotation
James is still getting the “princess” chants, and of course there’s some ill feeling here.
Rotation and Colton start us off, but Rotation just bounced off the Canadian as he was finding his usual stuff wasn’t having any effect… so he unleashes with a ‘rana and a dropkick to take Colton outside. James gets pulled into the ring by Rotation, who goes for another ‘rana, then a springboard armdrag as Colton returned to the ring. Jurn tags in and flips off Colton as we had a mini posedown, all while Simmons no-sold James on the apron. James tagged himself in, but he wasn’t holding the tag rope as Tass was backing JR’s version of tag team rules, so we saw a Test of Strength between the hosses, ending when Colton cheapshotted with a knee to the gut. Now in comes James, who busted out the Garvin stomps, before Colton returned to trade chops with Jurn.
James is back to throw punches, then work over the arm as he tried to pop the shoulder, before he opted for some more strikes. A suplex from Jurn got himself free, before tags brought Colton and Rotation back in, with the latter having to stick and move again. A double-jump missile dropkick’s enough for a two-count as Colton powers out, but a lariat just decks the Rotation, leaving him prone for James to work over his wrist and decimate Rotation. An attempted fight back is pushed away, before an enziguiri got Rotation free… and here comes Jurn again! Clotheslines wait for James, who then got press slammed… but Jurn drops him so he could hurk up Colton! Jurn goes for a powerbomb, but James breaks it up… only to get caught in a Brutaliser as Colton was forced to pull Jurn out to break that up. I popped.
The hosses brawl around ringside, leading to Rotation to hit a step-up flip senton into the Canadian. Back inside, Jurn knees James into the corner, only for Alexander to get free and hit some elbows… a boot awaited the American, before a double clothesline left both men on the deck. They’re back up to trade more shots, before Tyler Colton came in to break it up from behind. Rotation low-bridges James outside to save Jurn from a Hart Attack, before slamming Colton as Rotation teased a flip… but he’s shoved down to the floor as the Hart Attack followed for a near-fall. Jurn’s held up as Blood Eagle’s teased, but Rotation’s back to pull James outside as the hosses went back to it.
There’s a GODDAMN spear from Jurn to Colton, before Rotation pulled out a pair of Kendo sticks… but Colton cuts off Jurn before James brought the sticks into the ring. Rotation makes a save, but gets wrecked with a proper Judas Effect, as James and Jurn got the Kendo sticks… and used them in stereo for the double DQ. Again, I’d usually be mad at a finish like this, but this hit my soft spot for a flippy hoss match, and I loved every second of this. Even if it seems they may need to go some to drag out the blood feud finale until Carat… ***½
Cue a video package recapping Lucky Kid’s flirtation with Schadenfreude, Pete Bouncer’s jealousy and the eventual demise of RISE…
Pete Bouncer vs. Lucky Kid
Ivan Kiev’s banned from the building here, as Lucky Kid sought to put the Purge Club behind him.
Lucky’s bouncing around, and gets in Bouncer’s face right before the bell, but Pete throws him around easily to begin with, before some right hands had Lucky rocked. A clothesline took Bouncer outside ahead of a pescado, as the pair brawled for a spell, leading to Lucky taking a back suplex on the apron. A Flatliner from Lucky took Bouncer into the ring post, as Lucky continued to unload on Bouncer, taking him around the Markthalle. Bouncer turns it around, pulling Lucky into the ring post, before a 619 on the apron saw Lucky regain the advantage, albeit briefly. Bouncer leaps over a low dropkick and stomps over Lucky’s knee, but the low dropkicks finally land as Lucky took Bouncer outside for a tope con giro.
Bouncer kicks Lucky’s leg out again as he found his target… Lucky elbows out of a fireman’s carry, hammering down Bouncer with elbows, but Pete’s back with a back body drop before Lucky’s handspring back elbow was countered into a full nelson slam. Another one follows, then another, as Bouncer was spamming that move, but Lucky still kicks out! Lucky chases in with a small package for a near-fall, before he slipped out of a superplex and hit a powerbomb for another near-fall. From the kick-out, Lucky rolls Bouncer into the Lucky Lock, then rolled Pete back into the middle of the ring… but Pete just passes out rather than taps, as the referee’s forced to wave it off. Not exactly a blow-away win, but a convincing result as Lucky Kid’s hopefully put the Purge Club behind him. For now… ***¼
After the match, Lucky tells the camera he’s ready for Kassius Ohno…
They then announced Dead End XIX for February 21… featuring Jordan Devlin. It’ll be Jordan’s first wXw outing in over a decade. I’m not kidding.
wXw Women’s Championship: Little Miss Roxxy vs. Valkyrie vs. Amale (c)
The second half starts with a three-way for the women’s title – and Valkyrie looks to be the favourite in Hamburg.
All three women circle each other from the off, as Amale’s attempt to roll-up Roxxy was stopped by Valkyrie. The challengers worked well to take Amale outside with a redirected kick, before they went at each other with armdrags and a hiptoss attempt that Valkyrie cartwheeled out of. Roxxy’s satellite DDT plants Valkyrie, as Amale returned to stop the momentum, catching Roxxy on the top rope before press slamming her onto Valkyrie. That looked BRUTAL. It’s good for some near-falls though, as Amale tried to push on… but Roxxy kicks back before she was whipped into the corner. A face-washing kick followed from the champion for a two-count. Valkyrie got similar treatment, before she fought back with a sweet Pele kick that almost won her the belt… only for Roxxy’s leaping knees to break it up.
Amale’s right back with a huge shotgun dropkick before Roxxy hit a sunset bomb onto Valkyrie in the corner as everyone was stealing pins again. Roxxy’s wheelbarrow stomp squashes Amale, before Valkyrie scored off the top rope with her Death Note flying axe kick to Roxxy… only to get tossed outside as Amale proceeded to steal the pin. A wild finish to a hectic three-way… but I’d not be against seeing Valkyrie and Roxxy one-on-one somewhere down the line. ***
They play a video package for Robbie Brookside, who’ll be entering the wXw Hall of Fame in Oberhausen later this month…
Bobby Gunns vs. Alexander Wolfe
As ever, Bobby’s popular in Hamburg, as Alexander Wolfe was having all of the city behind him, hoping to shut up the Bremener.
Wolfe starts by taking Gunns to the mat, as they scrambled for a hold early on, but neither man managed to get much in. They continue to jockey, but still no advantage was gained as Gunns instead offered a handshake… and of course it’s leading to a cheapshot as he punched Wolfe in the face. Gunns took Wolfe down and stomped his elbow, before going to celebrate as the NXT UK star suddenly developed a target on his left arm. Commentary ponders Gunns’ own arm injury, going by the KT tape he was sporting, but it didn’t seem to stop the former wXw champion from taking Wolfe into the ropes for an uppercut. Wolfe replies by throwing Gunns outside, but he’s quickly caught with a hanging armbar in the ropes as Gunns resolutely stayed on the arm, in spite of Wolfe’s uppercuts.
Wolfe manages to get back into it with a sweet dropkick, but Gunns goes back to the arm, before he leapt into another uppercut. A suplex gets Wolfe a near-fall, as did a flying clothesline from the former Axeman… who then hit a bridging German, despite having his fingers snapped. Dragon screws take Wolfe into the corner as the crowd remained hot, with Gunns going back to the arm ahead of a diving punch to the arm. A running guillotine’s next from Gunns, but Wolfe powers up and broke his way free with a brainbuster. Back-and-forth uppercuts follow, but Wolfe pulls ahead before he got caught with a Swish armbar, which almost backfired as Wolfe’s roll-up nearly broke the streak. From the kick-out, Gunns goes back to the arm, before he dropped Wolfe with a German suplex… Wolfe’s back with a death valley driver, but it’s still not enough, as Gunns fought back with another armbar in the ropes, before he got caught up top with a superplex.
The crowd rises to their feet as Gunns and Wolfe slugged it out some more, but Gunns goes back to the arm, then to the fingers as Wolfe ended up taking another PK, then an Emerald Fusion… and that’s it! As decisive as they come, as Bobby Gunns’ almost three-year winning run continues… and this was a low-key banger of a match. Gunns raised his game big time here, and got back on track after failing to beat Tim Thatcher last time out. ****
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: David Starr vs. Timothy Thatcher (c)
David Starr’s path to antagonise WALTER and Ilja Dragunov took a diversion thanks to Karsten Beck granting this title shot…
But first, Bobby Gunns interrupts as he tried to interject himself into the title match as a makeshift ring announcer. Thommi’s better. At least he doesn’t bait Michael Buffer’s lawyers before he was sent packing. We got going with Starr trying to take down Thatcher, but the champion’s more than even as the initial exchanges led to a one-count for Starr. Starr’s back with a takedown as he went back to his amateur wrestling days, but Thatcher turns it into a striking exchange, dropping Starr with a European uppercut instead.
Starr’s chops keep the strikes going, as did an elbow to the head, before a Pretty Pumped put Thatcher on the mat. Kicks keep Thatcher in the corner, but Timo’s back with the old RINGKAMPF belly-to-belly, getting him just a one-count, before Thatcher looked to go to Starr’s arm, tweaking it ahead of an armbar, then rolling down to the mat as Starr tried to go for a slam. Thatcher throws some forearms and knees as Starr was in the ropes, helping him readjust into an armbar, but Starr got free and worked into an inverted STF, torquing Thatcher, who fought free, before Starr went into a toehold. Starr’s caught up top, but he pushes Thatcher away before he leapt into an uppercut for a near-fall, as Thatcher began to take over. A half crab has Starr in trouble, but he’s right back up with Okada’s neckbreaker slam to stun the champion.
Chops from Starr follow, but an enziguiri comes as a quick reply, before Thatcher kicked out of a Northern lights suplex, keeping the butterflied arms for as long as he could. More strikes see Starr dive into a knee before a butterfly suplex nearly put him away, before Starr brutally dropped Thatcher with a Blackheart Buster. Thatcher rolls outside, as Starr joined him with a tope, before a lariat back inside was swiped away with Thatcher going for a Fujiwara armbar. Starr rolls up and swiftly lands a trapped-arm Bob Fossil piledriver as he kept trying to compress the champion’s neck, before Bobby Gunns appeared to try and distract… and it kinda works as Starr fell for it, and got caught with a rear naked choke by Thatcher. The Bret Hart escape works, sort-of, before Thatcher rolled Starr down to the mat in an armbar, before the seatbelt cradle earned him the win! A cracker of a wrestling match, with David Starr on course for the win before Bobby Gunns caused the distraction. ****¼
The show ends with Thatcher heading backstage, immediately apologising to a disconsolate Starr backstage. Gunns is there to gloat as all three are screaming at each other, which led to Thatcher issuing a challenge for the 19th Anniversary show: he’ll defend against Starr and Gunns!
The better of the two Road-to shows, at least in terms of the bell-to-bell, das Powercrowd made for an easy card to watch, while the action neatly progressed storylines heading into the 19th Anniversary show. Sure, only having four matches confirmed by the end of this card is a little disconcerting, and I’d like to have seen something more concrete in terms of what’s next for the wXw tag titles and that Jurn/James feud, but things are simmering away nicely for wXw’s end-of-year spectacular.