wXw returned to Bielefeld as the road from World Tag Team Festival became the road to Broken Rules!
We open with a recap from the World Tag Team Festival, and Timothy Thatcher winning the big one… hey Joao and the Irish! That’s followed by the shock in the tournament finals, with Bobby Gunns and Norman Harras helping the Pretty Bastards become wXw world tag team champions. We’re coming from the Forum in Bielefeld, with German Arn on one of the first sights as Thommi Giesen welcomed everyone in German. Commentary comes from Andy Jackson.
wXw Women’s Championship: Killer Kelly vs. Amale (c)
They’ve kept the Parade of Champions videos that were debuted over World Tag Team Festival weekend…
We start with Kelly frustrating Amale, as the champion needed to pull the hair to try and escape a headlock… it doesn’t work, mind you, as Amale ended up in the ropes to break up a deathlock. Cue a quizzical eyebrow as Kelly goes in again, this time defending a headlock takedown, but when Kelly got some headscissors in, Amale scurries to the ropes as she could give it… but didn’t want to take none.
Kelly tries to go for an armbar, but instead grabs a cravat throwing in some knees ahead of a running bicycle kick that had Amale again rolling outside for cover. Not to worry, Kelly meets her there with the Ronaldo PK, but Amale gets back into the ring first and surprises Kelly with a DDT on the apron. Some mounted punches on the mat get Amale a two-count, before she whipped Kelly into the corner ahead of a shotgun dropkick. That’s good for another near-fall, as was a clothesline, but Kelly begins a comeback with some short-arm clotheslines, following in with capture headbutts and a butterfly suplex into the corner. The Shades of Shibata follows in the corner, before Amale clung to the ropes to delay a German suplex… which was hit for a near-fall.
A sunset flip nearly gets Amale the win, before she landed a German suplex and a Champion’s Maker out of nowhere for the decisive win that left Andy speechless. As decisive as you’ll get, and perhaps a sign for the immediate futures of both women… or just something to put steam behind Amale as she’ll be in line to defend against Meiko Satomura in December? ***
After the match, Amale quickly exited as Kelly hung back… and got attacked by a debuting Skye Smitson! One Cross Rhodes later, and Skye left Kelly laying, as she answered those “who are you?” chants with some aplomb. I wonder if she’ll throw many dropkicks here… Skye has a vignette straight after, introducing herself as a “hard hitting, evil piece of work”. What, not the Queen of Dropkicks? She namedrops Little Miss Roxxy, so expect those two to be paired off when the Geordie debuts in wXw soon.
Backstage, Andy Jackson’s with Killer Kelly… who demands that Karsten Beck books her against Skye. We flash to Karsten who’s cheerleading Amale elsewhere, as Amale complains about defending her belt so much. She demands her beauty sleep, and Beck says “I know what you need”. Amale dry heaves…
Another flash cut takes us to Rotation and Julian Pace outside the arena. Hey, wasn’t this the venue where Prince Ahura got cocky with a flash car earlier in the year? Anyway, they’re interrupted by Jurn Simmons, and neither of them say hi to him. Aw.
Goldenboy Santos vs. Jurn Simmons
Bielefeld’s picked up on Santos’ similar look to Julian Nero. Meanwhile, Jurn has new music that’s almost like he’s going back to the old old days of Slickfist. Just without the dancing.
Santos jumps Jurn at the bell, but the Dutchman pushes him away in the corner ahead of a suplex throw and a press slam. Jurn looks for a piledriver, but Santos scurries away as he returns with a clothesline for a near-fall, before a spinebuster and a Batista bomb got Jurn the win. Very decisive, very squashy. **
We then cut to after the World Tag Team Festival when Norman Harras confronted Timothy Thatcher backstage. It’s a set-up as the Pretty Bastards and Bobby Gunns throw an empty box at Timo, a la WWE Raw 2 on the old Xbox, then beat him up as it looks like Bobby’s hired help will look to get him his belt back on November 23.
We’ve got a group Smoking Break next, as Bobby Gunns talks about butchering legends. He introduces himself and his mates as the new generation of wXw. Gunns reiterates he’s getting his rematch at Road to 19th Anniversary in Dresden, and hints at going for Thatcher’s eye again.
Norman Harras vs. Oliver Carter
Norman gets a bit of a mixed reaction, and he’s “looking down on us all”.
Harras starts by taking down Carter, but the Ghanian responds in kind, before a diving European uppercut and a suplex kept Harras ahead. Carter responds by clotheslining Harras to the outside, forcing Norman to beg off… he returns and drops Carter with a scoop slam, then with a slam and an elbow drop as Harras was ticking the boxes.
Carter fights back with chops and forearms, but Harras cuts him off, throwing him outside as he kept the pace slow. A Boston crab follows, only for Harras to let go so he could stomp Carter in the back, then drive a knee into the ribs. Chops follow in the corner, before Carter hit an enziguiri and a crossbody… but he’s caught as Harras again turns it into a slam for a near-fall.
Harras goes for another slam, but Carter gets free, clipping away the legs before a rewind enziguiri found its mark. The comeback continues with clotheslines, before a forearm from Harras led to a powerbomb attempt… that Carter flipped out of. A twisting DDT nearly got Carter the win out of nowhere, which prompts Harras to fight back with a German suplex and a running boot, before a lariat spun Carter to the mat for a near-fall. It’s back to the powerbomb, but Carter again slips out, taking Harras into the corner for a spinning heel kick before a One Winged Ushigoroshi (awaiting a better name) gets the win. This was aggressively fine – Norman Harras just needs time to find his feet as a bad guy. Remember this was only his first match after the turn, and while his in-ring was alright, in spite of some rough moments with Carter, there’s a lot of work to be done in developing the character. **¾
The Pretty Bastards hit the ring afterwards to console Harras… but they’re interrupted by Julian Pace and Leon van Gasteren. Remember the attacks that ruled them out of World Tag Team Festival? The crowd remember Leon’s old music and sing it, which doesn’t raise Julian’s spirits. He’s mad that the Pretty Bastards didn’t pick up the phone or text him back, before he turned his focus onto Harras, calling him a turncoat.
Prince Ahura brags about cheating to win the titles… and rubs it in Pace’s face by saying that he’s won nothing despite being around longer. Ahura tries to soften the blow, before the crowd drowned him out by singing Leon’s old song. Out of nowhere, Oliver Carter comes out with his phone, which has something incriminating on it…
They replay the video of Julian Pace getting attacked… and they focus on the Pretty Bastards holding the door open for the mystery man. I KNEW IT! That’s enough to piss off Leon, as the Pretty Bastards suddenly got evasive as he tore strips off them. Leon’s beside himself as he leaves the ring, as it was up to Oliver Carter to calm down Pace…
We’ve highlights of the Purge Club at World Tag Team Festival – and how Lucky Kid’s distraction caused their elimination… then how the Purge Club laid waste to Lucky later in the weekend. That segues into a Purge Club promo, bragging about how they’ve put away Schadenfreude… which turned into a challenge for a baseball bat on a pole match against Lucky Kid at Broken Rules. Insert your favourite Vince Russo joke here!
Daniel Sparks & P∀RIS vs. Purge Club (Ivan Kiev & Pete Bouncer)
These two are Academy show regulars, and I fear for them here…
There’s a bunch of fans chanting “Purge”, which baffles me… and we start with Sparks getting booted in the gut. Knees to the midsection keep Sparks at bay, before he’s ragdolled into a full nelson slam. Ivan Kiev’s in for a scissor kick/sidewalk slam combo, following in with a dropkick and a kip up for good effect. P∀RIS is in for some ground and pound, then a suplex for a near-fall… but the eventually Purge Club surround P∀RIS. He tries to fight back, but the numbers game is too much, as he’s eventually put away with a superkick and the Self Justice double-arm DDT – the Class 5 Self Justice – for the win. SPLAT.
They replay Ilja Dragunov attacking Karsten Beck and the resulting match with David Starr from World Tag Team Festival weekend, before we flip to David Starr and Karsten Back backstage after that match. Karsten tells Starr to calm things down, but Starr’s going to keep his promise to make their lives hell… until he talks his way into perhaps getting something new to aim for. Karsten seriously suggesting the Mitteldeutschland Cup had me in tears. Starr had something bigger: like a title shot. Beck walks off to ponder it…
Levaniel vs. Avalanche vs. Absolute Andy
This was meant to be Levaniel vs. Avalanche, with Levaniel trying to go for the Shotgun title… but after Levaniel’s gloriously grating introduction, we had a third man join the fray. Step forward Absolute Andy, who as accompanied by Francis Kaspin.
THE Dream Team – 14 years in the making. pic.twitter.com/BogLXtmwfF
— Francis Kaspin (@itzkaspin) 29 October 2019
Andy calls for a microphone check, then addressed “the kid at the back of the ring… then the more chubby kid”. He’s trying to parlay eliminating Avalanche at Shortcut to the Top into a title shot, but instead it’s a non-title triple-threat. Levaniel starts by trying for a monkey flip, it seems, but.. Yeah. He eats a clothesline for that, as Avalanche made him his own personal tackling dummy, tossing “der Prinz der Sterne” across the ring for fun. There’s a back body drop too, which I heartily approve, before Andy slid into the ring… and got clotheslined out of it.
Levaniel tries to fight back, but instead took a spinebuster before he avoided a back senton… Andy’s in, then out again, as he’s still not taken off his ring jacket. Francis Kaspin provides a distraction, holding Avalanche’s leg as he set up for a dive… but Levaniel made a save as Avalanche went to kill an injured man. Oh Levaniel… those forearms will barely swat a fly, unlike the body attack he got next.
Andy finally finds a way in, shoving Avalanche out of the ring from behind before he went to work on Levaniel, landing some right hands before he took Levaniel outside, distracting the ref so Kaspin could get involved. Back inside, Levaniel’s caught in a Figure Four, but after getting to the ropes, Levaniel tries to fight back… only to get decked by a clothesline from Andy. A stalling suplex meant more trouble for Levaniel, as did a knee drop curb stomp and a superkick, but Avalanche breaks it up… by splashing on Levaniel. Luckily, Andy got away in time as the pair traded two-counts, which led to the pair of them going after each other. Another superkick from Andy drops Avalanche, but he fell onto Levaniel and nearly got the accidental win. That was a good one.
Andy and Avalanche go back in with clotheslines on each other, but they end up taking each other down as a three-way standing ten count started. They all get back up, as Levaniel became a human pinball once more, then tried to fight back… but going for a double chokeslam went about as well as it did for the Hurricane back in the day, as he got sent into the ropes and dropped with a pair of back elbows. Andy keeps up the retro feel by calling for a 3D, and gets it with a little help from Avalanche… and I’m popping.
Avalanche turns on Andy after that, squashing him in the corner ahead of a Samoan drop, but Levaniel still has life… and breaks the count. Not to worry, he eats some more clotheslines, then another Samoan drop before Andy blocked a Dreissker bomb. He takes some mounted punches until Francis Kaspin came in to break it up… and got some too. There’s a press slam for Andy on the top rope as the match briefly became even again… for like a split second as Levaniel took a F5 for a near-fall, before a spinebuster set up Andy for a superkick on the Shotgun champion…
But Andy telegraphs it, and has to deal with Levaniel again… which gave Avalanche time to recover as he ragdolled him with a fallaway slam, before tossing Andy out one more time as a Dreissker Bomb gets the win. Very squashy for Levaniel, but this was an entertaining three-way that helped the newcomer get a lot of ring time. ***¼
Backstage, Avalanche approaches Andy, furious that he “took away the spotlight from a young man”. The “24 year old” recaps what he’s done in wXw, including all the cups, tournaments and titles – even throwing in all of the tag team titles and the old wXw heavyweight title, which came “when (Avalanche) still went up and down Daddy’s spermatic cords”. I have no words. Andy wants to be the uber super-duper sextuple quadruple crown winner, but Avalanche tells him he’s not in line for any Shotgun title shots anytime soon.
Bobby Gunns vs. Tim Stübing
The Hannover native Stübing has done a few wXw academy shows (and a prior untelevised show for wXw), but has worked more recently for the GWF with brother Tom. So, welcome to wXw NOW Tiny Tim!
Stübing tried to work over Gunns’ wrist early on, but they counter each other before Bobby began to pepper Tim with kicks. One’s caught, as Stübing responded with an uppercut, only to run into a backslide and a leaping stomp to the back. From there, Gunns caught Tim in a single-leg crab, wrenching back ahead of a rope break.
Gunns takes Stübing into the corners, but Tim avoids a second uppercut and floated back in for a shotgun dropkick. His momentum’s derailed by a clothesline though, before a running PK punted through Stübing as Gunns mocked Timothy Thatcher’s eye… then snatched the win before doing the thumbs up a la Timo. A little on the nose, but I dig what Bobby’s doing here for the rematch. As for the match… splat. **
Backstage, Alan Counihan’s with Timothy Thatcher, who addresses the attack by Bobby Gunns and his crew. Thatcher dismisses it as “Berg und Tal” again, but he’s sick of the peaks and valleys, and tells Bobby that his rematch will be his last shot. You also learn a new swear word too, thanks to Timo!
They recap Alexander James turning on Jurn Simmons over World Tag Team Festival, and their brawl the following night as the Crown imploded in Oberhausen.
Alexander James vs. The Rotation
James seemed to come in thinking that all of this was beneath him, as he started by shoving Rotation into the corner. Bielefeld breaks kayfabe, as Rotation’s forced to fight out of a hammerlock, which he did with ease, but that just seemed to anger James.
Going hold for hold with James didn’t seem a good idea, but Rotation just decides to backflip into the ring, which just wound up James some more. Rotation worked his way into a strangle hold, then armdragged James to the mat, before a springboard lucha armdrag found its mark. An enziguiri does too, sending James outside, but Rotation took too long to make his dive, and instead had to switch up with a springboard ‘rana to the American.
A dropkick traps James in the corner ahead of a missile dropkick… but a second one forces evasive action as James came charging in… but still the Prince of Pain was stuttering, as he caught a crossbody only to get countered into a DDT. Rotation followed James outside with a step-up flip senton to the outside, but Rotation crashes and burns on a shooting star press amid limited headroom… and just like that, while Andy Jackson gushed over the move, the tide turned.
A lariat to the back of the head drops Rotation, as does a second one to the front, before he shunned the Blood Eagle curb stomp, and instead picked up Rotation for a cracking back elbow. A Jurn Simmons-like gutwrench powerbomb followed, before James looked to pull Rotation’s arm out of its socket… and there’s the submission. Well, Rotation had a good shift here, but in the end the almost-exclusively aerial game backfired as James shut him down pretty quickly afterwards. ***
James hung around after the match to hit a Blood Eagle curb stomp on the Rotation. He heads backstage, but he’s stopped in the entry way by Jurn Simmons, who brawled with him until an eye rake saved James from the Batista bomb. AJ scurries, and we flash backstage as Karsten Beck has to separate their fighting.
Beck tries to calm things down, then offers a no DQ match for them at Broken Rules. They both accept, as Jurn absolutely SLAPPED James with a real tooth-loosener of a strike. The absolute noise that made was a delight.
wXw World Tag Team Championship: VollGasteren (Leon Van Gasteren & Julian Pace) vs. Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura) (c)
Cue the parade of champions video, which will never not throw up some of the wackier teams from wXw’s history. There’s a lot of Absolute Andy With Hair here. Before the match, Prince Ahura retells the story of the Pretty Bastards, with a lot of arrogance in there, reminding us that the Pretty Bastards are only the champions because they got into World Tag Team Festival due to some attacks on VollGasteren… and I wonder who was behind those?
Pace and Van Gasteren attack the champions before the bell, sending them outside for topes, as the match started on the outside with chops and… wrestlers disappearing behind poles. Prince Ahura chokes Pace on the floor, while Leon van Gasteren took Maggot into the ring and stomped a mudhole through him.
A German suplex awaits Maggot next, before Prince Ahura tagged in and found himself restrained in a front facelock. An escape just got Leon back in it though, as he tripped Ahura into… a Tequila Sunrise. Hey, some old old school WCW Konnan! Julian Pace comes in for an uppercut and a ‘rana to Ahura, as he took out some of his aggression, before van Gasteren worked an armbar on Ahura in the middle of the ring. Pace returns with a Quebrada, but there’s a heavily-delayed count from the ref as Markus Weiss was out of position… and Pace only gets a two-count from that as a result. A tornado DDT has Ahura in more trouble, as VollGasteren were isolating him well… before a big back body drop took him into the corner. Maggot’s in with a blind tag though, as he pounded on van Gasteren.
Leon gets free with chops, only to get taken down with an enziguiri as a tag brings Ahura in pretty quickly. There’s a double-team suplex on van Gasteren for a near-fall, as Maggot returned with a side headlock to keep the veteran on the deck. Ahura’s back to chop van Gasteren in the corner, but he gets free from the double-teaming and tags in Pace… who’s quickly stopped by the Bastards.
Pace outsmarts them with the rope running, leading to a double dropkick that sent them outside for a tope con giro. A missile dropkick followed inside to Ahura as Pace built momentum, but much like Rotation earlier, Pace went for one risk too many and ended up crashing and burning from a moonsault. The Bastards again double-team Pace as Ahura built up enough breathing room that he teased ripping off his trousers… but instead he just threw something at van Gasteren, which angered the veteran, distracting the ref in the process. C’mon Leon, you know better than that! More distractions have the referee miss some cheating.
Pace tries to get back in with a Final Lap, but it’s easily broken up as Maggot hits a spear for a near-fall, with Ahura knocking van Gasteren off the apron. Maggot’s caught with a standing Spanish fly though, as Pace got free to tag van Gasteren back in, and Leon’s going hog wild with German suplexes, before he headed up and crashed into Maggot with a back elbow off the top. A Michinoku driver on Ahura’s good for a near-fall, before Pace helped out with a standing shooting star press for a near-fall. Pace adds a neckbreaker for a near-fall on Ahura, but the Bastards double-team again to get back in it, combining an Alley Oop into a knee strike – dubbed the FFM – for a near-fall. There’s a sweet Monkey Flip into a Destroyer from Pace for a near-fall, before we get yay/boo forearms from van Gasteren and Maggot.
Maggot stops it all with a cutter to spark a Parade of Moves, ending with a reverse ‘rana from Pace… who then looked to go up for another springboard moonsault. He aborts it on the way down, landing on his feet as Maggot lands an enziguiri, before Ahura snatched the win with a roll-up. That finished upset Andy Jackson, who scolded Pace on commentary for the seeming lack of experience. The Pretty Bastards have the same sort of issues that Norman Harras do – this is their first shot as heels in a big spot on the card, and while they’re alright in the ring, they’ve a lot of stuff to develop in terms of being bad guys and in particular, what they do while “on top”. ***¼
They announce the card “so far” for Broken Rules on November 9 in Frankfurt:
TLC for wXw World Tag Team Championship: Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura) (c) vs. Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover)
No Disqualification: Alexander James vs. Jurn Simmons
Baseball Bat on a Pole: Lucky Kid vs. Pete Bouncer
Skye Smitson vs. Little Miss Roxxy
Mike Bailey vs. Julian Pace
The show ends with Daan Jökisch asking the Pretty Bastards about their TLC match at Broken Rules… it’s in the Bastards’ hometown of Frankfurt, so it’s a “home game” for them. Ahura’s looking to take it lightly, while Maggot brings up how they beat the Arrows before (to win those wXw contracts…), so they’ll do it again.
Road to Broken Rules was a solid show that bridged between the World Tag Team Festival and the next big show – it’s interesting to see who got the squash matches here: Bobby Gunns, Jurn Simmons and Purge Club. All established names – while the newer faces, your Levaniels and your Norman Harrases got more ring time in their matches. On the surface, you could say that was a bad thing, but then again you’d really want your new names to get ring time against established guys… so when they’re called upon on the bigger shows, they’ve already got some experience. Make no mistake, wXw is in the midst of a concerted push to make some new names – but rather than shoving them all into one group, we’re seeing them sprinkled across the card. Yeah, we’ve got the Bastards and Norman Harras in one group, but the appearances of the likes of Daniel Sparks, P∀RIS and Levaniel, along with the renewed presence of the Rotation at least makes the product feel fresh, without too much of the weird atmosphere that has surrounded other WWE-friendly shows.