With wXw preparing to make their first appearance in the US in eight years, there’s only one thing to do… get on the road to New York City!

This was taped at the Fan Expo over 16 Carat Gold weekend in Oberhausen – so our match reviews here are from a live perspective, rather than anything that may have been done in post-production.

We open with the finish to the Absolute Andy/Bobby Gunns match from Carat, complete with Tassilo Jung’s “see no evil” spot… and now it’s into the Shotgun titles, complete with some new additions.

First up – the return of the Raucherpause, as Bobby Gunns is here with his newly-won title. He’s delighted to have ushered wXw into a new era, and he’s going to be a fighting champion, whether it’s the big cities or the small towns. There’s a nice sly plug for some of the cities wXw is hitting in the coming weeks. Next, Absolute Andy joins Vinny Vortex on the sofa to brag about his life. A life that’s about ten pounds lighter since Carat. Still, Andy’s recapping his past year, and moans about how he’s been treated despite playing fair. Vinny corrects him and since he was attacked by Andy two years in a row in Hamburg… this leads to a challenge.

But first, we recap how Aussie Open won the wXw tag titles at Carat… and the formation of Schadenfreude in wXw. Fortunately there’s no ironic translation in Germany for “malicious joy”, as we then see the battle between RISE and Schadenfreude over Lucky Kid, and then we’re backstage in a black-and-white promo as Chris Brookes, Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis tells the story of why now for Schadenfreude.

According to Brookes, some of it has to do with a large Japanese man sitting on him. Kyle wasn’t happy at being in the pre-show… while Mark Davis was licking his wounds after his loss to Pentagon. Rather than risk not being in Tag League or Carat again, they fought their way to the titles so that wXw had to bring them back. They’re here to be belt collectors… and this was a fantastic promo to establish this group without leaning heavily on what they do elsewhere.

Marius al-Ani’s moan from Carat is up… the one that led to the return of Alexander Wolfe on night two. From that, Marius al-Ani’s out again for an open challenge (which gets edited out here), hot on the heels of his win over the returning Alexander Wolfe/Axel Tischer. al-Ani calls himself the best Shotgun champion of all time here, before he waited for his opponent… who would be fairly Massive. Commentary’s from Jeremy Graves…

wXw Shotgun Championship: Marius al-Ani (c) vs. Jurn Simmons
Jurn shot out of the gates with a Massive Boot, before a Doctor bomb got Marius down to the mat for a two-count – prompting Marius to bail from the aggressive Dutchman.

Jurn gives chase, but gets dropkicked off the apron before he just forearmed away a dive from al-Ani… but back inside, he’s quickly caught with an ankle lock. Simmons rolls free, but can’t avoid Marius’ kip-up Exploder suplex… although he was able to avoid some running knees, as he made his way back in with some suplex throws to al-Ani. A pumphandle bomb nearly gets Jurn the win, as he then proceeded to charge Marius back into the corner, before another throw out of it led to a two-count.

From there, we’re quickly at the finish as Marius dodged a charge in the corner, then rushed in with the double knees and a roll-up for the win. Well, this was a bit of a come-from-behind win as the crowd almost seemed to be on Jurn’s side before the finish. **½

Backstage, Sebastian Hollmichel welcomed Karsten Beck as the returning sporting director of wXw. He came back because he feels the Championship Board of Directors made too many decisions that weren’t agreeable… and that’s the cue for Absolute Andy to come in and demand justice. He wanted his rematch for the title, but Beck wanted him to prove himself… by facing Vinny Vortex later.

We recap the final of Ambition, where Shigehiro Irie cannonballed Rico Bushido out of a rear naked choke on his way to victory. Irie’s backstage next to celebrate his successful weekend. His plans in wXw were to go to the top… and he wants to face Bobby Gunns in New York City. HELL YEAH.

Another recap follows of Emil Sitoci’s return to wXw, and destruction of Julian Pace on night two. That segues into a vignette from Emil, who tells us he’s fed up of being overlooked. It’s Emo Sitoci here, as he bemoaned how his accolades in wrestling mean nothing, and that he attacked Julian because he had nothing to prove… he just wanted to feel something.

Crowchester vs. Lukas Robinson
Billed live as a showcase match for the wXw Academy, this saw the crowd get behind Lukas’ Proclaimers theme – much like last year with his #WrestlingDeutschland appearance.

They keep it on the ground early, before Crowchester acrobatically flipped back to avoid a trip-up from Robinson, following up with a monkey flip to spark an indy’riffic pinning series as both men stacked up those two-counts. A back suplex gets Robinson a pinning attempt in, before he decided to take Crowchester on a tour of the ring – via the top four turnbuckles, naturally.

Crowchester flips over an on-rushing Robinson off the top rope, then has to contend with a crossbody that connects for a one-count… as Crowchester stands up and countered back with a slam. A standing moonsault’s next for a two-count, before a single leg crab proved to be the cue for Marius al-Ani to come out and attack both men for the no-contest. This was decent, if a little rough around the edges, as it served as a backdrop for the al-Ani story. **

al-Ani stomped both men out of the ring, before he threw Crowchester back in there to put him in an ankle lock. Julian Pace and Leon van Gasteren run out to make the save… and then, the flashing lights appear as Emil Sitoci came through the crowd to beat down Pace and van Gasteren. Marius joins in, but they’re both sent packing as Pace and van Gasteren cleared them out of the ring. Karsten Beck appears on-stage and sets up a tag match for the main event. Holla holla! Emo Sitoci never took his hood off once in all that.

Backstage, Karsten Beck is with the Arrows of Hungary and the Pretty Bastards, who are arguing over the chances they’ve had and whether they belong. Beck tells them that they’ve not achieved anything to show they belong… so he settles it: they face each other later on for a wXw contract.

Another recap shows Lucky Kid winning Carat… that wasn’t even two weeks ago and it feels like forever. Backstage, Lucky’s staring at his trophy (and not the list of drugs that was on the wall behind him). While Ivan Kiev’s celebrating, Pete Bouncer is pissed about RISE losing their tag titles… and demands that Lucky explain things. Lucky says that in wXw, RISE is the only thing that counts and “not his friends from England”. Jealousy!

Wesna vs. Yuu
While we start with some Alan Partridge references from the crowd, there’s no handshake from Wesna before the bell, as she backed-up Yuu into the corner from the off, but Yuu returned the favour before she caught Wesna with a chop.

Shoulder charges follow, sending Yuu crashing to the mat, but she’s back with chops as she tried to take the Croat off her feet. A double-handed chop finally does the job, but Wesna quickly comes back at her with a short clothesline, then a punt to the back before Yuu managed to lift her up for a spinning side slam. A follow-up back senton’s good for a near-fall, as Yuu tried to force the issue… but she’s charged back into the corner as Wesna brings in some shoulder charges… including one that sent her sailing all the way through to the ring post. Yuu’s Judo slam is next, before she tried to trap Wesna in a katahajime… but Wesna just stood up and splatted Yuu with a back bump.

Yuu has enough in her to duck a big boot though, only to get caught in a Samoan drop as Wesna picked up the win. A nice competitive match, but fairly minimal crowd response as it looks like Wesna may be getting close to title contention. **¾

Next: they recap the end of the WALTER/David Starr match from night one, showing WALTER’s tap that the referee didn’t take as a submission… and we all know what happened next. They then play the promo after the show where an emotional Starr tried to unpack what happened, saying that WALTER’s “couldn’t care less” attitude towards him was just a facade. Excellent stuff in the heat of the moment from Starr, who has been on fire with promos lately.

From there, we transition to WALTER on the set of wXw’s Conversations with Alan Counihan. He’s interrupted by David Starr, who evicts him to have a chat with the giant Austrian… and he’s still all emotional as he asks for another match. Starr reckons they’re on the same level, but WALTER just dismisses him out of hand… so Starr’s now got to fight to have a fight!

Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura) vs. Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover)
The winner gets a contract with wXw – and with both of these teams having been on-and-off with the company in the last year or so, this could be the start of either of them making a dent in the wXw tag team picture.

The Bastards jump the Arrows before the bell, sending Dover to the outside as they tried to beat Icarus in the early going… but instead they had to make do with a ‘rana to Icarus before Ahura’s uranage backbreaker and a Flatliner combo led to an early two-count. A suplex from Maggot barely gets a one-count on Icarus, who’s then met with some ground and pound, then another suplex as this was looking like one-way traffic. Icarus finally hits back with a palm strike, but he’s taken into the corner and then dropped with a double-team suplex, with Maggot this time registering the two-count. Another attempted fightback from Icarus is stopped with a punch, as the Pretty Bastards double-teamed him into the corner… at least until Icarus elbowed his way out and nailed a missile dropkick to cause an accidental DDT between the Bastards.

Finally a tag’s made to Dover, who drops Maggot with clotheslines before an overhead belly-to-belly sent him flying. A big boot is next, before a German suplex dumps Ahura, who took a fallaway slam following a nice back body drop to the charging Maggot. An Air Raid Crash is next, but Maggot kicks out at two and ends up sending Dover crashing into his own partner int he corner. Some more double-teaming from the Bastards led to Maggot spearing Dover for a near-fall, before Dover looked to strike back, lifting Ahura onto the top rope before he slammed two Bastards at the same time! Maggot’s charged into the corner to take a running gamengiri from Icarus on the apron, while a double-leg takedown into a kick leaves Ahura in similar trouble.

From there, Maggot kicks away an attempt at the Crossfire knees as the Bastards found a second wind, lifting Dover to the outside before dropping Icarus with a spin out double-team powerbomb for the win. Some nice work here, with Dover coming across real well as a versatile big lad… but it wasn’t to be as the Pretty Bastards landed the death blow to win those wXw contracts. ***

They replay Veit Müller’s induction into RINGKAMPF, and then we’re backstage as Veit’s with Axel Dieter Jr., discussing old times back in the Nordisch Fight Club gym. Junior puts over Veit for his performances in Hamburg lately… and speaking of that, WALTER arrives and shakes Veit’s hand to congratulate him some more.

Backstage, the Pretty Bastards celebrate their win as Karsten Beck appears with their contracts in hand… although it seemed that Maggot and Prince Ahura had rather differing views of what’d happen next. That angers Beck, who tells them they have a match in Frankfurt against Avalanche and Ilja Dragunov to prove their worth.

Next… Alexander Wolfe congratulates Veit Müller some more. Wolfe tells Veit that he was on WALTER’s radar for a while, before telling Veit that he’ll be a worthy representative for RINGKAMPF. Veit thanks Axel, and gets a reminder: die Matte ist Heilig!

Absolute Andy vs. Vinny Vortex
This one’s coming off the back of night two of 16 Carat Gold, where Andy of course lost his wXw Unified World Wrestling championship.

Before the bell, Andy clotheslines Vinny to the outside, following in with chops… but Vinny fires back as Andy has trouble taking his jacket off. Another chop from Andy put Vinny in the front row, and finally the bell goes as they enter the ring… and it’s Vinny who had the upper hand with a series of clotheslines, before a big boot from Andy put him back on the mat.

A back suplex follows, as does a running clothesline as Vinny was left in a heap before he’s again tossed to the outside. Vinny returns to the ring, and eventually finds an opening as he laid into Andy with forearms before the former champion’s placed in the front row, taking some chops before a shoulder barge knocked Andy back. An eye rake from Andy helps him get back into it though, before Vinny found his way ahead with shoulder charges and avalanche splashes in the corner, following through with a big shoulder tackle off the top rope for a near-fall. More clotheslines in the corner led to Andy getting whipped corner-to-corner, rebounding into a back body drop, before a roll-up from Vinny nearly led to the upset.

From the kick-out, Andy rushes in with a chop before he connects with an F5 for the win. Decent effort from Vinny, but he was ultimately outclassed by the former champion here. ***

Backstage, Veit Müller is on the phone… and gets interrupted by David Starr, who congratulates him. Starr tells Veit that “his boy WALTER” is ducking him, and he’s got a message for the Austrian… he wants to fight WALTER in Frankfurt on March 30. Veit stops Starr as he walks away and tells him he hasn’t forgotten what Starr did to him in Hamburg, taking away his moment. Luckily, we have subtitles… something Starr didn’t, but Veit tells Starr he won’t pass any messages on… instead Starr will fight Veit!

Elsewhere, Schadenfreude congratulate Lucky Kid on winning 16 Carat Gold. Chris Brookes throws away Lucky’s RISE jacket, then busts out some German just as RISE arrive. Pete Bouncer, ever the neurotic here, takes issues with it as Kyle Fletcher demands they speak English. Brookes sits back like a cocky so and so in among the argument here, which is just wonderful, as Bouncer proposes a RISE vs. Schadenfreude trios match in Frankfurt. Oof. Lucky Kid wants no part of it, as Kyle reckons it’ll be four-on-two.

They run down the card for 16 Carat Gold Revenge in Frankfurt on March 30:

Schadenfreude (Chris Brooke, Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs. RISE (Lucky Kid, Pete Bouncer & Ivan Kiev)
Avalanche & Ilja Dragunov vs. Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura)
Veit Müller vs. David Starr
Jurn Simmons vs. Shigehiro Irie
Baby Allison & Amale Winchester vs. Killer Kelly & Yuu
Vinny Vortex vs. Bailey Matthews

The show’ll be up on wXw NOW on April 2nd. That’s an insane turnaround, as ever with these guys!

Emil Sitoci & Marius al-Ani vs. Julian Pace & Leon van Gasteren
In among Sitoci’s strobe-riffic entrance is the red letter N, which we don’t quite know the meaning of yet.

Sitoci’s almost an anagram of himself – very stoic in his appearance here, but he’s left to start the match as Marius al-Ani took the apron. When the bell rang, it was a different story, as Sitoci took van Gasteren into the corner with some knees, before he ran into a big boot. Some headscissors from van Gasteren send the Dutchman flying, but Sitoci’s back to his feet quickly… and met with some palm strikes as he just backed off… and got tagged out by al-Ani.

Van Gasteren keeps up the pressure with a hiptoss before a dropkick sent al-Ani back to the mat, with Julian Pace following in next as a legdrop and a running shooting star press got him a near-fall on al-Ani. The “nyoom” rope running is next as Pace confounds al-Ani ahead of a diving boot, before a springboard crossbody out of the corner finds its mark for a near-fall. Sitoci’s back in as he hung up Pace on the ropes, then kicked him in stomach a la Bob Holly as he looked to rough up the recent Academy graduate. Some biting has Pace reeling, as Sitoci refused an offer of a tag… then forcibly tagged out to al-Ani to continue the beating. I do like the subtleties on show here – Sitoci isn’t suddenly every bad guy’s best friend now he’s turned.

al-Ani takes Pace into the ropes for some choking, prompting van Gasteren to protest to the ref… it backfires as Pace had a visual pinfall, before he’s met with a powerbomb as the ref was back to count a near-fall. Marius keeps up the pressure with almost a Snow Plow on Pace for a near-fall, as al-Ani had to forcibly tag Sitoci back in. So I’ve no idea why he was trying a double-team for, as things backfire, with Pace taking down al-Ani and Sitoci with a headlock/headscissor takedown, before he was finally able to bring van Gasteren back into the fray.

Sitoci quickly finds his mark with a fireman’s carry over-the-knee gutbuster, but Pace returns to shove Sitoci off the top rope before his double missile dropkicks kept Sitoci and al-Ani down. A powerbomb looked to finish the job on al-Ani, but Pace wasn’t the legal man… a suplex/crossbody combo followed with Pace and van Gasteren on al-Ani for a near-fall, before the Shotgun champion hit back… only to get caught with another gutbuster for a near-fall. Pace takes care of Sitoci, throwing him outside and crashing in with a tope con giro seconds later, before those two brawled onto a raised stand and towards the back… all while Leon and Marius traded punches. A double clothesline left them down as Pace ended up eating a spinning tombstone on the stage. Sitoci runs back to ringside, and proved useful when he broke up a bridging German suplex from van Gasteren.

Apparently al-Ani being shoved into him proved to be a tag – and that led to the finish as the spinning tombstone put down van Gasteren for the win – in spite of Julian Pace’s despairing dive. Not a popular result, but I guess the crowd still needs to figure out what the new Sitoci character is. ***

The show closed with Emo Sitoci decking Marius al-Ani, then landing a Snapmare driver on him… before we faded away into a recap of the wXw Amerika ist Wunderbar iPPV card from New York:

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Shigehiro Irie vs. Bobby Gunns (c)
wXw Shotgun Championship: Emil Sitoci vs. Marius al-Ani (c)
wXw World Tag Team Championship: Work Horsemen (JD Drake & Anthony Henry) vs. Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) (c)
Lucky Kid vs. David Starr
Absolute Andy vs. Chris Brookes
Yuu vs. LuFisto
LAX (Ortiz & Santana) vs. The Crown (Jurn Simmons & Alexander James)
Darby Allin vs. Avalanche

That show’s airing live on iPPV on Thursday 4th at 4pm ET/9pm UK/10pm CET – and can be bought thru WWNLive.com or Fite.tv for $14.99. If you’re going to go thru the Fite.tv route, then sign up using our link to get a $10 credit!

So, the Road to New York City was absolutely packed with the usual “Shotgun XXL” style of catchups for those who (somehow) missed 16 Carat Gold… and managed to set up plenty for not one but two shows on the horizon. As always between the promos, the recaps and the in-ring, this was another fine showing from wXw that left you absolutely fired up for their part of a busy week of wrestling before WrestleMania!