Three titles on the line as wXw gets back to action – and decides a new top contender in the Shortcut to the Top match!

Typically Shortcut to the Top is the curtain raiser for wXw’s “new season” – one that tends to precede a lengthy tour across Germany. Of course, this year that’s less of a sure thing, and while wXw do have a show next weekend (outdoors in Kutenholz, near Hamburg), the traditional weekender in the autumn/fall has fallen by the wayside as wXw’s schedule has been ravaged by coronavirus. We’ve already seen wXw release a full season of Shotgun 2020 shows – and while those resume next week (with double-headers each weekend), wXw does at least keep the Shortcut tradition going with this full-length, limited-crowd show.

Quick Results:
Metehan pinned Senza Volto in 13:40 to retain the wXw Shotgun Championship (***½)
Killer Kelly pinned Sara Leon in 4:00 (**)
Marius al-Ani pinned Johnny Evers in 2:40 (**)
Maggot & Prince Ahura pinned Alpha Kevin & Mike Schwarz in 13:10 to retain the wXw World Tag Team Championship (***)
Bobby Gunns pinned Tristan Archer in 13:00 to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship (***½)
Mike Schwarz wins the Shortcut to the Top match in 54:00 (***¼)

We open with Alpha Kevin welcoming us to the show – and brags about eliminating Chris Hero in this match a few years back. The winner of Shortcut to the top gets a shot at the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship… and that leads us into some “I’m gonna win the Royal Ru- err, Shortcut to the Top” promos. We’re back inside the Steffy in Oberhausen for this as Sebastian Hollmichel is on the call for this as we have a select crowd on hand. Hey Yilmaz, hey Christian… hey flashing lights!

Sebastian runs down the card, and then pitches to the office of Absolute Andy. Killer Kelly interrupts because she wants her match with Amale… but Amale isn’t at the tapings.

Andy tries to fob Kelly off with the job of a secretary, but instead she wants a solution. Being handed the title doesn’t sit well with Kelly, nor did a round robin tournament for the vacated title on Shotgun. Andy has a third plan: a match with Sara Leon for an interim title… Kelly’s zoning out, because there’s no reason to have two champions. So Andy offers up a fourth option: a secret plan. Yeah, that’s enough to set off Kelly. Andy jokingly suggests that Kelly wrestles men “because there’s no women’s division,” but Kelly’s actually up for that. She kinda runs away with turning her number one contender’s spot for one of the “men’s” titles, because Andy never specified what title she was the top contender for, and of course, Kelly’s got the video to prove it. Andy claims she “Photoshopped it out of Paint,” and suggests that Kelly enter the Shortcut to the Top match. They’ve also “properly” lifted the ban on intergender wrestling for Shotgun, so you know what to expect, Lance…

Andy Jackson is backstage with Senza Volto, who’s making his wXw debut proper here. Senza introduces himself, puts over his past in Germany, but circles back to wXw. He’s facing Metehan for the Shotgun title later, a title he wants to win so he can stay in wXw.

wXw Shotgun Championship: Senza Volto vs. Metehan (c)
Thankfully they look like they’ve sorted out the lighting issues that were around for Shotgun, and my word, just having a crowd is giving this show life.

Metehan gives Abdul and Aytac some advice before *his* match, telling them that to win a match, they need to know who they’re facing, no matter who they are. We get going with Metehan taking down Senza as he looked to take his mask off. I guess to “look at his face”… Volto frees himself with a cartwheel, a chop and a springboard armdrag, before he looked to take off Metehan’s head with a kick, only to have more luck with a tijeras. Senza fakes out a dive to the outside, as EZEL scattered. Metehan’s annoyed that Abdul and Aytac tried to help him, so he slap them both before throwing them to the wolves – in the form of a flip senton from Volto.

Metehan shoves Volto into the ring post, then took things back inside for a back suplex for a near-fall, before he proceeded to stomp away on Senza in the corner. Taking Senza up top, Metehan tries to rip off the mask, but it’s broken up as the crowd chanted “ehrenlos” towards Metehan (“without honor” – it’s catcher in German!). Elbows from Senza have Metehan rocked, but the champion’s back with a kick and a neck crank on Volto, who charges him into the corner to get free. Metehan’s boots buy him time before a dropkick took the challenger sailing to the outside, as Metehan has a breather… and a drink. Senza narrowly beats the count-out, but he’s still on the defence as Metehan booted him in the head some more.

Volto fires back with forearms, then with clotheslines and a handspring back elbow for good measure. Senza keeps going with a gamengiri and a 619 in the corner, before an attempted Code Red was sat down on for a near-fall. Again, Metehan goes to the mask, but he’s foiled as Senza went for another handspring… but Metehan catches him and again went for the mask. Senza rolls him up for a near-fall, but upon kicking out Metehan rolls in with a crossface, stopping to throw some elbows before the Frenchman made it to the ropes. A punt from Metehan weakens Senza ahead of a slingshot DDT from the apron, but it doesn’t put him away… nor did a wrist-clutch teardrop suplex…

From there, Metehan measured up Senza for the Evil Eye, but instead he drops him down so he could go for some Danielson elbows before he pulled up Senza’s mask. A kick stops all that, as Metehan looked for a wind-up punch… but this time Senza drops down through exhaustion. Still, Metehan winds up again, and chops Senza before the Frenchman retaliated with a standing Spanish Fly for a near-fall… a double-jump moonsault’s next, but Senza can’t cap his debut with a win, as he ends up getting dumped on his backside from a suplex before Metehan ripped off the mask and rolled him up for the win. The pacing here was a little wacky at times, and it’s splitting hairs between this pin and Metehan getting a DQ loss – but this was a pretty decent opener, and a solid debut for Senza Volto to boot. ***½

Backstage, Nico Schmidt interviews Sara Leon. The Spaniard introduces herself as a trainee of White Wolf Wrestling. She’s facing Killer Kelly in her wXw debut next…

But first, we go outside as die Prügelbrüder arrive. Their car just about made it, as Alpha Kevin’s buzzing over what he’s done before. He brings up “Chris Hero’s brother”, as Mike Schwarz tries to get his hyperactive tag partner to calm down.

Backstage, Stephanie Maze and Baby Allison (not so much) are giving Sara Leon a pep talk as Killer Kelly arrives with news of the ban of intergender wrestling being lifted. All four of them will be in Shortcut to the top too, which is painted as a big deal as all four women seem thrilled by it.

Sara Leon vs. Killer Kelly
So this is the first time we’ll be seeing both of these women tonight, and we start with a handshake as Leon tried to go for a head kick early on.

Commentary notes that Leon’s much different from her nervous promo beforehand, as she took the fight to Kelly with a series of checked kicks before she ended up cartwheeling into a pump kick. A PK follows for a two-count, before Kelly knocked Leon down with a forearm and a front suplex for good measure. That gets Kelly a two-count again, before she slapped Sara a la Timothy Thatcher, only to get caught with a retaliatory German suplex. Leon looks for a chicken wing, but Kelly slips out and hits a German suplex of her own, bridging Sara for another two-count. Shades of Shibata follow for a near-fall, but Sara slips out of a Vale de Morte and goes back to the chicken wing… Kelly gets free and tries again, rolling through a crucifix pin before hitting Vale de Morte for the win. Pretty short, but Kelly gave Sara some feint hope in an otherwise-dominant win. **

Backstage, Alpha Kevin is thrilled to be around Johnny Evers again, and someone called Dennis who doesn’t get his full name until later in the show… He’s still hyper about Shortcut to the Top, as I wonder just how much sugar and coffee he’s had today. Yep, he’s still bragging about throwing out Chris Hero, before Marius al-Ani arrived to sour things. Marius tells the three of them they “won’t stand out with the other nameless people,” before calling Johnny Evers a nobody. He’s got a chance to make a name next.

But first, Bobby and his Bastards are back together. Norman Harras is still a little uneasy around the lads. He’s got the message from Absolute Andy about intergender wrestling, as the Bastards take a few cheapshots as they then bugger off for some shisha.

Marius al-Ani vs. Johnny Evers
This was Evers’ first “main roster” show in over three years – having spent time since then in the wXw academy, being their first Academy cup champion.

Marius shoves Evers at the bell, then picked him up… but Evers wriggles free as Marius unloaded with a series of rights to take the Dutchman into the corner. A running knee came next, as did a cheapshot as the referee tried to separate them. Evers kicks out quickly after a snap suplex, but has to fight out of an armbar attempt, only to get caught in a tight side headlock as al-Ani kept control. A dropkick gets al-Ani a two-count, before kicks kept Evers in the corner. Johnny makes a comeback with some elbows, before he took down the straps for a John Cena-ish suplex, but Marius flips free and quickly finishes him off with a Superman punch and a Diamond Driver. Another quick, dominant match as Marius continues his winning run… **

Marius’ assigned interviewer, Nico Schmidt, pops up afterwards. al-Ani is annoyed he even said Evers’ name, then gets wound up at the fans chanting for his opponent. Marius suggests that they announce Shortcut to the Top entrants by number, but I think the Dark Order got the trademark on that… of course, Marius reckons he’s set to win Shortcut. Get the popcorn ready.

I laughed, then died inside a little as Sebastian plugged “finally, live wrestling, like in the old days…”

Mike Schwarz is backstage with Alpha Kevin and Leon van Gasteren. Kevin’s calmed down a little, so Leon suggests that he’ll win and go out for beer. Absolute Andy pops up too, but breaks the news that he’ll not be in the match because he’s got to “take responsibility.” What happened to the Andy we knew?! Leon suggests that Andy might be wanting to step away from wrestling, but he doesn’t really respond to that. OF COURSE Kevin tells the story of Chris Hero again.

wXw World Tag Team Championships: Prügelbrüder (Alpha Kevin & Mike Schwarz) vs. Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura) (c)
Some of the names of early wXw tag team champions are a riot. “Long and Thick”, anyone?

Schwarz and Ahura start the match, but Ahura shuffles over to shove Kevin on the apron first as Schwarz began to swing for Ahura, who headed to the ropes. An attempt to pick Schwarz’s leg is ineffective, but charging at Mike with knees was much better… even if it led to a switcharound with Schwarz clubbering away on him. An elbow in the opposite corner follows before Schwarz had his knee kicked away… but he’s able to land a sidewalk slam for a near-fall as Ahura couldn’t tag out. Alpha Kevin’s in, but Schwarz stops a Black Hole Slam as Ahura rolled outside for a breather. Maggot tags in as he tried to swap waistlocks with Kevin, only to get clubbed down to the mat.

Maggot replies with forearms of his own, only for Kevin to try his luck with some Dusty punches and a spin-out side slam. A shoulder charge into the corner is next, before Kevin busted out the Three Amigos… and kept going with a suplex afterwards. That gets a two-count after a brief pause, before Schwarz tagged in to dump Kevin onto Maggot with a Black Hole Slam for a near-fall. Schwarz hauls up Maggot with a Jim Breaks-ish arm lift, before a shoulder tackle awaited him on the way down. Mikey then goes Old School, but doesn’t really get going as Prince Ahura attacked behind the referee’s back – while Alpha Kevin hardly helped his team by accidentally distacting the official afterwards.

Ahura is back in to kick away on Schwarz, before he went Old School himself with some rope walking… only to leap into Schwarz’s clutches as he got slammed into a Tree of Woe in the corner. A cannonball from Kevin is next for a near-fall, but he’s quickly on the defensive as Ahura choked Kevin with his own headband. Ahura uses one of his own next as the referee gets accidentally distracted, before a low dropkick crashes into Kevin for another two-count. Some more double-teaming traps Kevin as a spear from Maggot almost gets the win… but Kevin’s back with a back body drop and a clothesline to clear house. Except Mike Schwarz is still down and out on the floor, but he gets back up onto the apron and tags in after Kevin had overpowered out of a wishbone leg splitter.

Schwarz clears house with clotheslines of his own, before he caught the Bastards in a Samoan drop/fallaway slam combo. He calls for a chokeslam on Ahura, who knees his way free before a superkick dropped Schwarz… who recovered by redirecting a kick towards Maggot. Another clothesline drops Ahura as Kevin tagged back in to land a package piledriver, but Maggot shoves Schwarz onto the pile before a pin could be counted. Maggot counters out of a chokeslam, hitting a cutter on Schwarz, before he Alley-Oops Kevin into a knee strike from Ahura to get the winning three-count. This was pretty decent, but the local (ish) lads weren’t able to get past the cunning of the champions where it mattered. ***

Backstage, Absolute Andy asks Siri to start the “random draw generator app”. I guess Andy used his coding knowledge for the app at Carat… of course, he has to search for it in the App Store, as he finds out how useful Siri can be. Bobby Gunns interrupts, pondering whether Andy is going to rig the match to give Bobby a hard time. Bobby reckons Andy will give himself the #30 spot and an easy path to a title shot, but Andy says he’ll be honourable as the pair argue over who’s number one.

Oh God, Andy talks himself into entering the match. At number one. Bobby laughs because he thinks he’s sentenced Andy to a certain doom…

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Tristan Archer vs. Bobby Gunns (c)
It’s been a long while since Archer’s been on a “proper” wXw show – having done a pair of shows in 2014. He was also on the co-promoted show with APC back in January, but it was cut from the VOD after he suffered a nasty injury during his match with Cody Hall…

We start with Archer trying to take Gunns down, but Bobby spun out and took his back before he grabbed a half crab that ended with the pair falling into the ropes. Archer returns the favour, grabbing a knee bar, but Gunns is right in the ropes to force a break. Gunns gets back to his feet and wrings Archer’s arm, but he ends up getting tripped as the challenger went to ground with a side headlock, but again Gunns gets free and fires away with some shots to the back of the head as he looked to soften up Archer for a cross armbar… which ended in the ropes. More grappling on the mat has Gunns back on top of Archer’s back, but to no avail as the war of attrition continued. Archer returns with another side headlock as he tried to work on Bobby’s arm, but he finds more luck with a neckbreaker before he took the long way around into a backpack stunner.

Gunns pulls Archer’s trunks, earning himself an elbow and a kick for a near-fall, before the champion found his way back in with a half crab… but again, it ends quickly in the ropes. Gunns begins to focus more on Archer’s left arm with some arm wringers and uppercuts, before he wrenched him down to the mat as he proceeds to stomp on the elbow. Archer tries to fight back with knees and a suplex that thwarted Gunns’ attempt to cut him off, before a Flatliner took Gunns into the corner. A springboard Flatliner follows, as does a Pele kick as Gunns had to fight to stay in the match. Archer tries for a back suplex on the apron, but Gunns floats back inside and traps the Frenchman through the ropes with a toe hold… a dropkick follows, before Gunns superplexes Archer back into the ring. From there, Gunns rolls Archer to the mat for the Swish armbar… which almost forces a tap, but Tassilo Jung doesn’t call it as Archer got to the ropes instead.

Gunns chops away at Archer’s neck next, then kicks at the leg before he’s met with a short clothesline. It just fired up the champion though as the pair clatter into each other, before Archer did the deal with a Falcon arrow… only for Gunns to kick out in the nick of time. Another clothesline sends Gunns into the ropes, before he unloaded with an elbow and a stomp to Archer, before a PK and the Ehrenmal Driver gets the win. This was pretty good, as long as you don’t over-think the “newbie isn’t leaving with the title” stuff. Archer more than held his own here, and more than earned a return with this outing. ***½

Shortcut to the Top
This is under Royal Rumble rules, with new entrants every 90 seconds… We found out earlier that Absolute Andy was starting out first. Number two is Vincent Heisenberg, who Andy tried to talk into eliminating himself, but to no avail as they instead, erm… patted their bellies. I’m not making this up.

They barely do anything as we get the count down, as they exchange shoulder tackles while Baby Allison came out. She slaps Heisenberg, which has Andy doubled over in laughter… he’s slapped too, before Allison did the splits to avoid a clothesline from Heisenberg. Her attempt to clothesline Andy out of the match was to no avail, as we get the counter for Paris to join the match. He’s instantly battered between Andy and Heisenberg, as he’s chopped silly… and even Baby Allison joins in the fun. A suplex from Andy drops Paris across the ring… while Heisenberg damn near threw Paris into Andy with his suplex-throw. The two big lads go back at each other as we count down again, with Marius al-Ani entering at five. He takes advantage of Andy’s attempt to lift Heisenberg over the top by leaping over for the old A4 seated splash gimmick, and it seems those two were on the same page as they worked against Paris for a spell.

Allison tries to break the tension by banging their heads into each other, but they resist as A4 again try to roll back the years, but things conspire against them as the ticker appears for Anil Marik to enter the match. He goes straight for al-Ani, but ends up being a tackling dummy for an Andy spinebuster before Marius opted to go after Paris again in the corner. Another counter introduces Dennis Zinner, who was in that backstage segment earlier, and according to Cagematch he’s done almost as much wrestling in the UK as he has in mainland Europe. Zinner catches Andy with a Rough Ryder, then Paris with clotheslines as he shone bright on his debut… including catching Marius with a scoop slam. Marius turns it around as he stomps on Zinner in the corner, and we’re back to counting as Leon van Gasteren enters. Absolute Andy wants to link up with him now, but had to explain away his earlier statement before Leon cleared house with stunners for everyone.

Van Gasteren throws Zinner out, but the Austrian clings to the ropes and pulls himself in as Paris ended up being the first elimination. Kick, wham, a Stunner from Andy to Allison is next, which upsets Leon, as Andy then offered a handshake… only to sucker Leon with an A5 attempt. Dropping Leon onto the apron sees Andy fake out a superkick, before he ate a superkick from Allison… which proves to be enough to eliminate the Director of Sports as Van Gasteren low-bridged the former champion to the outside! Allison dropkicks Leon off the apron next – so he’s out – as Sara Leon entered the fray. She links up with Allison as the pair teamed up on Zinner with a suplex attempt… but they go back and forth until the Austrian gave up… and ended up eating a double-team DDT instead. Anil Marik runs into Marius on the apron and gets lifted onto the apron, then eliminated via a superman punch… Heisenberg’s quickly lifted out next as Marius cleared some of the decks.

Next out is Levaniel! He’s got a mic, so I doubt he’ll be rushing to the ring, as he soaks in the first live crowd he’s had for a while. He thinks he’s here for das Himmellsschloß, but the ring’s full… Tassilo Jung has to correct him, which makes Levaniel call back to his dad winning a 1,000-man rumble. Of course, he enters the ring and gets beaten up by Allison and Leon, who pelt him with forearms and chops, before a German suplex from Sara lands. Allison throws Leon outside, then gets chucked herself by Levaniel, as they brawl to the back, while Fast Time Moodo hit the ring. Totally nonplussed by what was going on. Moodo’s all about the kicks to Zinner early on, before a spinning heel kick knocked Levaniel loopy ahead of a potential elimination. He clings to the bottom rope to save himself as Moodo continued to kick away at Zinner as Alpha Kevin entered the match.

Kevin goes for Levaniel with Dusty punches, before an elbow left Levaniel on the mat… the spin-out side suplex followed, while Moodo went after al-Ani with kicks and stomps. He may pay for that. Out at number 13 is Stephanie Maze, while Dennis Zinner got thrown out by Marius al-Ani. Maze and Moodo gravitate towards each other as they try kicks, and it’s Moodo who edges ahead with a kick and a snap suplex. Marius and Levaniel team up to suplex Moodo, before Abdul from EZEL joined in. Abdul gets “Super Mario” chants as he went for Alpha Kevin, who hits a Fisherman buster for good measure. A package piledriver from Kevin came to nought as he took a DDT, before things broke down as another counter brings in Goldenboy Santos! He’s back after going back to Portugal briefly, and he’s clearing house early, dumping Levaniel with the Midas Touch lariat… a spinning heel kick from al-Ani stops the current wXw Academy Cup champion’s momentum, before we counted down again for the arrival of Emil Sitoci!

Emil’s no longer a nihilist, and he’s right in there with a side Russian leg-sweep and a split-legged moonsault for Levaniel. He gets into a pose-down with Alpha Kevin, which annoys al-Ani, who just chucks him… a Snapmare driver and a clothesline from Sitoci gets rid of Santos, before Marius continued the one-upmanship by throwing and dropkicking Moodo out. Next up is Avalanche, as the battle of former Shotgun champions continued. Of course Avalanche went for al-Ani, landing a standing uranage and a back senton before he tried to lift Marius out… but no dice, as Levaniel tries to eliminate Stephanie Maze, who just slaps him as we again tick down.

Prince Ahura is in next as he wildly goes for any moving body he could, but Abdul bumps into him as we get a possible tag title feud teaser… only for them to attack others instead. Sitoci almost eliminates Abdul, while Ahura tries to choke out Avalanche. Out at number 19 is a surprise in the form of Ivan Kiev, who boots Abdul, lands a neckbreaker then threw him onto the apron, only for Abdul to save himself. Al-Ani slingshots into a sunset flipo on Sitoci, before an Exploder left the Dutchman down… Emil does the Shawn Michaels escape to avoid being eliminated, as Ahura tried to take off his trousers. Levaniel doesn’t want excess nudity, it seems, but ends up charging into a low bridge as al-Ani eliminated him.

Next is Killer Kelly, who went straight for Ahura by throttling him as he tried to take his trousers off. The Thatcher slap followed as Kelly pantsed him, before Maze’s kick led to him being lifted onto the apron… he springboards back in, but gets kneed by Kelly and Stephanie, before we tick down to Johnny Evers entering the match. He goes straight for al-Ani, hopefully with the idea of lasting longer this time as he batters Marius against the turnbuckles, before an attempt to eliminate al-Ani came to nought. Sitoci needs to cling on to save himself as Avalanche looked for an elimination, while Aytac entered the match. He goes to save Abdul from Stephanie Maze, but Killer Kelly joins in as the EZEL lads take a bunch of forearms. They take their backs with rear naked chokes, but it’s broken up before they low bridged Stephanie Maze out of the match. They brag… then get lifted out by Killer Kelly in a two-for-one deal.

Hektor Invictus comes into play next, running wild with clotheslines before he went for Avalanche… the field gangs up on him as they try to eliminate the big guy, but Avalanche powers free as al-Ani quietly eliminated Johnny Evers. Killer Kelly stands up to Avalanche, but Marius dropkicks the Austrian into her, as we wind down the clock for the arrival of Jurn Simmons at 24. Jurn goes straight for al-Ani, but eats a spinning heel kick before a spinebuster dropped the former Shotgun champion… leading to Simmons easily tossing Marius out of the match! Avalanche saves Kelly from Prince Ahura in the corner, while Jurn was dealing with Ivan Kiev in another corner… another countdown brings out Maggot, who drops Sitoci with an Ace crusher. Hektor gets one too, before Jurn speared Maggot out of his boots. A big boot from Jurn spun Ahura back into the corner, before Hektor took Jurn down for a knee strike and a German suplex as the big-ish lads were having fun. Jurn’s back with a press slam, but it doesn’t lead to an elimination as Marius al-Ani appeared to distract as Hektor lifts Jurn out of the match. Yep, those two are going to carry on their feud.

Holy crap, Dirty Dragan is back at number 26! He exchanged a stare with Jurn in the aisle before he shone in the ring. Yep, there’s low blows and dick punches that put the Dirty in Dirty Dragan, before he was stopped by Emil Sitoci to throw back to my personal favourite Shotgun storyline. Sitoci hugs Dragan, but the Pretty Bastards just catch the pair with low blows as we tick away to… nobody at number 27. We don’t even get music, so fair enough… Hektor’s lifted onto the apron, then charged off it by Avalanche, who then went after Dragan with splashes in the corner. Another ticker brings out technically-number-28 The Rotation, who dropkicks Avalanche into the clutches of the Bastards, who throw him out.

The Rotation uses the Bastards against each other, before he avoided a gutbuster from Sitoci… we tick away again as number 29 was revealed as Mike Schwarz, who went for Ivan Kiev in the corner. The Bastards try to pile on, but they end up being stacked up as Schwarz sent Kelly onto them, before he easily blocked a Rotation chokeslam as he tossed him into the Bastards instead. The Bastards combine to throw out Dragan, who wanted some more of them… so they headed outside and choked away as the final entrant was revealed. It’s Norman Harras – and the Bastards have run out for some chairs. Emil Sitoci saves Dragan, but gets lifted out by Harras, who then clocked Rotation with an uppercut. A powerbomb awaited for Rotation, but he slips out and lands a dropkick as it looked like the Bastards were going to ease Harras to victory. The Rotation had other ideas though, sending them over the top and onto the apron before his dropkick missed… he went over the top rope, and was redirected to the floor with an ugly-sounding landing.

An Alley-Oop into a knee on Ivan Kiev sees the Bastards eliminate the Purge Club member, while Killer Kelly got rid of Maggot. She’s one of the final four with Schwarz, Ahura and Harras as they stand-off… and tease going after Kelly in the corner. Schwarz puts on the brakes, but ends up eating a big boot from Harras. Kelly goes after Ahura and Harras, but an eye rake stops her before Harras lifted her onto the apron. Kelly catches Ahura on the apron with capture headbutts, but can’t get back in before Harras booted her to the floor. So it’s Schwarz against Bobby’s Bastards then, as he monsters up and goes for a double chokeslam… but it’s broken off as Schwarz gets double-teamed. He clings on to avoid elimination, before he lifted Harras over the top rope… but Ahura kicks him low to save the day.

Right hands wear down Schwarz as Harras goes up top, leaping into him with a Kane-like clothesline. Ahura calls for a Red Light Driver, but Harras barely knows the move, and ends up having Ahura back body dropped into him! Schwarz calls for the finish, hitting a pair of chokeslams, before he clotheslined the pair out of the match! But we’re not done… ah crap, Maggot never got eliminated. He’s in with a chair, but Schwarz punches it through him before he chokeslammed Maggot out for the win! Schwarz celebrates the unlikelist of wins – and he’s gunning for Bobby Gunns’ title after a surprise main event that had me half-expecting mystery number 27 coming out… but it’s not to be as we go off the air with Bobby’s Bastards laying on the floor. ***¼

So that’s it – Mike Schwarz is your top contender for Bobby Gunns’ title… and with Cara Noir’s 16 Carat Gold win on the back burner for the expected reasons, the question is what happens next with Mikey’s shot? We could find out as soon as next week, as wXw returns with the new season of Shotgun 2020 – dropping two shows every Friday night.

While the “big names” aren’t on hand, this was perhaps the best case scenario for wXw. Bringing in some new names, and a couple of old favourites too, wXw was able to put together a strong line-up for Shortcut to the Top, with a pretty solid undercard too. Hopefully this isn’t the last we see of Senza Volto and Tristan Archer, especially beyond next week’s return of Shotgun – and after a stuttering finish to the first season of Shotgun 2020, the signs are mighty encouraging for wXw to return to form here. Bringing in new characters, setting up storylines and throwing in some callbacks for long-time fans? Who knew all that – and a crowd that makes some noise – can make a show good?