Thirty wrestlers look for a Shortcut to the Top as wXw’s annual rumble rolled around.
Robert Dreissker, Dover, Icarus & Laurance Roman pinned Peter Tihanyi, Aigle Blanc, LSG & Senza Volto in 12:58 (***¼)
Calypso defeated Baby Allison via count-out in 8:28 – Allison retains the wXw Women’s Championship (**¼)
Bobby Gunns pinned Axel Tischer in 16:11 (****)
Tristan Archer pinned Ahura in 16:13 to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship (***¼)
Levaniel won Shortcut to the Top 2022 in 55:59 (***½)
— If you want to catch this before it’s uploaded to Peacock/WWE Network, head over to wXwNOW.com
— And if you want to hear more about wXw, join myself and Mike Kilby for the Auf Die Fresse podcast – available at aufdiefresse.co.uk…
We’re coming from the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen, but first we open with everyone saying they’re going to win Shortcut to the Top. Jurn Simmons reckons he’ll go back-to-back, while Robert Dreissker wants to reclaim, reshape and rebuild in the match so Amboss will come out victorious.
We open with an interview with Amboss, hosted by the returning Dan Mallmann, whose suspension is over. He’s alongside all of Amboss, who aren’t exactly thrilled to see him back. Dan asked Dreissker about the double count-out at Dead End, and the ensuing brawl against LSG and co. Dreissker took umbrage with Elijah Blum bringing a chair to the ring, and while they may have been too busy on their PlayStations, the games are over now.
By the way, English commentary for this show comes from Dave Bradshaw…
Amboss (Dover, Icarus, Laurance Roman & Robert Dreissker) vs. Team LSG (Aigle Blanc, LSG, Peter Tihanyi & Senza Volto)
Amboss try to jump their opponents, but eat a quartet of superkicks before everyone dives to the outside.
Icarus and LSG start us off, but a forearm from Icarus allowed him to roll LSG to the mat, but a couple of armdrags helps LSG into things. A leaping back elbow keeps Icarus down ahead of a butterfly suplex for just a one-count, as Senza Volto and Aigle Blanc tagged themselves in. Icarus cuts off the double-team as Laurance Roman tagged in… Senza thwarts a suplex as Aigle’s Dragon screw took down Icarus and Roman. Senza Volto tagged in as Roman’s double-teamed in the corner ahead of a stalling senton from the apron back into the ring. Aigle’s back with a back senton off the top as Roman was across the ropes, which drew on Dreissker to break up the cover.
Peter Tihanyi’s next to tag in, catching Dover with armdrags and dropkicks, before he went after Dreissker on the apron. Dover’s back, but Tihanyi worked his elbow and looked to have done some damage to it… only to get thrown outside for a triple-team. Dreissker’s in to run Tihanyi into the corner, then hiptoss him out of it as Icarus tagged in and tied up his trainee in a Figure Four. A diving uppercut from Icarus lands for a two-count, while Roman returned to hit a snap suplex for a two-count. Roman stays on Tihanyi with a double wristlock, before Dreissker’s slam and splash nearly won it. Tihanyi’s back body drop flings Dreissker as Icarus and LSG come in… Roman’s also in… and eats a stunner from LSG.
A swinging facebuster from LSG plants Roman, as LSG ran wild, leading to dives from Tihanyi… Aigle and Senza try to add to it, but they’re swatted away as the fight spilled outside. Duelling moonsaults to the floor from Aigle and Senza keep it going, before Dreissker hit a crossbody out of the corner to Aigle Blanc. Senza Volto went for a handspring, but Dreissker blocked it… only to get taken down by a Meteora from Tihanyi. The handspring cutter from Senza lands, then a Meteora to the back of the head from Aigle, before we got a three post massacre of sorts, with Dreissker taking an LSG elbow, a Coast to Coast from Aigle, and a 450 splash from Tihani for a piled-up near-fall as Amboss breaks it up.
Everyone but Tihanyi and Dreissker scrap on the outside, as things ends with Dreissker charging a distracted Tihanyi into the corner before a fallway slam and a Dreissker bomb ended up getting the win. A fun opener as the rest of wXw are left wondering how to break down AMBOSS… ***¼
After the match, Dreissker rolled outside and grabbed some chairs as Amboss tried to Pillmanize Tihanyi’s arm. Elijah Blum runs out to make the save, as the extra man advantage sent Amboss packing… before they rolled Dover into the ring as Senza Volto did what Peter Tihanyi couldn’t, and Pillmanized his arm.
Backstage, Norman Harras has a live mic as he tells us that Senza Volto and Aigle Blanc were to be added to World Tag Team Festival, but what Senza just did has made him reconsider. Instead, we’ve got two other announcements… but Rott und Flott interrupt him. They try to butter up Harras as it turned out that the two of them have drawn numbers at opposite ends of the scale, and want to be drawn a little closer together so they can be co-winners of the Shortcut match.
They replay Calypso’s win over Baby Allison at the recent Fight For Paris 2 show… which leads to her title shot.
wXw Women’s Championship: Calypso vs. Baby Allison (c)
Calypso jumped Allison at the bell, stomping her into the corner… before Allison came out and threw the French challenger’s head into the buckles.
Cartwheeling away, Allison returned with a Thesz press, before she was pulled into a splits. Calypso looked for a baseball slide, but was kicked to the outside as Allison threw her into the ring apron. A trip to the ring post is blocked, as Allison heads up to the apron for a cartwheel and a dropkick to Allison. Back inside, Allison’s covered for a near-fall, before she was taken to the corner for a boot choke. A snapmare and a low dropkick’s good for a near-fall, before Allison’s O’Connor roll was blocked. Suplexes from Calypso were eventually countered in kind, before the pair traded forearms.
Allison’s clotheslines see her build up a head of steam, ahead of a Scorpion kick in the corner and a Northern lights out of it for another near-fall. Using the referee as a human shield, Calypso gets back at Allison with a knee strike and a Fisherman suplex for a near-fall, before a spear out of the middle rope nearly won it for Allison. On the outside, Calypso gets posted, but was able to pull Allison as she tried to get back inside. The pair trade strikes on the apron, but duelling kicks saw Allison fall to the floor while Calypso was able to roll back into the ring after landing on the apron… and that’s a fortuitous win for the challenger. Allison retains the title though, so I guess we go again another day? **¼
Live in the arena, they play the SAnitY music – because Eric Young and Axel Tischer have been entered into October’s World Tag Team Festival.
We’re then backstage as Dan has Michael Knight and Bobby Gunns backstage reacting to the news of SAnitY being part of a tag tournament they’re barred from entering. Dan initially didn’t seem to get Gunns’ sarcasm, so he powers on as Knight’s quizzed about the match in Hamburg that’s cost them their spot in the tournament. As for today though, Gunns reiterated its everyone for themselves as they shook hands and moved on.
Axel Tischer vs. Bobby Gunns
A battle of former unified champions here…
We start with the pair trading holds as Tischer took Gunns down to the mat for a toe hold… Gunns breaks it up and scored a headlock takedown, only for Tischer to grab a side headlock of his own before shoulder tackles, headlocks and headscissor escapes looked to keep the pair even. Tischer repositions himself for an armbar, levering back on Gunns for good measure before Gunns tried to respond with kicks to the chest. Gunns kicks away a knuckle lock so he could slap Tischer, before the pair broke down into back-and-forth elbows. More kicks from Gunns get countered into a Dragon screw, before Gunns was set up in the corner for another Dragon screw.
Escaping Tischer, Gunns kicked out the knee as he bought himself some recovery time, as more kicks sought to wear down Tischer. Yet again, Tischer caught one, but gets tripped into a knee bar that instantly ended in the ropes. In the corner, Gunns peppered Tischer with kicks as he was trapped by the turnbuckles, before a snapmare and a punt to the back drew a solid two-count. We’re back to the pair trading strikes, with Tischer’s wrist control sparking back-and-forth elbows and uppercuts, before duelling front kicks left them both laying. Tischer’s back up first, charging out with clotheslines before a shotgun dropkick from Gunns stopped him in his tracks.
Tischer boots his way back in, but instantly took a German suplex before a clothesline laid him out for a near-fall. An enziguiri stops a strike exchange, but a single leg lariat has Tischer back in it ahead of a clothesline and a death valley driver that planted Gunns for a near-fall. Gunns grabs a leg to block a Ligerbomb, then swapped rear naked chokes with Tischer. Gunns escaped a rear naked choke and wrapped up Tischer in an Octopus stretch, before they went back to suplexes, going tit for tat with German suplexes. Tischer finally bridges on one for a near-fall, while a knee strike almost got Gunns the win. Gunns is resurgent, but ends up eating a Horrible Slam… landing close enough to the ropes to get his feet on the middle rope to break the cover.
The pair again fight back to their feet, trading elbows and kicks once more before Tischer connected with several head kicks… only to get caught with an Ehrenmann Driver and a PK out of nowhere for the win. My word, this one came out of left field. An innocuously-announced match in the middle of the show, this was worked at a hell of a pace with the pair knocking lumps out of each other. So… when’s this getting run back? ****
We then get another announcement for October – Killer Kelly’s coming home! She’s announced herself for the Femmes Fatales tournament – the very tournament she debuted in… and the newly-debuted-on-Impact star may well be busy that weekend!
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Ahura vs. Tristan Archer (c)
Ahura earned this shot in Frankfurt after he’d signed himself to a number one contender’s match against Norman Harras as part of his return to the company a while back. Ahura took aim at Harras during his entrance apparently, which meant that he was given a €100 fine…
Ahura started off by taking Archer into the ropes, before the favour was returned. It’s tit for tat until Ahura snapmared Archer down… then faked out a kick to the back before Archer charged him down with a shoulder tackle. Ahura trips up the champion on a drop down, then found a way through with a dropkick for good measure. Archer takes Ahura to the corner ahead of a suplex, but Ahura slips out and threw the champion outside… Archer bails from a dive, and was eventually joined by Ahura as there was suspicion Archer was intentionally going to get himself counted out. Ahura kicks Archer out of a chair, then took things back inside…
At least until Archer rolled right back out and found himself getting chopped by the ring post. Then by the ring apron. Archer tries a tiger feint kick on the apron, but instead had to make do with pushing Ahura way before throwing him into the ring steps. Ahura nearly loses via count-out… but Archer breaks the count so he could keep the match going, throwing Ahura into the ring. An eye rake across the top rope has Ahura blinded, before a slam dropped Ahura… who rolled back onto the apron. A springboard attempt is caught, but Ahura blocks La Terreur, only to get punched out for a one-count as Archer tried to end things. More shots from Archer had Ahura dazed, but the challenger boxes his way back in, throwing some body blows before swapping those for flying forearms.
Archer kicks Ahura away in the corner, but misses a charge back in as a kick to the back of the head and a step-up kick led to a German suplex for a near-fall. A sunset flip gets Ahura a two-count, before an uranage and a discus clothesline took Ahura down for a near-fall in return. Ahura grabs the top rope to block a Coup d’Etat, pulling Archer to the outside… they fight on the apron, but Ahura gets back inside and knees Archer to the floor. A corkscrew plancha wipes out Archer on the floor, before a short leg-assisted DDT and a Coup d’Etat from Ahura almost got the win… but Archer kicks out from his own finisher at two.
Ahura dives right back in with a cutter, but it’s still not enough, so Ahura heads up top… and misses a moonsault. Archer capitalises with a diving knee, before La Terreur lands. A Coup d’Etat is escaped, but Ahura’s attempt to fight back ended with him superkicking Archer. Another trip up top’s stopped though, before an avalanche Angle slam and a Coup d’Etat finally put Ahura away. I don’t feel like a lot of the crowd bought Ahura as a viable challenger, but Archer having to go the extra mile here elevated Ahura to some degree – as he leaves Oberhausen with just his shiny Shotgun title belt. ***¼
Shortcut To The Top 2022
We’ll just be hitting the key beats to this rumble match, since it went nearly an hour! Apparently Norman Harras drew the entrants “randomly,” as we start with Peter Tihanyi and Fast Time Moodo… with a few fans perhaps thinking he should have drawn number one.
Tihanyi’s early leapfrog’s caught as Moodo sought to throw him out from there, before a missed black belt kick allowed Tihanyi a way to go for an elimination. Tihanyi leaps on the apron to avoid an elimination, hitting a springboard cutter as Nikita Charisma came out at number three… taking his time asTassilo Jung frogmarched him towards the ring, where Charisma ended up “slipping” on the ring steps.
Charisma sells it like Peter Griffin as the countdown brings out Michael Schenkenberg at number 4, and what do you know, Nikita’s right as rain now? Rott und Flott target Moodo and Tihanyi, as you’d expect, leading to a Snapchat DDT on Moodo. Tihanyi fights out of another Snapchat, as the countdown introduced Amboss’ Dover at number 5… with a Kendo stick in hand. Dover came from behind to lay out Tihanyi with the stick, but Tihanyi homes in on the taped up elbow, using the Kendo stick for extra leverage on an armbar. Dover rolls under the bottom rope as the old Ezel music greeted the return of Aytac in at number six!
Aytac clears house with clotheslines, then dropped Schenkenberg with a death valley driver. Dover’s shepherded to the back as he’s ruled an injury elimination about seven minutes into the match. Next to join the match at number seven was Aigle Blanc, who went after Rott und Flott while Aytac was backing into the corner to try and Adana Bulldoze his way free of Moodo. The eighth entrant is announced as Jurn Simmons, who charged after Rott und Flott. Tihanyi tries to derail him, but gets thrown into Moodo and Aytac, before Aigle Blanc took a Gorilla Press slam and a standing moonsault as bodies littered the ring. In at number nine is Heisenberg, who goes straight after Jurn and tried to throw him over the top, only for Moodo to stop him.
Heisenberg boots Tihanyi off the apron at 11:44 for our next elimination, while Moodo followed mere seconds later. A spear from Simmons stopped Heisenberg, before Aytac’s attempt to attack saw him lifted over the top and booted to the floor by Jurn at 12:14. Rott und Flott clothesline Jurn over the top… but he lands on the apron, then came back in to clothesline both Charisma and Schenkenberg out of the match at 12:40. Heisenberg tries to strike, but he gets crotched by Aigle Blanc… an attempt to lift him over the top is thwarted as Heisenberg just launched the Frenchman over the top to the floor at 13:12. We’re left with the two big lads for the time being, as they trade clotheslines… leading to a Cactus clothesline from Jurn that eliminated both himself and Heisenberg at 13:59.
We’ve got an empty ring then, so as the big lads brawl to the back, out comes Bobby Gunns at number 10. Jurn’s been left laying from all that as Gunns took his time getting to the ring, waiting for number 11 who turned out to be Jacob Crane. Oh, that poor sod. He lasted just four seconds, getting turfed out by Gunns at 16:10 into the match. Crane protests, so Gunns throws him back inside, before kicks soften up Crane as the crowd called for a bodyslam. Instead, Crane gets more kicks as he’s then thrown out again, as number 12 was revealed as… Alpha Kevin! Do you know he once eliminated Chris Hero in this match? Kevin’s throwing rights at Gunns, eventually hitting a clothesline before hitting a Karsten Beck-like piledriver… Gunns is right back up though, and dropkicked Kevin into the ropes before a clothesline eliminated him at 18:56.
Danny Fray comes in at 13, going for Gunns with forearms only to get repeatedly caught with uppercuts in the corner as Gunns was having fun. A front kick knocks Fray down, while a clothesline eliminated Fray at 20:24. Next up, at number 14, was Amboss’ Laurance Roman, who charges Gunns into the corner before landing a suplex. Michael Knight’s out at 15 and saves Bobby Gunns from elimination, pulling Roman in for a backpack knee…
Gunns mockingly calls for a tag in, and gets it as the OnlyFriends double-team Roman, hitting a clothesline to him before a Knight stunner and a Gunns clothesline left him laying. In at 16 was Rambo, who’s not been around here for a while. A back suplex from Rambo drops Knight, before a Gotch-lift powerbomb left Roman laying. Roman avoids being thrown out before he lifted Rambo over the top rope and onto the apron. Out at 17 was Elijah Blum, who charged at an expecting Roman… the OnlyFriends suplex Rambo, as the countdown ticket popped up for number 18… Tengkwa (who was making his first wXw outing since 2018’s Shortcut.)
Tengkwa runs wild to start, monkey flipping Roman into Gunns and Knight before he leapt into a Rambo suplex. Out at number 19… Teoman!? That’s his first wXw appearance since he lost the Shotgun title to Norman Harras at the end of 2020… and almost instantly got blindsided by Roman. Teoman responds with a dropkick before he locked eyes with Bobby Gunns – and if you watched wXw in the empty set days, there’s a LOT of unfinished stuff between those two. Rambo tries to capitalise with a powerbomb on Gunns, but Knight makes the save, eventually landing a springboard dropkick to eliminate Rambo at 31:20… right as Mikey Schwarz came in at number 20. There’s Schick in Schachts for Roman, Tengkwa and Teoman too… Blum gets one too, but Knight saves Gunns before a wacky double-team from the OnlyFriends targeted Blum.
At 32:58, Teoman helps eliminate both Gunns and Knight, before Axel Tischer joined at number 21. Tischer dives in off the top rope with a crossbody to the pile before his search for suplexes led to him dropping Schwarz with a German suplex. Tischer and Blum end up on the apron, both in danger as they trade blows… before an apron death valley driver eliminated the rookie at 34:42. Teoman and Tischer square off next as Amboss’ Icarus came out at number 22. Tengkwa gets his eyes raked by Icarus as Amboss went after the masked man, with a one-man Crossfire leading to Tengkwa’s elimination at 35:54. Teoman tries to lift out Amboss from there, but he’s pushed aside as Schwarz’s double chokeslam was broken up and countered with two enziguiri before Schwarz was lifted out at 36:23.
Number 23 is Senza Volto, who hits a handspring back elbow to Tischer before he was swarmed by Roman and Icarus. Another handspring back elbow dropped the Amboss pair, before Teoman clocked Senza in the midsection. Maggot enters at 24, with the Turbinenhalle coming alive for his entrance… and instantly caught Roman with a cutter after hitting the ring. The ticker starts up again as Orsi entered at 25, and she clears house with clotheslines as Icarus eliminated Senza Volto by pushing away a springboard at 40:32. Orsi tries a German suplex on Icarus, who elbows free before the pair ended up over the top rope on the apron… Icarus teases a suplex to the floor, but Orsi pushes him into the ring post, before a spinebuster onto the apron caused Icarus to fall to the floor at 41:38.
Number 26 is Levaniel, and he made a beeline for Roman, hitting a backbreaker and a clothesline before he traded a fist bump with Orsi. Maggot jumps in to eat a spinning heel kick before he was slapped down. Things pause as Teoman and Tischer end up on the apron, but Levaniel and Maggot don’t charge to knock them down as all four end up trading blows, leading to a big boot from Tischer to Levaniel, while Maggot managed to eliminate Teoman at 44:14. Tischer’s gone at 44:26 courtesy of a clothesline from Levaniel, before Norman Harras lucked into the number 27 slot. Harras hits the ring and goes for Orsi, who struck back with clotheslines, forearms and chops before Harras ended up clotheslining him over the top and to the floor at 46:26. Cue the ticket again as number 28 was revealed as Hektor Invictus, who goes wild with dropkicks, clotheslines and spinebusters. Levaniel and Maggot corner Hektor briefly, as LSG joined at number 29. Hektor’s waiting for him but LSG shines to start, then teamed up with Orsi to go after Roman. A springboard clothesline took down Roman, before Robert Dreissker came out in the coveted number 30 slot. That’s the entire field in then, with Dreissker charging down everyone who came his way. A dropkick from Hektor earned him a clothesline before Dreissker tossed him out at 50:23, while a back body drop to the floor got rid of LSG at 50:35.
It’s Amboss against Maggot, Levaniel and Orsi, as things break down in a hurry… Dreissker takes down Orsi and Levaniel, then focused on Maggot… who ducked a clothesline to spear Roman. A second spear, this time aimed at Dreissker, is blocked as a death valley driver and a clothesline eliminated the Shotgun champion at 51:56. Orsi tries to knock down Dreissker, but she’s met with a clothesline … then managed to take down Dreissker with a spear. She tries to follow with a bodyslam, but her knee gave way as Dreissker fell on her… before an easy throw over the top got rid of Orsi at 53:08. It’s Levaniel against Amboss now, as a flurry of chops gave Levaniel hope… as did a discus lariat to Roman. A bodyslam from Levaniel dropped Dreissker, before Roman was tossed out at 54:23. That left us with Dreissker and Levaniel as the final two!
Dreissker blocks an Intergalactic Face Crusher, then threw Levaniel onto the apron. A big boot stops Dreissker’s charge as Levaniel came back with clotheslines against the ropes. Levaniel tries to skin the cat as he was sent over the top… but despite Dreissker breaking the grip, Levaniel didn’t hit the floor, because somehow Orsi had found herself there as a makeshift crash pad?! Dreissker thought he’d won, but got met with an Intergalactic Facecrusher before Levaniel threw him out… clipping Orsi on the way down as Dreissker couldn’t save himself. I’d say this was an unexpected result, but Mike Kilby literally called this on the last episode of Auf die Fresse, so some clearly saw this one coming! A big win for Levaniel after pretty good Shortcut match that presented some unexpected returns (and maybe comebacks), while keeping some key storylines flowing in the background. ***½
Levaniel celebrated by calling out Tristan Archer – and we’re finally going to get Levaniel against Archer one-on-one for the title. But first, Tristan Archer snuck out to blindside Levaniel, rolling the dice on him, then stretching him in an Arabian clutch before he exited stage left to close things out.
Shows like this where the focus is on one match can easily fall flat – but wXw has a pretty good record of making sure that doesn’t happen with Shortcut to the Top. This year was no different thanks to the blend of familiar faces on top of the existing roster – while also making sure there was plenty of meat on the bones beyond the headline result. If you’re coming just for the main event though, make damn sure you rewind the VOD a little for Gunns/Tischer – an absolute blowaway match that stole the entire undercard!