It’s Saturday night, so it’s time for another (delayed) look at wXw’s Shotgun TV show.
Yes, we’re delaying our reviews until Saturday for the “Shotgun Saturday Night” joke, since “Shotgun Tuesday” doesn’t quite work so well. Again, we’re watching the English version, which has subtitled promos – and again, we have some inadvertent comedy this week.
We open with a recap from last week’s attack by CCK – Chris Brookes and Travis Banks – on Absolute Andy, and it’s straight into a backstage interview with Verena Fischer and A4. Andy mentions it was an honour to defend the wXw tag titles in England last month, before talk then turns to CCK, whom Marius Al-Ani calls the two most “unsporting guys here in wXw”. Unfortunately, the translation called them “the two most unathletic guys at wXw”, which is harsh to say the least!
The comedy continues as he accuses CCK of “duffing yourselves a match like this”, before declaring that he “doesn’t tolerate this kind of bullshit”. Regardless, Brookes and Banks (or toothpick and Q-tip, as he’s renamed them), have gotten their title match, at Dead End XVI in just over a week’s time in Hamburg.
Also on that card, we find out, is the Intergender Streetfight between the Alpha Lovers (Alpha Kevin & Melanie Gray) and the pairing of Marius van Beethoven and Alpha Female; Emil Sitoci vs. Michael Dante; Alexander James (replacing Pete Dunne) vs. Ilja Dragunov; Bad Bones vs. The Avalanche Robert Dreissker; and RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Axel Dieter Jr) vs. David Starr & Jurn Simmons, with the winning team’s representative getting the spot as head of the Championship Board of Directors.
From there, we’ve a backstage promo with Christian Michael Jakobi and both members of RINGKAMPF. Jakobi calls Karsten Beck an incentive to go the extra mile, as the issues that RINGKAMPF have had were solved anyway – even if WALTER seems nonplussed by everything that’s going on. Jakobi “is gladly” getting involved for RINGKAMPF’s benefit, because he believes in them, and he wants them to believe in him. WALTER’s content, but he tells Jakobi not to be worried about his “white collar job” as they tease tension between Dieter and WALTER.
There’s another plug for the London Calling show, and that bleeds into a promo in a kitchen with Karsten Beck and Alpha Kevin. This week, Kevin’s still stewing over the issue with Marius van Beethoven, and the fact that he’s in an intergender match whilst being unwilling to hit Alpha Female. Beck distracts Kevin by telling him to just focus on Marius, and to concentrate on his career instead.
Beck walks off, and seemingly he missed Alpha Female being nearby, because she comes into shot and waffles Kevin with a baking tray. Finally, kitchen equipment being used in wrestling… in a kitchen!
They recap the Road to 16 Carat Gold League – the knock-out tournament to get a spot in the 16 Carat Gold tournament, with the winner facing Cody (Redacted) in the first round… and that’s the cue for a match!
Marius van Beethoven vs. Da Mack
The winner of this faces Bobby Gunns in the semi-final in Munich on February 18, and my word, the venue in Halle has a funky scrolling scoreboard!
Jeremy Graves is on commentary this week, and we start with Mack getting a snapmare into a chinlock as the we switch to a zoomed-out-too-much hard camera. Beethoven gets an armbreaker as grabs a wristlock, before Mack sweeps the leg to free himself, as he rolls into a strait-jacket hold on Marius, who then flips himself free.
Marius grabs a front facelock that Mack hand-walks free of, before he keeps Marius in the corner with some palm strikes and chops. A jawbreaker gets van Beethoven back on top, as he edges a striking battle as he takes Mack into the ropes… but sure enough, Mack comes back with a double leapfrog into a dropkick for another two-count.
An armbar comes next from Da Mack, but again Marius drives him into the corner for a rope break. A slap from van Beethoven takes down the Urban German, as Marius targets the leg to keep Mack grounded. Marius hooks the leg to try and force a submission, but he quickly releases the hold, and Mack pops back up with an uppercut and an inside cradle as he nearly surprised van Beethoven.
Marius goes back to the leg though, trapping a knee in the ropes then rushing in with a dropkick for a near-fall. A figure four comes next, but Mack rolls through, forcing Marius to grab the bottom rope to free himself. The zoomed out camera shows us a springboard forearm from Mack, who follows back with some chops and a Slingblade for a near-fall, before an enziguiri and a basement dropkick keeps Marius on the mat. After getting a near-fall, Mack picks up Marius for a back suplex, but Marius comes back with a superkick to the knee as he looks to turn things back around. An elbow drop gets him a near-fall, before Mack somehow manages to pick up Marius and hit him with the TKO for the win. A pretty good outing, as Mack now takes on Bobby Gunns in the semi-finals. ***
Another “Smoking Break” promo with Bobby Gunns follows, where he puts down Da Mack for leaving his girlfriend alone in Hamburg whilst he chased Cruiserweight Classic glory last year.
We then get clips of Hakeem Waqur vs. Johnny Evers from the February 3 house show in Gotha. What we saw looked good, as Waqur took home the W – and I guess that 30 second package is all we’re going to see of that Road to 16 Carat Gold league match, as we’re told that Hakeem Waqur will take on Chris Colen in the other semi-finals in Munich. So, no clips of Colen’s win over Francis Kaspin, then?
The rest of the card for Munich is flashed up on screen, featuring Michael Dante vs. Bad Bones, Robert Dreissker vs. Günter Schmid, David Starr defending the wXw Shotgun title against Alexander James, and a main event of Jurn Simmons and A4 against all three members of RINGKAMF – WALTER, Axel Dieter Jr & Timothy Thatcher.
Another backstage segment comes up with Emil Sitoci bragging about his successes in the USA, and his wins in Europe over Neville, Prince Devitt and Sami Zayn – the latter of whom’s alter ego is saved from being spoiled by Michael Dante coming into shot. Dante says he’s going to put Sitoci on the shelf so he can “take his spot”.
Backstage again, this time to Dirty Dragan trying to get hold of Adam Polak as he struggles to control Cerberus. Dragan reckons Ilja’s betrayal inspired the rest of the group, but all he can do is leave a message. From there, we’re off to Bielefeld for our next match:
Francis Kaspin vs. Robert Dreissker
Dreissker starts by sending Kaspin back into the corner, as he’s forced to use his speed to overcome the much bigger Dreissker… but Dreissker just throws Kaspin across the ring, before the rookie comes back with a dropkick and some forearms. A shoulder tackle sends Kaspin down hard, but Kaspin rolls away from an elbow drop as he mounts a comeback with some more forearms, leaping over Dreissker, only to get shoved out of the corner again. He finally gets that elbow drop for a near-fall, as Kaspin cuts off some more offence with a big boot, only for a flying forearm to be swatted away in mid-air.
Dreissker tries for a camel clutch, but Kaspin pops up and dropkicks him back into the corner, connecting with some flying forearms, before he’s sent onto the apron. Kaspin tries to springboard back in, and connects with a Steiner-esque springboard bulldog for a near-fall. A diving dropkick takes Dreissker back down, before the Austrian catches him off the ropes with a pop-up Samoan drop for a near-fall.
After the kick-out, Dreissker overwhelms Kaspin off the ropes with a body attack, before the Blue Thunder Bomb gets him the win. Decent enough as a competitive squash, but this was too short to get out of second gear. **½
We’re backstage with Dreissker next, and he’s joined by Julian Nero, who apparently has to leave. Nero tells Robert it’d be smart for him to leave to, as Adam (Polak) has lost control. Apparently Cerberus is history, and they hug each other before Nero leaves.
Julian Nero vs. Hakuto
Also taped from Bielefeld, the (former?) Cerberus member Nero is up against the relatively inexperienced Japanese wrestler Hakuto, in what was Hakuto’s second match back from a six-month lay-off. Nero punches Hakuto at the offer of a handshake, before he lands a big boot off the ropes. Hakuto tries a leapfrog, but he’s dragged down to the mat, as Hakuto succeeds with a headscissor takedown to take Nero to the outside. A dive is teased, but not delivered by Hakuto, who then scores a near-fall as Nero tried to argue with the referee.
A dropkick from Hakuto takes down Nero off the ropes, before he kicks away at Nero… who keeps popping back up, only to flapjack the Japanese grappler in the ropes. Nero lands a knee drop for a near-fall, as he clubbed away on Hakuto, before a suplex was countered with a guillotine choke… that Nero countered by taking him into the corner for a fallaway slam.
Nero rushes into Hakuto with an avalanche splash, before a second one is blocked by a big boot as Hakuto hit a diving dropkick off the middle rope. Some flying forearms follow, before Nero gets low bridged to the outside, as Hakuto followed up with a leaping knee and another knee drop off the top to a rope-hung Nero.
Hakuto looked to have tweaked his knee there, and he’s instantly picked up by Nero, only to fight out and collapse to the mat as his knee gave way again. From there, they go to the finish as Nero hits a fireman’s carry slam for the win. I’ll be honest, this match didn’t grab me at all – and the fact that it ended early due to injury whilst most of it was largely ignored om commentary in favour of updating the ongoing storyline with Cerberus didn’t help. *½
On Twitter, Hakuto mentioned that he suffered a bone bruise and a damaged ACL – but it looks like he’ll be able to return without surgery.
The show ends with a recap of the 16 Carat Gold tournament matches that were drawn last week, and an interview with Jurn Simmons, who made note of the fact that he won the wXw title on the “middle day” of 16 Carat Gold last year, and he’ll do it again against Axel Dieter Jr this year. Simmons then said that he’s not going to avoid Axel Dieter Jr or RINGKAMPF ahead of their match, and he’ll watch Dieter break down ahead of their match in March.
Another good episode of Shotgun – it’s a shame that last match was needed to explain the progress in the Cerberus storyline, as the injury to Hakuto really derailed things. Apart from that, plenty of good backstage stuff to build up to this weekend’s show in Munich, and the following weekend’s Dead End event.