A surprising name main events the latest edition of Shotgun, as John Morrison comes to town!
The show opens with a warning that this episode contains spoilers for the Road to 16 Carat Gold event that took place in Hamburg last weekend. After the opening titles, we get a recap from last week’s Cerberus promo where Julian Nero advised Avalanche Robert Dreissker to leave the group too.
This segues to footage at a live event where Dirty Dragan catches Nero at the merch tables. He’s caught looking at a Cerberus shirt, because it’s “got high emotional value”. Dragan reckons he’s Cerberus now, but Nero just laughs at him… so we’ve got a challenge for later tonight.
Next up: ring announcer Thomas Giesen with CCK, and he congratulates Brookes for “conning their way into a title match”. Travis Banks says they’ll take the tag titles from A4 in Hamburg, before using wXw as a stepping stone to the top. They replay CCK’s attack on A4 at Back To The Roots XVI last month, then the attack from Shotgun a few weeks ago.
More backstage stuff as Dirty Dragan attacks Julian Nero while he was warming up. Dragan rips off Nero’s Cerberus shirt, and their match is next!
Dirty Dragan vs. Julian Nero
We’re in Cologne for this match, where Dragan is trying to convince the crowd that Nero isn’t in the building. Dragan asks for the match to start so he can get a count-out win, but at the count of nine, Nero slides into the ring behind Dragan, who’s expecting to take the win.
Dragan turns around into a series of forearms as he’s drilled with a leaping knee in the corner. He tries to strike Nero, but that’s blocked and met with a slap, before Nero plays to the crowd too long and gets rolled up. Another knee strike gets a two-count for Nero, before he ducks an attempted chain-assisted punch from Dragan. Nero takes him down with the Wasteland, before a flying knee drop gets him the win. Well, that was brief… it seems a little odd that the total Cerberus blow-off is on a random house show, but let’s see where this goes. **
We fade out to a segment where Dirty Dragan is suddenly alive and well… and approaching Robert Dreissker backstage. Dreissker rejects Dragan’s offer of help for Hamburg (against Bad Bones), but the wannabe Cerberus leader can’t take no for an answer.
A video package of Robert Dreissker’s injury at last year’s Käfigschlacht is shown, along with his return at the 16th Anniversary show and his win at this year’s cage match. This leads to Bad Bones losing to him in London last month, and the request for a rematch in Bad Bones’ home town this weekend.
Next up is another “Smoking Break” segment with Bobby Gunns, whose head looks massively out-of-proportion for some reason. Gunns is upset that Da Mack beat him last weekend in Munich, and he’s trying to rile him up by saying he’s messing around with Mack’s girlfriend behind his back. O-kay…
We get a video package for this weekend’s intergender street fight where Alpha Kevin and Melanie Gray will face Alpha Female and Marius van Beethoven. Alpha Female’s use of a baking tray in the kitchen is shown again, as is Marius’ spear onto a table. Speaking of the “Goldjünge”, he’s up next…
Marius van Beethoven vs. Michael Dante
This is also from February 11 in Cologne, and Dante is jumped from behind… but he no sells it big time. Dante pops up van Beethoven, who lands hard on his shoulder, before dumping Marius with an over-the-shoulder neckbreaker. Before he can do anything else though, Emil Sitoci runs in and attacks Dante for the DQ – as Marius makes a hasty retreat. (Not Rating)
Sitoci cuts a brief promo and calls himself the best Dutch wrestler in the world… but he’s interrupted by John Morrison?! Sitoci does a runner as Morrison makes the save, and that leads to a promo with Verena Fischer. It’s standard fare, with Morrison seemingly not knowing anything about him judging by the cookie-cutter promo.
They recap the 16 Carat Gold first round matches that have been set – with Da Mack facing Cody Rhodes after winning the mini-tournament last weekend. That gives way to David Starr, who runs into Jurn Simmons backstage, and they’re recounting their battles last year… but this weekend, they’re tag partners against RINGKAMPF. This seemed to fit more in with the pretense of “hey, this guy just got here and is having a discussion”, as opposed to the massively overscripted fare in other groups.
We’re back with Verena, who’s with Axel Dieter Jr. She asks Axel for his comments on Jurn’s comments on him being a fraud. Axel calls “Jurn Simpson” someone who’s only good at talking, before noting that this feud is no longer about the biggest prize in the sport… but how his favourite sport is presented. A really good, passionate promo from Axel here, who wanted “his sport” to be represented by the son of Germany’s most famous wrestler… as opposed to a cynic in urn.
There’s a recap between the feud between Karsten Beck and Christian Jakobi – including the 16th Anniversary show where Beck had his job on the line, Axel Dieter Jr. winning the title, and the ensuing rivalry between Axel and Jurn.
Emil Sitoci vs. John Morrison
Again from the Cologne show, we start with some chanting against Sitoci, who trips Morrison in search of a headlock, before he grabs the ropes as Morrison looked for a counter.
They work back and forth with a wristlock, before Morrison snaps down Sitoci and kicks him in the chest, before he does a little Capoeira into a legdrop for a near-fall. Morrison keeps up with a springboard corkscrew body block after some cat and mouse, before Sitoci rolls out of the ring to avoid the Starship Pain out of the corner.
Morrison tries a dive, but lands on the apron before he’s shoved down from an Asai moonsault, setting up Sitoci for a rope-hung neckbreaker as Morrison’s dumped onto the apron. Back inside, Sitoci takes over with a camel clutch, but Morrison fights out and catches him in the corner, sliding through from the apron into a sunset flip for a near-fall.
An atomic drop and a clothesline quickly puts the match back in Sitoci’s favour, as he works over Morrison’s wrist and fingers before a Fisherman’s suplex rudely interrupts a plug of upcoming dates. Morrison tries to fight back with a kick from his back, before he’s worn down with a sleeperhold from Sitoci.
Morrison hits a springboard enziguiri off the ropes after fighting free, then hits a leg lariat and a running knee after winning a striking battle from his knees. A standing shooting star press gets Morrison a two-count, before a Moonlight Drive is elbowed out of, so Morrison just follows up with a C4 for a near-fall.
That C4 rocks Sitoci, and he’s left prone as Morrison tries for the Starship Pain… but Sitoci pops up and crotches Morrison, as a top rope reverse ‘rana gets the Dutchman a near-fall. Yep, that poison ‘rana is never going to win a match anywhere! A fireman’s carry gutbuster almost gets Sitoci the win, so he goes up for a split-legged moonsault… which Morrison gets his knees up for.
From there, it’s the small matter of a Moonlight Drive and the Starship Pain… but Sitoci gets his foot on the rope just in time! Instead, Morrison goes up top, but Sitoci pulls the referee in front of him to prevent anything aerial… so Morrison just flips over him and into a low blow, before the Headlock Driver gets the win for the Dutchman. A pretty good match, with the “right man” winning in terms of who’s sticking around – a pleasant surprise on this show! ***½
After the match, we get a video package to build up Sitoci vs. Dante, and that’s the show for another week! Perhaps a little high on filler content as they built up Dead End without giving too much away, but it was worth tuning in just for the main event!