We’ve got action from the German city of Leipzig in this week’s episode of Shotgun, featuring a big match for the returning Kim Ray as he faces WALTER.

As ever, the show opens up with backstage stuff, as Jurn Simmons discusses Karsten Beck’s upcoming medical evaluation ahead of Beck’s hopeful return to the ring. Jurn tells Karsten that he needs to “make the days count”, ending one of those motivational speeches that mean well but really don’t endear the person receiving it.

We get a promo piece for Avalanche Robert Dreissker, recapping his return from injury, and apparently that’s a build-up for a later interview with him.

Alpha Kevin & “Bad Bones” John Klinger vs. Jaxon Stone & Bobby Gunns
We’re getting really new footage here, as April 9th’s event from the excellently-named Hellraiser in Leipzig provides this match!

Bobby Gunns jumps Klinger at the bell, allowing Stone to get an early advantage, but Bones quickly takes the American into the corners for an eventual back body drop. Gunns tries to interfere, but he’s quickly slammed as Alpha Kevin jumps around like an excited puppy and gets tagged into the match.

A series of clotheslines from Kevin takes down Gunns, before he dishes out some Dusty punches and a forearm smash to Gunns. A John Cena-esque side slam gets Kevin a near-fall, before he goes for a package piledriver that Gunns slips out of as his team gets back into the match. Stone wears down Kevin with a choke, before Gunns thrusts his groin into Kevin’s head then grabs an abdominal stretch… naturally with some cheating as Stone gives some extra leverage for Gunns.

Eventually referee Tassilo Jung kicks away the arm to stop Stone from cheating, which lets Kevin hiptoss his way free. I love that spot!

Kevin hits an Alpha slam before low bridging an onrushing Stone, but he takes too long to tag in Bad Bones, and the bad guys stay on top with a knee strike that gets a near-fall. Undeterred, Kevin keeps trying to make the tag out, and finally brings in Bones who lands a double missile dropkick as he charges into Gunns and Stone with elbows in the corner.

A slingshot spear from Bones takes down both men, before Stone takes a Stunner from Kevin to send him to the outside. Somehow, Gunns withstands a tope and returns to take a sunset flip-assisted German suplex from Bones and Kevin, but the new team suffers a miscommunication, as Kevin runs into Bones as Klinger went for a crucifix bucklebomb on Gunns.

Cue an argument between the two, as Bones shoves Kevin to the mat, allowing Bobby Gunns to snatch a schoolboy roll-up for the pin. A decent tag match with a nice finish that plays up to Kevin’s goofy character. **¾

We go straight to another backstage segment where a remorseful Kevin’s getting yelled at by Bones. Unfortunately, Kevin’s claim that “that could have happened to anyone” doesn’t help things, but Kevin then manages to calm him down by asking for him to be treated equally. That works…

They run down the card for next month’s Superstars of Wrestling event, with some really odd matches in there featuring guys from Lucha Underground thanks to some cross promotion with Tele 5 – the station carrying Lucha Underground in Germany.

Da Mack and Francis Kaspin are on a sofa next, talking about Mack’s falling from grace. Hasn’t he already moaned about this? Mack gets a phone call from someone, but he shoots down their “positivity bullshit” before hanging up on them. Apparently it was Nero Consulting, and I’ve a feeling that Da Mack wanting to put things right himself could lead to him joining the dark side!

Next up: the London Riots! James Davis and Rob Lynch have a promo announcing their return… they’ll be in action again next week, and they promise to FSU. Avalanche’s interview with Sebastian Hollmichel comes after that… Avalanche tells us that he’s not made any mistakes, he’s only gotten distracted from his path of destruction. He’s still angry at his destiny of winning 16 Carat having gone unfulfilled, and he’s going to have to go through Ilja Dragunov to get back on track.

Avalanche vs. Johnny Rancid
Should-Be-A-Squash-Match Klaxon! Rancid actually sidesteps a charge from Avalanche early as he uses his speed to try and get the upper hand, but the big guy quickly takes over with clubbing blows.

A biel throw sends Rancid across the ring, but he manages to come back with a missile dropkick… that barely fazes Avalanche, as he quickly pulls off a pump handle slam for a near-fall. Another Rancid comeback sees him take down Avalanche with a missile dropkick for a near-fall of his own, but he’s quickly taken down with a Samoan drop before a spin-out Blue Thunder Bomb gets the win. More competitive of a squash than I’d have liked to have seen, but this was fine as the Avalanche build continues!

We’re taken immediately to a heavy-breathing Avalanche backstage. Ilja Dragunov saunters in and sits down next to him, before reminding Avalanche that he never beat him at True Colors. It seems that Julian Nero is the X-factor between these two men, as they accuse the other of setting Nero on them. They end up growling and staring at each other…

…and now we go to the offices of Nero Consulting. Judging by the harsh lighting, this is probably Julian’s home office. Julian’s saddened by Avalanche and Ilja accusing him of abusing their friendship, and he’s going to prove his neutrality by being the special guest referee as those two face off again on April 29 in Frankfurt. This reminds me a lot of SummerSlam 92, and the whole “whose corner is Mr Perfect in?” story, and I have no problem with that at all!

We move into an interview with Jurn Simmons, with Sebastian Hollmichel congratulating Jurn on his win as he feels he’s dealt with RINGKAMPF for good. They build up the Champions Challenge in Frankfurt, a non-title clash between Simmons and Emil Sitoci, and Jurn’s calling Emil on his prior claim of him being the “best Dutch wrestler alive”.

WALTER vs. Kim Ray
Also from Leipzig (as in “Lie-p-zig”, not “Leap-zig”), we continue Kim Ray’s return from injury. Hopefully there’ll be a lot less kicks!

WALTER starts out on top, clubbing Ray with forearms before a shoulder block sent Ray down to the mat. A missed dropkick from WALTER lets Kim come back with a kick to the chest, and yes, he’s like a German Mike Bailey, at least until Christian Michael Jakobi trips him on the outside.

Kim Ray heads outside and kicks WALTER some more, but “der Ring-general” has enough and plants him on the apron with a back suplex, and they go between kicks and chops back inside the ring. WALTER drills Ray with a German suplex after the Gojira clutch was broken via the ropes, before a butterfly suplex gets WALTER another near-fall as he took the match to the kicker Kim.

A clothesline from Ray sees him turn things around, and yes, there’s more kicks, but Jakobi again gets involved to restrain him and allow WALTER to batter him with another German suplex. A barrage of knees and overhead chops puts Ray down in the corner, before he comes back with more kicks as it’s WALTER who ends up on the ground. Things turn around again as WALTER crotches Kim in the ringpost, before stomping Ray’s ankle onto the ring steps.

Of course, Kim kicks with that leg, but unlike his Canadian counterpart Mike Bailey, he actually sells it… which means he’s quickly caught in an ankle lock. Ray grabs the ropes and fights free before press slamming WALTER off the top rope. A diving dropkick into the corner keeps the Austrian down, as does an enziguiri as WALTER tried for another Grman suplex off the ropes.

Kim lands an Exploder suplex as he looks for the win, but he’s got to duck a chairshot from Jakobi who got in the ring for some reason. Karsten Beck comes in to disarm Jakobi, but in the melee Beck smashes the chair against WALTER… so Kim Ray gets the loss by DQ. This was a pretty good back-and-forth contest, but I’m really not sold on Kim Ray. I’m guessing fans of “Speedball” will like him, but that finish was just… meh. ***½

We cut to the back where WALTER’s back with Christian Michael Jakobi, and he’s asking Jakobi about RINGKAMPF. Jakobi’s stressed that everyone’s asking him what happens next with RINGKAMPF, especially now Axel’s leaving. It seems Jakobi’s tired of egos getting in the way of business, and more importantly, that everyone seems to keep asking him to clean up their messes. This ends up with a proposal for a match in Frankfurt… but in comes Axel Dieter Jr to call out everyone for being underhanded rather than dealing with stuff face-to-face.

WALTER and Dieter argue over Axel’s decision to leave wXw, something that disappointed Dieter, and just like that, WALTER promises to beat Axel since he can’t stop him from leaving… and that’s our episode of Shotgun for another week! Another decent episode, but you do get the feeling that they had to speed up plans with RINGKAMPF’s implosion due to Axel’s departure. Next week’s show will be the “go home” for the Dieter/WALTER match in Frankfurt, along with Axel’s farewell show – and after that… who knows what happens to the stable that used to hold the power in wXw?