wXw completed the build to this weekend’s Superstars of Wrestling show – with a swift edition of Shotgun!

We open with a backstage segment as Jurn Simmons congratulates Karsten Beck on being cleared to make a comeback. It’s one of those England/German promos, so everyone gets subtitles, and Beck’s rather conflicted given everything that’s happened both professionally and personally. Jurn sort-of laughs it off, which makes me think is that something for the future?

There’s a video package to build up the Jurn Simmons vs. Matt Riddle title match on Saturday – featuring quotes from Christian Michael Jakobi and WALTER of all people. This was different to what wXw usually does, but this was a nice way to build to a match without making it all storyline based.

Next up is Marius van Beethoven. He’s alive! Dirty Dragan’s here too, remembering that they were trying to team up before he buggered off and got squashed alongside Young Money Chong… speaking of, Chong’s here as well, but Marius doesn’t know it. Marius has apparently found a new tag team partner in Emil Sitoci, and now he sees Chong, and he’s confused by the chain-wearing grinner. It seems that Marius climaxes every time he says gold or even touches it, and apparently that’s enough to stop him dreaming.

Dirty Dragan & Young Money Chong vs. “Bad Bones” John Klinger
We’re in Stuttgart from the end of April for this one, and we’ve got Jeremy Graves on commentary as the man behind our usual voice, Alan Counihan, is currently in hospital – get well soon Alan!

Jeremy’s got a hot start to call as Bones throws himself into the path of Dragan and Chong whilst Marius van Beethoven (I guess) stood on the stage directing traffic. Chong tries to attack Bones from behind, but that was never going to go well, nor was the foot stomp, as Bones replied with a dropkick instead.

It’s a handicap squash pretty much, as Bones nonchalantly gets rid of Dragan with a back body drop before giving Chong a powerslam for a near-fall. Poor Chong gets some chops in the corner, but he makes a comeback as Dragan returns for a two-on-one beatdown on Klinger. We get the read-through of upcoming dates surprisingly early in the show, and that ends just in time for Dragan to get cornered by Klinger… who gives him a German suplex!

Some corner-to-corner elbows follow from Bones, as does a noggin knocker, before they send Bones to the outside… where he springs back in with a slingshot spear to the pair of them! Chong blocks a superkick, which Dragan takes, before a jumping DDT almost earns the upset of the year… they go for a double superplex, only for Bones to push them to the mat, which leads to a leaping Codebreaker off the middle rope as Dragan takes the fall. An entertaining squash, and it’s nice to see some new faces on Shotgun! **½

They show a video package for the Frankfurt show from a few weeks back…including Jakobi’s lick on Karsten Beck for some odd reason.

Angelico’s up next with a promo for his match at Superstars of Wrestling… it’s ultra generic as it doesn’t name his opponents or anything else beyond “that belt”. Eh, at least it’s something to build to Emil Sitoci’s Shotgun title defence against Angelico, Fenix and Penta el Zero M. They flip through the rest of a Lucha Underground-heavy card, which makes sense since German channel Tele 5 are co-promoting this show… and Tele 5 is the home of Lucha Underground in Germany.

Yet Lucha Underground STILL isn’t available legally in the UK… but that’s a moan for another time!

We’re taken to Julian Nero’s ASUS laptop next, as he speaks to an off-camera PA about some upcoming appointments. He’s hyping up his Nero Consultancy gimmick, and mentions how he offered his expertise as a mediator in Frankfurt. Which worked SO well! Since Ilja and Avalanche were “unwilling to resolve their conflict”, Nero’s now gotten himself added to that rematch, so it’s a three-way, with Nero positing whether a “lucky third man” could go on to win the wXw Unified World Wrestling title. I’d guess not?

Next is Sebastian Hollmichel, who’s with Ilja Dragunov – who he notes has been derailed since winning 16 Carat Gold by his former Cerberus partners. Ilja tells us he wants to push a problem back into the past so he can continue his path to the top of wXw. That gives way to another video package on the history of Ilja, Nero and Avalanche, from the break-up of Cerberus to their recent skirmishes ahead of their match on Saturday.

We cut from that to… a dancing Jaxon Stone?! He’s aping Buff Bagwell – complete with top hat – as he prepares to face the former WCW star. Stone calls himself the “new and improved version”, and there’s not much more to it than that.

Da Mack vs. Bobby Gunns
Oh for the love of… this match again?! Mack starts out hot with a series of chops to Gunns, before sending him into the corner with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for an early two-count.

Gunns counters with a headlock that Mack just hand-walks out of, but Gunns pops up and kicks away Mack’s hands as he was still upside down. He goes to work on Mack’s arm, but ends up taking a leg sweep as Mack kept up the pressure, sending Gunns to the outside for an eventual cannonball off the apron.

Back inside, Gunns goes got a Suzuki-like rope-hung armbar on Mack, before using the ropes to hang Mack’s arm on. You can’t hit the Mack Magic cutter with a bad arm! A basement dropkick gets Gunns a near-fall, and he quickly cuts off a comeback by wringing Mack’s arm en route to stomping on it.

Gunns backdrops Mack onto the apron as the latest comeback saw Mack score with a springboard forearm, followed by some chops and a neckbreaker for a near-fall. The pair trade kicks as Mack lands almost a Shining Wizard for another two-count, before a cannonball off the top rope gets Mack firmly into the driver’s seat… but a cutter attempt is blocked and met with a release German suplex from Gunns.

A Saito suplex follows as Gunns dumped Mack on his back, but he refuses to make a cover. Instead he goes for – and whiffs – the David Starr “look at it” groin thrust to the head, which sparks Mack into another comeback, taking down Gunns with the La Mistica armbar that he’s rebadged “This Is It”. Gunns reaches the ropes forcing an eventual break, but he’s pulled back into the ring as Mack stamps on his head repeatedly.

Gunns popped back up from that, and just spits at Mack… which gets him taken down with a double-leg as Mack’s ground and pound forces referee Tassilo Jung to break it up. Mack shoves him away, then apologises, and the distraction allows Gunns to use an O’Connor roll for the win. I like how Mack’s continual snapping and frustration is costing him matches, but can we have this against someone other than Gunns? ***

From there, we’re backstage again for another Smoking Break segment with Bobby Gunns. He brags about beating Da Mack in Hamburg at True Colours (conveniently skirting it was a reversed decision), before complaining that Mack “weasled out” of a match they were meant to have had in Weyhe in March. Gunns actually called Mack a sex tourist because he went to Thailand instead… that’s a bit harsh! The baiting continues as Gunns continued to troll Mack about his girlfriend, whilst asking if he came back from Thailand with an STI as a souvenir. Jesus!

They play clips from the Best of Axel Dieter Jr. DVD/feature, and then we wrap up with a segment with Karsten Beck and Kim Ray. Sebastian Hollmichel is there, and he brings up Christian Michael Jakobi… which just enrages Karsten and Kim, who are fed up of CMJ talking. Ray recounts how great it was to beat up the man who treated him like dirt, before building up his match against Jakobi’s “German shepherd, Waldi”.

He’s Austrian, damnit!

Of course, we’ve got Beck and Jakobi at ringside for the Kim Ray/WALTER match, and Beck gives Christian a warning that if he’ll take action if Jakobi tries anything funny. They play a video package of Kim Ray’s return, featuring a translated part from the Frankfurt show where Jakobi threatened to fire Beck if he touched him, and that’s all for this week’s Shotgun – a rather quiet show with all of the focus on this weekend’s supershow.

wXw’s Superstars of Wrestling is this weekend (tonight, when this is posted), and it’s quite a varied card for Oberhausen:

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Jurn Simmons (c) vs. Matt Riddle
wXw Shotgun Championship: Emil Sitoci (c) vs. Angelico vs. Penta el Zero M vs. Rey Fenix
wXw World Tag Team Championships: A4 (Absolute Andy & Marius al-Ani) (c) vs. Young Lions (Tarkan Aslan & Lucky Kid)
WALTER vs. Kim Ray
Ilja Dragunov vs. Avalanche vs. Julian Nero
Relaxed Rules: Vampiro vs. “Bad Bones” John Klinger
Jaxon Stone vs. Buff Bagwell
Chris Colen & Francis Kaspin vs. Hurricane Helms & Da Mack
Bobby Gunns vs. Drago

Given wXw’s usual turnaround, this show’ll be on wXw Now by the middle of next week, whilst next week’s Shotgun will carry a spoiler warning for those who, like us, watch these out of order!