A pair of stellar matches bookmarked this week’s episode of Shotgun, as Shortcut to the Top looms in the distance…

Yes, we’re moving these reviews away from the weekend slots. It might be me, but I feel that these Shotgun titles need more RISE… Wwe open with the tales from last week of Alpha Kevin and Bobby Gunns, leading to that match and Kevin’s loss via submission. They take us backstage, supposedly after the match, where Melanie’s consoling Kevin on his loss – and there’s a nice dodge of the swearing in translation too!

Melanie tries to skip around the topic, before flat out chastising Kevin for being out of shape and tells him to stop smoking. Another guy walks in and passes a message to Melanie, saying that “Bobby’s waiting under the shower”. This is a weird mixture of shit-stirring and a PSA…

Here’s RISE again, with dead-behind-the-eyes Pete Bouncer getting a promo. He says he didn’t ask for much, no main events, TV appearances or anything but respect. He’s claiming that now, and compares himself to a virus that everyone should look out for.

Next is Emil Sitoci with Rico Bushido. They talk about how Sitoci’s not won the wXw title, which he puts down to a lack of chances, but Emil’s playing the long game. Next up for him is another shot at the Shotgun title though, as he faces David Starr and Angelico in Cologne next weekend. Cue a promo piece for all three guys, highlighting their recent wXw history ahead of that three-way.

They run down the Shortcut to the Top card again – there’s nothing new been added to the segment since last week, so check our recap of Shotgun 309 for the card! A refresh of Jurn Simmons’ promo from last week takes us into a sneak attack by Avalanche on Jurn, presumably as he was walking away from that promo taping.

Jaxon Stone vs. Alexander James
We’re back to Bielefeld for this match, and Irish Alan’s back as Stone’s attempt at a cheapshot is quickly thwarted when James avoids him and takes him into the corner with some uppercuts.

James slingshots into the ring with a Blockbuster neckbreaker that the crowd appreciated, but Stone made a comeback with a clothesline to the back of the head after shoving James into the ropes. Jaxon’s not showing much sign of being rattled by the paparazzi last week as he stomped a mudhole into James in the corner, before slapping the taste out of his mouth.

The crowd seemed to be on James’ side, which clashed a little as Alan was reminding us of his clash with Francis Kaspin at the wXw Dojo last week. Stone keeps up with those right hands before a pop-up knee got him a near-fall, before mounting James’ back and raining down forearms on him.

An attempted comeback from James ended when Stone caught him with a fallaway slam, but James again tried to fight from the bottom, before the pair traded boots, uppercuts and forearms. One of those boots knocked the gum out of Jaxon’s mouth ahead of a ripcord back elbow, before dumping Stone with a Tower of London for a near-fall… and despite taking too long to pose, James managed to finish the job with a high-angle double-underhook DDT – the King’s Landing – to earn the pin. A heck of a TV match from two guys in wXw who perhaps haven’t been able to shine as brightly as they’d have wanted. ***½

Of course, that takes us to Alexander James who runs into a trainee outside the wXw Dojo. She asks him for advice, but all he tells her is to watch and do as he does, before barging into Francis Kaspin, who just so happened to be arriving. Sadly, the trainee did not barge into Francis, who told her to do the exact opposite of James. She’s going to be all confused now!

Clips from last year’s Shortcut to the Top match air, which was won by Karsten Beck in a match that was bittersweet given that less than two months later, he’d be diagnosed with the brain tumour that ended his active career (for now).

Next up is Marius van Beethoven, who’s on the phone whilst Dirty Dragan’s passed out drunk. Marius is annoyed that his dad’s hadn’t told him about his holiday yet, before he wakes up Dragan to tell him that they get to pick… Monaco, St. Tropez, Las Vegas, Miami. Dragan picks Miami, which Marian just skips over just in time for Young Money Chong to dive into the room and take over.,, with toilet paper hanging out of his rear.

It’s time for that ear-worm again! The first few entrants for this year’s World Tag Team League – between October 6 and 8 – have been revealed. Competing will be “Massive Product” (Jurn Simmons and David Starr), the Spirit Squad (Mikey & Kenny) and the Young Lions (Lucky Kid & Tarkan Aslan). Also on that weekend will be the 2017 Femmes Fatales show (on October 7), featuring Alpha Female, Toni Storm, Viper and Jinny. Stay tuned, is all we can say!

We’re taken to a venue where Kim Ray hijacks a cameraman to cut a promo on WALTER and Christian Michael Jakobi. Ray’s upset that he can’t fulfil his dream to get rid of Jakobi with Karsten Beck… so he issues the challenge: a handicap match at Shortcut to the Top. Kim Ray vs. WALTER & Jakobi! I guess this was the match that was meant to have been Beck’s comeback?

Highlights from wXw’s recent trip to Hamburg follow, a show that’s well worth going out of your way to see, before we get a wacky segment with A4 playing sudoku on Absolute Andy’s phone. Bad Bones interrupts their numbers game, telling them that Alpha Kevin’s injured before apologising for not being able to beat the Young Lions in Hamburg, Marius al Ani takes the blame, before Andy vows to regain the titles on August 5 in Oberhausen – after wXw’s summer break.

That match is confirmed for the start of wXw’s Fight Forever tour – with the Turbinenhalle playing host to the Superstars of Wrestling rematch for those tag titles.

David Starr vs. “Bad Bones” John Klinger
We’re finally in a different venue, as Berlin’s SO36 plays host to today’s main event – a match that ought to be quite special.

Starr and Bones take each other into the corner at the start, before Starr took down Bones for a series of near-falls from a simple armdrag takedown. Bones comes back in, working the arm as Alan tells us that next week’s Shotgun features that #1 vs. #30 match between Bones and Ivan Kiev – with the winner entering Shortcut to the Top in the final spot, whilst the loser opens it up.

The pair remain even as Starr runs into a dropkick from Bones, who then followed up by telegraphing a back body drop out of the corner, as Starr ran back in with a pinning attempt for a two-count. Regardless, Bones comes back with a stinging chop, before throwing Starr across the ring by the neck as the rough-house style had Starr firmly on the defensive.

Bones connects with a back body drop for a two-count as Starr finally started to get into the match with some chops before hitting an inverted gutwrench suplex to take the German down. Some back-and-forth forearms in the corner led to Bones trying a slingshot spear… but Starr blocks it with a superkick before landing his Product Recall (Downward Spiral in the ropes) for another near-fall.

Another superkick from Starr misses, but he DDT’s Bones onto the apron instead, sending him down to the floor ahead of some dives… from Bones! Starr hits some as well, before Bones finally caught him with that slingshot spear and a superkick that almost earned him the win.

Yet again the tide turns as Starr lands a Blackheart Buster for a two-count, but Bones tries to fight away a Product Placement attempt, only to run into a rolling elbow. Starr gets caught and dumped on the top rope as he’s forced to elbow away from a back superplex, but instead he’s dumped across the turnbuckles as the Wrecking Ball knees from Bones earned another near-fall.

From the kick-out, Bones gets the crossface for a brief moment, but Starr comes back with a knee strike before floating over into a JML driver attempt… that Bones flapjacked out of and into another crossface! Starr’s rolled over into the middle of the ring, but he’s able to power up and break the hold with a backbreaker! The pair slug it out from the mat as they got back to their feet, with a Violence Party from Starr quickly being met with a forearm from Bones, before Starr hit a Destroyer out of nowhere ahead of a Product Placement for the win! A hell of a main event match, one that started slowly but accelerated quickly by the end – easily the best match on Shotgun for several weeks! ***¾

…and that’s all for this week’s episode! Next week we’ve got Bad Bones vs. Ivan Kiev in a match to determine who enters Shortcut to the Top at number one and who comes in at number thirty, and the rest of the build for July’s event in Cologne!