wXw Shotgun returns for a post-Shortcut to the Top episode, featuring an amazing main event with Ilja Dragunov taking on Alexander James.

As usual, there’s a spoiler warning for anyone who’s not seen Shortcut first. Like us! We’ll avoid any spoilers dropped into commentary unless it plays into something else.

We open up backstage with Francis Kaspin and Jay Skillet – a wXw trainee who’s sort-of making a comeback. Jay congratulated Kaspin on his match with Alexander James at Shortcut, before moving onto Emil Sitoci losing the Shotgun title a few weeks back. He puts that down to karma, and labels Emil a diva. Before he goes, Francis has a new move to show Jay… but we don’t get to see it.

Next up is a RISE promo with the Young Lions, and I think this is a replay of the one aired after Superstars of Wrestling, as they brag about serving revenge.

Alpha Kevin vs. Lucky Kid
We’re going back a month, to a house show in Erfurt as Jeremy Graves provides the call here… Kevin charges at Lucky Kid at the bell, prompting the tag champ to use referee Tassilo Jung as a human shield for a cheapshot as he takes over.

Kid stomps away at Kevin in the corner, but Kevin comes back with some clotheslines before a crossbody off the middle rope sent Kid to the outside… for a cannonball senton off the apron! Back in the rind, Kid rakes away at Kevin’s eyes, then hits a handspring back elbow as commentary tells us that Bobby Gunns didn’t exactly heed Melanie Gray’s warning from last week.

The momentum stays in Lucky Kid’s corner, as he gets a near-fall after a simple snapmare out of the corner, but Kevin again tries to come back with a sunset flip off the apron, only for Kid to roll through into some Dusty punches. A superkick takes Kevin down though, as Kid starts to choke on Kevin with his own towel… earning the Young Lion a €20 fine. That’ll mean he’ll have to sell more merch!

Kevin comes back with a Fisherman’s buster before he busts out the springboard Stunner that John Cena couldn’t nail… and actually connects! The comeback continues with some spears in the corner, before a clothesline earns him a near-fall, and Kid comes even closer with a DDT as the crowd keeps mocking him for that fine.

An attempted Exploder’s elbowed out of by Kevin, who then bats away another handspring with a forearm smash as that Exploder earned him a two-count… but Kid comes back again with a spin-out neckbreaker and that’s enough for the RISE member to get the win. A fun back and forth encounter, with Lucky Kid showing us he’s more than a tag guy. More please! ***

Next up is Bobby Gunns, and he’s got another Smoking Break segment. He asks what you do if your girl is more into another guy than you… and then what do you do if your girl helps another guy beat you. It’s Bobby bragging because Melanie Gray inadvertently got Alpha Kevin eliminated at Shortcut to the Top… by Bobby Gunxs.

Kim Ray has an interview with Thomas Giesen next… Kim’s thrilled to have beaten WALTER and Christian Michael Jakobi “for him and for Karsten Beck”. Ray goes on about how Jakobi abused his power… and how he got his comeuppance in the end. Giesen asks what’s next for Kim Ray, and it seems his plan is to just keep on wrestling.

Jaxon Stone and Alexander James provide the backdrop for the Fight Forever Tour video, which is where they reel off the upcoming dates for the rest of 2017.

Next up, David Starr gets a welcoming party after regaining the Shotgun title. Matt Riddle’s got a PROGRESS scarf on for some reason, as David wanders into the dressing room… only to get mugged by Pete Bouncer and Ivan Kiev behind closed doors.

Thomas Giesen again, this time with Francis Kaspin, who can’t stop crowing about his win over Alexander James. Kaspin reckons he’s being underestimated by those in the wrestling bubble, but he’s going to use the summer break to just let things lie. Giesen doesn’t let that drop though, and he pushes the issue over Kaspin’s former tag partner Chris Colen… but to use a different analogy, this isn’t a sprint, but a marathon.

Jurn Simmons has a promo next after his match against Avalanche at Shortcut to the Top. He issues a challenge to Ilja Dragunov, who missed the show for family reasons, and I’m guessing this was meant to have been on the live show as Jurn demands to face Ilja on August 5th when the Fight Forever tour opens.

Elsewhere on that August 5 show, of course we have A4 challenging the Young Lions for their wXw tag titles, whilst WALTER faces Chris Colen. The Fight Forever tour… brought to you by the colour red!

Marius van Beethoven’s backstage now shooting the breeze with Dirty Dragan, talking about Alpha Kevin before Young Money Chong bursts in. He’s going to get the guys in shape, so the hapless Dutch trio do squats… by which I mean Marius and Dragan groan on a sofa.

Alexander James vs. Ilja Dragunov
We’re going even further back for this one, to Hoyerswerda in May! James starts out on the offence, taking Dragunov into the corner, before scarpering to avoid one of those chops from the Russian.

Commentary tells us that Alexander James has been re-signed for the Fight Forever tour as he’s having two more months in Germany, and when the lull in action ends, James goes after Ilja with some basic holds… only to get some chops. Yeah, good luck with taking those Alexander!

James teases a receipt, but he holds back as Ilja lands another chop as the 16 Carat Gold winner built up a head of steam, clotheslining James to the floor. Alexander cuts off a tope with an uppercut from the apron, only to get clotheslined back out as that dive connected at the second attempt! On the outside, Ilja goes back to those blistering chops, only for James to rebound off the ropes and lands a clothesline of his own before scoring with the somersault neckbreaker for a near-fall.

From there, James builds up the pressure, stomping away on Ilja before throwing in some clubbing forearms to score some near-falls, before massively telegraphing an elbow off the middle rope as he dove into the boot of Ilja, whose resurgence immediately ended when he missed a back senton. Dragunov has to kick out after a diving European uppercut, but James found his barrage of forearms weren’t keeping the Russian down.

A Northern Lights suplex gets a near-fall as Ilja rolled a shoulder up, but that just earned him a Fisherman’s Driver as James crept even closer to victory. Another uppercut knocks Ilja onto the turnbuckles, but he recovered into a sunset bomb as he managed to get some separation with a Saito suplex… prompting a standing ten count for both men. They beat it… but Ilja goes clothesline crazy, knocking down James for a near-fall.

Yet, James wasn’t down for the count, as he slingshots Ilja into an Ace crusher for another two-count, before a pumphandle suplex is no-sold by zombie Ilja! A Blue Thunder Bomb follows as Dragunov almost won it, before crushing AJ with a back senton off the top rope… but James yet again kicked out!

Both men exchange boots, but they cling onto each other’s hands to keep stop the other from getting away… which allowed Alexander to crush Ilja with a back elbow to the head. The American looked to finish things off with a superplex, but Ilja fought back… only to take the superplex that James tried to roll into something else, only to get dropped on his head with a clothesline. Ilja quickly followed up with a Torpedo Moscau, and just like that, Ilja gets the win out of nowhere in what has to be Alexander James’ best outing in wXw to date… ****

…and just like that, Shotgun goes off the air for another week! We’ll fill in the blanks later in the week from Shortcut to the Top as wXw now takes time off from live events ahead of their return to Oberhausen on August 5!