With FAN coming up in a little over a week, wXw keeps up the build for the road to Hamburg – with plenty of vignettes and confrontation!

We open with a video package of the main event from the Fight Forever Tour Opener, focusing on Avalanche crushing Ilja Dragunov with a cannonball and carrying him out of the match… leaving Bad Bones relatively free to beat Jurn Simmons for the title. That segues into a backstage promo with Jurn Simmons, alongside compatriot Rico Bushido. Jurn’s not happy with all the interference we saw, and he warns RISE that they’re not the only group of people who have each other’s backs.

Another video package recaps more from that Tour Opener, and then we go backstage with Julian Nero and his client, Toni Harting. Toni’s thrilled to have found someone who’s looking after him… and Nero’s apparently gotten him a match for FAN next weekend. Nero wants a favour from Harting though, but we don’t find out what it is.

Alexander James vs. Koray
It’s off to Berlin for this one as Alexander James’ tour from America continued against local lad Koray. James and Koray work over each other’s wrists early, as commentary throws in a match booked for well-into-the-future… Alexander James’ return to wXw sees him wrestle Timothy Thatcher on a feature event in Frankfurt on September 30.

Yeah, that turnaround’s going to lead to a fun review given the World Tag Team League’s a week later!

They reverse hammerlocks as Koray thought he’d gotten an advantage… but they remained remarkably even as Koray threw in some elbows and clotheslines before dropkicking the American for a near-fall. James escapes a suplex and rolls to the apron for a breather… but Koray tries to drag him back in, only for James to snap the top rope onto the local lad!

James’ slam gets him a near-fall as we get the statutory run through of upcoming dates, whilst a neck crank keeps Koray firmly on the mat. One lone woman is so eager to cheer “fuck him up Alex, fuck him up”, so much so it annoys James into yelling at her! The self-imposed distraction gets Koray back into it, but he quickly falls to an O’Connor roll as James rolled into a scissored Dragon sleeper, forcing the Berliner into the ropes.

Koray slaps James down to the mat hard, then fires back with forearms… but James fights back, only to take a Go To Sleep! Koray can’t follow-up immediately though, as he ends up delivering some Riddle-esque leaping forearms in the corner before running into a big boot. A ducked ripcord back elbow leads to a DDT for Koray, but James is able to shrug it off… and take a flipping neckbreaker!

Koray tries to capitalise off the top rope, but James knocks the ref into the ropes to crotch Koray… leaving him open for a Tower of London and the Bloody Sunday DDT for the win. Thoroughly enjoyable, with James giving the local lad plenty of offence before taking a rather laboured win. ***

A David Starr promo follows – this week, he tells us the origin of his nickname “The Main Event”. Apparently it came from constantly main-eventing wXw shows, but he’s lost for words because of RISE, and so the promo piece is derailed. It becomes a promo for his match at FAN with Ivan Kiev… with plenty of shade at Ivan “there’s a reason nobody knows your name” Kiev. This was a fantastic promo, and one I was not expecting when it opened up with the “here’s my nicknames” piece.

So… our card for FAN so far now reads: David Starr vs. Flip Gordon vs. Ivan Kiev for the Shotgun title; Bad Bones John Klinger vs. Jurn Simmons for the wXw Unified World Wrestling title; Ilja Dragunov vs. Avalanche in a street fight for the number one contendership; RISE (Young Lions & Pete Bouncer) vs. Kim Ray & A4; Timothy Thatcher vs. Bobby Gunns; Dirty Dragan vs. Francis Kaspin; and newly-added: Toni Harting & Julian Nero vs. Die Keiler (the pairing of Veit Müller & Jan Dietrich).

We’re backstage again with Adam Polak. He’s grabbed by Avalanche, who’s taken quite the exception to Polak’s opinion that Ilja’s better than him… After a promo for the Fight Forever tour itself, Ilja Dragunov accosts Avalanche for that assault… he’s tells Avalanche he can hit a manager or a commentator, but he won’t do that to him. Cue snarling!

Next, we randomly drop in on Verena Fischer, who’s talking with Melanie Gray about the upcoming World Tag Team League. Mella’s thrilled to see the Spirit Squad, but Verena’s more happy about the upcoming women’s title tournament. There’s just one thing holding back Melanie’s joy… she’s no idea how to focus on the tournament given everything going on with Alpha Kevin and herself. She wants to know if Kevin trusts her… otherwise, she feels it’ll wreck her title chances.

Earworm time! October’s World Tag Team League’s roll call features the Briscoes, the Young Lions, A4, Massive Product (David Starr & Jurn Simmons), EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik from Beyond Wrestling and… more recently, GFW – they’re in for the withdrawing OI4K) and the Spirit Squad. As for the Femmes Fatales tournament, Alpha Female, Toni Storm, Viper, Jinny, Amale Winchester, Laura di Matteo, Melanie Gray and Pauline are re-confirmed.

Referees Markus Weiss and Rainer Ringer have a segment next. Toni Harting interrupts them so he can give them business cards for Nero Consulting… and remember, Markus was already interested! Rainer isn’t so keen…

Rico Bushido’s back, this time with Francis Kaspin. They build up to Kaspin/Dragan at FAN, and of course, Dragan interrupts things, all sleazy and everything. Kaspin openly says that Dragan should work on his attitude, and perhaps turning up for work sober. Rico’s gotta separate these two, and just about manages it.

Tarkan Aslan vs. Francis Kaspin
Our main event comes from Erfurt as Francis Kaspin takes on one-half of the tag team champions… Kaspin’s taken to the ropes early, as Aslan unloads on him… but Kaspin trips the tag champ and eventually sends him packing.

Aslan returns to the ring and takes down Francis with a shoulder tackle, before a leaping knee keeps things in some kind of flux. Kaspin mounts a comeback with dropkicks and forearms into the corner, but he’s dropped with a forearm as the “Pop Culture Wrestler” is finding it hard going against the Young Lion.

Some chops out of the corner earn Kaspin a vicious elbow to the neck ahead of a sleeperhold. After kicking out from a knee, Kaspin tried to get in some chops, but Aslan again cuts him off, only to fall to a series of cross-chops. Another trip sets up Aslan for a low dropkick as Kaspin tried to get back into it, nailing Tarkan with a missile dropkick for another near-fall.

A diving clothesline ends that offence though, getting Aslan another two-count, before Kaspin tried to go tit-for-tat with a pump kick… Aslan hits one as well, and that leaves Kaspin down on the mat. Aslan flies off the top rope with a double stomp, and there’s your answer to “what will the tag wrestler win with?” – short, but a decent enough match for the time they had. **¾

We end with the Young Lions backstage. The bigger-bearded Aslan talks up their chances for the World Tag Team League in about six weeks, as how they look to further pour scorn on those who looked down on them before.

Another decent episode of Shotgun this week – with plenty of storyline progression, and some pretty solid in-ring work too. wXw’s backlog of house show matches is starting to wear a little dry now though, so the upcoming dates in September couldn’t have come at a better time to replenish those particular stocks!