wXw completes their road to Friday’s Fans Appreciation Night in Hamburg on this week’s Shotgun!

As ever, we open with a segment, with Thomas Giesen interviewing A4. Giesen asks them about Jurn Simmons’ comments last week, and Absolute Andy cuts him off, confirming that they are indeed building a team to take on RISE. Marius al-Ani jumps in to say that they’re going to show RISE who’s in charge… and my Spidey senses may be tingling for no reason. At FAN, it’s A4 and Kim Ray vs. Kim Ray and the Young Lions…

We see a replay from Shotgun two weeks ago, where Alexander James beat Toni Harting and Laurance Roman… then last week where he beat Koray in Berlin. Today, he’s got Jurn Simmons from earlier in the year. A bridge too far, perhaps?

They run through the card for FAN on Friday… 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; Toni Harting & Julian Nero vs. Die Keiler (the pairing of Veit Müller & Jan Dietrich). The show’ll be up on wXw Now next Monday for those waiting for these to drop!

Thomas Giesen is back with an interview with Ivan Kiev ahead of his Shotgun title match on Friday. Kiev bemoans how he’s worked for many years in small promotions in rings that barely were standing… Kiev thinks he’ll not be remembered, but once he’s beaten Flip Gordon and David Starr, RISE’ll have all the gold. Giesen brings up the collective of Jurn, A4 and David Starr who’ll be looking to face RISE, but Kiev reckons that that quartet won’t be able to hold on as RISE take revenge on those who mocked them before.

Kim Ray vs. Jaxon Stone vs. Bobby Gunns vs. Ilja Dragunov
Speaking of weird quartets, what about this for a four-way? Jeremy Graves has barely introduced himself as Gunns and Stone charged into the other two… and already Gunns and Stone are at odds.

The bad guys’ taunt-off gets interrupted as Dragunov and Ray take their shots, mostly in the way of mounted punches in the corner to Stone and Gunns respectively. Ray and Dragunov work together to dropkick the bad guys off the apron, before they turn their aim on each other. Yes, Kim tries to kick, and takes Ilja down to his knees, only to get dropped with a leg lariat from the Russian.

Dragunov rolls into the ring and blasts Ray with a dropkick, but Stone tries to steal the pin and only gets a near-fall out of it as Dragunov makes Jaxon pay with a handful of chops! Stone responds by throwing Ilja into the middle rope, then hitting a clothesline to the back as he claimed a two-count, before hitting a pop-up palm strike and a ripcord knee for another near-fall.

Bobby Gunns returns to distract Stone, then catches him in a rope hung armbar that Ray breaks up… with a kick to the chest of Gunns. Ray comes back into the ring with an Exploder on Stone, but this time Gunns returns to drop Kim with a basement dropkick as the action kept a pretty high pace.

Gunns struggles with a German suplex, and ends up getting cut-off with a DDT and a Saito suplex from Ilja, who then wiped out Ray with a clothesline… and you could sense the end was nigh… only for Stone to cut off whatever Ilja went up top for. That turns into a Tower of Doom as Ray powerbombs away Gunns’ and Stone’s superplex attempts!

Ilja popped straight back up, but ran into a roundhouse kick from Ray, who then teed off on Gunns and Stones some more. Things settle down as Stone lands a fallaway Samoan drop to Gunns, only to get crushed with a back senton from Ilja on landing… as the Torpedo Moscau gets Ilja the win! A thoroughly entertaining four-way – perhaps a little spotty at times, but perfectly fine wrestling, all in a tidy, sub-10 minute too! ***½

They follow this up with a video to build up Ilja/Avalanche on Friday, before we go backstage with RISE. Chris Colen celebrates John Klinger on his wXw title win… and apparently wants a title shot, but Bad Bones reminds him that he’s got a small matter of the rematch. Dissension already, eh?

Toni Harting’s up next. Practising his Nero Consulting pitch in a mirror. Dirty Dragan interrupts him, and offers his services. Instead, Harting just repeats his pitch, which annoys Dragan to the point where he jabs a fork into his throat. Jesus Christ, that’s an over-reaction! Julian Nero makes the save, and Dragan backs away.

That’s followed by a video package for the Dragan/Kaspin match on Friday… and then we’re backstage with wXw’s German commentary pair of Sebastian Hollmichel and Tim Petrowski. Tim’s got a RISE tee on, but they’re interrupted by Alpha Kevin, who wants to pour his heart out to Seb. It seems Melanie Gray’s ultimatum has rattled Kevin… and perhaps Seb’s call for him to take stock of the overall relationship just adds even more weight to Kevin’s shoulders.

Wait, a year ago they were going to marry… and now they’re… in troubled waters? Uh-oh…

World Tag Team League ear-worm time! They confirm last week’s announcements on social media that the Rottweilers (Homicide & Low Ki) and the RINGKAMPF pairing of Timothy Thatcher and WALTER are in the tournament. Those two round up the existing field of the Briscoes, the Young Lions, Massive Product, A4, EYFBO and the Spirit Squad! As for the women’s tournament, it’s still Alpha Female, Toni Storm, Viper, Jinny, Laura Di Matteo, Melanie Gray, Pauline but there’s a change in Alex Windsor (for Amale Winchester).

Another video – this time for Jurn Simmons’ rematch against Bad Bones for the wXw championship.

wXw World Heavyweight Championship: Jurn Simmons (c) vs. Alexander James
We’re in Münster for our main event, which ironically was the opening match from that house show in June. Yep, Jurn’s got the belt, but let’s ignore that and enjoy the match!

Münster have some choice words when James backs away from the champ… and when he does go toe-to-toe with Jurn, the Dutchman easily throws him around. James enjoys a brief bit of offence, snapmaring Jurn to the mat after some fluid holds… which were as fluid as Alexander’s gyrations were not.

Just like that, Jurn press slams James, then takes him into the corner for some repeated shoulder charges, before whipping the American hard into the opposite corners. Some nice bumps there from Alexander, who’s left reeling with a release Falcon arrow, as a leaping elbow gets Jurn a near-fall.

James rebounds with a diving uppercut, but that just gets a one-count, as Simmons just replies with a simple dropkick to put the “Prince of Pro” on the apron. A forearm cuts-off James’ springboard attempt, but he’s able to fight back with a diving uppercut off the middle rope for a two-count, and it’s all James for a while, with a basement dropkick picking up another two-count.

An overhead belly-to-belly racks up another two-count for James, before mouthing off to a fan who’s got some more unsavoury words… and that distraction gives Jurn a chance to fight back with some massive (sorry) slaps. Eventually a clothesline spins James to the mat, as Jurn builds up momentum heading into an Oklahoma Stampede!

Jurn goes for a piledriver, but James backdrops out of it, as he teases for a front facelock suplex. Instead he takes a sit-out gutwrench powerbomb as he’s forced to kick out at two. Out of nowhere James catches Jurn with the Tower of London draping cutter, but Simmons kicks out at two, before falling to a slingshot neckbreaker as James impressively almost wins.

Instead, Jurn kicks out from that big move, then takes some pump kicks before wiping out James with the Massive Kick. From there, he snaps in with a piledriver, and that’s all folks. A hell of a showing from James, who came so close to victory, but in the end he had no answer for Simmons’ brutal 1-2 punch of the Massive Kick and piledriver. ***¾

Another really solid episode of Shotgun as we head into FAN on Friday – with a good mixture of enticing matches for Hamburg and the potential of some twists and turns in the journey with RISE. Tune in for the matches, and stay for the vignettes that are short and captivating!