It’s full steam ahead to Frankfurt as wXw finally drew blood against RISE in the main event of this week’s Shotgun!

We open with Melanie Gray yelling behind closed doors at Alpha Kevin because of “the list”, and we get the fall-out as Sebastian Hollmichel apologises to Kevin for giving him the idea of the list in the first place. Kevin mans up and accepts the blame, as the Alpha Lovers appear to be on the rocks.

A plug for the Inner Circle card on October 5 follows – it’ll be on wXw NOW the following week, featuring Homicide vs. David Starr, Alexander James vs. Julian Pace, EYFBO vs. Jay-FK, Jurn Simmons & Kim Ray vs. RISE’s Bad Bones & Ivan Kiev plus Timothy Thatcher vs. WALTER in an Ambition rules match.

Thomas Giesen’s next with Avalanche, going over his streetfight loss to Ilja Dragunov at FAN. Avalanche still has ambitions in wXw, and he’s got a number one contendership match with Da Mack for the Shotgun title… a man whom Avalanche threatens to dismember, once he gets past Kevin in Cologne today.

Alpha Kevin vs. Avalanche
I don’t like Kevin’s chances. He tried to throw some early shots, but Avalanche easily shrugs it off, blocking some Dusty punches and an O’Connor roll before charging through Kevin.

Avalanche misses a big splash and quickly eats a Stunner… but it barely rocks him. Nor does a series of clotheslines, as Kevin just gets dumped with a huge lariat. Kevin tries to fight back with a sunset flip, but Avalanche squashes him with a sit-out splash, before an avalanche and a cannonball gave way to Boulder Dash… and there’s a brief squash win for the Avalanche!

God, I love me some squashes – yeah, this had to be kept competitive because Alpha Kevin’s part of the main roster… and especially because he was attacked by Bobby Gunns after the match, wrenching away in a trapped armbar until referees finally hit the scene.

From there, we segue to a Smoking Break with Gunns. He brags about beating Timothy Thatcher, then puts down WALTER for going to New York to the Atlas title, then going out in the first round at BOLA. We’ll skip his last trip to London, eh? Gunns reckons WALTER is losing focus, and he’ll find a way to beat him in Frankfurt at the end of the month. I’m not putting any bets on that!

World Tag Team League plugs follow now – and since the blocks and card has been announced, we’ll run through it now rather than repeat the names we’ve done for the last few weeks:

Group A features the Young Lions, Massive Product, Spirit Squad and A4
Group B features the Briscoes, RINGKAMPF, EYFBO and the Rottweilers

October 6 (Friday): A4 vs. Massive Product; RINGKAMPF vs. Briscoes, Rottweilers vs. EYFBO, Young Lions vs. Spirit Squad
October 7 (Saturday): RINGKAMPF vs. Rottweilers, Spirit Squad vs. Massive Product, Briscoes vs. EYFBO, A4 vs. Young Lions
October 7 (Sunday): A4 vs. Spirit Squad, Massive Product vs. Young Lions, Briscoes vs. Rottweilers, RINGKAMPF vs. EYFBO – plus the tournament final, with the wXw tag titles on the line. Can the Lions be the first team to retain their titles in the tag league??

A RISE meeting is next, and poor Pete Bouncer is still the only one without a belt. Bad Bones declares RISE the most successful faction in wXw history, and Frankfurt’ll be their biggest test yet. Bouncer tries to speak, but Bones shouts him down… and perhaps I’m reading into this too much again, but either Bouncer’s gonna disappoint again in Frankfurt, or he’s going to be the one to destroy RISE from within?

Backstage… Absolute Andy is eating pizza! Off camera, Marius al-Ani is working out, as A4 face RISE later today..

Emil Sitoci & Dirty Dragan vs. Jay FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin)
We’re back in Cologne for this one, as Dirty Dragan looks like he’s taken style tips from the Rock. You know which photo – the one with the bad hair? Check out the turtleneck!

Sitoci flips off Skillet early, and has the favour returned by his former trainee. These two have a singles match in Frankfurt later this month, and they’re incredibly even until Sitoci called for a clothesline, only to hit a back elbow instead. Jay rebounds quickly though, only to get caught in a gutbuster before Dirty Dragan blind-tagged himself in as Sitoci tried to end things early with a snapmare driver.

A whole lot of prancing leads to an elbow drop from Dragan, who’s having a hard time keeping his flares from rolling down his waist, and it gets worse as Jay FK catch him with a missile dropkick for a near-fall. After some sneakiness from Sitoci, Dragan gets a neckbreaker on Kaspin for a two-count, before Emil tags back in for a springboard elbow.

The Dutch keep Kaspin on the back foot for a while, with a wonderful spot where Sitoci rubs some ball sweat on Kaspin. A more traditional move in a moonsault gets a two-count, as does the Rear View hip attack. More of those hip attacks follow, as does a Bronco Buster, before Kaspin sneaks in an O’Connor roll for a near-fall.

Skillet and Kaspin keep up the pressure with a neckbreaker/stomp combo, before they looked to hit Dragan with a Doomsday Device variant… instead, Dragan’s shoved into a missile dropkick as Emil Sitoci had gotten the blind tag in, allowing him to beat Skillet with a wicked snapmare driver. Fun stuff, with Sitoci coming in for the important part – you’ve gotta pay to see the one-on-one match folks! ***

Jay Skillet’s backstage next apologising for the loss to Francis Kaspin. Skillet is holding his neck, and all of a sudden Emil Sitoci (and his sweet Brian Pillman tee) walk in to lord it over Jay. The challenge is reissued for Frankfurt, and if we weren’t on before… we are now!

Da Mack is on the sofa with Sebastian Hollmichel next, talking about his recent winning streak. Seb’s got a secret for Mack – and he spills the beans on his number one contender’s match for the Shotgun title. Mack’s looking forward to it… but before he can say too much more, Markus Weiss comes into shot. The beleaguered referee is telling us to think about what five minutes can do, and I think he’s been brainwashed by Julian Nero!

Naturally, that segues into the video plugging the card for the Frankfurt show at the end of the month: Avalanche vs. Da Mack for the next crack at the Shotgun title joins the bill, alongside Emil Sitoci vs. Jay Skillet, the elimination match involving RISE’s Bad Bones, Ivan Kiev, Pete Bouncer and the Young Lions vs. wXw’s Jurn Simmons, Ilja Dragunov, David Starr and A4. Also we have the Women’s Championship Tournament match between Melanie Gray and Martina, WALTER vs. Bobby Gunns and Alexander James vs. Timothy Thatcher. Another stacked card, with a mouth watering elimination match in the main event.

Hey, where’s Chris Colen? Well, we find out – he’s got a video next bemoaning how wXw misused him… so he broke off and formed RISE. Except he’s been MIA as of late, and this video just reminds you he’s around.

Thomas Giesen’s back for another interview, this time with Ilja Dragunov. He’s cashing in his latest number one contendership for the wXw title against Bad Bones during World Tag Team League weekend… but first, he’s got to get past that 5-on-5 elimination match where, in his words, he’s got to get past the parasites of RISE. Ilja calls Bad Bones a “pathogen”, which is one of the more intellectual insults I’ve heard in wrestling, before reminding us that he’s holding big wins over Bones – including knocking him out in the semis at 16 Carat this year, as well as that time he beat Bones for the Shotgun title.

That one was also at Carat, but in 2015, in a “Wladiwostok Rules” match. I’ll have to go back to Shotgun #199 on YouTube and watch that, as my interest is piqued. These are two big matches for Ilja, and could well define the short-term future of wXw in their ongoing fight against RISE.

We go from that to the run-through of matches in the World Tag Team League. Scroll up a little to see them! Of course, Bones/Dragunov for the wXw Unified World Wrestling title is included on the Saturday (in non-tournament action, naturally), and other matches are to be announced.

Next up is Rico Bushido, who’s with Timothy Thatcher. They address Timmy’s loss to Bobby Gunns at FAN, which doesn’t seem to bother him too much as he reckons there’ll be a chance to “right that wrong”…

RISE (Ivan Kiev & Pete Bouncer) vs. A4 (Marius al-Ani & Absolute Andy)
Our main event comes from Münster, and we start with al-Ani literally flying into RISE with a plancha before the bell! It’s an explosive start as A4 viciously target Pete Bouncer – whilst fending off attempted saves from Ivan Kiev.

Things settle down when Kiev’s isolated in the ring to take a pair of A4 back elbows for an early near-fall, before the black sheep of RISE, Pete Bouncer, grabs al-Ani by the beard to give the bad guys an advantage.

Kiev spends a little time choking away on al-Aniu in the ropes, before giving Bouncer another go… and yes, he quickly makes a mess of it, getting rolled up for a near-fall before RISE mock A4’s own finisher… only for Marius to escape with some headscissors. Absolute Andy gets in to clear house, but Bouncer saves Kiev from a suplex as the favour’s returned… only for Andy to dish out a double suplex instead!

Things break down a little as big boots leave everyone down, with Kiev’s flying leg lariat gets a near-fall, and swings things back in the RISE pairing’s way as Absolute Andy somehow got a €20 fine in the middle of this. Bouncer stomps down on Andy, but a cocky pin doesn’t even get a one-count as Andy pops up and whacks him with a superkick to leave both men laying. Andy eventually tags in al-Ani, who runs wild with dropkicks and clotheslines as Marius ran through his high-energy comeback, flipping up into a death valley driver for a near-fall on Bouncer. RISE cut him off though, only for Andy to boot Kiev on the top rope before setting up Bouncer for the leapfrog splash… which Kiev cuts off with another leg lariat!

A superkick-assisted full nelson slam gets Bouncer a two-count on al-Ani, who’s then set up for a superplex… but Andy makes the save and rolls Bouncer into a Sharpshooter, whilst Ivan Kiev’s attempt at a save goes badly wrong as al-Ani hits a crossbody off the top and ties him up in a grounded submission as both of A4 had their foes in submissions.

Kiev escapes though and dumps al-Ani onto Andy with a death valley driver to break up the Sharpshooter at the same time… but A4 manage to come back, and it’s not long before Kiev eats an Absolute knee drop. The follow-up superkick gets blocked as Bouncer returns with a clothesline, as al-Ani makes a save… only to get powerbombed for another two-count as the concept of the legal man seems to be a distant memory.

Bouncer holds al-Ani in the corner for a superkick, but Marius fights back as Andy drops Kiev with a sit-out Dominator, before Bouncer eats the leapfrog splash and the A4 assisted stunner for the win! Finally, wXw draws blood against RISE ahead of the elimination match in Frankfurt in a little over a week’s time! This was a fantastic main event to close out Shotgun – all action and showing a little hope for the “home team” as RISE’s path of dominance looked like it could be starting to wobble perhaps. ****

Another week, another solid Shotgun. Some may not like how Shotgun only plants seeds ahead of the pay-offs, but that’s how TV is meant to work; to build interest to the big shows, whether it’s getting you to see them in person, or watch them after the fact. With Frankfurt and the World Tag Team League shows upcoming, it’s going to be a busy few weeks for wXw – and there’s plenty on offer in that period too!