The fall-out from Frankfurt and the final hype for World Tag Team League, all in one efficient episode of Shotgun!

Of course, we’re reviewing this before we see the Frankfurt show. If you want to watch that first, be aware: we be spoiling (our Frankfurt review’ll be up long before we leave for the World Tag Team League on Friday).

The show opens with RISE carrying Bad Bones back to the locker room, whilst shouting away the camera crew. We pan away to Ilja Dragunov, whose appearance will give you nightmares! I think he’s happy about the win… and if that can carry over to beating Bad Bones on Saturday, he’ll be the new wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion! A video package follows, complete with clips from Frankfurt, and even without subtitles, Ilja’s promos hit the right spot. Good promos in wrestling transcend language barriers. Fact.

Next up: Avalanche is phoning Julian Nero in Vienna! Julian’s on holiday, but Avalanche thanks his former Cerberus buddy for the “easy win” he had in Frankfurt. Da Mack’s within earshot and not happy at that…

Bobby Gunns vs. Absolute Andy
Disappointingly, there’s no entrance video, so we don’t get to see Andy pointing at toilet signs. We do get to see a jump start as Gunns tried to leap into Andy, but he’s more than up for it, as they brawled outside for a bit before hitting the ring.

An avalanche lariat absolutely squashes Gunns in the corner, before a stalling vertical suplex gives Bobby a red head. Gunns tries a comeback, drilling Andy with uppercuts as he was on the top rope, before Andy fought back, knocking him down for an elbow drop… but it’s caught and turned into an armbar! Gunns gets rolled up for a near-fall, then returns the favour as a German suplex puts down the former tag team champ. He mocks the “Absolute” Andy call and refrain, before countering the F5 into a cross armbreaker… but Andy again powers up and gets that F5 off anyway!

After some shots, a spinebuster puts Bobby down again, before he went for a Sharpshooter which Gunns breaks in the ropes. Gunns counters a superkick, then another Sharpshooter, turning it into an inside cradle for the win! A huge victory for Gunns, who’s derailed some of A4’s momentum going into the World Tag Team league here… ***

Next up, Andy is flexing during a promo. Thomas Giesen’s got both halves of A4, asking them how they are preparing for the World Tag Team League. al-Ani’s hyped for it, as we all should be. Marius wants to improve on last year’s performance – and vows to leave Oberhausen as tag team champions.

Francis Kaspin wants to achieve everything there is in wrestling – and make it fresh again in Germany and Europe by being a role model. Make a difference!

Speaking of… he’s backstage with Jay Skillet and Da Mack. They talk about the overheard Avalanche phone call, and they seem to think that Avalanche and Nero worked together to make Mack slip up. It’s frustrating stuff for Da Mack, who’s fed up of being betrayed, especially when he’s seeing his old partner go onto bigger things. Kaspin suggests he challenge Julian Nero… and I think we have a match?

Time to run down the card for Thursday’s Inner Circle: 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. I’m gutted to be missing that last one…

Lucky Kid vs. Jurn Simmons
Can you say mis-match? Lucky Kid plays around on the mat like a kitten, trying to get under Jurn’s skin, and it seemed that was working early, as he chased the former champ to the outside.

They head outside, but Kid gets charged into the apron, and that signals a long spell of offence as Jurn drops an elbow on him for a near-fall. Kid rebounds with a handspring back elbow that barely gets a one-count, so he resorts to a series of eye gouges that referee Markus Weiss does little to admonish him for.

Tarkan Aslan tries to get involved, but it’s just a cover for Lucky Kid to choke away at Jurn as those upcoming tour dates flash up on the screen. Simmons gets back into it with axehandle smashes and shoulder barges, before the Oklahoma Stampede dumped the kid. One Massive Boot later, and the writing looked to be on the wall… only for Lucky Kid to hit a tornado DDT before handspringing into a piledriver attempt.

Aslan gets on the apron again, and this time he gets involved as he hits Simmons whilst the ref was down. A small package should have won it, but Jurn reverses it and the cheating backfires – another strike against RISE for the home team! A fun match, but I’d have liked this to have been a little longer. ***¼

RISE are licking their wounds in the locker room again, and the Young Lions are freaking out at having to defend their tag titles in the whole World Tag Team League. Pete Bouncer of all people walks in to try and calm things down, vowing that they’ll leave as a unit. Hopefully with all the gold…

Next up, RINGKAMPF are backstage. WALTER and Timothy Thatcher congratulate each other and look ahead to the World Tag Team League. Aren’t we all? WALTER reckons that their opponents aren’t exactly professionals, and that’ll be the difference.

Rico Bushido’s backstage to plug the weekend some more: and in walks Martina! She celebrating her tournament match win in Frankfurt, and Rico seems to be caught off guard as to how she usually is. He makes a peace offering with a can… and she wanders off to enjoy it. Fair enough!

The Femmes Fatales card is run through – more pull-outs mean more changes. In first round matches, we have Toni Storm vs. Jinny, Wesna (in for the injured Alex Windsor) vs. Pauline, Laura di Matteo vs. Kelly, Melanie Gray vs. Viper. All of those winners go into a four-way finale to crowd the tournament winner… Melanie Gray vs. Jinny in Women’s Championship Tournament action also takes place later that day, as part of night two of the World Tag Team League weekender.

Da Mack vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. Ivan Kiev
A weird triple-threat is our main event this time, as Ivan Kiev lays into Da Mack at the bell, with the Shotgun champion having to face two of the wXw “home team” in one go.

The action’s pretty fast paced as Kiev drops Ilja with a top rope ‘rana in the opening moments, but a dropkick provides an instant receipt as Dragunov charges into Mack and Kiev in alternate corners as the tide continues to ebb and flow. Kiev pounds away on Ilja in the corner, and that sparks an exchange of chops and big boots as those two laid into each other like there was no tomorrow.

Da Mack returns to give Ilja a Slingblade as he DDT’d Kiev… but Ilja came back up, and instantly dropped Da Mack for a near-fall. A back senton off the top crushes Kiev as he tried to make a comeback, but Ilja is on fire, almost winning it with a backbreaker over Da Mack. An Ace Crusher sends Ilja flying… and Da Mack ends up turning around into a flying leg lariat for a near-fall as the insanity continued.

We’re back to Ilja and Kiev trading chops and kicks as Da Mack flopped around on the outside, watching as Ivan takes a full nelson backbreaker. A torpedo dive from Ilja leaves Da Mack down and out once more, returning to set off a Tower of Doom-ish move, landing a sunset bomb to Kiev as a superplex to Ilja was attempted.

Mack comes back with an armbar to Ilja, btu Kiev broke it up with a big double stomp to Mack. A Torpedo Moscau from Ilja leaves Mack laying, but in the end it’s a mule kick from Kiev that left Dragunov down, as a sit-out death valley driver puts Da Mack away. A suitably cheating end to a fun three-way – can we have more of these on Shotgun please? ***½

Shotgun ends with Thomas Giesen interviewing Da Mack… Mack’s still pissed about Julian Nero, and there’s the challenge for Oberhausen. Friday night, Da Mack vs. Julian Nero – will the Mackster’s bad run continue??

Your announced cards for this weekend then…
Night One (Friday October 6): A4 vs. Massive Product; RINGKAMPF vs. Briscoes, Rottweilers vs. EYFBO, Young Lions vs. Spirit Squad; non-tournament action: wXw Shotgun championship: Avalanche vs. Ivan Kiev (c); Da Mack vs. Julian Nero.

Femmes Fatales (Saturday October 7): Toni Storm vs. Jinny, Wesna vs. Pauline, Laura di Matteo vs. Kelly, Melanie Gray vs. Viper; four-way finale

Night Two (Saturday October 7): RINGKAMPF vs. Rottweilers, Spirit Squad vs. Massive Product, Briscoes vs. EYFBO, A4 vs. Young Lions; non-tournament action: wXw Unified World Wrestling championship: Ilja Dragunov vs. “Bad Bones” John Klinger; wXw Women’s Championship Tournament: Melanie Gray vs. Jinny

Night Three (Sunday October 8): 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.

Three decent matches on Shotgun this week, but the hype train continues to steam ahead to this weekend. If you’re going… we’ll see you in Oberhausen!