Why, Andy, Why? This week’s Shotgun looked to give us answers as to why Absolute Andy split A4 at the World Tag Team League…

Was anyone else instinctively booing when Andy posed in the credits?

We open with Rico Bushido, who’s with the new wXw tag team champs – RINGKAMPF! Thatcher’s happy to have won his first title in wXw, whilst WALTER’s just thrilled to be able to have had preparation that paid off and that they were able to deliver the best sporting performance of the evening. So THAT’S what that means! It’s almost like Tim Thatcher’s been promoted from colleague to friend…

From there, it’s over to the runners up. David Starr’s chewed up over losing to WALTER yet again, and Jurn knows it. Alexander James is on the sofa with them, and he see where Starr’s coming from, but Jurn’s just too chilled out… and somehow segues back into being a big mouth. There’s a three-way between these guys next week by the way – from Bielefeld. The wacky Shotgun roulette gives us Emil Sitoci and Maggot backstage. Of course, Emil’s building himself up, but Maggot doesn’t seem to be too outgoing about meeting the Dutch TV star. Emil’s words, not ours…

Emil Sitoci vs. Maggot
We’re off to Ludwigshafen for this one, and it’s Jeremy Graves on commentary this week!

Sitoci dominates Maggot from the off, throwing him across the ring with some hair-assisted snapmares. Maggot’s comeback ends abruptly when he’s sent into the ringpost, and the guy who looks like Jay Briscoe as a member of TNA’s Decay is again on the back foot. Commentary tells us that Emil Sitoci’s facing Marius al-Ani in London next weekend, which makes me look forward to that show even more. Maggot tries to bite back, but Emil clotheslines him away and comes back in with a gutbuster for a near-fall. An attempted Snapmare Driver’s fought out of as Sitoci eats a Thesz press, but it’s shaken off as Maggot ran into a superkick… then avoids a split-legged moonsault!

That nearly costs Sitoci, who takes a teardrop suplex as the former Shotgun champ almost lost… then replies with a tiltawhirl backbreaker. Sitoci gets the Snapmare driver, but doesn’t go for the pin as he instead hits an exclamation mark in the form of a spinning tombstone for the win. A perfectly serviceable squash – Sitoci’s always in good form, and after giving Maggot some home, he did what we all expected. ***

The Smoking Break follows as Bobby Gunns has lit up. He’s still bragging about Frankfurt, despite losing… and he mocks WALTER for offering a handshake afterwards. Bobby reckons HE represents RINGKAMPF, and it seems he wants a shot at the tag titles. But with who??

We get a replay from night two of World Tag Team League, where Da Mack deliberately hit Bad Bones with the wXw title belt as he joined RISE. Yes, Tassilo Jung’s F-bomb makes it in. My God, I forgot how insane Avalanche’s throw on Ivan Kiev was… this leads to the Cerberus reunion the next night, which gave me goosebumps just watching back. Music videos… can’t beat em!

From there, Cerberus are backstage reminiscing… but Ilja’s more despondent over not having won the wXw title. Or more specifically, because he didn’t see RISE and the “lousy traitor” Da Mack. Unfortunately for us though, it looks like Cerberus was a one night only thing, as Ilja walked away saying “there was no room for them on this journey”.

Next up, Francis Kaspin amuses himself with a lollipop. RISE interrupt, and remind him of his challenge from a few weeks back. It seems RISE want to take it up, so we’re getting Jay FK against RISE.

RISE (Pete Bouncer & Lucky Kid) vs. Jay FK (Francis Kaspin & Jay Skillet)
Skillet slaps Lucky Kid early as Jay FK isolate the former tag champion in the opening exchanges. Poor Pete Bouncer can only watch from the sidelines as he’s far away from a tag… despite Lucky Kid licking Skillet’s hand like the lunatic he is.

Lucky Kid grabs the ref, providing a distraction so Pete Bouncer can throw Kaspin into the ring post, and RISE take over as Pete is in the rare position of being on offence. He looked to be unsure of what to do, so Lucky Kid’s tagged back in, which allowed Kaspin to break free… but Bouncer makes the save and knocks Skillet down so there can be more cheating.

Lucky Kid grabs the ref after a two-count, earning him the standard €20 fine, and that financial burden seemed to throw him off enough for Kaspin to break free, where he eventually tags Skillet back into play. Lightning corner dropkicks put RISE on the back foot for a neckbreaker/accidental DDT combo. Kaspin’s blind tag back in almost proved to be costly, as he found himself on the defensive as Bouncer pulls him up into a reverse DDT… but Kaspin kicks out! Bouncer seemed to be clueless on what to do next, and a double-team suplex that’s reversed doesn’t help as Kaspin followed up with a neckbreaker for a near-fall.

Pete Bouncer – out of sight – grabs a chair as Lucky Kid takes the neckbreaker/double stomp combo. That distraction allows Lucky Kid to grab a second chair and lay out Kaspin… and with Bouncer pulling out Skillet, that’s enough for the win. The cheapest of cheap wins, but likewise, no combination of RISE ought to be losing to Kaspin and Skillet at this point in their tenure. **¾

It’s card run-through time! wXw returns to London next weekend, and this is what’s coming to the Tufnell Park Dome:

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Travis Banks vs. “Bad Bones” John Klinger (c)
Jurn Simmons vs. Ilja Dragunov
Avalanche vs. Michael Dante
David Starr vs. Mark Haskins
Alex Windsor vs. Toni Storm
Marius al-Ani vs. Emil Sitoci
wXw World Tag Team Championship: #CCK (Kid Lykos & Chris Brookes) vs. RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) (c)

Speaking of tag teams, we get a replay of what happened at World Tag Team League when Absolute Andy imploded A4. That London crowd from January knew all along when they chanted “Absolutely Not” at him. The cameras follow Andy backstage immediately afterwards, where Karsten Beck tries to reason with him. Instead, Andy just puts on his shirt, throws away his Batmandy mask, and leaves the building. There are no words…

Marius al-Ani is next, looking for Andy. Of course, Andy is gone, and nobody knows… so Marius decides to do the sane thing and walk out onto the streets of Oberhausen in his gear.

Bobby Gunns vs. Timothy Thatcher
At FAN in September Gunns took the win over Thatcher… so we’re going back a week earlier to Münster for this round of their ongoing battle.

Thatcher instantly takes Gunns into the ropes, but the King of Smoke Style’s attempt to match the American’s rough-housing was easily overthrown. So Bobby goes to the arm, and gets slapped back in the process… but he keeps on at that arm as Gunns looked to go somewhat Route One with his offence.

Thatcher countered into a grounded Octopus as Gunns kept going for that arm, but Gunns somehow escapes into a Stretch Muffler. Canny! Timmy escapes and starts throwing some clubbing forearms as Gunns was put on the defensive, switching out of waistlocks before a hiptoss from Gunns sent both men to the outside! In the crowd, Thatcher’s slap rings around Münster like a gunshot, but the pair keep on at it as Gunns dropped Thatcher face-first onto the ring apron. Thatcher beats the count, but Gunns kept on at him, changing tactic by going for the legs, utilising a Dragon screw and a version of a bow-and-arrow hold.

They trade ankle locks, and Gunns looks to be out-maneuvering Thatcher in the mat game, wrenching away with a Rings of Saturn, only for Timmy to escape and tie up Gunns in a Lasso from El Paso. All the early-to-mid 00s WWE submissions, eh? Thatcher keeps up with gutwrenches and a deadlift Saito suplex from the apron back into the ring, before Gunns hit a back suplex of his own.

The back suplex only gets Gunns a near-fall, and leaves Thatcher in the ropes as Gunns went instinctively for an armbar. Instead, Gunns locks in a front guillotine, which Thatcher eventually fight out of by turning into a spinebuster… before being forced to escape an armbar. It’s tense stuff as Gunns tries a Euro clutch a la Zack Sabre Jr, before floating into an armbar, which Thatcher rolled up for the win! A hell of a closing stretch between the two, as Gunns and Thatcher continue to rack up the terrific contests between them. ***½

We end in RISE’s locker room, where Bad Bones acknowledges the loss of the tag titles… but notes that they have a new member, and still have the singles gold. Pete Bouncer’s stared at as Bones delivers his rallying call, which makes me think of Sons of Anarchy: Conference Room Style. Bouncer asks about Chris Colen, and of course Bones yells at him… my God, Bones puts his hands on Bouncer! Those two are going to come to blows, and I will not be shocked if it’s Bouncer who snaps. RISE are unified, but for how long?

Another good episode of Shotgun – and yes, I’ll keep banging the drum. Under an hour long, three decent to great matches, and plenty of storyline development. What’s not to love?!