Betrayal, assault and elimination are the themes for this week’s Shotgun, as wXw’s new “sleaze team” make their mark!

We opened with the usual spoiler warning for the London show, before going to the wXw flat in Essen, where David Starr was paying a visit. Alexander James is there, because he didn’t do the tour, but David’s not wanting to talk about what happened… especially when AJ was planting seeds that Jurn’s “miscommunication” might not have been an accident, considering his track record.

Next up, Chris Colen’s being approached for a photoshoot, but he’s jumped by the rest of RISE! Bad Bones wanders in with a chair, and Pillman-izes his hand… so I guess Bones is violently out of RISE. And to think, he started it!

Dirty Dragan & Young Money Chong vs. Bobby Gunns & Jaxon Stone
We’re off to Bielefeld for this week’s opener, as the newly-minted sleaze team of Gunns and Stone had their first real run-out (not counting their showing at the Fan Expo during the World Tag Team League weekend).

Alan Counihan’s on the call as we see Young Money Chong trying to ape the Jaxon Stone taunt, before he dished out a series of hiptosses to the American. Shame the big splash barely gets a one count though! That scare forces Stone to tag out to Gunns, so it’s all change!

Gunns and Dragan fight over some waistlocks as the camera gives us a good look at Bobby’s new arm tattoo, before Dragan continued the mind games by giving Bobby a good ol’ hip swivel and a hip attack as Gunns was firmly kept at bay by some double axehandle blows. Poor Jaxon Stone tried to make a save but got quickly knocked down too. Finally the sleaze team get their stuff together as Gunns pulled Chong off the ropes, before a long built-up slam led to the sleaze team doing a pose. Hey, that looks super, and smashing, brother…

Gunns and Stone targeted their opponents in opposite corners, which kept Chong in the ring on his own as Bobby thrusted his groin into his face. A second try sees Bobby run into some knees, before Jaxon failed to keep Chong away from the tag as Dragan cleared house with some clotheslines and a neckbreaker.

Dragan gets in a Bronco buster in the corner, but his tag to Chong again backfires as Gunns shoved Chong off the top rope, allowing Stone to finish off the job with the Clashing Stones (the Styles Clash powerbomb; cheers for the hat tip Jaxon!) on Chong. Hey, in terms of kayfabe, these two shouldn’t have been firing on all cylinders from day one – we only saw them agree to work together last week, so it’s bound to take them time to gel. A good starting point for the unofficially-named Sleaze Team! **½

We’re backstage next as Marius al-Ani bumped into Da Mack in a corridor. Marius asks for help against Absolute Andy, but Bad Bones walked in to speak for Mack. Yep, he’s still not interested in speaking to anyone… and Bones is still mad at random people walking in corridors. Yeah, screw that trope!

An Emil Sitoci hype video follows, which I swear they’ve played before. Regardless of what you think of him, his theme music is bloody catchy…

Next up, Julian Nero bumps into Francis Kaspin, who’s looking at fruit. Hey, it’s an improvement on the unhealthy lollipops! Nero’s heard a rumour that Kaspin can sing… so he wants a song. Thankfully, Jay Skillet walks in to save us, as does Avalanche… and the four swap words. Francis somehow turns a positive (“I see three former tag team champions”) into a negative (“and two future tag team champions” – referring to himself and Jay), which leads to a challenge of a match. Avalanche finally makes good use of Nero’s five minutes catchphrase, by throwing us all back to the days of Rosey and Jamal. Now that I can get behind!

They run through the card for Broken Rules 17 in Dresden next month:

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Chris Colen vs. “Bad Bones” John Klinger (c)
Ilja Dragunov vs. Da Mack
wXw Women’s Championship Tournament: Martina vs. Jinny
Next Step Wrestling Battle Royal

Next up, we’re backstage with Marius al-Ani, who’s asked about what happened with Absolute Andy. Naturally, he’s not got much in terms of answers for Thommy Giesen, especially as he thought A4 wanted to win their titles back. Marius didn’t see any signs… which if I were any good at Photoshop, I’d be throwing together a montage of the time he jokingly called him “Fat Andy”, and the stuff from Tag League weekend where he was made to talk in a high pitched voice as Robinani… Thommy asks if RISE had a part in it. Marius ruled it out (as he was told by Bones earlier), and we’re still waiting for answers.

After a plug for the Tag League videos, we see Gunns and Stone backstage, jumping Timothy Thatcher. Jaxon restrains Timmy as Bobby stubs his lit cigarette into Thatcher’s eye… and that’s why Timmy had his eye patch on in London!

wXw Women’s Championship Tournament: Martina vs. Melanie Gray
We’re off to Borken for this round from the Women’s Championship Tournament, and it’s a rematch after these two met in Frankfurt a few weeks earlier in a tournament bout. Alan tells us on commentary that if Gray loses, she’ll be unable to overtake Martina in the tournament.

Melanie doesn’t want any part of Martina’s dancing this time, and after a spot of rope running, she puts on the brakes as Martina wore herself out. It proved to be a ruse though as a headbutt and a neckbreaker puts down Gray for a two-count, before Martina misses a sit-down splash and eats a diving double knees for another near-fall. Some shots leave Melanie Gray in the corner, where she avoids a Bronco buster before decking the Session Moth with a forearm.

Martina demanded a beer break, but Melanie was in no mood for it… and it’s incredible what someone’ll do if they really want a drink. Problem was, it distracted her into taking a spear as the promise of booze helped her stay in the match, only for Gray to trap her in the Mella-drama cloverleaf…

Again, aided by the promise of booze from someone, Martina crawled towards the ropes, but instead grabbed a swig of her beer before spraying it into Melanie’s eyes. That must be spinach! The Martina comeback leads to a Bronco buster, but the match remained finely poised as Gray nailed a Finlay roll and a back senton for a near-fall.

A press slam off the top and another back senton kept Mella in the driving seat, but Martina avoids a dive off the top, instead hitting a kick before going up herself. That leads to a flying Seshbreaker, and apparently that’s Mella out of the tournament. I thought the format was the top two on points meeting in the final, but I’ll take their word! ***

No further matches have been taped since we last updated the Women’s Championship scoring, so we currently have these results (including unaired matches)

1. Martina (3-2; 9pts)
2. Jinny (2-0; 6pts) **
3. Killer Kelly (1-2; 3pts) *
4. Melanie Gray (1-3; 3pts) **

* Killer Kelly replaced the injured Pauline and takes her record going forward; ** Jinny was awarded a win via forfeit over Melanie Gray as the scheduled match over World Tag Team League weekender couldn’t happen due to injury

Remaining matches: Killer Kelly vs. Melanie Gray (November 3, Wetzlar); Jinny vs. Killer Kelly (November 4, Berlin); Jinny vs. Melanie Gray (November 11, Lippstadt); Martina vs. Jinny (November 18, Dresden – Broken Rules XVII); Jinny vs. Killer Kelly (December 9, Fulda); Finals (December 23, Oberhausen) – so yes, Melanie Gray cannot finish top, and will be relying on other results to even make it to the top two.

We’re backstage again as Ivan Kiev’s with Bad Bones, congratulating him on his title win over Travis Banks. Despite the gold, Bones still isn’t happy because he sees Pete Bouncer as a failure. Ivan promises to take care of it…

Next up is Christian Bischof, who’s with Chris Colen and his iced-up hand. Of course he’s furious at the betrayal we saw earlier. Bischof claims that doctors have told Colen that he needs four weeks to heal up, and Colen’s willing to fight on – even if it means signing a waiver to allow him to wrestle hurt.

Alexander James vs. Chris Colen
It’s back to the Hellraiser in Leipzig, and Colen’s wrestling with a heavily taped-up arm to sell the assault we saw earlier. Of course, James targets it from the off, but the Austrian shrugs it off and sends James to the outside.

Colen tried to stay on top of James when he returned, but the “Prince of Pro” was even to it, before a lariat took him down as Colen looked to follow up with a slingshot stomp. It misses, as James comes back with some uppercuts as he picked his shots carefully.

A brief “shall I?” saw Colen stamp James in the stomach as he tried a comeback, firing off a series of chops whilst playing to the crowd. This must have been odd for the folks in Leipzig, wondering why Colen was seeking their approval despite last being around as a member of RISE. It was only a matter of time before James went back to that injured arm though, utilising an up-kick to keep Colen at bay.

It looked like James was going for the Coat of Arms armbar, but instead he wrenched away at the fingers of Colen’s bad arm as the Austrian was forced to try and chop his way free with his good hand. When that didn’t work, a crossbody did after he pushed away from a Tower of London, only for a leapfrog to go a little wrong as James pulled him back down and into an armbar.

Colen fights free of a superplex, and eventually flies off the middle rope with a clothesline as he mounted another comeback, largely using lariats. He upgraded to a bodyslam before heading up top again, scoring with an elbow drop for a near-fall, as the aggression continued with some knees in the corner before a urange attempt. James escapes and hits a ripcord back elbow instead, knocking Colen to the outside.

With Colen on the apron, James looked to take advantage, hitting the Tower of London for a near-fall, before going back to that arm once more. It doesn’t work though as Colen guts out and hits a uranage, then a butterfly facebuster (the Angel’s wings) as the number one contender gets the win. As he should! I just wish he’d sold the arm more considering it was recently hurt… ***¼

Another solid episode of Shotgun now has me scrambling to re-write my “Where We Stand” update, as Chris Colen’s exit from RISE took place a LOT sooner than I expected… but it means we’ll have a competitive title match in Dresden, rather than the tease of shenanigans that we could have had, were this to have been an all-RISE match. It’s a shame that Jurn’s illness meant that the show-opening segment with David Starr didn’t make as much sense as it would have otherwise (but at least we had a tip-off of what the plan was for the Massive Product/RINGKAMPF match), while the Sleaze Team’s injuring of Timothy Thatcher explains away his eye-patch, as I assume we’re eventually building to a match with RINGKAMPF.