The first Shotgun after Broken Rules, gives us the tease of a new fight for RISE… or should we say, a new kampf?

We have the usual spoiler warning – our Broken Rules review’ll be up in the next day or two – before Shotgun opens up backstage as Chris Colen staggers down some stairs after his match on Saturday. He’s quickly checked on by Ilja Dragunov, who thanks him for his help earlier… and it’s seemingly a mutual feeling. Colen tells Ilja that he’s got to cut away RISE at its roots – which means taking out Bad Bones. Does Colen have his back, or is going to be a big ol’ ruse?

Alexander James vs. Julian Pace
We start off in Borken this week, as Alexander James faces a rematch from October’s Inner Circle event, facing newcomer Julian Pace. James has the right idea early on, restraining Pace with wristlocks and armbars, making sure that the youngster couldn’t even think about using his speed.

Problem was, James got too cocky too early, and Pace burst into life, nearly winning with a crucifix and a La Magistral cradle, before he was cut-off by a swift knee to the gut. Pace does manage to avoid a Tower of London, and responds by monkey flipping James into the turnbuckles, before rolling up into a neckbreaker to nearly cause the upset. Pace misses a crossbody off the top, and a pick to the arm firmly turns things back around as James starts to work over the arm as he looked to soften up Pace for a Coat of Arms. It’s all basic, yet efficient stuff; exactly the sort of match that James is excelling in with these tour matches against Academy trainees.

James goes all Tenzan on us with a Mountain Bomb as he kept up the pressure, turning Pace over into the Coat of Arms, but the youngster dragged himself to the ropes to keep the match alive. Pace goes back to his speed, as he gets off a tornado DDT, but the injured arm slows down any follow-up, which came through some dropkicks in the corner, before connecting with that crossbody at the second time of asking… but James got up at two!

Back on his feet, James goes back to the arm, and traps Pace in the corner for a Tower of London that gets him another near-fall. Pace busts out a Stundog Millionaire to escape a suplex, but he then crashes and burns with an imploding cannonball off the top, allowing James to go back to the Coat of Arms for the submission. This was fantastic stuff; a step above their Inner Circle match I thought, with Pace showing a lot of heart, before ultimately losing to the wily veteran after going to the proverbial high rent district once too often. Keep an eye on Julian Pace – if he keeps his head screwed on right, he’s going places… ***½

We’re backstage again with Jurn Simmons, who’s fuming at Karsten Beck over his loss to Alexander James. Beck refuses to give Jurn a rematch… and in walks James, who’s crowing over that win. Eventually James accepts the challenge: for an I Quit match in Hamburg. Christian Jakobi sanctions it, and everyone heads off…

That card in Hamburg on December 2nd now looks like this:
I Quit – Alexander James vs. Jurn Simmons
RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) vs. RISE (Bad Bones & Ivan Kiev)
Avalanche vs. Marius al-Ani
Young Lions (Tarkan Aslan & Lucky Kid) vs. Ilja Dragunov & Chris Colen
Dirty Dragan vs. Michael Dante

Next up, we’ve got a Smoking Break with Bobby Gunns. Despite losing in Dresden, he’s still here, but because he knew when he was beaten… it wasn’t a loss. Gunns reckons that it was an unfair fight because of the tornado elimination rules.

Bobby Gunns vs. Koray
We’re back to Berlin for this one, with Bobby Gunns looking to go back to singles action after his unsuccessful run at the tag titles. He’s forced to escape an early wristlock from Koray, but it’s pretty straightforward, at least until Koray blocks a drop toe hold and walks away from it, forcing Bobby into this sarcastic applause.

Koray mounts a comeback with a hiptoss, then a forearm into the corner as the hometown hero had Gunns on the back foot… but Bobby quickly responds with a rope hung armbar to turn the tide. A low dropkick gets a near-fall for Gunns, who goes back to work on the arm of Koray, stomping on it before snapping the middle finger of Koray. Now how is he going to flip people off?!

Gunns goes back to Koray with a double wristlock, trapping the Berliner on the mat, but he’s able to make it to the ropes. Another fightback from Koray’s stuffed when Gunns bumrushes him with a guillotine… then reapplies it after he was charged into the corner, but again, Koray escapes and plants Bobby with a German suplex. Ever plucky, Koray tries for a backslide, but Gunns blocks it, only to take a face-first suplex and a running Blockbuster that almost gets the local lad the win… but a kick-out from a Blockbuster seems to be it for Koray, who’s quickly rolled down into a cross armbreaker as Gunns forces the submission. Another interesting outing, with Koray getting a lot more offence than I expected, but Gunns again shows that he just needs one chance to get that armbreaker in to win. ***

Backstage again, and Da Mack is still comatose after his photo session last week (I kid Oli, I kid…). Lucky Kid isn’t there, nor is the injured Pete Bouncer (which puts that “Pete’s a disappointment” story on the back burner for a spell, I guess). Bad Bones demands that the Young Lions destroy Chris Colen and Ilja Dragunov in Hamburg… and Tarkan Aslan doesn’t take kindly to those demands, especially when Mack lost at Broken Rules. Bones takes exception to that as dissension continues… and it seems that Mack and Bones are the Wolfpack to the original nWo here?

We’re still backstage as Christian Bischof’s with RINGKAMPF, talking about their successful title defence in Dresden. WALTER turns the discussion onto the setback they had earlier this year – presumably Axel Dieter Jr’s departure – before mentioning how they almost lost the tag titles by straying from their principles. Timothy Thatcher justifies it by saying that they had to do whatever it took to keep the belts, and now they can move onto other things… such as the champions’ challenge in Hamburg next month, where RINGKAMPF face RISE. WALTER says that RISE are the polar opposite of them, and they’ll find out who will dominate in two weeks’ time.

Another interview follows, as Christian’s with Killer Kelly, who’s celebrating beating Jinny last week. She’s vowing to prove that it wasn’t a fluke…

By the way, after Broken Rules, here’s the standings of the tournament with just the one match left:
1. Martina (4-2; 12pts)
2. Melanie Gray (3-3; 9pts) ***
3. Jinny (2-3; 6pts) **
4. Killer Kelly (2-3; 6pts) *

* 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; *** Melanie Gray was awarded a win via forfeit over Jinny as their scheduled match on November 11 in Lippstadt didn’t happen due to travel issues

Remaining matches: Jinny vs. Killer Kelly (December 9, Fulda); Finals (December 23, Oberhausen) – although it seems that match in Fulda is moot, as the current format apparently splits tiebreakers by “whomever won last”. Given that both matches between Jinny and Melanie Gray were forfeits, Jinny’s travel issues earlier this month have cost her a spot in the finals, which will now see Martina face Melanie Gray next month.

Back to Bad Bones, who’s brainwashing Da Mack again. Except this time it’s on camera as Bones says that Mack “belongs to him”… I gotta say, I thought Mack was stronger than this, but those contact lens make him look even more zoned out!

Jay FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin) vs. Monster Consulting (Julian Nero & Avalanche)
It’s back to Berlin for our main event, as the pair of Nero and Avalanche – now calling themselves Monster Consulting – take on Jay FK. Given the former Cerberus duo won the four way to become number one contenders in Dresden, this may be academic…

…but Francis Kaspin starts out hot on Nero, who swiftly replies with a diving boot and an avalanche in the corner as a backdrop suplex looked to have Kaspin down early. Kaspin rebounds with some pinning attempts, but Nero gets out and opts to tag in Avalanche, which changes the complexion of the match, especially as Jay Skillet comes in the other way.

Avalanche easily stuffs an armdrag attempt, but had to shrug off some dropkicks as the plucky Skillet tried to get the Austrian off his feet, eventually succeeding with a pratfall. Determined not to be made a fool of, Avalanche hits a slam and a big splash for a near-fall, only for things to go south when Nero tags in. Skillet tricks Nero into knocking Avalanche off the apron as Jay FK hit some double-team offence, but they take too long congratulating each other and end up getting swatted down by Avalanche – who’s seemingly the only half of that team who’s showing any kind of urgency!

Avalanche clubs away on Kaspin, then brings Nero back in to toss Kaspin with a fallaway slam for a near-fall… but again, Jay FK mount a comeback, with a double shoulder block taking down Avalanche, as Skillet does the same again with a big crossbody block. It’s just a matter of time before Avalanche turned it back around, with a Samoan drop and back senton, as the ex-Cerberus pair look to wear down Skillet.

Look, it’s going to get used to calling these two “Monster Consulting”!

It all seems to be building to Skillet making the hot tag out to Kaspin, but it seemed like that was a dying dream when he got whipped hard into the corner ahead of a leaping knee from Nero… but Skillet gets the tag after Nero accidentally booted Avalanche, allowing Kaspin to fly in! Flying forearms keep Nero down as Jay FK go for their double stomp/neckbreaker combo.

That’d have won it, but Avalanche puts Nero’s foot on the rope for the save, before they headed outside for Kaspin to dive into the pile! Nero’s taken back in the ring against both opponents, who freely double-team… but Avalanche hits the ring once again and batters Kaspin. The Final Consultation (double-team Go to Sleep) gets rid of Kaspin, before Skillet takes the same move, as a huge lariat gets the number one contenders another victory.

A solid main event wraps up Shotgun this week – and since wXw aren’t in the business of regular squashes, this was a fine, competitive match to establish Avalanche and Nero, whilst not doing too much harm to Jay FK either. This did feel a little bit too “you do a move, I do a move” at times, but the right team won in the end. As for Kaspin and Skillet, well, their time will come, trust me! ***

That’s all for Shotgun this week – the usual solid post-big show episode, with plenty of content to build up to Hamburg’s feature event in a little over a week’s time.