We’ve got two title matches: one’s Massive, the other one’s a Monster as Christmas comes early on this week’s Shotgun!

We start with Bad Bones still butting heads with Da Mack, continuing to brainwash him. Apparently Mack can’t help Bad Bones at the 17th anniversary show because he’s elsewhere… but the long shot at the end of a twitching Mack suggests something’s amiss.

After that, we watch Alexander James moving out of the wXw flats… Christian Jakobi is there to grill James about return dates, and it seems that AJ’s embarrassed by what happened against Jurn… and it looks like it’ll be a while before the Prince of Pro’s seen in wXw again. I shed a tear.

wXw Shotgun Championship: Jurn Simmons vs. Ivan Kiev (c)
We’re off to Gotha for our opening match this week, with Jurn Simmons challenging for the Shotgun title… and he starts by throwing Ivan Kiev into the corner!

Wash, rinse and repeat a lot as Kiev teases a walkout as he just can’t even think about getting into gear, thanks to Jurn’s Massive throws. When Ivan returned, he kept on taking a beating as Jurn cornered him with some forearms, before hurtling him into the turnbuckles even more.

I think Ivan’s finding out just how little padding is in those buckles!

Kiev starts to get into it with back-and-forth shots in the ropes, before a crossbody gets caught and turned into a Massive slam. Yup. Ivan’s still struggling. At least when he doesn’t cheat, as an eye rake sees him escape another slam and instead reply with a neckbreaker as he finally started to make some headway against Jurn.

A Stinger splash and a big boot in the corner had Jurn rocking, but another splash gets pushed away into a flapjack, as a Simmons slam almost saw us get a new champion. Kiev manages to come back with a step-up rana out of the corner as he took the initiative again, only to get waffled with the Massive Boot as Simmons came ever closer to victory.

Kiev slips out of a gutwrench powerbomb and nails a kick to the head as he manages one more flurry, finishing off with a flying leg lariat… but it’s Jurn’s turn to get up at two! After Simmons nearly wins with a gutwrench powerbomb, Tarkan Aslan hits the ring for a distraction, and gets promptly booted off the apron. In the midst of that, Ivan Kiev tries for a belt shot, and although Jurn disarms him, the referee’s too busy putting the title back as he misses a low blow and a death valley bomb as Kiev gets the win! A solid match, keeping Kiev established as the man to beat… but also someone who still needs to rely on underhandedness to win himself! Fantastic stuff to get us going! ***¼

It’s worth noting that in successive weeks, Ivan Kiev’s now beaten both halves of Massive Product. Speaking of… a David Starr promo follows as he bemoans Jurn Simmons missing the wXw show in London… and him not telling him of his illness in advance. David, and his many, many wristbands, still can’t get over the World Tag Team League loss, before telling us that this match against Jurn at the 17th Anniversary show isn’t a sign of Massive Product being given up on… but a sign of two brothers fighting to settle their differences. A really solid promo piece, which ought to be no surprise to anyone familiar with Starr (or wXw really!)

There’s a LOT of 17th Anniversary show promo pieces this week, just in case you’re wondering why we’re low on details…

Next up, we’ve got Jay-FK meeting over a coffee. Jay Skillet swipes away an ashtray, because he’s still mad over his loss to Bobby Gunns. Francis Kaspin’s thinking it’s no big deal, as long as it’s a losing experience… and especially since they’re looking at establishing themselves as a tag team. That segued into their match with Monster Consulting at the anniversary show, and all of a sudden, Jay’s happy again.

Thommy Giesen’s backstage now, with Marius al-Ani. They talk about what happened in Hamburg with Absolute Andy, before talk turns onto something more positive: Marius’ match with Zack Sabre Jr. al-Ani sees the match with Sabre as a chance to get the respect of the fans and beyond.

Next up, Killer Kelly walks in on Melanie Gray… and wishes her luck for her wXw women’s title tournament finale. It’s not a one-way thing, as Kelly wants to challenge Melanie for the title if she wins it… and Gray takes exception to that. That’s an odd reaction…

We’ve got part two of the Ilja Dragunov documentary next, where Ilja tells us that “unbesiegbar” is a motto for his everyday life. There’s more insight into Ilja’s personal life – focusing on his wife Grit, and his son Constantin – and they give us some insight to what happened at Back To The Roots earlier this year, when Ilja had to cancel at short notice.

There’s talk about 16 Carat Gold weekend, where Ilja – already sleep deprived from having a newborn son – went through hell, and that was before WALTER threw a single chop! Curiously, they throw in a question about how Ilja would cope if he were to become champion, and be the focus of wXw. We’ll find out his answer… next week!

Thommy’s back, with Monster Consulting… building up to their tag title shot in Munich (last weekend). Giesen notes that they’ve already beaten WALTER in a cage (a few years back), but Julian Nero notes that Cerberus’ brief reunion has relit the fires in them as he aims for everyone in Cerberus to end 2017 with gold.

wXw World Tag Team Championship: Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero) vs. RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) (c)
We’ve got freshly-squeezed title action to end Shotgun this week, as last weekend’s tag team title match from Munich takes centre stage!

It’s a suitable wXw-length main event, clocking in at well over 20-minutes long, and we start with Thatcher just booting Julian Nero in the face when shoulder blocks didn’t work. A group of fans in Munich have signs for “five-star WALTER” as the former AUTsiders collide, with thundering shoulder blocks, with Avalanche knocking his former Big Daddy tag partner down. WALTER quickly replies with some chops, but an attempt to slam Avalanche just sees him fall back on himself as the champions look to be in trouble, especially when Avalanche slammed WALTER with ease.

Revitalised, WALTER stings Avalanche with chops, before Timothy Thatcher comes in to keep up the the offence, drilling knees into the ribs as he teased a gutwrench suplex… Bloody hell he gets it too!

With Avalanche stunned, RINGKAMPF take over on Nero for a spell, keeping him cornered with a series of body blows and suplexes. When Avalanche returned, he’s quickly dropkicked to the outside as a pair of butterfly suplexes left Nero down and out… but the dissection of the consultant just continued in spite of that until he eventually managed to sidestep a charge and tag in Avalanche… who avoids a WALTER dropkick and returns fire with a splash for a two-count!

A Samoan drop keeps Avalanche on top, but WALTER quickly tags out as the tide turns against RINGKAMPF, with Thatcher taking a long string of tandem offence, culminating in a diving big splash for another near-fall. Julian Nero tries to offer five minutes of his time to Timothy Thatcher, but it’s refused… and so Timmy eats a fallaway slam as the isolation continued once again for Thatcher.

Out of nowhere, Thatcher takes down Nero with a belly-to-belly, but Avalanche storms the ring and knocks WALTER off the apron as the challengers looked to snatch victory… but WALTER barely returns in time to make the save as Thatcher looked to be heading towards a proverbial empty gas tank. Even more so when Avalanche and Nero take a page out of War Machine’s book with a beautiful sidewalk slam/legdrop combo.

Enziguiris from Thatcher finally get himself free, and we’ve got a fired up WALTER bringing all the chops! Nero’s obliterates with a German suplex and a butterfly suplex as WALTER becomes a one-man wrecking crew, emphasising it more with another butterfly, this time to Avalanche… just as I start to worry that the “five star WALTER” chants is a guerrilla campaign for a UK promotion. Please, no.

Instead, we see WALTER fall back on himself as he teased a tombstone on Avalanche, before both men tag out as Julian Nero nails Thatcher with the Wasteland for a near-fall. A second one’s escaped as Thatcher goes for the RINGKAMPF suplex, but Avalanche snuck back in with a cannonball as Thatcher’s forced to kick out to keep the titles alive.

WALTER returns again with a butterfly superplex to Nero, and finally RINGKAMPF look to have both challengers in their sights… only for Avalanche to come within a hair’s breadth of the gold courtesy of a big boot-assisted slam. We’re back to the former AUTsiders, with Avalanche barging WALTER down with ease again as the ring fills up… to Nero’s peril, as he gets wiped out with a big boot before Avalanche backdrops out of a powerbomb. Another shotgun dropkick from WALTER puts Avalanche down… and this time there’s unholy powerbomb… but Avalanche gets up!

As Nero remains on the sidelines, RINGKAMPF double-team Avalanche, but it nearly backfires as he counters out of more offence and tags in Nero… who gladly charges into WALTER with some knees. But WALTER nonchalantly boots him in the head and finishes him with a sit-out tombstone as RINGKAMPF retain! My word… it might have been because I’ve sat through New Japan’s World Tag League, but this was a BLAST of fresh air. A phenomenal tag team match that you ought to go out of your way to see. ****¼

Shotgun ends this week with the Young Lions reflecting on their year… all thanks to RISE. Lucky Kid’s starting to question Bad Bones’ “games” with Colen and Da Mack, and it’s mighty strange that the weirdest member of RISE is beginning to talk sense, only to get shouted down as Tarkan Aslan’s war cry rallied Kid.

We’re ten days away from the 17th anniversary show – and your card is looking more and more stacked!

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: John Klinger (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov
wXw Shotgun Championship: Ivan Kiev (c) vs. Bobby Gunns
wXw World Tag Team Championship: RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) (c) vs. Young Lions (Tarkan Aslan & Lucky Kid)
wXw Women’s Championship Tournament Final: Martina vs. Melanie Gray
Zack Sabre Jr. vs Marius al-Ani
David Starr vs. Jurn Simmons
Jay-FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin) vs. Monster Consulting (Julian Nero & Avalanche)

…plus Karsten Beck’s wXw Hall of Fame induction.

My word, this was an awesome “early Christmas present” out of wXw. Sure, it might have been a little promo-heavy in parts, but the promos themselves were great… and that main event, well, it’s going to be right up there with wXw’s best tag matches of the year, that’s for sure. The 17th anniversary show’s in a little under two weeks’ time… and this was a fantastic set-up for it.