The final Shotgun before Saturday’s True Colors in Dresden was a short and sweet affair, as the final matches from Oberhausen’s tapings made air.

We’re still on Oberhausen, with Jeremy Graves on the call this week, and we’re straight in with the “short and painless” bit with Dirty Dragan. Christian Jakobi tells Dragan that he’s been pulled from the “core roster” due to results. In a backhanded compliment, Emil Sitoci says that Dragan is “popular for some reason”, and tries to save his job.

Next up, we’re in the wXw Academy where Melanie Gray interrupts Killer Kelly doing weights. Kelly reminds Melanie of her “threat” last time that didn’t come to pass, to which Melanie said she’s not caring anymore because she’s used to being screwed over. She’s still frustrated that despite her performance against Toni Storm, she’s still not getting booked… not for London, not for True Colors, not for Superstars of Wrestling.

“Can you believe that?”
“Well, Melanie, actually I can”

And off storms a seething ice queen!

Kelly’s got the debuting Audrey Bride on Saturday, and I’d not be shocked if Melanie Gray was involved.

Next up, we’ve got the Pretty Bastards, who say they’ll do everything they can to beat Jay FK tonight… and then shave them. I think there’s a lot that went over my head here…

Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura) vs. Jay FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin)
Right as Thommy Giesen sings “Jay FK!”, they’re attacked by the Bastards, but they’re quickly turning things around with drop toe holds and dropkicks into the cornered Bastards ahead of a nice bulldog/lariat combo from Kaspin.

Skillet keeps up with headscissors and dropkicks for a near-fall, but Ahura turns things around when he sweeps the leg and tags in Maggot. Jay FK turn things around with a spot of double-teaming after Kaspin blind-tagged in, dropping Maggot with a dropkick. Ahura tried to double-team himself, but he’s elbowed off the apron as Maggot grabbed Kaspin and took him into the corner.

Kaspin’s kept in as the Bastards exchange frequent tags, with Maggot headbutting Kaspin in the neck, but eventually Kaspin breaks free and tags in Skillet, who crashes into both of the Bastards with some quick-fire offence. Skillet tries for the neckbreaker/stomp combo, but they’re stopped as Ahura and Maggot double-team Kaspin some more, with Kaspin taking a back suplex and a uranage backbreaker before a dropkick/Downward Spiral almost got the win.

Kaspin gets some revenge, knocking Ahura to the floor before giving Maggot a DDT as the tag title challengers looked to take over… and they score with a crossbody/neckbreaker to Ahura. Maggot gets a double-team flapjack, than the Jay-FK-O wheelbarrow lungblower combo for the win. A spirited performance, but I’d like to see a little more from the Bastards, at least in terms of character work, as that might help folks connect with them more. **¾

We’re backstage next with Jay FK, celebrating their win and a “so-far, so-good 2018”. Kaspin’s keen to remember their losses, even though Skillet’s trying to wipe them off as just being “early days”. Skillet reckons they’ll win the belts at True Colors, and that’s something Kaspin likes the sound of.

Jeremy acknowledges the suspension of John Klinger, and asks what now for RISE without their leader? That leads into the excellent video that dropped last week of Pete Bouncer in Berlin, who said that John “put his head in a noose” and declared it was time to clear RISE’s name. He called on Lucky Kid, Tarkan Aslan, Ivan Kiev and Da Mack to take back the RISE name – and he’s giving them until True Colors to pick a side. An interesting way to tackle the elephant in the room – I wonder if this was the plan all along, to build to RISE vs. RISE?

A video plays ahead of WALTER/Dragunov on Saturday, featuring clips from the Dragonov documentary that was shown last year, his “departure” after the 17th Anniversary show, and his triumphant return at Carat, complete with a selection of tweets, including one from the “fired” Kevin Owens – it’s a grand video to build up to this weekend’s match.

Icarus vs. Ivan Kiev
No, it’s not the CHIKARA guy, it’s the Hungarian who was in town for the #WrestlingDeutschland and Wrestling Kult shows on the same weekend.

Kiev’s all about the RISE pose early, as he points the finger… but Icarus uses that to take him down and eventually land a standing moonsault, before Kiev’s dropkick swatted away his springboard. From there, a right hand from Kiev takes Icarus into the corner for a big boot, before he’s taken onto the apron for a slingshot dropkick as he was laid against the bottom turnbuckle.

Eventually Icarus gets his second wind, decking Kiev with a rolling forearm before scoring a sunset flip for a near-fall. More kicks led to a springboard enziguiri for a near-fall, but Icarus crashes and burns from a senton bomb before he was forced to kick out from a huge flying leg lariat. Kiev tries for his death valley bomb finisher, but he has to fight for it before nailing it for the win. Short and sweet, but a comprehensive win for Kiev, whose role in RISE remains to be seen. **½

They play a video package ahead of the TLC match between Absolute Andy and Marius al-Ani, featuring clips of their prior outings in similar stipulations, before running through their history, from the WOW Movement, to A4, to their tag title win… and of course, their split in October at World Tag Team League. Again, another brilliant package to get you up to speed if you’ve missed any part of things, or indeed, if you’ve jumped onto the product because of the buzz from 16 Carat Gold (and if that is the case… welcome aboard!)

There’s one last rundown of the True Colors card for Dresden this weekend:

wXw Shotgun Championship: Bobby Gunns (c) vs. Lucky Kid vs. Alexander James vs. Mark Davis
Audrey Bride vs. Killer Kelly
For the vacant wXw World Tag Team Championship: Jay FK (Francis Kaspin & Jay Skillet) vs. Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero) vs. LAX (Santana & Ortiz)
TLC for Andy’s 16 Carat Gold title shot: Marius al-Ani vs. Absolute Andy
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Ilja Dragunov (c) vs. WALTER

…and that’s your lot! A 33 minute edition of Shotgun that breezed by, which is a good thing given how heavily we all overdosed on wrestling this weekend. The build to True Colors had been affected with the departure of “Bad Bones”, but the five matches we have, plus whatever comes off from the RISE reunion should be plenty to chew over when this drops on wXwNOW next week!