After an eventful True Colors, what’s next for RISE, as a new (old) era dawned for the black, blue and silver group?

You know the drill: spoiler warning at the start of the show, and if you’ve not seen True Colors, you really ought to… a cracker of a show from start to finish!

Shotgun opens with clips from True Colors, focusing on the reunion of the original RISE (minus Chris Colen)… but on rewatch, it’s telling that Tarkan Aslan doesn’t entirely seem to be on board. We followed them backstage into a RISE meeting… where Ivan Kiev apologises for how he behaved to Pete Bouncer at 16 Carat. The apology’s accepted, and Kiev’s forgiven because he was there when it mattered. Bouncer feels the need to have a word with the Young Lions… and they walk off as we crash to the titles.

We’re in Leipzig this week, with Jeremy Graves once again on the call. That’s a few weeks in a row now – you’d think something had happened with Alan… and it’s this point where we ought to congratulate Alan and Sarah on their recent nuptials!

We’re back with the Young Lions, as Lucky Kid’s frothing at the idea of beating the New Japan Cup winner, Zack Sabre Jr. this weekend. He’s perhaps too hyped…

More True Colors clips now, as we see how Monster Consulting won the gold. We’re severely screwed if wXw decide to let Monster Consulting and their staff defend the belts under the Freebirds rule. I can’t wrestle! We’re back with Monster Consulting, and they’re happy that they won the belts… not Cerberus. Avalanche gives the credit to Julian Nero… and talk quickly turns to their first defence this weekend in Frankfurt, against the Arrows of Hungary: Icarus and Dover.

We then see how Mark Davis won his Shotgun title shot at True Colors, and that crashes into our first match of the week…

Jay Skillet vs. Mark Davis
Davis takes Skillet into the corner from the off, but Skillet tries to restrain him with an armbar… that didn’t work too well as Davis used his size to try and get ahead as they battled over each other’s arms.

It’s rather tentative stuff as Davis takes down Skillet in a wristlock, before he hauls him up for a sidewalk slam, avoiding any tease of a headscissor takedown from there. Dunkzilla caught Skillet from a leapfrog, but Skillet slips out and finally gets those headscissors before landing a neckbreaker. Chopping Davis was a bad move, as he intercepts one with a high five before pancaking Skillet to the mat. More chops from Davis follows, but he’s eventually caught with a back elbow out of the corner as Skillet tried to stick and move… leading to his downfall as a thunderous lariat caught Skillet for a near-fall.

Skillet manages to string together a comeback with a missile dropkick and a crossbody, but another leap’s cut-off with a punch before the inverted Angle slam gets Dunkzilla a near-fall. The pull-up piledriver’s attempted, but Skillet flips away as they go back to chops and enziguiri, as a swinging DDT nails Davis. A double stomp connects as Skillet almost puts the Aussie away, and Davis is right back in it with a Flatliner into the corner, as the sliding forearm and the pull-up piledriver got the win. A rather straightforward win for Davis, who’s getting a lot of steam under him as his crack at the Shotgun title is in the horizon. ***

Speaking of… Mark Davis jumps Bobby Gunns backstage and throws a clothes rack onto him. That’ll not endear you with the Irish… but he’s getting his shot this weekend in Frankfurt!

A replay from last week’s Dirty Dragan dumping airs, and then we have an Emil Sitoci promo that Christian Jakobi interrupts. Sitoci’s idea is to put Dragan in a trials series to prove his worth. Hey, I like that idea! As long as Timothy Thatcher doesn’t come up… that didn’t work so well last time. Jakobi likes the idea, but we don’t get the Sitoci promo!

Another replay from Killer Kelly and Melanie Gray’s meeting last week… followed by the finish of Kelly’s match at True Colors, and now, she’s got an interview with Christian Bischof. She’s on a roll as of late, and that may well continue in Frankfurt as Kelly faces Melanie once more.

Next… a sneaky plug from Christian Jakobi for Jurn Simmons’ Twitch channel! As I watched this, Jurn was live streaming, and playing Pokemon too. How’s that for happenstance? Alexander James walks in and asks about getting an opportunity in Frankfurt. James gets mad when Jakobi tries to turn that into a pop at him losing… he wants a one-on-one match instead, as he reckons he’s the next big star in wXw. Alexander gets his wish… his biggest opportunity ever… but we have to wait and see!

A run-down of the card for this Saturday in Frankfurt comes next…

wXw World Tag Team Championship: Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero) (c) vs. Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover)
wXw Shotgun Championship: Bobby Gunns (c) vs. Mark Davis
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Lucky Kid
Dirty Dragan’s Trial Series – Match #1
Killer Kelly vs. Melanie Gray
David Starr vs. Marius al-Ani vs. Ivan Kiev
…and whatever’s going on with Alexander James!

That’s another stacked card, and should be a heck of a show to watch when it drops on-demand next week.

Footage of how Absolute Andy won the TLC match is next, and that bleeds into an interview where Andy demands his nicknames are read out. He’s really proud of having his title shot back, despite being exasperated at how many “rookies” are in wXw. Andy is in no rush to take his title shot, and I’m starting to dig the smug vibe he’s really grown into since winning Carat.

RISE (Lucky Kid, Pete Bouncer & Ivan Kiev) vs. Ilja Dragunov & LAX (Santana & Ortiz)
After several months out with a shoulder injury, Pete Bouncer is back! It’s a wacky trios match as Ilja Dragunov partnered with LAX – a trio I never thought I’d see!

Lucky Kid slithers around Santana at the start, as the pair work around wristlocks before getting to a stalemate… all while Ilja showed off his scarred chest on the apron. Lucky clings onto Santana’s leg like a clingy child to its parent, before finally taking down Santana with a low dropkick.

Ivan Kiev gets tagged in as RISE triple-teamed Santana, but an enziguiri got Santana enough time to tag in Ortiz, who’s used as a platform for a moonsault and a back senton as Santana and Ilja got involved. Dragunov stayed in, knocking down Kiev with a back elbow as they exchanged frequent tags, with Santana’s suplex getting a near-fall on Kiev as RISE were enticed into the ring.

Ortiz tries to wear down Kiev some more, but he’s caught with a facebuster as Kiev tagged in Pete Bouncer, with the new RISE leader keeping up the work with a slam and an elbow drop for just a one-count. He and Kiev combine for a sidewalk slam/legdrop combo that gets a near-fall on Ortiz, before Lucky Kid returned to keep up on the afro’d Ortiz, knocking him down with a back elbow and a double stomp for another near-fall.

Some headscissors keep Ortiz grounded, as RISE clears the opposing apron… just in time for a side Russian legsweep/Blockbuster combo as LAX again broke up the pin. Finally, Ortiz makes a comeback, leaping over Bouncer to tag in Ilja… just as Lucky Kid got the blind tag in as all of RISE tried in vain to knock down the champion. Corner-to-corner lariats keep Ilja in front, but the numbers game take its toll briefly as Lucky and Kiev double-team Ilja.

Dragunov snuffs it out quickly and tags out to Santana as LAX double-team Lucky Kid and his blaahs, hitting Lucky with a double-team hiptoss facebuster before holding him up for a back senton from Ilja for a nice triple-team. It doesn’t lead to the finish though, as RISE break it up and take their foes out for some dives, ending with an Arabian Press from Lucky Kid!

RISE stand tall… but they’re knocked off the aprons as LAX and Ilja land a trio of topes, before Ilja went back to work on Bouncer with lariats. Kiev tries to make a save with a Pele kick, but he’s taken onto the apron… and rebounds with a leg lariat to Dragunov, before Ortiz keeps up the Parade of Moves with a powerbomb. Bouncer tries to end the parade, hitting a full nelson slam, but in comes Da Mack with a Mack Magic cutter… and that’s the match thrown out on a DQ. The match was solid enough before this, and didn’t have any of the hallmarks of a match that solely existed for an angle – hopefully we can get a re-do at some point with a finish! ***¼

A little bit of an anticlimactic finish, I guess because this was taped the day after True Colors and the whole RISE story hadn’t been seen, but for those of us up to speed, we know full well that Da Mack isn’t taking the changes in RISE laying down!

This week’s Shotgun had two masters to serve – one, it had to address True Colors (which it did via the medium of recaps), and build up this weekend’s show in Frankfurt – a card that rivals what we had in Dresden a week ago! Like we said in our True Colors review, wXw’s managed to keep the momentum going from 16 Carat Gold, and with the handling of the RISE storyline in difficult circumstances, things don’t look like they’re going to slow down any time soon!