With Frankfurt in the books, we’re on the road to Superstars of Wrestling as the card for the next marquee event gets filled out.

You know the drill by now – watch wXw in Frankfurt before this one to keep the timeline going! We’re back in Cologne for this week’s episode, and it’s Alan back on commentary.

First, clips from Frankfurt as Bobby Gunns made Mark Davis tap out, and here comes Bobby in the arena for a live Smoking Break. This week, Bobby’s got an opportunity for “the elderly to face him”, citing he did it with Drago, Koji Kanemoto and Homicide… and he’ll do the same again at Superstars of Wrestling against Christopher Daniels – the “bald, Walter White wannabe”.

Next: clips from Dirty Dragan’s first trial series match – a loss to Absolute Andy – as we go to Dragan backstage commiserating over his loss. Emil Sitoci gets annoyed with Dragan over his state of mind, and we cross over to a backstage promo with Francis Kaspin, who’s next in that trial series. Kaspin recalls how Dragan’s treated him before, putting that down to a lack of self-esteem at the time, before saying that wrestling needs people like Dragan. Cannot disagree…

Dirty Dragan vs. Francis Kaspin
Kaspin threw Dragan with the offer of a handshake, before taking him down with a headlock to get us going. Kaspin keeps working over the arm, but slaps Dragan when he – genuinely – tried to free himself by tickling his balls. Those mind games looked to have some effect as Dragan snuck ahead, taking Kaspin down for an elbow and a wacky folding cover that barely gets a one-count.

A low bridge sends Kaspin onto the apron, then onto the floor for a comedy karate chop, but back inside Kaspin gets the headlock again, before kicking Dragan in his backside ahead of a dropkick. The Rear View gets Dragan back in it, sending Kaspin into the corner for a Bronco buster, but he wastes time and gets slapped in the face as Kaspin began a comeback, taking him down with a flying forearm for a near-fall.

We’re back to the rear chinlock as Kaspin tried to wear Dragan down some more, before a counter to a counter took us to a Northern Lights suplex from Kaspin. Dragan nicks in with an X-Factor as we can see those X-Pac tapes got an airing, before a series of clotheslines put Dragan ahead… at least until Dragan went for a DDT that was easily escaped. The crowd began to boo a little as Kaspin seemed to mock Dragan, slapping him and demanding to see some fight, but it looked like Dragan was spent.

A missile dropkick looked to prove the point, but Dragan had a little something left… and although he charged into a sleeperhold, he was able to drag Kaspin into the corner for the Bret Hart/Ted DiBiase finish… and despite not getting all of it, Dragan was able to roll back enough to sneak the win as he pinned Kaspin while being in a hold. You’d have to call that an upset given Dragan’s form, and hopefully this is something to build off of! **¾

Clips from Melanie Gray’s win over Killer Kelly follow, and we’re backstage next as Killer Kelly is hunting for Marius al-Ani. Kelly’s more than furious over how Melanie’s called her a rookie… after being calmed down, Kelly puts forward an idea for Superstars of Wrestling: Kelly and Marius vs. Melanie Gray and Absolute Andy. Enough of the puns though, Marius!

From there, Absolute Andy’s taking a selfie, and stealing Melanie Gray’s coffee. Gray’s still full of herself, saying “God chose (her) to start wXw’s women’s division”, something Andy jumps on by pondering if he chose her or not. Oof. Respect, like Marius al-Ani, went through a table in Dresden, and it seems the veterans are more than full of their own self-importance… although you have to admit, Andy’s CV is pretty impressive. Less so, however, was his team name: “Greatness Personified… and Melanie Gray”.

Way to alienate your partner, Andy!

Next: Christian Bischof is sitting down with WALTER & Ilja Dragunov to go over their match at True Colors. Talk turned to how they both beat up referees during the match, while WALTER called himself “not a romantic” like Ilja when it came to emotions in the match. Ilja calls WALTER on how him attacking the referee was a contradiction to the “emotionless” self he claimed to be.

The argument’s heated – and even though I’m reading the subtitles, the passion came through with great ease. Ilja wants another match, and they shake on it… for Superstars of Wrestling! Christian in the background didn’t know what to make of it all!

They run through Superstars of Wrestling’s card after that:

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Ilja Dragunov (c) vs. WALTER
Tenille Dashwood vs. Toni Storm
wXw Shotgun Championship: Bobby Gunns (c) vs. Christopher Daniels
Billy Gunn vs. Emil Sitoci
Jay Lethal vs. Lucky Kid
Killer Kelly & Marius al-Ani vs. Absolute Andy & Melanie Gray

Absolute Andy & Melanie Gray vs. Mark Davis & Killer Kelly
If we’re going for intentionally-bad team names, do we get Killer Dunks here?

Gray quickly tagged out to Andy at the bell, and since this was a mixed tag, that meant we went to Mark Davis and Absolute Andy. “The Veteraan” tries to work over Davis early, but the Aussie’s even as they block each other’s hiptosses before trading chops in the middle of the ring. Yep, Cologne’s Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld had those noises ringing around it’s insides…

Although perhaps not Andy’s last, weakened chops.

Of course, it was a ruse as Andy poked Davis in the eye, only to get bulldozed down with some clotheslines and a back body drop before Andy hurriedly tagged out. We’re back to Kelly and Melanie, laying shots in where they left off in Frankfurt, but Kelly had more of the offence here, blasting into Gray with forearms and that brutal pump kick, prompting Melanie to yell at Andy… who just stood into the distance, unimpressed. She tagged out, so we’re back to the lads, despite Kelly wanting a piece of Andy!

The LOOK on Kelly’s face when Davis lifted her away… that’s a special kind of repressed anger right there.

Melanie tries to cheapshot Davis with a kick in the ropes, but Dunkzilla catches her… and threatens her a little, before Gray screamed her way free as everyone’s ears bled. Andy recovered from it enough to give a back cracker as Cologne’s ears rang, before trapping Davis in an abdominal stretch – complete with some timely cheating from Melanie on the apron. Eventually they’re caught by Tassilo Jung, who delivered a nice kick off the ropes of his own to break it up. Well, you watch enough wrestling that close, some of it eventually rubs off! Davis gets free and makes the tag out, allowing Kelly to kick away at Gray, then suplex her into the corner for that Shibata-ish dropkick!

Andy gets involved again, pulling Kelly by her pigtails as she measured up for a dive… allowing Gray to return with a spear for a near-fall as she took over once more. A powerbomb from Gray’s almost countered into an armbar, but Kelly followed up with more shots, including a forearm to Andy, before tagging out to Davis… Andy wasn’t quite as keen to get involved, unsurprisingly, as Dunkzilla blasted his way through the 16 Carat Gold winner.

A sliding forearm into the corner leaves Andy woozy, and Melanie charges in again to try and get involved. Her rear naked choke is more of a comedy moment as Davis hands her away to a Kelly head kick as we were getting more intergender teases. Kelly and Andy went toe-to-toe again, before Andy went for a F5… that’s elbowed out of, before Kelly went for a head kick to Andy… leaving her prone for a swinging side slam from Gray.

Davis is back in to finally land that Alphamare Waterslide inverted Angle slam, but with Tas busy checking on Kelly, Gray hits Dunkzilla with a low blow, allowing Andy to hit the F5 for the win. A fun tag match here, with everyone coming out strong… yeah, we’re fan’s of Killer Kelly here, but the sheer fire shown in those staredowns with Andy were quite the thing. It’s been a year since we last had intergender in wXw, but it may be quite a while more before it’s brought back in any context. ***½

A brief RISE team meeting is next, featuring Lucky Kid still amped up over his “cool” match with Zack Sabre Jr. Tarkan Aslan grounds it all by saying that they shouldn’t be happy about finishing second, then says that Bouncer should finish off the situation with Da Mack, as the Young Lions walk off. Kiev brings up how RISE has a tag title shot to cash in… and they suggest that Bouncer and Kiev partner up to try their luck.

Clips from Frankfurt next, with Lucky Kid’s match with Zack Sabre Jr. being highlighted… and Kid’s refusal to cheat. Not to worry though, Lucky Kid’s happy on his phone, kicking the sofa as Aslan walked in on him being proud of his Twitter followers. Tarkan isn’t happy because Lucky’s losing, and he wants his little brother back to winning ways. He’s mad that Lucky didn’t let him cheat for him… and because of that, Aslan’s not going to be in his corner at Superstars of Wrestling when Lucky’s got Jay Lethal.

A solid, if not lengthy, episode of Shotgun this week – featuring the sooner-than-expected win for Dirty Dragan in his trial series… but I expect that to continue and not be over because he eked out a win. The vignettes building up the rest of the card for Superstars of Wrestling were wXw at their finest… and my word, when Absolute Andy gets his comeuppance, it’s going to be great, isn’t it?