wXw may be in the midst of their summer break, but that doesn’t mean Shotgun’s taking time off – as we’re back with a special episode, complete with three really good matches from the archives.

Tagged as “Shotgun Unreleased”, we’ve got some unaired matches from wXw’s recent-ish past, with wXw’s social media plugging Lucky Kid vs. Timothy Thatcher from last October. Jeremy Graves is on the call this week, and we’re straight into the action!

Timothy Thatcher vs. Lucky Kid
We’re in Leipzig from last October – to date this, we’ve got Chris Colen still in RISE as this was before Bad Bones excommunicated him.

The match starts with Lucky Kid being chased to the outside, where he snatches Timothy’s scarf to mock the whole RINGKAMPF thing. He’s a braver man than I… especially when he heads back into the ring and into a headlock from Thatcher, then a wristlock after he’d been taken down to the mat. An abdominal stretch and a roll-up is next, but Timothy Thatcher wants no part of Lucky Kid’s shenanigans as he BLEH’s back at him before dumping Lucky with an uppercut.

Lucky manages to edge back in with a couple of low dropkicks, taking Timmy outside but it’s a fake-out as Lucky just BLEHs again. He eventually joins Thatcher on the outside, only to get kicked in the head as Thatcher took the fight to him, before hitting a suplex back inside for a near-fall. Another turnaround from Lucky Kid gets him back in it, courtesy of an eye rake and a low dropkick, only for Thatcher to put on the brakes and take him around the turnbuckles.

Out of nowhere, Lucky stops Tim with an Octopus hold, then turns it into a roll-up for a near-fall… but Lucky can’t keep the advantage and so Thatcher’s quickly back in charge. A single leg crab has Lucky in trouble… but again Lucky fires back with a standing Sliced Bread, almost getting the upset there! Lucky heads up top for a crossbody, but he’s swatted out of the air with an uppercut, before a gutwrench nearly puts away the RISE member. The RINGKAMPF belly-to-belly is next for another near-fall, before Thatcher turns Lucky into a Fujiwara armbar which gets escaped as Lucky Kid still keeps on fighting.

In the end though, a handspring back elbow from Lucky goes awry as Thatcher turns it into a German suplex, before an enziguiri and a bridging butterfly suplex led to a submission of all things! A fun, back-and-forth match, and an interesting time capsule for the time. Well worth the watch. ***½

wXw Shotgun Championship: Jurn Simmons vs. Ivan Kiev (c)
We’re in Berlin for this one from last November – as characterised by Ivan Kiev having the Shotgun title, and Da Mack being in RISE.

Ah, I’ve missed Jurn Simmons…

There’s early power spots as Jurn shoved Kiev into the corner, before he catches a springboard crossbody to dump Kiev to the mat. Shoulder charges in the corner follow, before Kiev’s launched into the opposite corner with force… and again! Playing up to the pro-RISE crowd in Berlin, Jurn blows them a kiss as he drops an elbow, then climbs the ropes… only to get caught with a step-up ‘rana! The pair return to trade forearm shots in the ropes, before a springboard leg lariat from Kiev drew a near-fall.

Kiev grounds Simmons for a spell, dropping knees and elbows into him, before he too takes too long on the top rope and misses a splash, allowing Jurn to come back into it with some deliberate axe-handle smashes. A back body drop sends Ivan flying, as does a pancake out of the corner, as Jurn followed in with an Oklahoma Stampede that nearly crowned a surprise new champion.

Kiev returns fire, dropping Jurn with a neckbreaker as the crowd again got behind him… but again Kiev gets caught up top as Jurn hits a dropkick. Simmons brings Kiev down with a muscle buster, knocking Pete Bouncer off the apron in the process, to score a near-fall. That’s aggravated Pete again, who has the referee distracted as a gutwrench powerbomb from Jurn nearly puts Kiev away… Jurn tries for the piledriver, but Kiev escaped and lands a kick to the head before heading up for a flying leg lariat… and it’s still not enough!

Bouncer’s gone over to grab the Shotgun title belt, and gets involved again as he’s knocked off the apron by Simmons. The belt goes loose, and as the referee tends to Bouncer, he misses a belt shot as a death valley bomb from Ivan Kiev seals the win. A totally different kind of match from the last, as you’d expect, and my word it really is odd looking at these time capsule matches. Odd in a good way. ***

They run through the Shortcut to the Top card for August 4:

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Absolute Andy vs. Ilja Dragunov (c)
wXw Shotgun Championship: Tournament Winner vs. Bobby Gunns (c)
Shortcut to the Top: in the graphic they show WALTER, Lucky Kid, Marius al-Ani, Dirty Dragan, Emil Sitoci, Veit Müller, Juvenile X, Julian Pace, Ivan Kiev, Pete Bouncer, Julian Nero, Avalanche, Francis Kaspin, Jay Skillet, Laurance Roman and two folks I can’t identify…

Absolute Andy & Melanie Gray vs. Marius al-Ani & Killer Kelly
We end with a more recent match – taken from the last wXw show before the summer break, in fact – as it’s a rematch from Superstars of Wrestling!

During the entrances, Andy’s gone down to his knees in what would have been an awkward moment, but instead he’s just mocking Kelly by offering to fight her on his knees. Referee Tasilo Jung, as ever, is not impressed, and Kelly wants to take on Andy from the off.

It’s not to be as we start with Andy and Marius… once Kelly’s calmed down! It takes her a while, as Marius has to ragdoll her out over the top rope and onto the apron. Remind me never to piss her off… In the end, it’s a four-way cat fight to start us off as the match heads to the outside, with Andy throwing some right hands at Marius as they wandered around the merch table and into the crowd.

Eventually Andy and Marius return to the ring, but Marius edges ahead with a dropkick before he burst into his slingshot/sunset flip kip up and a clothesline… which was the cue for Melanie and Kelly to hit the ring with a barrage of right hands! Kelly gets the upper hand with those, before she shoves away Melanie and nails a pump kick to the midsection for a near-fall.

A spear from Gray puts Kelly down as the pair tagged out, bringing Andy and al-Ani back in, with Marius clocking Andy with a clothesline to the back of the head as the younger of the two looked to take control. Andy puts the brakes on as Marius went for the ‘rana, and turns it into an abdominal stretch, complete with old-school cheating from Melanie on the apron. Yes, Tas smells a rat and kicks it away, which is one of my favourite spots in wrestling these days. Kelly falls off the apron as Marius was about to tag out… which means Andy’s able to keep Marius in the ring with a Dragon sleeper, before we go back to the abdominal stretch. Tas goes to kick away the cheating again, and after his leg’s caught he pokes Andy in the eye. My second favourite ref spot! In the commotion, Andy knocks into Melanie Gray as he goes back to the abdominal stretch… this time using the ropes, and after every trick in the book is neutralised, it’s Killer Kelly who directed Melanie Gray’s finger to poke Andy in the eyes!

Another tag out brings Kelly in legitimately as she nearly decapitated Melanie with a pump kick en route to the Shibata-ish dropkick… but the match spills outside again after Andy dragged Kelly to the floor, before Marius takes it back in with the kip-up Exploder. A spinebuster from Andy looked to end it, but Tas remembers that Andy wasn’t legal… so Andy tags out and goes for a superkick, only for Marius to counter it into an ankle lock.

Andy deliberately grabs the ref and pulls him down so he can’t see Melanie low blowing Marius… Kelly’s back to make things even, but she’s caught, and this time avoids the F5, before kicking Andy. He falls onto Marius, almost ending the match with an inadvertent pin, before Melanie, not to be outdone, dumps Marius with a Samoan drop. Also not to be outdone, Kelly hits a Samoan drop to Andy, as the green eyed monster returns… Kelly takes over again with the Shibata-ish dropkick, before a head kick KO’s Melanie… who still isn’t legal!

Andy is, and he goes for the ankle lock, before Marius – who’s also legal – grabs an ankle lock of his own, before rolling through into the corner. Yet another tag brings the women back in as they exchange near-falls, only for Andy to interrupt again as he pulls hold of Kelly’s hair from the top rope… she turns around and slams him to the mat a la Ric Flair, before a frog splash from Marius left Andy flattened, as a head kick from Kelly finally lays out Melanie Gray for the win. PHEW! A breathless tag match, and a match you should go out of your way to hunt down. This match was all sorts of fun, featuring some of the greatest hits of these four and some new twists… even if it is sort-of out of canon due to it being on this show. ***¾

That’s all from this no-frills episode of Shotgun this week. Next week is more of the same with some more “unreleased” matches, before the infamous blooper reel wraps up the three weeks of special episodes. If you like good wrestling, sit down and spend 45 minutes on this – three good-to-great matches, and lots of entertainment to boot.