We’ve another trove of matches from the wXw archive from this week’s Shotgun – the final one of the summer break!
Jeremy Graves is on the call this week, and we’ve got a throwback to last year’s autumn Fight Forever tour. Surprise Jaxon Stone!
Jaxon Stone vs. Alexander James vs. Marius al-Ani
We started with Marius al-Ani jumping into Stone and James at the bell as the two Americans were having a brief argument… and it’s Marius who’s in control from the off, going for a leaping kick to Stone, only to get caught with an Exploder from Jaxon.
A knee drop followed as Stone goes for his version of the People’s Elbow, only for James to catch him with a flapjack as Marius rolled away. James quickly rolled Stone down for a near-fall as a series of pinning predicaments broke out among all three men. Eventually the two Americans worked together to get rid of Marius, before a fist-fight broke out among the pair of them, ending with Stone ducking a spinning back elbow… only to get his arm snapped by James.
Marius breaks up their little party with a crossbody off the top, before tripping Stone and James into a pair of single leg crabs! They get free and turn the tables back on al-Ani, catching him with right hands in the corner, only for Marius to catch Jaxon with a round house… a jack-knife cover from James and his Regards spinning back elbow keeps the match in his favour, before putting Marius up top for the Rains of Castamere (Tower of London). al-Ani blocks it though and shoved James down to the mat, then boots Jaxon Stone away… a leap off the top’s caught as Stone countered with his Rolling Stones (Samoan drop into a fallaway slam), only for James to break up the cover. James is right back in with a pumphandled German suplex on Stone, before wrenching him back down for the Coat of Arms wristlock… AJ breaks it up to get rid of al-Ani, but it doesn’t work as Marius sidesteps it before returning with his kip-up Exploder combo.
The death valley driver from al-Ani continued his resurgence, only for a frog splash attempt to be pushed away as James went right back to the arm of Jaxon. Stone manages to counter with a TKO stunner, but Marius is right up top and squashes Stone with a frog splash almost instantly to steal the pin. A hell of an entertaining, fast-paced three-way that reminded me how missed Jaxon Stone was during the last wXw tour. Perhaps a return is needed, if only so we can continue the Dirty Dragan tradition over Tag League weekend? ***¼
Julian Pace vs. TKO
This one’s from the last Shotgun taping in June, as TKO was looking to warm up for his Shotgun contendership tournament quarterfinal outing this weekend.
We started with some holds between Pace and TKO as they started their feeling-out process. They turn up the pace as they flashed through towards duelling dropkicks, but it’s TKO who hits first with an uppercut before confusing Pace in the ropes en-route to a lucha armdrag and a dropkick! Pace returns the favour, countering a hiptoss by bounding off the ropes into an armdrag before he increased the speed for a dropkick… yeah, it’s too quick for even the cameraman to keep up with!
TKO gets right back in a Finlay roll and a moonsault as he stopped Pace in his tracks, before he slowed stuff right down as he boots the wXw Academy graduate. Vicious kicks to the chest are next as Pace almost stalled, before another roundhouse stopped him as he looked for a Code Red. I think that may have been the wrestling equivalent of an engine warning light… Pace gets sent into the corner for a clothesline as TKO follows in with a back senton for a solid two-count, as Pace began to fight back with his part of a chop battle, only to get rocked with an enziguiri. TKO looked for a backslide, but Pace flips over and comes back with chops, taking TKO into the corner for some running forearms… there’s an up-kick in the ropes and a slingshot/roll-through neckbreaker by Pace as he keeps catching TKO off guard, countering some scoop slam attempts into a tornado DDT!
The Code Red from Pace succeeds, but his follow-up moonsault misses as TKO found a second wind, catching Pace with forearms before a Whisper in the Wind sent pace back to the mat. With the crowd behind him, TKO looked for his eponymous move, only for Pace to pop up onto his shoulders for a Victory roll… and out of nowhere, Pace gets the win! A really fun outing here, with TKO looking good as he went for momentum ahead of the remainder of the Shotgun title contender’s tournament… but he ended up being susceptible to a roll-up of all things! ***½
They run through what’s been announced for Shortcut to the Top on 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 there’s 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…
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: WALTER vs. Jurn Simmons vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. “Bad Bones” John Klinger (c)
We’re in Leipzig from last October, hence Bad Bones being around and champion here.
Bones makes a nuisance of himself from the off, but a headbutt to Ilja Dragunov has no effect as the then-champion quickly gets isolated by the other three… who all look to be having fun here as the former (and future) champions toyed with the RISE leader. Slams all round for Bones, and what the hell?! Felix Schultz?! The Shooter gets in on the act too… and prompts Klinger to take his belt and leave. So everyone else chases him!
Even the referee goes backstage as the crowd wonder what on earth is happening… but somehow Klinger’s found a back door and he makes it back to the ring on his lonesome. Everyone else marches back after him, with WALTER looking a little Bushwhacker-y as he wandered into a low-pe from Bones, who looked to isolate Ilja Dragunov for a spell. A splash into the corner misses as Ilja’s right back in with a full nelson backbreaker to Bones, before a Torpedo Moscau effort is caught and turned into a Dragon suplex.
Out goes Dragunov and Klinger, in come WALTER and Jurn Simmons next, but Jurn holds onto the ropes to avoid a WALTER dropkick before hitting one of his own. The Jurn gyrations backfire as he’s caught with a German suplex from WALTER… and now we get Dragunov in as he runs into a WALTER chop. Oops. Ilja ducks one and returns the favour, as he tries to fell the tree that is WALTER with clotheslines… and he eventually succeeds!
Klinger’s back to his feet, instantly dropping Ilja with forearms for a near-fall, before an enziguiri from Dragunov puts Bones on the mat, only for a springboard out of the corner to see Ilja land in a lungblower as the match nearly came to a head. The revolving door format continues as Simmons hits the ring and gets met with a slingshot spear from Bones for a near-fall, but Jurn fires back with a sit-out gutwrench for a near-fall. Jurn tries to keep up with a superplex, which Ilja helps out with… before WALTER teed off the Tower of Doom with a powerbomb to all. WALTER gets back to his feet first as he looked to unload on Simmons and Dragunov, catching them with boots and clotheslines, then German suplexes as WALTER was on fire. A butterfly suplex finally puts Dragunov down as Jurn manages to escape a powerbomb and come back with big boots.
Simmons uses a suplex throw to toss Ilja, then WALTER across the ring, but just as he looked to finish off Dragunov, Ilja escapes with a Saito suplex. Corner-to-corner clotheslines are next for Dragunov, as was a double lariat, but as he tees up for Torpedo Moscau, Bad Bones is right in with the Wrecking Ball knees before a sunset bomb sent Jurn into Ilja. WALTER comes back from nowhere with a shotgun dropkick to Klinger as all four men were left on the mat.
Ilja and Klinger fight on the top rope, with a headbutt taking the champion down ahead of a back senton off the top from Dragunov, who looked to put the finishing touches on things with a Torpedo Moscau… only for Pete Bouncer to wander down to ringside to distract everyone, masking a low blow as Klinger nearly won with a roll-up! Bouncer slides the wXw title into the ring, but Ilja blocks it… only for the rest of RISE to hit the ring and mug Ilja, as this match got thrown out as a no-contest. This was another enjoyable unreleased match – perhaps a little too “to form” at times as we had a fair amount of the “two in, two out” format before the interference brought the match to a sudden end. ***½
The show ended with Timothy Thatcher and Marius al-Ani hitting the ring for a square-off – the crowd in Leipzig were treated to an 8-man tag after the impromptu brawl, but instead the anarchy brought Shotgun to an end ahead of next week’s season premier, featuring the next round of the Shotgun championship contender’s tournament, as wXw hits Cologne this weekend for the next round of TV tapings.
As another “unreleased” show, Shotgun was enjoyable, with a trio of matches that could well be an advert for the company’s house shows – since all of these bouts were taped but ultimately not used in the regular rotation. A fine way to keep the momentum up behind wXw as they prepare to launch into their autumn Shotgun Live tour!